Sunday, July 10, 2022

Integrity Check

Integrity checks are happening now.  The Bible says "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent." (Acts 17:30)  So, it is safe to say that it is time to come clean and live the best everyday life that you can possibly live.  We will be held accountable for our actions down here. God wants us to be joyful. God wants us to have fun.  God wants us to be healthy and prosperous.  But, God does not want us to wound people in the process of obtaining stuff.  God does not want us to be a hindrance to others or to ministry.

If I didn't watch the news, I would not be aware of the crime happening in my community and throughout the country.  After Japan's prime minister died, I saw their crime statistics.  They don't have many shooting deaths like we do in America.  I hear Japan's low crime rate comes with some flaws, but if it is saving people's lives and keeping people from committing violent crimes, I think that is positive.

We also must invest more in the front end of education.  Teachers need to be paid more.  We also need to make sure that people are sending children to school by age 5.  If parents say they are homeschooling their children, they need to provide proof of a homeschooling network they are a part of. We owe this to our children.  Sometimes homeschooling can lead to excellent reading outcomes, but at the same time, the math, Algebra, and Geometry skills may be lacking.  I think we have fabulous parents, but they are not experts in all subjects unless they are teachers.

When I was growing up, I could see the collaboration between the teachers and my grandmother.  She did not question the teacher's comments on my report card.  These teachers were a part of our community.  Some of them attended the church that I attended.  They had also taught my mother, aunts, uncles, and cousins. Most importantly, they had worked with my grandmother who had been a cafeteria worker.  If you know people, you know a lie when you hear it and you also know the truth.

Parents must go back to partnering with the teacher to raise their children.  I don't think most teachers spend their time lying on students.  I would hope that they have better things to do than that.  A lot of individuals are called to teach.  I realize we have skeptics who question this, but once they learn to follow God's instructions then they can believe that other people are actually doing what God called them to do the first time He said it.

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Stay Prayerful

It is a new year and a new season.  We should remain prayerful.  It seems as if countries can not contain themselves without involvement from the United States. We have pulled out of Afghanistan and now Russia is threatening to invade Ukraine. Pray that the will of the Lord be done in the earth.  Pray for kings, queens, presidents, and rulers of countries.

We know that according to prophecy some things will occur. The United States is at a pivotal time where the country like the rest of the world is recovering from the coronavirus.  The people of the U.S. need help and the economy is in a recovery period.  Now, we have to spend money to send troops to Eastern Europe because Vladimir Putin wants to take territory.  This is also endangering the lives of our young people who are serving in the various military.  

Pray for the salvation of leaders in these foreign countries.  It just seems like some of them are always wanting to take center stage so that they can be in the news. Pray for peace.  Pray for salvation. Pray Psalms 91 that God will cover us.  Pray Psalms 121 that people will look towards the hills from whence cometh their help.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Divine Protection

First of all, I am praying for those impacted by tornadoes that sweep through at least six states. My condolences to those who lost relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers or others in the series of tornadoes.  I like many others pressed my way to church today.  For many of us, it may seem routine.  For others, it is what we do on Sundays since we don't really have to be virtual. Like I and many others, it was an opportunity to give God praise for divine protection.  

Ironically, I had gone to church this past Tuesday for Divine Protection Night.  I usually press my way on that particular day and take photos of relatives, bills, business plans, and other things that I want to lay before the Lord.  Sometimes, we take God's goodness for granted.  I know those who were trapped in the candle factory or at work at that Amazon plant had no idea that this type of fate awaited them.  Too many times, we put our religious life on the back burner and don't take it as seriously as we should.  If you have been alive for any length of time, you know that situations, weather, and other things are just a little bit strange these days.

We are still in a pandemic although I would like to think that we are heading out of that.  People who I thought that I could trade stories with as we aged are no longer here.  I still have joy even though we have lost many in 2021 and just trying to make it to 2022 for better days.   I hope that you take a few things with you in the new year.  I hope that you take some faith with you because you will need it.  I hope that you take a prayer life with you because it is necessary.  I hope that you take peace with you because that's the only thing that can help you keep your sanity.

Saturday, July 17, 2021

Some Articles by Dr. Sandra Hamer Smith

If you are needing some encouragement or wanting to delve more into biblical topics, follow the attached links listed below.

Why Were Eli's Sons Hopni and Phinehas So Evil?

https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/why-were-elis-sons-hopni-and-phinehas-so-evil.html

5 Sneaky Ways Divination Maybe Sneaking Into the Church

https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/sneaky-ways-divination-may-be-sneaking-into-the-church.html

Who is the Beast in Revelation 13, and Have We Met Him Yet?

https://www.crosswalk.com/faith/bible-study/who-is-the-beast-in-revelation-13-and-have-we-met-him-yet.html

What Does the Bible Say About Trust and Its Importance?

https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-study/topical-studies/what-does-the-bible-say-about-trust-and-its-importance.html

Why is 'She Is Clothed in Strength and Dignity' so Powerful for Women of the Faith?

https://www.ibelieve.com/faith/why-is-she-is-clothed-in-strength-and-dignity-so-powerful-for-women-of-the-faith.html

Monday, January 18, 2021

You Can Be A Witness

We made it to 2021.  We have suffered a lot in the last year.  It can be summed up or attributed to one word...Coronavirus.  This disease or virus has taken a toll on America.  I would like to think that we are in recovery mode.  Yet, we still have millions of Americans that need to be vaccinated. I have attended too many funerals attributed to Coronavirus and have heard of many that have had the virus and recovered.  My job has been virtual since March of last year.  Most churches have been virtual since last April.  Yet, I still feel like being a witness for the Lord.

Sometimes, I wonder why are we going through all of this.  I just know from history that every generation has seen a plague, virus, or flu. Click here for History of pandemics for Americans. We just pray and go through.  While we are at home a lot, we are still working.  We can witness more, even at home. Many of us are on social media more.  Even those who used to complain about social media must embrace it.

Homes that didn't have technology now have it.  I remember when I would give assignments and students would tell me they wouldn't be able to go to the library.  That is not the case in most homes now.  They can just hop on the internet and do their research.

Many people had gotten lazy and would not church regularly.  Now, services are virtual.  I wonder when things fully open up if people will flock to the house of God.  Our church closed for in-person services in April.  We went back around October or November for one service, and we haven't been back since because of the COVID-19 numbers in our county.

I still feel the need to witness to people.  We have young people dying from COVID-19 and middle-aged and older people.  Now, they are rolling out vaccines.  I signed up for testing in the teacher category.  I know they really want us to return to school.  I would like to go back when everything is ready.  This virus is just so mysterious.

Even before this virus hit, I believed that people were slowly being raptured.  With the events of late, I still believe that to be true.  I have been trying to encourage people everywhere I go to get right and stay right.  I have prayed for deaths to slow down and they have not.  I have asked God can we catch a break, and we caught one because we have the vaccines for COVID-19.

I will continue to be a witness and hope that I can maintain some longevity down here.  You can be a witness as well.  Will you?


Saturday, October 10, 2020

When You Pray

It has really been on my mind lately that we as Americans might need to pray more.  We as a human race are under attack.  We need to pray.  We know that God permits and allows some things because we need to turn our attention and focus back on Him.  He is the creator.  A lot of things that use to be so important to us are not quite as important as staying healthy.  We are all trying to stay healthy and keep a roof over our heads.  God is calling us to a higher relationship with Him.  We can't really say we know Him and never read His Word.  We need to read God's Word.  When we read His Word, I know that He will reveal His will and plan for us.  God is such a patient God.  If we had been in charge, everything would have been finished and over with several thousand years ago.  God is patient and long suffering and we thank Him for that.

Get in the Word of God. You might be already back at work, but take some time out to get in the Word of God.  It will make you a better person.  Reading His Word will make you more creative because He is the creator.  I know that God can do exceedingly and above all that you could ever ask or think.  If it concerns you, know that it concerns God.  Take your concerns to the Lord.

Saturday, September 12, 2020

We Can Help Each Other

 At the writing of this blog, Americans might not get a second round of stimulus checks. We have been through two major hurricanes back to back and now we have forest fires raging in California, Oregon and Washington.  It is time to pray like no other time.  We still have the coronavirus that have taken friends, loved ones, colleagues, church members, etc.  I don't care if you are not a religious person, but a high school student knows it's time to pray.

We have millions of Americans on unemployment.  We have millions of people behind on their rent and mortgages.  Some people have already been evicted and some are waiting for relief from the government which might not come.  It's time to huddle and bounce some things off of each other.  If people are going to church when the doors open, they are looking for answers.  They need financial workshops.  They need home loan modification information.  They need the prayer of favor and faith.  They don't have time for games.  They ain't trying to hate on nobody.  They are looking for relief.

Many of them did what they were suppose to do.  They were good stewards of their money.  Many still are tithers, and I will tell that you can tithe and still have to go through some things because God is using you for a testimony.

About 20 years ago, I was a new teacher.  I had just left television because of the call to teach.  I had purchased a house maybe three years prior.  I had a nice vehicle, and I had written my first book, GLORY...THE HAIR.  A friend of mine introduced me to someone.  I thought he could be a potential mate, but because I was living a saved lifestyle and celibate, it became a business partnership because I wasn't giving it up.

I had the spirit that if I am starting a business I'm going all in doing whatever it takes and making sacrifices.  Everyone doesn't think that way.  I will tell the single women to take care of yourself and your children.  If they ain't going all in, don't you go all in either.  I'm married now, but at the time I wasn't married.

Anyway, we started a non-profit foundation, and it was a good idea.  It was hard at first to get people to give.  So, we gave to it ourselves until we started getting grant money and started doing plays to fund the foundation. Grant money did come in.  It lasted for about 7 years, and then we folded it.

During this time, I got behind on my mortgage primarily because I was teaching and then a year later became a substitute teacher and was finishing up my certification to teach.  My home got annexed into the city.  So, I now had city taxes. Just figure out the rest.  I was managing and paying the mortgage even after the salary decrease.  Ask me how?  I was paying my tithes.  It took several months for the foreclosure proceedings to play out in court.  I mean, it took so long I wasn't even sure if they were going to foreclose.

I had already put a deposit on an apartment and had some cash squared away to pay for moving expenses.  By this time, I was back in a regular teaching job.  The bank took a long time to foreclose.  I had cheated foreclosure at least three times before.  One time I took out a loan from a local bank.  The second time my Mom gave me the money.  The third time I borrowed from an aunt.  This time, I was out of options and came to grips with the fact that I could get another house in a few years.  I even tried to sell this house, but probably should have tried different realtors.

I share my background because people are not always impressed if you have not been where they have been and sat where they have sat.  It's easy to tell people to do this and to do that. If you have been through what you are telling people, you have a much more captive audience.  I knew the house was getting ready to foreclose because some strange man showed up and started mowing my lawn.  This went on for a few weeks.  One day, while I was at school teaching, my Mom called me and told me they had foreclosed on my house.  I asked her how did she know; she said that they looked on my caller id and called her. I told my principal that I had to leave school because of an emergency. 

I called movers and moved my belongings. I stayed at her place for like 2 days until my apartment was ready and then moved into my new downtown apartment.  I said if I had to go back to an apartment, I might as well be downtown.  I handled my affairs differently and was able to purchase another property about 2 to 3 years later.

I know my situation might not be like yours.  Take care of yourself.  Save up for yourself.  Don't let people nickel and dime you to death.  If you can help others and you can do it from a place of strength, do it, but don't let people play on your kindness if they are not sincere.  Use some common sense.  Sometimes common sense escaped me, but I try to stay woke as much as possible now.  If you are in an eviction situation, try to find help.  If it's a mortgage, most of them will work out a loan modification.  If it's an apartment and the landlord is not working with you, someone else will be glad to have a new tenant.  If those around you are not talking rationally, find someone who is. I have always tried to have a job.  When I was younger, sometimes I had two.  I have never been the type that spent my time trying to get over on people, especially with housing or rent.

We are in a different time.  People who never thought they would be in this situation are in this situation.  Even when I went through my foreclosure, I tried not to be down on myself.  I knew the stats. I had been in television news and knew that Memphis was number in the nation for bankruptcy filings in the late 90s.  I wasn't sure what the foreclosure rate was.  I was not trying to do bankruptcy to save that house because there were too many others out there like it or better.