The Real About “The Real”

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Inauthentic:  defined as “not in fact what it is said to be; not authentic; lacking full reality.” This is the real about “The Real.”  “The Real”  is a new Fox/BET daytime talk show hosted by Tamar Braxton, Loni Love, Adrienne Bailon, Jeannie Mai and Tamera Mowry-Housley, that aired on September 15, 2014 after a successful trial run in July 2013. The five female show hosts discuss their relationships with their husbands, significant other or the person their dating or sexing that week. They also talk recipes, fashions and everything in between. The makings of a good talk show, right? Seemingly so, as its Facebook page has received more than 126,000 likes.

Relationship advice delivered to studio audience and viewers contained these “jewels:”

  • “If you tap this twice, we going out now (meaning going steady).” – Loni Love
  • Sexy Skype: send “sexy” visuals of yourself to your date, partner
  • ‘Trust and Check’- women who say they “trust” their man but still “check up” on what he is doing, check who he’s been talking to
  •  “Have a condom ready just in case, in nightstand drawer.”- Loni Love (referring to a one-night stand)
Hosts of "The Real" daytime talk show

Hosts of “The Real” daytime talk show

But the “real” about “The Real” and shows like it, is this: We can’t expect anything different from a fallen world. People of this nature will always seek to satisfy fleshly desires by embracing vehicles and “solutions” that support their deviant activities, behaviors or desires. They embrace the counterfeit and the inauthentic as a perceived shortcut to the authentic, to the real. They choose not to pursue the authentic paths because the results of the counterfeit appear more promising with presumed quicker rewards. They’ve prostituted themselves by seeking happiness in things that will never fulfill them.

What’s the difference between being inauthentic and authentic? Inauthentic sees only the utilitarian purposes they can get out of someone (how will they benefit me?). Authentic sees how they can contribute to that person’s life, serve them perhaps also spiritually—even if it means some of their own desires are not met. It takes guts and selflessness to be authentic.

It is imperative that Christians discern the truth amidst the onslaught of the fake, the empty, the counterfeit and the fruitless. Authenticity is found in Jesus Christ—the real real.  In a world that embraces the counterfeit, Christians have been called to disperse salt, light and truth where there is confusion and darkness. This is the purpose of ministry: to boldly, compassionately and lovingly awake those with God’s truth who have comfortably fallen asleep with worldly norms.

This is no easy or popular task. For this reason, the laborers are few, but the work/harvest is plenty.

He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves.” –Luke 10:2-3

The world will always celebrate its own (large fan following). Therefore, the message and purpose of Christ confuses today’s wisdom. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.“ (1 Corinthians 1:18-19, New International Version) 

For real talk: Listen to our discussion with campus pastor Bryan A. Sands as we explain  “Why Hookups Are No Hook Up.” 

-Nicole

About Nicole D. Hayes

Nicole D. Hayes is committed to serve as a vessel of compassion, instruction, love and truth for Jesus Christ. Born and raised in Topeka, Kan., she is a member of Greater Mount Calvary Holy Church in Washington, D.C.  Drawn to know Christ in her early childhood and saved at the age of 12, Nicole is a student and applier of God’s Word. She is also a successful public relations professional operating in Washington, D.C., with more than eight years experience of coordinating and delivering strategic communications and media outreach support for nonprofits and small business owners. During her career she has placed several nonprofits and small business owners in national, local and regional media spaces. She operates with a personal and business mantra of “making an investment in people.” Among many things, Nicole is also a motivational speaker. She has been invited to deliver messages to business leaders to not be misguided by the world’s view of success, to direct young people navigating through the world’s challenges, and to remind those who may have lost their way that joyfully, “God Has Not Changed His Mind About You.” Nicole’s purpose in creating “Voices Against the Grain” is to be light in darkness, to boldly instruct truth amidst confusion so as to bring clarity and restoration.

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168 Children Rescued: Don’t Let the Quiet Fool You

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Nicole D. Hayes, Creator of Voices Against the Grain

Not in a faraway land. Right here in America. Next door.  “America’s children,” as FBI Director James Comey called them. On Monday, 168 of “America’s children” were rescued from sex trafficking during a nationwide FBI crackdown known as Operation Cross Country. In addition to the children rescued, 281 pimps were arrested, according to the Associated Press.

I know you and many will join Voices Against the Grain and our ministry partner pureHOPE, grateful that these 168 children were rescued from sexual exploitation. Justice is in progress and restoration can begin for these children and their families broken by injustice. In Joel 2:25, God promises to “restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten.” We support pureHOPE in their mission of providing Christian solutions in a sexualized culture. We oppose sexual exploitation by teaching and modeling God’s design for sexual purity and relationships. To learn more about pureHOPE and their pursuit of justice in a sexualized society, read here.

In celebrating those rescued, the battle is not over. UNICEF reports more than 1.2 million children are trafficked yearly worldwide—a $32 billion commercial sex industry. Have we unknowingly walked by these children in our neighborhoods? In the streets? Are we too caught up in our daily routines to notice? Or does the quiet numb our awareness?

Human_Trafficking

A few Saturdays ago, I was awoken around 5:30 a.m. by a woman’s blood-curdling screams in my urban DC neighborhood. Screams that were raw and hysterical. Through her screams she was crying and repeated the words, “Why would you do this to me?! Why would you do this to me?!” I got up, walked to the window to see who was screaming. It was becoming clear something terrible had happened to her.

It wasn’t the rising sun peeking through my windows that awoke me. Nor the usual bird chirping or pigeon cooing that stirred my peaceful sleep. Wasn’t even the usual traffic noise of the city. The evil that occupies our world was here and it rang in the painful, guttural cries from a woman who I could not see but only hear from my window. Shortly, I heard the sirens of police arriving on the scene. To help from my position, I went to my knees in prayer for her that God would help her heal from whatever had occurred.

An hour later, the neighborhood was once again quiet and the birds were chirping. The streets gave no evidence that evil had struck there. The quietness gives the illusion that all is well. But that is precisely what has enabled some of our complacency, giving rise to more evil, giving it permission to occupy our communities.  Don’t let the quiet fool you.

At Voices Against the Grain and as the Body of Christ, we are called to be light in darkness and in a fallen world; to bring hope to the broken; to bring justice to injustices. God has anointed each of us to be the answer to a problem; to advance His Kingdom; to be His hands and feet where others dare not tread. If we’re silent on these and other matters, the darkness will surely prevail.

Are you being too quiet? Are you enjoying the quiet too much?