June 1, 2010 I published the last issue (at least for a while) of Girl Talk my teen girl magazine. Since this blog was originally designed for the purpose of publishing weekly devotions for the magazine and later the magazine itself I decided to create another blog that isn’t connected to Girl Talk.

I’ll probably still publish book reviews or other items here now and again but you’ll more often find me at Trusting Him with Today. I hope you’ll stop by

Jan 29, 2007

Let Your Light Shine, Part 1

Read the introduction to this series here.

Text: Matthew 5:16

16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

Topic: Let Your Light Shine

What is light? My personal definition of light is that it is that it is something that overwhelms, defeats and conquers darkness.

No matter how tiny the light even if it’s only a pinprick it cuts through the darkness. Darkness will never overwhelm a light that is brightly burning unless the light yields to the darkness. As Christians it is important that we let our light shine before men, that they may see our good works, and glorify our Father which is in heaven. It is easy at times to try and blend in with our surroundings but as Christians God is calling us to stand out from the crowd and let His light be reflected in our lives.

Below is a short story that I will refer to several times as I share with you what I shared with the youths at my church.

Alicia's Light

As the evening grew darker Alicia became more and more afraid. She was totally lost and had no idea which direction to turn. She had decided to take a short cut to her friend K’deidra’s house. This was a walk that Alicia had taken many times. However this night she was deep in thoughts. She had something on her mind that she wanted to talk to K’deidra about. Consequently, Alicia ended up missing her turn to K’deidra’s house and walking down a dark deserted looking area. To top it off it seemed like the electricity went off because she could only see darkness all around her.

Alicia grew more and more afraid because she could not make out any familiar landmarks to pinpoint exactly where she was. As she started to panic she heard a quiet voice within her say “Alicia, let your light shine.”

"Oh, thank goodness," Alicia whispered to herself, "I put my flashlight in my bag for just in case it got dark before I reached." She took the flashlight and turned it on, nothing happened. She tried again, still nothing happened. Alicia gasped in horror, "I forgot to check my batteries and they’re dead. What am I going to do?"

As Alicia stood there, she saw a tiny light but as she started to approach it flickered a few times then went out. By this time the tears were pouring down Alicia’s cheeks. She was terrified, she couldn’t see where she was going and she was afraid to call out because she wasn’t sure who exactly was out there.

“Jesus help me!” Alicia cried, tears streaming down her cheeks. "I’m scared, I don’t know what to do help me.”

It seem that no sooner that the words came out of Alicia’s mouth that she saw a bright, steady light in the distance. As the light came closer towards her she heard a voice calling her name. Alicia quickly began to walk towards the light. As she got closer she realized that it was her friend K’deidra and her parents. There had been a power outage and they realized that she must have taken a wrong turn in the dark and had come to look for her.

"I’m so glad to see you!" Alicia cried as she hugged them, "thank God you had a light because my batteries are dead."

As they walked towards K’deidra’s house Alicia realized that she was nearer to the house than she thought, but she must have been going around in circles because of the darkness.

“Next time I’ll be prepared,” she thought. "I’m going to check my batteries often, I’m going to make sure that my light shines, what if K’deidra’s light had gone out too?"

As they walked she toldK’deidra about how she had seen a light but it flickered and went out and how she called to Jesus to help her. K’deidra gasped, “You’re not going to believe this. When we started looking for you the light started to flicker a bit and get dim. It seem like the battery was low but all of a sudden it just came on brighter than ever. Do you think it was because you prayed?”

Both girls grew quiet and reflective. They began to realize the importance of light, not a flashlight, a candle or a lamp but the inner light that comes from knowing Jesus Christ. They realized that the light that shone from within them could lead someone to choose a better path in life. They also realized that a flickering light or dead light was no help to anyone because it couldn’t be depended upon during difficult times.

The most important thing K’deidra realized was that her light wasn’t only for her it was to give others hope as well. "Just think she told Alicia, your getting lost taught us both a lesson, isn’t God good?"

As you read the story you may have thought to yourself, “That’s silly! I’d never get lost walking to my friend’s house. However that little story has several life lessons in it, and over the next week I'll discuss some of them.

Jan 28, 2007

Still going strong?

January 2007 is almost gone. In a day or two it will be just a memory. This is the time when most people (myself included) begin to get a little inconsistent with all of the wonderful things they planned to do throughout the year. However, I hope that this year will be different. Hopefully all of the plans, resolutions, goals, dreams etc. won't be finished with as soon as January is finished.

I decided that in this new year I wanted God's presence in my life to speak louder than my words. I want to show by my actions that I am a child of God. Yes, I know that there are times when actions are not enough, but God is able to prompt us at those times when we need to let our voices be heard.

In keeping with my main goal for this year, I've decided to share parts of a sermon I gave at a Youth's Conference at my Church in February of last year. The conference theme was "Let Your Light Shine." It's amazing that a year later God began to deal with me on the very thing I had spoken about.

I will begin posting this week.

Jan 26, 2007

A Conversation with Pastor Beverly Archer

People may forget what you say and do but they will never forget how you made them feel.

Pastor Bev at a glance

Wife of:
Pastor Emmit Archer

Mother of:
Ashlea 17, Brittany 15, Joy 13 & Joshua 8

Abaco Youth Ministry, Intl. Marsh Harbour Abaco

Administration, BEC (Bahamas Electricity Cooperation)
Marsh Harbour Abaco

I was seventeen years old, barely out of high school when I met this issue’s Woman of Worth, whom I knew as Sister Bev. During that meeting she had conversation with me about my plans for the future. I can’t remember every word she said to me but I know it encouraged and motivated me that she’d take the time to talk with me and pray for me.

After that meeting I didn’t see her again for many years but I often remembered her fondly. Then about four years ago I met a lady and her teen daughter at a Woman’s Conference and we started talking. When she introduced herself as Pastor Beverly Archer from Abaco, I had to find out if she was “my Sister Bev”. Indeed she was and I haven’t lost touch with her since. Her daughter Ashlea Archer was featured in the December 2004 issue of GT.

Pastor Bev has been a pastor for six years. I thought that she would be an excellent person to interview because as a mother of three teenage daughters and an eight-year-old son think she has much to share with mothers and daughters. (So girls, maybe you should let your mothers read this.)

From a mother's heart

What is the most difficult part of raising daughters?
I do not have any difficulties associated with raising our children. The moment I completely surrender any concern to God a successful answer faithfully arrives. If there is ever a problem, it’s with me. Whenever I lack patience with the children it’s a sure sign that I need to slow down and take what I call a GOD CHECK!!! (Meaning I take a step back-- to the Word of God and I pray).

Do you find it easy to communicate with girls?

How do you foster that communication?
By regularly acknowledging that I do not have all the answers but I know “the God” who does. It’s incredibly easy to foster positive communication when you let God do the talking and when you don’t have the answers be honest and just admit it and simply say “Honey, I just don’t know the answer…let’s pray.” Most of the communications problems of the past with my children arose because I let pride get in the way and neglected to admit, “I just don’t know the answer”.

What do you love most about having daughters?
There is no one thing I love most about having my children. I love it all, even the days full of challenges, noise (typical in a family of six) etc. That’s not to say I have it all under control, there are days when I “freak right out” as my children say. My only options are prayer and seeking forgiveness!!! Sometimes I simply say to my children “I’m Sorry” because as I said, I do not have all the answers.

How do you handle the teenage mood swings?
The same way the children handle my trip out days/mood swings… prayer and retreating to our respective corners until someone is ready to talk like heaven is our destination!

What is one mistake you may have made in your life that you wouldn’t want your daughters to make?
I took far too long to acknowledge and respect the call of God upon my life. I forfeited many blessings because of disobedience to God. Never let God have to repeat Himself when calling you. After all, how ludicrous is that anyway? How can we out-think a King…the King of Kings and Lord of Lords…The maker and creator of all humanity? I think it is safe to say that He knows what He is doing and He knows the possibility of success for every request He has ever made of us.

Which life lesson do you often find yourself using in your talks with your daughters and other young ladies?
Never allow a bad experience to define who you are or turn you into that experience. For example, something horrible may have happened “to you” but it does not have the power to make the experience “become you”. You are what the Word declares. …fearfully and wonderfully made!

Finish the following sentences:

My daughters are diamonds whose value appreciates by the second.

I wish all mothers of teen daughters would capture and hold fast to the vision of Gods’ finished product not the daughter in process (or in the making).

My prayer for young ladies is that God’s daughters will get a TIGHT GRIP on the vision of GODS’ completed package not the journey. Trust me, the road traveled i.e. the hurts, pains, mistakes and disappointments have a marvelous way of preaching a fantastic sermon that will both save and transform lives by the untold millions.

Thank You Pastor Bev for sharing with us, and for graciously allowing me to interrupt your day.

Jan 23, 2007

Priceles Pearls

By Jasmine Green age 17

A gift that’s so priceless has no cost,
With that thought in mind,
it should be kept so tight
That it’s never lost
To lose a gift of such great quality
Can only be the plan of the enemy
To make your life a total waste,
That will cause you not to enjoy
the wonderful taste
Of living a prosperous
and righteous life,
Therefore giving you the mindset
that you’re not eligible
to become someone’s wife
The enemy feels as if he has already won,
By making you think
that nothing can be done
So now you’re stuck with something called
low self esteem
Thinking that there’s no way on earth
you can be redeemed
Well I’m here to share the good news,
You can be restored
just turn to the Lord,
He never will refuse, the life of you such
a priceless pearl,
For he knows that there is great works to be done
by you in this world.

Jan 21, 2007

Teens and their Gadgets

By Jamere McIntosh age, 18

Picture this, a group scene with four friends. However instead of talking with each other one is on her cell phone, one is listening to music on her ipod, one is on his laptop and the other is sitting waiting for one of her friends to finish what they’re doing. This brings me to my question, are electronics making teens more introverted?

When we hear the word “introvert” (a person unmindful of the outside world) we may think that a mentally unstable, or even psychotic person is being described, so we would feel insulted for someone to use this word to describe us. But let’s take a moment to look at another way in which the word can be used to describe how teenagers have been affected by being exposed to the new technological gizmos and gadgets of today such as the famous cell phone and MP3 player (ipod) and the computer to an extent.

This might not apply to everyone, but speaking from personal experience, owning all of these has had somewhat of an affect on me. Over the past year, I have found that I can spend countless hours locked away in my room or in some secluded place surfing the net on my laptop, uploading and listening to music from my MP3 player, or using my cell phone. I believe that these gadgets have made many teenagers become more introverted.

The mere fact that no one else has to be around for these to entertain us, along with the unlikelihood that we would feel lonely if we happen to keep to ourselves while using our cell phones or ipods prove this. If you are a more outgoing or sociable person it may be hard to believe that you can become an introvert, but I believe that there is a way you can determine this. For example when I’m around my family and friends I try to enjoy their company and not get lost in the latest electronic gadgets. However, if you are finding that even when you’re around others you’re still interacting with your gadgets instead of those around you then maybe, just maybe you’re a little bit introverted. There’s no need to feel strange about enjoying the latest electronic devices, but how about coming up for air and enjoying the company of those physically present around you every now and again?

Jan 18, 2007

Forgiveness... A Selfless Act

"Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little
children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt 18:3 NIV

I ain’t you friend!”
“I ain't you friend!”

I could barely keep the smile off my face as I looked down into the angry face of my cute little two-year old goddaughter Shay-Shay, (Lashay) who was quite mad with me and not afraid to show it. The fact that we were in church and she was sitting on my lap at the time did not impress her one bit. The sweetest thing however was that two minutes later she again earnestly looked up in my face and this time she said, “I is you friend.” Just like that I was forgiven.

Little children make the act of forgiveness seem so easy, almost effortless. However forgiveness can be one of the most difficult things to do, especially when someone really hurts you. During the course of your lifetime you will certainly be hurt and offended by something someone said or did to you. Your parents, siblings, friends, teachers... whether knowingly or unknowingly will hurt you. You’re human so you’ll undoubtedly be angry but how long do you stay angry? How long do you hold a grudge?

I find that many times ladies in particular are experts at holding grudges (I speak from the voice of experience.) Someone wounds you and you hold the pain to your heart refusing to let it go. Every time you see the person you get angrier and angrier because you keep remembering what they did to you or said about you. Unfortunately, holding the grudge causes you more pain than the original act itself because the fact that you’re holding on to it gives the person the power to hurt you over and over again.

And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespasses against us…

Sometimes you may feel that you have a valid reason not to forgive. It may have been a horrendous act that was committed against you. However, you don’t have to be best friends with the person who hurts you or even like them. But, you have to let go of your resentment towards them and the only way to do this is to forgive.

As difficult as it may be to do, the terms of forgiveness (as laid out in the Bible) are not negotiable. If we want to be forgiven we have to forgive, no matter what the crime. This is one of the most selfless examples Jesus left for us to follow. If after being nailed to a cross for our sins he was able to say “Father forgive them…” Surely we can do the same?

Jan 15, 2007

New Year, New Me

New Year, new me… I’m going to lose ten pounds, I’m going to save more money, I’m going to do better in school, I’m going to read through the Bible, I’m going to be a better person…

What is it about a new year that has people making promises they will in all likelihood not keep? When I was younger every year I made several New Year’s resolutions. Unfortunately, by the time January was finished so was my commitment to my resolutions. Finally, after many years of failing to keep my resolutions I came to the realization that there was nothing magical about a New Year that would make me stick to them. I still had to follow through.

Do you see a need to make changes in your life in this year? Ask yourself, “what do I need to change and how do I go about it?” Then, just do it. If you fail at first, don’t give up. Just get back on track and keep going.

When you make a change in your life there may be people around you who won’t accept the new you. If you were the student who was always giving the teachers a hard time and you decide to become a model student their eyes may be on you waiting for you to go back to your old disruptive behavior. If you suddenly begin getting A’s and B’s after getting C’s and D’s there may be those who try to discount your hard work by saying you cheated. If you had a bad reputation there may be those who constantly remind you about it. They may say you can’t keep it up and watch you every moment waiting for you to show signs of the old you.

However, if you see a genuine need for a positive change in your life, don’t worry about what others think. You have to know within yourself that it’s not about them and what they think it’s about how you think about yourself.

Also, remember that the most important change you can make in your life is to allow God to take control and mold you into the type of person he wants you to be.

Jan 12, 2007

Girl Talk Magazine

"Is that the new issue of Girl Talk?"
"Can I have one?"

I distribute Girl Talk to the teen girls in my church before I give to anyone else and they're always excited to see a new issue. In fact I think everyone loves getting one, teens, preteens and adults.

These preteens didn't even notice me with my camera, they were so interested in what they were reading.

Hmmm, a boy reading Girl Talk? I wonder if he's trying to find secrets that will help him understand girls better.
Girls, are any of you missing a magazine?

Stay tuned, I'll be posting articles from the new issue of GT, which the young man happens to be holding over the next few days.

Jan 10, 2007


Actions speak
louder than words
Is a saying that is
most often heard.

They speak of things
You would never say
And express your
Values in every way.

They bring to light
things hidden within
Exposing the deepest,
darkest of sins

They tell the world
Who you are inside
More effectively
Than a single word

Jan 4, 2007

The Roar of Silence

Does the presence of God in your life speak so loudly and so strong in your lifestyle that it isn't necessary to utter the words I am a Christian out loud?

I began thinking strongly about this after reading Charles Swindoll's book, Esther, A Woman of Strength and Dignity. He drew attention to the fact that the word God never once appeared in the entire book of Esther.

I've read the book of Esther many times and I'm sure subconsciously I noticed that there was no mention of God. However it never really registered in my mind as an important factor to remember. The reason for this is the fact that God's presence throughout the book of Esther was so strong, vibrant and visible that it overshadowed the fact that his name was never once mentioned.

It got me to thinking, "How is my life like the book of Esther?". If complete strangers were to observe me unnoticed for a period of time would they be able to see the evidence of my savior in my life without me saying a word? I certainly hope so!

One of my goals in this new year is to let God's presence in my life speak more loudly than mere words.

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