I remember the words of a respected elder, when I’d ask how she was doing. Instead of responding with a generic ‘Excellent!’ or ‘Great!’ like some do (when they’re really struggling). She’d sometimes say, ‘The horse won’t ride, the cow won’t give milk, the chickens won’t lay eggs – but HalleluYah anyhow!’ Read More
Let’s face it, these days there is a lot to be stressed and depressed about.
Climate change poses a serious threat to man’s very existence, and scientists are warning that if we don’t change (reduce carbon emissions), we may see the extinction of most animal species and the face of the planet altered beyond anything we’ve ever known.
Economic conditions are not much better. The effects of tariffs and the recent government shutdown imposed by an inexperienced and unstable president and white house, have thrust millions of hardworking people into hard times. Many hard working families are suddenly facing the real prospect of losing their homes, eviction, lack of basic necessities like food. This is the ugly face of poverty.
Socially, headlines wreak of widespread sexual abuse and exploitation of children and women around the world, while religious institutions like the Catholic church – instead of holding the bar of morality – are cesspools filled with sexual predators and are some of the most dangerous places for our youth. Not to mention, the heartless imprisonment of immigrant children and families who are seeking asylum. This behavior is not just in America, but as global resources shrink, immigrants are being attacked with a rise in xenophobic behavior and hate crimes around the world.
Racism and injustice continues to plague black and brown communities with the highest incarceration rates in the world in the U.S., while these communities also face severe poverty, unemployment, and environmental genocide – poisoned water, food source, ecosystems.
Let’s not even begin to talk about the political turmoil within the American government. Surely, I can go on and on. But there’s not enough space or time to give the full span of things we could worry about.
No doubt, we are facing one of the most uncertain and unstable times in this modern age, and we need Yah more than ever. The only thing that can give us a real source of stability and comfort is having a personal relationship with your Heavenly Father, for only He can fix it, or give us what we need to cope. How do you develop this personal relationship with your Creator? Through prayer (which includes praise, affirmation, and meditation) study, and living by His word.
Chanting the Psalms
The Psalms are Yah’s medicine for His children to overcome all anxiety and depression, by giving us hope. Chanting the Psalms in faith, lifts us out of the dunghill of life by reminding us of Yah’s deep love for us and His power to change our conditions. Left to ourselves, we are hopeless. But in YHWH, we can do all things! We are more than conquerors in Him.
- “Never worry about anything. But in every situation let Yah know what you need in prayers and requests while giving thanks. Then Yah’s peace, which goes beyond anything we can imagine, will guard your thoughts and emotions through Yahoshua the Anointed One.” Philippians 4:6-7
When you are feeling anxious, the best thing you can do is pray. For Yahweh is greater than all of us, and only He has the power to really change our condition.
- “And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” Luke 12.25’
Through prayer, the Almighty through His word – which is spirit – will tear down the strongholds of lies the adversary has used to make you anxious and fearful.
- “I sought YHWH, and He answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” Psalms 34.4
Chanting the Psalms or praying Yah’s word builds our faith and trust in the Creator. Reminding ourselves of Yah’s all sufficient provision and power.
- “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.” (Psalm 56:3)
Words of the Psalms remind us of Yah’s deep and unfailing love for us and that it’s safe to trust Him because He cares for us, which provide spiritual comfort and joy that relieves depression.
- “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” (Psalm 94:19)
- ‘Happy is he who puts His trust in Yah.” Psalms 34.8
When you try to solve your own problems, you have much reason to fear. But when you invite Yah to solve what you can’t fix, you are filled with a sense of hope and open yourselves up to endless possibilities.
- “Cast thy burden upon YHWH, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.” Ps. 55.22
Finally, when you decide to trust in Yah and not in man or your own flesh, victory is sure:
- “All who hope in you are never ashamed, but they shall be ashamed who are treacherous without excuse.” Ps. 25.3
Here are some of the Psalms you can Pray for comfort and relief of anxiety and depression:
- Psalms 103 – Yah is our Healer
- Psalms 23 – Yah is our Shepherd
- Psalms 25 – Yah is our Protector and Provider
- Psalms 27 – Yah is our Salvation
- Psalms 34 – Yah is our Deliverer
- Psalms 91 – Yah is our Refuge
- Psalms 145 – Yah is our Provider
You can find more Psalms and inspirational lyrics in my music, such as Blessed, Yah Yireh, and Happy is He, which are available now at http://www.queenmakedah.com/music/.
These songs and more will also be on my new album Peace Process, due out Spring 2019. Make sure you sign up for mailing list to receive updates on music news, live shows, blogs, etc.
More on the Psalms is coming in future blogs.
‘Lay Down Your Guns’ Backstory (part 1) – Youth Caught in Crossfire
When my family came back to the U.S. from Israel over ten years ago, we settled in the Bay Area of California. At that time, Richmond and Oakland were leading the country as two of the most violent cities in America to live in. So, as strange as it sounds, I went through a period of ‘gun violence culture shock.’ You see, I had lived in Israel a number of years during a time of peace, where life was pretty simple.
Back then, kids in Israel could run and play carefree around the neighborhood without fear. And although this privilege was abused by some (i.e. ‘Where is that child’s mama?’), it was no small matter that you as a parent never had to worry about someone snatching your child off the street – or just as terrifying – your baby getting intentionally murdered or caught in the crossfire of gang or street violence.
So, fast forward Babylon, headlines here were filled with the horror of young black and brown faces whose young lives were being snuffed out in showers of gunfire, caught in the crossfire of bloody gang terrorism or outright assassinated. It was horrifying! And As families mourned their children, their grief was often compounded by a code of silence in the community that deadlocked any real convictions.
This was the bloody landscape that gave birth to the lyrics of the original version of ‘Lay Down Your Guns.’
Lay Down Your Guns – Verse One:
“Let the innocent (man’s soul) go free
Blessed be the man of peace
Cursed be the wicked, prey upon the weak
Let all this war and fighting cease”
The first line of the song says, ‘Let the innocent go free.’ Who are the innocent? All unarmed civilians are innocent. Yet, our youth are the most vulnerable and innocent of all. It is our job to protect them, yet they are paying the worst price for this country’s insatiable lust for guns.
The precious little face of 8-year-old Alaysha Carradine is hard to forget. This sweet little girl, lovingly called ‘Ladybug’ by her family, was killed in 2013 during a sleepover at a friend’s house when a gang member rang the doorbell and riddled the apartment front door with gunfire as she walked toward it. Although her killers have been caught and sentenced, the mother and family will live with this trauma forever.
Sadly, a shocking 21 children under the age of 17 were caught in crossfire and lost their lives to gun violence in Oakland to from 2011 to 2013. During this time, Lay Down Your Guns was written. Insanly, some of these 21 children were literally babies.
In 2011, 23-month-old Hiram Lawrence Jr. was shot in the head by a stray bullet while sitting in a car with his father during the filming of a rap video. In that same year, 3-year-old Carlos Nava was killed in a drive by shooting, while his mother pushed him in a stroller on a two-block walk home on International Boulevard from the store.
If the facts and faces of these children does not stir your emotions, then you may not have a pulse at all. But we need to do more than just feel the depth of this tragedy, we must do something NOW! Lay down your weapons and push for gun control laws that make sense. The article ‘What can I do about Gun Control,’ from The Cut will give you some solid answers on how you can become active for this important crucial cause – gun control.
Here’s the first version of the song Lay Down Your Guns over the Wailer’s ‘Lively Up Yourself’ Riddim, from Reggae Gyal’s International Women’s Day Concert at Pier 23 in San Francisco feat. Queen Makedah and the Sheba Warriors Band:
Lay Down Your Guns only begins to channel the collective emotional trauma of the mothers and fathers, the youth, and the communities suffering from this plague, who are crying out to mankind, ‘Lay down your guns!’ My prayer is that this song will inspire you and many to do just that, put down your weapons and work for peace.
You can also support my new album. A remix of ‘Lay Down Your Guns’ is one of the final songs to be recorded for the ‘Peace Process’ album to finally be released in Spring of 2019. If you’d like to contribute to the album, visit the Peace Process Go Fund Me page.
Make sure you sign up for for Queen Makedah’s mailing list to keep up with the latest music news, blogs, videos, live performances and more at www.queenmakedah.com.
‘Caught in the Crossfire,’ Mercury News, 08/07/2013.
Thanks for joining me! This is my first official WordPress blog! I am too thrilled to be saying this right now, but bear with me because there’s still a lot I have to learn.
So what will this blog going to be about?
If you’ve listened to my music, you might have guessed that Yah inspired writing is my passion. This blog is a response to years of inspirations that have piled up in my journal waiting to be shared. In fact, this last couple of years, the spirit has been nudging me to write more frequently, thus I am answering the call.
In this season of new beginnings, May Yah bless and guide this work to be a source of enlightenment and healing for the people (which includes myself).
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” —Lao Tzu
I look forward to sharing the journey with you and more dialogue through this forum!