The Colored Girls

Jan 15th 2014

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Weekly Meditations

"... but David encouraged himself in the Lord ... "

I Samuel 30:6b

Jan 15th 2014

Sometimes, There’s Only You

A sister-friend of mine recently embarked on a new journey. She decided to go back to school to study something that’s become a passion for her. Given all she’s got going on in her life, just finding the time to pursue her dream is a monumental task in and of itself.

She shared her intentions with me. And I’m ashamed to admit that I was too preoccupied with something else to really hear her. I was half-listening and wound up not giving her the respect or attention our love for each other required. My reply to her: “oh yeah?” And then I moved on to the next subject.

She called me on it recently. I had to admit that I didn’t even remember her telling me about school. I was mortified and will be mortified for days to come. I apologized, kissed her feet, and offered her my favorite pair of shoes (since I don’t have children). I’m so proud of her and can’t wait to see her first film.

Well, thank God, her passion and her program were not dependent on me. She followed King David’s example and encouraged herself. She didn’t get waylaid by my lack of attention. She understood that what the Spirit was calling her to do was bigger and more important than me saying “Amen” to her dreams, and they couldn’t and wouldn’t be drowned out or killed by my seeming lack of enthusiasm.

Look, sometimes, intentionally or not, your dreams, ideas, plans, and vision just will not be received or welcomed with open arms, loud praise, and a hallelujah chorus. In those moments, you gotta be clear about what God is calling you to do, and if you’re sure about your path, do like David and encourage yourself. Cause sometimes your own encouragement — and God’s — is all you’re gonna get. But then again, what else do you really need?

The Latest

Jan 14th 2014

The Girls

One of the joys of my life is my friendship with Donna Brazile, Yolanda Caraway, Tina Flournoy, and Minyon Moore.  We’re affectionately known around town as “The Colored Girls.”

CGs 3We’ve been friends for more years than we care to count, so long that we can pretty much finish each other’s sentences, cuss each other out, make each other crazy, back each other up without question, keep each other’s secrets, and most of all, love each other unconditionally.   We started out as political colleagues and work friends, but now, having survived tests and trials together, we are each other’s family.  They are a blessing to me, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world.

A few years back,we decided to forgo our annual Christmas gift exchange, and, instead, we would participate in the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center’s Recreation Wish List (RWL) Christmas celebration.  SETLC, headed by the indefatigable Cora Masters Barry, is a wonderful recreation and learning center in Anacostia, serving hundreds of moderate- and low-inc ome families.  Each Christmas RLC selects deserving families from its roster of young people, and invites those families to submit a “Wish List” of Christmas gifts. The girls and I “adopt” a couple of families and every year and do our best to make their Christmases joyful.  We love it, and we especially love the Christmas morning pictures we receive from the families.  Talk about JOY!

Christmas 2012, we decided that, in addition to our Wish List duties, we would do something for each other … in celebration of our decades-long friendship, we sat for a photo session with the incomparable Sharon Farmer.  It was a fabulous day of ringing laughter and great music.  And I gotta tell you, it is HARD WORK!  Anyway, we love the pictures and hope you do too!

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Weekly Meditations

"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think."

Ephesians 3:20 (NLT)

Jan 14th 2014


I  bet you have some plans for your life.  Maybe you’re thinking about  starting a business or going back to school or starting a family.   You’ve thought about it.  You’ve prayed on it.  You’re ready.  And since  you’re a good planner, you’ve already thought through how you’ll handle  the responsibility, and what kind of adjustments you’ll have to make in  your schedule, daily routine, budget, and relationships.  And if you’re  like me, you’ve also thought about what you’ll do when you’ve met your  goal.  Two weeks in Paris, anyone?  Yep, you’re ready.

Whatever  your plans, you’ve taken the time to think them through because you  want, no, you intend to be successful.  After all, who plans to fail?   And that’s a good thing.  Having a plan is a good thing.  Setting goals  is a good thing.  Making your own dreams come true is a good thing.

And  you know what?  God wants you to be successful.  He wants you to aspire  to good things.  He wants you to prosper.  God our Father loves you so  much that He has His own plans for you.  Big plans.  Huge plans.   Spectacular plans.  And as wonderful as you think your dreams are – and I  know they’re wonderful – God’s plans are even bigger and even better  and even more wonderful.  So wonderful that they exceed anything you  could ever imagine or even ask for yourself.

Whatever plans you  have, go ahead and get to work on them.  Give it all you’ve got.  Just  don’t be surprised when the outcome turns out to be even more, even  bigger, even better than you dreamed.  Cause our God has plans for you too.  Watch Him exceed your expectations!

May God bless your week!

Pastor Leah

Weekly Meditations

"For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His. "

2 Chronicles 16:9 (NAS)

Jan 13th 2014

He’s Watching Me

There’s a scene in The Dark Knight where Batman sits high above Gotham City, surveying the scene, his eyes searching for some sign of distress or wrongdoing. And as soon as he spots such a thing, he swoops down from his perch and swoops in to save the day.

As much as I love Batman and his movies, I know that such a character cannot really exist. After all, what human has the ability to sit on a tall skyscraper and, with natural vision, spot a mugger stealing an old lady’s handbag on yonder street corner? Would be nice though, wouldn’t it?  To know that someone is always watching, with your protection and best interests at heart …

Well, that’s exactly who God is and that’s exactly what God does.  God really can see our situation, our every distress, our every challenge from where He sits. But He is no disinterested observer – His engagement doesn’t stop with the seeing. No, our God is always looking, searching, scouring the earth for the opportunity to show us just how strong He is, to prove to us that He loves us, that He is in our corner, backing us up, clearing paths, making ways, and removing obstacles.  And unlike Batman, God is not subject to human faults, foibles, or limitations.  And God doesn’t need the latest technological gadgets and gizmos to help Him discern your whereabouts or your needs and desires.

Now there is a catch: You have to love Him completely and you have to trust Him entirely. But that ‘s not much of a requirement, is it? And if you can manage those two small things, then the God of the Universe takes up your cause. Fights your battles. Opens (and closes) doors for you. The Creator of Heaven and Earth sits on His Throne, in His high Heaven and looks for ways to support you, empower you, and give you the abundant and joy-filled life He so greatly desires for you. Beats Batman every day of the week!

May God bless your week

Weekly Meditations

"I will open rivers in desolate heights, And fountains in the midst of the valleys; I will make the wilderness a pool of water, And the dry land springs of water."

Isaiah 41:18

Jan 12th 2014

The Desert in Bloom

I once attended the NAACP Leadership 500 Conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. The conference hotel had its own Cactus Garden on two acres of land, featuring 350 different varieties of cacti. I love flower gardens of all kinds so as soon as I had the chance, I found my way to the Cactus Garden and took a stroll.

To say that it was beautiful is an understatement. The variety, the colors, the sizes and shapes were just staggering. cactus flowersBut what struck me most was that all this beauty, all this life, was springing forth from the apparent dryness and barrenness of the desert. With the sun blazing down and not a drop of water in sight, these plants grew strong and vibrant, seemingly in spite of their surroundings. To look at the bleakness of the desert, you’d never expect that such beauty could be found there.

Every so often, we have episodes in our lives that seem like that desert – just dry and incapable of producing anything worthwhile. When our friends, our families, our networks, and our resources seem incapable of supporting our vision. When even our own energy and creativity seem exhausted and unable to sustain our work and our dreams.

And in those times, we should call to mind the promise of God, that He will make even the desert places flourish. That he will provide resources where and when none are expected. That He will send nourishment and sustenance where we need it, just when we need it. See, God is not confined by boundaries and God is not constrained by facts. Just because you think you’re going through a dry spell or an unproductive time, and just because you can’t see where your help is coming from, doesn’t mean that God cannot work or is not working. Just look: He makes flowers bloom in the desert.

Weekly Meditations

"And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint. "

Galatians 6:9 (Amplified)

Jan 11th 2014

Just Do It!

I tell you: some days, it’s just a struggle to do the right thing, isn’t it? Especially in a culture where self-interest, self-aggrandizement, and self-absorption are rewarded and encouraged. In ways subtle and overt, we’re pushed to do what’s expedient, to go along to get along, to turn a blind eye to injustice and wrong. And it’s so seductive, it’s so easy, isn’t it, to just go with the flow, shut up instead of speaking up, let somebody else be the do-gooder for today.

But God reminds us that He expects us to have principles. He expects us to have a backbone. He expects us to have ideals that we’re willing to fight for. He expects us to be above societal whim and fancy. He expects us to stand for truth and honor. He expects us to just do it . . . the right thing, that is.

God understands that it’s going to be a challenge, and that’s why He encourages us to keep the faith and to stay focused. And when the time comes . . . and He’s already decided (appointed) the time! … we will reap a harvest that’s sure to be abundant . . . And you know it has to be abundant, because God never does anything halfway!

Weekly Meditations

". . . we must not love in word or speech, but in deed and truth. "

1 John 3:18 (CSB)

Jan 10th 2014

Talk Is Cheap

Recently, I was watching the very interesting television show Intervention. It’s a series that follows addicts and their families as they fight to change their lives. In one episode, the addict (a young alcoholic) recalled that his father would regularly beat his mother, and would often wake the kids up to watch the beatings. When the interviewer asked the mother (also an addict) why she stayed with her husband as long as she did, mom gave a list of reasons, among them: “he said he loved me.”

The “Love” word gets thrown around a lot these days. We use it for everything and everybody. For clothes, for food, for shoes (yes, I’m guilty). For friends and acquaintances, for people we just met, and for those we’ve known forever. We love him. We love her. We love them. Sometimes we actually mean it. But most times . . .

For all us love-aholics, the Scripture reminds us that when we love someone, it shouldn’t just be in pretty words and flowery speech. Instead, our love should be demonstrated through real action. I’m not saying that you should run right out and send someone flowers (well, then again . . . ). But there are many ways to show your love. Send a note. Be respectful. Pick up the dry-cleaning. Make time. Cook dinner – or make reservations. Be sweet. Pray with them. Encourage their latest enterprise. Tell the truth (with love, of course). Show up on time. Listen.

Look, talk is cheap. Anybody can say “I love you.” But do the actions match the words? Cause real love proves itself in the doing, not just in the saying.

Weekly Meditations

"Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions.""

Luke 12:15

Jan 9th 2014


When I was a little girl, my mother used to buy shoes for my sisters and me at Alexander’s Department store. Now these shoes would be on tables, and the left and right foot would be connected by a little plastic ring, making it impossible to try on both shoes at the same time. It wasn’t comfortable or even practical, but it was what we could afford at the time. I longed for the day when I would be able to go to the third floor of Alexanders, take a seat in the shoe department, have a salesman bring me the shoes (in the box!), and then try on both shoes at the same time – and actually walk to a mirror to see what they looked like. Somebody knows what I’m talking about!

Nowadays, I am THE shoe queen. I’m pretty frugal about most things – but when it comes to shoes … well, all bets are off. My shoe shelves (yes, they have special shelves) are filled with every style and color imaginable. And yes, brothers, a sister does need more than one pair of black shoes.

And that’s the story for a lot of us: Most of us live with a lot of extras in our lives. Stuff we’ve become so used to that we’d probably call them necessities. We’re living by our “wants,” not by our “needs.” We regularly live in the excess – getting an extra large fries when a medium will do. Buying six pairs of socks, when we really only need two. Having extra coats just for variety. Enough food in your fridge and pantry so you don’t HAVE to shop for a month. Ordering dessert when you’re already full.

Our society has taught us to value our lives by how much stuff we have and how much we can accumulate. But the Scripture reminds us that that’s not where true wealth lies; that that’s not a real measurement of whether we’re living abundant, fruitful, productive lives. True wealth springs from the condition of the heart. From how you treat people. How you love people. How you respect the “other.”

So this week: EDIT. Forget about the stuff. Give your credit/debit card a rest. Don’t buy a thing! Instead, hug a child. Call your mama. Send your dad some flowers. Apologize – even if you weren’t wrong. Call an old friend and see how they’re doing. Hold the door for someone. Smile at a stranger. Pay the next guy’s toll. “Let your light so shine that everyone can see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”

Weekly Meditations

"Be still, and know that I am God. "

Psalm 46:10

Jan 8th 2014

Got A Minute?

Remember when weekends actually meant time off? Well, those days are long gone! Whatever did we do before cell phones, email, fax machines, FedEx?

With technology, we are and are expected to be “on” all the time. And our lives have become busier, faster, and fuller, just trying to keep up. We’re constantly moving … texting, emailing, twittering, facebooking, myspace-ing – all in an effort to keep our connections and stay on top of our game.

Funny how all this connecting doesn’t make for real connections. It’s kinda hard to have a meaningful conversation via email. Even harder to have a meaningful relationship. Rich and lasting relationships require time and attention. Require us to stop and have a real conversation – not one that stops and starts when we’re ready. Require us to listen carefully and respond thoughtfully.

What’s true with people is even truer with God. If we’re really interested in more than a superficial, drive-by relationship with our Creator, we gotta take the time. Email, twitter, and facebook just won’t work here. Instead, He tells us exactly what to do: “Be still and know that I am God.”

It’s a command and a promise. “Be still.” Just stop. Take a breath. Ignore the gadgets. Take a minute, or two, or ten. Get focused. And in exchange for taking a break from your busyness, in exchange for your stillness, you can “know that I am God.” Meaning, you can experience God in the fullness of His glory… you can grow a real relationship with Him … you can see Him as He really is and He can see your heart too … you can revel in the deep peace and joy that comes from knowing that you — just as you are — are truly known, truly seen, and truly loved by the One who knew and loved you before anyone else did.

Not a bad trade, I’d say … a few minutes without the toys and gadgets;  a few minutes of quiet and focus … and in return, I’m rewarded and blessed with God Himself.  I might just get the answer I’ve been looking for … I might just find the rest my soul’s been seeking … I might just find the peace that’s been so elusive.  The possibilities are endless, all from following God’s simple instruction: Be Still and Know That I Am God.