Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #053
Born and raised in Trenton New Jersey, this contemporary gospel group sang in the same church choir in their youth. Devoted is comprised of longtime friends John Gaines, John Vaugh, Maurice Johnson, Anthony Jackson and Felton Rowe. After singing on programs and in various concerts, the group took to the streets of New York, and was giving the opportunity to expose their music to the world. The message is always the same; to be devoted to spreading the gospel in song. Their debut album “Let’s Go Back” appeared on Savoy records in 1994, after meeting with Rev. Milton Biggham, who suggested their exposure. Devoted continues to ministry the good news of the gospel in song.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #052
Entry#052 Will Amaze-Philadelphia Gospel Rapper
With a sound blending gospel and hip-hop, Will Amaze is breaking the mold. He focuses on the testimonies of the people rather than religion in order to be most effective for the kingdom of God. Up-and-coming Philadelphia artist, Will Amaze grew up with parents who were independent, professional singers. He joined the North Philadelphia Ferguson Elementary Choir when he was 8, and formed a rap group with friends and family when he was 15. Involved in the music industry for the majority of his life, Amaze submitted a song to Tate Music Group and was called back in 3 months. Since then he has recorded and released his first album “Storyteller: The First Chapter”, and continues to write and perform for noble causes throughout the state.
Entry#050 Praying to Never Forget to Rest in the Remembrance of God’s Goodness
God is big on rest and celebration. In the beginning when He created all things, God celebrated each accomplishment after each day. He rest from His labor of speaking things into existence, even though He was not tired. He was teaching us the principle that it is not only about the destination, it is about the journey along the way. In the Old Testament, we see God instituting many feast and celebrations, and the people stopping along the way to create a monument to a momentous occasion. In our fast-paced, driven society, taking time to reflect on God’s goodness, to do introspection on where we are right now, and to celebrate the accomplishments of how far we have come, is almost nonexistent. Satan will always condemn us about not being where we should be yet. He will cause us to think that because we haven’t arrived, we have no need to feel good about ourselves. But God knows we are all works in progress. He is just happy that we press on toward the mark of His high calling. He appreciates the fact that we want to become more like Him, and He doesn’t throw us away when we miss the mark. It is natural for us to be self-deprecating, and to look at all the things we are not doing properly. But God wants us to think on good things; what is lovely, true, and of good report. He wants us to remember that we are fearfully and wonderfully made in His image and likeness .God wants us to always remember Jesus, and keep Him at the center of our lives and our celebrations. When the 911 terrorist attacks occurred in America, our mantra was, “We will never forget.” And unless we were directly traumatized by those events, many people forgot the sting of the pain felt that day. What we do remember however, is how so many people rally together to help each other, and how so many sacrificed their lives for the great good. While pain makes a strong but temporary impression on our brains, pleasure and joy has a more lasting effect. We were made to for good. God is good, so we were made to feel God. And if we, like our Heavenly Father, take time to enjoy the journey of life, God will enable us to live it to the fullest.
Entry#49 Praying to be a Lifelong Learner
The day we stop learning, we stop living. When we finally figure out what life is really all about, we may be ready to die. We can learn from everything and everyone daily; from the educated scholar to the immature child. We can take our cues from nature. God doesn’t waste anything. All things are reused, recycled and upcycled. God intended for everything thing we experienced, good and bad to be used as a teachable moment. In our fallen, decaying world, we have a small window of time to not waste, but to use each day as a learning experience. But we cannot live in this world without some degree of waste. Even our attempts to have a small ecological footprint can be totally destroyed be people and things around us. We can try to eat whole, healthy foods, but other living things like pest, mold and bacteria can eat and destroy it before we can get to it. That is why God advises us to not only work to store up our tangible treasures on this earth where rot and pest will corrupt it, or where thieves can break in and steal it. God wants our hearts and minds on heavenly and spiritual things that cannot be destroyed. People may take our things from us, but no one can steal what we have learned and experienced. Everything that we have ever seen, heard, smelled touched and tasted in stored somewhere in our memories. It is our responsibility to focus on the ones will promote positive changes in our lives, and recall the good things God has already done for us. We have the right to feel hurt, angry and upset by how people treat us and the bad things that has happened to us. But wallowing in those experiences is simple a waste of time. The better usage of our God given gift of time is to give God our hurts and pains, and to ask Him what it is that He wants us to learn from what has occurred. God often allows us to go through hardship so that we are qualified to help people, and are empathic to others facing similar challenges. Every day is a gift from God. He doesn’t want us to waste our time, money, energy and essence on anything or anyone who does not build us up so that we can build God’s kingdom. When we learn to look at every situation as teachable moment, and when we learn how to see God’s hand is orchestrating all things, we will become a lifelong learner, open for new ways to evolve and become all that God created us to be.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #51
Philadelphia’s own Emanuel Lee lambert, Jr. whose stage names is Da’T.R.U.T.H., is one of the foremost Christian rappers in the industry. His electric worshipful performance style far surpasses the Hip Hop genre. The fusion of pop, rock and worship styles allows him to connect with his audience of various age groups, and makes him a trendsetter in Hip Hop and urban contemporary gospel music world. A graduate of Philadelphia Biblical University and The Institute of Jewish Studies, Lambert gives back to his community of faith through words of truth and raw honesty of his personal triumphs and failings. His accolades include Grammy nominations, stellar awards and Dove nominations. Lambert has appeared on many television shows, cable networks, and magazines, and has been featured on national tours alongside several notable gospel artists from Kirk Franklin to Mali Music. He has released chart-topping hits since 2004. This Cross Movement protégé and CEO of Mixed Bag Entertainment garnered international acclaim touring around the world as a musical pioneer, preacher and performer with purpose, passion and power.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #50
Entry#050 Bruce Parham
Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Bishop Bruce Parham, Sr., Ph.D. gained fame with gospel’s legendary James Cleveland as lead singer of the James Cleveland Singers group. His anointing to sing was evident by age two, and as an adolescent, he was engaged as a regular soloist at various church services, annual conventions and convocations of Mt. Sinai Holy Churches of America, Inc. At age twenty, Bishop Parham won numerous state and national gospel music competitions. At the same time, Bishop Parham answered the call to ministry, uniquely intertwining his anointing to sing with his anointing to preach the Word of God. After singing at the Gospel Music Workshop of America in St. Louis, MO, he received his first of many recording contracts. Bishop Parham traveled as a minister worldwide preaching and operating in the five-fold ministry. He received his Masters of Arts in Theology and his Doctorate in Religion in June of 2006. In September of 1998, Oasis of Refreshing Ministries, Inc. was birthed in Wilmington, Delaware where he served as Senior Pastor and Founder. He was consecrated to the Sacred Holy Order of Bishop by his spiritual father, Bishop Wilbert Baltimore at the Holy Convocation of the Fresh Fragrance in July of 2006. Bishop Parham is now the Presiding Prelate of Fresh Fragrance Covenant Fellowship which now subsumes many churches all across the United States. Bishop Parham recorded successful solo albums, worked with many leaders in the gospel music industry, and continues to minister in song both locally and abroad.
Tri-State Local Gospel Artist Spotlight #101
Entry #101 Tye Tribett
Raised in a Pentecostal Apostolic church in Camden, New Jersey, Christian and Gospel music songwriter, record producer, music director and singer Tyrone Tribbett is a force to be reckoned with. Tribett served as choir director and founder of the Grammy-nominated and Stellar-Award winning gospel group Tye Tribbett and Greater Anointing, known as G.A. Instruments of vocal, keyboard and drums are a part of his repertoire, and he began producing albums in 2004. Tye Tribbett toured with Faith Hill, and worked with the likes of Will Smith, Usher, Justin Timberlake and Sting. He has been also been associated with artist like Kim Burrell, Kirk Franklin, Mary Mary, and Cheneta Jones. The group’s first official recording appeared on Dreamworks Prince of Egypt’ compilation in 1998. For him, gospel and music is a family affair. His father served as a pastor, and his mother was a minister and radio announcer in the Philadelphia area. Tye Tribett’s wife was a member of Greater Anointing along with one of his sisters. His brother was a member of the band ‘Soundcheck’, and served as bassist for artist Estelle. Tye Tribbett successfully blends praise, worship, strong beats, powerful lyrics, and theatrical stage presentations all for the glory of God.
Entry# 049 Isaiah 25:1
O Lord, you are my God; I will exalt you and praise your name, for in perfect faithfulness you have done marvelous things, things planned long ago.
Entry#050 Luke 18:43
Immediately he received his sight and following Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
Entry#051 Psalm 134:2
Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the Lord.
Entry#052 Ephesians 1:3
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.
Entry#053 Psalm 135:1
Praise the Lord, Praise the name of the Lord; praise him, you servants of the Lord,…
Entry #048 Praying to be a Worshiper
God is a spirit, and we must worship Him in spirit and in truth. To worship Him in spirit implies that we have to be in tune to the invisible things. We have to believe in what we cannot see, for without faith it is impossible to please God. We praise God for what He has done, but we worship Him for who He is. The only way to know God is to spent time developing a relationship with Him in prayer and bible study. Then He can reveal Himself to us, taking us from grace to grace, and glory to glory. We worship God in truth by standing in the truth of who He created us to be. We are the beloved sons of God, redeemed and justified by the blood of Jesus Christ. Jesus is the way the truth and the life, so we worship him in truth by lifting up the name of Jesus. We magnify the name of Jesus by speaking to others of His wondrous works, by singing praises to His name, and bowing before him in praise, worship and adoration in our thoughts and deeds. We should seek daily to worship God in some way. For as we glorify Him, He glorifies us. When we serve Him by serving His people, God makes us great and prosperous. We worship God by presenting Him with an offering of our time, talent and treasures that He gave to us in the first place. Worshiping God benefits us in so many ways. We invite His presence into the earth realm and therewith experience the fullness of joy. We bring His goodness, love and favor into our everyday lives with worship. And while our tears and pain moves God heart, our offering of worship moves His hand. We give Him permission to intervene in our lives on our behalf. So praying to be a worshiper is praying to experience the full benefits of being a believer.
Entry #47 Jonah’s Prayer of Thanksgiving and Commitment
“But I will sacrifice to you with the voice of thanksgiving. What I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the Lord.”
In this season of thanksgiving, it is easy to focus on what we do not have as compared to others. Living in a commercial, consumer based society discontentment is consistently created to promote sales in the economy. We are not told to be happy and thankful for what we have; we are always pushed to find ways to buy the newest, biggest, fastest products, whether we can afford it or not. Sometimes, it is difficult to see anything to be thankful for when all hell is breaking lose, or when we are in a storm in our lives. We cognitively know that God is with us, and that joy will come in the morning, but we feel like the night’s weeping endures for eternity. It even harder to be grateful when we see wicked people appear to be prosperous, wasting more that we can even attain. We may have even gotten off course like Prophet Jonah in the bible and ended up in a barren place that we brought upon ourselves. But we need to remember that God is with us in the darkness. He sees us in the distance, and will never leave us in the danger of our circumstances. In the hard times when we chose to offer God the sacrifice of praise from a desolate place, and when we make the commitment to obey God’s word, God will deliver us. Jonah’s prayer explains the depths of his misery, while transparently confessing that he was responsible for his predicament. He prays in the spirit using the word of God,vowing to walking the destiny God prepared for him, while acknowledging that God is his salvation. Just as Jonah received God’s grace and deliverance, when we are thankful for what God has already done, and for what we have left, God will deliver us too.