Monday, September 15, 2014

Spanking - is it Love?

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This excerpt from is very important and includes issues that this culture has been debating for decades:

“Hardin (Adrian Peterson's attorney) said Peterson used a switch because that was the way he was brought up by his parents in Palestine, Texas, and the NFL star agreed.

‘I have to live with the fact that when I disciplined my son the way I was disciplined as a child, I caused an injury that I never intended or thought would happen,’ Peterson said. ‘I know that many people disagree with the way I disciplined my child. I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate.’

The part I like is: "I also understand after meeting with a psychologist that there are other alternative ways of disciplining a child that may be more appropriate."

Let me just say that I am against corporal punishment (spanking -- at home or at school). But I sympathize with Peterson. So many of us have been beaten or “spanked" as a disciplinary measure. Many times -- excessively. I've seen many instances of this up close that have made me cringe and turn away. I know these issues have caused a great debate. But that's what it's worth -- a great debate.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I Love Him So -- He Beats Me Too

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As I listened to one of my favorite singers this morning on the way to work, I was reminded how dysfunctional many of her songs are. The singer, Billie Holiday, often sang of love that hurt, both emotionally and sometimes physically.

Listen to one of her iconic hits, “My Man,” and you’re reminded of how this culture not only romanticizes love, but how it tends to romanticize the pain and torture that goes along with dysfunctional, abusive relationships.

“It cost me a lot, but there's one thing that I've got. It's my man …”

OK, everyone knows that love costs and takes a lot of work. Nothing wrong there.

“Two or three girls has he. That he likes as well as me. But I love him.”

Hmmm….. hold on a minute. Why are you staying with this guy who’s blatantly stepping out on you? And you say, you love him? OK…..

“Oh, my man, I love him so. He'll never know. All my life is just despair. But I don't care. When he takes me in his arms, the world is bright. All right.”

No, no, sister. It’s not alright. If all of your life seems like despair when you’re with this dude, then I don’t think he’s for you. Go on….I’m listening.

“I don't know why I should. He isn't true. He beats me, too. What can I do?”

You don’t know why you should, because you shouldn’t. And did you say he beats you? What you can do is call the freakin’ police!

“What's the difference if I say, ‘I'll go away’ When I know I'll come back in my knees someday. For whatever my man is, I’m his … forevermore.”

My advice to you is that you go far far away from him. I don’t care if he’s sobbing, on his hands and knees, with flowers in his hands — begging you to come back. You don’t have to be his. Just learn how to love yourself. Even if it means being alone, by yourself for a while.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Got to Give it Up: Simply Beautiful

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I love Marvin Gaye's music -- from the "What's Goin' On" album, to the music he made before he died. I do like "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" and "You're All I Need," but I'm not so crazy about the other music he made before his prophetic "What's Goin' On" project. Gigi doesn't care much for Marvin's music, except for this one song, "Got to Give it Up." This is a masterpice too, just in a more fun, carefree way. The rhythms and soul of this song have been sampled and copied to death. It's just that good. People can't seem to get enough of it.

Check out Marvin from a Soul Train performance, where he's having such a good time with the song that he abandons trying to lip sync the tune at one point and jumps down with the crowd to dance. What musician can you think of who has had this much fun performing one of their own songs? He loses himself here with the joy and energy of the Soul Train dancers. They are loving it. Imagine, actually dancing with the incomparable Marvin Gaye!

Now Gigi loves just about everything that Al Green sings. Of course, I love him too -- which is where she gets the appreciation of his music. Gigi couldn't get enough of this acoustic performance of "Simply Beautiful" by Al Green on VH1:

Here's the studio version of "Simply Beautiful" -- it's simply gorgeous.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August 2014 Family Reunion in S.C.

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Didn't know they had sand in South Carolina outside of the beach areas. But I stepped all in it last weekend in the Park where our family reunion was held in Florence County, South Carolina. Wasn't ready for the sand in my toes.

We had a ball and hung out with all the descendants of Wheeler and Sally McElveen. We respresented the lineage from his daughter Lizzie. We all wore pink, as the other descendants of the couple wore either blue, green, or red. I hear pink was my grandmother Lizzie's favorite color. 

Uncle Mose and Gigi

Cousin Penny and my mom (Mary)
Aunt Sister and Aunt Juanita

Cousin Kenny, Uncle Charles, Dad (Bobby), and Cousin Ronnie

Aunt Betty and Cousin Shawn
(They, along with Uncle Charles, didn't know about the Pink plan)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Mint Museum Summer Camp Art Show

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Here's Gigi and friends at The Mint Museum Summer Camp Art Show, which is going on until September 14 at the Mint Museum of Art (Randolph) in the Ivey Gallery. Two of her pieces were featured (the trees and her self portraits).

Gigi's art

Gigi's art

Ines, Gigi, and Ines' two daughters

Alicia and Gigi

Monday, August 11, 2014

I Am the Vine

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John 15:1-5:

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit…Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Tuesday, August 05, 2014

Patience Y'all

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"Patience is the virtue that causes deceit to reveal itself." -- Unknown

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Notes from One Sunday Morning

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Here are some notes from a church service I attended several years ago. I'm glad I kept these words -- these messages are invaluable. I hope my notes move you as much as they move me -- still.
  • God is my protector and will fight my battles for me. 
  • God will put people in place to nurture me, love me, soothe and comfort me.
  • Don't work so hard. You don't have to worry.
  • You're not running a race. You can slow down. There's enough time to do all that you need and want to do.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Family Gathering July 2014

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Gigi with Granddad
Norma, Carolyn, Will, Mom (Mary), Dorothy, and Claire
Mom (Mary), Will, Dot, and Claire