The Loudmouth Protestant

May 6, 2010

Songs for the National Day of Prayer

Yeah, we all know what today is, the National Day of Prayer. I hope in some manner at some point during this day, everyone will find some time to pray for this nation. WE need it. We as a nation and we as a people. In the meantime, since I can’t seem to not connect life with music, I figure I’d keep the party going and share some prayer-related tunes to get your prayer juices flowing.

“We got to pray just to make it today.”

“I heard ‘em say, the prayers of the righteous availeth much. And now today, I can testify that I believe it…There is an answer on the way, my God has done so many great things.”

Pray, God will change things.

“I pray you’ll be our eyes and watch us where we go. And help us to be wise, in times when we don’t know.”

May 5, 2010

Back in the Day…

Filed under: life,music,randomness — nickisym @ 1:17 pm
Tags: , , ,

Ever think about some of the music you used to love way back when? I had one of those moments today.

Why now? Well, I was walking to the local Dunkin Donuts to get a muffin when I noticed that my old favorite band is playing tonight.

Who is it? I’ll not keep you in suspense any longer, Limp Bizkit.

I was a huge Limp Bizkit fan back in college. Well, maybe I should downgrade huge because I wasn’t exactly running around wearing a red baseball cap and Dickies. But I did own their first two albums and I’d blast them at liberty. I always felt so hardcore when I listened to their music. Like I could run through brick walls and get into barroom brawls. (Neither of which ever came close to happen except for the one time a guy punched me in the throat at a party.) Anyways for some hump day randomness, I felt compelled to share two of my favorite songs from the Limp Bizkit glory days. This is where I came from…Aren’t you happy that I’m not where I used to be?

And no I didn’t ever do it all for “The Nookie”.

And I didn’t break [alot] of stuff either, but this song did wonders for my passive aggressive side.

 Happy Humpday!

January 21, 2010

Give Us a Heart

This song embodies my prayer for us all as it pertains to our position in the midst of the Haiti situation. I know compassion doesn’t come naturally for everyone, but that’s where prayer comes in. You are never too far away from being someone who can make a difference in someone’s life and God is never too far away to hear your prayer to become that person.

God, give us a heart for the least of these…

December 16, 2009

All the Single Ladies…And Men “Wait”

Filed under: music,relationships,waiting on God — nickisym @ 11:00 am
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I know that everyone is tired of hearing that chorus, but luckily I am not pushing the latest in Beyonce parodies. Not even close. I wanted to share the lyrics to a song I heard yesterday by Christian rap artist Lecrae. “Wait” is an ode to a girl in a relationship with the wrong guy and the primary red flag of this relationship is the fact that she has compromised her relationship with God to be with the guy. I felt compelled to share this because I am getting the feeling that there are alot of people out there compromising their relationship with God because they so desperately want a relationship with a man or a woman. They are tired of waiting.

I say this not as a woman sitting on a pedestal and looking down on anyone. No, I say this as a woman who has definitely had moments were I grew weary of waiting and had the opportunity to entertain relationships and even loose associations with people who aren’t in a relationship with God. And when I say relationship, I don’t mean that they know how to go to church on Sunday, pray before bed and can recite John 3:16. No, I’m talking about the kind of relationship with God where Sunday is a necessity not an obligation. Prayer is a requirement not a tradition. And scripture is daily bread not something seen on a t-shirt. Nevertheless, this isn’t about my take on unequally-yoked relationships and the danger of getting involved with a man or a woman who would compromise God’s best for you. So, without further delay–too late–I give you the lyrics to “Wait”.

Wait

by Lecrae

That man don’t love you like he need to

If he ain’t following Christ, he can’t lead you

I ain’t tryin’ to deceive you

I know he look better than most men

But without Christ, looks are no reason for bragging and boasting

You got your heart on him

Now you can’t depart from him

You knew from the beginning not to even start on him

Compromising your faith for sex

Hurting yourself and God

Cause you outside of marital context

What’s next?

Mami show respect for your body

Instead of getting naked and naughty

Like sex is a hobby

You know what you’re supposed to do

Let him loose and cling to the God that wants to get close to you

You’ve been blessed as a chosen few

Mami, if ain’t rollin’ wit Christ

Then don’t let him roll wit you

Cause you’ve been blessed as a chosen few

And if ain’t rollin’ wit God

Then don’t let him roll wit you

WAIT!

I know you’re the apple of momma’s eye

A star in your daddy’s sky

But God knows you living a lie

You giving a guy, everything your husband deserves

It’s absurd

Don’t follow your feelings, just follow The Word

You wanna be in a relationship

Well, you can give him your all, but how deep can the relations get

If your God’s on the sideline

You won’t be happy I promise

Until you understand, that God is the lifeline

He ain’t pleased with lust

So even if it feels right

Remember, he ain’t pleased with us, when we

Let our emotions loose without a ring on the finger

It’s only gonna come back to sting ya

Don’t let the singers sing you sweet lullabies

Without giving The King’s sweet love a try

It ain’t none better

Who else you know,that would give up his life

Just to love you forever

WAIT!

I know you thought that ya’ll could win together

Ya’ll been together

But all ya’ll do is sin together

You’re wasting your own time

You keep deceiving your mind

Saying that this is part of God’s design

Knowing he treating you good

Know his ways is nice

But he can’t love you like he should

He’s not engaged to Christ

And you know this ain’t the man for you

But you hold on like God ain’t got better plans for you

The whole worlds says ‘you should be dating’

God says you should be serving him while your patiently waitin’

Everybody rushin and racin

Huggin’ and kissin’ and hold hands, all before their days end

Yea, I know it’s hard but TRUST

I wouldn’t waste my breath on this song if it wasn’t a MUST

The same God that made you

The same God that died for your sins and saved you

HE ain’t tryin’ to play you, WAIT!

CHORUS:

Your ready to go’..wait!

Can’t take no more’.wait!

I know it’s hard but, God is never late

Don’t follow your feelings’wait!

Just follow HIS Will and’..wait!

Girl, serve the Lord and don’t anticipate.

WAIT!

November 6, 2009

Quote of the Day: Trey Songz’s “Invented Sex”

Filed under: entertainment,God,music — nickisym @ 9:00 am
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Yesterday, the Internet was abuzz about Trey Songz’s latest video “Invented Sex”. I wanted to see what all the hubbub was about so I attempted to watch the video at work. But something told me to ask a trusted friend, who I know had seen it, if it was safe for work, to which he replied, “GOOD LORD NOOOOOOOO!!!” I took his advice and didn’t dare watch it at work, but I did listen to the song instead. Big mistake, HUGE MISTAKE.

Not too long into my listening did I hear this,

“I’ve got a confession. I know we’re ’bout to sin, but your body is a blessing. Father forgive me.”

Yeah, he really said that. I don’t know how many people know he said that, but he did. I wonder how many Christians who have heard this song are aware of the fact that he said that? And how many of them just laughed it off as a clever use of words? And if you laughed it off and are still playing it, why? Seriously, why? There is nothing clever about it and we shouldn’t be laughing. We should be up in arms about it. He is explicitly mocking God. And I know someone is going to say, “It’s not that serious.” Well, if you think it’s not that serious, you must think God and committing sin is a joke. I’m not laughing and I’m fully ready for people to lambast me, but I’d rather be persecuted for standing up for God than sitting down for b.s.

I can go on for days about this because I am passionate about music all the while acknowledging that it has definitely been a stronghold in my life. But inasmuch as it is possible I will call a spade a spade and point out that which is not edifying to the body, and this is not edifying to the body. If you beg to differ, let me know. I’m always up for a spirited debate.

October 30, 2009

The Songs We Sing But Don’t Live

Yesterday evening, as my work in the office was coming to a close, I decided to wind down with Kevin LeVar’s cover of the worship song “I’ll Say Yes”. You know the song… “I’ll say yes, Lord yes, to your will and to your way. I’ll say yes, Lord yes, I will trust you and obey.” ((Fill in the rest.)) LeVar’s version of this song is inherently different, for me, in that it is slow enough for you to meditate on the words as you listen. In my moment of meditation, I realized that so often I have sung these words, yet I have failed to really say yes to the Lord’s will and to His way. I have failed to do this partially because sometimes I am not sure of His will and His way, but also because there are parts of my life that I am still trying to control. Oddly enough they are the parts of my life that I actually don’t want to control, but by force of habit, they are still under my control.

There I was sitting at my desk thinking about this song and the fact that thousands, maybe millions of Christians; Protestant and Catholic; Progressive and Liberal, and whatever other branches there are; have sung this song at least once in their life. Or they have sung songs that have similar concepts. The songs that invite us to lay down our burdens, surrender all, enter into His presence and bow down and worship Him, but yet and still it’s hard for us to do those things. It hurt my heart to know that I know all of the words to “I’ll Say Yes” and I can sing it clearly, but I haven’t said yes to everything. And then I remembered the words of a woman whom I now consider my spiritual mentor.

Just one week ago we had a discussion about discernment and some decision-making I have ahead of me. But as she heard me talk about the reasoning behind making these decisions, she pointed out to me that I was being ruled by logic and practicality, when God, and trusting in His plan for my life, is neither logical or practical. So she mentioned the classic hymn, “I Surrender All”. She talked about how I must have known the song since I was a child, because all Christians do. She mentioned how we know how to sing it so passionately, with our hands uplifted and our eyes closed, but nothing of ourselves is lifted to be that surrendered.  But then she remarked that we must pray to God to know our own willingness to surrender to Him. She said that the days of singing that song are over because it is clear that there are very few people who sing it and live it. But there are many people who sing it and have the desire to surrender all, but they don’t have the capacity to do so. To this she said we must pray and ask God to take that desire and give us the capacity to be willing to surrender. She said that it’s ok if you are not there yet–meaning not fully there with “I Surrender All”. God knows. But what He also wants to know is when you have surrendered to the concept of surrendering to Him. And right there, she gave me my prayer as she said, “Be ready to be ready. Be willing to be willing. Surrender to the concept of surrendering.” And that is now my prayer as often as I can remember to say it,

“Lord, I AM ready to be ready for you. I am willing to be willing to do what you want me to do. And I surrender myself to the concept of surrendering to you. Make this all real to me and not just a song to sing. Make these words real in my life. Make them real in the life of every person who I know who may have sung them without meaning, without understanding and without the true intention of saying yes to you or surrendering all to you. We don’t want to just sing the songs and not live it out in our lives. We want to sing the song, proclaim the message and show it by the lives we live. Give us the capacity to say yes to you always and to the courage to surrender to you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.”

 

October 27, 2009

Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Yesterday evening, before I retired to my bed, I heard, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness”. It is a hymn that I am all too familiar with and yet last night I felt like I was hearing it with new ears. The refrain, “All I have needed thy hands have provided” kept running through my mind. As I was getting ready for bed, I couldn’t help but to think of how true that is and yet I know I walk around acting like I think God could give me so much more. I ask God day after day for the things I think I so desperately need and then I throw up my hands when I feel he hasn’t delivered. Or maybe I just keep on asking without realizing that God’s silence on a matter is an answer within itself. You’ve heard it before, “His delay is not a denial.”

But really, all I have needed his hands have provided. Morning by morning new mercies I see at His hands when He allows me to wake up and see with my two eyes of relatively good vision a new day He has created. He allows me to step down from my high bed and touch the wooden floor beneath me and then to walk around my bedroom through my living room and to the kitchen to fix the food that His hands have provided. From there He gives me enough consciousness to read the word His hands have provided and to speak to Him in prayer with the voice his hands has provided. Thereafter I am vested with enough strength to get ready and clothed for the day ahead of me His hands has provided. He protects me from dangers seen and unseen as I head to the job His hands have provided. His hands have provided me my work, no one else’s. And in thinking about it, my cause for complaint is–or should be–squelched because I am working unto Him. He blesses me with amazing colleagues. Amazing family and friends in life and an amazing life in general. All I have needed at this point in time in my life, His hands have provided. I have and should have no cause for complaint. How fortunate am I that He just keeps on providing my every need according to His riches in glory. How fortunate am I to live in–or aspire to live–in a state of mind that if God does nothing else for me, I will know that He has been good to me to me always. All I have needed His hands have provided. Great is thy faithfulness toward me.

October 21, 2009

Where I Have Been

Filed under: God,life,music — nickisym @ 6:35 pm
Tags: , , ,

This past weekend I had the chance to see about my future. It is nothing that I can go into depth about right now because it is quite early in the process. But, I wanted to share with you two songs that came right on time for me during my trip. I hope that they will speak to you in one way or another.

October 5, 2009

An Open Letter to Alicia Keys

By now we have all heard the story and all its layers. If you’ve been hiding under a rock, or you just don’t concern yourself with the goings-on of pop culture, allow me to break it down for you. R&B artist Alicia Keys and hip-hop producer Swizz Beatz have been having an affair for some time now. Swizz is married to R&B artist Mashonda. He is still married to her despite going public about his affair with Keys—I presume the divorce is pending. In the midst of this Keys is on Twitter tweeting sweet nothings to her betrothed producer while Mashonda, his damsel in distress, is tweeting just that, her distress. Last week, Mashonda tweeted an open letter to Alicia Keys on how she feels about Keys grip on the situation. It was heartfelt and though I disagree with her tweeting her emotions as opposed to just confronting Keys in person, I suppose you have to take advantage of the technology. So it got me thinking that I need to write my own open letter to Alicia Keys. Ok, “need” may be a strong word, I more so want to write it but I feel the need to write it as a longtime fan of her music and her as a person. And to my understanding, we may serve the same God and if that’s the case, I actually have carte blanche to hold her accountable for her actions. Now, if someone knows Alicia Keys is an atheist, Satanist, Hindu, Buddhist, Scientologist, Zoroastrian, Pagan, etc, than let me know, and I rescind my letter (probably not). But for now, here goes.

Dear Alicia,

I remember the day that I bought your first album. It was the summer before my senior year in college on a shopping trip at Super Wal-Mart with my mom where we were mostly buying food, school supplies and stuff for my apartment, I snuck your CD into the cart. I couldn’t wait to listen to it and as I usually do with CDs I buy, I removed the wrapper from the CD well before I got in front of my CD player because I didn’t want to waste a moment once I did get near the CD player. I listened to that first album countless times and that album alone with its hit single “Fallen” cemented me as a fan of you for life. I loved that of many of the female artists of the time you didn’t feel the need to conform. Sure, you were light-skinned and gorgeous which followed the standard of the—and all—times, but you fought to wear your hair in cornrows until YOU didn’t want to wear it like that anymore. You were always fully dressed in your videos  and any hint of sensual-ness or sexuality was an organic part of your being, not an act to sell music. Your music was based on your pure, unadulterated talent and passion and I loved every bit of it. I bought every album that followed with the exception of your live one because…Well I don’t remember why, I just didn’t. Anyways, in my mind, you established yourself as a respectable woman, one of good character and reputation. Yeah there were rumors that swirled around about you, but I wasn’t compelled to believe them. After all, you were Alicia Keys, not bent on being a conformist and I believe your strength scared people. Your music spoke of that strength. You weren’t the damsel in distress. You weren’t vulnerable. No, you were telling men that they need to go ahead and get gone. You were telling women about their worth. You were into showing strength on superhero levels. You were into liberating women through your music by example. You were into all of this until you weren’t as of a few weeks ago when news broke about your affair with Swizz Beatz, a married man with a child.

I’ve heard that you said that you can’t help who you love. I understand that in the case of loving outside of color lines in places where doing so is still taboo. Or maybe—though I don’t necessarily condone it—same-sex relationships. But not being able to help loving a married man is not one of the cases that apply to the “can’t help who you love” clause. Why doesn’t it apply? Because love doesn’t come at the expense of hurting someone else’s feeling so that you can get yours. Yes, this is very elementary, but it is true. Sure, you may think to yourself, “I’m not the sole reason for the dissolution of their marriage. He told me they have other problems.” Sure, he did and this may very well be true, but it is actually not your responsibility or place to be in the spotlight declaring love for a man who still has unfinished business at home. You are a part of the problem, even if you are not the cause, and that alone should make you feel deeply conflicted. Conflicted enough to not speak about your lovely feelings in very public forums. I wonder if you’ve taken a step back from this whole situation and thought, “Let me put myself in Mashonda’s shoes and see how it would feel if the man I committed myself to for life had an affair with another woman.” Mashonda fell in love with this man and started a family, I bet she could say, from a different perspective, “You can’t help who you fall in love with.” I also wonder if you have thought about the fact that it wouldn’t be too far-fetched if Swizz’s case of infidelity with you in the midst of his being married won’t be his case of infidelity with someone else in the midst of your lovely relationship. Why do you think that it won’t happen to you? Don’t you remember the lyrics to your song Karma, “Cause what goes around, comes around. What goes up, must come down.” That alone should tell you the consequences for your actions. I don’t follow karma but I’m a believer in, “You reap what you sow.” Or maybe you are just living out the lyrics to your song “Wreckless Love” and at this point you just don’t care.

Well Alicia, baby, I just want to tell you that if you think this is love, you’ve got it all twisted up. If you think on God and what he would have for you, it isn’t another woman’s man. Point blank. God does not orchestrate confusion on any side. And if Swizz were to be for you and with you, it’d be well after the ink dries on the divorce papers and his own heart was restored and ready for new love. I don’t know where you are right now with this situation. It may well be that following Mashonda’s open letter that you have changed your mind and decided to lay low for a while and think about the consequences of your actions. I hope that is the case and not even for Mashonda’s sake but for God’s sake. If only for you to realize that what God has for you it is for YOU. He doesn’t dish out sloppy seconds. What He has for you, in terms of love, is pure and true. Love is patient and kind. Love is not envious—meaning it doesn’t envy established relationships and covet them. It does not boast, it isn’t proud, it is not rude, it is not self-seeking—meaning, in this case, it’s not you on Twitter showing off your stolen love to the world while someone else is hurting because of it. It is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrong—the crazy part of this is that though you are wrong, God can make it right and he’ll forgive you and keep no record of your wrong, iff—that’s if and only if—you have a repentant heart. It always trusts, hopes, perseveres and never fails. Sound familiar? That’s because it came straight from the Bible and it is the love you should be going after. I bet it’s the love you want and think you have. I don’t know the content of your relationships with Swizz, but I’m willing to put money down that it ain’t a love like this. It ain’t a love like God wants for you. I believe that more than anything. I hope one day you’ll believe it too. Until that day, I’ll be praying for you Alicia.

Sincerely Still Your Biggest Fan,

Nicole

September 30, 2009

Learn Christianese with Jin

Filed under: God,music — nickisym @ 8:00 am
Tags: , ,

If you are a fan of hip hop you will remember a couple of years ago when a Chinese rapper by the name of Jin stepped onto the scene. He won a freestyle battle on 106 & Park and shortly thereafter got signed to Ruff Ryders. We would hear a couple of tracks from him, “Learn Chinese” being one he was most well-known for.

After that we would here a couple more tracks from him. Mostly him being a featured artist on other people’s tracks and then he would disapper for a while or so it seems. Today I happened upon a video of Jin explaining what has been going on with him since he disappeared from the spotlight. Since his re-emergence many have been saying he is a Christian rapper. He doesn’t completely own up to being a Christian rapper, but he doesn’t disown it either. Turns out our old friend Jin has been a Christian all his life, he just wasn’t one that was living a surrendered life.

So now he is living in Hong Kong and he has decided to turn his music over to God. I think that’s pretty awesome. For some reason, as I watched video where he gave his testimony about what God has done in his life and is doing, I was overjoyed. I sort of felt like the angels in heaven were rejoicing because one has come back to the fold. I also felt like the reason that Jin never found the kind of success he may have wanted when he was a secular rapper is because all along, God was waiting for him to turn His music over to Him and give Him glory. I know, this probably seems really confusing because then it would necessitate explaining why everyone else gets to be successful rapping about money, cars, clothes and hoes–yeah, I said it. But, there is just a different calling that God puts on the life of some people. I reckon that though God gave Jin the gift of words and being able to flow, He wanted Jin to use that gift, that talent, to glorify Him and draw people to Him, not himself. And until Jin came to that realization, he would never be truly satisfied making secular music. He would never fulfill his God-given purpose making secular music.

So, here we are a few years later. “Learn Chinese” has been all but forgotten and Jin is living out a new life in Christ as a new creation. As such, he made a track that has been burning up the web for a while now entitled, “Welcome to the Light Club.” It’s more fiery than any hot cipher he has been in and packs a spiritual punch. Within the first few bars I was definitely feeling it. I felt his spirit on this one and am just so happy to see this new creation at work. I pray that he will be not weary in well doing and look forward to seeing the harvest he is going to reap because he has fainted not.

God Bless You Jin

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