Category Archives: Music

I Am Not My Hair!

Today is my birthday!!! I’m excited about being a year older, and infinitely wiser.

As usual, my birthday has led to great moments of introspection. This led to me reflecting on my hair journey, and my own voyage into self-awareness and fulfillment.

My issues with self-esteem have already been talked about in a previous post! Yet that struggle was tied to my struggle with my hair. I was never a girl who cared about my physical appearance, mostly because I didn’t think I was beautiful. I couldn’t put on makeup, couldn’t do my hair, and honestly, didn’t care to do either. I was more comfortable playing basketball or reading a book.

IMG_0462

I would often tell my Mom, as early as high school, that I would love to cut all my hair off! I never felt comfortable in my own skin, or with my hair.

IMG_0459

The struggle continued from high school, all the way through undergrad. When I first moved to Atlanta to pursue my Masters degree, I saw all these beautiful Black women embracing their natural hair. I was inspired to do the same, as I was embracing my own inner beauty. So I did the BIG CHOP, and begin the natural hair journey!!

IMG_0465

IMG_0464

IMG_0461

While I was more free, there was still the part of me that didn’t see myself as attractive or beautiful. I was too!! Too black, too fat, too quiet, too boyish; just too!!! I discovered that no matter how I chose to wear my hair, until I dealt with the internal dialogue I would never see the real me.

It didn’t happen overnight, matter of fact it took a long time. It happened gradually, day by day I begin to change my language. I was beautiful, I was pretty, I was smart, I was created in the image of God! My language changed, my mind changed, what I saw in the mirror changed.

Eventually, I reached the point where I kept saying I want to cut my hair, and so with the encouragement of my twin and my BFFF taking me to the salon, I cut my hair again. In the chair that day, I finally made the decision that I had wanted to make way back in high school.

IMG_0463
This decision was not a rebellion, instead it was the final embracing of who I’ve always wanted to be. A woman free of the stereotypical standards of beauty. My hair doesn’t define me, instead it’s a reflection of my freedom to be my true myself. As I finally decided to free myself of my hair, I freed myself of negative thinking.

I encourage everyone to be free to be who God created you to be. I am, and I’m loving it!! I am free, Praise the Lord, I’m free!!!

India.Arie said it best, “I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am not your expectations. I am not my hair, I am not this skin, I am a soul that lives within.

Happy Birthday to me!!!

IMG_0453

Advertisements

The Chronicles of Glory

I’M SO EXCITED!!!!!

I am once again using this space to celebrate and promote my favorite singer and BFFF, Maranda C. Willis. Tomorrow, June 29, 2012, The Chronicles of Glory tour, commences in Florence, SC.

Chronicles of Glory

The mission. The mandate. The ministry.

The Etymology

1. (n.) chronicle: a chronological record of events; a history. 2. (v.) chronicle: to record in or as if in a chronicle.

The Scripture

2 Chronicles 5: 13-14, “It came even to pass, as the trumpeters and singers were as one, to make one sound to be heard in praising and thanking the Lord; and when they lifted up their voice with the trumpets and cymbals and instruments of musick, and praised the Lord, saying, For he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: that then the house was filled with a cloud, even the house of the Lord; So that the priests could not stand to minister by reason of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of God.”

The Explanation.

In the same manner that the word itself is two-fold; such is the same for this tour. More than a tour it will be a testament of God’s power. It will reach beyond music to release a mandate; beyond a sound to establish a sanctuary; beyond a concert to provoke consecration. One thing makes all of this possible: His Glory. It has been mandated by God that this cloud of glory be released from the heavenlies into the earth realm. As it is released it will be recorded. As it is recorded it will be requested by people that are hungry for His presence. And beyond it being requested by people it will be received by God. As we experience His glory chronicles of glory will be created. Making HISTORY is not the focus; however, making HIS STORY known to the unbeliever and alive even the more in the believer is our focus. If the sound doesn’t provoke salvation it’s not His sound. If the music doesn’t proclaim the Message He doesn’t approve. We anticipate worship that will act as warfare. We anticipate power that will ignite our purpose. We believe bodies to be healed by His glory. We believe lives to be restored by His glory. We expect miracles to manifest in His glory. We agree with God for the impossible because of His glory. It’s a season of manifestation because of the rain of His glory. We humbly and reverently anticipate God through the manifestation of His Glory.

Again, the first stop on the tour is in Florence, SC…

the next stop will be July 13th in Monroe, NC.

Check out the flyers and if you are in the vicinity, make plans to be apart of this move of God!

One more thing, if you would like your Church or city to experience this awesome Woman of God, they are still accepting dates!!! For booking information, please contact Travis Brown at 704-712-5321.

This will be an experience like never before, don’t miss out!!!!

 

‘Tis So Sweet

’Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus, and to take Him at His Word; just to rest upon His promise, and to know, “Thus says the Lord!”

I have decided to once again share one of my favorite hymns; this one seems especially fitting considering the place I find myself in presently. It has been posited that many of the greatest songs of encouragement were born out of pain and personal tragedy; Tis So Sweet is one such song.

It was written by Louisa Stead in 1882, after a very tragic event. While not much is known about Mrs. Stead, historians have been able to discover that Louisa married her husband in 1875 and to their union was born a daughter, Lily. One day the family decided to enjoy a day at the beach on Long Island, New York. While enjoying their family time they heard cries of help and spotted a  boy who was drowning. Mr. Stead jumped into the water to attempt to rescue this boy. Unfortunately, both the boy and Mr. Stead drowned. The words of this hymn were written over the course of Louisa’s struggle with God after this tragedy.

Jesus, Jesus, how I trust Him! How I’ve proved Him o’er and o’er! Jesus, Jesus, precious Jesus! O for grace to trust Him more!

I can easily admit that I have not always found it easy to trust anyone, including God! I haven’t always been able to see God’s active hand in my life, which caused me to doubt that all things were working together for my good! Being able to trust God when you are  not able to trace God, is often easier said than done! I’ve seemingly done everything that I was “supposed” to have done, said all of the right things; yet, things still seem to be falling apart all around me. I recall the words of the hymn writer, “Yes, ’tis sweet to trust in Jesus, just from sin and self to cease; just from Jesus simply taking life and rest, and joy and peace.” I don’t have to search for peace, joy, happiness, or love in anyone else; I simply must trust the God who gives peace that surpasses all understanding.

Despite my situations and circumstances, and in spite of the mistakes that I’ve made, I will continue to trust God. Even when others have meant to do me harm, or wanted to see me fail; God has always meant it for my good! So I now can freely sing: I’m so glad I learned to trust Thee, Precious Jesus, Savior, Friend; and I know that Thou art with me, will be with me to the end.

Make It Plain

It is Well!

When peace, like a river, attendeth my way, when sorrows like sea billows roll; whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, It is well, it is well with my soul.

I am a lover of music in every form, and from every genre. My deepest love though is gospel music and most specifically the hymns I grew up hearing in church and at home. During my childhood, and most of my life, my mother was the musician at the church where we were members. (This predated the term Minister of Music!) Often, my mom would have moments where she would go to the piano and just begin to play whatever songs were in her heart and her spirit. This was a time for my mother to celebrate and reflect on the relationship that she had with God, expressed through the music and talent that God had given to her.

One such hymn I remembered her singing was the one that I quoted, “It is Well!” While I sung the song in my childhood, it was not until I had reached adulthood that I truly begin to understand and really appreciate this hymn. While at the Interdenominational Theological Center, I rediscovered my love for not only hymns, but the stories behind the penning of these songs.

“It is Well,” was written by Horatio Gates Spafford in 1873. Spafford was a lawyer in Chicago who experienced three traumatic events in his life within a three-year period. In 1870, his only son was killed by scarlet fever at the age of four. In 1871, the Great Chicago Fire destroyed all of his real estate holdings which ruined him financially. In 1873, the Spaffords decided to journey to England for a holiday and to meet with the great evangelist, Dwight L. Moody. Circumstances arose, and Mr. Spafford was delayed but decided to send his wife, and their four daughters ahead of him. On November 2, 1873, the ship that Mrs. Spafford and her daughters was traveling on collided with another ship. Two hundred and twenty-six people lost their lives, including all four of the Spafford’s daughters. After receiving word from his wife about the tragedy, Horatio set sail to go and meet his wife. On the journey, they passed  the spot where the collision had taken place. After seeing the spot, Horatio returned to his room and penned the words to this hymn.

I cannot imagine Horatio Spafford’s pain at the tragedies in his life, yet I can agree that life has dealt me some tough blows. I have encountered tragic events in life that were both undeserved and unexpected. I haven’t always understood the deaths of those whom I have loved. Neither have I understood the betrayals of people whom I have considered closer than friends. I am not always able to recognize God’s active hand in my life; truthfully, I have often questioned if God was even moving on my behalf. When I consider the trouble that I have faced; the situations that seemingly haven’t turned out for my good, it makes me question. Yet through it all I have discovered that God has never left me alone; God has been right there with me!

In spite of all life’s turmoil and no matter what may come my way, I have found strength in the words of this hymn. Through it all, It is Well! In it all, It is Well! In spite of hurt and pain, It is Well! With tears in my eyes, It is Well! When people enter my life, It is Well! When people leave my life, It is Well! Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, IT IS WEll, IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL!

Make It Plain!

I Shall Live!

Tomorrow commences the 10 year Ministry celebration for my friend and brother, Pastor Jamil VanJuan Willis. Jamil and I met while we were both students at the Interdenominational Theological Center. Originally we were just passing acquaintances, and then we became the closest of friends. I am just so grateful that God thought enough of me to bring such a great man into my life and ministry. I have learned so much through my relationship with Jamil, and it is because of him that I met my BFFF, his wife, Maranda.

The celebration will include three nights of Dynamic Preaching from: Prophetess Francine Riley, Apostle Kobee Fitzgerald, and Pastor Jason Nelson! It concludes with a Late-Night Musical that will be simply bananas!!! The guest for the musical are: Shawn Bigby and Yielded Vessels, Elliott Ellerson, Destined 2 Praise, Hasan Green, Nicholas Stroud and These are They, and Maranda Curtis-Willis.

If you are anywhere in the surrounding areas, you need to make plans to be here! Check out the flyers, put the address in your GPS, and get HERE! You will be blessed, and your life will never be the same!

Pastor Jamil: I will quote the Psalmist, “You shall not die, but LIVE and declare the works of the Lord! Love you!

 

Maranda Curtis Live

A lot of changes are taking place in my life now which has consumed all the time that I would like to spend blogging. Those changes will be discussed at some point, as I strive to always keep the word plain! I carved out some time to promote an awesome and anointed woman. She has been amazingly gifted and now has the opportunity to share her gift with the world. Oh, she is also my BFFF! Although, I won’t be able attend the recording, I will be there in heart and mind. If you are anywhere near the Charlotte area, you should take the opportunity to experience what is guaranteed to be an awesome worship experience.

BFFF – I borrow the words of Paul to the church in Corinth: Eye has not seen, nor ear has heard; no mind has conceived what God has prepared for YOU! Congratulations!