It hurts my heart to write about things like this because we would think as a people we have come so far but indeed we haven't.
I sat in a class two weeks ago and listened to a white FireFighter say, "And they say black lives matter."
Number one, they do...even if the spirit of murder causes them to murder themselves.
As a matter of face, all lives matter. God would not have created humans if we all didn't matter to him. So, I sit thinking, "You are taking the Black Lives Matter" content to another scale from which it was created.
We as blacks just don't want to be the only ones in the news for being killed by cops, or those paid to serve and protect us.
But that's another subject in itself.
Today, I want to discuss black buying power.
As a black woman, I am very cautious about how I spend my coins, who I spend them with, and what the benefit of spending gives me.
Such as in the case of today...the pleasure of taking my 32 year old daughter and 57 year old husband to a place that has become traditional for celebrating birthdays. So, as in anything I do, I had my middle daughter to call a week in advance. And she was told that someone would get back with us. Never did. We called her back and she told my daughter the room was booked.
I called to figure out where was the breakdown and to detour me from the room, the first thing she said was that room was $2500.00. Never once told me it was booked. Then went on to say, "My daughter probably called the other store. I explained no this is the one we call and she got louder and louder and more defensive. I said, "I will just write you under the moon."
She then says she will call the cops on me for threatening her.
To me, I felt like now, there's an underlined reason for her to be this aggressive. So whether it's because she lied, or dropped the ball by not calling back, or even if it's because we are black...we still as your customer have just as much right for you to explain the situation, see if you can accommodate us, or apologize because you cannot and we can move on.
However, this is the only Silver Star Grille that we visit because we live on the outskirts of Shreveport, and would be bypassing the Ellerbe Road location to get to Bossier location.
I realized at this point that not only was the events manager rude, arrogant, and confrontational, but that she was making up details as she went to keep us from getting the room, and told my daughter that it was booked but not me.
So, the conversation to me should have been (especially if they cared anything about customer service), "Miss, I understand that your daughter called in advance but unfortunately, we were not able to call her back or accommodate her without a $2500 dollar minimum. We apologize for not getting back to you as promised, however, the room is presently booked. Again, we apologize for this and pray that you would consider using us again."
At that point, we would have been disappointed, but what could we do? Find another place just like we had to do.
But instead, I was so left to feel like this was a racist situation. She was so confrontational because I was black and because she lied. And the wrong location theory was to then try to make the mix-up our fault. The next fault was to use money as the deterrent to keep us from using the establishment.
However, she had the wrong group of black people.
I would have paid the $2500, just so my family could have enjoyed their birthdays, but now I realize if my money is not good enough because of my skin, then my skin is not good enough for your food.
I realize as African Americans, there are those strategically planted to keep a reminder in place that the world was not meant to be fair for black people. However, my ancestors paid the cost for me to be wise. Not just with my finances but also in my choice of where I chose to spend these finances.
To use my buying power as a privilege.
So, today I've made the choice to never ever use it here again. One bad decision on the behalf of a horrible events manager has cost them not just my $2500, but all the other lunch tickets here as well.
Even now I'm saying to myself...have you ever felt mistreated at this establishment? Then I thought of the last time my husband and I did lunch here. A man from the back came out front and never smiled or even spoke. Passed right by our table but never created the customer (us) as if he were glad we were there. See, it's small things like this that often come back in the heat of large disappointments.
Nevertheless, I'm starting a new trend today. I'm going to search for the reviews left on different sites to make sure that the restaurant I'm about to sow into, is sowing good food, vibes, and joy into the people patronizing it.
Customer service is everything.
It's the fabric of our business.
It's the reasoning for our customers, and the way they decide to become repeat customers.
It's the way we show we care. Also how we show God that we are determined to be good stewards over what He loans us.
So although I am saddened, I am even more aware that every company was not made for me.
Also, everyone on the management teams might not have your heart and integrity...(again another write or another day).
And for those companies, once I know them, I make a conscience decision to never spend my coins with them again. I have to determined that it's far better for me to use my buying power wisely, than to cast my pearls to the swine.
I learn but as I learn...
The Controversy of the Cross
Sunday, I preached The Controversy Of The Cross.
It is so amazing to see that so many are dealing with issues and struggles that have weighed them down to the point they just want to give up.
Living life on what seems like a merry-go-round, going around and around until you get sick and want to throw up. But the reality is, sin will make you sick and tired.
Some people won't walk away from their sin until they are paying the ultimate price.
And even then, it's hard to believe that the cross became the accomplishment necessary to put a blockage or barricade between my sin and my soul.
I can remember mid-message saying, "We can't embrace the Lord's forgiveness because we fail to forgive others. You know...that sucks. But the reality is, if we don't forgive others, the Lord won't forgive us (Matthew 6:14-15).
This type of neglect to forgive, carries over into everything we do.
This is why we are bound by the things of our past. What we did last night?
The controversy of the cross is simple...
It's you fighting between the fact that everything you could ever do is on the cross or you determining that the cross is not powerful enough to carry your mess.
See, there is nothing you can do to destroy, diminish, or demolish the workings of the cross; it's provision, purpose, and power is solidified.
The provision of the cross, is complicated… Because it’s hard to imagine, God, providing a piece of himself, to come to earth just to die for your sin and mine.
It’s hard to comprehend Him allowing His Spirit to in-pregnant a Virgin named Mary so He would become the remnants of Himself in flesh.
But if you really believe in your hearts of hearts that Jesus is the Son of God, it would be easy to embrace that Jesus was God in the flesh…
John 1:1 says, "In the beginning was the word, the word was God, and the word was with God."
In paraphrasing it simply means, I am God. I came as God. And I'll forever be with God.
The purpose of the cross, is even more baffling….
Because it’s hard to imagine that God, would love us so much, That He’d give His own as a ransom for us.
And not only was His purpose to become a ransom,
But to show us that FORGIVENESS is who He is, what he taught, and why He came.
And it was so evident in three of the last things HE did was according:
Luke 23:34 shows Him asking His Father to forgive man for they knew now that they were doing;
Luke 23:43 forgiving the thief who hung beside Him and proving because of his belief in Jesus, he has secured himself a plane in paradise.
John 19:26, He places Mary in the care of John, and John in the care of Mary.
The purpose was to become our redemption and our inheritance.
Ephesians 1: 7-14
The power of the cross, is SO THAT we wouldn't be loss.
IT is not only where our sins were paid in full, it’s where the devil is conquered and Christianity is given it’s mission, vision, and values.
1 Peter 2:24—Eradicated sin and death
Gal 3:13—Annihilated the curse of death
1 Cor. 15:54-55— Canceled the assignment of death
Col 2:14— Puts to shame our enemy
And, Matt 16:24— Becomes the marching orders for the church.
So in conclusion, there is no real controversy concerning the cross.
The cross has already accomplished what God intended for it to accomplish and all you have to do is embrace the cross for what it is...the place where you can carry all of your burdens to the Lord and leave them there. The place where your sins were forgiven and your heart is cleansed from all unrighteousness.
I have over the years brought some wonderful people in the living room. These people were featured for their tenacity and for their willingness to share their gifts to the world.
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Danyelle Scroggins author of Not Until You're Ready presents: In The Living Room with Pastor Danyelle the place where you'll fine the testimonies of God's Daughters.