Lupus?! A wha dat?!

Just another emcee who gets free. Vessel of philanthropic vision fueled by theophilic purpose.

Tag: endurance

With gratitude

My sons and I, November 2020.

Three years ago I was in Brooklyn Hospital Center enduring what would become a three month long stay. I would spend Thanksgiving in so much pain that the last thing on my mind was a plate.

Everyday I would rise at 6, read scripture, and worship God while singing along with Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise.” I would hold on until 9am or so when I knew doctors made their rounds, clamoring for updates on my condition. Could I go home soon? Would I make it home in time for my youngest son’s first birthday? I wouldn’t.

So standing in front of this hospital means another opportunity for me to show gratitude. You don’t have to make it. Tomorrow isn’t promised to any of us. If we’ve learned anything from 2020, impermanence stands at the top of the list. Life is truly a vapor.

Quiet nuh!

I should probably be doing something else (like work) but longhair….

I laugh when my students hear my instruction and protest. “So does everyone understand? Are there any questions?”

“This sounds like work!”

It is.

They (the infamous secret government that controls us all) say that if you love what you do you will never work a day in your life. I have found truth in that. A cornerstone of my theology and worldview is that God intends for us to enjoy life.

Life is to be enjoyed. Truly. And when you are locked into what you’re supposed to be doing THEN you get that fulfillment which allows you to never work a day in your life.

But as Bob says, “the harder the battle, the sweeter Jah victory”.

I have a tough time teaching Steinbeck. I get why Grapes of Wrath and Of Mice and Men are American classics. I would even entertain a notion that Steinbeck wrote with a prophetic voice in his time. But when my ninth graders call him boring, I can’t disagree. I remember being so bored by Grapes of Wrath that I wrote my final paper on the half I’d read. I even ended it with something cheeky like “who knows if they’ll ever make it to California?”

My English teacher was a good sport and said it was certainly an A paper but as I’d only read half the book she could only give me half the points.

Merry Christmas.

As bored as we are, a bigger issue to me is our study justifying their misogyny. Our book discussions always had somebody calling Curley’s wife a thot or students being incapable of seeing her perspective.

During a discussion where we confronted the issue, another teacher blamed rap for the misogynistic views.

That annoyed me though.

Misogyny is older than the Bible. Rap didn’t start it but it carries on tradition (like country music, movies and general society)

Sometimes the mountain seems insurmountable and I hear temptation tell me to look elsewhere. There has to be somewhere where my gifts and talents are appreciated. I can do so much more with a greater platform, it says.

But I am content in this stage because I recognize the journey and little interest in forcing fate before God’s time.

I get frustrated but then I look back.

I remember the hospital bed (it got better).

Leaving Trinity (it got better).

Living with my in laws (it got better).

Returning to Richmond (it got better).

So now, no matter the obstacles, difficulties and certitude that evil wants to destroy you, I can be reassured that the One who got me out of the hospital, kept my Beloved and I, and blessed us with the lil fella has not forsaken us and has no plans to.

As Paul shared in 2 Corinthians:

We  are  hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we  are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.

Enjoy the day my friends. Tell any doubt or insecurities, “Quiet, nuh!”

Redeeming the Time

 

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I’ve been studying Ephesians 5 this month and have been stuck on the question, “What does it mean to redeem the time?” It’s inspired by the advice given in verses 15 and 16,

“ See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise,redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NKJV)

When I think about what it means to redeem the time I think about how love adds value. The days are evil, and indeed the world is a cold place if the dominant narrative is loveless. People doing them, showing no concern for one another and living like they are the center of the universe.

There’s a lot of temptation to live for self but we must resist the tragedy of selfishness. Living only for yourself is not truly living, it’s limited. It feels foolish sometimes and even lonely when you muster the courage to love. Truly loving one another and wanting the best for another person can even seem countercultural but it is who we ought to be.

I am convinced that love is transformative. Love changes circumstances, it creates room for joy and enlarges the possibilities of endurance. My prayer for you is not mere survival but I am believing God that you will thrive through any circumstance you are facing. I know we all have concrete difficulties in our lives but I am praying that the fruits of the spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) mature, develop and are made evident in the way we treat one another.

We are called to, “follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children and walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.” (Ephesians 5:1-2, NKJV) We need to ask ourselves what would our lives look like if we took love seriously? How would my relationships improve if I followed God’s example and walked in the way of love?

I guess it’s tr…

I guess it’s true that life is full of surprises, but for the three years since Joe’s crippling pain was diagnosed as the result of an autoimmune disease called Ankylosing Spondylitis, our life has been full of surprises like this one. Pill boxes, trips to the emergency room, early returns from vacation. Terms like “flare-up” have dropped into our vocabulary. We’ve sat in waiting rooms where Joe was the only person without a walker or a cane. Most of our tears have been over the fact that these aren’t the kind of surprises either of us thought we’d be encountering at such a young age.

Living Sick and Dying Young in Rich America

Jeremy Lin keeping it all the way real

Starting at 1:06:22, Jeremy goes in depth about linsanity, his struggles as a Houston Rocket and how his faith in Christ kept him through it all.

Nick Cannon Reveals How Lupus Changed His Life

Nick Cannon Reveals How Lupus Changed His Life

“..It was just like ‘If I do get a chance to do it again, I’m going to make sure all of the things that matter, I focus on. And the things that don’t matter, I let ’em fall by the wayside,'” Cannon told Rolling Out. “And because I still deal with the health condition to this day, it just makes me hungry and makes me grind harder, because we’re not promised tomorrow.”

The entertainer spoke about how other people could learn from his situation.

“I’m doing everything I can do to keep myself healthy, but at the same time, in the back of mind I [know] the clock is ticking. I need to leave my mark,” Cannon told Rolling Out. “That’s what everybody should do. You’ve got to leave this place better than it was when you got here.”

“I feel like I can’t waste one day. That’s why when people say ‘your work ethic is crazy,’ I’m like ‘The clock is ticking.’ I gotta leave something.”

A Toast to Lupus Awareness

A Toast to Lupus Awareness

Getting people to understand Lupus and how it works and patients to take better take care of themselves and manage the disease, they have a better outcome, they live longer, have better life quality- it’s a long road,” Ferris said.

Tina, a local woman with Lupus who attended the event, offered her perspective on living with the disease. 

“It’s either you allow it to take you or you take over it yourself,” she said.

Robin Roberts Receives Arthur Ashe Award

I love me some Robin Roberts. This sister is a wonderful reminder that every obstacle we have in life is simply there to be overcome.

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“I am Second – Propaganda (@prophiphop @iamsecond @rapzilla)” on YouTube

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