Thug Life Revisited/ Thug Life Reimagined


Thug Life Revisited

As I sat alone in a darkened theater with the anticipation of a child being strapped into a seat waiting for a monster size roller coaster to take off, I eagerly waited for the movie “The Hate U Give” to begin. I watched the previews for the film and I followed via social media the intentional education centered campaign to promote the movie and celebrate the book that inspired the movie. I was ready to be emotional in my silence and to be stimulated to action through tears that would water the seeds of love that the Lord has planted inside of me for the plight of teenagers and my community. I hadn’t read the book or knew much of anything about the Author Angie Davis before seeing the movie, so I was in for a treat when a dominant theme presented itself in the movie that drew me on a very professional and personal level.

This theme is the ideology that was coined “Thug Life” by Tupac Shakur. The phrase’s popularity and enduring quality in some sense shined brighter than what Tupac was communicating through these two words, eight letters and a reality that continues to exist more than 20 years after his death in 1996. Thug Life according to Tupac stands for The Hate U Give Little Infants F&@k Everybody. This theme is at the center of the film and the book and it stirs up the embodiment of Tupac Shakur in a way that transcends Tupac the artist to Tupac the social commentary philosopher and fore teller for what the plight of our community will be because of “Thug Life.”

Now to everyone who is put off by the breakdown of the word “Life” let’s not allow a profane word to derail our thinking from examining the premise that Tupac was communicating. If we focus on the way, we treat our children as a litmus test for examining our values and beliefs as a society then we can look at Thug Life and see more than enough validity to have a conversation. I will even venture to look at the warning expressed around the mistreatment of children in the words of Jesus Christ in Matthew 18:6 “Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to sin, it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of offenses! For offenses must come, but woe to that man by whom the offense comes!” Jesus was speaking about misleading a child of God but in an earlier verse He states that to fully believe in Him we must come to Him like a child. Think of a child’s innocence, imagination, and intrigue in the natural, this how Christ wants us to come and belief in Him. The use of “child” as descriptive state of being and relationship is one that I am standing on when drawing a connection to the warning in the scriptures to the warning given by Tupac.

Thug Life Reimagined

“The Hate U Give” examines hatred coming from various directions and this is key because it is not just an us versus them whereas we are the sole recipients of hate and don’t have the capacity to give hate ourselves. When I finished watching the movie and meditating on what I watched and what I believe I began to reimagine Thug Life to identify where forms of hatred comes from that are impacting our children and youth. The reimagining of Thug Life is not one where I plan on reciting sources, data points and headlines to prove its validity. I simply want you to take a moment and think about where we stand as a society when it comes to how a growing number of our black and brown children in lower economic communities are impacted by the various institutions and people that operate within the ecosystems of their lives to the point where their ability to be their full selves are stifled.

Thug Life: The Hate U Give Limiting Insights From Education

If we think about the inequities as far as resources made available to schools based on zip codes and funding allocation formulas coupled with the perceptions of black and brown children embodied by and acted upon by predominately white educators and administrators; is it a stretch to view this as a form of hatred?  When our black and brown children don’t see reflections of themselves in the wide array of fields of study that are available to them to pursue and when their knowledge and brilliance is often undervalued; is a stretch to view this as form of hatred?  When education is presented as the key to unlock the doors of opportunity, but the locks and the doors are changing faster than a new key of education can be created in the hood; is it a stretch to view this as a form of hatred?

Thug Life: The Hate U Give Limiting Insights From Entertainment

If we think about the honesty and vulnerability that is embedded in the God given ability to create that then gets bastardized in its capitalistic packing and purpose to shape the ideals and identities of a targeted community under the moniker of entertainment; is it a stretch to view this is as a form of hatred?  When the marketplace dictates that there can only be a very limited number of women voices in Hip-Hop that are successful at a given moment, thus creating an unhealthy form of competition; is it a stretch to view this as a form of hatred?   When contrived creative expressions over saturates the developing minds of our youth to the point where it is difficult for them to see themselves through a non-entertainment lens; is it a stretch to view this as a form of hatred?

Thug Life: The Hate U Give Limiting Insights From Enforcement

If we think about how the instincts of enforcement often begin with aggression when engaging black and brown youth regardless of the setting where they interact with these youth; is it a stretch to view this as a form of hatred?  When fear can override training in the hood and allowances are given selectively to people in select communities; is it a stretch to view this as a form of hatred?  When the system treats drug use as a crime in one community in one era and treats drug use as a health issue in a different community today; is it a stretch to view this as a form of hatred?

Thug Life: The Hate U Give Limiting Insights From Environments

If we think about the differing landscapes and amenities within varying communities that can often be differentiated by race/ethnicity and income; is it a stretch to view this as a form of hatred?  When we think about the continuing water crisis in Flint Michigan that has seemingly slid to obscurity based on its place in the news cycle; is it a stretch to view this as a form of hatred?  If we compare the access to healthy food eateries, supermarkets, specialty stores and restaurants by zip codes within various cities; is it a stretch to view this as a form of hatred?

As Tupac stated, The Hate U Give Little Infants F@#k Everybody


Timothy Jones @tdj6899


A Lyrics and Scriptures Analysis of “Kill Jay-Z” – by Timothy Jones


I’ve been listening and talking about Jay-Z’s latest album 4:44 for a few days now and with so many thoughts swirling in my head I was unsure where to begin in expressing my views on the album and its subject matter.  I am a lot of things but most important to me is who I am in the eyes of God and that is a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I then figured why not begin where Jay begins with the first track of the album, “Kill Jay-Z.”   “Lyrics and Scriptures” is an approach to developing and enhancing one’s “spiritual media literacy” through the analysis, evaluation and subsequent discussions where lyrics from songs are aligned with scriptures from the bible based on themes and or direct quotes.

You can find the lyrics and explanations for “Kill Jay-Z” here

The simple premise of the song is a reflection on the war that takes place within us as we go through and begin to have shift in perspectives and values.  Here are five scriptures that come to mind when listening to “Kill Jay-Z” along with the lyrics from the song that align with the scripture that can be meditated upon as you go through your own war of growing up and becoming more aware of what is important and lasting in your life.

  1. 2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Kill Jay Z, they’ll never love you. You’ll never be enough, let’s just keep it real, Jay Z

  • The result off asking Christ into your heart and to be your Lord and Savior is the death of the sinful you that existed in darkness because you hadn’t been introduced to the marvelous light of Jesus Christ. The new creation based on the song would be Sean Carter and the old things that need to pass away are the thoughts, actions and sins of Jay-Z.
  1. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Cry Jay-Z we know the pain is real. But you can’t heal what you never reveal

  • Jay-Z speaks about his past transgressions in this song just as we should confess our sins to God believing that He will not only forgive us of our sins but cleanse us so that we don’t return to our sinful ways. We cannot be righteous within our natural selves because the self-serving desires of our flesh are too strong.
  1. Luke 6:42 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

But this f&^% everybody attitude ain’t natural. But you ain’t a saint this isn’t kumbaye

  • The flow of “Kill Jay-Z” Jay-Z addresses some of his issues before commenting on his brother Kanye West. For us to see our brother’s actions clearly to bring correction in love we must judge and seek correction for our own actions first.
  1. Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Let go your ego over your right shoulder. Your left is sayin’, “Finish your breakfast

  • Jay-Z speaks about having a sense of good and evil over his right and left shoulder. This is a portrayal of the battle that we must fight and the fight is not with people it is a spiritual battle that the scriptures explain throughout Ephesians 6 how we ought to fight.
  1. Proverbs 1:8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother;

But you gotta do better boy, you owe it to Blue

What up Jay-Z? You know you owe the truth to all the youth that fell in love with Jay-Z

  • One the main reasons for killing Jay-Z is the notion that Sean Carter is the better father for his daughter Blue. Jay-Z speaks about telling the truth to the youth that fell in love with Jay-Z.  Throughout the rest of the album there are references to his role as a father and husband.  This scripture is the beginning of instructions to us to shun evil counsel.  The lyrics expressed throughout the career of Jay-Z can be looked upon as being filled with evil counsel to the youth that he must now admit for their benefit.


Be on the lookout for more writings based on “4:44” and other works by Timothy Jones.  If you would like more information about “Lyrics and Scriptures” and or “HipHopEd” please contact Timothy Jones on Twitter @tdj6899 or via email at



Lyrics & Scriptures: Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Below are a series of quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. that I assigned to the teenagers at my church.  The assignment was for them to search the scriptures and select ones that they believe align with the sentiments being expressed by Dr. King.  One reason that this activity was given to the teenagers at my church was to remind them that Dr. King was a minister of the gospel and therefore his work and words are rooted in the works and words encompassed in the Bible.  I decided to complete the assignment on MLK day and post it for others to be able to learn more about the man and the scriptures that under-girded his work and words.  The selecting of scriptures is not based on a premise of being absolutely right or wrong but being able to present a logic that connects the quote and scripture(s) that presents a consistent stream of consciousness.  This critical thinking skill is key for our young people to develop and exercise as they go through the psycho-social stage of “Identity vs. Identity Confusion.”

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. quote Related and or Supported Scripture
“Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality.” John 13:34-35 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. Romans 8:35-39 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Philippians 2:14-15  Do all things without complaining and disputing, 15 that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world,

Proverbs 10:12 Hatred stirs up strife, But love covers all sins.

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase. 2 Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, not by sight.

Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and is not concerned about the slums that damn them, the economic conditions that strangle them and the social conditions that cripple them is a spiritually moribund religion awaiting burial. Matthew 25: 35-40 for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; 36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me.’

37 “Then the righteous will answer Him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You drink? 38 When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or naked and clothe You? 39 Or when did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ 40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Nonviolence means avoiding not only external physical violence but also internal violence of spirit. You not only refuse to shoot a man, but you refuse to hate him. 1 John 2:11 But he who hates his brother is in darkness and walks in darkness, and does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded his eyes.

1 John 4:20 If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. Philippians 2:3-4 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
If physical death is the price that I must pay to free my white brothers and sisters from a permanent death of the spirit, then nothing can be more redemptive. Colossians 3:12-17 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
Means we use must be as pure as the ends we seek. Proverbs 21:2 Every way of a man is right in his own eyes; But the Lord weighs the hearts.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together. 1 Corinthians 1:26-31 For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. 27 But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty; 28 and the base things of the world and the things which are despised God has chosen, and the things which are not, to bring to nothing the things that are, 29 that no flesh should glory in His presence. 30 But of Him you are in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God—and righteousness and sanctification and redemption— 31 that, as it is written, “He who glories, let him glory in the Lord.”

The Unity In Community

We are living in perilous times and two things that we have the power to change and control, that are magnifying the negative impact of these particular times over others that we have endured as a people is the lack of unity and true functionality of the church. I am grateful to be a part of a community that has been able to stay connected through various methods and I am excited about what greater works we can do together as a community. In Acts 2:44-45 it states “44 now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, 45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.” This passage represents the methodology of the people who received the gospel from Peter after the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost. I want to focus on the sense of unity and community that is clearly described because these concepts are vital to our survival during these times that we are living in regardless of your spiritual beliefs.

People are hurting and are searching to find their way for themselves and their children and it is the role of the church to play its part in serving the people in their greatest hour of need. This work of the church was stating best by Jesus Christ in Luke 4:18 where He states “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed;” We all know someone who is poor and or has experienced poverty in resources, faith and or in spirit. We all know someone who has experienced a broken heart. We all know someone who has been seemingly held captive by the circumstances of life to the point where they live in a prison where the bars are made out of perceived reality instead of steel. We all know someone who has become so short sighted based on what they see today that they can’t see tomorrow being any different so they live in a state of blindness because they have no hope. We all know someone who has experienced feeling oppressed because life has made it almost too difficult for them to believe in their God given capacity to allow their perception to ignite the changes that are necessary for them to address the issues within their lives. In addition to all of us knowing someone who has experienced these states of mind, circumstance and emotions, we all may have dealt with and are dealing with these ourselves and for some of us, even as we read this letter.

I am a Minister at The Believers Worship Center in Upper Marlboro, MD and we are in the process of renovating a building so that we can be in a position to impact the community the way the church once did for our parents and for some our grandparents. I have also been laboring as a youth worker and educator for over the past 18 years and through this work (ministry) I have been blessed to meet many of you that I am sending this letter. For some of you, our paths crossed before I truly gave my life to Christ and you have been a witness to the testimony of what Christ has done in my life. I am asking that you help impact a community that is in need by contributing $25, $50 or any amount that you may have avail to assist us in this effort. You can make your contribution by going to . I know that you have all heard of church fundraisers and have sadly become skeptical of its purpose and impact. I am asking for you to contribute based on the example of Christ that you can see in the work that I have been able to do and believe that I am part of a ministry that will make a difference. The goal of my church is to be an example for other churches to emulate by following the scriptures that outline how the church should interact with and serve the community as a whole. If you are led to contribute, please select “building fund raiser” and include my name so that we can keep track of who you are giving on behalf of because we are all reaching out to family and friends in an effort to complete this work.

If you are not able to contribute at this time, I totally understand. I want to thank you for taking the time to read this letter and know that if you are reading this letter, it is because I prayed for direction in who to send this letter to and prayed for whoever reads it to be blessed as they meditate on these words. I know that in your own way you are all making a positive impact on your community and this is the energy that has kept us connected and or connected us virtually (for my social media family). This is me taking a step out on faith in asking that you join me in making a natural and spiritual impact. There are infinite lessons available to us when we reflect back as a community and evaluate how we made it over when the enemy wanted us dead, we not only survived, we persevered and thrived.

In Love for our people,


Love Is

Essay published in “Souls of My Brothers” by Timothy Jones, 2003

I consider myself a good fair person. I did my best not to initiate ill feelings towards people, but I never wanted to be taken advantage of either. I would do my best not to carry hate in my heart because that would end up hurting me more than the person I held the hate for. I also had to realize that in some instances I wasn’t a very forgiving person. This was my sentiment towards my father. My father had been very inconsistent in my life and after a painful reunion with him and my brothers in 1991 I vowed that the next time I saw him he wouldn’t know I was there because he would be dead and I would be paying my respects. My mother just told to make sure that I was not harboring any hate towards him in my heart because that would be bad for my spirit. With this is mind I became numb to my father and lived as if he did not exist. I had other men in my life that were positive and embraced me as a son so I figured I was better off without him anyway.

Now let’s fast forward a few years to November 8, 1995. It is my dad’s birthday and I’m in my room writing poetry listening to “Stairway to Heaven” by the OJay’s. I began to think about my dad and the fact that it was his birthday and I couldn’t call him even if for some strange reason I wanted to because I didn’t have his number. For some odd reason in thinking about my dad on this day it brought on various emotions that hit me hard in an instant. I felt as the shell around my heart was being peeled back and I was seeing the vibrant pain that had been covered still was there. I began to think about the moments in my life that happened without my dad and I began to cry. I tried to stop the tears but that was useless. With the song playing in the background I rose from my table where I had been writing and began to talk out loud to God and my Dad because at this moment I was upset at both of them. I was upset at my Dad for doing this to me and God for doing this to me. Here’s how the conversation went:

I don’t understand why I feel this way. I can’t believe I’m crying thinking about someone who is not thinking about me. Dad why am I missing you? You don’t deserve to be missed, no not for a second do you deserve to be missed by me! You probably didn’t even think about me on my birthday and I’m sitting crying because I can’t wish you happy birthday on yours. Lord what is wrong with me? Why am caring for someone who has done me so wrong? I feel like a punk because I am playing myself by getting emotional about a man who I haven’t seen or heard from in years. What would he think if he could see my tears? WHAT WOULD HE THINK IF HE COULD SEE MY TEARS! Me crying for my father is like watering the ground without first planting a seed and expecting something to grow. There is no seed of love in my heart for my father so all I’m creating is mud. I am a man who has made it this far without him so lord please take this pain away so I can continue on without him. My heart says that I miss him, I want him, but that is crazy because he has done nothing for me so why in the world would I still want him. He doesn’t want me because he is living his life fine. It was me who came to see him in 1991 and got the cold shoulder so why lord, why are you doing this to me? Take away this pain from me and let this moment pass. LORD SET ME FREE FROM THE THOUGHTS OF MY FATHER and please let my love to flow to those that deserve it and who will give it back!

I stop speaking and focused on the song which was the part which says “step by step.” The song is talking about taking steps towards heaven and being with God.

In my silence God spoke to me:

Do you understand that you are asking me to take away love? You want me to take away the same type of love that I have for you and my people. For all of my people have fallen short of deserving my love and I give love them that is everlasting. When did you decide that you had a choice in deciding who and how you should love? Do you think that my love for you is merit based; my favor perhaps, but my love never! I stand with my hands stretched out to a people that I died for and yet I feel the winds of time across my palm because they refuse to hold on to me and if they came to me in this moment I would love them as if they never left me. How else will a people see my love unless they see it in those that they can see that profess my name? You loving your father is worshiping and bringing honor to my name. So do this in honor of me and I too shall honor you! Until you love your father and stretch out your hand to him neither one of you will ever be free. The walk of the righteous is not steps taken when earned they are steps taken in love and service. For one day when you have a child what example will you be if you can not love the one that you call father.

I felt that I was doing well no thanks to my father being around. I also felt that since I was grown he couldn’t hurt me anymore. My Mother has always been a rock in my life so I convinced myself that I really had no ill effects from the dysfunctional relationship that I had with my Dad. I was never more wrong about anything in my life. I never knew what a healthy relationship between a man and woman was because my dad wasn’t there to show me. I was blessed to have four older brothers but I had to pick pieces and come up with a definition of manhood from watching them grow up because my dad wasn’t there. I dealt with the pressure of having to prove manhood through the acquisition of women because my dad believed that I would be gay because I was so close to my mother. The worst part of this is that I never was able to talk to anyone while I was going through my late teens and twenties about this because I didn’t know what I know now about myself. If everyone tells you that you are o.k. after a while you believe it to the point where you hide your pain because no one gives you room to acknowledge it.

There I was a shamble of myself but still believing that I was the man because through all my up and downs I still had women around. Women were my security blanket and my self-esteem. Women filled voids that I believed didn’t exist and the voids were there part in parcel because of my lack of a relationship with my dad. My lowest point which lead to my emancipation came when my security blanket was taken away from me and I had to see myself by myself and I didn’t like what I saw. I was living as my father without even realizing it. I was carrying his unmarked baggage and actually put my clothes in it and labeled the baggage as my own.

With no where to turn and feeling like the prodigal son I went to my true father, Jesus Christ. I repented and pleaded for a plan for my life and the wisdom to be able to know that it was Jesus speaking and not myself fooling myself. I was at that point where I let go because I had nothing to hold on to and let Jesus become the center of my life. That is when love 101 began and I have been studying the course ever since. I no longer practice accounting I am a Director of a Teen Program for a community based organization in Washington, DC called Martha’s Table. The Lord took me from the high office downtown to the fields in the neighborhood to tend to his harvest. I have been doing his work now for almost seven years and he has lifted me to heights I didn’t see possible in my former life. Jesus is a love that can not be measured because it is as infinite as his power. When I think it can’t get any better it does; when I think that I am worthy, I repent because I am not or will ever be. This lesson has given me the strength to begin to love.

When I look at my life now all I can see if love. I see love in the struggle to show my teens God’s love through everything that I do. I see love when I get to enter into the Lord’s house to fellowship and to worship and give praise with my family. When I look at my family I see Jesus because as he pulled me out and dusted me off and began to teach me love he blessed with a family to grow with. My wife is someone whom I went to high school with and was in the same homeroom for four years and was more of a sister because here maiden name was Jones. When I went to my ten year reunion in hopes of continuing my quest for women, the Lord put Vanessa in my tracks and my life has never been the same. At the time I met Vanessa again at our ten year reunion she had a five year old daughter name Jasmine. We met August 23, 1996 and were married August 22, 1998.

The message the Lord spoke to me on that day while I was crying out to him about my father was brought to fruition on July 8, 1999. My birthday is July 8th and on this birthday morning my wife gave birth to my son, Isaiah Jeremiah Ezra Jones. After all that I had done to fall so short but yet God’s love and mercy was upon me and better yet his favor was upon me and my wife by blessing us with a son. I cried many times since the birth of Isaiah because when he was born my prayer was that he would bring my family back together. As a teenager without my father I always prayed for a son so that I could have the father-son relationship that I never had. I promised to love my son the way he was supposed to be loved. The problem was that without Jesus in my life I wasn’t ready to love myself let alone my son. But in God’s timing everything works to bring glory and honor to him.

I now proclaim my manhood as being defined by my walk for Jesus. Jesus is everything and he is my measurement and the word of God is my instruction book. I know what love is now and I am reunited with my Father. I have forgiven him because Jesus has forgiven me. I love my father because Jesus loves me. I now speak to my father and attempt to be a comfort for him because Jesus has comforted me.

Through the love of Jesus I can see that my father was a victim of his own circumstance and he had his own baggage that he hadn’t healed from. My dad is sixty-one years old and is raising his fifteen year old son. Jesus has given him the opportunity to get it right with his son the way Jesus has given me the same opportunity with mine. My dad calls me some time and because I work with teenagers, he will ask me for advice. I talk to him about my family and I know that he is happy to finally have a grandson. There’s no greater testimony than love, there’s no greater gift because that is what Jesus is. LOVE!

“No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.” 1 John 4:12

Timothy D. Jones

This piece is dedicated to Jesus my father and Isaiah my son!

Copyright 2002 beatoflife

Welcome to L.O.O.P Lyrics Out Of Perspective #1

According the Kanye West’s song “Mercy” was the number one song on the Mediabase Urban Radio chart for the week of June 17th – 23rd.  Mercy was played on radio stations across America 3,862 times which is a (+469) from the amount of spins in the previous week.  The estimated audience reached through the 3,862 spins is 27.357 million (27,357,000) which means an average of 7,084 listeners heard Mercy every time it was played during the week of June 17th– 23rd.

The song is not a new song based on the fast paced world of music and youth’s interests and desire for always having the “latest.”  “Mercy” is more than a couple of months old and when the song first came out my niece contacted me to ask me was being said in the beginning/chorus of the song.  She reached out to me because I am a student of Hip-Hop music and its impact on youth culture.  I am also an ordained Minister who often will break down the messages within music to reveal its complimentary or contradictory relationship to Scripture.  Often times a rap song will have a lyric that relates to a scripture and in some instances the song will actually quote the scripture.  The perspective or “point of view” being expressed can be misleading because the scripture is taken from a passage that the listener may be unfamiliar with and or the artists is using the words from the scripture to paint their own picture in their song.

I went to to look up the lyrics and to listen to the song.  The song starts off with the chorus which is an almost distorted screeching voice saying “Well it’s the weeping and a moaning and the gnashing of teeth.”  This line is part of Matthew 13:42 where Jesus is explaining to his disciples the parable of the tares.  To begin to understand verse 42 I will write out what Jesus states in verses 41 and 42.  Jesus tells the disciples “The Son of Man will send out His angels, and they will gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and those who practice lawlessness, and will cast them into the furnace of fire.  There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” 

The parable of the wheat and tares symbolizes the distinction between good and evil.  The wheat represents those who have been planted by God and the tares represent those who have been planted by Satan.  The harvest is when God will send angels to come and separate the good from the bad with the good going unto the Lord and the bad being cast into a fiery furnace (Hell).  The sounds of the suffering of these individuals are described in verse 42.  These are the individuals who practice lifestyles outlined in Galatians 5:19-21 (read  The behaviors identified in the song will lead to being a tare at the end of the age as explained by Jesus in Matthew 13.

The song “Mercy” is a self promoting, materialistic song which is not new in Hip-Hop.  The lyric in the chorus is used to equate the fate of anyone who would challenge Kanye West and or G.O.O.D. Music.  Kanye’s verse also makes one think the lyric could also represent the hell the music industry would be in without his music.  We cannot allow a creative metaphor and or slang usage of a word or phrases distort the perspective of a term, phrase, or words that are scriptures in the Holy Bible.  Before you think I am being extreme in my critique remember this song was heard through the radio by over 27 million people in a week.  This doesn’t even factor in other forms of listening to music that are popular amongst youth and adults (.i.e. digital downloads and video).   Kanye also said “We formed a new religion No sins as long as there’s permission’”- No Church in the Wild

*Lyrics Out Of Perspective are an op-editorial series by Minister Timothy Jones.  Follow on twitter @tdj6899”

A Mother’s Legacy on Mother’s Day

Proverbs 14:1 “The wise woman builds her house, But the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”

May 13, 2012 marks the first Mother’s Day that I will not see, speak with, or spend time with my mother.  My mother’s body became a victim to the effects of pancreatic cancer on Sunday, July 3, 2011 after a 2 ½ year bout with the disease.  My mother’s spirit is with the Lord because 2 Corinthians 5:8 states “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.”

On this mother’s day I want to thank my Mom for fulfilling the first portion of Proverbs 14:1.  My Mother was a wise woman who built her house according to the blueprint laid out by the Lord for her life.  My Mom built her house for her five children in such a way that we were able to take portions of the house to use as the foundation for building our homes for our families.  The plate reads “Forever Fruitful” and references John 15:5, where Jesus states “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.”  This is the wisdom that my Mother built her house and life upon and this is the inheritance that she left for her children’s children.

I have a great Mother-In-Law who loves me very much and loved my Mother like a sister.  I also have been blessed to have various women care for me along my path and they have been mother figures.  I am thankful to the Lord for placing all of these great women in my life, but my thanks for them cannot compare to how much I thank the Lord for my Mother.  Beyond the physical manifestation of life, I would not be the person that I am today if it wasn’t for my Mother.  My Mother even helped me to become a better man throughout her sickness and even more through her death.

My Mother’s funeral service taught me how to live.  The love that was present at the service was the result of the life that my Mother lived.  Once again she left a blueprint for me and my family to follow. So on this Mother’s Day I will take a moment to look up and talk to my Mom just to let her know that I am following the blueprint that she laid for her children and her children’s children.  My prayer is that the Lord will bless anyone that is remembering their Mom on this Mother’s Day, Amen.