All posts by Sonlight

The State of the Black Community

I was asked by a magazine publisher to write a short piece stating my opinion on the State of the Black Community and what I would do to make it better.  I chose to keep it to 500 words for the exercise but I’m giving serious consideration to a series of posts on this subject.  Of course, it’s our personal experiences that create the lens with which we view the world.  Here’s a very small piece of my view of our community.    I’d like to hear yours.  Post a comment at the end and let me know what you’re thinking.

Many great things came out of the desegregation of our schools in the 1950’s and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s.  However, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.  The late Dr. Miles Munroe said, “He who creates the law creates the culture”.  These laws which banned discrimination and racial segregation against African-Americans and women and the abolishment of the doctrine of “separate but equal” in relation to children’s education, also began the breakdown of the black family and the black community as a whole.

I grew up in an all-black neighborhood in the 1970’s. It was a time when we could play outside all day with no fear.   Why?  Because the lady four houses up the street worked with your momma, the man down the street at the corner played cards with your daddy and both your Aunties lived two and three streets over.  And if that weren’t enough, every Sunday morning nearly everyone got together for church. The black community was our extended family.

This extended family shared common concerns and worked together to achieve certain goals.  Our socio-economic conditions were physically similar and this created a similar mindset on how to overcome our current situations.  We didn’t have the crabs in a barrel mentality but the mindset of pulling each other up.

On the one hand it was absolutely necessary for the 1954 Brown Vs Board of Education court decision and passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.  As a people we were denied basic rights and equal education opportunities for our children.  All necessary positive changes.  However, prior to these decisions, while we were segregated from whites, we were together as a people.

I’m not opposing the need for the changes on one level. I don’t believe it was the physical move of the joined communities that caused the problems but rather the mental detachment from our own.  The forced conditions of segregation held our families together on so many levels.  Subconsciously, as our physical proximity changed because of our new-found ability to live, work and go to school where we desired, our mindsets also became detached.

What once was a subconscious shift, we must now consciously shift the pendulum back in the favor of Black family and community.  How often do we want change but we don’t work hard to achieve it?  How often do you know change is needed but we won’t do anything to affect that change? We must not be hearers only, but doers.

Albert Einstein’s definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”.  If we want our families and communities close again, we have to want it bad enough to change.  In order for there our circumstances to change, there must first be a paradigm shift in our thinking.  We must break out of the box of “us four and no more” in our prayers.  Each one of us must be the change we want to see.

What do you think?

Be well.

Inspired to Inspire

This morning on my way to work, I ran into Dawn.  A delightful young, vibrant African-American woman of about 26 or 27 I would say.  She actually reminded me of myself at that age. Not that I’m that much older than 27 but I’ve got a few years on her.

At the start of our conversation in the back of the taxi-cab/slug car, I was just a bit irritated.  Not because she had said anything disrespectful or strange but because I had a lot on my mind from the night before and I hadn’t gotten a lot of sleep.  My plans for the ride to work was to lay my head back and close my eyes.

Dawn was just so excited about what the day would bring.  It was still early yet and dark outside.  The sun had not yet begun to peak through the darkness of night but I could see light in her.  Her energy was infectious.  In our short commute to work, I learned where she worked, not just the agency but the section and actually what type of tasks she performed.  I learned how many children she had, where her child stayed during the day for day care, her educational background, how long she’d owned her car and possibly her next career move.  She briefly mentioned a family member but I didn’t sense that “warm and fuzzy” feeling some folks give off when they speak of their grandma.

I don’t recall how the conversation began but after just a few moments my irritation began to fade away and I also began to share a little about me.  Not nearly as much as Dawn though.  Not because she dominated the conversation but because I’ve learned in my “old age” to be a bit more guarded with the information I divulge about myself and my family.

As she began to tell me about the master’s degree she had and the fact that she wasn’t working in her field of study something sprung up in me to divulge that I had not yet achieved “Master’s Degree” status.  Typically in the past, for whatever reason,  I wouldn’t have said this but for some reason I was prompted to do so.  She actually seemed surprised when I admitted this little fact about myself. Maybe because I had been so guarded in the conversation up to this point.  Or maybe she felt my new level of freedom as I spoke.

It was then that she really began to talk about her qualifications and her desires to do more with her career.   She spoke directly about having applied for several positions, the fact that she was told she was on the “BQ” list but then in the end, the positions weren’t offered to her.   I gave her a few words of inspiration relating to the various career moves I had made and the fact that her gifts will make room for her.  I encouraged her to never give up on her dreams.  I told her about the dream I had one day of becoming a writer and teaching others how to do the same. I reminded her that coming out of the box was often uncomfortable but well worth it.

As our ride was coming to an end, we officially introduced ourselves and I gave her one last word of encouragement. I told her that one day in the next few years, I was certain that our paths would cross again.  I was certain that by that time she would have secured her dream job, her child would be doing great in school and maybe at that time she would have people working for her.  She seemed overjoyed that I took the time to speak into her life.

I pray for Dawn and everyone like her who has dreams of becoming something more than they are today.  And I pray even more for Spirit filled believers who are willing to speak into the lives of those around them to offer words of encouragement even when they are irritated and sleep deprived.

Be well my friend,

Karen Gaughan

AKA KayD G.

 

 

This Morning I Repented

Typically when I wake up in the morning, I have a song streaming in my mind. It’s typically a bright song to start my day. Typically my morning song sets the tone for my day. But this morning I had no song. #electionresults #relove

This morning I woke up with a scripture resounding in my head. A scripture that I’ve been told is the exact center of the Word of God. A scripture that for a while was one I stood on frequently. But I hadn’t thought about it in quite some time actually. However, this morning it was brought back to the forefront of my mind.

The scripture I’m referring to is Psalm 118:8.

“It is better to take refuge in the Lord, than to put your trust in man.”

Immediately, I repented.  Turning my face and my heart to the Lord.

I repented for placing even an ounce of trust in man’s ability.

I repented for placing just a thimble full of hope in a person to take ANY sort of lead in my life.

And just as a child of God, knowing He’s not mad at me for making Him too small in my eyes, I turned to Him again and asked God for my morning song.  And because He is so faithful, He gave me “my” song.

So the lyrics that rings in my heart right now?

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.
All other ground is sinking sand.

My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”, by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

IT WAS AT THIS TIME I SAW THE ELECTION RESULTS.

My friends, please know that God is your source, Jesus is our help and the Holy Spirit is our peace.

Be well today!

#electionresults #relove

All Lives Matter

#‎BlackLivesMatter‬

And for that matter, All Lives Matter.

Humility + Prayer + Seeking + Turning = Forgiveness & Healing

2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV) If my people, who are called by my name, would humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and forgive their sins and will heal their land.

Let’s make it happen.

Be well my friends.

Christ Did Not Die on the Cross

There are so many questions I have relating to Biblical things.  I don’t think God is disturbed by my questions.  He is not irritated that I continually come to Him wanting to know more about Him.  In fact, He welcomes my questions.  He is pleased that I want to know more about Him and that I’m eager to know more about His will and His ways.

Asking questions, means that we are curious. Asking questions means that we are interested.  Asking questions of God means that He is on our mind and we want to know more about Him and how He operates and why He does things the way He does.  It means we want to know His heart and what makes Him smile.

So when I began asking questions in my mind about Jesus Christ and His humanness, God answered me. And He told me Christ did not die on the cross.

“What”, I said. “Of course He did, I’ve read the Biblical accounts.  I’ve heard countless sermons about how Christ died for my sins.  I can’t be hearing You correctly Father”.

And God reassured me that I did hear Him correctly but that I wasn’t listening. He told me again, and I quote, “Christ did not die on the Cross, JESUS did.”

“Well how could this be Lord?”, I exclaimed!  And here’s how he broke it down to me.

Christ being fully the Son of God.  Jesus being fully the Son of Man.  Christ is the Spirit.  Jesus was the man.  Christ Spirit lives forever.  Jesus the man was the one who hung, bled and died.

He went on further to explain to me that Mary was not the mother of Christ, Mary was the mother of Jesus.  God is the Father of Christ alone.  Mary was needed to birth baby Jesus because Jesus was needed to make Christ (the Spirit) legal on the Earth.

In Genesis 1:26, God gave man dominion over the earth. He did not give spirits dominion over the earth.  Because of this, the Son of God (Christ) could not come to the earth to save us. He needed Jesus as a human in order to have dominion over the earth.

So this is why does the Son refer to Himself as the Son of God AND the Son of Man.  And God answered me in this way.

As I continue to ask questions, it’s amazing how God answers these questions for me.  And I appreciate Him for that  today.

Be well my friends.

KayD G.

 

my past is catching up with me

What do you do when everything hurts?  Your head hurts from trying to figure everything out.  Your heart hurts from the aching feeling that’s been there for way too long.  Your body aches from the tension of the days and weeks you’ve been stuck in this same place. Life seems a blur.  Just walking through surviving not really living.  It’s a blur.  These long days turn into weeks and into months and even years.

Your spirit is trying to break out but seems overwhelmed by the worries and cares of the world.  At times, it feels like you will break free and then…Your situation seems to revert back to the really bad days of what some try to call the good ole-days.

It’s in these times that we must bow the head, bend the knee, lay prostrate before God and get into His presence.  There are times when the hurt is so deep that we can do nothing but bow our head, bend our knee and lay prostrate.  The words may not even come.  Guttural sounds and utterances may erupt from deep within.  I believe it is at these times that the Holy Spirit interprets our moanings and groanings as the Word says in Romans.  It is at these times that our previous prayers and the prayers of the various friends and family’s take over for us.  When the hurt runs so deep that you can’t even seem to utter the name of Jesus, it is then that the first Intercessor goes before the Father for us.

How do we get past this place to a place of counting everything joy as we go through various trial and temptations?  How do we get to a place of rejoicing in the Lord always?  I believe a part of getting to this place is from the prayers that were prayed yesterday and the praise from last week and the service from last month and from chasing after the Father in previous years.  There is a saying that your past will catch up with you.  In times like this, I hope the saying is true.

There is no one like our Father.  Always there, always hoping and pulling for us.  Always a constant and faithful God.  Never changing.  Hiding us in the shadow of His wings.

He is our rock and our firm foundation.  He is our chief cornerstone.  He is never failing. Never ending. He is our Constant.  He is our Hope.  He is our Peace.  He is our Comfort.

How dare us believe or think for one moment that we are to rejoice with Him but not go through anything with Him or for Him.

My heart’s prayer is that in your times of trouble and times of pain, your past praise and worship will catch up with you.  You will be able to pull from your times of studying the Word and find the Light.  You will be able to look back on your previous victories in Him and gain strength.  My prayer is that we all learn to lean on Him for everything.  We will learn to trust Him with the hurts of our mind, body and emotions.

Be well my friends,

KayD G.

 

I’ve heard that before

I’ve heard that before.   Hurting people hurt people. I believe that statement is true but what’s it all about?  For those of you who read the Relove blog faithfully, you know that I always write about an experience I’ve had or a thought or a concept God has placed on my heart.  Well today I’m being a fully obedient vessel.

I was listening to Dr. David Anderson today on WAVA 105.1 in the Washington, DC area. His entire show was about Anger.  One caller’s comments prompted Dr. Anderson to begin discussing why hurting people hurt people.  I was so deeply moved by the comments that Dr. Anderson delivered, I had to share them on this platform.  God was certainly prompting me to do so. My heart’s prayer is that although I may not be able to perfectly regurgitate all Dr. Anderson said, my comments here will be a seed planted in you that will bear fruit in this current season.

Summarizing Dr. Anderson’s comments with a bit of what God placed on my heart:

Anger is actually a second emotion not a first emotion. Anger is used by people who are hurt.   Let’s take an instance where you hurt my feelings.  I’m hurting badly.  But instead of showing you my hurt, I show you my anger.  What I display towards you is my anger, never my hurt.  This way, I’m in a safer place.  You never see my vulnerable place and therefore, you can’t hurt me anymore.  I’m now masking my hurt with this anger.  I’ve built up this wall around my hurt.   My hurt gets manifested through the emotion of anger in sarcasm. My hurt gets manifested through the emotion of anger in little jabs and digs I take out on you.  All of this is done to mask the hurt.  I now, through my anger, only want to hurt you like you hurt me.

Make sense?

When you’re dealing with someone who is hurt or when you are hurt, you must realize that you have two issues you must deal with.  First, you have to tear down the wall of anger. Remember this when dealing with an angry teen, an angry spouse or an angry church member.  Prayerfully, when that person learns to control their anger they’ve made it through the first step.

THEN, you must deal with the issue of the hurt. Often times, I’ve watched teens on the show “Scared Straight”.  Some of them are so angry.  But if you listen to their stories it’s often heard,  “my mother left”, or “my father wasn’t there” or “my parents got divorced”. That teen is hurt.  So often times when you are dealing with a person who seems angry all the time or has what we term “an attitude problem”, these are not bad people, these are hurting people.

My heart’s prayer is that you take these words to heart the next time you are angry or you are dealing with someone who is displaying anger.  If you’re communicating with that person, chances are you love that person.  Here’s your chance to Relove that person. Take the time to take a RE-look at the situation and the person.  Dig to the root of the problem.  Look past the gift God has given you in that person and look to the Giver of LIfe who gave you the gift and help them work through the hurt.

It may just make all the difference in your life and theirs.

Be well my friends. God Bless.

KayD G.

Set in Stone

toolstop-47This picture depicts a vision the Father gave to me about two years ago. I was standing in a huge bucket with my bare feet. The bucket began to slowly fill with wet cement. I could feel the cold, wet paste seep between my toes and cover my feet. I didn’t flinch or move even an inch. I didn’t shout for help or cry out for someone to save me from the fast drying stronghold around now my ankles and calves.

One thing you have to know about me.  I do not like to be held down.  I do not like to be forced to be in a position where I don’t want to be.  It’s like backing a cat in a corner, I want to come out fighting.  But in this vision, I didn’t feel any anxiety at all.  I actually felt completely free.  It was at this time the Lord revealed to me that the cement was His Word. He told me that I was to totally immerse myself in His Word and never move from it.  With this posture, I would obtain the freedom I so desperately desired.

The Lord was telling me that He was supposed to be the only stronghold in my life.

2 Samuel 22:3, reads like the Psalms as it states:

my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent people you save me.

and further in Psalm 18:2:

The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

As we know, our spirits are renewed and made perfect as we receive Christ through Salvation.  But our minds have to be renewed day by day.  There is a scripture in 2 Chronicles that gives us a crucial weapon in our arsenol to help us renew our minds.

2 Chronicles 20:3 (AMP) states,

Then Jehoshaphat feared, and set himself [determinedly, as his vital need] to seek the Lord; he proclaimed a fast in all Judah.

Even though Jeohoshaphat feared, he set his mind…determinedly, as his vital need…to seek the Lord.

We are to think on those things that cause us fear and trepidation.
Think on those issues of life that have caused us trouble in the past.
Think on those recurring issues in our relationships that cause such heartache and pain.

And then after we have pondered these issues, set in our minds, be determined in our thinking, that we will handle these situations as God intended; putting on the armor of God; speaking life and not death through the power of our tongues; responding to insult and threats with a soft answer which the Word tells us will turn away wrath; exhibiting the fruit of the Spirit in all situations.

Won’t you walk with me on this continual reLOVE journey to Freedom.  Set your mind today.

Be well friends.