Seven Scriptures to Remind Us that Jesus is the Real Reason for the Season…2018…

Hello World,

I don’t know about you but December always seems to fly by…Between making Christmas lists, shopping with the masses, sending out Christmas greetings via e-mail or snail mail, going to Christmas parties and other events, preparing for the New Year and regular life stuff, it seems there is never enough time to do it all and so I almost look forward to January when life is back to its regular pace…

And if you noticed, I haven’t mentioned Jesus at all…That is because with all I have to or want to do, I can forget that the birth of Jesus, God’s precious gift to mankind, is the real reason for the season…And so to prepare my heart for this season and hopefully help you prepare your heart for this season too, I have decided to list seven scriptures that take the focus off of the worldly expressions of the Christmas season and help us to focus on Jesus…

1. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23 I just love that Immanuel means “God with us.”  Jesus was born so that God could be with us…Remember that the next time you feel alone because you are not…God is with us!

2. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Look how much we are loved by God! He sacrificed His one and only Son! What have we sacrificed for God lately? Something to remember and act on at this time of the year…

3. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 Every time I see Christmas lights, I’m going to remember that God is the father of heavenly lights and that every good and perfect gift is from Him…I’m feeling better about the Christmas season already…

4. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 Although we will never be free of sin this side of Heaven, we can still accept God’s gift of eternal life with Jesus Christ who helps us not to sin…

5. “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…” 1 Peter 3:15 At some point during this Christmas season, we have to know that everyone around us does not know the real reason for the season…I hope I’m ready when the opportunity arises for me to tell somebody about my Lord and Savior…

6. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 Do  you want the desires of your heart? Of course 🙂 Then we have to delight ourselves in the Lord and His purposes…Now, this does not mean that we send up a list of what we want and then He delivers gifts like He is some Santa Claus in the sky…No, this verse means that mysteriously when we align ourselves with the Lord, His desires for us become our desires…and then we get the desires of our heart because they are His desires for us too…

7. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14…This time of the year especially I have to make every effort to give glory to God and live at peace with others…I wish those in government would remember that…

What helps you remember the real reason for the season? This isn’t a traditional Christmas song but this song helps me to remember why Jesus left His home in Heaven on high to come to earth way below…

Merry Christmas!!!

Any thoughts?

7 Negative Things I’m Thankful For This Thanksgiving Eve…

Hello World,

Y’all, my family is going through a storm, one of those pop up thunderstorms that we didn’t see coming… But God is still good, and I know that I know that I know that He will bring good out of bad or positive out of negative as is noted in Romans 8:28! And I’m still thankful! At this time of the year, Thanksgiving Eve, it is appropos to compile the obligatory gratitude list…I am thankful for my health, spouse, family etc….Yes, all of those are definitely true, but according to God’s word we are to:

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:1

This means that God expects us to be thankful for even the negative things that He has allowed in our lives, but we have hope in all circumstances, negative and positive, because:

We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

So with those two verses in mind, I decided to turn my gratitude list on its head and praise God for what I originally thought was negative, but God it turned into positive (And I need these reminders on today!)…I’m going all the way back to childhood…Come with me 🙂

bible verse1. Not Being a Popular Kid and Bordering on Being Chubby For Most of My Childhood…I guess I’ve always been self-conscious which doesn’t work well on the playground…If someone asks you to play with him or her on the playground, and you rehearse your answer before you reply…You will probably not be the most popular kid…You will be probably be among the weirdo kids…Or if you would rather watch the Brady Bunch [insert whatever show is popular now] with a snack instead of go outside and play kickball, you will probably be among the chubby kids…But not being the most popular, kinda chubby kid made me develop my inner qualities like compassion and kindness because I wanted to be treated without compassion and kindness…AND now that I’m adult, I have no illusion that I can just sit around and preserve my sexy…Good thing to know when you’re over 40…I have to eat right and work out…no excuses…God knows best…

2. Getting Into the Honors Program at Howard University, But Not Receiving Any Scholarship Money…Like many of my friends who spent our high school years watching a “A Different World” or attending Atlanta Football Classic games, I just knew I would be attending an HBCU (historically black college or university)! My chosen HBCU was Howard University in our nation’s capital. I had visited Washington D.C. when I was in the seventh grade, and I vowed I would return there as a college student…But it wasn’t meant to be…Although I got into Howard University and the school’s Honors Program, I didn’t receive any scholarship money…It only made sense that at point to go to the school where I had three scholarships…The University of Georgia…a dreaded HWCU…LOL…To my surprise, I had a blast in college, pledged the most wonderful sorority (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.) in the world and got a great journalism education without worrying about being hampered by the debt I would have surely incurred had I gone to my “dream school.” God knows best…

3. Becoming a Christian, and Then Losing My Friends…When I decided to give my life to Jesus Christ and no longer depend on the fact that my father, my uncles and grandfather were pastors, I expected my life to get better…After all, if I know God, the creator of the universe, how could anything go wrong? We cool like that…I was wrong…so very wrong..Many of my friends didn’t understand why I spent more time than the obligatory Sunday morning in church or chose not to go to certain places…I cried and I cried I felt so alone…But it was during those moments that God got me alone that I got to know Him…Many of those friendships have been restored as time has passed…but I still know how to depend on God alone because of that time…God knows best…

4. Losing My Job Right After I Bought My First Home…I must admit I was frantic when I lost my job at a newspaper months after buying my first home…Up until that time, I had been living with my parents and while I paid for my own bills like for my car, clothes, etc., my parents didn’t force me to pay rent or anything although I was a college graduate…All of a sudden, I had to pay more bills with less money…During that year or so, I was depressed…I ignored some bills…I took some jobs beneath my education just to get by…But I also had time to explore my creativity like taking a class on “The Artist’s Way” and seeing a career counselor…And when it was all over, I learned that God was my resource not that job…I learned that I didn’t even want a traditional newspaper job anymore…God knows best…

5. Wanting to Get Married at 30 Years Old, Only to Get Married a Month Short redof my 40th Birthday…My mom got married when she was 30 years old…Why would my life be any different? Well, chile, what I did I know? As it turns out, nothing at 30 years old…I had to date some good ones, some bad ones, some crazy ones, etc. before I was finally ready for the man God had for me…Those 10 years were heartbreaking, but they were also precious…a gift of human experiences…I wouldn’t want to go through them again, but I learned so many things about myself and other people that only be taught in the classroom of life…Plus, those years fueled my writing life like nothing else…As any writer knows, pain is the best inspiration…God knows best…

6. Taking Seven Years to Get a Book Deal…In 2002, I had an idea to write a memoir about developing a personal relationship with God, and in 2003, I began trying to get a publisher for my book…It wasn’t until 2010 that I got a book deal…Yes, seven years after I started…But it took all of that time to show me the book needed to include other women and not just me…When I became a Christian, I searched bookstores looking for Christian life books written by black women…I found one or two here or there, but I knew there needed to be more…Once I got some Christian living under my belt, I wanted to write one for a black Christian woman who, like me, wanted to know how other black Christian women walked out their faith…What I learned by being rejected over and over again was that I needed more experiences than just mine…My book includes the testimonies of 24 women in ONE book…This is so the book I wanted for myself years ago…God knows best…

7. Taking Seven Years To Get a Book Deal…Yes, I know already wrote that…But I have more to share on this topic…In 2007, my dream publisher (I still walk around with the business card of the acquisitions editor of this company.) at the time was interested in my original memoir, but my book was ultimately rejected because I didn’t have a platform….I.Almost.Died…At least it felt like I was nearing death because I got so close to realizing my dream only to wake up to the cruel reality of life for an unpublished author…But I didn’t let that rejection stop me…I got busy on developing my platform…This blog was birthed as a result of that rejection…This blog has become a way that I connect to others across the nation and the world…a place to dream…a place to vent…an online history…I love it so…And it is one of the reasons that I got a book deal as I met former “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd, one of the women featured in book, because of this blog…

So what “negative” things are you thankful for today? Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

And if you need to praise God while you are going through the storm like I do, here is a song to help us do that!

Any thoughts?

Greenleaf Recap Season 3 Episode 7: That Was Then…

Hello World,

Tonight’s episode was one of those turning point episodes and was aptly titled “That Was Then” so keep reading for this Greenleaf Recap Season 3 Episode 7: That Was Then…

We’ve Only Just Begun…

The episode begins with Grace reading about the Coralie Hunter murder case on her computer as she is planning to take on the case with the newly created legal defense fund for victims of domestic violence. She takes in some gory images that must have been sent to her by Darius. Photographs with blood strewn about the bed like red paint had been spilled. A bloody hammer was the focus of another one of the photographs. The blood and gore take her back to the night she squared off with uncle in a fight for her very life. She recalls the cracked bottle that she used to sink into his neck, which proved to be a fatal blow. Her daughter Sophia interrupts her thankfully, taking her away from that dark place in her memory. But Sophia is still smarting from being told she is sterile. She wants her mother to tell a pastor at Calvary that she is done teaching the Little Saints class. “I’m never going to talk to them like I used to,” Sophia says. This is a new phase in Sophia’s life, a phase that calls for her to believe in the goodness of God even though her current experience doesn’t feel good. This is not easy.

This is also a new phase in Zora’s life. It’s her 18th birthday! Lest Zora believe that her Bible reading will be postponed for the next day, Lady Mae tells her they will have less time with the text in light of her birthday breakfast but their reading will still be done. Also, to help her celebrate her birthday, Jacob & Kerissa have been invited to breakfast. Kerissa tries to give Zora tickets to a Broadway musical that they can attend together, but Lady Mae says she is not allowed to go because it’s past her curfew! “Actions have consequences,” Lady Mae says in front of Zora’s parents.

Charity and Bishop share a tender moment in her suite. Since Charity doesn’t leave her room very much at this point, Bishop updates her on the goings-on in the estate including that Lady Mae has Zora on a 7 p.m. lockdown even on her birthday! Charity says, “When is she going to get herself together?” in reference to her wayward niece. Bishop responds, “When are you?” Charity changes the subject and asks him when he is leaving, but Bishop doesn’t get offended. Instead he tells her that he misses her. While they hug, she says, “I’m gonna miss you too.”

Plans have begun for “A Day With Lady Mae” but Maxine’s assistant Gloria doesn’t believe the space at the Templeton hotel will be big enough. Karine, Bishop and Lady Mae’s assistant, clearly doesn’t like Gloria (I guess it’s because they are both assistants.), but she agrees that with Maxine Patterson, maybe a bigger venue is needed. Gloria suggests that “A Day With Lady Mae” should be held at Calvary. Lady Mae and Karine like the idea as well. However, Karine checks Bishop’s schedule and as it turns out he will be hosting a “Silver Jubilee” on the same day. Karine worries about having to run the idea of having Lady Mae’s event at Calvary instead of off-site by Bishop. Lady Mae responds by saying, “Let me caution you about overvaluing Bishop’s opinion in this time of rapid evolution.” That woman stays speaking in poetry, doesn’t she?

To make matters worse, Lady Mae tries to enlist Grace’s help in meeting with the Boys & Girls Club of Memphis. She wants this organization to be involved somehow with “A Day With Lady Mae,” but her daughter tells her she cannot meet with the organization’s representative. Instead, she has a meeting scheduled with Coralie Hunter. Lady Mae refers to her as a “murderess” and a “tawdry woman who bludgeoned her husband to death with a hammer while he was sleeping.” She is incensed that Grace is choosing Coralie over the “flagship event for the church” and accuses her of doing so out of “sadism and spite.” Calling her mother’s event a “pep rally” and with sarcasm, Grace says, “You understand me perfectly.” Lady Mae says, “You don’t understand me at all.” Somehow and in some way, these two need to begin their relationship again…

Shake It Off…

From his office, Bishop places a call to his friend, Percy Lee Thompson, the funeral home owner. Just like his name suggests, the man is country. When Percy realizes it is his friend not a business call, he says, “When you call, use your cell phone. You had me talking like white folks for nothing.” Bwaaahhaaa! For my white readers, some black people do change how they speak when they are talking to people of different races…

But before the men can continue their conversation, Lady Mae comes into her soon-to-be ex-husband’s office. Lady Mae tells Bishop that their daughter is sponsoring a murderess like she is a child from Africa! “Is this good pr?” she asks. Behind them is this magnificent cross metal sculpture that is embedded in the wall, but I digress. Speaking of cross, Bishop tells Lady Mae that Rochelle Cross is advising him to invest in crytocurrency and this is how he will get the money to pay the IRS. However, he needs more money than what is in his personal account. He also wants to take money from their shared account. Calling her a “strumpet with a bad reputation,” Lady Mae cautions Bishop about accepting her financial advice. “She’s broken our family in half. Do you have to let her take our money too?” She compares him to the old foolish king in Ecclesiastes 4:13. “Better a poor but wise youth than an old but foolish king who no longer knows how to heed a warning.” Lady Mae knows how to rightly divide the word, right?! He needs to shake off Rochelle some kind of way. That’s for sure.

Grace goes to the jail to meet Coralie Hunter, but before she is able to do, the Memphis DA, who I presume is there on official business, stops her. He reminds her that he elected not to try her for manslaughter and warns her not to help Ms. Hunter. “Coralie Hunter is no victim.” She tells him that Ms. Hunter was abused by her husband. He responds with, “There is no shred of admissible evidence that he ever abused her. That pond you are about to step into is deeper than you think.” What does he mean by that? Once Grace is allowed inside of inner sanctum of the jail to actually see Coralie Hunter, she is reminded that the jail is where she could have easily been after what happened with Uncle Mac. She can’t shake those feelings off. Ms. Hunter notices Grace’s demeanor and Grace says, “I was once very close to sitting where you are.” She explains exactly what happened to Grace and how murdering her husband was self defense.

Now we discover why Bishop called Percy. Percy reaches out to Charity after a singer cancelled on singing at a memorial service for a dearly departed grandmother to be held at his funeral home. All he has at this point is “prerecorded music and Spotify.” With an open bottle of something next to her, Charity hesitantly agrees. But once she is there and singing for the grieving relatives, it’s clear that she is in her element. Awww, that was sweet of Bishop — getting his daughter out of the house and singing, what she was born to do.

Across town at Triumph, Jacob and Kerissa are still in disagreement about Zora being discipled and disciplined by Lady Mae. Kerissa thinks Lady Mae is just too strict. Jacob asks, “Isn’t being strict your whole brand?” Kerissa says, “If she knew what she was doing, it wouldn’t have taken me 20 years to get you to straighten up and fly right!” And this line was the best line of the episode. In that once sentence, we now know why Zora is willing to accept abuse. Her own mother did and for 20 years. No, it wasn’t physical abuse, but the end result is still the same. Her mother allowed herself to be devalued. Why should she be any different? Jacob is mad that his wife cannot shake the memories of who he used to be and discusses the matter with Tasha Skanks. As expected, she sympathizes and says she wasn’t always First Lady material and that she used to get her swerve on on Saturday nights and come to church the next morning. And instead of proving that they have changed, the two kiss! We all saw this coming…The thing is I feel like Tasha is truly feeling Jacob but at same time, her last name aine Skanks for nothing! Shake Tasha off Jacob!!!

And back at Calvary, Karine tries to get Bishop to sign some papers. I think she hopes he doesn’t pay attention to what he is signing, but he does. He sees that additional security will be needed to secure “A Day With Lady Mae” to be held at Calvary. He confronts Lady Mae about the additional security and the change of venue. Lady Mae explains that with Maxine Patterson more security and space is a must. He agrees but reminds of their deal. Once “A Day With Lady Mae” is over Lady Mae must leave the building. Lady Mae says, “As for me and my future plans, I will go where the Lord leads me to go.” In other words, she aine going nowhere but Bishop is in her sanctified imagination. Bishop and Lady Mae just can’t shake off where they are in their marriage.

Bye Bye Bye…

Darius and Grace discuss her conversation with the DA. “This DA is going to use my story against her and me.” Darius says she need not worry. “That was self-defense too, right?” She flashes back to the moment Grace could have called someone to save Mac who was bleeding his life out of his neck. “I’m not going to call anybody till you tell me where my daughter is.” Self-defense? Hmmm….Will Grace have to go bye bye bye during season for the death of her Uncle Mac? She returns to the jail to tell Coralie that she is going to bail her out of jail! Coralie is astonished at her generosity. Grace says, “You should have more faith.”

I want to say “Boy Bye” when Bishop meets with Rochelle Cross. He tells her that he has more money to invest. “I trust you and your expertise.” And then they both drink something! Is Bishop actually drinking liquor, and brown likka at that, in the house of God? Where dey do dat at? Lady Mae later discovers that Bishop has emptied their shared account! He assures her that their account will be full again in two weeks. She told him NOT to take money from their account. And now he must say good-bye. “You will leave tonight and this time, you will take every last tie and purple robe and gaudy knickknack!” LOL. Bishop goes to stay with Percy the undertaker at his funeral home, which makes sense because it represents the ultimate death of Bishop’s marriage.

In another part of the house, Sophia is trying to find a way to say good-bye to her faith. She literally tears out sheets from the Bible her grandfather gave her and flushes them down the toilet. “The Bible is all lies,” she says. At the same time, she is crying hysterically when Grace finds her. She wants to flush her faith down the toilet, but she can’t forget how her faith in God made her feel. “I don’t want to love someone who treats me this badly.” (Tell that to Zora.) “Why won’t He just let me go?” Because that’s how God is. Chile, there have been times that I’ve been so mad with God, I just want to shut Him out but where else is there to go but to God, particularly when you’re heartbroken?! Sophia is starting to realize that, but she doesn’t want to. God help her.

Meanwhile, Jacob wants to forget his dalliance with Tasha, but he cannot say good-bye to his guilt just like that. Instead, he tries to make amends somehow, telling Kerissa that Zora can home after all. Kerissa is elated because now that her daughter is 18, she realizes that their parental control is coming to an end. She also apologizes for bringing up Jacob’s past.

But before Zora’s parents can tell her that they are taking her home, Zora decides to emancipate herself from her grandmother’s jail, Lady Mae refers to it as a “grand escape,” now that she is 18 years old! That’s is what she meant when she said, it won’t be much longer in a previous episode. Right in front of Lady Mae, she packs her things and flies out of the Greenleaf home where Christian Breezy aka Isaiah is waiting for her in a black BMW jeep! Bye Bye Bye Zora 🙁

Thank you sooo much for reading my Greenleaf Recap Season 3 Episode 7: That Was Then and my other recaps so far. If you would like to keep up with OWN’s “Greenleaf,” and my recaps, please click on this link to subscribe to my blog 🙂!

Any thoughts?