February 8, 2012

In Recognition of Black History Month....

I have been posting daily, on Facebook, African Americans who have positively impacted history. Since I am a bit of a "NASA Nerd", this week I decided to profile African Americans who have made contributions to NASA and space exploration.

Here are three (3) African American women who have traveled into space. I will profile the men in another blog later this month.

Dr. Mae Jemison.  Dr. Jemison made history on September 12, 1992 when she became the 1st African American female to fly in space. Dr. Jemison was born October 17, 1956, in Decatur, Alabama. Dr. Jemison received a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering (as well as completing the requirements for a B.A. in African and Afro-American Studies) from Stanford University in 1977 and earned her doctorate degree in medicine from Cornell University in 1981. Dr. Jemison speaks four languages: English, Russian, Swahili, and Japanese. Dr. Jemison was selected for the astronaut program in June 1987. Dr. Jemison was the science mission specialist on Endeavour (September 12-20, 1992). Dr. Jemison was a co-investigator on the bone cell research experiment, conducted during this mission. The experiments were to learn the effects of micro-gravity on human cells. In completing her first space flight, Dr. Jemison logged 190 hours, 30 minutes, 23 seconds in space.

Stephanie Wilson. Stephanie was the 2nd African American woman in space (after Dr. Mae Jemison). Wilson was born on September 27, 1966 in Boston, MA. Wilson received her received a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering science from Harvard University in 1988. In 1992, Wilson earned a Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering from the University of Texas. Wilson was selected by NASA, for the astronaut program, in 1996. Wilson completed three space flights, as a Mission Specialist, aboard Space Shuttle Discovery (July 4 to 17, 2006, October 23 to November 7, 2007, & April 5 to April 20, 2010). During all three of her space flights, Wilson was responsible for robotic arm operations and supporting the astronauts assigned to complete EVAs (Extra-vehicular activity aka spacewalks).  Wilson operated the robotic arm which was used to continue assembly of the International Space Station. Wilson has logged more than 42 days in space. Prior to her space flights, Wilson worked in the Astronaut Office Shuttle Operations Branch, some of her duties involved working with the space shuttle main engines, external tank, and solid rocket boosters. To read Wilson's full NASA  bio, go to http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/wilson.html.

Joan Higginbotham. Higginbotham was the 3rd African American woman in space (after Dr. Mae Jemison the 1st & Stephanie Wilson the 2nd). Higginbotham was born August 3, 1964 in Chicago, Illinois. Higginbotham received a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale in 1987. She has two master’s degrees, one in Management from Florida Institute of Technology (1992) and the other in Space Systems from Florida Institute of Technology (1996). Higginbotham was selected as an astronaut candidate by NASA in April 1996. Prior to her space flight, Higginbotham worked in various areas, as an Engineer, supporting shuttle launches. Higginbotham’s 1st and only space flight was as a mission specialist aboard Space Shuttle Discovery, where she was one of two African American crew members. This mission lasted from December 9-22, 2006.  Higginbotham’s primary duty was to operate the Space Station Remote Manipulator System (SSRMS) and continue construction of the International Space Station. Higginbotham logged over 308 hours in space.  Higginbotham was assigned to the STS-126 mission targeted for launch in September, 2008; however, Higginbotham retired from NASA prior to this mission. To read Higginbotham's full NASA bio, go to http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/Bios/htmlbios/higginbo.html.

February 1, 2012

In Memory of Space Shuttle Columbia

February 1, 2003...it was a beautiful, sunny Saturday morning. The skies were blue and the temperature was mild. I'd just finished my morning workout and had taken a shower. As I dressed and prepared for the day, I turned on the TV. As the TV came on, I remembered that space shuttle Columbia was due to land that day. I quickly began searching for the TV channel that would be showing the landing live. After Columbia was safely on the ground, I'd planned to set out for the day in search of a new apartment.

My excitement turned to concern when I noticed that numerous channels were reporting that mission control had lost contact with Columbia. Then I recalled reading something awhile back which stated there is a certain point, during the shuttle's re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere, where mission control has no contact for a minute or so. I continued getting dressed and planning my day as the news reports continued. At some point, my concern turned to worry when the new reports stated that mission control had been out of contact with the shuttle for over 15 minutes at this point. I said a quick prayer and began cleaning up before leaving. But 15 minutes turned into 20 minutes, then 30 minutes...Columbia still had not landed. At this point, the housework had stopped and I was glued to the TV but still thinking (and probably trying to convince myself) "ahh all is well, the communication system is probably not working." Surely there is not going to be another shuttle disaster......

Sometime between 9:30am and 10m, the TV proved me to be wrong as they showed a trail of what was space shuttle Columbia, streaking across the Texas sky. Sad and in disbelief, I remember calling my mother and saying "we lost another one".  Just then, my aunt who lives in Georgia called me. She asked me if I was at home and if I was safe, I said "yes". She asked me if I'd heard the news about Columbia, I told her I was watching it at that very moment.  I recall her begging me to stay inside, for fear I'd be in the path of falling debris. I assured her all was well where I was.

I went out that day in search of a new apartment....but with a heavy heart knowing that 7 astronauts lives had just ended. I felt much like I did when I was a 15-year old sophomore in high school, sitting in Biology class....and hearing the news that Challenger had exploded.

Later that day, I was reminded of how diverse the Columbia crew was, much like Challenger's crew. Michael Anderson was African American, Ilan Ramon was the 1st Israeli Astronaut, Kalpana Chalwa was from India.

February 1, 2012, 9 years later.....Columbia crew, we salute you, we thank you, we admire you, we will never forget you. God bless you.

                                                          Space Shuttle Columbia Crew
From left to right (back row): David Brown, Laurel Clark, Michael Anderson, Ilan Ramon
From left to right (front row): Rick Husband, Kalpana Chalwa, William McCool

                                            Columbia Crew posing for a photo while in space.

Columbia blasting off on January 16, 2003

                                                       Space Shuttle Columbia Insignia

January 28, 2012

In Memory of the Challenger 7......26 years later

January 28, 1986.....I was a 15-year-old high school student and I was in my 5th period class, Biology. I remember looking at the clock. It was 11:30am. I thought to myself, "Challenger has surely blasted off by now and they are in space.....I guess everything worked out this time." I remembered the news reports from days prior and all the launch delays Challenger had been through. As I returned to the class assignment, which was on my desk, I had 1 last thought. I thought about how diverse the "Challenger 7" crew were. Ronald McNair was African American, Judith Resnik was of the Jewish religion, Greg Jarvis was born in my hometown of Detroit, MI, Ellison Onizuka was from Hawaii, and of course, Christa McAuliffe, the Teacher from New Hampshire who captured everyone's heart. I recalled thinking "I can't wait to get home and watch re-runs of the launch on tv while I do my homework."

About 11:45am, give or take a few minutes, I heard PA system turn on over the speaker in the classroom. At that moment, my heart sunk and something in my spirit told me "uh oh.....Challenger....something has gone wrong." A few seconds later, the Principal interrupted class (over the PA system) and delivered the devastating and horrible news. The Principal said "We have received news that space shuttle Challenger has exploded in flight...please pray for the 7 astronauts and their families." He confirmed what my spirit had already told me seconds before. I prayed, as the Principal had instructed, but remember feeling so sad the rest of the day.

When I got home that afternoon, I was glued to the tv. I watched, over and over and over and over Challenger blasting off. And the last words from Commander Dick Scobee "Roger, go at throttle up."

26 years later, I still remember that day very clearly.  So today, January 28, 2012, I write this blog as a tribute, a thank you, a memory, and a "God Bless You Challenger 7."  Rest in peace my friends. You are not forgotten.......

The Space Shuttle Challenger Crew

Back row (L-R): Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik.
Front row (L-R): Michael J. Smith, Francis "Dick" Scobee, Ronald McNair.

Space Shuttle Challenger taking off on January 28, 1986

Mission insignia (this patch is sewn onto the crew's launch and entry suits)

January 22, 2012

What is a Tabret?

Tabrets.....you've seen them in worship dance. In my study of this instrument for worship, this is what the Lord shared with me. 

Ezekiel 28:13 “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of the tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou was created.” -----The Lord himself created the tabret to be worshipped with.

A tabret is also referred to as a timbrel or tambourine. A timbrel was an instrument shaped like a circle and ringed with brass pieces, resembling a tambourine. A tabret is a small tabor. A tabor is a drum with a frame of two hoops with cloth or fabric stretched within.

Tabrets are symbolic for the original tabor/timbrel. Tabrets have two hoops for a frame with fabric stretched within. A glory or praise hoop is the same as a tabret, without the fabric stretched within.

Tabrets or timbrels are used in liturgical dance for celebration, praise, rejoicing, warfare, worship, and pageantry. In pageantry, tabrets are beautiful when combined with flags and billows. Tabrets or timbrels can be used to give a visual representation of the song being ministered. For example, if a song about the fire of God is being ministered, a tabret with fire colors (red, gold, orange) could be used as a visual representation of fire. If a song is being ministered about rain, blue and silver colors could be used as a visual representation of rain falling. If a warfare song is being ministered, a tabret with fire colors with camoflauge fabric within, will give a visual representation of warfare.

Scripture references:

Exodus 15: 20 “And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the woman went out after her with timbrels and with dances.”

Judges 11:34 “And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter.”

1 Samuel 10:5 “After that thou shalt come to the hill of God, where is the garrison of the Philistines: and it shall come to pass, when thou art come thither to the city, that thou shalt meet a company of prophets coming down from the high place with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp, before them; and they shall prophesy.”

2 Samuel 6: 5 “And David and all the house of Israel played before the Lord on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals.”

1 Chronicles 13:8 “And David and all Israel played before God with all their might, and with singing, and with harps, and with psalteries, and with timbrels, and with cymbals, and with trumpets.”

Job 21: 12 “They take the timbrel and harp, and rejoice at the sound of the organ.”

Psalm 68: 25 “The singers went before, the players on instruments, followed after; among them were the damsels playing with timbrels.”

Psalm 149: 3 “Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.”

Psalm 150:4 “Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.”

Isaiah 24: 8 “The mirth of tabrets ceaseth, the noise of them that rejoice endeth, the joy of the harp ceaseth.” (mirth of tabrets means gaiety or happiness of tambourines).

Isaiah 30:32 “And in every place where the grounded staff shall pass, which the Lord shall lay upon him, it shall be with tabrets and harps: and in battles of shaking will he fight with it.”

Jeremiah 31: 4 “Again I will build thee, and thou shalt be built, O virgin of Israel: thou shalt again be adorned with thy tabrets, and shalt go forth in the dances of them that make merry.”

Here are some photos of tabrets that are on clearance; I will be adding more. Shipping is a flat rate of $2.00 at this time (normal shipping is $5.00). There are 1 of each in stock and ready for immediate shipment. Please email all purchase inquiries to me at kathy@footofthecrossministries.com. God bless.

                  I Told the Storm $12.00
                 (original price $15.00)

          Transformation   $15.00
         (original price $18.00)


January 2, 2012

It's 2012....Moving Forward

WOW! I can't believe that it has been a year since I've written a blog. That is a goal for 2012....to blog more often.

Here are some highlights from my 2011. I was privileged to teach at a dance conference on the topic of tabrets and glory hoops. This was my 1st time teaching at a conference. I enjoyed this experience and thank God for the opportunity and for his guidance. Here are a few photos of me teaching.

"Your feet are weapons...you stomp
on the devil's neck when you dance"                                       Teaching about tabrets

I also ministered in dance at the conference to the song "Holy Spirit Rain Down" sung by Alvin Slaughter.
I traveled a little in the summer of 2011. I went to Washington, D.C. to visit my sister. I'd never been to our Nation's Capital.   I was able to take my mother on a belated 60th birthday cruise, we cruised to Cozumel. And I welcomed a new niece into the family....born 3 days before my birthday.
Me and my mommy getting ready to sail away!
Me with the White House in the background
One big accomplishment was re-learning to sew. Thanks to my Gran Gran (God rest her beautiful soul), who paid for sewing lessons when I was in 6th grade. With God, I've been making my own worship dance garments!!!! This has been a dream/goal of mine for awhile. I have been amazed at what God has pulled out of me. I don't take any of the credit........
This garment is named Daughter of Adonai. It is a mixture of purple and pink. Biblically, purple means royalty.
This garment (below) is named Jesus, My Beloved. My friend Poetry Dancer from Facebook sent me this beautiful fabric. I also made the blue pants and top. I made them in white then dyed them light blue to match the garment.    

The latest and greatest news is that I have been given permission to begin a Children's Dance Ministry at my church. It has been on my heart for a long time and I finally discussed it with the Senior Pastor and the Children's Pastors. They were overjoyed and are supporting the ministry 100%. I'm excited!! Keep me in prayer please. God knew what he was doing when he blessed me with a sewing machine....I can't wait to begin sewing garments for the ministry and imparting to the children. God has already blessed the ministry with white garments....8 dresses that I was able to purchase for $8.00 each. 

2012 is upon us....and as the song by Israel Houghton goes..."moving, moving forward". God bless!!