There are three components to a human being that are at the forefront of everyday life. Do for three is the expression of touching and influencing these parts; a brand of sorts but at the core a culture. This
principle begins with the belief that faith, hope, and love are the
quintessential virtues to understand before wishing to bring change.
After that, mobilization can begin; when mankind questions what their
faith is in, (head) develops an intimate, living basis for their hope,
(heart) then action can be taken to practice love selflessly with what they know (hands).
Lawrence Jerome Herbert III (better known as LJ) is an artist unashamedly intent on challenging these aspects through the medium of hip hop. Having
a strong affinity for poetry at a young age after hearing spoken word
performed at a local open mic, hip hop grabbed his attention heavily
around his early middle school years. Appreciative but naive, he soon
found that the culture was riddled with destructive worldviews resulting
from unanswered social ills participants faced, such as poverty,
fatherlessness, drugs, gang violence, racism, and misogyny. Although
having a budding insecurity of not relating at most points, an interest
became inflamed to engage in understanding. Despite the support his
family had showed him in life and Christian values instilled, soon
certain attitudes and behaviors would be adopted. Still an avid learner and model student, the sinful nature that plagues all surfaced.
Around the same time the heavy interest and exposure to hip hop
occurred, a fellow classmate had introduced him to pornography in the
school library. Though startled with a sense of unease, the
mischievousness felt enticing and eventually led to an unquenchable
lust. Click after click, time was consumed with an insatiable, biting
conscience to maintain an image untainted by these desires; but who to
tell, and where to begin? At a crossroads, the summer before his high
school year was the resolve that a change had to happen. "I didn't want
to get rid of it entirely, I just didn't want to have a baby mama in
high school." However, the religious default as a behavioral pattern
correction would prove to be a whole person transformation.
Breakout, the first message and worship service of the camp hosted by
the the Church of ACTS that he reluctantly attended convicted more than
the lust he hoped to micromanage. A song entitled Holy, along with the
sermon points, drew him to parallel his experience similar to Isaiah 6 -
"And I said: 'Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips,
and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have
seen the King, the Lord of hosts!'" (ESV) Not only was the Christ of
Christianity encountered, but finally beheld. Inversely, for the first
time, the weight of his own sinfulness and heart's inclinations were
pinpointed, to where long for death was desired due to the wretchedness
revealed. Fortunately, his cabin counselor was able to reiterate the
familiar gospel message, assuring that his sin was forgiven when placing
faith on the life and works of Jesus Christ.
immediately upon return home, the transformation was apparent to his
family. However, this time could probably be described as the most
tumultuous era yet known; with a family member suffering from a mental
illness, divorce soon came around the horizon along with a loss of peace
in the household. Instead of rising doubt causing abandonment to the
fresh seed in his heart, it was more firmly grasped as the anchor during
this transitional phase of education and family life. Simultaneously
was a revisit of the pencil and notepad, exhaling frustrations and
thoughts into lyrics. Entering high school well aware his peers had a
completely different mindset, a small student-led ministry called QUEST
aided his spiritual growth, along with a few fellow co-laborers that
challenged him to understand the Word and reach out to classmates, even
at the often costly mistakes taken in sharing the new found faith.
obstacles did not stop there. Trying hard to get guidance for college
direction while struggling with the recent remarriage of his father and
new integration of family at home, he was confronted once again with
leaning on God's wisdom and continuously understanding his need for a
savior. Now a student at Ball State University pursuing a degree in
Telecommunications, LJ is involved with an on-campus ministry IMPACT, a
sister organization of Cru focused on reaching people of African
descent, and also stays densely connected to others in the Navigators
ministry, in which two staff members discipled him and dramatically
increased his daily devotional and prayer life. Zealous to see
everything "from him, through him, and to him," (Romans 11:36) LJ wishes
my passion for my God to music that stays true to who I am, with the
intent to not only question the listeners' thought processes on what
life is, but provoke them to change and deepen understanding of, or in
some cases, come to know the God I boast in."
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
Do for three.