Month: January 2024

The Power of Words Revisited

The Power of Words Revisited

The Power of Words Revisited

“But I tell you, on the day of judgement people will have to give an accounting for every careless word they speak. For by your words, you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” Matthew 12:36-37 ESV

I don’t know if you have been following the story of Dr. Antoinett Candia-Bailey who died by suicide on January 8, she was the VP of Student Affairs at Lincoln University in Missouri. According to those close to her, she was subjected to a toxic work environment enduring alleged bullying and harassment from the president of the school and other university officials. Despite her numerous attempts to seek support and address the issue, she was left unsupported and disregarded. She put pen to paper writing a letter the day she died detailing the bullying she faced after disclosing her mental illness to the university officials.

The closing part of her letter she says:

If your soul is empty, troubled, in despair, and you see red flags, leave. Don’t try to stick around. My soul can now rest. I’ve filled my earthly dash, March 1974- January 2024. A seat has been prepared for me.

Friends her story is only one of the many tragedies in our country today.  Did you know that in 2023 more than 50,000 Americans died by suicide. This is more than any year on record. This incident got me thinking about the power of WORDS. Words are a powerful force in humanity. Look at how they have impacted our world today. On one hand they have stirred up hatred, violence, and division. On the other, they empower, help, and heal. Words have energy, both good and bad. They can draw us in or drive us away.

Words hurt without permission. Did you hear me friends? This is why positive affirmations are so important. They promote self-love as we build awareness of who we are and what we need in our lives, it generates compassion that extends past mistakes and failures, and self-acceptance.

Mental health is real. God wants us to not only be physically well, but mentally health too. Don’t go it alone, there are a lot of resources and programs out there to help:, Silence the Shame, MDLive online counseling, Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and 988 Lifeline.

Remember friends, we are each others’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.

Bring Me My Coat

Bring Me My Coat

Bring Me My Coat

“Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his children because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colors. Genesis 37:3 NKJV

Ooh Wee, are you having your share of that wintery mix friends? When I got up this past Monday morning, I started by looking at some of my local news, but it wasn’t telling me much, so I looked out the peep hole on the front door, and all I could see was a blanket of white snow. I then tightened my robe a little tighter, telling myself, I aint going out there. This was going to be a stay-at-home kind of day. However, if I had to go out, I got my coat and accessories to help keep the chill off. As I think about our lesson on Joseph’s coat of many colors, I asked myself what does a coat do? Its job is to protect and cover. Let’s investigate this story shall we.

When Joseph was 17 years old, his father Jacob gave him a beautiful coat. However, this coat came with plenty of obstacles.  I see it like a soap opera right off your television screen. It has all the Young and the Restless drama, plenty of Days of our Lives jealousy, a large amount of All my Children betrayal, and its share of young bratty kids, yes, I am talking about General Hospital.

Joseph was conceived in Jacob’s old age and the coat of many colors symbolized favor.  It was also the beginning of sibling rivalry brought about by the favoritism Jacob showed Joseph. My grandparents had 8 children; growing up I remember asking my grandmother who was her favorite child was. She told me, all of them. My grandmother went on to explain to me, that she had enough love for each and every one of them and that her love was never going to change.

Joseph had the coat for a little while but there were several things that lead to the coat getting destroyed.  It would be safe to say the brothers saw him perhaps as a bit of a tattle tale. As he would bring bad reports back to their father about them. Joseph would also tell his brothers about his dreams showing they would bow down to him one day, suggesting Joseph would rule over them. Can you see how this could be perceived as a unary moment by Joseph, as he rubbed his dream in their faces?  Which only led to them hating him even more.

Again, Jacob sent Joseph out to the fields to check on his brothers as they work. Remember, Joseph had already brought back one bad report about some of his brothers, so they weren’t happy to see him coming. They came up with a plan to kill him when he arrived. However, the oldest brother, Reuben, talked them into throwing him into a pit instead of murdering him. But before Reuben could rescue him out of the pit, his brothers sold him to a passing caravan of Ishmaelites for twenty shekels of silver.

Now that the deed was done, what would they tell their father? They dipped the robe in slaughtered goats’ blood and brought it to their father, asking him to identify it. Their father did see it was his son Joseph’s coat thinking a fierce animal had devoured him and he was torn to pieces.

In the end Joseph took the way up. After the death of their father, Joseph’s brothers were afraid that Joseph would seek his revenge on them. But he was not that attention seeking kid anymore, he was a changed man. Friends when life doesn’t seem fair, consider His response to his brothers:

 “Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:19-20 NIV

It’s a reminder to me to continue to keep my seat and save my energy for prayer, worship, and praise. Into God’s capable hands do I put my everything.  No matter what life’s weather may bring, God has the right kind of coat for every season in our lives. Amen!

Remember friends, we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.

Take Me to the Water

Take Me to the Water

Take Me to the Water

“I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-15 NIV

You know just the other day, my daughter Cherelle and I were talking, and I shared with her my memories of her baptism. Holding her in my arms as our eyes locked, she trusted me and did beautifully. The conversation got me thinking about my own baptism celebration. My dad along with one of his deacons did my dunk’in. There I was sitting on the front row with my shorts and top, covered with a white sheet and something like a swimming cap to protect my pressed hair. I was kind of nervous, but I wasn’t the only one going up into the baptismal pool on this Sunday morning. When it was finally my turn, I do remember thinking, Mr. Christ you know I can’t swim right?  As I stepped down in the water, I had the whole churches attention. As my dad said in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I baptize you, I held my breath the best I could and closed my eyes.  It felt like they were holding me down extra-long, as I came up out the water, coughing and opening my eyes, I could hear clapping and singing. Take me to the water, take me to the water to be baptized.

Seriously friends, when I think about my baptism it was only the beginning in my new life as I took Jesus Christ as my personal savior. I had been writing to him since I was in the 4th grade, and now I was going on this new journey to build a relationship/friendship with the man I had been talking to and asking everything for.

John the Baptist name implies that he baptized people, which he did, but his life was more than baptizing. He focused on the kingdom work set before him. His life was characterized by devotion and surrender to Jesus Christ and His kingdom. He proclaimed the coming of the Messiah to a people who desperately needed a savior. John the Baptist reminded the people, that he was not the Christ, but was sent ahead of him. He let them know that he was a messenger sent by God to proclaim the truth.

What I have learned from the life of John the Baptist is faith. Test and trials are going to come friends, they always do. Hold on to Christ, seek him in truth, and stand firm in your faith. Amen.

Remember friends, we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.



Together with kindness and in understanding, let’s take this time to self reflect. I am here to inspire, encourage, and remind you that God has given us the most important weapon we have to fight the enemy, His Word.

Now let’s dress our soul like we dress our bodies, EVERYDAY!


“For the LORD Most High is awesome; He is a great King over all the earth.” Psalm 47:2 NKJV

The Color Purple a 1985 American epic coming-of-age period drama, was written by Pulitzer Prize winning novelist Alice Walker. This past Sunday I went to see 2023 musical version of The Color Purple. As I compare them both, I saw areas of abuse, both mental and physical, family squabbles’ full of misunderstanding, dreams of something bigger, and what seemed like unhealable wounds. There were unplanned friendships, visions of a better life wrapped in the hopes of God, freedom from the weights of life, to relearning to love ourselves where we are and the reuniting of two sisters Celie and Nettie. As much foot stomping and heading bobbing as I did, I do have to admit that these movies never fail to tug at my tear strings. In both movies I was able to connect with the actors and actresses who made me feel a part of their roles. They are awesome movies. I enjoyed the new musical adaptation a lot.

Our topic for today is called awesome. What does it mean to be awesome? It means to be someone or something that inspires a feeling of both fear and amazement. Doesn’t this sound like someone we know friends? God commands reverence and respect, He is the embodiment of greatness.

As I think about all the awesome things the Lord has done in my life. I know nothing but God could have done these things for me. I remember how I felt, I remember the weight, as I sat in the dark, everything seemed so bleak and hard. I felt so lonely. But thank God for Jesus, who brought the sunshine. He was the light showing a sista the way!! His awesomeness made a way out of what seemed like no way.

The song, He Reigns by Kirk Franklin, reminds me that no matter what we are going through, the awesomeness of God will always shine through. Some of the words say:

Our God is an awesome God he reigns from heaven above, with wisdom, power, and love. The song goes on to say, you’re marvelous and you’re glorious. You’re love has made me victorious.

We serve an awesome God friend. All through the Bible, we see evidence of God’s greatness, from the creation of the world, to the parting of the Red Sea, to the miracles of Christ, who through his death, burial, and resurrection has ALL power in his hands. Those who leave everything in God’s hands will eventually see God’s hands in everything. Amen.

Remember friends, we are each other’s keeper and the only time we should be looking down on someone is when we are helping them up.