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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Parable of the Sower…”Some seeds fell by the way side”



The Parable of the Sower…”Some seeds fell by the way side”

Greetings So Fyh readers and subscribers, I am delighted to bring to you a very familiar Bible Scripture but with a more directed
Winston Howard
focus.  In the next 4 issues, I will attempt to fine tune your understanding of this parable and how it relates to us as Christian Believers and the way we live in this chaotic world of ours. 

Chapter 13 of the Gospel of Matthew begins with Jesus teaching the multitude by sea side.  It’s important to note here that when Jesus saw the multitude was increasing, he got in a boat and launched out while the multitude stood by the shore.  This is important because Jesus was following the Hebrew tradition of teaching which was in a seated position.  Since the multitude was so great, everyone would not be able to see and/or hear him if he stayed seated on the sea side.  Thus, by getting in a boat and launching out, everyone would be able to see and hear him teach.  Matthew then begins to tell us that “he spake many things unto them in parables.” (Matthew 13:3, KJV) What follows in one of the most famous parables in the Bible also known as The Parable of the Sower.
 As promised, I will attempt to decipher the 4 parts to this parable, the first being And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and devoured them up” (Matthew 13:4, KJV). So, what does this mean? Indeed, even Jesus’ disciples who understood the parable, assumed that the multitude did not as demonstrated in their asking, “why do you speak to them in parables”. Jesus is the Master Teacher and He knows how to get through to people.  If you think back to the most influential teacher you had at any level of your  education, you would probably say that they taught in a way that you could understand.  Jesus taught the same way…in a way that people could understand.
Jesus explains this parable in verse 18 and 19, “Now listen to the explanation of the parable about the farmer planting seeds:  The seed that fell on the way side represents those who hear the message about the Kingdom and don’t understand it. 

Then the evil one comes and snatches away the seed that was planted in their hearts.” In my own parable to the parable, let’s take a situation that many Memphians are familiar with and perhaps many others through mainstream and social media, that being the incident that happened at a Memphis, TN Kroger Grocery Store parking lot in which a mob of kids (teenagers) seemingly assaulted and attacked an innocent citizen just for the fun of it.  According to statements taken from an unidentified witness, “They were playing a game called ‘point them out, knock them out’ where they would point someone out and attempt to knock them out or fight them. There was no real reason behind it.” (Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/08/teens-attack-man-kroger-memphis_n_5785164.html) Many people weighed in on this isolated, yet presumably epidemic issue among the youth of Memphis via sounding off to anyone who would listen.  Stating things like, “where were the parents”, “are they gang bangers”, and of course the Obama haters think that it’s his fault.
The Seed Sower
But here’s the glaring and yet visually impaired truth of the matter…Jesus said in this parable, “for they look but they don’t really see.” (Matthew 13b, NLT) The truth of the matter is, there will always be some people like this, those that fall by the way side.  The Sower is the Word of God that everyone (the seed) has an opportunity to embrace.  Jesus knows that not everyone will embrace Him and His message just as the Sower knows that every seed he casts is not going to land on good soil.  Some of it will be tossed by the way side and will be nothing more than an easy meal for the foul (evil).  Notice that Jesus does not identify birds of Prey, He just says “foul”.  This imagery is often viewed or depicted as a Crow or Buzzard, but it could be any bird…even the cute Sparrow.  This world is a deceptive world control by the Prince of the Air (Ephesians 2:2).  Everyone has the same opportunity to accept and follow Christ, thus being seed that falls on good soil (stay tuned…we will talk about that one in the 4th installment ;-)). 

So you might ask…”if there will always be people that fall by the way side, as those teenagers in the Kroger Attack, then what do you want from me?” I’m glad you asked.  One of my favorite Christian Family movies is “Facing the Giants”.  There’s a scene in the movie where the coach of a losing football team is stopped by a teacher in the hallway of the school.  This teacher was walking down the halls touching every student locker and praying for every student as he touched their lockers. When the football coach asked him why he does it, there were many of the students he didn’t even know. The teacher told him the story about a farmer who desperately needed rain for his crops to grow. He knew that God would one day send the rain, but he needed to
Facing the Giant
make sure that his field was ready to receive the rain. 
The teacher went on to say that farmer prepared his field daily in hopes that the rain would soon come. In the teacher’s story, the field is the world, the seed (children) is planted in the field with the hope that when God showers his blessings in the form of rain, the seed (children) would receive and take root and grow.  He knew for this to happen, he had to prepare the field daily, pulling weeds, scaring off birds that tried to eat the seeds, cultivating the soil so that it’s not hard and callous.  This was work that needed to be done every day and still no guarantee that when the rain came, all of the seeds would take.  But the farmer’s responsibility was simple…prepare for the rain.  When we’re dealing with seeds (children) that may fall by the way side, we should continue to prepare them for God’s glory.  No farmer plants his field with the expectation that he will lose everything, but he also understands that not all of the seeds will take. 

We can’t guarantee that what happened at Kroger won’t ever happen again, but we as believers in Christ must diligently prepare the youth to live Godly lives. This is done through preparing this world as a farmer prepares his land…cultivating it by helping to remove all malice, hatred and strife, thus reducing the number of seeds that will fall by the way side.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

My Greatest Inspiration


My Greatest Inspiration

 Recently, I had dinner with women of various educational and socio-economic backgrounds. We discussed religion, politics, society, education, love, relationships, and our roles as women in these arenas. One unanimous voice resounded…this world is dying fast, and change is needed NOW! We listened and gleaned intently, as elders shared their views and the younger women digested their pride. As the younger women expressed their hearts, the elders embraced their passion. It was
Erika Whitehead
clear to
me, just as we all come from the womb, we were actually on the same page regarding our world today. 

 Many of us were heartbroken over the many senseless tragedies of young males being slaughtered, young women accepting degradation as their untimely fate, and our babies being raised in an environment conducive to disease, strife, anger, frustration, hopelessness, and death. We cried for each other, prayed for each other, and created a bond that will prove to withstand against the competitive mindset most women have towards each other. We were inspired to be better, because we are learning as a group, how to do better by each other. It wasn’t a meeting about who makes more money, who drives the nicer car, or has the better house.

 It was about learning how to coexist in a world where we’re called to step up and nurture (love) this world back into godly fruitfulness. We realized we were given the authority with Adam and Eve, but have failed to make the impact God intended. Unfortunately, because of our lax demeanor, we must now deprogram ourselves by unplugging from reality television and worldly media, so we can reprogram our spirits to hear the voice of the Lord and what He has to say.

The beginning phases of this newfound freedom and unity, is understanding our purpose…as a unit. When we hear the call to mentor the younger (female) generation, what are we showing them? What are we telling them? Is it based on reality or reality shows (which aren’t real)? Are we searching the Bible and seeking the heart of the Father in order to accurately guide them into adulthood? Are we living by example? 

If they are to watch our lives, what will they learn? Can we genuinely embrace the differences we share? Do we truly understand and value that we are uniquely and wonderfully crafted masterpieces? Change is never easy nor fun. Most times, it’s challenging and can be painful emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically. 

It’s a birthing process that must be executed with precision and in godly timing…well the time to PUSH is NOW! We are breaching a new generation where women will step into the positions of intercessors, nurturers, leaders, and instructors. We are to teach and reach others using godly wisdom and love. In order to do these things, we must first come to the realization of who we are and what each woman means to the next.


I’m truly inspired to be embarking on a new adventure in my life. One that requires me to step outside of my comfort zone and use the revelation God has given me, to train up a new generation. 

What is so great, is that God will use me as a vessel for His plan to manifest in the earth. I truly believe all women have been called to such a purpose, but unfortunately, most will not adhere. Our purpose is more than our minds can comprehend, but with God, all things are possible!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Devoted, Dedicated to Daily Devotion



Devoted, Dedicated to Daily Devotion

     When I began writing daily devotionals, and I didn’t realize the magnitude of people that it would actually touch on a daily basis. I knew when I started three years ago; that God had a calling on my life, but I didn’t have a clue of how great it would be. See, it started out simply as daily postings to Facebook ,but people were encouraged by them. Then I started the blog and I began to get messages and responses from people I’ve never met and they would tell me that, through my words, they've been encouraged. It was then that I understood, it wasn’t about me. I cannot lie and say that I was entirely devoted when I first began because I wasn’t. Yes, I wrote my blogs and I went to church, but I wasn’t studying the word like I should and doing the things I know I could so I had to change and I did. 

LaKisha Johnson
    I became devoted to God. I stopped running from Him and I recently accepted my calling into the ministry. My devotion to God became greater and His devotion to me did too. Please understand, God’s devotion to me was always great yet, I couldn’t see it because I was looking through my natural eyes, but when my devotion became devoted; my eyesight changed! Oh, then I began to see things through my spiritual eyes and they looked differently. Yea, I could see clearer because I saw that I had help. Baby, when my daily devotion became devoted, thangs changed for the greater! 
     I often refer back to the scripture in Proverbs 18:16, which says, “A man's gift makes room for him and brings him before great men, because even though I had no idea how my gift would be used or the many it would touch, God did. He knew all along because He tells me, through His word, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations. Jeremiah 1:5” It’s the same for you. All you have to do is change what you’re devoted to. Make God the head and see if it won’t change some things around in your life, if you’re willing to allow the change and then accept it.
    You may be new in your Christian walk and not quite sure what devotion is, but it simply means to be dedicated. However, let me share what I think devotion is. This is only my opinion and this piece can be found in my book, Doses of Devotion that is available on Amazon. It still fits today because devotion doesn’t change.  
Photo Credit: Morguefile
“What is devotion? Devotion is defined as profound dedication, consecration or an earnest attachment to a cause, person or assignment. It is also defined as an appropriation to any purpose, cause, or as observance or worship; a form of prayer or worship for special use. (Source: http://dictionary.reference.com)
       Devotion, in church, usually begins the worship service and its purpose is to set the tone of the service to follow.  It is often led by the deacons and/or praise team and includes songs, scripture reading and prayers.  Devotion is also considered, by the definition above, to be a form of prayer for special use. So I’ve found devotion to be my release, almost like what a sermon is to a preacher.  It has become my way of uplifting someone who is broken down and an encourager to those who may feel like there is no hope in their current circumstance.  I use this devotional as a means to reach more people who are in need of some understanding of the bible and God’s word because if there is no understanding, there is no knowledge being taught or learned.  
       Now, please know devotion isn’t only for churches or worship services because devotion can be done at home on a Monday morning before work, it can be held on a Saturday afternoon before family gatherings or on Wednesday nights before heading out with friends.  Devotion simply means to be dedicated to whatever you have chosen to do and if your choice is God, then be devoted to him and in your devotion, talk to him in secret prayer or worship.  Why not be dedicated to God’s word?  When you are, you’ll get a better understanding of this world and the life that you are destined to live?  Have devotion with yourself before going into your job and watch how your day changes.  Have devotion with yourself before worship and see how your praise changes.  Devotion isn’t limited to churches so stop limiting your devotion!”
       Become devoted to your own daily devotion and see if it doesn’t make a difference in your life! When your devotion to God becomes devoted, it will make you talk different and you don’t even realize it and your walk is different and you can’t even see it. The change will be evident by you! It’s worth it … I am a living witness!



Someone Died Today


    The hustle and bustle of everyday living is going on. In syncopation there are those who are waking from slumber, those who are lying down in rest, and those who are making the most of the daylight they have left. Neither of them are taking note of the other, yet their lives are making up the fabric of NOW. We are all loving and
loathing, eating and drinking, crying and laughing, and running and walking in perfect harmony – individually cooperative. And, without our perfect knowledge of the other, we are living and dying.


Someone died, today. While we are going about the business of our day, there are those who are mourning the loss of someone great (or not so great). While we are begrudging our jobs, our hair, our clothes, our spouses, and our lives, someone is taking their last breaths. We find moments to complain about our lot and what we will never have, there is someone who doesn’t have tomorrow to make a change. We lose ourselves in what would have or could have been while that one person is out of time – it will never be. 

Someone died, today. They will never hear another ‘I love you’ or ‘Good job’ or ‘I’m so glad you’re here’; nor will they have the opportunity to speak those words. They will never feel the heat of the summer’s sun or the bite of winter’s frost. Do you wonder if they are missing them, now? It makes one wonder if they wish they could wake up early or go to bed late because of work. Are those who once complained about the annoying laugh or the nagging voice or the obnoxious chewing now longing for what once was and will never be, again.

So many of us go about our lives as if we have died. We complain, as if there is no hope for change. We mope around and shed tears over temporal things that will have no meaning, in the end. We look at what is, as if there is no chance for what can be. As long as we are breathing, there is hope for something more – we have opportunities to embrace and look forward to. We can still make plans and execute them. We can still love, laugh, and cry. Our tears are unspoken prayers that can still be answered. We have time. We have opportunity. We have moments that can be enjoyed, no matter the circumstance. We can begin, again.  

Someone was born, today. A shining ray of hope and promise. Joy and exhilaration flood the hearts and minds of those who have anticipated this very moment.  A barrage of heartfelt warm wishes are doled out, freely. Laughter fills the air, as the future is whatever can be imagined. A clean slate has entered our world and our minds are reeling with the thoughts of the future. Plans are written in pencil, leaving room for the ebb and flow of life. Mistakes are welcomed training moments. Failures are expected with the knowledge that a correction can be made. Nothing can dampen the high hopes and exuberant expectations.

Someone was born (again), today. The knowledge that every moment is lived out loud and with our eyes wide open. Nothing is withheld from us, if we are willing to dream (again), hope (again), and believe (again). We can experience the gleeful wonder of a new life beginning the journey of discovery. We can take a fresh look at what had become mundane in our lives. We can appreciate the splendor of color and sound and taste and touch. We can gain comfort in the smile of a loved one. We can appreciate each nuance of ourselves, without the murky judgments of the world surrounding us.

Someone died, today, is true. And, in that same moment, a new life begins.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Living in Purpose & Destiny

    In life, we are presented with so many different challenges. Challenges to love, build and grow; with each challenge we overcome the obstacles to become of our own being. Life is 
Sade L. Collins
full of different narrow and wide paths and uncertainties.  Who am I to say what path is the right one to take when the world is full of sinners who are all venturing out to discover things on his or her own. So many things in the world, will whisper sweet nothings in your ear and so many things will whisper their opinions, their thoughts and their past experiences to you expecting you to learn something from that.


 The question is, how can you learn anything based off of what one person has been through? How can you gain any knowledge if your feet haven’t been in the shoes of another? Oh how everything around you can be so confusing… yet inside you yearn to seek that very same knowledge and wisdom.

 The journey that I am on is like a wounding road… full of fog and dark passages and little sunlight. As a person, I seek love, I seek to be loved. I seek to be understood… I seek to know just who I am. Get it? Who am I? Of course, to others I’m Sade’, a mother to a son… a wife to a guy… an author, a lover… a? But what does that justify for me? Nothing, for some reason, Sade’ isn’t content with being Sade’. There is more to this person, this character… this young woman. 

As I write this, I can’t seem to fathom the thought of so many unanswered questions that I seek to find. So many things that I seek to know and hopefully in due time the doors will open to the unknown answers that I tend to ponder in my thoughts, in my writing and in my ways.   

For a brief minute, I stared at the blank page not knowing what to say… for a brief moment. I tell myself to listen with my heart and not to think. At this moment, I tend to pour out these words so fluently unsure of where to begin and where to end. This I can say is a start for me.

 A start of a new journey in which I chose to share with all of you… my growth as I spin my passion into words… into feelings and into thoughts. 


Although, I tend to question my destiny, I tend dig deep into my soul to find all the possibilities that are tucked underneath my skin, and buried in the back of my mind. Right here in this moment, I long to open up with this being the opportunity to do so. A world of truth, a world of my very own opinion and thoughts as I evolve into the writer that my God wants me to be. Here’s to you, the opportunity to walk along this journey for us together… for I seek to find… my destiny.
                                                                                                                              

 Sade L. Collins

Friday, April 18, 2014

Poetically Writing

John S. Keenan

Single, Saved & Satisified

Renie McClatchey

Fearless Faith

Inez Reilly





















My Greatest Inspiration

Erika Whitehead

Erika-Ta'mmeiko Whitehead, born in MI, raised in MD. Graduated high school at age 16 & attended Langston University, receiving a business degree in Hospitality Management. 

In MI, she attends Abundant Life Christian Center under the leadership of Pastors Harold & Fellicia Duncan. 

Erika is the wife of Brian Whitehead & mother of Tyler (11), Sterling (17), Angelique (17), & Asha (15). Erika's greatest inspiration is her love of the Lord & encouraging His people!

Living in Purpose & Destiny

Sade Collins 

Sade L. Collins knew from an early age that she wanted to be a writer. After graduating from the Chattanooga Center for Creative Arts in 2007, and obtaining her Business Administration Associate's degree in 2013. She set forth to make her dreams come true. With the encouragement and support from her husband, Sade launched SLC Productionz, a production company focused on discovering and publishing talented poets and writers.

" I want to discover what's unseen," Sade said of SLC Productionz. " It's hard for those who want to pursue their dreams, and they feel like they can't for various reasons and excuses. SLC Productionz will be that open door for writers and poets who have never been discovered ---- that open door for the unseen to be seen, for dreams to become reality, and for opportunities as a writer to become a success!"

http://www.slcproductionz.com/
Sade Collins


Thursday, April 10, 2014

RECAP!!!! THE 18TH PRESTIGIOUS ANNUAL STONE AWARDS

On October 12, 2013 at the New Daisy in Memphis, Tennessee marked a moment in history!!!! Truly "A NIGHT OF LEGENDS". Everyone from the Dignitaries, honorees, guest came out in support of this annual event. Memphis's own Lil' Rounds was a former contestant on the American Idol bellowed out her very on melodic sound of the Star Spangled Banner as the show was open along with Color Guards.

 What an amazing night!!!! 

Friday, October 4, 2013

Our Recap of the 1st Annual UBAWA ( Urban Books Authors & Writers of America ) Fall Book Fair

The interviewer & videographer listens very close. (Credit of Photo by Lee Taylor)


On last Saturday, September 28th, 2013, UBAWA made history in Atlanta, Ga!  This Book fair was held at the Georgia International Convention Center, where authors, novelist, poets, and vendors from all over came out to show their support and take part in this event.

This by far was indeed an experience for those just starting out in the industry, to the more seasoned of those in field. There was an array of author's that traveled from great distance to attend.  


It was an honor to be among so many talented individuals that share the same passion. With every experience it was believed that there's always a lesson to learn from it. There was live entertainment, food, and the meeting one another.

 As the day was a just a bit off to slow start the morning of... everyone rushing about to get their tables decorated, books placed neatly upon them, banners hanging, music floating in the atmosphere. 

 
A customer shopping at the book fair.














The photographers where in the building filming a documentary, one on one interviewing of many authors.... One of them happened to be G Street Chronicles :)!! 

G Street Chronicles talks with Founder-Danielle Leach of Urban Books Authors & Writers of America.

(Credit of Photos: Lee Taylor)

The authors' talking with each other, some finally face-to-face, verses the Internet groups that many are in. That was surely an A+!!! It brought together people under roof with many things in common in the terms of literary. From many styles of genre from poetry, fiction, nonfiction, to children themed books. Authors posing with new readers, and exchanging contact information with the newly found friendship with their literary siblings.


The book clubs that came out looking for its next read, on the lurk for a good story, as every author waited patiently as each one approaching their table, witnessing each one engage with the new reader. This trip for us here at So Fyh Magazine had many parts for us.... one Self-Published Christian Novelist, two Meeting and Greeting (NETWORKING), three Entrepreneurship 101 :), four a fast getaway from the world of reality and escape with a great book, this list could very well keep going.


Later a sit-down session with a host of many authors, again talking about the highs and lows of the industry, the importance of branding, marketing, networking and being socially connected to the reader.  Some even expressed how they were inspired to write, some from pain, others just for the fact to entertain their readers.


To hear with a heart as to what reason each one came, for that WE COMMEND UBAWA FOR THE VISION!! Although things can get off to a rocky start, but in the end the VISION WAS FULFILLED!!! KUDOS TO THE FOUNDER AND TEAM, for stepping out on faith and trusting and believing that it will be okay. We are looking forward into seeing what UBAWA will bring us next year, the next step is to build on what you have, determination and aim for the mark!!

Interviewing in motion. (Credit of Photo Lee Taylor)