Monday, December 26, 2016

HOSANNA BE LIFTED HIGHER Israel Houghton and New Breed BY EYDELY WORSHIP...

Monday, December 19, 2016

DICK'S Sporting Goods Presents: Fifth Ward Saints

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Seek Search Seize ~ Matthew 6:33

On last Wednesday I'm driving home from work and simply pressed record on my phone. I pray this blesses you.


Yet, The Keeper


The doll sat years unattended to
After being separated from the last owner
The doll didn’t get passed around
Or selected by another owner
Yet, she sat
In her splendor she allowed the Light to shine on her
To heal 
To learn 
To grow
As fate would have it the former keeper reemerged
A better version from before
He knew how to find her
And he did
Yet, he was scared
Frightened
Unsure
He had been hidden in the darkness
Yet, her light gave him hope
Hope that offered him peace
Yet, he was scared
More so he didn’t want to harm 
Or separate from
What he now realized 
He always had
The very treasure he had been searching for




Check out #dollkeeper



Unraveled


So, it's been 7 weeks and 1 day. How do I know that? I just do and today is my birthday eve so I have all kinds of thoughts and emotions. Back in February 2009 a relationship ended that broke my heart, left me sad and hating snow days. If I were real honest he and I shouldn't have been together then. I was separated and nearing divorce and he had stuff going on. We tried. It didn't work.

     When it ended it was like "ugh" another failed relationship. So for the past 7 years I've focused on my sons, ministry, work, you name it and I was doing it. I was busy. When I wasn't busy, I was sleepy because.... Well, I was busy.

     Honestly, I remember the weekend leading up to him reappearing. I had made a candle of hydrangea, lavender and chamomile. On that Sunday I lit it and said, "He would love this candle." I'm so serious when I say that the very next day I heard from him.

     What I believed to be that moment of openness and forgiveness quickly moved to the cover being removed off a hurt that I had carried and masked as being ok. I had to face myself and say honestly, "You've never healed." It still hurts. Now I was becoming not myself. It felt like my perfect ball of yarn had become unraveled. My truth about yarn is that I buy it and 1 of 2 people put it in a neat ball for me because I don't know how. Boy! Was this now more evident as I tried to maintain. I couldn't put the yarn back into a ball.

     I became frustrated, sad, and angry. I called on my friend Lauren, who is always a beacon of light. I called on God because now isn't a good time for dude to show up. As gentle as God is, He softly said, "I knew he would come. You have to deal with it because you never really have."

     My friend and I have had hard conversations and I mean hard. One day he repeated to me things I said to him or I did while we were together. I never voiced it but I thought, "Did I say that?" I'd always shared what he did or said. I had to be honest with self, yet again, I seldom revealed my hand in this. This is not to defend him but to disclose that I wasn't perfect in that relationship. To top it off one Sunday, Quiera came all the way from Atlanta to tell me through a sermon that sometimes it's not everyone else, sometimes it's you. "Who?" Smh. Yeah, it's time for me to self reflect.

     About 19 years ago I met him. He had me at hello. Our friendship survived downsizing, Katrina and failed relationships on both ends. We'd always had each other's backs until we became a couple. We were so used to always going to each other when crisis hit that we had no idea how to be out of crisis and at peace with each other.

     When I lit that beautifully scented candle I had not idea that at the thought of him, he would appear. Just maybe this will foster healing for both of us so that we can move forward. I know one thing for sure and two things for certain being unraveled is for the birds. I need to learn how to patiently put this yarn back into a ball.

*written 11.15.16 #mybirthdayeve



Sunday, December 11, 2016

Doll Keeper by Elliptical

Now this is an illusion we have seen before 
On my gloomiest days
I love when I see one in traffic or walking around the store
But the few I hold in the highest regard
The polynomial perplexed heavenly powerful
A circumference 360 degrees
No reform needed or modification
See, I've been all around the country
In and out of antique stores
Flee markets, houses, homes, and some hiding places
Looking for sweet-hearted, attractive and unalike
Just to make, organize, completely comparison section to none exhibition
In a lifelong process
Particular I am
And there's nothing wrong with me
Some collect
Collect to keep Collect to sale
But I'll keep looking  
And there's no wage in the world 
That can make me part with my doll

Monday, October 31, 2016

10 year Pastor Anniversary for Pastor Mike Scruggs. #GetLow Light of The...

The Wind Will Calm Down




This past week has been one for the books for me.  After coming home to a flooded bathroom that resulted in two flooded bedrooms and a hallway my insurance company sent a mitigation company to our home. When they entered our home I heard what they said, I just didn’t know what they meant. He told me that they had to run heated fans nonstop for consecutive days until everything was dry. You know that blank stare emoticon in your phone? Yeah, that was me. 

So the company marched in 4 fans and two humidifiers that ran constantly for 5 consecutive days. My nerves started to take a hit. I like white noise but six machines at one time? By the fourth night I decided to take my sanity back. After not sleeping in my bedroom for 3 nights, I said enough is enough. I told the fans, “I’m going to sleep in here tonight and I’m going to sleep well.” Guess what? It worked.

At some point last night I texted a friend and told her, “I’m sleeping in the wind tunnel.”

I’m here to let someone know this morning, “The Wind Will Calm Down”.

In Mark 4:38 -41

“Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

The first thing I want to bring out about this text is verse 38. Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. While everyone else was running around the boat worrying about the storm. Jesus was sleep. Not only was he sleep, but he was asleep on a cushion. Jesus was sleeping well. 

After the disciples woke him up, he got up rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quite! Be still!” The next thing that I want to bring up is that the only reason Jesus woke up was because someone woke him up. The wind and the waves were a nonfactor to him. After Jesus spoke to the wind, it died down and it was completely calm. Then Jesus turned to His disciples and asked them, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” The King James Version Matthew 8:26 reads, “O ye of little faith.”

Do you have the faith of Jesus to sleep during the blowing winds and the crashing waves? Are you able to rest peacefully knowing that if Jesus can sleep through a storm you can too? 

During yesterday’s sermon Pastor Mike told us that radical living requires radical faith. Are you ready to stretch your faith to the point of being able to rest on a cushion while riding through the storm?

In 1991 Yolanda Adams released her 2nd studio album, “Through The Storm” one of my favorite lines in the song is; I have no fear of the raging seas, knowing Jesus will forever be right here with me. He can speak to wind, to my enemies and to waves and He’ll make them all behave. 

You too have the power to speak to your storm. Tell your storm, “ You are not on my list of things to deal with today.” I’m a King’s child and I have stuff to do. Though wait a minute, let me tell you what I have learned. Storms generally come in my life when I have great things to do in life. If you take a look over your life, it may be the same for you. Storm come to stop us, to discourage us from doing those things that we are destined to accomplish. 

Because God has given us so much. He requires much more. So even in your storm don’t stop praising God, studying His word and worshipping Him. Your responsibility is not only great but it impacts other people. Imagine if you have a task to do and the storm comes and you get discouraged, what you don’t know is the impact it has on people when you don’t do what God has called you to do. 

The next time adversity rises speak to it. Tell it to move. Tell it there’s no room for it here because I have Kingdom business to accomplish. 

Mark 11:23-24 KJV Reads…

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
As I reflect on the fact that I slept well after speaking to my situation, I now realize that it could have been that way for the entire week. The power was in my speaking to my situation. I encourage you this morning to not let another day go by without you speaking to your situation. The wind will calm down. You can quiet the winds and the waves completely but you can also go to sleep on the cushion and ride the storm out because Jesus knew that trouble doesn’t last always. Let’s pray. 



Monday, October 17, 2016

Chase What Matters

Morning Mannah 10.17.16

Good Morning. I pray that your day is getting off to a wonderful start. I’ve already started to ask God to bless your week indeed and to simply shower your family and you with blessings beyond what you can contain.

This morning I’m going to touch on some thoughts from our current series Stretch Marks. Last week during the sermon a phrase popped in my thoughts. Chase What Matters. Several times I’ve tweeted that phrase because I often think, “I need to chase what matters.” For some reason last Sunday after service I tweeted, Chase what matters. If you’re not being chased.. well.. maybe you don’t matter.

That could pertain to relationships, to employment opportunities, to business ventures. It can pertain to our relationship with God, if we’re not chasing Him.. Well..  It’s probably easiest to discuss this as this relates to relationships. Let’s say you have a person you may be interested in. If that someone is not pursuing you, chasing after you, you may not be the person they are seeking.

In 2008 Chase Bank launched a new campaign to promote their range of banking services including credit cards, student loans, retail banking etc. They planned to spend over $70 million to launch the program entitled “Chase What Matters” In their black and white advertisement under the slogan read: You want to make the most of your time and money. That’s our priority too. Because what matters to you matters to Chase.

This morning, let’s repurpose that phrase.

You want to make the most of your time and money. That’s God’s priority too. Because what matters to you matters to God and if we switch that around it will say what matters to God, should matter to you. Chase what matters. You will hear this phrase so much because I believe that it’s necessary so that when a situation just doesn’t feel right you will know to chase what matters. To chase what is important. To chase what counts.

“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 3:13-14 KJV

I press toward, I go after the things of God.

Often times we are out searching for things that God never intended for us to have. We get our feelings hurt, our heartbroken and then we go to God in despair. Sometimes, at least for me, I hear God say, “I know you’re hurting but I never wanted that for you. You wanted that for yourself.” Ouch. That hurts.

We are in the series Stretch Mark and last week Pastor Mike talked about being pursued. You see if you are pursuing something you are going after it you are chasing it. We have to pause and ask the question. Are you chasing what matters? Are you chasing those things that God wants for you? Are you chasing God? Do you know where He can be found?

Seek the Lord while he may be found: call on Him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6

One of the things that we have to understand is that sometimes we can’t find God to call on Him because we don’t where He is. We are not in our Word daily. We are not worshipping Him in spirit and truth. To us He is lost but every moment in His eyes we can be found if we seek Him.

With the pressing issues we have in our lives are we taking the time to seek the Lord while he may be found? It’s so easy to get busy with family, finances and Facebook, let’s keep it real, that we forget about God. We forget about His promises and those things that He has purposed for us. We put Him on the back burner and we look for Him when things are not going right. Our God wants us to chase Him. The songwriter says in the song Chasing After You, I’m chasing after you, no matter what I have to do, cause I need Him more and more. He goes on later in the song to say Just to be close to you, I’m chasing after you.

Now, that sounds like a stalker. I’m chasing after you. No matter what I have to do. Just to be close to you. If someone says that to you, you might want to rethink your relationship with that person. But as it relates to my Father who knows all things and see all things I want to go after Him. Wherever He is, is where I want to be. I want to chase after Him because He matters. His desire for our lives matters. His will matters. His presence matters.  

In the first part of this series we heard: If we want to see God move. Make a move.
In the 2nd part of this series we heard: In order to know God’s will you have to be close to Him. You can only get close to Him by chasing after Him.
Yesterday we heard about wait training, we don’t wait on people. We wait on God. We are waiting on a God who is and is in all things.

What’s important to God should be important to you. God has blessed all of us with so many gifts and talents and He desires that we go to where He is to use to gifts to give Him honor and glory. On the way home from church I’m verbally creating an outline for Morning Mannah. I say out loud, God if you are going left, I’m going left too. If you’re going right, I’m going right too. Tyler then asks me, “Mom, what if you’re in the right lane and God wants to go left?” I immediately responded’ I’m going to flash my blinkers to get in the left lane so that I can go where God is going.”

If I’m going to be a true stalker of my Father then I have to pay attention to the direction in which He is going. Even it means interrupting what’s going on to flash my blinkers to get in the correct lane. Let us all continue to seek Him while He may be found.

Apparently I love commercials because to end Morning Mannah, I’m going to combine Chase and American Family Insurance with a phrase that I pray blesses you.

Your dream is out there. Go get it. God will protect it. Chase what matters.

I pray this blesses you.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Must Hear Kylan & Terrell Rogers

At a time in our country where we hear and see so many negative images of African American boys this video comes along and not only blesses us but sends us straight into worship.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Monday, September 12, 2016

It's All In The Presentation




Last week my son and I went to a Labor Day cookout. Tyler took his frisbee and his football with him. When it was time to go it was dark and the hostess and Tyler were able to locate the frisbee but not the football. She told me that when she found it, she would let me know. And she did, via Facebook. 

So, let’s get to Sunday. First off, let me say this. Service was so awesome yesterday!!! During Praise and Worship Ms. Lovi acknowledged she had something for me, and I went over to get it. What grabbed my attention immediately was the packaging. I knew what she was bringing but I didn't anticipate the packaging. 

She had placed the football in a blue gift bag with blue tissue paper. In my mind I thought, she didn’t have to do that she could have put it in a Kroger bag or just given it to one of us. But she didn’t. She took the time to package it in such a manner that it felt like a gift. It looked like a gift. I knew that I would write about this. I just didn't know the direction I would take. So, I started talking to God and thinking about Joseph’s coat of many colors, and I thought about the scripture where it states that God’s gifts are good and perfect. I’m trying to make sense of this and then it hits me. The very same way that Ms. Lovita took the time and care to package the football is what God does to us. 

This seemingly ordinary toy was packaged in a manner that made it stand out. That made it set apart. If you saw me with the bag you would think that someone had given me a gift. You too, would want to know what was inside. And the more I think about it, it was a gift. And we are God’s gifts. He has set us apart. In Leviticus 20:26 it reads “You are to be holy to me because I, the Lord am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own.” God has set us apart from everyone else to be his own. Didn’t the praise team sing this yesterday? You own the world and yet You still want me? Me, who’s scared to step out on Your promises. Me, who messes stuff up on a continuous basis? Me? 

I challenge you to write out all of the reasons  why you believe God would not want you to do things for His kingdom. Get a real good, long list. And then this is what you to do next. Scratch out the list and rip that paper to shreds. Let go of the negative self talk. That's not God. His word says that you can do all things through Christ. Not somethings. Not one thing. But all things. 

A lot of times we know that we are set apart, that we are different but we want to fit into the idea of being “normal”. You don’t want to stand out or be different because then people might accuse you of being stuck up or acting like you’re better than other people. And it’s not that you think that you’re better but God has put a call on your life to do great things. And to be honest God expects you to do those great things. Say to yourself, I’m not stuck up. I'm different.

He didn’t create you to fit in with everybody else. He created you so that everybody else would say, “If they know God, I want to know Him too.” Pastor Mike kinda touched on this yesterday, “What do people see when they see you?” Is your face all scrunched up and mean looking where no one wants to speak to you? Is the tone and language of your voice driving people away from you? What’s your social media presence like? Are you presenting an image that invites other people to want to know Jesus?

It’s all in the presentation. One of my favorite episodes of the Cosby Show was when Vanessa brought Dabnis Brickey home to her parents. If you remember this episode her parents were not happy. Her father pretty much asked Dabnis what if his favorite meal, a Porterhouse steak, crispy potatoes and sautéed mushrooms was served on a garbage can lid, would  he still want it? Bill Cosby went on to tell Dabnis that this situation was Vanessa’s fault in how she presented her fiancé to her family. 

God has called us to do great things, to do amazing things. He does not want to serve one thing to us on a garbage can lid. Nor does our Father want us to represent anything less than the kings and queens that He destined us to be. Let’s pray.

God we thank you for another day in your presence to attempt to get things right. God you said that we are a royal priesthood, a peculiar people God’s special possession. And this morning we are going to receive that. We no longer will try and fit in but we accept that you set us apart to do greater works for you. I pray that we collectively step out on faith and be the person that you created us to be so that we can draw more believers for Your kingdom. In Jesus name we pray amen. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

I Need God's Favor - Morning Manna 8.8.16


Last night I had fallen asleep while listening to something on YouTube and I awoke to Pastor Mike’s text about speaking for morning manna. All I could do is text back “Yes”. This is for someone listening right now, trust me when I tell you that the things that you run from will chase you down until all of your answers of “no” are exhausted.

Yesterday Pastor Mike gave us some major keys out of the book of Proverbs. I love the wisdom of Solomon. I remember when Michael Scruggs Jr. was given the task to memorize scriptures I came to know Proverbs 4:15 Avoid it, pass not by it, turn from it, and pass away. Imagine David, the man after God’s own heart, brings forth a son, named Solomon who tells us to get wisdom at any cost.

Not only did Pastor Mike speak on favor but yesterday I had, on a couple different instances, favor come up in a conversation with a friend. That’s when I heard God tell me the topic for this morning. I Need His Favor.

How many times have you had a friend call or text you and ask, “Could you do me a favor?” or “I need a favor.” At that point you’re going to respond yes or no because it depends on who they are to you and what is it that they want. It can at times be conditional if, I don’t know you like that, If we ain’t cool like that. This kind of favor is defined in Webster as a kind or helpful act that you do for someone.

Proverbs 3:1-4 reads

My son, do not forget my teaching,
    but keep my commands in your heart,
for they will prolong your life many years
    and bring you peace and prosperity.

Let love and faithfulness never leave you;
    bind them around your neck,
    write them on the tablet of your heart.
Then you will win favor and a good name
    in the sight of God and man.



Then you will win favor… Now, that favor is defined as a preference for one person, group, etc. over another. When this favor occurs that’s when you hear someone shout out favor ain’t fair. Earlier we talked about favor being conditional but God knows us, He created us in His image. Not only that, but God doesn’t just like you. God loves you. So when we go to God we don’t ask Him for favors rather we seek His favor. Our statement now becomes I need some favor Lord. I need Your favor.

I remember Bishop Rudolph McKissick Jr preaching years ago and he stated the phrase, “sooner than right now, quicker than not yet.” God that’s how we desire Your favor.

Favor is not identified through the process producing a blessing, it is revealed through God’s intentional decision to keep His hands on the process. Remember, God is an intentional God and God has His hands on us. Which means we need to step aside and let God be God so that He alone can work His perfect will for our lives.

I don’t simply want a favor. It’s time out for just wanting just enough or just what I want for myself. I want what God wants for me. Truth be told God wants better for me than what I would want for myself. His gifts are good and perfect.

Remember you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You’re God’s creation. You were created for His glory, you were created for His purpose, and you were created for His pleasure and to that we say have Your way. Fill us up with all of those thing you predestined for us in eternity. And when our cup overflows allow us to be vessels of blessings to others.

Proverbs 3:5

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
    and lean not on your own understanding

Lean not on your own understanding of why something didn’t work out, why someone left you, why someone hasn’t shown up yet, why you haven’t gotten the position, why your finances are not where you want them to be. Trust Him in all things. Trust Him with all things. Seek Him daily. As a matter of fact, seek Him first. Submit to His ways. It will work if you work it. You have to be steadfast in your prayer life, in your fasting and in your obedience to him.

Finally Proverbs 3:6 tells us - In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  

Some key words here are trust, lean not, acknowledge and direct. If you simply trust in Him, lean not to the stuff that you want for yourself, (which more than likely hasn’t been working out well) acknowledge or submit to him then He’s going to direct you in the way that you should go. It’s nearly one a.m. in the morning as I’m writing and I had an “aha” moment. Solomon’s father gave us a preview of this scripture in Psalm 37:23 – The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighted in his way.

 Let’s pray.

God we thank you for another day in Your presence. We don’t take Your favor and will for our lives for granted. We know that we haven’t always sought after Your will for our lives and that has at times left us wondering and questioning the consequences to some of those decisions. God I pray that everyone on this call learns to acknowledge you in all things so that You can direct our paths and order our steps. We are praying for an incredible week of God’s love, mercy and favor. And God when those unmerited favors begin to rain down let us simply say, “I receive it”, “Lord, be it unto me.” In Jesus name we pray.

I pray that this message blesses you this week as we lift up our hands with worship, expectation and adoration for the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. Have an awesome week.




Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Falling For Charlotte

This year has been filled with a lot of traveling for the team my son has played with. Some trips I didn't take and some I did. It just kinda depended on what was going on at home or church. As we began to prepare for Charlotte the question was, "Mom, are you going?" Well, yeah! I have never been to Charlotte. I've traveled through but never visited.

There came a point in our family conversations when the question was asked are we still a go as it appeared that the team wouldn't have all of it's players in attendance. I remember telling my sons. "We are not saying we are not going because we're going to see the salvation of the Lord." At that time I didn't know what that meant until Monday July 18 around 4p.m. when we drove into Uptown.

Immediately I felt like I knew the reason why I had to get here. God had to pull me out of my place of comfort and safety and show me the possibility of enlarging my territory many hours from home.

The first part of our week we stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn Uptown. Let me just say that I love the Hilton Garden Inn for so many reasons. One being that I have planned two worship events with them and I love their hospitality and beautiful décor. When a friend knew I was coming she suggested I stay here not knowing my love for the hotel.



Each morning and afternoon as we arrived to and fro I wondered about the building in the middle of the two hotels and upon seeing a name I immediately went to their website. www.themadisoncharlotte.com So....Not only does God place me in this beautiful hotel but each day I get to see these amazing condos and penthouses. Few people know that I love loft style living and it's been a dream to move into one.



Each morning I would awake and just look out at the beautiful scenery and think "I could live here."


Another picture from my hotel room.





One day were out and Alex discovered this restaurant. Of course he said I would love it. I asked what's the name? Chopped? No Chopt. www.choptsalad.com I walked in overwhelmed by everything salad. Lol.


The second part of our trip we stayed in North Charlotte and it was just as beautiful and peaceful. Riding to the schools and the hospitality of people in restaurants and stores really left an impression on us. And all of those things that had been on my mind, I sat and talked to God about it while there.

Of course we visited a church while there. We went to Elevation Church in the NoDa area. The welcoming of the church members the message was awesome. Something cool happened as were about to walk into the church. To the right of us were a group of runners who had stopped for water and socializing. Alex heard someone say his name. At first he just thought someone was calling someone else but after the third time he looked up and believe it or not it was a young man he had graduated high school with. Imagine that.


Of course we came here for basketball. North Coast Blue Chips ended up going 5-1. They lost the game prior to the championship round. After watching the championship game we, along with another family went to have lunch at Zaxbys





On Saturday night as Tyler sat in the pool I sat in the comfort of a beautiful Charlotte night. Dreading the time of saying goodbye that was coming on the following day.


 On Sunday when it was time to leave we were not ready to go. As I stopped at Mert's Heart and Soul for a Soul Roll, stuffed with collard greens, rice, cabbage and chicken, and we drove to the highway my eyes teared up. My son pulled out his phone and videotaped the city as we left. As I held back those tears in my heart I knew I had found something special. I knew I would be back, for I had fallen for Charlotte.






Saturday, July 9, 2016

UnPlug to ReGroup

To say this past week has been one of the more emotional weeks of my life is an understatement. First the death and video of Alton Sterling. Once I was able to get together I saw the video of Philando Castile. By Thursday morning I was a bunch of nerves. I was hurt, angry, sad, mad...

I was really sad for Alton's 15 year old son and Philando's girlfriend for having to endure all of this pain in front of the world. I was mad that two more African American men were added to hashtags and CNN reports. I've always had a reaction to death that would alarm my mom in my early teens and on into adulthood. I hurt for hurt people and death puts me in a place so distant and so far away that at times it is hard to come back from.

So on Thursday night I was already beginning to withdraw, I could feel it. I went to the only comfort I knew, the Bible. I put on my headphones and allowed the narrator to read me to a peaceful sleep. It was the best I had felt in days. Until around midnight the phone rang in my headphones and I sat straight up on the couch to the concerned voice of my mom, "Are you watching the news? Officers have been killed in Dallas." No!!!!!!! We can't take anymore. It's too much!!

Immediately my heart raced as I turned to CNN and when I saw the headline my heart sank. That peacefulness was gone as I thought of more families having to deal with death. I knew at that moment after listening to a live stream of Bishop TD Jakes that I had to unplug. I had to disconnect. I couldn't take it anymore.

This week has been traumatic. We can't undo what we've seen. We've seen death live. We've seen death recorded. We've watched the results of one planning for death. Many people are going through their day to day life not realizing they are under stress and what that stress means. For me it's been sleepless nights, over worrying about my son when he goes out at night, even when he goes to get something out of his car.

Since late Thursday, early Friday I have not been on Facebook. I had to step away for myself. I totally understand the impact that death at the hand of police officers have had on our communities and I also understand that 5 officers in Dallas lost their lives and the impact that has on their communities. Somehow the supporters of both communities have to come together, our country is hurting right now and we need a healing for our souls.

If Romans 8:28 tells us that it all works together then it holds true that the fallen lives of Alton Sterling, Philando Castille, Brent Thompson, Patrick Zamarippa, Michael Krol , Michael Smith, and Lorne Ahrens have to push our communities and our country to move forward together and learn the powerful lessons needed to prevent this for happening again.


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Local Cincinnati Minister Blesses Those In Need On Independence Day


Yesterday a local minister and his son took time out of their day to bless those who are less fortunate. In the video you will see Minister Carmel Pinkney and his son feeding and ministering near the intersection of Vine and Liberty Streets.

Upon seeing the video I was immediately drawn to it. Yesterday was Independence Day and many people spent the day with family and friends celebrating the holidays. This act of kindness shows the grace and compassion that Jesus gives all of us.

What I simply love about this video is the appreciation of those on the receiving end. Imagine being on that receiving end. Sitting outside on a holiday with no family, no picnic, you're just simply trying to survive until the next day and someone, a stranger blesses you. What Minister Pinkney and his son provided to the people in this video was not only food but also light and hope.

We are blessed to be a blessing and this father and son were definitely a blessing to others yesterday.




Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Note To Amy's Mom

Dear Amy Joyner's Mom,

Today is Mother's Day and a beautiful part of your life is looking down on you in the form of an angel. There isn't much that I, a perfect stranger, can say to comfort you. Each day I pray for justice for your daughter. I see her picture and I read the articles and not once have I read anything but praise for your daughter. What a testament that is to you and your family.

Each day I go on Twitter and I search for updated information and I share the sentiment of many people, "Where is justice for Amy?" Your daughter was a beautiful girl, so full of life and promise. I'm almost certain that she was a mirrored image of her mother.

Happy Mother's Day



Monday, April 18, 2016

Rock The Runway Luncheon & Fashion Show May 7, 2016 At Mt. Airy School

Rock The Runway!!!!
Luncheon and Fashion Show
Saturday, May 7, 11:30 a.m.
Mt. Airy School
5730 Colerain Avenue
Cincinnati, Ohio 45239

The proceeds for this event will assist a group of 5th & 6th grade girls travel to Chicago. You can purchase tickets and/or be a sponsor for this event. Thank you for your support in advance.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Awesomeness of Savannah James

Last Fall my son informs me that his brother has been invited to a basketball tryout in Akron, Ohio. We had played with a couple of travel teams from other states so that didn't bother me. I just hadn't heard them talk about any teams in northern Ohio. That's when Alex informs me that it's an organization that Lebron James' sons, Bronny and Bryce will be playing for.

We travel up 71N and upon entering the rec center I get nervous. My son had already been through some basketball drama and now he was trying out for a team that has a high profile family affliated with it. His anxiousness easily became mine. In the gym we see people we know and we talk. Of course the boys want to know if Lebron would be there. They are told no, but Savannah is here. "Is she?" I thought. My older son points her out and in that moment I thought "Wow!"

In this age of reality t.v. that shows the drama of basketball moms and wives there was Savannah James, tending to her children, laughing and hanging out with her family and friends. There was nothing about her that said drama or showed any sense of arrogance. As the tryouts went on she was just like other moms in the gym and that made the experience so much better. Later I'm walking back from the car and Savannah and I cross paths and we both gave each other a pleasant "Hey!" It was the "Hey" that women give each other who don't know each other but the genuine politeness is there.

After a couple more basketball trips I have had a chance to spend time with the team and the families. By now the boys on the teams are getting used to each other and the families are beginning to get to know each other. When word gets out that Bronny or Bryce is playing in the gym the courts fill up. Savannah keeps it low key. I've sat near her and listened to people ask around or mention her sons. She doesn't acknowledge the attention of the onlookers but she keeps her focus on her pride and joy.  

I remember one cold morning in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We were all in the gym watching the kids warm up and just making small talk. I didn't even see her in the area and when I turned around she said, "Good Morning" to everyone.  Afterwards she walked towards where her family sat. There are things that set us apart but on this cold wintery morning in Ft. Wayne we both simply wanted a good morning and for our sons to play well.

The amazing thing about Savannah James is that she treats everyone in a manner that is polite, kind and gracious. With the portrayal of so many negative images of celebrities and their spouses Savannah James is definitely a standard to follow and that is absolutely awesome. #wecametoplay


Friday, April 1, 2016

War Room Ready

Dear Lord,

Please help me to be the best person that I can be. Show me all of Your ways of truth and love. Teach me to be obedient to Your ways. To talk when You say to. To be silent when You say.

Give me the passion to seek confidence to hunger and thirst after You. Daily let me die to self so that I can be filled with You more. I desire more of You.

Simply Arlinda


I wrote this while listening to Briana Babineaux Holy Spirit

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Oh My Social Media

While scrolling through Fb on Monday I became a tad irritated at the comments in reference to Beyonce and Cam Newton. So this post just came to me..

Oh my social media...

* The lack of discussion of the #FlintWaterCrisis
* Cam Newton being called a boy
* People mad at Beyonce. If she sings "I don't think you ready for this jelly" then she's fine. But she tells us where she's from and it's time to get in formation then her performance wasn't good. Yeah, ok maybe for you but.. 

My daddy Mississippi, momma Cincinnati 
You mix the fields with this city it created me. 

How I see the world, how my brown sons see the world will be different from others. 

I'm unashamedly Christian and unapologetically Black

#alwaysstaygracious

This Season Of Lent

Today is Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent is upon us. I credit my mom for instilling in us the knowledge about Ash Wednesday, Lent, Palm Sunday, Holy Week, The Seven Last Words and Easter Sunday, (many now use the term "Resurrection Sunday" instead of Easter). Either way He lives!!!! Either way He got up with all power!! And Because He lives I can face tomorrow.
 
During Lent many people deny themselves for 40 days and it can be a variety of things that people give up; chocolate, social media, or fast foods just to name a few. I know for me it's reflective and although personal I don't mind sharing that part of my belief. Over the years I have had people ask me if I was Catholic. Well.. No, I'm not. I'm Christian and Lent is very important to me.
 
This year we are going on this journey with our church Light Of The World Ministries as we read daily devotionals and pray corporately.



Our family has also, to my surprise, decided to join Empowerment Temple during this season as we collectively pray for Flint, Michigan and others who don't have fresh water on a daily basis. We went and bought our cases of water and we are ready to pray and focus on our journey. In 40 days our prayer life will be stronger and our bodies will be healthier.
 

 
 
Often, I think of the journey that Jesus took for us. As the days of Lent wind down I often reflect on how He suffered for us, how He died for us. Then I think of those songs that pulled me through my youth... Where would I be if Jesus didn't love me? Where would I be if Jesus didn't care? Where would I be if He hadn't sacrificed His life. Oh, but I'm glad, so glad He did, so glad He did.
 
But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. ~ Isaiah 53:5
 


Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Light of the World ~ Season of Lent

Did you know Lent represents the last 40 days before Easter. It is a season where Christians focus on simple living, prayer, and fasting in order to grow closer to God. This year it begins on Ash Wednesday, February 10th, and goes to March 26th, the day before Resurrection Sunday. This year we want you to join us as we do daily Lent Devotionals. Every day will be a time of reading, worship and prayer. You can follow along daily by downloading the Light of the World app or by going to the website, http://www.lowcincy.org/lent-devotional/, to get your daily devotional.



Friday, January 22, 2016

Depraved Indifference Toward Flint ~ New York Times

“At every juncture when state officials could have avoided or reduced the harm in Flint, they ignored public pleas and made every effort to dismiss the truth.” 
Is what became known as the “Flint water crisis” an indication of a much more serious crisis in the state of Michigan? #MustRead and share a powerful The New York Times Opinion Section article addressing “cynical and callous indifference to the plight of the mostly black, poverty-stricken residents.” http://ow.ly/XprbN

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Cincinnati Is Collecting Water For Flint, MI #FlintWaterCrisis


#CincyLovesFlint 

#StandUpCincinnati as volunteers will be at the #HartwellKrogers filling up a truck with cases of water to travel to #Flint in response to the #FlintWaterCrisis

For more information visit the event page on Facebook




North Coast Blue Chips @ Gym Rat MLK Tournament


        On January 15, 2016 North Coast Blue Chips traveled to Fort Wayne, IN for the MLK Tournament at Spiece Fieldhouse Gym Rats. The 5th Grade team placed 2nd & the 3rd Grade team placed 1st. Not bad for North Coast's first tournament. #NCBC We are all excited about what this organization will accomplish this year. North Coast!!!!! 

       


I'm Yours



Last Thursday I am enroute to work. As I am driving up Paddock Road I hear this song. Fortunately I get caught at a red light because I hear this song on the Yolanda Adams Morning Show that has my attention. I tell Tyler to ask Siri who this artist is. Siri responds, "This sounds like 'I'm Yours' by Casey J. Oh, I have to buy this song.

The next day I listen to the CD on iTunes and I decide that I love every song, but there is something about "I'm Yours' that puts me in tears. Not because I'm sad but because I realize how much God loves me, protects me and keeps me. He does all of this even when Arlinda doesn't want to be obedient to God's will for her life. There is nothing like completely surrendering to the One who creates all, knows all and loves all.

You can have all of me
Have all of me
Have all of me
I'm Yours

I give You all of me
Give You all of me
Give You all of me
I'm Yours