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IS GOD TO BLAME FOR THE VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS?

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I am annoyed by people blaming school shootings on God not being in schools.  It is literally starting to drive me crazy every time I hear this sentiment.   I continue to read statements and hear interviews in which people are saying that the reason school shootings, bullying and other violence and degradation are happening in schools is because God is no longer in the schools.  Is this asinine or rational?  Let’s talk. 

As a questioner, I questioned why this statement bothered me despite it’s implied intention. I realized that it bothered me because it was becoming a talking point that is not supported by any empirical truth. It also offers no real solution. To stand on such an illogical platform contributes to the passivity that continues to plague our society.  In grasping the belief systems that foster this notion, I question if we have not become a religious culture, but one of magical expectations and empty statements informed by misguided religiosity.  One, in which, our own actions or inactions are no longer found relevant.  We appear to have become a society that is lazy in forming its belief systems with intellect and revelation, thus, preventing evolution and change.   The cowardice natures of humanity are disguised behind flowery spiritual and religious verbiage. I pulled back the veil and explored history to see if having God in the form of prayer in school, as so many propose, is the answer. 

As I examined the history of our current education system and centers I realized it has always been vexed with the failings of our society.  Nuns abused children physically, mentally and emotionally with prayer in school.  Priest sexually assaulted children with prayer in school.  Segregation flourished and maintained its ugliness with prayer in school.  Racially charged fights, bullying, and dissidence occurred with prayer in schools.  Marginalization, sexism, violence, and discrimination all happened with prayer in school.  Sometimes the religion itself led the way of the iniquitous methods and conditions of school systems and centers.  The only thing that instigated change, were humans laboring to amend the status quo. 

I recognized that there were other questions that no one asked in response to this concept of God’s absence.  How exactly is God kept out of anything, in particular, school? Is God not omnipotent and omnipresent?  Do doors and metal detectors prevent his entrance in school?  Do the concrete walls prevent God from stopping abuse, bullying, and discrimination?  Is it paperwork and his inability to sign in at the front desk?  Maybe, it is his inability to pass the background check and fingerprinting that is needed to enter and volunteer at schools?  Should we look at changing this to stop obstacles for God?  The questions are as ridiculous as the statement.  However, they are also revealing.  Revealing that all these hindrances to God can be accomplished by people.  So, maybe we can embark on this new concept in which we stop laying the burden of action on God and use the gift of free will given us to do something.   

If we look at history, it has been human failure to act, to use our power and press our influence that allowed defeat and societal collapse.  It is we the people that must get involved in our kid’s schools, push administrative agendas and influence local government budget decisions.  Those that must get involved are parents, grandparents and other stakeholders of our children.  We have the ability that we are asking God to accomplish on our behalf. 

As I thought about the stakeholders, I had to acknowledge that those that declare God’s absence is the reason for the school’s integral decline are also stakeholders to consider.  They are a part of the community.  Typically, the religious community.  I thought about how many people are in community churches that could have an impact if they shifted the same support they showed at churches, to schools.  

Patrons of churches are routinely at events, raising money, supporting religious activities and funding missions around the world.  Proving they have the abilities and systems of support the schools need.  However, the same effort and attendance in the local school are not comparable.  Somehow, we have developed the notion that it is more important to invest in our afterlife than in our current lives.  It shows in the attendance of church and the lack of attendance at Parent Teacher Association (PTA) meetings and parent/teacher conferences.  Children spend the majority of their time in school, yet parent’s presence and relationship building in the place that has the power to mold their children, they have made themselves powerless.  It would then consider, it is not God’s absence we should be concerned with, but our own.

 

 

 

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Davidson Hotels and Resorts expands Portfolio with Hotel Zachary in Chicago

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Photo Courtesy of Hotel Zachary. Photo Credit: Dave Burk Photography (PRNewsfoto/Davidson Hotels & Resorts

Hotel Zachary has an exclusive blend, thoughtful amenities and artistic touches in every guestroom to locally-infused dining and signature cocktails from the City’s Top Chefs

 

Photo Courtesy of Hotel Zachary. Photo Credit: Dave Burk Photography (PRNewsfoto/Davidson Hotels & Resorts

This Week Davidson Hotel & Resorts – one of the nation’s leading hotel management companies for delivering hospitality and creating value – announced the addition of Zachary at Gallagher Way, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel, to its highly curated Portfolio.

It’s owned by Hickory Street Capital, this exciting new hotel will be managed by Pivot Hotels & Resorts – Davidson’s Lifestyle and Luxury Division.

Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way is a distinctive boutique hotel that brings history and style together to deliver an authentic Chicago neighborhood experience.

It’s situated in the heart of Chicago’s renowned Lakeview neighborhood.

Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way is inspired by it’s namesake, famed Chicago architect, Zachary Taylor Davis, who designed the esteemed Wrigley Field in 1914.

Located in the heart of the city’s Lakeview neighborhood and adjacent to historic Wrigley Field, the 173-room hotel celebrates world-renowned Wrigley Field architect and Chicagoan Zachary Taylor Davis.

Hotel Zachary at Gallagher Way delivers a memorable guest experience to baseball fans, the curious traveler and locals in-the-know.

“My family and I are truly honored to bring the Hotel Zachary to Lakeview and the City of Chicago, “said Tom Ricketts, who is Chairman of Hickory Street Capital. “Hotel Zachary will pay homage to the neighborhood’s rich history and to Chicago’s architecture and design legacy. We’re excited to offer new chef driven restaurants and unique, year-round experiences for neighbors, families, fans and visitors.”

Hotel Zachary is situated within 238,000-sq-ft mixed-use development that also features some of Chicago’s best-known chefs and restaurants, including West Town Bakery & Tap, Big Star, Smoke Daddy, and Matthias Merges ‘new eatery, Mordecai. Hotel Zachary will deliver authentic local experiences on Chicago’s North Side, as a new in-town hub for city explorers, business travelers, visiting families and baseball enthusiasts to find entertainment, great dining and a distinctively personalized lodging experience.

For more information, please visit www.hotelzachary.com or follow along on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/HotelZachary/ or Twitter http://twitter.com/hotelzachary

Source: Davidson Hotels & Resorts

Photo Courtesy of Hotel Zachary. Photo Credit: Dave Burk Photography (PRNewsfoto/Davidson Hotels & Resorts

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Messengers Among Us

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This week I have been amazed at the world around me. I am continually working toward self-actualization.  On this quest, I seek to manifest clarity of my beliefs for my well-being.  My work is to constantly detach from the world around me to find truth among the noise and chaos that consumes our lives and time. 

Think about that for a moment – the noise and chaos consuming.  Like a heterotrophic bacterium, eating and absorbing dead matter, the noise and chaos consume our lives and time in that same manner.  Look at your life and examine how much time social media, the news, entertainment, gossip, work politics and the like consume your mind and time.  It is as if your mind is constantly being pulled to the left and the right, jerking itself to keep up with one distraction after another. 

In moving so fast, we are also distracted from the beauty and perfection that is the foundation of all that is.  We miss the important things in life and instead become conformed to what we are consuming, noise and chaos. Chaos is disorder and confusion.  In life, it shows up as confusion of who we are, where we are and how we are.  Constantly out of order.  Not only in our minds, but in relationship to the universe itself.

In my discovery this week, I realized that my rush to reach goals, achieve heights and make the most of my time here on earth has caused me to miss out on what makes the journey beautiful.  I was missing out on the hands that push me along the way, the voice that draws my attention forward and the lights that guide my feet.  The little things that assure my safe travel and help to lift me above life’s heavy pull to complete the voyage.  These impressions I neglected.  I let them drown in the noise. 

In my haste, these hands and voices appeared to be talking trees.  An oddity that became normal to ignore.  After a few interviews this week and conversations with some amazingly insightful and determined individuals, I realized I was not walking past talking trees.  In my day to day, I was walking past individual spirits in human form with messages for me.  Their niceties, their conversations, their encounters, I shrugged off as part of happenings of life.  I forsook their importance and my importance in these moments.  I disregarded the work of the universe to perfect these moments.  I overlooked how important I must be for the universe to send a message to me in such an orchestrated manner.  I discounted how valuable the messenger must be to hold such information and maintain a life appointment neither was aware. 

I imagine that from the beginning of time, their life was formed, and their path perfected to be a messenger for me and me for them.  We for others.  Our meetings converted to a special remembrance to renew our lives and minds and assist in opening the eyes of others to messages all around them.

This week I became clear and grateful to the universe and the messengers for helping me to see what I had made myself blind to see.  Taking for granted the souls that surround me on any given day.  I became grateful for why I am pushed to help and connect with others. For, in the end, they actually help and connect me to me.  I am giving to no one; everyone is giving to me.  When I am giving to others, I give to myself and they to themselves.  My hand to them is a key that unlocks the message they hold for me.

I have a few stories I am writing that will be published in the coming weeks.  I wanted to use other people’s stories and messages to continue to have readers question themselves and their beliefs.  Have readers find hope, purpose, and well-being through the eyes and lives of others.  I wanted to put a spotlight on unique journeys and stories.  In actuality, I received light and answers to my questions.  I was sent their way to be fed.  Though their stories will be told, my story, in turn, has been enriched by their passage through my life.

This week I interviewed a blind man who had greater vision and clarity than those with eyes.   A man who helped me to see that my eyes are not for seeing at all.  They are for realizing and becoming aware of what I have already created.  A man that could walk you into your destiny, guided by his foresight within.  He caused me to see where I was blind.

I interviewed a woman whose personal path was destined by her ancestral past.  It was so intense, that when she did not listen to its call, it pulled her into death to ignite the gift and shift her mind.  It called her to death to give her a message and clear the confusion she walked in.  She returned to life with a power and message that only she specifically could hold.  Her life, her heritage, her persona perfectly orchestrated to be the messenger of this message.  Her gift and light gave me life.

I met a group of activist advocating for assisted suicide.  Their stories were informing me of points of view and processes that drew levels of compassion and questions of my belief system that I would never have challenged without their meeting.  I met groups of advocates for children, politicians and school leaders sharing hopes, dreams, limitations, and struggles.   These individuals were destroying biases and shifting my views.  They helped me release limiting thoughts and walk boldly into uncharted territories.  I offered my help, support, and conversation, not knowing that, in turn, I would be lifted. 

Though all of these individuals have different stories apprised from their life perspectives, I found them all speaking to me.  Their lives, their stories, their pains, their joys and gifts all held messages for me.  Some were whispers of Spirit leading or directing me.  Some held confirmations.  Others held fingers of light directing me toward a future I was unaware possible.  Their messages released doubts, strengthened, encouraged, empowered, opened doors of my mind and destroyed biases.

I learned through this experience to slow down and hear those speaking.  Stop rushing past so fast, that the voices become talking trees in the forest of my life. I will listen from now on.  I will see and connect to the messengers around me.  I will be grateful for them.  Because of them, I know I am never alone, and a message is always waiting for me to question, to answer my questions, to direct or inform me of me.

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Exposure Magazine Exclusive with The Mother of Black Hollywood Jenifer Lewis On News Stands

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Cedric Nettles-Exposure Magazine Entertainment Editor

Legendary actress and star of the hit sitcom Blackish sat down with Exposure Magazine to talk about her memoir The Mother of Black Hollywood. We had a VERY candid conversation about her bout with bi-polar disorder and sex addiction. When speaking with her you get one thing from her you expect…Strength and courage. We also talked about the life lessons that helped her cope with her condition. She had a very special message to former President Barack Obama and some rather hard hitting words for the current President. Get your copy  of her book

The Mother of Black Hollywood.

 

 

 

 

 

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