Memorial Day 2012

For those of you who do not know the origin of Memorial Day, never cared to ask, or just never thought about it, this is for you…

Memorial Day was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11, and was first observed on 30 May 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. By 1890 it was recognized by all of the northern states. The South refused to acknowledge the day, honoring their dead on separate days until after World War I (when the holiday changed from honoring just those who died fighting in the Civil War to honoring Americans who died fighting in any war). Taken from Memorial Day History.

I have many in my family who served and are no longer here. They did not die in a war, but their sacrifice still counts tremendously! Thank you dad, Samuel Thomas Spencer, and all my uncles, cousins, grandfather, and countless others who served this country! I have been doing a lot of work on my ancestry and there were MANY in my family who served.  Thank you ALL for protecting my FREEDOM!
I want to wish a HAPPY MEMORIAL DAY to ALL those who HAVE SERVEDARE SERVING, and WILL SERVE in any branch of the United States Armed Forces! I love, appreciate, and honor you for your sacrifice and your service. 
I know a few people personally who serve in the Military (ACTIVE duty) and I want DAVIDWINSTONCINTAJIA, TYREE, and STEPHANIE to know that I do NOT take what you do for granted! I thank you for keeping our borders, countries, and nation safe! I LOVE YOU!!  I also know some who are no longer active like RACHEL, KEVIN, but who still served selflessly.


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We Are ALL Trayvon Martin…

What do we want??? JUSTICE!!!
And when do we want it??? NOW!!!

I can imagine this was chanted during the Million Hoodie March today.

If ANYONE who can read this post thinks that this story does not involve them, think again! Anyone can look at YOU and feel that you are a threat.  Someone can “perceive” that you aim to do them harm because of your race, your dress, your attitude, your hair, or anything that comes to mind.  So at the end of the day


In Sorrow,

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The Dehumanization Of Whitney Houston

Well, as most of you know (except the ones who have been locked underground in that bomb shelter or hiding under a rock for the past week) Whitney Houston 80’s-90’s Singing Sensation, Voice Extraordinaire,  R&B/Pop Diva has passed away.  On Saturday, February 11, 2012, the music world lost perhaps and arguably one of the best voices ever to bless the microphone.  The winner of Emmy Awards, Grammy Awards, Billboard Music Awards, American Music Awards, World Music Awards, the star of Waiting to Exhale, The Bodyguard, Cinderella, The Preacher’s Wife, and Sparkle (post-humous), the producer of Princess Diaries 1 & 2, The Cheetah Girls 1 & 2, and Cinderella, daughter of Cissy Houston, ex-wife of Bobby Brown, and most importantly mother of Bobbi Kristina is gone.
Whitney burst onto the scene in 1985 (The same year my oldest daughter burst into the world, but the 2 events are not related I just wanted to put that out there!!).  She was a skinny kid from New Jersey, with big hair, a HUGE voice, and terrible dance moves!  Whitney’s voice made up for her shortcomings in the dance department!  She dominated the scene with her voice, huge smile, and effervescent personality.  
Yes, Whitney Elizabeth Houston had captured our hearts and we loved everything Whitney! God had blessed us with someone who possessed a voice we could sing along with, dance to, cry to, and fall in love with.  Little did we know that Whitney would enjoy the highest of heights and experience the lowest of lows.  We laughed when she laughed, smiled when she smiled, collectively held our breath with amazement when she sang the National Anthem and collectively groaned when she married the bad boy of New Edition Bobby Brown.  Everyone wondered, WHAT THE HELL IS THIS MESS!  But we tried to ride along with it.  As a society we said OK, she is rebelling, but as she spiraled out of control, society turned its collective backs.  And when she hit the lowest of lows society just shook their heads and said, “We knew it” or “Saw that coming“.  At this point the singing diva, pop Queen, star of music and film had fallen from grace. She became a soundbite, a parody, the muse to comedians and comedy skit writers everywhere.  
I personally blame society.  I do not blame society for her choices, those were clearly her own. But I do blame society for burdening her with the job of being our perfect princess.  We, society, put her on a pedestal, and then loaded her with the burden of stardom, the burden of expectations, the burden of hits, the burden of tours, the burden of perfection.  When she buckled and cracked and fell under that pressure, we turned our backs.  People say, well she should have gotten out of the business.  But would society allow that? When our stars are no longer in the public eye, we wonder where they are, we write stories and blogs and editorials about stars asking where are you? When will you release more music? When are you going to be in more movies? What are you doing now? We need a new album, etc, etc.  We, as a society are hard to please.  Our stars are darned if they do and darned if they don’t.  We do not take into account that she had a life.  She had bills, had a child and a husband and a mother.  We do not care about personal issues, kid gets call from school, husband may not be faithful, menstrual cramps, migraine headaches. No! All we want are the HITS! The RECORDS! The MOVIES! THE STAR!!  The object of our misguided affections has ceased to be human and has become a symbol of what we want our stars to look like, act like, and be like.
But through all of the drama, the highs, the lows, the fame, the triumphs, and the failures, only one knew her worth.  Only one new her best, and I think that was the last conversation she had.  I would like to think it went like this…

GOD: Daughter, it is time…
WHITNEY: But Lord I have so much left to do, to prove.
GOD: You have nothing to prove. Your purpose is fulfilled, your job here is done.
WHITNEY: But God tonight is Clive’s party, and all eyes will be on me wondering am I well, can I make a comeback. I must attend to show them I am good!
GOD: When I formed you in Cissy’s womb and touched your vocal cords, and blessed you with the gift of song, it was only for a moment.  It is not about Clive, society, or Grammy.  You have glorified me with the beauty that I placed within you.  You have glorified me, acknowledged me, and carried additional burdens that were not yours to carry.  You are tired, burdened, and heavy laden.  It is time to drop the burdens of this vessel and put on your new glory clothes.  I have other assignments for you in another place in me.

WHITNEY: God what about Bobbi Kristina, what about my mom?
GOD: I will never leave nor forsake them. This, Cissy knows.  And whenever Bobbi Kristina calls on me I will answer her.  Daughter, take my hand and rise from that bathtub.  Rise with me.

And with that she took the Father’s hand and entered into His glory.  Of course this is how I want to believe it went, but only God knows what happened.  
What I want EVERYONE to remember is that Bobbi Kristina lost a mother, and Cissy Houston lost a daughter.  She was a human being not a star, not a soundbite, not a leading news story.  She was some one’s family.  We should remember and respect Whitney as one of God’s chosen vessels.  This is an honor she deserves.
I think Whitney said it best as she sang her own eulogy,
If I should stay,I would only be in your way.So I’ll go, but I knowI’ll think of you ev’ry step of the way.

And I will always love you.I will always love you.You, my darling you. Hmm.

Bittersweet memoriesthat is all I’m taking with me.So, goodbye. Please, don’t cry.We both know I’m not what you, you need.

And I will always love you.I will always love you.

To learn more on Whitney Elizabeth Houston go HERE and HERE.

RIP Whitney.

God has taken His daughter home. She is without pain, without burdens, possibly singing in God’s choir.  I pray for her family, and especially for Bobbi Kristina.  I pray that she draws closer to God in her time of need. Whitney is gone but she left the numerous hits her beautiful voice added life to.  But most importantly she left us Bobbi Kristina, to pray for, to uplift, to motivate, and to love on.  Let’s show Bobbi Kristina that we loved her mother ….. as a person.

Blessings All,

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Divorce Your Spouse If They Have Alzheimers…

Some times people have very difficult questions and seek answers from “authorities” in the field. That would ordinarily be fine, however in this instance I DEFINITELY disagree with this “Authority”.
When you are offering advice you should “PREFACE” it by saying this is YOUR OPINION. What Pat Robertson said in answer to this Alzheimer question was Pat Robertson’s OPINION. No where IN MY bible does it say that Alzheimer is a form of death and therefore it is OK to divorce someone with it. Wedding vows state “Till DEATH do us part”. Now do not get me wrong I am NOT debating the fact of whether or not the person should get a divorce. That is between them and God. Many people, some of them are Christians get divorce. I am divorced, it happens and that is not my issue. My issue is that a supposed “Spiritual Authority” who is telling people that a person with Alzheimer’s is “GONE” and Alzheimer’s is like a type of “DEATH” therefore the person should divorce and start all over! NO WHERE does the bible say that if your spouse has Alzheimer’s they are like dead already so if you need companionship divorce them and start all over!!
As a “Spiritual Authority” if what you are saying cannot be backed up by scripture, than PLEASE PREFACE IT AS YOUR OPINION!

Taken from


Be Blessed Today & Everyday!

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We Remember Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
(January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968)

Today is the 43 anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. MLK was perhaps our most well known, prolific, influential civil rights leader. Born January 15, 1929, MLK was a Baptist Minister and a Civil rights activist who believed strongly in the non-violent approach to freedom. Arguably, his most well known speech was the “I Have A Dream Speech”. However Dr. King had many other speeches, such as this…

Martin Luther King Jr

And this, his LAST speech …

Martin Luther King Jr. Assassination

Learn more about Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr HERE and about his assassination HERE.

In Remembrance…

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Know How To Handle Differences Of Opinion

Some of you may know by now that I work from home. I own and operate a Texas state registered Childcare home called Love’s Child. You may also be aware that I am a full time student at University of Phoenix. My last day care child leaves my home at around 6-6:30pm daily. Once all my daycare children are gone I clean up the days activities, dishes, toys, disinfect everything, vacuum the rugs and then commence to doing homework. I have very little time left for blogging, hence the very sporadic blog posts! However today I felt I needed to take a minute to write about something because I found it interesting…

There is an individual whom I came across in the blog world about two years ago. We developed an Internet friendship. Not only were we blog buddies but we also became Facebook friends. I was drawn to this individual because I liked the drive and energy that I saw. This person is young, African American, and college educated, a Journalism enthusiast, as well as active in the community. I felt this was a person on the way to being an awesome role model for other young people and even told them that. I saw so much growth in the years I knew this person. We shared words of wisdom, spiritual truths as well as daily realisms.

I supported this individual as best I could for a distance relationship, I visited and commented on their blog posts, I visited and commented on their facebook page, I viewed their ireports, as well as read the other writings they had on the Internet. Well one day back in July, this individual had a piece of writing published on the Huffington post. so I went by to read and comment. It so happens that this contribution was politically based. This should have raised a red flag in my mind but it did not! We have had differences of political opinions before. I would say my piece, they would say their piece and we move on. Not so this time! Below is this individual’s published commentary, my response to it and then the response back to me.

Original commentary via the Huffington post July 27, 2010

President Obama is coming back to town next week for a birthday party. Unfortunately, there have been too many families in this city gathering for funerals instead of celebrations. In the past two months, we have lost three Chicago police officers to the same violence they worked to keep the public safe from. But still no action plan from the White House.

Two months ago, I wrote about this issue and that blog was featured in a local news report. However, I am starting to learn that the pen is not always mightier than the sword. Money talks and everything else seems to be walking around our neighborhoods asking for votes. And I am not saying that we should depend on anybody but ourselves to change this problem. Yet there is an issue of us doing more work than our politicians.

We can mediate verbal conflicts before they turn violent, but it is the responsibility of government agencies like the ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives) to provide information about how these guns are getting into our communities. The last time I checked, there weren’t a lot of shootings in ritzy Chicago suburbs like Highland Park, Winnetka, or Naperville. Most of the shootings occur in low income neighborhoods. It seems like you need money to keep guns away from your community.

It would be nice if those poor residents (like myself) could afford a ticket to the DNC fundraiser in Chicago that the President is attending. Sure, he wouldn’t have time to entertain any of those matters because he is President of “the United States of America” and not “poor folks in Chicago.” But for some reason, poor folks in Chicago don’t feel so American anymore. People don’t see that our issue is an American issue. They see it is as something that only affects them if “those people” show up at a popular food festival (known by some as “The Taste of Chicago”) and start a commotion.

Whether anyone agrees with me or not, I’m going to keep waiting by my window until Mr. President sees me as an American citizen and not a black guy from Chicago trying to get media attention. (That’s probably why his administration keeps ignoring me.)

Folks have criticized me for being an opportunist, but that couldn’t be any further from the truth. I’ve even had my closest friends and family passionately disagree with me about this issue. They say, “Zack, we must hold (Chicago) Mayor Daley accountable!” or “These thugs don’t even know who Obama is.” While I disagree with my friend’s assumptions of the political savvy of street thugs, I understand their viewpoints.

But I’m going to stand for what’s right–even if I have to stand alone sometimes.

And I don’t want to hear from Robert Gibbs, the President’s press secretary. If we have time for Beer Summits and banter about Shirley Sherrod, we have time for the kids in Chicago who might not make it back to their first day of school.

I’m not asking the White House to do our job for us; I’m asking the folks in the White House to do their job for us.

So I read it and then I commented:

Hmmm, I’m a bit confused. What exactly is it that you are waiting by the window for the President to do? There is gun violence everywhere not just in your Chicago. New York, Detroit, California, some of the toughest gangs are actually in Arkansas with phenomenal gun related deaths and the list goes on. Is a gun related crime more devastating than a white collar crime of a suburban man siphoning millions from elder SSI accounts? Ritzy suburbs have crime right along with everyone else. Maybe instead of standing around and congregating on the streets, the suburban criminals are on the internet, and in the banks and in the PTA. Crime is crime, and it happens everywhere. Or are you exhibiting reverse racism by thinking that since Obama comes from Chicago and is black then Obama must be responsible? Gun violence did not start with this administration and it will surely not end with this administration. And do you honestly thing the ATF is going to come and tell you where the guns are coming from?? The only way to clean up any neighborhood, any city is person by person, block by block, one small battle at a time. We cannot stop celebrating life for fear of the crime that over runs our communities but we do have to do our part to stop the disease of crime that effects all of us. So keep sitting by your window, hope you get the answers you seek…

Then the person responded to me:

Nope, “Sitting by the window” is a figurative expression in this case.

I realize that violence is everywhere­…includi­ng Washington, D.C. But our violence epidemic is so unique that it’s gaining national attention. The other cities have not had at least 5 bloody weekends over the summer and spring where 40 folks were shot each time- but Chicago has.

No matter how much I complain, he probably won’t do it for those reasons. But what angers me the most are people who hold Obama accountable for health care but not the prevention of future deaths and injuries due to violence.

But you can’t take my voice from me.

So we both said our piece, right, wrong or indifferent. In my mind we moved on, BUT then I found out that this person “DELETED” me from their Facebook friends. Wow, that’s interesting. But I’m thinking it can’t be over the article… there must be some other reason. So I sent them a message asking why I was deleted and got no response. Then I sent another message saying, I’m not sure why you deleted me but when you are ready to talk about it let me know! Then I kept it moving, because life was still going on! Then here I am almost 4 months later and I received a message from this person.

I am sorry for my behavior but I did not like your response to my Obama article. I felt like you cheered me on via Facebook but belittled me on Huffington Post. Other than that, I do miss your wit and candor.

*extending the olive branch*

So my response was this…

No worries & No hard feelings! Everyone has their own voice and opinions, perhaps my delivery was wrong. But in any event if you felt belittled or attacked than I humbly apologize because that was never my intention. I always tried to cheer you on because I feel that our young black people are exposed to so much negativity and not enough love and support. This does not mean that I will disregard my own feelings and opinions(which I have no problems voicing, sometimes to a fault!). But again, all is forgiven! Let’s keep it moving! Stay Blessed! ~JRS~

So the message for today is, Know How To Handle Differences Of Opinion. In life people will NOT always agree with you. EVERYONE is entitled to their own opinion. GREAT MINDS THINK FOR THEMSELVES! Deal with it and MOVE ON!

Peace & Love All!


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The Weekend Brings Life And Death…

Hey there Bloggers!
Just a quick stop in to say HELLO!!
Things have been a little busy in out neck of the woods. If you are my friend on facebook then you all ready know! However, if for some strange reason you are NOT my facebook friend then let me tell you what you missed!
Last week, my oldest niece went in for her regular prenatal checkup and the doctors decided to keep her. The baby was smaller than they wanted him to be, so even though it was about 3 weeks early the doctors decided to induce her labor. Well finally after an entire day and a half at the hospital little DJ was born at 3:05 AM on January 30,2010!! He was all of 4 Lbs and 9 ozs but what he lacked in weight he made up for in length! I believe that he was 19 inches long! Momma and baby are both home and doing fine.

Congrats to my niece on her entrance into motherhood!

And congrats to my sister on her entrance into Grandmother-hood!

On a more somber note my condolences, love and blessings go out to my cousin Hassan who lost his father over the weekend. Uncle Wolf, who was a central figure in the Hylton family during my childhood will definitely be missed. I am also sending out my condolences, love and blessings to my cousin Gwen who lost her husband over the weekend.
For both of my cousins:
Psalms 29:11 – The LORD gives strength to His people; the LORD blesses His people with PEACE.

I love you both, may you draw the strength that you need from God at your time of bereavement.

Peace & Love,

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