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
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...