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
Aug 30, 2010
I love that the book sometimes asks questions… almost like an imaginary interview like, “Joseph, did you and Jesus arm wrestle.” Sections like that made me smile because I enjoy thinking of our biblical heroes as men and women just like us.
I silently cheered are I read about Mephibosheth… to go from having nothing, living in the shadows to sitting at the kings table.
As I read through the book each chapter and each character presented had something that tugged at my heartstrings, inspired me or simply made me reflect on my life and spiritual walk.
I like the fact that each chapter of the book ended with questions for reflections and discussion because it made me dig a little deeper into God’s word.
I love Max Lucado’s conversational style of writing and thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Aug 23, 2010
As I sat there frustrated and just a tad bit upset, I heard that still, small voice saying, “read the instructions.” So I pulled out the instructions (like I should have done in the first place.) As I looked at the instructions I realized that I was trying to feed the paper through the wrong end. Yep, I went through at least 15 minutes of frustration because I was too impatient to take two minutes and read the instructions.
“If you want to know the purpose of a thing, you ask the manufacturer. Dr. Myles Munroe
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Jeremiah 29:11 KJVSo many times in life we experience frustrations because we don’t want to take the time to see what the instruction manual says. Every problem we will ever encounter God has addressed in the instruction manual he left us called the Bible. Unfortunately, many times we just skim the surface and don’t really internalize his word. However, the only way we will really have a meaningful relationship with God and understand what His purpose is for our lives is if we take time out of our busy schedules to study his word.
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15 KJVMy prayer today is that I would not try to navigate life on my own strength but that I would always consult the instruction manual that the creator has left in place for me. It makes life so much easier.
Previously published at Laced With Grace August 23, 2007.
Aug 3, 2010
Jul 8, 2010
For just a moment the old anger, hurt and resentment rose up inside. The reasons and explanation regarding my decision had all been explained, discussed, dissected and discarded by others as trivial, including him. Did I want to even try to explain again? Yet, I wanted to be understood. I wanted to know that somebody saw my side. I wanted validation that my decision was the right one.
"The innate desire to defend myself battled fiercely with the voice of the Holy Spirit speaking softly to my heart.
"Be still, the battle is not yours."
Read the rest of my post in the latest issue of Sanctified Together.
Jun 27, 2010
Lexi lives in the shadow of choices her husband made. Especially Grant’s choice to leave seven years ago, without a word. Her relationship with their daughter, Molly, is now the most important thing in her life. Lexi will do anything—work grueling hours, attend church on her only day off, sacrifice financially—just to see Molly smile.
When Grant shows up declaring his intent to re-enter their daughter’s life, Lexi is skeptical of his motives. She soon determines not to let him near Molly. Then a drug dealer named Warden arrives on Lexi’s doorstep, demanding payment of Grant’s old debts.
But that's just the earthly perspective. Staggering supernatural events are spilling into her world in real and shocking ways. Hell's fury is great, but Heaven's power is greater still. In a novel that defies easy categorization, this has all the early buzz of the breakthrough read of 2010.
I’m a lover of Christian fiction and I’m always on the lookout for new authors. This was my first time reading a book by Erin Healy and I enjoyed it. The fact that it had a plot somewhat revolving around spiritual warfare reminded me of some of Frank Peretti’s popular books. The book also has the theme of forgiveness woven through it reminding us that that we empower the enemy when we choose not to forgive. This book kept my attention from cover to cover and I wouldn’t mind reading more from this author.
Jun 16, 2010
Click on a link to read items from the final issue of Girl Talk.
A Goodbye Note
Are You God's Girl?
Dare to Believe
Flash Forward Dawn & Elaine
Graduation... A 20 Year Perspective
Miss Shanice Simmons
Miss Lachante Williams
Reflections... A Mother's Perspective
Ten Things a Girl Needs
What's on Your Voicemail?
To my girls who let me “stalk” you with my camera, thank you for humoring me.
To my readers… you have caused me to grow in my writing, my thinking and my walk with God… thank you.
To Sabrena my longest international reader… see you in the Bahamas again after your college graduation…
To my bloggy buddies, thanks for your sweet comments and encouragement on my girltalk related posts.
Love you all,
Farewell, God knows when we shall meet again.
Girl Talk Magazine has been an inspiration to me. When my mother brought them home my sister and I would fight each other to get one.
In this magazine there are different issues that teen girls encounter in their every day life. This magazine has taught Christian values and also it gave me motivation when I saw what other young women accomplished with the help of God. It helped me to know that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Thank you Ms. McIntosh for your inspiring magazine.
GT June 2010
Jun 14, 2010
Reach out and touch somebody's hand
Make this world a better place if you can
Twenty years. That’s how long it has been since the graduating class of 1990 sang Reach Out and Touch Somebody’s Hand at our high school graduation. I can still remember that night, how excited we all were. We were saying goodbye to the last vestige of our childhood and moving on into the world of adulthood, with adult decisions, adult responsibilities and less parental guidance.
I remember the excitement as we walked across the stage for our diplomas, awards and trophies. There were hugs, laughter, tears and promises to keep in touch as we said goodbye. That night our class of almost 300 shone brightly with possibilities. Each of us had goals and dreams of our own. The world was ours to conquer. We could not be defeated.
There was no way life could ever be as difficult as our parents said it was. We were prepared for whatever obstacles we encountered after all we were the “Mighty Hawks, Class of the Decade”. Didn’t twelve years of
How overly confident and arrogant we all were not realizing how much our parents shielded us from. However, I’m grateful that they didn’t allow us to take on the responsibilities of being an adult just because we thought we were ready. Instead they tried to train us to make good choices, to want the best for our lives, to not be lazy, to become productive citizens.
So I say to you class of 2T10, the road to your dreams will never be as obstacle free as you would like it to be. But dreams are attainable if you’re willing to put time and effort into achieving them.
You’ll find that sometimes you have to make decisions that are tough and not always popular. Lean on those you trust for advice but remember that ultimately you have to live with the choices you make.
Also, there will be times when you’ll feel as if you’re back on the high school campus as you interact with different personalities. However remember that while life isn’t always fair, God is.
Finally, shine where ever you go. You may not accomplish every goal you have according to your time schedule but don’t ever give up on your dreams. Remember that God is the ultimate dream giver and if you trust in Him he will bring your dreams to pass.
GT June 2010
They had made it. They had seen many who started with them give up saying it was too hard. They too had battled against the desire to simply throw in the towel and say, “I can’t do this. I quit.” But, they didn’t. Against all odds, after many sleepless nights and countless other sacrifices they were graduating.
As they took their seats Dawn, took the tissue one of her classmates handed her to wipe the tears she hadn’t even realize were rolling down her cheeks. She whispered a thank you as she felt her neighbor on her other side squeeze her hand. They all knew how much this moment meant to Dawn. They had started this journey together and had become fast friends as they encouraged each other to “stay the course no matter what.”
In the audience, Dawn’s dad smiled while he too wiped away a tear. Next to him Dawn’s younger brother and Elaine, Dawn’s best friend from kindergarten beamed with pride as they thought about how much Dawn had accomplished. Elaine remembered how she and Dawn completed their bachelors’ degree together several years earlier after which Dawn had gone to medical school. Elaine had done her degree in Accounting and was now a CPA and employed at a large resort. Elaine knew this moment was a bitter-sweet one for her friend and quietly whispered a heartfelt, “God please give her strength.”
“… and now we’ll have our Valedictorian speech by ….”
Dawn stood up as she heard her name and shakily made her way to the podium. She stood for a moment hands trembling, then began to speak gaining strength as she went.
There’s so much strength in all of us
Every woman child and man
It’s the moment that you think you can’t
You’ll discover that you can
“I quoted that verse of Celine Dion’s song,” Dawn began “because I honestly didn’t think I had the strength to stand before you tonight. However, in the moment when I thought, I can't” you – my family and friends- offered me a shoulder to lean on.
I feel honored and proud to be standing here tonight representing a group of students who have become like family.
I decided that I wanted to become a doctor when I was in high school and my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Thankfully, by God’s grace she beat the odds and was there for my high school graduation and my pre-med graduation. I thought she would be here for my graduation from medical school but it was not to be. Just a two week ago my mom died from the very disease I hope to help find a cure for one day.”
As Dawn spoke, the tears began to flow down her cheeks and that of many of her classmates. “I had speech prepared,” Dawn said, “and for those of you who would like to read it I will post it online. However in lieu of my speech tonight I would simply like to say in honor of my mom.”
Life is short
Live, love, laugh, forgive
Make a difference where ever you go.
And, don’t forget that Jesus Christ, the great physician should always be first in your life.
To our family and friends, especially my dad, thank you for being there with us, for believing in us and never giving up on us. We love you and appreciate you... class of 20—We did it! Thank you Lord!!!
The entire audience stood to their feet and erupted into applause as Dawn, face now sporting a huge smile walked to her seat…
(The end? Or is it the beginning?)
(This story is strictly fictional; any resemblance to persons living or dead is completely coincidental)
GT June 2010
Jun 13, 2010
It was a Saturday afternoon about five years ago when Bernadine (GT’s founder) stopped by for a visit that actually lasted a few hours. While there she referred to an article in her latest issue of girltalk and asked, how I would feel if dropped my daughter off to an afternoon class and she went off with her boyfriend.
Mortified I replied “Mad” and I went off on quite a tangent as I expressed many emotions: Anger, disappointment, grief and disbelief. Maybe it’s because my daughter was only twelve at the time I could not fathom something like that. She (my daughter) spoke up and said “but Mummy I ain’t do nothing, why you rowing me?” Ms. Mcintosh, of course was quite tickled by my tirade and asked me write what I had just said. And so began my sojourn with girltalk, writing the column A Mother’s Perspective…
Each issue of girltalk that I contributed to, I tried to write an article that I believe could make a difference. At times I scolded, or gave advice and tried to get young ladies to think of relevant issues. But most of all I tried to remind young ladies of how precious they are to God.
And so as the final curtain falls for girltalk (for a while at least), I want to share some advice with you that I shared with Ms. Bernadine McIntosh when she graduated from high school.
“I know you thought it was not ever going to end, but it did. I have news for you young ladies, you have only just begun. Remember to always keep your eyes on God and he will lead you safely through everything. Stay sweet and always stay with God, he won’t leave you or forsake you, he’ll always be there no matter what time it is or what your problem is.
And so with this final issue of girltalk I want to express my sincere gratitude to Bernie (my cousin) for allowing me to express myself via her magazine. And to my girltalk audience I hope that I have deposited something positive into your life through at least one issue of girltalk.
Remember ladies you are fearfully and wonderfully made by God, you are precious to him; your price is far above rubies and you CANNOT be bought. I love you, Jesus loves you, do well be blessed.
Congratulations Lachanté on being one of the spotlight teens for this issue, and your graduation from Jack Hayward School; you have come a long was baby.
Kudos!!! Jack Hayward’s class of 2T10: Lachanté, Bria Comfy, Twinkie, April, Joineé and all the beautiful, well mannered ladies from Jack Hayward. Good luck to all the young ladies who are leaving high schools on the island.
Jun 10, 2010
Smart, courageous, determined… these are just a few of the terms that were used to describe this young lady to me. I have yet to meet her but she came highly recommended and I know she definitely fits the profile of a Girl Talk Spotlight Teen and role model.
Eighteen year old Shanice Alexandria Simmons is the out-going Deputy Headgirl at Sunland Baptist Academy. She is an honour roll student graduating with a 3.7 grade point average.
Shanice has 5 BJC’s passed with 2As and 3B’s. She is currently taking her BGCSE’s one of which she had to take in the hospital due to ill health. Ironically, Shanice also had to take one of her BJC’s in the hospital. However, this teen refuses to let anything keep her down and faces whatever challenges she encounters with a smile.
Shanice is active in school and church activities including, Soccer, Governor General’s Youth Award, Choir, and Youth Ministry.
How do you manage to maintain such excellent grades? I prioritize my time.
What is your favorite high school memory? Receiving Deputy Head Girl
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Hanging with my friends
Who inspires you and why? My parents are my inspiration because they remind me that they are working hard for me to have it easier than they did. This motivates me to make them proud and also make myself proud so their efforts won’t be fruitless.
What are your plans for the future? I plan to study Medicine at UWI to become a Pediatric Nephrologist.
What played a role in you making this choice? After many years of travelling abroad to see doctors I aspire to become the first Pediatric Nephrologist living in the Bahamas.
What are your plans for your first summer as a high school graduate? Sleep, eat shop and travel...It’s been long school year.
What are some of the difficulties you have faced in life? How have they helped you to grow into the person that you are? At the age of two I was diagnosed with a kidney defect (Minimal Change Disease). It has helped me to be independent because I do not let my family or friends treat me any different than anyone else. It has also helped me to be compassionate especially when I see someone in pain. The reason I want to become a doctor is because it has helped me to realize obstacles in life will arise but it up to you to overcome it... I realize, ya fail if you don’t try so I rather fail trying... What do I have to lose?
What is your biggest pet peeve? Indiscriminate dumping
What advice would you like to give the class of 2011? You don’t have as much time as you think ...Be ye also ready…
Finish these sentences I smile my biggest smile when … enemies expect me to wear a frown
I often dream about… being successful
God is… the author and finisher of my faith
The world would be a better place if… people would work together and communicate effectively.
My future looks…. Awesome!
GT June 2010
This teen graduated from Sunland Baptist Academy earlier this evening.
You can't be all things to all people.
You can't do all things at once.
You can't do all things equally well.
You can't do all things better than everyone else.
Your humanity is showing just like everyone else's.
You have to find out who you are, and be that.
You have to decide what comes first, and do that.
You have to discover your strengths, and use them.
You have to learn not to compete with others,
Because no one else is in the contest of *being you*.
You will have learned to accept your own uniqueness.
You will have learned to set priorities and make decisions.
You will have learned to live with your limitations.
You will have learned to give yourself the respect that is due.
And you'll be a most vital mortal.
Dare To Believe:
That you are a wonderful, unique person.
That you are a once-in-all-history event.
That it's more than a right, it's your duty, to be who you are.
That life is not a problem to solve, but a gift to cherish.
And you'll be able to stay one up on what used to get you down.
GT June 2010
If you meet this issue’s spotlight teen the first thing you’d probably notice is her radiant smile. If her face looks familiar it’s because her photos have appeared regularly in Girl Talk since she was about 12 years old. This issue’s spotlight teen is the delightful, graceful, fun loving and intelligent Lachante Naomi Williams.
Lachante is a seventeen year old 12th grade honor roll student and prefect at Jack Hayward High School. She has big dreams for her future and along with 6 BJC’s she has passed 5 BGCSE’s in 11th grade all with C and above which already qualifies her for a government scholarship. Lachante plans to study at College of the Bahamas and earn a degree in Electrical Engineering.
This active teen keeps busy with several extracurricular activities. She has been a dedicated member of the Zion Baptist Marching band for over six years. During that time she has been awarded Band Member of the Year and Section Leader. She plays the clarinet and saxophones and also teaches these instruments to new band members.
Lachante also loves to dance and participates in – Tap, Gymnastics, Ballet, Hip-Hop and Jazz. In her free time she enjoys listening to music, playing music, reading or just relaxing.
What would you like to tell the class of 2011? Grade 12 ends quicker than any other, after that crazy period of coursework and whatever else is driving you crazy, there is a lot of free time on your hands, use it wisely.
Who inspires you and why? My mother inspires me the most because she is truly a phenomenal woman and the best mother she could possibly be. I've watched her make sacrifices, struggle and stand up for what she believes in and this inspires because I want to be strong and determined like her some day.
What are you looking forward to as you leave high school? Learning more on my own and experiencing a new sense of freedom.
What advice have you been given that you will always remember? I was told that accidents happen and mistakes are made, but that does not mean I have to give up. My future is in my hands and I have the power to make it what I want it to be.
What are your plans for your first summer as a high school graduate? I plan to chill with my friends before everyone gets split up and go their separate ways and start acting all grown up. I also plan to prepare myself for the lifetime of work ahead of me.
What are some pressures that you have faced as a young lady? There is a long list of pressures I have faced and am facing every day like pressure to smoke, drink, have sex, test homosexuality or bisexuality or even something as simple as people trying to influence what I wear.
How do you stand against peer pressure?
Most of the time, I look at the situation and decide that the possible consequences are not worth it. Also, I just look at the older ladies in my life and ask myself how would they act in this situation or how would they feel if they saw me doing this.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now? I see myself out of college with a master’s degree in engineering. Working with several trades on my side and beginning the process of building my dream home. Basically, just having a wonderful life with friends and family
What is your biggest pet peeve? Listening to the sound of someone chewing ice
If you could have one wish what would it be? To give my family all they ever wanted/needed.
You’ve been appearing in the pages of Girl Talk for several years as a model, what impact has G.T had on your life? For one, it made me more confident, because I was once shy. However, I got used to seeing myself and being seen by others in these magazines. Also, it made me feel like I could actually be a role model and it made me start carrying myself in a way that would make me a suitable role model for others. Being a G.T. model also taught me to be prepared for and to expect the unexpected, because my precious Auntie B. does not seem happy unless she is catching someone in some sort of off guard position.
Finish these sentences…
I smile my biggest smile when... everything in the world feels right for that one second.
I get angry when… I see other people or even me taking things for granted.
I often dream about… food (lol)
God is…All I'll ever need and more.
My future looks… like a blank canvas that I'm ready to create my masterpiece on.
La-Chanté Williams is… specially and wonderfully made with a purpose she will eventually fulfill.
Congratulations to this teen who graduates high school today.
GT June 2010
Jun 8, 2010
1. a place to belong
2. a sense of purpose…
3. chocolate ~at least once per month~
4. dreams / goals…
6. parental guidance…
7. true friends…
8. unconditional love…
9. wise counselors…
10. A relationship with Jesus Christ
GT June 2010
Ring Ring Ring!!!!!!!!!
“Girl, answer your phone it’s ringing.”
“Not your cell phone I mean your spiritual phone. God is calling you! Are you available or will your voicemail pick up?”
"Hey God it’s me, I am busy now living my life and having fun, please leave a message after the beep and when I find some time I will get back to you.”
Believe it or not, this is what we tell God every time we ignore His call. I should know, that used to be the message on my phone.
Sometimes we get caught up in our own affairs and leave God totally out of the equation. Then when we have a problem we expect him to be there right away. We treat him like a spare tire never remembering him until we need Him. However, the Bible says, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you Matthew 6:33
So, as a young lady I have answered God's call and I try to always seek his kingdom first. I must say it wasn't easy I had to give up a few friends and relationships I thought I couldn’t live without. I didn’t do it all at once but gradually with God's help I gave up those things that were hindering me from achieving my full potential in God. In other words, I no longer have a “spiritual voice mail.” When God calls He doesn’t have to ring twice I pick up immediately with a cheerful, “Here I am Lord, I’m available use me.”
So to you that have heard the call I say answer it. God has a plan for your life and you must answer the call in order to fulfill his purpose and reach your destiny. There will be some rough spots along the way but God will turn all things meant for bad around for your good.
GT June 2010
Jun 7, 2010
The year is almost half gone already. Is time speeding up or what?
In case you were wondering, I didn’t put out a March issue of GT so I simply decided to combine the March and June issues hence, the two Spotlight Teens.
If you saw the December issue of Girl Talk you know that after this issue which marks GT’s 10th anniversary Girl Talk will be going on hiatus. I still don’t know whether it’s permanent or temporary but I’m open to whatever God puts in my heart to do.
In thinking about this issue I wondered, “What would I say to my readers if this is to indeed be the final Girl Talk.” I’ll admit it’s a bit hard. You’ve become like family to me. I’ve met many of you, heard your stories, cried with you, celebrated your triumphs, and seen you grow from insecure teenagers to beautiful, confident and ambitious young women.
Then there are those of you I’ve never met in person but who would email me and ask, “When is the next Girl Talk coming out?” When are you going to write about a, b or c? or simply, “I enjoy reading Girl Talk, keep it up.
All of these things have encouraged me to publish Girl Talk over the past ten years. And truly I’ve learned so much from you in the process.
There’s a quote that says, “There are no good-byes, where ever we are, you’ll always be in my heart.” This states just what I feel. You’ll always be in my heart young lady. I’ll always pray for you, celebrate you, cheer you on. I know that there is a woman of excellence inside of you and I trust that you will allow God to work in your heart and life that you will become that godly woman he has predestined you to be.
Since I can’t find the words to say goodbye I’ll simply say, until we meet again, remember God loves you and don’t ever forget how very special you are…
Bernadine J. McIntosh
GT June 2010
Jun 3, 2010
There are some pains worse that physical pain however. I’m talking about the pain inflicted by words. Recently I found myself reeling from the blows of words designed to hurt. For a moment they hit me like actual blows to my chest. That night I found myself crying out to my heavenly father to take away the sting, to help me not to allow hurt to fester inside.
As I prayed I heard the Holy Spirit whisper in words my mother often said to me…
“It doesn’t matter what people say. What does God say?”
What does God say about His children?
God says that…we are the apple of his eye… Zechariah 2:8
God says that…we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus… 2 Corinthians 5:21
God says that…we are His masterpiece… Ephesians 2:10
God says that…we are loved… John 3:16
God says that…we belong to Him…Isaiah 43:1
Thank you Lord, for reminding me that what you say is all that really matters.
The life of John the Baptist has been the focus of my studies lately. In part I’ve been looking at how John ended up in prison for daring to tell Herod that he was wrong to marry his brother’s wife. While in prison John heard about the works of Christ and he sent his disciples to Jesus to ask one simple question, Are you the Christ or should we look for another… (Matt 11:2)
Stop by Laced With Grace to read the rest of my post.
May 10, 2010
I was wondering...
If you were able to go back in time
and talk to yourself
as you graduate from high school,
what would you say?
What advice would you give,
the young, excited, optimistic
you about the future?
-Hoping to use your answers in the last issue of my teen girl magazine.-
Photo credit: Microsoft clipart
May 8, 2010
Is there anything
Is there another voice
As the sweet, tender voice
Is there another smile
May 6, 2010
I'm over here today.
Do stop by to read my post, What's in Your Heart.
May 3, 2010
Apr 27, 2010
In another month I’ll be saying goodbye to my teen girl magazine.
The thing is saying goodbye is hard.
I’ve been publishing Girl Talk since June 2000, almost a third of my life.
I feel like it’s time to take a break I don’t know if it’s six months, one year or forever and therein lies the uncertainty.
How do you say goodbye to something that you didn’t plan on giving up?
My desire remains the same, to reach, encourage, inspire and point young ladies to Christ.
I know my Heavenly father has a plan as to what I should do next and I know He’ll reveal it in His time.
Apr 23, 2010
I was reading the poem recently and for some reason I thought about Abraham and Isaac.
What is the road less traveled? In my opinion, the road less traveled is the road with the tough choices. It’s one that not many people voluntarily choose to go down. It’s the one Abraham chose. Isaac was Abraham’s promised son but Isaac was what God asked of him. Stop by Laced With Grace to read the rest of this post.
I'm over here today.
Apr 15, 2010
Heaven’s Host are standing by
War has been declared
The enemy forces grow in strength
Saints where are your prayers?
This battle is not yet over
The war has just begun
This is no time to slow the pace
Saints we need your prayers!
Heaven’s Host are fighting on your behalf
Their victory depends on you
This is not the time to give up
Saints its time to pray!
It’s time to pray without ceasing
As 1 Thessalonians 5:17 declares
The victory is yours for the taking
Saints let us pray!
I wrote this poem quite a few years ago after reading Frank Peretti's book This Present Darkness. There was a scene in the book where the Hosts of Heaven were fighting demonic forces. However, the Christians were distracted and not praying hence, the angels were getting pummeled because they gained their strength from the prayers of the saints.
The question, “Saints where are your prayers?” uttered from the angel’s mouth stayed with me long after I’d finished the book.
Photo courtesy of www.123rf.com
Apr 5, 2010
Unfortunately, sometimes I treat my life with a little less respect and reverence than I do those movies. As I reflect on my life, the memories roll through my mind like scenes from a movie. However, the scenes are all in fast forward mode.
Read the rest of my post in this issue of Sanctified Together
Mar 31, 2010
“I wonder if Jesus felt that way on Good Friday?”
A few years ago I wrote a post about a terrible, horrible, no good very bad day. However my day was quickly put into perspective by the above comment left by my dear friend Iris. It’s often acted as a spoiler to my bad day “pity parties” because I’d hear in my mind, “I wonder…”
The truth is all of my bad days added up over my lifetime squared could not compare to what Jesus went through on Good Friday.
Betrayed by Judas.
Arrested in the garden.
Deserted by the disciples.
Denied by Peter.
Rejected by the crowd who asked for Barabbas.
An innocent man, crucified between two thieves…
This Easter Week I’m thankful that Jesus’ worst day is the basis of my Salvation. Also, the fact that
6 Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. 7 Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, 8 he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Philippians 2:6-8 (NLT)I’m so humbled that he did that for me, for you, for us.
I don’t know how Jesus felt on Good “Friday but I would like to think that in those final moments on the cross when one of the thieves turned to him and said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."(Luke 23:42) that he felt hope.
Hope that those He came for, died for would one day choose him.
photo credit: lostseed.com
Mar 19, 2010
It’s not that I’m in a hurry to get there but some days I’m homesick. Maybe it’s because I have so many loved ones gone before me that I miss something awful and I long to see their faces, hear their voices feel their hugs…
But, I’m here and they’re there. Their work here is done and it’s now up to me to make sure that this separation isn’t permanent.
8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. 9 Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)
I plan to go there… someday. However, I realize that although salvation reserves a place for me I still have to show up to fill it. That sounds strange, but I’ve been to many events where seats were reserved but no one showed up to fill them.
I have to say no to some things that it seems would be easier to say yes to.
I have to forgive when I want to hold a grudge.
In essence to ensure I fill my reserved place I can’t afford to react the way I use to before I accepted Him. However, on the days when I’m feeling less than Christ like and I make choices that I know does not please my heavenly father I ask for His forgiveness and I remind myself in the words of one of Dottie Rambo’s song,
Too many sunsets lie behind the mountain
Too many rivers my feet have walked through
Too many treasures are waiting over yonder
There's too much to gain to lose.
photo credit: photobucket
Mar 17, 2010
The recipient of this award is supposed to list 10 things that make them happy so here’s my list.
What makes me happy…
1. A perfectly brewed cup of coffee to sip during my morning quiet time
2. Reading a verse in the Bible that seems to be written just for me the exact moment I need it most.
3. Rereading my favorite books.
4. Getting actual snail mail, excluding bills of course.
5. Listening to music
6. Spending time with family and friends.
7. Sharing my faith with others.
8. Writing in my journal, writing poetry, writing…
9. Visiting my favorite bloggers who always brighten my day.
10. Having the assurance that someday, I’ll be going where Jesus is:)
I’d like to pass this award on to these wonderful bloggers who always inspire me.
Iris @ Grace Alone
Alisa @ Faith Imagine
Denise @ Shortybear’s Place
Mar 10, 2010
I wish you enough…
I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com
To a sinner on the street
And told him of Jesus Christ,
Who died on Calvary
When last have you told anyone,
Of God’s love for you and me,
That is so pure and true and good
He gave his best freely
When last have you felt so burdened
For the plight of a lost one
That you could not sleep at night
For interceding for his soul?
When last have you shared,
Your testimony with someone?
To strengthen and uplift him,
And help him to go on?
If I don’t know is your answer,
Then God’s not pleased with you.
For you’re not fulfilling the purpose
For which he’s sanctified you
God wants you to be a witness,
To the sinner on the street,
To the discouraged and disheartened
To whomever you may meet
You cannot keep your mouth closed
And go on your merry way
With no thought of those you pass
Who are on their way to hell
So be a witness for Jesus
Or many souls will be to your charge
Whose lives ended in destruction
Because, you didn’t play your part.
Inspired by Pastor Monvella McIntosh
Mar 8, 2010
Mar 3, 2010
I'm over here today.
Stop by to read the rest of my post.
Feb 16, 2010
It’s been one of those days. So much weigh on my mind and I find myself near to tears for no explainable reason. I want to talk to you, knowing that you are the one person who can possibly understand and lift this burden from my shoulders. I open my mouth but no words come out… I feel guilty for being so concerned about what seems like trivial things when compared to the major disasters and problems that are being experienced by many. But, then I think about it…. Who do I talk to if I don’t talk to you??
Does that prayer seem familiar to you? It’s tough isn’t it, when you have something on your mind that is so important to you but when you compare it to the problems that are going on in the world you feel almost selfish for bothering God with your “little” problem.
Guess what??? God doesn’t see it that way. Whatever is important to you it’s important to Him. He wants you to bring your cares, fears and tears to Him.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their cry. (Ps 34.15)
You matter to God. His ears are listening for your cry.
The problems of the world may be many but they don’t keep God so busy that He doesn’t have time for you.
In the words of this old hymn…
I must tell Jesus all of my trials;
I cannot bear these burdens alone;
In my distress He kindly will help me;
He ever loves and cares for His own.
Elisha Albright Hoffman
Talk to Him.
Cast your cares on Him.
He doesn’t want you to carry those burdens alone.
Feb 4, 2010
Why did this happen at all?
Why this fear?
Why this hurt?
Why this uncertainty and pain?
Why so silent?
Why so distant?
Why aren’t you answering my call?
Why not child?
Why not you?
Why not now?
Why do you fear child?
I am here…
I have a plan for your life
Do not despair
The times when I it seems I am silent
Does not mean I’m not here
The times when it seems you
Can’t see me
Can’t hear me
Can’t touch me
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.
4 Trust in the LORD forever, For in YAH, the LORD, is everlasting strength Isaiah 26:3-4 (NKJV)
Feb 3, 2010
Flexing my superwoman muscles I effortlessly lifted the copier out of the box (yeah, right). By the time I had lifted it halfway to the desk I knew I had made a huge mistake.
Stop by Laced With Grace to read the rest of my post on impatience.
Feb 1, 2010
A Place for Me
Letting Go, Holding On and Moving Forward
Spotlight on Miss Ashlea Archer
What a Girl Wants to Know - Public Speaking
This issue of Girl Talk came out very, very late. However I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to do. But I have decided after much prayer that as of June of this year I will be taking a hiatus from publishing Girl Talk print magazine. Read the Publisher's Note for further information.
Every day is a new challenge. The closer I get to my career goals, the more confronted I am by things that make me feel sometimes intimidated or even frustrated. The blessing is in knowing that others have made this journey and that the mark in time I have made thus far was through faith, hard work and perseverance.
It was five years ago when I first interviewed this courageous young woman. At that time she was a twelfth grader at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School in Marsh Harbour, Abaco Bahamas with an impressive academic record and big plans for the future. Now, twenty-one years old, Ashlea Archer is following the first phase of her college dream at Florida Southern College. Ashlea has faced medical problems both in high school and since she’s started college but she has an indomitable spirit that refuses to give up.
In high school you dreamt of becoming a heart surgeon. Is that still your goal? Yes, that is still my overall career goal. After graduating from high school I was blessed to work at a clinic on Abaco for several months and take part in the Student Temporary Employment Programme (S.T.E.P.) at Doctor’s Hospital. This experience was definitely a driving force for me to continue my journey. The more I saw, the more I felt inspired to be like the outstanding medical officers I shadowed.
How close are you to achieving your goal? I complete my undergraduate degree in Biology/pre-med May 2010. The next step is medical school which can take anywhere from 4-9 years. The time is somewhat extensive because I desire to specialize in pediatric cardiothoracic surgery.
How is college life different from high school?
The difference comes into play when you are faced with the responsibility to remain focused. There is no one to “supervise” your decisions so who you are comes to light as you are faced with adult decisions.
How do you handle being away from your family for extended periods? This is honestly best answered by the fact that I like to keep busy. I am very involved on my college campus and this helps to keep me focused. I also have wonderful friends who have become like family to me. Moreover, my sister has recently joined me at college so I definitely feel closer to home when I am with her.
Was there ever a period when you were not focused? As far as a moment when my focus lapsed, that would have to be second semester of my junior year. I was diagnosed with tumors in my breast and had to have surgery. This was a trying time because it placed physical pain on me as well as a lot of emotional strain on my family. I felt very overwhelmed at times and did my best to attend classes thankfully, my professors were very understanding. Shortly after my surgery one of my best friends died from a medical condition. I felt like my world was crumbling but by the grace of God and support of amazing friends and family that semester is behind me.
What do you do to unwind and have fun? I am really bad at taking breaks. But, I love exploring so I might take a bike ride with my sister if we have a free weekend. Long drives and shopping are also a fun. Also, one of my favorite things to do is sing (and I will be learning to play guitar soon). So, my friends and I can get into a music room and have a jam session, that’s always a great time.
One thing I noticed about you as a teenager was your passion for your faith. Was it difficult to maintain? It was difficult when I tried to walk it out alone. God divinely set friends in my life that have the same goals for spiritual growth that I do. In addition, my sister is also very strong in her relationship with God and she uplifts me in prayer as I do for her.
What advice do you have to encourage young ladies to follow their dreams? Perseverance is critical. My father tells me that a dream cannot become a reality until you wake up and map out a plan. Also, investigate what the qualifications are for your dream. If it is a college/program you may need certain grades, community service hours, letters of recommendation etc. Do not let the work intimidate you instead allow it to motivate you. "You can do ALL things through Christ Jesus!"
“In the last episode I watched, Monk had an opportunity to take a test, which if he passed would help him get reinstated on the police force, something he wants more than anything. Unfortunately for Monk he did not pass the test...” GT Mar/May 04
Fast forward to present day. In the second to last episode Monk finally achieves his aim of getting back on the police force, but guess what, he is totally miserable. The thing he had been working towards for twelve years is now his and he is not happy.
In a scene that made me smile Monk said to his psychiatrist, “I was happy! Why didn’t you tell me I was happy?” This time Monk voluntarily quits the force and goes back to what he enjoyed; being a private detective. The reality of being back on the police force did not live up to the fantasy he had built up in his mind.
If you’ve been reading GT long enough I’m sure you know I found a lesson somewhere in that right?
The lesson…? People achieve a goal, and it is not always what they expect. The picture perfect situation they create in their mind is not the reality they find themselves in. This is because we get so caught up in dreaming about the destination that we forget to enjoy the journey.
Instead we often say,
However, like Monk we eventually realize that happiness is not a destination, a thing or a person it is a daily choice.
What do you choose?
“By perseverance the snail reached the ark.”~ Charles Spurgeon
“You made it!”
“Good to see you!” “
Praise the Lord!”
I can imagine the excitement as the snail probably the last animal to arrive, made its way into the ark. The journey had been long and difficult. There were many obstacles to overcome along the way but finally tired, but excited, by perseverance the snail reached the ark.
The thought that came to my mind as I read the above quote was, a place for me. There were many animals on the ark, tall, short, beautiful, not so beautiful, fast, slow etc. The small, slow seemingly insignificant snail in today’s world may probably have been overlooked. However, there was a special place reserved on the ark just for that snail. The ark was not complete without the seemingly insignificant little snail.
We all feel insignificant sometimes especially around people who seem smarter, more talented, more beautiful or more creative than we are. However, just like there was a place on the ark for the snail there is a place for each of us. God gave each of us talents and special gifts and there is a place in this world for each of us to use them. However, like the snail we have to keep our goals in sight and persevere in spite of whatever obstacles we encounter along the way.
(Previously published on GT’s blog)
GT Magazine Dec '09/Feb '10
December 31, 2009, whew! Where did the year go? The last day of the year is always one of reflection for me. Won’t you join me, for an abbreviated journey? Okay, here we go…
Someone has said or done something, whether deliberately or unknowingly, to wound us this year. On this last day of the year let’s decide to let it go, even if they haven’t acknowledged it.
“…but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, 14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13-14
We all probably entered this year with great expectations. Some of them came to past and some of them are still dreams waiting to be realized. Hold on to them… Let’s go into the New Year holding on to the thought that although our dreams may not be realized when we want them to, surely in God’s appointed time they shall come to past.
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, It will not tarry. Habakkuk 2:3
At some point during this year we may have been less than Christ like and the enemy often tries to bring the memory of past failures to haunt us. However let’s remember the Apostle John’s words and move forward in our walk with God.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9
My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 1 John 2:1 (emphasis mine)
So as we enter 2010 let’s let go of the negative, hold on to positive and move forward into a brand new year with the expectation that the same God who kept us through 2009 will be with us through 2010.
Originally published in at Laced With Grace December 2007 edited for GT Magazine.
The clock marks the passing of time
As it flies like a bird through the air.
Turning seconds to minutes to days
To weeks to months and finally years.
From the minute we take our first breath
Withdrawal of time has begun
The account will remain active
Until our allotted time on Earth is done.
So we must use our time wisely
Add something to our credit each day
The years will come and go like the tide will flow
But we can only reap what we took time to sow
“What are you so happy about?” Elaine replied grumpily.
“Uh oh, someone got up on the wrong side of the bed,” Dawn teased. “Girl, it’s a New Year, in a few months we’ll be graduating, I thought you’d have a smile on your face every day until then.”
“I just didn’t feel like getting out of bed this morning. Do you know how cold it is? It’s inhumane to expect anyone to be out in this. Besides, what are you so happy about?”
“Nothing really, I’m just choosing to be thankful and happy.”
“Uh hmm, Last year I remember one of my “facebook friend’s” did a weekly Thankful Thursday list and tried to get everyone to join in. A lot of other people joined in every Thursday and listed what they were thankful for.”
“Did you?” Elaine asked.
“Nope, you know me, I hate making lists. But reading some of the lists other people wrote inspired me so much I decided this year I would like to try to focus more on the things I’m thankful for. So, I’m just practicing being thankful every day.”
“Sounds like a lot of work to me. What can you find to be thankful for every single day?” Elaine asked.
Sure seems like you can use that today,” Dawn teased. “I can think of ten things right off the top of my head Dawn said,” starting with my mom’s cancer being in remission, that fact that I have only a few months left in high school, my grades being good enough to make the honor roll…
“I guess I can probably think of a few things too Elaine said. But I still don’t feel like it.”
"How about we make a pact to help each other be more thankful this year?” Dawn suggested.
“Sure, I guess we can give it a try” Elaine answered.
“Whenever one of us forgets to be thankful the other says, T squared.”
“T squared?” Elaine said questioningly.
“Thankful Thursday or if it’s not Thursday, Thankful Today,” Dawn replied.
“I like that,” Elaine said, “sort of like a secret code.”
“Uh hmm,” Dawn said then continued, “Lainie…”
“Hey no fair,” Lainie laughed. “You didn’t say we were starting right now. But anyway Dawn, I’m thankful for having a friend like you, who sticks with me even when I’m in a grouchy mood.”
See that wasn’t so hard Dawn said, and I’m thankful for a friend like you too. Now let’s speed up before we freeze our, you know what off.”
The two girls continued walking, laughing and talking the entire way.
This was written originally for Thankful Thursday but I rewrote it for Girl Talk Magazine
1. Know your material – it’s okay to refer to notes or cue cards but know your speech well enough that you’re able to present it without stumbling.
2. Practice, Practice, Practice – The mirror can be your best friend when practicing. Read your speech out loud, practice your gestures, pauses and inflections.
3. Make eye contact – Don’t look down at your notes the entire time. Look around make eye contact with the people you’re presenting to.
4. Engage your audience – ask a rethorical question once in a while. It will get the audience actively involved in what you’re talking about.
5. Be enthusiastic– Let your audience know that you’re passionate about what you’re presenting to them.
Happy New Year! I know this issue usually comes out in December but better late than never right?
I hope that the beginning of this New Year finds you in the best of health and with fond thoughts of God’s many blessings in your life.
January will be almost over by the time you receive this issue and we are now only two issues away from Girl Talk’s tenth anniversary. I still cannot believe how quickly time flies. As of June 2010 I would have been publishing GT for almost a third of my life (there I go giving you an idea of my age). As the old saying goes, all good things must come to an end… or does it?
After June of this year GT will be going on hiatus for a yet to be determined length of time, maybe six months, maybe a year, maybe longer… all in the will of God but we’ll talk more about that over the next two issues.
Hope this year is a great one for you and that you see God bring your dreams and goals to pass as you work towards them. As always young ladies know that above all things you are special and that your heavenly father did not make a mistake when He made you.
Bernadine J. McIntosh
Although GT will be going on hiatus I will still be blogging although I'm considering starting a new blog under a different name...
Jan 22, 2010
Do you still have that godly awe and reverence for God? When His Holy Spirit is nudging you do you obey? I’ll be the first to admit, it’s not always easy to obey, especially if what I’m being asked to do is something that is out of my comfort zone. However, obedience is what God expects, period. Do stop by to read my thoughts on obedience.
Jan 19, 2010
Why is that?
13 .…but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. Philippians 3:12-14 NLT (emphasis mine )
Jan 13, 2010
This song by the Crabb Family had that effect on me this evening and I just wanted to share it with you.
He'll Take You Through
So many times I've questioned certain circumstances
Or things I could not understand
Many times in trials, weakness blurs my vision
And my frustration gets so out of hand
It’s then I am reminded I've never been forsaken
I've never had to stand the test alone
As I look at all the victories
The spirit rises up in me
And its through the fire my weakness is made strong
He never promised that the cross would not get heavy
And the hill would not be hard to climb
He never offered our victories without fighting
But He said help would always come in time
Just remember when you’re standing in the valley of decision
And the adversary says give in
Just hold on, our Lord will show up
And He will take you through the fire again
I know within myself that I would surely perish
But if I trust the hand of God, He'll shield the flames again, again
(The Crabb Family)
Jan 11, 2010
Sanctified Together Publication is filled with inspirational and encouraging articles written by Christian women from various backgrounds. Our prayer is that you are encouraged, inspired and blessed by this publication! Please share it with all the women in your life!!!
To see the Sanctified Together Publication online and read all the inspiring articles, click here. To receive future publications by email, click here.
Be sure to visit Alisa & Crissy the inspiration and driving force behind this new venture.
Jan 7, 2010
An unkind look,
A friend’s betrayal,
A painful loss,
Brick by brick,
The wall was built,
Till no one dared,
To enter in.
Several had tried,
But turned away
Wondering why such beauty
Was locked away
One dared to try
To breech the wall,
To claim the treasure inside
A kind word…
A thoughtful gesture…
A crack appears
A reassuring smile…
A helping hand…
The crack widens
The wall weakens
Behind the wall,
She’d imprisoned herself
From the beauty outside
Love chipping from without
She reaching from within
Destroyed the walls
Freeing the prisoner inside
There she stood…
But oh so hopeful…
Oh so free…
Opened to the world of God’s possibilities
Love had persisted
Love had won
The snare was broken
She had escaped
Because of Love’s saving grace
We have escaped like a bird out of the fowler's snare; the snare has been broken and we have escaped. Psalm 124:7
We build walls for protection but often end up imprisoning ourselves. God did not intend for us to live timidly behind self imposed walls but to boldly and fearlessly embrace His plans for our lives.
Be sure to stop by my friend Iris’ blog on Monday Jan 11. She’ll be starting a series called Living Fearlessly.
Jan 4, 2010
So you took his word as truth
You didn’t even try to do
That which you were predestined to do
You may have been destined for greatness
To have your name shining in lights
Or maybe you were meant to minister
To the wounded and the hurt
You may have been destined to travel
To places near and far
And tell the world of a savior
Who can heal their hurting hearts
But because someone said it can’t be done
You withdrew into yourself
You buried your dreams deep inside
And turned away from God’s call
But you’re still master of your destiny
So just take a leap of faith
And don’t allow discouragement
To cause you to drop out of the race
Jan 3, 2010
Thank you Lord for allowing me to live to see another year
As 2009 drew to a close I decided to do something I don’t really do anymore, that is make a New Year’s resolution.
Usually making New Year’s resolution means setting myself up for failure as I don’t seem to make it past January without going off course but hopefully this year will be different:)
My one New Year’s resolution for 2010…I decided that I’m going to write every single day, in a journal. That doesn’t sound like a big deal I know. But although I always have a journal for my thoughts, I usually write only when then mood strikes me, sometimes every day for a month then not again for a few weeks.
A few hours before midnight on December 31, 2009 I decided to decorate a notebook that I plan to use for my daily thoughts. As I covered it I simply thought, “Lord, what am I going to find to write in this journal every day for an entire year?”
I heard the Holy Spirit whisper… “A year of thankfulness.”
I knew immediately what thoughts were going to fill the pages of my journal. The theme of my journal writing this year will be thankfulness.
Between the pages of that particular journal I won’t reflect on the past or even dream about the future. I will simply record my gratitude for the gift of the present…
As I think about 2009 there are many things that I am thankful for but so many times the painful things are the first to come to mind. However when 2010 comes to a close I will have my year of thankfulness journal as a tangible reminder of God’s goodness towards me.