As I was preparing the latest post for servinemup, I happened to start scrolling through my archives of past posts and I ran across The Reason for My Hope - April 11, 2004. Not too long after I posted it, one of my childhood friends sent me an email…
D! Will you PLEASE give me at least a 2 week notice beforehand so that I can get my plane ticket to come see you preach your first sermon!!
Of course, when I received that note, it kinda ‘freaked’ me out a bit, because I’d never considered myself as a ‘preacher’. But the part that really started freaking me out, was when other family members and friends started saying the same thing..
You know preachers run in the family…you got in in the blood honest D..on BOTH sides!
I knew that God has His ways of talking to us, sometimes it’s through the wind and sometimes it’s through other people around us. Was God telling me He wanted me to be a preacher??
For those who don’t meditate on the Word, I know this all may sound kinda..crazy.. me wondering if God was talking to me or not. But I believe that we all reach a point in our lives when we realize that God IS trying to tell us something. It’s kinda like that song that Shug broke into the church singing in the Color Purple…maybe..God is..trying..to tell you somethin! GOD is trying to tell you somethin’!! Right now!
And although I had already had my preconceived notions of what it meant to be a preacher..getting up before the congregation, sweating and screaming behind a pulpit, as I grew stronger in the Word, I realized that preaching the gospel of Christ was never meant to be confined to a dais or sanctuary. There are church leaders who are called to perform different duties for the church body, but ALL who believe will receive the call to discipleship at some point in their lives. Because once you truly believe and have the joy and peace and love that can ONLY be found through Christ, then you’re going to have to adhere to the conduct of the gospel. Which John MacArthur lays out in 10 traits. If you believe the gospel of Christ, you will:
1. Proclaim It Matt 4:23
2. Defend It Jude 3
3. Demonstrate It Phil 1:27
4. Share It Phil 1:5
5. Suffer for It 2 Tim 1:8
6. Don’t Hinder It I Cor 9:12
7. Be not Ashamed Rom 1:16
8. Preach It I Cor. 9:16
9. Be Empowered I Thess 1:5
10. Guard It Gal 1:6-8
So when I read that list, I studied and meditated on all of those Scriptures, because just like Jonah when he was trapped in the belly of that great fish after blatantly disobeying God’s call for him to go preach in Nineveh, I knew that, ‘woe is me if I do not preach the gospel’. I knew that if I didn’t open my voice to uplift the name of the Lord through my works, that I might be swallowed up by a great fish also. Once you get out there on faith, it’s like nothing else you’ve ever done before. It’s like taking a ride through life with your eyes closed and being led by the Spirit of the Lord. Sounds kinda spooky huh? Well, one things for sure, if I don’t..or if YOU don’t, praise the Lord, those rocks will start crying out instead of us..and I don’t know about YOU, but I don’t want no rocks crying out to the Lord in MY place. I’m too competitive for that..I ain’t about to let no ROCKS beat D!!! Ya’ll betta praise the Lord! Ya feel me?
So anyway..after several close friends and family members had started looking at me with that ‘you preaching yet??’ eyeball sideways glance, and after I had spent many hours praying and meditating on the Lord’s will..He came through and answered my thirst for understanding and direction…like He ALWAYS does. After taking the Proverbial Challenge and talking to men who have been ‘called’ into the ministry, the first answer the Lord sent me came from one of my uncles who pastors a church in Port Arthur. I had asked him about when God calls a man to preach and he looked at me and said..
“I’ll tell you like Pastor W.D. Richardson used to say..”It’s the same, and it’s different’.
What does that mean??
It’s the same, in that ALL callings come from the Holy Spirit…and it’s different in that everyone gets their calling in a different manner. It’s a personal thing that everybody is hit with in their own personal way.
So I thought about that for a minute and not too long after that, I started receiving several emails and comments from various people around the globe who read www.servinemup.com, and the majority of them were actually words of appreciation, because by reading my work, they had all felt that they had a better understanding and a stronger thirst to grow stronger in the Word. And not too long after that, that same childhood friend who had jammed me up about announcing my first sermon at least 2 weeks in advance came right back with…
You know what D? I say that I want to be there for your first sermon to hear you preach, but really when I think about what you’re doing…you already are.
That’s when I started getting that feeling of peace, because I think we all must challenge ourselves daily to be all we can be. Or as my uncle told me, ‘Any faith that is not tested, can not be trusted.’ The Lord has His way of sending us messengers and angels to help guide us along our path in life. Despite all of the wicked and evil forces in high places in this world, God is STILL in control of it all. And there is no greater guide and direction of life, than that found in the Word of the Lord. Because in the 12th chapter of I Corinthians, Paul breaks down everything that I had experienced:
4 Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. 5 And there are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. 6 And there are various kinds of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all things in. – I Cor. 12:4-6
Didja get that? Some of ya’ll are go be called to preach, some to teach, some to write, some to sing, some to account, some to usher, some to deacon, some to be parking lot attendants at the church, whatever it is that you CAN do for the Lord..but it’s the same Spirit that worketh in all. Hopefully I’m not the only one that has asked the Lord for direction..because until you bow down and start serving Him, then you won’t be able to reach your full potential in life. It’s a truth to spiritual maturity that brother Edward P. Jones laid out so eloquently in his Pulitzer prize winning novel, The Known World
“He was a handsome man,” she said of Augustus. “ I never leaned toward exaggeration,” she said to Anderson. “So when I say he was a handsome man, he was indeed. Henry was too, but he never got old enough to lose that boyish façade colored men have before they settle into being handsome and unafraid, before they learn that their death is as near as a shadow and go about living their lives accordingly. When they learn that, they become more beautiful than even God would imagine, Mr. Frazier.”
Once you realize that your death is as near as a shadow, then you will get on your hustle and live your life accordingly. At least, that’s how the Spirit hit ME! It’ll come to you in a different way, but it’s the same thang mane.
The Reason for My Hope - first posted April 11, 2004
There is a void created when a loved one passes. It’s like the tearing away a part of flesh unexpectantly and the rest of the body has to find a way to go on despite the pain and trauma inflicted. After that initial wave of pain that hits, and the shock and disbelief start wearing away, then the pain of the wound starts to resonate. All of those past memories of episodes and journeys shared with this departed soul are recollected. Then the dull thud of knowing you will never be able to hug, laugh, talk, muse, plan, and enjoy this person again kicks in.
The first time I ever experienced this void, was when my great-grandmother, Grandma Bessie, passed away in 1983, not too long after her 2nd stroke. Bessie Hall was a beautiful dark skinned woman. My recollection of her was with thick and pretty hair that she normally wore pinned up in a bun. But those evenings when she’d sit in her chair and let her hair down and comb it out was a glorious sight to behold. Even when her hair turned predominately platinum, it was still beautiful to me. She was the color of brown that looks like a melted Hershey bar whenever she sweats. She wasn’t a talkative woman, but when she DID talk, she commanded attention and respect. We all knew, grands, great-grands, nieces, and nephews alike, when Bessie Hall tells a child to do something, you DO it, or else face the consequences. It was this Grandma Bessie that first taught us reverence for the Almighty God. Because those warm Arkansas summers, when those thunder and storm clouds rolled in, caused our world to stop. Because whenever the skies turned gray and the rain came falling down, we had to cease and desist all things, which might be construed as not respecting God’s voice. Which was manifested in the thunder and crackling lightening that we could hear in the background. Just like my sister and my other cousins, I knew to straighten my act up when Grandma Bessie spoke…
Ya’ll hursh now!! (she’d say in a low stern voice) God is talking!
We had already turned off all of the lights, as well as the television, no radio, all we could do was sit in the dark and be still and look at each other. God was talking, we had to be quiet and listen to what He was saying. I always gave an honest attempt to decipher what God was saying through all of the thunder and lightening. All I could ever make out was…the sounds of thunder and lightening. But the presence of God definitely imposed itself on my countenance. If God was talking, He must be talking to someone else right then, hopefully he’d let me know when He was speaking directly to me.
Grandma Bessie was a proud and strong black woman, whose favorite TV shows were Gunsmoke and Perry Mason. I still remember how her hugs felt, and how she’d always have the happiest smile on her face whenever we arrived to see her. Of course, the last physical memory I have of Grandma Bessie was of her lying still in a casket with her eyes closed. But the body that I saw lying in the casket when it was the ‘family’s’ time to view the body, was not the same woman that I knew. This person they had in the casket looked pastey and cold. Nothing like my warm and colorful Grandma Bessie. Someway, some how, they had made a mistake. This couldn’t be the lady that I knew. But as we made our way back to the those front pews designated for the family, I happened to notice that there were a lot of people in the church crying. I even happened to glance over to my father, and I saw him dabbing his red and rimming eyes with a handkerchief. I had seen my grandmother and my mother cry many times. Usually in church when they got happy. But this was a new one on me. I was 12 years old, and this was the first time I ever saw my father cry. Since he was so much my model for strength and what a MAN should be, I was a bit taken aback. Because I had already felt those tears stinging the back of my eyeballs, as well as the low whimpers that can escape from the back of your throat if you don’t muffle them out or choke them back down. But somehow I had detached myself from the situation and I refused to cry. But seeing my father cry, made me realize that we all have to cry sometimes.
As for that body in the casket, it WAS Grandma Bessie’s earthly body. Full of embalming fluid and mortuary makeup, but yes, that was Grandma Bessie’s shell lying in that casket. But my grandmother taught us that we’re not supposed to cry at funerals, because people who have Jesus as their Lord and Savior know that absent from the body, means present with the Lord. Once they take that last breath, they are in a better place than we are here on earth. There are a lot of Christian principles and beliefs that were taught to me as a child, that have been challenged by non-Christians as an adult. I have friends who don’t believe in God. I have friends who believe in God, but they think Jesus is a completely fictitious person. Still, there’s others who believe in God, believe in the teachings of the ‘prophet’ or ‘rabbi’ Jesus, but they don’t believe that He is the Son of God. Some think the crucifixion was a hoax that had one of the disciples on the cross instead of Jesus. Some even think that Jesus’ body wasn’t actually resurrected, but rather the disciples came and stole His body from the tomb at night and told everybody that He had ascended. It’s a wide range of theologies and religions out there ya’ll. And there are some extremely well read and literate people who will bring out volumes of works and papers and treatise denying the deity of the Christ.
Of all the things about Christianity that are debated amongst all the different factions and denominations within Christianity, the pillar of Christianity is that Jesus Christ arose on the 1st day after Passover. The standard 7-day workweek was originally patterned after God’s week of creation. God worked 6 days and on that 7th day, He rested. No one can deny, not even Christians, that Saturday is the 7th and last day of the week. Even the Spanish name for Saturday, Sabado, is indicative of this being the Sabbath day. But that was all up until our Savior came along. Because they hung Jesus on the cross the day before the Jewish Sabbath. The morning after the Sabbath was when Jesus’ mother Mary and Mary Magdalene arrived at the tomb to check on His body. Once they arrived at the tomb, an angel of the Lord appeared and told them that Jesus had already broke out, the Savior had risen. The angel even moved the rock out of the way so that they could check themselves. Once they looked inside and saw that Jesus wasn’t there, they grew very happy and excited. It’s ON again!! So this was the first Easter Sunday, and this is why Christians observe their Sabbath on Sundays instead of Saturdays.
You have to realize, this was a very difficult time for followers of Jesus in Israel. They had already crucified that ‘radical’ Jew who was talking all of this crazy, ‘peace and love’ talk. Even all the disciples had to go into hiding from public view, because they knew they were subject to persecution also. But these ladies who came and checked up on Jesus were the first ones to lay eyes on the risen Savior. People may claim, ‘How do you know they just didn’t SAY that??’ But of all the things about the gospels, especially since this was a time in history when women weren’t even allowed to testify in court, this was one of the things that stuck out the most to me when I had doubts. Because if there was a lie or a fraud to be perpetrated to the world about Jesus being resurrected, they definitely would have chosen some men to be the first to see Jesus and spread this 'lie' of Jesus rising.
Therein lies the crux of Christianity and all of our hope. For if the tomb wasn’t empty, and Jesus’ body was still there, we would have no Rock to lean our faith on. Of all the smirks of naiveté that atheist’s intellectuals give me, I always try to see why they’re hating so much on Jesus? Do they think they’re immune to needing a Savior? Do they think they can go through this life and the next by themselves? Do they have a problem with peace, love and forgiveness? Of all the reasons they try and hate on Jesus, they can’t knock His Word. And just like God promised, His word shall NEVER return void. It sticks baby, time and time again. They can’t burn it, they can’t bury it and they can’t fade it, cuz it’s all the way real. Of course the problem comes in when people ‘twerk’ it and change it up a ‘little bit’, maybe in translation, most often in interpretation. But God gave us a roadmap for these ‘twerkers’ and false prophets too. Jesus told us that we can tell the false prophets by the fruit that they bear. Look at what it do, and you’ll be able to see if it’s real or not.
There’s a lot of ‘Christian’s’ that’s faking and shaking. Saying one thing and doing something completely different. The truth is, since Christ is risen, we ALL have access to Him, all we have to do is confess with our mouth and believe in our heart and we shall be saved. Saved from that cold grave and delivered to our Father’s house, wherein there are many mansions. Some people are too staid and ‘sensible’ to give their all to something that they can’t touch or see.
I can’t put myself out there like that podna. No telling how them white boys have changed up the Bible to say what they want it to say. Even Hitler used the Bible in some of his speeches, I need something for the brother man, and Christianity is for them white folks.
Ya’ll are tripping. You’re letting your distrust in a race of people obstruct your judgment and belief in God. There is NOTHING in the Bible that speaks of a blonde haired blue eyed Jesus. But even if it did, it REALLY wouldn’t matter in the big picture. What DOES matter, is that you believe in the sinful nature of man and that we all need a mediator to go before God. Jesus is that Wonderful Counselor, that Prince of Peace who will go before God for us, as our Mediator. Letting God know that He already paid for our sins:
Let him in Father, he’s rolling with Us, I’ve already paid his way in.
Some see Christianity as the ‘cop out’ religion. That perfect blanket that covers and wipes away all our transgressions. They see ‘Christians’ running out and doing their dirt, then running right back under the shield of Christianity until the heat dies down. We all must repent and be accountable for each and every one of our sins. Paul even speaks of those ‘slick’ Christians who think they can sin at will, and still be saved because they say they believe in Jesus. It doesn’t work like that podna, God forbids. Once you have faith, then you must pay the cost of discipleship. You must walk that walk, each and every day. Your life is no longer about you, but rather worshiping and serving the Almighty God. There is no man or entity to fear on earth, because the worst they can do is take your life. But if you have Jesus on your team, He has the keys to Eternal Life and it will only a matter of time before all of the saints who were persecuted in the name of Jesus, they get to rise up first. Yeah mane…people will be rising up out of their slumber..once that Rapture gets here, it’s on again baby. There will be no more tears, but our Lord will be back down as a roaring Lion, and this time we won’t have to turn the other cheek.
Of course this is part of my vengeful nature that I must pray to God about constantly, because I know I have it. If a n’ga hits me in the jaw, I’d have a hard time turning my other one to him, because I’m from the Southside and I know how that goes. If a n’ga hits you in the jaw on the Southside and you turn the other cheek, he’s going to hit you in that one too. But once you’re ready to stand up and take some blows for His sake, all the while using the word of God as your only offensive mechanism, you become the ultimate warrior. Onward Christian soldiers, marching on to war. And despite all of the arks and holy grails that men seek, none of this would mean a thing if Jesus hadn’t rose up from the tomb.
Happy Easter Sunday to all of you. Please remember that the Easter bunny, Easter eggs and candy don’t have a damn thing to do with Easter. Easter is all about the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Clap your hands, stomp your feet, let out a yell of joy, the tomb is empty ya’ll. There is hope for us all.
I'm A Lot Like Shrek - March 24, 2005
I like Shrek ya'll..he's one of the few people I can hang out with who's nose is bigger than mine!! Alright alright..enough with the big nose jokes..(click here to read more!)
Soul Food - March 18, 2005
Hate it or love it, the underdog’s on top,
I’m go shine baby til my heart stops
Go head and envy me, I’m rap’s MVP
And I ain’t goin’ nowhere til you get to know me.
- The Game feat. 50 Cent, ‘Hate It or Love It’
Last night, I was talking on the phone with one of my friends and he overheard me asking my wife if she knew where my headphones were….
“Whatchu need your headphones for??” he asked me.
I’m about to do some work.
Work? You about to do some work now?? It’s after 10 o’clock!
Yeah..well..my clock doesn’t stop because of time.
Oh..okay. (He kinda gave me that ‘oh okay’ like he didn’t know what the hell I was talking about tone..I tend to have that affect on people from time to time)
You don’t like to listen to music while you work?
Yeah..but you know, with my job if I mess something up cuz I’m jamming too hard, I can go back and fix it, but with your job, if you mess something up, somebody is go be mad cuz they ain’t getting water where they’re supposed to.
(laughing) Yeah..but I’m not talking about work for my job, I’m talking about my real work..writing.
Oh..well yeah, I guess you can listen to music while you’re doing that…what do you listen to when you write? Some DJ Screw or something like that??
Sometimes, it just depends on what mood I’m in..tonight I’m jammin’ that new 50 Cent.
See..I new it had to be something hood. What’s the name for the next article you bout to put out there?
Soul Food? Do you mean the show or real soul food? Cuz you know titles don’t really mean sh’t with yo az..you’ll have a n’ga reading one thing and thinking it’s going to be about something, and then the next thing you know, you flip the script and make it turn out to be about something else.
Well..you know..that’s my job as a writer. When I’m working at my best I’m making people expand their mind and think about things they’ve never thought about.
Oh yeah..that’s what you call it huh?
Yep! And I ain’t going nowhere til they get to know me.
Never mind mane, gone and watch the game, I gotta get to work, I’ll holla atcha later. (click)
Fortunately ya’ll, I found my headphones! Yaaay! Cuz I like to settle down on my couch in the quiet den in the night hours, pop in the CD that feels closest to my mood and just go for mine. Sometimes it’s gospel, sometimes it’s hard core Screw, you can never tell with me..I’m just that kinda n’ga. It used to worry me, this weirdness that caused so many to look at me with a cocked head of confusion. But as I’ve grown older, I’ve found solace in knowing that it’s actually a good thing being ‘weird’ in this world. I’m not bland like dry toast, I'm more like hot water cornbread, Spicy with a lil thug stirred in my coffee..it’s all good. I asked my wife what she thought the average reader who didn’t know me thought when they first read a servinemup article.
“They think you crazy!” she said matter of factly without a moment’s hesitation.
“But what about the people who already know me?”
“The people that know you already KNOW you’re crazy!”
“But relatively..compared to my kinfolk, I’m really one of the mild ones”
“Don’t fool yourself D” it looked like she was trying not to laugh, “You might not be MORE crazy than your family, but you’re definitely not LESS crazy than they are. ALL of ya’ll are crazy!”
“Alright now..watch yo mouf..don’t act like I ain’t neva met none of yo people.”
Sometimes you gotta be careful when you start referring to in-laws, cuz some people take it too far and start trying to play the dozens on the cool. I know a lot of ya’ll may THINK I’m crazy, but obviously ya’ll haven’t met my father, or his mother, or my crazy az uncles and aunties yet. I’m really about a 6 out of 10 on the crazy scale, cuz as you know, Crazy is Relative.
The equipment that my company manufactures is used by anyone who needs to move, meter or monitor water and/or wastewater. So we work closely with golf course irrigation, sports fields, municipal lift stations, fire control..you get the picture? Now the weird thing about it, is that our company is relatively small, and to date, no one at my job knows about my ‘other’ job, of writing. They know I’ve had technical articles published in some of the trade magazines for our industry like Turf Magazine, California Fairways and Pumps & Systems, but they know nothing about my book writing or even my hustle gig here at www.servinemup.com. I’m sure the day is coming that my manager is going to walk into my office and make some smart az comment about servinemup or D.E. Washington, after he lands in an email distribution list that has a link to my website. Once that day comes, I know that I have arrived. Cuz most of the people I work with are heathens who don’t go to church and remotely believe in God, and they’re white..so, the chances of them being ‘served’anytime soon is pretty slim to none, but I’m working on it.
If you do a Google search for servinemup, you’ll see at least a page of links pop up. I’ve been making my way around the web, planting my trail of seeds for others to follow to the realest blogger on the world wide web. There’s a lot of writers getting down for theirs on the web. A friend of mine sent me the link to this one chick out of Atlanta at www.ghettointellect.com that I think is positively off the chain! She’s intelligent, funny and real. But all ya’ll holier than thou curse word police that are easily offended? That ain’t the place you want to be, cuz you’ll probably get your feelings hurt. Some people may read her blog and think that it’s not something that a good Christian should be reading, just like some folks read servinemup and think that it’s not something a good Christian should be writing, with all the curse words and ‘n’gaz’ thrown over the place like plaster. If the world that you are living in is so isolated that you get thrown off by four letter words, then you need to get out more and volunteer at a homeless shelter or mentor some underprivileged kids and see what’s really going on out there on the street. I fully acknowledge the need for all of us to learn how to live together and love one another, but D. Wash and his ‘filthy mouth’ ain’t the problem mane, I’m grinding toward the solution. And the sad fact is that there are a lot of people that would never read this far down into the page without the occasional curse word placed in timely spots for emphasis or comedic effect. Stop hating and get in the game mane, n’gaz on the sidelines spectating always got something to SAY about the game, yet they never get IN the game and actually DO anything themselves. Have you EVER shared the link to www.servinemup.com with other’s in your email distribution? What about lately?? Hmmm..
So..my wife was telling me that everybody either thinks or knows that I’m crazy…
You even got folks thinking that we have Mr. and Mrs. Incredible outfits!!
I couldn’t help but start laughing then…
Aww baby, that’s just some gonzo journalism, it loosens people up.
She gave me one of those looks like, ‘What the hell is gonzo journalism???”
Of course, it’s easy for me to floss and act all smart like I always knew the meaning for that term, but the truth is that I only recently found out what it meant myself. Last month, a guy by the name of Hunter S. Thompson passed away, and for those who don’t know him, he was a critically acclaimed writer who some consider mastered the art of ‘gonzo journalism’. Basically it’s a form of writing and reporting, where the writer is actually a part of the story and all the events that are described aren’t quite 100% factual, there’s some embellishing and liberties taken to make the event covered more entertaining for the reader. Hunter started as a beat writer for a newspaper, then he sold a couple of stories to magazines and his big break was when Rolling Stone picked up one of his stories which eventually became his most famous book, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. The excerpt below is from the first paragraph of the book..
" We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the drugs began to take hold. I remember saying something like "I feel a bit lightheaded; maybe you should drive...." And suddenly there was a terrible roar all around us and the sky was full of what looked like huge bats, all swooping and screeching and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour with the top down to Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: "Holy Jesus! What are these goddamn animals?" Then it was quiet again. My attorney had taken his shirt off and was pouring beer on his chest, to facilitate the tanning process. "What the hell are you yelling about?" he muttered, staring up at the sun with his eyes closed and covered with wraparound Spanish sunglasses. "Never mind," I said. "It's your turn to drive." I hit the brakes and aimed the Great Red Shark toward the shoulder of the highway. No point mentioning those bats, I thought. The poor bastard will see them soon enough. "
I don’t know about you guys, but that right there is HILARIOUS to me. Of course, I’m not down with the blasphemy and using the name of the Lord in vain (I don’t do that!), but you can’t knock the talent, cuz it’s real. So after I learned out about this thing called gonzo journalism, I reflected back on my work and I realized that it shared a lot of the same characteristics. The real spooky part is that Hunter S. Thompson put a gun to his head and committed suicide. Maybe it was the drugs, maybe it was the alcohol, maybe it was the writing..I dunno. But what I DO know, is if ya’ll EVA pick up a newspaper and see a story that says, ‘Writer D.E. Washington Committs Suicide!”, ya’ll need to have the police, FBI, ATF, Coast Guard, military, congress, senate, CSI, Berretta(I hear he’s looking for work now) and all your cousins and kinfolk start an investigation, cuz somebody would have had to set me up!!
But for real tho..I know ya’ll may still be thinking,’What the hell does any of this have to do with Soul Food???” Well, it’s a simple equation really. What ever you feed your soul, is bound to be manifested in your being. Just like with real food, if all you do is eat a bunch of junk food and fast food, then it’s bound to show up in the way your body looks and feels. But ya’ll know I’ve got some real parents, and they don’t play that junk food diet thing, they're all about putting some good soul food on the table and whatever you got, you betta make sure you made a Happy Plate. But the food was always so good and off the chain, eating everything on your plate was rarely a hard task. Both my mother and my father are excellent cooks. When people roll through their house, you’re likely to see them serving something like roasted turkey wings, collard greens, okra, REAL macaroni and cheese (not that bullsh’t with the powdered cheese), hot water cornbread..coffe, tea or punch. And then my mama always has something sweet to eat, like..oh, my bad? Is this making you hungry? I know all those who are fasting for Lent, or during their 40 days of purpose may have a hard time dealing with these images right now, but don’t let me throw you off..focus on the Lord mane..focus on the Lord.
A lot of my friends know that I’m actually kinda watered down and tame right here on servinemup, they know that I have a higher gear of crazy that I can take it to, more so than what I’ve shown to date and they wonder what’s made me more..you know..’full of that Jesus talk’. I know one of the biggest fears that those who have not repented, and given their life over to the path that the Christ prescribes for all children of God to follow, is that they’re afraid of losing their identity. They like who they are and how they do it and they ain’t trying to hear nobody telling them to ‘change’. I know, because I was one of these hard headed people who didn’t want to bow down and submit. More so than fear, it’s a pride thang.
I ain’t no mf slave! I’m my OWN man!! Blah-blah-blah..
The thing most people don’t realize, is that God doesn’t want to change who you are, He made us all individually with our own Free Will. But what God does want to change is who you serve. Ya feel me? Long as you praying to that god of me, myself and I, you’re going to be stuck right there where you are. But once you bow down in obedience to the Word, that’s when you’ll be ready to get some thangs done in this world FO-REAL.
Another common complaint is that, “I’m not ready for all that right now, I’ll start getting closer to the Lord once I kick this bad habit I got.”
The problem with that, is that you ain’t about to kick nothing without the Lord’s help. God doesn’t expect any of us to approach Him as perfect people, He wants us to come with a bowed head and humble heart just as we are. As you walk toward Him, He will strengthen you and that Spirit will start working inside you to move you toward achieving your fullest potential. This ain’t something I just made up or theorized either, it’s what the Bible (Phillipians 2:12-13) says, and it’s something that I’ve seen not only in my life, but also in the lives of several of the closest people to me. I’ve seen the Lord take those same uncles that used to shoot dice with my dad
in our garage, with a washing machine full of iced down brews and I’ve seen the Spirit work in them where those same n’gaz that were down on their knees trying to catch a point, now down on their knees praying for their families and/or congregation as preachers, pastors, deacons and Sunday School teachers. That Holy Spirit is very much alive and well ya’ll, and if you don’t believe me, all I can tell you is to taste and see how sweet He really is (Psalms 34:8).
People ask me about my transformation..or my metamorphosis and how it came about. I tell them that it started with a thirst for knowledge and understanding, that could only be quenched by reading the Bible. I’m to a point now where Bible study is a part of my daily routine, I’m all the way gone on that Jesus ya’ll..my worship is not confined to Sunday’s, I seek Him everyday in prayer and meditation. But the thing is that living in this world, with the images we have in the media, on television, at the movies, on the radio..there’s a lot of things out there in our daily view that will keep us distracted from focusing on the cross. So instead we watch those booty shaking videos, porn flicks, gossip shows, people getting a laugh at the expense of hurting someone else’s feelings..we live in a world full of haters. And the only way to combat this, is by making a more directed effort to control your spiritual diet. If you’re constantly feeding yourself stuff that will ‘get your money right’..or get ‘tight abs’ or Jerry Springer and Cheaters, and you never feed that soul..then you’re going to remain in spiritual infancy. If it goes neglected over time, this spiritual need to be closer to God will begin to atrophy and harden. The next thing you know, each weekend will pass and you will become more and more comfortable without attending any worship service. Before long, you won’t even think about it unless your Grandma jams you up over the holidays as you’re going to get another helping of them greens…
You been going to church baby?
Uhh..well, I’ve been a couple of times Grandma.
A coupla times?? Boyy..you got them young kids you raising, you NEED to join somebody’s church and start taking them kids to learn about the Lawd!
I know, I know..it’s just that Sunday’s are normally our only day to relax.
Relax?? Boyy, don’t you know that if it wasn’t for the Lawd and His amazing Grace and Mercy, that you wouldn’t even have a place to lay your head to relax!!?
You can’t argue with Grandma mane..just gone and admit that she’s right and gone about your business. C’mon now, if a n’ga like ME can start going to church regularly, then I KNOW you can !! No, it’s not a requirement for entering into His kingdom in Heaven, but if you DO believe in our Saviour, then you will start heeding the call of that Word. And the Word says that obedience is better than sacrifice (I Samuel 15:22). You can be breaking off all kinda financial assistance to the homeless or sending your money to church, but the Lord wants YOU to be there..honoring the Sabbath and keeping it holy. But if you’re steady caught up in that freak action, or out playing golf, watching football, sleeping, shopping, playing dominoes, whatever it is you do on weekends and you never make time for the Lord? Then you need to think about that the next time you get on your knees asking Him for something. Yeah, God CAN hear you, but you gotta get to the back of the line, cuz there are millions of righteous folks, who pray and worship diligently who’s prayers are going in front of yours, cuz the prayers of the RIGHTEOUS availeth much (James 5:16)…ya feel me? That doesn’t mean you should stop praying, it just means you need to make your game tighter and get real in your worship.
When I first published the Abbeville Etouffee Recipe, my intent was to start publishing other recipes regularly. But after reading it one day, it occurred to me that everybody doesn’t need to be eating a dish that contains a whole stick of butter. Yeah, it tastes good, but ya’ll can’t be eating that EVERY DAY. So I had to chill on the recipe thang for a bit, at least until I can get some more cholesterol/blood pressure friendly one’s to post. But since so many people have asked me what I feed
my spirit in terms of the written word, I thought I’d list all of the books that I’ve read this past year..well, actually, since my last birthday, so it’s more like what I’ve read in the last 16 months. Now ya’ll already know that I read the Bible daily, but some have asked what translation. I read Strong’s Authorized King James Version Bible, as well as the MacArthur Study Bible. Whenever I want to dig deeper, and get off into my word study and look up the original Hebrew or Greek word or passage, I have my Strongest Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance that my parents got me for my 33rd birthday. It’s that heavy hitting gat for when you want to get DEEP off into that Word. But everybody ain’t got that kinda appetite, but hey, we are where we are. Mixed in to my Bible reading and study, I also read my weekly Sunday School lessons from UMI’s Urban Study Guide books (who’s wonderful editor Katara Washington happens to enjoy the Etouffee recipe!), as well as the Standard Lesson Commentary of International Sunday School Lessons.
I have a somewhat weird range of selections. (listed in no particular order)
Revelations, There’s a Light after the Lime – Pastor Mason Bethea
On Air Volume II – Tavis Smiley
On Being a Writer – Bill Strickland
Writing Past Dark – Bonnie Friedman
The Master Cleanser – Stanley Burroughs
God’s Vision or Television – Carl Jefferey Wright
The Five People You Meet In Heaven – Mitch Albom
Shutter Island – Dennis Lehane
The World of the Old Testament – Packer-Tenney-White
The Art of War – Sun Tzu
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
We Shall Not Sleep – Clyde Owen Jackson
On the Down Low – J.L. King
Discovering David’s Destiny – Timothy J. Winters
Do the Write Thing- 7 steps to Publishing Success – Kwame Alexander
Rich Dad, Poor Dad – Robert Kiyosaki
The Best Short Stories by Black Writers 1899-1967 – edited by Langston Hughes
The Amen Corner – James Baldwin
The Cost of Discipleship – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Lost in the City – Edward P. Jones
The Known World – Edward P. Jones
50 Years of Timeless Treasures – Dr. Gardner C. Taylor (pictured above)
Dreams from My Father – Barack Obama
The Purpose Driven Life – Rick Warren
Some people trip out that I’ve never read any modern black writers like EJ Dickey or E.Lynn Harris, but as you can see, I’ve always been partial to the historical classics. I like to study those writers who have stood the test of time and I also like to read those writers who I feel feed my soul with something real and not that junk food. When you combine that with the fact that the only time I watch TV is if I’m watching football (NFL) or golf, then you can see why I’ve been growing this past year. I’m eating that real food. I’m not flossing about it, or trying to thump my chest and show off how ‘smart’ I am, it’s just that a lot of people ask how I got to where I am in my walk and in my faith, so now you know.
Now for those who are smirking and thinking it’s a joke, let me tell you a real story to make you start tripping. I’m sure by now, everybody has heard about the guy in Atlanta who jacked a sheriff constable for her gun and went into the court room and shot the judge and the reporting clerk in the court room where he was about to go up for a rape retrial last Friday? Well, ya’ll know the police caught him after a woman who he had overpowered and forced his way into her apartment had turned him in. The wild part is that after he forced the woman into her apartment and tied her up, she started talking to him about the Bible and a book that she was reading, The
Purpose Driven Life. He made the comment that that stuff didn’t matter, because he knew that after what he had done, he was a dead man. She told him that that wasn’t true, and that God has a plan for him, even at his stage in life. She read aloud to him from the 33rd chapter of the book, How Real Servants Act. And he listened intently as she read it, so much so that he asked her to read it again. She told him that God could have planned for him to use his testimony, whether in jail or on death row, to lead other’s toward the Light. She made him pancakes and he eventually let her go free, after exclaiming that she must be an angel that God sent to deliver him. Fortunately after that, no one else was hurt and he turned himself in peacefully and without incident. But who knows what that scenario would have ended up in if she wasn’t well fed in the Word as well as Pastor Warren’s groundbreaking manifesto on the meaning of life!!
So many people want to take the short cut to happiness and peace and look for the cliff notes or abbreviated versions of Scripture, because they don’t have the time, interest or attention span to really study the Bible for themselves. Hopefully, my words can serve as an appetizer to spur someone’s appetite to pick up their Bible and start reading the Word for themselves. Some Bible scholars recommend starting with the gospel of John for those who have never read the Word, while others say start from the beginning in Genesis. No matter where you start,or how you read it, just start taking a few minutes out of your day to read and meditate on the Word. No matter your reading ability, God will meet you at your level of understanding. I know it’s a lot harder thing to do for those who have never had anyone to guide or direct them to a better understanding. I can’t empathize with your plight, because I’ve always been surrounded by strong hearted and REAL people that have rooted themselves in the Word of the Lord.
I know everybody doesn’t have the chance to read the Bible with their grandfather and discuss theological things like why Nicodemus (John 3:1-21) went to visit the Lord at night ..and I know that everyone doesn’t get a chance to go over the Sunday School lesson with their father and/or mother. But no matter where you started from, you’re here now baby and you have free will over the next step you make in your life. Gone and realize that purpose that God has meant for you and your life mane!. Welcome to servinemup ya’ll!! Hate it or love it, D.Washington is still on top!
I Was Gone For A Minute -March 14, 2005
How that song go?
“Don’t look no further..baby I’m back yeah..and dedicated to youuu”
Uhhh..I don’t think I know that song…who sings it?
I don’t know their name, I just heard it on the radio the other day..it sounded kinda catchy..especially that lil hook they got in there that says, “I was gone for a minute.”
Yeah..you should like that hook, cuz yo az been ‘gone for a minute’ on www.servinemup.com. You been kinda stingy lately..you ain’t serving it up as often as you used to.
Well, the quantity may have decreased, but I think the quality is better than ever.
I’ll give you that..everything you drop has been tight..my only complaint is that you don’t drop enough..I check in witcha everyday when I get on the internet..just to see. Cuz sometimes you do some of that crazy sh’t and put a picture up for a couple of days and just have n’gaz waiting to see what the hell you about to talk about next.
Yeah..that’s the way most visitors check in..but it’s not like there’s not material to read. If I published everything I’ve written here on the website as a Best of Servinemup book, it would be a pretty thick book.
I guess you’re right..I never thought about it like that, cuz I was go print out your recent article page and it was so long I had to turn off my printer..plus it wasn’t printing out right anyway.
I know, I don’t format my web pages in a printable format, but I know a lot of people like to print them on paper instead of reading it directly from the computer screen.
Why don’t you do that?
I dunno, a combination of things, truth be told, I’m a much better writer at this point than I am a web page designer.
You programmed your website yourself?
Kinda..this current web page is hosted by this company called www.1and1.com, you just go in and pick out templates and it allows you to change background colors, insert pictures, and stuff like that. The biggest problem is that a lot of the editing with the pictures and moving stuff around can be a bit cumbersome. But when I first started blogging, I used this service call www.blogspot.com, it was free and it let me have comments and webcounters and even photos, but it started crashing a lot and giving me days of a lot of down time when people couldn’t access my website, so I switched to a web hoster that was a bit more reliable and gave me the opportunity to add sound.
Sound? I don’t hear anything??
Not on this page you don’t, but I have the capability of adding sound on www.servinemup-ink.com, I did one post entitled I Love the Lord, He Heard My Cry with Yolanda Adams singing in the background..it was jammin. I programmed that using this software called NetObjects Fusion, which gives me a lot more power and control over everything you see on the webpage. If you’ve ever been interested in creating your own webpage, you should check out one of those spots, or maybe www.movabletype.org, all you gotta do is do a web hosting search and hundreds of those different companies will come up.
Is it hard to do?
Nah, not at all. With most of those, ‘Start your webpage TODAY!’ web hosters, all you need is internet access and all the other programming and stuff is taken care of, you just pick your template, which is like a blank form that you fill in with your own words or whatever..voila! You’ve got a website!
How do you know what to call it?
That’s up to you, you just have to submit the URL address that you want and they’ll check to make sure it’s not already registered in the database. Before I bought the web address www.servinemup.com, I tried to get www.servin.com, but somebody had already taken it, so I had to change it and resubmit.
That sounds simple enough.
It’s a great tool for anyone that ever wanted to start their own online journal to explore the writer in them. It’s a lot of in the closet writers that ain’t came on ‘out there’ yet, but blogging is a wonderful tool to step up to that microphone under the spotlight and push your work to a public audience.
I guess I never thought about it like that..the internet is like a big crowd that stops in to check out your work.
Yep..and I know everytime I drop, I’m addressing my largest crowd ever because servinemup is continually growing everyday.. Believe it or not, despite my more infrequent posting, the servinemup reader base is steadily growing larger.
I can just imagine, cuz you damn near be having me mad when you go a long time without dropping.
(smiling) You be fiending huh?
Yeah..I guess I do.
That’s good, that means I’m servin’ it up like a player is supposed to do. I know I’m kinda country and negrofied, but hey, I can only be D. I know that there are a lot of boundaries that have been historically drawn amongst different groups of people, men and women, Christian and Gentile, Player and Hater, Pimps and Hoz, but I know that I have a chance to transcend and touch both sides. The largest tool that a writer has is his experiences, cuz like my fellow Southside writer/rapper Z-Ro puts it, “I can’t teach a mf how to fly a plane, if I ain’t neva been up in the cockpit, ya feeling me mane?” That’s just how I feel, when I write, I gotta keep it real as possible, cuz it’s how I live and I’ve gotta be true to my Lord and I’ve gotta be true to me. So many people look at me with a cocked head, trying to understand the difference between the out of the closet, publicly proclaimed Christian, D.E. Washington from the n’ga they knew from back in the day.
Mane..I didn’t know D was all religious and stuff? Do you read some of that stuff he writes? He putting that Bible out there on them fools.
A lot of people have questioned me about my journey, did I see a flaming bush? Was I visited by an angel in the middle of the night? My common reply is that God definitely convicted me with a miracle before my eyes, but the miracle I witnessed didn’t just miraculously appear one day, it had always been there. It’s just that I finally reached a point in my spiritual maturity when I could finally open my eyes and see the Lord’s amazing Grace and Mercy present in my life. God didn’t just get here, He’s always been there with me, kinda like that Footprints poem, it’s just that I’m kinda hard headed and it took my black az over 30 years of living for me to finally heed the call of my Lord. A lot of religious folks will try to tell you that if you don’t go to church or participate in some form of organized worship service, then you’re a heathen and you’re going straight to hell. I’ve never believed that. Although I was born into a Protestant family, a Southern Baptist Protestant family to be more exact. The kind of folks that if yo black az go live under THIS roof and eating THIS food, you’re getting up going to chuch evra Sunday mo’nin. I rarely got much out of the church service, I always thought that it was rather boring, save those occasions when somebody ‘caught the spirit’ and started doing something wild and out of this world.
Did you see Sis. Jankins start shouting during the service this morning??
Yess Lawd!! She started jumping so high and screaming so loud that the pastor stopped preaching and was staring at her.
Do you REALLY think that was the Spirit in her..or do you think she was faking it just trying to put on a show??
I dunno..I hadn’t even thought about it like that..but I tell you what, if she was at herself, I couldn’t see her wig coming off without her stopping to put it back on.
Yeah..I guess you’re right..she was flopping all out her clothes too..I know she didn’t want everybody to know what them raggedy draws she had on looked like.
When you look at my religious bloodline, my father was born into a long standing line of Southern Baptist, but my mother grew up in one of those sanctified churches of the Holiness persuasion. For those unfamiliar, I’m talking about them folks that’s go make a joyful noise until the Lord all day and all night long, playing every instrument they can get their hands on, dancing, catching that Spirit and talking in tongues..giving their testimony..
Bishop Scott, I just want to say one thang to the chuch..cuz the Lord has been SOOOO good to me.
AMEN! GO HEAD NOW!!
Yes –suhh..I KNOW the Lawd has been good to ME!!!
Talk now!! HALLELUIA!!!
Cuz I steal somethin’ EVRA day…and I ain’t been caught yet!!!
(pause for audience laughter) Yeah mane, my family has a treasure trove of ‘church stories’ just like that..people clowning, ladies falling out and not having on no draws, men in church talking crazy on the microphone, whenever you start worshipping with other folks, you’re subjected to their own reality of fellowshipping with the Lord as well as all the other gods out there in the world that people worship. So I guess you can say my walk as an agnostic began at an early age. I saw so many janky and phony people in the church, from the pulpit,through the choir stand, through the deacon board, the ushers, I saw so many people IN the church who seemed to be demon possessed that it made me back up and become wary of all ‘organized’ religion. So instead, I kinda got into that transcendental thang..God was in ALL of us.
Now the path it took from me to go from being a solo spiritual soul, picking up on all the other folks with good energy and staying away from folks with all the negative energy is a bit of peculiar sprinkled on to a whole lot of ordinary. How I got from being kinda like my man Kung Fu and just roaming the globe as a singular soul that was unplugged from the matrix and able to discern others who had swallowed the red pill of truth from those who were still blinded in ignorance is a wild story in itself. But for all ya’ll who don’t believe that our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ didn’t get up out that grave..well, even if you don’t believe that Jesus is God, then obviously you haven’t seen the agents of evil that I’ve seen. Some of ya’ll may not believe in Jesus, but you d’mn shole know that Satan is real, we’ll see where you run to when them walls start calling your name. The world can be a very cold and lonely place mane..you betta find you a Rock to hold on to..the storm is coming and that’s fa sho. Since I’m a convicted Christian that upholds the full gospel of Christ, I believe that this world is not going to last forever. There will be a new Heaven and a new Earth, now whether that happens in my life time or maybe when that trump blows it will awake me from my rest in the presence of the Father, no matter WHEN it is, I know that the King is coming back.
Some of ya’ll don’t believe the Bible to be the complete and inerrant Word of God, don’t let your pride and laziness keep you from pursuing Him. How can you disagree with something you haven’t even read? How can you discredit a walk that you have never tried? Some have problems with the exclusive claims to salvation and ‘life eternal’ that the Christian path proclaims, but why are you letting something that’s worrying you about OTHER folks restrain YOUR thirst to grow closer to God? When judgemant day comes, He ain’t go be asking you about what other folks did, He’s going to be talking about YOU ng’a.! Hmph. Ya’ll n’gaz tripping. I was gone for a minute.
So..what do you think of that?
Mane…yo az is WILD D!!!
What do you mean?
The church lady didn’t have no draws on mane?? (laughing) Sis. Jankins!!?! Is she related to Rev. Janky???
See, that’s what I’m talking about right there. Everybody is ready to start laughing and clownin, but as soon as you read some of that real, ‘anchor your soul in the Lord’, your eyes get blurry and you act like you didn’t see it.
Naww..I saw that. You had a nice lil flow going on there, breaking down blogging and web hosting and stuff, then you opened the crowd up with a few good church jokes, then you flipped gears and went evangelical knocking on n’gaz hearts, I see ya mane..but you already know, everybody ain’t trying to face that soul in the mirror..some folks are still hiding in their own world, acting like they go live forever, not even beginning to prepare themselves for that last ride..I FEEL ya D, you’re definitely keeping it real (smiling) but you still be having them JOKES mane..it’s all good. That’s why a n’ga be ready to get ‘served’, you gotta keep feeding the audience mane..you’ve got some good soul food here!
Well, you know, I try to get down focused on my purpose. Whenever I pick up my pen and write for my Lord, I know that He has a calling for me. And being able to feel and KNOW what your purpose is in life, knowing what the Master has commanded you to do..it’s the most liberating feeling in the world to be set free through Christ. Serving Him.
Kinda like some of that Blues Brothers, ‘Mission from God’ type stuff huh?
Well..I can honestly say that I’m just glad to be a part of all this D. Seeing how you’ve grown as a writer through your blog these past years has been a wonderful ride and I for one thoroughly enjoy everything you put down on paper. I’m really looking forward to reading your first book and hopefully many more.
Yeah..I’m eagerly looking forward too, cuz my purpose is starting to crash into my present reality and I’m starting to have some problems.
What do you mean?
Well, I’m still pretty much a ‘moonlighting writer’, I have a full time job that I have to go to everyday. And we’re in the middle of a huge power move, expanding our name through the industry, so I’ve been spending a lot of time on the road lately, taking care of the business with all of our new distributors and stuff, so my time has really gotten crunched lately.
So..when do you normally write?
Usually at night, after the children have gone to bed. But the life of a writer is split, you don’t just write, I actually find that I spend a lot more time reading. Besides my daily walk, getting into that Word, I also read other authors and writers that have put it down over the years..I read and I learn. I learn different ways to express myself and different forms of literary devices that can aid the effect on the reader.
Yeah..that little thing you did for Ray was right on point, you’ve got your own unique flavor that’s 100% .D.E. Washington.
Yeah..but you know the ultimate goal is strive to be 100% Jesus. D must decrease while He increases.
Aw c’mon now, ain’t NOBODY go be 100% like HIM!! That’s impossible.
Realistically it’s impossible, but that doesn’t mean we should ever give up in our pursuit..the Scripture says we move from glory to glory. No matter how righteous you THINK you are, you still have room to grow.
I see what you mean. So is your book gonna be like one of those Christian Self-Help- Motivational type things?
I’m not going to promote it like that..I’m going to push it for the street..with some of them thangs that will make a street n’ga stop and hopefully read what D. Washington is talking about….
”I got that HOT sh’t in my hand!! Right here..getcho some Real Game in yo life!!..book brother?”
Huh? What’s that you got??
It’s a book! Gone and get this book so that you can catch up on your game mane!!
Game? What kinda game??
See..that’s just it right there podna..the game is to be SOLD, not told! This book was written by a n’ga born and raised right here on the Southside! One of them real n’gaz that know how to pimp that pen..gone and buy you some game mane..cuz if you don’t stay up on your game, you betta believe yo gal is go be up on hers!
Yeah mane! These books sell the hottest in the beauty shops and nail shops and places like that, where them hoz be sitting around under hair dryers with nothing to do BUT read, while they wait. We can’t keep them stocked enough they be fiending so hard for that D. Don’t let yo gal have some game that you don’t know nothing about..tighten yo sh’t up player..gone and buy one of em and see! He’s got this one in here called Lock Like A Pit…it’ll make yo spine start tingling n’ga this sh’t is so real. You sitting up there paying $20 for lap dances and ain’t coming away with nothing but a hard on..gone and put less than that on some game and you go be able to get them lap dances for FREE after you read this n’ga here!!
Gone and let me get one of em then.
Just one? You ain’t got no nephews or brothers or cousins or somebody like that that need some direction in their life? Maybe somebody that’s ‘out there’ a bit that may need to be steered toward some of that real that can only be found in the Lord? Don’t be selfish mane, once you get the game, you gotta make sure n’gaz who don’t know know. Cuz only a hater would find something fresh and not let their homeboys in on it. Snoop wasn’t lying mane, it ain’t no fun if the homies can’t have none…wazzup?
Alright, let me get 3 of em then.
(smiling) Shiiii….MY n’ga!!! That’s what um tawkin bout!! Three is the magic number! True players ALWAYS know what it do...cuz if you ain’t servin’ Him? Then you don’t know what’s UP!!
That little street corner marketing pitch basically sums up my plan of attack for distributing my books. I’ve got one of my childhood Southside podnas managing all of my distribution on the street, beauty shops, barber shops, hustling on the sidewalk pushing books out the trunk like DJ Screw used to push his tapes. Those who are true to that Screw know that his post-mortem success was advented by a daily grind while he was here on this earth. Seemed like every real n’ga on the Southside was always fiending for the next new Screw tape to drop. So I ‘jacked’ Screw’s and Fat Pat’s distribution model and I’m applying it to the realm of the written word. Like Pat says, ‘A n’ga got a million dollar function’..I know what I am, and I know the task that the Lord has set before me here in my life on this earth. I don’t know if I’m gonna go platinum in the first year or if it will take me 10 books just to reach gold. But what I DO know is that I’m dead game and no matter the reward that the Lord has in store for D, I know ultimately I have already received the greatest blessing, and that is my salvation through Christ which I treasure more than any commodity or status that the world could ever give me.
Ray- March 2, 2005
A couple of days after I posted Aunt C- January 15, 2005, she contacted me and we talked on the phone for a bit. I was telling her how I’d love to sit down and find out more about her experiences being one of Ray Charles backup singers, a Raelette. She quickly asked me..
You’ve seen the movie Ray..right?
Uhhh…no, I haven’t seen it yet.
Ohhh nephew! You’ve GOT to see it..it’s a wonderful story.
I was a bit embarrassed by my cinema ignorance. My wife and I rarely get a chance to go out to the movies and when we do, it’s usually with the kids. Of all the movies nominated for Academy Awards, I had only seen 3..The Passion of the Christ, which I happened to fall asleep on. This may sound strange, especially with me being a Christian and all..but it was kinda late in the evening when we went to see it and since I already knew how it was going to end, I kinda drifted off. Zzzzzz. My wife has actually come to expect me going to sleep in movies, but if I start snoring too loudly, she’ll give me that elbow to the side.
I had also already seen the Incredibles, which I THOROUGHLY enjoyed, so much so, that I didn’t even begin to nod off, not even once! That in itself is a feat with me in movies. Sometimes me and my wife have this little game we play..I get in my Mr. Incredible suit and she gets in her Elastigirl-Ms. Incredible suit and we kinda…uhh..well, I guess our fetishes really aren’t appropriate for this post..but you get the picture..we still keep that spice going in our life!
This past weekend we ventured to Beaumont, Texas to spend Saturday night with some of our relatives so that we could attend church with them Sunday morning. Since everyone was all abuzz about Jamie Foxx being the favorite to win Best Actor for his performance and they happened to have the movie on DVD (not bootleg either!), we all settled down Saturday night to watch the movie.
I realize that everyone hasn’t seen the movie and I’m not one to play movie spoiler, cuz I hate when people tell me stuff like..”Oh there’s this one part when the guy is hiding out in the bathroom..” before I’ve seen the movie, cuz I like to watch movies with an unbiased and unexpectant mind, waiting for the writer/directors art to unfold as they intended. But if a movie is already out on DVD, you can’t be tripping, that spoiler moratorium is over.
I’m sure when most Southside brothers watch the movie and if you asked them to explain what it was about, they’d probably say it was about a blind guy from Florida, who could play the piano, sing, did drugs and had a lot of women on the side and became very famous and successful. But my assessment of the movie goes a lot deeper than the topical observation, because I’m at a point in my life where I thirst to FEEL the experience. When I was at the E.K. Bailey Ministry Conference in Dallas this past summer, one of the ministers who was preaching said that EVERYONE should be able to ‘find YOURSELF in the Bible’. Of course this doesn’t mean you should start thinking that you’re Jesus or anything like that, but we all should strive to identify our personal lives with Scripture. Even beyond God’s Word, I can see the value of this morphing trait with life, people, music and movies.
So as I was watching Ray, I found myself identifying to many of the life experiences that he was going through. Of course, I can’t FEEL what it’s like to be blind or even what it’s like to be able to play the piano or shoot heroin, but I could feel the struggle that Ray was desperately determined to overcome, when it came to finding himself through his God given talents. Since Ray was not born blind and he had over 7 years of being able to see stored in his memory bank, a lot of his talents were based on his ability to listen with his ears and recreate in his mind with amazing levels of mimicry. So when you combine all of the wonderful musicians and singers that he grew up listening to, Ray had an uncanny ability to play or sound just like them. Of course, this ability to imitate will only take you so far, to really stretch the limits and be all you can be, you have to dig even deeper and find your true voice. There’s this one particular part of the movie where Ray is in a struggle between the church folks who had outcries about him mixing God’s music, gospel, with the up-tempo, get up and shake your booty in the club jazz-R&B lyrics.
When Ray is at his point of frustration, not knowing WHO to please, and even questioning if what he was doing was ‘wrong’ in the eyes of the Lord, his wife came over to him and consoled him and let him know that the Lord does not bless that which he does not approve…and Ray’s talents were definitely a God given blessing, no one could deny that fact. Now of course the hard line Bible thumpers will be quick to point out that the powers of Satan are very much at work in the world today, and a lot of things that we may conceive as blessings from God may actually be the work of the evil one. But we have this saying on the Southside which always rings true, “It ain’t what it say, it’s what it DO.”. The Bible is very descript, false prophets will always be revealed by the fruit that they bear (Matt 7:15-20). And when you see the legacy and the outpouring of love and happiness that Ray Charles has brought into this world, you know that his gift is anointed of God.
Now aside from Ray’s actually life, close attention has to be brought to the BRILLIANT job that Jamie Foxx did in making us all forget that we weren’t watching Ray Charles himself on the screen. From his mannerisms, tone and demeanor, Jamie nailed this one right on the head. It’s almost downright spooky, that this same gift of mimicry that was a part of Ray Charles life, is so evident in the spirit of Jamie Foxx. Jamie surprised a lot of people, because so many had typecast him as a comedic actor, which goes back to his days on In Living Color as the disgustingly ghetto hood rat Wanda…”I GOTCHU!!” But my experience with Jamie goes even further back to 1989, when he was a contestant at the Bay Area Black Comedy Competition in Oakland, CA. At the time, Jamie was an up and coming standup comic and he was competing against the likes of D.L. Hughely and Yvette..I can’t remember her last name, but she's the chick that played the girl who claimed to look like Janet Jackson in the movie Friday that Smokey rebutted.."Man..that girl don’t look like no Janet Jackson! She look more like FREDDY Jackson!” The show was hosted by the late Robin Harris and wouldn’t you know, Jamie went on to win! One of his key pieces in his routine, was when he sang and mimicked a gospel minister so much so that you knew he already had some serious musical ability. Those who have followed his career may even know that he attended a college in San Diego on a classical piano scholarship, so you know, that boy got some SKILLS.
But all in all, Jamie gave a killer performance in the movie, the script, as my Aunt C says, was very generous in it’s depiction of Ray and a lot of his ‘addictions’. But through it all, we all can learn a wonderful story about a black boy growing up in abject poverty in rural Florida (he was actually born in Georgia though), being subjected to some early childhood trauma, having a mother who wouldn’t let him be comfortable living life as a ‘cripple’ and going out putting in DILIGENT work to augment and fruitfully multiply the talents that God had naturally blessed him with. Ray’s story reminds us that the only limits to the heights we can attain are self-imposed. He didn’t just sit on his musical talents and expect to be paid, Ray got out there and hustled, doing gigs, getting on the road, traveling that ‘chitlin circuit’, practicing..constantly grinding to be the best that he could be. And when you sit back and look at all the different people that his music has touched, from country rednecks, to down home blues black folks and all the different countries and cultures across the globe who have felt his music, we can see that Ray’s gift, was an undeniable blessing from the Lord. I’m sure if he could read this now, (if it was in Braille of course), he’d give one of his well known smiles, shake his head and say, “HELLO!”
February 26, 2005
Wazzup everybody! A couple of readers (close friends of course) have called me out for going a whole week without posting ONE new single article on servinemup. Those of you who take the time to read through the website know that there's a significant volume of work available for all to peruse at their own leisure. But I'm working on 2 years of blogging without a vacation and I've had to take some time to recharge my batteries, as well as enjoy some good quality time with my family.
So don't worry, I haven't 'quit' or 'given up', I already told ya'll before, I'm 'dead game'..I ain't go give up til I go up. But I can show ya better than I can tell ya. I'm still that n'ga that can go informational on ya with stuff like..Prices at the Pump or Power and I can still make ya laugh with stuff like Fingerwaves and Hittin Licks and then I can hit you in the head with stuff like Soldiers in the Hood or Free Will. You might not agree with everything I say, but you definitely can't knock the hustle of D.E. Washington, cuz I'm steady Grinding.
February 17, 2005
I was driving along in my car yesterday and I happened to catch the last part of Dr. Tony Evan’s radio show. My spirit had been running a bit heavy, because I had been wrestling with today’s post..changing and rearranging..editing and cutting, trying to fix the words to say what I wanted them to say, but it just wasn’t coming out right. I was stuck. And it’s not like I didn’t have anything to write, like the dreaded ‘writer’s block’ or anything like..quite the contrary, I’ve been writing a lot. But sometimes after I write a piece, I’ll step back and examine it and think, ‘Ain’t no way I can publish THAT for other people to see’ Whether it’s because of observed tendencies toward schizophrenia or evidence of idiotic rambling, I know that I have a tendency to be ‘out there’ a bit. This isn’t a new phenomena..as a young boy, right before my mother would release me from her watchful eye, whether it was dropping me off in the care of a friend or family member, she would always look at me with sharpened eyes and say, “Alright now…don’t be over there acting like you ain’t got no sense.” For some reason she always made a point to tell ME this..because she knew I had a tendency to get ‘caught up’ in my fervent pursuit of enjoying life. There were many days that I came to her for aid, with one of my many bloody noses or knotted up forehead from running into walls, doors, whatever happened to be in my way as I was running through, doing my thang.
My father would often observe me during these frequent bouts of haphazard clumsiness and societal aloofness with a confounded amazement. .I was so much into my own world, that my most frequent responses were ‘Huh?’ and ‘What?’he would often look at me and shake his head…
Something ain’t right with that boy…he act like he retarded or somethin’.
It got bad enough that my mother decided to have me examined to make sure I wasn’t going deaf or had some kind of inner ear disorder or something. After I took all the tests and passed them with flying colors, the doctor came in and told my parents that my hearing, reasoning and motor skills were perfectly normal..
He hears you, he’s just not listening.
Once we left that doctor’s office that day, my mother made a point to take out those doctor’s fees she had to pay on my behind. And wouldn’t you know it..after a couple of weeks of feeling that heat, I was miraculously cured!! Wasn’t anymore “Huh?’ or What?..that ‘act right’ they put on me changed all that to, ‘Yes MA’AM!’ and ‘Yes SIR!!’ God is good ya’ll…ALL the time. He knows what you need, before you even need it. Some people say that God works in mysterious ways..which IS true..at times. But there are also times, when you can see His hand so gracefully in motion in your life and it will make you say ‘Thankya Lord’. Because I know that my parents have been one of those supreme blessings that put me on that other level of the game of life. I’m not putting them on a pedestal and proclaiming them as the perfect couple or the perfect parents, I’m just telling ya’ll that I’ve got some real az parents..they ain’t got to front to kick it.
I’ve spoken of my father many times here on www.servinemup.com, he’s one of those Real Fathers, I love him to tears and it’s really a blessing to be able to learn how to be a man from a strong-hearted spiritual brother in Christ like my father is. So many black men have disconnected or strained relationships with their fathers, which I can definitely understand, because my father and I have lived in the same house as strangers before. Barely even speaking in passing of each other..but that’s just part of the male-macho dynamic. But even through these periods of coolness, there was always love and respect. Our relationship is actually getting better and better everyday, as we’re able to celebrate the family and exalt the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on one accord. I know a lot of men ain’t got it like that, even the ones who have a civil and amicable relationship with their fathers, often have some division that keeps them at arms length with their affection..whether political difference or contrasting theological opinions, there’s usually something hindering the two from opening those floodgates of love and letting it all hang out. You don’t have to pace yourself with pure love, you go as hard as you can until you go to sleep and if the Lord blesses you to wake up in the morning, you get out of bed and go hard AGAIN. That’s part of being dead game…Believers don’t give up til we go up.
So..where was I?? Off on one of those rambling safaris again..oh yeah..I was listening to Tony Evans, and he gave a wonderful analogy regarding today’s epidemic of ‘prosperity preachers’. You know..those ministers and people out there who are all about that ‘ching-ching’ but they’re using the Word of God as an ends to their ultimate means.
Come to church so you can get your blessing!!
Pay your offerings and tithes and God will reward you so much that your storehouses will be overflowing!!
Pray like Jabez so that you can increase your land AND get a new house!
It’s not that God doesn’t want His children to be blessed here on earth…but material gain is not THE reason that we worship Him. Dr. Evans used the analogy of being a traveling father, who would always return home to wonderful hugs from his kids whenever he returned home from an out of town business trip. Eventually, he began to make it a habit to always bring a toy or special treat for the kids..so he’d get 2 hugs..one for arriving and then a 2nd one once the kids saw their gifts and hugged him again with gratitude and love. But then after awhile of this the mood changed..when he arrived home, his welcome went from ‘yaaaay..daddy’s home!’ to ‘Yaaay..daddy’s home..didja get us something?’ to the eventual..’What didja get me??” as soon as he arrived. That first hug for just being home went away, no gift..no hug. That’s how God sees His children in regards to the blessings that He can bestow on us. He doesn’t want us to get so caught up in the gifts, that we forget the ultimate prize of being near Him..and hugging Him close to our heart.
I really liked that analogy..because I could FEEL it. It made me understand better..gave me a more tangible construct of attitude to strive toward. Because I often ponder the ‘jankiness’ in me..you know..being a writer..quoting Scripture and expounding on the Word of God, but yet trying to get paid. There is a line to be drawn..how real can you be to your past, to your people, your hood, while at the same time remaining true to your Lord? Many people showed up here at www.servinemup.com because a fellow Christian or a Christian that’s been ministering the gospel to them passed them the link..
You need to check this brother D. Washington out…his language can be a bit risque’, but his theological exposition of the gospel is very thought provoking.
So for that, I realize that it’s not ME that’s causing the website to grow, all I had to do is lift up His Word, God is the one that’s drawing people in and for that I am grateful for the ultimate blessing of being used as a tool of the Good Shepherd. All sheep know the sound of their Master’s voice..so whenever you use the Bible, in quotes or illumination, then it will make people stop and listen. That’s how so many of the prosperity ministers ‘lure’ the unsuspecting and unlearned sheep into their snare of personal gratification. It’s kind of wild when you think about it..people think that Satan is some cloven hooved red devil with horns and a tail, but most often he appears as a man of God..quoting Scripture and making it sound GOOD to ya..all the while leading people toward the pursuit of that fools’ gold. You know when you put gold to fire, the most precious part of the metal gravitates TOWARD the flame and all the impurities try to get away from the heat. That’s why it’s so important to READ the Bible for yourself..prayerfully with a teachable heart..study to show thyself approved. Because once you get rooted in that Word, you’re less susceptible to someone peeing on your head, but all the while telling you it’s raining. You ain’t gotta fall for that okey-doke..real never goes out of style!
So with that in mind, I constantly pray to the Lord for direction..I pray David’s prayer in Psalms 19:14
..”Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart, be acceptable in Thy sight..O Lord..my strength and my Redeemer.’
As much as I may joke and clown..I don’t ever want ya’ll to think for one minute that I’m not serious about my conviction in Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of us all. I know there are various faiths present here..Christians, Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Buddhist, Atheist,Agnostics..some are coming to get served some spiritual food, some are coming to get a laugh..some are coming by just to check out their homey get down for his on the world wide web.
I used to post the Sunday School Lessons from our class every week, but I started getting some strange emails from people requesting copies of my church programs and stuff. My only problem with that, is that I knew that the ministry God has called me to perform is not constrained to a building or pulpit. God wants to use our testimonies to draw other people toward Him. And I know my ability to crack a joke or two has it’s way of entertaining and engaging readers to read a bit more. So many people attempt to read the Bible, but after a few begats it’s ZZZZZZZZZZ…knocked out. Some of this is due to limited reading skills, but more often than not it’s due to lack of conviction, laziness and selfishness. People don’t have the time to read the Bible..it’s too thick..it’s too big…it’s too confusing.
That’s where me and my purpose comes in..because I know that if I can mesmerize that person who does not know the Lord with some of my Southside Houston-Stanford educated game, then they’ll be set up for that knockout punch of realness that the gospel of Christ packs. Of course, this has caused some good going ‘church folks’ to outcry with complaints about me using curse words or showing pictures with me holding a beer bottle in my hand..but hey, you can’t please everybody. Besides, all those sanctified and holy folks aren’t the ones I’m fishing for anyway..I’m trying to land that soul that’s floundering in the sea of futility and dead ends. Those souls out there that’s eager to grasp on to something that’s real.
One of the principals at one of the high school’s here on the Southside of Houston used to get on the school PA system every morning and always close his remarks with,
They say you can lead a horse to the water, but you can’t make him drink..but I always go a step further and push the horses’ head down in the water..that way the choice is more imperitave..either drink or drown.
Along with the counsel of my parents, I also have a couple of uncles who are ministers who I can always call for a word of encouragement or direction for those times when my path seems murky and I need to lean on another for fellowship. One of these uncles actually has a lot to do with me being able to write today. When I first started kindergarten, he used to pick me up everyday when class was over. From time to time I’d have a note from the teacher that I was supposed to give to my parents. Since I wasn’t reading then.and I really wasn’t all that interested in learning, I’d always hand him the note so that he could tell me what it said. More often than not, he’d get the note and his eyes would start bulging as he read it…
What? What is it??
This note say you been acting up in class…yo mama and daddy go whup your butt!!
Of course this would cause my stomach to start doing those flip-flops with that nervous anticipation of a being in trouble seemed to bring and I’d have that worry all the way home..only to find out that the note was something harmless like a ‘Pack a sack lunch for the field trip Friday’ or something like that. I got so tired of being ‘tricked’ by him, that I decided then and there to learn how to read for myself.
Well, this same uncle also is like a big brother and confidant to me and he also happens to be pastor of one of the larger black churches in Port Arthur, Texas, the honorable Rev. Lloyd W. Scott, Sr. Of course, some people will laugh and smirk at the ‘honorable’ part..but can’t nobody say that this n’ga can’t preach. I had been receiving a lot of those, “I can’t BELIEVE you call yourself a Christian!” emails one week and I began questioning myself. How janky was I?? Was I part of the problem? Was I wrong in my application of God’s purpose for D?? My uncle just happened to call me and it wasn’t long before I was explaining my dilemma to him…
So what’s the problem?
I dunno..I guess I’m just freaked out..I never want to lead people the wrong way..or weaken the message by the frailties of my walk.
Oh…uhh..so what’s the problem?
I guess I’m just trying to use my real voice and it’s facing a lot of opposition.
You talking about curse words?
Yeah..I try to stay real..but then when I have to ‘clean up’ and act like we in church..I feel sanitized and bland.
You ain’t even the kind of n’ga that say a lot of curse words!
I know..but when I write..I have to use other characters and conversations that’s not always something I would say in mixed company. So it comes across as conflicting to the gospel to some people.
Aww %$#@!! You ain’t gotta worry about that! Ain’t nothing you do that's go please EVERYBODY, there’s this one preacher up in New Jersey that’s so crazy, that he even says ‘mf’ in the pulpit and there’s another one that frequently refers to Jesus as ‘that n’ga from Nazarene’!!
Nephew..listen to your uncle…cuz I’m crazy, but I do have SOME sense now..no matter what it is you do, if you’re worried about your message, there’s one simple litmus test you have to pass to go forth.
After you get through doing what you do..and all is said and done..ask one simple question..’Who gets the glory’??
Who gets the glory??
That’s right Emma Lee! ‘Who gets the glory’? If the answer to that question ain’t Jesus..then you’ve got a problem. But as long as you know you’re glorifying His name..you’re fulfilling your purpose missionary. Ya hear me?
I don’t push my product to churches and religious groups …instead I’m pushing to those blockbleeders on the corners, those hoopers on the basketball court, those n’gaz banging down MLK with a bag full of sweets, that crowd at the club on those $2-You-Call-It drink special nights, ready to pick up a freak and jet to the mo for an hour or two, that single parent looking for hope and salvation from their ocean of struggle..I’m servin’ in the hood ya’ll and I’m preparing my line for a nice catch. The wild part is, even if I only sold one book in my lifetime and ONE person is brought closer to Christ through the words of D.E. Washington..I will have succeeded in the mission that the Lord has laid so clearly upon my heart.
Speaking of hearts..since we just had the Valentine’s Day money exchange..you know, rose peddlers, candy makers, restaraunts, jewelers and greeting card publishers just got PAID on February 14th..I thought I’d roll Rev. Janky on out there next for ya’ll a bit, then we can get a little bit deeper into that Word in regards to matters of the heart. I know a lot of people assume that me and my wife are an ideal couple, but what so many of ya’ll don’t realize is the struggle and hard work it took for us to get to this point in our lives. You gotta be ready to put in some HARD WORK, if you want to make your relationship last mane, and that's FO-REAL.
February 11, 2005
Several servinemup.com readers have sent me questions like, "What does the Bible have to say about when your wife don't want to give you none?" and stuff like that. I actually consider it an honor that people would respect my Biblical knowledge and practical thinking enough to ask my opinion on such matters. So as I get my responses together for the various questions I've received concerning marriage, I thought you guys could re-familiarize yourselves with my own 'Dr. D' marriage observations. I've done 3 posts on marriage, Marital Bliss-March 12, It Takes Two To Make a Thing Go Right - July 20 and this one from July 23 for you to read while I get my common marriage questions and responses together. It sounds like a job for DJ Get-Wit-Cha..or maybe Rev. I.B. Janky..hmmm
And the Two Shall Become One - July 23
That's me and my wife.
She's very pretty.
Thank you..I think so too.
She doesn't look like she's mad at you..
What is that supposed to mean?
You know..after all that stuff with you coming home late with that dominoe game.
Oh..that...man we moved on past that AWHILE ago.
That's good man, it's always good to see a happy couple. So many folks walking around treating each other bad and doing each other wrong these days, it's good to see a couple getting along. What do you think ya'll key is?
For us it started with finally realizing and understanding God's plan for marriage.
What does that mean?
We went to a very informative Christian marriage seminar and we really learned how the 'two, shall become one'.
Yeah..so when you get a spiritual mate like that, you can grow together and it makes you stronger. That way, when stuff like 'the dominoe incident' happens, you're strong enough to deal with it, without it doing any damage to your relationship, because you are one.
Man! That Christian stuff must have SOMETHING to it..all of that sounds good and how it SHOULD be. I mean, a man should be able to do whatever the hell he wants to do. I'm not no Bible scholar or anything, but I KNOW that the Bible says that women are supposed to submit to men.
No..that's not what it says..it says:
12 Wives submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Savior of the body. 24 Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Ephesians 5:22-25 NKJV
See! That's it right there..they supposed to DO what the man say..with EVERYTHING!! The problem with so many of these women today is that they don't want no man telling them sh't. Just cuz they make they own money, they think THEY run thangs!
I wouldn't agree with that. I don't think it's as much about money as it is about self-respect. If a woman isn't used to a man handling his business and loving her as he loves himself? Then more than likely she would be reluctant to submit to that man. But if you get you a Godly woman, who is committed to following the natural order, then the submit thing is no longer an issue, you can move on past that. The key though, cuz we learned this in that Christian marriage seminar we went to, the key is the man. It all starts with the man lining up to God and doing what he's supposed to do:
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word. 27 that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife, loves himself. Ephesians 5:25-28 NKJV
Yeah..I hear all that. But them women STILL need to learn how to submit.
Some do..but even more men need to learn how to submit to God's will.
Who side you on??? You sound like one of those 'feminist' type dudes?
Really?? (laughing) that's funny, a lot of my friends think I'm one of those male chauvinst type dudes.
Well..you must be man enough, you ain't had to deal with your wife still bringing up sh't like 'dominoe night'
You're right, I don't have to deal with that..but that probably has to do with the fact that I haven't played dominoes since then.(laughing)
Naww..I'm just playing..uhh..well, actually, I'm not. Cuz lately all I do is read or write in all my free time.
Read or write?
Yeah..that's pretty much the life of a writer. Some folks run, lift weights and workout, I read, think and write.
That's real..I enoy reading your website, I can't wait to read your book.
Thanks bruh, I just appreciate all ya'll coming out to watch me work on my game here at Servinemup.com.
Vote for TraderMike! - February 8, 2005
For all those who are into the financial space, stock market trends, gaps and trader info, I hope you stop by and check out one of my Stanford bruhs at www.tradermike.net
Mike was actually the person who got ME into the blogging world and I owe him a lot for all of his help and direction. If you check out his spot, you'll see a very detailed and thorough financial blog that is not TOO intimidating, although he will have some stuff on there that will make your head swim if you're unfamiliar with the trading realm. But the good thing about his blog, is that his detailed analysis is very reader friendly and he's more than willing to answer comments and questions directed his way.
He's currently in a closely contested race, so make sure you vote for him!
"My weblog (http://tradermike.net/) has been nominated for "Best Financial Industry/Investment Blog" in the 2005 Business Blogging Awards. So far it's been a pretty tight race. I'm up against three professional money managers, one of which is on TV a few times every week and writes for various newspapers. So I'd appreciate you helping me to "slay Goliath" :-) by voting for me here - http://tinyurl.com/4vqox" - TraderMike
Supabowl Parties- February 7, 2005
One of the goals I strive to accomplish with servinemup.com, is to make sure I touch on current social and political events that are happening around the world, such as the elections in Iraq or the joint meeting of the 4 different National Baptist Conventions. Of course this means I have to read different newspapers and various media (internet, TV, radio, etc) outlets that serve up the information for the day. The bad part about it, is that once you start reading about all the things going on in the world, the wars, the diseases, the famine as well as the thousands of atrocities committed every day, it all has it’s way of making you want to grow closer to God. Because once you open your eyes and see all of the demons and evil forces that are so active in the world, it will freak you out a bit and incline visions of living on an isolated island away from all of the perils of society.
Some people remain blissfully ignorant..
I don’t watch the news, I don’t read the newspaper, I don’t know NUTHIN and I like it just like that!
While others start paying greater attention to what’s really going on in the world and then they get paranoid. Some even to the extent of barricading themselves and their family away from the rest of the world. I have my moments, from time to time, when I read or see news so disturbing, that it will make me seek refuge through prayer and reading the Bible.
6-week old infant sexually abused by mother’s boyfriend!
Scam artist steals elderly couple life savings!
There’s some sick and twisted people in this world ya’ll and we’ll never have enough jails to keep them locked and isolated away from the rest of the population. So for those who don’t have a safe haven of refuge, a place where they can go and be reassured that ALL things work together for good for those who love God, for those who are called according to His purpose, I pray for you too. Because when those storm winds start blowing, you better have a plan to come on in out of that rain. You gotta have faith in SOMEthing mane…or else there is no hope.
Now of course, all news isn’t dreary and depressing. There are some occurrences that happen in life that will make you smile and say, “Hoorayy for the good guys!” Feel good pieces if you will. I can only go so long with reading of the latest shootings, armed robberies and murders in the metropolitan section of the paper before I need to come up for a breath of fresh air. When I write my blogs here on servinemup, I always try to have an encouraging tone in the background, Jesus lives ya’ll..the tomb is empty!
All of the people who visit servinemup DON’T recognize Jesus as their Lord and Savior, some people get upset just to see those words.
There he goes again with all that Christian evangelizing!! Why is it, that whenever someone believes in Jesus they feel the need to ‘enlighten’ everyone else about Him??
When you embrace Jesus into your heart, it will give you a charge of love and hope and you really know when you’ve ‘got it’, when you want to go out and tell everyone who doesn’t know, about the Amazing Grace and Mercy of the Lord. It’s part of the call to discipleship. Too many people allow hypocritical church going folks or prosperity preachers to turn them away from really learning about the full gospel. From pedophile priests to whoremongering preachers, there are a myriad of problems in the church that cause people to shun organized religion and instead just ‘do their own thang’. When you read the Bible, you’ll learn that this isn’t a new phenomena to the world, the last verse of the book of Judges reads:
In those days, there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes. – Judges 12:25 KJV
So even way back after the children of Israel had entered the Promised Land, people were shunning religion and organized worship and just doing their own thang. I’ve never considered myself a religious person, but I do consider myself a spiritual person. I pray, I meditate, I study the Bible daily, and I diligently seek Him. And right in the midst of growing stronger in the Word, I realized that I looked pretty stupid going to God in prayer, asking Him for blessings, when I knew I wasn’t obeying all of His commandments, which includes honoring the Sabbath. Of course we can all turn on our TV and hear some Joel Osteen or T.D. Jakes or whoever is on, preach the Word and get our ‘church’ on. But this does not negate the need to join in fellowship with a church body of Believers. The actual act of GOING to church is still a sensitive subject with a lot of young folks and men, mainly because Sunday is for FOOTBALL!! Right?
I’m sure there’s a lot of folks sitting in those church pews every Sunday thinking about kickoff, ready to watch Mike Vick do the fool, or ready to watch Ray Lewis hit somebody. I like football too! But once I became a father and I started observing my kids growing up in this increasingly sinful and immoral world, I knew I wanted them to have the foundation of knowing the Lord and His Word. Because there’s a lot of places that I have been in my life, that would have taken me into a lot darker roads if not for my childhood training in the Bible and the ways of the Lord. I didn’t want my children to be devoid of this ultimate ‘grip’. So my wife and I started sending our children to Sunday School, but we’d stay home. Then my wife started going and I was staying home..doing MY thang.
Ya’ll football freaks know how it goes on Sunday mornings in the NFL season..wake up in time to eat some breakfast and watch pre-game shows. By the time those noon kickoff games come around..PSSSHTT!! That’s the sound of a cold one popping open and you get that good long first swig in..you know, the game is better when you got your ‘mind right’. Kids come home from church and see you in your spot on the couch, doing ‘your thang’, you might even ask them if they had fun in church, but right when the commercial goes off, you’re right back into the game..doing your thang.
This is not a diatribe against football fans, because I’m one of them. I really do enjoy watching the games. But for those who are fooling themselves into thinking they’re part of the family of God, but yet they’re not making ANY effort to worship or praise Him in the fellowship of other Believers, whether it’s at Sunday School, 11 o’clock service, Saturday night worship service, prayer meeting, Bible study..if you ain’t giving ANY of your time to Him? Then you need to check yourself and be real. The most dangerous lies are the ones we tell ourselves. With the multitude of church services in America, there’s SOME fellowship that has a worship schedule conducive to your weekly routine. Once you start giving God some of your TIME..that’s when He’s going to grab you even closer to Him so that you can feel just how good He really is.
Now the good thing about the Superbowl, is that it doesn’t start until the evening, so you can go to church, get your praise on and be back in front of the television READY to enjoy the game! The Superbowl is a huge social event here in America, especially here on the Southside of Houston Texas. People throw Superbowl parties, everybody comes over hyped, smiling, and ready to enjoy the game, eat some good food and enjoy the fellowship of other football fans and friends. My wife and I have our ‘road dogs’ that we hang out with..either they’re at our house or we’re at there’s. Somebody might be firing up the bar-b-que pit or it might be a big pot of chili or gumbo on the stove, cooler full of dranks..it’s a PARTY!
It’s always good to find a group of people that like to kick it like you like to kick it. Good food, good drinks, big fun and a lot of laughs. This camaraderie is a large part of enjoying life, because no matter how successful you are, if you don’t have anyone to share it with, your joy will be limited. So I hope all of you out there had a nice Superbowl weekend, and now that the football season is over, you might want to
take this time to reflect on your fellowship life. Since there won’t be any football games on until the late summer, you just got a lot more free time on your hand on Sunday mornings. Why don’t you gone and call that audible and redirect the play toward the Lord? There’s no better time than now, cuz in case you haven’t heard, Satan and his legion of angels are in an all out blitz! They’re trying to get your soul mane, you better call Jesus for that ‘max protect’ scheme..He’s the only way you can win.
Politics and Religion II - February 3, 2005
When I decided on the title for today’s post, I was still tinkering a bit with the manner I was about to ‘serve it on up to ya’ll. But I happened to start glancing through some of my past posts and I realized that I have already done a post entitled ‘Politics and Religion’. I dunno..maybe I’ve lost a brain cell or two over the years, but although the title has already been done, there are still some things I wanted to say that fall into that category.
If you’re ever in a group and you’re looking to liven up the discussion? Just start talking about politics or religion..both topics have a way of setting people off…(this is where I break off into a dialogue between two unnamed people):
What the hell do you mean you voted for Kerry???
Bush ain’t trying to do nothing for black folks mane…just like the rest of those Republicans, black folks supposed to vote Democrat..that’s what Lincoln was, that’s what Kennedy was, that’s what Roosevelt was and that’s what Clinton was…I’m black and I ALWAYS vote Democrat!
You sound like one of them ignant az n’gaz that don’t understand sh't about how the world really works, cuz first of all Lincoln was a Republican! Kerry ain’t no ‘man of the people’, he’s a rich white man just like the rest of em, he don’t give a d’mn about Black and poor folks who can’t find a decent paying job with good benefits, he’s got a different coat than Bush, but underneath they’re all the same. Green is the only color that matters mane..whoever controls the most money has the most power.
So that’s why you voted for Bush?
I voted for Bush for a number of reasons..I thought he was the best candidate to uphold our traditional family values and our country is at war right now and despite all of the things I don’t like about Bush and his administration, I understand that when a family is at war, we all have to suck it up and stand behind our leader as a united front. Once we start breaking ranks and attacking our own, it’s just like helping the enemy.
Don’t you realize that a large part of the world thinks that George Bush and American capitalist ARE the enemy!!
Yeah..they might SAY that, but if that’s the case, how come everybody is trying to live here??! Look, I’m not trying to defend George Bush, hell, for all I know, he MIGHT be the devil! All I’m saying is that as long as we have thousands of our troops overseas risking their lives to defend the freedoms that we enjoy, I think it’s very important for us to come on one accord and work together toward doing whatever it is we have to do to bring our soldiers back home as soon as possible.
Kerry would have gotten the troops out of Iraq sooner!!
Maybe..but you gotta realize what’s going on over there right now. They’re trying to establish a democracy in a land that has been under dictators and oppressors for hundreds of years. The rest of the middle east is definitely watching Iraq closely, because if a respected democratic system can be established, it has the potential to send a resounding democratic ripple in other middle eastern countries.
Do you really think that’s going to work?? I mean, as it is now, you know all the Iraqis and other Muslim countries feel that whatever government is put in, it will be a puppet who’s strings were controlled by the Bush administration.
I don’t know..because democracy is only part of the problem, Iraq has some serious religious and ethnic factions amongst its people that is playing a large part in all of the unrest in the country too.
Huh? I thought they were all Muslim??
Yeah, they're mostly Muslim..but some are Sunni, most are Shi’ite and then you also have a large population of ethnic Kurds who want their own government too…so it’s a lot of different sh’t going on at the same time.
I didn’t know Muslims had different groups..I thought they were all on one accord?
Naww, all Muslims aren‘t going around trying to blow up people in the name of Allah, most Muslims are very peaceful people. When you look at the 3 major religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam, they all have different denominations or factions. Just like Christians branch into Protestants and Catholics and then under the Protestants you have Methodist, Baptist, AME, 7th Day Adventist, Mormons, etc. other religions also have their various particular ways in which they recognize God.
Yeah..that’s kinda wild to think..most wars and bloodshed all trace back to someone acting ‘in the name of God’.
Yeah..that is a trip. That’s why I make sure to pray for our leaders here in America and around the world, they really need it.
Whenever you start talking about a political subject like Iraq, it can stir up some deep seeded emotions that will bring out the most volatile emotions in people. I always try to make sure that the other person knows that I respect their right to whatever political, religious or social view they might have, but in the same token, I’m not about to let somebody pee on my head and try to convince me that it’s raining..ya feel me?
Most people’s political and religious foundation are formed at home during early childhood development. Both my parents and grandparents are staunch voters. They might like nairn candidate on the ballot, but they’ll make sure to vote for SOMEbody. Unfortunately, this political activism of voting is still lost on a lot of the black population, especially the younger generations. Too many people are so swept up in their own world, that they have a callous of apathy surrounding their heart when it comes to politics and they remain inactive. Everybody doesn’t’ have to run for election, but at the very least, every black person should get out and exercise their blood-won right to vote. When I touched on this same issue in Born With A Grip, I made sure to ask people before and after the election if they voted. Of course, most people were quick to say ‘yeah..I voted’. But looking at the election returns, it’s obvious that a lot of them where lying.
Since then, I have been approached by different people inquiring about my political and/or religious aspirations:
You might want to run for a political office..be a Senator or something D!!
When I was in college, I served as an officer (Secretary, 90; President 91’) in the Stanford Society of Black Scientist and Engineers (SBSE) and after that I was the Region VI Northern Vice Chair for the National Society of Black Engineers. I learned a lot in all of those capacities, but that year as President let me know then what my political limits where. When you’re leading an organization, you have to deal with both the internal (domestic) issues like: study groups, regional and national conferences, gender issues as well as external (foreign) issues like: getting corporate sponsors, school funding. Etc. Being in the forefront makes you responsible to everybody, because no matter what happens, bottom line is that it’s your signature on the bottom of the page.
To some extent you have to learn to detach your feelings and just be about the business, but somehow I’m just not that kind of guy that can close my heart completely. This inability to just go ‘cold-blooded’ has definitely hindered my climb up the corporate ladder, but I’m much more interested in being able to get a good night’s sleep knowing that I didn’t’ f’k over anybody the day before. Unfortunately, a position as powerful as being the President of the United States of America does not always have this luxury of conscious. Because I’m sure G.Dubya has to make some tough decisions at times and invariably SOMEBODY feels the short end of the stick. Fortunately we live in a country that still allows freedom of speech (to some extent), so those who have a beef have the liberty to voice their issues. But these hard decisions often boil down to what Col. Nathan Jessup (played by Jack Nicholson) said in A Few Good Men.."You can’t handle the truth!"
I’ve also been approached from the other end of the scale:
Mane D..with the way you know how to break the Bible down, you could be a preacher!
Believe it or not, I’ve never considered myself a religious person. When I went to church as a child, I went because my mother and grandmother MADE me go. Those summers going to church every Sunday in Arkansas was almost like torture to me. It wasn’t that I was the anti-Christ or anything like that, I just never liked structure. Sunday was the only day of the week that I had to comb my hair and put on uncomfortable clothes and shoes and go sit up in some stuffy church listening to some fat sweating Baptist preacher screaming that everybody was going to hell if they didn’t repent. Going to church was a waste of a perfectly good weekend day as far as I was concerned. It wasn’t until after I had kids of my own that I realized just how important my church upbringing was for me in my life. Because once you start going through some of those real life pains..legal issues, money problems, marriage woes, baby -mama drama, sick children..it will make you get down on your knees and seek Him. And as much as I knew how important my religious foundation was in getting me through a LOT of tough obstacles in life, I wanted to make sure my kids had the same training so that they could have something to lean on when they get out there in the world on their own.
I posted a Statement of Faith on my website, because I wanted people to really feel what I believe. I think that it’s every reader’s right to know the theological stance of a political writer. Although I was raised in a Baptist church and my wife and I are raising our kids in a Baptist church, I’m not one of those people that thinks that everybody that ain’t Baptist are heathens. When you research the history of the Baptist church, some will trace it back to the Anabaptist movement, but I prefer to trace it’s origin of principle all the way back to John the Baptist, the ‘voice in the wilderness’. Full immersion baptism is a part of the faith, unlike a lot of other denominations. But instead of harping on the differences, I just try to find our common bond in that full gospel of Jesus Christ. When I pick up my Bible, I don’t read it as a historical text or as a ‘mostly true’ volume, I read it as the inspired Word of God. Sola Scriptura..the Bible and the Bible only.
This past week saw a historical event take place amongst the black American Baptist community. Black Baptist churches in America are divided amongst 4 different conventions and they all met up together in Nashville in a long overdue display of solidarity. But even the reality of having such a divided congregation of believers in the church let’s us know that no matter the forum, politics always plays a vital part, ESPECIALLY in religion.
One of the biggest questions I had to field when I served as an Officer for NSBE was..
Why do the ‘black’ engineers have to separate themselves from the rest of the school’s engineers?
For some reason, it unnerved some white folks to see black folks congregating together as a group.
What’s this all about? Who’s playing the rap music and eating fried chicken? Can white engineers join?
Of course, I always made sure to smile and assume a non-threatening posture as I calmly replied..
We’re just like a family that gathers to lend each other support and camaraderie through our mutual ethnic lineage of the African-American experience.
I often had to make a concerted effort not to just get pissed off at all of the stupid questions and just yell out…SOMETIMES WE DON’T WANT TO BE AROUND WHITE FOLKS!!
This definitely touches on that sensitive vein of racial intolerance that is a double swinging gate in 2005. There’s some white folks who don’t like black folks and they’re some black folks who don’t like white folks, it goes both ways. Now everybody has their own different ways they justify it,’Mane, I seen them white folks do my grandma bad.’ Or ‘Some black boys robbed and assaulted my sister!’ and all kind of incidents which trigger that vein of hatred that has the potential to consume anyone whose soul isn’t anchored in the Lord. But whenever you have a group of people that have been oppressed and enslaved, then they will inherently learn to trust no one but their own. Some of this is learned by experience, some by inherited social myopias.
A perfect example is found in the remarks that Israel’s Prime Minister Ariel Sharon made last week during a ceremony commemorating the 60 year anniversary of the fall of the Nazi death camp, Auschwitz. When Sharon got onto the podium, he said that Jews should always remember that when the Nazis starting purging Jews through death camps and gas chambers, the rest of the world watched without 'lifting a finger' to help. So from that lesson, Jews learned that they can only depend on themselves. As an African-American slave descendent, I feel that ALL the way. But as a Christian, I know that our heart should strive to be bigger than that myopic view of past generational pains. That doesn’t’ mean we’re supposed to completely forget, because there’s definitely a line of wariness to be drawn when deciding just how much you’re going to trust a person, no matter WHAT color they are, even your own.
National Baptist Joint Mid-Winter Board Session
Theme: Christ's People Empowered to Witness as One
January 24-27, 2005
· NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION, USA, INC.
President: Rev. William J. Shaw
Membership: 7.5 million people
Headquarters: Nashville, TN
· PROGRESSIVE NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION
President: Rev. Major L. Jemison
Membership: 2.5 million people
Headquarters: Washington, D.C.
· NATIONAL MISSIONARY BAPTIST CONVENTION OF AMERICA
President: Rev. Melvin V. Wade Sr.
Membership: 1,100 churches
Headquarters: Los Angeles, CA
· NATIONAL BAPTIST CONVENTION OF AMERICA
President: Rev. Stephen J. Thurston
Membership: 5,000 churches
Headquarters: Shreveport, LA
January 25, 2005 - The Godfather
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January 21, 2005
Your Aunt C sounds like a real cool lady D.
She really is.
I’d love to go see her perform.
You should do that! Just check out her calendar that lists her upcoming performances on her website www.cynthiascott.com., you never know when she’ll be in a city near you.
Alright I will! And you’re right about the invaluable strength gained by seeing someone else pioneer a new frontier..it’s a strengthening thing that let’s others know they CAN achieve.
Do you have any musical talents?
What do you mean?
You know..can you sing or play any instruments?
Nahh..the best thing I can do with music is listen.
Can you paint?
You mean like painting a picture?
Nope..the creative talents that God blessed me with, is pretty much what you’re reading.
Well..writing is a creative talent too..everybody can’t put their thoughts on paper.
Sometimes I can’t either!! (laughing)
I dunno…it’s just that sometimes I have feelings that words can’t quite express.
You seem to do a good job of expressing yourself to me.
Thanks for the compliment, but I’m still a work in progress, the more I write the more I learn different methods of getting my thoughts across to the reader. Writing is a very exposing experience that will leave you feeling vulnerable.
Yeah…when you bare your soul for others to see..it’s kinda like going up on stage butt naked.
(smiling) Hey..you know what they say, ‘to much is given, much is required’. You’ve got a very real voice and a very real experience that can help a lot of people along their journey.
I know, I’ve accepted my calling to discipleship, otherwise I would have never had the courage to jump out there into the public eye.
You’ve accepted your call to discipleship?? What are you talking about?
I’m talking about that quote from Jesus you just used.
You mean, ‘to much is given, much is required’??
JESUS said that??
Yeah, that’s from His parable of the faithful servant found in Luke 12:47,48
And that servant which knew his master’s will and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required and to whom men have committed much, of him men will ask more.
I never knew that’s where that saying came from.
I didn’t either..until I became a disciple of Christ and started studying to show myself approved.
Why do you call yourself a disciple tho? I thought Jesus already had His 12 disciples??
The word ‘disciple’ means ‘learned one’. When you have a Master that you are studying under, you become His disciple. Jesus had (and has) a lot more than just the 12 disciples. It's just that of all His disciples, the 12 listed in the Bible were among His 'closest' circle. That's why they're apostles, because they were 'near' Him.
How do you know all of this??
I read the Bible daily.
I thought you said you already read the whole Bible??
I have..but being a disciple of Christ is not a static position, you have to study and keep moving from glory to glory everyday. We are not saved, we are being saved.
Yeah well..you already know how I feel about Christianity..I mean it’s all good for anybody to worship God the way they feel like worshipping Him, but I think Christians are too self-righteous and hypocritical..especially with all those forehead slapping, ‘You are HEALED in the name of JEEZUS!’ phonies we see on TV all the time. Then you add in all those holier than thou Christians that are so set on telling everybody how we’re going to hell if we don’t pay tithes and go to church.
What makes you think they’re Christians?
They CALL themselves Christians!!
That’s why you need to read the Bible for YOURSELF!! That way you’re prepared to recognize people who are talking out the side of their neck. Just because someone has a cross around their neck and a Bible in their hand doesn’t mean they’re followers of the Lord.
That’s what I’m talking about!!
But yet, you let these false teachers and false preachers give you a reason to not seek the Lord for yourself? Don’t you know that that’s exactly what Satan wants you to do?
It’s not just that though, I mean, from what I understand, Jesus was cool and all, but I just can’t see how He can claim that He is the ONLY way to God.
Yeah..that was one of my hang-ups before I submitted to His will.
What made you submit??
There wasn’t just one particular incident like a burning bush or anything like that, I mean, I grew up going to church every Sunday. But as I got older and more educated, I started reading and being exposed to other people and religions that seemed just as, if not more devout to the Lord than Christians. So I stepped back from the Christian faith and I just tried to focus on God…or at least that’s what I had fooled myself into thinking.
What do you mean ‘fooled yourself’?
Well, I realized that I was really just hiding in idolatry.
Huh? You started worshipping golden calves or something?
Nah..I started worshipping myself. Everything was about me..my time..my money..my life. It’s very easy to put the Lord off and give Him that lip service ‘Yeah, I believe’ and then just go on about your business doing whatever it is you do. Seeing all those boom-shaka-laka yoyo’s claiming to be preaching the Word of God while driving their fleet of Rolls Royce’s made it that much easier for me to shun any form of worship or praise. ‘They ain’t real’ and just let every day pass without taking time out to acknowledge how good God has been to me. In my mind, I’d keep on doing it like I was doing it and then when I got older and unable to really have FUN like a young man can have fun, then maybe I’d start getting closer to God the closer I got to death. I had it all figured out.
I know what you mean. What made you turn that corner?
I just got to a point in my life when I felt tired and out of control, a raft out at sea without any sail, motor or oar..just drifting aimlessly and helplessly. I realized that I didn’t control anything and I had a thirst to grow closer to the Lord..so that’s when I got down on my knees and prayed to God for guidance and understanding..and that’s when I picked up my Bible and began reading it from front to back.
Yeah..but who says the Bible is THE Word of God? I mean, I know it has some good stuff in there, but you gotta admit that man has changed it over the years.
Yeah..I had that same hangup too…until I read it with a teachable heart.
Yeah..instead of reading the Bible trying to find errors, I read it seeking understanding, and when I learned about Abraham and his son Isaac, Jacob and his offspring that made up the 12 tribes of Israel, the captivity in Egypt, the exodus through the wilderness, Joshua leading the children into the promised land, the judges, the kings and all the prophets of the Old Testament..well then I began to see and understand God’s ‘gameplan’. He’s always promised us a Messiah that would be sacrificed for ALL mankind, not just Jews, and Jesus fulfilled that promise.
But what about the translations of the Bible? Don’t you see how evil men could manipulate it for their own personal gain?
Yeah..but you also must admit that if you believe that God has a Word for His children that He would make sure it stayed intact and impervious to Satan and his legion of demons in their attempts to distort or destroy it. "The grass withereth and the flower fadeth, but the word of our God shall stand forever." – Is 40:8 God’s Word can’t be faded mane. And a lot of those claims that people had about the Bible being ‘changed’ were disproved when they found the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were around during the time Jesus walked the earth. When they matched it up to the Old Testament we have today, it was practically identical, save for a few grammatical discrepancies common when translating from one language to another.
What about the New Testament? That’s when Jesus first showed up right?
Wrong! Jesus has always been here, even in the Old Testament, and not just all the prophecies of His coming to earth, but even back in Genesis 1:26a "And God said, Let US make man in our own image, after our likeness.” God’s existence as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit has always been since eternity past..and when you consider that humans exist in 3 parts: mind, body and spirit, you can have a better understanding. Abraham was the father of faith who, in a form of prophetic foreshadowing, was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac for the Lord. Because of his trust and faith in the Lord, God blessed Abraham and then God took it a step further when He sacrificed His only begotten Son on the cross at Calvary. Throughout Scripture, blood sacrifices are required for the atonement of sin, Jesus shed His spotless blood for ALL of us, and through Him we are saved.
I dunno that’s still a leap of faith to make..I guess I need to start reading my Bible huh?
Yeah..you can’t get around that one. If you’re really serious about knowing God for yourself, then you HAVE to pick up that Word and study it. Because if you don’t, you won’t be able to discern the true Spirit of the Lord. You’ve got to know Him for YO-SELF mane!
Aunt C - January 15, 2005
A couple of years ago, I can’t really remember the exact time frame, the (time-date stamp in my brain has never worked properly), one of my cousins from St. Louis came to Houston to visit. While he was in town, we had the opportunity to ‘catch up’ and hang out a bit. This particular cousin is on my mother’s side of the family, his father and my mother are siblings and part of the family of 12 children(6 boys and 6 girls) born to Bishop Sam Scott and his lovely wife Artelia.
So when I say he’s my cousin, he’s my cousin FO-REAL, not none of that ‘play-cousin’ type hype. Corey is a few years younger than I am, he’s the younger brother of my cousin Jamar who tore up a spirit filled rendition of ‘My Soul’s Been Anchored in the Lord’ at Big Daddy’s funeral 2 years ago. Corey definitely has a strong dose of the humor gene in the family, as characterized by how he approached his brother Jamar after we were leaving the gravesite at Big Daddy’s funeral and walking back to our cars. The emotional tension that seems to creep up at funerals had already evaporated as those last ‘ashes to ashes and dust to dust’ words were said over Big Daddy’s casket and it left us leaving the cemetery feeling cleansed and blessed to have the sun peek out on an otherwise very cool and chilly day. I know I wasn’t the only one that felt that Spirit move when Jamar got up to sing that song, but my cousin Corey hit the nail on the head in a way that tingles with ‘Scott-ness’..
Jamar!! (Corey exclaimed in a sudden loud voice that broke the silence with it’s twinges of laughter already spilling out into his voice) Boyyy…you sang like somebody that know the Lawd today!!
Of course, the obvious joke was the fact that he said that Jamar sang ‘like’ somebody that knew the Lawd..you get it? The humor is in the unspoken, but inferred slander that Jamar does NOT know the Lawd..oops, I mean Lord for himself. Ya get it? No? Too bad, it must just be a Scott thang, cuz when I heard Corey say it, I bust out laughing immediately, cuz it was funny to me. Jamar started laughing too..that’s just how we do it..it’s a kinfolk thang.
Well this same cousin Corey who happened to give me one of the biggest compliments that I’ve ever received, simply for the fact he showed me a viewpoint that I had never considered before. We were just hanging out chilling and just out of the blue, he said point blank,
You know D…when you graduated from Stanford…it did the whole family good.
I had never thought about the fact that I had other relatives, younger and older, who used my educational achievement as a strengthening momentus for them. But once I thought about it, I could remember how I had other relatives who’s achievements I looked up to with great admiration and the first person that jumped into my head was my Aunt Cynthia, Aunt C..who’s name our family is known to butcher into “Sin-tay" I know it sounds kinda country and ‘Buckwheatish’, for someone to mispronounce ‘Aunt Cynthia’ as ‘Ain’t Sin-TAAAY‘, but you gotta remember, these people are from Arkansas. Okayy, I’m kinda joking, but I’m kinda serious too..that’s why it’s so funny. But Aunt C is definitely one of those shining beacons that has been a source of pride and admiration for the whole family.
Aunt C is definitely what history would consider as a pioneer. Hopefully you’ve read her biography on her website (www.Cynthiascott.com) to learn more about the brave path she took toward chasing her passion in life. She started out as an airline flight attendant, while she took every opportunity she had to follow her love of singing. You see Aunt C is one of those talented Scott 12, almost all of the 12 kids could sing, dance or play a musical instrument. Notice I said ALMOST all, everybody in the family ain’t got it like that and rest assured, the Scott’s WILL let you know if you sound tired and need to go sit down. But Aunt C’s voice was not one of the tired ones, she took the hustle of Big Daddy and the warmth of Big Mama and put it to work through her vocal chords.
Those who have seen her perform on stage know what I mean. Aunt C didn’t stop with her God given talents, she put in her work at her trade. And those days of nightclub singing opened the door of opportunity and she landed a gig with Ray Charles, performing as one of his famous Rae-lettes for 2 years and eventually moving on to her more treasured world of pure jazz. Of course, myself, along with the rest of the family always loved to tell people that our Aunt C was a professional singer that sang with Ray Charles!
When I was a young kid, maybe 9 or 10, I went to Dallas with my mother and sister to spend a weekend with Aunt C. We all stayed in her condo there in Dallas and I can vividly remember a particular moment that really went a long way toward making me realize my resoluteness of being a lifetime heterosexual. We were in Aunt C’s apartment and I had to go to the bathroom. I don’t know if the door was already open, or I forgot to knock or what, but basically I walked into the bathroom at the exact moment when Aunt C was stepping out of the shower. Mmmhmm..you got it..full frontal nudity. Like most of the other young male relatives, I already had my ‘secret’ crush thang going on with Aunt C..but of course you can’t REALLY follow through with nothing like that cuz that’s your aunt and the Bible got those incest laws and stuff, but I’m just SAYING…anyway, after I stood there for what seemed like an eternity staring, Aunt C said the strangest thing as she grabbed a towel and covered herself,..“Aww baby, I’m sorry.”
Can you believe THAT?? She was apologizing to ME??? I think I mumbled something like ‘That’s alright’ as I had that weird little perverted smile that young boys destined to be dirty old men seem to have when they see something they really like, yet they’re still not at the age where they know what to do with it. Ya feel me? Anyway..I already know some of ya’ll are tripping on the somewhat incestuous laden ‘joke’, but the point is, I’ve admired my Aunt C for a LONGGG time.
When I had just started high school, Aunt C gave me one of the thickest books I had ever seen and said,
You need to read this nephew. Poitier has a very powerful story."
The book she gave me was Sidney Poitier’s autobiography, This Life. I’m a big Sidney Poitier fan, especially the roles he played with Bill Cosby like Uptown Saturday Night or Let’s Do It Again. I was a bit intimidated by the size of the book at first, but when I latched in and READ it, I was captured and mesmerized. Poitier’s upbringing in the Cat Islands of the Bahamas is a very frank and real portrayal of life as it T-I-S. Born into the family of a struggling tomato farmer, Poitier depicts his childhood and upbringing with such candor that it made me feel better to know that there is no situation of poverty that hard work and training can not progress past. But along with the hard work and training, you have to have ambition. The world is full of ‘I coulda’, “I shoulda’ been superstars, success is definitely a blessing from God, but that doesn’t mean we’re not supposed to grind and do all we can do to BE READY when it comes knocking at the door.
Later on in life, I reflected back and realized why Aunt C gave me that book. It was because she always wanted me to know that excellence comes with the price of hard work and dedication, and that I definitely had the potential to go farther than most hard headed boys from the Southside. She even signed my guest book for servinemup.com with some very inspiring words:
"You make an aunt mighty proud to be in your family that you are so proud of. David not amazed at your success. Expected it AND SAW IT COMING. Let's get busy writing that book. More later when I return from Africa and boy could I use a bowl of collard greens and a jalapeno pepper. Even though some black people feel that they are not African ..... Africa is in us ALL. Love you Aunt C"
It is this ambitious drive, pioneering spirit and realness of life that I admire the most in my Aunt C. Because when you imagine the reality of the 10th child of a Southern sanctified minister, a black WOMAN extending beyond the boundaries of what folks SAY you can’t do and going out and pursuing her dreams to the fullest? I’ll always applaud my Aunt C, because she has definitely pioneered a course to let all of us remember that a dream deferred is still a dream denied. If you want to do it, you gotta get up and DO IT.
One of the best things about talking to Aunt C, is being able to hear her wonderful stories of the life of a jazz singer. When I was in college I hung out with Aunt C in New York for a couple of days and we went to this lil hole in the wall jazz club in Manhattan, and as we’re sitting at the bar talking, just out of the blue Terence Blanchard happens to amble on stage and starts blowing with the band!! I’m by no means a jazz aficionado, as a matter of fact, I’m teetering on being completely jazz ignorant and Homer Simpson-ish enough to fall asleep and start snoring so loud at a Betty Carter performance in Brooklyn, that I had to be nudged awake. But every time I’ve had the opportunity to see my Aunt C do her thang on stage, it is always an uplifting experience.
Most recently we had a chance to go to Flood’s jazz club in downtown Detroit the last night of our family reunion this summer and wouldn’t you know, Aunt C ended up on stage singing an impromptu version of ‘Summertime’ with the band. The thing that tripped me out the most about it, was that she didn’t know ANY of these musicians, had never seen them or practiced with them, but once she told the dude on the keyboard what she wanted and in what key? They ripped it up (that’s GOOD) so tight that it had the whole club on their feet applauding.
It is this ambitious energy and dedication to the art of jazz that shows when Aunt C lifts her voice to sing. And this marvelous voice has taken her to places of the world that most black women from El Dorado have never even imagined. From touring throughout Asia and Japan, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, Aunt C has been putting it down for her purpose for over 20 years now. And there have been times along my journey when I might have hesitated, because I felt I was too black or from too humble a beginning to achieve, but fortunately, I’ve always had pioneers, such as my wonderful Aunt C, who has shown us all, that we CAN chase our dreams to the fullest, no matter what the world may say.
If you’re ever craving some pure jazz, not that ‘junk they play on the radio’ as Aunt C often says, then I would definitely encourage you to check out Aunt C’s CD’s, which can be ordered from her website. And if you happen to be in Brooklyn, then you can see her perform live at Club Reign (Brooklyn’s newest hot spot located on Washington Ave. at Flushing !) on February 3, 2005.
Now I know some of ya’ll are probably still tripping on that full frontal nudity reference, but ya’ll know I don’t have to front to kick it I’m sure there’s some people shaking their head and saying I need to go sit on somebody’s couch and discuss latent Oedipal complexes with a professional, but I don’t care, it’s funny to me. I mean, you see how fine she looks now, so you can only imagine how fine she looked 25 years ago! Besides, I shared that story with her awhile ago and she couldn’t quite remember the incident, but after I told her how I would NEVER forget it, she started laughing and said, ‘Hell nephew, if I would have known that, I would have told you 'Merry Christmas!!’
January 12, 2005
At the very bottom of this frontpage is a feedback form that is directed to my private maibox. A lot of the servinemup visitors use this form to 'holla at D', whether it's to comment on a recent article or just to say 'what's up?'. I enjoy ALL feedback, because it helps make my game tighter. There are other servinemup visitors that dare to take that plunge into the realm of public display and post their comments on the global Guestbook & Comments page. I believe in my heart that there is a writer inside of ALL us. Some readers have even been so kind (and brave!) to send me essays, articles, poems, raps, plays and other things that they have written for my perusal. Of course, I'm far from a writing guru or anything, but I can vividly see where we all have story to tell, what separates the true 'writers' is if you still have that drive to write after you've told 'your' story.
The most frequent 'complaint' that I get is..
You don't post new articles frequently enough D! We ready fo' some mo'!!
Hopefully the day will come when my writing is at a point where I can be a full time writer and still support my wife and 2 kids who have all developed this strange habit of requiring food, shelter and clothing everyday. But that day ain't here yet, and I still have to put in my work daily as a technical sales engineer for a manufacturing company, to ensure that those pink disconnect notices don't start accumuating in our bill slot. Ya feel me?
So please be patient with me, as I continue to serve ya'll up as often as I can. I'm still working on my book everyday and I'm still studying the Word everyday, I have to show myself approved just like everbody else! The good part about servinemup.com, is that with the different tabs, like Recent Articles on the site, you can always browse around and read past posts even when I haven't put anything out for that day. So once again, I thank you for showing up, and I look foward to servng ya'll for awhile!
I was going through some posts that wrote last year and I couldn't help but start laughing when I read Publicly Speaking again! Hopefully, it will bring a smile to you face as well!!
Publicly Speaking - first posted Nov. 23, 2003
At some point in our lives, we all have our time to be on stage and under the glare of the spotlight. For some, the largest audience they ever address is their grade school classroom when all students have to stand up and announce their full name to the rest of the class. Others have to address larger groups such as full meeting rooms or auditoriums. My Southside experiences greatly prepared me for the inevitable tasks of verbally addressing a body of people. I used to become nervous and self-conscious whenever I had to go before a group. What if my words didn’t come out right? What if I forgot what I was supposed to say? What if everyone laughed and ridiculed me? What if everyone completely ignored me? What if I came out sounding like a complete idiot? These were among the many questions and ‘issues’ that knotted in the pit of my stomach in a continuous orb of anxiety.
Like most good Southern Baptist children, the first audience I’ve ever addressed was in the ‘church house’. Every Sunday school class had its turn of presenting the lesson to the entire congregation. As a member of the Beginner’s class, I was herded up to the front of the church and put through ‘the routine’ to show our parents and the rest of the church what we were learning in class…
They lined all of us up side by side and we had two teachers facilitating our presentation. One directed the questions, the other stood close to the line making sure none of us started ‘acting up’.
Class. Who is the Son of God?
JEEZUS!!! (We were taught to never be ashamed to say His name as loud as we could)
And who died on the Cross at Calvary?
JEEZUS!!! (5 & 6 year olds could yell this out pretty loud)
And who was resurrected on the 3rd day??
The longer we stayed up there, the more comfortable I became. We had already rehearsed all the questions in class over and over, so we all knew the answers. The confidence I had in knowing the material made me feel more at ease.
As I grew older and progressed to the Primary Boys’ class, the demands became a little bit more stringent. Gone were the easily recitable answers, replaced with the more intellectually challenging verse memorization. I remember one particular Sunday when we all had to memorize a Bible verse to recite. We were all allowed to pick whatever verse we wanted…a couple of my ‘slick’ friends quickly found loopholes in the system.
In the beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth. (Dang! The first verse in the Bible..that was an EASY one! I wish I would have picked that one!)
Thou shalt not kill. (Dang! Another easy one!)
Jesus wept. (The shortest verse in the entire Bible..pure genius)
It just so happened that our Easter program hadn’t too long passed. And I already had a verse that they made me memorize for the program still in my head. Verses never go out of style, I might as well use it again…
For my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches and glory in Christ Jesus.
I don’t know if it was smoothness that I rolled the verse off my tongue, or just the fact that I was the only one that didn’t minimize my task, but somehow I stood out from the group. Add to that the fact that I could read pretty well and I was immediately recruited to ‘serve’ in the church. I was nominated as the Junior Assistant Sunday School Superintendent. This meant that on every 3rd Sunday, I had to facilitate the Sunday school services in the sanctuary when all the different classes joined together. We had to have a prayer, a Bible verse reading, reading of the minutes, announcements and presentation of the lesson. Those first few 3rd Sundays, being in front of the congregation with a microphone in my hand was a bit intimidating. Somehow my voice sounded a lot different over amplified sound. I started getting weirded out when I scanned the crowd to see all eyes fixated on what I was saying and me. I was so busy worrying about everyone looking at me that my brain locked up and I couldn’t remember what I was talking about. There was an awkward silence as I stammered ‘uhh..uhhh’ a couple dozens times as I frantically searched the crowd for an answer. A couple of my buddies sitting in the pews started snickering and holding their mouths to conceal their laughter. I could feel my blood racing to my temple as my heart pounded louder and my palms grew sweaty. Just as I was about to have a complete meltdown one of the sisters of the church yelled out..
That’s okay baby!! Take your time!!
This was echoed by a chorus of ‘amen’s. I was having a complete meltdown and they were still supporting me??!! God is good!! Pretty soon, my Junior Assistant Sunday School duties became second nature. My public speaking duties graduated to a larger audience. I was given the task of being Master of Ceremonies for a 3-o’clock program at the church. This particular program drew a full house, even the balcony of the church was full. And since this was a lot less intimate and familiar audience than the Sunday school crew, my stomach was doing somersaults with nervous anticipation. As my time came to step to the microphone and facilitate the service, my knees wobbled and I had to balance myself with the handrail as I made the climb up to the podium. I had already been through the program hundreds of times at home in preparation, now I just had to just DO IT. As I looked out over the crowd of smiling, expecting faces, ready to have a good service, it seemed like everything was in slow motion as I made eye contact with every person in the crowd. Now was my time to shine…
First of all, giving all honor to God, Pastor Richardson, members of the pulpit, our congregation, members, guests and friends..
AMEN!! (They liked that proper protocol..you can NEVER go wrong when you start out giving honor to God)
My name is David Washington and I am your Grandmaster Flash for this evening.
A sudden hush came over the crowd. Something just didn’t sound right. ‘Grandmaster Flash’?? Did I just say that?? The black Southern Baptist crowd is known for being a very loud and responsive congregation..they definitely responded. The whole church erupted in a rich and full laughter that swept all the way through the pulpit and the choir stand.
GRANDMASTER FLASH!!?? Did he just say GRANDMASTER FLASH??!! Old ladies were laughing so hard that they had to pull out their handkerchiefs and dab the tears from their eyes, the men were slapping each other on the back and doubling over in laughter. One of my uncles happened to be in the crowd and he quickly separated himself from the congregation. I could vividly see the soles of his feet as he raised his legs off the ground in laughter. He then doubled over out of the pew and rolled onto the aisle..he was greatly amused. All the while I realized my mistake and all my fears had come to reality. I placed my forehead on the dais and just shook my head from side to side in disbelief..
‘Oh no’ was the only thing I could utter out of my mouth.
By the time the laughter had subsided, which took awhile, because everytime it started to get quiet, someone would yell out, ‘GRANDMASTER FLASH??!!’ and it would start all over again. The weirdest thing about the whole event was the feeling of calm that came over me as the program progressed. For those that have a fear of public speaking, being totally embarrassed in front of a crowd can be a very liberating experience. It obliterates all feelings of self-consciousness. Once you’ve made a complete fool out of yourself, everything else you do from that point on exceeds all expectations.
As an adult, I still have occasions to speak in front of large groups. Presentations for work, guest speaking engagements, church programs, etc. my public speaking skills are constantly being honed and refined. They have organizations such as Toastmasters to help develop these skills in a group environment. The most calming ingredient to me is proper preparation. Whether its memorization or well organized note cards, the best speakers have a smooth ‘flow’ of words. Minimize the ‘uhs’, ‘ums’ and blank spaces of silence and things normally ‘flow’ pretty well. I’m one of the fortunate ones that has been inoculated from experiencing any form of embarrassment. Some people still tease me to this day about the ‘Grandmaster Flash’ incident. I always smile right back at them and retort, ‘at least I didn’t say the Furious Five too!!’’.
How Game Are You? - January 10, 2005
Not too long after I posted the Reason for the Season (December 28th), I was approached by one of my friends who is also a regular visitor to www.servinemup.com..
Man D..I didn’t know about all those prophecies about Jesus that was written in the Old Testament hundreds of years before He was born!??!
Well I’m glad that I was able to serve up something to help strengthen your understanding.
Yeah..that was fresh. I like the way you broke down all those different verses that foretold the coming of the Messiah.
I just highlighted a few of them, there are a lot more than that!
See, I didn’t know that, because I was talking to this dude one day and he was telling me that Jesus was never a real person, that some Jews just made up the story of Jesus and tried to pass it off as God’s Word.
Yeah..I’ve talked to people who believe that Jesus is a fictitious character, just like some people think that it wasn’t Jesus who got up on the cross, but rather Judas.
Man! It’s so many different people who believe different things, but yet they all claim to be ‘keeping it real’…how can you really KNOW who’s telling the truth or not?
The Scripture says that we must study to show ourselves approved unto God (2 Tim 2:15).
What does that mean?
It means that ALL of us need to study the Word of God diligently and daily. Because no matter what church you go to, or what philosophy or religion that you follow, if it conflicts against Scripture, then it’s a false teaching.
But what about the people who don’t recognize the Bible as the Word of God, like all the people that say that man has changed the Bible over the years?
Well..I can understand how people have views that are passed on to them by their parents, like Muslims and Buddhist and the like, but our duty as disciples of Christ is to spread the Word of the gospel to all those who don’t know that the tomb is empty.
It’s easy to say that at church and around your family, but once you get out there IN the world and dealing with real live people at work and in the hood, then it’s a lot harder to witness because you have people coming at you from all different angles trying to label you as one of those ‘Jesus freaks’ or something.
(smiling) Yeah…you’re right. The world DOES have a way of ‘crucifying’ those who witness for the Christ. Those closest to you will be the first to bring up all the dirt you’ve done in the past and use it as a springboard to try and silence you cuz they ain’t trying to hear it and others will use everything from trying to discredit the truth of the Bible, to saying that Jesus was a fictitious character as the reason why they don’t believe.
But doesn’t’ that ever bother you though? You know how there are SO MANY different religions and denominations in the world, but yet they ALL claim to honor God?
It used to bother me..but then as I started studying my Bible more earnestly, I learned that Jesus already shot called all these different false teachings and false prophets that were going to come after Him. Everybody is not going to believe..that’s just how it is. God is not a God of compulsion, He doesn’t stick a gun to our head and MAKE anybody bow down and worship Him, that’s something we do of our own free will.
Yeah, I guess you’re right. I still like the way you be serving them up tho’ D…your words have helped me grow stronger in my faith.
I really appreciate that compliment bruh, because if I can write anything that will help others strive closer to the Light, then I know that I’m using my talents to exalt the kingdom of God here on earth. Jesus has a wonderful parable concerning our individual allotment of talents (Matthew 25:14-30), and no matter how many you have 5..3..1, if you’re not using it (them) to glorify God, then you’re being a foolish and wasteful servant. But if you’re flipping it for the Lord? Then when it’s your time to go before the throne, God will look down on you and see your work for Him and say (Matt: 25:21), ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ I just want to hear Him say ‘well done’ mane.
Believe it or not, most of the people around me are NOT convicted Christians. Of course, the Southside is full of Christians ‘by association’, because their mama is Christian or their grandma is Christian, but even a lot of these people who grew up in the Christian faith have strayed into the world of agnosticism.
Nobody KNOWS God, nobody has SEEN God, so all religion ain’t nothing but speculation. I ain’t with it!
I can say this, because for a significant portion of my adult life, I was one of these agnostics. But there comes a time in every man’s life that he’s going to have to make a commitment and really soul search for what’s real. Once I came to that point in my life, where I grew tired and weary of floating aimlessly in the ocean of spiritual belief, I got down on my knees and prayed to the Lord for guidance and understanding. But as much as prayer and meditation are an integral part of our spiritual lives, there is a larger commitment of obedience, which must be attained if we are to experience the full glory that the Lord has prepared for all those who are called by His name. This obedience transcends attending church, giving tithes and offering, helping the poor, etc., because if we are to be considered God’s children, then we are required to study His word diligently. Or as the Scripture says, ‘Study to show thyself approved’ (2 Tim 2:15). Now, the first problem I had, was my doubts about the Bible being ‘God’s Word’. The Jews have the Talmud, Muslims have the Qu’ran, Mormons have the Book of Mormon, is God speaking in ALL of these too?
But once I took the time to actually read and study the Bible for myself, starting with the creation, the fall of man, Noah and the ark, Abraham (the father of faith) and the 12 tribes of Israel, Moses and captivity, the exodus into the wilderness, Joshua and Caleb leading the children into the promised land, David and the kings of Israel, Psalms, Proverbs and all the prophets (major and minor), once you read the Old Testament in it’s entirety, you’ll feel the power of God emanating from it’s pages. It’s not all pretty either. A lot of folks really don’t know how good Jesus REALLY is, but when you read that gospel of Christ, you’ll see that Light shining through and you’ll feel the warmth of the Holy Spirit come into your heart. That old spiritual song that goes, ‘This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine, let it shine, let it shine, let it shine..’ The words will spring into your works, and everybody around you will be able to see the Light that is shining in your heart.
Of course, some of the haters will laugh and smirk at you, or just play you to the left and ignore you, but once you know that you’re a child and servant of the Most High God, there’s nothing this world can do to you to fade you. It’s this conviction for the Christ that is a part of being a true disciple and no matter what your daddy taught you, or your mama or grandma or whoever, we all have to know God for ourselves.
Before I started blogging on the internet, I was what some would call a ‘closet Christian’. I had felt God touch my heart, but I wasn’t ready to share it with others, unless they asked of course. My prayer life and studying of the Word was a private and personal experience that I kept to myself. But as I studied the Word more, I realized that my silence was a form of disobedience. If we are going to be ashamed of Jesus, then He’s going to be ashamed of us. Public profession of your faith comes with it’s cost, people will scrutinize your every move and word more carefully, waiting to see a crease or crack of weakness so they can say,
‘See..that n’ga is still throwed off just like everybody else! Jesus ain’t real!”
It is this higher standard of Christian responsibility that causes so many to stay in the closet and silent about their faith in the Gentile world. But once you have that conviction in your heart, and you KNOW that you are serving the Supreme God of Creation, then you know that you don’t have to be afraid of what this world can and will do to those who follow Him. In the street world, this conviction is what is often referred to as being ‘dead game’. Once you’re ready to take those vicious blows and lashes that the world delivers to Believers and still remain resolute in getting up off the ground and continuing to fight on the battlefield for the Lord until the day you die…that’s what you call being dead game.
A common scenario is the hypothetical situation of a gunmen entering a room and asking the simple question, ‘If you believe that Jesus Christ is Lord, then raise your hand’. Obviously this will make you ponder what you REALLY believe and the easiest thing to do is remain silent and look around to see who’s crazy enough to raise their hand and take a bullet in the head for Christ. Of course this is an extreme scenario, but it’s part of the Christian lifestyle where Paul writes ‘I die daily’ (I Cor 15:31). What’s even MORE strengthening, is to realize that this ‘daily death’ wasn’t just a ‘new’ thing, it was part of God’s plan from the beginning, that Paul actually quoted from the Old Testament, Psalms 44:22
Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter.
It’s definitely an intimidating experience to go out there and take that leap of faith, but the more you study that Word, the more that God will strengthen you, even when all of your family and friends are shaking their heads and saying, ‘That n’ga is crazy like that glue’, all that won’t even matter, because absent from the body, means present with the Lord (2 Corinthians 5:8) for all those who are dead game. You gotta feel that one ya’ll, that is if you’re ever going to realize the full potential of the game in you.
January 5, 2005
This is a picture of a boy who was born on a cliff as his parents were escaping from the tsunami on December 26, 2004. His parents named him 'Tsunami Roy' ! :)
Click Here to read Tsunami Roy article
Natural Disasters - December 30, 2004
One of the steps required to marticulate toward the electrical engineering degree at Stanford University is grinding out electrical design labs. It’s basically 3 and a half hours every week designing and building circuit board contraptions with chips and timers and lights and making it all come alive and operate properly. It’s where those equations in our textbooks met live action. In each lab we are paired with a lab partner, mine happened to be my riding podna from Ohio….
Bruhs gotta stick together if we go make it out of here man.
So if we take this lab together, if you slip, I can help pick you up and if I slip, you can help pick me up.
Word…that sounds like a plan to me.
And so our social bond transcended to the educational realm. You can’t be lab partners with ALL your friends, cuz some of them will sink you down to that same F that they’re going to get because they’re not working hard or just plain stupid. Fortunately me and my lab partner were equally confused, so we made a good team. One particular afternoon, and I remember it so well, because earlier that week, one of my dorm mates had gotten hold to some World Series tickets (A’s vs Dodgers) and he offered me a free ticket to join him. Of course I was DYING to go to a World Series game..fo free??!! Shiiii…but, if I went, I would have missed my lab and gotten a zero and stuck my lab partner out, so I passed on the free ticket and went to lab that day in an aggravated mood.
So we’re sitting at the table with our circuit board between us and both me and my lab partner had snapped back and forth at each other in the first hour or so of the lab.
Man..I don’t know how this sh’t is supposed to work.
I thought you said you had already worked through all of the lab problems?
I drew em up..but I still don’t understand how this is supposed to work.
Oh great! I would have a dumb az for my lab partner!
Aww n’ga, you ain’t done sh’t to help!!
We both retreated to our lab books, heads down with furrowed brows trying to figure out flip-flop registers, when the table started shaking. I looked over at my lab partner with an agitated look of disgust,
Man..at least stop shaking the d’mn table!
That ain’t’ ME shaking the table!! I thought it was you…
Before he could finish his sentence, the shaking got more intense, enough so that we realized it wasn’t just the table shaking, but the whole room. Our lab monitor was some young engineering doctoral candidate from Indiana who didn’t know sh’t about earthquakes. Because as soon as the whole room realized something was REALLY going wrong, he yelled out to the entire class..
Okay!! It’s an earthquake!! Everybody to the center of the room!!
Right after he said this, the entire class got confused and started looking around at each other, ‘What? To the center of the room? That’s not what you’re supposed to do in an earthquake??!!’
When we all turned our questions back to the lab monitor, we were dismayed to see that he had already ran out of the building and left us. It kinda crossed my mind at first that he told us to go to the center of the room to make sure he had room to get out, but in retrospect I think he was already somewhat soft and he just panicked. When we all made our way outside of the Engineering Research Laboratory, there were a lot of students, faculty and staff congregated outside on the streets. The tremors were still shaking enough that I felt I was on a boat and I was intently staring at the ground waiting to see if it was about to crack open and alternatively glancing up at the sky waiting to see the 2nd coming of Jesus.
You might be laughing, but if you’ve ever been in one of those natural events like an earthquake then you know it will trigger your REAL feelings of the hereafter. That particular earthquake was in Loma Prieta, California in 1989 and the whole Bay Area felt it’s effects. Freeways collapsed, houses and building were destroyed, and it was a chaotic time for a lot of people in the wrong place at the wrong time. The worst part was that after it happened, all of the phone lines went down, so I wasn’t able to call my family back home in Houston and let them know that I was okay.
We had a 6-bedroom apartment or suite as they were called, and each of us had our own room. But later that evening, after the initial earthquake, there were aftershocks, which felt like smaller tremors that always had the potential to trigger an even larger earthquake. So needless to say, we were all on edge a bit as we watched the news reports of freeways collapsing and cars falling off bridges and other graphic depictions of death and destruction. There was a suite full of women that lived next door to us and later on that night, they all came over to our place and we all slept on the floor in our living room. Somehow there was a strength gained in numbers that allowed us to joke about our predicament, but through all the laughs, we had all faced a moment of clarity. Life becomes a lot sweeter when you realize just how close you came to losing it.
Back on the Southside, my mother and father were in their bed asleep, when they got a phone call late into the night from my grandmother in Arkansas, Big Mama. She had been watching the news and she saw the scenes of havoc and melee caused by the earthquake and she knew that one of her grandsons was going to school in the same vicinity…
(my mom picked up the phone) Hello?
Yes ma’am..how come you’re not?
Well, I was watching the news and I saw that earthquake out there in California. Ain’t D somewhere nearby?
Yes ma’am..Stanford is close to San Francisco.
Have ya’ll heard from him? Is he alright?
All the phone lines are down right now..we haven’t been able to get in touch with him yet.
Well, have you called the police or the hospital out there?
(sighing) Mama..why are you up worrying?
I just couldn’t sleep because I was worried about our son.
Don’t you know the God of Israel never sleeps and never slumbers (Psalms 121:4)?
That means you don’t have to worry about it, it’s in His hands. Go back to sleep, you staying up worrying ain’t go help nothing. I already prayed on it and I left it with Him, I’m going back to sleep.
Some people listen incredulously when I tell them that story, because they have a hard time imagining how they would respond if one of their children was in a similar situation. The day after Christmas, when the news of the large earthquake (9.0 on the Richter scae) out in the Indian Ocean triggered a huge tsunami, I couldn’t help but think back to my experience of being in an earthquake back when I was in college. The Loma Prieta was a lot smaller in magnitude (7.1), but whenever the earth is moving and you have no idea if and when it’s going to stop, it’ll make your heart skip a bit or two. I really didn’t know anything about tsunamis, so I did a little research on it.
The word tsunami has a Japanese origin, with the ‘tsu’ meaning harbor and the ‘nami’ meaning wave. When submarine (underwater) earthquakes happen, the ocean floor abruptly moves and with such force, that instantaneously, the surface of the water takes on the same unleveled pattern of the ocean floor thousands of feet below. When this much water moves that quickly, it triggers a tsunami wave. It’s kinda like throwing a pebble in the middle of a still body of water. There’s rings of energy that emulate out in concentric circles away from the point of origin, or in this case, the epicenter of the earthquake. If you were flying over the ocean looking down, you would probably never even notice the tsunami wave, because it’s not as obvious to the naked eye. But as the wave propagates toward shore at speeds up to 500 mph, the crest of the wave starts to grow taller as it gets to more shallow water. So by the time it comes ashore, it’s a huge wall of water crashing into land and it’s definitely a force to be reckoned with.
This past week we have all been faced with pictures of death and destruction by this tsunami and so often the question comes up, ‘Why would God let such a horrible thing happen to so many innocent people?’ It’s easy to praise God and have faith in Him when you feel that He has looked upon you and yours favorably. But for those who feel that God has turned His back on them and allowed pain and anguish to enter their lives..well, it’s a lot more difficult to tell those folks that God is very much alive and that He loves them. Because they feel neglected or cursed and a lot of them grow bitter and resentful because they feel that God hasn’t done ANYTHING to help them. Many people start walking around with a chip on their shoulder, ready to fly off the handle and go agg at anybody who ‘comes at them wrong’. They’re like a wounded animal, hurt and extremely dangerous.
I wish I knew the words to say to these people who have lost their hope. Well, I know the words to say, but so often their pain is so deep, that they’re not ready to hear Bible Scriptures of reassurance. God’s ways are not our ways and sometimes He allows seemingly bad things to happen to good people. We can’t explain it, because most of the things that’s going on in this world are on a deeper level than we think it is. Time is marching on, the prophecy of the return of the King is steadily being fulfilled. A lot of people get dealt a difficult hand in life and they want to quit. Kinda like in dominoes..
Say mane..we gotta reshuffle this hand, I got all doubles.
So? You get what you GET n’ga!! Deal with it!
It takes a very strong and mature person to realize that adversity and pain are a part of life. Soldiers soldier up and keep marching on on that battlefield. Of course, sometimes we might have to make a pit stop and get down on our knees and pray for the strength to conquer that mountain of pain. Or maybe we might need to take some time off so that we can have a nervous breakdown and then rejoin the battlefield once we get tired of being certified crazy. That’s a joke of course..at least kinda, but ya’ll know what I’m talking about. My prayers go out to all those who have been affected by this latest tragedy that has hit planet earth. As the death toll continues to rise we still have to be mindful that this is far from the greatest natural disaster that caused the most death. Back in July 1201 there was an earthquake that hit the Eastern Mediterranean that caused over 1.1 million deaths, mostly in Egypt and Syria. So no matter what it is you’re grieving about, always remember that it could be worse and no matter what storm it is that is going through your life, you’re still HERE baby. Some may argue against it, but I’ll go all night with you on this one, it’s still a blessing to be amongst the land of the living.
The Reason for the Season - December 28, 2004
On this date 2 years ago, all of the family and friends of my grandfather, the late Bishop Sam Scott, assembled in front of the house on Liberty Street in El Dorado, Arkansas before we made that short ride over to the church for the funeral services. I served as a pallbearer along with 5 other grandsons of Big Daddy. For those who have yet to have that front row funeral experience, all I can tell you is to get ready, because seeing a person who was an integral part of you being on earth lying still in a casket will make some strange feelings run through your body. I’ve never been one prone to emotional outburst, but this was a completely different experience. There’s an energy that can run through your soul during sensitive moments like funerals that words cannot express. Some folks scream, some yell and others just do like I did and cry silently.
The weird part is, is that the tears were not necessarily a product of the uncertainty of death, but I was really mourning all of the memories that I had shared with my grandfather almost like a flashback highlight reel going through my mind. But it really got on that other level when towards the end of the flashback moments, when I looked in the casket I didn’t see Big Daddy, I saw myself. The reality is that we ALL must pass that way one day, that’s for sure.
And when my cousin Jamar got up and sang a spirit filled rendition of “My Soul Has Been Anchored in the Lord”…it was almost like my whole being was elevated to a higher level of consciousness and all I could do was cry. Of course, I wasn’t the only one who felt it, because almost the whole church was crying or shouting by the time Jamar got finished.
Being around your family, the people who share your lifetime of memories, of family reunions and those times when we spent Christmas in Arkansas, made me more convicted in preparing myself for my day to be on display in a casket. Bottom line is, no matter what your accomplishments might be in this world, when it comes down to that time you take that last breath, if your soul is not anchored in the Lord, where will you go? Of course, when you ask that question to the general public, you’ll get thousands of different answers with the expected agnostic pragmatic responses,
‘Ain’t nobody here that has been dead and came back, so no one really KNOWS what happens when you die.’
People are skeptical of the Bible for various reasons. Some inherited a predisposition against Jewish people,
“I ain’t about to believe something that God said would be given to us by JEWS!”
From anti-Semites to atheist, there is a multitude of folks who don’t believe the Bible at all, then there’s some who believe parts of it while ignoring or overlooking the things in it that just doesn’t sit right with them. The one thing about the Bible that sets it apart from any other published work is all of its prophecies, which have come true.
Let's take a look at this book that so many have rejected.. It was written over a 1500 year time period, by over 40 different authors, on three different continents, and in three different languages. It contains over 2000 prophecies that have been fulfilled without error, and it gives one message. (John 5:39)
There are no inerrant prophecies (Deuteronomy 18:22) in the writings of Buddha, Confucius, Lao-tse, Mohammed, Joseph Smith, the Vedas, the Book of Mormon, or any other religious or secular book in the world. (Isaiah 46:9-10) All religions also attack the deity of Jesus Christ (Acts 4:12) and teach a salvation by works. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Before Israel even became a nation, Moses predicted that Israel would become a great nation, would rebel against God, and would be scattered over the ENTIRE earth, and be brought back into the land before the second coming of their Messiah. (Deuteronomy 28) In 1948, 3000 years later, it happened!
The Egyptians, Caanites, Phoenecians, Babylonians, Persians, Grecians, Romans, Spainards, Turks, Germans, English, and the combined Arab world have tried to eliminate Israel, but the Bible prophesied that Israel would exist forever, (Jeremiah 31:35-37)
The Bible predicted that Egypt (like Israel) would exist throughout history, but only as a very poor nation. All other Biblical nations have disappeared. (Exodus 29:1-2, 15)
There are at least 300 prophecies that deal with Jesus as the Messiah, all written at least 400 years before He came. Liberal scholars denied these prophecies; claiming that the Bible record was inaccurate or that it could have been changed or rewritten. However, the Dead Sea Scrolls silenced the critics when a complete Book of ONE Isaiah (Matthew 15, Luke 4) was found without one single change or discrepancy! This amazing Book of Isaiah predicted that the Messiah would (1) be virgin born (7:14), (2) have a forerunner--John the Baptist (40:3-5), (3) be worshipped by wise men with gifts (60:3),(4) be called a Nazarene (11:1), (5) be filled with God's Spirit (11:2), (6) be a minister to the Gentiles (9:1-2; 42:1-3), (7) be a healer of multitudes (51:4), (8) speaks in parables (6:9-10), (9) His miracles would not be believed (53:10), (10) be rejected by His own nation (53:3), (11) be scourged and spit upon (50:6), (12) be crucified between two thieves (53:12), (13) be buried with the rich (53:9),and (14) be given the eternal throne of David. (9:6-7)
Many skeptics claim that these prophecies are not very "specific." However, these prophecies predicted the entire life and ministry of Jesus Christ--from His virgin birth to His resurrection. For example, they predicted that Christ would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) from the seed of a woman (Genesis 3:15), born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), at approximately the close of the sixty-nine sevens of years (Daniel9:25). They prophesied that wise men would adore Him (Psalm 72:10), that all the infants in Bethlehem would be massacred (Jeremiah 31:15), and that baby Jesus would return to Egypt (Hosea 11:1). They foretold that He was to be introduced by a messenger--John the Baptist (Malachi 3:1), His ministry would be in Galilee (Isaiah 9:1), and that He was to be a worker of miracles (Isaiah 35:5). They predicted that He was to ride into Jerusalem on a colt (Zechariah 9:9), be rejected (Isaiah 53:3), be betrayed for the exact price of 30 pieces of silver (Zechariah 11:12), and the money was to be thrown into the potter's field. (Zechariah 11:13). He was to be beaten (Micah 5:1), spit upon and scourged (Isaiah 50:6), nailed to the cross (Psalm 22:16), mocked (Psalm 22:7-8), and given gall and vinegar to drink (Psalm 69:21). They predicted His intercession for His murderers (Isaiah 53:12), yet he was to be patient and silent during His suffering (Isaiah 53:7). Psalm 22:1 predicted His exact words on the cross 400 years before crucifixion was even invented. Other predictions were that His garments would be parted and that soldiers would cast lots for them. (Psalm 22:18). He was to be numbered with his transgressors (Isaiah 53:12), to die (Isaiah 53:12), and His bones were not to be broken (Psalm 34:20). He was to be pierced in His side (Zechariah 12:10), to be buried with the rich (Isaiah 53:9), resurrected (Psalm 16:10), and to ascend (Psalm 68:18) to the right hand of God. (Psalm 110:1) to exercise His priestly office in heaven (Zechariah 6:13).
The Bible is all the way real mane, it’s stood the test of time and it’s the bread of life that is a daily source of nourishment for millions of believers around the world. Folks who have anchored their soul in the Lord keep their ‘sword’ by their side at all times. Because no matter what it is you’re reading or listening to, unless you’re deep off into that Word, you’re subject to be mislead by false teaching. It’s events such as the passing of a loved one that will make you thirst to know God for yourself and it’s times such as the Christmas holiday season that will make you reflect on the REASON that we’re celebrating. A lot of folks get caught up in the hype of Christmas, because that’s when retailers make their most money, which in turn causes the skeptics to raise their eyebrows and smirk in derision at the Christian faith, with some even mocking us for celebrating a ‘pagan’ holiday.
December 25th has been the observed birthdate of Jesus since the 1st century, but it’s not because of anything that’s in the Bible. The Bible does not specifically speak of Christ’s actual birthdate and it’s something that the Church never celebrated until around 300 A.D. The reason we use this particular date (Dec. 25) has a lot to do with pagan sun worshippers.
You see, the earth revolves around it’s axis at a tilted angle. In the middle to latter part of December, the Northern Hemisphere has the winter solstice, which literally translates to ‘sun stands still’. It’s the shortest day of the year with the most tilt (23.5 degrees) away from the vertical axis; and after that day, the sun begins to climb into the sky at a higher angle, thus giving us longer hours of sunlight. It was during this time that the pagan worshippers used to worry that the sun would eventually burn out and they recognized the winter solstice as the day when the sun was reborn and began to show up more in the day, thus they had feasts and festivals to celebrate this occasion. When you look at historical monuments such as Stonehenge or Newgrange in Ireland, you’ll see that they were built in such a way that they illuminated this astrological phenomena as the winter and summer solstices.
An utterly astounding array of ancient cultures built their greatest architectures -- tombs, temples, cairns and sacred observatories -- so that they aligned with the solstices and equinoxes. Many of us know that Stonehenge is a perfect marker of both solstices.
But not so many people are familiar with Newgrange, a beautiful megalithic site in Ireland. This huge circular stone structure is estimated to be 5,000 years old, older by centuries than Stonehenge. It was built to receive a shaft of sunlight deep into its central chamber at dawn on winter solstice.
So then when the early church started to become more involved in government and determining laws, the date December 25th was chosen as the day to celebrate the birth of Jesus, so it kinda gave both the pagans and the Christians a reason to celebrate during this time of year. Of course, Christmas trees, presents, Santa Claus and all that other stuff ain’t in the Bible either, that’s just part of other traditions that filtered into the church. So yeah, there are a lot of non-believers as well as a lot of Christians who do not ‘celebrate’ Christmas. But once you are convicted in your faith in Him, you can see more clearly through the traditions and shortcomings of man, and just enjoy the season, because no matter WHAT date Jesus was born on, you’re just happy He came. Ya feel me?
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