If You Slack You’ll Lack

“Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves.
-Matthew 7:15

I had someone once say to me, ” I wouldn’t lie. I am a God-fearing woman.”
I bet you can guess what happened after that! They proceeded to lie to me. Some people don’t serve the same Master you do. Some people say things like that and then pray for forgiveness because their actions are malicious and feed into a part of their nature that they thought they buried.

Know in your heart that you have fear, respect and awe for something greater than yourself. Know what you will and will not tolerate. These things are easy to say and extremely challenging to execute. People who know me are probably thinking, “Shaun says all these motivational things or poetic things but she has problems too.” They would be right!! I have tons of things I imagined differently. They will only become “problems” if I give up. I am an emotional,  sensitive, opinionated, frustrated wreck from time to time. What I will tell you is this ship doesn’t sink!

Today I went out in the sunshine and ran. While in the park following the track I was thinking. Do you remember Grimms Little Red Riding Hood? She was devoured because she strayed from her path. She was distracted by something pretty (flowers), someone seemingly harmless (the wolf) and all of a sudden she forgot what she was supposed to be doing!

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There are things you have to do to counteract anything that doesn’t coincide with your desires and the Creator’s will. You know exactly what those things are. If you slip up you will flip out! You may not have your  “crazy moment” as often as I do but it will happen. If you slack, you will lack the things you really really want in this life.

My pastor, Reverend Henry Simmons says, “God will answer all of your prayers. It is either Yes, No, or Wait.”

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That reminds me of a stop light. Don’t run that light!! The yellow isn’t “wait”  but its even better. It’s CAUTION, SLOW DOWN. Just wait for direction.
There are ramifications for being disobedient. Most of us survive those ramifications and some of us do not. Don’t take that gamble.

Recognize the fangs of wolves who have everything to gain from your loss! Finally, key into your survival instincts.

“Alonzo Harris: To protect the sheep you gotta catch the wolf, and it takes a wolf to catch a wolf.”
-Training Day

Try your best to be resilient. Some of the women in my circle are strong and superior to suffering because they refuse to be a victim! They’re tough as nails. That doesn’t mean they don’t cry or vent but they are classy and controlled at least 72% of the time!

Be aware and be courageous. Know you will have slips. Just try your best not to fall and stay down.

By:SMN

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James Jones Jr. “Chains of Love” Continuing A Legacy (Diamond In the Rough)

James Jones Jr. is a musician in every sense of the title. He is an arranger, composer, vocalist, and musical director. He is the vice president of the Jenjillus Music Corporation. One of the artists he worked closely with was his late father and music mogul, Jimmy “Handyman” Jones.  Jimmy is best known for his 1960 hit “Handyman.”  “Handyman” was released in 1959 and gave Jones his first US and UK hit single. James Jones Jr directed Jimmy in the recording studio as well as all live performances. They did numerous shows and sold out tours including The United Kingdom and The Greek Amphitheater in Los Angeles California. James Jones Jr is hoping to give honor to his father’s legacy but also to leave his own unique signature on the music industry.  His new CD has been released on the JenJillus Label and it is entitled, “Chains Of Love”.  The album is a compilation of love songs with a plethora of background vocals and upbeat tempos.  It’s what I call “step music.”  Catchy lyrics and the musicality is just plain ol’ FUN! 

Check it out at: http://www.jango.com/music/James+Jones+Jr+?l=0

CD’s can be purchased at: http://www.jenjillusmusic.com/    

See James Jones Jr’s notorious father on You Tube:www.youtube.com/watch?v=CKpbNvDg6zY

James Jones Jr

What the Heaven Are You Looking At?

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Cookie. “
“No honey, Mommy doesn’t have a cookie,”I whisper.
“Cookie.”
“Be a good girl, we’re in church,”I whisper.
“COOKIE!  COOKIE!!!!!!!!!”

My one year old flails herself around screaming to God himself for a cookie that I don’t have. Her big sister looks at me helplessly watching my brown face turn beet red in embarrassment.  Then she sweetly leans in and says, “You have crackers though right?”

The innocence. 

As I fumble through the diaper bag l glance up and see an impatient onlooker two pews ahead of us. She looks over her shoulder every time one of my children or any child says or does anything! 

Bear in mind, we are sitting in the very last row of the church.  Why? It is simply because I remember being young and single with no kids and shaking my head as I watch a parent provide pacifiers, goldfish, handheld electronic games, or anything short of monetarily bribing their children to be quiet during a church service. I always said I would sit in the back when I have kids.
A friend of mine said they once sang the ABC song during a baptism to keep their little one calm during service.  I thought to myself, “I wonder if that will work. ”

Meanwhile, the baby seems to have built an equaliser in her lungs and a microphone in her throat.

COOKIE.COOKIE. COOKIE. COOKIE!!!”

I stayed calm. “They can sense your fear,”I thought.

The lady two pews ahead is still staring. 

“What the hell …heaven. ..is she looking at?!”

This is when you will hear non-believers say the church is full of hypocrisy.  It is because of situations like this. A kid is fighting a nap and you are giving a parent a murder one ice grill (my slang shows my age) instead of being empathetic. A scripture came to mind:

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.”
~Matthew 19:14

The next time the woman glanced I smiled.  I simultaneously tuned in to the preacher saying,

“Reach into yourself when it is difficult and be your better self always.  Forgive those you’ve trained yourself to forget because of the pain they’ve caused you.”

I chuckled to myself knowing adults have a hard time focussing in church,  let alone children.  I gave the girls a granola bar to share. I kissed them on the foreheads and we snuck out (towards the end) with stealth while another kid had a breakdown over juice. I silently hoped they enjoyed fellowship and hoped they learned something.  I know I did.

By:Shaun Nickens

 

Don’t Go To Bed Angry

Dear Mr. Sandman I heard you may be at the bottom of this glass. All I have to do is keep drinking.  So breathing through my nose I’m gulping this remedy passed down to me by my papa and my daddy and probably a few aunties. See I can’t seem to turn my mind off. I’m stuck with these damned thoughts that never go away. Actually,  can you guarantee me they won’t come back in my dreams?  Some of them are frightening.  Some of them are mean. Some of them antagonize me and make me think of things I shouldn’t think of. The visions are really tough.
Can you hear me in there? I know you’re in there. I can’t see you but I’ve been told that this glass filled with liquid poured from this bottle is where people find rest. I can’t see you but I know you’re there. Its funny how people believe in some things so easily.  

Mr.Sandman how will I sleep with all that dirt in my eye? Are there side effects?  You know there are always side effects.  I just want to be normal. I heard you may know what normal is. Mr.Sandman?

By:Shaun Nickens

What is a Strong Black Woman?

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Once, my uncle walked in on me crouched over the washing machine in tears. I was “venting” to myself and I didn’t realize anyone else was there to listen to my present plight. 

He walked over and said, “Shauness”, in his low and steady voice. That is his nickname for me. In his relaxed and laid back way he said, “everything alright?” I chuckled to myself because my uncle is like that.  He’s not overly emotional but he has a way of letting you know he cares about you.  I proceeded to tell him about whatever was upsetting me at the time and I continued to let the tears stream down my face.  Then he said something I will never forget:

“It’s alright to cry.  It’s alright to completely fall apart.  The catch is, you have to put yourself back together again. That is what a strong black woman is.  It is not the lunatic yelling and screaming or the person who gave up. It is the woman who has unmatched resilience.  That is the legacy.” 

Today for Martin Luther King Day I have been thinking about “the legacy.”  I came across a reading I have always loved from “African American Political Thought” with quotes from Washington, DuBois, Garvey and Randolph. It is one of my college favorites. There is a DuBois excerpt from “A Philosophy from 1913”:

…I will be a man and know myself to be one, even among those who secretly and openly deny my manhood, and I shall persistently and unwaveringly seek by every  possible method to compel all men to treat me as I treat them. 

In 1968 Martin Luther King was assassinated. 

Prior to his death he was fighting for and preaching about the same thing. Today is an American holiday because it wasn’t about black supremacy it was about human rights.  It was about change.  It was about…LOVE. 

What legacy does his widow Coretta Scott King have to preserve? I wonder how often she has to “fall apart and put herself back together” again. I wonder how often all the wives, girlfriends, and mothers of slain activists or martyrs “fall apart.”  I wonder if they have ever said “I don’t need no man!”  I wonder what trials they have faced.  I wonder if they have ever called AAA for the 2 gallons of gas that comes with the membership because they can’t afford to get to work.  I wonder if anyone has ever called them a “bitch” or looked down on them. I wonder if they even see color at all or if they just feel pain with no identification and no overly simplistic labels. I wonder what their definition of a SBW is and if they even consider themselves one. Is Coretta glad he fought and died or would she have chosen normalcy? Would she have chosen a movie and dinner?

What will your legacy be?

 

By: Shaun Nickens 

 

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