March 9th

It was Saturday morning, 17 years ago…

The day has finally arrived. Debbie and I are getting ready to travel from Oberlin, OH to Columbus, OH. The excitement is in the air. We’re going to finally do it, again. Again? Yes, we are going to do it again. We tried to do it before on February 14th but, words got in the way.

Did you know that one of the most powerful forces on the earth is the power of your confession? Words have the power to bring life or bring death. We have to be ever so careful about what we speak. I say this because on February 14th we were going to do this and it didn’t happen because of a negative confession.

It was a Wednesday afternoon, Debbie was just getting out of school. She was so excited. We were going to complete this thing today. We were going to pull the trigger. We’re going to do it!! The only thing that can stop us now is a flat tire!!!! Guess what happened, immediately after she said that? You guessed it… a flat tire!!! The hardest phone call that she could make was the one that followed. With broken heart and eyes filled with tears, I listened to her quivering voice as she relayed the latest happenings. She apologized profusely. It was okay. I wasn’t mad. I was just glad that she wasn’t hurt. She had a blowout on the freeway going 60+ miles an hour. Her tire was shredded. God had her covered and for this I was happy.

But, March 9, 1996, we go to pickup her parents for our trip to Columbus. We had to have the whole family there. This thing is for real and we wanted everyone to be a part. Uh-oh!! Why aren’t her parents dressed? It’s time to go. We still have another 2 hours before we even get to Columbus and we still need to eat!!! Why are they trippin’? Today ain’t about them!! We already discussed this… Oh well, they’ve made their decision not to hang with us today. This ride to Columbus just made a HUGE shift!!!

We arrive at my parent’s house in Columbus. Where did all of these people come from? I know that we wanted everyone to be involved but this is a bit too much. Debbie goes upstairs to change clothes and I’m in the basement getting ready. Jermaine and I just finished conspiring about a song that I’m going to do. All is ready…

I look around my parent’s living room and Bishop Steele, Aunt Olivia, my cousin Sandra from Milwaukee and her pastor, my parents and others are all here. The brightness from all the smiles is starting to hurt my eyes. I need my sunglasses on!! I’ll sure be glad when Debbie comes downstairs. Everyone is waiting for her, as usual!!! :-)

Finally, here she comes!!! She has on a cream colored 2-piece suit, just beautiful. I look at Jermaine and he starts playing that song we were talking about… Can’t Help Falling in Love by Elvis Presley. I serenade her, in front of everybody!!! You see, at this point, I don’t care what anyone thinks about it because they are going to be seeing a whole lot more of her. The thing that I didn’t tell you was that today is our Wedding Day.

My life hasn’t been the same since that day. It all began with a simple proclamation that started powerful and wonderful journey. That proclamation was, “I, Jackie Smith Jr. take you Deborah Jayne Colbert to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live.”
This journey has been full of ups and downs. I’ve been a great husband. I’ve been an… let’s just say an un-great husband. But, one thing hasn’t changed…

Debbie Jayne, I love you. I am honored to your husband and my life wouldn’t be the same without you. Happy Anniversary!!!

I love you ALL!!!
Stay Blessed,



New Season, New Day…

There are several times a year that we re-evaluate where we stand and all that we do like New Year’s, birthdays and sickness/someone else’s death. These times of year are significant because as we approach them, we are wide open to making necessary changes based on the reality of these events. Because New Year’s is celebrated by everyone all at the same time it is much more evident that people want to make changes. We call these resolutions. Any other time of year we call it self-examination or self-realization. It’s the same thing.

Many religious people speak down to making New Year’s resolutions because they feel like it’s only prompted by the holiday and since most people don’t follow thru then all that we’re doing is telling a lie. I beg to differ to that thinking on this basis. 100% of everything that we do is based on Cause and Effect. We go to our jobs because we want to get paid. We want to get paid because we have bills. We have bills because we have needs. We have needs because… I could go on and on. Most of us are overweight because we have made poor choices related to our health. So, making the statement that I’m going to lose weight in the new year isn’t a lie. It is a desire. Whether or not we have the fortitude to fulfill this desire is something else. We can’t fault people for wanting to change. Many of us gave our lives to Christ because of self-examination/-realization. We examined our hearts and realized that we were a mess and that Christ was the way for us to fix it…

The thing about change is that it isn’t always easy. The greater the change the greater the difficulty in making the change… For example, it doesn’t take very much effort to change your drawers. We make this decision every single day and we don’t even take a second thought about doing it. But, let’s say that you want to make a change in your employment. How much effort does THAT take? How many different thoughts are made? How many ways do we look at it, mull it over, or weigh it out? Again, some of these changes come nice and easy whereas others have to go kicking and screaming!!

I have a lump on my breast. At this moment, I don’t know what’s going on with it. I’ve been going to the doctors and going through tests, examinations and all kinds of stuff. Like I said earlier, there are several times when we examine our lives. Dealing with sickness is one of those times. Millions of things go thru my mind constantly… everything from health and wellness to relationships to employment to everyday family issues to “does it really matter whether or not I wear jeans or a suit today”. All of these things seems insignificant when compared to the grand scheme of things…

We have to put LIFE into its proper perspective. Over the past couple of months, there has been one theme that continues to ring out with me and that is relationships. I heard it said that when it comes down to it, family is all that matters. I don’t really agree with that. Family is a huge piece but it is just one piece of the pie. It’s about relationships. If family is all that matters, then why do we spend time doing good for those who aren’t family? Why do we care if people are pleased with us? It’s all about relationships and it seems that as time continues to march… I need to mend, heal and strengthen my own relationships. Why? Because I’ve come to realize how truly important they are.

I pray that YOU know truly know how much I love you.
I pray that YOU know how much I need you.
We can’t change the past but we can change the here and now.
If I’ve ever wronged YOU or been less than what I should have been for you… please forgive me.
If I’ve ever hurt YOU or was insensitive to your feelings… please forgive me.
If I’ve ever been a bad man, husband, father, son, friend, co-worker, boss, leader,  minister, Christian, or just some guy on the street… please forgive me.
I forgive YOU…
It’s a new season. It’s a new day…

I love you ALL!!!
Stay blessed,