Category Archives: The Spiritual You

I love God and I love talking about him.

Sometimes God Speaks In First Person

Sometimes God Speaks In First Person

About 4 months ago I had a problem and I didn’t know what to do. So I sought God because I wanted to make the right decision. This wasn’t the first time I’d turned to him for guidance, but this was the first time I’d asked him to speak to me with words. I asked because I had been reading the Old Testament and I noticed that back then when people asked for help God gave them clear signs and instructions. So I thought, he will do it for us now if we but ask. Then I tried it for myself.

One of my favorite scriptures is 2 Timothy 1:7 which says, “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline.” God answered me using that verse. I was washing dishes and self analyzing to figure out why I couldn’t decide what to do about my problem even though I knew what I ought to do. I admitted to myself that I was scared. Too scared to make a move. When I acknowledged the fear God said, “I didn’t give you the spirit of fear.” I heard those words echo through my being and then I knew how to solve my problem. Later on, after I had finished the dishes and gone into another room, my soul lit up! I realized that rather than simply having me recite the scripture to myself, God had actually spoken to me. You see, in the bible Paul is writing a letter to Timothy. So 2 Timothy 1:7 is written in third person. But when the scripture came to me while at the sink, God spoke in first person. He used the word, I, while talking to me. That has never happened before and I will never forget it. Futhermore, I obeyed Him and was blessed.

Taking it how it comes…

Taking it how it comes…

Transcending

I don’t know what it feels like to fly. I can only imagine.

I don’t know why these thoughts spark at times random.

To truly be free? Right here on earth?

Then I’ll testify that when fear is cast aside and self removed from worry,

that on my own strength I won’t make it.

That when I acknowledge The Maker. And place my dreams in the hand of He who can take them.

I mean, take me higher.

Than I could ever conceive. Then I don’t dream.

I SOAR.

And know– that I know– that I know through God’s power.

Truth inspite of doubt.

Assurance of success at that which makes Him proud.

At that which shines His light

In the world.

Dissipates darkness and communes with spirit.

Better than flight.

This unnatural joy when I

Write.

 

©P.Brooks

When I Stop And Think It Over

When I Stop And Think It Over

During Mama’s funeral I begged God for mercy. I fully understood all the reasons she had to go. But it was so painful thinking of a world without her. A world she had softened for me (all that she could), a world made better when I thought of her, went home to her, embraced her.

From day one all I can remember is my grandmama loving me, teaching me and showing me everything for this life. She even introduced me to the man himself so I’d have everything for eternal life. I would never wish her to suffer here and I do believe to be absent of the body is to be with Christ. But I hurt because she was gone and because I was still here.

I cried because I had grown up in her home, under her watchful eye and in her love. I had a rich and wonderful childhood even though we didn’t have much material stuff. And it’s not to say we had nothing or that I ever went hungry. No. She worked and God provided. I wept when I realized that I was blessed many times over by having my grandma who acted as a mother and a father, because she was truly that. I didn’t cry because I disappointed Mama in my rebellious years or when I was simply disobedient. I cried because she knew all about me and could have guessed even worse that I’d done. Yet knowing me she still hoped out loud, the best things for my life. Mama prayed for me and continued to love me regardless of my faults.

No one has ever affected me like that woman. Never, never a hurtful or discouraging word from her. Later she even admitted her own mistakes and regrets to me as if I were an equal and guided me to the point where I am today. After grieving I realized that if my grandma being human could love me like that, so wholly and completely, then how much more does God love me? I think that was her point all along. Now I get it. So no more tears. Just joy.

How I Can Tell The Kids Are Growing Spiritually

How I Can Tell The Kids Are Growing Spiritually

Setting: The kids and I were having storytime afterschool one day when suddenly Orion passed gas. That lead to an interesting debate between me,  him (5) and his 6 and 7 year old sisters.

Orion: Excuse me.

Me: Excuse you for bumping my arm or did you just poont?

Orion (nonchalantly): I passed gas.

Me (leaning away from him): Orion! Oh my goodness!

Orion (angry): Well I said excuse me. Everybody poonts, Mommy! Including you and Daddy! So why are you acting like that?

Me: Cause you stink, that’s why!

Lauren: Daddy poonts? I have never heard Daddy poont. I don’t believe he does that.

Lainey: Well, Mommy sure does. She stinks too.

Me (nodding): It’s true. I have. Orion’s right, everybody does it. Including Daddy, Lauren.

Orion: See!

Lauren: Does God poont, Mommy?

Me: Uh…

Lainey (smirking): What about Jesus?

Me (thinking out loud): Well maybe when he was here on the earth in human flesh… because that’s what our bodies do. But he’s gone now, right? So not anymore.

Lainey: Yeah, he’s in heaven now. I wouldn’t poont if I was in heaven.

Me: Me neither, Lainey.

Lauren: But does God poont?

Me: I don’t think so, Lauren. They are not human like we are. So why would God do that? I don’t think he would go around lighting up heaven when he can keep it nice with fresh air. No. God, Jesus and the angels definitely do not poont.

Orion (walking around): Well I know for sure that Abraham poonts up there.

Lauren: Abraham Lincoln?

Orion: No, Lauren! You know, Abraham from church.

Me: Are you kidding me? We just said nobody is poonting up in heaven, Orion!

Orion: How do you know? I still think Abraham does. I bet he walks around poonting everywhere. (Orion wiggles his butt like a turkey and makes a pff,pff noise.)

Me: You mean like you do?

Everyone: laughter.

***************************

Those kids crack me up. They also question everything and challenge me. Here are some of their other mysteries:

Does God like chicken nuggets? If God made everything who made God? Does God sleep? What is the Holy spirit? I don’t mind answering.

Already Been To the Water

Already Been To the Water

God’s love for us is so strong. Yesterday during the invitation, five-year-old Lauren decided she wanted to be baptized. She tried to go up to the alter on a previous Sunday and I stopped her. This time she was adamant. Lainey, who just turned seven, decided to join too –way back in March 2010 during the kids’ praise service she attends while I’m in the sanctuary. Well her paperwork got lost so I used that time to see if she really meant it. Despite her and her two siblings waging all out war here at home, Lainey’s been taking communion regularly and maintains that she wants to live for God. So looks like both girls will be baptized on the third Sunday. What about the boy you say? Let us all just bow our heads right now and pray. We tried to get the preacher to lay hands on Orion, while we were there, but he wouldn’t stay still long enough. 

 I can’t say I would have wanted to commit my life at such a young age, but it definitely moves me closer to God, now, knowing that he can affect little children in this way. So I have no reason to hold out on him. I believe it’s good for them to know as much as possible about God. Sure will need him in this life. Though, a part of me wonders if this is just about their right to take communion…the kids think that wafer and grape juice are a feast for kings, if not the “born again.”

After talking to the youth pastor about this life-changing process Lauren said, “The pastor says when I come out of the water I’ll be like new. Does that mean I’m going to turn into a baby again?” This is almost the exact question asked of Jesus in the bible (John 3:1-7). I found it incredible. Yet these same children never hear us when we say pick up your toys, or go get ready for bed. Hmm… I think I will tell them that baptized children always pick up their toys or they go to the devil. Speaking of the devil, he probably played a major role in pushing them to God’s side. They watched that episode of Tom and Jerry where Tom goes down to the “red dog” for torturing Jerry all his life (my most favorite episode of all time!). Likewise, they’ve seen the shadow man in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, get gobbled up by hideous creatures seeking payment for his bad deeds. After that they didn’t want to go to hell. God does great work through use of cartoons. I ain’t mad at him.

Give Him Praise

Give Him Praise

Well, it’s been too long for me.  I like to post at least once a week.  It’s okay though, cause I finished my last writing assignment for the writing course I’ve been taking and I submitted an article to a magazine.  Haven’t heard back yet, but I’m hopeful.  So while I’m waiting I just want to proclaim how good God is, in case you didn’t know!  He works miracles and simply keeps us on a daily basis and that’s a mighty good thing.  Join me in giving him some praise. 

The Lord has been so good to me.  I have new ideas brimming for articles and picture books.  Soon, I’ll be setting up a Mat&May store.  I’m just blessed with his promises.  On top of that, I’ve enjoyed three weeks of summer camp.  During two of the three all three children were there having fun while I had appointments with ease and wrote anytime I had to wait anywhere.  I’ve accomplished much.  Well, I’ll tell you this.  The plot for my first children’s story to be released under my company, Matrimony & Mayhem Books is underway.  And my editors, Lainey and Lauren say it is great!  That Lainey even checks in on my progress to see if I’m working hard enough.  What a team!

I picture myself typing away and researching in the library while my three children socialize and learn to follow instructions in school, come September.  I have to say. God is good…very, very good.  Do you have a testimony today? Holla at me.

A Testimony: You Changed Me

A Testimony: You Changed Me

You changed me, from what I was and what I could have been.  A wretch

would have been a nicety. But you changed me.

From the awful person that I had become.  Allowed me to hear from you.

Lifted me up in the palm of your hand.

You said my name and I knew you knew me, completely.

I cried out to you in pain, asking for forgiveness and you forgave me.

Then did the remarkable thing. Unexpected and unwarranted.

Blessed me.  You blessed me and why?

Made me see your glory — your beauty.

And I …

was forever changed and made whole.

Therefore, no matter where I am

or with whom I be,

You are within me.

I have no fear and no sorrow because

I am different than before I knew you,

Really knew you.

And since knowing you I give you my life.

I am your servant and you are

the Lord God.

And I am

Forever changed.

The New America

The New America
The dull motor of an electric toothbrush followed by a burst of water from our showerhead is what did it.  I was awake and looking above as the first rays of light shone through our bedroom sheers.  Was it all a dream or did it really happen?  Is Barack Obama the new president-elect? My mind searched for the answer. Slowly images of the new first family taking the stage appeared then I remembered Obama’s fantastic acceptance speech.  I closed my eyes and smiled.  "Yes we can!"  Such joy is hard to explain.  How much prayer went on before I cast my vote yesterday?  All I know is that God answered because actually he had annointed and appointed Obama for this task.  All obstacles had been moved. 
 
Yes God worked a miracle for all to behold.  He is awesome!  Putting it simply, we need Barack for our president.  Not just because he will do the job well, but also to help our nation heal from the wounds of prejudice.  And more than that, African-Americans need him to spark our culture to change.  As a people we need to change our self image; this self hate, apathy and do-nothing attitude that plagues us by the multitude.  Now is our time to walk proud in a new America.  Where all races can come together to support the best candidate to lead our country, regardless of the color of his skin.
 
It even feels like I’m breathing new air and seeing all people and now, they see me too.  I’ve always been a proud American but today I held my head higher.  As an African-American I am proud of this new and serious proof that we are not stupid, nor are we bad.  As people in general our cultures may be different but we are the same in so many ways.  Now based on this great thing that has happened, let us respect each other and move forward for the healing that we so desperately need. 
 
On top of our nation benefiting from the new black President, what about the rest of the world.  What does it say to them?  I don’t know exactly how each country will perceive us but I have to say it will be different and perhaps a bit better than it was before.  We are evolving and growing and learning to love as a country.  It’s a beautiful thing to behold.  I never thought I’d see this happen in my lifetime, but it did.  And I’m so happy to be a part of it all!
 

Ever since I learned the plegde in elementary school, I have always loved it.  It always had meaning and truth to me even as a child.  I say it today, as I make a new plegde to do my part to help President Obama with his mission! Hand over heart and here I go:
 
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America,
And to the Republic for which it stands:
One nation under God, indivisible
With Libery and Justice for all.
 
Spread love yall.
 
 

The Natural Me

The Natural Me
 
Eric said I was driving him nuts about my hair.  Every few days I’d ask him what he thought, knowing his answer.  "Whatever makes you happy, sweetie," he said in a brow-beaten sort of way. I always ask and he always tells me the same thing.  But this time I wasn’t sure myself. So I delayed until I couldn’t stand it anymore.  I was actually having reoccuring dreams that I had already cut it.  Having not relaxed my hair in 4 months I knew I could no longer keep up the charade.  Whenever I go natural I always cut it off.  Who was I kidding trying to braid it and make it cute after fighting from root to end?  So bye-bye 17 inches and 4 years of straight tresses. Hello God given curls.  I’m in love. 
 
Surprisingly, there were new emotions this time around.  This time, I didn’t ask Eric to use his clippers to cut it for me. I needed to affirm to myself that it’s what I really wanted and so I did the deed with my own trimming scissors.  Then after washing it and staring in the mirror, I was relieved to have made a choice, but astonished at how short it was.  So I slept on it.  The next morning I woke up with exuberance! As I ran my fingers over each twist and bend, I felt confident, beautiful and blessed.  Crazy, huh.? After growing up too dark (read– black) for people of my own race, I had the nerve to go bald too!  What about my femininity?  Wasn’t I afraid of being called ugly?  No.  This is the third time I’ve done this.  The first time I wore this style was a few months out of college at my new corporate job.  I was afraid I’d be fired because they could somehow see inside my head.  I figured my militant thoughts of Afrocentricity would be too easily relayed by my hair.  How silly I was back then.  That was 11 years ago.  Now I have learned to go forth boldly. God loves me no matter what I look like. 
 
Of course this isn’t the end all with me.  I always change it up.  That’s why I won’t do dreads.  But never say never.  Eric confided that he likes that I have the ability to change my hair.  Well, then we have something in common.  But…I’m still going to look up some good wig stores to keep in my hip pocket.  Never know when a costume might call for flowing locks.Wink  I never plan to be unprepared.
 
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