- Written by Dion Rabouin
How do you follow up the most important Christian hip-hop album of all time?
That's the question standing before 33-year-old rapper Lecrae, a freshly-minted addition to Atlanta's hip hop community.
After his 2012 album "Gravity" hit no. 1 on the rap charts (not the Christian rap charts) and no. 3 on the Billboard 200, won the Grammy Award for Best Gospel album and his "Church Clothes" mixtape racked up 100,000 downloads, certified platinum by mixtape kingpin Datpiff.com in 48 hours, Lecrae has our attention.
LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE Dear Lucy: In your last article you talked about goals and things we may do to block reaching them. You mentioned procrastination and that is my biggest problem. Can you say more about it? – The Queen Of Putting It Off
Dear Queen: Don't despair. Not doing is just the flip side of doing. You have the power to be the queen of the one you choose, moment by moment. Sometimes, not doing is as important as doing. The truth is that we all know when we need to choose a different way of being. That still, small voice speaks to us and relentlessly tries to move us to the best choice.
Recently, I was making a purchase on line and did not complete it. I got an email from the vendor reminding me to complete my order. It was cute and said this:
- Written by Kelly S. Martin/Special to The New Tri-State Defender
Full of vigor, dedication and passion, the Rev. Evan Collins has accepted the call to lead Eastern Star Missionary Baptist Church and to take on all the associated challenges.
The 26-year-old Collins is the newly-elected pastor of the church at 334 William Fields Ave, (Cleveland Ave.) in North Memphis. Coming from a lineage of preachers, he answered the calling to serve God as an adolescent.
"My grandfather served as pastor of Progressive Missionary Baptist Church on Vance Ave. for 40 plus years," said Collins. "His oldest son, O.C. Collins Jr., who is my father, is pastor of Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, his middle son, James Byron Collins, is the current pastor of Progressive, and the youngest son, Timothy Collins, is pastor of Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Dallas, Texas."
- Written by Demetria L. Lucas/The Root
"My question is rather complicated. I'm dating a very nice girl now, but she refuses to go to church with me. My mom and grandparents are all leaders in our church, and I'm running out of excuses for her. She says she's not a churchgoer and doesn't want to be a hypocrite and go for my sake. Is she wrong?" – R.L.J.
Your question isn't really so complicated at all. No, the very nice woman you are dating is not wrong for not wanting to go to church, whether it's with you or anyone else or on her own. Faith is a very personal issue, and she is entitled to practice it – if she has one – however she sees fit, just as you are. Attending church and, by proxy, praising God is something that should be done for yourself or for your God, not to make the family of the man you're dating happy.
While this particular woman's actions are not wrong, I do wonder if the two of you are compatible. Dating is when you're supposed to be figuring that out – and it seems that being with a woman who goes to church, and what your family thinks about her, are a big deal to you.
- Written by NNPA News Service
NASHVILLE – Bishop Joseph Walker III – the 45-year-old pastor of the 28,000-member Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Nashville – is the new presiding bishop of Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International, the largest African-American Protestant religious organizations in the United States.
The Southern University graduate will succeed Bishop Paul S. Morton as presiding bishop of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International (FGBCFI), with an estimated 2 million members. Bishop Morton, who founded the FGBCFI 20 years ago, is based in New Orleans.
"I'm humbled and thankful by this God ordained responsibility and opportunity," said Bishop Walker. "I'm so grateful for the confidence Bishop Morton and the Bishop's Council has shown in choosing me as the next Presiding Bishop," said Walker, who recently shared his thoughts in this interview with The Tennessee Tribune.
LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE Dear Lucy: I created five goals at your workshop back in February. I'm having trouble with the two that mean the most to me. By now I should have made a lot more progress. Any ideas?
Dear Stuck: Thanks for the question. I have been thinking about this myself! Here are a few ways to test your blocks to success.
- Written by Kam Williams
Was Jesus Christ really God or merely a charlatan, and just one of the countless "false messiahs" who "tramped through the holy Land delivering messages of God's imminent judgment" during the 1st Century? That is the central question addressed by Zealot, a controversial biography by Reza Aslan.
Thanks to a contentious interview with the author on Fox News Television that went viral, the incendiary opus was catapulted to #1 spot on the New York Times best-seller list. On the show, Dr. Aslan promoted himself as a Professor of Religion in order to deflect suspicion that he might have an anti-Christian agenda.
Truth be told, he actually only teaches Creative Writing at UC Riverside. And his credentials are also suspect, since his Ph.D. is in Sociology. So, it only makes sense to approach this self-appointed expert on the life of Jesus with a healthy skepticism, especially when you factor in that he was born a Muslim, converted to Christianity as a teenager, and then back to Islam five years later.
- Written by Eric E. Vickers/NNPA News Service
If Islam is ever to be understood and appreciated by Americans, then Muslims will need to stop trying to convince them that it is a "religion of peace." Having just completed my 35th Ramadan – the month of fasting – I find it neither representative of nor true to the faith to portray it in any way as passive.
If America is to reap the vitality that Islam can offer a society, then Americans will have to look beyond Muslim terrorists to see a religion that blossomed in a remarkably short span of time from one man's vision in a cave to the world superpower that conquered the Persian and Byzantine empires and brought enlightenment to Europe. To understand this history as a continuing spiritual phenomenon Americans will need to understand the religion's founder, Muhammad, and the text he brought, the Qur'an.
The quote attributed to Jesus in the Book of Matthew provides an apt description of Muhammad's life: "I come not to bring peace, but to bring a sword." It was 600 years after the time of Christ and during Ramadan – the ninth month in the Islamic (lunar) calendar – that Muhammad, a 40-year-old Arab businessman, while meditating in a cave about the greed and corruption in society, had a revelation that he was called to preach the oneness of God.
LIVING THE LIFE I LOVE Dear Lucy: I am a breast cancer survivor. I had a mastectomy almost 20 years ago. I had chemo and radiation. Recently the cancer has come back. I changed my diet to strict vegetarian, I exercised, I totally changed my lifestyle. I am a praying woman and I just feel like this is unfair and scary. Is there something I missed?
– So Afraid and Tired
Dear Precious One: Please accept my outpouring of love to you. This is an often-repeated story with many types of cancer. There are many new and powerful treatments and diagnostic tools available today and I am sure that you have been a good steward of your physical health. I am also sure that you will consult and follow your physician's advice as one should always do as you seek direction through prayer. The opinion that I share with you is not intended to be medical in any way.
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
An Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, the Rev. Eddie Albert Brown Jr. – who served the AME Western Tennessee Conference for 40-plus years – died Aug. 5 at Methodist University Hospital.
Rev. Brown, who answered the call to preach at an early age, was led to the African Methodist Episcopal Church by Bishop Bettye J. Alston. Through her guidance, he became an ordained Elder. He developed an unwavering passion for justice and equality and was an outspoken supporter and defender of the rights of women in ministry.
The turbulent 60s were in full effect when Rev. Brown began his ministry. Although a youth at the time, he was mentored by civil rights icons Dr. H. Ralph Jackson, the Rev. James L. Gleese, and Dr. Henry Logan Starks. Under their leadership, Rev. he gained experience as a civil rights activist and found a niche garnering youth support of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike.
- Written by John Daniels/The Root
Although many say the Bible's message is "come as you are," one pastor in Texas is taking the adage to a whole new level. A.J. Aamir, of Resurrecting Faith in Waco, recently told the women on the church's leadership staff not to wear weaves, reports Clutch magazine.
His reason? He believes that women who wear weaves present a false representation of themselves and could be thought to have low self-esteem.
Although Aamir can't legally ban weaves in his church, he does say that he plans on counseling the women in his congregation against it.
- Written by gospelevents.com
Come out and rejoice with the dynamic James Fortune & FIYA in their live recording on September 6,2013 in Austell, Georgia. This is an event you do not want to miss with special musical guests Israel Houghton, Isaac Carree, Tasha Cobbs, Zacardi Cortez and more. Tickets are $15, 7pm-10pm.
Word of Faith Church
212 Riverside Parway
- Written by Tri-State Defender Newsroom
The Sunday (Aug. 11) worship service at Cummings Street Baptist Church was filled with excitement as it was announced that the Eugene Waller Scholarships would be presented. While the students had been notified, the congregation was unaware of the recipients.
Many of those attending commented that they were proud to see young African-American men engaged in positive pursuits. The students themselves seemed happy and motivated to fulfill the late Rev. Waller's vision for "a powerful, educated, informed leadership to serve God and man!"
The 2013 Eugene Waller Scholarship recipients were: Tommie Biles, Myles Brooks, Andre Cleveland, Randall Hill, Victoria Neal, Ciara Oliver, Quentin Payne and Quinton Shaw.