My Faith Chronicles

To Whom It May Concern;

We met.

We met. And, over a hot cup of coffee, you told me how beautiful you think I am; how worth it.

You sat there, your brown face as innocent as three year old child, and you talked about how spiritual you are; how devoted.

All of this, over a cup of coffee.

You spoke of Jesus, and tribes, and Hebrews, so articulately that it almost distracted me from the chaos in your eyes. Almost.

I wanted to believe on every word that you said; wanted to have faith.

But Experience… She is a cruel teacher; a horrible mistress. And, my faith in her, kept me from having faith in you. And so, I waited. And, I watched. And, I listened. And, I learned.

All of this over a cup of coffee.

Time passed.

Time passed, and I got to know you a little better.

White teeth through a caramel smile, you just kept telling me how beautiful you think I am, a ploy to keep my attention. And, you smiled so much, I thought it wicked.

“Devils are spirits, too” they say.

And, a devil holding a Bible is still a devil.

So, when you started to treat me with ugliness, there was no surprise.

And, I hated that.

I hated that the knowledge I had of good, gave me knowledge of the presence of evil; that my devotion to God shined a light on your devotion to the perils, and the evils, of this world.

All of this over a cup of coffee.

Your pettiness, and your hate for your fellow man, it helped me.

It made me grateful that I don’t feel the way that you feel about the world. And, your ugly treatment of me forced me to look into the mirror and find the beauty in myself. The more you talked about hate, the more I sought out the truth about love. The more you spoke about differences, the more similarities I found in every man, and woman.

I wanted to have faith in you, I did. But, Experience wouldn’t let me. She kept pointing me towards what I knew of God; what I knew of prayer. She reminded me that her sister, Faith, is bigger than spoken words, and past hurts. She is a juggernaut!

And, I was moved by that. I was so moved that I tried to introduce you to them both. But, your blind devotion to the spirits that you inhabit wouldn’t allow you to step outside of your comfort zone. They kept you angry: angry at injustices that you’ve never even encountered. They transported you by ship in your mind, every day a slave brought over icy waters, to new land. And, you were reluctant to meet them. You were fine with not knowing either one. But, I needed them both. So, I left you there, stuck in past relationships, angry at what was.

We met. And, I realized that with Faith, I am strong; I am free. And for that, I thank you!

All of this over a cup of coffee.

Until our next cup;


Ah, You Forgot To Consider The Bridge

It’s a good morning for coffee, and for conversation.  There’s a coolness in the air that beckons for the perfect brew.  And, a stillness that relaxes me enough to just want to lean back, and have some grown up conversation.

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This morning,  I’ve been thinking about bridges.

The thing that gets us from one side, to another: a bridge.  The thing that carries us over deep water, and keeps us from becoming fish food: the bridge.

And, without even thinking very much about them, we  put all of our trust, at least for the few minutes that we need them, in the bridge.

And, to feel that secure with a thing is pretty awesome.  It never hurts for a thing to give us stability, and surety,  because with all that we do, and all that we see in this life,  dependability is something that we all need.

Bridges: the people that God places in our paths, in our lives, in a given season, because there will come a time when we will have to use their services, whatever they may be, to get from one end of our journeys, to the next.  We network, and we smile, sometimes nothing more than a fake grin, because we need somebody’s help to get us to the next level; to help us reach our destinies.  And, we never consider the bridge.

No two bridges are the same.  They may look like they are, but I assure you, they are not.  There are just too many variables.  There is the structure, itself.  Depending  on what it’s made of, a bridge can stand for years without maintenance.  But, what if the concrete that it is embedded in begins to crumble? What if the soil underneath the concrete for some reason gives way? What if the bolts that hold the bridge within the concrete begin to erode? It’s not like we are going to go up to a bridge, and ask it “Are you sure that you can carry me, and everything that I’ve brought with me, all the way across, and still be okay?”

We never consider the bridge.  But, God bless us, we should.

There’s an old expression that says  “never burn your bridges after they carry you across because you may need them to carry you back the way you came from.”  Yet, when dealing with each other, we fail to consider this simple old adage.

We pile it on, asking advice here, and crying on shoulders there.  We hock our wares, and expect the bridge’s full support.  And, the moment the bridge fails to deliver what we expected of them, not what they promised, but what WE expected of them, we either drop trough, and relieve ourselves on the bridge, as if the bridge means nothing, or we strike a match, and burn it down.

We never consider the bridge.

Still,  even after the fire, and the flood of urine, and feces, that we’ve left behind on the poor bridge,  we find ourselves in need of it again.  Only then, we find fault in the contrariness of the bridge.

The bridge is a hater, and just doesn’t want to see us succeed.  The bridge ought to understand that we need it, now more than ever, and support us, just because we think that we are somehow special in a way that warrants us treating things, and people any old kind of way, and still be allowed the proper support.


These are the idiotic things we tell ourselves to ease our own minds, and hearts; things we tell ourselves because we don’t want to admit that we misused the thing that stood when we couldn’t.   And, the task of finding another bridge endued with the same amount of strength that you needed before seems virtually impossible.

But, that’s how we learn.

As human beings, it is trial, and error, that teaches us what to do, and what not to do.  The problem is, some of us never learn.  And, when we happen upon another bridge, we get so excited, praising God for new bridges, while employing the same tactics with the new bridge, as we did with the old one.

We never consider the bridge.  But, God bless us, we should.

Because, if we have not learned anything from the burning, and defecation of the last bridge, the collapse of the new bridge may leave us not only dead in the water, but also, eaten by sharks.

Until our next cup;



Off To See The Wizard?

This morning, as I lay in the quiet darkness of my bedroom, I thought about how faith shaking it is to be connected to people who seem to have just awful hearts; people who see the world in various levels of me-me-me, never realizing what they are doing to you-you-you. Those kinds of people really burn my biscuits. And, I cannot stand a burnt up biscuit!

Once I dragged myself out of the bed, and got the coffee made, I sipped on a warm cup of java, and started thanking God for just keeping my heart in the right place; thanking Him for having heart enough NOT to treat people any kind of way. Still, some of things I see from fellow Christians had me shaking my head in pity. And, though I generally try not to be judgmental about the things people do, or say, I must admit, I get kinda judgmental because I know that a bad heart is not an attribute that Christ ever had.

It’s weird to me, I mean truly weird, to see cult like behavior in those confessing Christianity. “If they don’t live, dress, do, and think like I do, they must be ostracized; ignored.” That’s cult behavior, not faith.

Jesus could have dissed the woman at Jacob’s well(John 4, The Holy Bible), but instead He treated her with respect, and kindness, and offered her something better than what she came to draw from that well. Knowing she was not living right, unclean, unsaved, He still asked her for a drink. She wasn’t so much His opposite that He couldn’t drink from her cup. And, though He is the Messiah, she wasn’t too unclean for Him to not offer her a drink from a cup of “living water” so that she would “thirst no more”.

Some how, in my opinion, today’s Christians somehow missed that message. It is mind boggling, I tell you.

Today’s “Christians” ask for support, but offer none. They walk around with their heads, and noses in the air, acting like they’re better than the next. They snub those that they deem not good enough for their company, when the whole idea of “The Good News” is to SPREAD it. And, here’s the best part, they do all of this while saying, and convincing themselves into believing that “they love everybody; they hate no one.”

But, I say unto you, their actions are quite contradictory.

Today’s Christians are a very hot mess! They are on Facebook dang near casting spells without realizing it. “If you knew what I knew about God, you’d stop coming at me wrong. God will stop you from messing with me. Woe be unto you!” Whaaa?? You don’t know what God is gonna do! His thoughts are HIGHER; you’re petty, and lashing out because you can’t handle what you’re going through. Where is your faith, though?

But, I’m gonna tell you something that you may not like: If God is not changing your heart, if your heart has not become empathetic to your fellow man/woman, if your heart didn’t open so much to the message of Jesus Christ that you understand the love that He had for sinners, even as He hung dying on the Cross, that He asked His Father to “forgive them, for they know not what they do”, then perhaps you need to be on your way to Oz to seek out help from The Wizard. See if he can give you a heart, or something. Because, the Jesus I know wouldn’t act like that. And, if He truly dwells in you, you shouldn’t be acting that way either!

Until our next cup;


Kaepernick, and Politics, and Other Annoying Rantings

Raise your hand if you are sick of political rhetoric with your morning coffee!

Right here is where you’d see me with a cup of hot Joe in my right hand,  and frantically raising my left, because I am sick to death of all the mumbo-jumbo about who’s right, and who’s left.

Hold on…let me take a lil sippy-sip before I express myself.

Picture 19

You see, it’s not so much that everybody seems to be wildly upset about the polarizing events that plaque our society today.  It is the shear fakeness of it all.

Like, the Kaepernick situation with NFL.

As we all know, Colin Kaepernick chose to take a knee during the national anthem, which, by the way, I totally understand, and it left him “white-balled”, without a team; without a job, because freedom is only a real thing to those who created the myth of it’s existence in the united states.

Now, here’s what troubles me…and, it doesn’t make me question my faith, but rather makes me want to set it down for a few minutes so I can read some of y’all the riot act my way, instead of God’s way.

If y’all are so angry about what’s being done to Colin Kaepernick, why then are there still so many posts about the Cowboy’s being your favorite team, or Steeler black and yellow still waving at me from various car antenna as I ride down the street from day to day?  What is up with that?

All the undercover love is bull hockey!

One time, many, many moons ago, I dated this guy.  I mean, this guy poured love all over me.  He told me, daily, how much he felt for me.  He told me he couldn’t live without me.  He even went so far as to tell me that if he died, and I walked up to his casket, that all I had to do was to call out his name, and he would get up, and live again.  That’s how much he claimed to love me.   But, it was all behind closed doors.  You feel me?  When this guy was seen out on the club scene, it wasn’t with me.  You feel me?

So, how are you upset about what’s going with Kaepernick , and still keeping your heart married to the idea of supporting the NFL?  How does that work?

That’s Fake!

Now, let me talk to my white friends.

I get it.   Having a black President threw you for a loop.  How dare the black man take a seat in your White House, and not be intimidated by your presence there?  How dare he smile at even your worst behaviors?  How dare he not be niggerish?  He was supposed to turn into some ghetto, ill mannered, neck rolling, three snaps up waving fool at some point!  But, he didn’t.  And, you hated Barak Obama for coming across to you as arrogant.  He didn’t fit the mold that America tried to fit him to.  He broke stereotypes.  He made your men mad because many of you faired skinned beauty’s found him charming and irresistible when the myth was that all black men had an inherent desire to get, or ravish a white woman.  He didn’t do that.  He loved on his black queen.  He showed that black love exists, and is a real, lasting, beautiful thing.  He shattered the glass screens of everything you had been taught.  And, now you hate him.

You hate him so much that you were wiling to put this country at risk by putting his exact opposite in the seat of presidency as long as the new presidents skin looked like yours.  “Make America White Again”.    And, that’s your choice.  I dig it.  “For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction”…it’s physics/politics.

Here’s where you tripped me up, though.

Picture 20

How often have you told me that you “love” me?  Yet, since #45( we don’t say his name out loud like Beetlejuice) has been in office, your presence in my life is little to none.  We all know that in this life we nurture the things we want to grow.  Children? Nurture! Flowers? Nurture!  Dogs, and Cats? Oh Em Jee, we nurture the crap out of pets because we want them to grow, and learn, and know that they are loved by us on every level, no matter what color they are.  You see what I’m saying?

Stop it!  Just stop trying to play a player and keep your mess real!

If your love for me is contingent upon who is in the white house, it’s bogus, baby.  I have enough sense to know that.  And, so should you.  But you want me to understand, and accept your mess because, and get this, you know that I truly love you, without question, because of the love of God that I have on the inside.  And, I do love you.  Because that’s who I am.  But, there needs to be some real communication or we won’t have a friendship, or a fellowship, and I do not understand why that is so hard for you to understand.

Until our next cup;


Conflicted Much

This country, and its beliefs, are split right down the middle. Half of the country views the police, those who have vowed to serve, and protect our communities, as nothing more than socially sanctioned murderers. Others, believe they are simply doing their jobs.

And, if that’s not enough, half of the country believes that the color of a persons skin makes them more, or less, socially acceptable than others, while the other half believes it’s best to simply look the other way.

*sips coffee*

For me, it’s all so conflicting.

On July 4th, 1976, I remember sitting on the front porch of our family home in Dayton, Ohio, waving sparklers, and tiny American flags, paying homage to the freedoms, and liberties of this country.

“The Spirit of ’76” was the slogan I remember that season. I remember how proud I was to be an American; the importance of being proud. I remember the parades, and the fireworks, and what seeing them made me feel like. And, I remember how all the little kids in the neighborhood would come out dressed, and decorated, in various shades of red, white, and blue.

I loved it!

I thought I would always feel that way. There was no place like the USA. And, I could tell by the way the sky lit up with bursts of light, the BOOM BOOM BOOM of fireworks from street to street, neighborhood to neighborhood, everybody else felt the same way.

I never thought I’d see the country, this country, showing out the way it is now.

*another sip, please?*

I’m not ashamed to admit, I’ve had run ins with the police. A couple of times, I complied with their orders, and short of my own guilt, and anger, everything went over smoothly.

One time though, I was as innocent as a newborn lamb, and they decided to take me to jail anyway, based solely on the fact that I was the one who had any sort of criminal history.

In the back of that police cruiser, I kicked, and screamed, and I cursed the day. The more I writhed around, the tighter the cuffs got. And, that only made me act uglier.

When the officer pulled over the car, I wasn’t even smart enough to get scared. No, I wasn’t drunk, or high off my behind. I was pissed.

But, that officer was not a monster; not to me. He reached down in my purse(he had seen me put my Newport’s in there earlier), told me it was going to be okay while putting one of my squares between my lips, lighting it, and gently saying “Calm down.”

On the flip side, watching the police freely kill on camera, and literally getting away with what I view as murder, it makes me wonder how close I was to death by cop myself, and it makes me extremely grateful that I got away with my life.

Now, on the flip side of that, I cannot help but to think about the face of the entire country right now. No matter which side we sat on, whether democratic, or republican, this country has always given the appearance of class. We were the country to pattern yourselves after; the melting pot of the world.

Our First Ladies looked like they took High Tea, and smelled of Esteé Lauder. On cue, they smiled, and they waved, giving every little girl in the world something besides fairy tales to aspire to.

Actress/Model Vanessa Williams was stripped of her Miss America crown back in the ’80’s because nude photos came to light. No way did our America want to be viewed in that light. Now, we have a First Lady whose nudity is everywhere, and the country is perfectly fine with it?

Really? *sips coffee

Did the thought of the smell of Cocoa Butter being in the White House flip this country on it’s head?

Was having a POTUS with black skin really so bad that it pressured this country into turning away from everything it taught me to believe in?

I have to say, I have a problem with that. And, I don’t know how to feel.

What I do know is this: I am not built for hate. And, I struggle with feeling the same pride that I felt as a child. I want to love, and respect this country that drilled into my head, and my heart that “united we stand, and divided we fall.” The problem is, all I see is our division, and nobody with the feeling of dizziness; sick at the thought of falling.

Until our next cup;


Taking The Wrong Prong at the Fork In The Road

     Okay, Preachers, and Pastor’s, Prophets, and Prophetesses, I am gonna need some advice on this one.

     I can almost hear your collective advised counsel in my head right now.

     “You’ve got to forgive, seventy times seventy”

     “The battle is not yours, it‘s the Lord’s”

     Resist the devil and he’ll flee”

     “Be ye transformed by the renewing of YOUR mind.”

     “I went to do good, and evil was ever present.”

     And, the Word of God is something that I believe in, and respect. It is. 

     But, sitting here with my cup of coffee, and going over the incidents of the last couple of days, my heart is filled with anguish; I am teed off!

     Tell me, oh Sage’s of God’s Word, how to handle a situation where you’re doing all you can to do right, you’re trusting in the Word, you’re praying, and repenting daily, and someone gets to talking up under your clothes(for you young bucks, that’s when someone makes a derogatory remark about what’s going on in your private areas), calling you horrible, nasty, unheard of things, that would make even the most sexualized person stop, become shocked, and turn red?

     What do you do then?

      Ok, you sip on your coffee, while I put what I’m saying into context.  And, we’ll see where your opinions fall then.

     First, let’s start with the fact that whatever I do for someone else, is always done with my heart.  I don’t have much.  But, what I do have, I don’t mind giving. I feel like that’s what God expects of me; it’s what I’m supposed to do.

     Next, imagine going to do something to help one of God’s folks, one of the saints of the church, and they have another family member present who ain’t stud’n having a God on their side.

    You go on into their dwelling, after being invited in by the homeowner, and you begin to do what thus said the Lord: “Do unto others as you would HAVE THEM do unto you.” See, we all have to get old one day, we will all have some form of impairment, if we are blessed enough to live long enough to have to go through it.

     So, in spite of the fact that you know evil may be present, you go to help because, after all, “NO WEAPON”, right?

     Now, if you will, imagine hearing, out of nowhere I might add, a man saying “all you do is whore around! You wouldn’t be so tired and drained if you weren’t such a whore!” 

     Yes, clutch your pearls, and gasp! “Why, I neva!”

     They whisper it, though, because God forbid somebody sees them for who they really are: Fake, phony, and full of evil forces.

     And, as they are saying it, they are waving a crutch, or a stick in your face, posing a physical threat to you as well.

     Now, what if it wasn’t the first time? What if, as a woman, some jerky devil approached you with this kind of madness?  What if it was said, and done, to your wife, or daughter?

     Can you truly say that your first response would definitely be a Holy response?

     Because my response, even though I never said a curse word(progress), was not what I was raised to believe that “Holy” is. I went verbally off!

     It all, I think, depends on who you are, and what you’ve been through.

     Listen, the things that I’ve been through make me leery of, and in tune to, an abusive spirit. Like, the hairs on the back of my neck stand up when I’m close to a person who carries it.  And, in the back of my mind, I stand ready to correct their bad behaviors, because I have this thing in me that says “if I don’t check them, they are going to hurt me!” And, I don’t want to go through any abusive situation ever again in my life.

 So, there I stood, in full “The Color Purple” mode, screaming the words “Until you do right by your mother, everything you even THANK about gone crumble!”

     Whaaaa?? “Pull back! Chill out!” I tried to reel the old me back in. She wasn’t listening. She was tired of the mess!

     And, before I knew it, the screaming had nothing to do with me being called a whore,  because this man does not know me. He’s never been to my house, seen me outside of his mother’s home. So I realized, I couldn’t possibly care any less about what this man thinks of me. But, I care very much about how he treats that old lady. So, he opened Pandora’s box, and I dug in it, and I dug in it, praying to get to “Hope”.

     Hope was lost for that moment though. I had shown out, scared the bejeezus out of the woman I had come to help, and now I had to leave, taking all the blame.

    Blaming myself, hurt in my heart from just trying to do right, worrying that God has forgiven me a thousand times over, and this time He may not: what I felt was overwhelming.

     It still is!

     This time, as opposed to any other, one variable changed.

     God had someone call me, and after I explained to him the circumstance, he apologized for the guy, told me to pray, and let it go. This time, I wasn’t standing out on a weakened branch alone. Someone was there to take my hand, and pull me back, where I could stand, sure-footed. And, I am so grateful.

     But, for me, in all my PTSD-ness, and my shell-shocked-don’t-make-any-sudden-moves-or-noises-around-me-ness, this could be a recurring issue.  And, that just makes me ill to even think about.

     So, tell me, please, what would you do with an issue like that? Because, while leaning on the Word of God, and praying without ceasing, is what is drilled into some of us from early childhood, we are left with the thought that our humanity, our feelings, our hearts, and our minds, don’t have any real place in the body of Christ. 

     And, I refuse to believe that. It all matters.

     Until our next cup;




On The Idea of Soul Food

     In 1977, I sat at the oval shaped wooden table that sat dead center of our family kitchen, and I watched my mother prepare her church famous potato salad. 

     It was an early Sunday morning, somewhere around six a.m.  Momma was sipping on a cup of decaf(which could interfere with the classic taste of the recipe), so she had commissioned me to be her personal taster. 

     “Taste this.  I need to know that there’s not too much mustard.” She told me.

     I was never one to do anything without questions, and understanding. So, while leaning in to nibble off of the plastic fork that she had gotten from her stash underneath the bar area that she used for storage, I asked her “Why?”

     “Too much mustard, and it’ll be too salty” she said with a roll of her eyes.

     I took a taste, and it just seemed to melt against the warmth of my ten year old tongue.

     “Eeeeyumm!” I said, my eyes no doubt rolling in the back of my head from sheer pleasure.

     It was perfection, I tell you. The creaminess, and the fluffiness, of that potato salad made me want to learn more about what she did in that kitchen. So, like a magician’s assistant, I let her try out every kitchen trick she had on me.

     Even then, I had an understanding of the importance of passing down information, and knowledge, generationally.  Back then, our parents, our elders, passed down what they knew because they understood that what they knew, was all they had, besides Jesus.  

     And, if nothing else, they wanted to make us good spouses, and have us be able to feed our families, even if what we had to feed them wasn’t very much.

“Food for the body is not enough.  There must be food for the soul”

                      -Dorothy Day

     And, they kept us in church, didn’t they? These parents of ours, children of the children of the children who were raised by slaves, passed down to us the only comfort food for the soul that they knew: The Word of God.

    “Man cannot live by bread alone” they would preach out over wooden podiums.  “But by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God!”.   And, this was a definitive declaration; something agreed upon by all.  This was part of a recipe for salvation, passed down generationally, because it was all they knew.  God was all a lot of old school parents had. So, passing down knowledge of Him was about way more than church.  It was about leaving their heirs with something more valuable to them than goods, and wares. It was about a legacy of love, and finding peace.  It was about eternal life. 

     With all this is mind, I wonder why we are so quick to get in the kitchen and recreate grandma’s recipe for peach cobbler, taking every measure to recreate it perfectly, yet we mock, and downplay grandma’s recipe for holiness, and success in the church.

     “They were too tough!” I hear people say.  “Oh, it don’t take all that! Those old saints were trippin'” some of us declare. Yet, looking back to those old saints, they were far better structured, much more prepared, and way less likely to jump in front of a crowd of people declaring themselves as prophets, or psalmists, or gods. They added humility to the recipe of salvation because their cookbook(The Holy Bible) told them to.  

    And now, in 2017, you want the ones to whom this recipe was passed down to leave out ingredients, or add something inorganic to a recipe that’s worked for years? Does that sound logical to you?

     The recipe is the point. It is a connection to everyone that came before you.  It pays homage to the struggle of being without, the idea of coming together, and the necessity of being able to follow simple instruction in a world without structure. The recipe is important.

     And, if my mom had have left out one ingredient in her potato salad, it wouldn’t have been the same. It would’ve been edible. But, it wouldn’t have been perfection on that plastic fork in 1977.  If she had been careless in her preparation, I wouldn’t be a boss in that kitchen right now. I can appreciate that. 

     We live in a culture today where everybody who thinks they have obtained a lil knowledge wants to take that lil bit of knowledge, and bash in the church.  And, it’s ridiculous.

     We forget what they had to endure just to give us hope for the future.  We judge them, and talk about them without the understanding that the church, and God’s Word, was all they really had.  Without it, they would have failed. 

     We bash the church for not standing up against political issues, for not coming out to march, and walk, and scream at police, and lawmakers, about issues in the black community, without realizing that they were never taught to.  It wasn’t a part of the recipe.  The recipe called for prayer, and supplication.  That’s what they knew.  And, that is what they passed down.  

     Learn to appreciate the meal for what is.  You want to tweak the recipe in your own house, have at it.  But don’t bash the church. The recipes that they left us, to them, were invaluable; it was their golden goose, a key to Heaven.  And, they thought you were worth it. They thought you would appreciate it someday.  Don’t prove them wrong.

     Until our next cup;