Wonder Mike (Michael Anthony Wright): ‘One Breath Away from Eternity’, the Only Thing That Matters is Christ (Gospel Light Minute #200)

Wonder Mike (Michael Anthony Wright)
Wonder Mike (Michael Anthony Wright)

He is a rapper, best known for being a member of The Sugarhill Gang. The Sugarhill Gang was the first hip hop act to produce a record, “Rapper’s Delight” in 1979. It was the first rap single to become a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100. The group’s albums include “8th Wonder” and “Jump on It!”.

In an article for Urban Faith, he tells the story of how he was able to forgive the owner of the record label over a past grievance and lead him to the Lord on his hospital bed. He said, “I was able to pray with the man who had done me so much harm because ‘He [Christ] loved us first before we loved Him, and because He said, ‘God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son.’ He forgave the people. He said, ‘Father, forgive them because they know not what they do.’ How many times do we forgive somebody? Seven times? No. Seventy times seven. And it’s grace. Grace can’t be earned. It’s mercy. Mercy has to be shown in unruliness.”

“I recounted the story of God’s mercy in delivering the Israelites on the banks of the Red Sea and with manna and a pillar of fire despite their complaining. And it was the prayer of salvation that I prayed with him. I was hoping that he made that move because what they did to us was absolutely terrible––it can’t be overlooked, but eternity is eternity. This is for a small season, and it was really wrong, but you have to overlook that when you’re feet are on the edge of going over to the other side. So, I had to throw all that out the window. And, it really wasn’t hard when it came down to that. When it comes down to crossing over, we’re all one heartbeat, we’re all one breath away from eternity.”

“I’m a person of faith, but I don’t want to put walls around myself or any kind of bondage because there’s freedom in Christ. I want my priorities to be changed.”

His name is Wonder Mike (Michael Anthony Wright). Continue reading “Wonder Mike (Michael Anthony Wright): ‘One Breath Away from Eternity’, the Only Thing That Matters is Christ (Gospel Light Minute #200)”

Kendrick Lamar says he Uses his Voice as an Instrument to Get Across the Message God has Put on his Heart Which is Encouraging People to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #187)

Kendrick Lamar
Kendrick Lamar

He is a hip-hop artist and songwriter. He burst on to the scene in 2010 with the release of “Overly Dedicated”. The following year, he released the iTunes exclusive album, “Section.80”. His major-label debut album “good kid, m.A.A.d city,” was released in October 2012 to critical acclaim. The album debuted at number two on the US Billboard 200 chart and was later certified platinum. In 2014, he received 7 Grammy nominations including Best New Artist. In 2015, he won Grammy awards for Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song for his song “i”.

Although, he has said his parents didn’t raise him in the church, he credits his grandmother with providing him early exposure to biblical teachings. He also credits God for delivering him from the pull of crime and gang culture in his neighborhood.

In interviews with Complex and The Fader, he said, “God put something in my heart to get across and that’s what I’m going to focus on, using my voice as an instrument and doing what needs to be done….We’re all put on this earth to walk in the image of the Master.” He went on to say, “If I want to idolize somebody, I’m gonna idolize the Master and try to walk in His light. It’s hard, it’s something I probably could never do, but I’m gonna try.”

On the intro to his 2012 album, he encourages listeners to come to Christ with the following prayer: “Lord God, I come to you a sinner, and I humbly repent for my sins. I believe that Jesus is Lord. I believe that you raised Him from the dead. I will ask that Jesus will come into my life and be my Lord and Savior. I receive Jesus to take control of my life that I may live for Him from this day forth. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for saving me with your precious blood. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”

His name is Kendrick Lamar. Continue reading “Kendrick Lamar says he Uses his Voice as an Instrument to Get Across the Message God has Put on his Heart Which is Encouraging People to Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ (Gospel Light Minute #187)”

LL Cool J says, “I Am a Christian” and “I Love God” (Gospel Light Minute #130)

LL Cool J
LL Cool J

He is a rapper, entrepreneur, and actor. He has released thirteen studio albums and two greatest hits compilations including “Mama Said Knock You Out” in 1990 and “The DEFinition” in 2004. His latest album “Authentic” was released on April 30, 2013. He is well known for the popular hip-hop tracks, “I Can’t Live Without My Radio”, “I’m Bad”, and “Rock The Bells” among others. He has also appeared in numerous films and TV shows including: “Krush Groove”, “Charlie’s Angels”, “Deliver Us from Eva”, “Last Holiday”, “Kingdom Come” and “30 Rock”.

He is currently starring on the CBS crime drama TV series, “NCIS: Los Angeles” as Special Agent Sam Hanna. He has won several awards including, a Grammy award in 1992 and 1997; an MTV Best Rap Video Music Award in 1991; 4 NAACP Image Awards; and 2 Soul Train Music Awards. He was inducted into Long Island Music Hall of Fame in 2007.

In an interview with Crosswalk, he talked extensively about his faith. He said, “I’m a Christian. Faith is a huge part of what I do, on every level – and I mean from salvation to tithes and offerings, and on every level and every dynamic that you can think about. … I was raised in church, and I read the Bible constantly. I stay in the Word constantly, on every level, because ultimately I think that we need that strength. You need that power in your life – that wisdom and discernment. You need that rain on all the seeds that are inside of you, and constantly nurture that potential that God placed inside of you, by watering it with that Word and constantly getting that in you, so that you can deal with the industry, so that you can deal with the trials and tribulations and temptations that come your way because of film, because of television, music and various other areas of the world, and the industry that I’m in. For me, it started off as a boy, and here I am.”

Asked how he nurtures his faith in the music and film industry, he said, “It’s kind of interesting. Sometimes, you have to let your life be the testimony. You have to let your life and yourself be the example. If I can be successful in the secular world and give God the glory, then it’s not so difficult. If ultimately he gets the glory, then the proof is in the pudding. If I can go out and claim a victory for God, and if I can go out and do incredibly exciting things and take my life to new dimensions and new levels and, at the end of the day, when I’m standing in the end zone, give God the glory, then I’ve done my job. Yeah, you get some of those weird vibes that people have because they fear being looked upon as different from everyone else when they talk about God. But for me, I love God, and I’ve never had a problem with going out in front and saying that it’s because of the tithes and offerings, and because of the faith and because of the fact that I’m willing to step out of everything worldly that I’m able to be in this position. I don’t have a problem saying that. It doesn’t bother me.”

His name is LL Cool J.

M.C. Hammer: The “Master of Ceremonies” Now Lives and Works as a “Man of Christ” (Gospel Light Minute #99)

M.C. Hammer
M.C. Hammer

He is best known for his hit rap songs “U Can’t Touch This” and “2 Legit 2 Quit”. He is the first artist to gain diamond status for an album and has sold 50 million records throughout his lifetime. He is remembered for a rapid rise to fame, flashy dance moves, choreography, and his trademark parachute pants. His superstar status and entertaining showmanship made him a household name and hip-hop icon in the 1980s and 1990s. He was also a TV producer, television show co-host, and is the head of his own music management firm. A self-described “super-geek”, he is currently either investing in or consulting for eight technology companies. He was one of the first celebrities to embrace social media and spends 10-12 hours daily working on his technology projects.

He grew up in a Pentecostal church, however, he admits that he strayed from the faith during the years of his success. Even during this period of backsliding though, he promised to dedicate one song to God on each of his albums, and one of his most popular singles was the song “Pray.” However, it took a bankruptcy, a fall from favor in the music industry, and what he calls a bout of “official backsliding” to turn him back to the church, Jesus Christ, and a commitment to preach. He has since been ordained in the Church of God in Christ, preferring smaller pulpits “where they don’t expect to see someone famous.”

He says, “I am honored that Jesus has taken a wretch like me and said I got some work for you to do.” Today, he devotes his time to prison and youth ministries. His name is Stanley Kirk Burrell, but he is better known as M.C. Hammer, and he now says that “M.C.” stands for “Man of Christ.”

For Former “Three 6 Mafia” Rapper, Delmar “Mr. Del” Lawrence, a Stop in Church Unexpectedly Changed his Life Forever (Gospel Light Minute #89)

Delmar Lawrence
Delmar Lawrence

He is a hip hop artist and music producer. He is president of the independent record label Dedicated Music Group. Before becoming a Christian, he was a member of the Oscar winning, platinum-selling rap group Three 6 Mafia, which became famous for their hit song, “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp.” He received a Grammy award nomination for Best Rock Gospel Album of the year and a 2010 GMA Dove Award nomination for Rap/Hip Hop Album of the year. His first Christian solo album, “The Future” was released in 2005 and debuted at No. 15 on Billboard’s Gospel Chart. “Hope Dealer” was released in 2007 and “Thrilla” was released in 2009.

As a member of Three 6 Mafia, which was known for its profane lyrics, he was a rising rap star with money, fame and a gold record — all before the age of 21. After being on tour for nearly a year, he made a return trip to his hometown of Memphis to surprise his family. Arriving on a Sunday morning, he made a stop at his home church, not knowing that he would leave that service a changed man. He said of that time, “I heard God speak to me during service, and He gave me a vision of what He wanted me to do. Based on that experience, I decided to give my life to God right then and there.” After giving his life to Christ, he now leads his own record label and a hip-hop influenced church, City of Refuge in Memphis. He is on a mission to win youth to Christ. He said, “I want youth to see they can have fun and still represent Christ. It does not matter what you did the night before; I am giving this word and I want these people to feel the love of Christ in their lives.” His name is Delmar “Mr. Del” Lawrence.

GLMX #134: So Jay-Z, You Want to be “Forever Young” and Live Forever and Ever? Here’s How.

[audio http://gospellightminute.buzzsprout.com/3192/78864-glmx-134-so-jay-z-you-want-to-be-forever-young-and-live-forever-and-ever-here-s-how.mp3]
Jay-Z
Jay-Z

Rapper and hip-hop artist Jay-Z sings a song titled “Forever Young”. In this song he talks about his desire to be forever young. Then he asks the question, do you really want to live forever and ever? His song, even though it may not be talking about living forever in Heaven, according to the Bible necessarily, (and yes, the original cut has some unsavory language), but Jay-Z’s song touches on a longing that is in the soul of every man. Listen to a few of the lyrics that I can share with you:

Forever young,
I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever

Forever young
I wanna be forever young
Do you really want to live forever?
Forever and ever

Jay-Z’s lyrics testify also to our culture’s obsession with youth. Television ads about anti-aging creams and techniques populate the airwaves. People fret over dieting and health issues all in an effort to look and feel younger. This past week, a new project was launched to study how humans can extend their life span. The project is being funded with millions of dollars from the founders of big companies such as Google and Facebook. Make no mistake about it, people have a longing and desire to live forever.

This obsession with youth is a reflection of our desire for immortality, permanence, and living forever. This is a desire that humans have experienced since the beginning of time. You might recall learning about the fabled Fountain of Youth, the waters of which were said to restore the youth of anyone who drank from them. This fountain was spoken of and sought for from the fourth century BC in Ancient Greece to the 16th century in what is today Florida.

The Holy Bible tells us about a place where people’s bodies will no longer age and decay, where people will never get sick or diseased, where no one will ever die — in other words, where everyone will be forever young. The best thing about this place, however, is that everyone who goes there will be in the presence of the loving Creator who is the source of all life, energy, and vitality. This place is called Heaven or Paradise, and right now, I want to share with you how you can get there so you can indeed be forever young.

+ Plus, listen to Newsboys singing “I Am Free”