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Vessel’s Note Third Issue!!!! Yeahhh Boy!!! I am so on fire right now. The 1st 2 issues (which were a combo issue) did well. My church family was so supportive. Shout out to Lighthouse Cathedral! To my Pastor Maurice C. Trent and 1st Lady Mary Trent (who is in the photo with me). I hope you enjoyed issues 1 & 2, here’s 3. As always hit me with comments, suggestions, etc. or

Darnica Gordon To God be the Glory!



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Pittsburgh’s Own

DJ Uncle E

Check out D J Uncle E live @ And also on 92.1fm WPTS 5PM-7PM every Friday starting 5-6-11

 C.I.U

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I’m not pretty….or cute….or fine. These are man’s labels. Instead I have beauty divine. From the one creator who enables me I'm pretty? What kind of pretty? Ugly, pretty plain, pretty pitiful? nah, I’m beautiful I’m cute? As a what? A button, a puppy, cute as a kitten? Hey, look at me, you gotta be kiddin’ I’m fine? How am I? Like sand, like print, like fine wine? Dude, don’t waste my time. Pretty, cute, fine? None of the above apply, I live not by the standard of man. But by the standard of the one who can supply. No, not a hot mama, or a baby girl, boy you’re a mess but my children shall arise call me blessed, because my heavenly father say so. Not thick, or stacked, or built with brick house bricks but my body is the temple of the living GOD, and while you judge me with earthly eyes to GOD, I’m the perfect fit, I’m the perfect size don’t have rapunzels pony tail, or goldilocks’ weave but my hair is my glory, can you even perceive? Don’t need you to holler, or even to spit game my way but a blessing would be nice as i go throughout the day and why real quick, for a second or a minute? Can’t you take the time to know me, put some effort in it? Dude you shouldn’t even bother, so how would you answer this, do you even know my Father? And no, I’m not a ride or die chick, nor am I willing to be. And no I won’t tell a lie. Or let you lie on me. And just cause I tell the truth, it doesn’t make me a snitch and don’t even shape your mouth to call me a b...... C.I.U

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and what u mean move in, can’t we first get hitched? So that you won’t leave me alone without a stitch, in a ditch, what do you mean, we’re gonna be rich? You expect me to fall for that lame pitch? I’m glad that I can follow the master’s plan, created by my GOD who came as a man, and left his spirit as my comforter. So you expect some applause? For what cause? Cause you were nice, showed some respect? Cause you do what you should and what I expect of you? Ok, I will say thanks but your true reward is on reserve, heaven or hell? God will give what you rightly deserve. Trying to come at me with that sorry line, so let me warn you for next time My name is Beautiful and I don’t respond to pretty, cute, or fine.


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“A Touch of Elegance” By Mary Hill

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This book was an awesome

Where do I go is an awesome

read. Not

book about a woman who is use

only did

to doing

the author


open up

for her

about her


past and

his way

how God


had to


work on


her, but


she opens

like dirty

your eyes to view situations in

until she

another light.

comes across a homeless woman ,which leads her to a homeless shelter, where she ends up working. In finding this job she not only finds herself but God.


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Words of the Lord Hebrews 12:11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. See being out in the world it’s all about money. You’re always trying to find new ways to get more. Sell this, play the lottery, use payday loans and close your bank account. Even cash checks that you know are not real. For example, I received a check in the mail that said I had won a sweepstakes of some sort for $4000.00. Now me being a babe in Christ I was struggling with cashing it or ripping it up. So I folded it up and put it in my purse. For days I was struggling with cashing it or not. I asked my husband as well as some ladies from my church. Long story short against my better judgment and what God was telling me to do I cashed the check. It was as if I had no self-control. At first I took out like $200. God told me to put it back. I tried to reason with him. “I’ll just spend this $200”. “No Nica, put it back”, God said. I didn’t listen. I believe in the course of 2 days, I hit the back of some lady’s car; I got pulled over for a bald tire even though I was parked, and the cops were looking for ME for an unrelated situation. I ended up using the couple dollars that I took out for the bald tire and the unrelated situation. Once I got everything “squared away” I still didn’t feel like it was done. Once I figured out why I was like, “NOOOOO”. I had to tell my husband all that had happened and I so didn’t want to. But once I did I was able to exhale. I was being punished for being disobedient and not practicing self control. I could have easily ripped that check up and threw it away but I didn’t and had to learn the hard way that I should have just listened.


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hese three ladies (the fourth, Krystal Peek, not photographed) let me in on a little secret. They love God and love showing it through their gift, rapping, but they feel there is a lot of division in the ministry. Even though they go harder than the next the ladies agreed on one thing. They have a hard time up against their bothers in Christ. They have said that it’s hard being a female rapper even under God. Excel and Ladi Order agreed that they have to prove themselves, showing they have a right to be on the mic as well. Ranika doesn’t experience this problem as much being as though she is a spoken word artist, but still gets the “Oh here come this female, what she bout to bring?”, attitude from people. In having a husband that does music ministry I see a lot of guys who rap for the Lord, but not as many ladies. I’ve been to a handful of events and I believe these are the only ladies I have seen. So Ladi, Excel, Ranika, and Kryse…STAND UP!!!


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Shampagnne Ladi Order Humphries, Born and raised here in Pittsburgh, I'm the oldest of my mothers’ five children. At the tender age of eight I was removed from her care along with my siblings. We were all placed in various foster homes throughout the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas. It was at that moment my life began to spiral out of control. Coping with the absence of my parents was one of the hardest things for me. I spent a sufficient about of time in my early adolescence trying to fill the void of not having them in my life. I attempted to fill the void with drugs, alcohol and bad relationships. After several failed attempts I finally reach the point of understanding that it was impossible. It was then I cried out to God with everything that I was, everything I wasn't, and everything I wanted to be. Immediately I felt his presence. Through his presence I have found my purpose. I have no greater joy then when I am praising the Lord with my words. Rather it's spoken word, rap, or a song writing has become my ministry. I have even been giving the privilege of ministering with my son and fiance. God has indeed blessed me and I have


every intention on continuing to be a blessing for I truly believe that I was born for my brothers/sisters day of adversity. Krystal Peek I had always been aware that there was a God. The problem with that was I had no fear of Him. I never acknowledge him in His power or authority over me. At one point in my life I realize that there was something more that I needed. It was no longer alcohol or boyfriends. It had to be something that wouldn't drain me until I was completely empty and depressed. I then began to run into numerous Christians who were not ashamed to be young and saved. The young and saved part really made me think that it wasn't for old people. God really began to change my life because I no longer wanted to be around what I used to find comfort in. I wanted to be around Christians. I had really seen the Glory of God. In his "amazing position" He had made time for me. Time to love me, and reveal his word to me. With an amazing savior willing to lay down His life for my sin, why would I not make myself available to Him.

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Ranika Chaney Motivational Speaker & Spoken Word artist

attend Bible studies and would share the Gospel and personal experiences through spoken word.

My name is Ranika Chaney. I’m 26 years old and I am originally from a little place called Saint Rose, Louisiana, right outside of New Orleans. Praise God my mom took me to church when I was a little girl. I’m not sure where I would be if it were not for youth groups and Sunday school. I was 5 years old when I accepted Christ as my personal Savior and got baptized at Mt. Zion Baptist church in my hometown.

Upon returning to Loyola New Orleans, I realized more and more the importance of living a life fully for God and not just in parts. I began a Bible study with about 4 other friends that year (spring 2006). It was evident once we all returned from our different places after Katrina that we were seeking something much more to hold onto. We were looking for Christ.

In 2007, I graduated from Loyola University New Orleans in New Orleans, Louisiana. However, I would say that after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, my relationship with God changed in an incredible way. Like everyone else in New Orleans during that time, I had to leave the city. I attended Saint Louis University for one semester before returning back to New Orleans. In Saint Louis, I had one mentor, in particular, who accepted me with open arms and taught me more about Christ than I could ever expect. She helped me evaluate if I was living a life fully unto God’s glory. It was also in Saint Louis where I began to express myself more in the form of spoken word and poetry. I C.I.U

Furthermore, I decided to use my gifts even more so for God’s glory by taking an internship in Pittsburgh, Pa. So, for the summer of 2006 I was working with inner city youth, teaching them the love of Christ, and caring for them. It was also there that I met my husband. That’s an amazing story in itself, also. After graduation, I returned to Pittsburgh, Pa to live. That was a difficult time for me—leaving my family again, beginning seminary and eventually leaving seminary to work in youth ministry. It was also a difficult time being newly married and soon after becoming pregnant with our now 1 ½ year old, hilarious baby girl. I praise God for it all because He is showing me more and more—through good and Cont. on Pg. 16

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Melvin Jones Sophomore Video

“Movin’ on up” Directed by Lamar Godson


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difficult times—that I am His and not my own. I belong to Christ Jesus, and it’s not the Ranika show, as I like to say. I see how much God loves me and everyone He has created. He loves us all so much. Today, I am a motivational speaker and spoken word artist, speaking at churches, colleges, youth events, concerts and other places spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ through spoken word and music. I also work for Hip Hop on Lock in Pittsburgh, Pa. It is an arts education and mentoring program that teaches kids how to create positive music, digital and video recording. There, I serve as a writing mentor. In addition, I am a writer for one of Pittsburgh’s magazines called “Soul Pitt”. One of my most exciting ministry tools is the web. I use my website,, to spread the Gospel of Jesus through spoken word, music and a weekly blog. I use the blog as a way to confess my sins, allow


others to open up and point to Christ Jesus for everything. My desire is that it can also help those who do not, yet, know Christ Jesus. My prayer is that they would come to know Him, and accept Him as the Master and Lord of their lives. There is also a Prayer Requests section on the website where people, including, myself post personal prayer requests, prayers for America and our world. I make sure I spend time in prayer as each request comes in. The hope and belief is that others reading the site will also be praying for one another. In the end, I can speak all over the world, have millions of people going to the website and serve thousands of children, but if it’s not for Christ, what’s the point? The point in everything is to give God glory and to do the work of my Father in heaven. And well, it all begins at home—doing the things people can’t see—calling on Jesus as His child, as a wife and as a mother. That’s where the work begins. Only with Christ.

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Michelle "Excel" Foster, soon to be Coleman, was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania the McKeesport area. She along with her brothers and sister, had a rough time throughout their childhood. Facing the hardships of low income, having drug addicted parents who separated while she was two, and dealing with child protective services the 7 year old Michelle had only her siblings to rely on. She was introduced to Jesus Christ, at the age of 11, by her older brother Michael. Michelle recalls the many days and nights she, and her


brother Michael, would pray together for the lives of their parents and family. With a mind filled with confusion and a loving heart drowned in hurt and pain, the now 12 year old Michelle expressed her emotions through poetry; which was the root to her love for rap. Michelle has been rapping since she was 13, but started to minister the Gospel of Jesus Christ through rap at the age of 16. She got the name “Excel” from her brother in Christ “Purpose”, who is also a gospel rapper. He gave her the name due to her drive for accomplishment. From city, to state, to the world... I give you, "Excel!"

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Coffee with Sister Doris Dear Sister Doris, I am an overweight woman that was told that being fat is sinful. Is this true? Can I go to hell for being fat? I follow God’s word, but I am concerned that my love for cupcakes, gyros, and Chi-Chi’s two for $20 will send me to hell. Please help me. Thank you, Fat in the Burgh

The Burgh, Thank you so much for taking the time out to talk to Sister Doris. Let me get the pot off the stove then we can chit chat. Well Ms. Burgh, is it ok if I call you that? Ms. Burgh, the LORD loves you regardless of your size or weight. When people are dancing in church, my momma used to call it “Catching the Holy Ghost.” Now with that said, because you are carrying so much weight, you might have a hard time dancing for the Lord when you “catch the Holy Ghost.” You may have a hard time walking the streets evangelizing. You may even have unnecessary health problems because of your poor diet. But I have not read a scripture that says “fat people go to hell.” Now, what I do know is that we are supposed to be disciples for Christ. In order to be disciples, we must be disciplined. A disciplined life doesn’t only mean that you do not live a sinful life, but being disciplined in all areas of your life. That includes, being on time, watching what we eat, and governing what we watch on TV. We gotta keep the flesh in submission to the Spirit. There is also the issue of gluttony. Proverbs 23:21 states for the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty: and drowsiness shall clothe [a man] with rags. Drowsiness is what we call the “Itis.” If Gluttony is your issue, you consume lots of food or drink just for the sake of eating it (not because you are hungry), then that needs to be dealt with quickly. We are to be stewards over what God has given us. Gluttony will have you spending unnecessary money and trying to fill voids with food instead of with the Spirit of God. The Holy Spirit is supposed to fill you, not cupcakes. Let the Word of God fill voids and you can save the dollars you would spend on C.I.U

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gyros for the up building of the Kingdom of God and your retirement. I hope our talk helped. I pray that the next time I see you; you are in a healthier place both spiritually and physically.

Until next time, Sister Doris will be praying for you all.


TWO THUMBS UP! Raves CIU magazine

Get your copy @


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Christ It Up Magazine