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July 31st Whatever, Sister

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“Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things”. Phil 4:8 NIV

Robin Williams, Don Cornelius, Marilyn Monroe, Vincent Van Gogh, Cleopatra, Osamu Dazai, Pritilata Waddedar, Lupe Velez, Simone Battle & the 7 NYPD Officers.  This blog is dedicated to stars like them.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255

Ahh Summertime!  Sit back on a warm wooden bench and gaze upon The Brick House.  Allow whatever ruminations to arise and cultivate in you the intents of both sculptor and sculpture.  Feel and experience it- What is it?  Who is it?  Why is it?  All of these grand whatevers are inimitably yours to savor and regard however you choose.

The Brick House is an imperial bronze bust of “black beauty” formed by Jamaican born artist Simone Leigh.  It sits up high at 30th St & 10th Ave on the spur of New York City’s High Line.  This artwork is just a block away from where Abraham Lincoln rode as the 1st passenger of the Hudson River Railroad on the way to his presidential inauguration.  Welcome to 2019’s newly opened luxuriously modern Hudson Yards !

Hudson Yards, a 25 billion dollar project stretching roughly from 30th to 41st St, between 8th and 11th Aves is a part of countless new constructions that make up what they are calling the “New New York”.  As NYC’s newest locality, Hudson Yards, is home to The Shed (a mobile building showcasing diverse artists’ talents) and The Vessel (a uniquely twisting staircase for breathtaking city views).  These two highly popularized art structures arouse both the tourist and the native visitor.  Arts and craftsmanship scientifically prove brain stimulation and increased blood flow to it by as much as 10%.  This in turn produces healthy brain functioning whereas your body gets the proper oxygen and glucose needed to think, remember, focus and improve sharpness.  Thus you look and feel better.  I digress, let’s return to art.

Venturing inside Hudson Yards, which is the only place in NY laying claim to the fame of having Neiman Marcus; is also home to many other luxurious shops.  Cartier, Chanel, Coach are a few head turning stores. Okay some others besides Cs are Fendi, Muji, Rolex Tiffany & Co.  And wow looking around, what  brand is this of stylishly bright colored, textured purse collections …oh..(praying in silent respect)  Kate Spade.  Standing still in the window I recalled the news on how this trendy mogul once a fashion visionary succumbed to suicide last year on June 5.  How could someone with such gloom produce such vitality ?From her  bio she seemed to have held the world in a bag, toting fame, family and fortune with ease.   Yet this former Mademoiselle couldn’t put a handle on her demonic battle against anxiety and depression.  I can relate to her as well  like many others..Ms. Spade is not alone. Much respect to her family and legacy.

**Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death worldwide.  And with new reports on depression being on the rise with young millenials due to substance abuse and antisocial behavior suicide stats may be on the rise. 

Saul, Noah, Jonah, Job, Moses and King David experienced  symptoms typical of grief, anxiety and depression.  Though there are strong similarities amongst them, they are very distinctive in psychological terms.  God knows and understands all about them clearly, (singing Jesus knows all about our struggles).  And still calls us into an obedient relationship with Him.  For example King David who was known as the man “after God’s own heart” wrote some of the most heavenly psalms while descending the lowest “downcast” and disturbance in his soul Ps 42:5.  Jesus even felt “overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death” Mk 14:34.  Even God in Gen 6:6 “regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled”.  Hence the story of Noah and the Flood begins.  So sister, if you are combating sadness great or small, know this -you are in the Most Excellent company!  Know also grief and sadness generally have a shorter episode than depression but all of them can be alleviated by the Love Hope and Joy of following Christ. Note: I am not minimizing implementing medication, therapy and such treatments (absolutely seek professional help).  But as a personal contender against those issues, I strongly believe if you truly want to get well it starts and ends with Jesus’ help.  Ps 3:3 But you LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.  Get to knowing Jesus.

Concern: Sister, what do you spend your time thinking about?  And how much of your time are you pondering these things.

Encouragement:  The Bible gives us answers on what to think about and for how long.  These guidelines are not to boss us but to set us on the right course for positive thinking processes.  These things above are God’s reflections.  To meditate on His word, Isaiah 26:3 is going to save us.  “You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you”.  Have no swaying doubts on the emotional storms of sadness.  Jesus is in the boat, is the boat and is the captain for your soul.  In deep stormy waters it’s hard- But He with you! Look set at Him the joy before you-Rest back- & ride it’s safe happy sailings! (Heb 12:2, Matt 8:23)

Act:  Sister, over 23x is meditation mentioned in the Scriptures.  Like (Ps 1:1-2) “Blessed… who meditates on his law day and night”. Enact upon it immediately like a life preserver upon feeling misery and desolation.  Run down the list till you’re flooded with thinking about good things- perhaps a newborn baby or a timely gift.  Right things- like the Bible or the way the sun and moon move in order.  Beautiful things- like a rose, a smile or You Eph 2:10 “We are God’s masterpiece”. Yes You are art!  And just control to a stop, anything contrary.  If you wander back to the negative read a Psalm, or find a friend to share thankfulness with, or take a walk to some more art.  If all ideas run out on earth, look to the mountains, heavens and stars above. Beauty is endless. Then  (Phil 4:7) “he will guard your hearts and minds”.  Behold the vision of God and His Son’s love surrounding you and the universe.  Come whatever, sister, the Lord’s got you Forever!

**10/30  Editor’s Note-  I have realized after taking a mental health first aid course that I need to be more responsible in this article by providing additional resources for depression and suicide.  Mental illness effects 1 out of 5 persons.  Seeking professional help is very important if it has impacted the desirable quality of life of a person.  Many people who believe in God, pray, follow Scriptures and attend church can still suffer from depression and suicidal tendencies. “Right”eous thinking may not be easily attained or the solution for all.  Therefore therapy, medication and other forms of treatment and support services should be sought after immediately- it all depends on the individual. **

For support contact: 1-888-NYC-WELL/1-888-692-9352 (Press 2) or text WELL to 65173

Get training support for yourself, your church and other organizations at http://www.MentalhealthFirstAid.org

https://www.healthline.com/health-news/millennial-depression-on-the-rise

https://www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com/discover/high-line

Kate Spade https://google.com/search/static/gs/m06bkdx.html

June 27th Sister, No Raca No Fool

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Matt 5:22 “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.   Again, anyone who says to a brother or sister, Raca, is answerable to the court.  And anyone who says, ‘ You fool! Will be in danger of the fires of hell”.(NIV)

Raca- (Jewish meaning)-  vain, empty, worthless, to spit; a word of contempt.

June 24th – In 1958 Nina Simone released her debut jazz album, “Little Girl Blue”.  In 1509 Henry VIII is crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey.  In 1853 US President Pierce signs Gadsen Purchase buying over 76,000 sq km from Mexico for $10 mil (present day Arizona and New Mexico).  In 2019 people worldwide were urged fly Chinese artist’s Ai Weiwei’s flag marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UN document that sets universal fundamental human rights that are to be protected).  But I will best remember it as the birthday of my sister, eighteen years my junior.

I want to call her, wish her a happy day, make plans to hang out and rate a local New York City restaurant as was our sisterly tradition (Two Yums Up or Down).  But I remembered we are not speaking anymore.  So instead, I occupied about the same amount of time I’d be doing those things renewing my car inspection registration-not so “happy” or eventful.  In silent prayer, hoped she would be blessed and envisioned a day of our reconciliation.  It is not a fun place to love someone you cannot show and miss someone you cannot tell.  It feels like a robbing and holdup of a heart’s freedom.  As is the case with a death, a long distance move or a sharp disagreement between two people once joined together in some special, common way.

As I dealt with this loss, my graduating daughter was happily engaging in a reunited conversation with her best friend.  They had a falling out because of hurt feelings a week before school year’s end.  My best texting advice to both of them—the teenager’s preferable way of communicating– was simply this:

“Seems a lot of hurt feelings cause such strong responses.  So I always try to keep  my friendships in a forgiveness state cause we are all human-making mistakes and feeling emotional.  I wish you the best”

This advice does not work best with the world, which can be cold and look down on you as soft.  This guidance does not work best (though I loved her columns in younger years) from Dear Abby –for who can expert the specifics or really place significant change in the situation and outcome.  No this counsel works perfectly sister with The Counselor -God.  For forgiveness is a command of God!  How we should and must conduct ourselves with one another.  Matt 6:14, Col 3:19, 1 Jn 1:9 and the scripture list goes on.  God ain’t playing sister.  The Holy Spirit requires us to have loving relationship with our other brothers and sisters.  For we are not Jesus we WILL hurt each other.  But with Jesus the hurt can mutually heal.  Insightful understanding leading to Graceful mercy is always a possibility for the Lord.  Before his death, Jesus prayed it for the believers in John 17:20-21 “..that all of them may be one.  Father, just as you are in me and I am in you.”  That is some serious unity sister; the same way as God and Jesus?  Lord help us all with that goal-help ME.

Concern (C):  Sister, How many times have you harbored unforgiveness, dissent, jealousy, discord, etc with another person, others or let alone believers?

Encouragement (E):  To be in alignment with Jesus-Forgive someone asap!  Scripture shows us the urgency to get right right now!  Matt 5: 23-24, “Therefore if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you 24. Leave your gift there before the altar.  First go and be reconciled to your brother.”  Do not miss the immediate opportunity or waste any time but Do The Christ Thing and make it right today.  If you step and sin against believers (and future brother and sister believers), don’t get turned back, make the very next step to forgive them too and strive for unity.  Work it out in this life, the life to come WILL BE too late.  It may take time and space but make it a priority. Why?  TO GET TO HEAVEN.   We are not there yet sister..we are all on the road!  Don’t enjoy the ride in pride leading straight to the Satan’s side.

Act (A):  Sister Forgiver that’s your new name like Simon became Peter choose with every divisive strand in your being to be the church and not play church.  It takes an intent active decision, to get in step with the Holy Spirit’s conviction that nuh huh me and you and me again got to go get ourselves some more Love up in these here hearts.  But it starts with you, God holds you personally accountable.  He is not going to accept blame-shifting for He took all the blame on the cross.  He’s not going to accept finger pointing.  For they pointed at Him in disgraceful mocking and He still rose.  No. He’s going to look at you and try to find how much of his image is in there and call you higher to his Name.  Let perfect Jesus be your perfect example let him perfect it all through.  He sister and the treasured promises of heaven will be far worth every cheek turned.

In closing, it cannot be stressed enough your need to forgive.  Ask God to examine your heart in this area.  If there is anyone that comes to mind alive seek advisement on how to go about resolution (without mentioning names because you would may fall subject to gossiping which is a SIN.)  If they are dead or it’s a situation not advisable to contact the person write a letter to God how you set your heart to forgive them.  They murdered Jesus and Jesus still forgave.  So nothing is impossible with God.  1 John 4:20 “If anyone says I love God but hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.  And we have this commandment from Him.  Whoever loves God must love his brother as well.“  In conjunction with the opening scripture it is certain as we teased as kids “Liar, liar pants on fire” Let Jesus be your Living Water.  Sister He is most able to quench all flames.  I love you!

Wishing all Graduates Congratulations! ACE Love

For more info:
https://www.youthforhumanrights.org/what-are-human-rights/universal-declaration-of-human-rights/articles-1-15.html

https://video.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=AwrC4St5EhVd3i8AegMPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTByMjB0aG5zBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzYw–?p=little+girl+blue+nina+simone&fr=yhs-pty-pty_email&hspart=pty&hsimp=yhs-pty_email#id=1&vid=86d4fd8456cbd69f29d392e6be4098e3&action=view

 

May 28th Remember the Battle-Its NOT vs You

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Ephesians 6:12 “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.”  NIV

On May 30th, 1868, “for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion” was issued General Orders No. 11 by General John A. Logan after the ending of the Civil War.  What we now called Memorial Day was originally named Decoration Day by this Grand Army of the Republic General.

Its official federal renaming was in 1967 and its declaration as a national holiday in 1971.  Recognized nowadays on the last Monday of May, we honor the deceased military men and women of the various branches of the United States Armed Forces.  These soldiers fought and died to preserve our freedoms and serve our country.  We Americans venerate them with parades and festivities, ceremonies and reflective observances.  This particular year to watch the National Memorial Day Concert which occurs on the West Lawn of the Washington DC Capitol is how I chose to acknowledge the day.

One particular tribute performed by acclaimed actors Dennis Haysbert and Joe Mantegna was somberly gripping.  An experience between two very different men who became like brothers during the Vietnam War was shared with great emotion.  Ernest “Pete” Peterson who is Black and from the South and Brad Kennedy who is White and from the North proved that devotion overcomes division.  During the time of Civil Rights Movements with racial clashes being at fought in their home country America; they were fighting against another people while still there were documented interracial clashes happening in the military abroad.  Yet these men in united front, faced the same enemy, moving in like commonality for one joint cause.  As Christians we are enrolled to do the same!  See our cause is Christ, our enemy the Devil, our home country is heaven with God and our commonality is the Holy Spirit! We remember Christ every day to the glory of God.  Each day is authentically Memorial Day.   For out of all noble objectives, no mission is more ideal than the glorious plan of God.

I am prompted to disclose a personal story about my journey to overcome racial prejudice.  For to become truly united with the diverse cultures within the kingdom of God is a prayer of the Lord!  For the bible also says “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” 1John 4:20 This is difficult in these times!  See I recall the first time being called the “N” word at 7 yrs old by the parents’ of a neighborhood playmate.  Being told not to play with him anymore, is a thorn that pricks my memory whenever I face racism today.  My spiritual strategy is to battle thoughts and revengeful action with the memorized scriptures from God’s word.  Furthermore, I must forgive others and I am telling you- it is more challenging still.  I am not perfect but am being made perfect through the sufficient blood of the Lamb.  For He is also witnessing nightly news, my son and his friends upset over a recent police harassment and the prolific, ignored injustices faced internationally.  But understand one thing-our Great Shepherd sees it all.  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the Living God.  To truly attain the fullness of Christ is to allow the waters of baptism to continually wash and overflow our hearts with His love—especially for our haters.  Prov 20:22, Eph 4:31-32; 1 Thes 5:15

Concern (C):  Sister, be honest do you hold any prejudices/discrimination in our heart against others based on-age, gender, weight, politics, religion and ethnicity?

Encouragement (E):  As a daughter of Christ let’s crucify and continually put to death our bigotries.  Along with the all other sins such as murder, lying, adultery etc- Jesus died.  Remember Him when He spoke to the Samaritan woman at the well, that’s two prejudices he conquered right there, etc.  Samaritans were considered half-breeds and despised by Jews.  And women were marginalized.  Like Romans for Pharisees, he healed, respected and desired to seek and save all types of people.  Though often ridiculed Himself and discriminated by others like Nathaniel saying “Nazareth! Can anything good come from there?” in John 1:46.  Or the teachers of the law saying, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”, in Mark 2:13-17.  Our Savior only cared to please his Commanding Officer 2 Tim 2:4.

Act (A):  Sister Soldier our target should be likewise.  Let us not miss out on the blessing David so sang about in Ps 31 vs. 23-24.  “Love the Lord, all his faithful people! The Lord preserves those who are true to him, but the proud he pays back in full.”  Only by answering the call of duty from God, by employing in our lives true discipleship will there bring about the change in us and in others that change the course!  It’s the toughest job you’ll ever love, all it takes it a few good women (and men), loving past enmity, chauvinism and every Satanic device.  Sister, May God shed His Grace on Thee.

Check out this link for further info: https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/top_10_strategies_for_reducing_prejudice

Hallelujah! He Arose

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John 11:25 “Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live,” 

On Wed April 17th, 2019, Scotland woman Lesley Rowan reported to have seen Jesus in the fire.  That picture of the Notre Dame fire that began Mon April 15 and ended Tues April 16 spread across tabloids.

Did you see Jesus in the fire? (Dan 3:25, Ex 3:2)

Whether or not you did sister one thing is certain Notre Dame (meaning Our Lady of Paris) a most famous gothic landmark of France built in 1163 on the Ile de la Cite, Seine was almost destroyed.  This cathedral, consecrated to the Virgin Mary and home to many original Christian and Catholic historical relics including Jesus’ actual Crown of Thorns was ablaze for a couple of days.  Though it caught fire believably ignited by a computer glitch, it is set to undergo renovations for tenable restoration again.  Many people, including kings and even Napoleon Bonaparte also renovated Notre Dame after crowning himself emperor there in 1804.  Though greatly consumed Notre Dame was not completely devoured to the ground, to both the uplifting joy and faith of many believers particularly during the Holy Week.

Similarly, Jesus’ body was also not completely destroyed.  His temple was rebuilt-and not by human hands. Then He Arose in three days and lives again for eternity (1 Cor 15:4)

Hallelujah He Arose! The day Christ broke us free the chains of slavery to rise in unprecedented victory we worship as Resurrection Sunday.  (Is 25:8) This is the grand finale of The Holy Week which consists of about seven days commencing from Palm Sunday (when Jesus rode on a donkey while being praised “Hosanna”) to its conclusion on Black Saturday (Jesus lay in his tomb after death).  Due to the traditions of the Sabbath (which is Saturday the last day of the week), preparations for Jesus proper burial had not been performed.  So the next day, Sunday, which was the first day of the week Mary Magdelene, Joanna, Mary the Mother of James and other women came back with their spices for Jesus’ body only to discover he was not there.(Mk 16:5-7)

Amen! He Arose!  They did not see Jesus in the tomb.  Nor did death consume Christ in hell. (Acts 2:31) Sorry, Satan thought you had him huh?

HE AROSE! This is the very centroidal hope for Christians today.  The fact that Jesus Christ the Savior of all sinners-Us, did not die but rose to live again and reign eternally over Life and Death is our existence!  He overcame Death, a very disgraceful death on a cross.  Why?  To once and for all nail our sins to that scornful architecture that was separating us from God.  That object of shame became the subject of our glorification. The sacrifice of Christ’s very life to the obedience of the only one and true Father God is our essence.  Without the Son, taking his last breath on the cross, we would not have breath today.  No. Imagine a life dead in our transgressions, without hope, without God it is unimaginable for us.(Eph 1:18-21) And we are grateful that is not the case.

He..Arose. John 3:16 For God so Loved the World.  To really understand the fullness you simply look at the life and the love exemplified by Jesus.  To really get it commands us to fall on our knees and Praise the Lord.  Not out of rhetoric but out of righteousness!  The Lamb of God humbly obeyed the Plan of God so that those who also would trust, follow and obey Him and His word would be saved, made right and freed Forever.

Concern(C): Sister, can you see Jesus- not just in the fire, but on the donkey, in the garden, on the cross, in your home, in your workplace, in Paradise and in you?

Encouragement(E): Romans 8:11 The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in you.  And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to your mortal bodies by this same Spirit living within you.

Act(A):  Don’t.  Sister, don’t act.  Do not act like a Christian just because it is Resurrection Sunday. Don’t go dressing the part on the outside without addressing the significance of the Savior’s part on the inside. Jesus gave us life through that same raising power from God.  He lives in you!

And since you read to the end …

Bonus Fact:  Let us not call it Easter Sunday, sister.  This term dates back to the pre-Christian England goddess Eostre who was celebrated at the beginning of spring.  Christ is to be boldly celebrated always. Act like you know the truth- for that Truth is the Way and the Life. The truth is the life is way better. (John 14:6)

 

Dec 25th Be Blessed!

mother-mary-tdlLuke 1:45 “Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!”

Merry Christmas sister who is highly favored (2 Cor 6:2)!  On this day over 2 billion people in over 160 countries will celebrate the birth of Christ.  Jesus, the son of God through the gift of the Holy Spirit was born in the world.  Today many will acknowledge Christmas /Noel /Yuletide as the most important holiday not just for Christians but for the world.  For Jesus  the Prince of  Peace, The Lord of Lords is the Lamb of God and the Savior of the world. In all His names he was also known as Mary’s child.  How favored must Mary his mother have been to have the Son of Man as her very own son.  Mary Batjoachim (the word “Bat” in Hebrew means “becoming” and “daughter”) was the daughter of Joachim and Anne, and becoming the wife of Joseph (descendant of Abraham’s lineage).  In pondering the birth of Jesus, one cannot help but to also ponder Mary whom scholars determine may have been as young as 14 yrs old.   What made God choose this young woman, a virgin to bear and raise the Messiah, the Great High Priest, the King of Kings, the Son of the Most High.  According to the book of Luke, in a message of good news sent by angel Gabriel (who stands in the presence of God), Mary wondered but did not waver in faith.  Her faith simply accepted the unfailing word of the Lord and honored in immediate, decided subservience.  Adjacent to Zechariah, father of John the Baptist who doubted God and faced muteness, Mary believed.   How beautiful, wonderful and refreshing must it have been for not only Gabriel but for God to see such an authentic and sincere person who simply accredited the trusted and true God.

Concern (C): Sister do you fully and truly believe God like Mary? “I  Believe, I Believe”, said a skeptical Natalie Wood repeatedly in portraying Susan Walker in the 1947 movie Miracle on 34th Street.  Who truly did believe upon seeing a long awaited present (spoiler alert-a house).  But Mary saw nothing before the appointed time yet believed urgently and indefensibly.

Encouragement (E): Mary sang a song of full of God’s promises, His help and His giving of good things.  Luke 1:46-55. Certainly Mary knew who God was, his track record and what impossibilities he was/is capable of achieving.  Mary recalled the Mighty One’s acts and mercies despite the difficulty in comprehending while facing taxing outcomes (ostracizing of her family, community, laws, values and future).  Surely her sturdy faith assisted her in the continuance of her walk with God as Jesus stayed behind in God’s house, performed his first miracle and died on the cross before her very eyes!

Act (A):  Imitate humble Mary and hurry to joy.  The Bible says Mary hurried to Elizabeth who was pregnant with John the Baptist.  And she stayed there for months.  When encountering a spiritual adversity get with someone else who will encourage your faith and keep you encouraged.  It is up to you to hurry to that place of joy and stay there as long as possible.  Rest assured God is in control.  He will and has determined it all out and will Bless You with treasures in the process. (Lk 2:19)

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May the blessings of the season be upon you & yours now and throughout the rest of the year into the next. With love always from The Daughter Line.

**Please give clothes/toys/food to your local shelter & pray for the homeless, orphans & current Federal shutdown to end as God best wills.  Thank you**

https://www.hopeww.org/  HOPE worldwide meets the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. (http://www.give.org/charity-reviews/national/human-services/hope-worldwide-in-san-diego-ca-658)