Monday, June 24, 2013

Fantasia & Ebenezer AME

With great disappointment I write this blog this morning. I went back and forth with myself about whether I should write it but I have to be true to what I feel. Everybody who knows me, knows that I LOVE FANTASIA BARRINO!!! That girl's voice is amazing. She has an anointing on her life by God. Her voice is so powerful, it brings lost souls to the Lord. Every since the day I first saw her on American Idol I knew she was something special. From her audition, I said: She is the next American Idol and that she was. The American Idol in 2004. I screamed in joy, cried in happiness for her win. She deserved it. She has had such a long hard road and this was a new beginning for her. I've followed her every since. Her story, Her life, Her career, Her music, just everything. I recently attended her concert at The Fillmore in Silver Spring, MD which I enjoyed immensely. Couldn't wait to see her again. So when I heard that Fantasia would be at Ebenezer AME Church in Fort Washington, MD. I said, I'll be there. My best friend hipped me to it. Shout out to Bam. She always keeps me in the know of things in Tasia's world cause she knows I love her so and she does too. We have that in common. I looked online found the tickets and instantly purchased them for both me and my sister. We were both so excited to be going to a Church to see Fantasia Barrino in Concert.  Her mother was there too which was great but I was going to see Fantasia.

Surely becuase this concert was taking place in a church, she would be performing Gospel. Right?!? I mean this is a church and Fantasia grew up in the church and her mom is an Evangelist, Her grandmother is a Pastor so I knew this was gonna be a Holy Ghost Time in the Lord. Right?!? I mean Fantasia grew up in the south like me and understood the sanctity of a church and it's sanctuary and the people in it and how to be respectful of God's house. Right?!? WRONG!!!!!!!!

Fantasia got up on that "stage" right in front of that pulpit and she performed "When I see", "Collard Greens & Cornbread", "If I was a Bird", "Free Yourself" and a couple other songs from her secular albums. I can't remember them all. It was kind of a blur for me. I was in shock that she was performing secular songs in a church. Right in front of the pulpit, in the sanctuary, in front of it's believers and the Pastor and his Wife themselves. I was completely and totally ashamed, embarrassed and appauled. This is a church. A place of worship. The sanctuary of a church is a Holy Place. Growing up in the south and always being taught to respect the church and it's pews and the pulpit and seeing someone who grew up in the same place treat a church this way just floored me. Me and my sister sat there in disbelief. I couldn't believe what I was seeing.

Then she did the unthinkable. She performed Go-Go. Now I've heard of Gospel Go-Go. Some of it I actually enjoy and had she did some of that, I would have been totally down for the cause. But Overnight Scenario by Rare Essence? Performed in Church? I thought I was being punked. I just knew Ashton Kutcher was gonna come out with cameras telling me this was all a big fat joke. NOT! She got up on that stage and said:

Three in the morning the pancake house
Four in the morning we be rolling to my house
Five in the morning the lights go out
Six in the morning you can hear us start to shout
Seven in the morning she’ll be callin'a cab
Eight in the morning talking about the fun she had
Nine in the morning man and she just gettin' home
Talkin' about the over night scenario, scenario

I hadn't seen it myself, I wouldn't believe it. Good thing I taped it. Cause it did happen and I want yall to see.
Now I will say this.....The program was a Youth program and I'm guessing that's why she performed some of her "hits". But that was not appropriate inside the church.

After the tomfoolery of wordly music being played and performed in the sanctuary of a church was over, she and her mom performed two gospel songs. "Break Every Chain" and "He's Done Enough". 

I knew Fantasia Barrino knows about Praising the Lord and Uplifting his Name so for the life of me, I don't understand why she didn't get up there and do that the entire time. This was a church so we all expected Gospel. There were many, many, many older women and men in the audience who sat perfectly still while she performed her secular music. I felt sorry for them. They came to see what they thought like I thought would be a Gospel Show. But what it was was a Money Show. The church was about making money and Fantasia was about selling records. $$$$$$ Ca-Ching, Ca-Ching, Ca-Ching.

I love Fantasia but this was WRONG, WRONG, WRONG on her part and on the part of Ebenezer AME Church. They both need to pray and ask the Lord for forgiveness. Won't he do it!!!

I wish I had more video to show you of her performances but it took 2 hours for Fantasia to come out on stage. Show started at 7:30 pm and she got out on stage at about 10:00 pm. SMH! I had to sit through two hours of praise dancing, step shows, poetry, skits and various other artists perform song after song after song. By the time she came out my phone was on less than 40% and I didn't have enough charge to record much of anything at all. In the ad for the program it said:

Please Join us for the concert with Fantasia & Diane Barrino as they reach back to their christian roots live at Ebenezer AME Church for the Encounter concert.

Now reading that, wouldn't you think this was a Gospel Concert? 

By the end, Evangelist Barrino started laying hands on folk and they started falling out. Me and my sister got up and walked out. I had had enough. I had taken all I could possibly take. This Concert of Mommy & Daughter Barrino was a epic fail. EPIC FAIL! I felt sorry for the Seniors that were in the audience that had to endure this. By the time I left the church was halfway empty. Guess others had had enough too. I know people roll hard for their churches and you probably won't get a one of them to talk bad about Ebenezer and this foolishness but I am not a member of that church and even if I was, I would still voice my opinion. Had I not already been saved, I would have thought these people were nuts and pretending to serve the Lord. I don't doubt they love our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, I just think they worship that Almighty Dollar a little bit too much too. 

Mark 8:36

King James Version (KJV)
36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Friends: How many others have them?

How many of us have them?
Ones we can depend on
How many of us have them?
Before we go any further, lets be

Is a word we use everyday
Most the time we use it in the wrong way
Now you can look the word up, again and again
But the dictionary doesn't know the meaning of friends

And if you ask me, you know, I couldnt be much help
Because A friend is somebody you judge for yourself
Some are ok, and they treat you real cool
But some mistake kindness for bein a fool

We like to be with some, because they're funny
Others come around when they need some money
Some you grew up with, around the way
And you're still real close too this very day

Homeboys through the Summer, Winter, Spring and Fall
And then there's some we wish we never knew at all
And this list goes on, again and again
But these are the people that we call friends

The words above are from a rap song by a rap group from back in the day called "Whodini"
This song resonated with me today as I think about all the people that I call friend.
For most of my life I've had the very same best friends. Three of them. When i was younger, I had a different best friend here or there but they were all temporary as I was young and didn't really understand the meaning behind the word friend and what being a real friend truly entails. I think some people see their friends as always being perfect or always knowing what to do or say or always being there for them when they need them but that truly is not the case. It is a impossible expectation to think that your friend will ALWAYS BE THERE WHEN YOU NEED THEM. They may want to be, they may long to be, they may intend to be but that may not always be the case. It's an impossible expectation to place on another human being. Truly it is. There are times that really matter and having your friend there is very important. I think sometimes we expect our friends to be perfect and make no mistakes. That's also impossible. We are all human and capable of doing things wrong.

The difference to me between a friend and a person that you know isn't is there capability to come back from whatever differences you may have and be able to admit what they've done wrong and apologize and sincerely mean it. In this life, if you don't know and can't be forgiving of others, you will have a hard life to lead because everyone will fail you at some point. Each and every one. No one is perfect. Not mommy, Not daddy, Not your sister or your brother and definitely not your best friend. We pick our friends based on how well we get along, how much we have in common, how trustworthy they are and how fun they are to be around. Perfection is not a quality that your friend will have because you don't have it either. None of us do. 

If your friend does something that hurts you, tell them. Express to them how much whatever it was hurt you and allow them to respond. How they respond tells you whether they are truly your friend or not. Now of course there are certain things that a friend absolutely positively would not do and in that instance, you already know. An apology isn't needed. LOL I'm not gonna go into that right now but I'm saying this because recently I learned somehow who I loved and cared about was never really my friend. That hurt me. It hurt me to my core because I pride myself on being a very good judge of character. I'm not talking about the shallow shit. I'm talking about the real deal holyfield who you are person on the inside. I pride myself on being able to tell who is real and who isn't and I'm uspset with my myself for allowing this person into my life, into my home, into my family and all the while, they weren't what i call "good people". 

I had put that person out of my life. I'm working on putting them out of my heart but that's a process that doesn't happen overnight. When I love, I love hard. I put my all into the people I care about and try my best to be there when I can, if i can. I travel back and forth frequently to NC for different events, occasions, etc and people say..."you're going to NC again?". My response: "yep" Those NC friends have been good to me and I owe them and I will always be there for them every chance I get. I have a family that's really not my family at all. (biologically) but to me, they for a period of time were the only family unit I had ever really known. I'm getting off track here so let me get back to the subject at hand. LOL

Friends....yeah. Don't be so quick to judge people because they aren't ALWAYS there when you need them. They won't be. When people fail me, I look to God. He is the one and only who I know will always be there for me, day or night, good or bad, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer who will never fail me. Ever. To expect that of another human being simply just isn't fair. My friend betrayed me in a way that let me know for sure we ain't shit no more and when I expressed it to her what she did and how I felt, she still didn't apologize or even try to reconcile and make it better. So yeah, we're done. There are reasons to put people out of your life...yes but just because they aren't there everytime you need them shouldn't be one. 

Forgiveness is a powerful thing. I've forgiven so many people over the course of my life and some of those people don't play a active role in my life anymore but i forgave them and because I was able to forgive them, I let go of the hurt and pain of it all. I never forget though. But just remember forgiveness doesn't mean what they did was right. It just means that you refuse to hold on to that anguish and pain and carry it around with you forever and let it play a part in your everyday life. Pain manifests itself in so many ways. There are so many things that will happen in your life that will hurt you, knock you down and sometimes even may make you feel like you can't go on. I've been there. That's when I realized that the only friend that will NEVER let me down, is God. 

That reminds me of a lil song Patti Labelle sings...

You are my friend,

I never knew it 'til then
My friend, my friend

You hold my hand,
You might not say a word
But I see your tears when I show my pain

You're--- my, my friend
I never knew it 'til then
My friend
I feel your love,
When you're not near
It helps me make it knowing you care

The thought of you helps me carryon 
When I feel all hope is gone
I see the world wit brand new eyes
Your love has made me realize
My future looks bright to me, 
Oh because you are my friend
I've been looking around and you were here all the time.

That song to me from the moment I heard it has always been about God.

singing: I've been looking around and you were here all the time