Don’t let your past get you messed up! by Chellyz View

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Don’t let your past get you messed up! by Chellyz View

Wow! I witnessed my visions grow and expand by staying dedicated to the physical and mental assignments that needed to be done in my life. I was evolving into the human and spiritual being that The Holy Spirit designed me to be. The light within my soul began to gleam and brightened my path and offered inspiration to those around me. Then boom, I heard my past blasting in the room like the fireworks and the feelings took over like a Polar Vortex. Everything felt cold and there was a slight chill that hovered over my presence. This would happen from time to time. The memories, heartaches, my transgressions, and pain caused me to shutter. Have you ever been in a place in your life when you asked a Higher Power, “Why would you want to use me as a guiding force for change?” Then you hear The Holy Spirit reply, “Why not?”

I was pushed to write this today on Thursday, July 9, 2020, so my fingers had to jump on the keyboards to release my thoughts. I know there is someone out there who is going through this crisis, revolution, and time of uncertainty trying to figure things out or beginning to understand this is the time to activate your purpose. Now and again, your past gets you messed up though. You start telling yourself you don’t deserve the blessings, you can’t make a difference, or why would anybody want to listen to you because you just don’t feel worthy. Nope! Stop! Hold up wait a minute! We must not do that! Yes, we must realize we are not perfect but every single day we have the opportunity to awaken to level up and change the trajectory of our life. We can correct our misjudgments. We have the privilege of changing our path. We just have a right to do so!

Forgiveness

What? You didn’t know you have the right to not remain silent.  You must speak and demand your past to not control your life. You have permission to pluck those unwanted and unsightly deterrents to make room for you to see clearly and grow! You must leave those individuals behind that make you doubt yourself and have you believing that you will be defined by who you used to be! There is strength in your bones that will empower you to get right back up when you have failed. Don’t allow your past to get you messed up to the point where you can’t function. It’s time to operate out of excellence.

You might have an overflow of tears while celebrating how you overcame certain battles and situations. Let them lead you to a river of an abundance of happiness; not regret. Don’t allow the negative voice of others or the one creeping in your mind to tell you that you don’t belong where The Holy Spirit ordained you to be. I ain’t talking about the pulpit because we are not all meant to preach. However, we all have the power to teach through experience and life lessons.

God Forgives

Today, I don’t have any fluffy five steps to tell you how not to let your past get you messed up because you know I do from time to time. All I have are these words to encourage you. At this moment, I want to tell you that it is alright to live. Yep! Please let me stress to you that You are worthy! There’s a wholeness inside of you that makes this world complete by sharing your gifts, visions, and the brightness to warm this world when it seems a little cold! Go ahead love the person you are evolving into and shine!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

How I made it to 100! by Chellyz View

 

Sunglasses 100

How I made it to 100! by Chellyz View

Can you believe I made it to 100! Look, I know you are thinking I can’t believe she made it to 100. I am not talking about my age. Logically, you are thinking about numbers but on a level of momentum, I am talking about blog posts! I am so thankful, but let me be absolutely truthful. I DID NOT MAKE IT ALONE!!!  Getting to 100 had me feeling a range of emotions from happiness, loneliness, excitement, disappointment, anticipation, nervousness, jubilation, frustration, progress, procrastination, and achievement.

A Heart Full of Conversations started off with a small statement back in 2011. Initially, the blog was going to be called “Havin Sumthin 2 Say.”  My Sister DeAnn Jordan was standing at my cubicle during a break. I said, “I want to start a blog about Detroit.” Of course, she offered her encouragement and that was that. Then my other Sister LaTonja Degraffenreid-Smith continued to offer inspiration about moving forward with my goals and that was that.  My momma, Wanda Betty, and my aunt, Sherry Betty always told me to follow my dreams and that was that.  A few years later I remember attending an amazing Vision Board party hosted by the empowering Cherisa “Do You See” Allen. At the event, I sat next to one motivational lady by the name of Kallista.   I was telling her I wanted to start the blog and how I needed to change the name once again and went on and on. Finally, she said, “Give Birth to It.” Yes, that is exactly what I was going to do, but that was that.  So many visions, words of positivity, and time kept on passing me by.

By 2016, I interviewed Pamela Duvall, the owner of Detroit Vintage Coffee and Tea House. Voila, and that was that.  At one point, I even felt a little burned out.  However, the Burn Out Coach Latanya Riggs checked me and pushed a group of us to keep pursuing our dreams and that was that.  A year later after interviewing Ms. Duvall, I published my first blog post on January 31, 2017:  https://aheartfullofconversations.com/2017/02/01/detroit-vintage-coffee-and-tea-house-the-oasis-in-my-neighborhood/.  After releasing my first post I was ready to crank out the articles. And that was that!

Suddenly, it felt a little overwhelming keeping up the content and working full time. A team of dedicated souls helped this sister and I am forever grateful!!! I asked my two sistahs Tresa Simmons and Marquesha Brooks to join me on the journey.  Tresa contributed invigorating articles about Women’s Wellness until she moved to AZ. Now, she is living her best life, published a new book, and fulfilling her entrepreneurial goals. Marquesha continues to share everybody’s posts while contributing sports content. Then Boom COVID-19 put a halt to that! However, my favorite Home Skillet will be back with Klassy K’s Sports Korner soon. Well, Hopefully! She definitely knows how to break down the sports and keeps you laughing at the same time.

Awwwwwww, then my Big Brother Mr. Butch Ford joined the team in 2019. His clever style of taking lyrics from songs and applying them to his writing is pure talent. Ford’s posts are thought-provoking and witty.  I see an R and B Blog Platform in the immediate future!!!

Please, let me also graciously thank alllllllllllllllllllll the wonderful individuals who have contributed their talents and written a post, and those I have interviewed over the years!!!!  Also, thanks to the individuals who are featured on the blog’s YouTube Page: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCIlI7tJYvgXfeC3uvQxndFQ

My heart can’t thank each and every one of YOU enough!!!!!

Garden 100 pic

If you want to start a blog, make it happen. Remember, this walk is easier when you invite others to support you on the path. All I can say is I am thankful I made it to 100. Thank you to everyone who took the time to read, share, comment, and follow the page on Facebook and Instagram. It gets tough staying on the path to accomplishing my goals but I am doing so gracefully. I truly can’t tell you how long this platform will be around. For now, I will offer what I can for as long as the Holy Spirit allows. I’m so proud of myself. Best wishes to the bloggers who are trying or who have made it to 100. I wish you much success!!! And That is That!!!!

-Let your heart be full of new ventures that will lead you to the possibilities of limitless conversations!

Photo Credit:  The Super Hero aka My Son

Background:  Greening of Detroit /  Michigan Ave. and Shelby / Downtown Detroit

“What Time Is It?” by Butch Ford

The Time

“What Time Is It?” by Butch Ford

In 1981, Prince assembled an All-Star group of musicians…comprised of the baddest cats from the local Minneapolis music scene. Together they became arguably the funkiest band in the ’80s. But individually is where they made their historical mark as superstars of R&B. I’m talking about The Time.

Morris Day, was not only the lead man and zany persona but is also a world-class drummer (he played on all of The Time’s studio recordings). James “Jimmy Jam” Harris III and Terry Lewis are world-renowned super producers with countless platinum and gold records spanning nearly four decades. Jesse Johnson, the ultra-talented lead guitarist extraordinaire & producer who’s still dazzling audiences after 35 years, both home and abroad. Jerome Benton…funk/R&B’s most notable hype man, who’s the ying to Day’s yang and also the younger brother of Terry Lewis.

But the longest active members of the group who I refer to as the backbone are Garry “Jellybean” Johnson…drummer & Monte Moir…keyboards. Johnson has produced for Janet Jackson, New Edition, Nona Hendryx, and Alexander O’Neal. Plus has played lead guitar on some of Minneapolis’s funkiest tracks like, “Fishnet,” “Innocent,” “Criticize,” and “Black Cat.” Moir produced iconic R&B classics such as: “The Pleasure Principle” and “If You Were Here Tonight.” The talent speaks for itself.

Despite playing very few notes, if any at all on the group’s first three albums (other than Day), it’s “time” the fellas get their just due in the industry and R&B History. No other band has accomplished so much in separate incarnations as this super group we love and know as The Time. “Ain’t nobody bad…like them!”

Butch Ford

“We Reminisce Over You” by Butch Ford

thinking back

 

“We Reminisce Over You” by Butch Ford

The title of this entry was inspired by a 90’s hip hop classic from Pete Rock & C.L. Smooth.  The thought behind it are feelings of love, loss, gratitude and pride mixed with a little bit of selfishness and some sadness sprinkled in too.  We’ve all lost loved ones at some point in our lives and admittedly…it hurts.

I remember watching my grandmother beam with pride and joy.  She loved family; her mother, sisters, aunts & uncles, daughters and most assuredly her grandson(s).  Holiday gatherings and family get-togethers meant everything to her.  I would marvel at the outpouring of love displayed at these functions.  It’s difficult to put it into words.  It was just simply incredible.  Boy…I really miss those days.  And then…the unthinkable began to happen.  We started losing our older relatives slowly but surely.

Now we’re the grandparents, the great aunts & uncles, the matriarchs & patriarchs of our families.  But times have changed.  Things are very different now.  The world just ain’t the same anymore.  Don’t get me wrong…we’re all blessed to still be among the living, but it’s sad watching the day to day occurrences in these dark and scary times we live in.  We gotta stay prayed up and watch out for one another.  Hopefully better days are ahead.  As the song says, “A change gon come.”  We need a change…BAD!!!

Thinking back on how my grandmother loved on all of us…that smile, those hugs and the loving, nurturing words of encouragement…makes me wonder if she missed her parents, grandparents, great aunts & uncles as much as I miss her?  If she did, she didn’t show it.  But gauging the void in my heart…how could she not?  Her focus was obviously on everyone else’s happiness.

I still smile when I think of my grandmother’s strength and courage.  The way she held everything together was nothing less than amazing.  Her memory still lives on today.  Mainly because my mother stepped up in her absence and filled those shoes remarkably.  I’m just expressing myself, but I know there are others with similar stories, right?  The message today is simple.  It’s for our loved ones who have gone on to glory…to continue watching over us while we reminisce over you.

Butch

Two Headed Monsters by Butch Ford

the ojays

Two Headed Monsters by Butch Ford

As I sit here reminiscing about days long since passed (I’m just nostalgic that way). I began to hum a few classic oldies but goodies to myself, which brought about a debate I had with some friends a while ago.  The conversation was about…who we believed the greatest “One-Two Punch” in R&B history was.

The 70’s and 80’s brought about some undeniable timeless pieces…delivered by some of the most gifted & phenomenal singers.  And by “One-Two Punch” I mean a duo or tandem within a group or band that brought different flavors or elements to the music (within that unit) that we all grew to love.  The three choices that were mentioned most were: The O’Jays, The Whispers and Earth Wind & Fire.  Let’s settle this once and for all.

First was the O’Jays, with the sweet, smooth silkiness of Walter Williams, in direct contrast with the rugged, I didn’t come here to fuck around with y’all, begging & pleading delivery of Eddie Levert.  Great choice.  Next, was the identical twins Walter and Wallace (Scotty) Scott from The Whispers.  It was magical…almost mystical how they seamlessly and effortlessly dazzled us by swapping lines and alternating powerful individual lead parts with flawless, deceptive unison. Can’t argue that choice either.  Then there’s Earth Wind & Fire’s co-lead vocalists, the incomparable Maurice White (baritone) and the dynamic Philip Bailey (1st tenor) who provided another whirlwind “two headed monster” worthy of being crowned the greatest of all time, as well.  EWF’s genius touched our spirits and souls on some other level. Didn’t it?  To be honest, you can’t go wrong with either of these choices.  BUT WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE TANDEM???  And why?  Is it one of the groups mentioned above?  Or are we sleeping on some folks?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention The Hutchinson sisters, Wanda and Sheila of The Emotions; Bobby Smith and Phillipe Wynne of The Spinners; Ron Banks and LJ Reynolds of The Dramatics & Alfa Anderson and Luci Martin of Chic…who were all spectacular in their own right.  And if there’s anyone else I failed to mention, it’s probably because they had one primary lead vocalist during their run, which doesn’t qualify them as a tandem.  So…no shade intended towards anyone whatsoever.

But I’d like to know everyone else’s thoughts.  Who do you believe the greatest One-Two Punch in R&B History is?  Let’s have some fun with this.

 

Butch Ford

 

Mamba…Out! by Butch Ford

Kobe Bryant
Mamba…Out! by Butch Ford

Sunday January 26, 2020…A day we’ll all remember; where we were, what we were doing and how we felt upon hearing the devastating news of the helicopter accident that claimed the lives of Los Angeles Lakers’ Great Kobe Bryant, his 13 year old daughter, Gianna, her friend Alyssa, her parents John & Keri Altobelli and the pilot, in Calabasas, California.

I’d reserved my thoughts, feelings and comments until after I was able to process everything.  But as my timeline began to flood, my phone began to ring and my messages began to mount. I took time to reflect on my numerous memories and the unbelievable career accomplishments of the man nicknamed, The Black Mamba.  Kobe was an 18 time All-Star, a 5 time NBA Champion and the 2008 NBA Most Valuable Player. He entered the NBA as a teenager from Lower Merion High School (Pennsylvania) in 1996 and dazzled us for 20 incredible seasons.

Widely regarded as an All-Time NBA Great, Bryant leaves his wife Vanessa, three daughters, his parents, The NBA Fraternity and an entire world of fans to mourn his untimely demise.  The Altobelli’s were survived by a son and a daughter.  This was truly a sad day.  Let’s pray for healing, strength and courage for the families.  And let’s take better care of each other.  For none of us know the day, the hour or the time we’re gonna be called home.  God Bless Us All.

 

Butch

Drop that 0 and Find a HERO! by Klassy K

Drop that Zero

Drop that 0 and Find a HERO! by Klassy K

Home Skillets! In my Martin Lawrence voice, “What’s up, What’s up, Whaaaaat’s Up!” Well, I’ll tell you, absolutely nothing! University of Michigan got STOMPED by Alabama State University 16-35.  Yeah, I know it was like weeks ago, but I’m still trying to pick up my face. I went to church that Sunday, cause my soul could not believe that U of M lost that game. I even asked the choir to play that gospel song that would go well with the U of M game. Well, you guessed it, they played Kirk Franklin’s “Stomp.”  I’m still singing Kirk Franklin’s song, “Annie say, Stomp, granny say, Stomp, everybody say, Stomp.” Well, you guys get the picture.

University of Michigan ranks 14 currently 9-4.  Maybe they will get their redemption at a bowl or something because the Crimson was just Tide of them and beat them. If University of Michigan, Detroit Red Wings, Detroit Titans, Michigan State University and lastly the Detroit Pistons records were combined all together, we would be the greatest teams of all times. Well, a girl could dream.

Do you know what I think? It is time for a fresh start, the Detroit Pistons are 17-28 ranking 9th in the Eastern Conference.  So, let me break that down on how bad they are. If the Playoffs were this month, they wouldn’t even place. Only the top 8 team(s) from both Western and Eastern would qualify and they are slightly below. I watched this past game when the Pistons played the Sacramento Kings. They beat them. In my opinion, kind of looked like a practice game because the “Little” Caesars Arena had just that many fans in the stands. The owner should just randomly throw tickets around the state of Michigan.  He could have a special buy 5 tickets, get 10 tickets free, instead of just giving free tickets to charities, or giveaways and or calling previous people that have bought tickets and see if they would like to purchase tickets at a discounted price. Yes, true story, “someone” from the organization contacted me to offer me a package where I can get floor 100 section seats for the price of 200 section seats. They called me so much, I had to block their number. Now home skillet, I haven’t purchased tickets since they moved to the Little Caesars Arena.

Like I stated the Pistons played Sacramento Kings yesterday and beat them 106-127.  Now, the point leaders were Markieff Morris, Derrick Rose (you KNOW) and Christian Wood. Did you notice Reggie, Blake and Andre were not mentioned? You know why, because they didn’t play. Blake is injured and out for the WHOLE season. Yeah, the MILLION-dollar man! You know how much Billionaire Tom paid Blake and look at him nursing his knee in Punta Cana with his baby momma, sike! Naw, he is at his second home in Los Angeles watching Power and trying to find out “who shot GHOST”. Well, I’m only kidding. What do I know?

Well I’ll tell you what I do know is that next summer Andre Drummond will be a free agent. In case you may not know who he is, he is the dangly looking guy, tall, kind of janky that proudly wears the number “0” on his jersey. I am praying to God that the owners, managers, cheerleaders, concession stand, etc. do not re-sign him. Let him go, like the movie “Frozen.”  “Drop” him, like in the song by DJ Magic Mike! Well, you get the point. We need a HERO!  If you remembered a long time ago when I wrote my opinionated article about Blake Griffin, I thought he was going to be the Savior, but God said, “no not today or any other day.”  There can only be One David Ruff–, no Savior. I was having a flashback about the movie “The Temptations.”  Well, I hope Tom does not get tempted to re-sign number “0”, because we could sure use a HERO.

I don’t know what player(s) are going to be available for owners to sign for next year, but who wants to come here anyway? They should listen to T Baby’s, “It’s so cold in the D.” Maybe they need to watch the video because I’m sorry walking in the cemetery and seeing a homeless man on the floor is not going to be a deal-breaker.

Well, if you are still a believer in your Piston team, like you were with the Detroit Lions…..  Say what are they doing anyway? To be honest, they don’t even deserve to be mentioned in this article with their 3-12-1 ass! They couldn’t even win the last and final game. At least give the fans some hope for next year. Check out the Pistons on my hubby birthday, Friday, January 24, against the Grizzlies, or you can watch it on FSSE or Fox Sports Detroit. You can also check out your other favorite sports team:

Detroit Red Wings: https://www.nhl.com/redwings/schedule/2020-01-01/ET, Detroit Titans: https://detroittitans.com/index.aspx?path=mbball, Michigan State University: https://msu.edu, University of Michigan: https://mgoblue.com, or hell just Google!

Klassy K’s Sports Korner: A contributor writer for http://www.aheartfullofconversations.com

 

R & B Church by Butch Ford

Frankie Beverly

R & B Church by Butch Ford

Does the name Howard Beverly ring a bell?  Probably not.  Well…he’s a multi-instrumentalist, singer, writer and producer from Philadelphia, PA.  He started do-wapping (harmonizing) on the tough streets with friends and composing songs in the early 60’s.

Beverly later changed his name to Frankie after his favorite singer Frankie Lymon, formed a band called Raw Soul, moved to California with the hopes of making it big.  After a few years of playing small bars around town, Marvin Gaye sat in on a set one evening.  He saw potential in the band.  He took them under his wing, talked the group into changing their name and the magic began.

The newly christened Maze led by Frankie Beverly started creating a buzz in the urban markets.  We soon fell in love with the silky, soulful voice and hits such as, “Happy Feelings”, “Joy & Pain” and “Before I Let Go.”  1993 was the last year Maze released a studio album, but they continue to sell out everything from dinner clubs to 20,000 seat arenas.

If you’ve never had the honor or distinct pleasure to experience a live Maze concert…please do yourself a favor?  Frankie comes on stage to thunderous applause and from the opening number, the audience is on their feet.  Eyes are closed, arms are swaying left to right in unison and if you’re completely quiet and still for a few seconds it sounds like a mass choir.  The feeling is overwhelming.  It’s hard to put into words.  I refer to it as R&B Church.  It’s simply beautiful.

 

Butch Ford

 

A Wicked World by Butch Ford

 

 

 

danger

A Wicked World by Butch Ford

There have been several reports of some 64,000+ African American women currently missing in the United States.  Yet another problem that’s very troubling and disturbs me deeply.  I don’t even know where to begin.

I started hearing about human trafficking a few years ago but didn’t exactly know what to think of it all.  It took a while to process.  I couldn’t decipher if it was fallacy or some twisted form of reality.  And it continues to baffle me today.  After extensive research, I learned that it’s the kidnapping of our women for the illegal sex trade and the selling of human organs on the black market.

Evidently, people have been hired to snatch other human beings from public areas and use them for unspeakable acts.  Individuals are also being murdered and sold for their internal organs.  It’s a sick, satanic scheme for profit designed to bypass and flat out ignore the traditional organ donation process and donor transplant regulations.

As parents, educators, law enforcement and community leaders, WE MUST find a solution to this horrible epidemic.  We’re losing…and have lost countless loved ones at an alarming rate at the hands of these monsters.  And sadly, I’ve only seen and read about African Americans victimizing OUR OWN women!  The bigger question is…who are they working for?  Who’s behind this deviant criminal enterprise?

We must always be on guard. Traffickers have been reported being seen in school zones, outside of malls, around night clubs and even randomly in neighborhoods.  It’s our responsibility to protect our females and deter these awful crimes of occurring.  This is truly a wicked world we live in.

 

Butch Ford

 

Genocide by Butch Ford

burial-cemetery-countryside-cross-116909
Genocide by Butch Ford

Genocide is defined as “the deliberate killing of a large group of people.  Especially those of a particular ethnic group or nation.”

As I travel the highways and byways of this journey called life, I’m looking at things through a not-so-rosy set of lenses.  Maybe it has something to do with my growth and maturity, which have exceeded even my own expectations.  In fact, my attitude and thought process resemble my cantankerous grandfather’s Alfred L. Ford Sr., who went home to glory over 35 years ago.  I’ll speak more about him at another time.

But today I’d like to discuss some very disturbing facts about what’s going on in our community.  I’ll put this in question form…which means they are merely rhetorical and are designed to provoke thought.  Here are a few of the obvious truths:  Why are there liquor stores strategically placed on every corner in urban USA?  But not in the suburban neighborhoods.  With dispensaries popping up all over the place, does this mean that prospective employers will ignore positive drug tests now that recreational marijuana is legal?  Why are dollar stores selling below market value items and products that are of poor quality?

Now let’s look at some of the more subtle realities that I believe are designed to take us out, as well.  In the inner-city Quick Marts & Party Stores, why are the 2 for $1 snacks (Honey Buns, donuts, cupcakes, fruit pies) full of poisonous/toxic ingredients?  Just check the labels.  Why are “Flaming Hot” items and .25 candy NOT sold outside of the city?  Why were value menus created at Fast Food Establishments?  And what quality of food is being served?

Why are the parks and recreation centers closed?  Why were the extracurricular activities removed from schools?  Why are all media outlets geared towards drugs, violence and evil?  I’m not trying to stir up controversy.  I’m just curious as to why this is happening in my community.  It’s sad…and we’re all being cheated.  But why is that?  Is there a larger plan that we aren’t aware of?  I’d love to know.

 

Butch Ford