Brett (Excerpt from “Trapped” Chapter One)

After I got old enough to sit on my own, and then walk and feed myself—people for the most part left me alone.  It was almost as if I wasn’t even there—almost.  I was noticed if I got in someone’s way and shoved to the side.  I was noticed when I cried and sometimes my cries were quickly suppressed by the closest person to me.  I realized early in my life that no one was interested in hearing my voice—for any reason.  This was made abundantly clear when I started talking—the response I heard most was—“shut up!”   My mother tried, I guess to the best of her ability, but she was outnumbered and was not always around to see what was being done to me.  Left at the table unable to get down on my own, locked into the bathroom, unable to leave when I finished doing what I was supposed to do, and left out of feeling loved and wanted—because no one wanted me, not even my mother, I began to think.

As time moved forward and I began to sprout—up and outward—my brothers began to pay more attention to me than they should have.  They began touching me and making me squirm with the comments they made.  I told my sister and she just shrugged it off saying, “That’s the way they are.  They’ll stop sooner or later.”  My sister was three years older than I was so I thought she knew what she was talking about.  It turned out she didn’t.  The boys were all older than us—the oldest one was seven years older than me, the next one was five years older than me and then there was my sister. By the time I was ten—I had been molested by both of my brothers and no one believed me when I tried to tell it.  My sister just rolled her eyes, my mother didn’t have time to hear it, and my daddy—he looked at me real funny-like. Things got so bad; I simply stopped trying to talk and learned how to fight.  I left so many scratches and bite marks on them, they finally left me alone, but there I was—left to think that this is what life on the outside was all about.

Right after I turned twelve another trap was set for me.  My daddy finally noticed me—at least he noticed my budding bosom and started teasing me. At least I thought it was teasing me until he started touching me—telling me how pretty I was and how I was going to have to fight off the boys.  When he said that, I remembered thinking, “I’ve already had to fight off my brothers, how hard could it be?”  I was going to learn.

While Mama was at work one night—she worked two jobs; one during the day and one at night—my daddy decided to play a game with me.  It wasn’t a game that I liked since it involved him touching me and grinning at me.  I remember his eyes clouding over as if someone had turned on a fog machine and the fog lingered in his eyes and his fingers groping me in places where they should never have explored.  He always told me our game was a secret and no one else could know, but I didn’t trust him and I certainly didn’t like his game.  I tried telling my sister, but she just told me shut up and deal with it.  He had played the same game with her.  “And there’s no point in telling Mama,” she warned.  “I tried and she didn’t believe me.”  I found that hard to believe so I tried telling Mama.

“Shush, girl.” She said.  “You know yo daddy didn’t do nothin’.  He was just playin’ around with you.  He’s like that.”  She sighed and went to her room and went to sleep.

For two years, I endured “daddy’s game” until one night he forced himself upon me. I was a big girl, but I couldn’t keep him from entering me and when I screamed—he quickly covered my mouth so tight that I passed out.  I remember drifting off into another world where people wanted me and kept me safe.  When I woke up, the sheets on my bed were bloody and tangled and I screamed, and screamed until my mother came into the room.  All I could do was point and scream.  When she saw the blood, she visibly paled and walked out the room.  I couldn’t believe she just walked out—never attempting to comfort me or to reassure me things would be all right.  Her reaction unnerved me, but I finally got up and went to the bathroom to clean myself—horrified at the thought of my daddy had done to me.  Before I could get out of the bathroom, I heard the sound of pistol shot.  Terrified, at first I could not move, then when I heard my sister scream, I catapulted out the door.  I could not see anyone, but I could hear crying and as I walked down the hallway, I saw my daddy lying in the floor and my mama standing over him with a 45 revolver in her hand.  I didn’t even know we had a gun in the house.  I think she heard my stifled gasp and she turned around.

“I’m sorry.  I should have listened to you a long time ago.  He’ll never touch you again,” she said woodenly, tears streaming down her face. “I’m so sorry, I wish I could change things, but I know that I can’t, but I am truly sorry.” She stood there still holding the gun.  By the time we heard the sirens in the distance, she had already made up her mind.  She turned the gun on herself and pulled the trigger.

 

This excerpt from my latest book, Trapped, will be released by Mid-February through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Xlibris.com.  The book reveals the lives of nine women who feel trapped by circumstances, until they discover a way to overcome.  If you’d like to read more of this fantastic fiction, please stay tuned and don’t be afraid to offer some feedback.  Blessings to you!

 

Michigan Political Manipulation

Most states probably have foolish, irresponsible politicians making stupid decisions regarding the education of our children, but I think Michigan has to rise to the top of the list–of stupid.

In an era where public school students are the most deficient in the world (at least it seems that way), politicians, Aric Nesbitt (R) and Phil Potvin (R) have proposed House Bill 4072 and House Bill 4102, respectively, under the caption of “lowering high school standards” by eliminating foreign language requirements. There was another similar bill HB 4073, proposed by yet another politician–Edward McBroom (R) to reduce or revise the math, social sciences and physical education requirements so students can have more electives.  Does anyone else see a problem here?

The Republicans want to eliminate the courses that would help our students in a global academic environment and yet, they keep cutting funding for education so there a few to none electives for which they will provide adequate funding.

Let’s see if I have this right:  Dummy down the curriculum requirements, and let the students get fat and lazy so they can do… what?

I offer substantial corroboration as to why elected officials are more responsible for the failing schools dilemma than the teachers (they always blame) in my book, If Parents Cared Enough…Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read.  This is a must read for anyone concerned about the quality of education educations of all students.  The book is available through Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and Xlibris.com.  Get it today and help fight for the education of all children!

Beware The Enemy

The Word tells us that we are not ignorant of Satan’s devices (or his influences). When we read the Word with understanding, we come away with knowledge and insight to detect the enemy at work within our jobs, our homes, our community, and our nation.

The enemy’s job is to steal, kill, and destroy; he is the father of liars and a master of deception. And since we know that God is not the author of confusion, guess who is? If he can confuse, he can delude (tricking people) into seeing what is not or what is not, is. Know your enemy well; recognize him for who he is and how he influences. Don’t attempt to war with flesh for the Word tells us that “the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God in pulling down strongholds, casting down imaginations (delusions) and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” (2 Corinthians 10:4,5).

Do you recognize these traits illustrated in your loved ones: Are they stealing your joy by their behavior and conduct; are they killing the desire within you to promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ; are they attempting to destroy everything you have accomplished or dreamed; are they lying to you every chance they get, and are they attempting to deceive you with tricks because they think you’re stupid?

Don’t get mad at them, get mad at the devil and stomp on his head! Put your foot squarely on his neck and remind him that he has already been defeated and that you’re going to make sure he stays that way. Pray, praise, and pray some more. Pray in the natural and pray in the spirit—and teach your children how to recognize him as well and have them join in the prayer and praise fest—at home, in the car, on your job, in their school, wherever people are—expect the enemy’s influence to be present—but don’t give in to it. Recognize him at work and call him out on it. No weapon—none—that he can toss our way can in any way hurt us—unless we allow it. Glory to God in the highest! We praise You for the victory—in all things at all times. Hallelujah!

 

I Just Don’t Understand

How on earth can we as human beings disregard the life of another?

How can we maim, disfigure, and kill children and those we say, we once loved?

Why do we need an assault weapon to defend our homes when the truth of the matter is, if someone breaks in while we’re at home, the first shot will (for those with any sense) scare off any others?

Why does any sane person need more than gun in one household?

Are we so insecure within ourselves that we have to prove something to others?

What do we have to prove and why do we need to prove anything to anyone else?

Why would a mother leave two young children alone in a home at night?

Why couldn’t a neighbor be trusted to look after the children?

Are we so wicked that none can trust us to look after children to keep them from harm?

Why can’t fathers take care of their children? After all, the children did not make that decision to be created or born?

Why can’t mothers love and nurture the children they brought into this world?

Why must the media report everything so that everyone will know exactly how to undermine whatever is being planned?

Why can’t we–just love one another–care for one another–be respectful of one another–regard all life as sacred–be mindful of the fact that however we live our lives and how we do it, will determine our fate and what we will receive from others?

“Beloved, let us love one another.” If we love, we won’t hurt, discourage, kill, or disparage others. If we love–we will be loved. Tell someone today that you love them, while you yet have a chance!

Holiness

Not a Look—a Lifestyle

How does one live holy? As much as some people attempt to make it difficult or impossible, living holy is possible or God would not have asked us to do so. “But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy” (I Peter 1:15,16).

How does one define holiness? True holiness is defined by being as much like God as we can. We exhibit love for all, compassion for all, and a right relationship with God so that He may guide us in all that we do. If we refuse to obey His Word, we cannot be in a right relationship with God. We must also remember that we are not gods and we do not have the right to tell God what He can or cannot do either with others or through others.

Holiness is not defined by man’s inept legalism. If a woman is truly holy, her clothing will completely cover her extremities, her hair will be covered, and she will be void of make-up and jewelry. There are no specifics as to how to define how a man is holy as to how they should dress. So says legalism.

What is legalism? Legalism is the way of the Pharisees and the Scribes. These are the rules by which leaders determine who is holy and who is not. Legalism is another word for bondage. Bondage hinders and prohibits the Holy Spirit from directing and guiding an individual and keeps people controlled by other people. Jesus warns us in The Word when talking about the Pharisees, ”Thus you are nullifying and making void and of no effect [the authority of] the Word of God through your tradition, which you [in turn] hand on. And many things of this kind you are doing” (Mark 7:13 Amplified). In this particular passage He is referring to how the Pharisees attempt to control men as it relates to the care of their parents. It also holds true for much of the church world.

How many rules does a church have?

1) There are rules for dressing in order to come into the sanctuary.

2) There are rules for committing a portion of one’s income to support the church.

3) There are rules for what one can do outside the church building.

4) There are rules for whom one can hold associations or affiliations.

5) There are rules for when to come to church.

6) There are rules for who can teach or preach.

7) There are rules for where one can sit in the church.

8) There are rules for the women.

9) There are rules for the men.

10) There rules for the young people.

11) There are rules for the rules.

 

(excerpt–Holiness–not a Look, but a Lifestyle)

On That Day

Without a conscience–the soul has no chance on That Day. When we leave here–the earth realm–our spirit goes back to God, our bodies return to dust, and the soul is preserved for judgment on That Day. Seek God and invite the Holy Spirit in to dwell within the temple (your body) so that a conscience is developed and a soul is saved on That Day–for all eternity. Help us Holy Spirit to hear Your sweet, gentle voice so we may give a hearty praise unto The Lord–always! Glory to God!

Loving Parents Cry for Their Children When…

How many times have we cried for our children when we were disappointed with their behavior, their lifestyles, their public conduct, their choices?

If we cry about the things that our children do that disappoint us, is God crying when we disappoint Him?

I posted something earlier today about, I made God cry, and I was going to end it there, but the Holy Spirit would not let me rest. A few days ago, while teaching a class, I had an opportunity to witness to a young lady who is struggling with sexual sin. After the class was dismissed, she told me that something I had said during the class had ignited something within her, but she didn’t know how to change her desires–which apparently overruled her sense of righteousness. I listened and tried to explain how I had overcome by finding something else–something constructive to do when those urges plagued me. That wasn’t enough. Finally, I had to share something with her that I had not shared with anyone before. I had reached a place in my walk of faith and in my relationship with God (my Daddy) where I realized I did not want to see Him crying over me. I explained to her that I had actually visualized my Daddy, sitting on His throne, shaking His head sadly and I watched the tears fall. He was commiserating over my behavior. While I watched Him cry, I understood the tears were because He loved and only wanted the very best for me. Since then, I have not wanted my Daddy to cry over the things I do. I want Him to rejoice over the things I do and for that reason–I try with everything in me-to be obedient–whether it makes my flesh feel good or not. I have learned that obedience is better than sacrifice. Before we left the classroom–her face was bathed in tears–but she said she had never felt happier or lighter (burdens lifted).

I will not sacrifice my relationship with my loving Father in order to pacify flesh or fleshly desires. We are all coming to a place where on That Day…we will stand before Him and receive the pronouncement that indicates the type of ambassador we truly were. I don’t know about you, but all I want to hear is “well done, my beloved child.”

When we love our children, we cry over their mistakes made in life, their choices, and pray that they will come to a place in their lives where they realize–they must make better choices–and they can only do that if they have a right relationship with God. I’m not talking about just going to church or being in a certain ministry. I’m talking about having a loving relationship with God that requires us to acknowledge when we screwed things up and to receive correction. When we acknowledge where we are–God can and will guide us lovingly–to the path of correction and blessings He has for us.

I don’t know about you, but I love my children and I have cried myself to sleep many nights–concerned and disappointed by the choices they made–and I have not stopped crying or praying, yet. They know I love them, I just hope I live long enough to see them love me that much in return. It is really, all about love. When we truly love–we do not wish to hurt or cause pain to the one who loves us.

How much do you love God today? Enough to cease making Him cry? I hope so. Because He loved us enough to die for us, we should love Him enough to live (righteously) for Him!

If Parents Cared Enough…: Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read by Mary M. Hall-Rayford

If Parents Cared Enough…: Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read by Mary M. Hall-Rayford.

If Parents Cared Enough…: Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read by Mary M. Hall-Rayford

If Parents Cared Enough…: Johnny and Juaneshia Could Read by Mary M. Hall-Rayford.

Plight of Teachers

In one school district in Michigan, teachers are being shoved about Imageand moved around like pawns on a chessboard and there is no outcry from outraged parents; especially since the children are the victims of the incompetency prevailing through what is normally called, “human resources”.  This department needs to change its name to “inhumane resources”.  That would be a more apt description for what they provide.  This is “almost” the end of the first semester and teachers are moved from classrooms where they have “almost” developed a relationship with students and the students have “almost” connected with their teachers.  Now that connection has been broken and knowing the students the way I do, the next teacher they have is really going to catch it.

Parents, where is the outrage?  Why don’t you care enough about your children to file a class-action lawsuit against Detroit Public Schools for disrupting your child’s education, perpetuating a constant state of failure, and total disregard for the process of educating inner city students?

Students in Detroit–if your teacher has recently been transferred–revolt and demand the district to consider your needs, first and foremost.

DPS–Dumbfounded, Perplexed and Stultified–refusing to “see” themselves as the culprits for failing schools and always laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of the teachers who do not make foolish decisions and do not have any control over the ineptness constantly displayed by those who are at the helm.

It’s time to wake up folks if success is ever going to be possible for this district and its students!