This is NOT the Way!

Photo by Oscar Chan on

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?

Photo by julie aagaard on

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.

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.

Worth Remembering

I remember walking into my ninth grade typing class. I sat down, got out a piece of paper, and began typing. The teacher, looked at me, “such a studious student.” I can’t remember her name, but I never forgot what she said. I didn’t have a clue what studious meant. I guess I should have asked her, but I figured it had to be something good, cause she smiled when she said it and she didn’t say it to any to other student. I liked the way it made me feel. The minute I got home I ran to the dictionary to look up the word.

Studious: showing great care or attention, diligent, with a purpose in mind.

Words have power. They take on a life of their own. They become a part of your essence, they define you or they break you.

When I started teaching I wanted to give another student that same experience. I tried to remember to say kind thougthful words. I’m sure in twenty three years I said something that encouraged somebody. I retired from public school this year. My teaching career is going in another direction. I guess that’s what got me to thinking: What the heck will I be remembered for?

Einstien’s teacher wrote on his school report,  “He will never amount to anything”, 1895. Thank God we don’t have a name for this person. John Lennon’s teacher wrote, “Hopeless. Rather a clown in class.

I ran into a former student in church a couple of weeks ago. I was standing in the lobby before church. Out of no where this hugh linebacker of a man comes up and grabs me. “Hey Ms Montgomery. It’s so good to see you. You still look the same. I told my mom that was you up front.”

My mind is racing. I’m standing there praying God please tell me this kids name, you know they expect you to remember their name. I take a closer look; I’m rattling through file cabinets in my mind. I’m getting close, but still no name. I remembered the boyish smile, but that’s about it, “Hey sweetie, how are you? You look great, still not a clue. The fog is lifting, I remember I taught him in fourth grade. I just need a little more time. He obviously didn’t get on my nerves, I would have remembered him right away. “You know Ms. Montgomery I will never forget you. You are the reason I finised school. The principal wanted to retain me, but you spoke up for me. You told her to give you to the end of the year. Because you didn’t give up on me. I couldn’t give up on myself.”

I’m speechless. He went on to tell me that he has a great job, he started his own ministry for the homeless, and was about to start a non-profit for youthful offender. I’m almost on the floor in tears, I stopped another random person in the lobby and told her this is one of my student, he is such a wonderful young man. I still don’t have a name, and it really doesn’t matter. I made a difference in this young man’ life. That’s how he will remember me. Eventually one of his friend’s walked by and called his name. Not that it helped. I have no memory of speaking up for this student. I thank God I did, because he will go on to make a difference in someone else’ life; and that’s all that matters.

With twenty three years of teaching behind me Brandon (I will never forget his name again) is leading a happy productive life. When ever he sees me tells that same story to whom ever he is with and I’m back in ninth grade typing class again.

What’s Good on TV?

I was watching TV the other night. I channel surfed through about five shows. Different channels, different titles, same content; sex, manipulation, adultry you get the picture. I sat there thinking, am I becoming too sensitive, or maybe i’m just getting older. I decided it neither of the two. Well, maybe I am getting older, but I think it has to do with the times that we live in when everything is OK to show on television. Anything counts as entertainment.

I don’t want to go down the I REMEMBER WHEN LANE, but I still believe it takes a lot more to entertain the masses; and we should expect more, and even demand better. I enjoy watching a program with a great plot that keeps you guessing to the end. So tonight I turned on an episode of The Prodical Son (great show) I’ve watched the show a couple of time before, but tonight was a game changer; I was capitivated to the end. Great writing does that. Through out the show you pretty much thought it was going one way, only to get to the end and BAM! Got ya! I loved it. I guess i’m saying it not enough of that on TV these days.

I don’t know if any of you have noticed, but the TV’s shows that seemed to have been able to hang on throughout the era of reality TV are the shows with similiar themes: action, suspense, intrigue. It’s a reason Law and Order SVU is in its 21th season.

I was having a conversation with my son, who is a millenial he informed me that statistically only old people (you caught that right) still watch regular TV (CBS, NBC, ABC, FOX) stating that most people rely on Netflix and Amazon for entertainment. He went on to tell me that in just a few short years we wont even need the regular channels. I smiled and gave him a hug as I walked him out the door with a, “have a great evening son”. That was just a little too much to take in. Although I have Netflix and Amazon and I enjoy them a great deal. I realized that I am getting older when I have to imagine a day without my olf faithfuls. Suffice it to say I will continue to watch TV and I will probably continue to complain about the quality of the shows, but in the end some kind of entertainment is better than nothing. I guess I’ll watch an episode of the new season of Jack Ryan and call it a night.

You Got 20 Minutes

Have you ever heard some thing so profound, but so simple. I was a speaker at a woman’s conference on domestic violence over the weekend. Another speaker was telling us that she was having an argument with her husband. He looked her straight in the eyes and said, “you have 20 minutes.” She asked him, “What am I supposed to do in that time.” The answer was simple. Do what ever you need to do to get past this anger, this frustration. ?Take a walk, ride your bike, throw something, walk the dog, paint, sew etc. Do something constructive, the anger is doing nothing but stealing your time and energy. I sat there with those words twirling around in my head. You have 20 Minutes. I thought about. What would help me? I know when something hits me so profoundly it’s God telling me, STOP, LOOK, and LISTEN. So I asked myself, how can I apply this to my life. I’m glad I asked myself that question. Here is what I came up with.

  1. Own it, what ever it is you (I) had a part in it- what part did you play in causing the anger? It’ never just any one person’s fault. It’ takes two people to argue. In my case, it’s usually that I didn’t speak my truth. I didn’t give voice to my true feelings and i’m left feeling frustrated. It’s OK to admit that you messed up.
  2. Deal with it- What are you going to do differently next time. It may mean changing things in your life to avoid this frustration. In most cases it means avoiding certain people. Write it out. Make a list of the things you could have done differently. Call a friend. It helps to hear yourself say the problem out loud. You’re not necessarily seeking their advice, you just need to get it out of you. What ever you have to do to maintain you peace it’s worth it.
  3. Move ON– probably the most important point. LET IT GO! Don’t dwell on the problem. Turn off the tape. Have you ever had a scenario that played over and over in your head like a broken record. Grab the thought the minute it hits your mind and think of something positive. I have found that one of the reasons that I hang on to old situations and circumstances is that I forgave the other person, but I didn’t forgive myself. What ever it takes to get you to move on from a problem do it; you are worth it, your time is to valuable to deal with dead stuff. Besides anything dead should be buried.

Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools. Ecclesiastes 7:9

The Door

I have been praying and hoping and doing everything I could do to get a position that I was certain was mine. I had a great interview in August I have been anxiously waiting to hear from the company. I spoke to other people who told me, “just wait it takes them forever to verify your background, and make sure you are legit person.” They’re advice was cool I took it in stride and when on about my buisness.

Two months have passed, still not a word. Now most of you are probably thinking, didn’t she figure she didn’t get the job when she hadn’t heard from them in over a month. No, I didn’t give up, as I stated earlier this was MY JOB. I have been waiting on this position for years. I called HR today, first off they couldn’t find my file, that surely wasn’t a good sign. Then I was transferred from one department to another, second nail in the coffin. Finally, spoke to a new person that has been on the job less than a month. She had NO clue where my file was, but she looked in the system and said those five dreaded words, THE POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED. My heart sank, my eyes filled with tears, my entire demeanor changed. Mind you i’m sitting in the car in my drive way during this entire conversation. So I get up and walk into the house. After opening my garage door I have to enter through another door. That’s when God spoke. I calmed down.

Sometimes when you ask God to open a door, you may not understand what the implications of opening said door would mean. Opening of one door could mean he has to close other doors that he is preparing. I honestly believe that is the situation in my case. I have been given other opportunities to explore, most of which are out of my comfort zone, but I’m going to explore them none the less.

I’ve said all that to say this: Things are not alway what they appear, rejection can mean protection. Keep the faith.

It’s not about you.

The Power of NO

NO, is a small word that carries quite a punch. I didn’t see the value and the freeing element of that one powerful word until recently. It’s hard to admit, but saying NO has always been scary for me. It’s always been hard for me to express my frustration and say NO if it meant someone else might be uncomfortable. Saying the actual word, wasn’t the problem it was the backlash or the confrontation and the questions that go along with NO.

  • Well, why can’t you?
  • Well, is something wrong?
  • This is so unlike you.

I retired from my teaching assignment in May after 23 years. Teaching was my second career. I worked in public health for 20 years before settling into teaching. When I look back over my life I have worked for over 45 years.

I was actually feeling pretty good; I felt this was a great accomplishment, is until everybody kept asking me, “what are you going to do with yourself?” So I began to feel guilty for being at home in bed when everyone else was getting up at 5:00 o’clock in the morning to get to work. It got even worse when my coworkers would call me and tell me how much the kids missed me. “Don’t you want to come back and help us out a little bit?” was the usually question. ” I would always respond, Yes I really do, but i’m busy. I even went so far as to sign up with not one but two agencies to do a little subbing. Each time it was time to take an assignment I would turn it down. Last week I notified both agencies, that I have no intention of subbing; that may change next year, but for now NO I don’t want to go near a school.

That all changed this week when I decided enough is enough. NO, I don’t miss teaching the kids, I want to teach adult. NO, I don’t miss getting up every morning. NO, I don’t care if it makes anyone uncomfortable. I don’t want to go to work everyday to a job that I don’t feel like i’m contributing to or making a difference in. YES, this feels great. I can’t tell you what a freeing feeling just saying that little two letter word is. I wish I had a camera so you could see the joy on my face just from admitting this to myself.

Keeping MY Peace

Peace is a precious thing. You have to guard it like a precious diamond. We are bombarded on a daily basis with things that bother, irritate and frustrate us to NO end. With this fact in mind I decided that I have to guard my peace at all cost. I can’t do anything about the horrible things that happen around me in the world and most recently in my neighborhood. But, you can bet I can do something about the things that I allow to come into my inner space, in my personal orbit.

I came to this conclusion over the past few weeks. I was confronted with an issue with my son, mind you he is a grown man, but I had decided that I knew what was best for him in a situation that he was dealing with. When I realized that he was doing what he felt was best and going on about his business, which left me stressed and out of peace. Well I came to myself and let the situation go, instantly I felt a since of calm.

I am a nurturer and a rescuer by nature. I take everything and every bodies problems to heart. That’s just who I am. But it has come a time when I have to realize that this is not God’s will for my life. I can’t fix the world. I can’t change anything. Life happens, but I don’t have to let other people’s issue take hold on me. People will be people and that’s OK. I don’t have to agree, understand or be a part of the situation. I just have to be the best me possible.

+ John 14:27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Let not you heart be troubled. I can’t fix everything, and I certainly don’t need to be a part of everything. LET IT GO! It’s Not my battle. Every tub has to sit on it’s own bottom. I can maintain my peace when I mind my own business.