Thursday, September 22, 2011
1 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: 2 a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, 3 a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, 4 a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, 5 a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, 6 a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, 7 a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, 8 a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace."
So yes the good book says there is a time to kill. More importantly God works through you and I just as Satan does. Many people said that who are they to kill a man, they are not God. This is true no one on earth is God but God cannot move in the land and act on earth without people. He needs you and I for his will to be done. It took David to slay Goliath, it took Moses to free the Israelites, it took Joshua to bring the walls down in Jericho, it took Jesus to free us from our sins. They were all mighty men of God, God's grace was upon them, they were able to do the supernatural in the natural because of God's omnipotence that he worked through them.
So as people, citizens, Christians we have to take a stand. Is it enough to put a convicted murderer behind bars and let them rot in jail? Maybe. Is it ok if you know someone has murdered thousands and thousands of people to take their life? Maybe. The one thing with death row and execution is that those who are on it have the choice and the ability to ask for forgiveness and make a mends with God. So it is not a situation where one cannot right their wrongs.
Now do I agree that Troy Davis should have been executed? Absolutely not. There was reasonable doubt surrounding his conviction. There are plenty of cases where people spent years in jail only to be exonerated by DNA and other evidence and later freed. So it is not far fetched to believe that Troy Davis did not commit the murder and was innocent.
We as people have to think about when someone is murdered or a crime is committed how we desire and want justice, we want someone caught and convicted of the crime partly so that we can feel safer knowing that a murderer or criminal is no longer out on the loose. So we have to question and examine ourselves and our motives. We have to be less emotional and more logical in our thinking and stand for justice for ALL.
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Right vs. Wrong, Justified vs. Unjustified, Kill vs. Murder, what side you are on and the stance that you take will differ and vary based on the situation. Before you say no it won't I am on the side of justice allow me to prove my point. If you have a differing view point please share, I am open to contrary view to my opinion.
Someone breaks into your home, you own a gun, you feel your life is threatened, you cock your gun and you shoot and kill the person whom intruded your home. Chances are you will go to court but you won't be tried or convicted of murder you will get off and be back at home in no time.
On the other side of the coin, the intruder was someone's relative, friend, lover, etc. They may have suffered from mental illness and missed taking there medication. They may have been in desperate times and felt they needed to steal to provide for themselves and their families. To somebody, somewhere their loved one was murdered.
Who's right and who's wrong? Who's justified and who's unjustified? Who killed and who murdered?
The answer depends, what does it depend on? It depends on you and I and our ideals. Some people on both sides will be for and against. People will bring God into the situation and quote scriptures to support their point of view. So again who is right?
I guess we all won't know until judgment day!
Be a blessing and blessed,
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
A Georgia parole board has denied clemency to Troy Davis, the death-row inmate whose case attracted international attention amid what supporters say are significant doubts over his guilt. With the failure of Davis' last-ditch appeal, announced Tuesday morning, he appears all but certain to be executed by lethal injection Wednesday at 7 p.m.
"He's guilty," Joan MacPhail-Harris, the widow of the Savannah cop who Davis was convicted of killing, told reporters Monday before the board announced its decision. "We need to go ahead and execute him."
Davis, 41, was convicted of the 1989 murder of Mark Allen MacPhail, an off-duty Savannah, Ga. police officer. MacPhail, who was running to the aid of a homeless man being pistol-whipped, was shot three times in a Burger King parking lot before he could draw his weapon.
Davis has always maintained his innocence, and several witnesses who testified at his trial have since recanted or backed away from their testimony, alleging they were improperly pressured by police.
The case has generated worldwide attention, with opponents of the death penalty depicting Davis' case as a perfect example of the inherently flawed system of capital punishment. Davis' supporters have sponsored a series of protests and fundraisers for his case in New York, Washington D.C., Paris and Oslo. Last week, supporters delivered petitions with about 650,000 signatories calling on Georgia state authorities to free Davis.
"We're just praying for a good outcome," Davis' sister, Martina Correia, told reporters Monday, before the board's announcement. "We believe in our brother's innocence."
Monday's eleventh-hour appeal marked the culmination of a lengthy effort on Davis's behalf. In 2008, the same parole board rejected a bid for clemency (three of its five members have since been replaced). The following year, the U.S. Supreme Court took the rare step of ordering a federal judge to convene a hearing to consider new evidence. But in 2010, a federal court ruled that Davis had failed to prove his innocence, and denied him a new trial. The Supreme Court declined to get involved a second time, which meant that Monday's hearing represented Davis's last lifeline.
A Friday rally in support of Davis involved civil rights figures including NAACP president Ben Jealous and Martin Luther King III. "The only thing left to decide is whether you have the courage to do the right thing," the Rev. Al Sharpton said, addressing members of the parole board.
One witness who testified at Monday's parole board hearing said she once heard another man who was at the scene of the murder, Sylvester "Redd" Coles, say that he fired the fatal shots. Coles was the first person to implicate Davis to the police. Another of Monday's witnesses was a juror from the original 1991 trial; she had voted to sentence Davis to death but now says she has doubts. Two other jurors signed affidavits asking the board to spare Davis' life.
Former FBI director William Sessions called for Davis' sentence to be commuted to life in prison, writing in an opinion column Thursday in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the case is "permeated in doubt." In addition to the witness recantations and allegations of police pressure, Sessions pointed to a "lack of relevant physical evidence."
But Spencer Lawton, the former district attorney who prosecuted Davis and was seen at Monday's hearing, wrote in a 2008 op-ed in the same paper that the witnesses who recanted their testimony were "not believable." Lawton added that shell casings recovered from an earlier shooting linked to Davis were fired from the same gun found at the scene of MacPhail's murder. (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/lookout/troy-davis-executed-parole-board-denies-clemency-131916604.html)
If you tweet use the hash tag #toomuchdoubt, if you can sign a petition this is of course if you believe in the cause.
Be a blessing and be blessed,
In 1954 a group of men came together and formed The Spinners. There first song hit the charts in 1961 at #27. In 1963 the label The Spinners was on was bought out by Motown Records. They wouldn't see a song hit the charts again until 1970 at #14.
The best part of the story for me however, was that one of the singers in the group stated while signed to Motown, since they weren't making chart topping top 10 hits, they had to survive and make ends meet. So they all did odd jobs at Motown Records, one member worked in the shipping and receiving department, another member worked as a driver for the label. That is were drive, determination and a willingness to succeed entered my thoughts as well as good pride. I saw these characteristics in these men because they did not have what I call bad pride. Bad pride would have said I am a singer/musician I am not a driver, I didn't come to Motown for this I came to Motown to make records and make money. The Spinners could have thought to themselves its been over 10 years and we have yet to make a top 10, we are obviously not cut out for this, let's just part ways and pursue other things. They could have but they didn't, they held on to their dreams. There is a scripture that says humble yourself and let God exalt you. (James 4:10)
Finally, in 1972 they got their break. Their contract with Motown ended, they signed to Atlantic Records, Thom Bell came along to produce for them and their first album with Atlantic was a hit! Not only that, they dropped single after single and they were hits after hits. They dropped album after album, all hits!
It took almost 20 years after they formed as a group for them to see success on the charts and be recognized as one of the top groups of their time but it happened. It happened because they all stuck together, held on to their dreams and believed. Not only that Thom Bell believed in them, he told them your next album will be a hit.
So I dare to ask you what dreams do you have that you feel have been on delay or you have simply giving up on? What type of attitude do you have right now about those dreams? Are you looking for immediate gratification or are you willing to put in the work necessary to fulfill your dreams? Do you view obstacles or set backs as God's way of trying to tell you, you are going the wrong way?
I liked Bill Winston preaching this morning he said "you can be in the perfect will of God and encounter a storm". God didn't send the storm, Satan did, Satan sent the storm to steal you faith so that you don't reach the other side or get to your land flowing with milk and honey.
So if you have dreams, go for them and pursue them with a vengeance. If you have given up on your dreams, go back pick them up and move forward with a vengeance.
Hold on to your dreams and keep the faith!
Be a blessing and be blessed,
The bigger issue is that there are ways in which we tear our children down and we don't even realize it. Often times we say we are just joking or playing but we must realize that words or the tongue is sharper than any 2 edge swords and words cut deep. While we think we are only playing and move on, the words we have spoken become engraved in that child's subconscious and it can cause doubt, fear, feelings of inadequacy, shame and the list goes on and on well into their adult lives.
I think about growing up as a dark skin child. My mother and sister were lighter than I. One day I told my mom, "mommy you are brown and Chris, my sister, is white". My mother had to explain to me that we were all black people just different shades. Growing up I was told I was beautiful, I was always complimented and uplifted by my family about my dark skin. There was never a day that I hated being dark or wanted to be any lighter.
Unfortunately, that is not true for all people in the African American community. Some people despise their dark skin. As many know during slavery, the dark slaves were in the field, the light slaves were in the house. Some freedmen were so light that they would pass for white people. So the nature of African Americans had been programmed in us from slavery to hate our skin, our color, to really hate ourselves. To this day their are still articles about light skin vs. dark skin.
So why, why would we as parents with all of the negativity in the media, with most history classes overlooking our complete existence choose to tear our children down instead of build them up?
What am I talking about?
There are parents who say things like this to their children you're:
- never amount to anything
- just like your trifling daddy
The media already does a great job of depicting African Americans in a negative light. We need to not perpetuate it as well in our homes. What we need to do in our homes is teach them their history and show them the positiveness of black America and let them know that every race, nationality, and even religion has positive and negative stereotypes/ideals. That black America is no different than anyone else on the human level and that we all matter, are successful, educated, smart etc.
You may think, I am not the type of parent that tears my child down. There are subtle ways we tear our children down. Yesterday my son started swim lessons. The lessons seem a bit aggressive to me but none the less the point is to teach him how to swim. So, the instructor had them jump in the pool. The first time my son was reluctant and he did it half way, the next time he jumped right in. Then, the instructor took them to the deepest end of the pool and asked them to jump in onto a floatation device and then he would hold them as they swam the length of the pool. Oh my, my son was afraid, he began shaking and even started crying. I was up in the stands and I just yelled out its ok, you can do it. The instructor spoke with him and talked to him, he didn't jump in but he did get into the deep end and complete the task. When the lessons were over, I told him, you did a great job this week and next week I am sure you will be ready to jump in the deep end.
Now the conversation could have went differently, I could have yelled, fussed, and even demeaned him about crying like a little baby at swim lessons and told him that he needs to toughen up. However, that would not build him up, that would have only tore him down. Now his ego may have wanted him to prove me wrong nevertheless the words I spoke would have someway crept into his subconscious and replayed themselves at a time where he was experiencing doubt.
So I think about instances where people call themselves using reverse psychology. If you were smart you could do it, you aren't bright enough to figure that out huh, see I knew it, I knew you were a quitter. While in the moment it may cause the person to do the opposite of what we are saying, it can and will become detrimental to them in their adult life.
Imagine if we as parents spoke to our children the way that God spoke to us. That when they had fears or doubts we were in their corner telling them they could do it. If we simply recited scripture to them when they said things like I can't? Yesterday my son told me I can't tie my shoe. I told him can't was worst than any cuss word in our home. I told him that He can do all things through Christ that strengthens him! Then I told him that he is more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus. That is a way to build children up.
Am I a perfect parent? Heck no! Will I ever be a perfect parent? Heck no! Am I truly making a conscious effort to build my son up from this day forward? Absolutely!
How does building our children up help them succeed in school? It helps because we give them a can do attitude, a faith attitude, we fill them with a belief that anything is possible. We build them up by supporting their wildest dreams, ideals, and thoughts understanding that God will bless us exceedingly and abundantly above all we could ever ask for or imagine. Just because we have experienced dreams deferred, are full of fear and doubt and not walking by faith we cannot place that burden on our children.
We build them up by always encouraging them to do their best and supporting their best efforts even if there best efforts lands them a C on their report card. The best doesn't always means straight A's, the best means that they can truly say that they tried, put forth their best effort, that they tried and tried and tried again and they never gave up.
There are others ways we can build our children up feel free to comment. The best way to build them up is to only speak the promises of God to them and into their lives. Edify your childern, instruct them morally and spiritually, build them up, uplift them.
"Therefore encourage one another and build each other up,..." I Thessalonians 5:11a
"All things are lawful for me," but not all things are profitable. "All things are lawful for me," but not all things build up." I Corinthians 10:23 (WEB)
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Monday, September 19, 2011
While this is true this is also very false. I love the old African Proverb it takes a village to raise a child. So, it is not just about your child but about all of the children in our communities. When we lose one young person to violence, when a child decides to drop out of school, we as a community as a whole have failed that child. If we started looking at things that way and taking accountability for one another we will be one step closer to changing our communities, cities, states, and the world.
This morning riding on the train some students that attend Urban Prep High School were near me talking. Their conversation caught my attention because they spoke about
- a 16 year old 6th grader
- an 18 year old freshman in high school
While it is a good thing that both of these students are still in school and haven't dropped out, they are truly behind their counterparts. At 16 a student should be in their Junior year of high school and at 18 one should be a freshman in college. In no way does this mean to give up hope. These students can both turn out to be highly successful business people, entreprenuers etc. However, this is a prime example of how we are failing our children. We as in parents, schools, teachers, community leaders etc. ALL of us are failing OUR children! There is no reason why these children should be that far behind in school. There comes a point when we must take a stand, send our children to summer school, get them tutors do whatever it takes to ensure they are successful in school. Even going as far as giving them work at home if we feel like their schools are not challenging them enough.
It just so happened today I was doing research on City Year, their website states "A breakthrough comprehensive study from Johns Hopkins University found that students most at risk of dropping out of school can be identified as early as middle school through key indicators - poor attendance, unsatifactory behavior and course failure in math and English. When just one of these off track indicators is exhibited by a student as early as the 6th grade, they have less than a 25% likelihood of graduating from high school." (http://www.cityear.org/whatwedo.aspx )
Less than a 25% chance of graduating if only 1 of the indicators is present. Now you may think that seems a bit much, not considering that 50% of Chicago Public School high school students do not graduate from high school, which happens to be the same as the National average for African American students about 50% do not graduate from high school.
We are failing our students. So now I see you reading this saying what is the solution? The solution is to care, the solution is to raise your own children and instill in them the value of education as well as get them involved in extra curricular activities. Then take it one step further and care about someone elses child and their future. Volunteer, mentor, give back, be it to a mother of a young child, to a mother that feels there is no hope, or to an actual child. There are a wealth of opportunities and organizations that you can give your time in any way to help the mission and vision of the organization. Your child as well can volunteer and give back as people are usually more receptive when receiving help from their peers.
We have to realize, yes we can make a difference. It only takes one person to make a difference. You may feel you don't have anything to give or to offer. Yahweh, God, Allah, Buddah, whomever you call on blessed us all with special gifts that can be used to help someone else achieve their goals. Your blessing is in someone elses hands just like someone is waiting on you for their blessing. The Most High uses people to bless other people, the blessing comes from Him but we are the conduits they are given through.
Simply put, DO SOMETHING! Its not enough to sit around and talk about what's going on, shake your head and say what is the world coming to. For as the saying goes if you are not a part of the problem you are a part of the solution.
Some organizations to consider: City Year, After School Matters, Charm Mentoring and Outreach Services, In2Books, Allstars Project, Dress for Success, Your local library, YMCA, YWCA the list goes on and on and on.
Which side are you on? The problem? The Solution?
Be a blessing and be blessed,
"The thing always happens that you really believe in; and the belief in a thing makes it happen." -Frank Lloyd Wright
"If I have the belief that I can do it, I shall surely acquire the capacity to do it even if I may not have it at the beginning." -M Gandhi
"You'll see it when you believe it." -Wayne Dyer
"The moment we want to believe something, we suddenly see all the arguments for it, and become blind to the arguments against it." -G B Shaw
"If you believe you can, you probably can. If you believe you won't, you most assuredly won't belief is the ignition switch that gets you off the launching pad." -Denis Waitley
On Twitter I follow @DJKUT and he tweeted these quotes this morning and I wanted to share with all of you all.
You are either believing in faith or in fear, whatever you believe it shall be unto you!
Be a blessing and be blessed,
"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29
We are one in the spirit. When you speak negatively or badly about another of God's children, you are also speaking badly about yourself and more importantly shedding negatitivy on what it means to be a Christian or child or God.
They will know that we are Christians by our love. We must love all, God, ourselves, and others as ourselves.
"See God in every person, place and thing, and all will be well in your world." ~ Louise Hay
Be a blessing and be blessed,
"...give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." I Thessalonians 5:18. As a Christian we are supposed to give thanks in all things, as a Christian we are supposed to draw men to Christ. If you are a bible toting and reading, church going Christian that gets upset easily and complains often your light is not shining, we won't our lights to shine our sole purpose in life is to praise and worship God, to be so on fire for God that everything around us gets consumed by the fire.
How do we give thanks and recognize God's goodness?
- For waking you up this morning
- For the new mercy and grace you received today
- that you are alive and well
- that all your senses are working
- that all of your limbs are working
- that the blood is flowing through your body to your brain
- for the roof over your head
- food to eat
- clothes on your back
- shoes on your feet
- for love, peace, and joy
- for his blessing and favor
- for his hedge of protection
- you are breathing on your own
- you were able to take a shower this morning
- when you pull up somewhere and get a park in the front
- that you are employed
- that you can feed yourself and eat on your own
There is so much to be thankful for at all times. Imagine if you spent your time thanking God for his goodness constantly and continuously, you would not have time to complain. Even if you cannot thank Him for everything about there is something that you can be thankful for.
So Joel gave a scenario, he spoke about how he and some friends were standing somewhere and they decided to walk off. Moments later a huge branch fell from the tree they'd been standing by. Had they been standing there they could have all been hurt. At that moment Joel recognized God for his goodness and thanked him. Joel said, ok, I can see someone saying Joel I was in an accident this week and my car was totalled. Joel said thank God anyway it could have been worst you could be dead! Even if you ended up in the hospital, you still have your life, even if you ended up without legs, you still have your arms etc.
There is ALWAYS something to be thankful for in ALL situations. You have to choose to recognize God's goodness and thank him.
Be blessed and be a blessing,
Friday, September 16, 2011
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Romans 7:14-25 "14 We know that the law is spiritual; but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. 15 I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. 16 And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. 17 As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. 18 For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature.[c] For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!"
This one will be short and to the point:
- You have enough going on in your own life, your own battles that you shouldn't talk about others
- You shouldn't talk about others because you should be focused on getting yourself right
- They are who they are, they have their own battles as do you, concentrate on you
- As a married man/woman you may be struggling with infidelity and your thoughts, you are in control of them
- Your thoughts control your life, not the devil
- Satan may plant the seed but you water it and make it grow all on your own through your thoughts
Mind your own business and focus on yourself. Why? because you can barely control yourself, desires, and personal struggles how can you cast judgment on another. We are all different, come from different backgrounds and experiences that have made us who we are today. Just as you can change some of the things about yourself and not hold onto the notion "this is how I am this is how I was born and raised," you don't necessarily do so. You cannot expect to say what someone else needs to change about them and it happen, when you aren't willing to amke changes with yourself. Deal with your own internal demons and grow yourself in faith and in God. That is how you turn from being your worst enemy to your own best friend. Speak well of yourself and think highly of yourself and in that manner your views and thoughts of others will change as well. As for the most part we only see in others what is in ourselves. So if you see negative in someone else, get the negative out of yourself first etc.
That was a great message that was well received by myself because I am growing and developing and making much needed changes. I pray this helped someone else as well.
Be a blessing and be blessed,
This morning Bill Winston was teaching and he proved how Satan could care less about any of us. Mark 4:15 "15 Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them." This scripture says that Satan comes and takes the word. Why does Satan come and take the word from you? "Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ." (Romans 10:17) Satan steals the word because he doesn't want your faith to develop. He doesn't want your faith to develop because he knows that faith wins every time and that he cannot defeat faith!.
So let me encourage you right now, stop fighting the devil and stop thinking that you are in a fight with the devil. "Fight the good fight of the faith." (I Timothy 6:12) Your job is to fight the good fight of faith, and faith comes by hearing the word of God. So it is up to us to hear the word of God and increase in our faith. We should not waver in our faith no matter what happens. For when we lose faith that is when Satan can come in and destroy us. However all he does is plant the seed, through our fear we can water the seed Satan plants and let it grow or with our faith we can uproot the seed and continue to increase in faith.
The main example Pastor Winston used was Jesus and the Disciples in the boat when the storm came, Mark 4:35-51
35 That day when evening came, he said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side.”
- Mark 4:14 The sower sows the Word
- Jesus was the Word clothed in Human flesh
- The word when it goes forth does not return void (Isaiah 55:11)
- So when Jesus said let us go to the other side, he knew where they were going and that they would make it to the other side for he spoke it
36 Leaving the crowd behind, they took him along, just as he was, in the boat. There were also other boats with him.
- The boat with Jesus and the disciples were not the only boat, there were other boats with them - people were watching
- There are people watching you when it comes to your faith and your faith walk!
37 A furious squall came up, and the waves broke over the boat, so that it was nearly swamped.
- Temptation comes after you hear the word.
- As scripture says Satan comes to pluck the word before it is allowed to take root for when it takes root that means your faith is being strengthened and is growing.
- Please note, Jesus was tempted in the desert so we will definitely be tempted as well. Not only that Satan tempted Jesus with the Word!
- It may appear that you are drowning, hold steadfast in faith and speak the Word
38 Jesus was in the stern, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him and said to him, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?” 39 He got up, rebuked the wind and said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down and it was completely calm. 40 He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”
- The storm was sent by Satan
- The storm wasn't sent to kill them, the storm was sent to take away their faith and it worked (at least on the disciples)
- Once your faith is taken away the devil can defeat you, with faith you are unstoppable!!!!
- Jesus spoke and rebuked the storm, when you feel like you are being tested, speak the Word of God and the Word only, you must say something aloud
- Jesus asked them do you still have no faith? Had they had faith they could have either ignored the storm knowing all was well and that they would make it to the other side because Jesus, the Word said so. Or they could have combined their faith if needed and rebuked the storm!
Now after you hear the word you will be tempted but instead of giving in to temptation you will now fight the good fight of faith. Right? Of course you will. We are in this thing together :-).
I Peter 5:6-11 6 Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. 9 Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. 10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. 11 To him be the power for ever and ever. Amen.
- Humble yourself - the bible tells us that we should not think more highly of ourselves then we ought, so it may be that someone else got a promotion, someone else got a raise, someone else found a new job, someone else is in a relationship/married/engaged etc. Stay humble in your faith walk and know that your time is coming in due time and your blessing has nothing to do with someone else.
- Resist and stand firm - it will look like you are losing the battle, that others are winning it may look like whatever it is you are in faith for is taking too long
- Be self controlled and alert - I like the saying where people say they sleep with one eye open lol. Be prepared and be ready at any time aremed with the word!
So what does all of this mean to you, what am I saying? All you need is faith! ! If we had faith in EVERYTHING that the Word of God said, if we had faith in EVERY promise the bible has, if we had faith the size of a mustard seed, if we walked by faith and lived by faith as the Bible instructed us there we be nothing to hard for us. Now that doesn't mean we wouldn't have temptation and obstacles, what it does mean is that we would stand firm in our faith knowing that with God all things are possible and that we are more than conquerors through Christ Jesus. If we had total and complete faith we would truly be the imitators of Christ as scripture instructs us to be.Be a blessing and be blessed,
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
If you love shopping online this is definitely for you. Many stores like Old Navy, Victoria’s Secret, Sears, Kmart, and the list goes on and on participate in the program. These stores you a percentage back from every online purchase you make. Not only that, there are restaurants in your city that participate and every time you dine you receive a percentage of your bill. The same goes for Mobil gas stations, you receive .01/gallon of gas that you put in your gas tank. While they may not seem like a lot pennies turn into dollars and it’s a penny you would not have save otherwise.
How is all of this possible? Through www.upromise.com with Upromise you register your credit/debit cards and grocery cards. Once your account is set up you can link it to Sallie Mae and either pay down student loans or save money in a Sallie Mae savings or money market account that yields 1.01% interest yearly.
So yes, you can save money and use it for yourself, for your child’s future college expenses, and/or pay down your student loans while filling up your gas tank, shopping online, dining out, and buying groceries.
Just in living your everyday life you can be a passive saver. Now that sounds like a great deal to me. I have been a proud member of Upromise since 2005. Check it out and sign up today www.upromise.com
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I'm not sure how many of you had the "sex talk" with your parents, but I know for many it probably went something like this: don't bring home no babies, don't get no girl pregnant because I'm not taking care of any babies. Now I can say that my mom told me that her grandmother told her that what she had between her legs was a gold mine. I got it, women have something that is special and precious, I completely understood that. However, after reading the Essence article most parents, the majority of parents if I dare say don't do enough of the right talking with their children. Here is what teens had to say and some statistics.
"When my mother talks to me about sex, I don't really pay attention. It's awkward."
"According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, 1 in 2 AA girls will become pregnant before 20, nearly twice the national average."
"The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports among 13 to 24 year olds, AA account for 55% of new HIV cases, while nearly half of all Black girls between 14 and 19 are affected with at least one STI, such as chlamydia, herpes, or HPV."
"I wish instead of telling me not to have sex my mother would tell me exactly how to say no."
"A guy will want to be with a girl, so he'll have his friends go up to her and just insult her, insult her, insult her, telling her she's ugly, her breasts are lopsided, she has stretch marks, nappy hair, she's fat, whatever you can think of, then when she's feeling really weak and insecur, the guy will come up behind her and tell her, 'I think you're beautiful.' Suddenly, he looks like Prince Charming.
"Children are dealing with an enormous pressure to engage in sexual activity, no matter the age, color, creed, education or income level of the parents."
"More than 40% of teens surveyed said theyhave gone online to view pornography; 42% say they've been shown pornography by a friend."
"They are treating porn as instructional vidos for how to have sex."
"We have to talk to them about infatuation and love."
"My cousin who's 15 said I should get as much oral sex as I can." (teen boy 13!)
"After a girl gives you a blow job you have to act like you are unhappy. That way she will come back and try to make it better."
"I was on FaceBook and a guy posted that he wasn't ready for sex yet. All his friends called him gay."
"We need to provide other examples of manhood so boys can try to prove themselves in ways other than acting out sexually."
"Teach sons qualities like self-discipline, loyalty and integrity - give them opportunities to develop those traits."
"Girls need to have respect and self esteem."
"If you want your girls not to have sex, put them in sports. Those girls are focused." (teen boy 13!)
WOW! Those are just a few quotes from the 4 1/2 page article in Essence. As a mother of a 6 year old, it let me know I need to talk to my son about sex and yes when need to start at an early age like 3. We also have to be mindful of sexual predators not that you want your child to be molested but once they are old enough to talk and understand they need to know the correct terms for their private areas (vagina, penis, anus) and they need to know those areas are private and off limits and realistically we need to tell the the same thing about their mouths! This is something that I talk to my son about often.
Young girls are performing oral sex on boys as early as 10 maybe earlier and they must understand that they can catch diseases in their throats. More importantly the need to understand that they are too young to engage in any type of sexual activity and to respect and love themselves and their bodies.
It is not enough as parents and Christians to tell our children to wait until they are married. Truth be told that concept didn't work on the majority of us. Not saying that it is impossible to teach your child to stay a virgin until marriage and that goes for boys and girls but the dialogue needs to go further if this will be achieved.
Like the article mentioned teach young boys self-discipline, loyalty, and integrity, teach them to respect themselves. We need to teach our sons that their bodies are precious and not every woman they see is deserving of their precious gift as well. We also need to teach our sons to use their brains and think and not let the impulses of the body take control. As well as keep them busy.
We need to talk to our children about the tingly feeling they get or the butterflies they feel when they see someone of the opposite sex that they are attracted to. We have to be realistic as parents and realize that our children can be thinking about sex at the early age of 9/10.
For me this is unbelievable I think I kissed a boy at 9 but sex was the farthest thing from my mind. Times have changed completely, the Internet, TV, videos, and songs there are a lot of outside influences on our children. Peer pressure is real, heck many adults still succumb to peer pressure.
As parents we need to get real and we need to get transparent. Be honest with your child about the age that you had sex, let them know if you regretted what you did and why. Talk about feelings, emotions, heart ache, and pain that is associated with sex. Go further then the don't get pregnant or when you feel you are ready I will take you to get birth control and make sure you use condoms speech.
When you introduce the topic of sex to your sons and daughters let them know they are precious, they are valuable, they should respect their bodies and demand that other respect them as well. If they feel they are been violated in anyway they need to feel comfortable speaking to you and letting you know.
Fathers, teach your daughters the game teach them all the things boys say to trick them into having sex and let them know that most boys are only out for one thing and then they are gone and off to conquer the next woman. Teach your sons not to be out like dogs chasing cats but to find respectable girls to date and be with. To respect and love the girls they date like their own mothers and sisters. Also teach them to stand up for and protect other girls/women. More importantly be an EXAMPLE of this behavior.
Mothers, you too can teach your daughters the game and all the things that boys will say to try and get into their pants. Teach them that kissing and petting leads to other things. To never be alone in a room with a boy. To absolutely not perform any sexual acts in front of others to have respect for themselves even if no one else does. Let your daughters know from the moment they are born, they are beautiful, precious gifts that should be treasured and not everyone is worthy to unwrap them. Fathers be an example to your daughters, treat their mothers with respect, treat them with respect show them what it means to be loved by a man.
Most importantly get your children involved in activities, sports, community work, volunteering, keep them as busy as possible. It won't keep them from having sex completely but it will help. Spend time with your children, pour into them what you want to come out, be open and approachable for all issues that they have so that they comfortable and are willing to speak to you.
Create an opportunity for open dialogue and keep it real!
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Monday, September 12, 2011
This is to all my mother’s. Someone whom I follow on Twitter post a tweet this morning “I just witnessed a mother arguing with her 19 year old son about washing his clothes that has been stinking in her house over a month! WOW”
Mother’s if you don’t want this to be you, RAISE YOUR SONS!!!!!!
What do I mean by that?
Sure in the traditional sense men and women marry and the woman cooks, cleans, washes clothes takes care of the home. However it is 2011 and in many marriages both the men and women work. Now in some homes the husband is the bread winner and the wife loving accepts her household duties. There are other households where the husbands shares in the work. Now for myself, the way that I grew up my mother tended to the things in the home and my father took care of the things outside of the home, mowing the lawn, cleaning the gutters, washing cars, bar b qing etc. However……my father also knew how to wake up and make his own breakfast. Now when it came to dinner food he was a bit limited but he wasn’t going to starve waiting on my mother to cook. Please don’t misunderstand my mother cooked and cleaned, she also worked a full-time job and was at some point in school so there weren’t things she was able to do on a daily basis but every Sunday guaranteed we had a home cooked meal. My father is an example of a man whose mother raised and did not spoil him.
Then I have an aunt and uncle. Now for a long time I thought my aunt was cooking everyday. Come to find out in the later years of the marriage because my uncle made it home at 2P he would cook dinner and have it ready for when my aunt came home. Now my aunt fixes their plates, clears the tables and washes dishes traditional things but she isn’t married to a man that is helpless because his mother decided not to raise him as a man.
What a lot of women do and there was an article in Jet Magazine about this when I was in grammar school the title was something to the effect Black Women Raise their Daughters and Spoil their sons. Many black women and maybe whites and other races I am not at liberty to speak on that. Raise their daughters and spoil their sons. They treat their sons somehow like they are princess/kings and even sometimes like a husband.
What many mothers fail to realize is most women don’t want to date nor marry a man that is unable to do anything for hisself. The days are long gone where children leave the home and are immediately married. You may be training your daughter to take care of herself and her family but your son needs the same training. I consider knowing how to boil water, cook, and clean necessities needed to survive in life just like reading, writing, and arithmetic!
Our goals as parents should be to prepare our children for life. Your son may not get married until he is in his 30s. That is my hope for my own son. I would prefer him to get an education, start his own business, establish himself, then date, marry and have children in that order! So that means he will have a period of time where he will be living alone and forced to do his own laundry, cooking and cleaning. If he doesn’t learn how to do so in my home I will be doing him an extreme disservice. Now if he is fortunate enough to have the ability to afford a maid/butler great but I will be at ease because I know that he has the proper tools needed to take care of himself.
There is absolutely no reason why the mother of a 19 year old should be arguing with him about washing his stanking clothes and the mother has to take some of the responsibility as to why her son hasn’t washed his clothes. For me it’s either one of two things the mother didn’t raise him to do these things and waited until he was too old to introduce the need to do for oneself or the child is suffering from depression. Who in their right mind would want to smell, stinking clothes themselves? Now the other thing is that the 19 year old knows his mother breaking point, the point where she will give in and do for him and he has the stamina to out wait her!
Whatever the case may be if you are the mother of a son or are planning to have children, RAISE YOUR SON. Men need to know how to cook, clean, separate laundry, wash clothes just as much as women do. Introduce responsibility to your children early. If they are old enough to mess up they are old enough to clean up. Even if you don’t make your children do certain things all the time, they should have the ability to do them. It is my personal belief that all school age children should know how to clean their own rooms and that should solely be their responsibility. You may still have to sweep and mop for some until they are old enough to truly do those things properly.
I laugh reading this as I wrote this last week and this past weekend my son over flowed the toilet as he stuffed it with tissue wiping his butt and still had poo in his underwear. I knew he did because he changed his shorts. I explained to him if you have poo in your underwear and you do not wash your butt you will have poo in your shorts. I told him if you know there is poo in your underwear, wash your underwear, wash your butt and wash your hands when you are done. Take responsibility. Mothers of sons who still find tire tracks in their child undies please keep me in your prayers.
Mother’s I encourage you to RAISE YOUR SONS! Think of all the qualities you love about men and the ones that you hate and make sure you aren’t raising a child that you wouldn’t even want to date or marry.
Be a blessing and be blessed,
"Be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
- Christian D. Larsen
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Friday, September 9, 2011
Be blessed and be a blessing,
Years ago, I watched an episode of the Oprah Winfrey show where she had mothers who felt unfulfilled and unhappy. The main cause, they were putting family and every other thing in their lives 1st because they felt that is what they were supposed to do.
Now yes the good book teaches us that it is better to give than to receive; the key however is that you have to have something to give! For instance it is difficult to sow into someone spiritually if you are not being spiritually fed yourself. It is difficult to share faith with someone if you are not working on first increasing your own faith. Does that make sense? In laymen terms, you cannot give what you do not have.
Think about when you are on an airplane and the stewardess begins to give you safety tip. They tell you if the air pressure in the cabin gets too low, oxygen masks will drop down. They go on to tell you to put your oxygen masks on 1st and then help your small children or anyone else whom may be with you that needs assistance. Why is that? With your oxygen mask on you will be able to breathe freely which gives you a clear head and the ability to calmly and quickly secure the mask around your child etc. It is a great lesson in being your own 1st priority before helping someone else.
Now please don’t read this and take it the wrong way or to the extreme. What do I mean by that? Say your refrigerator is full, all your bills are paid, and you have savings in the bank that you are saving for something special. Someone comes along and is in serious need, now you have the means to help them but you choose to focus on yourself and what you need and completely ignore their need. That is absolutely not what I am suggesting with this post.
What I am suggesting is that you take time for yourself. Take time and exercise, eat right, read a book, write something that you’ve wanted to write. Do something that is for you and you alone everyday. Even if it is just sitting for 15 minutes in solitude. Do something that you want to do that creates a sense of calm, peace, joy in your life without any distractions.
I think it is easier for many of us to be all things to all people than to be all things to ourselves. I can see some of you reading and thinking to yourselves I don’t understand. You have children, they play sports, you volunteer, you work a full-time job, you have to cook, clean, and wash clothes, church commitments and so on, your laundry list of things to do daily doesn’t allow you the time to squeeze yourself in.
If that happens to be you, you may suffer from busyness. There is a great difference in being busy and being productive. Having a daily laundry list and completing many tasks everyday doesn’t mean that you are being productive while it may be very efficient for your life. Learn to delegate tasks and prioritize better. If you don’t have time for yourself in your life you definitely need to prioritize some things. Why? Because at some point you will experience burn out. Even Jesus took time for himself. There was the example where he went alone to pray and asked the disciples to stay awake and watch. He spent 40 days in the desert well the devil was their tempting him nevertheless he was alone. He chose not take the boat once and walk to the other side and meet the disciples there. He even was asleep on the boat when the storm came in which the disciples were upset that Jesus was sleep because they thought they would die.
What’s my point if Jesus who healed the sick, restored the lost, and died for all of our sins was able to take time for himself. Surely you can even though he told us we would do greater works than him. The bible also tells us to love God, ourselves, than others. After God comes you, not your children, not your husband, not your hobbies, associations, committees etc.
YOU should be your biggest priority. You also may want to examine if you are spreading yourself to thin and eliminate some of the things you are doing. You may just be busy to avoid examining your life and making necessary changes.
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Earlier this month, we delivered more than 130,000 petition signatures -- the product of tremendous activism on the part of the ColorOfChange.org and Change.org communities -- to local school officials in support of recent high school graduate Kymberly Wimberly.
ColorOfChange.org has followed up with hundreds of phone calls to the superintendent and school board members in McGehee, Arkansas. That's where Wimberly, a young Black mother, was forced to share a "co-valedictorian" designation with a lower achieving White student. This after the high school guidance counselor assured the Wimberly family that Kymberly was the top-ranked senior, and a staffer worried aloud that having her in that role would cause "a big mess."
Despite all the petition signatures and calls, district officials are continuing to pretend as if they've done nothing wrong. So more than 100 ColorOfChange.org members have now called state-level leaders. The commissioner of Arkansas' education department and members of the state board are staying tight-lipped as well, refusing to make statements in support of Kymberly.
What Arkansas school officials fail to realize is that by staying silent, they're saying plenty about their beliefs on the topic of Black student achievement. The situation in McGehee has never been solely about Kymberly. The equal protection lawsuit she has brought against the district alleges that administrators and teachers there routinely discourage Black students -- nearly half the high school student body -- from taking honors and AP classes.
As much as the events in McGehee sound like an aberration, they're not. This spring, a district in Malverne, Long Island, mistakenly named a white student valedictorian. Once the error had been exposed, school officials attempted to name her co-valedictorian with the higher achieving Black student. The community pressed for the district to fully fix the error, and the school board eventually voted to name the black student, Aalique Grahame, the sole valedictorian.
In Sumter County, Georgia, the Black community began organizing around a similar issue in 2009, when a high-achieving Black student at Americus-Sumter High School didn't make the cut for valedictorian. Suspecting that some teachers were giving Black students lower grades to ensure that they stayed out of the top slot, the local NAACP petitioned school officials to explain why only one Black student had been acknowledged with the honor in the previous eight years, and why high-achieving, ostensibly eligible Black students were not being permitted to apply for a federally-funded scholarship administered by the school.
Ignored by local officials, the Sumter County Branch of the NAACP eventually took its complaint to the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR). OCR investigated whether the district was discriminating against Black students, but before it could issue a recommendation, the district asked to resolve the complaint. Superintendent Roy Brooks signed a resolution agreement in April, agreeing to revise and clarify district policies around valedictorian selection, train all staff who advise students about the valedictorian process, notify parents and students of the criteria for achieving the honor and to provide other information on a timeline established by the OCR, which will continue to monitor the district. It's a process that's just beginning, but it appears that the federal government -- after being called upon by local activists -- is pushing a major culture shift in this Georgia school district.
In McGehee, where ColorOfChange.org members' attention has been focused, the district is expected to respond to the Wimberly family's lawsuit within the next several weeks. But in the meantime, officials there would do well to pay attention to what happened in Georgia. Ignoring a groundswell of activism is what school leaders did in Sumter County, too, and it didn't serve them well. If the activism of more than 130,000 people around the country can't set things right in McGehee, perhaps the U.S. Department of Education will have to. (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rashad-robinson/will-arkansas-officials-s_b_941218.html)
Be a blessing and be blessed,
For all of my sisters in their 20s/30s:
- Ask yourself, What do I want to be doing at 40?
- Make a plan and work it. You can tweak it along the way.
- Reach out. You don't have to do it alone. We're here for you.
- Save a little bit every week, even a single dollar.
- Don't accept negative things others say about you. If they have an observation, tell them to make it constructive.
- You are responsible for your actions.
- Video dancer is not a profession.
- Be aware of the ways pop culture may try to diminish you. Reject them.
- Be patient with people's shortcomings but not their bad behavior.
- Know that you can love someone and still walk away.
- Any job is better than no job. It's not forever. It's merely a stepping-stone.
- Any man is not better than no man.
- Men think about sex a lot. What's on your mind?
- Whatever you dream, there's a Black woman who has already done it.
- You can do it, too?
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Sowing and reaping is not simply and only about money it is about every aspect or facet of life.
So first let me share Galatians 6:7 with you in various translations:
Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. (NIV)
Don't be misled--you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. (NLT)
Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked [a]by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and [b]that only is what he will reap. (AMP)
What does this mean? This means be mindful at all times what you give out because that is what you will get back. Let me delve a little further into this. There are many people that are why me type of people? Why is this or that happening to me, the first thing is crap happens. "Good and bad" happens to the righteous and the unrighteous. So instead of having a pity party and asking a million and one questions, have a praise party and confess the Word of God. Also think about the things that you have done, said and you may have a better answer to your why me questions.
Ok, now back to sowing and reaping, if you sow love you are going to reap love, if you sow peace you are going to reap peace, if you sow joy you are going to reap joy, if you sow kindness you are going to reap kindness, if you sow mercy you will reap mercy, if you sow understanding you will reap understanding. Ok I think you get where I am going with this.
Now when you sow if you are sowing into a person, situation, or circumstance you may not reap from the place that you sowed but you will definitely reap.
So I ask you what are you sowing? The bible teaches us to love our enemies and pray for them, it teaches us that it is not enough to love those who love us but to love our enemies. Why because in loving our enemies we can begin to develop the God type of love that agape love. Also because it is easy to love those that are nice to you and that you love.
Pastor Winston yesterday was speaking on reaping and sowing, when you slap someone expect to be slapped back, when you cuss someone expect to be cussed back. Again the person you are doing this to may or may not be the one to do it back to you. It could be 15 years from now and yes, you repented for your sin and God forgot it but when you sow, you release energy. For those who don't know energy cannot be created or destroyed, energy simply continues to move and transfers. So whatever you did even though you repented for it energy was released into the atmosphere that will come back to you in some way, shape, or form. Again sowing and reaping is a LAW.
In a nutshell what am I saying, I am saying be mindful of the words you speak over other people, what you say to them, how you say it, and what you say about them. Why? because you reap what you sow. The golden rule is to do unto others as you would have them to do unto you. Imagine if everyone treated others the way they truly wanted to be treated, we would all be reaping harvests of abundant love, joy, peace, happiness etc.
The good thing is change begins with one person, so it can start with us right now. We can make a conscious effort to be mindful of what we sow because whatever seeds we plant will grow as a harvest in our lives.
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
Living Word Christian Center and Bill Winston Ministries presents International Faith Conference.
Beginning Sunday, September 11th at 5:00P (Corporate Prayer) and 6:00P (service)
Monday September 12th - Friday, September 16th 6:00P (Corporate Prayer) and 7:00P (service)
For more information visit: http://www.2011ifc.com/
Be a blessing and be blessed,
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. More importantly we are spiritual beings having a natural experience. Therefore if you work on yourself from the inside out, you shall radiate the light of God within you and whomever looks at you will see your beauty just as God sees it.
I see so many women of all ethnic backgrounds buying into the belief that the way they were created isn't good enough. I attended a seminar where the speaker asked all of the participants to write down 3 things they would change about themselves. She began to read what had been written, people spoke of wanting a bigger butt, breasts, to be thinner, nose jobs etc. The speaker let us know that she struggled with things she wanted to change about herself but at the same time she realized God created her and all of us just the way he wanted to.
God didn't make any mistakes when he created you and to want to change anything about yourself is like telling God he doesn't know what he is doing!
Now don't get me wrong, I wear make-up and fake eyelashes (very rarely), I wear false nails, I have even put pieces in my hair although my hair is down my back. So there are things that I have done that altered the way I look outside of how God made me. At the same time I realize I only make temporary changes that don't alter anything permanently. I also do those things when I am "dressing up" and going out and I just want to go full force with the glam. However, I recognize none of those things make me beautiful, they only enhance my beauty.
That is what young girls and women need to understand you are beautiful and there are things that can enhance your beauty but not make you beautiful. Eventually outer beauty begins to fade I don't care who you are you will get older and begin to lose your youthful appearance so why focus so much on something that will change?
I think of someone like Heidi Montage who has had over 10 plastic surgeries and she's only in her early 20s. Some people become addicted to plastic surgery and I would call her an addict. The thing is after each surgery she still found something that was wrong with her and decided to have yet another surgery. What she doesn't realize is that she is searching for something outwardly that can only be found inwardly.
If you don't love yourself, how you are just as you are right now, you will have a hard time loving yourself once you make changes. Now don't get me wrong if you are overweight and want to lose weight for health reasons and just so you feel better about yourself I say go for it. However, it doesn't matter how much weight you lose if you don't love you and have a positive self image you will constantly find something that is wrong with you.
I think about Janet Jackson and how she is in her 40s and is only now starting to learn to love herself. She mentioned how as Penny on the TV sitcom Good Times, she was already developing breasts so they would strap her chest down. In her mind she felt that she wasn't good enough as she was. That image continued to stay engraved in her mind and more importantly subconscious up until this day. So while she had her breasts done and a nose job, she still didn't feel beautiful and is now learning to love herself more day by day but still struggles with negative self image.
THERE IS NOTHING ON THE OUTSIDE OF YOU THAT YOU CAN CHANGE TO MAKE YOU FEEL MORE BEAUTIFUL, YOU HAVE TO FEEL IT AND BE IT ON THE INSIDE.
Once you feel it inwardly and believe it you will radiate and energy and a glow that will give people no choice but to recognize your beauty.
Yes I know we live in a society where its all about big butts, small waists, and a nice breast size. We are bombarded by these images in videos, magazines, TV etc. A lot of girls and women feed into and buy into these images. That is why it is important to instill into our children at an early age that they are beautiful. There are even people in the African American community putting weaves in young girls heads as little as 5.
That act is placing the notion in a young girls head that you have to have long straight hair to be beautiful and that is a sad situation. I admire women with large natural Afros, those with short hair dos like fades, those with short dos as well as long dos, there is beauty in differences. If we all looked alike the world would be a boring place.
In no way am I saying if you get plastic surgery, wear weave, make-up etc. that you don't love yourself. I will say that you need to check your motives when you decide to do any of these things. Make sure you love yourself the way that you are and you are only choosing to alter because it is something you need to do not something you want to do based on societal "norms". I would encourage someone not to get plastic surgery unless it is for health reasons but I am not here to put my own personal beliefs on you.
What I will encourage those reading this to do is focus on their inner man, their spirit. Build your spirit up in goodness, love, joy, peace, faith, kindness be filled with the fruit of the spirit, sow the fruit of the spirit in others and I guarantee you that your beauty will shine brightly.
Some biblical scriptures to meditate on....
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations." Jeremiah 1:5
"Charm is deceptive and beauty is fleeting but a woman who fears the Lord is too be praised." Proverbs 31:30 (read the entire Proverbs 31)
Be a blessing and be blessed,