June 1, 2010 I published the last issue (at least for a while) of Girl Talk my teen girl magazine. Since this blog was originally designed for the purpose of publishing weekly devotions for the magazine and later the magazine itself I decided to create another blog that isn’t connected to Girl Talk.

I’ll probably still publish book reviews or other items here now and again but you’ll more often find me at Trusting Him with Today. I hope you’ll stop by

Jun 27, 2010

Never Let You Go Book Review

Book Description

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.

My Review…

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

Girl Talk June 2010

Click on a link to read items from the final issue of Girl Talk.

A Goodbye Note

A Thank You Note

Are You God's Girl?

Dare to Believe

Flash Forward Dawn & Elaine

Graduation... A 20 Year Perspective

Publisher's Note

Miss Shanice Simmons

Miss Lachante Williams

Reflections... A Mother's Perspective

Ten Things a Girl Needs

What's on Your Voicemail?

Thank You

Goodbye... it's never been something I enjoy saying. However, this month I say goodbye after ten years to my teen girl magazine. As I say farewell I'd just like to send a few shout outs to those who have helped along the way...

To those who have assisted through finances, writing articles, editing, stapling, folding or simply sending an encouraging email, thank you and may God bless you always.

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 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.

A Goodbye Note

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.

Denetra Bascomb

GT June 2010

Jun 14, 2010

Graduation... A 20 - Year Perspective

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 hard labor school, pushy dedicated teachers and, interfering concerned parents prepare us for life?

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

Flash Forward - Dawn & Elaine

Left, two three, right, two three… Heads held high, shoulders squared, faces wreath in smiles they marched in unison.

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

A Mother's Perspective...Goodbye

by Cleora Williams

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

Spotlight on Shanice Simmons

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.

Dare to Believe

Author Unknown

Everybody Knows:
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

Spotlight on Lachante Williams

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

Ten Things a Girl Needs

1. a place to belong

2. a sense of purpose…

3. chocolate ~at least once per month~

4. dreams / goals…

5. family…

6. parental guidance…

7. true friends…

8. unconditional love…

9. wise counselors…

10. A relationship with Jesus Christ

GT June 2010

What's on your voicemail?

By Wendyann Rolle, class of '07

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

Are You God's Girl?

G- giving
O – original
D – discerning
‘S- sincere

G – generous
I –industrious
R – reliable
L - loyal

GT June 2010

Publisher's Note

Dear Young Lady,
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…

God bless,
Bernadine J. McIntosh

GT June 2010

Jun 3, 2010

It doesn't matter...

Have you ever taken a physical blow? Hit your finger? Stubbed your toe? It hurts doesn’t it? When you’re physically in pain you simply want to curl up in a ball until the pain goes away.

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.

An blessed is he...

I'm over here today.

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.

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