VESSELS - Greater Little Zion Baptist Church


VESSELS - Greater Little Zion Baptist Church
GLZBCYouthNewsletter • volume 4 • February 2015 • price: Free
Hip Hop’s
Lecrae’s HistoryMaking Crossover
3 Let’s Talk
From the Editor: Angelica Anderson
VESSELSMONTHLY February 4, 2015
4 The Moody Foodie
5 Spotlight: Inspiring Teens
6 CoverStory: Hip-Hop’s Anomaly
8 Girls Only: Super Come Back
9 Brothers: Black Ivy, Bound together
10Game Page
11 V-List
12 Moral of the Story
1 Angelica Anderson
3 Craig Marks
Member of Greater Little Zion Baptist Church involved in Youth,
Dance, and Girls’s Ministry. Passionate about coaching varsity
cheerleading, writing, reading and working with youth.
This month features excerpts from a cover story written by the
veteran music journalist in Details magazine about Lacrae.
Lacrae is the co-founder and president of the non-profit
organization ReachLife Ministries and successful Christian
rapper, song writer and record producer.
2 Mea Anderson
Member of GLZBC and is Vice President of the Youth Ministry.
Loves reading, running track and great food! This month Mea
is reporting on weird foods that make delicious snacks. In her
new column, “The Moody Foodie”, Mea will bring her picky
eating taste to Vessels every month with passionate opinions
and reviews about food that she loves and hates!
...About Cheating
By :Angelica Anderson - excerpts for
Everybody’s doing it. At least that’s the way it seems.
The New England Patriots and Tom Brady have been accused
of deflating footballs, and although disgraced cyclist, Lance
Armstrong admitted to doing it, in a recent interview with BBC
he confessed that if he had it to do over, he would cheat again,
showing no remorse. According to, in a recent survey of more
than 12,000 teenagers across the United States, more that 7
out of 10 teenagers have cheated on a test in the past year.
The national average was 74 percent, up 13 points over a
decade ago. Cheating has become so out of control that some
researchers believe it amounts to a moral crisis in this country.
Why Teens Cheat
1. Teens cheat because they don’t think it’s wrong. However
cheating is lying and/or stealing and they are both wrong in
God’s eyes. Proverbs 12:22, “Lying lips is an abomination
to the Lord: but they that deal truly are his delight.”
2. Teens cheat because they think they are too busy to study.
The Bible says, “Walk in wisdom…, making the best use of
the time.” Colossians 4:5. If you are too busy for
academics, you need to declutter your schedule. Lack of
time is no excuse.
3. Teens cheat because they feel it’s easy to do. Matthew
7:14, “ For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads
to life, and those who find it are few.” Anything worth
having is worth working hard for. The easy way often times
leads to spiritual death.
4. Teens cheat because the pressure to cheat is intense.
Scholarships, Ivy league colleges and honor roll are goals
that will do anything to achieve. But Romans 12:2, says,
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by
the renewing of your mind….” Do not give into pressures of
the world but remember who you are truly working for. Cheating isn’t winning; it’s cheating. And cheating dishonors
God and affects your relationship with him. Just don’t do it!
The Moody Foodie:
Valentines Day Treats
Forget the typical lollipops and candy harts, these alternative treats are the sweetest and inexpensive way to add some creativity!
Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory Caramel Apples - $6.95 These apples are insanely good! Add a red ribbon
and it makes the perfect gift.
Georgetown Cupcakes - $3.99. These things are as addictive as Crispy Cream donuts! Get there early because the
line is always down the street!
Edible Arrangements Chocolate Covered Strawberries - $ 29.00. This price is pretty steep but fresh strawberries and
chocolate are worth it!
Spotlight: GLZBC Teens Name Black
Youth Who Inspire Them
GLZBC teens recognize some up-and-coming
youth that not only inspire them but are making
black history!
They may be young but African American teens are making a difference!
They have a passion for good work that have inspired even old souls. They are a
new generation of doers who are proving that every life matters by not only
improving their lives but providing a service to others!
BR I TN E Y E XL I NE , 1 9, TH E Y O U N G ES T
M AYA P EN N , 14 , CE O O F M AYA’S I DEA S ,
Hip Hop’s Anomaly: Lecrae
VESSELSMONTHLY February 4, 2015
By Craig Marks- excerpts
A rapper as devout as he is
talented, Lecrea, rose out of relative
obscurity to give the mainstream pop
charts a come-to-Jesus moment—
buoyed by critical raves and a fastmultiplying flock, his Anomaly became
the No. 1 album in America this fall
(sorry, Maroon 5). Now comes the hard
part for this charismatic crossover star:
shedding the square stigma and leading
Christian hip-hop to the promised land.
Lecrae, 35, who was born in Houston
and attended high school and college
in the Dallas area, explains that he was
once that $20 bill. Stepped on. Spat
on. Dismissed as worthless. But then
he embraced God, and he knew the
haters had it all wrong. "Because
God," he concludes emphatically,
"says that you and I have infinite
worth." Lecrae addresses his fans less like the
No. 1–selling artist in the country that
he is than like a cool, laid-back youthgroup counselor who has been through
some very heavy stuff in his life. 6
History Making
In September, with the release of his
seventh album, Anomaly, Lecrae became
the first artist ever to simultaneously top
Billboard's Top 200 album chart and its
gospel-album chart (the music biz's
repository for black Christian music).
Lecrae was already a star in the insular
world of Christian music. He was the first
hip-hop artist to win a Grammy for Best
“My lyrics were
changing because my
life was changing. All
the pain, the struggle,
the faith - it was all
intensely coming out.”
Gospel Album; he and his Reach
Records crew, the 116 Clique, count
devout pro-ballers Jeremy Lin and
Stephen Curry among their fans ("oneone-six" refers to Romans 1:16: "For I
am not ashamed of the gospel, because
it is the power of God that brings
salvation to everyone who believes”)
If the goal was crossover success,
Lecrae has accomplished that. And
edging out the decidedly secular
Maroon 5 for the top spot on the charts
opened doors usually sealed tight to
Christian artists. In quick succession,
he was sitting in with the Roots on The
Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,
breaking off a freestyle rap for the
morning-drive hosts on the New York
hip-hop powerhouse Hot 97, and
garnering warm praise from
mainstream music and pop-culture
publications that rarely if ever cover
anything identified as Christian.
Grantland breathlessly name-checked
Drake, Kanye, Jay-Z, and Outkast in its
review of Anomaly, Rolling Stone,
whose previous
Hip Hop’s Anomaly: Lacrae’s
History-making Crossover
“I just want people to call it for what it
is and say, ‘Yes, we have a double
standard.’ …People still won’t play me
because I’m a Christian.”
favorite Christian artist was Slow Train
Coming–era Bob Dylan, approvingly
compared Lecrae to fellow "iconoclasts"
J. Cole and Kendrick Lamar, calling
Anomaly "as hard-hitting as any rap
record out right now." In December, he
became the first Christian hip-hop artist
to earn a Grammy nomination in the Best
Rap Performance category (for "All I
Need Is You"), in which his fellow
nominees are Drake, Kendrick Lamar,
Childish Gambino, and Eminem.
Hip-hop artists who explicitly and
regularly praise God in their lyrics are in a
bind, struggling to convince both
religious and secular audiences of their
authenticity. Evangelicals, typically white
and culturally conservative, may damn all
hip-hop as the devil's music. "Plenty of
people say that my music isn't Christian,
either because it's hip-hop or because
they don't hear 'Jesus' in every lyric,"
Lecrae says. Meanwhile, hip-hop-heads
may dismiss Christian rap as lyrically
preachy and musically wack, years, if not
decades, behind in terms of sonic,
rhythmic, and stylistic innovations. "A lot
of people thought our music was
cheesy," admits Philip Rood, the editor of
the Christian-rap website Rapzilla. "But
that was before Lecrae.”
High Praise
While Christian hip-hop has gradually
made inroads into the larger Christianmusic scene, Lecrae is the first Christian
hip-hop artist to be accepted as both a
"real" Christian and a "real" hip-hop
artist. The hardscrabble bio he alludes to
in his pre-show ministration carries great
weight in both communities, which share
a tendency to fetishize suffering. "Lecrae
has as much sensitivity for hip-hop as he
does for Christianity," Bun B says.
"Frankly, he has a lyrical dexterity that a
lot of secular rappers don't even have."
On Anomaly, amid the joyful worship and
spiritual reckonings, Lecrae takes on hotbutton social issues with a fervor that
would make Chuck D proud: hip-hop
materialism on "Nuthin" ("It's foreign
cars, pretty girls everywhere you go/
Yeah, I heard it 30 times on the radio");
on "Good, Bad, Ugly," abortion ("That
day, a part of us died") and the childhood
sexual abuse he suffered from a
babysitter that warped his idea of
manhood ("Didn't think, it hit me so
deep/ So into it, I got promiscuous"); and
on "Dirty Water" and "Welcome to
America," American exceptionalism and
racial injustice ("I was born in the
mainland/Great grandpa from a strange
land/He was stripped away and given
bricks to lay/I guess you could say he
was a slave here”).
Toby McKeehan, better known as
TobyMac, cofounder of the pioneering
Christian-pop/hip-hop trio DC Talk, may
have been the best-known Christian
rapper prior to Lecrae. "I think people are
hungry for something that feeds their
souls," he says. "And hip-hop fans are
open to spirituality." For TobyMac,
Lecrae represents a turning point in
Christian music's long march toward
modernity. "He makes music that's
relevant, and he's unapologetic about it.
He's beyond the walls of the church,
outside the stained-glass windows.
There's not a better ambassador out
Still Fighting
Ebro Darden, the former program
director of Hot 97 and a cohost of the
morning show that interviewed Lecrae,
admits there's a stigma against artists
who put their religious beliefs first. His
audience doesn't want to "get hit with a
sermon." If his station plays a song
"about a night club," he says, "and then
the next song has a faith-based
message, the listener will be, like, 'Eeek,
I don't want to think about that right
now.'" Yet Darden is a fan of Lecrae's:
"He's got life experience, he's got great
music. He's the full package." The
station has added "All I Need Is You,"
Lecrae's love song to his wife with just
two mentions of God, into light rotation.
"If the beat is dope," Darden says, "and
you're rhymin' like it means something,
hip-hop is going to give it a chance."
At the mention of modest airplay, Lecrae
smiles wearily. At 35, with seven albums
under his belt, he is appreciative of this
rare opportunity to deliver his message
to nonbelievers. But whether the
audience is country-club Evangelicals or
Shmoney-dancing hip-hop fans, it's an
ongoing struggle to be heard.
"I just want people to call it for what it is
and say, 'Yes, we have a double
standard,'" he says. "I guess I rain on
their parade. I bring conviction. Now I
have a No. 1 album. And people still
won't play me because I'm a Christian."
He shrugs, slaps his hands on his thighs,
and pleads skyward, to no one in
particular: "Help me understand."
”But those who hope in the Lord will renew
their strength. They will soar on wings like
eagles; they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.”
~Isaiah 40:31
awards are not the only things that define the successful
artist. Missy Elliot is a survivor.
Back in 2008, Missy went public with her battle with
Graves disease, an immune system disorder that affect
the thyroid. Elliot told SiriusXM radio, “You gotta go
through seeing my eyes change, and your hair fall out, your
skin change. For me that was traumatic.” Missy’s Super
Bowl comeback can teach a lot of things about
perseverance in the face of our issues and God’s grace.
Super Brave
But Missy’s been here for years
“Who is Missy Elliot?” After her upstaging 2015 Super
Bowl performance with Katy Perry, that was the question
blowing up the internet stratosphere. Are you kidding me?
Come on. Did people really not know Missy “Misdemeanor”
Elliot at the Super Bowl? Facebook and Twitter posts credited
Katy Perry with discovering Missy, and with her being
responsible for Missy”blowing up”, and many admitted they
had to actually goggle the innovative R & B artist! Seriously
people, you need to get your life together. Lol! Missy is a song writer, rapper and record producer who
has worked with her longtime friend, Timberland along with the
late Aaliyah and Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, Janet
Jackson and many more. She’s won five Grammy Awards
selling over 30 million records in the United States and is the
only female rapper to have six albums certified platinum,
including one double platinum! But public notoriety and
ng why
she cried
after the
; Elliot
after her
— God can move us from the back to the front. Matthew
20:16 - “The last shall be first and the first shall be last….” God
can restore us. Even though Missy Elliot hasn’t made a song in
almost 10 years, the songs that she performed during the most
watched Superbowl in history are now back on Billboard charts
and her iTunes downloads are going through the roof!
— God will make our path straight. Proverbs 3:6 - “ In all
your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight you
path.” Missy acknowledged on Twitter that she’s still here
because of God’s Grace. God made a path for her to perform
that night, touted as a history making night for viewership!
— God is strong when we are weak. Deuteronomy 20:4,
“For the Lord your God is he who goes with you to fight for you
against your enemies, to give you the victory.” Your enemy can
be an illness, a bully or depression, God will give you strength
to overcome, and He will fight with you! We are all Missy Elliot. Conquerors, strong and able to
come back from anything that threatens to hold us down. With
God anything is possible!
Black Ivy: All
A moment of fear can
define our faith
Some excerpts from NYT
“So my son, a 3rd year Chem major
at Yale was just accosted - at GUN
POINT - by a Yale policeman because
he “fit the description’ of a suspect….”
“He was let go when they realized
he was a college student and not a
criminal (he was leaving the library!) He’s
shaken, but I’m fuming!”
In a series of tweets, Charles M.
Blow, columnist for the New York
Times, expressed his anger at the racial
profiling his son experienced. He went
on to tweet, “ Now, don’t get me wrong: If
indeed my son matched the description
of a suspect, I would have had no
problem with him being questioned
appropriately. …The stop is not the
problem; the method of the stop is the
problem. Why was a gun drawn first?
Why was he not immediately told why he
was being detained? Why not ask for ID
first? What if my son had panicked under
the stress, having never had a gun
pointed at him before, and made what
the officer considered a ‘suspicious’
movement? Had I come close to losing
him? Triggers can’t be unpulled. Bullets
cannot be called back.”
Things could have gone more wrong
if Mr. Blow’s son would’ve panicked, lost
his head, had a sudden episode of
intense fear that may have triggered a
physical reaction like running or
mouthing off. These negative
interactions with police whether in your
neighborhood or on an Ivy league
campus, can be very scarier. It is
important to remember:
• God is bigger than fear, 1 Peter
5:7 tells us to, “Cast all your anxieties
on Him because he cares for you.”
When we learn how to let God handle
our daily fears, when our biggest
challenges come we remove some of
the stimuli that can provoke us into
doing something rash. • Have faith instead. Isaiah 35:4,
“Say to those who have an anxious
heart, ‘ Be strong; fear not! Behold
your God will come with a vengeance,
will the recompense of God. He will
come and save you.’” When put in a
difficult situation, there is no denying
fear, pretending that we are not worried
or obsessing over it. God understands
that we are prone to fear, and He wants
us to have faith in him instead.
• Put fear in perspective, Matthew
10:28, “Do not be afraid of those who
kill the body but cannot kill the soul.
Rather, be afraid of the One who can
destroy both soul and body in hell”. He
was calling attention to the fact that
most of what we fear is temporary and
of no eternal consequence. We should
rather focus our concerns on whether
or not we are in a right relationship with
God. He has then promised to meet all
our needs.
No, handling your fear doesn't erase
the problem because as Blow put’s it,
“There is no way to work your way out earn your way out - of this sort of crisis.
There is no respectability that can bend a
gun’s barrel.” But there is a God who is
bigger and his promises bind us with
him! Transform your fear into faith!
Vessels Game
Vessels Book Shelf
Crazy Dangerous
Reviewed by Jill Williamson
The V-List Top 3
A list of new, great and relevant things that you need to
stay in tune for and too!
Serena Williams stakes claim as the most dominant athlete on
the planet by Atlanta Blackstar. “She is a paragon of grace and
power, talent and will, confidence and vulnerability. No one
stands beside her, male or female - she’s on a plateau all her
own, earned over a career marked by the kind of extended
brilliance heretofore unheard of in tennis.” Congratulations to
Serena Williams!
"The adrenaline-charged action will keep
you totally immersed." "--RT Book Reviews"
Do Right, Fear Nothing.
Sam Hopkins is a good kid who has fallen in with the wrong
crowd. Hanging around with car thieves and thugs, Sam knows
it's only a matter of time before he makes one bad decision too
many and gets into real trouble.
But one day, Sam sees these friends harassing an eccentric
schoolmate named Jennifer. Finding the courage to face the
bullies down, Sam loses a bad set of friends and acquires a
very strange new one.
Jennifer is not just eccentric. To Sam, she seems downright
crazy. She has terrifying hallucinations involving demons, the
devil, and death. And here's the "really "crazy part: Sam is
beginning to suspect that these visions may actually be
prophecies--prophecies of something terrible that's going to
happen very soon. Unless he can stop it.
With no one to believe him, with no one to help him, Sam is all
alone in a race against time. Finding the truth before disaster
strikes is going to be both crazy and very, very dangerous.
-- Amazon
In case you haven’t already heard, Justin Bieber made another
appearance on, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, to show people
that he’s trying to move on from his past public mistakes and to
talk about an emotional video on his Facebook page. He said
he doesn’t want to come off as “arrogant or conceited” or be
judged for how he’s acted over the past year and a half. He
apologized to his fans. Hopefully, he can turn everything
around into something positive! Magazines
African American magazine, Essence, made history with the
release of their February issue cover, the first cover in the
magazine’s 45-year history to not feature a cover model.
Instead, the editorial team at Essence turned their attention to
“Black Lives Matter” the predominating topic in the black
community and beyond since last year’s non- indictments in
the cases of Mike Brown and Eric Garner, two of almost
countless young black people gunned down by white police
officers. The special collector’s edition magazine features
reflections from activists, authors, leaders and cultural figures.
Moral Of The Story
It’s Under Control
This is what the Lord says: “Do not go up to fight against
your brothers, the Israelites. Go hime, every one of you, for
this is my doing.”
1 Kings 12:24
When Jesus was unjustly arrested in the Garden of
Gethsemane, he was not panicked or even surprised. His
entire life had a mission - to be sacrificed as the perfect lamb
for all of our sins. But at the arrest even Jesus’ devoted
disciples didn’t really get it. They didn’t understand that God’s
plan was coming to its climax. they only saw their beloved
Christ being betrayed, falsely accused, and treated criminally.
And so one of them drew his sword in defense and cut off the
ear of a soldier. Sounds pretty reasonable.
But Jesus, who understood the full picture, topple the
disciple and healed the soldier’s ear. Can you imagine the
surprise of everyone standing near?
When you face injustices, betrayals, or accidents, it’s
reasonable to feel intense emotions and ask unanswerable
questions. But then you realize that the same Jesus who knew
about his crucifixion to the last detail also know every detail of
you life. He’s not surprised. He’s not wondering what to do
next. He is still the one who loved you enough to live and die
for you. Isn’t there a sense of security in that knowledge - that
God is not only all-knowing and all-powerful but all-loving?
Angelica Anderson
GLZBC Newsletter
Please send all submissions to
[email protected]
Dear Lord,
Thank you that
we can rely on
you, both
because you
know things
we don’t and
because you
love us more
than we can
When things
look bleak to
us, help us
remember who
you are and
have peace. Amen