Today, I would like to honor the late, great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday for changing the world and leaving a legacy. Thank you for your dream, leadership and faith!
Below you will find an excerpt from his final speech,“I’ve Been to the Mountaintop”.
“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it really doesn’t matter with me now, because I’ve been to the mountaintop. And I don’t mind.
Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land!
And so I’m happy, tonight.
I’m not worried about anything.
I’m not fearing any man!
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!”
I grew up in an urban community on the North side of town called “The Hood”. Yes, I am from the urban inner city community. My parents moved a lot when I was in elementary school, so I ended up going to six different elementary schools. Growing up in our home, education, reading, and homework was expected; however, it wasn’t a value. Due to this, I developed a mindset that caused me to believe that I could go to school not to earn an education, but only to pass. I was a “C” student on purpose. I never developed study habits, and I didn’t know of anyone in my neighborhood that was apart of a study group, so I didn’t enjoy reading. I would rather have watched TV and sports, simply rode my bike, or played basketball and football in my neighborhood. I looked at reading as boring, not something that was fun or entertaining. These choices left me limited, average, mediocre, and employed at average jobs with below average pay. My conversations were limited due my lack of reading skills. I felt intimidated by people who could read, and I lived with a lot of regret. The truth is that I wasted time watching hours and hours of sports when I could have been reading.
Today, reading has stretched my mind, enlarged my thinking, and broadened my horizons. It has caused me to think bigger and has helped me expand my vocabulary. I learned that reading could be fun, exciting and adventurous.
Thomas Carlyle stated, “The greatest university of all is a collection of books”.
Reading has also advanced my career to become Self-employed. Today, I run massive growing organization, manage 5 full-time employees, and 15 part time employees.
Reading has caused me to learn to love education more; therefore, I discovered the need to further my education by going back to college to pursue my Bachelor’s and Masters degree, and in 2014 begin a rigorous Doctoral program.
My life has been impactful and successful because of reading. I believe that all readers are not leaders, but all leaders are readers. Read to achieve and read to succeed. In the words of Ernest Hemingway, “There is no friend as loyal as a book”.
This weekend My wife and I are celebrating our 21st Marriage Anniversary on the West Coast. Truly it has been an incredible ride of love, learning and life. I made one of the best decisions of my life and I have no regrets about it. If I could, I would do it all over again. I still say I do to the most amazing woman on the planet. She is beautiful, smart, and most importantly she is a great women of God. I would like to thank God for His blessing and favor over our marriage and I believe that our greatest days are yet ahead.
There is no one like you. There has never been and never will be anyone like you. No one can take your place. You are invaluable and irreplaceable. You are unique, distinctive, and one of a kind. You are one out of seven billion. Be the best you that you can be. The one God made you to be. Oscar Wilde once stated, “Be yourself, everyone is taken.” Be an original, don’t die a cheap copy. Pull off the mask, and for once be you. It’s a great day to be you!
You’ve heard of the Law of Physics and the Law of Gravity, well there is another law that is even more important; the Law of Sowing and Reaping. This is a universal law that whatever you sow, you will reap. God is not a respecter of person but He is a respecter of principles. One of the first things God told Noah after the flood was recorded in Genesis 8:22. (NIV)
22 “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will never cease.”
On that day God set a law in motion that seed time and harvest would never cease. The question is how does the seed time and harvest law works? It’s simple!
Seed + Time =Harvest
You plant a seed, give it some time and then expect a harvest. The seedtime harvest principle has worked in my life and in the life of many other seed sowing believers. I highly recommend that you start sowing seeds of love, encouragement, prayers and finances. The seedtime harvest principle will work if you work it. Sow where you want to go!
“There are moments in our lives when we summon the courage to make choices that go against reason, against common sense and the wise counsel of people we trust. But we lean forward nonetheless because, despite all risks and rational argument, we believe that the path we are choosing is right and best thing to do. We refuse to be bystanders, even if we do not know exactly where our actions will lead.”
Life is a series of choices. You can choose or lose! The choice is yours. There is power in the choices that we make. Our choices determine our consequences and our decisions determine our destiny. If you are stuck in bad habits, unhealthy relationships, and negative or defeated thinking patterns, please know that you can break free, break out, and break through into a new possibility of thinking.You no longer have to play the victim or have a monthly pity party-you can choose to live! Moses told God’s people in the Old Testament to choose life.
”This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life…” (Deuteronomy 30:19).
Know that you have options, so choose life and you will enjoy a relationship with God; a byproduct of that relationship will produce favor, prosperity and purpose. Where will you be ten years from today? It all depends on the type of choices that you make. Choose wisely…choose LIFE!
In 2007, my business manager and I attended a conference in Dallas where I had the opportunity to meet Tim Stevens. I have always been one of Tim’s fans; but after reading “Vision: Lost & Found“, I am now a follower! “Vision: Lost & Found” is the turn-around story of Granger Community Church that explains how they grew from nothing into a mega church, got stuck and then unstuck. Tim Stevens vividly tells the story of Granger Community Church’s journey through the highs and lows, as well as the ups and downs.
This summer my staff of 11 and myself concluded a three-day staff retreat at Camp Allen in Navasota, Texas. In our time of training we read “Vision: Lost & Found” and it has challenged our leadership, stretched our thinking, and caused us to evaluate our paradigms. This has genuinely prompted us to ponder, reflect and examine our vision and strategy.
Has your church been stuck lately?
Have you been scratching your head lately, wondering how to form or reform a successful ministry where you can get a buy-in from your entire congregation?
This book goes beyond a must-read- it IS a required read for all Senior Pastors and Leaders who are considering revamping the vision of their church!
This week my staff and I experienced pure leadership adrenaline as we attended the Catalyst Conference in Dallas, Texas. I was inspired and encouraged to sharpen my leadership skills while also improving the development of my leaders as well. I don’t want to merely develop leaders; I want to continue to develop the leaders of leaders who will reproduce themselves! Catalyst Dallas has ignited a new fire in me that will propel improvement and perfection in my leadership capacity.