Monthly Archives: February 2013

Interesting Article – “I Am Damaged Goods” by Sarah Bessey

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I stumbled across this article and I had to share it. The author Sarah Bessey shares a personal experience of being and feeling shamed for her sexual impurity at a young age, and how it affected her faith and outlook on life for a lengthy period of time. Here’s a great except from her article: (Full link to the article here)

We, the majority non-virgins in the myopic purity conversations,  feel like the dirty little secret, the not-as-goods, the easily judged example.  In this clouded swirl of shame, our sexual choices are the barometer of our righteousness and worth. We can’t let any one know, so we keep it quiet, lest any one discover we were not virgins on some mythic wedding night. We don’t want to be the object of disgust or pity or gossip or judgement. And in the silence, our shame – and the lies of the enemy – grow.

And so here, now, I’ll stand up and say it, the way I wish someone had said it to me fifteen years ago when I was sitting in that packed auditorium with my heart racing, wrists aching, eyes stinging, drowning and silenced by the imposition of shame masquerading as ashes of repentance:

“So, you had sex before you were married.

It’s okay.

Really. It’s okay.

There is no shame in Christ’s love. Let him without sin cast the first stone. You are more than your virginity – or lack thereof – and more than your sexual past.

Let me start by saying this: Even though this article is written from a woman’s perspective and story, PLEASE don’t make the mistake in thinking that both men and women deal with the guilt and shame that can come with lustful sin. Is sexual impurity before marriage wrong? Yes. Whether it’s sex before marriage or pornography, the Bible makes it clear what the standard is. Yet so many of us fall short (myself included) and live with this “infinite shame” of this “unwashable” sin. But God FORGIVES. God HEALS. And most importantly, God still LOVES. We can’t and shouldn’t guilt ourselves into trying to earn God’s love and acceptance back. First of all, His love and acceptance was never taken away. Secondly, we couldn’t earn His love even if we tried. It’s by grace and mercy that we can even walk this earth as Christians with a promised eternity of beauty, not our own merits and good works. I’m not saying act as if nothing has happened. I’m saying repent and be free of your guilt and sin, and be OPEN to others who are struggling with sexual purity. I truly believe we as a body of Christ has to be much less judgmental and much more TRANSPARENT. No one is without sin.

What do you think about the article? How have you approached your quest fro sexual purity? Do you struggle with your self-esteem or self-image due to a past sin? Weigh in.

~ Signing Off

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Positive Audio/Video of the Week (2.18.13 – 2.24.13) – One Sixteen Remix by AJ (@AJ_Raps), Phresh Air (@DMVPhreshAir), and Haelo (@Haelo)

A few DOPE CHH artists and myself got together and remixed the popular Trip Lee song “One Sixteen”. We’ve been getting great feedback on it, and just recently topped 1,000 views. Check it out!

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DUDE…It’s Wednesday and You JUST Realized Valentine’s Day is Tomorrow…

Don’t panic. Ok, maybe a little.

(After 15 minutes)

Done yet? Good. Yes, I know you have less than 24 h….yes, I completely understand you’ve been bu….yes, I know your Valentine will be pi…Seriously, RELAX.

You forgot. It happens. But please, do NOT tell her that. Yet. Panicking won’t help you, most fine dining spots are already booked up, and flowers will cost you an arm and a leg to have delivered. TRUST ME. If you want to still put on a Valentine’s Day to remember, you’ve got to roll your sleeves up. Nothing short of Jesus and something original and heartfelt will save you now. You’re a fixer by nature, and if you’re not, I am, and I’m on your team. But honestly, how did you NOT know tomorrow is Valentine’s Day? Sorry, backtracking.

I’m going to assume you’re on a budget. If not, then you’ll be fine and you don’t need this advice. Cash-strapped and still need to impress? Right this way. Jokes aside, if you’re with a woman that truly likes/loves you, while she won’t be happy by your forgetfulness, she’ll forgive you…oh, you’re into the crazy types…oh…OHHHH…yea, let’s talk. Here’s some last minute ideas that might save you tomorrow.

1) Write her a sincere, unique and heartfelt love letter/poem.

You know why men in almost every sappy love movie ever write love letters or poems? Because when done right, letters/poems are able to deliver the emotions and feelings that we as men sometimes forget to express on a daily basis. Yes, I know you’d do anything for her, but understand this; while men express love through their actions, women still need to HEAR it for confirmation. Didn’t make the most sense to me, either, but it’s the truth.

But you’ve never written a letter/poem before, let alone a GOOD one…I hear you. Here are a few pointers that will help you pull this off. Start with an exercise known as “object writing”. Simply put, it’s a 10 minute (and ONLY 10 minutes. Seriously, don’t cut yourself short or go overboard) exercise that allows you to write about a random topic from by utilizing seven senses. Yes, seven. The first five need no explanation –  Taste, Touch, Sound, Sight and Smell. The remaining two are your Organic Sense and your Kinesthetic Sense. Organic sense is the awareness of your inner bodily functions, such as how your heartbeat reacts, how your breathing tempo changes, how your muscles tighten/loosen, etc. Kinesthetic Sense is your relation to the world around you. Object writing gives you a chance to practice “expressing” yourself fully, diving into the deep recesses of writing you didn’t even know you had. Doesn’t even have to rhyme. Check out http://www.objectwriting.com for the word of the day, and for examples from others. Do about two or three  practice runs at different times of the day. Once you feel comfortable, object write about your Valentine. You’ll find yourself pouring out wells of emotions that she will love. If you have the gift of rhyming, turn that love letter into a love poem. Extra brownie points.

This works best with a talent you already have. Can you sing? Make it a song. Can you play an instrument? Tell her to read the letter/poem out loud as you play a song that you composed for her. Delivery is important here, too. You want the word “cute” to pop in her head. Yes, “cute”.

2) Set up a romantic night where you give her ALL of your time and attention.

V-day isn’t really about the gifts as much as it is about the thought. Most women would rather have their loved ones genuinely spend time with them than to buy an expensive gift without ever showing affection. If you cook for her and spend the night over a romantic dinner full of laughs and conversation, you’re good to go. Beautiful night out? Plan out a night walk or find a spot to gaze at the stars while eating homemade s’mores (start googling places in your area NOW). Find something out of the box (that won’t be over crowded) like a hand dance lesson. Get her curious with random post its, text messages or emails that allude to what’s in store but doesn’t give the plans you have. You’ll have to put in WORK, but you can definitely make it a fantastic, last-minute Valentine’s Day.

3) Be at her service.

This is especially for husbands. From waking moment to waning seconds, you become her personal comfort manager and supervisor. Anything she asks or that she would normally do (cook, handle the kids, clean, etc.), you do, with grace, charisma and charm. Do other things she wouldn’t normally think of, like washing her car. Not married? You can use this idea to a lesser effect, but I’d suggest coupling it with one of the first two. She’ll appreciate the day off.

4) Do something you know she loves that you swore you’d never do.

My wife loves horror movies. I can’t stand them. So I made it pretty clear she’d have to find someone else to watch them with. You know what made her day after an extremely rough day at work? Watching a horror movie with he. Not begrudgingly, but willingly and lovingly. I actually got into it a little bit. However, even if I didn’t, seeing her demeanor change INSTANTLY was more than worth it. Would you do anything to make her smile? Time to prove it. Said you would never watch “The Notebook” with her? Time to break out the tissues.  Swore you’d never get a manicure with her? Time to make those hands sparkle. (Seriously dude, you’re in the HOLE right now. Man up!)

Now let me say this in all seriousness. Valentine’s Day is the day made out to be the day of love (Not arguing the history behind V-Day here), but hopefully you haven’t waited until now to show your Valentine you love her. However, if you’re a single male trying to keep your purity (and I’m praying that you are), you have to be careful. There are plenty of ways to express your love to her that won’t put you both in a tough spot. My prayer is that you and your love enjoy a fantastic Valentine’s Day while still staying faithful to God. If you’re having trouble thinking of ideas that will allow you to stay pure, pray. God is faithful in not giving us more than we can handle (1 Corinthians 10:13). Married men, you have to be willing to compromise and go all out for your love, and you don’t have to break the bank to do this.

Feel better? Didn’t I say I’d help? You do know that in the event something goes wrong, I’m not liable, right? Just checking. Anyways, enjoy tomorrow. Have a great V-day full of love, laughter and memories…

…AND DON’T FORGET NEXT YEAR!

Interesting Article – “I’m Not Afraid to Raise Daughters” by Jen Wilkin

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I wanted to share this article because it’s an interesting read. The author (Jen Wilkin) is a mother for four, and she asks the question “Why do men with sons seem to express ‘gladness’ that they don’t have daughters?” Here is a quick excerpt: (Full link to the article here)

“I reject this analysis of the risk. I reject the fear-mongering apparitions of predatory sons and pregnant daughters as motivators for my parenting. This philosophy believes a pregnant daughter is the worst thing a parent has to fear. This is far from the truth. My greatest concern cannot be that they reach marriage unsullied and unharmed—it must be that they grow to love God above all else. If they make mistakes on the road to adulthood, even mistakes with permanent consequences, we must face them bravely and run to their Savior for forgiveness and help.

Do you think your sons are at less risk to be harmed by wrong decisions? You take too much comfort in their lack of a uterus. You have calculated the risk only in physical terms. There are always consequences for sin—some of them just gestate longer. If you considered my daughters as valuable as if they were your own, you would raise different sons. In all likelihood, one day you will have daughters. Raise sons who choose them well.”

She questions the culture that makes it seem “safer” to raise sons over daughters. Men typically are afraid to have daughters because they know what young boys are like, and that’s where the fundamental problem is. I believe men have a responsibility to be examples to younger boys to teach them how to respect and treat women – a responsibility so many men have forgotten. What are your feelings on the subject? Parents, what are your thoughts? Weigh in.

~ Signing off.

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POSITIVE AUDIO/VIDEO OF THE WEEK (2.11.13 – 2.17.13) – Q&A with Tim Keller – Reason for God? Belief in an Age of Skepticism (Discussion forum)

My friend and fellow Gospel Hip-Hop artist Phresh Air posted this video a while back, and I must say, it’s an awesome video. For those who have wondered how to handle questions pertaining to Christianity (especially questions coming from non-believers), I believe Tim Keller sets a good example. His answers are honest, and he admits when he doesn’t know, but he also handles the questions graciously as possible. This is a long video (Hour and 24 minutes), but it’s worth it, even if you can play it while you’re working. Check it out!

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Positive Audio/Video of the Week (2.3.13 – 2.10.13) – J.I.F.E (Jesus Is For Everybody) – Da T.r.u.t.h

This is the First single from Da Truth’s Newest Album, “Love, Hope, War”. Album review is coming soon. Until then, check out the single!

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Case of the Mondays…

First off…CONGRATS TO THE BALTIMORE RAVENS AND THEIR FANS! You guys earned it. You fought your way through an amazing postseason. You guys plated a heck of a game and pulled out the trophy (though I definitely thought there should have been a holding call on 4th and goal).

Didn’t have a Friday Randomness last week. Just wasn’t one of those Fridays where the randomness was flowing. Didn’t pick my SB team until Sunday, either (picked the 49ers, and lost, bringing me to 1-2 all time). So there’s that…

I’m working on an article that addresses the “Christian rappers vs Rappers that are Christian label” argument that’s ben going on in CHH (Christian Hip-Hop). Hope to have that ready and up soon.

Until then, I’ll be posting a new Positive A/V of the Week, and I’m working on an album review for Da Truth’s “Love, Hope, War”. Make sure you check out the Album Review for Sho Baraka’s “Talented Xth”!

 

~ Signing Off

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