Tag Archives: People

What Matters?

What MattersWe were looking for some papers  today and stumbled upon some poems I wrote in my 2nd year of college at the ripe old age of 34, of which my English professor’s critique was pretty good.

What astounded me most was how the poems were a reflection of the emotions I was feeling at that point and time in my life in regards to people who either were suffering at no fault of their own or were struggling just to make it in this life.

Even more surprising is it appears much of what I felt then seems to have come full circle to the place where I am now in my life. It also tells me how passionate I was then and still am now about people and the world we exist in. Wow… I’ve come a long ways, twenty years to be exact, and I still care.  I still have a heart and passion for children, the sick, and people from all walks of life. Amazing!

Over the next few posts, in between my normal posts, I will step out of my comfort zone and share them with you. This will be the first of my “mini-series.” I hope you enjoy.

What Matters?

It doesn’t make a difference what color you are,
Because love should conquer all near or far
Nor does it make a difference why we are here
Because in the end we all have that fear
That death is evident and we all will die,
But what should matter are the blue skies and sun
And what we all can do to live together peacefully as one.

 

What matters is the air we breathe,
The starving people in this world we need to feed.
The precious meaning of life itself,
In whatever situation we find ourselves
The endless efforts to find a cure for AIDS,
Through benefits and charities with funds that are raised.

 

What matters is the opportunity we all share,
When we are healthy and alive,
Because with the way the world is today
It’s a never ending struggle to survive.
Life is what matters, so live it, love it, or leave it be
Because we are not here for eternity. 

-JD

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Happy Veterans Day!

Happy Veterans Day!2

In honor of all the men and women who served and continue to serve this country, “Happy Veterans Day!”

Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. God bless you and God bless America.

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Happy National Girlfriends Day!

Celebrate the many connections you’ve made with women around the world in honor of this day. There are many who may have influenced your life for the better not just today but on any given day.

Then there are friends who are a source of inspiration that are there for you whenever. And will have your back when you meet with storms in times of trouble and stormy weather.

Appreciate those who motivate and celebrate you in spite of you. Show love even to those who don’t celebrate you because in spite of, they need love too. There are even ones who work to empower you in their commitment and dedication. And will be a source of support to help you reach your fullest potential that you may arrive safely to your destination.

Today is not a day to honor just one person, but many. Cherish long-lasting or short-lived friendships that bind you together as women. In some way we all have managed to form a circle of trust to enrich the lives of one another. We’ve changed the world in the sharing of love and knowledge for the betterment of all our sisters and brothers.

Godly connections are most valuable too. Wise counsel, sound advice from true girlfriends will speak truth in love and won’t ever say things to hurt you. But instead will build you up with words of inspiration and encouragement to guide you. They will support you even when you make mistakes. The respect you will have for one another. What a difference it will make.

What comes out of their mouth sometimes can be for your own good. Even when you don’t want to hear it, they will speak out of love. They will listen to understand and will speak to be understood. And will agree to disagree for the sake of sisterhood. They will love you, flaws and all, and will be there for you. To pick you up or catch you when you fall because they care about you.

Quality, sincere friendships are hard to come by and can take a long time to develop. When nurtured, lasting friendships and strong connections will last forever.

Spend some quality time with all the special women friends in your circle of trust. Find a way to connect who those who may be separated by distance. It is a must. Spend some quality phone time. Make a special call to let them know you’re thinking of them today. Call even if it’s to briefly say “I love you,” from miles away.

Remember the lives of girlfriends or friends you may have lost and loved ones who have passed away. Cherish their memory when thinking of happy times and the many things you may have shared on this day.

And now I will leave you with these words as I say, Happy National Girlfriends Day!

Girl power is in full effect! In honor of National Girlfriends Day, women across the world are now calling all mentors, world changers, those who persevered, triumphed, and paved the way. And we mustn’t forget to show love for our “best-est” BFF girlfriends today.

Make today special. Share a kind word or gesture. Be thankful for your “best friend, girlfriend,” circle of trust friends, and special connections. Call; send a text; or an Instagram; or an email; power up Skype to commemorate today’s special event. Let this be a new day of new beginnings. Make new friends. Relinquish grudges, bitterness, or resentment.

Make godly connections. Share with others one of your favorite expressions. You don’t know how much it will mean in the life of someone who may be hurting or could be going through. Send virtual hugs. Make a difference.  Live in the overflow of God’s love. Let your light shine through.

In honor of this special day, I am sending lots of huge hugs and warm kisses to my closest and dearest BFFs, girlfriends, sister friends who are near and far away. I may not be in your presence physically or daily, but I am here in spirit and love each of you dearly not just today but every day. I salute you and wish you a very happy National Girlfriends Day!

Be blessed! -JD

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Listen To The Cry of A Silent Victim

I’m going off subject again today.
My mind’s scattered. Thoughts are all over the place.
I woke to some disturbing news the other day
And have not been able to sleep or shake it all week.
I tried to put it in the back of my mind, but something is not letting me.

It keeps surfacing in my thoughts so I must release it to clear my head.
Things like this cannot be left unsaid.

My heart is heavy laden.
An innocent teenager took his life the other day.
He sent a message on a well-known social media platform
Earlier that morning, that same day
No one paid attention.
All I could do was pray.

He posted a goodbye in the wee hours of the morning.
So it definitely was not a time during heavy traffic where it could not be noticed.
Sadly, there were many clicks on “likes” by his friends.
I’m confused. Why didn’t anyone see the warning signs then?

He seemed uneasy and restless. He blamed himself for the mess.
He apologized before whatever was planned by him to happen
Clearly during his time of distress.
He seemed unhappy, as tears welled in my eyes.
Then he ended the post and said goodbye.

My heart sank. Tears of sorrow filled my face as I cried.
It took all the strength I had to accept what I knew already happened. He died.
I know he either had parents or someone who cared about him
That could have been notified.
This child was clearly crying out for help before he took his life and died.

Social media has a massive process of notification for everything:
Mentions, promotional ads, retweets, even notice of ones who are trending.
Even more disturbing is how easy it is
For officials to track and catch potential culprits in a place like this.

But when it comes to things like this, sadly there’s no app for it.
Why isn’t there an alert to track key words of potential suicide victims?
Who may connect to lines to aid in suicide prevention?

My prayers are with this young man’s family.
My heart aches and is torn in pieces.
It hurts tremendously.
Words cannot express the sadness or pain I feel.
I pray for peace, comfort, strength; that his family may be healed.

While I cannot blame social media for the events that have occurred,
I can only hope that in the same way we use social media to spread the word.
Not only of events that matter most to us,
But place a greater significance on things such as this that should disturb us.

Not that we may find recognition or potential success.
But because it is imperative we find a way to take notice of things such as this.
In the hopes we may help save a life.
Assured it is not remiss but will help because of our sacrifice.

This child’s life may have been saved
Had someone taken responsibly and taken the time to carefully read his words
And took heed to his warning.
Instead of ignoring and acknowledging his effort by clicking “likes,”
When he silently cried out for help before ending his life.

Suicide is a serious issue oftentimes I feel we fail at recognizing; miserably.
We don’t take it seriously.
We ignore the warning signs after it’s too late.
If only someone will only listen to the cry of a silent victim before it is too late.

Let this be an example of what we can do
As a society to rightfully help potential suicide victims make it through,
In a platform that gets the most attention.
Use social media to your advantage, to get the right attention.

If we take heed to the warning signs when it comes to saving a life.
We can be the person that may help save a life.
Know that a cry out for help clearly calls for our attention.
Let social media not be just to gain potential followers,
But alert anyone that will listen.
Listen to the cry of a silent victim.

Thank you for listening. -JD

For more information on how you can help someone who may be suicidal on social media, please visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/GetHelp/Online.

God, I know you’re listening.
Please hear my prayers as I pray.
For the family and friends of those
that lost a loved one today.

Comfort them in their time of need.
Restore whatever strength they may have lost.
Help the family find peace.
Give them hope for tomorrow.
Assure them all is not lost.

God, I know the pain may be unbearable.
And it may be hard for them to overcome.
But I know you can and will help them get through this.
No matter how hard it may be for them. Let your will be done.

To be absent with the body is to be present with the Father.
Though, they will be sorely missed.
Bring the family to a place where they can receive joy in knowing this.
And understand they are in a better place and is no longer in pain.
They don’t have to cry another tear or feel sorrow ever again.

God may the family find rest in your arms.
Hold them safely in your hands.
Handle them with care.
Comfort them as only I know you can.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Matthew 5:4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.”

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How Do You Confront Controversy?

385724_210319942414846_681485019_nI was reminded today of an incident I encountered with a stranger the week Whitney Houston was sent home with the angels. I thought about what transpired and couldn’t help but reflect on my thoughts that day only because I feel there is some relevancy to it today.

I was in a taxi on my way to see my doctor. I was minding my own business preparing to listen on my phone to Smokie Norful’s “Dear God” when the driver asked, “So how do you feel about what happened to Whitney Houston?” I answered, “I cried the moment my daughter screamed when finding it out on TMZ from her phone.” We were celebrating my only grandson’s birthday.

The driver went on to say, “‘Live by the sword, die by the sword.” My reaction: “Pause, brief moment of silence; clearly not expecting this.” I then said to him in no uncertain terms, “She may have had struggles but who are we to judge. God is our only judge. We all have skeletons in our closets that only God knows. It is not for us to judge another for the life they lived but instead celebrate their life in spite of how they lived.

The conversation escalated too much to discuss verbatim but after being asked my business about why I was seeing a doctor regularly and was I being treated for anxiety or depression, etc. I said, “No.” He then asked, “Are you ever depressed because of your conditions? Have you ever needed to see a psychiatrist?” I said, “No.” I explained my knowledge on the matter based on my previous education and experience working in the mental health field for years. And the fact that I did not see anything wrong with people seeking help as it pertains to this, but there was never a reason for me to do the same.

I told him God is my source. I go to Him for everything. While I have common sense about things and am prescribed medicines that I take that are required, I choose not to depend on medications doctors believe are necessary for healing. I keep it at a minimum. However, every day I pray to God for healing. Every day, I pray for strength to endure. God is the one I profess all my troubles to. I couldn’t help but think, though, where he was going with this. And out of nowhere he begins to express [loudly] his disagreement with people being in denial, telling me how he thinks it is absurd that people think God is the only answer. In no uncertain terms he let me know we NEED to have common sense about things and it mustn’t always be religious.

By this time I started to dishevel but did my best to remain calm and collected. I won’t go into details where this conversation led, but I will say this: I acknowledged his statement but let him know I understood that a difference must exist between spiritual and physical as well as know the difference between common sense and reality. However, my spirituality will never be placed under subjection when faced with a decision about my life. God always will be the priority in everything I do because it is by His Spirit he will give me guidance and direction on what it is I am to do. He is the ultimate source of my well-being. He gives me strength.

I told the driver I am not one to discount the merits of any professional when help is needed to any degree whether it’s for an addiction, for medical purposes, or whatever. I commend doctors for all they do and help with the physical healing process. But they don’t have all the answers, nor will I turn to them for all the answers. I will turn to God. For God guides the hands of the doctors to heal the sick. It is by his authority.

I also made it clear God will give me discernment and wisdom to know when I need to seek further help from a professional based on the severity of the issue I may be facing. But by no means will I ever put anything or anyone above the source I solely depend on; God. Nor will I ever deny my faith in God and what it is I know he can do, regardless whatever situation I face! I guess that was not good enough for him because he made it a point to continue this subject until I reached my destination.

He went on to talk about a friend of his who is a psychiatrist that works with mentally ill and sick people in another country and how he believes they are the ones that matter because they do not rely solely on God for healing but use common sense to seek professional help. In other words, “people like me don’t.” Hmmm was all I could say in my mind.

He expressed his dissatisfaction with people like me who feel that God should be the only one we seek when healing is required. He said, “Let the professionals do their work and let God do what he needs to do outside of that.” Although I had had enough, all I could do was look at him in disbelief and think about how I was going to respond.

My answer was brief and to the point. I told him that while I agree professionals have a job to do, it is because of God that they are in a position to do what they do. It is never up to me to discredit their authority but it is my duty to uphold the ultimate authority God has. He has all authority. He is the one who grants authority to people in their professional capacity to perform as they do. He uses us for his purpose. God does the work, we just work through him.

My second thought was as if he didn’t already know that being in his taxi on my way to see the doctor is evidence that I have wisdom and understand that I need doctors to help with the healing process as well as with keeping conditions I suffer with under control. I am far from stupid. I do let them do their work through the power and authority they possess. At the same time I allow God to do his work through the power he will give them. They are being used by him to serve a purpose.

I was so glad I was almost at my destination. As my hand held the door handle ready to jump out the car before I reverted to the old me, he said upon arrival, “It was nice talking with you.” With humility and a smile, I said, “Thank you. Have a good one!”

As I walked towards the door of my doctor’s office, I began to internalize and reflect on what just happened because I believe every encounter is an opportunity for God to work within us. There is a lesson to be learned.

I realized in a few moments I had become so frustrated and wanted to react with anger and contempt. But I didn’t nor could I let him see my frustration. I managed to keep my composure. The first thing I did was say to myself, “Thank you God. I may not be what I’m supposed to be but because of you I’m not what I used to be.” And he [Mr Taxi Driver from La La land] should be glad too! I will pray for him and for me, too.

Then I thought to myself, there’s something I need to get from this. I realized there should not be a reason to give in to people or things that don’t necessarily fit in with my beliefs. There’s no need to become argumentative, rude, belligerent, or defensive. We all are entitled to an opinion. I am not here to convince anyone to abandon their beliefs. Nor will I argue with them to justify theirs.

However, I believe as a Christian it is my purpose to defend the reason why I believe what I believe with the intent to show others the hope I have in God.

Lastly, I learned this from Bishop T.D. Jakes:

“Before you fully lead, you must withstand controversy and conflict.

A.) Leaders tend to be controversial
B.) Leaders’ decisions create conflict
C.) Leaders are persons of commitment
D.) Leaders are guided by their character

Be COUREGEOUS and accept the leadership responsibility of being controversial. You are not POSITIONED to make everyone like you! That’s God’s job. It’s called FAVOR…and…It ain’t fair.”

(WTAL  – 52 Days of Pecking Orders – Day 20)

As for me, I am a leader, not a follower. I don’t force my religion on others. I respect their beliefs. But when I am presented with an opportunity to share my faith in God, I will. A life lost should be a life celebrated. Death should not be such a travesty that we seize opportunities to capitalize, gossip, tear down, fight, hate, and judge. We all must die some day. But until we do, seize every opportunity to make a difference. Never compromise your belief. Live by what you know.

God is the way and the truth and the life. Please, let his light shine. RIP Whitney Houston.

1 Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect,”

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