(Feb. 14) Vol. 6, No. 3

(Late post for Feb. 12, 2016 Issue)

Overcoming the Grief

Come this summer, it will be one year since my friend Sandra Bland died. I thought I was coming to terms with her death, reaching a point of peace. It still hurt, but I was moving forward and that was the important thing.

Then came Feb. 7…

One of my line sisters held a memorial service for Sandy’s birthday, Feb. 7. When I first saw the invite on Facebook, I began to wrestle with whether or not to go. At the time I said I was afraid of the pain, but now that I’ve had some time to think about it, I see that wasn’t the real reason.

I was afraid that my deepest fear would come true: Sandy wasn’t coming back.

I know she’s gone, I know in my heart I will no longer see her again other than the picture of her on social media, in the news…yet there was still this great sense of denial and a hope that she was going to eventually turn up.

But as I stood there at her memorial, the chill of the air crawling its way through me, and the few of us who were there all listening to a video she made her birthday last year, I listened to the vibrancy in her voice and suddenly it all became very real.

The pieces started falling into place as I thought, today’s her birthday and she’s not here…surely she would be here to celebrate it with us…

Sandy’s gone…forever.

Since this past Sunday, I can now say I’ve been finally coming to terms with her death little bits at a time. The pain is still there, but God has come to show me I can’t bury it anymore. I have to release all of it—the anger I feel toward Him for taking her at a time when she was turning her life around, the hate I have for those who may have been involved in the loss of her life and those who used her death as a way to promote their own agendas, the sadness from knowing there’s no more Sandy. I must let go of it so I can have:

The joy that comes from loving those I still have in my life, the peace of being able to know she’s still making an impact by ministering to people with her videos, the understanding to remember God doesn’t make mistakes and the forgiveness needed to let go and truly move on for my friend.

It’s not an easy thing dealing with loss, but I’m learning that it isn’t about getting over it; it’s about embracing the wounds so you can still find all the smiles and laughs your loved ones left behind, deep inside of you.

Local news in the area


by Jacqueline S. Sadberry
Editor in Chief

Last Thursday night Prairie View A&M University hosted “A Vision Renewed,” performed by the Dallas Black Dance Theatre (DBDT) in the Opal Johnson Smith Auditorium, located in the Willie Tempton Memorial Student Center. The program was part of university president George C. Wright’s lecture and culture series.

There were four acts: “Unearthed,” “Furtherance,” “Instinct 11.1” and “…And Now Marvin.”

“Unearthed” took the audience back to darker times, as they watched the dancers move to Strange Fruit. The music included humming and sighs that gave it the feel of a Negro spiritual. The last act appeared to be a hit, as the air was filled with laughter and applause.

The president’s lecture series began in 2004 as a way to highlight African American history during Black History Month. Wright decided to incorporate the arts after seeing the DBDT perform.

The DBDT was founded by PVAMU alumna Ann Williams in 1976. The company currently teaches more than 475 students a week, year-round.

The event was free and anyone who registered could attend. Many Prairie View residents came out along with students. At the end of the show, the dance company received a standing ovation. Refreshments were served on the second floor of the MSC afterward.

The Temple of Refuge is currently raising funds to finish the installation of our bathrooms. The total cost for the project is $6000. Anyone who wishes to donate can do do so by going to our church website KTOR Radio and click the donate button on our homepage.

Sunday sermons, Wednesday messages

Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, “It’s Bigger than Me (II Chronicles 20:15)”

“And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

If you see every challenge you face as God’s way of punishing you, then you don’t understand what challenges are for, “Every challenge that comes is God bragging on you… It’s not for you but the haters in your life.” When the Judases in your life are working hard to keep you down, and God steadily keeps raising you up, it confuses them. Learn to recognize when God is setting you up to be blessed.

In this passage, the people were facing a huge obstacle: Moab. Moab was bigger and had a larger army—they were completely outnumbered—but God reminded them He was with them every step of the way, “Sometimes He’ll allow [your enemies] to put you in the furnace so He can show them He’s the fan.”

When we are able to praise God anyway despite whatever we are dealing with we can get our greatest breakthroughs.

“Stop trying to prove you’re saved…You can’t stage God; you let God.” We have to step out of the way and allow God to do His thing, “…[God] knew Moab was bigger but He reassured [Jehoshaphat] he was protected.”

We must understand that the reason we are attacked is because of the anointing on us and we have to trust God to be God, “The Lord told Jehoshaphat not to let a multitude of problems perplex you or allow you not to give Me what’s due.” No matter what the circumstance or situation you’re in, that’s no excuse not to give God the best that’s within you, “Don’t ever find yourself in a position where you’re not giving God your all.”

(To hear the entire sermon, visit our church website KTOR Radio and go to Sunday Morning Live)

Bible Study cancelled due to district meeting.

Poems, shorts and other creative pieces

Stepping Up to the Plate
by Jacqueline S. Sadberry

I am not an activist
I notice social injustices
I did not ask for this
I didn’t ask to be the poster child
For civil rights
And equality
I feel as though it has been given
—to me
Through birth
Like some sort of
Call it a birthright

But I keep thinking to myself
I didn’t ask for this
My attitude of dissonance
Is reflected in my actions
And my lifestyle
It’s all in the way I live
That’s why I keep my distance
I speak up for my people
I shout it loud
Say it proud
All over social media
Put me in the public eye
And I’m more hush than a
I whisper as I whimper
About how I thought it all ended
With King’s speech about a dream
When they removed the colored
—only fountains,
Restrooms and schools
I can walk into
Unsegregated places
Isn’t that enough?
I find myself groaning
Then coming back to the issues
—at hand
Who said I had to join the march?
We’ve already marched enough
Have we not?
Who says I have to get on the
Front lines?
What’s wrong
With fighting on the sidelines?

I stare down at my pen and paper

They tell me
Some of my own people
They tell me
That the arts are futile
They’re useless
Strictly entertainment
Therefore I haven’t done anything
Of significance

I used to think
Of my ink
As my picket sign
Spoken word
As my bullhorn
But now
I ponder
If all I am really doing
Is finding another way
To quiver behind my scribbles
I scribble, dibble and dab
Ooo—watch me make ’em mad
Behind the stanzas
But I am still just a prisoner
Of my own fear to stand up
Among the many?

I recognize
I am
One of many and I represent
The living and the dead
The hopeful and the hopeless
Who fight for change
And those who have become
I used to be apathetic to those names
Then the statistic became a person
That number had a face attached to it

Now I’m left here
As tears stain my face
Saying over
And over to myself
The same thing
My now deceased friend
Probably felt

I didn’t ask for this
I’m not a revolutionary
Not by any stretch of the imagination
Neither were any of my ancestors
Each of them
Were ordinary people
Nothing extraordinary
About them
Except the things that they did
To combat unjust practices

I see it
I see the light
It’s all so clear now
None of us asked for this
But it is what it is
The war was never over
Just because emancipation
Brought about a cease fire
Doesn’t mean a new strategy
Hasn’t been in the works

It hurts
But it hurts even more
To stand back
Do nothing
And pretend
As though everything is absolutely
The way it is

Events, announcements for the month of February

  • Feb. 1: Last day for voter registration
  • Feb. 4: Brother Michael Prince II’s birthday
  • Feb. 7-13: District Meeting, Beaumont, TX
  • Feb. 11: Dallas Black Dance Theatre, 6 p.m., Prairie View A&M Univeristy
  • Feb. 13: Political Forum, 10 a.m., Don Clark Building Auditorium, rm. 155
  • Feb. 28: “The Remedy” Talent Showcase, 5 p.m., Temple of Refuge

**This issue has been edited**


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