Monday, August 5, 2019

Back into the Light


Days of darkness have invaded the light in the fight for justice for all.  Ego-centrism moved into the white house and has donned the face of racism espousing the hate that is so innate in the souls of many of the people residing in this country…blood, violence, greed, an ugly part of their heredity.
Greed migrated to this territory holding hands with slavery and deception, double dealing stealing the land from the Native Americans laying down a “trail of tears” from the south to the Midwest celebrating  their lust and their hypocrisy boldly printing on their money “in God we trust”.

Who is their god?
Their god does not care about the sick, the needy, the stressed, the oppressed.
Their god does not care about the Statue of Liberty’s invitation to the homeless and “the huddled masses yearning to be free.”
Their god does not care about mounting health costs or pharmaceutical rip-offs…
Their god does not care about tearing families apart on the new slave block of anti-immigration which is spreading its vile rhetoric throughout our nation.
Their god does care bout destructive gases poisoning the atmosphere, or the disappearing rain-forest, or global warming which is a warning to all the inhabitants of the earth.
Who is their god?

The God I serve is the Creator of the Universe…
The God I serve is the God of Love…
The God I serve is Multi-Cultural…
The God I serve is a Provider…
The God I serve is a Healer…
The God I serve is the God of Peace calling His children back into the Light…Calling His children to unite, calling His children  to take a stand in the land of the free…to speak out, to shout out, to point out the hypocrisy of those that claim to be religious yet use God’s name in vain to justify their inhumane and ungodly actions…
The God I serve is King of Kings…The God I serve is the ruler of all things…
The God I serve has the world in His hands and there is no questioning of His understanding.
The God I serve is Omniscient, Omnipotent, and Omnipresent…the God I serve is the Beginning and the End...let there be glory and majesty to Him forever and ever Amen!

Saturday, June 15, 2019

A Senior's Song

The years have flown by O’ so quickly passing into the abyss of memory…gone…vanishing in time as the melody of the senior’s song plays on in my mind counting the days, the months, the years that Thou O’ Lord has kept me.
The sun relentlessly rises and sets on those in need, the hungry. It’s another community dinner day (soup kitchen). The House of Love Soup Kitchen has been in operation since 2008. We’re all eleven years older. Those of us who have been here consistently are now seniors praying our strength in the Lord. We pray that God will continue to give us the might to fight against injustice and enable us to endure so that we can be of service to the community that we serve.
It’s a warm day in May. Our soup kitchen is part of what is called The College Recovery Program, a network of colleges from across the country where the students gather food from their cafeterias. Ordinarily all food not eaten by the students is thrown away and this is delicious, nutritious food would be going to waste. Instead the students that are a part of this initiative recover the food and disperse it among different community groups that are servicing hungry people. According to the USDA Office of the Chief Economist food waste in the United States ranges from 40-50% of our food supply equating to around 160 billion dollars annually.. Our benefactor college in this fight against waste is Seton Hall in South Orange, NJ. When school is out though, we must fend once again for ourselves which we will be doing from now until mid-September.
Today is one of those days. We know how to cook, and with what resources we have we manage. Some of us are not well but we push ourselves. I know that part of my drive has to do with the fact that my son, who is now deceased, co-founded the House of Love Soup Kitchen along with another minister. Part of my drive is directly related to keeping my son’s legacy alive.
Sustainability in you O’ God has enabled me to maintain my sanity through triumphs, through storms, through sickness, through health, through financial instability, through insecurity, through the joy of giving birth, through death, and through the overwhelming sadness at the loss of loved ones.
We are a faith-based organization and we come Tuesday after Tuesday because we are trying to do God’s will: St. Matthew 25:33-36:
33) And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.
34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: 
35) for I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
36) Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
In the course of our discussions during Bible study we often wonder if we are serving the same Jesus that those currently in control of this government say that they worship. Are we serving the same Jesus that the racists and misogynists say that they serve? Are we serving the same Jesus that the Xenophobic and the intolerant serve? Are we serving the same Jesus that the haters serve?
First, our Jesus would change hearts and minds to love instead of hate. Our Jesus is multi-cultural. Our Jesus through people would feed the multitudes and eradicate the amount of food wasted in this country. Our Jesus through people would heal the sick making sure that all have adequate wellness and health care. Our Jesus through people would eliminate the homeless problem by seeing that there was suitable housing for all. Our Jesus through people would see to it that those incarcerated and those re-entering society would have the skill set necessary to survive in this world. Our Jesus cares and wants to share our burdens. He loves us. Do we really serve the same Jesus as the haters?
The tables have been wiped down. The food is ready, and the salad is made. Dinner is about to be served. The people gather together and join hands. The community leader of the Bible Study leads us in prayer. Hope is infused into the atmosphere. Despite the dire circumstances of many the phrase “God is good all the time” jumps from breast to breast. Joy will come in the morning.
The magnificence of the sunset colors the sky as the sun descends each day in its majestic beauty proclaiming hope…hope in which tranquility trumps hostility forging a path of empathy, love, and peace into the hearts of man.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

America Still Sings of Freedom

In the midst of nuclear insanity
In the midst of natural calamities
In the midst of hatred and harm crisscrossing the land
In the midst of hostility riding in cars emasculating our civil liberties
In the midst of blood spattered into the streets…
In the midst of people crying…people dying

In the midst of black lives Matter
In the midst of limitations set on Muslims’ immigration
In the midst of white supremacy poisoning the tender tendrils of democracy
In the midst of Native Americans wanting to save the earth from greed and destruction
In the midst of dreamers’ dreams vanishing in the wind
In the midst of chaos and confusion
America Still Sings of Freedom

In the midst of immigrant children being wrenched from their parents’ grasp
In the midst of the vanishing affordable health care act
In the midst of the oppressed screaming for justice from the callous and the cold
In the midst of the stranglehold of the school to prison pipeline
In the midst of the vines of violence choking aspirations
In the midst of mass incarceration
America Still Sings of Freedom

In the midst of earth’s disintegrating atmosphere
In the midst of conflicting attitudes towards a solution to pollution
In the midst of profits leading to the desecration of our planet
In the midst of socio-economic terrorism
In the midst of religious fanaticism
In the midst of man’s obsession with power
America Still Sings of Freedom

In the midst of the sunrise greeting a new day in magnificence
In the midst of the stars twinkling eminence throughout time
In the midst of intergalactic connections singing in eternity
In the midst of the courageous voices of the many standing together in unity
In the midst of joy infusing hearts of stone
In the midst of peace in search of a home
America Still Sings of Freedom

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Who is My Neighbor?

“Love thy neighbor as thyself” a command of wealth for the health of our souls.  

Are we starting the day with a good morning to loved ones and to other people we meet on the way to our daily tasks? Do our hearts shine with God’s love in a world filled with misery and in our minds vowing to make a positive difference whether big or small in our communities?  Do we listen with empathy to stories of heartache and pain from those whose lives are drowning in a deluge of rain from the storms of life? Do we use soft words to confront strife… to diffuse situations always pushing toward the restoration of peace and harmony?  Have the hungry been fed? Is there shelter for the homeless? Do the sick have affordable health care? Are the incarcerated being educated to succeed in the world beyond the cement walls? Will the Statue of Liberty be allowed to continue to welcome immigrants with open arms to our country?

How long O’ Lord will mindless selfishness be the rule of our land? How long O’ Lord will the money god reign inflicting pain and oppression? How long O’ Lord will phony politicians and evangelical Christians wreak havoc destroying programs of promise?

1 out of 6 Americans face hunger
49 million Americans struggle to put food on the table
1 out of 5 children are hungry
1 out 3 African American and Latino children suffer from food scarcity
40 % of the food in America is thrown out every year…$165 billion dollars’ worth.  All this uneaten food could feed 25 million Americans.

St. Matthew 25:34-36 (this scripture is the parable that separates the sheep (true believers) from the goats (hypocrites.)
34) Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come ye blessed of my Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.
35) For I was a hungered and ye gave me meat. I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink, I was a stranger and ye took me in;
36) Naked and ye clothed me; I was sick and ye visited me: I was in prison and ye came unto me.

Yesterday was pantry day. People from the community gathered early in the morning in great expectation and anticipation of food boxes to quell hunger pangs and the shame associated with food scarcity in one of the richest countries in the world.  Friendly camaraderie floated in and out of easy conversation as the clients lined up to get numbers and check in with Oasis the latest technology in keeping track of the hungry. It’s summer time and somewhat muggy. Those who have registered camp out in the shade waiting patiently for the arrival of the truck which will come bearing gifts of meat, beverages, produce, dairy products, canned goods, rice, bread and so much more. Over eighty people go home with enough food to tide them over for the next few days.

How long O’ Lord before we learn to “Love thy neighbor as thyself”?

The Great American Food Challenge

Hunger, holiday season on  the horizon touching hearts to reach out and embrace love…turkey love…cranberry craziness…sweets insanity...empty stomachs teased…cupboards bare...hearts ache. Hungry people everywhere…poverty across America…no money for the basics…soup kitchens and pantries addressing the need to a degree. That time of year once again has descended upon the economically challenged to emphasize and make them even more aware of this acute condition.
Soup kitchen aromas tantalize famished palates waiting to be pleased on this day out of the year set aside to give thanks for thoughtful souls. Hunger a year around concern yearns for means to keep refrigerators full, and cupboards complete with the ABC’s of nutrition. Hungry children, hungry adults, hungry seniors plead for relief from this chronic condition.
The House of Love Soup Kitchen, a faith based organization, located in Newark, NJ served a pre-Thanksgiving meal to over 80 people on the 15th of November. What a meal! What a meal! Praises floated up to the heavens as blessings of turkey with all the trimmings came down and filled plate after plate…God bless the hands that prepared the meal...fried chicken, mac ‘n cheese, stuffing, baked beans…it seemed as if the choices of food would never end...God bless all those who were able to partake of this scrumptious meal…candied yams, tuna noodle salad, pasta salad, green salad and mixed vegetables for the healthy minded... God bless all those trying to make a difference in their communities... ice tea to wash the feast down and yes, pies and cakes galore. Lord we thank you for this day to ward off hunger…this day for the community to engage in an all you can eat treat with camaraderie and the love of God filling the air.
Where do we go from here? What does the future hold in store for feeding hungry Americans? Should there even be a scarcity of food in America?
  • Feeding America Statistics:  42.2 million Americans lived in food insecure households, including 29.1 million adults and 13.1 million children.
  • Households that had higher rates of food insecurity than the national average included households with children (17%), especially households with children headed by single women (30%) or single men (22%), Black non-Hispanic households (22%) and Hispanic households (19%).
  • In 2014, 5.4 million seniors (over age 60), or 9 percent of all seniors were food insecure.
Praying and asking God to guide, to protect, and to direct those involved in battling hunger…please God fill the stomachs everyday of those suffering from the great American food challenge and please God strengthen all involved in the fight against hunger not allowing us to “grow weary in well doing”.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Death Toll Rises

Invisible forces gather together
Bursting through the black hole
To capture suspecting and unsuspecting souls
Phantoms bold in their determination
To complete their mission
To track down those whose
Assigned time has come
To cross over the horizon
To go beyond the 7th heaven
To meet the fate that awaits
All mankind.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

House of Love Soup Kitchen/Pantry

Hope springs eternal in my soul for I know that God is with me. He blesses, He protects, He directs my path and leads me in what is my destiny.

Pantry day is here once again attempting to address the needs of families and people in the community suffering from food scarcity. It’s unbelievable that the budget adopted by the current administration proposes to cut eligibility for food stamps for at least 4 million people and reduce benefits for many others.

Have you ever received food stamps? Have you ever been hungry? Have you ever been in a position where the cupboards were bare, there was no food in the refrigerator, and you had children to feed? Well the writer of this blog has…I can answer yes to all the above questions. I know for a fact that food stamps do not stretch over the 30-31 days that they are supposed to last. If it had not been for the Lord being on our side…yes… working through community pantries and the government feeding programs helping to supplement the stamps we received, my family and I would have had some very lean days...days where there was no food…endless days of hunger.

One of my sons, who is now deceased, co-founded the House of Love Soup Kitchen/Pantry for that very reason. He remembered how as a child what it was like having to live off food stamps. He remembered the pantries where we had to stand in line for hours to receive boxes of food. He remembered the government feeding programs, the 10-pound blocks of cheese we would get along with other food staples. He remembered the summer breakfast and lunch programs that warded off starvation in the richest nation of the world…starvation always looming just beyond the horizon. He wanted to make a difference in the community by having a place, a sanctuary where a person could come and momentarily forget the everyday struggles of life, eat a good wholesome meal, and enjoy the camaraderie of shared experiences.

Hands join together to thank the Creator for His favor, and His Power, and His strength which lifts our spirits above the uncertainty of an economy governed by the wealthy, and for the wealthy only. God embraces us with His Love enabling us to rise above circumstance, and to continue to live in His glory and His hope always rejoicing in Him.