Monday, November 29, 2004

Thanksgiving 2004

Thanksgiving 2004 - Monday, November 29, 2004

How was your Thanksgiving D??


Did you get enough to eat??

Hmph. You already know!

Did ya’ll watch football?

Yeah…we watched Peyton Manning put on that clinic against the Lions.

Why do they show the Detroit Lions every Thanksgiving??

That’s something that the first owner of the Lions, G.A. Richards, started way back in 1934:

The Origin of the Lions' Thanksgiving Day Game

The game was the brainchild of G.A. Richards, the first owner of the Detroit Lions. Richards had purchased the team in 1934 and moved the club from Portsmouth, Ohio, to the Motor City. The Lions were the new kids in town and had taken a backseat to the baseball Tigers. Despite the fact the Lions had lost only one game prior to Thanksgiving in '34, the season’s largest crowd had been just 15,000.

The opponent that day in '34 was the undefeated, defending World Champion Chicago Bears of George Halas. The game would determine the champion of the Western Division. Richards had convinced the NBC Radio Network to carry the game coast-to-coast (94 stations) and, additionally, an estimated 26,000 fans jammed into the University of Detroit Stadium while thousands more disappointed fans were turned away.

Despite two Ace Gutowsky touchdowns, the Bears won the inaugural game, 19-16, but a classic was born. And each game since then, in its own way, continues to bring back memories of Thanksgiving, not only to Lions' fans, but to football fans across the nation.

Oh..okay. But the Lions though??

They just ‘got that spot’ and have never relinquished it. But the Cowboys come on TV every Thanksgiving too, and they’ve been part of the tradition since 1966, so normally between the two (Lions and Cowboys) you’d imagine that at least one of them would field a good team every year.

The only thing sorrier than the Dallas Cowboys are the Chicago Bears! They SUCK!! gotta watch how you talk about the Cowboys on the Southside, there’s a LOT of diehard Cowboy fans around here.

So?? If they sorry, they sorry!! I don’t care WHO likes them!!

(laughing) I hear ya..I’m not one of those Cowboy fans, I grew up rooting for Big Earl and the Oilers. But even if you don’t like the Cowboys, I KNOW you liked that halftime show!

Oh yeah…my girl was out there!! That Beyonce know she know how to shake that ‘uh-ohh’

Mmmhmm. Beyonce could charge n’gaz a $100 just to rub on her butt and she’d keep a long line of customers ready to break off a c-note.

It wouldn’t just be n’gaz though..white boys, women..everybody likes to look at Beyonce!

Did you see when Destiny’s Child was on BET recently?

Yeah!! When Michelle fell when they were walking out?? wife called me in to look at it because she had taped it, and I couldn’t help but laugh when I saw Michelle fall.

You think she was drunk??

I dunno WHAT she was..but it was cool the way she bounced right back up and kept on flowing.

Yeah..she played it off well.

I also caught a bit of that Oprah show on ‘Swingers’ with my wife too.


Yeah..couples that get together with other couples and switch partners or do the group thang.

Wait a minute!! They’re putting it all out in the open like that??

Yeah’s a WILD world we’re living in. People are ready to be buck wild in 2004..the don’t care. I asked my wife if she wanted to get into some of that swingers action.

You did??’re CRAZY!! I wouldn’t even have the nerve to ASK my wife that!!

Oh it was cool, she quickly let me know that she wasn’t down for any kinda ‘group’ thang AT ALL!! But then I leaned on her a lil bit.

What do you mean ‘leaned on her’??

I asked her if it wasn’t a group thang, but rather just another couple that we ‘switched’ partners with, would she be with it if the other dude was like..Will Smith.

What did she say?

She started smiling. wife likes Will Smith too.

But my main problem, was that as much as my wife may like Will Smith, Jada has never really been one of ‘my’ girls.

Like Beyonce?

Exactly!! So after I told my wife, I would need someone better than Jada to do it, she even suggested Beyonce.

Man! Your wife is cool like that??!

Naww, don’t get it twisted now, cuz right after she said that and watched as my eyes danced with visions of Beyonce, she burst my bubble.

She slapped you upside the head??

Naww..we don’t do the physical violence thing in my house..she just told me that her main problem with Beyonce was that Jay-Z didn’t do it for her. So now, we can’t do the swingers thing unless Will Smith and Beyonce end up getting together.

Uhhh…you are just joking..right?

Of course! Cuz from what my wife tells me, Jada ain’t about to let Will go nowhere!!

I believe you used a double negative D..that should be ‘Jada is not about to let Will go anywhere’

Yeah..I know my grammar can be a bit ‘throwed off’, but I’m just glad that you can feel me.

Happy Thanksgiving D!



As I relaxed and enjoyed my family and football over the Thanksgiving weekend, I took some time to reflect on a lot of things that have been going on in my life. Sometimes it’s good to just take some time out of the hustle and bustle of getting to work, taking care of your family, your house, your cars and all the responsibilities that the Lord has blessed you to have (cuz everybody ain’t got it like that) and really meditate on how thankful you are of all of the Grace and Mercy that has been graciously bestowed on our lives.

I know that there’s a lot of people who don’t find too much time to say thank you, because they’re too busy complaining about all the things that they feel is wrong in their lives. Car problems. Rent issues. Disgruntled workers. Pissed off folks sitting in traffic jams that don’t know which they dread more; the job they’re going to or the traffic. There’s a lot of married folks upset at their spouses and daydreaming about being single. And there’s a lot of single folks wallowing in loneliness and daydreaming about having someone to love them. There’s some folks looking at their ‘bad az kids’ running around the house and wishing they could just be alone and childless. And there’s some folks who aren’t able to have children and they’re praying that they’ll be approved to adopt.

One of the most sobering aspects of life, is that EVERYBODY is dealing with SOMEthing in their lives. You never know what people are going through behind closed doors, so I’ve learned to be less judgmental of people and instead try to explain the reason for my hope. Because it’s very easy to get ‘caught up’ in the web of day to day grinding, doing whatever it is you have to do just to make it through the day, and lose sight of the bigger picture of being.

Spending some quiet time meditating on the Lord is a very soothing and invaluable tool of the Christian experience. Although Christians aren’t bound to the visible prayer rituals prevalent in other faiths, this does not mean that prayer is not an integral part of the Christian life. When you really get real in your walk with the Lord, you’ll find that prayer is no longer regulated to before meals or bedtime, or at church. Prayer becomes a constant part of your life, when you get up in the morning (thank ya Lord!), when you’re on your way to work (thank ya Lord!), when you’re doing the laundry or raking leaves in the yard (thank ya Lord!).

Sometimes life can seem so hard or unfair, that giving thanks is the last thing that comes to our mind, but my Big Mama says to us all the time, no matter how hard life may seem, just concentrate on saying ‘Good Morning’, everyday. Because no matter the pain and torment that you might be going through in this life, it IS good to be amongst the land of the living (thank ya Lord!).

Since I’ve been blogging at servinemup, a lot of my friends have been more open to discuss their spiritual journey with me, because they see a lot of similarities between my path and their experience. I really see this as a blessing, because whenever our testimony can help strengthen and encourage others, we should make sure to give it. I don’t have any ‘official’ statistics, but judging from the feedback forms (below at bottom of page) and emails that I receive ( and statistics of the number of visitors that read the Bible School Lessons page, I would guess that the audience is mostly comprised of non-Christians and people who are Christian by association only. A lot of readers may have some background or experience of being 'in the church', but as they've grown older, they've strayed away from any form of 'organized' religion. I know I've hit a unique lil crease here at servinemup, because the closest thing a lot of the readers here get to reading the Bible, is from the verses I put into my material on servinemup. (shame on you! :)

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Politics and Religion

Let every soul be subject unto the governing authorities. For there is no authority but of God; the authorities that be are appointed of God. - Romans 13:1

When I was in Biloxi a couple of weeks ago, for one of my close friends’ wedding, I had the chance to see and catch up with a lot of my college buddies. Several of them are regular visitors, and one of my podnas from Brooklyn was very animated every time he approached me during the weekend festivities.

SERVINEMUP! SERVINEMUP!! You steady SERVINEMUP!! Right D? (smiling)

Yep! That’s me..D. Wash..SERVINEMUP for ya’ll!! (smiling)

(laughing) Man..whenever I read your site I can tell that you’re having a great time!

You already know!

The blogging vehicle has allowed me the opportunity to share a lot of my personal thoughts and feelings for public display on the world wide web. I’ve got friends and relatives throughout the U.S. who log on just to check out their cuz, or their nephew, their lil brother, their homey from Sugarvalley, their podna that they grew up with every summer on Jelly Roll Street in the sprawling metroplex of Calion, Arkansas. It is very empowering to have a support group of friends and relatives that give me love and encouragement along my journey in life. And as I’ve matured as a person and as a Christian, I find that I treasure these relationships of mutual trust and respect above all material aspects of life. Once you tune in to the commonness of the human condition, there is a spiritual orb which resonates deep in your heart and you’ll be able to find fellowship in not only the similarities of existence, but also in our differences.

My experience is of one born to American-African slave descendants. I’ve never picked cotton in my life, but my grandfather (who I love dearly) has told me on a number of occasions,

“I’ve picked enough cotton in my life already, thank God ya’ll don’t have to do that.”

America is not far removed from a time when there was a federally mandated separation of class due to racial heritage. But through toil and struggle and suffering, these laws of institutionalized racial injustice were voted away and America planted their hope for a new day of ’equal’ opportunity. At least, that’s what the laws declare on paper. But the reality of the American slave descendants today, is that that road to opportunity in America might declare ‘All Are Equal’, but when you put your feet down to diligently trod toward this hope, the slope of the playing field is not level. Hundreds of years of oppression, dating back to when it was illegal for slaves to learn to read, makes the terrain a lot more difficult to navigate for those here in America who fall into Franz Fanon’s nome as members of ‘The Wretched of the Earth”.

No matter what state or country you live in, there are a set of rules governing society that each citizen is bid to obey. If you don’t like the rules, the political system or the economic opportunity in the land in which you live, then the best thing to do is find somewhere else to go…if you can. But if there is no avenue for escape, then you must live in and follow the law of the land. God’s Word does not incite slaves to revolt against their master, quite the contrary, the Bible categorically instructs us all to accept our positions of life and to serve accordingly. When I first discovered this Biblical doctrine as a teenager, I was a bit shocked and appalled.

How can God tell slaves that they’re just supposed to passively endure lifetimes of misery and oppression??

As a dark skinned slave descendant that never had any hope of ‘passing’ for any other race but Negro, it seemed to me like black folks were cursed by God to having to suffer under the hands of evil white men and it made me draw away from my Christian roots and start seeking some doctrine that ‘felt right’ to me. Growing up in a exclusively black Southern Baptist church, I often found my formative years in the pews of the church congregation frowning in derision and with a sense of ‘something just ain’t right with this’ whenever I would look around the crowded congregation of black folks praising God, but then when you look at the wall above the baptism pool, you see a big mural of a blonde haired blue eyed white man. When I considered the realness of the hatred and prejudice that my parents and grandparents had to endure while living in the Jim Crow South, I knew something just wasn’t right with that picture. Because with my concept of God, there wasn’t an elitist system preordained since birth, the God I could understand was fair and just and He definitely doesn’t look like the same folks who yell racial epithets or hang black men just for looking at white women.

There’s some folks (white and black) today who get a little fidgety and uncomfortable whenever these truths of America’s past are brought up,

“We need to move past all that..that’s old history, it’s not like that anymore.”

Some will even ‘flip’ the paradigm and try to make you feel like you’re the one impeding progression by continuing to harbor on past transgressions. Once you get off in the Word of God, you’ll see that we are all bid to forgive our neighbors, as God forgives us for our transgressions. Once again, the suspicious nature inside me caused me to consider this path of ‘forgiveness’ as a method of control intended to keep the oppressed from revolting against the oppressor. As Oscar Wilde famously noted, ‘Religion is the opiate of the masses.’ Keep em drugged up and gone on that Jesus, all the while keep bleeding them for all the work and resources you can get from them until they die. Let them praise Jesus, while they suffer in poverty and oppression and the elite reap the rewards gained through the low labor costs of slavery. It all seemed like a big setup move that so many ‘house’ black folks fell for. Christianity just wasn’t sitting right with me, there had to be a truth found, where is the God for all the real niggaz??

Once you break off from your family and start seeking a truth of life that you just can’t seem to find in the environment in which you were raised, it can be a scary thing. Because first of all, you have to make this move ‘on the cool’, because if your parents or grandparents hear that you are not convinced that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Light, they may be prone to a heart attack or at the very least some kind of screaming fit.
What do you mean you don’t serve a ‘white’ God?? betta get yo self together so you can go to church! Cuz if you ain’t going to can’t live in THIS house!!

So instead, most spiritual journeys begin under a cloak of secrecy. It’s much akin to those many nights that slaves crept away into the unknown land of freedom, risking their lives just for the sake of being emancipated from the oppressor. Once I reached that point where I could no longer tolerate living a life ‘enslaved’ by the ideals and theology of a God who’s God just because a white man printed in the Bible? Who’s to say the powers that be didn’t ‘twerk’ the Word a lil bit and put in those parts to keep their lucrative slavery cartels thriving for generations? Naww mane..I can’t be that damn fool that‘s following my families religion ‘just cuz‘, like some dumb cow being herded away. I had to know God for myself.

The late teens and early 20’s are a very important time in a person’s life. Because it is during this period of transition from childhood to independent adults that we all must form our own ideologies of life, politics and religion. Some people never even consider rebuking or turning away from the path of their parents or grandparents, they just believe what they were raised to believe, obediently and without question. Conservatives are more than likely born to Conservatives, Liberals are most often born of Liberals and so forth. Which brings me to a good political joke I heard.

A father is enjoying a late evening after dinner walk with his family through a public park. As he and his lovely wife and 2 kids are conversing and enjoying the brisk breeze with promises of the approaching winter, a mugger jumps out of the bushes and approaches the man and his family brandishing a knife. The father happens to have a loaded 9mm handgun in his jacket. What happens?

Liberal Answer: Does the man really LOOK like he’s trying to harm my family? Did he SAY he was a mugger? Maybe he was mentally incompetent? Can I just have my wife and children run away for safety? Is the knife really sharp? Do I have time to call my lawyer and see what legal ramifications are at stake? Is there someway I could kick the knife out of the man’s hands and flee to safety with my family? There’s not enough parameters given for me to accurately speculate what I would do.

Conservative Answer: Bang! Bang!


Wife: I think he’s still moving honey!!

Son: Yeah Dad..I saw him move too.


Daughter: (smiling) Nice grouping Daddy!!

I find great amusement in that joke, maybe it’s just a Texan thing, I dunno. But what I do know is that this past election brought out some deep emotions amongst the citizens of America. With the election fiasco that we went through in 2000, with all the ballot irregularities and ‘chads’ in Florida, this year’s election has been a hotly contested topic for the past 4 years. There’s a lot of folks who still have a sour taste in their mouth with how Bush ‘did it’ and got into office in the last election. Michael Moore came along and stoked the fires of discontent with Fahrenheit 9/11 and the rallying cry was summoned..Americans voices will be heard at the ballot boxes!!

When you consider the things that we use to decide which candidates policy is best for our country, everyone has different political agendas that they deem the most important. To some it’s the economy, to others it’s national defense, or healthcare, family values, same-sex unions, everybody has their own interests that they choose to latch on to and support and that’s usually how votes are cast. The weird part is when you get strange bedfellows such as gay Republicans rallying alongside gun activist Democrats and you realize that although they may be supporting the same candidate, it’s not necessarily for the same reasons.

Coming into this year’s election, I was anticipating a larger vote turnout than 2000’s election and that the majority of these ‘new’ and ‘first-time’ voters would be making a vote toward a change in America’s course of direction domestically and abroad. But as I sat and watched the poll results come in Tuesday night and into Wednseday morning, I was snapped back to the reality of the America in which we live. Looking at that sea of red states claimed by Bush reaffirmed the voting majority here in America..our country showed up and supported our incumbent leader sends a resounding wave of American principles throughout the world..’We stand by George W. Bush and his administration.’ Not ALL Americans felt that way when they cast their ballots, but 59 million was enough.

So now we have over 55 million people who voted for Kerry and a lot of them are HIGHLY pissed off right now. There are grumblings of ’voter tampering’ and ’illegal tactics’ used by George W. and his army of supporters that used unfair means to gain political advantage.

“Bush won..but I something just ain’t right about it.”

I must admit, I was one who really thought that America was poised to vote for a change, but when you examine the poll results, you’ll better realize that American sentiment is still very much steeped and controlled by conservative views and opinions, or more specifically Texan Conservatives. (smile). There were over 120 million ballots cast in the 2004 election, which represents almost 60% of all registered voters here in the United States. The standard voting benchmark is the turnout from the 1960 election which pitted John F. Kennedy against Richard Nixon. Over 66% of registered voters turned out for that close and hotly contested election, and in the end, America voted to go with the more ’liberal’ JFK.

When Gore lost the 2000 election to Bush, he lost even though he won the popular vote. But when you consider all the things that have happened since then: Florida vote dispute, Iraq, the economy, healthcare, rising HIV rates in America, Fahrenheit 9/11, etc. and you would think that this election would be primed for a new candidate to assume the reigns of control for the country. But when you look at the numbers, Bush gained almost 10 million more votes in this election than he had in 2000. It’s a sobering reality to know that the majority of the American voting public is behind our president, even in the midst of a growing quaqmire in Iraq, high unemployment rates and soaring deficits. As I continued to shake my head in amazement as Bush’s victory became more and more clearly inevitable, I went to my source of comfort and understanding, the Bible.

The core support group of Bush’s campaign is the Christian Conservative, of which I consider myself a member. Once Bush identified with these Godly people, and presented himself as a born-again Christian committed to upholding the traditional family values, that’s what won him the election. Now riding along this same bandwagon are the rich, upper-class folks who aren’t necessarily Christian, but they want to make sure they have somebody in office that won’t ‘rock the boat’ and disrupt their prosperous business’ and investments.

“The government ain’t supposed to control the people, the government is just supposed to protect the people and allow us to function as a free society. That Kerry was bound to bring a lot of that bureaucratic nonsense like all those other ’liberal’ Democrats like JFK.”

On top of that, there are a lot of Protestants and Jews who refuse to vote for a Catholic like Kerry. Some folks voted for Bush because of his stand against same-sex marriages and then you have a lot of gun toters who like Bush because they figure he’s the best man to lead in the midst of the war of terror that is going on today. No matter WHAT people’s reasons were for voting for Bush, the fact is that God has appointed G-Dubya to rule America for the next 4 years. When you look in the Bible and try to find the Christian course of action in the midst of political strife, you’ll see that God categorically displays His sovereign power when it comes to government here on earth. The Bible repeatedly iterates throughout scripture that God appoints and removes all rulers. That doesn’t mean that all rulers are men of God, it just means that all things work together toward’s God’s purpose, including elections.

If I didn’t have the conviction that Jesus is the Lord and Saviour of us all in my heart, it would be a lot harder for me to handle instances where I feel my voice is muted out amidst the clamoring of the powers that be. There’s a lot of Americans who were visibly upset and shaken to the point of tears when they saw that Bush won this election. I don’t share that same remorse, because I have faith that God is in control and all things are working toward His purpose. The Southside of Houston, which is a community predominately populated by other Americans who are African slave descendants like me, voted overwhelmingly for Kerry, as did most other working class communities of similar ethnic background. But just like the slaves who had to continue to toil in the fields under the strap of the slave masters, we find our refuge in the Lord. Of course, I guess it’s a lot easier for me to handle ol G-Dubya having at the helm, because I share in a lot of his stated views concerning Christian family values. When it comes to his views on (or lack thereof) leveling the playing field for all Americans, our viewpoints diverge, but we are where we are. 4 more years ya’ll! Make sure you keep your eyes open so that you can watch what it do! BANG! BANG! BANG! BANG! (ya feel me?)

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Eye for an Eye

Eye for An Eye - November 23, 2004

Alright..I feel that…Soldiers in the Hood is pretty tight. I like the way you throw up that Christian set, it comes across a lot more real than a lot of those phonies you hear on TV, talking all that crazy, ‘turn the other cheek’ madness.

Holeup there now cuz..that ‘turn the other cheek’ isn’t madness or crazy, that’s a real part of the gospel of Christ.

Yeah..but c’mon now D, you ain’t got to front to kick it! You can holler you’re a Christian from the rooftops for all I care, but you know and I know that if a n’ga hits you in the jaw, you’d turn right around and give him one of them 2 piece combos.

Well..turning the other cheek and defending yourself are two different things.

Not according to all those pacifist Christians, you know, the ones that refuse to even own any guns or weapons because God said ‘thou shall not kill’.

Actually, the precise Hebrew word in that scripture says, ‘thou shalt not murder’.

What’s the difference?

Killing someone in self-defense or when defending your family or country is not murder.

It’s still a loss of human life though.

Yeah..but when you read the Old Testament and see all of the original laws for man, you’ll see that God had a justice system imposed. They had capital punishment laws to be enforced by community acts such as stoning, for various offenses like raping a woman (Deut 22:25) or committing homosexual acts (Lev 20:13).

So you’re saying that you’re down with the ‘eye for an eye’ (Ex 21:24) philosophy?

As much as there’s a large part of me that craves immediate justice when wrongs are committed, I know that I wouldn’t be real in my quest to be like Jesus if I expounded vengeance and retaliation. Vengeance is not ours, it’s the Lord’s.

Yeah..but what is a n’ga supposed to do if somebody hits him upside the head?? If some white dude would have thrown a cup of beer on you from the stands, you would have ran out there and tried to whup his az just like Artest did!!
Well..I think you have to put everything in context. Artest had already ‘turned the other cheek’ to some extent when he backed away from Ben Wallace and didn’t pursue that fight.

Yeah..but that’s Ben Wallace!! Artest wasn’t no d’mn fool, don’t NOBODY want to mess around with Big Ben!!

I’m not trying to defend Artest actions, I’m just saying that as a man, I know if somebody threw a cup of whatever on me, I would have been in there face figuring out what their problem was.

Ahhh! But that’s not ‘turning the other cheek’ is it?? (smiling)’s not. But I know things are a lot different when emotions and adrenaline and beer are running high. I’m sure Artest wishes he would have handled that situation a lot differently once he had time to reflect back on it..

That’s only because Stern took all that money away from him!

It’s more than the’s a pride thing, especially with black men.

So now it’s a ‘black’ thing??

No…it’s really a ‘man’ thing, but for black men, I think this pressure of having our manhood challenged is more magnified. So sensitivity levels are heightened and that powder keg of passion and anger is a lot more volatile and ready to explode.

So now you’re saying every black man is ready to go off on a white boy?

It depends on several things, like what they’re going through in their life..with their job, their family, their finances, their health, etc., there’s a lot of people living on the silent edge of desperation waiting for that one last thing to just ‘go off’, you never know what people are dealing with in their lives. And that’s not just black men, that’s everybody..white folks, Mexicans, women.

So what do you think is the best way to handle when somebody comes at you disrespectfully?

See if there’s a problem that needs to be worked out..but if they’re not willing to talk rationally, you need to get away from them.

You mean run??

If that’s what it takes. Jesus and the apostles spent a large part of their lives on the run from angry mobs and men intent on killing them.

Is that what you teach your kids?

I teach my kids to first and foremost, do whatever they need to do to make it home safely. I know there may be some instances when people just won’t let them make it peacefully, and they’ll be put in the position where they literally have to fight or take a butt whupping. As much as I want them to know Christ in their heart and live the life of one who knows the Lord, I also know that Jesus was very much familiar with all those haters out there. I know Jesus believed in having some firepower too, because He told the disciples that two swords were sufficient. (Luke 22:36-38) and when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, Peter had a sword on him that he used to cut off one of the soldiers ear, which Jesus healed.(Matt 26:50-54, John 18:11). So even Jesus’ closest circle kept some heat for those haters. But when you really start examining the scripture, you see that God put the ultimate combination punch out there for us to learn from.

Jesus threw 2-piece combos on fools too??

I’m not talking about fist punches, I’m talking about the Word of God. When you read the Old Testament and it’s law, it’s primarily full of laws for earthly existence. God gave His people a code of conduct, a law, and it was meant to separate them from the rest of the heathen world. From those who worshipped idols or those given to the lusts of the flesh.

So you’re saying the Old Testament is like that opening jab?

Right! The Old Testament is that setup jab..but the knockout punch is that New Testament..that gospel of Christ. Jesus did not come to abolish the Law, He came to fulfill it.

What does that mean?

It means, that all those rules and laws that God placed on the children of Israel in the Old Testament are still intact, but when you read throughout the original law and prophets, you’ll see that God always promised us a Messiah, to deliver us. The New Testament, or that ‘knockout punch’, is a new covenant that focuses primarily on repentance and spiritual development rather than physical existence. When you start living under that new covenant with God, you’ll recognize that God intends to use hardships and difficulties to help a person repent, change our attitudes, values and standards so that we can develop them spiritually. I guess in a way the old covenant showed how to be a blessed person on earth, while the new covenant prepares a person to leave the earth.

That’s pretty deep. I didn’t realize there was a difference in the Bible like that.

Some people think that the Bible contradicts itself in Ephesians 2:15 when Paul says that Jesus abolished in his flesh the law with it’s commandments and regulations, but when you study that word that Paul used ‘abolish’, it refers to destroying the barriers that separated Jews from gentile believers. The original Jewish laws found in the Old Testament excludes gentiles from God’s blessing or forces them to become Jews.

What’s a gentile?

In this sense, anyone who is not Jewish. Christ came to fulfill the Law; the moral code is still in place, but the secondary purpose of the law and ordinances (to separate Jews from gentiles) is set aside or made useless.

How do you know all this stuff about the Bible?

I read it daily and I pray for understanding as I study it and meditate on the Lord throughout my day. I reached a point where I just had to know Him for myself, and I read the Bible and I found Him.

So you’re saying that you’re ready to ‘turn that other cheek’??

Uhhh..well…I’m still praying on that one. But I know that I’m a lot more patient and understanding person now that I have the Lord in my heart compared to what I used to be like before I knew Him.

Awww n’ga, if a white boy had poured beer all over you, you would have been in the stands choking him just like Artest did!! (laughing)

Naww..I probably coulda let the dude who threw the cup make it..but the one that ran out on the court and jumped up in Artest’s face?

2-piece combo?

Hmph! You already know!!

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Young Bucks

Young Bucks - Wednesday, November 17, 2004

After I posted the Servinemup Book Review of J.L. King’s , one of my friends called to tell me that the way that I approached the whole Down Low topic was very informative, professional and real. At the same time, I also received a couple of wisecracks from friends who read the article and saw the picture of me and J.L. King..

“Ya’ll sure are standing close to each other..mmmhmm”

The wisecracks were actually pretty funny to me, not just because I’m so confident in my sexuality, but also because I just have a weird sense of humor like that. But when my friend gave me the professional compliment, I realized that I was really growing as a writer. Because despite my own ‘homophobic’ hang-ups, I really had no problem talking to J.L. King at his book signing. Picking his brain and finding out all I could about book publishing and marketing tools. I was so into the business side of it, I actually completely forgot about his sexual preference, we were just two brothers talking about pushing books. But I must admit, going to the book signing did cause me a moment’s hesitation initially and if it wasn’t for the fact that I was a writer trying to get my game tighter, I more than likely would have never gone to meet J.L. King.

But when I did go, I wasn’t alone, one of my Southside podnas rode with me to check out the landscape of how book signings go. He’s actually more than just a child hood friend, he’s also the distribution manager for Servinemup Ink. When the 1st book, Real Game, hits the street this December, he’s the one in charge of pushing the product through various distribution channels..barber & beauty shops, correctional facilities, rehabilitation programs, hustle men on the block, whoever is ready for some Real Game, he’ll make sure you get it in your hands.

Some people raise their eyebrows or turn their shoulder and refuse to do business with ex-convicts. I knew my podna Curvey way back when we were small kids going to the same church together. Our mothers’ are in the same missionary circle at church as well as the church greeters, so no matter what the state of Texas held him behind bars for 7 years for, it really doesn’t matter to me. He’s been home for a minute now and he’s just as charged as I am to move on toward our higher purpose in life. Every Christian has a past and every sinner has a future. We’re hitting the block hard like some hungry pit bulls and once we lock in, they’re going to have to knock us out to make us to let go.

But if they don’t kill us, once we get back on our feet, we’re right back at it again. It’s what you call being ‘dead game’, you’ll learn more about that when you read the Lock Like A Pit story in Real Game. Christianity isn’t a fad or passing fancy, real Christian soldiers don’t give up til we go up, and in the end? We WIN!!

Speaking of winning, I was watching the VIBE Awards last night with Curvey and we saw G-Unit give their acceptance speech for Best Album of the year or whatever the prize was. What really caught my attention was when Young Buck got up on the microphone and the first thing he said was thanks to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. After he said it, I looked over at Curvey and smiled,

‘Giving pub to the Almighty!!’

Curvey looked at me and smiled, ‘Hmmm..ALREADY!’

I really like Young Buck’s song, ‘Let Me In’, and I couldn’t help but think of one verse in particular in that song,

I’m sinning but I’m winning at the same time
In a lot of ways, I know that this is the prevalent attitude of all the hustlas on the street. Doing whateva it is you gotta do to handle your bizness. But as disturbing the mixed signals those lyrics bring out, it was still good to see this young brother from Ca$hville (Nashville) give props to the Lord for his success. Now the real strange part, is that later in the show, a fight broke out when some dude punched Dr. Dre, and in the midst of the scuffle, the guy who punched Dre was stabbed. And when the security personnel used pepper spray to clear the fray and later reviewed the videotape, they saw Young Buck wielding a knife. So now the authorities are looking for him. I guess this might make his lyrics from his song, Let Me In, come to life.

Homie is that real, I pray I keep livin
My momma just had a dream of seein me in prison

Hopefully Buck hasn’t just perpetrated a parole violation and I pray for his safety and well being. But this all just goes to show, that we all can profess Christ with our’s a whole different thing to display the gospel of Christ through our walk. It ain’t just what it say baby, it’s what it DO. Those who profess their faith in Jesus Christ have a definite required conduct of the gospel to maintain:

Proclaim It Matt 4:23

Defend It Jude 3

Demonstrate It Phil 1:27

Share It Phil 1:5

Suffer for It 2 Timothy 1:8

Don’t hinder it 1 Corinthians 9:16

Be not ashamed Romans 1:16

Preach It 1 Corinthians 9:16

Be empowered 1 Thess. 1:5

Guard It Gal 1:6-8

Just like others, most of my problems come up in properly demonstrating the gospel of Christ. When somebody hits me, my natural reaction is to make sure I inflict as much and possibly more pain on them than they inflicted on me. It’s definitely not in line with the whole ‘turn the other cheek’ theology, but please be patient with me, God is not through with me yet. I’ve still got a lot of Southside mentality to work past, cuz if a n’ga hits you on the Southside, you betta lay his az out or else he’s going to keep hitting you. That’s just how I was taught, you can ask my daddy about that one. God is still working on him too.

Our Sunday School lesson this week was from I Corinthians 15th chapter, but our weekly assignment was to read the entire book of 1 Corinthians. In it, Paul is addressing the church in Corinth and if you don’t know about the temple of Aphrodite and how they were getting down BUCK WILD style in Corinth almost 2,000 years ago, then you definitely need to read it. There’s a part in there that addresses the ‘weaker brother’, and how Christians arent’ supposed to be out acting buck wild in buck wild places, because weaker believers, or would be believers will observe the stronger Christian in these environments or situations and think,

‘Hmm..he’s a Christian out being buck wild and having a good must be okay to do!”

And this weaker brother can fall prey to the traps of the world, traps that the stronger brother could avoid. So that’s a heightened responsibility that Christians must have when demonstrating the conduct of the gospel, even if we can handle being around the buck wild parties, everybody ain’t able to handle it without falling:

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of your’s become a stumbling block to them that are weak. - I Corinthians 8:9

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

What I Do

What I Do - Wednesday, November 10, 2004

(Telephone rings) Like most folks, the first thing I do is look at the caller ID to see who it is. As soon as I saw the name I started thinking ‘uh-ohhh’, it was one of my CRAZY relatives…



Hey Unc! Wazzup?

My VCR just went out..I need you to come look at it.

What do you mean?

What do you mean ‘what do I mean’?? It stopped working!!

Yeah..but what do you expect me to do??

Didn’t you go all the way out there to California for college and study them comprutas??


Comprutas! Comprutas!

That’s what I said n’ga!! Don’t try and get all smart and white folks on me!! I used to pin diapers on yo black az back when you was still sh’t’n yella!! Now are you go come fix my VCR or do I have to pay somebody to do it??

Look Unc, I wish I could help you, but my degree is in Electrical Engineering, not VCR repair.

VCR use electwicity don’t it??

Yeah..VCR’s do use electricity.

Well if you’re an ‘electrical engineer’ then how come you can’t fix it??

They didn’t teach us that at school.

Well what the hell did they teach you then?

They taught us to understand principles and concepts..I can’t fix your VCR, but I can tell you how it works.

That don’t help me! I don’t need to know how it works, I NEED to be able to tape my wresslin shows!

Well I’m sorry Unc, best thing I can tell you is to take it to a TV/VCR repair shop.

Aiight then..but you know the next time I talk to yo mama and daddy, I’m go be sure to tell them that they wasted a lot of their money on yo ‘education’..all them fancy degrees and you still don’t know sh’t!

Sorry I can’t help ya Unc.

Un-huh, I bet you are. Bye n’ga! (click)


As you can tell, I’m not from a ‘mainstream’ type of family. Most of my kinfolk love to clown and have a good time enjoying life whenever they can, so now ya’ll can have a better understanding of why I’m a bit different than the average Christian writer. In the hood I was different because my parents had me and my sister bused to predominately white schools during our grade school years. So our language, vocabulary and diction was distinctly different than a lot of the other kids on the Southside of Houston. We were also helped by the fact that we had literate parents, who read the newspaper everyday and kept up with all the local and global events. They were two people who’s world was a lot bigger than just what was going on in the hood, which was a distinct advantage over a lot of our peers’ parents. C’mon now..ya’ll know what I’m talking put it bluntly, a lot of kids have some very ignorant parents. You put one ignorant parent with one parent with good sense and the kids can make it okay, but when you have two 'ignant' parents..God save the children!

Now that I’m a parent, I can look back see how much of a blessing it is for me to have two intelligent parents…

Dad, I need some help with my homework.

Okay..whatchu got?


I was pretty good in math in school, what’s the problem?

We’re doing geometry proofs, and I don’t know what I’m supposed to do next.

Let me see the book. (peering at the book, blinking a couple of times)

You have it upside down Dad.

Oh! (flipping the book back around) No wonder..(peering more closely at the book..blinking some more) Uhhhh…what’s this zero with a line through it supposed to be??

It's called a theta.

A what???

Never mind. I’ll wait til Mom gets home.

Yeah..that’s probably the best thing to do.

Of course this isn’t an example of MY father, because my father stopped helping us with our math homework once we got past multiplication. But when it comes to history and world events, you can’t beat him. That’s where that dual parent structure shows back up, because where one is weak, the other is strong and the kids are trained by the best possible teacher. My wife and I have a pretty good system going now, she does all the English and language tutoring, school projects and stuff like that and I do the math. I know it sounds crazy, especially considering the fact that I’m a ‘writer’, but as you can tell by now, my grammar skills do tend to dip into the ‘inner city’ category, and I would hate to teach my children in error. phone is ringing..


Un huh! “My daddy could only help us add and subtract” You full of them jokes now boy??

Oh..(hee-hee) Heyy dad..wazzup?

I read what you said about the math homework stuff, don’t forget that I’m still YO DADDY n’ga!!

Yes sir.

And when you write it, make sure you get it right. I was able to help ya’ll all the way up to division!!

Not long division though…you said that wasn’t how ya’ll did it when you were in school.

Are you calling me a liar??!!

No sir.

Aiight then. Bye n’ga!!

See what I’m talking about? Some people may think it’s kinda throwed off to be telling jokes about your father's mathematical skills, but I can guarantee you that he’s laughing harder right now than anybody else. Now what was I rambling about again? Oh yeah..what I do.

Just like most other superheroes, I have a common daytime existence that is very much like your standard run of the mill Peter Parker. I work as a technical sales engineer for a major manufacturing company here in Houston. A lot of our clients are golf course owners, real estate developers, construction companies and such. Our product serves anyone who needs to move, meter or monitor water/wastewater. When you go to your faucet and turn on the water, somewhere there’s a pump (unless it’s a gravity fed system) that is supplying the pressure for the water to make it to your faucet. So whether it’s residential developments, hi-rise buildings, golf courses, sports fields, I’m the guy who goes out and sells the equipment to our various clients. From sizing pumps and motors, to designing the control systems and communication capabilities I’m the point of contact for getting our product out on the job.

Although I am of an ethnic minority in this business, I’ve discovered quite a few similarities with just the simple essence of being a human being that is common to all men no matter their color. Being from an all black neighborhood, all black church, all black high school, all black family (we ain’t got no race mixing in these parts!), I’m sure my slant and outlook on things are a bit different than others.
But throughout my travels I have been pleasantly surprised by a lot of folks who are just plain good people that remind me of my kinfolk, just of a lighter complexion. Quite often I’ve found this a common theme among Christian folks of all colors, but people will surprise you. Some folks obviously wear crosses around their necks for decorative purposes only. But if you're wondering if a cross is for the bling-bling or for the true power of the Blood, all you have to do is watch what it do to see if it’s true.

I know that the public profession of Christ comes with its risks of ostracization, scrutiny, and criticism..the Bible even says that all Christians are bid to suffer for the gospel (2 Tim. 1:8) But once I fully realized the cost of discipleship, of truly following the Way of the risen Savior, then those worries of ‘what would people think’ or ‘what are they going to say about me’ faded away. Satan doesn’t like it when Christians spread the Word of the gospel to others. And once I realized that God gave me this voice and this diverse audience of Believers and Gentiles that log on to everyday, I knew I had to become a better and more faithful servant through the words that I write. There is no other command of God more clear, than the responsibility of all Believers to share the reason for our faith with those who do not know Him. Preaching is not confined to a pulpit or a church microphone. Whenever and where ever you go out and share the gospel of Christ with someone, you’re preaching the Word. That’s what God instructs all of us to do.(1 Cor. 9:16)..that is, if you truly believe. Because if you don’t truly believe in your heart that Jesus laid it down on Calvary for you and that He rose from the grave and defeated Satan and death early that Sunday morning? Then you’re going to remain quiet and not tell or talk about Christ to anyone who doesn’t already believe in Him.

When’s the last time you sent the link to to someone? Yes, there are curse words, yes, it can tend to be a bit ‘ebonic’, but ya’ll see what I’m servin up. It’s that new thang mane, Southside-style. It’s what I do.

“I know God didn’t put me here, just to be servin’ dope fiends.” – Pimp C of UGK