The Kimberly Joy Blog

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Tag: Extraordinary

Ordinary Is Just Not Good Enough

WHY IS ORDINARY JUST NOT GOOD ENOUGH?
According to II Corinthians 5:17, once you accept Jesus into your life as your Lord and Savior, He forgives you of your sins, purifies your heart, and makes you brand new!

Thus, you’re no longer defined by your past sins, by your past mistakes, by your present circumstances, by your surroundings, or by the negative things people still try to say about you. You are now a child of GOD! And I’m not just talking about any god, but THEE GOD!

“O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth…..” Psalms 8:1

“Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, The LORD mighty in battle.” Psalms 24:8

“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised…..” Psalms 145:3

As the Bible declares, no one and nothing can ever compare to God for He is EXTRAORDINARY! Since we are made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26-27), we too are far from ordinary! Therefore, God expects us to follow His ways and represent Him appropriately (Ephesians 5:1).

Legendary Gospel group Commissioned, which introduced artists like Fred Hammond and Pastor Marvin Sapp to the world, recorded back in 1989 a song that has become one of my favorites entitled “Ordinary Just Won’t Do.”

“Have you ever needed someone,
A shoulder just to cry on,
To ease the agony
And find tranquility,
Or just have
A sweet and gentle touch
That speaks of words,
Speaks of words of love that mean so much?
Ordinary just won’t do,
I need someone, my Lord, I need someone,
That someone is You, that someone is You!”

As the song so beautifully explains, the ordinary is just not good enough! Rather, we need the EXTRAORDINARY God who loves us unconditionally, saves us, delivers us, heals us and empowers us to do great things!

Recently on my radio broadcast The Kimberly Joy Show, I had the privilege of interviewing Elder Benita Florence. Benita, a woman I’ve known for over fifteen years, shared her personal testimony. Growing up in the projects, at a young age Benita recognized that she is indeed extraordinary in God!

KJ: Welcome Elder Benita to The Kimberly Joy Show!

BF: Hello Kimberly Joy! How are you?

KJ: Oh I am great! I am awesome! I’m so glad to have you here! Elder Benita will you please take a moment to share with us your personal testimony of how you came to recognize that you are indeed extraordinary in God?

BF: Amen, I’m honored to share part of my story with the listening audience Evangelist Kim. You know, I thank God every day for the journey and where He brought me from. And I love Him so much. I’ll start off by saying I am a proud product of the West End. I am a West End kid.

I grew up in the Laurel Holmes Housing Projects, even though I spent a lot of my time in the Lincoln Courts Projects because that’s where most of my friends lived.

BF: But, being extraordinary and daring to be different started early on in my life, and I thank God that I know now that He had been with me even as a child. I am a proud graduate of the great George Hays Elementary in the West End and also of Jennie D. Porter Junior High School. I graduated from the Robert A. Taft High School down in the West End.

BF: Because of growing up in the inner city, you are exposed to various elements, whether good or bad. But most of my experiences I can honestly say were all good, and I am grateful for my humble beginnings. I do believe and now know for sure that God’s grace and mercy were with me even as a young girl. His unmerited favor, His compassion, His love for me. Even as we (me and my friends) faced several challenges, God was there for us, and I’m grateful for everything He has done in my life. I’m grateful He heard my cry, and He granted my requests even at a young age.

BF: I was baptized and introduced to God and Jesus Christ at an early age. My family went to Zion Baptist Church in Avondale. The late great Reverend Booth baptized me, and I had an awareness about Jesus and His Father God. Even though our family didn’t attend church every Sunday, the awareness was there.

BF: I knew who Jesus was, and I spoke with Him as a child growing up in the projects because sometimes people can have preconceived notions about children who might grow up in challenging situations or poverty or might not have a lot of material type things.

But I thank God that at an early age He gave me a spirit of tenacity. He gave me the determination and will to overcome things. And I don’t take it for granted. I am so grateful. I am so grateful to God for that.

BF: God has strategically placed individuals and situations in my life to help propel me forward to be successful in my life. I’m grateful for teachers. I’m grateful for school employees who took the time to encourage and just love on me. And if I really had to pick someone out, Judith Moore, if you’re out there, God bless you! I love you! I appreciate all the time and energy you put into me to make sure I got where I needed to go. Ms. Judith Moore, she was over the Career Development at Porter, and she later took over Jobs for Cincinnati Graduates at Taft High School. This lady took an interest in me and made sure I got specific things I needed to be successful in my life. And I just wanted to thank her.

(Benita, far right, and friends at Taft)

BF: As I journeyed on and graduated from Taft High School, I had the opportunity to move forward and go to college.

I entered into The Ohio State University where I graduated with a bachelor’s in Nursing Science, and that was with challenges, as well. For the entry Math and English tests I took, I didn’t score at a freshman level, so I had to take some remedial classes. But to God be the glory because it set a foundation for me, and it set a support system up for me, and I was able to transition through the five years and get my bachelor’s degree.

BF: As I moved forward (and we all have issues, trials, tribulations and tests), my family was facing some issues. I was one of those who might have clubbed and done things that were contrary to the Word and that weren’t helping me. They weren’t balancing or managing my thoughts, my life decisions. So, I sought the Lord, and I’m glad I sought the Lord! It was the best thing I could have done because I got the road map for my life, which is the Bible. I realized God is a God even in our suffering. And even as issues, trials, tribulations and tests came about, I was able to balance things and know that God is our peace, and we can rest even in the midst of the storm. We can quote the Word to ourselves and say:

“Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them [Satan and your enemies]: for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee,” Deuteronomy 31:6.

BF: I thank God even in my journeys as a Christian. As I studied to learn the Word of God, I wanted to get to know the Word deeper. An opportunity came available for me to attend Liberty University, and I received a master’s degree in Theological Studies. That was another answered prayer. I just wanted some personal time with Him and some personal knowledge to help deepen my relationship with the Lord. So, I’m grateful that I graduated in 2014 with my master’s.

And I’ll say I won’t take anything for my journey now. Everything me and my family went through, it makes you stronger. It’s good to know you can survive a storm and to know that a project kid, like myself, can make it!

BF: I just want to encourage the listeners, just keep yourself rooted and grounded in the Word of God. No matter what the people say about you, it’s all about what God’s Word says. Whatever God says about you, it’s true! We’re more than conquerors! We are victorious! We are somebody in Him, and it’s good to know that our self-esteem and confidence are rooted in the Lord. The enemy will try to steal, kill and destroy, but we have power over the enemy in Jesus’ name!

KJ: Elder Benita, thank you for that awesome testimony and encouraging word!

Benita Florence, a registered nurse with The University of Cincinnati Medical Center, and her husband Melvyne Florence serve as the assistant pastors of our church Power and Faith Ministries in Fairfield, Ohio.

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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God Created You To Be Extraordinary

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW-“Extraordinary: Dare to be Different Part 2”)

GOD CREATED YOU TO BE EXTRAORDINARY

Psalms 139:14 (New International Version):

“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”

I appreciate the above verse because it reassures me that God didn’t create any junk when He created me. Rather, He delicately crafted me in His loving, yet powerful hands. Also, as it says in Genesis chapter one, everything God created was good. I’m good! You’re good! I’ll take it a step further and say we are extraordinary!

WHAT DOES EXTRAORDINARY MEAN?
According to the dictionary, extraordinary is “going beyond (superior to; more than; over and above) what is usual, ordinary, regular, customary, the norm; exceptional in character (moral quality–honest, courageous, disciplined, hard-working); noteworthy (worthy of being noticed or recognized due to some special excellence, standing out in the crowd); remarkable; having a special task or responsibility.” When we break down the word, we get EXTRA-ordinary.

II Corinthians 5:17 (King James Version):

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

People of God, when Jesus came into your lives to save you, He made you brand new! Therefore, what you thought you couldn’t do before, through Him now you can! Matthew 19:26 and Luke 1:37 state that with God all things are possible. The key is GOD!! We must keep GOD number one! He’s the one who empowers us to be extraordinary.

WHAT DOES EXTRAORDINARY LOOK LIKE?
Let me tell you about an extraordinary woman I know. This woman happens to be my longtime friend and sister in Christ. I’ve changed her name to protect her identity.

Victoria grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. After graduating from high school, she went to college where she ran track and majored in Exercise Science. While in college, she became a lifetime member of the sisterhood of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. The sorority was founded in 1920 by a group of African-American women. After graduating from college, Victoria decided to enlist in the army where she served this country for six years. She later returned to Cincinnati where she got a job working with heart patients who were going through rehabilitation. Soon after that, she purchased her own home and went back to school for her masters degree.

When I first met Victoria, I can remember admiring her drive and determination to strive for the best! Although she wasn’t surrounded by many college graduates in her family, she didn’t let that stop her from pursuing her dream of earning a college degree. In fact, her story of success doesn’t stop there! Just a few years ago, Victoria decided to enroll in college for a third time. However, it wasn’t to earn her Ph.D. Instead, Victoria decided to think outside the box, step out on faith and pursue her desire of becoming an actress. Yes, an actress! She auditioned for the school she wanted to attend, was accepted into the program, and four years later, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Dramatic Performance. Today, Victoria is living in New York. A dream come true!

When people first discovered that Victoria had decided to become a full-time drama student, I can just imagine some of the conversations:

“Did you hear about Victoria?”

“No. What happened?”

“She decided to go back to college to become an ACTRESS!”

“An ACTRESS?!!! Girl, you’re kidding!!”

“No, I’m not! She told me herself!”

“But, isn’t she in her 30s? She’s a little old for that!”

“You mean her LATE 30s!!! Yeah, she’s too old! I don’t know what she’s thinking! She has a good job already! Owns her own home!”

“Shoot! I know some women who would give anything to have her life!”

“THANK YOU! She needs to let go of that pipe dream and just be happy with what she’s got!”

Oh yes, I can just imagine!

Nevertheless, one thing I know about Victoria is that she has never been a person to live in fear. She’s never been one to allow others to dictate how she’s going to live her life. I believe at an early age she recognized that God had made her extraordinary. So despite the naysayers, Victoria decided to listen to the voice of God and trust He would continue taking care of her. And that He did! While she was a full-time drama student, God provided her with everything she needed. She was able to pay her tuition, her bills and her mortgage!

ARE YOU PASSIONATE OR PRACTICAL?
What are you passionate about? Are you pursuing your dreams or are you settling for what is easy and practical? Do you have those questions of “WHAT IF?” swarming around in your head? Do you want to look back over your life one day and wish you had taken a chance, stepped out on faith and pursued your passion? I know I don’t! I’ve had enough regrets from allowing fear to stifle me, which is why I’m now writing blog posts, books, and plays and sharing inspirational messages on my own radio broadcast.

I can truly say I am most happy when I’m doing what I love! How about you? Oh yeah, you too? Do you know why? It’s simply because God put those passions in our hearts. God made you and me extraordinary. So, I encourage you, like Victoria, to step out on faith and pursue your dreams! Don’t believe the notion that you’re too old. God’s not saying that! Why do you think He’s still nudging you to go back to school, to write a book, to write songs, to start your business, to start your own clothing line, etc.? Even if you are older, do you not believe that God can make up the time you may have lost? Oh yes He can! He’s GOD!!!

There are people out there who need you! Yes, YOU! They need to hear YOUR testimony! They need to hear YOUR music! God has a people waiting for YOU who will gladly support YOUR business and buy YOUR products. Like Victoria, you just have to trust God to order your footsteps, to bring the right people your way, and to provide you with what you need. Remember this, an extraordinary person settling for an ordinary life will never be fully content!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

If you find value in this article, please share.

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Please follow The Kimberly Joy Show on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.

You Are EXTRAORDINARY!

(THE KIMBERLY JOY SHOW – Extraordinary: Dare To Be Different)

WHAT DOES EXTRAORDINARY LOOK LIKE?
As a believer in Christ Jesus, who are you? Who does God say you are?

I Peter 2:9 (King James Version) says:

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light…”

What is the verse stating? God says you are EXTRAORDINARY! Yes, EXTRAORDINARY! What does EXTRAORDINARY mean? What does EXTRAORDINARY look like?

Let me tell you about Victor (I’ve changed his name to protect his identity). I am pleased to say Victor was one of my students during my years as a high school English teacher. Although he’s very successful now, he didn’t always have it easy growing up. Victor, his two brothers and their sister were all raised by a single mother. Because their father was an abusive man, he left her no choice but to take her babies and leave.

As a result, they wound up in the projects with little money. Nevertheless, money means nothing when you don’t have peace of mind or feel safe in your own home!

I’ll never forget one particular incident which occurred while Victor was in college. One morning while getting dressed for work, I heard a channel 9 news reporter say that a man from Cincinnati was lying in a hospital bed with a serious gunshot wound which he had given himself after killing his ex-girlfriend. He soon died. Later that day, some of my colleagues informed me that the same man I had heard about on the news was Victor’s dad. Yes, he was the same man his mother had escaped from years before!

While Victor was a student in my classroom, he would sometimes talk to me about his aspirations. He even talked about how angry he used to be because of his father. Although he had always been an A and B student, because of the hurt and anger he held, he often got into fights at school which resulted in suspensions. Fortunately around the age of 14 or 15, Victor decided that enough is enough! No more anger! No more fights! No more school suspensions!

Why did Victor make this decision? First of all, he was tired! He was tired of fighting, of getting into trouble and of worrying his mother! Secondly, somehow he knew within himself that he was EXTRAORDINARY. He could be anything he wanted to be, but he had to change his attitude. I believe he heard the voice of God. In his (as Oprah Winfrey likes to call) “aha moment”, he realized he didn’t have to allow the abuse and abandonment of his father to define who he was and who he would become. So, he let go of the anger, adopted a new mindset, and dared to be different! He dared to be different from the person he had been before. He dared to excel in school and on the football field. Moreover, he dared to become a young man of kindness, love, and integrity.

While in college, Victor was named homecoming king and became a lifetime member of the brotherhood of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. If you’re not familiar with the Alphas, it is the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity founded by a group of African-American men in 1906. After graduating, Victor traveled to Japan on a scholarship to study business relations.

Today, Victor is a successful business owner. He regularly gives back to the community and serves as a mentor and role model for young African-American males. And did I mention he is only 30 years old?

HOW DO YOU DISCOVER THE PERSON YOU REALLY ARE?
As a child of God, you are not like everyone else. Have you ever noticed that you don’t always seem to fit in? Perhaps you have even found yourself being a loner because no one seems to get you. But, you don’t have to worry because GOD gets you! After all, He made you who you are, and no matter how hard you try, you just don’t fit in with the crowd. I completely understand! There were times when I, too, tried to fit in. I wanted to be accepted by my peers. Needless to say, in those moments, I felt like a fish out of water. I wasn’t being true to me! I was only pretending.

God doesn’t want me pretending. God doesn’t want YOU pretending. He wants you to be true to the person He has created you to be. Who is that, you ask? As you spend time with God, you discover the person you really are. You discover what you like and don’t like.

You discover your gifts, talents, and skills. As you study the scriptures, you come to realize that you are indeed EXTRAORDINARY. Again, I Peter 2:9 (KJV) says:

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light…”

As the verse says, you have been hand-picked by God. God has used people to pray for you and minister to you because He chose you!
You are royalty! You are priests! During the Old Testament times, the priests were the ones who went before God on behalf of others. However, as believers in Christ, you have the distinct privilege of going to God for yourself. You are also holy (sanctified, set apart to be used for God’s glory). Furthermore, you are special and unique. You are not the person you were before Jesus saved you. You are now new! You are EXTRAORDINARY!

I encourage you to live as someone EXTRAORDINARY! Don’t settle for less. Don’t settle for mediocrity. Like Victor, don’t allow your past, your present circumstances or even your family to determine the person you will become! Please know that you serve an EXTRAORDINARY God who has EXTRAORDINARY blessings in store for you!

THE PRAYER OF SALVATION
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior, you can do so right now. I then encourage you to find a good Bible-believing church that will help you grow in your relationship with the Lord.

Romans 10:9 (NIV) says, “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

Please pray the following prayer:

Dear Jesus, I come to You confessing I am a sinner in need of a Savior. I believe You shed Your blood on the cross and died for my sins, were buried and rose again so I could be free! Please forgive me for my sins and the life I have lived. I confess You Jesus as Lord and accept You as my own personal Savior. According to the Word of God, I am now saved! Hallelujah! I AM FREE!

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOD!!!!!

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The Epitome of Greatness: The Story of The Three Doctors

THE EPITOME OF GREATNESS

To conclude my Black History Month tribute, I want to recognize three men who are the epitome of greatness. I first heard their powerful story while watching the Essence Awards on television back in 2000. Their names are Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins. Together they are known as The Three Doctors.

When I first heard the story of The Three Doctors, I was blown away! Once upon a time, life was hard for the three of them. They grew up in the inner city of Newark, New Jersey, where they were surrounded by crime and drugs every day.

Let me tell you their story.

DR. SAMPSON DAVIS


Dr. Davis was born on January 19, 1973, in Newark, New Jersey, into a family of six children. Although he was surrounded by negativity, he didn’t let that stop him from excelling in school. Dr. Davis says that education “saved my life”. After graduating from University High in Newark, he enrolled at Seton Hall University. Later, Dr. Davis was accepted into the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and received his medical degree in 1999 at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He then went on to complete his residency in emergency medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center. Today, Dr. Davis is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician at several emergency departments in New Jersey.

DR. RAMECK HUNT


Dr. Hunt was born on May 1, 1973, in Orange, New Jersey. His mother was only a teenager when she had him, so he often had to live with his grandmother. When he was fourteen years old, he went to Newark to live with his uncle. He started attending University High, where he met Sampson Davis and George Jenkins. Becoming friends with the two of them was a blessing in disguise for Dr. Hunt. Growing up, Dr. Hunt had some anger issues and sometimes got into trouble. Because he was hanging with the wrong crowd, he wound up in juvenile detention at the age of sixteen. Fortunately, that was the wake up call he needed. That experience made him realize that a good education was his ticket to a better life.

After graduating from high school, Dr. Hunt attended Seton Hall. From there he went on to Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and graduated in 1999. He then completed a residency in internal medicine at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Today, Dr. Hunt is a Board certified internist at University Medical Center at Princeton University and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

DR. GEORGE JENKINS

Dr. Jenkins was born on February 6, 1973, in Newark, New Jersey. When he was thirteen years old, he became fascinated with the dental profession after visiting a dental clinic. He knew then that he wanted to become a dentist. So, like Davis and Hunt, he too went on to attend Seton Hall. Afterwards, he completed his D.M.D. at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Today, Dr. Jenkins is an Assistant Professor of clinical dentistry at Columbia University.

THE PACT
I share the story of The Three Doctors because it speaks to the power of togetherness, unity, and brotherhood! While they were still in high school, they made a pact with each other that they would become doctors. They agreed to study together, encourage each other, and support each other every step of the way. At a young age, these men learned how to be each other’s support system.

I first read their inspiring book The Pact about eight years ago. In the book, they are very transparent about the ups and downs they faced while pursuing their dreams. It wasn’t an easy road for the three of them. They ran into obstacles along the way, including financial obstacles. Anyone who has been to college knows it is not cheap. Many have dropped out of college because of the financial pressures. The Three Doctors even felt like giving up. Nevertheless, they stayed true to their pact and didn’t deviate from the plan. Their constant support of one another is one of the main reasons they chose to attend the same college and medical school. They chose Seton Hall University, in particular, because it offered a program for minority students, who were interested in careers in the medical field.

THE IMPACT
The Three Doctors have made such an impact in the lives of others. In addition to their careers, together they have written three books. The first one is called The Pact. The second one is a children’s book called We Beat the Streets. The third book is entitled The Bond, which focuses on fatherhood relationships.

The Three Doctors also have a non-profit organization called The Three Doctors Foundation. The foundation provides free health, education and mentoring programs for youth and families in the New York and New Jersey areas.

Drs. Davis, Hunt and Jenkins have received many awards, including the Essence Award and the BET Honors Award. They have even served as featured medical experts for The Tom Joyner Morning Show and for CNN News. They were also guests on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

UNIQUE GREATNESS
After reading their book, I am most amazed that, even as youth, The Three Doctors were able to recognize the unique greatness God had placed inside of them. If no one else saw it, they did! Moreover, they understood that if they were going to achieve greatness, they would need each other! They are true role models, not just for black youth, but for all youth, especially for those who don’t have positive role models in their neighborhoods and homes.

Just like Drs. Davis, Hunt and Jenkins, God has placed a unique greatness inside of YOU! What do you desire to do that you’re afraid to do because no one in your neighborhood or family has ever done it before? What do you desire to do that people have told you you can’t do? You don’t have to settle for achieving less to make those around you feel comfortable. It’s not about them anyway—–including family! It’s about YOU and what God has enabled YOU to do! As children of God, we’re not called to be ordinary, but EXTRAordinary. 1 Peter 2:9 says:

“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.”

Children of God, believers in Christ Jesus, YOU ARE SPECIAL! Don’t limit yourself based on other people’s opinions, but see yourself through the eyes of God. Pray that God will surround you with like-minded people who will support you.

Furthermore, as you pursue your dreams, keep this final thought in mind. I recently heard a friend say, “If your dreams don’t scare you, then they’re not big enough!” Therefore, don’t settle for mediocrity, but follow the example of The Three Doctors and be the BEST God has created you to be!

(“The Kimberly Joy Show: Honoring The Three Doctors for Black History Month”)

Sources:
threedoctors.com
thehistorymakers.com

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