Monday, December 28, 2020

The Year In Review - 2020 Edition

Hindsight is 2020. With that sentiment in mind, reflection for growth, I've decided to do this post. 

On New Years Day 2020, I had friends over for an old-fashioned get-together. Remember those? They are my favorite form of hanging out. The beauty of this day was seeing our children, all at varying stages,  playing with board games and talking with each other. The TV was off, and it was not missed. It felt like a scene from another time, and I thought this may be the start of a new tradition. Well, that won't be happening this year, thanks to Corona, but I'm not mad. 

Because as Corona reared its ugly head, I remember being asked what's one word that comes to mind as you navigate this new reality; I replied fortification. At the time, I felt I was being

Monday, December 7, 2020

When Things Aren't What They Seem

It may have been a recession, or it may have been that our finances on paper seemed insufficient for our plans. It may have been when the timing seemed wrong for making such a huge decision. At one of these times when there seemed an obvious direction (of playing it safe or doubting God), I re-read Genesis 26 with its ominous beginning - there was a famine in the land

Famine portends bad news, but in God's economy, that's not always the case. This chapter starts off with famine in the land then proceeds to show us God's blessing to Isaac.

Monday, November 23, 2020

My Other Mom is Gone

I remember the first time I met her. My then-boyfriend had spent a bit of time describing his mother to me, but his description did not adequately prepare me for who she was. 

When I first saw her at the airport, I can still see her face to this day. It was stern but welcoming; however, I was not put off by her. I was never afraid of her and always felt comfortable around her. She was staring straight ahead, with perfectly coiffed hair with an outfit that displayed her status in this world. 

But it was her face that struck me. At first glance, she looked nothing like my husband; her complexion was similar to mine, and we were about the same height and size. It turns out these superficial commonalities cemented our bond over

Monday, November 16, 2020

The Comfort of Night

Is there ever a perfect time to launch a book? This week has taught me no. This book finally became a reality earlier this month, and I have all the emotions - overwhelmed, underwhelmed, and simply whelmed!

A couple of years ago, during Easter, I started to read the events leading up to Jesus' death in the book of John. While these events are recounted in all four gospels, John's version reflects that he was the disciple whom Jesus loved; there's extra emotion in his version, and also John is the only one who captured the words Jesus spoke to His disciples the night before He would be crucified.

These words came at a time when it was night for the disciples - both figuratively and literally. Judas was identified and broke the fellowship, and it was also night (John 13:30). As I read and re-read Jesus' words at this time, I began to realize that what he said provides a framework for living this Christian life. It's as if Jesus summed up His entire ministry in these hours before His death. 

Monday, November 2, 2020

A Thread of Unity

My mother was a seamstress. It was a joy in her life, something that made her proud but also made her happy. That she enjoyed creating beautiful creations was something that always resonated with me.  It's like my mom always had this mentality - creating beauty where few could see it and then hearing the praise because of her creations; she was a visionary - she saw it all along.

Whenever my mother sewed, the first thing she started with was a pattern. The pattern provided directions for cutting each piece, sizing, and stitching with the finished garment in mind. I found it intriguing, for I never imagined that a sleeve, for example, in a pattern could look so different than what I typically viewed as a sleeve. But as I watched her work, it made sense. She would clear the table, spread out her fabric, pin the pattern pieces to the fabric, then cut out the pieces. Then she would pin them together to get an idea of what the finished product would look like. 

Monday, October 12, 2020

Trauma Can Be Transformative

Trauma - it catches you by surprise, in bizarre fashion with unexpected costs. Trauma often sounds like a recipe for disaster, but it doesn't have to be. There's nothing you can do to prevent trauma; accidents happen, things go wrong, elbows are slammed into faces, and no plan of yours could have prevented this.

Yes, an elbow was slammed into my husband's face while playing a pickup game of soccer. Sometimes to stay fit, these things happen. I've had sufficient casualties as a runner, so I can empathize.

Monday, September 28, 2020

What Faith Will Do

I have never been to prison, never set foot in one to visit anyone, but I've spent an inordinate among of time thinking of prison. As a Black woman, the threat of imprisonment appears very real for those I love simply because of the color of their skin. 

To bring this closer to home, members of my family have encountered unwarranted police harassment where a necessary stop was a night in jail. One night in prison is enough, especially if you're wrongfully there. Imagine being imprisoned for an even greater cause. Imprisonment represents a loss of freedom; the worse our society has to offer. The threat of imprisonment produces fear, yet Paul was imprisoned for preaching Christ for a significant time during his ministry, demonstrating steadfast faith.

When Paul pens his pray in Ephesians 1:15-23, he is under house arrest, chained to a member of the Praetorian guard, an elite group of soldiers. But he can receive guests (Acts 28:30,31). These guests were living in a time when it wasn't fashionable to be called a Christian.

Monday, September 7, 2020

Guest Post - Living in Perspective by Xariah C

Xariah is an aspiring writer and singer. She recently graduated from HS and will be attending college in the fall. Though young, the depths of her thoughts belies her age. Read on.

"But now, LORD, you are our Father. We are the clay, and you are our potter. We are the work of your hands." Isaiah 64:8

How do you approach the presence of God?  When you draw near to God as your Heavenly Father, rather than a confusing unknown or a Sunday assignment, you will find yourself fully known and embraced. You were meant for a relationship with God, a bond that is set apart and built on knowing and trusting God as your Everlasting Father.

All who believe in Jesus are called to live as

Monday, August 24, 2020

What I as A Black Woman Would Love to Hear

When the impact of systemic racism reared its ugly head, I was taken aback by some of the responses I heard from my Christian brothers and sisters. It seemed most were shocked by what was common knowledge for me - the effects of racism, and now were feeling awkward as they struggled with their new reality.

Initially, I shared some of my thoughts around racism in various posts via the comments section and other articles. But this article allowed me to bring all my ideas together around the intersection of racism and Christianity.

Monday, August 3, 2020

Strangely Dim

I've worn glasses since I was 12, and I've had a love-hate relationship with them for most of my life. I convinced myself that I needed glasses because I watched our little old black and white TV too closely. That's what the old folks said, and that's what I believed. Turns out, I was near-sighted, I could see near but not far, and as I got older, I'm not sure my television habits had anything to do with my need for wearing glasses.

Love or hate, being able to see clearly, is an eye-opener. In my late 40s, my vision started to deteriorate to where I could no longer read the ingredients on labels. Up to this point, I wore

Monday, July 20, 2020

God's Timing

Last year, it was my goal to be featured on a podcast. I tried to make that happen, but it fell flat, so I let it go. This year, to my surprise, I'm featured on two podcasts. Cintia Listenbee is a longtime Christian blogger. I like her no-nonsense approach to following Christ as it resonates with me. When she invited me to be a guest on her podcast, I was thrilled! It was a virtual lovefest.

What I've learned in all of this and more is that God's timing is best. God's timing will test you, but when things come to pass, as he said, it is the right time. Listen in to hear other profound truths that were shared.

Monday, June 29, 2020

Guest Post - An Urgency of Hope by Xariah C.

Today's guest post is an introspective journal entry from my niece Xariah on Galatians 5. Right before my senior year of high school, God began to center my life on Him. He brought me out of my dark teenage years into the marvelous light and grace of Jesus. Ever since I have been seeking God and receiving the ministry of His Holy Spirit. Right now, my life's mission is to help people acknowledge God during troubling times.

Xariah is an aspiring writer and singer. She recently graduated from HS and will be attending college in the fall. Though young, the depths of her thoughts belies her age. Read on.

Monday, June 15, 2020

When I Discovered Race

I shared my story of racial awakening with United We Pray well before the boiling point of racial inequity exploded in this country. Our stories vary, but if you're Black, the common thread is pervasive racism showing up in subtle and not so subtle ways. Despite the turmoil, the exhaustion, the calls to action in recent weeks, I as a believer in Christ remain hopeful, for it is in Him alone my hope is found (1 Corinthians 15:58).

I always say I discovered I was Black when I came to New York in 1978. For the first twelve years of my life, I lived in the Bahamas. We were a large family doing OK for ourselves. We could hire someone to do the cleaning and look down our noses on anyone in a lower position than us.

Monday, June 1, 2020

Reaping What You Sow

When we were children, one form of fun and entertainment for us was playing board games. One year my oldest brother brought home a Bible Trivia game called The Gold Talent.

To this day, I remember my brother with his handsome smile, asking, "Who was the king who had his thumbs and big toes cut off?" As a teenager, in all of my reading of the Bible, I'd never found anything like this. Back then, we didn't have cell phones or even a computer at home. We had encyclopedias, but this information would not be in them, and if it was, it would take too long to find.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

A Refreshing Evening Prayer

I wrote a morning prayer a couple of years ago that continues to bless others. A reader recently asked if there's an evening prayer, so here it is.

Dear Lord, for as long as I can remember a day is only 24 hours, but this one felt longer than that. Weariness sets in and we wonder where you are, but I know that you hear me even before I choose to pray. My burdens are no secret. You hear the breath you put in my bones even when it’s shallow. I thank you that I’m known by you.

At the end of this day, I’m reassured that I can come boldly to your throne to find grace in my time of need (Hebrews 4:16). I can pray with assurance to you because you are a faithful God, regardless of the day I’ve had. At the end of this day Lord, I come to you knowing that you will hear and comfort me.

I know that in peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety (Psalms 4:7-8). You are still God in the middle of mysterious things. The days transition by your power—you are the author of my life even when I’m not awake. Thank you for using these moments to remind me of your sovereignty.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Your Stimulus Check

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace, you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5 ESV

A lot of folks are excited because they received an extra $1200 in their accounts. One thousand two hundred dollars, is a gift, regardless of your situation. For some, it's a lifeline, and for others, it feels like a bonus. The more prudent among us may decide to save all or most of it (if they can) for another rainy day.

A stimulus check is a check sent to a taxpayer by the U.S. government. Stimulus checks are intended to stimulate the economy by providing consumers with some spending money. When taxpayers spend this money, it will boost consumption and drive revenues at retailers and manufacturers and, thus, spur the economy (source:

Monday, March 30, 2020

A Prayer for Gripping Times

Dear Lord;
Lord, right now, it seems as if we are living in gripping times. We are bombarded on every side by news cycles providing information couched in dire circumstances - a virus running rampant, living longer than anyone anticipated, and a mounting death toll. I think sometimes we don't know what to do with all of this information, and we are overwhelmed.

But your Word reminds us that when we are overwhelmed, as we call out to You, You will lead us to the Rock that is higher than us (Psalm 62:1). A rock that is sturdy and secure in these changing times. A Rock that is You.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Deeper Intimacy

What do you think of when you think of intimacy? When you feel an intimate connection with someone, you experience:

Good feelings

Usually, we feel this kind of intimacy with a significant other – our partner, our parents, close friends, and sometimes our children (when they are grown). But, is it possible to have these feelings with a sovereign divine God? I would say yes.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Your Apron Ministry

Susanna Wesley, the mother of twelve children, took her relationship with God seriously. Early in her life, she vowed that she would never spend more time on leisure entertainment than she did in prayer and Bible study. Even amid the most complex and busy years of her life as a mother, she still scheduled two hours each day for fellowship with God and time in His Word, and she adhered to that schedule faithfully. The challenge was finding a place of privacy in a house filled to overflowing with children. Mother Wesley's solution to this was to bring her Bible to her favorite chair and throw her long apron up over her head, forming a sort of

Friday, February 14, 2020

Unrealistic Expectations in Marriage

This year will mark 31 years of marriage for my husband and I. Where does the time go? When we said our vows at the altar on that overcast morning all those years ago, we were young, happy and idealistic. We meant every word we said, but we had no clue how those words would play out over the years. We went through premarital counseling and had the necessary conversations. We even spoke to our pastors periodically for additional insight. As we continued to evolve yet stick to each other through thick and thin, it became apparent how the rose-colored glasses of unrealistic expressions could drain a marriage.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Which Ism Weighs You Down?

As I chatted with my brother, once more, the conversation turned to racism. In his case, he lamented the fact that it always seems to rear its ugly head when he least expected it; when he thought he was doing everything right. What makes it difficult is knowing the cause but assigning the blame to other factors. "Let's go back to the drawing board; let's rethink this idea; you seem angry when you're presenting." Frustration builds when you've seen similar tactics work for others and not for you; others don't have to go back to the drawing board or have their speech assessed. Instead, their ideas are accepted while they continue to thrive.

Racism, sexism, feminism, classism, ableism, anti-semitism - common issues today with the common theme of denigrating those they affect. As a black woman, I've dealt with a couple of these in my life. Racism is prevalent and comes up often in many conversations because it affects the professional and the personal. There's no denying racism though

Monday, January 27, 2020

Guest Post: The Beauty In Between

After reading this piece written by her friend, the Little One turned to me with awe in her voice and said, "Mummy, you've got to read this!" I read it and immediately reached out to this young writer to get her permission to share her thought-provoking work. BTW the Little One is not so little anymore; she'll be 17 in March.
Meranie McGuire is just a young woman trying to live her life Coram Deo. Through her writings, she conveys the lessons God has taught her through prayer and the study of His Word. She currently attends the University of Southern California as she pursues her B.S. in Business Administration with a Minor in Religion. Meranie is young but has a deep understanding of the reality of God. There are no age limits when you're used by God. Paul noted of Timothy that "You have been taught the holy Scriptures from childhood, and they have given you the wisdom to receive the salvation that comes by trusting in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 3:15 NLT)." The same can be said of this writer. Read on.

Monday, January 13, 2020

Joyful Expressions

Have you ever noticed the joyful expressions throughout the Christmas story, as told in Luke 1 and Luke 2? Through fresh eyes as I reread this familiar passage this past Christmas, joyful feelings resonated with me.