EXCERPT: The Scroll by Parrish Smith

The Scroll
Inspiration from America's Most Revered Spiritual Leaders 

by Parrish Smith 

Life-Changing Inspiration. Unwavering Support. THE SCROLL is a true celebration of our leaders! 

“If you listen, other people will help you understand your calling in life and acknowledge your destiny. But it is important to listen. God speaks through other people. God uses people to help us identify ourselves.” —Bishop T.D. Jakes

Scrolls have always been considered sacred, filled with prophecy and direction. Realizing that today s spiritual leaders fill a similar role, filmmaker Parrish Smith created the award-winning documentary series The Scroll, featuring modern-day prophets revealing more of themselves, their journeys, and their invaluable insights than ever before. Now, Parrish Smith draws on the words of America s most beloved spiritual leaders to create a guide full of contemporary wisdom that will uplift and encourage you through life s unexpected challenges.

Finding our life's purpose. Creating lasting relationships. Surviving tragedy. Releasing self-destructive thoughts. These are just some of the trials faced and joyously overcome in these heartfelt accounts that are as healing as they are unforgettable. Featuring illustrative Bible verses, related parables, and transformative advice, The Scroll is a timely resource filled with the faith and inspiration that will lead you to life's greatest rewards.

Bishop T.D. Jakes * Bishop Hezekiah Walker, Jr. * Dr. Calvin O. Butts, III * Rev. Bernice A. King * Rev. Al Sharpton, Jr. * Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr. * Bishop George C. Searight * Dr. Marvin L. Sapp * Dr. Jamal H. Bryant * Bishop Noel Jones * Dr. Jeremiah A. Wright, Jr. * Dr. Bill Winston * Bishop Kenneth C. Ulmer * Rev. Wess Morgan * Bishop Vashti M. McKenzie * Rev. Jeffrey A. Johnson, Sr. * Dr. R.A. Vernon * Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr. * Rev. John K. Jenkins, Sr. * Dr. Alyn E. Waller * Dr. DeForest B. Soaries, Jr. * Dr. Larry L. Macon, Sr. * Dr. Perry Simmons, Jr. * Rev. Corey B. Brooks, Sr. and  * Rev. Stanley Dumornay

Take the first step in faith. You don't have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8–9
Doubt. Uncertainty. Suspicion. These are all feelings that can infiltrate our thoughts, causing us to think the worst about a situation or individual. However, faith is the light that keeps us going through the storm, through the hardship, believing that all will turn out for the best.
We need faith throughout our lives. When a stranger enters our lives, we need faith to trust that person to be who he or she claims to be, to a certain extent anyway. When an illness such as cancer or dementia enters our lives, we need faith to believe we can beat the odds and live long and productive lives.
In this chapter, you will hear different accounts about how faith was imperative to help overcome tragedy, fight injustice, achieve goals, enhance self-awareness, battle addiction, and fight the odds.

A Promise
Bishop T. D. Jakes

I think the more you learn about life, the more you recognize that you don't know. Much like the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. l think the beginning of wisdom is recognizing that you don't know everything.
PREACHING ABOUT THE ableness of God while his house's lights and water were turned off was a trying season for Bishop Jakes, who was married with two children. His car had also been repossessed, so he was forced to take the bus uptown to the power company, hoping they would restore his power. The representative he spoke with was condescending, almost as if she was trying to hold this great power over him. The lady belittled and berated him, telling Bishop Jakes he was wasting his time on his appeal. Humiliation consumed him until tears streamed down his face. He left the building, and after he had walked several blocks in total frustration, the Lord spoke the sweetest words to Bishop Jakes, saying, "I will not suffer thy foot to be moved."
God knew that Bishop Jakes was a young father and husband. At that time, he had lost his union job working for a car-manufacturing plant, and he had visions of being homeless and sleeping in a cardboard box. His church had a few people, but his salary was not enough to sustain a family. He recalls that God did not fix his situation right away, but God did not let him fall, either. Thus, Bishop Jakes learned how to live suspended, neither successful nor destroyed. He was suspended on the edge of a cliff, sustained by nothing but a promise, but sometimes a promise was all he needed to hang on. Over time the promise produced, but he learned how to hear God's voice when he was hurting, and he learned that God is faithful, even when we are fearful.

Mustard Seed Faith: 
Overcoming obstacles in a time of crisis and staying calm enough to hear God's words are easier than they sound. However, many of us have faced challenges and seasons of hardships. In an episode of Oprah's Lifeclass, Oprah Winfrey spoke about facing obstacles and the little bit of faith needed to pull you through.
Oprah's grandmother raised her in the church. As a young girl, every Sunday like clockwork, she would sit in the second row, taking it all in. Listening to Bible stories, she would hear that through God all things are possible. In particular she remembers hearing the story of Jesus teaching that if you have the faith of a mustard seed, you can move mountains, making anything possible. It wasn't until years later, as an adult, when actually holding a mustard seed in her hand and seeing its minuscule size, that she truly understood the lesson. Moving forward, Oprah realized that as long as she possessed the faith of a mustard seed, she would be able to live the quality of life she manifested and could overcome obstacles.

Build Faith:  Having strong faith should be important in your life. Faith is the one weapon that can get you through just about any situation, no matter how tough it may seem. Faith affects all aspects of our lives, and once it is developed, it will make us better people. Following are four ways to build faith in your life.

BELIEVE. Faith is belief. As a believer in God, you have to acknowledge that God is the source of your faith.

Change is not always instant, happening overnight. You must have tolerance and patience to weather the storm and stay the course. True faith requires patience.

STUDY. Read the Bible. Attend Bible study, retreats, conferences, and meetings. Study and comprehend the scripture, so you can apply it in your life. Realize that His word is true; it is not a lie.

Speak to God. Develop communication, adopting a personal relationship with God. Reflect on His word, allowing it to transform you.

Lastly, do not be hesitant to seek counsel with friends, relatives, ministers, and those who you feel have a deep faith. Ask them questions about their faith: What makes it grow? Are they ever doubtful? If so, how do they overcome doubt, allowing their faith to take charge of their lives? Many people have walked in your shoes and still face similar bouts with faith and belief. Conversation is healthy.

Sometimes we feel we need pope-like faith to overcome obstacles. However, a tiny bit of faith mixed with work on our end can move mountains.  He said to them, Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, "Move from here to there," and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. Matthew 17:20

Rev. Dr. Perry Simmons, JR.
Only one out of every three students who enters Mortis Brown as a freshman graduates in fur years. I looked to the person on my left and right and said you might as well go home now, because I am staying and graduating.
GROWING UP, DR. Simmons had a desire to go to college. He was one of eleven children, raised in the South, where his parents never made more than a nickel above minimum wage. Attending college was unthinkable under those circumstances, but Dr. Simmons was driven. During his senior year in high school, he received his first job, making fifty dollars a week working alongside a concrete finisher. After paying five dollars for carfare and five dollars in taxes, he was left with forty dollars. He then deducted ten percent from the forty dollars and donated it to anyone in his area in need. His father did not agree with his giving his money away, because he needed all he could earn for college. However, Dr. Simmons believed that you receive by giving.
Months later, Dr. Simmons arrived at Morris Brown in Atlanta. On registration day he got in line and signed up for all his classes. The last stop was paying tuition. He stood at the window and told the college representative that all he had was fifteen dollars but he wanted to attend the school. The representative gave him a note to see the president. As he entered the president's office, he saw that hundreds of other students with the same problem stood in the office. Finally he spoke with the president, informing him that he had no money and that he had turned down basketball scholarships from other colleges because he wanted to attend a private Christian college.
The president of Morris Brown signed a sheet of paper allowing Dr. Simmons to finish registration without any money. Dr. Simmons got a job washing dishes in the dining hall and attended classes in between meals. When basketball season arrived, Dr. Simmons tried out for and made the team, but the coach notified Dr. Simmons that his budget for scholarship money was depleted. The coach was, however, able to assist him with buying books. As the first year came to a close, Dr. Simmons received special permission to take final exams because he still owed the college for the entire year's tuition. The following year, he received a basketball scholarship and ultimately finished school. When he graduated, he had a surplus of money, the opposite of when he'd first enrolled.

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Excerpted from The Scroll by Parrish Smith. Copyright © 2014 Parrish Smith. Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.


The Scroll: Inspiration from America's Most Revered Spiritual Leaders

Inspirational;    Self Help;   Religious;   Christian Life Guidance

About the Author

Parrish Smith
is an award winning filmmaker whose projects have appeared on numerous networks and at film festivals. As a child and the son of a preacher, he always fell asleep in church. Nevertheless, it was the storytelling used by preachers during their sermons that engaged him, making the Word relevant to everyday life. Now, he strives to create projects that make a difference in people s lives, leaving them inspired. The Scroll is his first film and book combination that uses the stories of wise and insightful spiritual leaders as a way to assist people as they face life's struggles. Visit his website, TheScrollMovie.com, for information about his projects.