Ripples and feathers

Early morning light

Mama goose and her chicks near by

Natural habitat

Brooklyn, New York

Humans running past walking ones

Cyclists, an occasional scooter, roller skaters

and dogs and strollers with tiny folks enjoying the ride

A scurrying squirrel or pigeon on

the tarmac defiantly blocking and altering our paths

As they jockey for position to grab some breakfast

Yes, ripples

and feathers of unimaginable modern Pterodactyl kinds

as well…in trees

Good morning…

PSALM 7/28/20

PSALM 7/28/20 — When Truth Matters

“Jesus said to those Jews who believed in him, “When you continue to embrace all that I teach, you prove that you are my true followers. For if you embrace the truth, it will release true freedom into your lives.”” John 8:31-32 TPT


When truth matters

Tears will dry

Hearts will mend

Thoughts of forgiveness will flow

And know that when truth matters

Loneliness is comforted 

Lives are protected 

Wrongs are made right

When truth matters

Ignorance learns a lesson

Prayers hold no personal agendas

Because only the truth matters.



The view from my dining room window.


“This is GOD ’s Word on the subject: “…I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.”

Jeremiah 29:10-11 MSG

For the past several years I have been applying, through a website, to rent an apartment in a luxury building at an affordable rent. This website displays many opportunities for moderate-to-low income folks, to “win” a luxury apartment at a rent based on their income level. Applicants are randomly selected through a lottery process. Most of the buildings are in the mid-construction phase so they don’t begin the tenant selection process for at least a year or two.

I only apply for luxury apartments in neighborhoods where I would like to live, and in buildings with amenities that suit my lifestyle. You know like a dishwasher, an in-unit washer and dryer, a fitness center, and building parking.

In the Summer of 2016, I submitted an application through the website for this incredible building in midtown Manhattan. In the Spring of 2018, I was randomly selected to submit an application for residence in that building; but the application process didn’t get very far because there had been a change in my originally stated income. Needless to say, I was devastated by their decision, but I kept submitting digital applications and praying for another opportunity for me to get an apartment that was affordable.

I already have a beautiful Brooklyn apartment that I’ve lived in for nearly 20 years, with a fantastic view of the Manhattan skyline — which is being altered by new construction day by day! But my beautiful apartment is not affordable. I am managing but I’m a retired NYC schoolteacher on a fixed income…so affordable is quite relative.

Forty-nine weeks, less than one year later, after I had been randomly selected and rejected for that luxury Manhattan apartment, I received an email from another luxury building. This time the address was in my beloved Brooklyn and it was an invitation to submit further documentation for the application process. I just knew that I was going to move into the affordable apartment of my dreams. Of course, I had my prayer team on the case, and I was sure that the Lord Himself was going to “give” me that apartment after the devastating disappointment of the year before. Surely He wouldn’t tease me by letting me be randomly selected out of tens of thousands of other people and not “bless” me with this opportunity this time! I actually couldn’t imagine not getting the apartment. I prayed and thanked the Lord for it. I printed out the floor plan and imagined how my furniture would look along that wall…in that corner… But I quietly and fearfully prayed, I want Your perfect will Father.

It was months before I heard from the building. I waited in anticipation that God was working all things out together for my good — that being the perfect apartment, on the perfect floor, with the perfect view at the perfect rent. I anxiously scanned my inbox daily, looking for an email from that building. And when it finally came it read, Thank you for applying…but due to an extremely large number of applicants, we are not able to accommodate all…

Again? No Father, not again…another denial? I can’t. I don’t understand.

And then Jesus spoke, This is my perfect will for you…this beautiful affordable apartment! Haven’t I always supplied all of your needs. This is the home I have provided for you to live in.

Joy and gratefulness flooded my soul. Almighty God spoke to me yet again. I know His voice. I know His loving caring ways are higher than my ways and His plans for me are perfect. 

No longer feeling disappointed I prayed, Thank You Father that I am living in Your perfect will! Thank You Jesus that You live with me and keep me safe and secure in my beautiful apartment and in this beautiful life in Christ…living on Your terms. AMEN!


Make Your way straight before me.

I began to sing the old hymn “Lead Me Lord” by Samuel Sebastian Wesley.

I Googled it and found several YouTube versions with the lyrics: Lead me Lord. Lead me in Your righteousness. Make Your way plain before my face. For it is You Lord, You Lord only, that makest me dwell in safety. One video had the lyrics superimposed over a background of beautiful photos of the Cross of Christ with a choir singing in the background. I joined in the worship singing with another video of a four-person a cappella group from a small church in Cape Town, South Africa. As I began to sing, I changed the first line of the song to Keep me Lord. Keep me in Your righteousness…*Radical Integrity*


I am a kept woman!

Scandalous don’t you think? 

But I am not ashamed because I am kept in perfect peace 

   I am kept by the power of God Himself, through Jesus Christ. 

I am kept in His everlasting arms and He calls me His beloved,

   the apple of His eye

The power and the authority of the Holy Spirit, 

   the True Living God keep me! 

I am a kept woman! Scandalous don’t you think? 

But I’m not ashamed 

   I am not ashamed because You,“LORD, 

      You alone are my inheritance, 

         my cup of blessing. 

            You guard all that is mine.”

I am a kept woman with benefits! 

I am kept in perfect peace. 

I must never ever forget all of my benefits:

   That all of my sins are forgiven,

      That I am healed of all of my diseases. 

So, Praise the Lord O my soul for I shall never forget all of His benefits!

I am a kept woman!

I have a priceless inheritance that is kept in Heaven for me. 

   It is pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.

He clothes me with strength and dignity, 

   I can laugh at the days to come. 

For I am a kept woman

   permanently and completely kept 

      because He continually intercedes for me

His beloved!

My inspiration for this poem came from the following Scriptures:

Psalms 16:5, Psalms 103:2, 1Peter 1:4,5 and Hebrews 7:23-25 



my grandmother – by ShaRon

My grandmother was an amazing woman. They don’t make women like her anymore. Dare I say that they broke the mold when they made her.

Immigrating from the beautiful island of Barbados in the early 1900’s, she was employed as a nanny in Boston Massachusetts. Like so many immigrants, of then and now, Ma, came to the US because of the planned future that she and Mr. Jones had. Mr. Jones, Pop as we came to called him, would go ahead to the States, as a merchant seaman, and when he was settled and financially able would “send for her”, his beloved, Geraldine…marry and have a wonderful life…in the States.

Ma was a feisty petite and confident woman; much much lighter in complexion than her very deep chocolate toned Mr. Jones. She was funny and outspoken and used to say that they chose each other to have children that would look like there was “just enough cream for the coffee”. And so they did, after one miscarriage, they had Emily, light-skinned like her mom. Next, Evelyn came as beautiful brown, Geraldine (Jeri Jr.) very dark like her dad, and lastly, Horace…just enough cream for the coffee. By the way, I’m one of Jeri’s girls…my dad added the cream to make me.

As a wonderful story teller with a flair for the dramatic you can only imagine the many tales of comedy and woe…misadventures, love and romance that I heard growing up while living in the same apartment building as my grandparents. So I happened into that wonderful life that had been planned in the States…inheriting most of Ma Jones’ best qualities, and including some physical characteristics, too. I was petite, funny, smart and I was such a gifted storyteller that at the tender age of five I wrote my first book…illustrated no less. Yes, I had fashioned several sheets of notebook paper into a little picture book called, Time Goes By. It began, Time goes by said mother. (turn the page), Time goes by said father. (turn the page), Time goes by said sister…

And I’m not sure how old I was, exactly, probably five or six years old, that I had convinced my mother that I was learning Spanish in school. Either my mother was very gullible or I was just that good of a storyteller…like Ma. Also, in those early years, I could do the most convincing impression of Eartha Kitt! I believe I actually channelled her because folks said that I did look like her.

When I was twenty years old I got engaged to be married and my grandmother invited me to come to her apartment one afternoon, for tea.

When I walked into my grandparents apartment I noticed that the coffee table was covered with a beautiful lace tablecloth. The table was set with two cups and saucers, a tea pot and sugar bowl. The Chinaware was from the special gold-trimmed, delicate floral patterned set that the family had given my grandparents as one of their gifts for their fiftieth wedding anniversary. The centerpiece was a small bouquet of pink and white carnations in a porcelain vase. And leaning up against the centerpiece was an envelope. The envelope was that antique soft yellow color of aged paper. My heart melted as I took in the beauty and atmosphere of the living room. I focused in on every delicate detail on the table. As I sat down, Ma took my left hand in hers and commented on the beauty of my engagement ring. “It’s lovely dear. I’m so happy for you.”

She poured us each a cup of the steaming blend of peppermint and chamomile tea…our favorite.

“Now my youngest of my grands is going to be married. I want to show you something.”

I took a sip of my tea. My grandmother reached for the aged envelope; and as she did, and held it out to me, I noticed that the color and texture of the envelope and her delicate wrinkled fingers, matched.

“Open it.”

I carefully opened the envelope and removed a letter that began, My dearest darling. I am so grateful that you have consented to be my bride.


Where do I begin? How do I begin to share  some of the most intimate details of my life — this incredibly exciting life with God and with man? Every time I pick up my computer and I begin to write — when the unction and my muse nudges me — beautiful words and remembrances come to mind, and I write them out. I defy the gravity of the enemy’s claws trying to hold me down and stifle my thought processes. The enemy may try to jumble my thoughts and he may try to make me feel ashamed to admit certain decisions that I’ve made in life. But I push up — deeper into THE LAYERS OF ME and I begin to worship — with every stroke of the pen and every tap of my fingers on the keyboard. I say, Abba God, tell me what I am to say. Instruct me and be glorified in the telling — in poetry, prose and photographs.

In my heart, my desire is that everyone who joins with me, while reading this journey, will then share and experience their own love affair with Jesus and develop an even more intimate trust in Him. We are all His workmanship and we are all under construction for the glory, praise and good pleasure of Him who loves us.

So, please come and enjoy this blessed journey with God, His Word and His people, in poetry, prose, and photos!




The layers of me are the kingdom of God that is within me. This is not some isolated physical place.  It is literally in me.  It is where the abundance of God’s resources are. It is where His Kingdom is set up.

Therefore, I should never focus on any apparent lack in my life because Jesus doesn’t. The loaves and the fish, paying taxes to Caesar, the alabaster jar, the widow’s oil.

The layers of me: I can touch God, I can reach Him, I can hear God’s still small voice within me. I can taste and see that He is good.  I can smell the sweet fragrance of His very presence.  I can see God.

I can touch God’s heart with my worship and prayers. I can grieve the Holy Spirit by my disobedience, complacency, and lack of faith.

Love, God is love.  And He lavishes His love on my life.  It seeps through every layer of my being — my thoughts, my skin and bones, my soul and spirit.   I’m drenched in God’s love throughout time and space, inside and out.

The boundaries of my life, both temporal and geographic, are determined by God’s grace, love and mercy.

The layers of me…

…nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is! ‘ or, ‘There it is! ‘ For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst. (Luke 17:21 NASB)

Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:23 NASB)

I in them and You in Me, that they may be perfected in unity, so that the world may know that You sent Me, and loved them, even as You have loved Me. (John 17:23 NASB)






Every three weeks, since May 2017, I accompanied my dear friend to her oncology and chemotherapy appointments. Every three weeks, like clockwork, I met her at the breast cancer pavilion at Mount Sinai, on West 15th Street, where Doreen laid in a bed for six hours while the harsh poisonous chemo meds ran through her IV into her body. She had survived breast cancer twenty years earlier. I was with her then, also. But this insidious disease returned with a vengeance How do you had the second part was real yeah metastasizing into both of her lungs.

Doreen became weaker and weaker as the months and treatments progressed. And the symptom side effects – the neuropathy made it impossible for her to drive to Newark, NJ   as the Chief Academic Officer at a charter school district of seven schools comprising of elementary, middle and high schools.

One afternoon in December, as Doreen dozed while receiving her chemo, I received a phone call from a number I didn’t recognize but I knew the area code very well. It was an incoming call from Dothan, AL, so I answered the call. On the line was the granddaughter of our mutual friend, Lydia. The young woman informed us that her grandmother had been taken to the hospital with severe stomach pain. 

Doreen and I began to pray for our friend. 

The next day Lydia had an operation where they removed another eight inches of necrotic intestine. Eight inches had been removed six years earlier and this time they inserted a colostomy bag. 

Doreen suggested that I go to Alabama to be with Lydia and that she would pay all of my expenses. This very generous offer eased my anxious spirit. It was going to make for a wonderful surprise for Lydia since I hadn’t seen her in three years, though we spoke almost every day on the phone. 

A week later Lydia called me with an urgent prayer request saying that she was in a lot of pain and that the doctors wanted to decrease her meds. Her family thought that it was because the medication that she needed was too expensive. Oh God please help my friend. You, Lord, lace her medication with Your goodness and spike the strength of them to give Your precious daughter relief from this pain and discomfort. Amen.

Not specifically mentioning the situation in Alabama with Lydia, I attempted to question Doreen about when exactly I could make the trip down to see her and Doreen brushed me off vehemently because she was coughing and having trouble breathing. I was unaware, at that time, that she had been taken off of the chemo and was breathing through a steady stream of oxygen. 

I was shocked when I met Doreen and her mother at Mount Sinai on December 27th. She got out of a taxicab carrying a portable oxygen tank with the attached tubing strapped across her head and nose. While Doreen went in to have a lung biopsy, her oncologist explained to her mother and I that she imagined that Doreen’s cancer was progressing very rapidly and that if a new prescribed protocol did not work that there would be nothing else medically that could be done.

One week later, Patricia, Lydia’s daughter, and also a nurse, texted me to say that her mother had been “forcibly” released from the hospital and that she had taken her mom to the rehab facility where she worked. The text also said, “Mom will ring you when she can talk. We love you and thank you for your prayers.”

When Lydia called on Sunday, December 31st, I did not know that that was going to be the last time that I would ever hear her sweet voice…although her voice did not sound sweet at all. I now understand that what I heard, at the time, was what is called the death rattle. Her voice was soft, weak and very gravelly. I had to keep asking her to repeat herself because I couldn’t understand what she was saying.

Lydia lived in a state of constant pain because she also suffered from fibromyalgia. The pain at the insertion site of the colostomy bag produced even more severe pain because it was not attached properly or securely. Fecal matter leaked out onto her already raw tender skin with a burning stench. So on January 6th, Patricia brought her mother to her own home to administer hospice care. Lydia rested there comfortably taking morpheme and other drugs that could dissolve on her tongue. Patricia assured me that she was not in any pain. And surrounded by her four children and eight grandchildren on January 7th at 8:12 PM, CST, my dear friend Lydia passed into eternity.

I didn’t tell Doreen that our dear friend had passed away until weeks later because Doreen’s breathing was becoming more severe. Her mother was staying with her 24/7 now and Doreen asked me to spend the night with her while her mom went home to get her own meds and some rest. This is the text that I sent to my niece on January 15th:

This is soooo hard. Doreen can’t speak because of the shortness of breath and she has coughing fits. This is so unreal being in this beautiful apartment on Rector Pl. looking out at the Hudson River and Staten Island and her sitting/dozing on the couch with the oxygen machine’s motor humming loudly, the drone of the TV and her intermittent coughing and choking fits. She asks me to bring her water or juice, or to heat up some morsels of food from time to time. She only gets up to go to the bathroom dragging the cords of the oxygen behind her. Her mother won’t be back until this evening. And my friend Sharen fell in her apartment, dislocating her shoulder on Saturday, and has asked for my help this week. Lordy Lordy, give me strength. I can’t even call my prayer partner Lydia because she’s dead. Lol… I know I know it doesn’t seem very funny but God is love and my support team is on the case…checking in with me with encouraging texts. I have the bestest friends!

On Friday, January 19th, Doreen was rushed to the hospital because she was having trouble breathing.

I woke up one morning, a few weeks later, ready to face whatever challenges would come my way. Fortunately, Karen called, and I had an opportunity to pray with her regarding her health, her sister’s health, and my health, collectively. After a few moments of worship, Karen began to pray in the Spirit. She prayed for my decision to go and visit Doreen at the hospital that day because I had not been able to visit my dear friend in almost 3 weeks. I was gripped with fear, doubt, anger and that I did not honestly know what to expect as her health had been failing. They had stopped the chemo because the cancer had progressed too far.

I knew that I wanted to go. I had missed her so. But I was gripped with ambivalence and fear. Since she was still in medical ICU, it meant that she was still on oxygen and would not be able to…or even want to…talk.  I had a therapy session the previous evening and my therapist told me that I should go to the hospital and visit Doreen. She said that I didn’t have to stay for long — maybe five or ten minutes; and that probably, in her current physical condition, 

Doreen would not be sensitive to time, anyway. There would even be no pressure on me to actually see her. I could just ask the nursing staff or find her doctor and question them about her condition. That made a lot of sense to me and it took the pressure off of my emotions, thinking that I’d have to stay there and keep her company for hours like I used to do when I’d accompany her to her chemo treatments every three weeks.

Karen prayed for my peace and comfort and that I would have a good visit with our dear friend. She prayed that Doreen would be better and alert and that I would be able to see God’s creative miracle healing process being made manifest.

The subway ride was uneventful, thankfully, and I found my way around the 14th Street station and up above ground. But, as usual, I had to ask someone which direction was east. My mom, dad, and sister would have gotten a big kick out of that. On any other street I probably would have figured it out because odd number streets go west and even number streets go east. Even-goes-East. I learned that as a child growing up in  New York City, but I was on 14th Street and the traffic goes in both directions — so now there was the rub.

A headphone-plugged-in-the-ear young fellow caught my attention as I flagged him down asking which way was east. He pointed in the direction that I almost swore should have been west by my internal compass. I chuckled, thanked him and headed eastbound.

The day was cloudy, breezy…in the low 50’s. Many pedestrians were hatless and winter coats flung open with each gust of wind. They scurried along only to stop, impatiently, at the red light and the oncoming traffic. 

The last time I had visited Doreen, she had asked me to please bring her a bag of UTZ potato chips from a CVS store. I was obliged to do this and found it amusingly frustrating to find that of all the drugstores and candy stores that I stopped at to purchase this particular brand of chips, none of them had UTZs. Doreen has a very sensitive and selective pallet…rather she is an extremely picky eater. So, I dutifully ventured towards 1st Avenue and found the neighborhood CVS and purchased two bags of my girl’s faves.

As I approached the hospital I realized that I didn’t remember what floor the ICU was on. I stopped at the security desk where a young man of color was seated on a stool and I say, “Good morning. What floor is the ICU on?” He mumbles something unintelligible and I say, “What?” And again my ears are accosted by his mumbled jargon. He then calls over another security person, an older gentleman of the Caucasian persuasion, standing near by. This gentleman tells his colleague to call blah blah blah, which he does. My security guard is now speaking to someone on the other end of the phone and then asks me the patient’s name that I’m visiting. I tell him. Then he hands me the phone. The female voice on the other end informs me that I am speaking to Brooklyn Mt. Sinai and there is no patient there by that name. I thank her and hand the receiver back to the, shall we say, relatively incompetent young fellow, and I ask again. “I just want to know what floor the ICU unit is on.” He finally admits that he doesn’t know and sends me around the corner to the ER to ask their receptionist.

I go through a corridor and down the hall where two women are seated in a surprisingly empty ER waiting room. There are two window booths, one empty and at the other is a nurse taking the blood pressure of a surgically masked female patient. The nurse very politely asks if she can help me and I repeat my mantra of the morning, “What floor is the ICU on?” She sweetly tells me to go back down the hall to the security guard for that information. Ugh!

“Miss, I just came from there and they sent me here. Please, I just want to know what floor it’s on.” 

“Well, he’s going to have to tell you. Ugh! Wait one moment and I’ll walk you back over there.” Ugh!

This very sweet and patient nurse guides me and her masked patient out into the corridor approaching the security lectern. She walks over to the security person and informs him that he has to call “0” and get the information that I’m requesting and that he should stop sending people over to her area for any information because it’s taking time away from her tending to her patients. 

Authoritatively and sternly the ER nurse says to the security guard, “Pick up this phone and dial “0” and get this woman the information she needs.” Well, the next thing I knew the young man was telling me that the Medical ICU was on the 10th floor. Victory!

My visit with Doreen was basically uneventful in that every time she exhales it sounds like a raspy sighing moan. She says that she’s not in any pain, thank God, but it is like she’s bored out of her gourd. With the help of the oxygen tubing in her nose and much effort, she takes in each new breath. 

I prayed over here and anointed her with oil on her chest very gently and carefully as if it were Vicks Vapor Rub. I prayed the prayer of faith that the Lord would restore her lung capacity and ease her breathing. Her eyes were closed as I prayed. 

I offered Doreen her favorite potato chips, which she graciously declined. Her tray was already loaded with several unopened bottles of Ensure. A Styrofoam cup of untouched oatmeal, with a plastic spoon sticking straight out of the top; as if the oatmeal had been stabbed. Ironically the container was very near the edge of the tray. I happen to know that Doe hates oatmeal and gags when she tries to swallow it. There was a full breakfast plate of French toast, hash browns and something else also untouched, abandoned, shunned by her indifference; in full view under a plastic cover.

Also on the tray were her dead iPhone, various other electronic gadgets like headphones, and just a lot of stuff. I don’t remember what. But her phone was dead and I was looking among the junk for her charger, which I eventually found, plugged into the wall behind her bed. I plugged her phone in. As the power revived the dead phone it began to sputter sounds of life like phones do once they’re able. She said that she didn’t want the phone so I left it on the back counter behind her bed to get more power. Oops, as I’m writing this I realize that I left her phone there. Oh God, I pray no one steals it.

I read a little bit of Joyce Myers’ devotional for that day. I asked her very few questions because it’s an effort for her to speak. Bummer! No conversation. So I said I’d just sit there and keep her company for a while; which I did and then a specialist came in to give her a lung treatment. I leaned over the bed railing and kissed her on her forehead and told her that I love her…that I’m proud of her…and that I’d see her later. 

Doreen remained in ICU on the 10th Floor, Bed #5, until Monday, February 19th, when she and Lydia…embraced.