Friday, 30 September 2016

Cry In My Heart

It's hard when you accept Jesus and much of the music you've listened to all your life simply doesn't make sense any longer. And the Christian music you hear is just...meh. 
Thankfully everything changed when I first saw Winnipeg Christian band Starfield live at The Meeting Place. A brand spanking new Christian, I was a bit flummoxed when a young guy I met at the concert offered to buy me their new CD when I told him I was too broke. Ummm, what? I actually wondered if he was coming on to me. Truth be told I still didn't yet know how to receive generosity.

I've seen Starfield live plenty of times, but I became infatuated with their song "Cry in My Heart" because of all things, a Dayspring audio greeting card that featured the verse as a snippet. I would choke up weeping every time I heard What do I have if I don't have You, Jesus? // What in this life could mean any more? // You are my rock // You are my glory // You are the lifter of my head.

I loved the imagery of Him lifting my head even if it took me a few dozen listens to realize that was directly from Scripture.

But you, O LORD, are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.(Psalm 3:3)

Plus, the questions they posed were just so potent to me. What would I do if I didn't have The One who gives meaning to my life? Turns out Jesus is still revealing the answers to me every day.

There's a cry in my heart for Your glory to fall
For Your presence to fill up my senses
There's a yearning again

A thirst for discipline
A hunger for things that are deeper
Could You take me beyond?
Could You carry me through?
If I open my heart could I go there with You?

For I've been here before
But I know there's still more
Oh, Lord, I need to know You
For what do I have if I don't have You, Jesus?
What in this life could mean any more?
You are my rock

You are my glory
You are the lifter of my head


#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

A Dream

I have probably listened to "A Dream" by Common (featuring Will I.Am and excerpts by Martin Luther King Jr.) more than any other song in my life. Common is one of my favorite rappers, and the movie that it was written for -- Freedom Writers -- had a huge impact on me. And once, God even sang it to me.

The movie tells the real life story of Erin Gruwell, a teacher in Long Beach, California, whose first teaching assignment was a class of at-risk students including gang members and refugees. To reach the kids, she incorporated unconventional methods including journalling and teaching about the Holocaust to bridge racial differences. All of her students ended up attending post-secondary education, she published a book showcasing their journal entries and many are involved with running the Freedom Writers Foundation to this day.

When the movie was released, I was running the ROUTE Program for at-risk refugee youth so I brought them along with me to see it. It was memorable...several of my kids were visibly moved seeing young people with similar struggles portrayed on screen. The ROUTE Program subsequently introduced several of Gruwell's techniques including journalling, the line game and the toast for change.

Around the same time, I often visited several young refugee men incarcerated in the Winnipeg Remand Centre. One afternoon after visiting a Sudanese guy, I walked out of of the jail into the daylight and I heard God's still small voice singing to me: "I have a dream that one day we're gonna work it out out out" from "A Dream", the song by Common featured in the Freedom Writers. This was accompanied by a palpable feeling of joy in my heart that I'd never before experienced. It was the most curious experience. 

Shortly afterwards, my pastor lent me his copy of Chasing the Dragon by Jackie Pullinger, who ministered to addicts and gang members in the drug dens of Hong Kong's Walled City. Nearly every time she'd enter this underground city, which she describes as one of the most "revolting places in the world", she'd encounter "this wonderful feeling inside, the thrill you get on your birthday. I found myself wondering why am I so happy?"  

Her account confirmed to me that I was called to minister in what many call the low places of our city with a gladness that can only come from above. I've returned to the Remand Centre on many occasions and often feel that same surge of joy and I also experience it in other locations. 

And although My Heavenly Papa never sang me a Common song again, He unquestionably sings over my life.

For the LORD your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs. (Zephaniah 3:17)
[Chorus - Will.i.am and Martin Luther King]
(I am happy...I Have a Dream) I got a Dream
(That One Day ) We're gonna work it out out out
(I Have a Dream) I got a Dream
(That One Day) I'ma look deep within myself
(I Have a Dream) I gotta find a way
My Dream Is To Be Free
In search of brighter days, I ride through the maze of the madness,
Struggle is my address, where pain and crack lives,
Gunshots comin' from sounds of Blackness,
Given this game with no time to practice,
Born on the Black list, told I'm below average,
A life with no cabbage,
That's no money if you from where I'm from,
Funny, I just want some of your sun
Dark clouds seem to follow me,
Alcohol that my pops swallowed bottled me,
No apology, I walk with a boulder on my shoulder,
It's a Cold War - I'm a colder soldier,
Hold the same fight that made Martin Luther the King,
I ain't usin' it for the right thing,
In between lean and the fiends, hustle and the schemes,
I put together pieces of a dream
I still have one
The world's seen me lookin' in the mirror,
Images of me, gettin' much clearer,
Dear Self, I wrote a letter just to better my soul,
If I don't express it then forever I'll hold, inside
I'm from a side where we out of control,
Rap music in the 'hood played a fatherly role,
My story's like yours, yo it gotta be told,
Tryna make it from a gangsta to a godlier role,
Read scrolls and stow slaves,
And Jewish people in cold cage,
Hate has no color or age, flip the page,
Now my rage became freedom,
Writin' dreams in the dark, they far but I can see 'em,
I believe in Heaven more than Hell,
Blessings more than jail,
In the ghetto let love prevail,
With a story to tell, my eyes see the glory and well,
The world waitin' for me to yell "I Have a Dream"

#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

It is well with my soul / Rapture

I full well know what it's like to sit in a church with "supposedly" shiny happy people when my heart was crushed and it didn't seem like a single thing made sense. I'm so grateful for worship leaders who are willing to sing about our Suffering Servant and the truly difficult things we encounter along our faith walks. 

When I attended Kings Fellowship, my dear friends Ralph and Lori Zacharias would often lead worship and two songs they played have always stayed with me:  "It Is Well With My Soul" (performed here by the incomparable Audrey Assad) and "Rapture".

The hymn "It is Well With My Soul" was written by lawyer and Presbyterian minister Horatio Spafford after his four daughters drowned when the ocean liner on which they were sailing was rammed by another vessel. While he later sailed near the same spot where his daughters died, he penned the lyrics. 

Although I was not even close to being in the midst of a tragedy of those proportions, I was dealing with a whole mess of loss. And to sing along with those lyrics -- even before I knew Spafford's story -- provided me with precious comfort.

"Rapture" was likely my first encounter with what I would term prophetic worship. Lori wrote the words after receiving healing for past wounds and every time she would sing it, Abba would breathe on it and give me revelation and often even breakthrough.

The song features two perspectives: Father God's and His daughter's. As I would worship and sing along, I could feel Him drawing near and whispering to me: "Fall on me and I will lift you up" which would soften my heart. Then I would entreat the Spirit to envelop my frailties and hidden sins, and I always sensed a divine exchange take place.

At its best, when fully yielded to God, this is what I believe music can do: reveal truth and set us free. I know it did for me.

RAPTURE
Fall on me, fall on me // And I will lift you up
Fall on me, fall on me // And I will lift you up
My bower of schemes around me crumbles from inside
Until I become so frail I can't hide
Spirit breathe into me // The only breath I need
My Saviour, now revealed // Rapture me

IT IS WELL WITH MY SOUL
When peace, like a river, attendeth my way When sorrows like sea billows roll Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say It is well, it is well with my soul It is well with my soul, it is well, it is well with my soul Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come Let this blest assurance control That Christ hath regarded my helpless estate And hath shed His own blood for my soul My sin—oh, the bliss of this glorious thought My sin, not in part but the whole Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live If Jordan above me shall roll No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait The sky, not the grave, is our goal Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul And Lord, haste the day when the faith shall be sight The clouds be rolled back as a scroll The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend Even so, it is well with my soul

#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Monday, 26 September 2016

Smile

Everybody's gotta have a personal anthem. Mine is "Smile" by The Jayhawks, one of my favorite bands from Minneapolis. When I'm in the struggle with negative mindsets, worry or vexing thoughts, this is what I play to sing along to and reset my day. 
Right next door to Manitoba, Minnesota's landscape is somewhat similar to ours and the opening lines of "Smile" are so evocative of lake life, you can just tell singer/songwriter/leader Gary Louris spends time at the cottage. 

Wake up, put your shoes on //
Take a breath of the northern air //
And rub those eyes //
Genuflect beneath the starry skies


I so relate to that, making it the chief reason this song speaks to me. There is nothing quite like standing beside a lake and letting God captivate me through the expanse of His heavens. My response is always soul exploding worship, which is so perfectly triggered by this song. 

And besides, I really don't have any problems -- even in my darkest hour of despair -- that my heavenly Papa can't fix. So I keep my chin up and I smile. 


Wake up, put your shoes on
Take a breath of the northern air
And rub those eyes
Genuflect beneath the starry skies
Before you climb the mountain
First the foothills must appear
Step high and light
And take up your staff and shining armor
(Chin up, chin up)
You don't really have a problem
(Chin up, chin up)
In your hour of despair
And smile when you're down and out
(Find something inside you)
Smile when you're down and out
(Find something inside you)
Smile
The stars on the horizon
Stretch as far as the eyes can see
They represent the souls of those like you and me

#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Your Lies

I consider myself a pretty cheery person on the whole, but I have waded through darkness. Oh have I ever. And if I'm going to list music that has touched me, it would belie my walk if I didn't include a song or two that accompanied me in those waste places.


As far as I'm concerned, I am Shelby Lynne is one of the best break-up records of all time. As my own marriage disintegrated, almost every song offered me language to cry to, to rail at, to express my heartache.

But it's the killer opening track "Your Lies" which contains the most potent renderings of what it's like to stand amidst the wreckage of an adulterous relationship. The twisting of reality, the unpaid bills, the questioning of self and of course that heart-wrenching plea every single person who's been cheated on asks: Why'd you have to do me this way?

Even now well over a decade later, I can barely listen to this album without shedding a few tears. But as C.S. Lewis says "There are farfar better things ahead than any we leave behind."

Your lies won't leave me alone
You used to say you loved me did ya
Why'd you do me this way
It didn't have to be that way
I got your message on the phone
I hung on every single line
You told me what we had was only business
Hurt me so bad I had to sit down with the sickness
Your lies won't leave me alone
Tore the phone out the wall and it's still ringin'
Wreck the room and curtains ain't hangin' baby 

Guitar ain't playin'
Your lies won't leave me alone
Look at your picture in the room 

I can see you were never happy with me baby
All my uncertainty is easy to see
How you're killin' me, cause
I got those bills you would not pay
The cost of our love is way too high and I just keep on payin' baby
Why'd you say you loved me, walk around and carry on,
Hurting 'bout your love is gone, the song I sing is sad
And long, wonder if you are alone,
I don't know if I belong
Your lies won't leave me  alone


#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Saturday, 24 September 2016

Aside


Today I present to you "Aside" by The Weakerthans featuring the lyrical genius of one John K. Samson, the leader of the Weakerthans (aka my favorite Winnipeg band). 

A songwriter as well as a published poet, Samson always seems to hit the ball home with his keen eye for details, wit and irony (One Great City is epic). But the chorus of his I most adore is:

I'm leaning on this broken fence // between past and present tense 
And I'm losing all those stupid games that I swore I'd never play// But it feels almost okay

That might just be one of the most insightful lyrics ever written when dealing with our precious failures. Whether it's marriage problems, childhood issues or holding unforgiveness, that line -- particularly when sung aloud -- always seems to take me to a higher place of perspective. 

The barriers between our past and our present are not as solidly built as we envision and they usually needs to be destroyed for our future to unfold. Thank you John K for helping me as I've worked this out.

Measure me in metered lines in one decisive stare
The time it takes to get from here to there
My ribs that show through t-shirts and these shoes I got for free
I'm unconsoled, I'm lonely, I am so much better than I used to be
Terrified of telephones and shopping malls and knives
And drowning in the pools of other lives
Rely a bit too heavily on alcohol and irony
Get clobbered on by courtesy in love with love and lousy poetry
And I'm leaning on this broken fence
Between past and present tense
And I'm losing all those stupid games
That I swore I'd never play but it almost feels okay
Circumnavigate this body of wonder and uncertainty
Armed with every precious failure and amateur cartography
I'm breathing deep before
I spread those maps out on my bedroom floor
And I'm leaving with goodbye
And I'm losing but I'll try
With the last ways left to remember sing
My imperfect offering


#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Kite

I'm a lifelong lyric fanatic and God often speaks me through the word craft of songwriters. Bono of U2 often writes lyrics that blow my mind especially his songs that are rooted in the Bible (check out Bible references in U2 lyrics for more revelation). 
U2's stellar 2000 album All That You Can't Leave Behind is chock full of brilliant lyrics, but there's a line in "Kite" that stands out for me: Life should be fragrant // Rooftop to the basement. It sets this song apart from the rest of the album and even gave me the name for this blog. And since I can smell things of God, it has become my life's motto of sorts. Because when you think about it, our lives really should be fragrant from the rooftop all the way to the basement.

Something is about to give I can feel it coming
I think I know what it means
I'm not afraid to die I'm not afraid to live
And when I'm flat on my back I hope to feel like I did
And hardness, it sets in You need some protection
The thinner the skin

I want you to know that you don't need me anymore
I want you to know You don't need anyone or anything at all

Who's to say where the wind will take you
Who's to say what it is will break you
I don't know which way the wind will blow
Who's to know when the time's come around
Don't want to see you cry
I know that this is not goodbye
In summer I can taste the salt in the sea
There's a kite blowing out of control on a breeze
I wonder what's gonna happen to you
You wonder what has happened to me

I'm a man, I'm not a child
A man who sees the shadow behind your eyes

Did I waste it? Not so much I couldn't taste it
Life should be fragrant, Rooftop to the basement
The last of the rock stars When hip hop drove the big cars
In the time when new media Was the big idea
That was the big idea

#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Friday, 23 September 2016

Love and Happiness

Al Green is the man. Not only is he my alltime favorite artist, he puts on a phenomenal live show and is a pretty great pastor to boot. 

I've seen the Reverend Al perform three times; once at his church, the Full Gospel Tabernacle in Memphis, and twice in Chicago and even in his 70s, he does not disappoint. 


To choose just one tune by the Reverend is extremely difficult for me. "Let's Stay Together" is out because it's my ex-husband's favorite song and clearly the lyrics didn't stick. So I'm going with "Love and Happiness" and not only because it's been on my answering machine for over a decade. Featuring Al's amazing vocals and chunky grooves, the lyrics also state ultimately what we all want in life: Love AND Happiness.

Love and happiness
Something that can make you do wrong, make you do right
Love and happiness
But wait a minute, something's going wrong
Someone's on the phone three o'clock in the morning
Talkin' about how she can make it right, yeah
Well, happiness is when, you really feel good with somebody
But nothing wrong with being in love with someone, yeah
Oh, baby, love and happiness  
I have to say
Love and happiness (Love and happiness)
You be good to me I'll be good to you
We'll be together We'll see each other
Walk away with victory, yeah oh baby,
Love and happiness, (Love and happiness)
Make you do right. Make you do wrong
Make you come home early. Make you stay out all night long
The power of love Wait a minute, let me tell you
Make you want to dance
Love and happiness , 
Love is, wait a minute, love is 
Walkin' together, talkin' together, stayin' together
#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Something About the Name Jesus

Seeing Kirk Franklin & the Family play at the 1997 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival is one of my most memorable experiences as a concert-goer. Between Kirk, his band, and singers there had to be least 30 people on stage, and their performance was absolutely over the top. I was not even close to being a Christian at the time, but their fervor about this man Jesus blew my natural mind. 

When I got saved eight years later, the very first Christian record I went out and purchased was a used copy of The Nu Nation Project. It contained 17 stellar tracks featuring Kirk Franklin and a tons of guests like Rodney Jerkins, Bono, Fred Hammond, Donnie McClurkin and others. "Something About The Name Jesus" is just one of the album's highlights. I have never grown tired of The Nu Nation Project; almost a dozen years later it's still one of the most played records in my collection. 

And I now realize the wonderment that was stirred in my heart seeing him perform on a Saturday afternoon in New Orleans was the Holy Spirit drawing me to Jesus through an awe-inspiring live show.

Hallelujah, young people there's nothin' wrong with dancin' for Jesus
But we can't forget where we come from
So if you don't mind let's have a little o' church right now
Thank you, Jesus, listen
Something about the name Jesus  It is the sweetest name I know
Oh, how I love the name Jesus It is the sweetest name I know
Some people say I'm crazy but I can't explain
The power that I feel when, oh when I call Your name
Said it's just like fire shot up in my bones
The Holy Ghost is movin', yes, it is and just won't leave me alone
Oh, there's something Something about the name Jesus
It is the sweetest name I know
Oh how I love the name Jesus It is the sweetest name I know
Said, it's sweeter than honey from the honeycomb
I can feel the Holy Ghost movin' and it won't leave me alone
At the name of Jesus Every knee has got to bow
So you don't have to wait till the fire comes
You can call Him, shout, praise Him Do it now
Something about the name Jesus Something about the name Jesus
It is the sweetest name I know
Oh ooh oh ooh oh, oh ooh oh ooh oh
It is the sweetest name
Can I tell you about that name? There's power in that name
Can't nobody do what He does
Oh, I love the name Jesus, Jesus, Jesus

#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

My Old Friend the Blues

Oh how I used to obsessively listen to "My Old Friend the Blues" by Steve Earle

Guitar Town is the album that turned me into a rabid fan of Steve Earle's alt.country. I'd be willing to guess I've seen him more than any other artist and I have absolutely fixated on all his records over the years.

In 1986, no song spoke to my anxious heart more than this one. I've never struggled with depression, but I was surely acquainted with the blues. 

My how things have changed in the past few years. I may not be there any longer, but My Old Friend the Blues still holds a special place in my heart (as does Steve Earle).

Just when every ray of hope was gone
I should have known that you would come along
I can't believe I ever doubted you
My old friend the blues
Another lonely night, a nameless town
If sleep don't take me first, you'll come around
'Cause I know I can always count on you
My old friend the blues
Lovers leave and friends will let you down
But you're the only sure thing that I've found
No matter what I do I'll never lose
My old friend the blues
Just let me hide my weary heart in you
My old friend the blues


#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

God Bless The Child

In the late 80s, my pal Pam Dixon did me the favor of a lifetime and recorded me a mixtape full of Billie Holiday tunes. Though I had grown up with some of my parent's jazz records, Billie wasn't to be found their collection and I was instantly enthralled. 

It'd be hard to narrow down my favorite Billie Holiday song, but God Bless The Child most certainly is near the top of my list. 

She cowrote the song in 1941 after an argument with her mother over money and it begins with her take on Matthew 25:29. For everyone who has will be given more and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him.

It's easy to discern the exasperation she was feeling because her voice was such a magnificent instrument. Like so many her songs, God Bless the Child has a perfect vintage feel to it and I'll never grow tired of it.

Them that’s got shall get
Them that’s not shall lose
So the Bible said and it still is news
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that’s got his own
Yes, the strong gets more
While the weak ones fade
Empty pockets don’t ever make the grade
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that’s got his own
Money, you’ve got lots of friends
Crowding round the door
When you’re gone, spending ends
They don’t come no more
Rich relations give crust of bread and such
You can help yourself but don’t take too much
Mama may have, Papa may have
But God bless the child that’s got his own
That’s got his own
He just worry ’bout nothin’
Cause he’s got his own
#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Monday, 19 September 2016

Indian Reservation

The very first record I got to call my own was a 45 RPM single of "Indian Reservation" by Paul Revere & the Raiders. I got it for my 11th birthday along with a nifty blue portable turntable (and "Where Evil Grows" by the Poppy Family).

Considering the current pipeline protests in North Dakota and the state of indigenous tribes here in Canada, the lyrics are still to this day pretty bang on. 

It's also cool that one of my life's purposes is to help bring tribes, tongues, people and nations into the Kingdom of God. Initially I thought that meant solely the refugees I was working with. But as I went on, the Lord impressed upon me He was referring to Canada's First Nation people as well. 

You might even say "Indian Reservation" being the inaugural item in my life of music was rather prophetic. 

After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands (Revelation 7:9)

They took the whole Cherokee nation
Put us on this reservation
Took away our ways of life
The tomahawk and the bow and knife
Took away our native tongue
And taught their English to our young
And all the beads we made by hand
Are nowadays made in Japan
Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die
They took the whole Indian nation
Locked us on this reservation
Though I wear a shirt and tie
I'm still part redman deep inside
Cherokee people, Cherokee tribe
So proud to live, so proud to die
But maybe someday when they learn
Cherokee nation will return, will return, will return

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Bridge Over Troubled Water

I know no tune in the great American songbook that speaks to my heart more than"Bridge over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel. It was released in 1970 when I was ten years old and is one of the quintessential songs of my childhood and teens.

However it wasn't until after I became a Christian that it turned into my constant inspiration. I went up to the altar of my church for prayer one Sunday and as I stood with my eyes closed, God spoke to me as clearly as I had ever heard. 

"Your time has come," He said. Honestly, at first I thought He was telling me I was going to die. But then I got this niggling idea that it might be a song lyric. When I googled the words, there they were: lyrics to one of my alltime favorite songs. But they took on new meaning and were being sung from Jesus to me.

"Your time has come...to shine," He sang to me. "All your dreams are on their way."

I was, for lack of a better word, gobsmacked. And for the first time I began to truly grasp how Jesus had continually pursued me using music and lyrics.

What is even more fascinating is the fact Bridge Over Troubled Water was Paul Simon's first attempt at writing a gospel song. Its inception was an experience he has always acknowledged as divine. "I have no idea where it came from. It came all of the sudden," said Simon. "It was one of the most shocking moments in my songwriting career...it was considerably better than I usually write." 

Little did Paul Simon know that the Eternal God would use the lyrics to raise the hopes and dreams of a silver girl and new believer on the Canadian prairies over 30 years later. 

And it started a conversation with Him through music that has never stopped. 

When you're weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all (all)
I'm on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a bridge over troubled water // I will lay me down
When you're down and out // When you're on the street
When evening falls so hard I will comfort you
I'll take your part, oh, when darkness comes
And pain is all around
Like a bridge over troubled water // I will lay me down
Sail on silver girl sail on by // Your time has come to shine
All your dreams are on their way // See how they shine
If you need a friend // I’m sailing right behind
Like a bridge over troubled water // I will ease your mind

#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom

Friday, 16 September 2016

Go ahead...Have a talk with God

I have a lifelong obsession with Stevie Wonder's Spirit-filled magnum opus Songs in the Key of LifeI have owned this record on vinyl, 8-track, cassette and several copies of the CD (the ones who "borrowed" it...you know who you are. Yes I'm talking to you Sulai). Not a season in my life  in my life goes by when I don't listen to this record and let it chart the way out of wherever I'm at. It's the ultimate road trip album. The perfect accompaniment to a late night bbq. It has songs for romance, for heartbreak, for dancing, for encounter.

It started when I was 18 and became utterly fixated on "Have a Talk With God"  during a break-up with my abusive and controlling high school boyfriend. I'd play the hell out of that song over and over up in my loft bedroom in River Heights and sing along with the lyrics, especially the refrain: When you feel your life's too hard // Just go have a talk with God. I actually had no clue how to communicate with Father God, and this was the closest I got until many years later. I now know this was my first experience with personal worship. Until this point, the closest I got was singing songs at St. Ignatius, the Catholic church I attended as a teen.

Truth be told I was so besotted with "Have a Talk With God", track number two on the first side of the double vinyl release that I barely listened to the other record. It wasn't until many years later that I discovered classic songs like "As" and "Joy Inside My Tears". 

Songs in the Key of Life is often designated by music critics as one the best records ever made. Prince, Elton John, Michael Jackson and Whitney Houston all count it as their favorite album, and Stevie himself says it's the record he's most satisfied with. But for one River Heights teenager, its second song provided a crucial connection with the Most High that has managed to last decades.

There are people who have let the problems of today
Lead them to conclude that for them life is not the way
But every problem has an answer and if yours you cannot find
You should talk it over to Him // He'll give you peace of mind
When you feel your life's too hard // Just go have a talk with God 
Many of us feel we walk alone without a friend
Never communicating with the One who lives within
Forgetting all about the One who never ever lets you down
And you can talk to him anytime He's always around
When you feel your life's too hard // Just go have a talk with God 
Well He's the only free psychiatrist that's known throughout the world
For solving problems of all men, women, little boys and girls
When you feel your life's too hard // Just go have a talk with God 
When your load's too much to bear // Just go talk to God He cares 
I know He does


#MonthfulOfMusic #HoodMom