Archive for the ‘Spiritual’ Category
Though my blog is dedicated to a spiritual topic every Sunday, please know that my prayers and worship, (and I am sure yours), are not limited to Sundays only.
The Bible instructs us to pray incessantly.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are told to “pray continually.” Luke 18:1 instructs us “to pray and not give up.” Prayer is one of the purest forms of worship; a direct form of communicating with God.
For me, daily prayer is soothing; it’s therapeutic; it’s my private, one on one communicative time with the Lord.
I cannot start my day off with thanking God! I take the time to do so! My morning prayer helps to shape my day. During the day, prayer will help to order my conduct, particularly with challenging people and situations.
Prayer changes things!
For certain, “pray always; always pray” is a wise admonition.
I must add my late Mother’s long time phrase, “If you gonna pray, don’t worry. If you gonna worry, don’t pray! Put your faith in the Lord and let it stay there!”
As I pray this morning, I have so much to be thankful for…
I thank you Lord for giving me a praying Mother!
Thank you Father for waking my family and me up this morning!
Thank you Lord for your covering grace, your provisions, your protection, your mercy, your blessings …
Thank you Lord for everything!
Happy Sunday and blessings to my reading audience and beyond!
Photo credit: www.wild-wood-mark.com
On this day as we honor Dr. Martin Luther King, I reflect.
Yes, progress has been made, but there is so much more work to do as we live in a world where prejudices remain vibrant.
We must continue our strides to respect people as God created all mankind to be equal.
Today, on the only national holiday that honors a Black man, let’s stroll back in history to 1963. Let’s hear his dream!
Before an audience of over 250,000 people from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King delivered his famous “I have a dream” speech which was unequivocally one of the most defining moments of the Civil Rights Movement.
“So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire; let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York; let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania; let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado; let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that. Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia; let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee; let freedom ring from every hill and mole hill of Mississippi. “From every mountainside, let freedom ring.”
And when this happens, and when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: “Free at last. Free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last.”
Photo reprint: www.teachingamericanhistory.org (Excerpts from Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech, August 28, 1963, March on Washington). ”
Though lengthy, the below information provides some interesting and historical facts about Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Marian Anderson was scheduled to lead the National Anthem but was unable to arrive on time; Camilla Williams performed in her place. Following an invocation by Archbishop Patrick O’Boyle, the opening remarks were given by march director A. Philip Randolph, followed by Eugene Carson Blake. A tribute to “Negro Women Fighters for Freedom” was then led by Bayard Rustin, at which Daisy Bates spoke briefly in place of Myrlie Evers, who had missed her flight. The tribute introduced Daisy Bates, Diane Nash, Prince E. Lee, Rosa Parks, and Gloria Richardson. The following speakers were SNCC chairman John Lewis, labor leader Walter Reuther and CORE chairman Floyd McKissick(substituting for arrested CORE director James Farmer). The Eva Jessye Choir then sang, and Rabbi Uri Miller (president of the Synagogue Council of America) offered a prayer, followed by National Urban League director Whitney Young, NCCIJ director Mathew Ahmann, and NAACP leader Roy Wilkins. After a performance by singer Mahalia Jackson, American Jewish Congress president Joachim Prinz spoke, followed by SCLC president Martin Luther King, Jr. Rustin then read the march’s official demands for the crowd’s approval, and Randolph led the crowd in a pledge to continue working for the march’s goals. The program was closed with a benediction by Morehouse College president Benjamin Mays.
The focus on “I have a dream” comes through the speech’s delivery. Toward the end of its delivery, noted African American gospel singer Mahalia Jackson shouted to King from the crowd, “Tell them about the dream, Martin.”[ King stopped delivering his prepared speech, and started “preaching”, punctuating his points with “I have a dream.”
Gospel legend Mahalia Jackson sang “How I Got Over”, and Marian Anderson sang “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”. Joan Baez led the crowds in several verses of “We Shall Overcome” and “Oh Freedom”. Musician Bob Dylan performed “When the Ship Comes In”, for which he was joined by Baez. Dylan also performed “Only a Pawn in Their Game.”Peter, Paul and Mary sang “If I Had a Hammer” and Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind”. Odetta sang “I’m On My Way.”
1. The event was officially titled the “March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.”
2. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
3. The march was organized by the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement: A. Philip Randolph, Whitney M. Young, Jr., Martin Luther King, Jr., James Farmer, Roy Wilkins, and John Lewis. Bayard Rustin was chief organizer of the march.
4. Between 200,000 and 250,000 Americans, mostly African-Americans, but including thousands of whites, held the march in order to focus attention on blacks’ demands for immediate equality in jobs and civil rights.
5. The marchers were entertained by celebrities, including Ossie Davis, Joan Baez, Bobby Darin, Odetta, Bob Dylan, Peter, Paul and Mary, and Jackie Robinson. Other celebrities who were present included actors Marlon Brando, Charlton Heston, Harry Belafonte,Burt Lancaster, Paul Newman, Diahann Carroll, Lena Horne, Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis, Jr., and writer James Baldwin.
6. Law enforcement included 5,000 police, National Guardsmen and Army reservists. No marchers were arrested and no incidents concerning marchers were reported.
7. Ten leaders of the civil rights march met with President John F. Kennedy, Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson, Labor Secretary W. Willard Wirtz, and Burke Marshall, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, in the cabinet room of the White House during the demonstration.
8. The leaders were:
-A. Philip Randolph, director of the march
-Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference
-Roy Wilkins, executive secretary of the NAACP
-Whitney M. Young Jr., executive director of the National Urban League
-Walter P. Reuther, president of the AFL-CIO United Automobile Workers
-Reverend Eugene Carson Blake, Stated Clerk of the United Presbyterian Church in U.S.A. and a representative of the National Council of Churches
-Rabbi Joachim Prinz, chairman of the American Jewish Congress
-John Lewis, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee
-Matthew Ahmann, executive director of the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice
-Floyd B. McKissick, national chairman of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).
Original copy of the speech
As King waved goodbye to the audience, he handed George Raveling the original typewritten “I Have a Dream” speech. Raveling, an all-American basketball player from Villanova, had volunteered as a security guard for the event and was on the podium with King at that moment. Raveling still has custody of the original copy and has been offered as high as $3,000,000 for it, but claims to have no intention of selling it, with plans on leaving it to his children instead.
Source: www.en.m.wikipedia.org; www.cnn.com
Do you really help people from your heart by committing total assistance and resources or do you give a token gift or nothing at all? With a token gift, you can pat yourself on the back and say that you helped a person in need, but did you do all that you could comfortably do?
Most folks dress up their “giving” answer, because who wants to look bad!
Regardless of one’s camouflage, God knows the real answer!
God saw what you had, what you gave, what you kept, and what you could have given!
In 1 John 3:17, we find this scriptural admonition.
“If anyone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion on them… How can God’s love be in that person?”
Think before you speak.
Be true to thine self!
You can be disillusioned.
You can fool folks; you can even fool yourself, but you can’t fool God!
Photo credit: www.indulgy.com
Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
Opportunities come and go.
Contrary to popular opinion, they do come around more than once.
It should be our goal to take advantage of all of them, rather than waiting on another one to appear.
When we cannot cash in on an opportunity, particularly a desirable one, frustrations and disappointments can easily fill our space. Sometimes the lack of accomplishing an opportunity can dampen our spirits.
As tough as it may be – stay determined and keep going.
Look forward, not backwards!
There is no time to be in the “dumps.”
There are opened and closed doors for a reason or reasons. Sometimes your entry or exit may be counted as blessings instead of regrets.
1. Some doors were meant to close…so that you can go in a new direction.
You may have to do the following.
2. Nail some doors shut if you have to. Let go!
3. Stop looking at the closed door so that your eyes will see the new one open.
4. Expect more closed doors to follow. Sometimes more than one need to close for you to find the right one.
5. Remove fear. Don’t be scared of the open door. They may signal opportunities. Go for it!
6. Kick down a door that you really want opened. Make your own path.
7. Control your emotions. Don’t get upset when your closed door opens for someone else. That door was meant for them, not you.
As it relates to closed door, old folks in their infinite spiritual insight would say, “God has another plan for you. Go where he leads you. He may want you to be somewhere else.”
Keep in mind that closed doors are similar to roadblocks deterring you from the wrong path so that you get on the right one.
Be prepared so that when the right door swings opens, you will be ready to maximize the opportunities as you capably walk in and capture the splendor!
Photo credit: www.yourgreatpower.com
Years ago, on one of my daughter’s summer vacation trips to Mississippi, she and her girlfriends were in church. So the adolescents decided to “get happy” pretending that they had been filled with the Holy Ghost.
As they were allegedly “shouting,” the little girls started rolling on the floor. Much to her chagrin, when my daughter opened her eyes, she saw her perturbed Grandmother standing before her. Her Grandma Phoebe with her Bible in her hands sternly said to her namesake, “Little Phoebe, if you don’t get up off that floor, I am gonna tear your tail up! You don’t play with God!”
Telling the story invokes laughter now, but it wasn’t funny to my daughter at the time.
It was quite embarrassing.
It did however teach her about the sacredness of God and provided a lifelong spiritual lesson. Galatians 6:7 states, “Do not be deceived. God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.”
Although this story is one of her favorite spiritual childhood memories and Grandma stories about her trips down South, she holds dear Galatians 6:9 as a spiritual cornerstone. “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time, we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Photo credit: www.it’sablackthang.com
Words, words, words!
You have to think them before you say them.
So guards your thoughts.
Words can uplift you.
They can also bring you down!
That small tongue given the wrong words has the capacity to produce big damaging results/consequences.
Once you spit them out, you cannot take them back.
Can you remember hurtful words that were said to you years ago?
Likewise, you can also remember the words that inspired, encouraged, and motivated you!
If you can remember what others said to you, they can undoubtedly remember what you said to them.
Proverbs 21:23 tells us that “Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.”
Therefore, select and speak your words carefully.
The ears that hear them will for sure – retain them.
Conscientiously, think of their impact which can echo in someone’s ears, mind, and heart for a lifetime!
Simply said – Be careful about what you say!
Quote: Pastor Joel Osteen, Lakewood Church.
The day has finally arrived!
All of the traditional gentleness and happiness of Christmas permeates throughout the air.
Some celebrate the “White Christmas” that they dreamed of having. Peppermint candy canes, yummy gingerbread houses, glowing scented candles, stuffed Christmas stockings are everywhere.
The house smells of love! Gift wrapped presents with decorative bows are marvelously scattered under the Christmas tree. Family and friends are displaying bountiful love.
Children are thrilled at what Santa brought them. With Rudolph and his reindeer companions parked in a sleigh on top of the roof, some of the younger ones claim they saw Mr. Claus easing down the chimney!
The kitchen is filled with the aromas of Honey baked ham, turkey and dressing, home made rolls, sweet potato pies, chocolate cake, egg nog, and countless flavorful delectable dishes.
“Joy to the World” and timeless Christmas carols – one after another – are being played. (Silent Night, “The Temptations” style is my favorite).
A galaxy of colorful scenic lights and nativity scenes are on every street corner and fill every room of our homes.
Yes, Christmas is a day of giving; a day of love; but more importantly – the day that we celebrate the birth of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
He is the reason for the season!
“O come let us adore him.” Let’s rejoice and give thanks as we pray for our well being and that of our loved ones/families, the less fortunate, the lonely … and for a better world.
Let us show immense thoughtfulness, incredible caring, and undying love to one another!
Let us remember and never forget the memories of those that we love who are not with us in the flesh, but who are smiling as they watch us from the Heavens! Their love for us and ours for them is forever and a day.
As “Hark, the Herald Angels” sing “Glory to the new born king” – “Let there be peace on earth!”
Photo credit: www.brespres.org
Lord, I come to you today in prayer.
My thoughts go places that they should not.
My mind thinks things that should not enter my space.
My heart pumps feelings that I wish did not exist.
I try hard to be descent, fair, kind, and respectful.
I need your helping hands God!
I ask you Father to “order my steps in your word dear Lord. Lead me and guide me everyday; teach me your will.”
Help me to be the best Mother, Granny, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend, author, professional, and person that I can be!
Help me to walk in the footsteps of goodness!
Show me how to forget and forgive.
Forgive me for my indiscretions.
Put righteousness and kindness in my spirit.
Place the rights words in my mouth.
Anchor my soul in the streams that you see fit.
Let my conduct, speech, and all that I do glorify your name.
Keep my thoughts wholesome.
Allow me to have helping hands to support those in need spiritually, financially, emotionally and in all ways.
Let love flow from me like water downstream.
Surround me with people who love me and that I love.
Keep me on bended knee so that I stay prayerful and honor your holy name.
Guide me Lord.
Stay by my side.
I know that I can achieve greatness when you walk with me Lord!
Thank you Father for your love, grace, mercy, protection, guidance and all that you have done for my family and me!
Photo credit: www.smg.photobucket.com
When I left my Mississippi home in my twenties to explore career opportunities, I excitedly eloped from the cotton fields and the country landscape to the skyscrapers, bright lights / big city surroundings. My résumé was figuratively glued to my hand; ready to be presented in a jack flash minute. I was as thrilled about the geographical change as I was about the career opportunities. As I pondered what position would be worthy of my talents, I couldn’t wait to establish roots.
My Mother was eager for me to be a productive contributor to my life’s expenses as well. Encouraging me to explore the secular world, she gave me stimulating, unforgettable admonition on another front. “Make sure that you join church up there. Everybody needs their name on a church’s roll.”
After I became a productive member of the work force, she routinely reminded me of her spiritual advice. “If you can get up and go to your workplace five days a week, it would be sinful to sleep in on Sundays. Get up and go into the house of the Lord. Child, I don’t want to get to Heaven and not see you there!”
Thank you Momma for annoying me! You definitely made me a better person in so many areas. I joined church in Cleveland, Ohio and I am there (God willing) every Sunday just like you taught me.
Unbeknownst to me, I found myself providing the same admonition to my children. Distinctively in 2002, before returning to Cleveland, I remember telling my daughter when I dropped her off at college in Atlanta, “Remember what I taught you. Do the same things here that you did at home. You went to church at home, do the same here.” My daughter joined church in Atlanta; she attended religiously. Recognizably similar, those were the same words that my Mother told me; just uttered differently. Wow! We do become our Mothers, don’t we?
Photo Reprint: Bethlehem No. 2 MB Church, Shaw, Mississippi; Photographer – Tom Rankin.
In the beginning God created the family. Scriptural counsel clearly outlines the foundation for families when Eve was created as a companion for Adam; when they were told to be fruitful and multiply; and to bring up their children with an obedience to the Word.
The Bible defines the familial roles for husbands, wives, and children.
Indeed, the family is God’s masterpiece; a testament of his love.
Families provide love, cohesiveness, and unity.
As a team, families confront and deal with concerns and problems.
There is strength and comfort in numbers. Who knew that better than our Heavenly Father?
I love, adore, cherish, and respect my family!
I have always seen my role to maternally and solidly provide guidance, wisdom, protection, and teaching to my family. I pray that I measure up to God’s standards.
I also ask and pray for God’s love, support, direction, and blessings as we as a family lovingly, diplomatically, and obediently move progressively forward as a united front following his Word. We need each other today, tomorrow, always!
Prayer strengthens us; it always has; it always will! Let the family say Amen!
Photo credit: www.allaboutGod.com