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Well Done My Great & Faithful Servant: Memorial Service for Ratibu Jacocks, One to Remember

Loved ones and community members came out to support the family and legacy of William Henry Jacocks, also known as Ratibu, on Thursday, December 17 at New Hope Baptist Church in San Bernardino. (Photos by John Coleman).

Loved ones and community members came out to support the family and legacy of William Henry Jacocks, also known as Ratibu, on Thursday, December 17 at New Hope Baptist Church in San Bernardino. (Photos by John Coleman).

By John Coleman

 SAN BERNARDINO, CA- Hundreds came out to pay tribute to the legacy and life lived of William Henry Jacocks, also known to some as Bill or Ratibu. Those that were present at the memorial included members and officials of the State, County, Regional, and Local offices. There were leaders of every walk of life from family to friends of Ratibu. The memorial service was held on Thursday, December 17 at New Hope Baptist Church in San Bernardino.

The memorial service reflected and paid tribute to prominent moments of Ratibu’s life and influence. He was a US Army infantryman, operator of a local ‘small business’, missionary promoting entrepreneurship among the community, and leader of the Inland Area Kwanza Group. He was a strong supporter and advocate of Kwanzaa Consciousness, civic engagement, including a leadership role in the Westside Action Group, and evidenced by the dozens of officials who stood to acknowledge his role in their success and of course his love for his family.

Rest in Peace, Ratibu.


“Don’t You Go Into Another Year Bruised and Battered!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

Paul said: “Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life…” (1 Timothy 6:12). I don’t know what kind of fight you’ve been putting up in the past year, but the Spirit says you have been so overwhelmed at times that you’ve lost your fight. You’ve become a weak, passive soldier of the Cross – discouraged, wounded, and perplexed; but now it’s high time for you to get back up and fight the good fight of faith. I pray that this message from the Holy Spirit will put the fight back in you – that once more you’ll be fearless against the devil’s weapons.

You know when the prophet Hosea wanted to warn Israel about their cowardly spiritual condition, he reminded them of their father Jacob. The crux of his message was, “You’ve become weak, passive. And now the enemy is over-whelming you! You claim to be Jacob’s seed – but I want to show you how far you’ve strayed from his example. I want to show you how Jacob prevailed – how he had power with God!” He told the Israelites this about Jacob: “He took his brother by the heel in the womb, and by his strength he had power with God: Yea, he had power over the angel, and prevailed: he wept, and made supplication unto him: he found him in Bethel, and there he spake with us;” (Hosea 12:3-4). Hosea’s message to them was very simple: “Here was a man greedy for God, hungry for everything God had for him!” Jacob came out of the womb in a fighting mood, greedy for the blessings of God! Yet it wasn’t the double portion of his father’s wealth that Jacob was after; it wasn’t the promise of the land. No, Jacob wanted something more. He wanted the blessings of God so he could be in the lineage of the Messiah! And he wanted the priestly blessing. This meant not only being priest of the clan – it also meant being able to bless others! [Genesis 27]

I want you to know that Jacob’s hand on Esau’s heel was a powerful statement! It said: “I will not be held by sin’s grip – I am more than a conqueror! I will lay hold of all that is of Satan and resist, fight, and be victorious! I want God’s hand on me!  I want His blessing at any cost.” I tell you Jacob had a made-up mind. He had determined that no one was going to stop him from receiving God’s blessings not even his own brother. I also want you to know that Satan has a plan of destruction for your life and he is not just going to lie down, roll over and let you be what God wants you to be. He is working over-time to distract you and to delay the fulfillment of your promises. He is working over-time to side-line you, to kill, steal and destroy your life [John 10:10]. You need to realize that there are Princes of Persia in the spiritual realm working to prevent you coming into the revelation and reality of your destiny. Therefore, you need to release spiritual warfare and pray. Scripture tells us that we don’t wrestle against flesh and blood, but demonic powers and principalities. Know your authority and be vigilant about it.

In closing I want you to know that Jacob spent years fighting to get and keep the blessings of God; and that same desire ought to put the fight back in you. Throw off your passive, defeated countenance. Cast aside all feelings of defeat – and stand up and fight! Right now God is saying, “Come on, and fight!” – Because He loves you! He wants you to claim all His blessings. Rise up in faith and lay hold of His promises. Stand up and fight! You have His strength – use it! It is time that you tell the devil to Hell with you and take back what is your. Proclaim the victory that Jesus has already won for you on the cross. I tell you for everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” Those are the words of the preacher in the book of Ecclesiastes. This is a time for new beginnings, a time to say goodbye to the past year and welcome the new. Don’t you go into another year bruised and battered!



Brains Before Bullets, Think It Out, Don’t Shoot it Out!

CoverChess Front (1)By Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson, Founder and President of Be Someone, Inc.

Several years ago I found myself at a crossroads in my life.  If not for a helping hand at just the right time, I might not be here to offer these words of advice and encouragement.  I definitely fit the description of an “at risk” youngster.

I was an inner-city tough guy.  That was my life, my culture.  It defined me.  I wasn’t worried about my future.  Future? Ha!  My future was today, tonight.  Tomorrow was never a sure thing.

So what happened?  How did I escape?  Why am I now preaching against the life that once looked so “cool”?  For this column, let’s just say a very special teacher saw something in me that I didn’t even see.  He taught me the game of chess and with that simple act, he saved my life.  I owe him so much and one way I’m paying him back is by living every day to save other young people who are in trouble or potentially stand to make poor decisions.

We are surrounded by so much pain and heartache.  You can’t turn on the news without being faced with a litany of domestic violence, carjacking, robberies, and kidnappings.  Violence is something that has always plagued this world. It is so important to learn that hostility gains you nothing in life. Peaceful compromises are the way to solve your dilemmas. Why is the world so angry? Perhaps we will never know the answer to that.

Using the game of chess, I founded an organization several years ago based upon a simple premise:  Be someone, not something. Your actions speak louder than your words, and that is often forgotten. There is no reason in this world why two people cannot sit down with a game of chess or something similar and use their mind power to put hostility and sore feelings behind them. Use creativity and your mind in a unique way to solve your differences. Violence gets you nowhere but behind bars.

Taking someone else’s life is one of the most unholy sins a person can commit. Consider what that family has to go through and what yours will go through knowing that you did this. Did you see the recent story in Chicago?  A beautiful young lady who had recently performed at President Obama’s inauguration in Washington was shot and killed by gang members firing weapons indiscriminately.  Think of the pain and heartbreak.

Remember this simple statement, “Brains before bullets, think it out, don’t shoot it out!”  I teach this and my students are hearing me but I need to reach more young people than those I’m able to meet in my classes.

Everyday lives are taken for no reason at all or for something menial. No matter what it is, a gun is never the answer to solving your problems.

I have dedicated my life to teaching young people that they can succeed.  They can make the right choices that will lead them places they have only dreamed of going if someone can reach them.  I believe God gave me that ability and capability.

This is my message to young people:  Learn how to take charge of your life.  I want to help you do that. I have guided and mentored many young people who others have given up on.  I offer a calm voice and a steady hand that has weathered numerous tests.

I believe every child has the potential to succeed.  That’s what guides my presentations and my classes.  Take my instruction and use it constructively in your everyday life to become that upstanding citizen that you desire to be. Be a success, not a casualty. You can be productive in life, you can go places, and you do have support to help you get there.

So many young people forget that life is beautiful and if your chance to take advantage of all it has to offer is taken away either by your own hand or another’s; you will live with many regrets. Let’s have more successes and challenge your mind, put the guns away!


Orrin “Checkmate” Hudson was an at-risk young person growing up in Birmingham, AL, when a teacher taught him the game of chess demonstrating to him that for every move – either on the game board or in the game of life – there are consequences.  It changed his life.  He went on to become an Alabama State Trooper and later founded Be Someone, Inc., an organization devoted to teaching young people there are consequences for their actions and that they can choose to succeed in life.  He not only teaches classes but delivers motivational speeches around the country. Please invite international speaker Orrin Checkmate Hudson to energize your next event by visiting www.besomeone.org.