Hello Houston: The Most Adorable Video on the Entire Internet

Kudos to Riley and her parents for demonstrating an amazing combination of personality and pretty! She’s so beautiful!

If your sweet tooth is still not satiated, check out more Riley on Instagram.

I’m not ashamed to say I picked up a few fashion tips from a 3-year old– inspiration comes from the most unsuspecting places. I *am* ashamed to say I wanted her to be from Brooklyn!!! Maybe next time…

Hello Brooklyn: August 8 2013

MY OH MY Brooklyn, the City that raised me.  You never cease to amaze me. #heythatrhymes

I am pleased to announce (long after many other blogs, radio stations, and newspapers) that on Thursday August 8th at 8pm at the Prospect Park Bandshell…well, I will let the BRIC Blog tell you!

Director and composer BENH ZEITLIN teams up with musical collaborators DAN ROMER and WORDLESS MUSIC ORCHESTRA to recreate his original score to the 2012 film BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, performed live to a new music-less print created for the occasion.

My reaction: “IEWODHFWEKLNSFAOSIDJMVNASFDCZXYGASJF!!!!!!!!!”

Let’s watch the trailer together, and remember fondly the first time we saw Princess Quvenzhane on screen:

I wish I could be there, but Baltimore already has tickets for us, for this. manoooooOOOoooooman.

Psalm 34

In no particular order, Blogging the Psalms continues this afternoon with Psalm 34.

34 I bless God every chance I get;
my lungs expand with his praise.

I live and breathe God;
if things aren’t going well, hear this and be happy:

Join me in spreading the news;
together let’s get the word out.

God met me more than halfway,
he freed me from my anxious fears.

Look at him; give him your warmest smile.
Never hide your feelings from him.

When I was desperate, I called out,
and God got me out of a tight spot.

God’s angel sets up a circle
of protection around us while we pray.

Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—
how good God is.
Blessed are you who run to him.

Worship God if you want the best;
worship opens doors to all his goodness.

10 Young lions on the prowl get hungry,
but God-seekers are full of God.

11 Come, children, listen closely;
I’ll give you a lesson in God worship.

12 Who out there has a lust for life?
Can’t wait each day to come upon beauty?

13 Guard your tongue from profanity,
and no more lying through your teeth.

14 Turn your back on sin; do something good.
Embrace peace—don’t let it get away!

15 God keeps an eye on his friends,
his ears pick up every moan and groan.

16 God won’t put up with rebels;
he’ll cull them from the pack.

17 Is anyone crying for help? God is listening,
ready to rescue you.

18 If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there;
if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.

19 Disciples so often get into trouble;
still, God is there every time.

20 He’s your bodyguard, shielding every bone;
not even a finger gets broken.

21 The wicked commit slow suicide;
they waste their lives hating the good.

22 God pays for each slave’s freedom;
no one who runs to him loses out.

I like to think of this Psalm as the “Psalm for Dummies” because of the simple beauty and comprehensive instruction it provides. The basic guidelines are so easily digestible that anyone can understand– those from eight to eighty! Here is a Psalmist who says: You are hurting. You are unhappy. Things are tough? Don’t Worry. God is living on your praises! God shows up when you announce Him. If God is present in our speaking praises (v3) and in our worship (v11) then how can he “occupy” places where He is not welcome? Like schools where prayer is discouraged or not considered? Systems will remain in disarray until we invite God into these spaces. I don’t think it takes a revolutionary overhaul, just one willing soul. If we truly want a shift, one that can transform our nation we need to invite God into every aspect of our lives. We have a tendency to compartmentalize God– relegate Him to only the church or only to Saturdays or Sundays. God is not limited by our man made religions, so to be clear, I am not speaking of a “Christian” only God.

If we really want to see God move, God change, and God rebuild, we need to stop segregating God from our public and private spaces, and invite Him into our everywhere.

Rain: A Metaphor for Freedom

The neat thing about being a packrat is how even when you forget yourself, your documents and keepsakes always remember you. This week I am cleaning out old spaces to let new light in.

I am going through boxes that are more than a decade old and found this piece of awesomeness.  I wrote a poem for a class on November 3, 1999. I was 19 and a sophomore at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. Aggie Pride!

Here it goes:

RAIN

I prayed for rain and I patiently await her arrival,
I called for her to calm my sorrowed spirits,
Yearned for her to speak freedom’s fate into existence.
Cried for her to remove fear from my heart when
Looking into the lazy blue eye of the devil himself.
He was speaking in a language unknown,
Leading me toward oceans of certain death.
I prayed for rain and still I wait.

I danced for rain and she pretended to be oblivious,
I performed for her as if she were the Creator himself,
I perfected my movement before the sunrise on the Coast,
Now I hail her with spiritual songs under
Blazing death in fields of King White.

I dreams of days when we were together,
Running beside the Nile in laughter,
Speaking of old times with Pharaoh
I was taken away from her comforting arms,
Now I dance for her and she cannot see me.

We were as one, in the likeness of the spirit,
Together as sisters in time, I crave her cleansing,
Nurturing, purifying my soul.
I will give my life and fight till the death to find rain,
We will be reunited, or fighting I will remain.

*END*

In the photo you can see that the Professor writes “Did you notice the many places you could have left out words to make it more poetic”  <– I still STILL suffer from this issue of being verbose!

Let’s not focus on that though…I got an A.

Rain: A Metaphor for Freedom

Rain: A Metaphor for Freedom

My piece reminds me of a great worship song by MercyMe. I’m going to go back and read it again, and use this song as a soundtrack. You too? 

Friday Meditation

What shall we ponder today?

I will be meditating on Psalm 18: 24, which reads:  “God rewrote the text of my life when I opened the book of my heart to his eyes.” This is one of my favorite verses, and it once inspired me to celebrate the Universe with the Red Balloon Project. More on that another day.

For now, let’s together gather our thoughts on the wonderful, restorative love of God outlined in the text.

*deep inhale*

Haleakala Sunrise, Maui, Hawaii

Haleakala Sunrise, Maui, Hawaii

*deep exhale*

Amazing love. Just for me (and you). If we remain OPEN to it.

*deep inhale*

Words to say aloud:  “I am open.” (repeat as many times as your heart desires)

*deep exhale* Amen.

Honoring God, Celebrating The Universe

Have you ever received a gift so meaningful that a mere “thank you” just didn’t see to fully cover the depth of your appreciation? Once, during a particularly stressful time writing my dissertation, that gift was peace. The gift giver was God.

How do you fully thank God? I did the usual praise and worship, I tithe as diligently as my finances allow, and I was my typical helpful self (e.g., buying lunch for the guy holding the doors outside of Wendy’s on 125th Street). But that just didn’t seem to cut it. I wanted to celebrate God and give a gift to Her. So I spent an afternoon (it was more than an afternoon!) mastering iMovie and made a worship video, just for Her. The song is Jason Upton’s No Sacrifice, and the images celebrate the multi-ethnic faces Christ and His followers.

That peace stayed with me for a long time after. I think She liked it. Maybe you will, too.

Here’s my life.