What is Your Focus?

Mind., Spirit and In-Spirit-ation, The Vent, Writing

I read this article and it coincides with an article my best friend Brittany sent me today about thoughts.

We can think about so much of what we do not want that we absolutely miss what God wants and the fact that we have the time and space to do what He is asking. I look at my life and see it as a tangle of yarn that I am trying to see how it got like that. If I look back over my year, I can see some highlights and some firsts, and even people who benefited. But (and I know it is a faux pas to start a sentence with but,) if my ball of yarn life is only fun to a kitten who randomly plays with it, rather than being a crochet blanket or pot holder that helps those closely surrounding me, am I really effective? And so no. I am not effective and I am not focused as June 5th, 2022. I am taking time to assess myself and my works and my faith and my intentions and my pride and my ego and my go-getter qualities that led to my will being done rather than God’s. And I pray that I will get on track in a timely and dedicated manner.

You know how you look back at your life and see points when you were so sure and so committed and so in the saddle and you wonder where that person has gone? Or what perfect circumstances where being held together or who were you studying or what were your habits and your thoughts?

The good thing about it is that we are alive and breathing.

The bad part about it is that we let it get here. I repent of the here I am at currently.

If I were to write out all the self-inflicted negatives, I would be thoroughly embarrassed because my actions do not reflect someone who knows Christ/God is the source of all their blessings. The main theme that you would see is a lack of stewardship, organization and planning. And I have actively tried in the past to correct those things but not with the gusto I really needed. I was doing it one toe in the water instead of fully jumping in and it goes back to my thoughts.

Do I really see myself as capable? Am I able to stand my ground and maintain in the face of opposition?

This article is the answer to all my running and escapism from the real problem: my own lack of focus.

I hope it helps you as much as it did me.

-R.S.

Jesus Didn’t Tap 

Spirit and In-Spirit-ation

#JesusDidn’tTap  

Hear the song here!!! Jesus Didn’t Tap

So remember the Power Rangers…and a bowl of Lucky Charms before school? Tommy the Green Ranger?

Jason David Frank played Tommy.

Jason is a mixed martial artist and seven degree Black Belt, but above all of else, a Christian. 

Rob and I are watching “American Jesus” on Netflix.

Jason started a Christian mixed martial arts clothing line AND he put out a song entitled “Jesus didn’t tap”. It’s dope!!!! (The link is at the top.)

If you have Netflix, “American Jesus” is mind-blowing because it paints a horrifying truth, really depicting how wrong some have gotten Jesus. Watch with a grain of salt; it’s really interesting. 

Check out Jason’s designs and website. https://www.jesusdidnttap.com
    
   

90s Babies, the Fresh Prince of Peace & The Living Water

RetroStank, Spirit and In-Spirit-ation, The Vent, Writing

On a bench under a tree in Piedmont Park amidst the playground and the catbirds, three-and-a half souls sat: Robert, Carmen, Riley and myself. Gathered to share scripture, struggle, success, and prayer, the Atlanta sun shone us. I asked, “Does anyone want to share a theme they’ve been digesting?” My dazzling husband ( ❤ u baby) Robert,  chimed in with something he had described to his homie who is from Eatonville, FL, Zora Neale Hurston’s birthplace.
As we sat, two girls walked past. We gave them water bottles, wrapped in lime green duct tape and Sharpied with Revelations 22:17, John 3:5, and John 4:14.

They pointed out the group gathered on a quilt, saying that they would want water too.

Slap to the right of us was about ten nineties’ babies. ❤

Rob and Riley reached them first and offered something to wet the tongue and the soul. Carmen shared 1 John 5:9-12 and I showed them how the daughter of an elder, tired of church every Sunday, surrounded by metaphysics, practicing religions from A to Z could find His love again.

“I left high school so sure Christ couldn’t be the Answer because I’d witnessed self-professed Christian leaders wallowing in sin. I couldn’t deal with that. So time, I got to CAU, I was wide open spiritually. I wanted to belong, I wanted to love, I wanted acceptance. We want our families to encourage us and we want to give our love freely. I wanted healing and I was looking under every rock, every flower, every ideology. My grandmama was telling me all the time, “Lauren, the Word is you life.” She did not approve of the Nefertiti sculptures, incense, and Ganesh paintings, but she still called me and she still sent money to me.

Fast forward to 2014 when I became pregnant with my son Riley. My grandmama passed less than a month before he was born. I was speechless. I’ll never forget how I chanted Jesus; I chanted His name. All that pain vanished..

I don’t know what your journey is, what your trials are, but the Lord is waiting on you. You are His. The Earth is His. Every car, every house, every job, every person, every treasure, every place is His.”

Below is the beautiful group that was gracious enough to listen.

To yall, I love you and I am praying for your best.

You are the best version of you, period.

An original creation. Like my grandma would say He wants His best for you, but you have to allow Him in. Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, who died on the cross and by whom we are redeemed back to God.

Young and old, do not be afraid to declare that Christ lives.  “But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭10:33‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Put Satan under your feet as Antoinette Ellis-the Dominicana told me today. Tell Satan he is a lie!

P.s. Everyone check out  http://m-o-n-d-o.tumblr.com/post/122056704144/my-musical-journey-so-far

It is the blog of the dude in the red jacket.

   

 

“And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.”

‭‭Revelation‬ ‭22:17‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.”

‭‭John‬ ‭3:5‬ ‭KJV‬‬

“But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”

‭‭John‬ ‭4:14‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Sidenote —>Rob broke down the true distinction between God’s church and all that that ain’t. “Imagine that the whole world was full of lames. A lame wants to him buy something to boost his credibility. He sees somebody selling Jordan’s. He don’t realize this hustler got FAKE-Fake-Fakety-Fake Jordan’s. We can tell the real Jordan’s by the quality, the Jordan on the sole, the holographic bubble, etcetera. In the same way, God has one real church. If it don’t have the name Christ, then you better check the tag. 😀 That Sunday, me and my homeboy stopped at a Petro; he says to me “Ay cuz” and holds up a pair of fake J’s.” Like Carmen says, God’s got a sense of humor.

 

Sun splash, 

Crystal Palace,

Bob Marley and green pear tea.

Pancake breakfast for three:

The century before cars, ministers travelled on their feet.

Prayer amidst the pain, mellifluous and soothing.

Rich enough to spare a smile when the  purse is down to dimes. 

Life (is) spiced by relationships.

As permanent as white beaded anklets, sincerity is its own tatoo.

The ratio of joy to rain is 3:2.

-R.S.

Written 5-2-2015 amidst surviving.

Sweet Orchard Skittles

Atlanta, poetry., Self Esteem, Spirit and In-Spirit-ation

The Answer

Family, RetroStank, Self Esteem, Spirit and In-Spirit-ation

This is a Read-Aloud exercise.

A MUST READ-ALOUD EXERCISE:
A MUST READ-ALOUD EXERCISE:

Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus. Jesus.

My grandmama taught me to meditate  on Him. Repeating His name as she cleaned the kitchen, washed her dishes, and cooked the vegetables from her garden. She chanted His powerful name while she put the cornmeal back in the cabinet, and the milk and eggs back in the box.

The peace and the energy that gave her!

My grandmama was a witness wherever and whenever: at Brookshire’s, at Simmons Bank, at the Extension Office, at Ford Car Servicing. She was a little old Paul of Tarsis in terms of her fervency in spreading the Good News.

So I am obligated by her example to share who He is. Our Redeemer. The Master. Our Savior. Forever.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.  John 14: 6

I love the Lord. He IS ALWAYS there. In my darkest hour, I tried Him. When my grandmama died, I was eight months pregnant. It was about 10 pm when I found out. I laid across the sofa and called His name. I loved my grandmother. I lived with her in my youth and in young adulthood. I expected that she would meet her first great-grand. But He is your present help.

I’m still here. Ain’t wearing head-to-toe black everyday and crying all over myself, I trust Him.

Confess your sins, repent, and be baptized. He is waiting on you.

💗

R.S.

All My Trials

Family, Mind., RetroStank, Self Esteem, Spirit and In-Spirit-ation

folks wanna read that light, fluffy stuff, but I have to be real: life in 2015 is often full of doo-doo. 

I done took some hits, yall.

Like Langston Hughes, life sho ain’t been no crystal stair. 

  
I am asking God to tell me. Show me, what I must do. 

The “shucks” or “lowballs” are up in the thousands like those arrow-shaped waiting tickets near closing time…I been holding back the tears so long my mouth taste like  straight salt water from all the Undropped tears slipping back into my throat. I will tell you what my shortcomings are: too hard-headed, too self-reliant, uncommunicative about issues, and lately, a bad planner.

 I am striving.

 My husband is STRIVING. 

The systems, man, are structured against us. The odds are stacked like monoliths. 

BUT!

Jesus is the only one for me, when I think of Him. My mind is worry-free, so free, so free. All the struggles of this world can’t get me down. Cuz in Him, I found. In Him I found, sweet peace of mind. 

(Song here: http://youtu.be/AL8Ohs39O5Q)

That’s all folks. 

  

Kaleidoscope

Culture, Spirit and In-Spirit-ation

Beautiful creations!
The human race and its colors truly are kaleidoscopic.

“And GOD said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.” Genesis 1:26

A Cracked Pot Parable

Spirit and In-Spirit-ation

Spirit Lights The Way

Hand-dipping-in-waterAn elderly Chinese woman had two pots, hung on opposite ends of a pole which she carried across her neck.  One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.

At the end of the walk from the spring to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full two years this went on daily, with the woman bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the woman one day by the stream.  “I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to…

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10 Ways To Attract Positive Energy

Healing + Body, Spirit and In-Spirit-ation

Spirit Lights The Way

We are magnets.  When we emit positive energy (thoughts, feelings, and vibrations), we attract more positives to us.

Bueno!  Life, she is good!

Mangia!  Mangia!

When we dwell on the negatives, we attract negatives ~ sapping our energy and strength in the process.

If you’re tired of living under a perpetual rain cloud, keep reading! 

Yes, Eeyore, you too!

If we want to attract heath, wellness, and vitality to ourselves, we must stop circulating (and re-circulating) toxic, negative thoughts and feelings.

Here are 10 Ways to Attract Positive Energy into your life, while boosting your immune system, curing dis-ease, and counter-balancing daily stress:

1.  Love and accept yourself as you are right now.  Start a list to remind yourself of all your wonderful qualities.  Add to it every day.

E.g.,  I am the most positive person I know.

2.  Free yourself from past resentments and disappointments about who you were yesterday.  Stop engaging in self-blame and guilt for past acts and omissions.  Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  Revel in it.

As…

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Getting by with a Nail Clipper

poetry., Spirit and In-Spirit-ation

thCAE15TD2

So imma explain this title a lil bit: basically the default all-purpose tool is a Swiss Army knife, but what if where u at, all to be found is a nail clipper? getting by with a nail clipper is conquering odds, in the face of opponents having machetes and advantages, feel me? Using all your god-given talents and finding a security in your own person-only one gon be with u from beginning to end beside The Almighty…Aight.

Getting By with a Nail Clipper

cant get caught up on personal hangups
like hangnails on pantyhose
making runs cant ruin God’s Master plan
sweep aside my emotion to stand
even though i love that man
hard to swallow cod liver oil a similar test
each heave that i breathe breath
i must fight on this journey
younger cousins lookin at me
so i better hurry
towards the path less travelled
and traverse the rugged road of knowing self
beating away small minded tradition
stepping, bringing dreams into fruition
cuz my elders have watered well
the roots of this branch of the family tree
okra, corn, and purple hull peas have feed my body
and love fed my soul
and i till the soil back into a ground of pure gold
vitamin-rich, seeds got plenty chance to grow
sunshine, wind, and rain Lord protect it from the snow
i keep the weed from my lips and liquors from my liver
may the Divine smile on me, raise me above the nigger
nigger, nigger template not my lane
erect my temple on a rock away from the whipping waves
so by the second that my heartbeat stops, the impact that i’ve made will not be forgot.

file around the nail til its smooth,
keep it pushin
so i can make it do what it do.
R. Charles would be proud, been raised a little in Georgia,
so i understand the country euphoria
of shrimp grits, double dutch, and a Cadillac on D’s.
Light poles and pine trees.
Skint knees, church fans, and butter pecan ice cream
sweet iced tea, birthday money, quilts and thunderstorms
Travel I may but the South is where my head lay
in gentle comfort of the lap of my mother
the Mason-Dixon line her waist
Cotton buds her hair and sunshine her face.
It’s nothing sweeter still
than knowing I lived life trill.

Ritual of Healing #5: Embracing your dark side

Healing + Body, Spirit and In-Spirit-ation, The Vent

Ritual of Healing #5: Embracing your dark side

The Shadow: psychologist Carl Jung broke down that all our unsavory and negative emotions, behaviors, tendencies, and memories combine to create our hidden and unconscious vulnerablities and weaknesses. Dang, turning that finger that points to other people and circumstance to who it needs to be pointed at, i.e. YOU, is something else.

i know that i am at fault on this one; i stay avoiding that “mean/don’t give a damn/selfish/judgemental Lauren”. J. Cole actually has a song called “2Face” (that I recommend and used to play evry morning getting my outfit on) that speaks to this idea of us switching gears between two poles. Man, honestly, just allowing yourself to be authentic and alive in the emotion, positive or negative, is empowering. I had had this obsession with always seeing the good or making excuses for why I should be the bigger person in the scenario (I really think it was remenants of my highly involved dabbling in Buddhism/Hinduism/Taoism/metaphysics/laws of Ma’at that left no room for showing out/clowning/goin off when it was truly warranted.)

Little do you know, we all have periods in our lives where we look back and say “Damn, I was terrible!!” or “That was painful-embarassing-sad” and you know what, those occasions serve as character building.

Flaws.

The Japanese aesthetic view of Wabi-sabi centers on the transience and imperfection of art/life. Roughness, asymmetry, irregularity=BEAUTY

A powerful concept.

anyway, on last night, I took a look in the mirror and said, “I love evry cell in my body, evry vein of my soul, and evry beat of my heart.” especially the Shadow.

(htp.)peace.light.love.

The power of mindfully embracing your dark side!!

via Ritual of Healing #5: Embracing your dark side.

Universal Prayer (from “Easy Steps to Yoga” by Sri Swami Sivananda)

Spirit and In-Spirit-ation

tribal%20free%20designs%20owl%20big%20eyes%20tattoo

UNIVERSAL PRAYER
Thou art, O Lord, the Creator of this Universe. Thou art the Protector of this world. Thou art
in the grass and the rose. Thou art in the sun and the stars. Salutations unto Thee, O Destroyer of the
cycle of births and deaths! Salutations unto Thee, O Bestower of Bliss and Immortality!
O Sweet Lord! May I be free from the bonds of death. May I never forget my immortal
nature! May I be able to look upon all beings with equal vision! May I attain the Supreme seat of
Brahman! May I be free from impurity and sin! May I know my essential nature!
Adorations to the Supreme Being, who dwells in the hearts of all beings, who is in the fire
and water, who is in the plants, herbs and trees, who is in the stone, brick and iron bars, and who is
pervading the whole universe.
I bow to Thee, O Secret of secrets! I bow to Thee, O Indweller of our hearts! I bow to Thee,
O Silent Witness of all activities of all minds! I bow to Thee, O Inner Ruler of all beings, who
pervades and permeates and interpenetrates all things of this universe.
Salutations to Thee, the Supreme Lord! Thou art without beginning and end. Thou art the
flower. Thou art the bee. Thou art woman. Thou art man. Thou art the sea. Thou art the waves. Thou
art the old man tottering with a stick. Thou art the saint. Thou art the rogue.
Thou art Light Divine. Thou art Light of knowledge. Thou art the dispeller of darkness.
Thou art the Supreme Guru. Thou art beyond the reach of mind and speech. Thou art beyond any
kind of limitation. Thou art the Self of this universe.
Thou art Self-luminous. Thou art without parts, without actions, without limbs, without any
taint or fault, without birth and death. Thou art our Father, Mother, Brother, Friend, Relative, Guru
and Sole Refuge! Thou art the embodiment of Peace, Bliss, Power, Knowledge, Strength and
Beauty.

O All-merciful Lord! Through Thy Grace May I realise the Truth. May I always entertain
sublime thoughts. May I realise myself as the Light Divine. May I serve humanity with Atma
Bhava. May I be free from greed, lust, egoism, jealousy and hatred. May I behold the one sweet
Immortal Self in all beings. May I realise Brahman with pure understanding.
May that Light of lights ever guide me! May He cleanse my mind of all impurities! May He
inspire me! May He bestow on me Power, Courage and Strength! May He remove the veil in the
mind! May He remove all obstacles on the spiritual path! May He make my life happy and fruitful. I
bow to Thee,OLord of lords,OGod of gods,ODeva of Devas, the Brahman of the Upanishads, the
Support for Maya and Isvara, the Supreme Bridge to Immortality!
Om Santih! Santih! Santih!

{sharing this because it has helped me get through my fast today.)

Lion-1

“Thusfar has the Lord [Most High] [Great Spirit] [Creator] brought me. I am not worried, cuz THUSFAR has It brought me. He ain’t left me, cuz I know Too Too Too much about Him.”

-an embellishment of Dr. Robert Willingham, Jr.’ s thought 😉

stated August 19, 2013 at the Barraque St. Missionary Baptist Church’s Homecoming… It was truly a flagrant and bright poetic that he spewed.

“Thusfar has the Lord [Most High] Brought Me”koo

Spirit and In-Spirit-ation