Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 35: A Review of Jazz Digga and his Newly Released Album “Next Level”

Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 35: A Review of Jazz Digga and his Newly Released Album Next Level

“He is your everything. He’s all that you have,” states Gospel and Soul artist Jazz Digga as he finishes describing his relationship with God after discussing his recent health battles while producing his latest album Next Level. (Alone Time, 2014, n.p.). If you’re familiar with the Everett, Washington area, then you may know Jazz Digga whose real name is Deland Wilson. Wilson, you say? That sounds familiar. Like the rapper Willie Will? Yes! He is actually his brother and was also apart of Pop Heavenly and the Heavenly Boyz in the 1990s.

During a lengthy review with Marquis “Don Christi’on” from Seattle’s local Yadah Da King Radio podcast, Wilson explained that the inspiration behind the album came from his own battle to produce the album while battling an autoimmune disease (Alone Time, 2014). Like the great philosophers of the ancient world, Wilson spent much contemplative time battling questions of “why me” and “what am I supposed to get out of this” as he sought answers to his genetic sickness (Alone Time, 2014). Wilson chose the album name, Next Level, because the process of growing a relationship deeper with God often occurs during suffering (Alone Time, 2014). During that process, Wilson battled the process of surrendering oneself to the perfect will of God despite the horrendous health problems occurring (Alone Time, 2014).

Wilson’s journey of suffering parallels the nature of the sanctification process found in 16th century Carmelite Friar Saint John of the Cross’s poem, Dark Night of the Soul. In the poem, darkness is symbolic of the hardships the Christian endures as they are sanctified by the Holy Spirit. During this process of suffering and surrender, the Christian allows more and more of his or her sin nature to die while the believer reflects more and more of the nature of Christ as illustrated in Ephesians 4:22-24.

When “Don Christi’on” asked about the history behind Jazz Digga’s name, Wilson described that as a baby, his mother would play jazz music to calm him down. As he grew older and entered D.J.ing, his Mcee name became Jazzy D and later grew to Jazz Digga when many of the rap artists were adding igga to the ends of their names (Alone Time, 2014).

How did I discover Wilson’s music? Through a CD release party posted by another affluent blogger of Christian artists named Jesse Mayor who hosts a similar website called Servant Studios. About once a month, Mayor hosts a partnered event called BLESSED, which is an open mic event for local artists to share their talents with the youth of Everett. I could not make last months event but decided to research Wilson for my own personal interest in a blog post.

Personally, I am not much of a Gospel and Soul music individual but Wilson’s tracks were captivating to me. His album title really says every explanatory word one could use to summarize its grandiose composure of lyrics and music: Next Level. If you are searching for some new worship music, Wilson’s album will suffice as the long sort after elucidation. Like the jazz story told earlier, Wilson’s voice and lyrics are supernaturally soothing to the soul. The peace of God descends completely on the listener throughout this musical experience with songs such as “Worship U”, “Come Back to Love”, and “My Errything.”

How can you support Wilson? Definitely prayer! Continued prayer for his health would be an awesome place to start as well as continued inspiration from the Holy Spirit to pour in lyrics and music. Purchase one of his CDs or songs. And finally, host him for your next church or ministry event as a musical guest. Wilson has already shaken the heavens in Seattle with his dynasty of Gospel and Soul. May he continue this path with more open doors in the future, in Jesus name. Amen!

Jazz Digga’s Pages
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/1Diggz
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JazzDigga
SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/jazz-digga
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/jazz-digga/id257390853
CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/JazzDigga
ReverbNation: http://www.reverbnation.com/jazzdigga
Bandcamp: http://jazzdigga1.bandcamp.com

References
“Alone Time With God Featuring Jazz Digga.” Narrated by Marquis Don Christi’on. Alone Time With God. Yadah Da King, October 16, 2014. http://www.yadahdaking.com/podcasts/AloneTimeWithGodftJazzDigga.mp3 (accessed November 12, 2014).
Digga, Jazz. Facebook Portrait. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/1Diggz/photos/a.653212904773908.1073741825.653197984775400/665605583534640/?type=3&theater (accessed November 12, 2014).
Digga, Jazz. Next Level. Copyright 2014 by Jazz Digga. 889211008902. MP3.

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Creative Christian Moments – Blog Article 34: A Review of John Hammer’s book eXXXit


Creative Christian Moments

“Reviews of up and coming Christians in the arts community.”

Blog Article 34: A Review of John Hammer’s book eXXXit

There is a cancerous poison that has siphoned the life and morality out of our society for almost five decades. Where the sexual revolution promised liberation from the traditional values that held America together as a great society, generations from the 1960s onwards have been shackled and enslaved with addiction, perversion, and an insatiable appetite for sexual lust. Even in the Christian Church, pornography has ensnared its tendrils with fifty percent of males viewing and struggling with this addiction presently; many of them are even pastors, priests, preachers, and leaders, too. EVERY man in America has been exposed to pornography at one point in their life while others have progressed to battling addiction (including myself).

But in the shadows of Sodom and Gomorrah’s immoral tyrannical reign, young leaders are arising to counter this sinful insurgency through addressing the problem of sexual immorality with a bombarding tenacity. One such leader is Associate Pastor John Hammer from Sonrise Chapel who has provided a much needed tool to those caught in the bondage of sexual immorality and pornography addiction: his newly released book eXXXit (2014).

If you want a skeptic when it comes to self-help books, I’m your number one choice especially in the Christian circle of literatures. I find many of these Christian self-help books just glorified psycho babel with a bit a Jesus thrown in there to attract an audience. So what makes Hammer’s book different? Besides offering true accounts from the students he ministered as a youth pastor, Hammer approaches the topic from a holistic approach often alien from the previous books I have read on the subject matter. Hammer does not tip-toe around the issue. He presents the gruesome statistics and discusses the link between pornography and human trafficking by his own personal battle with pornography and many stories of the circumstances that his discipled youth experienced leading them down a dark road of sexually sinful addictions.

My personal favorite chapters were “Rewiring the Mind” and “Shattering Strongholds.” “Rewiring the Mind” examines the process of training the addict to renew their mind through both practical steps and Biblical truths. Hammer addresses the power of the Scripture by reminding the addict about the eternal truth of how God views an individual: unconditionally, as a loving father. Hammer also addresses the trap of negative self-image, often the root that grows into addiction, too. Practical steps offered in this chapter also include Scripture memorization, guarding your influences, prayer, and practicing the presence of the Lord.

In “Shattering Strongholds,” Hammer heralds the often over looked revelatory truth known to every Christian but often blind to the world: the battle to overcome pornography addiction is often a spiritual one. The very first passage in this chapter is quoted from 2nd Corinthians 10:3-6 “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

So how does one fight addiction as a Christian knowing that addiction is more than a series of steps and positive thinking. The individual bound in pornography must dismantle the spiritual strongholds in their life through a series of action steps: repentance of the sin, renouncing the sin one has tolerated, rebuking the demonic from having future influences in our weak areas, receiving the healing and cleansing power of Christ, refilling up with the Holy Spirit to guard one from temptation, and replacing the old habits with God given positive ones.

So how can Christians arise and counter this problem within our society? Christians must arise and fill the deficiency within their communities. Support groups are vitally needed, not just surface level small groups. Pastors must, again, begin to preach the benefits of purity to their congregation. My millennial generation is starving for the meaty truths of the Word of God! Challenge us, call us to accountability, and most importantly walk with us through our brokenness. We must become the beacons of light within the darkness of culture and demonstrate unwavering sacrificial love towards those who struggle by presenting healthy boundaries. We must emulate the character of Christ just like in the parable of the women caught in adultery.

For those of you struggling and wondering is there a place for me in the Christian Church? The answer is: YES! Do not stop searching for that right Bible believing congregation that emulates the characteristics of Jesus Christ. They may feel like they are few in number…but they are out there. I can attest to this in my own personal walk in recovery from addiction, too.

How can you support Hammer? Purchase a copy of his book and start an outreach group for those stuck in sexual immorality. The book acts as an excellent devotional. As always, prayer, prayer, and more prayer for Hammer and the ministry works at Sonrise Chapel. Hammer is also available for speaking engagements, too, so request him as your next speaker at a church or ministry event.

John Hammer’s Pages
Official Website: http://thefreedomletters.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/johnandhammer or http://www.facebook.com/EXXXit-The-Book
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/johnandhammer
Twitter: http://twitter.com/johnandhammer
Instagram: http://instagram.com/johnandhammer
Church Website: http://www.isonrise.org

References
EXXXit-The Book. Book Picture. Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/1402382096702488/photos/pb.1402382096702488.-2207520000.1414982857./1421792928094738/?type=3&theater (accessed November 2, 2014)
eXXXit Spoken Word John Hammer, YouTube, time, posted by John Hammer, June 9, 2014, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uyWasGH5Q9w (accessed October 29, 2014)
Hammer, John. eXXXit. Chambersburg, PA: eGenCo, 2014.