So we're heading off to Tampa, FL tomorrow for Flavor Fest...bright and early at 6am. I'm very excited about the opportunity, but there is one thing that I'm not: delusional. I'm not really being cynical or anything but I'm just saying...I'm not going up there thinking that someone is going to hear my "White Rags" song and be like "Wow, I wanna help take that dude to the next level!" Now some of you may be thinking, "that's not very faith-like! Where's your expectancy brother?" Let me put things in perspective...
It that happens and God chooses to broaden my platform for His glory then GREAT! Praise God! But here's the thing: God has put a desire in me to reach my neighborhood. I'm going up there to learn how to better serve my urban community. By God's grace, I've found a treasure right in my back yard - my neighborhood! There are kids that go to the schools in my neighborhood who are broken and don't know the freedom that comes with following Christ. Those are the ones that I want to reach.
Our church just hosted our neighborhood's National Night Out! Here's a picture...
We estimate that we had close to 100 people who showed up (not all shown here, of course). Most of them were older people but we did have some children/youth come out. A lot of the kids were at the community center down the street. (Mental note for next.) They played volleyball, basketball, flag football, and soccer. A few enjoyed our game room. It was fun. More importantly the neighborhood association loved it! Check out what they emailed to the rest of the association:
"A BIG 'THANK YOU' GOES OUT TO FAITH OUTREACH
WONDERFUL SUPPORT AND KINDNESS COORDINATING THIS SPECIAL
EVENT WITH US
(NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOC) TONIGHT. KIDS HAD A WONDERFUL TIME PLAYING VOLLEYBALL, SOCCER, GAMES, COLORING PLAYGROUND, ETC.
NEIGHBORS MEETING NEIGHBORS, VISITING AND ENJOYING THE BEAUTIFUL EVENING. OUR
DIST. 7 COUNCILMAN CRIS MEDINA AND SAFE OFFICER MARCOS SERDA
ALONG WITH MASCOT CRIME DOG MCGRUFF STOPPED BY FOR A SHORT VISIT (THANK YOU). CPS
AND SAWS REPRESENTATIVES SHOWED UP WITH SOME GOODY BAGS FOR KIDS AND
RESIDENTS (THANK YOU). WE EVEN HAD MUSIC DJ (THANK
THANK'S AGAIN TO ALL
FOR YOUR WONDERFUL POTLUCK AND MOST OF ALL YOUR PRESENCE. WE LOOK FORWARD TO
MORE EVENTS LIKE THIS."
Sunshine Estates Neighborhood Association
So here's the thing...I'm going up there focused. I will definitely see what relationships God will have me to build while I'm up there. At the same time, if something comes along that will distract me from my goal of reaching my neighborhood with the gospel then I will have to treat it as a distraction and set it aside. Ugh! It hurts just saying that lol! The funny thing is that I also feel that the Lord wants me to share with the church this word about full submission to Him. (Explaining what it looks like, etc.) And I know that something fruitful is going to come from me being at the conference because the Lord was the one that told me to go. PLUS God provided the funds when it looked like I wasn't going to be able to make it. But I don't know...I can't explain it fully but I know that I am right where I'm supposed to be. I'm supposed to be here in San Antonio. I'm supposed to see my neighborhood as a treasure. I'm supposed to invest into relationships here. I'm supposed to reach Longfellow Middle School for Christ. So I don't know what God is up to but I'm just going to trust him.
Lastly, part of being delusional is believing that someone is just going to notice you without any effort on your part. I'm very much in touch with reality. And honestly, I'm not famous. I'm on the underground line-up for a reason...people don't know me. I'm not national. And there's something that I've been noticing about these ministries/ministers that everyone wants to work with. When these noteworthy ministries look to build relationship with others, they're not looking for the next best talent. They're looking for people who are actually making a difference. What impact are you making right now? Record labels are much the same. I run a small record label. Unless the Lord says so, I'm more than likely not going to take a risk on someone with absolutely no fan base. Fans doesn't necessarily mean an artist is skilled. Fans mean that an artist has an impact in other people's lives. That's what's really important. Knowing all of this, I thank God that He has actually given me a heart for my neighborhood so that what I do will be genuine! Please keep Jeneil and I in prayer as we go. We really want to learn how to more effectively reach our community and how to become better stewards of the record label God has entrusted us with. I'll stay in touch...