Archive for January, 2022

The man behind the name: Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King

January 17, 2022

On January 17, 2022, the national holiday, celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I would like to share personal reflections and a poetic tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr:

 . . . the man behind the name

the name

the good brother

hammered out his

“Here I stand,

I can do none other. . .”

and forged “A mighty fortress”

the name

the same name

thunders through four centuries

anchored with a surname

a paradox,


nature of a servant/King

the name

weight of that name

the burden of the same name

obligation to be true

to one’s namesake

as Ellison’s hidden name and complex fate

resounds from age to age the same–

the battle cry to defy the status quo

more than the name

is the memory of the man

behind the name

reflections on the man

behind the name

mirror commonalities

threads intertwine in black and gold

the life of this preacher,

teacher of the Word,

Walker’s prophet for a new day,

husband, father, mentor, and more:

fellow-laborer in the Lord,

fellow bondslave and brother

heeding the higher calling

first of all,

servants of all,

we shall transcend all

. . . the man behind the name

the man

praying, preaching,

leading through troubled waters

following in the steps of Christ,

along the higher path of love

the man

     buked and scorned,

called everything,

including a child of God,

tested, arrested, tried, and sentenced

penning his letter from a Birmingham jail

the man

sitting down and standing up,      

protesting and marching and singing

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ’round!

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ’round!

Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ’round!

Keep on marchin’; keep on movin’;

keep on marchin’ toward the freedom land

from Selma to Montgomery to Memphis

where he waved and smiled the last time

the man. . .the man. . .the man

uprooting burdock and stinkweed,

bitter roots of prejudice

that blight the land

planting peace lilies instead

the man

images forever etched in my mind

an eloquent, passionate dreamer

working to weave into reality

his multi-colored dream of possibility

the vista of that gathering

with echoes of his oration

before the People of Promise

arm-over-arm, hand-in-hand

swaying in rhythmic waves

across the multitude of faces

singing softly in unison

this choir of celestial voices

“. . . Black and white together. . .”

embracing refrains from the anthem of his age:

We shall overcome

We shall overcome

We shall overcome, someday.

Oh, deep in my heart I do believe

We shall overcome, someday.

In thinking about Dr. Martin Luther King, a particular phrase comes to mind. Without question, “to serve” is one of the most powerful verbs in the English language. Listen to this excerpt from “The Drum Major Instinct,” an unforgettable sermon by Dr. King, whose life and ministry embodied the beauty and simplicity of the words “To serve,” the hallmark of his life.

To Abide in God’s Presence

January 10, 2022
The theme for the Week of Prayer, Fasting, and Consecration at Grace Covenant Church and Every Nation Churches across the globe

January 10-14, 2022, marks the beginning of the annual Week of Prayer, Fasting, and Consecration at Grace Covenant Church and other Every Nation churches across the globe. The theme for this year’s observance is Abide: The Power and Beauty of God’s Word.  

Telos Fuller, one of the Associate Pastors at Grace Covenant Church—Chantilly, VA, provided the perfect prelude to this special time when he ministered regarding “The Prize” on Sunday, January 10, 2022. He touched upon the awareness, access, and emphasis of “The Presence of  God” which should be the ultimate prize that all believers aspire to attain. Examining passages from Psalm 84 and other scriptures, he encouraged believers to pursue a deeper awareness of the presence of God which becomes a different metric for measuring our success as Christians.

He went on to say that everything we need and want we find in the presence of God. He referred to Psalm 16:11 which inspired this original psalm written in response to the teaching, as my own expression of “Amen” to the truths that resonated so deeply with me:

To Abide in God’s Presence

You will show me the path of life;
In Your presence is fullness of joy;
At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore                 

Psalm 16:11

To abide in God’s presence is our utmost desire,

Beyond the wealth of any treasure we may acquire.

With all of our being, we pursue the Lord, our delight,

Who brings such joy and peace to comfort us through the night.

Our desire to linger in His presence burns like a fire.

He clothes us in righteousness, garments of praise, our attire.

We seek to do God’s will and all that He may require.

We meditate on the Word of God both day and night

To abide in God’s presence.           

God has touched our lives and made us perfect and entire,          

We are learning to trust him as our sole supplier.

Challenges confront us when we seek to do what is right,

But beyond the dark is the golden edge of daylight.

We know weeping may endure only for a night,

 But we rejoice each new day, reflecting our  desire

To abide in God’s presence.

I anticipate that this week will be life-changing for all who participate in this time of dedication and consecration: “Abide—The Power and Beauty of God’s Word.”

We close with this selection by Life Worship: “Here in Your Presence”