A weekly blog, by author Leslie K. Howard, filled with spiritual, uplifting thoughts to help you get through your week

Archive for the ‘Safety’ Category

Talking To Your Children About Violence In Our Society

Talking 1    Not a week goes by that we don’t hear a story of mass murders in schools, malls, movie theaters and even churches. These places used to be considered “Safe Places” but now it feels like nowhere is safe.

As we watch the news we can’t help but feel anxious about our family’s safety.  What about our children? even the youngest of children can be affected by what’s going on in the big bad world.  It’s our job to calm their fears so they will not be afraid to venture out into society.  Below are a few tips to help you  talk to your children.  I’m sure you can come up with more ideas.

Start A Conversation

Talk to your children about what’s going on in today’s society and in their lives. Take time to listen to how they are feeling. Many times in our conversations we are so busy sharing information and giving warnings that we don’t allow our children to express how they are feeling.  Many times they are afraid and anxious about what’s happening around them. Be open and allow them to express themselves.

Cover Them In Prayer

Let’s be mindful to pray for our children; not only for their physical safety but their Spiritual, Mental and yes Emotional safety. Be purposeful and specific in prayer by covering them in the morning before they leave our homes and at night before they sleep. Pray for children nursery school through college. 

Pray with them too. Invite them to share their fears and needs with Jesus. When they give their worries to Him, they no longer have to carry them around.

Be Aware

Know what your child is doing. What kinds of books, music, movies, TV shows, video games or websites are they exposed to? Who are their friends? Their influences? Is your child a loner? Is your child being bullied?  Could your child be the bully? Get to know their friend’s parents. Are they people who share your values? Do they have guns in the home?

Get Help

Go on line and search out sites such as http://corporateweb.geologics.com/…/Helping_Children_Cope.p… get tips to help you start the conversation. Ask open ended questions. If you need, seek counseling or parenting support groups.   Encourage them to speak to teachers or school counselors.

Be Proactive

Find out what’s your school’s safety plan. If you’re not satisfied, make some noise. Be involved with your PTA and help make a plan. Talk to the principal, Board Of Education, Mayor and other officials.  If you are not satisfied contact your governor and state senator.  If necessary get the media involved.

Don’t Scare Your ChildrenTalking 2

As you speak to them try not to alarm them but be calm and reassure them that the “Boogie Man”  is not hiding under their bed and every person is not out to get them. We need to reminded that our God is a strong tower. We the righteous run to Him and we are saved. Psalm 18:10

Words Of Comfort

Here’s a word of comfort Psalm 138:7 ~Though I walk in the midst of trouble, You will revive me; You will stretch forth Your hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Your right hand will save me.

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Riding With Ms. Rosie

Blue CarI Don’t Drive.  I admit it.  I don’t drive, don’t judge me.  I am born, bred and  raised  in Newark NJ.  I am a city girl.  I take the 25 and 70 busses.  I ride the city subway (okay that makes it sound bigger than it is.  It’s really The Lite Rail.) I enjoy it.  I like to people watch. I like talking to folks. It’s my thing and I love it. But this day a stranger just wouldn’t do.  I didn’t realize that what I needed was a friendly face and as God would have it, He provided just the right one for me.  Let me explain.

I was called to duty. Jury duty that is.  YaY!  Don’t get me wrong I’m one of those people who really doesn’t mind serving Jury Duty…. if I have to.  Just not right now.  I thought I could do it.  I had all intentions of doing it, but once I got into the courtroom I found I just couldn’t handle it.

My first cousin was in a domestic violent relationship and two years ago around Valentine’s Day, she was murdered.  I’m not at liberty to share details nor am I ready to do so right now.  I along with her brother am representing the family.  We are at the very beginning of court proceedings, and lately I’ve been to that court house more than I care to say.  After being excused from jury duty, I headed home.  I decided to go to Newark Penn Station to grab a slice of pizza (I know, I know. Don’t tell me how fattening it is.  If you felt the way I did you’d have had pizza and a whole lot more.)  So here I am in Penn and who do I run into but the effervescent Ms. Rosie.  It was 2:30 pm….

I met Ms. Rosie some 14 years ago through a mutual friend.  We aren’t real close but I consider her very, very special. She’s one of those people who knows everybody.  She is extremely knowledgeable but not a know it all.  Ever willing to lend a helping hand, if she can’t assist you she certainly knows someone who can.  As always she was a wealth of information about the good things happening in the community.  We talked about health and hot flashes.  (By the time we finished that part I felt real guilty about my pizza- jones.)   After connecting me with a sister who teaches health and wellness, she offered to take me home. I accepted and that’s where our adventure began.

We picked up her vehicle from the parking lot and headed up Market Street. “I’ve got to drop off some mail.” She said.  Parking at the Springfield Avenue Post Office she said “I’ll be right back” I waited in the car wondering what was taking her so long. I had seen the envelope and it was ready to mail. My thought was broken when I saw her walk out the door.  Although she went in the post office alone she returned  with another passenger.  Ms. Rosie ran into another weary traveler and decided to give him a ride home.  It just so happens he lives in a senior building where her mom used to live on Irving Turner Boulevard.  “Come on” she said, waiving me toward the building entrance. She took me on a tour of the beautiful lobby and the deck where the seniors like to barbecue during the summer months.   The building was clean and very welcoming.

Back in the car, we continued our drive and wound up on West Kenny and Howard Streets.  I hadn’t been in that area of the city in some time and it had improved greatly.  Once laden with projects, pimps and prostitutes, this part of the city has experienced some true revitalization.   We stopped at Vonda’s Kitchen located at 183 West Kenny Street on the first floor of a building complex.  Vonda’s Kitchen is a delight in the city. It is a Soul Food lover’s dream with traditionaResturantl dishes such as fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and greens.  She serves up delicious seafood dishes, baked and barbecued chicken, fresh vegetables, salads, traditional burgers as well as a selection of vegetarian burgers. But Vonda’ s Kitchen is not a neighborhood greasy spoon. The pristine brightly colored decor is only out shined by her friendly staff.  Vonda has nothing to hide either.  I just love the window where the customer can look directly into the kitchen to watch the chef and staff at work.    I’ll have more to say about Vonda’s kitchen in the near future.

Back in the car again: Ms. Rosie chatted on about how blessed she and her husband were by ministering at a local nursing home. She bubbled with delight as shared stories of her weekly visits; how she truly enjoys sharing the word of God with them.  We talked about vision, goals and her desire to open up a business that would really serve the needs of Senior Citizens and their families.  She shared her newest passion, coin collecting and selling them on Ebay.  All I can say to you is this, by the time we arrived at my house, my whole mood had changed. Earlier In the day I was on the brink of tears now I was filed with laughter and joy. I realized I had been coddled and comforted by a very special angel.  By the way it was close to 5:30 when I got home.  So a 15 minute ride turned into two hours.  Thanks for the ride Ms. Rosie.  It was a trip well spent.

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Feel free to comment.  Be sure to visit my site http://www.Lesliehowardministries.com

I Remember Momma

As a very young child I wanted for nothing. Everything was provided by my mother. When mom was pregnant with me, my parents separated  and dad had  little to no dealings with the family. So, mom raised  us as a single mother. She cooked, cleaned, cared for us and held down a job so we wouldn’t be hungry or homeless.  She was indeed an incredible woman.

I remember her voice, her touch, even her smell.  A gifted story-teller, I loved to listen to her.  She had a way with voice inflection that was simply unmatched.  It’s a wonder I’m not a “Goth” seeing she introduced me to Edgar Allen Poe when I was just about four years old.  I remember many nights after her reading to me either from a book or a scary story from her own  imagination, being afraid to go to bed.  She’d let me crawl into bed with her.  I’d snuggle real close. Sleeping with her made me feel so safe.

I remember her straightening my hair on Easter Sunday so I could get all dressed up and go to grandma’s house.  She’d put hair-grease on the back of her hand with a cigarette dangling from her mouth she’d meticulously get every hair on the edge of my head. ( You know in my “Kitchen.” Smile) I’d hold my ears down so as not to get burned by the hot comb.  It was to no avail, because she’d slap my hands away and tell me,”I’m not gonna burn you child.” 

I remember learning to cook under her tutelage. I’m not even half the cook she was. Oh the joy I’d get watching her beat cake batter by hand and laughing as  her hips moved in rhythm.  How I find myself today mimicking those moments as  I whip cake batter or stir up cornbread mix.  

Dancing at my wedding, holding my children for the first time, praying with me, and even on occasion crying with me; all of these memories and many more will have to sustain me until I see her again.  I look at my daughter and granddaughter, and once in a while I’ll see my own reflection in the mirror and I remember Momma.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Visit my website www.Lesliehowardministries.com

Be Not Afraid

The word for today:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust…He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;…You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day,… Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;…” Psalms 91:1-2,4-5&14.

Terror threats, fires, floods storms, earthquakes and droughts are all part of our daily lives. But we cannot live our lives in fear. Our trust is in The Lord our God,. He and He alone is our protection- our refuge- our strength. Let us not quiver and live in fear, for this is what the enemy wants. He wants to place us in a constant state of fear so as to chip away at our faith. NO my sisters he will not succeed because our victory is already won! It is assured because our Lord Jesus Lives! Walk everyday in victory.

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