Black History Matters

Dr. Ben Carson and his wife Candy

Celebrating Black History gives us clearer insight into the legacy left by many great African American men and women. We need this more than ever. I wanted to hear about Christian Black men who are positive role models, but they were overlooked by the news media’s coverage.

Lemuel Haynes is a wonderful example for teaching us how to operate in grace.  Lemuel was born to a white mother and black father in 1753. As an infant  he was abandoned by both parents and was taken into the household of Deacon David Rose of Granville, Massachusetts. There he served as an indentured servant until his 21st birthday. Because Lemuel had an appetite for the Word of God, he studied  Scripture and wrote sermons.

Lemuel Haynes

Patriot and Preacher

Lemuel Haynes was a patriot who enlisted with the local farmer’s militia, the Minutemen. He was among the first of three African American men assigned to Ethan Allen’s famous Green Mountain Boys.

He was the first Black preacher to ever preach at an all-white church. Lemuel Haynes was anointed to preach, and was chosen in this time of great divide. After his involvement in the American Revolutionary War, Lemuel continued with his training in theology; he also studied Latin and Greek.  He used the pulpit to denounce slavery; he referred to it as sin. He never held back from speaking the words that the Lord put in his mouth to speak. I can imagine the impact he had on some of the white congregation; they were either in shock or perhaps felt great conviction. Lemuel’s sermons stressed interracial fellowship, liberty, natural rights and justice. His prolific writings made him the first African American to be internationally published. He was the first Black man to receive an honorary Master of Arts degree from Middlebury College. Do you think that the public schools are going to teach the life and history of this great Black man? No!  Lemuel Haynes would not be considered a role model today because his life’s journey was led by God.

Dr. Ben Carson

Dr. Ben Carson was eight-years-old when his parents divorced. He and his brother were raised by their mother, who encouraged her two young sons to become better students by giving them reading and writing assignments in addition to their regular school assignments. Ben Carson earned a scholarship to Yale University an  earned a bachelor’s degree in 1973 in psychology. He went on to receive a medical degree from the University of Michigan. His accolades and contributions to the medical field are many, including director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at John Hopkins. He was one of the youngest doctors in the United States to earn this title. In 1987 the then thirty-five-year old neurosurgeon received international acclaimed for separating two German twins born joined at the head.

Along with his wife Candy, they have collaborated on writing several books:  America the Beautiful in 2014: Rediscovering What Makes This Nation Great and , A More Perfect Union in 2015.

Ben Carson served as the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development for President Trump. Dr. Carson is a conservative who has expressed his opposition to abortion and same-sex marriage. He has stated his belief that homosexuality is a choice. You will not hear about him during Black History Month either.

Black Lives Matter

This nefarious organization has perverted everything educational and beneficial about Black History Month. They have hijacked the observance in public schools by inserting false narratives  to indoctrinate our students about how racist our country has become. They have carefully woven their beliefs on transgender identity to make them sound reasonable and creditable. These are the new powerful leaders who will set the standard for Social Studies in American Public Schools.

 

Black Lives Matter, Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi

The New Black Leaders

Patrisse Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi are all trained Marxists. The media would never describe them this way; they would rather omit that word to make them appear anti-racist. All three of these women praise JoAnne Chesimard, who is now known as Assata Shakur.  She is a fugitive convicted of first degree murder of State Trooper Werner Foerster during a shootout on the New Jersey turnpike in 1973. She escaped prison and has been given asylum in communist Cuba. Shakur has been on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list since 2013.

The following is part of their agenda:

We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead. …  We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege and uplift Black trans folk, especially Black trans women who continue to be disproportionately impacted by trans-antagonistic violence. …

We build a space that affirms Black women and is free from sexism, misogyny, and environments in which men are centered.

So many organizations have given credence to the propaganda about how effective Black Lives Matter has become. They either join with them or get canceled for not believing as they do.

America’s history of slavery is real, and the impact it has on Blacks is profound and continues today. If you are not Black you can never completely understand their plight.  Not until Alex Haley’s Roots did the atrocity of slavery become real to me. We need to fix racial discord in America, but it must be done with love, not hate. History will never change, but revealing the truth can help us understand why we are so divided. Black Lives Matter manifestos are not the answer. The real solution must come from within each of us. We cannot allow the mindset of Black Lives Matter to bulldoze our minds into believing  a false ideology that is not true. We can’t continue with anger because of all the support BLM is receiving. Whether we agree with them or not, they have, and continue to  received funding from major corporations to keep them going. Their interpretation of reality is hitting the classrooms the hardest. This troubles me because I cannot ignore the propaganda that our grandchildren will receive. I pray that one day soon their agenda will be exposed and truth and  justice will prevail. Both Lemuel Haynes and Ben Carson overcame and excelled because of their belief in God. We cannot move forward without God. In the meantime I have made it my mission in life to accept all human beings as children of God.

My Prayer:

Dear Lord, help us to become more aware of why You are allowing us to go through this division in our country. Give us all a heart to love, and teach us to accept all races as one. You are the Father of us all, You love us all the same. Touch the hearts of the BLM leaders  and remove hatred and anger from all of us. Allow us to see the hurting hearts of men so that we can walk in Your direction. Amen.

 

 

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A Journey Through Lent

We are entering into our holiest season in the Catholic liturgical calendar. Lent is a time to prepare us for the glorious Resurrection of our Lord. On Ash Wednesday, I got up a little earlier to prepare for Mass. I carefully picked out a coordinating sweater and scarf because this day is sacred for me. Listening to the homily of Father Nan was especially rich food for my soul. Our priest spoke on how we are to prepare inwardly. He said, “The essence of Lent is a movement from the external life to the eternal space to make room for God.” These words stayed with me because they spoke of how God works in our soul. As I helped with the distribution of the Eucharist, I was fighting back tears of overwhelming joy. I thought of all the people who attended the service, souls searching for a fresh start in their spiritual journey. In my heart I want nothing more than to please God. In the natural this is a testing. The journey to draw from the waters of the deep wells can only be accomplished through our own faithfulness.

The Scenic Route

Whenever I’m driving with my daughter Sonja, she always takes the scenic route. I get a little irritated with this because I’m a freeway girl. Not Sonja – she takes her time getting to and from where she is going. “Mom, don’t you just love this house?” My reply is always the same, “No! why do you always take so long to get us home?” “Do you see that front porch? That’s exactly what I want for my house,” she adds. Though Sonja is my daughter, she will find her way to God in this manner. We are different in our walk because God created us this way. I cannot force my strong beliefs on her because she will drive in another direction. Our Son Mikos, on the other hand, is always questioning the doctrines of the Catholic Church. He is serving God under the Protestant umbrella. He is faithful and is the spiritual leader of his family. Both Mikos and Sonja are saturated in prayer, and I know that they pray as well. Their spiritual  journey is their own, and I come alongside of them, gently nudging them through prayer.

The Detours 

I cannot tell you how many unnecessary detours I have made in my journey or how I’ve felt a loss by my sinful behavior. Or the psychological warfare and games the Enemy plays with my head, causing me to feel spiritually inadequate. I can only refuel my spiritual perception through prayer and the Eucharist. Lent is a period of reflection; I look in the mirror and see not my face, but myself with ashes over my head, dressed in sack cloth. This is a time we resolve to practice humility, self-examination, and repentance. We are to be as John the Baptist to the world: his life’s journey was to lead others to Christ; he lived and died for the Gospel; he was the epitome of truth. From his mother’s womb, John the Baptist was obedient to his call.

44 For at the moment the sound of your greeting reached my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for joy.

The Mountain Roads

Years ago I attended a retreat in Lake Arrowhead.  I was driving a large Chevy Suburban and was not prepared for the challenge this mountain drive was going to be. In my inexperience, I drove with extreme caution and reduced my speed. I had no idea how many vehicles I was holding up behind me. Finally I turned into an area to allow others to safely pass. I counted 12 vehicles! Like prayer, going up the mountain to meet God comes with consequences. By being overly careful, I was unknowingly holding others back by controlling the flow of traffic on the road. We can’t do this because of our lack of experience. Not even God will force you to reach the top of the mountain. Our Lord will equip us for the journey, but it is through our free will that we accomplish these life journeys.

Prayer

“For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.”  -St. Therese of Lisieux

During Lent  three things are required of us: prayer, fasting and almsgiving. Prayer does not always come naturally; speaking for myself, it took several years of discipline to develop prayer as an everyday part of my life. I am constantly praying throughout the day, especially when negative thoughts creep into my mind. I usually pray a Hail Mary; this helps me go into deeper prayer. When I’m upset, it takes a lot more than a Hail Mary to get me back to the right spiritual direction. Many times I will open the Bible and ask God to give me a Word.  The Enemy attacks me because I am an intercessor, so I must always be aware of how the Devil works. If someone calls me for prayer, I am obligated before the Lord to comply. Reading Sacred Scripture helps us draw closer to God, and that is what we should always be doing.

Fasting

Years ago, when our children were in their teens, I could fast for many days. Nowadays I’m happy with fasting one day. Fasting is self-control; we master this by preparation. You can also fast from social media,  from watching your favorite television programs, or by giving up one or two meals a day. God recognizes our efforts and honors our sacrifices.

Almsgiving

When I was the head of a ministry feeding the homeless once a month, almsgiving was a routine part of my life. COVID-19 has changed all that. We serve by sharing God’s gifts with others; we give of our time and talents. As part of almsgiving, our Bible study group will pray the Rosary in front of Planned Parenthood during Lent.

My Prayer

Dear Lord, help us through these 40 days of Lent. Open our hearts and minds to draw closer to You. Speak to us through Sacred Scripture, and guide us on this Lenten journey. Train us to set aside special time for deeper prayer, and encourage us to give of ourselves to Your service. Help us out of any situation that would lead us astray, and make us more and more like You, Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

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Happy St. Valentine’s Week

First grade; I could not find any photos for the 3rd grade (still sporting the same hairdo)

How many of us can remember getting our hearts broken? Honestly this happened to me only once. I was never serious enough about any young men  to have my heart broken over. I learned a lesson about experiencing a broken heart in the third grade. I was alone in my pain because I was surrounded by too many brothers and sisters, and our mother was too busy to hear my sad little story. If I kept this in my memory bank it was for a life-learning reason. I am grateful to God for all my childhood memories because they have served into molding me in who I have become today. Through the good and bad, Jesus will always be my Valentine. My love story with Mike is that of two people whom God brought together forever. We are truly one; I see what he sees and we love each other unconditionally. That will never change. We are examples to our family on how to overcome any situations that the world throws our way. I always look to God for all my misgivings in life and continually pray for His guidance. I want to become the woman that God created me to be, but only through His special graces can I say, “Thank You for loving me, Lord.”

This is the true story of my one and only heartbreak:

She carefully sorted her Valentine cards, setting aside the one for her teacher. Just one card read, “Will you be my Valentine?” This card made her little heart patter with excitement. She was smitten by Joe, the smartest kid in her third-grade class. He was perfect in her eyes; even his crowded front teeth made her smile. No one in her family of eight knew that she would one day marry Joe. How could they understand?  Her four- year-old sister was too young to grasp these things, and her brothers, all three of them, would tease her to the point of tears. Her two older sisters thought of her as a mere child. There was only one person she could trust: her best friend Anita. Anita was petite in size, kind and sweet. Only she knew how this little girl loved Joe.

It was Valentine’s Day, the day she would know for certain if her true love would reciprocate. The bus ride to school seemed to take forever, and all she could think about was the cards she and Joe  would exchange. Her unspoken love was about to reach a new zenith, and this was a lot for an eight-year-old to bear. When she entered her classroom she quietly took her seat near the back of the room. They sat in alphabetical order, so she was always among the last ones. She wished her last name started with a “P” like Joe’s instead of a “U”.  All day long, during lunch and two recesses, she waited for the Valentine card from Joe. The art project that day was to make a holder for all the Valentine cards. She cut and pasted, and the end product was perfect for holding that one card from Joe. Fifteen minutes before dismissal, the teacher announced that it was time to exchange cards.  The girl’s eyes widened with excitement as she pulled her brown bag containing the Valentines. You could hear the giggles as all the children took turns in handing out their cards. It was Joe’s turn, and, as he came toward the little girl, she put her head down. This was it, she thought to herself; now I will know how much he loves me. The bell rang it was time to go home. She held that one card tightly in her hand and opened it. The card had a picture of a kitten holding a heart which read, “You are sweet, Valentine.” What! No! No! This was not happening! She looked over at Anita.  Anita was smiling, almost gloating. The same card, purchased at Woolworth’s, that she set aside for Joe was in the petite hands of Anita! Joe loved Anita, not the little girl. She wanted to cry so badly that it hurt; but she remained strong. The bus ride home was torture, and sitting next to Anita added to her heartbreak.

Yes, this is my first memory of Valentine’s Day. I have no idea what became of Joe, but I do remember that he broke my heart that day.

 

St. Valentine

Valentine’s Day

This year  no Valentine cards will be permitted in the elementary schools in our district because of COVID-19. I loved this holiday in grammar school, and our mother always made sure we had Valentine cards to pass out to our friends. Hopefully this holiday will be in full force next year. My poor eight-year-old grandson Jacob will  miss Valentine’s Day. He will never know who secretly loves him.

Valentine’s Day has become a huge marketing ploy. The statistics are staggering; over $22 billion has been spent annually on this holiday. The average consumer will spend $142 on the Feast Day of St. Valentine. Remember that it is about love and not the gifts. (I have to keep repeating that to myself.)

According to a survey from Compare Cards, which polled over 1,000 people in the United States about Valentine’s Day, this is the breakdown:

Gen Z (ages 18 to 23): $82

Millennials (24 t0 39): $113

Gen X (40-55): $293

Baby Boomers (56 to 74) :$55

St. Valentine

St. Valentine of Rome is the patron saint of love, young people, and happy marriages.  St. Valentine was put in prison by the Emperor Claudius for marrying couples and professing his faith in Jesus. While he was in prison he healed a jailer’s daughter of blindness. On the day of his execution he left the girl a card signed “Your Valentine.” This is the reason we exchange Valentine cards.

My Prayer:

Dear Lord,  You are love; without You, our hearts would be unfulfilled. Teach us to love as You love. Send us special blessings on St. Valentine’s Day. Allow us to smell the sweet fragrance of Your Holy Presence. Bless all who have lost a loved one and fill the void with Your love. Thank You for Your unconditional love that brings unity to all. Amen.

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