Perception is just that.


When I worked at a preschool in Lansing my boss would play the same cd every day. There was a song with a line that I could’ve sworn said “God, you shed Your blood on Calvary.” But I’m fairly certain that the song wasn’t even in English. Even still, that’s all I could hear on that line and it’s because I was filtering the music through my Jesus-music filled mind. 
I can think of countless examples like this where I see or hear things that aren’t really there, but they seem real in my mind because they are associated with something I have an actual memory of that is triggered by what’s really there. 

Is begs the question, is perception really reality?

Ok. Now what?


There was a pastor was at the Ella Baker Child Policy Training Institute (Freedom School national training) this summer. She told a story of when the leaders of the church asked the people in the congregation what they needed.

A homeless man stood up and said he needed a job to which she replied “We will pray for you to get a job.” He responded with “I don’t want your damn prayers. I want a job.”

Kirk Franklin has a song called “First Love.” There’s a line that says “They were quick to pray, but slow to move.”

I think that anecdote and those lyrics sum up my current frustration with Christian people. I feel the need to be a part of community movements especially those that deal with bettering people’s everyday lives so deeply that I literally can’t sleep sometimes because of everything that’s going on surrounding Mike Brown and every other Black victim of police brutality and racism in general.

I turn to Facebook to express myself and talk and some people hit me with “we just need to pray.”

I agree. Let’s pray because racism is a stronghold and a principality. Let’s pray because we need God to be our peace. Let’s pray because we need strength to be active.

I probably lost my amen corner on that last one.

I’m sure some people stayed at home to pray when Joshua and everyone else marched around Jericho.

Moses wouldn’t be all that cool if he had decided he’d done enough by talking to The Lord.

I’m curious if the Gospels would include the story of feeding the 5000 if Jesus had just stood there and prayed for everyone instead of feeding them.

How many people can you name in the New Testament who literally died for acting on what they believe?

To make this clear, I fully acknowledge that these people prayed first before they did the works they are known for. But I’d like to also make THIS clear. After they prayed, they did the work.

But we wonder why there are so many people who are raised in churches, but grow up to be atheists. Based on observation and conversation they’re tired of waiting on Jesus to intervene.

What they don’t understand is the same thing passive Christians seem to be missing. God gave us the responsibility of doing His work in the earth.

My new favorite song “Do Something” Matthew West

If you don’t feel like listening to the song, here’s the first verse.

I woke up this morning
Saw a world full of trouble now
Thought, how’d we ever get so far down
How’s it ever gonna turn around
So I turned my eyes to Heaven
I thought, “God, why don’t You do something?”
Well, I just couldn’t bear the thought of
People living in poverty
Children sold into slavery
The thought disgusted me
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”


What good is it, dear brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but don’t show it by your actions? Can that kind of faith save anyone? Suppose you see a brother or sister who has no food or clothing, and you say, “Good-bye and have a good day; stay warm and eat well”—but then you don’t give that person any food or clothing. What good does that do? So you see, faith by itself isn’t enough. Unless it produces good deeds, it is dead and useless. (‭James‬ ‭2‬:‭14-17‬ NLT)
Related, but not related: I was listening to a Christian radio station and they played a clip of Max Lucado. He said that non-religious people tend to have longer marriages than Christians. The reason? When they have issues in their marriages, they work on them and fix them. They take responsibility. Christians, on the other hand, pray about the problems and when God doesn’t fix them they say it’s not His will to stay married and give up. Y’all see the correlation or naw? God clearly wants marriages to last and I’m just as convinced that He wants racial tension to end, but we have to work.

We’re waiting on Him. He’s waiting on us.

But OhCAE, imma stop here cuz I’m getting riled up.

Stay tuned for my next post where I discuss some of the responses I got to a question as posed in my Facebook status. “Can a thinking person be a Christian? (or devoted to any organized religion)”
You may or be not be surprised by some people’s reasons for staying with or turning away from religion.

Thank A Teacher


When I was in…

…Kindergarten, I learned the word “violence”. I still remember the horrified look on my teacher, Ms. Leebove’s, face when she heard that I had gotten in trouble in gym for taking something from someone. What the gym teacher didn’t see is that the girl took it from me. I was just getting it back. However, I learned to do right by others even if they’re not treating you right. Outsiders will make assumptions for which you will have to pay consequences.

…first grade, I was tardy one time and had no absences. The tardy I had was a day I had a dentist appointment. When I got to school, my teacher (Ms. Salarry) showed my mom that she had already marked me tardy because she knew I was coming. That day I learned that being timely and having good attendance is something to take pride in and it’s expected.

…fourth grade, I had a teacher who called me “mouth from the south.” That year, I was the top student, but I also got my first 2 in citizenship. My uncle died that year and my granny had a stroke. Having Mrs. R. Hawkins, that year helped me to understand that it was ok to express myself in times of emotional frustration.

…fifth grade, I had a teacher who was a Muslim, Mrs. Muhammad. She taught me so much! However, I was a skeptical kid so she’d say things and I would look them up if I disagreed. 99% of the time she was right. One day she told me “Little Sister, I love that you challenge what I say and don’t just take my word for it.” I’ll never forget that. It felt great to have an adult in my life not feel like I was threatening their authority with my 10 year old opinions.

…seventh grade, I had a teacher who made me enjoy science for the first time in my life. One day, we were playing a game in which each table of 4 students became a team. My team sat in the front RIGHT NEXT to Mrs. Rucker. A question came up about muscles. My team insisted that biceps work more than the heart. Since I was outnumbered, I relented. We held up our card and got it wrong. Then Sheryl stopped the game and made a general statement. She said “If you are right and you KNOW you’re right, I don’t care how many people oppose you, you stick to your response until everyone changes to your answer.” I knew she was talking to me and she wasn’t just talking about the game.

…ninth grade, I had the most awesome English teacher ever. I hated English before high school, she was convinced somehow that I was good at it though. At the end of the year, Mrs. Green recommended me to be in the Pre-AP track. Amongst innumerable other things, from her I learned that sometimes other people believe in your gift even when you’re unaware that it’s there.

…tenth grade, I joined the Harp and Vocal Ensemble. Mrs. Ross, who is so full of wisdom, stopped us from singing one day when we were doing a horrible job and made us intermingle and stand next to another one of our sisters from different sections. It seems simple enough. I’ll be singing the same thing, but without the support or crutch of my sisters from my section. We sounded great. From that tiny exercise, I learned that support systems are good, but there are some things that end up a lot better when you hold your own.

…twelfth grade, I had one teacher who I had had twice before for other classes. MC loved me. After all, she had seen me grow from the extremely insecure nervous ninth grader to the maturing senior. You’d think that since I was so close to the grade and I knew her so well she’d just GIVE me an A for once! But no, she gave me the B+ I had earned. From her I learned that while it’s good to be close to the right people, that won’t always work in your favor that way you hope that it will. You reap what you sow.

I’m pretty sure none of them remember these days that changed the course of my life.

You may feel insignificant, but everything you do matters and makes an impression on someone.

Little Girl, Are You Listening?


(This is an old blog from 2012.)

One day, I was in the car with my sister and brother (Tan and Tyrone). Ty had just bought an old Mary Mary CD (Incredible) so we were listening to it during our ride. There’s a song on it entitled “Little Girl”. It’s a song that’s supposed to encourage young teenage girls to see their beauty and love it. As it played, I closed my eyes and envisioned my 13 year old self and inwardly I apologized to her for ignoring her feelings and making her pretend to be perfect and unmoved by her life.
I told her I was sorry for not giving her the chance to love the 200 lb body she had. I reminded her that she’s pretty even with all the acne. And I told her that even if none of the boys at school wanted to be her boyfriend, she’s still pretty and an amazing person who deserves to be treasured.
I actually shed a tear when I saw her response to the final thing I told her. I simply said, “I understand completely. I see through the façade and I care about the real you.”

The picture that came to my mind was of me at my 13th birthday party. As my 23rd birthday is nearing I have decided to deal with the issues I’ve buried for so long. Like many girls, I dealt with a lot of body image problems. However, I never felt like I had the platform to discuss it with anyone bc I thought they couldn’t understand. I wouldn’t even admit to myself that I was bothered. I decided to focus on my good characteristics. I capitalized on the fact that I excelled in school. I completely ignored my emotions, publicly. But as a teenager, many nights I cried myself to sleep. I was so displeased with my life and I didn’t want to taint my image so I kept it to myself.
Now, I’m wise enough to know that that was just a tactic of the devil to isolate me and make me feel like no one was invested in me. But as miserable as I was, I don’t regret one tear filled night. 10 years later, I have a testimony and a great appreciation for every woe.

I encourage you to acknowledge your past hurts. Reconcile with your inner child and be healed, in Jesus’s name.