My Daughter Brought Me Closer to God

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, December 28, 2010

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Two years ago on the fourth of July, my daughter brought me closer to God.  I remember sitting with my daughter in my lap on the porch with our family watching fireworks light the sky.  Each time a firework would go off, my daughter would bury her little face in my neck when the thundering noise would frighten her followed by a quick contradictory laugh.


 “Nevaeh,” her uncle called.  “Nevaeh, come here…come see what I have.” My daughter looked up to see her uncle holding a streamer.  She quickly ran over to take a look. Just then, my neighbor lit a firework, must have been 10 feet away.  Within seconds it sounded like a bomb had landed in the front yard…stunned, I looked for Nevaeh and there she was laying face down at the bottom of our concrete stairs. 

My world stopped. Every thing moved in slow motion.  My daughter didn’t just fall down a flight of stairs?! I remember my hands shook uncontrollably as I reached out to pick her up.  I slowly turned her over  as she gasped and flailed about…frantic for air. Next, she opened her tiny mouth and a piercing cry escaped her lips—a cry I had never heard before. 

While my sister drove to the hospital, I was in the back seat frantically trying to calm her. There was blood all over her shirt, everywhere…no matter how much tissue I held to her mouth, it wasn’t enough.  She would try to rub her head and I kept saying… “Baby, I wish I could take your pain.  I wish you could just give it all to me.”  After all, couldn’t I deal with the pain better? Wasn’t I more equipped?

We went through the normal procedures that night.  The ER nurse treated her lip and gums that had been split.  This is all my fault. I watched as the nurse laid her swaddled body on the hospital bed and followed as they moved her to radiology.  This is all my fault. Tears stained my silk blouse as I helplessly watched them give her a CAT Scan.  I felt like I had failed as a parent, while feelings of guilt washed over me—This    is    all    my     fault.

By the grace of God, they released us within 4 hours.  Her test results came back normal and we were prescribed some pretty strong pain relievers for the bump beginning to form on her head as well as proper packing for her mouth.  I cried for the 15th time that day and tried to not think about all that could have been.

On the way home, watching my daughter sleep, I began to think about God, Abba—our Father.  I began to think about His love...His unyielding and sacrificial love. I began to think about how many times He watched us hurt ourselves in our disobedience and felt pain for us.  How God must have wanted to take Jesus’ pain away as he watched His Son on the Cross.  How it must have felt to watch His Son experience insurmountable amounts of pain as they nailed His flesh into the wood and placed thorns about His head…as they stabbed his side…How God most have wanted to hold Jesus in His arms …to console Him, to show Him He did not forsake Him that day on Calvary…yet knowing what Jesus’ purpose was, God waited like a parent in a waiting room…

Through my daughter’s pain, I experienced a slight revelation to the personification of our God Almighty, El Shaddai. I began to thank Him like never before. God is not a man where He cannot bare our burdens…where He cannot take our pains…and give us joy.  Because what does he say?

Psalm 68:19 Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens. Selah 
Exodus 18:10 He said, "Praise be to the LORD, who rescued you from the hand of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh, and who rescued the people from the hand of the Egyptians.
1 Peter 5:10 And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.
 Jude 1:24 To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy—
 Psalm 30:5 For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime; weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

I am enjoying the rollercoaster ride of my faith, and of a being parent.  I have hereby humbled myself to lessons learned through the joys of parenthood.


SHALOM.


Teena Marie Dies at 54

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010

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Having just come from a hoax on Twitter on Morgan Freeman's alleged death, I was a little skeptical on the new's of Teena Marie's passing, but sadly--it is a reality.  The confirmation came Sunday from publicist Jasmine Vega, who worked with Teena Marie on her last album. Her manager, Mike Gardner, also confirmed her death to CNN.

I had the pleasure of meeting the "Ivory Queen of Soul"  who is best known for her hit songs,  "Lovergirl", and "I'm a Sucker For Your Love", while working on Showtime at the Apollo many years ago.  I'm sad to say her daughter, reportedly found Marie's body at her home.  The cause of death has yet to be confirmed.

A death in the family is hard, but what makes it exceptionally hard is it is directly following a major holiday of which a few hours ago Marie posted on Twitter, ""May Gods Light always shine on you and your family! May you have the most joyous Holliday season ever! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!"

My prayers are definitely with her loved ones.  




After 10 years, Carine Roitfeld is Leaving French Vogue Magazine!

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, December 26, 2010

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I first learned the news of Carine Roitfeld's departure from visiting one of my favorite blogs, The Sartorialist at blogspot, ran by Scott Shumen.  Naturally I did some investigation, and it's true...after 10 years as the editor in chief of French Vogue, Carine Roitfeld has announced her departure from the magazine at the end of January. 

The 56-year-old, renowned as one of the most influential names in fashion, initially began her career as a model before switching to styling and eventually becoming Tom Ford's muse. She landed the role of French Vogue editor in 2001.


In a telephone interview with the New York Times' Cathy Horyn, Roitfeld explained: "It's 10 years that I'm editor of the magazine. I think it's time to do something different."  As the fashion typically loves a good scandal, there is none to report as of yet. All that is said is that Roitfeld is leaving to pursue personal projects. 


 Vogue will announce Roitfeld's successor, within the next couple of weeks.  

Racial Anti-Abortion Ad in Austin

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Friday, December 24, 2010

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This national ad disturbed me.  On one end, I appreciate it being a nice relief from the sickening abortion ads and of course, I am pro-life...but to specifically have a campaign that targets abortion in minority communities that's ridden with guilt is astounding and irritating.  The sign says, " The most dangerous place for some children is in the womb," why not just have a campaign called the guilt campaign?  I think what's more important is letting young lady's know that first, God has forgiven you, but perhaps the larger part is forgiving yourself and taking preventative measures against unplanned pregnancy.

We don't need anymore campaigns that highlight abortion factories as "Planned Parenthood." One abortion every 15 minutes...teens in and out, without the proper knowledge of what they have done, subjected their bodies to, or how to prevent a pregnancies in the future.  Might I add that the founder of Planned Parenthood is recorded saying the goal is to, "stop the reproduction of the unfit" and that an African American baby is three times more likely to be aborted than the rest of the population.

Here's the problem...we have young lady's who are placed in compromising situations, who have experienced rape or molestation which alters their perception on love.  We have young lady's brought up in a household where it's "cool" to get a baby daddy.  When that young lady gets pregnant, decides to have an abortion because visually (thanks to the awesome campaigns) where are the counseling or educational classes?

This is a widespeard issue that needs a resolution. The solution, however, does not include propelling abortion clinics to be the first option. If treated at the source--starting with parents and "health" education, we're better equipping our young ones to make "grown up decisions" and handle themselves in a manor that is both respectful to their bodies, to God, and their future. 


Student Cons His Way Into Harvard

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Sunday, December 19, 2010

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Adam Wheeler, 24,  lied his way into Harvard and benefited from more than $40,000 in grants!
Sound's like another movie is about erupts...click here to read the full story.

The Kardashian's Holiday Portrait

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010

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 VS...

...go figure

Winona Ryder--1st to Admit Mel Gibson Was allll Messed up

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Thursday, December 16, 2010

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“Black Swan” star Winona Ryder remembers Mel Gibson being “anti-Semitic and homophobic” long before his taped racist rants were broadcast across the world.


She says in the January issue of GQ, ,  “Fifteen years ago, I was at one of those big Hollywood parties. And he was really drunk and I was with my friend, who’s gay. Mel made a really horrible gay joke. And somehow it came up that I was Jewish."


Melly Mel just can't get a break...

Elizabeth Edwards Has Passed

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, December 08, 2010

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Just as news hit the blogosphere surrounding Elizabeth Edwards' doctor's releasing a statement saying she had a few weeks to live, it has now been confirmed that the estranged wife of former Vice-President John Edwards', has passed.

It is no secret that Edwards has been bravely battling breast cancer since 2004. This week Monday, it was reported that her cancer had spread to her liver and that she was no longer receiving treatment.

John Edwards and her 3 children were beside her at her time of death. The funeral for Elizabeth Edwards is open to the public and will be held at Edenton Street United Methodist Church at 1:00PM.

The church is the same one where the funeral for Edwards's son Wade was held when he died and Edwards will lovingly be placed beside her son in the nearby Oakwood Cemetery. My prayers are with the Edwards family for their strength!

Loneliness During the Holiday Season

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Tuesday, December 07, 2010

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The holiday season is a time of giving, cherishing time with family and friends--the epitome of hope and joy.  But let us remember that while we are enjoying the fruits of the holiday's there are some who smile while inside they are hurting--because to them, the holiday season is synonymous with the passing of loved ones, lost relationships, or dark childhood memories.  

Loneliness is the only prison where we sentence ourselves and voluntarily carry out that punishment.  It’s a difficult place when we position ourselves to sit in areas of desolate solitude all the nurturing ourselves—hoping the holiday season will end with haste.
  
If you are wrestling with the seeming insoluble virus of loneliness, know that there is a cure. And the cure isn’t some mystery that only can be obtained by in-depth counseling or seminary…but it involves a willingness to be guided down a path towards a healthy and wholesome you. 
  
Loneliness is cured by a bold desire to reclaim your life despite your circumstance, to acknowledge that God is right beside you despite your individual situation or what others may tell you. 

Remember that God is right there to pick you up and mount up as wings on eagles, where you will run and not be weary you will walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31)

 Deuteronomy 4:31 (New International Version)
31 For the LORD your God is a merciful God; he will not abandon or destroy you or forget the covenant with your ancestors, which he confirmed to them by oath
1 Samuel 12:22 (New International Version)
22 For the sake of his great name the LORD will not reject his people, because the LORD was pleased to make you his own.

Psalm 27:10 (New International Version)

10 Though my father and mother forsake me,
   the LORD will receive me.

Psalm 31:7 (New International Version)

7 I will be glad and rejoice in your love,
   for you saw my affliction
   and knew the anguish of my soul.

Psalm 46:1 (New International Version)

 1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.

Psalm 55:22 (New International Version,)

22 Cast your cares on the LORD
   and he will sustain you;
he will never let
   the righteous be shaken.

Psalm 112:4 (New International Version)

4 Even in darkness light dawns for the upright,
   for those who are gracious and compassionate and righteous

Psalm 147:3 (New International Version)

3 He heals the brokenhearted
   and binds up their wounds.


World AIDS Day

Posted by Antoinette R. Banks | Posted in | Posted on Wednesday, December 01, 2010

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AIDS…the mere mention of the word conjures fear—fear stemming from not properly being educated on the contraction of the virus.  The harsh fact of the virus remains; last year, nearly half a million babies were born HIV positive.  Currently more than 33 million people worldwide are suffering with HIV and over 7,300 more are infected every day…what’s even more astounding is that 1 in 5 does not know they have the virus.

Karen Timberlake, Department of Health Services Secretary said. “Anyone can become infected with HIV, regardless of age, gender, race, ethnicity, gender identity, or socioeconomic circumstance. Some of our communities are especially hard hit by HIV, making it vitally important to focus our efforts on helping people with the greatest need for prevention and treatment services.”

Our church realizes the impact we can make and have therefore teamed up with Save Africa’s Children in partnership with ONE Campaign and are aggressively working towards expelling the virus by 2015.
We invite you to partake in our service tonight! We would love to have you hear to help us join in the fight to raise awareness.
West Angeles North Campus
3045 Crenshaw Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90018
@ 7:00PM

If you cannot physically join us, then why not team up with us online? Visit us at webtv.westa.org/live we’d love to have you.

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