Last week the black church world was in yet another uproar due to Facebook Live. In this installment, infamous gospel, Leandria Johnson goes on a smoke filled rant that included some content worthy of a Parental Advisement sticker. She goes in on the ecclesiastical establishment about hypocrisy, elitism, and the damage it causes people; punctuating her complaints with strong stiff “f*** you” to the church. (more…)

I haven’t completely figured out the official cutoffs, but it’s generally accepted that I am a late Generation X’er. There are many things that differentiate us from other generations but I believe one of the greatest differences is that we are a passion driven generation. Before us, the Baby Boomers and the Silent Generations were all focused on potential. To this day, Boomers are concerned that their grandchildren live up to their potential by pushing  education and getting a good job. Think about the civil rights movements, feminism, and the space programs of the sixties and early seventies, and you will see how much that generation wanted to maximize the capacity of what they could do. I was raised and educated by that generation, and they are still watching me to make sure I live up to my potential. (more…)

The three words I have often uttered to describe where I am in my ministerial career: “ministry is hard”. Lately, I’m coming to learn that these words may actually be “full of it”. While it is true, for me at least, the ministry was not a career move. I never chose ministry: ministry chose me. I do it because I am truly compelled to, and I feel it is my God-given calling to mainly teach, then preach, and lead. Yes, I feel an obligation to God to fulfill this purpose, and some have made me feel as if the simple presence of purpose should make the process painlessly easy. And I don’t ever want to negate the hard work that goes into studying, planning, and executing ministry, while performing some of the mundane tasks of pastoring. All this may be true, but these aren’t the reasons ministry is hard.  (more…)

Last month, I shared a sermon series about generosity; and as I was preparing for the last sermon, something in the scripture hit me hard in my chest. In 2 Corinthians 8, The Apostle Paul was describing the generosity of the churches in Macedonia. There was a great need and the apostles were receiving relief funds to help some of the saints that were in dire straights. The churches in Macedonia urged the apostles to participate in the relief efforts, and this surprises Paul because the people of Macedonia were living in poverty themselves.

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It’s been said that dreams reveal our subconscious: all the stuff we don’t realize we’re thinking. As a kid (and a few times as an adult) I would experience the terror of a recurring theme in my dreams. Something would happen and I would try to speak, only to realize nothing was coming out. I would try even to scream at the top of my lungs, to no avail. This would send me into a panic, trying to get someone to listen to me, and I would wake up in a cold sweat. I really had no clue what those dreams meant, I only knew that they terrified me. (more…)

I’m not one to believe that this world is the product of chance. You and I are not accidents, but we are the product of divine purpose, because anything created has a reason for its existence. Simply put, purpose is the reason for which something was created or done, and even though we can’t always see it, purpose is always present. With that in mind, there has always been a creative nature to purpose, producing something that wasn’t there before. To this end, I believe purpose creates passion.   (more…)

At over 32 million units sold, Michael Jackson’s Thriller is by far the most successful recording in history. I just want that to sink in; after 35 years, no other record has sold more than this instant classic. It is the epitome of recorded music success, but at what point do we determine that it was a successful venture or not? We are talking about the critically acclaimed work, that millions of people around the world still listen to. This is the same record that catapulted Michael Jackson in to pop music royalty. When was this work a success?  (more…)

There is an age-old debate circulating the making of sandwiches, tuna, and potato salads. Mayo or Miracle Whip? While superficially, these two dressings look alike, use most of the same ingredients and operate with the same functions, there are distinct differences between the two. Mayo is typically heavier, and more tangy, and whipped dressings are lighter and sweeter; but you wouldn’t know that until you put it on your sandwich and take a bite. Sure, some people can’t tell the difference, yet the differences are there, and clear to those who take the time to truly savor what they are eating. So no … Mayo is NOT THE SAME as Miracle Whip!

I’m sure you’re asking, “What does this have to do with me?”

Well, you have been given a gift; a function to serve in this world. God gave it to you, for reasons that are all His own. It is very easy to look at what’s been given to you generically, assuming it is the same thing such-n-such, and s0-n-so have been given. Sure, on the surface, there are a lot of people who have the same gifting, but upon further inspecting, you will discover they are NOT THE SAME.

There are subtile, and seemingly undetectable, differences that make you … well … YOU! While you may even serve the same function as someone else, your differences may determine the contexts in which you will flourish. For example, if I may continue my analogy, I prefer my potato salad be made with mayo. I also prefer my tuna salad be made with whipped dressing. However, when it comes down to a sandwich or burger, I can go either way. With either context, mayo and Miracle Whip could be used interchangeably, but their subtle differences suit my tastes differently.

So, don’t get discouraged when you see a gift like yours, functioning like yours, looking and sounding like yours, that is being received differently; you are NOT THE SAME. Don’t think that you deserve the same platforms as similar gifts with a wider reach; you are NOT THE SAME. Don’t assume that someone with the same abilities or comparable styles reflect where you are going; you are NOT THE SAME. Embrace your differences and shine where you are. At the end of the day, God knows what He is doing, so trust the process.

© 2017 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved.

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TV. Movies. Advertisements. Shoot … even Facebook and Instagram. In order for the public to see any finished product, there is a lot that happens behind the scenes.

Beyonce has had a team working behind the scenes since

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As natural as these pictures look, ,on the left, they were actually the result of a lot of behind the scenes work before and after the flash.

she was 10 years old, maybe even before that. There have been people on here team, who invested time, talents, energy, and yes, even money into every level of her career. Of course, the people she started with in 1992 aren’t the same people today, but there have always been people behind the scenes that give us “THE” Queen Bey.

The work that happens behind the scenes is just as, if not more impressive than the things we see. I remember doing the photo shoot for my official head shots, taking about 2 hours to produce only about 6 usable shots. The photographer gave me so much direction, that at the time, made no sense, but his attention to details, made my pictures look effortless. Even the simplest things, take a lot to get done right.

People only tend to want to be the one on the stage, or the one in the audience. Hardly ever do people want to put in the work that produces what we see. From creating, to planning, to prepping, to producing, to directing, to editing, to packaging, to promoting ; for every thing we enjoy, there is more than meets the eye.

© 2017 Derek J. Murphy Enterprises, and I AM KINGDOM Publishing, All Rights Reserved.

If you enjoyed this essay, please feel free to share it with your family, friends and social media to help spread this encouragement. Thank you for reading!

 

There is a statement going around, that honestly makes me cringe just about every time I hear it. “They’re in their feelings.”

It’s not so much the words that are spoken, it is usually the tone in which they are spoken. It usually sounds condescending, almost like mockery. It’s the tone you would use to kick someone while their down, because whatever the issue is, someone has it all together, while the other is losing it. We seem to do this as if we don’t understand what it means to feel something. (more…)