…I had spent my whole life without any existence of my biological father and when the unknown number appeared across my iPhone, I knew it was him. Any prior scenario that I had planned in my head was tossed out the window. I knew there had to be a God above because through all the hurt and pain I began to feel at that very second, my love for this complete stranger seemed to outweigh it all…
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To forgive or not to forgive! That is the question. Tina Campbell, one half of the platinum selling gospel duo, Mary, Mary, has recently opened up to audiences on the duos hit reality tv show, also entitled “Mary, Mary”, regarding infidelity on the part of her husband, Teddy Campbell. This news was a bombshell that rocked the Christian community! But c’mon! Really? Why should it have been such a shock? Because she is part of Mary, Mary, a Christian artist with millions, a home with kids and husband? People are people wherever you go! Regardless as to age, race, color, creed, sex, we are all human and are prone to the same mistakes as anybody else. However, Christians are held to a higher standard. In fact, the highest!
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He’s fabulous, his status is immaculate; I’m lacking the vernacular to adequately capture his glory. Incomparable, unconquerable, all-powerful, unstoppable, absolutely phenomenal. No obstacle he can’t navigate, he’s God and so fascinates, with Him it’s impossible to exaggerate. – shai linne (@ShaiLinne) More
Reach Records put out an official statement concerning the artwork on many of their albums. They addressed what seems to be a growing concern of an occult connection. Reach affirms their mission and sets the record straight. Take a read. Then leave a comment with your thoughts.
We wanted to take the time to address some concerns that we have received on a variety of Reach Records artwork. Like many platforms in the hip-hop genre, we too have been accused of connections to shadow organizations, such as the Illuminati. While the purpose of this letter isn’t to walk through each piece of artwork, what we did feel is necessary is to affirm our mission to all of you.
We want to be upfront and transparent when we say that the artistic directions we take are not a result of some mysterious occult group or made with ill-intentions. Many times the choices we make for a particular album design have deeper redemptive, Biblical themes. Other times, they are purely aesthetic choices. The Bible helps us think through these issues as we see how God created the world we live in. Genesis 2:9 tells us, “And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.” Scripture tells us that God is intentional about making trees, not just for functional use, food, but also for aesthetic enjoyment. The drawing of an eye, a skull, etc. are all good things that God is ultimately responsible for designing and are not made evil because of their association to evil. The world’s perversion of these things does not overcome the good intent of God’s craftsmanship. They work off of borrowed capital and should not have the final say on the things God has made. More
“I’ve been thrown out some of the best churches in America.” Guess who said that? No, it was not Lecrae, Da’ Truth, Trip Lee or some other “rambunctious” rap artist. Actually, the man who uttered these words has also written monumental songs that can be found in those weird little red books called “Hymnals”. Need another hint? OK, he wrote a little song called “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”. Are you with me yet? That’s right, Thomas A. Dorsey; the so-called “creator” of gospel music as we know it. Former blues musician, gospel legend, and American treasure Thomas A. Dorsey was not always appreciated. He was hated, criticized, and ostracized for his seamless blending of “secular” chords, worldly rhythms, and demonic phrasing with sacred lyrics. Such critiques sound queer today. However, what was once held as the sinful product of culture eventually became a holy pillar in the Christian community.
The debates around the purity, usefulness, and integrity of Christian Hip Hop have been circulating since its conception. Interestingly, many of these public debates happen within the blogospheres of “white” evangelicalism. Still, tension over this genre remains amongst the Black Church as well. For some in this context, the aggressive style, sinful origin, and boastful presentation are reasons many offer to reject the upcoming genre. For others, the promotion of Calvinistic doctrines in the lyrics are more offensive than the beats. More
Okay, I’ll be honest: I’m not much for New Year’s Resolutions. It’s not that I have some insane hatred for them. It’s just that I don’t really make them. I don’t care to do so. That being said, throughout the year I do try to commit myself to achieving certain goals. For example, each year I read through the Bible: the Old Testament once and the New Testament twice. As a new pastor, when I read through a book I know I’m going to preach on, I outline the book as I read through it. Additionally, each day when I do my readings, I write down certain verses that catch my attention. I may even write down some observations about the surrounding context and make some application as well. Finally, I try to turn those points of application into a prayer to help me focus throughout the day. More
2013 will always be remembered as one of the best years for Christian Hip-Hop. For the first time we really got the recognition we have worked hard to earn, our genre is being honored correctly on award shows and mainstream media. This year was also the worst year to drop your music project as an artists, why? Well every artist gave their absolute best therefore making it easy to eclipse other brilliant projects. We have had to compile a very difficult list, we had to consider many factors surrounding each project. We literally went through over 100 projects. Our personal preferences were put aside. Special thanks to @Teacher_claude and @activefm for bumping heads with me while compiling this very hard and almost impossible list. Enjoy. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section below. More
I grew up in a generation when we all had a note book where we wrote the lyrics to our favorite songs and cut up pictures from magazines to paste on our bedroom walls. We (our generation) didn’t have internet, Facebook nor Google but we got to know many artists mainly through collaborations. I remember DMX and Sisqo doing “what they want” and us just bugging out because Mr Thong Song himself and X the Ruff Ryder were coming together on one track. Though things have changed today, the principle of great collaborations still applies in my world. In Christian rap there are a couple of collaborations that have kept fans begging to see their favorite artists coming together over and over again. Lets dig into our list of 10 collaborations that will have you indulging in good music. More
“[S]aving grace . . . is God’s giving us a sovereign joy in God that triumphs over all other joys and therefore sways the will. The will is free to move toward whatever it delights in most fully. But it is not within the power of our will to determine what that sovereign joy will be.” 
Some Background Info
Before I dive right into this topic, perhaps some background would be helpful. The quote above comes from John Piper’s book God’s Passion for His Glory: Living the Vision of Jonathan Edwards. In the first part of the book, Piper gives a brief biography of Edwards; included in this section is Piper’s own personal story of how he encountered Edwards’s writings and the impact they have had on his life and ministry. The quote comes from the section in which Piper talks about his experience of reading Edwards’s book The Freedom of the Will. This book is Edwards’s most influential philosophical treatise ever written. In context, the quote above comes from Piper summarizing Edwards’s own view of free will. Speaking personally, I have enjoyed the first part of this book so much that this was my second time reading through it.
Explaining the Quote
I mentioned a few days ago on Facebook that I hoped to offer some thoughts on this quote from Piper. As I’ve reflected on how to begin, I think the best place to start is with the latter part of the quote and then work my way back to the beginning of the sentence. With that said, here goes nothing: In the second and third sentences Piper writes, “The will is free to move toward whatever it delights in most fully. But it is not within the power of our will to determine what that sovereign joy will be.” More
These were the words God spoke to me in 2010, after I had been released from my fourth NFL team in two years. I was frustrated, hurt, and disappointed that despite all the obstacles and adversity I overcame in my five years in college, I was finally living my childhood dream of playing in the […] More
Since most churches are desperate to boost their numbers and give the appearance of growth, they oftentimes end up with unbelievers on their rolls. This is unhealthy and it reflects poorly on the church. While we certainly welcome unbelievers into our churches on Sunday morning, we do not want unbelievers to become members of our congregations. More
Editor’s Note: We posted this article this time last year, but I believe it needs to be posted again. Should we be “scaring the hell” out of people so they can enter the gates of Heaven? We’d love to hear your thoughts! — Godside
One can always tell when fall is preparing to make its grand entrance. The most obvious clues are when the ground is covered with reddish brown leaves and the temperature outside is suddenly cooler. Fall sets off a trigger in my mind and I immediately begin to ponder about upcoming holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and…Halloween. More