I Wish I Had a Praying Church

I am a preacher, hopefully everyone knows that by now! As such, I enjoying preparing, preaching, and hearing sermons. With that in mind I’ve decided to occasionally share clips of some of my favorite preachers, both male and female.

For this first post in this category I deemed it proper to showcase my Pastor, the Rev. Dr. John R. Adolph; pastor of the Antioch Missionary Baptist Church in Beaumont, TX! Pastor Adolph and his lovely wife, Dorrie, are the parents of  two  children, Sumone and Jonathan. He is an honor graduate of my alma mater, The Interdenominational Theological Center!

Check us out www.antiochbmt.org and Enjoy! Please feel free to comment and critique!

Make It Plain!

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I’m Beautiful D***it

Don’t be thrown off by the title, I won’t be lacing this blog with harsh profanity! Those who know me are aware that I don’t use profane language in my everyday vocabulary. This title is actually taken from a song that I was recently introduced to by my bfff ! The song is one of self-affirmation that encourages all people to recognize the beauty that lies within us. Check it out!

I’m using this song to shine a light on the evolution of my self-image. When I was younger I never felt comfortable in my skin. I was more likely to be playing basketball with my brothers rather than playing dolls with my sister. My daddy is an avid fisherman, and we would take family fishing trips on the weekend. During these family trips I was most often found inside the truck reading a book; preferring the escape of fiction to actually fishing! I have a twin sister, and although we are not identical, people have always found it difficult to know who was who. My sister and I are different in many ways, most specifically in our body type. Thus, people deemed it easy to call her the skinny twin, which made me the FAT twin! While I know that there were no malicious motives behind this distinction, it worked to destroy my personal esteem.

I was not a part of the “in-crowd” in school, preferring the close circle of friends. We were all Band geeks and we loved being different. Yet, even with my circle I was still different because I was not interested in losing the big V, and instead of parties, we would most likely be found in church. I didn’t consider myself one of the pretty girls, and never thought I would be noticed by any of the guys whom I found attractive. I was not happy with any part of myself; my glasses were too big, I was too dark, and yes, even FAT!

There was no epiphany moment in which I recognized my worth; instead it was a slow progression into self-awareness. This self-awareness grew into self-knowledge which ultimately led to self-fulfillment. The more comfortable I became in my skin, the more my self-esteem grew. Truthfully, I have reached the point in life where I am so Happy Being Me! I love ME, even the things that I seek to improve upon. When people tried to question my femininity because I chose to wear my hair faded; it was cool because I was happy. I may not ever be supermodel thin, but I am so comfortable in my skin that it no longer matters. So whether other people recognize it or not, “I’M BEAUTIFUL DAMNIT!”

Make It Plain

Favor

…reigns on my life! Simple lyrics taken from a song written by Pastor John P. Kee, and sung by LeJuene Thompson, are now blessing my life so immensely. People who know me are aware that I am not overly emotional, nor am I one known to easily cry! Yet, every time I hear this song and even as I sit to write this blog, I become overwhelmed with feelings of gratefulness. I realize that people may not understand why this particular subject brings me joy, but let me see if I can explain this to you!

Often people who know my story (I promise one day I will share), automatically assume that I have never done things that I regret. Yet, when I look back at the times when I almost let go; what if he hadn’t taken NO for an answer! When I reminisce on one October night when a man didn’t stop at the red light, and completely totaled my car. I remember hearing the witness say, “I’ve already called the police because I knew that the person in this car was dead.” When I consider all the things I do that I know I should not do, and all the things I say that tear others down. When I think about all the times that I caved to the pressures of others even when I knew I should have been the example, and yet God has never allowed my life to be fodder for the evening news! I recognize the awesome Favor of God that continues to rule over my life.

In light of the things that I have said, and even some of the things that I could not say I recognize that some may see this as unfair. Actually, I totally agree with you! I do not know why God has chosen my life to be favored, yet I am so thankful! It is for this reason that I try now, in all I say or do, to honor God! You can call me deep, if you so desire, but I know that it was God who rescued me out of that horrible pit.

So, I echo the words of this song: “When my life rejected destiny your favor came and rescued me! I thank God always for FAVOR!

Friends…how many of us have them!

My friend came to visit today; she is my oldest but not so dear. We’ve been friends for so long and we’ve never gotten along, yet no matter how I try I can’t bid this friend goodbye. When I’m strong, this friend makes me weak, in times of happiness, this friend makes me weep. Some have wondered, while analyzing this relationship, why I have not bid this friend a fond adieu. Honestly I have often wished that such a dream might just come true. However, when I look back in retrospect, I must admit that this friendship does have its benefits. For this friend reminds me that I am WOMAN, a unique and interesting creation. Most importantly, in light of all the people who I have called “friend,” this is the friend who has never let me down. So, friend, hope you enjoy your stay and I will wait for the day that you go away.

Make it plain!

Golden

I’ve been in love before, and honestly, IT SUCKED. Seriously, being in love with someone who does not return those feelings is emotional hell! I won’t bore you with the details today, but I will say I’m grateful that I survived. Now I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m constantly bombarded with those questions that all single women hate. “You ain’t married yet?” Clearly, are you wouldn’t be asking me this question! “So when are you getting married?” If I knew the answer to that, would we really be having this conversation? “So, when are you going to get married, and have some babies?” At this point in the conversation, my irritation level has moved beyond words and I’m trying my best to remember to respect my elders.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have reached a point where I’m okay with being single. I don’t always like the feelings associated with it, but I’m happy being me; yet when I’m approached by these “well-meaning” people I can’t help the frustration that arises. I’m not living my life in a perpetual state of loneliness, nor do I spend every waking minute longing for a mate. I’m not at every church, restaurant, mall, etc. looking for a man. Yes, I do want to be in a relationship, and feel Love for that special someone. I want a Love that will see all of me, and love me because of what it has seen.

So, I echo the sentiments of Chrisette Michele:

I’m so ready to love, I’m so ready to promise my whole all, and I’m so ready to give til’ the day that my life is no more. I’ll be everything that this woman could possibly be, yes I will; ‘cause I’m ready to be like the olden days when commitment was golden.

On June 26, 2010, my parents will be celebrating 39 years of marriage. My view of what a relationship should be  is based on watching my parents live and love for all of my 29 years of life. Some have suggested that these types of marriages are no longer possible, and that I’m deluding myself for believing that I can enjoy this same time of happiness and longevity. You can call me a romantic or even idealistic, but I believe that not only is it possible but that it will happen for me. So, until the time comes, I will be living my life, loving my friends and family, and enjoying this journey.

Make It Plain!

The Word Made Plain

Welcome! You might be wondering what this is all about. Before I can tell you what it is, I will tell you what it is not. This will not be another space for a woman to bash men. Nor, will it be filled with over the top religiosity which seeks to condemn all who believe differently than I. What it will be is my opportunity to share my life as a single woman in ministry. The highs and the lows, joy and pain, sunshine and rain!

I will seek to be honest in expressing my thoughts, feelings, and emotions about all things. From the mundane to the serious, sacred, secular, no topic will be taboo! All are welcome to read and discuss, all I ask is that we be respectful of each other and this space.

So, why the word made plain? Glad you asked…lol! I got the idea from my friend The Uppity Negro! He was giving me name suggestions via Twitter and this one stuck out for me for two reasons. One, because it is what I seek to do in every sermon I prepare and preach. Everything I say and do is an attempt to make God’s work accessible to all who hear. Secondly, this name was perfect because it is what I will seek to do in expressing my words via this platform. Some have asked me what it’s like as a woman in ministry. While I can’t speak for all, I can most assuredly speak for me. So, in the words of my best friend, “let the process begin!”

Make It Plain!

Musings of an African-American, Single, Female Preacher