Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Music is probably the most influential form of art and expression. In today’s society the love for music has developed into a lifestyle that is expressed through our relationships with one another, how we dress, the way we talk and how we see the world around us. I think it’s safe to say that music is a big part of our everyday lifestyle and our culture.
Growing up I always had a passion for music, from my mom playing 90s R&B hits Saturday mornings to my dad playing 70s soul music on those long car rides. If it had a dope beat & rhyming lyrics I instantly became a fan. Music was always an outlet, a way to explain how you were feeling at the moment and how life was treating you, I didn’t realize until I was an adult how much the music I was listening to was influencing my moods, certain songs would keep me down in a funk or have me thinking I needed to become someone else in order to be accepted. When your a child you don’t understand what the lyrics really mean, then when you become an adult you start questioning what it is you’ve been listening too.
Don’t get me wrong, there was a time when the most raunchy degrading and rebellious lyrics made sense to me, some of Hip Hops top artists were favorites of mine, being played in my stereo everyday. I didn’t care that the lyrics were telling me to expose my body and men would love me, or to use drugs and not care about anything because the world doesn’t care. When I think back to some of the music I listened too I cringe, what was I thinking lol. I didn’t realize it at the time because it was “just music” but soon my life was starting to reflect those same songs I was listening too.
It’s kind of hard to break bad habits especially the ones you never considered to be bad in the first place. When I accepted Jesus into my life I had no idea the music I was listening too would no longer be a major part of me. I can’t lie it was hard having to give up Nicki Minaj and Drake lol what was I suppose to listen to? I didn’t think I would ever find music that I loved, that I could dance too, ride in the car to, clean the house and move too. My spirit man still wanted to be filled with the tunes of hip hop, R&B and reggae, the sound of soul and pop music but where would I get it from?
It didn’t take long for me to recognize the same quality of sound in Christian music. I was getting the same energy and melody from Christian artist that I would get from the music in the world but this time I was able to worship and give God the praise at the same time. My husband and I shared a big common interest in music when we first met, his passion and love for Christian music guided me towards artist and songs I never knew existed, I had discovered that I could still move and enjoy the sounds of reggae or comprehend 16 bars and a drum pattern over a Christian hip hop track. The transition became easy to the point that secular music no longer existed to me. Now my archive is full of tunes from well know top of the chart Christian artist to the independent ones some may have never heard of. I enjoy listening to music now more than I ever did before.
“Shout your praises to GOD, everybody! Let loose and sing! Strike up the band! Round up an orchestra to play for GOD, Add on a hundred-voice choir. Feature trumpets and big trombones, Fill the air with praises to King GOD.” Psalm 98:4-6 MSG
Thursday, July 20, 2017
It seems like overtime more and more people are shying away from the church and even though they might be believers they don't find it necessary to attend church or that the need to belong to one is no longer important. Well I can say just from my own walk that my church has been the foundation and the starting point for me being able to grow & learn about the word of God. The last 3 years I've enjoyed every moment I spent at church, from praise & worship Sunday mornings to Bible study Wednesday evenings. It's funny when I think back to how my life use to be, I went from being out at the club Saturday nights to serving the lord Sunday mornings. It was a big change but it was something that I had to do. I knew I had to leave my old ways and start walking in my purpose.
I know for a new believer a lot things probably go through your head the first time you consider going to church, "Will I fit in, will I understand what the pastor is saying, will they ask me for money, does my dress look ok, can I wear sneakers?" There are so many misconceptions in the world about the church that stop people from going but I can say if you strongly feel the need to want to get closer to God going to church is probably the most important step in your walk with Christ. There are so many benefits with going to church and also belonging to a church, not only do you learn the word but you build relationships with people, you enter into an atmosphere where you can worship God without feeling embarrassed or ashamed. We all weren't born and raised in church, the church is filled with people who were once lost and searching for something just like you.
I remember the first time I attended my church (Faith Christian Center World Outreach), I was very reserved and optimistic about what I would experience while I was there. I did not know anyone & I did not have any relationships with anyone there but they all embraced me and even though they did not know me, my story or where I came from that was never important to them all they cared about was my salvation. It took a lot of patience and trust in people I did not know but most importantly I had to trust that God had me in the right place under the right people. My Apostles Dr. Chastain and Ella Rock were the most humble people I had ever come across in the church. Their love for the lord & passion to get people saved and transform lives showed me that I was exactly where I was suppose to be. Everything about the ministry was a reflection of the path I wanted to take. As my leaders preached the word Sunday after Sunday I had the desire to keep coming back for more, I got to the point where I no longer felt like I was just sitting in the church but I was becoming the church having a one on one talk with God.
For 3 years now I've been an active member of my church, I've built relationships with people who were once strangers. I've received genuine love, support, prayer & guidance from people I once had nothing in common with. It's so important for people to understand that the church is like your family, you have people who care about you who will pray for you when you need it, speak good things over your life & uplift you. Those are things you just can't get sitting home In front of a tv. Surround yourself with other believers who will help you if you fall and tell you the truth because they love you.
I'm continuing to build my faith & love for the Lord under the leadership of my Apostles. Because I now belong to the body of Christ I am able to recieve the word of God with an open heart & when the word is being spoken I know it's truth coming from the Holy Spirit through my leaders. You see there are some things you just can't get if your not hooked into a ministry. Take the time and let God lead you to the right one, the world is filled churches who's doors are always open.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
We've all been down that road, found someone we were attracted too, exchanged numbers, gone on a couple of dates and before you know it you find yourself becoming intimate. For most people finding the right person is a challenge and often we end up repeating the same mistakes and trapped in the same cycle of dating. I speak from experience when I say "dating is hard" but it doesn't have to be, you just have to know your purpose for dating someone and what you want to gain from it. Are you looking for a companion or a relationship?
Too often people end up in situations with someone they really aren't sure about. At the beginning it was fun and exciting but after a few months you start loosing interest, you wonder if you really care about the person or if it's just convenient to have them around. That's why it's so important to take the time to get to know someone. Find out what they're really about, do they want the same things in life as you? Are they ready to take the next step? If you can't connect with someone mentally, the physical won't be enough to keep you together. Put in the effort to learn everything you need to know about the person your dating and don't be afraid to open up. If your looking for a serious relationship and they tell you on the first date that they're not looking for something serious, WELP that's your cue to keep it moving. Don't settle because your lonely and think you can change someone's mind it'll only lead to heartache and a bunch of time wasted.
The most important thing you can do is be honest, be honest with the person your connecting with but most importantly be honest with yourself. Use wisdom and take your time, there's no time limit when getting to know someone and your gut will tell you if it's right or if you should move on.