Life

Hello Sunday

Y’all, it’s December! Can you believe there are only three Sundays left in 2022? Also.. this is the final December of my 40s. Yes, this decade is almost over. Y’all, in several months I will be half a century. Woohoo!! Doesn’t that just sound grand! Smiling

Anyhoo.. this morning I have two things on my mind– 1) Coach Prime (Deion Sanders) leaving Jackson State University and 2) two of my top fives (Michelle Obama #4 and Tyler Perry #5) hanging together this weekend. Both have me thinking about God, faith and life, and how things don’t always work out how you planned. However, they always work out according to God’s plan. Here’s what I mean. I’ll start with Coach Prime —

According to Coach Prime, he took the job at Jackson State University (JSU) because he was following God’s lead– this was three years ago. Last night, he announced that he was taking the head coaching position at the University of Colorado, again following God’s lead. Although rumors were circulating about him leaving from the day he began coaching, he stayed. And during those three years he changed the entire atmosphere for Historical Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), nationally. It was so amazing to watch! Y’all know I love watching God work. Smile. Not only did he change it for them but for Mississippians, as well. Listen, he made us proud to be Mississippians. He showed us that despite what outsiders believed, we are valued and invaluable. He did all of this while inspiring us to want more. He showed us that the top is obtainable. All we have to do is BELIEVE and put in the work! Honestly, I feel sorry for those who didn’t get it.

Last year, he had to have one or two toes amputated (something stemming from a prior surgery). While he was healing, he released a video thanking God for life. In the video he spoke about the enemy not wanting him to finish the job God had sent him to do, which was his primary focus– his purpose. Now, I don’t know what everyone else heard– loyalty, commitment and wins for JSU; but what I heard was loyalty, commitment and wins for God.

Now, for those who have seen Deion Sanders in action, we know he has a very big personality and a HUGE ego. Always has. Laughing. But from what I’ve seen, he’s used them to benefit others. Now it’s time for him to move on and help more people. All I have to say is this– because I’ve personally witnessed it many times during my work with communities– when you encounter someone who has a vested interest in your growth and wellbeing, glean from them. Do not stand by and watch them work and marvel at their success. Join in! Listen, life happens and obligations change, as does assignments. When a person’s time is up, they have to move on. To guilt trip them into staying is not good for either party.

I believe Coach Prime left a playbook not only for JSU but for other HBCUs. I just hope that while they were criticizing his work they were also taking note so that the work continues. Okay.. I’ve said what I’ve said, now let me move on. Wishing Coach Prime and everyone who’s taken the time to glean from him, the best. Yes, it always hurts when someone good has to leave, but if you really believed in what they were doing, you honor them by continuing what they began.

So, since I wrote so much about Coach Prime, I won’t keep you long gushing about my #4 and #5. I just love them! As in 2014, my #1 (Leah Chase) and #2 (Marcus Samuelsson) were at the same place at the same time, and I got to see them together. Y’all, I was on cloud nine! Well, that was then. This time things didn’t work out the same. Although I tried multiple times to make it to Atlanta to see Mrs. Obama and Tyler, every plan fell through. I guess you could say I should be thankful. Little did I know that I would be sick and wouldn’t have been able to attend or enjoy myself anyway. But God knew. Yes, I was a little disappointed, but it was for the best. With that said, y’all, I am so thankful for social media. I may not have been able to be there in person; however, I could feel their energy through their videos and it felt so wonderful! Smiling. I know God’s got me. There will be other opportunities because I’m blessed like that. Smile

Well, this is all I have for you today. Praying you have a wonderful Sunday and fabulous week!

Shaun

Life

Wednesday Writings

Smiling because this particular Facebook memory is soooo timely!

This week, Tyler Perry (yes.. I’m writing about Tyler again- lol) has two productions premiering. Tonight we get a sneak preview of his new show Zatima, which is a spin-off of Tyler Perry’s Sistas. Tomorrow, the first season premieres on BETPlus. Then Friday, his movie, A Jazzman’s Blues, premieres on Netflix. What a birthday month!! Y’all know I love birthdays and this is like top tier of birthday celebrations. Doesn’t get any better than this! Or does it?!

Anyhoo.. back to my Facebook memory. A few blogs ago I wrote that from what I could tell from A Jazzman’s Blues’ trailer, the movie is definitely Oscar worthy. Well, here’s what I wrote two years ago, the day after Tyler and his foundation won the Emmys’ Governors Award.

Facebook Memory: September 21, 2020

I have to brag on Tyler Perry for a minute. Yeah..yeah.. yeah.. I know, I do it all the time. But you have to understand what last night meant. He received his first Emmy, y’all! He received it in spite of the criticism he receives daily, ESPECIALLY from fellow artists. You don’t have to like Tyler, or his work. However, you must acknowledge that he’s doing something right. This man puts in the work!

Y’all, this is proof that God will move mountains to make sure you receive what you deserve. As Tyler is notorious for saying, “All you need is ONE yes from God.” So don’t let criticism, disappointments or hate stop you from pursuing your dreams. Shake it off and keep moving. Because NOTHING, and NO ONE, can stop God’s plan for your life. But most importantly– NOTHING WILL STOP GOD’S PURPOSE!

Whew!! I got chills reading my own post! Laughing.

Looking forward to seeing where this leads. I’m so excited for Tyler!

Shaun

Life

Hello Sunday

Shades of Blue

Today’s Hello Sunday is dedicated to someone I truly admire, Mr. Tyler Perry.

A few years ago, I wrote a similar blog but decided to unpublish it. I unpublished it because I thought it was a little immature and could be misleading. Listen, when I’m passionate about something or someone it shows. Y’all, I can’t hide it. Well, at the time I may have been a little too passionate. I was accused of being a fanatic, obsessed, in love and so much more. All because I truly admired– and still do– Tyler. So I toned down my admiration. I mean, if everyone else thought all those things, there’s no telling what he would think had he known. I’m laughing now, but I didn’t want him or his people blocking me on social media. Yeah.. I was a bit much.

Anyway, what people failed to realize, which I attempted to explain in my previous blog, is how my life changed once I started following him on social media. From Tyler’s words of wisdom, to his passion for helping others, I was hooked. No, the plays, movies and shows didn’t draw me in, those came later. To me, he was doing everything I once dreamed of doing– connecting with people on a human level and assisting those in need. PLUS.. he was from the south.. “The Dirty South.” Ha! There was no way I would not follow and support him. He’s my people! Also, he gave me one of my greatest gifts, the ability to dream again. For this, I am eternally grateful.

Yesterday, I watched a commencement speech he gave to Emory University graduates. It was only 18 minutes long but packed with so many gems. Y’all, his ability to connect with people on a personal level is astonishing. It’s priceless!

So, today I’m giving Tyler his roses. He’s earned them. I could spend hours telling you how he’s influenced my life over the years but don’t worry, I won’t. During his speech, he dropped another nugget of wisdom I needed to hear. Smiling while crying. Again, forever grateful.

Listen, Tyler Perry is so much more than Madea and his movies, shows and plays. He’s a beautiful human being with a big heart. Wishing him a lifetime of unconditional love, blessings and success.

Here’s the link to his speech– Tyler Perry’s Emory Univ. Commencement Speech. Enjoy!

As always, thanks for reading. Wishing you many blessings as well.

Shaun