"God Bless the Dream, the Dreamer and the Result." 

FaithWalk Clothing by William Renae

In today's world and in times past collaboration and partnering has been an instrumental strategy.  Partnering helps us to grow, learn, change and exchange ideas.  Even the Bible endorses partnering based on the scripture that says, "Where two or three are gathered, I am there."

I want to introduce to you a mother/son partnership, which currently launched a new clothing line.  The clothing line is called FaithWalk. The new line is created to encourage others to save themselves and to take control of their own destiny.

Renae Parker Benenson is a Mom, certified Chaplin (spiritual listener and encourager), writer and co-founder of FaithWalk.  William Marshall Parker II is a Son, entrepreneur, writer and co-founder of FaithWalk.  Together they compliment each other and have found support for their individual and collective growth and development.

They started FaithWalk because they get it.  They have figured out that their life is to get better spiritually, emotionally, financially, intellectually and physically it will be because they have prayed to God and believe that the Creator will equip them for the journey and fill them with unfathomable power to be and to do more than they can ever imagine.

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Written by: Rev. Renae Benenson, a.k.a. Serena Cliff

I have been on a sabbatical from work and writing. The sabbatical from work was necessary because I moved from the Midwest (Illinois) to the Northwest (Washington). I stopped writing temporarily so that I could leave home (again) only to return home to FaithWalk with something fresh and new to say.

I have left home six times. The longest I have stayed gone is 4 years. Leaving home is like an adventure for me. I like having the option of taking an “adventure” from time to time. It is a gift that keeps me hungry for life, vibrant and balanced. Whenever I go off on one of my many adventures, I usually return home, eventually, with interesting stories to tell. People acknowledge how much I have grown. I acknowledge how much I have missed them and how they have grown too.

I left home this sixth time to reunite with my husband. He left for Washington without me. It was not what he wanted to do but what I needed to do. I delayed relocating with my husband (for two years) so I could realize a career opportunity. I found a job in Illinois that was just right for me, and six months later I was offered a promotion. I took the opportunity, despite the emotional affects on my husband, and I developed leadership skills and personal power that I had never known. Though I had amassed this personal power, feelings for my husband didn’t dissipate. They grew. The distance helped me to see not only my personal power but his too. After we got through the initial pain of our separation, we also discovered, with the help of friends, that we both valued flexibility and unconditional love. And we wanted the other to have flexibility and self love no matter what the cost. I’m glad I delayed my leaving because I expanded my world view and sense of self. I also learned to assert my personal power and to embrace the knowledge of the “equality of opportunity”.

Love comes hard when done alone. However, when couples collectively and responsibly decide to grow their relationship, love happens. Our relationship was tested. What we learned throughout the adventure is that we shared something special. It was that specialness that would get us through the worst of times. I pondered this same stream of consciousness again when I resigned my position to move to the Northwest. I relied on my personal power and understanding of “to thine own self be true” when I told my sons, my siblings, my granddaughter, my friends, co-workers and church members that I would be leaving. Many anticipated, suspected and acknowledged news of my eventual move. Still it caused them and me some emotional distress.

If leaving causes so much pain, why leave? Well an adventure for me is both exciting and anxiety producing. It hurts like hell and yet it stirs up my senses and my child-like wonder. It begs the question, -now what?! The universe responds with an invitation - live each day fully. Convinced by my faith and beliefs, I risk leaving, loving and letting go of home; I know God can and will do a new thing with me- if I’m flexible. He will also do the same thing for those I love and left- if they’re flexible.

Once you recognize love and you embrace self love, you cannot go back. Love is powerful. Self love is freeing – it allows you to be true to yourself. It also means being true to what you hold dear. Love is one of those values I hold dear – for myself and for others. My children, siblings, friends, granddaughter and church community miss me and I miss them. My loving response to them is: I’m a plane ride, a phone call, a text message and an e-mail away; I believe that neither death nor life-neither an address change nor miles can separate us. More still, “Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance” [1 Cor. 13:7].

My son and I talk about love all the time. Though the picture of love may appear bleak in the circles he travels, he still believes in love’s promise. He hopes for a good woman who knows how to value herself rightly. While he waits for her, he is deepening his faith in God, assessing who he is, discerning his values and smoothing out his rough edges. He is learning more about love –for self and others too.

bell hooks, a well known cultural critic, feminist theorist and a favorite author wrote this in her book, All about love, “Everyone wants to know more about love. We want to know what it means to love, what we can do in our everyday lives to love and to be loved. We want to know how to seduce those among us who remain wedded to lovelessness and open to the door to their hearts to let love enter.” She also maintains in another book, Salvation, “To choose love, we must choose a healthy model of female agency and self actualization, one rooted in the understanding that when we love ourselves well (not in a selfish or narcissistic way), we are best able to love others. When we have healthy self-love, we know that individuals in our lives who demand of us self-destructive martyrdom do not care for our good, for our spiritual growth.”

I care about my growth…spiritual, emotional, financial and physical. I’m happy that my husband cares about my growth as well as his own growth. I care about the growth of women and men. I care intensely about the growth of youth – our children, my children, their children and their children’s children. I want all people to be self actualized. It takes collective responsibility, equality of opportunity, love, courage and other values to get us there. It also takes faith and trust.

I believe loving and leaving are both acts of faith. These acts certainly do not come without struggle. No it is not easy to let go of what is familiar and safe. Yes, I miss those places where I’m known and loved. No, I’m not known here in the Northwest yet. However courage and perseverance says I will be. Therefore, I embrace the change; I enjoy the adventure; I take advantage of every opportunity; I build new loving relationships with those around me and keep sending love to those I’ve left behind; I preserve the love between my husband and me; I help out where I can; and I love and replenish myself daily, doing creative and heart healthy things. Last but not least, I also pray and live out my values rightly knowing that the journey “from your kindred and your country” is a sacrifice and a powerful act of faith! [Leaving Home: Herbert Anderson and Kenneth R. Mitchell]

Wishing for your happiness, peace and excellence without reservation…..Renae

Rev. Renae Benenson, a.k.a. Serena Cliff is a minister, professional chaplain and writer. If you would like to comment on her work, you can contact her at rbenenson80@gmail.com

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Most Influential DJs

With the release of "DJ Hero" upon us, it's a good time to honor the true masters of turntablism. IGN lists the most influential:

DJ Kool Herc. He invented the “breakbeat” by using the two-turntable style of disco DJs to play two copies of a funk record, switching between the two to elongate the instrumental break section.
Afrika Bambaataa. He took Herc’s breakbeats further and coined the burgeoning musical movement “hip-hop.”
Grandmaster Flash. Flash pioneered the “cutting” technique, which later became refined into scratching. He released the first record with scratching on it, and his Furious Five group was the first hip-hop band inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Grand Wizard Theodore. Building on Flash’s “cutting” technique, Theodore added his own style of rhythmically manipulating the fader to give scratching its percussive effect—essentially, turning the turntable into a drum.
Jam-Master Jay. As the DJ for Run-DMC, Jay’s signature sounds helped push hip-hop into the mainstream.
DJ Qbert. A later addition to DJing’s luminaries, Qbert has pioneered countless scratch and turntable tricks to become known as the Jimi Hendrix of turntablism. Check out his skills in the video at left.

Inside Gaga's 'Delicious' Tour

Lady Gaga's upcoming tour is more than just a series of concerts—it's a pop-electro opera, "a truly artistic experience that is going to take the form of the greatest post-apocalyptic house party that you've ever been to," she tells Rolling Stone. The Monster Ball launches Nov. 27, four days after the release of The Fame Monster, an album she says is "much more personal" than her last.

"Each one of these songs on my album represents a different demon that I've faced in myself," she says. And, contrary to the name, "I don't write about fame or money at all on this new record." Those demons—or monsters—are "certainly going to be an influence" on the show's fashion, "as well as the theme of evolution and change," she says. "I wanted to really put together a show that would be the most beautiful, expensive-looking, delicious show."

Ann Taylor Finally Gets Good

After a game of fashion musical chairs brought Ann Taylor a new designer, Cintra Wilson decided it was time to reexamine the label—long a "corporate office submissive" look designed to "attract a nice tax attorney husband." She ate her words after checking out the new line (and buying a $175 gray silk-cashmere sweater she'll wear "every second until it dissolves into lint"). The line brings "less clutter and better details," from "the finished seams inside a little faille opera jacket" to "the velvet ribbon inside the waist of a peplum coat," Wilson writes in the New York Times.

The new Ann Taylor strategy comes down to "the honest injection of real quality bang for the buck," she continues, having been pleasantly surprised at finding a Lanvin lookalike silk shell for $70 and a Balenciaga-inspired skirt for $80. Her conclusion: "Ann Taylor’s office-wear may still be 98.9% edge-free, but it is concentrating on the right values: timeless lines and longevity. Other chains would be wise to follow in the plucky working girl’s conservative (yet spike-heeled) footsteps."

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Aussie Sailor, 16, Starts World Trip

A 16-year-old Australian steered her bright pink yacht out of Sydney Harbor under gray skies and slightly choppy conditions today to start her bid to become the youngest person to sail solo and unassisted around the world. Jessica Watson's 23,600-mile journey through some of the world's most treacherous waters sparked debate about whether someone so young should be allowed to try such a dangerous feat.

Watson and her family insist she is an experienced sailor who will be in constant contact with her support team via radio, email, and a blog. Watson's first leg will take her past northern New Zealand, then Fiji and Samoa. In a trip expected to last about eight months, she plans to pass the southern tips of Africa and South America. Briton Mike Perham, 17, in August laid claim to being the youngest solo round-the-world sailor after completing a 28,000-mile trip in nine months, though he stopped for repairs, which counts as an "assisted" trip.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dress Like a Mad Man for $998

Need an excuse to chain smoke and drink excessively in true 1960s style? No problem: Come Monday, you can dress up like Mad Men’s Don Draper for a mere $998. Brooks Brothers, which has collaborated on the show’s costumes, is rolling out 250 of the “Mad Men Edition” sharkskin suits designed by the series’ Emmy-nominated costume designer, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Recession Finds Place in Rap's Latest Hits

The ugly economy is making more than a cameo in today’s hottest rap music, with Young Jeezy taking the cake by naming his latest album The Recession. Rap’s often been a barometer of such huge swings, Sara Libby writes, noting the impact last year of Barack Obama’s rise. Now, Jeezy, Jay-Z and others have their mind on their money, and their money on their mind.

“I know we facing a recession,” Jay-Z tells his fellow performers on his latest chart-topper, The Blueprint 3. “But the music ya makin’ gonna make it the Great Depression.” Lil Wayne uses the financial crisis as pickup line in Jay Sean’s Down, telling his female quarry, “I’m down like the economy.” And given the genre’s tendency toward boasting, Libby notes for True/Slant, being “recession-proof” has found its way into plenty of tunes.

The Latest From Paris: 12-Inch Heels

Alexander McQueen’s collection, inspired by Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species, had quite a few avant garde elements when it was unveiled last night in Paris—think shaved eyebrows, gills painted on temples, and devil-horn-shaped hair—but the shoes took the cake. The crystal-studded creations, part shoe and part boot, measure a towering 12 inches, the Daily Mail reports. View the pictures at left.

Fight Swine Flu: Wear This Suit

Want to avoid the swine flu and look sharp doing it? A Japanese menswear company has just the thing. Haruyama Trading claims its latest suit, which goes on sale today for about $590, guards against H1N1 with a thin titanium dioxide coating. The chemical, found in toothpaste and makeup, reacts to light—and supposedly kills the virus on contact.

The wonder suit also promises to protect your whole family. “Small children might catch the virus after touching their father’s suit,” a company exec tells Reuters. “We came up with this idea to protect all businessmen and their families.” The suit, which looks perfectly normal, was developed with the help of several companies, including some that specialize in coatings for anti-flu face masks and physicians’ apparel.

Pile on the Bracelets, Ladies

When it comes to bracelets, there's no such thing as too much this season. Take almost any sort of wristwear, mismatch it, and stack it up to your elbow, New York reports. Where to start? Though the most expensive bracelet on its list of recommended bangles, from CC Skye at Henri Bendel, will run you $275, it also calls out a Charlotte Russe option—a rhinestone stretch bracelet for only $4. Take a look at some, at left, or view the complete list at the link below.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

New Jackson 5 Tracks Drop in Nov.

The Jackson 5 may well be back on the charts this November with the release of I Want You Back! Unreleased Masters, a collection of never-before-heard material and alternate versions of beloved tunes. One of the new songs, “That’s How Love Is,” can be heard on the group’s website, jackson5.com. And there’s more to come for those grieving brother Michael. “We are going to miss him,” a collaborator tells USA Today, "but hopefully, we can fill in the blanks.”

More Than a Game Shoots for the Heart

More Than a Game, a documentary following LeBron James and his high school teammates, does its best to be an inspirational movie, and for some it works. For others, it inspires eye-rolling. Here’s what they’re saying:

It’s like a classic high school sports movie, writes Owen Glieberman for Entertainment Weekly. “It's almost funny to see how many classic Hollywood tropes are replicated, with far more vivid drama.”
It’s a “moving” film that “suffers from a surfeit of hindsight,” Joe Morgenstern writes in the Wall Street Journal. But the courtside sermons are “worthy,” and the film “dramatizes what it preaches.”
“It’s an inspiring story," allows Christy Lemire for the AP, "that works very hard to remind you it's an inspiring story at every opportunity." Speeches are frequently delivered to soaring music.
But Nick Pinkerton wasn’t all that inspired. LeBron and Nike got final cut, and the end product is "as processed as Space Jam,” he writes for the Village Voice.