Throwback Thursdays: Gurdon High School Alma Mater

Photo Taken From:  Gurdon High School Page
Photo Taken From: Gurdon High School Page

Coach Edna Cooper said, “The girls performed very well at both tournaments. They instituted team work by causing turnovers, blocking shots, and limited outside shooting. In the first tournament, Crossett defeated us but, in the second tournament the girls were very determined to take the victory home. They set a goal and achieved the goal by playing hard both offensively and defensively, on both sides of the court.The girls continue to practice hard because they know what they are capable of doing, right now. As a coach I am proud of the girls and I am proud to represent Gurdon.”

Every so often I find myself singing my high school alma mater (song).  It’s been nearly 36 years since I’ve graduated high school and I still have Gurdon pride.  What does that tell you?

It tells me that the staff and students set the standards in how I would push forwards to pursue my dreams; and how their comradery and friendship would continue to impact my life as an adult.  

Upon reflection:  Graduation was a sad day for me.  It meant I would be leaving the school I love.  I would no longer keep contact with the teachers that cared.  And I would lose many friends with memories I shared.  I didn’t want to graduate!  But I did!  And here I am learning a craft I never wanted to learn, writing.

I’m sure it’s many of the principles I learned at Gurdon that keeps me in the game of wanting to become a publish author.  It is those same principles that make me want to change at least one life.  For in changing one life I will have made a difference.

Photographer:  Sherry Kelley
Photographer: Sherry Kelley

Attending Gurdon High for three years became defining moments for me.  And, again, those years set the standards I wanted and want to meet.  And when I read Coach Edna Cooper’s comment about the determination of the Lady Go-Devils’ win, I was quickly taken back to times that changed the course of my life.

It’s wonderful to see that Gurdon is continuing teaching youth to press forwards despite obstacles.  Also it is great to see the message is taking roots in their lives.

I’m overjoyed that Edna is doing what she loves!  Coaching!  Also it’s wonderful to see an underclassman inspiring youth to meet their life goals!

Gurdon High School Alma Mater:

For ol” Gurdon’s Honor
We will fight on
We will keep fighting
Till the day, is done
And when the dawn comes
We will still be fighting onward
For the Purple and Gold
We’ll keep on fighting
For Gurdon High

Fight team fight!  Do your best!  Remember you’re fighting for GHS!

Granny’s Wisdom: The Family Killed Their Cash-cow

Honour killing 01“I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marring a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it.” –Farzana Parveen’s Father

Yesterday, I entered into a social hornets nest.  The group topic I chose to comment on was about a young 25-year-old Pakistani woman.  She was several months pregnant and married a man 20 years older with five motherless children.  The price she paid for not seeking family approval on the man she married was death.

What makes this crime worse than horrible is she was stoned to death by those that should have loved her most, her family.

And what socially puts this on the Richter scale as being the most horrible crime done in the name of God are the religious head-hunters.

But this crime had nothing to do with religion.  Her father clearly stated, ‘she had insulted all of our family by marring a man without our consent.’  He said nothing about them persecuting her for religious reasons.  Yet, those that dislike any form of religion say’s differently; including one of the groups I belong to on Facebook.

Their viewpoints on the matter are why I’m writing this blog post.  Because according to the admin she first expresses the matter as “not directly religion based, but an honour killing.”  Then she turns around and writes, “However, religious laws which are rampant, which treat women as chattels and not as people, and which place their only value in marriage and breeding are responsible for the attitudes which make honour killiings so common.”  

It’s a sad state of affairs when a group of people have nothing better to do with their time outside of bashing religion and religious groups.  And it is even sadder when the group fail to accept reality that no one, no religious entity, or social group is perfect; not even theirs.

I feel the statements of the admin smacks of headhunting.  And after viewing the news clipping of an overseas television station that stated the crime was cultural and not linked to Islāmic faith practices my thoughts were confirmed that the group was out for religious blood.

Apart from pointing out the group’s efforts for blaming religion, I felt the administrator and those within the group straddle-the-fence when it came to addressing the real issues about what lead up to the untimely death of the young woman.  Blinded by religious prejudices each group member failed to see the true culprit(s).  Yet, they were hell-bent in their dogmatic practice in making sure I understood their cock-eyed viewpoints on the subject; which was by the way religious practice was behind the stoning.

As I saw things, their viewpoints held validity for those that hate religion and those that do not follow God.

One gentleman basically stated religious people were brainwashed.  And that those who choose to believed in God were delusional because they believed in “imaginary friends in the sky.”  Oh isn’t he cute!  Just a bit of sarcasm! He went on to tell me that he needed to teach me theology because I knew nothing of the word of God. I felt his tainted knowledge kept and keeps him prisoner of his self-absorb very flawed character.  I got his point!  But his arrogance stopped him from getting mine.  I knew he wanted me to understand that if I understood the word of God as he deduced it, I would not be so apt to follow Christ.  Hum . . . Whatever!

Honestly the real gem of his religious mockery was him babbling that I was trying to convert him!  Convert hell!  I was defending my faith and my rights as a follower of Christ to state what I felt was truth in this particular “honour killing.”

Then after Mr. I Have Courage Behind The Computer Screen tried to shame me for being a follower of Christ among his peers, his little goonies chimed in!  And the insult game was on!

Each person tried to tell me that I didn’t know what I was talking about.  They were spewing out their rehearsed anti-religion scrap quickly!  They wanted the key players to know they were on top of their positions as being group gophers.  And to make sure they got group acknowledgement for their efforts in setting this indoctrinated idiot straight, they would every so often ask for a pat on the head after their self-destructive comments.

I knew exactly what I was stating and why I made my comments.  I knew they were talking about honour killings.  I also knew they were straddling the fence by agreeing with ‘not directly religion based, but an honour killing’ misleading statement.

Honestly, as a logical person, I want to know what does that statement really mean?!!!  And how is their key-board courage helping these defeated women?

Farzana Parveen is just one of many women that will be killed this year in Pakistan.  Many of their deaths will be administered by family members.  And thinking for themselves will be their crimes.  These types of killings, (no! wait!) any type of killing is wrong!  For any reason!

As an American, as a woman, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s niece, someone’s aunt, and someone’s mother, I feel the women in Pakistan should have the right to marry the man of their choice!  They should have the right to marry for love.  They should have the rights to decide if they want to continue cultural tradition in allowing their family to pick their husband.  But they should not be killed for any reason; and certainly not because they used their brain.

These women are not cash cows!  Yet, cultural practice deems them so!  And because Farzana Parveen used her brain to stand up for her dignity she was stoned to death.  The organ that made her Farzana Parveen was smashed out of her body.  And no one stepped up to the plate to help her.

The men in her family that brutally attacked her and the men on the streets of Pakistan that sat/stood by and watched this unthinkable crime publicly dishonored themselves.  There is no honor in a mob killing let alone killing a helpless pregnant woman!

And as for supporting my argument below:

“Call it what you may but this was not a religious honor killing. This senseless act was a killing of selfishness. It had nothing to do with religion but everything to do with monetary disappointments. And sadly religion of any kind, mainly Christians, are being blamed here for this horrific act. Only far left wing and far right wing groups would partake in an inhuman act; and, thus, called themselves justified. The ex-boy friend was upset because he had something to gain from the marriage of convenience and lost it when she married for love. The father was upset because the man she married didn’t have as much as the man he choose. So after she failed to leave the man she loved and professed her love in court the father was angered even more because of his monetary losses! Therefore, they killed her out of anger and the rest went along because they failed to use their small brains. So! No! This was not a religious act! This was a crime of economy! A crime that can be considered as a selfish monetarily motivated act and it didn’t happen in America! And all involved should be captured and tried for murder.” –Annette Harrison

Tune in next time!  But remember to prayer and or do something to help other’s.

Inspirational Fridays: Are You A Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean?

Are You A Carrot, Egg, or Coffee Bean

(Author Unknown)

Photo taken from: www.revivedkitchen.com
Photo taken from: http://www.revivedkitchen.com

A young woman told her mother about her life and how things were so hard. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed that as one problem was solved, a new one arose.

Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to a boil. In the first, she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.

In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She then pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

Turning to her daughter, she asked, “Tell me, what do you see?”

“Carrots, eggs, and coffee,” she replied.

She brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. She then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, she asked her to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

The daughter then asked, “What does it mean, Mother?”

Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity — boiling water — but each reacted differently. The carrot went in

Photo taken from:  www.newhealthguide.org
Photo taken from: http://www.newhealthguide.org

strong, hard and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior. But, after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.

“Which are you?” she asked her daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg, or a coffee bean?”

Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity, do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?

Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and a hardened heart?

Photo taken from:  www.treasurecoastcoffeetrader.com
Photo taken from: http://www.treasurecoastcoffeetrader.com

Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor of your life. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hours are the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate to another level?

How do you handle adversity? Are you changed by your surroundings or do you bring life, flavor, to them?

SO…..ARE YOU A CARROT, AN EGG, OR A COFFEE BEAN?

Granny’s Wisdom: Do Not Wear Out Your Welcome

This is my second cousin, Felicia Hayes, and my grandmother, Queen Hayes.
This is my second cousin, Felicia Hayes, and my grandmother, Queen Hayes.

I wonder how many people have heard the phrase “do not wear out your welcome.”  Hum . . . I first heard the expression from my grandmother when I was young.

Back when I was once a kid, and a know-it-all, it seemed my late maternal grandmother would always say those words to my cousins, my siblings and me.  I’m not sure how my family members took her wisdom; but back when I was a child I thought my grandmother was old, uncaring, uneducated, mean-spirited, and truly out of touch with the mental and emotional needs of the young.  [chuckle]

I can remember as if it was yesterday sassing her for this or that.  But nothing stands out more than the time she would not let me go over to my cousin’s house as often as I wanted.   And, sadly, it was late into my adult years before I understood the meaning ‘do not wear out your welcome.’

As I’m looking back on things and reflecting upon how I dismissed her words of caution, I now understand why my life was filled with heartaches.

I hate to admit to myself but I deserved all the bumps I got from being hardheaded; and my self enlightenment really makes me feel foolish about things I had blame on others.

Well, any-who-how . . . It was by divine revelation I found the phrase in the Bible one day.  I was shocked!  It was amazing to read that God gives his children the same warning!

Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house– too much of you, and they will hate you. Proverbs 25:17

The message I get from this passage is:  don’t be so darn clingy!  Get a life!  Explore parts of your life without others.  Enjoy family when can.  And remember a bit of you goes a long ways.

I’m coming to terms with my granny’s wisdom.  My grandmother has passed but her words live on.  And each day that I live I think about her abrasive and unharness wisdom.  I’m learning she was indeed the smartest woman I will ever know and most of all she loved me.

A Letter to Jahi McMath Family

Photographer:  Unknown
Photographer: Unknown

As a mother and a humanitarian I can only imagine the heaviness of your hearts.  Death is not easy to emotionally and mentally digest.  The news of a loved ones’ passing seems to eat away at the soul-searching for understanding.  Understanding no words of comfort expressed can give because grief is an individual spiritual process.  And since it was a healthy child and a member of your family that died the search for understanding is all the more vital.  And I’m sure you have heard the following words more than you care to hear them:  The death of a child is so unnatural.

I don’t want my thoughts to sound callous because I really do understand your sorrow; but it just seems the statement “The death of a child is so unnatural” are meaningless words when there are no answers to explain a tragic parting.  No parent or grandparent should outlive their child or grand-children.  So, truly, my heart goes out to each of you as individuals and a family group because you were left without the opportunity to say last goodbyes to Jahi.

The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained.

To my family, friends, loved ones, and readers:

I am asking you to share my post.  Not because I need followers but the McMath family will need financial help for final expenses once Jahi is taken off life support.  You can give at: http://www.gofundme.com/team-jahi.

Today, Monday, December 23, 2013, the judge will make a decision for the fate of her earthly remains.  You can follow the story at:  http://www.ktvu.com/news/news/local/girl-left-brain-dead-after-tonsil-surgery-being-ta/ncMgG/

 

 

Vocabulary Mondays: Agapae

Photo taken from:  http://ubdavid.org/advanced/practical/practical-christian_21.html
Photo taken from: http://ubdavid.org/advanced/practical/practical-christian_21.html

It has been years since I have used the word agapae.  But I wanted to use it in a short message to a dear friend.  Since I knew I had forgotten how to spell the word I decided to Google it.  I typed the following within the Google search bar:  agodbae, agodba, agotbae and etc.  Yet, nothing I spelled gave me the correct spelling for the word I so dearly wanted to use.  I was becoming frustrated.  I even thought maybe I had learned a word that did not exist.

Let’s just say it took me forever to find the correct spelling of agape, but, nevertheless, I found it!  And I used it!  Hip hip hooray!

Word:  agapae

Part of Speech:  noun, plural

Meanings:

1.  the love of God or Christ for humankind.

2.  the love of Christians for other persons, corresponding to the love of God for humankind.

3.  unselfish love of one person for another without sexual implications; brotherly love.

4.  love feast (  defs 1, 2 ).

Origin and History:

agape
c.1600, from Gk. agapan “greet with affection, love” (used by early Christians for their “love feast” held in connection with the Lord’s Supper), from agapan “to love,” of unknown origin. In modern use, often in simpler sense of “Christian love” (1856, frequently opposed to eros as “carnal or sensual.

 

Gotta Bad Attitude . . . Remember

Inspirational
Author:  Unknown

 

Inspirational Fridays: Giving Is The Best Communication . . .

The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis...
The First Thanksgiving, painting by Jean Louis Gerome Ferris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

With Thanksgiving quickly approaching I am at a lost for a dinner menu.

 

Honestly, I am so over turkey and dressing, collard greens, black-eyed peas, mashed potatoes covered in turkey gravy, corn, candy yams and sweet potato-pie with a dollop of cool-whip.  But if I met one person that has never feasted on such a lavish Thanksgiving meal I would find the strength to prepare it and cultivate an appetite to eat it once again.

 

Yesterday my cousin Theresa told me I was not the person she once knew.  She said, “You’ve changed.”  She went on to express how she remembered my tearful outbursts and moments later how I would be extremely happy, or short-tempered.  Honestly, I had forgotten those moments and the young woman that felt life was not worth living.  And I find it spiritually amazing how God will allow others to remind you of days gone by.  And how the kindness of others helped transformed your life during difficult moments.  As a result of my transformation I am grateful for all things.

 

So today I am taking the time to search for and post inspiring messages to help someone along the way.  If the message I share is not for you please pass it on.  You never know who will need words of encouragement.  So to kick off my inspirational Friday messages is the below video of a businessman’s compassion for humanity.

 

Happy Friday!

 

 

When Love Transcend Social Boundaries

Artist:  Unknown
Artist: Unknown

Last Sunday I was pressed to write a prayer for my blog  “The Prayers of Black Women.”  I wasn’t sure of my spiritual request to God; but, I felt my prayer should have been about Black women.

[Please don’t stop reading.  God is working in my life on my misplaced and misguided thoughts, and you will read the transformation soon.]

Any-who-how, I was proud of my “I’m Black and I’m Proud” prayer.  Yet, I desired another persons opinion [preferably a black person].  So, I asked my son to come and proofread the prayer I had written.

Again, please don’t stop reading.  God is working in my life on my misplaced and misguided thoughts about what it truly means to be a Black woman; and believe me when I write, my transformation is coming soon.  Sooner than I expect!

Insight:

For the past couple of days my soul has been unease about the image I’m projecting as a woman of color.

In my personal life I have an array of friends from all walks of life.

With great remorse, I have notice when I write I come across as a person of color that do not like people from other race groups.  The image I’m projecting is totally the opposite of my character.  Totally!  And if you keep reading you will soon see God is getting ready to transform the way I have been thinking and writing lately.

Dialogue between me and my son:

Me:  Can you please proofread my prayer?

My Son:  Hum.  Hum.  Okay.  (My son does not like to get involved in my writing projects.  So I was shocked when he said he would help me.)

Me:  So what do you think?

My Son:  If I came across your blog I would not read it.

Me:  Why?  [I was shocked at his bluntness.]

My Son:  Because it doesn’t have anything that could help me.

Me:  Of course not!  It’s a blog for Black women!

My Son:  Isn’t this about prayer?

Me:  Yes.  But it is a prayer for Black women.

My Son:  Shouldn’t prayer be for everyone?

Me:  [Speechless.]

Lesson Learned:

As a former seminar student I recently realized several pitfalls of racism.

In 1 Corinthians 15:31, Paul writes, “For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you.”

Though I am on a spiritual sabbatical, I am an ambassador for Christ; therefore, my color, race, culture, and personal beliefs outside of Christianity should die daily.  But as it was, after finding myself upset with narrow-minded people I began a blog for Black women despite the need to encourage everyone.

Please understand, I am not a racist, my heart grieves for my race.  With such sorrow I find myself disappointed with a group of people who keep allowing themselves to fall prey to the cruelties of society.  My mind can’t grasp why these beautiful men and women continue to be mentally and emotionally castrated.   It is painful to belong to a race and sit idle as it implode.  Hosea 4:6 says, “My people perish for the lack of knowledge.

And because I don’t want my people to perish, sadly, my gender and my race became my cause to write.  When in my case it should have been man’s inhumanity to man who made me want to make a difference by putting into action “the pen is mightier than the sword.”  Because at the end of the day when all has been said and done we are still humans in need of love despite, race, color, culture, personal beliefs, personal choices, professional choices, religious choices, age and gender.

Until humankind understand that life without love and acceptance is all for not.  We will continue to overlook the most important thing to remember about living:  and that is when love transcend social boundaries it makes people do the right thing.  In 1 Corinthians 13:2-7 Paul writes the below about love:

If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

America New Frontier for American Female Slave Descendants

Do not allow to slip away from you freedoms the people who came before you won with such hard knocks.  ~David Herbert Lawrence

It has been said that American slaves were not ready for freedom.  Hum?  With a hint of sarcasm, I can’t help but wonder why people forced and kept in captivity would be ready for advancement.  With sincerity I wonder if those that made such a comment were correct.

After growing mentally, emotionally, acquiring knowledge on many subjects, and becoming aware of the importance of ethnicity, as a woman of color I see slavery as a sad life changing event for African-American descendants in a wonderful way.  Don’t get me wrong I feel slavery was horrible.  It was brutal.  It made captive men and women feel helpless and hopeless.  It kept their descendants in continual fear.  And most of all it made humans feel non-human.  But it changed the course of life for many African slave freed descendants.

The process of slave choice was methodical.  Before deporting African’s to their destination and to fulfill their future owners purposes as slaves each captive would be inspected.  Their chins were licked for body salt content; they were also examined for tropical diseases, and, as a result, only the best African captives were kept and shipped.  If an African did not pass the tests performed they would be set free.  Other words with out question the cream of the crop Africans made it to America.  Thus, meaning the American Black woman came from strong African genetic lineages.

Think on this:  The only reason slavery was permitted to run rampant is because God had greater purposes for the descendants of African captives.  But in order for God’s plan to come about he allowed the puppeteers (slave traders/slave owners) to control new captives and enslave workers with fear; hence, giving slave traders and slave owners the illusion of having total power.  For at any time during any part of the slave trade process God could have removed all fears.  Allowed each captive to speak the same language.  And take control of the situation because of the simple fact the newly captive and slaves outnumbered their oppressors.  Instead God remained silent for a greater purpose and allowed slavery to stay as an economical institution for over four centuries.  As a descendant of slaves, I feel God’s purpose was and is allowing America to become the new frontier for African American female slave descendants.

Remember this:  It is up to the American Black women as people and a gender group to welcome the opportunities.  Opportunities that were literally paid for with the blood of those that came before us.  Only a defeated person will lay and wallow in self-pity and allow opportunities to pass them by.  As I have told my grand-daughter when she wanted to join drama and choir and felt the doors were closed . . . keep going back until someone recognize you are serious about joining those activities.  I also made known that eventually someone will get tired of seeing her face and give her a chance to prove she is worthy for an audition.  She was frustrated!  She was feed up with my “go back’s.” And reluctantly she took my advice.  Today she is in drama and loving it!  It took her half the school year to get into drama but she made it!  In addition to joining drama she was recently selected to sing in the school talent show.  She is so excited!  Life is grand for her and again she loves it!

As Black women we have to work harder to meet our goals.  Most often the struggles are daunting and make our goals seem less important, but don’t give up and don’t give in.  Keep going!  If you can’t get in the front door hell try a side door.  If the side door won’t open check the back door.  If the back door is locked go through a window and if the window is locked cut a hole in the roof throw down a rope and make your dream happen!  Successes only come to those and for those people that are hungry for their desires to materialize!  So again I quote David Herbert Lawrence, “Do not allow to slip away from you freedoms the people who came before you won with such hard knocks.”