My Testimony – 2015: A Year of Rest

Welcome to 2015! You’ve probably heard many of the themes associated with this year, particularly the number 15. In the Bible, one of the meanings of the number 15 is rest,

(http://www.biblestudy.org/bibleref/meaning-of-numbers-in-bible/15.html), which can apply to taking time to mentally unclutter practices and thoughts that may be holding you back from reaching your destiny.

For the past few years, I’ve become bogged down in stuff. I did Dr. Celeste Owens’ “Surrender Fast,” in 2014 and surrendered my will to God’s will. Midway through the fast, the Holy Spirit whispered that I needed to slow down. I thought I had already slowed down, but He meant I needed to move more stuff from my plate. I examined my life and didn’t see anything I needed to get rid of, so he created a circumstance where I had to give up doing something that was dear to my heart.

Looking back, I now see why God told me to slow down. I was still too busy for Him to have a clear channel to speak to me. I was squeezing God out of my quiet time because I had to either do something or go somewhere, and that wasn’t His plan for me. Now, I have more time to read my Bible, pray, and praise Him during my quiet times, and do things I’ve neglected for years. My mind isn’t tangled up with thoughts of what I need to do or where I need to go.

It’s like the lyrics to the old Negro spiritual “Hush, hush. Somebody’s calling my name.” To hear God’s voice, you have to have enough quiet time with Him.

It is not ok to constantly work yourself into exhaustion. That isn’t good for your body, mind, or spirit. Maybe it’s time for you to slow down enough to hear what God is saying to you. ■

Meditation:

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Matthew 11:28

To read the spring issue of Press On! Webzine, go to www.pressonwebzine.com.

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Are we Being Lulled to Sleep by Glitz and Glamour?

On Saturday, March 7th, President Barack Obama and his family attended the 50th year of “Bloody Sunday” ceremony in Selma, Ala. The next day, a photo circulated of the President and First Lady Michelle Obama holding hands sitting on stage. However, because of the camera angle, viewers could see up the first lady’s dress. I thought, would a photo like this be published of any other first lady? Probably not.

Elise Johnson McDougald in The Double Task – The Struggle of Negro Women for Sex and Race Emancipation wrote concerning others views regarding the African-American female, “She is most often used to provoke the mirthless laugh of ridicule; or to portray feminine viciousness or vulgarity not peculiar to Negroes. This is the shadow over her.” Although McDougald was a writer during the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, in some regards the African-American female is still depicted negatively today in songs, videos and television shows.

America has graduated from the degrading, stereotypical female images of Aunt Jemima, Jezebel and Mammy that were popular during the Jim Crow era but now they are dressed in a negative fashion that is accepted as the norm. In secular music, African-American females being called the “b” word, that is defined as a “female dog,” and some have embraced the word as a term of endearment. African-American females dance provocatively in outfits that leave nothing to the imagination to appear sexy in music videos. Although we are progressing in some areas, but in actuality, we are perpetrating the same feminine viciousness or vulgarity that people outside our race supported during the Jim Crow era and before.

Back then, the African-American female caricature, Sapphire, was portrayed as rude, loud, malicious, stubborn, and overbearing; and this how the angry Black Woman was popularized in the cinema and on television (http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/jimcrow/sapphire/). Today, Hollywood produces television shows in which African-American females consistently display outlandish behavior such as fighting and regular cursing matches, which further plays into that negative image.

It appears that if we are made to look successful, some people will not feel threatened by the negative depictions of the African-American female. For example, on one popular show, the African-American female lead is portrayed as a beautiful, successful woman who either can’t find a man or would rather have a life-long adulterous affair with a married man instead of marrying a senator and potentially live happily ever after. Her character is the black female caricature Jezebel who was seductive, alluring, and highly promiscuous (http://www.ferris.edu/HTMLS/news/jimcrow/jezebel.htm). The subliminal message they are trying to get across is although the African-American female may have a career and financial success, she is still so unappealing in society that she cannot maintain a wholesome relationship because of her promiscuity.

I’ve had discussions with people who are excited that we are now regularly portrayed on television, but are the characters helping or hindering the African-American female’s image? Hollywood has lulled some of us into thinking that these types of characters will actually elevate our image, instead of adding fuel to the negative images that have circulated since slavery.

For a while I watched some of these shows because I bought into “I want to support the sisters” thinking or ”the good story line,” until I noticed that people were beginning to negatively treat me the way the women are portrayed on these shows. I am asked inappropriate questions by perfect strangers, and treated disrespectful before I even opened my mouth. I believe the media crafted this plan to taint the image of the modern-day African-American woman, and some people outside and inside the race are embracing it.

I am not saying you should stop listening to the music, or watching these videos and television shows because most of you won’t. I am encouraging you, however, to accept what you see and/or hear as fiction, and don’t think that every African-American female is the image you see portrayed in the media. ■

Go to www.pressonwebzine.com to download the spring 2015 issue of Press On! Webzine. #pressonwebzine

Thank you.

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Press On! Webzine — Spring 2015

How are you doing?

Happy Anniversary! Press On! Webzine released its first issue spring 2008. I don’t take lightly the thoughts that God pours into me to form articles for each issue of this online magazine. I am truly grateful!

It’s finally time to shed our heavy clothing and anticipate the coming days of beautiful weather! We can’t enjoy our environment if we try to take the heaviness of the winter months into the spring season. This spring 2015 issue of Press On! Webzine includes articles to help unclutter our minds so we can become unstuck and continue our destiny journey.

“My Testimony – 15 – A Year of Rest” shares how God revealed that 2015 is a year of rest and how He revealed it to me. Multi-taskers believe they can do more than one thing at a time effectively. In the article, “Can We Effectively Multi-Task?” I share what experts say is actually going on in our brains while multi-tasking. In the age of playing games on computers and/or electronic devices we can lose track of time. In the article, “Gaming Can be Addictive,” I share how this addiction can be hazardous to your health.

The way we perceive ourselves is important because a negative perception can sometimes hold us back, so it’s important to dismiss these thoughts. “Are we Being Lulled to Sleep by Glitz and Glamour” includes the new type of stereotypes that the African American female is faced with, and how it’s being disguised in a way that hinders our mental growth. “Respect Someone Else’s Faith” shares the importance of putting boundaries in our relationships, and acceptable remarks regarding others’ faith and/or church.

Happy Easter! I created an Easter greeting just for you. Go to https://youtu.be/lYOdA32QWzc to view your greeting.

These are just a few articles in this issue. Log onto www.pressonwebzine.com to read the entire issue and feel free to share it with your family, friends and co-workers. Thank you for reading and sharing Press On! Webzine, http://www.pressonwebzine.com. Don’t forget to e-mail me your comments at pmoore@pressonwebzine.com because I love reading them. :>)

Take care.

Phenola Moore, Press On! Webzine

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Merry Christmas!

I hope that you have an amazing Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’ve created a Christmas card just for you. Go to http://www.smilebox.com/playBlog/4e4445344e5451774f54453d0d0a&blogview=true to view it.

Take care.
Phenola Moore, founder and writer

Press On! Webzine

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Was I being penalized for not participating in the Halloween Celebration?

“I had to lower your pay increase because I feel that you are not a 100 percent team player,” said Mrs. June, a partner at the firm that I worked for. I was shocked because I expected a positive review. But let me backtrack to where it all began. It was the day before Halloween one year as the office administrative staff, junior and senior managers were preparing for their annual Halloween costume party. It was my first year at the firm, and I learned that the partners judged the staff and awarded gift cards and prizes to the employees with the best costumes.

Weeks before Halloween, my co-workers were buzzing around and a few asked me what type of costume I was going to wear? I told them that I do not celebrate Halloween and would not be participating. The administrative assistant, Sheila, tried to warn me about not participating because she was afraid the partners would hold it against me. But I told her thanks for the warning, thinking she was wrong.

On Halloween, as those in costume roamed the hall, Mrs. June approached me and asked why I wasn’t participating? I told her that I didn’t celebrate Halloween. And her response was, why? I told her that although most people I know celebrate because they enjoy getting dressed in costume and hanging out with their friends, I know that the holiday has its roots in witchcraft and the occult.

Her response was that upper management liked for their employees to participate because it showed that the staff is working as a team. And by not participating, it may look like I am not a team player. I told her that I understood but that I would not be participating. To say the least, her mood was pretty nasty towards me the rest of the day and some co-workers avoided me most of the day. I was so glad when that day was over.

I didn’t give it another thought until July rolled around the next year. When I was meeting with Mrs. June, my upbeat/positive review took a downward turn, when Mrs. June referenced that she thought I wasn’t a team player. I asked her what she meant by that and her response was if I didn’t know, then that is why I didn’t get 100 percent in that area. Immediately, the “team player” remark that she made that Halloween came to my mind. I thought to myself, was I being penalized for not participating in the Halloween Celebration?

Yes, I believe I was penalized for going against what is popular. But instead of fighting against what was probably a losing battle and potentially losing my job while I was at that firm, I started using a personal leave day for Halloween, so that I wouldn’t be penalized for that anymore.

_______________________

Meditation:

“Many of them also which used curious arts brought their books together, and burned them before all men: and they counted the price of them, and found it fifty thousand pieces of silver.” Acts 19:19

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Press On! Webzine — Fall 2014

Summer vacations are over and fall is upon us. As we move into a new season, it’s a good time to slow down and reflect on our life experiences so far this year. Hence, the theme for this issue of Press On! Webzine is reflection.

The attendees at First Baptist Church of Glenarden’s Bible study went on a 61-day fast a few months ago. The 41-day surrender fast was to consciously yield our will to God and the remaining 21 days was a financial fast. Since I am pretty frugal, going through Michelle Singletary’s “The 21-Day Financial Fast” (www.michellesingletary.com) set me back on course. But what I found out about myself during Dr. Celeste Owens, “41-day Surrender Fast,” (www.surrenderfast.com) sort of shocked me. You can read about it in “My Addiction.”

But what about when others think they can see your interior by your exterior? In the article, “My Testimony – Sizing Folks Up,” I discuss a sermon that Pastor John K. Jenkins, Sr., preached, and my experience in being negatively sized up. “Music Has Meaning – Lift Him Up,” discusses the importance of every aspect of a church service. And “Twice a Child” reflects on how we can handle our parents’ second childhood.

Thank you for reading and sharing Press On! Webzine, Press On! Webzine – Fall 2014. Don’t forget to e-mail me your comments at pmoore@pressonwebzine.com because I love reading them. :>)

Take care.

Phenola Moore

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Rest – Body, Mind and Spirit

mag62014coverMost people try to take at least a few days off to relax during the summer. This may be either in the form of a vacation or “staycation” (vacation at home). Whatever method chosen, it is a time to rest our bodies, minds, and spirits to make sure we do not become overwhelmed.

In this Summer 2014 issue of Press On! Webzine, we’ve devoted articles that give tips on how to rest ourselves from the inside out. “Resting Our Bodies – Internal Cleansing,” describes the four types of fasts (three physical and one sexual) in the Bible. “Resting Our Minds – Me Time” discusses what we view as resting our minds in comparison to what it really is. Our spirits have to be stabilized to hear God’s voice clearly, and “Resting Our Spirits – Yielded Vessels” discusses how spending more time with Him can give us peace.

“Real Talk – A Temporary Makeover” is a candid article that reminds us that when we walk out of our homes, we represent more than ourselves. Historically, people haven’t been exposed to this much violence by way of television or the Internet. The article, “Are Angry Outbursts Becoming the Norm?” is about how television and the Internet may be making angry outbursts more acceptable. “My Testimony – Tribute to Maya Angelou” details when I heard her speak in person, and includes a poem that I dedicate in her memory.

Click on mag62014final to read this issue. And thank you for reading and sharing Press On! Webzine.

Take care.

Phenola Moore, founder, design director, and writer

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