Top 40 Things I Learned/Relearned From The Flood

40.  A little rain for a long time can make a historic difference
39.  Out of sight, out of mind… This can quickly become your reality if you remove yourself from the crisis.
38.  Taking away your things somehow reminds you of how blessed you truly are.
37.  Vulnerability is a muscle, it must be exercised.  It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to accept help.
36.  Everybody is going through something.  You’re not alone.
35.  Pictures really are worth more than a thousand words.
34.  Whatever you do, make sure you understand it before you do it.
33.  The more you put in the garbage bag, the heavier the load becomes to carry.
32.  The brand name of the object doesn't matter when you're in need.
31.  The dolly is your friend!
30.  Even your giants get tired.
29.  If it was supposed to be removed from your life, no matter how hard you try to restore it or hold on, it will ultimately have to be thrown away.  Some things are just not within your control. 
28.  Keep growing! There's always new information to learn.
27.  There will always be setbacks… things you don't expect to happen.  How you respond matters.
26.  Having the right tools makes a major difference in the ease of completing a task.  Oftentimes having the right tools determines whether you can even start or get the job done period.
25.  Family is just in a league of their own.  Love them unconditionally.
24.  Be cautious of the world's habit of instilling fear. Some things aren't as bad as the world makes them seem.
23.  Every day of the process won't be good, but every day won't be bad either.
22.  The lightest object can become the heaviest if it absorbed a lot of the water.  Be careful what you take in.
21.  Just because something doesn't have value to you doesn't mean it isn’t priceless to someone else.
20.  The early bird still gets the worm. The real hustle requires you to get up and get moving.
19.  Divisive people can make you quickly forget unity.
18.  Stress can come at any moment.
17.  Just because your life is in disarray doesn't mean everyone else's is. Respect the differences.
16.  Use the word 'friend' sparingly and wisely.
15.  What you focus on definitely expands.  Learn to control your vision.
14.  More people care about you than you realize.
13.  There's always a way to help if you choose to help.
12.  Seeing it from afar is different than seeing it up close. Your proximity matters.
11.  One day you can be in the clear; the next day you're not.  No matter how uncomfortable it is to be a host, do it with a spirit of gratitude, because you can soon become the evacuee.
10.  Praise is more challenging when you're in the storm.
9.   The media will only share what they deem important and worthy of attention.  Don’t be surprised by that. 
8.   People who need to be rescued become colorless. Our differences become irrelevant.
7.   Choose what goes and what stays quickly.  Learn important truths about yourself regarding your belongings.
6.   Just because you don't see the flood, doesn't mean it's not coming.
5.   You don't know where your next blessing is going to come from. Just be in expectance and be available.
4.   Don't project your sermon notes on others before they finish experiencing the sermon for themselves.
3.   Real family and friends can give without you asking.
2.   We all can live with less.
1.   There's something in the water! Trust God’s timing. Trust the process.

Keep Moving…

God always provides a way for us to move forward. If you can no longer afford your private jet, humble yourself and fly commerical. If you can't afford the maintenance on your BMW, as much as you may think you are, you're not above the city transit. If your feet are tired from walking, try crawling. Even if you become paralyzed to a point of physical immobility, keep your thoughts moving forward. I offered this similar idea as inspiration to my fellow classmates when I spoke at my college graduation. Today I needed to remind myself of my own words. Don't give up! "Whether we sprint, jog, walk, or crawl... We must keep moving!"  #prayingforusall #keepmoving #accelerate

Blue Has Now Become the Opposite of Black

I'm sick of social constructs constantly defining and dividing the one human race. I too have fallen into the habit of constantly identifying race, largely because we have a race problem in America. Some of my white privileged Americans genuinely believe every minority is out to take something away from them. The greed of not wanting to relinquish the privilege has warped their psyche and continues to amplify social mayhem. Black Lives Matter is simply a movement, a movement to end discrimination. Violence towards a marginalized people is not a new phenomenon in this country. Blacks have historically created verbiage to reform the plight of an oppressive system. Sometimes I feel like many White Americas vilify Black slogans/movements, distort the words' intentions, only to steal them and copy it into their own lexicon of comfortable acceptance. Vainly unoriginal. I'm no longer furious when I see "Blue Lives Matter," I now just find it creatively lackluster, and I accept it as a mere distractive agent for the real change we all deserve.  #blacklivesmatter #nojusticenopeace

Orange is NOT the New Black!

Orange is NOT the New Black!

The first phase of competition for the Mister United States crown was my favorite - Talent!  I decided to address societal labels and why they are so dangerous. I was originally dressed in a full prison jumpsuit as a reflection of my home state's alarming incarceration rate of African American males. Underneath the jumpsuit was a black hoodie in memory of Trayvon Martin.