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

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.

Jun 9, 2009

Working it Out for My Good

I'm over here today

“I can’t believe I made such a silly mistake! This means I have to pay to do the same thing again and I really don’t have the money."

It was for several minutes that I really let myself have it as I looked down at the hundreds of copies that I would now have to discard...
Stop by Laced With Grace to read the rest of this article

Jun 1, 2009

Happy 9th Anniversary Girl Talk

Dear Girls,

Today, June 1, 2009 is actually Girl Talk’s ninth anniversary. I can’t believe it’s been nine years since I started my little ministry to teen girls. Publishing Girl Talk has helped me to grow in so many ways as I write, get feedback and interact with some of the young ladies I’ve met over the past nine years.

My purpose in publishing Girl Talk has remained unchanged. I seek to encourage young ladies to live up to their potential, make positive choices and acknowledge God in their lives. This remains my goal as I continue to publish Girl Talk.

Thank you for your support over the years. Every time I felt like giving up God allowed some of you to send me an email or call me on the phone to encourage me and let me know that you’re still out there and still reading Girl Talk.

Special thanks to those young ladies who have become the faces of Girl Talk. You never complain when I constantly stick a camera in your face for yet another photo. You’re the best!

L-R Kayla, Valene, Stephanie, Bernadine, Wendyann, Twaniqua & LaChante

God bless,
Bernadine McIntosh

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