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What does it mean to be an American?

Over the past few months, I have quite a bit of time to think about that question and to decide what “American”, actually means to me, first as a human, as a female and finally as a black person. Honestly, my conclusion is always the same, I am blessed to live in the greatest country in this world. Sure, we are not perfect, we had an unfortunate start in that the Natives lost their lives and their property, Africans were enslaved for the benefit of plantation owners and even some Europeans were indentured servants to the wealthy and affluent. These acts cannot be overlooked or forgotten, however, what makes this nation great is that we have continuously tried to move in the direction of becoming a more perfect union and in my lifetime, I pray that we will continue to do so.

The Founders understood that in order for different people to live together in a country divided across race, gender and values that a certain set of principles would need to apply. Ideally, their vision was for people to self- govern based on a shared set of morals rooted in respect of life, property and the rights of others, but in a new world unchartered at the start, it was probably best to establish some important parameters. Those parameters began with the creation of the Declaration of Independence, but that was just a primer for creating an entire nation from an idea, a lofty idea that would appeal to our highest ideals rooted in natural law, established by God.

I could go on, but as not to turn this into a Constitutional review, what I really hope to encourage, is that every person reading this post, will take the time to read our Declaration of Independence as well as our Constitution. The Constitution is not an antiquated or out of touch document. It was written by wise men, not only to establish and address the concerns that were prevalent in 1787, but to be forward looking for such a time in which we currently live. In fact, in the preamble, it specifically states that it was written to secure the “blessings of liberty to ourselves and our Posterity.” Our future as a nation.

In my opinion, the Constitution is second to the Bible, in its governing principles. As you know, it was written by men, who thought it was wise to create and establish a government that would honor God through Christ, but would also respect the values and traditions of those who did not share or believe in the Christian values that were the underpinning of our Constitution. That right there is the main reason, I believe it supersedes any other governing document written.

Yes, I know, at the time the Constitution was written, slavery was an integral part of the commerce of our nation. And potentially, had I been alive at that time, could have been born on a plantation and lived a life of inferiority. Thank God, that has not been my experience in this country. Sure, I know that racism still exists in parts of the country, and perhaps even in some institutions. What I don’t believe is that there is an underbelly waiting to enslave black people and others of color in the way that it did in the early history of this country. I do believe that it is now time to acknowledge the past, and to understand that many chains of slavery still exist in the hearts and minds of individuals, while simultaneously, working together to reach the fullest ideals established when the Constitution, became our founding document.

Destroying and burning down, and screaming hateful epithets about our country do nothing but further divide us along arbitrary lines. We can never become a more perfect union, when hate and anger are the prevailing thoughts. We can and we must overcome our destructive desires to ensure that every American is fundamentally considered equal.

In conclusion, what does it mean to me, to be an American? It means that we will one day, in my lifetime, collectively reestablish the belief that we are all created equal by God and we are all endowed with certain unalienable rights to life, liberty and our own pursuits. Until, then I will continue to live as a free and sovereign person made in the image of God.

Blessings!

AngelaChristine

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I started this blog not because I had a desire or inkling to do it, but because several friends on and off Facebook, encouraged me to do so. They said that when they have been unable to process something or unable to sleep, one of my posts pops up in their feed that encourages them or helps them sort something out. 

The average person might have  said, “thank you, for the compliment, that’s a great idea, I think I will do just that.” But instead, what I said was, “thank you, but I could never write a blog, I’m not that interesting and no one would even read it.” Talk about being a Negative Nelly!  I did exactly, what I encourage others not to do, I got up to bat and choked. 

How can I encourage others, when I can’t even encourage myself? I mean I do this all of the time. I tell my friends to think positively, pursue their dreams, blah, blah, blah! But in my mind there is a hard stop, that this can’t be done by me and I will fail. Why can’t the opposite be true? Why can’t I succeed? Why do I feel the need to tear myself down, when no one else is even trying to? 

I guess at some point in my childhood or somewhere early in life, I accepted that just because, Sally Sue is doing something, doesn’t mean that I can do it too. Boy, did I get that wrong. Writing a blog, a book or newspaper column is not a skill set that anyone is born with. Yes, there are some people who are naturally gifted at writing, but for the rest of us, it is a learned skill set, like building muscles that you’ve not used in quite some time. And yes, it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but to give up before getting started is not wise either. So, instead of not doing, I will keep going to see what happens.

So today, I have made the decision to update this blog regularly, because my words do matter to some people, maybe more. Besides shouldn’t we always seek an opportunity to serve others, where they have a need? What good is a light, that is hidden from the people who need it most? 

Blessings!

AngelaChristine

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Freedom in Christ

These thoughts have been rattling around in my head for several days now, but I just couldn’t quite figure out how to frame them in the way that I wanted. I’m not really sure if I can right now, but they are on my heart to write and in light of what is happening in my beloved country right now, it is necessary. You see, when I was baptized into Christ at the age of 14, a surgery took place. A cutting away of the filth of my flesh. So, when I came out of that water, I was God’s new creation, with a clean slate. A new start, if you will. From that point on I was commanded to walk in the newness of life because the blood of Christ had removed all of my sins and made me free. Free from sin and able to have a relationship with God!!! That moment reconciled me to God.Friends, do you not know that sin separates us from God? Sin separates us from God first and from each other second. Sin is lawlessness, sin is violence and destruction. But this is not new, whenever man has pushed God out, it is never replaced with anything good or decent. There are just too many passages of scripture that show us this. And let us not forget the penalty of sin. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23”Let me get to my point, I have freedom in Christ! What God says about me supersedes any opinion or action of any person on this planet. I am not less than anyone because of the color of my skin or my gender. In fact, God made ALL of us in His image. Genesis 1:27 and Acts 17:26. That settles that argument of division based on cultural differences and whatever else man has concocted to keep us divided. Jesus, instructs us this way, “And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these. Mark 12:30&31So while many of you think, we still need to continue to fight for racial equality, the day I obeyed the gospel made me better than equal, that decision put in my the family of God. ❤️

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A little bit of sunshine…

I started writing this post more than a month ago, but for some reason never finished. Perhaps, it was because I became side tracked or maybe I just didn’t feel inspired. Who knows? I guess it’s like that sometimes for new bloggers. Or perhaps writers block only happens to the reluctant ones. I mean, I am not by definition a writer. I never intended to blog or write or anything of the sort. I guess I just stumbled into this because maybe I needed a way to express my random thoughts or experiences or my crazy, sometimes messy, but good life.

At this point, an introduction is probably in order. “Hello, my name is Angela Ireland Canady and I am a North Carolina native living in Georgia with my two children, Emily (11) and Ethan (9). Nice to meet you! We live about an hour northwest of the city of Atlanta just to give you a little perspective. You’re probably wondering by now, why there is no mention of a husband. Well, as life would have it my marriage of thirteen years ended officially a few short weeks ago and thus I begin my new journey into the unfamiliar by taking on all the things that I’ve never done, like writing. I mean why not, isn’t that what most people do when they experience significant trauma or a major life changing event? Dive head first into something you know absolutely nothing about.

I can truly say that writing this blog is absolutely terrifying! I don’t know what I am doing but for some reason I feel drawn to travel this path, so here I am opening up this door into my life in a way that I never imagined. I don’t know how I really feel about it but now that I am here I have to see it through. So, I ask you as my reader to be patient and to give me a little grace as I navigate this new chapter.

Before I go on, let me answer the question that you would ask me if you could. How are you holding up? I am fine! Good actually! Going through this separation has forced me to look squarely into the eye of the storm. As painful as this storm has been, I am glad that I allowed myself to go through every single stage of it. Now that I am on the other side of it, I see the sunshine peeking through. The warmth, the embrace of the sun is so healing and restorative, amazing actually. In my heart, it has been like God reaching down and giving me the hug that only He can to assure me that He has set my path and we will be just fine.

Life is funny sometimes, and certainly this is not a place that I ever envisioned I’d ever be, single and raising two children alone, but because of the God that I serve I will continue to walk by faith, knowing that no matter what may come my way, He is always with me and He keeps His promises.

Blessings!

AngelaChristine

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