Thursday, October 27, 2005


“Coming through with Bun..”


You heard me, I’m jamming- “this is as hard as it go, this is as trill as it gets.. I’m coming through with Bun.” – Track #2 ‘Bun’ on Bun B’s new Trill album.

Uhhh..who’s Bun B and what does trill mean?

You listen to rap at all?

Naww..not really. I mean, I know a few Jay Z songs, Eminem,Dre..but I don’t really keep up with it on the underground level. I only know the superstars.

Well you should know Bun B then, he’s from this duo out of Port Arthur, Texas called UGK- Underground Kings

Port Arthur, Texas??

Yeah, Port Arthur is about 90 miles east of Houston. Janis Joplin is from there, Jimmie Johnson is from there, and my uncle Rev. Lloyd Scott, Sr. pastors a church there. Bun B and Pimp C are from there. Bun lives in the greater Houston area now, but he came up in the music game selling mixed tapes at a booth at King’s Flea Market in South Park. Southside.

Oh. I don’t think I heard of them.

No? They did a song with Jay Z a few years back, ‘Big Pimpin’??

Oh yeah! I know that song! “Big pimping spending G’s!!”

Riight!! See, you have heard that short Texas sound. What about the UGK classics like ‘Diamonds and Wood’ or ‘Pocket Full of Stones’?

Pocket Full of Stones??’s an old school dope hustler’s anthem, “I bought my first ki, from my baby mama brother..” Bun B and Pimp C get down for theirs.

Bun B and Pimp C huh? I guess they must be a Texas thang.

Nawww, not just Texas, they’ve been in the game for a good minute..Pimp C is locked up in jail right now, but Bun B is on the street grinding. You can hear that n’ga on almost everybody who’s anybody album these days. Bun ain’t beefing with nobody, he all about that candy paint. He has his own album out now called Trill, and with his surging nationwide and worldwide popularity, Bun’s been getting his 2Pac hustle on on the cool.

2Pac hustle?

Yeah. In the last days of 2Pac’s life Pac had to hustle for cash. Laying guest tracks with other artist for cash money. What Jay Z calls out in 16 Bars. Pac brought a crowd wherever he went, he had Juice, people had to pay to get on with him. Pac was dealing with a lot of legal issues. Lawsuits. Paternity suits. Civil suits. Felony trials. Pac was going through. Them white folks were tying up his money. Even though he was the king of the street when it came to the rap game, all of his royalty checks for his albums and even a lot of the money he made doing shows was being spent on legal fees. Most of the cash walking around money he had, he made by getting into the studio with other artists and being a guest featured rapper on their track for cash under the table. Pac was shaking what his mama gave him, as we all should do. Somehow the game got twisted and all that East Coast, West Coast feuding started popping off and Pac got rubbed out in Vegas. It amazes me sometimes how so many people are so ready to believe that Pac is alive somewhere, that he ain’t REALLY dead, but yet when you tell them that Jesus rose up out that grave early one Sunday morning, they’re the first one’s to say,

“Mane, don’t NOBODY really know if that’s true!! Cuz wasn’t nobody here alive to SEE it when it happened!!”

I smile and make sure not to assume a non-threatening demeanor when I hear this common lament of all the doubting Thomases. I smile first because I know that I used to be one of these agnostics. One of these skeptics. I was one of those ‘intellectuals’ who wasn’t about to be enslaved by a religion that was passed along via a white slave master.

I was enlightened, I knew about Kemet and the ancient civilizations of Africa, I had studied metaphysics, “the science of life, how to live, free from strife, walk with ease and no dis-ease” – KRS-1, and how to open my 3rd eye.

When I read the Autobiography of Malcolm X, I believed what Malcolm Little believed about Jesus before he converted. Even though I was raised and surrounded by the Christian faith, I just went through the motions of going to church because my family required it, but yet I didn’t believe myself. I usually didn’t even talk or discuss my religious beliefs because I never felt the need.

Religion was everybody’s own personal thing, so let’s just leave it at that, personal. Don’t wear it on your sleeve, don’t be a creepy Jesus freak getting on people’s nerves because all you can talk about is how everybody is going to hell if they don’t repent. That wasn’t me. I was too cool for that.

Jesus Christ was a blonde haired, blue eyed white man that’s supposed to be God incarnate?? That white man that they say is God don’t look nothing like me, but rather He’s supposed to look just like this white man who’s got his boot on my neck?? This is the God you’re forcing me to believe in??

Oh, I see why the white man wants n’gaz to believe in Jesus., because..this Jesus dude is kinda laid back, passive. Slaves obey your masters and be diligent workers. Praise Jesus and obey the white man..hallelluia. Nawww. My blood wouldn’t let me fall for that okey doke. I couldn’t take Christ without questioning Him. I was born free and I couldn’t be a slave to the same white man that mistreated people of my color so many times. Over and over. Oppression. How could I bow down and worship a God that looks just like the oppressor of my people?

White folks have done black folks REAL bad throughout the history of America. From the Middle Passage, Slavery, Tuskegee Project, New Orleans. Some folks trip off of animals, and I do have a sensitive side for animals, but I don’t place ANYTHING over the expense of the human soul. If you have breath in your body, then you have a soul as well as your own free will.. It’s God’s gift to man. We weren’t made to be mindless zombies, we can think and rationalize, man can feel. Man can meditate on his Creator. But the fact that a person can look at another human being as being worth less than a human, sub-human, closer to a horse.

Some folks trip that I haven’t expounded a more political voice. “How come you ain’t said nothing about that sh’t that white man said about how crime would go down if we got rid of all the black babies??”

We all have our own prejudices. Some folks may claim to be ‘politically correct’ in deed and thought, but I firmly believe we all have our own dispositions to prejudices of race, age, religion, sexual persuasion, darkness of skin, wealth standing, intellectual ability, there are different areas that we all lean toward bigotry. Some just more than others and some folk’s prejudices only come out in the most exclusive company. Bennett just happened to let his remark slip around mixed company and it got out to the media. But I’m from the South and I LIKE when haters show their hand, it makes for a more real relationship.

And at the core of this prejudice is hatred. When you hate on a person that you have never even met before, just because of what the media depicts ‘these people’ to be like or what somebody else warned you about ‘these people’’re hating.

Trick Daddy defines hating as this: “Hating is when you see something fresh, but yet you refuse to acknowledge it.”

Councils, leaders and zealots hated on Jesus constantly. They hung on His every word just trying to catch Him slipping. Waiting for Him to say something, ANYthing, that they could use to bring charges against Him. Jesus already knew what they were about, and played them off for awhile, but when His time came, He stopped playing with them and opened their ears and let them hear what they were waiting to hear. They even made up some more stuff up (lies) just to trump up the charges with some paid off liars on the stand, so Jesus definitely paved the way for us when it comes to peeping the haters.

You may think it’s a joke, but everybody who has gone out there into this world and lifted up the name of Jesus can feel me, when you start professing that name, the haters get restless. They ain’t trying to hear it..AT ALL. They will try to silence your voice or discredit your name, it’s real ya’ll. That’s why it’s IMPERATIVE that you get suited up in that full armor of God.

Like Lil Keke’s hook on the Trill Track #4 'Draped Up' rings clear, you’ve got to get draped up and dripped out (know what um tawkin bout?) for Jesus. Draped is being suited up. Looking supertight. But more so than looking tight, you’ve got to be fully equipped if you’re going to step out there. There is no room for half stepping. You can’t be lukewarm about it. You can’t ‘kinda’ believe in Jesus, ‘kinda’ won’t make it through the fire.

Ya’ll know about those Soldiers in the Hood (click to read)..right?

You’ve got to start with that belt of truth. You can’t be an ambassador for Christ (That’s what being a Believer is all about) and be out there lying all the time. If you want to stand on the Word, then you have to speak the truth. And that applies all the way to telling those bill collectors,“He’s not home” when you know good and well that it’s you they’re looking for. (I’m still working on that one myself)

You put that breastplate of righteousness on your chest. Wear it proud like a soldier. Keep in mind, that’s the breastplate of righteousness, not the breastplate of jankiness. There is a difference. A lot of Christians get a bit puffed up and start strutting around like they’re the boss of everybody else. Love is meek. Love is kind. Love is longsuffering. Don’t get the big head and go ‘Esther’ from Sanford and Son on me. You so quick to tell the heathens about themselves, but yet there is no fruit of the spirit evident in you, all we see is your own self-righteousness.

Then you gotta slide on those kicks of peace on your feet. Southside riders be ready to put there fighting boots on and go whup somebody’s az. You gotta put your agg to the side once you get on the battlefield. Back in the day, girls would always come out their shoes and fight barefooted, for better balance. You can’t take off these shoes of peace whenever you’re ready to put some ‘act right’ upside somebody head. You gotta put that appetite for destruction to the side. Peace with 2 fingers and all that.

Above all, take that shield of faith with you. Because it’s with that shield that you will be able to deflect all those fiery darts that the wicked one will throw your way. All with the purpose of denying the deity of Christ. Satan was a liar from the beginning and the truth is not in him. You gotta protect your dome with the helmet of salvation. Because if you gotta take a bullet to the head, you better feel good about being present with the LORD once you’re absent from the body.

None of us know when our last breath will be breathed, but I have a shell that I ‘jacked’ from Stephen when he was being stoned to death for proclaiming the gospel of Christ. If I’m going through a curve about to go off the edge of a cliff, or falling down in an impending plane crash, or being strangled to death as they burned me at the stake, I have my ‘ready to go’ verse stashed safely at hand:

“ And they stoned Stephen, and as he was calling upon God, and saying, LORD Jesus, receive my spirit.” – Acts 7:59

Stephen was blessed to have a little bit more time to pray for his murderers before he fell asleep into the presence of the LORD. That’s what the Bible says happens to Believers upon that last mortal breath. (I Thessalonians 4:13-18) That I can just have my LORD’s name in my heart and on my lips when I make my pass to the other side is what I live for.

And finally God charges us to load up our gat, the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Your Bible. You’re not just supposed to read it when you’re at church. When you find time in your day, sharpen yourself by reading a Proverb or two. Meditate on the Law and the Prophets, train with the gospels and the epistles. It’s all good for you. The Bible is described as a two edged sword, the most advanced weapon of combat in Paul’s day. This was their Uzi or Tech 9, maybe M-16.. It cut going in and coming out. That’s what that Word does. It’ll get you the first time you hear it in a whole different place than it gets you the next time you read it.

Once you get suited up, the LORD gives you some instructions to take with ya everyday. It’s some verses you gotta keep on your lips if you want to be real in this game. You DO keep your sword nearby you at all times..dontcha? don’t be that n’ga that ain’t got his heat close at hand when the battle gets crunk off.

Ya’ll know how it goes down here in Texas, we’ve got shotguns, rifle racks, concealed handgun licenses and we can keep protection on us if we’re a proprietor carrying a large amount of cash. The Bible REALLY begins to strengthen you once you start memorizing verses. When that battlefield looks dark and grim and you find your soul growing hesitant to re-join the fray on the frontlines, cuz you know people are getting BROKE UP in the war, there’s blood being shed on the ground on the frontlines, that’s when you need to getchu a bump of that

II Timothy 1:7, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

I gotta recite that one to myself a lot, especially the part about the sound mind, cuz sometimes I think I’m going crazy. But that’s just something that I’m dealing with, I’m just weird like that I guess.

We’re not supposed to have open alcoholic beverages in our vehicles in Texas, but yet when you go into any gas station on the Southside, you see a big barrel of iced down Ya’ll know when Bubba gets that $20 on pump #6 in his pickup and a couple of 16 Oz tall boys wrapped in their individual brown bags, that those brews aren’t going to make it to the house. Pssssht!!! Bubba is go be popping tops and guzzling that cold one as soon as he turns that corner.

Welcome to Texas, everybody around here is loaded with something. Guns. Bible. Booze. BS. We got it all down here. So if my grasp of the Christian message is too trill for your palate, then please excuse my fellowship. I know what the Scripture says, and it is my charge to not offend the weaker brothers. But now that we know that you’re a weaker brother, please excuse my tongue, I feel that I’m amongst family here and I talk real with my kinfolk. True and real. Trill. Maybe it should be Treal? Nawwww..I’m tripping.

Do you have a Bible nearby? You should keep one as close as possible, you never know when you might need a bump. Like a dope fiend sneaking away at break time to get a hit, I find myself needing to meditate on a verse or two throughout my workday. I’m gone mane and I ain’t even tripping about it. I’ve never been a dope fiend, and I’ve only done a lil bit of crack (on accident) but I know I am ‘out there’ on that Jesus. I love Him mane. He’s very strengthening to me. I’ve been fiending on Jesus for over 4 years now. More so than anything, I’m questioned by people who want to know EXACTLY how did I go from being an aforementioned agnostic into a raging Southern Baptist zealot??

“What happened to you D?? I didn’t even know you was all religious like this???”

I actually would describe myself as a Protestant more than anything, for there are tenets of the Baptist churchwhich I don’t feel are mandated by Scripture, but yet I can see the value in them. For those who knew me from back in the day, or for some even yesterday, I appreciate the fact that you can see the change in D. I know it’s for the better, because the change that you see in me is not because of anything that I’ve done, it’s all because of Christ.

And until you can come to that point in your life, where you realize that you don’t control sh’t and that God’s ways are on a whole different level that man could never EVA (EVA EVA..BE ON HIS LEVEL!! BE ON HIS LEVEL!!), then you won’t be able to feel me.

No matter how much I yearned to reach for Him, I couldn’t grab onto Him, nothing was fulfilling me. I dabbled in Islam. Buddhism. Transcendentalism. I read up on the Mormons, the Jehovah Witness, New Agers, Kabala, Scientology, I was searching like a perusing shopper at the mall. I wasn’t intent on buying something, but if I came across something I REALLY liked? I’d check it out closer. But it wasn’t until I took the task of reading and studying the most widely read, quoted, copied, discussed and debated book in the world for myself, the Bible, that I really had that ‘click’ go on for me to allow me to make that jump of faith and come on over to the other side.

Neo’s first initiation with the red pill of truth and the ‘jump program’ from the Matrix had strong inclinations of the leap that is required for the Christian faith. I’ve read the Bible in it’s entirety, but that doesn’t mean I understand all of it. Understanding the who, why, what, how of God’s plan is not a requirement for my faith. I believe the report and that’s all that matters to me. I feel incomplete if I don’t read something from the Bible everyday. I’m striving to become a better disciple. I’m studying to show myself approved. I’m working on my walk. I’m tending to my garden, I want to be a fruitful servant. I want to hear Him say ‘Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Actually, our modern translations say ‘servant’, but in the original Greek text, that word was closer to ‘slave’.

That’s where a lot of black folks, especially the young, intellectual black men with the air for militancy and freedom will start balking at the bit. “I ain’t NOBODY mf slave!!” Most of them don’t know the way the world goes. You’re going to be a slave to SOMETHING in this world. Whether it be a person, a place or a thing. Slaves to sin. Slaves to money. Slaves to personal gratification. Hedonist. You gotta believe in SOMEthing mane!!

So no, when it comes to being considered a slave for Christ, my spirit is humbled and I take my cross willingly and eager to serve. We all have wounds that need to be healed. We all have taken stripes from the taskmaster. But like my Biblical namesake David, I would rather take the LORD’s chastising over any other’s. So yeah..I’m rolling with the Christian soldiers. Isaiah called me to accept my invitation to discipleship. And this is from a skeptic that picked up the Bible with all kinda doubts and questions of ‘why?’ and ‘is this REALLY what God said??’

A lot of people start doubting the Bible when they get to the 4th chapter of Genesis, when you get to the part about Cain and Abel and when Cain had to get marked so no one else would kill him and he went off and got married around some ‘other’ people. “Where did these ‘other’ people come from if ALL people came from Adam and Eve???” It’s a good question and a question that is answered when you read further into the 5th chapter. Assuming that Adam and Eve were created full grown, that means Cain, when he killed Abel, must have been about 129 years old; for Seth was born soon after (Gen 4:25) at which time Adam was 130 (5:3) Cain’s wife (4:17) was more than likely one of his sisters or nieces, for Eve was the mother of all living (3:20) In the 130 years from Adam’s creation, to Abel’s murder it’s safe to say a good many generations had arisen. (Halley’s Bible Handbook, p.69)

I can understand that question, because when I first started reading the Bible, I started tripping even before that in the Garden of Eden. I couldn’t (and a part of me still can’t, but I don’t trip on it anymore) understand how Adam and Eve could be in that garden together butt naked all day and wasn’t NUTHIN popping off.??? Was Adam a punk or what?? Cuz I know the Garden was over in Mesopatamia..Eve had to be one of those fine Selma Hayek looking chicks..what was up with Adam?? But it was round about that 55th chapter of Isaiah that it really ‘hit’ me. I was hungry, thirsty and broke, and when the LORD beckoned D.Washington to drink from His fountains, I drank deeply. And all my doubts I had about the Bible being God’s Word, went away by a few strokes of Isaiah’s pen:

“For as the rain comes down and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater. So shall My word be that goes forth from my mouth; It shall not return to me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.” – Isaiah 55:10-11 NKJV

Hmmm. That made a lot of sense to me. I mean, think about it. If God WAS to write a Book, because He’s God, wouldn’t He make sure that it was preserved for His children to study and learn from? God’s Word can’t be faded, it shall not return void. The Bible is the worldwide #1 book in the history of mankind. It’s hit for centuries and centuries. Some people don’t believe that Jesus was resurrected and that’s where the importance of testimony comes into the picture. From this one Jewish man of the tribe of Judah (Southside of Israel) who lived over 2000 years ago, the faith is still standing. People have been tortured and died horrible deaths because they refused to deny the deity of Christ.

He is the LORD and Savior of us all.

You can’t get to God without Jesus. He is the last high priest. Because of Him, the veil is torn, we all have access to the Holy of Holies. Hmph. Now how trill is that?

You better get draped up in your whole armor of God and dripped out on that blood of the Lamb. He will sanctify you. He will give you atonement. The spirit that is within you is something that no taskmaster can ever take away from you. No matter how poor and downtrodden you may be, if you have breath in your lungs, you have a soul and the free will to make the choice. Accept Him, the promised Messiah, the final Prophet that Moses spoke of (Duet 18:15) , the suffering servant that Isaiah wrote of (Is 53), the time is near.

Of course, I know people have been forecasting the end of the world since the beginning of the world, and the Bible tells us that NO MAN knows the day. But when you look at the things that are going on in our world, when you examine what the Book says about Israel and Babylon (Iraq) in the last days? When you consider the tsunamis, earthquakes, global warming, hurricanes, floods and disasters that are seemingly becoming more and more frequent? It snowed on the Southside on Christmas Eve AND the Astros made it to the World Series?? It’s some WILD stuff going on ya’ll!! It’ll make you think about some thangs. Tomorrow is promised to no man. You better get your relationship together with your Creator while you still have time. That’s as trill as it gets.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Godfather

One of my favorite movies of all time is the Godfather. I’m always a bit torn when asked which one did I like the best..I & II are both amazing in their own ways (III sucks), but I can really dig that Corleone family, especially Michael. Although he was the baby boy, he was the one anointed to take over the family’s business. Of course some may argue that things would have been different if Sonny had lived, but I disagree. Michael had to be the next Don, Sonny was too temperamental and Fredo was too weak.

One of the major turning points in the movie was that scene in the restaurant, when Michael is sent to kill the police chief and the rival family head with a pistol stashed behind the toilet in the bathroom. Before he ‘wacks them’, he has a conversation with Barzini over dinner. In this
particular scene, the police captain is stuffing his face, Michael and Barzini just have drinks over the bargaining meeting..but right before they get DEEP into the negotiations, Barzini motions to the police captain that he’s going to ‘Speak to Michael in Italian’. Of course the cop just brushes him off and goes on eating, but the fact is that in the midst of the transaction going down between law enforcement and organized crime, there was still a familial bond among paisanos (country-men) that excluded them ‘white folks’ in the establishment.

Michael wasn’t a native Sicilian, he was a 2nd generation American, so his Italian wasn’t the greatest. He could understand it when it was spoken to him, but he couldn’t communicate his thoughts in it as nearly as good as he could in English. He labored for awhile, between talking through a busted jaw that that same white police captain that was sitting across the table from him had broken a few nights earlier.

So you could just imagine how his mind was clogged with thoughts of having to make his first two ‘hits’ in his life, so he obviously didn’t have a lot of brain capacity or time left to translate his thoughts from English to when he got down to the crux of the matter, he just threw off all pretense of trying to speak Italian and said what he had to say in English..’What I want..” After that discussion, he went into the bathroom, got a gun and came back and shot both of them right there at the table in the small public restaurant.

Now, for all ya’ll folks, who don’t know about the Southside of Houston where there’s still a very large remnant of the African slave descendants mixed in with those Texas cowboys on the frontier, we have a different way of communicating that throws some people off. It’s a mix with country people from the woods, East Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama..folks who people grew their own vegetables and had their own chickens and hens, mixed in with a lot of those Creole yella bones and red bones. We say ‘mane’, and ‘what it do’, that’s not to say that we haven’t been schooled in proper grammar, cuz we all have our game to ‘talk like them white folks’, when we know it’s crucial to make that move.

But in the end, when you see us at home, relaxing around our bar-b-que pits with our margaritas being poured up and them dominoes hitting the table..THREE LICKS FREAK!!..we have our own dialect. So to preface this post, I’m leaning closer to my Southside family, so for all ya’ll who don’t speak the language, please excuse me as I speak to my people in my native Southside tongue. I know that there’s a lot of people that’s not going to get all my slang and euphemisms, but you can understand me when I tell you that I’m speaking to my people and I gotta make sure they can feel me and don’t feel intimidated by seeing a lot of words on a page.

You see, a lot of the Southside community doesn’t read..between the illiterate ones, and the ones who never pick up a book to open their mind and sharpen their reading skills, I’ve got to make sure the whole family that CAN read, can feel D. Wash.

In case you didn’t know, I’m from the Valley, it’s all the way in the back of Sunnyside, not to be confused with Paradise Valley which is east of Cloverland (wazzup Robbin!) and North of Hillwood, where my boy Lagette is from (wazzup Gette!).

I’m from that Valley of the Sugar, it’s probably one of the smallest subdivision on the Southside as well as the most isolated. The whole neighborhood is built like a cul-de-sac, with one way in and one way out. Unless you’re going to jump or swim across Sims bayou, (which some Sugarvalley n’gaz have been known to do when them laws roll through the neighborhood serving them felony warrants) you gotta drive down Dulcimer to get in or out of the Valley.

Fortunately, my parents have never had to deal with that knock on the door..

Is your son here?

No. What do ya’ll want him for??

We have a felony warrant for his arrest ma’am.

What that bad az lil n’ga done did THIS time??!!

The worst I’ve had to put them through is having a constable serving a subpoena for me to appear as a felony witness in court, but ya’ll know how that goes when you have close homeboys that’s doing dirt. I’m not saying that my hands are completely innocent and clean, I’m just saying that I’ve never had to hear them say, ‘guilty as charged’ and I’ve never had to cop a plea. But a lot of my friends that I grew up with playing on those Sugarvalley streets everyday had to go that way. I

’m sure our neighborhood has a ridiculously high percentage of men born in the 70’s with a criminal record. Sugarvalley is the hood, but that doesn’t mean we all had to be thugs. We weren’t poor, but we always knew what poor was..cuz we played with them n’gaz growing up on housing, free lunch n’gaz. The houses in Sugarvalley aren’t elaborate. but people take care of their yards and homes and all the kids in Sugarvalley are going to bed with a full belly every night. They might not be eating what they want to eat..but they have something to eat.

So a lot of people start tripping when they learn where I’m from. They didn’t know that Southside n’gaz knew how to communicate their feelings. They didn’t know Southside ng’az could get degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University. Stanford??!!

Where you on some kind of athletic scholarship? No.

No?? Really? You look like you could have been a football player or something.

Naw mane..I knew football wasn’t for me way back in the winter break 1980 when them Jones’ boys put me on crutches for 2 weeks with strained knee ligaments. We were all playing tackle football on the side of their house, me, Vernard, Bubba, George Earl and Hard Rock. Of the 5 Jones’ boys who are grandsons to the late Sergeant Jones, 2 are in prison right now, one is building houses and preaching, one is finishing medical school and ain’t nobody seen one of em in awhile.

People on the Southside know what it means when you have friends that kinda ‘disappear’ for awhile. We always pray for their safety and safe return back to the family, but sometimes we all need to get away so that we can find ourselves. Going out on that pilgrimage of life like Kung Fu..walking the earth exploring our destiny, realizing our past. The Jones’ boys are very much a part of my identity. Ms. Jones used to keep me and Vernard when we were both toddlers and our parents were at work. ‘Mainstream’ kids ate that Gerber and packaged food, Ms. Jones was feeding me and Vernard mashed up hot water cornbread with pot liquor poured over the top of it.

Country folks mane..people may laugh at how we talk, or the more rustic way of living..but it’s real and it’s stood the test of time. It’s how the African slaves survived..learning how to eat good with what they had, which always started with fresh vegetables. Greens, beans, peas, corn, tomatoes, okra, sweet potatoes, could put seeds in a ground and till that ground and months later, the Lord would bless you with a crop to harvest.

It’s where the rubber meets the road ya’ll and it’s a remnant of the African experience that our kids today will have a hard time dealing with if those grocery stores ever closed down. Now I used to think this realness was regulated to black folks while the white folks sat up in their house under air conditioner watching those slaves work their fields. But in actuality, there’s a lot of white folks who are very much familiar with getting out there in those fields and working. Understandably, some of them feel as if the Lord has decreed a hierarchy of human races, with some bloodlines destined to always be servants to other bloodlines. Some of that deep seeded Ishmael and Isaac type stuff.

Although there is an unspoken reality of racial caste systems throughout the world, the Light shines on equality for all.

For there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male or female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. – Galatians 3:28.

If you don’t believe that Jesus got up on that cross, you’ll have a lot harder time getting past the shroud of racial prejudice. And I’m not just talking about white folks, there is still a very strong vein of racial hatred against white folks in the hearts of the black community, just like there’s a lot of white folks who think all other races are beneath them. S

ugarvalley is definitely a black community, just like the rest of the Southside of Houston. But when people ask me why I love the Southside..why do I choose to live and raise my children in a lower income-working class community..well, they just can’t feel the value of family. When you live in the hood, where people know yo mama dem and know your uncle’s and aunt’s..your wife’s people..your friends you grew up with..your church members..the people who are teaching our kids in know the barbers and beauticians, the bankers, the truckers, the hustlers..well that’s what being a part of the ‘hood’ is all about.

That way, if I happen to see one of my friends kids hanging out on that corner ‘with them n’gaz’, I can front them out..

Hey! Junebug?? Boy! What ya’ll doing hanging out here?? How come ya’ll ain’t in school??

Uhh..we had off today.

Off? Does your mama know that you’re out here smoking on the corner in the middle of the school day? sir.

Boy! You betta get yo black az back to school right now !! Cuz you best believe I’mma call her and tell her TODAY…matter of fact..what’s her number?? I’mma call her right now..and all the rest of ya’ll n’gaz need to move around mane..cuz it ain’t nothing for them laws to show up then ALL ya’ll go have some explaining to do…Junebug, you bring yo az over here and get in this car with me!

See what I’m talking about? The Southside is just like a lot of other communities across America, too many of our kids are playing in those dangerous streets and if we don’t teach them something real and lasting that will turn them away from that dangerous path, they’re going to get ran the f’k over, ending up in jail or murdered. And it’s not just our hard heads either, somebody needs to talk to our young girls too and give them a hug. Let them know that they don’t have to have their titties and az hanging out to get a man’s attention and that they don’t have to open their legs to get love from a man.

Whenever I roll through the Valley these days, I’m subject to be flagged down by somebody I grew up with, who happens to be visiting their mama or daddy or just hanging out….

Wazzup witcha up D. Wash!!!!

Look out there Big Fella!! How yo family doing mane??

Oh..everybody doing alright, it’s all good.

Where them books at n’ga?? I’m ready to start servin them hoz up!!!

It ain’t ready yet.

Whatchu waiting on mane?? I been talking yo shit up everywhere I go..people ready for that Real Game!!

You know how it is..I got it cooking, but you already know how I do it, I grind so hard at it, that I make them coffee mugs crack with the fork I use!!

(laughing) I feel ya n’ga!! I peep them context clues!!!

Hmm..yeah,(smiling) you feel me!!..It’s coming along mane..I got my base, but now I gotta hit it with that B-12 to make it fluffy.

OOOOweeee!!! Mane..I KNOW you go be f’king they head UP D!!

The Lord has really blessed me mane..He’s answered every prayer I’ve ever had and I would be a sorry az n’ga if I didn’t open my mouth and tell somebody just how good He really is!

And that’s FO-REAL mane..cuz you know a n’ga like ME know how good the Lord is..I got ran over by a car and was laying in that hospital bed and the Lord came and took care of me n’ga..I ain’t trippin.

I’m telling’s just that I realized that a lot of people can’t feel em cuz they too caught up with stacking that paper and making it through, that they forget to take the time out and thank the Lord for all the things He’s done for them.

Ain’t THAT the truth! Lot of these n’gaz walking around here acting like nobody ain’t never did sh’t for they black az..Jesus got up on that cross for you TOO n’ga! You just too stupid and selfish to realize it!

Already! But look here mane..since we right here in the middle of the street stopping traffic and these people are blowing to get by, let me gone and make it over here to my momma and daddy house, but you got my cell number, just hit me later so we can go get some brews and chop it up on that domino table or something.

That’s a bet n’ga!

I’mma holla atcha D.Wash!!

You do that! You know where I be.!!!


Sugarvalley is the place where I grew up, but our world expanded as we got older, riding over to Reedwood and chopping it up with Pooh or them Meade boys. Slidiing over to Blueridge and hanging out with my boy Curvey, hooping at Sunnyside park, or going back to Cloverland park with them SA Fools..I was never a street n’ga, I just grew up playing with a lot of them. Or as some would say, ‘I have a lil thug stirred in my coffee’.

But so often, my podnas that ended up being swallowed up by the Texas Department of Corrections, whether it’s the County boys or my podnas like George Earl who’s up in Huntsville working on 20 years locked down, a familiar theme among those who got swallowed up by the street is a deficiency of love in their life. It’s hard for a child to make it when he’s constantly surrounded by people telling him that he’ll never amount to anything in life..

Yo daddy wasn’t sh’t and you ain’t go be sh’t either!!

never had to deal with this negativity and mental battering.

My parents and all the people around me constantly gave me love and support..always training me on how to handle things the RIGHT way. And they didn’t just tell me, they let me see their works as fruitful laborers, getting up every morning and doing what they do. My mother’s pots have fed thousands of bellies. From relatives, friends and church members passing through visiting, to full families that have been evicted, or flooded out of their homes and they needed some time to ‘get themselves together’ and back on their feet, my parents roof has been a safe haven for many people making their pilgrimage through life. I’m sure if they would have been around in colonial America, their house would have been a stop along the underground railroad, because both my parents have the hearts of abolitionist.

So now I’m here..D. E. Washington..the youngest child born to The Sailor and The General and God has blessed me to pick up my pen and speak to those of us who Franz Fanon nomed as ‘The Wretched of the Earth’ and let them know that there is a way to freedom. We don’t have to be mired in the shackles of oppression and hatred anymore, there IS a Light at the end of the tunnel, you don’t HAVE to stay mired in that pit of darkness and despair.

When you feed your soul with the Word of the Lord, your spirit will start to grow. But if you constantly feed your soul junkfood, like watching Uncut videos and playing games and watching soap operas and all kinda bullsh’t on TV and on the radio..then your soul does not grow closer to the Lord..and you remain stuck right where you are. Too many people SAY they’re ready to make that move and ‘get their life RIGHT’, but yet they’re steady doing the same things they’ve been doing and expecting different results!

Some people ask, ‘Where the hell do YOU get off trying to tell people what they need to do?? You ain’t no preacher or no professor, you up here trying to act like you somebody daddy!!

Nawww n’ga! I ain’t ya daddy, cuz if I was, I would have whupped your az so that you would realize that YOU ain’t running sh’t either, but your mouth! If you would have had a daddy worth anything, you’d know that already!

Our families in the hood are on life support ya’ll. Marriages are crumbling, parents ain’t raising their kids right and showing them all kinda wrong, everybody is getting their freak on and doing their thang, without realizing that it’s not all about’s all about HIM! People start tripping when you start talking about Jesus, it’s a name that Hollywood won’t let people glorify on screen, it’s a name that people don’t want to hear in their prayers.

I understand that everybody isn’t of the faith, but what I can’t understand is people refusing to examine the Way that He prescribed for us to go. How can you hate when you haven’t even tried Him? On this fact I stand resolute, there is no other name that can save our families today. Some people say we need to just focus on the kids, educating them so they can get good jobs and lead prosperous lives, but if we don’t give them that foundation in the Way of the Lord, then they’ll still be seed sowed on barren land. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole wide world yet lose his soul? When you start with that heart, hitting them where it’s at, that’s when the change will start manifesting itself in their works.

That’s the ‘dope’ that the Lord has called me to push, cuz I’m all about the family mane. And people have gravitated to making the children the focal point of the family, but that’s not the way God meant it to be. We’re supposed to love our children and train them up in the way that they should go.but the focus should still be on that relationship with God, which starts with the man. Once our fathers start lining up to the will and Word of the Lord, that’s when the whole family comes in line to be blessed.

I’m not the only Southside hard head that has been ‘emancipated’, there’s others who have been set free through Christ. One of my closest podnas is from Crestmont Park, he's out there serving em up at He and his wife gave me the flattering distinction of being the godfather of not one, but for both of their sons. Before we had the official ceremony at the church for the oldest son, we had to attend a training class that was given by Rev. Kirbyjohn Caldwell, pastor of the largest black Methodist church in Texas, Windsor Village.

It turned out that this was a very small and intimate group (less than 8), so we were able to buckle down and ‘get real’ about what being a godfather/godmother really meant. And it all goes back to the training of the the event something was to happen with the parents, then the godparent is to assume the responsibility of looking after the best welfare for the child.

Rev. Caldwell is one of G-Dubya’s close friends. He gave the closing benediction prayer for both of Bush’s inaugural ceremonies. The first one caused a bit of a stir in 2001, because to close the prayer he said, “in the name that is above all other names, Jesus the Christ,” and called on all those who agreed to say, ‘amen’. Of course, EVERYBODY doesn’t agree that Jesus is the Christ and other’s don’t believe it’s the name above every name and still others that don’t think they should have ‘prayer’ at a presidential inauguration, so the flak came from all different angles. But this year, to close the prayer, Caldwell said, “Respecting persons of all faiths, I humbly submit this prayer in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

That was received a bit better than before, but some people still rolled their eyes and grumbled about that Name. Fortunately, or rather I should say all praises be to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, is a completely independent website operated by Servinemup Ink, a publishing company which I happen to own. So I don’t have to front or hush my mouth and speak low when I talk about Jesus..cuz everybody knows when they come here, you’re coming to D.E. Washington’s house, where I’m putting my blood, sweat and tears out for everybody to see. But instead of being ashamed or restrained from saying the Name of Jesus, when you come here to servinemup, you AL-READY KNOW, that as for D and my house, we shall serve the Lord. And I’m serving these boys HARD like the godfather that God has appointed me to be. I know it can come across kinda coarse and harsh with the curse words and ‘n’gaz’, but that’s just the Southside in me. Freedom ain’t as fun if yo homies can’t have none. Do you understand me now?? I’m busting these n’gaz upside the head with that Word..that’s how you gotta do hard heads. Or as Michael Corleone would say, “I’m gonna make em an offer they can’t refuse.”

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Sacrificing for the Victory

I guess it’s kinda like knowing the difference between a suicide squeeze bunt versus a safety squeeze bunt in baseball. Not only are there a lot of laypeople who know absolutely nothing about baseball who have no idea what those terms mean, but there’s also a lot of people who think they know the game of baseball, but yet they can’t quite explain the difference between the two. There is a lot of casual fans that know the general rules of the game, 9 players on each team, 3 strikes you’re out, 4 balls you walk, 9 innings yada yada yada.. but yet they’re not true students of the game.

I like baseball. It was actually the first sport I really played and examined. My father is a student of the game. He played centerfield in his day. Both my grandfather’s were baseball fans. They didn’t even care who was playing, they just wanted to watch a ball game. As most black men who are deep in the game, my Papa liked the Dodgers. The Dodgers were the first team to give a black man a chance to play, Jackie Robinson.

Since I was born in the 70’s, I realize that there’s not a lot of black men my age who are students of the game of baseball. Most of the kids in the hood are more into basketball and football. Bling Bling. Thump on your chest and do a monkey dance when you make a touchdown. Start screaming at the top of your lungs with victorious delight when you dunk on a fool. Basketball and Football give a larger stage for personal exaltment. Me. Me. Me.

There’s some (usually the black players) who try to clown and show off in baseball, by throwing the bat or standing at the plate and admiring their handiwork after they hit a homerun. But they usually don’t do this too often, because when you ‘show up’ a pitcher in baseball, you better not dig in too hard the next time you’re up at the plate. Because you’re likely to get a high and tight fastball that comes in right up under your chin, just to remind you to respect the game.

But those who are true students of baseball, are more apt to be privy to the concepts of team and personal sacrifice. Which brings us back to the difference between a suicide squeeze bunt versus a safety squeeze bunt. Both plays require the batter to give himself up as a sure out, all for the sake of scoring another run for the team. Sacrifice.

Those who watched the Astros-Cardinals LCS Game 1 matchup had a perfect example of this to examine. Runners on 1st and 3rd. 1 Out. 2nd inning. Cardinals up 2-0. The pitcher was at the plate.

[Writers Note: Just to let you know, I guess I’m kinda conservative when it comes to baseball. I think EVERYBODY should have to field a position and EVERYBODY should have to bat. The Designated Hitter rule is a mechanism of greedy capitalist, but that’s a whole different tangent.]

When you have the pitcher at the plate in the major leagues, he’s usually the weakest hitter in the lineup. I used to think that it was odd that pitchers and catchers were usually the worst hitters, especially since they KNEW what the opponent was trying to do. But once I started playing the game, and I saw the time and practice required to really be good and go to that next level, I had a better understanding of why this is so. Of course there are a few wildcards out there, but by and large the pitcher is the worst hitter in the lineup.

So if you have your worst hitter at the plate, with runners on 1st and 3rd and 1 out and you have a 2 run lead early in a game where each and every run is crucial, then the obvious goal is to get another run across the plate. The worst case scenario is not striking out, but rather hitting into a double play. Inning over.

So if you have a weak hitter at the plate, the safe thing to do is to lay down a sacrifice bunt. When the runner on 3rd waits to make sure that the bunt gets laid down before he starts running towards the plate, that’s called a safety squeeze bunt. But if the runner takes off as soon as the pitcher makes his move toward the plate, then that’s called a suicide squeeze bunt.

It’s called a suicide, because if the batter: 1)misses the ball, 2) misses the sign from the 3rd base coach and laces a line drive down the 3rd base line or 3)there’s a pitchout? Then the runner on 3rd is dead. You’re out!! It’s a play that requires precise execution on both the batter and the runner’s part.

I have some friends (who’ve never dug in at the plate in their lives) who call baseball a wuss sport.

“It doesn’t demand the physical strength and agility like football or basketball, there is no is for wimps.”

I just laugh at them when they say that and tell them they just need to put on a batting helmet, grab a bat and let a 6-4+ dude hurl a 90 mph fastball their way down the plate. And then follow that up with a looping curve that starts at your head and then breaks down into the catchers mitt.

Notice I said ‘catchers mitt’, not ‘bat-catcher’s mitt’. A lot of black folks call it a ‘bat catcher’, but that’s not what it’s called. It’s just ‘catcher’.

Soo..if you haven’t learned anything else, you know the difference between a suicide vs a safety squeeze and you know it’s ‘catcher’ and not ‘bat-catcher’.

Doesn’t that sound like some real game? J

People ask me to describe what my first book is about, and that’s the best example I can give you. It has snippets, short stories and essays that cover various topics of life. Sports. Relationships. Theology. Social Issues. Family Issues and the like and they all include a Biblical principle somewhere tied into them. There’s fictitious characters like Rev. I.B. Janky as well as real life stories of miracles and glory.

I used to worry that my conversation and lingo was a bit too Southside or ‘ebonic’ for most people to understand. But my editor is a Jewish chick from Philly and she ‘gets’ it. Or at least, most of it.

“I LIKE when you say ‘mane’ (smiling)..but do you pronounce that? Is it main or man?”

“(laughing) It’s just like it’s spelled, pronounced just like a horse’s mane. So you don’t think I have to change my style?”

“No, because it’s you David. It’s your no, don’t change that, I’ll be able to edit out the parts that I think are un-decipherable.”

She doesn’t edit the website, so don’t charge my ‘un-decipherables’ that I have throughout this web page or in my Newsletter mailouts to her. This is all David Earl Washington II.

That’s what the D and E. stand’s really not a secret. Just like everybody knows the C.S. stands for Clive Staples, finding out my government name is not a hard task.

Some of my friends have cautioned me about guarding my privacy, especially on the WORLD WIDE WEB.for all to see.

“You never know how many wackos are lurking out there.”

I had to think about that one for a minute. Not just about me, but also my family. There are precautions you have to take to guard yourself against all of the predators out there in the world. And the more visible you are to the public via the internet, book tours and interviews, the greater you increase your chance of running across some truly crazy folks.

Fortunately for me, I grew up surrounded by crazy folks, almost ALL of my friends are crazy. That’s why my wife say we all get along so well, birds of a feather and all that. When she starts making those cracks, I just remind her that we ARE married to each other..ya feel me?

But seriously, there are some serious facts in life that we all must face. And once you find that thing in your life that you’re willing to lay down your life for, that thing you’re willing to die for..then that’s when you’re ready. That’s when you’re ‘dead game’.

At first I thought I knew what ‘dead game’ meant once I became a father. Holding my newborn daughter in my arms sent a wave of feelings and emotions coursing through my body that I could never explain, not even with a million words. All I know, is that as soon as I laid eyes on her, I burst out crying in tears. She was the most beautiful thing that I had ever seen in my life.

We did the natural thing and didn’t have an ultrasound. I mean, we had an ultrasound, but we asked the doctor not to even speculate what the sex may be. Like most men, there was a part of me looking forward to having a son, but I wasn’t the kind of guy that was going to be mad or pissed off if it was a girl either. It truly was all good. I just prayed for a healthy child.

And once my daughter arrived into this world, I felt a whole new sense of responsibility. This was my child. Flesh of my flesh. Blood of my blood.. I had to provide for her. I had to protect her. I had to love her. If anything came to harm her, it would have to kill me first. Those who have children that they love, whether girls or boys, know what I mean.

But once I accepted the invitation to Christian discipleship, I learned that there is a whole different level of being ‘dead game’ that goes beyond the sacrifice you’re willing to make for your family.

A lot of the things that I write about began with conversations that I had with my distribution manager, Tommy Curvey. Curvey is not only the distribution manager for Servinemup Ink, he’s also my barber. And usually when we get together, we start chopping it up. Talking about the things going on in the hood and in the world. Discussing and applying it to what thus saith the LORD.

One of the reasons I was able to make it through Stanford University and earn my degree in Electrical Engineering, was because I learned the value of having good study partners. People who took the same class with you that you could study together with. Sometimes you may have to borrow their notes, sometimes they might have to borrow yours..but you look out for each other. It’s very close to the same principle of partnership and looking out for your podnaz that Curvey learned when he was locked up in the penitentiary for over 7 years. Between both of our backgrounds, we cover a lot of area.

Since Curvey and I are two of the few black men in our age group that actually study the Bible, it brings a whole new dynamic to our friendship that can’t be attained with people who have never studied the Word to show themselves approved.

We’re both two hard headed black men in our 30’s that grew up on the Southside of Houston, Texas. We both grew up going to Blueridge Baptist Church, with the late Rev.W.D. Richardson as our pastor. We both come from families that are rooted in the Word. We both know how to clown and act a fool. We both played Class 5A varsity sports in high school. Curvey played middle linebacker at Worthing, I played shortstop for Booker T. or as my principal F.D. Wesley says, “Booker Washington.”

We were talking one day about something Pastor Richardson used to say ALL the time. It was kinda wild, because this was something that he used to say over 25 years ago, and in our lifetime, we see it coming to fruition. Pastor Richardson would often address the congregation and make a reference to the ‘family’ as we know it:

“There will come a time, where you’re going to have to go to a museum, to see a black family. A full family with a daddy and a mama at home with their kids. Pretty soon all you will have are single mothers or single fathers and the family structure as God planned it to be will become extinct.”

As a child listening to this, I had no clue to what Pastor Richardson was talking about. But as I’ve grown to an adult and I’ve opened my eyes to the world that we’re living in, I can clearly see the traditional family structure moving toward extinction. We all know about all the men in jail, and all the men on drugs and all the men that are victims to homicide and all the men that refuse to assume the responsibilities of marriage and fatherhood and all the men that choose to lead alternative lifestyles and all the men that are downright sorry deadbeats, and I could see Pastor Richardson’s foreshadowing taking place.

So as Curvey and I were talking about what we could do to help the hood, how we could join the battle and do something positive to help all of these babies out here who are having babies, all of these families that were struggling to survive, all of the answers we could come up with pointed back to the Word.

“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” – Hosea 4:6

When people don’t know the path that God prescribes for us to walk, then they’re more apt to ad-lib and make up things as they go. Doing what ‘feels’ right to them. Doing what makes them feel comfortable. Pretty soon, it starts getting so wild, that people fool themselves into believing that their indulgences are cool with the LORD.

God doesn’t care if you have a couple of girlfriends, as long as you’re not lying to anybody about it, it’s all good.

God is all about love, so why would He consider two men loving each other an abomination? Homophobia is something that man created, God loves all kinda love.

I’ve heard some people say some wild things. And it all points back to the state of Israel when they strayed away from the commandments of God.

“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” – Judges 21:25

That’s pretty much where we’re headed. Instead of conforming themselves to the Word, people are trying to make the Word conform to their lifestyle and that just ain’t gonna work. At some point, obedience and sacrifice have to enter the picture. To truly obey God’s Word, you have to be ready to sacrifice some lusts of the flesh. Because if you think you can just do whatever (as long as you don’t hurt nobody ) and God is cool with that? Then the chances are high that you are living in unrepentant sin.

Fooling yourself into thinking that shacking up is alright with the LORD. Fooling yourself into thinking that pre-marital sex and adultery are fine. Fooling yourself into thinking that whatever you gotta do to make money, no matter how many laws you have to break and no matter how many lies you have to tell to get that money, is kosher.

In case no one has told you, the Grace and Mercy that we live under through Jesus Christ was not won without a price. There is a cost that Christ paid for us to have access to the kingdom.

In baseball terms, God called a suicide squeeze play and Christ laid down the bunt at Calvary and He scored the game winning run with His resurrection early on a Sunday morning. We can all celebrate and jump for joy and crowd around Him at the plate, jumping up in down in jubilation, He gave us the victory!!

That doesn’t mean we have free reign to pay our dues and do as we please. What it means is that we all have a choice to make. God didn’t make us into mindless zombies, we all have our own free will to accept Christ’s invitation to everlasting life or reject it.

It’s God will that ALL should be saved (I Timothy 2:4). But sadly, all of us are not going to accept His offer. There’s a lot of reasons why people refuse or shun Christian discipleship, but when you look at the state of the world today. And more specifically, the state of our families, then you can quickly realize that there is no other name given under heaven by which we might be saved.

So since God graced me and Curvey to come into the knowledge of the Word, we knew that it was our responsibility to shine this Light into the darkness that is encircling our society. Or as the African proverb goes, ‘Each one teach one.’

Being in the publishing business and selling books to the general public leaves room for creative expression. Everyone doesn’t ‘get it’. Some church folks (usually the Pharisees) have even criticized me for the way I get down with the pen.

“And you call yourself a Christian using all those nasty filthy curse words!??”

My writing style is not for everybody, because everybody isn’t ready to be real like we are on the Southside. But for all those hard heads on the street, who have never been exposed to any sound Biblical doctrines of: Creation, the Fall of Man, Israel and it’s struggle toward nationhood, the prophets, the birth of Christ, His life, teaching, preaching and miracles, His death and resurrection, His ascension and His claim that the Scriptures were closed with the New Testament..then Real Game will be a good training program for you to read. A lot of people know a ‘lil bit’ about the Bible, but they aren’t knowledgeable about the intricacies of the Word. That’s where me and Curvey come in, we’re out here serving these fools.

Servinemup Ink (a Southside Publishing Company)

D. E. Washington – Writer

Tommy Curvey – Distribution Manager

L.F. Lubin, MS RD – Editor.

“It’s some boys in the hood sell anything for profit.. 2- 3 on the corner clocking (clocking)...dem boys got work.” – Boyz N da Hood, ‘Dem Boyz’

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Can I Get a Witness??

Scurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr..let me slide on in here running top speed and gliding across the stage with a big smile on my face. With my coordination (or lack thereof), I’d probably slide right past the podium and end up falling off the stage and crashing into the cymbals section of the orchestra pit.

But like every determined superhero, of the likes of Maxwell Smart and the legendary Super Dave Osborne, I’d ease my way back up to microphone, still smiling and ready to perform my task while bandaged and bleeding. It’s all good. I’m alright. God prepared me for this, even before I was formed in my mother’s womb.

When I pass one of my business cards to people I meet in the street and tell them to check out the website, a lot of them look at me funny. Women try to figure out if I’m trying to ‘hook up’ with them on the cool.

“Naww baby, it ain’t like that. I already have a beautiful and talented leading lady in my life that I love to come home to and the God that I serve that forbids adultery..I ain’t trying to get down like that, not even for a couple of minutes. Just check out the website and if you like it, pass the link along to others in your email group.”

Then my wife would probably say something like, "What the hell are you doing calling some other woman 'baby'???"

When I give my cards out to dudes, they're a lot more visual. The women focus on the name and the title on the card. The dudes are trying to see if it's one of those naked picture sites, they're looking for pictures and they tend to notice the cross first..

“Whatchu sellin? Bibles or something?”

“It’s a publishing company. We sell printed materials.”

“Chief Executive Writer’?? write books?”

“Among other things.”

“What kind of books?”

“Whateva you want we got it, either soft or solid.”

Writing is an exercise that has caused me to reach down deep inside and truly realize what it means to be D.E. Washington, Southside Christian Writer.

I had to figure out what it meant to be able to go out and come in. Some of the things I write ‘undercover’. People can read it and have no idea what God I believe in, because it never comes up.

There’s an infinite range of topics to cover on a blank page. You can talk about the supernatural, you can talk about how to make Quick and Easy Abbeville Etouffee, you can talk about the male prostate in Fingerwaves or even examining how gasoline prices are set in Prices At the Pump. But I realized that if I really wanted to help people, the best thing I could do is tell them what I know about Jesus.

If you ain't telling people that Jesus is real..what iz you sayin???

It wasn’t too long before I realized I had to get focused on a purpose, because I knew that I’m too crazy to freestyle all the time. I’d end up writing mindless drivel and making people think that I’m a certified whacko that needs to be locked up in a rubber room somewhere. My wife tells me that people already think I’m nuts, but I prefer to think that I have ya'll fooled.

You DO think I’m ‘normal’..right?.

No? I didn’t fool you? Oh…how odd..oh well..back to the story.

Our Sunday School lesson this past week (Acts 6:8 – 7:60) was on Stephen. Stephen has the distinction of being the first martyr of the early church. He was stoned to death for preaching the gospel of Christ. He wasn’t stoned by a band of street thugs, but rather by an angry mob of church folks. Folks who felt like they were God's only chosen people and that they had the inside track to the one true God and they didn’t want to hear anyone preach anything different. Pharisees and Saduccees. The Sanhedrin Council.

Stephen’s sermon before his execution is an inspiring exposition on the history of the nation of Israel; from Abraham’s act of faith all the way to the crucifixion and resurrection of the promised Messiah. Stephen was telling that story straight from the Word and the haters were so frustrated with Stephen’s words of truth, that they had to start lying on him and eventually killed him, just to silence his voice.

The final aim of the lesson was for us to DETERMNE to remain loyal to Christ despite opposition and persecution that we may face because of our faith.

That’s not mine, I copied that from our Young Adult Sunday School Book published by Urban Ministries. ( I think they do a very good job in writing lessons that are very informative, Bible based and encouraging. The past editor, Katara Washington (no relation, that we know of) has been a visitor to and I think the new editor, Aja Carr, is doing a fantastic job with her pen skills.

I know most servinemup readers probably rarely (if ever) attend Sunday School. Everyone has their own reasons why they do not study the Word, to show themselves approved unto God. But in the end, they’re really just excuses. Because there is no plausible reason for refusing to study the Word for yourself that does not reek of disobedience.

God’s children are just like our children today, spoiled and hard headed. Spoiled children don’t think about what their parents have to go through to get them the desires of their heart. Spoiled children are only concerned about themselves. How can they get more? I want it, and I want it RIGHT NOW!

Combine these spoiled and selfish kids with all the hard heads, who have to be constantly told the same things over and over and over. Pretty soon that hard head will cause bumps and bruises to start showing up. The world avoids no one, if you keep running out there in those streets, you’re bound to get hit by a car at some time or another.

That’s where I come into the picture. I’m one of those Hardheads that God protected and saved even when I didn’t want to be saved. My early recollections of going to church weren’t happy thoughts. I hated it.

I hated having to get up early on a weekend day. I hated having to comb my hair and put on some uncomfortable clothes that I couldn’t wrestle in the dirt in. I hated having to sit still in the church pew. I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t laugh, I couldn’t play, I couldn’t was much like being in hell as far as I was concerned.

I even thought that if Heaven was like being in church all the time, I didn’t want to go.

BOOOO!! Church is BORING mane!!

Do we have any other alternatives? Is there a heaven for thug n’gaz??

It wasn’t until I started going through things in life that made me realize that I wasn’t in control of sh’t, that I began to seek God for direction. It’s hard for control freaks like me to put that pride aside and submit.

Sometimes we may even fool ourselves into thinking we’ve submitted,you might even be going to church a lil bit, but you really don’t know until God requires you to do something that you don’t want to do (like remembering the Sabbath and keeping it holy). That’s when you realize if you’ve really submitted or you’re just paying Him that lip service. Don’t fool yourself.

I didn’t even fully realize that concept of submitting, until I was put in the position were I felt like my wife was refusing to submit to me.

“What do you mean you ain’t got to do what I tell you to do??!!”

My blood raged and my eyes watered. I got so angry that I wanted to shake her like a bobble head doll and impose my strength on her to MAKE her do what I told her to do. (Or not do, I can’t even remember)

But instead of strangling her and instead of withdrawing myself from her, I instead immersed myself in the Word. Because I knew it had that part in there about wives submitting to husbands, and I had to figure out how to make that Word work for me in my life.

I know it sounds devilish and manipulative, but that’s just the kind of control freak I am..or rather, I was. I no longer pick up the Bible looking for verses to prove others wrong, instead I study my Word now intent on learning more about following that path that God has laid down for me to follow.

It’s dark out there in them woods ya’ll and the trail to glory is not always easy to maneuver. I’m working on my salvation with fear and trembling just like the rest of the Believers in this world.

But what I discovered, was that as I studied that word, from ‘in the beginning’ to ‘may the grace of our LORD and Savior Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen’, God spoke directly to me. And as I started lining up my walk to what thus saith the LORD, my wife fell in step right beside me and submission (or lack of) was no longer an issue.

I picked up the Bible as a skeptic, almost daring God to prove to me that it was really the complete and inerrant Word of God. By the time I had finished the Pentateuch, I was in awe and reverence and by the time I got to that 55th chapter of Isaiah, I was a believer. I accepted Christ’s invitation to abundant life and I have not looked back. Actually I can’t turn back, there is no other place for me to go. I’m leaning on those everlasting arms.

All those doubts I used to have about who REALLY knew God were erased. He gave me a peace of knowing and believing and it’s not something that I earned. Salvation is a gift from God that is extended to every living soul with an open heart.

But the sad fact that I had to come to grips with, is that everyone is not going to accept the invitation. Everyone is not going to believe. Everybody ain’t go make it to that other side. Some folks are going to keep dallying around, playing with God, putting off any true service to Him, waiting until they get older before they start lining up to His Word.

The problem with this, is that tomorrow is promised to no man. And you never want to go into that curve at a high speed, knowing that you weren’t going to live to see the next day and not have any fruit to bring to the table.

The ‘lick’ that Christianity promises is everlasting rest in the presence of the LORD. That’s what the Word says. We don’t get that lick by our works. To get access into the kingdom, you have to believe that God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son.. We are justified by faith and faith only.

So yes, you can believe ‘on the cool’ if you want to, but God has a dire warning for a lot of those procrastinators out there who take their time in coming into His house.

It seems in those last days, there will be a lot of ‘believers’ banging on the doors of heaven, trying to gain access, trying to flee from the torment and anguish behind them. And God is going to look through the peephole and shake His head as He turns away and says, “I never knew you.” (Luke 13:22-30)

You have to focus on your personal relationship with the LORD. You have to seek Him. You have to strive to know Him.

So the questions comes, “how do you really know that you know?”

A good litmus test, is to ask the question, "after you get through doing whatever it is you do..who gets the glory? Are you a fruitful servant? Are you spreading the Word?"

Witnessing can be an intimidating task.

“If I start telling people about Jesus, then they’re going to start bringing up all the dirt that I’ve done in my life.”

No one can change the past, but if not for anything else, witnessing to others about the goodness of Christ will strengthen your game. It will make you more cognizant of your walk. Are you stealing, robbing, lying and cheating like the pagan world? Or are you letting your light so shine before men?

No matter how scary it may seem, to open your mouth and profess Christ in an unbelieving world , when you read about real soldiers like Stephen, who refused to compromise or remain silent about his faith in Christ, even to the point of death? It will strengthen your walk and your determination.

As narrow and winding that Christian path may be, God made sure we had a guidebook to demonstrate and remind us that this path has been trodden by many Christian soldiers marching onward, single file throughout history. All the way back to the trail that Jesus left at Calvary.

Whether people laugh at you, or put you under closer scrutiny at work because you are proclaiming God’s name, are very small prices to pay, when you consider the torment, anguish and even death that others went through while spreading the gospel of Christ.

If you just can’t bring yourself to open your mouth. Even if you can’t find the courage to forward the link to others in your email groups, because you don’t want others to think you were down with a ‘Jesus freak’ like D.E. Washington, don’t give up.

Keep studying that Word and praying to the LORD for direction and purpose. He will lead you to where He wants you to be and what He wants you to do for His kingdom here on earth. To that, I am a living witness.

"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek." - Romans 1:16 KJV