RCA/Inspiration recording artist Travis Greene reached #1 this week, marking his third consecutive #1 single, on the Billboard Gospel Airplay Chart for his song, “You Waited.” The chart-topping song is from Greene’s current album, CROSSOVER: LIVE FROM MUSIC CITY, which also recently debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top Gospel Albums chart.
Greene has been nominated for two career Grammy Awards, two Billboard Music Awards, 13 Stellar Awards, three Dove Awards and one Soul Train Award. This year at the 2017 Stellar Gospel Music Awards, he won in seven key categories, including “Song of the Year” (for “Made A Way,” which also hit #1 on the Hot Gospel Songs chart), “Male Vocalist of the Year,” “CD of the Year (The Hill, which also reached #1 on the Top Gospel Albums chart),” “Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year,” “Contemporary CD of the Year,” “Recorded Music Packaging of the Year” and “Praise and Worship CD of the Year.” In 2016, Billboard named him “Gospel Airplay Artist of the Year.”
With 13 of its tracks recorded in 2017 at Skyville Live in Nashville, Tennessee, CROSSOVER: LIVE FROM MUSIC CITY features all original material, including two studio tracks, “Love Will Always Win” (co-written and produced by Travis with Jason Ingram and Paul Mayberry) and “Finally Found” (co-produced with Bernie Herms).
Greene, who launched his recording career with THE MORE in 2007 – shares fresh material with eager audiences in CROSSOVER: LIVE FROM MUSIC CITY, for longtime and new fans alike to partake in an experience that captures the artist’s passion, excitement and charisma onstage — and his ability to reach hearts with the gospel through music.
In 2016, the singer and his wife, Dr. Jackie Greene, launched Forward City Church in Columbia, South Carolina, which he describes as “a church for the unchurched and over-churched.” While pastoring the quickly growing congregation at home and extending scholarships and mission work to thousands of people in Africa, Greene also embarked on a world tour. He brought his cultural boundary crossing music to many African countries, including Nigeria and Ghana; the Caribbean islands of Trinidad and Tobago, and Jamaica; Dubai; and to London, Montreal and Toronto. “I’ve been called to minister in many different ways,” Greene says, “but I see my gospel-centered activities not as finding a balance but as more of a rhythm, fully aware of what God has called me to do.”
For more information (and to hear the full album) please visit: http://www.travisgreene.net/
“Holy Yogi” Merges Movement Along With Scripture & Meditation to Create a New Experience in Worship.
2020 has been a challenging year for all of us. Dealing with a pandemic, the unrest of racial injustice and hardships of every kind, this year has caused trauma and stress that many of us have struggled to manage. All too often as Christians we think self care is limited to prayer and devotional, maybe fasting if your problems are “extra big.” But what if there’s more that can be done to help us unwind and de-stress? Is God in favor of us incorporating meditation and other holistic methods? Is there a way to incorporate scripture and a true focus on God along with meditation in a manner that doesn’t go against our faith?
We caught up with Certified Spiritual Lifestyle Coach Devin Joyner to discuss the new services she’s offering clients at Journey to Peace. She explains to us how she is making this work.
ARTSOUL: Devin, you are doing some ground breaking work bringing faith and meditation together. How did you first get introduced to meditation?
DEVIN: Meditation was introduced to me by my Pastors. It was a great revelation that when we meditate on the word of God, we are drawing close to Him the author and finisher of our faith. The very thing that we battle with and grow in daily. To meditate on the word is to gain new life in the giver of life.
ARTSOUL: You’ve been quoted saying, “I admit I put God in a box by believing that I couldn’t encounter Him through a modality like Yoga.” What changed your mind? Was it difficult to break through the traditional mindset?
DEVIN: I felt peace about trying it after all the chaos and stresses of the pandemic. I was so moved by the worship experience, I continued to take the class my job was offering for free. I believe it took something like Covid to hit for me to break the traditional mindset because I was so stuck on what I had heard about Yoga. But after actually stepping into it, I was now open to receive the truth about it and how it is simply an avenue like prayer or dance to enter into worship and communion with Jesus. If it wasn’t for something to bring me to my knees I wouldn’t have humbled my myself to set aside my preconceived perception of it. I’m glad I let go and let God enter in this way because now I can advocate for others to do the same.
ARTSOUL: Yoga and meditation have been considered taboo in the church at large. How have people responded to your pursuit of bringing your faith and meditation together?
DEVIN: Mostly people had been silent when I first began to advertise it. I think they are just watching to see how it evolves. I think people want to see consistency if they are going to go on a journey with you no matter what it is in life. I just recently made a post on Facebook announcing my certification date and there was a great response of congratulations, I’ve only had 3 people outright challenge the idea with questions or their opinions which I welcome because I love pointing people to the real truth about how it has been around longer then even the Hindu religion which is what most people connect it to as a reason not to partake.
ARTSOUL: It’s typical for Christians to struggle with stress and anxiety although our mantra is “too blessed to be stressed.” How can mediation and Holy Yoga help?
DEVIN: Meditation and Holy Yoga is drawing the promises of God of peace, joy and everlasting love to you as a child of God. Most Christians forget to continuously renew their minds and begin to focus on the issues and world around them instead of clinging to Gods word and promises of peace and joy unspeakable. Meditation and Holy Yoga are to strengthen mind, body and spirit. What better way to weave the word of God into everything area of your life! That is what Jesus desires from us, to walk with us in everyday life. This is what worship is to Him. When we meet with Him in this way we can’t help but experience the manifestation of His word tangibly.
Meditation and Holy Yoga is drawing the promises of God of peace, joy and everlasting love to you as a child of God.Devin Joyner
ARTSOUL: What was the moment in 2020 that led you to finally take the step and pursue your passion and gift to help people discover the peace of God through Yoga and meditation?
DEVIN: My job offered free Holy Yoga sessions to help relieve stress and I just thought well it has to be good if God is in it. My last job was a Christian organization and I trusted the resources they offered us. I think it helped me put my guard down and I was won over by it!
ARTSOUL: Many Christians hear Yoga and think tight pants, stretching and chakras. How is Holy Yoga different?
DEVIN: Holy Yoga is simply put the weaving of the word of God! You come as you are just as God wants us to come to Him, we move our bodies into different stretches, poses and positions that connect to the word and what our bodies need. It’s just like life. We go through seasons of ups and downs. Our positions even in moments at the alter could go from a prostrate position with our face on the floor or our hands extended up in praise. These are Godly movements mentioned throughout the word that we bring to life on our mats. Now chakras are something that we learn about in Holy Yoga to know how to relate to clients or people who know the usual practice of Yoga and be able to speak to them and explain which areas of the anatomy that we may be focusing on in our session or practice. This is also biblical to become all things to all people. Just being able to connect and understand their world view, we are allowing them to encounter God. If explained properly, you can relate their past experiences with yoga to Holy Yoga.
ARTSOUL: What type of classes/sessions do you offer? What can participants expect to gain?
DEVIN: I offer group guided meditation sessions as well as private sessions. This is joining together the word and movement to meet God on our mats. Participants can expect to be led into God’s presence and to experience the peace much needed in this time of despair and grief. My goal is to remind participants that there is purpose even in hard times. In His presence, we are strengthened and restored to go back out into the world and lead them to the only One who can get us through these trying times. Private sessions are catered to the individual needs but group sessions are more of a virtual group /corporate experience. I’m excited to be leading sessions for a Teen Creatives Conference December 30-31 teaching the youth how to direct their emotions through dance /movement and meditation.
ARTSOUL: What’s next for Journey To Peace? What can we expect to see in 2021?
DEVIN: Next Year is when I begin to officially offer Holy Yoga on my site. I hope to continue to be invited to platforms like this so I can begin to change the perspectives of people especially in the Christian community but also allow non-believers to experience Christ in this way.
Find out more about Devin and Journey to Peace by visiting https://www.journeytopeace.co. All who use code ArtSoul in notes after booking a Saturday Morning Meditation Session will get a private one on one session virtual session catered specifically to their needs for free.
FOLLOW DEVIN ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Instagram | TikTok | Facebook | Website
Spoken Word Poet Taijun Speaks On The Black Experience w/ New Piece
2020 put a spotlight on racism in America as the world came to a stop due to the Covid19 pandemic. The silence that the pandemic brought made it impossible to ignore that racism is the age old pandemic that America has been living with for generations.
Video after video has flooded social media this year of Black men and women dying at the hands of police officers and/or being effected by race related incidents in other various ways. It’s easy for everyone to wonder… “How are we really doing in America?”. It’s easy to wonder “Are we growing”, or “Do our Black friends and family members feel safe”?
On November 21st, Spoken word poet Taijun Waters put a voice to the Black Man’s Experience with the release of his recent poem “I Wonder”; and the world has been listening.
When speaking about the inspiration behind writing this poem, Taijun’s “why” is clear. He wanted to express his feelings and offer clarity to those who don’t know what it’s like to live the Black Experience everyday.
“I penned this spoken word from deep curiosity about the world around me. This poem shares the fragility, confidence, and the wonders of having black skin. I hope it inclines a listening ear from anyone looking to understand, and reminds any black sister/brother in this time to feel loved & unafraid.”
SELF LOVE IS HEALING
As Taijun comes to a close of his poem, he says “…and I still rather be Black”. This is a mantra of resilience and self love that he wants everyone living in the Black experience to take away from his poem.
He recently released new hoodies to promote this movement of Black Self Love. Check out his full poem released on November 21st and get a hoodie to remind others that despite the challenges and hardships that Black communities have had to endure, “Black is and will always be Beautiful”.
MORE ABOUT THIS ARTIST:
Born and raised on the southside of Chicago, Taijun Waters is an artist who has many ways of sharing his thoughts and ideas.
Growing up listening to hip-hop and exploring literature, Taijun began to write poetry at a young age. By the time Taijun entered college, film was also a major area of focus.Thus, now, he chooses poetry + film as an avenue to share his thoughts and observations on life.
Taijun often infuses wisdom and truth into overlooked gray-areas of societal dilemmas and self-image.
His hope is to invoke emotionally healthy conversations on real life topics.
FOLLOW TAIJUN ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Dee Wilson Releases “Stay With Me” ft. Fatai and Gifts Listeners with a Reassuring Reminder
On November 13th, Dee Wilson released “Stay With Me” featuring Australian Singer/Songwriter Fatai on all platforms. This song provides a reassuring reminder to listeners that whatever you are going through, God hears you, He understands and He cares. It also gives artists a reminder that they can find creative ways to collaborate in the midst of a pandemic. Check it out below!
Stream “Stay With Me”
Click here to watch “Stay With Me”!
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