Monday, December 29, 2014

New Thought Pioneer, Dr. Johnnie Colemon Dies

This morning while browsing through my email I received notice that Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon, the 'First lady' of the New Thought Movement and Founder of Christ Universal Temple had died December 23, 2014 in Chicago. The notice said she was was 94. The irony is that she never would have wanted us to know her age.

A couple weeks ago just before Christmas, she and Dr. Helen Carey, her trusted friend and fellow minister at C.U.T., were heavy on my mind. Last week I asked a Facebook friend how the two were doing. She said they were both retired and enjoying life. I admired and like Johnnie Colemon. She was one of the most positive women I have ever met. It is so appropriate that she would make her earthly transition during this Yuletide season.

Johnnie Colemon loved Christmas. She loved Christmas colors, Christmas music, and Christmas decorations. At Christmastime, Christ Universal Temple, the mega-church she founded and built from the ground up, would be transformed into a winter wonderland. The choir would sing amazing Christmas songs along with other positive, beautiful music. My mother was a member of C.U.T. briefly in 1997 and I attended my first service there in December of that same year. Gladys Knight was visiting the church that day, along with her then husband, Les Brown. She sang, I Believe I Can Fly, along with the choir. The performance was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. Johnnie Colemon loved excellence.

If you Google her name you can read all about her outstanding religious, civic and business accomplishments. I prefer to reflect on my personal observations and interactions with this phenomenal woman. She spoke positivity without fail.She liked to be called "Johnny". She enjoyed teaching about Christ. Her ideas that Christ is actually a positive and powerful part of each of us, and that Heaven and Hell are a state of mind, made so much sense to me--and it still does. She was tall, statuesque and confident. She was very fashion conscious, feminine, and a snazzy dresser.  She brought in wonderful speakers and performers for her members and the community to enjoy at no charge. While visiting C.U.T. I had an opportunity to hear powerful speakers such as: Les Brown, Senator Barack Obama, and Sidney Poitier; as well as Gladys Knight, Della Reese, and Oprah Winfrey to name a few. I also had an opportunity to hear a youth day speech by former member, Christopher Bridges aka rapper Ludicris, who championed Johnnie Colemon as the inspiration for his success both as a performer and a businessman.

My own mentor and friend, Dr. Frances Parks, my professor at Chicago State University, was an ordained minister at C.U.T. She used those same positive principles as taught by Johnnie Colemon to encourage me and her other students. Johnnie Colemon was an influence on the success of many people.

"As above, so below – as within, so without". “I never will stop discovering all that God has put inside of me.  The greatest discovery that I made was to know that within every man, woman and child there is the Christ.  And, the Christ is God’s idea of Himself.  Now, when you stop and realize that all of God is inside of you and the only reason you are not expressing it is because you don’t know how.  When you realize that heaven and hell are not places; but they are states of mind.  Then, you realize when you are sick; you are in hell, when you are broke; you are in hell.  To be in heaven is to enjoy prosperity and prosperity does not just mean money.  Prosperity means love, health, joy, and peace – all the good things.  But, it does include money— so, I include money and I teach money because I need money in this world.  I have not learned yet to go in a store and give the lady behind the counter the affirmation that ‘God is the source of my supply,’ and I can walk out with my fur coat – it doesn’t work that way.” --Rev. Dr. Johnnie Colemon

May she rest in eternal peace.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Comedienne Joan Rivers, 81 Dies "Can We Talk?"

Comedienne and Fashion Critic Joan Rivers
 "It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.
Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated.
My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon." - Melissa River

 I liked Joan Rivers because she was a series of contradictions. She was like your gossipy girlfriend who had the dirt on everybody famous, and she coined the phrase, "Can we talk?" In my opinion she was unattractive, loud, a self proclaimed 'bitch', and only marginally funny. Still, there was something about her that made me laugh all the time. For instance, I thought she and her daughter had a lotta nerve criticizing what everybody was wearing at every event. She wasn't always the best dressed but that didn't matter. She parlayed her jokes, celebrity gossip, and fashion criticism into a money-making empire called the 'Fashion Police'. She was a bestselling author, a talk show host and a standup comic. I was shocked when I heard she was on life support this morning, after having gone into a coma a few days earlier. Her talent will be sadly missed. 
Rest In Peace, Ms Rivers

Happy 33rd Birthday, Beyonce!

Beyonce Knowles Carter turns 33 years old today and will celebrate in grand style. According to rumors, the R & B diva has flown to the South of France, accompanied by her hubby, JayZ, and daughter, Blue Ivy, to spend a relaxing week cruising aboard a private yacht that rents for $800K per week.

The couple is currently on break from a world concert tour that culminates in Paris, France next week.
I don't know about you, but I agree with First Lady, Michele Obama, if given an opportunity, I'd like to be Beyonce for one week with all of the perks and privileges that comes with being her. However, I'd still want to look like myself.

I'd like the people who pamper her to pamper me. I'd like her hair care specialists, her makeup artists, and her nail techs. I'd like the stylists who select her wardrobe to select mine. I'd like access to the most beautiful jewelry and accessories that money could buy. I'd like her personal trainer and her dentist so I can have a smoking body and a dazzling smile.
I'd like to see what it feels like to live in Tribeca in Manhattan, New York. I'd like a helicopter pilot, a jet pilot, a chauffeur, a housekeeper, and a cook. I'd like to see how it feels for the paparazzi to follow me every time I enter or exit any place. I'd like to travel to all parts of the world and every place I venture to receive royal treatment or better.
Since I've always fancied myself a singer, I'd like the best vocal coaches and choreographers. I'd also like to have the most renown acting coaches. Finally, I'd love the best fashion photographers to capture my essence, and I'd like to be featured on the covers of countless magazines. Of course, I'd want to share my fame and fortune with my own hubby, kids and grandkids. In that week, I would treat my family to fabulous vacations to include Disney World in Orlando, Florida and Paradise Island, Bahamas.
And since it would be my money, I would give money for research to several charities and research including: HIV and AIDS research, to eradicate drug addiction, to eradicate homelessness, breast cancer awareness, autism awareness, diabetes, and glaucoma research.

But, since we can't switch places, I just want to wish one of my favorite performers, the happiest birthday ever! Happy Birthday, Beyonce!  Enjoy your day and be blessed with many more birthdays!

Monday, February 24, 2014

"We Had Him" Dr. Maya Angelou's poem for Michael Jackson

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing

Now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind
Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace
Sing our songs among the stars and and walk our dances across the face of the moon
In the instant we learn that Michael is gone we know nothing
No clocks can tell our time and no oceans can rush our tides
With the abrupt absence of our treasure
Though we our many, each of us is achingly alone
Piercingly alone
Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him
He came to us from the Creator, trailing creativity in abundance
Despite the anguish of life he was sheathed in mother love and family love and survived and did not more than that
He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style
We had him
Whether we knew who he was or did not know, he was our’s and we were his
We had him
Beautiful, delighting our eyes
He raked his hat slant over his brow and took a pose on his toes for all of us and we laughed and stomped our feet for him
We were enchanted with his passion because he held nothing
He gave us all he had been given
Today in Tokyo, beneath the Eiffel Tower, in Ghana’s Blackstar Square, in Johannesburg, in Pittsburgh, in Birmingham, Alabama and Birmingham England, we are missing Michael Jackson
But we do know that we had him
And we are the world.