Friday, June 25, 2010

Why Do I Write by Rodlyn Douglas.

I can't even think straight enough to write an obituary, so I'll let you hear Rodlyn's own words:

Why Do I Write?
SATURDAY, 10 OCTOBER 2009 13:31
By Rodlyn Douglas

Is this a question? Or is it an implement with which you ask me to pry open myself and reveal my soul? Why do I write? If I choose to use mere words to answer this question, then surely we will see the limitations of the language. To go into the depths of why I write, I would have to add to the words, grunts, and shouts, and hollering, and screams, and moaning and groaning and roars and thundering sounds of rolling crashing waves and silence. To use words alone would not let you see, sense, hear, smell the depth of the wounds I try to heal by writing. I write to heal, not to tell stories, not to record my life, not to let you into the secret closets of my emotions. No, I write simply to heal. It is the only way I know how to heal the invisible wounds, the wounds you cannot see with the plain old naked eyes, but only through the lens of my pen. I write for the same reasons, a painter paints, a dancer dances, a sculptor sculpts and a baby cries. I write because it is the only natural remedy I have been fortunate enough to discover that will heal my wounds.

I write to reach the depth of the canker sores. I write to squeeze the pus from the boils. I write to express the silence that only pen in hand and clean white pages of my diary can contain. I write to touch the places smiles cannot touch. I write to drain the morass from the unconsciousness I slipped into as a child in order to survive. I write to survive as a woman. I write to survive as a mother. I write to find out how to be a woman, a mother, a writer and still survive in this world. I write to find the way through the fog that sometimes is my life. I write to ensure that I see the sunrise overcome the dim darkness of night, even in daylight. I write because it is twilight and night is drawing near. I want to be able to sleep and have sweet dreams, and not the tormenting dreams of the demons waiting to gnaw at me from the levels of the unknown where my soul travels when I sleep, a sleep of distress and worry and pain.

I write to keep depression at bay and make the light shine in the darkness, because “light will always over come darkness” and writing is my light. I write so that my light would shine, and that I will have the energy to reach up and place that light on a stand, high enough so that all can see the possibility of emotional healing. I write to stay healthy. I write so that others can dream of living, moving from girlhood into womanhood, and know the possibilities of blooming and flowering without the fear of withering, petals drooping at the very glance of rejection. I write to save myself from gloom. I write because I have survived.

I write because survivors must write. How else would the world know that there are endless possibilities of overcoming and slaying the demons? How else would little girls know that there is hope, without words to express the trauma, confusion and awe in the journey of becoming a woman? I write to chart new waters. I write to map out new roads. I write to leave directions for others who will follow. I write so they would not have to be pioneers on this journey we take as women. I write to become whole. But you have heard all of this before … I write because I love mangoes and want to describe how I relished the taste of its yellow juice flowing down my hands and my slick quick tongue licking it into oblivion. I write to remember the rhythm and tempo of calypso, steelpan and the limbo. I write to feel the soothing current of the sea and walk the damp morning sandy beaches, again and again and again, pen on paper, again, and again, and again. I write because I must. I write because it is my duty. It has been ordained by Shango, that I be the scribe who honors the ancestors and their culture which must be remembered; inscribed for all the ages. I write so that I shall live and live joyously and with laughter. I write so that I can learn to laugh. I write so that others may smile. I write for tomorrow that which I have experienced today. I write because my words make music. I write because the moon told me to. I write in remembrance of Delilah who Samson blamed for his weakness of flesh, and for Mary Magdalene who was told she was mad because she proclaimed that Christ had risen, and the woman at the well, and Mary and Martha who had no story to tell but were ardent listeners to His stories, because they had no life story except through Him. I write in remembrance of the woman with the issue of blood, bleeding for twelve years and even though she was healed by touching the hem of His garment. She is still bleeding today, because she is we, women; we who bleed but do not die. I write in remembrance of Esther and Rebecca and Ruth and Miriam. I write for Pharaoh’s daughter who found Moses in the river. I write to tell the stories of the women then and the women now who have no voice to holler and scream with pen and voice. I write to tell the stories of mothers who lost their voices when they wombs bore fruits. I write for Mary who had no tears when her son rebuked her by saying, “can’t you see I am about my father’s business” and in front of his disciples, saying “woman my time has not yet come”. He showed not one ounce of emotions for she who bore him in her womb. How distraught she must have felt when all He spoke of and praised was His glorious father in heaven, while she watched him dragged, beaten and crucified wishing the earth would open and take her instead. I write because, at times, I can not cry. I write for words to express my fears. I write. I write. I write. I write because I must or else I die.

I write to slay the resounding voices of the committees in my head. I write because the silence scares me and I am afraid to drown in its shrilling emptiness. I write. I write. I write. I write so that my children will know who I am besides being their mother and the caretaker. I write so that they would know I too had dreams and hopes and wishes for a total life. I write so that they would know my story from the horse’s mouth, and not have to guess at maybes and possibilities of who and what they believed I am. I write to illuminate the question and denseness of this journey called the woman writer’s life.

I write because the children need a sane mother. A smiling sober mother. A mother who looks and acts as if she has all her marbles lined up and ready to win the game. I write because I am tired of being a raging lunatic. Tired of seeing myself in tears and knowing only that I must cry or I must choke up and die. I write so that I can soar sometimes, words being my wings of imagination. I write to keep me surfaced and not sinking, drowning in the depression I seem to have been born with. I write so that I can wean myself off Zoloft, and sit in an AA meeting and not feel that I have no chance of surviving without a drug or a drink. I write because I do not understand the anxiety. I cannot bear the anxiety. I write to learn how to live life on life’s terms - whatever that means. I write so that I can continue learning how to feel my feelings, how to comprehend the thoughts that race through my mind and make no sense, since every voice is screaming at the same time. I write to hear the whispers. I write to gain control of something that is still nebulous and fleeting; something ordinary people call happiness. I guess that is what it is. I write so that I can smile and feel the effects of a smile. I write so that I do not relate to the sadness which envelopes me and tells me that I cannot, I will not, I should not. I write to reverse the tapes in my head and give my brain a chance to think good thoughts. I write so that I can appreciate the sunrise and the sunset. I write so that I can take flight with the birds and hear their chirping and know that there is a higher power, a god or goddess who loves me just like these birds are loved and fed and cared for. I write so that I can appreciate the beauty of flowers and have dreams that are comforting. I write to slay the nightmares. I write to make sense of years of therapy and still after years of pouring out, more and more and more stuff keeps surfacing and making itself present for examination. I write to slay dragons. I write so that I can bleed on the pages of my diary and not all over my friends. I write because I was born with the blood of a writer, which I use as ink for my pen.

Copyright by R.H. Douglas

This is what Cora Schwartz, a mutual friend, wrote for her (Please read Rodlyn's essay first, though):

To Rodlyn's family:

Approximately two years ago Rodlyn attended a writing workshop at my writers retreat. She had a private space in one of the cottages but all the activities and eating took place in the big house. At the end of the weekend, after everyone left I went in to clean and change linen. I walked into Rodlyn's unit and was in instant awe. All her rooms had vases, jars, and bottles filled with the wild flowers she had found in the forest. As a result, her rooms had a beautiful scent and was completely transformed. But the thing that meant so much to me was that Rodlyn had gone into the forest early in the morning and found flowers and exotic weeds that I HAD NO IDEA EXISTED! For a second I couldn't understand where they could have come from. What I am saying is, of course, that Rodlyn saw beauty that I did not even know existed. That was Rodlyn; she saw beauty everywhere.

A few weeks ago, because the retreat is fully booked for the summer, I decided to develop a little herb garden and sitting room/meditation room/tea room in the basement of one of the cottages so I could have a private place to go and a place to offer guests to have tea and whatever. (I became interested in herbs as part of my research for the sequel I am working on.) I planned on going up into the woodsthis weekend to search out some exotic looking weeds and flowers to hang from the rafters of the room. I already started an herb garden outside the door. I was going to order some kind of sign as well. Frankly, I was feeling sort of foolish doing all this because as many of you know, I have my big house across the road with 2 patios and garden etc. NOW I KNOW WHY I DRIVEN TO DO DO ALL THIS DESPITE MY RELUCTANCE AND FEELINGS OF SUPIDITY.

I will name the space Rodlyn's Room or Rodlyn's Herbal Garden (open to suggestions please) What more can I say?
I thank Rodlyn for giving my life direction in so many ways.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion

Longing for God: Seven Paths of Christian Devotion  Richard J. Foster and Gayle D. Beebe (InterVarsity)

  • Hardcover: 364 pages

  • Publisher: Intervarsity Press (April 1, 2009)

  • Language: English

  • ISBN-10: 0830835148

  • ISBN-13: 978-0830835140

  • Wednesday, June 23, 2010

    Is There a Samson in You?

    Is There a Samson in You?
    by H. Ronald Roseboro

    Money, fame, women, and material possessions enslave the hearts of many strong men. Is There A Samson In You? invites you to take a candid look into the mirror of male bondage through the eyes of true freedom and masculinity.

    About the Author

    H. Ronald Roseboro, nationally know as "Zion", dwells in many thought provoking dimensions of ministry. He is a notable author, poet, spoken word artist, syndicated columnist, motivational speaker, and community and civil rights activist. Recognized for his cutting edge messages and practical applications, his fervent passion is for the fragmented and forgotten. This weighty mantle is an uncompromising mandate to bring healing, freedom, and restoration to men and women by empowering them through education.

    For more information visit

    Monday, June 21, 2010

    Daddy's Delight Blog Tour with Dr. Karia Bunting

    Daddy’s Delight
    Dr. Karia Bunting,
    Moody Publishers – Lift Every Voice)
    About the Book

    In Daddy’s Delight, Dr. Karia Bunting reminds women that they are God’s workmanship, His masterpiece, His "poema". That God has intricately woven together every fiber of their being and created each one special and unique. That God, having completed His work of art, gave her to mankind as a gift.

    Evident in this great care God took in fashioning woman is the importance and value of each one. So why do so many women struggle with God’s design, wishing they could change just this or that one thing about themselves?

    Dr. Bunting challenges each reader to accept and embrace the truth that, regardless of what season of life she’s in, she is God’s masterpiece-not her own work of art. When God sees her, He sees His beautiful creation. A creation that yes, has some wrinkles needing to be smoothed out and yet, is one in whom is His delight to love to perfection.

    About the Author

    KARIA BUNTING is an expository Bible teacher whose mission is to communicate the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that people are saved, and disciples are developed. She is the founder of Focused Forward Ministries, a communication and media ministry, and a member of several community and ministry organizations. She also partners with her husband, George, in his management & financial consulting company. Karia received her master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and a doctorate from Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary. She’s currently receiving a second doctorate from the University of Texas. She serves as an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University and enjoys ministering the Word and its’ principles through her lecture series and power lunches held throughout the year.

    Karia and George, her husband of 26 years, live in Dallas, Texas where she teaches the Word weekly in the women’s Bible study at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. Mother of three children, Karia is also a mentor to many young women. She enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.

    Monday, June 14, 2010

    Transformations: Give Up the Struggle

    This social media tour is for Renee Wiggins, author of "Transformations: Give Up the Struggle." The tour runs from June 14-July 23, 2010.

    This is NOT a BLOG TOUR

    Have you been wanting to participate in a blog tour, but you don't have a blog? Now you can participate in a Tywebbin Virtual Book Tour. Blogs are NOT a requirement for SOCIAL MEDIA TOURS, but you can use your blog to post information.

    These tours were created for the authors fan-base which may include family, friends, readers, etc - not necessarily bloggers. The SOCIAL MEDIA TOURS are also CONTEST-DRIVEN tours. The wider your influence, the more chances you have to WIN! WHAT ARE THE PRIZES? SCROLL DOWN TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS EBLAST.

    About the Book
    We all have had our ups and downs in our lives, some more than others. But, how we end up in the end, determines how we actually see the storms. The storms help us to change to a better and stronger person. Resisting change can make the obstacles, the hindrances and the storms become even more unbearable. However, if we choose to view them in a different light, change can move us into a bigger and better job, or a more rewarding, loving relationship -it indeed can make us better.

    The affirmations presented in Transformations: Give Up the Struggle can be a turning point in your life. View hardships as helpers to a stronger you. See obstacles as ripples in a pond as you move closer to your victory. Discover that hindrances are hurdles that make you jump high above the clouds. See that valleys are mere lessons that will release you from your past and help heal the brokenness. Be ye transformed by renewing of your mind. Affirm yourself-release the past, give up the struggle and move forward -TODAY!

    About the Author

    Renee Wiggins is the owner of Results By Renee, a wellness company based in Maryland. Her mission is to help people achieve optimum health through nutrition, fitness and supplemented with stress reduction techniques. Ms. Wiggins designs lifestyle programs for individuals and groups. She is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Massage Therapist.

    For this tour, participants are …

    Sins of the Mother

    Sins of the Mother
    Victoria Christopher Murray

    About the Book

    Have the sins of the mother come upon the daughter?Jasmine Larson Bush is finally living a drama-free life. She’s left her lying, cheating, stealing stripper days behind and is standing by her husband’s side as the first lady of one of the largest churches in New York City. The Bushes have been blessed with the best of everything—including two lovely children.

    But just when Jasmine has committed her life completely to God, her daughter Jacqueline is kidnapped from a mall the day after Thanksgiving. The police and the church community join in the frantic search to find the four-year-old. As the days pass without any sign of her daughter, Jasmine begins to crack under the strain and turns to Brian Lewis, Jacqueline’s biological father, for solace.

    Has Jasmine’s past finally caught up to her? Will her daughter be found or will Jasmine pay the ultimate price?

    About the Author

    Victoria Christopher Murray originally self published Temptation. “I wanted to write a book as entertaining as any book on the market, put God in the middle, and have the book still be a page-turner. I wasn’t writing to any particular genre – I didn’t even know Christian fiction existed. I just wanted to write about people I knew and characters I could relate to.”

    In 2000, Time Warner published Temptation. Temptation made numerous best sellers list and remained on the Essence bestsellers list for nine consecutive months. In 2001, Temptation was nominated for an NAACP Image Award in Outstanding Literature.

    Since Temptation, Victoria has written five other novels: JOY, Truth Be Told, Grown Folks Business, and A Sin and a Shame and The Ex Files and was a contributor to the first Christian fiction anthology, Blessed Assurance. She was also the Contributing Editor for the Aspire Women of Color Bible published by Zondervan in 2007. Her seventh novel, Too Little, Too Late, was released in June, 2008. All of her novels have continued to be Essence bestsellers. In addition, Victoria has received numerous awards including the Golden Pen Award for Best Inspirational Fiction and in 2006, she was awarded the Phyllis Wheatley Trailblazer Award for being the pioneer in African American Christian Fiction.

    Victoria splits her time between Los Angeles and Washington D.C. In Los Angeles, she attends Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church under the spiritual tutelage of Dr. Beverly “BAM” Crawford and in Washington, D.C., she fellowships at Metropolitan Baptist Church under Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. She is also a member of the Long Beach Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

    Saturday, June 12, 2010

    For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts

    For the Beauty of the Church: Casting a Vision for the Arts 

    by W. David Taylor

    Paperback: 208 pages
    Publisher: Baker Books (March 1, 2010)
    Language: English
    ISBN-10: 0801071917
    ISBN-13: 978-0801071911

    Think of your local church. Without art--music, song, dance, etc.--it would be a much poorer place. But if protestants have any vision for the arts, it tends to be a thin one. This unique book is an attempt to contribute to a robust, expansive vision for the church and the arts. Its specific aim is to show how the many parts of the landscape of church and art hold together. You can think of it as a kind of helicopter flyover, but one with expert pilots. The guides include the likes of Eugene Peterson, Lauren Winner, Jeremy Begbie, Andy Crouch, and John Witvliet, helping to inspire readers and empower pastor-leaders with a vision of the church and the arts that is compelling, far-seeing, and profoundly transformative.
    From the Back Cover
    Once upon a time, the church was deeply involved in the arts, leading the way in beauty, technical ability, and even funding. In many churches today the arts are an afterthought at best and forbidden at worst. This insightful book takes you beyond "how we've always done it," beyond fads, beyond mere imitation of the culture, and beyond utilitarianism to develop a robust, dynamic, and substantive vision for the place of the arts--and artists--in our churches.
    "The church ought to be synonymous with all good gifts and stewardship of the earth. And it most certainly ought to be synonymous with the stewardship of the arts. For the Beauty of the Church reminds us of this essential truth and many more."--Charlie Peacock, codirector, Art House America; author of New Way to Be Human

    "Pragmatic and theologically astute at the same time, For the Beauty of the Church is a gem-packed collection for those navigating between the realms of the arts and the church."--Makoto Fujimura, artist; founder and creative director, International Arts Movement

    "One reason the church exists is that our hunger for beauty will not go away. These essays remind us why."--John Ortberg, author of God Is Closer Than You Think and Love Beyond Reason; pastor, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church

    "This book is an urgently needed wake-up call for the church! I pray that it will encourage more artists and churches to offer each other their respective gifts."--Marva J. Dawn, author of In the Beginning, God and A Royal "Waste" of Time; teaching fellow in spiritual theology, Regent College

    "This book is encouraging, celebrative, and hopeful, but it is also explosive. This conversation is critical not only for its practical suggestions about the arts but also for its bracing theological framework that will help make artistic and spiritual worship the transforming experience God intends it to be."--William Dyrness, professor of theology and culture, Fuller Theological Seminary

    Contributors include:

    Eugene Peterson
    W. David O. Taylor
    Lauren Winner
    John Witvliet
    Jeremy Begbie
    Andy Crouch
    Barbara Nicolosi
    Joshua Banner
    W. David O. Taylor is an artist, author, and advocate for the arts. He is a graduate of Regent College and served for eight years as the arts pastor of Hope Chapel in Austin, Texas. He is currently pursuing doctoral studies at Duke Divinity School.

    Here is the podcast

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