Prayers of Black Women: Make Me an Instrument of Your Peace

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

Prayer of St. Frances

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace;
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
Amen.

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!

Inspirational Fridays: Trouble Getting Going?

Family Travel TrailerI just got back from a five-day camping trip.  My family and I decided to join a friend and her family at a local state park.  I knew preparing for the mini-vacation would be a chore; since, I have been emotionally and physically tired for years.  But a vacation of some sort was a high priority.  So, when my friend told me that she and her family was going camping at Boyd Lake State Park, I reserved a camping spot for my family and me to join her and her family.

My friend was too excited to have us come with.  She had made plans for us as a group to do this and that.  She had made her trailer as the command central.  She had even planned several of our meals (without consulting me).  Her efforts were those of a true friend but her services were not totally needed.  As you can see, my dearest and sweetest friend took it upon herself to make plans for everyone without consulting with anybody.  And had the women of both families checked with each other about the trip perhaps hurt feelings could have been avoided.

My friend had failed to see I wanted some me time.  I wanted to escape the demands of my demanding life.  I wanted to sit and or lay in the comforts of cleanliness.  I wanted to enjoy my trailer that has been for years a BIG source of disappointment in some mental capacity.  But, nevertheless [sigh], the trailer belongs to me and mine and we love it despite of all the headaches it has given us.  And we are always overjoyed to use it when it is not in the shop for months at a time because it was poorly made.

However, with all that was going on mentally, I had very little time to freely think about the direction of my life until now.

I got the below YouTube video from a fellow blogger and I thought I would share the powerful message with you:

If You’re Happy Being an Atheist Guess What?

cross1I have this really cool friend on Facebook.  I have never seen her and of course she has never met me in person either but we are friends.  I cherish and respect her opinions about life and she gives me the same courtesy.  She’s an Atheist and I’m a Christian.  And we have never had disagreements about my choice to worship Christ or her choice not to believe in a deity.

Yet, the rights to worship or not worship seems to make most people go crazy on both sides of the fence.  I can’t help but wonder why?

And here is where I’m going to make a few people upset about the subject:

It’s not my job to police the world and set lives on the path of God.  And more so, it is wrong to push religion, faith and God on others.  People were given free will at birth.  Meaning we have the rights to follow God or deny His deity.

I’m a Christian and hardcore evangelism really upsets me!  I hate when Christian’s come to my front door and give me their “you’re going to hell for this reason spill.”  Honestly, I quickly shut the door in their faces.

No one wants to hear they’re doom to an eternal life of fiery damnation.  No one wants to hear they are worthless and unworthy!  Christ died for us all because we were worth the sacrifice!  And as I see things, had an Atheist been the only person on earth God would have sent Jesus to die for him/her too!

Now there will be those that will gasp at my statement “If you’re happy being an Atheist I’m happy for you!”

Only baby Christians or far left/right-wing Christians feel the need to invoke fear and force feed religion.  Spiritual force feeding is not showing a person to Christ and or God.

God clearly say’s in Jeremiah 31:3, “Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love; with loving kindness have I drawn thee.”  Hum. . . ‘with love and kindness’ has He made Himself known to those that choose to follow Him.  No where in that passage does it say club people over the head with the word of God and drag them to the altar to repent!

Truly, the God I worship is a loving God.  He is slow to anger and quick to forgive.  And he certainly doesn’t want His children to bully people with His word!  Therefore, when I meet people who don’t believe in Christ I respect their choice, because I want them to respect mine!  So if you are an Atheist and you think I’m going to try to convert you to my faith you are sadly mistaken.  And, again, “if you’re happy being an Atheist I’m happy for you!”  And!  Yes!  I’m a Christian!

 

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.

The Prayer’s of Black Women: Restoring the Heart of America

Photo Source:  www.sodhead.com
Photo Source: http://www.sodhead.com

Well, Lord, I have finally gotten up from the couch.  Mostly because your spirit has urged me to write a pray.

But, Lord, I feel torn about what I should pray.  There are so many life situations that need your help.  So, again, I feel torn about what I should pray about.  However the situation that seems to be heaviest on my heart is the spiritual and cancerous choice of Americans.

The choice to remove you from our country is drowning this wonderful nation in the pool of political correctness; thus, giving birth to spiritual chaos.

We have taken you out of everything!  We have taken you out of our governmental institutions, our business, our schools, our churches, our homes, our children, our families and our daily actions.  And because we have taken you out of everything we are now experiencing the following:  high unemployment, high divorce rates, high rate of children born out-of-wedlock, high rates of child exploitation’s, extreme amounts of mental illness, and people having disregards for life.

Sadly, Lord, as we the American people bicker over small things such as who should or should not get married.  Or should the NRA step in and help make stiffer laws for obtaining firearms!  Or if a black man is making good or bad choices up on Capitol Hill!  Lord, the country that I love is quickly falling into a perilous state.

Lord the catalyst for what is happening in America is our ease in removing you from our lives!  It’s not the black man up on Capitol Hill!  He’s just one man!  It’s not Joe marrying Johnny or Susan marring Sally!  And it’s certainly not mandating tougher gun laws!  It was removing you!

Lord, the American people need to hear from you!  We need to hear from the God that got this American party started.  We’re a young nation.  And we’re making our fair share of mistakes.  But, Lord, the biggest mistake we have made thus far was removing you!

I’m praying for my country.  I’m asking you for your mercy upon me and my country.  I’m asking you God to show us how to repair our relationship with you.  I’m asking you to forgive the arrogance of the American people.  I’m praying that you will do a historical roll call in their minds and in their hearts.  I’m asking Lord that they remember the blood that was shade for our freedoms; and how you fought along the men that were fighting for all to be freed men and women.  I’m asking you to remind them that our ancestors came here to freely worship you.  I’m asking you to remind them this country was born from a divine dream and supported and encouraged by spiritual God.

For George Santayana once wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  And in Numbers 14:26-38 people perished and wondered in the wilderness because they had lost faith in you and your abilities to create a new land for a people of promise.  Lord, help the country that I love.  Heal the heart of this country because America is a land of promise and we are a people of promise.

Your Loving Daughter,
Annette

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?