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Showing posts from October, 2015

When Facing the Temptation to Make a Name for Yourself...

Matthew 20:25-2825"But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. 26"Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 27"And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave- 28"just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
There is nothing wrong with wanting to be great. In fact, Jesus instructs us on how to be great. It is not like the Gentiles who used power plays, back-stabbing, and an insatiable appetite for greed and recognition to get ahead (sounds a lot like our current society, huh?). Jesus teaches us the right way to achieve greatness.
God blesses us with gifts, not to try to dominate people, but to employ those gifts to serve Him and improve the lives of others. Our motives have to align with His.
I have played p…

Music Spotlight Tuesday: The Commissioned Reunion Part 2 (Far-fetched Wishes)

Commissioned is my all-time favorite singing group. I love Take 6, The Winans, and 4Him, but NO group compares to the harmonies, relevance, and Scriptural soundness of Commissioned.

Commissioned's last album to date was the Commissioned Reunion (2002). It was an incredible recording that gave superb justice to their consistent delivery of power-packed and anointed songs beginning in the 1980's.

However, as in any "Best Of" list, inevitably good ones get left out. That is why I created a tracklist of some of my favorite Commissioned songs that are just as good as those on the real Commissioned Reunion, but did not make the cut.

So...

IF, IF, IF Commissioned was to pull together for a Commissioned Reunion Part 2, I believe the song list would look something like this...

DISC 1
He Set Me FreeWork On MeStandWe Are OvercomersThe Way You Love MeDon't WorryI'm LearningBack to My First LoveAt the Point of Your NeedIf God is For UsOnly What You Do For Christ Will LastLe…

Observations from the Weekend 10/25/15

My mom and I go see my grandparents (her parents) once a month in rural Tignall, Georgia. Our trips are always fun as she and I get to talk, bond, and catch up.

Saturday morning after breakfast, my grandparents, Moma, and I cleaned up and threw away some of Grandmama's years' long junk in my grandparents' storage house. I mean junk! I have no idea how all those old newspapers, empty boxes, and broken decorations accumulated, but all four us got rid of a lot it.

Grandaddy and I hauled the throwaways on the back of his truck and took it to a nearby dumpster. After two hours of non-stop cleaning and heavy lifting, Grandaddy took the drive to the dumpster.

It was the longest ride he and I had together in at least six years. When I was college, I would visit my grandparents whenever I could and go to church with him.

Graddaddy is an introvert. Typically he only opens up in one-on-one conversations.

Going to the dumpster and coming back, he and I rode with our windows down in hi…

Music Spotlight Tuesday: 5 Favorite Cyphers

What's a cypher? A cypher is rapping in a group setting with each rapper getting a turn to share their best rhymes. That is the best I could do, at least. There is no formal definition of a "cypher." It is a bunch of rappers rapping together.

In case you do not know already, hip-hop is one of my favorite genres and it only gets better when it glorifies Christ.

With that in mind, here are five of my favorite cyphers. They are listed in alphabetical order by artist name.

... And one side note, I wish rappers would bring cyphers back to their albums. There is nothing like hearing 5-6 emcees blaze the mic and bring their diverse flavors to tracks.

Enjoy!

1. "The Reunion Cypha"- The Ambassador ft. God’s Servant, J.A.Z., Shai Linne, Andy Mineo, Cruz Cordero, & DJ Wade-O


2. "Eternal Cypha"- The Cross Movement ft. Da' T.R.U.T.H., J-Silas, Todd Bangz, Flame, R-Swift, & DJ Official


3. "Everyday All Day Cypha"- Everyday Process ft. Lecrae, …

Observations from the Weekend

A few observations this past weekend...
One of the most moving funeral services I have ever attended and played piano at was that of Ms. Virginia Hitchcock of Chattanooga, TN this past Saturday. This one hit close for a few reasons 1) She was a very faithful member of the church 2) She was really precious to my parents 3) The delight she brought to our church. A mother of six, she was classy, stylish, sweet, and could throw down in the kitchen! As a kid I remember how people would rave about her red velvet cakes. In fact, hers was the very first red velvet cake I ever had. She graduated from Howard High School in 1958. Several of her classmates were present and they gave a resolution to the family. Graduating in '58 means she witnessed segregation, Jim Crow, the Civil Rights Movement, and the disenfranchisement of African Americans to an unreal degree in her lifetime. And yet, living to witness our nation's first African-American President. I wish I could have spoke with her mo…

Luke 4:12-16

Luke 4:12-16

12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him saying, "Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean." 13 Then He put out His hand and touch him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately, the leprosy left him. 14 And He charged him to tell no one, "But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded." 15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
This man has a severe skin disease.
We do not know how this man recognizes Jesus' authority to heal, but he clearly understands that Jesus can. Then, Jesus does something that no one else would ever do: He reaches out and touches the diseased skin. 

Music Spotlight Tuesday: Pianos in Hip Hop

No instrument sounds better than a piano on a hip hop beat. None.

Pianos enhance melodies, create harmony, and establish tone. Mix that with the authenticity of hip hop and the sound produced is distinct and original.

As a pianist and hip hop producer and lover, here are five songs that combine the piano and hip hop in a flavorful way.

Enjoy the music, but even more importantly, enjoy the lyrics as emcee is lifting up Christ!

1. "One Two"- The Ambassador

2. "Certified Gold"- Eshon Burgundy

3. "The Art of Joy"- Jackie Hill Perry

4. "The All Sufficiency of Christ"- Timothy Brindle