Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Launch of The I.S.L.A.N.D. Movement

It's been a few weeks since I last blogged...not because nothing has been happening worth blogging about, but because so much has been happening that I've had trouble finding the time to blog. So I ask for your patience, and if necessary, your forgiveness, if this blog entry runs a little longer than normal. I have to catch you up to date...
Believe it or not, after my last entry that chronicled all of the challenges I had faced to date, even more road blocks popped up that had the potential to hinder the birth of the I Shall Not Die book and the I.S.L.A.N.D. (I Shall Live And Not Die) Movement. Once the book was finally produced and shipped to me from the printer, I encountered a battle with the company that was outsourced to bring the books to me. For hours, the driver of the delivery truck held the books hostage, actually refusing to bring them to my home, stating that he didn't like delivering to residential areas. I won't blast the company by name on my public blog, but believe me when I tell you the temptation is there. I had paid for shipping and delivery, yet the truck driver told me that if I wanted the books, I'd have to rent a pick-up truck from somewhere and meet him in a business district because he didn't like delivering to residences. Really? Are you kidding me? You're a delivery man! After several telephone conversations with the people at the delivery company's headquarters and my ultimate threat to call the printer and report the incident so that they'd never use their delivery service again, I got my books. I waited from 8:30 in the morning (the scheduled delivery time) until 6:30 in the evening to receive them, but they finally arrived. And yes...I still reported the company to my printer.
When I first broke open the box and held the book in my hand, I cried. Okay, I'll admit that I tend to shed a few tears each time I am blessed to hold a new release for the first time, but this one was different. This book is personal...and it represents a new level of ministry for me. Plus it seemed as if that moment would never come. With all the adversity I'd faced, there were days when I felt paranoid as I wondered what the enemy would come up with next. I'm so glad the God I serve is omniscient. No adversity could arise that He didn't know about beforehand. With that being the case, God knew that the delivery issue wouldn't be the end of it all.

Can you beleive that once again, we would be forced to change the location of the pending October 2nd I.S.L.A.N.D. Conference where we would officially unveil the book and the accompanying motivational ministry? We'd already had to change it once because someone who (for reasons that are still unclear) did not want the conference to manifest took it upon themselves to cancel our first venue booking and demand that the pastor not allow it to be held there. Now, due to more "church drama," we were forced to go for Plan C. And that plan had us taking the celebration out of the church altogether, and moving it to an events building instead. As God would have it, someone who had booked the building for the same time and date that we needed it, called and cancelled their booking just moments before I called to ask about the building's availability. (I told you HE was omniscient!) And with a venue secure, we were moving forward once again.
Because the books arrived several weeks prior to the official release date, two "early release" events took place. The first one was held at Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta, GA, and was hosted by Bossettes. It was a wonderful event that came with live entertainment that included spoken word by EbonyJanice and song ministry by recording artist/stage actress, Alicia Robinson Cooper. The second "early release" event was a speaking engagement and book signing wherein I was blessed to be asked to be the keynote speaker at the 85th church anniversary service of East St. Paul United Methodist Church in San Antonio, TX. What an honor it was to share the "I Shall Not Die" message with the attendees there, and then to sell and sign copies of the book afterward. I took my youngest daughter along with me for that appearance. It was her very first flight and she got the opportunity to reconnect with a friend that she hadn't seen since she was a four-year-old Pre-K student. They are both now thriving 17-year-old high school seniors, and it was good to see how quickly they gelled. They even sang a duet at the worship service. Additionally, I was blessed to reunite with a sister-friend that I had not seen in more than ten years. It was marvelous! San Antonio made for a great tour stop on many levels.
Finally, the day of the official book release and ministry launch arrived. October 2nd was the date of the I.S.L.A.N.D. Conference, and it was with great excitement that I and a car load of family and friends took the 3.5 hour drive to Valdosta, GA for the celebration. En route, another curve ball blindsided me when I received a call from the booking manager of my featured artist, telling me that he would not be at the event. The immediate disappointment was heavy. I had been announcing for months that he would be there, and just a couple hours before "showtime" I was informed that he would not. Determined not to let the blow be a TKO for me, I regrouped my emotions and prayed that God wouldn't allow the absence of the national recording artist to cause those who would be there to turn around and leave. God answered my prayer, and the conference that commemorated the book and the ministry was a wonderful affair.
Those who attended the I.S.L.A.N.D. Conference were blessed with music and arts ministry that included praise dancing, singing, and a featured appearance by Agape Award winning mime minister The Master's Mime . The highlight of the night was an awesome (and I do mean, AWESOME) Word from the Lord that was delivered by Bishop Q.S. Caldwell of Celebration of Praise Ministries. The capable emcee for the evening was Pastor Bernard Robinson of Abundant Life Ministries. I can't say that our featured recording artist wasn't missed. He definitely was. He was on program to sing a couple of very key he's one of my personal favorites, so I still wish he would have been there, but I was more than a little relieved that none of the audience members expressed any disappointment in his absence. And God provided a "ram in the bush" when one of the attendees (her name was Nicole), who I'd never even met before, agreed to fill in on a moment's notice and sing I Won't Complain, which was a poignant song for the program. And boy, did she sing it!
To top off the evening, quite a number of books and other I.S.L.A.N.D. ministry products were sold, and the wonderful reviews from readers have been pouring in via email, telephone calls, and by way of feedback posted in the guest book on the ministry website. Despite all of the ditches, mud puddles, and even dung hills that we had to leap over to get there, God made us victorious, and I am eternally grateful. He promised to be faithful, and He is and continues to be. Thank you, Lord, for your faithfulness!
And now the main tour begins. For the next few weekends, I can be found fellowshipping, promoting, speaking, and signing books in Jacksonville, Florida, West Haven, Connecticut, Chicago, Illinois, Lenox, Georgia, and Jackson, Mississippi. I hope to see some of you as I make stops through your area, and I request the prayers of the righteous as I continue to use this platform to empower, encourage, and edify.


  1. I wish you God's Best! What a journey and a testimony!

  2. Your book is going to bless many because the enemy was busy throwing up roadblocks. Can't nobody stop God's show.

  3. Kendra, I just wanted you to know that I enjoyed the book, I am already done reading it. It was very hard at the beginning I guess its b/c I knew & know you all so well. After reading this book made me respect you even the more!! Continue to let God use you even the more!! God bless you.....I had a great time as well S...aturday, everything was GREAT!!! It was good seeing the girls haven't seen them in years : ) Takecare
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  4. Thank you for this post… you story makes me realize that I am not alone when it comes to disappointments and setbacks in business and in ministry :- )