CELEBRATING BLACK HISTORY MONTH

FEBRUARY - BLACK HISTORY MONTH

A RAINBOW IN HER CLOUDS

Maya Angelou is the most inspirational writer that ever lived, in my humble opinion.  She lived through horrific circumstances early in life, yet she rose above it all – and more to the point, she wrote the survival manual for the rest of us!

The first volume in Dr. Angelou’s autobiography, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, is a poignant and poetic account of the author’s life until age 17.  The title was chosen for the caged-bird image that Lawrence Dunbar used in his poem “Sympathy”.  The book honestly reveals the cruelty, indignity and injustice that confined African-Americans in the 1930’s & 1940’s…  the cage… but also celebrates black people’s spirit, humor and courage.  I recommend you read this book if you are in an abusive relationship or know one who is.  There are some upsetting personal incidents, including rape, racial prejudice and stories of urban life, so may be too disturbing for preteens.  Dr. Angelou also wrote the screenplay for the 1999 movie adaptation of the book.

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Do you believe that Barak Obama is the first African-American President?  I disagree…

Abilene, Kansas is about 90 minutes from Wichita.  From the time I was a child I’ve visited the amazing Eisenhower museum and library.  The grounds are so beautiful and there’s a serenity there that I can’t really explain.  It’s particularly beautiful in the spring and summer months – so quiet except for the birds chirping in the trees – such a lovely place to meditate and think about the past and the future of America.lib-eisenhower-lHow much do you know about Dwight David Eisenhower?  He was a general and then became President of the U.S. in 1953 and served until 1961.  I’ll bet there’s something you did not know.  Did you know that his mother was bi-racial?  Yep.  When I hear people say that we have the first African-American President in Barak Obama, it makes me cringe.  People don’t study history anymore apparently because that’s simply not true.  We’re still waiting for the first African-American President.  Could it be Dr. Ben Carson?  Hmm…  time will tell.eisenhower-FB-mulattoEisenhower’s mother, Ida Stover Eisenhower was a mulatto.

Born in Mount Sidney, Virginia, her original name was Elizabeth Juda according to baptismal records.  She was the only daughter of Elizabeth Ida Judah Link and Simon P. Stover.  Her mother died when she was five years old.  Her maternal grandparents, William Link and Esther Black Link took her in.  William died in 1879 and her maternal uncle and aunt, William J. Link and Susan Cook Link raised her at their farm.

They did not believe girls should be educated, but encouraged her instead to memorize the Bible.  She ran away when she learned she could not enroll in high school.  When she turned twenty-one, she joined two of her brothers Stover who had moved to Kansas.

Stover graduated from high school at age 19 and taught for two years before entering Lane University, where she met her future husband, David Jacob Eisenhower, of German and Swiss ancestry.  The two were married on September 23, 1885 in Lecompton, Kansas on the campus of their alma mater.  The family was always poor, even though David was a college-educated engineer.

In the 1890’s, Eisenhower left the River Brethren Christian group, and joined the International Bible Students, which would evolve into what is now known as Jehovah’s Witnesses.  The Eisenhower home served as the local meeting hall for the Bible Students from 1896-1915 but her sons never joined the movement.

When their son, Dwight, decided to attend West Point it saddened his mother.  She felt that warfare was “rather wicked,” but she didn’t overrule him.

In 1945, Eisenhower was named Kansas Mother of the Year.

“Many such persons of her faith, selflessness, and boundless consideration of others have been called saintly. She was that—but above all she was a worker, an administrator, a teacher and guide, a truly wonderful woman.”  – Dwight D. Eisenhower

ida-stover-mulattoIt’s entirely possible that Eisenhower was not the first President with African-American roots.  In years past these things were not necessarily made part of public record.

The Eisenhower’s had six children – and what if they had not???  We would not have had such a good 34th President of the United States, right???  I LIKE IKE!!!  🙂

 

 

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MARK 10:27 ON 10/27

TL MARK 10 27 ON 10 27

Jesus looked at them and said, “It’s impossible for people [to save themselves], but it’s not impossible for God to save them. Everything is possible for God.”  – Mark 10:27

I humbly accept God’s plan of salvation for me…  do you accept His plan of salvation for you?

At this time of year, I like to read the story about the little girl who was asked what it’s like to be a Christian.  It’s so cute and so TRUE!  Do pumpkins pick themselves?  Do they wash the dirt off themselves?  They certainly do not cut open the top and scoop out all the yucky stuff – along with the seeds of doubt, hate and greed.  No – they do not do that for themselves.  This is a perfect example of what it’s like to be a Christian!  I like the part about how God puts HIS light in us and we shine for all to see!

BEING A CHRISTIAN

Have you tried to save yourself?  Have you leaned on fame, wealth, success or a particular lifestyle instead of a life in Christ?  So many times we dive head first into things here on earth that give us a temporary sense of self-worth.  Happiness comes over us but it doesn’t last.

There is a Jesus-shaped hole in everyone’s heart – and once you discover Him and allow Him to save you, the things of this earth will continue to appeal to you.  Maybe this next thing will fill the void…  but it won’t.  As the old gospel song says, ONLY JESUS CAN SATISFY YOUR SOUL.

I hope that today you will consider a permanent relationship with Jesus Christ.  When you are saved by Him – it’s forever and His light will shine in your heart and life.

Today serves as a little reminder to those of us who belong to Christ that we did not save ourselves – and it’s one more opportunity for those who have not yet accepted Him as their personal Savior…  please consider having a talk with Christ today.  I pray you are in the ark of safety today.  I love this beautiful poem by Lucinda Berry Hill.  How could we be anything but humble before our wonderful Lord and Savior?  After all, He loved first!

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Have a BEAUTIFUL Christ-centered day!  🙂

 

 

IRON SHARPENS IRON… FRIENDSHIP

IRON SHARPENS IRON

I don’t pay attention to how many people follow this blog, but if you are reading this post today, I humbly ask for your prayers on behalf of my talented friend, Lucinda Berry Hill.  We don’t know what the problem is, but we most definitely know WHO the Great Physician is…  Amen!

I want to share this bit of writing with you today.  I read it and had two thoughts:

(1) This is a long piece, and (2) I must share this even if it’s not in the form of a design.

Please read and pray.  Thank you!

MY FIRST NIGHT IN THE HOSPITAL

Lucinda Berry Hill, author of “Coffee with Jesus”& “A Second Cup with Jesus” © 2015

I’m sitting in this hospital bed looking for a pen.

I asked for my phone, some number, and oh yes,

My glasses.

But how could I forget a pen and some paper?

I am a writer, after all!

So I pray.

I pray that God will help my daughter sleep.

That she won’t feel tears in her eyes like I am,

And wonder where they’re coming from.

But that He’ll give her peace and help her sleep.

I pray that my husband will be comforted.

I know being in this hospital must bring back memories

Of the last time he saw his beautiful mother.

I pray for the person out in the hall.

Whoever works a mop at 12:00 at night needs prayers.

How do I know it’s a mop?

I’ve been professional cleaning for over 27 years.

I know a mop when I hear one.

And oh, those trash bags!!!

So, I pray for them.

Maybe they’re paying for college,

Maybe their little ones are home in bed.

Maybe they like the night shift.

Praying for all possibilities out in the hallway.

I hear someone nearby faintly crying.

I pray for their comfort

And the comfort of their loved ones at home.

I pray for my mom, 400 miles away;

I know as a mom now myself, she’s hurting.

I pray for her comfort.

I pray that maybe my night in the hospital

Will reunite some estranged family members.

I wonder what’s going on with me.

Is God gonna make me better than I was when I came in?

Will I have my strength back,

Being able to live a better and more vibrant life than before?

And then I wonder,

If it were my time to go,

(I’m sitting by myself in a hospital bed, of course I’m gonna go there)…

And I say yes!

My daughter is my main concern,

And if I don’t have her covered,

I can rest assured my God does!

She couldn’t be in better hands.

I know she will have a beautiful life.

Maybe not with beautiful things and people,

But with God’s beautiful,

With love, joy, peace and hope!

And then “she” enters;

A pretty young girl coming to draw more blood,

Part of an every 2 hour cycle.

And she asks,

“Do you need anything while I’m here?”

I said, with a giggle, “Do you have a pen?”

She did and said I could keep it.

Good thing, because I had a lot to write about and then

I prayed the Lord would keep her in His hands also.

I did a lot of praying that night

For so many people I didn’t even know;

And when in pain

I sang with Jesus.

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Lucinda, this is my favorite writing to date!  You are in my prayers, sweet friend!  May God richly bless you!  ❤

 

 

SEPTEMBER IS BE KIND TO EDITORS AND WRITERS MONTH

SEPTEMBER IS BE KIND TO EDITORS AND WRITERS MONTH

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.  – Abraham Lincoln

Look – we are not perfect (God knows…) and we don’t get it right every time.  We are so very human, but we have the nerve to be vulnerable and stand up to criticism every single time we put the pen to paper – or rather when we finally allow someone to read what we’ve written.  If you think that’s easy to do, think again.

9-1 GIVE WRITERS SOME SLACK

A certain amount of backbone is essential to be a successful editor or writer.  As an editor, you are charged with making the writer’s work sparkle!  Once in a while you encounter a writer who denies they need any extra sparkle from the editor.  :-/  It’s a wonderful blessing to work with an author who is open-minded to suggestions you make.  Editors do their best work when they work with a writer who is flexible about their work.  Developing a mutual respect as you work together is so important.

Whether it is a song, poem or the great American novel, keep in mind that a writer pours everything into what they are trying to convey to the musician or reader.  Cut them some slack and ask yourself if you could do a better job.  Actually, if the answer is yes, maybe you should give it a go.

There are so many wonderful Christian authors out there who work hard to provide the highest quality books available.  They also had some amazing editors who gladly gave their work some extra sparkle.

The neat part about Christian writers and editors is of course, they follow Christ and His principles for living.  That means the books are truly a labor of love and written with much prayer behind them.  I believe that matters, don’t you?

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We write to and for God.  He is the source of inspiration and our writing is a way of affirming the inspiration He provides while sharing His loving kindness with others.

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If you know a great editor or writer, give them a shout-out today!  I know a little blog does not seem like a big deal, but I still have to put an idea out there to be accepted or rejected – and nobody likes rejection or for their blog to be ignored and unread – it seems to be the ultimate waste of time.  It makes my day to see that fellow bloggers LIKE something I post.  I do a funny little happy dance.  No, I won’t post a video.

So – be kind to us because we’re really doing the best we can.  Thanks – and thanks for reading!  🙂

 

 

ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

TL ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY (9)

 

7-21 THE HEMINGWAY WAY

On this day in 1899, Ernest Hemingway was born.

Nobel Prize winner Ernest Hemingway is seen as one of the great American 20th century novelists, and is known for works like A Farewell to Arms and The Old Man and the Sea.How amazing would it be to not only influence the reader, but change the way the reader thinks?  That is what Ernest Hemingway did and what all writers strive to do.  Have you ever heard of Hemingway’s theme?  This is such a great song!

One of America’s most honored and respected authors, he wrote with clarity and used a straightforward method of communication.  Regardless of background or education, the reader could easily understand and relate to his writing.  That’s an enviable talent to be sure.

Hemingway called Key West home for more than ten years.  I often think if I was surrounded by turquoise waters I could write well too.  It would be lovely to be left alone on a tiny island to write to my heart’s content.  I imagine him as a rugged and macho person, almost the exact opposite of the lovable and quick-witted Mark Twain.  Hemingway was genius – more serious to be sure.

 You can write any time people will leave you alone and not interrupt you. Or rather you can if you will be ruthless enough about it. But the best writing is certainly when you are in love. If it is all the same to you I would rather not expound on that.  – Ernest Hemingway

His novel The Old Man and the Sea was made into a 1958 film starring Spencer Tracy.

 You can’t get away from yourself by moving from one place to another.  ― Ernest Hemingway

Poem

The only man I ever loved
Said good-bye
And went away
He was killed in Picardy
On a sunny day.

– Ernest Hemingway

What is the Hemingway way?  It is very direct, not always the most flowery language, but short and to the point.  One really should prepare before reading Hemingway because he pulls no punches in his writing.  My wish is that his life had been as successful as his writing career.  He was married 4 times and it was said he would marry and then almost immediately fall in love with another woman, usually a younger woman.  He ultimately committed suicide because between alcohol and depression, he started on a downhill spiral and was unable to be as productive as he once was.

Today we celebrate the genius and all the wonderful stories he left for us to enjoy.  😀

 

GREAT POETRY READING DAY

TL 4-28 POETRY READING DAY

I love the classics, don’t you?

 

GLORY TO MY PARTNER

On this crisp Spring Sunday morning, I’m more than a little excited!  Today I want to introduce you to one of my favorite poets, Lucinda Berry Hill.  Since today is GREAT POETRY READING DAY , I’ve asked Lucinda if she would share a bit about herself with us.  Her inspirational devotional book, “Coffee With Jesus”, has touched the lives of so many people, including mine!  So without further adieu, I introduce the very talented author, Lucinda Berry Hill.

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I was born in Millbrook, NY. I currently live in Steelton. I have a 13 year old daughter named Charlotte. I was a single mom for 8 years. I married my husband, Charles and he adopted Charlotte. I’ve had a house cleaning business for over 25 years. I also do some relief care for full time caregivers. In between that and sometimes during I write!!
I started writing poetry when I was 12 years old. I hadn’t accepted Jesus as my Savior yet, but God used me anyway.  I wrote poems about and for Him now and then but it wasn’t until my mid 20’s that I started really writing for the Lord.I believe moving away from family and friends when I was 12 was my start in writing.  I had a sad heart then.  I met a girl who didn’t write poetry but she and her sister read a lot of poetry.  I can’t say that one person in particular inspires me.  It’s a God thing.  He brings people and circumstances into my life that touches me in some way and I have to write.  I’ve even written poetry about something I misread.  Someone said I will sing into you instead of unto you and off I went with a poem called “Into You.”I’ve had poems published in newspapers, read at weddings and at funerals. I’ve written poems about 9/11, the Oklahoma City bombing, the trapped minors incidents, the Sandy Hook school shooting and my most recent current event inspiration was the Boston bombings . I published my first book in 1997 my second one in 2001. And my third came out February of last year. Coffee With Jesus” is a weekly devotional. I used the poems that I’ve written and paired them up with the scripture that inspired them and came up with 52 weeks. I got the idea when a few people told me that they used my previous books as part of their devotional time.

Since the publishing of “Coffee with Jesus” I’ve written several more poems. Some with a touch of humor, inspired by a friend. I even have ideas for three more books.

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We all know how important it is to keep our bodies and minds in good shape to maintain good health.  A part we too often ignore, however, is the spirit – the soul.  This wonderful devotional book will kick-start your day the way it needs to be – on a positive and upbeat note.  It’s better than just plain ol’ coffee, it’s “Coffee With Jesus”.  I hope you will check it out!!!  ❤