The Happy Black Woman

Pray against the perception of the angry black woman

The angry black woman

The angry black woman

Fight against the behaviour of the angry black woman

The angry black woman

The angry black woman

Have the mentality of the happy black woman

The happy black woman

The happy black woman

Then people at work will see the happy black woman

The happy black woman

The happy black woman

And God will give joy to the happy black woman

The happy black woman

The happy black woman

And the worlds view would change about the angry black woman

The angry black woman

The angry black women

Because all they will see is the happy black woman

The happy black woman

The happy black woman

~ G

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#TheHappyBlackWoman

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Exploring The God of The Old Testament

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It’s so interesting how a question or a thought process you have been having with yourself is expounded upon on the pulpit. I love that! How intimate is God that He is aware and in tune with our needs and the needs of the local church! The idea of God being transcendent and yet eminent is a concept my mind has floated around with but not grounded it with specific words like those. God is holy and high, able to hold all things together by the Word of His power and yet is near and close to the believer, able to hear our Words to Him and speakt o us through His written Word – what a comfort!

Of recent, I have been pondering on the thought of approaching God in prayer knowing Who He Is. If I know this God; His character and His works, just a little bit better, my faith in Him and stance in prayer would be completely enlighted and anew. I’ve seen in sermons, worship lyrics and Scripture that God is good, God is able, God protects, God loves, God builds, God acts, God saves. All these things and more are so true and we thank Him for them in prayer, praise and worship. But I have been thinking – what are the things God has done that has assigned all of these great words of His character to Him?

For that, I realised the wealth and value and depth of the stories – the truths – found nowhere else other than in the Old Testament books of the Bible.

I will not say that I have cracked it. In fact, I have merely scratching the surface. But I desire to get so engrossed in the stories of the Old Testament. This is indeed History! HIS-story. How God created. How God saves His people. How God redeems His people. How God was patient towards rebels. How God was, again, patient with rebels – rebels like me.

I need to know these things about God so that I can trust Him. Really trust Him. I need to know these things about God so that my praise is not mere words but I believe that yes He is great and yes He is mighty to save and yes He is an ever-present God! Let everyone who agrees with this say amen!

God is so full of wonderment and He should be explored. He has left us a book full of His Words which shine a bright light on Who He Is – He has chosen to reveal Himself to us through His Son and through His amazing Word in Scripture. What else shall we do with our time and energies but to get to know this God that we think about here and there and pray to here and there… He deserves to be known and He has invited us to know Him. Let us do it, willingly, gladly and obediently.

Jesus, help us.

~ G

Letters To You Only

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Dear you,

When you’re tired, I know. When something is on your mind, I know. There’s a distance, a muteness. A withdrawal of oneself, I can feel it.

I believe them when they say two hearts can beat as one. I believe them when they say love can be instant.

I am fond of you. I am. It’s true. There is no denying my fondness for you. I can’t shake you off, and I know you have told me why…

It is because I love you. And you are right, I do. I always will.

Yours only

Dear you,

When you write to me, I smile. I open your letters and our conversations continue. I remember your voice and I am glad again, my heart is filled with joy.

Your handwriting shares a little bit about you. You are thoughtful and an avid reader. The words you use sometimes I need a dictionary to define them.

You are special. There is nothing hopelessly romantic in that. It is truth. I would give as much as I could to be with you but we both know why that can’t be.

Yours only

Dear you,

When we meet I hope you look at me. I hope you remember your words and you say them to me. When your eyes drift it’s because they are shy.

Don’t be shy of me.

Yours only

Dear you,

You know me all too well, I blush. Even now as I look over your letter I hide my face in my palms.

I am torn in my soul. The boats dock once a month and the window to board only an hour. But there’s a wedge in the door, a thorn in my path. This ache won’t get rid.

My heart is heavy. You always see the light at the end, my sight is a little less clear.

Save that fine ink in the draw of your desk for a sunny day. I have rained and rained and have drowned.

Yours

Dear you,

There you are again with your colours. Brightly arrayed you are in a mood. Perhaps tears have fallen, but your beauty still kept. You are wonderful.

I know when your emotions have gotten you and when your thoughts have plagued you. Alas, my dear, relax.

My love for you will never dwindle. My thoughts of you will never fail. With every one of these letters folded in that leather satchel of yours and swung on your side, I long to see you again. I love every drop of ink I use for you and I won’t tarry until you are in my arms.

Till then, I will wait for you.

Yours always

~ G

26 Pure Joys

1. The sun rise

2. Prayerful friends

3. Words of affirmation

4. A genuine smile

5. Unshakeable loyalty

6. Words of encouragement

7. A hearty hug

8. A hearty meal

9. Deep affection from a love interest

10. Lemon drizzle cake

11. A warm bed after a long day

12. Laughter from the belly

13. Beautiful singing voices in harmony

14. Truly letting go of a wrong

15. Morning walks with The Lord

16. Getting to know someone new

17. Exploring an unknown territory

18. Clear mind space

19. A well taken photograph

20. The company of an old friend

21. Listening to the stories of an elderly person

22. Knowing you are forgiven

23. A nicely fragranced person who walks by

24. A polite and well-mannered child

25. The sunset

26. Knowing the truth

~ G

Thine Heart On Thine Sleeve

Her armour was invisible to the naked eye. She wore her bravery with dignity. Between her chest, black, hollow, vacant; no signs of an organism lived there.

The cages were barren, only her lungs breathed and filled the spaces. Each breath gave way to the life she always had in her. Oxygen could get through to her brain much easier this way. Each thought was fuelled passionately with every inhale. No strain. No irony. Just magic.

There was room. The beating drum was free. Free to Rome the fields. Free to love, free to fly, free to dance, free to be all the life-giving wonderment it could be.

It was alive. Alas, she was alive! No longer coped away and defined by the rest. “You must stay in here, you are bound by these courts!” No, she stood alone. Her thuds were valiant, her beats were set free; she was a wild heart.

Thine body did not realise thine strain on thine heart.

Caged away did nothing for the world. Finally unhinged, where better to express than on thine sleeve. There she smiled and she cried and she crashed and she burned and she laughed and she sang and she fought and she raged and she bled and she died and she lived and she survived.

Her rhythm in tune, in sync and to the beat; No better way to live than with thine heart on thine sleeve. No better way to live than with thine heart on thine sleeve. No better way to live than with thine heart on thine sleeve.

~ G

I Make My Own Black

Making art has always been a place of expression for me. Most times it’s intention is undefined. I don’t know what I will create until the end. I look back at it and read into my work. This helps me to fill the painting out more than the strokes do. It is usually why I juxtapose art with writing. And believe it or not, I don’t do it for the audiences benefit, but for my own.

My art helps me pour out what is within through colour, brushstrokes and freedom. My writing thereafter helps me to process the outpouring. Why did I chose to use such heavy handed brush strokes on some paintings and not others or why was I so smooth and particular at this point? These are all ways I get to figure out what I was thinking whilst I was painting. By the end when I look back and sift through my painting, I can read that I am in love or being a perfectionist today or just wanting to let lose on something where no one can dictate to me what.

For a week now I’ve wanted to write but have not known what to write about until I painted yesterday night, slept on it and woke up deeply reflective. I’ve been thinking about the dreams, the mysteriousness of God and yet His revealed knownness. I’ve been thinking about Jesus and the Jesus that comes into my mind when I think of Him. What are the boxes we have created for God that we didn’t even know about until they were pointed out? I’ve been thinking about the law of freedom and what that actually means.

I make my own black literally says what it is. Rarely do I ever use processed black paint to paint my portraits. Nearly always I make my own black. It’s a skill I learnt at school and I held it really closely to my heart. I’m not so sure why it stuck but it did. The depth that comes with the blues and the reds mixed with the hints of yellow is not something that can be found when you stare straight through a black painting. They somewhat seem dull to me, not alive! Mixing my own black brings depth and warmth and meaning like no other. Look at it long enough and you will see the wonderment of all God’s good colours, how regal is black when it runs free without bounds!

~ G

Adulting

Urban dictionary:

Adulting

verb

To carry out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals (paying off that credit card debt, settling beef without blasting social media, etc). Exclusively used by those who adult less than 50% of the time.

Oxford dictionary:

Adulting

noun

The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks. “It feels really good to step back from adulting and have someone else cook dinner for me”.

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Gayle’s dictionary:

Adulting

verb, noun, all the above

The time in your life where you have reached adult age and yet are trying to figure the ins and outs of everything that consists within adult life. It is the bridge between the empirical fact of one’s age and the expectations which accompany it and the experiences one is met with.

It is the time in your life where things you would have formerly said yes to as a child or a teenager, you now begin to question, reason with and find conclusions on for yourself.

It is a pivotal shift where you begin to think on your own about matters which other, possibly older, people would have once taken care of. The payment of bills, the decisions on where to live, your management of finances, upholding a job, choosing when to take out the bins, cleaning your home not just your room.

It is a time millennials are experiencing which involves the sharing of information both to our help and to our downfall. Adulting with social media at our thumbs exposes us to the good, bad and ugly, magnifies our proclivity to comparison, intensifies ones struggle in finding joy in the present and glorifies the rise in ‘local celebrity’ culture.

It is a period in your life where you experience the growing pains of, “My decisions matter, my actions matter”. In this time, you must navigate and sift through your thoughts, emotions and attitudes and come to the realisation that life’s paths are determined by your thinking processes. Everything counts. One must choose who will be their influencers, who will they grow with and do life with? Does one believe in a higher power or a power within?

Adulting is the incomplete, work in progress of a human being who makes mistakes which one uses to build into one’s character to be refined and equipped for future adult situations. It is a mission not for the faint hearted and is characterised by the brave.

The quest continues…

~ G

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Memes below are from Google and are not my own. Enjoy, scroll and console oneself…

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30 Morning Mirror Affirmations

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  1. I am adopted. God Almighty is my Heavenly, loving, arms open wide Father!
  2. I am justified, I am no longer guilty before God, the Holy One
  3. I am in right-standing with God. Not even death, nor life, nor principalities, nor angels, nor demons, nor height, nor depth can take me from your love or presence.
  4. I am in fellowship with God. We can commune, talk and do this life together
  5. I have a family! I am not alone in this walk of life. I am part of a body of believers who love God and love people
  6. Jesus Christ is everything! He is my bridge to God. He is the way, the truth and the life! I can’t see God without Him.
  7. Jesus Christ is my Lord. Today, I choose to joyfully and willingly submit to His Lordship and leadership
  8. Jesus Christ is my Saviour; thank you Lord for rescuing me from a life of condemnation, damnation and no sense of purpose!
  9. I sin because I am a sinner but my sins no longer define me. Christ the King defines me
  10. My identity is hidden in Christ. I am born again into the house of The Lord!
  11. I am reconciled with a Holy, good, truthful, trustworthy, loving Father because of the joy that was set before His faithful, humble and willing Son Jesus Christ, who took the full penalty for my sins and transgressions when He died on that cross to see me forgiven and reunited with the triune God for all of eternity!
  12. I have the kingdom of God in my heart. Christ sits on the throne of my heart; He governs and rules there.
  13. Today, I can show mercy because I have been shown mercy
  14. I can love today because I have first been loved
  15. I am under the law of grace, liberty and freedom of God because of what Christ did for me!
  16. I have peace of mind, assurance and hope because of the faith I have put in the name of Jesus Christ!
  17. My good morals, good deeds and or pleasantness will not save me. What saves me is Christ!
  18. Christ is my bedrock. Christ will hold me fast.
  19. Christ will strengthen me in my conduct, thoughts, words, attitudes and feelings if I trust in His power, leadership and character
  20. Nothing will stop God’s good work in me today through the help of His Holy Spirit!
  21. God is intentional with me in all areas of my life. His aim and purpose for my life as long as it is called “today” is to conform me into the image of Christ.
  22. Just because trials and tribulations, pains and sufferings come does not mean God does not love me. God loves me through these things!
  23. The Holy Spirit works through my sufferings to draw me closer to God. He will use whatever trial that comes my way to perfect my faith!
  24. God knows me infinitely, eternally and intimately
  25. God has made me fearfully and wonderfully. Therefore I can say; I am Beautiful!
  26. God has given me a mind, a will and a conscience to please Him
  27. My life is made for the sole purpose of worshipping God
  28. Positionally, through inheritance, physically, spiritually, I am God’s beloved!
  29. I can look at myself in this mirror and be glad God made me. I have purpose, a mission and the great commission deep in my heart. I am ready for God to use me today for His glory!
  30. This is the day that the Lord has made. I will rejoice and I will be glad in it!

~ G

The Evening I Got Mugged

Thief

The smell of chlorine still lingered about me. I finished swimming around 9:30pm and was in my area by 10. It’s pizza night! I called my brother to find out where he was, they had taken the path with the lights. He asked whether he should come by to meet me up, but I knew I’d be brief.

Still on the phone to him, bantering as per usual, I clamped my phone between my ear and shoulder as you do when you need to be hands free.

Slipped my card in

Typed my pin in

Pressed the button for £20, or £30

Was about to rea-

BAM BAM BAM

“Ahhh, the machine has taken your card, **BAM BAM BAM** You shouldn’t use this machine!”

I glanced down at the machine. It looked pretty much the same as it usually does. The caffofall baffled me slightly.

Arm around me, banging the screen making it glitch, he was warning me, talking to me, distracting me.

Meanwhile I peeped my brothers from a distance coming towards us slowly, still on the phone, listening. A lady who saw the ongoings shouted at the boys, claiming they took my money. The other guy had taken it. I looked over at the cash point. Another guy, similar domineer to the first; white, black shirt, my height, snap back, hovered by the ATM, put his card in, pressed some buttons. She shouted, they shouted, she shouted, “He took your money! I saw him take your money out from the machine!” She asked him to show me his hand – a wad of cash – not my cash, I thought, I only pressed for £20 or £30! There was a smaller amount at the tip of his fingers, that’s my money.

As I watched everything unfold I blanked out for a moment and asked God if all of this was true, help me to forgive these people.

I came back to where I was and saw the guys running off and turn the corner. My brothers were with me by this point.

I was just so baffled. Why? At my local atm. I use this cash machine all the time. I just got mugged!?

Still a bit shaken up, moreso confused, I decided we take out money from another cash point. I wanted to see what it would come up as on my statements so they’d be a clear distinction and nothing to dispute – that was God’s wisdom right there. I had forgotten how much I wanted to take out the first time, so I thought I’d just opt for £20.

We walked on towards the pizza shop. The lady was standing by the bus stop. “I wasn’t going to say anything at first, I thought I didn’t want to get involved but I saw the guy take your money from the cash point”. She then went on to say I should call the police and my bank.

The police asked me to go back to the shop connected to the ATM. They gave me a few codes, told them roughly the timings etcetera and based on how long I had been on the phone to my brother for.

That evening made me hold my bag differently and keep my eyes sharp. Though I was baffled I wasn’t physically hurt and I had to praise God for that. But the guy’s arm was around me… as if to be friendly. They played me and they won. On this side of the veil.

Vengeance is not mine but the Lord’s to repay, I thought. I can’t do anything to you. You’re anonymous now. I paint faces all the time but you frazzled me so much I can only remember the colour of your skin and basic facial contours.

But God knows you. And He knows the sin they committed against me and ultimately against Him. I also know the sins I have committed against God also, and so I have no hatred towards them only empathy.

I just prayed for their consciouses and I still do. We all need Christ.

~ G

The Waiting Room

A realtime anecdote retrieved from blog archives. Dated: 20th February 2016

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9:25

I moved through the crowd by the reception and managed to get my name in and the doctor I was seeing. I asked two women with scarves if they were in the queue but they simply mumbled inaudible words.

Mundane

Beep

People

Waiting

A guy missed his appointment the last time had a snigger on his face. Receptionist says, “Don’t laugh!”

The women I had the corner of my eye on knocked my umbrella as I predicted she would. It was only a matter of time.

Beep

When I move to sit at my seat a guy asks if I was sitting there and I said no, I was sitting on the end, it’s fine. Politely British. “Nononono”, an older Latino man said as a younger white man with a goatee offered his seat up besides the lady he came in with. He preferred her before himself.

Beep

Beep

Who is P Palmer! This thing has beeped 4 times for this person already!

And then silence.

People are settled.

Unusually, the doctor came out and actually called this patient. The receptionist called out, “No no no, it may be Ben Palmer!” I guess she was familiar with the stress it causes when the order changes.

A man I locally see around with a walking stick walked in slowly. Very slowly.

Everyone has their own problems in here.

Will they receive the true doctor, who will walk with you and treat you all your life, pains and all?… That’s another question…

Beep

Everyone looks up at the beeps, it’s so interesting. So robotic. So natural. They’re almost accustom to it in here.

All colours are in here. All races, all ages.

The small white lady is restless, you can tell. This is the third time she’s gotten up and walked by the reception as if to gain their attention and get her seen sooner. They know you’re here. They know we’re all here.

I do pray that doctor is not just sitting in her room waiting as P Palmer still bleeps out here. 18 others of us need to be seen!

My appointment time was 11 minutes ago.

Breathes in

“Sorry about the wait everyone!”
Just as I had noted it, an apology from the receptionist.

9:55

Miss G Amenze, Room 11

10:10

The doctor can only prescribe based on the descriptions I have given her.

Pain is subjective.

Only Jesus truly knows your pain because He has experience every type of pain there is.

I’m leaving knowing my problems won’t be permanently fixed here.

~ G