The King Center Gears Up for the 51st Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service…

Hello World,

Aside from Christmas and Easter, one of my favorite holidays is the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday which the country if not the world will celebrate tomorrow. All over the country, there will be events celebrating the life and legacy of the great civil rights leader but no place celebrates Dr. King like his hometown here in the A. I believe the highlight of the celebratory events in Atlanta is the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service which is held in Dr. King’s home church of Ebenezer Baptist Church in the Horizon Sanctuary. Below is the schedule for the service which has and continues to include dignitaries from all over the globe.

Keynote Speaker: 
Mr. Bryan Stevenson
Founder and Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative
Featured speakers delivering special tributes:
Emma Gonzalez, activist, advocate, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School
Ms. Britney Packnett, Activist, Educator, Writer
Rev. Jentezen Franklin, Senior Pastor, Free Chapel Worship Center
Rev. Dr. Billy Kim, Former President, Baptist World Alliance
Samia Nkrumah, (Daughter of Kwame Nkrumah, First
President of Ghana) will bring the international greeting
Special Musical Performances:
Minister BeBe Winans, Multi-Grammy Award Winning Artist
Minister Angella Christie, Gospel Saxophonist
Jahi Di’Allo and Daiyann Winston, Singer, Actor, Stage Performers
Far East Broadcasting Children Choir, (Korean Christian Choir)
Rapper Ray Emmanuel, Youth Artist

To find out more information about how the King Center is celebrating the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday, click on thekingcenter.org.

Also, due to the government shutdown the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park was supposed to be closed tomorrow as the National Park Service maintains the park. However, due to a grant from Delta Air Lines and other funds, the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historical Park opened on Saturday and will remain open throughout the Super Bowl which will be held in Atlanta on Feb. 3!

In a statement, Delta CEO and trustee of the Delta Air Lines Foundation Ed Bastian said the group “felt it was important we do our part to ensure that the historical landmarks be accessible to the public.”

“Dr. King was about bringing people together and at Delta, we are about making the world a smaller place,” he added.

To read the entire story, click on the CNN story “MLK national park will reopen during government shutdown with help of Delta Air Lines” by Nicole Chavez.

How will you be celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King tomorrow?

Any thoughts?

Seven Scriptures to Remind Us that Jesus is the Real Reason for the Season…2018…

Hello World,

I don’t know about you but December always seems to fly by…Between making Christmas lists, shopping with the masses, sending out Christmas greetings via e-mail or snail mail, going to Christmas parties and other events, preparing for the New Year and regular life stuff, it seems there is never enough time to do it all and so I almost look forward to January when life is back to its regular pace…

And if you noticed, I haven’t mentioned Jesus at all…That is because with all I have to or want to do, I can forget that the birth of Jesus, God’s precious gift to mankind, is the real reason for the season…And so to prepare my heart for this season and hopefully help you prepare your heart for this season too, I have decided to list seven scriptures that take the focus off of the worldly expressions of the Christmas season and help us to focus on Jesus…

1. “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”). Matthew 1:23 I just love that Immanuel means “God with us.”  Jesus was born so that God could be with us…Remember that the next time you feel alone because you are not…God is with us!

2. “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Look how much we are loved by God! He sacrificed His one and only Son! What have we sacrificed for God lately? Something to remember and act on at this time of the year…

3. “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 Every time I see Christmas lights, I’m going to remember that God is the father of heavenly lights and that every good and perfect gift is from Him…I’m feeling better about the Christmas season already…

4. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23 Although we will never be free of sin this side of Heaven, we can still accept God’s gift of eternal life with Jesus Christ who helps us not to sin…

5. “…Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have…” 1 Peter 3:15 At some point during this Christmas season, we have to know that everyone around us does not know the real reason for the season…I hope I’m ready when the opportunity arises for me to tell somebody about my Lord and Savior…

6. “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalm 37:4 Do  you want the desires of your heart? Of course 🙂 Then we have to delight ourselves in the Lord and His purposes…Now, this does not mean that we send up a list of what we want and then He delivers gifts like He is some Santa Claus in the sky…No, this verse means that mysteriously when we align ourselves with the Lord, His desires for us become our desires…and then we get the desires of our heart because they are His desires for us too…

7. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:14…This time of the year especially I have to make every effort to give glory to God and live at peace with others…I wish those in government would remember that…

What helps you remember the real reason for the season? This isn’t a traditional Christmas song but this song helps me to remember why Jesus left His home in Heaven on high to come to earth way below…

Merry Christmas!!!

Any thoughts?

7 Negative Things I’m Thankful For This Thanksgiving Eve…

Hello World,

Y’all, my family is going through a storm, one of those pop up thunderstorms that we didn’t see coming… But God is still good, and I know that I know that I know that He will bring good out of bad or positive out of negative as is noted in Romans 8:28! And I’m still thankful! At this time of the year, Thanksgiving Eve, it is appropos to compile the obligatory gratitude list…I am thankful for my health, spouse, family etc….Yes, all of those are definitely true, but according to God’s word we are to:

Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:1

This means that God expects us to be thankful for even the negative things that He has allowed in our lives, but we have hope in all circumstances, negative and positive, because:

We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

So with those two verses in mind, I decided to turn my gratitude list on its head and praise God for what I originally thought was negative, but God it turned into positive (And I need these reminders on today!)…I’m going all the way back to childhood…Come with me 🙂

bible verse1. Not Being a Popular Kid and Bordering on Being Chubby For Most of My Childhood…I guess I’ve always been self-conscious which doesn’t work well on the playground…If someone asks you to play with him or her on the playground, and you rehearse your answer before you reply…You will probably not be the most popular kid…You will be probably be among the weirdo kids…Or if you would rather watch the Brady Bunch [insert whatever show is popular now] with a snack instead of go outside and play kickball, you will probably be among the chubby kids…But not being the most popular, kinda chubby kid made me develop my inner qualities like compassion and kindness because I wanted to be treated without compassion and kindness…AND now that I’m adult, I have no illusion that I can just sit around and preserve my sexy…Good thing to know when you’re over 40…I have to eat right and work out…no excuses…God knows best…

2. Getting Into the Honors Program at Howard University, But Not Receiving Any Scholarship Money…Like many of my friends who spent our high school years watching a “A Different World” or attending Atlanta Football Classic games, I just knew I would be attending an HBCU (historically black college or university)! My chosen HBCU was Howard University in our nation’s capital. I had visited Washington D.C. when I was in the seventh grade, and I vowed I would return there as a college student…But it wasn’t meant to be…Although I got into Howard University and the school’s Honors Program, I didn’t receive any scholarship money…It only made sense that at point to go to the school where I had three scholarships…The University of Georgia…a dreaded HWCU…LOL…To my surprise, I had a blast in college, pledged the most wonderful sorority (Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.) in the world and got a great journalism education without worrying about being hampered by the debt I would have surely incurred had I gone to my “dream school.” God knows best…

3. Becoming a Christian, and Then Losing My Friends…When I decided to give my life to Jesus Christ and no longer depend on the fact that my father, my uncles and grandfather were pastors, I expected my life to get better…After all, if I know God, the creator of the universe, how could anything go wrong? We cool like that…I was wrong…so very wrong..Many of my friends didn’t understand why I spent more time than the obligatory Sunday morning in church or chose not to go to certain places…I cried and I cried I felt so alone…But it was during those moments that God got me alone that I got to know Him…Many of those friendships have been restored as time has passed…but I still know how to depend on God alone because of that time…God knows best…

4. Losing My Job Right After I Bought My First Home…I must admit I was frantic when I lost my job at a newspaper months after buying my first home…Up until that time, I had been living with my parents and while I paid for my own bills like for my car, clothes, etc., my parents didn’t force me to pay rent or anything although I was a college graduate…All of a sudden, I had to pay more bills with less money…During that year or so, I was depressed…I ignored some bills…I took some jobs beneath my education just to get by…But I also had time to explore my creativity like taking a class on “The Artist’s Way” and seeing a career counselor…And when it was all over, I learned that God was my resource not that job…I learned that I didn’t even want a traditional newspaper job anymore…God knows best…

5. Wanting to Get Married at 30 Years Old, Only to Get Married a Month Short redof my 40th Birthday…My mom got married when she was 30 years old…Why would my life be any different? Well, chile, what I did I know? As it turns out, nothing at 30 years old…I had to date some good ones, some bad ones, some crazy ones, etc. before I was finally ready for the man God had for me…Those 10 years were heartbreaking, but they were also precious…a gift of human experiences…I wouldn’t want to go through them again, but I learned so many things about myself and other people that only be taught in the classroom of life…Plus, those years fueled my writing life like nothing else…As any writer knows, pain is the best inspiration…God knows best…

6. Taking Seven Years to Get a Book Deal…In 2002, I had an idea to write a memoir about developing a personal relationship with God, and in 2003, I began trying to get a publisher for my book…It wasn’t until 2010 that I got a book deal…Yes, seven years after I started…But it took all of that time to show me the book needed to include other women and not just me…When I became a Christian, I searched bookstores looking for Christian life books written by black women…I found one or two here or there, but I knew there needed to be more…Once I got some Christian living under my belt, I wanted to write one for a black Christian woman who, like me, wanted to know how other black Christian women walked out their faith…What I learned by being rejected over and over again was that I needed more experiences than just mine…My book includes the testimonies of 24 women in ONE book…This is so the book I wanted for myself years ago…God knows best…

7. Taking Seven Years To Get a Book Deal…Yes, I know already wrote that…But I have more to share on this topic…In 2007, my dream publisher (I still walk around with the business card of the acquisitions editor of this company.) at the time was interested in my original memoir, but my book was ultimately rejected because I didn’t have a platform….I.Almost.Died…At least it felt like I was nearing death because I got so close to realizing my dream only to wake up to the cruel reality of life for an unpublished author…But I didn’t let that rejection stop me…I got busy on developing my platform…This blog was birthed as a result of that rejection…This blog has become a way that I connect to others across the nation and the world…a place to dream…a place to vent…an online history…I love it so…And it is one of the reasons that I got a book deal as I met former “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd, one of the women featured in book, because of this blog…

So what “negative” things are you thankful for today? Happy Thanksgiving 🙂

And if you need to praise God while you are going through the storm like I do, here is a song to help us do that!

Any thoughts?