DR. MAYA ANGELOU DECEASED @ 86

maya
Dr. Maya Angelou, one of my favorite poets, died yesterday, apparently in her sleep. Her caretaker found her. She wsa86 years old. I received an email from Tyler Perry (I’m on his mailing list) and this is what he had to say:

Hey TJ,

There have only been a handful of people in my life who have moved me, inspired me, encouraged me, and helped mold the man I am today. One of those people would be Dr. Maya Angelou. She was a woman I called “friend”.

Her words and her spirit are too powerful to leave this earth with her passing. Her legacy and poems will take wings, forever landing at the foundation of anything that betters humanity. Dr. Maya Angelou will live on in all of us who called her a phenomenal woman, phenomenally.

She is loved and will be missed.

Tyler

Personally, one of my favorite poems by Dr. Angelou is her inaugural poem for Former resident Bill Clinton. Check it out below:
Inaugural Poem

Maya Angelou
20 January 1993

A Rock, A River, A Tree
Hosts to species long since departed,
Marked the mastodon.
The dinosaur, who left dry tokens
Of their sojourn here
On our planet floor,
Any broad alarm of their hastening doom
Is lost in the gloom of dust and ages.

But today, the Rock cries out to us, clearly, forcefully,
Come, you may stand upon my
Back and face your distant destiny,
But seek no haven in my shadow.

I will give you no more hiding place down here.

You, created only a little lower than
The angels, have crouched too long in
The bruising darkness,
Have lain too long
Face down in ignorance.

Your mouths spilling words
Armed for slaughter.

The Rock cries out today, you may stand on me,
But do not hide your face.

Across the wall of the world,
A River sings a beautiful song,
Come rest here by my side.

Each of you a bordered country,
Delicate and strangely made proud,
Yet thrusting perpetually under siege.

Your armed struggles for profit
Have left collars of waste upon
My shore, currents of debris upon my breast.

Yet, today I call you to my riverside,
If you will study war no more. Come,

Clad in peace and I will sing the songs
The Creator gave to me when I and the
Tree and the stone were one.

Before cynicism was a bloody sear across your
Brow and when you yet knew you still
Knew nothing.

The River sings and sings on.

There is a true yearning to respond to
The singing River and the wise Rock.

So say the Asian, the Hispanic, the Jew
The African and Native American, the Sioux,
The Catholic, the Muslim, the French, the Greek
The Irish, the Rabbi, the Priest, the Sheikh,
The Gay, the Straight, the Preacher,
The privileged, the homeless, the Teacher.
They hear. They all hear
The speaking of the Tree.

Today, the first and last of every Tree
Speaks to humankind. Come to me, here beside the River.

Plant yourself beside me, here beside the River.

Each of you, descendant of some passed
On traveller, has been paid for.

You, who gave me my first name, you
Pawnee, Apache and Seneca, you
Cherokee Nation, who rested with me, then
Forced on bloody feet, left me to the employment of
Other seekers–desperate for gain,
Starving for gold.

You, the Turk, the Swede, the German, the Scot …
You the Ashanti, the Yoruba, the Kru, bought
Sold, stolen, arriving on a nightmare
Praying for a dream.

Here, root yourselves beside me.

I am the Tree planted by the River,
Which will not be moved.

I, the Rock, I the River, I the Tree
I am yours–your Passages have been paid.

Lift up your faces, you have a piercing need
For this bright morning dawning for you.

History, despite its wrenching pain,
Cannot be unlived, and if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.

Lift up your eyes upon
The day breaking for you.

Give birth again
To the dream.

Women, children, men,
Take it into the palms of your hands.

Mold it into the shape of your most
Private need. Sculpt it into
The image of your most public self.
Lift up your hearts
Each new hour holds new chances
For new beginnings.

Do not be wedded forever
To fear, yoked eternally
To brutishness.

The horizon leans forward,
Offering you space to place new steps of change.
Here, on the pulse of this fine day
You may have the courage
To look up and out upon me, the
Rock, the River, the Tree, your country.

No less to Midas than the mendicant.

No less to you now than the mastodon then.

Here on the pulse of this new day
You may have the grace to look up and out
And into your sister’s eyes, into
Your brother’s face, your country
And say simply
Very simply
With hope
Good morning.

HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!!!

President Barack Obama made a surprise visit to the troops in Afghanistan to thank them for their service. Their sacrifice to keep this country, The United States of America, safe is certainly unmatched. Though there have been attempts made by other countries to cause us harm, we have not had to deal with the devastation that is seen in a lot of countries. Thanks first of all to God but also to the people who sacrifice their lives daily to keep us safe. Have a safe and HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY!

SHOULD CHRISTIANS DRINK?

Should Christians drink alcohol? That is a question that I heard on a Christian Radio Station several weeks ago and it has been the subject of conversation for years. I am not the true and righteous judge but many have weighed in on this controversial topic. I remember being in church one Sunday morning when a well-known pastor told the congregation that he absolutely did not see anything wrong with a Christian having a drink. A now deceased friend of mine responded to what the pastor said by saying “I heard what the pastor said but for me, when I sip… I slip”. I thought that statement was poignant. I have another Christian friend who told me that she used to drink and she would sometimes go to parties that her older brother would have. She said that she never hesitated to have a daiquiri or two at the party. She said that one day she spoke to her brother about going to church and he politely told her that he would not go because she was not much different than anyone else because she was still getting drunk at the parties just like everyone else. She said that she immediately stopped drinking because she felt that it messed up her ability to minister to other people. You’ve got to weigh in and tell me what you think about this topic.
This is what happens when Christians drink.
twyla
Recently in the news rapper/pastor Mase’s wife, Twyla was arrested for DWI. She blew a .14, almost twice the legal limit. Mase has since banished his wife from preaching at this church and he has filed for divorce. There are reports that say that the drunken driving incident was the last straw for him. Apparently she had been preaching that “drunkenness is a sin”.
Also, check out this article that I found on CBN.com

CBN.com — The Bible says that “wine is a mocker, intoxicating drink arouses brawling” (Proverbs 20:1). The Bible also says, “Woe to him who gives drink to his neighbor, pressing him to your bottle, even to make him drunk” (Habakkuk 2:15). Yet the Bible does not say that drinking a glass of wine or beer, or a cocktail with dinner, is a sin. Drunkenness is a sin, forbidden by the Bible, but having one drink may not be wrong.
Is drinking alcohol wrong? I do not drink alcoholic beverages for one major reason: My conduct might cause someone else, who is weak, to stumble. The apostle Paul established a rule of conduct that I think is very good. He said he would not eat meat or drink wine or do anything else which would cause a weaker brother to stumble (see Romans 14:14-21).
In a country where there are at least twenty million problem drinkers, and millions of others who use alcohol to excess, Christians just cannot stand by and say, “I can drink alcoholic beverages because the Bible does not say not to.” My conduct should be governed by the law of love. If I love my brother, I will not cause him to stumble and be offended. I personally refrain from drinking alcohol for that reason.
There is another reason for not drinking. The believer’s body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. It is hard to think that we could pour liquor into the temple of God without defiling it. Liquor destroys blood vessels and brain cells. Long-term consumption of alcoholic beverages can cause cirrhosis of the liver, lead to delirium tremens, and make for habitual alcoholism.
It is also very difficult to think that anyone could worship God with his mind befogged by drinking. Even one ounce of liquor can begin to bring on intoxication. Two or three ounces can make a person legally drunk. Half of all the traffic deaths in the United States are caused by people who have had at least one drink prior to driving.
To take our money, our lives, and our bodies, all of which belong to Jesus, and subject them to a state of intoxication can hardly be said to glorify the Lord or be an act of faith.
Some would raise the issue of what Jesus did when He changed water into wine. In ancient Israel there was almost no alcoholism, and there is little problem with it in Israel today. But in Jesus’ day, wine was used at meals and in ceremonial functions or for special parties. As a national matter, wine was not a problem for them. Their wine was probably a low-alcohol-content grape derivative, and it was more of a refreshing beverage than it was an intoxicant. Jesus lived in a society in which alcoholism was not the problem that it is in our day. So, for Him, in the context of that culture, wine was all right. But for us in America today, alcohol is not all right.

IT IS WELL…

Thanks to loyal reader A. Renae for sending me this. When I heard the first note, it gave me a sense of peace that is inexplicable. Too often we fail to realize the peace we have when we place our confidence in God and not in ourselves (temporal things). here’s a great peace in knowing that he has IT ALL in HIS hands and HE alone….. is in control. So,
IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL sung by one of the greats, Mahalia Jackson.

PLAYING CHURCH PART 2

SHOW ME THE MONEY
C’mon people, we’ve got to do better!!! I heard about this article last night on the radio and I simply could not believe it. A North Carolina Church is now charging admission. I really wonder who would pay to go to a church when there’s a church almost on every street corner and isn’t the WORD free. Perhaps the pastor need to consider the fact that the church that he’s pastoring…wait for it………… is not supposed to be operational. People were calling in to the radio station and letting it be known that there is no way that they would pay to go to a church. Check out the article below and let me know what you think.
Winston-Salem, NC – A Carolina church has introduced a controversial plan to charge an admission fee to attend their Sunday morning service. Mount Ebenezer Baptist Church revealed the fee was a direct result of church members and visitors not giving enough offering to keep the doors open.
The Church’s pastor, Rev. James Lamont, spoke with local news station WSTV saying, “We realize charging members to attend church would not be a popular decision, however it was necessary to remain operational. There is a lot that goes on to make these services happen. Without a sufficient amount of donations, the church would have to operate at a loss. We are in the business of saving souls, but we are also a business. Salaries and bills have to be paid. Saving souls ain’t cheap.”
Members of Mount Ebenezer Baptist Church will be allowed to pay a discounted yearly membership fee ($60.00), while visitors will pay $10 at the door. The church says they will also offer a $25 family discounted admission fee (up to four family members). Entrance to the church will be free on all days except for Sunday worship service. Children under 12 will be allowed to enter the church without paying.
Reverend Lamont says the fee was made reluctantly, but after 6 straight months of having to operate the church with his own personal funds, it became necessary.

PLEASE… STOP PLAYING CHURCH!!!

Oh my goodness. I don’t know whether to laugh or cry after watching this video. Truthfully, I laughed because I just couldn’t believe that it happened like this; but it did. Here’s the set up: A pastor is preaching and he calls a young man up and the pastor begins to pray for the young man. The pastor then begins to cast demons out of the man when all of a sudden… well, you’ve got to see the rest for yourself.

BILLBOARD WINNERS…

Michael Jackson made an appearance at last nights Billboards Music Awards… by means of a hologram. His new cd XSCAPE is now number one in 50 countries. Michael!!!!!!!! Michael!!!!!!………..

Listed below are all of last nights winners:
Top Artist
Justin Timberlake
Top New Artist
Lorde
Top Male Artist
Justin Timberlake
Top Female Artist
Katy Perry
Top Duo/Group
Imagine Dragons
Top Billboard 200 Artist
Justin Timberlake
Top Hot 100 Artist
Imagine Dragons
Top Digital Songs Artist
Katy Perry
Top Radio Songs Artist
Justin Timberlake
Top Touring Artist
Bon Jovi
Top Social Artist
Justin Bieber
Top Streaming Artist
Miley Cyrus
Top R&B Artist
Justin Timberlake
Top Rap Artist
Eminem
Top Country Artist
Luke Bryan
Top Rock Artist
Imagine Dragons
Top Latin Artist
Marc Anthony
Top Dance/Electronic Artist
Daft Punk
Top Christian Artist
Chris Tomlin

COUNSELING GONE WRONG?

Check out this story about a marriage counseling session gone wrong. Somebody is crazy or someone said something wrong… I guess.
Via NBC2—
Deputies arrested a Port Charlotte man over the weekend following a marriage counseling session performed by the family’s pastor. Jeanwell Napolean, 50, is accused of stabbing his wife several times in her left inner bicep, middle abdomen and lower back after she called her pastor to come over for some counseling. “She said, honey I love you! And he said, honey I love you too,” said Andre Dalleman, the couple’s counselor who is also a Deacon at Eben-Ezer Church in Port Charlotte. When deputies arrived to their house on Truval Terrace in Port Charlotte, they saw several people on the ground in their front lawn, including the victim who was bleeding. They transported Marie Napolean to Bayfront Memorial by EMS then she was Bayflighted to Lee Memorial. Dallemand says he was in their house before the stabbing happened and that Jeanwell Napolean wasn’t acting angry at all, although he kept talking about how Marie was going to leave him. Another family friend, Cherisma Bordes, was called to the house, and when she arrived, that’s when Jean seemed very upset and said his wife was cheating on him. “I didn’t expect anything like this to happen because she was caressing him talking about love,” said Dalleman. That family friend then needed to move her car so the pastor could leave. When that happened, the family friend heard screaming from inside the home. She went inside and Marie was screaming frantically and had blood stains on her shirt. Bordes said she saw Jeanwell Napolean holding a butchers knife to his stomach area –