Well, it’s been almost a year since I launched The Afterglow (and made an entry in this journal).  The show has been well-received with well over 200 fans listening/downloading each episode. It even got up over 500 for a couple of episodes in the fall. Of course, I would like to greatly increase that number, but it has been a good start. The show has fans all over the world – from Washington to Florida to the UK, Spain, Portugal and Canada. It has been a thrill hearing from them. Many have shared with me how my show has lifted their spirits or helped them through their workday. Awesome!

The most satisfying part for me is that it’s still going.  I followed through on my idea instead of fizzling out. Completing the show in the midst of family & ministry responsibilities, work and other musical pursuits has been quite a challenge at times.  It has pressed me into new levels of efficiency as I have continuously refined the whole process.  I am now able to push through challenges that would have derailed me before. 

The wonderful thing is The Lord has continued to refine my vision throughout the year. I am much more prepared to operate within the music business than I was a year ago. I am learning to locate my audience as well as how and where to post music so they can find it. I am also learning how to properly carve out time for my music without neglecting my family – not an easy task.

It is very gratifying to see tangible progress toward the goals I wrote down a year ago. I still have a long way to go and much work to do, but I am definitely moving.

p.s.  I promise it will not be another 11 months before I make another entry here and you will also be seeing more entries in the blog as well.

Afterglow_Logo_1a.jpg

About 2 months ago, I was listening to the SSRadio lounge and chill channel and I noticed that they appeared to have a shortage of programs on that channel compared to their other channels. Since I am a big fan of downtempo music and have a pretty large collection of tunes that fit the format,  I decided I would like to try to fill in that gap and applied for a time slot. I didn’t realize how much of a backlog of applications they had because as of today, my application is still being processed. I completed show #1 a few weeks ago and am very eager to get started so I’ve decided to just move forward and put the show out as my own podcast while I’m still excited about this.  I do still hope to secure a timeslot there because their built-in audience would be beneficial, but nevertheless, I must move forward with this.

            I’ve written previously in this blog about the challenge of balancing music, family, ministry duties, etc., so it’s reasonable to ask why I would commit to something like this now.  There are a mixture of personal and business motives that I will summarize in 5 reasons:

 

1) This is a way to share my love of music and connect with people who have similar tastes. God willing, these connections will open opportunities to share The Gospel.  (see the Exodus Music Mission Statement)

 

2) It’s a means of connecting with the music industry and getting my name “out there”. This is a platform where I can also play my own original tracks. If the show is well-received, opportunities could open up.

 

3) It’s a good way to direct traffic to my website. The DJ mix from each show will be posted here for download as well as any new tracks I play on the show.

 

4) This is a way to focus and channel my insatiable appetite for music into something fruitful. Selfish arrogance prevented me from becoming a professional DJ years ago, this could be an opportunity to correct that.

 

5) This is an important step in training myself to recognize niches and opportunities and step into them instead of cowering and making excuses.

 

So now ya know. Listen to the player above or on the homepage or HERE and enjoy the show.

As I stated in my last post, in 2010 my studio sabbatical is over. I’m so excited about making music again! However, the biggest question remains: Is this a new beginning or the last hurrah?

I’ve been producing music for over 20 years. I never really wanted to be a star. Fame doesn’t really appeal to me. Frankly, I’m too insecure to tolerate all that scrutiny. I have always wanted music to be my main gig. I want a top-notch studio of my own to work in. At this point, that means enough money to support my family comfortably. As I’ve gotten older, my vision for this has changed – for the better, I think. I see options now that, frankly, I wasn’t open to in the arrogance of my 20’s. But unlike in my 20’s, it’s no longer just about me and my dreams. I have a family now. Anything I pursue has to work within my household and within the vision we have for our family. Even more significantly, I live for Christ now. Any aspirations not in line with The Lord’s call on my life must be let go.

I have resisted saying this for a few years, but I’ll have to say that 2010 is my “do or die” year. This year, I clear some hurdles and make significant, measurable progress or it’s time to turn my attention and passion in another direction.

Critical questions for this year:  I know I have the talent to rap, the question is whether, at 41, does God still want to use that voice?  For years I have had a certain “sound” in my head (production-wise) but have always been too busy to sit down and flesh it out. This year, that sound will get developed. The question is will anybody like it? Can it be promoted? Will it get me the production work and licensing opportunities I want? To have long-term viability, THE CLYDE DEE CONCEPT needs a live stage performance - which means a very different approach to how I compose and arrange that music. Can I pull that off? Will people want to come out and see the show?

  One way or the other, this will be a critical year for me. All of these things will require a strong commitment to private preparation and I don’t expect this to be easy. At the end of 2010, I will have some answers… and plenty of new music. 

Although I have tried to stay active on this site and with other promotional efforts, it has been a very long time since I have actually composed or produced any new music. I have written previously in this blog (Jan. 9, 2009) about the personal & spiritual implications of this extended layoff. It has been very hard on me emotionally having such a critical, core element of who I am shut down for well over 3 years, but thankfully The LORD allowed me to see a little of what he was doing inside of me once I submitted to the process.

            Anytime you endeavor to utilize your gifts as a source of income, you risk corruption by defiling your inspiration.  I believe somewhere along the line that happened to me. Through a series of events & circumstances – not the least of which was living across town from my studio and having to share time with 4 other aspiring producers – I gradually stopped making music from the heart and started making it for business purposes. I no longer had the luxury of making music when I felt inspired. I had to do what I could when the studio was available – regardless of how I felt. I tried to make the best of it, but it simply was not conducive to me doing my best, most inspired work. I created some good music for sure, but my motives weren’t what they should’ve been and I believe my music was effected – negatively.

            One of the benefits of such an extended layoff is that my inspiration – my “muse” – has been restored. I have music bubbling inside of me just itching to get out! In 2010 I will get back to making music from my heart. I’m not abandoning the business part, just putting it in its proper place. The best tracks will be right here on this site for you to download. Once I’ve got enough hot ones out there, hopefully I’ll get some calls for some remix work. Either way, there will be plenty of new music for you to enjoy over the coming year.

As some of you know, my dance project “Goldfinger Vol. 1: 100% Pure Dance Music” is on sale at various outlets on-line. I have 3 more projects that are completed and scheduled for release very soon. I have decided to offer them as free downloads instead of selling them. They will be available on at least one other site, but of course you’ll have first dibs right here. 

The goal is for this to be a marketing tool that creates the kind of exposure for my music that will generate interest in upcoming projects as well as the placement/licensing of tracks in TV, movies and compilations. I also hope to eventually generate some production and remix work for myself.

Sonic Landscapes is already available. I am finishing the cover art on the other projects so expect to see them all up by thanksgiving. Each time a new album is posted, I will announce it here.

YO! I need your help! Pass on links to any friends you have that might enjoy any of the tracks or DJ mixes. Put links on your myspace or facebook pages. Check back and download frequently and, most of all, Pray for me. I have a mission to complete (see my post from 12-28-09).

The war to get my body back in shape is still waging... After eating my way up to a nice, plump 248 lbs., I am now tipping the scales at 241. (I'm 5' 8" by the way) I've been taking my 4 year-old son out to ride his bike while I power walk behind him (I'm working on getting back to running). I'm also working on correcting some poor eating habits - most notably, my long-standing love-affair with ice cream. I'm also working on better meal planning so I can kick the fast-food habit.

The plan is to develop some consistency with the small changes. I'll walk off the 1st 20 lbs., then get back to running. It's a daily fight and the road to 175 lbs. is a long one, but I'm not giving up. There is too much at stake - I need to be a healthy, energized father and husband. My family needs more from me than I can give in my present condition and I know the LORD isn't pleased with this. I've come to understand how deep and intricate the mental aspect of this battle is. All behaviors have underlying emotions that drive them. These emotions must be dealt with and conquered before you can change the behavior.

Join me in praying that I grow stronger in this area before the serious health problems start.

If you’ve checked this section lately, you may have noticed I’ve been off-line for a couple of months. Life has been very busy in my household. A snapshot of the last 2 months of my life: My family moved into a new house, we hosted my wife’s baby shower, my wife started a new job, my son moved from day-care to a new school, my host-daughter graduated from high school, we hosted her open house/party and then got her packed for her return to Vietnam (she was with us for 2 years), my daughter completed her freshman year at CMU and came home for the summer… Last, but not least, 3 weeks ago my wife gave birth to a healthy, strong baby boy! I haven’t slept much, but I praise God for him. Check the photos section for pictures.

Needless to say, with all of that going on there hasn’t been much time (or energy) for promoting music or updating this blog. As I work to find the new rhythm of my life, I hope to hit the ground running with my latest release – Sonic Landscapes – as well as my ongoing quest to find outlets for my music. Most significantly, once I get the remnants of my studio re-assembled, it’s time to start working on some new music!!

Stay tuned, and come back here often.

Every week I will select a track of the week from one of my current projects and offer it as a free download! Be sure to click on the title for additional info.

Each week you will also find a DJ Mix Of The Week free for you to download, put in your iPod or mp3 player, and bump it loud all day & night!! Mixes will cover a variety of genres. Be sure to click the title of the mix for a description of the mix and a playlist.

Check the MUSIC section every week!!

By all means, holla back with comments and pass a link to all of your friends.

The new site is finally finished and online!! DJ mixes, free tracks, new pictures, and new design. Check it out!

Finishing is better than starting. Patience is better than pride. (Ecclesiastes 7:8, NLT)

A few months ago, I began developing a promotional plan with the goal of increasing 1) the exposure of myself as a producer and 2) sales of the music in my current projects. The cornerstone of this plan is the upgrading of this website. I wanted to add features that would get people to not only visit, but return and pass a link to friends. So I’ve added the ablility to purchase tracks right from this site, lots of free tracks to download, and I even dusted off my Djing skills and posted some hot mixes for your ipods and mp3 players (I must confess that making the mixes is more fun than it is work, but it does serve a purpose). I’m in the process of adding some new photos and redesigning the site as well as completing the cover art for my current projects. I am very close to completing this part of the plan. Money is extremely tight for me just like it is for you, but thankfully God has blessed me with the ability to do many of these things myself.

The point is, I’ve had to hold back on many other aspects of my plan until I finish this portion of it. It wouldn’t be beneficial to drive visitors to a site that isn’t finished. I am very eager to complete this portion of the plan so I can move on to the real work of promoting my projects. It has to be done properly, though. I have to make sure that if someone hears a track they like, they can immediately go somewhere and buy it. Knowing myself, however, I run the risk of “getting stuck” in this phase. It’s a very comfortable, low-risk part of the process. Frankly, I need to hurry up so that I actually do get to the next phase…

My biggest challenge is balancing my determination to fight through the inevitable resistance you meet as you approach the completion of anything worthwhile with my determination to not neglect my wife and children. This is the daily struggle. When all is said and done, I don’t want to be another man who is successful in business but a failure at home. However, the fact remains that effective promotion requires time plus I still have to work my 9 to 5 to keep food on the table. Add to that my commitments to my church and my ongoing battle to make the necessary lifestyle changes to get my weight down where it should be… as I said, this is the daily struggle.

To be honest, this is the point where I have fallen off throughout my life – when it’s time to step out of the isolated, comfortable phase and really put it out there and take the risks. I have persistently prayed for more strength and courage and The Lord has brought situations into my life to build it. I’ve been working at this for a lot of years and I’m no longer a “young cat doing his thang”. Frankly, a large part of me wants to call this a “do or die” season – if something major doesn’t happen this year, I throw in the towel and move on to something else. But that is just discouragement talking and I cannot allow myself to be led by that.

Right now, I must stay focused on the light at the end of this tunnel. And when I get there… I’ll write here and tell you about it.

Today I’m into producing electronic styles of music. Back in the day – in the 90’s – I produced a lot of hip-hop and R&B as well as some contemporary jazz. I worked with some talented cats and we created some good music that I have decided to share with you.

You can enjoy the unique, jazzy style of “Euphoria” by The Clyde Dee Concept. There is my own rap project “On An Exodus: 1995-2000 (the phatt traxx y’all never heard)”. There are tracks from MC”M” & The Hype Crew (a rap & dance act I was part of in my college days), various remixes and collaborations as well as some of my work as a songwriter. And, of course, there is the growing selection of DJ mixes for your iPods & mp3 players. All free for you to download!! Just click the music tab up top on the left.

Enjoy! Holla back and let me know what tracks you like.

Also… Although I can’t give them away as downloads ( I don’t own the music), I hope you will checkout my “traxx U need 2 hear” section. (scroll down and read my post from 11-16-06 about why these tracks are here) There’s some bangin’ music plus a couple of nice videos there too. These tracks are available on itunes as well at as holy culture download. If you’re feelin’ them, show these independent artists some love.

Alright!! I said I was adding some new features to the site and here's another one: YOU CAN BUY MP3's OF MY TRACKS RIGHT FROM THIS SITE. Under the "Buy" tab, you can listen to samples of my tracks and buy the one's you like right from the player.
I should have posted this a while ago... I wrote a few months back that there was a band from europe that went by the name of King Midas and they've been around for a while. So... My dance and electronic music will be released under the name THE KING MIDAS PROJECT. note: "The Afterglow" has already been released under the name of King Midas. It's too late to change it.
Some of you may wonder why you don’t hear more Christian songs in my music section. The truth is, much of this music represents “unfinished business” for me. I have an abundance of music that I have recorded & mixed - even had professionally mastered – but never took the steps necessary to release & promote it. For years, I worked my tail off in the studio but neglected the business and promotional side. I’m proud of the music on this site, but most of it was created when I was less mature in my faith. Nevertheless God, in his loving mercy, is pushing me forward and holding open the door of opportunity. The way I’ve had to arrange my life in this season has made creating music virtually impossible, but somehow, time to work on the business side always seems to work out. After wrestling with this issue in prayer for quite sometime I firmly believe that God has place the following limit on me: “No creating new music until you have released everything that is already finished”. So what’s the point? In the coming months as I scrape together the money, expect to see new releases from The King Midas Project, The Clyde Dee Concept, and Waynebo. KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE “BUY” SECTION Also, I’m in the process of re-designing the site and actively doing more things to draw people here. Very soon, you will be able to buy downloads of my tracks right from my home page! I also plan to write in this space much more often in 2009. PLEASE PASS ON A LINK TO YOUR FRIENDS. This time next year I hope to have a much stronger presence in the industry, plenty of music on the market and, God willing, I will have generated enough revenue to make the changes necessary for me to have space in my life to make music again... In other words, I will have finished my unfinished business.
Obviously, my primary reason for creating this website is to expose and promote my music. If you’ve read my mission statement (see last post) or my other posts, you also know that I promote the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I believe the bible is God’s word and the source of truth. I also use this space to share some personal thoughts and struggles. You will also find release announcements and anything else I’m doing announced here as well. It is my hope that the thoughts I share here will provoke you to thinking and maybe sharing some of your thoughts with me via e-mail or in my “holla” section. By all means, please pass on a link to your friends!
The end of the year is always a good time for reflection and self-evaluation. I believe an important part of this process is refreshing or re-affirming one’s motives. When you are clear about why you’re doing something, it becomes easier to make decisions about what to do… and what not to do. Something you are uncertain about should be examined in light of your motives to see if it is contrary to your stated goals. As I re-focus myself on why this site exists in the first place, it seems appropriate to re-post my mission statement. Exodus Music – Mission Statement: In the book of Exodus, God used Moses to lead the children of Israel from one way of life (bondage) into another way of life (freedom). It is the mission of Exodus Music to use the joy, energy and power of music to draw attention and build relationships – primarily with people who are unwilling to go to church or listen to a message preached by a pastor. Through these relationships, God will use Exodus Music to deliver the gospel and lead people to a new way of life - freedom - based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and grounded in the Word of God. To God be all the glory!!
Okay… it’s December of 2008 and I’m waddling (or lumbering if you prefer) through my apartment at a whopping 241 lbs. That’s an all-time high for me! I used to love running, now I can barely run. My cholesterol is up and my doctor says I’ll need to take medication for it. I dance around with my son and he complains to my wife that “daddy keeps sitting down”. This problem was supposed to be dealt with years ago. 2008 was supposed to be the year I finally conquered this. What happened? I’ll tell you what happened. I depended on my own strength and determination. I wrote in this very space that I was going to pray everyday and obey God in this area. I didn’t. The truth is, I am embarrassed to be this fat and out-of-shape as I move into my 40’s. ( I turned 40 in sept.) The worst part for me is having such a thorough understanding of fitness and nutrition. Seriously, I could coach many of you to success in this area. But who’s gonna take fitness advice from a guy who’s so fat he has to unbuckle his belt every time he sits down? (It’s okay if you laugh). The same people who take financial advice from the homeless – nobody. Knowledge is worthless if you don’t use it. So how do I shake out of this, get over the hump and gain victory? As always, the answer is in God’s word. In John 15:5 Jesus said, ”I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing”. So there it is. If I’m gonna do anything, I must stay connected to Christ. I must come before him everyday and acknowledge my need of his help. EVERYDAY! Any day that I don’t, I’m relying on my own strength and we see where that’s gotten me. The best part is, even though I’m disappointed and discouraged today, I don’t have to stay here. God gives new mercy everyday. I’ve disobeyed him in this area, but he always stands ready to forgive. All I have to do is turn back to him. If you see me, don’t ask if I’ve gone to the gym, ask me if I’ve prayed about this today. Anybody reading this can feel free to e-mail me anytime and remind me to pray about it.
Goldfinger Vol. 1: 100% Pure Dance Music is finally available. You can buy the CD or MP3 downloads at CD Baby. Click the buy button on the left. iTunes, eMusic & Rhapsody coming soon... Also, after a 19 year hiatus (LOL) ya boy is back on the turntables. That's right, in the music section I will be posting DJ mixes for your iPods & MP3 players. I plan to put up a variety of styles so check back every week or so to see if a new mix is posted.
Sorry I haven't posted thoughts for a while. I have been thinking, though. Like many of you, life has been very busy for me. Since I don't have any particular thought to write, I figured I would share this video with you because this is what is on my mind and heart. I hope you will watch it and ponder the message.
"As a Man chastens his son, so The Lord your God chastens you". Deut. 8:5 "Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those to those who have been trained by it" Hebrews 12:11 I pondered these scriptures as I sat in the hospital on Jan. 16. I went to the E.R. with chest pains and - for the first time in my life - I was admitted. As I sat in the E.R., I was alone for a couple of hours - except when nurses and doctors were running tests or taking blood, etc. I thought of all the times that the Lord had spoken to me about taking proper care of my body and about the need to be healthy and strong to do his will. I'd heard him clearly. I'd written it down. Then I'd kept right on doing what I was doing: getting by on 3 to 5 hours of sleep, juiced-up on caffiene, not eating healthy, no consistent exercise. In this very space I have written about "slowing down". I have also written about "obeying what you already know". I stand by every word that I wrote. It was and is the truth. But I have been a hypocrite. I do slow down to organize and write down goals, but I also sabatoge my own efforts by consistently engaging in behavior patterns that I know to be unhealthy & unproductive - guaranteeing that those goals will never be achieved. On Jan. 16 I believe my Heavenly Father reached that point all parents reach when they say to themselves "I have done enough talking; it's time to take this to the next level". SPANK!! Chest pains - bad enough to make me stop in the middle of a very busy day and go to the E.R. SPANK!! Spend the night in the hospital unsure of whether or not I'd had a heart attack - my delusions of being strong and healthy disintegrating before my very eyes. SPANK!! Leave the hospital the next day feeling humbled and promptly catch the worst case of the flu I've ever had. Spend 4 more days in bed with a fever, coughing incessantly, while contemplating the way I've been operating my day-to-day life. SPANK!! Miss 4 days of work when I only have 1 day of sick time left. It was determined that I did not have a heart attack and, in fact, my heart is healthy (praise God!). Nevertheless, this is a major wake-up call for me. The NLT renders Galatians 6:7 as "...you can't ignore God and get away with it..." God's word is the truth. The blessing is that I have been forced to examine some areas of my life that I have been neglecting. We all get wake-up calls. Most health problems don't sneak up on us, they catch up to us. Attacks are always coming (1 Pet. 5:8). will you be prepared to defend yourself? I wasn't. The question always is: how do you respond to the warning? I've had my spanking (and a time-out). Thank you, Lord for loving me too much to let me keep going without a stern warning. I'm going to obey you now.
I apologize for not posting this sooner... The Afterglow EP is now available on iTunes, eMusic! and Rhapsody and some others... please note: I have found out that there is a band called King Midas from the Netherlands. I don't know what I'm gonna do about this, but be sure that it's me you're listening to or downloading. They're a rock/blues band.
Happy New Year! 2008 is here! What a year 2007 was - tough, challenging & humbling for me. But blessed because I needed more humility, anyway. I thank God that he used the difficult situations in my life to speak to me about me. I'm anticipating great things in 2008. My daughter graduates from high school and, God willing, My family will be out of our apartment and into a house this year. 2008 is also an olympic year - I am a HUGE fan of track and field - so I'm excited. And, of course, it's an election year; which brings me to my point. I don't intend to endorse or promote any particular candidate or party here, but I do want to bring something to your attention. Outside of the Republican and Democratic parties, there are several legitimate candidates for president. They don't have the major-party money behind them so you won't be bombarded with commercials about them and -curiously- they never seem to get invited to any of the debates. I believe this has more to do with our corrupt and flawed system than it does with the candidates, but I won't get into that here... I want to encourage you all to check these candidates out for yourselves. See what they stand for. Examine their ideas. If in the end you vote for the Democrat or the Republican, let it be because you felt they were the best candidate, not because they were able to use their money and the system to silence the competition. At the top of my links section you will find a page of presidential candidates. You can use the links on this page to go to their respective websites and find out who they are. I hope and pray that you will join me in making an INFORMED DECISION when you step into the booth in November. Please Holla! back with your thoughts on the candidates or on this issue in general.
Ain't it funny how we so easily miss the basics? Most people I know would say that they have too much on their plate or at least that their plate is full. Most would say they don't have time for "quiet time". Many would say that they don't see the value in having "quiet time". They would rather do something "productive". Many of us need to feel "busy" in order to feel like that time has been productive. Well, as always, God's word has something to say about this... After Moses died and Joshua assumed leadership of Israel, God gave him instructions: (joshua 1:8) "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success". One of the principles that God gives us here is that we must - on a regular basis - slow down and review the basics. We must come back and refresh ourselves on what we're supposed to be doing, and why we're doing it. We must refresh our minds on our plans and goals and motives. Look at the pattern laid out in that verse: meditate everyday > do what you've meditated > prosperity and success! As we pursue our goals, may we never be "too busy" to do what will actually bring us the success we seek
Remember how our parents would scold us with the words "you know better!"? Well, those words still resonate with me to this day. Have you ever thought about how much better your life would be if you just did everything you knew you were supposed to do? So many of us jump at new information about how to improve this, that, or the other. How to be wealthier, happier, thinner, sexier, more at peace... the list goes on and on. Well, as always, the word of God has the answer: Phillipians 3:16(NLT) says "we must be sure to obey the truth we have learned already". Wow! That is so simple and obvious that is just smacks me upside the head!! James 4:17(NLT) hits it from a different angle - "it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it". Now, I'm not saying we shouldn't seek to increase our knowledge; the bible tells us to do that too (2 Peter 3:18, 2 Peter 1:5, Psalm 1:1-3, Joshua 1:8). What I'm saying is we all must, on a regular basis, stop and take the time to make sure that what we have learned actually becomes part of our daily lives. If we don't, we remove the power and cancel the value of that knowledge. Knowing better means nothing if it doesn't translate into doing better. I can easily look at my life and see several things that are jacked up that wouldn't be if I had only heeded this simple instruction.
If you are interested in any of my music or would just like to contact me, please send me an e-mail (see the "contact" section) JAZZMYN: thanks for the "holla" and for reading my thoughts. Please e-mail me. I don't know how to contact you.
Wow! Time realy flies when you're busy, doesn't it? I feel like I've been running in circles for the last month. I realize that a large part of the problem is that I am seriously overweight. Now, I want to be cute just like most people, but the real issue I see is that I am much more tired and moody and obviously God cannot use me the way he wants to when I'm in this state. A fat, tired cranky husband & father is not as nice to live with and I want to give my family better than what they've been getting. 2 weeks ago I was at an all-time high of 231 lbs. (It hurts me to even type this). My goal is to get down to 170 lbs. (I'm 5' 8" by the way). When I get there I will post before and after pictures. I pray that as I push myself in this area, that the discipline I develop will spill into the other areas of my life that need it. This is definitely an area where I will need to be consistent in prayer. I'll keep you posted and I would love to hear from any of you who are fighting this same battle.
Before you read this, I encourage you to read my last post from 3-11-07. It will put this one in proper context. Let me share something with you. It was written by Deitrich Bonhoeffer. "Why Should I Pray Every Morning?": The morning prayer determines the day. Squandered time of which we are ashamed, temptations to which we succumb, weakness and lack of courage in work, disorganization and lack of discipline in our thoughts and in our conversations with other men all have their origin most often in the neglect of morning prayer... This really hit home for me. I can think of more than one thing that I have struggled with for a long time that I have not really prayed about. The bible tells us in many different places that prayer should be a part of our daily life - Phillipians 4:6, Proverbs 15:29. Psalms 55:17, 34:17, 69:33, 116:1-2, 145:18 are just a few of the examples. GOD WANTS TO TALK TO US ABOUT OUR LIVES EVERYDAY. I want to encourage and challenge all of you to join me in this: choose 1 issue in your life and commit to praying about it everyday for the next 30 days. It can be 2 minutes in your car or 30 minutes on your knees at home, just do it everyday. And when you pray, remember, don't do all of the talking. I look forward to hearing what The Lord reveals to you. An important note: Hebrews 11:6 says "...he who comes to God must believe that he is and that he is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him". You must go into prayer believing that God will hear you - and ready to receive his response even if it isn't what you wanted to hear. Read my last post - God knows better than we do, trust him. "Holla" back. Or send me an e-mail. Or give me a call.
Have you ever stopped and thought about how things look from God's perspective? He has a view our minds can barely grasp. Scripture tells us that God's lifetime is "from everlasting to everlasting". It also tells us that God is both omniscient and omnipresent. Scripture also tells us that God sees our hearts and knows our thoughts. That means that God sees every minute in the life of every person on earth. Also, remember God is an eternal being who lives outside of time so he sees it all at once. To expand further, God sees every minute in the life of every person who has ever lived, is alive now, and ever will live - all at once! So what does that mean to you? It means that since he sees it all, he knows where you are supposed to fit in. He knows your path from beginning to end - in detail. And here's the best part: God loves you, so you can (and should) trust him. In the book of Isaiah (55:9) God says to us "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts" - God's wisdom is far beyond ours. Psalms 23:2-3 tells us "He makes me to lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside the still waters, he restores my soul..." - God may lead us through rough times, but he doesn't lead us to rough times. James 1:5 tells us "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach and it will be given to him" - God's wisdom is for us, he wants to share it. What's in it for us? Jeremiah 17:7-8 tells us: "Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose hope is in the Lord. For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters which spreads out its roots by the river, and will not fear when heat comes but its leaf shall be green; and will not be anxious in the year of drought, nor will cease from yielding fruit". Wow! Who wouldn't want to be strong like that?! Only the wisdom of God can lead us into that kind of strength and stability. Trust God. Study his word. Receive his wisdom.
Holy Hip-Hop. Gospel Rap. Christian Rap. Whatever you wanna call it, thank God it's here. (and since I am a HUGE fan of house music, thank God for Gospel House Music too!) Why? Well, first of all because I do love hip-hop music. However, most of what we hear on the radio is filled to the brim with foul, ungodly lyrics that promote an immoral lifestyle. Really, take some time and actually listen to the lyrics and break them down. Pay attention to the principles that are being promoted. And remember, music is powerful because the natural thing to do with it is to meditate it. Think about it, when you like a song you rehearse it over and over in your head, learning the words, letting the rhythms and melody sink into your mind. Those of you who listen to urban radio, think of all the songs that you can quote the lyrics to off the top of your head right now. Now think about what those lyrics really mean and stop fooling yourself into believing that you can marinate your mind in that material without being effected by it. The point is, we all should make some conscious decisions about what we fill our minds with. What we read, what we watch, and what we listen to DOES matter. It impacts how we see the world, how we see people, and how we think. The point is, I encourage everyone who reads this to check out some gospel rap or some gospel house music. A few years back, you could say that most of it sounded corny, but not anymore. Some of the hottest rappers out there are spittin' for Christ! I have a few sites in my "links" section that I hope you will check out. I will also be adding a page to my music section called "tracks U Need 2 Hear" where I will post some gospel rap tunes for you to check out. By all means, go to my "holla!" section and holla back at me with your thoughts.
Okay... so much for " come back to this section once a week". Wow, it is truly amazing how much resistance life can conjure up when you begin to get close to accomplishing something. Maybe I will discuss the spiritual warfare that this represents later. It has been a busy month, but thankfully in the midst of all the hustle and bustle God has seen fit to bless me with some good ideas for things I can do with this site. Keep your eye on the music section, I'll definitely be doing some things there.
Everyone should take some time to examine why they are doing what they're doing. Don't just freelance your way through your whole life. If you know where you're going - and why you're going there - you will know what to say "yes" to and what to say "no" to. With that said, I'll put my money where my mouth is. Here is the Exodus Music Mission Statment: In the book of Exodus, God used Moses to lead the children of Israel from one way of life (bondage) into another way of life (freedom). It is the mission of Exodus Music to use the joy, energy and power of music to draw attention and build relationships – primarily with people who are unwilling to go to church or listen to a message preached by a pastor. Through these relationships, God will use Exodus Music to deliver the gospel and lead people to a new way of life - freedom - based on a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and grounded in the Word of God. To God be all the glory!! So now you know where I'm coming from and I know where I'm going. I can't wait to see how God takes me there. Holla back later!
Be sure to come back to this section at least once a week. I will be sharing my life insights and perspectives. I hope to make this section something useful for your life.

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