The Grass is Greener – When You Water It

This morning I woke up, as usual, about 5:30 to meditate and pray before tuning into Steve Harvey’s 6 o’clock call to God. That’s not what Steve calls it, but I call it that because I consider it similar to the early morning worship I learned growing up as a Muslim. (But that’s another story for another day.)

Steve’s call to God-morning testimony-moment-of-inspiration, whatever we want to call it, was about God’s gifts to us this morning. He used the famous quote, “God’s gift to you is your potential, your talents. Your gifts back to God is what you become, what you make of your talents and potential.” Or something like that. He told of individuals who turned their talents for cooking, baking, singing into businesses and successful careers. He didn’t reference a Biblical scripture to support this as he sometimes does, but the real-life anecdotes from people he knows, rang true enough for me. This got me to thinking about my own talents and potential. I love to write. It prospers me psychologically even before it adds up to dollars that makes sense. I like to spend my first hour of the day writing and more often than not I do.

But this morning, something that Steve said reminded me of a conversation I had yesterday with my 91-year-old grandparents. We were in their backyard, where they had proudly showed me the tomatoes, okra, bell peppers, and chives they are growing. I marveled at the mere fact that even as their health has declined and age as slowed them considerably, they are still producing. They still grow vegetables they freeze and can to have through the winter months. But their level of productivity was not what amazed me the most.

Grandma had sat on the steps for a rest as Granddad was digging up a cluster of chives to send home with me. I told them that I am growing a pot of basil my next door neighbor gave me, and a pot of mint. I have not planted a whole garden, but someday I may. We talked about the mint that used to grow wild in their garden. They told me how many, many years ago, when my granddad worked for Marriott, managing its contract for food services at a hospital, for extra cash, they sold the company mint from their back yard. This story of their enterprising and collective effort was only another small gift from this moment spent with them.

They offered me mustard greens and offered to pick them because they figured they could pick them faster since they’re old pros at it.

“I just can’t stand to see you struggling, picking one at a time,” Grandma said, bending over, pulling up handfuls.

“They don’t look ready to me,” I told her. “Looks like they need to grow some more. They’re so small.”

“They’re tender when they’re young like that,” she said. “I like mine tender.”

“But I don’t want to take your greens you put all the work into growing,” I said.

“We got greens going to bed!” Granddad said. “That little bit you got there ain’t enough to feed me. Go on and fill that bag up. We got plenty greens. Here, let me help you.”

Granddad’s hip is bad, so rather than bend, he had to kneel to pick greens.

“We gave away our first crop,” Grandma told me. “The Bible says give your…what is that they call it?”

“Your first fruits. Give your first fruits to God,” I said, surprised that this information had been inside. I had not thought about it. Couldn’t remember where I had read it or heard it. Some church somewhere, or one of the may self-help books I’ve read, probably.

“Yeah. That’s it. Give your first fruits to God and you’ll never want for anything,” Grandma added.

Before I left their home with a box full of books, dated as far back as 1914, a bag of fresh greens, and a pot of chives to grow my own seasonings for the future, I also felt blessed by stories they shared, stories I had not heard in our 45 years together.

I had not known, for instance, that Granddad had helped take care of his parents and carried some of the lessons he learned from theme the rest of his life. He didn’t put it that way. He simply mentioned, by way of explanation, that even when he was missing in action, according to my Grandma, he was not missing at all.

“Granddad is it true that you were gone for three years during World War II and Grandma didn’t know if you were coming home or not?” I asked yesterday, determined to clear up a few issues while there is still time.

“I didn’t know if I was coming home!” he said passionately. “We were at war!”

He told me about taking the ship to Italy and losing friends. They were not sure what might happen the next day.

“You couldn’t call or write?” I asked.

“I’ll tell you what though. I sent my checks home,” he said. “I had half of it going to my momma and the other half going to your grandma.”

“So Grandma, you knew he was alive because the money was coming,” I said, begging the question of why she had told me only half the story, but also feeling relieved as I realized this inclination I have to tell only my half of the story is maybe a trait I inherited. She looked chagrinned and Granddad finished telling his side.

“My momma saved all the money I sent to her. Your Grandma here didn’t have a nickel of it when I got back.”

Grandma shrugged and I smiled imagining the conversation they must have had when Granddad returned. I knew that she had felt like she had been left in the big city, at 21, to fend for herself after she moved her with her new husband then he was called to war. I never knew that Granddad had not considered her totally alone and helpless. They took a train together back to his home to visit his parents and he told his mother to use the money she had saved for him to build a bathroom onto the house.

“I told them I didn’t want to have to go to no outhouse the next time I came. So take the money I sent and get a bathroom built.” They did.

They told me about when they bought the house we were standing in, how they looked at house all over the city, but Grandma wanted this one. So they bought it. Granddad had told me years ago how he had not known how they could afford this house, but everyday when he rode by it on a bus going to work he prayed and knew in his heart this would be his house. Yesterday he told me that it turned out that the man selling the house was a fellow member of the masons and allowed them to move in before they went to settlement.

They told me about using the attic in their house to cure hogs. They would drive home to Georgia to visit and return with two whole hogs. In their basement, they soaked the hogs in salt water.

“How long did they have to soak?” I asked.

“I don’t remember now. A certain amount of time, you had to soak ’em,” Granddad said.

“Then you hung them in the attic. I never knew how you could keep them from stinking. I mean it’s dead meat – not refrigerated,” I said, recalling bits and pieces of the story I’d heard over the years.

“That’s why you soak them in the salt. The salt preserves ’em. Then we hung them up there in the attic. And my father, he had showed me how to make sausage and everything. My children never wanted for nothing!” he said proudly. “Well, I don’t know about after they got grown cause they joined the moozlems and stopped eating pork.”

We laughed.

“They still got the lesson though,” I assured him. “My mother taught me how to buy in bulk and stay stocked with staples. Always a bag of rice, some beans…”

He smiled at his memories.

“I always keep a stock of things. You would never see me going back and forth to the grocery store every week. I got a store in my basement,” he said.

I had noticed three gallon jugs of laundry detergent in the basement. I did not mention that I like going to the grocery store practically everyday because I had wasted too much food buying fresh produce in bulk, not having the time to cook and freeze like they do. Since I could remember, they had always kept two freezers full of food in their basement, too. One freezer was full of meats and fish, the other was full of vegetables they grew, apples and peaches they picked. When I lived with them through a job transition once I had helped scale and gut a cooler full of fresh fish they had caught. We formed an assembly line, the three of us, at the double-sink Granddad had installed himself years ago.

“We have always had a freezer full of meat,” Granddad told me. “When they first sold us the freezer, that was the way they sold it to you. You bought the freezer, and for a certain amount each month, they bought you the meats.”

“Haven’t you ever lost it, had it go bad in a power outage?” I asked, because I had not remembered ever hearing him complain about something like that.

He shook his head.

“I have always trusted in God. And I never went through that. Never had the power stay out so long the meat went bad. I trust in God.”

I nodded, smiling.

I noticed what looked like a pan of cornbread covered in foil on the counter and asked for a bite to eat – having already declined their offer to cook something for lunch. I just wanted a small taste of something and remembered Grandma’s cornbread was actually better than the boxed Jiffy mix she started with. She added her own enhancements on the box mix. 

“I made biscuits. You’re welcomed to them,” she said. 

“Take them all,” Granddad said. “Take them home.” 

I only wanted one to take the edge off my hunger. I had left over beef and veggies waiting for me at home. I spotted a jar of Grandma’s homemade jelly and ended up eating three biscuits because they tasted better than they looked and the jelly was heavenly even though it had not jelled. Grandma apologized for the lack of firmness in her jelly. Granddad proudly explained that it had been made from apples they picked from the tree at their vacation camp site a short drive from where they live. He suggested I take a jar of jelly home with me, too. 

We covered a lot of ground in my short visit. Grandma disclosed a couple secrets she probably was supposed to take back to heaven with her. Granddad denied it all. One of her complaints I tried to mitigate, but couldn’t. Granddad assured me that he is taking good care of them as he always had. 

“And when we die, ya’ll don’t have to come up with a nickel to bury us,” he said. He’s got that all taken care of, too. He told me of when and how he decided to pay for it all.

“When I die, all you got to do is call the Latneys and say, ‘he’s dead,’. They’ll come and pick me up, and everything is taken care of, paid in full. You don’t have to worry about nothing,” he said. 

Grandma had begun preparing me for their inevitable departure a few years ago when we wrote the obituary she wants used. She told me the particulars about what she wants to wear. Last year when she was not sure she would survive major surgery, and she lay restless, strapped in bed in an intensive care unit, she called out to me as I was leaving. 

“My obituary’s in the punch bowl!” she had said, telling me that if she didn’t make it out the next morning, the story of her life we had worked on was in with all her other important papers stashed in a glass, crystal-looking punch bowl. 

“Ya’ll are miracles in my mind,” I told them yesterday. 

“Bless you,” Granddad said. 

I had told Grandma a couple weeks ago that the mere fact that she’s still alive after professing her surrender before going into surgery last year amazes me. She had told me, “I’ve lived a good life…I’m ready…whenever God sees fit to take me I’m ready…I’m tired…” I did not expect her to live past Christmas. But by spring, she was planting seeds for another harvest. 

Yesterday as Granddad pulled greens for my dinner, I offered to mow their lawn. No, he said, my uncle is planning to teach my 12-year-old cousin, how to cut his grandparents’ grass.  I used to take pride in keeping up their lawn. Granddad had taught me how to mow the grass evenly, how to trim the hedges using his electric clippers. He had taught me to water the grass early in the morning or late in the evenings, never when the sun is high.  

Yesterday’s visit – their stories, the fruits from their garden, the laughter, the memories – was such a blessing, it came to mind this morning as I prayed and considered making my morning writings, my morning thoughts, my first fruits offering to God.

Rather than pondering my current problems, past regrets, and fears about the future, “weed” thoughts that choke the life out of my potential, I should begin my day with nourishing thoughts – and writings. Thoughts of thanks for all that I do have, praise for all the good in my past, and thoughts of hope for my future will nourish my God-given talents and potential, while lamenting all that I seem to lack will, like weeds, choke the life out.

I got out of bed this morning, thanking God that although I do not have the job I expected to have had a year or more ago, yesterday I had time, un-rushed, to spend with two people who have lived well a very long time trusting God and the many gifts He has given them. Jobs helped sustain them, but so did their relationships with their parents, their passion for gardening, their practice of tithing, their relationships with their children, their grandchildren, and their church.

Today I will water my basil and mint and the chives – and many other “fruits” I got from Grandparents yesterday, fully appreciating them as gifts God has planted in my life.

What Dreams Reveal

This morning I had a dream that reminded me of a pivotal experience in my life. I remembered taking my grandmother to a fashion show produced by one of my sisters, starring about a dozen of our cousins, all of whom had been raised as Muslim girls. My grandmother, as always, was dressed “modestly” as the Muslim woman she had become in her 20s. 

She wore a long skirt and a light-weight veil covering her silver, silky hair.  She favored soft, pastel colors and I marveled at her ability to remain stylish while beholden to a very old-fashioned Islamic tradition.  Out of respect for her, I wore loose-fitted slacks and a conservative blouse  instead of one of my sassy short skirts with bold high heels. I could tell we were in for a fun evening when we arrived, but I had no idea how adventurous the event would be.

We were settled into our seats, enjoying my mother’s humorous moderating of the program, enjoying the little kids sporting everything from traditional tiny tuxes and gowns to trendy baggy jeans and jerseys. My grandmother was all smiles, thoroughly delighted –  until the lights changed and the next scene unfolded.

In the blink of an eye, a parade of young women who had been raised with strict religious confines strutted out half naked in mini skirts and tank tops or swim suits and spiked heels. They held a handful of leashes attached to young men crawling on all fours in front of them. They pulled back on the leashes, struck a pose, and flashed their sass, yanked on the leashes. The young men in collars clawed at them, rolled over for them, made the crowd laugh for them and my grandmother was beside herself.

“What in the world?!?!?!”  She spoke only loud enough for me, sitting next to her, to hear. “Astafullah!” she said. that was the Muslim equivalent of “God forbid!” I was tickled through and through. 

“It’s a new day, GrandWillie. Women are owning their sexuality,” I explained. “Actually, it’s not that new. We’ve been celebrating sex since the 70s.”  I enjoyed my younger sisters’ vision and the young men’s willingness to play along. 

At the reception after the fashion show we enjoyed light fare and much laughter with the crowd. Back in my car, GrandWillie returned to our conversation.  She explained that she likes to support all her grandchildren, but she did not need to see what she had seen and she certainly did not condone it.

“These are the ending days for sure,” GrandWillie said. “I can’t stand to see young women giving yourselves away. You know we had a saying ‘why buy the cow if you can get the milk free’.” 

“Oh, GrandWillie I always hated that saying,” I said. “No disrespect. But that implies that I am a piece of meat a man can buy and milk to death or slaughter and eat. I am not a piece of meat.”

“Why would any woman give herself to a man who won’t even make a commitment? I just don’t understand it.”

“It’s not so much giving ourself away. It’s a shared experience,” I said. “We like sex. No disrespect.” 

My grandmother had given birth to eight children because birth control and abortion were illegal when she was a young woman. Sex had been a necessary evil to be endured by those lucky enough to get married. She had proudly told me that she had never been with any man other than my grandfather. I had respectfully declined to let on that I knew my grandfather had been with other women before they were married and during their 40-plus years together. (He was killed by a drunk driver.) Her children had enjoyed the sexual revolution of the 70s, and her grandchildren were celebrating it in new ways.  What would she do if she found out that women were now enjoying sex without a partner at all? She had never been to an adult toy store. Our orientations had been different. The landscapes of our lives were not the same. 

While focusing on the road ahead, taking my grandmother home, I could see out the corner of my eye that she was shaking her head in disagreement about our take on women’s sexuality. I did not tell her that she had been spared a fashion show scene dramatizing lesbian relationships. That would have been waaaay too much for her. The younger women in the family were pushing the envelope but maintained some boundaries in deference to our elders. I appreciated GrandWillie’s wisdom, but did not agree with it all. Conventional wisdom defied and denied too much of what I instinctively knew to be true. 

“Men have to get a license to fish, to hunt, to do whatever else they want to do. Make them get a license to be with you,” my grandmother insisted. 

“I am not a sport or a game,” I argued. “I am not a piece of meat, or a piece of property you can have license to. License to do what? Do you realize how many men think their marriage license gives them the right to sex anytime they want?”  

“You young women think too much,” she said. “The Holy Scriptures lays it all out for us. Ain’t nothing new under the sun. Human nature is human nature, and God knows human nature. When we try to change it or figure it out on our own, nothing good can come from it.”

I agreed with her that there are many benefits to marriage, that stating intentions up front and committing to work together toward agreed-upon goals could be more satisfying than a series of one-night stands. 
 

“I believe in marriage,” I told her. “But I need a wife.” 

“You need a what?” She seemed exasperated with me. 

“I need a wife. Somebody who’s got my back, who will support my dreams. I need a man who will pick up my dry cleaning if I’m working late, or have dinner on the table for me to take the edge off a long day.” 

“These are certainly the ending days,” she said. “You all, as you like to say, got it twisted’.” 

 I smiled, and respectfully disagreed. “I think we’re finally straightening things out,” I said as we reached her home where we would part ways. “GrandWillie, it’s all working out for the best,” I added. “You’ll see.” 

She cracked a smile as she turned to go up the stairs.  “I think I have seen enough.” 

My dearly departed grandmother is among the stars now. Thinking about fun times we shared brings a smile to my face, streaks of sunlight through the clouds of grief. The dream I had reflected sexual domination, but it prompted waking memories that confirmed a reversal of fortune.  We re-create, re-cast, re-fashion,and  re-model our outlook. We have, we can, we must.

Shop-Lifting

In the current economy I have learned to appreciate an activity akin to window shopping. I call it shop-lifting. I go to shop but lift my consciousness and character awareness more than my wallet. For instance, the other day I was standing in line at the Card Factory Store when I overheard a customer behind me explain the items spilling out of her hands.

“My husband’s 50th birthday is coming up. So, we decided to write 50 things we love about him and put them in a decorative vase he can keep on his desk at work,” she said. 

Now that’s a gift! I thought. Cheaper than the latest iPad or the next high-tech communication gadget, but a communication of something so much greater – love. 

It reminded me of when I was on a  shopping fast in November, following the advice of financial fitness guru Michelle Singletary. She suggested a 30-day no-spending fast. She also suggested that you not even go into stores, tempting yourself. I did not want to over-deprive myself. So, I went into stores with the idea that I could only lift ideas and enjoy the experience of exchange by watching others engage in it. 

Once, while in a dollar store browsing near the check-out, I overheard the cashier’s conversation with a customer and became intrigued. 

“Your hair is beautiful. Were you always blond?” she asked. 

“Yeah. Since I was a little boy,” he said. 

For starters, I never knew people’s hair changed colors except for turning gray. So, without spending a dime, I learned something. But there was more as I listened. 

“My husband’s hair used to be dark like his,” she said, pointing to another customer. “But as he got older it turned white. It’s beautiful.”

It sounded like she enjoyed growing old with her husband.  I found that encouraging for my own marriage. Encouragement – free. 

I moved to the back of the store so I could whip out my pocketbook journal and make a note. But while I was back there I noticed something else. A family – parents and kids – talking about what else they should put in their “gift baskets.”  Curiosity got the best of me and I drew on my old reporting skills to find out more. 

They belonged to the Chesapeake Christian Fellowship Church, which sends Christmas gift baskets to “third world” countries. Billy Graham’s son, Franklin, is in charge. The mother, father, and their two sons, each carried a box filling it with toys, candy, and other treats.

“We have a lot, so why not give to somebody else?” the mother told me when I asked about their motivation. 

Without spending a dime, I was inspired, and reassured that we’re not all a bunch of self-seeking, greedy, can’t-get-enough, no good people in America.

Shopping without spending allowed me to collect encouragement and inspiration that lifted my spirits higher than a new pair of heels would have lifted my frame. 

Another day during the 30-day spending fast, I went into a gift shop, browsing for ideas of gifts I might buy in the future. Instead, I got a great idea of a gift book I can create. I rushed home to write down my idea and more inspiration flowed. I followed up with a little research about how to market it. Made a list of publishers to pitch it to. 

I had loved shopping, justified it as retail therapy for so long, I am pleasantly surprised and thoroughly delighted these days to experience shopping of another sort.  I spend less money these days, enjoying so many other aspects of the shopping experience. I chat with the store workers now. I laugh at their jokes. I enjoy samples at food stores and have outgrown my shyness about asking for a sample before I buy something. Guilt. 

Yesterday I was browsing Whole Food, which I love because of the abundance of samples at the ready. After a few samples of fresh squeezed orange juice, fresh squeezed lemonade, chocolate-cherry coffee, chocolate chip cookies, and toffee-covered pretzels, I really was hungry for a purchase. I bought only a $3 jar of tomato sauce and left without feeling guilty. The guilt I may have felt for enjoying so many samples and spending so little cash was lifted as I realized the store did what it intended to do, which was provide a customer with an experience that would ensure my return again and again, and I did what I intended to do, which was – spend more wisely. 

In the interest of full disclosure, when I was a kid, I was once caught shoplifting, in the criminal sense. I had everything basic I needed at home, food, water, shelter, family support. But I envied my friends who had designer clothes and Tinker Bell lotion and lip gloss. I stole Tinker Bell lip gloss and lotion and got caught. Thankfully, my mother did not find out until I told her years later.

Shop-lifting this new way is alleviating my envy of others who still seem to have more – more job security, a bigger house, more financial wealth, etc. I am realizing that I have so much more than I realized. My mother tried to tell me this, of course. She insisted that I shop in my own closet. Now I, do that, too. I realize that I have all the pieces and colors to create my favorite look for any occasion.   I also realize that I have things to give away. I have more than I “need.”

What are you shopping for? Beyond the basics, what are you really hungry for?

What’s in Your Hand?

What’s In Your Hand?

Yesterday, out the blue, Adam Clayton Powell’s famous, “What’s in Your Hand Speech” came to mind. I remembered happening upon his speech about 15 years ago, during one of what would become a series of my mini-retirements (more on that another time).

I had been in line at a library when I noticed a documentary on him on a shelf nearby. I grabbed it, and when I watched it, I was so blown away by the clip of his speech at the end, I rewound it over and over again. I jotted it down verbatim in my diary and memorized it. I loved it so much. It was a call to political action, an attempt to jolt people from apathy.  But I imagined it could be an inspiring call to personal and professional action, as well as a call to celebrate the gifts that we have.

I imagined using it in a speech I would give someday, encouraging beauticians to realize they held in their hands the gift of making others beautiful, calling teachers to realize they have the gift of guidance and instruction. Everybody’s got a gift and often we don’t fully appreciate what we are giving right where we are.

I once envied a friend who made six figures as a personnel specialist. He lamented that he had no special gift. Money isn’t everything, he said. He prayed for God to show him his special gift.

“Are you kidding?”I asked. “Not only are you making money, adding value to your own life and by extension the lives of others you give presents to, causes you donate cash to, your church, which is sustained partly by your tithes and offerings. You have the gift of modeling a level of success that is possible. Plus, in your job you help match people with the right opportunities. That’s a gift!”

Of course, he was thinking of an artistic gift. He admired my gift of – and passion for – writing. He said he envied that I could be content in a corner anywhere with a pen and a notepad or journal. Of course, I did not see what I had as a gift because as much as I love journaling – and now blogging – there’s no money attached to it – yet.  

It can’t be a gift without monetary value, right? Never mind the peace of mind, and what we now call “psychological income.” That doesn’t pay the mortgage, right? At some point it will.  (I have complied trunks full of journals, that I am now considering a gold mine of material for novels.) That’s a gift to be shared, right? 

This morning I tuned in to hear Steve Harvey’s morning testimony, something I’ve enjoyed off and on for at least two years now. I like “witnessing” him share his love of God with his audience of millions. At the end of his 12-minutes of testifying this morning, he talked about gifts God gives us all.

“He gives a lot of people a gift. Some are not using it, now they’re life ain’t what they want. But, guess what? You made that call,” he said in all his sassiness. “You know how to cook, but you won’t bake a pie. You’re funny, but you ain’t on stage. You can sing, but you ain’t got a record deal. You can counsel, but you ain’t took up social work. What you want God to do? You the best painter, but you ain’t got your art displayed no where…That’s crazy.”

I considered the coincidence of recalling Adam Clayton Powell’s speech on using God’s gifts last night and hearing a similar message from Steve Harvey this morning an interesting enough coincidence to follow it somewhere. I googled Adam Clayton Powell and found a clip of him giving his speech on YouTube. I listened and not only felt inspired all over again, I felt compelled to share the inspiration.

Here is the text of Powell’s famous “What’s In Your Hand” speech:  

“As far as I know, here, you’re in trouble. It says you’ve got about 30 percent unemployment. That’s why I’m working hard to get this surplus food here. Some of you say to me, ‘well, I’m not like you. I’m not a congressman. I haven’t got education. I haven’t got work. But you’re a human being. And you know what you’ve got? You’ve got in your hand the power to use your vote and to use even those few cents you get from welfare to spend them only where you want to spend them.” The crowd applauded and cheered. “A young slave boy stood one day before the greatest ruler of his day. And God said to Moses, what’s in your hand? And Moses said, ‘I’ve got this stick, that’s all.’ He said, well let me use what’s in your hand. And God used that slave boy with a stick in his hand to divide the Red Seas, march through a wilderness, bring water out of rocks, manna from heaven, and bring his people to freedom land. What’s in your hand?”

“What’s in your hand! George Washington Carver, who was so frail that he was traded for a broken down horse as a slave boy, and George Washington Carver sitting in the science laboratory at Tuskegee told me, he said, ‘Dr. Powell, I just go out into the fields each morning at 5 o’clock, and I let God guide me, and I bring back these little things and I work them over in my laboratory.’ And that man did more to revolutionize the agricultural science of peanuts, and of cotton, and of sweet potatoes than any other human being in the field of agricultural science.”

“What’s in your hand? Just let God use you that’s all. What’s in your hand!!!!!!!” he boomed. “I’ve got a string in my hand, that’s all, and I’m flying a kite, and way up in the heaven’s lightening strikes, and I Benjamin Franklin, discover for the first time, the possibilities of electricity – with a string in my hand. What’s in your hand!!!!! Little hunch-back sitting in a Roman jail. ‘I haven’t got anything in my hand but an old quill pen. But God says, ‘Write what I tell ya to write!’ And Paul wrote, I have run my race with patience. I’ve finished my course. I’ve kept the faith. What’s in your hand little boy!!!!” ‘All I’ve got is this slingshot, but the enemies of my people are great and big and more numerous than we are.’ Well Little David, go down to the brook and pick out a few stones and bring them back, and put them in the sling shot and close your eyes if you want to and let them go. And David killed the enemies of his people, and his people became free, just letting God guide a stone in his hand. And a few years pass, and David is King. And God says, ‘What’s in your hand?’ And David says I’ve got a harp. And God said then play on your harp. And he played, ‘The Lord is My Shepherd I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures. He leadeth me beside still waters. Yea thou I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil. What’s in your hand!!!!!”

Now here was my favorite part.

“A man hanging on a cross with two nails in his hands said ‘Father I stretch my hands to thee. No other help I know. If Thou withdraw thy hand from me, whither will I go. And that man with two nails in his hands split history in half, B.C. and A.D. What’s in your hand tonight? You’ve got God in your hand, and with God in your hand, He’ll let you win because he’s on your side, and one with God is always in the majority. So, walk with Him and talk with Him. And work with Him and fight with Him. And with God’s hand in your hand, the victory will be accomplished, sooner than you dreamed, sooner than you hoped for, sooner than you prayed for, sooner than you imagined. Good night and God bless.”

 Click here for link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuZjcd7t-sE&feature=related