Tuesday, May 7, 2013


I am learning that marriages when whole and healthy are a blessing to communities. Marriages offer an opportunity for couples as individuals to discover who they are and who they are not.  You might want to ask yourself the following questions: am I kind to my mate?  Am I giving?  Am I forgiving?  Am I bent on being right or having the last word?

Last weekend I was honored to be in the company of a couple who has been married for thirty-one years.  I appreciated this experience. I felt privileged to see love in action. They were kind and loving, and there was a sparkle in their eyes when they looked at each other.  I saw several loving glances during the time I spent with them. It was clear to me that they adored each other even after thirty-one years of marriage.

They gave me something to strive for in my marriage.  I am praying that after thirty-one years my husband and I can still be as loving. But I also realize that this doesn’t just happen. We have to make conscious decisions to remain kind and loving, and never take the other person for granted or disrespect him or her. Most important, we must remember that communication is vital. 

Also remember this verse in the Holy Bible: Mark 10: 9, which states, “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wedding Officiant's Comments on The Film "Django Unchained"

I saw the film Django Unchained this week. Although there is controversy about the movie, as a Wedding Officiant I liked it. In particular I liked Django (the main character, played by Jamie Fox), and Broomhilda, (or Brunhilda in German, the main character’s wife played by Kerry Washington). They were torn apart by slavery, yet their love and devotion to each other was committed and strong. As an African-American woman this was the first time in my sixty-two years that I saw a film that dealt with slavery where a black man encountered great danger to save his wife. When Django rescued her I could see her proud in her body language as she waited for him on her horse before they rode off to freedom. In my mind I could hear her saying, ‘My man knows how to take care of business!  He loves me and as much as I love him’.

Monday, December 24, 2012


When couples decide to get married they go into it declaring that it will last forever.  That’s a good place to start; yet, I wonder sometimes how many couples think about maintaining their marriage before saying, ‘I do’.  Preserving a marriage does not just happen automatically.  To get that last-forever status you need skills, skills like listening, communication, compromise, and commitment to spending quality time together.  Maintaining the marriage and keeping it alive might mean instituting a date night for just the two of you, or perhaps going to church, temple, or other kind of spiritual practice.  Moreover, good maintenance means consciously practicing the communication and compromise necessary to resolve issues together rather than seeking solutions in the arms of another or in various chemicals.

There is a couple in my apartment complex that I have happily observed over the years, and what I have noticed is that they appear to enjoy each other’s company.  First of all they seem to like each other, whereas I have seen other couples that don’t seem to like each other at all. This couple is always smiling or holding hands. I have known them for over twenty years, and during this time they have been consistent with their devotion to each other.  The wife once told me that they are friends and enjoy talking to each other.  They have good communication skills. She shared with me that the first time they met was at a friend’s house.  She said the conversation was extraordinary; they could not stop talking to each other. He, on the other hand, credits their longevity to their religion in addition to their really liking each other and having a great friendship.

Remember, “Faith without work is dead.” (James 2:17)

Tips to maintain your marriage:
·    0  Communicate with your partner
·    0  Learn how to argue with respect (Book: Non-Violent Communication by Marshall Rosenberg)
·    0  When having challenges with your mates do not go outside the marriage with another individual to solve the problem – go to counseling with your partner instead. 

According to Robert Grazian from Ezine:
“Divorce statistics show that there are a number of reasons why marriages fail. According to divorced couples, the number one reason that marriage fails is due to either a lack of communication or poor communication. The second most cited reason for divorce is marital conflicts and arguments. Thirdly, many divorced couples say infidelity led to divorce.”

Sunday, October 21, 2012

"Papa Was A Rolling Stone"

“Papa was a rolling stone. ”I heard this song many times.  I danced to it and joked about it.  But when you think about it, there is absolutely nothing to laugh at.  This song speaks of a man who was unfaithful, irresponsible, and absent from his family.  It’s amazing to me that two men wrote this song, Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong, and I wonder how this song paralleled their own lives.  Did they see this behavior in their community, or did they experience it themselves?

            Can we avoid this kind of situation?  I think we can; however, it takes a lot of work.  We have to set the kinds of standards and requirements for ourselves as described in Steve Harvey’s book,  “Think Like A Man Act Like a Lady.”

Find out how the man or woman in your life feels about infidelity.  Listen to what he or she says and what he or she doesn’t say.  Find out if you have the same value system.  Communicate!  Play the song and let it lead into a conversation about infidelity responsibility.  That’s a start…  Listen carefully!

I believe that in order to have strong communities, we need fewer fathers who are rolling stones. 

Sunday, September 30, 2012


I don’t know about you but it is my heart’s desire to see healthier, whole relationships in my community and world. I believe that healthy, whole relationships build healthy, whole communities. It is our God-given right to live in communities where there is respect for neighbors and self; and if we apply simple principles to our living, we can achieve whole, healthy relationships, and ultimately wonderful unions throughout our country and the world. The process starts with the man/woman in the mirror.

 One of the Master teachers of all time, Jesus, said in Matthew 22:36-40:  “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.  All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” 

These two commandments sound easy, but when we begin to apply them, they get a little harder.  How many of us love our neighbors as ourselves?  If your neighbor is rude, loud and nasty, can you honestly say you can love them as you love yourself?   I would suggest that you work on it until it’s a reality.  It can be done and I am a testament to that.  Having grown up in the south in the fifties and sixties (the Jim Crow era), hatred consumed me.  At a certain point I realized I didn’t like this hard, cold person I had become embodying all this hate.  With love and through changing my thoughts, words, and actions, ultimately I transformed.  I believe this saved my life from further toxic inner turmoil.

Martin Luther King Jr. said it best when he cited:

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”

If you are reading this blog I will accept that you already have love in your life. Allow me to introduce you to a small book called “The Four Agreements,” by Don Miguel Ruiz, which can help to enhance your life.  I have embraced these “Four Agreements” and applied them to my everyday life. I can tell you they have become part of my consciousness now. And while they appear to be simple, applying them is work.  But if applied they can be beneficial to your coming union.

Don Miguel said, “1. Be Impeccable With Your Word - Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your word in the direction of truth and love; 2. Don't Take Anything Personally - Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering; 3. Don't Make Assumptions - Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want.  Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life; and, 4. Always Do Your Best -Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse and regret.”  

Henceforth, I invite you to bring alive the two commandments Jesus spoke of in Matthew 22:36-40 and “The Four Agreements,” by Don Miguel Ruiz.  In doing so, I believe it will help create a movement of healthy, whole relationships, which in turn will help build healthy, whole communities, and ultimately, magnificent unions in our country and the world.