Whitney "Nippy" Elizabeth Houston
Today, along with millions of people around the world, I watched Whitney Houston’s funeral. I did not know what to expect and I have had viewpoints and opinions on her life as well as her afterlife that many would disagree with or even find offensive. Yet, I love Whitney. I never met her, but when she died, it was like an aunt I’d always loved, but never got to the chance to know, had died. In short I was devastated. And with none of us truly knowing where Whitney would spend eternity, I did not have a particular expectation of the funeral besides these two things: 1) Pastor Marvin Winans must preach the eulogy and 2) CeCe Winans must sing “Don’t Cry for Me”. My expectations were met and, by far, exceeded.
As soon as I tuned into Whitney’s funeral, or should I say, homegoing service, I was immediately struck by the presence of God in that place. It flooded into my office and overwhelmed me. And once I gained an understanding of what would truly happen at her homegoing, this verse popped into my head:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain,” (John 12:24).
I realised that the impact of Whitney Houston’s life would greatly pale in comparison to the impact that her death would have. Someone related it to Sampson who, in his death, killed more Philistines than he ever did in his life put together. I concur. Whitney had an undeniable, gift from God in her voice. Yet it was her death that drew the world together and created a platform for God to be exalted.
In case you missed it, Twitter [and Facebook] was on fire during the homegoing service. Piers Morgan, Suze Orman, RHONJ’s Caroline Manzo, Amber Riley, my fellow wedding professionals, and saints everywhere had a four hour, international church service via internet and over the airwaves! The saints praised and worshipped. Secular artists who didn’t know Jesus had the anointing rest on them like in Old Testament times while they sang their tributes. Pastors spoke in tongues. And I know that I know that I know that lives were changed. And all of this on the internet and international television! Furthermore, if you would have checked the Twitter trends during the Homegoing, the vast majority of them had to do with God and Jesus. I’ve NEVER seen ANYTHING like this in my entire life!
I spoke with my sister Jessica today to relay all the funeral details to hear and I told her I did not think it was any coincidence that just two nights ago, I watched a church service online wherein the speaker, Prophetess Cindy Jacobs, declared that the next great revival of
had begun. What the devil meant for evil [by Whitney’s Death], God meant for good! And just as Bishop Jakes said today at the service, “death has not won”. And it indeed has not! America
On Anderson Cooper the other night, BeBe Winans, spoke about the song he wrote which his sister CeCe recorded and performed, “Don’t Cry forMe”.
“No one is the blame, my death was meant to be. Don’t carry guilt or shame. The reason why I came, soon you’ll see”.
Such poignant, powerful words! “…the reason why I came, soon you’ll see…”. Whitney’s gift, Whitney’s life—as all of our lives are—was created to give God glory. Despite whatever issues we have, whatever struggles we deal with, whatever heartaches break us, our lives were made to bring God glory! And Whitney’s life as a whole, whether previously disputed or not, has now culminated to bring God greater glory than many of ours ever will. Her death, timely and painful as it was, gathered us as a global family together and in the midst of our celebration, God was magnified above Whitney, above all of her triumphs, above all of her struggles, above all of her downfalls. And the Bibles says, “that if I be lifted up from the earth, I will draw all men unto me,” (John 12:32). And today my friends, Christ was lifted up.
So now, I will do what was not able to be done at the funeral. I offer you the chance to accept Jesus Christ as your own Lord and Saviour. It’s so simple! You need only do these three things:
- A—Accept Jesus Christ as your only Lord and Saviour: We must do this because the Bible says, “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which men must be saved,” (Acts 4:12).
- B—Believe that Jesus Christ is the only begotten Son of God, born of the Virgin Mary, who lived a sinless life, and died for your sins: John 3:16 tells us that Jesus is the “only begotten Son” of God and that “whosoever believeth in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life in Christ Jesus”. Furthermore, if we do not believe that Christ led a sinless life, then His death would just be the death of any other religious martyr and give us no hope of eternal life or forgiveness for our sins.
- C—Confess that you are a sinner and you will be saved: The Bible says, “All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). That means me, you, Whitney, the Pope, everyone accept Jesus is a sinner. Therefore, we all are in need of God’s forgiving grace. It also says that our righteousness is as filthy rags (Isaiah 64:6). We cannot do any thing, any work, that would erase our sins from our slate. However, God’s grace is sufficient to forgive us all our sins and His blood strong enough to wash us white as snow.
Allow Whitney’s life and even more so, her death, to not be for naught. Learn from Whitney’s mistakes and truly make Jesus your Lord and Saviour. She would not want you to make the same mistakes she did. She would not want you to wait as long as she did. You can be free now, if you choose. Pray this simple prayer aloud.
Thank You for sending Your only Son to die for me. I admit that I am a sinner and separated from you. I do not want to live that way anymore. Please come into my life and make me new. I make You my Lord and Saviour this day and forevermore!
In Jesus’ name, Amen!
YAY!!! If you’ve prayed the prayer and truly believed it in your heart, then God now lives in you! You have His precious Holy Spirit in you as well. The Holy Spirit is one of the three persons of the Trinity (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit). He is the One who teaches, guides, encourages, and empowers you to live the Godly life you desire to live. With the Holy Ghost, you can shake every single addiction and every bad habit in your life. It is His anointing that reaches you right where you are and literally destroys the yoke of bondage over your life. And you will also have the evidence of His indwelling in you which is speaking in tongues or what Pastor Marvin Winans referred to as a “language you don’t understand”. To receive this, pray aloud this prayer.
I thank you for the gift of Your precious Holy Spirit. I understand that He lives in me, yet I want to give Him the permission to lead, guide, teach, encourage, and empower me. Holy Spirit, please come into my life and fill me so that I can live the life You created me to live and speak the words You would have me to speak. Give me the evidence of speaking in tongues so that I know I have You for real.
Thank You Holy Spirit!
In Jesus’ name, Amen!
Open your mouth and begin to praise and thank God. And when you start speaking in a language you don’t understand, you got it! You are not only saved, but filled with the Power to live out your purpose-filled life! You are free!
(If you have ANY questions about these prayers, salvation, or the Holy Spirit, do not hesitate to comment or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
I praise God for Whitney “Nippy” Elizabeth Houston and for the impact of her death. I pray that the people who heard the Word go forth would be drawn to Christ and that their lives will be forever changed.
Whitney, today you were “the voice” that drew a nation and the world to Jesus. We will ALWAYS love you.
P.S. My friend and client, Kathy R. Green also wrote a phenomenal blog about Whitney Houston. You can read it here.
P.P.S. Here are a plethora of clips from Whitney Houston’s Homegoing Service.
BeBe Winans sings "I Miss You"
Pastor Donnie McClurkin sings "Stand"
Pastor Kim Burrell sings "Change is Gonna Come"
R. Kelly sings "I Look to You"
Stevie Wonder sings "Ribbon in the Sky"
The Winans Family sings "Tomorrow"