A REAL LIFE LESSON IN SPIRITUALITY

I recently lost my Godmother; she was also my aunt and was very instrumental in my upbringing.

She had no biological children and could not have loved me more if indeed I was her biological child. On May 2, 2015, when I was told that she was “unresponsive” and ultimately learned of her death, my wife drove me to the old neighborhood to her home.

I entered her bedroom where she had passed away in her sleep. The 2 police officers were gathering information for their report. The scene in that bedroom was overwhelming to me, but not just for the obvious reasons of the situation.

Over the years, I have actually witnessed some of my relatives slip away into their death. But this time it was different, there was something else. As I stood there looking at her in the bed, I was fixated on her body’s lifelessness. I repeatedly asked myself, “where did the energy go? Where did she go? How does this energy just transition away from a bodily existence? Where did her movement, laughter, quick wit, and love all go in a moment……. just like that?

The Bible says that “to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord.” Having recently witnessed in a way that struck me like never before that undoubtedly something was absent from her body, the concept of one’s spirituality has been magnified for me tenfold.

I read a story to end her eulogy. The story ends with children watching their mother enter into the gates of heaven. The last couple of sentences read as follows “And they stood and watched her as she went on alone, and the gates closed behind her. And they said, “we cannot see her, but she is still with us; a mother like ours is more than a memory, she is a living presence.”

So my personal plan, both to celebrate her life and to become a better person, is to work exponentially harder on the spiritual side of my own existence since life has reiterated for me in a way like never before that one’s spirit never “dies;” it simply leaves us presumably for those of us who are believers……… to a wondrous and beautiful place!

Read, learn, and share…….Have a Family Meeting!

 

Posted in 2015, Ancestry, Conduct and Behavior, Faith and Ministry, Family, Family Thoughts, Fatherhood, Insights From Our Children, Love and Relationships, Mentoring, Motherhood, Motivation, Parenting, Patience | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OUR FAMILY THOUGHT FOR TODAY!

“I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality… I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

Been stocking up on some unarmed truth and unconditional love Family in furtherance of the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood……..How about you?

Read, learn, and share……Have a Family Meeting!

 

Read more at http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/m/martinluth107470.html#VFLhVLjd16Bb1zmJ.99

Posted in 2015, African American Leadership, African-American History, American Spirit, Conduct and Behavior, Editor's Message, Education, Faith and Ministry, Family, Family Thoughts, Fatherhood, History, Love and Relationships, Martin Luther King Jr., Mentoring, Motherhood, Motivation, Parenting, Patience | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

OUR FAMILY THOUGHT FOR TODAY!

“I denounce because though implicated and partially responsible, I have been hurt to the point of abysmal pain, hurt to the point of invisibility. And I defend because in spite of it all, I find that I love.”
Ralph Ellison, Invisible Man    

Read, learn, and share………Have a Family Meeting!

Posted in 2015, African American Leadership, African-American History, American Spirit, Conduct and Behavior, Education, Faith and Ministry, Family, Fatherhood, Love and Relationships, Motivation, Patience, Politics, Ralph Ellison, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

REJUVENATION

We recently got back from a 6 day vacation. I saw Stevie Wonder give a 4 hour concert in Columbus with my wife, son, and daughter. We visited my Alpha Phi Alpha line brother and his family in Charlotte, N.C., where I played 2 rounds of golf with my son and spent time talking with my daughter. We attended a Delta Sigma Theta Cotillion. I reconnected with a friend that I had not seen in over 30 years, and we worshipped at his Church on Easter Sunday.

Watching the debutantes with their parents and escorts, my heart swelled with hope and pride. Their long lists of achievements and goals were extremely impressive.  It was a pleasant real life reminder that not all African-American young people are aspiring rappers, ball players, or gang bangers, all of which are fairly routine portrayals I might add. I am by no means knocking entertainers or athletes, but attainment of these dreams statistically goes to the very, very, few. This elegant cotillion celebration of academic and social achievement by these high schoolers was truly moving. I am thankful for the rejuvenation of optimism.

My long afternoon conversation with my friend of 30 plus years was often focused on our respective mentoring programs. We spoke of the challenges, rewards, disappointments, and the times when we wondered if it was all worthwhile. Spending time with my children and our “niece” (my frat brother’s daughter), along with this conversation, have rejuvenated my belief that I can and must continue trying to make a difference in the lives of young people through mentoring and coaching, 2 integral parts of my life. My passion has also been rejuvenated.

Second Calvary Baptist Church in Charlotte was a beautiful spirit filled church. Perhaps, as only southern hospitality can do it, the people were welcoming and friendly. I saw church lady hats, colorful hairclips and bows, and young men decked out in their Easter finest. I witnessed the baptism of 4 young African-American boys and their beaming faces as they received their baptismal certificates. The choir moved me so with their singing of some old spirituals. The sermon was thought out and extremely well delivered. This Easter Sunday propped my faith up and reassured me that our household emphasis on faith and family to our children has been an investment well placed. My faith has also been rejuvenated.

This is neither a religious post nor a post to convert people to Christianity. It is however a post about restoration of optimism, passion, and faith. It took the Resurrection to make this trip happen (i.e. a long weekend Easter college break that caused a quick Spring family vacation). I think that the message is a simple one for me, out of the darkness of Jesus’ death comes the joy of, and enthusiasm for, life.

I am rejuvenated and I hope you are too!

Read, learn, and share……Have a Family Meeting!

Posted in 2015, African American Leadership, Conduct and Behavior, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Education, Faith and Ministry, Family, Family Thoughts, Fatherhood, Fine Arts, Love and Relationships, Motivation, Parenting, Rejuvenation, Thanksgiving, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

OUR FAMILY THOUGHT FOR TODAY…IT’S BLACK HISTORY MONTH

http://awards.yahoo.com/post/111508568642/oscars-first-black-winner-accepted-her-honor-in-a

While surfing the news this morning on Yahoo, I came across this fascinating article about Hattie McDaniel and her career as an Oscar Award winning movie star. A favor had to be called in for her to be allowed to enter the “whites only” hotel and club where the Oscar Ceremony was being held that would go down in history because of her historic win.

As some sit tomorrow night and watch the glitz and glamour of Hollywood’s biggest night, which by the way has been highly scrutinized this year for its absence of nominations of people of color, I hope that Ms. McDaniel’s achievements and dignity will help to shore up the belief especially in our young people that anything can be achieved.

I also hope that all of those in attendance who are there because they stand upon her shoulders and the shoulders of other pioneering Black actors will glance upwards for a brief moment in homage and thanksgiving to the spirit of a woman whose testimonial wish to be buried in what is now the Hollywood Forever Cemetery was denied because of its strict “whites only” policy.

Read, learn, and share…Have a Family Meeting!

 

Posted in 2015, African American Leadership, African-American History, American Spirit, Ancestry, Black History Month, Conduct and Behavior, Editor's Message, Education, Faith and Ministry, Family, Family Thoughts, Fine Arts, History, Mentoring, Motivation, Politics, Women | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

OUR FAMILY THOUGHT FOR TODAY….IT’S BLACK HISTORY MONTH!

Frederick McKinley Jones (1982-1961) was the first man to invent a practical refrigeration system for trucks and railroad cars. He received the patent on July 12, 1940. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, his formal education ended in the sixth grade, but by 1930 his self-teaching was so effective that he was manufacturing movie sound equipment. The development of the refrigerating device marked a new direction for his efforts, and its success revolutionized the transportation and marketing of fresh foods. In 1991, he was the first black to receive the National Medal of Technology (posthumously).

Read, learn, and share….Have a Family Meeting!

Posted in 2015, African American Leadership, African-American History, American Spirit, Black History Month, Conduct and Behavior, Editor's Message, Education, Family Thoughts, History, Money and Finance, Motivation | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

OUR FAMILY THOUGHT FOR TODAY….IT’S BLACK HISTORY MONTH!

1837-JAMES MCCUNE SMITH (1811-65) was the first black to obtain an M.D. He studied in the African Free School in New York City, where he was so gifted a student that when Lafayette visited the United States in 1824, the young Smith delivered the welcome address. Unable to pursue his education in the United States, Smith studied at the University of Glasgow, in Scotland, where he received his bachelor’s, master’s, and medical degrees. He was a very successful physician in New York, with a busy practice and two drug stores. He was also an avid abolitionist.

Sources: Dictionary of Black Culture, P. 410; Garrett, Famous First Facts About Negroes, P.111; Morais, The History of the Negro in Medicine, P. 31 

 

Black Firsts, 2,00 Years of Extraordinary Achievement, Gale Research Incorporated. 

Posted in 2015, African American Leadership, African-American History, American Spirit, Ancestry, Black History Month, Conduct and Behavior, Education, History, Medicine, Motivation, Patience | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment