Within the Hive

Bee Hive

I’d take a punch at another pun but I’m no Joeker man. Can’t say we DC it coming. Hopefully you’ve been able to get sufficient rest and taken the time to reflect on your path for the coming years. For those who are heading towards the land of promise, this is not the time to strike up the band. However, if we’re quiet enough, we can know that often times the graveyard shifts are the busiest time of day.

The irony of weakness is the strength to endure. – The Prototype

The Prototype
Joe Clark, a former army drill instructor who calls himself a “lean and mean” principal, stands armed with his bullhorn and a “splash of autocracy” upon his return to Paterson, N.J.’s Eastside High School, Sept. 13, 1983. Clark, 45, begins his second year as principal using military-like discipline to keep the 3,000 mostly black and Hispanic students in line. (AP Photo/David Handschuh)
Mf Doom

Thought you’d know by now

How I play hackneyed

The kids know bout d Ol’ Mac;

The EIN, the LLC

The ladies love me when I MC

Flow so smart I part when you read

Osmosis when water meets heated tonics

The gen is sis something super sounding

Like 4 balls on a burg

Arch Nemesis

 I’m Goku with a quarter pounder

You heard?

From Super Sonics I’m getting louder

KAMAYAMAYA

Blasting D verse

I’m the boss dey chowder

Chicken breasts from the nurse

The jury says I should tone it down

Be humble some mo’

So let me sit on His throne

And boast in the Lawd

SoundlikeJames

The Windows Broken

My Daddio would always call me when I was young a “Man of Faith”. I’m so grateful for him because he made sure to instill in me true courage and integrity through the fear of God. My dad wanted me to respect God so much that he refused even to this day to allow me to call him Father. For my Dad Willie, God is my Father. Teaching me that at a young age gave me the information I needed to look past my Dad’s flaws and failures.

When I was three, my mother and father split up. I remember vividly to this day the last day I would see my Dad in the house. The reason being is that they literally tugged me back and forth like it was a tug of war – my Dad eventually won the match. My parents splitting and divorcing left a profound impact on me as I didn’t want to repeat my parents flaws and I longed for my parents to get back together.

“Plead with your mother, plead— for she is not my wife, and I am not her husband— that she put away her whoring from her face, and her adultery from between her breasts; Hos 2:2 ESV

I often look back to the moment my parents split off for a few reasons: One, it’s a reminder of where I came from; two, it helps me recognize how brilliant God is in orchestrating my life; and three, it reminds me of how small actions have cosmic consequences. For my parents breaking up is a common motif within the Black Community, White Community, our Country, and our world. You can expect division where there is lack of faith.

You can expect division where there is lack of faith.

There’s Thin Crackers

As I got older, I was discouraged from seeing my parents getting back together as my Dad remarried. I gained a beautiful step family in ‘Angel’a my stepmother and Rachel my step sister. Year after year, I would see more flaws in my parents, namely inherited traits as being forgetful, argumentative, and insensitive. It took me a while to figure out that my own shortcomings were not merely my own, but was passed onto me. This helped me find validity in the concept of Original Sin even after I was rediscovering my faith. However, my views on original sin are quite unique as it is shaped by a Monist philosophy which I find to be Biblical. I won’t get into much detail in how that philosophy works as it’s too easy to be misunderstood as being blasphemous. However, I will say this – Shandra thought I was strange when I explained to her that I have learned (and still learning) to be my own parents.

1But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. 2Older men are (2 Bee) sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Tit 2:1-2 ESV

Mic check. *TIT TAP* Is the mic on?

To the nth Degree

A message to my Black family as it is something that bears repeating: beware of the narratives we make up for ourselves and for others. Many of times these narratives are only half or partial truths. A transcendent narrative could sound like thus – our parents have laid a great inheritance for us through the Lordship of Christ. We have assets; real estate, securities, land etc. and it is our job to seek and not remove the old landmarks (Christ) but to honor and preserve them.

You must not move your neighbor’s boundary marker, which was set up by your ancestors to mark the inheritance you shall receive in the land the LORD your God is giving you to possess. Deut 19:14 ESV

Mysterious metal monolith similar to one in Utah now spotted in California

And as much as I love my people and our culture, we must be honest with ourselves and be willing to call out the things about our culture that’s toxic and counterproductive to our progress. In many ways, the things we glorified were the very things causing destruction in our own neighborhoods. It’s one thing if we after learning some of these ways of destruction from our oppressors we would fight back against the man. It’s quite another when instead of fighting back we fight each other: in gender wars, swindling, infidelity and one-man-up-ship; in exalting entertainment over education, and opinions over truth. Bi the way I am a straight man. And if the straight Black Man will recover his place of dignity again, he must acknowledge how the sins of his ancestors have affected his current plight. There was a time that the straight Black man abused those who were gay and forced them into the closet. O how the tables have turned!

Bi the way I am a straight man.

Sexuality is a sensitive topic and unfortunately Christianity has dropped the ball in explaining the whole counsel of God regarding it (myself included). Where the Fundamentalists and the Religious Right have failed, there needs to be those who are more mature to stand in the gap and tell the truth in love and patience. For those who I have offended in the past in trying to explain these things, please forgive me. It is difficult to communicate nuance, especially in a world where we’re taught to think in Black and White. For those Christians who are wondering about what insight I may hold, let’s start at the low hanging fruit (no pun intended):

28There is neither Jew or Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female, for you are all one in Christ. Gal 3:28 ESV

And from there we can have honest conversations that show where the religious have failed and got it wrong, and those precious who identify themselves within the Alphabet or non-binary pronouns and have overstepped Divine boundaries.

Out of Hivernation

Therefore, if we’re going to begin to restore relationships across spectrums, we’ll have to learn to speak and act in a way that is prudent, understanding, and wholesome. Prudent as one who is loyal to the truth; for all skin folk ain’t kinfolk and better with the enemy you know, than the enemy you don’t know. Understand where a person is coming from and if there is any validity, confirm their position. Try to bond with them with love, because love is healing. I say this to those who want to be true healers in this universe to speak and act in a way that is wholesome to yourself and others. No need to tell you how to do it, I trust you know how to do it through Christ.

Ice cold is how I make the blood flow/

Nitro and I clutch the end goal/

Stick em up hands show for survival/

Mighty ducks and miss with the rifle/

I Sea you got startled so sudden/

Girl lemme calm you down/

Bond in the Aston Martin/

When we ready for rockEt launchn’/

PuSh the eJect bUtton/

You know how I water the garden/

Simple yet compLex /

Don’t wanna be starting something/

Didn’t catch the 22 pegs/

Cuz this man is handling business/

I sea we got I/E making shipments/

These men got capital but nO game/

They didn’t get the memo from the King/

Keg got them pregnant/

Let’s unscRamble these eggs/

The Prototype

1Rest in Heaven Daniel Dumile (AKA MF Doom). 2Thank you for allowing God to inspire you to create lyrics that are stimulating, artful, and shrewd. 3We love you and your family. And it is humbling and an honor to be acquainted with your work. 4Isn’t it amazing what can be accomplished in a short amount of time? 5People say don’t dwell on the past because you can’t change it, not realizing it can be fulfilled. 6Just like any producer who works with DAW software, a whole multiverse can be created using overdubs.

In the beginning God created the heaven(S) and the earth. Gen 1:1

Happy New Year(S)

An Intimate Invitation

Here I Am

Hey hey hey friends! It is with a refreshed heart and a full belly of warmth that I come back here to The Prototype to share another insight this month. This holiday season no doubt was laced with challenges and grief as we consider the loved ones we either lost directly or indirectly taken by the storm of the 2020 pandemic. And yet in the depths of these dark times, I have experienced these great bursts of light within my own quiet times and through hearing about your “silver lining” moments. For this my friends, I am incredibly thankful.

With a heart full of gratitude and hopeful anticipation, I invite you into a specific place in my thoughts – I’ve been thinking deeply about what it means to be known and what it really means to know God and His son, Jesus Christ. If you’ve grown up in church like me, you’ve been groomed to assume the position of “knowing” God. To take it a step further, if you’ve grown up in a black pentecostal church with a music director who was in tune with every hit gospel song of the 80s and 90s, and an insanely good choir, then you’ve belted out this line at least once or twice if not three times- “Do you know, do you know, Do you know the man?” – Stranger by Donald Lawrence, Tri City Singers 

What does it mean to know? What does it mean to be known? As I pondered these questions, I went into the depths of my heart and examined my experience around arriving at knowledge within the context of my marriage. My marriage has been a bedrock of evolution for my growth. The experiences I’ve had over the past 9 years have been full of great joy and great pain. And yet no matter what season we are within, I continue to evolve into my true identity, this is the mysterious and glorious blessing of covenant relationship. Secondly, I looked up the definition of the word in the Oxford Dictionary, then I turned my sights to see how the author(s) of the bible define the word in both Hebrew and Greek. The following are insights I gleaned:

The desire to be known is a direct imprint from the Creator’s design and I’ve come to realize that what truly matters in life is that I am known by Him

Experience in all relationships and especially marriage has taught me that serious friction occurs at the intersection of need and unmet expectations. (New) Love has a unique way of fueling the heart to start down the road of hopeful exploration causing one to go forth in the journey of togetherness with joyful anticipation – to see what else is to come, and maybe, just maybe to have your heart fulfilled once and for all. While some of us have had incredibly fulfilling relationships and marriages, about all of us can say (in romantic and non-romantic relationships) that we evidently encounter the roadblock of recognizing that our loved one has limitations in his or her capability to close the gap between our need and desire. I believe that what is within this gap is the desire to be known, truly known, and loved regardless of what is known about us. 

Now back to the definition of knowledge. Did you know that there are over 10 definitions of this word in the Oxford Dictionary? It makes sense! I’d like to underscore definitions 8, 9, 10 which are headlined and summed up as to recognize, to understand the difference, to experience. You can already tell that these definitions highlight depthness. You see, to know someone’s heart, to be known is beyond head knowledge, it is not simply the gathering of data or analytics. It is to recognize that person as the unique individual that they are and to experience the fullness of who they are. 

Our hearts ache for this type of knowledge from others. This heartthrob shows up in every sphere of life and plays out in various ways within our soul, families, places of work, community, and society. If we are not careful to tend to this longing in some way, our hearts are compelled to park on a lot of deceit, disillusionment, despair, depression, and even resentment. I could expound upon this, but for the sake of brevity, I will save this postulation for another blog.

Psalm 139:1-6 says

God’s Perfect Knowledge of Man

For the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.

139 

O Lord, You have searched me and known me.

You know my sitting down and my rising up;

You understand my thought afar off.

You [a]comprehend my path and my lying down,

And are acquainted with all my ways.

For there is not a word on my tongue,

But behold, O Lord, You know it altogether.

You have [b]hedged me behind and before,

And laid Your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;

It is high, I cannot attain it

I have experienced this intimate knowledge with the Lord that David is talking about friends. Times when my heart was so full of confusion, emotions, pain from unmet expectations, I sensed a deep peace in a moment with the Lord. A soft word whispered to me within my heart, a call from a friend who had no idea what I was encountering, a smile from a stranger, a “I love you” , and so much more has affirmed that my Creator knows every second of my heartbeat  and what I need. On the note of a complete stranger-no lie, while on business travel, a security guard intently looked at me and said I love you while in a hotel lobby. And before you roll your eyes and say “ Oh come on! He was hitting on you!” I promise he was NOT, lol. I’ve been randomly hit on many times- and this- my friends, was not that. This was almost like an angel sent at that moment. What this guard did not know is that although I was perfectly dressed up in makeup with my business cards and pressed hair, and surrounded by so many colleagues, I was so heartbroken and alone on that trip. I needed to hear that when I was passing through the conference center. I needed to know that I was loved. 

The greatest pursuit I will ever take is to know Jesus in the fullest sense

And so once I gained this deep experiential knowledge of being known by God, my faith cemented deep within my heart. I have come to fully believe that nothing can separate me from His love. I have also arrived at a different lot after encountering the intersection of need and unmet expectations within my marriage and other relationships and it is this place- he alone can know my needs and meet my needs. Should he use my husband to meet a need or another loved one, that is an extension of His love and His grace shown through them. And I believe this to be true the other way around, I am under no disillusion that I can meet my husband’s deepest needs and longings. Instead, I pray daily that his heart is filled with the intimate knowledge of Christ’s love and that he evolves into the man he was created to be which is a man fully loved and full of generosity. 

 I have had the beautiful experience of being in a relationship with people who have not only had different experiences than I but different paradigms. From this diversity, I’ve learned many things. One thing rings true, knowing about someone or something and deeply knowing that being is two different things leading to two different realities. When the Apostle Paul says in the letter to the Philippians that he desires to know Christ in every facet, he is talking about a deep soul-level understanding that is joined through experience. This type of knowledge leads to the transformation of one’s life.

10 I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.

I can assuredly say I have NOT obtained all this either Paul! So I thank Paul, that great warrior of Christian faith, for his humility. And yet I also press on to know Jesus this way. Why? One may ask, why would you seek so hard to know Christ whom you cannot see? My answer to this is – because He has filled me with life and light in my darkest moments. I believe that the times my heart has been revived from what could have been its final beat of death is because of the love God made accessible to me through Emannuel.

My friends, what is your experience with intimate knowledge? Do you feel known by God, do you affirm to know Him? Why or why not? Would love to hear your thoughts. These questions go out to people of all beliefs whether people who have a religious faith or not, please drop a comment. I recognize God in everything and I seek to know Him more by understanding who you are. Until then, much love and have a wonderful new year.