Saturday, February 28, 2009
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Friday, February 27, 2009
Remember, Forgiveness does not change the past, but it does enlarge the future. ~ Paul Boese
This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 1 John 4:9-11
Saints, Is there anyone in your life that you say you hate? Are there people in your life who have wronged you and therefore you can't forgive them? Do you sometimes get angry at those people in your life you profess to love and say mean and hurtful things to them? Do you have a mean spirit?
Now some of you may not believe this, but there are times in my life when I can be mean spirited. And if you are honest with yourselves you too will admit that there has been a time or two in your life when you too have been mean and hurtful to someone you love. In a moment of anger you may have said or done something to someone you say you love.
When someone hurts us our first reaction is to hurt them back; just as much or even more than they hurt us. It doesn't matter who it is. Your significant other, your children, a friend, or even your parents. There is nothing worse than someone you love doing or saying something that they know is going to hurt not just your feelings, but it will hurt your heart and soul.
However, I have good news for you. As you grow in your faith and in your knowledge in Christ you will begin to develop a forgiving spirit, a loving spirit, a spirit that will bridle your tongue and your actions. The more that you grow in the word of God, the more you will become Christ like.
Keep in mind that if someone loves you, you can overlook their moments of anger. If a brother or sister hurts you, don't just turn the other cheek, but put yourself in their place and think about what might have caused their reaction.
Remember that person loves you, so do I, But God loves you best.
Father God we start our day with a spirit of love. We will show love and compassion to those around us. Our prayer this day is that we may learn to be more patient with those around us and try to remember that words spoken in anger can be forgiven. Father, help us to develop a more forgiving spirit. A spirit that is not easily riled. Help us to recognize when our loved ones are being used against us by satan in an effort to cause us to stumble. Lord, touch our brothers and sisters who have a mean spirit, casting out that vile and wicked demon in the name of Jesus. Have mercy and show favor to Your saints right now. Touch, bless and anoint Your saints who are reading this message. Father, we don't know the needs of Your children, but we know that You do. As we humble ourselves before You this day, in reverence to You, in honor of You, and because of who You are, we will sings songs of praise to You all day long. When we think about Your blessings, we will stop and say, thank You Lord. In the name of Your son, we humbly submit this prayer and claim our victories. Amen.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Remember, a candle loses nothing by lighting another candle. ~ Erin Majors
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17
I know that most of you who read these messages have already accepted Jesus Christ as your personal savior. Now some of you have been in the body of Christ for a very long time, some are new to the body, and still some; have not quite made up their minds to accept him yet.
So often you hear about being in the body of Christ and have often wondered just what does that mean. Well, there are many different ways to look at the body of Christ. One, is his physical body, the symbolic body, the bead of the Lord's Supper, and the institutional body, the church.
Today, I am talking about the church body. The church is comprised of the Head, the Preacher who is the under-Shepard and the congregation, our Christian brothers and sisters, otherwise known as our church family.
Now, I don't know about you, but I was raised to believe that family is very important. One member is very important to all the rest of the family. I had one brother and three sisters. We couldn't fight one another, but we better not letter anyone else harm another sibling. Our parents didn't care what it took, but we had all better get along.
So often those of us who have been in the body of Christ, or in our church family for a very long time, are judgmental and critical of accepting those who are new to the body. We want to judge people by what we see, what we have heard or even by what we don't know about a person.
The scripture says, if ANYONE is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away. Now that doesn't mean that everyone will become a saint when they become saved, but what it does mean is that the things of the past, are in the past. I am on my way to becoming more Christ like. My journey may take me longer than others, but at least I am on my way.
Woe be to the saint who causes one of God's lost sheep who is trying to find his way home, to turn away from the church. There was a quote I used a few weeks ago that said, Even God won't judge others until they're dead, why should I?
Blessed be the name of the Lord. Our Father, who sits high and looks low. The great I AM. My Lord, my Savior, My Redeemer. We who are a part of the body of Christ come before You this day asking that You would forgive us for our sins of yesterday. Lord, I ask that if I am being critical of others, that You would help me to see the errors of my ways. "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Help me Father to hide those words in my heart. Lord, I thank You for saving me from the depths of hell. Thank You for loving me so much that You stretched out Your hand to me and welcomed me into the kingdom. Lord, Someone is standing at deaths door this morning. I ask heavenly Father, that You would welcome them into Your kingdom with open arms. Lord, comfort the families of those who will have to release a loved one into Your care. Father, the rain may be falling in someone’s life, it is dark and cold. But we know that eventually, the sun will shine. We are thanking You right now for our sunshine. Continue to touch, bless, anoint, heal, and comfort every saint that is represented here today. Touch those unsaved members of our families as we continue to tell them just how wonderful You are. Thank You Father for blessing me. Thank You Father for keeping me. Thank You Father for saving me. I Love the Lord. He Heard my Cry. His mercy endureth forever. We submit our prayers in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Remember, The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire. ~ Marshal Ferdinand Foch
Scripture: No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD. Isaiah 54:17
Saints, I have been talking about being under attack for a large portion of this year. This reason for this is because I myself along with so many of my brothers and sisters is Christ, seem to be overwhelmed with trials and tribulations; one right after another.
There have been times that I have wondered why I along with so many others seem to always be going through something. Does this sound like any of you? Many of my sisters and brothers are unemployed and it seems like it's taking so much longer to find new jobs. Cancer is rampant among those we know. We are losing babies to catastrophic illnesses and even those we believed to be Christians, are committing suicide. Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that being a Christian would be so hard.
But there is a truth about being a Christian I want to share with you. You see, before you got saved and joined the family of God, life didn't seem so hard. That's because satan wasn't worried about you because he already had you. He wanted you to remain comfortable in being and living in sin. Once you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, it made him mad.
You see, as long as you were in the world, he didn't have to worry about you. When he lost you and you became a new creature in Christ Jesus, he has to get you back, so that's one of the reasons that the attacks against us increase. He lies to us, he tries to discourage us in our Christian walk. He wants us to doubt the promises of God. And you know what? Sometimes, every now and then, it seems like he may be winning.
But you know what Saints of God? God has said in his word; NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US SHALL PROSPER! That it His promise to us. We must learn to lean on our faith, walk by faith, grow in faith, see it and believe it IN FAITH. God cannot lie. He has already told us; he would never leave us nor forsake us, If we remain faithful to him!!
I for one am standing on God's word. I am holding on to his promise! I will not let go of his unchanging hand! What about you?
The LORD IS my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; HE LEADS me beside the still waters. HE RESTORES my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For YOU ARE WITH ME; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. YOU PREPARE a table before me in the presence of my enemies; YOU ANOINT my head with oil; My cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I WILL DWELL in the house of the LORD, Forever and ever, Amen.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Remember, Without the rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, Ephesians 1:18 (New International Version)
As a member and moderator of a writing group, we often challenge one another with writing prompts. The purpose of the prompts is to stimulate our creative processes and get us to think outside of ourselves. One of my most recent prompts posed the challenge to write about “What does beauty mean to you? Now before you begin, really think about it. Don't just describe it in the physical sense, but look a little deeper.”
As Christians this is a challenge practice daily. Prayerfully without giving it much thought. We learn to look at the world, not with our natural eyes but through the eyes of Christ. As a Christian, we learn to see the heart and spirit of a person rather than his outward appearance. As a Christian, we should be looking at the content of ones character and not the content of his pockets. We should be able to see a beautiful spirit rather than just a beautiful face.
My challenge to you today is to look at the world through the eyes of your heart. Look at the world through the eyes of Christ. What do you see?
Do you see the hope that He has called you to?
Lord, I once was blind but now I see. We come before you as the blind did in days of old. Asking Lord, that you would restore our sight. Help us Lord to see the world, not with our physical eyes, but through the eyes of Christ. Help us Lord, to develop greater faith. Help us Lord, to see the world through the eyes of Jesus. Father, we come surrendering our lives to you. Help us to learn to lean on you. Help us Lord to learn that its not always, about what we see but truly, about what you are teaching us. Teach us Lord to lean upon you. To depend upon you and not the things of this world. Lord, help us to realize that our circumstances do not define us, You do. You have already told us that You would never leave us nor forsake us. Bless us Lord. Keep us Lord. Restore our sight once again. So that we may lift our eyes towards heaven and see your divine vision for us. Father, we come praising and uplifting your name once again. As we ask and pray this and all things in the name of Jesus. Amen.
Monday, February 23, 2009
I do not understand the mystery of grace--only that it meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us. ~ Anne Lamott
to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. Ephesians 1:6-8 (New International Version)
As I sit here, contemplating the follies of my past, I become consciously aware of the power of God’s amazing grace. Grace protected me when I found myself in places that I shouldn’t have been. Grace covered me when I did things that I shouldn’t have done. Grace was with me when I found myself lost in a far country.
I recognize and realize that I have made some pretty bad choices in my life. But if it had not been for the grace of God, where would I be? I could be lost in a world of degradation, humiliation, and complication. I could have been an unwed mother, junkie living for my next fix, or worst of all, the pawn of satan. The various scenarios of where I could be apposed to where I am, are limitless.
You see, no matter how bad we are, where our lives may be headed, the things we have done or said; God’s grace has unlimited reaching power. When you fall down into the very depths of life’s misery, God’s grace has the ability to reach down, right where you have landed and lift you up. No matter how alone you may feel, God’s grace has the ability to cover you in the comfort and warmth that can only be found in the arms of God Himself.
There is something special about God’s grace. May God’s grace find you wherever you may be.
But for the grace of God, go I. Lord, thank You for Your grace and Your mercy. Thank You Lord, for reaching out and saving a sinner like me. Forgive me Lord, for all the wrong that I have done. Your word tells me that when I have asked for forgiveness, You grant it because You are a God of a second chance. Lord, I thank You for granting me a new beginning with the dawning of each day. May Your loving grace rest, rule and abide within my life each and every day. May goodness, mercy and traveling grace go with each and every one of my brothers and sisters sharing in this prayer. May Your tender mercies continue to rain down upon each of us as we continue to build upon our relationship with You. Thank You Father. Thank You Jesus. It is in Your name that we pray. Amen.
Friday, February 20, 2009
When did life become so damn complicated? When did bills become the most important thing in my life? When did headaches and stress become the norm while laughter and silliness fell by the wayside? Can someone please tell me when we lost our spontaneous spirits and, instead, replaced them with a rigid must-follow agenda? Days of begging mama for a dollar, so I could go to the candy lady and get a bag full of Lemonheads and sugar water, are nothing but a distant memory. I'd lie in the itchy grass and just wait. Waiting on time to pass me by; waiting on life to hurry up and start. But it had already started. I was thinking it was going too slow. Now, though, I'm praying for it to slow down.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.~ Henry David Thoreau
"The Steps of a Good Man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighted in his way-- Psalms 37:22-24
Saints, do you truly listen to the voice of God? What I mean by that is do you hear him when he tells you what to do and how to do it? Do you even recognize when it is his voice speaking to you?
How many times have you been in a situation and asked yourself, what am I going to do about this? How many times have you just spoken a question and the answer just seemed to come to you? How many times have you been lost in a situation and just didn't know how you where going to get out of it? And suddenly, the problem or the situation seemed to remedy itself.
How many of you study the Word of God on a regular basis? How many of you have heard the statement hide the word of God in your heart? Now this last statement may sound a little strange to you, but there is a reason for this line of questioning.
You see, the word of God serves several functions. It is our roadmap to how to live a Holy life. It is our conscience so that we do not sin. It is our strength and comforter in a time of need. The word of God is our sword to fight against the evil one who seeks to destroy us. It is God himself. “In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God".
Saints, each and every one of us needs to learn the word of God. His voice will never lead us astray His word will never return unto us void. He word is our light in times darkness.
His will, will never fail us.
Father, may we always hide Your word in our hearts. Father, may we learn to listen and hear Your voice. Father God, help us to learn to be obedient to Your word. Your word, which is the same today, yesterday, and forever more. Your Word, that spoke the world into existence. Your Word, that sooths our souls when nothing else can. We come thanking You today for Your word. We come thanking You today, for our hedge of protection. We come giving You our love and adoration for all that You do for us and our loved ones. But most of all we thank You for the greatest gift that could ever be given. The gift of Your son, Jesus Christ. Lord, we just want to say thank You for Your word. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.
Monday, February 16, 2009
Thursday, February 12, 2009
At a time when Hip-Hop mixed with soul music is as common as stop signs on street corners, it’s often very difficult to identify uniqueness in the genre. The emergence of one-named, three-hit wonders has appeared to overwhelm our one-named, thirty-hit legends. Furthermore, what do we call the music permeating today’s top ten lists, Hip-Hop-laced R&B or R&B infused Hip-Hop? What’s the difference? Finally, there is an artist who clearly knows the difference and provides a balance between the two genres, while never sacrificing the integrity of either. Infusing R&B with jazz, funk and Hip-Hop, singer/songwriter Andre is exploding on the music scene.Born and raised in Newark, New Jersey, Andre honed his craft in church, and spent much of his spare time immersed in the sounds of such legends as Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway. “Although I always loved music and grew up in the Pentecostal Church, I often only sang on special programs. I didn’t really take my talent seriously until about six years ago. I then combined my love for music with acting, landing parts in about 10 different regional productions, including Dreamgirls and Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places,” Andre admits.
This will be the best $15 you'll ever spend for Valentine's Day.
Tell ANDRE his cousin
Elissa Gabrielle sent you :)
Monday, February 9, 2009
As a fulltime grad student, I find myself running across a few (unexpected) good and influential reads every now and again. In my experience, graduate work, including the reading assignments, (which professors must be forced to choose from a dusty collection buried deep within the dark crevaces of a dead king’s library somewhere in England) are extremely boring. This semester I find myself deeply immersed in two beautifully engaging courses. Let’s see... Empowering is the word I’d like to use to describe these classes. The first class is taught by a male, Dr. So-and-so in Dallas, Texas by day, and an aboriginal dances and trances instructor at a small school in Pennsylvania on Friday nights.
Being a wife, a mother, a writer, an editor, and a grad student, is time consuming, as you can probably relate to or imagine (women work hard ya’ll). So, I procrastinated on the first reading assignment BIGTIME! I had a week (considerable amount of time for 200 pages) to read a book by a Canadian woman by the name of Anne Cameron. This is what I learned:
*Never underestimate a boring book cover.
*Women were the bomb in indigenous traditions
*Literature holds a power that we sometimes dimiss… Any genre (contemporary literature, sci-fi, urban fiction, etc.), if well written and researched, can survive as history
*Outside of all the roles that I listed as time consuming, I am a woman and that is a very powerful…yeah powerful, God given role and because of that (and of course God), we can handle all other roles.
*We are a part of a secret society and encouraging each others as sisters will always be a part of who the best of us are
I’m not a practicing feminist or anything like that, but these classes (Women in History and Aboriginal and Indigenous Traditions: Dances and Trances) are causing me to step back and look at us with more admiration and love. And though I know all women won’t feel me here, I’d like to offer up a very positive notion. When you see a sista making it, don’t hate on her. Look at her and say to yourself, “If she can do her thing, I can do mine.” Lift her up. Don’t try to beat her down with words of discouragement (which won’t change what God has for her one way or another). I know this is a very rudimentary challenge, but I think it is one that warrants revisiting on a regular basis.
Small piece of information about us and our power—during pre-civilization, the first uncivilized nations to fall, were those where the empowering and sisterly bonds of the women were broken.
The dynamic LaToya S. Watkins is the author of the forthcoming, In Love with Losers, which debuts from Peace In The Storm Publishing in 2010. Find out more here about LaToya at http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com/
Friday, February 6, 2009
Have you ever aimlessly searched a crowd of faces? Investigating green, blue and brown eyes for some sort of familiarity? Maybe you’ve studied the physical attributes and hairstyles of someone, hoping that a make-over could’ve altered the looks of the person you’re searching for. My eyes dart from wide noses, small noses, big hands, little hands, freckles and moles-all while trying to find an ounce of reason to believe that this person could be the one to end my search. But it never ends. For some reason, the heart has a tendency to embrace the truth long after the mind has.
This is my daily routine. Welcome to my world.
Thursday, February 5, 2009
Jhonnie Bell quickly learns that death does nothing to silence the dregs of disharmony among family members. Albeit, LuluBell Darling Devereaux's passing leaves her family without the Matriarch they all look to for advice and guidance; but her lifelong testimony and legacy was to hold her family together. How could she do this knowing that strife and misgivings would be hard to relinquish from those she knew best? She left each a letter that details her words of wisdom, but with one catch -- no one was to read her Last Will and Testament until they heeded the admonishments from her last words to each of them. Shock, joy and panic encompass the family's emotions. Will the late LuluBell bring the family together as she intends, or will it push them all further apart? That thin line becomes broader with each page you turn in this realistic view of family life.
"Get Up" by gospel super duo Mary Mary has got to be the most played song on my iPod right now. Of course they're one of my favorite groups but the reason why I've been listening to them constantly is because of the words of the song.
The entire premise of the song is basically talking about taking advantage of your time and make the most of your life by working hard. The words contained in this song have been very motivational to me and is something I use to keep me focused. We've just entered into a new year a few weeks ago and many of us have made resolutions that have already been broken. Some of us have even vowed to go on diets that we've already quit too.
But I encourage you today to adopt a new way of life. I encourage you to start going after the things you want in life with ferver and passion. The time is gone where you sit down and let your life just pass you by. Get up and take charge of your life. Time waits for no one and procrastination is a true enemy to success. So don't let anything stop you! Get up and make it happen!
Never Give up on your dreams because they will come true!
How did I get here? I am lost in a place where someone like me should never be. I am in the land of the other woman. The inhabitants of this domain, as my girlfriends and I perceive it, are uneducated "hood rats" with low self-esteem – playthings for married men. “They” are body parts, deliverers of mind blowing oral sex and equestrians in the art of riding. “They” have nothing to offer a man except their bodies. “They” aren't the type of women men are seen with in public places. Nor are “They” the type men take home to momma or big ma. "They" are those rump-shaking girls you see in rap videos – video whores adorned with weaves that reach the small of their backs. “They” are the kind of women that men hover over in dark, smoke-filled night clubs - scantily clad, moral-less creatures of the night, “They” are flesh, and lust, and appeal to the carnal hunger men possess and yearn for, and these same men pretend, in their perfect world not to know them if they see them on a Sunday afternoon in church.
I thought "They" were a lot of things, but I never thought "They" would be Me.
But here I am; his woman; his mistress; his night-time concubine and obsessed succubus. The potential home wrecker, the enabler, the whore, and I can't seem to pry myself loose from him. He has a hold on me now; mind, body and soul; and I can't let go. Occupying my veins, I am like a crack addict, totally addicted and always looking for the next time I can score. Hopefully, he’ll find the Will and can let go for both of our sakes. For I have neither the Will nor the Strength.
Maybe it’s a good idea to introduce myself. Although it really doesn't matter what my name is because I realize now I could be any woman, given the right set of circumstances. Every woman out there who says she would not mess around with a married man, needs to know that I said those very same words myself. It’s conveniently easier said than done.
Standing at a succulent, five feet ten inches, and weighing in at a svelte one hundred and thirty-five pounds, I am beauty in its most pure form. Curves align my silhouette in every possible perfect way. My fierce walk, the bounce in my stride, deliberate and bold, coupled with the protrusion of a set of perky breasts and a round, sculpted behind has the ability to make men silently sing, “She’s a Brick House” in their minds as I walk by. Without a doubt, I am the product of good genes. I thank my parents for that. Caramel-kissed, I am drenched with butter-soft skin and as my fine baby hair flows, dancing a jig around my face, I have what most people refer to as “good hair.”
I own a home in Hyde Park off Lakeshore Drive; I eat at the finest restaurants Chicago has to offer, have a phat bank account, and drive a luxury car. I’ve got it going on, as they say, and I’m well aware of it. All of this was achieved through hard work, dedication and careful planning through the years to ensure that I stayed away from acquiring any unnecessary baggage, such as a husband or kids, along the way.
My parents taught me to reach my goals and never stray from the light at the end of the tunnel. They taught me that there would always be time "later" for the "baggage." They told me to make sure I made KAHLA all that KAHLA could be, so that I would never look back on my life and wonder what I COULD have been.
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
I asked several people including my mother and father if they thought they would ever see the election of a black man as President in their lifetime. Each of them unanimously agreed that only a year ago they did not believe that this would be possible. They silently hoped for it, but didn’t believe it. They could not conceive the notion that our country had come far enough in 40 years to put aside their racial differences and vote on a person to run this country, not because of his skin color, but because of his intellect, his intelligence, and his ability to bring us together for the common good.
In fact, they are still not sure, and neither am I, that everyone who voted for Barack did so because of his abilities rather than his skin color, however, the fact still remains, he is now the 44th President of these United States.
Honestly, the first time Oprah asked then Senator Barack Obama if he might consider running for President of the United States, I too, believed that it might be too much to hope for, at least right now.
Nonetheless, the moment he started his campaign, I eagerly jumped on the bandwagon in every capacity I could think of. I even became a precinct chair and election judge to make sure I fully participated in the process. My hope; we would finally elect an African American President into office: Dispelling all the rumors and myths that we are somehow by the nature of our ethnicity, incapable of handling such a huge responsibility.
As a people, we tell our children they can be whatever they want to be. And, this has been true in many noteworthy professions; lawyers, doctors, writers, etc. But, the highest position in the land still eluded us. This is now no longer the case. But, can this election really lead us, as a people, once and for all, into the Promised Land?
Since the election of the first African American President, Barack Obama, everyone has been elated, but, does this signal a movement towards closing the racial divide? Can Barack Obama really be a figure for transformational change when it comes to race?
Some would say yes, but many would say no. The distrust, disharmony, and disillusionment of both blacks and whites is rooted deeply in the psyche of the nation as was demonstrated by Obama’s own pastor, Jeremiah Wright.
Views such as those of Pastor Wright are shared equally if not differently among the whites of Wright’s era. However, those in their 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s are hopeful that the sentiments of these older Americans are giving way to new more inclusive ideologies of a United America. Barack Obama is the symbol for that America.
Many believe that a new generation of politicians has emerged; those who do not speak just for “Black Americans or “White Americans” but for all Americans.
Barack’s multiracial background is at least in part responsible for the ray of hope that has sparked renewed faith in our country’s ability to overcome it’s racially divided past. Indeed his ability to reach out to people with views different from his own is equally responsible.
Barack’s election could very well signify our nation’s willingness to come closer to the end of racism. At the very least, Barack’s victory gives everyone a different image of the African American male in our country; one that steers completely away from the shiftless, no good, child abandoning view that we get so often.
Barack Obama cannot close this divide alone. Each of us must take ownership for our role in chasm that exists. As African Americans we must release our anger and forgive. We can no longer blame every white man for our misfortune. White Americans must acknowledge that discrimination does exist although more subtly now than before. They must release their resentment over what they perceive to be unfair advantages that African Americans receive due to discrimination.
We cannot afford to walk away now. We’ve only just begun. If we expect to solve the economic and social challenges that we face, we must listen to the words of the infamous Rodney King, “Can we all just get along?”
Monday, February 2, 2009
By Jacqueline Moore
Last summer, I received a copy of the soundtrack from the motion picture, "Madea’s Family Reunion." On the soundtrack is a soul stirring song called "Wounds in the Way," by Rachelle Ferrell.
Rachelle sings about a woman who has a chance at love and happiness but because of past hurts perpetrated against her, she is unwilling to accept her chance at happiness. The song is very powerful; it evokes deep hidden emotions, and causes one to contemplate their own battle scars.
In one stanza of the song, the words become both disturbing and enlightening, they say:
"If they would have treated a little girl, a little boy when they were still just a baby, with some respect and human dignity, maybe there wouldn’t be so many failed relationships, they might even had a ghost of a chance of just loving each other, body, mind and soul."It causes me to ponder the question, as parents, what are we doing that will wound our own children?You see I ask this question because we are constantly seeing the breakdown of the family unit. Even my children and I are one of those statistics being that I am a single parent raising my sons alone. As a matter of fact, the epidemic of the single-parent household in America is staggering. The reasons for this phenomenon are numerous and well as diverse, but ultimately, how each parent deals with the situation, does eventually have an impact on the future of their own children. Our relationships both with the one another as parents and how we deal with others in dating or even re-marriage situations will leave a lasting impression with our children.
So often, we don’t even realize that we are wounded and that we are wounding others. We do and say things out of our pain that we can never take back. We take our anger out on the wrong people and then wonder why people begin to treat us differently. We begin to mistrust everybody around us and in turn isolate ourselves from those who love us most.
I wonder how many of us are missing opportunities or blessings because we let our own wounds get in the way. We are afraid to love, to trust, to allow ourselves to become vulnerable to someone else because we are too afraid to be hurt again. When we allow the pain of our past to prevent us from being all God wants us to be, we are cheating God and we are cheating ourselves.
We wear our wounds on our sleeves like a badge of shame. Because of one bad relationship, we are too afraid to try again. What we may not realize is that our wounds are not only in our way, but they may also be in the way of others around us.
I have seen mothers demean their child’s father because of past wounds. I have seen grandparents lose the right to see their grandchildren, and parents abuse their own babies, all because of wounds in their way. I have seen first-hand how past wounds are crippling our futures.
Love isn’t the only thing that can wound us. Fear, rejection, disappointment, and sometimes, just life in general can inflict painful wounds. Life’s reality is this, as we journey through this life, we will get hurt. It’s inevitable. The key is learning to overcome those things rather than allowing them to hold us back or change who we are.
So often because of our wounds, we begin to accept others treating us in a manner that is totally unacceptable. Our wounds will often prevent us from loving ourselves leading to the disintegration of our self-esteem.
Do you know that the majority of us suffer from self-esteem issues? I say us, because I am included in that number too. None of us is quite satisfied with who we are. There are things about us that we don’t like and possibly even hate. Why is that? If we don’t like us, how can we expect others to like us? Or do we try too hard to get others to like us?
When we are born into this world, as little children we have no preconceived notions about how a person should look. We don’t judge others based on their skin color, their hair length, how tall or how short they are. We don’t look at another child and say, she looks different from me. We teach our children these things. A child looks at another child and says; hey, there’s someone my size I can play with. Good deal.
Sometime during our childhood we start judging others by standards that we have been taught. We start tearing down one another’s self-esteem. We create doubt in the minds of others on their worthiness. We start going along with the crowd. We start thinking like the crowd instead of thinking for ourselves.
It’s important that we feel good about ourselves. A few years ago when I turned forty, I mean in a few years when I turn forty, my theme for that year was “I am forty and fabulous. When people asked me how I was doing, my response was, I am forty and fabulous, don’t I look good? I said it and I meant it. How can we expect other people to love us when we don’t even love ourselves? How can we expect other people to accept us when we don’t even accept who we are?
When we don’t like ourselves, we are more likely to make bad choices. We are more accepting of self-destructive behaviors and self-destructive relationships. We will allow things to happen to us and say stupid things like “Well, I guess I deserved that or I couldn’t do any better”. We will allow others to treat us in a manner that is not becoming who we truly are, strong, beautiful, self assured women.
Life is destined to hurt us in one way or another. This world is not designed for our own personal comforts. We will run into brick walls, be forced to take a path that may be full of potholes or forced to journey into places that are beyond our comfort zones.
Individuals who through no fault of our own will want to cause us harm, make our lives uncomfortable, or at the very least; cannot love us the way we love them or that we deserve to be loved. Things that we may strive for may not ever be within our reach. Disappointments will always be waiting for us just around the corner.
However, until we learn to allow our wounds to heal, we will forever be held hostage by our pasts. I pray that you will let go of the past, focus on the future, and start your healing; Today!