Academy award-winning leading Man and 57-year-old Actor, film Producer and Director Denzel Washington sat down to talk with GQ on the October issue of the Men’s magazine. I have to say this is one of the most candid and most interesting interviews I have seen in a while and here is what he had to say about several subjects.
On God and His Spirituality
Spirituality is important in every aspect of my life….I mean, that’s why I’m here. That’s what I’ve been blessed to do.
On The Bible
I read from the Bible every day, and I read my Daily Word. I read something great yesterday. It said, ‘Don’t aspire to make a living. Aspire to make a difference.
On Experiencing the Holy Spirit
That was thirty years ago, at the church I still attend. The minister was preaching, ‘Just let it go.’ I said, I’m going to go with it.’ And I had this tremendous physical and spiritual experience. It did frighten me. I was slobbering, crying, sweating. My cheeks blew up. I was purging. It was too intense. It almost drove me away. I called my mother, and she said I was being filled with the Holy Spirit. I was like, ‘Does that mean I can never have wine again?
On Whitney and Drugs
It’s more of an example to me or the rest of us to keep it together. I was listening to her song I Look to You. It’s prophetic. Maybe I’m speaking out of line. Maybe she thought she could have one. And then the next thing you know, her body was betraying her. She didn’t know that her body was aging quickly. She couldn’t take it. Your body can only take so much. Some people survive [Hollywood and fame], and some people don’t. Whitney was my girl, and she had done so well in recovery. And that is the toughest part about addiction. And that was a monster drug that got a hold of her, it was a mean one. You can’t go back to that one. Nobody beats that. I look at people – and I don’t think I’m speaking out of line – Samuel L. Jackson, I’ve known for thirty-some-odd years, he was down at the bottom. And he came all the way back. And when he cleaned up, he never looked back. But he can’t have that beer, because it might lead to the tough thing.
Well, the story’s not told yet. He’s in the beginning of the third quarter. I don’t know what his legacy is yet. He’s the first—that’s a part of it. Like Jackie Robinson. But it just wasn’t the first game; it was lasting the whole thing.
Now this is a man I admire.
If it seems like it’s been a long time since you heard from Group 1 Crew, it has.
The crew is back with Fearless, one of its most genre-bending, infectious efforts to date.
According to its website, the group, which consisted of Blanca Reyes (lead vocals), Manwell Reyes (vocals and rap), Pablo Villatoro (vocals and rap) and Ben Callahan (background vocals and percussion), had been on a hiatus of sorts because they were going through growing pains.
In the past couple of years, Blanca’s father died; she married Ben and the Pablo left the group.
Blanca said, “One of the main changes personally is balancing being married with going on the road, and professionally, that we went from a trio to a duo.”
“That was a very scary transition as we waited to see what God had in store for Group 1 Crew after, plus right around that time, I also lost my father. So there were certainly some big tribulations and hurdles we went through, but also some really great things like marriage, all of which really added to the record and gave Fearless a lot of heart.”
These upheavals left the group wondering whether or not to go on.
Manwell said, “Throughout all the soul-searching, we found a sense of purpose, realizing the group wasn’t just a group of convenience, but of necessity. We’ve been on the road playing music and filling voids for a lot of people. We’ve had so many people tell us that they found us to be a breath of fresh air, which made us feel like we have a sense of duty to continue.”
After deciding to press on, the group focused its energy on creating, Fearless.
Here’s what you can expect on the album.
His Kind Of Love opens the album to a promising start. It’s a mid-tempo song with lovely arrangement.We hear Manwell sing, not rap, in this song which is actually refreshing because he is a good singer. Blanca also sings passionately on the song. This track deals with the question, “How does one fully comprehend, describe, explain and sing about God’s kind of love?”
The Difference is the first dance song on the album,and it is the best in my opinion. The blend of Blanca and Manwell’s voice on this well-produced track make it a fun song. On top of all that, it still manages to possess a positive gospel message.
He Said, the chart-topping first single from the album, is a pop song with good melodies and flow. It focuses on remembering what God said– His promises and how He won’t give us more that we could take. The track is a departure from what G1C is best known for, but with the help of Chris August who sings on the second verse, they soar.
G1C fans will love Dangerous. It’s an example of the G1C we all know and love. Everything, from the title of the song to the beats and Manwell’s delivery, meld nicely. The hip-hop beats and fresh urban vibes of G1C tell us to live dangerously for Christ; risk it all for Christ and be more like Him.
Going Down will make you want to “get crunk.” The song has the sick flow of Dirty South hip-hop. I can see a lot of folks two stepping to this one. Who says just cos you are a Christian you can’t have fun and two-step a little for yourself and for God’s glory.
The album title track Fearless is indeed fearless and fierce. It’s one of the most powerful songs on the album. It could easily be an anthem for Christian soldiers ready who march fearlessly into the battle field of life. The only thing that would’ve made the song more powerful, in my opinion, is if there was another guest vocalist or a mass choir that chimed in at the end.
Mr. & Mrs. ( I Do This For You) is an easy-going song about relationships, building a home and sacrificing for a better friendship and relationship. Unfortunately it is one of the songs that doesn’t really stand out for some strange reason.
Darkest Valley features Flame and Thomas Ware; it is a rap song about walking through some of life’s darkest valleys and having Jesus save us and bring light to our lives. Manwell raps “I lived a life of hell then I got saved.” It’s a good effort, but the song falls short due to arrangement and production issues.
Not The End of Me is a song about moving on after bad relationships. Sometimes people come into our lives and somehow things don’t work out so you have to pick yourself up and move on because it is all a part of God’s plan. Considering the tough few years they had this song must be a really personal one for G1C.
Freq Dat and Night of My Life are both dance songs reminiscent of of the Black Eyed Peas. Though the songs could’ve been great and added to the album, they don’t; they seemed rushed and ended up seeming cheesy.
Though Freq Dat and Night of My Life had me scratching my head, I can forgive G1C, because of the next track, Stepping Out. Stepping Out encourages us to take a step and let things flow; if we fail and fall it is all in God’s hands, so let go and let God. Blanca does all the singing in this song and Manwell harmonizes and sings backup.
The urban uplifting song Forsaken closes the album with the message of trusting God’s grace and knowing that he has our back.
In conclusion Fearless is an happy, fun, easy-going urban album with a lot of great messages. The album has no “in-betweeners;” the songs are either exceptionally good or exceptionally cliché and cheesy. Fearless is not a mind-blowing album but nonetheless an enjoyable record which will get a lot of air-play and probably snag a few awards.
The Special Movie Goers
For the past year, young movie buffs in London have been flocking to one of the most unusual film-watching venues in the world. The Hot Tub Cinema combines hot tubs with good movies and a London rooftop location to offer probably the most relaxing film-watching experience on Earth.
‘We wanted to watch a movie, we wanted to use the hot tub, and we just thought why don’t we project it out the kitchen window onto a bed sheet on the washing line and see what the results will be, and that was how it was born,’ Asher Charman, one of the brains behind the project, told Reuters. ‘About a year ago we thought you know what, it’s about time, we’ve over grown our garden here, we’ve got three or four tubs, it’s time to take the step up and here we are now.’ So they got a movie projector, a screen and the Hot Tub Cinema was born. Quite a simple idea but one that really appealed to a movie-goers looking for something different. Now every time a rooftop movie-watching session takes place, the 12 hot tubs are always occupied.
From the image above it doesn’t look so comfortable.
I love watching movies, but doing it continuously for over 200 hours seems like an impossible feat. But not for two Bolivian movie aficionados who recently won a national movie marathon contest and split a prize of $10,000.
Last year, Bolivia set a new world record for the longest movie marathon. Felipe Gonzalo Ticona managed to stay awake for 131 hours watching all kinds of different films, but because a Guinness representative wasn’t present on scene, his record wasn’t certified so the title remained in the possession of a certain Indian gentleman. But this year, Bolivian movie theater chain “Cine Center” was determined to snatch the title of longest ever movie marathon for their home country, so they announced another monumental film-watching event that would take place simultaneously in three of Bolivia’s largest cities: La Paz, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. The person who managed to beat all other participants and surpass the current record of 128 hours was guaranteed a prize of $10,000 and his name mentioned in the Guinness Book of Records. In total, over 1,400 film fans signed up for the chance to see dozens of films and win the attractive cash prize. At first, organizers decided to allow only people over 18 to enter the competition, but after receiving a considerable number of requests from younger movie buffs, they decided to allow teens as well, as long as they presented a signed authorization from their parents. Everyone had to pay a $14 entrance fee.
Well if not for anything else my eyes would kill me staring at a screen for that long.
The Full Body Tattooed President
Meet Vladimir Franz, probably the most tattooed man to ever run for president in any country of the world. The eccentric candidate is currently gathering signatures in order to be able to candidate for president of the Czech Republic in 2013.
53-year-old Vladimir Franz has what many people call a striking appearance. His face and body are covered with tattoos, which actually makes him look blue, literally blue. But that’s not all that makes him stand out from the rest of the candidates. He’s the perfect example of why people should never “judge a book by its cover”. You couldn’t tell by looking at him, but Franz is actually a drama professor at one of the most prestigious universities in Prague, a talented painter and a successful opera composer. As a young man, he also graduated from law school and got a doctorate in the field of law, but chose not to pursue a career as a lawyer or magistrate during the communist Czechoslovakian regime. Instead, he turned his attention towards art, and after studying painting and music, he became a university professor as well. He is well know in the Czech Republic for initiating a serious of cultural movements for the country’s youth, which makes him very popular among young voters.
This goes to show that every stereotype out there about tattooed people is ridiculous. This is a great man here regardless of his body art.
12 Years Without Food, Just Water.
How long can you survive without food? It all depends on a person’s weight, overall health and metabolic rate, but according to scientific data, a human being can’t go much longer than 3 weeks without food. Now, a 22-year-old man from China means to challenge this theory claiming he has survived 12 years on water alone.
Ning Xuefa, a young man from China’s Henan province, has recently made headlines for claiming he hasn’t had a bite of food in the last 12 years. Looking at the 1.50-meter-tall, 40-kg-heavy Ning one can tell he doesn’t like to eat much, but his story seems almost impossible to believe. He told Chinese media that he completely renounced food when he was just a 10-year-old child. Just looking at bread or vegetables at the dinner table made him nauseous, and he always had a dry throat and a weird sensation like something was stuck there that made him drink lots of water all day long. He currently consumes up to 15 liters of water in a day, and his father back up his story that he never touches a single scrap of food, whether it’s rice, steamed bread or meat.
wow! Incredible! I love food too much to try this at home lol.
Mark Schultz has been in the Christian contemporary music scene since 2000, he is a Dove award-winning platinum recording artist. Mark has released seven studio albums including Scars and Stories (2003), Broken and Beautiful (2006) and the just released All Things Possible (2012).
I first heard of Mark Schultz in 2004 when my cousin sent me his song called Letters From War which was one of the best songs I heard that entire year, with that song Schultz won himself a fan. So I have basically seen him grown as an artist and songwriter.
All Things Possible his latest effort is yet another amazing album by the singer, this album will have people talking about him once again. It is indeed a huge improvement from his last album. His voice has changed a bit from the days of Scars and Stories but it is a new Mark and a new sound on this album.
The album title track All Things Possible kicks off the album, the rock song has some sweet harmonisation and we hear Mark sing and encourage us that even when our hearts are breaking we should hold on knowing that we have a God who is strong, mighty and able, he makes all things possible.
One Day is a song about hope and waiting on the Lord, who will take away our sorrows, pains, wounds cos “One Day” we will be whole again and God will wipe away our tears. The arrangement of this song reminds me of a few tunes from famous band Coldplay, it’s a lovely song. It Is Well is a song about having confidence is God and knowing that no matter what one is going through that it is well, its is just another pop/rock song quite cliché but that can be easily forgiven due to the lyrics and Mr Schultz near-perfect vocals. Mark tells us that he gave up all the worldly things and his focus is on heaven in I Gave Up, it is one of the non conventional songs on the album, it actually has some of the vibes of 90s pop music, and another element to this song is the trumpets playing of “When The Saint Are Marching On” at the end of the song as well the mass chorus too.
Haven’t Met You Yet shows Mark as a proud sensitive father, singing a little bit about his Wife and about His un-born child who he hasn’t met yet and already dreaming about, he even pictures the kid’s wedding day by the bridge of the song. His song writing skills comes into play in this song, undeniably great songwriting here.
What Do You Give A King is song asking a rhetorical question, what can we give our God? What do you give someone who gave His life for you? We are so small and little before him, we have nothing we are no bodies but He gave everything to us. So now the question how to do repay such gesture? It is an interesting and beautifully written song.
I Will Love You Still is my favorite song on the album, it is a lovely ballad. Mark samples the best vocals on the album in this piano and violin laced song. It is definitely the highlight of All Things Possible and to top it all it is talks about unconditional love, love that doesn’t judge flaws, love that doesn’t fade no matter what.
More To You Than This is a soulful song telling a story of a Girl who conforms to the ways of the world only to be broken, Marks sings “There is more to you than the lies you believe…”. It is such a delicate subject that teenagers and even adults need to know and needs to be addressed a lot more. The song is the next single by the from the album and should do well on the charts and on radio. Love Walked In deals with the restoration of marriages and bad relationships by inviting Christ right into the middle of it. A great song for couples going through a tough time and all. Be Still may appear to be one of the disappointing song on the album because putting the song alongside the rest of the songs on this album only makes it appear inferior and weak compared to the others. Good thing it closes the album and can be easily forgotten.
All Things Possible is such a creative album for Mark Schultz, a lot of experimenting on the album which really did work for him. The song writing and storytelling on the album is just superb. The album is Schultz’s debut release from his new label home, Fair Trade Services and Mark stayed true to his storytelling and powerful vocals.
Mark Schultz is one of the most underrated artist in CCM industry, this album is such a good one and I hope it doesn’t get overlooked by critics, award committees and the world.
All Things Possible is out now Get it on iTunes.
All Things Possible
I Will Love You Still
What Do You Give A King
I Gave Up
It Is Well
More To You Than This
Lecrae released his sixth album Gravity this week and it is already a huge success, it is a follow-up to the critically acclaimed mixtape Church Clothes. Here are three reasons for you to get the album.
1. All major critics can’t be wrong and I myself cannot be wrong on this one and quote me : This is not just the best rap christian album out this year (in terms of production, material and presentation) but it is one of the best hip-hop albums released this year. So even if you are not a christian you are bound to enjoy this album as long as rap music is your thing.
2. The lyrical content is on point and very uplifting, and this is what true rap should be about and I mean that in the sense of the genre, its history and its meaning.
3. Gravity features appearances from Big K.R.I.T., Mathai, Ashthon Jones, Novel and Mali Music, along with label mates Trip Lee and Tedashii. Producers on the album include DJ Khalil, Street Symphony‘s Heat Academy, and The Watchmen. It even has Tenth Avenue North on one of the bonus tracks. The stellar appearances on this album added all the more spice to it.
Stream and preview the entire album below
Not to sound judgemental but in what seems to be the most bizarre and messed up way to test one’s love a Russian guy tested how much his girlfriend loves him. He hired a whole film crew to stage a deadly car crash and see if the woman he wanted to marry really loved him to death.
Most people already know, or at least think they know the person they want to marry truly loves them, before they pop the big question, but 30-year-old Alexey Bykov, from Omsk, Russia, wanted to make absolutely sure. Instead of taking the easy route, like making his girlfriend Irina take a lie detector test, he decided to fake his own gruesome death to see what her reaction would be. So the young Russian hired a movie director, stuntmen, make-up artists, and even a script writer to stage a car crash in which he lost his life. They made sure everything looked as realistic as possible, by using crashed cars, smoke, ambulances and carnage, so the poor girl didn’t for a minute think she was the victim of a very creepy prank.
Once all the details of his plan were discussed with the film crew, Alexey arranged to meet Irina in a certain place, only when she arrived she found mangled cars and her beloved’s body lying on the road all covered in blood. A paramedic told her he was dead and she immediately broke into tears. Once the “romantic” prankster got the reaction he was waiting for, he got up from the pavement and proposed. You can imagine Irina’s reaction, can’t you? Well, although she admits at first she “almost killed him again, but for real this time”, in the end she accepted to be this crazy man’s wife for the rest of her life.
Well I say this guy has a whole lot of time and resources, plus the fact that if one saw someone they know but don’t even remotely love in a fatal car crash I am sure their reaction would be the same. This is no test of true love but congratulations to the couple.
Welcome to another installment of GET INSPIRED today I want to share with you ten worship numbers of the moment that I love, I virtually listen to these songs every time I set out to worship God. So I want you to join in and worship with me, these songs will help take you to that worship place.
Psalm 95:6 O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before the LORD our maker.
We worship God cos we must, God is too great, holy, mighty for us not to humbly bow before him
Psalm 96:9 O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness: fear before him, all the earth.
You can worship God anywhere and at anytime as long as you do it earnestly, in spirit and in truth. It don’t need to be only in church or inside you room or house.
John 4:23 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.
We tend to worship things of the world making them our idols and all but what and who we should really worship is God.
With You – James Fortune
This song is off James Fortune most recent album Identity, James and Fiyah worship the lord because with Him we find our strength, with Him we are protected cos there is no body greater than God.
Overcome – Jeremy Camp
Pastor, Worship Leader, Songwriter and Lyricist adores Jesus in this song. He lifts Jesus’s name because He never sinned yet He took all our sins, He became sin for us. He saved us all so He is worthy and deserves all the glory because he overcame, He faced the trials of this world yet He overcame for our sake. Great is the name of Jesus. This is such a great worship song.
Oh Our Lord – All Sons and Daughters
This is my favorite song from All Sons and Daughters, reminds me of The Civil Wars (the band). Their voices on this song is perfect and compliments each other, the harmonization is top-notch and all to the glory of God. They lift God’s name in this beautiful song so join in and lift God’s name. “….Oh oh oooo our lord how majestic is your name in all the earth…..”
Slow – Andrey Assad
This song is another lovely soulful piece taken from the critic acclaimed album Heart by Audrey Assad. She just has an amazing voice, song is highly based on faith but non-the-less is a worship song to me.
Rest – Beckah Shae
This one of the best and innovative worship songs i have heard all year, it is not your everyday worship song but it hits home! It is so soothing and smooth. It is about resting in God, just relaxing and letting him take charge. Song shows how great God is and how little our troubles are, all we need do is relax and look up to him. Just like Audrey’s song it is not a straight forward worship song but the serenity of the song and what its message can as well make it a worship song.
Oh Lord Your Beautiful – Brian Johnson
I recently watched a special on Brian Johnson where he did a number of songs in the studio with a bunch of people just there worshiping with him, kind of reminded me f what Aaron Keyes did with In The Living Room. So immediately I downloaded the album titled Love Came Down and the song is just a pure worship acoustic album and I choose this song cos it was the song I first watched when I tuned to the channel to watch his special.
10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord) – Matt Redman
This song is taken from Matt Redman’s album of the same name and it is another amazing worship sing-along song. And it has this very cool video where Matt and his band performs the song in an empty cathedral (you all know my love for cathedrals haha). We have a trillion reasons to sing and glorify and worship God’s holy name.
Lamb of God – Tenth Avenue North
The song is taken from the band’s latest album The Struggle which is barely two weeks old since its release, it happens to be the last track but one of my favorite from the album.
Nobody Greater – Vashawn Mitchell
Vashawn has a new album which I am yet to get but this song is from his old album from 2010 and it is a song that my Pastor loved and sang over and over again, but recently I found myself falling in love with this song all over again. The title of the song itself says it all…. NOBODY GREATER. This is Vashawn at his best, perfect modern-day worship song!
Cornerstone – Hillsong
I honestly try to keep up with Hillsong’s new releases and albums but sometimes I can’t. This is the latest from Hillsong united and it is called Cornerstone and also from the album of the same name. Most of Hillsong’s album is always a live recorded one, this one right here had me all teary eyed and on my knees in worship. Check it Out.
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Hebrews 12:28 Do you see what we’ve got? An unshakable kingdom! And do you see how thankful we must be? Not only thankful, but brimming with worship, deeply reverent before God. For God is not an indifferent bystander. (MSG)
Hello People, so it has been amazing these two months since i started blogging, i really cant believe the number of hits i get on the blog daily and i want to say thank you for checking in and reading, for not allowing me to be up here talking, ranting and rumbling to myself 🙂 i really do appreciate you all.
So barely two months after starting out here, I am glad to tell you all that i now have the opportunity to become part of something new and bigger; a ministry/Site called THE UNDERGROUND SITE. It is an online christian magazine which brings to people Christian stories and news from around the world, devotionals, art and culture, life changing messages etc. I am an Editor, Contributing Writer and Columnist for this ministry. My column is called STORIES OF GRACE AND LIGHT so always look out for it. God had a plan when i started this blog and i can see he was just prepping me for this. Some may see it as something small but i see it as an opportunity for me to be part of something bigger, a bigger platform to help share the message of God and help bless people and as well as bring glory to God. So i am very pleased and grateful for this opportunity.
This blog WILL still exist as a matter of fact but don’t fail to join me at TUS, i want you all to be frequent visitors to the site, because it is a Christian Magazine like no other.
In 2006, Ben Richter moved from Texas to Atlanta to take a job at a local church as a youth pastor and worship leader. He invited his friend Geoffrey Ashcraft to move with him. Upon their arrival at the new church, they were introduced to Josh Kirk. The three began leading worship together for local youth services and eventually adopted the name The Museum.
Their debut album Let Love Win was released in 2010. It featured popular singles such as Allelujah, My Help Comes from the Lord, Let Love Win and Never Look Away.
Now the band is back with, My Only Rescue, its sophomore effort.
The first track on the album in All Over the World. While it’s a pretty decent pop/rock song, I don’t think it was the best song to open the album with. It doesn’t have that “element” that makes you want to listen to it on “repeat.” With that said though, it is one of the best uptempo songs on the album.
The next two tracks, Solid Ground and Found In You introduce us to how good the band can be.The band shows so much confidence in God on these two songs that it seems as if they’ve hit that worship “sweet spot.” Unlike the album’s opener, these songs are made for listening to over and over again.
After Solid Ground and Found in You, My Only Rescue, the album’s title track, fails to impress. It had a great start, but it proved to be anti-climactic and by the middle of the song I was already ready for the next song.
The album’s first single, Love Will Find You, is one of the most beautiful songs on the album. It works because the band is in its element when it comes to the singing and instrumentals on the song. The song’s message is also uplifting–God loves us no matter who we are or we’ve done and where we go.
In Jesus Name is a song about just trusting Jesus and putting all our hope in Him. It’s an infectious sing-along-type song that would work well in gatherings and at churches and camps.
Coming Closer is another of the up-tempo songs on the album. The placement of the song on the album seems off. For six tracks, the album was mellow and comfortable, and then the vibe suddenly changes. It kills the album’s flow in my opinion.
Not For Sale is song that the group did in 2011 in response to the human trafficking the band saw when visiting the Philippines. Though the song is powerful and features a timely subject, I don’t feel that it was a great choice to include on the album.
More Than Words, is about truly seeking and earnestly wanting to know Christ and be His follower. In my opinion, is the track that puts the album back in balance. It is one of my favorites from the album, and it is simply the band at their best. It
I don’t have much to say about the last two tracks on the album: Better Than Life and Lost in a Moment. Both songs are enjoyable. The thing that stands out about them is that they both feature amazing guitar riffs and are very easy on the ears.
All-in-all I think My Only Rescue is a good effort. I appreciate the band’s mellow, cool and serene way of telling stories with their songs. I like how you can feel the sincerity in their songs. It’s easy to see that The Museum were shooting for easy-going stadium anthems à la The Fray. However the band will have to work a lot harder to get a solid footing in the CCM world (for starters Richter, instead of being so mellow needs to challenge his voice a little more) because as good as they sound there is still something missing from the album.