Judith D Collins
Higher Is Waiting
By: Tyler Perry
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 11/14/2017
My Rating: 5 Stars Biographies & Memoirs, Christian An intimate book of inspiration by one of the great cultural icons of our time.
Higher Is Waiting is a spiritual guidebook, a collection of teachings culled from the experiences of a lifetime, meant to inspire readers to climb higher in their own lives and pull themselves up to a better, more fulfilling place. In this intimate book, Tyler Perry writes of how his faith has sustained him in hard times, centered him in good times, and enriched his life. Beginning with his earliest memories of growing up a shy boy in New Orleans, Perry recalls the moments of grace and beauty in a childhood marked by brutality, deprivation, and fear. With tenderness he sketches portraits of the people who sustained him and taught him indelible lessons about integrity, trust in God, and the power of forgiveness: his aunt Mae, who cared for her grandfather, who was born a slave, and sewed quilts that told a story of generations; Mr. Butler, a blind man of remarkable dignity and elegance, who sold penny candies on a street corner; and his beloved mother, Maxine, who endured abuse, financial hardship, and the daily injustices of growing up in the Jim Crow South yet whose fierce love for her son burned bright and never dimmed. Perry writes of how he nurtured his dreams and discovered solace in nature, and of his resolute determination to reach ever higher. Perry vividly and movingly describes his growing awareness of God’s presence in his life, how he learned to tune in to His voice, to persevere through hard times, and to choose faith over fear. Here he is: the devoted son, the loving father, the steadfast friend, the naturalist, the philanthropist, the creative spirit—a man whose life lessons and insights into scripture are a gift offered with generosity, humility, and love.
From the hilarious creation of Madea, Perry delivers an inspiring memoir and words of encouragement in HIGHER IS WAITING —with a combination of his own unique blend of spiritual hope and southern humor over a ten-year period of his personal journals. Top Memoir of 2017.
From the multi-talented author, writer, actor, director, producer, filmmaker, playwright, comedian, songwriter, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Tyler Perry is the mastermind behind nineteen theatrically released feature films, twenty stage plays, nine television shows, and a #1 New York Times bestselling book.
The author once again demonstrates how tragedy turns into triumph, both in the hearts and minds of individuals and sets sparks of change within communities.
There is an entire world out there waiting for those who "want it." Cherish your dreams and keep them safe. From hard work, positive energy, and self-encouragement. Prov. 19:21.
We are worthy, despite our histories. God gave us breath and life. Jeremiah 29:11.
Who doesn’t love Tyler Perry? Being an Atlanta gal, I am a huge fan and have seen all his movies, a few of his plays, and read his books. (loved the references to Atlanta’s Silver Comet Trail which was my inspiration and logged in many hours on my bike for years). It brings solace.
In addition to his witty warm-hearted stories, he is a powerful spiritual leader. The essence of power, faith, and the grace of God and how it has worked in his own life.
In HIGHER IS WAITING, the author tells his own story. His own struggles with money, abuse, his career, and his unwavering love for his mother. His dreams. He never gave up on his dream and encourages others to do the same, no matter where they are in their journey or the climb.
Higher is divided into four sections that revolve around the metaphor of a tree.
The Tree of Life. Taking a tree, he compares to the various stages of spiritual growth from his early childhood years to the present.
• Planting the Seeds • Nourish the Roots • Branching Out • Harvesting the Fruit
It is the author’s hope, readers will spark God within and ignite a flame to go higher. From those who are struggling or are angry. Those who need forgiveness. A desire for a better life. For all humanity.
From his own mom’s time growing up in the Jim Crow South when black people were not allowed to dream big. Tyler had big dreams. It meant reaching higher and taking chances.
On a personal note: When I served on the board of directors for YES! Atlanta, this was an important topic and message we stressed to this group of at-risk teens. "To dream big." To see beyond their current surroundings which may appear dismal, and unattainable.
God’s words can be of service. From your own thoughts, finances, love, career, or family; that love and compassion will be waiting in every single part of your life and step of your journey.
“Sometimes in life, dreams are hard to follow. Just like that climb, you’re not aware of how high you’re going or if you’re even moving. But every step, even when you can’t see what’s behind you for what’s in front of you, brings you closer to your goal. . . "
Easy to read, well laid out, this powerful book could be utilized as a daily devotional. From tidbits of real life from Tyler, wise lessons, and a special call out section with questions, thoughts, and meditations, with related scripture.
“Look how far you’ve come. God has brought you here. You won’t be abandoned. Stay in the climb.”
Perry vividly and movingly describes his growing awareness of God's presence in his life, how he learned to tune in to His voice— to persevere through hard times, and to choose faith over fear.
I particularly enjoyed his personal stories and how he connects with nature. Especially, Chapter 6. Relating trees to people.
Leaf People: people in your life for only a season. You can’t depend on them. They have their own weaknesses and are only able to offer shade. Like the leaves, they blow away.
Branch People: They are stronger than Leaf People. However, they need care. They are often fragile and unreliable. If a storm rolls in, they may break. Their strength has to be tested.
Root People. Someone very special. They do their work underground. Quietly without fanfare. They provide help, support, and nourishment. They are happy when we thrive. They are strong, resilient, and powerful. Be sure and water them with love, appreciation, and gratitude. Treasure these folks.
The leaf, branch, and root people in our own lives.
Perry reiterates his soul-filled experiences have taught him to embrace disappointments, knowing deeper lessons will be revealed.
They have shown him time and time again God’s hand in closing some doors and opening others. Helping him to release the past and create a future of hope. The tools for forgiveness and placed him back on his path, when he lost his way.
I also enjoyed Chapter 13. Discovering the Gift. We all ponder our higher purpose. Our hidden gifts. We must look for them.
HIGHER IS WAITING is a beautifully written spiritual guidebook (thought-provoking and soul-searching) one to treasure. Highly recommend and an ideal choice for the gift giving and the holiday season as well as book clubs or small groups.
This is not a one time read. HIGHER IS WAITING is a memorable Christian book you want to use, bookmark, and reference daily, to enrich your life. A reminder of how far we have come, and heights yet to attain. Buy two copies. Give one away to someone who needs "hope and faith," this Christmas season.
A special thank you to Random House for an advance reading copy and also purchased a hardcover copy and audiobook for my personal library.
A Conversation with Tyler Perry
Tyler Perry returns to the Fox Theatre with the announcement of the one-time-only event, HIGHER IS WAITING – A CONVERSATION WITH TYLER PERRY on Sunday, Nov. 12 at 3 p.m., which will explore Higher Is Waiting, an intimate book of inspiration by one of the great cultural icons of our time. In advance of the book’s Nov. 14 release, ticketed guests will receive a signed complimentary copy of Higher Is Waiting, provided by local independent bookstore A Cappella Books.
About the Author
The mastermind behind 17 feature films, 20 stage plays, seven television shows, a New York Times bestselling book, Tyler has built an empire that has attracted audiences and built communities, from the Tyler Perry Studios home base in Atlanta, Georgia, throughout the world. Celebrated “among the pantheon of today’s greatest cinematic innovators,” his unique blend of spiritual hope and down-home humor continues to shape his inspiring life story, connecting with fans across the globe and always leaving space to dream.
Tyler’s legacy is the modern epitome of the American dream. Born and raised in New Orleans, his childhood was marked by poverty and a household scarred by abuse. From a young age, Tyler learned to write down his daily thoughts and experiences in a series of soul-searching letters to himself – advice he gleaned from Oprah Winfrey that ultimately set his career in motion. Characterized by strength, faith, and determination during a turbulent adolescence, these letters provided Tyler with the inspiration to delve into writing his first play, I Know I’ve Been Changed in 1992. Saving every last dollar, Tyler staged the play for what he hoped would be a packed audience, but the seats remained empty. Never would he have imagined that six years later, that same play would sell out a local run, forcing the production to move to the acclaimed Fox Theatre in Atlanta, or that in 2015, his original play, Madea on the Run, would be sold out in theaters nationwide. Read More