The Loudmouth Protestant

April 27, 2010

Hanson Over Heartbreak

Filed under: entertainment,randomness,Uncategorized — nickisym @ 2:41 pm
Tags: ,

Yeah I know, I’m supposed to be posting about how to quickly mend a broken heart, but this took precedence. Can anyone explain to me why something like this would still happen in the year 2010? What is the world coming to?

Seriously, have they had another hit since “MMM Bop”? Who is sending their children to scream over mid to late 20 year old men? The magic of their hey day wore off when their voices got deep, they cut their hair, got married and started procreating. I just don’t understand…I think my heart just got broken, again. 😦 I need to pray, everyone does so that this doesn’t happen again.

March 24, 2010

Sandra Bullock and The Devil Wears Prada

“Let me know when your whole life goes up in smoke. Means it’s time for a promotion.” Stanley Tucci as Nigel in “The Devil Wears Prada”

This was the first thing that came to mind when a friend and I were discussing Sandra Bullock’s current situation with her appropriately-named scandalous husband, Jesse James. Now, you know this is not a gossip blog so I have nothing much to say about the intricate details of their situation, but I will say that I find the parallels between Bullock’s personal life going up in smoke and winning that Oscar interesting.

Could it be that Jesse James has been blocking Sandra’s blessing all these years and now that what has been done in the dark is coming into the light she is being provided a way of escape, not only to save her life but to regenerate her career? I don’t know, only time will tell. Just thought I’d put that out there. This is just another one of those situations when women must know what they are worthy of in relationships. You can’t ever be so hard-pressed for love that you are blind-sided–pun sooo intended–by a person’s real intent and heart. As a dear friend quoted, “When someone shows you their arse (she said the real thing) kick it. Or, “When someone shows you who they really are, believe it.” And might I add, after you believe, keep it moving. They are not changing for you.

That’s all.

January 20, 2010

The Moral of the Story: The Book Of Eli

The Book of Eli

If you’ve read this blog for a good length of time you’ll know that I always have great ideas for recurring sections, but hardly the time to keep them coming. So, as I always do, I introduce to you yet another recurring section that I am hopeful will occur again. “The Moral of the Story” will be a review of recent movie release’s spiritual relevance to the body of believers. Nothing more, nothing less. So, let’s get right into it.

This past holiday weekend I had the opportunity to see “The Book of Eli”, the Hughes brothers post-apocalyptic flick about a man who is carrying the last known Bible and risking his life to protect it. Denzel Washington plays the title character of the film, which comes as no big surprise since he is pretty vocal about his faith in Hollywood. The movie follows Eli’s journey as he navigates the grayish lands of the post-apocalyptic world in search of cat meat, nice boots and clean water. In between all of this he carries with him the precious treasure/weapon of the last King James Bible known to man. He guards it with his life, participates in a little bit of Christian fundamentalist violence to protect it and does all of this while remaining just as cool as he was in “Mississippi Masala” with the gangster edge he had in “Training Day”. He is a man’s man endeavoring to be God’s man.

When I first considered writing this review, I was going to talk about all the awesome messages about faith that are packed in the nearly 2 hour film. But then, in a conversation with a friend, I realized that not only is about a faith, but faith from a perspective that men can actually grasp, comprehend, and be changed by. Far too often, particularly in Christianity, men are turned away because they feel like the church caters to the emotional whims of women. The Christian church is filled with more women than men, so men can hardly find a connection there except through the pastor, and even then, he is too distant. But “The Book of Eli” does well to deliver a message that men can find themselves in because it embraces the masculinity of the faith. It draws attention to the one area I believe most men have a problem with when they are navigating the faith, walking by faith and not by sight. It hearkens back to the notion that men are logical creatures while women are emotional ones and thus it is simple for us to get wrapped up in a relationship with an unseen God because our hearts are moved by all that we read about Him. Most women don’t need much proof to be swayed to worship the only wise God. I mean, think about it, we are the ones that go in droves to see romantic comedies and buy Harlequin books because we are wired to desire love. This is not to say that men aren’t looking for love, but they have to go through a process before they even begin to be ready for love on the level that I feel we were born with.

Nevertheless, back to the point at hand because I am no expert on the matter. In my conversation with my friend she mentioned that a guy friend of hers said that the movie changed his life because of the concept of walking by faith and not by sight. This is all Eli did throughout the movie. He possessed the great faith to walk around with a book that others wanted to possess for evil and were willing to kill him for and didn’t bat an eyelash. He was tough, but still weak enough to realize that He could do nothing without God. He knew how to be chivalrous and cavalier in the midst of a bunch of brutes. He could wield a bow & arrow, a machete or a gun, but he knew his way around the Good Book with ease and cunning. He was just an awesome example of masculine faith in a marketplace sometimes too dominated by women of faith. He was Denzel Washington for God’s sake, toting around a Bible, reading a Bible and reciting the 23rd Psalm and there was nothing femme about it.

I don’t really want to belabor this review any longer suffice to say that if you have a man in your life that is teetering on the edge of his faith, this is the movie for him to see. I’m not going to guarantee you that he will walk out of the theatre a changed man, but what I can say is that any man with an iota of a heart for God will be moved by this movie’s message, walk by faith and not by sight.

November 12, 2009

Celebrity Counsel: Carrie Prejean Edition

coun⋅sel[koun-suhl] noun, plural -sel for 3, verb, -seled, -sel⋅ing or (especially British) -selled, -sel⋅ling.

Theological definition: One of the advisory declarations of Christ, considered by some Christians as not universally binding but as given for aid in attaining moral perfection.

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2009

Loudmouth Protestant’s “Celebrity counsel” definition: Free celebrity advice with a spiritual bent to help keep said celebrity from lawsuits, the courthouse,  the jailhouse and the poor house.

Today’s Star Witness: Carrie Prejean

Last night Carrie Prejean appeared on Larry King to talk about her new book and dodge questions about her current thoughts on gay marriage and the settlement of her Miss USA case. During her night with the King she managed to tell him he was being inappropriate and attempted to run off the set when someone asked her about her views on gay marriage. So my first piece of celebrity counsel of Ms. Prejean is the following,

“Don’t go onto hardball journalism shows if you aren’t ready to play hardball. If you want to keep it safe than go to daytime television. Go to “The View”–ok, I take that back because a tribal counsel of women will throw several hardballs at once several times in one hour.”

Everyone knows Larry King. He is historic and his tenure suggests that he can ask you any question he pleases even if there was an agreement made with your publicist beforehand. Larry King trumps your publicist because not only does he make more than your publicist and he eats publicists for dinner, but he is the one that ensures that your publicist and you get paid because he helps you fulfill your contractual obligation to stay in the media spotlight even when you are irrelevant and not willing to answer simple questions because you have put your foot in your mouth on too many times. (Yeah that was a mouthful.)

But it’s not only this offense that I render counsel to Prejean for. A dear friend of mine, the inspiration for this new series on LMP, and author of the forthcoming book, “Save the Assistants“, Lilit Marcus sent me the link to an interview Carrie Prejean did with Christianity Today. They asked her a number of questions to which she had quasi-intelligent responses, but one question gave me pause.

CT: You wrote that you don’t regret getting breast implants. Have you ever wondered whether it might be incompatible with your Christian faith?

CP: No, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with getting breast implants as a Christian. I think it’s a personal decision. I don’t see anywhere in the Bible where it says you shouldn’t get breast implants.

Wrong, wrong, wrong Carrie! I mean, in one respect you are right. God didn’t talk about breast implants in the Bible. How could He? He hadn’t created it yet, although He knew very well that He was going to be the inspiration that would be behind the invention of silicone and the other chemicals they put in the little plastic baggies that are then inserted into women via deep incisions into their pre-existing conditions breasts. But then His creation went from something that was meant for good to something meant for evil in the site of vain men and women hoping to upgrade their already fearfully and wonderfully made bodies.

So Carrie, how do you justify getting breast implants when He is the one who put you together in your mother’s womb and predestined you for the greatness you seem determined to bungle by the misuse of your words and His. I am pretty certain that you were a woman who was fearfully and wonderfully made before the pageant committee and you, decided on the breast implants. I am actually pretty certain that you are still a woman who is fearfully and wonderfully made in the eyes of God. And that’s why I offer this second bit of counsel:

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.” Joshua 1:8

Yes, I know, those were the Lord’s words to Joshua following the death of Moses. God was telling Joshua that he must cleave to the book of the law in order for him to be fully vested in His power and the courage that he needed to lead the people of Israel into the land God promised them. What I am suggesting here is a contemporary intepretation of that verse specifically for Carrie Prejean. I confess, I know nothing of her biblical knowledge, but what I do know is that if one claims Christianity and a knowledge of the Bible and they are in the public eye, it is necessary to know your word and know it well so that you don’t decieve anyone through your ignorance. It may be accurate that the Bible doesn’t talk about breast implants, but the Bible also doesn’t say selling drugs is wrong and it is! It’s not so much about the specificity of a matter as it is about the principles that God has set forth.  There are guidelines about how we should treat out bodies because, after all, they are the temples of the Holy Spirit. Knowing your body is the temple, would you permit foreign substances to enter it and alter it in a way that God didn’t intend?

We have to be so careful about the words that come of our mouthes especially when we are claiming to be followers of Christ. There are people waiting to pounce on us when they realize we are ignorant about the faith we profess. So my suggestion to Carrie Prejean and to everyone, myself included, is to not let the book of the law depart from your mouth until you know it for real.

Now I’ve made this inaugural post of celebrity counsel long enough, but I just have one more bit of counsel for Carrie Prejean and every other aspiring celebrity author who hasn’t even hit 30. As you may well know, she released a book entitled “Still Standing: The Untold Story of My Fight Against Gossip, Hate, and Political Attacks”. This is part of the reason for her revival on our televisions, papers, magazines, blogs, and other mediums. Let it be known that I am a book lover, not a hater, but I do have a serious problem with the fact that anyone can cut a book deal and get a check nowadays without putting in the serious time to hone their writing craft or live a life worth writing about. This is not to say that Carrie Prejean’s life is not worth writing about, but I suspect that she hasn’t even seen anything yet for she is still very young and has a whole lot of living to do. I fear that her and people like her make themselves to be miniature idols who people worship for no good reason. So to this I offer my last bit of celebrity counsel:

“Don’t write a book until you are certain the life you have lived thus far is a life that is well worth writing and reading about while you are still living and not just because you are famous for being famous and making mistakes.”

Carrie, you have yet more living to do before you can write a book called “Still Standing.” The book detailing the life and times of Jesus wasn’t fully composed and bound until well after He left this earth. And even then, there are always addendums to the story. I know you have so much more ahead of you and that’s the only reason I don’t want the book because I don’t want to read about someone whose true story is yet complete. I’m not saying that books should only be written about the deceased. I am saying the ink hasn’t dried on your story yet, so it’s too early to put it down, bind it and sell it. The best is yet to come for you and I don’t want you to sell yourself short just because someone said they could give you a whole lot of money for writing about your incomplete life. Don’t sell yourself that short.

November 6, 2009

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

Filed under: entertainment,God,music — nickisym @ 9:00 am
Tags: ,

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 22, 2009

Tracy Morgan’s Words of Wisdom

Filed under: books,celebrities,entertainment — nickisym @ 10:45 pm
Tags: ,

This evening I had the opportunity to attend Barnes & Noble’s author discussion featuring comedian, actor, and newly-minted writer–of the book “I Am the New Black”, Tracy Morgan. I was shocked to find that the majority of the people in the room were white instead of what I thought would be a room full of minorities–black, Hispanic and others. That wasn’t to be my only surprise.

When Tracy walked into the room, he ruled against standing at the speaker’s podium and instead asked if he could sit down at the table usually just reserved for signing books. Once he was seated, he unleashed a side of himself unknown to many. It was the softer, sensitive, more serious side of Tracy. He bared his soul before a crowd of strangers, but he did this in Tracy Morgan fashion. His catharsis was peppered with humor so that we’d never fall too deeply into the pain he felt. For the few of us who dared to imagine his pain, we went all the way in with him. We laughed when he laughed, some may have cried when he cried, we nodded in affirmation, clapped our hands when he shared his lessons learned and just journeyed with him from his cocoon to the birth of a beautiful black butterfly. Having been so fortunate to be in the midst of this movement, I wanted to share some of his words of wisdom from the night. Keep in mind that wisdom, under the Tracy Morgan umbrella, is still meant to make you laugh. It initially made me laugh and then made me say, “Hmm…”

“This book is 198 pages, I’m a 40-year-old black man, do you think 200 pages is enough to tell my story?”

“Every Jewish man has to love one black man (he actually said motherf-er instead of man) in his lifetime. I’m glad that Lorne Michael’s chose me.”

“I love to watch the 10 Commandments because Chuckie Heston is my biological father.”

“As long as you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.” –His last statement to a struggling comedian.

“You forgive whoever you aren’t on speaking terms with for you, not for them. It’s so you can move on.” –Following talking about forgiving his father for being absent.

“The two greatest words in comedy are Richard Pryor.” –In response to who his favorite comedian is.

Now, go ahead and buy the book, “I Am the New Black” by Tracy Morgan or, if you want something a little more experiential, get the audiobook.

October 7, 2009

McDonald’s Takes it to Church

Well, not officially. A former colleague sent this video to me and I had to watch it about three times before I retired it for the day. I won’t front, this guy is “sanging.” But, I’ll be honest in that I’m sad He’s the one singing about the McDonald’s menu and sweet teas. It’s just wrong on so many levels, yet so good, kind of like McDonald’s food. Nevertheless, enjoy!

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 28, 2009

Put a Praise On It!

Filed under: church,entertainment,friends,randomness — nickisym @ 5:02 pm

By now we shouldn’t be shocked by the proliferation of “Single Ladies” parodies that have popped up on YouTube. The most recent one to receive viral critical acclaim is the baby standing in front of the television with what looked like a diaper full of no good, bouncing up and down to Sasha Fierce’s hit song. It’s entitled “All the Single Babies.” If I see it again, I’m going to scream, both because it is terribly cute and because one year later I can’t believe people are still watching the video  making parodies.

In the midst of Sasha Fierce’s dead horse of a song being beaten a hundred times over, a little church church in Maryland by the name of Community of Hope AME has put their own spin on “(Put a Ring On It)”. Being that the church is located in Maryland of course they had to drop the Go-Go beat. But not only that, they changed around the words to appease the sensibilities of the Christian congregation–and maybe their unsaved friends who may recognize the chord they are singing in. So for all the Christian folks, Community of Hope AME wants to let you know, “If you love him, than you ought to put a praise on it.”

Watch the full clip below and if you must get into the groove, change into your Parasucos now.

September 21, 2009

Beyonce’s Best Week Ever

Filed under: entertainment — nickisym @ 9:21 pm
Tags: ,

Beyonce’s best week ever, which started on the night of the VMAs when she gave her spotlight to Taylor Swift following the Kanye debacle, has continued. On Friday night, during her concert in Sydney Australia, Beyonce brought her biggest fan on stage. Her biggest fan that night was no grown woman or man in healthy standing. No, that night, her biggest fan was a little girl by the name of Chelsea who is suffering with cancer. Chelsea of frail stature, chemotherapy-thinned hair and angelic face had the opportunity to stand on stage with Beyonce as Beyonce singing “Halo”. Beyonce customized the lyrics for Chelsea, the most beautiful of which was, “I pray you don’t fade away.”

Watch the video for your own personal waterworks production.

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