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

Mar 28, 2009

Walk of Faith

Dear Girls,

I’ve been thinking lately, (yes I do that sometimes:)). I’ve been thinking about you and your walk with God.

A few weeks ago I started writing the series “So I’m a Christian… Now what?”, and I haven’t completed that yet. I do plan to at some point. However, I don’t want my thoughts to seem too simplistic, as if this Christian walk really is piece of cake, because it’s not. There are days when it gets difficult. There are days when you question your faith, and in all honesty, there are days when God seems far away. But, he never promised that we would not experience difficult times in our lives. What he did promise was that He would be with us through them. Hence, those tough days are the days when your walk with God really becomes a walk of faith. When you can’t feel His presence but you know He’s there because He said in His word,

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
As a Christian you will experience different things in your life that sometimes shake your faith. Fortunately, just because it’s shaken doesn’t mean it’s lost. That’s why it’s important in the early days of your walk with God to develop a strong relationship with Him. Talk to Him, spend time in his word and get to know him. I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to really get to know the God you gave your heart to. The stronger your relationship is with him the less likely you are to turn away from him when you experience tough times.

Let’s be like David, one of my favorite biblical characters. When we’re discouraged or facing things in our lives that cause us distress, let’s find our strength in the Lord our God.

David was now in great danger because all his men were very bitter about losing their sons and daughters, and they began to talk of stoning him. But David found strength in the LORD his God.1 Samuel 30:6 (NIV). (emphasis mine)
As always girls, I want you to remember, that your heavenly father loves you with an everlasting love. He loves you so much you are engraved in the palm of His hand. There is nothing you can ever do that will change the way He feels about you. There is nothing that concerns you that does not concern Him. Talk to Him always. Don’t ever give up your relationship with Him. He is the friend that you always want in your corner.

Mar 16, 2009

Girl Talk March/May '09

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


All Work and No Play (story)

A Reason to Hope... After the tears the laughter will come

Group Projects... A Necessary Evil?

Spotlight on Miss Kelli Ashley Armstrong

Ten Things from the Heart of God

You Tell on Yoursel (poem)

You Tell On Yourself

You tell on yourself by the friends you seek,
By the very manner in which you speak
By the way you employ your leisure time,
By the use you make of a dollar and dime

You tell what you are by the way you walk,
By the things of which you like to talk
By the manner in which you bear defeat,
By so simple a thing as how you eat.

You tell what you are by the things you wear,
By the spirit in which your burdens bear,
By the books you choose from the well-filled shelf;
In these ways and more, you tell on yourself

Author Unknown

Group Projects... A Necessary Evil?

What a Girl Wants to Know

“I hate group work!” These four words were punctuated most emphatically by a college student who was at the end of her rope. “Why are there so many group assignments and why can’t everyone just pull their own weight instead of the burden being on one or two people?” She continued slumped down in her chair. The posture and annoyance seemed so familiar I couldn’t help but smile.

I remember encountering similar frustrations when I was in college. However, there’s no getting around it, group work is a part of the college experience that won’t go away. For the most part group projects can be an enjoyable, learning experience if all members are willing to work. You can learn from the different opinions and viewpoints of those in your group.

Sometimes when you work as a group you put together a far more superior project than anything you would have done alone. Those are the enjoyable groups. Unfortunately every group experience isn’t that enjoyable. The difficulties arise when some members are unwilling to do their part. Consequently, the group members who are more serious about their grades end up doing most of the work and carrying the group which really isn’t fair.

Here are a few tips I hope will make your group projects whether it’s college or high school less stressful.

Meet with your group early. If you have a large group chose a leader.

Discuss your project then break it into smaller tasks and assign everyone a task according to their strengths. For example, the person who isn’t very proficient on the computer probably shouldn’t be given the task of typing up the project.

Set a time when the project should be completed. Schedule times to meet and discuss how far everyone has gotten and whether anyone needs help completing their task.

Don’t wait until the day your project is due to try and put it all together.

Sometimes no matter how hard you try some group projects just don’t work out. If you feel as if your grade is at risk because of someone else’s refusal to complete their work let your lecturer or teacher know. There are times when grades may be assigned based on what each person contributes to the project so be sure that you do your part.

Ten Things...From the Heart of God

By Cleora Williams

In a previous article I wrote ten things from a mother’s heart. However in this article I want to highlight a few things from the heart of God, the ultimate parent.

God wants you to be successful in every area of your life. He thinks that you are extraordinarily special. The good thing about it is He did not leave you guessing how to live a successful life. It’s in His word. I’d love to share a few verses to show you young ladies just how special you are to God.

How special are you to God?

1. Jeremiah 1:5 – Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart. (NIV)

2. 1 Peter 2:9 – You are a chosen people a royal priesthood, a holy nation and you belong to God. (NIV)

Is God concerned about your future?

3. Jeremiah 29:11 – 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)

4. III John 2 – Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers. (NKJV)

5. Proverbs 16:3 – Commit to the Lord whatever you do and your plan will succeed. (NIV)

Nowadays with so much conflict issues among our youth, God offers a way out:

6. Proverbs 15: 1 – A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (NIV)

7. Proverbs 4: 1- Listen my sons\daughters to a fathers\mothers instruction; pay attention and gain understanding.

Here are reasons why you should acknowledge God.

8. Ecclesiastes 12:1 - Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not (KJV)

9. Proverbs 3:5 -6- Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy path. (KJV)

10. Matthew 6:33 – But seek first His kingdom and his righteousness, and all things will be given to you. (NIV)

As always young lady, remember that you are a priceless gem wonderfully made by God.

Spotlight on Kelli Ashley Armstrong

Kelli Ashley Armstrong is a nineteen year old future Environmental Engineer, currently in her last year in Chemistry programme at the College of the Bahamas. She enrolled in College of the Bahamas in August of 2006 after graduating with honours from Sunland Baptist Academy in June of 2006 with 7 B.J.Cs 7 B.G.C.S.Es and several academic awards and merits.

Kelli is a very industrious, ambitious and friendly young lady. She is a lover of music and plays several instruments. She started playing piano when she was only four years old and since then also started playing guitar and flute. For Kelli music is a way to escape when she’s feeling overwhelmed. This talented, musically inclined teen not only plays music but sings and writes music as well. Her pet peeve is, hearing more experienced people say, “the real world” when talking to high school students, as if they’re living in a fake one.

How is college life different from high school?
In college you really learn not only what it means to be independent, but responsible. Unlike high school, there is no one ‘running behind you’ telling you to go to class, or do your homework. So, with all the freedom I now have, I really have to use my time wisely. With so many other things going on around me, it is too easy to get distracted and fall behind.

Was it difficult to achieve the excellent grades you got in high school when you went to college?
Definitely! As the end of the semester approaches, the intensity of the work load steadily increases requiring more and more effort – which I wasn’t applying right away, so when I noticed that I was achieving mediocre grades, I knew I was capable of much better. Staying focused really isn’t easy. With the material I’m required to study it’s very easy to get overwhelmed but when I do I take a break and remind myself that whatever I’m doing today is necessary to get me where I want to be tomorrow.

How have you changed since you finished high school?
I’ve matured since high school. I’ve grown to be more responsible and independent and definitely more appreciative for my blessings as a result of what I’ve been exposed to since then.

What are some pressures that you have faced?
No matter where you go there is always peer pressure, but I can honestly say that peer pressure never really got the best of me. The things that everyone else was doing always really annoyed me because I support individuality. So I just encourage others to be themselves.

What are some of your hobbies?
Lately I’ve gotten into modeling. I’ve always loved going to the beach, and spending quality time with my family and friends, but I also enjoy my alone time which I often use to practice my music. I play several instruments, a few of which I own – a flute, a piano and a classical guitar.

How can young ladies like you make the world a better place?
I guess a good start would be starting with yourself, realizing that you can always be better person and work on those things to improve your whole being; and then, we can encourage others to do the same. The world needs change but changing the world starts with ourselves.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would cut my hair. My dad and my brother won’t let me. :)

Is there anyone in your life you can always count on?
Jesus never fails! My two favorite people on earth are my sister and my brother. Whenever I need something (which is often) I can always call on one or the other (or both) J

Where do you go or what do you do when you get really angry?
I try not to let things upset me because to me being angry is wasted energy that can be used for something more worth my time. But on the rare occasions that I do get really upset I scream in a pillow to let it all go.

Where do you want to be in five years?
If I’m done with university by then, I’d like to work with a few organizations like the Water and Sewage Corporation, the Solid Waste Management Development Company and the Ministry of Environment, to gain experience in my field then establish my own consulting firm.

What is the most important thing that you would like young ladies to remember about you after reading this article?
That I’m a young lady just like them and I’m driven, I hope that I inspire them to follow their dreams and persevere when the way is unclear!

All Work and No Play

Hello,” Shaunna said absently into the phone. “Sorry, I’m not going to the concert tonight,” she said in response to a question from her friend on the other end. “Because I’m studying!” she continued as her friend persisted in questioning her. “Have you forgotten we have BGCSE exams in less than two months?”

“But Shaunna,” Kaylin exclaimed, “Can’t you take your nose out of the books for just one evening? This is our senior year. We are supposed to be having fun! You know what they say about all work and no play…”

“Yeah, it means I get A’s and “B’s instead of the grades I got on the ones I took last year,” Shaunna responded to her friend’s persistent effort to get her to go out. “Maybe if I had spent a little more time studying and less time doing other things I would have gotten better grades.”

“Girl what are you talking about? What’s wrong with the grades you got? Do you know how many people wish they could say that they passed five BGCSEs in the eleventh grade and they have a 3.5 grade point average? You have nothing to complain about.”

“I thought it was okay last year too,” Shaunna said unhappily, “But last year, both of my parents were working and I thought they would have no problems paying my college tuition. Now, since Daddy got laid off I’m not so sure. At least if I can get rid of those two D’s I should be able to get a Scholarship to College of the Bahamas.”

“Why are you stressing about that now?” Kaylin asked a little annoyed with her friend. “You know your parents are going to make sure you go to college.”

“You know what, just in case they can’t, I’m going to do my part. After all it’s my future and I want to be sure there’s a college degree in it. Besides we went to the movies last Friday night and the Bowling Alley the week before. I think I need to study tonight. Why don’t you come over and we can study together, I have some old Geography and Math papers we can go over before our BGCSE tutoring class tomorrow.”

“Sorry girl,” Kaylin said, not sounding sorry at all. “I can’t spend Friday night going over Math and Geography when everyone is meeting up at the concert. I’ll call you tomorrow and tell you all about it.” On at note she said goodbye and went to get dressed for the concert.
“I wonder if I should take a break and just go and have fun tonight?” Shaunna thought to herself after hanging up the phone. “I have been studying a lot…”

“What would you do? There isn’t going to be a conclusion to this story, this is just something to make you think whether you’re a senior about to take BGCSEs or a ninth grader about to take B.J.Cs, what takes priority in your life, studying or fun?.

*B.J.C - Bahamas Junior Certificate

** BGCSE- Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education


A Reason to Hope

After the tears the laughter will come...

Tori looked longingly at the bottle of prescription pills belonging to her father. "Death has to be better than this,” she thought. “I’m tired of feeling this way. Life just doesn’t seem to be worth it. No one understands how I feel. I just don’t want to live anymore…”

A few days ago I listened to the news that less than two months into a New Year three people in the Bahamas had committed suicide and two others had attempted suicide. This was unheard of a few years ago. Is this the trend for 2009? I pray not.

Let’s be real, to put it bluntly, life sucks sometimes. (Uh hmm I actually went there) Things happen that hurt you, people disappoint you, life sometimes completely overwhelm you and just when it seems like a bad day can’t get any worse guess what, it sometimes does. However even when you seem to be having the worst day of your life, suicide is not the answer.

Suicide is not the answer no matter how many unfair things may have happened to you, and they do sometimes. There is never a justifiable reason to take your own life. If you even think about suicide, talk to your parents or a trusted adult. Seek help and be willing to accept it. Try to live beyond your point of pain.

“But I would never, ever think about suicide,” you may be thinking. Well, you may never consider suicide but what if a friend confides in you? My advice, ALWAYS TELL! You are not equipped to deal with this kind of burden, BREAK THE TRUST! You may save your friend’s life.

It takes more courage to decide go on when you feel like life, family, friends and sometimes even God has not met your expectations than it does to “end it all” But, I promise you, it will get better. Psalm 30:5b states:

Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
It seems unthinkable when you’re going through bad times to fathom that it will actually get better but it will. One day after the tears our heavenly father promises that the laughter will come… don’t lose hope.

Mar 15, 2009

Rachel's Daughters

A few weeks ago I got a invitation to speak to a teen girl group and although a little nervous I readily agreed. I had not met the founder of the group before so the evening I was scheduled to speak I arrived about 15 minutes early. I met Mrs. Mather, the founder of the group who greeted me like an old friend and and a smiling teenager, whom I already knew setting up the room. They were both so welcoming that I immediately felt quite at home.

In no time at all, the girls began to arrive and the meeting began.

One of the things they did before I spoke was a self concept exercise. Mirrors had been hidden under all the chairs prior to the meeting. Everyone had to look in the mirror and then discuss the importance of how we all saw ourselves.

Not to long afterwards it was time for me to speak. By that time I felt quite at home and stood up without my knees knocking together too much. Well my skirt covered it anyway so no one noticed. I hope... I spoke for about 25 minutes and the theme of my lesson was, "Becoming the Girl of His Dream" The His being our heavenly father. The very first verse I quoted was Jeremiah 29:11

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.

I had no idea when I was preparing my lesson that it was actually the theme verse for the Rachel's Daughters group.

Listening intently

Have you ever met a teacher who didn't enjoy giving tests? Well I warned the girls in advance that I love to give tests. This young lady received a copy of the Girl Talk Quiet Time Journal for being able to state the three main points of my lesson.

More gifts given by Madelyn, one of the group mentors.

The phone card was a bigger hit than the chocolate bar:)

And before you know it the evening was over. Thanks for inviting me ladies. I had a lovely time.

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