A Special Valentine’s Day Greeting

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Valentine’s day in perspective

Story of St. Valentine

The story of Valentine’s Day begins in the third century with an oppressive Roman emperor and a humble Christian Martyr.   The emperor was Claudius II.   The Christian was Valentinus.

Claudius had ordered all Romans to worship twelve gods, and had made it a crime punishable by death to associate with Christians.   But Valentinus was dedicated to the ideals of Christ; not even the threat of death could keep him from practicing his beliefs.   He was arrested and imprisoned.

During the last weeks of Valentinus’s life a remarkable thing happened.   Seeing that he was a man of learning, the jailer asked whether his daughter, Julia, might be brought to Valentinus for lessons.   She had been blind since birth.   Julia was a pretty young girl with a quick mind.   Valentinus read stories of Rome’s history to her.   He described the world of       nature to her.   He taught her arithmetic and told her about God.  She saw the world through his eyes, trusted his wisdom, and found comfort in his quiet strength.

“Valentinus, does God really hear our prayers?” Julia asked one day.

“Yes, my child, He hears each one.”

“Do you know what I pray for every morning and every night?  I pray that I might see.   I want so much to see everything you’ve told me about!”

“God does what is best for us if we will only believe in Him,” Valentinus said.

“Oh, Valentinus, I do believe! I do!”  She knelt and grasped his hand.

They sat quietly together, each praying.   Suddenly there was a brilliant light in the prison cell.   Radiant, Julia screamed, “Valentinus, I can see!  I can see!”

“Praise be to God!”  Valentinus exclaimed, and he knelt in prayer.

On the eve of his death Valentinus wrote a last note to Julia, urging her to stay close to God.   He signed it, “From your Valentine.”  His sentence was carried out the next day, February 14, 270 A.D., near a gate that was later named Porta Valentini in his memory.   He was buried at what is now the Church of Praxedes in Rome.   It is said that Julia planted a pink-blossomed almond tree near his grave.   Today, the almond tree remains a symbol of abiding love and friendship.   On each February 14, Saint Valentine’s Day, messages of affection, love, and devotion are exchanged around the world.

                                                                     www.olrl.org/lives/

Celebrating Our Children: 내가 당신에게 너무 madona 사랑 naega dangsin-ege neomu madona salang

It is Countdown time to yet another Mother’s Day experience for me! With all the hard work she put in to earn herself a final semester GPA of 4.0, my daughter deserves to be lauded publicly. It is with great anticipation and excitement that I look forward to commencement day! I want to apologize ahead of time to other proud parents and relatives for blocking their view, in the event that I experience difficulty staying seated when my daughter, Madona Ayorinde, walks across the Wellesley College Stage to receive her Diploma on Friday.

I find that celebrating my chilCelebrating a Daughter2dren’s growth and accomplishments on a regular basis serves to strenghten our bond and keeps a much needed line of communication open as I play my Mommy Role as their unofficial whether-you-want-to-hear-it-or-not Consultant on the lessons of life. This is even more exciting and meaningful as a team effort, with full participation of my husband.

In spite of her demanding schedule as she prepared for the ending of her final year, she was able to take the time to reach out to me and her grandmother in a very special way.

내가 당신에게 너무 madona 사랑
I love you too, Madona.

Happy New Year: Thank Your For Your Contribution to The Lessons of My Life

Please accept my sincerest wishes for an eventful, productive and meaningful 2015. I wish you all the health and prosperity that you may wish for yourself. It is also my hope that as you reach out for a brand new canvas of life’s experiences in 2015, you will not neglect to include in your supplies box, the tools of 2014 that you used to positively affect your life and that of the people around you. 

Go For It In 2015 by Madona Cole-Lacy

Along with the aforementioned tools of healthy engagement, we must employ the all-too-often evasive tools of self-examination and self-engagement! This honest conversation we hold with ourselves will, undoubtedly, help us examine our missteps, our misspeaks and our follies which we sometimes unwittingly have used to damage, or outright kill, the spirit of people who have looked up to us for guidance, support, leadership, emotional security, or even a simple connection in times of emotional need.

If this is beginning to look like a list of tools in its own right, it is because it certainly is. I suspect there are as many who would willingly take on this self-examination, as there are those who are not quite prepared to take this journey as yet. For those of us who are not quite there yet, the good news is that when we are ready, this process will cost us nothing. Thankfully, it begins and ends with us, and can be turned on when we are truly ready to take the leap.

Another related move that is necessary for the actualization of all the wonderful wishes that have been sent our way, is for us to develop heightened and renewed awareness of how to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.

Allow me to share some suggestions that might help this process along.

Let us aspire …

1. To eliminate the tendency to bully, arm-wrestle or indoctrinate those we regard as highly susceptible to our manipulative ways. This insecurity-based modality makes us a perpetual target, robs others of the joy of celebrating us and sends the wrong message to our children.

2. To refrain from being dismissive of people we believe have “nothing of consequence” to offer us. For this says more about our ineptness and our inability to grasp the concept that everyone matters, and that people are placed in our lives to help us grow and see life from a fresh and healthy perspective. This gift is simply priceless – everyone grows, and everyone wins!

3. To operate in a manner devoid of the mind games vindictive people play to get “even”. There are other effective ways to make our feelings known that will earn us much respect – even in the eyes of our enemies. Out with the ugliness of organizational, institutional, community and family thuggery! Civility always wins!

4. To refrain from the thinking that racism and discrimination will go away without any effort on our part. We must try to avoid sending poison darts at anyone – our own kind included. It cannot be disputed that some of us project hatred and resentment toward others because we can’t be bothered to relate to the common thread that runs through the fabric of mankind.  In some instances, all will be well as long as “they know their place” in the restrictive mould we have crafted for them. Also, have you heard? Tokenism is on its last leg. Let us be the first to eradicate this poisonous self-esteem buster, and make sincerity-in-engagement the new normal, replacing tokenism with full inclusion based on equal opportunity.

5. To gain a full understanding of why staying on the ground when “life” knocks us down, is not and never will be a viable option. Let us not take our innate ability to pick ourselves up off the ground lightly, for we must remind ourselves that there would be no talk of “knocking us down” if we were naturally meant to stay on the ground.

6. To operate with the awareness that there is no justification for the perpetration or tolerance of insensitivity and rudeness. We can always take the high road and find a way to say or do something that makes a positive contribution to our legacy.

7. To seek professional help if all this looks like jargon to us. Otherwise, let us strive towards defining and re-defining ourselves with a promise to touch the life of someone – anyone – we believe has “nothing of consequence” to offer us in return. We can make this a positive move towards receptivity, which should open our hearts and minds wide enough to allow for the manifestation of all the fantastic wishes and prayers we have been showered with this new year.

I conclude with a prayer that people from around the world will keep in the forefront of their minds the thinking that true legacy-building has more to do with the exceptional ways we have related to humanity, and less to do with the material wealth we leave behind. Material wealth is disposable. Unhealthy family, institutional and community dynamics can only result in destructive and unwholesome legacies!

The legacy I speak of consoles us and give us strength to go on when our loved ones depart from this world. It compels us to follow the footsteps of those who have touched hearts and minds in their quest for excellence and altruism. As my father’s soul rests in peace (1921-2014), I promise to do my utmost to uphold his rich and admirable legacy. Even as I miss him so much, I am consoled by the major contribution he has made to the lessons of my life!

Again, I wish you a Happy New Year. Please do not hesitate to share with me the details of how you incorporate these tools and those of your own into your life’s journey. I would like to hear how you have chosen to receive the warm sentiments you have received.

Revving Up and Getting Back on Track

Revving Up

Since I haven’t quite decided on a suitable term to adequately capture how I feel, I will settle for one that conveys the most predominant feeling right now.  It is with humility that I embrace this time of my life, to reconnect with the world, and make a deliberate and significant stride toward normalcy since the recent passing of my father. As one who prides herself on being a perpetual student of life’s lessons, I must acknowledge a major loss such as this, as one which I have also viewed within the context of the psyche of Family Adult Caregivers around the world. I share your loss and feel your pain, even as I ‘hear’ my Papa urging me to keep the ball rolling, and to never lose sight of my goal! The drive to keep going should never leave us! I, not unlike a host of other adult children of the recently departed, have a lot to be thankful for when I take stock of the rich legacy my father left behind, not just for me, but for many others around the world. I feel ever so blessed!

Getting Back On Track

With the support of my Board, Program Director, Volunteers and Well-Wishers; I am looking forward to the upcoming Your Time For Community Networking Soiree – an opportunity for Long Island’s high school students, as well as current college-bound high school graduates, to experience an intergenerational professional and social relationship with a diverse pool of male and female community role models representing the arts, business & and professional world, academia, human services and local politics. Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. 2014 SOIREE MOD

 

All Participants can look forward to interacting with an impressive line-up of motivational presenters and Resource Persons which includes current college students, professors, medical doctors, community activists and faith based leaders, mental health practitioners, and public officials – all of whom care about the well-being and academic success of our youth.
Other highlights include: lunch, entertainment, high tea, beauty and heath activities, giveaways and more!

 

 

If you have a burning desire to touch the lives of our youth in a special way, and would like to be a part of this initiative, kindly contact us.

 

 

Please note that our Creative Arts Contest is currently underway with more opportunities for five students to win scholarships ranging from $500.00 – $1000.00. latest Your Time For Creative Empowerment Arts Contest 2014

For more details please visit our website: www.yourtime4liny.org 

Upcoming Event: Celebrating the Creativity of our Youth Gala

You may have heard about Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. and asked what they were all about. You have a chance to find out by attending their first major fundraising gala and wearable art presentation.

Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc., a New York State registered non-profit organization, will launch its 1st major fundraising gala, on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, at Leonard’s of Great Neck, 555 Northern Blvd., Great Neck, New York. As part of the activities of the evening, awards will be presented to: Professor Dale Flashner, of Adelphi University and originator of ‘Creative Cups’ * Madeline Quintyne, Commissioner of Human Services of the Town of Babylon * Rev. Patrick Daymond, Senior Pastor of Memorial Presbyterian Church and originator of the “Barbershop Rap Mentoring Program” * Don Ryan, Village of Hempstead Trustee who coaches basketball teams for Hempstead Dons, Inc. * Margarita Grasing, Executive Director of Hispanic Brotherhood of Rockville Centre with over 34 years of service to the Hispanic community of Long Island * Posthumously, Dr. Gary Rachlin, who at the time of death, was the Director of Medical Education and Family Practice Residency Program at North shore Plainview Hospital and Director of Advanced Family Medicine, Bethpage as well as an avid supporter of community initiatives for Long Island’s youth.

Other highlights include: showcasing the creative talent of Long Island’s youth, a wearable art presentation by Madona Cole Originals, cocktail hour live music by Jim Lacy and guests, raffles, door prizes.

Tickets and Sponsorship opportunities are available

YTFCE Gala 2013FLYER

When Regifting Is Acceptable

You are that spark that makes the fire rise.  A crown of jewels will rest upon your head for you are God’s child that has been truly blessed! Amen

These a orchidsre sentiments I received a moment ago from a kindred spirit. I know she would not mind me regifting these empowering words to all who come across this posting. Take a moment to search for your unique spark that makes the fire rise. Do this with disregard for the inevitable outcome.  Just do it, knowing that you are indeed a necessary contributor to keeping the flame of humanity burning.

    Share with us, sentiments you will re-gift with an explanation as to why.

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Smile For Me: How We Do It

9 years ago, as my father walked me down the aisle, my then soon-to-be husband serenaded me with the song he had written for the occasion, “SMILE FOR ME”. That, I must say, was a brilliant response to the creative use of the arts that really resonated with me. For, I have not once found a good reason not to smile for him since then. Needless to say, he did not ask me to do that which he was not willing to do for me in return. His smiles are still magical and we plan to keep them that way.

We have made it a point to “smile” through the ups and downs of life, knowing that we truly have each other’s back. Another element we can never lose a grip on, is RESPECT for each other. We both agreed well before we took our vows, that our marriage would not thrive on mutual love, devoid of mutual respect for each other. This I must say, makes for the strong bond we enjoy today.

On this our 9th wedding anniversary, we would like to offer our love and prayers to couples out there who are struggling to obtain a harmonious and loving relationship. It is our hope that you will take a moment to search for that which you and your spouse have in common and use that as a building block to a wonderful relationship. There are of course, other options such as help from your faith-based family or mental health practitioners.

Congratulations to those who are enjoying their moments together. Perhaps you could share some tips on what works for you.

Spotlight: A Friend to Youth and Parents

Congratulations to Devon Harris, motivational speaker, author and founder of the Keep On Pushing Foundation, on being honored for his community service by New York’s Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano at the Caribbean American Festival on Saturday, June 15, 2013.

Mr. Harris, also of Jamaican Bobsled fame, has for the past two years been an avid supporter of Long Island’s non-profit, Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. and the My Time Has Come Program. These long island based programs have been served well by Mr. Harris’ captivating and spirited motivational presentations to parents and youth.

DEVON HARRIS AWARD

Also honored were:

Mr. Ron Clahar – Principal of Pat -Kam School and Early Childhood Center

Ms. Lorna Lewis – Superintendent of the Plainview Old Bethpage CSD & Adjunct Professor at Hofstra University

Mr. Lennox O. Price – Consul General of Barbados to New York.

We congratulate all of these honorees for the exemplary work they are doing in their respective fields and communities.

Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc. engages in activities designed to empower youth & families by providing tools for handling the challenges and pitfalls of life in the 21st Century through the use of the arts, fashion and culture alongside creative personal development and behavioral modalities.

My Time Has Come Program is an art-related cultural and social enrichment enterprise which offers workshops to teachers, students and community organizations. My Time Has Come Program promotes tolerance to racial, cultural, ethnic and generational differences; fosters a sense of belonging, accomplishment and pride gained from the creation of well executed culturally inspired works of art; and develops skills in the use of hand-crafted textile designs and contemporary, multi-cultural visual arts techniques.

Devonharris.com

Author: Madona Cole-Lacy, MA Ed.

Founder: Your Time For Creative Empowerment, Inc.

Program Director/ Facilitator: My Time Has Come Program