Best. Ever. Inspirational (Commencement) Speech, Given by Denzel Washington

I have sat through many “staff and faculty in-service” motivational presentations (speeches, slide shows, etc.) before the start of fall term at my college. However, this is the first time I have posted anything from the experience. I share this year’s inclusion of a video of the 2017 commencement address given by Denzel Washington at Dillard University, because, hands down, it is one of the most inspirational messages I have ever heard.

The speech addresses “career goals” but it is about much, much more. It speaks to students, both successful and not successful (maybe just at the moment), to those who teach them, and to all of us who have ever been motivated/inspired by anyone who has reached down to help us in any aspect of our lives–whether inside or outside a classroom–with words, actions, and/or challenges.

Enjoy. Be inspired. Have some Kleenex handy…

(And yes, many of my colleagues and I noted the young graduate behind him using her iPhone during his presentation…)


Video from

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Let HIM Love You…

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila


How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing  (Jesus,  quoted in Matthew 23:37 NIV).



Loving Him

I was thinking about a woman I know who left an abusive marriage some years ago.

At first, she said, there was physical abuse, but after counseling that stopped. However, whatever simmered beneath the physical manifestation of anger seemed to always hover near. Intermittent verbal abuse remained; he continued to feel entitled to criticize, mock, and accuse.

In between the good times… Continue reading

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Prayers, please, for this friend of a friend. Not everyone is able to leave FL in advance of the storm, and there are likely thousands like her in their own predicaments.

She emailed this, this morning:

Continue reading

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On Spiritual Blackmail: Guess the Perp (Hint: Archetypal, Hate-Filled, and Brilliant)

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

So if the Son sets you free,* you will be free** indeed (John 8:36 NIV).


The legal definition of “blackmail” is, “The crime involving a threat for purposes of compelling a person to do an act against his or her will, or for purposes of taking the person’s money or property.”

Depending upon who wants what and the consequences, blackmail can keep human beings under small or great bondage, paying all kinds of money to stay out of trouble, and/or doing all kinds of things. Continue reading

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My daughter remained high and dry during Harvey, but her friends and neighbors lost much in Houston Storm. Pictures…

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

As the headline notes, my daughter Jenni, who lives in Houston, Texas and owns rental property in Spring, Texas, thirty miles north of the city, made it through Hurricane Harvey dry and safe, both places. Her friends and neighbors as close as several blocks away, however, did not. Continue reading

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On the State of Political Rage, Part 12: But Isn’t It “Righteous Anger”?

Phyllis Beveridge Nissila

Righteous Anger versus Destructive Anger

One needn’t be a trained mental health professional to recognize the difference between righteous anger and destructive anger. Continue reading

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