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 29, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Old Friends

I'm over here today.

I said goodbye to some old friends a few weeks ago. It was quite a difficult thing to do but it was time. Their time in my life had long passed but yet I held on, not wanting to let go. ..

Stop by Laced With Grace to read the rest of this post.

Dec 13, 2009

Reflections - What Do You Treasure?

Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21
What do you treasure? For some reason today I thought about the above verse.
It got me to thinking…

What do I treasure?

Two of the definitions I found for treasure are;
- something of great value or worth.
-a highly valued or much loved person.

What tops my list?







The truth is there are some days when the things I value most are in totally the wrong order. However, I want God to always be the one that tops my list because without Him it doesn’t make sense to even have a list.

The preceding verses

19 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where moths eat them and rust destroys them, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 Store your treasures in heaven, where moths and rust cannot destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal. Matthew 6:19-20
Lord, help me to always store up my treasures in heaven, to treasure you and my relationship with you above everything else in my life. May you always be the treasure of my heart.

Dec 6, 2009

Countdown to Christmas

Sleigh bells ring are you listening…, Come on ring those bells…, Santa Claus is coming to town, Away in a manger no crib for a bed…,

As I write it is only 18 days, 3 hours, 46 minutes, and 6 seconds left until Christmas! The sounds of Christmas carols can be heard ringing over the airwaves on the radio and in most of the stores that you go in to. Christmas lights have began to go up, in homes decorations have been pulled out of storage in anticipation of decorating Christmas trees, in fact some have already been decorated. Yes, the hustle and bustle and overall busyness that seems synonymous with the season has already begun.

I’m sure all of you have an idea in your mind of what would make the perfect Christmas. Maybe it’s a special item you’ve had your eye on for a while and you have your fingers crossed that it will be under the tree on Christmas morning. Or, maybe it’s a family member or friend you’re hoping to see. In your mind if this special wish came true your Christmas would be perfect! Some of you on the other hand may already feel the depression that sometimes comes with the Christmas season. This may be your first Christmas without someone you cared about or maybe you’re in financial difficulty and you don’t see any hopes of having what you consider a great Christmas…

Whatever group you fit in, I have a question I would like to ask in the plaintive words of Charlie Brown, Isn’t there anybody who knows what Christmas is all about? (A Charlie Brown Christmas)

This seems like such a no brainer, a question that is asked every year. Unfortunately though, from year to year many of us still forget what Christmas is all about. So I would like to ask you to just take a step back from what you think the perfect Christmas should be and remember what Christmas is all about.

10And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:10-14 KJV)

The above verses are from my favorite account of the Christmas story. They express beautifully the real meaning of Christmas. It all began with a gift, God’s perfect gift to the world, His son Jesus Christ. He is truly the gift that keeps on giving.

My prayer for all of us this Christmas, whatever our circumstance, is that we would allow the joy of the Lord to bubble up within us. Also, that His peace will be with us as we enjoy this season which is a testimony of just how much He loves us.

This is actually a rewrite of an article I wrote for Girl Talk and was also published over at Laced With Grace two years ago.

Dec 1, 2009

The Good Old Days

Bring back da good ole days, let the children run and play, Teach them how to stay in school, live by the golden rule,

Bahamian singer Sweet Emily belts out with feelings the lyrics in her nostalgic ode to the past, Bring Back Da Good Ol’ Days. It is a reflex action for me to turn up the radio and sing along when I hear this catchy tune.

During my childhood I can remember hearing my parents refer many times to "da good ol’ days". The days when all of the neighbors were your friends, the days when you could go shopping, leave your doors opened, come back and nothing would be missing. They also talked about taking lunch to school in brown paper bags, owning one pair of shoes and one suit of church clothes…and the list goes on.

When my parents talked about the good old days it sounded surreal. One pair of shoes? One suit of clothes? Do we really want to go back to "da good ol’ days?" Definitely not! However, I appreciate the sentiment behind the song.

Through the pain of the present it often seems as if everything in the past was brighter, happier, more peaceful, and maybe it was. As the holidays approaches I feel myself yearning for the good old days of just four Christmases ago; a time when it seems in my mind that all was well.

When life in the here and now proves difficult, the call of the good old days sounds strongly in my ears and, if I allow myself I can sink into depression yearning for a time that has already passed by. However, when I was living what now seem like “the good old days” I probably reflected on an earlier time in my life and thought it more perfect.

What happened to those days the good old happy days, we need to bring them back …

To a certain extent I agree with Sweet Emily. The good old days were good… back then. It helped to mold us into who we are today. However, today we don't literally want to go back But, let's take all the positive things we can from the good old days, apply them to today and make today and tomorrows better.

So as December goes by and Christmas draws nigh I’m sure many days I’ll think about Christmases past. However, I won’t allow thoughts of the past to take away from my enjoyment of the here and now, because one day I want to be able to look back with the same type of smile I saw on my parents’ faces and say, “those were da good ol' days”

This is a rewrite of an article I wrote for Girl Talk several years ago.

Nov 24, 2009

Waitin' Ain't Easy

I'm over here today.

God, do you know how old I am?

And in the deep recesses of my mind I heard a chuckle. (I kinda think if He numbers the hairs on my head He’s probably noticed that thirty something birthdays has passed by) But back to my story…

When I’m talking to God I try not to be selfish. I pray for the needs of others, family, friends, country and world… But, I admit, sometimes I do have those moments when I go before God and there’s only one person on my mind. In the words of country singer Toby Keith,

I wanna talk about me

Stop by Laced With Grace to read the rest of this post.

Nov 20, 2009

God's Transportation

You are God’s transportation
His voice to the world
You are the vessel he uses
To bring hope to the world

To tell them of God
And the son that he gave
Jesus Christ who died
For the sins of the world

You are God’s transportation
But are you in use
Or parked at the roadside
Your mouth tightly closed?

God wants to use you,
To carry his word
But the world will never know
How Jesus died and rose again
If your voice is not heard

You are God’s transportation
So promise him now
That you’ll tell about Jesus
Who died, rose again and now is on high

Inspired by Pastor Monvella McIntosh's sermon God's Transportation

Nov 16, 2009

How are you using your youth?

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, that I also may be cheered when I receive news about you.

20 I have no one else like him, who takes a genuine interest in your welfare.

21 For everyone looks out for his own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. Philippians 2:19-21 (NIV emphasis mine)

The above verses stood out to me recently as I did my daily Bible reading. It made me stop for a moment, reflect and evaluate myself.

Often times in life we get sidetracked and caught up in our own wants, needs and interest and forget our main purpose in being here… fellowship with and service to our heavenly father.

I was impressed by what Paul said about Timothy in verse 20 (I have no one else like him,…)

Timothy was a young man who didn’t use his youth as an excuse to be self absorbed. He was more concerned about the work of Christ than his own welfare.

What would the Paul in our lives say about us?

Timothy used his youth in service to God. How are you using yours?

Photo credit: Microsoft clipart

Nov 12, 2009

Lost... Are You Blindly Following?

I have to start this post with a disclaimer. I am really not as ditsy as the following is going to portray me to be, really I’m not. That being said…

As I turned the key in the lock I could hear the phone ringing. With a sense of embarrassment I went to answer. My friend didn’t even give me time to say hello. “What happened? I was so worried! In another ten minutes I was going to call the police!” My answer, truly I had no idea what had happened.

It was after 10:00p.m about two weeks before school reopened. Two friends and I had been decorating our classrooms. I live five minutes away from school in one direction and one of my friends lived less than ten minutes away from school in the other direction. She mentioned to us that she had some extra materials at how home that we could have and since she would not be coming out the next day we decided to go to her house and get it.

Three people, three cars, five minutes drive, simple huh? You’d certainly think so.

Instead of going to my friend’s house the way I’m familiar with I decided to follow her. Keep in mind that I am directionally challenged especially at night. The problem…? My friend went an unfamiliar route, she drove much faster than me and she had no idea I was following her.

If you’re picturing this in your mind you can probably guess what happened next.

She lost me.
I took a wrong turn.
I got totally lost… in.the.dark.

By the time I had driven around for about thirty minutes praying and anxiously darting in and out of corners, I came to the beginning of the street I usually took to her house. However, by that point I was so frazzled that every corner seemed dark and unfamiliar oh, and did I mention that I didn’t have my cell phone? Finally as I noticed the gas tank nearing E I said, “You know what Satan, you win this one. I’m going to the one place I’m sure I know how to find, MY HOUSE!”

Why this long story? Because I’ve also been there in my Christian walk, blindly following when I should have been paying attention and listening to His voice speaking to me. Those times I have ended up a bit hurt, a bit bruised but a whole lot wiser.

As I reflected on my experience of being lost 5 minutes from home I heard my heavenly father saying to me; “My daughter, I will always be home to you. When you stray, lose your way always know that I am your refuge, your hiding place.”

Nov 6, 2009

Book Review - Redefining Beautiful

What is your definition of beautiful? Have you ever look in the mirror and seen someone you thought less than attractive looking back at you? If you answered yes to that question then Jenna Lucado’s book Redefining Beautiful was definitely written with you in mind.

Redefining Beautiful encourages young ladies to stop defining themselves by the world’s ideas of beautiful and see themselves as God sees them. Beautiful in this book is defined as, what God sees when God sees you.

This book is interspersed with examples from Jenna’s life and is written in an easy to read, down to earth format that teen girls will enjoy reading. Jenna discusses a variety of topics from deodorants, to sunburns, Facebook addictions, friendships and boys, just to name a few. This book can be used for individual study or for group discussions.

I often give books to teens as gifts and I would not hesitate to give this book as a gift.

Oct 26, 2009

After the Tears

Have you cried recently? I have. It doesn’t matter if our tears were over a skinned knee, a bruised ego, a wounded heart, a friend’s betrayal, the loss of a loved one or simply a very bad day. They matter to God. They matter so much that he kept them tears in a bottle.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my
tears in your bottle.You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56:8
There will be times in your life when things will not go the way you want it to. At times the tears will flow. That’s okay. Let them. I’m a firm believer in the healing powers in tears. However what do you do after the tears?
You’ve trusted God with your tears. Show Him that you trust Him to work out whatever situation you’re going through.

A good friend wrote this poem. I hope it encourages you as much as it did me.

Don't Give Up!
By Jackie C. Pinder

Are you feeling tired and discouraged?
Don't give up!
Do you see darkness instead of light?
Don't give up!
Have your friends turned their backs on you?
Are you feeling all alone?
Don't give up!
Remember Jesus has promised to
see you through
So…. don't give up!
He has promised to keep you,
comfort and guide you
So please, don't give up!
The sun will shine again
The son will show his face again
Oh, my sister, don't give up
Dry your tears, lift your chin up
Trust Him today
He won't turn you away
Just don't give up!
Let it go, turn it over to him
You'll discover His way is sure
You mustn't give up.
Lean on Him
Trust Him,
Hold on to Him
Love Him
Just, don't give up!

Oct 20, 2009

Thoughts on being a girl

What do you love most about being a "girl"?
by Davina, Jess, Ruth, & Sabrena

What do we love about being girls? Hmm... let’s see…

1. Pink

2. Makeup


4. No goatee

5. Not having smelly feet.

6. No extra unwanted hair.

7. We get nicer clothes

8. Chocolate solves almost all of our problems.

9. We’re allowed to be crabby at least once a month

10. We can get out of gym when we have cramps really bad.

11. Watching “Chick Flicks” with our closest friends.

12. We can hug all of our friends, talk about clothes and shop as much as we want without guys thinking it’s unusual.

13. If guys cry they get called a big girl’s blouse. If we cry we get hugs! (Ruth’s from England in case you never heard that term)

Girl Talk Magazine Dec 04/Feb 05

(I was looking through an old issue of Girl Talk when I came across this. )

Oct 17, 2009

I'm a New Christian... Is it Wrong to Wear...?

Dear Girls,

You’ve just made the most important decision in your life. Welcome to the family of God. You’ll find out as you get to know us that we’re just like any other family. We make mistakes, we get angry, we do and say silly things sometimes. However, all of that is secondary to the fact that we love God and we love each other, faults and all.

You’ll find out as you walk this Christian journey that different people have different opinions about the dos and don’ts of being a Christian. Don’t get hung up on small stuff. The most important thing about being a Christian is your relationship with Jesus Christ.

I remember when I was a teenager, I was out on a Saturday and a gentleman passed me a gospel track and asked me if I was a Christian. I was pleased to say yes because I was a young Christian and quite excited about that fact. However, his incredulous response floored me. “You’re a Christian and you’re wearing that????”

What was I wearing? Believe it or not, jeans and a tshirt. But, according to what he believed, if I was a Christian I shouldn’t wear pants. I didn’t get into an argument with him. My response was simply, “If the God I serve is more concerned about the jeans that I’m wearing than He is about my heart then He’s not the God I thought He was.

Later that day though, I was still thinking about it. It bothered me that my faith was in question because of what I was wearing. However, a friend reminded me of the following scripture;

The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." 1 Samuel 16:7
I’m not saying that we should not be concerned about the way we present ourselves or what we wear. However, that’s not the most important thing to God. The condition of your heart and your relationship with Him is what is most important to him. Hence, that should be most important to you too.

Until next time, stay strong in Him.

Oct 12, 2009

Angels Watching Over Me

I'm over here today.

11 For he will command his angels concerning youto guard you in all your ways;

Have you ever had an encounter where you were absolutely sure that there were angels watching over you?

I have.

Stop by Laced With Grace and read about my angelic experience.

Oct 5, 2009

Becoming His Dream Girl: Give Him Your Heart

Tanya closed the book with a dreamy sigh. She had been avidly reading it for a few days. She’d lived through the ups and down that the hero and heroine went through in their relationship. Finally, in the last chapter he did what the heroine had been dreaming about all along. He told her that he loved her, got down on one knee and asked her to marry him.

“I can’t wait for that to be me,” Tanya thought falling back on the bed lost in her world of daydreams. I can’t wait for the guy of my dreams to sweep me into his arms and tell me he loves me..."

“I love you.”

And they lived happily ever after… fade out

This is usually the perfect ending to a book, movie and what many dream would be the perfect ending in real life. However this is not how it plays out when we think about becoming the girl of our heavenly father’s dream. In His version of the love story, I love you is just the beginning…

On the television show The Bachelor, the bachelor “dates” many girls giving them a rose each week while trying to decide which girl he wants.

Can you imagine being a contestant on that show, wondering week after week, “Is he going to give me a rose?” “Will I be his final choice?” “Is he going to break my heart?” Fortunately, you’ll never have to wonder that about God. You were, are, and always will be His first choice. His desire is for relationship with you. You are his treasured daughter. Within you is the potential to become everything he has called you to be. Within you is the potential to become the girl of His dream.

So now back to the beginning… the “I love you.” In a normal relationship you get to know someone and then you give them your heart. However, with God that is the very first step. The very first thing he requires you to do when you enter a relationship with him is, give him your heart…

God makes it easy for you to give him your heart. He doesn’t just say the words He shows you in such a way that you cannot doubt that He truly loves you, that you are His choice.

Romans 5:8 states:
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. NIV (emphasis mine)

Take a moment and meditate on this verse. Isn’t it mind blogging just how much the creator of the universe love you, loves me, love all of us? The chorus to Point of Grace's song below puts into words the sense of wonder and awe that I feel when I sit and reflect on just how much He loves me…

Who am I that you would love me so gently?
Who am I that you would recognize my name?
Lord, who am I that you would speak to me so softly
A conversation with the love most high.
Who am I?

Just thought I'd share a little of what I've been working on as I continue with my writing project: Becoming the Girl of His Dream

Read part one here

Photo: Microsoft clip art

Oct 1, 2009

Someday - Remembering Mom

Today I’m going to do something I’ve never done on this blog before…

Ready? Here we go…

I’m going to share an honest to goodness, happened while I was sleeping dream, directly from the pages of my journal:).

My Journal…

Last night I dreamt that I was in a room filled with people and I started singing a song straight from my heart. When I woke up the words were still there so I decided to write them down.

One day my life was torn apart,
Oh yes it was.
One day my life was torn apart,
Oh yes it was,
One day my life was torn apart

Oh yes it was,
My life was torn apart one day

In time Jesus healed my heart
Yes he did
In time Jesus healed my heart
Yes he did
In time Jesus healed my heart

Yes He did,
He healed my heart in time

Someday I’ll see you again
Oh yes I will
Someday I’ll see you again
Oh yes I will
Someday I’ll see you again

Oh yes I will,
Mommy I’ll see you again someday!

I guess even when I’m asleep my subconscious mind sometimes thinks about my mother. However, I’m comforted to know that, even in my dreams I know that someday I’ll see her again.

December 5, 2008


Today, October 1, 2009 makes three years since she’s been gone. Tears sometimes still fall but thank God my heart is completely healed.

If you’re reading this and you’re in the initial stages of grief because of the loss of a loved one or even a broken relationship. I assure you, time and prayer does heal bruised, wounded and broken hearts if you’ll give those broken pieces to God.

If you have a few minutes I’d love for you to meet my mother, Pastor Monvella McIntosh. She's the one with the perpetual smile, who almost always has on a hat. She is either preaching, praying, giving, hugging or is simply surrounded by those she loved.

I edited a 30 minutes sermon she gave that was broad casted live on the radio down to about 5 minutes. The title, You've Got to Go Through. Text: Isaiah 43:1-5

Sep 29, 2009

Time Flies...

Do you ever get the feeling that time is moving at warp speed? It's almost as if a month is going by in a week.

It was just about one month ago that one of my favorite teens stopped by my classroom to drop off her little sister to her first day in fourth grade before heading to her school for her first day in twelfth grade.

If I think really, really hard I can actually picture my twelfth grade year. So when I think of her in twelfth grade I think, "Wow, life is going by too quickly! Where did the time go?" It seems as if one day you have all of the time in the world ahead of you and then you suddenly wake up and it's ten years later...

It's so easy to get caught up in the daily routine of life that we forget every day that passes by brings us closer to the coming of Christ.

Sometimes I wonder, "Am I making the most of every opportunity? Am I living my life like He is soon to come? I know that some days I fall short of where I want to be but I keep trying... because, time is flying by, the days are short and I want to be ready when He comes...

15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. . Ephesians 5:15-16

Sep 27, 2009

Safe in His Care

Recently I woke up in the middle of the night afraid for no reason at all. I lay there in bed with my heart beating wildly, wondering if I should call someone. However before I could jump out of bed or reach for the phone I heard the still small voice of my heavenly father say, “Why are you afraid? I’m here with you.”

With those simple but utterly powerful words resonating within my spirit, a big smile came over my face.

I was safe. My father was with me.

I breathe out a quiet prayer, rolled over and went back to sleep, safe in my father’s care.

I will lie down and sleep in peace,
for you alone, O LORD,
make me dwell
in safety. Psalm 4:8

I took this photo of my goddaughter a few years ago and I named it "A Picture of Trust" I used it before but I thought it was the perfect fit for this post.

Sep 19, 2009

Nevertheless Moments

Have you ever been to the place where life was going in one direction and you wanted it to go in another? I have. However for all intents and purposes at that time where I wanted to go and where God wanted me to be were not in harmony. I call moment like these nevertheless moments; the moment when what I want and what God wants are polar opposites, unthinkable even.

I recently read this nevertheless moment which is a defining moment for all of us. It comes by way of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the moment when the weight of the sacrifice, the weight of our sins seemed just too heavy a load to carry.

And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt. Matthew 26:39

Nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt...

Jesus knew all along the reason he came. He knew that he came into this world to die for our sins but in this moment there in the garden he cried out to his father to take the cup away from him. But as quickly as he said it he decided on the tough thing, the nevertheless. He thought about us. To think that in spite of the fact that He knew there would be times we would disappoint him, times we wouldn’t trust him, times we would turn our backs on him and yet he choose us.

How do you respond to your nevertheless moments? Do you start questioning and arguing with God?

“Give up my last $50.00 God??? But how am I supposed to make it through the rest of the month?”

“My closet is already sadly lacking God and you want me to do what?”

“That person said the most hurtful thing about me God and you’re saying…?”

(I can easily add a dozen other things to that list but you get the idea.)

These are the nevertheless moments. The moments when we should say God I don’t understand but nevertheless…

How do you deal with your nevertheless moments? Do you feel like God had forsaken you in those moments? Do you still trust him? Do you still brag on him? I try, sometimes with more success than others to handle my nevertheless moments gracefully. We never know how many eyes are watching to see just how much we trust this God we talk about.

God has a blessing in store for us also when we obey him. When we trust him during those times when we don’t understand, when we obey him in spite of.

I’m so grateful that Jesus obeyed in spite of. Because of his obedience we have the gift of eternal life the choice of a life with Him or without. What if he had decided that His nevertheless moment was too difficult? Where would we be today?

Sep 15, 2009

Girl Talk Sept/Nov '09

Click on a topic below to read some of the contents of this issue of Girl Talk.


Dawn & Elaine's Final Year (Fiction)

Do Hard Things Book Review & Giveaway

Tips on Good Nutrition

The 411 on Good Nutrition

Prayer for Tomorrow (Poem)

Spotlight on Miss Racquel Rose

The Baby Can Wait (A Mother's Perspective)

What Makes You Cool?

Do Hard Things... Book Review and Give Away

A teenage rebellion… this was the first thing that caught my eyes when I finally picked up my copy of Do Hard Things. When I was a teenager rebelling could bring some serious consequences if the parents found out. However this book encourages rebellion not against parents, society’s rules or God’s laws. It encourages, almost demands rebellion against low expectations.

This book is an excellent motivational tool for teens. It encourages you not to waste your teenage years doing what seems to be the norm for teenagers. It’s not enough to just do well in school, obey your parents and keep your room clean, although these things are important. These two teenage authors want teens to stretch themselves beyond what is expected of them and do hard things. The book has story after story of real teens who did great things such as; start charitable organizations, ran campaigns for political candidates, stood alone against pressure and the list goes on… I think any teenager would be motivated to do hard things after reading this book.

Now for the Giveaway

I’ve offered teens who receive the print copy of Girl Talk here in the Bahamas an opportunity to win my copy of the Book Do Hard Things. However, I'd love to give blog readers an opportunity to win a copy also. If you'd like to read this book leave a comment on this post. I'll choose a winner at the end of September. So be sure to check back. (This is my very first bloggy giveaway so I hope you'll participate:))

What Makes You Cool

Hi, my name is Bernadine and I have a confession. Promise not to tell? Okay, here we go…. I sometimes watch reruns of Family Matters.

I watched the show when it first came out in the late 80’s. However back then it was just a funny show with an annoying nerd who seemed to be oblivious to the fact that he was a NERD. Today, watching the same show with the same nerdy guy I have a totally different outlook. On this your first month back to school I’d like to share with you what I’m just now learning from Steve Urkel, Nerd Extraordinaire.

1. Be yourself! Steve in all of his suspendered geekiness (is that a word?) didn’t try to change who he was to fit in with his more popular friends.

2. Try new things: Steve, led a full life. He knew how to polka, he created things in his lab, he annoyed people:), he enjoyed life.

3. Be loyal! Steve was loyal to a fault when it came to his friends and his beloved Winslows the family he adopted without their consent.

4. Succeed in spite of difficulties. Steve’s parents were not the most loving or supportive. However, not even a less than perfect home life deterred him from striving to achieve his goals.

5. Persistence often brings success: From the very first time he saw her Steve set his sights on the lovely Laura Winslow, a girl that everyone except Steve knew was far beyond his reach. However fast forward to the last episode and we find Steve, along with being the first student in space and a host of other firsts under his belt engaged to the formerly unreachable girl of his dreams Laura Winslow. ..

Here’s what Steve thought made him cool…

Steve Urkel Quote:
“… I may not be the most trendy guy on campus, or the best looking and I'm CERTAINLY not the most coordinated. But I like myself, and that makes me cool.”

*unfortunately, I do not know who to credit the photo of Steve Urkel to.

Spotlight on Miss Racquel Rose

The superpower I would like to have would probably be invisibility. It would be really fun to sneak up on people and scare them sometimes, and it would be handy when you want to hide from someone .

This humorous response to my silly question shows the mischievous, fun side of this issue’s Spotlight Teen, fourteen year old Miss Racquel Rose.

Racquel is a tenth grader at Sunland Baptist Academy. She is a friendly, highly motivated and disciplined student who always strives to do her very best. This exceptional teen finished off her ninth grade year with seven B.J.C’s with 6 A’s and 1 B and a GPA of 3.82. (Way to go Racquel!)

In addition to doing extremely well academically Racquel also finds time for extracurricular activities. She takes piano classes, and is in her school’s Hand bell Choir. She is also in the Anchor Club of Lucaya, and plans to join GGYA (Governor General Youth Awards.) Racquel also enjoys acting and was in her school’s play “Once on this Island.”

This studious teen is excited about her tenth grade year and her plans for the future. Her goal is to become a pediatrician when she grows up. One of the reasons she chose this field is because she loves children and likes the idea of being able to help them to get well and in so doing make the world a better place.

What are your hobbies?
I like to play the piano and sing. I also love to write. I write a lot stories and poems when I feel like it. I also love to read books, because to me they’re like a door to a whole new world.

What was your favorite part of summer vacation?
I’d have to say going out, when I got to see my friends and people I know. It’s always fun to get out of the house sometimes.

What is your biggest pet peeve?
My biggest pet peeve is when cars drive by houses and schools and other public places with their windows down and their music blasting so loud that it’s disturbing.

What is the secret to your success in school?
The secret to my success is staying focused and determined to achieve the goals that I set for myself and being disciplined to make it happen.

What are your goals for this school year and how do you plan to achieve them?
My goal for this school year is to do better than I did last year. I want to get a higher G.P.A and be more focused on my work. I plan to achieve this by studying harder, being more focused and not putting friends over my work.

What advice would you give to young ladies who are struggling academically?
I would tell them to keep trying no matter what. If they really set their minds to do well, I’m pretty sure they can, with a little extra hard work, focus and determination. Also, they can take extra classes in subjects where they are weak, because they do help a lot too.

What advice have you received that you will always remember? (It can be from anyone)
The advice I will always remember was from my mother, when I was about six, she told me that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, and from then I’ve always practiced it.

What are some of your accomplishments that you are most proud of?
Well, I’m proud of my BJC results. I’m also proud of the scores I got on the music exam I took last year. I passed the practical and the theory part with a distinction and a merit.

Finish these sentences

I smile my biggest smile when I get my report card and see that I did as well as I wanted.

I get angry when I hear about or see people being unfairly treated or judged.

I often dream about being a successful doctor one day, marrying a nice husband with a good job, having two good kids and living in a nice house when I grow up.

God is an awesome God. He is caring, loving, merciful, great in all ways, fair, and compassionate, powerful and intelligent in ways that we can’t even understand.

The world would be a better place if more people would become Christians because then there would be less crimes and more happiness.

*BJC - Bahama Junior Certificate (usually taken in the ninth grade)

The Baby Can Wait

From a Mother’s Perspective
By Cleora Williams

September 2009 marks the beginning of the final year of high school for my eldest daughter ….Wow!!! I can remember quite vividly dressing her in a navy blue jumper and a checker blue blouse for her first day at kindergarten, and now in a few months she will be leaving the hallowed halls of her high school. I am so excited and I am looking forward with great anticipation to her graduation in June 2010. Yeah 2T10!!!

Despite my excitement, as a mother I do have a level of fear or anxiety. I hope that my daughter and all young ladies will do right by themselves and their parents and not yield to peer pressure by engaging in pre-marital sex. I am greatly troubled by the number of teenage pregnancies. When I see or hear about a young lady who gets pregnant I want to shout “WHAT IS THE RUSH? THE BABY CAN WAIT”

I am by no means saying that having a baby signifies the end of a young lady’s life but, it certainly makes goals and aspirations much more difficult to achieve. Think of the financial burden it places on your parents, and basically the overall disappointment because they wanted so much more for you. That cute little giggly baby, doesn’t always giggle and coo. In fact it totally changes your life around and demands your full attention. Young ladies please think of the impact it will have on your young life. Having a child is a tremendous responsibility.

It is my wish, no my plea from a mother’s heart to young ladies everywhere, especially girltalk readers to WAIT PLEASE…THE BABY CAN WAIT. Study hard make yourselves proud; make us (your parents) proud. You have so much potential, so much to achieve, so much to enjoy. Do well in all that you do, keep your heads held high. Believe me when the time is right you will have and greatly enjoy children. There is a time and a place for babies and it is definitely not your teenage years.

Remember ladies you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God and you are priceless. Have a wonderful school year. God bless you.

The 411 on Good Nutrition

By Camelta Barnes
Public Health Nutritionist.

Food is important, everybody needs food to live. If you are hungry, then you should eat. As long as you satisfy your hunger, it really does not matter what kind of food you give your body….right? Remember the old saying, “A belly full is a belly full”.

Think about it, does it really not matter the quality of food you give your body? Why does your body need food? Is it just to fill your stomach? A belly full of unhealthy foods may satisfy your hunger but not your nutritional needs. Food is the most basic human need, but this fact does not stop here. It must be food that provides “good nutrition".

Why should you be concern about good nutrition? Good nutrition allows you to have all the energy you need to do all the things you enjoy doing. Good nutrition gives you the nice smooth skin everybody wants to have. What about the lustrous shiny bouncy hair that most girls covet, well good nutrition can give that to you as well. You want to be included among the students that help to raise the national grade point average from a D to an A? Well once again, give good nutrition a try.

Go here for tips that will help you to get started in practicing “good nutrition”.

Tips for Good Nutrition

By Camelta Barnes

Make Smart choices.
• When using Ramen Noodles, do not use the season packet.
• When you are thirsty, pick water instead of sweet juice or drinks.
• Use 1 or 2 percent milk instead of cream or sweet milk for your cereal.
• Choose bake or grilled foods more often than you do fried foods.
• Get ketchup or mustard for your fries, not liquid cheese or mayonnaise.

Enjoy some foods in moderation.• Choose chips or fries no more than once a week.
• Limit starchy foods to 2 servings at lunch time. (1 serving equals 1 slice of bread; ½ bun, 1 small dinner roll, 1 pot spoon or ½ cup rice).
• Choose candy and chocolates no more than once a week but not on the same day as the chips or fries.

Balance your diet.
• Add tomato and lettuce to your sandwiches.
• Add vegetables to your Ramen Noodles.
• Include a side of a small salad, a serving of veggies or piece of fruit.

Think simple.
• A plain burger (no cheese) is a better choice than processed or breaded foods such as hot dog, chicken nuggets or pizza.

Dawn & Elaine's Final Year

“I wonder what Dawn’s working so hard at already?” Elaine muttered to herself as she approached her best friend. Dawn was sitting on a bench under a tree, hunched over something in her lap. As Elaine got closer she noticed that Dawn was feverishly going over some numbers on a piece of paper.

“What are you doing Dawn?” Elaine enquired.

Dawn looked up startled. She had not even heard Elaine’s approach.

“I’m trying to see what I need to do in order to graduate on the honor roll.”

“Earth to Dawn,” Elaine said rolling her eyes exasperatedly. “You are on the honor roll, what are you stressing about?”

“No, I’m not. My cumulative average is below a three point. You remember the term when Mommy was doing her chemotherapy? My GPA dropped to almost 2.5. Even though I was back on the honor roll the next term my GPA was barely a 3.0 and my cumulative average was affected. I really don’t want that one term to stop me from being on the honor roll for graduation in June.”

“So what do you need to get in order to be on the honor roll?”

“I need to get at least a 3.5 for the next two terms in order to make it. I should be okay though, the only subject I completely failed was the physics. I’ve already signed up for extra classes so hopefully I can get a better grade in that”

“Physics! But what if you get Mr. Kenton, even the best students complain about his class, how tough he is, he doesn’t give good grades and hardly anyone does well in his class.”

“You know what Elaine, I’m not looking for anyone to give me a good grade. I plan to earn it. Besides, I’m not going to let what others say worry me. Students said all kinds of stuff about Mr. Smith’s Biology class but I found out that the students who did their work on time and participated in class had no problems at all with him.”

“Dawn, I don’t think anyone would hold it against you if you didn’t quite make the honor roll. Everyone knows what a difficult time it was for you when your mom was sick. Don’t be so hard on yourself.”

“I’m not being hard on myself Lainie,” Dawn responded. “I just want to know that I gave it my best effort. Also, my mom is doing so well now and I want to make her and my dad proud at graduation. I may not do as well as I would like but I am going to be on the honor roll.

Both girls paused for a moment, thinking about the year before when Dawn’s mother was so sick. Lainie, recalled the gaunt, frail, joyless person her friend had become. She remembered being so afraid that if Dawn’s mother had not made it she would have lost her best friend also. Thankfully, it had not come to that and here they were now in their twelfth grade year. ..

“Uh hmm?”

“You know you can count on me if you need my help with anything right?”

A myriad of memories crossed Dawn’s mind. Memories of late night conversations, sleepovers where she cried all night because she was worried about her mom, Lainie’s halting voice praying that her mom would be alright…
“I know Lainie,” she whispered. “I know.”

Read part 1 here

I know I said Dawn and Elaine would be graduating but they weren’t quite ready. They wanted to share their senior year with you. It’s been quite a while since my senior year so I’m a little lost. How about sending me some ideas on what should happen with Dawn & Elaine over the next few issues.

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

Elaine & Dawn... Other Stories

A Teen's Fear Part 1

A Teen's Fear Part 2

A Teen's Fear Part 3

Sep 9, 2009

Prayer for Tomorrow

By Bernadine J. McIntosh

Promise me tomorrow
I heard someone pray
That I may serve you
In a special way

Today, I’m just too busy,
With a dozen things to do
And I don’t have time
To spend with you

But if you’ll promise me tomorrow
I’ll give my life
Completely to your service
On that very night
Promise me tomorrow

I cannot promise you tomorrow
Was the sad reply
You need to manage wisely
The time you have today

The tomorrow you pray for
Is always out of reach
Now is the acceptable time
To yield your life to me

If you wait until tomorrow
It may be too late
And you’ll not spend eternity
Within my gates
I cannot promise you tomorrow.

Believe it or not, I wrote this poem over 12 years ago, when I was in college. I was bargaining with God to help me pass a test I had not studied for. During my bargaining I promised him faithfully that I would be sure to study for the next test well in advance.

How’d I do?
Well let’s just say that when you bargain with God be sure to do your part and that’s all I’m saying on that!:)

In reading the poem you'd probably never have guessed what I was thinking when I wrote it because it really doesn't seem to relate to not studying for a test but somehow, that's where I got the inspiration for the poem from. I guess you find inspiration in the most unlikely places:)

What's the silliest bargain you've ever tried to make with God?

GT Magazine Sept/Nov '09

Sep 8, 2009

Laced With Grace Fall Giveaway

Fall 2009 Giveaway_400

Material from Kitty Designs' kit "Dream of a Blue Sky"

And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. ~ Matthew 8:26
They're talking layoffs at work, slowdowns in the economy, flare-ups in the Middle East, turnovers at headquarters, downturns in the housing market, upswings in global warming...Imagine your life, wholly untouched by angst. What if faith, not fear, was your default reaction to threats? (text taken from Max Lucado's website)

To find out more about the book itself, please visit our very own Lori from Lori's Reflection. She read the book so she can share her thoughts with us: Fearless by Max Lucado.

The package includes: Fearless - Hard Cover, Fearless - DVD Study, and the Fear Not Promise Book. You have four chances to enter your name into the drawing. Wondering how to get your name four times into the drawing -- pretty simple...
Please leave a comment on this post for every entry you make. The giveaway will end next Tuesday, September 15th (midnight - EST) with the winner to be announced on Saturday, September 19th.

Remember, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7)

Sep 7, 2009

The Best Combination

I must confess I rarely start my day without a cup of coffee. The best thing I have going for me in the mornings is my combination of coffee and hang time with my heavenly father.

This is the perfect way to start my day, before it gets too noisy outside. I curl up in my favorite chair, with my Bible in hand and my cup of coffee on the table nearby. Reading, praying, listening… Only then I’m ready to start my day.

If I’m forced to I can start my day without coffee and make it through alright but start my day without God, somehow it just doesn’t work. On those occasions where I oversleep and rush off in the mornings without my time with God I find that my day doesn’t go very well. I’m frazzled, easily upset, disorganized and the list goes on…

So give up my coffee? If I must. My time with God? Never!

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
Psalm 63:1 (NKJV)

How do you start your day? Do you have a morning routine that you follow?

photo: microsoft clipart

Sep 3, 2009

Speak the Truth

It wasn't me, I didn't do it, I didn't say that, I'm innocent, you have the wrong girl...

Even a child is known by his actions, by whether his conduct is pure and right. Proverbs 20:11 (NLT)
Wouldn't it be nice if we could always take someone at his or her word, especially when it really counted? In a perfect world everyone would own up to his or her actions. You'd be able to trust everything someone said and an innocent person would never ever suffer for the actions of another. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and there are people who simply do not speak the truth.

As a teacher it always amazes and frustrates me when I have two or more angelic looking faces before me and I know one of them is guilty of a crime but of course I hear the words, "It wasn't me Miss McIntosh."
"She did it."
"He did it."
"They did it."
"I didn't do anything!"

Sometimes I am unable to get the guilty party to "fess up" and although I know someone is guilty I have no proof. It's in cases like this that I'm quick to remind my students that although Miss McIntosh may not have seen, God did and they should always try to please him by speaking the truth.

Speak the truth, and speak it ever,
Cost it what it will;
He who hides the wrong he did,
Does the wrong thing still.

To do to others as I would
That they should do to me,
Will make me honest, kind, and good,
As children ought to be.

*I'm not sure who wrote the poem Speak the Truth so I'm unable to give proper credit.

Photo: Religious Education corner of my classroom

This is a edited version of a previous post.

Aug 31, 2009

Back to School

Dear Girls,

The carefree, fun filled days of summer are over and it’s back to school time again! I’ve been back since last week working in my classroom and making it beautiful for a new group of fourth graders. However, today will be their first day back.

After a long, relaxing summer vacation I’m excited to be back in the classroom doing what I enjoy most… teaching.

What about you? Are you excited to be back to school? Parents, are you excited to get them out of the house?

I’ll post a bit more later this week.

Let's have a great school year!
God bless,

Aug 14, 2009

Touched by an Angel

Touched by an angel,
What does it mean?
It’s when a life is touched
So it’s no longer the same

It’s when hope is offered
Where it seems there is none
Joy and happiness is offered
Where depression is found

It’s when the lonely is befriended
And showed the way
To the friend of all friends,
The Lord Jesus Christ

Touched by an angel
Has it been said of you?
That you reached out a hand,
And helped to turn a life around?

I wrote this poem years ago when the show Touched by an Angel was on television. Sometimes we think we have to do big deeds to make a difference in someone’s life. However, there are times when a simple hug, smile, listening ear or word of encouragement (spoken or written) can totally change someone’s day in a positive way.

Have you been someone's angel today?

Aug 10, 2009

The View Outside

I visited a friend recently and I just had to take a photo of the gorgeous view she has outside her back door. You can sit by her doorway and feel the most beautiful breeze, (God’s own air conditioning). I’ve had many opportunities to enjoy the view as I visited with her.

When I stopped by last week I was reminded by her daughter of what I usually did when I visited… It’s so embarrassing, but even though I enjoyed the company, the beautiful breeze usually lulled me to sleep and I’d wake up maybe half an hour later to find myself alone on the couch.

Wouldn’t you agree that I’m the most undemanding guest and my friend and her family the nicest of hosts? :)

"Friendship, said Christopher Robin, is a very comforting thing to have."
-A.A. Milne

Aug 4, 2009

Summers are for Spending Time With God

Without meaning to I seem to have started a “Summers are for…” series:).

The best thing about summer vacations is the fact that I have more time to spend with my heavenly father. Although I have set time to spend with God when I’m working, summer vacation gives me bonus time to spend with Him and I do try to take advantage of it.

But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:16

If we look at the example that Jesus set for us you’ll notice that He always found time to talk to His heavenly father. Spending time with God for me means spending time reading and studying His word and spending time in prayer.

As a teenager reading and studying the Bible took effort, for but it wasn’t as difficult as prayer sometimes was. I mean, how do you talk to the God of the universe? What do you say to Him on a daily basis? However, I remember my mother would always tell me, “Bernie, prayer is just talking to God. Talk to him just like you’d talk to me or you talk to your friends. He just wants you to talk to him.” Those words freed me. Okay, I don’t quite talk to God like when my best girlfriends and I are gabbing away but I do talk to Him, all the time.

What I love about God is that I can talk to Him about anything and everything, and I do talk to him about every little thing. I even talk to him about those times when I can’t get my hair done just the way I want it :). There is nothing too big or too small for me to take to him.

Summers are usually my times of refreshing, spiritually, mentally and physically… Did I mention I love summer (minus the extremely high temperature of course)?

What do you love about summer?

Jul 27, 2009

Summers are for Writing

I know I said summers are for reading, but for me summers are for writing also… Along with my list of books to read I usually have a writing project going on in the summer.

This summer I’m working on a project that I started a few months ago after I spoke to a young ladies group. I spoke on the topic, Becoming the Girl of His Dream. Because of the positive feedback I decided to expand it into a Bible Study for individual or group discussion. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction...

Dear girls,
What do you dream about? You know the kind of dreaming I’m talking about, the kind where you write in your diary or talk with your friends, or just sitting and daydreaming, fantasizing about the woman you want to become, the type of lifestyle you want to live… beautiful clothes, big house, cool cars, a handsome guy…

For some unexplainable reason, before young ladies even know what it means to truly love we are in love with the idea of love, of finding the “guy” of our dreams, riding off into the sunset and living happily ever after. However in our dreams do we ever evaluate ourselves to see if we are the girl of his dreams?

Did I peak your interest? Well keep reading and I’ll tell you a secret that will help you in your quest to become the girl of his dreams. If I’m remembering my teenage years correctly, you probably already have a picture of the cute guy at school in your mind. Nevertheless before you get too excited, the “HIS” I’m talking about, it isn’t the guy you’re probably thinking about. Before we can become the girl of some guy’s dreams we need to become the girls of our heavenly father’s dream… Does that sound weird to you?

Do you know that God has bigger dreams for you than you can ever have for yourself?

Jeremiah 29:11 states:
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. (NIV)

Your creator has big plans for you. He wants you to have a great future. He has such high hopes for you that before you were even created he designed a plan for your life. He created you for a purpose. You were destined to be a young lady of excellence, integrity and impeccable character. He wants you to achieve your dreams. But first, He wants you to be the girl of His dream. By now you’re probably thinking, “God has a dream girl? I wonder, what’s His type?” Well join me in this quest and let’s find out…

I’d love to hear your opinion on the following…

What characteristics do you think God’s dream girl would have?

How can someone become God's dream girl?

Photo credit: Microsoft clipart

Jul 22, 2009

Summers are for reading...

As a child summer was my favorite time of the year. During Summer time slowed down to a crawl. There was no rush to get up in the morning to catch the bus for school, no homework assignments, no schedules… What was a girl to do with all that time? Why read of course. From I discovered the Bobbsey Twins, Famous Five, Secret Seven and a few others when I was about seven or eight, books have been a huge part of my life especially those lazy summer days.

I am an avid bookworm and when I was younger I was hardly ever without a book. I read on buses, during recess at school, at the beach, at the dinner table, I even tried sneaking a reading book into church. I got caught though so that was the end of that.:) I can remember as a teenager getting so caught up in reading that I’d forget to do my chores, until I heard the angry, “Bernadine!” which meant my mom was home. The "Bernadine" instead of the usual “Bernie” meant she wasn’t very happy with me…

Today I’m still very much a bookworm and still love summer days where I can curl up and lose myself in a book, maybe that's why I chose teaching as a profession, I didn't want to give up my summers:).

What about you? Do you enjoy reading? What are some of your favorite books? What are you reading right now?

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go.” Dr. Seuss

Jul 20, 2009

Change Begins With Me

If you’re a Bahamian or if you’ve ever visited the Bahamas you’ll probably know that Paula Dean and her butter aint got nothin’ on us when it comes to our peas n’ rice, cracked conch, fried fish, and of course potato salad, coleslaw, and macaroni and cheese, followed by guava duff, coconut tart and a lot of other tasty delights. By now the average Bahamian reading this, self included is already thinking about Sunday dinner. For this reason many of us are always fighting the battle of the bulge

Believing that a nation’s health is directly related to its wealth officials from the ministry of education have been having a series of workshops with teachers about integrating healthy nutrition choices into different subject areas of the primary school curriculum. The objective is to get the youngest members of our society along with their families excited about making good nutrition choices then we can begin to change our communities, our islands and our nation.

At the end of the workshop we were asked what we learned. The majority of teachers talked about making changes in their personal lives, eating smaller portions, eating more vegetables, reading food labels etc… To an outsider it may seem like what was being said had nothing to do with integrating healthy choices into the school curriculum, however for me it showed that we got it! We realized that if we wanted the change to come to our classrooms and our schools, our communities then it has to begin with us...

This is the way it is with life, if we want changes to come then we have to be willing to become the vehicle of change. So hopefully when September comes, (after much practice this summer), I'll be able to set a good example for my students by making better nutrition choices myself.:)

Note to teens: Remember one of my
summer tips was to avoid too much fast food which can cause you to pack on the pounds. So how about joining me in my attempt to make better food choices this summer?

Jun 26, 2009

Thank God for the Lighthouse

The Lighthouse
by Bernadine McIntosh

The lighthouse stands,
A symbol of hope
In a world that seems
Dark with despair

It sends out a light
On the darkest of nights
Drawing in lost souls
From the storms of life

It gives you hope
Where it seems there is none
And symbolizes the true lighthouse
Jesus Christ, God’s only son

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”
John 8:12 (NLT)

I’ve always loved lighthouses. I’ve never actually been in one but I enjoy looking at pictures of lighthouses and reading stories built around them.

My favorite pictures of lighthouses are those where the waves are crashing against the cliffs and the lighthouse is somewhat in the distance seemingly just a small part of the picture, however it is the most important part.

These pictures remind me that no matter how tumultuous and chaotic life may become He, Jesus Christ, will always be there, the steady, unchanging presence that will guide me safely to my destination.

1 The LORD is my light and my salvation— so why should I be afraid?
The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?
Psalm 27:1
Photo credit: Microsoft clip art.

Jun 22, 2009

Summer Time

Today it officially begins….

“What?” You ask.

My summer vacation… *big grin*

The exams papers have all been graded and report cards all handed out. On Friday afternoon I signed off at school for the last time until August 24th. So today marks the first day of my summer vacation.


Right now thoughts of summer (minus the heat) are as refreshing as that glass of ice tea. So bring on the lazy days of summer.

As usual my summer to do list includes a list of books I plan to read. Among them are Do Hard Things by Brett & Alex Harris and Facing Your Giants by Max Lucado (recommended by my bloggy buddy Iris). I’m sure I’ll think of a few other things to do this summer but for right now that sounds like heaven to me.

As you can tell, I'm excited about summer, how about you?

*Photo: Microsoft Clipart

Jun 11, 2009

GT Magazine June/August 2009

It is Hard

It is hard
To forget
To apologize
To save money
To be unselfish
To avoid mistakes
To keep out of a rut
To begin all over again
To make the best of all things
To keep your temper at all times
To think first and act afterwards
To maintain a high standard
To keep on keeping on
To shoulder blame
To be charitable
To admit error
To take advice
To forgive
But it pays!

- based on Matthew 7:1-2
Author Unknown

Let's Talk About Friends

By Bernadine McIntosh

"But I need a friend" this is the plaintive cry of many lonely teenagers.
According to Xenovia Munnings, a twelfth grader, "From the time you are born until you die you need the emotional support of others. Friendship with others offers you the opportunity to develop new interest and skills. When friends support you,” she continued, “you gain confidence to try new activities."

Friendship is a rare gift. Hence you need to be selective in whom you offer the gift of your friendship. If you choose the wrong friends you can find yourselves in places you don't need to be with people you don't need to be with.

The wrong friend can destroy the plans God has for your life. 1 Corinthians 15:33 says, "Bad company corrupts good character." Many times you may find yourself changing attitudes to fit in with whatever crowd you're hanging out with at the moment. If you hang with the "bad boys" or "bad girls" you may try to act a little tougher. You may swear here and there to make them feel like you're one of the crowd but deep inside you know that's not who you are. You are a unique individual created by God. However if you hang with certain people long enough you will begin to become who they are.

Young ladies, you are characterized by the company you keep. Yes everyone needs a friend however your friend should bring out positive qualities in you. Any friend who encourages you to do things that you are ashamed of is not a true friend. Psalm 119:9 asks a question, how can a young man (or young woman) keep his way pure? How can you keep yourself out of trouble young ladies? Verse 10 gives the answer. By living according to your, (God's) word. I encourage you to take these verses, memorize them and then live them. Be an example to your friends.

This article is from the very first issue of GT, June 2000

Passing the Flame Part 1

By B. McIntosh

“Can you believe it Dawn?” Elaine whispered excitedly, “next year that will be us up there. We’re going to be graduating from high school!” “I know! It is unreal! It seems like not too long ago we were leaving primary school and now here we are, at the end of our eleventh grade year.”

Did you ever think we’d be here Dawn? I mean, think about some of the things that happened since we started high school. I didn’t think our friendship would survive, I didn’t think we would survive …”

“Well it’s not over yet” Dawn whispered jokingly, “give it time.”

“Dawn! I’m being serious…,” Elaine whispered annoyed. However, she quickly quiet down as the indignant eyes of the lady next to her turned their way. “Do you mind?” They seemed to say. “I would like to hear what’s going on.”

Dawn giggled quietly as she saw Lainie’s mouth close mid sentence. “Wow, she thought I haven’t seen anyone have that effect on Lainie for a long time. Her laughter however was short lived as she felt Elaine poked her in the side. This time Elaine giggled as she heard Dawn’s gasp.

Simultaneously it seemed, from left, right and in front, several annoyed, chastising eyes turned their way. Careful not to look at each other both girls sat up, with their hands in their laps, lips tightly compressed to hold back laughter as they listened to hear what was being said to the class of 2009.

“Class of 2009, ” the graduation speaker was saying. “As you leave here and walk into a new phase of your life I want you to always remember the words of this song by Rascal Flatts. As he finished speaking, the music which had been playing quietly in the background as he neared the end of his speech was turned up on these words…

I hope you never look back, but ya never forget, All the ones who love you, in the place you left, I hope you always forgive, and you never regret, and you help somebody every chance you get, Oh, you find God's grace, in every mistake, and always give more then you take.

But more than anything, Yeah, and more than anything, My wish, for you, is that this life becomes all that you want it to, your dreams stay big, and your worries stay small, You never need to carry more than you can hold, and while you're out there getting where you're getting to, I hope you know somebody loves you, and wants the same things too, Yeah, this, is my wish.

“Class of 2009, this is my wish for you,” he finished as he turned and walked to his seat to the thunderous applause of the graduating class and the audience.

“That is so beautiful!” Dawn whispered to Elaine. She saw several of their friends who were graduating wiping tears from their eyes as it really dawned on them, life as they knew it was over.

The rest of the graduation ceremony passed quickly and Dawn and Elaine pushed their way through the crowd to hug their friends who were now officially high school graduates. “We’re passing the flame to you girls now,” one of them smiled as she hugged Dawn and Elaine. “It’ll be your time to shine soon.”
“Next year it will be us,” Dawn said echoing what Elaine had said earlier. “Lainie, we are almost there…”

I know I said Dawn and Elaine would be graduating but they weren’t quite ready. They wanted to share their senior year with you. It’s been quite a while since my senior year so I’m a little lost. How about sending me some ideas on what should happen with Dawn & Elaine over the next few issues.


Publisher's Note

Publisher’s note

Dear Young Lady,

Is it just me or is this year really flying by? For most students and teachers June, the ending part anyway is by far the favorite month of the year. Why? It marks the beginning of the idyllic days of summer. Like you, I can hardly wait!

This month marks the 9th anniversary of Girl Talk. Can you believe it? Next year Girl Talk will be in the double digits. In no time at all Girl Talk will be a teenager just like some of you. Like your parents probably do when they look at you I’m now wondering, “Where did the time go?”

Since next June will be GT’s tenth anniversary I will be including one item from earlier issues of Girl Talk in this and the next few issues. Also, hopefully I’ll be able to do a few updates on some of Girl Talk’s past Spotlight Teens.

If you’re a long time GT reader, be sure to check out the story on page 9, you’ll never guess who’s graduating from high school after nine years :). Don’t worry though, it’s not the end, I’m sure they’ll drop in to visit again.

Now back to summer, one of the things I always take time to do during the summer is read a few books. This summer one of the books on my list is Do Hard Things by Alex & Brett Harris, twins who wrote the book when they were 18 years old. I’ve heard so much about it that I decided to read it. I’ll tell you about it in September. Until next time…

God bless,
Bernadine J. McIntosh

Summer Time Tips

1. Drink lots of water. It keeps you hydrated and does wonders for the skin.

2. Use sunscreen if you’re going to be in the sun for an extended period of time.

3. Get out and get moving, don’t spend the entire summer in front of the television or computer.

4. Avoid too much fast foods… remember summer pounds are easy to pack on hard to take off…

5. Relax… turn off the television, read a book…

6. Take a nap, go to bed early, rest... Before you know it September will be here again.

Spotlight on Miss Leria Smith

By Bernadine McIntosh

In a few weeks graduation season begins. Among the scores of smiling faces this year will be this issue’s spotlight teen, the beautiful, intelligent and ambitious Miss Leria Smith. Seventeen year old Leria will be graduating with honors from St. Georges High School on the 17th of this month.

Leria attended primary school in Exuma where she is originally from and transferred to St. Georges High School in seventh grade. She left her parents in Exuma and lives with her aunt who encourages her to always do her best and reach for the stars. Although she misses her family Leria has not allowed that to deter her from doing well because one of her ultimate goals is to make them proud.

During her time at St. Georges Leria has been very much involved in the Interact Club and Junior Achievement. She is also a part of the Rachel’s Daughters Mentoring Group at her church. In her spare time Leria enjoys singing and dancing which she says relaxes her and puts a smile on her face.

This ambitious teen is excited about the future and has big plans on what she wants to accomplish. Leria has chosen the field of Pediatrics to be her life’s work. The fact that she was able to do community service at the Rand Memorial Hospital only confirmed to her that a career in the medical field is indeed what she wants.

Leria has given herself only the summer to relax as she and has already been accepted into the College of the Bahamas for the fall semester. This is only the first stop on the journey towards her ultimate dream. After she’s finished with College of the Bahamas, Leria plans to go on to medical school.

Who do you admire most in life and why is it that you admire that person? I admire my aunty because I’ve seen how hard she worked as a single mother to provide for her and her daughter. Also, she accepted me into her home with open arms when I came to attend high school in seventh grade. She has taught me by her example that it is indeed better to give than to receive.

What are you looking forward to as you leave high school? I am looking forward to accomplishing all of my goals especially finishing my degrees and achieving my dream of becoming a doctor.

What advice have you been given about your future after high school that you will always remember? I was told that nothing is impossible if I just believe in myself.

What are your plans for your first summer as a high school graduate? This summer I plan to relax and enjoy my freedom while it last because soon as summer over it will be back in the books as I start my college journey.

What are some pressures that you have faced as a young lady? I think the greatest pressure I feel is the pressure to do well in school and make my parents proud of me.

What words of advice do you have for those young ladies you’re going to leave behind when you graduate this June? My advice to those I leave behind is to try your hardest to succeed in school. Make your parents proud even though they make you so mad at times. Also, do everything to the best of your ability no matter the situation because that thing which may seem small and insignificant might be something that helps you out later in life.

Finish these sentences…
I smile my biggest smile whenI am dancing
I get angry whenI don't excel in what I want to do
I often dream aboutbeing an outstanding doctor
God ismy refuge and strength
The world would be a better place ifpeople would believe in themselves
My future looks…. bright

The Freedom to Choose

Rumspringa… have you ever heard that word? I hadn’t until recently when I was watching a documentary about the Amish way of life. Rumspringa, refers to a coming of age period when Amish youths who have reached the age of 16 are given the freedom to experience a different way of life, free from much of the restrictions that they are familiar with so that they can make an informed decision on whether or not they want to join the Amish church. During this time they are also allowed to date with the goal of finding an Amish mate.

During rumspringa, like most teenagers given freedom, some Amish youths make bad decisions and involve themselves in a negative lifestyle. However, according to statistics, 90% of Amish youths eventually join the Amish church. In hearing that I thought, “wow! 90%, that’s impressive!” But, I also thought about the 10% that chooses not to continue the Amish way of life. What happened to them, did they choose what they believe is a better way, or did they get caught up in the lifestyle that they were trying out?

Unlike the Amish, we don’t have rumspringa. However, we can refer to high school graduation as a coming of age. It is around this time that parents begin to allow their children more freedom and responsibility. How are you going to handle it? Do you need to touch, taste, feel what the world has to offer before you decide that the values instilled in you by your parents are what really matters?

Ecclesiastes 12:1 states:
Don’t let the excitement of youth cause you to forget your Creator. Honor him in your youth before you grow old and say, “Life is not pleasant anymore.” (NLT).

The world has so much to attract your attention and lead you down a path that takes you away from God. However, the days of youth are the perfect time to choose Christ. As you navigate the twists and turns and ups and downs that life often bring what do you choose, a life that embraces Christ or one that doesn’t? What percentage would you be during your coming of age period, the
90% or the 10%?

Photo: Microsoft Clipart

What's Wrong with a Little Conversation?

A Mother's Perspective
by Cleora Williams

Growing up in the ‘70’s we often heard the phrase “children should be seen not heard.” I was not allowed to sit in the company of adults or join in their conversations whenever we had guests. Further, I was not allowed to speak my mind as this was considered being rude. As an adult I can appreciate some of what I was taught but I believe that children should be allowed to be a little more vocal.

Personally, I encourage my children to talk to me and to share their feelings. This at times is quite challenging, while children share to certain degree they seem to always hold a little back, I often wonder if it’s because they (children) enjoy knowing things their parents do not.

I am however, very concerned about children keeping certain secrets from their parents. I am speaking in particular about when a child or teenager is being violated, that is, they are being spoken to or being touched in a manner that is inappropriate and make them feel uncomfortable.

My daughters THIS IS NOT THE TIME TO KEEP A SECRET! No matter how embarrassed or ashamed you may be, remember you did nothing wrong, it is not your fault. Tell someone; your pastor, a teacher or a trusted adult. But I’m sure I speak for all concerned parents when I say, tell us!

My daughters we need you to talk to us, as mothers (parents) we want to protect you. We will not see it as you doing something wrong: if you don’t tell us how will we know? Even if you have been threatened or bribed, you can trust us. No mother wants to know that her beautiful teenage daughter has been violated. I’m sure it must leave a mother feeling angry, frustrated and helpless.

As mothers we are concerned about you and want the best for you. You are a precious gift from God, so please talk to us about whatever is on your mind no matter how small and insignificant it may seem or how huge it may be. Don’t carry the load alone, we love you dearly and want to know what’s going on with you.

As usual ladies I conclude by reminding you that God’s word says that you are priceless and cannot be bought.

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