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

free download of “Never Stops” here.

Bruh, Man Up (Submission, part 1)

There’s a incorrect popular idea in masculine culture ,and especially even Christianity, that the practice and idea of submission is primarily the responsibility of the woman. The usual themes I see on Twitter, Facebook, college campuses, Sunday mornings,  Wednesday night Bible studies, etc., go something like this:

Woman Submits to Man, Man Submits to nobody. Man is King.

Let’s look at the story of a famous King and see how the popular idea of submission matches up.

So there was a man who God called to preach to a city called Nineveh; his name was Jonah.  After a crazy journey to get there, he finally preaches to the city of Nineveh to repent – to turn away from their sin and turn to God. This was the King of that city’s response:

Jonah 3

6 The word reached the king of Nineveh, and he arose from his throne, removed his robe, covered himself with sackcloth, and sat in ashes.7 And he issued a proclamation and published through Nineveh, “By the decree of the king and his nobles: Let neither man nor beast, herd nor flock, taste anything. Let them not feed or drink water,8 but let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and let them call out mightily to God. Let everyone turn from his evil way and from the violence that is in his hands.9 Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from his fierce anger, so that we may not perish.”

The city of Nineveh was horrible, very much like the terrorist culture of Al Qaeda. They were known for torturing folk, pillaging other nations, and the worship of various false gods. The King of this city literally ran all of these things. He was the head. Nineveh was his world, or so he thought. However, peep the text and let’s peep what he does in light of the message Jonah preached:

1. Arose from his throne

The King of this mighty nation, the ruler of everything around Him, this man of renown and power, arose from his throne. This man had a seat of authority, influence, wealth, power, women, you name it. But in response to God, the King got off of his throne. This points to the fact that he was willing to give all of what he had up to be in alignment with what God’s desires were for him.

2. Removed his robe

The robe of the King was a public display of his position. This is who he was. Folk saw this Kings robe and knew who he was. This was his identity. Again though, this man was willing to give up who he found himself to be, as well as who others found Him to be in response to God.

3. Put on sackcloth and sat in ashes

Even without knowing the Bible, The King was able to understand God’s will to such an extent that He was willing to take off “everything” and put on nothing. In this realization, the King was able to put on humility- and to sit in humility. All in response to a message from God.

Keep reading the text. Look at how he took these steps in response to God, leading his community to follow suit. This is what Biblical submission looks like for men. Men are called to submit to God. They are called to get off of the thrones of their own hearts, take off the identity given to them by the world, and sit in humility- agreeing to the role that God has for them- which is always one of leadership in some degree, and always one that leads others to turn to God.

So we know what submission is, but the question is how do we do this? It’s hard to get off the throne of your own herd, take off your identity that the world gives you, and then sit in humility. I dare say it’s impossible. So how do we do it? Quick verse and we’ll wrap up part 1…

Philippians 4:12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need.13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

The answer is Jesus. We need Him for us to submit … that means we repent -turn away from our sins and turn to Him, to believe in His work on His Cross where he paid the debt of sin against God that we owe. Through Him we can do this thing men. Next time we’re going to talk about another King who submitted so that we can really unpack this thing even further.

Part 2 coming soon!

grace and peace.

My Own Fiasco

Hands down, one of my favorite rappers used to be Lupe Fiasco. We haven’t necessarily parted ways, because I respect his talent, but we’ve just grown apart. I liked Cool Young Lu because he was intelligent, lyrically talented, and not afraid to mash on society or politics. I was jamming on pandora one day and ‘The Coolest’ came on. It’s funny how you can hear something so many times and not really realize what you’re listening to or what exactly you’re hearing. Verse one opens up with…

“I Love the Lord, but sometimes it’s like I love me more.”

And it’s like I said, the song isn’t new. I’ve heard it before, but I wasn’t really hearing it. But this time I heard it, and I think I heard it this time because I felt it. I felt it in my gut. Lupe had just put into words what I put into action. “I love the Lord, but sometimes it’s like I love me more.”

See love is something I’ve been struggling with. I was telling my pastor of my struggles to love people and he dropped a line that also hit me in my gut. He said, “You know we always think that there’s this one person that we’re bad at loving without realizing that we’re bad at loving everyone, including God.”

Immediately I was on the defense, saying to myself, “I love people! I love my family and close friends!” Right? And then it was like someone pushed play on a horror film inside of my head. I saw myself being unloving to the people I claimed to love the most. I saw myself answering phone calls only when it’s convenient for me. I saw myself interacting with these people, but mostly when it benefited me. I saw myself sitting stationary, knowing that someone needed Godly advice, knowing that they needed guidance and needed to talk. Forget first fruits, I saw myself giving God the last of all my fruits. I went on to name this horror film ‘I love you, but I love me more.’ I was disgusted.

I’m not struggling to love people or God; I’m struggling to get over myself. We have got to fight to walk as living sacrifices. Remember what it took for you to get saved? Remember the emotions you felt at your lowest time of brokenness-anger, frustration, depression-remember the mess you made when you were doing things your way? Can you see what placing your faith in Jesus Christ has done in your life, can you see the change? How can we still want to hold onto ourselves. I was hopeless without Him, I still am hopeless without Him, and I always will be hopeless without Him.

That’s enough motivation for me to let go of myself. That’s enough motivation for me to worship God. That’s enough for me to love God for what He’s done and translate the love that I receive from Him into love that I now give to others. I want to wake up every day and feel exactly like I’m mourning the loss of someone I loved dearly …


Bruh, Man Up! (Love)

CAUTION: This blog may make you upset, but the ultimate aim is for you to see love in a possibly very different way.

F%^&%K LOVE”

I hear and read this quite a bit from my female peers. In loving curiosity, I have asked why these women would say that and it always goes back to a broken relationship with a guy, always. More specifically, this stance on love usually stems from a broken relationship in which sex was involved. You know, the guy and gal did the do and then for one reason or another, the guy left the relationship. The guy usually gets it in under some pretense of marital insinuation, and the girl is broken by the prince that never was. And while there is a large contingent of males young and old who harbor harsh opinions towards these women, they have neglected the fact that they own a large bit of the blame.

Peep This…

Genesis 38:6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, and her name was Tamar.7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord put him to death.8 Then Judah said to Onan, Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.9 But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his. So whenever he went in to his brother’s wife he would waste the semen on the ground, so as not to give offspring to his brother.10 And what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord, and he put him to death also.
Let’s take a moment to add some cultural context. Back then, in order to preserve the family line, it was culturally acceptable for a brother to marry his deceased brother’s widow. Onan’s brother Er was wicked in God’s eyes, so God killed him. Onan then is called by his father to marry Tamar, Er’s widow. Onan is asked to “raise up offspring for [his] brother”. The thing is Onan would have sex with Tamar, but as the text says he would pull out. The text then says God kills Onan because “what he did was wicked in the sight of the Lord”.

So if it was culturally acceptable for Onan to sleep with Tamar, why all the pulling out?

Onan wanted to get what Onan wanted, which was a nut (yeah I’m sorry, it sounds bad…but that’s what the text says). Onan just used Tamar as a receptacle for his selfishness.  When it came down to actually planting a part of himself inside of this woman, he pulled out. He didn’t want to cultivate, he wanted to copulate. This wasn’t love-making, this was extended masturbation. His act of wickedness was being selfish, and not loving this woman.

The text revealed that because Onan used Tamar as an object of extended masturbation, God killed him. This is a problem for us, because most of us guys are Onan’s. We literally get it in, and do our thing for 1, 4, maybe even 20 whole minutes (#wow!), but when it’s time for insemination what do we do? That’s right, we pull out (most of us get tired of pulling out and want to increase our chances of not getting the woman pregnant, so we just wear a condom, which is worse than pulling out really).

**And for the guys who are saying “well wait a second, I have a child and I raise them too”, I’d say good for you man, but 1. did you go in planning to have a child, or 2. did you just get caught up, or worse 3.  knew you’d get her pregnant and have an abortion and then she said she’s not down? You’re worse than Onan too. There’s good news for you too if you keep on reading.**

Men, we are willing to do it all, cuddle in bed afterwards, share a dog, pay for the food, buy the movie tickets, take her on a trip to New Zealand, but we aren’t willing to make a commitment. We’re willing to get as much as we can from them, without giving them any part of us.  It’s selfish, and certainly not loving–God actually calls it wicked. And like Onan, God has a punishment for your wickedness (death).

Good News

For too long we’ve followed in the marks of Onan, acting out of pure selfishness. We don’t want offspring, we want to get it in and get out. We’re not looking to produce, we’re looking to pollute. Thankfully, Jesus Christ died for this wickedness.  The Bible says “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly (Romans 5:8).” You see, Jesus Christ went all the way in for some folk who didn’t deserve it. He didn’t look for pleasure in self-preservation, He saw pleasure in being obedient to God and honoring Him. He looked beyond Himself. He died on a Cross, not because He was wicked, but because we were wicked.  After paying for the sin of all those who believe on the filthy cross, He was buried, He sowed His seed (which was Himself) into the ground. And He didn’t pull out early. He stayed in the Earth for three days. That seed did not lay dormant, it rose in new life. This new life represented the life that would be given to the millions upon millions of people who would place their faith in Jesus Christ. You see, His seed was not wasted, it went on to produce the biggest family ever. The family of God. And there are people born (again) from this seed all the time. I’m one of them.

1 Corinthians 15:20-23
But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming.

That’s love. That’s the kind of love we are called to live in and through and share to others men. Love that looks beyond ourselves and chiefly aims to honor God.

grace and peace.

Bruh, Man Up! (Courage)

*Hey fam, this is a series on Biblical masculinity. It’s been a while, so if  you missed the introduction this series called “Bruh, Man Up”,  peep it here: http://www.thecitygoodhope.org/?p=2798

Let’s be frank (help me Lord)

Candis and I were talking and she pointed me to a certain text that really troubled me (Yes I can admit the Bible bothers me sometimes, but that’s for another blog). This was the text:

Deuteronomy 22:23-27
23If there is a betrothed virgin, and a man meets her in the city and lies with her,24 then you shall bring them both out to the gate of that city, and you shall stone them to death with stones, the young woman because she did not cry for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.25But if in the open country a man meets a young woman who is betrothed, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die.26 But you shall do nothing to the young woman; she has committed no offense punishable by death. For this case is like that of a man attacking and murdering his neighbor,27 because he met her in the open country, and though the betrothed young woman cried for help there was no one to rescue her.

These verses bothered me y’all, no lie. It seems pretty… extreme, but then the Holy Spirit revealed some things to me (thanks for the Bible reading tips Emike). From reading the text I’m going to make some logical, non-leaping assumptions.

From looking at verse 24, there is a righteous assumption made by God that if the woman had cried out in the city, the men would have acted.

From looking at verse 27, men are expected by God to be those who seek justice in direct and confrontational action.

The text makes a differentiation between the city and the country. In today’s context, even the areas we consider rural would be cities back then.  The country at that time meant a largely uninhabited area, primarily uninhabited by men. In today’s culture, everywhere we go we are in a city.

The text illustrates a literal screaming out from women for help from danger, hurt and harm caused by men. Today women also scream out this way, but they also are screaming out through bitterness, long threads of “indirects” on twitter, ranting Facebook statuses, and/or inappropriate twitter and facebook avatar pictures. Women today are still crying out, and as we have asserted, they have been crying out all in the cities-there is nowhere else to cry out.

The expectation God places on men is one of justice seeker. In the text, the men were called to rescue the women from getting abused by men. This means the men had to stand up, confront the attacker and possibly strike him repeatedly, maybe even kill him for the sake of the women in danger.

Now, we know there are plenty of scorn and broken women in the cities. If one walked outside of thier house/dorm/apartment or even got on any social media, or turned on The View for 3 minutes, they are aware of this reality. Again, women are crying out and they are doing it in the cities. If this is true, then why are so few men stepping up for justice sake and stopping the abuse? Well, if I were to be honest from personal observation, it’s because most men are the abusers, and by definition won’t tell on themselves, and many more are cowards deciding to not “do the most” and “mind their own business”, all the while injustice is happening.

Hold on, before you x-out of this blog upset thinking I’m male bashing, hear me out ( and if you haven’t x’d out already, good for  you!).

In the recent words of a known speaker and ministry leader, “there is an epidemic going on around college campuses” and the rest of the cities. The epidemic isn’t “men running around getting girls pregnant and leaving them alone”; it’s sin! Sin produces cowardice. Sin doesn’t confront, sin cosigns. Sin doesn’t correct, sin cowers. It’s this sin that has our males (who call themselves men) acting this way in common society. Most of the men in a very real way are much like the man in the picture above.

I want us to see what God has called man to do, how we have fallen, and the state we are in.  The answer may surprise you, but it may not.

We gotta look to Jesus.

From reading Deuteronomy 22:23-27, we can see there is a victim/abuser relationship in place and that there is to be a person who is to rescue the one abused, in the name of justice and love out of the position they are in.

See, we all (men included) were abused and manipulated by sin. We cried out, but the difference is we enjoyed it, we were all following sin, indwelt by demons and loving the mess we are in [Ephesians 2:1-3]. According to the Law, in Deuteronomy,  we were to die along with the abuser because we were dishonorable and cheated on God, but in love and grace God stepped in and beat back then abuser sin, nay God crushed what was abusing us. Yet instead of killing us along with the abuser, God in perfect justice punished Himself as if He was the unfaithful one.

He punished Himself on our behalf in the GodMan Jesus Christ on a feces and urine covered Cross, delivering perfect love and justice.
Men have to look towards this fact (not philosophy or idea), change their minds about their sin and believe in Jesus. In that new life likeness, man is changed! Only from there can they move from abusers and cowards to advocates of Godliness and confronters of injustice.

Jesus Saves.

Grace and Peace,

swagg don’t matter!

the city @ good hope is excited about all that God is doing in and through the members of this body in the field of art! we have photographers, musical beasts of multiple genres (true levites), writers & journalists (evidence, this website), public speakers, amazing painters and sketchers, poets, and etc.! the city has truly been graced by God to have so many gifts and talents in just one body! we try not to take this fact for granted, but instead offer thanksgiving and give all the glory to God through these gifts!

with that said, our own ronnie lillard has been blessed with the talent to spread the gospel via hip hop/rap and subsequently personify the gospel of Jesus Christ in a way that hip hop heads like myself and many others can love, appreciate, and honor God all the while!

now enjoy, the official video (we’re all up in this video! lol) to the new single off of the “burn this city (ep)” (available for free download) …

reconcile ft. corey paul – swagg don’t matter!

for more peep reconcile’s official website!

Bruh, Man up! (An introduction)

What I’ve been seeing…

No lie, I stay on social media, perhaps a bit too much. Whilst perusing the various facebook updates and tweets, I often will see complaints from women concerning “trifling ni**as”, updates and tweets from men justifying their behavior,  and then and still even more women applauding these men for their behavior.  So needless to say there’s a lot of confusion out there as to what really being a man is. In this series we’re going to see what manhood is, and yes reader, I’m sure you’ve read or heard at least 405 other sources about what being a real man is, but I can tell you the answer in this series won’t be self-improvement, money, extenze (that’s a sex pill if you didn’t know), a workout plan or education.

To open this series up, let’s start with


Genesis 3:7 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, Where are you?

Giving context to the verse:

Adam and Eve were living and ruling in the Garden of Eden but disaster struck, Eve was deceived and ate the forbidden fruit, committing the one sin in existence for mankind at the time. Though it was Eve who initially sinned, God holds Adam responsible. Adam was the man and was created first to lead and cultivate (Genesis 1:15-16). Though this was His role when God asks Adam what went down in Genesis 3, his response is less than admirable. He blames God and then throws Eve under the bus.

The hard thing I don’t believe Adam understood was that though he did not commit the initial wrong, he was called to take responsibility.  Men, does this sound familiar? How often do we as the one called to lead and serve fail to do so, blaming others for our failure, including God? I can speak for myself and say there are many times where I want to blame-shift, not realizing that my call is higher, to be a servant leader in my community, my friendships, and when the time comes, my marriage.

Let’s peep what the 2nd Adam (Jesus) did. Although our shortcomings were not His fault, He took responsibility for them. How? On His Cross. He absorbed all the wrath due to us as the man, the leader, our Savior. (Romans 5:8)  Men, we are called to live this way, taking the responsibility for something that isn’t our fault (yes I know that sounds foreign!). Often times this will hurt, but  the answer for us as males is to submit to the only real Man, Christ Jesus. Let’s give up our small ideas of manhood and pick up what the Bible has for us as manhood (the Cross).

This is just an intro though!

We’ll be tackling these other subjects and their relation to this thing we call manhood:







Concerning this series, like the Apostle Paul said “Roll with me as I roll with Christ” 1 Cor 11:1 (NGV), I think you’ll like it!

Grace and Peace.

The Invasion

I couldn’t hardly believe it. I had seen the tweets so I rushed to a computer and punched in www.bet.com. Sure enough there was Trip Lee, a Christian rap artist, on the 106&Park page. Recently I was given the opportunity to serve as an artist assistant at a concert Trip did in Houston at Good Hope, I mean I had just seen the man in the flesh and there he was a few days later being featured on BET, he had crossed over into a popular ‘secular’ venue.  I mean his picture was on the website for all to see, the gospel message was conveyed in his song, and the entire video played on national television!

A couple days later I saw a tweet put out by Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (pictured to the right). Curry’s tweet implied that he was a Trip Lee fan! In my mind I was like my goodness, through hip hop and rap God is allowing the gospel to enter the homes of many and music like Trip Lee’s is being promoted and publicly talked about by popular figures in our culture like Curry. I was ecstatic. This thing felt like a movement fa real, it felt like gospel music was infiltrating the world!

But where was the shock coming from? I had thoughts like-they’re listening to what WE listen to? Hey look, that’s OUR music! Wow, what does BET want with a gospel artist? These thoughts weren’t born out of selfishness, I just didn’t quite understand.

If you read the book of Acts you’ll see that one of the greatest barriers to spreading the gospel was the Jewish-Gentile conflict. Most Jews thought it unlawful to speak or hang around Gentiles. That’s why it was so radical for Jews to see Jesus chillin with tax collectors or prostitutes. Today we would call Gentiles non-Christians. But if you closely examine Jesus’ life on earth, you’ll find that it was the people culture had deemed unclean, unworthy, or unrespectable who felt the most comfortable around Jesus. And rightly so, because they recognized their need for a Savior, they were willing to admit that they needed Him. And they were the very reason Jesus had come. ‘ It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick…for I have not come to call the righteous, but the sinners’ (Matt 9:12-13). He had come for the unclean and the unrespectable, those who were spiritually sick.

It’s easy to get caught up in making sure that you belong in the group of respectables. The church today has an affinity for attracting middle-class, respectable attendees. We’re happy to sit in our bubbles of respectable-ness, separating ourselves from the world of non-Christians.

Not everyone was happy that Trip would agree to appear on BET. But as agents of change we are here to seek the lost, here to point the sick to the Healer. In an interview Trip did while in Houston he said, “Every culture needs missionaries…” He went on to explain that hip-hop is a culture and we just can’t turn our backs to it because it’s viewed as ‘secular.’

Trip’s point was, whether it’s hip hop, the armed services, or scrapbooking, every culture needs missionaries proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. This is our commission; there should be no shock, no surprise when we see Christians reaching into the secular world. What are we doing if we do not reach into the secular world? What are you doing if you are not impacting the culture you are a part of? Who are you helping if you don’t bring light to the darkness around you? This is our commandment that we ‘Go into ALL the world and preach the good news to ALL creation’ (Mark 16:15).

This series of events has been a major reminder of the great commission. The Holy Spirit will move and God will have His way whether you’re willing to go or not. I just pray that we make ourselves available to Him, so that we can be used to reach all races, in every culture, throughout all the world.

Jesus wants the Rose

This is a favorite clip of mine by a man of God by the name Matt Chandler.

The Rose

There are many of us who secretly feel unworthy to be in relationship with God. Many of us feel because of our past   (or current) mistakes, that we’re just too dirty to come to an immeasurably clean God and dare ask for a relationship. The Good News is that this immeasurably clean God came down and took your filth and gave you His cleanliness, if you realize you need Him and believe He can save you! Peep the vid and comment!

Rap to the Gospel: The Legacy



On Tuesday, March 23, 2010, Rice University hosted the HERE Legacy Awards. The Legacy Award was given to J Prince, CEO and founder of Houston’s own RAP-A-LOT Records. The event took the form of a symposium as panels of Houston’s original rappers took the stage to enlighten the public on the history of rap in Houston. Members of these panels included Trae, Choice, DJ Chill, Willie D, Bun B, Slim Thug, and about 20 others.

These guys sat in a Rice lecture hall and chopped up the origins and history of Houston rap for over 3 hours. They relived the glory days, laughing and telling stories like children. You would see them turn to each other and say, “Member when we would go down to that one place, on that one corner, and battle that one dude??” and everyone would whoop and holla remembering all the good times they had shared.  But they were all there to honor one person, J Prince

Bun B spoke highly of J Prince. He said that J was the only CEO who would give out his cell number, maintaining a direct line of contact with his artists. Others said J had taught them how to be smart about their money and how to take care of their business. They all agreed that J Prince had taught them how to play the rap game, had put himself on the line for them, and had played an influential role in their lives. In turn these rappers taught the young guns and paved the way for other Houston locals like Paul Wall and Chamillionaire.

Just listening to them got me hyped. They had done so much and experienced so much together. They made RAP-A-LOT. They had had a passion, a vision, and had hustled to make it happen. And every one of them gave thanks to J Prince, their CEO. I wanted in; I wanted to be part of a corporation like that. They were a family and had history together. They had shared a vision and a passion, and had done whatever they had had to do to make things happen.

That’s when I realized I was part of a corporation. I have a family, the body of Christ, and as a part of ministry, I belong to a corporation, I like to call this corporation “Kingdom Bidnizz.” But this corporation has eternal value. It was founded by an everlasting CEO, Jesus Christ. He paved the way for the corporation’s members with blood.  And I too have a direct line of contact with my CEO; He’s available to me 24/7. Through His Word He teaches me how to play the game of life. He plays an influential role in my life and 2,000 years ago He put himself on the line for me, just so I could make it, just so I could have life!

Those rappers were sitting back recounting the legacy they had left behind.  As a part of “Kingdom Bidnizz” what legacy will you leave behind?

In Kingdom Bidnizz, our vision is to spread the gospel, bring people to Christ, and grow deeper in Him both individually and as a family. It’s up to members of Kingdom Bidnizz to teach others and lift up the young ones. Willie D said it best when he said, “Our vision is fueled by our passion.” When we fail to participate in small groups, fail to volunteer in children’s ministries,  fail to get involved in Bible studies, and fail to perpetuate a thirst for Christ then the movement dies.  We have to have passion!

In the telling of Houston’s rap history, the rappers all gave props to the late DJ Screw for implementing the mixtape game in Houston. One day I want to sit back and give props to people who implemented things into the gospel game. I want to sit back and say, “Member when P.T. started www.thecitygoodhope.org, got that Christian blog up, and we went viral with the ministry.”  And I want those around me to whoop and holla in agreement as we recount how we had hustled to expand the Kingdom.

At the end of my time I want to look back and see a legacy. I want to see young people whose lives were changed because of my role in Kingdom Bidnizz. I want to see folk who not only found Christ, but are now out there spreading the Word themselves. And I want to kick all the glory and honor to my CEO, Jesus Christ.