“A Letter To Drew Brees”

Dear Mr. Brees,

I am a huge football fan, and–although I am a NY Giants fan, I have always admired your skills and abilities on the field. I had respected you as a person as well. However, while I still respect you, I am very disappointed in you in light of your recent comments about not tolerating anyone who “disrespects the flag” [by kneeling in silent protest when the National Anthem is played].

You fail to see that these protests are not, nor have they ever been, about “disrespecting the American flag”! Mr. Brees, you mentioned that your grandfathers served our country and that’s why the flag means so much to you. May I remind you that your grandfathers probably served alongside Black men? Do you realize that Black men served, and continue to serve, a country that views them as “less than human”, as “thugs”, as “a threat”, as a menace to society??? Yes, your grandfathers served our country. But, so did my father and my uncle–and my Dad is a Black man who still, at 94, feels the affects of racism (my uncle has passed on and is in heaven)!

As far as “disrespecting the flag”, well, let’s delve further into that, Mr. Brees.

The “Pledge Of Allegiance” is as follows:

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America. And to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”.

Mr. Brees, let’s break down some of the phrases in this Pledge:

“One nation, under God”: this country is NOT one nation under God– in fact, this society seems to be trying to remove God and any semblance of godly values completely out of the picture. Therefore, “one nation under God” is a lie!

“Indivisible”: this country is more divided than it has ever been– and we have a leader in the White House who seems to enjoy fueling that division! (Even many members of his own party are regretting putting him in office–that says a lot, don’t you think?) Therefore, “indivisible” is a lie!

“With liberty and justice for all”: To me, this is the most blatant lie of all– because, clearly, there is NOT liberty and justice for all people; there’s only liberty and justice for SOME, and let’s face it–most of that “some” are people who like YOU, Mr. Brees! When a Black man gets labeled a thief while he’s only going for a jog, then gets shot and killed, that is not justice for all! When another Black man gets thrown to the ground while in handcuffs, then has a police officer kneel on top of him with his knee in this Black man’s neck for close to 9 minutes–while this Black man is crying out for his mother and saying he can’t breathe–and that Black man ends up dying, that is not justice for all! ( I can’t possibly name all of the Black men and women who have been unjustly targeted and harmed or killed by the police–the list is too long!)

Mr. Brees, I can only assume you fall into one of three categories:

  1. You can’t see that it’s not about disrespecting the flag, because you have been living in a bubble all of your life.
  2. You can’t see that it’s not about disrespecting the flag because you DON’T want to see the injustice of racism because it makes you uncomfortable.
  3. You DO see the injustices of racism, but you just don’t care about the pain and trauma of anyone who doesn’t look like you.

I don’t know which category you fall into. But I do know this: if YOU continue to place your hand over your heart and recite the words to the Pledge Of Allegiance–knowing how things really are in this country– then every time you recite that pledge, you are lying, Mr. Brees! And I believe THAT is more disrespectful to the American flag than any kneel-down during the National Anthem!

Here’s what I have decided to do: I cannot in good conscience recite the Pledge Of Allegiance as is, knowing that most of this pledge is a lie, seeing what is and has been happening in this country. However, I will recite THIS pledge if ever the occasion arises where I must stand for the Pledge Of Allegiance:

“I pledge allegiance to the Most High God, who is above everything and everyone including the USA. And to HIS republic for which I stand–in the hopes that we will one day, become one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all”! Because, THAT pledge, Mr. Brees, is closer to the truth!

Just My Opinion!

This coronavirus pandemic is wreaking havoc in our world— no doubt about it! People are still being infected and people are still dying. Many entities are still closed/shutdown; however, in some states, the decision is being made to reopen some things. One of the institutions that’s a big part of our society and our world, is the “formal”, in-person, church gathering. These gatherings have been shutdown because they typically have in excess of 10 people gathering together— and these large gatherings are putting people at risk of getting infected with the virus.

Many churches (including my home church) are having services online only. At my church, the only people allowed in the church building on Sundays for the media team to have live/online for recording are our pastor, his wife, 1 or 2 musicians, a media team member, and a couple other church leaders. The decision to have only church online was made prayerfully by our pastor and other leaders. Though we haven’t been able to gather in “the building”, God is still on the move— many are watching the online service and many have given their lives to Christ during these online services! Praise be to God!

Now, in the last few days, I have read posts on social media by other Christians who say we (the church) should not allow the government to dictate and control whether we gather together in “the building”. They’re saying we should not allow fear to rule us, that if we don’t go ahead and gather together in “the building”, we’re not walking by faith— we’re walking by fear and not really allowing Jesus to rule.
They also reason that if other businesses and entities are being allowed to be open but the church is forced to remain closed, there’s an underlying conspiracy with the government to eradicate the church— that it’s not fair.

Okay— so here’s where I stand on all of this.

I absolutely love the Lord! I absolutely believe He is bigger than this pandemic or anything else, because He is the Most High God! I absolutely am trusting Him to get us through this pandemic. However, I do not believe God wants me to ignore the seriousness of this virus and the devastation it is causing. I believe God wants me to trust Him AND use wisdom. The last time I checked, the numbers of new infections is still climbing. The numbers of deaths from the virus is still climbing. This tells me that I still need to protect myself and others— and if this means staying home, wearing a mask in spaces where there are other people and I can’t keep the 6ft. distance, etc., then I will keep doing that— and so should as many of us as possible!

Maybe the shutdown laws AREN’T being enforced equally—- that may be true! But, this virus is still causing devastation ! If your particular congregation decides to bypass the laws and assemble, are you prepared to make sure people keep a distance of 6 feet between each other? Are you prepared to make sure whoever you DO allow in “the building” is wearing a mask? Because, in my opinion, opening back up without those precautions in place, is unwise at best and dangerous at worst— as long as the numbers of new infections and deaths are still going up! One way new infections will decrease is if people keep practicing social distancing , wearing masks, vigorously washing hands, etc. One way the number of deaths will decrease is for there to be a medication or treatment that is proven to work to make better those who are already ill with the virus. Until that happens, I believe we must trust God, use wisdom and not confuse faith with foolishness!

Besides, the government cannot truly stop the true church! The church is not the physical building— the building is just a gathering place. The true church is US!! WE are the church!! We have still been gathering, even if it’s online— and God is still moving!! People are blessed and people are still accepting Jesus as their Lord and Savior! Didn’t Jesus say that the gates of hell will not prevail against the church??? Yes, the gates of hell are coming against us—- but they will not prevail!! Jesus said it and I believe it! Therefore you cannot convince me that God’s work isn’t being done just because we cannot gather in “the building”!
God will not be stopped— but He can be hindered by us if we get caught up in political arguments, name calling and unfair judgment! Let’s continue to use the wisdom God gave us and trust that He will continue to do great things even though we’re not in “the building”.

A Thoughtful Challenge to Non-Believers

There’s no question that our world is in a crisis state— I mean, the WHOLE world! The COVID-19 pandemic is not discriminating— people of every race, color, status, etc., are being affected and many are dying. There are reports from nurses and other healthcare workers, that many patients are doing pretty well one day— only to die within a couple of days; this is how rapidly and suddenly people are leaving this world!
I can imagine that many people are now thinking about eternity— at least I hope and pray they’re thinking about it. Many are hopefully wondering what will happen to them if they leave this world due to the virus (or any other reason). This means many people are open to hear the gospel: the good news that Jesus paid the price for their sins and they can have eternal life. But, I also know there are still scoffers in the world— people who don’t believe God exists, don’t believe in Jesus, and don’t believe in eternity— in their eyes, when they die, that’s it: this earth, this world, is all there is. Here’s what I would like to say to those scoffers and non-believers:

If you choose not to believe in God and His existence, if you choose not to believe in His Son Jesus and His sacrifice for you and all of mankind— then that’s your choice. You have the right to your choices and I respect your right to make your choice.

You may make fun of me because I do believe in God, I do believe He’s real, and I have a relationship with Him because I love and accept His only begotten Son Jesus and His sacrifice for my sins. You laugh at me because I know I’m going to heaven when I die— my soul will live forever with Him and I will be free of this fallen world and everything that goes with it.

Here’s the thing: ONE of us is wrong! Let’s look at that for a minute:

If I am wrong— if there is no God, no Jesus, and no eternal life, then I will have spent my life believing in Someone who didn’t exist. But when I die, my soul will just be dead; there will be no eternal loss.

But if YOU’RE wrong- if God is real, if Jesus is real and He really DID pay the price for your sins and made a way for your soul to live in heaven free of eternal condemnation— and you refused to believe and accept His offer of salvation— then, when you die, you will stand before the One True God (the one you thought didn’t exist) and He will sadly condemn your soul to hell for all eternity. You see, your soul (the part of you that feels, laughs, cries, etc.) IS going to live forever in either heaven (with God, Jesus, and the angels) or in hell with Satan and his demons. In heaven, there’s eternal joy, peace, and wonder— freedom from sickness, pain, and all the bad things that exist in this world. In hell, there’s torment, weeping, torture— any bad thing you can think of. Your soul will cry for relief but there will be no relief— your soul will suffer forever and ever!

I’m sorry, but I cannot afford to take a gamble like that! Neither can you— but I cannot force you to see that. I can only respect your decision and pray for Him to open the eyes of your heart— He is the only One who can do that! Just know that, if you ever DO decide to believe and to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, He will rejoice and welcome you with arms wide open— His arms are open even now!
And, though you don’t believe God exists, I still say: God bless you!

“Thanks For The Memories!”

Thanksgiving was a couple of weeks ago. It was my first Thanksgiving without Mom, and I thought it would be a difficult, sad day. But as God often does, He gave me something to smile—- even laugh— about!

On that day, one TV channel had a mini-marathon of “The Honeymooners”. In one of the episodes, Ed Norton was helping Ralph Kramden go over some lines for a community theater play. In one of the lines, Ed mispronounced a word; the way he mispronounced it was quite comical. As I was laughing hysterically, I could actually hear Mom cracking up laughing with that loud, contagious, “hee-haw” laugh she had! That laugh is one of many things about Mom that I miss, but I was thankful for the memory of that laugh.

Our family actually went on to have a wonderfully blessed Thanksgiving dinner and time together. Dad said the blessing over the food and even thanked God for Mom who is now watching over us.
Even though Mom is in heaven now, I am so thankful I have so many positive, good, loving memories of her life with us on earth.
I love you, Mom…until we meet again!❤️🙏🏾

Is It Just Me??

All of us have “pet peeves”; little things that annoy, bother, or put us “in a tizzy “. I don’t know about you, but, I find myself wondering: “Am I the ONLY one who’s bothered by this? Is it just me?” So, here is a short list of my “is it just me” items— hopefully you can identify with at least one of them! (More will be coming in a future blog post!)

  1. Why does everyone driving on the highway go way over the speed limit? Silly me! I actually drive the speed limit (staying in the far right lane as I do)— and people are flying by me, so I know they have to be driving in excess of 70 mph!! They’re not in police cars or other emergency vehicles. So what is their hurry? Do they not realize how fast they’re driving, or do they realize it and just don’t care? Are they emboldened to speed because— yes, that’s right- there are NO state troopers out there enforcing the speed limit?? (Why have a speed limit if it’s not going to be enforced?) It seems like when there’s a report of a fatal accident in which the driver “lost control” of the car and crashed, the most likely cause is that they were speeding! Have you ever heard of a driver losing control of a car while driving SLOWLY?? It’s scary how fast these people drive— I am amazed there aren’t more of these bad accidents every day!
  2. What is up with people leaving their homes and going out in public in their pajamas?? And I’m not just talking about children; I’m talking about GROWN FOLKS, coming out in public with their pajamas on— looking like they just jumped out of bed and ran out of the house! I understand wanting to be comfortable; but guess what? Sweat pants are comfortable too— and are easy to put in and take off! Even sweats look better than pajamas out in public; the only legitimate reason for a person to run outside in their PJs is if their house is on fire and it’s at night and they have to hurry up and get out before they die! Come on, people, put some clothes on!!
  3. Skinny jeans: It seems everyone EXCEPT skinny people wear skinny jeans! (I wish I had taken photos of some of the people— mostly females— wearing skinny jeans who had NO BUSINESS wearing them; maybe in a future blog post!). People, just because something is “in style”, it doesn’t mean YOU should be wearing it! There’s a saying that goes like this: “Just because you CAN, it doesn’t mean you SHOULD!” This applies to a lot of things— including fashion! As fashion expert Stacey London says: “Dress for the body you actually have, not the body you WISH you had!”

Shaking My Head and Thanking God

My mother went home to be with the Lord almost 3 months ago, after years of battling serious health issues. I try to find comfort in all the good memories I have of her. One of the things I miss about her is our shared love of true crime stories; we both loved to watch shows like “Dateline”, “48 Hours”, as well as some of the stories on the Investigation Discovery channel and the Oxygen channel.

Whenever we discussed what we’d watched, our talks would always include our amazement at just how truly evil some people are–like, there REALLY are people living and walking among us who are so greedy they would murder (or have someone else murder) a loved one just so they can get their filthy hands on their money. I’m talking about women having their husbands murdered, or men having their wives murdered– or children having their parents murdered! For money! Lord knows I have been in need–but I would never kill someone I loved just to get their money.

But you know what? I have to remind myself that the reason I could never do that, is because God has allowed me to have a relationship with Him through His Son Jesus Christ. He has been working in me and I know that, had my life gone in a different direction, had I been exposed to people or circumstances for the enemy to use to plant a bitter root in my soul, I could have ended up being one of those people. I realize that if I don’t stay “prayed up”–if I don’t continue to abide in Jesus, if I don’t continue to feed on His Word and fellowship with Him and His people–I could still go to the dark side!

I have always had an interest in psychology, so there’s a part of me that wonders to myself (while watching these true crime shows): what part of your soul has to be “turned off” to be able to do something like that and not feel ANY sorrow or remorse? How can a woman/man murder the mother/father of their children for money, and think that’s an okay thing to do? While trying to understand the thought processes, I don’t want my mind to go too far into identifying with that “dark side”, because honestly–I find it absolutely terrifying! Maybe it’s terrifying to me because I realize that I’d be so far away from God and His heart for me, and that’s a place I don’t want to be– I’ve already had my many years of living in the wilderness (and I was already far enough from God even then), and I don’t want to even skate “close to the edge”!

So, as I watch these shows and hear the true stories, I shake my head–thinking to myself: “How evil! That’s just horrible!” Lately, I find myself actually saying to myself, ” I can only hope that, while he/she is in prison, they come to know Christ, and then have true godly sorrow– not just remorse– over what they did.” Then, I begin to thank and praise God that He didn’t allow me to go to that very dark place, and I continue to ask for and thank Him for His help to keep me from going there. This is something I must do, because I can’t stay away from that dark side without His help–the minute I start thinking I can do it on my own, I will be in deep trouble!

God is my only reliable Source of help, strength, and encouragement– that’s the whole truth and nothing but the truth!

I Need God’s Grace!

My mother recently went home to be with Jesus; she was 90 years old. She lived a good, godly life and was a wonderful Mom and example of quiet strength and faith despite her failing health the last year of her life.
My father is still with me— he’s 93 and in pretty good health physically. As long as I can remember, he has always gone to church on Sunday mornings. That’s how I was raised— go to church on Sundays!
I love my Dad, and I am glad I still have him. And, I know it’s important to check on him and visit and talk in the phone and all that. But, as much as I love Dad, there are aspects of his personality that can be hard to take— they can even be hurtful. I know I cannot change him; no one can change another person’s attitudes or behavior— only God can do that. However, (and here’s one of those troublesome personality aspects), how much can Dad be changed by God and His Word, when he has such a strong dislike for the vessel God has placed at the church he’s a member of?

You see, Dad really cannot stand his pastor. He badmouths him every chance he gets. It’s getting so that I have to try to steer the conversation toward ANYTHING else besides the pastor— because his badmouthing really affects me negatively and bothers me. I asked Dad, “If you really dislike Pastor ____ that much, why don’t you just leave and find another church to attend?” (It makes no sense to continually sit under a pastor you don’t like or trust.) His response was , “I’m not there to hear HIM— I’m there to hear the WORD! I’m not gonna let that !?$&/: drive me out!”

His response has me asking myself (and wanting to ask my Dad) a question: if you enter the church already having a very negative opinion about the pastor, isn’t your mind and heart already closed to whatever word the Lord has given him to preach? How much “word” are you really receiving if you don’t even receive the vessel God has chosen to deliver that word?

My Mom and I used to talk about this (she loved their pastor and definitely didn’t agree with Dad). I know Mom told me she’d tried on a few occasions to point things out to Dad— to no avail. Now she’s not here to listen to his complaints and badmouthing— so I feel like I’m stuck having to hear it, and it really bothers me. I know there’s something wrong with what Dad is doing— I wish I could find the scriptures that back that up; I’m still searching.

Meanwhile, what do I do? How do I handle Dad’s behavior? How do I honor and respect him while not allowing his behavior to hurt me inside? (There are other things about him too, like his holding grudges for a lllooonnnggg time, doing favors— then complaining about doing them; but I will have to get into that stuff in another post!)

Until I get my answer, I will definitely have to depend on, and thank God for, His grace and wisdom to deal with this. I will continue to love my Dad and support him as he grieves Mom’s departure from this earthly realm. Family is important— especially now. I trust God to lead and guide me.❤️🙏🏾

Introduce Yourself (Example Post)

This is an example post, originally published as part of Blogging University. Enroll in one of our ten programs, and start your blog right.

Sharing encouragement, feelings and thoughts about life, and using everything— the good and the bad— to be a blessing to others!

Why do this?

  • Because it gives new readers context. What are you about? Why should they read your blog?
  • Because it will help you focus you own ideas about your blog and what you’d like to do with it.

The post can be short or long, a personal intro to your life or a bloggy mission statement, a manifesto for the future or a simple outline of your the types of things you hope to publish.

To help you get started, here are a few questions:

  • Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?
  • What topics do you think you’ll write about?
  • Who would you love to connect with via your blog?
  • If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

You’re not locked into any of this; one of the wonderful things about blogs is how they constantly evolve as we learn, grow, and interact with one another — but it’s good to know where and why you started, and articulating your goals may just give you a few other post ideas.

Can’t think how to get started? Just write the first thing that pops into your head. Anne Lamott, author of a book on writing we love, says that you need to give yourself permission to write a “crappy first draft”. Anne makes a great point — just start writing, and worry about editing it later.

When you’re ready to publish, give your post three to five tags that describe your blog’s focus — writing, photography, fiction, parenting, food, cars, movies, sports, whatever. These tags will help others who care about your topics find you in the Reader. Make sure one of the tags is “zerotohero,” so other new bloggers can find you, too.

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