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What Lies Ahead for America?
What Lies Ahead for America?

Charlie Wilson
"I'm Blessed"


By Scott Ross, CBN.com

  Eleven-time Grammy nominee, Charlie Wilson's new CD "In It To Win It," has burst on the gospel music scene big time. The first single, "I'm Blessed," entered Billboard's Gospel Music Charts at #1 in its first week.
  "I am excited about my new single, "I'm Blessed,' because it says exactly where I am in my life, blessed to still be making music that people want to hear" states Wilson. 
  "2016 has been a tough year for so many people around the world and I am proud to release a song that reminds us that we can all find some blessings in our lives.  Having T.I. add his flavor to the song and share who he is and how his journey is filled with blessings is an added bonus."

 The nine-time Grammy nominee is an R&B/ funk/soul music icon.  Charlie and his two brothers shook up the music world in the 70's and 80's as the super-popular group, The GAP Band.

 After a long string of hits, broken relationships, corrupt managers, and serious drug abuse, Charlie lost his career and nearly his life. He spoke with CBN about the journey.

 The fact is, you shouldn't be sitting here.
I'm talking to the Miracle Man.

 "Yes, you're right. I should've been dead a long time ago."

Really amazing story.  Going back historically in your own life, your daddy was a preacher, mom was a preacher...

 "My mom was a state minister of music, you know."

 And that influence, well, affected your entire life. But when you were a kid,
you were what, how old were you when
you started singing?

 "About three or four."

 Oh, you waited that long, did you?
[Scott and Charlie laugh]

  "I waited half my life to sing."  [laughs]

But your daddy would get up and preach. And then he'd turn around and say
okay, son...

   "I had to sing before he preached.  Yeah, so it was like the warm-up act."

 But even in those early years, there was a desire, an influence to get into the pop world, the R & B world.

   "Secular world, yeah."

 But your mother warned you pretty early on, didn't she?  She said 'You need to stay away from all that blues music.'

  "She's like, 'Boy, you ain't singing no blues in this house. We don't do that.'  She called all secular music blues.  'You ain't singin' no blues up in here.'"

   With their mom playing the piano, Charlie and his three siblings grew up singing in their dad's church.  There was a lot of joy in the Wilson home until his father left for another woman when Charlie was 13.  

 "Oh, when he left I was devastated.  It was third of July, 1965. I was upset, man. I was upset. And I was sitting on the porch waiting for him to come back. I thought he was going to come back so we could pop these firecrackers, and all of that. But there was a no-show."

Did you carry that through your life? 

  "Long time.  Even after we got famous and when I seen he got back - came back in my life, I was upset.  I didn't say too much to him for a long time."

  Charlie joined his brother Ronnie's group The Gap Band in 1972.  Their brother Robert joined them a year later.  While the band caught on in their hometown of Tulsa, OK, big-time success wouldn't come until the late 70s when they signed with Mercury Records.

 "Oh yeah, that's when all the hits started coming." 


Charlie in The Gap Band

What was the first one?

  "'Shake. Shake Your Booty.'"

 "Shake Your Booty?"

  "Yeah. We called it 'Shake,' but yeah. We ain't shakin' no booty up in here.

Thst sold more than 150.

 "Oh, that was the #1 record. That was the #1 record.  Then it was "Oops Upside Your Head."  Then it was "Burn Rubber."  Then it was "Party Train," "Yearning," "Early in the Morning," "Dropped a Bomb"... But then, another bomb was dropped on us because there was no royalties and no, we didn't."

The Harbinger captured the attention of more than 1 million people this year with its prophetic warning to America. But the book’s ongoing implications should be the real concern behind this profound revelation.

What happens when a nation ignores God’s warnings and the call to return to Him? What happens to nations that actually return to God?

Regardless of how much the world mocks Christians for believing that God’s Word is absolute truth, there are biblical principles and patterns concerning the judgment or redemption of nations—and this revelation holds profound meaning for America.

I wrote about these principles in The Harbinger, a prophetic wake-up call for America released in January 2012 that has since sold more than 1 million copies. The message has obviously resonated with people from all walks of life (it spent the entire year on the New York Times best-seller list), yet there is far more to this continuing story.

It begins more than 2,700 years ago, when God repeatedly called ancient Israel to return to Him after the people He birthed opted to turn away from their God. The very words of the Torah, spoken through Moses to their ancestors in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, were His first call and His foretelling future calamity if they failed to repent. When the people of Israel’s northern kingdom ignored those words, God sent His prophets to confront them face-to-face with their transgressions.

Even then the people and their leaders refused to listen, hardening their hearts to His message and persecuting the messengers. God finally allowed Israel’s enemies to breach His protective hedge around the nation. Though the subsequent damage was significant, it was limited—proving that even in judgment God was calling the nation to wake up, turn from its self-destructive course and be reconciled to Him.

Israel’s defiant answer to God’s final call is found in Isaiah 9:10: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” Despite being in ruins, Israel vowed to rebuild itself stronger than ever—and without God.

Verse 11 describes the beginning of the tragic consequences of that defiance, the nation’s progression to judgment: “Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and spur his enemies on.”

The answer continues in the verses that follow: “And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still. ... The land is burned up. ... What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help?” (Is. 9:12, 19; 10:3).

Thus, Isaiah 9:10 leads to a prophecy of national destruction, fulfilled when the Assyrians returned, laid siege for three years and destroyed the northern kingdom in 722 B.C., and exiled its people.

- See more at: http://www.charismanews.com/culture/38176-what-lies-ahead-for-america#sthash.9IWT8R1M.dpuf

The Harbinger captured the attention of more than 1 million people this year with its prophetic warning to America. But the book’s ongoing implications should be the real concern behind this profound revelation.

What happens when a nation ignores God’s warnings and the call to return to Him? What happens to nations that actually return to God?

Regardless of how much the world mocks Christians for believing that God’s Word is absolute truth, there are biblical principles and patterns concerning the judgment or redemption of nations—and this revelation holds profound meaning for America.

I wrote about these principles in The Harbinger, a prophetic wake-up call for America released in January 2012 that has since sold more than 1 million copies. The message has obviously resonated with people from all walks of life (it spent the entire year on the New York Times best-seller list), yet there is far more to this continuing story.

It begins more than 2,700 years ago, when God repeatedly called ancient Israel to return to Him after the people He birthed opted to turn away from their God. The very words of the Torah, spoken through Moses to their ancestors in Leviticus 26 and Deuteronomy 28, were His first call and His foretelling future calamity if they failed to repent. When the people of Israel’s northern kingdom ignored those words, God sent His prophets to confront them face-to-face with their transgressions.

Even then the people and their leaders refused to listen, hardening their hearts to His message and persecuting the messengers. God finally allowed Israel’s enemies to breach His protective hedge around the nation. Though the subsequent damage was significant, it was limited—proving that even in judgment God was calling the nation to wake up, turn from its self-destructive course and be reconciled to Him.

Israel’s defiant answer to God’s final call is found in Isaiah 9:10: “The bricks have fallen down, but we will rebuild with hewn stones; the sycamores are cut down, but we will replace them with cedars.” Despite being in ruins, Israel vowed to rebuild itself stronger than ever—and without God.

Verse 11 describes the beginning of the tragic consequences of that defiance, the nation’s progression to judgment: “Therefore the Lord shall set up the adversaries of Rezin against him, and spur his enemies on.”

The answer continues in the verses that follow: “And they shall devour Israel with an open mouth. For all this His anger is not turned away, but His hand is stretched out still. ... The land is burned up. ... What will you do in the day of punishment, and in the desolation which will come from afar? To whom will you flee for help?” (Is. 9:12, 19; 10:3).

Thus, Isaiah 9:10 leads to a prophecy of national destruction, fulfilled when the Assyrians returned, laid siege for three years and destroyed the northern kingdom in 722 B.C., and exiled its people.

- See more at: http://www.charismanews.com/culture/38176-what-lies-ahead-for-america#sthash.9IWT8R1M.dpuf

See Charlie Wilson's video of the #1 gospel hit, "I'm Blessed" - Click Here

 You guys got ripped off by management. 
It sounded like they really did you in.

 "Did us in for sure. We didn't make anything.   And he would threaten you and stuff like that. So it didn't work out for us that way. We was there for like nine albums."  

 Nine albums?  And you weren't
seeing royalties?

 "We didn't know what that was."

  After 24 years, and little money to show for it, the Wilson brothers took a long hiatus from music.  Charlie sank into depression and drug addiction.

How far down did this take you?

  "I ended up homeless."

 Homeless? As Charlie Wilson, The Gap Band, the whole deal, and you're
wandering the streets?

 "I was sleeping on the streets.  But it got really, really bad, Scott.  One time this homeless family let me sleep in their...they had three shopping carts.  And they had it wrapped in cellophane.  And they had a brick with a little piece of carpet on it, and a piece of carpet for the bed.  So they let me sleep in there.

 Good grief.  Now in the middle of all this, was there an awareness of God? And did you call on the Lord? Did you think He'd abandoned you - what?

 "I knew God was with me. I always used to pray, my prayer was, I asked God to 'not to let the devil kill me out here while I was in the streets before I could get back to do what I really loved to do,' and that's to sing and to perform for people. I really wanted to stop, really, really bad, Scott."

 Charlie tried rehab many times, but always relapsed.  His cousin talked him into going once more. This time, he was ready.

 "I know, for just a second, man, I forgot about how good God is and His mercy and His grace.  But I just prayed 'God, if You'd be the same God that my father's been preaching to all of these years, can You just get me off of these streets.  Please, just help me get off of this.'  I was sick and tired of being sick and tired."

  With God's strength, Charlie finished the 28-day program.  He also received a lot of help from the director of the rehab.

 "She said, 'I'll tell you what. We'll look for you a place,' and went out and got that.  She took good care of me, man. She took good care of me.  And later, I just asked her to marry me."

 Charlie and Mahin married in 1995.  It was rough at first, as Charlie was still recovering, but he hasn't relapsed since.  In 1996, The Gap Band regrouped and recorded again, and then Charlie went on to a stunning solo career.

 When you look back on this, Charlie...
I mean, you're a miracle walking.

 "I'm a testament, man. I've got a testimony 'cause I thought I was going to die out there, I just didn't want, you know, I didn't want my family finding me under a truck or somewhere, sleeping and dead, you know.  But I said 'if You give me one more chance at life and music, I promise You, every time I get to the stage, I'm going to shout You out and I'm going to testify and we're going to have a little church up in there.'"

 Do you do that?

 "Every single night I'm on the stage."

 So if we were to encapsulate this [book],
I Am Charlie Wilson - there's a lot here. We've heard it.  Who's Charlie Wilson?

 "I am a God fearing man. I'm a husband, I'm a father. I love the Lord, like I said.  And I'm in recovery.  God has showered me with His mercy and His grace, man."

Watch the full interview on CBN.com - Click Here

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CHARLIE WILSON
"I'm Blessed"
(from In It To Win It)

Retail Price: $11.78
Audio CD


Following a battle with cancer, the 11-time Grammy nominee and co-founder and former lead singer of the Gap Band puts a spotlight on fans as they talk about what they're "blessed" for in their own lives. Includes the #1 gospel hit, "I'm Blessed."

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