October 30, 2008

Prayers for the Hudson and Pressly Families

Father in the name of Jesus, I come before you today with a heavy heart. I am so thankful for your love and mercy. I am so thankful for your grace. I am so thankful for your Word and Holy Spirit, but my heart is grieving over the vicious attacks again these two families. My heart is grieving for that son, daughter, brother, sister, mother, father, cousin, uncle, grandmother that was snatached away from us.

Lord, I know that you have a plan for every situation and action. Lord God, I ask that your Holy Spirit provide comfort and peace to the Hudson and Pressly Families. Lord, I ask that you be with them in this time of grief and sorrow. I ask, also, that you compel the perpetrators of this crime to come forward. Lord, don't give them peace...make them uncomfortable...make them restless until they take responsibility for their actions and turn themselves in for committing these crimes. Lord, I ask that you soften the heart of those who know the perpetrators. Lord, give them the courage to come forward and speak out against the viscious attacks. Lord, turn what the enemy meant for tragedy into a blessing for these families. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

October 25, 2008

A Prayer for the Hudson Family

*This video was shared by Truustar at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TzhCul8oNG8&eurl=http://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home *

Father God, in the name of Jesus, we come before you today in thanksgiving and praise for all the blessings that you have bestowed in our lives. Lord, we are so thankful for your enduring love, mercy, and grace. Lord, we ask for a special prayer of mercy and protection for the Hudson family. We ask that you extend Your Holy Spirit to be with them - around them and in them - during this time of grief. Lord, we don't always understand the circumstances of life or why bad things happen to good people, but we do know that you are a loving and awesome and good God and we ask that you send your angels to comfort this family. We ask that you soften the hearts of those who perpetuated this violent act against this family and that you compel them to do the right thing, even now. And we ask that even in this tragedy that your will be done. God, let your light and love and goodness shine even in this hour of sorrow for this family. Equip the people closest to the Hudsons to be steadfast in your Word and filled with Your Holy Spirit. Equip the family with individuals with their best interest at heart and with counselors and spokesperson with a mind stayed on you, God. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

October 15, 2008

My Daily Meditation

If you decide for God, living a life of God-worship, it follows that you don't fuss about what's on the table at mealtimes or whether the clothes in your closet are in fashion. There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.

Has anyone by fussing in front of the mirror ever gotten taller by so much as an inch? All this time and money wasted on fashion—do you think it makes that much difference? Instead of looking at the fashions, walk out into the fields and look at the wildflowers. They never primp or shop, but have you ever seen color and design quite like it? The ten best-dressed men and women in the country look shabby alongside them.

If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don't you think he'll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I'm trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God's giving. People who don't know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don't worry about missing out. You'll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

--Matthew 6:25 - 34 (The Message)

October 11, 2008

Celebrating My Day: October 11th

Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind."

Matthew 22:37

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from Him.

Psalm 61:1

The two scriptures popped up for my daily devotions on my two blogs. I smiled to myself as I thought how timely these scriptures were for me right now in my life as I celebrate 37 years of life on this earth. My journey to me has been long and difficult - filled with too many regrets, too much heartache, and too much pain. However, these years have also been filled with many blessings.

I was blessed with the opportunity to gleam from my birth mother, my step mother, my father, my three grandmothers, my two great-aunts, my two grandfathers, my three older sisters who think they are my Momma, my younger sister who thinks she is my Momma, and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, and extended family members who over the years have showered me with tons of love and support. I also have a host of friends and mentors - from Baltimore to Savannah to Atlanta to Miami to San Francisco - who over the years have shared their love, insight, and economic support with me. In some cases, they have become like family providing emotional, financial, and sometimes physical assistance when my blood family was unable to do so.

I have traveled across the United States and visited two continents. I have travelled to West Africa and South Africa. I have visited two Native American reservations. I have attended an United Nations sponsored conference. I have worked for some amazing organizations - all (the amazing ones and not so amazing ones) have helped me grow personally and professionally. I have participated in numerous fellowships and leadership programs which have introduced me to some of the most talented, witty, and creative people on this planet. I have launched and run a nonprofit organization which helped me plant positive seeds in the lives of youth. I have launched and run three for-profit businesses. I have written and published a book. I have had the opportunity to help empower adults by equipping them with literacy and leadership skills. I have had the opportunity to serve under pastors who walk in love and integrity. I have had the opportunity to engage in conversations with people from all backgrounds and ethnicities. I have had the opportunity to know and experience true love.

And although I have many deficits that I feel need "fixing," I am here: sane, healthy, secure, and saved. I didn't start this year with all four of these traits and too be honest I just slid into my birthday clinging on to all four. Yet, I am here and I am so thankful for my life!

October 4, 2008

Miracle at St. Anna - Don't Believe the Critics! This is one of the BEST movies EVER!

I went to the movies today to see the Miracle at St. Anna, and I was blown away by the rich story line and the superb acting. Spike Lee did a phenomenal job telling the story of what it was like for Black men serving in War World II . Don't believe the critics. This is an excellent movie that will have you on the edge of your seat - sometimes laughing, sometimes crying but always thinking about the complex messages that jump out at you from every scene. Spike Lee has really grown as a producer, and this movie is evidence of his creativity and genius.

I hope you take the time in the next week or so to buy a ticket to see this movie. We need more movies like Miracle at St. Anna that tell our story with grace, honor, and dignity. For now, let's support this movie and make it a blockbuster. If you are an educator or a parent, I would encourage you to use the movie as a teachable moment for teens or adults attending ESOL and GED programs. There are some extremely graphic killing scenes and at least one partial sex scene, so you should use good judgment and probably only encourage young people aged 14 or over to see the movie.

October 3, 2008

Wisdom Pearls...

Last week, I had the opportunity to attend a book signing by Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi. Among other things, she is the author of Know Your Power: Message to America's Daughters. One thing that struck me during her talk was her constant references to family, God, and community.

House Speaker Pelosi, a native Baltimorean, shared the story behind the catch phrase, "Know your Power." She spoke fondly of former Congresswoman Lindy Boggo who originally told her, "Know thy power and use it!" I grasped the following wisdom pearls from Speaker Pelosi's talk:
  • "There is a spark of divinity in every person"
  • "My parents raised me to be holy"
  • "Public service is a noble cause; we all have a responsibility to help other people"
  • "You must own the ground"
  • "You only had a conversation, not a political action"
  • "We all have an obligation to give a new president cooperation and respect; that is our responsibility as American citizens"
  • "silent subjects"
Her talk reminded me of a Ghandi quote I keep seeing in and around Baltimore on advertisements by JHU:

"Live like you are going to die tomorrow. Learn like you are going to live forever."

Both challenge me to focus daily on the really important things in life -like living free - and to not get boggled down with self-doubt, indecisiveness, petty arguments, reprehension, and reproach.