PRIDE

hey all, I am back.

Just for a second, though.

June is my month. It’s gemini season in full effect, the weather is getting warmer, it’s an overall good time. This month, those who are in the LGBTQ community celebrate their freedom, truth and bring awareness by calling it Pride Month. While I myself am a straight male, I feel it of importance to celebrate with them. I have friends in this community, and I know those in these communities who struggle with living in a society that marginalizes them for their lifestyle choice. 

Quick story…

I remember being in undergrad and going through a transition in my life. I was weaning my way out of being the party boy who did immature things and tried to sleep with everyone to becoming the man God had called me to be. It was hard, and I was losing friends because of it. I joined a choir during this time, and I met someone who would become my closest friend and confidants. I remember we would hang all the time, and finally one day he had the courage to come out to me. I know it had to have been hard, and I could see it on his face what he was expecting. To his surprise, I responded with “I thought so”, which I really did, and we continued on with the evening. I remember driving home that night, and thinking to myself how similar we were. How much we had in common. The only difference was that he was gay and I was straight. That led me on a journey to really understand those in the gay community, and learn about myself. Had I been judgmental, had I condemned these people because of what I didn’t understand? Probably so. In the years that would pass, I found myself learning more and more, and truly loving on these people that were different from me. In those moments, I learned about what love really is, and how once you take the conditions off, we can truly grow together.

Back to the point…

I am straight. I love women. I love the beauty in every skin tone, size, personality type, and everything else that comes with women. I am a Christian. I love Jesus with every fiber of my heart. Jesus is the only way, and Jesus is all that matters to me. With that said, the reality for me is this: No matter how you choose to live your life, I will not be the person to condemn you and say that you are wrong. I am not the person to tell you to literally “go to hell”, when I don’t have the authority to do so. I am not God. He is the judge. What I will do, however, is love you. What I can do is be a human being who allows you to chart your own path, and live out your truth. At the end of the day, it doesn’t actually matter to me at all how someone else is living their truth, because I am living mine. We live in a society where we place judgements based on cultural norms, not researching truth for ourselves. Maybe we should do better at that. I know I am trying to. So if you are someone who is in the LGBTQ community, celebrate your month. Maybe this month will be a time for you to come out to your family/friends or maybe even start a real conversation about your feelings. Maybe not. I can only hope that we as a people seek to find understanding with those who live differently than us.

Sincerely,

Me.

B.A. ScottComment
Thank You

Hello.

Thank you for continuing on this journey with me.

I appreciate each and every person that comes to visit the site and for the creative community as a whole that I have had the privilege to be a part of. I appreciate each of you who message me, comment and debate your valid points with mine. It is truly an honor. While a lot of my content up to this point on this online blog has been lifestyle related, I will be taking a hiatus from that to focus on what I truly love, and that is music. I realized that as a musician, I rarely talk about music on my blog. That will be changing in the month of April. My content on the site will be more geared towards music as a whole. Reviews of albums, talking through the process of being a songwriter and things of that such will be what my online forum is primarily for. I will still be communicating my thoughts on life, love, and everything in between in a new format: My Own Podcast!!!!!! If you would like to follow me, the podcast is called “N-Word. Inward. In Word: A Podcast”. I will be reaching out to some of you in order to have you on with me to talk and interview you, so be on the lookout for that (I am in the market for a co-host). The first episode is on iTunes now, and it is serving as a placeholder until I record the first full show. Please subscribe!!! The first full episode will release on Friday, April 6.

Again, thank you for your support!

 

B.A. Scott
March 26 is a special day because...

Before I get into all the details, I must first apologize. You see, when I was growing up, I had an authority complex. I thought that I was smarter than everyone. Adults would attempt to give me direction, and I would shun their requests away. When I was at home, there was no difference. Any time that I did not like or want to do anything, I would argue about it, or just not do it. I would come up with reasons as to why not, and I can only imagine how my parents had to have felt raising me. It was a lot. Now as an adult, I can fully understand why adults do and say the things that they do. So, momma, I am so sorry. I get it now.

Today is a special day in the Scott family. We have the privilege to celebrate 2 women in our family, who happen to share a birthday.

Mom

Growing up, I was not really a momma’s boy. Me and my mom got along, but I spent a lot of time with my dad. My dad would pick me up from school, my dad liked to stay up late as I do now, we just got along. With that, I was not as close to my mom as my older sister was. I even remember when we would go back to Portsmouth for vacations and such, my sis and my mom would always stay together, and my dad and I would go to his family’s house. We would still see each other, but it wasn’t as often. As I started to grow up, I distanced myself from both of my parents as most teenagers do. I was trying to figure out my life on my own and I didn’t need their help to do so. HA, the lies. When I got to college, things started to change. I saw my mom more often, and we would talk and stuff. It was cool having her around. I needed her more than I led on. I never really had a full understanding of just how much my mom did for me until years later. My mother was always in my corner. She did things behind the scenes to make sure that I was always taken care of. Whether she will admit it or not, I am her favorite child, and she made sure that her actions backed that up. There have been some low times in my life, and my mother has always had my back. There have been hard conversations that I had to have and she would just listen. I remember when I found myself in a situation a few years ago and I was petrified to speak to my mom about it. I wasn’t scared of punishment, I am an adult on my own. I was more afraid of the disappointment. When I did talk to her about it, she wasn’t mad at all. She wanted to make sure that her son was taken care of, and that the truth was said about me. We are all moved on from that, but I will never forget those moments. I needed that during that time because no one else was on my side. Literally not one friend. That was a dark time, but because of her strength, I was able to be strong for myself. I never want to let her down. That’s why I finished school, did well, things like that. I always wanted to make her proud. My mother comes from a long line of strong women, and she is no different. Her silence is not for weakness; I believe to be a warning. I have seen my mother when she is angry, and it’s not something that you want to take on. I think because of her self-awareness, she keeps to herself. There is wisdom in that. Me and my mom are at a place now where we are friends. Not only is she my mom, but she is someone that I can count on, and someone I can talk to when I need her. I also know that she will always be in my corner. Whether I am right or wrong, she looks out for me. I am so grateful for that, and that’s why I consider it an honor to celebrate her. She is forever my lady.

 

J

So I remember exactly where I was when she was born. I was in the hospital, sweating from walking to the hospital from my house (why I didn’t drive is beyond me). I walked in the hospital, and moments later, she was here. It was so exciting. Having a niece has been the most rewarding of things in my life. Literally being a part of her growing into the woman that she is becoming is amazing. She is brilliant and creative. There is a level of maturity that she has that most her age don’t possess. She is a leader naturally, and that is so amazing to see. She has dealt with a lot in her short life, and she has handled every situation. Sometimes, isee myself in her. She is literally a mini version of me.

So on your birthday, just know that you are loved. I am so proud to be your Uncle B, and I don’t take it for granted at all. I am so excited for the woman that you are becoming and so excited for your future. You have all the tools to be whatever it is that you want to be. I pray that God keeps you and that every attack of the enemy is bound up. Nothing will harm you because you are covered by the blood of Jesus. You are covered!! Happy birthday to you.

 

B.A. Scott
Holy Rolling

If you realized anything about my blog, it is that my subjects are strictly based on inspiration. I don’t typically have a plan to what I am going to write until it hits me, and I like that. It keeps it fresh and exciting for all that read. Today is no different. Today I am going to talk about church a little bit. So please continue reading.

I was raised in a household where we went to a Baptist church. My home church in Portsmouth, VA, is a Baptist church, and for most of my life, it was all that I ever knew. When I was in middle school, my youth group where I said yes to Jesus for the first time was through a Baptist church. Whether big or small, country or urban, black or white, it was always this type of church. I enjoyed it for the most part, and it was cool to watch the progression of the church over the years. In spite of all that, I always felt like something was missing for me. There were certain things that I was not sure I believed or understood, there were things that I did not fully agree with, but I was a kid, so I did what I was told. In the summer of 2012, I found myself in a place where I was looking for a church. The church I had been a part of during my time in college didn’t really fit the phase of life that I was in, and although it wasn’t bad, I had stopped going completely. I would wake up on most Sundays and either go to work, or I would visit different places. It was cool. I remember running into a friend of mine who had invited me to their church for Easter that year, and I decided to go back. Little did I realize that my friend was a pastor to one of the fastest growing churches in our area. This church was exciting, loving, the music was great, and the pastor preached truth with passion. It was a fun place to visit. It was the Ramp Church International. I had visited in undergrad with some of my homeboys before, but we weren’t looking for God at that time. This church happened to have all the fine black girls at Liberty University going there, and so being the knuckleheads that we were, we decided to go and try to play church (it didn’t work, these women are the real deal about Jesus). Fast forward 4 years, and now I am back at this place. I remember feeling out of place for all of about 5 minutes, and that was due to my own insecurity, but then being welcomed in. It was a wonderful experience that I will take forever.

While being at this church, I began to form a deeper relationship with my friend who was the pastor. We would stay up for hours talking about the bible, and he would help me to understand things that I had questions about. This church taught me about theology in a new way and also taught me to research and learn things for myself so that I would be able to talk about my faith with confidence. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t just doing what everyone else wanted to me to, I was learning it for myself. I had wonderful “firsts” during that time. I was able to freely express myself in worship (I got a little step lol), I saw people healed from sickness, I laid hands on people and the Holy Spirit worked through me. It was scary but real. I was baptized in Jesus name at this church, I spoke in tongues, and understood it (I was in a service in Trinidad the first time I ever spoke in tongues, it freaked me out, and I never told anyone about it. This was a different time.). These were all things that growing up, I was told were taboo, or fake. I learned that they were real and alive.

It’s an unfortunate thing, but many look at those that worship in the ways I have mentioned before as though they are faking it, or that it’s too much. They sit in their churches every week as though their way is the only way that works. It’s dumb, to be honest, and it can be hurtful as well. The authenticity of these people is amazing. People shout, scream, run, but some also sit quietly, and commune with God. That’s what many miss. Doing these things aren’t requirements, these things are in response. That’s what worship is. A response to what God has done, is doing, and going to do in our lives. Most that I know don’t go to church because they want to. If they are honest with themselves they go because they have to. They need a body of believers to help them along their Christian walk. That’s the purpose of the church, “To equip believers to do the work of ministry.” That’s it. Anything else other than that has no eternal value. It doesn’t matter how you do it, the point is that you do it. You might never move, or clap, and shout, but if in your quietness God is moving and working, then that’s enough. It’s for you.

I wish that I could tell you that I am still there. I am not. I fell during my time serving in ministry, and because of that entire situation, I ended up leaving. I can take full responsibility for my actions, and I repented, but church is a 2-way street. Honestly, I felt like I didn’t have the choice, and if I could go back, I would do it all the same way. In times of hardship, people will show their true colors. Those colors were shown to me, and painted a picture that I didn’t want to look at. So I moved on. However, I would not be the person I am today without the time spent there, and I am thankful for it. I still have love for that place, and it will forever be in my heart. Maybe one day we will reconnect, and I can reconcile it all. Maybe not. I have no idea, and that’s ok. Jesus is still alive, and real. That’s all that truly matters.

B.A. ScottComment
Lessons Learned From One Of My Favorite Ladies

It’s Women’s Month, right? I unapologetically think that having a month to do something that should be done every day is a shame, and shame on you if you don’t. However, since this is when society tells us to celebrate women, then I will give you one to celebrate. Her name? Annie Odessa Maclin-Taylor.

My GG was one of my favorite ladies. I don’t talk about her much, because it breaks my heart that she is gone. 12.10.08. was the date that she took her last, and to be honest with you, 10 years later, it has not gotten any easier. However, I try my best to remember the things that she did when she was on this earth, and those are things that help my grieving process. When she was here, she taught me things that I didn’t realize that I would need until later in life. Being an idiot teenager, I would brush many of the talks that we had off, not truly realizing that she would ever leave. Death is a funny thing. It puts into perspective all of the interactions that you have with a person, and then displays them as mural to remember the life by. That’s what my GG did for me. She was a living legacy. She passed down a number of things to me, and I would like to share them with you. In true blogger form, here is the list:

1.     Love God for real. My GG was a God fearing woman. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind about that. With her faith, there was an intentionality about it, and it was magnetic. I can’t begin to count the number of people who came forward after she passed to speak on how they found Christ because of her. My GGs house is in the hood of Portsmouth, VA. Up until recently, her house was a rock throw from a dope house, and liquor store (yea for gentrification). These are places I was never allowed to go by myself, but places I recognized as I got older. In spite of what was around her, she would open her house up to people, feeding them, and telling them the gospel. She wasn’t preachy, she was real; she understood them, and found connections with their lives and hers. It was wonderful to realize. She would keep these bible tracks EVERYWHERE in her house. Some of these tracks were wordy, some looked like comic books, and others still were like cartoons. However she needed to reach people, she would use them. She loved music, and would be singing all the time. These old hymns, rich in doctrine, were her songs of choice. Even I still don’t realize the songs that I know, and when I hear them I know every word. That was her. Her faith inspired generations after her to follow Jesus.

2.     Educate yourself. Growing up, I hated school. Maybe it was because I was a loner black kid surrounded by white students who would pick on me. Maybe it was because it came easily to me, and didn’t feel challenged. Whatever the reason, I hated it. I just did. My GG was not one to have that. Whenever I was around her, I felt like I was in a classroom. She would ask me random questions about science and math, just to see if I knew it. When I was wrong, she would show me. One of the last conversations I remember having with her was about school. I was in college, and I wasn’t doing well. I was apathetic. I had a rough semester, and it discouraged me. She had asked me how I was doing in school, and I said I was doing ok. She challenged me to finish well. There were times after she passed when I would think back to those conversations, and I would press on to do well. Multiple degrees later, I am doing just fine. If I ever feel discouraged, I remember her face, and her smile, and I realize that I am going to make it just fine.

3.     Treat Others Right. My GG was the type of person who was always respectful of those around her. She was very dignified. A classy lady. She instilled in all of us the same respect. In her house, no one would fight, or raise their voice. We treated each other with decency and respect. It was understood. I always think back to some of the stuff I was in when I was younger, and none of it ever came inside those doors. There was a respect and honor that my GG demanded that no one would dare defy. It was just how life was. I only saw my GG raise her voice at someone once in my life, and she was doped up in the hospital when it happened. Even that scenario seemed so weird to think about knowing her character. But respect was something given to everyone, even if they didn’t deserve it. We live in a culture where respect is earned, not given. Her thought was if you treat others with respect, you will get it back in return. She taught us that.

I could go on with the numerous other things that she taught me, but I will end it here. My eyes are welling up with tears, and so I really don’t have the strength to continue writing. She is the example to anyone of what a woman should be, and I love her dearly. Many people will say things like “I know that they are looking down on me”, but I don’t believe that. She is somewhere in the presence of Jesus, singing and praising him. I’m ok with that because I will get to see her again one day, and sing right along.

I love you, GG.

B.A. Scott
Wakanda Isn't Real

Hi friends,

Today is March 5, 2018. The Monday after Black History Month (BHM) has passed. Another one has come and gone, and this month, in particular, is one that I want to speak on.

WARNING: I am about to be that guy.

Black Panther

As I sat in my house the other day thinking about BHM and what it meant for me this year, a couple of thoughts crossed my mind. BHM is a time where we, as a culture, take time to remember people of color who have made strides in America. Interestingly enough, this year had nothing to do with that. Black people came out in droves to celebrate a fictional black character, and it seemed that with all that hype that we forgot to celebrate those who paved the way for us to be able to enjoy something such as this. To be fair, I thought “Black Panther” was great. It’s not my favorite Marvel movie to date, but it was still really good. I also thought it was cool that a young, black director made the movie. Those are all things to be celebrated. However, without Sydney Poitier and Harry Belafonte, there is no Chadwick Boseman to celebrate, or Michael B. Jordan to lust after. They simply don’t exist. And I personally don’t think it fair that we as a culture failed to mention them. People everywhere are saying that this film gives their children “heroes” to look up to when there are black men and women that they can look up to now, and these were there before this movie. You don’t think so? Here is just a couple: Malcolm X, MLK Jr., Rosa Parks, Thurgood Marshall, Ruby Bridges, Angela Davis, Harriet Tubman, Nelson Mandela, Daisy Bates, Frederick Douglas, Hank Aaron, Jackie Robinson, Jim Brown, Langston Hughes, Zora Neal Hurston, James Baldwin, Josephine Baker, Mary McCloud Bethune, Muhammad Ali, Nikki Giovanni, Nina Simone. I could go on about countless others who earned the title of hero in real life, not on a comic strip. With that in mind, what many don’t even realize is that the comic was created in 1966 as a part of the Marvel universe. The comic has nothing to do with the Black Panther party, it’s just a name given to a character (Black Leopard just didn’t work). So before we worship this fictional character, let’s give respect to those who actually enacted on heroism in their lifetime(s). Maybe give some respect to Huey Newton and the real Black Panthers for giving back to their community for years before the FBI and LAPD came in and began to murder them. Question: Do you know that 10-point program is? I do. I will tell you. It was a list of items that the Black Panthers wanted from their local community government in response to what was happening around them. Those 10 points were: We want freedom. We want the power to determine the destiny of our Black Community. We want full employment for our people. We want an end to the robbery by the Capitalists of our Black Community We want decent housing, fit for shelter of human beings. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society. We want all Black men to be exempt from military service. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people. We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails. We want all Black people when brought to trial to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice, and peace. Do any of these sound familiar? They do to me. There are distinct parallels from what they were standing for then, and what many of our own are still standing for now in our communities. This is how I will close this point. Instead of wearing dashikis, and claiming a heritage that you really know nothing about, how about learning about your heritage. More than what ancestry.com can provide, get to know our people. Yes, our history was erased due to slavery, but we are all still a part of those people. Africans welcome African-Americans with open arms. Talk to one. Learn about their history and traditions. I’m sorry, but I couldn't care less about Wakanda. It doesn’t exist. I care about what is real around me right now, and so should you.

Another month

BHM is followed by women’s month on the calendar. Again, it is another month that someone decided we should celebrate a people group in our country. To me, it’s all stupid. Why use a month to shed light on something that we should be doing every day. I am a black man. As such, I spend every waking moment of my life living black history. I have a wall full of degrees which tells me that my life combats the stereotype that comes with my skin tone. I have a loving black family with both parents, again, another stereotype negated. I am a musician and pastor, and I love the people that I have the opportunity to serve with each Sunday. There is no changing it, it is who I am. So why do we have certain months to bring attention? Because for most of us, it isn’t something that we do every day. I have a mother, a sister, and countless friends, all of whom are successful women. Most of them are black (all of my closest friends are*), but I still celebrate all of them every day. There are things that women do that I could never understand (like periods and pregnancy), and then there are things I simply admire (strength, perseverance). Society would have us to believe that no one cares about women or that women are an ignored afterthought. While true for the ignorant minority, that doesn’t represent the masses. So no, they don’t need a month, they should be celebrated all year, all of the time. If you’ve got women in your life, celebrate them. Do something for them. Not just in March, but all the time. For me, my mother’s birthday is in March, so I get the opportunity to celebrate her. But I tell my mother all the time how I love her, and I am thankful for her. I don’t need a date on the calendar for that.

*I wrote that most of my closest friends are black, and that is not a knock to other races. I have tried to befriend those of other races (specifically speaking to white people), and for some reason, it has never been something that stuck. I like people from all backgrounds, but I typically only trust those from a similar experience. Trust is proven, not given.

 

B.A. ScottComment
Matters of the heart

I spent the last month talking about love, and since this month is ending, this is my finale. More personal than some of my other posts, read it and gain an understanding of who I am if even just a little.

As I was sitting in church yesterday, I was lost in thought. It wasn’t that my pastor wasn’t preaching good stuff (I took notes; Ephesians 4 is where we were where it talks about putting off our old selves), I was just lost in thought. See, I am the worship pastor here. I say pastor because there are other elements to my position that are outside of the realm of music. Music is only one small part. I also counsel and lead a small group. There are times where I get lost in thought during church, and yesterday was one of those days. What was I thinking about? I am so glad you asked…

In church a lot of times, we hear about the heart. Preachers will say things like “Jesus wants your heart” or “Protect your heart”, or even “Don’t trust your heart”. In all of these conversations, the central piece is a small part of a large body that gets all the attention. The question I always think about is why the heart is so important, and why does it get so much attention if it’s in fact so bad. Starting with myself, I took a look at the heart, and what it means to me.

What is the heart?

When speaking about the heart, it is not the physical, 4-chamber, blood pumping mechanism that most are speaking about. It is, in fact, deeper than that. The dictionary actually defines the heart as “the central or innermost part of something”, and another definition is “the vital portion or essence. That’s the heart that most people are speaking of. The part of us that gives definition. The part where desires, hopes, fears, hurts, and feelings live. To go even a step further, the literal heart is the same as the figurative, it is where it gives life. Without the heart, we are lifeless. So when people place importance on the heart, they are saying that without it, they are nothing. To place importance on something like the heart is paramount, and it is the central most important thing to take care of.

What About You, B.A.?

In my own life, I have not taken care of my heart like I should, and I have paid for it. I compare my life to letting someone take a drink of my soda. The cup has been passed around because I let it, and once it came back, the cup was empty. I have given out my heart to friendships, relationships, quick flings, and everything in between. I did it because I wanted to, and I wouldn’t take it back. Whether I wanted to or not, I would stay around because I had “invested” in it, even if it was killing me inside. Each time it ended, I would take pieces back with nothing to show for it. Other than a trail of broken hearts, I don’t remember much about them either. I block them out to dull the pain that I feel. Many times people assume that I am playing when I say I don’t remember things. It’s not a joke, it is intentional. I have an airtight memory of things that I want to remember. If I don’t want to remember it, I block out the moment. Yes, it’s not the healthiest option, but’s it’s how I cope. I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday about this very thought (this friend is my oldest and closest friend who I also dated at one point. We broke up, didn’t speak for 6 months, and we’ve been closer now than we have before. My pride doesn’t say this often, but while I appreciate her friendship, losing her is something that I will always regret). I was explaining the thought process that I had in church, and I was thinking about my life, and how my heart did some weird things. From 2014-2016, life was rough. It was hard for me. In that time, I found myself trying to fill the pain that I had with things. Summer 2014, I started drinking heavily, Fall of 2014 I was sleeping around. 2015 I came down off of my binge assuming that things would get better only to see them get worse. Late 2015 I went on another binge, same stuff, and then 2016 I decided I would be the best version of myself. I got my head back on straight, I thought I was falling love, life seemed to be going fine. It didn’t. My past came back to haunt me, and I had to lie my way out of that to stay afloat. It was rough. That friend I mentioned before, she was my girlfriend back then, and life was good at first. 1 totaled car and a list of other things, and it all shot to hell. That was the summer. The next season of my life started when the next season of weather started. It’s been good since then. Except for this one time. No need to elaborate. I would screenshot the conversation, but it’s unnecessary. I will say this: sometimes people embellish the truth for their own personal gain, and that’s not ok. Don’t assume something about someone until you have all the facts. Also, don’t ask for closure when you’re the one who is keeping the door open. Anyway, so all of this to say, I haven’t been the best with my own heart. It's a struggle for me; it’s my tragic flaw. I am making strides I think, but I am nowhere near perfect.

No one cares about your sob story, what are going to do about it?

If you don’t know anything about me, know this: I hate hearing people cry about their problems with no solutions. While I am for getting out the emotions, if left at that, then what was really the point in talking in the first place? So taking my own advice, I thought about how I can be better with this entire premise of the heart, and what have I been doing to assure this to be true in my own life.

1.       Know your worth. Many times, we find ourselves in situations where we are heartbroken due to the fact that someone mishandled us. Once we have been mishandled once, it becomes regular and we continue to settle for situations where our hearts are broken until we have nothing left. Know this, that you are amazing, and beautiful, and special, and worth so much more than some knucklehead or knuckleher can ever comprehend. You are worth it.

2.       Undoing the terrible 2s. For the longest time, I would give my heart out in 2s. One would be who I thought, I wanted, and the other would be what I felt like would keep me after the other messed up. It’s a strange reality, but I felt more comfortable in a triangle than I ever have in a line. But don’t think like me, find one who is worth your heart and give them all you have. So what if it doesn’t work out, at least you will be able to say that you gave it all to one soul.

3.       Something about that name. Finally, know that there is a God who loves you with everything inside of you. He knows your good and bad, and doesn’t care. He loved you enough to die for you. Your life was worth more than his. Your peace, freedom and hope were worth it. Whenever you feel like you want to settle, don’t. Someone loves you unconditionally. Trust me. Name? Jesus.

I am still learning about the matters of the heart, and I appreciate you listening.

Shalom.

B.A. Scott
Hey all!!

So I just have a couple of quick updates.

1. My website is updated and new!! Just a few updates to the look of it all. A little cleaner for 2018. that's all. Same stuff, new places. And new stuff too. Check it out!!

2. My blog is changing a little bit too. So I was posting on Thursdays, but that's changing. I will be posting on Mondays now, so everyone that has been following, get ready this Monday!

3. I am working on music again, and I am hoping to do some shows here soon. Be on the lookout for those dates in March/April.

4. If you are ever in Roanoke on a Sunday, come visit me at the church I am serving at. I am at Oakland Baptist Church on the pastoral staff leading music and worship. I will also be teaching a small group starting on March 4 on Sunday nights. If you're free, I would love to have you!!

K. That's it. Hope 2018 is off to a great start for you!!

B.A. Scott
The Love Talk-Part 4

Part 4-Waiting For What? Let’s Talk About Sex.

I didn’t realize when I began this short series that it would end on Valentine’s Day week. I promise that was unintentional, but I guess all things happen for a reason. Thank you for being a part of my thoughts, and if you ever want to talk about these thoughts in person, I would be happy to engage with you.

For the final conversation in this short blog series, we are going to talk about sex. I personally am unmarried, never have been; also, I am not a virgin. I lost my virginity at 16. That is the perspective that I am coming from. Some of you reading are still virgins in your single lives, and I applaud you. But that’s not me. Remember that in this talk. Again, this is my perspective, and I would love to engage in discussion if anything I say seems like something you would like to discuss in additional detail.

So let’s chat.

Many of us who grew up in the Western Hemisphere were taught from a young age that sex is something that we wait for. As children, we listened, many times without asking any questions. As we grew up, parents would have the sex talk with us, and it would answer some but not all of our questions about it. Some start to experiment with sex in their teen years, thus taking them through a journey about their bodies and reactions in a way that they have never experienced. Once they have done it once, they realize that it is enjoyable and more than likely do it again. For couples in relationships, sex is an interesting conversation. For some, they choose to wait it out, and not to engage in physical relations until the time is right (we will come back to that). Others play with the idea but never have intercourse (so is that sex or not?). No matter what the journey is, we all can agree that we have thought about the idea of sex, and what it means to each of us.

What is sex?

The question of what defines sex is one that sparks debate for some. By definition, sex is “sexual activity, including specifically sexual intercourse.” Activity? What defines an activity? Well, researching it further, the definition of sexual activity is the same as sexual intercourse. The definition of sexual intercourse is “sexual contact between individuals involving penetration, especially the insertion of a man's erect penis into a woman's vagina, typically culminating in orgasm and the ejaculation of semen.” Some would argue that any sort of physical contact can be deemed as sex such as heavy touching, orally pleasing a partner, or using other means. That argument typically is used by those who argue that people should wait for marriage before sex. On the other side are those who don’t feel as though waiting is necessary would most likely agree with this definition. Whatever you define as sex, hold on to that. The important thing about sex is that you must understand what it means to you, and what you will allow and feel comfortable with.

Waiting for What?

I personally was raised in a Christian home where my Christian parents would encourage me to make the right decisions. Religion was never forced on me, I found Jesus on my own, but there were certain ideas that were just understood. No sex before marriage was one of them. My dad is a pastor, and it would not be a good look to have his kids out here sleeping with everyone. Now to be fair, we never had the sex talk in my house. I never had a conversation with my parents about sex until I was an adult. At the same time, I knew where my family stood on the issue. Interestingly enough, premarital sex was something not out of the ordinary in my family. My mom was raised by single mother. My mother was not married when my older sister was born (my sis was at the wedding, which is the funniest thing to me). My older sister was a single mother. So the idea of waiting until marriage while taught to me seemed foreign to me. Everyone around me had children before they were married, which assumes that they were having sex. They all turned out fine, so I would always ask myself why the wait. Since I couldn’t find an answer that suited me, I subconsciously chose that I would not wait either. It didn’t seem like something that I needed to do. With that in mind, however, there is something I would say: make sure that you are ready for sex. Sex is an emotional, physical, psychological and spiritual experience that not every person can jump into. It takes time to know yourself, know your partner, and understand that the relationship you have with that person will never be the same. It has to come with the understanding that if you and your partner fall out, that it will possibly get awkward and hurtful and all of those things. There is a huge side of risk that comes with it. Once emotions are involved with anything, it gets like that. Marriage doesn’t appease that. Just because you say “I do” doesn’t mean you’re ready either. There are married couples every day that still struggle with those same issues. That’s a reason why waiting until marriage doesn’t make 100% sense to me to do. People will wait their entire lives for this experience with someone that they marry, only for it to possibly not work out. Can you only love someone that you are married to? No. Could you fall in love with somebody, and that not be the person that you marry? Yes. So what’s the difference? One is an internal emotion (or feelings, as they say), the other is a physical representation of that same emotion. So again, what did you wait for? I am on the other side of that argument where I think that no one should have sex until they know in themselves that they are ready. For some that will be when they are married. Others it may come when they are in a relationship. Even still some will grow to know self during their time of singleness, and then meet a partner. Sex is not predicated on a relationship status. It shouldn’t be. We spend too much time worrying that. With relationships in general, to be honest. We think about the status, and the other person, but forget ourselves in the process.

So, waiting for marriage is a no for me, but making sure that you are ready is. Once you are ready, you will know.

Sex and relationship

Everyone thinks differently about sex and relationships. I never pushed sex, but if I was asked, I always give my thoughts on the matter. I can respect someone’s decision, even if I don’t agree with it, or even if I think the reasons are invalid. It is possible to give validity to a decision someone makes, even if their reasoning doesn’t. People make decisions every day, and it is not your job to agree with them. It is your job to respect them. All that to say I never pushed the issue but discussed it respectfully. Typically, over time, as I become more comfortable with the person, we would find ourselves in that place, and we start a physical relationship. It can be beautiful. It is simple. It is just us. That’s what I believe it to be. A private intimate moment between 2 consenting people. It really isn’t that deep. If people are in a relationship, they should have the freedom to express that with each other without fear of judgment. What’s private is theirs, and no one else’s to debate. Many people are afraid of the idea, but the thing that I have learned is that if you truly love the person, all of the awkward things that come with sex are endearing and fun. Maybe you aren’t the most experienced. You and your partner can figure that out. Maybe you are scared of what happens next. You and your partner should be discussing that. Those fears, while valid, can be easily taken care of. It seems that there is another reason why though, and this is one that I am not a particular fan of. Many times, people base decisions in relationships on what others around them will think. This circle, sometimes friends, sometimes parents, can sink their place into a relationship, and control it from the outside in. Because of this influence, people don’t make choices for themselves, but instead for what they feel will appeal to them. Frankly, that’s dumb. Think for yourself. There is only one you on this planet, and it is so imperative that you think and feel what you want for yourself, and nothing else.

Speaking of relationships, I think about marriage sometimes, and what that would mean in preparation for that. Me personally, I do think you should know if you are physically compatible with someone if you plan to spend the rest of your days with them. I wouldn’t want to wake up every day with someone that I didn’t want to touch. Some argue that sex shouldn’t be the important thing, and I agree. I also think that not having sex shouldn’t be the important thing. Why focus so much time and energy on the surface? I think it should go deeper. Understanding your partners wants and needs are important. If they can’t give you that time for conversation, they most likely shouldn’t be with you at all. It’s all about personal choice. My assumption is that people have the sex talk before they jump into a relationship, during that "dating" phase. It's simple really. There is nothing to lose at that point. Tell them where you stand, and allow them to make their decision. I personally always have. Based on the outcome of that conversation, you move forward with your choice. Another funny story. I remember a time where one of my homies was dating this girl who was a virgin waiting for marriage. He liked her, so he got in it in spite of the fact that he wasn’t a virgin, and had no intentions of waiting. He said one they were talking and she thanked him for understanding and not pressuring her to have sex. He said he smiled and gave a response like “I wouldn’t force you, I could go to jail for that.” He says inside he wanted to scream “I understand, but I hate it!! And these blue balls hate it too!!” He found a blue ball GIF online and put it in the text group message as he was live-texting this conversation to all of us. That’s a real reaction. Unfortunately, they broke it off shortly after that. The reason? She felt like there was something she couldn’t do for him, and she didn’t want to be in the way of that. She made a choice about her life and her body, and since he wasn't looking to change his thoughts, they realized they were incompatible. Interesting, it was because of him that she met the man that would eventually be her husband, and they all have remained friends (he is married now too). Take that story however you will. In conclusion, I would make a bold statement: if you and your significant don’t agree on sex, you might not be the one for them. Changing your position to make the other person happy is not wise to do on either side of the conversation. If one of you wants to wait, and the other doesn’t, then why waste each other’s time? Let the person who wants to wait to find someone who agrees with that, and the other can go on with life as well. Because sex is such a sensitive subject, it does help to be with someone who disagrees. 

Final Thoughts

Simple. Think for yourself, and follow what it is best for you. No one else can live your life. Honestly, I am not sure what people wait for when it seems that it’s something that they want to do. Sex is a wonderful thing when done in the right way, and in the correct capacity. Find your lane, and stay there. Don’t let other people define it for you.

And hear this, just because you have had sex before does not mean that you cannot start your celibacy journey again. Do what is best for you, and don't let anyone else define that for you!!!!

B.A. ScottComment
The Love Talk-Part 3

Part 3-Why Do People Cheat?

Uh oh. This could get heavy.

This could be a topic that gets me in a lot of trouble. There are 2 sides to every coin, and this subject is no different. This is more than a “all niggas lie” or “girls do it too” or “well I think” kind of conversation. This is a real thing that happens every day, and it does strike me as interesting how often it is, and how nonchalant it is taken. This is a topic that I personally know a lot about. I have been on both sides of this coin. With that in mind, I am going to speak to it as candidly as I can. Yes, I will tell personal stories, but please don’t just focus on that. There is so much more to this conversation. Cheating as a whole means different things to different people. Because of the multiplicity of that, this conversation focuses on physical. We can debate whether other things constitute cheating another day.

So let’s chat.

My first relationship was when I was 16 years old. I met this cute black girl at my high school in history class, and I like was done. She had long hair, a pretty face, and she was hella funny. We were a legit item. If you know me, then you know that I have always thought and felt deeper than my age. I was a loverboy back then. This was no different. We would sneak out of class to make out, and dumb stuff like kids do. Prom time comes around, and she says that she’s not going. Fine. I don’t ask questions about it, then towards the end of the year, I find out she is pregnant. Now I was still a virgin at the time, and so I know it wasn’t me. Come to find out, she had cheated, and gotten pregnant. This was crazy. This was my first experience in a relationship, but more than that it was my first time being cheated on. To be honest, I am not even sure I knew fully what that meant, but it happened. I dated another girl my senior year, she played me too, but it’s not worth all the details. Anyway, I move on to college, and started doing what other college kids were doing. I would go to parties and such, but for the most part of my first year and a half of undergrad, I stayed firmly in the friend zone. Over time, I changed my approach, and things picked up. With this new confidence, I had zero regard for relationships. No chill at all. Matter of fact, me and my homies would joke that “if it ain’t no ring, it ain’t no thing.” Basically, everyone is fair game, with the exception of married women. And that’s how I lived. I wish I could tell you the number of times that I heard “Don’t tell my boyfriend/fiancé about this…” while I was between the age of 18-22. It was more often that it should have been. But I didn’t care. The next time I dated, I was as faithful as I thought I could be. I hear rumors about things, and still being a dumb ass, I said nothing. There are certain things that are triggers for me. When I feel some type of way, I would shut down instead of dealing with things. This was no different. I remained quiet about what I had heard to the person that I was dating at the time, and I reacted based on what I assumed was being done to me. To this day, I couldn’t even tell you if the stories were true (not that it actually matters, but just understand my perspective). We broke up because I was insecure about it, and too scared to face it happening again. I played the “God told me to” card, because who is going to argue with that at a Christian college. I couldn’t face confronting it, because I had already checked out. I end up in a relationship 3 months later (I guess God moved fast). This was the longest relationship I have been in to date. This is probably the one I reference the most because there is so much that I learned from it. I think I have referenced it in this blog actually. Anyway, I was in it, and everything was cool. I realized that once you are in a relationship with someone, everybody wants a piece of you. I don’t know if being in a relationship makes people more attractive or what, but it was coming from all sides. So 6 months into the relationship, I broke it off. Coincidentally, it was right before the summer break. It wasn’t a coincidence. It was intentional. I didn’t want to feel guilty about cheating, so I broke it off to make myself feel better. So I did what I did over the summer, and then we ended up getting back together. So stupid, I know. Either way, things were good for a while after that. I wasn’t looking elsewhere, I was being good and faithful, and we were sleeping together, so no issues. That lasted until the last year of the relationship. I found myself at a place where I wanted to get out of the relationship, but I was too scared to bring it up. I don’t know if she wanted out too, but either way, that’s where we were. I started to entertain female “friends”, and eventually, I end up doing the one thing I said I would never do to her. I cheated. Multiple times. It was as if the first time opened up this portal, and I thought I could do whatever the hell I wanted. It was stupid. Thankfully, she had the balls to do what I couldn’t, and we broke it off. Yea it sucked, but I wasn’t even sad about breaking up with her. I know, it sounds stupid, but I really wasn’t. I think it was more the fact that I wasn’t in that space anymore. I had become so comfortable with what I was doing, it was like the breakup literally broke up what I was doing. I lost friends because of it, I lost homies, me and one of my closest homeboys got into a literal fist fight because he heard about what I had done with his girlfriend at the time (people do crazy things when they aren’t thinking). That was 6-7 years ago. I am long removed from that. I have matured immensely in that time frame, and the man I am today doesn’t work like that. We thank God for change. The question from this narrative though, and even something that I think about when I think about my past, is why do people cheat? What is the reasoning behind all of it? How do you find yourself in that point where you make a decision like that?

So I asked some people that I know and trust why they think that people cheat. I gave them a survey, and asked them to write down 3 reasons why people cheat, among other things. Just to add perspective these are single, engaged, and married people, all colors, and all sexual orientations. All points of the spectrum. The top 3 responses for why people cheat were given. Keep reading.

1.     FEAR. Most said that they cheated because they were scared. Scared about the future with their partner. In their state of fear, people make a mistake with someone who is not their partner. Such an interesting perspective. It is human nature to act out when backed into a corner. If you feel trapped, it does make sense that a person would act out of character in that moment. Fear covers a multitude of things, and so being scared of anything could make someone do something that is outside of their character to do.

2.     LACK OF COMMUNICATION. How often do couples go into therapy and the complaint is that their partner doesn’t listen to them? Not hear them, but actively listen. Any relationship has to have communication as the important thing, if there is not communication between the 2 of you, then they will communicate with someone else. Someone else could be their friends who talk shit, it could be another person that is attracted to them, many things. To hear people say that something as simple as their partner not communicating with them led them to cheat is amazing, but so real. There is so much truth right there in that moment.

3.     LACK OF ACCOUNTABILITY. I was surprised by this response, but I am glad to see that this was discussed. Real friends don’t let friends do stupid things. Many said that in the times that they had been unfaithful to their partner, that their friends had encouraged them. That’s a sad reality. If your friends are real, they will challenge you to be a better person. Why be in a relationship if you don’t want to be? Just be single, and live your life. Friends who actually care about your life won’t let you be that person. They will challenge you to do better for yourself, and your mate. If a friend of mine is talking about cheating, I encourage them to break up. In all reality, if it’s worth the risk to cheat, it’s worth the risk to break up. We gotta keep each other accountable.

4.     FINAL THOUGHT. There was one response that I heard, and it really was something to think about. Others referenced this idea, but none would put it into words the way that this was. One person said “monogamy is an unrealistic and unhealthy expectation in relationships”. Is that true? I wonder. Is it too much to ask for people to be with just one person? Are we as humans wired to be polygamous? I believe that many of the thoughts on monogamy come from a western Americanized view of relationship. Because many trace their beliefs back to religion, and more specifically, Christianity, it has been taught that monogamy is the end all. Is that truth though? The bible shows entire cultures where polygamy was a norm. Men and women alike would engage themselves in polygamous relationships. When did it become wrong to have more than one partner? Tradition states that a person should only have one partner, but what about when all parties are in agreement, and they engage in polygamous relationships. Is one healthier than the other? Is monogamy unrealistic? Should we just all assume that all people cheat, and not even call it “cheating” anymore? I don’t know. I wonder about it though. Some couples allow for their partner to be with other people without any love lost. So how is it that certain sections of society are ok with it, while others aren’t? It makes one think.

So in conclusion, the question is why do people cheat? Honestly, I have no idea. Even when I did it, I couldn’t tell you why at that time. I didn’t care. I was being selfish. It took years of me finding myself to realize why I did what I did. Even now, if I am honest, I would hope that I would do the right thing, but it hasn’t been tested. Since I don’t go out looking for it as I did in my younger years, I do wonder within myself if the idea of being faithful is just something I missed. Am I wired to be that person? I honestly don’t know, but I hope not. I guess all we can do is hope. Hope to do the right things, and hope to be true to ourselves in the process. My opinion? Don’t cheat in relationships. If your relationship is worth it, don’t be stupid. If you want to fuck around so bad, just be single, and do you.

B.A. Scott