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m.t.d making the difference magazine

Interview:Young men watch what they listen to

College

Students:

Balancing time with school work, sports & Jobs

*Crossover

Church making moves

Coverage, photos and interviews on Dj Officials’ “Entermission” concert


Features 4

8

young g men prefer pr refer “Jesus “Jesu us Music”

setting higher hi i igher standards stand dar ards ds on the music mu usi they listen

College ge Students Stude ents finding g balance with h academics, acade emics, sports sports & jobs

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Soul Purpose: Making the Difference Whats up everybody! This is the first edition of ‘Making the Difference’ magazine. The soul purpose of this magazine is to be a light to those who are out to make a difference, and be a positive influence on society. It seems everywhere we turn there is some form of violence, sex-related advertising, drugs, adultery, and just negativity shaping our societies and cultures as a nation. It’s definitely tough to avoid these things when they’re on nearly every station of our televisions, whether your watching a sports game or even the news, it seems like it’s only getting worse. This magazine is dedicated to encourage those who want to go hard for the Lord, and improve those areas in their life that they may be needing some assistance or even guidance with. The base of this magazine will include interviews with soldiers for the Lord, some encouraging and uplifting stories, some photography, and just things that will honor our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It’s aim is to be set apart from this world and the things of this world, and to encourage you all out there to ‘Make the difference.’ Time is of the essense, and were not promised tomorrow, so may we continue to spend our time here on earth wisely, and continue to serve the Lord. I’m in this to serve and invest in your (the readers) future. As the editor I will stay faithful to readers and hear out your voice and opinion of what you would like to see more of in the Making the difference magazine. So I hope you guys enjoy this very first edition of Making the difference magazine, and continue to go hard for our Lord, Jesus Christ! All is Love, Your Editor (Mike Trivett)


Young Men Prefer “Jesus Music� Young men setting higher standards on the music they listen to


In our world today it’s become very challenging to protect our eyes and ears with the way sexual images are portrayed through movies, media and even music. It takes much discipline and courage to stand up for what one believes is right, and what they refuse to take part in, the things of this world. I interviewed a few individuals (Aubrey McKay and Barry “BJ” Austin) who have refused to go along with the “norm” and have secluded theirselves from music of the secular industry, and have chosen to give up the secular and fill their ears with Godly music. Hopefully some of these questions and answers can encourage you those who want to make a difference in some way, and want to obey where they felt God has called them. Mike: Would I be correct in saying you have nothing but Christian music in your itunes and on your ipod? BJ: Yes that is correct; only Christian music AM: Yes, that is correct. Just Christian hip hop, R&P, gospel, and a little worship.

Mike: When is it that you gave up secular music as a whole, and what led you to give it up? AM: I gave up secular music in July 2006, when I was 19 years old. It’s funny cause this story is also my salvation story. I was at a youth camp with my church youth group and it was the first night, when it was time for the alter call I felt the Lord telling me to write hip-hop on the cross. I did and I haven’t listened to secular hip-hop sense. BJ: I gave it up for good when I was around 17 years old. What led me to give it up was the truth that was revealed to me concerning secular music. The fact that as Christians, we must do things that line up with the God’s word, even down to the music we listen to. Anything that is not of God or glorifying God means, at least to me, that we can’t have anything to do with it. Mike: With this sacrifice/lifestyle change you chose to honor God In doing, there is no doubt that you’re being a great role model to the younger Christ followers out there. Is this ever a burden for you in a sense? (Like that you have to be on guard at all times knowing that you’re an example, and that younger people even older are looking up to you? If so, explain. BJ: I wouldn’t call it a burden necessarily because even if no one was watching me at all, God still knows everything I do and He calls to be holy as He is holy. He also calls us to be the light and the salt of the world so being an example just comes with the territory of being a true Christian. But the fact that I know people are watching does give me extra motivation to not compromise my walk God in

any way. AM: I do feel a burden, but not in a bad way. I feel like with my experiences it is more of a privilege. Sense I was so emursed in the hiphop culture growing up it’s important for me to share my experiences and some of the effects it had on me, so maybe I can shine a light on the culture. And help people to find their way out. I feel it’s an honor to be used this way by the Lord.

“I COULD WAKE UP WITH A CLEARER MIND WHICH HELPS ME TO FOCUS ON PLEASING GOD...” Mike: What are some changes you started noticing in your walk with God when you first gave up secular music? And what changes have you noticed take place in your walk with Him since than? AM: The first difference I noticed was that I actually had a walk with God. My life was so focused on hip-hop that I couldn’t even see God. I also saw changes in my behavior and attitude. I wasn’t as angry as I used to be and I could be positive. And that’s just a few of the changes. BJ: When I first gave up secular music, I noticed I had more peace of mind. I could wake up with a clearer mind which helps me to focus on pleasing God, instead of waking up with a secular song in my head and thinking of the sin that the music is actually portraying. Since that time, I’ve noticed that I am truly unattached to this world. This is vital because as a Christian, you can’t be connected to the world AND to Christ at the same time.


viction about, then you should do it. Secular music has a huge influence on people and it’s best to find a positive supplement that Mike: What are some influenc- will bring you closer to God. I es that have helped or encour- think that God cares about what aged you to strengthen your we listen to and wants us to use walk in Christ, in sacrificing (even) music to worship and Mike: What is it that keeps you secular music? bring glory to His name. going whenever you get tempted BJ: The main thing that influBJ: I would say that your walk or when you see everyone around ences me is just the simple fact will be so much easier if you you listening to secular? (A bible that listening to secular is sin give up secular music. And to verse or something someone told in the eyes of God. And if it is remember that we as Christians, you, or just what you do personsin, it doesn’t please God and a live to please God in every way. ally that you came up with on person cannot enter into heaven Also, the reward for sacrificing your own) while knowingly sinning. anything for God will be much AM: Colossians 3 is my motivaAM: Christian hip-hop has been greater than the satisfaction of tion. It talks about the old man and his ways. What really sticks out to a huge influence. Christian hip- music. me in that passage is the distinct hop has been a very good supMike: Tell me about some characteristics that the old man plement for secular music, and things you to do encourage has like: fornication, uncleanness, it has definitely been an encour- others as far as music goes, passions, evil desire and covetous- agement in the tough times. and what you do to spread ness. What I love is that Paul says Mike: What advice would you this testimony not in a sense of that we are to put those members to give to someone who has had boasting but furthering God’s death, and all those characteristics that same conviction on their kingdom? (Forms of felloware found in hip-hop. So I just got heart to give it up, or has just ship or influence) to put it to death lol. considered it? If you could say BJ: I don’t necessarily do anyBJ: What keeps me going is a something to them for encourthing special. I occasionally just constant, daily relationship with agement or to give them some say something brief to people God. When a person has that, the things of this world doesn’t even at- since of direction, what would about it, in order to get them tract them anymore. I can honestly it be? thinking about it. Or if somesay that secular music of any kind AM: I would say that if you feel one asks me have I heard of a doesn’t even appeal to me anymore. this is something you feel a con- secular song, I simply tell them I

“What keeps me going is a constant, daily relationship with God. When a person has that, the things of this world doesn’t even attract them anymore.”

The more time I spend with God (by prayer and reading the Bible), the more that God takes those desires to be like the world away.


don’t listen to that kind of music anymore, and we a conversation just starts from there. AM: I’m always open to sharing my story and telling people some of my struggles. Then I’m always open to sharing music with people. I think that people just can’t give up secular music without putting something in its place. So I love making mix cd’s for people so they can experience some really good Christian music. Mike: Where can people find good Christian Hip-Hop, since it is too often titled as being “corny” or not up to par with the secular industries talent? AM: There is a website called “dasouth.com,” and there is a lot of great Christian Hip-Hop on there. “Corny” and “lame” are words often used in the Christian hip-hop industry, but that is far from the case. There are plenty of great Christian hip-hop artist, and in my opinion Christian hip-hop has just as good (if not better) talent than the secular industry. I also listen to the “Wade-o radio show” to find a lot good music. BJ: There’s a big misconception that Christian music sounds “lame” or “whack”, but it’s all about your mindset. A person can be so addicted to secular music (as I was) that that’s all that appeals to their senses. Once a person gets “transformed by the renewing of their mind” (Romans 12:2), then secular things will not please them anymore. But it’s just as

easy to find “good” Christian music than it is for secular. (Itunes, Rhaspody, etc.) Mike: In your opinion, who are some Christian Hip-Hop artists that you can always count on to make good music? BJ: My all-time favorite Christian Hip-Hop artist is Trip Lee, who is a part of a Christian HipHop group called “116 Clique”. Any artist affiliated with this is, not just good, but GREAT. Not only do they have nice beats and good hooks and lyrics, but their lyrics line up with the Word of God and that’s the greatest asset. In music, I first look what they are saying, because their words are what are being imparted into me. So I love music that glorifies God and is right out of the Bible. AM: I personally like the whole reach records group, lampmode records, cross movement records and the sling shot media group. But there are great Christian artists everywhere, you just have to look.


Balance In College: Student-athlete By: Mike Trivett

Throughout peoples college years, they encounter many different individuals, students who study, students who don’t, students who work, students who play, students who party, students who take school “too seriously,” etc. This feature story/ interview is on two individuals, one who is a member of the Southeastern Univeristy’s basketball team, another who works full time and attends the University. Although they both have different “jobs” so to speak, they are students who have more to juggle than just academics alone. While academics should remain the top priority on students lists, many remain to focus their attention elsewhere, into other priorities, some on things that have to do with the success of their future and others who are simply enjoying this time

while it lasts. Although it’s a widespread percentage, there is a dropout rate of fifteen to eighty five percent drop out rate depending on which College/University. We have to ask ourseleves how did these rates get up so high, and what is it that is keeping the major ity of students from graduating and completing college? Is it because they find other priorities, is it because they can’t seem to balance their time with studies, and non-academic activities? Maybe so, but there are those inspiring students who choose to stay on top of their academics, while still holding their other priorities to a high level of commitment. Many enjoy the “free ride,” of being in college, having money put into their account weekly/ monthly, while other students have to make arrangements for their student loans, and work to pay bills.

Some students can’t really relate to these students, other than in academics. Many students don’t see behind the scenes so to speak of the college students who have more commitments than the typical college student. A majority of jobs that will hire students don’t pay much over minimum wage, and many businesses wont even hire college students, whether it’s due to the state of the economy and they can’t afford to take a chance on a part-time employee whom they can’t really depend on for the summer time and holidays, and others might have an image of college students as being irresponsible, and believe they can’t be depended on. Basically it’s a rough field for students looking for jobs to pay bills and such. For athletes on the other hand, they have quite the


load to handle, with having to maintain a GPA of a 2.5, and having to balance their time with sports games/practices, and their school work, one can imagine the little time that makes for naps, where some of us can’t even make it through three classes without a nap in-between. Now more than ever there is a more accessible way to create groups and organizations at Universities. It’s no doubt that if Colleges focus more on making it for the students, it can become more enticing. If a College can make a student get more involved, and get them into something they are interested in, and actually make them feel a part of something than it becomes more interesting. They figure if they can get enough students to do something besides stay in their dorm room, and actually get out and get involved, not only will it create less problems for the school, but it will more than likely cause grades to go up. It’s no secret that many individuals like to stay to their self, it’s natural for college students to not get out of their comfort zone, especially for their freshman year Some students are forced to work in order to pay off student loans, to pay car insurance and other bills, while other students are

blessed with the opportunity to focus solely on academics and have the leisure of enjoying the college life without worrying about the coming week’s work schedule. Then there are the other students, the student athletes, who also have quite the load, but these students work ethic goes hardly noticed, as they attend

classes, basketball practices, and earn the library/study hall hours weekly. There is much more to the student-athlete than most can see. Student athletes have a job, and that job is to maintain the grade point average required of them in order to remain on their sports team, and than there’s their other job, to perform in the sport which they play. To those who have never had to balance schoolwork and athletics it may seem like a breeze, but as hard as it is to grasp, it’s anything but that. Once one becomes a college athlete, it’s work from there on out, there is no more high school hype, no lockers for the cheerleaders to decorate, one simply performs to the best of their ability, and than it’s back to the locker room win or lose to hear the coach announce what time practice is the next day.


Some students are forced to work in order to pay off student loans, to pay car insurance and other bills, while other students are blessed with the opportunity to focus solely on academics and have the leisure of enjoying the college life without worrying about the coming week’s work schedule. Then there are the other students, the student athletes, who also have quite the load, but these students work ethic goes hardly noticed, as they attend classes, basketball practices, and earn the library/study hall hours weekly. There is much more to the student-athlete than most can see. Student athletes have a job, and that job is to maintain the grade point average required of them in order to remain on their sports team, and than there’s their other job, to perform in the sport which they play. To those who have never had to balance schoolwork and athletics it may seem like a breeze, but as hard as it is to grasp, it’s anything but that. Once one becomes a college athlete, it’s work from there on out, there is no more high school hype, no lockers for the cheerleaders to decorate, one simply performs to the best of their ability, and than it’s back to the locker room win or lose to hear the coach announce what

time practice is the next day. Getting back to the dorm later than planned is a norm, and don’t forget those early morning classes in order to make it to study hall and practice the following afternoon. It gets repetitive, but you do it for the love of the game. Here’s an interview we did with Marlon Austin, a player/point guard on Southeastern’s basketball team. mtd: So Marlong, tell us what a typical day is like for you. Marlon: Well I have to go to

class then get study hall hours, and then workout or practice for at least two hours and thirty minutes. mtd: Tell us a little bit about what you do to push yourself when things seem overbearing. Marlon: There have been plenty of times i felt like giving up but what made me push harder was this is a talent that God has given me and i didnt want to waste it. mtd: Tell us a little bit about how you keep yourself in check and keep from getting


tunity to work with the kids during the season. mtd: What kind of effort do you put in to become better at what it is you do? Marlon: Well i put in alot of effort day in and day out its basically like a job. mtd: At the end of the day is it worth it? Marlon: Yes, because if this is something you wanna do then you have to put your all into it because this is a business and anyone can easily come and take your job if you are not making the effort of working hard.

distracted. Marlon: By every night before i lay down i give myself a run down on what I need to do the next day and if something comes up well then i have to switch around my schedule a little bit. mtd: What kind of advice would you give someone whos looking to participate in college sports coming out of

high school? Marlon: The advice I can give is to keep God first and don’t put things off to the last minute. mtd: Where does your sense of motivation come from? Marlon: My family. mtd: What do you enjoy most in doing what you do? Marlon: The thing I enjoy the most is that I get the oppor-


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Crossover Church Puts On For Their City: Reaching out to the Urban Youth


Many people may have never heard of Crossover Church, of Tampa, Florida, but those who have, know they shed a whole new light on the term evangelize. Crossover Church is a Church that’s seeking out those who don’t want “Church as usual,’ those who never quite understood why growing up, they never understood all the hype about this Jesus character. Crossover Church is a Church after the urban youth, and those who have a desire for more of Christ, and a passion for hiphop. It’s unlike any Church experience many have ever encountered, it’s the furthest thing from your typical Church experience. While currently relocating, Crossover Church has moved out of their old facility, and are currently holding services at the Comfort Inn Conference Center at 820 East Busch Blvd, Tampa, Florida. Attending Crossover Church for your first time, depending on which service, you will have quite the experience. Whether it’s on Sunday mornings, service at 10:00am and 11:45am where you will get your dose of Church bought to you with a Hip-Hop/ Urban twist, or Sunday night Vibe, where they hold the Church service at 7:00pm and afterwards have a guest artist who will perform for the remainder of the night. They do these 7:00pm services to bring out that ‘rougher crowd, that can’t get up in the morning,” according to Pastor Tommy, head pastor at Crossover. Pastor Tommy has expressed throughout articles and writings in Crossover’s own magazine titled the ‘Soul Mag,” that with anything different comes critics, and went on to express how Crossover has had it’s share of critics, and those

who look down on the movement Crossover is making. One can only experience the trials and tribulations a ‘Hip-Hop Church’ would bring to the table of those who carry on tradition and such. Crossover Church takes the term ‘reaching out’ to a whole new level, Crossover is a Church that the “urban youth” can relate to. Everything at Crossover is different, from the Praise and worship, to the style of dress. It’s definitely not your typical Church experience. This past January 24, at Crossover’s campus they held their last concert ever, at this location, the “Entermission” concert, hosted by Dj Official, along with Christian Hip-Hop top artists, Lecrae, Trip Lee, This’l, Sho-Baraka, and many more.

Not only did these artists come out for free, but also agreed for portion of the proceeds to go towards Crossover’s new building. As the line built up around the front of the building, the hype began to rise. Kids wearing “1-1-6 Clique” t-shirts, and baseball hats, the crowd was full of young people eager to see the astonishing artists perform. “Not only did the artists

perform but they would also give a brief message about God either before or after they performed,” according to Brock Fleming, currently a student of Southeastern University. At Southeastern University, Crossover Church is pretty well known, due to the fact that Pastor Tommy, also known as “Urban D” was a student at Southeastern, and graduated from Southeastern University a number of years ago, he usually tries to visit Southeastern at least once a semester, to go over Crossover Church’s mission statement, and how they’re reaching out to the urban youth, and how they don’t do Church as usual. Attending a Crossover Church event or service, you’re likely to experience a whole new form of worship, and a different crowd than what you’re used to. This, for many, might take some getting used to, with the normal apparel being t-shirts and even baseball hats, as they attempt to make people feel welcome while still bringing the God’s word to light. The “Entermission,” concert was one to be remembered at Crossover, not only because it was their last event at the campus, but because of the artists that attended, and even stayed afterwards to sign autographs, take pictures, and just talk with the people on a personal level. It was a beautiful thing, and really an experience to be able to get on a personal level with the artists, who after the concert made their way to the back of Crossover, where CD’s were for sale, posters, T-Shirts and apparel, while the artists freely chatted, and socialized with the members and visitors at Crossover. This isn’t ones typical experience at a hip-hop concert, in


“ENTERMISSION”


Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19


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Sense of Encouragement from the Editor

Throughout this magazine it has been my attempt to encourage and uplift fellow readers, and to acknowledge a few individuals who were reaching to make the difference. The overall purpose of this magazine is to acknowledge those individuals, but also to have some sort of guidance for those who are trying to figure out how it is they can have a positive impact on the world, and to live a life that is pleasing to our heavenly Father. The intention of this magazine is not to push religion, not to tell others “Hey, you should do this,” but rather to be a source of encouragement and inspiration for those who are stuck wondering “what else can I do?” I’d like to think of it more of an experience, than just your ordinary magazine. Many people have passions in life, many people have dreams, many people have desires and goals they want to accomplish within their lifetime. I see it like this, if somehow, some way, I can help those people in the slightest way, than my mission was carried out. This magazine represents the passion inside of me to bring success to others, to help and encourage others to get to where they want to be, to give those living true to their self and true to God, the recognition they deserve. So may we all continue to encourage and uplift others, not for the means of getting something in return, but rather the simple fact of doing something special for someone else. (Sewing that seed) May we love, may we forgive, may we live! So, thank you all for checking out the magazine, thank you for taking your time to read through these articles, interviews, etc. I pray that you can take some source of inspiration from it, and carry it with you throughout this journey we call life. Your Editor, Mike Trivett (mctrivett@seuniversity.edu)


making: process of growth or development the difference: the quality of being unlike or dissimiliar


Making the Difference