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The Legacy of Hattie Finney Banks

10 Aug

 

Secret

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/secret/#like-244527

Would you have kept this secret for two generations? Maybe my Grandmother Hattie Finney Banks kept secret the fact that my grandfather Hugh Banks killed my Great Grandfather Daniel Finney (Hattie’s Dad) so that she could keep her sanity.  Guilt, embarrassment, shame, humiliation. I’m sure in the beginning after the murder it was all there deep within her soul, mind and spirit. But My Grandmother Hattie Finney Banks kept the secret so she could raise her three daughters (one of whom Mable was to become my mother) in relative peace, quiet and safety without passing this terrible haunting to future generations.  No judgment from me, only understanding.

 

The Legacy of Hattie Finney Banks

Hattie Finney Banks

Grandmother Hattie Finney Banks

Hattie Finney was born Feb. 1905 in the poor coal mining hamlet of Davy, West Virginia.  A real looker in her youth blessed with a great sense of fashion and good taste Hattie though living in poverty was able to enhance her beauty through thrift and the ability to create something out of nothing.

With African and Sioux blood running through her veins her beauty soon caught the eye of the young men in the town. One named Hugh Banks seemed to have good prospects. Hugh like her Hattie’s dad Daniel R. Finney worked as a janitor. Not a high living job but one that could support a wife and future children. It also didn’t hurt that he was a strong strapping young man who was easy on the eyes.

They married sometime in the late 1920s when Hattie was in her early 20s looking forward to a bright future. Their first born child Mable Banks, (My Mom) was born May 2, 1930, and then came Helen on September 13, 1931 and finally Gladys on May 2, 1935. However as time progressed and the marriage wore on the initial first joys of wedded bliss gave way to drinking and horrible physical abuse from her husband Hugh. He regularly stayed out late getting drunk, spending the food and rent money on booze. A spirit of anger possessed him and he took out all the days slights on Hattie and their young children. Hattie always put herself between Hugh and the kids when he went on these violent tirades taking the brunt of the physical beatings and verbal abuse.

Finally on April 30, 1939 after a particularly horrible beating Hattie couldn’t take it anymore. In fear of her life she grabbed her three little girls and ran to the shelter of her parents’ house not far away. A very drunk Hugh Banks in hot pursuit of his wife followed her and demanded that Hattie and the girls return home with him. Hattie’s Dad, Daniel James Finney told Hattie to stay indoors while he went out to confront Hugh. Daniel Finney seeing Hugh in a violent drunken rage refused to allow his daughter and granddaughters to go with Hugh. An argument ensued and Hugh took out a pistol shooting Daniel Finney in the chest killing him instantly. Daniel’s brother Charlie Finney saw the murder, called the police and Hugh Banks was arrested.

Hattie and her mother Mary were devastated and in addition for many years Hattie carried the burden of guilt and shame that if she had not ran back to her parents’ house for protection perhaps her Dad, a strong healthy man would have lived even longer than his age of 75 years at the time of the shooting. Her choices haunted her for a long time but at least she found peace knowing that she had protected her three innocent young daughters and pride in the great love her Dad had for his family laying down his life for them.

Newspaper Clipping of the Murder

Daniel Finney Murder Newspaper Clipping

My Grandmother strong in her Baptist Faith eventually forgave her wayward husband supplying the information for my grandfather’s death certificate after his untimely death in prison from tuberculosis at age 30. No one from my grandfather’s family came to claim the body and he is buried  in the Potters Field attached to the prison.

Hugh Banks Death Certificate

Grandfather Hugh Banks Death Certificate

Daniel James Finney

Daniel James Finney Death Certificate

Shortly after the trial my Great Uncle Clarence came for Hattie and her daughters taking them to Dayton, Ohio where my mother grew up and later met and married my Dad Edward G. Palmer a union of 40 years that produced me and my brother Stephen.

Fast forward to the year 2000 when by then both my parents and my grandmother had gone onto glory. I met my common-law husband who like my grandmother’s relationship with her husband started off with great dreams and hope for the future but gradually deteriorated into an abusive relationship from which I too sought escape. For our final year together when the emotional, physical and psychological abuse was at its worst I prayed to God that this man would leave me and he did. He left me for a younger woman. A sigh of relief. A burden lifted from my shoulders. However though his physical presence was gone his psychological presence was rooted in my mind and soul. Though I had forgiven him it took years to dig up the roots and weeds of self-doubt and self-hate he had planted within me. Spirit never fails and after a brush with death from a minor stroke at age 49 and being Blessed to see 50 I began to experience a Change of Life. Not just from menopause which began physical changes within my body but spiritual and emotional changes. During all this upheaval my ancestors were with me, guiding me every step of the way. Each succeeding year as I progress through my 50s has brought me greater enlightenment and spiritual growth. Once I made the decision to answer my calling in this life doors open, thus here I am today to carry forward my Grandmother’s Legacy and be a blessing to survivors of domestic violence and sexual abuse.

But unbeknownst to my Grandmother and Great Grandmother a little girl cowering in front of a dusty little used attic window had peered out becoming an eyewitness to her Grandfather’s being shot to death by her Dad. Mable was always the quiet one of the three girls who took in many things but let out little.  As the Bible says  of conversations concerning Mary and Jesus, Mable Finney Banks was a small girl who took in and absorb all the things around her and pondered them in her heart……………….  From now on the events of that day would follow her all through childhood, young womanhood, and as a married woman with children and as she battled her own demons of schizophrenia. I shall take up Mable’s story in the next segment.

Thank you Sisters and be Blessed!

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Seeker and Savior

3 Sep

Seeker and Savior

Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Jesus the Christ

“When I know the glass goblet is already broken every moment with it becomes precious.”Paraphrased from documentary film The Buddha”

2 Corinthians 4:7 (New King James Version)

7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, which the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

Deval Premal

http://youtu.be/o4jx3sukfLM        

Live your life by Spirit

Live your life by Spirit

Siddhārtha Gautama was a seeker on the pathway to self-enlightenment.  He sought to reclaim the peace inside himself when said peace was disturbed when he saw poverty, sickness and evil. Siddhartha left the comforts of his palace, his wife and his newborn baby to seek out spiritual answers to life’s challenges.   Siddhartha Gautama’s journey is a Vision Quest of self-actualization.

Jesus was the fulfillment of the law and the gateway to abundance and eternal life for all people.  Jesus in his mission on Earth was and is the answer.  Both were the sons of Kings but each was on a different mission. Jesus knew his destiny; however Siddhartha had to discover his.

Both men once they started their ministry were interested in the everyday life trials and tribulations of the common people. In the ages when they were called Siddhartha Gautama Buddha and Jesus represented the Heroic Voice and the Noble Quest through the dark enchanted forest. They were Divine Nomads on a Divine Journey. Both sought oneness with the Beloved.

No matter what faith system we follow we are all called to be in the world but not to be part of the world systems. We are here as a light, a beacon of hope, a lighthouse for fellow seekers and travelers.  Many times during our journey the test comes and we wonder where I can be weak and wear my heartbreak on my sleeve.

Holy music is a sanctuary and a type of refuge.  The Sanctuary is freedom from the unrighteous bigots who cannot or will not accept the message of the prophet. Then there is the sanctuary of the suffering and suffering was not hidden from Jesus. Growing up as a simple Carpenter he would have seen and encounter all manner of suffering people.

  • “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (John 15:19)
  • “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.” (John 17:14)
  • “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)
  • Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.” (1 John 2:15)

Siddhartha Gautama Buddha disillusioned by the hollowness and spiritual emptiness found within the safety and splendor of his royal kingdom sought to find the cause for suffering.  Siddhartha Gautama though that by joining with other ascetics or renouncers he would become closer to God or rather receives answers to questions that were troubling his mind. The only accomplishment from this course in life was continually being hungry and thirsty and mostly trying to outdo your fellow ascetics.  The only revelation able to come through this holiness competition was the sin of pride.

Such harsh methods focus only on what and individual is missing, not getting any closer to God but in total concentration of the absence of comfort or pleasure.  The more we try to mortify the flesh the more we see we cannot transcend the body while existing in this earthly realm.  Deprivation as practiced by some ascetics or mystics and prophets is not necessarily the best spiritual path for the average seeker.  Some austerity is necessary so that we are not consumed by the material world but to isolate and deny our very human bodies the daily necessities can open the door wider to a sense of failure or discouragement.  We must try to find balance in our lives.  At one end is the ascetic, at the other end the hedonist/sensualist.  Most of us flow best in the middle ground with occasional visits to the polar ends.  Separated from our source we yearn to return.

As prophets and/or enlightened beings both the Buddha and Jesus had similar universal themes of overcoming temptation, a wilderness experience with the tempter, both mystics emerged triumphant.  Realization that the Kingdom of God is within us enabled these two very different men, who lived in different time periods, from different cultures, in different parts of the world to have similar spiritual revelations which now have millions of adherents worldwide.

Bliss or self-actualization comes with accepting our interconnectedness with the world, yet not being of the world.  Subconsciously we are all craving with a burning desire to become one with the Beloved.  This craving may lead us down several spiritual and secular pathways during our lifetimes before we achieve our own individual enlightenment.  As a Christian I take refuge in the scriptural jewels offered to me within the Biblical scriptures, yet not discounting other belief systems or spiritual pathways.  As I explore many different faiths side by side with my own I find more similarities than differences.  Like my Buddhist sisters and brothers I find sanctuary in the Love of God, the teachings of Jesus, and various pastors, evangelists, or teachers who have a more extensive knowledge of the Bible than me, who can help me increase my understanding of scripture.  With that said as believers in any denomination we must study the scriptures for ourselves rightly dividing the word of truth so we are not carried away with doctrines of false prophets.  Beware those who misuse and misconstrue God’s Divine Word for their own personal profit and gain.

I can truly say the Bible speaks to me.  What does your holy scriptures say to you?  Like many of the faithful I find comfort in rites, rituals, ceremonies and sacraments of my church.  It’s familiar.  It’s comforting.  If suddenly I attended church one Sunday and everything was out of sequence I would definitely be uncomfortable, wonder what was going on and if I was in the right church.  However too much restrictive structure and adherence to doctrine and dogma can inhibit the spiritual growth of the congregation for this reason many people turn to secular and social organizations that offer morals, values and intellectual growth without the mythology.  Churches, social organizations and clubs also satisfy the need for companionship and fellowship.  As human beings we need to belong to a body of people with similar interests, goals and desires.  We desire a place to fit in and be accepted for who we are as individuals.  Churches, social organizations, clubs, guilds and professional organizations offer a type of safe space or sanctuary where we receive positive reinforcement that enables us to cope with the not so positive chapters in our lives.

Traveling other Wisdom Pathways

Recently I attended Hindu church service for followers of Sri Sathya Sai Baba at the Manhattan Center located at 30 East 31st Street in New York City. At first I was hesitant when my girlfriend asked me to accompany her to her service because those old voices of narrow mindedness assailed me causing doubt to creep into my mind as to whether it would be the right thing to do. Also I wondered if it would just be other Indian people and I would be the outsider. Not so, on both accounts. Initially I had only intended to stay five or ten minutes but I was drawn in by the praise and worship music and the words of the guest speaker who had journeyed all the way from India to share wisdom as given by the late Sai Baba. After his presentation there was a ritual very similar to communion in which I shared. I was very glad to have attended this service and look forward to worshipping again with the congregation. My girlfriend did her best to explain what was going on and to share literature with me. As we walked to Penn Station together discussing religion in general and the things of God in particular I felt a peace, calm, and centeredness that I had not felt in a long time.

It is far removed from my Baptist upbringing and Bible teachings but at the same time there are many similarities between Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the teachings of Jesus. After the service my girlfriend presented me with two of the roses that had lain upon the altar, which I duly took home and placed into a vase with water. Several hours later it struck me that one of the redemptive names of Jesus is the “Rose of Sharon”. Wow! My mind immediately went to “The Song of Solomon” the Bible’s romance book. The Song of Solomon explicitly expresses the desire between two lovers but on a deeper level the love of Jesus for his bride, the church.

Hindu, Buddhist, Hebrew, Christian, Sufi Muslim all have their mystical sages who are calling us closer to God. Are you listening?

God is sending other Angels with voices who invite thought amongst the congregation.  Come Let us Reason Together.  No matter how many hungry people fed, naked clothed or lessons trained still our only desire is to become one united with the Beloved.

Beloved Transcended

Divine fragrant Lotus Rose petals fell upon the body of the ascended one and the veil was rent from top to bottom.  We his followers make pilgrimage to the Holy City in remembrance of Him.

Excerpt from the poem “One Whisper of the Beloved” by Rumi

In truth, everyone is a shadow of the Beloved –
Our seeking is His seeking,
Our words are His words.

At times we flow toward the Beloved
like a dancing stream.
At times we are still water
held in His pitcher.
At times we boil in a pot
turning to vapor –
that is the job of the Beloved.

He breathes into my ear
until my soul
takes on His fragrance.
He is the soul of my soul –
How can I escape?
But why would any soul in this world
want to escape from the Beloved?

Donations can also be made via Paypal using my email: deborah.palmer280@gmail.com. Thank you for supporting the ministry and God Bless.

Honesty and Truthfulness in Relationships

6 Jul

Honesty and Truthfulness in Relationships

Honesty and Truthfulness in our relationships are paramount. Without either the relationship is doomed from the start. But first we must be honest and truthful with ourselves as to why we are involved with a particular person, like Shakespeare said to thine own self be true. What qualities should we look for in a mate? The Bible answers those questions through both positive and negative examples of men and women in the Holy Scriptures. Women typically seek a provider, protector and guardian. Even in modern times when women have advanced degrees and stellar career options we still look for that man who is symbolic of strength and leadership. After examination of the romantic lives of David and Solomon we can conclude they were great leaders in terms of the nation of Israel but not so much in their personal lives. As for Jacob, Rachael, and Leah that’s a love triangle more convoluted and complex than anything on TV, in the movies, or the soap opera people we personally know in our every day lives.

The Three Graces: Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia

The Three Graces: Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and Thalia

Women might have a clear idea of what qualities they expect and look for in a man but sometimes overlook certain character flaws that a fatal to a loving marital relationship. Ladies often mistake a man’s successful career, loaded bank account, and fancy cars, expensive clothes with that man’s ability or willingness to be an equal partner in a relationship. Like my mother and father used to say, everything that glitters is not gold.

Love can be corrupted by power, authority, and clout. Many men who have risen to the exalted positions in life feel the need to be in control of every aspect of their lives including the women in them.  Women must first seek out their spiritual and intellectual equals who is willing to work together in partnership to achieve agreed upon life goals. Ladies you might find that rich, wealthy man who is swimming in money yet wind up as a bird in a gilded cage yearning to be free, but tied to a lifestyle you don’t want to give up.

Men should and must seek out the Proverbs 31 woman. Gentlemen any woman can look good on the surface but look closely at the total package. Who and what are you getting for your investment? Folks ask yourself would you bring this person around your personal and church family and friends. Do they have specific goals in life other than to latch onto you like a leech? Keep in mind ladies and gentlemen no matter what age or stage you are in life you are looking for a life time companion. Friends first then Lovers later.

Now let’s look at what the lyrics of some of our favorite romance songs say about relationships. I choose these three because they exemplify the changes we often go through before we are united with the person who God means for us to spend our lives with.

What We All Look for in a Relationship

Honesty is such a lonely word.
Everyone is so untrue.
Honesty is hardly ever heard.
And mostly what I need from you.

I can always find someone
to say they sympathize.
If I wear my heart out on my sleeve.
But I don’t want some pretty face
to tell me pretty lies.

~ Billy Joel

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWu0N0qPeME&feature=colike

 

How it was in my former relationship 6 years ago

‘Cause I can’t make you love me if you don’t
You can’t make your heart feel something it won’t
Here in the dark, in these final hours
I will lay down my heart and I’ll feel the power
But you won’t, no you won’t
‘Cause I can’t make you love me, if you don’t

I’ll close my eyes, then I won’t see
The love you don’t feel when you’re holding me

~ Bonnie Raitt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_SIfLzccbc&feature=colike

Who My Blessing from God is to me. He is that Man

He is the mind objector, the heart protector
The soul defender of anything I fear
The baby conceiver, the make me believer
The joy bringer, the love giver

He is the dough increaser, the pleasure releaser
The hard knocks knower without the scars to show ya
The night school teacher, the good life preacher
The caretaker, the kiss craver

{he is so {he is, so {he is
Everything, everything I want and I want it
{he is so {he is, so {he is
And so much more than I thought it could be
{so right so right {so right girls, i
I gotta be the same for him {i gotta be the same for him
For my baby
Oh…oh…yes, he is, oh, oh
I know exactly what he is

~ Heather Headley

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chhZGflZi5E&feature=colike

 Donations to this ministry can be made via Paypal using my email: deborah.palmer280@gmail.com. Thank you and God Bless.

Lolo and Tebow Uphold the Standard — No Tags Here!

26 May

Tagged you’re It?

Saluting Keeping One’s Virginity and Remaining or Returning to Celibacy

Lolo Jones

Lolo Jones — Olympic Hurdler

I’m making an update to this blog as a response to some idiot on Twitter who had the audacity to send me his blog regarding some fool man who has 30 kids out of wedlock. I guess he thought I would think his blog was funny. Desmond Hatchett is the poster child for oversexed males who think they are studs just because they can make a baby. If any of you read the original article on the web, Mr. Hatchett is petitioning the courts to eliminate his court ordered child support because he has nothing left once the courts garnish his wages. Mind you the children’s mothers are only receiving approximately $1.47 per child. How is it that stories about men and women who have numerous sexcapades which result in multiple unwed births make the headlines as though these immature baby making fools were performing a service to humanity while decent folks like Tim Tebow and Lolo Jones are laughed at because they have decided to remain Virgins!  Talk about double standard. How is it that the media and our society glamorizes slutty behavior making others who refuse to tow the line outsiders, unhip, or not cool.

For all those who prize sexual ability and/or availability over character, morals, intellect and just plain good judgement, if Lolo Jones and Tim Tebow continue to stick with their high principles they will avoid all the “Baby-Mama, Baby-Daddy, Sex Tapes going viral on YouTube and STD/VD issues.

Lolo Jones

Lolo Jones

Tagged or as I have found it to be the “Booty Call” social networking site is the antithesis of good taste and maturity among adults who claim they are trying to find a mate. All you will find on Tagged is a roll in the hay or if you’re not so lucky a combination Jack the Ripper/Ted Bundy sociopath.

How did I become so vehement against a social site in which I only have a passing relationship? (I have an account that I never use.) It all came to a head while I was lunching with a friend who not only uses the site on a regular basis but has accessed or accepted a selection of pornographic photos so vile and disgusting that even the hidden hedonist within me cringes to look at them. She was about to show me some X-rated pictures when she hesitated and made a remark that stunned me. She more or less accused me of being stuck-up or thinking that I was better than everyone else or specifically her because I no longer engaged in that lifestyle. Her comments really upset me because we have or I thought had a better close relationship. I was so hurt and upset because I thought that being a woman she would understand that I had made the choice to remain celibate because I was abused. She felt I should have gotten over what happened to me because domestic violence happens to plenty of women and I should just take up having sex with every and any men who cross my path. I have to admit because I was in emotional pain I made a rather extreme statement that, “I hated sex”.  This is not entirely true. Of course like any red blooded American woman I enjoy sex, that is sex with the right man. Believe me even at my age I’ve had plenty of opportunities to have sex. It seems once I made the celibacy decision and fought off temptation the devil has had more jackasses cross my path than I care to mention. They are dangle that carrot of supposed endless pleasure and passion before me but I refuse to take the bait because I know it is all a pack of lies and an illusion.

Judging from my girlfriend’s experience once you contact these males on Tagged they send you pictures of body parts, Ala disgraced New York representative Anthony Weiner. Yes I mean penises and in my girlfriends pictures, guys with elongated tongues. Hey, I’m in my 50s and to put it bluntly it will take more than a big dick and a long tongue to turn me on or even satisfy me. I’m long past the “He’s so Fine” stage. I’m looking for good character, integrity, intelligence, loyalty and a strong faith in God. Sex is an important part of a relationship between engaged or married couples and; since I don’t qualify on either stage why should I demean myself for a few moments of pleasure, his pleasures not mine.

My girlfriend is in her 40s and should also be long past that stage, claiming she wants to find a good man, settle down and get married but if you choose a man solely based on physical a characteristic, that’s all you get, is the superficial and shallow. Even though I’ve been insulted and ridiculed for my stand as a Christian woman I will continue to stay faithful and true to God’s Word. I’m enjoying very strong platonic relationships and dating garnering respect from my guy friends and dates. Eventually I too would like to get married but this time I will let God choose the mate not me.  Since I last wrote God has chosen my mate and I’m still going to wait and do things the right way this time.

Meagan Good adheres to celibacy while engaged

http://thegrio.com/2012/05/25/meagan-good-adheres-to-celibacy-while-engaged/#s:meagan-good-16×9-2

Megan Good

Megan Good

 Donations and offerings to this ministry can be made via Paypal using my email: deborah.palmer280@gmail.com.

Thank you and God Bless.

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