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Palm Sunday Testimony and Praise Report

13 Apr

Testimony and Praise Report

Despite the fact that my stomach was acting up all last night and I got very little sleep I was determined to attend Palm Sunday service. My original plan had been to go into Manhattan but I changed that because with tummy troubles and subway delays I felt I should stick close to home. Even with insomnia and pain something inside me was so excited about today. When I made my right turn down Fulton St. I said Lord guide my feet and show me where to worship today. I briefly stopped at one of the many storefronts Churches lining Fulton Street but the Lord had me keep walking until I arrived at Pleasant Grove Tabernacle. You guys know I’m not much of a church goer but today I was lead to go and I’m glad I did. My late Beloved Aunt Helen Garcia had been on my mind and I think it was her who was prodding me from beyond the veil.

High School Graduation 1977

Aunt Thelma, me & Aunt Helen Garcia

I arrived in time to hear the last part of Sunday School. The congregation is very friendly. At once I felt very comfortable. Like most churches you get a program so you can follow the service but God had other things in mind and I’m very happy that Bishop Albert L. Jamison, Sr. went with the flow. Praise and Worship developed into prayers for healing. Now keep in mind though I’ve lived in Brooklyn over a year, I’ve never been to Pleasant Grove Tabernacle before neither have any of these people seen or met me. Folks were dancing in the Spirit and Bishop Jamison came down from his pulpit and began to pray for various individuals. He prayed for me and one of the Deaconess prayed also. As I said before nobody knew my condition but that sister prayed especially for healing! God Knew! I’ve been fighting not only physical troubles but battling emotional ones. Today was one giant Healing Service. Sisters suffering from cancer, depression and other ailments were ministered to. During the service Bishop had clergy and congregation hold each other by the shoulders and pray. Once again another different Sister came to me and prayed. A dam burst and I cried. A burden was lifted from me. We all also had the opportunity to go up for additional prayer from Bishop and to be anointed with oil. I went. Now that evil spiritual force was banished from my mind. I left church thinking right, acting right and rejoicing.

However my heart goes out to Karyn Washington who committed suicide at age 22 earlier this week. Those of us who are older have a frame of reference, we know that life does get better but of course we all need help. Maybe Karyn was ashamed to say she was depressed. Perhaps the burden myth of the “Strong Black Woman” was too much for her. I know how she feels. I’ve been there. I was young once upon a time but thanks to strong parents, caring Aunts and a solid spiritual base I made it. Please everyone let’s make our Churches, Temples, Mosques, Synagogues, and other places of Worship caring networks where people young and old can run to for help and guidance. Remove the Stigma of depression, panic attacks, anxiety and other mental illnesses. Be somebody who cares. May God rest your soul Karyn Washington.  May all who suffer find sanctuary.

http://blackdoctor.org/442252/karyn-washington-black-suicide/?omcamp=es-bdo-nl&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Black%20Doctor%20Subscribers&utm_campaign=Lifestyle

 

Learning to Encourage Myself

18 Apr

How to Encourage Yourself

Donald Lawrence & The Tri-City Singers

http://youtu.be/JbEaftzaFWA

Black Unicorn Rainbow

Black Unicorn moving towards the Rainbow

Extreme anger, panic attacks, uncontrollable crying and/or apathetic/zombie like fluctuations are defense mechanisms produced by our damaged psyches to protect ourselves emotionally. Just after I separated from my abuser in 2007 I went through a gamut of emotions. I was extremely high strung, angry and would lash out sometimes at total strangers. Now I do realize that a lot of that was a form of PTSD, stress and hormones since I had started to go through the Change of Life. Many times I felt like Dr. Jekyll and Ms. Hyde. Other than my estrogen going wild I believe the basis of my negative emotions was fear. Fear causes the fight or flight response and unfortunately I often got angry at the wrong people. However once I stood up to my inner demons and toxic family/co-worker bullies I began to feel better. I realized I had options. I did not have to feel this way. Another therapy for me was and is writing.

I wrote about all my emotions; the good, the bad and the ugly. There were times when I wanted to kill myself. I wrote an entire heart wrenching story on all the evil locked up inside my head. Words gave that insanity somewhere to go so it would not destroy me. I became stronger. Then this year more healing came, peace came through being a part of V-Day/1 Billion Women Rising and through joining groups that focus on domestic violence and sexual assault. Then I saw that my trials and tribulations were not in vain and not for my destruction but for the upliftment of not only me but all women who are going through and have gone through this horrible experience. I’m here to encourage and support. We Lean on and draw strength from each other. We Find Sanctuary among and within our tribe.  Love is a Helping Hand and a listening ear.

Bill Withers — Lean On Me

http://youtu.be/QPoTGyWT0Cg

Sometimes I still have panic attacks but they do not last as long nor are they as powerful or as strong as before because I’m able to defuse them. I tell myself that this fear I feel at the moment is only that, a temporary moment in time. I’m made of survivor and victory stock. Some of my ancestors settled the Americas, most came from Africa, and survived the middle passage, slavery, Jim Crow and all other types of bullshit. My ancestors lift me up above the fray. Then my genetic memory recalls that I am descended from the Queens of Mother Africa. I carry within me the DNA of women who sat on the thrones of Egypt, Ethiopia & Mozambique. They reigned and I reign. I’m stronger than my flaws, weakness and shortcomings. I’m an Overcomer. I’m stronger and more powerful than the words of deceit, anger and hate my ex- the abuser tried to sow into my soul. I will no longer allow his words of defeat to take root within my mind. Now I listen to, absorb and plant the words of my maternal ancestors within my soul, my psyche and my spirit. Courage, Boldness and Determination grows and manifests itself to and for my SisterFriends!

Judith Beheading Holofernes

Judith with the Head of Holofernes

Not perfect but able to move through the pain. I do not deny the pain but I refuse to give pain, sorrow, sadness or depression any authority in my life. I walk in my authority as a Victor not a victim.  I will not allow my life to spiral out of control. I don’t have to live in defeat. I have choices. I have options. Living my life like it’s Golden!

Donations and Freewill offerings can be made directly to my PayPal account deborah.palmer280@gmail.com. Thank you and God Bless

Anger and The 3 Ts — Trials, Troubles & Tribulations

16 Sep
Ten Lepers

Ten Lepers were healed, one only one return to give Thanks.

 

ANGER

USUALLY FROWNED UPON AND COUNTED AS ONE OF THE SEVEN DEADLY SINS DOES IN SPITE OF its BAD RAP SERVE A PROTECTIVE PURPOSE. People who don’t get angry on the outside are really boiling mad inside which cause depression which in turn brings on diseases like migraines, high blood pressure, diabetes, and the like.

ANGER

Turned against innocent outsiders’ results in long term incarcerations among the perpetrators, bad relationships with family and friends and sometimes when an argument escalates beyond control the combatants may find themselves being taken to the hospital or to prison.

ANGER

Used to get to the root of a problem separating disparate elements can have positive outcomes if the therapist or interventionists can get the troubled self-destructing members to reach an understanding that continued bad choices will produce the same self-defeating results.

Challenges in the form of Trials, troubles and tribulations bring out the strength that is already in you. No outside force or power can help you if you don’t first help yourself. Once you make the determination within your heart everything else will fall into place. It’s like the character of the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. He sought what was within him all the time. All he had to do was face his fears even while being afraid. Once he realized that the Wizard was a charlatan he knew that the power resided in him all along. God is always with us and he never leaves us, sending His angels to smooth the pathway but allowing us to discover the power that lies within all of us. Rise up and take your place as a Rightful Citizen of Planet Earth!  We are the only hands God has on this earth to stop violence against women, girls or even pets. Make your house or home a sanctuary for one who has fallen off the straight path. Let’s create a friendly island of peace for our girl children. A Place of no judgement where they can be free to be themselves without shame, scorn or rebuke.

Jesus our Way Shower taught us how to be strong and that there is no shame in asking for help if you need it. Jesus gives many examples and situations which cause our strength to rise up within us. We are called to civil disobedience and to right wrongs within our community.

In Matthew 21:12-13 Jesus threw the money changers and sellers out of the temple.

 Matthew 21:12-13

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus at the Temple

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’[a] but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.

Matthew 21:12-13

New International Version (NIV)

Jesus at the Temple

12 Jesus entered the temple courts and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. 13 “It is written,” he said to them, “‘My house will be called a house of prayer, but you are making it ‘a den of robbers.’”

Jesus Calls Herod a Sly Fox

At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.” He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’” (Luke 13:31-32)
____________________________________________________________

Jesus calling Herod a fox catches us a little off guard here. Did Jesus really call people names? Yes, when appropriate. He did not do it to hurt people’s feelings or out of childish anger or to be unkind. But Jesus called a spade a spade.

What did he mean by calling Herod a fox? A fox is a small, weak, wily animal that lives by cunning rather than strength. Jesus was drawing attention to Herod’s crafty, treacherous side. Herod was not a man worthy of trust or respect. He divorced his wife to marry his own niece, who happened to be his own brother’s wife. He beheaded John the Baptist because of a foolish promise made at a birthday party. He was a man of weak character who used his political power for selfish ends.

Now, we need to be careful here. As Christians we are called to love, forgive, forbear and be courteous to others. We should not go around calling people names as a general rule. Jesus rarely did. But there are times when we also must call a spade a spade. Sometimes a thief needs to be called a thief; the unfaithful spouse must be called an adulterer; the pornographer needs to be called perverted. There are times when evil must be confronted and named. There are times when Herod must be called a fox. Originally Posted by Ray Folwer

Jesus and the Woman taken in Adultery

John 8:1-11

New International Version (NIV)

but Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.

At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.

But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.” Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.

At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”

11 “No one, sir,” she said.

“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

A new ministry for girls called Jephthah’s Daughters has been birthed. Please send donations and contributions to help young girls between the ages of 4 to 17 in need via PayPal to deborah.palmer280@gmail.com. The young ladies will receive care packages and counseling. Rest assured that you are supporting a good cause that will lift up young women who have been abandoned and neglected by their birth families.  Thank you.

Donations and Freewill offerings can be made directly to my PayPal account deborah.palmer280@gmail.com

Jephthah’s Daughters Redeemed

14 Jul

Jephthah’s Daughters

by Espiritu en Fuego — A Fiery Spirit Expressing Herself aka DeBorah Ann Palmer on Saturday, July 14, 2012 at 3:51pm ·
Jephthah's Daughter

Jephthah’s Daughter

A colleague recently told me that no child is a throwaway but if that child is causing chaos and strife everywhere he goes then the other child or children usually girls are once again being sacrificed. The future of a talented gifted young lady has been put on the altar just to save a boy child who doesn’t care about his own family, neighbors or community. Damn the Village, it’s all about me is his attitude. Now that’s sad. As we can see from the below passage not much has changed for girls since Biblical times. Boys especially the ones who’ve adopted the thug life are praised and honored while a girl who tries hard, studies, has good manners and is kind is kicked to the side in order to save a boy child who hates his family, disobeys authority, & has no regard for rules or regulations.

Shall we regard our girl children as Jephthah’s Daughters?  How long will we continue to perpetuate the adage, “Women love their sons, but raise the daughters.”  Every child deserves the opportunity to succeed in life but success comes through accepting responsibility and learning to be accountable.  Any child male or female who constantly lashes out at authority figures in a bid to always be “right” is a child bound for prison or the graveyard.  Stop making excuses for your badass boys behavior. Stop making girls the sacrificial lambs!!

One Girl’s Story

V. finished summer school last week. Now she is studying for an Earth Science regents. V. has that red & white Barrons study guide. She did not have this class during high school. If her mother had done the right thing V. could have graduated last year at age 16. She took all her required courses in that particular High School plus she took extra summer school courses to get ahead and graduate early. However once her brother screwed up they both had to leave that school attend a lesser inner-city high school. That low level high school did nothing to help V. during the year she attended and would not accept any of the extra classes she took in the previous high school. V. was also disappointed in the curriculum offered by this so-called Magnet School. Despite the high sounding name V. did not feel challenged in that school. It was a total dud. She wanted advanced accelerated courses but they refused to give her those type of course and barely offered tutoring in the classes they claimed she needed. 

 
Despite these disappointments V. has pressed on. Even though she is a bit behind V. is determined to get ahead. V. is filling out job applications, (she turned18 in October) and plans to apply to LaGuardia Community College and Queensboro Community College. Because of her mother’s unstable vagabond hobo lifestyle V. went to five high schools in five years which resulted in a messed up G.P.A.  Now she can only be accepted into a four year school based on her grades in the two year schools. Detours, yes, but she has a plan for her life and I’m determined to assist her in making her dreams come true. She deserves this opportunity in a quiet, peaceful, safe stable environment. For me it’s not a sacrifice but a calling. In V. I’ve found my purpose in life. I’m more than willing to give her all the encouragement and support she needs.
It’s like a part of me is now complete. I was meant to be there for her. That is part of my calling in this life. 
 
I believe one day V. will make a wonderful curator at a museum. Curators make a very good salary and their work is creative and fulfilling.

From this experience a new ministry for girls called Jephthah’s Daughters has been birthed. Please send donations and contributions to help young girls in need via PayPal to deborah.palmer280@gmail.com. Rest assured that you are supporting a good cause that will lift up young women who have been abandoned and neglected by their birth families.  Thank you.

 
GIRLS MATTER! GIRLS ROCK! GIRLS RULE!!

Ladies, let’s love our girl children and stop putting them on the altar in order to save a son who does not wanted to be saved and does not think he needs help or worse some no account man who should not even be a part of our households to begin with. Let us not return to ancient times when girls and women were thought of as little more than chattel or commodities to be bought and sold. (See below for more details on ancient economies)

Girl Sacrifice

Girl Sacrifice

“One of the unusual things about the Bible is that it preserves some bits of this larger context. … It would seem that the economy of the Hebrew kingdoms, by the time of the prophets, was already beginning to develop the same kind of debt crises that had long been common in Mesopotamia: espe­cially in years of bad harvests, the poor became indebted to rich neigh­bors or to wealthy moneylenders in the towns, they would begin to lose title to their fields and to become tenants on what had been their own land, and their sons and daughters would be removed to serve as servants in their creditors’ households, or even sold abroad as slaves.

V

Mutilation — A Chapbook Memorial for Thelma Rosalie Palmer (1922-1985)

9 Apr

Mutilation

Tribute to Thelma Rosalie Palmer

I looked down at the angry red scar that ran nearly diagonally across what once was my right breast. Carefully almost reverently my left hand caressed the raised stitches that the doctor said would be removed in a few weeks. I was one of the lucky few. The surgeon removed the entire cancerous growth along with all my breast tissue. Bonus point: I did not require chemotherapy or radiation so at least I would get to keep my beautiful salt & pepper mane.

Once the swelling and redness had subsided the plastic surgeon explained to me I’d be a good candidate for reconstructive surgery. But in my musings I had already dismissed that option. I’d rather wear my mastectomy scar as an Amazonian badge of courage and honor. I was a Warrior Woman much like the mythical females immortalized in Greek literature.

This sacrificial scarification symbolized strength and endurance. The will, no, the need to go and move forward in life. As for the pain, it’s not so bad, not nearly as bad as when my ex pummeled me bloody and broken with his fists when I failed to obey some order known or unknown. This operation was not an intolerable as the bi-weekly rapes to which I was subjected.

Even now in the years since he left me on Thanksgiving Day 2007 I’ve considered taking lovers, even had a few imaginary ones but the nightmare replays itself again and again in my head. When I see an erect penis, a face appears right at the head, above the shaft. His face.  The face of my tormentor.  Sexual intercourse with him and forever more in my mind became associated with the lower bodily functions. It’s as though men blow their nose, defecate and vomit upon you in succession. No pleasure. Only pain and moral/emotional degradation. You can never forgive him and worst of all you can never forgive yourself for allowing this to happen. But I’m free now. This scar will protect me from further encounters. My greatest desire is to never be violated again.

I went to the weekly meetings of breast cancer survivors. But nothing will assuage the survivors’ guilt. Guilt that I had lived but my favorite aunt, Thelma Palmer Varner had not.

Aunt Thelma had married and divorced early in her life. Childless she devoted her spare time to her beloved nieces and nephews, especially the children of her only brother, Edward, myself and my brother Stephen. I spent many an enjoyable weekend at her apartment in Co-op City, The Bronx. Aunt Thelma was the fun aunt. We laughed; joked, played games. She took me shopping and told the most hilarious stories.

Aunt Thelma died of breast cancer. Carcinoma of the right breast read her death certificate. But I attributed her untimely death at age 62 to religious ignorance and blind obedience to error. Aunt Thelma a former AME turned Catholic got involved with the Church of Christ Science, better known as Christian Scientists. Mary Baker Eddy. They are neither Christians nor scientists. Christian Scientists claim all illness and sickness is an illusion, doctors are unnecessary and all appearance of sickness can be worked out through “science”. Visiting a doctor when you are in pain or have serious symptoms is considered “a lack of faith in Ms. Eddy’s principles”.  Mary Baker Eddy’s principles of Christian Science are false and ultimately dangerous if followed to the letter.

Aunt Thelma died a slow, painful, agonizing death in one of their “hospitals” in Westchester County. At her funeral one of their so-called ministers to whom Aunt Thelma had paid money for prayer actually had the nerve, audacity and gall to attend the services. If I had not been consumed with grief and wanting to be respectful of other family members I would have beat the woman to death. To this day I hope God assigns a special place in Hell for all Christian Science ministers and pastors. May their reading rooms be vandalized then burned to ashes in memory of their many mislead victims.

Wait my scar is throbbing. It’s speaking to me. This mutilated chest. My war wound.

I’ve decided once the area has completely healed to answer the scar’s calling and decorate my mangled bosom with a full color tattoo of Aunt Thelma and I costumed as Amazon Warrior Women intertwined eternally.

Thelma Rosalie Palmer Varner

1922 – 1985

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

Aunt Thelma -- The Early Years

Thelma Palmer Varner

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