Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why Red & Black ?

Some of you might have noticed that throughout my website, red and black is a prominent theme. I wanted to explain why that is but I realized that in order for me to truly convey the significance of what these colours mean to me, I would have to start from the beginning. The very beginning. Before art was even on my radar.

Early Years (Age 0 – 10)

Growing up in Barbados, like any child at that time, my mom made sure I went to church and attended Sunday school. I knew the basics, Jesus loves me, He healed the sick, fed the poor and died for our sins. I was to follow the 10 commandments and be a good person. In reality, I believe I was more so a Christian because it was how I was raised therefore it was all I knew; plus living under my mom’s roof, it was that way or the highway. I had no choice but to love Jesus, lol.
I was never really into art per say but my father, uncle and cousin were. And because I wanted to fit in, I learned to draw but it always felt a little difficult to me because they were so good and I wasn’t. I remember one realistic drawing that either my dad or uncle did. It was of Jesus’ head with a crown of thorns. That image is forever etched in my brain because as a child, I thought that it didn’t get much better than this. This is too perfect like real life. I can never be this good. It’s impossible.
As the years progressed, I messed around here and there with art and comic characters, drawing ninja turtles etc. but at the heart of it all, I wanted to be a business owner like my father. At the time, he was always the manager at some store and as time went on he eventually owned his own franchise. So that’s where my heart was, to make money and be successful like my father. At school I was always ranked one of the best when it came to drawing. There would always be competitions of one upmanship among the top three artists and myself. One of whom was my best friend at the time, “WHAT UP ANDRE?!”. But again, art was just something I had a talent for but nothing I took seriously, I just did it for the recognition and accolades.
Then around the age of 8 or 9, I would say that things started to get funky in my life. I was already the child of a broken marriage but my mother always pulled double duty to make sure I didn’t feel the absence of my father’s presence. I can honestly say, she loved / loves me TOO much. She never wanted me to experience hurt or pain and as a result I was very sheltered and over protected. But her heart was pure and she did it for the best of me. But that didn’t stop the fact that at that age I could sense that things felt abnormal. It started with the skin condition called vitiligo and just how the whole atmosphere of my life felt wrong. I didn’t know how to fix things, neither did my mother. We would just live life one day at a time and believe for the best. She would trust in God and I would trust in her.

The Call (Age 10 - 11)

Around age 10, things started getting really bad. Constant nightmares, feelings of fear, depression and sadness. Not to mention the fact that I missed my father a lot. He was always “busy” being an entrepreneur, whether legit or not, it was to be expected from divorced parents. Interaction would have been awkward I guess. One day I was in church, not because I wanted to be but because it was Sunday and that’s what you do in the Caribbean, you go to church on Sundays. And also it was my mom’s house, so her rules. If given the option, I was good on that. I could stay home and play Nintendo all day, like a BAWSE! Lol.
But I distinctly remember the sermon being boring and I tilted by head back and looked at the roof and all of sudden I had a vision; I saw my future. My wife, my kids, and the reason why I was created. God told me that He brought me into the earth to use art to minister to and to bring change to my generation. To summarise, He told me it would be art of a different breed and to expect great things. After the vision ended, I became aware of my reality of being back in the boring church service. At that point, I wasn’t aware it was a vision, I just thought it was a very elaborate day dream. None the less, I decided to share it with my mom to see if there was more to it than I thought. Immediately she recognized it was a vision from God and told me we need to follow what God said. Please bear in mind, I had no intentions of being an artist for a living, I wanted to go where the money was and that was being a store owner like my dad. But I was raised to always obey God because He knows best and if you want the best in life, that is what you do. I recently asked my mother, why she believed what I told her was from God and not just my child like imagination? She told me the things I told her were far beyond my cognition at that age and it had to have been divinely given.
So I started to take art more seriously but at the same time the nightmares and oppression in my life kept going from bad to worse. I didn’t know how to make it stop. Truth be told, I had somewhat grown used to it and accepted it as life because I knew no other way. Even though it felt bad, even though intrinsically I knew there had to be better. I accepted it. Then one day at church there was an impromptu deliverance service and as the pastor prayed for us, God showed him by the spirit that via witchcraft someone had released hordes of demons to torment us. Then during that prayer I had a vision of my own and God showed me our house being surrounded by encroaching demons. Then as the pastor prayed that we be delivered, I saw them disperse and disappear. It was at that moment I knew Jesus was real. You can know of someone your whole life but until you have an experience and interaction with them, you will not have an intimate knowledge of them being REAL.
It was at that point, at age 11, I decided to take my Christianity seriously. If I was that important for the devil to try to kill me, then what God showed me MUST equally be as important. I wish I could tell you that from that night the demonic harassment stopped and life was great after that prayer. NOPE! When I decided to take my walk seriously, I instantly had a bulls eye on me for different reasons. Before it was for the fun of tormenting a child, now it was for the purpose of aborting destiny. My determined decision to be a REAL Christian thrust me from the frying pan into the fire.

Bootcamp (Age 11 - 16)

The presence of demons had reached a point in my life where there were visitations every night. It was so bad, that I had a ritual every night before I went to bed. I would make sure every light in the house, which lead a path to my bedroom, was on. And as I progressed closer and closer to my room I would systematically turn each light off. Then as I reached my bedroom door, I would anoint the door posts with anointing oil in the shape of a cross. Place Psalm 91 at the foot of my door, pull back the bed covers and turn on the fan. NOW this is where the fun begins. I knew when I turned off my bedroom light, is when it would get real. So in one motion, I had to turn off the light and seamlessly dive under my covers and pull it over my head. Why did I have to dive under the covers and pull it over my head? So I wouldn’t see the demons rising from the shadows in the corner of my room. Why did I have to have the fan on? So I wouldn’t hear the demons whispering and feel them breathing on my neck. I would convince myself that it was just the wind from the fan. Why was it imperative that I be under the covers as the fan blew on me? So that I could tell myself that it was just the wind of the fan moving the sheets and not demons touching me.
Because I knew what I was experiencing was real, I had to use logic to trick my mind into believing all these rational placebos and buffer zones I had setup. Then as I lay in the midst of these night terrors, I had to pray. Pray that I make it to the morning.
Then during the summer, my mom decided that we would wake up at 5am to have Bible study. Excuse me? You do realize that is summer vacation and at 5am angels are still sleeping right? But this was her law, so let it be written, so let it be done. As much as I hated those 5am Bible studies, I grew exponentially because of them. I learned about spiritual warfare and actually using scriptures as weapons, I learnt how my words carried weight and that what I said, determined what I received (Prov 18:21). Spiritually I was more mature than my peers. It was to the point that I would sit in on adult Sunday school because Jesus fed the 5000 wasn’t cutting it for me. I was now well equipped to deal with the spirits that tormented me. One by one, my placebos and buffer zones were laid to rest. Until it reached the point, where I embraced the darkness. I was no longer the recipient of terror but the harbinger of it. I no longer feared but I was to be feared.

God and Art (Age 16 -18)

Up until this point my spirituality and artistic style grew somewhat hand in hand. But the majority of my focus was on growing in God. Now I came to the point in my life where I was like “Ok God, you gave me this calling, now what do I do with it?” The first thing that comes to mind as being a Christian artist is that you have to draw biblical characters only. But knowing me, that was going to get old really quick. There’s only but so many times I can draw Jesus with sheep. Plus, I was used to drawing fantastic comic characters and emulating what I saw from Marvel / DC etc. I had a talk with my mom about what I should do and she told me “Being a Christian artist doesn’t mean you only draw Moses or biblical characters, it means you create by the spirit of God. God will give you the inspiration.” The words were from her mouth but the message was from God.

At that point I decided to blaze my own trail, I would intentionally be different and be in a league of my own. I began to saturate everything I produced in prayer and would ask God to help me create. And as I did that, I found that God would subvert my preset routines of illustration. He would say why not try this or why not put this there or why not use this colour instead. As a result, this divine inspiration put me at the top of my classes artistically. I knew that I was the best, not because I was bragging but because it was just what it was. I was apprentice to creator of the universe, the apex artist. Being the best was simply the byproduct of such association.

My art style became very vibrant in colour and aggressive in brush strokes. What you saw on the canvas was a mirror image of what was going on inside of me. Spirituality was always intertwined in some form in my work. That’s why a self-portrait was never the status quo, you would always see the spiritual overflowing into the natural.

"self portrait"
 11" x 37"
acrylic on canvas

The above painting illustrates me being consumed by the fire of God and the power of the Holy Ghost shooting out of my eyes. The painting beneath depicts me in a state of spiritual amok, intimidating the enemy.


 37" x 52"

acrylic on canvas

It could be said that my use of colour was as a result of cultural influence, to some degree it might have been. The Caribbean is a colourful place.

But for me, using colour in it’s purest form without diluting or amalgamating it with another colour spoke immensely of the importance of remaining an unadulterated, individual while being able to work corporately in performing a unified task. For me the juxtapositioning of vivid colours travelling on the backs of aggressive brush strokes was a direct assault on the kingdom of darkness as each colour was applied.
The more I grew in my relationship with God, the more established I became in my artistic identity. What you saw on the outside was who I was on the inside. My work took on a terrifying persona because I had to become that much more formidable to the forces of darkness that were attacking me on a daily basis. My expressions and interpretations of God were directly based upon the relationship I had with Him. While most knew Him as a father or love, I knew Him as a warrior and as such that was the facet of Him I portrayed. We must remember, we perceive people based on the relationship we have with them. It doesn’t mean that it’s a different person, it’s just a different side of them. For example, the way you know the president is different from the way his kids know him. You know him as commander in chief, they know him as dad. Even the way his wife knows him is different than how the kids do. So this is the side of God I know, it grew out of a necessity to survive, it was cultivated out of the pursuit of destiny.

Coming to America (Age 18-21)

After graduating from Barbados Community College with an associates degree in Fine Art, I came to the Savannah College of Art and Design and graduated with a Bachelor’s in Sequential Art. I then moved to South Carolina to be with my mom. While I was here, I attended the local church she was a part of and was embraced with open arms. Everybody loved me. I was very focused and serious about my walk with God and my art. Given what I had been through in my life up to that point, I was very goal oriented and destiny fueled. My desire, walk and worship of God was equally pure as it was intense. And because of that I was misunderstood in some aspects. Remember the analogy I gave with the president. Many people don’t know the side of God that I do, so when it is displayed it can be taken the wrong way. “That looks demonic”, “That art does not look like God”, “It looks like the work of a murderer”. It never bothered me because I knew they didn’t have the same revelation of God as I did and I know it takes different parts to complete the body of Christ. It’s ok if all you’ve known was the heart, just don’t be put off when an arm arrives.

In the process of attending the church I befriended a young lady and we fell in love. It was beautiful. This is where things get interesting.

Fade to Black (Age 22-23)

Up to this point I was well loved, respected and received by everyone. We can’t control who we fall in love with, neither can a person choose their family. The problem was my heart decided to fall in love with a woman who lived at home with an overly controlling mother. Her mother loved me and approved of me dating her daughter, until her daughter started using her own brain and being an individual. Just so you understand the level of control the mother had over the household; she had to ask her mother if she could have permission to go outside. “You’re how old?”

Love will make you do “stupid” things. And her stupid thing, was going out of her way to spend time with me, “disobeying” her mother and making adult decisions. We could hardly enjoy a date together as her mom would set ridiculous curfews and would always call to see what we were doing and sometimes she would send my love interest’s siblings to our location just to “hang out”. It was over the top.
As “A” leads to “B”, it was only elementary that issues with our relationship spilled into church life. The issues weren’t between the young lady and I, the issues were all from her mother fearing the loss of control she once had. So her mother started spreading rumors and lies in the church, not only on my mother and myself but on her very OWN daughter, that was the lowest of the low to me. She would go to the pastor crying and telling her fabricated stories. Then I noticed that relationships I had cultivated in the church started to change. People wouldn’t converse as much or associate as much. Just a select few who knew the truth and knew my heart remained. Things were getting very stressful for my love interest at her home, as her mom was physically and verbally abusive. I told her, it’s not worth it. I’ll just move on. It shouldn’t be this much turmoil and unnecessary stress just to be a part of someone’s family. Blood is thicker than water and at the end of the day you should always have your family. I love you too much to see you go through this, I’ll just leave. She begged me to stay, pleaded with me and convinced me. So I told her, once I am in. I am ALL IN, 100% to the end. I will never leave you, I’ll always be here. Are you sure you want this? She said yes. So it was at that moment I totally committed myself to her. As we grew closer, the intensity of  both her mother’s and sister’s assaults followed suit in the forms of slander and emotional abuse. I found myself hurting, not for me. But for the one I loved.  Seeing her hurt, hurt me. Seeing her cry, cut me. My colourful, vibrant life was starting to fade before my eyes.
Almost every day was some ridiculous event, scenario or yelling going on in the background whenever we talked on the phone. Being adept at spiritual warfare and having to endure what I grew up in, I could tell her mom was doing some shady praying. It was affecting my home and even my relationship with my mom. So, being a prayer warrior I knew how to handle the situation. I know that when I pray, God listens and answers. So I told my love, “Your mom is praying prayers against me and my mom that are not of God and they’re affecting us. I’ve done all I can in being respectful, polite and trying to embrace her but she only has one agenda in mind. I have to defend myself. I can only turn my cheek so many times”. Because she knew who I am, she begged me not to pray. After all, it was her mom and what was important to her was important to me. So I willingly let my defenses down and took the incoming onslaught. Love sacrifices. It might not have been the wisest move, but it was all I knew at the time to appease her. I figured I was strong enough to take it until she had her own place and we could finally be together without any distractions.
Daily, my vibrant life started to fade. I knew I could withstand this barrage of lies and slander; after all, I faced demons nightly for years and survived. This wasn’t going to kill me. The battle strategy wouldn’t be retaliation but it had to be endurance and patience. Hearing all the lies, the rumours, seeing all her tears, her sister carrying out her mom’s agenda with the sinister snitching and back biting continued to beat me down but I was resilient. Then one day I saw something that blew my mind, I was in church worshipping during service. And I looked around and saw her mom raising her hands, worshipping and praying in tongues.
That messed me up!
“God are you seeing this right now? This woman just spent all week lying, slandering, abusing and is in here in your face worshipping you like it’s nothing. Like she did nothing wrong. God are you seeing this? This can’t be real life”. That totally threw me off, from that day I couldn’t worship right or get my psyche into church because it totally messed with my mind. How someone could be so evil and then act as if they’re holy. My vibrancy dropped a few shades that day. My fiery, Christian passion started to wane.
Things went from very bad to worse, as my love had to move out of state just to get away from her mom and for her benefit and safety. She had to leave her business behind and start from scratch. As difficult as it was for us to be a couple in the same state, I couldn’t imagine how we would be able to deal with the added distance.
Things were very difficult for her, but I was her shoulder and strength. I would encourage and help her emotionally, financially and otherwise anyway I could. She didn’t have a job and lived from house to house. Her mom still persisted with the mental abuse, telling her that she’s under a curse for leaving home, being with me isn’t God’s will and that’s why things are so hard. If we ever have kids they will be under a curse, just look at my skin. And plus I’m from the Caribbean and all we do is voodoo. Still being unable to defend myself in prayer because she begged me not to, I took every blow for over a year. But I held on to the fact that this wouldn’t kill me, even as I was fading to grey. I knew I had survived satan’s best onslaughts. This would just be a light affliction and worth it in the end. I really wish I could articulate how intense the entire situation was but unless you were emotionally and mentally invested like I was, words will never do it justice.
FINALLY after months of her struggling in another city, finally after endless job hunting and finally after having her own place, she did it! She was in a good place, I was so happy for her. She can be at peace and we can begin to focus on us. I no longer had to fade and my fire no longer had to fizzle. At this point I was holding on by a thread.
Then one day she called me like she usually would and just said “I think it’s best we not talk anymore. Bye.” And she hung up the phone.
I died that day.

Living Dead (Age 24)

My life was no longer a series of faded colours, it was instantly black and grey. My fire was out and all that was left of me was ash. How is it that the one I covered like an umbrella with my prayers, my heart and my words, the one whom I took every arrow in my back for as I covered her to defend her because I couldn’t defend myself. Could so easily, in my vulnerability towards her…. Stab me in the heart and walk away?
I was an empty husk that day. A shell of myself.
I spent so many hours/weeks/months investing in her, investing in us. Now I was left to live with a stranger; and the stranger was me.
I had no appetite or desire to sleep because all I did was dream of her and in the same token all I wanted to do was sleep so I could end the day, end the pain, end the thoughts of her.
I no longer read my bible out of duty or to grow in God. I literally read my bible just to survive. No particular scripture or verse; just reading. I was already dead. I couldn’t endure a 2nd death.
For one year, I was a zombie. I really create didn’t artistically and my spiritual life was meh. Just black and grey. No vibrancy. Those who knew me intimately would ask “What’s wrong? Where did your fire go? Where did your roar go?” I didn’t have a reply. Even though I knew what I was, I just didn’t know how to get there anymore. The fire was gone and Daveion was dead. This was an unexpected turn of events. I continued “living” life, not out of happiness or the pursuit of destiny but because that’s what you do when you wake up with air in your lungs. You endure the day until the sun sets. #wash #rinse #repeat
Life was one seamless stream of black and grey.

Remember (Age 25)

I don’t know how it happened or when it happened. But I just got tired of being dead. I got tired of being mundane and mediocre. I got tired of just “living” and not thriving like I used to. I took out the prophecy I had written down from the first vision God gave me when I was 11. The vision that started it all, and I read every word, internalized every word and locked into every word as being TRUE! And at that moment within my spirit I saw the ash heap that represented my life. There were embers starting to form and from the embers emerged a phoenix with great vigor. From my death, a new life and passion was rebirthed. In the midst of death, God was able to reincarnate with the breath of life! My passion was back, my intensity was back, my fire was back. 

The vision of the piercing, red embers being breathed to life from a seemingly dead, black ash heap resonated within me. Those two colours, red and black immediately took on an iconic purpose in my life. The black was death and the red was the fiery life of the phoenix that emerged triumphant from it. From that moment I was divinely inspired to create again and in 2006 I had the (Re:D) exhibit. RE:D was an acronym for the REiteration of Daveion. I had to remind myself why I was what was, who I am and why I was here to begin with. The image I used in the exhibit to represent myself was indicative of this change. Every design element used had descriptive, symbolic purpose.

 Starting at the bottom:
  1. We see arrows moving down and then they turn upwards. This is symbolic of my life dying out and then before I hit rock bottom, God brought a complete turn around and resurrected me.
  2. Those arrows are connected to 2 bigger, rotating arrows that encompass a radioactive symbol as well as 4 connected circles. The radioactive symbol represents my atomic heart i.e. passion and drive for God. The three circles connected to the bigger circle signify the Holy Trinity inseparably joined to my soul. The arrows encompassing both the circles and the atomic symbol are constantly rotating like gears because it is generating battery like power that is a result of the symbols co-dependence.
  3. My right hand is superimposed over the silhouette of the moon and my left hand over the sun and earth. This represents my dominion over heaven and earth as stated in Matthew 16:19.
  4. The diagonal arrows that extend from my right wrist to my left shoulder, signify my perpetual growth and expansion in every area of life.
  5. Hovering over my shoulders are angel wings and a halo on my head to symbolise sainthood.
For a few years after that, everything I created was primarily in red and black. At present, even though my style has re-evolved to embracing vibrant, vivid, raw colour again, there will always be some semblance of red and black in my work as it was the new foundation that I was reestablished upon.
I invite you to view the works of the (Re:D) gallery HERE by scrolling to the bottom and clicking enter.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Encouragement

This is to encourage all my peoples who have been let down, hurt, misused, ill treated, looked down upon and abused in every sense of the word physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.
How is it that one day we are loved and embraced, treated with utmost respect and the next day we are treated like outcasts?

How is it that one day we mean the world to people; we are placed on a mantle for all to see and the next day we are the doormats at the backdoor?

That’s life, the Bible says the Armour of Flesh will fail (Psalm 146:3), in other words don’t put your full love, hope, expectation, reward, salvation, promotion etc. in man.

Why? Because men are fickle. Not everyone is what we perceive them to be, some people have issues within themselves and they don’t even know it.

Take for example a healthy person who eats right, exercises etc. but they get a heart attack. Why is that? They were doing everything right and on the outside everything looked great, but on the inside was where the problem was.

It’s always been the problem “The Heart”. The Bible says the heart is deceitfully wicked (Jer 17:9), so in other words we may be the best Christian possible but a big heart attack is on the way.

How do we overcome it? By doing what the scripture says, “Create in me a clean heart O God and renew the right spirit within me”. (Psalm 51:10)

We may be doing everything right to survive as a good Christian but we can't see what’s inside of us until it happens or until God reveals it to us and removes it.

This explains why people can treat us the way they do. They see us as insignificant and meaningless because we may not have anything to offer them “or so they perceive”.

A shepherd boy had nothing to offer King Saul but his allegiance and undaunted faith in God with 5 pebbles. This meaningless boy saved a nation from impending slavery, destruction and humiliation. What thanks did he get? His life was threatened because he was too good of a helper. His one mistake was that he was too good at serving his King.

So his King became jealous and wanted to kill him. David was forced to live in the wilderness to save his life; isn’t that like us sometimes? We mean no harm, we bring nothing but our genuineness to help, restore, love, encourage, build up, prepare, sustain and fortify people. And in the end when they get what they want they abandon us, turn on us and disavow that we even helped them to get where they are.

They taunt us “I thought you said you were someone? I thought you were going somewhere?”

They wait on us to die; they say “Oh they won’t last long! It’s only a matter of time before they die off.”

The sad part is, is that this behaviour is expected of Christians “The light of the world”. It’s becoming standard in this day and age.

So we the remnant are forced to be on our own, in the depths of the wilderness, at the top of the mountain alone and cold. Praying and fasting to God, seeking direction, strength and encouragement.

David was viewed as scum and pestilence but here is the twist in the plot. God was making him a kingdom and an army in the process. His army wasn’t made up of Christians; the Bible says that daily the rogues, vagabonds and criminals would join David. (1 Sam 22:2) HAHAHAHHAHA

Isn’t that something, I can identify with this. Some of my best friends aren’t Christians but the people who have a knowledge of God but are not necessarily living the life.

So it’s with this army of outcasts that God uses David to conquer the Philistines and other territory for him. You see it's not people who fight for the same cause as you that bring success, but people who believe in the same cause as you. You can fight for something out of duty but not fight for it out of passion.

When you do something out of duty you can quit any day, but once you have that passion nothing can stop you.

Another example is how the city of Succoth did Gideon and his crew of 300 men. (Judges 8) Gideon was basically a punk! A scared, little, no name punk from a no name city, in a no name village, in a no name tribe, in a no name family.

None the less! God called him to kill the enemies of Israel, the Midianites.

Gideon was in pursuit of them and he asked the city of Succoth to give his men some bread and water so they could eradicate their enemies. The City Officials at Succoth thought, this small band of men can’t possibly defeat the Midianites, so they taunted him by saying “I don’t see your enemies defeated why should we help you?” Gideon told them “Just for that, when I defeat them I will whip you with desert thorns and briers”. Gideon traveled to the city of Peniel and made the same request, but he got the same reply. So he vowed to tear down their tower (their pride and accomplishments) when he returned in victory.

Now you may wonder how 1 man and 300 men can defeat the combination of two kingdoms with an army of approximately 135,000 men? Simple! Here’s the math, let me do it slowly so you can comprehend.

GOD + 0 = All the help you will EVER NEED

Still lost? Let me break it down like a fraction.

When you are in a war on paper, it’s good to have the artist on your side. Why? Because He has the eraser and can erase your problems. The Bible clearly states that God even created the destroyer, so getting rid of him is no problem. (Isaiah 54:16, 17)

God isn’t interested in numbers; the size of your enemy’s crew doesn’t matter. All Jesus needed was 12 men. And you see how they turned the world off its axis.

Gideon defeated his enemies and kept his word to the men at Succoth and Peniel.

So this is a letter of encouragement for all my Davids and Gideons out there, despite how people treat you, taunt you, ridicule you and use you. Take confidence that it was done to men whose names are in the Bible under honorable recommendation, and the only reason their enemies’ names are mentioned is for their shame. People usually reject what they don’t understand, I guess greatness can be hard to comprehend at times.

Much Love,
Daveion Lashley

Originally posted in 2006

The Denial

Matt 10:32-39- The Living Bible

32 "If anyone publicly acknowledges me as his friend, I will openly acknowledge him as my friend before my Father in heaven.

33 But if anyone publicly denies me, I will openly deny him before my Father in heaven.

34 "Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, rather, a sword.

35 I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-
36 a man's worst enemies will be right in his own home!

37 If you love your father and mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine; or if you love your son or daughter more than me, you are not worthy of being mine.

38 If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine.

39 "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will save it.

[If anyone publicly acknowledges me as his friend]

When Jesus speaks of confessing Him, He is not merely talking about us saying “I am a child of God” or us saying “I go to church”. That is not enough! when Jesus speaks of us confessing Him, He is talking about a 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365-366 days a year full confession. When I say full confession I am speaking of confessing Him in your speech, in your thoughts, in your actions before people and away from people and how you conduct your daily life. In other words, make it a LIFESTYLE !

We can’t say we represent Jesus and our lifestyle contradicts! For example, how is it going to look if people who are working for Burger King only sell McDonald products? Yea the sign may say Burger King, the staff attire may be the Burger King colours BUT what is being offered on the menu blatantly screams $1 menu from McDonalds. That is where the problem comes in. The denial….

[But if anyone publicly denies me, I will openly deny him before my Father in heaven.]

We have become used to too many choices and conveniences in today’s society. We can TIVO stuff and watch it when it’s convenient, we can microwave a full meal in 3 minutes, when it would usually take an hour to prepare. We can customize our shoes and our rides; we can mix and match our clothes to get that fly get up. BUT this is where the problem arises; we want to take this convenience over to Christianity. We acknowledge Jesus among certain friends and people; we act “Christian-like” when we are in church settings. We know what scriptures to quote and what clich├ęs to say “God is good” “Amen” “Ain’t nobody do me like Jesus” but when it comes down to living this lifestyle DIE HARD 24/7 we can't do it.

Why? Because the lifestyle of Christ is uncompromisable and undeniable. This means that you can’t TIVO your salvation (put it on when it’s convenient) and you can’t tint your windows (hide your light). It’s CHRIST’S WAY or the DIE-WAY.

People will come with the excuse, God knows I’m human, He knows I make mistakes. Besides you can’t Judge me, ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE ME!!!! The famous words of a person looking for a loophole in the head lock of conviction. Only God can Judge you huh? Well let’s fast forward to when GOD judges you.

Luke 13:24-27- And he replied, 24 "The door to heaven is narrow. Work hard to get in, for the truth is that many will try to enter but when the head of the house has locked the door, it will be too late. Then if you stand outside knocking, and pleading, 'Lord, open the door for us,' he will reply, 'I do not know you.' 26 "'But we ate with you, and you taught in our streets,' you will say. 27 "And he will reply, 'I tell you, I don't know you. You can't come in here, guilty as you are. Go away.'

OUCH !!!! dats like a smurf going for a lay up and getting rejected by SHAQ.

The door to heaven is narrow, that means when we put on the uncustomisable likeness of CHRIST, we are guaranteed to fit in. But if we get caught up in putting rims, sound systems and GPS navigation onto our Christianity for convenience, we are in danger of not being able to fit through that small space.

  Yes God knows we are human and prone to mistakes, but don’t use that as a crutch to keep on sinning. I bet you know some people like this, how annoying is it when you want someone to help you do something they're like “Oh you know I can’t help you, I got a bad heart” or “I can’t do that, you know I got asthma”. But switch the topic “Aye Yo! Let’s go play some football or go for a run on the beach.” They’re more ready to do it than you. Where did the asthma and heart condition go? It went nowhere, it was just used as an excuse of convenience to suit their purpose for the time being.

The Bible says in Rom 6:14-17- 14 Sin need never again be your master, for now you are no longer tied to the law where sin enslaves you, but you are free under God's favor and mercy. 15 Does this mean that now we can go ahead and sin and not worry about it? (For our salvation does not depend on keeping the law but on receiving God's grace!) Of course not! 16 Don't you realize that you can choose your own master? You can choose sin (with death) or else obedience (with acquittal). The one to whom you offer yourself-he will take you and be your master, and you will be his slave.

Anyone who compromises Jesus is saying that the temporal things of the world are more important and more valuable than the Eternal Things of GOD. Point blank! If you don’t acknowledge Jesus 300% in EVERYTHINGGGGGGG you do. He won’t know you at the judgment seat. Which do you prefer? To have Jesus on your side as a lawyer and a witness or have Him opposing you as Judge and Jury?

["Don't imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! No, rather, a sword…… a man's worst enemies will be right in his own home!”]

Your decision to rep Jesus die-hard, no holds barred may possibly open a new door of conflict with the homies, the blood, La Familia….the people who mean the most to you. The ones who are suppose to ride and die with and for you.

Please don’t make the mistake and think that because your family is against you, that maybe you are in the wrong. Nope! It’s as simple as this, for example, some people have a bad heart, liver or kidney and a surgery is required to replace this bad organ with a new and better one. The surgery is successful and the body seems to be doing fine. But on the inside there is a problem! The body was used to the bad organ, it grew up with that organ and functioned with that organ. And now there is a new one taking its place? No can do buddy !!!!! So what does the body do? It tries to reject the organ. In other words it is trying to kill the very thing that is saving its life.

  Where does that leave us?

[If you love your father and mother more than you love me, you are not worthy of being mine]

You have to love Jesus more than blood relatives and friends, you have to love Jesus more even if it means being rejected by family and treated as the outcast.

They did it to Jesus, His own hometown didn’t even recognize Him as the Messiah.

 Mark 6:2-6 The next Sabbath he went to the synagogue to teach, and the people were astonished at his wisdom and his miracles because he was just a local man like themselves. "He's no better than we are," they said. "He's just a carpenter, Mary's boy, and a brother of James and Joseph, Judas and Simon. And his sisters live right here among us." And they were offended! 4 Then Jesus told them, "A prophet is honored everywhere except in his hometown and among his relatives and by his own family." 5 And because of their unbelief he couldn't do any mighty miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. 6 And he could hardly accept the fact that they wouldn't believe in him.

Home boy was surprised that His own people did Him like that. Because of their attitude towards Him, His potential there was limited. It didn’t stop Him from doing miracles, but the magnitude to which they could have been done was hindered. So Jesus had to step out from among them to do GOD’s work.

For you, taking a step out may be literal. You may have to move out or you may have to step out, in the sense of not doing things with them like you usually did. For example, if you have a family reunion and they’re playing music that contradicts your Christian beliefs, you don’t dance. If they're drinking, you sip on the red koolaid. If they're passing the weed, you pass the Bible. If they're having vulgar conversations, you either step out from it or interject Jesus into it. If they're watching a movie that offends the spirit of Christ within you, just see your way out of the room.

Yes it’s going to be a SACRIFICE !!! It’s no fun being the one who stands out, it’s no fun always being alone. Quite frankly IT STINKS !!!!!! I am not only the President of the “alone” club but I am a member as well.

But I have to remind myself that if I compromise to please people then I’m basically cheating on Jesus.

Jesus doesn’t like sharing His girlfriend. Matter of fact any sensible, moral person doesn’t like sharing his lover.

We are the Bride of Christ, either we love Him enough not to cheat on Him or we may as well stop wasting our time and His. Jesus said if you're half stepping and creeping on Him, he doesn’t want anything to do with you

Rev 3:15-16 "I know you well-you are neither hot nor cold; I wish you were one or the other! 16 But since you are merely lukewarm, I will spit you out of my mouth!

In the original translations when He says “spit” it really means vomit. Simply put, the thought of you cheating on Jesus makes Him vomit.

[If you refuse to take up your cross and follow me, you are not worthy of being mine. "If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will save it.]

Everyone has a birthday and a death day, it’s inevitable. Here’s the thing, do you want to die like everyone else or do you want to die with honour? Everyday people don’t carry their cross, they live for their own interests and they live for the now, they get fun, success, their heart's desire and then they are buried in the ground “hidden” from men and very soon forgotten.

Christians are made to carry their cross, whether it's ridicule, insults, mistreatments and whatever injustices that are thrown at us, we are made to carry this cross until our death day. The world rejects us and spits on us, we are the butt of jokes and insults and no one cares about us or what happens to us. But here’s the thing, when you die. You get to die on the cross, you are “hung up” for everyone to see.

This isn’t done for you to be a spectacle, but for people to say “Dag! This dude/girl was uncompromising in what they believed, they died for it despite what people said and did, I gotta give them respect for that”

Mark 15:37-39 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. 38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"

Jesus died with an impact, this impact was so Great that the very people who spit on Him, beat Him, cursed Him, insulted Him, nailed Him to the cross etc. were the ones giving Him props in the end.

Everyone remembers Jesus’ death because He died on the cross, no one remembers the Soldier’s death because he was buried in the ground. Matter of fact, does anyone know his name?


[If you cling to your life, you will lose it; but if you give it up for me, you will save it.]

If you spend your whole life trying to find yourself through jobs, hobbies, success and wealth you have already lost your life. You are short sighted, you are only living life for the 9 to 5. You have to think beyond that. You have to think of the Ever after. Why would you want to spend your whole life ballin' now and living poor forever? Than live your life “poor” now and Ball forever.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying Christians are to be bored and poor.

I’m saying where your focus is, is where your heart and zeal to succeed is!

Matt 6:19-21"Don't store up treasures here on earth where they can erode away or may be stolen. 20 Store them in heaven where they will never lose their value and are safe from thieves. 21 If your profits are in heaven, your heart will be there too.

When you sacrifice all your wants and desires to pursue God’s, that’s the best investment you can ever make. Take for example, my homeboys Daniel and the Hebrew boys, as extreme as it was they were willing to lose their life for Jesus.
The law said to worship the Idol, the Hebrew boys said NO!

Dan 3:16-18 Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego replied, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not worried about what will happen to us. 17 If we are thrown into the flaming furnace, our God is able to deliver us; and he will deliver us out of your hand, Your Majesty. 18 But if he doesn't, please understand, sir, that even then we will never under any circumstance serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have erected."

The law forbids Daniel to pray to God, but homeboy still did his thing.

Dan 6:7-10"All the commissioners of the kingdom, the prefects and the satraps, the high officials and the governors have consulted together that the king should establish a statute and enforce an injunction that anyone who makes a petition to any god or man besides you, O king, for thirty days, shall be cast into the lions' den. 8 "Now, O king, establish the injunction and sign the document so that it may not be changed, according to the law of the Medes and Persians, which may not be revoked." 9 Therefore King Darius signed the document, that is, the injunction. 10 Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed, he entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem); and he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his God, as he had been doing previously.

What happened? The Hebrew boys were thrown in the furnace and Daniel was thrown in the lion’s den. The End? Nope!… remixxxxxx.............

  The people who made the furnace to kill the Hebrew boys were killed and the Hebrew boys got the hook up.

Dan 3:19-21, 26-30Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with fury and his face became dark with anger at Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. He commanded that the furnace be heated up seven times hotter than usual, 20 and called for some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and throw them into the fire. 21 So they bound them tight with ropes and threw them into the furnace, fully clothed. 22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames leaped out and killed the soldiers as they threw them in. 26 Then Nebuchadnezzar came as close as he could to the open door of the flaming furnace and yelled: "Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, servants of the Most High God! Come out! Come here!" So they stepped out of the fire. 27 Then the princes, governors, captains, and counselors crowded around them and saw that the fire hadn't touched them-not a hair of their heads was singed; their coats were unscorched, and they didn't even smell of smoke! 28 Then Nebuchadnezzar said, "Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, for he sent his angel to deliver his trusting servants when they defied the king's commandment and were willing to die rather than serve or worship any god except their own. 29 Therefore, I make this decree, that any person of any nation, language, or religion who speaks a word against the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego shall be torn limb from limb and his house knocked into a heap of rubble. For no other God can do what this one does." 30 Then the king gave promotions to Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, so that they prospered greatly there in the province of Babylon.

The People who plotted against Daniel were thrown in the lion’s den and homeboy got the hook up as well.

  Dan 6:20-28 The King called out in anguish, "O Daniel, servant of the Living God, was your God, whom you worship continually, able to deliver you from the lions?" 21 Then he heard a voice! "Your Majesty, live forever!" It was Daniel! 22 "My God has sent his angel," he said, "to shut the lions' mouths so that they can't touch me, for I am innocent before God; nor, sir, have I wronged you." 23 The king was beside himself with joy and ordered Daniel lifted from the den. And not a scratch was found on him because he believed in his God.

24 Then the king issued a command to bring the men who had accused Daniel and throw them into the den along with their children and wives, and the lions leaped upon them and tore them apart before they even hit the bottom of the den. 25 Afterward King Darius wrote this message addressed to everyone in his empire:

"Greetings! I decree that everyone shall tremble and fear before the God of Daniel in every part of my kingdom. For his God is the living, unchanging God whose kingdom shall never be destroyed and whose power shall never end. 27 He delivers his people, preserving them from harm; he does great miracles in heaven and earth; it is he who delivered Daniel from the power of the lions."

28 So Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian.

So all in all it’s really better to acknowledge Christ than to deny Him, cus even though we have a price to pay for doing it, the results are worth paying the price.


Matt 10:28-31

Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. 30 And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.


Originally posted circa 2006


I possess the greatest power ever bestowed on mankind, the power of choice. Today, I choose to persist without exception. No longer will I live in a dimension of distraction, my focus blown hither and yon like a leaf on a blustery day. I know the outcome I desire. I hold fast to my dreams. I stay the course. I do not quit.

To achieve the results I desire, it is not even necessary that I enjoy the process. It is only necessary that I continue the process with my eyes focused on the outcome. An athlete does not enjoy the pain of training; an athlete enjoys the results of having trained.

A sailor who fearfully watches stormy seas lash his vessel will always steer an unproductive course. But a wise and experienced captain keeps his eye firmly fixed upon the lighthouse. He knows that by guiding his ship to a specific point, the time spent in discomfort is lessened. And by keeping his eye on the light, there never exists one second of discouragement. My light, My harbor, My future is within sight !

I will persist without exception. I am a person of Great Faith.

In Jeremiah, my Creator declares, “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” From this day forward, I will claim faith in the certainty of my future. Too much of my life has been spent doubting my beliefs and believing my doubts. No More! I have faith in my future. I do not look left or right. I look forward. I can only persist.

For me, faith will always be a sounder guide than reason because reason can only go so far- faith has no limits. I will expect miracles in my life because faith produces them everyday. I will believe in the future that I do not see. That is faith. And the reward of this faith is to see the future that I believe.

I will continue despite exhaustion. I focus on results. I am a person of great faith.

I will persist without exception.

~ Andy Andrews


1. God won`t be looking for your medals, degrees or diplomas, He`ll be looking for your scars.

2. Give God what`s right, not what`s left!

3. Trade God your pieces for His peace.

4. When you get tired talking to your friend about God, talk to Godabout your friend.

5. Pray` is a four letter word that you can say anywhere, except in a public school.

6. When you slip into eternity will you be taking `smoking` or `non-smoking`?

7. Life is fragile, handle with prayer.

8. Man`s way leads to a hopeless end! God`s way leads to an endless hope!

9. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!

10. To be almost saved, is to be totally lost!

11. Grace is not an excuse to sin, but it is the power not to!

12. Don`t put a question mark where God put a period.

13. Sorrow looks back, Worry looks around, Faith looks up!

14. Jesus became what we are so we can become like He is.

15. If you`re a Christian, earth is the only hell you`ll ever know!

16. WARNING: Exposure to the Son will prevent burning!

17. If you can`t sleep, don`t count sheep; talk to the Shepherd.

18. In this life it`s not WHAT you have, but WHO you have that counts!

19. There are many things in my life for which I am ashamed, but Jesus is NOT one of them.

20. Jesus declared the truth, He never gave opinions.

21. When was the last time you told God you love Him? He is still listening.

22. Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.

23. Christians aren`t perfect, they`re just forgiven.

24. Be an organ donor, give your heart to Jesus!

25. Jesus! don`t leave earth without Him!

26. Christ`s return is near, DONT MISS IT!

27. Be ye fishers of men, you catch them, He`ll clean them.

28. Seven days without prayer makes one weak.

29. Athiests, you`ve got a big surprise coming!

30. Read The Bible. It Will Scare The Hell Out Of You!

31. Every time thedevil reminds you of your past remind him of his future!

32. When someone gets you hot and bothered just turn on your "prayer conditioner"!

33. When Jesus is all we have, we realize Jesus is all we need.

34. If you stand for nothing you`ll fall for anything.

35. What doesn`t destroy me strengthens me.

36. Remember anything above your head IS STILL BELOW GOD`S FEET!

37. Too Blessed to be stressed,Too Empowered to be devoured, Too anointed to feel disappointed, Too much BL.IN.G to worry about a thing. (BL.IN.G= Believer In God)

38. In the Creation God made humans like Himself, but in the Redemption He made Himself like Humans.

39. To know the Character of the invisible God we can look at the example of His visible son.

40. God`s purpose of living was dying.

41. If we always had sunny days we would dry up.

42. Don`t ask how can I get out of this trouble, but what can I get out of this trouble.

43. Defeat is often a temporary condition, it is giving up that makes it permanent!

44. Some yall never rocked a thong until you heard the song, but still won`t accept Jesus although you heard Him your whole life long.

45. The strength of a man is not determined by how much he wins, but by how much he perseveres in the midst of "losing".

46. Thoughts = actions = habits = character = your destiny

47. The difference between `United`and `Untied` is where you put the" i ".

48. They call us Generation X because we take the focus off the FAMILY and replace it with SEX.

49. Don`t be distracted by criticism. Remember the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.

50. A diamond always shines brighter when it has more cuts!

51. If the path of your life has no obstacles to overcome, its probably leading to nowhere.

52. You can`t have victory if you avoid the conflict.

53. People may think you are strange because you are different, You should think of them as strange for being the same.

54. The size of the tree isnot determined by the size of the seed, Greatness is often locked into menial beginnings.

55. No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.

56. Its funny how some people push for the front of the line, when the Bible says the last gonna go first.

57. Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you`ll still land among the stars.

58. Never be afraid to take a leap of Faith. Remember, amateurs built the ark; professionals built the Titanic!

59. When you were born you were crying, while everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so that when you die, you`re smiling and everyone around you is crying.

60. Your Greatest supporters are your foes, they believe in you so much, thats why they oppose!

61. Look for someone complementary, not supplementary.

62. If you can`t find the poet, be the poem.

63. When Satan is knocking at your door, simply say, "Jesus could You please get that for me?"

64. Point Blank! At the end of the day the devil is going to burn forever, He wants to take you with him. How do you like your temptation now?

65. In it for the cause, not the applause.

66. They ain`t no maps to Heaven, there`s only 1 WAY!

67. You`re excuse is ONLY GOD CAN JUDGE YOU. Well if He judged you now, will you like the outcome?

68. Saying you got to get yo life in order b4 you come to Christ is like saying you gotta get well before you go to the doctor.

69. If you take a stab at your flesh everyday, eventually you`ll kill it.

70. Dont let yo dreams end when you wake up, LIVE THEM!

71. Dont kill yo dreams, execute them.

72. Just because a door is open doesnt mean you have to walk through it.

73. God has your Mr(s).RIGHT, dont settle for Mr(s).What's LEFT.

74. Success isn't how many things you have and are about to acquire, success is fulfilling your destiny! If you have everything but your destiny; you're still broke as a joke!

Originally posted circa 2005 and updated periodically.