Will work for food…spiritual food that is

I haven’t written in a while, and really am not sure why not. I constantly have blog topics but I think lately I had become frustrated with the lack of tangible recognition from me writing. I know some people visit here out of support as friends/close acquaintances but I it seemed as if wasn’t generating any new followers or if I were my stuff wasn’t intriguing enough for people to comment.

Today it hit me after reading the most current post from a blogger that I have always admired from afar @dcdistrictdiva and found comfort in seeing her talk about her experience of being in the city of Paris in her blog Truly, God is in Paris ,I realized that you may never know who is in need of inspiration or a comforting word, and I can’t worry about the number of views or amount of comments that come from my personal expressions. As with being a good person, you may not always get the pat on the back or the celebratory good job award; rest assured that there is someone out there that is now feeling better about their situation because you took the time to be transparent about the things that are happening in your life.  God has given us all light to shine in dark places and it does no one any good if you refuse to push the power button to ignite it. And I use that analogy specifically because it speaks to another twitter conversation I saw on @terracarissa timeline. Yes we all pray/wish/hope for things but at some point you must do something as well. “Faith without works is dead” (James 2:26) and to take it further, a man that does not work does not eat (2 Thessalonians 3:10)… and eating for many is being able to taste prosperity, joy, happiness, success in life. I know for so long I was that person that prayed to God for things but forgot one key component and that was to act on the opportunities He presented.

Even in writing this I am having my Oprah “ah ha” moment and there is an awakening within to write this (even while in the middle of the work day) and maybe my proverbial “work” could be in my writing and being more consistent in it and maybe then some of my own prayers will MANIFEST because they have already been answered, I just haven’t seen them how God needs me to.

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Proud of you… Thank you Mom

 

MOTHER TO SON

Well, son, I’ll tell you:
Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
It’s had tacks in it,
And splinters,
And boards torn up,
And places with no carpet on the floor—
Bare.
But all the time
I’se been a-climbin’ on,
And reachin’ landin’s,
And turnin’ corners,
And sometimes goin’ in the dark
Where there ain’t been no light.
So, boy, don’t you turn back.
Don’t you set down on the steps.
‘Cause you finds it’s kinder hard.
Don’t you fall now—
For I’se still goin’, honey,
I’se still climbin’,
And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair

-Langston Hughes

The mother to son relationship one is a very unique one, especially in today’s society where many males are raised only by their mom without influence from their biological father or any male for some. I was fortunate and blessed to have both parents in my life, but my mom still held a special place in my heart. I remember coming home from school laying across her bed while she watched her taped Young and the Restless episode for the day and her bugging me with her favorite phrase “tell me all your business.” I also remembermy mom constantly telling me that I wasn’t like everyone else and that   “you are different”; Yes there are plenty parents out there that believe that their child is special and the rest of the children pale in comparison to theirs but she truly believed it and because she said it so much I began to believe it as well. There would be things I saw my peers do and get away with as a young child and the minute I tried it, BUSTED!!! I would be the one to get caught. Or there would be a new trend or fashion out in the 90s’ but I was either never the one to get it or by the time I got it, the fad had faded. Being a child often I struggled with the internal battle of wanting to do what everyone else was doing but always hearing my mom say “you are different.”

During my formidable years of growth (high school and college) she was there for me when I didn’t want her input but also whenI needed that reassuring confidence. She was the one who made me go back to playing baseball after I quit my sophomore year, she was the one who said she would kill me if I got an earring, but she was also the one who pushed me when I struggled in some of my business courses (we had the same major so she understood the hardship) and she was there to bail me out when I fell prey to the lure of college credit cards. Even when I tried to avoid it, I always heard her whisper “you are different”

I always told my “ma” thank you and thought I was being appreciative but it wasn’t until we as a family were forced to spend significant time together that I really realized how much I loved and cared for her. My parents purchased a house and decided to do the renovations ourselves, and what was initially thought to be an easy remodeling turned into, renovation hell. Often times my dad served as the slave driver while me and my mom stuck together to outwit the evil LB.  But during the 2.5 years it took to fix-up the house, we had no choice but to speak more and open up which  took me back to those “on the bed” moments.

The biggest growth in my relationship with both my parents took place when I moved to North Carolina, for one they didn’t believe I was moving until they started seeing me pack my belongings. My mom tried her best to keep me in MI even saying that she was worried about the weather with it being hurricane season. Being the good son I delayed my trip and I could tell it soothed her worried heart. Being so far apart allowed us to communicate more because that’s all I had and on a regular basis she would ask “when are you moving home” knowing that I had no intentions to, but she still had to try. She (they) did all they could to make sure my stay in NC was a covered one. We became closer spiritually due to our individual growth in God and being a man who sometimes reverted to childish ways, I had to remind myself when she irritated me, that she was only being that way because she cared

I gave you all that background because yesterday she called me to tell me how proud she was of me. She asked me why I never fell prey to the pitfalls that many of her nephews, sons of friends and black males do… and I simply told her I always remembered her saying to me “you are different” and I kept it to my heart. She happened to be in Atlanta for a funeral this past weekend and the conversations she had made her wonder why I never gave into some of the society lures (tattoos was a big one for her). Beyond having a healthy fear for my parents I just was never followed through with a lot of the things my peers did, trust me, I thought about it numerous times but like I told her I was scared that because I was so different I would be the one to get the skin rash or have things not go as planned, so once I got past that stage of youthful experimentation, it was old and pase’ for me.   

I love who my mom is so much that I searched the earth (well maybe not the earth but the east coast) for someone who made me feel like her and thank God I found her. I told someone this week, that I am like my father in a lot of ways so I KNEW I would need someone with my mother’s spirit to balance me out. 

While I was so blown back by her being proud of me I also must say how proud I am of my mom, there were many things she has dealt with and endured but she always remained strong. While we both are crybabies, I knew when she did break down it was because that issue was something she was passionate about. And while I may not be able to lay on her bed as much as I want, I know she is only a phone call away and the conversations will be just as good, because now I have no problem “telling her all my business” (well sometimes lol).

Paying it Forward: Greatness

 Recently I had the opportunity to attend a lecture series held at  the University of South Florida where the legendary rapper Lonnie Rashid Lynn, Jr., better known by his stage name Common, spoke about his life and his most recent published memoir, “One Day It’ll All Make Sense”. I have always been a fan of Common as a rapper but officially confirmed the day I heard his song “Retrospect for Life”, featuring Lauren Hill. His willingness to address taboo issues and outward accountability to be morally and spiritually conscious instantly made me a fan. And while I had never been faced with the dilemma of being a father before a husband, I always felt that this song set a MANdate of what should be done.

While a big fan of his music, as with many entertainers, I always tend to be cautious to endorse their ability to be poignant and eloquent in a public forum. From the moment I stepped in the lecture hall there was a certain serendipity in air …an anxious anticipation that I was about to receive something I had been waiting for. I was surrounded by a sea of college age kids, many of which only knew him for being an actor or his most recent musical releases, but nevertheless the turnout was great. As we set and awaited his arrival they showed a few short films of lectures to come… that helped set the tone of the night and then finally an introduction for the speaker of the night. He came out immediately and captivated the audience, it was evident that he was able to carry the same aura in this type environment just as he would if he were about to rock the mic. Being that it was where he developed his own sense of Greatness,  it was no surprise that his introduction to the crowd was a freestyle that incorporated subject matter that members of the USF student body could appreciate.

When the crowd calmed he immediately went in on his speech explaining how he struggled previously on what he would talk about prior to his trip down and that something delivered in his spirit gave him the topic of “greatness” and more specifically how his journey to achieving greatness had been a long conquest with a series of trials and triumphs before he discovered his personal greatness. In an instant I felt like life had frozen in time, why? I guess it goes back to the term I used earlier serendipity. The word serendipity (ser·en·dip·i·ty) means: an aptitude for making desirable discoveries by accident. You see I had gone to the lecture expecting one thing (to hear Common speak/empower college kids) but the irony was I was about discover a few answers to life questions that I had been struggling with myself. First starting with Common sharing how his third grade teacher instilled in him that he could be great and because of the legacy of the story behind Emmett Till. He referenced a point in his life as a ball boy for the Chicago Bulls that as he travelled in the tunnels to gather the equipment he could feel the spirit of Till (who was a Chicago native), and soon embarked on his life journey to embody that GREATNESS, his teacher spoke of. Coincidentally after struggling to find a shirt to wear that night, I settled on one of my favorite shirts, one that paid homage to Emmett Till.

As he recounted various points in his life during that quest towards greatness, it seemed as if there was always a quote or scripture that allowed him to press through when even he saw no end and wanted to give up. He referenced a poem that many of us know and have heard many times but I think because of the moment it had so much more power

“Our Greatest Fear”

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. 

Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.

It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.

We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous,
talented and fabulous?

Actually, who are you not to be?

You are a child of God.

Your playing small does not serve the world.

There’s nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other

people won’t feel insecure around you.

We were born to make manifest the glory of
God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone.

And as we let our own light shine,
we unconsciously give other people
permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,
Our presence automatically liberates others.

—Marianne Williamson

Interestingly enough I derived the title of this blog from his willingness to share with the crowd what others shared with him. One of my fiance’s favorite theories on life is  “Pay it Forward” (which was made into a great movie) The concept is that you repay a good deed done for you by doing something good for someone else and creating a cycle of reciprocity. But while she was helping me, she also essentially called me out as well. She knows that my biggest fear is that I have the ability to be great but because that greatness causes a stretching and maybe even great discomfort, I stay where I am. So just as she questioned me, I ask you; what is something that you have cowered from that you KNEW you wanted, simply because it took a little more work, or struggle? There is a reason that the most rewarding things are sometimes the most difficult, God has to see how much faith will you have in He and how much of a desire is it for you.

 “God don’t make no mistakes” is a repeated quote from the movie Idlewild that I always take with me and just like He didn’t make no mistake in me seeing the post on Facebook for the event. He didnt make no mistake in making it possible for my fiance to attend even though she was supposed to be at work. He didn’t make no mistake in whispering to me to wear my Emmett Till shirt, and most definitely there was no mistake in the coincidence that the title of Common book is “One Day it’ll all Make Sense” which is also the title of the third CD (those who know me understand the significance of the number 3) which contains my favorite song “Retrospect for life.”  

This perhaps was my wake up call to really begin to seek my own personal GREATNESS and I can thank Common for re-birthing the desire to find it in me and hopefully by you reading this I have done my job in paying forward the encouragement to do what God has called for you to do. Maybe for all of us, one day it’ll all make sense how everything is tied together through the will of the Lord. So I thank Him in advance for the blessings that will manifest!!!

Land of the Free… Home of the silent.

The early settlers came to “America” out of the need to escape Puritan England in order to gain freedom (religious), and even recently has always boasted that its citizens are awarded many freedoms, one being freedom of speech. What many have forgotten is just as with the freedom sail from England, our present day freedoms come at a price.

mendenhall
Rashard Mendenhall, a running back for the Pittsburgh Steelers is finding that out the hard way now. For those who don’t know Mendenhall has caught MAJOR flack for expressing a right that many of us take for granted; FREEDOM of SPEECH. While I understand there still are things that cannot be protected under this right (like yelling fire in a crowded room, public defamation of the President of the country and a couple of others) what Mendenhall said should have easily fallen under that protection. Below is a copy of the is the copy the statement made by Mendenhall on his personal twitter account

“What kind of person celebrating death? It’s amazing how people can hate a man whom they had never heard speak. We have only heard one side.”
“We’ll never know what really happened. I just have a hard time believing a plane could take a skyscraper down demolition style.”

celebration of death (were reactions like this really necessary… NO)

What many people failed to do, was break the comments down into two separate parts (they were tweeted as such.) The first part in which he questions people who celebrate death is spot on… It’s ironic that a country that was established on Christian beliefs would be so contradictory of said beliefs. Matthew 22:39 states that we should love our neighbor as ourselves. No where in the verse is there a conditional clause, saying if he does this you don’t have to and your neighor extends to other countries. While we (myself included) take great issue with what Osama Bin Ladin did, he still was a human in which God commanded us to love. I personally take issue with how the country celebrates a vigilante murder, evil or not, this man was not given the opportunity to stand trial. Now there may be some who feel that due to the fact of his actions he didn’t deserve a trial, well that’s strictly opinion based. But in this country even Charles Manson and Ted Bundy, who were viewed as heinous, were given the right to have a trial, and I am willing to bet the family of their victims would have loved to get swift justice for their lost loved ones. It seems as if America is good for having rules but being able to amend them based on need, and wasnt this the SAME man who allegedly had ties to the CIA back in the 80s (for the truth, you sometimes have to go outside of US media outlets)

In the second part of the tweet in which he brings questioning to the true source of destruction during September 11th bombings, while it is very hard to prove that, he has not been the only person that has questioned the truth in this story. I will just say that the incident was so unfortunate and I pray that there was no involvement by our own government.

After reading the tweets I expected uber-patriotic Americans to voice their displeasure of the comments made by Mendenhall. What I did not expect to hear were news reports in which team president Art Rooney II from the Pittsburgh Steelers (the team which he plays for) say this

“I have not spoken with Rashard so it is hard to explain or even comprehend what he meant with his recent Twitter comments,” Rooney said. “The entire Steelers’ organization is very proud of the job our military personnel have done and we can only hope this leads to our troops coming home soon.”

So in the quote he says that he hadn’t talked to Rashad, which he can’t due to the NFL lockout, so why would he go as far to think that he was taking issue with the job that the military had done in regards to this situation (if he truly knew his player he would know that Mendenhall spent time at a football camp in Germany with US troops.) But it goes to show how “speak first, then think later our society is.” Ironically the most important part of the comment that isn’t related to the story is that he hopes it leads our troops home soon, and that is right there is the BIGGEST MISCONCEPTION many americans have. They think now that the big bad wolf is dead, little red riding hood can come home. If you pay attention to American government they have been giving us MANY excuses as to why our Armed Servicemen are overseas;
weapons of mass destruction none there, Saddam Hussein handled him, Osama Bin Ladin- killed him. I wonder what the next threat to american safety will be to keep our troops away from home, because unless there is a significant amount of troops sent home before the holidays, I call BULLSHIT on the american government.

But back to the subject so now we see that Mendenhall doesn’t have the support of his employer we also find out a company who he was paid to endorse, Champion Sports Apparel has now “fired” him. Here is the press release made by a spokesperson for champion

“Champion is a strong supporter of the government’s efforts to fight terrorism and is very appreciative of the dedication and commitment of the U.S. Armed Forces. Earlier this week, Rashard Mendenhall(notes), who endorses Champion products, expressed personal comments and opinions regarding Osama bin Laden and the September 11 terrorist attacks that were inconsistent with the values of the Champion brand and with which we strongly disagreed. In light of these comments, Champion was obliged to conduct a business assessment to determine whether Mr. Mendenhall could continue to effectively communicate on behalf of and represent Champion with consumers. While we respect Mr. Mendenhall’s right to express sincere thoughts regarding potentially controversial topics, we no longer believe that Mr. Mendenhall can appropriately represent Champion and we have notified Mr. Mendenhall that we are ending our business relationship. Champion has appreciated its association with Mr. Mendenhall during his early professional football career and found him to be a dedicated and conscientious young athlete. We sincerely wish him all the best.”

So essentially what I got from the release is that:
1. Champion blindly supports the actions of the US government right or wrong
2. Anyone who questions the actions of the government is unpatriotic
3. Forget a contract, we can do what we want (I wonder if there was a character clause in his contract that forbade him to have any counter-governmental outburst… probably not)

Truthfully when was the last time Champion was relevant as an apparel company when it comes to athletes marketing, so in the grand scheme of things they became relevant for 2.5 seconds only to go back into the sea of forgotten after the next Nike or Under Armor commercial airs.

While I think Mendenhall bounces back, like all things in the american media, it will take time to blow over (or bigger news story.) He has even gone as far as to blog a clarification statement in which he breaks down what he truly was trying to convey (only having 160 characters can get you in trouble if someone misinterprets your tweet) And while I always thought he was a good football player, he has earned more respect from me as a man because; he felt a certain kind a way about something, spoke on it, saw the error in how it was conveyed, brought clarity to what he said, but never backed down from his stance. How you feel may not always be received nicely but if that’s how you feel MAN UP and stand by your statement… This is the type of athlete that should be endeared not vilified.

But this whole situation speaks of a bigger social issue… are we essentially telling people and specifically the youth that your beliefs views and ideas are insignificant, subject to scrutiny, and could get you fired if they are contrary to that of popular belief. We already have athletes who refuse to stand up for social/civil/spiritual injustices out of fear of losing their cash cow, but now they can’t even voice their opinions on social networking websites. There are many who are against athletes/entertainers being on twitter and many collegiate coaches have gone as far as banning it for their players due to some of the foolishness being said, but I do believe under the right context, twitter can be a positive outlet that endears fans to an athlete. Case in point Jalen Rose is establishing a charter school in my hometown of Detroit and he took to twitter to spread awareness of the opportunity for the youth of Detroit to enroll.

What I suggest is that EVERYONE even us common folk before you hit that send button on your respective twitter app think of the potential ramifications of having your words hit cyberspace, because while John Doe may not lose millions due to an inappropriate tweet, he could lose something more important to him like his job/wife/friends…

Even in writing this, I know I am subjecting myself to scrutiny, judgement and hate, but I DONT CARE… I am tired of people abiding by the status quo because its safe or easy. It is time for someone to shake the masses so why not me… I’ll be the blog Bad Guy, but know this if you have made it this far in reading, i know I have challenged you to rethink some things in life and if so, my job is done.

-God Bless

King in You…

I had been going back and forth with doing this blog for a long time, but now I realize not because of uncertainty but because it wasn’t time. If I would have done it weeks ago, it may not have had the same impact that it will today.

dr king

In celebration of one of the greatest men to ever walk the earth Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I have a double entendre posting. Many see the title and reflect on if their life is truly living up to the dream that Dr. King had, but also it is to ask if we are living as if another King is within, The King of all King, Jesus Christ. I have had a gospel song resonating in my spirit for the past couple of days “There is a King in you” by Donald Lawrence. We all have been created with greatness within, made in the image of God, but sadly not enough of us embrace it and live it out. As many know I am a social media junkie and between Facebook, twitter and other blog sites I frequent you would be amazed the level of hate the world has. Yes pop culture has bought into this false theory of the term “haters” and that there are people out there who take joy in making your life journey difficult. While on a small scale that is true, what I have seen the most lately is SELF HATE. People are now sabotaging their own lives in order to have a reason to complain and wrongfully attach blame to others, when in fact their biggest enemy is themselves. Look at the status updates/tweets of those you know and I bet it will shock you to see how many people on a daily basis speak negativity into their own lives (life and death are in the power of the tongue; what you think you shall become), and in doing that it makes it that much easier to “hate” or bring down others, as the saying goes misery loves company… I know personally I dealt with this affliction for many years; depression, doubt, envy, and hate dominated my psyche until I realized and embraced the fact that I was never created with those feelings I adopted them along the way. God created us for LOVE, because that is what He is and being created in His image we are naturally lovable and able to give love. But not enough of us truly believe that. We think what happened to us, where we are, and what we do define our destiny. But it doesn’t, the song says we come from royalty and that the number one goal of the enemy is to keep us from knowing who we are. They do that by placing doubt/despair/uncertainty/false sense of hate within us and once we begin to focus on those things it becomes so much harder to see the good in life let alone yourself. Yes you have been hurt, yes you have been disappointed but those things are what happened to you, NOT who you are. Realize you do have a say in your happiness, or would you rather wallow in the pain/rejection/negativity because that is easy. Realize this if NO ONE else in this world loves you, God does and that is the greatest love ever. How many people would, in spite of what you do to them, still embrace you, give you numerous chances fix your relationship with them daily?

\”There is a King in you\” by Donald Lawrence    (Audio link)

You come from Royalty
An aristocratic dynasty.
The goal of the enemy,
Is that you don’t know who you are.
There’s power when you speak.
Be mindful of words you release.
I know that life has challenged you,
But the King in me speaks to the King in you.
You were born to rule.
There is a king in you. [Repeat]

[Bridge:]
Is there no King in you,
Then why do you speak, speak with such defeat.
Is there no King in you,
Then why do you speak, speak with such low esteem.

I know life has challenged you,
But the King in me speaks to the king in you.
You were born to rule.

There is a King in you [repeat]

 

This song is so appropriate especially for this day because we are celebrating a man that stood for so many great things and that many in the world give high reverence to. Sadly beyond this weekend I believe not enough of us have a desire to live out the dream he spoke of so eloquently on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1963. Please do not get it twisted as much as I am pointing this out to others I too am accountable for not doing all that I can to ensure that the speech that I recited as a young boy to the congregation of True Faith Baptist Church in Detroit MI is more than just words.

What is a dream? Webster defines it as

“A series of images, ideas, emotions, and sensations occurring involuntarily in the mind during certain stages of sleep”

What will it take for us to wake up from our slumber? What was spoken by God in this moment of rest that is supposed to change the world? But as long as we fail to recognize that King in us it’s easy to be distracted by things that really don’t matter thus keeping us away from recognizing the dreams… We are better than what we have allowed ourselves to become, but does it even matter that we are not realizing our own personal dreams let alone the dreams to change the world, if not you are doing Dr. King a great disservice and he probably would rather you not even waste your time acknowledging him for one day only to go back to the life of despair for the other 364 days of the year.

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up

like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore–

And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over–

like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags

like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

 

What has happened to the dreams you deferred?

-God Love

Did you go to school for that…

I tend to hear that question asked a lot when it comes to a couple of my giftings…

First it’s usually when people see me out with my camera… They are normally shocked when I tell them I havent had any formal training in photography. In 2007 I bought a camera off eBay and decided to become a photographer…I just feel it is a gift that in a lot of ways has been nurtured enough for me to be somewhat good at it… Through a series of divine relationships I met people who were willing to let me shoot their events (mostly for free) and through MAJOR trial and error I was able to improve. I look back at some of the events I have covered and have met, it was nothing but God that placed me in those RELATIONSHIPS (more on that word in a minute) because there were probably better photographers, but I was chosen. So the more I worked the better I got and the better I got the more I worked…I now look back at some of my beginning works with disdain because it’s so technically bad that its laughable. And in recognizing that there were some aspects that I needed to tight up, there are aspects of photography that I have taken the time to do some reading. Most of this occurs in the post-shot editing. When i first got my camera I was so Photoshop phobic that it was pretty sad actually. But after taking a class through my job and doing some trial and error I began to see how vitally important helpful it can be. I never would want to become so dependant on editing software that I become a lazy photographer. That perhaps is my biggest pet peeve in the industry now. You have plenty of people who have the money to afford high-end cameras, really don’t know how to use them but because they are graphic artist are able to manipulate their work to appear better than what it actually is… One thing that did help me through my growing pains of shooting on automatic was asking questions… I was blessed to know a couple of guys (my business partners) who went through their own trial and errors prior to me but was still willing to aid me in any way possible… I And just like with life, Photography is an ever-growing and changing art form, and it is ESSENTIAL to be able to adapt your craft to be successful (because you can never shoot one venue/person the way you shot something else)

The next thing I usually get asked that question for is when it comes down to conversations about relationships… Interesting enough during a conversation I had during my chapter’s monthly networking event, a couple of women within this group I was conversing, with after had taken their picture (multi-tasking is pretty cool), asked me was I a psychologist or did I goto school to be a therapist. I was truly flattered and honored to have my point of view during the conversation be that highly thought of. But no I don’t have a psychology degree or nor do I claim to be “Love Dr.” shout out to those who do it legit or as a game… I just simply consider myself a conversationalist and I tend to speak on things I am passionate about and one of those things just happens to be the topic of male/female relational interactions (the other being sports). Pieces of my knowledge comes from books/articles i read but the majority of it comes from experience, as they say “life is your best teacher sometimes”. I guess because for so long I didn’t have success in interactions with the opposite sex I made it a point of one bettering myself in it, then helping others navigate through their testimonial opportunities. (Ironically that is how i met my fiance; I used to write notes on Myspace, yeah I know it was that long ago, and she stumbled upon one of my rants on the opposite sex. She left a comment, I responded to hers and there ensued an internet friendship which led to a chance meeting at the airport which led to me finding the GREATEST woman in life) I call them that because everything we endure in life, good or bad, allows for you to be able to help someone else later on in life. Now we often times dont see it that way and miss out on our blessings and cause others to miss out on knowledge that would offer revelation for what binds them. As you can see I am using many spiritual keywords because I wholeheartedly believe my gift of gab in this arena comes from God and I refuse to dishonor him by not speaking of things He has processed me in.
The one thing I have had to learn to overcome is the frustration of people not being receptive of things given within my conversations/tweets/blogs. Initially I would be frustrated if someone misunderstood my point or got defensive about me trying to help; but I have learned being a vessel in this capacity isn’t about receiving accolades or pats on the back it’s simply about making sure that they now have the information. God will work out the judgement in how they handle His word, I just had to be sure to do my part in passing the word on.
Last night conversation was also a lot easier to have because half of the group was dating or married to someone, so I didn’t have to worry about my information didn’t have to be misinterpreted as “game” Ironically one of you women happened to have a conversation with her Beau while there and then ran up to me and let me know she told him about our conversation and how it made her feel that much more confident/secure/happy in their interaction; and at the end of the day that’s all I strive for… helping people be able to help themselves.

So the next time you feel a desire to do something healthy like draw, write, take a picture; TRY IT OUT, you never know that may be your predetermined giftings that while you don’t have the technical schooling for God has given you the provision to do it well.
-God Love

DEAR GOD 2.0

First I would like to say Happy Holidays; where did 2010 go??? ‘Tis the season for family and friends and Love not necessarily about things bought in store…

Anyways I had been considering doing a blog for a while on one of my favorite songs but the utterance to post letter from a broke brother took precedent in my heart. The song is Dear God 2.0 by the Roots from their latest release “How I got over” Over the years I can say that I have always appreciated The Roots and their talents as musicians/hip hop pioneers, but it wasnt until I heard their latest release, this song in particular, that I fell in love with their music.
There have been many who have argued the theory that Hip Hop is nothing more than the devils portal to our community and that nothing good comes of it. But never, not even in some “gospel” songs, have I seen a true display of personal worship as I saw within the lyrics of this song. As my growth in spirituality has increased, I have gotten a greater level of understanding in the different types of Christian music, (it also helps having one of the greatest praise leaders in the world in Minister Corey Bradley, I love that man for his willingness to and obedience to hear God and create a great atmosphere to usher in Gods presence) The most important thing I’ve learned is that, every song sung in church or on your local christian station isn’t a song TO God. Next time you listen to a song does it sound like a personal conversation of thanks that the artist is having with God or is it just a song that has God sprinkled in it. Praise and worship music is just that; Songs that send praise and adoration to God for His spot in your life. Artist like Israel Houghton and William McDowell have done well in creating music in this category. And not to take anything away from their music or their calling from God, BeBe and CeCe Winans is a duo where you sometimes have to ask yourself is this a gospel song or a love song to your significant other. They have had a couple of songs out that if I wasnt able to recognize their voice I would wonder if this was a new R&B duo… I say all that to say that all praise and worship songs can be considered gospel but not all gospel music can be considered praise and worship… but let me get back to The Roots song.

[Intro:]
Dear God, I’m trying hard to reach you
Dear God, I see your face in all I do
Sometimes, it’s so hard to believe it…
But God, I know you have your reasons
(Uh huh)

[Verse 1:]
They said he’s busy hold the line please
Call me crazy, I thought maybe he could mind read
Who does the blind lead?
Show me a sign please
If everything is made in China, are we Chinese?
And why do haters separate us like we siamese?
Technology turning the planet into zombies
Everybody all in everybody’s dirty laundry
Acid rain, earthquakes, hurricane, tsunamis
Terrorist, crime sprees, assaults, and robberies
Cops yellin’ stop, freeze
Shoot him before he try to leave
Air quality so foul, I gotta try to breath
Endangered species
And we runnin’ out of trees
If I could hold the world in the palm of these
Hands, I would probably do away with these anomalies
Everybody checkin’ for the new award nominee
Wars and atrocities
Look at all the poverty
Ignoring the prophecies
More beef than broccoli
Corporate monopoly
Weak world economy
Stock market topplin’
Mad marijuana oxycotton and klonopin
Everybody out of it?

[Hook:]
Well I’ve been thinkin’ about
And I’ve been breakin’ it down
Without an answer
I know I’m thinking out loud
But if you’re lost and around
Why do we suffer?
Why do we suffer?
(Uh huh)

[Verse 2:]
Yeah… It’s still me, one of your biggest fans
I get off work
Right back to work again
I probably need to go ahead and have my head exam
Look at how they got me on the Def Jam payment plan
Well, I’m in the world of entertainment and
Trying to keep a singing man sane for the paying fans
If I don’t make it through the night, slight change of plans
Harp strings, angel wings, and praying hands
Lord, forgive me for my shortcomings
For going on tour and ignoring the court summons
All I’m trying to do is live life to the fullest
They sent my daddy to you in a barrage of bullets
Why is the world ugly when you made it in your image?
And why is livin’ life such a fight to the finish?
For this high percentage
When the sky’s the limit
A second is a minute, every hour’s infinite

[Outro:]
Dear God, I’m trying hard to reach you
Dear God, I see your face in all I do
Sometimes, it’s so hard to believe it…

Black Thought did a masterful job in grasping that aforementioned differentiation of the two styles of music even while being under the controversal title of rap artists. I believe that even in his questioning of the happenings of the world he is doing it not show doubt in God but to bring more understanding and awareness of circumstances. I think if we all as believers sought understanding from God and not worldly “experts” life would be so much more easier to deal with. The transparency spoken in the chorus is so powerful because from my own personal experience I feel the same way… I have such a great desire to be closer to him but sometimes its just hard even if you know He is the One who has a hand in things.

Remember everything isnt what it always appears to be, sometimes you have to dig a little deeper and in doing so you may get a great revelation for your life…

-God Love