It was just days before our 2013 EWOC-Exceptional Women of Color Conference we would receive the very devastating news that we lost Pastor Sherwood Carthen (affectionately known as Bishop Carthen to many who loved and knew him well) and during this same time my family had experienced the sad loss of my gregarious Uncle Griff. The funeral for Bishop Carthen was the day before our EWOC Conference and the funeral for my Uncle Griff was on the day of the EWOC Conference. Sometimes I get WRITER’S BLOCK and I wonder what shall I write about and I started to think about and search for the articles that Bishop Carthen had contributed to THE HUB. His article on “Do You Have The Courage To Encourage” is and continues to be a good message to share especially after reading all of the inspirational profiles of these individuals spotlighted in our Exceptional Women of Color Special Edition issue of THE HUB. I will never forget Bishop Carthen’s presence at our EWOC Conference in 2012 as well as some of his sermons I had the pleasure to hear at B.O.S.S.-Bayside of South Sacramento. I will always remember my Uncle Griff at all of our family gatherings and taking so many memorable photos of the family. [Excerpts and nuggets of wisdom from Bishop Carthen’s article in THE HUB magazine, October 2008]:
• There is a theme in the bible that often gets lost and sometimes is never addressed. It’s one needed in the world today nonetheless many have never seen it model nor think that it is necessary. Just so you will know this is not my personal agenda, it really is the desire of the Lord. That is the ability to encourage others.
• Hebrews 10:24 says, “Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works,” (NLT) Yes, encourage people to do better. That is, do you what it takes to encourage others to do better? Not to change them but encourage them. Not to criticize them but to encourage them. Not to antagonize them but to encourage them.
• To encourage is to inspire people with courage no matter what they face. To give confidence no matter what happens to them. If you are not inspired you can not inspire anyone. If you lack confidence you certainly can not give confidence to anyone. 
• Courage is not the absence of fear but it is action in the face of fear. Life with all of its problems and trails can immobilize or even paralyze you. But when you have courage you can move forward and you give the ability to encourage others.
• I am not sure what kind of devastation you face nonetheless, whatever your struggle, trail, or trouble; should you not have anyone to encourage you, should no one ever pick up the phone to text or call to encouragement
you, you must encourage yourself in the Lord. 
“BE ENCOURAGED” …one of my most favorite quotes! When I read about where an individual has come from and their accomplishments overtime, I become so encouraged and excited about the possibilities of life as the struggle is real but it is only for a little while. So many of us have lost loved ones in our families and communities and we must remember the living and how they need to hear from us. We must also have the courage to KEEP GOING NO MATTER WHAT because we live on God’s time and not our own.
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