“Never Stops” (I Believe) – Reconcile, 007, Corey Paul

free download of “Never Stops” here.


#themorningafter from LEGS1015 on Vimeo.

We are all at the age where we’ve experienced “love,” waking up next to the wrong person, thought about getting married and being involved in relationships!  Tomorrow night will give us all the opportunity to discuss these relevant topics and to seek common ground and a solution on the issues that may arise from each experience.  Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and opinions on The Morning After!

Hosted by Symone Parker and Andre Kohn with a panel of intelligent and opinionated individuals, this event should be one to remember!!!  Come out and share your experiences with others!

Date: Tuesday, April 12

Time: 7:00pm – 10:00pm

Location: KIVA ROOM (on the University of Houston campus).
This room is located in Farish Hall, College of Education.

We hope to see you all and to hear what you all have to say on these topics!!! #themorningafter.

the friend.

his name is nathan. the stranger (read more here) that became a friend. we met again – november 6, 2010. he was still at the same park. i spotted him from a long distance. i was filled with excitement. the fact that he was still there and that i was going to get another opportunity to sit and talk with him.
my feet began to move speedily through the crowd of lawn chairs occupied by other tenants of the park, giving praises to God. there had been a park church service going on. finally, i was close enough and spoke his name excitedly, “nate! how are you!?” he responded with grief and sorrow coated all over his voice, “i’m ok.” i said, “do you remember me!? we met about four months ago!” he tilted his head to get a glimpse of who i was with his deep sea blue-green eyes and said, “no. not really.”
his body language had been one of discomfort and shame. i could tell he did not want to be bothered and he looked as if the world was on his shoulders. i was tempted to turn away from him, to continue on with my day but i couldn’t. i just couldn’t because the bond we shared on first meeting one another was amazing. i was certain that it was not in vain. so i probed him a little more, then simply asked if i could pray with him and for him and he said yes.
after prayer, his mood shifted into a completely new position. he said, “i do remember you! jasmine! right?” his words and reaction inspired tears that i withheld and a smile and i responded, “yes.” i was in awe and disbelief at the power of prayer and the way the Holy Spirit moves in situations as such. we carried a light conversation before we departed. i told him how beautiful his eyes were again and he said, “you said that last time and since then, you’ve been the only one to tell me that.”  i reminded him about the scripture that he had given me from his Bible and he said “here you go!” while handing me another page that was crumbled into his pocket as his daily read, genesis 20. he, then, took a photo with me and allowed me to take one of him. i have never felt this type of feeling before.
i remember, so vividly, when i treated God as if He was a stranger. as if He had no purpose in my life. i rejected him. turned away from him. and now, i am experiencing the transition of a stranger to a friend, He calls me friend. and i know how unworthy i am of it. yet, He still calls me friend.
if you would like to come out and experience the presence of those who we so often pass by on the streets because they look “unworthy of our attention,” please, come out on Saturday at 9 a.m. to feed those without a home and without a promised meal.  we will be meeting in front of the center of hope at Good Hope (3015 N. MacGregor Way -Houston, Tx  77004).

this is where strangers become ex-strangers. this is why i am inspired daily. because strangers don’t have to carry that badge for the rest of their lives if we just make an attempt to make them ex-strangers.

it’s our anniversary!!!

In light of it being the one year mark of The City Good Hope’s website launch, here is an exposure of the faces that are behind the names and a little bit of info about each weekly and guest writer that has submitted their work throughout the year of 2010!!!

e_mike – Eric Michael is a student at the University of Houston. He enjoys hip hop, writing, and loves the Red Skins. He also enjoys rapping on the low-low. He likes photography and takes photos of his own! Check out more of his personal interests here and his photography at sunfall.

esolt – Erica Soltero a.k.a ESol is a student at Rice University (GO OWLS)! She loves hip-hop as well (she can secretly flow too) and she wishes the moon good night faithfully. She is a big Celtics fan.  She writes amazingly expressive blogs on here but also on her own personal blog, wordsoflifespeak. If it’s the last thing you do today/tonight, check her out!

die_dd – David S. Dawkins is a peculiar young fellow who walks the campus of the university of Houston. One of his favorite orators is John Piper. He is an amazing … AMAZING artist. His art consist of unique portraits and scenes that are controversial to most minds. View some of his work on his personal blog, thouart.

chloe2dot0 – Chloe’ “Lo” Virgil is a graduate from the University of Houston. She reads a lot and she loves fashion. She is not a writer for this blog. Instead, she edits, revises, keeps everything in order and publishes daily. But don’t be fooled, she IS a writer. Don’t believe me? Check her out here, itsallaboutjesus. (Told you)!

ZachNunn – Zachary Nunn is a student at the University of Houston. He has a very creative voice that should be the narrator for the New Goon Version online, upon many other things! He’s a great storyteller as well. Visit him at his personal blog revnunnwisdom.

africansunshine – Jasmine C. Umenyi is a student at the University of Houston. She writes a lot and loves capturing her thoughts through her photography as well. Check out her work at sketchpeace. Her other pages are listed on that one.

On to our lovely guest writers …

hearthali – Halima Hunte is a student at the University of Houston. She is the inventor of the swag emoticon (~_~). She loves watching Law and Order: SVU and her absolute favorite color is … PURPLE. Don’t believe me? Go see here!

candis_gabs – Candis Price attends the University of Houston with a great interest in Political Science. She is very ambitious and is an eloquent writer here at the city! Check out her posts by clicking this link!

joshuagray – Senator Joshua Gray goes to the University of Houston. He is a prestigious face on campus and is a cup overflowing with knowledge. He also has one of the best swag faces known to mankind thus far. Don’t believe me, again!? Spot him out here!

djcam77 – Dennis Campbell is a graduate from the University of Houston. He makes the BEST cheesecake (from what I have heard) and likes to spend his time sketching smiles and inspiring laughter in peoples lives! He has a twitter, follow him!

pngwolo – Patrick Ngwolo is The City’s finest lyricist and lawyer. Literally. He is a dependable lawyer in the Houston area and also spends a lot of his time with the youth and young adults at Good Hope! Visit his personal website, P.T.’s Thoughts.

2Live4Him – N. Karsten Chearis is a distant but very close brother of ours! He is a part-time comedian that keeps laughter in the hearts of those who take time to read his thoughts. You can experience his greatest acts here and also visit his personal blog.

Unfortunately, there are two writers who are not photographed in the above images.  Taryn and gibson.  They have been amazing contributors to this website as well and we urge you to click on their names to read their work!!!

Join us this week Thursday at 7 p.m. (SHARP) as we celebrate our one year anniversary!  It will be a great gathering to start the new year with The City, also entering our second term for the school year!  This event will take place in Good Hope Missionary’s Fellowship Hall where bible studies are normally held (3015 N. MacGregor Way, 77004)  Hope to see you there!

We pray that you all continue to stick with us as we stick to Christ. God willing, we will continue to move forward towards our second year, closer to Glory!!! :)

happy anniversary!!!

Google Image.

the city good hope celebrates its ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY as the New Year has rolled in. we thank you ALL for visiting us daily and taking time out to read, listen and watch the various posts that are submitted.

we would like for you to share your experiences with us from the passed year of 2010, anything you would like to share: testimonies, praise reports, prayer requests, etc.  we would love to read them and to pray specifically for each and every one of our readers!

also, if you would like to see more of something else on this website, offer us some suggestions! we know we need growth and you all are important in this process!!!  for example, a new writer – maybe YOU!!!  if you would like to submit a post, do not hesitate to suggest yourself!

we pray this year is full of Gods grace in your lives and that your eyes, heart, mind and soul remain focused on Christ and if it is not already, we pray that God leads you to the truth in His time!!! His will shall be done!

thank you for all of your support and please keep us in your prayers, that we may continue to provide a sacred way of reconciling culturally relevant subjects to our Lord and Savior, the one and only, JC (Jesus Christ)!!!

we love and thank you all!!! and always remember:

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).

Next Level Chase

Check it out…Check out my new necklace, pictured above. I’ve wanted this necklace for a long time. I’ve looked in online stores, stores around town, and multiple over-priced bead shops and no dice. I can’t say why I wanted it so bad. It’s really not that cute, but for some reason the necklace just has swag to me. Maybe I thought the necklace was that one piece I needed to add a lil something to my wardrobe, I mean c’mon throw it on over a v-neck and let’s go! Well, last Saturday morning I rolled to church to help out in our Hoops for Hope basketball league. One of the guys playing walked by me and I noticed he had on the necklace I’ve been looking for. I stopped him and told him I’ve been looking for one everywhere. He said, “This thing? Man I got this for two dollars at Valero (gas station). You could have it.” And just like that he took it off his neck and put it on mine. I couldn’t believe it. The very thing I’d been chasing had been so easy to access all along, it was right under my nose! There’s probably five Valeros within a ten mile radius of my house, I always go to Valero, it’s the cheapest!!

Conviction over the chase…I was holding my new necklace in my hand when I began to feel convicted over the way I chase things, not just physically, but spiritually. We live in such a chase everything, climb every mountain type of culture. We are always searching for whatever is gonna take us to the ‘next level.’ Its these type of mentalities that drive us to chase materials and statuses that we think will add a lil something extra to our lives whether its money, fame, approval, or love. We chase things thinking they will complete our image. It’s crazy cause all things outside of Christ are fading away. We build ourselves up upon things in this world that are only heading down.

Did we forget our identity…Colossians 1:15 calls Jesus the “image of the invisible God” and Hebrews 1:3 says that Jesus is the “exact representation of God’s being.” We receive salvation by placing faith in Jesus Christ. We receive salvation through His work on the cross. He is the cornerstone of our faith. And if we follow Christ, we are the stones that come after the Cornerstone. In order to build efficiently, all stones or bricks used are symmetrical, meaning if we are following Jesus our cornerstone then as stones we are being chiseled and sculpted into Jesus’ image and He is the image of God. Through Christ our identity was revealed, it is Christ’s image that we should be chasing after.

Much like I chased after a necklace because I thought it was that little something I needed to add to my wardrobe, we chase after things of this world thinking that they will add that little something extra to our image or our persona. But we have Christ, and He gave us the image of the living God and that image is supreme and sufficient. The search should be over, Christ gave us an identity that needs no add-ons.

For satisfaction and an identity with true purpose, Jesus is the answer and he made himself easily accessible to all. You don’t have to look far or wide or run through multiple places checkin for Him. He’s been in front of you all along, waiting for you to surrender to Him so that He can show you that He’s all you need. In Christ alone all hope is found.

These are My Confessions….

So, I have a story:

On my daily excursion to a University of Houston Cafeteria (go coogs), I saw a young devout man praying to….well for the intensive purposes of this blog we will say his god.” As the picture shows, he had his head down, his rug laid out, and he was talking to allah for about 5 minutes.  I stood silent in the middle of the cafeteria with my mouth slightly agape.

May I Be Honest?

I was bothered.  I mean this person one minute is eating, then his timer goes off and he pulls out a mat in order to pray on it in front of everyone.  Afterwards, he gets up and gets on his cell phone…? I mean, come on! But then I felt #convicted. This is religion and make slaves of so many, and only by God’s grace am I free.

How is religion a slave master?

Religion is about doing things for the sake of being in good with your god, be it prayer, church attendance, avoidance of “big sins”, giving your time, money, talent…it is all a desperate, devout, serious and some times painful plea so that your god can say “well done my good and faithful servant.” There is no relationship, there is no love, there are simply rules that you do your damnedest to follow, so that you will not be damned.

So yeah, even though I know all of this, I did nothing. In my passive arrogance and hate took the picture, shrugged my shoulders and sat down and ate some food, probably some pork to spite this guy indirectly- I cannot remember (but I probably did).

What I Should Have Done

I should have told him there is a God (the true God) that is amazingly powerful. So powerful that He did the unthinkable, and  that  in that unthinkable power and love,  He sent Himself in flesh to live a perfect life for us to meet the standard of perfection that He Himself set long ago, before forever ago, by the simple nature of who He is. Not only did this God (the true God) do that, but also allowed Himself to be put under His own wrath for all the wrong that we have done so that we could escape punishment.

But wait, there is more: Remember that perfect life He lived? He gave it to those who turn away from their sin and believe in Him, so there is no more performance required because not only have you been forgiven, but you have also been given the righteous righteousness of GOD. So the good things you do are not out of fear or merit and demerit, but out of the love from the relationship you are now in, through Him.

*But remember, I did not say any of that, or anything like that.

I pray that I see him again, better yet I pray someone tells him about the True God. If I do seem him again, hopefully I will have the courage and love to tell him because this is truly Good News. I pray for those of you who know this Good News to tell folks about it. Also, I pray if you are in the same boat as those under religion that you see the God (again the true God) that loves you and sent Himself in flesh (#Jesus) to die so that you may not only live, but live more abundantly.

Grace. Peace.

The community needs ‘The City’.

‘Hard times push more women to strip clubs’, says the title of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution article I recently read.  According to The Erotic Economy’, the strip club economy is a $15 billion industry.  Of the 3,829 strip clubs nationwide about 500,000 jobs are offered.  In the city of Atlanta alone, there are 19 strip clubs.   That is about one club for every high school in the city.  In addition, the average yearly income of an Atlanta exotic dancer can clear about $50,000, which is just under the average income of an Atlanta schoolteacher. These 19 clubs produce $240 million annually, which is more revenue than the city’s three major teams combined.

The community needs ‘The City’.  The community is on fire and much like firefighters who slide down their poles to take immediate action at the call of an emergency, Christians must acknowledge their role in the community.  Perhaps it would help if we, as Christians, recognize how we have weakened, and sometimes even abandoned, our relationships with our communities.  We have possibly isolated ourselves from the very people who need the same love we shown.   We travel from our homes to our church buildings as if we live in our own “gated” community and lifestyle, in which we literally and mentally limit ourselves from interaction with, and our involvement in, the community.  The community is in need.

As Christians we have a couple of choices of how we can take action:

  • We can choose to act as if there is no problem at all, furthermore allowing the stability of the industry to be an open door for many women, even as statistics show applicants are becoming younger and younger.
  • We can distance ourselves from this issue, yet submit to the ills of the economy much like adult dance club employees and  see this erotic industry as a “major financial force in [our cities], helping draw conventioneers and high-rolling celebrities”.
  • Or as God calls us to do, we can pray for these people’s salvation.  Much like the loving individuals who greet abortion clinic abortionists and abortionees at the front door, Christians can also take a stand and share the love of Jesus Christ with them. (Not comparing strip clubs and abortion clinics. Or am I?) Christians have the great opportunity to introduce these souls to a Saviour who is in love with strippers, but not the stripping.  An introduction to a Lord who will one day make it rain reign, yet nothing like they have seen.

To read article click here.

As interesting as this article is, I am now more curious as to how the city of Houston’s story is.  I’m interested especially since Houston is also one of the five largest U.S. market for strip clubs.  I believe I may apply research time to this at some point and then post a part two here on ‘The City’. Let me know what you think.