U.S. Army Col. Andrew S. Rendon, commander of 185th Aviation Brigade and Exercise Director of Southern Strike 2022, participates in an interview at Gulfport Combat Readiness Training Center, Gulfport, Mississippi, April 22, 2022. Southern Strike 2022 is a large-scale, joint multinational combat exercise hosted by the Mississippi National Guard that provides tactical level training for the full spectrum of conflict. (U.S. Army National Guard video by Sgt. Taylor Cleveland)
The Blood of Jesus (also known as The Glory Road) is a 1941 American fantasy drama race film written, directed by, and starring Spencer Williams. The plot concerns a Baptist woman who is sent to a crossroads after being accidentally shot by her atheist husband, where Satan tries to lead her astray.
The film was very successful and, in 1991, was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress, being deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.”
In a small rural village with an African American population, a church group holds a riverside baptismal service. One of the faithful being immersed is the recently married Martha (Cathryn Caviness). However, Martha’s husband Ras (Spencer Williams) is absent from the service – he claims he was hunting, but he poached a neighbor’s boar. At home, Ras accidentally shoots Martha when his rifle drops on the floor and discharges. The church congregation gathers at Martha’s bedside to pray for her recovery, and during this period, an angel (Rogenia Goldthwaite) arrives to take Martha’s spirit from her body. She is brought to the Crossroads between Heaven and Hell, and initially, she is tempted by the slick Judas Green (Frank H. McClennan), who is an agent for Satan (James B. Jones). Judas takes Martha to a nightclub, where the floor show includes an acrobat and a jazz singer. Judas arranges to have Martha employed by the roadhouse owner Rufus Brown, but the angel returns and advises Martha to flee. As she is escaping, a nightclub patron mistakenly believes Martha is a pickpocket who robbed him. A chase ensues, and Martha races back to the Crossroads between Hell and Zion, where Satan (along with a jazz band on a flatbed truck) is waiting for her arrival. The voice of Jesus Christ challenges the mob who go away. The sign at the Crossroad is transformed into the vision of Jesus Christ being crucified, and Christ’s blood drips down on Martha’s face. She awakens to discover she is home and her health is restored. Martha is reunited with her husband, who has now embraced religion. The angel who took Martha on her journey returns to bless the marriage.
Cathryn Caviness as Sister Martha Ann Jackson
Spencer Williams as Ras Jackson
Juanita Riley as Sister Jenkins
Reather Hardeman as Sister Ellerby
Rogenia Goldthwaite as The Angel
James B. Jones as Satan
Frank H. McClennan as Judas Green
Eddie DeBase as Rufus Brown
Alva Fuller as Luke Williams
Samuel Lee Ellison Jr as Gambler
The Blood of Jesus was the second film directed by Spencer Williams, one of the few African American directors active in the 1940s. The Blood of Jesus was produced in Texas on a budget of US$5,000. To present the afterlife, Williams used scenes from a 1911 Italian film called L’Inferno that depicted souls entering Heaven. In addition to Williams, the cast was made up of amateur actors and members of Reverend R. L. Robinson’s Heavenly Choir, who sang the film’s gospel music score.
The film’s soundtrack includes a variety of spirituals and hymns. All songs arranged by Henry Thacker Burleigh, unless otherwise noted, and performed by R.L. Robertson and The Heavenly Choir.
“Good News” (Traditional)
“Go Down Moses” (Traditional)
“Heav’n, Heav’n” (Traditional)
“On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand” (Music: M. Durham; Lyrics: Samuel Stennett)
“Amazing Grace” (Music: Traditional, arranged: William Walker; lyrics: John Newton)
“Run, Child, Run” (Traditional spiritual)
“Were You There (When They Crucified My Lord)” (Traditional)
“Swing Low, Sweet Chariot” (Writer: Wallis Willis)
“Old Time Religion” (Traditional spiritual)
“I’ve Heard of a City Called Heaven” (Spiritual)
“Weary Blues” (Music: Artie Matthews) – Gussie Smith.
Release and critical appraisal
The Blood of Jesus was screened in cinemas and black churches. The film’s commercial success enabled Williams to direct and write additional feature films for Sack Amusement Enterprises, including two with religious themes: Brother Martin: Servant of Jesus (1942) and Go Down Death (1944).
For years, The Blood of Jesus was considered a lost film until prints were discovered in the mid-1980s in a warehouse in Tyler, Texas.
Critical appraisal of The Blood of Jesus has been positive, with Dave Kehr of The New York Times calling the film “magnificent” and J. Hoberman of The Village Voice stating it is “a masterpiece of folk cinema that has scarcely lost its power to astonish.” Time magazine counted it among its “25 Most Important Films on Race.” In his book Black Film as Genre, Historian Thomas Cripps praised The Blood of Jesus for providing a “brief anatomy of Southern Baptist folk theology by presenting Christian myth in literal terms. From its opening voiceover, the film became an advocate for the most enduring traditions of Afro-American family life on Southern ground.”
Filmmaker Julie Dash cited the baptismal sequence in The Blood of Jesus as the inspiration for a similar scene from her 1991 feature film Daughters of the Dust. In 1991, The Blood of Jesus became the first race film to be added to the U.S. National Film Registry.
Let’s allow the natural Love for ourselves to be expressed, it is important to have genuine connections with others so that we can get the things we need and help others, but it is equally important to connect with yourself.
Then, Love can reveal its beauty in all ways throughout each day.
Let’s take the very first action in self-love RIGHT NOW.
We are utilizing our ability to breathe at will in all different ways.
Our breath has been there literally our entire lives, changing as needed to the demand of compelling circumstances and flowing effortlessly when we are resting.
Taking multiple full and deep breaths every day is proven to change our bodies and minds for the better.
Great, so take in 5 full and deep breaths with me, holding it for a moment at the top and naturally exhaling, never pushing out your breath.
One inhale nice a big breath, expanding your belly and lungs as much as you can…. Hold it….and exhale gently with relief.
Two inhaling fresh oxygen that will be supplied to your bloodstream…. holding it to soak it in….and exhaling without any effort.
Three inhale, feeling rejuvenated and invigorated by this breathing…. hold it….and exhale quickly.
Four inhale, noticing how breathing comes naturally to you…. pausing to soak it in….and exhale any tension or worry.
And Five inhaling fully is an act of self-love…. pausing to feel this Love….and exhaling into complete relaxation. And allow your breath to flow at a pace without any effort from you now…
Good, by doing this, you prove you are capable of self-love.
Deep breathing increases the oxygen supply to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, sometimes referred to as the ‘rest and digest system.
By breathing deeply and often, you command your body to rest, relaxing and rejuvenating you.
This is self-love in its simplest form that anyone can do at any time of the day.
Now let’s honor ourselves by relaxing the mind even further. Notice now how your thoughts are rising in your mind, one after the other.
See them come and see them go. Some thoughts linger for some time, and some only come for a split second.
If you can focus, you will notice even smaller thoughts, such as describing the world around you or labeling the things in your surroundings.
Let your hearing become super alert now, and try to focus on some sounds around you. Maybe you can hear the sound of your breath……
Can you hear nature nearby?…… Or perhaps cars passing by…. or people talking with each other…. go from sound to sound, focusing on only one at a time….
Now stop focusing on any sound in particular and allow all of the noises around you to come in equally, and when you hear them, they almost act as tiny waves of relaxation, calming your mind…..
now, if you could stretch your senses even further, perhaps you can become aware of the silence between the sounds, or as I like to call it, “the canvas of the sounds.”
This is the invisible fabric that sound lays upon and travels along. Just become aware of the silence in between the sounds now.
Good…Your mind relaxes when you activate your senses on command.
Humans have the unique ability to visualize, which allows for creating all kinds. So, let’s use the power of your excellent visualization abilities to induce self-love.
Make sure your eyes are closed and begin to imagine yourself full of an abundance of self-love.
See yourself now, choosing healthy foods and cooking at home, so you know all of the ingredients you are putting into your body.
Vividly see yourself eating well. When you eat well, see yourself enjoy these moments, and you feel the nutrition these choices bring you…
Imagine now you have a strong will to avoid junk foods and unhealthy drinks. See yourself confidently saying no to all these things; you feel very proud now when you avoid eating something harmful…… perfect.
Eating healthy is an essential component of self-love. Visualize yourself now, entirely at peace.
You can imagine yourself in a place you love, making you feel peaceful. Perhaps on the beach, in a forest, or snuggled up in your room.
Whatever brings you comfort, vividly see yourself in this place right now, and allow these feelings of peace and tranquility to arise in your body. The more details you can add to this image, the better.
See the colors brightly…. feel the sensations of your surroundings…. notice how you look here, what kind of expressions are on your face….
Be here in this place of complete peace for a few moments longer.
Good. Another form of self-love is observing your mental chatter.
To have great self-love, you must expand the good things you feel about yourself and challenge any negative thoughts as soon as they arise.
So, hear yourself saying, “When I fully love myself, I can fully love others.
There is a great stillness that comes when I meditate. Each day, I allow my Love for myself to grow more and more.
I honor myself by allowing peace to rise in me. Deciding to love me unconditionally, no matter what happens, feels lovely.
I get to know myself fully when I use mindfulness techniques. My self-esteem grows along with my self-love. I love and accept everything about myself; I find peace by using my imagination. Today, I love myself even more than yesterday.
Genuinely loving myself brings me peace. The more I love myself, the better my entire health. I love every moment of my existence. Every part of me that makes me who I am is encompassed with Love.
I have unconditional Love within me that overflows in abundance to those around me.”
Great! Now gently open your eyes, take a fresh breath, and know that whenever you Love yourself, you will find Love.
Straightforward white bread recipe for Breadmaker (if you’re clever, you can adapt it for
the oven!) Whole wheat flour could be substituted. Initially, this was a medieval Tuscan
recipe created by peasants who couldn’t afford the high taxes on salt. Perfect for those
of us on low-sodium diets!
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoons yeast
3 cups flour
Mix water and sugar, and dissolve sugar.
Add yeast to sugar water.
Put flour, yeast mixture, and olive oil into Breadmaker.
Start the Breadmaker with a plain or French loaf setting on your machine.
Add egg white when ingredients are almost completely combined (about 5 minutes in).
Allow Breadmaker to complete baking.
Hello and welcome to this guided meditation to take you on a cosmic projection experience.
Are you ready to go on a journey that will open your perspective and change your life forever?
Make sure you will not be disturbed to be fully immersed in this adventure.
Lucid dreaming seems very real, and at times, you may feel like things are happening out of your control, but remember, you can always open your eyes if you need to.
Like any other form of art, this takes patience and practice to become fully adapted to the techniques, so don’t be too hard on yourself initially.
Allow your eyes to gently close, and when you do this, you feel a wave of relaxation sweep over you.
Close your eyes, staying as still as possible. If you feel like you need to move or even have an itch, resist the temptation to move at all.
This is how you access a deep state of lucid dreaming. As you relax, I would like you to visualize every word I say and immerse yourself entirely in this experience. Begin to imagine your room around you in as much detail as possible.
See the bed, the furniture, the ground, the ceiling. See how the lines of your room are in your mind, like how the walls come together or the straight edges of tables and furniture.
Now see the patterns in your room, any textures of pillows or fabrics.
Now imagine that your window is open, and you hear the wind blowing gently outside. It is a lovely day with white clouds passing by.
Begin to breathe in and out…each breath you take makes you more relaxed. In and out… feeling relaxation coming over you… the wind outside your window is blowing harder; the clouds are turning gray…
You are noticing how your breath naturally slows. As you concentrate on your breathing, you may feel some tingling sensations in your fingers, arms, and feet.
Notice how this tingle grows as you begin to focus on it.
The wind outside your window is bringing a rainstorm. You hear the pitter-patter of the raindrops starting to hit your window.
The rain becomes heavier as the storm draws closer, and the clouds become darker. Feel relaxation sweep over your entire body.
Breathing deeper, only your chest and belly is moving; everything else remains completely still.
Resist any desire to move any part of your body, no matter how much you want to.
This takes you deeper into the astral plane.
Notice those tingling sensations again… feel the energy of these sensations….
Allow that energy to amplify…
You are breathing, hearing the rain falling outside. Relaxing. Bring all of the tinglings into your hands and fingers.
This is a comforting feeling and also brings you excitement.
The rain outside the window is letting up to a drizzle and continues tapping ever so slightly on the glass.
Breathing, noticing how your awareness does not reside within your body, but rather anywhere you’d like it to…
So with the power of your imagination, picture yourself in your room again… start to imagine that your eyes are open and you can see everything around you, exactly as if your eyes were open… look around the room seeing the furniture…the patterns…the lines and the curves.
You can feel your heart beating, and you can hear your breath.
Just the way you can listen to the rain outside your astral window.
The more you can tune in to your own body and different sensations, the stronger your hands begin to tingle.
And you relax further and more profound; time seems to slow down even more…. slowing down until reality seems to come to a stand-still…
As If time is frozen, bring your hands up into the air, looking at your arms extending in front of you with your imagination.
You can see that tingling sensation in your astral hands as energy vibrates brightly.
Taking it slowly, begin moving your astral hands around, and the more you do, the lighter you feel.
Moving your hands around makes you feel playful and happy…
Allow the feeling of playfulness to grow, as if you were a kid running around on the playground…or playing make-believe with your friends…
Now, in your lucid dream, lift your head off of the bed, and sit up… feeling giddy and silly… allowing a big smile to come across your face.
This may seem odd, but I assure you it is entirely safe and ok. Turn around and look at yourself lying so relaxed on your bed… your body is thoroughly enjoying this rest.
It is time to roll your astral body away from your imagination, so slowly and gently, holding a sense of happiness and play, moving 180 degrees away from your body and standing up.
You are now ready for your heavenly experience. Begin creating whatever you like and doing whatever you want. This is the ultimate space for learning.
And remember, anytime you can open your eyes and return to the physical realm.