What My Grandfather Taught Me

Okay look. I gotta repent off top. Cuz I said in legacy that I won’t (shout out to the ppl who inhabit where I presently live. Cuz that is what some of them would say when it should definitely be wasn’t. πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ I love it though!) gonna write about my family anymore. I never should have said that. I was attempting to provide an olive branch I probably shouldn’t have extended as far. I mean, I have shown them no grace at times. But that promise extended far too much. So, I’ll take the heat when they find out one day. Hopefully the love and grace is evident though.

That lil ramble is actually a great introduction for what is basically legacy part two. I should probably read it to make sure this isn’t repetitive. Buuuuuuuut. If it is, then it just bears repeating.

Several years ago, I wrote a note on the blue box with a white f’s website (I’m not advertising for anyone for free unless it’s necessary πŸ˜‚πŸ€£πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ). I was critical of my grandfather and one of my uncles saw it and asked my mom to have me take it down.

I was irritated by it considering some stuff that was going on at the time. But, I acquiesced and took it down.

To be clear, I’m different. I think about and see things differently from most of the people on my mom’s side though all of us were raised attending the same type of church-Apostolic (or Pentecostal). Including my grandfather. Shoot. Especially my grandfather.

But. I made decisions to respect and obey stuff that he wanted the members of his church to comply with. Oh. Yeah. My grandfather was a Bishop in our organization. He wasn’t my pastor until I was 10 going on 11. I was raised a liiiiiil more, okay a lot, liberal than my mom. So, it was a lot to go from how I was raised to the far more traditional church my grandfather pastored.

I don’t know if a word exists for how much disdain and dislike my entire being possessed at having to leave my life and embark upon a new one I was forced to endure. I eventually tried to make the best of it. It was hard the entire 11.5 years I lived there. I had great times and moments. Met some decent people. But, it was difficult and quite honestly, I may still be recovering 13.5 years later.

This year has brought me healing, clarity, revelation, and even forgiveness concerning so many things. One of the best gifts has been the ability to see all of who my grandfather was. Not just what hurt me or what I disliked. When the negative is what you are conditioned to see and focus on, that’s where one tends to live and how they tend to view life.

Love. Grace. That man taught me so much of this by example. Cuz I would have had far more Peter for some of those folks who disrespected him but were so effusive and had so many great things to say when he retired from preaching and then passed from this life. It was bad. Like. They got up saying and doing stuff in the pulpit. They sat at dinner tables with children who came back and told us they included us on the menu.

Confidence of conviction. Whew. That man believed what he believed and nobody was gone change his mind. The number of times that lil short, light-skinned man told me no or what I couldn’t do. I didn’t agree with his reasoning. But, I was his member so I submitted to what he said. However, at the base level, I appreciate the inheritance this gave me. I’m a lil more open to at least considering different points of view. Some I take in and some I discard. I mean, I be out here saying all kinds of stuff myself. πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Worship. I don’t have time to break down break down worship and worship versus praise. But, one aspect of worship is acknowledging who God is and not asking for anything. That man was good for having us sing old school songs and hymns. We need to make hymns great again in addition to the great music that has come along. I’m here for gospel trap, CCM, and whatnot πŸ€£πŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ˜‚πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ. But,

there is something to be said about the songs that firmly place God in the place of prominence He deserves. Songs that are simple and don’t require much to sing or remember. Songs that have been my friend in the car, at the bus stop, and wherever and whenever I needed to tell myself, God, and my circumstances who He is.

Humility. This man is kinda a big deal by some standards. I knew about some of what he did in the early 90s. But I had NO IDEA about the magnitude. He didn’t self promote. We, he, didn’t focus on what he did. The man barely talked outside of the pulpit. He talked but he was pretty reserved and kept to himself. I am quite honestly trying to embrace this since it seems to be what I need to do by virtue of how relationships work out for me. πŸ˜‚πŸ€£ He rubbed elbows with, was friends with, and was known by so many people-some prominent who could have put him in positions with more-I can’t find the word. He could have been more well known and out front than he was. I have learned so much about his impact over the almost 11 years since he passed. He was a truly remarkable man. Flawed like us all, but, I get why his kids put him on part of the pedestal. πŸ€·πŸΎβ€β™€οΈπŸ€¦πŸΎβ€β™€οΈ And it’s probably, in part, why I’m not impressed by myself and don’t tout things I’ve done in pride or arrogance.

Jesus. I legitimately wouldn’t exist if not for Jesus. Literally. He was raised around my grandmother. He wanted to marry her. He, apparently, clearly, did not accept the gift of salvation as a child like his kids and some of his grandkids. She told him he had to get saved first. He did and now here I am. His parents were both ministers. He was an assistant pastor then pastor at their church back home. Then he moved south to pastor the church I attended as a child. He made sure we were in that building. Some Sundays we had four different things in one day: Sunday School, morning service, youth afternoon service (3rd and 5th I believe) and night service. Prayer on Monday. Bible Class on Wednesday. And rehearsals for various things on various days. He LOVED God’s Word. I appreciated, and appreciate, being there. I just wished we did some more fun and creative things. But he was the boss and what he let us do worked for him so he believed it would work for us. I can’t truly fault him for that. He did shock me once and say it was okay to listen to secular music if it had a positive message. Knock me over with a feather. πŸ˜‚πŸ€£

Courage. I don’t know that that is the precise word. I contemplated a phrase. Sticktoitiveness (stick to it) is a mde up word I’ve heard. I HATED preaching as a child. Before I started, I was told all the time that I talk too fast. Hey Moses with your speech impediment as an excuse. So, they would have me do announcements and other speaking things knowing full well how fast I talked and read. This made me NEVER want to stand up in front. I didn’t consider this or who that man was when I came bouncing home from church camp one summer and told him I was called after telling two of the ministers at the church no when they called me preacher/minister two separate times earlier that year. When I had had enough, I didn’t think I was ready and didn’t want to do it, I picked up the corded, landline phone and called him to try to quit. My guy’s response? Some or all of this: fast, pray, and read my Bible. I knew better than to say anything else. I legit think bye was all that was said. That is some of the best advice I have ever received. I didn’t really employ or embrace it then. But now? Tuh.

There is probably more. But I think this is on the long side. The paragraphs at least for sure. So Ima head out. Lol. Go be great. You never know who’s watching and how helpful your life is. Someone is counting on you!