Love…the AME Church Way!


ameIt’s hot Friday night in Lilburn, Georgia and the cool breeze is a welcome relief as it touches my face with a gentle caress…I hear the firecrackers in the far distance popping at Stone Mountain Park.
Anderson Cooper is interviewing a family member of one of the victims of the Charleston Nine in Charleston, South Carolina. My windows are open and I hear the firecrackers like muted gun shots, and the emotional verbiage from my television in the Cable twenty-four news cycle on CNN and MSNBC. I dare not touch the remote button that would bring up the conservative spin on Fox News…my blood pressure is high enough.
As I have listened, the last two days about the horrific killing of nine innocent people at a Wednesday evening Bible Study at an AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, the commentators, the experts and the reactions have ignited my emotions faster than any speeding six-flag rollercoaster.
I admired the family member’s classy forgiveness message to the “Racist Terrorist” and the humble response from the killer’s family. I’m still baffled about the response, from the Charleston Judge, and I am working on how I am going to emotionally respond to his remarks at the opening of the hearing of the alleged killer.
I hear words.
` I hear responses.
I hear all this talk, but unless you grew up in the AME Zion Church, you don’t have a clue about the response the faith community is exhibiting in Charleston. Why they are forgiving a heinous killer with love as their love ones lying in an undertaker’s establishment.
I can hear people asking… they forgive in less than 48hours?
I grew up in Winder, Georgia at Bush Chapel AME Zion Church that sits on a hill and still dominates the community. My great grandparents helped build that 100-year-old stone brick church.
It was a place of forgiveness.
It was a place of LOVE!
Love dominates the church as exhibited by the Lord Jesus Christ. That is what is coming through in Charleston, South Carolina and in every small AME Church across America!
You see small crowds, at services, but you see people dedicated people who love Jesus Christ. I learned early, if you don’t let love penetrate deep, then hate will surface and now you have anger then a reaction that will lead to further violence.
Bush Chapel AME Zion Church was a place of worship on Sunday mornings and Bible Study on Wednesday Evenings.
Many a Wednesday evenings, in the late 50s and early 60s, I held my Grandmother Katie’s hand and we walked through the cemetery to the church at the top of the hill for Bible Study. As I looked at the 87-year old Victims face, I could see my grandmother…I cried.
Back then, I felt so safe.
I felt love.
I also held that same strong hand as we walked through segregated Winder, Georgia to Peskin’s’ department store or stood in line at the back or Hardegre’s Restaurant at the Colored Window waiting for my favorite hamburger.
The last two days have brought back memories…I see the love in the people.
Bush Chapel AME Zion Church was a place of safety and love that carried us through “Segregated” times in Georgia.
In the summer, the windows were opened for the cool air to come in. We knew that “racist” could do anything, but we knew that GOD was bigger…nobody was every afraid.
I know the “Charleston Nine” knew in their last minutes, the GOD of love was with them and carry them home.
From my Bible Studies, I learned many things, but one of the most important was something from the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 31-8: “Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord is the one who goes before you. He will be with you; He will neither fail you nor forsake you.”
The last few evenings have been full of anguish, but I know that God lives.
When I heard those responses from the Charleston AME Zion Church family, I could feel what I learned at an earlier age…Love.
It was deep!
It was in the soul!
It was true!
It was Christian!!!
You can’t love or hate at the same time.
If you hate, you will take up the banner of the Charleston Killer
If you love, you will take up the banner of the Charleston Christians.
It’s your choice?
May God richly bless the “Charleston Nine” in heaven and their families still on earth?
The “Killer” must be in our prayers. I was re-taught this principal of “Christian Love:” from the Charleston Christians who spoke today at the court hearing,
God Bless the person who killed nine innocent people at the Bible Study and his family.
For a Christian, this is what we must do.
This is our calling.
May God Richly Bless You!

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Becoming a Twenty-First Century Author!


2011gold[1] Successful twenty-first century authors have three lifestyle components: Passion, Organization, and Uniqueness.

    Passion: Successful authors love their craft!

They delve into the storyline with abandon. They make time to write and know their most creative time of the day. This is different for each author.

I know of a writer who sneaks out of bed at four a.m. and writes until six a.m. and then returns to bed and the warmth of their spouse.

In the space between daily tasks writers will find a time to write. I’m a high school teacher and sometimes, in the six minutes between classes, I will have a pencil and pad in the hallway and in between yelling “Get to Class!” I write a few lines for an upcoming manuscript.

Later, after the closing school bells sounds, I expand on the idea and thought and make it into something that is readable. You write when you can!

The health of a writer’s soul must be nurtured and developed.

Successful authors find the time to write and creating that “next” new and exciting scene in their novel.

Organization: Successful writers…Write!

They write story lines. They write chapters. They outline. They jot down notes for the book. They are on schedule with dates of submissions and deadlines jostling their brain cells.

Successful writers use technology. From pen and paper, Dictionary.com accounts, thesaurus, the smart authors have everything at arm’s length at their writing station.

They write!

I’m an author who uses his android to keep a schedule of his writing. I have the chapters organized with one and two notes on what I want to accomplish in the writing of that particular chapter.

I have two folders:

***One folder with all the chapters listed and the particular notes, setting and dialogue that fits that particular moment in the novel.

I have another folder for the entire novel. When I finish a chapter in one folder, I copy/paste that chapter into the folder for the entire novel. As the chapters build, I can see the word count and get a flow for the storyline.

These two folders give me the opportunity and freedom to work in one folder and keep a completed version in another folder.

For Example:

Folder One: Each individual chapter word document is listed 1-to 50 with all the incomplete chapters.

Folder Two

: The entire novel. As I complete a chapter, I add that chapter building the first draft.

Right now, I’m up to Chapter Seven in Stormy Winds!

Uniqueness: Successful writers have their own voice, pacing, and storyline.

They are not robots.

They do not write in the trendy categories, popular genres or alter themes to suit the masses.

Unique writers write how they feel and the story they want to tell.

They are creative.

Despite our reasons for pulling the chair into a comfortable position in front of a computer and write, we measure success by finishing what we start!

Remember:

“Keep Writing….Keep Beliving…An Never Give up on your Dreams!