When I heard the movie The Shack was coming out in theatres I didn’t know what to expect. I mean, I read the book, and I loved it, but how would they fit the complexity of the book in a two-hour movie? First, there is Mackenzie’s (main character) rocky relationship with God. Second, there is the murder of his little daughter followed by his grief and his distance from God and his family. Third, there is Mackenzie’s encounter with God the father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. And lastly, there is everything else he learns from each person of the trinity. It doesn’t get anymore complex than that!
People pleasing is one of those things I’ve struggled with for most of my life, but recently I’ve been more aware of its effects. I’m also learning that this tendency could have developed from past experiences in my life.
For example, I never felt good enough for my dad. He is gifted at math and physics while I am not, which made me feel like I couldn’t live up to his expectations for me, especially when it came to academics. I felt criticized. And even when I did something well, I didn’t receive that masculine, fatherly affirmation that I desperately needed as an infant and as an adolescent. However, I don’t want to place all the blame on my father for my people pleasing tendencies. I must also take ownership of my own actions and behaviours even if my upbringing did play a part in this struggle.
Some may question Lecrae’s decision in making a song with rapper Ty Dolla $ing, but after listening to the song, I don’t see the issue. Yes, Ty Dolla $ign is a secular rapper and usually raps about money, drugs, and sex, but guess what…he is not rapping about that stuff in “Blessings” and neither is lecrae. To the contrary, the song talks about gratitude and giving thanks to God for all the blessings. The lyrics are clean and they bring glory to God, Lecrae’s lyrics specifically; Ty’s lyrics don’t necessarily talk about God, but he still expresses a positive message. I want to lift up lecrae because he is using his talent and platform to be a light to an industry that desperately needs it.
One of the most insightful scriptures I’ve ever read is Jeremiah 17:9. It speaks so much truth into what human nature is like. Here is what it says:
“The heart is deceitful above all things
and beyond cure.
Who can understand it?”
Above All Things
Above all things and beyond cure! I don’t know about you, but that really pops out to me. I mean, your heart, the very centre of your being, your emotions, your will is deceitful above anything else. The truth is, our motivations change like the hands on a clock. At any given point, I could have the purest motivation in my endeavours, however, in an instance, that could change.
As someone who grew up on Hip Hop and has a genuine appreciation for the art form, I can’t help but notice the falsehood and deceit found in the rap industry. The rap industry has a reputation for promoting rappers that succumb to the demands of major labels even if it means rapping lyrics that they don’t believe in or simply don’t live out.
5 years ago today, I made the best decision I’ve ever made: the decision to follow Jesus. I lived my whole life searching for meaning, acceptance, purpose, truth, and love. And I found all of these things in my relationship with God. Not only that, but I’m also a part of his kingdom, where I’ve received love, support, encouragement, and acceptance.
This was probably one of my favourite Christian Nation performances, Cypher style!! In the genesis of Hip Hop, cyphers were a big part of how the art form was performed. MCs and beat boxers would gather together in a circle and the MCs would take turns delivering rap verses to get the crowd going.