Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Keep Memphis Lifted in Prayer

This is still the start of the new year. I had planned on writing about something related to goals for 2023. Yet, I find myself asking those who have a prayer life to keep Memphis lifted in prayer. By now, you have heard of the senseless killing of Tyre Nichols through police brutality. There were several people on the scene. They are being held accountable. Five fired police officers face about seven fresh charges, including second degree murder. Two more officers have been relieved of duty pending an investigation.

From the Sky Cop camera and body cam footage that we saw, they just jerked Mr. Nichols out of the car and started beating him. This is why people say it seems personal. There was no, “May we see your license and registration?” There was no, “You were going 55 in a 45 mile per hour zone.” This has not been standard operating procedure in Memphis.  

These officers are a part of the now defunct Scorpion Unit that was created two years ago by our fairly new police chief, CJ Davis, to fight street crime. Our district attorney general is moving swiftly. The fire department has even fired two paramedics and a fire lieutenant who were on the scene.

My heart goes out to his family because Tyre knew there was nothing to do but run. They had blood on their minds from the word go. Our young people should not be fearing for their lives. I should not be fearing for my life. I know we need police officers and special units, but they need to put more money into training them.

Saturday, August 20, 2022


I am glad that things are getting better for people.  I like seeing people hustle and try to obtain the things that God wants them to have.  Hard work hasn't ever hurt anyone and we need to instill this in our young people.  Get a plan for your life.  Go to college or trade school.  I realize as a teacher we have been taught to encourage our kids to go to college.  That's true, but it's also true about the many other professions out there where they can make good money.

I am so excited about Memphis and the surrounding area and the companies that are coming here like Ford Motor Company in Stanton, Tennessee with Blue Oval City. We have to continue to build up our educational systems.  Give the schools money for buildings.  Make sure excellent charter schools are getting their fair share.  There are also many foundations in Memphis that give money.  I encourage them to give to some of these excellent charter schools.  On their website, I have seen that some don't fund charter schools.

My husband always reminds me that college isn't for every child.  That is the reality.  We thank God for the ones who are able to graduate from high school and go to college.  We also thank him for the ones who find their niche in other trades.  I am encouraged by the fact that they put the technical emphasis back in the schools.  When we were in high school, they had home economics, Future Homemakers of America,  DECA, Future Farmers of America, and shop.  We also have to understand the reality that a lot of our children come from low-income backgrounds.

My background is poor, low economics, or whatever buzzword we are using today. I was raised by my grandmother because she did what parents do.  She helped her kids raise their kids. There was not a lot of industry in Grand Junction, Tennessee.  To this day, there is still not a lot of industry there for whatever reason. Everyone didn't want to work in the cotton fields in the 60s, and I couldn't much blame them.  They probably weren't paying much.  My Mom like her siblings went to Memphis to get a job.  My Dad and many of his siblings moved north to Detroit and Illinois.  My dad retired from Ford.  

We thank God for parents who were able to support their children while they went somewhere to make a life. Of course, my Mom always came to check on me, Jackie, and Carl.  She had my brother Will with her. Then my brother Carl went to stay with her.  After my grandmother died, she raised my sister Jackie, and I stayed with her during summer breaks or holiday breaks while attending college.  Happy to say that all of my siblings have careers and have gotten educated.  All of my siblings have started businesses. My grandmother and Mom didn't play about raising kids.  My siblings are no different.

As a parent, you need to demand to your school board that these technical programs are available in high school.  I have taught many young girls who were looking forward to going to high school to take cosmetology.  I am not sure how many schools have this program, but you can make a good living as a hairstylist.  Our young men can make a good living as plumbers, electricians, mechanics, carpenters, HVAC specialists, and many other trades. The Hispanic population has come to America and basically, they are taking territory in construction and landscaping.  Why are many of our urban inner city youth being left out of the loop? Yawl better wake up. 

This crime rate in Memphis will go down when we equip our young people with some ways to make legal money once they leave high school.  Unfortunately, some of our parents will have to do a better job getting a handle on their child's behavior at an early age.  They need to be disciplined and know who runs this.  If not, they will try and run you when they get older. My parents weren't going and I wasn't trying to try anybody because you would end up on the ground.

I plan to do more installments of Cash Strapped America.  If there is a particular topic that you are interested in with my blog or if you are one of my newsletter subscribers, hit me up at shamer@sandrahamer.com.  I work by day, but I am trying to take my writing to the next level. It's my husband, family, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority sisters, church members, co-workers, my social media followers, newsletter followers, Memphians, folks from home like Grand Junction and Hardeman County, former television news viewers, former bosses, and many others who have encouraged me.  I just want to thank you.  If I missed anyone, as the older people say, charge it to my head and not my heart.

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?


5 Sneaky Ways Divination Maybe Sneaking Into the Church


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


What Does the Bible Say About Trust and Its Importance?


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


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?