Color blind: The life of Teena Marie

Teena Marie and her daughter Alia Rose

Most of you have heard that Ivory Queen of Soul Teena Marie passed away yesterday. I loved her music and what she represented. Teena believed that people should be evaluated by what was in their hearts and not by how they looked. She was a white singer that sang soul music. She was a believer in Jesus and mentioned her love for God in interviews.

A good friend of mine Saideh Brown who is Impact Speakers Burreau did an interview with Teena that you can listen to here. Teena was in a happy place during the interview. She quoted scripture and sang a hymn. She gave credit for a beautiful voice as a gift from God that she was charged to share with the world. She mentioned working on an inspirational album that I hope we all get to hear. I thought about that as I read her obituary.

This woman was not ashamed to proclaim the word of Jesus. She was able to look deep in the soul instead of being caught up in color and outward appearances. At one point during the interview she illustrated forgiveness. She talked about growing up in a rough neighborhood in California. She had started high school and a Black female student slapped her in the face. She was able to get past that incidence and the two girls became friends.

I love hearing about people’s experience with God who are not necessarily ministers or evangelists. I often find their experience more honest and pure. I was encouraged by Teena because I felt that God used this woman to be a bridge. She didn’t let the negativity of things that happened to her stop her from reaching out to all people.

Teena was only 54 when she died. She was young but God called her home. She leaves behind to mourn her death her beautiful daughter Alia Rose (stage name Rose LeBeaf) also a singer.

None of us knows how or when we will die. It is my hope that I will be proclaiming the love of Jesus to people and still reading his word. God used Teena as an instrument to show us that we should be colorblind in the body.

God doesn’t look at the outside he looks at the heart. [I Samuel 16:7 is the scripture that God admonishes Samuel the priest of how He looks at people.] I strive everyday to do this. I thank you Teena for helping me to understand that we should connect by looking at the heart and not the skin.


Holding on to God When Things Turn Out Different Than Intended

Faith in God Sign Often times God doesn’t reveal why he does or allows things to happen in our lives. But if we learn to hold on to him and not get discouraged when thing turn out different than intended we will learn something and sometimes get a blessing.
I planned my dance event for weeks and then at the last minute the presenter cancelled. I was devasted. I had promised the group that I would have someone to come to my class and drum. I was embarassed because this had never happened to me before.
It seemed that whenever I go on a journey to serve the Lord bad things happen. My interior car lights went out one of my co-workers was giving me trouble and now this. Then I heard a whisper that said “Be Still and Know That I Am God.”
I went on with my dance class and the people came and we had a great evening. I added on to the dance numbers and a rough plan was made to create a Youtube video.
God was letting me know that He was in control and as the old folks would say “One monkey don’t make the show.” I was forced to rely totally on him and for that I was blessed.
Please remember to always put your faith in the Lord.

Prayer requests: Please ask the Lord to heal Darren and guide the doctors hand for the surgery he has scheduled for Tuesday.

Please also prayer for T’s dad who is having some medically difficulties. She is a girl that I work with in school.

Brother Cedric Miller

A group of djembe drums.

Master drummer Cedric Miller will be at the Westfield Neighborhood Council on Tuesday, December 7, 2010. The event is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m. Brother Miller teaches drummer in several school districts including Adelaide L. Sanford Charter in Newark, N.J.

Brother Cedric will focus on the role of drumming in African-American music and dance. Brother Cedric a professional musician who has traveled all over the world drumming for international audiences. Miller is an artist-at-residence at Adelaide L. Sanford Charter School where he teaches elementary students to drum. He is also a third generation drummer.

Brother Cedric playing the drums

This includes participating in Kwanzaa, Black History Month and assemblies at the school. Brother Cedric starts teaching students as young as 5 how to drum. The school does the empowerment circle in the Lincoln Park as part of their morning routine.

Brother Cedric Miller demonstrating his drumming technique

Brother Cedric will be talking about the djembe drums and their significance in African culture. He will be demonstrating drumming techniques and giving insight of the role drums play in America.