December 17, 2017

Relationships – What do I know? What do you know? But this is funny, I do not care who you are.

You may have noticed that today I was tweeting through my Twitter account some dating advice provided by Eharmony and even me perhaps just as a joke, but a conversation with a student I am mentoring from Southern Polytechnic University here in Atlanta, Georgia spurred these tweet tidbits.

Naturally as guys, we talk about possible female prospects in our dating life. Well, Martin has been extremely affectionate towards the same girl for about the last three months, really since I first met him. And yes, I have Martin’s permission to write about this!

I have had a leery suspicion with this particular girl from the very beginning. For the sake of anonymity, let’s name her Dolly. Dolly only eats organic food. You should check out the prices of organic food in stores. Dolly also attends yoga classes three or four nights a week, which is also very expensive. The girl drives the priciest 2013 Ford Mustang on the market, which her Dad “momentarily” pays for with the car note. While she did finish her associate’s degree as a physical therapy assistant at Southern Polytechnic, she continues to live at home without a job two years after graduation.

At one point, she moved to San Francisco on a whim with a physical therapy assistant short term contract only to move back after six months because she did not like California. She just happened to wreck her newly bought Silver Ford Mustang on the way out to California. And these are just the details I remember off the top of my head. And never once did Martin mention a strengthened relationship with Christ other than that she recently experienced salvation through a yoga epiphany. As if not enough, she constantly complained on how she could not practice yoga or meditation at home because of her “noisy” siblings. Please keep in mind she lived at home for FREE!

In a final message to Martin, she wrote, “I need you to understand and continue your journey to happiness elsewhere.”

That may have been my last sign of hysteria! Sometimes we see something in someone that at least for the moment does not exist. Chris Hodges, the senior pastor from Church of the Highlands in Birmingham, Alabama, calls this “missionary dating.” We try to save the person from something that we fictionally create in our minds. Please understand I have there as the salvation soldier.

I think Martin finally gave up on this lost cause after four months of frustration and continual perplexed confusion after admitting that there is more to a relationship than just “being pretty.” This is what happens when someone lives in what I call a “make-belief” world. This person has never truly suffered for anything. So everything up to this point in life has been expected and in some ways thought of as deserved.

I believe that relationships are more complex than they need to be these days. I think it is okay to ask a girl out and have fun, but in southern culture, that is rarely the case. Usually from the second you ask a girl out forward or even express an interest, serious takes over. And then nothing fun occurs.

The other night hanging out some extremely cool people from my church, a girl remained perplexed that I had a list of characteristics I look for in someone I want to marry. I simply asked, “Do you want to marry a man with a strong intentional conviction and relationship with Jesus Christ?” Of course, she responded, “Yes.” Then she seemed less perplexed when she also realized she had her own unstated mental checklist in a man she wanted to potentially marry.

I think as Christians we usually know when someone is on fire for God versus stagnantly constantly “trying to figure things out.” With a mutual attraction, that is usually the first sign that peaks my interest. There is nothing complex about my relational approach. If I want to know you, I usually just ask and seek information about the person’s personality. I will ask a girl to the circus. I will ask a girl to coffee. I will ask a girl to throw the Frisbee in Piedmont Park. If she has it going on for Jesus Christ, I got it going on to try and know that person.

But the first signal is and always will be the same for me: does she love God? If yes is the answer to this question, then I ask a few more questions of conversational interest.

The following video dives deeper humorously into Biblical relational dating. I think this preacher is hilarious, but I also think the minister rings true that a relationship with Christ comes before a relationship with someone else. I think Martin finally learned this lesson the hard way. I think whether we consciously admit or not, many believers, including me, learn this lesson the hard way.

We Are Human, and Fear God Only – Holy reminders from a friend.

My friend, Andrew Mannheimer, who I did a special blog series previous this year with his Hip Hop music videos always brings to light the revelation of truth as it pertains to his relationship with God, much like the mirror of his own music expression.

I once asked him about a famous New York Times best-selling author by the name of Donald Miller (author of Blue like Jazz), “How did he write all these books and publish them nationwide?” Andrew’s response remained simple, “He’s just a man, James…human. Whatever he is capable of, you are clearly capable of as well.”

I think we forget, I included, that famous and accomplished people are in fact just human. Some people are famous when they might not even have talent of any sort, maybe because they are pretty, if that is even considered a talent.

A couple of years ago I further spoke with Andrew about my fear of the unknown….perhaps something about the real world after graduate school at Auburn University. Again he stated, “There is nothing to fear but God. When you fear earthly matters, you block God from the light of His glory. I lean into a resource that never reaches depletion: God.”

Andrew is in his mid-twenties, but the truths he expresses are so simple yet amazing. I think Andrew demonstrates that relationships (since he is indeed a great friend), specifically with God, become the most important element in life that matters. We will take our Christian brothers and sisters to heaven, not our stuff.

This past year has been a really weird one. I still remain perplexed at how the end of 2012 fell apart in some ways. God sometimes disguises blessings we do not understand now but later do.

Perhaps 2013 is Our year! It is the year of relationship with God and Cartee! I am not trying to fall into the trap of resolution goals most never follow through, like losing weight for instance. Some go hard for one week and then move on to life as it was before. Sometimes a focus on God is all we need. I feel that Andrew would say something simple like that, a simple truth.

John Piper further reminds the fear of God is the only real fear for the life of a Christian! This is a very short clip…so watch….

NOW IS THE TIME TO RISE! GREATNESS IS UPON YOU! ….my own rise in down times.

Ephesians 5:13-14 (NIV)

But everything
exposed by the light becomes visible—and everything that is illuminated becomes
a light. This is why it is said:

“Wake up, sleeper,
rise from the dead,
and Christ will shine on you.”

Have you ever sat in your cubicle wondering to God, “When will my time come to rise and fulfill my passions’? The battle of everyday survival floats around bills paid and the suppression of dreams. With the unwise decisions of leaders in this country, opportunity for young professionals appears dwindling! …the truth is it is!

I applied for at least four hundred jobs before something of true dreamlike essences patiently prevailed. I skimmed all over the country for hope where my day-to-day existence became more than routine. It became dreamlike. Eventually the monsoon rolled where the hard work snowballed. Each day brought a new surprise and phone call from a prospective life-changing moment. I am also almost complete with a three hundred page manuscript of my first major memoir, each chapter edited seven-ten times, a two year project in the making.

I faced the largest challenges and adversity when I felt no motion in my life, no momentum towards a given goal in my mind. I incline to feel the least motivated in life when I see no growth, no movement forward. At this moment in my life I never measure life monetarily as a single Christian but instead through growth to reach a level of leadership unprecedented by all before me. It is those who are most motivated who continue to do what they need to, even when they do not feel that motivation emotionally, or simply “just don’t feel like it.”

I cannot describe the sudden drive in my life or where it came from. However when I tasted a sweet notion of success and saw God’s work in my life, I wanted it all the more. I realized that many individuals, including me, wait to rise up. We can wait forever for things to look up, to feel better, or to achieve the dream constantly on our heart. NOW IS THE TIME TO RISE! We fail more than we succeed, but with each failure we step closer to success. As I tasted success with a recent life victory, then the failures faded into the background. We cannot forget the sweet tastes that come with a new job, an upper level graduation day, our firstborn child, our wedding day, or in my case, a first major book contract. Those successes push us to yearn for more, but not for ourselves, but rather for God’s Glory.

LATER IS NOT THE TIME! NOW IS! When you doubt where to start, just go! When I cannot think of a blog entry or chapter to write, the best strategy begins with just starting. Eventually while maybe not at first, meaningful words flow.

If you are like me, I am tired of sitting on the sidelines. NOW IS THE TIME TO RISE! ….not tomorrow but today, starting with simple progression through small steps. We bring world change one small step at a time until the snowball launches down the ski slope. On the 400th job application, we get that interview offer we want. And then we feel the rise and crave to rise in the moment this very day.

Through Christ, we are truly risen! With our personal resurrection, we already live in the light through salvation. Now with each blessed day, rise with me! Rise together! Rise up! Now is the time to rise! And with Christ, it is up to you! Do not procrastinate. Do not quit. Do not put the project down. Rise to become more and reach your fullest potential! …for that is the only place where God truly will have us!

Believe inspirational speaker, Eric Thomas, when you realize GREATNESS IS UPON YOU! This video WILL FIRE YOU UP! He coincidentally happens to be speaking to the Auburn football team. WAR EAGLE!

“Bane is Dead” – featuring Michael Bane. Resurrection over the Darkness! We Are Not Dead! We Are Risen!

We continue our Young and Talented (YT) Hip Hop series with another of my favorite songs, Bane is Dead. If you missed out on the first of this series with the hit song, TOO FLY, click here for an official introduction to YT and his life-changing music (the first blog entry of the YT chronicles). This song originates from the collection of Michael Bane, aka Kloak’d and also known as the rapper Bane. And just to clarify, his name came out before the new Batman movie made the new villain famous once again. Bane scores with the same talent as Young and Talented as both continue to collaborate on projects involving each other’s music. I believe you will the video dark but creative and well-written with its lyrics.

This blog entry represents a darker side than most of my of my other blog entries through Michael Bane’s shadowed video with the fictional character of the new Batman saga, The Dark Knight Rises. Often times churches avoid the down times of life with a glorious message of pop culture of God’s continuous blessings through a Prosperity Gospel that rarely lives up to the life most of us experience. I firmly believe we all hit low points in our journey where we wonder why we should continue to go on. Kimberly Smith faced the edge of her life through her book, Passport to Darkness, where she personally witnesses genocide and its effects on the country of the Sudan through rape, random killings, and where the lives of children fall to the mouths of hyenas and starvation in multitudes. When surrounded by evil, we surrender to a position of depression where the darkness overrides the bleak streaks of light. I personally traveled with others through my own desert comparable to the Sudan where with disability I hit the breaking point of my own existence. I lived to write a book that I believe will sign before my 31st birthday in a year with a major contract and mission to touch thousands of lives in the process. As Michael Bane mentions, we are bound to reach the lost boys with the message of Christ yelling “bangarang.”

We all face dark periods in our lives where the only glimpse of light stands in holding a hand on our knees reaching for Christ sometimes on the edge of the end. Once embracing and overcoming the darkness of a moment to personally face those evident fears, blessings flow. The challenges of this life seem trivial after we overcome what feels like death to some. There are few in the prosperity of America that will live in a virtual bubble and never experience the moment where Bane is Dead.

Bane in the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, is the most evil fictional character I viewed in any movie. Symbolically he represented true eternal darkness where his one only reason for existence involved the destruction of others, many innocent lives. He pursued the desolation of others, more specifically with the life of breaking Bruce Wayne, for the sake to only watch others burn. His mission served the agenda of new depths in the holes where some live for the sole reason to commit evil deeds, to ruin lives, and in some cases take them for no logical reason. Some watch the burn of the fire simply for the sake of darkness in the downfall of another. For believers, the evil one will commit and enact any action, any temptation, or fatal thought to bring us down to the severe valleys to end all. There really is no real reason other than to oppose the Glory of God. Those of strong faith will encounter the evil and constantly resurrect in the rise against those who stand opposed to Jesus. I am one of those sole survivor warriors who will stand with my faith family until the end. After breaking his will, Bruce rises to overcome Bane and save Gotham. The same will occur with Christ’s second coming, and demons shudder knowing that their existence may soon end in good time. I will not divulge the plot of the new Batman series because I believe in the Christ-like figure depicted with analysis, the story reaches a new level of victory over complete darkness in symbolism of good over evil.

We must realize that it is our resurrection experiences that bring us back to life. We develop our strength to become more than ever imaginable. I would not be the man of God I am without suffering and surviving the suicidal valleys of a second death and several resurrections to lift me above those depths with each pushup from a fall to pick myself back up. The only motivation that often kept me moving forward was the choice that I never wanted to disappoint God in quitting. Our conversations often looked something like this:

James: “I cannot make it! I cannot survive another moment!”
God: “I am with you always!”

James: “The temptations to reach the end is too much. Please deliver me!”
God: “I will not allow you to be tempted more than you can bear.”

James: “I do not believe I can carry on.”
God: “All that matters is that I believe in you. I believe in you, James Cartee. Now rise as a Son of God.”

This dialogue might often resemble the personal convictions in grief I declared with urgencies through prayer with God, begging on my knees for his mercy. I resurrected to inspire others in ministry. God delivered me to be the man I am today, the entrepreneur, the educator, the advocate, the writer, the speaker, the philanthropist, and any title my heart chooses to accept and follow. Most who know me well always ask, “How do you do all that you do?”

The real answer I sometimes leave out parts of my own narrative because only certain individuals can manage the shock factor: “I faced the darkness and overcame. I know the worst of times and therefore make the most of the current moment because I realize how good things are. When you hit the bottom to face the evil one, you become capable of anything when you rise above and resurrect over the fear of the worst moments imaginable.” And so with my resurrection, I will choose the eternal road to change lives for God sake, not James’s sake, with a motivation to save the fatherless in the epidemic of lost children. Rise with God! And together, we will and can change the international frontier of dark times.

This passage from The Message comforted me in those dark times and still to this day continues to do so:

Psalm 77 (MSG)

1 I yell out to my God, I yell with all my might, I yell at the top of my lungs. He listens.

2-6 I found myself in trouble and went looking for my Lord;
my life was an open wound that wouldn’t heal.
When friends said, “Everything will turn out all right,”
I didn’t believe a word they said.
I remember God—and shake my head.
I bow my head—then wring my hands.
I’m awake all night—not a wink of sleep;
I can’t even say what’s bothering me.
I go over the days one by one,
I ponder the years gone by.
I strum my lute all through the night,
wondering how to get my life together.

7-10 Will the Lord walk off and leave us for good?
Will he never smile again?
Is his love worn threadbare?
Has his salvation promise burned out?
Has God forgotten his manners?
Has he angrily stalked off and left us?
“Just my luck,” I said. “The High God goes out of business
just the moment I need him.”

11-12 Once again I’ll go over what God has done,
lay out on the table the ancient wonders;
I’ll ponder all the things you’ve accomplished,
and give a long, loving look at your acts.

13-15 O God! Your way is holy!
No god is great like God!
You’re the God who makes things happen;
you showed everyone what you can do—
You pulled your people out of the worst kind of trouble,
rescued the children of Jacob and Joseph.

16-19 Ocean saw you in action, God,
saw you and trembled with fear;
Deep Ocean was scared to death.
Clouds belched buckets of rain,
Sky exploded with thunder,
your arrows flashing this way and that.
From Whirlwind came your thundering voice,
Lightning exposed the world,
Earth reeled and rocked.
You strode right through Ocean,
walked straight through roaring Ocean,
but nobody saw you come or go.

20 Hidden in the hands of Moses and Aaron,
You led your people like a flock of sheep.

Follow @BaneProductions on Twitter here.

View videos at the Bane Productions YouTube Video.

Young and Talented – “The Road” featuring Bane – Eternal Decisions! Which road will you choose?

We continue our Young and Talented (YT) Hip Hop series with another of my favorite songs, The Road. If you missed out on the first of this series with the hit song, TOO FLY, click here for an official introduction to YT and his life-changing music (the first blog entry of the YT chronicles).

Our journeys in life always seem to offer various tracks to follow with decisions rendered in relationship, institution, career, and any individual aspect on the road where God takes us home. Those decisions bring glory to God in our direction in path towards eternity, or believers remain caught up in the trap of desires here on the Earth with our own dust. The Earth will always pull us in the direction of men and as a result sometimes the desire to follow those men; however as followers of God we draw to a higher force. The chorus from the song illustrates this struggle.

Looking for the road that will take me home,
Please show me the way to go.
Should I move fast or take things slow?
Sometimes life is a hard road we hold.
Looking up to you for a sign above,
This world just want to be loved.
So let’s go before our hearts turn slow.
Show me the road that will take me home.

The choice to follow Christ will inevitably mature and evolve into a difficult journey. We stare to the skies seeking answers through prayer as sin often holds us back caught in the midst of human-created temptations and worries. Before our hearts turn cold from sinful indulgences, we continue to turn home, yearning for God’s deliverance. There is something comforting about the idea of singing, “I’m coming home. I’m coming home,” close to our perishing, dust to dust, returning to the earth God created us from. We reach eternity as God says, “I am proud of you. Welcome home.” Now that sounds like a glorious end to the road of light that will take me home.

Two warriors that understand the eternal road include both the Biblical legends of Daniel and Nehemiah. Their firmness shines through the millenniums to exemplify with choices and decisions the journeys with the righteousness pointed towards our eternal home. This demonstrates the rewards of faith in the pursuit of God’s higher roads. The following passage in Daniel reads:

“So these administrators and satraps went as a group to the king and said: “May King Darius live forever! The royal administrators, prefects, satraps, advisers and governors have all agreed that the king should issue an edict and enforce the decree that anyone who prays to any god or human being during the next thirty days, except to you, Your Majesty, shall be thrown into the lions’ den.” Daniel 6: 6-9

Of course, if familiar with Daniel, he chose never to pray or bow down to King Darius. He chose the higher path in his journey to worship the true God. Thrown into the lions’ den, God protected him with an angelic guardian. Then those who falsely accused Daniel and constructed a trap with such an edict and decree actually became the ones thrown into the lions’ den, eaten along with their families. I believe when we choose God in firm belief for our security, safety, and salvation, he clearly protects His Chosen Ones.

Then we see another man on track for God with Nehemiah, an anointed servant of the Most High God, called to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem. Now imagine this: Jerusalem contains no system of protection, and the people exist surrounded by their enemies who make their determined ambition to make sure Nehemiah never succeeds. Once protected, a city transforms into more than just a destination. It shifts into a fortress that enemies can no longer triumph so easily in conquer and conquest.

I am confident Nehemiah came to points where he doubted his plan and his journey with his chosen road; however he persevered in God’s mission to complete the wall with his King’s blessing.

Can you imagine God calling you to a den of lions to faithfully believe in his protection? Can you imagine God’s calling you to build a city wall around a territory of constant battle where bloodshed, crime, and enemies rule the land against a people God desires for you to protect? These historic men only accomplished these feats through God’s divine intervention, leaning into his provision.

The stand against evil depends on the women and men of God to take the high road with our earthly decisions. We come to points in life where we carry the cross or drop it because the weight persists as too much for our earthly bodies to wear. Our choices while often thought to remain trivial affect our eternity and often the eternity of others.

The following Scriptures shows that we are not of this world but simply passing through like a passenger with a train station. Remember our eternity pulls us through Saturn’s rings towards the stars into heaven. We were never meant to belong here because God created his sons and daughters to join him.

“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”  John 15:18-20 (NIV)

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 (NIV)

I often fall into the trap of survival on a journey without the passion of Christ. In some ways, that trap develops into reasons why I lose vision of my eternal driven purpose. Life seems as though I am missing the right road stuck at a fork caught up in my own consumption, worries, pursuits, or earthly concerns. I know the road to travel. Sometimes a glimpse of our Heavenly Father through reconnection becomes all we need to stand and serve on the road to eternity. A humility to kneel and come before Him serves as the starting point towards the right direction.

Follow @SuperYSuperFly on Twitter here.

View videos at the YTRaps1 YouTube channel.

Young and Talented – “Lost Dreams” featuring Kate Devick. Have you lost your dream? Find support in Relationship! Rise and Resurrect!

We continue our Young and Talented (YT) Hip Hop series with another of my favorite songs, Lost Dreams. If you missed out on the first of this series with the hit song, TOO FLY, click here for an official introduction to YT and his life-changing music (the first blog entry of the YT chronicles).

“It is kind of upsetting how I chased that dream, but I couldn’t quite catch it. It’s lost.” With the power of Christ in us….in me….in you, our dreams will certainly never become lost. However I believe YT’s lyrics hit home in that we all feel lost in pursuit of our dreams as we fall down again and again over and over. Failure is one of the most discouraging factors especially when as a theme in your life it never seems to go away no matter how hard you try. God’s Word claims that the testing of our faith develops perseverance.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:2-4 (NIV)

I remember at one point in my life when I wanted to quit college, withdraw from UT-Chattanooga, and move back home with really no clear direction on what to do next. I recollect that I received a phone call on my cell from the Vice Chancellor of the School, Dr. Richard Brown, who mentioned the following: “We, the family, at UTC, certainly do not want to lose one of our best and brightest students. What can I do to make it work for your return this spring?” Our dreams and goals only become accomplishable through the assistance of others like Dr. Brown through support networks. I do not care who you are or what you have accomplished in life. We all hold our current positions only through the foundation and support of those around us some way, somehow, or in some fashion. Someone in everyone’s life supported, assisted, or helped him or her to accomplish in career, faith, or perhaps even our own spiritual journeys. You are who you are based on those you surround yourself with, friends, family, leaders, and mentors. Dr. Brown continues to mentor me as we catch up sporadically in life through email or over the phone or even sometimes over breakfast when I visit Chattanooga. He continues to serve as a reference while I seek further opportunities in life on a number of different levels. I guess he changed my life then and continues to do so now.

In regards to support with those you associate or surround yourself with, I know one person who lives for bar-hopping like a professional sport, drinking like a fish and bragging about it, versus those actively involved in the church with devout, firm, and stable relationships with others and God. The bar-hopper cusses like a sailor and really exists for self-satisfaction with a mediocre position at his present job. I would rather hang with those I know I will see in eternity rather than a smoke-filled room with individuals who seek to indulge our worldly desires and their own sinful nature, living for boozes and our desires of the body. Those I surround myself with in life define who I am with input and a shoulder to lean into. I want friends to remember the night before when they wake up the next morning with whatever transpired. I am not opposed to drinking. I am opposed to those who cannot control foolish, immature ways. I may still live at home, but I would like to think I act my age as a twenty-nine year old male. If easily influenced by those around you, I am not entirely sure dreams will come true. It takes a true confidence in God to become more, to stay the course, and face adversity with the grit to overcome it.

I love the new Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, because the movie resembles the resurrection experience that all true Christians face, recognize, and rise from. We trip. We fall. But as Bruce does best as Batman, we eventually rise as the hero of our own dream to possibly defend and protect what is most dear to us. Alfred never gave up on Bruce Wayne in the first movie, Batman Begins, as he almost gave up when Wayne Manor burned down due to the revenge actions of the League of Shadows (the group Wayne essentially caused the downfall of with the death of Ra’s al Ghul). Alfred as the best friend, father-figure, and protector to both Batman and Bruce reminded that “we learn to pick ourselves up.” As his adopted sons and daughters, God never gave up on you or me, and like Alfred in the Batman movies, the right friends never will either. We best succeed when reminded that when we fall, we continue to learn to pick ourselves back up. We rise to become stronger than ever before. Like Batman and like Christ, we resurrect through the adversity we face to reach the other side. Then we save the city and defeat evil villains, perhaps with a resemblance of spiritual warfare. Perhaps that is a blog entry for another day though.

Bruce Wayne: I wanted to save Gotham. I’ve failed.

Alfred: Why do we fall, sir? So that we can
learn to pick ourselves up.

Bruce: You still haven’t given up on me?

Alfred: Never.

As you listen to this music video, think about a low point you passed through. We all suffer from the thoughts of lost dreams, but when we reach for the sky with the right positive support and a God who loves us, calling us each individually home by our God-given name, we cannot and will not fail. Our dreams will never be lost. In fact, it is very inevitable that they will transform into our own reality. I encourage you to believe and pick yourself up because with each fall, we grow. And eventually with that growth, our time will come. Go, do, and seek to believe once again. Eventually our efforts catch up to fulfill whatever it is we hope for, desire, and seek to achieve.

YT (Dr. Mannheimer) currently teaches the subject of Sociology in Hip Hop Music and Culture at Florida State University. He continues to press forth with both his academics and music, apparently intertwined. I would say his dreams are anything but lost. He just had one of those “is it worth it?” moments that all of us have with the words and vision of this song and video. I guess he decided his dreams were absolutely worth it, and we will see just how many stadiums Andrew Mannheimer fills up with support from friends like me. I do believe with the God we worship anything is possible.

Follow @SuperYSuperFly on Twitter here.

View videos at the YTRaps1 YouTube channel.

Young and Talented – “Too Fly” featuring Jacque. -Do not settle! An interesting date…I’M TOO FLY….for her!

Young and Talented (YT for short, also known as the future Dr. Mannheimer) remains an artist and a friend I continue to respect with his beliefs, morals, and creative works as an up-and-coming talent. YT rises from the plains of Auburn University (undergraduate) into the Seminole country of Florida State University (graduate studies). His music video relates to a recent dramatic date I lived through.

Recently I tried going on a date with a girl I met in Tuscaloosa while attending a Blues Festival at the new amphitheater. Upon first interactions, Taylor stood as a short cute blonde girl with some feisty tendencies and social inclinations to speak with anyone and everyone she knew which seemed like every party and individual out on the town that night. She seemed tipsy with an inclination to take part in some wild drinking activities and to “smoke while drinking socially,” whatever that means.  

My first hint and sign that asking her out was not necessarily a great idea included the observation she raised a five year old child as a single mom. Please understand I do not believe there is anything wrong with dating single moms; however, while praying about a future match and wife, I have never felt called to date a single mom myself. I also want to marry someone with a college education and a nonsmoker.  While many might think I am wrong for such parameters on my dating life in which girl I pursue, that is how I feel about the matter. These are the belief systems and standards I will adhere to and not budge from.  

I planned to drive down to Tuscaloosa, approximately an hour from Birmingham, to take Taylor to a local Italian restaurant and to see The Dark Night Rises. I thought as a brief introduction date a traditional outing appeased nothing too serious just to have a fun and good time. Upon the start of dinner, Taylor immediately ordered two glasses of white wine, something tipsy with her small petite figure, representative of an Olympic one hundred pound gymnast. She forgot to mention that wine gives her migraine headaches. If you know of this fact, then why would you drink wine in the first place? That question still remains a mystery to me. Taylor also insisted on smoking a cigarette outside the restaurant before commuting to the movie and then again before the movie even started (two cigarettes) which then made us late to the movie. Halfway through the movie Taylor’s migraine acclimated to a level so bad that she insisted we leave. We did not even make it halfway through the movie (wasted costs on tickets and drink with no possible refund). When I returned Taylor to her car, she forgot her cash and credit cards at her father’s house??? She asked me to borrow $20.00 to buy gas for her empty tank as I pumped that amount into her car. At this point, my expenses included dinner, an incomplete movie showing, gas to Tuscaloosa, and gas for a girl I was not even dating seriously (about a total of at least $120.00). I thought “mama moocher” in my mind, another standard I try to avoid and leave behind.     

Taylor also seemed nervous during the date when I asked her simple questions to know her. I opened the door for her and paid her way because I could afford to. Those are just basic courtesies for the way Mama Cartee raised me, a southern gentleman of some sort. She mentioned, “I usually date jerks. I am not accustomed to dating a nice Christian guy” (actual word-for-word quote here). I knew originally I should just leave the date alone. I settled for one date below that Too Fly standard I before committed too. YT’s song and video reminds us to never settle for a subpar relational match.

I gladly provided Taylor with an evening she may rarely experience, a nice meal and gas on me; however it did not set the better of first impressions with me. She asked if she could see me again. I kind of raised my eyebrow, wondering what planet she lived on, and then slowly said, “We’ll see.” I think she knew what I meant, as I quickly jettisoned out of Roll Tide Land, never hoping to date a girl from the University of Alabama ever again. I could not help but laugh to myself after experiencing what culminated to the worst date I may have ever had up to this point in my life.         

Now you might ask how and why this narrative related to the YT rap song, Too Fly? The theme of the song remains simple for me: Do not settle for less than God would HAVE FOR YOU! Whether male or female, you just might be TOO FLY for whoever you meet. In fact I think dangerous grounds include missionary dating, hoping and believing someone will change to your specifications after you start seeing them. I think all of us fall into such a trap at least once or twice in our lives before we learn not to partake in such lost cause ventures. Perhaps the girl in this video figuratively chased a jerk in missionary dating, thinking he would change eventually. I never understand as a guy or girl why we date those who never define our personal preferences. It has nothing to do with being picky but rather setting a bar or standard for what brings you joy in relationship. If nothing mirrors your relationship with God in pursuit of another, you waste your own time in addition to that of the other person. God has so much more for you in store! Please believe!

I will not settle for less again. Perhaps God wanted to refresh my memory to focus on those who focus on him, something Taylor’s lifestyle never suggested, like “I am saved, but I do not really live it out.” For someone of my own religious conviction, this match would never work! Next time before tempted for a reckless date and direction, I will watch and listen to the following wise words of Young and Talented. His lyrics go a little something like this:

This ain’t a game I am playing.
I really want to be with you.
Don’t know how much
I have to say just
so I can convince you.
Look at your life
and picture it with me
because the way I see him treating you
is sickin’ your seed.
You deserve the very best,
nothing less than respected,
but all I ever hear about
is how you get neglected.
He doesn’t put it any time.
Don’t think that you owe him.
He won’t know what he’s got
until it’s gone.
So you should show him
because he is messing with your mind.
I know he’s got you stressing.
He’s trying to bring you down,
but I ain’t going to let him.
He sees you a possession.
I see you as a blessing.
Girl, you got them pretty wings.
I just want to see you spread them
because you’re too fly.  
You’re too fly.  
You’re too fly.
You’re too fly.
You’re too fly.
You’re too fly.
You’re too fly….for him.

I think I might be too fly! Maybe you also are too fly for whoever you date! I am not going to let anyone neglect me as you should also, and I am certainly not going to fall short of what God has in store. Please also remember the following promise of God when you question or settle for less than what God’s Word promises you.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11(NIV)

I am convinced my path will cross in ministry at some point in time with both YT and Bane Productions with an eternal product that will save souls and inspire youth in amazing ways.


Follow @SuperYSuperFly on Twitter here.

View videos at the YTRaps1 YouTube channel.