Friday, December 31, 2010

I refuse to be another black statistic!

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength." ~Philippians 4:13

I have posted this note and poem previously on Facebook about a year and a half ago. Recently however, I have been doing a lot of thinking and re-evaluation of my life and the legacy I am leaving behind, and this poem has taken on a new meaning for my life. In one of my classes this past semester, we had to write a paper about self-awareness, and one of the topics we had to include was the legacy we wish to leave behind. Since then, I have given a lot of thought to the person I am, as well as the person I wish to become.

I have often found tremendous inspiration in music. There is just something about, and in music that speaks to my heart and helps bring comfort, joy and encouragement into my life. I am particularly fond of listening to Kirk Franklin because of the extent to which I identify with his songs and lyrics. On the particular day, I was listening to his album "The Fight of My Life" and the poem in his Outro caught my attention and really moved me. Thought I'd share those words with you...

Outro: Kirk Franklin- The Fight of my Life

I refuse to be another black statistic
A black man who can wine and dine in the sin of the world and still be considered a Christian
I plan on being great
I care not to be less
I refuse to wear a barcode across my chest
I refuse to let a black tee or throwback jersey define me
I refuse to let my children witness divorce
Or make mature decisions in court
I refuse to grow up carrying the generational curse
I refuse to feel the need to curse in my verse
I hate being automatically looked at when someone asks can anyone rap
I wanna be a black man that can flip it from urban to corporate measures
A black man who can rep Christ to the fullest with no regrets
My only regret is the stigma that many black statistics in the past have set
Like going to jail, bragging about bail, leaving our kids, cussing at church, married and you sill flirt, no father present at birth
Animosity within the ministers of our church
I refuse to let my people viewed as temporary
I plan on planting a seed not for the moment but for one that's legendary
As for statistics
My father broke the mode
And I feel it's my job for the next generation to continue in it
Because I refuse to be another black statistic

I am definitely encouraged by this poem to rise above what society calls the "norm", beyond other people's views of the person I am supposed to be. Instead, I look to God to find my identity. It is a phenomenal feeling to find your identity in Christ, to know His purpose and plans for your life, to know that you are at the center of His attention. What a blessing that is.

Be encouraged!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

This Christmas...

"Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord," Luke 2:10-11

For those of you that know me well and know my story, you know this Christmas was the fourth I have had to spend away from home and family. For those that didn't know, you do! I can't begin to describe how extremely hard it has been to be away from family during the holiday season, it seems each year it gets harder and harder. But, alas, it is not my intention to receive sympathy or any of that sort with this note, as you will find out in the next few paragraphs...

The very first Christmas I spent away from home was in 2007, having just completed my first semester at Anderson University (AU) in Indiana. I was invited to spend the winter break in Ellicott City, Maryland with my aunt Suzanne Haley and her family. To offer some clarification here, she is not my blood relative Per Se, she is my aunt nonetheless. I had a wonderful time and felt like I was part of the family, and that helped make things a lot easier, as far as being away from home and family was concerned. The next Christmas (2008) was also spent in Maryland, this time, my sister Charity was there with me, having just completed her first semester at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia. It was an exciting time having a member of my family there with me...away from home. The third Christmas I spent away from home was spent in
Greenwood, Indiana. I had decided to stay in Anderson, Indiana where I was house-sitting for someone over the winter break. My sister decided to travel from Atlanta to spend Christmas with me. Having no plans for Christmas day, a friend of mine (Jake Duke) I had come to know that previous semester invited me and my sister over to his house in Greenwood. And so, Christmas 2009 was spent with the Dukes.

I dreaded this winter break long before it arrived. For one, my sister and I had, during the summer, been thinking of saving up some money and flying home for Christmas. However, due to several extenuating circumstances, we had to use the money to help pay for expenses during the fall semester and our plans to travel home fell through. On the other hand, now that I had moved out of the dormitories at AU into a rented house (because it is cheaper), it would be cost effective to have my sister come down to Indiana, yet again, and spend Christmas here, and that is exactly what we did. I knew this would be a really hard time for both of us but it was something that, in a way, had to be done.

I was sitting with my sister one evening at my house when the moment I had been dreading arrived. We started talking about Christmas, about being in Anderson with hardly anything to do, and worse, being away from home during this time. In most of the conversations I have had with my parents and siblings [usually over the phone] at this time of year for the last three years, it was clear the pain that was felt on both ends at the sacrifice we were making to be apart. This time around it was different, I could feel my sister's pain and was almost tangible, and it broke my heart. It was clear that we were both miserable and sad, but I found the courage to say this to my sister: "You know, you are right it is hard being away from home at Christmas. The way I see it though, we can either choose to be miserable, or be thankful for what God has blessed our lives with." I said this to her in a matter-of-fact way, but in a way, I needed to say this for myself as well. I had no idea what that would look like, but I was trusting God to take care of us. The very next day, I got a call from Bob Pearson, President and founder of Horizon International who I had met just a couple of weeks back while attending service at Celebration Church at Arrow Heights, here in Anderson. Upon finding out that Charity and I did not really have any plans for Christmas, he extended an invitation to us both to spend Christmas with him and his wife Christine. We discovered, when I stayed behind to talk to Bob after the service, that he knew both my parents, and as a matter-of-fact, he had been in my mom's office this past October! I couldn't believe my ears when I heard him say that, and here I was on the phone with him, the whole time just saying "thank you Lord" that we had a place to spend Christmas!

I have often, if not always, dismissed certain occurrences in my life as coincidences, and this was no different. I could not explain how it all came together-how we found a place to spend Christmas-but I knew it in my heart that this was something Papa was doing, it was God-sent. And there was a lesson to be learned here; when we begin to be thankful, not because something good is happening in our lives, but when everything seems to be the exact opposite of what you hope, in those moments we find the meaning of true joy. I found that joy this Christmas, the joy that comes from above! Do not mistake me as saying that means everything is okay, that it's not hard being away from family anymore...rather, that by not focusing on all the things that weigh me down and instead counting the blessings, I am thankful for all God has done, and is doing in my life, and I have found joy in that. So much to be thankful for...

As I sat down to write this, I had the song "This Christmas" by Chris Brown on my mind. That may come as surprise to most of you, but one line in the song goes..."This Christmas will be a very special Christmas, for me!" This has been true for me, this Christmas has been a truly special one for me!

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2011.


Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Muli bwanji (How are you?)

I've been thinking for a while of starting a blog but never got the inspiration to do it, until today. I finally found the inspiration and courage to start sharing some thoughts, questions, concerns, and experiences on here.

If you would like to get to know more, please follow me at: To say a little bit about the inspiration for the name, Prince is the nickname my mom calls me and has done so for as long as I can remember...I am her prince charming because I have my father's name [Oscar]. Chandiona is my birth name. It was given to me by my dad because at the time I was born, as I have told, I was the only male child born in the small town in the Eastern Province of Zambia. My dad knew/ thought it was God's blessing and asked, "What has seen me?", the literal translation of my name in Nsenga. The number 23 is kind of special for me. I graduate from college just two days after turning 23 (May 5). It has been truly an answer to prayer that I have come this far and to have this milestone in my life in sight....

So, come on, follow my blog and get to know more about me and share ideas...