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Category Archives: Life

DAY 40 SOUL FAST – TELLING

DAY 40 SOUL FAST – TELLING

I LIVED TO TELL ABOUT IT

This morning as I sat quietly, God reminded me that the only reason He spared me from the perils of the world, was so that I can tell about it.  Although I was a participant, I was also a witness to suffering.Yesterday, August 21st marked the twenty – fifth anniversary of Karyn Monique White’s death. She was my road dog. We were determined to ride or die – and she did. She was shot to death when we were twenty – five years old. The last time her mother saw her alive was the day I drove her up to the family’s beautiful home nestled in the hills above what was then Cal State Hayward.  She was her parents only child. I was embarrassed to find out through conversation that her mother had worked side by side with my Dad. She was gracious to me and never spoke a word of admonition to me. The fact that she knew who my father was and what he stood for was enough to choke me up as dropped my head in shame. We visited for awhile and she unpacked all of her perfumes and other things Karyn wanted and sent her with the newly bought things she wanted her to have.

The trendy blue jean jumpsuit that Mrs. White had given Karyn was the one she chose to wear that day. That morning as the two of got into my little Fiat Spider, Karyn shared a dream she had the night before. She said that she couldn’t see my face but everything indicated that I had been shot. She said she picked me up, Karyn was 5’10” tall, and ran with me through the streets looking for a hospital, blood was everywhere. That day was unlike any I’ve experienced before or since. I had the strangest sensation. A feeling I just couldn’t shake. She asked me to take her to three different places. When she’d start to get out of the car, I’d stop her, and tell her not to go. My voice was the one, she’d always hear. I wouldn’t leave her there and for the stuff she was doing she needed me to. As it turned out at each place an ambush lay waiting for her. Night finally came., we’d been driving around all day. We ended up of all places in the parking lot of a Mortuary, waiting for someone.  The feeling that had all that day was so intense that I was spooked. We had to get out of there. I put my car in gear and sped forward. I forgot that I was parked in front of a cement parking block – all I see was the street. My car was very low and the manifold to my engine cracked as I ran over it. We made it into the traffic but my car was loud. We had to park and call for a ride. We went to a safe house. The car that was sent for us was a two seater Mercedes. I had to wait for it’s return – it never did. I never saw Karyn alive again. I had to take her belonging back to her mother, to sit with her, and answer the many questions she had. She had heard many rumors and she looked to me for the truth. I did for Karyn what I hoped someone would do for me. I discounted the truth of what I knew. Her mother was suffering enough in her grief losing her only child. I could not see how disclosing the hard facts of Karyn’s life would be beneficial – it would only cause her mother more pain. I didn’t heart to do it. If I was wrong, I’m prepared to answer for it on judgment day.

GOD USED

Until this very moment, I’ve never spoken about Karyn or what happened to her. That incident was something I stuffed deeper within me. A heavy weight on my soul that I’ve carried with me for twenty-five years. I don’t know what it’s true impact on my life has been. I don’t know why God would stir it up and have me regurgitate it now. six days before my fiftieth birthday.  What I do know is that God has used everything that I’ve gone thru for someone’s good. Somebody’s got to be a witness, to recount the story just as it was. I probably will never know who needed to hear this bit of my testimony, why they needed to hear it or how it will impact their lives. The telling helped me, my spirit feels lighter.  What comes to mind is this verse of scripture (personalized), “And I overcame him, the enemy of my soul, by the word of my testimony…” Rev. 12:11. What the enemy has tried to use throughout my life to destroy me, God has circumvented and used for the good of others and His glory. Because I stand victorious, enduring continuously until the end, somebody had been inspired, found hope, and knows that God is real!

 

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DAY 39 SOUL FAST – INTERDEPENDENCE

DAY 39 SOUL FAST – INTERDEPENDENCE

Yesterday, I happened into “Get on up,” the James Brown movie by mistake. The first line of the movie was “James Brown don’t need nobody…” I thought about that as my son and I found, sat down, and watched the kids movie we actually came to see. That line kept playing through my mind, probably because I had just had words with a dear friend of mine. I was still a bit wounded. I wasn’t intending on taking my son to the movies but it was an escape.  My feelings were still hurt and I was trying not to be still angry. Although we had words, we each retreated before something was said that could not be easily retracted and would form a black cloud over our blossoming friendship. Nothing is all gravy all the time and misspoken words can never be taken back.

As I was sitting there, my mind personalized and replayed James Brown’s words, “I don’t need nobody.” I thought about him, James Brown. With all due respect to his memory, that may have been what he actually believed, but it wasn’t true. How could it be? His amazing accomplishments that spanned many decades required interdependence. Just off the top of my head, his success was based on a network of musicians, singers, studio people, writers, agents, promoters, managers, club owners, record labels, and a huge fan base. I’m sure I missed something, but the point is he wasn’t singularly responsible for his own success. It took the knowledge, expertise, talent, and support of many people on many levels to make it happen.

The same is true for me, God has called me to a purpose. It is mine. However, the completion of it is dependent on interdependence. The primary connection is with the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. My family/extended family are priceless. Other vital relationships are with folks in the Body of Christ with whom I’m on a mutual faith walk with. Not to mention my growing professional network. Also, the many people I know who don’t share my faith – I don’t devalue my relationships with them. Those relationships are important to me to because they add something to my life. All of these put together form the intrinsic network of people – the infrastructure that I need to do life successfully and accomplish my divine purpose in this life. I’m grateful for everyone who is present in my life.

 
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Posted by on August 21, 2014 in Christianity, Life, Uncategorized

 

DAY 37 SOUL FAST – TOLERANCE

DAY 37 SOUL FAST – TOLERANCE

Wow, everyday of this 40 Day Soul Fast I get exactly the word that I need. Tolerance is not about me condoning bad behavior, lifestyles I don’t necessarily agree with or things I think are wrong. It’s about me accepting each person’s God given right to choose what is right or wrong for themselves, believe what they want to believe and decide their own individual destiny. Everyone must choose their own path and I’ve got to be alright with that. It is not my job to fix people, only God can do that, and only if person allows Him to. My job as a human being is to love  and accept other human beings right where they are.

 

 
 

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DAY 36 SOUL FAST – JUSTICE

DAY 36 SOUL FAST – JUSTICE

Interestingly enough today’s topic is JUSTICE…as I think of justice in this world that I live in tears come to my eyes and my spirit is saddened with the realization that my life and those of my children, mother, brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews, friends and many of those that I love are worth virtually nothing in this land in which we live. When I read,

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense the general welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.” Preamble – U.S. Constitution, September 1787

 

It’s been 227 years since it’s writing, seems like it’s concepts would be fully embraced and applied by now; that the pendulum of justice would be truly swinging freely – equally for all people.  By now, some things that are still issues, should have been removed from the table long ago. Some things that are happening in the world, just shouldn’t be for they threaten the safety, peace and well being of us all – diminishing our humanity. 

This morning, I ran across this quote,

“When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair, and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights, let us remember that there is a creative force in this universe, working to pull down the gigantic mountains of evil, a power that is able to make a way out of no way and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows. Let us realize the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice.” Martin Luther King, Jr., June 1965

I believe that because there is a God, that there is still hope for mankind. At the end of it all, Divine Justice will prevail.  We all must stand before a just and holy God and give an account for our lives and stewardship on this earth. May God have mercy on us all.

 

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2014 in Life, Uncategorized

 

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DAY 35 SOUL FAST – MORALITY

DAY 35 SOUL FAST – MORALITY

Today’s lesson sums everything up very nicely and speaks to my heart’s desire – TO DO THE RIGHT THING, according to the word of God. When I fall short, as I often do, what brings me back into alignment is knowing that’s God’s expectation for me. That supersedes what I may want to do and society justifies. My goal is to live a decent, morally (not politically) correct life before God and my children. I’m human, fallible yet today I’m ever willing as I pray, “create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.” Psalm 51:10

 
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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Christianity, Life, Uncategorized

 

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DAY 33 SOUL FAST – CONTINUING

DAY 33 SOUL FAST – CONTINUING

VALIDATING ME

Only I can validate me, my own life and existence this side of Heaven by what I do here on earth. What I don’t want to do is leave a legacy of pain and dysfunction for my children to inherit.  I’ve come to realize that the work that I do on myself has a monumental effect on my children and everyone that I come in contact with. Walking through the fire of purification, feeling the pain of disconnecting from the attachment to this world is the only way to get to the other side – healing for my soul. I don’t know if this makes any sense…the pain that I felt putting bandaids on my deep wounds and pretending everything was all good was far more painful than the pain I feel from allowing God to heal me. Going through His healing process is a good hurt albeit painful as well. I can’t imagine believing and serving a God who didn’t have the power to deliver me and radically change my life. To me, that would be stupid. Why would I purposely set myself up for more hurt, suffering and disillusionment. I’ve had enough of that to last my whole life through.

The whole purpose of going on this 40 Day Soul Fast, was to get rid of all the residual junk in my life so that I can experience God in a deeper more profound way. I want the life that God says I can have not something that I settle for because I don’t have the guts to leap from the window of my life into the arms of God. What I want, I don’t want just for myself. I want it for my children and everybody I know. Especially, those that I’ve watched suffer for years and have been unable to tap God and break free from the things that they are held captive to. I just see existing. The depth of my relationship with God depends entirely upon me. I believe that in order to tap God, I have to aspire to be like Him. I don’t believe that I can be empowered by Him and live any way that I want to. The Book says that He is the same yesterday, today and forever more. He hasn’t changed. His word has not evolved to the point of supporting wrong living in His name.

BEING SET APART

For me the 40 Day Soul Fast is the foundation of my personal sanctification. The more time that I spend time with God through His word, the clearer the picture gets. The process of sanctification is the catalyst to Spiritual Empowerment. It is the only way to the standard of righteousness required to fulfill the call of God on my life and to leave the legacy I desire to my children. The spiritual legacy that I’ve been given has been a buffer from the world. I believe that it’s the only reason that I’m still here. I lived to testify about it, when so many that I know are gone; lost to the world in one way or another the opportunity to get it right with God gone. My children have had the opportunity to see me on both sides of the fence. They like me better on the right side I use my experiences on the wrong side as a tool to highlight the benefits of right living – righteousness. There are some things they will never do – my suffering was not in vain! Nevertheless, I can’t live their lives for them. Some things they’ll have to experience for themselves. All I can do is set the bar – it’s a high one for them to reach for. That coupled with living a good Christian life before them. Setting a standard for them to follow – to pass on to their children.  My greatest hope – my continuous prayer is that the baton will not be dropped but will continue to pass on to generation after generation – continue.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2014 in Life, Religion, Uncategorized

 

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DAY 31 SOUL FAST – HELPING

DAY 31 SOUL FAST – HELPING

WHAT I DO BEST

I begin this week with a new determination – a resolve to continue pressing forward into the home stretch of The 40 Day Soul Fast. I never imagined that it would take my whole summer to complete. Day thirty-one’s focus is on what I do best – helping others. Growing up, we didn’t have much, but we always had more than somebody. Being raised on the pew and with  several generations of ministry ungirding me, I was trained to be there for others – to serve. It’s so deeply ingrained in me, that when I’m not helping other people, I just don’t feel right. The challenge for me is not helping others but finding balance; time for myself and family. I have found that being of service – of use to others is not about finding a local homeless shelter and putting in the work with the downtrodden. I have done that, as well as worked in/with soup kitchens, single mothers, dope fiends, drunks, prostitutes, community agencies, etc., etc., etc.! What I’ve discovered at least for me is that God’s work through me continues to evolve as I do. I’m excited as I expectantly look forward to this next chapter unfolding. I’ve been working on developing it for the past year. In the meantime as I work towards the longterm, I’m always willing to take an interim assignment.  The biggest factor in being used by God to make a difference in somebody’s life is WILLINGNESS. In order for God’s will to be done thru me I stand willing to be taken out of my comfort zone. I’m willing to be inconvenienced – I will get out of my bed at dark thirty, bundle my son up and ride out into the night. I will go the extra mile when required to make sure somebody’s okay before I move on. When God tells me to, I will reach into my pocket and give someone every bill and dime in it without counting it first, and trust God for my provision. I don’t have to be recognized, and no, you don’t owe me anything. God takes very good care of me. I pray that I never wake up and find myself unwilling to do what I can for somebody who truly needs it; that my humanity is never diminished to that point, where it’s all about me and no else matters.

 
 

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