- Created on 10 December 2013
Label Motown Gospel received five 2014 Grammy Award nominations collectively for artists Tye Tribbett and Tasha Cobbs.
Tribbett received three nominations for Best Gospel/Contemporary Christian Music Performance (“If He Did It Before…Same God-Live”), Best Gospel Song (“If He Did It Before…Same God-Live”), and Best Gospel Album (Greater Than-Live)....
- Created on 09 December 2013
Photo by Elev8
I Am Supposed To Be Right Here, Right Now.
Stop rushing your time.
Have you ever noticed how hurried life is these days? When was the last time you enjoyed the grass between your toes and thought about just how fortunate you are to be able to even be outdoors to experience these simple things?
Have you actually looked at the flowers around you?
Yes, we are all busy. Yes, there is lots to be done, but it's important to enjoy life.
Enjoy the moment.
Today focus on:
I Am Supposed To Be Right Here, Right Now.
for more information, click here.
- Created on 09 December 2013
AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi
CAPE TOWN, South Africa (AP) -- In death, Nelson Mandela unified South Africans of all races and backgrounds Sunday on a day of prayer for the global statesman - from a vaulted cathedral with hymns and incense to a rural, hilltop church with goat-skin drums and barefoot dancing.
Mandela was remembered in old bedrocks of resistance to white domination as well as former bastions of loyalty to apartheid.
"May his long walk to freedom be enjoyed and realized in our time by all of us," worshippers said in a prayer at the majestic St. George's Cathedral in Cape Town, where the first white settlers arrived centuries ago aboard European ships.
South Africa's reflection on Mandela's astonishing life was a prelude to a massive memorial in a Johannesburg stadium Tuesday that will draw world leaders and luminaries. They will gather to mourn, but also to salute the achievements of the prisoner who became president and an emblem of humanity's best instincts.
The extended farewell - a bittersweet mix of grief and celebration - ends Dec. 15, when Mandela is to be buried in his rural hometown of Qunu in Eastern Cape province.
The anti-apartheid campaigner wanted to die in those modest, traditional surroundings; instead, he died Thursday at age 95 in his home in an exclusive Johannesburg area. He was surrounded by family after months of a debilitating illness that required the constant care of a team of doctors.
Family friend Bantu Holomisa told The Associated Press that Mandela wasn't on life support in his final hours. He appeared to be sleeping calmly but it was obvious that he was finally succumbing, added Holomisa, who said he saw Mandela about two hours before his death.
"I've seen people who are on their last hours and I could sense that he is now giving up," said Holomisa, who is the leader of the United Democratic Movement in parliament.
"You could see it is not Madiba anymore," Holomisa added, using Mandela's clan name.
The government and Mandela's family have revealed few details about Mandela's death. Ahmed Kathrada, who was sentenced to life in prison with Mandela in 1964, said he was informed shortly before Mandela's death that his old friend had little time left.
Kathrada said Graca Machel, Mandela's wife, conveyed the message to him through another person that Mandela "will be leaving us that night" and "the doctors have said, 'Anytime.'"
The death still came as a shock to many South Africans, so accustomed to the enduring presence of the monumental fighter, even when he retired from public life years ago and became increasingly frail.
"He was more than just an individual soul. He was the exposition of the African spirit of generosity," said the Rev. Michael Weeder, dean of St. George's Cathedral.
But he cautioned that the country still has so much to do.
"The strength of the new South Africa will be measured in the distance that the poor and the marginalized travel from the periphery to the center of our society," Weeder said.
In Johannesburg, hundreds swayed and sang at the Regina Mundi Church that was near the epicenter of the Soweto township uprising against white rule in 1976 and served as a refuge from security forces who fired tear gas around the building and whose bullets have pockmarked the outside walls.
The Rev. Sebastian J. Rossouw compared Mandela to the biblical figures Isaiah and John the Baptist as men who led in dark times, calling him "that moonlight in the dark night."
God "sent us this man to show us the depths of the human heart, he sent us this man to show us that despite what was going on at the time, light could shine," Rossouw said. He warned of the flaws of modern life in South Africa, preaching against the "corruption and crime" that plague the country.
Mandela's ex-wife, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, joined one of his grandsons, Mandla Mandela, and South African President Jacob Zuma in a prayer service in Johannesburg.
Inside a church behind Mandela's property in the eastern village of Qunu, where he will be buried, about 50 people held a raucous, celebratory service. A robed man banged on a drum. Clapping men huddled as women danced on the concrete floor.
The Rev. Joshua Mzingelwa, the leader of Morians Episcopal Apostolic Church, delivered a loud, throaty sermon.
"There is still hope in the hardship that you are facing daily," Mzingelwa told the congregation.
In an affluent, predominantly white suburb of the capital, Pretoria, parishioners prayed for Mandela at what was once a worship center for pro-apartheid government and business leaders.
A picture of Mandela was beamed onto the wall above the pulpit, highlighting the enormous changes in South Africa, which elected Mandela as its first black president in an all-race vote in 1994.
The Rev. Niekie Lamprecht, pastor of the Dutch Reformed Church of Pretoria East, said Mandela was the driving force behind changes of attitude in the congregation's overwhelmingly white parishioners.
"He said, 'Let's forgive,' and he forgave. That created a space for people to feel safe ... at a time when the expectation was that there was going to be a war," Lamprecht said.
Foreign dignitaries began arriving Sunday, and the government said more than 50 heads of state were expected. Those attending include U.S. President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Brazilian leader Dilma Rousseff and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
After the stadium memorial on Tuesday, Mandela's body will lie in state at the Union Buildings, the seat of government in Pretoria, from Wednesday to Friday, followed by the burial in Qunu.
- Created on 06 December 2013
Photo by Elev8
Do me a favor. Type the word 'Jesus' into the Google images search field and see what comes up.
Thousands upon thousands of images of a long-haired, bearded, youngish, granola-crunchy, tree hugging types is what you'll get. You know the make love not war, hippy type from the 1970's.
So just last week just as I was contemplating what type of Christmas tree to get- how tall, how fat-I happened to walk by the temporary tree shop that crops up every Thanksgiving just down from my apartment in Harlem.
This year it was the same two guys as last year, Adam and Michael.
Both are from Vermont. At least they spend most of the year in Vermont when they're not selling Christmas trees.
Both are hippy types.
Both look a lot like the fictional, popular portrayal of Jesus, the movie version. Michael is even a carpenter.
Right then it struck me as funny and interesting that Jesus is selling Christmas trees in my neighborhood; or at least someone who bears a resemblance.
I told him to strike his best messiah like pose, took the picture, laughed about it with him and some customers and left.
A few days later I remembered the photo and posted on social media writing quote: "Look who's selling Christmas trees in my neighborhood. He says his father sent him. Think he's the real one? Hmm." (Photo above)
The responses came immediately.
The first few on twitter read:
"It figures your Jesus is white."
"Come on bro...white Jesus and the saturnalia tree?.......yea I said it, keep it 100 Don...smh"
On Facebook someone wrote, "Jesus was not a white man. Who are you these days?... Take a serious step back and think things through."
Another poster wrote, "Oh man, I can't even joke about something like that, especially not on a Sunday. A Christmas tree and the Messiah...ugh! Sorry Don, not liking that."
Someone else wrote, "To all my good strong black people. Don Lemon is an Uncle Tom. You shouldn't be shocked by it."
I don't take any of those comments personally because those people really don't know me. To me everything is material for either a news story or a commentary.
But the post that really inspired me to discuss it in this commentary was from a poster called Soulful Body Movers who wrote, "Don, you didn't do anything wrong, this post was a "good thing" and the issue was overdue for discussion, and I think it's the reason why you got such a great response. I love Christmas and a good laugh! Love Conquers ALL, Peace and Love Everybody!!!"
That's my kind of person; someone who takes nothing personally or too seriously; especially a Christian who doesn't judge. Imagine that?
Anyone who has read what the Bible says about Jesus, knows his origins and what he might have looked like- dark with wavy hair with darker features. But do we know for sure? NO.
But what I do know for sure is for those of us who have studied the Bible is that even Jesus had a sense of humor.
Is it really that important that Jesus looked like us black or white or whatever? Isn't it more important that we act like him and lighten up? And turn the other cheek?
For more on this story, click here.