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INSPIRATIONS 
Speaking your truth to power
By Evelyn M. Bingham
SUN COLUMNIST & POET
     We have heard the phrase, Speaking Truth To Power, a lot in recent months and years. Although the phrase is not new, you may have wondered what it meant or its origin. The Quakers used the term during the mid 1950s, which was a call for the United States to stand firm against fascism and other forms of totalitarianism.
   Speaking truth to power means believing deeply in what you say and fighting every day to have that heard. It may not be popular, it means taking a risk, it means standing for something. Such was the case with our brave leaders speaking out for justice during the early civil rights era, the student protests and sit-ins and the bus boycotts and the voting rights campaigns. Another example more recently, was the Women’s, or Peoples March in Washington D.C., immediately following the Trump inauguration, which sparked other spontaneous protests across our country and the world of people insisting that their voices and their truths be heard, and be responded to!
     To speak truth to power, means speaking what we believe to be true, to someone in authority who might take it as a criticism or be offended, and who has the power to punish us in some way. One prime example of this, was Jesus, speaking the ultimate truth to power before his trial and his crucifixion. More recently, we have seen this scenario play out many times since the Trump presidency, with the leader of our country behaving like a spoiled preschooler who cringes and fights back when he perceives himself being criticized or disrespected or disliked. 
     What would make us afraid or reluctant to speak up or to speak our minds? Fear of authority is one of them (except when confronted by a two year toddler, who in convincing defiance, is speaking in toddlerease, unafraid to the parent in present authority! Fear comes from the power difference between ourselves and the other person. We may feel, real or perceived, that we have less power than them, which causes fear, but, as David Gurteen, of the Knowledge Café states there are many forms of power difference. Seniority, gender, education, class, articulateness, accent, race, nationality, dress, financial etc.
     We all have many opportunities to speak our truths to power, but it is often the combined voices or actions which forms the power to overcome injustice, ignorance, inequity and overall inequality to the powers that be. Some people feel safer or more empowered through anonymity. Our vote gives us a powerful voice, which carries a heavy weight, as does our letters and calls to our elected officials. Our active participation in the NAACP, AARP, and like organizations are powerful and effective tools for social change. Whenever possible, we should seek to be an agent for change, a voice for the voiceless, and an army of one, and when combined with the strength of others who share the same beliefs, we can defeat any negative powers , when armed with our combined weapons of love!










Willow don't weep for me
By Evangelist Barbara Colbert
SPECIAL TO THE SUN
     What do I know about love? Really? Not as much as I thought I did. In spite of years of seasoning by life’s fiery tests and trials, wake-up calls and divine revelations, I was yet deeply moved by the beautiful display of love between two people who decided to cherish one another from this day and forevermore.
  A simple wedding. A gathering of family and friends. A couple sold out for love, sealed with a promise of eternal love, a prolonged kiss and an intertwining of the hearts. A prayer said in unison. Tears of joy and happiness. Hugs, handshakes and well wishes. Two becoming one. No frills. Just faith.
     There was no walking down the aisle. No giving away of the bride. No traditional “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue . . .” No tossing of the bouquet. No bouquet. No shower of rice as the two now one, sprinted away, hand-in-hand, gown and veil blowing in the summer breeze. Instead, a sneak-peak of cowboy boots underneath making a statement: This, is who we are – like it or not.
     I knew the bride for a couple years now. A woman of great emotion, determined and passionate, I’d seen her take life by the horns and forge ahead despite all odds. She’d stepped out on a faith that one can only find when love is the motive, and the heart is the means. I didn’t know the groom personally, but I didn’t have to, because I’d seen the transformation that took place in the woman who had given him her heart. His love for her was evident in her very countenance. She had a gleam in her eyes that could dazzle the stars. 
    They made a handsome pair. A pair perhaps complex to others. Perhaps a little battle-weary from the road that ultimately led them to each other. Perhaps a little rough around the edges, as a result of it all. But two people holding on to one another for dear life. . . and that’s love. Love unbridled. Love unblemished. United they would stand and never would they fall. I believed with all my heart, that most everyone there, wished that they too could be so blessed.
     So, like I said, what do I know about love? Not much, because I still can feel the tears begin to swell in my eyes, when I recall that wedding. How we can go our whole lives making everything so complicated. Looking for love in all the wrong places. Sometimes not even seeing the forest for the trees, as we are too busy maneuvering ourselves through life, getting stuck in the pitfalls and roadblocks. I would venture to say, that many of the members at the wedding took stock of their own lives that September afternoon . . .
    There’s a song by Billie Holiday that says, “Willow weep for me, bend your branches green along the stream that runs to sea. Listen to my plea, hear me willow and weep for me. . .” I think the willow wept for this beautiful couple for a mighty long time. They had both sang sad laments in the midnights of their days. But now the willow has done all the weeping it’s gonna do. True love has entered in and the willow weeps no more.



Embracing the Goddess Within
By Aldonna Smith (aka Goddess Godis)
SPECIAL TO THE SUN 
    What every mother wants is the best for her children. She wants them to have the best that life has to offer. She also wants them to be the best person that they can be. Our children are our greatest contribution to the world.
     Delilah Elamin-Sims who is also known as Goddess Sahaja is a loving, nurturing and devoted mother of two beautiful daughters, Aneesa and Amirah. 
  She loves to cook and create vegetarian means for her family and for those seeking to change their diet. She loves being in nature and gardening. She is looking forward to one day writing books on healing the mind, body and spirit.
  Goddess Shahaja is committed to nurturing the spiritual growth of her daughters. She scheduled a goddess photo shoot with me for her and her daughters. She stated to me that she wants them to celebrate and visually connect with their Goddess self. She felt that a spiritual portrait would inspire them to continue to grow spiritually and become the goddesses that they came here to be. 
     Goddess Sahaja also shared with me how she often reminds her daughters to only put out what they want to get back. Be loving and kind to everyone and that everything happens, for a reason and to see the divinity in all things.
  Aneesa and Amirah are not only physically beautiful, they are spiritually beautiful. You can see in them the fruit of their mother’s labor. She has implanted in them a love for themselves and God and an awareness of their highest self.
     GODIS is a Detroit spiritual artist, who is dedicated to using her gifts as a writer, garment designer, photographer and speaker to inspire women to embrace the Goddess within them. The goddess is a woman of great spiritual beauty and creative power. GODIS is the author of the Book of Wisdom of affirmations. To contact her E-mail goddessgodis@yahoo.com  



Are you so afraid?
By Rev. Dianna C. Seifuddin
SPECIAL TO THE SUN
                                                Are you so afraid that you will miss your                                                             blessing?
                                                In this day and time, we must keep our doors                                                     locked, ours windows secured, our alarm systems                                               on while we sleep. We doubt God so much that we                                               have no trust in Him.
                                                 Back in the day, we put our trust totally in God.                                                When there was a knock at the door or the doorbell                                              rang, we said just a minute. Now, we say with an                                                  unwelcome loud voice, “Who is it?” The family dog                                                also starts to bark. We must continue to stay focus                                                on God’s word.
                                                 Proverbs 3:5 tells us to “Trust in the Lord with all                                              thine heart and lean not to thine own                                                                      understanding.”
  If we are looking for the very presence of God to bless us and our family, we must be ready. We don’t know the day or hour that he will stop by.
  There is a story about how the widow woman was looking for the Lord. She had cleaned her house and cooked the best meal. She was waiting, and then there was a knock at the door. It was a man asking for a drink of water. She said, “No. It’s for my Lord.” Another man came by later in the day asking for a place to sleep for the night. She said, “I have no room. My Lord is coming. He will want to rest.” There was a third man that came passing by early in the morning asking for bread and water. She said, “This is for my Lord. He will want to eat.” She waited and waited. Finally, she heard a knock at the door. She cried out, “Oh my Lord. I’ve been waiting for you.” The Lord said, “I’ve been here three times. You would not give me water to drink. You would not give me a place to sleep. You would not give me bread to eat. Don’t be afraid to see me in your brother or sister.”
  Please feel free to call Angel’s Headquarters for God’s People at (313)623-1128 for prayers.