Over the weekend, some girlfriends and I had a stirring conversation about authority, and how differently we communicate when we embrace authority. We also acknowledged how intimidating it can be to know the awesome responsibility that comes with it.
As I continue the never-ending journey of self-discovery, there are several awe-inspiring, beautiful souls who motivate me, and changed who I am for the better: People who walk with authority, who boldly and courageously follow their purpose in full surrender.
Some of these beautiful souls are women, writers and professionals I’m privileged to call my friends, who prompted me to honor their gifts in this forum.
Today, this post will honor some brilliant, powerful, talented men who are fearless and commanding leaders, a blessing to all.
These men impact the lives of thousands of people and through their struggle and guiding light, are making the world a better place.
But let me assure you…
At some point every single one of these formidable men was a little boy playing with toys, whose wildest dreams didn’t compare to the vision of their lives now.
His father Ted was a civil rights leader and activist who migrated to California from Mississippi at 13, fleeing a lynch mob. Tim is the leader of the Watts Labor Community Action Committee, a non-profit in Watts Ted founded in 1965. WLCAC helps more than 30,000 homeless, elderly, impoverished, unemployed people every year. Tim is my daddy and friend, an amazing father, musician, carpenter, mechanic, artist, leader and man who I learn from every day.
Pastor Touré Roberts (PT):
The movement PT started changed my life on February 14th, 2010. Before then, I scoffed at church. Since then, I’m slowly uncovering the truth through his leadership, membership, and ministry, which is about life. Love. Power. Purpose. Strength. Joy. Peace. The deadly-serious, love and life-filled prophetic messages he shares and Godly example he sets has freed and empowered me to live fully… And I rightfully thought I was living it up pretty strong before. PT is the founder and leader of One Church International, and the Artist Resource Center (ARC) in North Hollywood and has a phenomenally talented family. And he’s flippin’ hilarious. Who quotes Suga Free in church?
There are friends you feel you’ve known forever. Who leave no doubt there are no coincidences in this world, no random connections. A photographer, community activist, spiritual leader and motivational speaker, Jason is a force to be reckoned with. I’m inspired by his life, excited to see how his journey continues to unfold.
Travis is using his talent as a communicator and young attorney to change the way people understand the law and break the cycle of incarceration for young people of color. He built his own practice in Atlanta, is an active community leader, speaker, volunteer, mentor, and co-author of the groundbreaking book, When the Cops Come Knocking, an instructional guide to criminal law using laymen’s terms. He’s definitely one of those guys who leave you wondering whether you really optimized your time today.
It is extremely rare for someone to be born a talented visual artist, leader, singer, visionary and pastor. It’s even more rare to meet and work with such a person. PeQue is all those things and more, and his unique ministry, LIQUID, uses live mural painting, song, dance, spoken word, acting, and hip hop to transform lives all over the world.
I’ve been singing for over thirty years. Only last year did I realize my singing had the power to change my own life and others through worship. This realization came in part because of Gabe, who’s had the privilege of being mentored by PT. His commitment to excellence, exemplary guiding force and leadership for the most powerful music ministry I’ve ever heard, has truly transformed the way I saw my own gifts, and helped me grow as a singer, person and leader. Not to mention, he’s got a fantastic voice, is an amazing songwriter, pianist and guitarist, cuts a mean rug…
And generous spirit he is, his mix tape is online.
This man lives for a living. I mean, he travels the world experiencing different cultures and lifestyles, and has made it his purpose to share that with others. He has a genuine love for people and appreciation of life that shows in everything he does, whether it’s flying an airplane, leading karaoke (singing is not Nathan’s purpose), running with the bulls in Barcelona, or ascending mountains in Cape Town.
Learn more about Nate’s company, World Wide Nate.
Like jewelry making, glassblowing is an extremely rare and expensive art form. Few artists learn the craft, and even fewer use it to facilitate social change and impact the lives of those less fortunate. Through his work with Tim at WLCAC, Jaime is diligently using his passion for the dangerous and beautiful art form to turn life around for kids in Watts who had no idea they could become expert glassblowers… Much less put their talents to the test. Jaime’s sculptures deal with symbols of Chicano culture that resonate with youth living in poverty all over the country.
Ebenezer is an admirable man, friend, teacher, actor, writer, singer, dancer, cook, and baker. He has the most powerfully insightful understanding of human nature I’ve ever seen, and an enormous heart. He shares inspiring meditations on scripture daily. His approach to life and presence within mine necessitated self-evolution in ways I didn’t know were possible. I’m a different, and better person in part, because of him. Ebenezer is a living example: The way we live our own life can change someone else’s for the better.
A living example.
Not one month ago, the healthy, vivacious spirit below was diagnosed with a life-threatening condition: Multiple blood clots in both lungs. Came out of nowhere, had no explanation. How did he take it?
As a sign of God’s plan for greatness in his life: Ordinary people aren’t targeted for assassination.
Read Ebenezer’s daily inspirational messages here.
Every single one of these men are living their lives with the intent and purpose that comes with knowing every life, every day, every hour matters.
These men are shining beacons of God’s light and glory, beautiful examples inside and out, of what we can achieve when we MOVE, fearless and without shame, FORWARD.
Do what you love.
Don’t be afraid of the responsibility that comes with authority.
You never know how a small part of your life is making a big difference in another’s.