#BlackHistoryMonth : Yes We Code! Have you heard what Estella is doing??

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Picture of Estella Pyfrom, Creator & Founder of Estella's Brilliant Bus
Picture of Estella Pyfrom, Creator & Founder of Estella’s Brilliant Bus

So, for every Friday in the month of February, I decided to dedicate a post towards Black History Month educating on Past and Present History Makers! I was on my way to work Monday morning and heard a great story on the Tom Joyner Morning show about a 79 year old woman name Estella Pyfrom who is funding her dream through her retirement money…A bus that will stationed in low income areas where kids don’t have the access to modern & advance technology! I was SO inspired by this story and had to share!!!! Check out an excerpt from the story below!

02/16/15 – Roland Martin talks to 79-year-old Ms. Estella Pyfrom about her mobile learning center affectionately called Estella’s Brilliant Bus which serves as a tool to teach kids in under-served areas about computer coding and technology. Estella and her bus are hoping to reach a goal of $50,000 to embark on a road tour that will lead her to Yes We Code and the Technology Village at Essence Festival. Support Estella’s Brilliant Bus here: http://www.estellasbrilliantbus.org

#BlackHistory #OurHistory #NowWhat’sYOURExcuse???

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My Top Five Couples in honor of #BlackHistoryMonth #Past&Present

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I read an interesting article by LaDawn Black celebrating Black History in honor of her top 10 couples…I agreed for the most part and thought that I would minimize it to the Top 5 Power Couples in honor of BLACK HISTORY MONTH!

  1. First Lady Michelle & President Barack Obama: Balancing family priorities and power
    Talk about a marriage that rekindled America’s interest in love! Right now, the Obamas are the go-to couple on how to have it all and still keep your eye on what is most important in life: the health and success of your family. They’re a young and powerful couple juggling romantic nights on the town, two kids and the future of our nation; President Barack and First Lady Michelle Obama exemplify the modern multitasking couple that still finds time to keep the home fires raging.
  1. Ruby Dee & Ossie Davis: An enduring love that lasted two careers
    Talk about one historical power couple! Ruby Dee and Ossie Davis demonstrated how two people can make their love endure through both dedication and honesty. Though both of them were successful actors (both on stage and in film), they always seemed to share a deep appreciation of each other and valued their relationship and their careers equally. Rudy Dee and Ossie Davis prove that good communication and honesty can help true love last for a lifetime.
  2. Harriette & Harry T. Moore: Transcending love to shed light on injustice
    Some love stories are able to go far beyond the relationships themselves in order to teach us something about the world that we all live in. When a fire bomb went off under their home, Harriette and Harry T. Moore were two of the first lives lost in the civil rights movement. As the head of the NAACP in Florida, Harry was working diligently to overturn the faulty convictions of two young African American men at the time of the bombing. The Moores had been married for 25 years at the time of their deaths, and while the duration of their marriage is certainly worth celebrating, it is also important to note exactly how and why they died — and the greater lesson that their deaths taught the world about correcting its injustices at any cost.
  3. Coretta Scott & Martin Luther King. Jr.: A shared dedication to one purpose
    Coretta Scott King and her dynamic husband, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. taught us that love can thrive when there is a shared dedication to both purpose and legacy. Coretta was her husband’s right hand in his efforts for gaining equality for all Americans, and she was willing to take a step back when it was necessary in order to make sure the needs of their family were being met. Even after his assassination, their love continued to shine on through Coretta’s work to keep Dr. King’s memory alive — and in the way she continued to love and honor the great man that she once shared with the world
  4. Angela Bassett & Courtney B. Vance: Friendship is the key
    What a love story! These two actors met years ago at college and remained longtime friends — only to have that friendship evolve into real love many years later. You cannot help but look at Courtney and Angela and wonder if that friendship that you’ve been nourishing all these years could someday become something more. There is a tangible mutual respect and sense of magic heard in their voices when they speak of each other, and to make us all even more jealous, they are now parents to a set of adorable twins.

    Credit: LaDawn Black is a relationship expert, radio personality and the author of Stripped Bare: The 12 Truths for Landing the Very Best Black Man. Learn more at http://www.ladawnblack.com.

In dedication to Valentine’s Day 2015—One of a kind LOVE

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ONE of a kind

By Charlene Evans

Many have heard of the 4 different types of love based on the ancient Greek language and some have not. Well, If you have not, allow me to introduce you to the four kinds of love and a brief description (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_words_for_love)

  • Agápe means “love” (unconditional love) in modern day Greek, such as in the term s’agapo, which means “I love you”. In Ancient Greek, it often refers to a general affection or deeper sense of “true love” rather than the attraction suggested by “eros“. Agape is used in the biblical passage known as the “love chapter”, 1 Corinthians 13, and is described there and throughout the New Testament as sacrificial love. Agape was appropriated by Christians for use to express the unconditional love of God. Before agape love there was no other word to express such great love.
  • Éros is passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. The Modern Greek word “erotas” means “intimate love;” however, eros does not have to be sexual in nature. Eros can be interpreted as a love for someone whom you love more than the philia, love of friendship. It can also apply to dating relationships as well as marriage.
  • Philia means friendship or affectionate love in modern Greek. In ancient texts, philos denoted a general type of love, used for love between family, between friends, a desire or enjoyment of an activity, as well as between lovers.
  • Storge means “affection” in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. Rarely used in ancient works, and then almost exclusively as a descriptor of relationships within the family. It is also known to express mere acceptance or putting up with situations, as in “loving” the tyrant.

We all, after reading the four types, can probably more than likely fit people in our lives in one of the categories or multiple. But the one category that I would like to focus on is Agape. In my opinion, it’s listed first because it is supreme! It requires you to look beyond the conditions that are hindering you to give love in the manner where it has no boundaries.  I have heard pastor’s preach about Agape love and reference this type of love that Jesus has for all of us but practicing this type of love is not impossible but challenging. Disappointments and offenses, unmet expectations and betrayal are only a few of the types of conditions that can cause you to fall out of love with someone. But what about the command that Jesus has placed on us,

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. (John 13:34) It doesn’t get any simpler than that, huh? I didn’t think so, but what I thought about is if we love HIM (Jesus) and He is asking us to do something, no matter how hard it may be, shouldn’t we just do it? Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the duty of all mankind. For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil. (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14).

So, what God commands is not a debate but a requirement and when the love of the father is spiritually in us, we will do it because we LOVE Him. There is none like HIM on the earth…never have and never will be. And if we never had “Agape” love mirrored in front of us in our childhood or never taught what it meant to love anyone on that level, I have good news! You have an example in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! He Loves US so much that he died for our sins and HIS desire is that no man should perish but have everlasting life! So, if we represent Jesus Christ and our God is LOVE (1John 4:8) we will strive to love like HIM and represent exactly what we are as an example of the love HE has shown…. “One of a KIND”.

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#BlackHistoryMonth #BlackFemaleAstronauts…..can you name 5?

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For the month of February, in honor of Black History Month, I am dedicating every Friday to a post of a past or present person(s) who has or is influencing the African American culture. Of course 4 weeks isn’t enough time to educate on the wide range of influence that Black History makers have made but this is my attempt to make you want to dig a little deeper, learn a little more and talk about it with your kids and even your peers!

So I saw a powerful picture on Facebook(below) and it prompted me to ask, did you know that there are 5 African American Female Astronauts? I was only aware of one, Mae Jemison, but after digging, I found out the other 4 astronauts and wanted to share! In the picture the names of the astronauts are:

Starting at the bottom left corner going up then clockwise are:

Joan Higginbotham, Mae Jemison, Jeanette Epps, Yvonne Cagle & Stephanie Wilson

#BlackHistory #OurHistory #Salute

Astronauts

No Pressure

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Hey! *hang head down in shame*

I have been a little MIA (Missing In Action)…but I’m back and I’m trying not to let my schedule overwhelm me to the point where I don’t make time to Blog, which I enjoy a lot!

Ok….so what’s the Blog about today? Take a look below and leave me your thoughts..

I thought that peer pressure was only for kids. Really, I did, like once you grew into a young adult, say between the ages of 17-21, that you will pretty much be “home free” from having to deal with pressure from your peers. Not true at all so this may be a release for a young adult who is currently going through it and thinking that an adult, say a parent or grandmother, are no longer dealing with it and won’t be able to relate. Well, unfortunately, no matter how old you are, you will experience peer pressure, but the good news is, when you mature in your spiritual walk with Christ and understand that you don’t have to conform to what other people are doing or trying to get you to do, there is a peace that you will rest in.

Peer pressure as a kid feels like you have to do it because most kids do not have the knowledge of what their options are unless they have been taught what they are in varies situations growing up. But the first rule always points first to the company that you keep. The bible says in 1 Corinthians 15:33 “Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.” So, check your friends and I say that loosely because the people that you refer to as friends will not pressure you into doing something that you are not comfortable doing. Furthermore, if they know your character, personal beliefs when it comes to your spirituality, morals and values, they will never try to mislead you. Real friends love the “God in you” and respect the God in you

AT  ALL TIMES….

Not only behind “closed doors”…then when you are out in public, they magically conform to every environment or group of people you come in contact with sometimes even denying you or the association that they have with you. Just like Peter in the bible, for example. He denied Christ as a result of hanging out with the wrong crowd and Jesus told him, the night before his crucifixion that Peter would deny him, not 1, not 2 but 3 times (Matthew 26:31-35;69-75). Was it the pressure that got to Peter hanging out with a man who proclaimed to be the “Son of God”, the “Messiah”, the way and the truth and the life…?” John 14:6. Was it because Jesus was so different and had so many people against him so it was easier to go with the crowd then to walk in agreement with Jesus

No pressure, huh?

Yeah right, it was TONS of pressure and think about how stressful that might have felt to Peter…BUT…the point is, he allowed the pressure to get to him but he had a choice and so do you. And don’t ever let anyone make you feel like you don’t because you always will! The beautiful thing about the Holy Spirit is that God says that he will teach you the way and what to do in all things…even in the mist of peer pressure! But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you John 14:26. What comfort, what LOVE! You see, God loves us and HE protects us at all times when we accept HIM as our Lord and Savior, HE lives inside of us giving us direction on how to deal with every aspect of life! And if that means you have to stop associating with a certain person or group of friends in order to honor the most important relationship in your life which is the relationship with your heavenly Father, then pray to God for strength, and let it go. And in due time, HE will bring you amazing friends who will honor you and love you just the way you are because remember…

Real Friends Who Love You = No Pressure!

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Finish The Race….

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HEEEY! Did you all miss me? Well I missed YOU! I took a small ‘hiatus’ due to some schedule demands with work and poetry but I am BAAAACK!

 

 

I am kicking off my Blog post return with an interesting situation that happened to me a couple of months ago and I had to share…so here it goes:

 

A couple of months ago, I decided to go ‘biking’ with a co-worker who I love dearly! We have been cool for a very long time and she is one of very few co-workers that I enjoy spending time with ‘after hours.’ I normally go biking by myself, because like running, everyone has a different ‘pace’ and if they are not flexible in going either slower or faster than their normal pace, it may not be as enjoyable. As a previous runner, I normally would ask “what’s your pace?”  and I did but it was not something we made a big deal about because he, we just wanted to hang out and catch up!

I met her in the parking lot of our employer after work to head over to the trail.  For me, biking is something I enjoy doing at a leisure pace, not on a competitive level. I mean, I have moments in my ride where I might push the speed a little but not ‘consistently’. So before we got in our cars to head out, she stepped out of her car to discuss how to get there.  She not only had a new bike with a lot of ‘bells and whistles” but she looked the ‘part’…biking shorts, biking shirt and some very cool shades. Me? I had on some workout shorts, t-shirt, helmet and an old bike that I paid $50 for from a thrift store. It is a dirt bike, work well and hey, a good starter bike after not riding a bike in YEARS….

I had my bike ‘thrown’ in the back of my SUV, she had an expensive bike rack. I didn’t have on bike gloves but she did so when we got out of our cars after arriving at the bike trail I was a little ‘intimdated’ but still willing and able to make this trip enjoyable…

So we’re off…she starts “gunning it’ right out of the parking lot….10MPH…and me? About 5MPH…I’m wanting to look ‘around’ because this is my first time being on the trail AND I’m a leisure kind of rider. I like to take it slow for the most part and switch gears to accommodate the hills. She was riding fast and after noticing that I was not behind her, she slowed down and waited on me to get to where she was. She felt bad for leaving me but I was fine…I told her, ”Don’t worry about me, I’m going at a slower pace but we both will arrive eventually which is the most important thing”…

And we DID! And in that moment God spoke to my spirit and said, ”There are a lot of people in competition with others and the only competition they should be in is with THEMSELVES if the desire is to be a better version of YOU.”

The Lesson(s):

  • The fancy biking outfit was cool but so was my not so fancy outfit because it didn’t affect the OUTCOME which was to finish the ride.
  • A couple of scriptures came to me:
    • 9:11 “I have seen something else under the sun: The race is not to the swift or the battle to the strong, nor does food come to the wise or wealth to the brilliant or favor to the learned; but time and chance happen to them all.”
    • Acts 20:24 “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.

So I say, take your time…go at your own pace….and If you don’t ‘stop’ you will finish!

 

Happy Trails!!!

 

photo

 

Xoxo Chiccy Baritone

 

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Who is Lecrae?

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image

Photography by Charlene Evans

 

The picture taken above was August 2, 2009 at “Rock the River” Tour in St. Louis, MO. The tour went through 5 cities along the Mississippi River.  This tour is a part of Billy Graham Ministries and they do these concerts/mini crusades to bring people to Jesus!

I had the distinct honor of being chosen to have a video produced from my original poems, “GAP” and “Lips Proverbs 18:21” which was shown on the tour! How exciting! So I traveled to St. Louis to check it all out and take it all in because prior to doing the videos, I had never heard of this tour until my good friend and poet Tavis Brunson suggested that the BGEA team check me out! (How cool is that! Shoutout to Tavis Brunson—AMAZING POET!)

Anywhoo….

The concert had numerous Christian artist that included Kirk Franklin, Canton Jones and Lecrae…

Who is Lecrae???

Well, Lecrae Moore, known as simply “Lecrae,” is Christian hip hop artist, record producer, and actor. He is the president, co-owner and co-founder of the independent record label Reach Records, and the co-founder and president of the non-profit organization ReachLife Ministries. To date, he has released seven studio albums and two mixtapes as a solo artist, and has released three studio albums, a remix album, and one EP as the leader of the rap group 116 Clique.

I heard about him only from his affiliation with Billy Graham Ministries while I was writing as a blogger for BGEA “Ransom” site http://www.ransom.tv/. This Christian Rapper was getting a lot of attention for not only his ministry on stage but off stage, this gentleman had a reputation of humility and thirst to reach young people for Jesus!

When he came onstage in St. Louis, the crowd went wild and I listened and watched his energetic performance as the crowd sung his songs almost on one accord…this dude was AMAZING! But what is not surprising me is the momentum of his ministry over the years!

So here we are and Lecrae made HISTORY this week by earning his first No. 1 on the Billboard album charts with seventh album Anomaly. I was so excited!!!  Then I begin thinking to myself, with all that is going on in the world, the Body of Christ has a voice that still rings LOUD. Numbers don’t lie (well at least not on their own) and when they represent someone that is getting the message of hope and faith out in their own authentic kind of way, representing Jesus Christ, that’s something to celebrate!

As an independent artist myself, I understand that everyone won’t gain the same attention or platform that Lecrae has had the opportunity to do but we all have an assignment that is no less greater. We are all a part of the same family and we want our family to succeed and be a beacon of light to the world. I truly celebrate his ministry and I’m propelled to strive for excellence in all that I do with Poetry. This achievement showed me something else….People (in this case young people) are hungry for Jesus and still desire to be fed inspiration through gospel music, and in this case Rap. There is a massive market that understand Lecrae and he is speaking their language. It’s the language of this generation, whether we like it or not. That is the Anomaly….and God has equipped him to be one of the many Christian voices to fill that GAP….

Congratulations my brother – in – CHRIST!

 

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