…It Takes One to Know One!

Yesterday, thinking about baby John leaping in his mother’s womb as Mary approached (newly impregnated with Jesus). Immediately, I (and a few friends) kicked around a few reasons why this occurred. All of us are astute bible readers so we had many stock answers as to why it was. One even shared a preposterous theory (that I won’t share) that someone even said to them!

All in all, we came BACK to the original conclusion that we have heard in church all these years. The forerunner greeted the Anointed One. The Spirit took me deeper in that. How did he know it was Jesus? Well, it was told Zacharias that John would be filled with the Holy Spirit in the womb. Being filled with the Spirit in the womb, John knew who Jesus FULLY was even as an embryo (notice-it’s not recorded that Jesus returned the salutation)!

This brings me to this conclusion: If we fast forward a few years, we’ll see that John sounded the alarm that Jesus was coming! John (though receiving great attention and even having his own disciples) turned the world’s attention to the savior (his cousin). The connection (in ministry) was present before the two of them were even born!

John didn’t live to see Jesus’ ministry fully but their encounter culminated in the Jordan River. John rebuffed Jesus’ request for him to baptize Him, later agreeing to. After John baptized Jesus a dove descended and the Lord spoke saying: “This is my son in whom I am well pleased”. At that time, Jesus was made known to all mankind that He was the son of God. John resisted the pleas from the people to rise up and ‘keep’ those who would leave to follow Jesus, instead he retorted: “He must increase, but I must decrease…”

What does that mean to us today?

It shows that John recognized that the savior of all mankind was on His way! John himself was assigned to do a mighty work, and his ‘greeting’ can be seen as so much of an indicator as to how these two would change the world!

Simply put, “It Takes One to Know One”! On the issue of world changers, many of us are surrounded by those who will never grow to do anything beyond normal! John’s ministry cost him his life, Jesus ministry was to give His life! How many of us could look around us and say that we are connected to world changers or people of greatness? Many of us innocently aspire to be great but fall short for a number of reasons! Even more astoundingly, we fail to realize our place in another’s greatness! John was Jesus’ forerunner only! He constantly reminded the people of that when they sought to remove him to a greater destiny!

It also takes strong discipline to realize that your greatness is only laying the groundwork for another’s! Had John been lax in foretelling Jesus’ coming and work, the world may have turned before Jesus even had a chance to assume His natural course on earth!Never underestimate your ‘great’ place in another’s greatness! Destiny is for all people. We are not all destined to the same end but we can’t forfeit our place out of envy for another’s!

Be thankful for those that see who you are and line up according to it! It may be friends at school, a coworker on the job, maybe even your spouse/family. These people are secure enough to not only celebrate you but prepare the world for you!

Isn’t it amazing that there are people placed in the world to get the world ready for you? Amazingly, these people aren’t too shabby either! People of note, whose influence only opens the door wider for people to find out about the great things God has placed in you! Are you a world changer? A community changer? A workplace changer? A school changer? Or are you the one paving the way for them? Whichever you are, do it with all the strength you have! There’s no room for arrogance, just a will and purpose carefully honed in on what your place in the world is!

How monumental it is that the two encountered each other before even stepping foot on the earth (womb to womb). Clearly, in regards to greatness…It Takes One to Know One!!!!

 

 

 

You Just Never Do Sometimes…

So today I played a funeral, it was good, but kinda surreal! As a musician(who never turns down work) I find myself in all kinds of company, today was proof of it. Picture this(insert Sophia from Golden Girls quote here),Slick (from WWF) doing the eulogy and the family of the deceased as musically rich as Fort Worth can get! As the family processed in, I saw a few familiar faces and immediately put the ‘tighten up’ on-you don’t want to get scooted off the organ seat! lol Anyway, the decedent’s brothers are musicians and singers I used to play with a few years ago. Better than that, her brother taught Kirk Franklin(his nephew) to play the piano…say whatever you want, that’s interesting! Anyway, her cousin was a recording artist and was on the Malaco record label for a few years. All in all, there were a few other people that I knew but I just want to mention these few. As you know, church is HILARIOUS and I just gotta mention this-At the end, I was playing I’ll Fly Away and then out of nowhere I hear this voice…(yes I thought it was coming from the casket :() but somebody in the church was singing a totally different song! They were so loud that I changed songs(By and By) for a chorus,pulled out a few more drawbars and proceeded with I’ll Fly Away. If you gon’ just burst out into song, please let it at least be the RIGHT song!!!!!

As the funeral concluded, another musician approached me and made a few comments…”I enjoyed your playing, etc.” Then blew away by saying “you’re a musician’s musician. I didn’t really know how to reply other than the usual “to God be ALL the glory” but it did put a minor spring in my step! lol So, we all know people we can bestow this compliment on so let’s take some time and share what we really feel about our fellow musicians! Quit hating, and quit holding back good words-they both equal the same thing!

I reached my tag limit, but I wanna shout out to all my facebook friends, true musicians-keep up the good work!

June 3,2009

Words of Wisdom

Having a conversation with local choir music legend and choir director Charlene Ayers after a concert and television taping, she made one of the most profound statements ever. She simply said ‘take what you have and make it what you want!'(paraphrased) This is profound because many aspiring artists and musicians need to hear this and put it into practice. As the Sunday Best production entourage left town, singers were left wondering what they were missing that caused them to not be selected to make the show. Truth is and as Antonio Johnson, who was a preliminary judge put it in his note ” Sunday Best will not keep you from shining. It just wasn’t your time yet.” What does one have to do with the other?

Well, when will you have a time? What can you do to ‘create’ a time for yourself? The bible does say that our ‘gift will make room for us'(Prov.18:16) but have you really taken a look at that passage as it pertains to yourself? The gospel message in song is broader than the recording industry itself. It’s broader than the thousands of prospective church audiences and millions of listeners. Additionally, what ‘room’ is there for you? Many aspring gospel singers and musicians struggle in this very area and have found little solace in the word.

Solomon offered this piece of advice in Proverbs 22:29: “Do you see a man diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men”(Amplified). What Solomon declares is that there is certainly work involved in whatever we do! In Proverbs 18;16 Solomon says that ‘our gift will bring us before great men’ but in 22;29 he says that diligence and skill will bring us before Kings. Psalm 75:6,7 tells us: “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.” Ultimately, God is in control but we certainly have a responsibility in the matter,which goes back to Johnson’s words of wisdom!

In Matthew 25 14-30 Jesus tells a familiar parable where a man hid his one talent because it was less than the five and ten talents given respectively to the others. This is so much like aspiring artists and musicians in the gospel arena. We have to use what God has given us in order to get the fulness of it! How can ‘burying’ it make it greater?

Singers and musicians, seek God to bring out the best in you! Maybe you don’t consider yourself the best singer or musician. Maybe you don’t sing your best around other singers. Maybe you simply refuse to share the gift you know God has placed in your life. For others, the anointing rests on their life, but they refuse to cultivate the gift or even pursue God to learn how to be led how to flow in the fulness of His anointing. There is work to do and only the enemy is glorified when you fail to ‘put in the work’!

David said in Psalm 33:3: “Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.” This can only be done when a connection is made with what we have,what we aspire to have and what God’s purpose for our life is! “Take what you have and make it what you want!” Bring those requests to God and get  busy!!!! Keep those things lifted up in prayer, and the Lord will answer them(Matt. 6:6). Artists, it’s not enough to ‘shed’, rather make sure you have the right ‘tools'(God’s guidance, prayer, work ethic, etc) in your woodshed!