Monday, November 27, 2006

Faith Without Works

It's kinda wild now, cuz whenever I run across people who I haven't seen since back when I was living a degenerative lifestyle, kinda freaks them out.

If you want to see some people TRIPPING, let somebody who you used to do dirt with walk in a room and find you on your knees praying or reading the Bible.

Man?? wtf??!! What's up with YOU???!!!

One time I came home kinda late from a night out and before I got in the bed with my (acting like she was sleeping) wife, I got down on my knees beside the bed and said a silent prayer.

Since my wife had NEVER seen me do this before and I wasn't the kind of n'ga that was going to church on any kinda regular basis, she kinda freaked out. She rose up in the bed and looked over at me and demanded, 'WHAT THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN DOING???!!!"

It's not that I think that everybody who doesn't go to a house of prayer and worship regularly (i.e. a real church of Christ) is necessarily going to hell.

I know that there's folks who go to church every time the doors are open that are going to bust hell wide open, just like there are folks who have never set foot in a church before in their lives that will be in Heaven.

A lot of preachers and church folks don't want you to know that, cuz they either want to get your money or feel holier than thou.

Church attendance is not the essential element to salvation, but rather faith is the only way we can please Him.

It's all about where your heart is at...what do you believe???

Of course, if you DO believe, it's gonna show up in your walk.

Some folks don't go to worship and pray in an assembly of other Bible Believers because their circumstances does not allow it.

They may be imprisoned, they may be sick or disabled, they may live in a land that stifles religious freedom, they may even be a thief on a cross.

Going to a building called a church, mosque or synagogue WILL NOT get you into Heaven.

But the things is, if you ARE a Believer?

A person who has fo real faith? A person who believes the Bible is the Word of God?

Then you will not forsake the assembling together, to encourage and uplift one another as that Day draws closer.

"Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another so much more, as ye see the Day approaching." - Hebrews 10:25 KJV

Works without faith is a n'ga who's just trying to put up good appearances and/or assuage his guilty conscience on his way to hell.

Faith without works is a n'ga lying to himself and dying.

Are you alive or are you dead?

Friday, November 03, 2006

The Order of Breaking Bread

The most popular ringtone with hustlers on the Southside is that Rick Ross,

‘Everyday I’m hustle-EN!’

I like that hook’s motivational to me. Let’s get it!!

Of course, I don’t have that ringtone on MY a matter of fact, I don’t have ANY ringtones on my phone. I’m really not that kinda dude. I might go through the menu and see all the FREE stuff they got, but I’m not about to be changing up every week to keep something that’s hip and I’m not about to pay money just to get a song to play on my phone. But I’m not tripping on the people who do it. You can actually find out a lot more about a person by listening to the ringtone on their phone.

Women who you might have thought were quiet and shy and demure, all of a sudden you hear their phone blaring, “I’m BOSSY!!!”


(smiling) Oh..excuse me, let me put my phone on vibrate.

I don’t know mane, the more I live the more I am amazed by the peculiarities of people. People are strange. They say strange words and they do strange things. I’m not excluded either. I’m a weird kinda dude. People pick me out of the crowd all the time and say, ‘Heyy…there’s something peculiar about you.”

My grandmother tells me that I have that shine from the Lord.

“Baby..whenever you stand up and proclaim Christ as the Lord and Saviour of your life, when you really embrace Him and don’t just talk about it, then people can see that Holy Spirit in your heart. It’s just like the song goes, ‘This little light of mine, I’m go let it shine.’ And that’s what you do and people may love it or hate it, but God’s children are always going to stand out from the world. And for you to be a young man, that works and takes care of his wife and kids, take em to church and set an example for them on serving the Lord. Don’t you know how better off all these kids would be if they had a daddy that loved them and took care of them like you do with your family?? That’s what’s wrong with so many of these kids today, their parents not teaching them right. The Bible say, ‘train up a child in the way that they should go, and when they grow old they will not depart from it’ but if ain’t nobody training and teaching these kids about the Lord, they’re going to grow up ignorant. I thank God for you and all my children and grandchildren. God is gonna bless you in ways that you don’t even know yet.”

“He already has Grandma. He already has.”

I know it’s hard on the folks who have never read any D.E. Washington before. A lot of folks read some of the material I have already put out there and they have a lot of questions.

What’s up with this dude?

Is he fo real?

Is he crazy?

Is he janky?

Who the hell is THIS n’ga???

So there are questions and inquiries about who I am and what I’m really about. I’ve had some hard-core Christians jack me up in the corner and start mean mugging me for the lengths that I go to stay real to my peeps.

From curse words, to claiming a woman was the first preacher of the full gospel of Christ, to people asking me if I was On the DL myself..writing on the internet has opened me up to more public criticisms. Something tells me that what I have received thus far is just the tip of the iceberg, God is getting me ready for something even bigger, I already know.

And once you know God has commissioned you for a work, a place to join the battlefield and serve the’s a blessing. Everybody ain’t been assigned yet. Everybody ain’t been anointed for service yet. So let me share something I learned from a self proclaimed ‘red neck country boy preacher from East Texas’ during a sermon at my uncle’s church in Port Arthur, Texas.

Before some of ya’ll get too out of bunch, his name wasn’t ‘red neck preacher’ it was actually Rev. Moss and he was a dynamic evangelist for the Lord and he loved to eat pig feet and mustard greens. Matter of fact, he was so country that he didn’t even call em pig feet, he called em ‘trotters’. So it ain’t just blacks folks that know about the blanket that came down in front of Peter.

The name of his sermon was, ‘The Order of Breaking Bread’ and he came out of Luke..

"And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. "- Luke 22:19 KJV

That verse is from Luke’s account of the Last Supper. Christians around the world still commemorate this event with communion. A lot of Baptist churches have communion on the 1st Sunday of every month. Some Catholic churches give communion everyday, there are different ways that the different denominations get down. It’s not even like it’s a requirement for salvation, the Scripture just says, ‘as oft as you do it’.

"For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come. " - I Corinthians 11:26 KJV

But what Rev. Moss highlighted in his sermon, was the sequence of events that are common to all who are children of God. Because if you’re going to be a Christian, you have to live a ‘Christ-like’ existence. And the first step that God is going to take, is taking you out of whatever situation or environment that you’re in.

1. He TOOK the bread.

This doesn’t mean you’re going to just disappear, or move away or go to jail (although it MIGHT), this just means that your eyes will be opened to the Lord and His mighty power and you will begin to realize that you are a stranger in a foreign land. Whether it’s at home, at school, at work, locked up in a solitary cell, it doesn’t matter.. if you’re a child of God, then you’re going to realize that you’re a peculiar person.

2. He BLESSED the bread.

And when you begin to diligently seek after Him, praying and studying your Bible, that’s when you walk into your anointing. It’s a blessing from God that no one can ever take away from you.

And after you’re anointed, that’s when you have to be broken.

3. He BROKE the bread.

And every person who has ever repented from their sins and confessed Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior has been broken. Brought down. Humbled. Distressed. Maybe even depressed. It’s not an easy thing being broken.

4. He GAVE the bread

But it’s only after we have been broken, that we can be given out for service. The thing you learn to lean on is that Blood. It will give you strength from day to day when you learn how to lean on it. It shall never lose it’s power.

So, that sermon really stuck with me. He went on to illiterate on several different people in the Bible who’s life illustrates that process. Moses was taken from the Pharoah’s house, and he ended up tending sheep for 40 years out in the woods before God called him to lead the children out of Egypt.

David was an anointed servant of God, a King who spent a large part of his life either fighting or running for his life. But yet through his trials, God blessed David with a covenant, a promise that the Messiah would come from his family bloodline.

It’s kinda hard talking about the Bible to some folks, because they’re completely Biblically ignorant. They don’t study, they never hear any good gospel preaching, they’re not in anybody’s Sunday School class or Bible study class trying to learn. They’re ignorant because they haven’t been broken yet. A lot of them still think they can do it all by themselves.

Other’s ‘play the role’ that they believe, but whenever their Christianity becomes inconvenient to what they need to do at the moment, then they lay their Bible aside and block Jesus, God or any kind of higher power out of their mind and they just do their own thing.

The only time they proclaim Jesus is if they think it can help their immediate circumstance.

You can run for only so long, but at some point you’re going to have to face the facts.

There is an order to breaking bread.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Yo Stayo

“Tu stayo?”

“Si. Yo stayo.”

That’s one of my favorite parts from the movie Godfather II. When Anthony Corleone is checking his lawyer (who grew up as his brother but was not bonded by blood) Tom Hagen, to see if he’s still down for the family business.

There’s a point where we all have to be checked, to see if we’re truly down for the Christian game plan or if we’re just perpetrating the fraud and hiding behind the cross whenever it’s convenient. As if God wanted us to just sit in a corner, silent and unproductive, while this battle rages on. Never doing anything to push people out of their comfort zones.

I really don’t think God cares about being politically correct.

Politics are a man made institution.

I say this because I know that I’m a politically incorrect writer. I sometimes write (and say) things that offend people. Curse words and ghetto slang, ‘ngz who sitting on their butt all day can’t say (bleep)!’

I’m just saying, some folks are REALLY perturbed by stuff like that. Especially the ones who ain’t got nothing else to do.

This one lady somewhere in Montana (allegedly) was emailing me, sending me all these Bible verses and telling me how I needed to repent and be saved from the demonic spirit of cursing that was inside me.

I wrote her back and said, "[bleep] please??!! Why don’t you just gone and buy you a fifth of vodka and some weed and go down to the jukejoint and pick up a [bleep] with a real big [bleep] and go to a motel and get [bleeped] down good and then pray and ask God to forgive you and come back and tell me how you feel about me using the word ‘nga’??”

Ha-ha! I’m just kidding..that didn’t really happen! It’s funny least it is to me but I know I’m kinda warped when it comes to sense of humor. My sister says I’m crazy as hell, but my wife says I’m doing real good with the gene-pool I’m working with..she’s met my family. Even the distant relatives from Arkansas.

And it is those times when I fall short, and I get caught up in worldly things and worldly patterns and I almost forget that I’ve been unplugged from the matrix. It’s like I heard one preacher describe it, "You’re not doing the dope any more, but you’re still making dope fiend moves.

It’s easy to get off track too, but I’m still working out my salvation with fear and trembling (Phillipians 2:12). I KNOW God is real. And I know I gotta keep looking up, cuz it ain’t the hills from whence cometh my help. Psalms 121:1 is a question ya know? My help comes from the Lord, which made heaven and earth.

Like every other real Soldier in the Hood in 2006, I go before the throne everyday. Some days more boldly than others, but I always go. Head bowed, knees bent, in a prone position. Humbly submitting myself and giving my daily report. Thanking Him for all the blessings He has bestowed on me. Praying daily for the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart to be acceptable in His sight. I NEED Him mane, cuz otherwise I’d be throwed off FO REAL!! I already know.

I don’t know how it happened, but I’ve somehow managed to fit a lifetime into 36 years. Well..not quite..but almost 36 years..I’m a Scorpio.

If God called me home at the next stroke of the key, I could not complain. He has so wondrously blessed me to be a part of one of the wealthiest families in the world.

I know a lot of folks will start looking around wondering, ‘What is this n’ga talking about? He ain’t got no money and most of his kinfolk is broke??!!??!!!”

But that’s where a lot of people get off track. They think being paid is all about money, cream, loot, “dollar-dollar bills ya’ll!!” And what I’m telling them is that being paid is all about the Blood of the Lamb.

God blessed me to be born into a family of Believers that nurtured me and loved me and groomed me into being the man of God that I am today. My blood family readied me for my time to be adopted into the only family that truly endures, the family of Christ.

Some of my non-Believing friends have used my genealogy as an explanation of why they haven’t accepted Christ as Lord and Savior of their lives…

Mane D..if I had YOUR parents and grandparents and uncles and aunts and stuff, I’d probably be a Christian too!! But I was never around any people like family never went to church and the one’s who did, were such big hypocrites that I never believed Jesus was real.

Yeah, I feel that. But that was then..I’m talking about what do you believe NOW n’ga!?!

You have the Free Will to choose for yourself (this day), which God you will serve. You see how I get down and you know how real my family is..God can adopt you into the family just like He adopted me. Even though I grew up having to go to church and learn about the Bible, I didn’t become a Believer until after I was a grown man dealing with some grown issues that I knew I couldn’t handle by myself.

One of my readers calls it ‘Man on Fire’. I liked that. Denzel is the other D.Washington, most of ya’ll just don’t know it yet. Despite what Lil Keke claims, I think I’m the ‘best kept secret out the 713.’

I have yet to be fully unveiled to the world, but my time is near. I can feel it.

And when you feel it like that, you know that it’s serious out here on the battleground. We’re losing souls daily. People who were never led out of captivity, people who are stranded in darkness.

If you got a Light, no matter how little it is, you betta let it shine.

Don’t be that unprofitable n’ga that never tells anybody why you know Jesus is real.

I’ve been in a cemetery that was full of headstones with my family name on it. One of those old negro graveyards back off in the woods of Southeast Arkansas. Union County is where my blood trail picks up. On both sides.

So although I was born into a Southside Houston residence (and I still live in the hood now), my blood and my heritage traces back through Arkansas. The Land of Opportunity, the Natural State. Have you ever met anybody from Arkansas?

You don’t even have to tell me cuz I already know..they wild. I don’t know if it’s something about the water there or the air or what, but everybody I’ve met from Arkansas was off the chain. Some even more so than others. All you gotta do is sit around the dinner table and sup with them, they’ll let you know what’s happening. And if it happens to be one of those drinking families from Arkansas?? Oooowee mane..buckle your seatbelts and be ready to call the police.

So when n’gz pull my resume, and try to check my hood card, to see if I’m real or fronting, I go ahead and drop some of that blood on them so that they can REALLY feel me.

Have I ever been to the penitentiary? No.

Am I caught up on my child support? Yes.

Do I sell dope? No.

Have I ever been arrested? Yes.

Most hood n’gz ain’t go trust you if you act like you ain’t NEVER done any dirt. Since I have a college education, and I’m not the kind of n’ga that hung out in the cut back in the day, some have wondered why I was writing to a hood audience anyway??

I’m really a mild mannered person, I can verbally maneuver myself around most confrontations without using curse words. But my hood resume is connected with enough street n’gaz that I don’t have to go out to prove myself everyday. It’s a lot of ng’z I grew up with that commit felonies for a living that know that I ain’t no pushover kinda n’ga. If you go beat me, you gotta bring yo A+ game and even then it’s not guaranteed.

So when it comes to people who don’t believe in Jesus. From those who don’t believe He ever existed, to those who don’t believe that He came out that grave, I STAY ready to explain the reason for my faith. It’s one thing to be in the world of Believers, it’s on a whole new level to be IN the game. One of those players that not only believe, you KNOW! My uncle told me that I’ve been ‘convicted’. This doesn’t have anything to do with the State of Texas, but rather my faith in Christ.

Some have wondered if my period of internet silence meant that I was out the game. As if I had given up the faith.

Like we say on the Southside, “Neva THAT!!!”

Yo stayo.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Writing Professionally

In the professional industry that I currently work in, I am usually the youngest and darkest dude in the group. The thing about business though, is that making money doesn’t have a color or age limit. If you display the talents of being a profitable servant, it doesn’t matter what hood you’re from.

Some people will disagree with my assessment and bring up the fact of how much easier it is for white Americans to make money in contrast to how hard it is on black Americans in the working world.

First of all, no matter what color you are, if you’re sitting on your butt, begging for a handout from the government or your mama, as if the world ‘owes’ you something? You can’t say sh’t.

Even the Bible teaches us to get out there and hustle like a Hebrew slave. If you don't work you don't eat, if you don't grind you don't shine.

Day to Day Grinding will keep a player shining.

So they have these things out there called lawsuits, breaches of contracts and termination of employment. There’s several writers out there who have lost their jobs because of something they wrote on their weblog or ‘blog’ as most people call it.

I had to step back and look at that more closely. I didn’t want to get me fired from my day job. Ya feel me??

I’d like to say thank you to all the folks who have prayed for me and Servinemup Ink.

I appreciate ya’ll and I know some of ya’ll must be kinda righteous, because much has been availed to me and I thank God for the direction and purpose. Everybody hasn’t been blessed to be ‘turned on’ to the Lord. Some of ya’ll are still sleep.

And it is to this fast asleep audience that my purpose has been directed toward. Despite what all the arguments people may have over how old the earth is or where Noah’s Ark is, all that stuff is more like background noise to me now. The dissensions and the arguments had to be laid to the side and I had to focus on the gospel.

The good news of Jesus Christ and what His life, death, burial, resurrection, ascension and promise to return means to each and every soul in this world. Including those who are within the sound of my pen.

Although I spend most of my time around my family, church members and close friends, I still have to deal with the non-Believing world just like the rest of ya’ll.

At work, everybody has already labeled the ‘Jesus freaks’. Those brothers and sisters at the water cooler talking about what their pastor preached about this past Sunday. Going over discussions and questions that came up in your Wednesday night Bible study. The charge to spread the gospel of Christ was never meant to be limited to pulpit preachers.

The wildest thing I’ve discovered by ‘coming out of the closet’ with my faith, is that there’s a lot of people who go to church regularly (or kinda regularly), but yet they don’t believe John 14:6.

They want to rationalize and debate their way around the cross.

My question to you is, have you ever tried Him?

Have you tasted the Word for yourself??

O taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man that trusteth in him. – Psalms 34:8

So a lot of my non-Believing friends started reading and they started freaking out a little bit….

Maaan..I started reading this thing you wrote one day and I thought you was about to start talking about Beyonce and that fine Gabrielle Union, but then the next thing I know you had flipped the script and started preaching!!!??!!! What’s up with that???

What do you mean?

How come you didn’t tell me that you had started preaching???

I dunno..I guess cuz I’m just like most folks and when I think of preachers, I think of pulpit ministers.

Yeah..yeah, them ‘Reverends’ and ‘Evangelist’ and ‘Apostles’ and all that kinda stuff!!

I’m not knocking anybody who claims they’re using a name or surname that God gave them. I’m learning more of what it means to truly give your life to Him. I’m learning more of what it means to wait patiently on the Lord. But whenever I go into a church or a house of worship, the Spirit has NEVER moved me to get up and proclaim His Word to the people of the congregation. I go there to worship Him and to get fed on that

So what does that mean?

It means thank you. If you see me as a preacher, that means there’s something I’ve said about God that has reached your heart. It is the purpose of ALL Christians to do whatever we can to spread the Word. The Scripture says we all should serve in the manner in which we are called. (I Corinthians7:17-24).

So you don’t think you’ll ever be a pulpit preacher?

I don’t know..maybe, I just hope nobody is disappointed if He never calls me that way.

One thing I’ve learned about this Christian walk, is that everyday is like a new beginning with unforeseen blessings and higher callings. A lot of televangelist are trying to sell prosperity wrapped around the gospel. That all you gotta do is give a seed offering and pray and God is going to make you rich!!! There are highs and lows in the Christian life. Even the most anointed are not immune to troubled times. Despite the millions of lives that Rick Warren’s Purpose Driven Life has touched, that couldn’t keep his wife from being diagnosed with cancer. Even though Martin Luther King, Jr. gave a historical effort toward uplifting humanity and preaching God’s gospel, that didn’t keep him from being stabbed at a book signing by a crazy woman in New York, and it didn’t keep him from being shot and killed at the Lorraine Motel. There are no guarantees, you just gotta put on your full armour and fight hard like a true Soldiers in the Hood everyday.

I’m still working on my first book. It ain’t ready to go to print yet. I feel kinda bad, cuz I’ve had about 3 different ‘projected’ release dates already and I’ve missed every one of them. So instead of me saying when, all I tell people is ‘Not yet..I’ll let you know as SOON as it goes to print. Have you signed up for the newsletter? Cuz those will be the first people to know.”

I know a lot of people are curious as to what it’s all about. There is a preview chapter that has been released. We printed several hundred copies and they were all gone within a week.

All the response wasn’t good. Some folks said that it’s too vulgar. Even my wife told me that if she didn’t know who I was and read it, she wouldn’t buy it. My dad told me that it would be very controversial, especially amongst 'church' folks. Which is cool. There is an intended audience of the young, black, masculine non-Believing persuasion. Hood n’gz to be more exact. I wrote this book with the purpose of holding their attention and I think my editor does a fantastic job with my work.

Sooo..I’m over 1,000 words and I’ve been advised to keep my public writing to a minimal while things are being worked out behind the scenes with publishing rights, creditors and the IRS.

I’ve also been alerted that my mailbox was returning messages. Being more visible in the internet also means you’re gonna get more spam emails. I still read and try to respond to most emails (, but be advised to use a subject line that will let me know that you’re not just another message from the machine.

Oh yeah, BIG thanks to all of you who have sent in pre-orders for the book. It’s still a bit overwhelming to me at times, that people would have the confidence in me to financially support my efforts, but I know it’s all a part of God’s plan and I thank each and every one of you who have ordered books for yourself and for others. Thank you.

I also know some of you have mailed in orders that were returned to you as addressee no longer at this address. Sorry for the mixup. Please be advised, the mailing address is:

Servinemup Ink
P.O. Box 330882
Houston, Texas 77233-0882

Real Game by D.E. Washington
ISBN: 097605440-X
Library of Congress Control Number: 2005902404

Retail Price: $15.00 USD

You can read the preview chapter (Intent to Distribute) here.

Just because you haven’t seen me outside in awhile doesn’t mean that I’m not pushin it. I’m just not the kind of publisher that’s going to rush to press just to make a buck. I believe in giving people their money’s worth. Real Game is not warmed over, it’s all new and never published before material. But there is a ‘Best of Vol. I’ on the horizon, my kids need new shoes. (smile).

To paraphrase another Southside writer (Lil Keke’s, Pyrex Shaking)

“I’m in the kitchen with the pyrex shaking
I’m bout my game ain’t got time for no faking
I might be writing, but I’m still bread breaking (fa sho!)
Cuz ain’t no limit to this money that we making!!”

Once again, thank you for all of your support.

God is GOOD mane..ALL the time!!! - dew

Friday, June 23, 2006

Hanging with D.Wash and Another Stanford Writer

One of my childhood friends hollered at me a few days ago. She was just checking in with me, making sure everything was ok. It seems she was a bit perturbed because I hadn’t posted anything new for awhile on

“You’re leaving folks hanging” is how she put it.

Sorry for all ya’ll folks who feel that way. But being a public writer/blogger has made me realize just how much I enjoy my privacy. Being known is a good thing, especially in the written world, but I still like being plain ol D.Wash from the Southside of Houston, Texas. I’ve never been one that felt like I had to talk all the time, I just step out when I feel like I have something real to say.

I was in the barbershop a couple of weeks ago waiting to get my haircut and I was sitting next to a young lady there with her young son. I had seen her son in the barbershop before with his grandmother (her mother), but this was my first time meeting her. We struck up a conversation and found out that we knew some of the same people.

She now lives in the same neighborhood that I grew up in. So as we talked about the hood and all the young black boys without any positive male role models in their life, and dead beat dads and all the things that are causing the increasing epidemic of such phenomena, she started smiling and said something that freaked me all the way out.

“You mother has this little book that she got from Curvey and it talks about a lot of these same things.”

Instantly, I knew she was talking about the preview chapter to Real Game that we had printed out awhile back. It was probably wrong of me for not telling her that I wrote it, but I couldn’t help but cherish the moment of being a fly on the wall while someone else discussed my work

“Little book huh? What’s the name of it??”

“I can’t remember the name of it, but it’s a little blue paperback book. My mom keeps her copy in her bathroom. Even one of the preachers from my church has one and we were talking about it. I can’t wait until the full release comes out, cuz the dude who wrote it is off the chain!!!”

For those of you who don’t know, ‘off the chain’ is a common expression that we use on the Southside. It used to be ‘off the hook’, was the common colloquialism, but ‘off the chain’ is even more throwed, or ‘out there’.

It actually is a reference to bulldog fighting, but most people probably don’t realize that. When you have two dogs that you want to bump around a lil bit and see if they have any real game in them, the handlers keep a collar on them or maybe even a leash, and let them tussle a little bit. That way, they can easily snatch them out of harms way if the dogs really started going after each other.

But when there’s money on the line and/or a dog is being tested fo real, then you take that leash and collar off and you let em go butt naked. Off the chain, no holds barred.

That’s the best way I can describe my first foray into the public pit of the written word.

I’ve had to pay the price for it too. Some folks have read it and turned up their noses in disdain. Too much gutter talk and curse words for them.

Others have turned away from my pen, because they don’t feel like reading about Jesus and what He did for them. They ain’t trying to hear it, see it or read it, not from no pastor, preacher and especially not from no throwed off writer from Sunnyside who calls himself a Christian.

I’ve had ministers offer to lay hands on me and exorcise the demons that are inside me.

I’ve had people laugh at me and mock me for being another janky n’ga out to clip yo dollar, all in the name of Jesus!!

Fortunately, I have an editor who has been in my corner waay before anyone else even knew about the writer in me, so I have a witness to where my heart is at. And I could write a whole new book, just on the experiences that we’ve been through while working on this project in this past year.

Don’t ever think that the path of serving the Lord is made to be easy. It’s very narrow and the only way to navigate it is through prayer, meditation, studying the Bible and building a relationship with the Lord. I’m not there yet, but I’m striving daily, and I can’t even begin to explain just how real this game is.

But what I can tell you, is that our Lord and Savior is coming back, of that fact, I have staked my life.

So my normal routine (for those who want to know), is to wake up every morning and pray. I thank the Lord for another day. I pray for direction and understanding. I pray for the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart to be acceptable in His sight. I thank Him for all the blessings He has so graciously bestowed in my life. I thank Him for my loving and beautiful wife. I thank Him for my healthy and full of life children. I thank Him for my parents and all of my family and friends He has put in my life. I even thank Him for my health and sound mind, even though some folks might argue against the latter.

When I’m not on the road traveling for work, I’m part of the routine of getting the kids off to school. My wife and I both have jobs as well as careers that we are aspiring to succeed in. I’m striving to stake my claim as a publisher/writer, she’s marching towards her purpose of being a realtor/designer and we're both hustling to get it..everyday we hustle-N!!

We’re also both active in our church, Sunday School, 11 oclock service, Bible Study, she’s over the praise dance ministry, I’m the president of the brotherhood, we’ve got a full plate.

I always take time out every morning to read the local, national and world news. I like to have a good idea of what’s going on in the world. I also take time out every morning to read the Bible. It may be a few verses, or it may be going through the study guide on Spiritual Warfare that our church family has been studying these past couple of months. I gotta get me at least a bump of that Word evraday.

And let me tell you, if you read the news and see what’s really going on in this world, it should make you want to read your Bible too!! It’s wild out there mane. Seek the Lord while He may be found.

The more I get into this writing, the more I find out I have yet to learn. So I always have a book that I’m reading and 9 times out of 10, it’s by a writer that’s dead. I’m trying to catch up on my classics, cuz there’s so many of them that I still haven’t read and I learn so much from reading classic writers work.

My favorite is the prophet Isaiah, then comes Paul, then David’s Psalms, but you know, all Scripture is God breathed and profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness. (2 Timothy 3:16 MKJV)

I also enjoy non-canonical writers, brother C.S. Lewis laid it down like a soldier, I like Jack London, Truman Capote ( who writes kinda gay, but his mastery of the English language deserves applause), and Milan Kundera is all the way off the chain. When I read his, The Unbearable Lightness of Being for the first time, I almost felt like jumping up and down and giving someone a high five, it was that live to me. I’m not the only one that switches persons midstream!?! Hah!! I told them n’gaz I wasn’t as crazy as they thought I was!!

I know there are a lot of readers out there who have their own private pen thing going on too. You’re still in the closet and you haven’t unveiled any of your work to the rest of the world. Don’t be scurd. If you want to be a writer, you have to write. Period. There is no other way around it. Hemingway says you have to ‘bite the nail’ everyday.

But the beauty of the written word, is being able to touch someone, and make them feel what you’re feeling. Make them taste what you already ate.

I have this book called ‘On Being a Writer’ that has a collection of advice and inspiration from famous writers such as Hemingway, Mailer, Faulkner, Giovanni, Bradbury and a host of other legends on the pen. There’s this one letter that John Steinbeck wrote that I know helped me, so hopefully it will help all those aspiring writers out there too. It’s real.

Reprinted without permission, of course. I’m from the Southside, we be jacking.

"Dear Writer:

Although it may be a thousand years ago that I sat in a class in story writing at Stanford, I remember the experience very clearly. I was bright eyed and bushy brained and prepared to absorb the secret formula for writing good short stories, even great short stories. This illusion was canceled very quickly. The only way to write a good short story, we were told, is to write a good short story. Only after it is written can it be taken apart to see how it was done. It is a most difficult form, as we were told, and the proof lies in how very few great short stories there are in this world.

The basic rule given us was simple and heartbreaking. A story to be effective had to convey something from writer to reader, and the power of its offering was the measure of its excellence. Outside of that, there were no rules. A story could be about anything an could use any means and any technique at all- so long as it was effective. As a subhead to this rule, it seemed to be necessary for the writer to know what he wanted to say, in short, what he was talking about. As an exercise we were to try reducing the meat of our story to one sentence, for only then could we know it well enough to enlarge it to three or six or ten thousand words.

So there went the magic formula, the secret ingredient. With no more than that, we were set on the desolate, lonely path of the writer. And we must have turned in some abysmally bad stories. If I had expected to be discovered in a full bloom of excellence, the grades given my efforts quickly disiilusioned me. And if I felt unjustly criticized, the judgements of editors for many years afterward upheld my teacher’s side, not mine. The low grades on my college stories were echoed in the rejection slips, in the hundres of rejection slips.

It seemed unfair that I could read a fine story and could even know how it was done. Why could I not then do it myself? Well, I couldn’t and maybe it’s because no two stories dare be alike. Over the years I have written a great many stories and still I don’t know how to go about it except to write it and take my chances.

If there is a magic in story writing, an dI am convinced that there is, no one has ever been able to reduce it to a recipe that can be passed from one person to another. The formula seems to lie solely in the aching urge of the writer to convey something he feels important to the reader. If the writer has that urge, he may sometimes but by no means always, find the ay to do it. You must perceive the excellence that makes a good story good or the errors that make a bad story. For a bad story is only an ineffective story.

It is not so very hard to judge a story after it is written, but, after many years, to start a story still scares me to death. I will go so far as to say that the writer who is not scared is happily unaware of the remote and tantalizing majesty of the medium.

I remember one last piece of advice given me, it was during the exuberance of the rich and frantic 20’s and I was going out into the world to try to be a writer.

I was told, “It’s going to take a long time, and you haven’t got any money. Maybe it would be better if you could go to Europe.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because in Europe poverty is a misfortune, but in America it is shameful. I wonder whether or not you can stand the shame of being poor.”

It wasn’t too long afterward that the depression came down. Then everyone was poor and it was no shame any more. And so I will never know whether or not I could have stood it. But surely my teacher was right about one thing. It took a long time, a very long time. And it is still going on, and it has never got easier.

She told me it wouldn’t."

- John Steinbeck, 1963.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Praying 4 My Homies

I don’t really remember the exact moment that my eyes were opened, I can’t even tell you the exact day. All I know is that there was a struggle going on inside my heart. My spirit was vexed.

Despite my childhood upbringing, formal education, corporate training and experiences of life, I still felt like I didn’t really know anything. Looking back on it in hindsight, I guess the adjective that could best describe my state of being was that I was thirsty.

And the dryness that was in my throat could not be quenched by water or beer, not any kind of sports drink or juice. I needed something living and real.

So it is at this point that I felt the burning desire to get down on my knees and cry out to my Creator. Despite my avoidance of organized religion, I knew in my heart that God is and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek after Him.

I have several family members and friends who have gone (or are going) through this same experience. Some folks turned to yoga, or self improvement books. Others just brush their thirst to the side and pacify themselves with temporal anesthetics like drugs, alcohol, exercising, working until they pass out with exhaustion or sexual pleasures.

I’ve actually tried all of those things too, but whenever that buzz wore off, I still felt unsatisfied.

It’s almost like you find yourself staring out into space pondering the meaning of it all. Why are we here?? What purpose does God have for me?? Does He even care about my life?? Is this all a big joke or what???

So after I had tried almost everything else, I decided to give the Word a try. I had heard so many people talk about it, preach about it, teach about it, testify about it and I made up my mind that I wasn’t going to rely on what somebody else told me, I had to read it for myself, in it’s entirety.

It was a task that took several months, I’d usually start reading at night, after dinner. Some nights I wouldn’t crawl into bed until the wee hours of the morning. I almost felt like a dope fiend, cuz I was hooked.

It was full of intrigue and miracles and amazing displays of the power of God. And by the time I made it to the 55th chapter of Isaiah, I went from being a Bible skeptic, to being a Believer.

“Ho! Everyone who thirst, Come to the waters.” – Is 55:1 NKJV

After I finished reading the Bible that first time, it opened my eyes to God’s plan. It was like a light switch just went on inside my heart and I got it. I would later learn from talking to more mature Believers that I had been convicted by the Holy Spirit.

Imagine that, God could even touch a Hard Head like me!!

Cuz like most hard heads, I never wanted anybody to tell me anything. I always wanted to do, whatever I wanted to do. I didn’t like rules and laws. I often found a thrill out of breaking the law, whether in my parent’s house or the laws of the land.

This conviction was not a finite occurrence. I was not perfected at the moment of my epiphany. I’m still not perfected now, but yet I’m striving to reach that mark.

When I started telling those around me about the Bible and the things I’d learned from it, I started getting some weird reactions. A lot of my friends weren’t trying to hear anything about what thus saith the Lord from me, because they could vividly remember so many of the ways that my life did not line up to the Word.

The next step was when they started witnessing the ways that God had changed my life. When they could see first hand the things that I had turned away from and left behind as I started walking toward the Lord. That’s when they started trying to label me as a Jesus freak or one of those born-again zealots, “You go be a preacher!!”

It was obvious that they hadn’t read the Word for themselves. Because the instructions that are in the Bible for how we are supposed to live our lives and tell others about Christ, isn’t just for pastors, preachers and deacons. The life that Christ calls us to live is supposed to be followed by all who are called by His name.

The problem is that too many people don’t want to drink that whole cup. They want to use Jesus as a genie. Rub on that lamp and get their blessing, maybe put a couple of dollars in the tip jar as they pass the offering basket around, but yet there is no obedience to the Word.

When people attempt to use Christ as a philosophy, instead of a relationship, they’re trying to take the cross out of Christianity. If it wasn’t for the Resurrection, Christ would have been just another philosopher. But instead, His life, death, burial, resurrection and promise to come again transcended all philosophies and religions. Jesus Christ is our Creator that came to this earth in the form of a man. If you don’t believe that, then you’re not a Christian.

Now, the hard part for me, was realizing that everyone isn’t going to believe. Just when I was worried about the non-believing Hindu in India, I realized that we had non-Believing folks who grew up surrounded and immersed in the Word. Pastor’s children and preacher’s sons who deny the Christ.

I believe that it is God’s will that ALL should be saved, but yet, everybody ain’t go accept that cup. And what’s even worse than those that completely deny the Christ, are the ones who want to just take Him in sips, but never embrace Him as Lord of their life. Lukewarm folks ain’t go make it. Either you’re all the way in, or you’re out. Ride or die.

Now the wild part, is that no matter where you are in your faith, there is yet a mark that you have yet to obtain that you have to strive for. Just when I had put all of those blatantly sinful acts aside, like lying, stealing, adultery, drunkenness, and I was almost feeling good about myself. Ready to thump on my chest and declare myself ‘righteous’ God showed me the error of my pride. I have a LOT of other things to work on. He’s not through with me yet.

But as I strive to obtain my crown, I am comforted by the fact that He will never leave me or forsake me, no matter where I may go. Even when my friends stop calling, I know that He is right here with me. In a lot of ways, my journey has been a lot like being the first n’ga to jump into the lake.

Most of my podnaz are still on the shoreline, looking. Some n’gaz take their shoes off and put their feet in, just to feel the water, but yet they’re too scared to make that leap for themselves because they’re so used to walking on land, and they’re afraid of giving the control of their lives over to the Lord. They don’t have the faith that He’ll keep them..yet.

But I know as long as they can see me doing my thang, and enjoying this life that God has blessed me to have, their spirits will be strengthened. And there will come a day where I will hear those big splashes and turn around to see that all my podnaz I used to pull stunts with have jumped into this pool of the living God also. That’s when it’s going to be a party FO REAL.

That’s my prayer for all my homies.

“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” – Joshua 1:8 NKJV

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Mother's and the Rod

Even though I'm kind of an 'anti-holiday' person, I really do like Mother's Day. It always seems like everybody who can will find their way home for Mother’s Day. If they can’t come, then they’re gonna call and if they can’t call, they better be in jail or else everybody is going to be mad at them for hurting their mama’s feelings and being a complete no-show on Mother’s Day.

Sadly, there were a lot of mother’s who shed tears this past Mother’s Day. Grieving over the loss of their own mother, or worrying about the health and safety of one of their own children. Whether fighting in that war overseas, or fighting in the streets in the hood or fighting with our spouses or children in our own homes, we’ve all played our parts in putting gray hairs in mama’s head.

I was blessed to have 3 mothers that literally raised me.

My Big Mama was the first one to see the potential in me. Even back when I was always getting in trouble and catching whuppings, Big Mama always had a special word for me.

"D is going to surprise a lot of people. He's a lot smarter than you think he is."

Ironically, this was usually my downfall. I’d scope out a situation and figure I was slick enough to pull a stunt and I was crazy enough to do it and even get away with it a time or two. But invariable I’d get sloppy, and go to that well one too many times and boom!! Here comes the hammer, busted!!!

Big Mama never had to ‘get’ me, but I saw her lay in to one of my cousins one day and I knew I didn’t want none of that. If Big Mama gave you a whupping, you were all the way out of bounds!! I’m talking about, acting bad fo real.

Big Mama doesn’t allow anyone to call kids bad in front of her.

“Don’t tell him he’s bad, because if you keep telling him he’s bad, he’s going to start believing it himself.”

Big Mama could spot the good in anybody. She was also up on her game on spotting jankiness. Because anybody who births and raises 12 children, 6 boys and 6 girls into this world, has seen her fair share of stunts being pulled.

But Big Mama saw something in me early and she always made sure to have a bookshelf full of books to read. I might be punished where I couldn’t go outside and I couldn’t watch TV, but I could always read a book. Big Mama wasn’t the most educated woman in the world, but she was always a big reader.

Big Mama is in her early 90’s now and her memory isn’t as good as it used to be. She can still hold an excellent conversation with you, laughing, joking, talking about the Bible, but you can’t be too surprised if she asks you what your name is a couple of times. Because she will forget.

It can be a hard thing sometimes, having a loved one who played a vital role in bringing you into this world and molding you into the person you are today, but yet they look at you with a blank stare, having no clue who you are.

Once I realized that she wasn’t in any pain and that her appetite was just as good as mine. And that she could go to the bathroom by herself and still read her Bible without any glasses, I really was reminded of just how good God really is.

We need more Big Mama’s in this world, cuz they’re a critical part of the family that supplies an outpouring of love. Big Mama has been on her knees praying for me. Just as she has with all of her children and grandchildren, especially the ones she knew where in harms way.

The effectual fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much. (James 5:16)

Thank God for Big Mama’s.

I’m a native Houstonian, but every summer my sister and I would spend 3 months in Arkansas. Both sets of our grandparents lived only 12 miles away from each other. Big Mama and Big Daddy lived in the city, El Dorado..or Ella Rayda as most natives pronounce. But our paternal grandparents lived in a town population 538. With a railroad track running through the middle of town all the way down through the saw mill that was situated right on the Ouachita River.

It is in this town that we spent most of our time. My papa had acres of land that he farmed, along with a chicken coop and hog pen. There was also a lake in town, where we could go swimming or fishing, it was definitely an ideal place for a kid to run around all summer.

While there, we were under the rule of grandma. Most of the grandkids call her Honey and most everybody else calls her Aunt Gladys. She’s a character.

We all have things that go on inside of our head that we think about, then we kinda have a filter process that lets some stuff out and we say it, a colander if you will. Well the holes in Honey’s strainer are a bit larger than the average persons. She’s liable to say ANYTHING to anybody. She’s what you call OFF THA CHAIN. No holds barred.

Now the part that throws most people off, is when they realize that she knows her Bible and that she loves the Lord. Most people equate loving Jesus to be sedated and serene. But there are some wild cards in the mix that spicen up the pot and Honey is definitely a wildcard. You can always count on her to tell you how it really is, even if you don’t want to hear it. She doesn’t bite her tongue, she’s going to let you know how she feels.

One of my friends from college came to visit one time and she started asking him questions..

"Do you have a girlfriend at school? Do you have a girlfriend at home?"

To be polite and not just point blank say, "I'm a hoe." My friend just kept saying no, he didn't have an 'exclusive' girlfriend. My grandma looked at him for a minute, and studied his hands and the way he carried himself and then she asked him, "You ain't gay are you?? Because my grandson isn't gay, he likes girls." Of course, the whole exchange kinda threw him off and everybody in earshot of her just bust out laughing.

It is this realness that I’ve always equated to love. Because a person who is honest to the point of being politically incorrect, and still ready to stand up and tell everybody that Jesus is Lord, is what you call an old school soldier. A ride or die chick. I got one of those pistol packing grandmas and I love her to death. Tyler Perry’s Mudyeah ain’t got nuthin on Honey.

And then comes my biological mother. I’m talking about a bad chick (now that’s a bad chick!) My mom kinda throws people off sometimes too. When I was in high school and one of my podnaz came over to the house, we were all sitting up talking and then all of a sudden his pager went off. This was back before EVERYBODY had a pager, so my mother, being an HISD school teacher and exposed to how the kids of the day were getting down looked at my friend in the eyes and asked him point blank, “Do you sell drugs??”

It threw him off so much that he started stuttering.

“N-n-n-o no ma’am!!”

My mother is not your regular soldier in the army of the Lord, she’s a 5-star general. Even though she’s the 8th child out of 12, all the other kids call her ‘The General’, because when it’s time to get it done, she knows how to get n’gaz moving.

When she puts one hand on her hip and has one finger pointing in somebody’s face while she’s talking, then you know it’s on. I’ve seen her make grown people cry after having to listen to one of her lectures. She can fuss at you so real, that it will make you determined to NEVER have to listen to that anymore.

And whenever it seemed like talking wasn’t going to get the job done, then she’d go get the belt or switch and put something on that behind. My mama burned a lot of calories in her life by giving me whuppings. And despite all those times that I sat in my room, licking my wounds and wondering why God had me trapped living with the wicked witch of the South, I am proud to stand up today and let the world know, “I thank God for having a mama that whupped my butt.”

He who spares his rod hates his son, but he who loves him chastens him early. – Proverbs 13:24 MKJV

Because just as we show love to our children with hugs and gifts, special treats. We also show love to our children when we chastise them for doing something that’s wrong. These 3 women formed a triangle defense around me and I didn’t have any avenues of escape. God’s Word was law in every house that I lived in.

So these are my 3 mothers. They’re all jamming. They’re all strong soldiers in the army of the Lord. They’re all real good cooks. And they all have played a vital role in molding and shaping me into the person I am today. Of course, I’m not perfect, and I still have my rough spots that need to be smoothed over, but the key is that they all trained me in the way that I should go. And now that I have grown older, I have not departed from it.

Happy Mother’s Day Big Mama, Honey and Mama. Some people don’t even have 1 real mama. God knew that I needed some extra kinda attention, so He gave me 3. God is good, all the time.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Beyonce's Wedding

When it comes to PR issues, the Christian team could do a lot better.

Name it and claim it ministers, swindlers, crooked financial dealers, womanizers, XXX-rated writers, pastors being caught at those places where the lil boys be dancing on tables, it’s a lot of janky Christians that make non-Believers smirk at our team.

Because in the year of our Lord 2006, the publicized rate of jankiness, random acts of hatred and sinfulness are becoming more common and expected instead of shocking.

We are being de-sensitized by the increased rates of violence and destruction in the media.

We are being eroticized by the influx of sexual images in our lives. Commercials. Billboards. TV. Radio. Movies. Sex is being pushed on every corner. Everybody’s in love with (or wants to be) a stripper. Young girls and women are fantasizing of their time to be on that pole.

The more we see it, the less we’re tripping when we see it again. At least, that’s the way it works for the people who have hardened hearts.

Satan is manipulating and controlling the earthly world as we know it. This fleshly battle that we deal with; murder and rape, child molestation, greed, corruption, hate crimes, etc. These are the headlines fueled by the evil one.

They want to feed our children images of violence and war. They want to get into the minds of our young people and make them think life is all about material wealth.

You gotta be blinging and flossing if you’re gonna be somebody.

Who cares how good you do on that’re going to be a rapper or a football player!!!

You don’t need to work hard and try to do your best in that ol sellout whiteboy shit like Algebra or English!!

Young girls don’t need to be smart, they just need to know how to look like a stripper so that they can get some man that they can let get up on it and pay their bills.

I love Beyonce. I think she’s a very attractive, warm young lady with the love of God in her heart. And I know she’s in a position where if she conveys a particular sort of image, she is more marketable and thus makes more money.

Don’t get it twisted, entertainment is all about making money in the trenches.

So Beyonce is shaking that bootylicious and these young black girls from the Southside are looking up to her as somebody that made it through hard work and looking fine.

Because those who saw the original Destiny’s Child stage act back when they were still doing talent shows around Houston know that Beyonce’s dancing and singing skills have come a long way. She’s put that work in and she’s reaping the rewards. You should shake Beyonce’s hand and give her a hug when you see her, because in the hustle and working hard aspect of the game, she has been an excellent model for our girls.

But the problem comes in with the reality of Beyonce being onstage in front of millions of eyes and giving them what they came to see. What they paid to see. And our young ladies get out there and want to dress like Beyonce. Nobody wants to be the fat ugly girl that no guys want to talk to. Everybody wants to feel sexy and desirable.

When you compare the voices of two Southside of Houston songstresses, like Beyonce and Yolanda Adams, you can see where Yolanda still has her when it comes to reaching down into that soul with your voice. But I’m sure Yolanda couldn’t sing worth a lick if she had to do some of the dance routines that Beyonce does either.

Sex sells. Sexiness is definitely in and Beyonce and Yolanda are definitely sexy women. Yet they project very different images.

When a young girl wants to dress and carry herself so that she looks sexy like Beyonce does onstage, then she needs to be aware of the consequences that go along with that.

When you are out to attract the attention of a man, you better realize the sharks, wolves and pimps that are lurking out there waiting for something attractive to catch their eye are going to be looking too. Fresh bait.

The more revealing and sexually explicit your clothing, the larger array of sharks, wolves and pimps that you will attract into your space.

Customers might fall in love with a stripper, but nobody wants to marry one. Because the nature of a man will often lead to jealous suspicion concerning his woman’s past.

How many n’gaz have you slept with?? Did you suck his d?? Where have you been???

Hell may hath no fury like a woman scorned, but it ain’t nothing nice being around a jealous and insecure n’ga who has a good reason to worry about what his gal has been doing. Talk about seeing a n’ga TRIPPING!!!

Ironically, it’s always usually the guys who’ve done the most dirt themselves that trip the most.

As successful, beautiful and talented as Beyonce you think she would say no if Jay Z asked her to marry him?

I think she’d say yes and be smiling from ear to ear, maybe even crying a lil bit. Just happy. She really acts likes she loves that n’ga. You don’t hear about her out freaking it down with R.Kelly or sneaking off with Tiger Woods..Beyonce is keeping her game tight. She ain’t flipping from n’ga to n’ga like a lot of other well known entertainers.

Monogamy is a good thing. It’s not sanctified like marriage, but it’s definitely a starting point from all those things in this world that is trying to sell you free love, free sex, get it get it gir!!

So why aren’t they married?

Waiting on getting the money together? No. Their paperwork is looking splendid!!

Not to put Jay Z on the spot, cuz I’ve never met him, and he seems like a cool az n’ga to me. I’d love to do an interview with him and Nas. We can all have our gals with us, I’ll set out some steaks and fresh fish on the grill, have a drink or two, play some dominoes, listen to some Tito Puente, just chill and talk about what it’s going to take to bring all these young soldiers together. Yeah, I know they both got some bad (meaning fine) gals, but I’m bringing a stunna to the table too. Wazzup?

Because there is a different level of responsibility for those of us who have Christ in our heart. It will sometimes make you feel like the kid looking out the window while all the other kids are outside laughing, playing and having fun. It can make you cry so much that you'll turn into a pillar of salt.

No one is perfect and we are all striving to reach that mark. We are not saved, we are being saved. Faith is not a static position. We move from glory to glory.

So if we can get more rappers and more entertainers, more writers, more movie producers, more media executives to be more responsible and cognizant of the Lord in which we serve. And we make Jesus the focal point of our lives instead of something we just do one day out of the week. Then it will send a loud and reverberating signal out into the world.

Beyonce songs have changed and now are all about discovering who you are through your faith in God!!

Jay Z has stopped glorifying fornication, drugs and gangsterism. Now he’s rapping about putting God first in your life. Instead of rapping about Jayhovah, he’s rhyming about JEHOVAH!!

It could happen, and you KNOW it will be jamming.

It would be a glorious wedding that I would be honored to write the ‘Jay and B – How God Brought Us Together’ storyline in the wedding program. They’ll probably want me to be The Godfather of all their kids and stuff.

I don’t know what you’re laughing at…it could happen.

Monday, May 01, 2006

35 and Writing Under the Gun

One of the things that I’ve learned about the art of writing, is that it is very important to make sure that my audience can feel me.

It is part of my job as a writer, to give you the reader, glimpses of reality as I understand it to be.

There’s different ways to get personal with someone.

You can be all the way real and let them into your life, into your mind. What you really think and what you really believe. It can be a very revealing and intimidating experience.

And despite the fact that I’ve written on a wide range of the different aspects of my life, the character attribute which always draws the most scrutinizing attention is the fact that I 'call myself' a Christian.

I’m not the only person on this earth that has proclaimed the name above every other name. But the thing is, despite the inclusive revelation of the Holy Spirit, we all grasp our faith with grips as various as fingerprints.

My father and I worship the same God, but yet we don’t always agree on what thus saith the Word when it comes to theological interpretation.

Once saved always saved?

Could Jesus have sinned if He wanted to?

Where does predestination stop and free will begin?

This explains why we have so many different denominations in the Christian faith People break off from the group and start doing their thang a lil bit different.

But yet, there is one faith and one Lord, Jesus Christ.

So then folks try to figure out what kind of Christian I am, which is one of the reasons I posted a Statement of Faith on For all they know, I could go to one of those churches where they handle snakes and drink poison!

And although God has never led me to handle snakes or drink poison, there are some things about my lifestyle that some Christians don’t agree with.

I believe in exercising my right to bear arms as a United States citizen and also as a Texas resident. Turn the other cheek does not dismiss defending yourself. I know all Christians don’t agree with me on that, and that’s cool. Because there’s a place for all of us at our Lord’s table. But we know that even the disciples were armed, as shown when Peter sliced off the soldier's ear with his sword when they came to arrest Jesus. Pete had a gat.

I believe there are some of us who have never and will never have to be in a position where they have to defend themselves against some type of wild animal (which does include sharks, wolves and dopefiends.) And then those are others who our Lord has commanded that one sword is sufficient.

I can remember standing on the back porch in Arkansas as my father and my uncle ‘shot the guns’ into the woods. My uncle James Edward from Baltimore had the most beautiful .357 magnum. It was so heavy I had to use both hands to pick it up. But the smell of that gunpowder and the sound of that force reverberating in the air when they pulled those triggers. BOOOOM!!!! I knew there was a place for those who were prepared to bear arms if the need arose. We need them on that wall.

When I posted Popping My Collar, a lot of my homies from Sugar Valley hollered at me. They were excited to see me representing the hood. And they all can feel me, because every family in Sugar Valley had a gun somewhere in the house. Most of these parents were country folks, used to keeping a .22 rifle above the kitchen sink. Just in case they caught a fox trying to sneak into the chicken coop.

Now, guns have gravitated from meaning protection, to being more closely affiliated with aggression. Blasting fools. Flashing your gun in the air just to try and impress some n’gaz.

The Bible tells us that those who live by the gun shall die by the gun.

More importantly, we should seek to arm ourselves with the sword from the full armour of God. The Word. We need to keep our minds meditating on that Word, day and night. It’s where we stay sharp. It’s the only weapon we have to fight against the enemy.

Don’t be that n’ga in the gunfight who ain’t read his Bible.

It’s not just guns either, folks also bring up issues with my beliefs on the subject of wine and strong drink.

Everywhere I read in the Bible, it says we should not be given to much wine. We shouldn’t be drunkards and revilers. But it doesn’t say that drinking wine is forbidden.

Then you have folks who claim that Jesus only drank that ‘new wine’ which was non-alchoholic, more like grape juice.

Mmmhmm..I see ya new wine. All I know, is that Jesus’ first miracle was at a wedding, turning water into wine. And the wine He made, was a lot stronger and more potent than what they had already been drinking!!

But I can understand the argument against drinking. Cuz I know some folks who don’t need to drink AT ALL!! Not even a spoonful, because it makes them turn into a completely different person. Just like the fellaz who have to stop drinking 40’s, because they know that there’s a crack rock at the bottom of it.

Everybody needs to know thyself.

Soo..that’s about as radical a Christian I am. I don’t believe in protesting and boycotting and being in marches to legalize marijuana, there are more pressing issues to champion. Although I believe marijuana is a lot less dangerous than alchohol, it’s currently illegal. Jesus says that we should give Ceaser what is his and that we should obey the laws of the land. Pay your taxes and don’t be breaking them laws mane!

Now of course, these same rules applied when Prohibition was enforced in America. And if I would have been around then, I probably would have been buying a bottle of corn squeezings from the bootleg man or making my own home brew every now and then. So, I ain’t tripping, I’m just keeping things in perspective.

Because I do know a lot of people who started out just smoking weed, but they kept chasing a stronger high or Hector laced their joint with something and they got caught up in some other stuff that required medical attention and strong prayer to get out of.

They have a saying, ‘Don’t do as I do, do as I say do!’

You’d normally see a parent puffing on a cigarette and giving this command right after they forbid their child from whatever bad habit has control over them.

When you know what right is and you know you’re not doing it.

It can be a sobering reality when you’re trying to teach others the difference between right and wrong.

I’m 35 now. I’m married with 2 children who I am training to grow stronger in the Lord. I train my kids in the Word and I pray that they grow up to be game for the Lord.

And since I am now a public writer, I have become ever so conscious of the responsibility that I have been called to assume.

I can influence people with my pen. I can encourage, I can enlighten, I can enrage, I can make folks laugh or cry just by words that I write.

But I grew up in the hood, surrounded by some real characters that are more colorful and more elaborate than anything I could dream up. Real pit bulls. Game dogs.

All of the boys on the trunk of this car are from the bloodline of the late Bishop Sam Scott. All of us have been frowned at, or made to feel ashamed of ourselves for doing something we knew we weren’t supposed to do, ‘Specially since you one of Bishop Scott’s grandsons!!!??!!”

Even though our grandfather was a preacher, we still had to deal with divorce, rape, murder, drug problems, alcoholism, grand theft charges and a myriad of the other issues that young black boys must deal with everyday.

The beauty of it all, is that despite the busload of real life pains and heartaches that can be told from the closeknit menagerie of hard heads in the picture, we all are grown men standing up and proclaiming that Jesus is Lord. As you can tell by my stance in the picture, God put on my heart at an early age that I would be a king.

King of what..I exactly don’t know yet.

Maybe when Real Game drops and I go gold (500,000 copies) in 12 months of selling out the trunk, Lil Flip and Lil Keke will invite me to be the newest pen in the Screwed Up Click.

But what all those rappers and supposed Kings of the Southside don’t understand, is that they’re not stacking their paper like I’m stacking my paper.

They may have waaay more sales numbers, larger appearance fees and more cars and jewelery than I have. But they’re not adding on my scale.

My scale doesn’t weigh in until Gabriel blows his horn and the Lord calls us up to glory.

That’s when that real scale kicks in, because only those who believe in the Resurrection will be in that line to Heaven for made n’gaz. The scale doesn’t weigh your works to see if you make it in. That scale is just a marker of what kinda crown you’re going to have.

How many seeds did you plant or water that God increased?

Were you a good and faithful servant??

That’s when those chips get cashed in and that’s where D.E. Washington is grinding to have the fattest stack.

So that’s why I come like I do.

It’s a blessing to be able to write words that encourage and strengthen the soldiers out fighting everyday.

But God has yet to put on my heart for me to get up and feed the congregation. Instead He called me to serve on a seek and rescue mission. There are many brothers from my hood who are lost and their souls thirst for the Word, but yet they don’t even know it. So they never go to church and they never study the Bible. But they do like to talk about stuff like guns, money and/or pit bulls.

I see most young black men just like pit bull puppies. Sniffing around, curious, ready to wrestle somebody. Putting their mouth and tasting any and everything, cuz they’re just naturally nasty like that. What they get turned on to, they get turned ON to.

Ride or die!

Represent yo city!!

This is for my n’gaz!!!

So my purpose is to get them turned on to something that’s real. Something that will last.

I celebrated my 35th birthday this past year and I had a whole different realization of what it means to be 35.

Since the average life expectancy of Black men in America is around 72 years old (those who don’t have HIV or haven’t been murdered), turning 35 is like coming into halftime.

Everyday, the law of averages is telling you that you’ve lived more days in your past than you’re going to live in the future. It can make some folks start freaking out and hyperventilating.

I was in the bathroom the other day and discovered 2 pimples on my face and a long gray hair that I pulled out of my nose. Welcome to 35.

The best thing about being 35, is that it’s a great age for networking. You’re in touch with the baby boomer generation and you can hang with the’s a flexible position. And a lot of the people you grew up and went to school with are striving toward their prime in the space that they work in and you can help each other.

Most business deals are made from relationships. People have to know who you are.

Like we say on the Southside, ‘you gotta be known’.

Fortunately, I grew up around a few Southside legends who have put me down in their circle of influence. Curvey isn’t the distribution manager because he can read good. Curvey is the distribution manager because when it comes to moving a product on the block, he knows how to get it done.

“Ya’ll heard about that n’ga D.Wash from Sugar Valley? Mane..that n’ga is SERVINEMUP!!”

Happy 35th to my podna Big Fella Lair. What’s up to them Reedwood n’gaz like Pooh and that n’ga Leroy. Dogman!!?! A lot of n’gaz have forgot that you was one of the first Southside n’gaz they ever had on City Under Seige, but I’ll make sure your story gets told.

Wazzup to the Lily of the Valley women’s prayer group. Ya’ll keep praying for me now!!
Thanks to all those out there from Sugar Valley, Blueridge, Reedwood, Cloverland, South Park, 3rd Ward, Hiram Clarke, Mo City, Yellowstone, Shadow Creek Ranch, Pearland, Northside, Sugarland, Dallas, Woodlands, Katy, Port Arthur, Beaumont all ya’ll folks who have been supportive of Servinemup Ink, I thank you. I really do. Your support strengthens me and helps me get out there harder.

Thanks to the entire Scott family for having my back (ya’ll n’gaz are WILD..who ain’t paid their dues yet? Cuz we’re having some FUN in St. Lou this year!!)

Thanks to all the families and descendents of the late Rev. General Washington. Thanks for passing the link to the military crew Ash!

Thanks to the fellas from Booker T. Washington and the High School for Engineering Professions. Thanks to the Ultimate Players Club for preparing my pen for public scrutiny.

Thanks to all the bruh’s and the families from Stanford University. Gooch gave us so much game, it still seems a shame, man I miss his flame. Let’s all keep our eyes on the prize, God has bigger things in store for us. Boop-boooop!!

And most of all, I’d like to thank the family of Believers out there for all your prayers, emails, letters and book pre-orders you have sent in. Your support has given me a stronger sense of confirmation. I understand everyone doesn’t agree with all of the tactics and ‘stunts’ pulled here at Servinemup Ink, but if you ever find me misinforming someone about what the Word of God says, please, correct me.

Let’s see here..35..guns..writing..pit bulls..Real Game pre-order sales..yeah..that’s it. Oh..wait!!

One more thing.

It’s easy for a lot of folks to look outside in and assume things. God has put me and my wife in a blessed position. There’s not a lot of couples who’ve been through what we’ve been through that made it to where we are. I thank God for my wife, because I know that she was the woman He meant for me to marry. She is the only woman that could bring the best out of D.

In case I forgot to tell you.. baby doll.

I love you.

You my nicca fo real!! :)