Monday, January 26, 2009

its late....

I can't sleep. I've got so many thoughts running through my head so I decided to write.


Pain to me is looking into a 13 year old's eyes and seeing hopelessness. Pain to me is hearing a 3rd grader say they have no dream.


Pain to me is hearing a 6th grader struggle to read 4 letter words. Pain to me is watching someone who has so much potential throw it all away to be "cool".


Pain to me is wondering if a child ate this evening. Pain to me is seeing defeat in a five year old boy.

This is the pain I experience.


Hope is seeing the good in this neighborhood.

Hope is going to work each day with a smile on my face.

Hope is telling a child for the 16th time they can and will do better.


Jesus is the only hope I cling to. This world has nothing to offer me. I believe in Christ's power to restore. I believe in Christ's power to heal.

I believe.

I believe that someday, Deangelo will be a famous writer.

I believe that someday, Lela will be a doctor.

I believe that someday, Jarell will make a difference in his community.

I believe that someday, Naima will be the 1st female president of the United States.

I believe.

We all must have pain, so we can experience true hope. We all must have hope in something we passionately believe in.

Pain. Hope. Believe.

God bless you all.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Strengths and Weaknesses

Hey everyone.

I finished my first paper for grad school. I wrote it on homelessness and the barriers homeless people must face in attempting to overcome this problem.

I was reading up on my next assignment. It is a lot different than my first paper. This paper must be about my strengths and weaknesses. I am to write about three different categories: attitudes/values, skills, and knowledge and my strengths and weaknesses of each.

So here's my question...can you give me some ideas? I know there are some areas i'm stronger in and definitely some areas I need to work on...but in your honest opinion...what are my strengths? What are my weaknesses? How can I improve as an employee, as a believer, and as a friend?

Thanks for your honesty!

Oh. and happy Sunday. Hope you all spend it resting!

God bless you all!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Martin Luther King Jr

Today I celebrated MLK day by volunteering at a aids/hiv recovery home. It was amazing to hear the residents talk about their story and life. One of the people who work at the home asked us a question...what does celebrating MLK mean to you?

What did MLK's life mean to me...a white woman from the south? Wow. Martin Luther King Jr's was a pioneer in the civil rights movement. Yet, his life, his ideas, weren't just for blacks. They were for everyone of us. His life taught me many things. He taught me that if you truly believe in something, you'll do anything, even to the point of giving your life to the cause. He taught me there is something in nonviolence. So many people experience violence, hatred, and shame because they are "different" than others. Yet, he talked about equality and love. MLK taught me that racial reconciliation is something that everyone, especially believers, should strive for everyday. He taught me the importance of believing in something, of having a dream, and standing up for what you believe in.

Martin Luther King Jr should be celebrated. Yet, we shouldn't ever forget that although we've come a long way, we should continue on this journey and not forget his dream...

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal."
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with a new meaning, "My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring."
And if America is to be a great nation this must become true."

I pray that all of us move towards seeking to understand those that are different than us. I pray that we all find something we can believe in and stand up for it no matter the opposition. Most imporantly, though, I pray that we strive to love, for love is the thing that binds us all together. It is the greatest commandment, and without love we are nothing.

God bless you all!

Sunday, January 18, 2009


The sun is shining today. I think that means the temperature is above zero. Yay.

Oh the small things that make us smile.

God bless you all!

Friday, January 16, 2009

The glory days? NOT

A friend of mine convinced me to join a city league basketball team. Last night was our first game. It was the first time I have played a real game since college and the first time I've tried to play with my bum knee. Not exactly the kind of start I would like to have had. Yet, I got out there and tried to play the best I could. Lets just say the emphasis is put on tried.

I realized I am not the young, fit basketball player I once was. Reliving the glory days I was not.

3 months of this? Hmm...maybe I should start practicing!

God bless you all!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Grad School and PRAYERS!

Yesterday was my first official day of grad school. I am in the MA in Human Services program at Liberty University. Although I am very nervous about returning to school, I am also very excited to learn more about the Human Services field, especially in exploring more about specific special populations like the poor and homeless.

I have to read A LOT and write A LOT of papers. So, yeah, I'm hoping I don't get too stressed out. I really believe this is where God wants me at this time in my life, so I am going to try to take it all in stride.

I do have a couple of prayer requests. Prayer request one is that I am able to still find time to relax and enjoy some downtime. Now that basketball has started and I've started grad school, I'll be a lot busier with a lot less time to find some "life-giving" activities. The very last thing I want is to be moody and irritable at work because I'm not balancing my time well.

Prayer request two is that the weather clears up soon. We have a TON of snow on the ground and are expecting more tonight and tomorrow. Also, the temperature is in the single digits with it feeling wayyyy below zero. Not only does that mean hazardous driving, but most importantly, there are a lot of people here in Chicago who have no homes or homes with little or no heat. Please pray that everyone will find a warm place to sleep and warm food in their bodies. Also pray that all of us at BT are safe was we drive kids home after program each night and as some of us travel to and from work everyday.

My last prayer request is about safety. Now as most of you may know, I live in what some people call the 'hood. Although there have been very few times when I've felt a little uneasy while walking around my neighborhood, I still am aware that bad things can and do happen around here. Don't get me wrong, I love where I live and my neighbors are wonderful, they always help my shovel my car out or say hi when I am walking to work. Also, I love it that I live where the kids I serve live. I say all that to say that there have been a few people I know from or related to BT who have been beat up or mugged these past few months. They all have been males and all have happened in the same area (which is an area we have all been warned to steer clear of). One has been mugged 3 times...he has become a target for a few guys and they continue to wait for him to steal from him. Please pray for these 3 men. They are all here because they love Jesus and want to serve this community. Please pray that God will give them strength and that they will not be discouraged, but they will know that the testing of their faith produces perseverance. Also pray for safety for all of us. I have learned that there is no safer place than in doing God's will, and I know that no matter what, God is always with me. Yet, I also know the power of prayer and hope that everyone who reads this blog will be on their knees praying everyday!

Anyways, life is great. I find that I love my children more and more every single day. They remind me all the time of just why I have chosen this as my profession. And although I hate this weather with a passion, I am grateful to be here in Chicago at just a time as this.

God bless you all!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Colossians 3

I was reading Colossians 3 today, the message version, and man did it make me take a hard look at my attitude. This passage is a great passage for any Christian-whether you've been one most of your life, or you just gave your heart to Him. Please, read. No, don't just read, but really read and try to understand what the passage is saying. It'll change your life!

"So if you're serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it! Pursue the things over which Christ presides: Don't shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ-that's where the action is. See things from his perspective.

Your old life is dead. Your new life, which is your real life-even though invisible to spectators-is with Christ in God. He is your life. When Christ (your real life, remember) shows up again on this earth, you'll show up too-the real you, the glorious you. Meanwhile, be content with obscurity, like Christ.

And that means killing off everything connected with that way of death: sexual promiscuity, impurity, lust, doing whatever you feel like whenever you feel like it, and grabbing whatever attracts your fancy. That's a life shaped by things and feelings instead of by God. It's because of this kind of thing that God is about to explode in anger. It wasn't long ago that you were doing all that stuff and not knowing any better. But you know better now, so make sure it's all gone for good: bad temper, irritability, meanness, profanity, dirty talk.

Don't lie to one another. You're done with that old life. It's like a filthy set of ill-fitting clothes you've stripped off and put in the fire. Now you're dressed in a new wardrobe. Every item of your new way of life is custom-made by the Creator, with his label on it. All the old fashions are now obsolete. Words like Jewish and non-Jewish, religious and irreligious, insider and outsider, uncivilized and uncouth, slave and free, mean nothing. From now on everyone is defined by Christ, everyone is included in Christ.

So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline. Be even-tempered, content with second place, quick to forgive an offense. Forgive as quickly and completely as the Master forgave you. And regardless of what else you put on, wear love. It's your basic, all purpose garment. Never be without it.

Let the peace of Christ keep you in tune with each other, in step with each other. None of this going off and doing your own thing. And cultivate thankfulness. Let the Word of Christ-the Message-have the run of the house. Give it plenty of room in your lives. Instruct and direct one another using good common sense. And sing, sing your hearts out to God! Let every detail in your lives-words, actions, whatever-be done in the name of the Master, Jesus, thanking God the Father every step of the way." Colossians 3:1-17 (emphasis mine)

Real talk.

My favorite part of these verses is the sentence, and "regardless of what else you put on, wear love." Live a life of love, no matter what...thats the true meaning of Christ. Love.

God bless you all.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I hate snow

Okay, so I told my sister that I was going to blog about this and I am.

I hate snow. I detest it with all my heart. There are few things I hate more than snow. Since I've moved to Chicago, I have seen more snow than the previous 23 years living in Arkansas. Last year, the snow caused me much heartache, including a lost phone. This year, I feel as though I'm headed straight for more and more heartaches. It takes sometimes a good 20 or 30 minutes just to shovel my car out somedays! UGH!

I can honestly say, the worst thing about living in Chicago is the snow. Now, I hate cold weather, don't get me wrong, but the snow is worse than just it being cold. Actually, I'd be fine if it was just cold...but no, just when I get happy again that I can see the cold dirt beneath my feet, here comes another winter storm! All of a sudden, I can't wear any other shoes beyond my boots, I can't get up a little late cuz I gotta plan for the 30 minutes it takes me to wipe off my car and shovel it out...that is if I can even get it out! And then...I gotta hope and pray that the snow trucks don't come out and plow it all onto my car before I get out there!

One of the first things I realized that was different in Chicago was that the snow didn't melt! I remember when I was younger being so excited to get snow (especially since it usually meant no school) and then the next day, it'd all be gone! Not in Chicago, it takes days, sometimes weeks for the snow to melt!

Anyways. Thats it. I just wanted to tell the whole world that I hate snow. :)

God bless you all. Oh and a warm and snow-free January to you all!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Send Me

I was listening to this song today. "Send Me" by Lecrae. It's got a great message. As I was listening to it, a lot of the lyrics really hit me. It's exactly how I've been feeling these past few days. I feel as though the world is just a bunch of selfish people who don't care about anyone but themselves. It makes me sick how greedy people are these days and how so many people are going without so that a few can get more and more.

Anyways, here are the lyrics to this attention to the parts I bolded!

Lecrae - Send Me
Send Me, I'll Go Send Me, I'll Go Send Me, I'll Go Let Me Go!
I Seen it wit my own two
Theres no way I can show you
A perfectly poverty stricken people with no view
And I bet you can't believe this
They never heard of Jesus
Heard of Young Buck, Lil' Wayne, and Young Jeezy
No One signing up to go on missions this summer
Rather sit at home and watch Xzibit pimpin a hummer
While at night he rollin Shot now
Nobody sreamin Stop now
No bridge illustrates for criminals who on Lockdown
People deep in Africa, lookin for an answer bra
In China men are dyin men until they know who died for sin
So, look what grace did
Not for us to stay in
Inside our comfort zones at home in Momma's basement
Get out on the grind ya'll, aint no better time dog
I know you read the Great Commission let me just remind ya'll
Make Disciples of the Nation teach them to obey the Lord
Hate to never lead someone to Christ before I see the Lord
Ay, after 1000 years in the west and the churches
Gettin bigger daily without understandin worship
Some regenerate but alot aint saved
You walk outside and be surprised that the block aint changed.
And the numbers they be gettin them
Somethin still aint hittin them
American's aint Christian's they just practicin the rituals
Thats why we should be missions ay oh what you think I'm spittin fo
United States is dyin and the east is lookin pitiful
Some places if they catch you they'll arrest you and they'll serve you
But they still need the word too the gospel should be heard too
We claim we aint ashamed but we still aint hit the block up
We in our Christian bubble while our brothers gettin locked up
Lord I wanna Stop up
Take a bag and Walk up
In a country where sharin my faith may get me Shot up
Anyway I go Lord whether my city, Lord or For a broadI just wanna show them Jesus Christ the risen Holy God.
I know they dyin in the streetsOver in the Middle East
Some kids seekin peace
Others holdin up a peace
If the violence doesnt seace
Then at least, the decease
Might know Jesus as they savior as they're body hit the street
And I know this is a graphic view I pray that its attackin you
Tractin you, to act and do what you see in the back of blue
Matthew 24:14 We should read it twice
Before we think that life is just a Battle see we live for Christ
Look dog, life is more than Church, Work, and Football
What if you were dead in sin and Christians overlooked ya'll
This is why we leave the couches and the comfort of our houses
To show the world a God that Mayan never read aboutYeah...
The Great Commission says make Disciples of all nations
Have we even made em in our own nation?
Come on Christians
Missions exist because worship doesn't
People don't worship the God that made them
We Ambassadors..Let's Go!
Deep stuff. I pray it speaks to you as it has me.
God bless you all!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A New Year

2009 Wow. Another year gone, another year here. It seems like not too long ago that we were ringing in 08. A lot of things happened over this past year, and part of me is glad it's a new year.

A lot of good things happened...weddings, new babies, 1st black president...and yet a lot of pain was experienced too. One thing I can say about was definitely an eventful year. Of the 25 years I've been alive, I think this has been the most trying and yet most growing I've ever done as a woman of God.

I have never been really good at the whole "resolutions" thing. I wish I was better at them, but I never seem disciplined enough to stick with it. There are many things I think I could grow in, many areas I could become more disciplined in, etc, etc. blah blah blah, right? :)

Seriously though. I do think 2009 will be a big year. And the thing I want this year to be about? Taking risks. Stepping out in faith. Isiah 40:31 says,
"But those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint."

This scripture. I want to live in that hope. To soar on wings like live in hope that I can do all things because I have hope in the Lord. Hope means to place confidence in. To trust God completely. This is my one and only resolution.

What are your new year resolutions?

Check out a few of my favorite pictures over the past year....God bless you all!: