The Most High

“When I cry out to You, then my enemies will turn back; this I know, because God is for me.” -Psalm 56:9

The other day I was sitting on the floor in my sparsely furnished dining room, thinking of the upcoming bills I’d have to pay and other needs that remained unmet.

I have a small business, Noire Candle Company in which I make candles. However, I haven’t had an order since January. I took a break when I moved and my side hustle suffered as a result. The money from my creations is sorely missed.

Psalm 23 candle

A thought crossed my mind that I needed a friend that could help promote Noire. If only this person could put me on their platform and give me the push I needed. In other words, I was looking for a friend in a “high” place.

But then a small voice reminded me that God is that friend. He sits high yet looks low! One can get any higher than Him! In due time He will once again give me more business-even more so than my kitchen can handle! I’m believing and speaking it into existence 🙌🏾.

Moving Mountains

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” -Hebrews 11:6

The last few months have been difficult to say the least. I’ve been faced with one trying challenge after another. Many a night I’ve cried myself to sleep-exhausted by the heaviness of it all. I could compose a list of the things I’ve faced, but I know we shouldn’t keep account of our injuries. And I have faced a multitude of them. For a spell I was angry at God and gave up because I could see no human way out of each problem that cropped up. But God. While he hasn’t lifted all of my burdens, he’s removed some.

I know we can only be tested and tempted if God agrees. But why me Lord-I’ve moaned many times over. I’m not Esther, Ruth, Rahab, Mary or even Martha. I don’t see myself as strong, and if fiery trials is what I must face to become fortified, I think I’m strong enough!

While writing this blog a verse planted itself in my mind: “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” -2 Corinthians 12:9 Lord, I come humbly before your Throne of Grace, seeking mercy. I need Your strength for I am unashamedly weak. It is in seasons of my life such as this that I realize that I do nothing on my own. I need you, O Lord. I ask that You lift the anxiety I am feeling about certain matters that you are well aware of. I seek Your grace, Lord. I seek Your peace that surpasses all understanding. Your word says in Matthew 11:28-30, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” I am weighed down Lord. You also said in Luke 17:6. “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. I have enough faith to shift the sea, Father! Thank you for investing this power in me. I say to my anxiety-MOVE. I say to my financial woes-MOVE! I say to my health worries-MOVE! I say to my loneliness-Move! I say to my insecurities-MOVE! I say to my fears-MOVE! I say to my enemies-MOVE! I say to my fatigue-MOVE! Lord, I know You will MOVE in my life!

Table in the Wilderness

“Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?
Behold, He struck the rock,
So that the waters gushed out,
And the streams overflowed.
Can He give bread also?
Can He provide meat for His people?” -Psalm 78:19-20

I recently purchased a new home, and prior to doing so I gave away the entire contents of my old house, sans my sons’ bedroom furniture. I wanted a fresh start, and since a lot of my furnishings were quite old, I felt it was time for an upgrade. The Lord laughs at the plans of man, eh?

Immediately upon moving in, I was met with a plumbing problem that would cost a few thousand dollars to repair. Of course I felt a range of emotions: anger, disbelief, and sadness. This was an issue that the buyer supposedly had addressed. Why should I have to bear the burden of forking out money for this repair? My funds were already depleted from the closing costs and other expenses related to moving.

My insurance adjuster gave me the blues when I filed a claim, considering I had literally just moved in. The home warranty company wanted no parts either. I surveyed my home thinking of all the other immediate repairs I needed to make-new flooring to replace the pet soiled, worn carpet, a kitchen faucet, a doorbell system, a garage door opener, smoke detectors, blinds for all nine windows, fixing the latch on the patio door, among others. Plus I needed furniture. Not to mention, my car that I allowed someone to borrow, would cost $8k to be repaired.

I sat at the small white table that I had gotten from IKEA. I purchased it during the pandemic for my son to do his schoolwork. I had almost given it away as well, but something told me to hang on to it. So it came with us.

I mused about how this table with the one chair and a storage ottoman for sitting has served as our dining room table, laundry station, bill paying center, resting station, and a work area for me. And I was thankful! Truly thankful. In that moment I realized that God had already prepared a table for us in the wilderness.

The Bible urges us not to “despise small beginnings.” My beginnings have always been modest, however, I am aware that God can enlarge my territory when I least expect it. I know my house won’t always be barren. I know that God is more than capable of filling every room. He can and He will! I’ll be back soon with a praise report.

The Most Dangerous Skin In the Game

The Most Dangerous Skin in the Game

When I was in 7th grade, I read a disturbing short story called The Most Dangerous Game by Richard Connell. I won’t spoil it for those who are not familiar with it, but it is mostly about an insidious, rich man who is bored with life and decides to hunt humans for sport instead of game.

I like to think that I am an objective, rational person. I never hitch rides on bandwagons and want to know both sides of an issue before forming an opinion that I usually only share amongst close friends and family. Nor am I into conspiracy theories. However, the death of George Floyd was so disgusting and incomprehensible to me that I felt compelled to use my voice since his has been extinguished. His senseless death has set my soul on fire.

The brutality against Blacks by the police and the world at large has been happening for far too long. This practice is nothing new. America is now being forced to acknowledge its system of institutional racism with the advent of technology in the form of cell phones that record. We have been “free” full citizens of America since 1865. One would think that this Civil Rights Act would signal the end of oppression and racial terrorism. Sadly, it has not. We are merely tolerated in a country built literally on the backs of our ancestors. Our faux freedom is for legalistic purposes only.

In 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act was passed by the United States Congress. The law allowed slaves to be returned to their owners even if they were in a free state. This act also made the federal government accountable for locating, returning, and trying slaves that had successfully escaped.

Today we have a free status. But we are still being hunted by angry, hateful bigots who feel obligated to return us to our “rightful” state-bondage or death. It does not matter the perceived “offense.” Whether it’s walking through a neighborhood in which we live, selling cigarettes, watching birds, jogging, sleeping, playing with a toy gun, partying, getting a traffic ticket, lawfully carrying a weapon, shopping, reading, decorating for a party, relaxing at home, asking for help after being in a car accident, having a cell phone, playing loud music, going to church, riding in a car, or breathing, our existence spurs the hatemongers into action. It’s troubling and plain sad. This has always struck me as odd, considering that our ancestors did not come voluntarily. I currently wonder why White supremacists do not leave America and form their own country. They could steal another landmass and build a wall to keep “Pleasantville” pleasant and pure.

There has never been a time in my life that I have not been warily aware of the color of my skin. Before I walk into any establishment, meet people of other races, or travel abroad, I constantly wonder if my skin will be an issue. It’s exhausting. During my freshman year at Broad Ripple High School, I was waiting outside under the flag-ironically, for my stepfather to pick me up after ballet rehearsal. A car sped down the avenue, and a man screamed, “Go home nigger!” I wasn’t afraid, but I was shocked that White people still used such terminology. I graduated high school exactly twenty four years to the day and I still vividly recall that incident which shows the impact that it had on my psyche. There have been several more hurtful instances in which I have experienced varying forms of racism over the course of my life. I’m sure this is true for most Blacks in America. We are still being targeted for the hue of our skin, something that we have no control over. We are the hunted, and none of us are safe-Black men, women, or children. America has turned into Ship Trap Island.

Sometimes we ignore what is taking place in our society no matter how vile and overt it is merely because it is uncomfortable to to take action, and we “have no skin in the game,” to borrow a phrase made popular by billionaire tycoon and philanthropist, Warren Buffet. To have skin in the game means to have a personal stake or investment in something. I would like to disagree with anyone who has that attitude. We all have skin in the game-Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, or Other. My two Black precious sons, my Black family members and friends, and all the Black students that I teach are my skin in the game. If you work with Black people, live next to them, are friends with them, play golf with them, teach them-that’s your skin in the game. Our skin, Black skin, is simply the most dangerous skin in the game.

Elie Wiesel said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference.” This is a fight that Black people cannot win alone as we are not the color of power and privilege. We are not the face of America. We need all our White allies to stand alongside us. We must overcome this together. I challenge all my white friends, colleagues and family to speak up using any platform they have whether it be social media, letters to the editor, contacting local Congress members, participating in peaceful protests, organizing protests, informing yourself on the issues at hand, creating petitions, refusing to be silent any longer in the face of injustice, talking with your children and saying enough is enough and standing on it.




Perverse and Cursed

“For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.” ~2 Timothy 3:2-4

I shouldn’t be, but I am. I am simply amazed at the way  people conduct themselves in today’s times. It is literally mindboggling, lacking any form of logic or human decency, and is plain frightening. When I hear about what makes the news I am often devastated. In my city of Indianapolis, just in the last week we had a myraid of homocides-seven people killed in 24 hours, a group of nine arrested for supplying heroin, crack, and synthetic marijuana to the homeless at a local shelter, an eight year old girl remains missing, and the remains of a 30 year old mother of two was found by a fisherman who reeled in her severed foot instead of a fish. And those are just a few local stories. The national news is even more bizarre, unsettling and heartbreaking.

On social media the hate filled comments, blasphemous language and images, sexually charged memes, and mere lack of compassion is troubling.  I refrain from making comments to those who speak negatively. It would not be well received and would only create an opening for attacks against me. The gossip is more than malicious. It is usually downright murderous to one’s character. Recently a beloved rapper and community activist was murdered. He had two children. The mother of his first child is being villified for not posting anything on her social media pages immediately following his death. Since when does one has to “post” anything to validate how they truly feel? I was deeply bothered when I learned of his death, but even more so when I skimmed through thousands of harsh, judgmental, mean-spirited,  indecent, and slanderous comments directed at this woman. I was in true disbelief at the hatred directed toward her.  And I’m sure the vast majority of those who left such scathing critiques on her character did not know her personally. The tongue is truly a lethal weapon. “It is an unruly evil full of deadly poison” according to James 3:8.

I’ve also  noticed that celebrity worship is at an all time high. I’ve never quite understood this phenomenon. Yes, there are entertainers that I enjoy, however, I understand that they are no different than you and I. In God’s eyes, we are all equal. Thus, I do not see the need to place them on a pedestal. I do not follow any “stars” on social media either. I like to use the one platform I am on to stay connected with those I actually know in real life-friends and family. I do not wish to engage is this seemingly innocent form of idolatry.

Many accounts are boastful and proud. There is little humilty on most social media sites. Even professional networking sites such as LinkedIn has been infiltrated by the same mentality. People are desperately seeking attention and validation and will do almost anything to get it. The desire to be the “cool kid” is still a thing.  I was scrolling through my LinkedIn feed this morning and noticed that a professor posted a video of himself teaching while one of the student’s infant child is strapped to his chest. My first thought was why did his good deed need to be announced? Did not Jesus say, “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Matthew 6:6

Another sickening trend I’ve noticed in teenagers is the usage of the expression “On God” as a way to show they are serious about what they say. As a teacher, I hear this phrase all day long.  I ask the students not to use the term in my class. I find it to be distasteful and disturbing. Nothing should be “put” on the Lord as we are not to take His name in vain. His name is holy. His name is a “strong tower.” His name should not be profaned. Galatians 6:7 provides a warning to those who continue with this reckless speech, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

Last Friday when I was leaving work I noticed that I had a low tire. I saw a male coworker and asked him if he had seen the automechanics teacher because I needed some assistance with my tire. He looked over at my truck and mentioned that the teacher was still there but was getting ready to leave. He walked away without even inquiring if I would be fine or even offering assistance with my dilemma. Obviousy the day and age has passed in which we show love or even concern for our neighbor.

Sadly people opt to do what is pleasing to them versus what is pleasing to God. I constantly have to check myself. My flesh is very weak and I often find myself being short tempered with others. Especially so when I forget to eat from the fruits of the spirit and find myself dipping in the world’s bowl of fruit.

All of these things are simply signs of the time that we are warned about in the Bible. This type of loathsome behavior makes me long for the day that Lord puts an end to this strange day that we live in.

Testimony Tuesday

” I will speak of Your testimonies also before kings, And will not be ashamed.”

                                                                                                                   ~Psalm 119:46

Yesterday I posted about some current struggles. I mentioned that it is difficult for me to pray at times because I don’t get a spoken response from God and it makes me feel as if he’s not listening. So instead I wrote a prayer and asked for Him to help me with this and some other things, anxiety being one.

The Lord is on an on time God. Almost immediatedly after I blogged, I received a call from my tenant that the heat was not blowing. Normally this is one of the things that produces a lot of anxiety for me. Yesterday was 11 degrees-far too cold to go without heat. I also wondered how much such a repair would cost me. In the back of mind I am always expeting her to call without warning about some major repair. Of course, me being the property owner, would be responsible for covering the expenses.

But this time I listened and simply replied I would send someone over immediatedly. I told myself that it would be okay and remembered that God would not want me to be anxious about anything. I called a furnace repairman and made an appointment. I texted her to let her know that someone would be there at 2:30pm.

At 2:26pm she called again to let me know that the heat was working fine. She apologized for calling and said she had no idea what happened. I was puzzled but attributed to a glitch in the furnace.

It didn’t dawn on me until I got home that it wasn’t a simple snafu. God had sent me a test to see how I was going to respond. Once I realized that, I began laughing gleefully. God does listen because He cares. I believe He used the issue with the heat to convey the message to me. He hears everything I say and don’t say, reads every letter that I write to Him and even longs to hear from me. Hallelujah!


“Be still and know that I am God.” Psalm 46:10

My heart is still a tablet…I have so much to say regarding my faith that I don’t fully know how to say it. Or cannot find the time to write it is more likely the truth. I am weary.

I am still struggling with many things-prayer, forgiveness, and imbuing the fruits of the spirit. I can very much relate to Paul when he describes his weak flesh in Romans 7:15. When I take two steps forward in my walk, I end up taking two steps back-back to square one I go.

I am currently reading The New You: A Guide to Better Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Wellness by Nelson Searcy and Jennifer Dykes Henson. While reading I was reminded of this promise from God found in Psalm 139:5-10:

You go before me and follow me.
    You place your hand of blessing on my head.
 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too great for me to understand!

I can never escape from your Spirit!
    I can never get away from your presence!
 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
    if I go down to the grave, you are there.
If I ride the wings of the morning,
    if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
 even there your hand will guide me,
    and your strength will support me.

These words are comforting and beautiful. No matter what I do or don’t do, God is still there. He is faithful when we are not. It also helps me with prayer. Sometimes it is difficult to pray because I do not feel that God is listening. He doesn’t “reply” with literal words which makes the exchange feel onesided. Sometimes I feel like I am simply talking to myself which then makes me feel silly. I am working on believeing that God is listening and forging ahead in communing with Him. So I want to close this post with a prayer. If you feel so inclined, please touch and agree with me.

Father God,

I am thankful to have an amazing, omnipotent, omniscient God who goes before me in all circumstances including death. Thank you for Your loving kindness, Your faithfulness, and Your provision. I am clearly aware that I’ve done very little to earn your grace and favor, yet You freely let it flow from Your Superior Being to mine. Lord I ask that You guide me, ease my anxieties, fill me up with You. Take my hurts and use them for something good. Help me to make Godly choices in all circumstances. Let not my flesh get in the way of Your glory Lord. Lord, I ask that You make my heart forgiving and giving. Remove the bitterness from my mind and spirit Father. Allow me to record Your word on the pages of my heart and not the wrongdoings of others. Make my enemies my footstool so that I may rest. Soothe my soul Lord God as only you can. Today I am still, knowing without a doubt that You are God! Lord I am listening for Your voice. In the Holy name of the Lamb, Amen!


“…there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” ~ Proverbs 18:24 NKJV

As the holidays approach I think more and more about my fragmented, distant family. Although there are only a handful of us left, we rarely connect with each other outside of tragedies.

I have five siblings that I seldom see. I have not seen my youngest sister in years nor have I met her last three children. The same goes for my youngest brother. My middle brother only contacts me when he is in need. I communicate the most with my middle sister which is still only marginally. My brother who is the second child reaches out more than the others. I suppose because it was only us for the first two years.

I have three aunts and a smattering of cousins. I talk to two aunts on occasion and my cousins when I run into them on a rare outing.

It is hurtful to be estranged from family. I have spent many days pondering our fragile connection. However, lately I have made peace with the way things are and instead try to focus on nurturing the relationships that I do have.

The other day my seven year old asked if we could have a “real” Thanksgiving dinner with friends and family. He referenced an end of summer party that we attended, “like the party at the big, blue house.” It took me a minute to recollect and figure out that he was talking about my friend’s party. We had a great time surrounded by both good food and people. It made me sad that I cannot offer him such a setting. We simply do not have the family for it.

Life is tough. The Bible even warns us that our days will be full of trouble and I can say that this has certainly been true in my life. But I also know that is why the Lord, in His infinite wisdom, gave us families. Our family are supposed to help smooth life’s frayed edges.

I too, know that we can’t force our blood relatives to be kindred. However, we can create our own tribe-another blessing from our Father who connects us all. I’ve done this in a sense. My motley crew of a family does not resemble the traditional model. It is composed of my two boys, a few true friends, coworkers turned comrades, some church saints, girlfriends now sisterfriends, and past and present students.

As a bonus, we get the families of my tribe mates as well. Sometimes I sit back, reflect and wish it could be different with my biological family. These people are blood of my blood, flesh of my flesh after all. This will never change. But too much time has elapsed which has allowed the distance to widen. Things are strained and tense to the point that I do not even wish to attempt to sew the rip that’s torn us a part. Obviously no one else wants to either. Being family should not be a seasonal affair when it is meant for a lifetime. Now they are almost like strangers to me. I only know them by heart.


“He turned the desert into pools of water and the parched ground into flowing springs.” ~Psalm 107:35

Reminder for those of you in a desert place: 
“Expect to have hope rekindled. Expect your prayers to be answered in wondrous ways. The dry seasons in life do not last. The spring rain will come again.” ~Sarah Ban Breathnach


“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it.” Corinthians 9:24

Today we began a series entitled “At the Movies.” Our pastor takes a popular movie, shortens it to fulfill  the purpose of his message, and inserts himself in the film and provides biblical commentary.

The film today was Unbroken, which is about the life of Louis Zamperini. It recounts his amazing odyssey of triumph that he contributes to the unfailing grace of God.

His life was such a powerful testimony! We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us and Louis proved just that! His brother Pete gave him a mantra-“If you can take it, you can make it.” This gave Louis strength for the journey  during his 97 years on earth.

I was moved to tears during the showing and sat on the edge of my seat. It was hard to watch the evil he endured.

I could relate to so much of his life-the low self esteem, facing trial after trial that would break most, and the strong will to make it despite the odds.

Pastor Dave reminded us that the devil has no real power over us and he can only trick us into destroying ourselves. He plays a lot of mind games and excels at convincing us that we  are worthless. In the case of Louis, the devil used the Bird to try to break his spirit. It was obvious that the Bird saw greatness in him, too and hated him for it.

Pastor Dave also talked about how living out of season can hamper us. Louis defined himself as an Olympic runner and was almost destroyed when he lost a race as a prisoner. His focus should have been on survival instead of his past glory. We must stay in the present in order to appreciate the blessings that we do have.

It is true that God prepares us in advance to fight future battles. Louis was “trained” as a youth with the many gladiator type battles he faced as an Italian immigrant in his neighborhood and his Olympic training as a runner.

The most astonishing part of his story was the ability to forgive his captors-the very men who tormented him as a POW. He actually met with them all except for the Bird who refused. Again, another solid example of how we can do anything as long as we rely on the strength of the Lord.

Louis spent 47 days at sea after their military plane crashed. He vowed to God that he would dedicate his life to him if he would only let him live. God granted his request and Louis eventually kept his promise.

I have been down-but never out, bent-but not broken, and I’ve been through many fires-but I never smell like smoke-Hallelujah!!!!

I want to encourage anyone reading these words today to keep running the race! Our sufferings are never in vain and all things can be used for good by God. He hears every prayer we utter and stores them in His golden goblet in heaven. Never grow weary of fighting the good fight of faith my friend!