Why All The Hoopla About “VALENTINE’S DAY!”

January 12, 2012 by  
Filed under Holidays & Celebrations

Valentine’s Day is legendarily known for being the most romantic day of the year. It is a time that couples desire to wonderfully express and celebrate their love for one another. This day of love is now further extended and expressed between friends, families, classmates, teachers, co workers and many more…

It is a great and marvelous day to annually commemorate your union of “the two becoming one”. Marriage was designed to be a loving, committed, pleasurable, fulfilling experience.

Valentine’s Day is said to have originated from amongst the ancient chronicles of ancient Roman history within the early Christian Church. Not all agree; some believe its origin is that of a pagan nature … However this narrative goes as such;

Once upon a time, years ago somewhere in and about the 3rd century AD., many couples who were in love were forbidden to marry. It is said that Emperor Claudius II who was an austere, ambitious and controlling ruler requiring vast armies of men denied them the privilege to marry. He trained his soldiers well yet brutally. He was a hard taskmaster. The soldiers had to be on the road for long extended periods of times and he did not want them engaging in sexual intercourse. This left the lonesome lot of soldiers homesick and half hearted… Still, the Emperor felt it drained the soldiers strength and interfered with his goal for them to be victorious on the battle field. So he subsequently banned marriages altogether.

But one bold, compassionate, defiant priest in Rome named Father Valentine did not agree. He thought that the Emperor Claudius II was unjust in this belief. He heroically came to the aid of many couples and secretly married the young lovers anyway. Well, when the furious Emperor got wind of what was happening he was livid and he had him beaten with clubs and arrested. It is alleged that the Emperor himself began to like Father Valentine… He even tried to convert the Emperor. In turn the Emperor wanted and attempted unsuccessfully to make Father Valentine renounce his Faith. Father Valentine remained incarcerated and sentenced to death.

It is believed that the secretly wedded blissful couples that Father Valentine had married were so thankful and filled with gratitude that they clandestinely visited the imprisoned priest. No doubt that they had pledged their love for one another but for Father Valentine as well. With thankful hearts filled with gratefulness and appreciation they surreptitiously brought him flowers and notes of gratitude which they secretly passed to him through the bars of his cell.

Father Valentine himself being loving, kindhearted, caring and compassionate supposedly fell in love with the jailer’s daughter. Some say she was blind and he healed her… On the day of the condemned Father Valentine’s execution of February 14th around 269, he wrote her a note confessing his love for her and signed it “from your Valentine.” He however was martyred and beheaded. From here amongst the varied accounts originates our tradition of “Valentine’s Day”.

Today in this modern 21st century “Valentine’s Day” is one of the most celebrated days on the calendar. It has been festively celebrated by billions of people ever since the days of Father Valentine.

Here in our beautiful country of America alone over 180,000,000 people celebrate by purchasing and showering roses upon their loved ones. Red is the most often selected color. It is a most prosperous day for retailers! Over 36,000,000 heart shaped boxes of candy and chocolates as well as thousands of diamonds, dinners, cards and other gifts ranging from extravagant to simple in lavish expenditures collectively totaling billions of dollars are purchased.

Hershey the infamous chocolate maker employs 13,000 employees. Located in Hershey, Pennsylvania they make over $5,000,000,000 in revenue per year. They use over 600, 000,000 million pounds of chocolate per year as well as using over 200,000,000 million pounds of nuts and 700,000,000 million pounds of milk and an exorbitant ridiculously extravagant amount of sugar! Hershey Inc. vast quantities of chocolate is made from cocoa plants from all around the world.

Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate LOVE! When couples are in love it is both emotional and physical! The brain produces a neurotransmitter called dopamine. It is a natural stimulant that carries messages from nerve cells to other nerve cell muscles. It is sent to many brain regions creating intense feelings often associated with romantic love. There are also physiological responses that occur by another closely related neurotransmitter called norepinephrine that often creates and intense craving… This explains why kissing for some can be intense because the hormone testosterone is passed between the two when kissing. Hopefully this explains why some can tend to be a bit irrational initially when in love. Love is wonderful when properly and lovingly expressed.

There are many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day as a couple! Here are a few suggestions:

It is always good to Kiss your spouse whenever you part

Start the day off with a nice hug and bubble bath

Slip a romantic expression of love note in his pocket or her purse

Compose or read poetry to one another, for starters try, The “Song of Solomon” it is a fabulous book of inspiration and love

Plan a nice Candlelight dinner and or a Romantic picnic lunch

Treats of: Cakes, Cookies, Cupcakes, Chocolates, and assorted candies

Flowers & Cards

Fruit Baskets

Take in a matinee or evening movie

Select in advance a great movie you are excited about sharing at home

Plan a spa couple visit for the mud baths, mineral springs and for massages

Play nice enjoyable music to relax

Before retiring take a nice temperate, peaceful, tranquil candle light bubble bath

Nice scented comfy and pillow puffy rose petaled bed… A suggested gift to one another that continues the celebration throughout the year! Remember be creative! Simply write colorful to do “IOU’S “on note cards… Fold and place them in a nicely decorated jar or basket! Here are a few suggestions; This is your day to do as you wish, Impromptu no questions asked date, Car Wash, No arguing today, Dancing, Golf Pass, Couple shopping fling, Back rub & neck massage, Foot massage, Night on the town, Walk in the park, Let’s exercise together, Event of choice or Evening of Elegance…

When you SAY that you LOVE someone here are some things to KEEP in mind! Here the TRUE meaning of LOVE is defined.

Love is best described herein I Corinthians 13: “LOVE is patient, Love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. LOVE does not delight in evil, but REJOICES in TRUTH. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always preserves. LOVE NEVER FAILS…”

God Bless You! ENJOY & CELEBRATE the one you Love!

“Love is patient, Love is kind, Love is felt most when it is GENUINE!”

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Put It All In His Hands

January 10, 2012 by  
Filed under Society & Culture

Have you ever had a situation when you did not know what to do? Have you ever had a problem that you thought was so big you did not know how it could ever be resolved? Have you ever felt that no matter how hard you tried to explain something no one would understand? Have you ever felt so discouraged that you felt as though the weights of the world were upon your shoulders? Have you been physically ill or near death and felt that you were at the point of no return? Has death knocked on the door of a friend or love one unexpectedly? On the other hand has God freed you from narrow minded and shallow view thinking religious folks? Have you ever been persecuted, forsaken, maligned, misunderstood or unappreciated? Or have you just been so spiritually blessed you can just not express it in words? ( I am sure there are a few scenarios I forgot?) If you have ever experienced one or more of the above I have some great news for you! Nothing happens in your life that God is not aware of!

I want you to know that there is absolutely nothing that is too big, hard, and deep or complicated for GOD! More important all of the above are reasons to really get to find out what He is really all about “God is Love.” As a matter of fact in I Corinthians 13 the Scriptures tell us “Love never fails”. Never as a truism meaning never; it just won’t happen! Now don’t get me wrong. I said have you ever felt like? Did you know that your feelings can transport you into a realm of thought that you really do not have to enter? If you do enter you do not have to stay there? How do I do that? You must pluck some good ole spiritual fruit? Take just a slither of “self control”. Gradually digest it’s nutrients. This will help you take the helm. You must begin to get in gear. Shift by not allowing your feelings to get the best of you? How do I do that? Begin by acknowledging how you feel. Good, Bad or indifferent? Do not lean to your own understanding. Remember God is a Spirit of Truth! The Truth truly sets you free! Did you know that God will do exceedingly above and more than you could ever wish when you are obedient? He can, wants to and will direct your path. This is why it is important that you do not get bogged down in your thoughts nor into what someone else thinks. As simple as this might seem all you must do is shift your FOCUS!

For a moment let’s just imagine life as an obstacle course. Always keep in view, that at the end of your course your reward(s) awaits. To help you keep focused just know; your rewards are guaranteed and determined by God. Nobody can change or alter that fact. How many, much or few those rewards are is actually between you and God. God created you for a purpose. Each individual has a purpose. Once you embark into existence there is no way out unless you finish. Each individual has a time in which to complete their course. That time can be premature; prior to birth or instantly, after birth. That time can span a few minutes, days, weeks, years, decades or a century plus. There are no two paths designed that are exactly alike. Therefore you cannot navigate in the same manner as someone else. The Holy Spirit as the ultimate guide wants to and awaits too direct your path!

God who is all wise and all knowing has given us guide lines and instructions. This is why His Word is so very important. Now, just know that you can select some, all or part of His instructions. But are you ready for the consequences? You can practice them legalistically or even disregard, modify, add your own, or totally ignore the instructions. But are you ready for the consequences? Keep in mind there are actually some instructions that you do not have to do any more. Why is that? When Jesus came He left us with a better way. He is our only perfect example. He actually fulfilled the law. We are now free from the law. You must become familiar with His Word. It is full of history and wisdom. It is important to know what they were and what they are now! When you read His instructions you will be fed spiritually. This way you can really appreciate all that He has done for us! This will also help you when someone else gives you direction. You will know the difference when you have faithfully studied the instructions. Always remember you can opt to ignore all of them. But, again there will be consequences. Free choice was designed so we are not mechanical robots. Your intellect was actually designed for you to think intelligently. How do you think Adam named all those animals? It is crucial that you intellectually as well as spiritually yield to the Lord’s way. Yielding helps you to subscribe to His will being done in your life. Here is where you will find true freedom. You will also know “Where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty” But He tells us not to use our liberty to cloak maliciousness! Remember absolutely nothing is hidden from God! God is sovereign! This also helps you to keep focused!

God has given us the opportunity to have an internal guide. But you must first acknowledge Him as Lord of your life. To shift to this level of functioning you must invite His Son as your Savior to come and abide in your heart! Now you are ready! When all or any of those feelings I talked about earlier come what do you do? You shift your Focus to God. God our Father, our Creator and Maker of all things. Colossians tell us that there is not anything that was made that was not made through Jesus Christ. This world as we know it was spoke into existence. The Word, became flesh and dwelt among us! His Word is Jesus! He really does know all about your Troubles, Temptations or Trials. He really does have a way. That is why He says “I am the Way the Truth and the Life.” Jesus is the only door to Him!

When your life becomes burdened down with the troubles of this world remember it is only a test? Life wants to distract you from your purpose. You were created to worship and praise God. I also have a little secret that just might help you? It does not matter how much or little someone thinks of you? It does not matter how much or little you have? It does not really even matter how many, or few titles that are in front of or behind your name. It does not even really matter what others say; especially when it is just not true . God knows the intent as well as content of our hearts. Hallelujah! Many will draw conclusions and make assumptions based on little or no factual data. Problems and situations are seasonal. God is eternal! He always was and always will be! This is why it is so important not to get drawn into how you feel. Feeling is a good thing, anyone that does not feel is ready for the grave. Just don’t let your feelings control you. It’s never too late to change. Begin to learn to take in several bites of self control. It really goes a long way. You can learn to be objective when you deeply examine situations. Many are often deceived. Remember, you must learn to focus. This will give you the proper motivation to do the right thing at the proper time. It will also give you a taste of another fruit which is inner peace. This will also let you know what is important. What really is important is; that you know and obey God. God will never lead you to do anything morally, physically or spiritually that goes against His principles.

Start today by incorporating in your daily diet His fruit. Galatians 5 will teach you all about the fruit of God’s Spirit. It also lets you know by contrast the works of the flesh. You have as much tine as you need to accomplish what He wants you to do. Oops! By the way it might seem to others when you take a bite of patience you have, or are………whatever? Patience often does work tribulation. Oh but HOPE will take you through tribulation. Hope helps you not to be ashamed. It will definitely help you keep focused! But your hope must lie in God! Did you know your mind can bring you down and confuse you when it is not properly focused? It can allow you to distort the facts. Remember God’s Love never fails! Now if you have not confessed and believed in your heart you may or should I say will have a problem with all of this. Why? It so simple that it is difficult. Be careful who and what you yoke yourself up with. There are those who major in worry. Have you ever heard the expression “If you are going to worry why pray?” God’s yoke is easy and His burdens are light. His burdens are not to weigh you down. They come so you can what? Put it all in His hands.

Always remember who and what awaits you. Better yet who is with you? His precious Comforter, the Holy Spirit! The way this world is going, it’s just no telling, you might just be one of those who ends up being caught up in the air with Jesus? Either way at the end of this course God has reward(s). Keep your faith and trust in Him. He really does have it all under His control. This is why it is very important to always keep in view; God has a purpose for you! This is why He says be anxious for nothing! But in “all things through prayer and supplications let your request be made known… “If your mind is stayed (focused) on Him He will keep you in perfect peace.” All you must do is “PUT IT ALL IN HIS HANDS”

To God be the Glory!

Click Here to listen/download the single “Put It All In His Hands” by Percy Gray & The Chapter Ministry Singers


Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 7, 2012 by  
Filed under Holidays & Celebrations

One of the most Honorable and Praiseworthy qualities admired most about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. , was that He was a Diplomatic Ambassador of Peace! Dr. King was a PEACEMAKER, and a strong man of FAITH, INTEGRITY, JUSTICE, BIBLICAL PRINCIPLES and VALUES! In His avid quest to fight for equality and justice he embraced non violence! Dr. Martin Luther King was a Baptist Minister born at noon in his family home on January 15,1929 in Atlanta Georgia. How ironic his Queen Anne style home was in what is known as the magnificent “Sweet Auburn District.” He was an avid and dedicated prominent leader in the “Civil Rights” movement! However it was because of his gallant efforts he was violently assassinated in 1968 at the age of 39. Dr. King fought long and tenaciously for the equal rights for people of Color! He wanted the same rights that were extended to Whites extended to all people! He was especially instrumental in ending legal segregation that plagued African Americans in the South. Dr. King led many powerful and peaceful demonstrations. For his many efforts he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964!

Dr. King came from a ancestral lineage of Baptist Ministers. His father and his grandfather were ministers! They both became pastor’s in succession of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia! He was raised in a very comfortable, loving and stable middle class Christian home! He was a brilliant, well educated and gifted man! He excelled prolifically in his studies and skipped both the (9th) ninth and (12th) twelfth grades! He was admitted to the impressive Morehouse College at the early age of only (15) fifteen years old.

King was aware from a very early age of the obvious discrimination that existed against African Americans. There is an interesting little story of when he was only 6 years of age, his white playmate told him that they could no longer play together since they were now going to segregated schools! Before King’s going off to college, he first went to work on a tobacco farm in Connecticut. It is here he realized that the same discrimination was not apparent that he had experience in the South! He took note of the many activities that both whites, blacks, reds, yellows, browns and all colors shared. Here basically all Colors participated together! They went to worship together they could eat out publicly together, it was an eye opening experience!

King enthusiastically entered Morehouse College and initially his desire was to study medicine and law. However he became impressed with the marvelous oratorical skills of Benjamin Mays an activist, educated and intelligent man who was pursuing equal rights and racial equality! Mays had made and indelible impression upon his father, Martin Luther Sr. The young budding Martin remained impressed as well. He graduated from Morehouse College in 1948! King then attended Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania. King early on had a charismatic personality and was elected student body president of the predominately white student body. He eventually earned his Bachelor’s of Divinity in 1951. King then went on to Boston University, it is here he earned a Doctorate! Here in Boston is where he met the love of his life Coretta Scott. She was studying at the New England conservatory of Music. They married in a beautiful lawn ceremony at her family’s home! The ceremony was officiated by Rev. Martin Luther King Sr., his father in 1953. From their beautiful union was born 4 wonderful children!

Of the many protests that was led by King it was the infamous Montgomery Alabama bus boycott that received acclaimed nationwide attention. Here the lovely intelligent Rosa Parks a hard working gentle natured Black woman who was tired after a long honest day at work, as an excellent and skilled seamstress decided not to give up her seat to a white passenger. Mrs. Parks was in turn arrested under the segregation laws. A concerted effort was made by the Activists they strategically planned and implemented a strategic and successful peaceful bus boycott. There were numerous marches and “sit ins”…

It was on his way to support a group of sanitation workers in Memphis,Tennessee that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated! Senator Edward Kennedy chartered a plane to bring Dr. King’s body home to Atlanta! At least (30) thirty buses and (100) one hundred planes were used to bring mourners for his “Homegoing Celebration” Sympathy was poured out from all over the world! The night before King had delivered a most prophetic message! He made this statement: ““I’ve seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight that we, as a people, will get to the promised land.” It was the very next day while standing on the balcony of the Lorraine Hotel, he was killed by a sniper’s bullet! King’s loyal supporters throughout America were quite upset and 100+ riots ensued in various cities across the country! After much uproar and ongoing media attention! His white assassin James Earl Ray pleaded guilty, was convicted and sentenced to 99 years in prison. He later attempted to recant his confession of guilt and said that he was coerced by his attorneys. Ray held to the stance it was a conspiracy! Dr. King’s family came to his aid and support of Ray’s defense and embraced him. Ray died before he could be acquitted. Coretta Scott King, Dr. King’s widow made this statement upon Ray’s death; “America will never have the benefit of Mr. Ray’s trial, which would have produced new revelations about the assassination…as well as establish the facts concerning Mr. Ray’s innocence.”

Dr. Martin Luther King has been compared and contrasted to some of the greatest! To name a few; George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln. The fact remains that he was martyred has further served to keep his memory alive. His legacy lives on in the hearts of many as well as in the history of America’s historical corridors and the world at large. His legacy has a life of its own!

It was after his death that he was accredited with an overwhelming international status. There are roads, highways, buildings, schools and institutions named in his honor throughout the United States. In 1986 he was honored with a national Holiday celebrated on the 3rd Monday in January. In 1991 the Lorraine Hotel where he was assassinated became a Museum. In London they have a sculpture of him over the door to the west front at West Minister Abbey in his honor. Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” oratorical famous speech is well remembered and often quoted by many universally! Excerpt from this speech: “And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

Dr. King was a wonderful inspiring man of God whose voice in the midst of the prevalent and tumultuous prejudice harnessing America opened the pathway to equality for all colors! His eloquence, charismatic style, self sacrificing, courageous and arduous commitment will forever be ingrained in the chronicles of America’s History as well as the hearts of many! King lived under the microscope of the Federal Bureau of Investigation the ongoing surveillance was spearheaded under J. Edgar Hoover. Many unfounded allegations were made to undermine his credibility. But none of them could serve to tarnish his incredible, impeccable, accomplishments as a committed man of God and strong ardent peaceful contributions as a Civil Rights Activist. Nor his infamous merited accomplishment of receiving the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo Norway! Upon His acceptance he stated “I accept this award today with an abiding faith in America and an audacious faith in the future of mankind,”said King in his acceptance speech. “I refuse to accept the idea that the ‘isness’ of man’s present nature makes him morally incapable of reaching up for the eternal ‘oughtness’ that forever confronts him.

Indeed there is so much more that could be said about this dedicated man of God; Dr. Martin Luther King Jr… Yet, I close here with another memorable excerpt from “ I Have A Dream!”

I say to you today, my friends, so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.”


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