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Encouragement, Inspiration, Revelation

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Wha Ya Know Bout Da Gullah?

Posted on October 10, 2017 at 9:20 PM Comments comments (0)

I pray you are well as you read these words.

One of the ways my faith was framed was in the churches of the South Carolina Lowcountry, more specifically the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church. Nestled in the residential community of what was once considered the Accabee Plantation is where I heard the songs of Zion, some of which were in the hymnal and others that were stored in the memories of the saints.

To this day, there are songs I’ve never seen written lyrics for even after numerous Google searches. As I watch my hometown of Charleston, S.C. transition into a gentrified community where Gullah natives are seen more as “tourist attractions” than residents, I am led to continue the work of preserving Gullah-Geechee culture. 

These days, I’m excited to share some of those songs and the history of my Gullah-Geechee people in presentations, lectures, and workshops. The first time I publicly “owned” my Gullah-Geechee identity took place in a classroom at Winthrop University. For my informative speech I talked about a history and culture I had only heard bits and pieces about before I did my intensive research. We just lived it; we didn’t talk about. We be who we be cause dat who us be!

On Sept. 28 I had an amazing opportunity to share my heritage and musical offerings on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Here’s a snippet of a classroom talk that was a preview of the evening lecture. Take a listen at http://bit.ly/GullahGal.

If you are or your college, group, or organization would like to sponsor a program on Gullah culture, feel free to contact me at [email protected]





Remembering the Life of a Sistah Doc

Posted on September 22, 2017 at 1:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Domestic violence is no respector of person, and both men and women can find themselves being loved to death. A few weeks ago, I was troubled after reading a story of a young woman who could have easily been a friend. I address the possible events surrounding her death in a post published at For Harriet. 

#domesticviolence #lovedoesnthurt 

All Eyes on Charlottesville, Va.

Posted on August 12, 2017 at 11:30 PM Comments comments (0)

Christians have a communal faith. We can't have a "well, my hood is good" mentality.

Your cul-de-sac may be quiet today, but it may not stay that way!

We don't have to be in Charlottesville to confront the powers and principaliites that have ignited the fires in Charlottesville.

They're in our respective zip codes, too.

Prayers for all who will mount the sacred desk and operate as a prophet in a midst of the people! #anetimetobescared

#whoismyneighbor #resist #Charlottesville

Are Your Written Words on Assignment?

Posted on July 1, 2017 at 9:15 PM Comments comments (0)


I’m working on my next book, which I am hoping to release by the end of 2017. Let me rephrase that, my next book that WILL be released by Christmas. I went to a familiar research site as I write and think out its reach: the book aisle.

Are you working to release a literary offering by year’s end? Here’s a short video that may help you figure out what genre your book may find it's home in.

Visit http://bit.ly/lelebook.  Leave a comment below about your writing process!


Prayer with Purpose

Posted on June 26, 2017 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Some days we submit "Prayers of Petition" and other days we submit "Pray Requisitions."

The latter is often submitted with some expectation and knowledge of the exact "fund" or "account" from which the requisition will be "paid" or answered. Additionally in some systems, a requisition could take multiple approvals or signatures. In college, I spent my summers filing paperwork that had found its way through procurement, accounts payable and systems accounting! Getting requisitions paid was a process!

This morning as I cried out to God on a matter, I amended my request by expressing to God that however the need was addressed would be just fine with me. I stopped suggesting to the omniscient God the ways my request could be "funded."

I am not going to expect it to come from the South if you want to send it from the West. I am not going to expect a contract for work if you choose to send it as an unexpected love gift. I am just going to stand still and see the goodness of the Lord. I am going to get out of God's way! God doesn't need me on the advisory counsel. In the words of the old saints "Anyway you fix it (bless me) will be alright with me!" Amen.

Happy Abundant Summer

Posted on June 24, 2017 at 11:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Looking and living means leading an abundant life in ALL seasons. Please click on bit.ly/lnl7 

Bragging Rights!!!

Posted on June 23, 2017 at 7:50 PM Comments comments (0)

Some days Facebook does more than waste time.

Recently in one of the groups I follow, the administrator encouraged members to brag about themselves. I don't do this well, although I sure some would say I do it all the time.

The prompt actually reminded me that I needed to update my bio on this site. As I updated the info, I was reminded of God's faithfulness. It's so easy to try and compare our lives and ministries against those we follow on social media. Yep, we can get caught up in their invitations and "mics" without recognizing God's work in your own lives.

While looking at someone else's accomplishments can inspire you to strive or run harder, please make sure it doesn't drive you insane. Don't allow yourself to forget the ways God has used you. Yes, even if you haven't had the "big" experiences. If you woke up that day and participated in it, it was a big experience. You showed up!

Although "we have this ministry," I am fully aware that my ministry and others who are "preaching paint off walls" and "wrecking pulpits" is quite different. We all have different preaching styles, voices, and anointings. There's more than enough people to be saved, healed, delivered, and set free!

So if you are worrying about why your ministry, business, or work doesn't look like someone else's, consider the work you are assigned to do is a unique one.

Consider how God moves in YOUR life.

Consider the people you have been called to serve.

Consider that not every organization, person, pulpit or podium is your assignment.

Consider that you are a peculiar person made in God's image!

Don't forget the story is still being written, and there's plenty good room for all of us!


You Have To Show Up!!!

Posted on June 21, 2017 at 12:45 AM Comments comments (0)

While celebrating my birthday in ATL a few weeks ago, I had this providential conversation that I first dismissed as a random encounter. A friend from childhood and I were trying to figure out how to eat a gyro and box of ribs without a chair or table. So little Ms. Sunshine Tonetta goes to this woman's tent and asks if we can just stand at an adjacent table.

The woman proceeds to say her friends have gone so we can even sit down. We sit down and begin eating with bbq and Tzatziki sauce everywhere. We're talking about what we're talking about, and the sister who is hosting us eventually joins in. She finally says "What exactly do you do?"

Well, that's a complicated answer but I told her that I was a minister and a "Divine Content Producer." She began to tell me about her work, and how she is a corporate event planner. We began to discuss my budding comedic ministry, and honey, she gave it to me straight-no-chaser.

She told me "the difference between the people who get booked who aren't that good and the people who are sitting on the sidelines critiquing is the people who got booked showed up:"

She encouraged me to get as much video as I could, and to grab a mic when possible. Video? (Convo in my head: Doesn't she know I'm just working on this thing? I had formal education for everything else, but I might have to learn this thing from YouTube. I can't go out there and make a fool of myself.)

Well, what she said to me stayed with me. "Arlecia, you just have to go out there. You might fail. But you'll learn. You'll figure it out. You always figure it out! Two days later, I booked a show that was 5 days away. I hadn't done anything else in two months, so I was on the fast track to getting it together.

Oh, did I say I needed to drive from Atlanta to Washington, D.C., to accomplish this revelation?

I got to DC, bought a dress, had to run errands before the event so I ended up going to the gym to shower and change, put my makeup on in the car, and finally offered under 8 minutes of funny -the audience members were gracious. And as providence would have it, the emcee for the event was a former writer for Saturday Night Live who offered some great advice and critique about what she had seen. She was filling in for someone, but only God would have our paths to cross on that night.

I did it. I conquered my fears. I launched out into the deep. I took a risk. I trusted God. I did all of this and didn't pass out. Oh, and I was rather cute.

So as the sister said in the park, the difference between those who end up on the stage and those who are on the sidelines critiquing is the person on the stage showed up. I SHOWED UP!

Check out me showing up at : http://www.looknlive.com/out-of-order-comedy


The Aftermath of Father's Day...with video

Posted on June 19, 2017 at 9:00 AM Comments comments (0)

Prayers today for all who may be feeling some kind of way after Father's Day!

To the children who have paternity questions never answered, I am #praying for you.

To the children who waited at the door or window for someone who never came, I am praying for you.

To the children who only connected your father to a child support payment, I am praying for you.

To the children who got stuck in the crossfire of adults who couldn't get along, I am praying for you.

To the children whose fathers were violators instead of protectors, I am praying for you.

To the children who knew their fathers but could never publicly claim them, I am praying for you.

And to the children whose own fathers never equipped them to be fathers and they're subsequently continuing a cycle, I am praying for you.

I pray #healing to your soul and #peace to your mind. I pray improved and #healthy #communication for those who still have opportunities to reconcile! I pray the ability to extend and receive #forgiveness. I pray for those who will consider healing through #counseling.

I pray God's #grace upon the impossible!

Amen! 

Video at https/www.facebook.com/LookNLive/videos/10104966986705769/

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The Ministry of Music: The Gift of Thomas Clay

Posted on June 19, 2017 at 12:25 AM Comments comments (0)


1 Samuel 16:23

And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.


It has been eight months since Gospel Musician Thomas “T.C.” Clay transitioned in a hotel room. While I was not aware of this anointed worshipper prior to his death, it was through his death that I began to learn more about the genius of this psalmist, writer, producer, who ministered throughout the country without a major recording company contract.

I was so immersed in his story, I watched his funeral stream from a Wilmington, Delaware, church. The celebration of life service was only one moment in time, as his memorial truly lives in the hearts of family, friends, artists and via YouTube. It is through the medium many of us have come to know more about this unique ministry gift who once had folks slain in a bar.

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One of the things I learned after his death is Clay was the writer of Tamela Mann’s latest hit “Change Me.” While Mann was slated to sing the song at his memorial service, a death in her own family didn’t allow that to be so. The song's newfound popularity is a reminder that it’s possible that something created during our lifetime will live on through the voice and work of someone else.

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One night while troubled, I was led to YouTube to listen to Mann’s Change Me, which resulted in hours of listening to clips of Clay ministering that song and so many more. His worship was powerful, his style reflective of his various influences, and his anointing was something I trust made the devil tremble in fear. While I’m not sure the cause of his death, it was clear that his life, albeit short, was to usher the people of God into a pure worship experience.

He described himself as “weird,” and probably didn’t comfortably fit into one genre of music. But as I watched him minister via YouTube, I am grateful for his ministry gifts and what I have learned through his death. For starters, I am reminded to live each day to the absolute fullest. Clay died in his 30s, but each performance I viewed suggested he gave his all each time he hit the mic. He appeared empty as he left both small and large stages. God wants to receive us back as empty vessels.

Watching Clay's videos, I was also reminded that some of us will have unique gifts some won’t quite know what to do with in the earth. We just don’t fit in. We make folks uncomfortable. We challenge systems. But when it’s all said and done, God made us in fear and wonder. My preaching may not sound like the most popular evangelist or pastor, but God has still placed a preaching gift inside of me. God has placed a unique gift inside of you. In one documentary about Clay, a friend and producer said he had finally gotten out of his own way. When we are trying to figure out what to do with our fearful and wonderfully made selves, we may try hard to manage God’s projects and do more mismanaging.

I am stretched to be the best Arlecia I can possibly be as I move from safe to assignment. For him, it may have been safer to sing traditional Gospel music. But was that God’s assignment for his life?

Safe is comfortable, but the assignment may go against the grain and require patience. And while I continue to work, I recognize that the world may never know my greatness. Unlike Clay, I still have time to develop and share my gifts. I still have time to continue the work God has assigned myself to do. Before night's end, the heaviness had lifted!!



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