Power For Life Now, October Newsletter

It has been a busy month since my last newsletter. On September 19-21, I went to Atlanta, Georgia to attend my high school reunion. It celebrated our 40th year of graduation! One of the highlights was being the guest preacher at the Sunday worship service. The extra special highlight of that was that it was at the church my dad use to pastor. My mother and one of my two sisters were there along with their families. To say that it was a rich experience would not do it justice. I was actually very emotional as I stood before my high school classmates, and had to gather myself before continuing.  We had a marvelous 3 days together, and now that we are all nearing 60 years of age, we have decided to do these reunions every five years instead of every 10!

High School Reunion Pic

October 3rd was the 2nd anniversary of Tap Into Transformation. Jeannine and I have presented 24 of them now, and we are full steam ahead for year number 3 of our once a month community event. We used the theme of JOY for our celebration and danced to an African influenced tune inspired by Jeannine that Gary Grundei and myself created and I arranged. It is a song that highlights the marimba, which means “singing wood.”

african tap joy

The second half of the evening saw us having an in-depth conversation about the things that bring us joy in our personal lives. We then used crayons to express that joy on paper. Below is a picture of our group joy. It was very interesting to hear the interpretations of what the different colors meant or why the different shapes and lines. Joy may reside in each of us differently, and art is one way to “see” what something “feels like inside.”

joy of color

What does your joy look like?

Jeannine was invited to present a series of lectures on St. Hildegard of Bingen at the Messiah Community Church in Denver.

Mesiah CC sign

She presented her exhibition, which ran from Oct. 4 through Oct. 9.  She was the preacher for the Sunday worship and gave a lecture after the service and then again on Tuesday. I joined Jeannine in the worship service by interpreting Genesis 1:1-5 through tap dance. Then, we tap danced to Psalm 91 after her sermon. It is a tune Jeannine composed and I arranged. We have presented this “dance prayer” several times now, and it continues to be a powerful way to visualize an already powerful sacred text. If you want to see something of this powerful presentation, click on the following links. For a look at the tail end of Jeannine’s talk and to see our Psalm 91 dance, click here. To see a portion of one of Jeannine’s lectures, click here.

I am excited to announce a new website and project, THE JOY COLLABORATIVE.

Jeannine and I, along with Gary Grundei, have collaborated on a joint venture to bring the innate joy heard in African sounds to our own musical world. After more than two years of studying African music and culture and taking in the real life politics and history that makes Africa such a dynamic continent, we are hoping to share some of Africa’s joy. So follow this link http://thejoycollaborative.com/#listen/ to hear the first of our nine creations that will be featured there. It will take you to the website and you will need to click on “listen” in the menu. I did this on purpose so you would scroll through the web site first. (Yes, a shameless attempt to get you to actually read what this is all about.)

Finally, as the fall colors dance in the winds of the change of seasons I will leave you with this reminder…

everything dances

May you have Power For Life, Now!

Football Insight

When I was in high school I was the smallest member of our football team. However, I ended up with the most tackles, playing the position of safety, and I was awarded the honor of making the All-City Team.

Therrell Football pic 1974

At the awards banquet, I sat next to Ed (Too Tall) Jones, who was being honored as a collegiate player. It was too tall next to too small! I was featured in a few radio shows and it was always pointed out that I was only 5’4’’.

I developed a motto from this experience that goes like this: “Be too good to be denied.” But the truth is, I didn’t know how good I was. I simply focused on each play as it happened. Many of the people I played with had aspirations of college play or even the NFL. I think this may have helped some, but I also think it hurt others. It was NOT thinking of the future, and concentrating on the present, that helped me achieve.

I have carried that into my adult life. I focus on the task at hand and do the best job I can, doing little chunks at a time. When I notice that I have veered from focusing within the present moment, I gently observe, but then refocus to the best of my ability on the task at hand. The future will take care of itself if I take care of NOW.

I focus on my need, not my greed.

Affirmation: As I focus on the present, the future will take care of itself.

Prayer: May I remember that each present moment has brought me to this one. May I have a sense of gratitude and pay attention to the gift each moment brings.

May you have Power For Life Now!

Sharpettes & Annie Ruth’s Truths, October

I began creating what I call Sharpettes over 30 years ago. As a speaker and writer they became my own way of sharpening my understanding of the meaning, power, and energy of a single word. I am sharing them publicly now in hopes that you will enjoy them as much as I have enjoyed creating them.

The first line is the word.
The second line defines or describes the word twice, 4 syllables for each attempt. You may place a comma or semi-colon between each attempt. So, the second line has a total of 8 syllables.
The third line is a simile. It always begins with the word “Like”, and paints a picture of the word in 10 or 11 syllables.

On some Sharpettes the 4th or 5th syllable of the third line will rhyme with the word on the first line itself. This can yield another insight into the word chosen, and provides a unique and fun poetic challenge.



Recognize good; smile with great joy
Like the beam of a lighthouse finding the ship.

joyful smiling children


Annie Ruth’s Truths are my renderings of folk wisdom and country common sense, gained from a lifetime of listening to my mom, who has a unique way with words, as well as a witty, joyous and playful attitude to go with it! Always fun or sassy, they tell the truth and can make you laugh, shake your head and go “Hmph!” or even make you shout, “Whaaat?!”


Don’t forget which side your bread is buttered on!
(Usually said as a response to someone who has given a helper attitude.)

(meaning)… Don’t forget who has been supporting you, and making it so you can do what you are doing.