Monday, October 18, 2010

I've Got Tha Funk In My Dry Bones

It was one of the stupidest things I have ever done. It can be tough being caught in between. I was fragile due to the confusion related to merging my old life with the new. The old life wanted to cling to some of the stuff that came with being a radio announce and party DJ. My new life as husband and minister seemed to conflict with the claims of my emerging world.

Someone told me to let go of all of the evils from my past. I was reminded of it every day when I stepped into my living room. There it was, all those albums used to entertain people who came to my parties and who listened to me on the radio. Hundreds of them were stacked against the wall. The voices within me were too much to bear-you hypocrite. They had to go. I had to exorcise them from my life, and I did. I took my albums and placed them in front of my house for the sanitation workers to take away. I was relieved.

I missed them, but felt like Abraham on that mountain that day when he was asked to sacrifice his only son. I killed that part of me that enjoyed the beat of the bass. Lord knows I loved my Jazz and Funk. I placed Miles’ “Kind of Blue” next to Con Funk Shun and Parliament. I was diverse in my collection. They were like my children, and I cried as the garbage truck took them away.

Later, I came to regret my moment of stupidity. I began to process why people consider music evil and place labels to minimize the significance different genres can play in molding a life beyond the moves made on the dance floor. I came to grips with discovering how the Gospel can be found in music that isn’t called Gospel, and that some of what we call Gospel should be ashamed for using that word to define its lyrics.

Suffice to say, I feel silly for throwing away all those albums. More than that, sometimes I get angry at how Church Folks seem bent on robbing people of having a good time. That’s why I get excited whenever there is a concert that takes me back to those days before I was manipulated into throwing my jewels to the swine.

So, get this. This Preacha’ Man loves that funk. I’m not ashamed of it, and it really doesn’t bother me if people look at me strange when I show up to reminisce on the good ole days before Lil’ Wayne and the crew of madness (that’s what I call them) made music a thug thang. I’m tired of listening to beats made by a machine, and lyrics that reduce women to sperm depositories.

You can imagine how excited I got when I received the news that a few of my favorites are coming to town. Con Funk Shun, Zapp and Taste of Honey will perform at the Carolina Theatre on Saturday, October 30 at 7p.m. They will be in town to help North Carolina Central University celebrate their Homecoming. The Eagles who will be in the house need to prepare for the good Rev. and Connie, my preacher side kick, as we do what we do best-shake our groove thangs until the party stops.

For the Holy rollers too sanctified, saved and full of the Holy Ghost to participate in all of that, ‘cuse me for knowing how to have a good time. My reading of the scriptures makes it clear that Jesus was hip on the benefits of having a good party.

And, if you are going to have a party, the best way to get it all started is with some old school grooves. I’m all pumped up and ready to get up and move to Zapp performing “More Bounce to the Ounce.” Come on people, you can’t get funkier than that! Oh, let’s not forget one of my all time favorites “Computer Love”

I’ve got to hear Taste of Honey give me some “Boogie Oogie Oogie” and Con Funk Shun’s “Shake and Dance With Me.” The only issue is if I will have energy to preach on Sunday. You know what Parliament says, “The Funk moves and removes.” I can feel my help coming! The Funk is more than music to me, it’s an experience. It moves the body and it removes the pain by taking you to a place where having a good time is all that matters

Tickets on sale now at the Carolina Theater box office and Ticketmaster. For tickets visit or . Ticket prices: $25 and $39.50.

See you at the show! I need to purchase some CD’s.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sandra's Heart

There’s so much in life that we take for granted. Like the people we love. How often do we allow a day to pass without saying “I love you”? Like the beauty of nature. How many times have we allowed the sun to set without taking notice of God’s creation? Like the beat of the heart. How many of us take for granted the constant beat of the organ that sustains life?

Sandra Jones Thompson is in need of a heart transplant. For years she has suffered from Congestive Heart Failure. Her condition has deteriorated and the only suitable course of action is a new heart. To do so she has to be placed on the waiting list. She can’t be placed on the list until she pays $7,500. That’s right, she can’t be considered until she pays to get on the list.

Issues like this that gets under my skin. It’s confirmation again, after all of that talk about health reform, that the granting of quality health comes down to who has the money to get access to the best in healthcare. Who among us has $7,500 sitting around just in case we need a new heart? What should we say about a system that reduces access to who has the cash to be placed on the list?

I in no way intend to minimize the stress placed on the system. I’m certain there are more people who need new hearts than there are donors. However, This is yet another example related to the complexity of the provision of health in our nation. With that being said, I would rather focus on the need and beg my readers to do what they can to help Sandra get on the list.

It’s easy for me to get motivated around this issue. I know Sandra. I know her tender spirit. I know her love for her daughter, Erica, and her faith in God. I have witnessed her cry in the midst of worship. I have seen her praise God for the gift of life, and for the gentle beats of her heart. Put another way, I love this woman. That love is rooted in my relationship with her and her daughter.

So, I beg you to help my friend. There are a few ways for you to help. The first is easy. The family is conducting a pre-sale Spaghetti Meal Fundraiser in which funds will assist in getting Sandra’s name in the national transplant waiting list. These funds will also be used for after care medication following the heart transplant.

Spaghetti meals are $8.00 and includes salad and breadstick. Pre-sales are from October 6, 2010 - October 13, 2010. Log on to and send $8.00 to Meals will be available for pick up at Dillards BBQ located at 3291 Fayetteville Road, Durham NC on Saturday October 16, 2010 from 12pm - 12:30pm.

The second way for you to help is to pull out the old check book and write a check. If you prefer to make a monetary donation, contact Erica Jones by calling 919-824-5038 or send an email to You can also donate via the PayPal information above.

There’s so much we take for granted. I’m thankful for the way my heart functions. Can’t imagine what it would feel like to have to live with an inconsistent beat. Its times like these that we should pause to be thankful for every thump. After we give our thanks, why not help a person living without what we take for granted.