My friend, Doris, sent me the anonymous story below today. It made me cry.
My blog is all about loving one another by spreading love, joy, peace, faith and unity.
Treating each other with respect, giving each human his/her deserved dignity is paramount!
We need to spread the word, support and embrace our Native American families – and help them live peaceful, healthy, productive lives wherever they choose to live. We need to help them get an education equivalent to any other American, and we need to STOP the discrimination.
We need to let every person – regardless of race or other personal qualities – work to achieve the “American Dream.” No holds barred!! Let’s do what we can to make this world a better place for ALL!!
Many thanks to “Dreamstime” for these lovely photos of a few Native American people:
Here is the “anonymous story” …
A white man and an elderly Native man became pretty good friends, so the white guy decided to ask him: “What do you think about Indian mascots?” The Native elder responded, “Here’s what you’ve got to understand. When you look at black people, you see ghosts of all the slavery and the rapes and the hangings and the chains. When you look at Jews, you see ghosts of all those bodies piled up in death camps. And those ghosts keep you trying to do the right thing. “But when you look at us you don’t see the ghosts of the little babies with their heads smashed in by rifle butts at the Big Hole, or the old folks dying by the side of the trail on the way to Oklahoma while their families cried and tried to make them comfortable, or the dead mothers at Wounded Knee or the little kids at Sand Creek who were shot for target practice. You don’t see any ghosts at all. “Instead you see casinos and drunks and junk cars and shacks. “Well, we see those ghosts. And they make our hearts sad and they hurt our little children. And when we try to say something, you tell us, ‘Get over it. This is America. Look at the American dream.’ But as long as you’re calling us Redskins and doing tomahawk chops, we can’t look at the American dream, because those things remind us that we are not real human beings to you. And when people aren’t humans, you can turn them into slaves or kill six million of them or shoot them down with Hotchkiss guns and throw them into mass graves at Wounded Knee. “No, we’re not looking at the American dream. And why should we? We still haven’t woken up from the American nightmare. ~source unknown
Pray with me that the “American Nightmare” will end for our Native American people. Work with me in ways we can help.
These are legitimate places where the money donated is guaranteed to help Native American students. You may have other ideas for ways we can EMBRACE NATIVE AMERICANS. If so, I’d love to hear from you. It is waaaay past time for us to end the way in which these lovely people are downtrodden.
You know I need you. We’re wired for connection, Love and belonging.
Birthday girl needs love. Friends need connectivity. We crave relations.
We’re in the same nest. We’re born in this together. But don’t smother me!
I rise with the sun Into a brand new morning Facing a new day.
Connected to God. Learning to live cautiously, Leaning on my Lord.
“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.”
When is it Time?
If baby robin #4 in that nest up there doesn’t sharpen her will, poke her beak up with the rest, and open up, she will be doomed to the nest forever!
So, we who need one another are asking ourselves, “When it it time to open up? When it it time to let our courage and our natural need for connections take hold? When can we do it safely?”
Should we wear a mask or not? Should we join the protestors or not? When it is time to believe COVID-19 is safely at bay?
Each Person is Different
Not only is each person different, but each area of our world is different, too. Here in Montana, I could join my friends for a small birthday gathering outside (only 7 of us) and feel safe. I realize everyone in the world does not have that luxury.
But while we each are different, so are we all alike in many ways. We all crave genuine connection.
Matthew Lieberman, a Harvard-trained psychologist wrote,
“The human brain is wired to be social. Love and belonging might seem like a convenience we can live without, but our biology is built to thirst for connection because it is linked to our most basic survival needs.”
Birds of a feather Flock together, connecting Love and harmony.
Likewise, we humans Crave times to touch each other. Isolation hurts!
Pray for Opportunities
We need connection. Pray for opportunities To safely gather.
I pray for your health. I pray for our world’s return To safe gatherings.
I pray for world peace, For racial equality, God’s intervention.
Lord, help us all to Turn to You for our guidance. Lift us safely up.
Open every beak To receive life’s sustenance And sing Your glory.
Have a Hallelujah Day, my friends. I feel your presence…
This rampant racism and blatant injustice must stop!
Pray for “Giant George” (nicknamed “Big Floyd”) and his family.
Reread MLK’s “I Have a Dream.”
It’s well overdue.
I Have a Dream
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on August 28th, 1963. Fifty-seven years later, it is time to revisit this unfulfilled dream. LET’S MAKE THIS DREAM COME TRUE!! Be a catalyst for long overdue change and racial equality. Let’s reach out, dissolve all divides, and just love one another!!!!
Time to revisit Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr’s dream, hear his peaceful pursuit of racial equality, and time to MAKE THIS DREAM A REALITY!
(The bold print in this speech are my emphasis. I feel those statements are so appropriate to the injustice and the reactions seen today – May 29, 2020… a sad time in America’s history amidst this George Floyd travesty and the COVID-19 that sees not color or class, but preys on areas of density and poverty).
“Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity.
But 100 years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself in exile in his own land.
And so we’ve come here today to dramatize a shameful condition. In a sense we’ve come to our nation’s capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men – yes, black men as well as white men – would be guaranteed the unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked insufficient funds.
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we’ve come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and the security of justice.
We have also come to his hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.
Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. 1963 is not an end, but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual…
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place, we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence.
Again and again, we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. And they have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom…
There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, when will you be satisfied? We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality…
We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.
No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream. …
So even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day down in Alabama … little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today. I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I go back to the South with. With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning: My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrims’ pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania. Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado. Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California. But not only that, let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia. Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee. Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
And when we see this happen, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual: Free at last. Free at last. Thank God almighty, we are free at last.”
Here is American civil rights leader Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968) as he addressed crowds during the March On Washington at the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC, in 1963 where he gave his ‘I Have A Dream’ speech.
Do not let Martin Luther King Jr’s dream die. Do not let George Floyd’s death be in vain. Let your righteous anger spur you to action. Pray that God will show us what He wants us to do next in the memory and honor of MLK,Jr. and “Big Floyd.” Make their lives count. Make the dream a reality!
Today we are on the letter D. I could have used the word DEVOTION, because it is so important that we express our praise and devotion to our Maker and offer thanks to Him every day. But, instead, I decided to use the word DECODE – – – with an emphasis on devotion.
Decode the World Around Us
D ecide E veryday to C ompassionately love O thers and D eal with E verything fairly
and fight for
In their book, Spiritual Literacy,
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
wrote the following,
“Express your feelings of …
adoration through devotional practices.
Pray with words and pray through your actions.”
Decode through Prayer and Bible Study
In a world filled with hate, cruelty, and divisiveness, we can find ways through prayer and Bible study to decode the world around us and live more lovingly, more purposefully, and more intentionally as Brothers and Sisters. Our adoration must be directed heavenward and to one another… not on things that are temporary. Pray fervently for our leaders, for world peace, and for the understanding of friends and family, allies and foes.
Pray for the wisdom to see and understand and act on God’s purposes for you today.
Yesterday was the 25th of April. Each day I read a chapter in Proverbs to correspond with the day of the month (Proverbs has 31 chapters). Chapter 25’s subheading in my Eugene H. Peterson’s translation, The Message, is “The Right Word at the Right Time.”
Find wisdom in the Book of Wisdom, Proverbs, which contains the wise sayings of Solomon:
Proverbs 25: 8 “Don’t jump to conclusions – There may be a perfectly good explanation for what you saw.”
So, we reserve judgement – and as we seek to decode what we see and hear, we look for ways to be affirmative or compassionately corrective.
Verses 11 and 12 say, “The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, And a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger.”
Be a reliable friend.
See and fulfill your purpose through the gift of reliability!
Be a cool drink in the sweltering heat of friends’ lives!
Decode the World though Giving
Give generosity instead of animosity. You get what you give!
Give goodness instead of rudeness. You get what you give!
But, don’t give to get! Let your motives be pure love. Give without expecting anything in return.
Just Do it!
Step out in Faith!!
Your world will clear up,
detangle, be kinder,
and you will live in greater inner peace –
if you decode with devotion,
prayer, Bible study,
and selfless giving.
It is Martin Luther King Sunday! We celebrated this momentous day at the Bloom in the Desert Ministries in Palm Springs, California. Rev. Kevin A. Johnson delivered the message. As is my habit, I took notes poetically during the sermon. Here is what I heard Rev. Kev say after the sharing of Bible story of Jesus’ first miracle:
Isaiah held firm and encouraged
The people to speak out.
Do not be silent; be encouraged.
Let your convictions eek out.
Exclusion and hate are taught
In many places in our land,
But pockets of humanity exist –
Some are right here where we stand.
We are called to be up-lifters.
In authentic ministry we speak.
Our call is to the Glory of God.
Love and kindness are what we seek.
In John 2:1-11, Jesus performed
His first miracle; quite a display!
Hundreds of gallons of water into wine!
My, what would we do with such today?
The point isn’t the miracle of wine.
It is the extravagance of Christ’s love.
It is the way Jesus helps in more
Ways than we can imagine – way above!
Jesus was only beginning His miracles.
He was tolerated until He messed
With the money of the church.
Then His ministry was put to the test.
Today is the celebration of MLK Jr.’s life.
We recall the way His life was given
In compassion for the poor and the sad,
For the disenfranchised and the imprisoned.
Martin Luther King lived out his faith
With a call to action in the power of peace.
Like Jesus and MLK Jr., we are called
To make our world more lovely and eliminate grief.
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness;
Only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate;
Only love can do that.”
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is the unison prayer we read as a congregation. It touched my heart. I hope it impresses upon your heart, too:
“O God, all people are your beloved – across races, nationalities, identities, religions, sexual orientations, and all ways we are distinctive from one another. We are all manifestations of your image. ‘We are bound together in an inescapable network of mutuality and tied to a single garment of destiny.’ You call us to action for your unending work of justice, peace, and love. Reassure us of your presence among us now. Awaken us to delight in our diversity, which glimpses the mosaic of your beauty. Strengthen us in your steadfast love. Transform despair and fatigue into hope and action. In the protection of your wings, carry us to find rest, renewal, strength and hope. We are inspired by the example of your modern prophet and Christian disciple, our brother, Martin. Thank you. Amen.”
How did you celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Did you honor his legacy in a way that recognized his example, his passion for equality, non-violence, and love for all humankind? Tell me about it!