Prayers of Black Women: Amazing Grace by John Newton

John Newton

John Newton is the author of this spiritually enlightenment hymn.  At the age of eleven he became a seaman and later was imprisoned.  After escaping from those that held him captive he found work on a slave-trading ship.  It was then God began to work on his conscience about the cruelties of slavery.  And it was then when he wrote this beautiful hymn as a testament to his transformation from being a slave-ship captain to becoming a Christian.

Most often God takes our wrong to right the wrong of man’s inhumanity to man.  We’re His wonderful creation with the flaw of cruelty attached to our characters.  It is only by God’s amazing grace that saves us from always extending the hand of destruction to our brothers and sisters.

– Prayer –

I pray this day for God’s peace in your life.  I ask God to give you His grace.  For the Bible says, His grace is enough for you and His power is perfect in your weakness as His grace is new every morning.  Have a wonderful day!

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils, and snares,
I have already come;
‘Tis grace has brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His word my hope secures;
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less dys to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

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!

 

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

The Prayers of Black Women: Lord Help Me Make It Safely to Shore

Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.  –Corrie Ten Boom
Artist:  Henry Lee Battle
Artist: Henry Lee Battle

Lord, I am worried.  And I am [sigh] not alone.  I need for you to minister to my lowly spirit and those that feel the same as I do.  Lord, we need to hear from you.  Make your Holy presence known in giving us signs that everything is going to be alright.  Lord, I’m not sure of the challenges my brothers and sisters in Christ are facing this morning but my challenges for today are:  I have no money to meet the demands of my responsibilities and financial obligations.  And adding to my list of worries last night the stove decided to join the refrigerator and go on the blink.  And my efforts to secure financial stability and generational legacy seem fruitless.  The feeling of defeat is hovering over my head as a continual reminder I am failing as a daughter, sister, mother, wife, and entrepreneur.

Please, Lord, keep the defeatist attitude away.  Please help me and those that feel like me stay positive in the midst of life’s storms.   Become our lighthouse and guide us safely to harbor oh Lord.  Amen

Your Loving Daughter,
Annette

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.

 

Inspirational Fridays: Aging With and Without Regrets

As my sister celebrated her birthday this year she was and is unquestionably delighted to turn 50. I on the other hand did not look forwards to turning another year older.  Yet my 52 birthday was creeping closely and did manage to arrive on scheduled.   My birthday is never late!   Honestly, I really wish after I had turned 30 my birthday would come around once every 10 years.

It appears my regretful and wounded soul continues to look for the life that was lost so long ago.

My person questions all of life’s ambitions, my life’s ambitions, to a point where I’m silently asking the following:  What makes the aging graceful and ready to grow older and old?  What makes the aging mean and bitter as they do grow older and old?  And what will I become as I age and my physical beauty continues to fade?  Will I be a sweet old woman that has few regrets?  Or will I become an old bag of bitter bones that is mean because I failed to live my life to its fullest?

Truthfully, I would say at this point I am becoming by default ‘an old bag of bitter bones that is mean because I failed to live my life to its fullest.’

Are you shocked at my brutal conclusion of my self awareness examination?  Are you shocked that I can be as truthful about what I inwardly harbor?  Don’t be shocked because there are other’s just like me.  Perhaps you are like me.  Maybe you are worse than me.  But it is never too late for us to change the course of our lives as long as we continue to breathe hope.

At this moment my beloved Colorado is under flood watch.  Because of flooding many of the smaller cities and towns have been force to evacuate. Lives are being uprooted by force of nature and people have to take shelter of safety in unfamiliar places.  Uncertainty about the course of their lives looms over the evacuees’ heads as they wait for the storm to subside.

After carefully watching video footage of flooding areas in Colorado I have come to the conclusion, it is the amount of life’s storms and their surges that determines if we will age gracefully or bitter.

And regrettably sometimes our personal lives from beginning to end are under flood watch or in the eye of the storm.

At least my life is consistently under storm watch; and often my poor choices continue to place me in the midst of raging floods.  And, since, I didn’t know how to swim to safety I have found myself spiritually and emotionally drowning over and over again.  As a result, I regret a few things I have done, moreover, my biggest regrets are the things I failed and continue to fail to do; therefore, for me aging is a big reminder how I wasted my talents and my life.

With remorse I must write, my life [outside of my children] was squandered on people and things that could not validate my existence.  In a nutshell, I confess, I spent the majority of my life looking for validation from people who had never been validated themselves.   So when I turned 50 I felt life was over for me.  I felt nothing about me depicted a life of success and that included the children I dearly love.

But as I continue on this journey we call life, every day I am reminded people age 50 and over that are living wonderful lives with little to no regrets.  And Lillie McCloud is one of those people.  She is an amazing singer.  She has an amazing outlook about her life.  She does not regret putting her singing career on hold to raise her children.  At the age of 54 she feels now is her time to fulfill her dream.  I just love her confidence during her X Factor audition.  She selected the right song. She wore the right outfit. Her persona said what she stated “I’m here to win” as she sang Cece Winans’ song “Alabaster Box.” Everything about Lillie says age 50 is where it’s at!  Check her out:

The Prayers of Black Women: I Just Want To Thank You Lord

Lord thank you for all you’ve done for me!  Yes!  You have kept me and your mercies have been new every morning.

Lord, this morning I’m praying for those that are lonely in spirit, for those that are losing hope, for those that have lost hope, for those that are hungry not only for natural food but spiritual food as well.  I’m praying for those that have been evicted, for those that have lost their homes to foreclosure or short-sale.  I’m praying for those that have lost their jobs or means of financial support.  I’m praying for those that have lost their transportation.  Lord, I’m praying for those that have been victimized by the greed of other’s.  I’m praying for young men and women that feel they are not loved.  I’m praying Lord that you will show the young [and old] your unconditional love.  I’m praying for those that are alcoholics this morning.  I’m praying for the families that have drugged addicted grand-parents, parents, children, and family members.  I’m praying for those that are hooked on drugs.  I’m praying for parents that have lost their children to death.  I’m praying for the grieving husbands and wives that have also lost their spouses to death.  I’m praying for those that are grieving the loss of someone.  I’m praying for those that have been newly divorced and feel void of emotions and can’t see their way clear.  Lord, I’m praying for the seen and unseen needs of those you deeply love.  Lord, I’m asking that you bring comfort to your people.

I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten– the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you.  ~Joel 2.25

Your Loving Daughter,
Annette

 

Taboo Tuesdays: Learning to be Happy in Your Skin – Part III

MA Concerned Mom asked:

I have asked my friends and family a million times but nothing works maybe someone can give me something else to try? I have a daughter who is 5 she is half african american half white. She is a beautiful girl but she HATES her color (carmel). Ive tried explaining to her that she is beautiful and no matter what color she is she is beautiful. Ive tried explaining everything to her it dont work! My son is very pale color and she seems to be so jealous of him I even have a hard time getting her to go to her.dads house or family’s cause she dont want to be around “colored” people. Its like she resents them for her color! She often ask who God punished her and made her brown or if she can paint herself white. Please someone have tips? Im out of ideads..

Most often God is blamed for things people don’t like about themselves and or about their unhappy lives.  With such feelings come anger as disappointed hearts cultivate delusional thoughts.  Often when people chose not to believe in God or the belief that there is a universal creator they lack respect for life (self, others and non-human) on many levels.  I hope to convey in the this paragraph that when a person does not like themselves or their life they detach from the very essence of their spiritual being.

It is as if disappointment(s) in life make self-haters feel less human and void of any spiritual understanding.  At least that is how I felt and feel during moments of self-hatred.  With great remorse I must acknowledge the spirit of self-destruction most often comes with the feeling of self-hatred.

Moment of Revelation:  Oh!  My!  God!  If I could use words to describe my life up till this point they would be “I was a runaway caboose.”

Reflecting on my sad past makes me angry!  Very angry!  The mean spirited actions of others set my life on a course of living hell here on Earth!  What happen to me as a child shows the unrestricted boundaries concerning the cruelties of mankind.  Only mean and heartless people would and will make innocent children feel bad for whatever is deem as a social imperfection!  Sad!  Sad!  Sad!  Sad!  Sad!

Really!  Trust me when I write, I am very upset right now!  I am at the brink of tears!  How can people be so cruel to a little person!Taboo Tues Blog Photo

At this moment I feel like Jesus when he went into His temple, tossed over the money changers table and said in Matthew 21:13, “My Temple will be called a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves!”  

I believe several times within the Bible the body is reference as a temple.  I know for sure 1 Corinthians 6:19 states “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;”  Therefore, Christ is also concerned about the well-being of human temples because it contains part of the Holy Trinity.  With that stated it is noteworthy to recognize that the human body is considered holy.  Where as if children as well as adults are victimized by others the abuse robs the flesh that is also considered a holy place of its spiritual essence; thus, making wounded souls a den of thieves.

Next time I would like to discuss how wounded souls become thieves.  Until then I wish each and everyone a wonderful day!

 

The Prayers of Black Women: Gathering the Pieces of a Broken Marriage

Artist:  Unknown
Artist: Unknown

A week ago I was in a conversation with a friend.  Immediately, I found myself praying silently.  His words were upsetting.  His confidence was frightening.  And most noteworthy was his self-proclaim spiritual position as an ambassador for Christ.  Scary!  His words were without a doubt bloodcurdling.

If he had not came across as an insufferable know-it-all I could have drummed up some sympathy and informed him that his words were discouraging to his listeners, as they stopped him from making a difference.  With retrospect I must write, arrogant know-it-alls most often do more mental damage than the person that is doing the abusing.  There are effective ways to counsel a person in crisis and using tough love must be implemented at the correct time, or else nothing said or being done will help hurting people move forward with living their lives.

My friend was conversing with me loudly.  He spoke fast.  And with the combination of speaking loud and speaking fast he held the floor.  There was no room to exit the conversation, therefore, I found myself being victimized by his bitter words that held no comfort.  Again!

To my dismay I am realizing that my friend set me up.  He knows my present dilemmas.  He knew I could easily discuss them.  Therefore, he asked conversation starter type questions that would lure me in and prompt me to begin discussing my personal life.  Honestly, he was looking for a conversation that made him feel good about himself.  As why the first question out of his deceitful mouth was “Are you at a drive thru?”  When I answered with a hearty “No” then he proceeded with “What’s going on?”  After I began to tell him of my husband’s legal problems he became immediately argumentative.

He said things to this effect:  What good is your husband to you?  Why don’t you just get rid of him?  I thought you were going to get rid of him?  You sound like my momma.  She is forever complaining about daddy.  We the kids have told her to leave him.  I finally told her stop complaining about daddy.  I told her I was sick of hearing it.

Wow!  Right!  After hearing the bitter words he and his siblings have said and are saying to their aged mom, I didn’t feel sad for me any longer.  I came to his mother’s defense with stating “It is not that easy to leave a person when your lives are webbed together.”  He said, “Yes it is!”

Really!  Personally, I feel a marriage should never be easy to end unless a person’s life or mental wellbeing is being threatened.

I feel people with nomadic character traits can easily leave their spouses quickly without just cause.  But a person that has been married for over 50 plus years just can’t jump up and leave a perceivably abusive spouse.  It is not that easy!  So today I would like to pray for couples that are having marital problems and have been married for more years than they can remember.

Lord in your Holy word you say in Genesis 2:18b, “It is not good that the man should be alone:”

Lord there is numerous things that can be considered as marital problems; therefore, today, I would like to pray for those that are unhappily married.  Can you please spend your vacation with these couples for as long as they need you to stay?  Can you please take your Spirit of Comfort to bandage wounds sustained by marital conflict.  Can you collect their many tears and dry their eyes with promises of a brighter tomorrow.  Can you fill their hearts with love, unconditional love for the spouse they find unlovable.  Can you give those they consort with a spirit of understanding?  Can you give each spouse your spirit of truth on love, marriage, commitment, and divorce?  Can you give them joy where there is sorrow?  And most of all Lord, can you give them peace that surpasses all mankind’s understanding where there is conflict?  So all that loves them will not be affected by their marital woes.

Lord your word in John 6:12 say’s, “Gather the pieces that are leftover.  Let nothing be wasted.”  Please allow these couples to gather up their fragmented marital lives and bring the broken pieces to you so nothing from their marriage will be wasted.

Sincerely your faithful daughter,

Annette

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.