Tag Archive | prayer

God Help!

The recent election of the president of the United States hit me hard. In fact, I am still struggling with the outcome. I have not turned on the news. I have not listened to analysis reports. I have spent little time on social media. I am just not at acceptance yet because I am still in shock. And I think what shocks me more than electing a man of questionable character is knowing that millions of Americans chose hate and fear. Of course I am not naïve. I know hate has deep roots in this country, stemming as far back as the arrival of Christopher Columbus. And of course I know fear has been bred in this country from the beginning. But I honestly thought we, the United States of America, had made huge advances toward love, acceptance, inclusion and peace. Apparently not. Apparently there’s still lots of work to do and for me that work begins with a prayer.

God, Creator, Eternal One, Universal Spirit…

Help me!

Help me ease past the disgust, shock and sadness that has me stymied;

Help me move beyond the tears, fear and anger;

Help me remember that you are in control and what happened was sanctioned by you for a greater purpose that we know not today;

Help me remember that all is not lost, that the only way evil wins is if good people do nothing;

Give me the strength to move beyond the darkness and embrace a path that promotes all things that are “good, just, noble and right;”

Empower me with wisdom and courage, faith and hope to operate day-by-day with an open heart, an open mind and a love that surpasses hate;

Grant me peace with this outcome and above all I pray your special blessing on…

  • The white people in this country who understand our current condition is not survivable for any of us, and who are working tirelessly to end racism, sexism, colorism and white privilege;
  • All people who are poised to challenge the incoming administration by holding it accountable to the lofty ideas of our founding fathers;
  • All people who are dedicated to the attainment of civil and human rights as well as social justice for all people;
  • All people who are committed to the progress that has been made and will continue to be made;
  • Organizations and groups that are working to eradicate barriers (in all its many forms) so that all may enjoy the liberties and privileges guaranteed in our founding documents;
  • All people who understand that “none of us are free until we are all free.”

This prayer I ask in your name…Amen!

Now excuse me while I continue working on myself by listening to “Rise Up” by the talented Andra Day.


A Letter from a Dallas Jail

The observance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day dominates the start of every new year. Across the nation, many children and adults of all nationalities, cultures and beliefs reflect on Dr. King’s words and legacy. I, too, have been thinking about his words; more specifically, his written piece “A Letter from a Birmingham Jail” in which he shares his nonviolent approach to change.

In his letter, which he actually wrote in his jail cell, he lists the four steps of a nonviolent campaign. They are:

1. Collection of the facts to determine whether injustices exist (data collection, fact-finding, analysis, interviews, document/policy review, etc.);

2. Negotiation (dialogue with power-holders, letters/statement of facts and recommendations, meetings with officials, etc.);

3. Self-purification (preparation of body, mind and spirit to receive divine inspiration); and

4. Direct action (marches, sit-ins, petitions, calls/letters to officials, strikes, boycotts, etc.).

Even though I am not a civil/human rights activist or a strategist, I am a leader. I am the leader of my own destiny, and quite honestly, this leader needs to make some positive, forward-moving, nonviolent changes in 2014. So I sat down at the beginning of the year with King’s Birmingham letter and some vague goals for the year. Applying his four step approach to change, I started with a review of 2013 and quickly discovered it had been an ugly year of personal injustices. I acknowledged wrongs in how I treated some people (reinforcing stereotypes; holding people to typecast) and in how I treated myself (succumbing to jealousy, anger and uncertainty which led to negative, hateful thoughts and feelings). I wrongfully bought into fear (which caused sleeplessness and worry) and focused too much on the future causing me to skip over the present. There were so many injustices coming to mind that I had to shut off the review for fear it would bog me down and keep me stuck in the past, in regret.

I moved on to negotiation and in this step I found I could stomach the results a little better although it too was no ant-free picnic. For I found that I did not always sit at the negotiation table (God’s throne) in full honesty. Instead of telling myself I could do all things through Christ, I leaned on my own limited understanding and only put some of my desires and goals on the table. Also, I didn’t always go to the Ultimate Power Broker with a pure heart. At times, I approached him with a heart full of defeat, ingratitude, doubt and anger. Lots of anger. But thank God He was always pure and honest and willing to meet with me at any time.

Knowing this made me feel lighter in spirit, allowing me to continue stepping through Dr. King’s approach to nonviolent change. Next step, self purification. Like most Christians, I prayed and focused on the Word. Like most spiritual beings, I meditated, recited affirmations, even fasted a time or two. These self cleansing acts always made me feel closer to God. I always felt like I received “a Word from the Lord” even when the word came through other people, songs, readings, Smartphone texts, etc. I always felt great after engaging in whatever self purification step I took, but I struggled with the tie-in to the fourth and final step…direct action.

The point of self purification is to cleanse oneself of ego, fear, greed, and other human conditions so that we can hear from God on what action to take, right? Well, my self purification steps led to a lot of disappointments, a lot of setbacks, a lot of lows; all of this as a result of the direction I had received and taken from God! When I mentioned this disconnect to a dear friend, she reminded me that 2013 was supposed to be a year of challenge, a year of endings, and a year of positioning; that I was right in line with a lot of other people who had suffered in 2013 so that we could experience new beginnings and an enhanced level of spiritual maturity in 2014. Then she quoted that old familiar saying, “Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning light.” (I have such smart friends!)

Thus encouraged and fortified, I sat back with my thoughts and paper and realized that direct action is not always direct. Sometimes God leads us down a crooked path to “mature” something within us (faith, hope, courage, etc.) or to setup the next stage of learning. Sometimes God feeds us one puzzle piece at a time and whereas he is fully aware of the big picture, we aren’t; however, it is our job to trust anyway. It is our job to maintain our spiritual practice and do what he tells us to do even if the results are disappointing (to us, at least).

This was not an easy four steps to roll through. No wonder King and others had a time of it. But I can say that guided by this change exercise and a year in review, I feel good about setting the following goals for 2014:

٠Remove all limits from God,

٠Stay in the present as much as possible,

٠Engage in prayer, meditation, intuitive listening, fasting, journaling, walks in nature and internal cleansing regardless of what my physical world projects,

٠Do what God tells me to do regardless if it makes me look stupid, sound stupid, fall flat, etc.

٠Have fun, play, be joyful and always express gratitude!

Whew! Now I’m ready for the new year. How about you? Are you ready for a year of turnarounds and manifestations? Check in with me periodically and let me know what you’re experiencing in 2014, and I’ll do the same. It’s going to be a GREAT year!

Oh, and one final note…Happy birthday to my friends Joycelyn, Meryl, Willie, Pari, Ingrid, and Maxine who are blessed to share a birthday week with the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Thanksgiving Blessings – One by One

I’ve had some great challenges and unexpected roundabouts this year. So many shattering events in fact that it caused me on many occasions to question my deepest desire to be a full-time, self-employed, income-producing writer of fiction. With tears in my eyes, on my cheeks, soaking my clothes, I wondered if I should:

1)  continue to pursue my dream or

2)  release the dream.

Every time I faced that decision, the battle between fear and courage, ego and God raged, and at the end of the fight, God and courage always won out. Not because I am such a mighty saint (trust me when I tell you that God is still making me presentable), but because there was something deep inside me that recoiled at the thought of giving up. So after my crying jig and after coming to yet the same decision, I would hop right back on the dream-train and chug-a-lug a few more feet down the tracks. And lo and behold, at the next stop, I was always rewarded with a sign or confirmation from God that I was on the right track, that I was travelling closer and closer to my dream.

So as we approach the Thanksgiving season, I thought it the appropriate time to “count my blessings one by one.” I am sharing them with you because they don’t belong to me alone. They are yours too…if you choose to claim them. No pressure.

Thanksgiving Blessings – One by One

praying hands two

1.   Thank you God for sticking close to me even when I don’t feel your presence;

2.   Thank you God for steadying me when I feel off-kilter;

3.   Thank you God for breaking through my ego so you may impart wisdom and direction;

4.   Thank you God for keeping my spiritual and physical eyes, ears and mind open to                         messages and signs from you;

5.   Thank you God for purpose and the pursuit of it;

6.   Thank you God for giving me the courage to act even in fear;

7.   Thank you God for keeping me on the right track;

8.   Thank you God for my cheerleaders on the sidelines (father, mothers, siblings, cousins,     friends, associates, bosses, aunts, uncles, etc.) who also serve as earthly angels;

9.   Thank you God for allowing me to relax, knowing you have all in your control;

10. Thank you God for the creative ways you give encouragement, hope, love and so much more.