The Rev. Dr. Linda Hollies, 64, died, unexpectedly, August 18, 2007. A celebration of her life will take place at Calvary United Methodist Church, 925 Backus Street, Jackson, Michigan, where she was Senior Pastor. In lieu of flowers, contributions for establishing a memorial fund would be appreciated and may be sent to Charles Hollies, 3639 Sweetgum Drive, Jackson 49201. Rev. Dr. Hollies was passionate about advancing women in ministry and in her pursuit of equity and justice. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice Administration, Indiana University; a Master of Divinity Degree, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary; and a Doctorate of Ministry at United Theological Seminary with Concentration in Black/ Womanist Theology. After pastorates in Illinois, she served in Grand Rapids as Director of Missions for the United Methodist Church West Michigan Annual Conference and in Lansing as Senior Pastor at Mount Hope Church. She founded Woman to Woman Ministries, Inc. and WomanSpace, taught at the University of Phoenix, lectured and preached across the United States, authored several books and was a columnist for The Grand Rapids Times. Born in Gary, Indiana, Dr. Hollies was preceded in death by her parents, Doretha Mosley and James Donald Adams, Sr., and her son, Grelon Everett. Left to cherish her memory are: her very devoted husband, Charles H. Hollies; son, Gregory Everett; daughter, Grian Eunyke Hollies; grandchildren, Giraurd Chase Hollies and Symphony Anthony; four adult step children; three sisters, four brothers, and a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Do The Right Thing?
Dr. Laura, who gives solid and sound advice from a Judeo-Christian perspective on old fashioned radio talk shows, signs off with the charge to listeners, "Now go do the right thing." Of course we know that most folks don’t follow this advice. Most of us don’t follow this good advice. And, the people of God continue with our struggle to do the right thing! Doing the right thing is much easier said than done. Doing the right thing demands commitment, discipline and self-sacrifice. Doing the right thing
goes against our human nature. The Ancestors "usta" say, "We are as prone to sin as the sparks fly upward!" I know that this was "written" in Granny’s Bible for she quoted it often!
Spike Lee made Dr. Laura’s sign off into a major movie with the theme of our choices, our alternatives and the options that life sets before us on a day by day basis. Somehow it just seems that it’s so much easier to do the wrong thing without even thinking about the consequences to others or to ourselves! Most of us go along our day on rote. We do what we have to do without much thought. "What type career will I have?" Where do I want to live, buy a home, retire?" Who do I want to spend my life with as a marriage partner?" "Can I honestly fall in love with someone of a different ethnic group?" All of these are questions that both life and Spike make us consider. Many of these questions we honestly don’t give enough consideration to prior to "choosing" and settling. Too many of us go through the motions of life, never really stopping to think through all of the myriad of choices before us. But, the question, "Where will I spend eternity?" demands our time, thought and the right choice.
Life demands a fast pace and we struggle to keep up with the pace of the world. Yet, the Christian life demands that we slow down
periodically and check ourselves to insure that we are doing the right thing according to God’s Word and not according to the politics of the world.
"See, I will send my messenger, who will prepare the way before me. But who can endure the day of his coming. Who can stand when he appears? (Malachi 3: 1-2) Doing the right thing for God’s sake requires that we make time to stop, to look and to listen to hear The Messenger’s message! In the midst of all of our business and busyness we must find the still points in our lives so that we might be ready for the return of Christ.
Christian living is a powerful, awesome and sacred responsibility entrusted to us through the life, death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The Ten Commandments and The Beatitudes present us with signs and symbols of a realm that is totally out of synch with "normal and ordinary" methods, actions and activities. This is why it is imperative that we attend Sunday worship as a community; be part of a regular Bible Study or Sunday School class with other believers and to have a small group of believers who will ask us "How is it with your soul?" It is so easy to begin a path that leads us to doing the wrong things and without intervention, we can find ourselves a long way from the will and the way of God.
God does have great expectations of you and me! God is depending on us to show the world the reality of serving the One, True Sovereign! This is not some trifling issue that we have taken on with our salvation. We are Covenant people in Covenant relationship with The Almighty. Therefore, let me suggest several ways that we might find retreat times during our daily lives.
A retreat is not necessarily about "going away". A retreat can be the time you step outside of your normal and usual routine so that you might be in the presence of The Holy One with intention and purpose. Sometimes I retreat while walking Duchess. I can put a question before God and walk, look at nature and anticipate that God will answer me somehow, someway before our return home. In my car, I can retreat as I leave the radio, the CD player and the tape recorder off and spend the time in meditation, total concentration on listening for God. Having your first cup of coffee or your l ate night cup of tea might be a good retreat time for you. Light a candle, watch the smoke, enjoy the smells and be on the alert for The Holy to accompany you wherever you are. For the truth is that there is no spot where God is not! And, in order to do the right things, we must stay in touch with The One who calls the shots! The Messenger has come. Did you
get the message?
Remember me, for I’m on the commitment journey with you. Until, next time, Shalom! Sista Linda.
This is the last article that Linda wrote. Linda was a frequent contributor to The Power of the Word column. Her zest for life and her no nonsense attitude will be missed.