My book Detroit’s Lost Poletown—sold out already?!!

My book released yesterday and it’s already sold out online at Barnes and Noble, Target and Amazon! This came as a shock to me, but a lot of people told me they preordered it. I hope its success will continue, and it pays honorable homage to the neighborhood and the people impacted by its razing. Thank you to all who preordered the book and plan to get it from their local bookshop! 💕

The book of Zechariah

“…’Return to me,’ declares the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will return to you,’…” (Zechariah 1:3)

Zechariah is another prophet. He and the prophet Haggai (see yesterday’s post) are both trying to encourage the people to complete Jerusalem’s temple, but the people keep getting distracted by other things. Sounds a lot like when God calls us to do something, but OUR plans take over or we are sidetracked and veer off God’s path. Zechariah was there to herd the people back to finish what they started.

Kind of like me finishing these Bible posts for the entire Bible. I said I was going to do it, so here I am finishing what I was called to do. Now there are only two posts left until we’ve done them all! Whether they helped you or not I’m thankful to all of you who have supported me in this endeavor. I enjoyed this journey probably more than anyone else. 🙃And I do encourage everyone to read the Bible, especially if it’s something that is nagging you–that might be God calling!

Not only is it a great goal to read the whole thing, but it is also great protection against people who use the Bible as a way to spread hate and fear. If you’ve read it, you can set many people straight (including yourself) and possibly inspire with your knowledge of Christ as love and mercy. It is better than sitting back allowing the world to fester in its own lie (fear and hate), as I did for so many years, almost to the point where I started to believe the lie myself. Get back to building that temple inside of you! 😄

Paul’s 1st Letter to the Corinthians

“Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh…three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Saint Paul is so good and his words so powerful that I did not think this needed any additional stuff from me. No explanation is needed.
Who doesn’t love Saint Paul the Apostle?

The book of 1 & 2 Thessalonians

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances, for this, is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” –(1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

This first letter from Paul to the Thessalonians was misinterpreted. So he wrote a second letter (2 Thessalonians) to urge them to quit their idleness and get to work as some in the church had heard Paul’s first message and stopped working just to wait for the Lord’s second coming. They had become a burden to their church because the church had begun to support them. It is the same when the angels told the disciples to stop gazing at the sky when Jesus was lifted to heaven (Acts 1:11). They needed to take Christ with them everywhere they went as they worked and as they played. Study and prayer in solitude is an excellent way to center yourself in God, but then we must take God with us out into the world. And when we are out mingling with people, we learn a lot of lessons, more lessons, about ourselves especially, than if we were studying scripture alone all the time. It is one of the reasons group Bible study can be good, people learn more from others than from themselves. Who knows, you may be the eyes that group needs to see a verse interpreted in a different light.

The Life of Saint Dominic

St. Dominic is the saint who, according to Catholic writings, was given the vision of the rosary by the Blessed Mother. I’m reading this to delve more into the history of the rosary, but also out of pure interest. I have been studying prayer lately for the class I’m in, centering prayer in particular, which is similar in meditation to that of the rosary. Centering prayer however is a prayer of quiet and the rosary, according to tradition, should be said aloud, though I believe many rules about religion were made to be broken and so I say much of it in whispers or silence. I have heard this book by Drane is hard to read for some because the language is a little old fashion, but I read stuff like that all the time so it might be OK. If anyone knows of a better version of his life let me know. 😄

The books of John

“…God is light; in him there is no darkness at all.” (1 John 1:5)

 Anyone out there afraid of the dark? When I was going through a tough time my grief manifested itself in anxiety. As soon as the sun went down the wolf, as I called it, began to hunt me, and I was terrified almost every night. I could not see clearly; all my thoughts were too muddled to see my way out of it. 

There is a phrase soldiers use called ‘the fog of war’. Popularized by Stephen Crane’s The Red Badge of Courage, it’s a term which refers to the clarity of vision that disappears when we must fight for our lives. It’s often used in recollections of warfare and battlegrounds, but the fog of war can begin its seeping journey into our homes and minds if ignited by fear or anger. It is the reason we cannot see our way out of “attacks” of the mind. So how do we remedy this and possibly cure ourselves of this affliction?

I experienced this in another form last week when they tore yet another perfect old home down in my neighborhood. I Facebook vented (something I never do) with pictures and words and received many comments from people who agreed with me. I then sent the whole correspondence and post to the City (names blacked out). In this moment I was fueled by anger and though I felt I was fighting for a certain justice, I found it hard to navigate with the compass of truth and love, and I know this because I began to think dualistically, them vs me, good guy vs bad guy. I think this is because I did not bring God/Christ into the fight with me, I sort of left God behind and went on my own fuel and thought I was alone in it or needed to do it alone. We must bring God/Christ into these fights with us, every fight, and by Him we will be guided and the fog, the darkness which blinds us will dissipate and we’ll see our way out. 

 

Sharing food and stories of the American enslaved with Michael W. Twitty & The Cooking Gene

Join me at the table: A Food study into African American history and food culture with Michael W. Twitty.

Using the recipes from his book, @thecookinggene traces the food of the enslaved in America and how that food has traveled and morphed through time and the world. Very eye-opening for me. The book traces his family history from Ghana and Sierra Leone to the plantations of Virginia and South Carolina. I cooked some of the food and read some quotes from his book too, and shared his food & his stories with my family. This was one of the best meals I’ve ever made, everything was so good and perfectly seasoned via his recipes. Forgot to take photos throughout, so here are the remnants. Everything was so good! 💕

I think it’s important to re-educated ourselves and each other right now. This was my little way with more to come!!

“When you are oppressed, how you survive your oppression is your greatest form of cultural capital. “ —Michael W. Twitty

Tonight’s menu included, corn bread, watermelon, African soul fried rice with black eyed peas and red rice (a nutritional heirloom rice he discusses a little), sautéed collard greens, sorghum molasses brined chicken roasted by wrapping it in cabbage. For dessert, chicory coffee and Twitty’s mother’s apple crisp. 😋

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The book of 1 Timothy

“For we brought nothing into the world and we can take nothing out of it.” ( 1 Timothy 6:7)

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We came into this world naked. Our souls encapsulated in a body not of our own choosing so we can learn lessons from the journey of that body and it’s DNA, lessons built only for us. And the body is privy to certain things of the world, but the soul always thirsts for God. The further from God the more sickly our soul becomes. The more we embed our lives with God the less time we will want to spend away from Him. But the less time we spend with Him the more we will push Him away, and by this time we have a tiny feeling he will reject us if we return to Him or we won’t enjoy our time with Him because He has become so foreign and incomprehensible. I think we must realize our nakedness and live into our nakedness with Christ. The wealth of the soul is all that matters, and this wealth is of things not of this world, invisible to the eye, and felt only in the heart

Confessions of Saint Augustine

I had to track this down. It was recommended by Thomas Merton, and I think it led in part to his conversion. F. J. Sheed’s translation is supposed to be the best. I’ve read compared to other translations Sheed kept the words of Saint Augustine alive and breathing, rather than dead. I’m very excited to read this! . Plus it was mailed with an old letter in German still stuck inside from the 60’s. .

Sharing my Gwen Frostic Collection

I have a collection of Gwen Frostic poems and prints. Some she has signed. If you don’t know about her, she is a poet and artist who lived in the upper part of Michigan and had a little print shop all her own. She is quite famous around here. She used nature for contemplation and found a lot of inspiration with the birds, trees, seasons. During quarantine I too have been finding my own way of contemplation through whittling. Since I was little I always wanted to try it. I stain wood a lot using a variety of layering colors so carving it was the next learning step I guess. If you swipe 👉 you will see my second creation, St. Therese of Lisieux. She typically holds flowers and the rosary. I still have much to learn but I’m having fun. What has inspired you during this time of reflection? .