This is NOT the Way!

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The CoronaVirus has been in total contol of the airways and social media for the past four months. Every day we have to hear about the rising death toll in America. The virus showed no mercy. It didn’t discriminate; it showed up took it’s victim, black, white, young or old; it simply didn’t care. And for a brief time Americans were working together to defeat a common enemy. We were all staying home battling this foreigh invader and praying; and God heard our prayers. We caught a break things started to reopen and we could breath just a little bit better.

Then things came to a halt, Ahmaud Arbery is gunned down as he takes a jog through his neighborhood. We’re still reeeling from that blow, then BAM! We have to deal with the horrible images coming out of Minneapolis, not just the senseless killing of George Floyld which should be left to the justice system to handle. No I’m referring to the senseless rioting, looting and burning of property which serves absolutely no purpose. Nothing useful can come out of chaos. The burning of the businesses will only result in more unemployment. The neighborhood will suffer, because those businesses will not return. Didn’t we learn anything from the 1965 riot in Watts. Violence begats violence. I guess not. Most of the people participating in the protest probably weren’t even born when the riot occured.

Yes, it was hard to watch the images of a person’s life being snuffed out by a police officer. To witness George Floyd pleading for air is heart wrenching. I’ve been in constant pray for his family as well as the city of Minneapolis. Of course I’m outraged but I’ve lived long enough to know that riots don’t work. Tearing up our own neighborhood is foolish and will do nothing to fix the problem, that doesn’t mean we have to remain quiet. Change can only come through communication.

On the other hand, should we all just sit around and break out in a chorus of We Shall Overcome, no not happending. Should the men responsible be given a fair trial and bought to justice, a resounding yes. We have got to start a dialogue about the real issues that are facing this country. But until then I choose to trust and believe in a God of justice. Maybe I’m naive to believe that things can get better; I certainly hope not. We have a whole generation of young people looking at us; as they wait for us to show them the way. Is this really what we want them to learn?

Romans 13  1-2 Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

Are We There, Yet?

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I was volunteering at a homeless shelter last year when I wrote the post below. I remember how disturbed I was at the number of homeless people that were sleeping outside on the sidewalk and under the bridge; they couldn’t get in. Today that homeless shelter is closed; 19 of the resident tested positive for COVID 19. The city moved most of them to a hotel, unitl something better could be arranged. I guess you could say they were the lucky ones. That’s not the case in most larger cities around the country, according to the Washington Post. Many mayors have run into resistance when placing homeless individuals in hotels. Stating that hotels are not zoned for that purpose. Meanwhile, hundreds of rooms sit vacant and people are dying on the street.

The homeless are more suceptible to the virus because many of them have underlying health issues. By they time they do manage to get tested or receieve any assistance it can be too late. I know this country and many countries around the world are burdened with other issues, but this issue is not going away. The number of infected homeless individuals is growing every day. When you put things in perspective it’s kind of hard to shelter in place, stay at home, when you don’t have a home.

Matthew 8:20 And Jesus saith unto him, The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.

Loosing It May 29, 2019

Have you ever lost something, but you didn’t realize how valuable it was until it wasn’t there any longer. I have been working on another book for the past two months.  I couldn’t locate the file. I panicked. I searched my computer from top to bottom. I broke out in a cold sweat. My eyes began to water. When I calmed down and prayed I realized  I had placed the file in another folder.

Now just imagine how you would feel if you lost your home. A comfortable home or even if it wasn’t comfortable you had a roof over you head. Suddenly, you are homeless. How would you cope? What would you do? Go to a shelter? If you are fortunate enough to get in. There are only so many beds available for women.   Statistics show that women are the fastest growing  group of homeless victims. Domestic violence is the primary reason.  In some cases, it’s due to lack of healthcare, or a loss of public assistance.  The growing number of homeless women is steadily climbing daily.  So what can we do?  Pray, of course. Lend a helping hand when possible. Partner with an organization that is trying to make a difference. But for God’s sake please do something. These women need you.

The Post

Spring time by the lake.

May 19, 2013

“The seasons of the year change, just as surely as the seasons of life. Don’t get to comfortable in one season so that you miss the move of God for the present season.” Facebook Post from my page.

Am I the only one that loves the memory posts from Facebook. They alway seem to come at the right time. Such is the case with the post above. Usually I read them and go on about my business. If it’s relevant to something I’m dealing with I share it with a friend, but this one was different. I don’t know why seeing this particular memory post from 2013 bothered me so much, but it did. I couldn’t shake it loose from my thoughts. I thought about it all day.

It was about 7:30 this morning when I read the post. I grabbed my phone, sat up in bed and began my normal routine. I looked at the time, the weather, and Facebook; what better way to see what’s going on in the world. It was the first thing in my feed. I sat on the edge of the bed for a few minutes; and wondered why did this post pop up now? Is God trying to get my attention? Questions tumbled through my head. Have I become comfortable? Am I missing a move of God? What should I be doing during this season? I been home for three months. The days all seem the same. Sometimes I don’t even know what day it is, and it really doesn’t matter they all look the same. I understand why everyone is in a rush to get back to work and some resemblance of normal; the monotony is driving me crazy. I live alone there is just so much cleaning I can do. I’ve binged watch all the shows on Netflix. I’ve made calls to all my friends, i’ve worked in the yard, I’ve done volunteer work virtually. When I finally calmed down. I realized that this post is just a reminder from God, “Hey don’t get too comfortable, this season is not going to last, it’s coming to a close, you still have things to get done.Get ready for the change.” I got out the vision board that I made at the beginning of the year. One glance at that board,my work is not done. I don’t have time to get comfortable. My season is about to change.

A Mother’s Day Gift

Today is Mother’s Day. My son came by. Our tradition for the past five years or since he became gamefully employed is that he takes me out to a restaurant of my choosing. Well with things being what they are we decided against going out to sit in a restaurant. No, I didn’t cook. I wasn’t letting him get off that easy. We drove to the restaurant and picked up the order. But before we left to get the food, we talked. Before I tell you about our talk let me start by saying I’m a single parent. Like so many other single parents who carry the role of mother and father, I have spent countless nights praying and wondering if I was doing or saying the right thing. Did I present my son with enough positive role models? Did he get to see enough Godly examples of manhood? Today I got a chance to see the fruit of my labor. Back to our conversation; I mean a real conversation. We talked about life, employment, his present relationship; which is really a touchy subject because he thinks I don’t like the young lady. I might add I don’t have a problem with her as long as she makes him happy. I looked at him standing tall and confident telling me his plans for the future I felt a sense of pride and accomplishment that I am eternally grateful for. We continued to talk a while longer I think we were both feeling very comfortable. I don’t know if it was because I’m getting older, or I’m more appreciative of the time I have left. It could be he is finally at an age where he can listen to me without thinking I’m trying to run his life. What ever the case may be, thank you Lord. At one point, during the evening he took out his phone and did a short video of me, said he just wanted to have a video of me in his phone. I’m not a superstitious person, but I couldn’t help but wonder does he think I’m on my way out of here? I had to reassure him that I don’t plan on leaving up out of here for quite sometimes. I have to see my grand children. As he was leaving I thought to myself, when did this happen? In the course of 27 years my son has become everything I prayed and hoped he would become: a decent, caring and kind human being. I’m so glad I had a hand in that?

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

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This is Not the Time.

Whew! This week has been one for the history books. I can’t remember a time when I lost four friends in one week. No, none of the deaths were from the virus all four of the individuals had either succumbed to an illness or got sick a while ago. That said, it hurt even more with everything else that’s happening all around us. It was just last week I was blogging about how we are all doing a great job of showing love and kindness to one another. Every day I’m reading or hearing about something extraordinary happening in the midst of this pandemic. We can not take life for granted, we can not make assumptions, we can’t leave things unsaid for tomorrow; for lack of a better way of saying it: Life is too short. So, after I got over my shock, I realized this is not the time to go hide and throw myself a pity party; especially when I would have to have a pint of chocolate almond ice cream to go with it. No, now is the time to be grateful, and show gratitute and appreciation to those around me.

It’ s just like God to have you practice what you preach. His lessons always come through some simple every day task. Case in point: I was in line at Walmart. You know you have to keep your distance, and I thought I was doing a pretty good job. The customer in front of me was putting the last of his groceries in his cart. I was still over six feet away. The young clerk yelled, “Maam you need to get back.” I looked down at the floor I was standing on the spot indicated on the floor, so I’m wondering what the heck. It’s hard to tell behind the mask, but I’m becoming frustrated, I’m ready to go into defense mode. “Sir I’m standing on the spot.” The clerk continued to argue with me. All of this is happening while the store is blaring the announcement, “Customers please remember to maintain correct social distancing.” This is just a bit too much. Before I could say another word, I hear that still small voice whisper in my ear, “Now is not the time.” Suffice it to say I got my groceries and I left. I realized I wasn’t angry with the young man; I was angry with the situation. Shopping at Walmart has always been the highlight of my week, but this is my not my normal shopping experience. I want normal again. I want to walk through the store and look at my fellow shopper and we all not look like bandits. I know, I get it, it’s not about me; I realize this is not the time.

Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind the, saying , This is the way, walk ye in it…

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We’re All in this Together!

I was home Saturday morning like i’m sure so many of you are with the Shelter In Place order. There was a knock at my door, a member of my chruch was standing in the doorway smiling with a large box of food. It was totally unexpected. There was so much food in the box I had enough to share with a shelter that I support, a friend of mine and my son. The church called me on on Sunday to make sure I had enough food. Convinced that I didn’t have enough the associate pastor asked my son was I telling him the truth; my son convinced hism that I was doing fine and added in that he didn’t need any food. The pastor’s eagerness to give was so apparent. It’s not hard to find someone in need, so I told him about an elderly neighbor of mine. I thought to myself he’ll bring by a box similar to the one I had received. No instead he insisted on going to the grocery store to get additional food. I should add my church is known for its generous spirit in a times of need. I was grateful to be a help to someone else, but I couldn’t help but wonder: what will it take for this spirit of giving and helping one another to continue? Will be all go back to our our old “Take care of me and my family selves?” God forbid. There have been countless accounts of people going out of their way to share kindness and love. Corporations have donated millions to the poor. Fruits and vegetables have been gathered and driven to other states to make sure all American are fed. We’re finally reaching out to others in need. If you haven’t noticed the murder rate has dropped, the air is cleaner.

If we don’t retain but one lesson from this pandemic its WE NEED EACH OTHER. We are better together than we are apart. I’m not blind to the death and the sickness that is happening every where. I’m praying for a cure for this horrible virus. I just hope that we can reap some of the benefits that have come out of this crisis. Could that be what God wants us to gather from this? I hope we don’t slip back in to our old ways. We are our brothers keeper.

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This is not about YOU!

I was having one of those days. I was tired of being at home, locked in, and isolated. I needed somebody to complain to. I called up a friend of mine after a few minutes I realized she was going through the same thing; which wasn’t helping. In times past when i’m feeling this way I realize that God is speaking to me about something. I sat down with my daily reading and a scripture jumped off the page. Jeremiah 23 Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar off?

I am not alone, yes isolated, but never alone. God is there. It’s during these times we have to adopt an attitude of graditude. Now is not the time to complain. When I realized that this situation is not just about me and I need to stop with the pity party; I know there is a lot more that I could be doing for people in need. Maybe I can’t leave the house, but that doesn’t stop me from calling, texting and emailing. We all need to find ways to assist each other through this crisis. I know for sure that God is reassuring me that he has this situation. For now I am exploring ways that I can be of service to others. A friend of mind told me she took the time to meet her neighbors, she has been living in the neighborhood for five years. It was then that I realized that our present situation of sheltering is place is not just about me. God is at hand, and he wants your attention. Don’t worry He’s God This!

When you are at home alone use your time wisely; let loose and be as creative. I’m getting back to basics. I’ve always enjoyed planting and working in my yard. So I planted cucumbers, tomatoes, beans, and onions. I didn’t say I was good at this. I killed the tomatoes and the beans, but I didn’t give up. I’m on the second round and they’re doing much better. I will get a new garden out of this crisis.

I Did It!

Hooray, I did it! Thank you Lord I made it through week two of the Shut In. I can say that now if you had asked me how I was doing a week ago I probably would have said something to you that would make you think differently of me. Just the thought of being Shut IN was daunting. The term Shelter in PLACE was nerve wracking, but I was determinded to with stand hard ship as a good soldier. At first I was just like all of the other hoarding Americans; I went to the store to fill up my baskets with toilet paper, paper towels, soap, water and anything else that I saw everybody else hoarding. It didn’t take me long to realize that I move a little bit to slow . By the time I got to the store everything was gone. No problem, I made my way to three other stores, only to realize that I was out of luck.

Mind you I really didn’t need toilet paper or paper towels, so you ask, “Why were you out searching endlessly for things that you could have waited to get?” The answer plan and simple, because everyone else was in a panic surely they knew somthing that I didn’t. After I went to my third store and still did not have a roll of toilet paper, I went home. I called my 88 year old aunt to see how she was doing, she said she still needed toilet paper, I grabbed her a pack of nine rolls from the garage and took them to her, leaving two packs of nine in the garage. The moral of this story: don’t panic there is enough for everyone.

In my previous trips to the grocery store there wasn’t a pack of meat in sight. I ventured out today and the grocery store looked half way normal except for the toilet paper and paper towel isle, the shelves were so empty you could have taken a nap. We still have a ways to go on those items, but there were eggs, a little bit expensive but there none the less. There was meat, yea. The store was calm with blue tape at the register reminding you to keep your distance. There were reminders every five minutes to adhear to Social Distancing, but all in all it was nice to get out for a few minutes. I guess this the the new normal for a while. We just have to take it one day at a time. We’re in this thing together. I Did it today and I will continue to do whatever I have to do to get through this crisis. I know I’m not alone. God Bless.

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This too Shall Pass!

Not a care in the world!
Life goes on!

It’s times like these that we really begin to thank God for life. If you didn’t realize how prescious life is, i’m sure you do now; we really are our brother’s keeper. I began teaching a GED class earlier this year. When I was told I couldn’t go to work I thought I would crack up. I miss seeing my adults. I don’t ever remember a time in 23 years of public school that I could ever say that. It’s true you don’t miss your water till the well runs dry.

I’m doing other things to keep busy: I’ve cleaned every room in the house, I’ve binge watched all the shows on Netflix. I’ve taken walks, I’ve emailed all my friends. All that took about a week. I’ve had enough peace and solitude for a life time. I do understand that it is necessary to maintain good health, and I will comply. I’m in the senior category, as my son continues to remind me. I’m being careful. Staying home, but every day I turn on the news and ask the question, Is it over yet? I guess not.

I was on Facebook the other day, one of the shelters that I normally contribute too was in need of water, so I went to the grocery store to get water, only to realize there is a limit on the amount of water you can purchase. I thought about buying toilet paper for the shelter as well, until I realized there wasn’t any on the shelves. I told myself, There is no need to panic, God is still in control. THIS TOO SHALL PASS. Life will return to normal. We just have to be careful how we treat each other during this crisis, when this is over that is the only image that remains. Please take the time to pray for our leaders, all of them. They need our support, not criticism. When you know better, you do better. After all we are all in this thing together.

So Glad, HE Knows.

It’s been a few years ago, but God reminds me of this incident every so often :

I went in a fast food restaurant, I ordered a hamburger with all the fixings, no mayo, large fry and drink. I was in a hurry, so I sat down long enough to put salt, pepper and ketchup on the fries just the way I like them. I was so ready for those fries. I was walking to my car I happened to notice a large number of birds just sitting in the parking lot like they were waiting for me. I was so focused on the birds that I tripped, all of those golden delicious fries went sailing into the sky and come to rest right in front of those hungry waiting birds. Matthew 6: 24 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. God has a sense of humor.

God knows, I say this to myself all the time. Stop worrying it won’t do you any good. Everything will work out for your good. As believers we know that God cares for us and he know what is best for us, but sometimes we allow the situations and circumstances in life distract us.

Last week I ran into a problem. I need some money right away. I hate borrowing money more than anything. I can’t think of a quicker way to ruin a friendship, but this time it couldn’t be helped. I was in a bind. I sat on the side of my bed, “Lord what am I going to do?’ There is a scripture in Isaiah

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21

If you don’t read or believe anything else that I have written, this is true. While i’m sitting there going Lord what am I going to do? I hear two peoples name in my ear. I sent both friends a text. Neither of them responded, at least right away. I’m sitting there, Lord I know I heard you whisper their names. So what did I do. I decided to go ahead of what I heard. I called my son, crying distraught. Of course he was concerned. He sent me the money to help me out, I thought that was the end of that.

While i’m on the phone whining with my son, I get a text message from the first friend that I sent the text message too. The message read: “Hey, didn’t you get the card I sent you?” I’m wondering what card she is referring to, My response: “What card. I haven’t gotten anything from you.” “Okay just wait it was probably delayed with the holiday, I sent the exact amount that you asked me for this morning, last week. I heard God say, send you this amount of money.” So Glad he knows, even before we ask. I’m so glad I serve a God that is alway prepared.