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Monthly Archives: February 2016
Slow Your Roll
Why are we in such a rush and who gave us the green light to press fast-forward on life? Each and every day matters, yet, often, we’re in a hurry to do everything…grow up, leave home, finish school, get married, get divorced, get a job, or quit a job. All of those levels in life may be necessary and certainly serve a purpose one way or the other, but rushing to and through them can be more than a notion.
I’m not at all a proponent of laziness or people with no vision. But rushing through the beauty of each and every day can cause us to miss things, mess things up, misconstrue things and mismanage them. Plus rushing can be utterly exhausting. You don’t know tired until you’ve seen someone running around like a “dog chasing its tail”, as we say in America.
An ancient Greek Proverb says, “One minute of patience. Ten years of peace.” Yowza! I’ve been guilty of impatience more times than I care to share. From now on, like the finest of foods prepared over time I’m choosing to slow my roll and let life marinate, simmer and slow-roast to perfection.
Look Right Back at It
Sometimes we just have to look back at it. What is “it”? “It” is probably not what we might immediately think, but definitely what we should be thinking about.
This week has been a whirlwind for me. A family emergency, unusually tiring work hours, advancement opportunities, schedule rearranging “out the wazoo”, financial finagling and all that good stuff has made this week one for the record books for sure. While the deets on this week have been far too much to type, they are definitely not too much to handle. How do I know? Because I looked right back at it.
Again, what is “it”? It is anything we’re facing which we’ve already faced and defeated in one way or another. So try as they may, the devil, my fatigue, my impatience, and even my own desperate pleas can not stop me for remembering that what I’m facing I’ve already fought…and won. That’s the beauty of life and the blessing of the Bible. 2 Corinthians 2:11 reminds us (in my updated, interpreted terms) that the devil has no new tricks. his card has already been called, his punch line already spoiled and his plans already put to rest. There’s literally nothing new that he can do. So with that said, I look back at “it”.
I’ll be the first to admit that “looking back” has some bad representation. There are all kinds of things wrong with the kinds of looking back that some of us do. (And I’m not even including the kind popular on posts through social media.) It is totally unproductive to look back in anger, fear, remorse, pride, unforgiveness, self-doubt or anything remotely related to those unfortunate feelings. But when I tell you that to be able to wade through tears, forge ahead through utter tiredness, press past doubt or blame and look back to see all that God has already done in the areas we need Him to do even more is a blessing.
So this week ends, not with me focused on what I need. I’m focused on what I’ve already seen. I’ve seen God bring back loved ones from the brink of death so I know He can heal my daddy. I’ve seen him refresh me like I’ve been on an island retreat on days when I had just a couple hours of sleep so I know peace, rest and revival are for the taking. I’ve seen him give me two jobs when I didn’t even have one so I know He can give me more. I’ve seen Him clear my schedule and still handle my business so I know the whirlwind will cease. I’ve seen him send income exactly when it was needed (not a moment too late or too soon) so I know my investments in His Kingdom are being made ready to bear a return for me. I’ve seen Him do EVERY SINGLE THING I need Him to do so I’ll let Him do it. My job? Yep, you guessed it…Look Right Back at It!
All About That…Art, Beats and Lyrics
All About That…Art, Beats and Lyrics
Art, Beats and Lyrics made its final stop in Birmingham after visiting Charlotte, Miami, Houston, St. Louis and New Orleans for its 2016 tour. In its 11th year, Art, Beats and Lyrics’ February 5th Birmingham, Alabama visit was an electrifying, cultured experience gathering the best of Birmingham’s urban, professional, and eclectic community, and featuring a hodge-podge of music, arts, food and refreshing social engagement under the beautiful backdrop of Birmingham’s Regions Field. The at-capacity event presented by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Gentleman Jack spanned multiple rooms and oozed of contagious, creativity as it featured works of art from the likes of Dubelyoo, Aniekan Udofia and Kazilla, and included a live performance from hip-hop legend, Twista.
Twista performed some of his top hits for a packed house at the 2016 Art, Beats and Lyrics tour finale in Birmingham. Presented by Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey and Gentleman Jack, Art Beats and Lyrics showcases some of today’s best upcoming artists, along with seasoned veterans in art and music under one roof. (Photo by Kat Goduco)
While the ABL Tour is officially a wrap for this year. If I were you, I wouldn’t hesitate to hop on board next year to enjoy the thrilling ride where art is the masterful conductor and music is the undeniable conduit to bring people together for one night which can only be described as epic.
Your Purpose is Greater Than Your Pain
This previously posted post fits so perfectly with my devotional reading today. I hope it blesses you.
Help! It’s a word some won’t say, but most should scream if it’s going to move them forward in life, and keep them alive, not just surviving, but thriving. I’ve never understood human nature, including my own, that would reject support it needs to be better. Sometimes our minds, poor mindsets, generational issues, societal boundaries, sickness or plain ol’ pride will literally talk our mouths out of opening up and asking for assistance. Cultural stigma regarding mental illness, addiction, personal and spiritual challenges, marital woes and the likes have plagued our community and will continue to do so if we stay silent about those things which are destroying us. I’ve learned in life that I’d much rather someone talk about me for getting help and getting better than talk about me for still hurting.
I think the famous song from the Color Purple was written for me, “God is Trying to…
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Singles: Know That You Are Enough
Happy Valentine’s Day Singles!
I Don’t Want to Love You
Sometimes love is easier said than done. Let’s just be real. There are people who represent situations, mindsets, circumstances and hurtful happenings which make the command to love a hard pill to swallow. That’s just the truth, yet we still have to do it! We have to love. I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ever wanted to say, “I barely like you, your actions or reactions, so I shole don’t want to love you.”
Yet, we are expected to love. Why? Because God said so. Because it’s the right thing to do, especially for those friends, family members, co-workers or former associates who we clearly don’t desire to have any fond sentiment regarding. Because it feels good to be able to push through anger and sincerely smile. Because it does no good not to. And because bitterness, anger, unforgiveness and hate are not worth it. They simply aren’t.
Here’s the deal about the whole love thy neighbor thing. Monopoly doesn’t make a “Get Out of Love Free” card and neither does God. It’s as simple as that. We must love.
Joe’s Knows Italian
Many a Shelby County, Alabama resident will tell you about the culinary landmark known as Joe’s Italian. Built on the foundation of love, quality ingredients and fresh, delicious food, the “baby” of Papa Joe and Mama Elvira has been serving up the best in Italian cuisine for years. Sadly, in 2013 Papa Joe, who was a staple on a stool in the front of the restaurant passed away. However, his legacy of amazing food lives on.
On my most recent trip, rushing to try to dine in less than 45 minutes before Wednesday night service at Church of the Highlands I branched out on a limb and sampled the pizza my dinner companion ordered. It was a CHICKEN ALFREDO PIZZA made with Cream sauce, roasted garlic, red onion, chicken, fresh tomato & basil. Gaze up there at it again. Go ahead. I know you want to. The pizza was as good as it was pretty! Ample cheese was not overshadowed by fresh herbs, seasoned chicken, the savory cream sauce and a sweetness to the crust which was the perfect combination to balance out the red onions and tomatoes. The pizza was perfect, in my opinion. It really was. I felt the need to hop on a gondola and speak the little Italian I learned from two years of classes in college.
I ordered my usual children’s portion of Spaghetti and Meatballs covered with fresh parmesan cheese. You can’t really see it from my picture, but there’s enough on this “small plate” for two meals. Trust me. I ate my leftovers for lunch. This was especially easy to do when paired with their fresh bread and herb, olive oil which comes as freely as the oil flows.
To top it off, being so big it toppled over, is their famous Strawberry Cake. I was too full to eat dessert before church, but boy-oh-boy, the four forkfuls I ate around 9pm hit the spot and didn’t even keep me up all night.
Joe’s Italian is located at:
21 Weatherly Club Drive, Alabaster, Alabama 35007 (205) 663-4111
MONDAY – SUNDAY
10:30am – 9:00pm
The food at Joe’s Italian is delicious. That’s the only word I can use to describe it. The staff is friendly, especially our server Felicia who clarified her name by saying, “as in Bye Felicia”, and the environment is perfect for a hot date, a birthday party, a quick meal before church or a family feast just because you’re in the mood for Italian. And while Papa Joe no longer greets his guests at the door when they arrive, his presence is surely felt throughout the restaurant.