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Sunday, 10 February 2013 00:00

Love Under New Management

What does love mean to you? Iʼm talking about real love. Is it superficial? Is it aboutwhat you can take or what you can give? Iʼm sure we can agree that we need more lovein our world. However, it will never be seen in the world if it isnʼt exemplified in ourhearts. As we approach Valentineʼs Day, so many people are caught in a matrix of euphoriafrom the aroma of the chocolates, to the delightfully arranged dozen roses, and thedelicious meals consumed at five-star restaurants. Yet after the chocolates have turnedstale, the roses have wilted, and the left over meal lies dormant in the fridge is thereenough love that goes beyond one day and is reflected in your life everyday? Wheneverything else grows stale and stagnant, only the love you show will remain fresh andnew. Looking for love in all the wrong places is not worth it, just to find a Valentine. You donʼthave to go searching for love. If you become love and reflect the spirit of love, then lovewill find you. In essence, you will attract who/what you are. Oftentimes, we get so caught up in giving gifts that we fail to realize we are a gift tosomebody,…
People always talk about embracing change. Letʼs be honest with ourselves and affirm that change hurts. I donʼt know about you but it hurts to eat differently, change your old habits, and do what you donʼt feel like doing. How can you heal, if you wonʼt keep it real? Yes, even the truth hurts, but it will set you free. They say "old habits die hard." Iʼm convinced that people donʼt like change, because it hurts to break out of your comfort zone and cycle of old habits. Arenʼt you tired of a new year but the same old, same old? You will remain in a cycle of self-destructive behavior if you donʼt change your mindset and break out of the box. The reason people do wha they do is because of how they think. What youʼre doing and where youʼre going has everything to do with what youʼre thinking. I wish there was an anesthetic for change, so I wouldnʼt have to feel the peaks and valleys of transformation. Donʼt you just wish you could wake up from the anesthesia and there be no more struggle, temptation, obstacles, or thoughts of negativity? Snap out of wishful thinking, because to…
Sunday, 20 January 2013 16:55

There's A KING in YOU!

The meaning and message of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life is simple, whatever obstacle you’re facing, you can overcome it. The life of Dr. King reminds us that the greatest leaders are the greatest servants. Let us reflect upon the commitment of Dr. King to the advancement of humanity, in the midst of challenging times. As we look through the lens of life, we are truly living in challenging times. More than ever before, we must be analytical and critical thinkers. We must think critically in the chaotic times that we live in.     There are a myriad of pressing issues pervading our world today: the economy, health care, poverty, gun control, and violence to name a few. Yet education remains preeminent because as our education system goes, so goes our nation.     The question that we must ask ourselves is “what can I do to make the world a better place?” Not just presently but for future generations. There indeed is a great work for all of us to do. We must labor in order to reap a plentiful reward. There are no shortcuts in life, if you take shortcuts you will get cut short. We…
Monday, 14 January 2013 00:00

New Year, New YOU!

For many of us, 2012 was filled with highs and lows, ups and downs...but in spite of it all, youʼre still here! This is the time when everybody makes resolutions and promises to themselves, of what they will or wonʼt do. However by February or March, itʼs back tothe same old way of doing things. A new year with the same old mindset means the same old you. A new year, should birth a new mentality that brings about new opportunities in 2013. This is the time to take inventory and make changes. We have to realize that things wonʼt just change in our lives because the calendar changes. We must take responsibility for our lives, work to rid ourselves of bad habits, and become a better quality person. Here are 13 action steps, to put you on the path of purpose in 2013. Letʼs walk it out! 1. Develop a stronger relationship with God. This is the main factor in dictating how your 2013 will start and end. God wants to do a new thing in 2013, but you have to trust Him and follow His Word. This is the year that God is working through you and not just for you. If you partner with Him, the…
Sunday, 23 December 2012 09:00

Shut The Door!

Back in the day as a kid, I vividly remember walking into my mother's house on freezing winter days and hearing her say, "shut the door all the way and don't let the heat out." Some of the simplest words you hear as a kid, takes on a new meaning as an adult. The simple statement "shut the door" can be applied to not only the temperature, but also the climate of our circumstances. Certain things in our lives have frozen us out of the bright future that we seek to attain. Before you open the door to a new year of opportunity, you have to shut the door on toxic relationships, bad habits, and negative thoughts that keep you going in circles never making forward progression. There is a door of opportunity that God wants you to step into, but it comes at the expense and even the pain of shutting the door on your past. Shut the door on relationships that have kept you discombobulated, depressed, and defeated. It's simple to say, but it takes focus to do it. Shut the door and let go of negative thinking and low self-esteem. You have a gift inside of you…
Sunday, 16 December 2012 09:00

Go For It!

This is your week for open doors and opportunities! It's time to launch out and make your dreams a reality. When will you start the business, go back to school, write the song, develop your ideas, and do what they say could never be done? I'm excited about your future! No matter how dark the day, your darkest moment can still be your brightest hour! There are still enough days in this year, for it to be the best year of your life. As long as there's time on the clock, the game isn't over! This is a WAKE UP call! Like a blaring alarm clock in the morning or a DJ scratching the needle on a record, hear me clearly, "DON'T deviate from your destiny." It's time to resurrect your resilience within, to push and press towards your purpose. Where is your bulldog determination to rise above your situation? Milton Berle declared, "If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door." If opportunity isn't given to you, then it's time to create an opportunity to succeed. Use your creative mind to think positive amidst negativity. Stop waiting on things to happen and begin to make things happen. This is YOUR time…
Sunday, 09 December 2012 09:00

WAKE UP!

The month of December marks "World Aids Awareness," which is designed to empower and educate people with information about HIV/AIDS. Itʼs reported that an estimated 34 million people around the world are living with HIV. Every 9 minutes, someone is infected with HIV. Do you know your health status? So many of us have heard information and seen commercials spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS, yet weʼve become desensitized to the risks and impact of this disease. In comparison to other ethnicities, black people account for more HIV/AIDS cases than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States. The impact of health care, low income families/communities, and the fear of knowing oneʼs status has many people living their lives carelessly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, Black Americans accounted for 44% of all new HIV infections, despite being only 14% of theU.S. population. The effects of HIV are far reaching beyond America, in places like Jamaica and the continent of Africa. Many urban communities around the U.S., in cities such as Detroit, are being affected by HIV/AIDS. Approximately 75% of all new HIV/AIDS cases in the city of Detroit are between the ages of 13 and 19. The youth population is being hit hard with this disease and we must impress upon…
Sunday, 25 November 2012 09:00

The old is new again

The saying goes, "if you want to hide something from a black person, put it in a book." It seems as if we live in the United States of Amnesia, because we fail to remember that over 200 years ago it was illegal for black people to read. You would be maimed or lynched, because the oppressor knew that education was the death of mental slavery. If the psychological chains were broken, the physical chains would be eradicated. If we fail to know our history, then weʼre on the the fast track to repeating it. Are the old rules and regulations of Jim Crow back again? Some would say it never left and itʼs just the same lulled beat with a new remix. Jim Crow laws (1876-1965) restricted the civil rights and liberties of African Americans, in efforts to prevent any form of equality. There is a new Jim Crow, which is repealing the advancements made by our predecessors, in the form of mass incarceration. The connection of illiteracy and incarceration is more than just an education issue, it has social justice ramifications.  Itʼs critical that our young black males become proficient in reading. According to Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu, "the reading scores of third graders are being used as a gauge,…
Sunday, 18 November 2012 00:00

What Are You Thankful For?

Itʼs that time of year again to roll out the turkey, honeybaked ham, candied yams,greens, macaroni and cheese, corn bread, red velvet cake...well, at least thatʼs how myfamily does it. So many of us get caught up in the trimmings and delicacies thattantalize our taste buds. Yet, we fail to count our blessings and thank God for all Hisblessings. In this fast paced society, we become so inundated with holiday commercialization,shopping, and food consuming that we fail to embrace the essence of true thanksgiving.One expression, two words..."thank you"! The exclamation "thank you" is a politedeclaration used when acknowledging a gift, service, or compliment. Itʼs one thing tosay it, but itʼs another thing to show it. So many times we approach the holidays with a hand out to receive, rather than to give.If all youʼre focused on is what you can RECEIVE, than youʼve missed the purpose ofThanksGIVING. For many people, Thanksgiving is just another holiday, for others itʼshow they live each day. Everyday is a day of thanksgiving! Some of us have lost family, friends, jobs, and homes. In spite of it all, we canʼt lose ourhope and we canʼt lose our faith. The power of hope and faith will…
Sunday, 11 November 2012 09:00

Break Out Of The Box

Who told you that you canʼt make it? Whatʼs holding you back and stopping you frommoving forward? You canʼt let what people say to and about you, push you off the pathof your purpose. You are your only competition. Make a decision to be the best YOUthat YOU can be! How can you be the best, if you donʼt make adjustments? There is no growth withoutchange. There are certain things that we need to break away from, so that we canbreakthrough. Yes, old habits die hard but if you donʼt build good habits, then the badoneʼs will stifle your progress. We must make the necessary changes to improve our health, relationships, and overalllifestyle. However, no changes will be made, if we donʼt change the way that we think.The way that youʼre thinking has everything to do with where youʼre going, whether it beforward or backward. Thereʼs an old school song that says, "youʼve got me going in circles...round and round Igo." This world is designed to keep you reaching but never attaining, just going in circlesbut never making any forward progress. Break free from drama, depression, negativity,bitterness, and strife. Break away from unhealthy and toxic relationships that arepolluting your life.…
Sunday, 04 November 2012 09:00

Your Vote is Your Voice

We sit on the brink of an election and by now you've heard it all. A few years ago, Diddy said, "Vote or Die" and Rev. Jesse Jackson rhymed, "take your soul to the poll." Catchy slogans and sayings are used every election to rally the troops. However slogans don't vote, we do! More crucial than ever before is the need for the youth vote. It's important that the youth voice is represented at the ballot box. Growing up, I would always heard "vote because of Martin, Malcolm, and Rosa." As much as I respect their legacy, their voices are silent today. We have to pick up thebaton, march to the ballot, and raise our voices by raising our vote. The average voter in Detroit is a 68-year-old black grandmother. We need a new generation of 18 and 28-year-old, civically engaged people who will affect the course of history, by pushing our cities and communities forward. Youth need to be engaged in social issues/politics more than ever before. We must make a decision to be moreinformed than entertained. The top-down approach doesn't remedy everything, it's the caring, concerned, and compassionate people on the bottom who can lift us up. The…
Sunday, 28 October 2012 09:00

Change Your Focus

"Whatʼs on your mind?" is a question that weʼve all heard over and over again.Whatever is ON your mind, is a direct reflection of what youʼve allowed to grow IN yourmind. Are your thoughts positive or negative? When negative thoughts come to yourmind, what do you do? Our thoughts are seeds that will either produce a harvest of positive production orweeds of negative circumstance. Your mind is the battleground that will embrace fear orfaith. What youʼre thinking has everything to do with where youʼre going. To moveforward into your future you have to let go of your past, but it begins with a renewedmind in your present situation. What you feed your mind today, will grow in your life tomorrow. When your mind ispositive, the darkness around you can never dim the light within you. Stop focusing onwhat you donʼt have...your weaknesses, deficiencies, or what other people possess. Start focusing on what you do have and use it. You have power within you that youhavenʼt tapped into yet. You have a rich reservoir of resilience on the inside, discover itand maximize every moment! You will continue to get what you DONʼT want, if you keep focusing on what you DONʼTwant.…
Thursday, 18 October 2012 14:04

Committed To WIN!

The saying goes, "practice makes perfect." Is that really true, if you're practicing the wrong way? If you practice shooting free throws with an incorrect shooting form, it's likely that youʼll miss the majority of your shots. You will just become good at shooting the wrong way. What are you shooting towards? What is your aim in life? Are you missing the mark or are you hitting the bulls eye? We must discipline ourselves and even do what is uncomfortable, to develop good fundamentals and perfect our lives. Practice doesn't make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect. The same rules apply to life. In order to attain victory and cross the finish line of our vision it takes focus, consistency, determination, faith, and self-motivation. It's going to take discipline and commitment to perfect the ability, that you already possess within. We must become comfortable with being uncomfortable and become uncomfortable with being comfortable. Nothing worth working for will always come easy, but the rewards come by stepping out on faith and taking a risk. Our tomorrowʼs will NOT be brighter until our today's become better. We must tap into the power of self-improvement and actualize our potential. Nothing can ever defeat a committed will to win! Throughout the course of…
Monday, 15 October 2012 14:24

Live Through Dying Places

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month! Itʼs a reminder that we can overcome obstacles and live through dying places. All of us have been affected by cancer, whether directly or indirectly. We must encourage our loved one's/friends, to schedule their Doctor's appointments and increase their awareness about various forms of cancer. The saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." We must be more proactive than reactive. It's very important that we examine ways in which to improve our lifestyles, eating habits, level of fitness, relationships, and overall personal development. Every second in America, 2-3 people are diagnosed with cancer. Those are startling statistics, yet harsh realities. Cancer is no respecter of age, race, gender, or economic standing. A diagnosis is not a death sentence and the bright side is that there are 2.5 million breast cancer survivors, living in the United States. How do you respond to the interruptions of life? How do you deal with hardship and life's challenges? These are the same questions I asked myself, being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer at the age of 15. For nearly 2 years, I endured chemotherapy and radiation, 5 days a week. The physical pain was unbearable with hair loss, nausea, spinal taps, etc. Oftentimes…
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