For a Time Such As This….

I found some amazing music that lifts my soul and wanted to share it with you. Considering the times in which we live in this nation, this music touches the heart as much as it did when it first was release by The Beatles in 1970.  Listen to the words and let them annoint you!

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“My Love’s AGAPE!”

In honor of Valentine’s Day – here’s a video that perfectly describes the four types of LOVE.

Produced by BADD (BelAir Drama Department) Ministry at the church I attend when I’m in Los Angeles,  BelAir Presbyterian. This amazing video featuring THE BADD STREET BOYS is funny yet relevant about the true nature of love. 

For your reference, here’s the types of God’s Love as expressed in the song…

  • STORGE – that’s love that’s like a mother
  • EROS – (sex) that’s love not mentioned in church
  • PHILIA – that’s love that’s like a good friend
  • AGAPE – the highest love that He calls us to; the love that NEVER goes away!

Strange Fruit

In honour of Black History Month… may we never forget!

Powerful Video of legenary singer, Ms. Billie Holiday performing this extraordinary song.   May we never forget the sacrifice that so many made in the effort to be equal in this country!

Sung by Billie Holiday

Southern trees bear strange fruit
Blood on the leaves and blood at the root
Black bodies swinging in the Southern breeze
Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees

Pastoral scene of the gallant south
The bulging eyes and the twisted mouth
Scent of magnolias, sweet and fresh
Then the sudden smell of burning flesh

Here is fruit for the crows to pluck
For the rain to gather, for the wind to suck
For the sun to rot, for the trees to drop
Here is a strange and bitter crop

Women’s March Against Tyranny Anthem | I CAN’T KEEP QUIET

As the song says, I CAN’T KEEP QUIET any longer.  

This weekend something happened to all of us — both women and the men that love us at the 627 national and international marches against the demagogue and fascist that is Trump.  The Resistance has begun in full swing and a sisterhood has been born unto the world!

This song is an anthem of solidarity in a movement against the belligerence and hate of Trump that pulls out and legitimizes the racist, the misogynist, — the morons that make up the lowest common denominators amongst us all!  Showing solidarity for women and all the other issues surrounding Trump’s horrific rhetoric (grab her by the p…sy) – remember, women wore pink “pussy-hats”.   I know that we must move on and I accept that Trump is the president.  

But I CAN’T STAY QUIET ANY LONGER!!!  

I condemn his unabashed bigotry, and his hateful comments about women, Muslims, Hispanics, and other marginalized groups.  I condemn him for mocking Serge Kovaleski, and for welcoming white supremacists into his administration. I condemn him for running a campaign based on division . I condemn his inability to admit personal fault.  I condemn his lack of intellectual curiosity and his disrespect for American norms and values.  I condemn his lack of vision to understand in the most basic terms that life without the arts is not worth living!  Arts and the humanities get the truth of things in life, so naturally Trump and his administration want to de-fund them and paint #AlternativeFacts! 
As an article written by Jesse Berney about 3 days ago in Rolling Stones states:

The day before Donald Trump’s inauguration as president of the United States – an actual event taking place in the universe we live in – news broke that his administration plans to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. And I wanted to scream.

This is Donald Trump’s America: one where things like art and books and science and learning and thoughtful consideration of complicated problems are deemed worthless and tossed aside. This can’t be surprising after the Trump we saw on the campaign trail, the man who never answered a question with a hint of intelligence or depth.

Therefore, on the most fundamental level, I condemn Trump as a human being!
In closing,  please share this with your friends. This Anthem needs to get out there. 

Here’s the back story:  Apparently, these women are all from different states and never met till the day of the march. They practiced this song online using Skype and they only met once before the march. Some met that day for the first time!  This song and it’s sentiment made me cry when I heard it because the beauty and the harmony of their voices captured for me how women can come together to find their voice. I find it healing and empowering in the best possible way.

#TogetherWeRise #OneWomansRiot #iCantkeepquiet

Here are the lyrics.

“Quiet”
Written by MILCK and AG
Produced by AG

put on your face
know your place
shut up and smile
don’t spread your legs
I could do that

but no one knows me no one ever will
if I don’t say something, if I just lie still
would I be that monster, scare them all away
If I let the-em hear what I have to say

I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
A one woman riot, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh

I can’t keep quiet
For anyone
Anymore

Cuz no one knows me no one ever will
if I don’t say something, take that dry blue pill
they may see that monster, they may run away
But I have to do this, do it anyway
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
I can’t keep quiet, no oh oh oh oh oh oh
A one woman riot, oh oh oh oh oh oh oh
Oh I can’t keep quiet

Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
There’ll be someone who understands
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
Must be someone who’ll understand
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now
There’ll be someone who understands
Let it out Let it out
Let it out now

I can’t keep quiet

Beauty Found in the Concrete Ashes of Humanity

I am so proud to call Bridgit Antoinette Evans my friend and my sister!  We have been friends now for over 20 years, going all the way back to our time in grad school at Columbia University in the 90s.  The script written by Sandra A. Daley-Sharif is utterly phenomenal and blew me away with its poignancy, its pathos and its hard-hitting message of humanity and spirit.    I feel that these two women’s work – Sandra’s words and Bridgit performance – had to be highlighted at the top of this year, 2017, as we move forward as a country to try to heal from the wounds of an election cycle that left us all hurting and rendered an incomprehensible reality to us all – that we have lost our compassion and our ability to see the humanity in the least of our brothers and sisters.

To me, this video highlighted a social area of injustice that we usually  completely ignore – homelessness that leads to self-deprecating isolation and shame. Unfortunately it seems to me that many of the tenants of the roots of the United States are being ripped apart today as is so evidenced by the election of a man such as Trump – who glorifies opulence as well as over-the-top conspicuous consumption while ignoring  the plight of millions of Americans today – specifically as highlighted here in the harsh reality of poverty and homelessness!

It seem to me that we as nation have forgotten our compassion and our need to lift up and not stomp into oblivion those that are helpless due in many instances to no fault of their own.  Maybe it was a loss of a job, outrageous medical expenses, a divorce, I don’t know; but I do know that we need to be cognizant of our fellow-man and woman no matter what he or she looks like or smells like or worships like because one day, there but for the grace of God, go we and then this story as portrayed in this video becomes our own reality too.

This theatrical performance hits the heart because of its utter simplicity in delivery and its lack of bravado that yields complete authenticity.  It is an introspection of purpose that creates mind-blowing power!  I hope that you will enjoy this as much as I did so please take the time to share with your friends and family!  I believe that this powerful yet gentle message will touch their hearts deeply.  Bravo Bridgit and Bravo Sandra for creating such a  wonder piece!

The BusyGal
Felicia M. Lopes

A Prayer for the Nation The Day After The Vote

prayer-nation-slide-1_1

written by Lisa Sharon Harper

Dear Jesus,

You were born and walked and lived in days much more grave than ours. You know something about confronting the kingdoms of men. You know something about confronting Pharisees. You know something about answering the calls of a people desperately crying out for shalom—for peace, for justice, for equity, for the radical wellness of all relationships in creation.

We stand a bludgeoned people. For two years we have sustained the crackling lash of racist rhetoric. We have weathered the assault of hashtags and legislative stalemates, and policies that threatened the wellbeing of marginalized images of God inside and beyond our borders. Worst, we have witnessed before our very eyes the corruption of Christian faith—the exploitation of your scriptures to crush the image of God on earth.

God please stand with us. Be with us as you were with displaced Joshua. God comfort and gird us for the long journey ahead. Use this time to deepen your church’s discipleship–to teach us not to rely on the power of empire to bring your kingdom to earth. Make us creative in our resistance to injustice. Fill us with love, and laughter, and joy, and life–even as we confront the powers of death. And help us not to grow weary in doing good.

God give us glimpses of your shalom in the days to come—light in the darkness. Show us your power to cut the darkness. Show us your power to put boundaries on the deep. Show us the power of your voice—you speak and chaos is halted in its tracks. You confront the kingdoms of men and call forth the image of God in your people. You call forth all humanity to exercise stewardship of the world. And you empower each of us to see and connect with “the other.”

Heal us, Lord. Connect us, Lord. Give us courage to resist, Lord. And empower us to walk forward in belief that transformation is possible.

Amen.

I’d Rather the Roller Coaster to the Merry-Go-Round – Any Day!

Cyclone“I recall when I was young
My mama said don’t cry
Life is full of ups and downs
Like a roller coaster ride
There’ll be times you’ll get so scared,
Rollin’ down these hills
But hang on tight with all your might
Cause you don’t know what you feel.”*

I used to love the show, THE PARTRIDGE FAMILY.  I’ve just dated myself, so be it!

Because I was so young, however, I didn’t always understand the episodes’ deeper meaning.  I just loved the songs.  Well now that I’m a middle-aged woman, having experienced love, joy, pain, desperation, happiness, loss, and everything in between, I thoroughly get what this song is saying.

Waiting in Line

Don’t you hate waiting in line.  It’s like you feel your life ebbing away.  The 1st time I rode a roller coaster was at the Texas State Fair in Dallas, Texas in 1974.  I believe it was called The Comet.  See the Video Below this post to get a feel for what it was like.

If you’re from Texas, you understand that the Texas State Fair is an annual rituaWaiting in linel in which you are expected to participate, especially if you’re from Dallas, like I was, so, Hell… you’re going and in fact the schools would let you out for the day to “experience” Big Tex and all that the fair promised.  I just loved it!!!

That line taught me Patience and Perseverance because, at my young age, at the time, there seemed to be a million people all around us, so when we finally got to front of the line, we felt that we’d accomplished something huge!

The Thrilling Anticipation

Now came the time to board the ride.  Lord, have mercy! My brother. our friends and I would run to those wooden seats, and get strapped in, while at the same time we where shaking with anticipation and fear!psyclone03

Isn’t that how life always is?  We’re excited to do something, and when we finally get the chance to do it, we’re scared!  I learned that I am prepared for the ride.  So I better just suck it up and do it, for cryin’ out loud!

The First Hill and the Fall

I learned that the 1st time we try something, we aren’t always the best.

That 1st Drop is a Doosy!!!
That first drop is a DOOZY!!!

In fact, a lot of the times we fall flat on our faces!  But just as in the case of that roller coaster, that first drop, is a doozy!  You feel like you want to up-chuck everything! In fact, you’re actually praying to the good Lord above to bring you down from the mountain on high to the valley below, and once you get into that valley, your fear leaves, and you’re excited again to go back up the next hill! Besides you’re also grateful that you didn’t fall off the ride and die, and you’re still here…ALIVE!

The Loop-T-Loop

let-go-and-scream
Though you’re screaming,  you’re thrilled!  

What I learned is that our world can turn upside down for a moment, but if we keep on looking ahead and just embrace the ride, we’ll turn right side up again.  In the process, we change, and experience the revelation that we are tougher than we thought.  We can survive the upheavals of life, and though shaken to the core, we can rely on knowing that “this too shall pass” and a brighter future is ahead.

That Second Hill

spirit-coaster

So here comes that next problem, or that 2nd hill.  I learned that since I conquered that first drop, this second one was nothing!  That’s how life is.  The second one, though daunting, is usually not as bad as the first, because we’ve become stronger through the previous adversity!

The End of the Ride

Though scary as Hell, isn’t it strange that we don’t want it to end?  We actually are disappointed that the ride has come into the dock and we are expected to leave our seats now!  How many of us want to say to the ride master, “Let’s do it again!”, because it was just so exciting.  You see, that’s what we remember… THE EXCITEMENT of the journey, not the arrival to the destiny of the port.

So, then the ride ends, or has it really just begun?

old Roller Coaster

“You go up, down, all around,
On a cycle that’s never endin’
You got on this train when you were born
And the wheels just keep on spinnin’
Like a roller coaster, it keeps going faster
I’m going faster, thrills comin’ at ya
Hey hey up, down, all around
Like a roller coaster!”*

–Written by Felicia M. Lopes | The BusyGal

*Song:  Roller Coaster, Written by Mark James | Sung by The Partridge Family
COME ON GET HAPPY Album produced by Arista Records in 1974

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Hilarious woman calls into the Ellen Degeneres show. [VIDEO]

Gladys is absolutely a BusyGal!

At 88 years old, she knows how to live life to the fullest.. and she’s regular!

http://www.wimp.com/goodcall/

Reality in a Dream

A water spill of the mind
A drop of that
Reality

spinning-top

A person who dreams of things to come
Beautiful thoughts that seem to run
Two perspectives of a mind
Reality is but a dream in time

Continue reading “Reality in a Dream”

Opinion: My mother’s addiction comes from pain – CNN.com

As published @CNN

Updated 12:29 PM ET, Wed February 5, 2014

Opinion: My mother’s addiction comes from pain – CNN.com.

I have a memory of standing by the fence in my neighbor’s yard. I was 6. My sister and I have had to run next door because mom’s been wasted for weeks on end, and now she’s got a shotgun.
She’s fired it once already. Two of the taller neighborhood kids are nearby, one standing on top of the other’s shoulders, peering over the fence and describing what she sees. “Your grandpa’s got a 2 by 4 and he’s going into the house.” The scene ends.
I could tell you dozens of stories like this. Years later, I learned that grandpa had broken down the door to find mom on the bed with a shotgun and a suicide note, maybe too scared to pull the trigger.
My mother was a lifelong addict — from heroin to alcohol and pills to methadone and pills. If you asked her why, she would tell you she just liked getting high. If you were inclined to believe the prevailing sentiment about addiction as a kind of degenerate hedonism, you could hate her for being a junky screw-up, and for never managing to put anyone or anything before her addiction.  READ MORE

Continue reading “Opinion: My mother’s addiction comes from pain – CNN.com”