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Showing posts from September, 2014

Planning in the Bible

More than we realize, the Bible shows planning taking place all the time.

From the various city and country names to the landmarks and birth and death places, God's Holy Word shows that planning and zoning has been around longer than we think.
For example, after the passing of his wife Sarah, Abraham purchases property in Canaan to give her a proper burial. (Genesis 23:2-4).
After negotiating with the sons of Heth, Abraham buys the cave of Machpelah (Genesis 23:17-18). 
Once in Abraham's possession, Abraham only uses the property as a burial place (Genesis 19-20). And, for no other purpose. The area was designated or zoned as a cemetery. 

Red Doors

During my stay in Savannah last week, I took a tour of the First African Baptist Church, the first church established by African-Americans in North America. 
Interestingly, the doors are painted red. Based on research by the tour guide and Savannah professor, Dr. Jamal Toure, the red doors represent African ownership. Red doors also represent a sanctuary, a place of worship.
Doubly interesting, in Exodus 12:7, the Lord instructed Moses and Aaron to tell the children of Israel to paint their doorposts red during the very first the Passover (Exodus 12:1-12). On that particular night, the Lord said "I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgement; I am the Lord." Exodus 12:12. 
There is a connection here. There are no consequences with God. He does everything on purpose. 
The red doors yield evidence to the fact that Georgia's earliest …

Family History

Today, one of the matriarchs of my family passed on.

Her mother, who passed in 1996, wrote my family history- A History of the Willis Family of Wilkes County, GA.

Today's passing brings with it the loss of information, history, and stories that are now irretrievable.

Last week while in Savannah, I took the African-American History Tour hosted by Dr. Jamal Toure (who I will put in a shameless plug for, if you're ever in Savannah, take his tour, you won't regret it).

I was fortunate to have a one-on-one conversation with Dr. Toure, apart from the tour. Our dialogue centered around knowing the importance of family history because the family story is your story. In Dr. Toure's words "With every funeral, we lose a piece of our history."

The passing of my cousin really brings it home. There is no telling how much family history her historian mother shared with her. Stories, ancestor's names, encounters, and struggles that we may not have the privilege of hearin…

1st Time for Savannah

I spent Wednesday-Friday in Savannah at the Georgia Economic Developers Association Annual Conference. It was GEDA's 51st annual conference, my 1st one attending, and my 1st time in Savannah.

From beginning to end, the conference was amazing. I didn't want it to end. In fact, I stayed another night in Savannah on my own dime.

Savannah, Georgia's oldest city, is quite the place. James Oglethorpe's original development plans still remain: the grid-like design, the numerous squares, and open spaces.

Yes, James Oglethorpe's city planning from 1733 are still evident today. Therefore, he is not only the founder of Georgia, but also Georgia's first city's planner and economic developer.

I'll return with more about the economic, historic, and social elements contained within the living history book that is Savannah, Georgia.

Shout Out to Lecrae. Last week he became the first Christian rapper to reach #1 on the Billboard 200 and appeared on the Tonight Show with…

Take 6

I am a huge Take 6 fan. They, along with Commissioned, are my favorite singing group of all-time.

Apart from their phenomenal music, here is one special reason.

My sister, Tabitha, passed in the summer of 2009. Up until that point, I was not very close to my mother's family. But at Tab's passing, my moma's family drew really close to us. And we to them, like never before.

Moma's mother is one of eleven children raised on a farm in Wilkes County, Georgia. Among those eleven were 6 boys and 5 girls.

The six Andrews men are my great-uncles: James "Mule," Mack, Leroy, Moses "Mose," Allen, and Dennis. Uncle Mule died the same year I was born. I never got to meet him. But the other five are some of the nicest, supportive, wise, funniest, and loving men I could ever ask for in uncles. Since 2009, all five of them have been special parts of my life.

I am thankful.

Take 6 is a group of six men. I have six great uncles. Every time I listen to Take 6 I think o…

Praise & Worship Observations

Only musicians know...

1. I have strong dislike to see people sitting during praise and worship. God inhabits the praises of his people (Psalms 22:3). We begin Sunday morning church service with praise, worship, music, and dancing. Yet some people just sit in their seats and watch. Church is not a concert. Church is interactive. Spiritual battles are won in praise and sacrifice, not sitting and spectating.

2. I don't speak much before church. It's not me being rude or anti-social, it's focus. I am focused. Focused on God and my responsibilities as a musician to kill my flesh and ego and allow the Holy Spirit to take control. I desire a pure flow from my heart and mind to my hands, through the piano, and into the ears, hearts, and minds of the listeners. People need to hear from God, not me.

3. When it's not time to play, I don't. Church is not a venue for me to solo and show off my latest and greatest tricks. There is a time and place for that. But, for the most pa…