We have enough religion to make us hate, but not enough to make us love one another —Jonathan Swift
And there’s the rub.
I do not prescribe to Religion (with a capital R; as defined by general society). I do pursue (follow, worship) Christ religiously. There is a difference. One is a noun that often implies that my practices and activities alone can get me to God and Heaven. The other is an adverb that describes the intensity and consistency of my desire for Him in my life. The latter indicates a relationship not unlike a child’s pursuit of a parent or, if that doesn’t grab you, a lover of their beloved.
However, I do think it’s important for me as a parent to examine my notions of religion in order to understand and position Christ as a viable option for my child who, inevitably—and if I’ve done my job right in teaching her to think critically—,will find herself skeptical of Christianity: The Religion. Read more…
Oh, if a simple blog post about Black Santa can get Fox News’ Megyn Kelly all riled up, let me hip her to some African American family truth that’ll make her effing head explode: practically every African American family I know sticks not only to Black Santa, but brown people on any and every item that has a face on it.
If we give birthday cards, we’re reaching for the Hallmark Mahogany joints with the Black people on it. If my daughters wear shirts with people’s faces on their chests, you best believe those faces are brown—or the shirt will not get bought. Art that I spend my hard-earned money on? Black artists. Black faces. Same for pillows, wallpaper and magazines I display on the tables throughout my home.
Raise your hand if you went to a church that had a Black Jesus on the big stained-glass window behind the pulpit at your church. Bonus points if his hair mirrored scripture and looked like “lamb’s wool” and his feet were the color of “brass.” Triple that if you’ve ever purchased a card from a drug store that didn’t carry the Mahogany line, and colored in the faces/hands/feet and anything else that looked like skin with brown crayon/marker/anything that can make the characters look like you and the people you love.
What you know about the wrapping paper with the Black Santa on it?
Oh, it’s out there. I got some, please believe it. Read more…
KEM’s WHAT CHRISTMAS MEANS – DELUXE EDITION EXPANDS HIS CLASSIC HOLIDAY ALBUM WITH FOUR NEWLY RECORDED BONUS TRACKS, SET FOR OCT. 29th RELEASE ON MOTOWN RECORDS
SELF-PRODUCED ALBUM MIXES NEW ORIGINAL COMPOSITIONS WITH TRADITIONAL CHRISTMAS STANDARDS
INCLUDES DUET WITH LEDISI ON “BE MINE FOR CHRISTMAS”
PATTI LaBELLE & RONALD ISLEY FEATURED ON BONUS TRACK “JESUS”
After months of worrying whether my baby girl would “stick” or not (because of previous miscarriages) and finally settling into what ended up being a very uncomplicated pregnancy (despite the hedging of my doctors), I sat down a few weeks before she was born and wrote down the top ten things I wanted her to learn from and through me. It wasn’t easy to narrow them down to ten. There are so many things that I still desire for her that didn’t make this list. But at the end of the day, if my daughter can get these ten lessons rooted way down deep in her spirit, then I believe she will be alright. And I’m learning now as a mother that this is the simplest, sincerest, and most powerful prayer a parent can pray: Lord, please allow my child to be alright.
Lesson #1: You can certainly be whatever you want to be but I encourage you to strive to be what God intended/designed/purposed you to be. They are not always the same thing.
Lesson #2: While it’s natural/human to desire validation, you must not allow that validation to be the source of your self-esteem. Do not define yourself by what others say or think about you but by what God says and thinks about you (He says you are fearfully and wonderfully made).
Lesson #3: You should love everyone. But you should know that there is a WAY to love everyone. Love hard and long and wide and deep. But most of all, love wisely. Read more…
Somewhere inside every mom is this desire to share her heart with her children. Not just the basics on life and living but the real scoop without filter. This is especially true with a girl-child because we often want to spare our young girls the negative experiences we may have had or the bad choices we may have made. This need to speak frankly to our baby girls is often born from the wish we all have to talk to and advise our younger selves. Because in a way, when we speak to our daughters, that’s exactly who we are talking to: our younger selves.
Here’s my shot at bringing the past and future together:
My Sweet MaKayla:
Many times we make things more complicated than they have to be. We entangle ourselves trying to “figure” out God’s will for our lives. We search through hundreds of self-help books and blogs for our “purpose.” And while I believe He appreciates the effort, I sometimes feel like God is shaking His head at us and saying, “Child, be still. Go with what I gave you.” LOL! Like he told Moses when he questioned how he was going to free the Hebrew people, “What do you have in your hand?” Moses had a staff and that staff was an integral tool—not the only one, for sure—used to gain their freedom.
You have many gifts, my love. And I will ensure you are educated. These, at least initially, will be the resources you will need to accomplish your purpose. Go with that. Read more…
Make Your Life Count! – Daily Word May 30, 2013
TO HEAR THE AUDIO VERSION OF THE DAILY WORD * Read more…
International skateboard legends DGK and West Coast celebrity rap artist The Game teamed up for a highly anticipated after party for the Agenda Trade Show this past Friday night. Riding the a wave of the recent worldwide release of DGK’s first feature film “Parental Advisory” starring Stevie Williams, the event is now the talk of the town. The Game has taken the entertainment industry by storm with his hit album “Jesus Piece” and recent reality show on VH1 “Married to The Game.” He and Chris Brown performed a 30 minute set at the DGK Agenda after party. The celebratory event highlight was the introduction of skateboarder, Keelan Dadd as a PRO Skater.
OSTON BASED GROUP GARY LYON AND LIVING WATER RELEASE SOPHOMORE ALBUM ‘THAT PRAISE’ DIGITALLY TODAY, December 18, 2012
BOSTON BASED GROUP GARY LYON AND LIVING WATER
RELEASE SOPHOMORE ALBUM ‘THAT PRAISE’ DIGITALLY
TODAY, December 18, 2012
|Boston, MA (December 18, 2012)- Boston based group Gary Lyon & Living Water release their highly anticipated new album, THAT PRAISE digitally today, December 18, 2012. THAT PRAISE is available for purchase at iTunes and wherever music is sold digitally. Read more…|
JESUS PIECE, THE GAME’S FIFTH STUDIO ALBUM, SET FOR DECEMBER 11 RELEASE ON INTERSCOPE RECORDS
JESUS PIECE PRE-ORDER AVAILABLE TODAY ON THE iTUNES STORE
November 19, 2012 – On December 11, GRAMMY®-nominated, multi-Platinum artist The Game will release his fifth album, Jesus Piece (Interscope Records), and celebrate with an intimate show at the House of Blues in Los Angeles. Jesus Piece, which includes numerous high profile features, follows 2011′s The R.E.D. Album – the Compton-bred MC’s third album to debut atop the Billboard 200. Read more…
Syntax Distribution combines forces with Lion of Judah Music Group to bring a unique spin on reggae to new audiences. Featuring the music of award-winning artist Monty G, the Lion of Judah Music Group is poised and ready to break new ground in the independent music world. Syntax CEO Timothy Trudeau says, “Lion of Judah is our first label fully dedicated to reggae and other Caribbean-influenced styles. We’re excited to share Monty G and his vision with our strong partnerships.”
Monty G is recognized in the reggae scene as a talented performer, producer and all-round music mogul. Launching the Lion of Judah Music Group in 1997, he wanted to change the face of reggae music and infuse its influence with a more positive worldview. With Syntax Distribution, Lion of Judah’s reach just got further than it ever has before.
“Syntax gives us the digital presence that’s been missing from urban Caribbean music,” Monty G says. “Our venture will surely provide the edge that we need for our label to get to the next level and make our mark in an ever-growing market.”
By Kel Spencer
You watch TV don’t you? Of course you do. Have you ever seen the commercials for Southwest airlines? They promote the fact that they don’t charge you extra for your baggage. That’s the perk of flying with Southwest. Delta is about to create a new perk, as well. They’re making their overhead bins larger so that we’ll be able to (or at least they’ll be creating the illusion of us being able to) bring more carry-on luggage on board. I guess the new perk of Delta will be reduced luggage fees since we’ll be able to bring more on the plane. Oh, did you know that one of the perks of Cold Stone Ice cream is that they allow you to walk in with your own toppings? Yes, you can literally walk in there with an almond joy candy bar and ask them to break it up and sprinkle it on top of your coconut ice cream… Trust Me, I KNOW! Oh, wait… what about when you buy an iPhone? Dude, they have over a half-million Apps! That’s actually why I’ll be leaving #TeamBlackberry just after Memorial Day… Long story. Read more…
Written By Ryan Mack, President of Optimum Capital Management and Author of Living in the Village
The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey in the year of 2008 calculated the average annual contribution of Black households to religious organizations was $683. With well over 9 million Black households in America, that means well over $6 billion in 2008 was contributed to Black churches across the country. What is done with this money and are the churches doing all they can to make sure this money is fruitful?
In the year of 2008 I spoke with over 80 pastors in the NYC area to discuss how they can more effectively use their church as an empowerment vehicle these are just a few of my findings… Read more…
For Teenagers, a “Graduated” Driver’s License Saves Lives—and Saves Parents from a Nervous Breakdown
By NICK CHILES
The state of New Jersey is currently debating a bill that would create “graduated licenses” for teenagers, which add more safeguards and restrictions to the process of acquiring a license for 16-year-old drivers. While there is some opposition in New Jersey, these measures have been passed in many other states around the country, including Georgia, where I live, and let me tell you, they make a huge difference for parents. I am an unequivocal supporter of anything that makes teenagers more cautious and conscientious when they get behind the wheel.
First of all, you can’t argue with the statistics. A story in the New York Times, quoting numbers provided by the New Jersey Teen Safe Driving Coalition, says that with teenage drivers, a single passenger raises the risk of a crash by 50 percent and doubles the risk of a driver dying in a crash; three passengers increase the risk of a crash by 200 percent. Most graduated license laws, such as the one we have here in Georgia, prohibit 16-year-olds from driving with another teenager in the car for at least six months. In the second six months after they get the license, teens can’t have more than one other teen in the car. A year after the license, teens still aren’t supposed to have more than three other teens in the car. Read more…
There’s nothing more awkward than to be the one southern black man in the room who says that he’s not quite sure about Christianity. No one attacks you for asking questions, they just “pray” for you. Some will talk to you like a mentally-disabled two year old who has never been taught to see the light. You might even get the crooked brow and pursed lips of concern, like they feel sorry for you or that your parents somehow didn’t raise you right. If only you could understand the consequences that come with thinking for yourself and questioning the ideas that have been accepted by everyone else around you, you might be better off.
It’s not a matter of being criticized for how you actually live. Rather, the penalty comes from your unwillingness to play the game, sort of like the teenage girl who actually admits that she likes having sex, instead of pretending that she’s a virgin to make her daddy feel better. While most of my devout church-going friends don’t openly attack me for having a unique perspective, they certainly feel that I’ve somehow been led astray. Read more…
Regent University is hosting an extraordinary 24-hour worship event on Friday, November 11, as part of the Global Day of Worship that brings together worshipers of Jesus Christ from various churches, denominations, organizations and geographic locations with a common vision to see Jesus lifted up and celebrated around the world.
The free event begins at 12:00 a.m. and continues until 11:59 p.m. Friday. Beginning at 7:00 p.m., Regent’s event will include musical offerings from international and national recording artists and worship leaders, including GRAMMY-award winner Andraé Crouch, David M. Edwards, Aaron Keyes, Le’Andria Johnson, the men’s ensemble MANIFEST, Phil Sillas, Mark Gutierrez, Craig Adams, Adlan Cruz, John Hartley and Katie Gustafson, and Shelley Johnson. Local church worship teams, choirs and songwriters will also be featured at other times throughout the day-long event.
It only makes sense that we show respect for those who have chosen to participate in the Martin Luther King Memorial Dedication ceremonies this week. Millions of Americans truly appreciate the legacy of Dr. King, and their involvement in the ceremony is reflective of this sentiment. So, my desire not to participate in the commemoration is out of respect for Dr. King’s principles, but with full understanding of those who choose to disagree.
As a people, I argue that too few of us possess the passionate desire to fight the tough battles necessary to see Dr. King’s dream come to fruition. No differently from those who attend church every Sunday vs. those who do the hard work to live a good Christian life, America gives us a license to embrace rampant hypocrisy. America has not taken very many steps to fulfill the dreams of Dr. King and in some ways, we are worse off than we were when he was alive. It is for this reason that I question our decision to celebrate the building of a group of granite statues paid for by those who continue to treat black people as second-class citizens. Read more…
Mathew Knowles and Music World Artist Management today announced that they have entered into a worldwide Exclusive Management Agreement with recording artist Le’Andria Johnson.
The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson continues its tremendous growth at radio and retail. The album returns to #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album chart. This week, the CD lands at #7 on Billboard’s Digital Genre Gospel chart. At radio, “Jesus” holds at #17 on Billboard’s Hot Gospel Song chart with plus 15 spins and over one million in listening audience with a cumulative listening audience of over five million. Le’Andria’s new singles, “Make Him Like You” and “Cast The First Stone” will impact both Urban AC and gospel radio in October. The video for “Make Him Like You” will premiere later this month.
Music World Gospel will release Le’Andria’s first holiday project, Christmas Best, on November 21. Initially, the EP will be sold at Best Buy and all online retail outlets. On December 6, the EP will be available at other traditional and non-traditional outlets. Christmas Best will feature such holiday classics as “Noel,” “Hark the Herald Angels Sing,” “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Oh Holy Night,” and “Silent Night,” a duet with labelmate and BET’s Sunday Best Season 4 winner, Amber Bullock. Christmas Best is produced by award-winning production teams, The Bamaz Boyz and Sure Fire Music Group, with vocal production by Jamecia Bennett. Read more…
Music World Gospel Holds Two Top 5 Positions on the
Billboard Top Gospel Album Chart
Le’Andria Johnson’s Debut CD, Lands at #1 for Two Consecutive Weeks on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album Chart with a
20 Percent Increase at Retail During Second Week Release
The Awakening of Le’Andria Johnson Maintains #1 Position on
CMTA’s Current Gospel Overall Chart and #3 on
Billboard’s Top Christian/Gospel Album Chart
New Single, “Jesus” is Billboard’s #3 Overall Best Selling Gospel Digital Singe
Music World Gospel’s Duo Trin-i-tee 5:7 Lands at #5 on
Billboard’s Top Gospel Album Chart and #25 on
Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip Hop Album
Music World Gospel Recording Artist Le’Andria Johnson Performs on SIRIUS XM Satellite Praise on SUNDAY, September 4, 2011 at 11:00 a.m. EDT…Channel 64 (SIRIUS and XM)
Music World Gospel Recording Artist Le’Andria Johnson Releases Debut CD, THE AWAKENING OF LEANDRIA JOHNSON…In Stores September 6