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Monthly Archives: August 2013

The Mind Knows…Does The Heart Believe?

I have been perplexed for some time about my spiritual walk.  I mean, I believe that God exists, as I believe that Jesus existed on earth.  I also believe that Jesus was/is God incarnate in the form of Man.  So in this aspect, I have faith.

What troubles me is, in my mind I know and believe all the above is true.  I question if my heart “knows and believes” it though.  I mean, I see folks get a “feeling” and wonder if that’s it.  Am I missing something?  Is my inability to feel this feeling a sign that my salvation isn’t sealed?  Or, is it that I’m looking for something that not everybody gets?

It’s a conundrum because my mind works overtime, daily.  I readily admit that I over analyze everything.  It could be that I’m over analyzing this as well.  But I’d over analyze if I’m over analyzing this thought too.

See the problem?

It started when in my teens.  I first dedicated my life to God and accepted Christ as my savior at 13, while attending a Baptist church.  This didn’t mean much…then.  I did it because I had passed “the age of accountability” and was deathly afraid of dying and going to Hell.  The second time I was 22, and had just gotten out of a soul-rendering relationship.  The last time I was 26, and decided to do it to make sure I had my Baptist and Apostolic bases covered; and because my soon to be wife had an apostolic background.

Right there, we see that all the times were a reaction to *something* in my life.  However, I still believe/d in the transformational nature of Jesus’s love.  So I’m left to wonder, “has my life been purchased with Christs’ blood, as the Bible states when Christ is accepted into a person’s life?”  Or, “am I just falling into another pattern of insecurity about my relationship with Him?”  It’s stressful to say the least.  Worse yet is that, I can only see incremental changes in my life, but others think I have a “calling” on my life.

Do you know how stressful all this is?

And I go through this every few months.  If there is such a calling, I wish God would just show it to me.  I mean, I know He can use others to speak things to people, but just once, I wish He would speak it directly to me. Truthfully, because I don’t think He has spoken to me, my wondering about my heart ramps.  There are things I have a desire to do that aren’t of God, and I know that.  What keeps me from doing them though?

Is it not wanting to disappoint Him?  Is it something within me that fears the repercussions?  Do I know better, and also know that I’ll only have me to blame if the situation goes awry?  The answer to all is simply, yes.  Since the answer is yes, I get a measure of comfort in knowing that Jesus is around, and has taken up residence in my heart.

But it’s still what I know, and not what I feel.

Perhaps I’m searching for a “feeling” that isn’t meant to be felt; at least not by me.  Maybe the feeling I imagine I’m suppose to feel is not real at all.  It could be that the insecurity I do feel is God’s way of letting me know that in actuality, I am His.  Maybe the wondering I feel is His way of keeping me close so that I’ll always stay connected.

The Bible says: “His ways are higher than our ways, and His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.”  This being the case, it’s possible I will continue to have these bouts of doubt.  If it is His way of ensuring I stay close, then who am I to question the One who made me like this in the first place?

-D.G.

Am I alone in feeling like this? If not, how does God keep you close to Him?

 
7 Comments

Posted by on 08/26/2013 in Uncategorized

 

Midnight Love: The Memories In The Music

If you were in college during the late 90’s to early 00’s, like me, then at some point, you probably watched Midnight Love.

Midnight Love was a late night slow jam video show that came on BET at, well, midnight.   The show played the “mellosmoothe” R&B songs of the day, and sometimes some old school, depending on the night.  I kind of planned my sleep pattern around being able to either wake up to see it, or go to sleep after it was over.  The R&B songs of that time (late 90’s to early 00’s) struck a chord because during that time, I was transitioning from BoyzIIMen adolescence to young adulthood.  It’s probably also why most music from 2004 until now is…lacking, to put it mildly.

Anyway, the overall ’93-’04 era, in my opinion, was the best because the music was the soundtrack to my formative years.  Jodeci, BoyzIIMen, Dru Hill, Aaron Hall, pre-scandal R. Kelly, Maxwell, even Gerald Levert, all had songs that instantly bring back memories when I hear them now.  Not only these groups and solo artists, but some of the lesser known acts as well.

Groups like Ideal

Profyle

and Reel Tight

also came out during the era.  These artist were underappreciated.  But the most slept on singer, for my money, during that time was Myron.

All had songs that, to this day, I listen to regularly.

The nostalgia of the songs is both good and bad. It’s good because as memories get blurred,  the songs bring everything back into focus. It’s bad because songs that fit that time, also fit the relationships that occurred during the same era.

Nevertheless, the R&B music from that time will always have a special place in my heart.  So much so, that I used to make compilations that double as  T.U.S.J.G.T.D. tapes and CDs, focusing mostly on the music from that era.  For those who don’t know what T.U.S.J.G.T.D. stands for, its:  The…ULTIMATE…Slow Jam Get The Draws tapes and CDs.  The download links to two of the compilations are below.

If you’re between 26-35, then you *should* know these songs.  If you’re under 26, then give a listen to what good music is…

Darrk’s R&B Compilation Vol. 1


Darrk’s R&B Compilation Vol. 2

*Note the transition between songs. It’s an art to the Slow Jam mixtape.*

Do you have songs that are attached to special memories? Are they happy memories, or ones you’d rather forget? Do you have any U.S.J.G.T.D. mixes to share?

 
2 Comments

Posted by on 08/19/2013 in Life, Random

 

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Suicidal Thoughts

“Killing one’s self is the most selfish thing anyone can do.”

It’s a refrain we hear continuously when somebody commits suicide.  It’s the same thought I initially had when I first heard about Freddie E. killing himself.  Who am I, or anyone else to say that?  I was wrong for thinking it.

It’s “Monday Morning Quartebacking” a situation that has no chance of being corrected.  We don’t know what drove him to take his own life.  The decedent’s family are really the only ones who have a right to feel like this.  But the reality is, they’re just as selfish.  Oh, it’s unpopular to say that, but that fact doesn’t make it any less true.  Granted, it’s fueled by grief, anger, and other assorted emotions, but the fact remains.

People who take their own life have their reasons.  What isn’t up for debate is that just because those of us left don’t understand it, there are still reasons.  Just about anything could combine to fuel the feelings that nothing will get better and the only option is death.  Emotional, environmental, mental, and physical factors can play a part in it.  Financial and physiological factors do too.

In the monolithic black community, the same factors for those in other communities that commit suicide exists.  We just never deal with it.  We say how we don’t understand how one of us could do it.  Proclamations are made about how “I’d never do that.”  For the people making these assumptions (that is what they are) please stop.  Just because a situation hasn’t arisen where you’ve felt like ending it all, never take it for granted that one can.

Reports and studies have attempted to pinpoint why black men in particular are killing themselves in greater numbers.  Of course nothing is definitive, but these studies do begin to form a frame of reference for us to examine.  The speculative and subjective nature of the topic cannot be denied.  Nor can the necessity of identifying the root causes of suicide.

Everyone can’t be saved, and it would be foolish to try.  Our community can do more to find ways to help those who are reaching out however.  We must take time to recognize the signs of those in distress.  Passing on a phone number to a hotline is cool, but can we invest in these men?  Society has basically said we’re not worth saving, but as quiet as it really is kept, black men are the backbone of our community.  If we’re not here to hold it up, our ‘hoods and families will continue to crumble.  Compound this with the havoc wrought from killing themselves and the fabric of our communities gets torn; sometimes irreparably.

Nothing about suicide is easy to accept, or deal with.  Our aim should be to move the discussion closer to the center of attention.  If more people (especially black men), begin to understand how it affects those left, maybe that will help stem the tide of unnecessary deaths.

Resources

http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org/

http://www.afsp.org/

 
3 Comments

Posted by on 08/08/2013 in Life, Uncategorized

 

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