It was mostly her eyes.
Doe-eyed, some would say. My granny would’ve said, “that baby done been here before.” They were wide with wonder. Framed with eyelashes that waved at me like fans in slow motion. It was like she could see me. Really see me. And I saw her.
She was juicy in a way that only babies can be. With cheeks that made you want to kiss them forever. Only a few months old when I held her the first time, I felt an ache in my heart. I wanted to take her home with us. Adopt her if it was possible. She was the god-daughter of my husband’s best friend and his wife. The mother was a struggling teenager facing a tough life.
I suppose I didn’t realize how tough.
We didn’t take her in. Although I firmly believe that God placed that baby girl in my heart, I listened to my circumstances instead. I’d just had my first miscarriage so “maybe I was just feeling emotional because of that.” Hubby and I were newly married so “could we really afford to take in someone’s child?” And given the issues, “maybe the mother didn’t want to leave her baby.”
I listened to every other voice but the one I knew was true. Read more…
The Word Network to Premiere Video Alongside the 30-Minute ‘You Are the Sunshine’ TV Special with the
Emmy Award-Winning Chrysler Choir
Larry Callahan & Selected of God Featuring
the Deaf Dynamic Praise Choir of San Francisco
on Thanksgiving Eve, Wednesday, November 27
Sing2Praise Recording Group Larry Callahan & Selected of God Joins GRAMMY® Award-Winning Recording Artists
The Clark Sisters for
D-PAN: The Deaf Professional Arts Network and Chrysler’s
‘You Brought The Sunshine
American Sign Language (ASL)’ Video
Premiere and VIP Fundraiser on November 24 in Detroit
The Word Network to Premiere Video Alongside the 30-Minute ‘You Are the Sunshine’ TV Special on November 24
Find Your Peace of Mind! – Daily Word November 18, 2013
TO HEAR THE AUDIO VERSION OF THE DAILY WORD **
The best books are written in such a way that the reader becomes totally engaged in the story. We identify with the characters. The plot is suspenseful. We laugh, cry or both.
Such is life.
Everyday we breathe, we write another page in our personal books of life—through every season or major event, more chapters. And just as an author quickly establishes in the first chapters who a character is and what the reader should believe about that character, we parents establish character in children, helping them and everyone around them understand what they should believe about themselves. Author and psychologist Irene Kassorla says that the “pen that writes your life story must be held in your own hand,” I submit that this is only the case when you become an adult.
The truth is, we aren’t the only writers of our stories. As children, the “story” of our lives was likely begun by our parents, or whoever was responsible for us at the time. Some of the writing was good: there are intriguing intros with just enough good stuff to keep those who “read” us wanting to learn more. For others, the writing was bad. Real bad. With missing pieces and everything. Yet regardless of whether our early lives were good, bad or somewhere in-between, we still got stuff on our pages. And it impacts us even when we’re grown.
Now granted, characters and people certainly change. Especially when there are big events, conflicts and changes in their lives. But even then, if a character is firmly defined at their core, then that’s what’s going to come through as they face new scenarios and circumstances. Otherwise, the story—the life—feels inauthentic. Read more…
You’ve seen them. Maybe you’ve even been them.
They are who I call the “SUPERsaved.” They spiritualize everything. And when I say everything… I mean, errr-thang.
It rained today? “God sent the rain to stop my husband from speeding.” (No, He didn’t.)
That extra five dollars the cashier accidentally gave in change? “The Lord knew my need.” (Lies you tell. Give it back.)
A former pastor of mine used to say “some of y’all are so spiritually minded you are no earthly good.” And it’s true. Even Facebook and Twitter posts are evidence. Instead of getting on the phone to their congressman or senator, the super-saved will post something all witty-ish like, “Unlike the government, God never shuts down.” And no, He doesn’t. But really?
And yet, on the other other hand, I totally get it.
No judgment (and only a smidge of snark) here. I mean, what’s the point of having faith and believing in someone greater, higher, and stronger; someone who is a redeemer, if we can’t apply that faith to the everyday circumstances of our lives, right? (But you still don’t get a pass for that five dollars. Give it back.) In fact, nowadays, we all need to encourage ourselves. We all need to remind ourselves that God is. Period. This is especially important when the not-so-great effects of life and living come knocking at our front door. Read more…
The little girl had to be about two, not much more, and she had this little purse thingy that she was absolutely fascinated with—much more so than the high school football game her mother had dragged her to. I noticed her waving it in her mother’s face, an attempt to get her mama to play with her. The mother? She wasn’t having it.
“I don’t want to play with that,” she snapped, without even looking at her baby.
When the little girl gave another feeble attempt to get her mother’s attention, the lady was all sharp edges and thunder: “I said, I don’t want it,” she seethed through gritted teeth. “Sit it down, shit.”
Now Nick missed all this, but my heart just sank when baby girl wandered away from her mother and her two friends, and started trying to get my husband’s attention. He happily obliged her attempt to join her in playing with the purse. I chimed in with compliments on her shoes and telling her that I loved her afro puffs—something, anything, to make her smile. To deflect from the fact that her mother was acting the donkey toward her baby girl, who was looking for some motherly attention on a Friday night at 10 p.m., when she should have been home in her pajamas, in her crib, sleeping in Heavenly peace.
Peace wasn’t on her mother’s mind. Neither was kindness, particularly when it came to her daughter. Still, though I was disgusted by her behavior, it wasn’t at all surprising. I know Black moms love our babies and that we care for their every need just like any other mom—even and especially when we have to make a way out of no way. But my God, the cursing, the beating, the emotional abuse that I see some Black moms unleashing on their children in the street, at the mall, on public transportation, in school, out in public, hurts me to my core.
Now I’m not stranger to the mean mom. Y’all need to ask about my mom; she’s legend with “The Look” and, yes, the switch. With her, children were to be seen, not heard, and any misstep, no matter how slight, might incur the wrath. She was a great mom. But mean as all get out until I got older and had babies of my own. And she wasn’t alone: I grew up surrounded by Black mothers—women I loved and who loved me back—who were just plain mean. For no good reason. Read more…
Sing2Praise Recording Act Larry Callahan and Selected of God’s
The Evolution II Still Going Strong on
Billboard’s Top Gospel Album Charts for Nearly 50 Weeks
(Detroit, MI – October 14, 2013) – Best known as the Chrysler Choir in the Emmy Award-winning Super Bowl XLV’s “Born of Fire—Imported from Detroit 200 Chrysler” commercial with Eminem, Larry Callahan and Selected of God (SOG) are still going strong after nearly 50 weeks on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart. The Sing2Praise recording group and three-time Verizon’s How Sweet The Sound Choir competition winners are steadily climbing the radio and sales charts. Callahan and SOG’s current album, The Evolution II, peaked at #4 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart and has remained in the Top 25 since its November 2012 release. This week, the album moves to #17 and their hit single, “Be Still and Know” is #30 on the Billboard Hot Gospel Songs chart. Read more…
When should your kid start dating?
If they start as early as 11 or 12, they are more likely to engage in unwanted behaviors during their teen years than students who start dating later, according to a new study to be published in the December issue of the Journal of Adolescence.
The group that researchers classified as “early-starting”—those who began dating at 11.6 years old, on average—reported twice as many acts of abnormal or delinquent behavior as the groups classified as “on-time” teens (those who started at 12.9 years) and those classified as “late bloomers” (those who started at 14.9 years). Those behaviors included lying and cheating, picking fights, truancy, disobedience and running away.
Researchers said they also had increased risk of unsafe sexual activity and alcohol use, according to the study.
As the father of two girls, ages 14 and 11, I crave this sort of information about the possible effects of my daughters getting involved with the opposite sex. In our house, there’s no way in hell that either one of them would be allowed to engage in something that could be classified as “dating” before age 16, but that’s just us. I’m aware that the rules are different in other households, and I don’t pass judgment on those who choose to handle this differently. Read more…
After months of worrying whether my baby girl would “stick” or not (because of previous miscarriages) and finally settling into what ended up being a very uncomplicated pregnancy (despite the hedging of my doctors), I sat down a few weeks before she was born and wrote down the top ten things I wanted her to learn from and through me. It wasn’t easy to narrow them down to ten. There are so many things that I still desire for her that didn’t make this list. But at the end of the day, if my daughter can get these ten lessons rooted way down deep in her spirit, then I believe she will be alright. And I’m learning now as a mother that this is the simplest, sincerest, and most powerful prayer a parent can pray: Lord, please allow my child to be alright.
Lesson #1: You can certainly be whatever you want to be but I encourage you to strive to be what God intended/designed/purposed you to be. They are not always the same thing.
Lesson #2: While it’s natural/human to desire validation, you must not allow that validation to be the source of your self-esteem. Do not define yourself by what others say or think about you but by what God says and thinks about you (He says you are fearfully and wonderfully made).
Lesson #3: You should love everyone. But you should know that there is a WAY to love everyone. Love hard and long and wide and deep. But most of all, love wisely. Read more…
Miss Robbie Montgomery and Tim Norman, stars of “Welcome to Sweetie Pie’s”
Credit: OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network Read more…
Somewhere inside every mom is this desire to share her heart with her children. Not just the basics on life and living but the real scoop without filter. This is especially true with a girl-child because we often want to spare our young girls the negative experiences we may have had or the bad choices we may have made. This need to speak frankly to our baby girls is often born from the wish we all have to talk to and advise our younger selves. Because in a way, when we speak to our daughters, that’s exactly who we are talking to: our younger selves.
Here’s my shot at bringing the past and future together:
My Sweet MaKayla:
Many times we make things more complicated than they have to be. We entangle ourselves trying to “figure” out God’s will for our lives. We search through hundreds of self-help books and blogs for our “purpose.” And while I believe He appreciates the effort, I sometimes feel like God is shaking His head at us and saying, “Child, be still. Go with what I gave you.” LOL! Like he told Moses when he questioned how he was going to free the Hebrew people, “What do you have in your hand?” Moses had a staff and that staff was an integral tool—not the only one, for sure—used to gain their freedom.
You have many gifts, my love. And I will ensure you are educated. These, at least initially, will be the resources you will need to accomplish your purpose. Go with that. Read more…
By TRACEY MICHAE’L LEWIS-GIGGETTS
Sometimes you just have to check yourself. I know I do. And when I don’t, sometimes God does the checking. For instance, I can easily find myself making snap judgments about people without any consideration of them and certainly without the compassion I profess to have. This very thing happened to me last year. Hubby and I were finally enjoying one of our first dates since having our daughter. We’d chosen to go see Tyler Perry’s “Madea Gets a Job.” Say what you want about TP, but hubby and I needed to do the whole laugh, cry, wave our hands thing and we knew that Madea would not disappoint in this regard.
As we were walking into the Liacouras Center here in Philly, we were approached by a woman who looked to be in her late 40s/early 50s. She wore jeans and a tank top and her hair was freshly twisted into neat Shirley Temple curls. She came up to my husband with her hand out and asked if we could spare any money. “I’m homeless,” she announced. Now my husband has a huge heart when it comes to this kind of thing so he pulls out a couple of dollars and hands it to the woman. She says “Thank you” and moves on down the line. Me? I’m afraid to say that I wasn’t so generous of heart in that moment. Skeptical, my first thought was… “Umm, lady. Your hair is perfectly curled. You look as though you just walked out the beauty salon a couple hours ago. Maybe you could’ve used that money to eat.” Read more…
Motown Gospel Artist Tye Tribbett’s
New Album, Greater Than In Stores August 6
Album Pre-Order Available Now on iTunes
Tribbett’s Greater Than Promotional Tour
Kicked-Off at the Howard Theatre in Washington, DC
Hit Single, “If He Did It Before…Same God” #3 at Gospel Radio
(Nashville, TN – August 1, 2013) – Motown Gospel recording artist Tye Tribbett’s new album, Greater Than hits stores on August 6. Fans will receive a new song instantly from Greater Than by pre-ordering now at iTunes (https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/greater-than/id672949110). This week, Tribbett’s hit single “If He Did It Before…Same God” moves up to #3 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Song chart and has an accumulative listening audience of over 12 million. Read more…
Cherish Your Difficulties!! – Daily Word June 4, 2013
TO HEAR THE AUDIO VERSION OF THE DAILY WORD ** Read more…
Make Your Life Count! – Daily Word May 30, 2013
TO HEAR THE AUDIO VERSION OF THE DAILY WORD * Read more…
Chicago, IL (Tuesday, April 30, 2013) —Bishop Larry D. Trotter- Senior Pastor of the Sweet Holy Spirit Church of Chicago- recently announced to his congregation and associate churches that he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and will undergo surgery on May 22nd.
The initial diagnosis came during Bishop Trotter’s annual physical in March of 2013 and was confirmed by tests. Doctors have informed Bishop Trotter that the cancer is in its earliest stages and that his prognosis is good.
“Thanks to routine screening this was diagnosed early and I expect a full and speedy recovery,” says Bishop Trotter. Trotter adds, “After reviewing all the options with multiple physicians, I decided to take a proactive approach and have surgery.”
“Additionally, I am encouraged that God will heal me of this as he has done other illnesses in the past. Sweet Holy Spirit Church and friends are fighting with and for me…I KNOW A MAN”. Read more…
By NICK CHILES
Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock in a debate last night offered the women of America a vicious kick in the gut, suggesting that women who get pregnant from a rape should still be forced to deliver a baby because it’s “something that God intended to happen.”
These guys clearly have no shame.
Mourdock is a Tea Party-backed candidate who beat moderate Republican Sen. Richard Lugar, a longtime Senate veteran, in the Republican primary earlier this year. During the debate, Mourdock said that he would allow abortions only when the mother’s life was in danger.
“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize life is that gift from God,” Mourdock said. “And I think even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen.”
Word of advice to Republicans who might be listening: When we’re talking about the rape of women, it’s probably best to leave God’s name out of it. Read more…
HTML Online Editor Sampl
By Deveter Brown
Today I wish my beloved husband a very happy 16th wedding anniversary. Over the past 16 years I’ve learned some rather useful lessons. Of course I won’t share them all but here are 16 for every year of wedded bliss.
BTW I borrowed 14 of these from my blog post in 2010 when I was a list driven blogger. They are still true so I figured I’d just add 2 more lessons. Hope you enjoy.
- Never say never – I said I never wanted children and then I was bit by the baby bug and here we stand the proud parents of three
- Over communicate – Saying you told him/her about the party two weeks ago means nothing. Put it on the family calendar, create an event on Google and FaceBook, send a text, tweet or put a post it note on the fridge listing how many days are left until the event. Read more…
WHO: Jay Morrison & Friends, Hosted by Power 105.1 & MTV2’s Charlamagne
WHAT: PCC Youth Empowerment Concert
WHEN: October 11, 2012
WHERE: Malcolm X. Shabazz Stadium 80 Johnson Ave Newark, NJ 07108
ADMISSION: FREE Read more…
by Denene@MyBrownBaby on September 20, 2012
I think I might have been about 35 or so when I took my first drink in front of my dad. Maybe even older. I do remember that I was fully grown, with a husband, two babies, a full-time job, a car note, several books under my belt and enough sense to know that my father had to be eased into seeing his baby girl enjoy a glass of wine in his presence before I could even think about drinking in front of him. I’m also pretty sure that my mother passed away having seen me drink only once—at my wedding.
I thought this was just, like, the way with African American parents. Read more…
By Patrice Washington
Proverbs 22:10 (The Message)
By Kel Spencer
Webster’s defines a Slave as; 1.) a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant. 2.) a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person: ie “a slave to a drug.” So I ask you… What are you a slave to? What are you influenced by? What do you serve? What’s that thing that when it calls, you go running?
“Yalwz could stay ’round here if ya wants to but I’ze a going fa muh freedomz, even if I gotsta die!” Read more…
By TABARI Z. BOMANI
For the SHEs and Hers of my life—past, present and future—I offer this, simply and with love. Happy Women’s History Month.
“I WAS MADE TO LOVE HER”
She steals my breath
But it’s ok for I need only her look to fill my lungs
Her kiss to quicken my heart.
She moves in me
Creates tremors on my skin
Awakens parts in me I only a second ago believed had died.
Although I try to deny it
She rises in me like the sun
And sets heavily in my soul like the moon. Read more…
GRAMMY & OSCAR WINNER REGINA BELLE PREPARES TO TAKE YOU “HIGHER” WITH NEW GOSPEL ABUM – IN STORES JUNE 5, 2012!
GRAMMY AND ACADEMY AWARD WINNING RECORDING ARTIST
PREPARES TO TAKE FANS “HIGHER”
ON NEW GOSPEL ALBUM
By Kel Spencer
Ok… For the record, I’ll get into my own personal business for a minute here; My goal is something called Sexual Purity. What that means is, I try to… (Key word “TRY”) make a habit out of aligning not only my actions but my mind and my eyes (guys know what I mean) with God’s sexual standard. I went into this in greater detail -▸▸▸ HERE. I’d be a liar if I told you that I’m 100% succesful in this arena. I’d be lying if I told you that I’m a virgin. But through my relationship with Christ, my sex life has gone from rocket ship speed to turtle mode with the hope that it will return to rocket ship status once I’m married lol. According to what the Bible says, That is the best sexual standard for us all. Now… Read more…
Written By Ryan Mack, President of Optimum Capital Management and Author of Living in the Village
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey in the year of 2008 calculated the average annual contribution of Black households to religious organizations was $683. With well over 9 million Black households in America, that means well over $6 billion in 2008 was contributed to Black churches across the country. What is done with this money and are the churches doing all they can to make sure this money is fruitful?
In the year of 2008 I spoke with over 80 pastors in the NYC area to discuss how they can more effectively use their church as an empowerment vehicle these are just a few of my findings… Read more…
These things are standard mom fare. I cop to catching and cleaning up my fair share of baby bodily fluids for years without complaint. Mainly because my understanding was that the disgusting wouldn’t last always. Read more…