Chocolate Vent’s Question of the Day – What item is unreasonably priced, but reasonably priced in the eyes of society?


Small Beginnings

For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven: they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth. (Zechariah 4:10)

Have you ever noticed how small a mustard seed is compared to other seeds?  The mustard seed is one of the smallest of seeds, yet when it dies to itself and produces fruit, it’s branches become like a small tree, enabling it to house the nests of small birds.  On the surface, the mustard seed looks small and insignificant.  However, unseen to you and I, is the potential that lies within that seed. 

Right now, many of us are in situations that may appear small and insignificant.  However, no matter where we may find ourselves, we need to be thankful for where we are and what we have.  If we remain humble and faithful, God will, in time, cause our small things to become great things in our lives.  In other words, we will be exalted when we learn how to be humble. 

We will achieve greatness, but we must learn to bloom where we are planted.  Don’t despise what God has blessed you with.  In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (Ref: 1 Thessalonians 5:18)  Don’t despise your small beginnings.  God has a definite plan and purpose for our lives.  We must continue to trust in Him.

Prayer:  Father, we thank you for blessing us with all that we need.  Teach us, O Lord, to patiently wait for your purposes to be fulfilled in us.  In Jesus’ name, amen.

Is He Just “Birthday Using” Me?

I’ve talked before about how not every man likes to spend their birthday alone, but what about when they “re-appear” just so they can have a date for their birthday?

A guy that I used to date has recently started to call me again and I can’t help but wonder if it has anything to do with the fact that his birthday is coming up. I’m sure like the men I’ve written about before, he just wants someone to share it with. When we were dating, he was constantly asking me what I wanted to do for his birthday even though it was months away. His plan was to either take a trip or to have a party but that was dependent on whether or not I was going to be available. Whatever he chose, he just wanted me to be a part of it all.

Months passed and we grew apart. One month after another passed where we didn’t see each other & our phone calls became less frequent. Then all of the sudden, he popped back up. Although we hadn’t really talked in months, he started calling and texting more often. He started asking to see me again and indicated that he wanted to get things back “to the way they used to be.” While it might be somewhat flattering that he wants to be around me, I’m not sure of his intentions. Is it because he actually misses me or is it because his birthday is right around the corner?

I like to call this “birthday using”. This happens when you know you have a birthday coming up, maybe 30-60 days away, and don’t have anyone permanent in your life to spend it with so you revisit the people you used to date just so you won’t be alone on your special day. It doesn’t matter if you like them or not & it may not even matter if they like you. Maybe you would rather brave the night with someone, no anyone, just so long as you’re not alone on your birthday. Either way, if you are reaching out to them around the time of your birthday just so you can say you spent it with someone, then you too are a “birthday user.”

Have you “birthday used” someone before? You knew you didn’t have any dates lined up for your birthday so you did your best to keep someone around just so they could take you out? Talk about it in the comments section below –


#BlackLivesMatter: Who Was Patrick Harmon?

The Salt Lake City Police Department is the latest US police department to come under scrutiny after bodycam footage shows an officer shooting and killing a man, even as the man appeared to be running away.

An officer shot and killed Patrick Harmon, a 50-year-old black man, as he was being arrested on the evening of August 13. On Wednesday, after a seven week investigation, the Salt Lake County district attorney concluded the officers’ use of deadly force was justified because the officers said they feared Harmon was going to hurt them, according to a letter the district attorney sent to the Salt Lake County Sheriff and the city’s police chief detailing his investigation into the incident.
Bodycam footage shows Harmon running away from police before he is shot by Salt Lake City police Officer Clinton Fox. The officers later said Harmon threatened them with a knife.

“That video is horrifying. It is just not right,” Antionette Harmon, Patrick’s older sister, told CNN. “I’m not understanding none of this, how it was justified or anything. It’s not fair.”
Harmon was stopped by a police officer on the evening of August 13 after he rode a bicycle across six lanes and a median, according to a narrative laid out by the district attorney, Sim Gill. Harmon was required to have a “red rear tail light on his bicycle,” the officer told him.
The officer called for backup after Harmon provided “a couple different names” when he was asked for identification, according to Gill. The officers discovered felony warrants were open for Harmon’s arrest — one of which was for aggravated assault, Gill’s report says. As they tried to put handcuffs on him, he ran. The officers chased after him.
In the bodycam footage, of which there are three angles for each of the officers, released by the Salt Lake City Police Department, Fox can be seen shooting Harmon three times as he runs in the opposite direction.
The officer who initially stopped Harmon, Kris Smith, fired his Taser, according to the district attorney’s report.
Fox later told investigators that as Harmon was running away, he stopped and turned back toward the officers with a knife in his hand, yelling, “I’ll f***ing stab you.” “Officer Fox said he feared if he didn’t immediately use deadly force, Mr. Harmon was going to stab him and/or the other officers,” Gill’s report says.
In his investigation, Gill weighed the testimony of all three officers present — Fox, Smith and Scott Robinson.
Smith and Robinson’s accounts of what Harmon said before being shot vary slightly from Fox’s. Smith told investigators he heard Harmon say, “I’m going to cut …” the report says. Meanwhile, Robinson said he heard Harmon say, “‘I stab’ or something to that effect,” according to the report, though he said he “couldn’t remember Mr. Harmon’s exact words.”
Gill’s report says Harmon can be seen in the bodycam video with a knife in his hand, and that investigators took photographs of the knife at the scene.
Ultimately, the district attorney’s office found the shooting was a “‘justified’ use of deadly force,” and chose not to pursue criminal charges against Fox.

NAACP investigating the shooting

Harmon’s death is the latest to revive concerns into police officers’ use of deadly force against black men throughout the United States, as other officer-involved shootings have done in recent years.
“Really, black people don’t matter, homeless people don’t matter,” Antionette Harmon said.
Adriane Harmon, Antionette’s daughter, described the video as “heartbreaking” and “horrifying,” and vowed to seek justice on behalf of her uncle.
“I want to fight the decision,” she said. “I don’t believe that (DA decision) was justified. (We’re) looking at attorneys now.”
In a statement sent to CNN on Sunday, Jeanetta Williams, the president of the Salt Lake City chapter of the NAACP, said the organization was investigating Harmon’s death.
“It seemed like more could have been done by the police officers to apprehend Mr. Patrick Harmon than shooting him in the back as he ran,” Williams said, adding Harmon was simply afraid. The statement points out the officers “were a lot younger” than Harmon, and they could have easily tackled him. “He was never given the time to heed the officers’ command before they shot him,” she said.
Lex Scott, founder of The United Front civil rights organization, called for police accountability.
“District Attorney Sim Gill has denied the people of Salt Lake City justice repeatedly. At this time he needs to hold police accountable or we need a new district attorney,” she said.

*Originally published on CNN.