The Beauty of my Day of Birth

Every year is so much sweeter than the last. My day of birth is more than just getting older. With each new day, I become richer with every breath that I take. I celebrated with my sister earlier today over a beautiful lunch. So precious is our time with family!!

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When My Inner Voice Speaks

I usually speak to my mom each night before I go to bed. It’s funny…it’s seems that no matter how old I get, there’s still a kind of comfort that can only come from that one, all-important phone call to end my nights properly. My mom asked, as she usually does on Saturday night, if I was going to church the next morning. I said that I was pretty sure that I would not be attending. My mom accepted my answer with no fuss or muss as we both agreed that we would speak in the morning before she left home for service.

Well, I couldn’t agree with that old adage more, that says something about the best laid plans not always working out. When I woke up this morning, I became immediately convicted about my decision to stay home and not go to church. After all, there really wasn’t anything that I had to do that should get in the way of my going. But my original plan was to take a shower, get dressed, make myself some breakfast, and then sit on the side of my bed, (as I often do) and either envelop myself in the computer or a book that I am trying so diligently to complete. Now, to you, the reader, these plans may not seem like anything dire or anything that has to be done with any kind of urgency on a lovely Sunday morning, such as this one that I have again been so blessed to wake up to. Yet, it was my original quest to do each of these non-critical things.

However, once my feet hit the cold hardwood floors of my bedroom, and the warm sunlight streamed in to bid me good morning, I automatically walked over to my closet to figure out what I was going to wear to church. Yes, just like that, my best-laid plans had changed, within an instant. I didn’t have to look very long to figure out what to wear and quickly began preparing to make my way to morning service. You may be wondering, what happened? I was determined to go in one direction, but quickly found myself headed in another.

You see, I couldn’t bring myself to sit idly by, not properly paying homage to my Father; the one who makes it possible for me to open my eyes every day and take in my precious surroundings. God has been showing me some really pivotal things lately, things that I cannot ignore. I’ve been learning to put every bit of my trust in him and his promise to provide for everything my heart desires. The world has been crashing down around me lately, one thing after the other. Things that the average person would wonder how they would manage to work through. I have truly been realizing, with shocking clarity, that no matter what happens, no matter how big or small the problems are that arise, God is always there and has never and will never let me down.

Worrying is the human thing to do, but what does it really accomplish? A headache maybe, an elevation in blood pressure? And oh, yes. Let’s not forget, much unnecessary stress. Worrying certainly doesn’t make the problems disappear. If anything, it seems to exacerbate them. Who needs that, right? It’s a beautiful thing when I came to realize that putting my trust in God is the worry-free option that can move all the mountains that seem to be forming around me. I can only sit in awe and marvel at the profound blessings that God has bestowed upon me. But I had to first learn to cast all my worries and cares upon him. Admittedly, I’m not perfect and don’t always do this, as the human side randomly rears it’s fickle head from time to time.

I said all that to say this. I’m so glad that I listened to my inner voice as it is always speaking to me, ever so subtlety. It was so wonderful to fellowship and commune with others. Attending church is one of the ways I say “thank you” to God, for all that He does in my life. I can now sit on the side of my bed, envelop myself in the computer, or go back to reading that book I’m trying so diligently to complete, and do it all with a clear conscience. My new quest…to listen to my inner voice when it’s speaking. It usually has something very important to say; something I need to heed!

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

The Best Part of Your Life Awaits You

Here’s a beautiful post from my friend Karen Delchamps! It is such an inspirational piece that I just couldn’t just keep it to myself. By the way, I’ve read her book Reinholder to Rainmaker. It’s an awesome book and I’m so glad I have my copy! Enjoy!

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Karen10Your best life awaits.  Don’t be fooled, it is not obtained by “finding God or being born again.”  It is not acquired by the average person changing his ways to a higher level of religious behaviors by which he now adheres to a new format of practices such as attending church every Sunday or praying before each meal.  In fact, not even the closest of family members, a best friend, or spouse would notice any visible changes or variations in the daily routine.  It is not gained by discontinuing certain behaviors or actions like smoking, consuming alcohol, or even using drugs.  The misconception that a person must change his ways is nonsensical rubbish perpetuated centuries ago by the churchgoers to separate themselves from the “barbarians.” There are no physical requirements. This new metaphysical and spiritual start must begin with the present state of who you are.  The journey begins only…

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Still…I Write

Writing is truly a gift that I have been blessed with. I say that because sometimes I am amazed at the onslaught of words that come to me. Sometimes, in such abundance, that it’s overwhelming. I can only conclude that these colorful expressions must come from God above.

From as far back as I can remember, I have loved everything about writing. As a young girl, I would take a book and copy the pages, word for word, just because I loved to ‘write’ and the whole writing process. A pen and paper – two best friends; like peanut butter and jelly. They just go together and one without the other simply doesn’t work. I enjoyed the way a pen and pencil felt between my fingers and the magic I could create with these instruments.

I learned early on the value of words and all the different meanings one can express through their creative and intellectual usage. Little did I know at the time, that I had a whole lot of things to express from within, some from pure imagination, while other thoughts were to be born out of sheer life experience. 

I will admit that there are some days where as much as I like to write, I simply don’t always feel up to it and  often feel guilty as a result. It seems I can’t squeeze out one consonant, vowel, syllable, fragment, phrase, sentence,etc. It seems impossible to make even one participial phrase dangle or one subject and verb come to an agreement. I often wonder why if I enjoy ‘writing’ so much, are there times when I don’t have any interest in putting my pen to paper or my fingers to my laptop keyboard? Sometimes, it feels like not a single creative thought is anywhere in sight. So, I often look back at things that I’ve written previously and try to take my mind back to where it was when I wrote those pieces. It’s almost like an out-of-body experience because on the days when creativity seems to escape me, I wonder how and if I can find it again!

So what do I do in these instances? I muddle through and write anyway; even in the midst of a seemingly blank canvass. I release that first drop of ink, that first keystroke onto the fresh white space that is just waiting for me to fill it with substance.  Even when my heart doesn’t seem to be in it….still, I write. When the ‘word well’ seems to have run dry…still, I write. When creativity and imagination seem to have taken an unexpected vacation…still, I write. Pen and paper come together again to form the bond that can only be created by their melodious union…kind of like that peanut butter and jelly that forms a perfect partnership! What’s your take?

By Sylvia Porter-Hall

Image: Free google images

 

Delivery is everything!

 

 

 

 

I’ve attended many church sermons in my life, some thoroughly relevant, while others have sometimes been somewhat mundane and more or less lost me in the message. But I am happy to say that today, I attended church where the assistant pastor gave the sermon in the head pastor’s absence. Let’s just say that I couldn’t be happier that I chose today to attend.

The assistant pastor spoke of the importance of a man showing honor to his wife. He made note of 1Peter 3:7, where the bible says that a husband should dwell with his wife. He supported the scripture by stating  that not a day should go by where a husband neglects to remind his wife of how beautiful,special, and loved she is.  He went on to reinforce that a man that finds a wife, finds a good thing and that a wife is a man’s prize and/or gift from God. The man’s role is as a protector and a provider for his wife. As I sat there taking in his message, I realized how much what was being said resonated with me and to many others in attendance as they confirmed their agreement in audible shouts of uplifting acknowledgement. Now, as I said earlier, I’ve heard many sermons, and this pastor didn’t have any particular style that stood out. But what did hit home was in the way he delivered his message.

This pastor delivered today’s sermon with a grin, one that was almost out of place, but the message itself and his ability to weave himself throughout the fabric of the content, made it a standout sermon in my mind. I was even led to jot down a few notes while he spoke. It was the kind of message that should have been recorded and played back to the masses so that it could help someone later on down the road. There’s no doubt in my mind that it would indeed strike a chord in someone’s spirit, some where.

I was so moved that I had to approach this pastor after service ended and commend him on his powerful message. Surprisingly, he responded with the same laid back, casual demeanor and grin he always has; almost as if he hadn’t delivered a message at all. I guess that’s just the way he is; a humble spirit. Evidently, it works well for him. I’m not sure if he truly realizes how important the words he spoke meant to not only me as a woman, but the rest of the congregation in attendance. This was a message that needed to be said, but more importantly, it needed to be heard.

On Sunday mornings, I try to start my day by listening to Pastor Joel Osteen at 9:00 am. Interestingly, he delivered a similar message this morning but provided a kind of flip side to the pastor’s message I later heard at church today. Pastor Osteen expressed the importance of a wife finding one thing that she could praise her husband for and practice finding something positive daily and he referred to this as pouring honor into your husband and marriage. Pastor Osteen said that the wife is in control of what he termed the honor faucet. In other words, the more she, the wife, turns this faucet on with her positive words of encouragement, the more honor will flow throughout the marriage. Pastor Osteen believes that doing this regularly will bring about amazing results.

Needless to say, when I heard the pastor begin to deliver his sermon in church, I immediately recognized the parallel to Pastor Olsteen’s earlier message. It was truly an aha moment for meBut I can’t help but wonder, had I not heard Pastor Osteen’s message first this morning, would the pastor’s sermon I heard at church have moved me as much? I think it would have regardless because a big part of what made it work was in the delivery. After all, delivery is everything!

Who’s watching your neighborhood?

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Breanna Edwards posted a story today April 22, 2014, via Pennlive.com reporting that the Fairview Township in a Pennsylvania neighborhood will be under the watchful and protective eye of an unlikely neighorhood watch group. This group will consist of members of the local chapter of the Tradionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. My jaw has dropped and is on the keyboard as I am typing this! It’s hard to imagine why anyone would want this group watching any neighborhood, let alone their own.

According to Pennlive.com, this action was triggered by a slew of break-ins in the area. Supposedly this was a common sense move. The obvious questions might be: common to who and what sense does this make? How would allowing members of a notorious “hate” group watch over any neighbor be considered a sensible move? Again, sensible to who?

Well, it makes sense to the imperial wizard and president of the organization, Frank Ancona. According to Mr. Ancona, the national organization at the local chapter requested the sponsoring of this initiative. He also says that this neighborhood watch program is like any other program and claims that it doesn’t target any particular ethnicity. Supposedly, law enforcement will be notified of anything that program members see. You might be wondering how far this statement can and will be stretched? Will only criminal,violent, and suspicious activity be reported? Or will people whom this group feels look “suspicious” or who look like they may be up to something also be reported to law enforcement? Mr. Ancona goes on to say, “We don’t hate people. We are an organization who looks out for our race. We believe in racial separation. God created each species after its kind and saw that this was good”.

The national organization has approved of this move and the members of the local chapter have put the plan into action. Fairview Township residents living along Ridge Rd awoke recently to find fliers on their doorsteps introducing this new “watch” group and audaciously displaying a man in the familiar pointed hood as you can see depicted above this post. The flyers not only boldly boast that the neighborhood can now sleep with the klan watching over it, but also has the nerve to include a 24-hour contact “Klanline” phone number. Just when you think you’ve heard it all, an event like this comes along and both shocks and disgusts you, all over again! Do you know who’s watching your neighborhood?

 

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