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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 29 SOUL FAST – SOWING

DAY 29 SOUL FAST – SOWING

BLACK OR WHITE

My mother is very simplistic in her approach to life. The lens in which she views the world is either black or white. My mother used to always say that I would reap what I sowed. A simple phrase that reflected her displeasure and disappointment with my then life outside of the will of God. She’s not well read, so I doubt that she’s ever read this quote

Sow a thought, and you reap an act; sow an act, and you reap a habit; sow a habit and your reap a character; sow a character, and you reap a destiny” Charles Reade

MY MIND WAS AN EMPTY FIELD

When I consider Charles Reade’s words, I can look back over my life and see my successes and defeats from a different perspective. Things that I didn’t understand make perfect sense now. I now have the answers that escaped me to the “whys.” At one point in my life my mind was but an empty field. At some point, no doubt before birth the cultivation of it began. Seeds were sowed into it from various sources (mom, dad, siblings, teachers, neighbors, etc) and my thought of myself and the world around me began to take form. Those thoughts were fertilized or deprived nutrients as I grew that brought about certain behaviors. As the garden of my mind was tended and sharecropped by the educational system, some weeds were pulled, others overlooked all growing up together to produce a myriad of habits. Some of these habits stymied while others flourished creating the character that’s now present- visible for all to see.The character as long as it remains unhindered in its current state by the undesirable parts of itself that grew up along with it will walk into destiny. Now, that quite a bit of food for thought.

SOMETIMES I STRUGGLE

Sometimes, I struggle because of the seeds that have been planted in my by God and the world. Sometimes they war against each other. The challenge is continuously pulling up the world’s weeds i.e.,  it’s ideology, habits, etc.;and nurturing, watering the seed of the word that is planted deep within me that has had to struggle to survive amidst the tares.

 
 

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AND GOD SAID LET THERE BE GUMBO…

AND GOD SAID LET THERE BE GUMBO…

Had a wonderful day, with family and friends at a beautiful beach. It was great getting away after an exhausting move and a short, but long week. I was walking along the shore, the light from the sun hitting the waves just right, and to my absolute surprise, I say a crab surfing atop the waves as the tide went out. Without even giving it a second thought, I ran in after him and snatched him up with my bare hands. He looked too good and was too close to let get away. He looks like Gumbo to me! 🙂 I’m still just a Southern girl who just happened to be born in California. It really doesn’t take a whole lot for me. It’s always the simple, uncomplicated things that I find the most pleasure in. I took this crab as God’s gift to me today, for which I am most appreciative.

 

 

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DAY 24 SOUL FAST – BELONGING

DAY 24 SOUL FAST – BELONGING

I WAS ALWAYS DIFFERENT

Growing up, I was shy, quiet and introverted. I was the kid that sat on the bench by myself for the most part watching the other kids play.  Always wanting social interaction, but always passed by for someone else that appeared to have more or be better. Back in the day,  before Baby Momma’s/Daddy’s, my mom was they only divorcee in our neighborhood. She was shunned by the other women in the neighborhood who were so insecure in their marriages that they thought that one of their husbands might in fact be crazy enough to leave them for a woman with six (count em) kids! She worked at a thankless job as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) and struggled to raise us six by herself. My Daddy was in earshot, so to speak, for emergencies but he was absent. My Mom had to buck up; to be everything and provide everything we needed. We didn’t have much more than each other.  I had a poor self image, low self esteem and didn’t value myself much. I always walked with my head down. At the time, I couldn’t see a reason to look up. 

I did have a handful of friends, who for one reason or another were out of the playground loop as well. We were all misfits. Perhaps this general lack of belonging gave us all a sense of camaraderie. We felt safe with one another.  We would comfort and reassure each other when one of us was subjected to teasing or attempted bullying. Nevertheless,  Elementary School,  was a struggle to survive. Because I didn’t belong and had no older siblings to protect me, there was always some kid who was bigger or a member of the dominating cliques, who felt as if they could arbitrarily lash out or take their bad day out on me.  Mostly kids from the projects who saw me as someone they thought they could victimize. What they found out,  was although I was little in size, I had the heart of a lion along with a brother who had the foresight to know that I would be picked on and taught me how to box. I hated to fight; however, being a “Smith” it was against our code to not stand up for myself and take a beat down. I don’t know what rule number it was, but my mother told me that I was never to put my hands on anyone — to start a fight, but I better finish it if it came to me.  Nor was it allowed for me to be chased from the school yard home. So in the tough urban hood I grew up in, every single day, I was challenged; and every single day I was obligated to return fire.  I was always different, when what I wanted most, was to just belong.

CAN’T LIVE IN THE WORLD BY MYSELF

My upbringing conditioned me to live in the world by myself. A very lonely existence.  Even when I was surrounded by people, I felt alone. Other people seemed to be having fun — enjoying life. I was an active observer to their process. I didn’t want to live in the world by myself. I longed for a larger circle of friends and engagement. I picked up some habits that would prove to be harder to stop doing than they were to start.  In my quest to belong to something or someone larger than myself. I lost myself in the superficiality of life lived in the fast lane. What I discovered, when I was well immersed in the world, was that I wasn’t willing to continue being and doing the things that I had to do to be apart of that team. Waking up next to a stranger in the morning and not remembering how I got there because I had drank too much, didn’t give me a warm and fuzzy sense of belonging. It made me feel empty, dirty and low down. In retrospect, I’m thankful that my recklessness didn’t cost me my life. That I didn’t wake up with an incurable or deadly disease. 

 

THE COURAGE TO BE ME

I don’t know who that nameless, faceless person is who gets to decide for us all who we need to be to belong. What they’ve done is put barriers between people rather than give us the freedom to be who we are and allow others to be who they are; appreciate our differences, and find a commonality within each other which would allow us as a people to love one another. Living this life is rugged enough without the undue pressure of conforming to a standard of so called perfection that’s unrealistic even for those who seem to have a jump start on it. I’m so glad that God doesn’t require me to be something or someone I’m not in order to gain His love. That is to say that God does not, Christians, still people sometimes place conditions on their love. It’s not Biblical, but it is what it is. After living life outside the loop, I’ve learned to fend for myself, to stand alone if need be. What falls under the “need be” is,  if to belong requires that I give up my identity of who I am – I’m good. I’m a unique individual. God created me as He wanted me to be: curly hair, brown skin, almond shaped brown eyes, wide nose, and full lips. He made me not too tall but tall enough to do anything I want or need to do. He shaped me perfectly to conceive, deliver and produce the children He wanted  me to birth into the Kingdom.  All three are replica of myself…that is the God in me. If I’m good enough for Him just as I am, I’m okay with that, even if it means that I belong only to Him.

 

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DAY 18 SOUL FAST – FOCUS

DAY 18 SOUL FAST – FOCUS

I grew up being told all of the things that I couldn’t do. I guess that’s what limitation does to people. It kills individual dreams as well as stymies the hope and possibility of generations to come. Lack and want can definitely be a distraction to fulfilling purpose – destiny. It beats you down to the point where you can’t see past your circumstances. The only tangible thing to look forward to is the next meal. I’ve known since I was twelve years old, that I was called to ministry. At that time Joyce Meyer, Beth Moore, Juanita Bynum and the like were still in obscurity. I imagine they were somewhere in a fight for their lives; desperately trying to hold on to the dream God had placed in their hearts. Women didn’t minister, they were missionaries. It’s hard to believe that in year 2014, there are still some folks who still believe that women should be relegated to certain roles in society. Usually those that don’t usurp authority over men and are without any personal power or financial independence.

The Book says that in order to find my life, I must be willing to lose it. I’ve finally lived long enough to understand the meaning of that verse. The simple fact is that I can’t do life successfully, unless I’m working with God’s plan. In His will for my life. I’ve tried my plan every way I can think of, it never works. I always end up in a place that I’d never thought I’d be. When I think about one more trip, aimlessly wandering around the mountain I created; or the unbearable heat – the parchedness of my desert, I shudder. I get clear, focus, right away. Those seasons in my life were just that bad. Eventually, I always ended up back at square one. The same choice being repeated – my way or His? So now, the work is bringing God’s plan into sharp focus. To do that, there’s a lot of unlearning that is happening. A lot of perceptions and mindsets that I’ve acquired over the span of my life that are incorrect, self- defeating. They have been the giants in my life that have made accomplishing the mission virtually impossible. Probably because I didn’t put them in their proper place. I put them first. I could never quite find enough time to devote to the things I knew God had asked me to do.

To gain clear focus and put my life in perspective; I had to go through a radical process of elimination. I completed all projects previously committed to. I cancelled all projects that were pending, that didn’t line up with the vision that God has given me. I postponed the projects that I know are God’s will, but out of His timing. The most important thing before me now, is to focus on getting my soul realigned with my spirit. Getting right with God. I need to be operating from a place of true spiritual empowerment. A place that God can work effectively through me. My singular focus is doing the necessary to execute the plan as prescribed. I’ve fallen headlong into its fire and have been set ablaze by God’s consuming passion. After many a year of patient wooing, God has finally won my heart.

 

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DAY 17 SOUL FAST – RECEIVING

listening

 

I talk to people all of the time. However, it is a rare occasion indeed, that I have the pleasure of engaging in meaningful conversation. Over the past semester, I met a new friend who had an interest in filmmaking. Since this is my thing, I asked her if she’d like to come to the Lunafest Film Festival with me. To my surprise, I actually met someone who talks as much or more than I do. From the moment we began the drive we talked non-stop. We arrived an hour early. The reception hadn’t begun, however everything was all set up. The Festival sponsors welcomed us in. They gave us their pitch for and received an additional donation from each of for the cause the Festival supported. We were set up with scrumptious hors d’oeuvres. We then settled onto a leaning post where our conversation continued. We were so immersed in conversation that we didn’t notice the other three hundred and ninety-eight film goers enter the room. The only time that there was a lull in the conversation, was during the film series. Afterwards, we talked the entire fifty miles back to my house; and then sat outside another hour. Whew! Boy was I tired. That was a personal record for me. All total, we shared about eight hours of EFFORTLESS conversation. It just happened, flowed naturally.

My conversations with God, have not been as easy or engaging. At least not for Him. More or less, I’ve done all the talking. Rambling on and on. Talking at Him not to Him with no interval. He hasn’t been able to get a word in edgewise. To make matters worse, when I’m done I get up without excusing myself and just leave. Wow! If I was on the receiving end of that, I would think how rude! The embarrassing part of this for me, is that I’m breaking all of the rules of conversation that I’m trying to teach my eight year old son. It’s hard for my son to remember that an essential part of good conversation is listening. You hear with ears; but listen with your heart.

What I’ve found most amazing about this Soul Fast is that I intuitively find myself at the next junction, even before I know where it is. Each night after my son has been put to bed, I sit alone in the quiet of the night. There’s not much residue of the day left in my thoughts. This process has helped me to detach a great measure from the overwhelming amount of information that I was bombarded with online. As I sit with myself in the darkness, I’m uncomfortable in the silence. I guess that I’m waiting for God to break through it with rants that resemble my own. He hasn’t done that. He’s been quiet; waiting to see I suppose, that He has my undivided attention. Am I’m really listening? Perhaps after all of these years of being the other half of a virtually one-sided conversation He’s at a loss of where to begin. I can’t imagine what I’ve missed all of these many years. Listening for God’s still small voice is the only way to RECEIVE His impartation to me of divine wisdom and knowledge. Thus far, I haven’t heard anything. On this seventeen day, I’m actively listening; however, I’m unsure how long He’ll make me wait before He speaks to me.

 

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