Speaking Life to Dead Situations
Duché is a highly motivated life coach, who impacts trains and develops individuals to be strong leaders today, for tomorrow’s future. He uses applications from experiences in his own personal life, in conjunction with proven patterns and principles, that help people manage how they Life, Love, & Lead in their personal faith, family & fitness in everyday life. Duché and his son Bradley, aka “Young Prince”, together founded 220 L.I.F.E. & launched “Duché Bradley Apparel” in the fall of 2009.
“A NAME CAN GIVE YOU PURPOSE or PURPOSE CAN GIVE YOU A NAME”
The “Bully of the Block” walked toward me with more swagger than any man with this many enemies should. He looked me in the eyes and called me “DUTCH”, I was questioning why he was calling me this, but I would not want to offend this unpredictable character.
Growing up not knowing my biological father, and being introduced by my step-father as “Linda’s boy”, athletics became a channel for aggression. Losing my senior year of eligibility to play sports, which was my outlet before self-demise, fueled me to becoming an angry young man. My anger became explosively violent.
I am an Entrepreneur, but my business isn’t legal. There’s a knock at the door, and when I answer it, I’m confronted by a man who just had a drug deal go bad. He asks for a guy who was at one time my best friend, but now is working for me, selling drugs in the roughest neighborhood in the city. The problem is, he is a “crack addict” himself, breaking the first rule, “don’t get high on your own supply.” He is selling drugs for me, so he can satisfy the demon that is so persuasive in his mind.
While I assure the man at the door, he should never come to my house again, I feel my 1 ½ year old son wrapping his arms around my legs, as though he wanted to protect me from the dangerous tone in the man’s voice. The last thing I heard was, “If your man doesn’t bring the “package” or my money, I’m coming back to burn your house down!!!” I lifted my son to the safety of my arms, looked at the man and told him, “I will give him the message”, then closed the door.
I swiftly walked through the house, handed my son to his mother, and without missing a stride, I grabbed my “Louisville slugger” that was conveniently resting in the corner. As I walked out the back door, adrenaline pumped, and I was transformed like that “Green Marvel Comic” guy. It is Summer, and the block is full of hustlers and the girls that love them. My focus is on the man that just made the courageous threat, but he has two friends with him in a truck. I cocked the bat like a “clean up” hitter in a major league line up, ready to swing with the bases loaded.
I swung with rage, and connected, like “Rocky” intending to snap every rib. The other two men approached, and as I swatted the next threat who was in line, the third decided to retreat to the driver’s side, start the vehicle, and desperately insist the others get in or he will leave them. They did just that. As they drove off, several other thugs from the block began to throw their “Colt 45” and “Private Stock” malt liquor bottles at the men who dove into the back of the truck, up holding a certain loyalty to the neighborhood.
That’s when I looked with concern at a familiar face, the “Bully of the Block” walked toward me with more swagger than any man with this many enemies should. He looked me in the eyes and said, “DUTCH!” I was questioning why he was calling me this, but I would not want to offend this unpredictable character. Again, he calls me “Dutch” and I crack a crooked smile, while the sweat on my face beads up, from my time spent in the batting cage. The Bully had just finished watching a popular gangster movie, “Cotton Club”, and “Dutch” was a Jewish deviant, a notorious New York gangster, who controlled drugs in the worst areas of Harlem, and who gained a reputation for brutality when someone triggered his temper.
I had now been given a name that gave me purpose, and I would not disappoint the namesake. My life would mimic this new protégé, including spending time in prison. It was there that I heard about a man who could help me change my life, and even though I didn’t love myself, I did love that little boy, who loved hugging his daddy’s leg. A man invited me to pray, and I asked GOD to forgive me, and help me, in Jesus name. It was then that I dropped the name “Dutch”, because I wanted to be a different kind of man.
Years later, I would become a body guard, at one point travelling around the world with Mark Anthony and Jenifer Lopez, and driving expensive, exotic cars, as the driver for Sean “P. Diddy” Combs. I now needed that emotional protective armor, so I anointed myself “Duche”, after noticing a friends misspelling of the name in his cell phone.
At the pinnacle of this career, I pulled into the American Airlines arena in Miami, FL and watched a hundred people swarm as “Diddy” exited the Rolls Royce, ready to host the VMA awards. I sat in the front seat, and thought to myself, “Life doesn’t get any better than this!” I then heard HIM whisper, “You are not doing what I created you to do, I told you, go and tell people what I have done for you.” I knew I wanted to obey that whisper, so I planned my first trip to speak to inmates in prison, and walked onto the yard, with 2,500 inmates at infamous “San Quentin” Penitentiary in Oakland, CA.
I would start speaking in prisons all over the country, and while in North Carolina, a man asked if I knew what my name meant, as I noticed written on his shirt the name “Ducheman.” He told me “Duche’” was French, derived from the English word “Duke” but it translated as “Mighty Oak.” I concurred, it fit and I felt it resonate in my heart.
Months later, I walked onto the yard at the Women’s Reformatory in Marysville, OH, and after being introduced to speak to over 700 women, they tuned in like law students watching a murder trial. The next 30 minutes, they would listen intently, leaning forward in their seats, crying, laughing, and being inspired, as I shared I was guilty of 38 years, when I prayed, and began learning how to allow GOD to manage my life. I shared I was a once an enemy of GOD, but now I am a “Mighty Oak”, who fights for women, children, the weak, and the poor. When I finished, women surrounded me by the hundreds, thanking me, for helping them see they can hope again, by trusting Jesus Christ. I told them, “Lift your hands in submission” I then prayed for the blessing of GOD to fall on them, and they received it gladly.
When leaving, Brenda, a musician who opened for me with several songs, asked me if I knew a particular verse. Without answering, I looked it up on my cell phone.
The Year of the LORD’s Favor
1 The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim freedom for the captives
and release from darkness for the prisoners,[a]
2 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor
and the day of vengeance of our God,
to comfort all who mourn,
3 and provide for those who grieve in Zion—
to bestow on them a crown of beauty
instead of ashes,
the oil of joy
instead of mourning,
and a garment of praise
instead of a spirit of despair.
They will be called mighty oaks,
a planting of the LORD
for the display of his splendor.
That same voice that had whispered to me in the past, had now written the mission of my life on my heart. Indeed, purpose had now given me a name.
“You have a heart for the poor, and I will position you between great wealth and great poverty. I will cause wealth to pass through your hands, to meet the needs of the poor. I will do this in you, because I will be able to trust you.”
Prophecy: Bishop Harry Jackson / Hope Church September 1996