M.E.X MAGAZINE | ISSUE 4
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My First with Nathan Jess
Ones to Watch 2012
Cover Story 78 - The Riots on Rewind
009 Welcome to M.E.X Magazine Issue 6. Happy New Year everyone. 2012 has already stared off great for us. God has done so many great things. Since the last Magazine Adam has got married to the love of his life Estelle, and is loving every minute of it. We’ve also launched out into new areas of music and media and seeing some great things happening for us. It was January last year that we sat in our parents living room and Adam said “let’s do a magazine” to which I replied “Let’s do it bruv.” It’s amazing to think that it’s been just over a year already... Oh how the time flies. Who would’ve thought that we’d see the number of M.E.X readers go from thousands, to tens of thousands and finally reaching over one hundred thousand unique readers (and that is just issue 5, not all of the previous issues combined); all from Adam’s statement which I must say I’m very happy I responded positively too.
We’re working on improving M.E.X and making it even more interactive and also compatible with mobile devices. If you’re an Apple user (iPad, iPhone or iPod) and want to read the past issues of M.E.X on Your device (which I must say makes a great reading experience) you can use these links and download them on to your device and open them in the FREE app, iBooks. Issue Issue Issue Issue Issue
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Also, we’d love to encourage you to subscribe to M.E.X. It’s totally free to subscribe and in the coming months there is going to be many, many free give-a-ways of great Christian music and other great products that you’ll only be able to win if you’re a subscriber. We’re working on communicating better with you all in 2012 and making your experience with us a much more enjoyable one. If all of that appeals to you... You know what to do! Peace & Love
Adam & Matt Brooks
Co-Founders & Editors of M.E.X Magazine
Watch Now Watch Our new trailer for MBTV on Youtube
Watch #OnTheRoad Our interview with the guys from WriteWay Music
It might be short and simple, but the title of the a unique mission - often overseas, always doing latest Hillsong LIVE album is packed with God- something to overcome injustice and build the inspired wisdom and Kingdom-shaped truth. In Kingdom here on earth. It’s a great time and I’m every season, in every situation, being reminded always amazed and encouraged by the passion and that God Is Able can help keep hearts on fire and commitment which people put into it. Many will put lives on track. How do I know this? Because that’s aside extra money all year so that they can lend precisely what I’ve experienced for myself. their support. So, knowing this was coming up, I wanted to write a song that reminded us of God’s But this is not going to be a testimony piece. My amazing ability to use our generosity in powerful life has been no harder, no more dramatic than ways. When it comes to the matter of giving, anyone else’s. Yes, there have been times of great generous hands will never be empty because - as rejoicing, times of suffering, tears of happiness and we are reminded in Ephesians 3 - God is able to tears of sorrow, and some of you will have known do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine. greater grace, more dramatic rescues or harder journeys home to our Father. So I suppose I should have seen it coming. I thought the song would inspire people a little, encourage The lessons and experiences that I want to share them in their giving and maybe lead some to think are the ones that are woven in and out of the about the ways in which God could transform songs on God Is Able. These songs are packed with others through their kindness. I had no idea that the meaning, each one slightly different, but together three simple words - God is able - would become they unite to form something far louder and larger. so important to us, but they did. As Australia was Together they are stronger. shocked by floods and cyclones, as we watched our neighbors deal with earthquakes and saw The title song was written last year with a specific friends from further away go through the horrors weekend in mind. We were approaching our annual of further earthquakes, tsunami and nuclear crisis, event where we gather as a church and make those three little words became our anchor in the a deliberate choice to give money in support of storm. Troubles come, but God is Able. Sorrow rips
at the soul, but God is Able. Hope appears lost, but God is still - always and forever Able. What started out as a song of celebration ended up sustaining us through our desperation. Isn’t that a great illustration of the power of praise? What happens when our hands are lifted high can often end up helping us when our heads hang low. So many of the songs on the album are linked by this theme of overcoming - from “Rise” to “The Lost Are Found,” “With Us” to “You Are More” - and yet it is not an album of laments. This sort of paradox is typical of worship, and it seems to me that there is always something upside down about singing songs to God. I suppose it’s even there in the titles: we start with “Rise” and come towards the end with “The Cry of the Broken.” Normally it’s the brokenness that precedes the standing up, but in God’s order everything is different: when we rise up and sing it, there should never be too long before we’re aware of the world beyond the walls and our call to be among the people whose journey back to God is still in motion. The other day I heard someone say that some people meet Jesus on the road to Damascus, but for others, their conversion is more like the road to Emmaus: a gradual realization that Jesus is with them, alongside them, igniting their hearts and opening their eyes. It struck me that this is another good thing to remember - not just when we are praying for our friends and family who do not yet know God for themselves, but for those of us within the church as well. Sometimes God acts with such power we are left stunned and silent, but at other times, He works quietly, almost imperceptibly, gently warming our hearts to Him. Remembering this makes me even more amazed at the power of those three little words that sit on the cover of the album: God is able to work in ways that we can never hope to predict. One last thing... If you take a look at the album cover you will see some pretty fancy, handmade art. It took a long time and a lot of patience to create the piece, and again it’s a beautiful illustration of church. Thread is such a fragile thing, and only when it is combined with other strands can it really begin to stand out. Isn’t that just like the local church? None of us are strong enough on our own, but together we are stronger. And there’s one essential ingredient we must never forget: it is only when these threads are taken in the hands of the artist and transformed over time that they become something that is truly beautiful and beautifully true.
hat is so special about you? What is it that makes you unique and one of a kind? Your experiences, the things that you have gone through, your challenges your disappointment and your triumphs have actually added value to you as an individual. Let me ask you another question. What is the difference between a piece of fabric and a designer garment with a fantastic price label on it? It is the process that that piece of fabric has gone through, the cutting, the stitching, the pressing along with the design and the experience of the designer, his artistry, his eye for putting colours and finishing touches together to create a dynamic impact in the eye, mind and taste of the buyer who will value what has been done with the fabric.
When we look at a garment in the shop window we never spare a thought for the pieces that have been cut away whether it is a shoe a dress or a bag. We see only the object of our desire, that part which has been processed. The greatest finishing touch of all is the label in the garment, its final value determined by the name on the label. Whose name is on your label.? A designer label lifts you from ordinary and promotes you into the realm of extra ordinary.
Twenty-first century living is fast moving and determines that there is very little time to actually give to our maker much less giving Him a free hand with our talents gifts and abilities. Yet the word says Humour me a little while longer as I want to share ‘it is He who hath made us and not we ourselves’. with you that you are just like that piece of fabric, David rejoiced over himself and declared ‘I am purchased by the designer of designers who already fearfully and wonderfully made, marvellous are knows the expected outcome that He has for this thy works’. We are the result of intelligent design, material. Rather than being devalued by your deliberate and purposeful. experiences and challenges they add to the texture and tone of your life customizing you for the very We were not mass produced but carefully and purpose for which you were born. Have you noticed individually crafted to fill a particular need. that the pain and the testing usually come before You buy a warm coat because you need something to you get your result? keep you warm in the winter, or boots or whatever As He cuts into your fabric using the scissor of it is to suit your purpose. God created you to fulfil a heartache, the chalk of disappointment (because purpose far greater than a shoe a hat or a coat. You disappointments usually fade) but always with the were born to make a difference, to meet a need to running stitch of direction, He begins to define your fill a purpose. life, a dart here or there bringing shape and style, so that it’s a perfect fit, making this designer garment Please determine today that you will live life with direction and momentum. desirable. Every Blessing.
Contributor - Yvonne Brooks
Links http://www.twitter.com/yvonnebrookstv http://www.facebook.com/yvonnebrookstv http://www.yvonnebrooks.tv
E.O.W (Expressions Of Worship) is a ministry
from London, England founded my Pastor Tony Clarke that ministers in varying ways meeting the needs of the community and bringing souls to Christ. One of E.O.W’s ministries is worship through music and 2011 saw them release their debut album ‘Spirit Of Praise’ which brought a refreshing change to the UK Gospel scene. In this interview we get to know more the ministry and exactly what they’re trying to achieve. For our readers from all around the world who may not know who you are, tell us a bit about you, your music, who/what influences you and finally how you got where you are today. “We’re an urban Christian music group, made up of a great mix of different individuals from all walks of life. The majority of the group are in their early and mid-twenties. The name E.O.W stands for ‘Expressions Of Worship’ which was established by Pastor Tony Clarke, the visionary of E.O.W in 1998 when God spoke to him about worship being more than a song and also being an act that is representative of a lifestyle that truly reflects Godly-character rather than religion or tradition. E.O.W’s mandate is to echo the sound of God’s heart and love for His people through their lifestyle of worship and therefore hope to establish God’s kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Initially E.O.W was more conference based and God would give Pastor Tony songs to sing that would go with the theme of each conference. In 2009 God established E.O.W the church and the end of 2010 God spoke to Pastor Tony about doing the debut album ‘Spirit Of Praise’.” “The album reflects what we’re truly about. Each song has a unique style and sound, the album is very eclectic and effectively demonstrates how once different sounds are placed together the entire sound can create a harmonious collective.” There’s a lot of buzz about E.O.W here in the UK... Why do you think that is? “The U.K is definitely crying out for something fresh and E.O.W definitely fit into a niche that is not entirely catered for, the group is quite diverse and represent a variety of people so they genuinely relate to a vast majority in and outside the UK from different backgrounds and ages.“ “Something that we try to do is stay true to ourselves. There’s no point trying to create a new sound… All we are doing is echoing what God has already said but doing it in a way that
He specifically said we should do it. Obedience is key in everything we do and that makes us original. We’re not trying to compete or compare ourselves to anyone we’re just doing what God told us to do and how God told us to do it. People really love and respect that about us.” “Our heart is to bring unity to the kingdom of God and connect the different entities together, just as God divinely connected us as a group of individuals from all walks of life. People in and out of the church want to connect, but they don’t always know how and E.O.W definitely want to show people how to connect and relate to each other so that we can connect and relate to God our creator because if we don’t know how to love our brothers and sisters who we see everyday how can we say we love a God who we can not see?” Because we’re so bold in declaring basic Biblical truths in a way that people relate to we have seen a universal appeal towards what we’re doing and what we’re about which we are extremely grateful to God for. Why did you choose the name Expressions Of Worship? “When God spoke to Pastor Tony in 1998, the message God gave him was about Christians not conforming to cultural, traditional or religious customs that make their service to God about works rather than worship. God took Pastor Tony to two main scriptures in the Bible; Isaiah 29 where God says that the Pharisees offer lip service but their hearts are far from him; and in Matthew 15 where Jesus speaks to the Pharisees after they confront him about his disciples not washing their hands before they eat and He calls them hypocrites stating that it’s not what goes into you that defiles you but what comes out of you that defiles you. God began to reveal to Pastor Tony that worship is more than religious practices but it’s a lifestyle demonstrating Godly character through daily actions.” How have you found the process of writing songs and music that really express the heart of worship with a modern interpretation? “Writing the songs for the album was extremely enjoyable; some of the songs such as ‘Spirit Of Praise’ and ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ have been sung by the group for years and were written by Pastor Tony through expressing his life experiences or birthed from conferences that we have conducted in the past. Other songs
were written specifically for the album such as ‘New Day’, however every song from the album was written from a consistent place of truth, and a place of worship which is highlighted in our lifestyles. All the songs relate to real life, expressing praise and worship from different aspects of life which most people can identify with.” What would you say to the person who pigeonholes worship to a genre of music or even based on whether a song is fast or slow? “That person is sadly limiting the expression of God. When worship is not limited to a genre of music, God is able to express Himself fully and that’s what it’s all about… Our expressions prompt God’s expressions and enhances our intimacy as we’re able to make our worship personal and sincere.” What has been your biggest challenge as a group (from the start of the journey until now)? “As we’re such a big group it meant dealing with a lot of different characters and learning how to effectively work together, supporting each other and not losing focus concerning the vision. We had to be determined not to allow other influences to affect the project in anyway shape or form. Just as importantly; we had to remind ourselves that sometimes as a group we have to put aside our own agenda and really submit to God’s will and how God wants us to do things.” You’re all from the same Church and sing together in the worship team? What was the defining moment where you realised God had called you to more? (recording an album etc.) “It’s always been clear from the beginning that God has great things that He wants E.O.W to accomplish and we knew the album was one of the things God had wanted us to do for a long time. However we are very aware of doing thing’s within God’s divine timing because this leads to divine favour and divine favour leads to divine connections, which allows us to exercise a Biblical principle, and kingdom currency, which is faith rather than money. Because although we know God will bless us we’d rather store up riches in heaven by doing things God’s way and for His glory as opposed to making a name for ourselves or losing focus of God’s original mandate for us as a group.” You’re made up of a lot of young people. How has that impacted the type of songs and music you create?
“What’s been amazing about the diversity of ages within the group is that everyone has been willing to submit to the vision of the album, it wasn’t necessarily about a type or style of music it was more about obeying the vision and doing it how God wanted it done, singing from a place where we’re able to proclaim God’s greatness, declare His love and express His heart.” How important are young people to the Kingdom of God? “Young people are extremely important because they represent this present generation and the movement of transformation. This generation are fearless and creative enough to implement the transition that is taking place in the kingdom due to the changing times. They are not driven by religious hang-ups but they are motivated by the Spirit of God and they are willing to obey whole-heartedly.” We know that with many artists, when they release an album it’s a reflection of where they’re at in their lives. What does ‘Spirit Of Praise’ say about where you are as a group and which song do you think represents that best? “At the moment we are in a place where God is manifesting a lot of His promises and every song signifies God’s heart and vision for where we are and where we’re going. We are continually growing and being perfected to reflect God’s image, we’re continually being challenged to be transparent and real about our weaknesses, we’re continually encouraged to praise God through the trials and worship through the hurt. Every song on the album echo’s a cry or call to worship, to make our lives fully about worship.” What’s next for you, what can people expect from you in 2012? “Well we released our album last year which we are extremely excited about so really what we’re doing now is promoting the album and just trying to get the message across. We’ll be touring, we’ll be implementing our ‘Let’s Connect’ Campaign trying to connect people in the kingdom together so that we can work effectively as a body and establish God’s kingdom here on earth as it is in heaven. So our key goal for this year is just expansion and moving forward with the vision of E.O.W, remaining obedient and submissive to God’s word.”
What is the long-term goal? The long-term goal is to continue expanding. We recorded the album in association with our own independent record label Audio Solutionz, so weâ€™ll continue to work on building and expanding that part of the project as well as continuing our inhouse production, manufacturing and publishing. We want to launch our work in the community and continue working with other organisations to propel the Gospel forward.
http://expressionsofworship.org.uk http://youtube.com/eowministry http://facebook.com/pages/EOW/196205420413775 http://eowmusic.tumblr.com http://reverbnation.com/eowmusic http://soundcloud.com/eow_artist Follow us on twitter @EOW_Music
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Networking is one of the most important components of being successful in business. Often times it’s not what you know, but who you know. Networking is defined as developing and maintaining contact with people who can help you advance within your career. It is however important to keep in mind that networking is a two way street; reciprocity is key.
connecting with you for what you have, not who you are. None of us want to feel used. When networking seems disingenuous, it can truly suck the life out of the party so to speak; but remain positive, have fun, and continue to be open to the positive aspects of networking within your business community.
Below are the “Ten Commandments” of Networking is so much more networking that have worked than “working a room” and best for me over the years. passing your business cards If you follow these 10 rules out to as many people as you of networking, you’ll be well possibly can. Think quality vs. on your way to becoming a quantity in your approach. successful networker, making I’d rather have two solid the most out of every business contacts and good meaningful opportunity and relationship conversations at the end that comes your way. of a networking event than multiple names and contacts 1) Thou Shall attend with no real substance or conferences, seminars, and foundation laid for potential events within your field business ventures in the future. 2) Thou Shall be genuine in your approach and build Many people enter relationships vs. contacts networking situations with 3) Thou Shall follow up on an opportunistic approach. A referrals within 24 to 48 hours ”what’s in it for me” or “give 4) Thou Shall Not Name Drop me all of your contacts now” unless absolutely necessary mentality is an immediate turn 5) Thou Shall not seem off and sure-fire way to set desperate yourself up for failure in the 6) Thou Shall offer resources business world. The reality is and contacts before asking for that relationships have to be someone else’s built over time in order to build 7) Thou Shall protect your trust, which will eventually relationships lead to sharing business 8) Thou Shall learn the art of relationships. Be genuine in reciprocity your approach and make sure 9) Thou shall not be nervous or that you as a networker have anxious about connecting with something of value to offer new business relationships in exchange for what you are 10) Above all Thou Shall seeking. Above all, remember remember to have a good time to beware of opportunists and enjoy yourself! posing as associates,
About The Author: Steven L. Jones is co-founder and CEO of VGS&L Entertainment, a company who represents urban and mainstream clientele and brands alike, helping to identify the best ways of increasing brand visibility on a global scale through a series of integrated marketing and branding strategies. After graduating from college in 2003 with degrees in both Communication and Business administration, Steven and three fellow Ohio State University Alumni formed an entertainment company (VGS&L). Launching their first event in September of 2004, the company went on to plan, execute, market, brand and produce their own successful events reaching hundreds of thousands from the mid-west and united states at large. Jones built a fast reputation as a creative mind and credible interface between major brands and targeted brand initiatives, spearheading major campaigns and brokering deals with the likes or Coca-Cola, South West Airlines and L’Oreal at the very inception of his career. Under his direction, the company began working with personalities in the entertainment industry as full time clientele, cross promoting their respective brands with established corporate brands for maximum exposure. Steven’s past and current clientele include Colgate, Palm-Olive, L’Oreal, Softsheen Carson, Verizon Wireless, Chrysler Financial, Regina King, Terri J Vaughn, Angie Stone, Sony BMG, Columbia Records, Zomba Label group, BET, ABC Family Channel, as well as Grammy Award winning platinum selling faith based artists Mary Mary, Tye Tribbett, Kierra Sheard of the Legendary Clark Sisters dynasty.
Web: http://www.vgslentertainment.com Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/VGSL Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/IAMSTEVEJONES
M.E.X MAGAZINE | ISSUE 4
Barry Southgate ‘Epitome’ EP Review ‘Epitome’ is the latest project from former Australian Idol contestant and all-round talented man Barry Southgate and can only be described as soul-infused Pop music. ‘Don’t You Think’ kicks of the album with a soulful mid-tempo song with minimalistic production that fuses a Reggae styled guitar riff with a soulful bass line, solid grooving beat and choppy piano making a groovy song with a great chilled out and summer feeling about it. ‘The Fall’ is another groovy song which will definitely get your head nodding and is definitely more Pop-Soul than ‘Don’t You Think’. It features some great vocal arrangements and harmonies showcasing Barry’s smooth vocals.
‘Summer Night’ see’s Barry take us to a Pop-Rock style sound. We kept listening for the guitars to come in to truly make the song rock a bit more than it did. This song is definitely one full of emotion and it would’ve been great to hear a little more of that passion in Barry’s vocals. The vocals are still smooth and laid-back but it would have been nice to hear the rough edges and ‘rasp’ in his voice on this song. ‘You’ has a vibe similar to something you may hear on a Musiq Soulchild album. A love song that will make you think of the person you’re in love with which is the theme for all of the other songs so far on the album. ‘Against A Wall’ is very current and represents what’s currently in the charts
almost falling under the Pop ballad category but not quite. Can’t help but think that a feature with another vocalist would have really lifted this song and added a different dynamic to it. ‘Epitome’ is a good EP and shows Barry’s great vocal abilities as well as his songwriting abilities. It’s a love/relationship themed EP which the single, dating or married can all relate to in some way and enjoy. Matt Brooks M.E.X Rating
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Richard Smallwood with Vision Promises
Casting Crowns Come to the Well I must admit, this is the first time I have ever listened to a record by Casting Crowns. Casting Crowns, as many are aware, are a typical American Christian rock band, with big crunching guitars and husky male lead vocals. I never have been attracted to that Nickleback-type sound, however, I must say this album took me by surprise! Not so much the musicality of it, but rather the indepth lyrical content. Similar to country music, Casting Crowns have an incredible way of music to a story. Each song had me gripped! One of my favourites has to be ‘City on a Hill’, a metaphorical account of a city, in which the people have all turned against each other; a picture of how today’s 21st-century church looks. ‘One by one, they ran away. With their made up minds to leave it all behind’: A sad image of the reality of the church. ‘Jesus, Friend of Sinners’ reminds us that Jesus walked among the prostitutes and tax collectors, asking God to ‘help us see the world at the end of our pointing fingers’. Interestingly with this album, CC don’t stick to strictly Christian songs. Songs like ‘Just Another Birthday’, ‘Wedding Day’, and ‘Angel’ are all songs that deal with real human emotions, songs of loss, and of love. Songs that the listener can easily relate to, Christian or not. I like this about the album. While there is no doubt Casting Crowns are a christian rock band, I find it an important trait to consider the listener. Yes, we go through feelings of missing people, loving people, hoping to find that special someone. Can I be so brave as to say, sometimes calling it ‘a storm’ or ‘trial or test’ just doesn’t lift my spirit. I want to hear how YOU, the artist overcame that situation and what can I learn from it! Casting Crowns do this brilliantly throughout the album: they ask questions, but also give great solutions. This album was a surprise to me. As it ends with two quiet ballads, ‘Face Down’ and ‘So Far to Find You’, I find myself caught up in the wonder and majesty of God. Casting Crowns have done so well to incorporate so many important factors into this album. In my mind, many artists could learn a lot from listening to their writing style and melodies. I can now safely call myself a Casting Crowns fan! Joseph Perry
Richard Smallwood. If you haven’t had an up-bringing in Gospel music, it’s likely you will not have heard of Richard Smallwood. However, I’m sure many of you will be familiar with Gospel classic, ‘Total Praise’, probably Smallwood’s biggest hit! You may also be familiar with his piano playing. Trained classically from a very young age, his classical piano accompaniment has become renowned in Gospel music. He is featured playing piano on Kirk Franklin’s hit song, ‘Don’t Cry’. And now, Richard Smallwood, along with his group of singers, Vision, has a brand new album out, entitled, ‘Promises’. I was keen to listen to the album, as I know Smallwood is a fantastic song writer! The album opens with a prelude, of a man with a deep, spooky voice, quoting Biblical promises. I imagine they intended the voice to resemble the voice of God, however, it left me hoping that God doesn’t sound like that at all! Scary, as opposed to comforting! It must be said, that few songs stand out on this record and having listened several times, there is nothing in particular that makes me want to keep it on my iPad playlist. That said, ‘Is There Any Way’, is a personal favourite of mine, purely because of the chorus-like vamp at the end. (I always look forward to that bit!) Songs like ‘God of Promise’, ‘Mender’, and ‘I’m Forgiven’ have that traditional, up-tempo, feel-good vibe to them. One or two listens will see you bopping your head to them, but nothing more. Donald Lawrence features on ‘Facts Are, Truth Is’, probably my favourite song on the album. I find this funny, as Richard Smallwood doesn’t even feature on this particular song. Donald Lawrence, a signature song-writer in Gospel, while one of the best, has a funny way of writing songs with peculiar titles. A listen to the song and you’ll understand the concept behind it: a great reminder that what God says, over rides what our situation appears to say or look like. Overall, this is an album that will be forgotten in the long-run. Smallwood’s singers, Vision, sound awesome throughout the record, the musicianship and production is top notch. However, when the songs are not as strong, you’re fighting a losing battle. This of course is all my opinion and you may absolutely love this album. Each to his own eh ;-) Joesph Perry
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Soul Survivor Worship Remix
‘Soul Survivor Worship Remix’ is a mini album (you could say an EP) of some of worships greatest songs but with a twist… Looking at the track list we saw some of our favourite songs listed such as ‘Jesus Saves,’ ‘Saviour Of The World,’ and ‘Hosanna’. Not knowing what to expect from a CD of worship songs remixed, we were blown away from start to finish by the way Dave Plumb, Ardent Al and The Milkman (remixers/producers) had managed to turn some of the most highly revered, loved and cherished worship songs into what could easily be club anthems and dance floor hits. Stand out tracks are: The classic ‘Saviour Of The World’ which keeps it’s classic vocal melody but is backed by a thumping, driving beat and is enough to get even the most conservative and dance floor shy people of people moving to the beat and singing along to what is probably one of the most singable songs ever written. ‘Jesus Saves’ gives a classic dance styled song with the break-downs and creshendo’s normally attributed to Dance and Electro musical styles. Punchy synth lines and dynamics really bring this song to life and really emphasise the message of the song in a subtle way. ‘Not Ashamed’ is one, all of the auto-tune lovers will absolutely LOVE!!! The vocal work and editing on this track is awesome and actually quite entertaining really adding a new dimension to this song. What really took us by surprise was the introduction of DubStep in the song which although brief was impacting and enthralling. If you’re into Dance/Electro music your collection will be incomplete without ‘Soul Survivor Worship Remix’. From the way they effectively take worship songs and flip them on their heads to the exciting way in which this album could be used to spread the Gospel to a whole new audience all make this more than ‘just another CD.’ ‘Soul Survivor Worship Remix’ is a beautiful sunny day with clear blue skies full of joy and happiness in musical form. Matt Brooks M.E.X Rating
4/5 iTunes Website Twitter
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heldon Thomas is a youth worker and motivational speaker who directs T.A.G, a charity and mentoring program for gang members. He also launched Gangsline, the UK’s first confidential phone line for gang members, their families and the victims of gang violence. As a former gang member, Sheldon Thomas witnessed firsthand the hardcore and vicious cycle of gang culture. After meeting Bernie Grant (one of Britain’s first black MP’s) he visited America with him in 1988. There he met Jesse Jackson and under the impact of their mentorship, these experiences sparked a transformation in his life which eventually led to him giving his heart to Christ. M.E.X spoke to Sheldon to get his opinion on the deeper issues behind the riots and the steps he feels are necessary to frame a better future for generations to come. Gangsline and T.A.G are both very inspiring in the way they promote positive change in young people involved in gang culture. What do these projects do? Gangsline is a confidential phone line that is there for young men and women who want to exit gangs but don’t want the other gang members to know. A lot of this is all about intimidation
and fear. T.A.G –stands for targeted against gangs, but it also stands for Trained Army of God. When we do our outreach through T.A.G, a lot of gang members like speaking to us but the minute you start talking about mentoring, or leaving the gangs they all act like they don’t want to do it. But what we found was that a lot of them do want to talk to you afterwards, so that’s how I came up with Gangsline. This service is for gang members and their parents. It is also there for the victims of gang violence and the victims of gang rape; because a lot of girls do not come forward to the police. We’ve had well over 200 rapes in the last three to four years, in London alone. Girls are being used, manipulated, exploited and beaten up through sexual exploitation as part of some of these gangs’ initiation. So a lot of girls do not go and tell the police but they are more likely to phone me (and their parents). So, Gangsline is a phone line for gang members who want to leave- both male and female. It’s for victims of gang violence, for victims of gang rape and parents who are struggling with their children who are involved in gangs… in how to manage their children’s behaviour.
as gang rape? A lot of people do not want to know. Let me tell you about gangs- gangs have got worse because the local authorities and the government have turned a blind eye to deprived communities. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that poverty is totally the reason why people turn to gangs, I’m using it as a description. …People also need to understand that when I talk … to them it’s anger, but to me it’s passion. I’m not talking because I want the whole world to recognize me as Sheldon Thomas; I’m talking because we’re in a society that has lost its mind. The way women are treated in this country is a disgrace. I know 13 year old girls who have been raped … and yet this society is more concerned about shops being burnt. Because that girl doesn’t feel she will get justice if she reports it.
That’s the reason why T.A.G is here- for the people with no voice. We are the only organisation in the country that is actually here for the people with no voice. The victims of gang rape, the victims of young kids who are vulnerable and these gang members seek them out to use them to sell their drugs. In one breath we’ve got girls Why do you think people are being gang raped, and in the unaware of such a major issue other breath we’ve got young
boys being exploited, and by anybody’s standard … I don’t think it was instigated by gangs. I think that would be called a child protection issue, but a gang mentality was behind it. -There’s a big no one cares because it’s deprived communities. difference. …It could be a 46 year old man, not in a gang but with a gang mentality to say, go out People have different opinions when it comes to and take whatever I want and anybody who gets gang culture. How would you define it and in your in my way I’ll shoot or stab them. So I would say view where does it originate from? the people involved in the riots were people who had that mentality and the others who were in it, Gang culture is vulnerable youths who are scared, were just in it for the fun of it. who are fearful, angry, and who feel no sense of family. Grouped together under the disguise … First of all the police shot a young person and that they’ve got love for each other, under the tried to lie about it, so that didn’t help… but the disguise that the world is against them, under the fact is the government are fighting wars in other disguise that because there are no fathers in the people’s countries when they can’t even get their house- in some cases- it is completely justified to own house in order. I think a lot of people look go and bully another young boy or a rape a girl, on that as hypocritical. People seem to think that or sell drugs, or shoot somebody, on the grounds these gangsters don’t think about things like that, that they are actually holding up respect for but they do. …The older gang members… the guys themselves. who are 27-28, that’s the kind of conversations they have. They say, ‘why should I stop doing You see, the problem is, we don’t have real gangs what I’m doing, when the government is in other in this country. I was in a real gang. But these guys peoples countries destroying it?’ If you’re going to are not real gangsters because… Let me explain to appear a hypocrite then you’re not in a position to you about gangsters. True gangsters don’t make tell anybody anything. hip-hop videos. True gangsters don’t make grime videos. True gangsters don’t make YouTube Many young people’s lives have been changed videos. Real gangsters walk in silence. You don’t and their futures transformed by the impact of hear of the Mafia family telling everyone how strategies like T.A.G and Gangsline. What urged many people they’ve shot…. But you always hear you to work with young people in this way and these little young black kids on these estates what experiences have shaped your journey? telling the whole world how they’re going ‘do this’ to that gang and ‘do that’ to this gang. They’re not …I started my first gang in 1977. It was started real gangsters… because the National Front and racist police officers were attacking young black men like me So the question then becomes, what is a gangster? on a frequent basis. My brother was nearly killed …A gangster is part of an organized network of men by fifteen ‘skinheads’ when they attacked him in or women whose sole purpose in life is criminality- the park. He had just come over from Jamaica, but also is a well structured organization. Most and he was attacked and nearly died. …In those gangs in London, in the deprived communities, are days, our parents were scared because they’d not well structured. Today, gang members will just come to the country and they were scared be together, and tomorrow they’ll be the most of getting into trouble with the police. I felt there hated enemies. So you could have two cousins was no justice for my brother. I decided that I who are in the same gang for a year, and because was going to beat up, or kill any white person I of one thing or another they then separate into came across. …I started my gang in retaliation to two different gangs who hate each other and end what happened to my brother. But when you are up shooting each other. fighting against a system such as the police and the national front, you’re fighting a losing battle … …We’re in a climate of chaos. Chaotic youngsters they outnumbered us a hundred to one. who are full of anger, who feel no sense of family, who have no morals or values, coming together So we then decided to implode and turned the under the disguise that they feel that’s their family. violence on our selves. That’s how many of the That’s how I would define it. …No gangster lives gangs were started. We began to fight each in a housing estate in Stanford Hill, or London other and that’s what happened to me. And after Fields. -They don’t live there. Real gangsters live seeing several people getting murdered, seeing in places like Mayfair, Knightsbridge… Hampstead somebody’s head getting blown off next to me Heath… they don’t live in run down estates. …So the and his blood all splashed on my face, I think I’d question then becomes, if the real gangsters live in seen enough to say…‘this is not a good life.’ Bernie these nice neighborhoods, What are these people Grant, the first black MP, took me to America we’ve got in the deprived neighborhoods and to meet Jesse Jackson who then began to tell me estates?... Exactly what I said they are… a group about God, who then began to tell me about what of young people who feel hurt and pain- but the a positive impact I could have if I used all my anger only way they know how to release that hurt and and turned it round for God’s good. But I didn’t pain is by inflicting pain and hurt on other people. become saved straightaway. What happened was I became God aware. I became aware of So to what extent, if any, do you feel gang culture God more than I ever did. I began my journey was to blame for the looting and rioting we saw at of redemption from there and that happened in the start of August? 1988.
Would you say that meeting Bernie Grant and Jesse Jackson marked a turning point for you? Bernie Grant mentored me for about three years, and it was through him that this all started. …Going to meet Jesse Jackson being told about God and that I could change my life- that I didn’t have to be an angry black man. Jesse Jackson was the first person to tell me not to hate white people. He made me realize that there was bad and good in every race. Jesse Jackson really cemented it in my brain. …So I began to realise that actually, that was holding me back. I began my journey of redemption to really realize that not all white people are bad, that not all black people are good and that actually this is all the devil’s scheme to keep us down.
It has become too self conceited and full of its self- to the point where they’re not respected by the community. I go into deprived areas and they don’t want to hear about the church, because of the way the church has been carrying on for the past few years with this prosperity message. It has really damaged the community. So I think the first thing that needs to happen for change, is the church needs to do more so that God can come out there.
The other thing is we have to address teenage pregnancy. Part of the problem is that many of these young boys involved in gang violence were the product of teenage pregnancy. …When a teenager gets pregnant, the boy who got her pregnant is still a boy. He’s not going to stay around. So, the girl who gets pregnant at 15 ends In the face of challenges, what keeps you going? up doing this on her own; she has no backing, no support, and ends up making decisions based Well… I have three daughters and one boy. My on how she feels. And that’s what happens, so oldest is 22, the next one is 17, the third girl is 10 it’s a merry-go-round. She then makes another and the boy is going to be 6 soon… I’m married mistake, meets a guy similar to the first guy, who as well. I think to myself… what kind of person then gets her pregnant and then he runs off. is going to end up with my children, what kind Not before long you’re left with two kids, two of man. These are the things that concern me, different fathers, so the boys are already angry. because with such a high percentage of black So, I would address teenage pregnancy. men in prison, such a high percentage of black people in gangs, it really worries me as to The other point I would raise is to get the where we’re going. So…as a Christian, I just want government to stop discriminating against as many young men, black or white, or Asian, Christian organisations and allow these saved. Personally, that’s what I’m about. I believe organisations to get the same funding as any that evangelism is what’s missing in the body of other organisation. It shouldn’t be a worry Christ, and I think that God has given me such a whether we’re indoctrinating a young person or great talent to evangelize the Gospel in a way not, because isn’t it better that the young person that gang members can relate to without feeling becomes a Christian, than actually go around that I’m coming with the ‘clap hands stuff’ and the gang raping a girl? old, ‘Jesus loves you’, which makes people run a mile. It’s making them realize... hold on a minute I would get the men in the church to wake up. this Gospel thing… ‘I’m feeling this.’ To get out of their sleep, to get out of their seats, including the Pastors and Bishops… and The other point is I believe God has called me go out into the community and do something… for this. I have been called, for gangs, totally. I It’s a shame that we don’t have many men in my went to Jamaica a couple of years ago [for the age group who are saved in the church wanting first time]… and straight away the gangs warmed to do it. I don’t believe God’s just called me. to me. Not because I was some “bad man” I actually believe God has called lots of other from the 70’s and they knew me, they didn’t…but men but they don’t want to do it. I think that’s because I spoke in a way that was relevant to a problem in the body of Christ… where a lot of them. They understood. I brought the Gospel men just don’t want to do their ministry and so a so different; they began to open up the Bible and lot of women end up doing a lot of the ministry. began to challenge me on the scriptures. …They’d It’s not a coincidence that we’ve got so many never had anyone come to their neighborhood more women who have ministries than men. and talk to them. That’s what I think drives me. The people do want to hear the Gospel, …I know that God has not called me alone. I know gang members want to get off the streets and that. But because I’m the one that stepped out I think we’ve got it all wrong. …I think that’s why of the boat, people think you’re the only one. I God has raised T.A.G up, for that purpose- to know God has called many people. But it’s who prove to people that God is everywhere. God has responded… That’s what the difference is. I’m is omnipotent, God is omnipresent, God can do no superior to anybody else, I’m no better than anything. I think sometimes we forget that. anybody; it’s just that I have responded. That’s all it is. That’s why the power of God works With the insight you have gained from working through, because I have actually responded. so closely with young people what steps do you feel will lead to positive change? Robyn Henry If I’m to be honest, first, I think the church needs to do more. The church is not doing enough. …
MOBO award-winning artist, Guvna B, shares his thoughts on the 2011 riots and looting throughout England. Guvna B, an ambassador for the Prince’s Trust, met with David Cameron three months ago to warn him about the frustrations of young people in Britain’s deprived communities. East London born and student of the University of Hertfordshire, Guvna B uses grime and rap music to reach out to young people with a positive alternative, promoting hard work, honest-living and faith. In response to the violence seen on the streets, he has used his platform of music to speak out against the riots, with a brand-new single and music video entitled, “Hometown Riots”.
Despite him denouncing the disturbances, he provides a different view to that of Home Secretary Theresa May, who says the rioters are the embodiment of “sheer criminality”. “I think the behaviour is unacceptable, but it’s very naive to say it’s just based on just sheer criminality. This is about a lack of investment in youth and mistrust between authority and the youth. The Government have to start taking the youth seriously and relate to them, if we’re to avoid this chaos in the future.” “These kids are looting because they are bombarded with consumerism on MTV for example, flash cars, flash girls. There are no jobs in London so they see something for momentary pleasure and they grab it. Some people have no work ethic after years of hopelessness.”
oco Dupree has had a good 2011… Two great singles ‘Take It Away’ and ‘Say Ahh’ which have been getting airplay on both Christian and mainstream radio followed by a fantastic 9 track EP titled ‘Fall & Rise’. 2012 will see more of the same with her performing internationally and releasing music videos in support of her singles hoping to impact the Christian and mainstream music industries.
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ina Wowor & Rebirth are a band we came across before we started out in our first Christian music endeavor www.mbriomusic.com - Their music is fantastic.
They’ve managed to fuse the best of the Contemporary Gospel sound the best of the CCM sound whilst still staying true to their indigenous Indonesian roots and language on their songs.
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mpire Nation are a band we first heard about in 2011 but immediately knew that they were doing great things. They recently joined the legendary Parachute Band on their UK tour and have started work with Resound Media (the same fantastic team that works with Philippa Hanna) are preparing to release a brand new album to be released very soon. They will also be touring extensively through-out the UK and releasing music videos.
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MaloKai Website iTunes facebook twitter
aLoKai have already started 2012 with a bang with a tour, EP titled ‘Heart Beats’ and music videos all commencing in February, just one month into 2012. The Pop-Punk band work with The Message Trust in Schools is also seeing them minister to a lot of young people and seeing results in the form of students giving their heart to God. We’re excited to see the impact this band will have not only within music, but in bringing people to know the God through their music.
atthew Allen has become a fan favourite over the last few years coming out with strong songs such as the notable ‘Soldier’, ‘Surround Me,’ ‘Escape’ and more recently ‘Champion’. With a USA tour under his belt, recently headlining a concert in Paris (France) and finally ready to release his first musical project (in the form of an EP) Matthew Allen will no doubt take the UK by storm and all the other territories that he’s managing to venture into.
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Writeway Music W
his Sanctuary are a Pop-Rock band coming with a lot of energy, great image and presentation. They’re a great band made up of Renee Sieff, Ben Tan, Neil Burmester, Sam Sudhakar and Brendan Tan and together they’ve created an energetic, melodic, hardhitting sound that could pump some life into just about anyone. 2011 saw them release their EP ‘Maybe We Weren’t Meant To Get It’ and hopefully this year we’ll see more of the same amongst a host of tour dates. Website Facebook Itunes twitter Youtube
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The Royal Royal
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2011 saw them release their debut riteWay Music are an Urban LP ‘One Way’ (Free Download) as Gospel four-some and are made a collective which lead to them coup of Tunde ‘Tunday’ Balogun, Robert headlining a UK tour and also filming ‘Presha J’ Awuku, Leke Akinyemi a short film titled ‘One Way The and Dwayne ‘Rhema’ Edwards who Movie’ starring themselves which each bring their own expression of sold out a major cinema for the worship with musical gifts ranging premiere and there will be further from rapping, MC’ing, singing and film screenings taking place in 2012. song writing.
heba is an artist we came to know of via Bonnerfide Radio when we heard her amazing, uplifting single ‘I’m Happy’ which is taken from her Mix-Tape ‘Life 101 Volume 1’ which was released last year as a free download. The ‘Life 101 Volume 1’ Mix-Tape really put Sheba on the map and helped her gain a strong following. Sheba can be found on tour with James Fortune & F.I.Y.A supporting his latest album ‘Identity’. She’s currently working on her next project and debut music video so look out for that.
elinda Watts got her break on the talent Show ‘Gospel Dream’ by GMC (Gospel Music Channel) but since then has continued to rise establishing herself as a powerhouse in Gospel music in the USA. 2011 saw her embark on a European tour that saw her make stops throughout the UK and mainland Europe which has increased her fan base and given her a global following. 2012 will see the release of her sophomore album and further touring.
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he Royal Royal (Nathan & Gabriel Finochio) seemingly came from nowhere and really made an impact on us with their song ‘Praise Him’ which is still in heavy rotation on our media players. 2011 saw them support Hillsong UNITED on their tour, which is quite a big deal.
Nathan and Gabriel have captured a sound… Something special; something pure; and something unique. Listening to their music is like a breath of fresh air and ‘Praise Him’ is song that will immediately captivate the listener and focus their attention on God and if they brothers keep this up in 2012 they will surely be successful.
M.E.X MAGAZINE | ISSUE 4
It’s not often that we get to accompany artist’s we interview while they’re touring but last summer we travelled with a tour that was an awesome experience… a tour with a difference. We saw GRAMMY award nominated and former Cross Movements records artist, FLAME visit the UK with 2 artists signed to his recently formed label Clear Sight Music, V. Rose and Young Noah. FLAME has a story that is not that dissimilar to a lot of rappers. Deprived backgrounds, abuse, gangs and violence and the list goes on. Through listening to his ministry both in song and also in word (as he ministers the word of God to those in attendance at his concerts too) the transformation that has taken place in FLAME’s life was evident. Throughout this interview we take a journey with FLAME and explore the journey of transformation that took place in his life. In his early teens FLAME got drawn into a life of crime and gang violence. "When you think about gang culture you see certain elements that everyone desires; respect, power, camaraderie, position; those typical things that we all desire that the gang culture exploited when I was coming up and those things led me to it. I didn’t get really deep into it, however it was something that I admired and I looked up to guys who were really deep into gangs and drug culture and the crime world before I became a Christian and it’s sad but it’s true.” One thing that seems to be common in gangs is the abuse of drugs. FLAME also got caught up in drugs… namely marijuana which is a drug of recreation for many people young and old, often because there seems to be no long term side-effects “Smoking Marijuana was just a cultural thing, there was no particular thing that drove me to it like trying to escape pain or trying to duck and
dodge my circumstances. It was just something that everybody did, something that seemed fun and something that brought friends. The other thing was that there are no immediate consequences, so at that point it was hard to prove that there was anything wrong with it.” It was interesting to learn of FLAME’s experiences because unlike many he wasn’t using drugs to ease pain, to find escape or for the ‘normal’ reasons people use drugs. However, God was calling him and eventually he responded to the call. ”The Lord drew me to Himself. I wasn’t looking for a way out! He was calling me and He overwhelmed me and attracted me to His grace, His forgiveness, His love and that led me away from the gang and drug culture or at least my attraction and my desire to pursue it. He allowed me/caused me to get into an accident. I was hit three times by an 18 wheeler gas truck and almost lost my life,” says FLAME. “I went to my Grandma and asked her why God would let that happen, she said ‘I don’t know, but you need to repent and turn from your sin.’ Shortly after that she passed away. I was invited to church, heard the Gospel and was overwhelmed by Jesus’ love and His grace and at 16 years old I committed myself to Him.” We asked FLAME about the consequences of a lifestyle of drugs, crime and gang violence and how it can affect a person’s life, short or long-term. ”You’ve got to look at the consequences,” says FLAME. “There are temporary consequences such as; losing a job, losing a healthy relationship, dishonouring your family, broken relationships, there is pain, you may lose friends and you will even lose time. Ultimately the eternal consequence is separation from a Holy God in a literal place the Bible calls hell where God will
eternally pour out His wrath, know that, that describes my His anger, His frustration and personality as an artist.” His hatred for sin on people in that place.” Were you always a rapper or was that something that came The concept of being isolated about after you got saved? from God is not one we want to imagine and is one that could ”Yes, I was always a rapper, become a reality for some even in the secular world people. We get a lot of people before I was a Christian. I was who are in transition and really trying to pursue the seeking God reading M.E.X secular rap career but the Lord Magazine and people also use kept boxing me out and closing it as an evangelistic tool so we doors. Even though I was wanted to take this opportunity travelling and had a few CD’s to allow FLAME to share more out He just wouldn’t allow me on the eternal and temporary to go further and eventually He consequences of sin. drew me to Himself and then I committed my talents among ”I mentioned the eternal everything else to Jesus Christ consequences that I would and that’s where my Christian caution anyone to avoid if you’re rap/ministry started, at 16.” living in that lifestyle earlier but there are also temporary If you weren’t involved in music things that God has put in place what would you be doing? as signs to remind us that this is the wrong way. People end ”Before music I was into up in prison, incarcerated for construction. I was a bricklayer, years, lose their loved ones, so I was working hard. So I they lose their camaraderie and would probably have my own friendship or family, they lose construction company, I’d be fellowship with other people, rebuilding the city literally. I their freedom is taken away really enjoy the art and science from them and you could catch of construction, building a disease and it can even make infrastructures and blueprints it difficult to get a job. These are and things of that nature. In some of the things that point to particular bricks, brick laying, the ultimate consequence for mortar, concrete and stone.” living that lifestyle. That’s what I would tell anyone trying to get What has been your biggest out of it. See the trickery of it! challenge as an artist from the Know that it’s deceitful, see that start of your journey until now? there’s only one way out and that’s through Christ, so pursue ”I think that the creative process Him.” is fun but it’s a challenge writing albums and trying to stay ahead Those are some powerful of the game and communicate words… Now tell us where the the relevance of the Bible to name FLAME came from? every evolving generation. So that is probably one of the most ”The name FLAME came from challenging things as an artist.” studying the book of Jeremiah. I saw that Jeremiah had the When did you realise that you responsibility of saying hard had a call on your life to minister things to people that didn’t the music? How did you feel want to hear it and it got to a when you received the call? point where he said ‘God I am “I guess I never looked at it like not to make mention of Your a calling, it was just something name anymore’ but he says I enjoyed doing and it was fun after that ‘Gods word was like as a non-Christian. I figured a fire shut up in his bones’ in as a believer in Christ now I other words he couldn’t stop it, should submit my talents to it was his passion that resonated Him so I transitioned to doing and burned on the inside and I that although it was more of
a personal thing between myself and God. I had no plans of travelling, putting albums out, touring or videos... nothing of that nature. It was just a personal thing; nevertheless it was a smooth transition because I really wanted to do it to glorify God, to have fun and to have my devotional time with God through rap music. The Lord just exposed it and it took off from there, so I don’t really see it as a calling as much as I do a privilege to do what I like to do and have it be Christ centred, ministry orientated and be able to encourage the body and encourage non-believers to repent.” That’s a different perspective to what we normally hear… Normally artists are quick to talk about the call of God and the deep revelation they received so it’s refreshing to hear of FLAME’s experience and how he simply committed his gifts to God and allowed himself to be used by God including the gifts he had prior to being saved.
about much. Those are the things that make me unique to other artists, Christian and non-Christian as well.” FLAME went on to talk about his mission and aim and what he hopes to see in the lives of those who come into contact with his ministry. ”My mission is to build people from the inside out. I like to say words that solidify our identity in Christ. I like to say things that encourage hearts and bring restoration. I like to say convicting things that would lead to a life-style change. Maybe to leave broken relationships, maybe to change your paradigm of thinking concerning false doctrine, perhaps relocating to a different church, seeing broken relationships mended or even seeing friends reconcile. I just want to build internally. My goal is to speak heart language from the scriptures that would encourage broken hearts; maybe at the loss of a loved one, maybe someone who’s dealing with thoughts of suicide or insecurities to speak the type of language from the scriptures that would be a supplement to the Bible and used in God’s hands to hold people together and to strengthen them.”
What really set’s an artist apart from the others is their individuality and the uniqueness of their sound. In a world where the Gospel industry is saturated with rappers and urban music we wanted to know what sets the FLAME apart from the With such a great vision and others. mission driven by an intense passion (which is evident ”What I think is unique through the way FLAME about my sound is that it is speaks) it’s evident to see passionate, aggressive and why his ministry has been counselling orientated (I’m received so well and has completing my masters in impacted thousands of lives Biblical counselling). I like to across the world. speak heart language, so, I like to instruct and be ‘teachy’ Just hearing the way FLAME but also to bring it down to speaks is so inspiring and layman’s terms so people can encouraging to see that he clearly understand the heart is truly God-focused and of God. Also I like to do also ministry focused. It’s things that are apologetic, in not about selling records other words defending the or being the biggest name faith and I like to hit on topics in Christian Rap but rather that aren’t really spoken to be a voice that reaches
out to the lost, the hurt and the broken, reconciling them to their loving Father and also giving them a sense of purpose and faith. One way that the Lord has enabled FLAME to do this on a greater level is by setting up his own label Clear Sight Music. Now most of our readers will probably know FLAME from CMR (Cross Movement Records and wonder why he would leave such a large and established label to start up his own label. ”My wife and I were at a point when we were thinking about what’s best for us and serving others and we’ve done a lot with CMR but we thought it would be good to open up more doors to serve other artists who don’t have financial backing or momentum. We also wanted to bring to the table some New Testament concepts that have been forgotten… A connection with the local church. So Clear Sight Music is a record label that is also a ministry out of my local church. We wanted to bring the idea of holistic music to the forefront and Christian rap.” Now when FLAME came over to tour the UK, he brought his first signing V. Rose with him and she really blew us away. She has real, thought-out lyrics with a powerful voice and a great testimony that really connected with the UK audience. Not to mention a fusion of genres that make her music cross-generational and cross-cultural. ”She is an incredible artist, her genre is Pop music and I’m really excited to work hard and push her to see what the Lord has for her,” says FLAME.
Before we finished the interview FLAME wanted to share these few words. ”First of all I just want to you all for this interview, thank all of the fans, and the family, and the brothers and sisters of Christ for praying for us and supporting us. And again, just run to Jesus, turn from your sin, confess of your sin, repent of your sin. Love Jesus, love people and hate sin. Those are my final words; it’s your boy Flame. Peace.” It’s clear to see that FLAME is a man doing the Lord’s work and is also giving back through mentoring and supporting artists who will hopefully have the same mind as he does towards the things of God. Not only that though but spreading the truths of the Gospel and the consequences of sin, opening people’s eyes and leading them to Christ which is an awesome thing. ‘After being around FLAME and his team for a few days (on his 2011 UK Summer tour) it’s with great delight that we can say he’s a minister and not a ministar. FLAME’s sixth full-length album, ‘The 6th,’ will be released on March 6th featuring collaborations with a wide variety of artists including Decemberadio, LeCrae, Thi’sl, Young Noah and V.Rose… You don’t want to miss this one so save the date and make sure you buy it!
http://www.clearsightmusic.com http://www.twitter.com/flame314 http://www.twitter.com/clearsightmusic http://wwwyoutube.com/clearsightmusic http://www.facebook.com/flame314
Another form of bubbles, I absolutely adore is bubble baths. A heap of collective bubbles, all bursting at my arrival and giving of an array of sound, which I could recognise easily. In fact the sound of bubbles bursting, the gentle pop it gives off, I find unbelievably soothing. (If you’re unfamiliar with this sound you’re missing out! Grab a straw and blow into a cup of water right now!) Sound and in particular, music, plays such a huge role in most people’s lives. In our generation, music is used to accompany everything! (Ironically, I’m writing this in silence). We walk, talk, chill, work all with music playing in the background, and if you’re anything like me and have ever left your headphones at home, most journeys can seem seriously unbearable without something blazing through your eardrums. I’ve spoken a lot about bursting our bubble of religious Christianity, being relevant but distinctively set apart, but in today’s article, I want you to question what sound your bubble gives off when it bursts. Are you a gentle worship song that will set a strangers heart at rest, or do you resound a dubstep remix that will catch the attention of someone who is mad about the genre?
then ask to have a listen. Suddenly I’m promoting promiscuity, one night stands, sex before marriage and a whole load of things which I claim to be against. You wouldn’t listen to a song that promotes racism, even if it were indirectly, simply because of the fact that you’re so strongly against it. In the same way God calls us to stand firm against sin, and we too need to be as strict with this when it comes to our choice of music. Does the song build you up?
Music is powerful, it can control and manipulate our emotions in a very strong way, I speak for females and I know how tempting it is to play a sad song to encourage negative emotions and sit in self pity. God wants us to enjoy music, this doesn’t mean every single song needs to get you up dancing, with a huge smile on your face but He does want us to be considerate of the effect music has on our spirit. The Bible says, “The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”. If we’re continuously feeding ourselves with sexual R’n’B whilst attempting to abstain from sex until marriage, you’re making things a lot harder for your spirit to battle the flesh, no matter how willing it is. We need to take our spirits seriously, and think about what we’re feeding them, never For me, music is a controversy I find myself having allow the devil to convince you that ‘it’s just a song’. to go over again and again, simply depending on which season I am in. I’ve continuously explored Would Jesus chill with you to this song? and observed other’s rules when it comes to music, no secular music at all, secular music in moderation, Remember, the Holy Spirit is always with us, He or whatever I feel like. It would be easy to conclude knows and understands exactly what genres and we should only listen to music that glorifies God, types of music we’re into, and I don’t think He and although I agree (please don’t stone me yet…), necessary would condemn something simply on the what about the classics we all know and love, cue basis of it not mentioning the name of Jesus every ‘Kool and the Gang – Celebration’ or another song chorus. Our God is a God of love, and I’m sure that simply puts a smile on your face. I’ve come up He smiles at many of the beautiful love songs that with some basic guidelines for choosing the sound have been written, representing pure and genuine track for your bubble bursting. love between a man and a woman, whether they be written by a ‘secular’ or ‘gospel’ artist. Next time Do you agree with what the song stands for? you have your headphones in, imagine Jesus sitting next to you, take one ear phone out and hand it to For me, one of the easiest ways to evangelise is Him, if you wouldn’t still sit there listening with when somebody asks you what you’re listening to Him, maybe it’s time to delete the track. and you reply with ‘Jesus Culture – Your love never fails’. What an opportunity right there before you as you show someone how this thing they see as ‘religion’ is your entire lifestyle, and you surround Contributor - Jennifer Perry yourself in it. How I would cringe if a friend who was seeking God glanced at my ipod to see Links me listening to ‘Ciara – Tell me what your name http://twitter.com/missjrperry is’. I can imagine it right now, I’d be wishing at http://alifecalledlove.tumblr.com/ that minute that I was listening to anything else, especially as they tell me they’ve never heard it and
By Nurisha Liggins
ave you ever just wanted to look someone in the eye and say, â€œHello Judas..!â€? Yeah? Well, me too! We have all suffered some type of betrayal in our lives. Why? Because we are all HUMAN! Nobody is perfect all of the time. But, how we view betrayal can play a huge part in what we allow it to do to our future, and to our future relationships.
Betraying Jesus. The story of the betrayal of Jesus by Judas is a story that transcends most religions. One thing you need to know about Judas is that he was ordained from the beginning. I don’t believe that Judas fell. I believe that he simply… walked! Judas lived, and walked out the life that God had planned for him. Judas was even told beforehand that he would betray Christ. Think about it. Somebody had to be the one that pushed Christ into reaching the destiny that God had, not only for him, but also for the entire world.
betrayal painful. You’d never think that the seeds of love, time, and energy that you invest into people would grow into such a painful experience, such as betrayal. You can expect to be hurt by your enemies, but not by one of your closest friends and followers.
But aside from the act of betrayal, lets look at what came from it. The death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ stemmed from an act of betrayal. This is a very important fact that you should always think about when dealing with betrayal. Yes, I am sure that Remember, Jesus was not comfortable about going to Judas’ act of betrayal hurt Jesus. Judas was his friend. the cross. Yes, I’m sure Jesus knew that the cross was But what came out of that betrayal was the salvation the process for destiny, but sometimes, the weight and of mankind! stress of the process is challenging enough to make you not even want what God has promised you. So No, I’m not saying that the person that betrayed you perhaps, Judas was that push the Christ may have is giving you the grace to save the world. But I am needed to move toward destiny. saying that out of every “bad” thing, there is some good that comes from it. Every destiny has a process. The word process may also be called a “struggle,” or “trial”. The process alone Let Judas work for your good. Make it work for your can deter us from even wanting the destiny that God good. Nothing “bad” can happen because God is has for us. But God knows this, and He has planted good, and he uses all things for His glory. So yes, the the many Judas’ that have entered into your life to “Judas” in your life may have hurt you, but he/she does push you to the place of destiny and excellence that have value. Think about the many lessons you have He has for you. learned, and the good choices and decisions you have made because of a “Judas” that entered into your life. Judas was a tool. He was a tool used to shape the Betrayal helps you to become wiser and make better destiny for Christ, and even mankind! So remember decisions, and can often force you into growing to a this… What seems like the biggest betrayal in life is place that you would not have grown to without it. always a set up for destiny - no matter what! Destiny requires taking risks, often ones that we would not Take a look at the person you were then, and compare take without the hand of a “Judas” in our lives. So I it to the person you are now. What have you changed don’t know about you, but one of these days, I plan to about yourself ? How has your thinking process send every “Judas” in my life $20 and a “Thank You” changed? Are you more discerning of people now? card… just because! I may be in the process, but the All of those things can come from the “good” of being process has a purpose. And so does every “Judas” in betrayed. your life! So today, I encourage you to forgive and release Life is about growth. I always say, “If you are not every “Judas” that has ever entered into your life and growing, you are dying.” Every relationship in your betrayed you. You must remember that “All things life was purposed to bring about growth. Whether work together for the good of those who love God, you are being adored or tested, the outcome should and are called according to his purpose..!” (Romans be growth. Recovering from a relationship that 8:28) experienced betrayal can be very challenging, but it can also help you to grow and mature spiritually, mentally, Change your perspective of the “bad” things that and emotionally. There are not many, stories in the people may have done to you, and find the “good” Bible that talk about the recovery of a relationship in every situation. Perception… has the ability to after betrayal. But recovery is possible, if restoration, convert damage into value! God uses anything that forgiveness, and love are the focus. enters into your life to bring Him glory and to cause you good. So, I encourage you to look for the good The Bible pegs Judas as one of Jesus’ enemies, but the in the betrayal and injustices in your life, and I am relationship didn’t begin that way. Judas was a trusted certain you will find it. friend and disciple of Jesus. This is what makes
About the Writer...
Nurisha Liggins is the author of “Living The Light!”, a 90-Day Transformational Devotional. If you have a question that you would like Nurisha to address in this column, please send it to AskNurisha@ Gmail.com Visit http://www.NurishaLiggins.com/ Make sure you follow her on Twitter! Screen Name: @iAmNurisha. Join her face book Fan Page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/NurishaLiggins/157732600930577
‘I see trees of green, red roses too, I see ‘em bloom for me and you, and I think to myself...what a wonderful world.’ Louis Armstrong This is the final part of our series looking at some big issues through the lens of God’s kingdom. We’ve thrown out some thoughts on the Big Society, wealth and poverty, music and manhood, and this month we’ve been thinking about the mammoth topic of creation and the environment. In 2008 for the first time the population of the world living in an urban environment reached over fifty percent. As technology develops faster and faster, our everyday lives revolve more and more around screens, walls, buildings and roads, and less around nature. There’s plenty of research that shows that humans don’t do well without access to ‘green’, and really flourish when they are more connected to nature. The UK mental health charity Mind reports a study which compared the results of people going for a walk in a country park to those going for a walk in an indoor shopping centre. The difference in results was clear, with depression, stress and tension levels massively decreased after the green walk compared to the urban one. Stressed couples and families are a familiar sight at shopping centres these days – no wonder they have those £1 relaxing massage chairs dotted all over the place. A study of prisoners in Michigan found that those who had cells overlooking farmland and trees had 24 percent fewer sick visits than those in cells facing the prison yard. Similarly, a 10-year study of post-operative patients in Pennsylvania showed that hospital stays for patients with tree views was significantly shorter, they required fewer painkillers, used less medication, and nursing staff
reported fewer negative evaluation comments in the medical records. As Christians, all this intuitively makes sense. We believe in a creator God who created a world full of beauty, the most incredible playground for us to run around in and play with. He designed creation to be good for us and intends for us to be good for creation – a mutually beneficial relationship. As a band, we love the perks of modern life – we regularly have heated debates over iPhone v. Blackberry, love our cars and Starbucks. But we agree with what author Richard Louv says in his work on ‘nature-deficit disorder’: ‘The more high-tech our lives become, the more nature we need. We have a human right to a meaningful connection to nature, and we have the responsibilities that come with that right. Few today would question the notion that every person, especially every young person, has a right to access the Internet. We should also have access to the natural world, because that connection is part of our humanity.’ As a band we’re definitely not perfect when it comes to being ‘green’ - we’re on the road a lot, and cycling between gigs isn’t really an option when you have a mountain of amplifiers. But we try our best, keeping check on what we eat, trying to plan ahead, and trying to find the most efficient ways of travel we can. The more we try to practice ‘green’ habits, the more we appreciate our place in God’s creation. Sam Glazebrook (drummer): ‘The best feeling is being out on my surfboard in the waves and seeing something of God’s personality through his creation.’
Links http://twitter.com/empirenation http://empirenation.net
Musically, the Bible gives us beautiful visions of creation constantly worshipping God: Psalm 19 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge. 3 They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them. 4 Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. So when we go out and spend time in nature, we have access to free, original, uninterrupted worship music (no ad breaks like Spotify or malfunctions like some well known music players). Likewise, every time the human race fails to protect, or actively destroys part of creation, we’re silencing that music. Yes, creation will be destroyed one day, and there’ll be a shiny new heaven and a new earth, but in the meantime we’re here to live out God’s kingdom right here, right now, and that means living as ‘stewards’ of his creation. If the word steward sounds a bit weird then read zookeeper/ gardener/conser vationist/warden/ vet – any word that conjures up the image of looking after and protecting God’s creation, and helping it to flourish. I once read a devotional about the Genesis story that summed up the main occupations God had in mind for humans when he put them on earth: ‘sex and gardening’. Happy days.
athan Jess is a young man and worship leader whose music is full of contemplative lyrics, smooth vocals and harmonies and a raw organic sound of Praise and Worship. In this interview we get to see the humorous side of Nathan and learn more about the budding worship leader.
First song remembered – Everyone kept singing the same song to me once a year, every year since I was 1. I remember it well...”Happy Birthday To You” First day at school – I just have a really vague memory of my first day at school. As I recall I wasn’t delighted about it though. My earliest distinct memory is the day I brought my dog in to visit my class!! First CD – I started buying CD’s as I obviously meant to go on, in bulk haha, not being able to leave a record store with just with the one.. I remember buying ‘Heathen Chemistry’ by Oasis, ‘By The Way’ by Chilli Peppers and ‘Comfort In Sound’ by Feeder. Interestingly I would say I still highly regard 2 of those records.. but which...?? First concert attended – The first real gig I went to was none other than Delirous. I was a really big fan in my younger years and the gig totally set the bar and fulfilled everything a first gig should be. The Ulster Hall in Belfast is a relatively intimate venue... Stew Smith came out and played a drum solo before the band came out, it was loud and sweaty... it sparked a love!!
First song written Coming up through school I did the usual playing in bands. The first song I wrote was for my first band when I was about 14. It was called ‘Following This Light’ and it was truly awful haha!! However, I can still remember the incredible feeling of discovering the ability to create and craft songs from your heart...
First holiday – My first holiday that was more than just going to our caravan on the coast, was to Disney World in Florida in 1995. I was 7 at the time and I remember crying on the last day waving goodbye to Magic Kingdom. I was going to comment on such innocence, but I’m going to believe you don’t outgrow that magic ;)
First performance – I got roped into singing solos at church from around 7. I think the first time was a song about Jonah at a Kid’s service. It may even have involved some actions or noises reminiscent of whales.
First personal experience with God – God was something I was encompassed by as I grew up. My dad was a lay preacher and both my parents where heavily involved in our local church. So I constantly heard the stories, sang the songs and learnt the verses. My knowledge was probably unrivalled aged 5-6. When that actually became real, when great stories and honourable teachings gained life as a whole new beginning to an intimate relationship with this God, was at a special Children’s meeting at the local mission hall my my parents are involved in running. Knowledge gave way to genuine relationship. I gave my life to Him that night :)
First job – My dad used to give me £5 per car I washed at the weekend, a grand total of £10 a week. Perhaps he’d employ me again if times get tight enough. First car – ‘Charlie’ my Corsa was and is my first car. I actually only did my driving test aged 22 so Charlie will be with me for a while yet. Everyone names their cars right...??
Amazing Fact As much as I loved music growing up, and I soon learned this is what I wanted to do, my dream was initially to play sport. I was very sporty growing up and a fitness freak. Itâ€™s a shock to people today as that physique has since left me haha!!
Links http://www.nathanjess.com/ http://twitter.com/#!/nathan_jess http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nathan-Jess/91946283765
M.E.X MAGAZINE | ISSUE 4
Tbrings he New Year often new reflections and considerations for the future. Now in 2012, in the aftershock of the summer riots that swept across England in 2011, MEX explores the messages behind the mayhem and reflects on the lessons learnt.
Perhaps the most significant consequence of the riots was not the tangible damage caused by vandalism, but the frayed fabric of society and the subsequent attempt to rebuild it. Aside from the visible damage, there was a dismantling of the trust that underpinned community relations. That said, the riots caught the attention of the government, police authorities and the public, and as a result, communities were challenged to rally together to repair the damage.
It is thought that the unrest grew from a non-violent street demonstration in Tottenham, South London, in response to the fatal police shooting of Mark Duggan (a 29 year old father of four) two days earlier. Due to his reported links with London gangs, the police had targeted Duggan as part of Operation Trident, which specialises in “dealing with gun crime among black communities, in particular drug-related shootings.” An investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission revealed that Mr. Duggan had in fact been unarmed and had not provoked an exchange of gun shots. People gathered outside the local police station in a non-violent demonstration, demanding answers for the injustice. Later, the demonstrators were joined by more boisterous elements, and not before long, a clash with the police spiraled into days of violence, vandalism and looting across the capital city. The riots spread like wildfire as instant messaging on mobile phones was used to spread the word. Like a domino effect, the riots moved north, and hit the streets of Manchester, Birmingham, Liverpool, and Nottingham, amongst other major cities. In just a few days, the damaging effects were clearly visible. The remnants of burnt down buildings, vehicles ablaze, smashed shop fronts and shaken communities spoke volumes, long before the rioters put words to their actions. In the days that followed, rioters were interviewed and expressed their complaints regarding the police and other social issues. It is likely however, that these messages were very much overshadowed by their violent and destructive behaviour. Even the central topic of debate surrounding the Mark Duggan case had shifted from an issue of police brutality and prejudice to the conduct of the rioters. Months later, attempts were still being made to explore the reasons behind the uprising such as the ‘Reading the Riots’ study, which was released in December 2011 by the Guardian newspaper and the London School of Economics. Following the study, Home Secretary, Theresa May announced a review of police ‘stop and search’ powers, however she expressed that as ‘two thirds of rioters brought before the courts were charged with burglary, robbery or theft’ it was more an issue of instant gratification than protest. Sports and fashion footwear, bikes and electrical appliances were among the most looted objects, suggesting, quite clearly, that this was
an issue of greed over need. At the time of the riots, the news reports brought us vivid images and video footage of the destruction caused by the rioters. They showed cars set alight, and the fronts of shops smashed and looted, almost mirroring a scene from the violent video game, Grand Theft Auto. A glorified ‘gangster lifestyle’ of material excess and gain, fuelled by criminality, has long been romanticised within the media. It is therefore, not unrealistic to assume that many of the individuals involved were impressionable and chasing a thrill. We were shown very plainly the ‘criminal opportunists’, and young rioters who had seemingly jumped on the band wagon to take what they could get. So in reality, could this ever be regarded as a conscious form of protest? Or would it be accurate to conclude that this really was just an issue of greed and instant gratification?
Perhaps it is more relevant to read in between the lines. The theft and robbery was irrational and inexcusable, yet in its self communicated a clear message that there are problems festering within our communities that must not be ignored. One spark was all it took to provoke days of violent riots. It is evident that the underlying issues were inflamed by a catalyst, which tragically came in the form of the Mark Duggan case. At a glance it might seem strange to compare the England riots with Occupy Wall Street- a defined and organized movement of epic
proportions, but the issues at the root are undeniably similar. The non violent movement hit New York’s financial district in September 2011 while news spread rapidly through social networking websites and other media. A dramatic ripple effect inspired similar protests in cities across the globe, including London, England, where hundreds of protesters set up camp outside St. Pauls cathedral in October. Their political slogan, ‘We are the 99%’ refers to the misdistribution of wealth amongst the 1% of richest individuals in the world and the rest of society. At the root of the protest are high unemployment, economic inequality, corruption
and the reckless practice of Wall Street executives, and investment bankers whose greed is blamed for leading the world into financial crisis. When we consider the England riots in the light of history, we see that there are powerful comparisons to be made with the Brixton riots of 1981. Both riots began in South London towns and both saw communities shaken to the core. In 1981, the Brixton riots started amidst tense race relations. The tensions in Brixton were also underpinned by rising unemployment, and drastic cuts to the economy, placing a
huge amount of pressure on people at the lower end of the economic ladder. Thirty years later, the same tensions are seen to be threatening progress once more. At the end of the summer, unemployment amongst 16-24 year olds had reached 949,000 which is the highest it has been for almost 20 years. Tottenham, being the epicenter of the riots, has the highest rate of unemployment in London. The bible says that ‘hope deferred makes the heart sick...’ (Proverbs 13:12). The riots have highlighted how imperative it is for us to instill a sense of hope in today’s young people. After all, they are the future. With so many negative and potent messages around it is no wonder that some young people have a sense of hopelessness and low expectation regarding the future. As Christians we have a responsibility to
speak life where circumstances and life’s pressures would otherwise speak death. The omnipotent word of God supercedes every potent word or negative stereotype. For this reason, class, heritage or social background needn’t be a limiting factor- even in the face of adversity and trying times. A It is important to maintain a positive attitude, but in reality our society doesn’t just require hope. Hands on cooperation, from all aspects of the community, is required to equip young people with the knowledge, tools, skills and support to succeed in life. Corruption within the police force and media, and the recent scandals relating to expense claims by politicians are hardly a good example for young people to base their moral compass upon. It is very important that we celebrate the achievements of young people who have chosen not to conform to stereotypes, but have branched out into pursuing creative business
ventures and strategic ways to generate A positive step towards change could be to income in today’s economic climate. encourage unity and togetherness by lending our strengths and skills and getting involved in As Christians, the social issues drawn to community projects where we can. Charities light by the riots present an opportunity for and organisations such as, TAG (Target us to switch on to the issues that plague Against Gangs/Trained Army of God), One our society. God’s word says, ‘my people in a Million (a Bradford based community perish for lack of knowledge’. Simply being outreach charity), and The Prince’s Trust more knowledgeable and aware of current provide support, volunteering opportunities affairs enables us to be more effective in and mentorship programs for young people. making a difference. The mayhem and The old sentiment that says, ‘It takes a village havoc of the London riots may have lacked to raise a child’ seems very out of place the clarity of the Occupy movement, but still nowadays, however the principles behind communicated a very clear message: that the saying still ring true. our society is in desperate need of repair. Many young people are slipping through Building relations with other parts of the the net of education without the skills, community is vital too. Volunteering England knowledge or financial knowledge of ways provides volunteering opportunities for all to better themselves. ages, while an organisation like Vinspired
connects 14-25 year olds with opportunities to volunteer. The church plays an invaluable role within our local communities. Sunday schools, and youth groups build discipline in young people, nurture skills and talents, cultivate aspirations, and encourage achievement. This is a gem that we mustn’t take for granted, particularly as some young people lack the support network at home. Even with these positive points, there is always the challenge to do more.
all hope is not lost. We must continue to pray for those in authority and leadership over us in the government (1Timothy 2:1, 2). Those responsible for making the decisions that could change the world as we know it are in need of our intercession. As Christian’s there is a call upon us to bring the love of Christ to our communities so that they may know Him as the master potter, able to rebuild lives and bring repair and wholeness to the broken. Robyn Henry
Reflecting on the riots has highlighted that elements of our community are indeed in need of desperate repair, but
Links http://www.robyn-on-the-pulse.blogspot.com/ http://twitter.com/robyn_writes
Born in Sacramento, California, V.Rose began singing as a child, and at just 15 years of age she was one half of the Pop duo Harmony, which was signed to noted production house Spechouse Media. After appearing on two tracks on FLAME’s #1 Billboard release ‘Captured’ (Clear Sight Music, 2010), including the hit single and music video ‘Surrender,’ V.Rose was signed to Clear Sight Music which is a label founded by FLAME. Clear Sight Music released V.Rose’s self-titled debut album on August 16th 2011 through Infinity Music Distribution. Leading up to the release V.Rose toured the UK doing various dates with FLAME and Young Noah (a newcomer to the Clear Sight Music family) and saw her blow away the varying audiences she performed for with her strong, clean and dynamic vocals along with the powerful messages in her songs and the fun and enthusiastic way she delivered them. ‘V.Rose’ fuses relevant Pop, Rock and Dance styles with Gospel saturated lyrics, specifically targeted to fans of Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez.
Produced by Lamontt ‘SPEC’ Blackshire, ‘V.Rose’ features an all-star list of players, including Lance Tolbert (Mariah Carey, Keri Hilson), Kay-ta Matsuno (3 Doors Down, David Foster), Joey Bumpus (Lady GaGa, Chris Brown), John Katina of The Katinas and GRAMMY, Dove and Stellar Award nominated artist FLAME. “During my teenage years, I felt the Lord calling me to create relevant, Christ-centered music to reach the world, especially my peers,” says V. Rose. The result is her debut album, which tackles the issues facing young girls today head on, addressing the struggles with confidence and identity issues that she battled in her own life as a teen. “I never thought that I was pretty or smart enough, and I was always looking for someone to follow or be like. Thankfully, my commitment to God kept me on the straight and narrow.” At just 22, V.Rose has already shared the stage with the likes of Group 1 Crew, Marvin Sapp, The Katinas, Deitrick Haddon and label mate FLAME. Television viewers may recognize her from appearances and video airplay on JCTV, GMC, TBN and more.
Links http://twitter.com/#!/vrosemusic http://www.facebook.com/vrosemusic http://clearsightmusic.com/artists/v-rose/ http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/v.-rose/ id455433578
M.E.X MAGAZINE | ISSUE 4
©2011 Avedis Zildjian Company
what t o n s ’ t I
you want to say.
u o y t a h w It’s
Donavan Hepburn - Take That
Hillsong’s ‘God Is Able’ is an album full of intricate musicality and congregational anthems. In this MUZO SPOT we watch the Hillsong band show us exactly what is going on with the different instruments on one of our favourite songs off the album ‘With Us’. Watch closely, this would be a great song to learn for worship at church.
Bass >> Drums >> lead Guitar >> Rythmn Guitar >> 1st Keys >> 2nd Keys >>
M.E.X MAGAZINE | ISSUE 4
s an African American woman, I stand on the heels of some great leaders and prayers that were birthed through my ancestors. African Americans were in slavery for over 400 years. This historic period has played such a huge role in the culture and tradition of the African American community and church. One of the most influential people in the African American culture is Martin Luther King Jr. Not only was he known as a Civil Rights leader, but he was also known for his voice of justice.
In this hour God is calling for the African American community to take their place on the wall of justice. Before the foundations of this Earth, God marked the African American community to be one of which will proclaim his name all throughout the world. Our people as a whole have experienced and seen the ins and outs of being held captive and being in bondage. Our ancestors cried out to God in the fields day and night, “God! Raise up a generation that will take their rightful place! How long oh God must we suffer?” God is about to pour out those bowls of prayers amongst our race. But first, we must get rid of our baggage…. I had the privilege of attending an “Out of Hip Hop into His HOP (House of Prayer)” event led by The 818 Movement. The 818 Movement is a movement of prayer and proclamation to release Godly justice, righteousness in the black community, and revival in the nations. As we sat in a prophetic circle, sharing the word of the Lord, Will Ford told us about a dream he had. In the dream he was on his way to a service at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. This is the church that Martin Luther King became pastor of in 1954. As he was leaving the house with Dr. King, he saw Dr. King empty and toss down a white bag with
black handles. As Dr. King walked away from the bag, he thought the bag would make a pretty cool souvenir so he went to go grab it. As he was picking up the bag Dr. King said, “Don’t touch the bag! Don’t pick it up!”. He didn’t understand why Dr. King was telling him not to pick up the bag, until he received the revelation. God is calling us to get rid of our baggage. Many of us are carrying the baggage of our ancestors and even things that have been imparted into us all of our lives. Some of us hold hatred against certain racists, whichever it may be. You may be an African American person holding baggage against those of Caucasian decent. This isn’t necessarily a mandate just for African Americans, but this is a mandate for everyone in the Body of Christ. David wrote, [Psalms. jpg] “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” One of God’s biggest desires is to see a people who will worship and come together in unity to usher in the next great awakening. You’ll notice that all of the great awakenings in our church history happen because people come together in unity to behold the beauty of the Lord. My prayer is that God will begin to break down the barriers that keep different cultures from worshipping together and joining forces to form an army. We are all a part of the Body of Christ. How can the hand say to the foot that it doesn’t need it? So I guess the real question here is,
Contributor - Dominique Mcpherson
Links http://twitter.com/quechanel http://www.facebook.com/DominiqueChanelEdition http://dominiquechaneledition.com/
want to look at a topic that is highly relevant today! and certainly not often discussed. Some people may think that the way God sees things has changed, not looking at our sin so seriously as we are now living in the age of grace, but God never changes. He is the same yesterday, today and forever. God has a burning desire for righteousness and justice. His judgments and standards, if anything are more severe in New Testament times. An example of this would be Matthew 5v27–28, committing adultery is sin, but now if you even look at someone with lustful intent you have committed adultery in your heart. There are clear Biblical laws for the spilling of innocent blood. Which is running rampant in our world today, and actually still has and will have a big impact on us. Even the New Testament talks about the spilt innocent blood still crying out for justice, Revelation 6v10. God says justice for spilt innocent blood will come in due time. I believe that God is bringing the world to a decision. If we do not start to stand up against the spilling of innocent blood, then God will take this from our high courts to His high court. SOUND THE ALARM. God says when there is a crisis and there is no remedy: blow the trumpet in Zion, Joel 2:1. So I’m blowing the trumpet on this issue todaay. This message could change elections; but I care that it changes us first. God tells us if we humble ourselves and pray and seek His face and turn from our wicked ways, He will hear from heaven and heal our land, 2 Chronicles 7:14. Let’s start to look at this topic that I believe is so important.
M.E.X SATAN HATES GODS IMAGE. Genesis 9:5-6 is the first divine judicial statement in the scriptures. Whosoever sheds innocent blood; his blood must be shed to atone for that blood that was shed. It’s a divine requirement. God says I will surely demand an accounting, this is not a suggestion, it’s a requirement. Genesis 9:6 says that Man is made in the image of God. Satan hates Gods image. I believe this is one of the reasons why God is so strong on the shedding of innocent blood. Every time someone is killed it is the destruction of a reflection of His image. In Jeremiah 1:5 it says “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” It clearly says that we were alive before we even entered into the womb. The argument if a baby is really alive in the womb is a void argument, it’s already been decided. God says life began in His heart before someone was even formed; His dream was already there. In Genesis 4:9 -10 Cain kills his brother Abel, and God says “The voice of your brother’s blood is crying to me from the ground.” This is the power of spilt innocent blood. God could hear Abel’s blood crying out to Him from the ground. This passage clearly shows that blood has life flowing through it. Cain, when confronted by God, showed no remorse, was cold hearted and denied any knowledge of his brothers’ whereabouts. God is asking the church, where are all your brothers and sisters? And the church is answering, “I don’t know, am I my brothers’ and sisters’ keeper?” BLOOD DEFILES THE LAND. Numbers 35v33, “Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it. Numbers says that the only way to atone for the shedding of innocent blood on the land is by the shedding of the blood of the one who shed it. Psalm 106:38, They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was desecrated by their blood. All around us there is a shedding of the blood of babies on the altar of convenience, and this is fueling the demonization of whole nations. Psalms and Numbers say that innocent blood and the blood of their sons and
daughters polluted the land. This is a far greater pollution issue than the o-zone layer. This is so serious. How many millions of people around this world are shedding the blood of the innocent, and polluting their land through slavery, abortion and persecution to name a few? According to this the only way atonement can be made is by the shedding of the blood of those that shed it. Remember blood has a cry that can be heard by God. Lands all over the world have spilt innocent blood crying out to God for justice on their behalf. AN ACCOUNT IS DEMANDED. The world will stand in judgment for all the times they have been quiet during injustice, while innocent blood has been spilt on the soil of our nations. The Church and our nations will be held accountable for being quiet about abortion for so long. Psalm 9:12, For he who avenges blood remembers; he does not ignore the cries of the afflicted. God avenges blood; God does not forget their cry. One of the names of God is Avenger of Blood, have you worshiped that God lately, have you prayed to Him? He is the one that will bring justice for the spilt innocent blood? In 2 kings 24 The Lord sent raiders to destroy Judah, because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. It says Manasseh had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood and the Lord was not willing to forgive. How serious is Gods stance on the spilling of innocent blood, from the blood of martyrs, slaves and aborted babies? It is so serious that God was willing to hold back His forgiveness and destroy Judah. Remember in Genesis 9:5-6, God says He demands an accounting for the shedding of the blood of those that carry His image. BLOOD OF THE MARTYRS Revelation 6v9-10 …I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain for the word of God and for the witness they had borne. They cried out with a loud voice, “O Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long before you will judge and avenge our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” We see again in Revelation, the innocent blood of the martyrs crying out for God to avenge their blood on those who dwell on the earth. This is not just an Old Testament principle; this is a scriptural New Testament demand. BLOOD OF THE UNBORN There is a pollution problem far bigger than the O-Zone problem, and it is crying out for a day of reckoning.
We must look after our world, but by looking after the environment while allowing or staying silent on the issue of shedding innocent blood, we are being extremely counter productive. Here is a quote from the Casting Crowns song “While you were sleeping ”Looks like another silent night, As we’re sung to sleep by philosophies, That save the trees and kill the children”. Sons and daughters were sacrificed to idols in Canaan. People sacrificed to Baal to be blessed. Demons demand blood for their empowerment, that’s why witchcraft offers up sacrifices. We have blood that is crying out and it is empowering the demonization of our nations. Our idols may not look like theirs, but to idols we are sacrificing all the same, they are just idols we have set up like convenience, financial gain, power, peer pressure and so on. WHOSE ISSUE? People say these are political issues, these are not political issues, these are moral issues. Slavery was not a political issue, it was a moral issue. It was an issue that God had against the nations. God hates injustice. I’m talking about the Bible, I’m not making this up. BLOOD THAT REDEEMS Thank God there is another blood that has a voice. Hebrews 12 – a blood that speaks that is yet stronger than the blood of tens of million of babies that are aborted every year on a globally. The church has to plead this blood, a blood that forgives and covers a multitude of sins. Good news is Jesus’ blood is more powerful than spilt innocent blood, Jesus’ blood saves, and Jesus’ blood covers a multitude of sins. The Bible says if we would just turn and repent of our wicked ways He would forgive us and heal our land, 2 Chronicles 7:14. Be very careful not to be condemn those that have been involved with the spilling of innocent blood. I will be dealing with this in my next article and far more of us are involved in this issue than we may think. I want to give a shout out to Lou Engle, a man I respect highly for his fight to end abortion in America. You can see more about their movement here: http://www. bound4life.com
Contributor - Andrew Kirk
Links http://twitter.com/andykirk http://www.Gnation2gnation.com
Found Heaven is a ministry of Mount Carmel Church In Bristol, UK. The concept behind Found Heaven is to have testimonies of how Jesus has changed different people’s lives documented in video form so people can be blessed by the different people’s stories. Also it serves as a great tool for evangelism. We’re going to be doing a 6 part series with 6 unique stories of
how Jesus changed their lives. This is the second of the 6. This is the story of Lee Bowden... Watch and be inspired, encouraged and if you think it will bless someone; share it too. For more information about Found Heaven or to submit your story visit there website on http:// www.foundheaven.com/
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Published on Mar 22, 2012
Issue 6 of M.E.X Magazine from the team that brought you www.m-briomusic.com Featuring Flame, Reuben King, Expressions of Worship, Dominiq...