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For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: ~ Ephesians 2:8

In our… it’s all about me… self-made state of mind. We sometimes remember that we didn’t make ourselves. In humility, we see our smallness in the vast universe. We thank God for feeling the harmony of life. When the rhythms of this world flow in our favor. In the fiercest storm, we see glimmers of hope. These are the times when we feel the grace of God in our lives. It’s in such moments of clarity, we thank God for His amazing grace.

Hebrew 4:16 says, Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. As long as we live… in this world… we need God. We should live each day in awe of His presence. Giving honor to Him… in the name of Jesus for divine favor.

It’s not to say that we don’t make mistakes. But we know that He keeps those in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Him because they trust in Him (Isaiah 26:3). We can’t turn lead into gold. Yet, we’re devoted to the One who turned water into wine. We recognize chaos and confusion. But, we know the One… who has it all in control. We work to make this world a better place… as we overcome hardships, experience loss, and sometimes fail.

We may be rich or poor, healthy or ill, popular or shunned, behind bars or free. Others may look at us and wonder, why we sing so loud and praise so hard… Give so much, while asking nothing in return. Pray for those who mistreat us and help those who try to harm us. For we’re not afraid because we know that no weapon formed against us will prosper. Therefore, we boldly do as our Father in Heaven instructs us.

That we may continue in favor… knowing God favors whom He chooses. According to 2 Peter 1:2, grace and peace is multiplied unto those who know God through Jesus Christ. As Christians, we understand… it’s not by our works… or because we’re so good… or by our power… nor by our might that God favors us. We know that it’s by His grace.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: ~ Hebrews 10:24 

One of the best ways to inspire others… is to let them see that we’re inspired. But, staying inspired as we grow older is much easier said than done. Every disappointment, heartache, or failure chips away at our inspiration. Yet, there are those who manage to stay inspired and do good works.

Last week, I spent several days at a dynamic conference. The founder is a 91 years old woman, who has written several books. She is reported to still be active and engaged in learning. We received a copy of her latest book published by Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Company.

Seeing the name Wiley, flooded my mind with thoughts of my grandfather. Memories from a particular conversation caused me to smile.

“Well I got to work in my orchard by spring,” he said.

“What do you mean daddy?” I asked. He was lean, wise, and weather-worn. Eyes still as bright as any five-year-old. In my mind and when talking with others, I referred to him as ‘grandfather’. Yet, it was ‘daddy’ whenever I addressed him. A childhood habit that followed me into adulthood.

I think that his use of the word orchard caught me off guard. I’d never heard him use the term before. Plus, how many trees are needed before it’s called an orchard? Seeing my puzzled look, my 92 years old grandfather laid out his plan. He told me that his peach trees needed pruning and a couple of the fig trees needed work on them too. His idea for addressing the fig trees was fascinating. He was going to make a concoction out of ashes to put around their roots.

I became caught up in what he was saying. He had to remind me, that it was time for me to go back to work. My office wasn’t that far away from where he lived. So, I often visited him during my lunch break. I called it our breaking bread and storytelling time.

I drove back to work thinking… Wow at his age… he still has dreams. I hope that’s me when I’m that age… I was inspired. I thought of good works that I needed to get done.

Psalms 92:14 affirms that They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing… It’s good to know that God created us… where we can stay inspired for good works as we grow older.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, ~ Matthew 6:14

In the book Hurt People Hurt People, lingering childhood hurts and generational patterns of being hurt is what causes people to hurt others. In other words, people who are hurting… hurt other people. Through their mean-spirited behavior… they show how they feel on the inside. Romans 1:28–30, list several mean-spirited behaviors that include malice, gossip, slander, rudeness, heartlessness, and cruelty. It’s inevitable… most of us will meet people driven by such behavior at some point. So, how do we deal with mean-spirited people? Keeping in mind that we’ve all stumbled (James 3:2).

Jesus Christ says love unselfishly and endlessly (Matthew 5:44; John 13:34; 1 John 4:7). Are we expected to force a smile, while cringing inside because of the way a mean-spirited person treated us? Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we can rely on biblical principles found in Matthew 6:14–15, Matthew 23:12, Mark 9:35, Matthew 5:9, Proverbs 13:3, Luke 23:34, Acts 7:59–60 and Colossians 4:6.  We should keep in mind the following:

  • Respectfully express that the mean-spirited behavior is hurtful.
  • Pray for the mean-spirited person to see the error of his or her ways.
  • Pray for the Holy Spirit’s intervention on your behalf.
  • Treat the mean-spirited person with love and consult the Scriptures for practical advice.
  • Keep in mind that the other person is hurting inside and show empathy.
  • Stop and think before speaking or responding.
  • Refuse to conspire against the mean-spirited person with others.
  • Refuse to retaliate by acting mean-spirited.
  • Pray for discernment and wisdom on how to address the mean-spiritedness.
  • Remember God loves you and the mean-spirited person.
  • Examine yourself and your attitude towards the mean-spirited person.
  • Remember you are accountable to God for how you treat the mean-spirited person.
  • Know that you are not accountable to God for how the mean-spirited person treats you.
  • Give the mean-spirited person respect and act with humility and genuineness.
  • Forgive the mean-spirited person.
  • Sometimes you may need to walk away… less you become the mean-spirited person.

The Bible instructs us to deal prudently with mean-spirited people (Proverbs 15:1, Ephesians 4:31-32; Matthew 5). Consider Matthew 18, as we acknowledge that mean-spirited people are hurting people who hurt people. Know that God can heal and deliver those who are hurting. We don’t have to hurt others and we don’t have to continuously be hurt by mean-spirited people.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. ~ James 3:17

Is wisdom still valued? We can google for information and have the data in seconds. And the knowledge gained from this data is all well and good. (My apologies to all the elementary school teachers who told me never to begin a sentence with the word ‘And’.) And this quick and ready reservoir of knowledge serves its purpose most of the time. But, how do we engage this knowledge? Does gaining knowledge lead to wisdom?

Our fast-paced society applauds the gathering of knowledge but grows impatient with the acquiring of wisdom. So, it’s not always easy to see that wisdom should be sought above riches (Proverbs 8:11; Job 28:15; Ecclesiastes 7:11-12; Proverbs 3:15). Wisdom is personal and social. Wisdom is always visible. Wisdom always leads to understanding and taking the best course of action. Knowledge can be visible. But knowledge alone does not always lead to understanding and taking the best course of action.

But, isn’t wisdom and knowledge the same thing?

It’s obvious that there’s a relationship between wisdom and knowledge. Think of knowledge as the data gained. Think of wisdom as the ability to use the data gained. Wisdom assimilates knowledge from many different sources… another person, experiences, the internet, a book, or personal insight… and processes it with good judgment to take the right action.

Knowledge alone doesn’t equal wisdom. Yet, knowledge is always present in wisdom. Though, knowledge can exist without wisdom. Wisdom will always contain knowledge. It’s wisdom that inculcates creativity, intuition, reflection, common sense, wise decision-making, and prayer into honorable daily living.

Wisdom is knowing how, where, when, what, and with whom… to bring about the maximum positive benefit. Wisdom uses knowledge with benevolence and strength…in humility for the good of all. Wisdom is the private and public responsible use of knowledge in God’s Creation. There must never be an abandonment of wisdom.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

The LORD is nigh unto all them that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth. ~ Psalm 145:18

Sometimes we forget that God still hears the sinner’s prayer. Cloaked in self-righteousness and a judgmental mind, we forget to remember Mark 2:17. Where Jesus said “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” Can we remember when we fell to our knees? Do we recall when Jesus heard our desperate cry for help?

If so, we’d be wise to let the mind of Christ be in us before we attempt to judge others. Yes, it’s easy to think that our salvation makes us superior. Gives us permission to avoid people that we see struggling every day. Like those who speak ill of good. Those who are envious. Those who are control freaks. Those who are arrogant. Those who blame others for their mistakes. Those who are always negative. Those who are liars and those who gossip.

A group of people that we are often told to avoid because we can’t help them. Since their transgressions sprang from moral degeneracy. But these are the people, who need to see Jesus in us. So that they may repent and call on the name of the Lord.

Jesus came down to earth because of the sinner. He demonstrated concern for their well-being in love. He showed love in the way that He met them where they lived. He fed them, taught them, and healed them (Luke 8:40-46; Mark 6:30-32; Matthew 9:9-11; Mark 1:33-34 & Mark 6:30-42; Luke 5:1-11; John 8:1-11; John 10:10; Luke 23:33-34) without looking down on them. Or treating them as though they were less worthy of love and kindness then His disciples. Ephesians 2:8-9, reminds us… For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. ~ Psalm 34:8

“It is in the quiet crucible of your personal, private sufferings, that your noblest dreams are born, and God’s greatest gifts are given in compensation for what you’ve been through” is a quote from Wintley Phipps. Profound words of wisdom at the beginning of the video It is Well With My Soul.

We often don’t have control over the things that we suffer in this life. The devastation of a natural disaster… The loss of a loved one… The dishonesty of trusted family and friends… Cynicism and heartaches that shake our world and cause us to weep. Nevertheless, when we’ve done all that we know to do. Remember, we still can change our lives and restore our joy.

We can give all our heavy burdens and fiercest struggles to God. For, when we cast our eyes to the hills from which comes our help, be assured that God can take care of us. Matthew 6:26 tells us to Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?

Although, God sometimes doesn’t take away the suffering, as we learn from Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:7-9. Nor does God always deliver us… at our first desire. But, He’s always on time with whatever we need. We can have joy despite the suffering or we can have joy without the suffering. It’s all according to God’s plan. In 1 Peter 5:10, we learn that God will restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us, by His grace. So, let’s be encouraged, for God is still God, regardless of our circumstances. He’s with us always, on the mountaintop and down in the valley.

God teaches us through the things that we suffer. Not because He wants to know what’s in our heart and on our minds. He already knows our weaknesses and where our treasures are hidden. Suffering teaches us about ourselves. According to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “the ultimate measure of a man [woman] is not where he [she] stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he [she] stands at times of challenge and controversy.” How we behave, when in a struggle is most likely a testament to our faith and trust in God.

For, when we’re in a struggle. Let’s not give up. Let’s keep embracing our faith and hope in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let’s learn every possible lesson that we can learn, knowing that God wouldn’t leave us or forsake us. He’s guiding us. He’s monitoring our progress and watching as we grow in favor and grace.

As we mature through our struggles, God’s there to reward us with His greatest gifts. Therefore, let’s continue to feast on “broken bread and poured out wine” by trusting in God as our noblest dreams are born.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

With lovingkindness have I drawn thee. ~ Jeremiah 31:3

Kindness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It’s expressed when you genuinely act friendly, generous, or considerate. It involves compassion, tender concern, and uprightness in both thoughtfulness of heart and thoughtfulness of action.

What’s interesting about kindness is that it always involves an action. For God’s kindness gave us salvation (Titus 3:4-5; Romans 2:4; 11:22). In kindness, God provides green pastures, quiet waters, and the renewal of our minds when we’re exhausted (Psalm 23:2-3). God’s kindness leads Him to gather us under His wings, protect us and keep us close to Him in His everlasting abiding love (Psalm 17:8; 36:7; 61:4; Matthew 23:37; John 3:16).

Jesus showed kindness by healing the sick (Matthew 14:14), raising the dead (John 11:35, 38), feeding the hungry (Matthew 15:32), preaching in love (Mark 6:34), casting out demons (Matthew 8:16), interceding for His disciples and the Church (John 17:20-21), and giving His life (John 3:16). Jesus also touched those considered untouchable (Matthew 8:1-4), spent time with those rejected by society (Luke 19: 5), and showed compassion to those suffering (Luke 8:48).

Kindness caused Jesus to help those in need (Mark 6:34; Mark 7:29; Mark 10:46-52). Kindness leads the Good Shepherd to rescue you when you stray (Luke 15:3-7). When you feel rejected and downtrodden, Jesus lifts you up in kindness. Luke 6:31, instructs…  Do to others as you want them to do to you.

For kindness… only in talk is useless… easily ignored and forgotten. But kindness demonstrated through action… shines irresistible and is long remembered. When you act in kindness, you become useful to others.

It doesn’t matter if the act of kindness is great or small… it’s never wasted. Nor… can you do kindness too soon. For, acts of kindness make you a better person. It leaves those receiving the kind deed better than they were before.

So, whether it’s sharing a cookie with an elderly neighbor. Donating to a favorite charity or giving your time to help with disaster relief efforts thousands of miles from home. Kindness makes a difference! By exercising this fruit of the Spirit, you’re bearing witness to the Master Teacher.

Know that kindness is contagious! Being kind to others, encourages them to be kind to others, and on-and-on it goes.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me: ~ Proverbs 30:8

“Give me neither poverty nor riches, but give me my daily bread” a powerful and simple way to interact with the world. Yet, some practices embraced by many Christians, seem to seek bread by the weeks, months, and years. Gluttonous… wasteful excess for personal gratification that lives in the prosperity doctrines found in many churches. An ideology that most often produces greed.

God affirms that it is He, who gives a person the power to gain wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18). 1 Timothy 6:9, tells us that those who seek to get rich fall into temptation, traps and many foolish and harmful desires that lead to ruin and destruction. Which is sad, because “rich” denotes money and possessions, while “wealth” is so much more.

For when God gives wealth,  be assured of happiness and prosperity, with spiritual well-being. The following Scriptures, help to explain the right and the wrong use of money and possessions; Matthew 6:21, Matthew 21:12-13, Malachi 3:10, 1 Timothy 6:17-19, Ecclesiastes 5:10, Romans 13:8, Psalm 37:16-17, Proverbs 13:11, Hebrews 13:5, Matthew 19:21, Proverbs 17:16, Matthew 6:24, Luke 3:14, Exodus 22:25, 1 Timothy 6:10, and Proverbs 10:4.

Christians beliefs and practices about wealth must not seem indistinguishable from non-believers. The Sermon on the Mount teaches perplexing and challenging wisdom from Jesus about the right relationship with wealth… to avoid greed. Based on Matthew 6:24, Christians “cannot serve God and wealth” and must remember that greed is much craftier than merely the desire for wealth.

Those who know Jesus Christ will not store up all their riches on earth… It is enough that this day… we have our daily bread (Matthew 6:11).

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

When a loved one dies, rarely do we feel the time has been long enough. Compounded by circumstances, each bereavement has its own set of griefs. The sorrow of an unexpected death… the sadness from a gradual loss due to illness… can be heartbreaking and soul-wrenching… even, after many wonderful years shared together. Distressing situations, whereby… through our tears, we’re forced to witness the ephemeral nature of life.

When grief embraces us and no words seem adequate to express our loss and sorrow. A heartache that springs from an abyss of surrealness… a disorienting empty space where even screams are silent. That state of mind, for which Paul addresses in Romans 8:26… in times such as this, the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, interpreting what is in our hearts into moans, groans, and utterances that only God can understand.

As Christians, it’s not necessary to act… as if we’re not saddened or hurt by the death of our loved one. It’s normal and beneficial to grieve when we lose the companionship of someone dearest to us. It’s okay to seek refuge from those who do not judge, but rather feel empathy and sympathy with us. Those fellow believers… family and friends, who encourage us and remind us that Jesus loves us.

Recently, I heard a minister say, “…that Jesus wept” (John 11:35). If Jesus shed tears… then surely, we can weep over the loss of someone we love. As we began the short or long journey towards recovery… We know that the journey’s severity will lessen over time. That there will be peace and happiness again in our lives. For tears of sorrow shall be replaced by tears of joy and thankfulness. Remember Matthew 5:4, Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Praise be to God in Jesus’ name… the One who is too wise to make a mistake. For love… is most important, and we must not hold back loving one another… trying to avoiding future grief. For the Bible makes it clear that our grief is temporary, while our joy is forever. We have the hope of a marvelous future… knowing that God is able to keep us and those we love for all eternity.

In the love of God… we acknowledge the ephemeral nature of life… and we seek His comfort… As I Pray.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7

For as long as we live, we face the cares of life. Those thorns that choke the spiritual life (Matthew 13:22) and disrupt our world. Yet, in 1 Peter 5:7, Jesus tells us to cast all our cares upon Him because He cares for us. Whether the struggle is financial, physical, emotional or spiritual… a minor discomfort, an unexpected setback, or a major heartbreak.

In prayer, we make our requests known… then receive the peace that surpasses all understanding. By taking up the shield of faith (Psalm 7:10-17), trusting in Jesus the Saviour (Matthew 8:23-9:13) and thanking God for his provision (Genesis 21-23) we can overcome the cares of life. We can depend on Jesus to preserve our peace of mind.

Even when the cares of life rage into a storm… remember Joshua 1:9, which tells us that God commands Christians to be strong and courageous… not to tremble or be dismayed, because He is with us where ever we go. According to Psalm 46, God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

So, as we wrestle with the cares of life… we might not understand why God permits storms. Yet, we must thank Him… for it is in storms that we learn to trust Him and stand on His word. Psalm 37:4-5, tells us to delight ourselves in the Lord and He will answer our prayers… as we commit our future to Him and trust that He will defend us.

In other words, whatever we need… to overcome the cares of life… even when they become a raging storm… God’s got it. He gives us courage, takes away our fears and leaves us anxious for nothing.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. ~ John 3:16

For the love of God, we proclaim, journeying along this way.
Endowing us with wisdom, to love one another, day-by-day.

Let us find grace, peace, and favor in God’s eyesight.
So, that mercy teaches us to think, speak, and do right.

Let us be charitable when we can.
And offer kind words, help, and hope as somebody’s friend.

Let us love our neighbors.
And break bread with strangers seated at our tables.

Let us seek peace, health, and wealth for all.
And not cause others, to feel belittled, downtrodden, or small.

Let us be quick to forgive.
And value everyone, demonstrated, by the life that we live.

Let us have enough joy to not be tense.
And always act, with prudence, gentleness, and good sense.

Let our little light shine for the world to see.
And then shall we declare, our Savior, has set us free.

Let us pray and never lose hope.
And face each challenge knowing, because of our faith, we cope.

Let us count our blessings.
And consider setbacks, heartaches, and failures, as life’s lessons.

Let us be renewed each morning.
And be careful to give God praise, with each sun rising.

For the love of God, we will persist, be happy and do good.
So, that we can live this day as Jesus Christ taught, we all should.

~ by E. L. Louie

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”  ― Nelson Mandela

Yesterday, the idea… “Brave men and women without honor and cowardly men and women with honor all look the same, because they either do the wrong thing or they do nothing… which results in the wrong thing”. I grappled with the simplicity of the idea, confident there was philosophical and spiritual aspects that went far beyond my comprehension.

After thinking about it for a while, I thought to take a closer look at the terms, “brave”, “cowardly”, and “honor” in hopes of more insight.

Brave – having or showing mental or moral strength to face danger, fear, or difficulty.

Cowardly – being, resembling, or befitting a coward. Here, coward refers to one who shows disgraceful fear or timidity.

Honor – good name or public esteem :  reputation :  a showing of usually merited respect.

When I felt the concept “brave cowards” materializing in my mind. At first the phrase seemed too contradictory. I kept asking God… am I understanding correctly? Can such an oxymoron as “brave cowards” make sense? Then I was reminded of, 1 Corinthians 2:5,  That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.

Is there such a thing as brave cowards? Maybe there are! Maybe brave cowards are just those men and women, who overcome their cowardly ways by rejecting that which is wrong. Maybe brave cowards… sometime act honorable, because they think of others and do what is right. If only for a moment… or a lifetime… or eternity…

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate. ~ Titus 1:16

Apostle Paul stated in Romans 7:21 that he’d discovered… this principle of life… that sometimes, even when he wanted to do what’s right, he inevitably did what’s wrong. That’s human nature. For we’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. That’s why we’ve got a Savior, Jesus Christ. But, what about those who speak untruths and deliberately do evil deeds?

Are their minds reprobated… corrupt and worthless? For, they’ve knowledge of God and His commandments. Still, they live fraudulent lives with little desire to please God. They behave dishonestly and selfishly. Sin’s constantly practiced, justified, and acceptable to them. Their minds tarnished against their faith in God. According to Romans 1:28, God rejects reprobates and leave them to their own devices.

As Christians… we don’t read minds and we can’t judge hearts. Do we dare to gauge the state of a person’s thoughts… based on words and works?  Compare what’s said to what’s done! Do we attempt to decide if actions reflect the Word of God?

Maybe, it’s important to examine the fruits of a person’s labor and the attributes of faith as affirmed by Jesus in Luke 9:1-27. Since, that might be a way to discern, if someone is who they say that they are. Galatians 5:22-23, speaks of love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance… as fruits of the Spirit.

For a reprobated mind rejects the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5; 2 Timothy 3:1-8), goes so far in rejection and sin that it ignores the Holy Spirit (Romans 1:18-32), and has no hope (2 Timothy 3:8-9). Those with a reprobated mind have no desire to do what’s right. This fervent desire for wrong… distinguishes the reprobate… from those whom Jesus discussed in Matthew 18:22, who sin, repent, and tries to avoid snares.

However, when words and works don’t agree and fruits are constantly corrupt… who can know a person’s desires, but, them and God? Yet, if God rejects them… reprobate silver shall they be called (Jeremiah 6:30).

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man. ~ Luke 2:52

Many years ago, a college student asked a philosophy professor, “Why are there no Black philosophers in our textbook?”

The professor’s immediate, casual, self-assured reply sprang forth like a lightning bolt. “Blacks didn’t have time to look up at the heavens and wonder. They were too busy tilling the soil. Struggling with hardships…  Getting to bed early… to get up the next day… to do it all over again! To be a philosopher, you had to have time to reason. Time to ponder man’s complexities and observe the universe around you. It took men of leisure… to gaze up at the starry sky and consider their existence… the scope of the cosmos… with profound insight…”

That student still has that philosophy textbook. However, she seldom opens it up. Oftentimes, she stares at it from across the room. Its prestigious emerald green spine with golden embossed letters perched inconspicuously on the third shelf of a bookcase.

But, this day… she took it off the shelf and thumbed through its pages. Imagining a young girl looking through a majestic windowpane. Her nose pressed confidently against the cool glass. Seeing in and out at the same time. It’s then that she remembers the autobiography of Booker T. Washington.

His words mesmerized, transformed, and filled her with hope. She innately grasped their meanings. Words she memorized years ago. “I determined, when quite a small child, that if I accomplished nothing else in life, I would in some way get enough education to enable me to read common books and newspapers… I was tired, I was hungry, I was everything but discouraged… I delivered my message, which was one of hope and cheer; and from the bottom of my heart I thanked both races for this welcome back to the state that gave me birth.” (Washington, 1901, pp. 27, 49, 319).

The word “education” danced around in her mind…  identified struggles… eased barriers… and gave aspiration to the precious freedom of her ancestors’ dreams.

Education… learned in the streets and down the dirt roads… learned in churches, classrooms, and lecture halls… learned from families, friends, and foes.

Education… questioning fallacies… demanding justice… discerning right from wrong… and choosing good over evil.

Education… revealing the world as it is and as it can be… alleviating poverty… improving health… generating wealth… and increasing prosperity.

For, education had amplified her learning… united knowledge with wisdom through faith… and discerned many nuances.

Abruptly, her reminiscing got interrupted by a knock at the door. She laid the emerald green book with the golden embossed letters down… beside the engraved personalized office name desk plate. She glanced at the letters… Ph.D., exquisitely imprinted behind her name. She smiled, remembering why… education matters.

She stood up and walked over to a window and peered outside. Amazed by the large diverse crowd of students gathered on the University quad… to hear her speak! She walked over to the other window in the room and looked out at the beautiful twilight sky.

Then, she bowed her head and folded her hands in prayer. “Thank you, Jesus, for education. Thank you… for the prayers, hopes, dreams… the courage and actions of those who came before me. So, that even I can look up at the heavens and contemplate the vastness of God’s creation… as my ancestors did!”

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter…

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. ~ Matthew 28:18-20

Easter, Pascha (Greek, Latin), or Resurrection Sunday is a sacred time for Christians all over the world. A time when we reflect and reverence the sacrifice of our risen Lord and Savior… Jesus Christ. A celebration of the unfathomable outpouring of humility and love for humanity by Jesus in honor of God, our Heavenly Father.

As I listen to the song, As I Pray (, the words are so honorable and powerful. They give meaning to the phrase “words are spirits”. In the song, the artist sounds passionately in love with God and yearns to be with Him… because He has been in His presence. Such a deeply devoted love of God requires knowing His Son Jesus Christ. According to John 14:6, Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

So, in the mist of “easter eggs” and “easter bunnies” …on this Easter Sunday, we know why we celebrate in love and hope. We rejoice… knowing victory is already ours! For the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead… affirms that He lives… and we shall too.

God Bless… I am Wiley’s granddaughter.