By: Rev. W. Jeffrey Campbell, Houston, TX
The year 2010 has arrived! A new year and a new decade!
Nancy Wilson recorded a song many years ago entitled, “What are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” What a wonderful song of romance and budding love. I remember making a cassette tape (yes, cassette tape) years ago for someone who I had fallen for. The tape included Nancy’s tune and other love songs and I wrote a nice little love note suggesting that we bring the New Year in together. I never mailed the tape or the letter and although our whirlwind two day romance was wonderful, it never moved past that point. No baby’s breath and no lace!
This New Year’s Eve found me in church, which is quite usual for me. I do think it is something quite awesome to ring in the New Year while singing God’s praises and in prayer and reflection. After church I gathered with 10 wonderful friends for breakfast and great conversation. This has become somewhat of a tradition for me and some of my in-town best and close friend circle. This year’s breakfast was held in the home of one of my best friends and his partner of 5 years.
Let’s take a look at what the breakfast crew looked like. The youngest guest was 31. The oldest 46. The relationship status of our breakfast crew included: two couples; one friend who just recently entered into a long distance relationship with plans of his boyfriend moving here later this year; 4 single guys; and then there was me and the great guy that I have been “talking to” for the past 2 months who lives in another state.
We sat at the round dining table and talked about a plethora of topics but we intentionally landed on two very necessary topics for an early morning breakfast on the first day of the New Year: What had we accomplished in 2009 and what were our goals for 2010.
During this time of the evening we gratefully poured our souls out detailing successes of 2009. One crew member began 2009 stating that he was going to lose weight. When by February he had not gone near a gym or cut back on any starches or red meats, most of the crew thought that he was not going to achieve his goal. I however, being one of the smarter crew members (LOL), remembered that this one was very goal oriented and very stubborn, so if he said he was going to do it, he would definitely accomplish it. (Five years ago he said that he was going to buy a home and get into a relationship. He has accomplished both!) So, I was not surprised when in November he had lost 25 pounds and by mid-December he had lowered his weight by 29 pounds. What was his secret? I suggested that he had gotten his stomach stapled but, in actuality he had used the Quick Weight Lose Center Program. He is now tucking his shirt back into his pants and sporting quit a waist line! Congratulations!
I had spent a great deal of New Year’s Eve day trying to remember what I had accomplished in 2009. Just about the time I was ready to throw in the towel and say “nothing”, I remembered the commitments that I had made during our 2009 New Year’s breakfast. I said that I would work more with my African American GLBT community, particularly Black gay men. Light bulb moment! In 2009 “Brothas Speaking I” and “Brothas Speaking II”, my idea to create safe and healthy spaces for African American same-gender loving men to discuss subjects live relationships, health and spirituality and sexuality came to life with great success. I had the opportunity to preach on the Ebony Pyramid Entertainment Cruise in October, yet another event for same gender loving members of the African American community. I also spoke during several events at the DFW Pride Movement and I was asked to serve as a contributing writing for The Future Forward. I am grateful to God for not only giving me these opportunities to connect with my community but also for bringing these achievements back to my memory when I was almost convinced that the year had gone by and I had done nothing.
I do not believe in a creature embodied in red skin with horns, a pitch fork and a spiked tail named the devil. I do however believe in the presence of evil in our world that sometimes attacks us and causes us not to be able to focus on what is important, to remember the things that we have accomplished and force us into a period of discouragement. It happens to all of us at some time or another. It is just something that we don’t like to talk about or that we discuss with no real idea of what is causing our struggle.
If the enemies of depression, low self-esteem and discouragement have caused you to not be able to recall your past accomplishments or have you stuck and not wanting to move forward into your present and future assignments, I encourage you to seek God for deliverance over these strongholds. You, my friend, are a gift to this world that is priceless. You are filled with potential much of which has gone untapped. Do not waste another minute wandering in the fog.
Begin to walk in your truth, your gifting and your call! Seek God for personal revival! Get focused or re-focused! We have goals to achieve, lives to touch, relationships to enter into, families to birth and nurture. 2010 is here let’s take it by storm!
Happy New Year!
Until next week…ROTFL with WJC!
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for further discussion.