Faith – Soul Rhythms A Black Woman's Take on A Life of Faith Wed, 06 Feb 2013 17:04:02 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Embracing this season of change with prayer Wed, 12 Oct 2011 22:44:36 +0000 Related posts:
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During one of my walks recently, I strolled among the gardens at the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in Northeast Washington. It is one of my favorite spots for a quiet prayerful walk. There was more activity on Saturday than I cared for but the visitors were generally subdued in their conversations, so I could still enjoy my solitude as I walked with my heart open to receive fresh insight from God.

My hour-long sojourn took me along the hilly paths and though the valley where a photographer was staging photos of a bride and groom. The sun shone warmly on the wild flowers and pink roses near the couple and some of the surrounding trees displayed their changing colors. I paused to examine the ripe pomegranates hanging from a tree, while recalling childhood memories of cracking open the fruit and savoring its sweet juice.

Near the end of my walk, I stopped to take pictures of red and yellow rose bushes that seem to be hanging on to the last vestiges of their once glorious life. After taking a picture of a yellow rose, something crystallized for me that led me to see in that moment that the rose and I shared a similar circumstance. We both were living through a season of change in our lives and getting ready to transition to the next thing. One season was ending and making room for something new to eventually bloom. The rose bush at least knew that its process would take it through dormancy for several months before it new buds began to show.

But I am not sure yet what I am transitioning to, and that’s okay with me. Three years ago, I stretched pretty quickly from working more than 30 years as a journalist to becoming a partner in an upstart business and then also assuming a volunteer leadership role in a religious organization. (A role that seemed at times like a full-time job.). Their seasons, at least in their current iterations, are almost over. As I look back,I recognize that both those opportunities have helped me grow in ways I had not imagined before being involved in them.

I am ready to embrace the change that is coming to my life; eager to see what new paths God will lead me on. Ready to live what God is calling me to be. Since seeing the fading roses, I have been thinking a lot about change and what it means for me and for those around me. One of the things that my own life has taught me is that when one season ends another surely begins and that we get to determine if the new season will be fruitful or fallow. Prayer, especially listening to God, has become key for me during such times, and it is one of the suggestions I readily make to those I talk with who are going through–or stuck in– their own transitions.

The Bible in Ecclesiastes tells us, “To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.”

As I pray about my own changes, I also am praying for relatives and friends who are experiencing rough patches in their lives right now; those for whom long-ago hurts bring present pain; those whose physical ailments seem to last from one season to the next; and those who are about to begin their lives anew. This is a hard season for many because of unemployment, financial hardships and lingering grief. I am praying that during this period of their lives they will draw closer to God, the ultimate change agent.

My prayers today include this one from found in Philippians 4 : 6-7  as written in the book, Praying Paul’s Letters from Elmer L. Towns:

”Lord, I won’t worry about anything,

But I’ll pray to You about everything.

And I’ll be thankful for all things that happen.

Then, Your peace will guard my heart and mind

Because the presence of Christ Jesus in my life

Surpasses anything that could ever understand.” Amen

If you are going through your own season of change right now, don’t worry. Pray.


When we think God says no… Thu, 29 Sep 2011 20:19:10 +0000 Related posts:
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I have been praying hard for the last couple of weeks while trying to make something happen that I needed to happen in a right-now-Lord kind of a way. A couple of times I came at the Lord like the stubborn widow in the Bible parable who pestered the unjust judge so much that he just threw up his hand and said yes, yes to her entreaty.

I kept telling myself if I prayed hard enough God would move in my situation and blast the obstacles out of my way, especially since it was me praying. He knows I’ve been striving to be more intentional with my praying this year and not coming to Him with a lot of pesky self-centered petitions. “So this is the one, Lord, answer it please,” I prayed.

In the midst of this, I received a long distance call last week from my original best friend, whom I had not spoken with for weeks. In a quick conversation, she said she had a dream about me being upset about something. “God said it’s taken care of,” she told me. A sense of relief flooded me. But as the days went on my situation did not change; what I had expected to happen on Monday did not happen, neither did it happen on Tuesday. (I choose not to be more specific because it involves other people, but suffice it to say, I needed my prayers answered in a hurry because other people were depending on a positive outcome to the situation for which I was praying.)

By now I was convinced that God was giving a resounding NO to my prayers. The situation was still in flux and had not been resolved in the time promised, and I couldn’t bear to think of disappointing the others. Just as I was lamenting all of this Tuesday, God cracked open another door for me to walk into, and I am amazed at the speed at which I was able to accomplish in 24 hours what I have not been able to do in three months. There are still a few wrinkles to iron out but I can certainly testify that God is faithful to His word.

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

Yesterday while sitting at my desk and trying to finish one of several assignments, I gave into my easily distracted mind and picked up a little gift book that a friend gave me for my birthday. While flipping through the pages several quotes immediately grabbed my attention.

“No problem is so big that it won’t fit in God’s hand.”  Suzanne Berry

“Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better living.”  Henry Ward Beecher

“Out of difficulties grow miracles.”  Jean de la Bruyere

Much later in the day I fixed my eyes more firmly on the title of the book, “God always has a Plan B.”  I smiled.

Could it be that sometimes when what we perceived as God saying no is actually Him letting us know He has a different plan to see us out of our situation? I had to be reminded this week that worrying and praying at the same time doesn’t work. Trusting and listening to God in prayer works wonders.


“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,

nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.

“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are My ways higher than your ways,

and My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Isaiah 55: 8-9 NKJV




Praying for Troy Davis and for the two faces of justice Wed, 21 Sep 2011 21:52:44 +0000 Related posts:
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In places near and far today people are praying for Troy Davis, the death row inmate who is scheduled to die by lethal injection at 7 p.m. tonight in a Georgia prison. With one last ditch appeal filed this morning, nothing short of a miracle is expected to save Troy Davis’s life now. Pray.

Ben Jealous, the president of the NAACP, is asking that people stand together to pray and fast this evening.

“Ask friends to meet up. Ask your family to fast Wednesday evening in solidarity with Troy’s family and use the dinner hour to talk. Ask your faith community, if they already have a Wednesday night fellowship planned, to make time for conversation about Troy’s scheduled execution,” Jealous said in a letter to supporters. (Photo from ABC News)

“However you do it, please mark the 7 o’clock hour on that evening—the time of Troy’s scheduled execution—as a moment to reflect on Troy’s experience, to offer prayers for his family and that of Officer MacPhail, and to talk about what we can each do to ensure our nation never does this again.”

Troy Davis professed his innocence from the moment he turned himself in until now. The 42-year-old said he has been sustained by his faith and family and that he’s ready whenever his moment of death comes.

“They can take my body but not my spirit, because I have given my spirit to God.”

Twenty years ago, Davis was handed the death penalty for killing off-duty Savannah police officer Mark MacPhail. The persistent work of his dedicated sister helped garner a groundswell of national and international support. Concern continues to mount that another innocent man may be put to death under a flawed legal system.

Seven of the nine witnesses who testified against Davis in 1991 have since recanted and enough doubt has been raised that Davis’s scheduled execution has been halted three other times. But on Monday when the Georgia Board of Pardons and Parole turned down his request for clemency, hope sink.

Davis said his case isn’t just about him. It is about justice and the human spirit to see justice prevail. “This Movement to end the death penalty, to seek true justice, to expose a system that fails to protect the innocent must be accelerated,” he wrote.  “There are so many more Troy Davis’.”

For the family of Officer MacPhail, the execution of Troy Davis today will be justice. They have been unwavering in their belief that Davis killed MacPhail when the off-duty officer was trying to prevent a homeless man from being attacked. They want him punished.

“Justice was finally served for my father,” said Mark MacPhail Jr., who was an infant when his father was killed. “The truth was finally heard.”

Whose justice? Whose truth? I am praying for both families who have had to live with the consequences of this case since 1989 when MacPhail was killed. I pray that God’s grace will be sufficient for them and that in forgiveness they will find healing. I pray also that the use of the death penalty in this country will be stopped.

Troy Davis’s case is focusing attention on the death penalty, especially as it relates to the number of innocent inmates who have been killed by their states. But there is another death row inmate who is scheduled to be executed tonight whose plight is testing my own compassion and views of the death penalty.

There is no mounting support or any claims of innocence for Lawrence Russell Brewer. The white supremacist was sentenced to death for the heinous 1998 dragging death of James Byrd Jr., a black man, in Beaumont, Texas.

As horrible as this crime was, the son of the murdered man is calling for mercy for his father’s killer. Brewer is scheduled to die by lethal injection after 6 p.m. tonight in Texas.

“You can’t fight murder with murder,” Ross Byrd told Reuters. “Life in prison would have been fine. I know he can’t hurt my daddy anymore. I wish the state would take in mind that this isn’t what we want.”

May God guide us as we seek justice for all.

What are your views on justice and mercy?



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Soaking rains and prevailing prayer Wed, 14 Sep 2011 04:07:46 +0000 No related posts. ]]> When I look out my window or walk outside, I cannot help but notice the lush color of the grass and trees surrounding me. The begonias in my window boxes, which weeks ago were in a heat induced coma and grasping for life, are now full and thriving. Most of the other flowers in the boxes withered away under summer’s scorching temperatures.

Then the rains came and came. For several days, it looked as if it would never stop raining. The relentless downpours from Hurricane Irene and then Tropical Storm Lee caused us to be without lights for three days and eventually seeped into my basement and through my kitchen window sills. Fortunately, we did not experience any great damage. My prayers go out to those who lost lives, homes and property because of severe winds and flooding and are still dealing with the aftermath of the storms.

I cannot stop thinking, however, about the other side of the rains that soaked the earth around me. It transformed my brown and brittle backyard into the green ground that invites me to sit and rest awhile, and that calls me to stop and see life with fresh gratitude. The earth’s thirstiness was satiated, albeit in some places terribly over saturated. The good and bad of it all brings to my mind the power of prevailing prayer and what it can do, and has done, when my own soul has been parched and in need of a spiritual drenching or an urgent answer from God.

“Prevailing prayer is that which secures an answer,” said Charles Finney, a 19th century prayer leader and revivalist.

Each time I return to Finney’s words on prayer I am enlightened. In this selection, he offers several conditions for prayer to prevail.

I also am learning more about prevailing prayer this month from Rev. Dr. Cecilia Williams Bryant, a powerful praying woman of God who is leading a 30 days of Prevailing Prayer journey via a nightly telephone conference. So far, these calls and the scripture readings from the book of Ephesians have blessed me tremendously.

As I have approached this year-long quest to grow deeper in my prayer life, I often find myself being doused by God’s grace and being pulled back into the vibrancy of overcoming prayer just as dormancy is ready to settle in. Prevailing prayer replenished the soul in the same way that these summer rains have nourished my yards and my flowers. There is no over-saturating with prevailing prayer, just a flood of joy in the heart as the words of James 5:16 and I Thessalonians 5:17 are brought to life. Whatever comes, good weather or bad, hard times or easy sailing, I will pray and by God’s grace, prevail.


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Everyday Inspiration from Sonsyrea Wed, 07 Sep 2011 20:43:25 +0000 Related posts:
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It was more than a mid-life crisis that drove me there. I took a trip to the Six Flags amusement park near me for several reasons. For starters, I wanted to celebrate the end of the summer season and the end of a particularly challenging season in my personal/professional life. Also, I dreamt that I was enjoying myself in a large swimming pool with tall, twist-filled water slides that generated much fun and laughter. It was the second dream I had in a week that showed me in a large pool with people laughing and cheering. My quickest and easiest interpretation of this dream was this, “Go to Six Flags!” So I went.

Thunderstorms were predicted for the afternoon. So, I did not take the time to coordinate with friends or family. I would go alone. Instead, I decided to pack the Sunday newspaper, my journal, a towel, a hairbrush and some snacks. I planned to arrive early, when the park first opened, so I could beat the after-church crowd to the rides. I planned to get on all the water slides and roller-coasters I could stand, then rest at the big wave pool for a couple hours readings and writing, and I would leave fully satisfied.

There were no lines for the Calypso Cannonballs, slow water slides with just enough twists and drops to get you going. I grabbed a big yellow tube, marched up the wooden stairs, grabbed the sides of the slide and gave myself a good push. Weeeeeeeeee! I plunged into the cool waters at the bottom and felt refreshed. Next!

I found a prime seat under an umbrella at Hurricane Bay, billed as “one of the largest wave pools in the country.” I stretched out on a lounge chair, flipped open the park map and marked the rides I would try. The sounds of amusement park music – old Broadway standards and jingles, patriotic marching band music – and the music of laughter and delighted chatter washed over me as the scents of hotdogs, popcorn, and sugar, and the bright colors all around lifted me to renewed heights of delight.

But before long, I would realize why grown folks don’t take trips to these amusement parks except to oblige the young folks in our care. These parks are for them! The season for us to enjoy these delights is gone. While, on the one hand I had grown smart enough to know that by getting ahead of the crowds, I could avoid the long waits in lines for the rides. On the other hand, climbing long flights of stairs in a single bound left me gasping for air before I could even get on the rides. I waved kids ahead of me, as I leaned on the rail catching my breath.

I loved standing above the tree-tops, a thrill I don’t remember fully appreciating as a kid, but after what seemed like a ten second thrill down the water slide, I considered the climb hardly worth it. One water slide pumped my heart so fast, I decided against braving the roller coasters I had loved as a girl. On the Whistlestop Whirlybirds ride I did as the conductor asked, “Lift your arms and flap like a bird!” Yaaaaaaaaaay! We laughed and obliged. The conductor reminded us that we could upgrade our daily ticket for a season pass and I realized I was being pitched at every turn and opportunity at this park. I was wholly unaware of these tricks when I was a kid. My awareness of this now put a damper on the fun.

Meanwhile, I could not help but analyze the opportunities of the young people working at the park. Did they know what they were learning in these jobs and how they might leverage that learning in their future pursuits? I wanted to chat with them about this.

I left the park just as thunder began to clap, signaling the onset of showers and lightning. I left realizing there’s a reason adults get our thrills on cruises, at island resorts, and closer to home at restaurants and live theater. There’s a reason we delight in fine art and enriching education offered at museums instead of amusement parks. My season for rollercoaster rides is over – and I’m cool with that.


Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery is the author of “Little X: Growing up in the Nation of Islam,” and “Do Me Twice: My Life After Islam.” Her latest book, a novel, “Capitol Madness: Working on Capitol Hill,” will be released in 2012. Sonsyrea’s blog will appear on Soul Rhythms every Wednesday. You can also read her at Sonsyrea’s Blog.



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Everyday Inspiration from Sonsyrea Thu, 01 Sep 2011 15:17:37 +0000 Related posts:
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Some people love storms because they drive us indoors and give us time to reflect, connect, clean-up, etc. As Hurricane Irene approached I found myself doing some of both. I did a lot of reflecting as I prepared for the storm, and connected with people I met in line buying storm supplies. Then, after all that I discovered a few even more important things:

* The corn meal I planned to use to fry fish in case frying chicken didn’t thrill me enough turned out to have expired – three years ago.

* Two jars I planned to use to jazz up apple cinnamon bread I was baking was “best by” May 2011.

*If the electricity goes out maybe I’ll take a flashlight and fish around in the cabinets for more old stuff that need to be tossed.

* The most important discovery was that fried chicken and biscuits is more than enough survival food for two grown people. I have packed food and supplies like my mother would have packed for us ten kids. She was careful to serve breakfast foods for breakfast, lunch foods for lunch, etc. I don’t have to do that. In preparation for the next storm, I’ll grab some chicken and biscuits and call it a day.

* I also discovered that the time of the storm was not the time for me to curl up in a corner with my Bible quivering in fear and remorse. It’s time for me to practice all the religious/spiritual beliefs I’ve read, revered, committed to memory over the years. It was time to be unafraid in the face of a storm, in the midst of a storm. It was time to be vigilant, cheerful, hopeful, faithful, optimistic, altruistic.

I and my family were spared the ravages of the latest hurricane and came through it more prepared for the next one.  A couple days after Hurricane Irene, when the sun was bright and lovely again, and I was grateful that I had had the means and wherewithal to prepare for storms – weather ones and personal ones – I was delighted to hear Steve Harvey testifying about not only preparing for the worst in life but preparing, as well, for inevitable bursts of great opportunities in our lives.

Are you ready for the downpours – of challenges and opportunities?


Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery is the author of “Little X: Growing up in the Nation of Islam,” and “Do Me Twice: My Life After Islam.” Her latest book, a novel, “Capitol Madness: Working on Capitol Hill,” will be released in 2012. Her blog will appear on Soul Rhythms every Wednesday. You can also read her at Sonsyrea’s Blog.

No power but peace through the storm Wed, 31 Aug 2011 03:56:23 +0000 Related posts:
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My electricity came back on today. The loss of power for three days was my biggest causality of Hurricane Irene’s intense rump along the East Coast. I’m grateful that it was not any worse. And my prayers go out to those who lost loved ones or property as a result of Irene. The aftermath with flooding waters caused more damage inthe Northeast, including in  New England.

What a week; first a 5.9 earthquake to shake things up in D.C. and other least expected places and then a wind-whipping, water-churning hurricane. What’s a soul to do except pick up some extra batteries for the flashlights, make sure there’s enough nuts to munch on and water to drink, and pray for God’s protection.

By Friday evening when it was pretty certain Irene was coming our way, my pastor decided to move our Sunday worship service to Saturday. She didn’t want the storm to stop us from worshipping that weekend. And it didn’t. We enjoyed a sweet time of singing, praising and hearing the preached word from Pastor Turner about not worrying about the storms of life. Instead, she encouraged us to heed the words of Philippians 4: 6-7:

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”

We also prayed that Hurricane Irene would not be as disastrous as news accounts predicted. Fortunately for the greater majority of people who could have been impacted it wasn’t as bad as it could have been, even though millions of dollars worth of property was damaged and  thousands of people along the East Coast still do not have power.

Already this year, according to one news report, we have had 66 natural disasters from blizzards, tornadoes, flooding, and brush fires to hurricanes. Another hurricane is gathering strength in the Atlantic Ocean near Africa now and could potentially be headed our way. Rather than worry, prepare by praying.

Here is a prayer to consider from  poet Paul Laurence Dunbar:

 When Storms Arise

When storms arise

And dark’ning skies

About me threat’ning lower,

To Thee my tortured spirit flies

For solace in that hour.


The mighty arm

Will let no harm

Come near me nor befall me;

Thy voice shall quiet my alarm,

When life’s great battle waxeth warm –

No foeman shall appall me.


Upon they breast

Secure I rest,

From sorrow and vexation;

No more sinful cares oppressed,

But in thy presence ever blest

O God of my salvation.

Paul Laurence Dunbar (1895)





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Everyday Inspiration from Sonsyrea Wed, 24 Aug 2011 21:54:01 +0000 Related posts:
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Stopped at a traffic light, I glanced over and noticed a young man sitting at the bus stop, leaning forward, clutching a bottle of Coca Cola. He was wearing a tank top and his body was full of tattoos. He caught me staring.

“I bet you’ve got a whole story there, you’re like a whole book,” I yelled. “Your tattoos. I bet each one is like a chapter.”

He smiled, looking down at his chest and arms.

“Yeah. You can take me home and read the whole thing,” he hollered back.

He thought I was flirting? Yuck! Get a job and a car! I was just admiring the artwork, reminded of an old African tradition I had learned about at a museum when I was a kid.

Whether or not he knew the cultural history of body art, he was a walking display of sorts. I was appreciating the reminder that Africans, who from what I was taught, had been the mothers of civilization, had adorned their bodies in tattoos and framed their hair in elaborate styles. They used body art to express beauty and strength, and, yes, to tell stories. It’s too bad that body art has become synonymous with social defiance in America – but by who’s definition?

The young man at the bus stop was apparently in his early 20s. I thought about the young men I’ve seen beaten down by family members for getting tattooed. Nobody will hire you with tattoos, they are told. And the young ladies are told that when you get older and their bodies fill out, those tattoos will look horrible. Is this an undeclared cultural war of sorts? When was it declared, and how long will it last? Body art has a history, I was reminded, a history rooted in African lands. Dissertations and books have been written about it. Websites explain it. I’m guessing that the young man at the bus stop has his reasons for getting them, cultural reasons and personal ones.

As the light turned green and I was on my way, inspired by an unwitting cultural reminder sitting there at the bus stop.


Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery is the author of “Little X: Growing up in the Nation of Islam,” and “Do Me Twice: My Life After Islam.” Her latest book, a novel, “Capitol Madness: Working on Capitol Hill,” will be released in 2012. Her blog will appear on Soul Rhythms every Wednesday. You can also read her at Sonsyrea’s Blog.






Praying today to be disturbed by God Tue, 23 Aug 2011 21:47:42 +0000 Related posts:
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Just as I finished writing the headline on this blog, my upstairs office began to rumble. The rumbling quickly turned into shaking. A 5.9 earthquake was not what I had in mind when I began praying this morning. But for a couple of minutes this afternoon, just before 2 p.m., I was disturbed. In my confusion, I initially sought refuge in my upstairs bathroom (don’t ask) but as the rattling increased and I heard stuff  falling nearby I hurried out, thinking the roof might crash in on me. Fortunately, as I rushed to find a safer place downstairs the trembling stopped. News reports said it lasted seconds; it seemed longer to me.

I went outside and joined surprised neighbors who were talking about the earthquake, the largest along the East Coast  in more than a century. A couple were trying to reach relatives by cell phones. Disbelief remained etched on their faces. Around the city, office buildings, memorials and monuments were being evacuated and people filled the streets.  What a surreal  few moments.  This felt worst than the mild quake we experienced last year.  Makes me know that my only safety is in God.

Here it is the original blog:

A friend sent me a devotional reading today that has arrested my attention and led me to pray. What an encouraging word to wake up to this morning.  My friend and I had enjoyed a great catch-up conversation yesterday, covering a host of topics including our (my uneven) prayer lives and the plans that we believe that God has for us that we have not yet  stepped into. We talked about past fears and present opportunities. I had been tripping a bit about some things that had not gone my way over the weekend and about feeling like I’m in transition again. However, I felt renew hope in a future directed by the hand of God by the time we realized we had talked for more than a hour.

So today’s early morning email was like the creamy icing on a delicious red velvet cupcake. One more thing to savor. I especially delighted in the prayer  at the end of the devotional. It’s a prayer that is just right for where I am in my prayer and faith journey.

This a good message to read and meditate on today.


“We are labourers together with God.” 1 Cor. 3:9

You’re in Partnership with God

Did you hear the story about the little boy who was selling ten-cent pencils door-to-door to raise the money to build a thirty-million-dollar hospital in his community? One woman said to him, “Son, that’s a mighty big goal for just one little boy selling pencils for a dime.” With a big smile he replied, “Oh, I’m not doing it alone. See that boy across the street? He’s my partner; we’re doing it together.” Now if he had that kind of faith in a partner who was only his equal, shouldn’t you have confidence in a God whose power is unequaled, and whose partnership guarantees success? The Bible says: “We are labourers together with God.” When you truly believe those words you’ll begin to live like a “no limit” person.

When Robert Morrison sailed as a missionary to China, the ship’s captain constantly criticized him and gave him a rough time. As Morrison left the ship, the captain said to him, “I suppose you think you’re going to make an impression on China.” Morrison replied, “No, but I believe God will!” There it is; when you’re in partnership with God your potential is unlimited.

Here’s a prayer for you:

“Disturb me, Lord, when my dreams come true only because I dreamed too small. Disturb me, when I arrive safely only because I sailed too close to the shore. Disturb me, when the things I’ve gained cause me to lose my thirst for more of You. Disturb me, when I’ve acquired success only to lose my desire for excellence. Disturb me, when I give up too soon and settle too far short of the goals You have set for my life.

P.S.  Thank you Lord for keeping me safe, even as you have disturbed me!



Everyday Inspiration from Sonsyrea Wed, 17 Aug 2011 20:28:05 +0000 Related posts:
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Imagine that you woke up one morning with a serious jones for a jolt of caffeine from the nearby store where you can get your favorite shot for a-buck-o-nine. You scoop up 50 cents you had left on your dresser, search your purse for two quarters and a dime you thought you saw there the day before, but you come up short. Your purse has only a quarter, two dimes, and three pennies. Not to worry. You are sure you must have a few coins left over in your other pocketbooks, so you go to your closet and frantically search all12 of your purses. You find a penny. You are still short a few coins.

You wanted your morning caffeine fix but now you really need it. You consider dipping into the digital coin bank you and your husband share, but you have agreed to the rule of never taking anything out of this bank until it reaches the $100 mark and you take these coins to the bank together to deposit them in your joint account. You consider using one of the rare $2 bills you have received over the years on special occasions. You decide against it because you don’t really want to exchange a rare currency for something as common as a morning fix.

You decide to use the coffee you have at home instead of wasting more time searching for coins to get flavored coffee at the store around the corner. After you gulp down the coffee, you feel satisfied, sure that the caffeine will kick in almost instantly. You dart out the front door for your morning power walk around the neighborhood. But first, you grab your iPod from your car parked out front. As you exit your car, you notice a dollar bill on the ground. You pick it up and wish you had found it a half hour earlier when you were frantically searching for change for a morning cup of coffee. You feel like you are luckier than if you had found a penny because you have found a whole dollar.

You begin your power walk happily and then you notice something shiny on the ground. It’s a quarter. Now you have a dollar and a quarter that have been coincidentally dropped in your path for you to find. You have taken this power walk every morning for several years but never found any money. Yet, you found some this morning, of all mornings. The irony makes you smile. There must be a message in this for you. You think back over everything that has happened this morning from the time you realized you needed a buck-o-nine for a cup of coffee until the time you found a dollar and a quarter. What do you think God or The Universe was trying to tell you through this experience?


Sonsyrea Tate Montgomery is the author of “Little X: Growing up in the Nation of Islam,” and “Do Me Twice: My Life After Islam.” Her latest book, a novel, “Capitol Madness: Working on Capitol Hill,” will be released in 2012. Her blog will appear on Soul Rhythms every Wednesday. You can also read her at Sonsyrea’s Blog.