Friday, September 30, 2005

September 30, 2005

Technically, I guess I would consider myself 75% Southside of Houston and 25% Union County, Arkansas, when you consider social environment and childhood development.

I was born in downtown Houston and had a permanent residence in Sunnyside, but every summer, my sister and I would spend 3 months out of the year living with our grandparents in Arkansas. We were blessed to grow up knowing and learning from both our paternal and maternal grandparents. A lot of people can’t say that.

I even have some friends who have never even met any of their grandparents, so I know that our experience of learning from older generations has been a direct blessing from God. Because there are things that your grandparents can teach you that your parents can’t.

We were even blessed to know our great grandmother before she passed away, Grandma Bessie. She was the one that first taught me to have reverence for the LORD. Whenever there was a storm passing through, she’d make us turn off all of the lights and appliances. We’d all have to just sit there in the dark and be quiet. Listening to the wind, rain and thunder clapping in the background when those strong thunderstorms rolled through Southwestern Arkansas and cooled off the summer heat.

“Ya’ll HURSH!!...God is talkin’!”

Whenever she’d say this, she’d give us a no nonsense scowl, then lean back in her chair with her hands folded and bow her head. Almost like she was in prayer or some sort of silent meditation.

A lot of people can relate to the ‘hood’ in D.Washington. I use slang and ‘what it do’ talk as a regular part of my speech. But what people can’t always pick up on right away, is the ‘country’ that’s in me.

Some people get offended when you call them ‘country’. Because they assume that’s a demeaning term to their intelligence level. It doesn’t bother me when people call me country, because in my mind, that’s where real begins for mankind.

Country people know how to grow their own fruits and vegetables. Country people know how to work on their own tractors. Country people know how to draw their own water out of a well. Country people know how to build their own house. Country people know how to raise farm animals like chickens, guineas, ducks, hogs, goats or whatever livestock you might have that can be eaten and/or sold for textiles.

My maternal grandfather was my Big Daddy. He lived in a populated area in Arkansas called El Dorado. They had running water, indoor plumbing, electricity, cable, neighbors, they lived in the city. But yet he still retained the country mentality of independence. Country people don’t ask the government to help them, they get out and work the land and work their trade for a living. My Big Daddy was a plumber by trade, but he also was a carpenter, rental property owner and he was a Pentecostal minister with 12 children. Big Daddy was what we call a ‘hustler’ in the hood.

My paternal grandfather, Papa (prounounced Paw-paw) lived about 12 miles from El Dorado, in a town called Calion, Arkansas. Calion had running water and electricity and cable and all that stuff too, but it was a lot more rural environment. There aren’t any red lights in Calion, only a few stop signs. Papa worked at the saw mill there in town, like most of the other residents, but Papa is really a farmer by trade. He had acres of land that he farmed everything that could grown..Collard greens, purple hull peas, turnip greens, squash, cabbage, bell pepper, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, watermelon..if he could get his hands on the seeds, he could grow it, with the LORD’s help.

A lot of people don’t realize that farmers are hustlers too. Because it’s only through farming that you can take a couple of seeds and plant it and tend to it as it grows and end up reaping a harvest of a hundredfold. Farmers are the realest ‘flippers’ in the game. They can take a little and make a lot. It was my Papa that gave me my first lesson on the value of a dollar.

I was following him around as I usually did as he worked. We were headed back from the hog pen and he pointed down at the trail we were walking along..

“Look there Man..there go some money.”

I peered down at the direction of his finger and saw that it was a penny.

“Aww Papa”, I exclaimed, “This ain’t nuthin but a lil ol penny.”

Papa looked at me like I was a damn fool, “Boy! Don’tchu know that 100 pennies make a dolla???”

That was my first lesson on finance. I was just thinking in big licks, I hadn’t understood the concept of grinding. I was a ‘petted’ grandchild. I’d help every now and then, but I did more playing and goofing off than anything and he let me. Because Papa grew up on that other side of the mountain. He didn’t have the luxury of attending much school because he had to work to help support his family almost since the time he could walk.

So when I came along, his oldest grandson, Papa didn’t put much work restrictions on me in the summer. He let me run around and enjoy myself,

“I’ve picked enough cotton in my life for ya’ll Man..I’m just thankful to God that ya’ll don’t have to do that.”

It was my Papa that gave me my familial nickname, “Man”.

And to this day, all of my homeys from BACK in the day still tease me about my childhood nickname. But I don’t trip with them about it when they call me that, I just smile, because it’s just good to be called, ya feel me?

My wife and I decided to leave Houston last Tuesday when Hurricane Rita was growing to a category 5 hurricane. We have children and big trees in our yard, so we didn’t want to run the risk of being flooded out or having to deal with a tree crashing through the house. So we loaded up our kids and my sister’s kids in my father’s Suburban and headed for Arkansas.

Our plan was to make the trip like an extended weekend, visiting our kinfolk and staying out of harm’s way.

There’s a lot of families that went through a lot of trauma and stress over this whole evacuation thing. Because just like you had some people who were ready to break out and flee to higher ground, you had a lot of old school folks who were bunkered down, ready to ride out the storm.

Now the question comes up, if you are a true believer in God..would you flee from the impending Hurricane or would you stay, leaning faithfully on God’s Grace and Mercy to see you through?

I’ve had some time to think about this question, and my answer is..both. There are some true believers who stayed, just as there are some true believers who evacuated. The Spirit will move you to do what you think is best in times of impending danger.

Everyone has seen the horror stories of the traffic jams on all the freeways in Houston from last week. We got caught up in the cusp of it. Fortunately we were never in a position where the traffic came to a complete stop, but a trip that would normally take us 5 ½ hours took us 20.

I have family members that aren’t speaking to each other right now, because they’re mad about decisions made to NOT evacuate.

When we got back to Houston, I had family members who stayed behind laughing and smirking at me, because they feel they made the right decision by staying behind and they were better off than those of us who left and got stuck in all that traffic.

I just laugh at them and bob my head, “Yep..ya’ll turned out on the better side this time. But guess what? If another Category 5 looks like it’s heading this way? I’m leavin AGAIN! I’ll see ya’ll when that trumpet blow and we’ll know who gets the glory..ya feel me?”

I just enjoyed the opportunity to be around my aunt and my uncles. To hang out with my Grandma and Papa for a few days. To hangout with one of my close homeboys and see his son run a touchdown for his high school football team.

So no..I don’t regret evacuating at all, because I have a peace that can’t be shaken. And for those times when you are worrying about what if, and what could have been, then you need to pull out your Bible and lean on a verse that has soothed the minds of millions of believers throughout history.

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God; to them who are the called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:21

That’s not ‘some’ things, that’s ‘ALL things.’ The only stipulations are that you have to:

1. Love God

2) You have to be called according to His (not yours) purpose.

Think about that. It’s a Biblical truth that is more powerful than most people realize.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Evacuation of Rita

Evacuation of Rita - September 21, 2005

Let me see here, I'm getting my evacuation items list together..


9 mm

Fireproof box with all of our insurance, tax, health, financial and property info, marriage license, car titles, social security information.

My Laptop with backed up computer files on flash memory card, zip drive or CD

A pair of dress shoes, a pair of work shoes and a pair of running around shoes.

Bath and Body Works Soap (My wife gets it for me..I like it. Mountain Fresh)

AC Adaptors

A couple of changes of clothes

Books..hmm..I’ll take Bonhoeffer’s ‘Cost of Discipleship’, C.S. Lewis’ ‘Screwtape Letters’ and Mere Christianity, Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, London’s Call of the Wild and Milan Kundera’s ‘Unbearable Lightness of Being’.

Golf clubs

Wedding Album

I think that’s it..I’m packed up with my family..we’re headed to Arkansas.

What? What are you tripping on? What would YOU pack if you knew there was a Category 4 Hurricane headed right toward where you live? Would you even pack, or would you be one of them ‘old school’ n’gaz that’s go ‘ride it out’?? Back when people had no other alternative, no kinfolk, no money, no means to get anywhere, they’d just buckle down and ride out the storm.

“The LORD is still in control, the LORD will take care of us.”

Whenever I hear people pull that one out, I tell them the story about the man in the boat fishing. Seems there was devout Godly man that was out in his little boat, fishing in the ocean. After awhile, a storm starts brewing out in the sea, and the waters start getting choppy and the skies are dark and ominous in the horizon. All the other little boats start heading to shore and some started calling out at the man..

“Hey!! You betta come on in..there’s a storm on it’s way!”

The man (I think he was Baptist, cuz you know them Baptist like to fish), just waved them off and let them know that his God would protect him. Next thing you know, the skies get darker and the clouds move in, all the larger boats are going in to shore and one of them even yelled over the waves..

“Hey!! You betta tie your boat along to ours..we’ll pull you in to safety with us!”

Once again the man scoffed (now that I think of it, I’m pretty sure he was a Baptist, cuz Baptist men are known to be hard headed like that.) and told them not to worry about him, cuz his Almighty Creator was STILL in control.

Well it got so bad, that the man had to do all he could just to stay IN the boat. The Coast Guard helicopter came down and threw down a rope and yelled down with a megaphone..

“Hey! This is your LAST CHANCE! Grab the rope and we’ll pull you up!!”

Once again the man refused to accept help from man and he stood resolute in his faith. He knew he worshipped a God that could calm storms and he wasn’t afraid because he knew he had the LORD on his side. wasn’t long before his boat capsized and the man ended up drowning in the midst of the storm. And once he wakes up to see himself in the presence of the LORD, he can’t believe that he died. So he corners St. Peter and asks him,

“Hey. I thought ya’ll was supposed to have my back? I put my trust in come He didn’t save me?”

St. Peter looked at him and smirked, “We came for you 3 times.”

Okay…okay..that’s enough of the Baptist jokes. This is a very serious time in Houston as well as the entire Gulf Coast. After being battered by Katrina 2 weeks ago, there is now another Category 4 Hurricane that is forming in the Gulf of Mexico…her name is Hurricane Rita.

On the Southside, Rita already has a theme song, “Now that’s a bad b’tch!”

Before Katrina, the most famous hurricane in New Orleans was Pat O’Brien’s. Even if you’re not from New Orleans, if you’ve ever visited Bourbon street, you know about Pat O’Brien’s hurricanes. They serve em in ‘to-go’ cups. You can walk the streets and get your drink on. You can also commit about any form of illicit or lewd public sex act in New Orleans too..a lot of people have..I’ve seen it. If you’re not flashing your titties on the street, then people are going to think you’re ‘acting funny’ in the Big Easy.

I bring this up, because I have so many hazy memories of partying in New Orleans. Superbowls. Bayou Classics. Essence Festivals. Jazz Festivals. Ya’ll know how they do it down there. You sleep when you get home, cuz we’re partying all night in New Orleans, cuz it don’t stop!

There are a lot of people from New Orleans and surrounding areas that were sent to Houston after the hurricane. Some of them started tripping when the got to H-town and found out that you can’t buy hard liquor after 9pm and you can’t buy beer/wine after midnight. Coming from Louisiana, where you can buy liquor 24 hours a day, it’s a bit of a culture shock to some.

“I know I’m going back to Lose’ can’t even buy nothing to drank here before noon on Sundays!!”

They put them all through security checks for weapons and a medical triage as soon as they arrived off of the buses. Then they housed them on cots in the Astrodome, Reliant Center and George R. Brown Convention Center. There’s also a lot of Katrina displaced evacuees that are in faith based shelters, churches and community centers throughout Houston. There’s also a lot of evacuees that are living with relatives and kinfolk here in Houston. I have one friend that has 14 of his wife’s family members living in their house. When time gets tight, you lean on kinfolk for help.

There’s a lot of people who THOUGHT they had some kinfolk here in Houston, but once they got here they were disappointed to learn that their ‘kinfolk’ wouldn’t answer their calls or their pleas for help. Instead they turned a deaf ear on blood relatives in times of need. That’s a sobering experience to go through.

But the people who don’t have any kinfolk that can help them, like the homeless and the generational welfare poor folks, have to depend on the government and the goodness of others to take care of them.

A lot of black people were quick to jump on Kanye West’s bandwagon when he made the comment, ‘George Bush doesn’t care about black people’ on a live telethon.

When I heard him say it, I looked over at my wife and started laughing..because I had noticed Kanye ‘tweaking’ a lil bit before that when he started talking about the media’s portrayal of black folks as ‘looters’, while the white folks were ‘survivors’…but yet they’re both taking food.

The funniest part to me was the look on Mike Meyer’s face because he was standing right next to Kanye and you could tell he was kinda like, ‘This n’ga is trippin..that’s not what the teleprompter says..I hope they don’t think I agree with him.”

I dunno..that was just funny to me.

A lot of black folks were like, ‘Yeah! Gone and put that redneck George Bush on front street! Call it out!!!”

Personally, I don’t know if George Bush cares about black people or not. I really don’t think his mind has the capacity to project that far. What I do know, is that the chain of events that took place after Katrina first hit land, has a lot more to do with politics than it does with racial prejudice.

George Bush is a Republican.

Kathleen Babineaux Blanco (the governor of Louisiana) is a Democrat.

New Orleans mayor Ray Nagin is a Democrat (but yet he supported the Republican candidate Bobby Jindal in the gubernatorial elections.).

So as you can fathom through the political tiers and layers, it’s not a leadership group that could be considered ‘close-knit’ or even friends with each other, for that matter.

Of course, it’s absolutely horrid to think that some people wasted away in the rising floodwaters, days after the storm hit in New Orleans, just because of politics, incompetence, apathy and money..but this, ladies and gentleman, is where we are in America 2005.

The reason I have no animosity toward Bush, Blanco or Nagin, is because I’ve never put all of my faith and trust in a man (white, black, Republican, Democrat, woman, whatever) to save me.

“I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help? My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth”. – Psalms 121:1,2

I think it is every person’s responsibility to do all he can to protect his family and keep them out of harms way. Along with that comes the responsibility for property. A lot of people don’t want to leave because they’re afraid of looters and thieves coming to steal their belongings when they’re away. Material things can be replaced, human life cannot.

That is the mindset I have as my wife and I make preparations to move on up to higher ground. We have a house with all of our belongings in it, that is subject to being blown away or flooded out. Maybe even have a tree crash down on it or something..I don’t know.

But what I do know, is that God is still in control. And it’s sad to say, that a lot of people in Houston were looking at the New Orleans hurricane a couple of weeks ago, and saying that that happened because that city was so sinful.

“It’s just a modern day Sodom and Gomorrah..God was just cleaning house from all that evil and witchcraft voodoo they got down there.”

If you fool yourself into thinking for one second, that that hurricane veered that way because New Orleans was so bad and Houston was so good (comparatively), then you’re falling into the common trap of ‘throwing stones’.

The tragedy in New Orleans was a tragedy of the uninformed and the unprepared. People who couldn’t get out of the city had no choice. But those who just falsely assumed that Katrina would be like the other storms that they had rode out in New Orleans, had a rude awakening.

The wildest part, is that New Orleans actually caught a break, because they were on the west side of the hurricane eye. The northeastern quadrant or ‘dirty side’ of the hurricane is the part that packs the most force. When you see all those casinos and building toppled along the Mississippi coastline? That’s from that ‘dirty side’ right there.

New Orleans bigger problem was the fact that most of the city lies beneath sea level and the levees were breached in certain areas. Who knows..if the ‘dirty side’ of the hurricane had hit New Orleans as a Category 5, it could have completely destroyed the levees and caused exponentially more deaths and destruction.

Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale

So no, we shouldn’t ever look on another place or people and their hardship incurred by ‘natural’ causes and assume it to be a punishment sent directly from above. Instead, we should all realize that we are all on the brink of a disaster happening in our own homes, if not for the Grace and Mercy of the LORD.

Does George Bush care about black people? I don’t know. What I do know, is that this whole tragedy has heightened the level of awareness when it comes to disaster management. They currently have several thousand National Guard troops in position in Austin to help if called upon. They also have a United States Navy ship, following the Hurricane into the Texas Gulf Coast, to serve in any capacity needed after the storm hits.

Of course, this is Texas, which is G-Dubya’s home state. Maybe Kanye got it wrong, and instead of blacks, it’s actually Louisiana that Bush doesn’t care about. It makes about as much sense as anything else.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

September 20, 2005

"So what iz you sayin?”

(smiling) Already!

Don’t start with that Southside ebonic stuff, I was asking you a question, what does that title mean?

Slim Thug has a song out called “I know you heard of that’ and he’s got Bun B on the track. And on Bun B’s part to the song, he says, “If you ain’t yelling ‘free Pimp C’..then what iz you sayin??”

Who’s Slim Thug, Bun B and Pimp C?

They're all rappers that operate out of Texas. Slim Thug is from the Northside of Houston, Bun-B and Pimp C came up representing Port Arthur, Texas ("Short Texas mf, that's where I stay..") they're the rapping dynamic duo known as UGK. Bun B is still in the free world grinding and doing his thang, and that lyric I quoted is a shout out to his podna on lock, cuz Pimp C is in jail right now.

Oh. So what does all that have to do with you being a 3rd string Sunday School teacher??

The point of ‘So What Iz You Sayin’, was for people to reflect on their own personal intentions and motivations in life. A lot of folks are just walking around here aimlessly like a bobblhead doll, with no focus or purpose in life. Other’s are just caught up in a whole bunch of bullsh’t that isn’t productive or helpful to anyone, they’re the ‘Being Bobby Brown’ 24-hours a day type folks.

“Being Bobby Brown’ type folks?? What is that supposed to mean??

Have you ever seen that show?

Yeah! We watch it EVRA week!

And when you watch that show, how does it help improve your life?

It makes me feel better about myself, seeing rich and famous folks like Bobby and Whitney act like crack heads! (laughing)

So that helps you?

Maybe not helps, but it is entertaining to watch.

Well, at some point you’ve got to put that junk food down and eat you some real Soul Food. Some real nourishment that will feed your spirit.

Yeah, but everybody didn’t have that training in the Bible and stuff like you, you can’t expect everybody to be on your page.

I don’t ask or expect anyone to be on my page, if anything I’m trying to make other’s begin to think about what it really means to be on God’s page.

There you go again. You know D..I never realized that you were so religious.

Religious? You think I’m religious?

Yeah! I mean, look at the stuff you write..seems like everything I read from you lately is telling folks about Jesus or why they should go to church and all that kinda stuff. Isn’t that being religious?

I guess it depends on what you consider ‘religion’ to be. In my mind, I have a ways to go toward being more religious, if anything, I’m just becoming more obedient.

Obedient? Obedient to who??

Obedient to God’s Word. When you read the Bible, you’ll see that it has instructions for us to follow.

Yeah yeah, I know about all the ‘Thou shalt not’s’ and all that stuff!

I’m not talking about the things we’re NOT supposed to do, I’m talking about the things that Jesus WANTS us to do. One of the undeniable strengths of the Bible are the instructions for living this life that it has for all people who consider themselves children of God. Do you consider yourself a child of God?

Of course! We’re ALL God’s children.

Well, if you’re part of the family, then you need to be out serving. Everybody in this family has to work, your life was not meant to be a free ride

Serving what?

Serving the Word, the explicit instructions in the Great Commissioin that Jesus left before His ascension was very clear; “Go ye therefore and teach all nations. – Matthew 28:19a”

Oh yeah, I remember that part. But I thought that was just for His disciples to do?

If you have been blessed to come into the knowledge of Christ, then that makes you a disciple too.

So this whole Christianity thing is like some pyramid scheme?

No it’s not. Pyramid schemes limit you to what people below and above you are doing. When you come into the knowledge of the LORD, there are no limitations. You don’t have to go through another person, we all have access to the Father through the Son.

But doesn’t it bother you that so many people don’t have the Bible training and exposure like you? I mean, some people are completely ignorant to what the Bible says, and they might not even know who Jesus is!! So why would they be sent to hell for something that they never even heard about??

I think about that ALL the time..that’s one of the main reasons why you see me out here serving now. People who read D.E. Washington won’t be able to say that nobody ever told them.

Yeah, but don’t you think that some people won’t read it, because they REALLY don’t want to know??

Sure, everybody knows that ‘ignorance is bliss’. But you can play the stupid role only for so long..God’s going to hold every soul accountable. Not just the one’s who ignored the Word, but also the one’s who were blessed with the knowledge, but yet they did nothing with it. ‘To whom much is given, of him shall be much required’ (Lk 12:47-48)

Whoa. Now you’re trying to tell me that once you believe in Christ, you’re OBLIGATED to start preaching?

You’re obligated into doing whatever you can to let other’s know about the Saviour. Jesus taught about this very thing in Matthew 25:14-30, called the Parable of the Talents. A wealthy man was going out of town and he left his servants with different measure of talents. He gave one 5 talents, he gave another 2 and another just 1.

Talents? You mean like being able to sing or dance?

No, in this instance, a talent was actually a measure of weight. So after he gave out the talents, he left. When he came back, he found that the dude who got 5 talents had doubled his to 10, and the dude that had 2 talents doubled his to 4. But the dude who had 1 talent didn’t get out and ‘work’ it, instead he just buried it in a hole and when the master came back, all he had was that 1 talent.

What’s wrong with that? At least he didn’t blow it off!

The problem with that, is that those talents represent the gifts that God bestows upon all of us. When you have the joy of Christ in your heart, it’s not enough to just go to church and go home, keeping it all to yourself, ‘burying it in a hole’ so to speak. You’re supposed to get out there and ‘flip it’ for the kingdom or else you’ll be labeled a lazy and unprofitable servant and you know what happens to the unprofitable servant right?


“And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” – Matthew 25:30

Oh. That sounds kinda…scary.

Hmph! Scary ain’t even the word!! It motivates ME to make sure that I’m not THAT n’ga!

But what if you don’t know what your talents are??

Then you should pray to the LORD to guide you toward your purpose. Go to Him in prayer and ask what more can you do to uplift His kingdom here on earth.

Hmmm…I don’t know if I’m ready to hear that answer.

That’s the problem a lot of people have, that’s why they keep their faith hidden from the world or to only a select group, because they don’t want to deal with the responsibility that comes along with being a publicly confessed Christian in an unbelieving world. It’s easy believing inside of a church, but once you get out into the world, that’s where your light is needed the most.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven” – Matthew 5:16

Oh. So that’s what you’re sayin then huh?


Wednesday, September 14, 2005

So What Iz You Sayin???

When I set out in search of God’s purpose for D.E. Washington, the expedition coincided with a lot of other things that were going on in my life. Reading Rick Warren’s instant classic, ‘A Purpose Driven Life’ really opened my spirit to become more in tune with God’s purpose for me.

You have to get away from the crowd, away from the hustle and bustle, away from the TV or radio; you have to get into a spirit of meditation. Quiet. Still. Wait on the LORD. And when your breathing is even and you’re focusing on the LORD, yearning to feel Him, going before Him in prayer. Complete humbleness of spirit. Utter submission. That’s when your ear becomes more attentive to His voice.

That’s the mode I had to get in as I read the book during the month that our pastor led us to read it together as a family. I didn’t do it as a singular act; I fasted and studied a chapter a day for 40 days along with my church family. Fasting during the daylight hours, sunrise to sunset. Meditating on the LORD and praying for Him to guide us toward our purpose in life and our purpose as a church. It may sound kinda creepy to the unlearned observer, but fasting is an awakening experience that will open your eyes to a lot of levels of the game that you never even realized were there before.

It made me go back and look at a lot of my intentions in life. The goals that I had set for myself had to be re-evaluated. Sometimes it’s necessary to call an emergency meeting if you realize that your ship is off-course and headed for destruction. Whatever it is you’re doing, if all of the honor and glory doesn’t point to the LORD? then you need to re-evaluate your game plan. Call an audible at the line mane or call time-out and consult with the Word.

I realized that a lot of my intentions were rooted in personal pride and honor. I want to win the PEN/Hemingway Award for first time authors, and a Pulitzer Prize for literature. I want to become a best selling author that’s on the set, chatting with Oprah, chopping it up with Letterman. I’m ready to hit this lick!! All eyes on D!!!

But as I meditated on the LORD, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the soul food that has been fed to me over the years, as well as the hands that fed me. A lot of people ask me about my religious affiliation. Not to be confrontational, they just read my Statement of Faith and they’re curious.

My reluctance to broadcast my church family isn’t about being ashamed of my church or its teachings. I remain relatively silent about my church because of my intent of making sure that the world realizes that what you read at, and the books and works published by Servinemup Ink are not commissioned works by my pastor, my Sunday School teachers, my church family or any of the Baptist delegations. What you’re reading now is what spilled out of the heart of D.E. Washington, a Southside Christian Young Adult writer. Blood, sweat and tears baby...mmmhmm..ya’ll see it.

I would never want to have people misconstrue my words or my grasp of Christian theology as being exactly the same thing that is taught at my church or even what my blood kinfolk believe. Everyone is going to walk into the knowledge of the LORD on their own level. It doesn’t matter if you have a PhD or a GED, God is going to meet you at your level of understanding. It just so happens that I find holiness and obedience at the warm fires of the Baptist faith. I grew up in it and when I came back to the family, it had all the tenets of faith and service that are required of all Believers in God’s Word, so it is where I worship and where I have my family serving.

In the end, the Word of God is the judge of us all. But conflicts arise when you have different interpretations and manifestations of what people proclaim ‘What thus saith the LORD.”

That’s why you have so many different churches and denominations. They have the Bible, but everybody has their own little ‘twerk’ that they put into action. I think brother C.S. Lewis did a wonderful job of expounding my positioning in regards to different denominations and affiliations in his quote from the preface of Mere Christianity that I used at the end of Ride or Die.

“And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which please you best by its paint and paneling. In plain language, the question should never be; ‘Do I like that kind of service?’ but ‘are these doctrines true; Is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular door-keeper?’"

Our church has a church covenant that we recite every 1st Sunday, which is our communion Sunday. There’s a part of the covenant that I don’t participate in as a vow. I don’t know if this means I’m not really part of the church or not, but my understanding of Scripture does not lead me to believe that God mandates us to abstain from the sale or use of alcohol I don’t say that part, I just remain quiet. Because God hasn’t given me that level of understanding, at least not yet.

I’ve heard teachers and preachers expound abstinence as being holy, but the way I understand the Word, drinking wine is not a sin, but being drunk off that wine is. So to me, there’s a line of consumption to be adhered to, just like with overindulging in food. It’s not what goes in, but rather what comes out of the mouth that causes corruption.

If you know that as soon as you take a sip or two of that drank, that you’re going to start cursing, talking all up under women’s clothes, clowning, ready to fight, ‘getting outside of yourself’ as we say on the Southside, then you don’t need to drink. But if you know you can enjoy a glass of wine or a beer, or a shot of tequila while fellowshipping with family and friends and keep the Spirit? Then I don’t have a problem with that, but that’s just me. A lot of Baptist would tend to disagree, but hey, at least I’m not Catholic! :) (that’s a joke)

Even when I bring up the fact that Jesus’ very first recorded miracle was turning water into wine at a wedding, I’ve been dismissed with the interpretation that that was non-alcoholic grape juice.

Grape juice huh? Well it seems that those folks knew when the GOOD wine showed up, so that means something..but, we shouldn’t waste time arguing about such trivialities to the big picture of the battle. That’s one of Satan’s main weapons, division. Causing confusion, turmoil and strife. He is the father of lies and the truth is not in him.

But I’m down for my church family, they raised me and play a very important part in me being the person that I am today. From the pastors to the ushers to the Sunday School teachers, to the choir members, deacons, missionaries..the Southside village definitely raised D. Washington ya’ll.

A lot of people know that my parents teach my Sunday School class. They teach the Young Adults at our church, of which my wife and I attend every Sunday, along with a nice group of married couples, singles, married folks who spouses’ stay at home, single parents, college students, resource adults, we have it’s a family fo real.

The church we attend is Blueridge Baptist Church located on 9621 Chesterfield in Sunnyside. Blueridge is one of the sister communities to the sub-division that I grew up in called Sugarvalley. Geographically, Sugarvalley is bordered by Reedwood and Blueridge to the North and it’s a stones throw across Sims bayou from Cloverland to the east.

A lot of people have heard of Cloverland and those SA Fools, Lil Flip? Botany Boys? Mister Mister Scarface? Robin Huff? J Yeah..them n’gaz from the land of the Clover, ya’ll know it ain’t over.

Going back to the analogy that Brother C.S. Lewis made with the hallway and the rooms: when you’re choosing a place to worship, and a room to grow cozy by the fire, then it’s always best to start in the community you live. If there is a church close to your house which upholds the doctrines of the LORD? Then that’s where you should serve.

Some people don’t like change, and they’d rather drive across town and go to the church that they grew up in, which is fine. You are responsible in going to the place where you feel you can best serve the LORD. Instead of getting caught up in the hype of the large congregation mega-churches, there are a lot of people who have no problem of fellowshipping within a small and intimate fellowship of Believers. It doesn’t matter if it’s a one room church or a garage, the Scripture says wherever 2 or 3 are gathered together in my name (Matt 18:20).

You don’t have to have a mass choir to praise the LORD. The parking lot doesn’t have to be like a traffic jam for church to be crunk. You can find a church where you have no problem whatsoever finding a seat every Sunday and getting fed. In the end, the question is, “Do you feel the Spirit moving in that church? Is holiness there?”

My uncle who now serves as the pastor of Eastern Star Baptist Church in Port Arthur, Texas, is who first started taking me and my sister to Sunday School at Blueridge. We were still small children and neither of my parents was ‘in’ the church. So he’d take me and my sister with him to our Sunday School class every Sunday morning. My mother would make sure we were clothed, fed and ready to go.

My first Sunday School teacher is a wonderful medaled soldier by the name of Sister Azelia White. Those who are up on Texas history may recognize this name. She was the first black woman to get her pilot’s license in the state of Texas. Her late husband was one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen. She’s in her 90’s (yeah, you heard me her 90' women have it going on like that!) now, still on that battlefield for the LORD, still teaching, constantly serving with a humbleness of spirit. She drives herself to church and cuts her own lawn. You might even see her out on the median on Scott Street tending to the city’s property as well as her own. She’s a real servant and I know that it is a blessing from the LORD allowing me to have a person like her in my life.

She teaches the Beginner’s class. From the time they can walk, children are sent to Sis. White’s class. She teaches them songs and tells all of the wonderful stories about Jesus.

Class? Who got up on that cross and died for our sins?


I actually didn’t spend too much time in Sis. White’s class, because although I was small for my age, it wasn’t long before they realized that I knew how to read. And once you know how to read, that’s when it’s time to go to the Primary Boys class.

In the Primary Boys class, I was ushered into the waiting hands of Brother Wallace. Our assortment of students included me, my podna Byron Lewis, Monte Ashley, Kelly Thompson, those Blueridge twins, Keith and Kevin White, Cleveland and Patrick Batiste, my boy Curvey and several other Southside hardheads that used to show up for Sunday School because their mama or grandma made em get up and come to church.

Brother Wallace is a challenging instructor, as you can often hear as he bristles and snorts and demands more from his students, even in the men’s Sunday school class that he teaches today. And when you consider most of the other dudes in our class back then weren’t too eager to learn or well read, then you can understand how my literacy level caused me to stand out from the rest of the pack. It wasn’t that I was more holy, it was just that I could read better and had a better level of understanding. I asked questions and Brother Wallace was always on point in answering the question and showing us the Scripture that supported his answer. He was then and he still is today, the consummate Bible teacher.

Now the sad part is, that a lot of those brothers that were in Blueridge Baptist Church’s primary boys Sunday school class back in the late 70’s/early 80’s with me are no longer on this side of the grave. Some are locked up right now, or walking around with a felony conviction (or two) on their backs. Byron Lewis was found murdered in his bed. The victim of a quadruple homicide, someone came into their house one night and killed him, his parents and one of his brothers. Keith and Kevin White were both murdered on these Southside streets.

These are all people that I sat with, talked to, studied the lesson with, wrestled with, and got in trouble for clowning in church with..these brothers are no longer with us. I pray that I will see them on that other side, because no matter what they may have done in life, I know that they all knew about the goodness of Christ. They learned about Him just like I did. But the question comes, why would God allow such tragedies to happen to them? And better yet, why did he save me??

I’ve learned that some things are not to be revealed just yet. Some things will not be revealed until the end. But what is revealed, is the Grace of God. We had a visiting minister this past Sunday that preached that Grace is when God bestows blessing on us that we don’t even deserve and Mercy is when He withholds punishment for sin that we DO deserve.

Surely grace and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life.

And you ask me why I’m out here servinemup? Hmph. You betta open your mouth and tell somebody that Jesus is real. The Scripture says that if we don’t praise the LORD, then the rocks will start crying out in our place (Lk 19:40). I don’t know about you, but I don’t want any rocks crying out in my place.

One of the most frequent prayers that I pray, is:

“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” – Psalms 19:14

Everyone knows that’s from the Psalms, but it’s a prayer that I used to hear my pastor say ALL the time. Whenever we had altar call, and he prayed for the congregation as we all assembled together close to the altar, some on their knees, everybody holding hands, coming together before the LORD as a united fellowship, Pastor Richardson would always make sure to say that prayer.

The late Rev. W.D. Richardson was the 2nd pastor of Blueridge Baptist Church and the pastor that baptized me and my sister. Our church just celebrated our 50th anniversary this year and there was a wonderful reunion of family members, preachers, teachers, deacons, musicians and vocalist that grew up in our worship family, that have gone on to become fruitful laborers themselves. A lot of this is because of the monumental work that Pastor Richardson did while he was here on earth.

Pastor Richardson witnessed to a lot of souls. He sowed a lot of seed. He ushered a lot of people into the knowledge of Christ. And you will never meet a man with such a humble and gentle spirit. But you couldn’t play him for soft either. Too many people mistake kindness for weakness, but you couldn’t play Pastor Richardson like that. You could see the strength behind his meekness whenever he got up into that pulpit and got lifted by the Spirit.

You know when it was really getting to him, because when these moments hit, this soft spoken man would start screaming into the microphone so that everyone could hear his testimony about the hand of amazing grace that God had laid in his life.

At the core, every testimony is a personal witness to God being revealed to you. When you know that it is God and only God that is speaking to you, it will make you go tell somebody. And one thing that is common, is that when God calls you, He calls you by your first name.

That’s the only way I ever knew what Pastor Richardson’s real name was, I thought it was just W.D., but those Sundays when that spirit would hit and he’d preach to us about how God called his name, how God called out, “WILSON!!” There was an unshakeable conviction that resonated throughout his voice. And when you see another person who is that strong in their faith, it will strengthen your faith.

So yeah..Blueridge Baptist Church mane. Pastor Richardson has gone on up to that upper room several years ago, but his wife, Sis. Richardson was in church with us this past Sunday, along with his daughter Mary. No matter how far you go, you will always be a part of the family.

The current pastor of Blueridge is Rev. Ceola Curley, Jr. Some pastors refuse to visit their sick and shut in, all they do is preach. But pastor Curley is continually doing all that he can to help the family in our times of need. Of course, some may feel that I’m a bit biased, because Pastor Curley isn’t just my pastor, he’s also my uncle.

He’s married to my father’s only sister, so that makes him my kinfolk. I’ve always had a special place in my heart for him, because when I was a child, back before he was Pastor Curley, but rather Uncle Junior, I always thought that he was Superfly. He had a lot of slick pimped out outfits, bell bottoms, fur coats and platform shoes and he knew how to put that process on his hair to make it wave on up and get fluffy! I thought he was Goldie the Mack and he was always down to help me or teach me some game.

He taught me how to switch the gears on my first 3-wheel all-terrain vehicle. He used to let me drive his car even when I could barely see over the steering wheel. Definitely one of the coolest uncles you could ever have. And it is through knowing him and seeing how the LORD has worked with him in his life, that I will always have respect for him as my pastor, my uncle, my friend and my brother in Christ.

If I was to ever end up in any kind of trouble and had to get myself together before the police caught me? He’d be the first person I’d go consult, because I know he’ll keep it real with me.

Too many people want pastors and preachers that are going to make them feel good and assuage their egos. There is no compromise to the gospel of Christ. If you ain’t ready to deal with all of the requirements that God places on you and your life as a believer, then you’re not ready to be real. Don’t hate the preacher, get in the game fo real.

“That pastor talk about tithing too much! All he care about is money!”

“Why he gotta be calling out all the homosexuals and fornicators every Sunday??”

If you’re not ready to deal with that real, then I wouldn’t suggest you come to Blueridge Baptist. Because we’ve got some real soldiers who are out there grinding everyday on the frontlines and they’re looking good when they do it too. Serving the LORD.

It is the Mission of the Blueridge Baptist Church

(Psalm 34:3 * Matthew 28:19-20)

° To magnify the LORD in corporate worship and individual devotion;

° To evangelize our community;

° To baptize confessed converts; and

° To equip the saints to share the gospel message for personal and spiritual growth, that impacts kingdom building.

9621 Chesterfield Drive * Houston, TX 77051* 713.734.5444 (phone) Ceola Curley, Jr. Pastor.

Sunday School 9:30am

Morning Worship 11:00am (we’re normally out before 1pm, you’ll still have time to catch the end of the 1st half of the football games!)

Now the question comes up, is exactly where do I fit in to this family? What is my position?? Well, I’m still growing in my faith and work, but I’m currently the 3rd string Sunday School teacher for our class. My mother had to have some surgery done last year and my father was right there by her side during her recovery, so I was recruited to teach the class in their absence.

Amazingly, the church didn’t crumble to pieces and our classroom didn’t burst into flames after I taught the lesson. My fellow students were very gracious in their assessment of my teaching ability. Sister Levi even went so far to say as we were leaving for the sanctuary after class, ‘Well, at least we know that we’ll have someone to teach the class if our regular teachers can’t make it.’

My father was asking me how things went after church was over and I told him it went fine. He kinda smiled at me and nodded his head,

“I knew you could do it. Me and your mama have been talking and we think it would probably be best that you eventually take over the class. Because we’re getting further up in age and it’s for the young adults. You will be able to relate to them about stuff like going to the club and smoking dope and all that stuff. I can’t teach them nothing about that.”

I couldn’t help but laugh when he said what he said, because I know he was just being sincere and real. You’ve got to go get em where they at. That’s one of the fundamentals principles of fishing and my father is a world class fisherman. Not just off the bank either, he ain't scared to get out there in that deep water. He’s the one that taught me how to bait my hook and throw my line out into the water. He’s the one that’s helping me to teach my son how to navigate the waters. And the direction and counsel that he has given me in my life is an invaluable element to my testimony.

My mother is on a whole different level of real. She’s taught over 10,000 students in her days of being a public school math teacher for Houston Independent School District. From her years of teaching at Sterling High School and Hartman Middle School, there are many Southside hardheads that learned basic math principles from her. If you didn’t learn it, then you wasn’t trying. Because it definitely wasn’t because her voice wasn’t audible, because she can talk louder than most. She’s from a large family.

But the knowledge and grasp she has on the Scripture, is such that many preachers (and pastors) have sought her counsel when they were preparing their sermons. There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit (I Cor 12:4). We all serve in the manner in which we are called.

My mother is a Sunday school teacher, a missionary, she’s been the vacation Bible school principal, the church greeter and a warm soul that remembers the sick and shut in, and always has a to-go plate for any hungry soul that crosses her path. My father teaches Sunday School and Bible study, he cooks for church functions, drives the church bus, teaches seminars and does whatever he can to help the church. I’m a 3rd string teacher and I give the announcements and welcome of visitors for 11 o’clock service. My wife is one of the praise dance instructors (along with Sis. Chee-Chee), our daughter is a praise dancer and choir member, our son is a choir member.

“-but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” – Joshua 24:21d

So if you’re looking for a place to serve, you’re more than welcome to come to Blueridge Baptist Church, there’s definitely room for more real soldiers. There’s a lot of things you can put your time and effort into, but if you’re not intent on telling folks that ‘Jesus is real!”..then what is you sayin??

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Ride or Die

“Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” – Psalms 19:14

I’ve learned that whenever you quote Scriptures, it will grab people’s attention in a way like no other. A lot of this attention will come from people who don’t read or study the Bible, they just figure it must be a pretty good book, cuz so many people study it religiously and they usually seem to be pretty good folks.

These people are ‘Bible curious’. Not ready to drink deeply themselves, but whenever the Word crosses their palate, they always taste a hint of familiarity. Their spiritual creature is yearning for more, but their flesh is still in control of their domain, so they abstain from any heavy infusion of the Word because they know it’s going to change them and they’re not quite ready to swallow that red pill of truth.

They might listen to an entertaining televangelist from time to time, but they’re not in the frame of spirit to follow ANY theology religiously. I call these people spiritual spectators. They’re on the sideline or in the stands, but they have yet to suit up in their full armor of God and get in the game. Spiritual infants don’t last long in the trenches, if you’re going to get on that frontline of the battle; you’ve got to get suited up. (read Soldiers in the Hood).

On the other end of the spectrum, are the Believers who see the Scriptures, so they take a closer scrutiny of the words that I write around the Scriptures. There’s supposed to do that too. if you are a part of the family of God, then it is your duty to defend the gospel. Whenever you see someone misspeaking, or taking Scriptures out of context, then you’re supposed to call it out.

I have a public Guestbook/Comments portion on this website that I read from time to time, especially those times when my spirit is running low. If you go through it, you will see a nice assortment of family and friends who have stopped by and showed love for their homie, brother, cousin, son, husband or friend, D.E. Washington.

There’s even more people who I’ve never even met before who got turned on to from a friend, family member or co-worker and they show their appreciation for the way that I get down with my pen. Thank you.

I read a lot of other blogs and websites out there on the web and a lot of writers (or bloggers in this case) have people coming at them kinda foul. Making very rude comments which are quite disrespectful in a lot of instances. Fortunately, all the people that have taken an issue to my writing style have done so in a private manner via email (

My biggest criticism (to date) comes from the people who take offense to my use of curse words, especially my casualty with the ghetto euphemism, ‘n’ga’. Some people live in worlds were they rarely (if ever) have to hear that word. In my house, we treat the word ‘n’ga’ as a curse word. Our children aren’t allowed to say it. not to each other or not when referring to another person.

When I’m on the phone with some of my podnas that I grew up with, the kind of strong brothers that I can be all the way real with without worrying about being offensive. I still use it. I’m from the Southside of Houston, Texas mane. If you’re offended or throwed off by the word ‘ng’a’, then you’re not going to make it through your day without being upset.

It’s not an excuse to use it, but rather a clarification. My mother and my sister, pastors, preachers, deacons, Sunday School teachers. there’s a large mix of folks that come check out regularly. When I do use curse words, I feel that I keep them in proper context, there’s a time and a place for everything.

Almost all of my non-black friends that read usually are a bit surprised..

“I’ve never even heard you talk like that before D.”

I have a tendency to jump in with the Romans and do as they do, when it comes to communicating, but I am mindful of the audience to which I am a part of. When you adopt the pure dialect of a region, and its part of your native tongue, then there are some things you’re just not going to see the same as an outsider who didn’t grow up or live within your given sphere of communication.

Are you feeling me mane? Tu entiendes?

Si yo empezar habla espanol, mis compadres de el barrio (Southside!) no estan etienden, pero las gente que hablar espanol como dice, ‘Orale, Ese!’

That’s probably one of the most messed up sentences ever written in Spanish. But those people that can speak Spanish,like my podna and brother in Christ, Luis (pictured) can feel it. It’s a thing that I’ve had to wrestle with for a minute now. If you’re going to shine the Light for a darkened world, how are you going to make them FEEL you??

People get it a bit twisted, I don’t write for folks who already go to church. I don’t write for people who have already bowed down, people who have already repented and turned from their wicked ways and followed the gospel of Christ.

God sent me down here to serve these fools. At least, that is the latest instruction that He has issued to me. Before you even ask, no, He didn’t appear to me in the midst of a burning bush. He didn’t write this down on a wall for me to read. God spoke to me through His Word.

Once you bow up and swallow that red pill of truth, you know it’s just an analogy for drinking from the cup of our LORD.

Everybody ain’t ready to take that shot to the head and drink all of it. Instead they’re sipping on it, taking their time..easing into the faith. Because they’re not ready for any BIG change in their lives, they just want to take baby steps.

It’s funny how a lot of people who only want to take baby steps toward God always seem to be the same ones that want those BIG blessings from God.

“Protect me LORD, save me from these haters.”

“Heal my body LORD.”

“I’m broke LORD, and I don’t know where my next meal is coming me please.”

Some people like to sugarcoat and deliver that gospel-lite to non-Believers..

“It’s go be alright, just try to do the best you can, the LORD loves you no matter what.”

Yeah, the LORD does love all of us no matter what, but if you continue to have a hardened heart and if you continue to refuse to bow down and submit to the ONE true and Almighty God? Then you’re going to find yourself locked up.

Not necessarily in jail (although He might come into your heart then), but when I say locked up, I mean locked up in life. You might even have a nice job, nice family, nice house, nice ride, good health..but you will still have emptiness in your life. You’ll be tossing and turning in your sleep, unable to find rest. You might try to exhaust yourself through your career, or through your kids. but you’re still going to have that emptiness.

Some people even think they just need a mate. They think they need a husband or a wife to complete them, to finally bring them their happiness. But what they don’t understand is that there are a lot of married people that have the aforementioned pedigree..beautiful people, sexy couples, but yet they have a chasm that is keeping them from reaching happiness.

No matter what they do, or how they switch the money up, or how they handle the kids, they will never be able to reach that point of bliss until they swallow that red pill of truth and become real players in the game.

Society and common etiquette will make you believe that happiness is gained by worldly possessions and worldly status. Get educated, get paid, raise your kids, acquire assets, stack that paper and retire at 50.

If ain’t nobody told you yet, earthly possessions ain’t what the game is about. That’s something that the enemy throws out there to distract all the attention deficit n’gaz. Get them n’gaz caught up into worrying about bills, cars, promotions and distract them from focusing on that real.

If Hurricane Katrina and it’s aftermath hasn’t taught us anything else, it should teach us that the most important things in life do not have a price tag. But what is invaluable, what is more precious than diamonds and platinum, is your soul.

And until you start feeding your spiritual being (read Soul Food), until you put your entire essence under submission to the Almighty Creator, you shall never be complete (no matter how much you THINK you’re ballin.)

So what now? How do you know if you’re one of those spectators on the outside of the game looking in?

Look, when you study the Bible, God will reveal Himself to you. He will prick your heart and once that Spirit moves ready to ride baby. Because there’s much work to do out here in the game.

The beast is roving to and fro seeking to devour our children, seeking to ravage our wives, seeking to destroy our husbands. If there is a frontline to the battlefield, if there is a critical boundary which is being assaulted, it is our family structure.

God’s plan for marriage and God’s plan for the family are very descript. The men are to be the priest of the family. Just like the Levitical priesthood, the men are to serve as the one who goes before the LORD to give accounts and prayers for the entire family. The wife is to work with the husband in unison. That’s why the Scripture says, ‘And the two shall become one flesh.’ Once you get married, ‘we are one’.

Teddy Pendergrass got a lot of people off track, making you think it was a ’50-50’ love that was required. But if you’re going to step into the family, and call upon the full blessing that the LORD has prepared for you and your life, then you have to put that 50-50 thinking away, and realize that the real ratio is 100-100. Both the husband and the wife have to go all out in the paint if it’s going to work.

Imagine you’re in one of those 2 person canoes, with the man paddling and the woman paddling. Instead of both working together diligently trying to get to that Promised Land, you often have two people too worried about what the other one is doing instead of focusing on what more they can do.

“You ain’t paddling enough! I ain’t about to do ALL the work!”

“Aww n’ga! I ain’t about to waste my time paddling and you don’t even know which direction you want to go in!! One minute we’re going here, the next minute we’re going there! Make up your mind!!”

And instead of making their way to the other side, they’re stuck out in that vast deep, looking at each other crazy. Arms folded, knots all in the forehead, both of them pondering exit strategies..

“I would be better off paddling by myself, she ain’t nothing but dead weight, a lot more weight than I married..that’s for sure..hmph!.”

“I don’t even know why I got into the boat with this weak n’ga..I shoulda got in the boat with that other dude, at least his boat had a big motor! Hmph!”

As long as you have one foot out the boat, ready to bail out, then it’s going to breed feelings of insecurity and instability. You gotta have some trust. That’s going out there on faith, some people just can’t do it, even though they’ve been married for years.

But I know that if I can write one word that will plant a seed, that God will give the increase for one man to realize the error in his ways, and repent and submit himself to the will of the LORD? Then I know that my work has not been in vain. All it takes is matter how small. It’ll cover a multitude of sins too, and I’ve got a lot of em.

Some people get ‘saved’ and all of a sudden they become holier than thou. Acting as if they’ve never done anything wrong in their life. All Christians have a past and all sinners have a future. I’m not on a pedestal like that, instead God put me right down here in the pit on the Southside of Houston, Texas. Just like most other hard heads from this area, I’ve broken all 10 of the commandments at some time in my life.

It’s not a boast, but rather a reality. Because I know a lot of people think that they’re just too ‘throwed’ to come to God. It really threw me off when Jesus broke off that part about thinking about sinning was just as bad as the real act, I threw up my hands in defeat!

“I MUST be going to hell, cuz I can’t control my thoughts and I be thinking some WILD stuff!!”

I almost was resentful about it, because I felt that God gave me this brain that thinks all this throwed off stuff, why would he hold me accountable for a natural thing that I can’t control??

But the thing about this Christian walk, is that it is not a static position. It is a journey. We move from glory to glory. It’s kinda like those little toys, where you can take off the top half of the egg shaped doll and it will reveal another smaller doll inside, which can be taken off and so on.

Everyday in the Christian walk, is like looking up to see that the world is a lot bigger than what you initially perceived. I see things on the level of the universe, the globe, the continent, the country, the state, the city, the hood, the family, the marriage and right there in the core, the only iteration that doesn’t ring of hollowness, that one level you have to get to reach a solid peace, is that relationship you have with the Father.

If you don’t have a personal relationship with the LORD, then whatever you do in life will be like building a house on sand. You have to anchor your soul in the LORD if you’re going to be able to withstand those storms that pass through life, there is no other way. You can’t buy your way to happiness. You can’t work your way to happiness. You definitely can't drink or smoke your way to happiness. The only way you’re going to get that everlasting peace, the only way you’re going to have that joy, is by accepting the gift that the LORD has extended for ALL to partake of.

Just because nobody else in your family or in your circle of friends doesn’t believe that God manifested Himself here on earth in the form of the Son. Just because all your homies are too afraid to take that REAL ride and jump in the battleship of the LORD, don’t let their reluctance and unbelief keep you from accepting the invitation that God extends to all of His children.

We’re getting closer and closer to that day when everybody on the face of this earth will have heard the gospel of Christ. Those who are passed away without ever hearing about Him will be judged by the law that they believed in. But those who are alive and who have been repeatedly preached, taught, sung, told about the goodness and mercy of Christ? There will be no excuse for them.

“I didn’t swallow that red pill cuz I didn’t KNOW it was YOU!! If you would have just given me a sign or something to let me KNOW that it was really you God, then I woulda done right! Can’t I just have that chance for a special sign so that I will know?”

I dunno, maybe God will give you a special sign that you request, but there have been others who asked the LORD for a special request for their people still alive and the LORD just shook His head and told him that they already had a sign, He gave us all the Law and the Prophets.

Everybody has a Bible in their house, but few are actually studying it. When you read the Bible, you will see it is divided into two parts, the Old Testament and the New Testament. The Old Testament is what is referred to as the Law and the Prophets. It’s what the Jewish nation refers to as the Torah. Jesus ain’t a new thang, He was already around, even back in the Old Testament, even before the formation of the earth.

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our own image, according to Our likeness.” –Genesis 1:26a NKJV

That ‘Us’ is a singular word with plural representation ‘Elohim’, an early indication of the triune nature of God. A lot of people have all kinda excuses of why they won’t seek, why they won’t study that Word to show themselves approved unto God. In the end, they’re just that ‘excuses’ and until you bow up and stand up to be the soldier that God had planned for you to be since before you were even formed in your mother’s womb, you’re going to be stuck.

I’m not telling you this is a preacher, or a man of the cloth. I’m telling you this as another soul that found himself trapped within the belly of the beast and it wasn’t until I got down on my knees and repented and called on the name of the LORD to save me, to guide me, to deliver me, to redeem me that I found my peace.

It wasn’t until I gave up my pride of who I thought I was and instead submitted myself to the LORD’s will..not my will, HIS will.

It wasn’t until I gave myself to the battle, that I actually knew who I was. But now that the LORD has delivered me (Thankya Jesus!), I know I can’t sit on my hands. There’s much work to be done out here. And I know if I can pimp my pen and sow these seeds into these fools heads and let them enjoy learning the game, but at the same time knock em upside the head with that REAL?

I’ll be doing what the LORD commissioned me to do. The LORD has a way of letting you know that He’s right there with you too. It’ll be like being a pit bull in a fight with another dog. All the while that you’re taking those bites from the enemy, you know the LORD is right there by your side, soothing you, motivating you, making you impervious to the pain. After awhile, you start liking the pain, because every bump, bruise, scratch and wound that you suffer for the kingdom is another crown.

Everyone who reads Job can realize that Satan definitely has the power to choke you on out of here. But Satan can only go as far as God allows him to go. If God says that Satan can’t touch you, then he can’t touch you..period.

God didn’t give me a protective hedge like that, me and my family are living in this wilderness with crackheads, dope fiends, child molesters, robbers and rapist just like everybody else. We stay prayed up and we go about our work uplifting the kingdom of God here on earth.

That doesn’t mean we can’t be in a car accident, or in a plane crash. That doesn’t mean we can’t lose everything in a hurricane. No, for it rains on the just as well as the unjust. But the peace that I have is knowing that I have a God that will never leave me or never forsake me. When He comes and saves you from a pit of despair and desperation, when He soothes you through your time of troubles, then you know that you will always be His and it’s a Grace that no one can ever take away from you.

The storms can’t wash Grace away, the floods can’t drown Grace out, even that fire will only prove Grace, and it won’t melt it away. Once you have the blessed assurance of knowing that absent from your body, will mean present with the LORD? (smiling) That’s when you’ll be ready to get on the battlefield!!

So my prayer for my 1st book, Real Game, is that it will serve as a training program. It will put more people up on what’s real. Especially those who have never heard it before, especially for those people who feel themselves out there sinking in deep waters and they know they’re going to drown if they don’t clutch on to the hem of His garment.

I can’t save anybody. I can only tell you what the LORD says and pray for God to give the increase. Some of my friends are tripping, because they don’t know how to take this. Since I’m one of those people that they used to do dirt with, they don’t know how to take my conversion.

They know how I get down in different arenas, how real my game is on the basketball court, they know how I get down when a 90 mph fastball is coming down the pipe, they know how I get down when it’s time to hit the club and pick up women, they know how I get down when it’s time to get that ‘hookup’, they know how I get down on the dominoes table, they know how I get down on the golf course, they know I know how to roll a blunt so big that they think I’m a Cuban, they know how I get down when it’s time to jump on I-10 (or I-Sin, as we say on the Southside), but they don’t believe in Jesus. Yet there’s nothing about me or my walk in life that would make them think that I’m not being real about what I believe. I’m not perfect, but they see me striving.

And it kinda throws them off. Because they find themselves being faced with the truth from a real n’ga and they don’t have anymore excuses of why they can’t believe. Most of my friends that have problems like this with me and my public profession of my faith in Christ rarely call me anymore. They don’t want to hang out with D. Wash, because that n’ga act like he trying to make a n’ga change his mind or something.

I would hate to drive anyone away, or make them feel that they’re unwelcome company. But it’s just as well that those who don’t believe take a few steps back from me if they feel too much heat. It’s crucial out here ya’ll. The time to repent is now. Although no man knows the day that our LORD will return, you would be a fool not to realize that we’re in the 4th quarter baby. Some of ya’ll are procrastinating, hoping it goes into double overtime..but tomorrow is promised to no man.

You better load up and ride or die baby. The Scripture is very descript, either you are for Him or against Him, there is no middle ground. The beast will try to convince you that Jesus is ‘a cool dude’ and all, but He’s not the ONLY Way. If there was another way to Heaven, then that would mean everything Jesus did was in vain.

Unlike a lot of religious zealots, I don’t trip on denominational exclusiveness. I’m not telling everyone that they should be Baptist or Methodist or whatever. I just encourage every one to come to God, He will reveal His truth to you as you move toward Him.

Brother C.S. Lewis broke it down very well like this:

““I hope no reader will suppose that ‘mere’ Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions- as if man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms. If I can bring anyone into that hall I shall have done what I attempted. But it is in the rooms, not in the hall, that there are fires and chairs and meals. The hall is a place to wait in, a place from which to try various doors, not a place to live in. For that purpose the worst of the rooms (whichever that may be) is I think, preferable. It is true that some people may find they have to wait in the hall for a considerable time, while others feel certain almost at once which door they must knock at. I do not know why there is this difference, but I am sure God keeps on one waiting unless He sees that it is good for him to wait. When you do get into your room you will find that the long wait has done you some kind of good which you would not have had otherwise. But you must regard it as waiting, not as camping. You must keep praying for light; and, of course, even in the hall, you must begin trying to obey the rules which are common to the whole house. And above all you must be asking which door is the true one; not which pleased you best by its paint and paneling. In plain language, the question should never be: ‘Do I like that kind of service?’ but ‘Are these doctrines true: is holiness here? Does my conscience move me towards this? Is my reluctance to knock at this door due to my pride, or my mere taste, or my personal dislike of this particular door-keeper?

When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. If they are wrong they need your prayers all the more; and if they are your enemies, then you are under orders to pray for them. That is one of the rules common to the whole house.” – Mere Christianity, C.S. Lewis, 1952

Ya’ll betta come inside the house mane, because when that last storm hits, it’s not going to be with water, it’s going to be with fire..ride or die.