Monthly Archives: February 2013

Falling Up Steps… at the Oscars®

Falling Up Steps… at the Oscars®
LENT DAY 14 of 40, ©

©Getty, Jennifer Lawrence trips at the 85th Academy Awards®

How does one manage to fall up the steps… at the Oscars®?
Ask Best Actress Academy Award® winner Jennifer Lawrence.

As the 22-year old starlet went to collect her statue on the Dolby Theatre stage towards the end of Sunday evening, she tripped on her Dior Haute Couture gown and experienced what folks are calling “the fall heard round the world.” Hollywood’s so dramatic!

But I’m not writing this to revel in a fellow artist’s awkward-nightmare-come-true. I want to applaud the way Jennifer bounced back. What a recovery!

What a Recovery!

There was absolutely no pretense. Jennifer experienced the fall, took a moment and buried her face in her hands, picked herself back up, mounted the stage, and then acknowledged what had just occurred:

“You guys are just standing up because you feel bad that I fell — it’s really embarrassing. But thank you. This is nuts!”

She didn’t stay crumbled in a ball on the steps. She got up, chuckled about it and kept it moving! When asked after the awards by a reporter what happened, Jennifer laughed, “What do you mean, ‘What happened?’ Look at my dress! I tried to walk up stairs in this dress. That’s what happened. I don’t actually… I think I just stepped on the fabric and they waxed the stairs.”

Candid Truth

As someone who has been called candid all my life, I so appreciate a kindred, candid soul! I’d even argue that Jennifer’s willingness to be present and honest is what has endeared her to the industry and the public.

On the industry side, Jennifer is highly acclaimed for her work in independent films, winning the Academy Award for Silver Linings Playbook and being nominated for Winter’s Bone. On the public side, Jennifer’s film, The Hunger Games, broke records last year as the 3rd-largest opening weekend of all time bringing in $152.5 million in three days for a non-sequel film. It went on to make over $408 million in the US and over $686 million worldwide, making Jennifer the highest grossing action heroine ever. Move over Angelina Jolie!

What You See…

During an age of fake reality shows and Hollywood smoke-and-mirrors, people tend to think “what you see is what you get” with Jennifer and they like that. She often puts her foot in her mouth by saying exactly what she thinks instead of what’s appropriate.

Jennifer explained to Elle Mag recently, “I never know what’s going to come out of my mouth, and it’s horrible. When I get older, I’ll be more mature and poised… One day, I’m going to grow up…” She even shared, “$10 million (for film) and I’m still living in my parents’ condo…I’ve always lived in a tiny rat-infested apartment in New York, or a little condo in L.A., or a normal house in Kentucky. I think it would be very bizarre to live in a big mansion by myself.

Most folks hear her and think, “She’s normal, just like me.” That’s what makes her likeable. Haven’t we all had a tumble or embarrassing moment at some point? We can relate.

Take Notes

I haven’t met Jennifer, I don’t know her spiritual beliefs, and I can’t vouch for her character; but I think we can take notes from the freedom she has experienced in just being who she is.

Jesus told His disciples in John 8:31-32 that if they held to His teaching, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” The truth sets us free, especially when we are rooted in Christ’s teaching; but also when one is living life without pretense.

So many artists move to LaLa Land and think they have to “become” someone other than who they are to “make it”. People climb corporate ladders and morph into different people when they’re on the job. Isn’t it refreshing today, on this 14th day of Lent, to know that we can just be. Perfection isn’t required. And if we fall, we can get back up.

Falling Up Steps

I hope that we never fall up any steps on one of THE most significant days of our lives, but if we do, hopefully we can (like Jennifer) acknowledge it, laugh about it, and keep it moving.

Here’s to graceful recoveries,

What do you think?
Comment below, or
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© 2013 Naima Lett. All Rights Reserved

Why Did Argo Win?

Why Did ARGO Win? (Update)


© Warner Brothers, ARGO

“And the award goes to… ARGO!”

Why did ARGO win?

That’s the million dollar question everyone was asking when Academy Award winner Ben Affleck’s ARGO seized the top honors from the SAG Awards, Producers Guild, Directors Guild, Writers Guild, Golden Globes and Critic’s Choice Awards for Best Picture. By the time the Academy Awards® rolled around Sunday, ARGO was the frontrunner and did indeed win.

“I am really amazed and stunned,” admitted Affleck, when they won the SAG Award.
He’s not the only one.

Why were folks originally stunned?

ARGO is a good film, as I stated in my review, ARGO: Political Thriller with a Dose of Fun.

The official film synopsis reads: Based on real events, the dramatic thriller “ARGO” chronicles the life-or-death covert operation to rescue six Americans, which unfolded behind the scenes of the Iran hostage crisis, focusing on the little-known role that the CIA and Hollywood played—information that was not declassified until many years after the event.

ARGO’s director, producer and star is Academy Award® winner Ben Affleck. Ben enlisted his buddies to produce as well: Academy Award® winning actor/director George Clooney and Academy Award® nominated producer/writer Grant Heslov.

So, why are folks so surprised that ARGO kept pulling away with the Best Picture Award?


Because, more than once, that’s the only award it has received for the whole night. Folks see all these other films winning for best actor in leading role, best actor in supporting role, best actress in leading role, best actress in supporting role, best screenwriter, best director, etc., and then fast forward to the last award of the night, “And the winner is…ARGO”?

That would be like our American gymnastic team winning no individual medals but walking away with all-around GOLD for BEST TEAM. That’ll definitely turn some heads!

Why it won

My theory is that ARGO won because, in the film, Hollywood is the unsung hero. I know everybody outside Hollywood thinks the film says that our military operatives are the heroes, but Hollywood walks away thinking “We saved the day!” Who wouldn’t vote for that?

I also argue in my previous review that Hollywood loves a comeback and Ben Affleck has a huge comeback-kid, redemption story this season. I explain that people love redemption, and we, as Christians, especially identify. (Romans 8:11, Paul describes the new life that we live through God’s Spirit, “And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you…” We know a comeback when we see it.

LA Times bestselling author and awards reporter, Steve Pond, has a more simple theory. He says, “People just like ARGO.” And in our popularity-contest-awards-race, likability wins!

And the Moral of the Story…

We can learn a lesson, Fam. Whether we’re in Hollywood or not, before we pour thousands of hours creating, writing, producing and working on our next project, let’s ask one simple question, “Will the people we want to love this project really like it?” If the answer is “YES!”, we’re likely on to a winner.

Note of Caution

Just as I reiterated before, if you decide to see the film, now that it’s won an Academy Award, note that ARGO is Rated R for language and violent imagery. And though it’s “based on a declassified true story”, Ben Affleck chose to cast himself in the lead role instead of an actor of Hispanic/Latino ancestry who could actually reflect the true Mexican ethnicity of the real CIA operative that was portrayed, Antonio “Tony” Mendez (Tony’s interview: The Fascinating Story Behind Argo). Could’ve been nice to see the true ethnicity portrayed on camera. Just saying…

All in All

I enjoyed the political thriller with laughs aspect of ARGO, but I probably would’ve still voted for Les Misérables or Lincoln for Best Picture. Most of the Academy obviously disagreed with me, but all three are good films.

Happy post-Academy Awards film watching!

Comment below, or
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© 2013 Naima Lett. All Rights Reserved

Quvenzhané is Annie. The Sun Is Coming Out!

Quvenzhané is Annie. The Sun Is Coming Out!
LENT DAY 12 of 40, ©

© Quvenzhané Wallis at the 85th Academy Awards®

The sun’ll come out
Bet your bottom dollar
That tomorrow
There’ll be sun!

–Tomorrow, “Annie” 1977

The sun is definitely coming out –
for Academy Award® nominee Quvenzhané Wallis.

The 9-year old, who made history as the youngest Oscar® nominee ever for Best Actress in a Leading Role, has landed the dream role of Annie in Sony’s upcoming remake of the 1982 twice-Oscar®-nominated film by the same name.

Will Smith and his wife Jada originally decided to produce Annie with Sony in 2011 as a star vehicle for their daughter Willow Smith, who was busy Whipping Her Hair back and forth. But it takes time to put a film together. And now, 2 years later, Willow (almost 13 years old) has apparently grown too old to play the 11-year old orphan Annie.

So Quvenzhané, has been tapped by the Smiths to carry the film, fresh off her mega-buzz, Academy nomination, and a bevy of signature puppy purses. Talk about dreams come true!

Hard-Knock Life

But Quvenzhané is also finding out that in Hollywood, all that glitters ain’t gold.

First, outrage trickled through social media as Oscar® red carpet reporters like Kelly Osbourne opted to call Quvenzhané (pronounced kwuh-VEN-zhuh-nay) “Little Q” or “Annie” instead of learning how to pronounce her real name.

Parenting contributor Sabrina James wrote a gripping piece yesterday explaining the rest of Sunday’s aftermath, “Quvenzhané Wallis, the C Word, and Our Loss of Innocence.

James recounts how Oscar host Seth MacFarlane joked “about how it will be sixteen years before Quvenzhané is too old for George Clooney”, and how online site The Onion tweeted to millions of followers, “Everyone else seems afraid to say it, but that Quvenzhané Wallis is kind of a c*#t, right?”

I agree with James who wrote, “As if it wasn’t bad enough that she was sexualized in front of her peers during what was undoubtedly the most exciting night of her life, but to be further humiliated on a social networking site and called one of the most degrading terms that can be used toward women is reprehensible.”

Lord Forgive Us

What is the world coming to when we think it’s OK to call a 9-year old child such a derogatory term? I’m not trying to offend you, Fam, by including the language in this post, but I’m hoping you will be as repulsed as I am and cry out for this kind of behavior to STOP. The Onion’s president issued an apology after receiving tons of angry backlash, but MacFarlane and the careless correspondents ain’t apologizing. What if that was YOUR child?

Sometimes, all I can think is, “Lord, forgive us. We don’t know what we’re doing.”

Anybody have one of those moments lately? Where the folks around you, at your job, in your house, on your Facebook or Twitter have just gone straight alien, and you know they don’t know what in the world they’re doing. They’ve lost it. And you think, “Lord, forgive them”.

Jesus isn’t the only one who asked God to forgive His murderous offenders. I was going through Acts of the Apostles recently and was reminded that Stephen, who was stoned on Paul’s watch, did the same thing: “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” Acts 7:58-60

I hope that somewhere in her little 9-year old world, Quvenzhané can bypass some of the bitterness that can result from holding grudges against idiots and simply say, “Lord, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.”

Sun’ll Come Out

Hopefully, all of this will fade in the background as Quvenzhané prepares for her role as little orphan Annie for the big screen. Her parents are working hard to keep her life normal and grounded as she has filmed three other films since Beasts of the Southern Wild, for which she was nominated.

Hopefully, the sun will come out for her and her little God-light will shine. After all, she is noted as the only actor during this awards season to “thank God for all my blessings” in her acceptance speech at the Critics Choice Awards (“Winners Thank Harvey Weinstein 5 Times More Than God”), an article referenced by a friend.

Not that we can assume that everybody who thanks God in an acceptance speech is sincere, but she sure seemed like it. I’d say this little starlet is on the right path.

Onward & Upward,

What do you think?
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© 2013 Naima Lett. All Rights Reserved

Oscars® Review: Short & Sweet

Oscars® Reveiw: Short & Sweet
LENT DAY 11 of 40, ©

© 85th Academy Awards®; Start in silver, black & white!

If you missed the Oscars®…
here’s the short & sweet!

– It was the night of The Musical! Les Mis! Dreamgirls! Chicago!
The producers of this year’s telecast produced Chicago 10 years ago.

– There was a lot of black, silver and white.
Bond, the longest-running film franchise in history, turned 50. Maybe those were his colors?

– And the awards were spread out over the top films. No real surprises…
Except First Lady Michelle announced the final “Best Picture’ Award… in black and silver.

There you have it!
3.5 hours wrapped up in 30 seconds. Ta-Da!


Of course, there were other high notes: Jennifer Hudson, Adele, and Dame Shirley Bassey sang, sang, sang! Daniel Day Lewis made history as the 1st actor to win 3 Academy Awards® for Best Actor in a Leading role. And Jane Fonda proves that her workout really works as she’s in the best shape ever at 75.

Low notes: We could’ve done without host Seth MacFarlane’s race and sex jokes (boring!). Jennifer Lawrence (in white) tripped (but recovered) on the way up the steps to accept Best Actress Award, and Quvenzhané Wallis didn’t win, but she was adorable in black & blue.

Argo took Best Film. But we knew it would. If you’re still wondering why, check out my previous blog, “Why Does Argo Keep Winning?”

That’s It?

Yep! In my best Looney Tunes voice, “That’s all folks!”

So, what’s the big deal? Why all this fuss over one night? Why are our biggest celebrities being dressed by our biggest designers to look their absolute best to award and be awarded a little gold statue?

What started as an Academy banquet for 270 folks at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in May 1929 honoring winners that had already been announced months earlier, has become the most-anticipated, secret-envelope, theatre event televised to millions around the world.

Will Perform For Food

Just like the Grammys® and Tonys® (and any of our televised award shows, for that matter), the Academy Awards® is our deluxe 3.5 hour commercial to convince the world to keep supporting our industry. That’s THE BIG DEAL.

We could hang a sign on the stage that says, “If you don’t go see our films, we don’t eat” or “Will Perform for Food”, but we don’t. We roll out the red carpet, put on the most fabulous princess gowns and ballroom tuxedos and create an experience to remember. It’s Hollywood. It’s what we do best.

God’s Perspective

As a child of God, it’s always wonderful to keep His perspective. The awards are fun, and it’s great to be recognized by our peers, but we find our identity and worth in God, not statues.

David sang Psalm 139 about how God created us wonderfully. Vs 13-4: “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

On this Day 11 of our 40 Day Lent, it’s a fantastic time to remember that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, whether we collect trophies or not. I love gowns and shoes and makeup and hair, but my husband tells me often how much he loves me no makeup, no gown, no fuss. It’s all about perspective.

And the truth is that we are loved with an everlasting love that will outlive any film that we make.. But do support our films. The good ones, anyway. If you don’t see them, we don’t eat!


What do you think?

Comment below, or
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© 2013 Naima Lett. All Rights Reserved

Once in a Lifetime

Once in a Lifetime
LENT DAY 9 of 40, ©

© 85th Academy Awards®

Once in a Lifetime!

It’s Oscar® weekend in the LaLa, and that’s the sentiment most actors feel who’ve made it to the Academy.

As a matter of fact, when Julia Roberts won for Erin Brockovich in 2001, she said just that:
“And sir (music conductor Bill Conti), you’re doing a great job, but you’re so quick with that stick. So why don’t you sit, ’cause I may never be here again!”

It’s A Journey...

… no better yet, a miracle for the 20 actors who make the nominations (5 each in 4 categories) every year. Each performer represents a team of people who meticulously work and plan and labor for years to get them there, following the Hollywood formula and politics to a tee.


But every now and then, there’s a 9-year old Quvenzhané Wallis who wonderfully upsets the system and makes history as the youngest ever Academy Award® Best Actress nominee in her first film role ever in a tiny-budget, non-union film by a first-time director with first-time actors and a first-time crew from Louisiana.

That’s what happened this year, and nobody really knows what will go down on Sunday with the Best Actress in a Leading Role category because the ladies are all relatively newcomers to the ball, literally only in the last couple of years, with the exception of Naomi Watts, whose been in the game for almost 30 years and was nominated for Best Actress 10 years ago. Whatever the outcome, it will be a surprise!

More Than Once?

Once you get into the system though, it seems easier to get repeat nominations, but securing repeat wins – that’s hard.

In the 85 year history of the Academy Awards®:
only 1 actor won the trophy 4 times (Katharine Hepburn),
only 4 others won 3 times (Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan), and only 33 others have gone to the podium twice including Denzel Washington, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro, Elizabeth Taylor, Bette Davis, Sally Field, and Jodie Foster…
And that’s out of 840 nominations! See how most feel like it’s once in a lifetime?

Once in a Lifetime

On this Fun Friday, Lent Day 9 of 40, I’d like to encourage you to enjoy Grammy Award-winning artist and pastor Smokie Norful’s song, Once in a Lifetime, released as his testimony last year.

SMOKIE NORFUL, VIDEO © 2012 TreMyles Music EMI Gospel All rights reserved

In some of his lyrics, Smokie says:

(Verse 1) As a little boy I used to dream of the big stage
Couldn’t wait to see my name in lights
I had a dream so big, it made a mountain look small
Couldn’t wait till I had it all…

(Verse 2) I used to think that it was the trophies on my wall
Thought if I won, then I’d have it all
And I couldn’t wait till everybody knew my name
I had my own idea of fame

(Last chorus) Once in a lifetime I’ve found the best thing I know
Once in lifetime there’s no sign of letting go
Once in a lifetime I wouldn’t change a single thing
Once in a lifetime you made my whole world sing
I’ll never look beyond your love again
Because I know what I’ve found is truth

Though I’ve searched in every place to find a thing that makes life complete,
Now I know Lord that’s You…

Powerful, right?

The psalmist David prayed it like this in 2 Samuel 7:18-29, “How great you are, Sovereign Lord! There is no one like you, and there is no God but you,”

As we embark upon Oscar weekend, let’s remember that though trophies are nice, all of them pale in comparison to the God we serve. He’s our once-in-a-lifetime!

Onward and Upward, Fam,

What do you think?
Comment below, or
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© 2013 Naima Lett. All Rights Reserved

What’s Your Academy Award® Speech?

What’s Your Academy Award® Speech?
LENT DAY 8 of 40, ©

© AP, Julia Roberts, Halle Berry, Sandra Bullock accept Academy Awards®.

Joy! Tears! Gratitude!
Julia, Halle and Sandra (pictured above) captured those.

What would your Academy Award® moment look like?
What impression would you leave on the millions watching around the world?

The 85th Academy Awards®
… are this Sunday, February 24th. It’s arguably Hollywood’s biggest night of the year.

Millions have been spent on advertising campaigns lobbying the 5,765 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (who are, according to the LA Times, mostly male, Caucasian, average age 62). Tons of designers and stylists are working around the clock to finish assembling their clients’ looks. Red carpets are being situated at the Kodak Center off Hollywood and Highland.

We all want to see who will win.
And more importantly, what they’ll say when they win!

Some, who understand how valuable the moment is (in terms of establishing their legacy in an ever-changing industry that could soon forget them), will inevitably work with a professional speechwriter and their management team to come up with the best representation of their thoughts. But some kind of just fly off the cuff. You never know until they approach the mic.

Remember Halle?

I looked through several “Oscar’s Most Memorable” lists, and Halle’s speech always makes the cut. I can’t, in good conscience, recommend Monster’s Ball, but I do understand how the “Halle like you’ve never seen her before” campaign to the Academy voters worked. That’s neither here nor there when it comes to her speech, I suppose. Remember how it began?

“Oh my God. Oh my God. I’m sorry. This moment is so much bigger than me. This moment is for Dorothy Dandridge, Lena Horne, Diahann Carroll. It’s for the women that stand beside me, Jada Pinkett, Angela Bassett, Vivica Fox. And it’s for every nameless, faceless woman of color that now has a chance because this door tonight has been opened. Thank you. I’m so honored. I’m so honored. And I thank the Academy for choosing me to be the vessel for which His blessing might flow…”

That’s one for the ages, right?

Remember Jesus?

Jesus is so much bigger than our Academy Awards®, but I think one of His most memorable moments was with His disciples before His betrayal, recorded in John 17:

After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by finishing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began…”

Beyond the ages, right?

What’s your Academy Award® speech?

Your turn. What’s your speech?
What would you say? Who would you thank?

Go ahead, have fun! Take a couple of minutes and write it out.
If you’re an artist, and you’ve already written and placed it in your dream journal, go get it. Dust it off. Update it. Give yourself permission to play!

And if you’re feeling really fancy, pull out your ‘nines’ on Sunday with your fam or friends, and give ’em your speech. You don’t have to wait until millions are watching. Go ahead and thank them. Roll out a red carpet (or blue or green or purple!), pose, take pictures. If you have kids, they’ll love it. Or you can be a big kid and love it.

We have a lot of fun here in Hollywood.
Won’t you have some too!

Let’s make this one for the ages,

What’s your speech?
Comment below, or
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© 2013 Naima Lett. All Rights Reserved

Do You Believe What You See?

Do You Believe What You See?
LENT DAY 6 of 40, ©

© Glamour/Joy Covers featuring Beyonce, June 2009

Do you believe what you see?

And all the Hollywood fam says in unison, “NO!”

Why? Because we know that magazine covers are photo-shopped to reflect the audience editors are selling to (see above), reality shows are staged and many celebrity relationships are set up by high-powered agents or managers to generate publicity for their clients, many of which have altered their appearances through enhancements and modifications. :=)


Are we jaded? Not really.

We just understand that our entire film and music worlds were initially built on finding talent and transforming them into international superstars that people would love and happily follow and consume products from for many, many years.

Think Barry Gordy and Motown’s artist development of taking 3 young singers from the Frederick Douglas projects in Detroit and creating The Supremes which produced Academy Award nominee Diana Ross. Or 20th Century Fox taking Norma Jeane Mortenson and creating screen siren Marilyn Monroe. Clive Davis’ presentation of Whitney Houston as the world’s greatest diva only fully unraveled when we painfully witnessed Bobby Brown’s reality show. What we originally see presented from the stage or screen is not always the truth.

Faith Not Based on Sight

Thank goodness our faith is not based on what we see. On this Lent Day 6 of 40, it’s a great time to reflect on Jesus’ encouragement that those who believe and have faith, not based on sight, are blessed. John 20:24-29 records Jesus interaction with Thomas after His resurrection:

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!”
But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Jesus says that we are blessed, Fam, when our faith and what we believe about Jesus being the Messiah is not based on what we see (though there is PLENTY of evidence). We don’t have to see his nail marks or put our hand in His side. We know that He is Lord and God, period, not blindly, but with conviction.

Jesus Doesn’t Need Artist Development

That being said, the great thing about Jesus is that what we see is actually what we get. He speaks of Himself as the Truth. He doesn’t need photo-shopping or reality shows or artist development. His fame spread because He was preaching, teaching, performing miracles, casting out demons and healing folks. There was no switcharoo. There is still no pretense.

I love that. The Hebrews writer says “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” In Jesus’ case, we can believe what we see. But we are blessed if we believe, even when we haven’t seen.

What do we believe today?

That He’s God only when He shows up and does exactly as we ask, as if we boss Him?
Or is He God when He delays answering our prayers because that’s what’s best for us?
Is He God only when all of our bills are paid and everything’s copacetic?
Or is He God when we lose a job and lose our home?
Is He God only when He heals?
Or is He still God when He says “My grace is sufficient…”

Today, I’m choosing (and it is a CHOICE) to walk by faith, not by sight.
Will you join me?

What do you think?
Comment below, or
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© 2013 Naima Lett. All Rights Reserved

Beverly Hills, TMZ… Please Pray With Us

Beverly Hills, TMZ… Please Pray With Us
Day 5 of 40, LENT, ©

©, Center of TMZ, the Thirty Mile Zone

Hi Fam,

I don’t do this often, as I know you too have a full plate, but I’d really like to ask you to pray for us and with us during this Lenten season: specifically for our city, our industry and the ministry God has called us to plant here at the epicenter of it all.

But first,
How are you? It’s Day 5 of Lent. How’s it going? Are you adjusting? Digging deeper?

I’m off sweets, pressing into prayer, and feeling a lot better than I did last week. Whew! By Tuesday, I sounded like a man, but folks were too polite to comment on it.:=) I like to say that I don’t get sick, but I got something that tried to masquerade as a cold for a few days. Thank God I’m mended, non-contagious, and able to enjoy our 70 degrees & a breeze!

Oh, the LaLa!

That’s one of the things we love about the LaLa. Saturday was February 16th and here in the Hills, it was 80 degrees. Palm trees were praising. Birds were singing. It was beautiful. As we pass folks walking their dogs (or pushing them in strollers), it’s hard to believe that so many people are struggling financially; but that’s the truth.

LA is a pressure cooker. Dreams, expectations and expenses are high. Actual jobs and opportunities are low. And from last week’s manhunt events, you can see that times are tight, and some folks are ready to pop.

There are 2 distinct Hollywoods: 1) The 99% of professional artists who make less than $10,000 in their craft per year and have lost union health benefits, and 2) The 1% who make more than $10,000, like our celebrities, some of which are reported by TMZ and other tabloids to have also hit slow times during this season when studios are cutting back, film stars are running to TV, and TV stars are making web series. Runaway production has caused panic.

Speaking of TMZ

Most people think of celebrity gossip site TMZ when you hear those 3 little letters, but did you know that TMZ actually came from the Thirty Mile Zone, which is Hollywood’s Studio Zone? Studios created the TMZ to regulate filming in Hollywood within a 30-mile radius from the old offices of the Association of Motion Picture and Television Producers at Beverly and La Cienega.

Christopher Grove in Variety Magazine describes that intersection as our center of the universe: “In the film and TV locations business, contrary to the tenets of astrophysics, there actually is a center of the universe. And it’s at the corner of La Cienega and Beverly boulevards. Where the Beverly Center meets the Beverly Connection is the dead center of Hollywood’s so-called Studio Zone… The Studio Zone is the 2,826-square-mile area (30 mile radius) in which producers don’t have to pay for overnight stays or per diems, no matter how late the working day goes.”

Beverly Hills

TMZ’s center is the Beverly Center, which is 5 minutes from us. This is the city in which we’re called to share God’s Word and love God’s creative people as much as He does. Hollywood’s decisions are made right here in Beverly Hills, and we care for the souls of the professionals behind those decisions and the artists actualizing them.

Our little gem of a city, which turns 100 next year, only has 34,100+ residents, but there are over 200,000 commuters who shape our media, culture and world from offices here everyday. And when we include the TMZ, which stretches over 3 counties (Los Angeles, the O.C./Orange County and Ventura), we’re talking millions. Los Angeles County alone has almost 10 million people. We form the Arts and Entertainment hub that pumps out to the rest of the world.

Hope in the Hills

Kevin and I ended up in the Hills after an Only-God adventure almost 3 years ago (not enough space here to tell you the story, but ask us sometime!). Over the last 11 years of our marriage and 15 years of ministry, God uniquely prepared and equipped us for service here. He has given us a heart for this city and His people who live and work here. We’re entertainers and professionals who understand and love artists and professionals and know what’s it’s like to struggle, endure and triumph and everything in between.

Over a year ago, Kevin and I were led to start a diverse bible study with young dream chasers and dream makers in our living room. That has blossomed into the church plant, Hope in the Hills. We have been renting a Center, worshiping and fellowshipping together weekly, building leadership, and moving towards our city public launch in October.

Will you pray for us and with us?

This 40-day Lenten season is crucial for us.
Will you consider praying for us and with us over the next 40 days as the Lord leads you?

As we fast and pray leading up to Easter, we have several exciting milestones.
– We’re preparing for our 1st baptism, establishing communion and creating community groups.
– We’re praying to meet specific needs of specific people the Lord laid on our hearts in January.
– We’re excited about the historic and public confirmation of my ordination in March.
– We’re excited about the invitations coming in to speak and preach around the country.

Also, really important, we’re praying for the Lord of the harvest to send more harvesters. Matthew 9:35-38 recounts, “Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”

We’re praying specifically for more leaders who have a heart for the harvest in LaLa Land. It’s a different world, Fam. We’re not in Kansas anymore, Toto. It’s a distinctive Hollywood culture, and we gotta love it to minister here effectively.

We dream of a church (a fam) that: looks like heaven, sounds like heaven, loves like God loves and lives like Christ lives. Will you pray with us for God’s will to be done?

Thank you, in advance,
Lots of love,

Will you pray for us?
Comment below, or
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© 2013 Naima Lett. All Rights Reserved

You’re Invited! Historical Celebration!

You’re Invited! Historical Celebration

© All rights reserved


We are THRILLED to invite you to join us in the coming month for the festivities below. Please mark your calendar, and let us know ASAP if you can make it.

SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013, 10:45 AM
Historical Brother/Sister Ordination & Confirmation
Kamau’s Ordination, Pastor of Students & Family, Lake Oconee Community Church
Naima’s Confirmation of Ordination, Pastor, Hope in the Hills, Beverly Hills
Service at: Beulah Grove Baptist Church, 1434 Poplar St. Augusta, GA 30901
Rev. Dr. Sam Davis, Pastor, Officiating Ordination

** March 17th is not only St. Patrick’s Day, but Kevin’s birthday and Pastor Sam Davis’ birthday.


If you are unable to make it out to the festivities, no worries. Please continue to lift us up in prayer as we walk out God’s plan. And for those who have asked about ways to give, feel free to support through tax-deductible gifts at Hope in the Hills, Beverly Hills. Know that you continue to help us make a difference. Thank you.

It is our privilege to serve and journey with you.
Let’s Celebrate!

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Twitter – @naimalett

For the Fellas… 3 Secrets About the Ladies You Love

For the Fellas… 3 Secrets About the Ladies You Love,
LENT DAY 2/40, ©


Happy Valentine’s Day!
This one’s for the Fellas…
3 Secrets About the Ladies You Love.

It’s Day 2 of Lent, and yesterday, I promised to be your tour guide over the next 40 days leading to Easter’s Celebration. So today, as we navigate Love’s Day, I embrace my role in this great big faith family as “Everybody’s Sister” and feel excited to let you in on a little insider information concerning the women that you cherish.

Secret #1:
Understanding is optional.

“You get me,” I complimented my husband the other day.
“Not really,” he chuckled, “But, I try.”

Those 3 words (“But, I try”) go a long way with us, my brothers. We know, and many times enjoy, that we are complicated and complex beings with lots of ideas and feelings that we’re eager to express and have the freedom to change at will. That’s a part of what makes us unique as women and probably intrigued you and attracted you to us in the first place.

But what my husband figured out, (and I guess has worked over the last 11 years that we’ve been married), is that you don’t have to fully understand us. Just try. It means the same to us. When you listen and actually try to comprehend the intricacies of our world, it’s like what David sang about God’s law, it’s “more precious than gold, than much pure gold; sweeter than honey, than honey from the honeycomb.” Ps 19:10 Your trying is most precious to us.

Secret #2:
Sex is communication.

We are in a constant dialogue with you. That goes for all things physical as well. And we have the best time with you when that dialogue is free of offenses. Everything’s kinda connected in our world. If things get disconnected, it usually means we’ve been hurt.

I remember working at a ministry once where 2 male colleagues had a huge disagreement over protocol. I could hear them yelling at each other in the next office. Yelling! Like I thought they’d come to blows. Then, they saw that it was lunch time, put the argument on hold and bopped out to go get pizza. Yal have some sort of compartmentalization thing that is deep.

Growing up in a house full of men and having mostly guy friends, some of that has rubbed off on me. But be clear, if you yell and holler at us, and then turn around and think we’re bout to get busy, you’ve been listening to too many Tyrese records. That’s some movie fantasy or reality show anecdote. Mature women need reconciliation first. See Mt 5:23-24. If you want great sex., (we do too), let’s make sure all the other parts of the conversation are fluid.

Secret #3:
Love is essential.

There’s a reason that Ephesians 5:25 asks husbands to love their wives as sacrificially as Christ loves His church. We deeply need and resonate with that kind of love. We will follow you to the moon and back again when you love us like that… even when we know a shorter cut that could save everybody a lot of frustration and headaches. LOL!

We see your full potential from the very beginning and sign up for the long haul – to pray for you, champion you, encourage you, push you, and never ever let you give up. We will be in your corner and whisper (or holler) hope in your ears when you need it the most.

We will put on our jerseys that don your name and take up a hockey stick and fight lions and bears on ice if we have to in order to see God’s will for your life come to pass. When we know that we are loved, we love back with a fierce and determined love. We are with you when you have and when you have not, because we don’t do part-time commitment.

Not enough time…

There’s just not enough space here to unpack all of this, but if you want to know, on this Valentine’s Day, how to win and keep our hearts and have a wonderful, romantic time, try to understand us, clear up any communication breakdowns and let us know that you love us.

Now, we all have different love languages… but that’s a post for another day!

Happy V-Day,
Your Big (or Lil) Sis,

What do you think?
Comment below, or
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Twitter – @naimalett

© 2013 Naima Lett. All Rights Reserved