The Clean Up Woman (or Man)

As I think about the many resolutions people are making this week, the word that comes to the forefront of my mind is “clean.” I’ve blogged about my self-imposed challenge to eat clean, and a lot of people are thinking about cleaning up their act or their life in various ways, usually in setting new goals or re-establishing neglected ones. A few popular ones are:

girl-listening-to-music-sofa
Original source: Upwallpapers

Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

– Psalm 139:23-24

Now for a silly question: Would you consider going weeks or months without taking a shower or a bath? I doubt it–you don’t want your body to be dirty and stinky. So why is it ok when we let our minds get dirty and stinky with the polluted images, music and messages we take in day after day? When we let our minds and hearts get filled with thoughts of lust, envy, discontent, greed, and so on, it affects us in a negative way–even if you don’t realize it. It affects how we behave, what we say, where we go, and who we talk to. It fuels our goals. It becomes a part of who we are. And if you’re a believer, it affects your relationship with God. You can’t witness as effectively with if your spirit is filled with pollution.

drinking-dirty-H20_GreenJungle
Original source: Green Jungle

Sometimes the pace of life is just a little too fast, and we don’t reflect enough. I challenge you to take a break from something or someone that is polluting your mind or your life. With clarity of mind, you can allow the Spirit to tell you what you need to do about that situation, and how to proceed from there.

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
– Psalm 51:10
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Tribute: This One’s for Chris

I remember how I felt when Michael Jackson died on June 25, 2009. It wasn’t much different when Whitney Houston left this earth on February 11, 2012. Even though I am just a fan of theirs and grew up with their music like so many of us, it hurt my heart to find out not only that they each died at a relatively young age, but also the circumstances of their deaths. On the day after MJ’s passing, I reached out to many friends I haven’t heard from in years. And one might think that I would do the same with Whitney’s death– start to reach out to people who I haven’t talked to in a while and just reconnect. I often go through my phone and call folks during New Years week, but I was caught up in my book release to-do list and didn’t get to everyone.

 

If Only…

For some reason, although it crossed my mind to call my friend Chris, who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer in June 2011–or hit him up on Facebook– I didn’t. But oh how I wish I did. Continue reading “Tribute: This One’s for Chris”

Teachings from the Temple of Tyrese

Tyrese Gibson's book cover

Yesterday, Spelman College and Written Magazine  presented “A Conversation with Tyrese” at the Sister’s Chapel at Spelman. Written’s publisher Michelle Gipson conducted the 80-min interview with singer/actor Tyrese Gibson about his new book, How to Get Out of Your Own Way (Grand Central Publishing, 2011), a memoir/self-help book. Journalist and CNN commentator Jack Johnson joined them onstage as well. Gipson encouraged audience members (Spelman students, grown women, and a few men!) to submit questions on notecards or tweet with the hashtag #WritMagAskTyrese.
Note: This post is written almost like a full-featured magazine article, except that I’ve also included my own thoughts and explanations to provide context. So it’s long, even though I left some things out. . . but I think you’ll enjoy it regardless.

The Entrance

It’s no surprise that when the tall, dark, and dapper 32-year-old Tyrese appeared onstage, the girls went crazy with screams and frantic camera-phone picture-taking. It took awhile before he could speak–partly because of the love from the crowd, and partly because he was nervous. But after his initial “Hello,” the girls (and Tyrese) were able to collect themselves, and I was able to take more than three pages of notes to capture teachings from “The Temple of Tyrese,” as Jet magazine called it in their April 4, 2011 issue.
Continue reading “Teachings from the Temple of Tyrese”