Category Archives: God

#ChurchHurt

[Disclaimer: I’m talking to and about Christians.]

Songs like “I’m Available to You” are cute and nice to sing… until God gives you an assignment you don’t want. I don’t want to write about church hurt. But here we are.

Last week frustrated with the actions of church folk (again), driving home I proclaim, “of all [redacted] places, I shouldn’t have to leave CHURCH feeling like this!”

There is no hurt like church hurt. The worst [emotionally. mentally. sexually] abuse I’ve been subject too has been at God’s house by God’s people. I know church hurt. So after  yall read this don’t come at me like “YoU dOnT kNoW wHaT iTs LiKe!!!” I do.

Can I keep it real?!

Some (not all, a portion, a few, a bit) of yall are full of shit.
Some of yall just don’t want to go to church. Its understandable. I don’t want to go often either. People don’t want to go to church because it is hard to be held accountable.

The pastor preaching about sin, its consequences and how God feels about it is not ‘church hurt’. It’s the truth. They may have mentioned your sin in their sermon. They don’t know your life unless you told ’em.

(This lady in church used to yell “You in my business!” during the sermon when she felt it. LOL)

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. [Hebrews 4:12, NLT]

Every Sermon ain’t supposed to make you shout. Some are supposed to make you grieve. Some Sundays we should leave church saying ‘WOE IS ME!’ If your pastor has never stepped on your toes or preached ‘on your row’, get you a new one.

We want to come to church, sing “Today will be the best day of my life”, spin around 3 times for a breakthrough, sew a seed of $20 so we can become a millionaire and be told there’s a champion in us. We want to be lied to. It feels better.

Joel Osteen is lying. Calvary WAS the breakthrough, you may be broke forever and in this life there will be trouble. [John 16:33]

Can I keep it 100?!

I’m talking to and about people who have professed Christ as their Lord and Savior and have stopped going to church because they got hurt. You are capable of forgiving hurt. You’re even capable of tolerating it. People hurt you at the club, grocery store, your job, the gym and you haven’t stopped going. Your Baby’s momma or daddy hurts you often but you still climb in bed with them.

If you allow being hurt to keep you from church, you have made an idol out of the hurt. I wish it didn’t say it but right there in Hebrews it says don’t forsake the assembly. God inspired Moses to write that because He KNEW how church nig… I mean ‘the saints’ can be. They are insufferable. But so are you. You have hurt people. I saw some people who are straight up terrorists talking about church hurt. I’m not buying it.

I think (not sure) this conversation was sparked by LeAndria Johnson’s rant. I’m a big fan of LeAndria’s singing but she’s trippin. She’s mad at somebody who didn’t recognize her while she was sitting in a chair getting hair and make-up done. Now, the girls put on a LOT of hair and make-up so you may have just been unrecognizable. The ‘before’ and ‘after’ are day and night. Or.. they could’ve just not been paying attention. My grandaddy/pastor used to say ‘You’re just not that important.’

If somebody hurt you, before you go on FB Live, address the person one on one (that’s in the Bible too), face to face and explain how they hurt your feelings. Le’Andria gets praised for “keeping it real”, but ranting about your hurt on Jesus’ internet is passive aggressive and she’s too old and too gifted to be acting that way. Le’Andria needs to see a therapist and yall stop booking her until she does. LOL

Furthermore, against the shadow of the cross, in my mind I could not justify people who are sinners just like me keeping me from church. Crucifixion hurts worse than anything church folk can do to you. He chose to hurt for me, He chooses to forgive my sins daily because of it. Surely I can forgive people. Surely I can find a church and a pastor for me.

As a Christian, you need a church. Free agents don’t play until they get on teams. Nobody refuses to go to the hospital because of sick people. We all need to see the doctor.

This all may sound insensitive. It is not my intention. But I’m not going to sugar coat or coddle grown ups either. I didn’t go to church for awhile. I didn’t WANT to go longer than that. So if you aren’t going. I get it. I ain’t mad atcha. I recognize that everybody ain’t where I am and it’s taken me a WHILE to come to this realization.

Those of you dealing with church hurt, I am so sorry. Please find the most healthy way to address it and get your ass…. i mean, find yourself back in church. How do you deal with it? Idk. LOL. It may mean finding another congregation, it may mean showing up when you don’t want to, it definitely means LOTS OF PRAYER. Pray for a heart to forgive. Pray for whoever hurt you. Pray for the Pastor. Pray when you wanna cuss out a nigga on Sunday morning.  God answers prayers.

*in my Lexi voice* GO TO CHURCH!

Now, I don’t want my perspective to look like it lets the church off the hook. Church hurt IS the church’s fault. 
The church needs to treat people better.
The church needs to stop asking a congregation of poor people to put gas in the pastor’s jet.
The church needs to address sexual abuse, toxic masculinity, patriarchy, generational curses, mental health and MUCH more.
The church needs more leaders who are called by God (then TRAINED) and not self-proclaimed.
The church needs a smoking section. The church needs a concession stand. 
The church should change the neighborhood.
The church needs to make social justice a priority.
Elders of the church need to know when to RETIRE and make way for the next generation. The next generation needs to listen to the elders with open ears and open hearts.
We need to make church a priority and not a ‘maybe’ on the weekend.

Thanks for coming to my TEDtalk. If you’re dealing with church hurt and need somebody to talk to, I am here. If you mad and want to cuss me out, I promise you don’t want this smoke! LOL. Bless your heart and all your parts. Like CarrieAmanda on Facebook. Comment or hit me up and let me know you readin! Thank you!

– CGW

 

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#LevelUp These

You’re familiar with the old adage, that if you roll your eyes they could get stuck like that. This can’t possibly be true. Or maybe, black women in the black church are immune to it. That’s like a evolution thing right?

The singer Ciara posted this clip of Pastor John Gray at a women’s conference of all places with the caption #LevelUp.

My friend asked me what I thought before I had even seen it. We discussed how Proverbs 18:22 is misinterpreted and over quoted in church. The ‘spirit of girlfriend’ whatever the hell that means isn’t addressed in that passage or an in the Bible. In this passage, the task is left to the man to find a wife, and niggas in the pulpit have still found a way to make the woman responsible.

I found a longer clip and Pastor Gray goes on to tell women basically to not wear makeup and weave because he’s looking for ‘the real you’and not the ‘projected you’. Do yall REALLY think women have a MAN in mind when doing their hair and makeup? We’re doing that for each other or for our damn selves. Black women are innovators when it comes to hair and make up and plenty sistas need to beat their face DAILY.

Furthermore, statistically, Black women in large part are marrying “down” to men with less education and who make less money. So in our case getting married is rarely a #LevelUp. “Finding” a Black wife is the #LevelUp so why doesn’t the Black church address boys and men? It instead gives men permission to treat women who aren’t wives however they want to.

Plus, the way yall talk about marriage? Got the nerve to tell me to #LevelUp and you climbing in bed with a broke man that can’t give you an orgasm. You #LevelUp first, sus. You. First.

And since we’re at church… There are plenty examples in the Bible of how men should treat women, what kind of husbands and fathers they should be. Let’s look at one. I have time. #BibleStudywithCarrie

When Joseph found out Mary was pregnant, he didn’t blast her on Facebook, he was hurt of course because he assumed Mary cheated on him and wasn’t trying to marry her. “But because Joseph… was a righteous man he was unwilling to disgrace her publicly, he resolved to divorce her privately.” (Matthew 1:19 CarrieOn version)

Joseph treated Mary honorably while he still believed she got pregnant by one of them Roman soldiers (I’m making this up, you’ll deal). THEN, he married her anyway and waited to have sex with her until Jesus was born. We only come to this passage of scripture during Christmas time, but I believe a few brothas could stand to learn about Joseph’s burden. Joseph treated Mary graciously as God treats us. We see Joseph following the command to treat your wife as Christ treats the church. Aren’t you glad God treats you with Grace?

There are plenty of fathers and husband in pulpits across America (women are kept out of many). Why is no one discussing being a husband and fatherhood?

My family is victim to a few men who weren’t taught to be husbands and fathers so when I hear niggas in the pulpit talking about women need to ‘cover up’ or ‘learn to cook’ or ‘stop wearing all that make up’ my eyes roll hard. They haven’t got stuck yet.

What if a woman (or man) enjoys being single and doesn’t want children? How does the church minister to women outside of being a wife and mother? In large part it doesn’t.

Personally, I’m trying to lose 100 lbs, make millions off my businesses, then invest in a farm. There’s no room for a husband and children in this vision. That isn’t what I want at the moment. (Eventually, I want children. I NEVER have to have a husband but I want my kids in a 2-parent household so I suppose I’ll get one. I digress.)

We are doing girls and women a disservice when we indoctrinate them to believe they are only valuable attached to  man. Don’t get me wrong, Mothers and wives are superheros and that’s what many women do want. That’s fine. But there are plenty of women who have other goals and aspirations and are just as LIT single.

Finally, we should teach people to be ‘good’ because it pleases God, not to please and impress other sinners.

In conclusion, women you’re fearfully and wonderfully made. Adam needed Eve, not the other way around. The first Gentile to declare Jesus the messiah was a woman, the first person to declare Jesus resurrected was a woman. You can do whatever you want husband or none. Prosper.

-CW

 

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Millenials and the Church Part 2

Here’s Part 1

Unauthentic emotionalism
Everybody loves a good shout. If nothing else its entertaining. But, if it happens every single Sunday and is forced, its not genuine. If I’m an emotional mess, I’m not engaged or listening. I certainly cannot be poured into that way. Of course we want to see a ‘move of God’ but that doesn’t always look emotional.

Lazy
It’s not always that deep. We were down to the bar Saturday night and Brunch starts at 2. We ain’t trying to get up in the mean time between time and go to church. Hungover. From what I’ve heard 🙂

We always want to leave church feeling good
If you’ve never been mad at your pastor’s sermon, if they’ve never made you feel bad about yourself, get you another pastor. Of course we go to church to feel better but the Gospel can be a sword (Matthew 10:34). Looking at yourself up against Jesus should make you thankful but it should also put a ‘woe is me’ in your spirit. God is after your heart. He isn’t concerned about you feeling good, being comfortable or having money. It may not be your season. You may not get a breakthrough next week. Hearing these LIES every Sunday may make you feel warm and fuzzy but they aren’t making you a better Christian.

Too Woke
Woke: to be socially conscious 
I have a few non-Christian “woke” friends.
“I see you still got that Roman cross on”
“Christianity was used to enslave us! It’s the white man’s religion!”
I’ve had these arguments. I rarely have them anymore. My rule is don’t disrespect what I believe, and I’ll respect what you believe. We can still coexist. I’m NOT going to stop being a Christian. This Roman cross is tattooed on me so we #minuswell move on.

Because being ‘woke’ is in and we’re all victims of peer pressure, it is important to know the word for yourself. I’m an activist because Jesus called me to be one and He is the activist I model my work after. Nobody was more woke than Jesus. I’m not going to let the Western World’s influence on Christianity keep me from Jesus. Problems with the presentation of Christianity (white Jesus) and the black church are totally valid. If the woke black people is on Sunday, I’ll be there AFTER church.

Generational Disconnect
Millennials and our parents and grandparents have our disagreements. I think what some millennials find frustrating is our parents and grandparents unwillingness to change. What worked in 1960 may not work in 2017. I believe there is middle ground. We are taught to respect our elders so it’s a challenge to be super honest. Lets talk about the generational disconnect of music. We’re free. (Well, we aren’t enslaved anymore, most of us… ) I’m tired of negro spirituals. I honestly never have to hear “Ride on King Jesus” again. He got off the donkey eventually.

The church doesn’t feel like it belongs to us when we hold no leadership positions and leadership doesn’t seem to be concerned about our generation. If it ain’t mine, I’ll be at the house. “No man can-a hinder me.”

Church has no impact on local community
Lots of us live in victimized communities. We have to be concerned about food deserts, gentrification, poor education, police brutality to name just a few. The church should be addressing these issues. If only because there is a black church on every corner in the hood. Shouting on Sunday ain’t enough. You ain’t being a light if the community is no different because you’re in it. It is as simple as showing up. As someone passionate about activism, I don’t feel the need to spend time and money on ANY organization that isn’t making a positive change.

In conclusion…
Thank you all so much for your patience. I have no computer at home and tendinitis. My local public library is Black af and not always the quietest place to write. I hope I gave someone some insight and can get some in return. These issues are not exclusive to millennials and it is my belief all Christians NEED TO GO TO CHURCH a few times a year. Thanks again. “… do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8

– Carrie

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Millennials & the Church Part 1

Millennials: Born from 1982-2002

Praise the Lord Saints, we’re going to tackle why black millennials have stopped coming to church. I got asked about it from a few friends that are leaders in the church and figured I’d offer my perspective and the anonymous perspective of a few friends. I quickly realized it be easier to digest in a parts. (Also, tendinitis in my wrist) This is the Part 1. Stay tuned for the remix (Part 2) coming at cha this fall.

I was forced as a child, I’m grown now and don’t have to.
Growing up, there was never a discussion about church. “Get up its 9” is the extent of the conversation. My brother and I didn’t have a choice.  Doesn’t every generation rebel when they ‘get grown’?

Service is too long
And do you know WHY we didn’t wanna go? We’d go Sunday at 11 and leave Tuesday at 3 with no break and no snacks. I still struggle doing it as an adult. I can imagine how kids struggle.

Church Anniversary was recently. Service started at 11….. 11:15. The preacher didn’t get up till 1pm. All them speeches, presentations, poems and shit! It feels too long because what we doing on service feels like open mic night sometimes. It has nothing to do with Jesus. Church is one place anybody can get up and get their 15 even if they don’t have any business with a microphone. By the time you’re frustrated and hungry, you can’t listen or engage in service properly.

Technology
“TD. Jakes and Bobby Jones have helped folks stay committed to Beside Baptist. Now with the ability to live stream church services YouTube past sermons and etc people feel like why so I need to come all the way to the church I can worship right at home.”

I can stream service at hundreds of churches across the country and not get out of bed. It’s lazy. But as someone with social anxiety, it’s just easier to watch from the house.

Church Niggas Christians
“Since I’ve been attending Bedside Baptist I haven’t been personally victimized by any of the church mothers. Nobody has attacked me for being 30, unwed, with no kids. Nobody has told me I need to put more money in the offering plate after I just gave my last. ”

“I stopped going to church for a long time because of “church hurt” but eventually I had to stop risking my foundation with Christ because of people…. I realized that if I keep my eye on Christ and not the distraction/people regardless of what is said or done (which is hard) I’m less penetrated by the foolishness.”
I’ve dealt with church hurt. I was younger in my walk with Christ. It is silly to let God’s people keep you from God. When I’m sick, I go to the hospital. I don’t leave because ‘eww, all these sick people’. We’re all sinners. As I matured in my walk with Christ, church folk don’t bother me as much. It takes LOTS OF PRAYER, chile.

Leadership or lack their of
“…around my area with the black pastors, I just hear too many stories of these pastors and the allegations of baby mommas and side chicks”

“…too many of our churches are centered around leadership (pastor, worship leaders, other preachers or people in prominent placement), and this is a turnoff to a generation of community minded people like us millennials.”

The #BlackLivesMatter Movement that many millennials have embraced is a ‘leaderless’ movement. There is no pastor, president or CEO. It’s all of us or none of us. I do believe a pastor is necessary but we walk on the line of idolatry when it comes to our Pastor and First Lady.

Also, many leaders (deacons, preachers) in the church lead raggedy lives and as someone who is trying to be better, I need an example especially in a man. Men tend to not hold each other accountable. That’s another discussion though.

Sex
Yall lied to us about sex. All yall said was it’s for one man and one woman in marriage and don’t do it until then. As a preteen I wondered why adults kept saying don’t have sex. It didn’t sound appealing anyway.

Nobody told me that sex feels good.

Also, we’re told that masturbation is a sin as well. So how do I deal with my physical urges? I didn’t get those answers in church.

Homophobia/Gender Roles
” I’m a preacher’s kid and queer! Where do I begin….hypocrites, non-inclusive language and consistent perpetuation of gender roles!

The church has very conditional homophobia. Church queens make service lit with the music and the dance ministry. But the gays is going to hell.

Also, gender roles. I believe that gender is God’s design and for a purpose. But I wasn’t taught how to operate outside of wife and mother. When and if it happens, great. But I’m single with no kids and I wanna stay that way for a few years. Ain’t many niggas around here to ‘submit to’. So do I get a fixer upper nigga or what? The church teaches women to submit but not men to be somebody to submit to.

Thirdly, many of us (including me) are products of single parent homes where there was no man of the house. The woman was the leader of the family. I haven’t seen many examples of a submissive wife that were… appealing.

 

This is part 1. I pray that I’ve given some insight. If you’re a millennial and have anything to contribute to the church discussion, feel free to hit me up. This is an ongoing discussion. If you come up in my inbox trying to argue, I’m #ReclaimingMyTime God bless you real good.

 

– Carrie

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Lent Week Two: There’s No Future in Your Frontin’

Lent Week 2! What have a learnt? “There’s no future in your frontin.”

Frontin: Urban slang. To put up a facade or make appearances to maintain an inaccurate image of oneself “I know that I’m carrying on, nevermind if I’m showing off, I was just frontin'” – Pharelle

I feel like I should put a disclaimer on this. I’ve been sitting in front of my laptop looking at the screen thinking “How I’mma start THIS out?”

I love and appreciate the church I grew up in. That being said i am about to be very honest about some of my experiences. I love the church and everybody (well most of yall) just the same.  I know plenty of people reading are or have been members of this church. Church is a family and there are some cousins and uncles we can’t stand. Hell, i don’t too much like my daddy myself.

If you’re offended by this post, as a member of this church or any, pray about how you can make church easier on people.. and don’t come for my church or pastor. I’ll fight you. Well, probably not. I’m too pretty to fight. I will talk about ya momma though. I digress.

Bailey (my Volkswagen BLookUpDown gifeetle) is in the shop so mom and I have been sharing Condoleezza  (the other beetle). I haven’t been going to church with her, the church in which I grew up. (We live in different cities) I chalked it up to social anxiety but I realized it was something else as well. I decided to go last Sunday (2 Sundays ago by the time you’re reading) and immediately realized why I hadn’t been going. I got so many… looks.

The church I grew up in is very conservative. Women only in skirts conservative, no sleeveless shirts conservative. People wait for us to come out of church to see what we got on. Yall know how we dress for the Derby? That’s weekly.

I DID wear skirts and dresses for years but after ‘while it got uncomfortable. I just didn’t feel like me. I didn’t like the attention I got in a skirt (#thick) and who in hell wants to wear pantyhose EVER?! I used to take them off in the parking lot after service during the summer.

Also, I’ve since joined a church that was  less conservative (with teaching/preaching just as sound.. that’s important). I figured out I could go to church AND be me. I never thought that was possible.

I stayed home from church this past Sunday because I don’t want people to look at me funny for wearing pants.

It is so ignant its funny. No, literally I laughed after I typed that sentence.

Everybody wants to be accepted. It took a lot of rejection for me to realize this. (Well, not a LOT of rejection, look at me – sheeeeeeeeIT) I developed a strong exterior but rejection hurts just the same. I ain’t gon front, rejection hurts bad. 

The two rejections that hurt the most are from my father and from the church.

These rejections have happened over and over through out my life.  But you know what I realized after years of frontin? I’m just fine without them. By the grace of God, I am just fine. 

I have decided that I’m done trying to be accepted by anybody but especially by church niggas  folk and my pop. To hell with them, frankly. I prayed that I’d change, that God would change me to make me more acceptable so i could be more comfortable and Her only response was “I love you.”

fanny2.gif*Baptist Fit*

My goal should not be to be accepted by people that are sinners like me. I only need acceptance from One and he sent Jesus. –Quickens

After I understood what God did for my sin and what he continues to do in spite of my sin it was a teench harder to judge anybody especially for what the clothes they had on. I wholeheartedly understand why people don’t come to church. I just can’t let people keep me from Jesus. I ain’t going to stop going to church. Also, God doesn’t want you or I to be comfortable. But that’s a different subject for a different day.

It is difficult coming to the realization that the church you grew up in is not the church you are going to stay in. I thought I was going to get married and raise my kids there. I ain’t. Y’all know black people stay in church for dozens of generations in the same damn seat for a hundred years. I had to change churches in order to grow in my walk with Jesus. I had to change churches to be able to go every Sunday.

The lesson I’ve learned is that in order to heal you gave to deal. (Ooohh trademark that… sounded like Johnny Cochran.) You will not be able to move on or heal if you fronting about your hurt. You ain’t that tough. Trust me. I’m a professional fronter and I am nuts on paper. I was fronting about being hurt and why i was hurt. Yall know how much sleep I lost? I was up at 3am bothered and didn’t know why.kellyanne

Be honest with yourself. Keep it 100. It will help your skin. Look at KellyAnne Conway. She lies for a living and looks hung up to dry. Lying on top of the way some white women age? I digress.

Some things only come by fasting and prayer (Matthew 17:21). Lent has been a blessing. High-5 your neighbor and tell em “There’s no future in your fronting.” 

Thank you so much for reading and sharing. I never think people I know are reading until they let me know. So leave me a comment or message, dag!

Sola Gratia

-Carrie

 

 

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Lent Commentary Week 1: Sitting like KellyAnne Conway

Peace, yall. Welcome new followers! Thank you for following! Follow me on twitter and snap at @andcarrieon7 and like my Facebook page CarrieAmanda.

During Lent I’ll post every Wednesday, lets get into it.

I won’t assume everybody knows what Lent is so here’s a brief description. Lent is the 40 days before Easter. It symbolizes Jesus’ 40 day withdrawal into the wilderness.

The purpose of lent for the Christian is self-denial in preparation of the celebration of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection which is Easter.

It’s not just a Catholic holiday as many believe. Many Christian denominations observe lent; Normally by giving up or fasting from something. Use your Googles for more info. This ain’t Wikipedia.

I haven’t observed lent in a few years. It always sneaks up on me and I’ve been too lazy to give up something. It takes effort.

I gave up Facebook, am doing the #BathroomBreakChallenge (word to my friend Imani at christiancontrolfreak.com) and a Lent Bible reading plan. It has already been very rewarding.

Hindsight is 2020 right? I’ve learned that I was relying too much on my job/money, my material possessions, social status/friends and not God. Idol gods aren’t just golden statues. God will take all that away to get your attention. I left my job (money and insurance), lost some people my damn car broke down, and I’m nuts.

God Got me leaning on the everlasting arms, honey. It may not feel like I have much but this Peace I have outweighs all of that.

Since I’m not on Facebook, i get most of my news a little later when I sit down and look so heres my commentary on notable news:

kellyanne, girlKellyAnne was sitting on that couch like a child with no home training. You know how a
little girl isnt used to wearing a dress and you have to tell her “put ya legs down baby”. I had the urge to tell KellyAnne that but she’s a whole entire adult. There ain’t but a FEW reasons to have your leg open this far and this was not one of those occasions.

Ben Carson is another whole entire adult that has life wrong. I am still waiting on Ashton Kutcher to come out on the country and tell us we’re punked. This nigga is a brain surgeon that said the ancestors were “immigrants” that came over on slave ships. If they were immigrants WHY WERE THEY CALLED SLAVE SHIPS. The leader of HUD, yall. Has he ever seen Roots?!? I didn’t know brain surgeons could be THIS stupid. Maybe he’s in the sunken place, him and Kanye. Can we go get them or..? The bar has been lowered tremendously for all things. Now is the time to pursue whatever you want. I’m trying out for the NFL.

Third and final commentary. Yall want Ciara to be miserable so bad. If Ciara had stayed ciarawith Future, was raising Baby Future by herself, getting cheated on, singing sad ass songs and miserable, nobody would have anything to say. She released this gorgeous maternity photo and black ashy twitter is up in arms. Yall mad at Ciara for having the nerve to move on and marry a man that loves her and her son instead of being mad at Future who is nowhere to be found. A miserable black woman is so normal to us, we’re offended when she is happy.

If you don’t want another man in your son’s life, BE THE MAN IN YOUR SONS LIFE, NIGGA. Keep on prospering Ciara. Keep right the hell on.

me daddy mommaI’m so passionate about Ciara because look at this photo to the left. That is baby Carrie. The man holding baby Carrie is not my biological father. But he is my daddy. He married my mom when I was that age and raised me as his own. My biological father still ain’t interested in being a parent. It’s too late anyhow. So F you and your couch if you’re mad at Ciara. She isn’t the one in the wrong.

Note: I know it looks like that’s my brother holding me. LOL The resemblance is uncanny. He wasn’t even born yet. Ah the days of being an only child.

Ok, I think that’s all I got to say. I never know how to end these things.

Till next Wednesday. Bless your heart and all your parts.

– CAGW

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Don’t wait your turn!

We’ve already established that my Facebook (henceforth FB) News feed gives me the MOST. Part of my self care is ‘unplugging’ especially from FB.

I have a homegirl who checks in on me ever so often. I told her this morning I was super anxious. She said “maybe unplug from FB for today”. That’s EXACTLY what I needed to do.

The FB commentary issues that have got under my eyelashes lately are Karrueche and Chris Brown, the bathroom bill (and many other bills Jesus), immigration and how I’m not ‘woke’ cause I’m Christian.

I have learned valuable lessons in FB debates. It’s usually best to keep right on scrolling. Thoughtful conversation usually happens sans audience and one or one. Anytime we broadcast something, it’s to get a reaction and to show off for our friends. Which is in why my view FB debates go south FAST. I usually want to be real petty by the 3rd exchange and I’m trying to do better so I usually just skip them all together. auntie-max

The second lesson is that a good number of people are not smart or open minded enough to debate with. For example, in order to talk about rights for LGBTQ people, you must understand, sexual preference, gender as a social construct and biology. Lots of people don’t.

For us cisgender folk, being transgender may be a hard concept to grasp (use your Googles) but it shouldn’t be hard to grasp that they are people just like us. I’m more disgusted than surprised that we are having a conversation about public restrooms.

Its hilarious to me that niggas black people scoff at any legislation regarding public accommodations. Ask your granny if she could just go to any bathroom.

AND AND AND Transphobia behind ‘protecting our women’ is disingenuous. The POTUS bragged about grabbing women buy the pussy… The President. Of the United States. Some of our legislatures are trying to defund Planned Parenthood and PP isn’t even funded federally. The government could do a much better job of protecting women. The bathroom bill AIN’T one of ’em.

Lets talk about Chris Brown ole creepy ass for a minute. It doesn’t take much to surprise me but I AM surprised that yall need receipts on Chris’ crazy when we already have them.

I posted the story and people’s comments:

“I need to see pictures.”

“Why is she just now saying something?”

“She’s just doing it for attention.”

AND MOSTLY from WOMEN!

rhianna-faceMeanwhile I’m serving Maxine Waters face. This the same guy that had Rhianna’s face swollen and bloody. Why can’t we believe Karruche? Why are we defending someone we KNOW needs therapy? Cause we enjoy his music? You go on a date with Chris Brown, sis.

These issues don’t necessarily hit home for me. I’ve never been abused by a romantic partner nor have I ever thought about which bathroom to use for my safety. But they still get to me emotionally.

I’m so frustrated that its such a struggle for people to see other people as human that deserve the rights they enjoy. It scares me because I’m very other and I need someone in privilege to see me as human sometimes and I know they don’t have to.

American culture is very much to blame I think. We have plenty of laws on the books that remind the majority that minorities are people too. Also, i think we try to give ourselves moral permission to treat people bad when we “other” them.

Immigration is a good example. You can’t say you don’t want them here because they’re brown (that’s what it REALLY is). That’s too direct. You gotta straight up make shit up. They are terrorist or innately more criminal. So i don’t have to welcome them into the country, so I don’t have to treat them as people. So I CAN treat them badly. Example below:

I’ve been waiting to use this hilarious clip. They was pissed. LOL

But seriously I know what its like to be othered and it doesn’t feel good, it’s scary. That’s why I don’t want to do it to anyone else. I also believe we have a duty to stand up for people. Its way too late to wait your turn. Errrbody is in danger, girl. I have friends that are undocumented, transgender people in my family, I’m a black millennial. I just can’t afford to wait my turn. We gotta fight unjustice for ANYONE because we are ALL image bearers of God.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.
Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. – Martin Niemöller-CGW

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It doesn’t always feel good.

Obeying God, doing the right thing, doing what’s needed does not always feel good.

A few examples

Bishop Eddie Long passed. As a victim of sexual abuse, I will probably (want to) do the Harlem Shake and running man on the grave of my abuser. But how I feel about my abuser doesn’t matter because neither Heaven or Hell, me or him belong to me. What if I told you that Bishop Eddie Long was in Heaven? Speaking about a believer’s sin after they pass gives the power to the sin and not to Jesus. I feel like I’m defending Bishop Long and it does not FEEL good. Obeying God, being a Christian, Evangelizing… doesn’t always feel good. A believer goes to Heaven. Period. It says WHOSOEVER BELIEVES in my Bible… not whosoever acts right.

Next example, I feel lonely. (I can’t believe I’m sharing this with yall.) I feel isolated from my friends and family. I’m an introvert but I’m bit of a social butterfly at times. For whatever reason I cannot get anybody closer than arm’s length right now.. All I keep hearing is ‘focus on yourself’ when I pray. Working on Carrie is the best thing to do right now but it does not FEEL GOOD!

Third example, I decided to not give my biological father the opportunity to disappoint me any further. He does not have the heart to be a parent and I don’t chase grown ass people. He has me (and my mom) blocked on Facebook (lol) and he didn’t get my new number when I changed it recently. That doesn’t just not feel good. It feels horrible. The dude that made me doesn’t want to parent me? It’s so tragic its funny. (More on that later, that’s a good story)

Final example, I left my corporate job. I did the right thing. I went to school, got a degree (BARELY) and a nice job.. and that did not feel good. I was very unhappy.  I had a mental breakdown as a result of doing what I THOUGHT was right. After I left my job, I lost my insurance and of course that paycheck. I was broke and could not afford the care I needed (still can’t).

But in the midst of doing what was right and not what felt good I found peace. I felt better the MINUTE I made the decision I wasn’t going back to that job. I realized that I should not be sitting at a desk working for somebody. I am an artist. I’m a hustler. In the midst of this revelation, my mom and I started a T-Shirt Company: HunnTees. I started driving for Postmates and have a few more projects in the works. I am broke (for now). I have no insurance (for now) but I am at peace. I am not miserable. I haven’t been able to say that since July.

So, my advice to you is that I know it doesn’t feel good. But keep going because it does not stay that way. Doing what is hard builds character and perseverance. There’s no getting better without suffering. Count it joy! #ThatsBible

-Carrie

 

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I would like to front for yall. I’d like to tell you I have it all together, that I’m healthy and not broke. I’d like to tell you that I know what I am doing and what I want to do in life.

I can’t.

I’m stressed. My skin looks bad and my hair is thinning. My cycle is irregular and I ain’t got an appetite. I am not myself. I’m super sensitive. I’ve had 2 bad anxiety attacks in the past two days (at the time I’m writing). My father has me blocked on facebook and I didn’t hear from him on my birthday. I’m fighting mad at him. I’m broke. I was sick on my birthday. I am grieving. I don’t enjoy the holidays. Seasonal depression. Crazy dreams. Donald Trump is the President-Elect. So, I’m not ok.

BUT.

I’m still here. (Runs around sanctuary)

There comes a time when you have to get honest and make a decision. I WANT to give up. But, I’m still breathing. I still wake up every morning and that means it aint over.

fb_img_1481767149017I got this damn semi colon tattooed on my hand.

I was inspired by project semicolon. Check them out.

Yall know I’m a grammar/spelling snob. Punctuation is useful. A semicolon separates two independent clauses; I like to think of it as more than a comma and less than a period.

The semicolon project brings awareness to people who have struggled with mental illness, for people who have struggled with self-harm and suicidal thoughts. The idea is that if we are the author of our lives, a semicolon goes after that struggle, not a period (oooh, i almost shouted. The Holy Ghost almost threw me off of this couch).

I am at the point right before the semicolon. I’ve learned that God will keep you in the storm until you learn your lesson. I am hardheaded and oblivious. It took a year almost to learn why I was struggling. So what did I learn?

I learned that I am not invincible.

I learned that I need people. I need friends and family that will listen or just sit with me until I’m ready to talk. I need friends that will go off on me if I’m not taking my medicine.

I learned that I must struggle (financially, physically, mentally) in order to help people who are struggling. Hebrews 4: 15 says “… we do not have a high priest (Jesus) who is unable to sympathize with our weakness, but one… who was tempted.. yet did not sin” Our greatest help went through what we go through in order to identify with us and intercede for us. I ain’t Jesus by a long shot. I certainly need a lesson or two in sympathizing. I feel a calling to help people. I believe good help comes from those who can identify with those in need.

I read 2 Corinthians today. Paul and the thorn. I wonder what Paul’s thorn was. I have my theories. My thorn (one of them) is my mental health. God didn’t take away the thorn even after Paul asked 3 times. But he did give Paul grace to deal with it. How would we know the power of God if we had the power? God’s power is made perfect in our weakness (v. 9) so we can boast about our weakness because that is when God sees us.

Thus are my birthday reflections. Thank you so much for your support.

– CAGW

 

 

10 Things That Tickle Me about the Black Church Experience

This article was inspired by Very Smart Brotha’s “10 Randomly Specific Things to Blackness that Always tickle the Hell out of me” shoutouts to Damon Young and all the brothas at VSB.

I’m told that I first went to church when I was 8 days old. I was born on a Saturday, Lisa (aka momma) rested the next day, but when Sunday came back around her super saved self was in church with a big ass newborn. I have always been chunky and I have always been in church. Since my granddaddy was the ‘passa’ I was probably in church more than the average church goer. The black church was all I knew until my white home girl from middle school had her confirmation and invited me down to the white Catholic Church. I was amazed and confused. (I need a white contributor to the blog, affirmative action)

I have “backslid” to one service per Sunday and since Empire comes on Wednesday, I usually miss bible study. I’m gon watch via streaming faith this afternoon though. Here are 10 things that tickle me about the black church experience.

 

The Ushers  

The ushers are the church’s bouncers and you want to be friends with them. For some reason, their right, (left?) hand is stuck to their back. If church is full when you show up, they will tell somebody to scoot down while looking over their glasses and show you your seat.

No, you can’t sit with your friends/family. You’ll sit where the hell she/he told you to. Sit on your coat/jacket or put it on the floor. You can’t save seats, and put the lap scarf on she/he gave you even if your dress is down to your ankles. Don’t argue.

Get a fan or envelope when they come down the aisle. Cause if they have to come back you will get a side eye.But they will take care of you, I was distraught at my grandaddy’s funeral and the usher wiped my eyes for me WHILE fanning me. They the real MVPs.

Believe it or not, I was an usher back in my day. I quickly realized that I was not humble enough to serve in this capacity and put my white gloves up. I haven’t picked ‘em up since… ain’t going to.

The Musicians 

My daddy and brother are musicians so I got to deal with musician foolery 7 days a week. They may have on a 3 piece suit. They may look like they are about to go hoop at the Y. They will not have the right colors on. They disappear like your baby’s daddy during the sermon (especially if your church has multiple services). They probably played down to the bar last night and will start a groove during offering and forget and slip some secular music in there.

The length of service 

My church at home has combined men/women’s day (see the next one) and we were in church until 2pm that service; in large part because somebody let my mom and her sister (aka my auntie) on program. Make sure you bring a bag of grippos and your soda/juice of choice to service (there’s a store walking distance of every black church in America). You’re in it for the long haul. 10 songs, 2 scriptures, memorials, offering, prayer, 10 more songs, shouting and THEN the sermon, altar call, remarks, and benediction. I usually get a headache mid sermon.

The “Days”   

Children’s Day, Youth Day, Young Adult Day, Men’s Day, Women’s Day, Senior Adults Day is what I grew up with. We called it “Loyalty Month” not sure why. Loyalty month is the only time we saw most of the participants. These hoes ain’t loyal.

Women’s day is coming up. The theme is “Get In Formation”. I’m probably gonna participate just out of curiosity of how we’re going to take Beyonce’s song and put Jesus on it.

The “Days” are a big production, complete with a theme, assessment ($$$) and what colors the ushers and choir are supposed to wear. There’s always one person that isn’t going to buy a new outfit and will either wear their black suit/white suit REGARDLESS of the colors (ask Lisa if she buying something. She ain’t)

The kids/teens 

Somebody’s baby is crying. EVERYBODY turns around to see who it is and why they ain’t took that baby to the nursery. As if there aren’t some grown folks that don’t want to throw a fit from sitting for 3 hours. Lots of churches have a separate service for children now. I’m pissed because I didn’t have a separate service to go to when I was a kid. I had to sit with my auntie (my mom was in the choir) and endure. Spoiled brats.

The teenagers do not want to be there and have no problem showing it.

The “muthas” 

I’m not sure the history of the mothers of the church. But a group of older women are the matriarchs of the congregation. They have their own row at my home church.

Give them the correct title, not “Sister soandso” or Mrs. “soandso” MUTHA soandso.

If your skirt is too short, a mutha will pull you to the side (maybe) and let you know. If you need a perm, a mutha will ask you when you’re getting one (even if you’ve had an afro for a year… happened to Lisa. I DARE you to ask her the story. She’ll go off) No matter how shady she is to you, you have to respond ‘yes ma’am’ and be respectful for no other reason than she’s 100 years old. I think it’s extra points in Heaven when you can stay respectful to Mutha Shadyboots. She always has her head covered in the sanctuary. Dressed impeccably, accept the shoes. She’s been on this world a few decades and is gonna put her sneakers to come to service.

The Deacon Board 

I suppose this makes the Deacons the fathers of the church. They have been serving communion/Lord’s supper since the Emancipation Proclamation but still manage to argue and look confused when 1st Sunday comes around. The pastor/church’s body guards, a few of them are packing. They take the offering to God knows where and count it. Their wife is on the women’s usher board and also participates in serving the communion but knows what she’s doing.

The Kitchen Committee/Culinary Ministry   

On special occasions, such as a ‘day’ or anniversary the church has a meal after service. The church pays for the meat. The members got to bring the side dishes. Everybody takes a to-go plate. The senior citizens eat first.

This is the best seasoned food you’ll ever taste. Ever. There are a dozen cakes/pies to choose from and the tea will put you in a diabetic coma. It’s made with the Holy Ghost and crack cocaine. Give yourself time to nap before evening service.

I think being mean is a requirement to work in the kitchen at church. I also had a short-lived stint in the kitchen. When I was a teenager, they had the youth help in the kitchen/dining room for some event and the saints were so IGNANT the youth refused to ever work in the kitchen again. I think that was the first boycott/protest I organized. They had 16-year-old Carrie ALL THE WAY FCKED UP. I hadn’t been saved that long.

Funerals 

No matter how much of an asshole you were, if you went to a black church, we’ll MAKE UP some fond memories of you to reflect on at the funeral. These services can also be very long (bring a snack). The ushers have backup in the funeral home staff. They have extra supplies (fans, peppermint, bottled water) and you AIN’T getting a program before the family comes in. If the family is large and takes up all the programs, you’re not getting a program. If the family is large and needs more seats, you may have to stand. Do what the usher says. Please. You can find one after service. Somebody left one in the pew.

White Jesus

You may go into a church with black people and a black pastor. There may be a picture/painting of white Jesus somewhere. There isn’t in either of the churches I go to. I’d have them take it down. White supremacy runs deep. If I talk about it any further I’ll start cussing.

 

 

Thus is my list of of 10 things that tickle me about the black church. Honorable Mention entries that I didn’t have energy to cover: The First Lady, The Church Secretary, Offering, Pastors/Church Anniversary, The politicians we see once every few years and Testimony Service.

-CGW