Posts Tagged ‘Hope’

The Official State Greeting Finally Rings True: It’s a great day in South Carolina

July 9, 2015

Like the old song says, “What a Difference a Day Makes”. Here in Columbia, SC, despite expected high temperatures of 100 degrees, there seems to be a welcoming breeze in the air. People are walking around with shoulders thrown back and heads held high, proud to no longer be the laughing stock of the nation, nay the world. They’re smiling and nodding at people they meet on the sidewalks as if to say, “we did it!” People are pulling out the South Carolina t-shirts and bumper stickers, and once again displaying a sense of pride in this great state. Why the sudden change in attitude? Well at the heart of the matter was a taunting banner that mocked passersby daily. You can read all about it for yourselves right here.

 
Sadly it took the evil massacre of nine people as they worshiped in church to once again thrust the matter into the limelight. And thankfully the deaths of those precious souls were not in vain. Their deaths were the catalyst for something that thousands marching over the years could not accomplish. The South Carolina Senate as a whole is to be commended. They immediately got to the crux of the matter and surprised everyone with the quickness of their decision to have the offending banner removed from the state house grounds. The members of the House of Representatives battled it out, and after over 13 hours of merry-go-round tit-for-tat antics, they finally cast their collective vote to remove that banner. There were several standouts in the House debates, and I would daresay they were a big part of getting the matter resolved:

Best “Had it up to Here” Speech Ever!

Representative Jenny Anderson Horne
In the true rebel spirit, tempered with compassion, Horne broke it down to where
It was cystal clear. She challenged her colleagues to either put up or shut up with the war cry,
“You either care, or you don’t care!”
(Video Credit: YouTube)

Best “I Withdraw my Amendment Speech”

rick quinn
Representative Rick Quinn
His recalling of his own amendment opened the
door to the first glimpse of hope in the
13-hour debate.
(Photo Credit: Quinn’s Twitter Page)

Best “Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop” Spirit

Gilda Cobb HunterRepresentative Gilda Cobb-Hunter

In the face of ridiculous and pointless objections,
she refused to give up hope. She kept the group focused,
took every opportunity to call for a vote for a bill
to be passed removing that banner from the
state house grounds.
(photo credit: Cobb-Hunter’s Twitter Page)

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What does basketball have to do with second chances?

June 11, 2015
Why people are fascinated by LeBron James. (Photo Credit:  www.flickr.com)

Why people are fascinated by LeBron James. (Photo Credit: http://www.flickr.com)

I know it ain’t over until the fat lady sings. She’s probably just warming up, but LeBron James has got to be feeling pretty good right about now. The NBA Finals aren’t over, but the Cleveland Cavaliers are holding it out over the Golden State Warriors, 2-1 in the series. All three games have been won by less than ten points, indicative of the thrilling nail-biting competitions these games have been.

 
Since my all-time favorite player is Magic Johnson and he hasn’t played in a while, it has been a long time since I regularly followed professional basketball. But there’s just something quite compelling about James. Whether foolhardy, cocky or simply drained from playing on a losing team, James left the Cavaliers in 2010. He left blazes behind, but it wasn’t a blaze of glory. People were actually burning photos of him and his jerseys all over town due to the abrupt and seemingly cold-hearted way he left.

 
He surfed on over to Miami amidst dreams of a “super team” comprised of James, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade. Like many of the best laid plans this mighty threesome didn’t quite live up to all of the hype. Then James came back to Cleveland. Many fans still held a grudge over the fact that he’d left them in the first place. But the majority was just glad to have him back no matter how it happened. And then they started winning, and suddenly they are in the playoffs.

 
If the truth be told, I think the appeal of James’ journey goes far beyond sports. It reminds us all of that secret (or maybe not so secret) stupid decision we once made that we would give half of what we own to be granted a do over for, because we know it would have changed the trajectory of our lives. For many of us it may not seem like it’s possible to take a mulligan. However, when we see James getting his second chance with the Cavaliers, we can’t help but cheer to the top of our lungs because one day it just might be us getting that second chance in life. I thank you.

Ice cold; social media and Bobbi Kristina’s daddy

April 24, 2015

By now many of us have heard the tragic story of how Bobbi Kristina Brown was found facedown in a tub of water and now, months later is still fighting for her life. Lately I’ve been reading some comments by what I call Cyber Hope Stealers that are very disturbing.

Bobbi Kristina and her parents   (Photo credit: globalgrind.com)

Bobbi Kristina and her parents (Photo credit: globalgrind.com)

Bobbi Kristina has always been in the spotlight. Her parents Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown were so famous that it seemed the world, at least music lovers, waited with bated breath for the birth of their precious baby girl. Probably a major reason that the news of Bobbi Kristina’s tragedy hit the public so hard, is that we’d watched her parents grow up and become major successes in the entertainment field. We followed their whirlwind courtship and vicariously enjoyed their fairytale wedding in a New Jersey palace.

Family fun at that magical place.  ( photo credit: theurbandaily.com)

Family fun at that magical place. ( photo credit: theurbandaily.com)

Despite the maddening pace and pressures her parents faced in the music industry, there seemed to have been moments of pure family fun and laughter. After all, Micky and Minnie Mouse can make all of our troubles disappear, even if only for a day. To the very end of 15 years of marriage, Brown and Houston pledged their love to each other. But I’ll never forget asking a divorced friend years ago why she and her husband split when to onlookers they appeared so much in love. She said that it was sad to admit, but the truth is you can love someone with all of your heart, but just can’t live with them. And that appears to have been the case with the Browns. I believe they genuinely fell in love, but either outside forces, inner demons, or perhaps a combination of things, made them decide to end their marriage.

Joyful Father/Daughter reunion.  (photo credit:  celebrity.yahoo.com)

Joyful Father/Daughter reunion. (photo credit: celebrity.yahoo.com)

As is the unfortunate case with many divorces, young children, if parents are not careful, can suffer collateral damage. They are not quite mature enough to make sense of it all, and may feel torn between the two sides in a strange adult-like game of tug of war. In this case Bobbi Kristina and her father were estranged a number of years before the heartbreaking death of her beloved mother.

It was extremely encouraging when Bobbi Kristina posted the above pictures via Instagram on June 15, 2014. Last year on Father’s Day they rekindled their relationship and were determined to become close again. Bobbi Kristina, in addition to the pictures, posted the following words:

“I got a running start! 😋 love you daddy! #familyfirst! Xxo”

“(: my face says it all.. 🙂 love you daddy!” and “#HappyHappyFathersDay,”

I am just so thankful they reconciled when they did, because they had no way of knowing what would happen only seven months later. Unbelievably, just when things seemed to be looking up for this family that had suffered so much misfortune, things once again took a turn for the worst, and Bobbi Kristina is now in a rehabilitation facility.

Most people are posting words of encouragement to her family. But the disturbing comments I referenced earlier have been targeted at Brown for wanting to be at his daughter’s side now, when she is seemingly unconscious, when he missed a lot of her teen years. What an outrage. Many parents want to be in their children’s lives after the dissolution of a marriage, and try their best, but sometimes the situation is less than desirable depending upon schedules, bitterness between the parents, or other logistics. Let them that have executed perfect child visitation, absolutely 100% of the time, cast the first stone.

Even more outrageous are the comments dismissing Brown as an opportunist because he didn’t pull the plug on Bobby Kristina after the first few weeks of unresponsiveness. Are you kidding me?  This is his child. Less than a seven months ago they just got their relationship back on track. I think these cyber bullies should just leave Brown alone, concentrate on having the best relationship they can with their own children, and pray nobody ever compounds their grief with criticisms should they find themselves faced with a similar decision as a parent. I thank you.

As the old Gospel song says, “the only time you should look down on a man is when you’re picking him up.”  I join the many others who have posted lifting Bobbi Kristina, Bobby Brown, Cissy Houston (Bobbi’s Grandmother) and the rest of the family in prayer for strength during this trying time.

Keeping Easter Real

April 4, 2015
Hallelujah, Christ is risen!  (photo credit:  selaluonline.com)

Hallelujah, Christ is risen! (photo credit: selaluonline.com)

Easter brings different feelings for different people.  For some it means a time of great festivities as the whole family gathers around to break bread together. For others, isolated or even newly grieving, it may be a time of bittersweet memories of holidays past spent with loved ones no longer here with us on earth. The key to getting through the holiday sane and whole is to remember that there are no one-size-fits all ways to celebrate Easter.

Easter is a day when Christians recognize the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, three days after He was crucified on a cross to pay for the sins committed by mankind. Here’s a nice detailed guide about Easter and its history. It is actually a very spiritual holiday. But sometimes it is easy to get carried away by the trappings of what we think Easter is supposed to look like. Not every Easter dinner has to be reminiscent of a Normal Rockwell painting to be considered successful.

Do what makes you happy and makes you feel grounded. If you’re tired of going to gatherings where well-meaning aunties gently ask are you still single, don’t go.  If you are tired of being asked why your spouse once again couldn’t make the family soiree, tell them to call and ask him/her. If you’re hosting and can’t afford the high-priced honey hams, put on a huge pot of spaghetti and call it a day. Beautiful memories are created by the quality of the time spent laughing and conversing with family and friends, not by the expense of the food.  Above all celebrate Christ and each other, and let go of the negativity. You will fill much better having alleviated the pressure of living up to superfluous expectations.

Happy Easter and God Bless.  🙂

 

 

Remembering 9/11/2001: From Horror to Hope

September 11, 2014
9 11 photo
That horrific day changed life in America and touched us all in some way.  We never thought we’d live to see an attack on our own land.  And such a ferocious, deadly, and vicious attack.
But 13 years later we are still standing.  Amidst wars and rumors of wars we just have to keep praying and believing God that He didn’t bring us this far to leave us.  And we have to hold on to the fact that if God brought us through before, He’s the same God today that He was yesterday and will be forever more.
I just wanted to share this picture in memory of those who lost their lives on 9/11/2001, and in thanks to the many first responders who worked around the clock trying to rescue survivors.  And prayers to those who lost family and friends.

What the 2009 Inaugaration Means to Me

January 4, 2009

To me, this inauguration means don’t give up.  It means for all of the outrageous taxes, seemingly insurmountable bills,  and dead-end jobs masquerading as careers that I / We endure, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Continue reading more