“Be on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong.”
I Cor. 16:13
“You too, be patient and stand firm, because the Lord’s coming is near.”
Trouble never comes at a time when you’re prepared for it. Satan baits you. While you’re sitting back enjoying the peace God has given you, the devil is busy scheming and planning your next demise. One of the most aggravating tactics he uses is the guise of good deeds.
Need an example?
Things were peaceful for me for a time. Matter of fact things were going so well that I wasn’t sure what to do with myself. But I grinned, sat back, and soaked in this peace and began to feel no guilt for not sharing it.
In the middle of my peace, I got a phone call and was told I needed to rescue someone from a hostile situation. This was a frantic call and, at the time, I had no reason to believe this was a matter of me interfering in other people’s affairs. Because I feel close to this friend, I accommodated her only to realize later it was the very situation I should have avoided, or so it seemed.
From my act of kindness, came a tumultuous ending. Everyone solved their issue and used me to do it.
Aaah . . .
How many times have you found yourself in this dilemma? I strongly suspect I’m not the only person who has found themselves entangled in a weave of immature brothers and sisters, and people of the world. I remember moaning: “If only I had known.” When you were in this situation, did you conclude: “I’ll never do that again. I’m letting people solve their own issues even if it means they will drown in their sorrows.”
Those statements and feelings of despair are heartfelt. Situations like this keep us up at night, rolling us over in bed while our minds hash and rehash what we might have done differently.
Funny thing is you and I weren’t born with extra sensory that screens each individual for the truth behind their motives. We don’t always know those who need our help from those who are bent on using us.
That’s not to say that you and I shouldn’t use common sense, or more importantly, listen to the Holy Spirit.
I encourage you to remember this: “. . . for you are a people holy to the Lord your God. Out of all the peoples on the face of the earth, the Lord has chosen you to be his treasured possession.” (Isaiah 43:1) Paul repeats this saying again: “But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light . . .” (I Peter 2:9)
I also encourage you to remember this: Love your enemies – “And you are to love those who are aliens, for you yourselves were aliens in Egypt.” (Det. 10:19) Also: “May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you.” (I Thes. 3:12)
Let’s be honest. We are constantly in war with the spirit. And Satan would love nothing better than to keep us in a state of confusion, causing us to second-guess God.
When you perform good deeds, you should not allow the evil one to pollute them. So what if the parties involved have schemed to make you the fall guy. The positive side of this is “next time you’ll know.” But to beat yourself up because you didn’t foresee this occurrence is asking yourself to be as wise as God—the same lie Satan told Eve in the garden. It’s just as preposterous now as it was then.
God has told us over and over again “vengence is mine.” Where His wrath needs to be implemented, He will do so. When a brother needs to be corrected, He will indeed correct him. Our brothers and sisters, and the world, need to be mindful that what they have done to you and me will be heaped upon them if they’re not careful.
Sometimes we forget how the family dynamics played out with Jacob and Esau. Jacob deceived Esau. Laban deceived Jacob. Abraham lied about Sarai being his sister; and Sarai told the same lie, giving the impression that she and Abraham were full sister and brother and not husband and wife. Neither Jacob, Abraham, or Sarai were condemned. So, though your brother or sister has misused you, they won’t die in a furnace because of it. They may, however, suffer. “. . . the reason why some are sick among you . . .”
So, if you have made the following conclusions: “I’ll never do that again. I’m letting people solve their issues even if it means they are to drown in their sorrows,” relax in Christ. Know this: “If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.” (James 4:17)
It’s not okay to lock the Holy Spirit in your bowels. You were made free when you obeyed the Lord. Don’t allow Satan or any human being to manipulate you into withholding your love because you don’t get the reactions you feel you deserve. If God wanted us to act that way, there would be no need to send His son to die for us.
“If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same.” (Luke 6:33)
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” (Ephesians 6:18)
The next time someone misuses you, don’t waste time being angry, but rather pray for them and for yourself. Ask God to help you not fall into the temptation of retaliation. Ask God to give you an agape love, a love so deep that it covers your brother’s sin and yours.
I love each of you! I pray that every message I pass on to you will enhance my love for you and your love for me. “If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. . . .” (I Cor. 13:1-13)
Peace to the family of God.
Have you ever met someone who couldn’t keep still, someone who scurried about like a ferret chasing a rat? Ever wonder why?
I’ve met such a precious soul and it is difficult to watch her in motion. Short of having a medical condition, she lives in turmoil. She has no real purpose. When she arrives at her final destination on any given day, she watches the clock as if her life will tumble into catastrophe if she sits a minute too long.
As she and others like her fight to push their past down emotional tunnels, they have a tendency to act out their pain by feverishly trying to find something else to do so they don’t re-experience the hurt. What they fail to realize is that the very pain making them run, can also help them heal.
If I fall and tear my Achilles, which I have, I must go through intense therapy. Without therapy, I run the risk of suffering in pain longer than necessary, and it may never heal. Therapy hurts, sometimes bringing me to tears. But if I stick with it, I’ll one day walk normal again.
Our lives are similar to a torn Achilles. If we don’t open ourselves up and sit long enough to feel the excruciating pain wrought by others, or pain we brought upon ourselves, we end up suffering longer than necessary. Satan knows this and he uses our past to make us feel guilty, rob us of living in the moment, suffocate our happiness, and make those around us miserable.
Tired of this cycle? Tired of seeing your loved ones live such distraught lives? Here are tips to help you break the cycle:
- SEE YOUR PHYSICIAN if you can’t sit still for half an hour, if you have trouble sleeping, if you are experiencing mood swings, and are easily agitated. Let him guide you through whatever medical help you need. Don’t be ashamed of seeking help. What can be more empowering than finally taking charge of your life?
- STOP and pray. Ask God to help make you ready to deal with your past. You’ve been running for a long time and there is no way you can wake up one morning free from the pain or be emotionally and spiritually capable to deal with it. Pray: “God, please equip me with all I need to deal with this.”
- SET ASIDE TIME to be alone when no one will interrupt you. Make sure you have a ton of tissue available. Sit and think about what happened to you, or about what you did to cause the mishap in your life or in someone else’s life. Cry for as long as you want. Pray: “God I didn’t mean to . . . .” Or, “God, I hate him/her for doing this to me and . . . .” Hate is a strong word. If you feel it, then it’s real. God wants you to come as you are. He doesn’t want you to window-dress your life before you bow before him. Let him be God. He does the cleaning. Not us.
- DO NOT HOLD BACK your grief, anger, fears, or any other emotional angst you’ve experienced. God can handle anything you throw at him. He’s God and he’s good at shouldering your pain.
- CRY until there are no more tears.
- ASK GOD to help bring you to a place of forgiveness. I know we’ve all been taught not to let the sun go down on our wrath, and this is true, but let God be God here. You have years of built-up anger, hate, and self-destructive behavior. In addition, the person who wronged you may be dead, in a different country, or they are so caught up in the world that they are unreachable. Still, God can bring you to a point where you can forgive them no matter where they are, who they are, or what state of mind they’re in. Forgiveness doesn’t depend on them. It depends on you. It’s your heart that has to be molded by God and placed in a state of forgiveness. Your perpetrator’s state, physically and mentally, isn’t dependent on you forgiving them. Your relationship with God is the determining factor, above all!
- FULLY ACCEPT your past. It happened. It’s ugly. It can’t be erased. Sometimes people have turned out to be better human beings, stronger Christians, in spite of their past. No one wishes that your pain exist, but since it does exist and can’t be erased, it has the potential of making you thirst more for Christ. However, you no longer need it to survive. Matter of fact, you no longer want to merely survive, you want to LIVE! So, let go of it. Free yourself. Ask God to help you not only forgive, but to loosen the chains that have weighed you down.
- ASK GOD TO REDEFINE who you are. All your life you’ve reacted to people in ways that made you feel inferior. You have probably never ever felt you were yourself. You may have asked yourself: “Who am I?” Ask God to please help you know who you are. And more importantly, to believe in whom you belong – God! You are a child of the King. God did not make you from trash or recycled products. He wonderfully made you with his hands, breathed life into you, and you became a living soul. Praise God for your life for he took time to weave you for his purpose(1).
- STEP OUT IN FAITH. Ask God to help you, from this day forward, to practice every single moment to have faith in him. Have faith God will change you, rearrange you, heal you, and make you complete. You are no longer bound by your past, but you are a stronger, newer you because of God’s love, mercy, and grace.
- ASK THE FORGIVENESS OF OTHERS. Have you wronged others because you were wronged? Just as iron sharpens iron, hate breeds divide. Reconcile and live in peace as much as it depends on you. (Romans 12:18-19) Do not take revenge! Revenge is the Lord’s!!
- BE CAREFUL and don’t become over-confident(2). We cannot make these changes on our own. Lean on God. If you wake tomorrow morning and feel you’re no further along, remember God manifests himself through our infirmities. Know this: God didn’t give Sarah a child in her young years, or make Abraham the father of nations in his youth. Isaac came at a time when his parents were past their childbearing years. If God can open the wounds of Abraham and Sarah, what makes you think he can’t heal your scarred heart?
- DEVELOP A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP with a friend. Seek people who are strong, not prone to gossip, and who places the needs of others above themselves. Remember: A problem shared is a burden lifted. Talk honestly.
- DO NOT OVERBURDEN YOUR FRIENDS with the same issues every time you see them. Be thoughtful and take time to care about them instead of being consumed with your troubles. Caring for others is a wonderful way to distract you from your depression and self-destructive behavior.
- Once your pain is emptied at the feet of Jesus, your healing begins, your future brightens, and an overwhelming joy is released—and it will become infectious. It’s difficult to explain the workings of God. He is perfect in all his ways.
Like the Israelites who were forced to make brick without straw, we suffer at the hands of evil doers all day long. We are pressed down and shaken and mistreated by those in power, those in the church, those who are supposed to love us most—our family. Some days our struggles are unbearable and are sometimes being redefined in ways we have yet to understand. All of this reminds us that we aren’t in control. God holds all power in his hands. He alone will renew our strength. He alone will take vengeance upon the world.
Place your burdens upon the Lord. Wait upon him. Don’t get in a hurry, for your swift feet will only take you in circles, leaving you in poor health, panting for air, tired, and weary. He will remind you nothing can be done without him and no one can be compared to him. Listen to him speak:
“Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spreads them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff. To whom will you compare me? Or who is my equal? says the Holy One.” (Isaiah 40:21-26)
The next time you say “I can’t do this,” know that you are exactly right! But GOD CAN!!!
(1) Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
(2) Philippians 4:13 (NIV) – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”
Ever dreamed of living near a mountainside in a log cabin, or a contemporary seven-bedroom house? A maid who greets your guests at the door? A ranch-hand who keeps your stables clean, your horses fed, your training tracks repaired? What would it be like to slide open a desk drawer and pull out your guest lists—one for formal gatherings; one for seasonal celebrations; informal crowds who eat hotdogs and hamburgers as they chomp down on the latest political woes of the year? On days when you prefer no company at all, wouldn’t it be lovely to sit on your back porch and recline in a rocking chair and stare at the beautiful mountainside spanning miles and miles in both directions, white caps daring you to ski the slopes? To cuddle in your husband’s arm near a fire and lavish peace graciously provided by God?
Like our imaginary house on the mountainside, Adam and Eve had a garden handmade by God. Inside was everything they needed, custom-made. They needn’t worry about eating too much, fad diets, exercising, or their salt intake. No need to concern themselves with tilling the ground, punching a clock, or feeling obligated in any way to anyone. They didn’t have to worry about encroaching on their neighbor’s easement, or the dogs barking too late at night. Free from the house-hunting fiasco, they didn’t have to fret over poor school systems versus rich ones, or worry about which neighborhood appeared rich in status. They had no idea what “the status quo” meant because they were the status quo. Matter of fact, all Adam and Eve had to do was stroll in the garden and converse with God, eat when they needed to, and relax. Work? It hadn’t entered their vocabulary yet.
Then God told man not to eat the fruit in the center of the garden. They’d die if they did. Well, we all know how that ended. Satan used God’s words against the married couple and the fall began. Now man has to till the ground in order to eat and be clothed. Woman has to endure great pain in childbearing and constantly quarrel with her husband in an effort to regain her equality—which, by the way, she had before she disobeyed God. Satan, however, is doomed forever.
Consequences for our sins can be a hard pill to swallow. No one gets a free pass. At some point in our life, we all pay-up. But there’s a deeper lesson in the fall that we tend to overlook. Though God cursed Satan, He merely punished man. God had options. He could have destroyed man and began again. He could have clamped Satan’s mouth shut and removed the tempter once and for all.
But then we wouldn’t be able to exercise our God-given ability to choose. And isn’t that’s what this journey of life is all about? Choosing to love God?
Every year you and I make resolutions we don’t keep. Most of us don’t have the strength to make it to day 15. I would like to remind you that we serve a God who spoke the earth into existence then said “. . . let there be light . . . .” We serve a God who created a man and a woman, and from them birthed nations. We serve a God who has expanded days into years and allowed men, mere men, to live until they were 900 years old. We serve a God who has patiently watched us make mistake after mistake and not once did He, would He, condemn us if there was the slightest hope that we would choose Him over our selfish agendas. We serve a God who in our darkest hour has sent strangers, even angels, to minister to us.
And we serve a God who has made a way out for us. Our redemption through Jesus Christ is the only reason we can get through tomorrow. Why would God do that for us?
He loves us above all things!
Reread the first three chapters of Genesis and refresh yourself with the power of God and see if you don’t come away with a new outlook for this New Year.
Though I can’t, GOD CAN!
by Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Poet, Author
It amazes me how the most successful people are both terrorized and motivated by their past. And it dumbfounds me that the rest of us are complacent with our mundane life and have no desire to change it.
During the last few months, I’ve come across such people. I’ve read snippets of life stories of film director, screenwriter, actor, producer, and singer Kelsey Grammer; actor Charlie Sheen; actor Robert Downey, Jr.; British film director and screenwriter Steve McQueen; and film director and producer Lee Daniels, most of whom have a painful past.
A terrible childhood causes you to internalize your pain, act out in ways you find hard to understand, or puts you on a path of self-destruction. For Kelsey Grammer, he married four (4) times. For Charlie Sheen and Robert Downey, Jr., they used and abused drugs. And for Lee Daniels, meth was his choice for desensitization.
You might say their pain humanized them, pulling them in modicum degrees from their celebrity status. Though that is true, there’s a remarkable wrinkle in the faces of these people that we tend to overlook, a wrinkle that’s a combative foe and a warm companion, possessing a distinctive Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde persona. More amazing is their ability to maneuver around this persona, even when they don’t think they’re moving at all.
Somehow, Kelsey Grammer(1) can be stoned out of his mind, whether it’s from cocaine or alcohol, and the minute he steps on a set, like a flip of a switch, he proves to be an erudite with an extraordinary ability to transform into Dr. Frasier Crane at the mere sound of “action.” Lee Daniels’ movie Monster’s Ball won him high acclaim as he directed Halle Barry to an Academy Award performance. During the Academy Award ceremony, he sat at home sulked in self-pity and went on a meth-high. Then he went on to direct the 2013 movie The Butler. And oooh, didn’t that movie take me back. He portrayed the 1960s in superb fashion. Thanks, Lee!
Occasionally, some people get confused and tangled in their maze of conflict, mistaking the past for the present; twisting reality, borrowing flurries of fantasy to get through the moment. Sometimes they find themselves in a straightjacket or tied to a bed. Too often the pain isn’t personified so clearly; the change isn’t so obvious, so drastic. For the most part, many retreat and hide away, unleashing their troubles behind the walls of their home, lashing out at their wives, husbands, and children, indulging in self-pity and self-doubt, dousing themselves in self-induced comas aided by cocaine, meth, heroine, alcohol, and eating disorders.
Sounds too much like fiction?
Lee Daniels’ story(2) bothers me most. Not because he’s gay. Not because he has a belief system different from mine. But rather, like many of us, he couldn’t see. After being beat with an extension cord for exploring his feminine side by wearing his mother’s pumps, his father threw his forty-two pound frame into a dumpster. Daniels came out of that dumpster loathing his father. Who wouldn’t? God warns fathers not to exasperate their children (Ephesians 6:4). But Lee Daniels, whether he realizes it or not, came out of that dumpster with something he hadn’t counted on—determination, and enough hate for himself to set off an atomic bomb. He came out of that can with a fire lit under his behind. He was mad and needed a target. A forty-two pound kid doesn’t sit around scheming to retaliate against his father. He’s got sense enough to know he’d lose that battle every single time. So, what is he to do with all that built-up anger? What does he do when he’s not accepted by his peers? When he’s bullied by school children?
People have a tendency to point the anger at themselves, rarely toward the person inflicting the pain. The twisted side of this is that pain sometimes fuels us in positive ways, driving us beyond the dream stages of success to the very pinnacle of it. When
you untwist this debacle, you find that, like Lee Daniels, you can’t see the
success you’ve created. It’s buried too deep in loud voices of “you dummy . . .”; “you worthless piece of . . . “; “and what made you want to become a writer?”
Lee Daniels’ anger drove him to the farthest corner of a school room where he honed the craft of filmmaking like none other and became a success. But he left something behind. The past. It always seemed to lurk in the fog, one step behind him, chasing him, haunting him, screaming at him that he was worthless cow dung, unable to keep a fire going on the warmest winter night.
Isn’t that’s why he sat home on the day of the Oscars stoned on meth? Why wasn’t he at the Vanity Fair after-party celebrating his film’s success? Halle Barry had just won the Best Actress Award for Monster’s Ball—the first African-American female actor in years—a film which Lee Daniels directed. Why wasn’t he happy?
The same reason we fail at our goals each year. The same reason we haven’t done a thing we intended within the last five or ten years. The same reason we have yet to taste the sweetness of a victory. We don’t believe. We’re lazy. And we’ve grown accustom to failure. It’s a part of our DNA now. Whenever we do conjure enough strength to believe in something, it’s the wrong voice we’re drawn to because it’s the loudest sounding in our ears.
Lee Daniels kept that tape recording of his father’s nasty words playing over and over in his mind until he had it memorized. With perfect understanding, he knew the precise moment he should play it again. Oscar night was his night for a rendition. Why? You see, there’s no way this little guy could grow up to be somebody. If daddy said he was a worthless patch of dung, then he was. No way he’d ever be successful. Too many odds against him—an African-American male pursuing a profession dominated by white America.
There lies part of another problem. Too much is under the blanket of prejudice. We are all prejudice. Yes. I said it! We are prejudice. For one reason or another, we are. I don’t like your long thick hair, cause I don’t have enough of my own. I don’t like those crazy things you do with your hair, cause mine is too fine. I’m African-American. I can’t ignore the divide in this country, even if I tried. It’s in schools, in hospitals, in churches. There are days when I think we are no further along today than we were in 1841. Then I think again and realize my perspective on life is closely intertwined with my success. I can’t afford to hold on or blame everything on the color of my skin. You might. I won’t.
The heart of the issue here isn’t to have a flawless life or expect perfection from those around us. There’s no such thing as life without pain. Whether you’re White or Black, Asian or Mexican, if it wasn’t the color of your skin that was at issue, it’d be something else, and usually is. Maybe they hate your lack of organizational skills or your endless, meaningless chatter. Maybe they resent your promotion, or your ability to transform an idea into an award-winning bestseller. Still, there comes a time when we have to look at the recordings embedded in our minds and recognize good from bad, right and wrong, bad people from good people. We have to stand against our adversities and say out loud “You have no more power over me. This is my life. I’m running this. You can’t intimidate me anymore.”
We must also take time to look at our success (because no one is a complete failure), something Lee Daniels chose to ignore for a time. How can such talent be housed in such a wretched man? It can’t be because the truth is he isn’t wretched at all. He’s flesh and blood—no worse than you, no worse than me, and let me remind you—no better either. His poor father was wrong to treat him so harshly. Instead of beating Lee, he should have taken him fishing, taught him how to put a roof on a house, taken him to a baseball game, or each summer taken him on a trip across America to explore different cities.
Few of us can say we had a perfect childhood. Such is life.
We dream, set goals, and we fail, having no idea what success feels like. Too often we measure success by our material wealth. That’s too bad because I don’t have nearly the wealth of an Angelina Jolie or Sandra Bullock, but I still consider myself rich, successful, powerful, and highly motivated. Go figure!
I can’t help but wonder, though, what is it that keeps us from reaching our goals? Money? Bad parents? Your job? Your spouse? A terrible past? Lack of education? It’s all excuses. Too afraid to move forward? Who wouldn’t be with the past you and I had? But here’s the beautiful part about all this: If messed up people like Robert Downey, Jr. (and let’s hope his life is truly on the mends), Lee Daniels, and Kelsey Grammer can make it, why can’t we?
There is talent in each of us that goes untapped year after year, day after day. What are you waiting for? The right time? Better work hours? The beauty of life lies in the journey. Though the journey has many pitfalls, twists, and turns, don’t forfeit the journey by waiting for better work hours, a higher salary, better parenting, or apologies from dead people.
Kelsey Grammer, Lee Daniels, and Robert Downey, Jr., I’m sure, could make a movie about themselves and not come close to scratching the surface of their pain. But when reading snippets of their lives on the internet, you can relate to it, because, after all, their pain parallels with your own, and with mine. It’s not flawless lives that breed success. It’s the ability to rise above the fray that sets you apart. It’s what you do with your life in spite of what you’ve been through that determines your future.
Whether you’ve been beaten, stabbed, abandoned, left for dead, stolen from, lost a child, lost a spouse, been overworked, taken on children not your own, or feel crappy and alone, you can rise above and experience success. There isn’t a job in the world that works you so many hours that you can’t spend one hour a day fulfilling your dream. There’s not a chaotic house on this planet that is so disruptive that you can’t steal an hour to devise a plan for success. There aren’t enough mean people in the world to make you believe you can’t succeed. Choices come from within. Every tape recording embedded in us can be taped over. You can choose to plant a seed of hope within your soul. You can choose to read positive messages, be around positive people, and make better choices.
The danger? Being in a hurry. Thinking that success will fall from the sky one of these sweet mornings is a quick way to not only discourage you, but also make you miserable.
Where you lack ambition and drive, dream big, dream the unimaginable. Need purpose and real happiness? Give to those who can’t repay you. Stuck in a rut and having a hard time getting out of your mundane routine? Turn your day upside down and do every single thing differently. Don’t do a thing the same way again. And keep stirring your life up until you feel invigorated, until you find out what works for you. Is your horrible past keeping you up at night? Get to your computer, or grab pencil and paper and write down all the things you ever wanted to do in life. Choose ten. Get started on five of them. Now. Tonight. No money? Offer to do something for someone, asking for something you need in return.
Life is filled with sad stories. Why shouldn’t we use them to motivate us toward success? Is your story any different from Lee Daniels’? Kelsey Grammer? Charlie Sheen? Whatever your story, there’s a thin membrane between the words of life and the words of death. It’s a choice. Choose life. Choose success. Make your life different by disrupting your routine. Get out of your rut. Devise a plan, mess it up, devise another, and another, until it feels right.
Need a pity party? Read about Lee Daniels, Kelsey Grammer, Charlie Sheen. Whatever you do, don’t create a pity party for yourself. These guys have enough drama to keep us motivated for a lifetime. Dry your eyes. Get to work. Stay focused. Success is ahead of you. Grab hold of it!
If you don’t remember another word I’ve said, remember this: Success doesn’t avoid you. You avoid success. Stop running from it. Choose to embrace it!
(1) Kelsey Grammer: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allen_Kelsey_Grammar
(2) Lee Daniels’ story: http://www.out.com/out-exclusives/out100-2013/2013/11/13/out100-lee-daniels
Donna B. Comeaux
Freelance Writer, Poet, Author
January 7, 2014