New York City’s Songbird, Gospel Artist & Pastor Michele Sweeting Rings In The Holidays With Bilingual Rendition of ‘Oh Holy Night;’ Taps Raymond Diaz, Producer of Mariah Carey & Enrique Iglesias

Hello World,

One of the best ways to celebrate the season is sitting in front of a roaring fire, sipping on sparkling apple cider and listening to Christmas classics playing in the background. Gospel artist and gifted songstress Michele Sweeting loves the spirit of the holidays, especially the celebration of the birth of the Savior. The consummate vocalist and graduate of the Big Apple’s renowned Music & Art High School is known for her rousing performances including her first single, a rendition of “Center of My Joy,” which launched her career and took New York City by storm. Now, the pastor of The People’s Church and the anointed worship leader has just added a brand new holiday favorite to the Christmas collection with the release of her new single, “Oh Holy Night.” The song is currently available on all digital outlets.

“Oh Holy Night,” penned in 1847 by Adolphe Adam, regularly tops the list of best loved Christmas carols. But few of those renditions are in English and in Spanish. That was a unique twist that Michele gave her memorable interpretation of the hymn, “Oh Holy Night/Oh Noche Santa.” “I always knew that when I recorded the song, I wanted it to have that larger than life sound,” shares the songstress. “Raymond Diaz, who has worked with Mariah Carey and Enrique Iglesias, and who I know through Sanctuary Church with Rev. Dr. Raymond Rivera, produced the song and gave it a brilliant orchestration; he incorporated a beautiful string arrangement capturing exactly what I wanted.”

The track is already receiving love online and Michele is hoping that believers and non-believers alike will be moved by its life-changing message. “‘Oh Holy Night’ has always grabbed my heart because it’s about the Savior’s birth,” says Sweeting. “During Christmas, many are focused on the popular culture of the holidays instead of being focused on the Gift on the Tree.” The song is also special to her because she heard it at home as a child. She says, “When I was growing up, I remember my mother playing a number of versions of ‘Oh Holy Night’ by artists from The Carpenters to the Temptations to Barbra Streisand to Gladys Knight. So many artists have recorded the song and I wanted it to be part of my musical tapestry as well.”

Listen to Michele’s “Oh Holy Night” below:

 

Michele has released a number of songs that have become part of her musical tapestry. Her first release, Center of My Joy, spawned the single – of the same name – and saw the artist peak on the New York Gospel charts for 6 weeks at the top spot. Center of My Joy was followed by Lamb of God, a sophomore release which solidified her standing as a Contemporary Gospel Recording Artist. That project was followed by her single, “Only By Grace,” which dropped in the summer of 2019. Her latest single, “Only See You”, peaked at #43 on the Billboard Gospel 100 Chart. Michele has been seen singing her songs on Christian TV, appearing on programs such as Babbie’s House, Atlanta Live, Hour of Harvest and Bobby Jones Presents. She’s traveled the world singing God’s praises in places like Russia, Egypt, Trinidad and Barbados.

Known as a pastor, psalmist and educator, she recently launched The People’s Church, a ministry birthed through COVID-19 under the covering of her Bishop, Rev. Dr. Raymond Rivera, founder of the Council of Holistic Christian Churches and Ministries (CHCCM). She, her husband, Rev. Louis DeCaro, Jr., Ph.D., and their son are the founders of Loaves and Fishes Ministries as well. “Professor Michele,” as she is affectionately known, is also an adjunct professor at The City College of New York and John Jay College, where she teaches English and Literature. In addition, Michele is a Ph.D. Candidate (ABD) at Walden University and a two-time co-author of the anthologies, It’s Possible! Living Beyond Limitations, and recently, Crystal Clear Sisters: Walking in Purpose. For more information about the music ministry of Michele Sweeting, go to MicheleSweeting.com. Connect with her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Any thoughts?

Why I Agree With Erica Campbell’s Theory About ‘Sowing Hoe Seeds’ & Not Reaping ‘Marriage Benefits’

Hello World,

First of all, Erica Campbell’s post about “sowing hoe seeds” did it what it was intended to do: get folk talking about her upcoming podcast. See her IG post below:

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Erica Campbell (@imericacampbell)

To me, what she is said is a no brainer. Look at this like this: You can’t be eating ice cream, cake, cookies, brownies, pie, etc. for years and then expect to be satisfied by meat, vegetables and water all of a sudden! (Sexual appetite is a phrase for a reason!) In order for any habit to stick, you have to ease your way into new behavior. Pardon me for being blunt but “hoeing” (obviously from the word “whore”) is a bad habit, and it takes a while for any habit – good or bad – to be created.

According to healthline.com, it takes “anywhere from 18 to 254 days for a person to form a new habit and an average of 66 days for a new behavior to become automatic.” So if you want to turn a hoe into a housewife or a househusband, you need to allocate at least 254 to days to practice this new behavior. And even then, I believe after a new habit has been formed, there may be a relapse into old habits every now and then!

In sum, if you want a faithful wife or a faithful husband, it’s probably best to marry someone who is by nature a faithful person; however, if that hasn’t been that person’s history, that person needs to have been in a faithful relationship for at least 254 days. For me, it would have to be longer…

But folk don’t see this issue the same way that I do. Veronica Wells of Madame Noire says Erica Campbell’s theory is “baseless.” Below are a few of her points with my rebuttals afterward:

It’s a shame that in 2020, with everything else going wrong in the world, we are still falling into this trap of comparison, exalting one woman at the expense of another—with the validation of a man being the ultimate prize.

Me: Erica Campbell made no mention of a gender in her post. “Hoe” is a slang word for a “whore.” The definition of a “whore” is “a person who engages in sexual intercourse for pay.” While a “whore” is typically associated with a woman, that does not have to be the case according to the definition of the word. Additionally, I assume Erica is not talking a person who engages in sexual intercourse for pay. Rather she is talking about a person who is sexually promiscuous. Furthermore, Erica Campbell has talked about her husband Warryn Campbell’s sexual infidelity in their marriage which even resulted in a pregnancy so it is very possible that she didn’t mention for a gender for that reason. And it’s likely that she has intimate knowledge of what she said in her post…

Rarely, do we hear people still deeply entrenched in the church say it is hard to go from virginal and pure to being sexually expressive—even in the context of a marriage ordained by God. If there’s anything about this post, I agree with it, it’s that flipping the switch can be difficult. But I’d argue that your sexual behavior and having the capacity to maintain a marriage don’t always go hand in hand. Maintaining a marriage, being honest, committed, loyal to someone is more about mindset than sexual promiscuity.

Me: I don’t have as much of a problem with this paragraph. However, I don’t how Veronica Wells got all of that from the few sentences that Erica Campbell posted. I think she needs to listen to her podcast before making the assumption that she said being sexually pure before marriage is ALL that it takes to have a happy marriage. I don’t think anyone who is happily married would say that…

I’ve never sat in a church when someone spoke honestly enough to say that there’s not a formula to life and there certainly isn’t one to love and marriage.

Me: This statement makes me sad. I have mostly gone to one church my whole life (my father is pastor emeritus of that church), and it has not been preached that there is a set formula to life and love and marriage. I’ve been taught that there are precepts that typically lead to living a fulfilling life and having fulfilling love and marriage in your life, but I’ve also been taught that it’s your personal relationship with God which ultimately dictates how you live your life and if love and marriage is in God’s plan for your life. How one Christian leads his or her life may look very different how another Christian leads his or her life according to God’s will for that life. And though I believe that all Christians will experience love in his or her life, that love may not be romantic love, which is also dictated by God’s will. If Veronica Wells is open to it, I hope she explores more churches where these principles are explained…

Anyway, that’s all I have. Sex is an appetite just like other appetites. Going from feast to famine is problematic whether it’s food, sex, etc.

Any thoughts

 

Michelle Williams, formerly of Destiny’s Child, Debuts Cover for Her New Book ‘Checking In!’

'Checking In' is Available for Pre-Ordering Now!

Hello World,

As I shared with you last month, Michelle Williams, formerly of Destiny’s Child, will be releasing her first book entitled Checking In (Nelson Books),  an account of her journey with mental health and wellness, on May 25, 2021!

Well, now she is debuting the cover for her new book! Check out her announcement below:

Below is the official description of Checking In from Amazon:

Acclaimed musical artist Michelle Williams shares the intimate, never-before-told story of how, even in the midst of enormous fame and success, she battled depression, leading her to find her true calling as an advocate for mental health–especially her own.

As a member of Destiny’s Child, one of the top female R&B groups of all time, Michelle Williams felt blessed. After the group disbanded, she continued to create bestselling albums, appear on television shows, and star in theater productions. Though she had always struggled with low moods, in 2018 her depression deepened, and when she found herself planning her own funeral, she checked herself into a treatment facility. There she found the help she needed to live out the incredible story God was writing for her life.

In her first book, Michelle courageously shares the hidden secrets that nearly ended her life; the importance of her faith, family, and friends; and the lessons she learned about prioritizing her mental health. She is on a quest to increase mental health awareness and urges others to understand the importance of “checking in” with themselves, God, and others. Her candid, often humorous, and incredibly brave book will inspire readers who desire hope for their own difficult times.

Well, I’m one of those “nosey folk” that she speaks of so I will be getting my copy of Checking In! LOL! What about you?

Any thoughts?