Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Authors Jessica A. Robinson and Claudia Brown Mosley wish everyone a Very Happy New Year!

I would like to personally wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. This year try your best to strive for excellence. Go forward with your dreams and aspirations, and don't let anything or anyone hinder you from acheiving your goals. I encourage you to seek a closer relationship with those you love and make an honest effort to spend more time with your family. At the end of the day that's all you have. Be blessed and prosperous!

It's that time of year again to love, share and exchange gifts. Great wishes goes out to everyone with all the blessings that comes with it. Enjoy each other and remember to not just love, share and exchange gifts during the holidays, but enjoy each other year around and tell that someone that "you love them" and show them on a daily basis.

Happy holidays

Claudia Brown-Mosley, author/radio host

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Happy New Year from Lorraine Elzia!

As one year ends and another begins, may we take this opportunity to appreciate God’s favor and blessing upon us as His children. Individually and collectively, let us accept the gift from God of this season of change, while we ultimately remember we each are His creation and God doesn’t make junk. Embrace the chance to allow a new year to be one in which you shine magnificently as the masterpiece that you are; then and only then will the world be a better place. Best wishes for a happy New Year, and peace and blessings to you all.

Lorraine Elzia
Author of Mistress Memoirs
Find out more about Lorraine Elzia at!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Happy New Year from Ebonee Monique!

"May God continue to protect and provide for you and yours!
I wish you a happy holiday and a blessed and wonderful new year. As you reflect over all that God has brought you through and to, during the past year, I pray that you have nothing but wonderful things come your way! Continue to pray, continue to love and continue to dream! I love you!"

Ebonee Monique, is an Author and Radio Personality, and the author of the forthcoming Suicide Diaries. Find out more at

Saturday, December 27, 2008

How do you Spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S- for Your Children?
by Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Developing success in our children begins when we align our vision with God's. Generally our vision of success is is direct contrast to God's vision. His vision of success doesn't entail materialism. It doesn't include a fancy car, a nice home, or a substantial bank account. Instead God's view of success is determined when the child can live a fulfilled life before God and man, exhibiting obedience to God's will, and maintaining a loving relationship with his parents.
The first step in assuring our children's success is realizing God desires our children to understand they were created by Him.

Psalms 139: 13-14 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous-how well I know it.

This passage of scripture teaches us God wants us to see ourselves as He sees us. As parents we are charged with ensuring our children understand the care God took in making us. God doesn't make junk. When we teach our children this simple principle, their self worth is fortified. When we fail to instill this message the enemy is able to infiltrate their minds and they become like Moses and are afraid of God's plan for their lives.

Exodus 3:11 But Moses protested to God, "Who am I to appear before Pharaoh? Who am I to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt?"

Exodus 4: 10-14 Then the Lord asked Moses, "Who makes a person's mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say." But Moses again pleaded, "Lord, please! Send anyone else." Then the Lord became angry with Moses. "All right," he said. "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he speaks well. And look! He is on his way to meet you now. He will be delighted to see you.

The second step in assuring our children's success rests in remembering our children are a reward from God. As parents we shouldn't treat our children as though they are an annoyance. Devaluing them by pushing them to the side and sending them away to another room as if they are a bother to us is not biblical. They need to be heard and understood. We can learn a lot from their child-like character, their innocence and their wonderment. We believe our children were given to us for what we could do for them. Instead we should understand what they can do for us.

Matthew 18: 2-5 For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me.
The value you Jesus places on children is seen throughout the scriptures. As parents we have no right to undermine God's view of our children by ignoring them, shifting the responsibility of raising them to others, or replacing our time with them with material possessions.

Mark 10: 13-16 One day some parents brought their children to Jesus so he could touch and bless them. But the disciples scolded the parents for bothering him. When Jesus saw what was happening, he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, "Let the children come to me. Don't stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn't receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it." Then he took the children in his arms and placed his hands on their heads and blessed them.
Satan has one goal for our children and the following verses reveal his plan.

John 8: 44 For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.
John 10:10 The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

1 Peter 5: 8 Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Therefore, the third step in assuring our children's success is to be diligent in looking for his presence and to rebuke him at all turns.
Satans primary tools for achieving his goal include parents, children, the world, and society. Take a look at these scriptures.
Proverbs 19:18 Discipline your children while you still have the chance; indulging them destroys them.

The world would have us believe discipline is wrong. It would also have us to believe the use of extension cords, broom handles, and other objects are considered tools of discipline. Both of these schools of thought are wrong.

There is a difference between discipline and punishment. Punishment involves penalty for offense and is given in hostility and frustration which produces fear and guilt. Discipline trains and corrects and is given out of love and concern.

When done according to Godly principles, discipline will lead to children who exhibit, responsible behavior christ-like behavior.

Satan also uses our children and the world to their detriment.

Proverbs 5: 7 So now, my sons, listen to me. Never stray from what I am about to say:

Proverbs 5: 12-14 You will say, "How I hated discipline! If only I had not ignored all the warnings! Oh, why didn't I listen to my teachers? Why didn't I pay attention to my instructors? I have come to the brink of utter ruin, and now I must face public disgrace."

Proverbs 15:10 Whoever abandons the right path will be severely disciplined; whoever hates correction will die.

Mark 4:19 but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced.

1 Corinthians 15:33 Don't be fooled by those who say such things, for "bad company corrupts good character."

The world does a good job of teaching our children the fierce competitiveness that it has to offer. Children whose parents are not involved, usually find themselves cast aside and left behind. If we have not done our job the world can easily lead our children astray. God has promised us if we train our children in the way they should go, when they are old they will not depart from it. No one can guarantee that our children will heed what we have told them. Our children are ultimately responsible for making the final decision, but if we have given them the proper foundation, the chances are, they will make the right choice. How do you spell S-U-C-C-E-S-S?

Learn more about the wonderfully gifted Cheryl Lacey Donovan at

Friday, December 26, 2008

God's Promise by Jacqueline D. Moore

God’s Promise

Remember, the only difference between stumbling blocks and steppingstones is the way in which we use them. ~ Unknown

So Jesus answered and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ it will be done. Matthew 21:21 (New King James Version)

Saints, I don’t know if you are anything like me, but periodically, I will begin to doubt my purpose and abilities. You see, I have gone through some things that cause me to question if I have “the right stuff”. Do I have the right job skills, parenting skills and life skills?

When I lost my job, I began to doubt in my abilities to do the work. When my children do things that are contrary to how I have attempted to raise them, I will doubt whether or not I am a good parent. And sometimes when it comes to making the right decisions on how to live, I begin to question whether or not I am making right choices.

As I lay in bed late one night, doubting and questioning everything I have ever done since High School, I heard a voice say, “I have not given you a spirit of fear and you doubt you have fear. You fear because you are listening to the lies of the devil and the devil is a liar”.

You see Saints of God; my God reminded me that he has already given me everything that I need to make it in this world. He reminded me that he has given me all power and authority in Christ Jesus. He has given me access to the throne of grace.

Brothers and sisters, each of us will have doubts about our lives, but the word of God has already assured us that if we just trust in the Lord, this too shall pass.

Be Blessed

Lord, with Your blood, You wiped away my sins leaving me promises to enjoy in faith until You come back to claim me as Your own. It takes patience to live in faith, and I confess that sometimes my patience runs thin. I wonder why You don’t act in ways that I can see and understand. Why is there so much evil and suffering in this world that discourage both the faithful and the unfaithful? I don’t understand. Help me to realize that my understanding is not necessary for the completion of Your plan. You understand everything; all I need to do is have faith. In the meantime, keep me free from wavering, Lord. Your faithfulness is perfect, and Your will be done. Lord, I thank you for Your word that speaks to my soul when I am weary. I thank You father, for I know and realize that there is no testimony without a test. I thank You Lord, for even when I am weak, You are still strong. Lord, we bless Your name and submit our prayer in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

To learn more about the Phenomenal Jacqueline D. Moore, and her forthcoming novel, Serving Justice, please visit

Thursday, December 25, 2008

The Reason for the Season by Jacqueline Moore

The Reason for the Season

Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season. ~ Unknown

The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest." Exodus 33:14

Saints, have you been busy this holiday season? Have you been running around to this place and that place? Attending holiday parties, taking the kids to rehearsals, attending their plays and concerts? We won't even talk about decorating, shopping and cooking.

This time of year finds us running from this place to that place, stretching the limits of our endurance. Trying to pack everything into our little 24 hour day. What should be a joyous time of year, turns into a race to see just how far we can go before we snap.!

So before we go another step further, let's remember just what this holy season is about. It's a time to reflect on God's love for us. It's a time when we should be in prayer and worship with and for one another, sharing God's love with each other. It's a time to truly teach our children what this season is all about. Not the gifts or the parties, or the plays. But the true meaning of Christmas. CHRIST!

Be Blessed

Father, as we enter into Your gates with praise and thanksgiving on our tongues and in our hearts, we want to say thank You for this season. We thank You Lord, not for the material things that we see advertised, but to the spiritual gift that was given that cannot be bought. We thank You Lord, for loving us that much. We thank You Lord, for family, friends and fellowship. Lord, keep us during this season. Let us not lose sight of the reason for the season. Christ Jesus, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Find out more about Jacqueline Moore at

Merry Christmas from Peace In Storm Publishing!

Dreams of Falling Snow

What I pray for you this Christmas,
Is joy, wonderment and delight.
For you to live your life fully,
Without compromise
And let Jesus be your guide.

I dream for you,
A new year of falling snow.
An infinity of heavenly inspirations,
Infinite possibilities,
And all of the goodness your heart can handle.
Praying for footprints to give you sight.

Blessings bestowed upon,
Peace be with you.
Dreaming of falling snow
to reign down to-
cleanse, calm and nurture you
with the blessing of the Almighty-
giving you tranquility.

To drop a tear for a head above
Who is no longer here.
Glorious aspirations shining through.
Merry Christmas, my friend.

Eternal Blessings to You.

Elissa Gabrielle

Peace In The Storm Publishing wishes you a wonderfully joyous Christmas!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Tis the Season to make it DO what it Do by Lorraine Elzia

Tis the Season to “Make It Do What It Do”

In the movie, “Ray”, Jamie Fox does a stellar job of making Ray’s colloquisim, “Make it Do what it Do” a trademark saying that all want to use. We smirk when hearing it and say to ourselves, “I KNOW that’s right”, but that’s about the extent of how we institute the saying into our lives.

Wake up call….

Recently my mother moved from Detroit to live with me in Texas. One morning she was preparing to go to the grocery store, and unlike me who throws on a jacket and goes in whatever condition I am in, my mom dresses for every occasion that beckons her to leave the house. As she came down the stairs she was in true Texas Fly girl form to say the least. Adorned in a camouflaged floppy hat, a black leather jacket and shoes to match and makeup that was flawless; she had a style all her own, via Motown that just WORKED. I thought to myself, “This small ‘Mayberry’ town isn’t use to her kind of style,” but I knew she was going to turn many a head as she went down the grocery store aisles because she looked really good. She was fabulous by all accounts. I looked at her and made small talk about her looking nice and her response was, “I just make it ‘do what it do’ while staying warm in the process.”

That made me smile.

I began to think about other things that happened earlier in the week that were simple in nature, yet warmed my heart; things that made me “WAKE UP” to the simple, yet real meaning of why we are here.

I thought about the homeless man I saw outside the back of the courthouse. It had rained the night before and everything he owned had gotten wet during his night of slumber. I’m not sure how he kept himself dry during the night, but his earthly belongings (all of which fit nicely into a backpack) were drenched. As he sat behind the courthouse, he was not angry, he was not crying in sorrow about what he did not have or about the tragic nature of being homeless for the holidays. He did not cry out about not having a car or a home, what bills he owed, or the tragic turn of events that were his life. Instead he made his life “do what it do.” Instead of letting worry and fear be his leader, he sang as he wrung out his clothing. He made a joyful noise to God as he shook out the water of the night from each of his belongings. He smiled and shared a soul stirring song from the bottom of his heart with all that passed by watching him with curious eyes. Life was not sorrowful for him even though he did not know where he would lay his head for the next night. Instead of worrying about his circumstance, he made his life, “do what it do” and he was pleased to be alive.

I pushed fast forward on my thoughts and remembered a couple that was leaving a food kitchen after lunchtime. They had just gotten a bite to eat and were walking to the next safe haven to call home. What was different about this couple was that they were pushing a baby stroller. Their daughter, beautiful by anyone’s glance, was sitting straight up as her parent’s pushed her to the next destination. I sensed from them that they did not even know where they were going. As the little girl was escorted to her home for the night, she was smiling, dancing and singing...watching her made me sway along in rhythm with her. She did not recognize the dire straits of her situation, all she knew was that the sun was shining, the birds were singing and life was great as she knew it. In the middle of her condition, she made her life, “do what it do.” She made her life sing and dance and she was pleased to be alive.

It’s that time of the year again when “Happy Holidays” is the greeting we extend to others. Yet, reality is that the holidays have become too commercialized. Instead of enjoying life and being thankful for all that we have been given and capitalizing on our blessings; we tend to let fear, anxiety and self-doubt be our leaders. We worry will we be able to give the gifts that we want to. We worry about decorations, Christmas trees, and all the distractions of the season instead of concentrating on how WE can instill the uniqueness of ourselves into the lives of others and show them how ultimately blessed we all are to be alive.

I submit that you should make this holiday season one in which you give the gift of hope to others. It’s a very cheap gift that can’t be bought off of any shelf, but instead resides deep within who you are. Your uniqueness is a gift that others will cherish and remember for years. Put a smile on the face of someone else in your own special way. Make a vow that material goods will not be the main gift on your list of things to give, but that hope, love and joy will permeate from your body until it reaches another. That’s the gift that keeps on giving. That is what the season is about. It’s about giving love. It’s about giving of ourselves as the Son did so many years ago for us.

Tis the season to “make it do what it do.” Tis the season to share the uniqueness that is you. Tis the season to be like my mother and make a heart smile by just being who you are. Tis the season to be like the homeless man that had a song to share with others in the midst of his unlucky situation. Tis the season to be like the little girl in the stroller that was just thankful for the sunshine and full belly. It’s a time to share your style with another, your smile, your song and your dance. Those things seem like nothing to us, but when they touch another soul, that is a Christmas gift that will be remembered.

This Christmas, make your life and your existence, “do what it do.” This Christmas give the greatest gift to those you love…..give the gift of you.

Learn more about Lorraine Elzia at and purchase her debut novel, Mistress Memoirs, at

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Embracing God’s Gifts by Jacqueline Moore

Embracing God’s Gifts

Remember, Don't let other people tell you what you want.
~ Pat Riley

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2 (New International Version)

Not long ago a very good friend who happens to be a teacher wrote me to say how distraught she was because one of her most promising students was being discouraged from cultivating her talents. The thing that was most disturbing to her was that the person who was discouraging this gifted student was her mother. The person who had given birth to this girl, couldn’t see just how talented and blessed this young lady truly was.

As we journey through this life, there will be times when others will try to discourage us, even those who profess to love us will try to discourage us from what it is we are supposed to do. Whether it’s to pursue a dream of being a writer, a musician, doctor, lawyer, or even a follower of Christ.

Sometimes, because of things that they may have encountered in their own past that snuffed out their dreams, or maybe because they didn’t have the strength or courage to follow their OWN chosen path, our loved ones will try to extinguish the fire that burns in all of us.

Even as I pursue my dream of being a Christian Author, there have been those who are closest to me who cannot see what I see in myself. I love the word of God. Most of all, I love sharing my talent of the written word, with others.

Saints of God, don’t allow others to define who you are or what your talents are. If God has given you a gift, no matter what that gift may be, it is up to you to pursue your dreams. The world didn’t give you the gifts you posses, God did. It us up to you to cultivate that gift and follow your dreams.

In spite of!

Be Blessed

Father God, we come once again humbling ourselves before the throne of Grace. Lord, we know that we can do all things through Christ Jesus. It is because of Him, that we are who we are and do what we do. Abba, even when the world tries to define who I am, I recognize that I am a child of the Most High King. And because I belong to Him, I am set apart. Father, when others try to tell me that I can’t, help me always to be mindful of Your word that tells me I can. I can do all things through Christ Jesus; am more that a conqueror; I am the head and not the tail; I am above and not below. I am who I am, because God said I am. Glory Hallelujah, Praise God. Thank You Father for my gifts. Most of all thank You for my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is in His name that we pray. Amen.

To learn about Jacqueline Moore at her debut novel, Serving Justice, visit

Monday, December 22, 2008

Admire From Afar by S.D. Denny

Every now and then someone comes along in your life that touches you in a way you never dreamed possible. I mean it literally smacks you in the face! One minute you're going about your regular business, you know – work, life, etc. The next minute you're caught up in some kind of rapture over some beautiful creature that has crossed your path. Maturity tells you to "chill out". You see something beautiful – why can't you just admire it? Why does it have to be yours?

Admire From Afar

Can't you simply walk by
A patch of purple pansies
And admire their beauty
From a distance
Can't you simply smile
And give God thanks
For sharing his awesome creation
For all the world to see
I cannot stop at admiration
Of this beautiful patch of wonder
I need to get a closer look
And have it grace my senses
I long to touch the velvety surface
To smell the sweet perfume
Pluck them from the ground
And grace my table with their essence
God, if you'll allow me the chance
To take them home with me today
I promise to nurture them
With all my heart and soul
And so it was granted
My patch of purple pansies in hand
I'm happy and on my way home to grace my life with them
Stopped in my tracks by a captivated passerby
She cries for my patch of purple pansies
Sadly I give them away
Tell me God, why
Must I be a messiah today

S.D. Denny is the author of the forthcoming
The Baker's Dozen. Learn more about her literary gifts at

Sunday, December 21, 2008

ADQ - The Man, the movement and me by Lorraine Elzia

ADQ (A Deeva Quickie)
The 44th President of the United States: The Man, the Movement and Me

It’s no secret I have been an Obama supporter from day one. Even before he announced his candidacy for presidency, he was my candidate of choice.

The Man

My upbringing is one that I was always taught to be a strong black woman, not needing the support of a man, or any other person for my basic needs in life, let alone anything above and beyond that basic need.

I was taught to be self sufficient in all that I do and that a man’s presence in my life should be an accessory to who I am, and never should be something I needed to survive or to ‘complete’ who I was in any manner.

That is not a put down on men, but a push for independency of women.

There is a difference…and marinate on it a minute if it is not crystal clear to you. It is a piece of logic and wisdom that I wholeheartedly embrace and spoon-feed to everyone I know…regardless of sex, race or any other factor…Love you…do you…be an entity in and of yourself that does not require the existence of another human being in order to sustain the beauty that is you. Embrace the work of art that you are. God created you with the supplies that you need to exist in the realm of who you are without the aide of another…this same thing rings true for men and every human being.

We all should be self-sufficient…allowing anyone we choose to allow along for the ride that is our lives to raise their hands and say “weeee” on the down stroke, only because they have been ‘allowed’ to ride…not because we “need” them in order to flip the on switch in order for the ride to begin.

That being said…I find it hard to yield to a man. And Barack was no different…if anything, to win this voter’s heart; he had a hard hill to climb.

The Movement

It takes a lot to move me. Yet Barack did. I went to see him before he had officially announced his candidacy and during the time he was testing the waters of “if he could pull this off.” From the first speech I heard from him I was smitten. –Caught up in the man, the hype and the hope. The possibility of changing the world one step at a time was intriguing to me and a concept that I held on to and embraced.

Along with the rest of the world, I was spellbound by his magnificent speeches, delivered in Martin Luther King Jr. style, his elegant and presidential presence and the family aura of a “do right” man. While all those things were the outward makings of a president, the movement that is Obama was even more detailed than that. It moved beyond the picture perfect poster child for change. It lay in the essence of his beliefs, his dreams, and OUR dreams. Obama is the one. But not because of his ability to fit into what is acceptable, but because he gives us all hope, he ignites a fire within us all to be better. And that is what the movement is about. Not following a man…but following a dream.

And Me

Even after Barak Obama has been crowned President-elect, I’m still the girl raised by a single mother who was taught never to depend on a man or another human being to exist in life. I am still the girl that is hard to please and who finds it hard to place her beliefs in a man, any man other than her God. And Barak Obama is no different…he will miss the mark on things, he won’t be able to deliver on all things promised, but he will try. He will think outside of the box in an effort to change the world and for me…that’s what I need. The essence of Me needs to believe again. The essence of Me needs someone to motivate me, inspire me and lead ME. The essence of my future and the future of my children needed someone who understands, looks like and gets me. The essence of my attachment to the 44th President of the United States is that together we can change the world and I have faith in The Man, The Movement and in Me.

Learn more about the brilliant Lorraine Adeeva Elzia, and Mistress Memoirs at

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Common Denominator by Tamara Angela Grant

Real Quick. Go and get a mirror. Hold it up. Who do you see?
The answer should be You.
It's You staring back, flaws and all.
But who are you really?
The You when no one is looking?

There are two quotes that I govern my relationships with. One from my pastor who said "True character is who you are in times of chaos and crisis" and one from Maya Angelou who said "When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.
"Those two statements blew my mind, but it sums things up perfectly. It's easy to be a great and loving person when things are good. It's hard to do the same when things aren't going the way you planned.
So who are you really? Are you the type to appear to be helpful and giving, but it's really only to see what you get in return? Are you the fair weather friend- only a good friend when people operate according to your plan, and when they don't, you can't be depended on?

Or Are you the kind that recognizes other's needs and gives because you are blessed to be a blessing? Are you the kind of person who shows their true colors whether all eyes are on you or not?

Hold the mirror up. What do you see?

Peace and Blessings,
Tamara Angela Grant is the author of The Cooling Board. Please visit to learn more about this brilliant author.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Mis-Education of African American Children by Cheryl Lacey Donovan

The Mis-Education of African American Children
By Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Nothing saddened me more than the fact that three of my African American female students had no idea what the term "lynching" meant. These were otherwise, decently educated young black women seeking a career in the medical field.

During our exploration of medical ethics, we were watching a film about the "Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment" which took place in the 1930's. This experiment was responsible for the spreading of syphilis to thousands of African American people in Tuskegee, Alabama.

During the course of the film, the main character suggested that his brother had been killed by lynching. The students turned to me and asked what it meant. My heart fell to my knees at the thought that any African American child in the United States would not recognize what this term meant.

With a lack of understanding like this, it's no wonder that Tiger Woods was able to blow off the comment made by the news reporter some weeks ago.
You see, the problem is that our children are sitting in classrooms with people who either don't care that they learn or who have their hands tied by the system when it comes to how and what they teach.

In Texas, teachers spend a disproportionate amount of their time teaching to a standardized test. How on earth do you standardize one's education? Every person learns in a different way and at different speeds. Some learn by seeing, some learn by listening, and some learn by doing. There are also those people who have testing phobias that prohibit them from doing well on any test. Yet the powers that be have deemed it necessary to gauge a persons intelligence using these standardized tests. They have even gone so far as to connect the teachers ability to get a bonus with the success of the students on the standardized test.

Field trips to the museum, symphonies, and other cultural outlets are few and far between because teachers are in constant fear of losing their jobs if their students don't perform well. Therefore, many of them don't even bother addressing a holistic approach to learning which would include learning ones history, culture, and background.

It's no wonder that these three young ladies had no idea what lynching meant. The issue here is that if we forget our history, we will be doomed to repeat. When the atrocities that were inflicted upon African Americans is all but forgotten, a new reign of terror is bound to come about: Jena 6, nooses hanging at prominent fortune 500 companies, a man dragged to death in Jasper, Texas. We must begin to teach our children about their history and make it relevant for them today. If the schools won't do it, we have to. We can no longer afford to relegate this most important task to people who could care less if we know what has happened to us in the past.

Cheryl Lacey Donovan is the author of the forthcoming The Ministry of Motherhood. Find out more at

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Night of Change by K.L. Belvin

Night of Change

by K. L. Belvin

From the past cries of "I Am A Man"

to the current cheers of "Yes We Can"

His God gifted light shined ever so bright well

into the cool November night.

The man who would fulfill the dream deferred

no longer would we be unheard.

The roars grew louder with when each state turned blue

as we watched a new future come hurdling through.

With a ground swell unseen to this very date there

was a decline of those precious red states.

The people's voice was loud and absolutely clear.

The statement of change was the echo in each other's ear.

Now Lord we ask to please relay these thoughts,

thank our brothers and sisters for the wars they fought.

For this great day wouldn't be the same without

the sacrifices of the brave but faceless with no historic name.

Your bloodshed is not forgotten but

instead it's honored with pride and grace.

It wasn't just the new president who brought

tears to each jubilant face.
It was the collected spirit shared by our

at times overlooked race.

But this day wasn't only for us of the same color

It was for the moment that now we can all be called brothers.

The 4th of November was the final step of a race

ran above common racial drama.

For today the world must say

"The 44th President of these United States is Barrack Hussein Obama"

K.L. is an author and poet and contributor to the forthcoming

The Soul of a Man: A Triumph of My Soul Anthology.

Find out more about the Triumph series


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Lyric's Song by Jessica A. Robinson

Lyric's Song

When I was a little girl
I pictured life to be a certain way
Never did I ever imagine I'd experience
both of my parent's would pass away

An orphan at 25
With no choice but to pick up the pieces
And move on
Carrying the legacy and rich heritage
That both my parents took a firm stand on

Was groomed and cultivated for greatness
So I know I can't stop
Was predestined to be successful

Ever rising to the top
In spite of life's circumstances
Finding drive and determination to keep going

Always striving to do better
Because I know that's what I was created for

With talent comes pain
Most great people in this world know it to be this way
You must go through something
In order to get something
Otherwise you'll never ever appreciate

So I never shy away from the pain
Or pump my fist to the sky and ask the Lord
Why do things have to be this way
I know that everything works together
And is an integral part of what makes me great

So I keep pushing forward
Using tragedy to push me further into my destiny
Knowing that my song isn't unique
But its what I do with it that will make history
Keep the faith no matter what the situation
Because you can use your song to further drive your
passion with ferver and determination
To learn more about Jessica A. Robinson,
author of the forthcoming Holy Seduction,

Monday, December 15, 2008

ADQ (A Deeva Quickie)
A Woman is just an Ant

An ant can carry 20 times its weight.

I’m willing to place a bet that the average woman carries double that amount on her shoulders on a daily basis. Much like the ant we do it for survival and protection of the colony…maintenance of the home.

The ant is small, seemingly powerless, and insignificant in the eyes of more aggressive and hurtful prey. Yet it still functions, accomplishing miraculous deeds day by day, carrying the weight of others on its back so that “its” kind may function, survive and thrive.

Such is the plight of WOMAN.
We move mountains…
Fragile in our thoughts and emotions
Mighty in our accomplishments and deeds.

Our homes
Our jobs
Our children
and mankind in general
would cease to be
without the equation of those that are womanly.

So next time your world is overwhelming
Next time you feel the weight of the world rest solely on your shoulders,
liken yourself to the ant.

Relish in the fact that because of YOU
Others live
Because of you
Others survive
Because you carry more than your own weight
Our world can thrive.

So Ms. Ant….embrace your destiny,
And if you ever feel like you can’t take all of the pressure upon yourself any more…whistle this song, wink and smile:

Just what makes that little ole ant, think he can move a rubber tree plant…anyone knows and ant, can’t... move a rubber tree plant…but he’s got high hopes…and anytime you’re feeling low, ‘sted of letting go, just remember that ant CAN…move a rubber tree plant!

You are the ant.
You can move a rubber tree plant and anything else you put your mind to do.
You might be carrying the world on your shoulders
But the possibilities in you dictate that you should shake off the thoughts of “I can’t” and replace them with “I can, and I will.”

Learn more about Lorraine Elzia at and purchase her debut novel, Mistress Memoirs, at

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Your Change is On The Way by Jacqueline Moore

Your Change is On The Way

All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another. ~Anatole France

Scripture:As you come to him, the living Stone–rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him– you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame. 1 Peter 2:4-6Saints, How many of you have been going through some things for what seems like a long time? How many of you are in a valley experience with no mountain-top in sight? How many of you feel that no matter how much you pray, fast and sacrifice, God doesn't seem to hear your prayers?Well I don't know about you, but I raised my hand at each question. But as talked with my friend on the phone on my way to work this morning, something we both realized has happened. We have both changed over the years since we first met.Things that would have sent me into a tailspin don't anymore. Instead of breaking down and crying about everything, I pray instead. Instead of talking about what others are doing to me, I talk about what God is doing in my life.Now don't get me wrong. I still become sad and frustrated over things. I still worry about certain things, my children for example, but I have learned to depend on God more and more.

I realize that over these past few years, I have changed a lot of things about myself and how I am living. I realize that everything that the world accepts isn't what I am supposed to accept. I realize that God didn't save me for me; God save me for his edification.

I realized that God is still in control and if I just be step back, be still and know that he is God, Changing ain't that hard.Be BlessedPrayer:Lord, as we face the dawning of a new day, we realize so does fresh grace and mercy. Thank You Father for a new beginning and new revelations. Lord, we come before the throne of grace once again, humbling our hearts, our minds and our spirits to pay homage to You. We bow our heads and lift our hands to glorify the name of the Lord. When we stop to think about Your goodness and Your mercies, we say thank You Lord that You remember me, a sinner who is not worthy. Father, we don't know what this day may bring, but the one thing that we do know is that You are with us always. During times of sadness, joy, despair, peace and even in the midst of the storm Your goodness and mercy are at our side. Lord, satan would have us believe that things in our lives will never change. We rebuke satan and his lies, in the name of Jesus. I am a new creature in Christ Jesus. I can do all things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens me. I am the head and not the tail, I am above and not below. Victory is mine, in the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

Jacqueline Moore is the author of Serving Justice. Find out more at

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Season for Everything by Tamara Angela Grant

In college I met a girl who through my roommate who became a friend of mine. She hung out with us at out townhouse and essentially became our fifth roommate (the one who didn't pay any bills). When all of my roommates went home for the summer, my friend (let's call her Michelle) stayed at the house. She worked at a makeup counter and lived in Atlanta by way of California. Her mom had moved the family to Atlanta years ago and when all of the children were out of school, returned to Cali. Michelle's only resources in Atlanta were an aunt and a boyfriend that she loved dearly, but was no good for her at all.
Michelle stayed at the townhouse with me all summer and chipped in on the bills. My husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) and I would drop her off at the library, where we assumed she had a part time job, and go on about our day at work or school. Michelle wouldn't come home every evening, but she did frequent the house and bring groceries and part of the bill money.

I soon found out that Michelle had lost her job at the makeup counter and that she would go to the library to read all day and make us think that was her job. Don't ask where she would get the money for the bills from. She attempted to move in with her boyfriend, but they broke up after his child's mother and his mother (whom he lived with) decided to shut Michelle out of his life and make huge trouble whenever she came around.

Needless to say, two roommates decided not to come back for the fall and a new one moved in with me and my other roommate. Tne new roommate had an aversion to Michelle living with us if she wasn't going to pay full bills. Me and my other roommate leaned on the side of compassion about Michelle's situation- where will she go? She doesn't have anyone else but us!So Michelle stayed for a while until our new roommate's feelings made it uncomfortable for Michelle and we all decided it was best that she move out in favor of keeping a roommate who would split things three ways, if Michelle couldn't pay her share of the bills completely.

I struggled with this decision. Was it the right thing to do? I spoke with my grandmother who explained that everyone and everything had a season in your life. When their purpose in your life or your purpose in theirs has been fullfilled, it's time to go and it's over. Maybe you will cross paths again, maybe not. She said it as simple as that and it didn't seem to help me at all!

Michelle moved out and I tried to call her a few times to no avail. We didn't know where she went or if she was okay and my roommate and I were worried about whether or not we made the right decision. I prayed on it and put it in God's hands.About 6 months later, I was waiting for the bus at Five Points and saw Michelle. She looked great! I ran up and hugged her and she was excited to see me! We spoke while waiting for the bus. She said thank you for putting her out. I was confused. She explained that she was in a period of her life where she wasn't really doing for herself and that when we had to put her out, it made her stand up for herself and take care of business solely depending on herself and not her no good boyfriend who she decided to completely sever ties with. She went back to work at a department store makeup counter and had gotten a connection to work on an independent film set. She was living with her aunt and strengthening relationships with her family again- something she hadn't done while with her boyfriend. Our buses came and we said good bye and she assured me that we would see each other around. I told her I felt bad about what happened. She told me that she didn't and that it was the best thing we could have ever done for her and that she was happy that we did put her out.I haven't seen Michelle since that day, but I learned that when a season is over, learn from it and grow, And most importantly, recognize that everyone and everything has a season in your life!

Tamara Angela Grant is the author of The Cooling Board. Learn more at

Friday, December 12, 2008

Pray for Me by Jacqueline Moore

Pray for Me

Remember, Intercessory prayer might be defined as loving our neighbor on our knees. ~ Charles Bent

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

Not long ago, I received an urgent message from one of my Christian brothers. The message simply said, "Pray for me". There was no specific prayer request, no explanation, and no reason given. Just these three words. "Pray for Me."

Saints of God, how often have your burdens been so heavy that you couldn't even put them into words? How often has life become so overwhelming that you couldn't even tell anyone what was going on or how you felt? How often have you gotten down on your knees to pray and could only cry tears of sorrow and plead for mercy?

I know that I have. You see, so often things in our lives become overwhelming to us. It seems that so much in our lives is going wrong. So often we feel that there is no one we can turn to. Not even God. At least not for ourselves. So we do the next best thing.

We go to our brothers and sisters in Christ and ask them to intercede on our behalf. You see, sometimes we become so distracted with our problems we can't see our way out. We become blinded by our circumstances and can't see our way to the alter. We are so bombarded by our afflictions that we don't know what to do. But even when we can't pray for ourselves, we can call on one another for prayer.

So today, pray for one another. Stand in the gap for your loved ones. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

Be Blessed

Lord, we come before the throne of grace to intercede for one another. We come asking for blessings and breakthroughs, not for ourselves but for our family members, friends, co-workers, on-line family members and brothers and sisters in Christ. Lord, we don't know the needs of Your children, but You do Lord. We ask that You would lift and bind the spirits of depression, despair, loneliness, anger, resentment, hurt, poverty and all others that are not of You. Lord, we ask that You would bless us and deliver us as only You can. Place Your hedge of protection securely around every person and all families that are represented here today. Allow this season of Your son to be filled with blessings and joy that have been given with the birth of Your son, Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

To learn more about Jacqueline Moore and Serving Justice, please visit To sign up to receive daily devotionals from Jacqueline Moore, email

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tamara Angela Grant's Musing...

I once told someone how I hated complete silence.
Honestly, silence is a bit eerie to me. I feel like I'm sitting and waiting to hear something. I'm much more comfortable with a little background noise.
I read a passage in my Daily Word that talked about being renewed in silence. It was powerful to me, the person that is most uncomfortable in silence. In silence, you are able to meditate and find peace because your focus is stronger due to not having too much going on around you to interfere with your awareness.

I had a friend tell me once to stop and be still. I was floored because I'm always on the move. I was dealing with an issue and she said that if I was still and if I let it be, it would work itself out. And it did. My silence allowed the other person to hear their own thoughts clearly.

My pastor did a sermon about the double meaning of "wait". He talked about praying and being still to hear the answer. It can mean to be patient or to serve. He explained that sometimes we pray for things and say "I'll wait on the Lord" meaning be patient and sit until the Lord comes through. But wouldn't it be best if we "wait"on the Lord meaning continue to move on with our lives and serve?Sometimes being still means that you have to stop and focus, regroup, and then lay down that burden and keep moving.

Don't let that issue have you stuck in that passage in time where you are holding grudges and causing drama in your life and everyone else's.Be still and enjoy the silence. Wait on the issue to work itself out.

Peace and Blessings,


Tamara Angela Grant is the author of The Cooling Board. Visit to learn more.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Loving Someone Flaws and All by S.D. Denny

As I sat having breakfast and some really great girl-talk with a friend this morning, the topic of flaws came up. My friend pointed out to me that I may need to overlook certain flaws in men if I ever plan to have a companion.

I realized that she might be right and wondered if that might have something to do with me still being single at forty-three. Nahhh, couldn't be.

Ever heard Beyonce's song Flaws and All? She's talking about all the things about herself that could be seen as flaws in someones eyes, yet they are overlooked by the one who truly loves her. The chorus goes: I don't know why you love me. And that's why I love you. You catch me when I fall. Accept me flaws and all. And that's why I love you.

I grew up in the fast life of Brooklyn, NY around fast-talking guys with big-city mentalities. My mother referred to them as "City Slickers", but they were all I knew. When I moved to North Carolina in my early twenties, it took some time adapting to the differences I noticed in most men. The fast-talk had dwindled down to a much slower pace and gone was the street hustler that could take you out all the time and give you almost anything you asked for. I looked at these differences as flaws and overlooked some wonderful southern men as a result. There was one in particular who stands out. I saw him as being too "country" for my taste and belittled his love for me. When I look back, this was by far the one who loved me the way that I would want to be loved today. That was long ago, and things have changed.

I've learned a huge lesson on diversity and that differences are not flaws. I've learned that although I'm from a big city, I'm a country girl at heart and I love the character of a southern gentleman who can hang a ceiling fan, change the oil in my car, take me out for a good 'ole fish dinner and show me he's the king of the jungle where it counts!I've grown a great deal, and although I don't like to dwell on what would've been, I still can't help but wonder what opportunities for love or friendship I've let pass me by because I couldn't get past what I considered were flaws.

How many friendships or relationships have you let pass you by because of someones flaws?

She Speaks! I listen...

Learn more about S.D. Denny, author of The Baker's Dozen at

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Consanguinity by Lorraine Elzia


A cord providing life
began the connection between me and you.
It was love at first sight as I counted your fingers and toes
and dreamt of what they may one day do.

My ears sang to your first words,
your first steps lit up my face with delight.
Then came tears at your first day of school,
your kindergarten graduation,
and more when you fell off of your first bike.

I kissed each and every boo boo,
searched the closet for monsters as I tried to erase your fears.
I loved you,
comforted you,
and protected you, as only a mother could do throughout the years.

I nurtured your independence,
did my best to guide your ways,
every milestone and hurdle you crossed
brought sunshine to my days.

The years are flying by now
and the cord continues to stretch.
But every day,
in your loving way,
you show our connection is forever etched.

What started out a fluttering feeling
from deep within my womb,
took on a life
all of its own
from which unconditional love has bloomed.

As you struggle to find your place in life,
I will always hold your hand.
And inch by inch,
I sever the cord and smile,
as you slowly blossom into a man.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Peace In The Storm by Elissa Gabrielle

Peace In The Storm

In your name I pray of thee.
Comfort me, Oh Lord, comfort me.
Guide me through this chaos and despair.

In my trials and my woes,
your love provides the strength to go on.
For you are the light and my only salvation.
A precious, tender love helps battle my temptation.
Lead me the right way.
Help all of us who are torn.
For you are the Peace in the Storm.

Needed like a bible to a preacher.
With your grace, Lord, I know you can reach us.
Those who know you are here.
Those who guess, but need a boost to get there.
Those who just don't care.
Those who believe, "Life, well, It ain't worth going on."
Be our Peace in the Storm.

Wanted like shelter to a homeless child.
Bring us the beauty of the sunshine.
Light the way, give us sight.
Show me the sunlight at any time.
From the second,
the minute,
the day my child was born,
Thank you.
There is Peace in the Storm.

In the times of gloom.
We are lifted, Lord,
by the flowers you make bloom.
How magnificent you are to me
and my family.
Giving us the courage and power to be set free.
Precious one, remove from my side, this thorn.
Be my Peace in the Storm.

I walk by faith.
And acknowledge that the gift of sight
does not come from the eyes that you have bestowed upon me.
But only from the miracle that is you.
The miracle that is me.
For I am here, breathing.
With a heart beating
and walking feet.

Dear Spirit, look after me.
Teacher, please guide and comfort me.
My Spirit, my Lord set free.
As I am here to serve thee.
Be with me through these trying times.
Shield me from the evils that lurk in the night.
Have mercy on my soul, dear Lord.
My Peace in the Storm.

Elissa Gabrielle is the President & CEO of Peace In The Storm Publishing. Find out more at

Saturday, December 6, 2008

He is Speaking to Your Storm by Jacqueline Moore

He is Speaking to Your Storm

I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship. ~ Louisa May Alcott

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. "Where is your faith?" he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, "Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him." Luke 8:25 (New International Version)

So often we find ourselves caught in the storms of life. The winds of adversity, the rains of afflictions and sorrow. Tossed about like a rag doll from one situation to the next. Unable to find our footing on stable ground. Be still and listen.

God is still in control. He will calm the storms in our lives if we let him. He has the power to speak peace, into our valley situations. He can quiet the raging winds that threaten to tear down our house, our homes, our very lives. He tells the raging waves to be still and He silences the deafening thunder.

Each of us must learn that no matter what situations life has put us in, God has the power to take us out. Out of our loneliness. Out of our bad relationships. Out of our pain and agony. We just have to learn to trust him and listen.

Listen to the word that has already told us; I will never leave you nor forsake you. The word that says; I am more than a conqueror. The word that has already told you; you are the head and not the tail, above and not below.

Won’t you follow His voice? All you have to do, is be still and listen.

Be Blessed

For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Lord, I asked that You would hide Your word in my heart each and everyday. I turn to Your word in times of discouragement. I turn to Your word when I need guidance. I turn to Your word to seek the answers to my questions. Thank You Lord, for Your Word. Father, I come asking that my brothers and sisters in Christ would be encouraged this day. When things come against them, give them power through Your word. You have said in Your word, that we can do all things through Christ Jesus. You would never leave us nor forsake us. You are with us even until the end of time. Your grace and mercy are sufficient. Thank You Father. Now Lord, we ask that You would continue to bless us this day. Heal our afflicted, encourage our down heartened. Trust in the Lord with all Your heart and lean not to Your own understanding. In all Your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct Your paths. And my God shall supply all Your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Amen.

Sign up for Jacqueline Moore's Daily Devotionals at Visit to learn more about Jacqueline Moore and her forthcoming debut novel, Serving Justice.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Losing Faith by Jessica A. Robinson

“Ashes to ashes…dust to dust,” Reverend Peterson said as he placed a small amount of earth on the silver and cream casket which contained my father. I took this as my cue to toss the long stemmed red roses I was carrying on top of his casket. I remained in my position and watched as everyone followed my lead and placed their flowers on top of the casket. I wanted to walk away from it all but somehow my feet remained frozen in the same spot as if they were anchored in the muddy grass.
I had been to a dozen funerals in my twenty-one years of life but none of them no matter how sad or tragic they were prepared me for this. None of them prepared me for my own father’s funeral. In fact, since he was the pastor of our church he was usually the one who conducted the funeral. That’s why everything about this day didn’t seem right. The fact that we were even burying my father down to the fact that it snowed overnight in the middle of May made this whole scenario seem unreal to me.
“Baby girl, everything’s gonna be alright…you hear me?” My mother Janetta said as she hugged me tight and wouldn’t let me go. The ground was so damp from the snowstorm the night before that it literally felt like we were standing on quick sand. I had to keep lifting my four-inch stilettos up out of the mud so that I wouldn’t sink. Instead, I held onto my mother real tight as she continued to talk to me.
“Your father isn’t suffering anymore…I know you miss him but one day if we keep living right we’re going to see him again” she whispered in my ear. I looked into my mother’s green eyes and wanted to answer her but I was too choked up to say anything at all. I just nodded my head in recognition to what she was saying. My mother was such a loving and caring person and usually her words comforted me but this time they did nothing. I knew deep down in my heart what she was telling me was what I needed to hear at the moment but it still didn’t help me.
It’s funny because I remember how many funerals I’ve attended where I’ve told a grieving family or church member the same thing because I felt that’s what they needed to hear and most of all because I felt like that was what God wanted me to say. Now it proved to be a whole different ball game once I had to wear those same shoes.
Those words and statements that escaped from the lips of the people attending my father’s funeral became annoying to me even though they were initially spoken to bring me comfort. So many people had walked up to me and hugged me saying they knew how I felt, they knew what I was going through, and better yet that God had better things for my father to do. I didn’t want to hear all that mumbo-jumbo. What I wanted was for someone to just come up and hug me. They didn’t necessarily have to say anything to me at all just the simple fact of showing me that they cared but not the people at my daddy’s funeral. Everyone felt the need to try and sound like they were super religious by saying all kinds of bible scriptures and spiritual cliché’s. I definitely wasn’t in the mood for all of that.
“We just gotta keep the faith baby and we’re gon’ be okay” my mother gripped me real tight one last time before letting me go. Although I shook my head yes I was even more confused. Up until this point, I considered myself to be a person of great faith. You know someone who believed God could do anything. With my dad being the senior pastor of True Reach Ministries I’ve seen it all. I’ve seen a lame man walk, the mute talk, and I’ve even seen people be healed from all kinds of diseases. That’s why as soon as my father sat me and my two younger brothers down to explain to us that he had pancreatic cancer my faith automatically kicked in. I remember it just like it was yesterday.
“We called this family meeting because we wanted to talk to you three together,” My dad said as he stood up.
“What’s up dad? You called us all together to tell us you’re buying me a car right?” My brother Brian joked and expected for my dad to laugh like he always did when my brother said something stupid but instead he didn’t crack a smile at all. He looked like he was carrying the weight of the world on his shoulders and I had never really seen my father look this way and to see him like this really scared me. He was usually the one who could take whatever came at him without even breaking into a sweat but there was something deep within his eyes that let me know that what he was about to tell us was serious.
“We’ll talk about your car situation later but right now your mom and I want to talk to you about something a little more serious than that”
Before anyone of us could interrupt him anymore he spoke again.
“You know how I’ve not been feeling good lately and my doctor has been running all kinds of tests on me to try and figure out what was going on with me…well yesterday he called to tell me that I have cancer of the pancreas and the tumor they found was larger than they expected”
“So what does that mean dad?” My youngest brother Chris asked.
“Well they’re saying that with the type of cancer I have and the size of the tumor that I have that it doesn’t look good”
“Okay…so what else did they say?” Brian asked.
“They’ve given me three to six months” he let out a sigh as my mother began to rub his back.
“What three to six months of treatment?” Brian added.
“No son…three to six months to live but listen that’s what the doctor said but we know what we believe”
“That’s right dad…who’s report are you gonna believe”
“The report of the Lord and his word says that it is by his stripes that I am healed” my father declared. The strength in his voice gave me the extra reassurance. It was like after he said that I just knew that everything was going to be alright.
“Daddy I believe when you go back they’re not even going to be able to find any cancer,” I proclaimed.
“That’s my girl” My dad replied.
“Yes and since we know what the word of the Lord says then that’s what we’re going to stand on” My mother said as she grabbed hands with my father and signaled for us to join hands so we could pray. As my mother began to pray, it was like the very presence of God came in and surrounded our family like a blanket and after she was done I was definitely at peace. I just knew God came down and did a miraculous thing that day. I couldn’t wait for the doctor to tell my father that he was cancer free because in my heart I just knew he was.
Upon hearing the initial news, my brother’s took it kind of hard but I think it was something that was pretty hard for all of us to hear. When our parent’s sat us down I expected for them to say all kinds of other things than what they said. Never in a million years would I have expected for my father to tell us he had cancer. If anything he was a complete health fanatic that lived a totally healthy lifestyle so for him to tell us that he had something wrong with him was a complete shocker to us. He was the type of man who prided himself at inventing new flavors to the health shakes that he drank every morning so for him to take his health that seriously and end up with an illness took us completely by surprise. After we were done praying, my dad motioned for me to come with him in his office. He waited for me to come completely in the room and then he shut the door behind me.
“I know this was real hard for you and your brother’s to hear but your mom and I wanted to be straight up with you all about what was going on”
“Yeah, it was a lot to digest at one time but I know you’ll be fine…it’s just a test to add to your testimony”
“And that’s exactly what it is…and that’s why I wanted to talk to you by yourself…out of all three of my children you are the most like me and I’m going to need you”
“Okay daddy…whatever you need me to do”
“I need you to be strong for your brother’s and your matter what goes on I need you to remind them of God’s promises…keep your faith”
“Okay, consider it done”
“And baby girl” my dad called out to me as I was leaving his office.
“Yes daddy”
“Don’t worry because I’m going to be just fine and I’m coming out of all of this victorious”
* * *
I was fortunate enough to slip away from the crowd of people who had my immediate family hemmed up like a skirt. I spotted one of my friends from the church getting into her car so I asked her if she would take me home. Once she said yes, I text my brother Brian and told him that I was leaving.
As she drove past all of the cars that made up the funeral procession, my eyes took me back to the place where my father’s casket sat. I looked on as the cemetery worker’s lowered my father into the ground and I wondered where God was in all of this. I mean I was old enough to understand that God was sovereign and that meant that he could do what he wanted to do but what was the purpose of taking a man with so much purpose out of here prematurely? My mind began to run rampant with questions that I needed the answers to. When I used to get to the place where my mind was cloudy and I needed some advice and some direction I never hesitated to go to my father for guidance and now with him gone I felt completely lost. Where would I go when I needed some sound advice? Who could I confide in and trust to give me good, Godly advice and wouldn’t spread my business everywhere? I had made the habit of going to my dad for just about everything over the years but now I didn’t have that luxury anymore. When I saw them covering up the casket with dirt it was confirmation that I was on my own now and this was definitely a new day.
* * *
“Jade, it’s me…open up” my mother hollered out to me as she knocked on my door. My eyes popped open as she continued to knock on my bedroom door.
“Hold on ma, I’m coming” I yawned and got up from the bed.
When I opened up the door, my mother was fully dressed in a two-piece baby blue church suit.
“I thought you were up but your brothers told me that you were still sleeping so I thought I would come and wake you up”
“Where are you going?” I asked as I went back to my queen size sleigh bed and sat down.
“We’re going to church this morning…I was coming to get you up so that you could get ready and go with us”
“No mom…I don’t think I’m going”
“Baby this is your second Sunday in a row that you haven’t been there…now you know everybody’s going to be asking where you are”
“Just tell them I’m sick again” I got back in bed and pulled the covers over me.
“Jade, I told them you were sick last week, you know there’s no way people are gonna believe that you’re sick two weeks in a row”
“I don’t care ma…I’m not going”
“Okay, I’m not going to argue with you on why you should come but I do want us to talk about all this later when I get home”
“Alright” I let out a sigh as my mother left the room. Church was the last place I wanted to be right now. Since my father’s death our whole family has been under a magnifying glass. There have been a lot of people surrounding themselves around us but that’s only to see when we’re all going to crack. It’s been driving me absolutely crazy to live my life like I’m on display at the local zoo or something and I refuse to do it. I was just not feeling the whole church scene right now and rather than go to True Reach and make a complete fool out of somebody I chose to stay home. Besides, I already tried to go to church the Sunday after we laid my father to rest and I couldn’t even stay the entire service. Everything reminded me of my father and the fact that he wasn’t there and I couldn’t deal with the constant reminder. Every time one of the ministers walked up the steps onto the platform I expected for my father to be not too far behind but when I would see one of the ministers coming out dressed in a full-length robe like the one my daddy wore on Sunday mornings I was reminded again of my reality.

* * *
“I wanted to meet with you all so that you could all hear what I had to say together” Dr. Garrett said as we sat across from him in his office. He called our house and told us he wanted to talk to our entire family so we met with him. My parents decided not to include my little brother Chris in the meeting because they felt he was too young to understand everything that was going on. I had a feeling deep down in my stomach that I couldn’t really describe. I could just feel like something was about to happen. I had been praying and fasting about this situation ever since my dad had told us he had cancer four months ago and I was excited about the good news we were about to receive from the doctor.
“So what’s up doc?” My dad asked as he took a deep breath.
“Well I know you remember how we told you that we were going to run those tests on you to check the status of your cancer and to see if there was a change and there has been a change”
I started to smile because I knew the doctor was getting ready to tell us that my dad was completely free of cancer. I could see it on the tip of his tongue.
“What kind of change has there been Dr. Garrett?” My dad asked.
“ Well the cancer has spread since the last time we ran tests on you and we found it’s not only in your pancreas but its moved all over your body and we’ve determined that it’s terminal”
“What? It’s spread that much?” Mom asked the doctor so she could gain a clear understanding of his terminology.
“Yes, I’m afraid it has…at this point there’s really nothing else we can do for you” he folded his hands and waited for our response.
“Thank you Dr. Garrett for everything you’ve done for me…my family and I appreciate everything you and your staff have done” My father stood up and shook the doctor’s hand.
“It was a pleasure having you as a patient and I will be calling you in a week or so to follow up with you and connect you with your new physician” I was confused about what the doctor’s results were. For him to tell us that our father’s cancer was progressively getting worse, he sure didn’t look like it. He still looked like he did when he first told us. He wasn’t in the hospital fighting for his life. He was living his life everyday like he always did and other than him having a couple of bad days he was pretty much okay.
Once the doctor left us alone in his office to talk, my brother Brian was the one to break down first. My dad went over to him and hugged him.
“Brian, please don’t cry…I’m okay”
“Dad, but the doctor said that you’re not getting any better” he said in between his tears.
“I know what Dr. Garrett said but we serve a God who can do more than what we can even think of…I’m going to be alright”
“I think we should pray right now daddy” I suggested.
“That’s exactly what we should do” We joined hands right in Dr. Garrett’s office and prayed that God would begin to do a work and turn this whole situation around but what we didn’t know was that was the very start of things spiraling out of control. Shortly, after our meeting with Dr. Garrett my father started getting really sick. He lost all kind of weight, could barely eat, and spent most of his days sleeping in bed. Even though he was starting to outwardly show the things that were going on inwardly in his body he still trusted God and I was right by his side trusting Him too. I knew that God had promised him a physical healing and that’s what I expected to see. In the mornings before I went to my college classes, we would pray together. When I came home for the day we would all pray together as a family and we believed with all of our hearts that he was going to get better. My faith wouldn’t allow me to accept anything else. I was basically waiting for God to confirm what I already knew. My father would live and not die.
* * *
“Have you been sleep the whole entire time we’ve been gone” My mother came in the house and removed her baby blue pumps at the door.
“I think so…I don’t even remember falling asleep in the first place…where’s Chris and Brian?”
“They decided to go over your grandmother’s house for dinner and I figured today would be the perfect time to talk”
“Talk about what mom?” I asked. I knew where she wanted to take this conversation and I was trying to avoid it at all cost but I knew with her that wouldn’t be possible.
“About everything that’s been going on lately…about you” my mother replied.
“I’ve been walking around here noticing that you’ve been acting different and its bothering me Jade…you’ve been real quiet, to yourself lately, you haven’t been going to church with us and to be quite honest I’m very concerned about you so is there anything you want to talk about?” she looked at me and could tell I had so much to say but I wasn’t trying to get into that discussion. Not now anyway.
“Ma, I really don’t want to talk about it right now and I haven’t been feeling like going to church lately so can we talk about this later”
“No…I would like to talk about this now…I know you’re dealing with losing your father but God is going to give us the strength to make it through this…we just have to keep trusting him, that’s all”
I let out a chuckle before I completely lost it.
“Oh so that’s what we’re supposed to do is trust him? Well where was he when daddy was sick? Where was he at when we were praying for his healing? He wasn’t anywhere to be found and we thought he was there…Ma I prayed and fasted everyday for God to turn dad’s situation around and he still died…where is God in that? Huh? Can you tell me how God is supposed to be a loving and caring God and he took home one of his own…I don’t see God in that” I cried as I finished what I was saying. My mother sat next to me on the couch and had started to cry with me. I know she expected me to tell her what was going on with me lately but I know she never expected me to go off like I just did. I had even surprised myself because I didn’t even expect to go off like that but I guess it was something that needed to come out. Until I had confessed that to my mother, I had never said anything to anyone. I felt like a big weight had been lifted up off my chest.
“I know you don’t see God in this but he doesn’t do anything by accident…it was God’s will for things to happen the way we did and even though you may not understand it…he has a purpose and a plan for everything”
“So it was God’s purpose and plan for us to grow up without a father? It was God’s perfect design for us to be out in this world fatherless…he could’ve taken anyone else in the world why did he have to take daddy?” My mother didn’t even attempt to answer me she just grabbed me and pulled me in close to her. She wept as she held me in her arms and I cried uncontrollably as my mind raced and tried to make sense of it all.
“Mommy, I prayed…I trusted God…I did all I knew how to do and he still passed away”
“I know honey...we did all we could but we just have to have faith in God and trust that there is a meaning and a purpose behind all of this”
“The way I’m feeling right now…I’m through with God”
“What? You’re through with God”
“Yes…I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and I’m just done with all of this church stuff for a while…I need to get my head together and God is not my favorite person right now”
“Jade, I know you’re frustrated right now but you can’t denounce the very thing you’ve built your life on”
“Well I’ve served God my whole life and believed every word in the Bible and I know what the word of God says and knowing all of that my father still died so I was thinking of switching things up in my life for a little bit”
“Baby please don’t give up on God…I know you’re hurting but God is here to take away your pain…he’s not the one who even gave you pain”
I had a major bone to pick with God and I wasn’t going to be satisfied until I spoke with God myself. I knew that was foolish of me but that’s how I felt. I needed for him to explain to me his purpose and plan because I was having a difficult time following it and the way I had been feeling lately I wasn’t sure if I still wanted to serve God.
“Wait a minute…I have something that I need to give you” My mother got up and went down the hallway. I saw her walk into my father’s office and shut the door. She came out a minute later with a white envelope in her hand and handed it to me.
“This is for you…it’s from your father”
I opened the white envelope and inside there was a letter addressed to me. I opened the letter all the way and began to read the contents of it.

Dear Baby Girl,
This is probably the hardest letter that I ever had to write but I feel that it’s necessary. I have taken the time to write each one of you letters and have instructed your mom to give them to you when the Lord directed her to. First I want to say that I love you so much and I am so proud to have you as a daughter, you have made me so happy over the years and I thanked God everyday for allowing me and your mom to be your parents.
I know that finding out about my illness and seeing me sick has been real hard on you and even though you’ve kept it together, I know it’s been rough.
You’ve done exactly what I wanted you to do and that was stay strong and keep your faith through this whole ordeal and I must say I am so proud of you but I know dealing with the aftermath of it all you have questions. You’re probably asking God why did all this have to happen to me but it was necessary. You may even be mad at God for not healing me and allowing me to live but you have to understand…this was all a part of his divine plan for your life. God showed me when you were born that you were going to be the one to follow in my footsteps and proclaim the word of God when you got older but with me there for you to lean on it would be hard for you to do that but now is the time. It’s time for you to take your rightful place and enter into your God given destiny. Go forth, my daughter in what God has for you and I’ll see you again.
I love you,
As I finished the letter he wrote me, I felt the very presence of God come down and wrap around me like a cashmere blanket. I had been so mad at God for everything that happened and I should’ve been praying and seeking God from the beginning.
I dropped to my knees and began to cry. My mother started praying for me and I could literally feel every weight and measure that had been weighing me down being lifted.
“Lord, I’m so sorry for losin’ the faith in you during this situation. Please forgive me for not trusting in you…I pray right now that you will restore my faith to when I first believed. I know that you do everything for a reason and I pray that you will help me to be strong and get through this, In Jesus name…Amen”
When I finished my heartfelt prayer, tears began to run down my face but this time they weren’t tears of sadness, they were tears of joy. Even though my father had written me such a beautiful letter, I knew it was God’s way of getting my attention. I had allowed myself to be so caught up with the loss of my father that I had forgotten that God was there all the time. He had never left my side the entire time. He was there in the beginning of it all and he was still there even though I had been mad at him. I had let my circumstances and the way I was feeling to take my eyes off of God but he loved me enough to speak to me through a letter.
I got up from where I had been kneeling on the floor with a renewed strength. I didn’t feel overcome with grief anymore. The burden of dealing with my father’s passing had been removed and I knew that this would be one of the very things that would help me make a difference in someone else’s life.

Romans 8:28
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

Copyright Jessica A. Robinson 2008
Visit Peace In The Storm Publishing,, to learn more about Jessica A. Robinson, and her debut novel Holy Seduction.