Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Happy Walking!

This Sunday we had our first baptism (Praise the Lord!!!)  It was a teenage girl who was saved about three weeks ago. Everything went smoothly; but the water was ice cold!  My husband stayed up until about two in the morning trying to fix the water heater; but he needed a part to finish the job.  It was hilarious to see her face when she came out of the water;  but I must tell you about another funny incident that also happened Sunday.  Our van route came in and attendance was a little low.  One boy was up and ready; but took one look at the van and didn't see his friend on it and decided not to come (what he didn't know was that his friend came in with his mother and sisters later in their family car).  Another boy came in and I noticed that he looked a little sad so I began to talk with him.  He followed me around and we chatted and he ended the conversation with, "I'm just gonna walk home!".  (His mother - who he and the rest of his siblings live with on most weekends - was supposed to come and pick him up later that day and he didn't want to miss her.)  I thought he was joking so I said, "Happy Walking!"   I didn't realize he was serious!!!  I heard the door open and close behind me; but our youth worker had been standing outside so I thought it was him coming back in for the morning service.  I went to the piano and we began the service as usual.  We sang the morning song, and my husband noticed that Brian was not in the service, so after the song was finished he asked, "Where is Brian?"  Everyone started looking around; but  not me.  I gasped!  I told my husband about our conversation and he sent our youth worker to go and get him.  He was half-way home!  Praise the Lord nothing happened to him.   I am sure he would have said, "Mrs. Beckles said it was OK." 

I learned a very important lesson.  Take everything a nine year old says seriously!!!

The Modern Woman

In preparation for our next ladies meeting I have been doing a lot of reading.  I dug out some of my old college books from my Christian womanhood class and found this piece in one of them.  Hope you all enjoy!

Proverbs 31 - Revised For Today
(by Mrs. Patricia Brown)

  • Who can find a modern woman? for her price is equal to that of a man.
  • Her husband had better appreciate her, or she will find a man who will.
  • She will look out for herself and not him all the days of her life.
  • She works willingly with her hands-as long as she gets adequate pay and an appropriate title.
  • She is like the merchant's ships, and eateth only gourmet food.
  • She riseth also while it is yet morning, puts herself first, and then if there is any time left, she will consider others.
  • She considereth a new house and buyeth it (no matter what her husband says).
  • She maketh up her mind and abideth stubbornly by her success manual.
  • She perceiveth that she is good, and that her wants and needs are of number one importance.
  • She worketh hard at the things that are important to her, and sacrificeth all upon the altar of career.
  • She looketh down on those whose priorities are not the same as hers; and vieweth them with disdain.
  • She is not afraid of the snow her her household, that is their problem; and besides, let her husband take his turn.
  • She maketh herself  coverings of tapestry; her clothing is silk and purple, whether they can afford it or not.
  • Her husband may be known in the gates, but no one heareth it form her. In fact, she hath not taken his last name because she is a person in her own right.
  • She maketh fine linen and selleth it, and delivereth her wares to the merchant, who, unlike her husband, appreciates her hard work.
  • Selfishness and greed are her clothing, and she shall be happy right now, no matter what it costs in time to come.
  • She openeth her mouth with feminist propaganda, and in her tongue is the law of sarcasm.
  • She looketh out for herself and stays too busy to worry about her family.
  • Her children love the lady at the day care, and her husband also hath a special lady friend he can talk to.
  • Many daughters have made many mistakes, but thou exceedest them all.
  • To her, rights are all important and beauty is vital, but a woman who disregards the Lord and His plan shall be totally unfulfilled.
  • Give her of the fruit of her hands. and let her own works leave her completely frustrated
  • all the days of her life.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Your Crowning Glory 101 - Introduction

Just A Note

My inspiration for going natural is primarily my husband. He is the one who supported and even encouraged me to go natural. I began my journey almost three years ago and have had many ups and downs; but now that I have experienced a measure of success; I will never go back!!! I would like to say to all of you who are permed - (a.k.a. relaxed); I am not anti-perm. I do not believe that every Black woman who has a perm is trying to be White. I also do not believe that natural hair is for everyone. Going natural requires time, patience, and a thick skin. I simply want to be an encouragement to those who are natural and need some help and a good word. I want to be an encouragement to those who want to go natural and for some reason feel like they can’t; and for those women who are parents of biracial children with kinky, nappy hair; I would like to let them know how their child may feel and how they can care for their child’s hair. I also would like to say that I am not a professional anything! I do love to learn and have put in a lot of time and research into this project. I also have a new motivation for learning more about caring for hair. My daughter Aaliyah was born with more hair on her head than I had two years ago! I want to teach her to take good care of herself. This book is a conglamoration of things I wish I had known about hair many years ago.

The day I decided to write this book was the day I was holding my five-month-old, beautiful daughter in an office where two other young, Black mothers of beautiful daughters were. One of the babies was 18 months old and had a perm. The mother of this child admitted to me that she found the baby’s natural hair easier to manage. Later stated that she would not go back to natural hair. The other baby was only one year old and had very little hair; but her mother had a very negative spirit about the texture of the hair her daughter did have. According to her, her daughter did not have “good hair.” My heart was broken. Some may say, “It’s just hair!”, but it isn’t. A woman’s hair is a reflection of her.

My hair has grown significantly since I have been natural. One day I two-strand twisted my hair when it was dry so that it would show some of its length. I wore it like that to church and I felt some people staring at me. Two children asked me if it was all mine. Of course I said yes, and one of them said, “I don’t understand.” To which I replied, “I know.” Our children, at a very young age, are being permed and/or given the idea that the hair God gave them is not good enough if it is “nappy.” We are being taught that Black women can only grow their hair to about shoulder length, and in order to do that they must be bi-racial, they must have a perm, or they must grow dredlocks. These statements simply are not true. We must stop this maddness! If you are an adult and you choose to wear your hair relaxed, natural, in braids, locs, weaved, or to wear wigs for the rest of our life; it is your choice; but no eighteen-month-old child needs a perm! God does not make any mistakes! The texture of hair we have is a gift to us from the Lord and it is good, no matter what type it is. I find it hard to believe that our Creator said that a woman’s long hair is her glory (1 Corinthians 11:15) and then He would give every race the ability to grow their hair long except one; or that He would expect that one race to chemically change their “glory” in order for it to be considered beautiful. Whatever God has given you, Accept it. Love it. Learn to take care of it !!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Today, when I entered the grocery store I immediately recognized the song playing over the store's sound system.  It was one of my favorite groups when I was in my early teens (Boyz II Men - for anyone who would recognize them.)  I used to be so "in love" with this group and thought I would just "die" if any one of them ever spoke to me.  Today, I had a very different reaction to their music. 

As always when I hear a song I recognize, I ask the Lord to help me to tune it out and keep my mind centered on Him and focused on the task at hand.  He helped me do that; but he also helped me to realize something.  The guy singing sounded like he was whining!  Who wants to be around a whining man!!!  Certainly not me, or any other woman in her right mind.  The only lyric I can remember from  the song said, "Won't somebody tell me how to get things back the way they used to be..." 

Well, my husband  ( he is so wise) and I were recently having a discussion about this very topic.  Often many people "fool around" before they get married  - if they even bother with matrimony - then after the wedding and a little bit of time; they complain that things just aren't the same.  Why is this?  Could it be because sin is pleasurable for a season; but afterward it yeilds fruit that is unpleasant.  The Bible tells us in Proverbs 9 that "
Stolen waters are sweet, and bread eaten in secret is pleasant. But he knoweth not that the dead are there; and that her guests are in the depths of hell." - verses 17,18

(I personally have noticed that there is just something about a candy bar eaten in secret that makes it taste extra good; but when your husband finds the wrapper and asks, "Where did this come from?"; it doesn't feel so good.  I should know.  -We are trying to drop a few extra pounds so we have a no sweets until Sunday rule.  Oops!)

My husband just preached about this subject Yesterday.  He just doesn't believe that God would give the same blessings to a couple who honored Him and waited to enjoy the "pleasures" of marriage until they were married and those who "eat stolen waters" and then marry.  Please understand that I am not saying that God won't forgive and bless; but I am saying that there will be added blessings for those who wait to enjoy the "act of marriage".

I am so glad that the Lord has opened my eyes to the foolishness of worldly music.


Psalm 40:1-3
 I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.

2He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.

3And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Easy Chicken and Dumplings

This is a recipe I adjusted slightly and am passing it on to you.  My husband absolutely loved it and I am sure your family will as well.  Also, feel free to "jazz" it up with carrots, onions, or celery if you like!


4 chicken thighs
4 cups of water
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (or 1 large can)
3 tortillas (yes, white flour tortillas you would use for burritos!) Cut them into strips - mine were about 2 
inches long and once inch wide.
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbs. pepper
1 Tbs. garlic
2 Tbs. butter

1.  Remove skin from chicken and boil in 4 cups of water (with or without veggies) until fully cooked.
2.  Remove chicken from "broth". De-bone and shred.
3.  Add chicken with salt, pepper, garlic and let simmer for about 15 minutes
4.  Add butter and return to boil.
5.  Once the soup has returned to a rolling boil, add tortilla slices.
6.  Let boil for a few minutes (just long enough for the tortillas to become dumplings).
7.  Turn off heat and stir.
8.  Voila!  That is it.  Beware, it will be hot!!! (My honey likes his food that way, but Aaliyah preferred hers with an ice cube in it.

Serves 4


P.S.  I am no professional cook.  I tried it this way.  It was a hit! I will absolutely do it again!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

First Things First, sort of...

Last Night we held our first ladies meeting.  It went well; but our attendance was low.   I decided to give the purpose for the meetings then have sort of a woman to woman talk with the ladies.  The most important (and most enjoyable) part of the session for me was listening to
 the ladies give their testimonis and giving the ladies my salvation testimony. 

I went out to dinner with a missionary lady a few years back, and we began to talk.  I should say I began to talk; but she reprimanded me a little bit with this statement, "So often I ask people to tell me about themselves and they tell me about everything; but how they got saved."  She then proceeded to tell me her salvation testimony and I told her mine.  I never forgot this important lesson.

Now I would like to share my testimony with you.

I grew up in Oklahoma City the oldest of four siblings.  My mother raised us with the help of my grandmother, Miss Ollivet Ceasar.  Many times we would live with my mom for a while, then we (my mother included) would move back in with my grandmother for a while until mom was ready again to branch out on her own.  We continued this pattern until I was twelve years old.  This was the last time we ever lived with my grandmother.  My mother found a home on the south side of town and we moved in; but not before my grandmother joined Windsor Hills Baptist Church.  She had just began faithfully attending right when we moved. 

Once the move was complete, she gave our address to her bus captain, who in turn gave it to our soon to be bus captain, Bro. Tyrone Jackson (he and his family are now missionaries to Trinidad).  They visited our family and invited us all to ride the bus with them on Sunday morning.  My mom said it was fine for us to go; but she didn't care to.  (Let me pause here long enough to say that I love my mom, and she has professed to me that she was saved at the age of twelve and was very active in church until she experienced a tragedy at the age of fifteen.  After this incident, she sort of "fell away" from church.  If you think of her, please pray that she will realize the Love and grace of God in her life and come back to Him.)

I went to church the next Sunday with my brothers (2) and sister and had a great time!  The thing that most impressed my about church was the difference I saw in Bro. Ross (our youth director) from all the other men I had known in my life.  I came back the next Sunday, and the next just to find out what that difference was.  To make a long story short. I became so faithful in church that I was invited to attend the Christian school my eighth grade year.  I don't remember even asking my mom, I just said, "Yes!".  I told my mom I was going to Windsor Hills Baptist School on Monday, and she agreed that it would be ok. 

Christian school was a big change for me.  I got up at about five in the morning in order to catch the city bus across town at six and make it to school on time.  I learned a lot; but the most important lesson for me was realized on January 30, 1996.  The was the first night of the Annual Missions conference at WHBC.  We began the service with a song, then a missionary's wife gave a testimony.  In her testimony she stated that she had grown up in a Christian family, been home schooled or went to a Christian school all her life, and was now on deputation; but had never received the Lord as her Savior.  She came to this realization one day as she was driving on her way to a service on a mountain top.  She pulled the vehicle over and prayed to receive the Lord.  This got me thinking.  If she wasn't saved after all that, then maybe I wasn't either.  I had made a profession of faith when I was about nine years old (ironically after riding the bus to WHBC after spending the night with some friends); but this time was different.  This time I didn't care whether my friends went forward or not, or what people would think of me if I went to the front of the church.  I thought that there was going to be an earthquake or something right in the middle of church and all of us were going to die, and I was going to split Hell right open!  I rushed to Mrs. Jackson during hand shaking time and told her I needed to talk with her NOW!; but she said I had to wait until after the service.  Two preachers and much apprehension (on my part) later, the invitation finally came and I rushed down to pray and receive the Lord.

What a relief!!!  Since that day, I have never doubted my salvation.  I praise the Lord for faithful bus workers and for so many people who have invested in my life!  Now I have an opportunity to invest in the lives of others.  What a good God we serve!!!

Until next time,


Monday, September 6, 2010

My New Home

Since May, we have been living in Jacksonville Sunday night through Thursday morning and staying in the church Thursday evenings through Sunday after service (Our midweek service is on Thursday evening so that we can travel if need be.)  Well, we have been praying for the Lord to open a door for us to move to Newport officially for some time.  It seems that door has been opened- at least for now.  Instead of just staying in the church for half the week, we decided to just go ahead and move in.  My new home is the fellowship hall!  It seems quite strange; but I am actually excited about it.  It will feel great to be living in just one place instead of two and I have already begun "discovering Newport".  One of the most exciting facts about Newport is that it was where Sam Walton (the founder of Wal-Mart) got his start.  (So everytime you go to Wal-mart, if you think of it, say a little prayer for us - for some of you this may be several times a day!) When we get everything moved I will take photos.

P.S.  Aaliyah really loves our new bath tub - The baptistry!!!


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