Why T.D. Jakes Stays Christian

The mega-preacher discusses his favorite Christian, his annoyance with politics, and even recites his favorite Psalm.

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Psalms 27:1-5 is about peace, it's about protection, and it's about guidance. When you talk about "The Lord is my light.give me guidance." When you say "My enemies stumbled and fell" give me protection and when you say, "one thing have I desired that I may dwell in the house of the Lord"--that's peace. And when you pray along those lines, you pretty much have covered the waterfront of what you may have to go through that day.

Who's your favorite Christian?

Wow. That's a hard question. My favorite Christian would probably be Mrs. Inez Strickland who has gone home to be with the Lord. She was about a hundred and something years old when she died, and she was my Sunday school teacher when I was a little boy.

This was in West Virginia?

Yes. And she was amazing. She was a lady who taught us our Bible scripture. She used to have an old raggedy piano and only half of the keys worked and used to teach us all of these little solos to sing when we were little kids. She spent great time with us. She really walked with the Lord. She loved the Lord. She took care of her children that were ailing and she took care of the community, she went to see everybody when they were sick and she's probably my favorite Christian to this day.

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Have you ever experienced a moment when you were absolutely convinced you felt the divine presence? Was there one lightning bolt?

I have never seen anything as holy as holding my mother as she died. I've never seen anything as holy as holding her as the last breath went out of her body surrounded by her children and people who loved her and the grace and the dignity she had as God took her home. It was just an answer to prayer--not convulsing, not riveting in pain, but a peace and a calm and a tranquility, almost like a pronouncing of a benediction in this world and the birthing in a world to come. It was just.it took us a moment to realize that she was dead because it was stunning, the grace with which she exited the room. It left us awed for a moment before we realized what it really meant.

Wow.

It was unlike anything I've ever experienced in my life. And when I came to myself, I missed her, I wept like anybody else, but for a moment I was just awed with the grace with which she exited. I had never seen anybody leave like she did. She left like a queen walking out of the room.

How much suffering do you see on a daily basis in your work?

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