The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "choice" as the following: 1. the act of choosing-finding it hard to make a choice 2. power of choosing-you have no choice 3. the best part; a person or thing chosen-she was their first choice. 4. a number and variety to choose among-a plan with a wide choice of options 5. care in selecting 6. a grade of meat between prime and good of choice 7. to be preferred This book touches on all these definitions of choice, but I consider Eleanor Roosevelt's definition to be the testimony we should have when standing by the decisions we make in our lives: "In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility" (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/choices.html). With that being said, enjoy the ride!
I began appreciating the sermons of Rev. Dr. Charles Stanley, pastor of First Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2010. The Holy Spirit compelled me to listen and after fifteen years or so, Dr. Stanley said something that was transformational in my life. He told his congregation and viewers around the world, that his father had been an abuser of himself, his siblings, and his mother for many years. Dr. Stanley indicated that his father drank heavily, and brutally beat Dr. Stanley's mother. He and his brothers and sisters were terrorized by their father's behavior towards them. Dr. Stanley had hated his father all of his life because of what he had done to his family, but as an adult, and long after his parents had separated and divorced, Dr. Stanley decided to approach his father confront him about his past hurts and current inner turmoil. However, the Holy Spirit led Dr. Stanley go to his father and apologize to rather than confront his father, and to ask him for forgiveness for the ill feelings he had had towards him all of his life. Having an interactive relationship with God enabled him to initially object to the command, but he eventually obeyed the request. When his father heard the apology, as well as the request for forgiveness, he began to confess everything he had done to his family, and he, in turn, asked for forgiveness of Charles Stanley. So instead of one person being accusatory and one being defensive, the scenario was such that two people were asking for, and receiving forgiveness. When I heard this confession, I knew why God had asked me to listen to Dr. Stanley all of these years. It was for that defining moment when he would say something profound that I could resonate with, and it was well worth the wait. But the story doesn't end there... Later that day, I was scheduled to have a meeting with someone who was head of a philanthropic organization, and who was to determine whether or not I would be eligible to receive funding for my doctoral studies. I was not at all surprised when she showed up with her daughter since I had come to realize as a pastor that it was not always right and proper to meet with a member of the opposite sex without others present or in the vicinity. I shared the story with the two of them that I had heard Dr. Stanley tell earlier in the day and I received a startling reaction from the funder's daughter. Clearly shaken, the story had significant meaning to her daughter, so much so that I paused and realized that God had spoken through me to her! I surmised that the story had revealed to the young woman a way to approach someone whom she had had a similar conflict, and I was quite sure she knew God had spoken through me directly to her. It was as if God had been preparing me for 15 years for that exact special moment in time for me to be an emissary to explain to her what she had to do. A week later I received one of the largest scholarship donations the organization had ever given!! All I could think of was how amazing God truly is, how He had conceived that plan 15 years prior, and how my obedience to his word had granted me the riches and rewards of heaven right here on earth. It was truly awesome, and just a little bit scary.
Latimore Praiseworthy graduated with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Economics from the College of Wooster, in Wooster, Ohio. He attended graduate school in pursuit of a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) in Finance at Kent State University, Kent, Ohio. After spending nearly twenty-two years in various management roles in corporate America, God called him to serve in the ministry. He was ordained and in November 1993 to faithful service as a deacon at Peoples Baptist Church of Boston, Massachusetts. In 1997 he enrolled in seminary, on a part-time basis, at Andover Newton Theological School (ANTS). In May 2003 he graduated from ANTS, where he was a George Kelsey scholar for three years, with a Masters of Divinity degree. In June 2006 he was ordained a Reverend and in 2009 he graduated from ANTS with a Doctorate of Ministry degree.