I had such a great time sharing some of my favorite picks with you earlier this year. I've since decided to make this an ongoing series. With that being said, here's what's got my ear:
Michael Portley, Jr. & Students of DAvid
More goodness from my Stellar Awards goodie bag...looking at the cd cover, I was very unsure if I'd like the project. It didn't take me 30 seconds to dive headlong into this album. I was dancing in the drivers seat around town as the album opened up with "Blessed Be" following an opening interlude. From there, the album thrusts forward with some stellar choir music that most choirs can actually sing at church! The album comes complete with a track dedicated to a shout and you know every good album needs a dance! I was enjoying the album and ready to pop in the next cd when my listening experience ground to a halt...I heard a dramatic introduction reminiscent of "The Passion of the Christ" coupled with Pastor Portley's exhortation. Then it happened..."Thank you for the blood...thank you for the blood..." A new favorite song gripped my musical palate.
I was done! I stopped just short of pulling over, but I did sing as loud as I could with the choir: "Calvary, Calvary! Calvary, without it where would we be?" This song right here has changed me. I wish I'd discovered it sooner, I would've taught it to my church choir as we celebrated Resurrection Sunday. Don't worry about that...this song works ANY GIVEN SUNDAY! Calvary comes with a reprise and is followed up with a declaration that says all the doors of negativity "Have Been Closed".
The album has some seriously creative songs like the title track: "Roof is on Fi'Yah" and "3-D Praise" which sings the message of due season and it's varying homonyms (Due/Do.)
All in all, it's a great album and you should definitely add it to your music collection!
Vincent Tharpe & Kenosis
I heard VTK sing "The Sound" twice during Stellar weekend and not once did I fight the urge to MOVE!!! This song is a number of things: 1) Crazy GREAT and 2) My workout soundtrack. At one showcase, the group was nearly run off stage when their rounds and rounds of key changes bled into the next artist's time. As if that wasn't enough, watching them close Wanda Bell's event on Sunday night sealed it for me and I begged Vincent and Zantino Kimmons to please hurry up and release this to the masses!
I'm not sure when it was released, but I GOT IT! I didn't hesitate and got it that weekend. I have been Tae-Bo'ing my way all the way through the house, since! "Halle-lujah, Thank You Jesus...Lord I...Love You...creaaaaaatttteeee" (in falsetto soprano, nonetheless). You have to hear the song to understand. I love the song and I'm sure you will, too. For me, I fast forward to the vamp, it's all about the vamp! Trust me on that. Since, you can't slice a song in half, I will tell you that the song is constructed in such a way that the entire song is palatable, but the vamp, the vamp is gonna make you dance!
While I'm on the vamp, it's worth noting the different genres they take you through with each key change. It's a wild ride, and I'm thrilled for the release of "The Sound". Go get it, and dance!!!
Thurman B. Thornton II (TBII)
Even though he's totally gonna hate me for this, I love TBII's music because I feel like I'm listening to New Edition or Troop singing gospel music! No, really...when he sent me this song, I wanted to go grab a velvet track suit and shoot the concept video that day! All MTV Jamz references aside, his music is honest and that's what's refreshing about TBII. For the longest, I heard all this chatter about "TB2" and had no idea who he was until the 2014 Rhythm of Gospel Awards in Birmingham. After hearing " Fresh Start" I'd found my newest favorite indie artist.
We talked about his follow up single: "Save Me" and the deep, personal story it told and then his EP which he released after that which features a heart wrenching arrangement of Fantasia's Bittersweet dedicated to his late mother (seriously, you really gotta hear that.)
Back to "Fall Into You"...dude brought it on this song! You'll definitely get with the vibe on this one and do as the song says and "fall into" the Lord.
Ronnie Rucker & La Praise
It was 2013 when I met Ron Rucker playing a Hammond B-3 in a music store in Shibuya, Tokyo. We talked briefly and exchanged pleasantries and compliments before discussing what he does in Japan. In a way, Ron Rucker is a gospel music ambassador for the Tokyo area and beyond. Yeah, really. GMWA in Japan...a soulful gospel choir in Japan actually connected to a church...yep, Ron Rucker's responsible for it.
I have a few of Mr. Rucker's tunes with the Bright Lights Choir in the SoulProsper Radio rotation already, but when I heard his latest release "Lift Him Up" I was blown away. Those folks are singin' yall! This was some really good singing, too. Most often, we're plagued with finding songs any choir can sing and all five of the songs on this EP are singable on Sunday. Since I've traveled quite a bit, I've always tried to discover the gospel scene where I am and I must say Mr. Rucker and his choir are the bees knees! They have a genuine connection to not only the music, but God Himself, which is lacking internationally at times.
He has brought gospel music to Japan and Japanese gospel music to America, namely the GMWA. He's got a GMWA chapter there now and had one years ago as well. He's the real deal and the way he's gotten this choir to not only sing, but minister is beyond incredible! "Lift Him Up" is a high energy hand clapping foot stomping choir favorite that will get Sunday morning off to a running start whether you have a mass choir or only a few.
"Until We Meet Again" is reminiscent of gospel music glory days and you're halfway through the song before you remember this choir is from Japan. Another good service closer. The EP features one song completely in Japanese and if you're clueless as to what they're saying, let the music speak to you. It's the universal language, right? Well, of the five, three are on repeat and that's good enough for me to recommend to you!
Tony Bush & The Deacs ft. Lisa Knowles-Smith
I'm fresh out of descriptive words for this song. To sum it up easily, it's a powder keg of praise! I was just recovering from "Wonderful Feeling" when this one reached me at SoulProsper Radio. From the first down beat, this song takes you by your ears and drags you to the front of the church to dance!!! This is quartet gold and has everything going for it you love in quartet gospel. Speaking of quartet gospel, the 'drive' will send you into overdrive!
By the time Bush adlibs "just in cae you don't see me no mo...'!" it's over but the song keeps driving! For Bush this is a bit of a testimony, considering his medical struggles earlier this year. So do like Tony Bush if you're glad to 'see another day'. Maybe even, you're glad about another opportunity...whatever the case may be, join Tony Bush, the Deacs and Lisa Knowles-Smith who can literally sing anything and SHOUT FOR JESUS!
The Rance Allen Group
Bishop Rance Allen and his brothers are often thrust into the world of quartet but I think it's time we re-consider that. Not because they're a trio but because their innovation far exceeds one sub-genre of gospel music. That's been the case since their days on Stax records and their first gospel release "He'll Make It Alright".
With their new release: "Live From San Francisco" they're back with new music and another go round of classic covers. "All Day Long" was the first single from the album and it is good! It's smooth, it's fresh and it's the Rance Allen group like you like it! He says it in the song and it's a good song to take to your church, considering their footloose like that! It's a good number for your male chorus, praise team or even choir of any size.
You'll want to add this one to your collection as well and as the song says, you very well may be singing the Lord's praise in this song 'all day long'.
Monica Lisa Stevenson
Two words...New & Fresh! I could end it right there...but you're like: "Gimme the deets!" Aren't you?!? I know, so here goes. It's MLS like you've NEVER heard her before! If you think she's bad singing traditional gospel...you ain't heard nothing yet and I mean it! At radio currently, you can request "Speechless" featuring Lisa Knowles-Smith and "He's the One" featuring Pastor Walter Ellis.
These two singles are good enough BUT...this EP features 7 songs and you definitely want to hear all of them! This music is smooth and Stevenson and Knowles-Smith are quite the tandem. The song will leave you speechless, it's so fresh! Teaming up with Pastor Ellis, Stevenson revisits a gospel classic and it's safe enough for gospel fans who are cautious about 'this new stuff'. It's still good and still smooth...give KAINOS a spin!!!!
While you're at it, go grab the MLS single "Testimony" featuring Doobie Powell and The Williams Singers.
*Melvin Williams* (bonus)
Where I Started From
This album will be released soon and I love it but I won't spoil it for you! I will give it high praise not only for the content but the spirit behind the album. Melvin Williams keeps root music alive in this great album and pays homage to those that paved the way for gospel music. He covers songs like: "How I Got Over", and the late great Willie Banks': "Lord You Been Good". The most impressive track for me was a track produced by Harvey Watkins, Jr., another quartet gem: "Don't Let Jesus Down". The shuffle on the drive is out of this world! It's got a mean bass drop and the drummer let loose something serious on this cut.
Check it out when it drops. In the meantime, you can go to radio to request his perfect remake of The Williams Brothers classic "So Good" and the smooth ballad "Claim It Now."
A few weeks ago, I hosted an experiment on my personal page. I simply asked: "WHo has recorded music for sale?" The response was overwhelming and some of the artists even interacted with each other on the thread. What I didn't see was a translation of that post onto their walls...why would nearly 100 artists let a radio announcer know they have music for sale and not their immediate audience, their facebook friends list...let's talk about that, today! -Fred
Before we get started I feel the need to qualify what I'm about to say. I have studied the music business for years, even before I went back to college in 2008. Many of our textbooks were already in my personal library before I began classes at Cedar Valley College. Many don't me beyond articles or a radio show/station but I'm going to be a lot more vocal in the very near future. This is the first of many pieces in this style, enjoy and please share with others!
I'm not selling you anything or starting a sign up to another conference call or mailing list. What I want to do is encourage you! Yep, that's all. The music industry has experienced a seismic shift as of late and gospel music was situated squarely on a fault line. As the industry as a whole shifted, gospel music sort of well...sunk...is sinking...something like that. But you love gospel music and so do I so what's there to do?
Many of you have recorded music because you felt as if you were called to do so. Some of you do it full time and some of you don't. Either way is cool and whatever keeps the lights on, gas in the car and food on the table, right? AMEN!!! Until then, pray for release AND provisions. I have observed many of you on Facebook and over the past six months, I've seen your posts about your music diminish. Why though? If it's old to you, surely it's old to people, right? Not necessarily.
How many new friends have you made within the past six months? How many of them know that you have a project for sale? What about your latest single? See, we've fallen for the market trap but Facebook isn't the market. It's your life, compiled on a single web space. Don't believe me, fast from Facebook for a day. Some of you didn't even think about it! The reason many of you have chosen not to make people aware of your project may be that you're living a comparative life on Facebook. Comparing yourself to everyone else and trying to make the moves their making. Any truth to that?
Artists...why have you put a shelf date on your music? Consider this: You have a product that is collecting dust and for no good reason. It's just sitting there, waiting on you to compel somebody to come buy it. How many NEW friends have you made on Facebook within the last six months? Do they know you have product and where to get it?
Change that, you may have prematurely ended your career when you shelved your viable product...
A few weeks ago, Anita Wilson (yes that Anita Wilson) put up a song from her first album and you know what? It still jams! It was a cover but it's great music. If you follow her on Facebook, you'll see posts about "Keep Doing What You're Doing" here lately. Music doesn't die! This is proven when artists literally die, there's a spike in sales the moment their death is announced.
What I'm saying to you is this...as an indie artist, you drive your music sales. It goes way beyond flooding your timeline and posting in every gospel music/artist group on the site. Honestly, don't you know how annoying that is to other people? I'm in many groups and there are some artists that do nothing but post ads (singing engagements and where to download their music). But think about it, if you have music and I have music, what makes you think I'm going to blindly support yours with no guarantee of you supporting me? It's the same with radio announcers that spam these groups with announcements of their shows...you want me to do what exactly...turn my station/show off and tune into yours?
Be very cautious with groups, you could very well be wasting time, unless you create an interest group of your own and post to your bonafide fan base. Do you have a like page? If so, how is your engagement there? Do you have promo material/giveaways? Consider that. Do a giveaway, create some fresh, new engagement! I'm on the way to my PO Box today to pick up some promo material from an artist and I can't wait to give them all away! Of course, the end game here is drive CD SALES!!! Never stop marketing yourself, EVER!
CD sales are dipping everywhere, even the Grammy's made a move to include streaming music in their consideration for awards. The industry has adjusted to consumer behavior! Do you even know what that means? YES...! Take a minute, let that sink in...the industry has adjusted to consumer behavior! Have you?
So here's the deal, you've got a song or project...what are you doing with it? If your base audience has yielded little to no results, create a new audience and drive new engagement. You've gotta do what works and not what's comfortable. READERS ARE LEADERS! Take some time and discover how to successfully market yourself and your product. There is a plethora of educational material online for the independent artist.
That includes spending some money, not always a lot but at least some! Check Vistaprint for promo materials like postcards and other paper products. You even have the option to design pens, clothing, cups and more. For what it's worth, wristbands are a great idea! Do you have business cards? What do they say? Are they two sided, is your picture on it? If you have a business card, it should literally be your calling card. People should be able to tell what you do by looking at the card. They should also be able to contact you using your card. Current numbers, address and electronic contact info should be prominently displayed on the card.
Also, freshen up your social media space. Also, print up some promo materials and send them to churches. Let the churches know you're available for bookings. Let local businesses know the same, get yourself out there but don't be drab! To get noticed, you must be noticeable! Also, you should consider a graphic designer to spruce up a new promo picture for summer. Think about it...It's summer, do you have a summer look? Nothing's wrong with changing with the seasons! It lets people know you're still around! (LOL)
What about hashtags? How are you identifying your brand online? Recording artist and musician Tony Bush uses: #BushBrand and you could do something similar. You know Everette Drake, his catch phrase is: "Amen Goes Right There" and he's known as "Mr. Amen Goes Right There" which is his debut single. His album contains numerous gospel gems, but it's the #AGRT branding that has traveled with him to bookings all over the country.
DO THE MATH
Alright, got it? Some of you had NO sales this week and some of you no sales all month! Do you want to change that? You should want to change it, even if you're currently in studio working on new music! The grind never stops and neither should the marketing of your music. What if you decided to personally sell 5 cd's a day? That's 150 units from you. Of those 150, how many people would tell somebody about the cd they got from you and get them to buy their own copy? At least check you out online?
I know you want to sell more than 150 units each month, but what have you sold so far? If you're doing better than that, great-this is exactly what we want! Get great music in the hands of listeners!
The top CCM album last week sold somewhere around 6,359 copies. The top gospel album sold somewhere around 2,291 copies. Hmm...that already seems dismal and these are major, national artists. Can you imagine selling a copy of your cd to at least half of the people on your friends list? Maybe not everyone is a gospel music lover so, let's be realistic and say maybe 30%. What's that number looking like? Some of you reading this are already at 5K friends and some of them have NO interest in buying your product.
NETWORKING YOUR NET WORTH
Earlier this year, I posted the inaugural blog: "Here's What's Got My Ear". Of all the artists, there were only about five of the artists named in the blog that engaged or responded. I know we're all busy but what if that blog post came from a more well known entity and they ignored it? You can never afford to ignore free, positive publicity! Some of you reading this post will be named in my next installment or one to follow. When you see it, share it! Make people aware of what's being said about your project...your ministry! Not doing so is costing you sales, whether you believe it or not!
Make connections! I can't spend all day on my computer or phone but there are times during the day that social media interaction is my MO. The same goes for other station owners, PD, publicists, journalists, bloggers and artists. NETWORKING STILL WORKS! Bishop Hezekiah Walker said when asked about the timing of pitching a product to your contemporaries: "It's all about relationship!" He further stated that you need to get to know people before dropping the weight of product on them. This applies to industry contacts and not potential customers. Some of you are struggling with the repercussions of 'too much too soon' when dealing with industry people. "Hi, I'm Fred. Please listen to SoulProsper Radio!" is NOT the way you want things to go!
You need to find out who is who and what they do inside the industry. Are they an actual outsider? Can they help you? Have they tried to help somebody else and what were the results? Are they just somebody good to know (with no expectations)? Know this when you deal with industry people on social media or meet them face to face.
There are way too many fractured relationships within the industry based on social media suppositions. Think about it, I don't actually know Don Jackson from the Stellar Awards, even though he's my friend on social media or personally approves my post in the Stellar Gospel Music Group on Facebook. When I see Mr. Jackson at the Stellar Awards, I greet him and introduce myself, even if I have to do it each time.
Furthermore, I don't actually know Phil Thornton, even if I regularly comment on his success at eOne on Facebook or LinkedIn and even write articles about him. Not until I have personally exchanged information with an understanding can I count someone an actual associate or even friend. I did see him at the Virtue listening party at the Stellars but he left before I could speak to him, still doesn't count!
I have met some Facebook friends and artists who I didn't recognize in person! LOL It happens but be gracious either way! I love meeting people so yes, I'm actually looking forward to meeting ALL OF YOU VERY SOON!
This is why you must take great care and concern of those you're connected to on social media. There is a fine line between social media contact and professional contact. Many of us do our business on Facebook but it is merely an extension of our business dealings. Handle real business outside of Facebook (what's your email address, where can I send you a copy, may I call you to discuss...?)
Your friends list is exclusive to you. Your taste in music, fashion, comedy, religion, regional interests and much more. You have an opportunity to introduce your music to those different markets within your friends list. Some have bought it already (YAY). But, some haven't because they haven't been compelled to. You have good music, don't you? Well stop depriving your most remote audience of it! You wouldn't imagine outselling a top national artist, now would you? It's quite possible, when you take care of business!
To reach beyond Facebook, Mr. Henry Harris posted this just this morning and I had to add it, you can read it below.
Read MAry Meeker's annual Report on Internet Trends
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12
I've got rights, right?
The main premise brought up in the Kim Davis conversation is persecution. By definition, it is actually insubordination and worthy of a recall vote. Too much? Five days in jail is also overkill, in case anyone is interested. Here's the deal, what you're seeing play out is a gross misinterpretation of scripture on Davis' part. While not defending the newly awarded right to gay marriage, Davis is also free to express her belief in God that decries gay sex and forbids gay marriage. The two intersect across the counter in her office but what shouldn't be lost in all of this is citizen rights. Davis does NOT have to approve of the gay marriages validated by her signature, but she does have to fulfill the responsibilities laid out in her job description.
Upon clocking in, Davis is at work for the people she serves in that county, not only those she worships with at church. In practicality Davis, whose marriage license refusal works to her discredit could benefit from a resignation. Unencumbered by her job as an elected official, she could work like Madelyn Murray O'Hair and campaign against gay marriage right there in Rowan County. O'Hair's infamous ruling eliminated corporate prayer in schools.
The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life; and he that winneth souls is wise. Proverbs 11:30
In this climate, believers everywhere are going to have to seek the wisdom of God almighty when faced with circumstances like this. It will no longer be enough to operate with a religious understanding. Believers must know what God is saying in every situation and about every situation in order to face a maddened public, dissuaded against Christ. If Davis has such a problem with the ruling as it pertains to her job as an elected official, she is compelled to resign. Perhaps she could join up with the Westboro Baptist (also in Kentucky) protesters, wherever they are these days. On a serious note and with both religious and secular methods considered, here are four options for Kim Davis in lieu of denying marriage licenses:
- Consult with the County leadership on the matter and come to a compromise somehow
- Resign and wash her hands of it altogether
- Pray and ask God for guidance before doing or saying anything else
- Ask God for provisions as she would then be jobless following her resignation
What ever happened to evangelism? Davis came in contact with people who needed to hear the convicting gospel she stands by each day. What did she do with that opportunity? Even believers have been torn since the story broke, not sure how to balance the word with everyday legal matters. You can't legislate morality and with each ruling that goes against the word, believers must understand the new burden to evangelize and immediately pick up the slack. This includes increased vocality when there was previously no need to speak out, providing input to buffer throngs of advocates for godless agendas like the removal of the 10 Commandments or the placement of yet another Bophamet statue.
County Clerk Kim Davis is not alone in this madness, however. In 2012 Texas Judge Tonya Parker, a lesbian came under fire for her unwillingness to perform heterosexual weddings in Dallas County. The judge didn't back down and was not reprimanded. To add insult to injury, Parker was re-elected in 2014 and is currently serving her latest term which expires in 2018. Parker is just as wrong as Davis and deserves some level of punishment or professional reprimand for her contribution to the hate filled drama played out in public office.
All in all, this isn't about belief, it's about adherence to what the law says. What about the muslim who won't ring up ham or the pro-life cashier who refuses the purchase of contraceptives? Don't think that's relevant? Continue to celebrate Kim Davis and you'll run into that sooner than later. Again...what happened to evangelism? Are believers tethered to their professions and church affiliations, only? Does your relationship with God exist outside of work and church? Can Kim Davis shine the light of Christ as County Clerk whose signature validates gay marriages in her county? If your answer is no, perhaps your expression of God needs a retouch and enlightenment.
This isn't a "God is love" or grace to all end all. This is a new question that the Lord has already answered (wise as serpents, harmless as doves. Matthew 10:16). Is the body of Christ listening? Is God calling believers off their jobs? NO and run very far away from any semblance of that message! If Davis won't resign, she's got to be forced out. How many souls are saved with her defiance? Believers can't rule out God's ability to be glorified even when adherence to His laws are seemingly trampled on.
You don't say...?
Prepare for descent...
I hope he speaks out soon to quell the rumors, address the allegations head on and at the least, speak up for himself. I've never met Mr. Cosby and the closest I've ever come to such is when his rep informed me that he would not be doing interviews when he came to Fort Worth's Bass Hall.
So...how has this affected me?
Personally, he'll always be my favorite funny man of all time but for now, these allegations are no laughing matter!
More helpful perspective from the office of the Secretary of State.
Don't let ignorance cost you your vote!
When you think of a Texas photo ID think money. Why? Because any ID you can use to vote, indirectly involves money to be made or spent.
*A driver's license: think of driving, gas costs you money and you drive to work (to make money) everyday.
*To cash a check: after you've worked 40 or 80 hours you need an ID to cash your paycheck and most banks will ask for your drivers license without fail.
*If you want to write a check you will need to present your drivers license along with the check in question.
*If you are in a circumstance where you do not have a valid drivers license the next viable option is a Texas ID card.
This ID card identifies you as a legal resident of Texas. If you do not possess
a valid Texas drivers license, a Texas ID card will be acceptable in lieu of the drivers license. In essence, it all revolves around money! If you want to make money or receive money you need identification. Think about that as you go to the polls, take the ID cards that you would use either presenting, receiving or making any monetary transaction. This is acceptable voter identification!
Now let's be real here for a second...
Most voters like myself never used their voter registration card anyway! I'm an early voter and I have always used my drivers license at the polling place. So for, me the Texas voter ID law doesn't affect me at all. Some politicians would argue that there are sectors of people grossly affected by the law. If this is true, what we must do to rectify any potential
endangerment or injury to potential voters is simply ensure that all voters have access to acceptable identification.
If not a driver's license, a Texas ID card. Other forms of acceptable ID include: a Texas DPS issue conceal handgun license or a passport. A passport is indicative of traveling, which also involves money. There is no traveling a person does without cost. If you will need a passport to travel, you will certainly need money...THINK money when you think of the Texas voter ID laws in 2014.
To summarize this, simply ignore the political rhetoric surrounding the Texas voter ID law and ask yourself this pertinent question: ''what's in your wallet?'' Do you have a valid Texas driver's license or Texas ID card? Most people over the age of 18 possess one or the other. Don't fall for any political rhetoric or white noise (saying nothing at all), simply go to the polls an educated voter and take either your: Texas ID card, drivers license, US Passport, Texas DPS issued CHL or other form of approved ID. You only need one!
Strangely, this has actually simplied the voting process so ignore those who try and make it too difficult!
Acceptable forms of voter ID (as prescribed by the office of the Texas Secretary of State)
- Texas driver license issued by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS)
- Texas Election Identification Certificate issued by DPS
- Texas personal identification card issued by DPS
- Texas concealed handgun license issued by DPS
- United States military identification card containing the person’s photograph
- United States citizenship certificate containing the person’s photograph
- United States passport
This video has since gone viral and for good reason. Not many people open up and share hurt they've experienced in life, of course having an international platform takes a bit of the sting away.
Sheryl Underwood is hailed as a heroine, standing tough in the face of those harsh words heard over the muted speakerphone. She has continued a successful stand up career and has made numerous guest appearances on talk,television and radio shows.
As days have gone by, the Queens of Comedy have chimed in and aren't taking the stand up queen's story sitting down. They are ready to talk and have aimed their shade squarely at Ms. underwood.
Let's face it, we've all been there...'they' have said something that hurt...bruised our self esteem or was downright mean. It hurt, especially when you heard it directly from them. 'They' varies with each story, but so does the triumph.
Underwood made it clear that she'd moved on and holds no ill will to her would be co-stars. The question is: "why are they mad?"
Well, wouldn't you be mad if your dirty laundry was aired...without you even knowing it existed? Crazy,right?
Well, for those 'Queens of Comedy', there's a lesson here. That lesson is this: Sheryl has moved on, now you have to as well!
By being the first to tell the story, Underwood has assumed the position of power and more than likely won't be vilified by the public.
Even if you're not a Sheryl Underwood fan, you can't help but appreciate the way things turned out for her. Closer to home, you have to also appreciate the inherent truths this story also provides...
Sometimes, 'they' are right and just don't know how to tell you! Sometimes, people's questions about you are actually harmless. Sometimes you have to just get over what they said and go prove you belong where they are. We hate new stuff. We hate anything that's going to upset our balance and will fight to keep it from happening.
However, if you're going to grow in life, you'll need to be willing and able to read beyond caustic commentary to receive the free advice others are unwillingly sharing.
For me, it was revealed while on my last tour in Japan that some people I know well didn't think too highly of my ability to play and lead the band while on tour. So much so that it'd become a topic of conversation over family dinner. Other musicians were a little more vocal, asking amongst their circles: "how did he get that gig?"
First things first, I take no credit for any level of success I experience. I am fully aware that without God, nothing is possible. Secondly, questioning can be something great for you and 'them'. I'm sure the original 'Queens' wondered whether or not Underwood could pull her weight on tour and whether she'd be a good enough draw in the absence of Mo'Nique.
There are numerous variables in this curious case. What if Sheryl went? What/where would she be now...? All we have now are questions, but I want to suggest that sometimes you have no other choice but to go!
I have sat in the same room while other people made fun of my playing and ability. Not so silent whispers in the green room during intermission don't feel good. Making matters worse, the person who hired me to play was sitting right in the middle of all the childish chatter, giggling right along. That hurt the most and I can identify with what Sheryl Underwood felt.
Still I had no other choice but to stick it out, actually work on what was being mocked and allow moments like that to shape me. I'm not a quitter and although convenient, it's never an option.
"...But by the grace of God I am what I am..."
Sometimes you just have to stand up in the muck and mire and prove you belong there! God makes no mistakes and his placement of us in situations are all in His divine plan. Sheryl Underwood is comfortable sharing this story now because as she said she's 'right where she belongs'.
In closing, please understand that we must be willing to grow if we'll ever go (anywhere)! People will say things to each other that they may never say to you and that's perfectly fine!!!!!!
Think about it like this...what if those words were never heard? Many other words were uttered, but how many have been heard? Perhaps a thank you is in order for Underwood as well.
Those words exchanged in that private conversation undoubtedly hurt, but they also helped. Perched atop her lofty platform on mainstream daytime television, Underwood is one of the truest beneficiaries to ever breach the threshold of the door of denial!
Learn how to walk through the door of divine denial.
In this blog, you will hear from Fred directly about a broad variety of subjects. Though Fred normally expresses his thoughts in his columns, he has created this space to share his most intimate thoughts concerning everyday life!
Arsenio Hall Show
Bishop Rance Allen
Black Entertainment Television
Black Gospel Music
Bring Back The Hymns
Contemporary Christian Music
David Wright And New York Fellowship Choir
Gaither Vocal Band
God Is Eternal Love
Gospel Music Labels
Hollywood Walk Of Fame
I Dream Of Nene
Inside Gospel Live
James Jackson And Atlanta Praise
Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Kevin Monroe And Devotion
Kings Of Comedy
Live From San Francisco
Michael Portley Jr & Students Of David
Monica Lisa Stevenson
My God Is Big
Old Church Songs
Only What You Do For Christ Will Last
Preachers Of La
Preachers Of La Preach Off
Purpose And Destiny
Queens Of Comedy
Rev. Timothy Wright
Rock Boy Fresh
South By Southwest
Stellar Gospel Music Awards
The Abyssinian Mass
The Rainbow Children
The Rance Allen Group
The Stellar Awards
The Talk Tv Show
Tony Bush And The Deacs
Universal Music Group
Vincent Tharpe & Kenosis
White Christian Music