Archive for July, 2017
From the videotaping of Rodney King’s beating by LA policemen on March 3, 1991 to the questionable death of Sandra Bland on July 13, 2015 (after being stopped by police officers three days prior), and other cases that have been in the news, traffic stops have produced considerable debates and controversies.
Unquestionably and statistically Blacks, particularly Black males are pulled over at alarming rates for traffic stops.
Therefore, it is imperative that we know our rights and what to do.
So if you are stopped by police officers while driving, according to public safety experts, these steps may be helpful.
1. Pull over as soon as the police car lights come on.
2. Provide your registration, license, and proof of insurance.
3. Keep your hands visible.
4. Exit the car only if asked.
5. Be polite and respectful.
6. Don’t argue with the police officers; argue in court.
7. If you are registered to carry a gun, tell the officer.
8. Your car can be searched for reasonable cause. You do not have to
9. Don’t lie to the police officers.
10. Passengers should remain quiet.
11. Put out cigarettes if smoking.
12. Turn off the radio.
Police Officers are guided by codes of conduct, even if they don’t follow them.
Their job is to protect the public.
We need their services and should respect authority.
Officers have a lot of discretion.
Knowing your rights is critical.
It may save your life!
Source: www. azcentral.com
Photo credit: www.instructables.com
This week, our topics have been focused on love and relationships.
The greatest love of all comes from God. God loved the world so much that he gave his only begotten son to save mankind.
We indiscriminately use the word – Love- but is our use and accompanying actions reflective of God’s meaning.
Let’s take a fresh look.
LOVE – is a four letter word with a meaning that is higher than high; deeper than deep.
The definition of love is provided in I Corinthian 13: 4-8.
4 “Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, 5 does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, 6 does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; 7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never fails.”
It ventures to say that we have to daily and continually work at loving people – God’s way!
To love in this manner is challenging and will take all that we have to stay true to its meaning. For example, you cannot love someone and hold in your heart “a wrong suffered;” an injury from the past! You cannot be a part time or fair weathered lover and be in compliance with this biblical definition. Stop using the word – love – loosely.
The 64 words in this scriptural definition are simple and not complicated.
Yet, to love God’s way is a tall order.
Examine the text; continually work on compliance; keep the instructions penned in your heart, mind, and soul!
For most of us, it is work in progress.
Yes, 1 Corinthian 13: verses 4-8 are four powerful verses that describe love from the biblical definition!
How do you measure up to God’s definition of love?
Before you speak, don’t give lip service without providing evidence.
You know the answer to the question … and so does God!
There is always an opportunity to love and show love; to give and to receive love! There is also room for improvements.
I love to be loved; to feel love; to show
love and to be shown love!
It is a reciprocal emotion.
So gratifying is the feeling!
Photo credit: www.picturequotes.com
Confused; twisted; conflicted; not knowing what to do or which way to turn! Sounds familiar?
When we are experiencing trouble in a relationship, it is for real; it is not easy. Though this illustration depicts it nicely; “holding on or letting go” is no laughing matter! It can definitely be a tug of war!
“Love” is a challenging emotion that may not be easy at times, but it is satisfying all the time!
Finding the balance is key. To give and receive love is one of the greatest feelings! It is nourishment to our soul!
I love the feeling of love!
Be good to it so that you can keep it!
Photo credit: www.weheartit.com
To be loved is a desired emotion for most.
For sure, “It’s never too late to find love!”
Play it again Sam!
Though love is a sought after emotion, finding it may be difficult as we cannot read other people’s hearts. Then we have the other issues. Complacency can be substituted for the phrase contributory negligence. It, alongside the fear of rejection, can become front and center in our lives and even convince us that we are happy when we are walking in a stream of loneliness and unhappiness.
Our older ears though filled with wax become fearful of hearing unpleasant words.
It’s easy to settle. It’s just as easy to find comfort in discomfort; to give up without really trying; to convince yourself that you are happy when you know that you are not.
Everybody needs somebody!
The older you become, your desire to take risk lessen. Lest not forget the prospects of being hurt! Age does not remove the prospects and exposure to being hurt. So now what?
Do you do nothing and let the unhappy days become unhappy years? Do you distant yourself from selfish people whose selfishness places you leap years behind your desires? Or do you seek, search, and find love?
What steps should you take as you look for love gingerly in the right places? How discreet should you be? It is not realistic for you to expect to open your front door and find your Prince Charming standing there. It is highly unlikely that a scenario like that will play out.
Looking for love and dating can be intimidating processes at any age. For certain, they are labors of work.
Another job, you don’t need! But get ready to rumble! Looking for love can be tantamount to punching a time clock of sorts.
The older you are and the longer that you have been out of the dating game, the lesser your dating skill set has become. Needless to say, your skills may be rusty. It can create anxiety and cultivate doubt. Just ask Tina Knowles!
Beautiful, successful, and in the spotlight was Tina Knowles, the Mother of superstar Beyonce. Then, after 33 years of marriage, she found herself divorced and all alone.
“Where am I gonna find somebody at 59 years old? Where do you meet men? Where do you get them? They’re all gone.” If Tina asked those questions, multiply mine and those from other middle aged women by 10.
But then something magical happened. She took the initiative to find love and happiness. She was reunited with a man that she had known for over three decades. Actor Richard Lawson entered the picture and the rest is history. By her wedding day, Tina’s tone had changed.
“To walk down the aisle and see all my friends and family and to see my handsome man standin’ there, and to know that at 61 you can still find love and have a magical day like that … it was really beautiful,” says the bride as she walked down the aisle to India Arie’s “Ready for Love.”
Yes, it takes courage.
It takes tenacity.
It takes getting out there and making yourself available.
It takes no settling for someone who doesn’t make you happy
Though you don’t won’t to necessarily wear your singleness on your sleeves, it is necessary to declare your availability. We sometimes tuck our single status in our back pockets. Revelation is part of the process. Rejection may be encountered, but determination will ultimately bring positive results.
Sharing your life with the man that you love is a beautiful thing. Companionship is great!
God knew that it was not good for man to be alone, thus he created woman. Love, companionship, eternal bliss of marriage will never grow old. Yes, read my lips. I can’t speak for you, but I declare – loneliness is for the lonely; it is no fun! I have seen the effects of it and how it torches your spirit and torments your soul.
Get up, go, and find your soulmate. He’s out there.
Sure, you can ignore your bed of unhappiness, loneliness, and unfulfilment. You can fool yourself and others, but eventually the truth raises its head.
You can even become a serial busy body. Filling your day with work, tasks, and activities are not cure-alls. They are merely timekeepers to pass the day.
I say, “Wake up and smell the coffee.” Don’t be left out in the cold alone (Brrr!) lonely, and without the love of your life. Besides, 60 is the new 40.
Get your groove on!
Photo credit: www.people.com (Richard and Tina).
When we are involved in relationships, it is serious business!
Attachments are formed.
Familiarity becomes a standard.
When our relationships work, happiness abounds.
When they don’t, discontentment is our by-product.
Getting rid of the bad apples and walking away are not always easy tasks.
We may find ourselves with folks who should have left light years ago.
What should we do … keep them around or let them go?
Neil Sedaka sang to us in the 1970’s, “Breaking up is hard to do!”
Kenny Rogers harmonized, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em; know when to fold ’em; know when to walk away; know when to run.”
Challenging, isn’t it?
Therefore, it is imperative that we are careful and selective about who we let into our lives and into our precious space.
Invariably, leaving is not easy when there is sticky relationship residue all over the place. Disconnecting can be even harder.
Whether it is in a good or bad way, people “rub off!”
Sweet is better than bitter; good is better than bad.
One thing is for sure.
We live with our choices – good or bad.
Photo credit: www.pininterest.com
A scorned woman – I am sure that you know or have encountered or heard of a few. Before you start shaking your head, allow me to provide a simple
definition. A scorned woman is a woman rejected in love who can become very angry and dangerous. Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned. There is nothing as unpleasant as a woman who has been offended or whose love has not been returned.
The scorned woman proverb was adapted from a line in the play, The Mourning Bride, by William Congreve, an English author of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Some things never grow old.
The proverb is vibrantly alive hundred of years later if and when fed the right stimuli. Scorn her and you can be in for the fight of your life.
R. Kelly sung about her some years ago, but maybe the point needs a revisit. His poetic words harmonized to music are below. Sing along.
“Cuz when a woman’s fed up
No matter how you beg,
It ain’t nothing you can do about it
It’s like running out of love
And then it’s too late to talk about it.”
A scorned woman wants revenge; a strong woman moves on! What a contrast!
Usually out of control, some scorned women get very creative with their feelings via demonstrations to highlight the trauma and drama of the aftermath effects. Property damage is usually an inviting target.
Only reason and sensibilities exempt women from ditching their angelic wings to lifting the devil’s red fork.
We saw Angela Bassett (Bernadine) on “Waiting to Exhale” throw out her hubby’s clothes, load them in his car, before setting it a blaze.
We saw Meredith Baxter in the true story portrayal of Betty Broderick drive her SUV into her ex’s luxury house among other injurious acts before she pulled the trigger.
Before you say, those were actresses, think again! Recount those real life acts from the diaries of the scorned woman that resonate throughout the gossip mills.
As the saying goes, “An investigative woman does better research than the FBI.”
A scorned woman will reiterate Flip Wilson’s line in a jack flash minute, “The devil made her do it!” To my male followers, be honorable and upright or watch your back.
Don’t put yourself in Lucifer’s shoes. He got thrown out of heaven. A hint to the wise is sufficient!
Photo credit: www.southbayriders.com
Are you in a relationship by yourself?
Does that question seem unrealistic?
How can you be in a relationship, a state of being reserved for two people, by yourself? It doesn’t add up or make sense.
Before you have an Einstein Relativity Moment, do know that it is possible.
Some may have experienced the effects.
It’s akin to swimming upstream.
It’s like talking to yourself hearing the echo of only one voice; yours.
The emotionless Gravity is penetrating.
Your mate is ever so present physically, but emotionally and mentally he is not there.
Speaking of lonely and facing the world alone in the presence of someone that you love and who purportedly love you, now you have it!
Is your or his heart closed?
Are you or him withdrawn or uncommunicative?
Are you or him unavailable whereby you are disconnected from each other?
Are you or him unrealistically judgmental of each other (thoughts, feelings, looks, actions) to the extent that you are overwhelmed and cannot handle conflict?
Are you lonely with him in the room?
Hush your mouth!
It is not a good feeling; trust me.
Where did the love go?
Can it be restored to its once beheld luster?
Sure, it can!
The only requirement is that it takes two!
If both of you cannot commit to the emotional and loving wellbeing of each other, you are walking in the sand alone; this time without the view of adjacent footprints.
If that happens …
You are indeed tragically alone physically and emotionally in the relationship by yourself!
Loneliness isn’t fun.
Now the question becomes …
Why are you there?
Will you stay?
Photo credit: www.quoteswave.com
We often use the phrase, “He’s a Man’s Man.” Exactly, what does that mean? A colleague recently sent me an article where Dick Powell of Leadership Wrangler explains it nicely. It was right on point.
Take a look.
“A man’s man is a get it done with no excuses kind of guy. A guy that could wear a tux one day and a pair of overhauls the next. A guy that knows his way around a tool box and a board room.”
Wow, this description sounds good!
I’m getting excited!
Let’s examine the other defining characteristics:
“Self-Reliant: He is able to tackle any challenge, carries himself with self-confidence and dignity. He takes care of himself and knows his capabilities and limitations.
Personal Presentation: He walks with a sense of direction and confidence. No matter what he is doing, he is dressed in clean and presentable attire. He knows and understands the message he is sending before he speaks. He smiles, has a firm handshake, listens intently, and presents a calm, carrying exterior. He takes care of himself – Body, Mind, and Spirit.
Articulate: He can speak to anyone with the correct words and is constantly learning new ways to build relationships. He uses his speech as a tool to communicate fully his ideas, dreams and desires. He pronounces each word distinctly, carefully, weighted, and with timing for measure.
Trustworthy: His word and handshake are is his bond. He does what he says he will do with no excuses. He feels foul play is traitorous.
Open: He has no hidden agendas or secrets. He is open and honest in all his dealings at work, at home and at play.
Balanced: He knows how to balance his career with his personal life. He has a set of values that he lives by and will not sway from. He takes time for recreation and rest.
Vision: He has a written vision for where he will end up in life. It will become his personal future picture. He can and will communicate it to others.
Mission: He knows what his calling in life is. He explores ways and takes steps that move him toward what it is that he is here on earth to accomplish. If he does not know what his calling is, he is man enough to seek out someone to help him discover it and put it into action.
Strategy: He has a daily plan, that is more than just a “to do” list. It will become a road map to living his mission and achieving his vision.
Intentional: He is intentional in all that he does, at home, at work, in his personal life, and when dealing with others.
Kind: He treats everyone with respect no matter where they work, live, or dress. He spreads kindness everywhere.
Integrity: He always does the right thing, even when no one is watching.
Accountability: He is first accountable to himself for all of his decisions, both bad and good. He takes ownership of his choices. He handles his business well.
Courteous: Opens doors for all entering – both tangible and intangible.”
What a man!
I don’t know about you, but this is exactly the type of man that I want in my life. Just reading about his attributes is a turn on!
A man’s man is strong but gentle; firm but considerate; compassionate, caring …the list goes on.
For sure, he is recognizable and stands out from the crowd!
He is personally, professionally, and spiritually grounded!
I want a man who takes care of business with me in mind.
Who wants a selfish whimp who only cares about himself?
Is a man’s man – few and in between; a rarity at best?
With a show of hands, how many men do you know who fit this definition?
I’m looking in the audience, but I don’t see your hand in the air.
The answer speaks for itself!
Photo Credit: www.bing/images.com; Source: Dick Powell, Leadership Wrangler
We know that the Bible tells us to not forsake the gathering of ourselves. That we should do!
Sometimes, for a number of circumstances or misfortunes, we cannot make it to the church house. So let’s bring church to those who are in the hospital rooms or whose legs won’t carry them.
Technology can transport you anywhere – instantly.
Last Sunday, as I sat by my Mother’s hospital bed, I took her to church using my iPad. We listened to sermons and her favorite gospel songs. Mother even asked me to play a song or two by my favorite, Aretha Franklin. With Aretha singing “Precious Lord,” Mahalia Jackson singing “Troubles of the World,” and The Williams Brothers singing “Cooling Waters,” it was as if she and I were visually worshipping in Glen Allan, Mississippi.
I invite you to travel with us this Sunday! You will see a number of churches along the way on Highway #1 from Greenville to Glen Allan.
As we travel, allow me to share with you some history. Our churches have not only been the foundation of our spirituality, they have served as the building blocks of our freedom. From the days of slavery, our church was the only place where we could be free; the only place where we could lift our voices without fear. Our churches, many worn, some in disrepair have seen a lot. They have served as school houses; some served as Head Start centers; some were meeting places to plan civil rights strategies; some were burned down to the ground by the vigilante KKK. But no matter what role they have served, we as a people refused to let the only thing that we owned be taken away from us.
Continued has been our worshipping chants whose sounds of voice and praise traveled inside out from the wood burning chimneys to the dirt covered streets. Nothing beats the sounds of the chanting rhythmic preachers like Glen Allan’s own Rev. Dorsey or the singing pastors like Rev. Gibbs or the late Rev. Addison whose voices are/were so rich that they could sing acapella to the pleasurable delight of their worshippers.
When the swaying choir sings “There will be a brighter day ahead” with pianists like Mary Davis, Minnie Boxdale, or Darryl Kingdom tinkling the piano keys that need tuning but their playing is so aficionado that you notice not the difference; instead, your soul is filled with the Holy Ghost!
Let me not forget those praying deacons like Ed Duffin and Clifton Lewis.
So as I played gospels on You Tube, my Mother reminiscenced about service at her church, Stranger’s Home. Amazingly, she was somewhat placed there emotionally. It was just a typical Sunday service where the Mothers of the church dressed in pure snow white encouraged you and held your hand; where the members prayed with you and for you; where all of God’s children are free to worship the Lord! Oh what a mighty God we serve! Let the church say amen!
Later today, I will travel technologically with my ailing Mother so that she can have church again because nothing makes her feel better than the spirit of the Lord!
Photo credit: www.folklife.si.edu
Several years ago, I had the opportunity to see the Broadway musical, Motown.
The show was fantastic!
The musical opened with the Tempting Temptations and the cast included performances by the Four Tops, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, Martha Reeves & The Vandellas, The Jackson Five, Stevie Wonder, Smokey Robinson, Mary Wells, The Commodores, Teena Marie, Rick James, Gladys Knight and the Pips, and so many legendary artists and groups.
With Berry Gordy at the forefront, the story was told as you mentally walked back in history because many of the lyrics reflected the times. In reality, many songs are just words about life put to music! There are love songs; songs that tell of joy, abuse and misuse; happiness and sadness. The words run the gamut of life experiences.
Although I danced and sung to the top of my vocal chords, the Motowm musical is more than a play about songs, artists, choreography, and Motown.
It’s about life!
It is a demonstration of a man fulfilling and living his dream; a man who wouldn’t take “NO” for an answer; a man who defied the odds!
It is a testimony … as Diana Ross’ famous words to Berry, “If you can think it, I can do it!” All dreams start with an idea! It is left up to us to make them come true.
Berry Gordy did!
We can too!
Photo credit: www.en.wikipedia.org