Category Archives: Let’s Do Better

Secrets of a Beautiful Flower

I struggled to pull out my laptop tonight. I find myself watching another day of news cycles in which men are being accused and sentenced for sexual assault of women. I turn away from my tv and pull up my social media page. I see post after post concerning the events of the past few days. A Supreme Court Nominee accused of inappropriate conduct towards various women. I also see political and racial post concerning an African American TV Icon in handcuffs being whisked away towards prison for sexual assault of women. My head is suddenly spinning and I feel somewhat nauseated. I find myself feeling angry and frustrated because I honestly don’t believe people get it. Sexual assault is crippling, life altering and it goes on a lot more often than most people probably think.

I can honestly say for every 10 women I know at least 2 of them have been sexual assaulted. I know this for a fact because so many have confided in me. I know daughters assaulted by the fathers. I know nieces assaulted by Uncles. I know sisters assaulted by brothers. I know women that as youth were assaulted by church members. I know women that were sexually assaulted by boyfriends, classmates and even husbands. I know women that have been raped and sexually assaulted by complete strangers. The fact that I know so many victims is what’s so nauseating to me.

People are so eager to discredit victims when they find the courage to speak. I have asked everyone that has confided in me why they remained silent about such things. Some said they simply thought no one would believe them. Some said they felt their family would hold it against them. Some said they never spoke up because they were scared and truly frightened.  Some shared that they felt loved ones would blame them for being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Some have shared that the assaulters had painted a sharp picture that they had asked for such awful unwanted attention. Some admitted that they felt it happened to everyone and they must simply silently deal with it. A handful of my friends openly admitted that because of the  mistakes that they had made in their lives, they felt people would discredit them.  All of these are reasons why most victims will not come forward after a horrific sexual assaults.

If all of this isn’t awful enough the majority of the above mentioned victim’s self esteem, relationships, parenting skills, mental health  and social skills have been notably affected. They appear as beautiful, blossoming, vibrant and healthy flowers on the outside. Yet their roots hold dark secrets that suck the nourishment from their petals of a normal life. To the naked eye they are immaculate, strong, full of life. But their leaves of life’s accomplishments and struggles can barely protect or support  the beautiful blossoms of wholeness and peace for them. Take a closer look at those around you sometimes. You may notice a withered leaf of quietness, awkwardness, hesitation or perhaps unexplained anger every once in awhile. Most sexual assault victims handle life as an aggressive explosive fighter or a docile subservient mouse of a person. They are all beautiful flowers that hold awful heartbreaking secrets and they believe that there isn’t a soul on earth able to deliver them from their horrible nightmares. Their lives are a facade “an outward appearance that is maintained to conceal a less pleasant or creditable reality.”

What you may find more interesting is that I know of several men that have quietly suffered with the secret of being sexually assaulted victims. What is so shocking is that as young boys or young men they were actually assaulted by older women. Of every case that I have been made aware of those women were left by victims parents to care and watch over them. None of these men have ever shared their secrets with their parents. A few said they felt it was perhaps a natural thing. Others felt their fathers would laugh at them. Others felt their mothers would never believe a relative or friend would do such a thing. These men have carried this brokenness into adulthood and become spouses and parents. Like women they too have balled up into their beds at night and cried themselves to sleep. Afraid to tell the world that they were mistreated and violated.

Ladies and Gentlemen what type of world are we living in? Why have we created a climate in this country that leaves victims of sexual assault afraid to come forward and receive justice. Why are we cultivating a climate in which they will be killed, threatened or run the risk of having their character assassinated? What are we doing to our own friends and family members? We must muster up enough compassion to nourish the roots of brokenness, fear and sadness so that those around us may blossom and thrive again in a safe and healthy environment. We must learn to accept the “horrifying truths” that those around us have been living with. People are hurting and we on social media and in the political arenas are strengthening the power of their assailants. We encounter sexual assault victims on a daily basis without even knowing it. Might I suggest we learn to choose our words more carefully when discussing sexual assault accusations.


Blessings Upon Blessings


Holy Ground

I never could understand how people would create conflict and confusion in their own church. Why would you want to destroy the one place on earth that should be destined for peace. It should be sacred ground. Church should be the most protected place by Christians like you and me. Church was designed for prayer and worship. A place to find refuge in times of life’s storms. A place to come into for warmth from a dark and hostile world.  Church is where God wants us to find compassion, support and most of all love. Church is a place where we must discipline ourselves and honestly learn to deny the urgings of self. Church is not a place one should expect to come to for fueling their ego of power. Church is not a place to come for status and financial networking. Church should not be a place where we come to make others feel small. Church is not a place to mistreat and disrespect members that are now full of wisdom yet their bodies seem to be failing somewhat because they are getting old. Church should be a place of reverence. A place of humbleness. Church should be a place of prayer and devotion. Churches should be a stage for testimonies and joyful songs about the goodness of the Almighty God. Church should not be about you or me. Church should simply always be about God.

So many people are born into a church and feel like they own it. Some people give money to the church not out of compassion nor sacrifice for blessing others, but for power and recognition. We must understand that it does not give us the right to own or control the Church. No matter whom your family is in the community and how long your families names has been on the roll, you my brothers and sisters still do not get to claim ownership. The Church belongs to God and Him alone. I struggle to understand why people do not want to accept the fact that a church cannot or should not belong to anyone. Often times small factions rise up inside a tranquil church and create ugly, dark and heartbreaking storms. You would think that God would frown upon it all. You would think that God might become so fed up that He might take a mighty swipe and allow the temple to be destroyed. I don’t know about any of you but that is something I would not want to be a part of.

We must learn to recognize that the community and non believers are always in the shadows watching and waiting to see what goes on. We should be allowing our lights to shine each and every Sunday morning. Thousands of churches have been destroyed all because someone with a hidden selfish agenda has made God sick to His stomach and He has simply said ” No more! Turn the lights off and shut the doors.”

The time has come my brothers and sisters for us to give our churches back to the Lord. As shocking as it might be to some to Him it all belongs. I would never want to stand in front of God on my great “getting up morning”  and have to answer to Him why the church I sat in Sunday after Sunday had been destroyed. Just as sure a the key fits the lock and the pipe organ turns on the enemy gets dressed up really sharp and pretty and marches right in through the doors. The interesting thing about the enemy is he is not particular. He uses both the back and the front door. He doesn’t have to have a particular seat he is comfortable on the front pew, the back pew, the choir stand, the pulpit  or sometimes he prefers to masquerade as an usher at the church doors. The enemy is an equal opportunity church employer. If the doors are open he is there. The one thing about the enemy that is different from  we believers is he never misses a Sunday. He might be quiet and he may dance through the pews unnoticed. But you best believe he is sitting there watching and waiting to see whom might be his next pawn in the destruction of peace because that is truly what he enjoys. The enemy has the best perfect attendance record in the history of the world.

I am often reminded of the letters Paul sent to various churches. I always remember thinking it’s a sad thing that someone would have to remind church members of the proper way to behave in the House of the Lord.  Life is hard and trials and tribulations come without respect or remorse. Why on earth would we allow our behavior to bring it upon our own church doors.  All of God’s people that hold positions in authority need to take a seat on the pews closest to the altar. Take a deep breath and take a look at the table before you. Read it and weep ” This Do In Remembrance of Me” Not remembrance of you, your pastor, your daddy, your momma, your grandpa or your grandma. Do this in remembrance of ME! Remind yourself to whom you belong and to whom you must answer to at the end of your day . I encourage churches to open up your altars once again. Draw people to the front on a regular basis. Allow folks to get on their knees if they want. Bring back the kneeling benches and encourage your members to submit to God and once again be humble.  Let us all repent and start all over.

People are watching what we do. They are watching what we say. They are watching us on their phones and laptops Sunday after Sunday. They are watching from near and far and our church secrets aren’t church conference kept anymore. The world needs to see us worshiping and giving thanks unto the Lord. They don’t need to witness  our bad habits of self indulgence and control.  If your name is on every single decision making committee within the church you attend then you my brothers and sisters are only on it for control. If you aren’t willing to teach Sunday School, help with the Youth Department, volunteer in the Nursery, work in the kitchen, help with the food pantry, donate service hours in your community……then I hate to tell you my brothers and sisters…….you need to get somewhere and sit down because this place you come to Sunday after Sunday is Holy Ground. If you aren’t willing to take a knee on a few Sundays or lift up your voice in prayer or lift up your arms every once in awhile you lack the spiritual fortitude or spiritual direction to control anything Godly. Give the control back to the Holy Spirit and God. You my friends are about to get yourselves in a world of trouble because you are not behaving with respect, honor and reverence to God’s Anointed Holy Ground. Be careful how you behave next time you get the courage to step on God’s Holy Ground. Conduct yourselves accordingly because God is truly watching how you  handle business on His Holy Ground. Please don’t let God have to get your attention through plagues of sickness disease and loss. Give the control back to the Almighty God lest we forget that it’s truly His Holy Ground. Don’t you be the reason hurting people don’t trust us enough to take a chance on finding healing and peace on God’s Holy Ground.

Blessings Upon Blessings.


Help Wanted Seeking Legions Of Rams In The Bush

Help Wanted Seeking Legions Of Rams In The Bush

This has been a troubling week for the soul of a woman like me. So I beg of you to allow me attempt to paint a picture for you all from a different point of view. I hope you don’t mind if I recall a few scriptures as I share this story with you.

Unless you have been under a rock the last few days, you know by now that our country is in a huge immigration debate. Some folks have decided to pick a side. Some are crying GOP while others are screaming Liberals for me! I am one of those caught in the middle. I am just sickened to my stomach grieving deep in my soul for the young children I continue to see crying on my tv.

A few nights ago when this story broke I sat on my couch literally frozen. As a mother and as a woman I honestly began to truly grieve. I could not help but think what if  my kids had been taken from me upon desperately entering a foreign country. Not a vacation for which I had paid lots of money. But upon entering a place that I had prayed out to God along the journey to find safety and a better life for my children and me.

I sat imagining if my kids and I had been traveling for months by foot with barely any money or food to eat. Fleeing from a corrupt government that wished to kill me and my husband. Evil people prepared to murder or enslave my sons. Monsters eager to rape my young daughter or send her into prostitution.

We had crawled, begged, stolen along our path to a promise of freedom. We didn’t have the luxury of a cell phone, GPS or access to internet when we started out on this journey. Yet we knew we must head north if there was any hope of escaping this life of cruelty and bondage! We had left a Legion of Herods behind us and unbeknownst to us a Legion of Pharaohs were eagerly awaiting us up north at the border.

We have absolutely no idea we are about to be separated from our children. We had considered being turned around or perhaps detained for a short period of time, but never in our wildest dreams separated from our beloved children. Had I known what lay before us here I would have rather died in the hills of suicide side by side with my children. At least I would have known what had happened to them.

Alas, I sit here in a cage with other women and I have no idea the whereabouts of either my husband or my children. All I have in this moment of time are the prayers choked down in my heart by my tears and sobbing. In this moment the darkest hours of my life, I cry out to the Lord for a ram in the bush like He had given to His beloved Abraham in the book of Genesis 22:9-13. An unexpected blessing in a bush to save my children.

I lay praying on a cold floor. Praying to God to send an angel to protect and save my children. Might God be so kind to grant me grace and mercy one more time. Might He send forth an angel to hear my children’s cries? Someone to rise up and save them. Might God send some women from Pharaoh’s country like He did for Moses when He sent Shiphrah & Puah to do His will not Pharaoh’s bidding.  Just like He did in Exodus 1:15-21. Might God be merciful to send us a few of Pharaoh’s daughters that might hear the cries of our children and feel sorry for them just like in Exodus 2:5-6?

Ladies of these United States might we find the courage to rise up and fight for the protection and rights of a stranger’s children? Might we do what is humane and morally right in this moment. Can we stand up to the heartless folks in our country? Can we unite as a Legions of Rams in the bushes? Perhaps the Lord might see and feel our compassion. When our vapors of life have come to an end……… He will swing open wide the Mighty Gates of Heaven saying “ come home my Daughters of Pharaoh.  I am grateful for what I witnessed you all doing for My children. Come on across My border you all are welcome here.”

Blessings Upon Blessings


Father Forgive Them They Know Not What They Have Done

If you have gone out to eat this weekend and your food came out slow…..Thank your buddy in the White House. If you went to a restaurant last night that is usually open late night and they were closed…….thank your buddy in the White House. People are afraid to drive around town and probably will not show up to work over the next few weeks. So if your workload gets heavier over the next few weeks…..Thank your buddy in the White House. When your boss suddenly starts demanding you to do things normally not in your job description.  Thank your beloved buddy in the White House.

Lots of parents are going to be afraid to send their children to school from here on out. So to my teacher friends that voted for that person…….when your conscience forces you to  start worrying about Little Johnny and Little Jessica when they no longer show up to your class… You can thank your newly elected buddy in the White House. If by the end of the week fresh produce prices are sky high…..Thank your buddy in the White House. When you go to the meat department and the price of meat has increased by 30% over the next few weeks. You can thank your buddy in the White House.

When your rental properties are suddenly empty and you are left to pay the mortgage on them without rent money next month. Ding Ding Ding you get to thank your buddy in the White House. When you are suddenly in a hurry for a cab and it takes an hour or two to get one. You can thank your buddy in the White House. When you go to the florist  to pick up some beautiful flowers and the price has suddenly  increased sending you into sticker shock. You and You and You get to thank your friend in the White House. When you suddenly drive on to your college campus or industrial park and the grass is overgrown and the beautiful landscapes are no more……Yes you guessed it you can thank your friend in the White House.

The Bible speaks of immigrants at least 92 times in the Old Testament alone. If the disciples had not been allowed into foreign lands we would have never known the marvelous works of God or His Beloved Son. I often imagine the Israelites as they escaped Egypt…. Oh the joys of the possibility of a better life.

To the friends of mine that don’t think I know you voted for him…..I am enjoying your reactions to certain conversations because it’s written all over your faces. I notice when your shoulders slump and your chins suddenly drop. Your quick exits from hot topic discussions bring me so much joy as your footsteps of shame echo like those of King Kong. I will never trust you or look at you the same. I am careful now of sharing my fears and concerns for my family and those with my skin tone. So when you suddenly realize I have deleted you from social media accounts….. For that you can thank your friend in the White House. I no longer wish to share my lows, my highs or my families moments of fun with a person with a hardened heart that condones blanket racism.

There are people in this country just trying to make a living to feed their families. If you ever took the time to venture outside resorts when you visit other countries like Mexico which I personally have…….You would have some compassion and empathy for immigrants and you would not have put your buddy in the White House. Some people have lived in tents without clean water or toilets and you voted to throw them out. You care more about dogs.

I don’t want to hear about your excuse for voting for him because of better jobs. The last time I checked your family had a roof over your head, lights, water, food and most of you two cars. You were not suffering because the Lord has truly as He promised as a usual showed mercy and provided. Please don’t come at me about Pro-Life because it is quite obvious you are not willing to help provide for the babies when they come. You don’t want healthcare for all. You don’t want to help with birth control and you want to punish the woman. You have no desire to create laws to make adoptions faster and affordable. You don’t care about the immigrants babies that may be left in this country alone and forced into foster homes. Yet you tell yourself you care about those not yet born.

You proudly displayed pictures of children and grandchildren going off to the military excited that they have joined. You failed to realize that putting your friend in the White House might very well send you loved ones off to war. So if deployment papers should unfortunately come……You can thank your friend in the White House. It is officially too late to voice your concerns.

You don’t even care if public schools are lead by people that will insure those babies or their parents are provided with a decent education. He has chosen to fill those important positions with people that have never cared about public education. How can we ever expect them to overcome. He has chosen to fill those important positions with people that are billionaires that send their kids to private institutions.

The fact that you chose to put your faith in a man for provision instead of your God spoke to my heart. Your actions have moved me to not use anger against you but to pray to God that He might in the future change your hearts. So today in this very moment of news coverage of traffic stops and ICE raids and police checkpoints in our very own town…..I choose to pray “Father Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Have Done”.

You see your buddy told you exactly what he was going to do and left no ugly racist, hateful rock unturned. You by your actions looked the other way and you put him in the White House. You my friends by voting for your buddy have allowed things to be done that as decent human beings should be frowned upon.  So once again my prayer for you all is “ Father Forgive Them For They Know Not What They Have Done”.

Blessings Upon Blessings

There’s Beauty In Diversity


Last week My Pastor preached a sermon about “Seeing People”. Often times we know people but we honestly do not see each other. We are friends on Social Media. We often times like or love each other’s status but we don’t really see each other. We share what’s going on with our children. Some go as far as to share what they are eating for dinner daily. Some put their entire love lives on display the good ….. the bad…..the ugly for all the world to see.

Lately there has been so much hatred spewed in the media. Sometimes I have wondered if we have somehow become a third world country. Somehow we as a society have slipped into reverse. We have allowed division, hatred, greed and politics to destroy our sense of civility towards one another.

I think we all would agree that we are living in sometimes dangerous and difficult times. With such a high percentage of Christians around it’s hard to figure out how this has happened.

The Bible clearly states that we are too “Love Thy Neighbor As Yourself”. ( Matthews 22:39)

Do we honestly know our neighbors anymore? Growing up we knew our neighbors and they knew us. As children if we did something wrong our neighbors would quickly tell our parents. Our parents watched out for their children as well.  People knew who lived in the neighborhood and whom did not. We looked out for each other’s properties and we helped each other when we could. We knew when death came upon one another’s door.

Yet today we allow society to mistreat our neighbors. We allow society to discriminate against our neighbors based on race, religion and gender. As long as it doesn’t present itself on our doorsteps then it doesn’t concern you or me. I challenge us all to take a look at our Social Media accounts. If your friends list does not show diversity then I suggest you send  out some friend request. Get to know one another and learn from each other. Take the time to learn about different cultures, religions and people.

The most powerful ammunition against racism, discrimination and bigotry is exposure and dialogue. I challenge you to get to know people not like you or me. Get to know your neighbors. Learn to illustrate compassion for your neighbors. Try to open your hearts and minds to diversity and inclusion. Our world could be a better place because of you and me. If our neighbors were not important I do not think Jesus would have mentioned them to you and me. Our neighborhoods would be very different if we would take the time to look around and see. See your neighbors and pray for compassion for our neighbors.  It could possibly lead to a  bright pathway of a better world for you and me.

I finally realized just the other day  while driving down a country road why God created a Diverse World.  I was drawn to a field of wildflowers full of all these vibrant colors. There were purple, yellow, burgundy, pink and red flowers just naturally spread across the huge field. I thought how beautiful a sight I was passing. But then I passed a grove of trees and realized each and every tree that lined the road was different from it’s neighboring tree. No two trees were alike. That truly amazed me. It was then that I realized Diversity of Nature constantly surrounds me and I had passed the same field and the same trees for over 25 years. Today was the day when my eyes were finally opened and I could see the beauty of God’s magnificent Diversity. God created people of different nationalities and races because inside each and everyone of us God sees beauty. I am led to believe that the view from Heaven’s Windows only sees the beauty of the fields of all races of people spread  across the earth. I guess we all are not spiritually high enough yet to see the beauty of all races that surround you and me. I urge you to stop and find the beauty of all the people in your neighborhood. Embrace the Diversity of God’s Children that live within our communities.

Blessings Upon Blessings