Saturday, August 29, 2015

Our Help Comes From The Lord




Often times we work ourselves up over nothing. Anxiety creeps in and the next thing you know, everything you thought was important has magnified to a full blown hurricane. I know I am not alone. I have come to the realization that I am my own worst enemy and if not properly addressed, I will no doubt self-destruct by ushering in depression, stress, fatigue, heart palpitations, headaches, and more. The devil is a lie on that.

In the past few months I have allowed myself to mentally self-destruct. Emotions on high alert. Patience is on an extended vacation, and lets not talk about tolerance for the mundane and pointless tasks. Yeah, I am not having it. Either it works or it doesn’t. Either you have a solution or miss me with the problem, especially if the problem has been talked about for what, a few years now. I am gone.

I am being transparent in the fact that I am not one of the gossip girls, chatty Cathy types. You won’t find me entertaining too much or too many. My introverted personality will not participate. The OCD in me will no doubt stomp its foot in protest and send me totally over the edge to anxiety-ville. Shoot, I am a control freak in my own world. I am a perfectionist in my world and the processing part of my brain is way past what it heard or thought and has moved at the speed of light to a solution. Period. Solution.

Psalm 121
A song for pilgrims ascending to Jerusalem.

I look up to the mountains—
    does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth!
He will not let you stumble;
    the one who watches over you will not slumber.
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
    never slumbers or sleeps.
The Lord himself watches over you!
    The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
    nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm
    and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
    both now and forever

Our help comes from the Lord above and I praise God for Who He Is.  We only exhausts ourselves mentally, physically and emotionally. We must look to Him for direction and peace. We must do what the word of God says to do in Philippians 4:6, be anxious for nothing. Period. Stop right there and say that again, be anxious for nothing. We must get in a position of stillness and submit our cares to Him. We must start our day and end our nights with giving God praise and allowing Him to be our center.

With the holidays sliding in, we will all be tossed to and fro. Take some time now to get centered and to usher in Gods peace with praise. Our help comes from the Lord.

 

Saturday, August 22, 2015

A Heart Of Gratefulness


 
 
Looking back at my life as I often do, maybe too often, I am always making sure to give praise to God for all that He has done for me. I thank Him for the smallest gifts and the not so small. I look around at the world and in seeing the chaos, I thank Him for His protection. Watching the news and seeing all that ugly, I am still thankful. Every day that we wake, leave out homes, drive in our cars, or walk into buildings, we are subject to a life changing event. Every day that we walk in grocery stores, shopping malls, and movie theaters, we are subject to be hurt or killed.  Have you really thought about that?

As I look back, I also have to be thankful for all of the dark and heart breaking things. It is in those heart breaking moments that we learn our strength and power. Many of us rise to the occasion of struggles and hardship. Many of us run from them as best one can, but never really escaping for in those hardships we learn a valuable lesson of faith and endurance. We learn through scripture and by the validation of those scriptures, that we will have hardship and that those hardships are valuable tests of our faith.

Psalm 138:1-3 NLT: 1. I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart: I will sing your praises before the gods. 2. I bow before the holy Temple as I worship. I will give thanks to your name for your unfailing love and faithfulness, because your promises are backed by all the honor of your name. 3. When I pray, you answer me you encourage me by giving me the strength I need.

I thank God that I can stand today saying through God’s power I am victorious. I am thankful to look back over the many years of being a child, a mother, an employee, a friend, that I made it. That I am still here and say OOOWWEEEEE that was close. I can smile at the fact that some of the hardships I faced were my fault and had nothing to do with the devil yet, it was the devil in me as my mother would say.

I encourage you to mount up as eagles and not become distracted by the hardships, and if you have not had any, you will. Do not allow yourself to speak negatively about those hardships because what you speak comes to life. If you speak hatred, it lives. If you speak foul, it lives. It you speak revenge, it lives. Our mouths can either give life or take it. So, when you see or feel the hardships coming, brace yourself and bow down to the Father of grace and mercy and praise Him. Brace yourself in the tests and trials of this fleshly life and be confident that no matter what, you are a survivor, you are victorious. You my sister and brother are a winner.  Be grateful for it all.

 

Be Blessed

 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Meet Keith Kareem Williams


 

 
Welcome. Meet August’s author of the month, Keith Kareem Williams. This author is very new to me. I read my first book penned by Keith called, Tourniquet and it was very intriguing. I was drawn to this author for a number of reasons. Keith is a single father and not just of 1 child but of 3. This was refreshing. The issues with parenthood alone is a very hard task no matter who is parenting, but for a male to stand up and take on the responsibility head on is like music to my ears. Our children are lacking positive roles male models and Keith is no doubt the major influence in his children’s lives, in his community of Brooklyn, New York, and beyond. For the dedication he has for his children, the responsibility that he takes head on without complaint, and the joy that I see that he has for his craft of writing.  Without further delay, let’s give a huge shout of welcome to, Keith Kareem Williams.


Bio:


Keith Kareem Williams is the author of 9 books and currently working on his 10th. He still resides in his hometown of Brooklyn, New York where he delicately balances his time between his responsibilities as a single father as well as the challenges of being a full-time author.

“In interviews, one of the most difficult questions I’ve been asked is, ‘What genre are your novels?’ because honestly, I never write with any particular style in mind. I enjoy blending style and mashing different genres together in interesting ways. Basically, I pen whatever is in my heart and soul. However, if I had to describe my style I would use musical terms and say that I write Urban, Hip-Hop, fiction with the rhythm of Reggae that crashed into Heavy Metal and then began to bleed Neo Soul.”

One of the things I’m most proud of is how my children look at me with pride because I’m accomplishing my goals and doing the things I set out to do with my career. They recognize and respect my passion. I write constantly and I already have the titles& plots lined up for my next 54 novels. This is what I do and I’m just trying to let the rest of the world know this. My ambition is to become as legendary as some of the writers I admire. I believe that a GOOD writer pulls you into their story. A GREAT writer makes the world around fall away as you read. The LEGENDARY writers tell stories that become a part of you and linger long after you’ve read the last line of the last chapter. It was once said that, the pen is mightier than the sword. I say to my fellow AUTHORS: Let’s advance our craft until it’s mightier than then guns, grenades, bullets & nuclear bombs. If not, then put your pen down and fall back. Those of us who are serious about this will run you over as if we were riding in tanks.

I asked Keith some questions and here is what he has shared:

When did you first consider yourself a writer?  I believe I first started to feel like a writer when I started making up my own stories as a kid and writing them down. I couldn’t have been more than five or six years old. My mother taught me how to read at age three.

What inspired you to write your first book? The environment I grew up in inspired the storyline of my fist book, but a fiction workshop I took in my 2nd semester in college is the reason why I wrote “Water Flows Under Doors.” After sitting quietly in class, without saying a word in the first few weeks as I listened to my classmates share their writing, I realized that I would have to write something to get a decent grade. I went home one afternoon after school and wrote for twelve hours straight. (From 2:30pm in the afternoon to 2:30am) The next day in class I read what would eventually become the first two chapters of my first book and the class, including the professor, encouraged me to turn it into a full-length novel.

What books have most influenced your life most?  It would be impossible for me to credit just one book because I’ve been influenced by almost everything I’ve read. That is probably why I’m able to write in any genre and also mix them when the mood takes me. I will say that ‘Their Eyes Were Watching god” by Zora Neale Hurston influenced and inspired me to write a story that details “where I’m from” if you will. Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man” influenced my use of metaphors in my stories.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? I really can’t say that I have a favorite author. My favorites change from book to book. I just enjoy creative, unique, well-written literature.

Did you learn anything form writing your book and what was it? I learned that I have a unique view of the world and a creative way to express that. I was tempted to write a typical story, the type that was commonplace and popular but I took a change and wrote exactly what I wanted to, in the way I wanted to do it. I learned the readers are always thirsty and hungry for a fresh voice. The feedback from those reads about my first book let me know that I AM that.

Do you have any advice for other writers?  Take the craft of writing seriously. Being able to read and write does not necessarily qualify you as a great, or even decent writer. There’s are and craftsmanship involved and neither should be taken lightly. (Just because I can hit a jump-shop on the basketball court does not mean I belong in the NBA. Years of grueling work and sacrifice went into those athletes’ careers.) Writing is no different. Learn your craft. Also, write every day, even if it’s just a page or two. Waiting for inspiration is a dangerous game. Pick up your pen and the inspiration will come. Your creativity is just like any other muscle in your body. The more you use it is the stronger it becomes.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? To the readers that already follow me work, I’d like to thank them for the continued support. I would love for them to SHARE me with their reader friends more often though. They tend to try to keep me to themselves. For the readers who haven’t read any of my books yet, I’d like to tell them that they should. Most of the people who pick up my catalog, I put the same energy and effort into everything.  I write and I always deliver something fresh for you to enjoy.

What do you enjoy most about connecting with your readers? I really enjoy the interaction. I don’t have “fans” because I consider those folks friends. We don’t just discuss books. Often, we discuss life in general. I think that’s why they try to keep me to themselves sometimes. Who in the world is eager to share their friends?

 

Sample From, Tourniquet
Safe Inside Insanity
Chapter 9

“I thought you were going home to satay with your sisters?” Gavin asked, shocked to find Angela back at his place, curled up like a kitten on the futon.
He’d just got home from work so tired that he almost thought it might be a dream. When she humped up, rushed to him at the door and hugged him, he knew it was real.
“I need to be here with your tonight,” she told him and squeezed him so tightly that she nearly smothered him.
“You know you can be here anytime you want. I’ll always be here for you,” he reassured her.

For the rest of the night, they lay in the bed together but didn’t exchanged words. The voices inside Gavin’s head had been silenced as her head lay on his chest and Angela didn’t have to worry about unwanted hands or eyes on her body. She was sage and he was sane, at least for the moment. Sleep didn’t come easily for either one of them. They both drifted in and out of dreamland in shifts, almost ask if they instinctively watched over one another. At any moment, Angela expected the police to knock on the door looking to put her in handcuffs for assaulting her stepfather and Gavin waited for his ghosts to begin to torment him as they usually did whenever it was quiet.

 
Connect With Keith

Twitter:  @reemafterdark
Blog:       www.thegullygodchronicles.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/keithkareemwilliam
Instagram:  @reemafterdark

 
Novels by Keith Kareem Williams

Water Flows Under Doors                                2004
Open Spaces                                                      2010
Sometimes Brooklyn, Mostly Mars                  2011
Glass Goddesses, Concrete Walls                     2012
War Angel                                                         2013
War Angel II: Where Angels Fear To Tread    2014
Tourniquet                                                         2014  

 
Short Stories Featured In Anthologies

The Prerequisites of Perdition: Written for Crossroads – An Anthology
Galerie Erotique: Written for Eros 369 Volume III
Bring Me Back: Written for Untapped – Collection of Erotic Firsts

Thank you for stopping by. I hope your enjoyed learning about this talented author as much as I did. Make sure to connect with Keith and pick up your next great read.

Be Blessed

 

 
 

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Let Us Remember



My mind consistently replay the horrible events from the past few years. Lives taken so suddenly, some without cause, many without remorse. Children killed by their parents or as a result of senseless violence. No one is born with fear. No one is born with hate and malice in their hearts.

My first experience with hatred due to the color of my skin was when the movie, Roots was aired. My mother, great aunt, and myself were gathered around the Packard Bell wall to wall floor model television and I remember the silence in the room. I remember my mother leaving the room when the whippings started.  Of course up until then I knew nothing of the hatred and slavery that took place. I learned at that time that this was my history as an African American child.  Nothing about segregation and the men beaten for sitting at the lunch counter. Nothing of the 5 little black girls killed in church. I knew nothing of water fountains marked, for whites only and for blacks only. I knew nothing of colored use the back doors. I had no awareness of dogs being used to attack black marchers until, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, JR, Malcom X, and so many more due to the color of their skin.

I surmise that my parents tried to shield me from what was really going on by providing the best stable environment possible. Shield me from the abuse that they knew very well. But, on that day when Roots was being televised, I walked to our corner store to get some penny candy with my dimes my uncle had given me. On my way back to the house, happy as can be, some white men in a green two door car, I think 3 of them slowed up by me and hollered, go back to Africa nigger. That was my first taste of racism. And let me tell you as a child who had never experienced this, it scared the life out of me.  I finished watching that movie more closely and watched people even closer. I think that is when I began my journey at being a loner. I grew up in a mixed community. Everyone was nice, everyone watched out for everyone, it was a village and every adult was the village leader. But yet, something was different.

When I started having children, I vowed to not shield them from anything. I vowed to do my best to keep them aware of issues that could affect them be it real or imagined.  My sons who are now 35 and 32 did experience racism in Junior High and High school.  They were literally chased and threatened. As I think back on that day, God was with my sons. My youngest son who was a severe asthmatic, if he had not of ran to a friend’s house, I don’t want to think of what could have happened to him. Thank you Lord. On this day, I came home early. I had a habit of popping up on them. And on this day I praise God that I did. It was horrible. My sons have had to endure other hardships such as gang violence and turf wars. They have been shot at and though they are not participants today, they are city and state employees, they are fathers, and I blessed to see them grow and rise to the occasion of being black men.

Fast forward to today. The issues of race and mediocrity still exists. Many things have changed and to be honest I don’t see it getting better but worse. I see a fight for dear life as the marches continue, the rally cries for justice and peace.  When will it stop? When Christ returns. The only thing we can do as a unit is continue to raise our children and grandchildren with awareness and self-respect of who they are, to teach them that they have a voice, that they have rights, and to show by example the steps they will need to take. As we march towards the end of 2015, we will have to be ever so mindful and not forget the many who have lost their lives and lastly to pray. We must not stop praying. We must not stop raising our voices for change. In doing so rest assured that this too shall pass.

Let us not forget those who have lost their lives senselessly. Let us keep their faces in our minds and hearts. Let us increase voter registration and then make sure to use that right. Continue to speak out against injustice. We shall overcome as long as we do not remain silent. All of us must stand united, hand in hand, prayer by prayer, and voice by voice.  We must be present and aware. We must not close our eyes and ignore what is right in front of our faces. We must remain vigilant. Remember, violence begets violence.
 
Be Blessed