By Gloria Dulan-Wilson

I am circulating this information for those of you who have never heard Israel Houghton or his lyrics. I am also circulating this for those of you - who like myself - already love and can't get enough of his work.

In this instance, there's something positive to be said for negative mainstream media and their penchant for character assassination.  Had they not been trying to vilify Joel  and Victoria Osteen and their  ministry nearly five years ago, I would never have heard of Israel Houghton.  At the time CNN was casting aspersions on Joel Osteen's eternal optimism, and the fact that his services seemed more like a rock concert than "traditional religious music." 

For some reason the rock concert reference got my attention.  What was that about? I decided that I needed to hear this music.  But try though I might, I could not find any of the local NY broadcasts that carried Osteen that also carried his full service, which would have included Israel Houghton's music*.

(*Don't know why that is.  We would definitely benefit from seeing the entire program.  Heck, they brought back the extreme right wing 700 club -- don't know why, though. Maybe we should request that they give us Osteen's program instead.  We need the inspiration more than we need their pseudo news -- anyway, I digress.

It was upon going on line, looking up Osteen and finding that www.Lightsource.com carried his entire service, that I was regaled with the wonders of  Israel Houghton.  His lyrics are mind blowing, uplifting, encouraging, graphic and beautiful.  I have been a fan ever since.  In addition to his being Osteen's music director and leader of their praise worship on Sundays, his band, New Breed, has traveled to Africa, Australia, and other parts of the world on several occasions. 

Our culture is rich with traditional gospel and spiritual songs.  They have definitely come into their own in the 21st century.  But, I admit, that Israel Houghton is my absolute favorite.  I listen to him while I'm writing articles.  His is the music I first hear when I get up in the morning.  In fact his music and lyrics put me in such a good spiritual space that none of the nonsense I encounter phases me.  I've actually learned the lyrics, and find that I can actually recite and apply them to situations when I run into a challenge. (you can find him and New Breed on YouTube.)

Such lyrics as "I am a Friend of God…He calls me Friend."  Who wouldn't want to be considered a friend of God.  How about "We have overcome!";  or "If not for your goodness, not for your grace, I don't know where I would be today -- If not for your favor, not for your love…I'm still standing, but for the Grace of God."  I could go on, but I think you get the message.  The brother's work is phantastic (I made up the word, but you get my drift).

I am not writing about religion, though.  This is about spirituality.  It's about inspiration.  It's about keeping on and using the inner messages to communicate with those around you.  We hear, see and deal with enough negativity on a daily basis.  We actually have been bombarded with a bastardization of our music to the extent that we have to go through a mine-field of "b" words, "n" words, "m-f's" among others.  So that the legacy we are trying to leave our children has been marred. 

Additionally, if you listen long enough to gloom and doom dirges that pass as lyrics, regardless of whether they are the blues, spirituals, who-hate-who songs, you begin to take on the appearance and attitude of the underlying messages in the songs.

There's no danger of that with the wonderful songs and music Brother Houghton has graced us with.   From Israel Houghton, through his lyrics, music,  his own personal triumph over adversity and his dedication to provide inspiration through his talent, you can play him over and over and over again, and never get tired. 

I definitely plan to be there to enjoy first hand this brother's wonderful work.
You can contact New Covenant via their website:  www.nccmin.org, or by calling them at (718) 328-6072.  New Covenant is located in the Bronx at 1175 Boston Road

Tell them Gloria Dulan-Wilson told you about it.  I won't get you any discounts or anything.  Just think it would be a nice thing to do.

Stay blessed  and
Eclectically Black
Gloria Dulan-Wilson


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