Merry Christmas, Fam!



©NaimaLett.com

Merry Merry, Fam!
We’ve missed you!

We’re still here. We rolled things way back this year. Thus, you haven’t gotten a lot of emails from us, and we haven’t heard a lot from you. We just needed a break – a little space from the rigorous online updates, reports, etc. Have you ever been there?

It doesn’t mean that we’ve been any less fruitful. I actually think we’ve been more fruitful because our actions are more strategic. Less energy towards efforts that “might” be good, and more time spent on purpose-driven pursuits that yield meaningful results. In other words, we’re planting, watering, and tending pomegranates to yield pomegranates instead of scattering a whole bunch of seeds and hoping pomegranates happen to grow. Shift!

This year, we’ve learned:
– the extraordinary beauty of balance, boundaries, Sabbath & self-care
– giving back is not only essential, but can be a blast
– Beverly Hills has loads of awesome, complimentary activities that bring
our city together (what about your city?!)
– films are great, but theatre is STILL a must!

FILM IS GREAT, BUT THEATRE IS STILL A MUST!

After seeing so much great theatre this year, I am inspired to get back to it!

LISTEN! Hamilton:An American Musical is A-MAZING!!! See it when it comes to your city! It broke records with 16 Tony nominations and won 11 last year for a reason! It’s worth it!

Emmy Award-winning thespian Joe Morton (Papa Pope) did Dick Gregory proud with his one-man play on the comedian-activist’s life, Turn Me Loose that lit up these Hills after John Legend co-produced it Off-Broadway. Our nations needs more Gregory’s, Morton’s and Legend’s right now! Rise UP, Artists!

And Tony Award-winning star Phylicia Rashad deserves every acting award she’s ever received and all the ones she didn’t! Her monologue in the last 15 minutes of Head of Passes was a Master Class in artistic excellence! Academy Award-winning playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney is obviously ticked at God in re-writing this Job-inspired narrative, and it turns out many of
his audience is angry too.

How do I know? Because I spoke up during the audience talk-back following the performance Kevin and I saw and pointed out how God comes through for Job in the Biblical narrative, unlike the play. Job is NOT left alone to die with no answers and no God. Job’s faith is rewarded, not punished. Well…that set folks off. Anyway! We still have to speak truth, Fam! Join the conversation. Reveal who God really is and love like He loves!

I’ve already started brainstorming and writing again. I’m ready to add my voice back in the mix. How about you? We’ve got something to say! Folks out here misrepresenting God! Or maybe they have yet to experience His goodness, His love. Rise Up!

GIVING BACK’s A BLAST!

This year, our wonderful Hope in the Hills family embarked upon our #LoveGiveServe campaign and had the beautiful privilege of serving our Seniors in Beverly Hills and BeverlyWood through Arts. In the month leading to Thanksgiving, we hosted 8 outreaches and served 20 – 40 seniors each week. We spent an hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays leading our lively groups in creating arts to give away during Thanksgiving, culminating in a wonderful Dessert Celebration.

The Foundation exclaimed that our volunteers “are amazing!” and promptly asked us to expand from one center up to three centers. We believe there are more to come and are preparing for that expansion by seeking to bring on a part-time director to coordinate with the Foundation, plan our activities and help organize our volunteers.

If you’d like to support us in our continued efforts, please consider a tax-deductible YEAR-END GIFT of $100 or whatever you’d like to contribute:


YEAR-END GIFT

WHEN THINGS GO SIDEWAYS -GUEST BLOG BY KEVIN LETT

What do you do when life’s on track, then everything shifts and goes sideways? What happens when you’re like Joseph: operating in God’s will, yet struggling to comprehend God’s plan and infinite wisdom in your circumstances? Have you been there? I have.

CLICK HERE TO READ KEVIN’S GUEST BLOG

We leave you with this 2-minute masterpiece Kevin doodled on the computer: ETERNITREE! 2 Minutes, Fam! He’s so talented! And I’m not saying that because I’m biased and still madly in love with him after 16 years of marriage. He really is talented!

This was supposed to be a really short Christmas shot out! What happened?! Did I say that we’ve missed you?! So much more to talk about. Stay tuned
for 2018! We ready! And you?

MERRY CHRISTMAS!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
SEE IN IN THE 18!

Lots of love from the La La,
Kevin & Naima
Dr. Naima Lett
The Hollywood Christian®

RESPOND ON BLOG
Comment below, or
Facebook or
Twitter – @naimalett

© 2017 Dr. Naima Lett. All Rights Reserved

When Things Go Sideways



Guest Blog:
When Things Go Sideways
By Kevin P. Lett

Reference: Matthew‬ ‭1:18-25‬ ‭NASB‬‬

What do you do when life’s on track, then everything shifts and goes sideways? What happens when you’re like Joseph: operating in God’s will, yet struggling to comprehend God’s plan and infinite wisdom in your circumstances? Have you been there? I have.

Some of us are experiencing this situation with God right now; believing God’s blessings are exceedingly great, though presently unrecognizable. The truth revealed to us seems beyond our comprehension.

Joseph had a tough decision to make. Mary, still a virgin, was pregnant before they consummated their marriage. This tested his faith to the core. Not only did he have to wrestle with the fact that she was pregnant, but he had to find the faith to accept the child was conceived through the Holy Spirit and was the Son of God as foretold through prophecy.

Joseph had to decide if he was going to focus on what he could see naturally and what others in the culture would think and say about Mary or dismiss all of that and trust God’s plan completely. This was a harsh reality and by appearances, overwhelmingly scandalous. What would you do in Joseph’s position?

I can relate to how Joseph must have felt when I married Naima. From the beginning, we both had great expectations of what our lives would be like together with God at the helm. Before marriage, God gave us the same vision separately of what we could accomplish together through Him, but before we could start down that path I had to fight for my life, my marriage, and my faith.

Cancer threatened my life. Suddenly, we realized that there were huge mountains in our path. This reality didn’t look at all like what we thought it would be, and our faith was being tested like never before. Like Joseph, I chose to put my trust in God and move forward despite the challenges before me. Now 15+ years later, I’m grateful to still have my health, my marriage and my faith intact; all of them stronger than before.

I did not have all the answers then and don’t have all the answers now, but I don’t have to because I have a relationship with the One who knows all, sees all, and is well acquainted with my sufferings. I know that I can trust God with my future. I still believe God for supernatural blessings to come, and I still believe in what God wants us to accomplish together in this city.

There are times we may find ourselves in unfamiliar places that challenge our faith and require God’s supernatural stimulation. However, with God all things are possible and He is right here with us in the midst of our struggles.

As we reflect on this historic event of Christ’s birth, how do you relate to Joseph? What are you trusting God to accomplish supernaturally that may not quite line up with your natural experience and expectations to date?

Be encouraged. When things are shifting, God is moving. And it’s all good!
Merry Christmas,
Kevin

25 Notable Film & TV Actors Who Attended Howard University

Celebrating 150 Years! Howard University | 1867 – 2017

25 Notable Actors Who Attended Howard University

I’ve wanted to do this for awhile – compile a collage of our über-talened, hard-working entertainment family who have lit up the big and small screens after attending Howard University. “HU! You know!”

Finally! On this 150th Anniversary (HAPPY SESQUICENTENNIAL, HOWARD!), the university asked us to share our experiences. So, I sat down and started creating. This is my love letter to my fellow thespians and to all who have been touched by their lives. This just makes you happy, doesn’t it?! Happy and proud and hopeful!

I hope this image does three things:

1) Encourage you.
Behind every photo is a story of drive, perseverance, adaptability, and relationships. There are stories of faith, friendships and family. Many times, when there was no road, these talented brothers and sisters created their own – blazing a trail for many to follow. It’s difficult to sustain a career in film and television, yet this crew has been working from 10 to almost 50 years. We salute and celebrate each one of their lives.

2) Display the impeccable education that we received at Howard University.
The sheer volume of accolades this group has amassed on its way to becoming the crème de la crème of our ever-changing entertainment industry is not only impressive, but a testament to the training we received in those hilltop halls of HU! You name it – we’ve got it: Awards and Nominations galore for Oscar, Golden Globe, Emmy, Tony, Grammy, Image, People’s Choice, Blockbusters, Highly-Acclaimed Indies, Long-running series, and on and on. Our artistry will always come first, but it’s beautiful when one is recognized for their hard work; and we all knew HARD WORK from Howard.

3) Provide a resource to Next Gen.
One of my brilliant nephews has received a 4-year academic scholarship to Howard in the Fall. Having received a full scholarship myself two decades ago, and knowing that I use every bit of my B.F.A. training each day as a performing artist and pastor here in Hollywood, I recently told my nephew to choose his higher education based on whether or not the alumni from that school are working. He wants to go into sports communication and will have to research that, but I post this image above for every young artist considering where to train.

I chose Howard because of 3 divas you see in that top row: Phylicia Rashad, Debbie Allen and Lynn Whitfield. When I looked at our industry 20 years ago, roles for sisters were few and far between. Halle had not yet won the 1st Best Actress Oscar, and only a couple of sisters had won Supporting Actress. I recently ran the numbers and posted that an African American actress has less than a 1% chance of winning Leading Actress and 1.5% chance of winning Supporting. Yet Rashad, Allen and Whitfield were working in front of the scenes, behind the scenes, snagging awards, blessings folks. I had a Master Class with Rashad at Howard my senior year, and I still remember her encouragement, expertise and poise. When we’re dreaming, it helps to see visual images of folks doing what we want to do. May this photo be a resource and visual to all our young dreamers. You can do it too!

The List
This is not an exhaustive list, but ONLY 25 of our most notable film and television actors that most people recognize by name/face. We have TONS of Howard University family who have excelled in directing, producing, theatre & musical theatre as well as in other artistic areas: Literary (Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, Ta-Nehisi Coates, Amiri Baraka, Paul Laurence Dunbar), Music (Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Meshell Ndegeocello, Crystal Waters, our bro Kenny Lattimore), etc. We also have TONS of working actors who have made a living entertaining and creating works that make our lives better. I know many of them, and they work hard as well. Perhaps in the future, we can compile more lists. Please let us know whom you want to include.

Lastly, before you write and question the photos included on the last row:
– Puffy is known for his business and music; however, the industry recognized his acting with awards and nominations for A Raisin in the Sun and an Academy nod for producing Undefeated. Should he not be included because he creates his own vehicles? This could open debate, but I’m just recording. Consider me a researcher and historian of sorts…
– Ananda has had her own show and is known as a TV Personality, but I personally know her acting chops. I directed her in a piece when we were at Howard. She uses her creative skills in what she does.
– Frenchie is known for American Idol and The Voice, which one could argue is for her singing. But her star is rising, and she’s a force onstage and onscreen.

25 Notable Film & Television Actors Who Attended Howard University
IMDb Credits:
1. Phylicia Rashad
2. Debbie Allen
3. Ossie Davis
4. Lynn Whitfield
5. Roxie Roker
6. Taraji P. Henson
7. Anthony Anderson
8. Wendy Raquel Robinson
9. Isaiah Washington
10. Paula Jai Parker
11. Laz Alonso
12. Susan Kelechi Watson
13. Chadwick Boseman
14. Tracie Thoms
15. Lance Gross
16. La La Anthony
17. Marlon Wayans
18. Simone Missick
19. Carl Anthony Payne II
20. Karen Malina White
21. Sean Combs
22. Wendy Davis
23. Ananda Lewis
24. Al Shearer
25. Frenchie Davis

Has this been helpful for you?
Let me know.
Happy 150th Howard! Got nothing but love for you!

Dr. Naima Lett
The Hollywood Christian®
Author of coming release Confessions of a Hollywood Christian®

RESPOND ON BLOG
Comment below, or
Facebook or
Twitter – @naimalett

Merry Christmas


merrychristmas
©NaimaLett.com

Wishing you lots of REST and peace this Christmas!

Stress is high with such uncertainty in our country today; but this Christmas, our prayer is that you’ll choose to unplug, cast off anxiety, and embrace the joy and love of the season. May we all join the angels who proclaimed good tidings of great joy that a Savior, Christ the Lord, was born; and peace and goodwill to all the earth. Lk 2.14

I was recently invited to share a brief CHRISTMAS MESSAGE (below) with our friends at Bel Air Church, Beacon Hollywood. I hope that this video will encourage you as well that ‘there is hope and rest from the hustle’ this Christmas. Enjoy!


Trouble playing video? GO HERE: VIDEO Christmas Message, Dr. Naima Lett
Beacon’s format seems to block some cell phones; but not laptops. Try link above.

Lots of love from the La La,
Kevin & Naima
Dr. Naima Lett
The Hollywood Christian®
Author of coming release Confessions of a Hollywood Christian®

RESPOND ON BLOG
Comment below, or
Facebook or
Twitter – @naimalett

The Morning After…


sunshine

It’s the Morning After, Fam. Now What?!

“After the election, America needs a President who can pastor and bring healing to our deeply divided nation,” said one Good Morning America pundit. Wishful thinking, Yes?!

Good news:
America already has pastors and leaders and people of faith who understand the arduous and delicate task of bridging gaps, repairing breaches, and creating safe spaces where people can heal. If ever there is a time of need, this is it! Rise up! We can’t afford to wait on a President. Let all of us (leaders and everyone else) roll up our collective sleeves to begin the ministry of healing and reconciliation since we’ve been called to restore relationships (2 COR 5:18). What does that look like on the morning after?

1) LISTEN
Listen and allow your circle to process their legitimate concerns about where our country is headed. Don’t attempt to school anyone on why you think they’re wrong. Listen. Connect on a human level, and acknowledge that we have all just lived through a stress-filled season that has caused many trauma, anxiety and emotional whiplash.

2) PROMOTE PEACE
Speak peace, comfort and assurance to all who are genuinely terrified and filled with dread from the election results. Fear and hate proved to be very strong motivators during our election season. Fear had a hay-day. But now, let perfect love drive out fear. Wherever we hear fear, let’s acknowledge the legitimate feeling and then make a concerted effort to demonstrate love and facilitate peace.

3) ENCOURAGE FORGIVENESS
Pray and intercede that we can all forgive the numerous offenses that we have experienced in this election cycle. Let’s pray that folks will repent of all harm they’ve caused so that reconciliation is truly possible. Let’s stand in the gap where we can and sow seeds toward the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control).

4) INSPIRE HOPE
We don’t know what the next few days, weeks, and months will hold, but we do know that we are not helpless or hopeless. We have faith that can move mountains. We have light that can burst through clouds.

Those of us who know God: let’s choose faith. Let’s choose to believe God is able to walk with us and sustain us through whatever we will face in the coming days. He kept our great-great-grandparents, great-grandparents, grandparents and parents through America’s most tumultuous times. He can keep us and our children too. Let’s place our faith in Him, not man.

SPECIAL NOTE:
Artists, we need your prophetic voices and creativity now more than ever. Produce brilliant works that reflect the best of who we are. Bring forth artistic truth that is healing to our nation and the nations. Seek the sound of heaven and blast it into the earth. We need you.

Take a deep breath, Family.
It’s the morning after. This will yield to day, then evening, then night, and guess what? Another morning. We are not shaken or deterred. We will keep moving forward.

Lots of love from the LaLa,
Dr. Naima Lett
The Hollywood Christian®
Author of coming release Confessions of a Hollywood Christian®

RESPOND ON BLOG
Comment below, or
Facebook or
Twitter – @naimalett

Celebration Time!


592
© NAIMA LETT – BLOG | HOLLYWOOD CHRISTIAN

Celebrate With Us!

If you need ANY excuse whatsoever to flip, dance and holla, here you go!

We knew this year would be BIG, and we’re jammin’ like we’re two-stepping round the heavenly throne as God orchestrates 3 HUGE milestones converging on us at one time: Graduation, Anniversary, and Promotion. I’m posting early because I’ll likely be “caught up” in the moments next week, but won’t you join in our par-tay wherever you are?!

May 26: 15th Wedding Anniversary
wed

Kevin and I met as freshmen at Howard University (HU!), and Thursday, May 26th will mark our 15th Wedding Anniversary. Woohoo! Through all the mountains and valleys, “we’re still together!” LOL! And we believe, the BEST is yet to come!

May 27: My Graduation
Grad

Remember when I wound down my daily blogs and posts to turn all my writing attention to finishing my doctoral dissertation?! IT IS FINISHED! And I truly thank GOD for the honor of being the 1st woman to receive the Doctor of Ministry in Preaching Degree from Talbot School of Theology at BIOLA. My dissertation is about Hollywood and how we effectively minister in the Entertainment Community.

May 31: Kevin’s Promotion
A year ago, Kevin took time to “write the vision and make it plain” as he considered his career. He wrote in detail a position that he is now being promoted into on May 31st with the Federal Government. I am so proud of my husband as a public servant-leader for his relentless faith coupled with his tremendous work ethic. Congratulations, Kevin!

Gifts?!
Your celebration and well wishes are more than enough, but for those who have inquired about gift suggestions, here you go:
Tax-Deductible Giving:
Hope in the Hills (Our church plant in Beverly Hills)
+ Missionaries who are part of our Hope in the Hills family:
Project Foundation
Trade-Works Foundation
As One Charity

Your Turn!
Now, it’s your turn! What’cha celebrating?! Life, health, peace of mind?! Even if everything isn’t as you’d like it to be, can you do me a favor and dance with me? Blast your favorite song! Sing at the top of your lungs. Move around! Jump, Jump! I promise you’ll feel better. This past Sunday at Hope in the Hills, break-through came when we moved. AWESOME! God continues to get a STANDING O!

Today, I pray for you, according to Psalm 30:11-12, May our God:
Turn your mourning into joyful dancing,
Take away your sorrow and surround you with joy;
So we will not be silent; We will sing praises to Him.
Lord, you are our God. We will give You thanks forever!

Lots of love from the LaLa,
Naima

NL

© Rev. Naima Lett, D.MIN, ABD
The Hollywood Christian®
Author of coming release Confessions of a Hollywood Christian®

RESPOND ON BLOG
Comment below, or
Facebook or
Twitter – @naimalett

Good Friday to You!


emptytomb
© NAIMA LETT – BLOG | HOLLYWOOD CHRISTIAN

“Happy Good Friday!” doesn’t quite seem appropriate, given that today we remember Jesus’ horrific crucifixion. So, I’m just going to greet you with “Good Friday to You!” because it is Good Friday, and it’s good!

Things are Good with the Letts in the LaLa!
I recently turned in my doctoral dissertation, and I’m preparing for my oral defense, with expectation to graduate in May. We just celebrated Kevin’s birthday. We’ll celebrate 15 years of marriage, also in May. Our Hope in the Hills family has experienced such joy and transition in this Year of Jubilee with our Sunday series on Identity and our Artists series on Monday nights. We’ve had worship retreats and conferences, and folks are closer to God and one another, and YES! That’s Good!

But what about the rest of the world?
How can we say things are good? This week, there was another terrorist bombing in Europe. We found out Phife from A Tribe Called Quest succumbed to diabetes-related complications at the age of 45. At least 3 other notable deaths rocked our Hollywood industry, and the political landscape is a hot mess. But it’s good?!

Yes! Today is GOOD
…because I’ve read the book and evil doesn’t prevail in the end. Today is GOOD because death itself was overthrown when Jesus, the GOD-man, allowed Himself to be beaten, bruised, pierced and nailed to a cross in our stead so that we have assurance of life after death in paradise without penalty. Today is GOOD because ultimately our Good God wins!

Our hearts break when one innocent life is taken in the name of terror; but we stand against terror and boldly pray for Europe and all nations because we know that Love drives out fear. We mourn with those who have lost loved ones this week. We love on you, comfort you and lift you up. And we extend Hope your way, as we too cling to Hope and Goodness.

The PHOTO ABOVE puts us ahead of ourselves as it reps the HOPE we have because of Resurrection Sunday, but I wish that for you today. Faith, Hope and Love… and a Good Friday… because it is Good.

Lots of love from the LaLa,
Naima

P.S. If you’re out this way on Sunday. Join us in the Hills. We’re going to have a GOOD time! Here’s the info:

WANTED: ALL NATIONS
An International Easter Celebration & Reception
Sunday, MAR 27, 2016 @ 10 AM
Hope in the Hills
@ Temple Emanuel of Beverly Hills
300 N Clark Dr. Beverly Hills, CA 90211

HopeResurrection2016

Please RSVP ASAP:
http://HopeintheHills.org/Easter2016

Rev. Naima Lett, D.MIN, ABD
The Hollywood Christian®
Author of coming release Confessions of a Hollywood Christian®

RESPOND ON BLOG
Comment below, or
Facebook or
Twitter – @naimalett

Merry Christmas from the Hills


merrychristmas
© NAIMA LETT – BLOG | HOLLYWOOD CHRISTIAN

Merry Christmas from the Hills!

Sending you hope, joy, peace and comfort during this Christmas of Jubilee! And most of all sending you Love! We handed out Love Letters from the Father this past Sunday at Hope in the Hills and it was an unforgettable Love Fest. As you celebrate the Greatest Love Story of God’s Son coming to earth over the next few days, we pray that you too will experience His sweet love and presence in a tangible way.

“You are loved with an everlasting love…” Jer 31:3

Lots of love from the La La,
Kevin & Naima

Rev. Naima Lett, D.MIN, ABD
The Hollywood Christian®
Author of coming release Confessions of a Hollywood Christian®

RESPOND ON BLOG
Comment below, or
Facebook or
Twitter – @naimalett

How Do We Love Our Divided States of America?

How Do We Love Our Divided States of America?
Naima Lett, Hollywood Christian BLOG

nation_divided
© NaimaLett.com/blog

How do we love our Divided States of America?

That’s the question I’ve been asking for several weeks as we’ve approached this Love National week of #LoveActs in our Love Revolution.

Two years ago, in anticipation of the case going to the Supreme Court to legalize same-sex marriage, I wrote the blog, “A Nation Divided: Gay Marriage.” But we can pick any number of issues – presidential election, gun rights, abortion, healthcare, immigration, foreign policy, police brutality – and we are a nation who does not agree.

I said in the previous blog that agreement is not a prerequisite for relationship. Agreement is not a prerequisite for love. We the people, We God’s people, are called to love our neighbors, even if we don’t agree with them. But HOW DO WE DO THAT?

I believe the answer is living out the Love Chapter we’ve been studying through our daily devotions on Bible.com / Bible App (hopeinthehills). If we apply I Corinthians 13 and approach each person, even in our disagreements, with patience, kindness, contentment, humility, honor, selflessness, gentleness and forgiveness, would love not make a huge difference?

Love Makes A Difference

Kevin and I have been married for 14 years and we do not agree on a whole slew of things, but we choose to love each other. In dealing with recent police brutality, what if we choose to love on cops in our precinct? I’m not oversimplifying and ignoring the huge underlying issues, but we’re trying to find a place to start. This week, one of our #LoveActs is to “Buy a Cop Coffee” day where we’ll get coffee gift cards and show appreciation to officers that we encounter. Can’t this make an impact towards creating a different narrative in the minds of officers who aren’t able to see all people as human? I’m praying God’s love begins to break down barriers.

On Thursday, our Hope in the Hills family is expressing love by volunteering at Covenant House California in Hollywood. We’re helping with set up, serving and break down for their annual summer BBQ helping at-risk homeless youth living on the streets. Homelessness is a big issue in Los Angeles and every major city in America. Some cities have given their homeless one-way bus tickets to other cities. Our states do not agree on how to fix the problem. But we’re going to show love to those who are living it out. If you’re in the LaLa, join us. If you’re around the globe, pray for us, and find ways to reach out in your community.

Let’s stop just arguing with folks and start finding win-win solutions that help the ones who need it the most. You can still get in on the #LoveActs for this month. The entire list is here: Love Acts in the LaLa & Beyond. If you’ve been tracking with us, let us know how it’s going. And if you have more ideas on how to love our divided states of America, holler at your girl!

Lots of love from the LaLa,
Naima

Rev. Naima Lett, D.MIN, ABD
The Hollywood Christian®
Author of coming release Confessions of a Hollywood Christian®

RESPOND ON BLOG
Comment below, or
Facebook or
Twitter – @naimalett