Saturday, December 31, 2005

Contemplation, Spirituality, Affirmation

Contemplation, Spirituality, Affirmation
It's New Year's Eve.... Another year has come and gone.. dang, it seems like we were just here... Oh well, time waits for no one... I just feel like praying this morning. And making affirmations (not resolutions)

Follow me...

Get in a quiet space.... clear your mind of worries, stuff... turn off the tv or radio..... take a deep breath....

Inhale.....

Exhale.....

Focus all your thoughts and energy on the light force that is within you..... feel it?

Inhale...

Exhale....

connect to that force... it's God's download to your soul.... let's communicate with Him

Almighty God... the Benificent, The Omnipresent, The merciful, Heavenly Father... Creator of everything that is.... Lord of the Universe... Giver of breath. life and light... whom I believe sent his Son, Jesus Christ to live among us - who was crucified, died and rose again after three days consistent with prophecy and holy scripture, your word....We thank you....

We thank you for waking us up this morning for it is with your permission we are able to have a chance to reflect your light into the world.... You have brought us through another year... safe... healthy... and of sound mind.... and we thank you... We thank you for the new lives you have brought into this world this year and we pray that these new lives will grow to be an example of your love. We thank you for those that you have called home this year for we know that thier lives have been a blessing to many....
We know that there are those around us who are seeing tribulation in thier lives and we beseech you for healing... bring peace to those who are having a hard time... bring those lives into your will...let your will be done in those lives...
Lord we ask that you send your angels before those in battle overseas, protect them.. Lord, keep them rigtheous in your will... Give thier mothers, fathers, wives, sisters and brothers the spirit of comfort because you know that they worry about their well-being as they hurtle through harm's way...
Lord, we ask for a miraculous change of heart in the minds for those running the government Lord... cause them to bring the troops home... open thier eyes and let them see that this war is misdirected and is causing unnecessary loss of life...Lord you have given us many gifts and wonders in this earth and your scripture says the "greatest of these is love" Spread Love through the world Lord...We are asking for Peace!!!
Lord send your angels through the halls of of the government and clean out all corruption, graft and greed.... Cause those who seek to take your name out of the essence of this great country to fail, stumble and be utterly conquered....
Move through our communities Lord... open the eyes of mankind so that we regard the color of a person's skin no more than we would regard the color of a person's eyes...
In the urban communities, we pray for the safety of our children... due to the influence of gangsta lifestyle, too many young people are being called home - far too young to have lived up to the potential that you have already written for their lives....
Bring the men and women together... Cause forgiving among the mothers... Raise up responsibility in the fathers...You know the babies need a father... even though the relationships did not work out, surely you have a plan to provide the children with a relationship with their fathers... for the preservation of family is central to the struggle for liberation. Give the fathers wisdom Lord, open thier eyes to see that being a father means more than being a sperm donor... let them be real men , even in the face of what we call "baby momma drama"... Raise up courage and responsbility in the hearts of the fathers...
Lord, bless the school systems - they need your help. We need wisdom in our local governments, our state governments, please bless us.
But most of all Lord open the eyes of the people - your people - to LOVE ONE ANOTHER...

And Almighty Father we ask that your bring peace, love, understanding, prosperity to each and every household who may read this today. Their children and children's children...Protect them Lord as they move about for we know that we live in perilous times... Keep them of sound mind and order their steps as they move about in the coming year....

And now Lord Hear my Affirmations for the year 2006 (in our meager mortal minds this is 2006, however we are mindful that only you know the real year, date and time) And if it is in your will, bless me indeed. Keep your hand upon me, so that I do not fail... keep my enemies behind me and beneath your feet.. Cause me to walk in love at all times - and discernment..... With faith I Affirm:

I will be closer with God... Seeking His Will in all things. TRUSTING HIM MORE. FAITH
I will be the best husband that I can each day
I will build a stronger relationship with my daughter (Lord Help her!!!)
I will be a stronger foundation and blessing for my mother
I will increase my profile in my business life. God has blessed me and I have not completely tapped into his fullness in my business life.
I will seek the Master's Degree
I will keep my economics more disciplined.
I will execute a disciplined plan for media marketing success.
I will continue my love for my community and will make myself available to You as a tool for liberation of my people..
I will walk as an example of not a prejudiced or racist man, but a man who seeks healing among his people for how can we interact with the total greatness of God's People around the world when we have no sense of self- who we are or where we come from, no respect for self, our women or children.
I will stop waiting on others to promote me, bless me in my professional life. I recognize that people are intimidated by greatness, confidence and most of all spirituality. Accordingly, they may never bless me. I will wait upon the Lord, and no one else. I will move on the unctions that God gives me, and take action towards my march to success.
I will Love my neighbor.
I will press toward the mark....

Father, I'm sorry for the sins that I have committed. Please forgive me for the wrong that I have done and the wrong that I have been. I want to walk in your light. I want to have a strong relationship with you. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that he arose from the dead.

Thank you for saving me. Thank you for your goodness. In the name of Jesus, we ask that you hear our prayer and affirmations. Thank God.

Amen

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Questions of Youth

We live in a society that seemingly promotes backwardness among the youth. Pants sagging to the ground so much so that the booty crack and top of the drawers are showing. Young ladies "droppin' it like it's hot".. mimicing the movements and attitudes of the video chicks on MTV and BET. And now they wear pajamas in the streets - and this is a high fashion statement (did you see the Old Navy commercials this xmas season?) Media doesn't help at all as this inappropriate behavior is promoted 24-7 on the music channels. In some parts of the country how many diamonds you have in your mouth denotes your ecoonomic or "baller" status. And everywhere these days the posession of a gun is the signal of manhood...

When we send our children off to school, are they wearing the right colors? Will they get hit in a driveby? or will some troubled child snap and charge into the classroom blasting away. Will the blacks and latinos get along today or will the campus erupt into a riot? How the heck does penitentiary culture dictate the safety of those free citizens on the street? Will the gangstas accost your child on thier way to school just because he's wearing the latest sean john or rocawear (yeah the ones you just paid hundreds of hard-earned dollars for).. Or maybe they want to know "what set you from?" Either way it could cost him his life. Will your beautiful daughter get harrassed by some horny young man? Or does she give it up subject to more sexual escapades than you've ever known in your well-travelled life? Iis she walking the path of a virtuous woman? Maybe the police will mistake my son or daughter for a gangsta and harass them... Maybe the school doesn't have enough books and the dream of my child getting a good education and going to college is a dream deferred... Maybe the school will lose its accreditation.. Whew! I'm just glad to see the kids come home alive and not traumatized, let alone whether or not they are doing their homework..

Are you participating in parent teacher events? Do you make sure your children are in church or some positive spiritually edifying endeavor? Are you making sure they are aware of their history and culture? Right now, right this minute - do you know where your children are? Do you know what music they are listening to? What about the video games.. don't tell me you got the one where killing gets you points and in some cases secret codes get the prostitute? What's in thier room? Birth control? Condoms? Do they smoke weed? Who are thier friends? Do you mentor kids? Do you speak to them in the neighborhood when you see them? Do you encourage them? Show them love? Or are you mad at them cuz they remind you of their daddy? Do you cuss at them? DO YOU READ WITH THEM OR TO THEM?

The foundation to the liberation of black folk in America is the youth. Consider this: It was not until the youth started participating that Dr. King's Civil Rights Movement really became effective. In South Africa, the actions of the ANC were merely symbolic exercises until the youth took to the streets... We should be framing our children with love and understanding in order to combat the plethora of negative influences they face. And as they survive, they will thrive in this society regardless of the prejudice and discrimination they are faced with - and they WILL face it.

Why is there so much violence in our neighborhoods? Why are youth so concerned with what set they are from? They don't own it. Why do they deal with problems and conflict with such violent reactions? Why is the music on mainstream radio so violent and vulgar? Why are the images on BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION so vulgar and lecherous? How did 50 Cent become one of pop music's biggest stars?

Here, in LA there was a community action led by activist Najee Ali to have the posters and billboards from 50's film "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" removed from areas close to schools. The posters depicted 50 with a mike in one hand and a gun in the other. You know the studios knew exactly what they were doing when they placed those boards. Once Najee mobilized the community, the movie studios moved those billboards quick fast and in a hurry. And when asked about the protest, 50 Cent just shrugged his shoulders and said hey there's other artists who have guns in thier publiciy photos so why are they picking on me? So you see these young wanna be gangstas are not trying to take any responsibility for the images perpetrated on your children.

As we move into a new year, show some love toward the youth. Support them. Encourage them. Promote peace and love. Not Guns and Blood. Pay attention. They are our future.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

I'll color him Father

First let me apologize.. I tried to post my photo on the margin where my profile is.. It didn't work... Oh well no worries.... That's me in the photo on the last post...

I am sitting here this morning reflecting on the last few days of the year and boy, what a year this has been... The most monumental event of 2005 was that my father passed away... Although one side of my brain was prepared for this (he had a series of health challenges in the latter years of his life) but the other side clearly and unequivocally had no doubt that he would make it. Last year at Christmas time, we spent the holiday in the hospital. It was a surreal experience, seeing my father laying there basically helpless. See, My Dad was a sea-going sailor, a tough master chief in the United States Navy. He was a proud black man, who worked his way through college obtaining two Masters Degrees. He taught us to look the "Man" in the eye and work with them, never forgetting that our education and mannerisms came from a legacy of blackness that screamed "we are equal - we are all God's Children!!!"

He demanded complete and utter attention to our studies - now, here's where I failed. I remember him and mom getting so angry with me year after year because of my grades. I remember him making me get bused to school at the advent of integration because he believed that I would get a better education. He never listened to me when I felt I was getting slighted in the school. He had complete and unwavering faith in the system. Dr. King was right and prejudice and discrimination was abolished with the signing of the Equal Rights Bill.... What he didn't see was that I was such a voracious reader(mom's fault) that I read my studies and homework long before the teacher assigned than accordingly.. Once the assignments hit our desks, I was already bored to death. My grades on paper suffered. My Mom was so hurt she didn't even attend my graduation.... But Dad did.. He was in the house... He told me I sucked, though and looking back, I guess I did..

I developed an intense love for music that my Dad just did not understand... I still love music and hence I am in the "industry" I remember telling him that I wanted to be on the radio. He thought that was the most ridiculous thing he'd ever heard. I remember seeing that Howard University had just built a multi million dollar radio and television school and I wanted to go. They both were like no - first your grades are wack and second you are not going to learn about some fly by night industry.

I joined the Marine Corps after Graduation determined to learn electronics in preparation for my ownership of radio stations. My Dad flipped. He told the recruiter when they came to pick me up that I was nothing and that I could never make it in the Corps, I was a pussy!! He said... But when he saw me march across that grinder on Graduation Day, all he could say was "That's my Boy" over and over again. That memory just brings tears to my eyes.. ok, let me pull myself together to finish this....

When I started in this business it ws under duress and estrangement from Dad. I had gotten married early in life and divorced sooner and it seemed that everything I wanted to achieve in life, he was against. After a few years of that madness, we got back together. By now, I had gotten gainful employment in the industry and had started to build a really good reputation. He came to an event - the red carpet screening of "X" starring Denzel Washington. I remember his face when he saw that we were getting treated like VIP's.. I remember him coming to my office and seeing where I worked, how people treated me... He looked at me and said... I had no idea that you guys really take care of business... He hugged me. Man, that was the best!!!

Later I wrote him a letter apologizing for being such a butthead in school. But I also told him about the instances of discrimination that I felt at Crawford High. I told him how the white kids would chase our buses from time to time on their bikes and spit on us. I told him how certain teachers just would not grade us fairly. I also told him about Loralyn Tenny who was in the Choir and Madrigals with me. They were Mormons. We were strict church going folks (I still love the Lord and am in Church EVERY Sunday)... Dad was the head usher, head deacon and an important part of our church.

I had never met the Mormons before getting bused to Crawford. Each year, the Madrigals went to the Church of the Latter Day Saints temple. It was a cool experience- a magnificent church. But I wanted to know why we could not go to my church. It was a cool church - one of the most important black churches in the city. But they never took my query seriously. Loralyn told me that our church was not good enough because I wasn't going to heaven anyway. WHAT!!!! that blew me away. She told me that being black was the mark of Cain- God's curse for the murder of Abel. I told Dad, but he did not want to hear it. Mom just waved it off as some childish gibberish. But it blew me away.

We were close in the Choir and Madrigals so when it came time for graduation, I was getting my annual signed by everyone. I even went to Loralyn who wrote "I cannot help what the Lord has in store for your people. God Bless You Brother Johnson".. I still have my senior annual and that signature is indelible and clear even some thirty years later.

I once reminded Dad about this incident and he told me "yes, but it made you strong didn't it. Now that you know what they think about you, you don't have to guess, just keep moving on, pressing toward the mark", Dang, Dad is the BOMB!!!!

I finished the letter apologizing for letting him down, but just wanted him to know what I was going through. His response was, " you told me the truth and got it off your chest. That's a good thing. "

Now, Dad is in the heavens. Suffering no more. I hope that he is proud of me. I hope that I am living proof that his legacy of spirituality, truth and strength will be carried on. I hope he knows that I love him. I hope he knows that I appreciate him for teaching me how to be a real man.

Dad, I will always cherish your memory. Thank you for being there - did you know that most of my friends did not have their father in their lives? Man that is an astonishing fact! There's a song: I think I'll color him Father, I think I'll color him love...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Soul of Black Folk

Wow, the rush of the holiday season.... People rushing to and fro to purchase gifts for the loved ones... Man, the retail industry surely must be making a killing.... The day after Christmas, some say, is the best day to go shopping. I know I like to hit the sales... There sure are a lot of people out and about... But if everyone is in such a festive mood and the reason for the season is the Prince of Peace, then why are so many black folk showing so much ATTITUDE!!! I mean, the look on their faces. I can't tell you how many people I noticed just looking mean, Just driving mean, just staring at you as if you have just come into thier turf and how dare you shop at the same store as they do. Black folk are rude. But what kills me is that we are rude to one another!! We look at each other like we want to fight. Older men look at ounger men with hate and disgust, sistahs schrunch up thier noses at the site of a man. Rude black folk walk slowly into a doorway and just stop. and when you say excuse me. they look at you like you are doing something wrong... Now, don't get me wrong, I love my people, but if we are to ever seek liberation, then we better start loving each other. What happened to common courtesy. Why are we calling each other nigga. Why do we look at one another with such suspicion and hatred?????

Even at church folks look at you like you are beneath them. If you go to this church or that church as opposed to my church then you are less than... Spiritual gangbanging. We gotta stop this mess