All Articles Tagged "“God"
Have you ever been in the club when a DJ starts playing jams from the ’90′s? Inevitably, Montell Jordan’s megahit from 1995, “This Is How We Do It” is going to make its way into the rotation. Right after Montell harmonizes those first few chords but before you put your drink down and head to the dance floor, you think ‘Whatever happened to him?’
Well baby, today I’m here with an update.
Montell Jordan recently told LA Weekly, that he’s a pastor at a Megachurch in Atlanta. And though it might seem like it’s in direct contrast of who we know him to be, it’s more of a coming home than it is a reinvention.
After all, Montell Jordan grew up in the church. Growing up in South Central Los Angeles, Jordan was surrounded by gangs and violence but his affiliation with the church kept him protected. Growing up, Montell belonged to the same church the grandmother of a Crip leader attended, so the gang members didn’t mess with him.
“That was a Crip neighborhood. They knew we were church kids, so it was almost like we had a pass, we had protective covering, we could walk all through the neighborhood.”
And though his connection through the church helped him to make it through the neighborhood, once his music career took off, he abandoned it. In one of his sermons about the use and abuse of the godly gift of music, Jordan describes how his involvement in the industry could have easily resulted in his death, several times over.
I know I should be dead. I’m going to tell you personally, I know. There was an instance in 1995, I was on tour with Boyz II Men and I fell off the back of a stage with my hands in my ears, I fell off a stage, onto my head and I know that I should be dead. I can tell you from the things that I did, the promiscuous things, in the music business, outside of my marriage. I know I should be dead. I can tell you about a time when I was recording in a studio in Los Angeles, California and two days after I decided to switch studios, murderers ran up into the studio, robbed the place and asked for me by name…It’s because of Jesus I’m alive. I have more now in Christ than I ever had when I was in the world.
Ironically, when Montell was “out here,” his wife, Kristin, was right beside him working as his manager at the height of his success. Krsitin told LA Weekly, she was a part of the reason Montell abandoned the church and opted instead to be an R&B sex symbol.
“I was part of the reason. I was his manager the whole time. When we first got married they told us we would sell more records if we didn’t let people know we were married.”
But in 2010, when his career was stagnant, Montell and his wife joined Victory World Church in Atlanta and that’s when God revealed the plan for his life.
“The Lord spoke to me and said ‘you got to retire, you got to lay that life down.’”
And though Montell wrestled with the decision, that’s exactly what he ended up doing. He started small by serving in the children’s ministry in his church. After that a church leader asked him to be a part of the worship ministry one day in church. Montell had his reservations.
“I was scared because I knew I wasn’t one person,” he says. “I was probably fearful that me standing on stage would mean that people were going to think that I’d completely given my heart over to Him when I haven’t.”
But what was done was done. He left an impression and he was offered a position as a worship pastor. Now, he has a license to marry, baptize and christen.
Though he’s a pastor now, Montell still wanted to make sure he was able to use his musical gifts to glorify God, so he founded the Victory Music Ministry.
So now you know what he’s been up to these days. Still singing, but for the Lord now. Ain’t nothin’ wrong with that.
If you want to see how Montell holds up as a preacher, check out a clip from the sermon I mentioned earlier on the next page.
Beginning today, Oxygen Media will begin filming scenes for its newest reality show, Pastors of L.A.
The docu-series aims to give viewers a candid and revealing look at the personal and professional lives of the following six world renowned pastors: Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Noel Jones, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Pastor Wayne Chaney, Bishop Ron Gibson and Pastor Jay Haizlip.
“Pastors of L.A. documents these larger than life characters who are rock stars in their communities, with a fresh, unique perspective that will resonate with our young audience,” said Rod Aissa, Senior Vice President of Original Programming and Development, Oxygen Media.
The “business” of church seems to really be booming, doesn’t it? You can read the rest on Essence.com.
Would you watch this show?
By Jessica Gray
I grew up going to church faithfully. In fact, I don’t have many memories of days when I didn’t go. Maybe when I had the chicken pox or something serious. Otherwise, me and my sniffles were front and center, posted right next to Mom in the church pews.
I was a master of the tambourine and could rattle off memory verses like nobody’s business. I was a star Sunday school pupil and always landed a solo in the children’s choir. I landed lead roles in church plays and volunteered to help with the younger kids during vacation bible school. I gave my life to Christ when I was nine years old after my own father led the altar call. I was a stellar preacher’s kid, or “PK.”
We left our church and joined another when I was in middle school, but I was just as active in my new church home. In college, I joined and later directed the gospel choir and I found time to go to Bible study and church services designed specifically for college students. However, my church attendance was definitely declining. As of today, I have managed to not step into a church service since March 2012. That is now a year ago. After I graduated from school my church attendance varied from shaky to nonexistent. I had a surge of church attendance at the start of 2012, but eventually stopped going despite my enjoyment of the service because the church was too far.
I’ve noticed that I’m not the only one skipping out on church. I talk to other young adults who say they grew up in church as well, but now they are without a church home and not even trying to find one. Some have decided that they don’t need to go and some simply haven’t put finding a one high on their priority list for now. The church has traditionally been a strong presence in the African American community, but I’m afraid that its influence may be falling as coming generations begin to brush off its importance. This, of course, is a whole new discussion within itself.
My mom calls and asks me if I’ve found a home church and I will tell you the truth–I haven’t because I haven’t been actively looking. Every once in a while, I get motivated to find a church but then I let other things distract me. In some weird way, I feel like this is the closest I’ve ever been to God in my life. I have learned some invaluable lessons over the past few years that I would never take back. The ups and downs have been unpredictable and this is the most I have ever had to put my trust in God.
I don’t want to argue that I don’t need church. That’s not it. I miss it. Church was a place I went to feel renewed. A place where I found support. A place where I felt I had an extended family. I found other sources of these things within my social circles, but I still feel that church is necessary for me. I’ll go the next step and say that I experience guilt sometimes regardless of how often I crack open my Bible on my own. The right church can feed your spirit in ways you aren’t capable of doing yourself.
Do you think that having a church home is important? Did you grow up in church and now you don’t go at all? Do you plan on finding a church home if you don’t have one now or have you decided that church isn’t for you? Why?
This is a man’s world!
James was wailing passionately. My dad, like most men with soul, is a James Brown fan. And he was putting me on to some of his classics this day during one of our many road trips. Immediately, my junior feminist radar kicked in. This is a man’s world?! Then as if James knew I didn’t hear him the firs time, he hollered it again.
This is a man’s world!
That was it! I bolted up in the backseat as I said, politely, yet with authority, “I don’t think I like this song.” My dad smiled, a knowing and prideful smile and said, “Keep listening baby.” And that’s when James brought it home.
“But it wouldn’t be nothing, without a woman or a girl.”
I know that’s right James! I nodded in acceptance and understanding as I sat back and settled into the groove.
From an early age, though society was hellbent on telling me otherwise, I always knew it was a great honor to be a girl and later a woman. While boys and men were constantly boasting about their physical strength and superior intelligence; I always had an inkling and then an assurance, that it was all a farce. That really, at the end of the day, men weren’t all that much better than women. In fact, they weren’t better at all.
Men may have been able to lift things and complete other physical tasks; but a woman’s strength was emotional, psychological and in many instances practical.
My sophomore year of college, a bill came back from my University saying that I owed some thousands of dollars. I showed the letter to my parents but they couldn’t help me. They didn’t have it. I’ll never forget the difference in the way my father handled the situation and the way my mother handled it. My dad, whether out of embarrassment or frustration, kind of shut down and pretended like it wasn’t happening. While my mom was the one who talked to me about how I should go about collecting financial aid from other places. That’s when I learned that what they say about men and their need to problem solve is true. My dad couldn’t provide the solution to my problem; and instead of directing me to someone or something that could, it was better for his pride to pretend like it wasn’t happening. That was the day my mother told me that while both of them would always be there to support me and do what they could; at the end of the day, there were certain things I just had to make happen for myself. There are certain things men cannot do for you, even if that man is your father.
All of our lives as girls and eventually women, we’re told to be seen and not heard. Keep your mouth shut. You talk too much. There’s always someone who wants to silence you, whether that person is in the world or in your own family, men and women alike. At around 10 years old, annoyed with me and my sister’s constant giggles, my grandfather told us, rather sternly, “Be quiet, you know you all laugh too much!” For a minute I thought to be embarrassed, ashamed or offended; but then I remembered my grandmother telling me that laughing was both good exercise and good medicine, so instead I just laughed at the ridiculousness of his comment and kept it moving. My sister followed suit. There’s no such thing as laughing too much.
And there’s no such thing as crying too much either. I’ll never understand why men, and subsequently women, get so freaked out by tears and the act of crying. Remember how Hillary’s tears made front page news in 2008? Instead of recognizing her tears as a sign of passion for her country, many took it to mean she was incapable of running it. Tears are not a sign of weakness. They’re physical evidence of a strength of feeling, conviction or passion.
Mary Mary is known for spreading lots of positive light to their fans through their music and through their reality TV show, but the ladies are going a bit deeper these days.
They define a good woman as someone who “is proud of herself. Respects herself and others. She is aware of who she is. She neither seeks definition from the person she is with, nor does she expect them to read her mind. She is quite capable of articulating her needs. A good woman has a dash of inspiration, a dabble of endurance. She knows that she will at times, have to inspire others to reach the potential God gave them.”
The duo didn’t stop there; to check out Mary Mary’s full definition of a “good” woman, head to Essence.
Do you agree with them? What’s your definition of a “good woman?
Deception star and newly wed Meagan Good has lived out much of her fairytale-esque love story with hubby DeVon Franklin in the public eye. She has shared it all, from expressing that God informed her that the next man to seriously enter her life would be her mate, to DeVon’s shocking proposal and even the couple’s decision to practice celibacy until they were officially husband and wife. In a recent post on her WhoSay page, the actress blogged about what she’s learned about marriage so far and why it’s important to hold out for Mr. Right, as opposed to settling for Mr. Right Now. Her post reads:
“Marriage.. It’s very interesting.. I’ve come to a lot of revelation in the last couple months… One thing amazing that I learned is: sometimes the things that we want God to do in our lives -he won’t do- until we committed to The life partner that he has for us. (I’m not saying that everyone is intended to be married or that this is a fact for everybody) But I’m saying in my case and I believe in many others- Marriage truly makes you a better person and truly improves your walk with God. I actually believe that overall marriage is intended to build your character-And as a result if you choose it -your relationship with God.
Since my marriage- blessings have overflowed in my life and peace of mind has increased in the way I never could’ve perceived.. And the things that are happening now -I realize needed to happen, and maybe ‘only’ could’ve happened correctly with positive results, with my life partner and husband. It’s true: blessings do rain down when you’re Obedient.. And when you allow the ‘right’ person to be the person that you spend your life with..
Don’t settle people for less than God’s best. No matter where you’ve been or what you’ve gone through- God has a purpose for your life … Seek him in all you do and you will come to realize that you will not be disappointed .. And remember that his timing and his plan is more perfect and better than timing or plan you ever had.”
Are you digging Meagan’s advice?
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise.
In December 2012, the internet began buzzing that Mary Mary was breaking up. Since then, there’s been much speculation about their future and if they would be ending a 12-year career. ESSENCE.com caught up with the ladies to find out what their plans are.
“I will say this, we are not breaking up,” said Erica Atkins-Campbell. “But we’re taking a break. I’m going to do some solo music. Tina’s going to vacation and travel the world. We’ve been joined at the hip the last 12 years and I think in order for us both to be our healthiest selves, just as women, in the group, [we will] take some time to think and re-assess. We’ve been going constantly year after year, baby after baby, tour after tour and now season after season on TV.”
They will do more than rest during their time off — the ladies say they are also planning to reconnect with God. “We’re singing about Christ, we’re singing about God. I can’t sing about God and I’m not taking the time to talk to God,” said Erica.
Well, that’s that. Check out ESSENCE for more, including Tina’s point of view and what they will be doing together while on hiatus.
Do you think this the sugarcoated way of Mary Mary saying this is the end?
Graduation, Marriage, Babies, Grandbabies…And Then What? How I Learned To Stop Rushing Life And Enjoy The Moment
I’ve always been a person who is guilty of living for the next moment, instead of slowing down to fully embrace and appreciate the current. As a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I literally fantasized about my teenage and high school years. In high school, I couldn’t wait to get to college. In undergrad, I practically sprinted through my major’s curriculum, taking three-week speed courses and summer classes as if there was some grand prize for finishing early. Now, here I am at 22 years old and six months away from receiving my Master’s degree, asking myself why I was in such a rush and wondering what my next move will be.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious or anticipating what lies ahead, but there’s a huge downside to not fully appreciating the now. It took me a while, but I began noticing a strange pattern. Once I got to college, I missed high school. Sure, I liked college, but I realized that high school was a time in my life that I’d never see again. Once I got to graduate school, I missed undergrad. Why? Because again, it took that season of my life being over for me to realize that I would never see it again.
Lately, I’ve been anticipating leaving my parents’ house, seeing my career take off, getting married, having children and all of the other many wonderful things that adult life has to offer. But, then it dawned on me one day that once this season of my life is over, I will never see it again. Never again will I be the eager 22-year-old with big dreams, not knowing for sure what lies ahead, but assured that whatever it is, it’s something wonderful. Something beyond my wildest dreams. I thought about what a tragedy it would be to reach the end of my life when I’m old and gray only to realize that I never fully enjoyed anything because I rushed through everything. Having come to this realization, I made up my mind that I refuse to miss out on the beauty of the current moment or season that I’m in by too eagerly anticipating the next one.
I currently live with my parents and my younger brother. Although we have our differences at times, we have an amazing bond. I love being able pop into my brother’s room and tease him just because I can, or do a running leap, landing into the middle of my parents’ bed while they’re watching a movie. I realized that once “adult life” really takes off for my brother and I, we will probably never all live under the same roof again, or be as close.
While I desire to have my own place, I’m determined to take full advantage of all of the privileges and quality time that living at home still has to offer. While, graduation may be six months away and I do anticipate finishing and moving into the next phase of my life, I realize that this could be the last six months that I ever spend on a college campus. It could be the last six months I ever spend as a student. While marriage seems wonderful, I don’t want to miss out on what unmarried adult life has to offer by being so focused on racing down the aisle to say “I do.” There’s still so much that I am still learning about myself. And while being a parent seems like a beautiful and rewarding experience, I will totally enjoy this time that I have to focus on me and the goals, aspirations and desires that I am not even aware that I have yet.
I guess what I really learned is that in life there’s a time and a season for everything and it would be foolish not to enjoy each season to its maximum potential. So I will yield to God’s perfect plan and order for my life. I will savor each passing moment instead of rushing into the next. I will breathe deeply and embrace each moment, each season, each phase of my life as a gift, because that’s exactly what they are.
Follow Jazmine Denise on Twitter @jazminedenise
All photos are courtesy of Shutterstock
Ohhh you know the type: always telling you how right you should be living and their own windows need washing. Or the other type: the ones who’ve reached a certain level of enlightenment in life and now feel the need to continuously tell you what you’re doing wrong. Sometimes it’s funny and sometimes, it’s just downright sad how the tables often turn.
Check it out…and please try not to get yourself too upset!
WE TV has another hit on their hands with their new reality show “Mary Mary,” featuring sisters Erica and Tina-Atkins Campbell, from the gospel group with the same name. Madame Noire caught up with the two sisters to discuss the show, Tina’s unexpected pregnancy, family and that pesky pole issue.
Why did you all decide to do a reality show?
Tina: The biggest deciding factor in taking this show on was the fact that we’ve got a lot of things that are not generally considered great success stories but to us, it’s what makes us successful, it’s what makes us great. And it’s the fact that we are moms of multiple children, we are very good moms and active moms, even though we have nannies, we have help. We are very hands on with our children. We’ve both been married, we’ve been married in entertainment, happily married, not perfectly married, but happily married for over 10 years. We know countless families that do not like each other and cannot stand each other. People who started out when Erica and I started our careers, who are no longer together. And so those three things, the fact that we’re able to still manage to stay together, still managed making the group work when it’s really hard when our personal lives are quite different, maintaining a marriage and managing a household filled with kids, in addition to all of our other things. I think that is also very inspirational and we said, ‘let’s let the cameras in and see if this can be as inspirational as our music is.’ So we decided to go for it.
Erica, Is it easier working with your sister or easier working with your husband?
Erica: It’s a challenge with both because there’s personal and then there’s business and you have to make sure that you don’t let the personal intrude on the business. I think I’m a little bit better with my husband because it’s 11 years but I’ve been with Tina all my life and we’ve been fussing since we were kids. So the last 11 years we’ve been working hard, really putting in the necessary work to make sure that we are as professional as possible because it’s easy to not give to the people who we know are family. You assume that they know you love them. Oh, she knows that I didn’t mean it like that. And sometimes they don’t know. So, to be to make sure that you show the same compassion that you would to a producer, even though that producer is my husband. Plus, she’s my little sister so I think I sometimes treat her like a little sister.