Monday, January 28, 2008

Blessed and Smiling

Blessed and Smiling

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him."
1Cr 2:9 NIV

I know I have a new habit that I must get a hold of. But today, I am celebrating and thanking God for His faithfulness! Do you mind if I share? I first go to my hot mail scan my e-mail and enjoy reading the news from friends, and especially messages about the content of my devotionals and then gleefully go to my blog . My husband helped create the blog page, I mainly gave direction. Let’s call it creative consultation. But I really appreciate his creative eye and patience. Now I not only am reading but appreciating the cover of the book, photos of various family outings , new writings, featured historians / movers and shakers in ministry and yes, the photos of my book signing- my first at Barnes and Nobles in Williamsburg. I glance at the photographs of smiling at Barnes and Nobles for many reasons. That particular day it was snowy and frigid, seldom do those weather factors come together here in Virginia. I was quietly celebrating in my spirit hoping that we’d arrive safely to our destination. I appeared outwardly composed but we know that was the furthest for the truth. It was a moment that I had long dreamed of and was thankful to God that this was my life and not someone else’s that I was witnessing.

Know therefore that the Lord your God is God; he is the faithful God, keeping his covenant of love to a thousand generations of those who love him and keep his commands.
Deut. 7:9 NIV

My baby has been birthed- my book The Blessedness of believing A Devotional Journey of Life’s Lessons and God’s Promises and yes, it is being received joyfully. Friends continue to phone celebrating with me, prayerful and and thankful for the timely messages not only for themselves but others. It’s simply God’s word, validating that no matter our circumstance He’s available and His love abounds. God is talking and I, along with the reader am attentively listening.

I pray if you haven’t had the opportunity to hold your “gift(s)” the things you’ve labored over and/or prayed over-that it happens soon for you. Yes, now it’s tangible/real! I can hold mine, thumb through the book, admire its cover, chat with friends and family who had acquired the book and even reference the Barnes and Nobles web site to appreciate the candid and heartfelt comments of several book reviews. God has exceed my expectations!

What I enjoy most about sharing this is, I recall when this day was a mere dream an half hearted hope when I felt weary and afraid to think of the possibility that a manuscript would evolve into a printed book. But I see it now friends it already was what God had intended it to be. It just was taking God much to long to answer and deliver on my prayers in the time frame I had dictated. Admittedly my thoughts were, “Surely God blessed others when is my turn coming? “

Have you asked that question?

But friends it has happened. You can now Google my name and learn of several future book signings. You can check out Tate Publishing and Amazon .com and do comparison shopping. Why if you wish, just walk yourself to the customer service desk at Barnes and Noble and Borders or Books a Million and do as I first did, inquire if the devotional is in the book store, ( this is fun) sometimes yes and other times I was informed, “We’ll gladly order it and contact you when the book arrives in the store.”

The fact of the matter is the time has arrived and it is now!!

Our spiritual shift from desiring it, it our realizing it-is here in the natural. Glory! You can smile because your heart’s -it’s on the way!!! Your day has come.

I’ve now have options, choices with this wonderful blessing. I tell you this because I understand about being anxious and nervous, thinking that possible you won’t live to see your passion, your hearts desire birthed. But let me encourage you that it was 7 years ago when my writing began and it took several disappointing publishers and many writings later before I could see my book with my own eyes and touch with my hands, but God hasn’t failed me. The year I said, “God you’ve blessed Ricky and Michael (my husband and son), please don’t let another year come and I not have completed what you gave me to do!” He delivered by years end with Tate Publishing offering me a contract and providing me with more that I could have fathomed. An audible prayer, an open heart , a sincere petition were received in the heavenlies.

God is no respecter of persons, He’ll do the same for you—if it’s been placed in your heart, and deposited in your mind and spirit, (you fill in the blank with what you’ve been trusting God to do _______________ or i.e. initiating that new ministry, creating that innovative market plan, starting that thriving business, returning to complete that college degree, pursuing that GED, consulting with that academic advisor to begin your dissertation, not being fearful about adopting that foster child, being prayerful about that kind companion, relinquiching confusion to that peaceful life, anticipating that positive health diagnosis, or knowing that the answer to prayer-- it surely will happen.) Trust and believe our God and our Savior!

But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

To God only wise, [be] glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.
Romans 16:26, 27 KJV

In the mean and lean time, let me suggest that you claim a favorite scripture, love God’s word and commit it to memory, find a magazine picture of that desired outcome –create a collage if you’ve got the energy, or just tape those things everywhere you’ll see it- the refrigerator, bathroom mirror, kitchen window and be assured if you can see it surely God can provide it.

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard,
and no mind has imagined
what God has prepared
for those who love him."
1Cr 2:9 NIV

I am a living testimony. There’s more to do, now it’s time to reach out, give forward, pay back and live with greater purpose, come on and join me friends. Be encouraged and sing a happy song, smile as you see yourself accomplished, blessed and whole!! You too are a child of a benevolent Holy Father! Thank you Lord! See you at the bookstore!!! Have a great day!

Blessings to you!
Joyfully Submitted by Linda Mose Meadows
Author of: The Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dr. Bernice Johnson Reagon "Celebrate"

"Watch Concert at Trinity Wall Street"

Trinity Institute: Bernice Johnson Reagon in Concert
High Bernice Johnson Reagon was the founding director of the ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock. She shares her unique perspective of God's "ultimate visions" through performance, storytelling and song. From the 37th annual Trinity Institute.

For more than 40 years, Bernice Johnson Reagon has been a major cultural voice for freedom and justice; singing, teaching—speaking out against racism and organized inequities of all kinds. An African American woman’s voice, a child of Southwest Georgia, born in the struggle against racism in America during the Civil Rights Movement of the 50s and 60s. Reagon’s life and work support the concept of community based culture with an enlarged capacity for mutual respect: for self, for those who move among us who seem to be different than us, respect and care for our home, the environment, including the planet that sustains life as we know it.

Perhaps no individual today better illustrates the transformative power and instruction of traditional African American music and cultural history than Bernice Johnson Reagon, who has excelled equally in the realms of scholarship, composition, and performance. She is Professor Emerita of History at American University, Curator Emerita at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, and served as the 2002-2004 Cosby Chair of Fine Arts at Spelman College in Atlanta, GA. Two of her major works are seminal to the study of this tradition: Wade in the Water: African American Sacred Music Traditions and Africans in America: America’s Journey Through Slavery. Reagon served as principal scholar, conceptual producer, and host for the Peabody Award winning Wade in the Water, the 26-show series produced by National Public Radio and Smithsonian Institution (premier broadcast 1984). She also served as curator of the traveling exhibit and compiled the 4CD box devoted to this sacred music tradition. After serving as the score composer for the four-film series. produced by WGBH TV, Africans in America (broadcast in a PBS mini-series in 1998, also received a Peabody Award), Reagon produced the related series of audio recordings released by Rykodisc/GBH Records. From 2002 to 2004 Bernice Johnson Reagon held the Cosby Chair Professor of Fine Arts at Spelman College, where she created the live performance production Lord! I Got A Right To The Tree Of Life! A Tribute to Early African American Sacred Song. While at Spelman, Reagon initiated an archival collection project focused on the life and work of Willis Laurence James, an African American 20th-century musician, folklorist, composer, and choral director.

In 1973 while serving as Vocal Director of the DC Black Repertory Company, Reagon founded the internationally acclaimed African American woman a cappella ensemble, Sweet Honey In The Rock. For 30 years she was artistic director, performer, songwriter, and producer of many of the group’s recordings, retiring in early 2004. Among the recordings she produced are: Sacred Ground, Selections: Sweet Honey In The Rock, 1976–1988; Still the Same Me, and Alive in Australia, Sweet Honey In The Rock (Australian release only).

Reagon’s publications include: We Who Believe in Freedom: Sweet Honey In The Rock, Still on the Journey; We’ll Understand It Better By and By: Pioneering African-American Gospel Composers; and If You Don’t Go, Don’t Hinder Me: The African American Sacred Song Tradition. She has also written numerous articles on African American culture and history. She compiled and wrote the booklet for the two-CD collection Voices of the Civil Rights: Black American Freedom Songs 1960–1965 (Smithsonian Folkways Records).

Dr. Reagon became active in the Civil Rights Movement while a college student at Albany State College in Albany, Georgia (from which she was expelled after participating in a demonstration for which she and others were jailed). She was a member of the original SNCC (Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee) Freedom Singers formed in 1962 by SNCC field secretary Cordell H. Reagon, and in 1966, a founding member of the Atlanta-based Harambee Singers.

Dr. Reagon has served as music consultant, composer, and performer for several film and video projects, including the award-winning Eyes on the Prize, the Emmy-winning We Shall Overcome, and the feature film Beloved. She received the Isadora Duncan award for the score for the original ballet, Rock, created by Alonso King, founder and artistic director of the San Francisco based contemporary ballet company, LINES (1996). In 2003, she created the music and libretto for the Robert Wilson production, The Temptation of St. Anthony, which premiered in Germany and was also performed in Italy, Spain, England, and New York. In this work, Reagon’s music drew upon her intimate and long term study and performance of African American music spanning 19th and 20th century genres. Nov/Dec 2005, Temptation completed a run at the Paris Opera House de Garnier (the first African American cast to play in the house since the 19th century) to sell-out audiences. The libretto for the production was inspired and adapted from a translation of the 19th century Gustav Flaubert novel of the same title. Her pioneering work as a scholar, teacher, and artist has been recognized with the Heinz Award for the Arts and Humanities (2003), the Leeway National Award for Women in the Arts (2000), the Presidential Medal for contribution to public understanding of the Humanities (1995), and the MacArthur Fellowship (1989).

From and
Blessings to you!
Joyfully Submitted by Linda Mose Meadows Author of:
The Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises


According to a recent study done at Purdue University it was statistically found to be that Christians are the fattest religion, with Baptist being the heaviest. More than 65% are overweight. That means 6.5 out of every 10 people (those stats include children) that attend Christian churches in America are overweight. Since 1994 Shannon Tanner, author of "Diets Don't Work but JESUS DOES!" and Body Temple Wellness has been committed to arming men and women of CHRIST with the necessary spiritual truths and natural wellness principles needed to overcome disordered eating and poor health. Sistah Shannon's Biblically based Weight Loss and Wellness System incorporates LIVE TEACHING, INNOVATIVE TRAINING TOOLS, SMALL GROUP DYNAMICS and 24 HOUR SUPPORT NETWORK.

Shannon would like to personally invite everyone (SAVED or NOT) to learn more about her ministry, book, nationwide church challenge and to speak directly with her by calling (800) 366-8883 on Sunday, January 27, 2008 @ 3:02 p.m. (PST), 4:02 p.m. (MST), 5:02 p.m. (CST) and 6:02 p.m. (EST) on "SAVE THE LOST AT ALL COST" heard weekly on WIN CITY not sin city aka Las Vegas' very own KKVV 1060 AM - Christian Talk Radio. This great move of God will be hosted by Dr. Boyce Watkins' @ blogger Nina Griffin and internet streamed @ and Additionally, this MUST HEAR radio broadcast will be webcasted LIVE @
A personal invitation from Shannon Tanner...
I invite you to join me on a journey of a life time, a journey that thousands of others have taken before you. It’s a journey that leads down a path of truth,
Inner healing, lasting weight loss and wellness. Are you ready to transform your body by the renewing of your mind? Then start the journey today…Your success is guaranteed, because the only thing GOD cannot do is fail! Take the limits off of God and allow Him to transform your body as He renews your mind through His living word because… Faith Wins at Weight Loss!

Book Overview:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Promise Land

Numbers 13:1-3, 13:17-20, and 13:25-28; 13:30-34
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

Send thou men, that they may search the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel: of every tribe of their fathers shall ye send a man, every one a ruler among them.

And Moses by the commandment of the LORD sent them from the wilderness of Paran: all those men [were] heads of the children of Israel.

And Moses sent them to spy out the land of Canaan, and said unto them, Get you up this [way] southward, and go up into the mountain:

And see the land, what it [is]; and the people that dwelleth therein, whether they [be] strong or weak, few or many;

And what the land [is], whether it [be] fat or lean, whether there be wood therein, or not. And be ye of good courage, and bring of the fruit of the land. Now the time [was] the time of the firstripe grapes.

And they returned from searching of the land after forty days.

And they went and came to Moses, and to Aaron, and to all the congregation of the children of Israel, unto the wilderness of Paran, to Kadesh; and brought back word unto them, and unto all the congregation, and shewed them the fruit of the land.

And they told him, and said, We came unto the land whither thou sentest us, and surely it floweth with milk and honey; and this [is] the fruit of it.

Nevertheless the people [be] strong that dwell in the land, and the cities [are] walled, [and] very great: and moreover we saw the children of Anak there.

And Caleb stilled the people before Moses, and said, Let us go up at once, and possess it; for we are well able to overcome it.

But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they [are] stronger than we.

And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, [is] a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it [are] men of a great stature.

And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, [which come] of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.
Numbers 14:1-5 and 14:11-12

And all the congregation lifted up their voice, and cried; and the people wept that night.

And all the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron: and the whole congregation said unto them, Would God that we had died in the land of Egypt! or would God we had died in this wilderness!

And wherefore hath the LORD brought us unto this land, to fall by the sword, that our wives and our children should be a prey? were it not better for us to return into Egypt?

And they said one to another, Let us make a captain, and let us return into Egypt.

Then Moses and Aaron fell on their faces before all the assembly of the congregation of the children of Israel.

And the LORD said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?

I will smite them with the pestilence, and disinherit them, and will make of thee a greater nation and mightier than they. BLB (KJV)

Toni Morrison’s statement that Bill Clinton was our first black President has been quoted and debated during the 2008 election campaign. Part of Morrison's quote from the October 1998 article in the "New Yorker" that is not getting the attention that it deserves includes: “Years ago, in the middle of the Whitewater investigation, one heard the first murmurs: white skin notwithstanding, this is our first black President. Blacker than any actual black person who could ever be elected in our children's lifetime.”

I believe that Morrison like many of us could not imagine that this country could or would elect a black man as President during our children’s lifetime. We could not imagine or dream of a black person serving in the White House because of hundreds of years of racism and oppression.

“America can no longer deny or ignore the living legacy of racism. Today, a strong racial divide still exists in the United States because racism is alive and well in this country.

Recent events in America that support the fact that racism has once again raised it’s ugly head includes: the Jena 6 case as well as the September 20, 2007, march in Jena, LA, the appearance of nooses around the country, police brutality based on racial discrimination still runs rampant in 2007, and black women are called ‘nappy headed hoes’ on national television.” Additionally, we must not forget Hurricane Katrina and the hundreds of black lives lost after we were abandoned by our President and our government.

Black people are one of the most religious people on the face of the earth. For hundreds of years we have cried and prayed, prayed and cried to GOD concerning unfair treatment based solely on race. Black people truly believed that if it was GOD’S will that He would intervene on our behalf and correct discrimination and racism in America.

GOD has given us the perfect time and opportunity to trust in him and vote for a man that looks like us and who will be a President for all Americans including us. We have the chance to witness the manifestations of the promises made by God to Martin Luther King and to our forefathers. Promises of fairness, racial equality, justice, due process, and equal protection under the law are just over the horizon.

During the Civil Rights Movement all ages and all classes of black people fought for a common goal. We can change this country and the world because our GOD is an Awesome GOD who can do all things.

Trust and believe that GOD did not bring us this far to leave us. Let us not act or talk like the Israelites. It is time for us to believe GOD, unite, endorse, and vote for Senator Barack Obama in his historic quest to become “our” first Black President..

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined.”


Sunday, January 20, 2008

Ron Demetruis Henry Click on his link and enjoy...

Ron Demetrius Henry was born September 6, 1968, in Baxley, Georgia. He is blessed and anointed of God as a singer and songwriter whose songs minister to the hearts of men and women who go through daily life experiences. Throughout his endeavors, he has experienced singing with the James Cleveland Workshop Choir, New Jersey chapter. In 1988 he joined the United States army, serving faithfully for the last eighteen years. During his enlistment, he has ministered the word of god through song across the United States and Europe.

On September 13, 2001 his first single “by faith” was released, where it has blessed the hearts lives of people internationally. In feburary 28 2003 to march 15 2004, he deployed with 101st airborne division, (air-assault) during Operation Iraqi Freedom. On September 22, 2005, he was acknowledged as the first Fort Eustis, Virginia military idol; where he went on to Fort Gordon, Georgia as one of the five finalists in the first U.S. Army military idol. Through these accomplishments, he was invited to perform in the 2005 American Freedom Festival, at the Broadway historic Roseland Ballroom, New York City.

He currently resides in Williamsburg, Virginia, retiring from the United States Army with 20 years of active duty service culminating his career as the manager and vocal trainer for the Fort Eustis, Virginia transportation express. He is married to his lovely wife Tabitha who he loves and acknowledges her as the queen of his soul. His aspirations are that through his God given ministry, many lives are touched, and set free by the power of God, and will encourage, uplift, and heal the broken hearted.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Battle Within

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Ephesians 6:13

This morning before leaving my home headed to work, I switched from my favorite morning radio show, The Tom Joyner Show to the national news on the television. I had an opportunity not to rush- my husband was going to the VA. Beach Life Net Office instead of his usual destination in Richmond. This morning we’d car pool- so I could relax for a moment because I wasn’t driving. As I sat awaiting my hot cream of wheat to finish cooking, I listened to the morning news and to my astonishment I heard the news account regarding a mentally ill parent killing not one child but four children. Oh there were signs friends that this disturbed mother needed help.

According to the newscaster, the authorities were warned; they were repeatedly urged to pay a visit to this visibly distressed parent. For whatever the reason, after neither the teacher’s initial home visit the local law enforcement, nor child protective services followed up on this SOS call.

This was touted as a classic example of someone needing assistance and their case simply falling through the cracks. Despite the teacher’s plea, nothing by way of an intervention occurred. The parent which committed this unthinkable act apparently had no support system and it was evident from the testimonies of the teacher that what she witnessed during her home visit was disconcerting, discomforting, just plain unpleasant! The teacher must have sensed something horrific was eminent. It was reported that this woman’s husband, now alone with her children and suffering, mentally battling her demons and refusing to go to a homeless shelter. Later, after the fact of the discovery of the grizzly human remains, there would be several department heads fired, the Mayor would issue a sorrowful statement, department “shake ups” would occur—but I like you would agree this was a little too late!

Lord come by hear, and deliver us! I am sure your spirits are also concurring!

Something wasn’t done; the cracks were widened because here some helpless children were prey at the hands of a mother who was hurt and demented from the battle that had waged war in her mind and spirit.

Our hearts are broken for this parent, the children and the initial teacher who conducted the home visit. This concerned teacher conducting the home visit visibly must have perceived that there was a battle going on right before her eyes, her spirit must have been so unsettled that she complained. Her humanity wasn’t assured that now silenced children could sustain the battle.

After I arrived at work I opened an email inspirational message which read:
No one should be ashamed to admit they are wrong, which is but saying, in other words, that they are wiser today than they were yesterday.”
—Alexander Pope (1688-1744), poet, critic, translator

How apropos that Alexander Pope’s words would resound with such truths., It’s ironic, no it’s God at work friends featuring quotes related to humanity from The Foundation for a Better In their own words the Foundation for a Better Life is a non-profit organization dedicated to sharing the values that make a difference in our communities.
A terrible wrong has occurred, what’s next we must wonder? I feel that today, God is ushering us to reflect on not only our own humanity, but humanity for the children forgotten , parents tormented and system over burdened. I surely am not pretending to have all the answers my friends but in cases where there is evidence of distress would it be wonderful to have an alternative if the local human services boards can’t intervene? I pray that those considering ministry will seek out best practices to reach others. Surely there must be innovative human service with faith based foundations making provisions for safe shelter/havens, parenting workshops, counseling services, mentoring programs. In the mean time while we are searching for these caring services maybe we can be more vigilant in fighting the battle within our gates that is intent on destroying us.

With an out stretched helping hand it’s important that we become Auntie Mommies, surrogate mothers and fathers, noisy neighbors with level heads, keen eyes and ears that are open to understand, see , hear and aide the distressed.

Possibly God is telling us today to pay more attention to not only our affairs, but our brothers and sisters around us. We are our brother’s keepers. Often there is real turmoil happening right in our midst and we just can’t fathom what it is, let alone see it. So I pray friends that we’ll have supernatural radar that signals in our spirits when an immediate need exists, and a crisis is erupting and ignoring the problem won’t be an option.

If you have a service that can benefit families hurry and contact your schools, the United Way, you local/city/county human service systems and law enforcement so that you’ll be considered as a line of defense for the defenseless. Be assured that the need will arise. So friends let’s keep praying and let’s keep vigilant about helping others in need and not giving up in well doing!

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
Eph 6: 1-18

Joyfully Submitted by Linda Mose Meadows

Author of: The Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Thank God for Dr. Martin Luther King and His Dream

ROMANS 8:28-30

And we know that all things, work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Moreover who he did predestinate, them he also called: and who he called, them he also justified: and who he justified them he also glorified.

As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Junior's birthday and his great accomplishments let us take time to thank God. We thank You God for this day and for Your child Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, who gave his very life in order for us to have this historic opportunity.

Lord give us the wisdom to examine the words, actions, character, and deeds of all the Presidential candidates. Let us as a people use the standard that King so eloquently expressed. That standard requires that we judge each of them by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin.

Help us to make a wise decision as we cast our vote. A decision made not out of fear but out of trust and hope in You. Let us trust that You are the ruler of all the earth and that Your will and Word will be fulfilled.

Protect and guide President and Senator Clinton. We thank You for their contributions to the Democratic party in general and to Black America in particular. Give them direction and instruction for this time in their lives.

Political Reflection

During an interview on Fox News Network, Hillary Clinton appeared to diminish the role that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. played in the civil rights movement. She said it was not hope inspired by King that made the difference but President Lyndon Johnson’s decision to fight for and sign the Civil Rights Act of 1964 into law.

In a comment responding to the entire context of Senator Clinton’s response to the role of Martin Luther King in the Civil Rights Movement Greg Gaylord wrote: “Hillary wants us to believe that LBJ would have signed the Civil Right Act without a popular mandate? Hillary wants us to believe that LBJ was more inspirational than Martin Luther King, Jr. Did LBJ have a dream? Other than POWER and the thirst to achieve power? President Johnson signing the Civil Right Act was momentous. But the blood, sweat, and tears of the movement was represented by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hillary is not deserving of the power we entrust to a President. She seeks the office believing that it is power and not the hopes, desires and philosophies of civil leaders amongst us that truly changes our lives.”

Senator Clinton argued on "Meet the Press" that a president was needed in addition to the dream. I will give Hillary the benefit of the doubt and accept her explanation that President Lyndon Baines Johnson was the one who actually” passed the civil rights legislation.

Hillary has given Black America a reason to unite and vote for Obama. We have in Senator Obama the chance to elect a president that has the dream, hope, and vision to unite this country.

As president, Barack Obama will have the same opportunities and resources that were available to President Johnson when he signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. He will also have the "dream" and the office of The Presidency to make real changes in our lives.

We have the chance of a life time, to witness the manifestations of the promises made by God to Martin Luther King and to our forefathers. We don’t have the luxury of time on our side. Senator Obama must win in South Carolina. God has given us this moment in time to use the vote to save ourselves.

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined.”

Sunday, January 13, 2008

How the Black Church Treats its Outcasts - by Angelo Smith

Many of my friends are very religious. No matter what they were doing the night before, you find them in church every Sunday, praising he Lord and asking for forgiveness for whatever God awful thing they did the night before. As long as they go to church and predicate their actions by saying that "Jesus forgives all", they are ok.

But then again, many of my religious friends are good people. But they too can be difficult to deal with, as I continuously confront the Black Church Mafia. The psychological stranglehold that religion has on black people is amazing and overwhelming.

I was born and raised in the church. My brother is a prominent pastor, and my mother was too, before she passed. I went to church with my family every Sunday, even before I knew what it meant to go to church. I didn't know why I was going, I just knew that if I didn't, I would get my butt kicked.

Then, one day I woke up and started asking questions.

I am not gay, I am not a terrible person. I obey the laws, go to school and pay my taxes. I have always treated people kindly and fairly and I don't make enemies easily. I love my neighbor, help old ladies across the street, and give toys to orphans at Christmas.

But none of that matters to my friends, because they all say that I am going to hell.

This is what I go through as a black man who does not go to church regularly and who doesn't buy into what religion is all about. Once a strong believer, I've asked the most basic questions about my Christianity, and the answers have not made any sense. What also does not make sense is that people tell me that in order to find the answers, I have to go ask the people in the church or look inside the bible.

I have a problem with that, and here's why.

1) The bible was written by men. Yeah, they say they were inspired by God, but so does every other man in history who has written a religious book. The book possesses a great deal of wisdom, but is also full of sexism and incredibly tall and ridiculous tales.

2) No one knows what is going to happen when we die. That scares people. The idea that you are going to die and simply not exist anymore is so daunting and scary that you are relieved when someone comes along and says "That's not true, I know EXACTLY what is going to happen when you die!".

So, my question to this person is "Have you died before?"
Answer: No.
Second question: If you have not been dead before, then how do you know what happens when we die?
Answer: Because this book told me what happens.
Third question: Who wrote the book?
Answer: God.
Next question: Is God nearby to confirm that he wrote the book? I didn't know he was an author.
Answer: No. He didn't exactly write it, someone wrote it for him but they were inspired by God.
Next question: Really? Do you have proof of this to show me that this person or people are no different from the fanatics, like the guy in China who led 20 million people by convincing him that he was Jesus' little brother (true story)? I just want to make sure I am getting the real deal and not something fake, so I need some validation here.
Answer: The guy in China was a false profit, but this is real.
Question: Can you confirm that?
Answer: No, it's a matter of faith.
Question: That's all you can say?
Answer: Yes. And if you don't believe what I say, then you are surely going to burn in hell forever.

Gee thanks. So, you present this notion that there is a Big Brother figure, a super hero who protects us from our enemies and counts evey hair on our head. If anything good happens, it was because God did it, not because it just happened. If something bad happens, then of course it was not God's will.

And no religion can hold itself together without a nice series of threats. The bible states that anyone who does not state Jesus Christ to be his Lord and Savior will burn in hell. What a nice way to keep people following you, especially if they aren't sure what the heck is going on in this world we're living in. You've provided them with insurance that says "Well, even if it's not true, maybe you should join the group just in case it is."

Life can be scary, hard and stressful. During those times of stress and weakness, religion makes us feel better. It is comforting to know that there is a big giant who can make your boss pay for firing you, help you pay that bill you can't quite make, or heal that illness that the doctors can't find. That is why religion is so popular. I studied psychology in school and while my religious friends think that all this education has made me into a non-believer, I prefer not to be ignorant. Psychology is the driving force behind religion, which is why some people are addicted to church like a drug and go into such a frenzied state during prayer. It makes you feel like your problems are going away.

I know because I've been there. What we think is the Holy Ghost is really the chemicals flowing through our brains providing a soothing effect that induces us to do more of what we were already doing. When we get weak, we just go back for more of the drug.

Of course I can't say this to my friends, but I don't care. I've got to be honest. It doesn't mean that I am right. It means that my theory is just as good as theirs, even if I don't have a book written by God to prove it. I am not arrogant enough to make such a claim.

As a result of being a black man who is willing to at least consider the possibly that black folk's heavy religious commitment might be superstition, I get the following:

1) Few black women will consider marrying me, since I am not "equally yolked" (I guess I would be a bad egg). They would rather marry some lying, cheating, arrogant pastor than to marry a good man who simply asks the hard questions and doesn't accept any old idea that everyone else is following.

2) All of my friends and family are constantly trying to convert or save me. Although I live a normal and good life, they consider me a lost sheep because I do not find the higher power through the conventional channels. I tell them that if God wants to find me, he will find me. After all, he is God, right? And your counter argument that God is finding me by sending you to talk to me makes me want to tell you to leave. You are not God's vehicle, unless you can show me a license and registration.

3) Everyone considers something to be wrong with me, when I simply judge people by the content of their character. I am not a bad person, and no one is going to convince me otherwise. Also, those who feel that every Muslim or Budhist in the world is going to hell and that God is only going to save the Christians needs to realize just how arrogant that actually sounds.

4) Whenever I pose simple questions or alternative theories, they are not taken seriously. I am told to seek my answers from people and sources that are already biased in their perspective. I am also attacked for having no faith and being a non-believer. The idea of open thought and ideas is only accepted if you accept the answers provided to you by the church. In other words, it's an open court, as long as the defendant is found guilty at the end.

I really get sick of it, but it doesn't matter. People are going to continue to believe, continue to ostracize those who do not believe, and that is the way the world will continue to work.

Man is afraid and religion makes him feel safe. So, that is why it will always have power.

Blessed and Trusting

O my God, in you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. Psalm 22:4-5

Much to my surprise as I walked during my lunch hour, I moved from the pavement on to the grassy area and appreciated the natural cushion under my feet. As I enjoyed the view of the boats docked, listened to the birds happily chirping, marveled at the eb and flow of the water, I realized that the sun was a little to warm on my brow, but that was really ok. I smiled, because underneathe my feet were crunchy leaves. It felt exhilarating to be able to move my limbs, feel the sun and escape from the routine work duties. What I really appreciated were the crunchy leaves.

The leaves signaled for me another change. Another season was approaching, fall was in the air. My mind raced back to when my brothers and I would pile the crunchy fallen leaves and dive into them, we were serious acrobats. Nose dives, back flips, belly flops, oh was that fun!

I am sure we entertained ourselves for hours with the other neighborhood kids. I never remember being hurt or someone complaining that they had hit the pavement underneath the layers of leaves.

So here I am many, many years later long gone are my childhood days, but for a moment I relive that joy of that moment. We were really trusting that the pile was cushion enough to absorb the impact of our fall. Thank you Holy Ghost for that –what cushions our fall now during over ever changing seasons? I pray it’s your trust in God!

Praise the Lord! For he has heard my cry for mercy.The Lord is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving. Psalm 28: 6, 7

I am truly appreciating that childhood memory and understanding that seasons in our lives come unexpectantly nevertheless they will come. And I’d like to think and just give testament that when I believed my journey would result in one way, another episode was birthed. But like you we got through many roller coaster seasons of lack sickness, sorrow, poverty, plenty, health, wealth, and happiness.

Like you I now understand it’s critical for our mental and spiritual health to study God’s word, embrace those spiritual truths which will result in our maturity-our faith being built up. Does this sound familiar? “If only I knew then what I know now!” Were you like me friends during our seasons of deep despair we couldn’t fathom that the end of that particular season was just around the corner?
In retrospect, I believe we miss the whole point of a particular season whether we perceive it as good or not. There were many life lessons that probably escaped me because I was so consumed with getting over the hurdle that seemed to consume me! Well that was then and thank God this is now.

Admittedly I didn’t value and understand the worth of the valley seasons as I do now. Are you in agreement with me that during each season there is growth and maturity? Our emotions can choke the life out of us!

The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. Luke 8:14

Well, now we understand that we should just learn to have appreciated that life lesson of _________________ (you fill in the blank). Because just as spring turns to summer and summer into fall, if we simply activate our father’s faith, have our mother’s resolve and our grandmother’s wisdom and TRUST that God does save! As Darryl Coley sings to the utmost Jesus Saves!!! Change is eminent and the Lord will anchor us through all our seasons—if I simply trust HIM- the all wise, all knowing, all loving Heavenly Father!

Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O LORD, have never abandoned anyone who searches for you. Psalm 9:10Come on let’s finish our lunch walk and be sure to enjoy the changing autumn leaves!

Blessings to you!
Joyfully Submitted by Linda Mose Meadows

Author of:
The Blessedness of Believing
A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Ode To Barack...A Song By Maddy Wyatt

Watch this inspirational video dedicated to "AMERICA'S TRUE MULTI-GENERATIONAL SON OF CHANGE AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF HOPE FOR ALL PEOPLE". I encourage you to learn the words to the song being sung on the video because I got a feeling it's going "MULTI-PLATINUM" on "YOUTUBE" and BEYOND. If you would like to download this awesome heartfelt song at "no charge" please visit

Monday, January 7, 2008

Rev. Al Sharpton Speaks on Barack Obama Victor

The winning of the Iowa Caucuses by Barack Obama is an historic event. It shows that America has a hunger for change and can come together to make that change happen. Though I have not made an endorsement in this race, I clearly see this as a positive occurrence at this point in American history. Unfortunately, some of the divisive and archaic forces in American politics are trying to divide us by saying that Obama’s victory in some way translates into an end of civil rights activism by people like me. This almost laughable notion has been repudiated consistently by Mr. Obama himself, who has gone out of his way to include the issues we have raised from the hate crimes to Jena in debates, and making several public appearances with me to show his respect for that work and the need for it to continue. Mr. Obama visited our headquarters in Harlem and had a public dinner with me at Sylvia’s in New York just 30-days ago. He went to the Iowa debates and pushed for our hate crimes legislation mentioning me by name, which clearly shows that Iowans voted with it in mind and that Mr. Obama relates to these initiatives and advocates do not see him in any way in opposition to it. Equally strange is this notion of generational shift. I must remind these pundits that Mr. Obama and I are only 6 or 7-years apart in age and his main supporters Oprah Winfrey and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick are the same age. I think that the hunger for change demonstrated in Iowa was also demonstrated by the tens of thousands of people, mostly young, that joined us in Jena in September and marched with us on the Justice Department in November. We have seen activism and voter participation rise as never before and we can not let those who have denied the need for change and equal justice divide us in moments of breakthrough. They are the same pundits who said there was no race problem. Now they say this ends the race problem. To his credit, Mr. Obama has not only refused to join them, but has publicly sent every contrary signal, as have the rest of the Democratic candidates. If Mr. Obama is successful in becoming President that will not automatically solve racial injustice in America and therefore the need for advocates for racial justice is needed in the same way that when Thurgood Marshall was appointed to the Supreme Court legal impediments in America were not ended; the need for Dr. King and other advocates at that time was just as strong.

A Prayer of Protection for Senator Barack Obama

My mother was a prayer warrior who went to be with the Lord when I was twenty-eight years old. Before she passed I telephoned her often requesting that she pray for me. One day she said, “Vera, I am going to pray for you but one day you are going to have to learn to pray for your self.” Holy Spirit thank you for the revelation that God placed me in my church for this very moment in time.

One of the many things that I love about my church family is the fact that we are a body of believers that actively and openly pray. For the last month ours weekly sermons have been on pray, prayer, and praying. Stated on church's website is the following: “We expect God to answer our prayers because we are committed to praying God’s Word and believing that He must answer his Word. We expect God to demonstrate His power through the Prayer Center, and we expect to see physical manifestations of His power. We have no doubt that God will answer our prayers and fulfill our expectations. We, therefore, are determined to take the world by prayer!”

My church prints thousands of Kingdom Builder’s Power Guides. The monthly guides includes a Prayer Petition Calendar and eighteen prayer petitions. The prayer petitions varies monthly. The petitions for the month of January 2008 includes praying for the Economy of the United States of America and a Prayer for the Nations of the World.

As I completed my assignment from God (writing my book) He placed 2 Chronicles 7:14 in my heart:

I am to declare His words to the world: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” (KJV)

It is with an open mind and an obedient and loving heart that I make the above-mentioned declaration to the world and write and post my very own personal prayer. Yes, momma I learned how to pray for myself and to also pray for others.

Jesus you are so Awesome. You are all powerful God. Lord You are the ruler of the universe. You alone are God. You alone rule this world and You God controls our very lives.

Father as a people that loves and adore You we come before You this day to say thank You. LORD, I want to thank You for a praying mother God. Lord I want to thank You for this great opportunity that You have present to me. Lord we thank You for Dr. Boyce Watkins and for giving him the vision for this website.

God thank You for keeping us strong during the difficult times of slavery, segregation, and racial discrimination. Thanks to You Father we survived those unthinkable horrors of our past.

Lord we come before You this day seeking your face Lord, seeking your protection God as we venture into our new political reality. We believe that we will soon witness the manifestations of the promises that you made to Dr. Martin Luther King and our forefathers God. Thank You Lord for the fact that we are living during this time.

Lord God please protect Senator Barack Obama as he matches towards his divine destiny. Lord Father God we praise your Holy Name Jesus. God we know that the enemy comes to seek, to devour, and to destroy. Father God please protect Obama from the people of this world who do the enemy’s works on the earth.

Lord we have seen what the enemy has done in Pakistan and Kenya. Please Lord protect this country from the same type of election turmoil, confusion, and strife that is the current reality of those two countries and in other nations on the earth.

God as You know this country professes to be a God loving and God fearing nation. Father please help those that are called my your name live up to words that they so freely utter daily Lord. Please Father God spare us from the fate and the division caused during the 2000 presidential election.

Please God place it in the hearts and minds of this nation and its people the wisdom and courage to demand and respect an orderly, fair, and impartial political process during this historic election year.
Lord we pray that America will once again be a true example of democracy, love, and peace to the rest of the world.

Lord please forgive us for our sins and our past mistakes. Lord. Forgive us for greed Lord. Please give us the spirit of forgiveness Lord. Let us forgive those who have hurt, harmed, or wounded us Lord.

Please God heal this nation from the hurts and division of the last two presidential elections. Please God let Americans behave as one nation united under God. Father, help us to turn from our wicked ways God. Help us Lord to daily seek your face God.

Jesus we praise you and we glorify your Holy name. You are so Holy Lord. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the Glory. Forever Amen.

Vera Richardson is the author of “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined."

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Embracing The 12 Tenets for 2008

Embracing The 12 Tenets for 2008

I have chosen the way of truth: I have set my heart on your laws....I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free.

-Psalm 119:30, 32 (NIV)

This is an occasion for fewer words, my dear sister and friend Marion shared this New Year’s message with me and I love to spread joy, so I hope that when you view this flash film, the intent of the message will resonate in your spirit that in 2008 so much good can be achieved- it starts with you and me!

I encourage you to embrace and envision your hurdles with a positive outlook. Your victories are in view! See the lessons of faith throughout the coming year as you beat the odds. It's time we moved on like Mr. Canada in Harlem and bring pride to our communities. He's an educator that demonstrates compassion and commitment to children.

Spread some joy intentionally; begin to show acts of kindness- remember love begot love. Birth something new, wonderful and alive in your life. Our thinking and outlook affects our lives and those we are connected to.

Are you convinced that there's a real need to reach beyond ourselves? Well, I too agree. The elderly person that is standing in the grocery store line visibly struggling with paying for their groceries, could use our help. My friends at the United Way are eager to point out area agencies that are seeking volunteers and resources-contact them; there must be a group of friends that are willing to pool their resources to help a neighborhood center or charity? Well, you spearhead the cause! Let's not overlook the local church with the Rites of Passage Program needing faith filled, caring, disciplined adults to usher young men and woman to productive adulthood- their ministry awaits you. Come on brothers and sisters of faith bring your wisdom, your love, your insight and your training there's a world awaiting your gifts!

Today, I am free. I am willing to take my own medicine and actively seek opportunities to help others and blossom in my calling and ultimately grow! Oh friends, I thank God for the Anthony Robbins Organization and his creative team blessing us with the reminder of the 12 tenets; I receive the message and God's directive. Won't you join me and endeavor to hold on to God's truths? Our outlook can be brighter as we share in helping another soul. I look forward to working with you! God bless you!
Joyfully Submitted by Linda Mose Meadows

Author of: The Blessedness of Believing A Devotional Journey of Life's Lessons and God's Promises

12 Tenets for the Greater New Year

There are occassions when few words are needed-I am sure that once you view this flash movie you'll agree. This flash movie was provided as a New Year's message from my dear sister and friend Marion. I pray you'll agree with it's content and be encouraged to strive for higher heights and add to the list of faith building tenets as you deem necessary.

The message speaks volumes for a life of greater hope in 2008. I pray that it encourages you to keep believing, keep hoping and keep moving towards your greater good! Remember to spread some joy and kindness to others, it will come back to see about you! May God keep you and yours in 2008! We shall live and not die in the wilderness!

Bless you!

This remarkable flash film is a gift from my dear sister and friend Marion. The film speaks volumes about what great possibilities exist for us in 2008. I pray that you'll embrace the hope of these 12 tenets and feel free to add to the list. Have a blest day and keep climbing your mountains and reaching for your stars. May the God of peace and hope chart your spiritual course. Until next time.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

It’s A New Day: Knowing More of God

It’s A New Day~ Knowing More of God

I will be your God throughout your lifetime-until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.
Isaiah 46:4 NIV

As I sat with our new friends during an evening of jazz and a great fish fry, I thoroughly enjoyed meeting such a delightful couple. This was a change of pace; an unexpected encounter. The restaurant had reserved signs at empty tables-so my husband and I stood patiently until we were ushered at a table where a couple had already been comfortable and had completed their meal. They were gracious enough to share the space and before long easy conversation and laughter flowed.

I recounted that our New Year’s Day found us walking, hand in hand and having a deep heart to heart discussion, on a brisk January 1st morning. My husband and I shared some new year’s goals and agreed we’d work together to accomplish them. This unexpected walk made my morning. We were in a new place, a neighborhood I had never visited on foot, but enjoyed the adventure. As I share this with you I realize that this was a great way to start the year- my husband and I were literally and figuratively in sync.

A menacing dog barked and appeared to want to lunge at us, but didn’t, his bark was mean and I just knew this was it for me. I’d be devoured and mauled, so I imagined! But nothing happened, we walked down the street. A few yards away from the ferocious bark we heard a consistent bark and before long there was the tiniest dog charging down his driveway, running like he was on fire. A little boy was chasing the dog, but he refused to stop—the miniature animal circled us, the boy was chasing the dog, and my husband was swatting the dog with the newspaper in his hand. I couldn’t help it I just started roaring with laughter, running. This scene must have looked crazy to anyone peering out of their curtains. Finally the little boy retrieved him, but not with out a scuffle-the little mutt wanted a piece of somebody’s ankle. Today he’d (the little dog) only intimidate not succeed.

Moments before the walk I had managed to have a devotional period, earlier that morning. I didn’t share that we were visiting some dear friends who now stayed in a spacious home, call it a retreat center, a bed and breakfast whatever you like, just know that their space lends itself to peace, prayer and reflective thinking. I made myself very comfortable at a picture window which faced trees, a sloping lawn and some outdoor furniture. The landscape was serene. The sun beamed through the window and there I sat at the desk and prayed -- opened my prayer book (I discovered and ordered a free prayer book-no strings attached) referenced my bible and before long, I began enjoying the room’s decor. In that moment I witnessed art that I hadn’t noticed when I entered the room. This handsome piece of art that hung on the wall had all the names of God. I knew in that instance that this was a gift from God!

This was unexpected. Can’t you just see it- God desires that we embrace the realization that we’ve only known Him to a degree, there’s more to God than our experience.
How do you know Him more? I’d like to believe that by Living more, laughing more, forgiving more, loving more, acknowledging your shortcomings, trusting God more, forgiving yourself and others, studying His word, praying more and be open to more of His divine good—is a great start to knowing God more! Thank you Holy Spirit; for reminding us that we need to get to know more of God in this New Year.

As I stood in front of the art, before long, I scanned the names of God and realized that there are names that I don’t often refer to such as: Advocate (1John 2:1), Dayspring (Luke 1:18) and The Amen (Rev3:14). Friends I began to have a deeper appreciation not only for the names of God but what that has meant in my life. I realized that there so much more that I’ve yet to learn about my divinity and God’s omnipotence.

This year I will endeavor to be vigilant about studying more, carving out more sacred reading time, embracing more thought provoking material. I like you, desire to know Him more deeply and more personal. I need to change my mind, and get captive some of the limiting thinking and be open to all the possibilities of what our powerful, all knowing God can do and provide.
Are you there also?

This year there will probably be more occasions than not where some big dogs and some little mutts may try to upset our peace, but I suspect friends that God is encouraging us, to be mindful of who He is and whose you are!!! Our encounters with the frustrations of life will not limit the majesty, scope and power of our God! So my friends, don’t be dismayed by the surprise occurrences this year, just be assured as you hold onto God’s hand that by His very essence you are kept. Have a blessed year and I’ll see you at the next outing!!! Pass the fish please!

Joyfully Submitted by Linda Mose Meadows
Author of the

All rights reserved, no use without prior written permission of Linda M. Meadows

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Blessed and Running On

Blessed and Running On

This report is from an eyewitness giving an accurate account; it is presented so that you also can believe. John 19:35 (NIV)
No one wanted the day to end. As the cleaning crew began dismantling tables, people were in their way. Some stood huddled together, others ignored that the vendors were packing up their displays and they needed to make room for them. I am not sure if help was solicited from the young people standing on the deflated romp a room, but they appeared to be having a little to much fun jumping up and down on the deflated gym, which needed to be rolled up and removed. I could see that only the clean up crew wanted to go home, no one else appeared to be in a rush to get moving.
A calming atmosphere of joy, peace, and love hung in the air like the distinct aroma of something wonderful baking in the oven. As I walked toward my husband it was evident that this Saturday had provided more than we could have anticipated.

My husband, Richard had been invited as a “donor parent” and clergy member to participate as one of the guest speakers to address the issue of teen violence and shed some insight about handling grief. All this was in memory of Baron "Deuce" Braswell who had been killed in Fredericksburg, VA. Richard did such a fine job, not reiterating the graphic details regarding our son’s death nor the honoree, but instead reminded the listeners that the enemy hadn’t stolen our joy and celebration was evident that we will continue as a family and community to run this race. And at the close of the day’s festivities there stood my husband on the dusty high- school race track beaming with his hands extended towards me. I squeezed my husband’s neck and couldn’t help but remark, “Hey look at you, and you’ve received a medal also!” He chuckled and smiled broadly and acknowledged that he too had been a runner in the race.
I gave a hearty “Amen” because indeed he had. As I reflect on the symbolism of the dusty tracks and roads, I understand that all of us have stood on the dusty tracks of life at some point in this life's journey. Sometimes the run is smooth but, often times it’s a hard stretch of a run that makes you wonder when it will become smooth again. But we continue to persevere!I thank God for the organizer’s and parent’s foresight and all those that rallied around them grieving the loss of this excellent young man and commemorating his life of sportsmanship and scholastic achievment with an invitational community event. Enthusiastic runners young, middle aged and some not so middle aged enjoyed the day.
This multifaceted day provided fun, fellowship and an opportunity for community leaders, administrators, parents and students to announce to the world that the epidemic of teen violence must be addressed. I marveled at the ingenuity to bring recognition of such a dismal occurrence through such a worthy event. Yet I am pushed to appreciate the day for more -- it was a day filled with optimism that evil had not conquered good in spite of the negative reports. I’d like to think the community said with their resounding appearance that we do have victory, we are winners. I recall observing that many of the youngest runners from the seasoned sprinters were proudly wearing their LifeNet bracelets and their Olympic style medals. The medals each had a pair of gold running shoes handsomely displayed on a red, white and blue ribbon.

It was apparent that the recipients of the medals were pleased at their accomplishment of running the 5 k race. My husband was equally proud to place in the runners hand a plaque signaling a job well done! Earlier that day my husband stopped to chat with a young runner who walked with his father. My husband inquired how the young man had done in the race. The young man appeared to be in his early teens, and half heartedly smiled and acknowledged that the race had gone fairly well for him. My husband looked at the father and then said to the son smiling, “You know the race is not given to the swift or strong, but those that hang in there until the end.” “Tell him father!” For a quick moment, the father must have thought this guy is right! He then looked at Ricky in his eyes and said, “Yes that’s right!” The young man’s shoulders for a moment appeared slumped, but I could see the life and energy return to this young runner and his posture was erect.
I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I like you, keep working towards that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us to. Phil 3:12-14, surely God’s word does that for us -- it rebuilds our brokenness and disappointment. That day when we reflected on the tragic loss of life for the teens or other loved ones, our hearts did ache because of the travesty of the senselessness of the loss of life. But for a moment when I closed my eyes and lifted a prayer of thanksgiving I felt the warm sun on my face, opened my eyes and witnessed the runners, the cheering bystanders, and heard the background music, children running, playing and laughing in the inflated gym, saw the vendors dispensing health information–without a doubt I knew we all were winners on that day.

The air was filled with exuberance, there was a celebration in our midst and it was contagious. Our hearts were alive with hope and promise and our spirits were soaring for new days ahead. Let’s thank God together friends, for his infinite wisdom and loving kindness in sustaining us with the resolve to endure and keep it moving. Some can give a good report and yet others are a little worn from their experience- nonetheless we can be eyewitness for each other that love, Holy love, enduring love has sustained us for this race! God had once again poured his love on us, given us medallions of love and kinship. We’re recipients of grace, and I knew I too stood on the dusty track and was in position to run again!

Joyfully Submitted by Linda Mose Meadows
Author of the

All rights reserved, no use without prior written permission of Linda M. Meadows

Whitney Houston Singing Gospel

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Praise God at All Times - By Vera Richardson

Excerpts from my self-published book “A Case of Racial Discrimination and Retaliation Real or Imagined.”

ROMANS 8:28-30

And we know that all things, work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose.

For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Moreover who he did predestinate, them he also called: and who he called, them he also justified: and who he justified them he also glorified.

September 29, 2007

Three days ago I was sitting at my desktop computer working feverishly to complete this book when the telephone rung at 5:34 pm. The caller identification listed the call as private. I answered the phone and was not alarmed that it was the ear, nose, and throat specialist calling with the results of my recent MRI.

After the usual greetings the doctor told me the dreadful news that the MRI has revealed a small tumor in my brain near my pituitary gland. He also told me that I needed to schedule an appointment with a neurologist for further evaluation and/or treatment. After asking him to recommend a neurologist and how to spell pituitary I thanked him and hung up the phone.

All my life I have been afraid of sickness and have constantly exhibited a spirit of fear when hearing health related bad news. This time my reaction was different instead of being afraid I remained calm. I was grateful that he ordered the test based on my symptoms and the results of his examination of me.

I googled the word pituitary and researched brain tumors on the Internet. As I processed the information found on the Internet I remembered Star Jones-Reynolds’ last day on the View. During Star’s explanation of her pending departure from the show she said, “I don’t know what the future holds for me but I do know who holds the future.”

I remembered how I rejoiced and agreed with her the day that she made her declaration of faith. I believe that moment was a divine moment in my life. Star’s statement resonated in my spirit and my heart as I accepted my test results. I know that God is able to heal me be it with modern medicine or by a miracle. Furthermore, I accept the fact that even if God doesn't heal me, He is still able.

I have never been this close in my relationship with God. My faith and personal relationship with God has grown leaps and bounds since I moved to Houston, TX a year ago. I believe that God drew me closer to Him because He knew that my faith would truly be tested this year. Less than two hours before my bad news call, I booked a flight to Tampa, Florida to attend the funeral of my fifty-year old brother Glenn.

I have truly enjoyed attending the Wednesday night and Sunday services at Windsor Village United Methodist Church. It is my heartfelt belief that the sermon preached by Associate Pastor Velosia Kibe on Sunday August 26, 2007, helped prepared me for this time in my life. Pastor Kibe sermon at the 12:15 service was titled “When Bad Things Happen.”
During the sermon she gave examples of bad news and the fact that we are conquerors in Christ Jesus over any bad news.

Five days before I received my “bad news” I participated in an all night prayer and worship service at church. The all night service was held on a Friday night. After I received my latest bad news I knew that I needed to turn my entire focus on God. I turned my television to the gospel music channel 714 and started singing and praising God with a loud voice.

My church had a special Wednesday night program scheduled on the day that I received my bad news. I planned on attending the service and my bad news didn’t change my intentions. I ran my bath water and continued to praise God. As I drove to church I played a melody of praise gospel music. I sang out loud over the choir, as “Our God is an Awesome God” filled by car with comfort and love.

I entered the church and as only God could plan it one of the songs performed by our amazing choir included “Our God is an Awesome God”. Additionally, I got the opportunity to tell five people in my small group about my bad news and my determination to praise and thank God in spite of the news. Plus I spoke healing and God’s continued favor over my health. I cried, prayed, and had a glorious time as I worshiped the true and living God.

Christians know that as we embrace our purpose and surrender to God’s perfect will for our life we will sometimes face spiritual warfare. I am in a war now but I know that I will not die until God’s divine purpose for my life is achieved.

October 26, 2007

I had my second appointment with the neurologist today. I am happy to declare that I got good news. After ordering several tests including another MRI the neurologist informed me that I have a cyst and not a tumor on my pituitary gland. The cyst does not require any medical treatment at this time. I thanked Jesus for the great report.

I am thankful that I surrendered and obeyed God’s instructions. Writing this book is the first step in fulfilling God’s divine purpose for my life. It is my hope, prayer, and sincere desire that Congress will address and correct this issue. One judge should not have the absolute power to grant summary judgment motions that dismiss Title VII (discrimination) cases.