Today is My Blog Relaunch Anniversary: Why I’m Not Happy…

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Hello World,

A year ago, I relaunched my blog with the intention of focusing on “blogging the cross section of faith, relationships and pop culture,” my handy dandy tagline above! I’ve always wanted to be a celebrity journalist so I decided to hire myself AND I wanted to cover the important matters of faith in a mostly fun way. And in this first year after my blog relaunch, I did that.

My first very blog post on the day of my relaunch was interview with gospel music star Tamela Mann and her experience singing at the White House! Read Tamela Mann Shares About ‘The Gospel Tradition: In Performance At The White House’ & More: MY INTERVIEW…if you haven’t had a chance to do so. I also interviewed Christian movie star Dayid Oyelowo in my blog post Actor David Oyelowo Captures Brian Nichols in Hostage Crisis Movie ‘Captive’: My Interview (With Audio) which was as a wonderful opportunity! I also wrote some scandalous posts such as Was It Wrong for ‘Sunday Best’ Winner Le’Andria Johnson to be Drunk Allegedly on Periscope? and Bishop Eddie Long Releases New Book ‘The Untold Story’ While Pastor Jamal Bryant Sidesteps Paternity Claim Today… as sometimes the situation call for that. But I’ve also delved into some series issues in blog posts such such as Jordan Davis’s Mother Lucy McBath Stars in New Disney Documentary About Faith & Gun Control: My Interview (WITH AUDIO) or Mother & Daughter Survivors Treated for Breast Cancer One Year Apart, Inspired By Deceased Relative’s Fight…And thankfully, my blog traffic has increased!

My page views have increased by 106.75 percent, and my users have increased by 117.86 percent! And yet, even as my numbers have increased I vacillate between satisfaction and discontent. Why? Because I cannot seem to stop playing the comparison game…smh…

My earliest remembrance of this destructive behavior in my life goes back to when I was about six years old. A single mother who worked nights lived next door to my family and me.  In neighborly kindness, I guess, the single mother’s daughter, who shall go nameless, was allowed to stay over at our apartment each night. In the morning, her mother would come and get her. The girl was about a year younger than me and so we became fast friends.

But I quickly  noticed that this girl had things that I didn’t have. She wore name name brand clothing for instance and had jewelry even. In my six-year-old mind, I deduced that the reason my parents didn’t lavish name brand clothing and jewelry on me was that there was three of us and they couldn’t afford to spend their money on such frivolities. And I also deduced that my friend’s mama only had to cover two people, and that’ s why her mama could spend that way. But I was still jealous…I would try to comfort myself by saying to myself, I bet she wishes she had a daddy and brothers like I do…And that sentiment would work for a while, but then I would find myself thinking of what she had and what I didn’t have again. It got so bad that sometimes I would be up at night worrying about it all…Can you believe it? I was just six years old! That is sooo terrible…My friend slept in my room with me and that made it worse. Sometimes I would get up in the middle of the night and quietly open the door so the hallway light shone in the room and I would peer at a ring on her finger. I don’t even remember what it looked like exactly, but I do remember it was sparkly and reminded me of one of my favorite fairytales – Cinderella.

Fast forward 30 plus years later and I still find myself dealing with this insidious habit. I remember when I was in 20s and I was making $10 a paycheck at my first journalism job. All of my friends were going on trips, getting fabulous apartments and starting investment clubs…With my meager earnings, I had to live at home, and the only trip I could afford was the trip to work and back. As far as investments were concerned, I tried to comfort myself with the knowledge that I was investing in my future by taking a job in my field and getting experience. But I was still seething on the inside…and sometimes the vitriol spilled out…My father gave me countless pep talks during this time…He assured me that “my time” was coming…And he reminded that I chose a field that often doesn’t yield large earnings- at least at the beginning of your career, and I had to accept that or go into a different field. And he also told me that God had a purpose for my life and as long as I was in His will, I was where I needed to be.

Once I entered the blogging arena, I have found myself hating on other people’s blogs or their careers. Here is what I think sometimes – Why her blog got all those comments? I’m a good writer too. Or why did she get a book deal when her topic is hackneyed at best?  I could write that story with one hand tied behind my back…Yes, it’s gets really ugly in my mind sometimes…A friend wisely told me maybe one of the reasons why my blog doesn’t get as many comments as others is because I am talking about religious topics and religion will never be as popular. That may be true, but one of my favorite blogs, a religious blog, got scads of comments…how come my blog doesn’t? I swear I’m still six years old….

So by this time, I should be wrapping up now and telling you how I’ve overcome my haterism…I haven’t…but sometimes, I have moments of clarity after I have whined about it to anyone who will listen…One particularly spiritual friend frequently states that I shouldn’t compare my insides to someone else’s outsides. What that means is that what someone has doesn’t necessarily equate to happiness. Over the years I have learned that is true. Sometimes I’ve been told to pray for the person that I resent. I’ve found that if I pray for the person to get everything I want in my life, I often find that I don’t feel as bad…And I recently discovered that some people want what I have. That makes me feel really good…I swear, I’m terrible, huh? And sometimes hate can be a good thing actually. Sometimes, it has propelled me to do things I wouldn’t ordinarily do…For instance, I learned to be smart about my money and I’ve come a long way baby…And sometimes the answer is to stop thinking about myself and think of how I can help others…Self obsession is a trap for sure…prayer is a good tool too…

I will say this, and I’m thankful that God has given me this conviction: Whether 1, 10 or 10,000 people flock to my blog, each person is valuable. If God’s angels are joyous about even sinner who comes to God, I’m thankful if even if only blog reader is encouraged or has fun in their faith in God or comes to know God through my words!

So happy blog relaunch anniversary to me, and I’ll pray for you and you pray for me :)

Any thoughts?

 

‘Preachers of Atlanta’ Star Canton Jones Makes Video Producer Debut With ‘Woke Up Today’

New Single Dedicated to Exonerated Jonathan Fleming...See Fleming in the Video...

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Hello World,

DreamHouse Entertainment has released a brand new single titled “Woke Up Today” led by Canton Jones. The single was birthed from both founders of DreamHouse Entertainment, Jonathan Fleming and Candis White. White penned the single as a tribute to Fleming who was recently released from prison after 24 years, 7 months, and 20 days of false imprisonment. The single, featuring Canton Jones, Vaughn P, Kenny Blanco and Candis White, is an inspirational song that reminds the listener to be thankful for every moment.

“Woke Up Today” tells the story that no matter what we go through in life, we’re given another opportunity to overcome it every day we wake up. There’s no greater gift than the gift of life,” says White.

Vaughn P., Kenny Blanco, Jonathan Fleming, Candis White

From left to right: Vaughn P., Kenny Blanco, Jonathan Fleming & Candis White

The video, produced by multi-award winning Canton Jones of CAJO International, is an energetic reenactment of “a day in the life.” Because of its cross-genre appeal and overall relevance in African American communities across the country, both video and single are being serviced to multi-formats.

“The song’s relevance has never been more conscious to our men in particular,” says Rosalind Bishop, General Manager of DreamHouse Entertainment.

“I survived because the fire inside of me burned brighter than the fire around me,” says Fleming. “Woke Up Today” is my personal anthem and I am sure it will be the song of many.”
See the video below:

“Woke Up Today” is available for purchase on iTunes now.
Any thoughts?

Reflections on Being a PK (Preacher’s Kid) on Father’s Day…

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Hello World,

So I’m a Daddy’s Girl, but the older I’ve gotten, I’ve realized I’m also a Mama’s Girl. That being said since it is Father’s Day, I will focus on being the former. What has defined my relationship with my father is the fact that my dad is the Rev. Dr. Denzil D. Holness, pastor of Central Christian Church in Southwest Atlanta since I was six years old! And incidentally, my grandfather, my mother’s father, was a pastor and so is her brother, my uncle!

Growing up with a devout preacher of God, my father, and a daughter of a preacher, my mother, was wonderful and challenging at the same time…First of all, my brothers and I always felt loved and cherished by our parents. They encouraged each of us to become kind and empathetic people. They encouraged each of us to pursue our dreams. And most of all, they encouraged each of us to have personal relationships with God…

But, they had a TON of rules…And sometimes I found creative (read: I lied) ways to get around these rules…Maybe that is because they are churchy AND Jamaican! (Because I’ve never met an older Jamaican that didn’t believe in law and order…)

My father made it clear once I started high school that I could not go to dances even though all of my friends went to dances…I felt like Ariel, the preacher’s daughter in the original “Footloose.” Remember dancing and rock music were forbidden by the city council in their small town Bomont? So when I was in the tenth grade (if I am remembering correctly), I devised a scheme to go to my high school’s homecoming dance. As I was on the drill team and often got back from football games very late, I decided to tell my father that he didn’t have to pick me up from school until very late after a football game. I figured by the time he picked me up, I would have had at least an hour or so at the dance in the gym.

Imagine my surprise when as I was sitting with my all-time favorite crush, a handsome football player, on the bleachers, giggling like a lovesick girl that I was and what not, and the heavy doors of the gym suddenly swing open…A figure, illuminated by the light in the hallway, stood and surveyed the room. I felt like I was in a movie then because everything seemed to slow down. The figure wore a trench coat and his pajamas showed underneath. At once, I realized it was my father and he walked right up to me as if he had been magically bestowed with infrared vision. I was caught. If I could have passed out I would have as I became nearly mute with embarrassment. I HATED being a preacher’s daughter that night…

I found ways to date without my parents knowing as well. Although I was allowed to date when I was 16 years old, I didn’t always want my parents to know about every single date. So I claimed I joined a club at high school and we met on Wednesdays evenings after school. I figured that since my parents went to Bible Study at church on Wednesday evenings, they wouldn’t pay as much attention to what was going with this new club I joined, and I was right. So after school on Wednesdays, one guy in particular would pick me up from school and we would hang out throughout College Park where I grew up. He came all the way from the Dec (Decatur)to see me which seemed very far away at the time…Incidentally, he was a preacher’s kid too..Those were the days…I now know what the verse “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come…” (Ecclesiastes 2:1)  means…Back then, in spite of the high school drama I occasionally experienced, every day felt like a new adventure…

My dad when he was much younger...

My dad when he was a younger pastor…

Aside from the rules, I often found myself in situations that have to be unique to preachers’ kids….

I had my first kiss in front of the church during Vacation Bible School the summer before eighth grade…The boy I kissed lived across the street from the church. After we smooched that summer night, of course we became boyfriend & girlfriend…LOL…So after church on Sundays, when everyone was socializing in the parking lot, I would slip away to cross the street to visit my new boyfriend’s house…I figured no one knew what was going on with me because they were all yapping which is what happens for at least a half of an hour after church is over…But one Sunday, as I was getting ready to cross the street to come back to the church grounds, I saw my father waiting on the corner…to this day, I don’t know who could have told him where I was…But that was the last time I went across the street after church to visit my boyfriend…

When I was even younger, I was always getting into fights – usually because of my mouth because I’m articulate like that and folk couldn’t take my verbal beatdowns. The trouble was though is that my verbal prowess didn’t translate into physical prowess so I got beat up a lot. Instead of taking my side in these fights, my father invited the people that I fought with over to our home. He would then give a mini-sermon about being a peace maker…It was worse than being beat up…You know I got joined (talked about) in the neighborhood…

I could go on and on…

And now that I’m an adult,  in spite of all of the rules and embarrassment, I wouldn’t change a thing about being a preacher’s kid aka a PK or a pastor’s daughter…It has made me who I am today :)

Happy Father’s Day to ALL fathers particularly those who are pastors and a very Happy Father’s Day to the Rev. Dr. Denzil D. Holness and my father-in-law :)

Any thoughts?