1Here is what God is saying concerning the United States: The colors of your flag are red, white, and blue; why then is your land only red? 2The sounds of violence are within the ear shots of babes; the musician no longer plays their instrument, and the singer has ceased from singing. 3Nations have turned their backs on you; even those who plead to you for their lives, for you have exchanged vitals for vitriol. 4Open your eyes and weep! Feel remorse! For your transgressions have piled up, and you have prized rubies over me.
His Story of Slaves
5I showed belligerence to your fathers; when I punished them with the sword and with whips, my wrath was on display as in a stadium. 6I impoverished them even to the depths of their soul, but my Holy Ones can afford my delight and favor; for the sweetness of my charm has never left my necks. 7They have found their standing in Me, and become my most precious of Messengers. Because of this, they will receive my inheritance. 8Doesn’t my name bring about salvation? Does it not both deliver and destroy? Dare to praise me, and you will find refuge.
The King’s Meme
9For I am the LORD, a consuming fire; Yeshua, the LORD of hosts. I was severed from my brothers as in the days of Joseph. 10And my brothers came to me saying, “Who are you to tell us you’re the King?” And my authority is challenged. 11Therefore I instructed my muses to prepare a drink for me with hyssop; for a libation, but for themselves. Let them pursue pleasure within reason, lest the serpent beguile them. 12I commanded the powers to irrigate the land with dryness; that the country shall thirst with nothing to quench, and the ungodly shall drown in their appetite. 13Those who have respect to my name shall not be in chains, they shall remain untarnished; uninhibited and will escape the grip of the despot. 14Still the sacrilegious shall burn in their corruption; it shall be heaped upon them as coals of fire; yes even as meteors of wormwood. 15Their souls shall be tormented forever; left desolate with no one to restore, for they despised the only hand that could rescue.
A Waning Church
16O Israel, my ministers have become dispassionate; my prophets are apathetic, for their bloodshot eyes have not seen peace. 17And the minds of the wise agonize, they seek knowledge from dusk until morning, and yet no solution is found to cure. 18Because at the end of the Day, they’ve forgotten Me. I am the Day, the Bright Morning Star. The grind that the LORD requires has ceased amongst them. 19Therefore dancing shall cease from the clubs, and skipping from the hearts of the streets. Giddiness shall be known as an ancient relic; 20And the vigor of the strong shall fail; even the fragrances and cosmetics. Let those who keep judgment accept bribes no more!
21Keep the ways of the LORD and he will preserve you; You will continue on Highways that the profane cannot enter. 22You will rest in the loveliest pastures that God has provided. Justice shall be your front and rear shield. For only the pure in heart can enter my presence.
There are people out there who put Salt and Pepper on everything – I mean – everything. And there are people who like natural flavors from juices and oils. Personally, I use seasonings to get a particular taste and I don’t need much to discern them; just a few pinches here and there, live and let die.
Major Ad – Libs
On January 29, 2020, James Ingram, an American singer-songwriter passed away. He is most remembered for his collaborative works with other singers. Some of his notable song credits include: ‘The Secret Garden’, ‘P.Y.T.’, ‘The Day I Fall in Love,’ and ‘Somewhere Out There’. He is most certainly an R&B Crooner in a time where romantic lyrics were in and love songs were appropriate for courting and even marriage. If only there was a way we could import the culture to our times without the social issues that existed in those days.
Ten Ways to Express Gratitude in Words
I am honored that: Unconventional phrasing that shows you respect the benefits another has given you.
Much obliged: Way of showing deep deference by going out the way to say you are indebted to another.
I appreciate: Sometimes you want to assign value to a person’s deeds. I appreciate is an overused phrase but gets the idea across.
To your credit: Another slick phrase to assign value to a good action. Just make sure you’re not keeping tabs.
I wanna compliment – Usually used to flirt in finding pleasure in looks. This can be used in other creative ways so explore a little bit.
Here in tribute: Self-referencing statement that has a more formal flair in showing appreciation.
I commend: A way of showing gratefulness is by praising another’s efforts. Sincere commendations may mix compliments in between.
I’m grateful for: Classic way of showing gratitude. Good way of collecting ideas when you want to look at someone in a different light.
You make me glad: What’s the point of being grateful if it doesn’t affect your emotions in a positive way? Start saying this to yourself if you are experiencing bouts of depression.
Thank you: The hallmark of every expression of thanks. Amazing what simple letters can do.
To embody thankfulness or gratefulness, one must learn the million different ways of expressing gratitude. Here is a challenge for songwriters – can you write a fresh and compelling new song about being thankful? The list above only touched how to express gratitude using words. How would you express it with actions?
If you are looking at some books to help you along your gratitude journey check out a few of these below. I personally haven’t read these books, but I’m looking forward to exploring and honoring those who are helping to shape our world in social justice. Perhaps we can start a book club in the future.
The Source of Self-Regard – Toni Morrison
‘Your Faith Walk: Wisdom and Affirmations on the Path to Personal Power’ (From the Editors of ESSENCE)
Grounded in Gratitude- Tiffany A. Wright
The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom (A Toltec Wisdom Book) – Don Miguel Ruiz and Janet Mills
In a Shade of Blue: Pragmatism and the Politics of Black America – Eddie S. Glaude
The Color of Water -James McBride
Transcendent Kingdom – Yaa Gyasi
Don’t Despise Small Beginnings – Jerome Taylor
Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man – Emmanuel Acho