Friday, July 29, 2016

Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, II Speaks at the 2016 Democratic National Co...

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 d├ęcor. 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. 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. 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.