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FEBRUARY 2017    

Creating a sacred space

By Ma’at Seba
    Life's experiences can sometimes leave you with feelings of lack, worry, doubt, anger, resentment jealousy, hate etc., but all of these feelings have the common denominator of Fear. In your Divine state there is no fear, only love, and when you rest in the space of perfect love, you are not capable of feeling anything less than that. When in the space of love, faith then develops because you have the knowing that there is nothing to fear.
     “Faith and fear can not dwell in the heart at the same time, either you will stand in one or you will fall into the other." Prayer assists you in staying connected to your Divine state, because we are all co-creators with the Most High, we have just forgotten that. We are created from the pure Love essence of the Most High, we can not be anything other than that from which we were created from. Perfect Love. The Most High is Love, we were created from perfect love, and fear is love out of balance. Prayer is one of the tools to use to bring the scale of the Divine's Love within us back into balance.
     Intimately communing with the Divine elevates you into your higher consciousness, your Divine state, and it is from within this space where you co-create with the Most High and make manifest your desires. Having a sacred space or alter in your home "trains” your mind and body that this is the time to be still and become peaceful. When you become routine or ritualistic in developing your process for connecting with the Most High, you will notice how quickly your body and mind will become relaxed. Your sacred space should reflect you, and is something that is very personal and sacred to you because this is where you connect with The Divine.
     These are just some suggestions for creating a sacred space or alter that reflect you. Your alter can be made out of anything from a table, the top of a dresser or mantle, an entertainment unit or even in a box, according to the space that you have to work with.
You may use anything to dress your sacred space with from a towel, or a pillowcase to an elaborate piece of fabric to drape your area with. Your dressing can be a cultural cloth, a prayer cloth, velvet a metallic look, lace, or just a basic fabric. Work with what you have or what you can afford until you find the dressing that your Spirit really feels connected to. Just remember that this space is where you and the Divine connect intimately. Do not focus on trying to visually impress anyone by the elaborateness of your alter because that just shows haughtiness instead of humility, righteousness and sincerity of heart. You can change your sacred space as frequently as you wish to reflect your consciousness or spiritual focus at that time.
Choose items that have a sacred, symbolic or even sentimental meaning to you. Some suggestions are: pictures of yourself and/or loved ones, those still alive and/or deceased. Prayer beads, crystals, incense, your holy book or sacred text, candles, statues or figurines (*fruit a live plant/flower or a glass of water) can be used. *These items as well as others that may be used are symbolic, for instance fruit could symbolize harvest or abundance, a live plant/flower could symbolize health or peacefulness, and water could symbolize life, for water is what sustains all life. Lay the adornments on your alter where it is visually pleasing to you and causes you to feel peaceful. If your focus when dressing your sacred space is on its elaborateness or it being very ornate, then you are operating out of vanity instead of sincerity.
     While at your alter, remember to pray for other people. Often times we can become consumed by our own personal challenges, however, we do not live on this planet alone. It is important to pray for family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, your city, state, country and for other cities and countries as well. Pray for world leaders and those in positions of power, those whose decisions affect you directly or indirectly. Pray for the children who lack love, attention or proper parental or family support; for these children will one day grow up and be members of society whether they are productive or destructive. Pray for the single mothers and fathers who are doing their best to raise their children often times under insurmountable odds. Pray for our elders who have paved the way for us to experience whatever freedoms that we have left, only to find themselves abandoned in a senior or nursing home with no one to reciprocate the love, dedication and sacrifice that they so unselfishly gave. Pray for the political, educational and religious systems and those in those systems who have decision making power for their decisions will affect us all at some point in our lives. Pray for ours and other nations so that ultimately we will not sanction war, starvation, and economic greed under any circumstances for it affects us all. Pray for Mother Earth and the destruction that has been done to her with little or no regard for the fact that we all must have her in order to exist. The constant misuse and destruction of natural resources has begun to take its toll on her and she is now in self- cleaning and self-protection mode evidenced by the global, sometimes catastrophic ecological damage and weather patterns. Pray for Love, not for love in a relationship with another but for Love Within Oneself. A loving person could not conceive of harming, or allowing harm to befall another, There is a popular saying that “Prayer changes things”, and creating a sacred space in your home will provide you with the perfect environment to change things in your life.  
  Ma’at Seba is a motivational speaker and writer. Email her at Maatseba@yahoo.com or call (313) 861-1118.  

FEBRUARY 2017    
Mom on the Rebound
​By D. L. Gibson
     The hospital’s waiting room looked like a riot was going on. Security began to run in from all over the place, pushing folks out of the way. Pastor Thug Life was surrounded by at least eight drag queens that were throwing punches and kicks in every direction. They were swinging their arms with open hands, hoping to grab the pastor, but he lived up to his name. Pastor Thug Life was swinging drag queens by their tutus out of the way. Wigs were flying off and high heel pumps were strewn across the floor. He had his fist balled up tightly and was connecting with a few of the queens’ jaws. He didn’t care if some of them were wearing dresses. As far as he was concerned, he was hitting a dude. Pastor Thug Life lifted one of the queens up into the air. He let go, when someone bit him on his leg.
     Why did she/he have to do that? It seemed to build up pastor’s adrenalin. He appeared to be reenergized. It was like he got a second breath and became overly enraged. He was shouting obscenities. I guess that he had forgotten he was a Christian. He said, “I betta not have HIV! I’m gonna have all of you lying in a hospital bed, before I’m done.”
     The queen went crashing down onto the floor. There was another person already lying on the ground, which softened her fall. Security were finally able to get all of the drag queens off of him. It took three large guards to restrain Pastor Thug Life. He pulled up his pant leg, and his skin was broken. You could see teeth marks on his leg with little trickles of blood around it. “Let me go,” he told security. “I need to have my leg check. Lord knows what I’ll do, if one of these freaks gave me HIV.”
     It was if security didn’t know what to do. They didn’t know if they should arrest him or admit him for medical treatment. They whisked him to the back, but not before putting handcuffs on him. Bishop stepped up and demanded to be allowed to go with him. They took him into an examination room and cleaned up his leg. Pastor Thug Life demanded that they test him to make sure he didn’t contract AIDS or HIV. They told him that it would take 7 to 28 days, before there were sufficient antibodies to test his blood. He wasn’t accepting no for an answer. They swabbed his mouth and told him they would have the preliminary results in about 20 minutes.
     Meanwhile, things were still out of control in the lobby. Drag queens were acting like nurses, attending to the wounds of injured queens. The crazy deacon’s family were still in the lobby hollering about how they were going to beat him down for giving their beloved sister, cousin or auntie HIV. They had forgotten about her sister, who was also hospitalized for having a heart attack. Apparently heart issues runs in their family. They had better be careful, before one of them ends up having a heart attack too. The hospital should put them all in a double room or psyche ward to separate them from the sane patients.
     It was the craziest thing that I had ever seen. If I wasn’t witnessing it with my own eyes, I would believe that the whole thing was made up or a part of some fiction movie.  
  Then, we heard a male voice yell out from the back. It sounded like Pastor Thug Life. Suddenly, the lobby got silent, hoping to hear what was going on. Someone came running in from the back. “A big black dude just got his test results back and is flipping out,” he said. Oh no…I hope Pastor Thug Life isn’t living a lie and is HIV positive too.  
      Mom on the Rebound is based on actual events.   


Telford Telescope: 
New board must fix priorty schools
By Dr. John Telford
    Lansing Republicans and sellout "Democrats" and their toadies have used draconian laws and complicit judges to neutralize our unions, contrive a massive municipal bankruptcy, commandeer Belle Isle and other city parks--plus Cobo Hall, Eastern Market, our public libraries, our public lighting system, the Health Department, and the Water Department, which has been shutting off thousands of residents' water. and causing resultant skin diseases among those whose water has been shut off. 
      For the past decade-and-a-half, they have also controlled DPS and mismanaged our once-fiscally-solvent and academically viable school district into bankruptcy and dissolution, with many of its public assets (school buildings, radio station, TV studio, state-of-the-art Special Education center, airplane-piloting curriculum, music, art, and vocational programs, etc.) having been illegally shut down, sold off, or given away, school names and sites changed to kill Detroiters' sense of community, a unique-to-Detroit law permitting our district to employ uncertified teachers, and its once-competitive student test scores having now become America's worst. Meanwhile, our local major media have been selectively silent. Only a few un-bought talk-show hosts, the Metro Times, the Detroit Native SUN, and D-REM have told the full damnable truth. In the face of all this, a few of us have continued for the past several years to interact with a small handful of like-minded fellow citizens attempting to save our schools from becoming entirely chartered, which is what Betsy DeVos, President Trump's choice for Secretary of Education, wants to do nationwide, using Detroit as her model.  
     The QWK2LRN agency, WSU Prof. Tom Pedroni, and Curt Guyette of the ACLU have shared their research that charts the decline of DPS during the state's long and unwarranted takeover, which for all intents and purposes remains unjustly extant today. Detroit now has a "new" public school district with a new and power-limited school board (unlike the fully powered boards in Livonia, Gross Pointe, Birmingham, etc.), and our rightful and lawful old one has been totally and unlawfully disempowered.       This state-engendered new Detroit Board of Education is the final and far-reaching effectuation of the1999 state takeover of DPS and its disenfranchising
* Immediately direct the Interim Superintendent to implement the research-based and proven strategies developed at WSU and pilot-tested and verified in some formerly low-performing DPS classrooms to raise grade-level reading proficiency beyond national norms in order to turn around all of our Priority (failing) schools within two years. Curiously, the current occupant of that office makes no mention of this in her academic plan, whereas it should be her most urgent and crucial goal. 
*Eradicate and terminate the looting of our schools by requiring that programs costing more than $500,000 be carried out on a pay-for-success or social- investment-bond basis similar to that under way in the state of Utah and elsewhere.  
* Use their Board seats as bully pulpits in Lansing and with the major media to get DPSCD out from under state financial oversight and induce the state to pay for the sixteen-year fund deficit its unwarranted takeover created--and Interact closely with the DFT to ensure that its membership, along with the greater Detroit community, survives and prospers economically. 
* Commit to total transparency at all Board meetings and agree to use technology so that all Board meetings appear live in real time on the Internet and local cable to be available for review by the public.
* Initiate a forensic audit so that previously stolen resources can be regained to further support the survival of Detroit's public education.
* Develop a Detroit Promise to assure all high school graduates a community college associate degree with a marketable skill.
* Sign a letter to Governor Snyder and Attorney General Schuette calling upon them to forbid the Michigan School Reform Office or any other state entity from closing any school in the Detroit Public Schools Community District before 2020.
  National, state, and local forces have converged and focused resources on our community to privatize public education throughout our city. The prize they seek is the $1 billion annual revenue (federal, state, and local) associated with the 130,000 K-12 public-school students.residing in Detroit. The stakes are so high that the same actors who for the past decade-and-a-half of the state takeover of DPS have conspired to destroy our school district could try to bribe or coerce the new Board to do their bidding, thus allowing the NewCo model to fail inevitably within the next two or three years and therefore leave an all-charter district that is unaccountable to the community and turns away special-needs students as the only alternative for Detroit's ongoingly cheated schoolchildren. This diminution continues to be supported by some of the major media; e.g., early-on, the Detroit News and other media sources went on record as opposing my and recent DPS Board President LaMar Lemmons' "new" Board candidacies while deliberately misrepresenting our agenda. New federal rules empower the state to do anything it chooses to schools in the bottom five percent. If the District loses these 65 schools in this category, the new Detroit Public Schools Community District cannot survive. Furthermore, the Feds empower the state to implement a "remedy" for students who don't achieve reading proficiency by the close of the third grade. Currently, 88% of DPS third-graders do not read proficiently. Thus, our new Board needs to make fixing the Priority schools its prime and most crucially immediate priority in order to prevent their having to hand over our schoolchildren to the rapacious charter-school officials and their unregulated schools, in accord with Mrs. DeVos's and the Trump Administration's grand plan. A Detroit-based educative agency--the now newly titled "Two Sigma"- has a surefire and near-miraculous plan to save our city's public schools from being chartered. Let us pray that the DPSCD Board will implement this research-proven and field-tested plan pronto. Any Board member who doesn't endorse this anti-chartering plan is either a Schuette and DeVoss dupe or is a conspiratorial party in their chartering scheme.  
  Author, poet, columnist, radio/television host, former international track star, and recent mayoral and school board candidate John Telford served pro bono as the recent school board's chosen Superintendent in 20012-20013. He was Wayne State University's Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in 2001 (for human-rights activism), a 1982 Fellow of the Kettering-sponsored IDEA (Institute for the Development of Educational Ideas), a Joe Louis Memorial Foundation Spirit-of-the-Champ awardee in 2011, a WSU (1978) and DPS (2014) Sports Halls of Fame inductee, and a 2016 recipient of the City Council's Spirit of Detroit Award and the State of Michigan's Defend Public Education Committee's Lifetime Achievement Award. His website is Alifeontherun.com. Hear his shows Sunday afternoons at 3:00 on WCHB NewsTalk1200.  
Read his columns regularly in this newspaper and in the Michigan Chronicle and on the D-REM website. His crusading Detroit-oriented books are available at Amazon.com (type in Dr. John Telford) or by ordering them through him at (313) 460-8272 or at DrJohnTelfordEdD@aol.com.