Category Archives: Spirituality

Final Resting Place… A call to protect and preserve, by Nisti K Delgroothe


Before my first cup of coffee this morning I decided to get a glimpse of local and national news.  In less than a minute I swallowed the room’s air in a quick, powerful gasp because of the first headline I read.

HISTORIC SLAVE CEMETERY BULLDOZED IN HOUSTON

The historic Bradshaw Cemetery in Houston, Texas was bulldozed without its owners consent and now the family is searching for answers.

I needed no more news,  only to find the answers my mind pulled for:

How could this happen? Is the cemetery visible?  Who are the owners? Why did this happen? Who is going to right this wrong?

Right the wrong.

Why would I care about someone righting a wrong at a cemetery?

A few years ago, my family buried my grandmother and in less than a year I buried my husband. My grandmother and late husband stood as a steel force in the inner circle of my life, offering wisdom, protection,  support… and joy.  I miss them dearly. Laying them to rest was one of the most trying times of my life.

There was an incident with my grandmother’s burial. I was horrified, fought for composure, and arranged my thoughts and words so that I might clearly articulate what my family needed from the cemetery to make it right. They did, and in laying my family members to rest I gained new insight and respect into laying a loved one to rest. Some of the most caring and kind people I’ve ever met work at the funeral homes and cemeteries that supported and served us.  They are needed, as this is not the time for nonsense or poor customer service.

Before my grandmother’s and late husband’s death, there weren’t a lot of funerals in my family. My dear daddy departed decades ago, and a few aunts, uncles, cousins, and family members of heart passed on, but it hasn’t seemed like there have been many funerals in my family. Even though my tears have salted cemetery grounds  I’ve never had a negative connotation about a cemetery. On the contrary, outside the throes of grief I find it a peaceful place to stroll, picking up wind blown urns and artificial flowers gone astray, thanking God for the lives and contributions of those who have come and gone, and remembering that my own life is too short for foolishness.

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A cemetery marks the fate of us all. The bodies resting there made contributions to this world–some quietly, others with a visible mark.  Many consider a cemetery a sacred place. From the beginning of Scripture to its end are references to burying your dead, and around the burial act there are many cultural customs.

A careless, accidental, or intentional act of destroying a cemetery or clearing its grounds should be addressed. By whom?

According to News92 FM Houston, ‘the Bradshaw Cemetery is clearly marked on Rand McNally maps.’

According to the Law Library of Congress, the Bradshaw Cemetery is most likely protected under United States Antiquities Act of 1906 and possibly under The Historical Sites Act of 1935, The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979,Texas State law, or by several of these bodies of law.

Someone needs to remind Jeremy Nellom, and the Nellom family about the laws that protect the cemetery. According to news reports, they are the owners of the cemetery. Jeremy’s grandma is buried there.

Furthermore, the Bradshaw Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it can be clearly found on the Texas Historical Commission map so the mishap–due to careless confirmation of details that led to a mistake, or intentional malice of a ruthless heart–is well covered by law,  a burial place in the eyes of God, and deserves to be righted its wrong.

If headstones were removed, they should be replaced. The grounds should be smoothed and restored. And, a  marker, approved by the family or the State should be erected notifying others that…

Bradshaw Cemetery is the final resting place of many who fought bravely for this country, the United States of America, and although they  were denied burial once,  their resting place will forevermore be preserved by the laws of the United States of America, the State of Texas, and the hearts of their ancestors and those grateful for their lives and service . ”

The words can differ, but the task at hand remains–right the wrong at Bradshaw Cemetery.

A call to protect and preserve burial grounds disturbed–an act of humble service~ Nisti K

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What are the Odds of 11-12-13? A “Guest” post by Nisti K Delgroothe


The  other day, my friend informed me that 11/12/2013 was a few days away. Honestly, I hadn’t thought about the date until then, but when she told me I wanted to do something memorable. I instantly said, ‘Hey! Wouldn’t it be cool if I finished my memoir?’ We agreed it would!  But, being a realist I accepted the truth and told my friend that finishing it was an improbability. Now that I think about it, we discussed this all while finishing the photo for the memoir’s cover! Backwards?!

Anyway, this morning I woke up, checked the time and noticed the date. I then began to wonder: What are the odds? I began a quick Google search, but didn’t quickly find the answer and decided it might be more fun to play with the odds than to record them. So, here I go with the flow: 11-12-13…14!

14? Yes!

I have no idea what the odds are of 11-12-13 occurring on our calendar, but I do know it is a rare occasion in the 21st century. These mathematical occurrences don’t happen often and are spaced many years apart. So, here are a few fun ideas on how you can enjoy a rare day!

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14 things you can do on 11-12-13

  • Spend 14 minutes giving God thanks for specific things or people in your life and reading Scripture.
  • Send 14 friends or family you haven’t talked to in awhile an email or text to let them know you love and appreciate them.
  • Spend 14 minutes indulging in a book you just haven’t had the chance to read. This can be family read out loud time!
  • Allow yourself 14 little treats–or 1/4 cup.
  • If you have kids, tell them THEY are going to be able to make a family decision. Announce that you’ll all have 14 uninterrupted minutes of family fun time. NO CELL PHONES, COMPUTERS, OR TEXTING ALLOWED! Give them 14 minutes to decide, then GO with it!
  • Take a 14 minute walk.
  • Spend 14 minutes indulging in a hobby you haven’t had a chance to enjoy!
  • Exercise for 14 minutes.
  • Do 14 NON selfish gestures for others. Keep count! Open a door, let someone get in line in front of you,…
  • Set a timer for 14 minutes and do some Fall Cleaning!
  • Set a timer for 14 minutes and clean out that drawer or closet you’ve been wanting to get too.
  • Call an older person and check on them. I don’t dare say 14 minutes.
  • Sing your favorite, most uplifting songs for 14 minutes straight!
  • Donate $14 to disaster relief in the Phillipines, or a hunger relief program that serves the US and/or overseas.
  • Spend 14 minutes writing a fun list of 14 things you’d like to do today! (Okay, that’s 15 items! I know! Couldn’t resist!)

Ooops! My timer just went off. Yep, you guessed it! It was for set for 14 minutes! I kinda went over…but before I go, please note that many of these items can be a family event or something you enjoy with friends! If you go over the time limit, stay in the moment, you are probably enjoying yourself! Whatever you choose to do, have fun with 11-12-13!   If you’ve liked this post and some of the tips, check out my Nisti K News page on Facebook. If you like it, please “LIKE” it! My goal was to help 14 people have a little more love in their day! Hope I succeeded! If I did, please let me know!~Nisti K

http://www.facebook.com/NistiKNews!

By the way, although I can’t finish the memoir by midnight tonight, this post has been listed as an official Nisti K Delgroothe Mission–#11-12-13-14. That’s a good mission for today!

The Matter of Doubt–State of Florida vs. Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin’s death.


Last night I sat, unable to think about sleep, wondering what God will do in this matter, grieving over a young life senslessly ended by a grown man’s dreadful choice, and remembering my mother’s words to me long ago in my younger days,’Baby, sometimes life is not  fair’.

And today, life seems so unfair because of doubt. Doubt.

I remember when my hands were tied as a juror because of doubt. Everything pointed toward the guy’s guilt, but there was one thread of evidence left empty.  One thread that would have tied it all together. My eyes scanned our juror’s governing document –a description of our role and responsibility–and it was ironclad. I did not doubt my obligation or what was left for me to do in this case. Doubt.  After the trial, the  jury foreman and I knew it was our duty to talk to the Prosecutor. If only she would have provided the security tape they had referred to, the tape they had seen, the tape they kept from all of us as evidence! If only we would have seen it too,…no doubt…no doubt…because we were on the edge of decision. There would have been no doubt.

‘Why didn’t you provide the security video?’ we asked the Prosecutor.

She shrugged.  We fumed. And as we walked to our cars in the wee hours of the morning, having been there all day and night, it seemed the most unjust act had just been witnessed–her shrug. Time wasted, money wasted, and our sense of justice and duty was greeted with a careless shrug. The guy walked. Doubt.

Doubt, a critical part of our justice system that is the bridge between being held accountable for one’s own behavior and walking away from a situation in which your bad, malicious, ill-timed, or unfortunate decision created a loss of some kind–the consequence.

Doubt.

George Zimmerman was active in his comunity’s crimewatch program. I do that.

George Zimmerman judged activity as being suspicious. I have done that.

George Zimmerman chose to pass character and behavior judgment on another human being unknown to him. Have any of us done that?  Excerpts from his call… (click here for the 911 call)

‘This guy looks like he’s up to no good or on drugs or something,’ Zimmerman says.

(It was dark and raining, according to reports.)

‘These a*******  always get away’

A*******???

Doubt.

George Zimmerman chose to wear a gun.

George Zimmerman chose to call the police.

George Zimmerman chose to follow a ‘kid’ who was running in the rain on a dark night. An unknown kid, a neighbor, that he had already judged at least twice.

‘Are you following him?’

‘Yeah,’ Zimmerman admits.

‘We don’t need you to do that,’ the male police dispatcher said.

Doubt?

Was that George Zimmerman’s last opportunity to make the choice to return to his car? Was  it  Trayvon Martin’s last chance to continue his run to his home which was located near the shooting?

Doubt?

And there were two unaccounted minutes, known only to George Zimmerrman and God.

Doubt!

A teenaged child made decisions. A grown man made decisions. The child, Trayvon Martin, now rests in a grave. May his parents and loved ones be comforted and may he rest in peace.

Doubt.

Doubt is created when the heart and mind of an individual is unable to TOTALLY trust what is before them. Personal experiences and knowledge–true or false– filter information. Fear , suspicion, trust and mistrust are factors. (Read any definition of doubt.) In a court of law, reasonable doubt is created when moral certainty is lacking. Certainty and doubt–individual and personal conclusions which can waver and vary– are a part of our justice system. A big part.

Note to the wise: Remind yourself of choices and consequences. Teach your children about  choices and consequences. Have a discussion about the significance of doubt–in life and in our court system. 

In court, doubt doesn’t always result in freedom. Sometimes innocence is doubted. Google “Innocent man freed” and see if you agree. Where was doubt for them? Misplaced.

It is with the heart and mind that we doubt; it is with heart and mind that we judge; and it is with heart and mind that we interact with one another. And, it is my hope and prayer that those who read these words, and those grieve for justice in the death of this child will with heart and mind realize that true justice reigns in hands much greater than our own–the hands of a Sovereign and Mighty God.

I believe in God through faith, and further believe without doubt that God and Christ Jesus know our hearts, where we must grow and how and what we must turn from to be more just toward one another. THIS is OUR accountability–our own hearts and minds. We start the course of more just treatment toward one another by remembering our OWN accountability and then, perhaps, we will see the EXACT POINT at which we should stand to seek  and demand justice for another.

In that, I believe without doubt.

The skies on 7/13/13.
The skies on 7/13/13.

Yesterday, long before the verdict, the rays of the sun drew my attention. Today, the image reminds me to keep my eyes to the heavens when things don’t seem fair or just. God’s glory is there, and just as he changes the details of the day to day skies, He is at work in our life and world, bringing truth, justice, and love. The sun’s rays returned me to the Scripture about the heavens (Psalm 19:1), and the subsequent verses of  Psalm 19  reminded me that justice begins in me.

Solar flare– July 14, 2012. Images of the early morning skies.


The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

~Psalm 19:1  The Holy Bible

(Click post title to access page and photo slideshow of happenings in the skies during the solar flare)

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Statuesque in a storm


Long ago, I noticed a figurine—a young woman smelling a flower while perched upon a rock. A butterfly rested in her hand. The expression on her face seemed pleasant and peaceful, as if she might be daydreaming.

Something about that make-believe setting nudged me. I wasn’t (and still am not) the knickknack collecting type. To my surprise I was compelled to pick it up and study it. It wasn’t a Lladro. In fact, it was more like a mass-produced plastic piece, and cheap. No fine details and uneven paint lines. It wasn’t anything to be excited about, yet the sight of it was profound.

YOU need to look more like that! At peace!

It was a time in my life when I wanted a mate, but didn’t have one.  It was also a time when business deals weren’t going as I had hoped and health challenges were starting to rise up—nothing major, but enough to be pesky. It was a time when other things were not going as I had planned, leaving me rattled more than calm. 

I couldn’t leave the figurine on the shelf. The price was right and the message was perfect—peace. I placed “her” on my shelf at home and rested a message at her feet: “Waiting on the Lord…” 

I don’t remember why I wrote that message. I wish I could say it was because I was strong in my faith, but I don’t think I was very strong in my faith at all. I think I had simply resigned to the fact that if a planner can’t always “make things happen” perhaps it is a greater power …and that could only be God!

I took the mindset of learning, watching, and trying to get comfortable with waiting.

Sometimes I read the figurine’s message in passing, “Waiting on the Lord…”,  and then there were times I had to study the make-believe setting and ask myself,

 “Why am I not at peace like this?”

I would meet people who resembled my figurine—gentle curves of the face with few worry lines and unhurried in their disposition—and I was amazed by how they were very productive and sometimes had fewer resources than me.

Why don’t they seem wound up? How could they be doing so much? How?

I studied Holy Scriptures and found many clues about why I still struggled. I definitely wasn’t eagerly or quietly waiting for the Lord, nor had I left room in my plans for  Him to step in. 

“Umm…Did you notice the opportunity is over at 4:00pm, Lord?”

I still jumped the gun or dragged my feet too slowly—both caused more friction and anxiety. It finally entered my heart to turn Bible pages and read what God says about waiting on Him. In doing so…I began to find more peace!

There are over 20 Bible passages that teach us about waiting on God.

 It is difficult to explain how it happened, but I began to learn how to slow down, speed up, and …wait! I also realized that His plans were always bigger than mine (if He decided something should even come to pass).

Now, it doesn’t mean I don’t get rattled, but I do make myself  smell the flowers, appreciate nature, go about the work that I know I must do and then sit, rest, and wait.  My training (I am still learning) has moved up a notch and I am getting lessons on enduring and waiting through tough times. Not times mistaken as tough, but tough times.

Now, when I wait on news that could change my life my thoughts sometimes turn back to my figurine.  I am not sure where she rests—in a box or tucked away on a shelf–but I know it is because of God’s work in me that I no longer need her visible. He has made me more peaceful like the make-believe setting I had imagined. I have even gotten better at waiting with a friend.

When life’s uncertainties result in too many anxious moments, check your desire for peace. Sometimes we need to consult God’s word and see where we’re falling short—temperament, attitude, issues with control and maybe even doubt.  You might not need a figurine as a reminder; maybe you can picture the level of peace you’d like to reach. 

Only my friends can say whether they see me resting like the woman on my figurine. As for me, I think I have become a bit more statuesque…even in a storm.

Thanks be to God!