31 Reasons I Love My Mom

31 Reasons I Love My Mom

Last month, I shared a status on Facebook that mentioned that I had received a couple of negative comments about how much I talk about my mom. I received tons and tons of support for showing my mom love, and then one friend even suggested that I share something I love about my mom daily. Well, I’ve never been one to turn down a “dare” so I took the challenge. And now that it’s September (the challenge is over!), here’s a run down of just a few of the endless reasons I love my mom.

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Day 1: I love my mom because she gave me her heavy duty umbrella this morning and took my flimsy little umbrella. And it came in handy when I drove up to daycare and the sky was falling. My little umbrella is for sprinkle storms, lol. Thanks again ma!

Day 2: I love my mom because she helps me start my day on a positive note every morning. During my commute, I always talk to her about how we’re feeling, any new family updates, and current events. It kinda reminds me of when I was a kid and she would call me at home after I got off the bus. Back then, I thought she was magic because she could tell if something was wrong just by the way I said hello. I enjoy having someone to check in with.

Day 3: I love my mom because she has believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She reminds me of who I am when I’ve forgotten.

Day 4: I love my mom because she knew I needed a break even though I’d never ask. She came here, got Frederick, and then brought him back because she doesn’t want me on the road. Thanks again.

Day 5: I love my because she exposed me to culture and education outside of the classroom. I love to travel, and I know it’s partly because it’s second nature.
Day 6: J’adore ma maman because she always includes me in her If-I-win-the-big-lottery-wishlist.

Day 7: I love my mom because she has become the caretaker for my aunt, even though she had a million reasons not to. She’s my example of duty, love, and family responsibility. And yes, I know I skipped yesterday–I wanted to be consistent with the calendar so that I don’t have to keep looking to see what day I’m on, lol.

Day 8: I love my mom because when I was a kid, she never gave me a hard time for my preference to write her a letter when something was bothering me over talking to her. I still remember vividly putting letters on her pillow and running to my room and pretending to be sleep when I heard her walking to the back. It means a lot to me to have had someone who respects my ways of communicating.

Day 9: I love my mom because she’s a stunna. You would never guess how old she is. And she is one of those people that looks great when she’s not trying. So to you people who think I look like an undergraduate, I get it from my mama. LOL

Day 10: I love my mom because she instilled the importance of community service in me. She took us to feed the homeless on holidays, she encouraged me to tutor my peers and students in lower grades, and she never let me forget to give back to the community that supported me.

Day 11: I love my mom because I have a thousand sippy cups as a result of her quest for the “perfect” sippy cup. lol

Day 12: I love my mom because I get my niceness under pressure from her. I’ll credit my fiestiness when I’m fed up to my daddy or maybe my aunt Vernita, but I know I get my (albeit reluctant) need to try to keep my temper at bay and smooth it out if at all possible from her. She hates conflict and avoids it like the plague.

Day 13: I love my mom because she and Frederick have a secret language. When we skyped her yesterday, he started grinning and “talking” to her. I have no idea what their convo was about, but they enjoyed it.

Day 14: I love my mom because when she wanted me to divert my focus to positive things, she didn’t just say “be positive,” she gave me plenty to focus on. She’s been in my corner, she helps me physically, emotionally, and financially, and when I’m feeling like I’m missing out, I can redirect to how much help I have from her.

Day 15: I love my mom because her food is yummy. She says when she cooks for me, she cooks with love for me and my baby, and that’s why I haven’t been able to replicate a couple of her (seemingly very simple) recipes.

Day 16: I love my mom because she’s always been a real person, not a fantasy. When I go through various life experiences, she doesn’t judge me, but she shares with me similar experiences she’s been through. She’s never pretended to be perfect, and I appreciate that because she’s a true example of “how I got over”.

Day 17: I love my mom because she tells me stories about my relatives who have gone on. She lets me know that they were my guardian angels on earth too. And I wouldn’t really know that I am anything like my Aunt Vernita if my mom didn’t tell me. Happy birthday, Vernita.

Day 18: I love my mom because she raised me in church, and I still have a family at Zion Travelers to whom she gives regular updates (and they actually care!). I love my mom because she has Frederick in church when he’s in MS.

Day 19: I love my mom because she plays Wordfeud with me and gives me commentary on her other games and background life info about the randoms she plays lol!

Day 20: I love my mom because she loves ratchet TV. As intellectual as she is, you’d never guess that she enjoys watching Jerry Springer, Steve Wilkos, and the who’s the daddy show (can’t think of the name). And then, because she’s so intellectual, she analyzes the personalities she sees and connects them to real life to explain why folks act so crazy. Gotta love it! (Sorry if that was a secret, Mary Robinson!!)
Day #21: I love my mom because she really took care of my hair and skin when I was growing up. She never let me sleep with stress on my hair, which meant she combed and brushed my hair every single morning. And she lathered me up with cocoa butter, aloe vera, and whatever else to make sure I didn’t have scars and such. I finally appreciate this now that Frederick is starting to come home with various scars. I also love her because she STILL takes care of my hair when she can. She will sit down and twist all this hair I have if I ask.

Day #22: I love my mom because she encouraged me to start taking advantage of kids eating free at Piccadilly so on nights like tonight when I don’t feel like cooking, I can still make sure Frederick gets his veggies. Yum. Reminds me of going to Morrison’s after church some Sundays!

Day #23: I love my mom because she has always given me space to choose my path. When faced with a fork in the road, sometimes she won’t even give me her opinion if she thinks I will just go with that instead of figuring out what I want. Case in point: when Tougaloo sent me a letter before I went back to school for 11th grade saying if I maintained my GPA I could bypass my senior year and go there on a full ride, she let me choose without pushing me in any direction. She said she didn’t want me to ever look back on life and regret a decision because I didn’t make it. I’m the master of my fate.

Day #24: I love my mom because she sticks up for me. Sometimes I get bogged down in wishing someone would speak up for me/defend me/have my back in tough situations, not knowing that my mom already has. She just may not tell me for months or years, lol.

Day #25: I love my mom because I can’t for the life of me figure out how she did laundry and ironed clothes for our family when I was growing up. It’s only two of us now, and I never feel like I’m caught up on laundry, and I definitely don’t have time to be ironing LOADS of clothes at a time. Seems like her days were made up of >24 hours, but of course they weren’t. Guess she hides the superwoman get up under her clothes, lol!

Day 26: I love my mom because she loves animals. For as long as I can remember, she’s always had love for the 4-legged companions. Even though they creep me out, her fave is long-haired cats, but she loves her grandpups tons. From Delilah (cat) to Jeremiah (dog) to Diamond (cat) to Rex (dog) to Jade (dog), there’s always been an animal around her house to soak up the extra love and compassion. Hope I didn’t miss any pets. LOL (And yes, she loves her some Smokie, and he loves her too.)

Day #27: I love my mom because even though math is my forte, I have effective writing skills because of her. She is a retired English instructor, which means when I was growing up I couldn’t finish a sentence using incorrect grammar without her interrupting me and making me correct myself. I was constantly looking in the dictionary for the correct spelling of words because she wouldn’t just tell me. I never received the kind of help i wanted when writing papers because she believed the only way to learn was to completely write the paper before she marked it up with red ink. All of that has resulted in writing skills that people seem to enjoy reading (www.nadajo.com) and that I am able to use in proofreading. Thanks, smarty pants lady.

Day #28: I love my mom because she is one of the main reasons I wanted to attend an HBCU. She took me to probably every JSU home game and several of the away games if there was bus headed there, and she made sure I was on somebody’s campus every summer.

Day #29: I love my mom because she prepared me for my future. I wasn’t afraid to stay on campus (even at 16!) and I wasn’t afraid to move to another city after college because neither was new frontier. She let me try different things and figure out things while I was growing up so that she could catch me if I fell. I still remember her telling my dad that they needed to let me go out on dates while I was still at home so that I wouldn’t get to college and lose my mind. I can still see the frown etched in his face when my first date got to the house to introduce himself a couple of days before the actual date (for which my dad didn’t even answer the door–he went and sat on the porch. LOL!).

Day #30: I love my mom because she was always the “cool mama”–every one of my friends who has been around her any time loves her. I remember being jealous of Jamie B. when she got my mom as her big sister in Christ. Lordy, I was like she’s all mine!!! LOL

Day #31: I love my mom simply because she’s my mom and she’s stuck with me for life. LOL! Thanks for bearing with me all month! Bye August!

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Topsy Turvy of Scandal

Topsy Turvy of Scandal

Every Thursday night at 10 PM, I’m glued to my TV and to FB watching Scandal and the commentary of my FB friends who are just as addicted to the show. The show, quick-paced and captivating, makes me question the morals of my FB friends (and every now and then myself) every single week though. How good is Shonda Rhimes that she can get the masses to root for what we’d (hopefully) consider wrong in real life?? Here are some examples.

1. The most obvious example of topsy turvy is the romantic relationship between President Fitzgerald “Fitz” Grant and the main character of the show, Olivia Pope. Their affair has been the object of envy for many, with people talking about the potential for unconditional love if only they could be together. Ummm in real life, I don’t think anyone would see it that way. I mean, c’mon. As far as I’ve seen, his marriage was just fine before Olivia came on the scene. I know things happen <remember the “Love Makes Things Happen” video?>, but in my brain and heart, I hope that if I ever get married that my husband and I will be able to always choose each other and believe that when we joined each other under God that it was the right decision, no matter who we may meet in the future. So it always makes me pause that Mellie is depicted as such a b!tch (don’t get me a wrong–she’s a beast when it comes to the political arena… BUT that’s prolly why he fell for her and married her in the first place!) and like she’s wrong for wanting her marriage to work, when she’s the victim. Just the allure of Scandal, I guess.

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2. Now, I’m guilty of the topsy turvy in this next example. Last week, when James kept digging after hearing that David Rosen’s conspiracy theory might not be so crazy after all and found the memory card in the voting machine in the high school, I was MAD at him!!! I was thinking ‘WHY won’t you leave well enough alone???” LOL–how nuts is that?? Now, y’all know if I found out something like that happened in real life if I had the evidence or a lead for the evidence to prove it happens in real life, I probably wouldn’t just leave well enough alone. Unless of course I was scared for my life (like I am for James’ life). He’s not the bad guy!! The folks who rigged the election are, but yet again, it’s the allure of that doggone Scandal.

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3. Each week, I cringe every time Quinn finds out a little bit more about what happened to her that fateful night when she gained a new identity. Now y’all know good and doggone well that if you woke up one day on the other side of the country from where you were last time you were conscious with new documents on the nightstand, you would want to know what the HELL happened to you. And you probably wouldn’t let it go. But every week, I say to the TV, “Ma’am, you got off! Quit snooping!!! Sit down somewhere!! Just go with it!” LOL, how crazy is that?? One word: Scandal.

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4. How many people think snipers are cool and perfect friends? Well, before Scandal I wouldn’t have raised my hand. I mean, sheesh, snipers/hit men/spies are kinda untrustworthy, a teensy wee bit crazy, right? Well, every week, including last night as he was packing up his equipment after possibly shooting the president (we’ll see what actually happened next week!), I think to myself ‘Self, where can I get me a Huck??’ Someone so dedicated to protecting me, even if he’s willing to burn someone’s skin off his bones to teach them a lesson. Now y’all know that ain’t right. But it’s that addictive Scandal!!

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Those are just four examples. There are plenty to go around. What are your topsy turvy moments in Scandal–what do you know you would not support (hopefully) in real life but you find yourself amazingly rooting for it during that hour that seems like 20 minutes? Where are my Scandal fans??

31 Days of Thanksgiving (Part 1 of 3)

31 Days of Thanksgiving (Part 1 of 3)

On November 1, I decided to join a Facebook Thanksgiving challenge, where I would post daily what I’m thankful for. Yes, I know November has only 30 days–it is my birth month, yanno :), but I chose 31 days because I turned 31 years old this year. I’ll post these in three installments since 31 is a bit much for one post. So here’s the first part of a rundown of the many many things I’m grateful for.

  1. I’m thankful for my healthy, juicy, alert son!
  2. I’m thankful for my love for math and research (and my capacity to understand it) and a job that leverages that love and uses it to help communities across the country.
  3. I’m thankful to be a homeowner. Even though the market slammed me, it’s nice to have my special place. And I’m thankful to have newfound motivation (FDT) to get it organized and redecorated!
  4. I’m thankful for a mom (Mary Robinson) who loves and supports me through it all. And I’m thankful to be closer to her than ever before as I understand more and more each day what it is to be a mom. I thank her for giving me a stellar example to follow.
  5. I’m thankful for my culinary skills. Did some cooking this weekend and I have to pat myself on the back. And I have to give shouts out to my parents, my granddaddy, and my Aunt Sweet for teaching me how to fill my belly with yumminess.
  6. I’m thankful that to vote, all I had to do was make sure my information was accurate, then get in my car and drive to my precinct and push a few buttons–NOT pay a poll tax, take a literacy test, walk for miles, get spit on, or put myself or my family in harm’s way. Exercise your right!
  7. I’m thankful for the experiences I’ve had as an AKA. Over the last 13 years, I have (and continue to) learned lessons (a slew of them), made lifelong friends, amped up my community service efforts, road tripped, partied, had fun, and developed my leadership skills by putting them to the test. No one could believe I let anyone tell me what to do for a whole semester, but it was so worth it. 🙂
  8. I’m thankful to have too many clothes vs. not enough. I’m in the process of making more room for my growing baby, and I’m just grateful to have had more than I need and to have looked good in it. 🙂
  9. I’m thankful for a world full of adventures and culture. Although I’ve had to significantly decrease my mileage, I’ve had the opportunity to spend time in several states across the country as well as six countries (seven if you count driving through Luxembourg). And I live vicariously through my friends. I collect postcards and magnets, and my fridge is covered with postcards from other countries from my friends’ travels too. (The latest from this year come from Vee‘s trip to Australia, Mallory‘s trip to Ghana, and Paula‘s trip to Jerusalem.) How blessed we are to see what the world has to offer and to have a safe place to come back to!
  10. I’m thankful for my family. I couldn’t ask for a better support system. They are crazy when I can’t be, positive and encouraging when I’m sad, and always funny. And they take care of me any chance they get. ♥ ♥ ♥
  11. I thank GOD for the truth. What’s done in the dark will always come to the light, and I thank Him for personal growth and the development of my patience and trust in God’s plans.

It’s been a long road for me over the last year, and figuring out how to focus on positive things instead of my trials has been key. I still have my moments when I just don’t understand various aspects of my life, but at the end of the day, I have to hold on to (and remind myself of) my belief that everything happens for a reason and that God’s plan is perfect.

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! – 2 Corinthians 4:17

Pretty Girls Rock

Pretty Girls Rock

Hi, lovelies,

This morning I came across a Facebook invite that had an immediate impact.


The PRETTY GIRLS ROCK “DRESSES” Challenge will start
Tuesday, March 1, 2011.
Mission:
1. We will rock dresses and cute shoes (flats and heels) like our mothers & grandmothers at least THREE (3) times a week.
2. We will reject the impulse to throw on jeans, jogging suits (even the cute kind), & dress slacks.
3. Exchange our revelations and thoughts throughout this challenge.
4. Invite a Friend(s), Take Pics, & HAVE FUN.
5. Everyone is WELCOMED to participate.
6. Exceptions: Flattering Dress Suits with nice accessories are allowed.
7. If you have a blog share it with your followers. 

Let’s bring back:
*GLAMOUR. *GRACE. *CHARM. *FEMININITY. *PRISSYness (is that a word?) and most of all BEAUTY.

Pretty Girls Rock Dresses Spring/Summer 20-11 Challenge.

So of course, I was (as usual) rummaging through my wide array of garments to figure out how to stay warm at 8 am without getting too hot at 3 pm. Usually, I just look for what I don’t have to iron, but because of this piece of awesome encouragement, I was reminded that it’s never too much to put on a dress.  And of course, wearing a dress requires jewelry and makeup, too things that are usually optional or minimal in the morning. Just needed that one boost to give me the energy and motivation to do more that “throw something on”. I’ve already gotten a couple of compliments.

My grandma and Uncle Lonzo

It’s actually pretty funny, though, because my mom loves to tell me when I’m at home that I need to “show em what I got” — i.e. pamper myself in the mornings and always look my best–even when I’m about to get on the highway. I overlook that last scenario, but I am getting a little better about not just throwing on some jeans and showing up at a meeting without even lip gloss. I still wear my jeans and slacks (I mean I never just look completely busted–but I don’t always look A+), but I may be a little more intentional in my jewelry and a little more concerned about my makeup–never overdoing it, but definitely ensuring that I bring out my natural beauty with a couple of highlights.

It’s also funny because some people think I overdress.  Maybe it’s that extreme thing about me. I generally either do it big or not at all.  I do adore getting dolled up, but it hasn’t been a daily thing for me.

When I think of my grandma Neva (y’all know I always have to get sentimental!), I think of her dresses and ultra yet subtle fabulousness. I literally can’t remember one time where I saw her not looking like a million bucks. From her clothing choices (some of which I wear now) to her hair styles to her jewelry and makeup, it was clear that she was a woman that took pride in herself and took care of herself. In that spirit, I do resolve (as I did last year as a 2011 goal) to wear skirts and dresses a little more often and to make sure I devote time to myself, pampering and primping to make myself feel and look like a million bucks.

Thanks to Dearroka Winfrey for reminding me that being feminine and giving my pretty some shine is never too much. Just in time for the spring!! Happy warm days!

Feature Friday: The Number Game

Feature Friday: The Number Game

So on Facebook this week, the number game blew up!  I particularly liked it because my FB friends were very positive about the people for whom they dedicated their statuses.  I only played for about 30 minutes Tuesday night, but here are a descriptions of those who sent me numbers.  Some made it into that 30 minute window, and others were sent after I stopped playing.  So needless to say, I’m blessed to know some great people. 🙂  Happy Friday!

3.14 I feel like you’re buttering me up. hmmmm lol. No really, you are the smart and super spunky lil sis that refuses to be placed in the nerd box. Keep on pursuing your dreams while enjoying every minute!

4 I used to love going to the barber shop when my stylist had a chair in there so that I could joke with you and get my eyebrows arched!  You’re a great guy, and your family is gorgeous!

17 I’m proud of you for all that you’re trying to do with your life. I want you to spend more time focusing on the good than the bad, and I promise the world will look like a better place!

20 I love that we became fast friends. From our mutual love of soul music and natural hair to your benefit-of-the-doubt giving nature, hanging out w you is always a blast!!

227 I always felt safe with you on the bus. You were always really sweet and cool to me and wouldn’t let anyone mess with me!

‎0329 I think u were my 2nd friend when I got to Clinton. So many memories, esp in orchestra. Like when u left your violin at hm and “borrowed” one and it turned out to be a viola and the whole year with Massimino. Haha

601 You are one of those least judgmental, most optimistic people I have ever met.  You can see the silver lining in any storm cloud.  I hope you never outgrow that remarkable and uncommon trait.  I love you for always being there and refocusing my perspective.  You’re beautiful inside and out, and I am blessed to have you in my corner.

‎799 You were one of the only non-freshman guys that would risk befriending a 16-yr old the 1st semester of my freshman year. I’m happy to see that you’re thriving like I always knew you would. Oh and I have a pitch to make to u soon. lol will msg you.

808 When I met you, I noticed how great you are with the kiddies!  Keep being stern yet soft with them!

1003 You and I have been through a lot, and we have such special memories.  From hating each other freshman year to being attached at the hip (and forehead haha) sophomore year through our rough patches through being grown-ups together now.  Keep being positive, keep being a trendsetter, and keep taking such good care of those cutie patooties!

1908 You are the best front a girl could ask for. When I need to lean forward, you’re right there! You are the most fabulous diva I’ve ever known, and I’m sooooo happy that we’re more than just sorors–we’re friends. I’m proud of everything you’re doing. Keep that infinite finesse going!

[Side note: How cool is it that my front and back ended up next to each other? Smooches to both of you! And no wonder I ended up going from pseudo tomboy to super girly–how could I not stuck between two super fashionistas? lol!]

1976 I remember when I met u and I’m pretty sure we changed ur opinion of good MS stock forever lol. You even married a MS magnolia! I’m very proud of you and can’t wait to meet your lil mini you!

2408 You were the cutest young kid I knew way back in the day. I’m so happy to see how well you’re doing despite adversity! Ill always be a member of your fam, even if y’all don’t see me often, lol.

7890 You and DP showed me how huge skeephi love really was. I still remember how special I felt when yall got an ad for me for the Miss Black and Gold pageant. I enjoyed being a Step Afrika groupie after the skeephi.com stint. You’re so talented and I hope life is treating you well.

46038 Being friends w your crazy, funny butt was the highlight of freshman year. Let’s see, I stood on top of a dangerous annex, spun around in a car and laughed as ur roommate cursed us out, rode Amtrak and got hit w my first snowball all w you. I know u don’t believe me, but I’m coming to Indy asap!

111169 Jr high would have never been so memorable without you. Many many laughs and I’m glad you’re still my bro after allllllll these years! Keep it funky!

384426 I’ve seen you evolve into a mature, creative, good mommy. I wish you the best in all your current and future projects. Keep up the good livin!

Racism in America, not just MS

Racism in America, not just MS

The inspiration for this post started with this article.  A few days ago, a friend of mine from Greenwood texted me to tell me there had been a lynching in her hometown.  A couple of days later, the article came out suggesting it was a suicide.

In the words of Ed Lover, C’MON SON, get the eff outta here with that bs.  Do you seriously want me to believe that?

The other issue I have with this article is that there are NO comments.  Now, I am a dedicated comment reader because comments can really paint the picture of who is living in this country and how they see the world.  I’ve winced a many day at comments that I’ve read on an array of topics, so I was prepared to read some on this one, but… Crickets.  What’s up with that?

Let’s call a spade a spade.  This is yet another example of hatred and racism in this country.  In 2010, the fact that someone could be lynched is a travesty.  And the fact that it hasn’t hit all the major news outlets yet is another.  But, I must admit, a small part of me is glad it hasn’t.  Wanna know why?

I get tired of the perpetuation of the negative stereotype of my home state.  I started this group on Facebook and am very happy to see that there are over 13,000 members in it.  Why?  Because so many people, outside of the state and even in the state, think that MS is the hub of all evil in the country and that nothing good comes from it.  Ok, that’s a slight exaggeration, but still.  I’ve heard people from all across the Bible Belt give MS grief as if their states don’t come with their own transgressions.  If you don’t know much about Mississippi and all of its contributions, you should browse this site for a few minutes.

Now, let’s be clear.  I do not for one second believe that Mississippi doesn’t have its problems or that it’s a perfect place.  And I don’t need another lesson on Mississippi history.  I got it along with southern history, American history, and Black history.  I just want to intimate that racism and the brutal killings of our black men is a NATIONAL problem.  Oscar Grant being shot in the back while unarmed is just as horrible as this poor man who was walking through the wrong neighborhood and somehow (since it could be self-inflicted <heavy sarcasm>) ended up hanging from a rope in a tree.  However, no one says that California is a hotbed for racism.  Sean Bell being gunned down by the police before his wedding?  Yep, not cool.  But no one blames it on the fact that he was in New York.

How about the man who was shot in the head and dragged by a car in South Carolina?  Are you getting my drift?

Now that I’ve gotten that out of the way.  I want to know who out there cares.  What’s going to happen?  What is the answer?  How can we stop all this violence and hatred?  Will people be marching to the Mississippi Delta?  Or will this slide under the radar like many other issues?  We as Americans really need to address this and while we’re at it address the disproportionate number of black men in prison and what’s wrong with our system.  We can’t just sit around and wonder when the next brutal “accidental” murder will occur.  It’s time out for thinking that if we cover our eyes, not only will we not see it, but it’ll stop happening.  We need to wake up and see that it doesn’t just affect the families of the victims–it affects us all.  So let’s get to work.

My Thoughts on the Case of Eddie Long

My Thoughts on the Case of Eddie Long

Yesterday, this story hit the airwaves (and Twitter) like wildfire.

I am one of those people who tries not to come up with my own conclusions before facts are presented (I said try!).  I almost wish that lawsuits were kept secret until right before the trial because the court of public scrutiny can be a major bitch.  So here are my thoughts on the story, which are unrelated to what I think about the case itself.

1. While we should reserve judgment until more facts are made available (please remember Shirley Sherrod), we must see that there are two sides of the coin.  These are allegations.  Which means Long is innocent until proven guilty.  However, we must be careful to not cast judgment on the accusers.  This morning, the head of PR at New Birth said in an interview on V-103 that we must remember that these guys have been on the other side of the law.  I have two problems with that: a – It’s a common tactic to criminalize the victim.  Many victims don’t have pristine backgrounds, but that shouldn’t bar them from speaking out when they’ve been harmed. b – I would just expect a little more from a church.  If you’re not ready defense-wise, then just say “he didn’t do it” and leave it at that.  Trashing these guys who have been members of the church, participants in the programs, and on the church payroll isn’t a good look.  So I said all that to say–to be neutral is to stay in the middle.  Jumping on the accusers/possible victims is still picking a side and is just as bad as jumping on Long’s case before he has had the chance to defend himself.

2. This case immediately made me think of Juanita Bynum getting mollywhopped in a parking lot and all the backlash that caused.  We church folk have to remember that we go to the House for the Word and to worship God, not bask in the pastor’s fervor.  They are not superhuman.  They are people too, and when we keep that in mind, it’s easier to swallow when things happen.  Yes, they are spiritual leaders, and we must believe that God will lead us to where we’re supposed to go to hear His message and to fellowship with other believers, despite whatever imperfections the pastor has.

2b. There are folks who love when stuff like this hits the media so they can talk about how religion and spirituality are irrelevant and the church is full of fake people.  But as we all know, the church is full of sinners, and that’s the point.  No one is perfect, but we can all be saved under the perfect love of Christ.  So, stay strong, folks.  Especially you guys on Twitter and Facebook who may be inundated with defending your faith.

3. Regardless of whether or not Long did it or not, I hope people in power positions everywhere are taking note that you have to protect yourself from even the appearance of malfeasance.  Of course, it’s not always preventable, but be aware of rumors and take heed to not feed into those rumors.  Also, know that what is done in the dark will always come to the light.  I say that as a tribute to all these politicians (who have a duty to the public just as spiritual leaders do) who keep getting caught because they thought they were invincible then end up resigning.  People who are in public leadership roles are held to a higher standard, so just know there is only so much privacy to be expected. Which is sad, yes, but it’s reality.  So this is to you and to me, just be careful out there.

I’ll be watching the news and reading the paper just as you will.  Just keep Long, the two young men, all the families involved, New Birth, and this entire society in your prayers, as I will.

By the way, happy last day of summer!