Pushups

8,000 Push-ups in One Month: Year Three

Well, yet another successful year of doing 8,000 push-ups for the month of July. Every year, I gear myself up for it, because I cannot fail what I created. What I have learned from the previous years, one of the best ways to reach the finish line is to have others in your corner to support you along the way, and even better when they are doing it with you.

I continue to wonder why I chose to do this push-up challenge during the same month as my birthday and Independence Day, full of cookouts and fireworks. I still do not know a definitive answer to that, but I suppose it balances out all the grilled food and sugary lemonade from fests and fairs that I will consume. Moreover, it is in the summer, which is an easier season to motivate oneself for this kind of challenge.

Every year, it seems like there is a hurdle to prevent me from completing this challenge. Year one, my back was only a year out from having major surgery, so I felt a bit of tenderness. Year two, I got the flu in the middle of the month, which caused my pace to be way off. This year, my back continues to cause me problems, as I had to go through physical therapy throughout the month. Thankfully, my chest and arm strength was much better this year than any other year, so that portion was not very difficult.

I am very thankful for another year of the push-up challenge. Next year, I am looking to get others involved from a local standpoint, with hopes of broadcasting it to promote health, grit, teamwork, and determination. I finished with 8,200 for this year, which exceeded my goal. Moreover, this year is the first year that I felt eager to do more push-ups after the challenge. Every other year, I was crawling to the finish line. Now, I can place my stake in the ground with my head held high in victory.

The lesson I received the most from this year’s challenge is this. When you have people just as passionate in aiming for the same goal as you have, and you all are working together to get there, the goal becomes much more easier. Never think you are good enough to achieve your goals alone: it makes the road much more difficult. Additionally, never think a goal is insurmountable. Celebrate the phases to get there instead of being overwhelmed by how to get to the destination. Refocus your approach, and you will get there while learning from your journey.

8,000 push-ups, year three: COMPLETE.

@chrisprolific

 

Joy People Pic

Why I’m Fluttering My Feet

I was at work today, and started fluttering my feet. I was asked why I was doing that. In the midst of everything that is going on, I can wake up and say that I am happy about living. I appreciate going to work and having a stable job. I appreciate living my dream and writing for FOX Sports and Sports Illustrated, something that seemed so out of reach just a few years ago. I live everyday thinking about God giving me breath, health, and strength. I love the fact that I am living out what I dreamed, but it is much bigger than that. I love the fact that I can say that the smile on my face is because of God’s grace in my life, and how he loves me so much that he pours his blessings on me. CONSTANTLY.

I have learned to exhale and let go. All the cares that I held on to, I was too afraid to give it to God because of both shame, feeling like he would be disappointed at my failures, as well as pride, thinking that it is my job to clean up what I messed up. However, in spite of all the negative marks on my portrait, God continues to give me a blank canvas, eradicating those marks and renewing my spirit each day. Now that is something to flutter my feet about! The level of gratitude that I have for God’s grace is incomparable, and really cannot be fully described in words. This world has shown us, even within the past few weeks, that life is certainly not something to be taken for granted.

So, as this world continues to turn itself upside down, I’ll be fluttering my feet. Fluttering because I could have woke up without the ability to be as active as I am. Yes, I have serious back issues, and it stinks, but I won’t allow that to steal my joy. Fluttering because I have people in my life that appreciates me, loves me, and genuinely wants the best for me. And they understand that I desire the best for them, so they take heed to the insight that I have gained from hearkening to the Holy Spirit, and life experience. Fluttering because I could have been a victim of a stray bullet, stricken with a terminal disease, or could have lost my drive to succeed. Fluttering because I am on a path of purpose, and enjoying every minute of it!

Don’t let this world, or its craziness, discourage you and allow you to believe that life has to be somber and fretful. There are so many people that have the right to mourn because of a loved one becoming a victim of hate, no matter what part of the spectrum it is. Go ahead and mourn; the Bible instructs us that it is necessary for our healing. However, don’t let it consume you. Think about what God is doing in YOUR life, and all the things that could have happened that would make it much worse. Enjoy life! Invest in your life! GET TO FLUTTERING THOSE FEET!

Don’t feel embarrassed. Go right ahead. I’m doing it now, so you’re not alone.🙂

Harriet Tubman 20

I Understand Much Better Why Harriet Tubman Should Be On the $2 Bill Instead of the $20 Bill

Last week, Dr. Ben Carson was asked about his feelings on Harriet Tubman being on a $20 bill. His response sparked much controversy, as he suggested that a better option would have been placing her on a $2 bill. In just one week, Dr. Carson became one of the most notorious people in the country by a wide span of ethnicities, especially African Americans. I was one of them.

I must admit. Placing one of the most pivotal people in the history of mankind on a $20 bill was exciting. However, as I thought more about and peeled the layers of what it really represents, I began to reconsider and question the motives.

I have opened my mind more due to more data was presented. Not only does the value of a $20 bill decrease by the second due to rapidly increasing levels of national debt, but Tubman deserves a monument in Maryland or Philly, even a holiday could be strongly argued. Instead, I’ll get a $20 bill, just to bury it in my pocket and spend it on something far less valuable.

At least the $2 bill is a collectible item, which is appreciated much more than a $20 and more valuable symbolically. I was very critical of Carson’s remarks, but he did a tremendous job clearing the air in a recent article. He explained how the decision does not properly represent the worth of such an amazing hero, and that placing her on a piece of paper that is losing value can even be classified as disrespectful.

“Harriet Tubman would likely be turning over in her grave if she knew she would be the new face of American debt slavery. She would revile the cheap trick being pulled on African Americans in getting them to support this nearly bankrupt symbol of American debt. It is amazing how, just as the currency dwindles down to near worthlessness – all of a sudden the Government wants to invoke Harriet Tubman as a symbol on the twenty dollar bill,” says Dr. Carson.

As a proud black man who is about to become a doctor, I cannot settle for handouts and invitations that limit me from thinking higher. My capacity of success will not be shrouded by ceilings that are lower than my dreams. I echo Ms. Tubman in believing that nothing can stop a goal worth fighting for. She set the bar, and it would be an honor to even touch it with my fingertips.

So, well done Dr Carson for clearing your stance. I get it now, and I agree.

@chrisprolific 

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Friday Night Mixer – 4/8/16

Join us at the Friday Night Mixer event on Friday, April 8, 2016. The featured artists will be Anthony “Priest” Hendrix, and Kalom Montgomery. The Friday Night Mixer creates a comfortable environment for Christians to mix and mingle, network, and commence relationships. The Open Mic feature of the night allows for hungry artists to gain recognition of their gifts and talents to the listening audience.

Doors open at 8:30pm, and the atmosphere will be very festive, loungy, and conversational.

For additional details, please see flyer.

@chrisprolific
@vizionunitedllc

Phillip Doc Martin

NATIONAL RECORDING JAZZ ARTIST PHILLIP “DOC” MARTIN COMING TO COLUMBUS, OHIO

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Columbus, Ohio.

NATIONAL RECORDING JAZZ ARTIST PHILLIP “DOC” MARTIN COMING TO COLUMBUS, OHIO

National recording jazz artist Phillip “Doc” Martin will be the featured artist for “A Night of Jazz and Gospel” in Columbus, OH on Sunday, April 24, 2016. The event will be at The FC in Pickerington, Ohio at 6pm eastern time.

It did not take much time after his 2003 debut release, Saxappeal, to gain national recognition. Since then, the Washington, D.C. native has released Pride and Joy (2007), Realization (2009), and Good Day at Work (2013). He is also releasing a new album, Pocket Love, on March 18th of this year. His smooth jazz music has created opportunities to work with a number of internationally-renowned music artists, such as Grammy Award nominated Kirk Whalum, Gerald Albright, and Charlie Parker.

Phillip Martin will be joined by Columbus Gospel Soul trio Let Eternity Open, popularly known as L.E.O. Since their inception just a couple of years ago, L.E.O. has been one of the most popular local artists, and their support has opened doors to work with Gospel greats such as J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise.

“A Night of Jazz and Gospel” is an event that will raise awareness of autism, which is prevalent in 1 in 68 births in America. Moreover, according to the Autism Society, autism is the fastest-growing developmental disability, with more than 3.5 Americans living with an autism spectrum disorder. Autism services cost U.S. citizens 236-262 billion dollars annually, and early diagnosis can reduce the cost of autism services by over 90 billion dollars.

“A Night of Jazz and Gospel” will be presented by ViZion United, LLC. The Founder, Chris Featherstone, has used his degree in Public Relations to promote, plan, and consult Gospel and Jazz events for nearly a dozen years. ViZion United is one of Columbus’ premier event coordinating companies, also offering DJ and Life Coaching services along with promotions and event planning.

*Tickets for this event can be purchased at http://www.vizionunited.com*

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Chris Featherstone – Founder, ViZion United, LLC

vizionunited@gmail.com — @vizionunitedllc — http://www.facebook.com/vizionunited

J Rawls

NATIONAL HIP-HOP PRODUCER J RAWLS TO HOST GF XII FEATURING JOR’DAN ARMSTRONG

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — COLUMBUS, OH.

NATIONAL HIP-HOP PRODUCER J RAWLS TO HOST “GF XII” FEATURING STELLAR AWARD NOMINATED JOR’DAN ARMSTRONG

National hip-hop recording artist Jason Rawls, popularly known as “J. Rawls,” will be the host of the twelfth annual installment of the GLORYfest series, titled “GF XII.” The event will be a Skully’s Music & Diner on Wednesday, May 4th, 2016 in Columbus, OH. The time of the event will be 7pm ET.

For over twenty years, J. Rawls has been a staple in the hip-hop community, producing for the likes of Grammy Award Nominated Mos Def, Talib Kweli, and a host of other artists. Using a jazzy sound with a smooth tone, Rawls’ production style has gained the popularly of many fans and artists of the Christian and hip-hop genres.

J. Rawls’ style also gained popularity as a result of being inspired by one of the most notable producers of all time, the late J. Dilla. In 2006, Rawls as part of the Liquid Crystal Project, released “A Tribute to Dilla,” which has been sampled by many artists spanning a number of different genres.

The GLORYfest series was created in 2005 by Chris Featherstone, Founder and CEO of ViZion United, LLC, a Christian and Jazz promotion and event planning company. With a degree in Public Relations, Chris has planned, promoted, and consulted hundreds of events in Columbus, OH and surrounding cities.

ViZion United will be partnering with SAVE concerts, a faith-based promotions company located in Columbus, OH. Founded by George Chatters, SAVE concerts has featured Grammy Award winning Thi’sl, as well as national recording artist Sevin and a host of independent artists. George has served in the community as an events organizer for over twenty years, and uses his experience in the education field to help those in the local community create a path to achieve their dreams.

*Tickets can be purchased at http://www.saveconcerts.com*

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Chris Featherstone – Founder, ViZion United, LLC

vizionunited@gmail.com — @vizionunitedllc — http://www.facebook.com/vizionunited

George Chatters – Founder, SAVE Concerts

george@saveconcerts.com — @saveconcerts

Jor'Dan Armstrong Cover

STELLAR AWARD NOMINATED JOR’DAN ARMSTRONG COMING TO COLUMBUS, OH

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE — Columbus, OH.

STELLAR AWARD NOMINATED JOR’DAN ARMSTRONG COMING TO COLUMBUS, OH

ViZion United, along with SAVE Concerts, will present the 12th annual installment of the GLORYfest concert series at Skully’s Music & Diner on Wednesday, May 4, 2016 in Columbus, OH. The time of the event will be 7pm eastern time.

This event, named “GF XII”, will feature national recording artist Jor’Dan Armstrong. Jor’Dan is a native of Baton Rouge, LA, and is currently residing in Atlanta, GA performing with artists such as Fred Hammond, Israel Houghton, and Mary Mary. Known for adding a youthful flavor to his Christ-centered music, Jor’Dan has used his unique style to reach a diversity of cultures, and has been featured on Magic Johnson’s ASPiRE TV channel. In addition, Jor’Dan has been featured on MTV, and is a Stellar Award nominee.

Columbus’ own Jonathan Baker and Radikal Hughes are two of the most well-known artists in the local and regional market, with both appearing in a number of independent artist spotlights. Jonathan’s latest album, LIVE, has created opportunities to perform live on the legendary Bobby Jones Gospel show, as well as in front of a capacity crowd at the Nationwide Arena. His music has also been featured on iTunes, reaching the top 100 within days of its release. Radikal Hughes brings an eclectic style of urban, pop, and dance music with a Christian oriented theme. He has worked with a number of national recording artists, including Grammy Award nominated GRITS and Stellar Award nominated Viktory.

ViZion United, LLC has been Columbus Ohio’s longstanding premier Christian and Jazz events and promotions company since 2011. The Founder, Chris Featherstone, has promoted in the Columbus, Ohio market since 2005, and has featured a plethora of national recording artists, such as Flame, Flynn Adam, BB Jay, Sean C. Johnson, K-Drama, and many more. SAVE Concerts is a rapidly rising promotion organization, located in Columbus, OH. The company has been instrumental in featuring Grammy Award-winning Thi’sl in the short span of its inception, and has also housed a number of events to serve the local community. The company’s Founder, George Chatters, has served as an events organizer for over 20 years.

Each artists’ music can be heard online. Jor’Dan Armstrong at http://jordanarmstrongmusic.com/, Jonathan Baker at https://www.reverbnation.com/jonathanwpbaker, and Radikal Hughes at https://www.reverbnation.com/radikalhughes.

*Tickets can be purchased at http://www.saveconcerts.com*

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT:

Chris Featherstone – Founder, ViZion United, LLC

vizionunited@gmail.com — @vizionunitedllc — http://www.facebook.com/vizionunited

George Chatters – Founder, SAVE Concerts

george@saveconcerts.com — @saveconcerts

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Your Church vs. My Church… Forget Your Church

It really bothers me when I am ministering to someone whose heart is being more pliable to hearing about this Christian faith, even to the point of being interested in attending church; but all of a sudden, someone else immediately intercepts your invitation for theirs. Are we missing the point, here? When has ministering to the lost ever been a competition to see which church that person attends first. We really need to redirect our mission, people.

Working together as believers has been mired by “I love my Pastor so much!” and “I have the best church in the world!” Meanwhile, hurting souls are continuing to veer away due to the unattractive nature of a Christian sparring match over church services. This is such a disgrace to the overarching mission of Christ, and is doing much more harm than good. Getting yourself planted in a church is an essential part to every Christian’s walk and maturity in Christ. However, when your church (facility) becomes so revered that everyone else’s church is regarded on a lesser scale, this becomes a very slippery and dangerous slope that never produces positive results.

We have to get out of the “your church vs. my church” mentality. We are all on the winning team! How are we going to effectively minister to the world if we can’t effectively minister to each other? As Christians in America, we have no choice but to work together. There are so many entities trying to destroy the fundamental truths of the Christian faith. Oftentimes, unfortunately, Christians themselves fail miserably of expunging this mission by doing things that not only keeps this opposing mission alive, but helps it thrive.

Picture this: you are a non-Christian, or you call yourself a Christian, but are not living a life according to God’s will and Word. All of a sudden, you encounter a couple of people who you know are Christians, and they are very likable and relatable. So relatable, that a conversation about church and living for Christ sparks, which builds your curiosity about going to church or living a devoted Christ-filled life. You were invited by one person to go to church, and this is a church that you were familiar with, even attending it once before. Looking at your coworker’s lifestyle, and how it is congruent to being Christ-centered, you commit to going back when challenged to do so out of the spirit of love and encouragement. All of a sudden, you immediately get invited to another church by another Christian, who is somewhat cornering you to go.

Weeks later, you are revisited by your coworker about the challenge. You oblige, and commit to going to church; or, at least, listening to a live stream. There is the first step to potentially (and prayerfully) a paradigm shift. However, the other person who intercepted the invitation before, immediately does it again. The cornering repeats, which dilutes the commitment to the initial invitation, because you feel obligated to attempt to commit to the other invitation as well. Eventually, it is a wash, and you do not go to either church.

What a failure of working together.

We have to do better, friends. We cannot afford to allow another person to slip through the cracks on the way to hell, simply because of the aggressive feeling that your church is better than mine.

@chrisprolific

Help Me Hope Again…

Sometimes, you just feel drained. No one is around, and it seems like there is no way out. You feel like you are in a dark tunnel, with no trace of light in sight. The old adage, “When it rains, it pours”, was clearly intended for your life. Nights where sleep is at a bare minimum because so many thoughts are permeating your head. So hard to “look on the bright side”, because you even forgot what it looks like. It feels like an anchor is on your shoulders, and it is incredibly difficult to stand straight and move forward. Instead, the anchor is burying you further and further into the ground, and you feel like you are suffocating with each breath.

Although it feels like you cannot raise your arm to reach out, and life has a mute button on your cries for help. Don’t stop. If you keep trying, you’ll get the strength to reach out. If you keep crying, someone will hear you. Silence leads to suffering. Suffering leads to death. You were born, so that means you are needed. We need you here. GOD needs you here. Giving up will hurt more people than yourself. There is someone looking at you, or thinking about you, right now, hoping that you get through this so you can teach them how to get through it.

Your exhale moment is just around the corner. However, do not think that you can do it alone. You can’t, and you won’t. Many times, no one will be there for you. However, God will. Always. You might have even felt like you are not good enough to call for Him. You might have even put yourself in the position that you are in now. You might have even denounced God because you felt like he wasn’t there. None of that matters to Him. He just wants you to call Him.

He wants you to passionately say, “HELP ME HOPE AGAIN.”

I know, it’s tough. I’ve been there. However, I know how it is to be on both sides, and I know what I needed to do to get out of where I didn’t want to be. When I realized that I needed help, I searched for it, and I found it. In Jesus. And, as a result, the right people come to me from nowhere, as if they all received a message from God to help this hurting soul. When that happened, I understood how powerful it was to swallow my pride, have faith, and BELIEVE that this was not the end.

I am not a rare breed. There are many people like me out there who have felt that this world has nothing else for them. Maybe you are one of them. Consider God speaking to you, telling you to stop thinking you can do it alone. There is so much relief in learning how to speak up. There are others who need to hear your story, so it won’t be theirs.

@chrisprolific/@vizionunitedllc

Takeaways from Being Burned Out

After this incredible journey through this quarter in my PhD classes, this particular season very tough, experiencing severe burnout very early on. Trust me: it is certainly not anything to look pass, as it comes with serious mental and psychological, even physical, effects. Thankfully, I was able to push through it, and get my fourth straight 4.0! I learned so much through this burnout process, though, that will help me with managing my heavy load in the present and future.

There are two big takeaways that I got from this quarter: 1) embrace rest, and seek to get as much as you can. One of the most annoying phrases that I hear people say is, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” What a terrible way of thinking! There are numerous studies of the benefit of a person mandating adequate rest to be a part of their week. Instead, people choose to earn merit badges by over-working themselves, and the only thing they are doing is killing themselves slowly.

The second thing is to get into the routine of properly doing your tasks bit by bit. I used to be the ultimate procrastinator, getting my creative juices churning by the pressure of a close deadline. Now, although that still applies, my weekly load would not even allow me to successfully get things done if I procrastinate; especially school work. As many papers, short essays, and research that I have to do every week, I can not afford to wait until the last minute to do anything.

So, this season of burnout allowed me to gain much better ways of handling an overload, as well as me appreciating even more (did not know that was possible) the supernatural strength that God gives us when we are burdened with anything. All we have to do is cast our cares, because His burden is easy, and His yoke is light.

Hope this is an encouragement for anyone going through similar struggles right now. Don’t give up. I am a living witness that you can exceed your current state by prayer, casting your cares, and using wisdom to strategically find ways to lighten the load.

@chrisprolific @vizionunitedllc