BornTooBlog Readers

October 10, 2013

Preachers of L.A:. False Prophets or Anointed by God?

Y'all know I love to blog about reality shows and Oxygen now officially has another hit show in their newest installment known as Preachers of L.A, which premiered last night!!! There has been such a huge response before this show even aired and I couldn't wait to see the outcome especially since I used to attend one of the featured Pastors' churches in the past.

The new hit reality show features Minister Deitrick Haddon, Bishop Noel Jones, Bishop Clarence McClendon, Bishop Ron Gibson, Pastor Jay Haizlip and Pastor Wayne Chaney. The initial standouts would have to be Minister Haddon who comes equipped with enough baggage for a month trip to Africa. Haddon and his fiancé/baby's mother are returning back to the spotlight from hiding in the shadows after their child was born out of wedlock while he was still legally married to his former wife.  Haddon and his fiancé live in separate homes since they are not presently married. *side eye*

Bishop Noel Jones and his City of Refuge congregation in Gardena, CA is very familiar to me as I used to attend years ago. I can't lie and say I'm not the least bit concerned as to why Jones never remarried after his failed marriage with his ex-wife years ago. His 'lady friend' whom he claims is NOT his fiancé nor his girlfriend, definitely seems like she's been around waiting in the wings for awhile.

Bishop Clarence McClendon surely stands out not only for his historical family ties to the church, but also his impressive international ministry that reaches 250 million homes worldwide. From first observation, McClendon strikes me as the 'divo'' (ie. the male diva) of the clique of pastors and has a bit of an heir of arrogance when it comes to the rest of the group.

Lastly is Bishop Ron Gibson, a former Compton Crip and PCP addict, who resides in a pelestail estate somewhere near his Riverside church that boasts a congregation of almost 4,000 members. What stood out most about Gibson was his portrayal as a laid back and non-elitist preacher from the hoods of South Central and Compton who reaches back and ministers to the gang ridden community whenever he can. His scene shows him pulling up in an old school American classic convertible with his fitted hat to the back, dark sunglasses and a white tee as he pulls up in a gang ridden neighborhood and ministers to a Crip that he is trying to help change his life around after a recent brush with death in a gun shoot out.

The Internet has been in a social media uproar since the show aired last night and skeptics were everything but mum regarding thir personal feelings about the show.  Of all the comments I read, what truly disturbed me the most was one comment speaking on how Bishop Gibson spoke street slang and wore street clothes when ministering to an active gang member. The viewer expressed disgust with the preacher's antics and pointed to his speech, his clothing and the fact that he pulled up in a bright red rag top convertible. Sarcastically speaking, this clearly couldn't be a true man of God because he wasn't wearing a suit, acting holier than thou and was actually meeting his congregation where they were in their own backyard, aka the hood. What kills me is people can be so quick to judge and say that these men are nothing but false prophets exploiting spirituality and religion for their own financial gain without knowing anything about their ministries and the good they do throughout the world and in their own congregations and communities.

I honestly am one of the skeptics of Pastors of mega churches like these displayed in the new series Preachers of L.A., however, I made a conscious decision to observe these men in their daily lives and struggles before I was quick to judge their situations. I don't necessarily believe that you should not be prosperous just because you are Man of God.  However, that still doesn't mean that I won't feel some type of way if a pastor pulls up at his poverty stricken congregation in a Bentley either.

The whole point of me sharing my views on the show and topic is to get people to open their minds, challenge their old way of thinking and try to look on the brighter side in an effort to open up real dialogue. Instead of always criticizing and crucifying these huge public figures in the church why not sometimes take a look at the good they have done and are trying to do, respect their flaws as human beings and stop putting anyone on a spiritual pedestal but your higher power.  So the question for my BornTooBlog readers is are these Preachers of L.A. false prophets or anointed by God?


To watch clips from last night's season premiere click here:

September 16, 2013

Fatherless Children...An American Epidemic

I recently caught up on a series on Oprah's "Life Class" recently featured on her OWN Network.  Bishop T.D. Jakes lead the class in a serious discussion about fatherless children.  Oprah revealed a surprising statistic that 1 in 3 children in America are fatherless.  It is because this very reason why I referred to this occurrence as an "epidemic" in the title of this post.  The urban community knows all too well the reality of growing up fatherless.  I endured 6 years of my adolescence without my father present so I know what it feels like to not have your father in your life.  Fortunately, my father came back and fought for me and our relationship and today I can say I am very happy with the relationship we currently have.  Unfortunately, many others aren't so lucky.  One of the most beautiful parts about the series is the understanding that it is never too late to develop a father-child relationship, no matter what you've been through.

We only have one father in this life and often times, negative circumstances get in the way of us enjoying positive and fruitful relationships with our fathers.  I've written before about fatherless children and the painful dynamics that this experience can create in one's life on this blog: Where's Daddy?.  Bishop T.D. Jakes pinpointed several things that I think might help my @BornTooBlog readers in this situation. 

Jakes made sure to impress the importance of understanding that like the fatherless children, their fathers have more than likely experienced some kind of trauma or lack of in their lives concerning their own parents.  Many times when you look at fathers who aren't present in their children's lives, if you dig deeper, you find a man that did not have a father or who's father was abusive or had a negative impact on them in some way.  Jakes explained that realizing this as a child can help facilitate understanding among both parties and can actually lessen the guilt of the absentee father.  He calls this "understanding the wounds of your father".

"I think once we let go of our ideas, our fantasies of what things could have been like and embrace what they are like, it gives both the father and the son a feeling of being accepted for where I am."
- Bishop Jakes


Jakes also emphasized that once you do gain the courage as an absentee father to reenter your child's life in an effort to rebuild that broken relationship, you must "court your child" by establishing a foundation for your love and respect to grow on.  I hear too many times that fathers who weren't there in the beginning come back trying to discipline their children off the bat or never even address the issues that led to their absence prior to trying to reestablish a relationship.  This can often create further resentment and stop the reconciliation efforts in their tracks.  Although the entire experience can be frightening to a father that is trying to reconnect with his children, the children are often just as afraid of rejection as their absent fathers.  So now we have common fears, emotions and quite possibly, a shared childhood experience that can facilitate growth and understanding.

"The father has to create a floor for the son's love to stand on because he and his son don't share the strong foundation of memories father-son relationships require."

"Parenting is something that doesn't come with a textbook. You learn as you go. And I think sometimes we're so afraid that we're not going to do it right that we don't do it at all."
- Bishop Jakes

I've written previously on how some mothers use their children as bargaining tools or as T.D. Jakes calls it, a "switch" to abuse the father with.  Jakes further pointed out that when you use a "switch" to hit someone with, the switch (aka the child) gets broken and wore down in the process as well.  I always told myself that if I had a child and me and the father were no longer together that I would never stop him from seeing our child because he was unable or unwilling to pay child support.  I made this commitment to myself because it is very rare that I hear children complain about their relationships with their fathers due to lack of financial support.  What I hear the most is usually a child reliving the pain of their parent(s) not being there as a support system when it comes to school, sporting events or momentous occasions in a child's life like graduation, the birth of a child, and so on. Jakes encouraged all fatherless children to "leave the door open" for their fathers should they gain the courage to come back into their child's life.

Ultimately, it takes a lot of dedication, determination and communication in order to build/rebuild the trust and bond between a father that was once absent and the child they left behind.  However, if we are only blessed with one mother and one father, what could it hurt to try and reconcile and build a relationship when given the ability and chance?  Children must learn to forgive and open themselves up to allow the process to begin and fathers must take the first step and keeping making steps towards resolution.  Mothers must be a positive support system that helps facilitate the process and should never deter their children from reconnecting with their fathers unless they are a threat to their well being.

Are you a fatherless child?
Is the father of your child absent in your child's life?
Are you a father who has attempted to reconnect with your child?  What has been the most difficult issue to overcome?
Are you a fatherless child success story?  What helped you and your father or you and your child reconnect against all odds?
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September 11, 2013

Its Been A Long Time...I Shouldn't Have Left You!!!

What can I say!?!?!?! Writers block is a motha. I always wrote from personal inspiration and I just haven't been inspired to write like I did before. Call it burn out, writers block, whatever you want, but the reality is its been too long since I wrote something and shared my views with you all. So many things have been happening from Love & Hip Hop Atlanta to Basketball Wives, Kendrick Lamar and his all-coastal beef with his Hip Hop counterparts to Jay-z's Magna Carta to Kanye's new album *confused look*.

One of the major things that I noticed during my hiatus were some of my predictions on old posts that became reality in recent months. For instance, I recall making a post about the possibility of West Coast Hip Hop music making a comeback back in 2011, and more specifically, the mention of a certain artist by the name of Problem that was next to blow. Well, here we are in 2013 and Problem is on every song with your favorite rapper AND West Coast music is now back at the forefront of Hip Hop music: Can West Coast Hip Hop Make A Comeback?

Speaking of West Coast Hip Hop, a good friend of mine, Shannon Page, helped me with a music review on Kendrick Lamar's, "Good Kid, m.A.A.d City", which at the time was not as revered as it is today. Lamar's album was met with plenty of naysayers and skepticism, but dare I say it, the album has been catapulted to "classic status" by the Hip Hop world's elite taste makers. What a difference a couple years makes: Music Review: Kendrick Lamar's "good kid, m.A.A.d city".  I'm still waiting for the world to catch up with new artists I've featured on the blog such as Luke James and Daley: Who Is Luke James?, Music Monday: Daley: Alone Together Feat. Marsha Ambrosius. While BornTooBlog featured artists like J. Cole and Frank Ocean have seen mainstream success since they graced the electronic pages of my blog back in 2011: J. Cole: Next To Blow?Who Is Frank Ocean?

Relationships have always been a pivotal part of BornTooBlog and believe me, there will be many posts to come touching on this HOT topic. There have been too many breakups, makeups, divorces, reconciliations, failed rehab attempts and newborn babies for me not to. As always, I welcome any constructive feedback and I look forward to reconnecting with my BornTooBlog readers in a profound way before the close of 2013.

Questions for my BornTooBlog readers:
Which topics did you enjoy most on the blog?
What do you miss most about BornTooBlog?
What topics would you most like to see in the near future?
What posts do you enjoy the least?

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