I’ve been attending Wayside Baptist Church off and on for about four years. I always enjoyed the service and felt at home with friendly people and great teaching.
Now that I’m Retired I was ready to make a more permanent connection so during Altar Call I went up to join Wayside. More than just joining. I am now part of the Wayside Baptist Church family. As a single person with only my brother Stephen whom I only see a few times a year I need to be part of support system.
By joining Wayside Baptist Church and attending Sunday services on a regular basis and Bible Study this will help me in my battle against depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
I made up my mind that I could either sit at home and wallow in sadness, depression and negative thoughts or I could get up off my butt Sunday morning, eat breakfast, take my shower and walk the few blocks to the church.
Better to be in the House of the Lord than to be home overthinking and projecting into the future. I was brought up and raised in the Baptist Church so pretty much wherever I have lived whether Queens or Brooklyn that’s where I felt most comfortable. When Pastor Hamatheite made the Altar Call I literally ran to the front. That’s how much I need healing and Restoration in my Life. I was Welcomed with open arms. Stephen has me but as a Caregiver, as a Single Woman I need someone, somewhere I can go.
Retiring was only part of the answer. I realized that I can’t do this on my own. I’m not strong. So I Rededicate my Life to Jesus.
God knew this was the Sunday for me. When one of the church secretaries had written down my name to introduce me Pastor Hamatheite knew me from my Twitter feed. Specifically my photo tweets of Wayside Baptist church.
Truly Lord I Need you Now. I Need you now Lord Right Away. Lord I need you to Restore Me. Lord Jesus I Need the Victory.
The Evil Twisted Legacy of Euro-Centric Christianity
What European Christians meant for evil the afflicted Native Hawaiian peoples took, built community showing a deeper understanding of Jesus Christ and True Christianity. Europeans introduced Leprosy to Native Hawaiians, at that point criminalizing the disease, then shipped them off to a Leper colony with little food, clothes or resources. Separated from their families and Left to die they pooled and cultivated what little they had to support and uplift each other.
8 When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him.2 A man with leprosy[a] came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.”
3 Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.4 Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.”
Truth Excellence Not Perfection. My whole world was challenged last week when I wound up getting hit in my left eye, the same eye I had retina surgery on back in Jan. 2010 while on the job. It was an accident and I don’t blame my co-workers. Accidents do happen. I wound up in Lenox Hill Hospital. I briefly tried returning to work on Tuesday but that did not work out well.
The eye throbbed in pain. I had headaches. Thursday in Urgent Care. Of course during this entire fiasco I was angry. I was upset. Probably alienated people but I had to go through those stages. There had to be a Time of Mourning as it says in the book of Ecclesiastes A time to mourn, a time to cry. A time of grief. A time of sorrow. They have to be experienced before any healing can begin. Good Friday is coming up soon. Even Jesus experienced frustration, sadness, grief and sorrow. Jesus cried out, “My God! My God! Why have you Forsaken Me? If Jesus has feelings and emotions so can I.
I kept asking God Why Me? Cried a lot from both physical and emotional pain. However since it happened at work I’m eligible for Workman’s comp and FMLA. It is possible I might have to get more surgery on that eye. I must admit that I was really depressed. Anxiety. Panic attacks. The whole nine yards. I did wallow in that depression for several days but vision loss is a loss ~~ a type of death ~~ farewell from what was known or expected to the unknown and unexpected. Currently I can only see colors, shapes, light and dark out of my left eye. Even with the glasses. I’ve been going through a type of grief. Yesterday Saturday, I chose to throw myself into my art. Creating my mixed media photo/picture collages. The human mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time. It helped.
Last night I got absolutely No Sleep. I mean None! I just tossed, turned and wandered the house all night. However finally God lead me to YouTube videos by young women who had either gone blind in one eye or for reasons of disease had to have one eye removed. I was moved by their testimonies. Given my ocular occlusion in Nov. 2008 the vision in my Left eye had been compromised anyway. Actually even though I received regular Laser Treatments all of 2009 basically all I saw in my Left eye was black. Not even light and dark. Surgery did allow the light and colors in. There will probably be more eye surgery in my future. Not something I look forward to but it is what it is.
The blood vessels that attach the retina were damaged however I gained back some sight through surgery and special prescription lenses. That ended Sunday, March 18th when I got bashed in the left eye. Now everything is a blur. Muddy. Like looking through gauze. However better wonky vision than no vision at all!
Realizing that it was Palm Sunday I made up my mind to attend Palm Sunday services at a nearby church one I had attended and enjoyed in the past. The Sisters were so kind and welcoming. When the Pastor preached on Jesus triumphant entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey and the choir singing Hosanna Blessed is the Rock of My Salvation.
It’s Holy Week or Passion Week. Most important than my earthly situation is Jesus sacrifice on the Cross. This week is the most important for many Christians. My Choice is to focus on Jesus and the Bible.
One lyric is O’ Magnify the Lord. For He is Worthy to be Praised. Then It dawned on me. I could either Magnify the Lord or I could magnify the circumstances. For God is God no matter if I see again out of that Left eye or the Lord chooses to heal me. As Gladys Knight sang, “You Gotta Make the Best of a Bad Situation.
I felt uplifted. I feel I can move forward no matter what lies ahead.
I am Not an Object of Pity!
I do apologize for the length of this testimony.
My Art ~~ I can still be a Visual Artist with only one working eye
I want to Thank All My Readers in Advance for their Comments. The comments for this blog Do Not come to my email so it may take weeks for me to read and acknowledge them. I programmed the Comments to stay in the Que because my life is so hectic and busy with the job there is no way that I can respond to anything in a timely manner. Working in a museum the Holidays are HellaDays.
The museum gets thousands of visitors. It is a blackout period for the staff so almost No days off. Yes Christmas time might be celebration for some but as for me I’m glad it’s all over. I’m not a Christmas person. I don’t celebrate and people tend to be extremely nasty and rude during that time. It’s like working in a Pressure Cooker. Headaches, Stomach aches, pain = Christmas. The last time I went to the doctor my blood pressure had rocketed skyward. Why? End year Holidays.
Ask anyone who works in a Customer Service position. Actually I’m sure the people in retail, department stores, transit and other fields experience that same Christmas dread. Hopefully this will be my last Holiday season and next season I will be retired. Then I can truly ignore Christmas completely and my life won’t be so screwed up. For me Christmas is like being thrown into a fiery pit with no escape.
The only thing end of year holidays due for me is to raise my blood pressure from all the stress! December is an entire month of making believe you’re happy when you’re not. Relief comes after Jan. 7th!
This blog and my writing in general is a Love/Hate relationship. How people make time to write books I’ll never understand. Any book that I publish will most likely be a Photography book. Many times I just want to dump both the blog and the writing. That’s part of the reason I stopped and focused more on my photography. Writing can be stressful and cathartic all at the same time. In the future I’ll be taking more time away from this blog. Sometimes you just need to walk away from things when they become too difficult.
Honestly I get more personal pleasure from photography than writing. No matter how tired and exhausted work leaves me photography always rejuvenates me whereas writing requires a lot of planning and thought. With a job like mine my brain is mush by the end of the workweek and I’m so tired and physically exhausted all I want to do is sleep. Basically I just want to veg out and watch YouTube or Netflix. In fact I spend most weekends in bed especially now with this brutal freezing winter cold.
Eventually I do read all the comments. However I do want you to know that I appreciate your feedback. Sorry for the Universal response. I’d like to give each and every comment a personal response but at this time it is impossible. Thanks for understanding.
It has been a Great Three days of Bliss and enjoyment. Mind you I do like my job and I have no complaints regarding my workplace. The atmosphere is good and my bosses are nice people. Yet I really needed those 3 days off. Friday was laundry and relaxation, Saturday my girlfriend turned 61 so myself and another girlfriend went took her out for her 61st Birthday to Dallas BBQ in Manhattan.
We had a great time. They are both private people and out of respect to them I will not share our Celebration photos on my blog. However the baby of our bunch who is 51 introduced us to What’s App I keep calling it What’s Up. Too much Buggs Bunny as a child. That way we can chat and share photos with each other without announcing our private and personal lives to the entire world. Basically unless you have your friends permission and they are comfortable with their photos being shared it’s best not too unless you just don’t value your friends.
Wayside Baptist Church
I also got to attend church today. I rarely go to church. Sometimes even when I do have Sunday’s off I’m so exhausted from work that I don’t have the strength or energy to get out of bed for the service. When I do get to service I go to Wayside Baptist church. It is walking distance from my home and I was raised in the Baptist church so there is a certain level of familiarity and comfort. Retirees. One day maybe I will be able to take some Bible classes.
The Biblical Text was Acts 8:26 to 39. We also discussed the Song of Solomon.
Today was a second graduation ceremony for the Wayside Baptist Bible Institute Graduates. Most of them are Seniors and Retirees. There were 53 students in this graduating class.
Wayside Baptist Church teaches an Afro-centric Gospel which acknowledges the presence of Blacks in the Bible. They openly discuss and teach the African contribution to the Bible. When you research most of the countries mention in the Gospels nearly all of them are African countries. Cush, Ethiopia, Egypt, etc….. Africa.
Those of you African-American Baby Boomers remember growing up back in the day and the white/American/European church teaching that Black people were cursed, deserved to be slaves and be under Jim Crow. Actually that is probably what most of the Southern Bible Belt believes today. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard white preachers refer to Blacks as heathens and savages. Therefore Yes we do need a True Interpretation of the Bible and where most of the Biblical stories take place. Trust me that none of the people in the Bible had blond hair, blue eyes or straight noses. That’s a Euro-centric viewpoint designed to keep Blacks down and in mental slavery. Definitely a strategy that encourages self hate. Those of us of African descent know that America’s standard of beauty does not celebrate those of us with woolly hair, dark skin, wide noses or full lips. But the Bible says different.
Song of Solomon 1: 5-6
I am Black and Comely. Oh you Daughters of Jerusalem. The text uses the word “but” however it should read And. The King James version translated it incorrectly.
The Black church also serves a social function and today I learned that there will be a Senior Housing Rally on October 9th. There was a guest speaker liaison to the Mayor’s office informing us that an 82 year old Senior woman at a Sister church who was paying her $1,300 rent with a Section 8 Voucher on time every month is being evicted because the Landlord wants her out so he can charge $3,000 per month for rent. And Yes these are normal rent prices in New York City. So you can see the effect of gentrification and you can also see why I need to work extra overtime in order to afford a place to live. Now an 82 year old woman is way past her working days. Another thing to consider is that we cannot blame the Republicans as both the New York Mayor and Gov. are both Democrats.
Anyway as of tomorrow it’s back to the real world. I have some 16 hour days ahead of me and I must prepare myself mentally and physically. I will be blasting through October, November and December as these are the busiest months for the museum.
BTW, I’ve learned the Wisdom of writing and schedule Blog Posts for the Future, turning off having the comments come to my email and notifications which is why it takes me forever to answer folks. Truthfully I know with my work schedule my window of opportunity to respond to comments is very narrow. Now if folks get offended well that’s not my aim or my fault.