Birds of a Feather Either Fly Together or Fry Together

I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “Birds of a feather fly together.” Well, I’d like to propose that, Birds of a feather can also “fry” together.

Growing up, my parents would always remind me of the importance of making sure I was selective of my crowd. Not to be snobby or snooty, but to be certain that those in which I affiliated had my, and their own best interest at heart. Did I always listen? No. Do I wish I would have always listened? Yes. Thankfully, I was spared a lot of the trials of others who also didn’t make sure their “birds” were the best.

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The older I grew in age and understanding the more I found that the wisdom my parents shared didn’t only apply as a youth, but even more so as an adult. As adults, we’re even closer to our destinies, and have fewer chances to get it right. Connections matter. We’re also examples to little the peeps about the importance of choosing our circles selectively. According to the American Poultry Association there are all types of different breeds of fowl in America alone. They each serve different purposes, are of varying sizes, come from different areas and don’t all appear the same. There are also all types of associations in the world of friends. Some are good for us, some are like a thrifty coupon, good, but for a limited time only and and some…how shall I say this gingerly…are simply foul. (Pardon the play on words. I couldn’t help myself. Not that any human is foul, but their role in our lives may be more counterproductive than productive.)

As adults, who we choose to flock with and accepting that not every bird belongs in our coop is more crucial than ever. We have to use discernment, common sense, wisdom from others, lessons from past pains and good old-fashion gut instinct to know who’s who for who we are and who we’re meant to be. That’s why it’s important to know that birds of a feather either fly together or fry together. So let’s stick with the ones that take us to higher ground, not hot grease.  (Ouch!) I don’t know about you, but I’d rather fly than fry any day. #GobbleGobble #CluckCluck

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@AngelaMMoore316

A Simple Way to Pray

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Bombings. Explosions. Shootings. Sickness. Financial Woes. Scandal. Natural Disasters.

Those were the topics that greeted me today during my early morning news watch. Immediately I thought. We need to pray.

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Hammer hit the nail on the head, “We got to pray just to make it today.” But sometimes we just don’t know how. Many have “tried and true” ways to talk to God that have proven to work well in their life. For those that are unsure about ways to pray I’d like to propose that you:

P.     R.     A.     Y.

PAUSE-Constant communication with the Lord is key. It doesn’t have to always be routine or ritualistic. It just needs to be relational. As with anyone we value, love, trust and believe, more so with God we need to simply take the time to PAUSE often to speak to Him and hear from Him.

REFLECT-Let your prayer start with a reflection of God and your life. Tell Him who He is to you. Call on His many amazing characteristics. Recount His magnificent accomplishments. Remember His scripture. Shower Him with sincerely, sweet words. Tell Him your struggles.  REFLECT on all He’s done in your life and the lives of those you love.

ASK-Tell the Lord what you need and ASK Him for it humbly and faithfully. Know His word enough to know if what you want lines up with what He’s said then go for it. Be bold. Be sincere. Think of your true needs and the needs of others. Seek forgiveness, protection, provision, care, comfort, peace, healing, restoration and anything else you need. Ask it all in faith.

YIELD-Turn it all over to Him. After you’ve paused, reflected, and asked YIELD those prayers (and everyone and everything involved) to the Lord with total trust and belief that your God is able to do above and beyond what you ask or think. Surrender your plans to His purpose and your destiny to His unbeatable desires for you, and let Him handle His business.

-Angela Moore

Guilt, Be Gone!

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How shall I say this? Guilt, be gone! For far too long many of us have walked around with a shroud of guilt over our heads that’s doing far more damage than good.

We feel guilty about poor choices. We feel guilty about how we think our actions affected our children or loved ones. We feel guilty about not being where we desire to be professionally, socially, financially or academically. We feel guilty about how we allowed others to treat us. We feel guilty about how others treated us even if we didn’t allow it. Some of us even feel guilty about being blessed.

Guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt! Guilt simply serves no good purpose. All it does is hinder and hurt. It isolates us from freedom. It distances us from people who can help. It clouds our minds with confusion and it deceives us into thinking we have the right or responsiblity to internally punish ourselves.

Let me be clear, should we have a conscious? Yes. Should we repent for past mistakes? Yes. Should we embrace God’s forgiveness and grace? Yes. Should we do whatever possible to correct things that should be addressed? Yes. Should we use those same tough lessons to teach life lessons to others? Yes. But in no way should we take the unauthorized authority to condemn ourselves, especially when help and hope are always our options.

@AngelaMMoore316

Who Asked For Your Opinion?

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Help me out please. When did opinions become so popular? I know we all have them. I know we all believe our own. I even know that opinions often differ, but who gave the green light on using what you think to terrorize others.

The recent event in Boston may be one of the more devastating and far-reaching, but it is just the latest act fueled by someone who decided that what he/she felt, believed, thought or wanted was worth someone else’s pain.

Opinions-run-amuck have been the culprit behind bullying ultimately leading to the suicide of targeted victims, school and community shootings, hate campaigns, and global terrorists attacks. Opinions-on-overload have led this country from the times where the worse you would see was someone’s name on a restroom wall to now people feeling free to launch full-blown, derogatory social media “beefs” (when did the word beef become popular again?). At the root of them all are persons who felt the need to use their opinions to cause social, emotional or bodily harm.

Opinions are a part of life. Based on our experiences we each have formed them. But opinions laced in, or invoking pain, hate, hurt, or violence need to do like a child in time out and sit down somewhere.

-Angela Moore

My Plans Went Out the Window (and Lead to an Amazingly Familiar Door)

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Well, well, well, wouldn’t you know. As if I shouldn’t know better by now, the plans I had for myself concerning work didn’t work out the way I imagined.
My wonderful new job with the overwhelming resource and responsibility increase is no more. After one week of working, I realized my strengths, my limitations, my true passions and my purpose at this point. I had to make the painstakingly tough decision to walk away. Those of you who know me, know that I’m a “stick to the end through thick and thin” kind of person so you can’t imagine how tough this was for me. Please believe I wrestled with the thought of truly needing more money and walking away from a lot of it. I played every scenario of the pride-filled question of “what will people say?” I was scared as can be about my professional future. The company I was with is an absolutely wonderful one, but I had to be honest with myself about what I’m capable of, conditioned for and called to do.

So here I sit embarking on round three with the YWCA once again being able to do what I love to do. And while the pay is NOWHERE near what I would have received, I believe the payoff of time stability, peace of mind, purpose and effectiveness will one day be worth more than I can imagine.

So there you have it. What I thought I got I no longer have, but what I had I’ve gotten again. And for that, I’m grateful!

-Angela Moore

The Little Girl is Now a Lady

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More than 12 years ago a little, squeaky-voiced girl with a ponytail, a pastel ribbon and a love for all things Winnie the Pooh bounced into my life and impacted it more than she’ll ever know. She wanted me to help her find a job. She ended up helping me find so much more.

The next several years would prove difficult for her siblings and her as they lost their beautiful mother, Roxanne. Proving to be the perfect administrator through life and even in her legacy, at the urging of the squeaky-voiced girl, just prior to becoming ill, Roxanne asked my former husband and me to be godparents. We accepted, having no idea what the future had in store.

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With wonderfully loving and overwhelmingly supportive grandparents (beautiful Granny Agnes:), and others who loved her (shout out to DeAndria and Desmond for being amazing siblings), we all played our part to make it through her Sweet 16, two proms, a couple of (bad) boyfriends, high school graduation, curfews (and broken curfews), a couple of cars, interesting clothes choices, college transfers, a messy room, spiritual growth, personal transformation, meeting her lasting love (heyyyyyyyy Patrick:), seeing her graduate college, and her first career job. And now we’re here!

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I’m typing this now to hopefully avoid crying later this week as she walks down the aisle to begin her life as Mrs. Patrick Hassell. No longer the squeaky voiced little girl, Rakia L. Craig is now an amazing, loving, supportive, witty, generous and inspiring squeaky-voiced woman who, on Saturday, April 20th, will become a wife. That makes me happy, so very happy!

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@AngelaMichele316

This is the Start of Something Big

A Friday night trip to the new Region’s Field, home of the Birmingham Barons proved to be a sheer delight. Not a huge baseball fan at all, I was excited to see the new field, but not initially interested in much more. As we made the journey through the metropolitan maze that lead from our parking space to the field, even on the chilly April night, there was a warm glow over the city that was really evident the closer we got to Railroad Park, and definitely by the time we made it to the front of ball field. Contrary to the concerns of others, being there I felt safe. I felt right at home. I felt a part of something bigger than a ball game!

People were friendly, waving and being courteous letting others make their way through the rock-laden pathways. At the play area within the field, children of all races and ages were playing together as if there were no cares in the world. Long lines for those waiting on their hot-out-of-the-oil French fries proved to be the perfect avenue for evening pleasantries as we all ooohhhed and aaahhhed at the beauty of the venue. My loved one and I laughed as we spotted older people swaying in their seats to the sweet, instrumental sounds of Trinidad James blasting over the speakers. (Google him. On second thought, don’t Google him:) We stayed through the cold to enjoy the spectacular fireworks show and took in every ounce of the overall electric buzz that permeated the area as the Barons went on to victory.

As a child growing up in Birmingham’s West End, I remember spending time eating hot dogs and sitting on my Daddy’s lap to get the perfect view of the game at Rickwood Field, the early home of the Barons. I also remember when the team relocated to Hoover. I’d definitely attended some of the Barons’ games in Hoover prior to this latest move. I’ve been to corporate events there and was even able to go on the team’s final game last summer. The field in Hoover was a great home to the team during its time.

With all that said, I’m glad the Barons are back in Birmingham. I’m glad the city is getting a boost to its entertainment options and economic impact that just so happens to be a great fit no matter your age, race, salary or culture. I’m also glad that we, as a city, are being afforded yet another opportunity to heal from our past and make visible progress together. I understand that baseball is simply baseball, but anything that has the potential to merge the masses together like this new field is doing so far is A-okay with me.

Whether you’re a true, “baseball statistic knowing” fan like the people who sat behind us, or simply there for the fun (and the food) like I was, I’m encouraged that this is the start of something big for Birmingham that can bring about more memories for generations to come.

-Angela Moore

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