The Lamp Newsletter was founded in 2008 by Wanda J. Burnside, award-winning poet and author,
of Detroit, Michigan, USA. Wanda shares below the amazing story of how it all began ....
The Foundation of
The Lamp Newsletter
by Wanda J. Burnside
In 2008, I was taking care of my dear father, Elder Minor Palm, Jr. He was 82 years old at that time. He was living here with Simmie and me. I truly had my hands full taking care of two very dear men in my life. However, it was an honor.
At that time I had several responsibilities and many things to do in my ministry. I was actively involved with the writers’ guild, editing manuscripts and poetry. Life was full of other demands, too.
On one evening in the end of summer, actually around the beginning of September, I was sitting at my computer working on some of my poetry. I believe I was reviewing some poems to submit to a magazine entitled, Sistah Talk Ezine. The deadline was a few days away, but I wanted to be prepared to send in my work in time.
Daddy was quietly sitting in our living room reading and studying his Bible, as he usually enjoyed doing throughout the day. Simmie was in our bedroom watching television. He probably was stretched out across the bed, relaxing. The house was so peaceful. There was a blanket of silence in the atmosphere. All was still. Nobody was calling out to me to do something for them.
So, I was happy to have this time for me to write and to read over old poems. Suddenly, I felt a strong presence of the Lord in the computer room. I sat very still. I was waiting to hear or see something happen. I could strongly feel the presence of the God….He was there right there! He stood behind me. He said nothing… He reached out and placed His right hand on my left shoulder. Oh, He was there. He stood there with His hand firmly on my shoulder. Tears ran down my face. I could barely stand to sit there.
Then, He spoke to me …
“Wanda. Wanda,” He said.
“Yes, Lord?” I replied.
“Wanda, I have something to say. I want to speak to people,” He said in a louder voice.
“Wanda, I want you to write a newsletter,” God said in a very firm voice.
“I don’t know what to do about a newsletter. I never wrote one. I never did that before. I have not done this. What can I do? Why…"
“Wanda! I will speak and you will write what I want to say. When you write the newsletter, I will be here each time. I will help you.”
“But, I don’t know how to write a newsletter. I can’t …."
“Wanda, I will lead and show you just what I want. I know you will do what I say and what I want. You will go into the world and say what I want said.”
Well, I sat there and cried. He was still there. He stood there with His hand covering my shoulder.
“Wanda, the name of this newsletter is, THE LAMP NEWSLETTER. It is the lamp. It is a light to shine brightly in this dark world. The world is dark. It is black. I want to speak about many things happening in this world. I want to talk about the family, church, my people, sinners, the children, the young people, husbands and wives, the governments, the schools, my coming, and so much more. Use the scripture I will tell you to use. Follow my steps. Follow me and I will show you what I want.”
He left me …. and I cried. Then, I ran out of the room and told Daddy. He raised his hands in worship. I told Simmie and he was amazed.
I could barely go to sleep that night. I got up and went into the computer room. Jesus came back! He said nothing. He just stood there behind me. I turned on the computer and started looking for graphics of candles, lamps, tiffany lamps, stained glass lamps, more candles, and then I saw ancient lamps in the Bible. There were all kinds. I saw the history about the different kinds. I researched and researched them. I got confused. Which one should I pick?
“WANDA! WANDA! DON’T USE THEM. Lamps, candles and these other lights mean so many things to the world! I don’t want that! NO! I want the words bold! THE LAMP NEWSLETTER! This is godly news! I want a bold look to face this dark world! NOTHING FANCY! The world hides behind these things. I want my Word to stand! The world is not listening! The church is trying this and that. They want to become like the world! The newsletter doesn’t need that design on it. I want nothing to take away from the headlines that I will give to you! Your headlines will grab them! The people must get an image of what is being said! This is my newsletter! Follow me!”
I cried out, “Yes, Lord.” I closed down the graphic sites with the lamps, candles, and other lightings.
He said, “I am the light! MY word is the light! The Bible is the light! It shines! The Bible is the lamp … it is My Word!”
I said, “Yes, My Lord! Yes!"
Then He put both of His hands on my shoulder and held me.
“Keep the print in black and white for the headlines. I want this clear … no confusion. My Word is black and white!"
"Yes, Lord," I cried.
He then stepped aside…
ELDER MINOR PALM, JR.
Sanctified Gospel Preacher