A New Book Honors Church Mothers…

Hello World,

I hope this Sunday morning finds you well and you’re on your way to church to give Him praise morning…If you have been in church for a while, particularly a black church, you’ve heard of the term church mother…A church mother is a matriarch, whether formally or informally, of a congregation…An older woman whose wisdom, earned through years and years and years of living this life, is one of the church’s most valuable possessions…Though the beauty of youth has long departed, another beauty only acquired by watching God work things out time and time and time again, has descended upon her countenance…She is a jewel…a rare gem…

Photojournalist Alysia Burton Steele is capturing the rare brilliance of church mothers in her book in progress ““Jewels in the Delta.” From her Facebook page, below are descriptions of a few of the 50 Mississippi women that Steele photographed and interviewed for her book…

Mrs. Leola, 102, was thrown off a plantation in Yazoo City because she refused to have her little girls pick cotton. She wanted them to go to school. The overseer told her she had to leave if she wouldn’t let them work because she would “ruin his other blacks” because they would want an education too. She left and said it was the best decision she ever made. All of her girls have masters degrees and one has a Ph.D.

Mrs. Rebecca, 99, talked about how thankful she was for the woman she worked for as a cook. The woman taught her how to save $2 every week for a year and make a payment on her home. She paid her house off in 15 years. It’s not much, she said, but it’s hers and she has the original deed.

 
Ms. Velma, 78, dragged a woman out of church after she heard the woman talking about how fine her husband was. Punched the woman between the eyes and went back in and “sat quite comfortably” in church. Never saw the woman again. Husband had no clue she did this.

Read more about Steele’s book and see some of the photographs of the women in the The New York Times article “Chronicling Mississippi’s ‘Church Mothers,’ and Getting to Know a Grandmother” by Samuel G. Freedman…

And below is a video about the book…

So when you see one of the elderly ladies at your church today, maybe you shouldn’t just speak and keep on going…maybe you should get her talking and learn from the wisdom only she can share…

Any thoughts?

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Seven Scriptures We Can Apply to Ferguson…

Hello World,

I must confess I have neglected my humble corner of the World Wide Web lately because of a variety of reasons…

I’ve attended two funerals this month and have begun planning to honor a sorority sister that passed away a year ago in October and another sorority sister that passed away in 2005 resulting in my emotions ranging the spectrum…I have written two articles, a column and worked on my book which has made me feel like I have no words left for my blog (in other words, a good old-fashioned case of writer’s block)…It seems that our home is going through some sort of mid-life crisis or entering old age as we have worked on getting our stove, refrigerator and air conditioner fixed…and other developments, I cannot mention here just yet…And of course, my one-year wedding anniversary this month has had me in contemplation of what is to come…

In sum, I’ve had a good ole dose of life this month as I do every month…but somehow this month, this mixture of life has been more potent than other months…y’all pray for me as there are a few days left in the month :).

With all of that said and or written, I remain committed to viewing this world through the lens of Christian faith and writing about my view here on my blog…So on to today’s post….

I’ve noticed that when faced with negativity from numerous sources, I tend to feel powerless and attempt to direct my energy in another direction where I hopefully will have more power or retreat altogether…That is how I felt when I witnessed (via television) and read about what happened in Ferguson…For all of the progress made in black life in the United States, it seems that black men remain targets…However, I can no longer no retreat or redirect…

Below are seven verses we can apply to Ferguson…

1.“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:28…When will we learn that all races are equal and loved and created by God? I have to wonder if Mike Brown would have been a white teenager, would he have been gunned down in the same fashion or shot at all?

2. “Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8…Since black men seem to be targets, black men must have a “double consciousness” that while we (United States citizens) are free to live equally above and below the law as we please, the consequences  for black men will likely not be the same…Much has been said about Mike Brown being a cigar thief (which the police officer had no knowledge of before observing him) or “no angel” as if any transgressions he may have committed are justification for being shot and left in the street like a dead dog…The devil is busy…Be aware…

3. “Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves.” Romans 13:2 All should of us should attempt to be law-abiding citizens, but given the unfair treatment of black men in the justice and legal systems, black men, unfortunately, have to be even more careful about obeying the laws of this country…I hate to say that, but as my nephew gets older, I will tell him this again and again for his own safety…

4. “Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall.” Isaiah 40:30…To be a black man in this country is know that stereotyping, ignorance and downright racism is real…We have to encourage young black men in particular (see above) as they, like all young people, are in the process of finding themselves and prone to make mistakes as they learn lessons…

5. “In your anger do not sin.” Ephesians 4:26a…I truly believe that one of the reasons that Dr. Martin Luther King’s efforts were so powerful is that he employed the tool of non-violence. The juxtaposition of having dogs, clubs, tear gas and more unleashed on the peaceful protesters of the ’60s showed the world just how unjust those that literally fought to maintain the racist and unequal status quo were…As organizations plan more protests in the wake of Ferguson, I hope they employ the method of non-violence…

6. “For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” Ephesians 6:12…All of the strife between various races, economic groups, political parties, neighbors, plaintiffs and defendants, etc… All strife period can be traced back to the father of strife…the devil…In other words, we need Jesus…It is only with Jesus that we can win against the power that wants to divide and conquer us…

7. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ.” Philippians 3:20… This world (although I love it with all of its faults) will never be the way we want it to be…That is no excuse to not keep fighting for justice…However, we must realize it is only in heaven that we will experience perfect justice…And maybe God has allowed it to be that way to point us toward Him…

Any thoughts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Season 2 of the “Preachers of L.A.” Starts Tonight!

 

Hello World!

It’s time to peek into the lives of our favorite “reality” preachers again tonight! Season 2 of the “Preachers of L.A.” airs tonight on Oxygen at `10 p.m./9 p.m. CST…Below is a trailer for the new season…

Below is an interview with Bishop Noel Jones about what unfolds in this new season…

Last season on Preachers of L.A., Bishop Noel Jones was featured largely in the context of his relationship with Loretta. (Yes, they’re still friends, and they’re still a source of controversy on Season 2!) But, this season you’ll get to know the bishop on a different level: the professional one. We spoke to the Bishop about his international ministry, his modernized view, and his inability to slow down! Watch more of the Bishop’s story on Season 2, premiering August 20 at 10/9c!

Last season you were worried about your health. Have you slowed down?

No I haven’t slowed down. It’s going to get worse before it gets better. You gotta do what you gotta do. When time comes to put the brakes on, I will. Just have some back pains. I did an epidural and I think it’s working somewhat. They say it’s progress. We’ll see what happens!

What was the outcome of Season 1 for you?

It has been very positive. What I was trying to postulate certainly came across: no man is perfect. The show gave people access by screen to an environment that 95% of the viewers never had. People began to see me in a more congenial, personal light. TV has a way of making people feel like they know you.

Is it uncomfortable letting people into your personal life?

It’s not uncomfortable. My problem has always been to try to create more distance from the public!

To read the rest of the interview, go to oxygen.com.

In other preacher news, metro Atlanta Pastor Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr., of House of Hope in Decatur, Ga., raised a man from the dead last Sunday…He was a visitor and was declared dead after his heart stop beating in church…To read the entire story, go to joy105.com!

Any thoughts?

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