The young lions roar for their prey, seeking their food from God.
I am very happy that I was able to feature several animals in “For My Father.” Their presence made the video complete. I believe that animals have tremendous abilities to teach. My dad and I used to watch animals on tv together when I was a child. Today, I have a greater understanding for his interest and fascination with animals. He saw them as beings that we, as humans, could learn from.
The Lord has shown great love for animals. When I think about the great and wonderful lengths our Lord went through to save them inside the Ark, I realize that they have a greater purpose than I’ve ever imagined. I also believe that growing in the word of God has greatly shaped my views on animals, which has helped me learn from them. Meeting and falling in love with Esperanza has also helped me to see this.
Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.
In “For My Father” I decided to show some of the animals that have inspired me. Esperanza, of course, is my favorite, however, I have been blessed to learn from several animals. I hope that remembering the things they have taught me and how they have inspired me and sharing what I have learned from them helps and encourages others who may feel discouraged in their lives. All of the animals shown in “For My Father” are different but they have all affected me in beautiful ways.
Some of them share my struggles
Some of them share my pain
Some of them share my dreams
Some of them have overcame
I hope you gain wisdom and inspiration from them as I have.
Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
In The Holy Bible Jesus Christ used sheep to describe our roles in regards to Him. Because of this sheep have become a source of wisdom and strength for me. By nature, sheep need guidance. When I think about this fact, I’m instantly reminded to be humble and gentle so that I can seek and receive the guidance of The Lord. Sheep remind me of how lost I am without Jesus Christ. Thinking about their nature helps me because it reminds me of the times when I sought my own strength and leadership and failed. Sheep have a way of putting things into perspective for me. I believe that understanding sheep nature holds keys to building my personal relationship with my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
But He led forth His own people like sheep And guided them in the wilderness like a flock
EAGLE My fondness for eagles came as a result of producing I Have A Dream. We were wrapping up a scene in front of Newark Symphony Hall when all of a sudden, something just came over me and I started dancing. I didn’t plan to do this particular dance but after I expanded my arms, it just took off. I noticed I looked like a eagle soaring, so I named the dance the Golden Eagle. It wound up becoming one of my favorite dance moves, making appearances in all of my SoJa Films music videos.
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
ELEPHANT My fondness for elephants came from the expression, “Elephant in the room.” Oddly and strangely enough, I can actually personally relate to the elephant in the metaphor. When I think of the elephant in the room, I envision an animal who is possibly, understandably irritated. He or she is probably uncomfortable and feels the pressure of being mocked, exploited, confined, confused, isolated and rejected. It’s very sad that the “elephant in the room” is seen as an exploitable resource unworthy of love and respect.
I wont judge the elephant haters of the world because that is not my cause
My Lord and Savior is Jesus Christ and He saved us on the cross
He blesses me with compassion that allows my eyes to see
That the elephant in the room goes through pain the same as me
Due to the mercy, glory and grace of Jesus Christ, I was able to break out of the room and hit the streets running. Through the promised salvation of all those who seek and trust in Jesus Christ, as Lord and Savior, I overcame. In the video I wanted to portray this as well as express my hopes and dreams for the elephant, so I decided to feature an elephant, out of the room, running freely through the street. Every time I watch this scene, I feel and celebrate the exhilaration and sheer joy of freedom. I believe that whether you’re an elephant or a human, the feeling of running freely without restraints and limitations is a beautifully empowering thing. I greatly enjoy watching the elephant run.
I first learned of Unsinkable Molly B. from an online newspaper article. After reading her story, I instantly became a fan. I was amazed and greatly inspired by her determination and resilience. I think I was so drawn to Molly and her story because, as runaways, we have a lot in common. Molly dramatically escaped a slaughterhouse. She even briefly navigated through the Missouri River during her legendary escape back in 2006.
For You will light my lamp; The Lord my God will enlighten my darkness. For by You I can run against a troop, By my God I can leap over a wall.
In your distress you called and I rescued you, I answered you out of a thundercloud; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Hear me, my people, and I will warn you—
Psalms 81: 7-8
DOG (Man’s Best Friend) Meeting this dog (pictured above) was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t get his name but his owner was nice enough to allow us to briefly meet. I was filming in east Newark when I saw him and I had to stop and say hello. He was extremely welcoming and friendly to me.
Dogs are known as man’s best friend. The Lord made them to be crazy about humans. My Espie gave me so much love it made me feel very special. Dogs possess the following qualities: kindness, extreme loyalty and forgiving hearts. This is why I love them so much. Human beings can learn so much about love, loyalty, forgiveness and patience from dogs. Dogs also do a lot of great work for adults and children with developmental and physical disabilities. Dogs are great companions and friends.
ESPERANZA I’ve been extremely blessed to have received the comforting, genuine, unconditional love of a feisty, courageous, combative, extremely cute, tremendously sweet and loving, mixed breed Chihuahua named Esperanza. Our union was arranged by Jesus Christ. We met in 2006 at an animal shelter. The Lord answered my prayers and sent me a friend that I could love. Jesus sent me a friend who would love me back.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths
Shortly before Esperanza and I met, Jesus Christ saved me from the deceptive and evil intentions of friends and strangers. Thanks to Him, all of the trauma and hard times that I’d experienced didn’t destroy my hope for love. All I wanted was a friend that would love me as I am and not betray me for anything or anyone.
Not for money and not for fame
Not for envy and not for the game
Not for a laugh and not for a deal
Not for nothing, I wanted love for real
Due to the mercy and blessings of Jesus Christ, I met Esperanza
She was the smartest, cutest, truest, bravest friend I ever had
She understood that loving me required very simple math
All she needed was a kind heart that couldn’t be bought
Esperanza understood the art of giving what she sought
She knew the value of the bird that was in her hand
She could’ve care less about another master’s plan
She loved me when I was enthralled in the midst of drama
They called her Terry but to me she was Esperanza
I named her for my favorite casa up in Santa Barbara
She was a gift of love especially sent from my Father
Jesus used an animal to unbreak my heart
Animals and humans both received a new start
We were together back with Noah packed inside the Ark
We lived as one inside a vessel sailing through the dark
And of every living thing of all flesh, you shall bring two of every sort into the ark to keep them alive with you. They shall be male and female.
There are six things that the Lord hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all that is in them, saying, “To him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”
Watch the animals of “For My Father”