21 Days of Freedom



Welcome to the first installment of 21 Days of Freedom!  Often at the beginning of a new year we dedicate ourselves to Prayer and Fasting in order to renew our relationship with God and center ourselves.  We use the time for reflection and focus on the purpose God has for our lives.  We usually use the term discipline when it comes to prayer, fasting, meditation, etc.  I propose that what we usually refer to as disciplines are really avenues to freedom! For 21 days I want to briefly discuss and reflect upon these agents of freedom and more.   I will also be on Facebook Live every weekday morning at 6am for about 10-15 minutes discussing the Freedom of the Day.  I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section.  In the meantime remember that you are Unstoppable!  Well, let’s go!!

One of the main mistakes we make is thinking that the act of prayer is based upon asking God for things or asking God to do things.  That’s not the main goal of prayer. The main goal of prayer is to establish a relationship with God. When we are in a relationship with someone – whether it is a significant other — or a friend of family member, we know that we must have established a relationship based on love and respect before we begin to ask them for things. Sure they can offer tokens of love and gifts of affections. But we know that if someone were to approach us and ask us for something and we had no relationship with that person, we would certainly question if the individual were in his or her right mind! Well, God is a bit more understanding than we are and probably doesn’t question if we’re in our right minds. He already knows our limits. But he does desire a relationship with us.

Also prayer should not be a struggle. Often we are intimidated by the great “prayer warriors” around us. God wants us to communicate with him in our own way, not based upon how we see others pray. Do not let those around you or those you see on television or YouTube intimidate you. Your relationship with God is personal and if it is to grow you cannot be anyone else but who you are. God does not want us to be phony. He wants each of us to communicate to him in our own unique way. That’s how he made us…unique and marvelous!


The Pattern of Prayer | Matthew 6:5-15

The Prayer of Worship | Psalm 103

The Prayer of Repentance | Psalm 51

The Prayer of Thanksgiving | Psalm 150

The Prayer of Guidance | Matthew 26:36-46

The Prayer of Faith | James 5:13-18

The Prayer of Command | Mark 9:14-29

If you have any questions feel free to post on my Facebook Page. Or you can contact me through my website, http://www.lisadjenkins.org

[1] Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster

Small Beginnings Lead to Big Results


Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin... Zechariah 4:10a (NLT)

Great New Year to you my Unstoppable Friends!

Often we enter the new year strong! We have goals and plans. And as Christians, many of us begin by taking our prayer routine up a notch by fasting. Then as the year progresses, and our goals are not met and our plans fall apart, we wonder what went wrong? Did I pray wrong? (more…)

The Unexamined Life

2013-08-06-magnifyingglassSocrates once said that the unexamined life is not worth living. The Apostle Paul told the Galatian people, “make a careful exploration of who you are….” (Galatians 6:4a, MSG Translation).

With all of the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives, we often strive to move forward without regular periods of self-examination. Most of us wait until the end of the year right, before the new year is about to roll around. Some folk are more diligent and make an examination of their life, finances and goals bi-annually or even quarterly. But if we are to operate in God’s purpose, we must examine our lives each and every day. One of the things that I’ve learned that sets wealthy people apart from folk who are just making it, is that wealthy people check their finances every single morning and every single night. They check their accounts (all of them, including retirement—especially retirement) as well as the money in their wallets throughout the day. They make assessments about how much was spent each day and if what was spent was truly necessary. They examine and keep daily tracks of each and every personal expense throughout the day.

We must have the same diligence in every area of our life. (more…)

Preaching: From the Floor to the Web

Greetings People! I want to share some exciting news with you!   And it’s news that is so ironic because itIMG_2491 comes on the heels of this week’s post about me preaching from the floor because of my gender. Well (drumroll – LOL) I’m pleased to have been invited to be a part of Roho.  Roho, which means spirit, in Swahili, was recently featured in the New York Times.  It is a brand new website featuring sermons from some of the country’s most outstanding African American preachers. The real irony is that in the wake of my “Floor Preaching”, the sermon chosen to be featured on Roho is the one where I was the first female to preach for a Good Friday Service at the historic Bethany Baptist Church of Brooklyn. (Yes, I preached in the pulpit! )  And if anyone is familiar with the pulpit at the Bethany Baptist Church, you know that it is perched faaaaaaaaarrrr above the floor! LOL.

In any event, please check out the sermon. I pray you will be blessed by it as well as sermons by many other preachers such as Bishop Rudolph McKissick, Dr. Cynthia Hale, Dr. Eboni Marshall Turman, Dr. Otis Moss III,  and more.

By the way, I was asked by a local radio station about why I chose to preach on the floor last Sunday. Here’s the audio clip from that interview

Thank you to each and every one of you! Your words of encouragement have meant so much to me and it makes ministry, which can be challenging, a lot easier. Please know that I am praying for you that God will increase your territory and give you strength for your day-to-day challenges. Remember, you’re stronger thank you think and you’re better than you were!! 

In the meantime, and until next time, #beEmpowered!

Why I GLADLY Preached From the Floor Last Sunday


Last Sunday I was the afternoon guest preacher for a Women’s Day service. The church has a tradition of not allowing women to preach at all. Yep. Check your watch. Check your calendar. 2016 and women not allowed to preach in the ‘sacred pulpit.’ Now remember, I’ve been licensed to preach the Gospel since 1997 and ordained since 2002. I can’t remember there EVER being a time when I was asked to preach somewhere other than the main pulpit at a church. Of course, I’m sure there are many places where I just wasn’t invited at all because I’m a female. But, their loss, right?? But about this preaching from the floor last Sunday… There were a few people (mostly sisters) who said that I should have turned down the engagement. But I didn’t think twice. I preached from the floor and not the pulpit three reasons. 1) I wanted to bring a word to a group of Awesome People; 2) I wanted to help an Awesome Brother who is doing a new thing, and 3) I wanted to represent, serve and worship an Awesome God. (more…)

Preacher or Activist? (Christian or Sideliner?)

UnknownThe question caught my attention immediately. I was reclining in my bed at 5am in the morning, flipping through Facebook posts on my cell phone. Somebody had posted a flyer about an event that was happening in just 3 hours. Pastor Jamal Bryant, along with Justice League NYC, was planning a counter-protest against an unnamed group which had announced their protest in front of NFL Headquarters in Manhattan. In case you’ve been in hibernation for the past two weeks, certain folk are a wee bit upset that Beyonce’s half-time performance paid homage to the Black Panthers — the organization which provided free breakfast to children of color all over the country, free after school tutoring and much more. The original protest group, however, was never fully identified. No matter…

In any event, I was amazed at the number of people (black people) who made comments in the FB thread degrading Pastor Bryant for organizing a counter protest against this unnamed group of haters. “Is he a preacher or is he an activist?” was the question. As if one could not or should not be both. Not only should a preacher (minister) be an activist, but ALL Christians are called to be activists. I could point to people like Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the many abolitionists who helped to free those who were enslaved. But let’s go back a bit further. Why should preachers, or rather, Christians in general, be activists?

1) Because we are disciples. Disciples are those who follow in the footsteps and teachings of another – in this case, Jesus. Disciples do not just embody the beliefs and teachings of Jesus. But disciples are called to act out those beliefs and teachings in everyday life. With that in mind….

2) Jesus says something very important in Luke 4:18-19.  Let’s look at the Easy to Read Translation — I didn’t make that up, by the way — I just found out about the ERV translation myself. Apparently, God wants absolutely errrrrrbody to get this!) So in the ERV Translation, Jesus Christ, himself says, The Spirit of the Lord is on me. He has chosen me to tell good news to the poor. He sent me to tell prisoners that they are free and to tell the blind that they can see again. He sent me to free those who have been treated badly and to announce that the time has come for the Lord to show his kindness. (emphasis mine.)  Jesus is saying that his calling is to not just speak up, but his calling is to do right.  Guess what? That’s what we’re supposed to do. Speak up and do right.  Why? Because we are disciples.  When Jesus says that his job is to set folk free, who have been treated badly, do you think that means that he and his boys (better known as the Twelve Apostles) would just knock on jails and houses of detention and say, “excuse me, but you have some people here who have been treated badly and who need to be set free.” Ummm. No. It was a dangerous and oppressive society that they lived in and Jesus came to not just talk, but he came to act. And that meant that he had to act in ways that often surprised folk.

3) Remember that scene in the temple…..the one where he is known for turning over tables? Right. That one. We forget that Jesus had to get ugly every now and then. I can only imagine the stuff Jesus did that didn’t make it into the Bible. But that scene where he was turning tables in the temple. That was a protest. And it wasn’t just marching and chanting. Jesus was all the way live. He said, “Look, this place is supposed to be a house of prayer, but you’ve turned it into a den of thieves.” They were abusing the economic system. They were overcharging common people and cheating folk. So Jesus said, ‘Now git!!” (while holding his whip in his hand).

4) We are reminded that Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament. One of the most prophetic verses in the Bible is when Isaiah tells the people to “seek justice, correct oppression” (Isaiah 1:17). Didn’t say, stand by while injustice and unrighteousness occur. Didn’t say to let the oppressive members of society continue to weigh their harsh hand of brutality and suffering upon the heads of those less fortunate. Again, the people are admonished to do something about the situation.

5) I almost forgot… Someone else said on Facebook, “I guess I’m not used to preachers talking about hate. I think preachers should just talk about love.” Jesus cannot talk about love without addressing and correcting the sin of hate. The NRSV translation of the bible has hate mentioned over 200 times. And that’s just the root word. In order to correct the sin, the sin must be addressed. Hate must be dealt with.

Finally, during this season of Lent when we journey toward the cross at Calvary, let’s remember what the cross really was/is. The cross was reserved for insurrectionists and rebels. The crucifixion was reserved for individuals who were deemed threats to the established order. Those were the people who received the long, painful crucifixion of the cross. Everybody else got a nice quick beheading. But the fact that Jesus died on a cross, lets us know that, yes, it was for our sins.  His journey with humanity was to deliver us from sins of complancy in the midst of cruelty. To save us from sins of apathy in the midst of abuse; to save us from sins of indifference and detachment while brothers and sisters and marginlized people everywhere are being taken advantage of and at worst, killed.

So during this season of Lent, while many are giving up sweets and food and bad habits, let’s give up apathy. And if you’re not going to do anything, please move. You’re in the way. There are some tables in need of being turned over.

Black People, Y’all Leave Beyoncé Alone

beyonce-formation-world-tour-01Let me get the disclaimer out of the way. I don’t listen to Beyoncé on the regular. I know ya’ll thought I was serious last week when I said that Bey called me up so I can use her Formation title for a sermon series. But I was just joking (hee hee hee).  I like Beyoncé, but I usually have other things to do and other music to listen to that enables me to get my day-to-day ministerial and pedagogical business going. Honestly, the last time I bought a Beyoncé CD (yes, I said CD) was when she was a part of Destiny’s Child. Right. But every now and then Bey will come out with something and I will throw a YouTube Video on heavy rotation. And that leads us to her latest piece of musical art — Formation.

When the video first dropped last Saturday I experienced, as I’ve stated before, Black Joy. But now, I am just Black Annoyed.  So as an American of African descent, as a woman—a dark skinned woman, as an unwed mother of a black male child, as the pastor of Black Baptist Church in the most diverse region of the country and centered in the heart of historical Black Mecca, as an adjunct lecturer for multiculturalism studies in the largest public university in the country, let me just say these few things. Then Imma be done.

1.Beyoncé is an artist. She is not Harriet Tubman, She is not Fannie Lou Hamer, She is not Shirley Chisolm. She is not Setima Clark, she is not Angela Davis. Ok… that’s too far back?  She is not Tamika Mallory, she is not Alicia Garza, she is not Michelle Alexander, she is not Johnetta Elzie, she is not Bree Newsome, she is not Rev. Traci Blackmon. Beyoncé is a Generation X performer (let me repeat that word….performer – p.e.r.f.o.r.m.e.r., performer) whose audience is mainly other Generation Xers and Millennials, many of whom have absolutely NO CLUE about any of the the aforementioned females.  Sad? Absolutely, but true. With that in mind, it brings me to number…

2.  You may not like the lyrics or the words that Beyoncé uses, but it is a vernacular and argot of a generation. We can bemoan the use of certain words and hold panel discussions, write dissertations and articles and host podcasts.The reality is because we live in a free society — people, regardless of their color, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation are going to use language that might be be offensive to someone. And yes,we should continue to educate people about the importance of the words they use and their impact. But really, artists like Beyoncé expose a (mostly) uninvolved generation (regardless of race, class or gender) to relevant issues that they would not normally be exposed to. If you’re reading this article please don’t tell me about the many, many young people you know who are involved.  I know them as well. But for the last seven years I’ve taught college students who have no idea who their councilperson is, no idea who would be mayor should the mayor die and last week when I mentioned  Beyonce’s half-time performance my students thought that my reference to the Black Panthers was that Beyonce’s dancers were dressed as actual panthers — like as in four-legs. So, some of you are talking about the 50th Anniversary of the Black Panther Party, when young people have no clue about a Black Panther Party — until Beyonce. Sad? Absolutely, but true.

3.To those of you who think that Beyoncé has misappropriated Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans, Black Lives Matter, etc. What this performer/artist has done is to keep these issues in the forefront of America’s short memory. You don’t like Beyoncé swinging her braids on the steps of the Big House? You don’t like Beyoncé looking sexy on a sinking police vehicle against the backdrop of New Orleans?  Get real. Beyonce’s brand is “sexy”. She wouldn’t have made it this far if she did not fit the Western world’s definition of what sexy looks like for a woman of color. Is that wrong?  That’s another article for another day. It is what it is until we deal with that.  However, the fact that “sexy” Beyoncé (woman of color), the artist/performer,  is sitting on TOP of a police car (often a symbol of oppression and violence in our communities) and IT is drowning in the waters of Hurricane Katrina is HOT!  If you don’t get it, I do. And so does somebody else. And that’s what counts. Somebody got it. Stop thinking everything gotta be about how you feel.  Brings me to #4…..

4.Now, I am not a part of the LGBTQ community, so I cannot speak for LGBTQ people. But I’ve been reading about a lot of brothers and sisters in the LGBTQ community ragging on Beyoncé having Big Freedia’s voice in her video without Big Freedia being seen in the video. Yes, transgender woman are subject to horrendous acts of violence and have had their voices misappropriated. Yes black women, overall, know pain and have had our voices misappropriated. But Big Freedia herself said in an interview that she was thrilled to be a part of the project and you know what? I had NO clue who Big Freedia was until I read the article about her as a result of being in Beyoncé’s video. Which was, by the way, before I heard all the brouhaha about her voice being used without her being seen. So no one is saying that sampling Big Freedia’s style is revolutionary or original. But a) Big Freedia said she was excited, and b) now I, and loads of other folk, know who Big Freedia is.  And perhaps one day she or someone like her, will be dancing and singing during the Super Bowl half-time show. Remember, a voice is be a powerful weapon.

5. Some of y’all upset because Bey referenced “them papers” as revenge. I don’t know about you, but when I heard that line, I threw up the fist! As a black women, we are the lowest paid of the lowest paid. Our work has been disregarded even though it is needed. Our worth has been devalued but our labor, our minds, our energy, have all been recruited without being compensated. We’ve been made to feel like crap while others with less skills and poor habits advance. And because we exist in a country where capital is not only necessary but valued, YES, them papers iz indeed revenge for many women. That’s why some of us may not always agree with Oprah’s advice or spiritual beliefs, but Oprah rocks.  ‘Cause she got her papers and she got them honest. You go Oprah!  That’s why when Beyoncé looks dead into the camera lens and says “I’ll get your song played on the radio….” I said, “Girl, you tell ‘em.  Let ‘em know WHO will get their song played on the radio, girlfriend!  (In the words of Dr. Freddie Haynes, “Don’t hate. Appreciate.”) Next….

6. Color, color, color.  As a dark skinned sister who used to get called tar baby, midnight, blackie, spook, dirt girl, mud face and any number of other names (by other black people), I am keenly aware of the sensitive issue of color in our community. So when I read an article that was putting down Beyonce’s dancers because of their color….. What the….?  Then someone got upset because Blue Ivy’s hype girls were dark skinned and not dressed as cute as Blue Ivy.  Huh??? She’s Blue Ivy!!! When in the world in the performance industry is the celebrity “out-celebritied” by the hype folk around him or her??  Let me break this down for you— Beyoncé is a multi-million dollar brand. She is the focus on the stage. Blue Ivy is “The Brand’s” daughter. She is the focus wherever her mama and daddy want her to be the focus.  I was feeling good that Blue Ivy’s hype girls were the last shade with live and free hair. And speaking of hair. Did you notice that all the sisters had live and free hair… different hair…. colored hair……natural hair…. So different, so unique, so beautiful!

7. Finally, let’s stop expecting people to be something that they’re not.  The 12th Chapter of Romans mentions that everyone has different gifts.  This means that we all have different assignments.  The problem is when we expect people to drive in somebody else’s lane.  Stop expecting Beyoncé to scale Bree Newsome’s flagpole.  Stop expecting Beyoncé to preach in Rev. Traci Blackmon’s pulpit (yes, it’s God’s pulpit, y’all know what I mean). Stop expecting Beyoncé to coordinate a protest like Tamika Mallory. That is not what Beyonce does. Given the culture Beyoncé was raised in and the privilege which she now enjoys, I think she’s doing doggone well. Stop expecting apples to produce lemonade. We need each other. Black people are not a monolithic group of folk.  We do not always agree.  But we all have an assignment. You do you… I’ll do me. And let Beyonce do…Beyonce.  In the meantime, power to the people. And pass me my hot sauce outta my bag.

Survival Tactics in a Changing Climate

UnknownI pray each of you is doing well. Those of us on the east coast have been faced with monumental weather.  Here in New York City it was the second biggest blizzard in recorded history.  And even though we know that God never closes His door on us, as pastors, many of us have been concerned with the welfare of God’s people and have decided to cancel services for this morning.

This morning I will be sharing with you a message at 11:00 am where I will be video conferencing live from my home.  Even if you’re not in Harlem, you can access this morning’s message from wherever you are!

This morning’s message is entitled, “Survival Tactics in a Changing Climate“. There are only 50 slots for the video conference so you want to be on time. The access information is:

To join the video  from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android: https://zoom.us/j/457774782
Or join by phone:
   646-558-8656  or  408-638-0968 
    Meeting ID: 457 774 782 
I hope to see you at 11:00am this morning, Sunday, January 24th.  In the meantime, stay blessed and #beEmpowered!

Your One Thing

Hello my dear Friend!

It’s 3:13 am and I am UP, thinking about you! Don’t believe me? I am! I’m thinking about all of the Unknownpeople I know and those who I have yet to know, who are living beneath their means. God has called us to be awesome. A-W-E-S-O-M-E! Many of us have started out the year with goals and resolutions, and we’ve already slipped and dipped….Yep! Admit it.

In the words of my POTUS, “Let Me Be Clear…..” You will not get to where God wants you to go unless small habits are changed. Every habit, good or bad, will either help us advance or impede our advancement. If you want to move forward in this world (and who doesn’t?) I want you to do me a solid…… Now, first, you could already be rolling in dough, tithing like a big baller/shot caller, got your spiritual life together, but as long as we are still on this side of heaven there is always more room to grow and more places to go! So listen, do me this here solid…. Pick one thing, one habit that you need to change. Yes, I know you have an entire new year’s resolution list. But stop. EVERY year you have a new year’s list, right? Right. And if you’re like most people you did not accomplish everything on your list last year or the year before. Some of you got so discouraged you didn’t accomplish anything on your list. But, right now, I want you to choose ONE (1) thing. Purpose in your heart, commit to yourself and God that every single day you will do that one thing. If you’re not a bed-maker in the morning, FORCE yourself to make your bed every single morning as if your life depended on it. I don’t care what you have to imagine or tell yourself; I don’t care what you need to write down near your night table so you see it in the morning. I don’t care what you have to plaster on the wall that you generally face when you wake up. But if you usually don’t make your bed, you MUST do this one thing and nothing else for the next 30 days. If you are already nice and tidy with the bed, try something else — exercise, checking your bank accounts each day, drinking a huge bottle of water, making a To-Do list each evening, etc.

There’s a myth that says it takes about 21 days to form a new habit. Repeat after me: That is a MYTH. That’s why some folk give up because they believe they don’t measure up. Researchers say that it takes anywhere from 18 – 254 days for habits to become automatic. That’s HUGE gap. Look it up for yourself. No need to go to the library like the days of old. Google it. So often when someone reaches Day 21 and she or he is still struggling, they give up. Because what’s the use right? Wrong. Don’t measure yourself against others. Just know that all things are possible! Know that you are a winner! Know that you can achieve greatness! And large victories are won with small battles.

So why would I say perform your new habit for the next 30 days when it might take longer? Because I want you to see that 30 days is possible! And if 30 days is possible then 60 days is possible! Try it. 30 days. Those squats or planks or crunches. Notice I did not say squats, planks AND crunches. Nope. Pick one. Do that one exercise during the evening news on your living room floor, or during whatever show you rush home to watch. Or whenever is good for you. Think 30 days. 30 days. 30 days. And then look back at what you’ve accomplished.

To paraphrase the words of Jesus in the 18th chapter of Luke, to whom much is given, much is required. The great thing is that we can get much with just changing a little. Why not try it today? Remember, I’m believing God for your future! #beEmpowered


What one little thing can you change that can be life-changing for you?

Dreamers & Doers

Unknown-1As time progresses, I am amazed at the number of people, particularly young people, who possess a limited familiarity with African-American historical figures such as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   Little knowledge, goes beyond Dr. King’s famous, I Have A Dream Speech. And even though we often speak about Dr. King’s dream and that the dream lives, we must remember that Dr. King not only was a dreamer, but he was a doer. Dreams are not meant to languish inside of us. Dreams are birthed in our spirits so that they can be manifested into the universe. Three things we should remember on this historic holiday for which we fought long and hard.

1. Dreamers gain clarity for their own lives and their community.
True dreamers understand that their dreams and creative thoughts allow them to realize their purpose in life. Dreams point us toward our passions and those things which trigger our hearts into actions. They help us gain clairity. But with our own clarity comes a clearer understanding of our place in our communities. Dreams help answer the questions, how can we connect, touch, repair and heal those around us? Dreamers realize the unfolding of God’s plan in their lives and the connection with those around them.

2. Dreamers realize that their dreams must turn into reality — and they make it happen. Dreamers are not sleepers. Don’t get it confused or twisted. Dreamers stay awake and on the job. Because dreamers know that dreams, visions, hopes and goals are worthless unless they are acted upon. Dreamers are realists who set up plans to make their dreams a reality. Dreamers do not put off for tomorrow what can be done today. In the words of Dr. King, “We are now faced with the fact that tomorrow is today. We are confronted with the fierce urgency of now.”  Dreamers have a ‘now’ mentality. Not a “tomorrow” mentality.

3. Dreamers realize that their dream extends beyond their existence. This is what Dr. King meant when he said, “I may not get there with you, but we, as a people, will get to the promised land. We need more women and men who are not afraid to dream and cast visions which will extend beyond own lifespan. Dr. King also said that it is “the quality, not the longevity of one’s life that is important.”  While we are busy dreaming, we must imagine and fashion a life full of quality that will extend to generations after us.

As we remember Dr. Martin Luther King and his dream, may we forever be doers as well as dreamers. May we continue to fashion a great future, not just for our own existence today, but for a better world tomorrow.


What does the dream mean to you?  Do you think that our country is living the dream that Dr. King envisioned?  Why or why now? What can we do to make the dream (or a dream) reality?