Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Memories: They Told Me I Was Too Smart for Rap and Youth Ministry

I've heard plenty of stories about school teachers telling their students that they're dumb. That really gets to me because a school teacher represents so much more than a person teaching curriculum and giving tests. A school teacher is seen by students as an authority and a primary gauge for everything "smarts". The same goes for whatever field you find yourself in. You consider a leader in that field to be an authority in that field. If they tell you, "Nah, you're not cut out for this", then you can tend to believe them. And if you don't believe them, then either you're crazy or you know something that the leader doesn't know. The reverse is also true. Compliments from a leader in a field will inspire confidence! (Thank God for those teachers, right?)

About 10 years ago, I was in a time of transition in my life. I was already doing music, but I felt like the Lord wanted me to jump into full time youth ministry. One day during a conversation about my decision to do youth ministry, a well meaning leader of mine told me, "You're so smart! You shouldn't do youth ministry. You should go to college and pursue a career." Sometime later, this individual jokingly asked me, "Why do young black males want to be rappers? Why can't they go to school to be doctors and lawyers?" (By the way, this person is black.)

Back then, I said to myself, "This person doesn't know me! They don't know the call of God on my life!" But little did I know that seed would grow up later.
It would grow up when things weren't panning out according to my ambitious goals.
It would grow up when I went from record label to record label and finally realized that the business side of rap that I had experienced up to that point was a big joke.
It would grow up when G. Craig Lewis suggested that there was a demonic spirit behind "hip hop" that made us want to be stars instead of responsible black men in our communities.
It would grow up when I would get tons of positive responses on social media when talking about me preaching, but when I posted about my music...ehh!
It would grow up when the random prophet from out of town prophesies to me and says, "You're schooling days aren't done." Or when my dad says, "I think that school would add more credibility to your calling."
And it would grow up years later when I had to make the painful decision to move my wife, my daughter Nyomi, and one on the way (Liviya) out of our house and into my parents house for over two years because, even though we didn't have excess debt and lived a very meager lifestyle, full time ministry and music just didn't pay the house bill. Almost every time I saw the renter's car in our driveway, I wondered if I was doing the right thing. When Nyomi got sad because she didn't have her own space and wanted to be "back in our own house", I questioned myself and wondered if that leader from ten years back was actually on to something.
Oh the list could go on...

I've come to these three conclusions.

  1. Either I'm crazy or wisdom will be "justified by her children" (Luke 7:35). I don't think that I'm crazy...but then does crazy ever really know when it's crazy?? Lol!
  2. As small as I may think that my faith is, it is still being stretched by God in a crazy way. I feel like I'm getting stretched to capacity while people are watching and waiting to see what happens to me - with their popcorn and what not! My faith is rising. Enjoy the show.
  3. If I hold on to these memories and experiences that seem to reaffirm a different vision than the one God has given me, I'll never reach my God given destiny. Hear me out. I am NOT saying that all of these people are dead wrong. I actually think that I will be attending some sort of formal education in the future. I also love and appreciate EVERYONE who has spoken into my life so far. But the blueprint that matters the most to me is the one that God has for my life. Everything else is secondary.
Now that you have that backdrop, try listening to my song Memories again. It will blow your mind lol! And if you like it, you can download it for free when you sign up for my newsletter. (Click HERE to sign up.) Oh, and please pray for me!


  1. Again, amazed. Yeah, I share many of these memories, "growing up" points, and conclusions in an autobio I did on the www.soundcloud.com/kwaselizabeth@gmail.com-1 site for a class I took. Check it out when you have time and you'll see why I'm amazed. God is faithful. Peace