Spread the Light
I give all praise, honor and glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ for the inspiration, gift and provisions necessary to complete this project. His provisions have been inclusive, but not limited to his undergirding physical and spiritual well-being for my family, especially for my wife and soul-mate, Torin, of 25+ wonderful years of marriage. God used this little woman to heal my wounded heart with His love and spiritual stability, through her obedience and faithfulness to Him! To my "Virtuous Lady," I will love you always and forever! Eternally yours! Thanks to my daughter, Joanna for her love and acceptance, while the Lord was teaching and maturing me to be the father that I should be. To my son Levi, you have been used by God to take me physically, emotionally and spiritually to heights, I have never known to make me a better father; I am still a work in progress. Contrary to popular opinion, 'real men' pray! We all fall down, but we can get back up again! God has called you to greatness; believe it, receive it, achieve it! To my grandson Tory, next to your mother and grandmother (and me...), Jesus is the best friend you will ever have. Nothing is impossible in Him! We love you and most importantly, God does too! To my niece Sharika, your life is a song. I pray your life forever to be, a reflection of His Love for the world to see! Always think on and do those things that are worthy of praise and bring glory to the Lord. (Phil. 4:8). The sky is the limit. I was raised in a Christian home on the North Side of Birmingham, Alabama. I did not realize the extent of our poverty. Compared to some folks, we were somewhat well off. On the other hand, in contrast to others there was a lot to be desired. Nevertheless, we always had clean clothes to wear (often hand-me-downs) and never had to go to bed hungry. My dad's resourcefulness was second to none. He taught us how to eat grits or plain bread sandwiches every way imaginable. He was my first coach and mentor of 'Mountain Moving Faith.' Although he lacked the highly professional training of today's leadership models, his demonstrative emphasis on the matter of character was clear; honesty is the only policy. Moreover, "Do to others as you would have them do to you," (Luke 6:31) and "A winner never quits and a quitter never wins." In 1960, the Lord called my mother home. Accepting the reality of life without mother at the age of 14 was incomprehensible! Thus, I became overwhelmed with grief and disillusionment. My efforts to recover from my mother's death were impaired by the venomous fangs of racism. The heightened presence of Jim Crow was most apparent in Birmingham, during that era. Terrorism was not a term as used in today's vernacular; however, it's ultimate goal was the same. Perpetuation of fear by any means necessary as a method of control. Therefore, my adolescence compounded by the aforementioned eventually lead to self-doubt and anger! A divine best practice implemented by my parents was, "Bring up a child in the way he/she should go and when they become older they will not depart." (Proverbs 22:6) My life is living proof that it works! God has given me friends of all races throughout the USA (and the world), that I love with the heartfelt love of Christ! In 1959 an awesome event occurred in my life, which I will always treasure. While attending my oldest sister's graduation ceremony at Talladega College, I had the honor of shaking the hand of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. who was the guest speaker for the occasion. I am convinced that a spark from a divine source entered my spirit because of that encounter. Although, many times I would stray from the path of obedience, there was that ever-present 'wee-small voice' speaking to me saying, "This is the way I have chosen for you - walk ye in it." (Isaiah 30:21) Hence, I never lost sight of my true calling or let the world define who I was! I always come back to the spurring as that of a servant leader; to be an agent for change, irrespective of political correctness, to make the world a better place. Many times over the years, I am reminded, that I actually touched the hand of a king; Martin Luther King! Thus, I have never been the same! The culmination of those encounters ushered me to an eternal relationship with the King of Kings! Despite my unworthiness, the Lord has infinitely blessed me! Most people think that I am in my 40's until I tell them otherwise; I am actually 62 years old (by God's Grace). I can still do 35 - 40 push-ups (non-stop). I am a graduate of Parker High School - class of 1963, during the tumultuous Birmingham Desegregation Movement. Weighting the disadvantage of the Deep South, in 1965 my dad sent me to Los Angeles, CA. As fate would have it, I arrived just in time for the "Watts Riots." With all due respects to law enforcement officers everywhere, a divine appointment was manifested when a Los Angeles Police officer pointed his service revolver point-blank range to my head and pulled the trigger at least 3 or 4 times. I am here as a living testimony that the Lord protected me! By the way, there were approximately 34 other Afro-American that were actually killed! There is more! However, I am looking forward to sharing my entire testimony in the form of a book, as it relates to the all-sufficient power of God to redeem ones life from the fatal embraces of distrust and bewilderment to wholeness! I am a graduate of the University of Redlands, Redlands, CA, with a bachelor's degree in Business Management and a Business Associates degree from Pasadena City College, CA (aka. University of Colorado Boulevard...smiles). I am currently employed as Director, IT Data Center Services and Director of Physical Security for an outstanding organization; Protective Life Corporation, Birmingham, AL. I began my tenure as an entry level Computer Operator more than 19 years ago. Albeit, my accomplishments in the IT/corporate arena have been many, there is still much to be done. I endeavor to use my failures and victories to inspire a 'can do' mind-set in others. The plight of many young men today is quite disturbing, particularly those between the ages of 10 - 40 years. I am convinced that the Lord did not bring us this far to leave us. "Whatsoever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men." (Col. 3:23). "Trust in God with all of your heart and lean not to your own understanding, He will direct your every step/decision." (Proverb 3:5). Anger and vengeance is not of God - but love, obedience and hard work will eradicate all barriers! Don't be controlled by fear. Whatever you fail to shoot at - you're guaranteed to miss it 100% of the time! The main thrust of "Spread the Light" as a musical project is to convey the message that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made; in the image and likeness of God almighty. If He says that we are important - that settles it! Secondly, no matter how rough or discouraging the circumstances in ones life may appear or become, never give up, lose hope or let anyone define who you are, nor the scope of your potential to be successful. "The time is short, the hour is late and the matter is urgent!" Author Unknown.