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

Dec 30, 2008

The Day Before the End...

I'm over here today

The day before the end... I can't believe that another year is almost over. This year has been a walk of faith for me but God has proven Himself to me over and over again. I am excited to see what this New Year is going to bring.

When I was a little girl it was a tradition to go to service on New Year’s Eve and “bring in the New Year, in church.” As an adult the tradition is still ingrained in me. To me there is something wonderful about ending the old year as I began it and starting the New Year as I want to end it… in the house of God, in the presence of the Lord.

Stop by Laced With Grace to continue reading.

Dec 21, 2008

What are you grateful for?

Christmas Traditions... A Mother's Perspective
By Cleora Williams

What are you grateful for? This is a question I have asked my family, each Christmas morning, for the past eleven years before any gifts are opened. Initially I was met with resistance as each child was only interested in opening whatever presents bore their names under the tree. This however, is now a part of our family tradition. When we rise on Christmas morning instead of rushing to the Christmas tree and tearing into thepresents, we read the Christmas story, say what we are grateful for, pray and finally, exchange gifts.

My reason for doing the above ritual was and still is to instill in my children a sense of gratitude and thankfulness. Firstly, to God {who sent his son Jesus into the world}, secondly to family and friends and finally to include all others who have touched their lives positively.

We should be grateful each day, but this time of year more emphasis seems to be placed on being thankful, hence celebrating Thanksgiving, Christmas and the advent of a new year. Further because this time of year is so commercialized we need to remember that Jesus is the reason for the season and give thanks.

And so to all girltalk readers I ask you to reflect during this season as I ask you the question, “What are you grateful for?” There is a song that goes “count your blessings, name them one by one and it will surprise you what God has done”.

In my conclusion, I extend to each of you my girltalk readers warmest wishes for a blessed, safe and happy Christmas as we look for a beautiful year 2009.

Ladies always give thanks with a grateful heart. Remember your creator who has made you priceless and in his own image. You are wonderfully made: mind, body and spirit.

Dec 11, 2008

The Shepherds' Story

I'm over here today

10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. 11 For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. Luke 2:10-11...

Stop by Laced With Grace to continue reading.

Dec 2, 2008

A Reason to Hope

The month of December brings for many a sense of anticipation, the anticipation of knowing that Christmas is only a few weeks away. Coupled with that anticipation is expectation because we know what usually comes with Christmas right…? Uh hmm, gifts, lots of gifts… and we all love to receive them. However, what about when Christmas doesn’t meet your expectations?

Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Psalm
For many, Christmas brings a sense of depression and hopelessness, especially when there is a lack of money to do the things we sometimes feel that Christmas is all about.

Some of your parents may have been affected by the recent job losses or reduced work week that we have seen in our country. Hence you may have already begun to experience a different type of Christmas season this year than you did last year. But my dear young lady whatever it may be that you are facing this Christmas season I want to give you a reason to hope.

Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Psalm

Do you still have the gifts you received last Christmas? You may not even remember what you received. This tells you that even though it feels good to receive gifts they don’t last forever. They are only temporary but, I offer you a gift that last forever… Jesus Christ.

10 But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great
joy that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has
been born to you; he is Christ[ the Lord. Luke 2:10:11
Your parents may be worrying about making this Christmas a good one for you with little money to work with. Why don’t you take this opportunity to let them know that it’s okay if they can’t afford to get you the gifts you really want this Christmas and see the worry disappear from their eyes?

That would be the best gift some of you can give to your parents. The gift of knowing that you won’t be disappointed or angry if there isn’t a whole lot of gifts with your name on it this year. After all, isn’t Christmas really about God’s gift to us? When life, family, friends, circumstances isn’t what you want it to be Jesus Christ will always be everything you need him to be.

Choosing to win

Pop! goes the starting gun and off they go. It’s the 200m at the Olympics and Debbie, one of the Bahamas’ golden girls is ahead. The crowd is going wild! A group of Bahamians has a section of the bleachers for themselves chanting in unison, “Debbie! Debbie! Debbie!” Followed by, “Bahamas! Bahamas! Bahamas!” There’s no doubt in anyone’s mind, Debbie’s is going to win it! The Bahamas is gonna medal!

But no! Wait a minute, this cannot be happening! Debbie stopped running and as quick as that; one, two, three runners passed by for gold, silver and bronze. What happened Debbie, you were winning, why did you stop? Why did you choose to lose?

Sounds silly huh? What athlete would choose to lose the biggest event of her athletic career?

However think about your life and the choices you make young lady, how many times do you choose to lose?

Think about it, when you lie to your parents about where you’re going and what you’re doing you choose to lose your parents trust.

When you decide not to study for your exams but cheat instead, you choose to lose the respect of your teachers and your peers.

When you choose not to live your life God’s way, but rather go your own you often lose focus on your dreams and sidetrack your plans for the future.

Choosing to lose… it doesn’t make much sense does it? So why not choose to win?

You choose to win when you make good choices based on the godly, positive values your parents and other trusted adults have instilled in you.

You choose to win when you decide not to do what’s popular but do what’s right.

You choose to win when you don’t allow yourself to be defined by a mistake but get back up and prayerfully ask God to direct your path to where he would have you go.

The choice is yours, what is it going to be?
I’ll give you a hint… Choose to win!!! We’re cheering you on! We don’t want you to fail… we want you to succeed so please… choose to win…

Dec 1, 2008

A Conversation with Ms. Jeritzan Edwards-Outten

“Wow!” I thought, as I read the many accomplishments of the impressive lady featured in this issue of Girl Talk. How did she do it? Then I read further down and saw a piece of advice she received as a teenager… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Consequently, with Christ as the head of her life Ms. Outten has certainly accomplished many things.

Ms. Jeritzan Edwards-Outten life and accomplishments are definitely too grand and numerous to fit between the pages of Girl Talk. However, I’m sure you’ll agree after reading the fraction that I manage to squeeze in that she is a woman who inspires.

Ms. Outten is an accomplished business woman and dedicated Christian and family oriented person. She is a native of Grand Bahama and the second of ten children. She enjoys spending quality time with her family, reading watching good movies, listening to good music and keeping physically fit.

Ms. Outten possesses a Bachelor’s Degree in Education & Public Relations and a Masters Degree in Human Resources and Management. She has a diversified employment history that spans several islands of the Bahamas. It includes being a secondary school teacher in both New Providence and Grand Bahama and serving as assistant Regional Director in the Grand Bahama Branch of the National Trust.

She has been employed with the Ministry of Tourism since 1981 and has worked in and managed most departments in the organization.

During her tenure at the Ministry of Tourism she has been responsible for opening and managing the first family island Tourism office in Andros and has worked in the Abaco Tourist office as director of Tourism for the Abacos. She currently is the Senior Director for the Grand Bahama and Northern Bahamas, Ministry of Tourism. You’ve probably seen her before on ZNS talking about the Grand Bahama tourism product, something she’s passionate about.

Although her job demands a lot of time and attention Ms. Outten finds time to do other things one of which is regularly teaching an adult Sunday school class where she seeks to encourage her students to dig deeper into God’s word and apply it to their lives.

What are you most passionate about? My relationship with God; my family and my career.

To who or what do you attribute your success? Great parenting, personal ambition and sound relationship with Almighty God.

How long have you been employed with the Ministry of Tourism? Since 1981

What are some of your duties? My general duties involve developing the local tourism product, public relation and promotional activities; ensuring that visitors to the destinations have an authentic and hospitable experience which leaves them with a desire to return and to recommend the destination. All areas are considered the product including: the Bahamian people and the level of service that they display along with information they are able to share and the attitude that is prevalent.

What do you love most about your job? I love most...positioning the island to be the best destination for visitors to travel to, which ensures a strong economy as 60 % of funds comes directly from Tourism. Also, empowering persons who work with me to excel.

What do you find most challenging? Finding the way to move people from old habits and motivating them to a new way of thinking and maintaining behaviour, positively.

What are some traits you think young ladies who are interested in working in the hospitality industry should possess? They should be enthusiastic, inquisitive, proactive and helpful, enjoy learning, and have a positive and pleasant demeanor. Enjoying being around people is important.

How have you overcome challenges that you encountered in getting to where you are now? Planning and setting goals were important and to be consistent in trying to attain even in the face of disappointment. Stop to reflect and learn from mistakes then keep on moving forward.)

Is the life you have now what you imagined as a teenager? Pretty much… I am very content and happy with what I have achieved…yet, I’m looking forward to future endeavors. Life has been very good and I am blessed!

What advice do you have for young ladies as they try to successfully navigate the teenage years? Put God first and plan their lives wisely

How would you describe yourself in one word? Why? (Optimistic) I believe that life is what we make it and we ought always to ‘work as if every thing depends on us and pray with the knowledge that everything depends on God’)

Anna's Frustration (Conclusion)

Mrs. Johnson sighed when she saw the big “Do Not Disturb” sign on her daughter Anna’s bedroom door. However, she decided to ignore it. She raised her hand to knock but paused in mid-air as she heard voices coming from the bedroom.

It was late but she couldn’t sleep with the angry conversation she’d had with Anna running through her mind. She was determined to find out what was going on with her usually sweet nature middle child. However, the voices coming through the bedroom door told her that her oldest daughter, Shyquelle had beaten her to the deal.

“What’s wrong Anna?” Shyquelle was saying. Are you trying to get in trouble these days?”

“I’m just tired trying to live up to you,” Anna snapped, still feeling angry.

“Live up to me?” Shyquelle exclaimed, “What do you mean?”

“Everyone compares me to you! Nothing I do is ever good enough. When I have the same teachers that you had before, they compare me to you. My B’s will never measure up to your A’s in their minds, even though I’m doing my best…”

“But Anna…,”Shyquelle tried to insert.

“…and if that isn’t bad enough,” Anna continued as if she hadn’t heard. “Mommy does the same thing. It’s as if nothing I do measures up to you. I feel as if I’m living in your shadow sometimes.”

“Do I make you feel that way?” Shyquelle asked softly.

“No, but everyone else does,” Anna answered. “And sometimes I find myself getting angry with you because of it,” she continued a little sheepishly.

“Maybe you should try talking to Mommy about it,” Shyquelle suggested softly.

“It’s hard talking to someone who always thinks you’re being rude when you try to express yourself,” Anna answered.

From her position outside the room Mrs. Johnson hung her head. “Is that how I make my daughter feel?” she thought to herself, “as if she doesn’t measure up?”

She walked quietly back to her room leaving her daughters’ conversation still going on. She made up her mind that she was going try to be more sensitive to Anna’s feeling and not make her feel as if didn’t measure up to her older sister.

(This story is strictly fictional; any resemblance to persons living or dead is completely coincidental)

Why I don't have a boyfriend right now...

A teen’s point of view
By Twaniqua Cooper

“Why hasn’t he called me yet?” “What’s he doing?” “I wonder if he’s home.” “He’s not home, who is he with?”

Hey ladies, do any of these questions sound familiar to you? I bet they do. I remember trying to study for an exam and all I could think was, “why hasn’t this boy call me yet?” I could not stay focused enough to study.

We often say, “why don’t our parents allow us to live our lives and have our fun while we’re still young?” However, the truth is they are really doing the best thing for us by trying to keep us away from boyfriends while we are in school.

I did not realize how important it was to not focus on boyfriends until my first semester of college. While I was in high school, I realized that my grades were dropping because I put so much time into my boyfriend and hardly paid attention to my school work. I didn’t care of course, because I really liked the person. However, as I transitioned from a high school student to a college student it became more difficult for me. We were now “out of school” so he felt we should have been able to spend more time together. During the summer I found it ok, but when I started my college classes I realized hey, this is too much for me.

The level of work had increased and I now needed that hour I spent talking on the phone to study or do homework. This was hard for my boyfriend to understand because at the time he was not in school. We had to break up so I would be able to manage. When I was in high school I didn’t care how my grades dropped because I knew I would graduate either way, but attending college is a different story. When I don’t pass a class it wastes money and prolongs my stay at College of the Bahamas, and I certainly don’t want that.

I have not been in a relationship since I ended the one in my first semester of college. Right now, I don’t see a boyfriend in my near future. I am not saying that I would graduate and still do not have a boyfriend, because I cannot be sure of that, but I know it won’t be anytime soon. When someone asks me to get in a relationship, I let them know I am doing them a favor by not getting involved with them.

My mother sometimes teases me and asks me when she’s going to meet my boyfriend. She knows that I will tell her I don’t want a boyfriend right now so she’ll just smile. I know in her mind she says “wow after all these years she finally gets it”.

Ladies, my advice to you would be to put away the boyfriend for right now. Know that the boys will always be there. They cannot live without us. Therefore, they will keep coming our way. I say put boys on hold and give God a chance to work in your life the way he wants to. Remember that your success tomorrow depends on the right decisions today.

Wise Men Still Seek Him

By Linda Kerby

They traveled to David,
to Bethlehem came
With Mary who was due any day.
But finding no place
where the babe could be born
She laid him on a bed made of hay

There were sheep there and cattle
A donkey and mule
Above them a star brightly shown
And shepherds rejoiced as the angels had said
on that day that the Savior was born.

And wise men came seeking their King and Messiah
with gifts from their hearts they did sing
With tears they rejoiced
as their hearts filled with love
for Jesus, their Savior and King

Jesus grew older
a man he became
His sacrifice blessed the whole earth
We now can return all because of his gift,
Indebted we are for his birth

And wise men still seek him, their King and Messiah
with gifts from their hearts they do sing
With tears they rejoice
as their hearts fill with love
for Jesus, their Savior and King

Some day we will see him, our King and Messiah
with gifts from our hearts we will sing
With tears we'll rejoice
as our hearts fill with love for Jesus,
for Jesus, our King!
For Jesus, our King!

Publisher's Note

Dear Young Lady

How are you? I’m sure that by now you’re in the Christmas frame of mind. Exams are beginning and the school term is just about over, now for the holly, jolly days of Christmas…

What’s on your Christmas wish list this year? I hope you receive that which you desire most. However, if your parents can’t afford to get you everything you want, remember Christmas is not all about the gifts around the tree. It’s about the most precious gift… Jesus Christ.

As you peruse the pages of Girl Talk be sure to read Twaniqua’s article “Why I Don’t Have a Boyfriend Right Now” . She answered my call for writers in the last issue and wrote a very insightful article. I’d love to have more of you do the same so do drop me a line.

Until next time, have a wonderful Christmas with those you love and a very happy New Year and as always, don’t ever forget how very special you are…

God bless
Bernadine J. McIntosh

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