Friday, April 29, 2011

Practical Proverbs - A Chapter a Day Challenge

Most things done well require discipline; the Christian life is not exempt from this.
One aspect that requires discipline is Bible reading. The Bible is God's word and in order to get to know Him and how to live, we've got to read it. After reading, we must apply it to our lives to reap the benefit. After all, we know too many people who can quote the Bible, but their lives do not reflect its application.

I wanted to challenge myself, as well as you dear reader to read the Bible daily. One of the best places to start is the book of Proverbs. With thirty one (31) chapters - one chapter for each day of the month - this book is the perfect addition to any daily reading. Proverbs talks about every imaginable basic aspect of life - love, parenting, money, sex, God, relationships. It instructs on business, public policy, government, and family. It’s the best counsel in the whole world and it's free! (Luis Palau, Changed by Faith, 2011)

Here's how the challenge will work:
• I'll post a link to the chapter for that day - (I will not post the chapter)
• After reading each chapter, I will highlight passages and provide potential application or examples from my life or both.
• We will do this for the month of May.

I am entering this challenge prayerfully, with the expectation that new things will be learned that will make us better people.

Won't you join me? (Please leave a comment, if you're committing to the challenge).

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Fear Factor

Yesterday on the way home from picking up my youngest we had a little incident, that left me perplexed initially.

My daughter was whining, as is usually the case after a long day – and finally to appease her, I offered her a bottle of water. She snatched the bottle out of my hand and I said, “Give it back; don’t snatch.”
She immediately said, “I’m sorry, I didn’t know my hand was going to snatch it…,” and starts to cry.
I said, “How could you not know your hand is going to snatch? You control your hand…it’s OK; just don’t snatch when someone is giving something to you.”

I thought it was over, as I was now listening to music and singing. I soon realize she’s still crying.
“Why are you still crying?” DRUMROLL……”I’m afraid of you!” Incredulous I replied, “You’re afraid of me!”
I must say, her response stopped me in my tracks – who wants their child to be afraid of them?

I told her she doesn’t need to be afraid of me, but she’s not perfect and it’s my job as a parent to correct her when she does something wrong. I know my tone isn’t always loving (and this is something I’ll work on till I die), but correction is necessary. I said, “If I didn’t correct you, you would be like those bratty children that no one wants to be around. As it’s not pleasant for you, it’s not for me either. This is how God is with us – when we do something wrong, he has to correct/discipline us so that we can grow; if not we’ll continue doing the same thing over and over again.”

She understood my explanation.

Initially I was taken aback by the fear factor, but the more I thought about it the more appropriate it seemed. Fear is necessary but it’s not the basis of the relationship; if fear makes a child obedient, so be it. As a child grows, they recognize that you don’t need to be fearful, but to be respectful because as a parent you have demonstrated to them over time that you have their best interest at heart.

Disclaimer – If you’re abusing your children in any form, that’s a warranted, yet totally inappropriate fear on the child’s part. Please seek help if this is the case.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Songs That Inspire as I Run

One year my family gave me an iPod for Christmas and I must say that is one of the best gifts I have received. I'm a loner - so I'll take long walks, or run by myself and I looooove having my music to inspire me. I don't discriminate when it comes to music - if it sounds good, has wholesome and uplifting lyrics, and it moves me then its on my iPod! (I guess I do discriminate, since there's a whole lot that don't meet this criteria).

I thought I'd share with you some of my favorites:

How Great Thou Art - my favorite version is by Sandi Patti, but Carrie Underwood recently performed it and received a standing ovation.

Anything by The Winans:
I'm Not Worried...
Trust In God

I Know My Redeemer Lives - Nicole Mullen

Encourage Yourself - Donald Lawrence & the Tri-City Singers

He'll Do It Again - By Shirley Caesar

I Get on My Knees - Jaci Velasquez

There's more; I have additional genres besides gospel.

As I listen, the miles add up and I'm refreshed emotionally and spiritually.

What do you listen to as you workout?

Friday, April 22, 2011


Today is Earth Day, Good Friday and my daughter's birthday. When my daughter was born on this day, I had no idea Earth Day existed; so do your part to save the Earth but more importantly honor the one who made the Earth.

Good Friday - what was good about it? In a nutshell, someone died for you, so that you can have eternal life. That someone was Jesus. Can you name anyone who would die for you? I can't; only Jesus did.
So as my Jamaican compatriots would say: Big up di real BIG Man Jesus...who else would die for you???

Friday, April 15, 2011

Victorious Living & Maturity

Initially, these two things seem totally unrelated - they can be but often times they overlap. As a believer in Christ you are required to grow - it is only then you will continue to reap the fruits of salvation. Think about it - as a baby you are cute and provided for; all your needs are met. But as you physically grow, you mentally grow also. You begin to realize that you can think; that thoughts lead to actions; actions have consequences; and your beliefs determine your actions. You wouldn't get here if you didn't grow. We must grow.

We can live a victorious life, but only with Christ. Many have tried without Christ, but they come out empty. O they have wealth, fame, investments – but they still feel that something is missing. That something is Someone. That Someone is God, Christ, The Holy Spirit – 3 entities in one that are available to you just for asking, believing and living in a way that He wants you to live. The only way to know how to live is to read his word the Bible. Too many say I’m a follower of Christ, yet their life choices do not bear this out.

Just because some people are old, does not mean they mature.
Maturity allows you to see things with a broader perspective, accept things for what they are; know when to hold them and when to fold them; love more, enjoy more.
Bitterness can rob you of maturity; envy can rob you of it; so can hate, jealousy, and cowardice.

Grow in Christ, that you may have all things (that God has for you) and in all things abound!

See they do go together!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

A Godly Smack!

Has God ever smacked you up side the head?
Have you ever been so caught up in your circumstances, that you don't see how He's working and then he gobsmacks you and and you're left humbled?
Well this happened to me with three instances in one day, which I'd like to share with you:

1. I went on an interview last week that I did not approach positively. I practically knew I was not going to be a good fit before I got there. (Kinda makes you wonder why I went). Anyhow, as the interview progresses - they are impressed with me and say "I've set the bar very high!" Let's see how this turns out.

2. A friend of mine recently had a baby girl that was born deaf (I don't remember the specific name of the medical condition). The doctors told them that she would be deaf for life and would need hearing aids and assistance. The whole family had started to learn sign language. She asked me to pray for her and I've prayed since I found out. I got a call mid-morning from the mother, saying that they went to the doctor earlier this week and her deafness has been reversed; she can hear. The doctors were puzzled as to how this could happen based on her initial diagnosis.
I nearly cried in my office, I was so happy.

3. Currently, I'm on a long term full-time assignment. I was told in February that I would have two more months. Since the beginning of April I've been gearing up for my last day, though I have no idea when that is. My boss wanted to speak with me; I anticipated the worse. She proceeds to tell me that she has another assignment that she wishes to give me.

By the third event, all I could say was praise God. Lord, you're teaching me that you are in control of all things - big and small and that I should trust you.

Thank you Lord for the smack up side the head!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


My day did not get off to a good start because I didn't want to wake up and lingered in bed, woke up late, and I didn't have my quiet time with God this morning. As a substitute, I tried listening to a pastor I like; while he was good this was not the same as spending time for myself. It's like smelling chocolate when you really want to taste it.

On the way in to work, I was listening to Bethany Hamilton's story/testimony. She's the young lady whose arm got bitten off by a shark while surfing - three days later she was surfing again. I didn't know this about her - but she's a serious Christian - she's 20, she's kept her purity, and God's purposes are being worked out in her life.

Perspective - when you're looking at something up close you can't always tell what it is, you have to step back.

With that in mind Bethany holds on to Jer 29:11 - so when you're going through something you can't always tell that God was working, but when you step back - WHOA - you can see the hand of God.

I needed that reminder this morning as I was feeling out of sorts, on my way to another day at a pointless job.

Lord increase my faith and help me to know and hold on to your Word.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Blogrolling and Blogging!

I love blogging; both reading other blogs of authors who amuse or inform on food, family and faith, or writing as I do here.

In the blogging world, I’m whats known as a lurker – I visit but don’t make myself comfortable. When I’m really comfortable (i.e. I like your post) I leave a comment. I may post as Anonymous or another moniker that I’ve created just for the blogging world.

Blogs can be categorized in many ways: by race, by activity, lifestyle and gender to name a few. All of these categories have a broad variety of subcategories – hair, makeup, shopping, saving, food, fashionable clothes, Christianity, Christianity and women, motherhood, Christian moms, single dads…I think you get the idea.

Many of my favorite blogs start with the word Black because that’s part of who I am. Sometimes that bothers me, but most times it doesn’t. For example I like BlackGirlsRun and it was created because they aren’t a lot of Black women serious about running – hence the name; but I’m sure there’s no blog called whitegirlsrun (I checked, there isn't).

Through blogging, I've discovered Tumblrs. A Tumblr is a simpler form of blogging with minimal commentary; a quick way to publish pictures and quotes. They’re considered miniblogs; a fast way to share links, photos, and videos without the bells and whistles of a regular blog.

I discover other blogs from the commenters on a blog. Oftentimes when you leave a comment you provide your name (required) email address and a website. The website is typically the commenter's blog and depending on their name or the website I’ve visited, I just may take a click.

So I’ve discovered a comedian in MrsTDJ, a fitness queen in Keyalus, a new bride in the Happynappybride and Lysa - a Christian woman who seems just like me; her posts are inspired. I'll add the rest of the blogs I've discovered to my blogroll.

Blogging has opened up a whole new world to me. I’m now a weekly contributor on Michelle Obama Watch.

As you discover the world of blogs, the easiest way to stay organized is to use a reader, such as the one provided by blogger. Its an easy way to see all updates of all of your favorite blogs in one spot instead of opening each blogs page or trying to remember each blog's address.

Its a whole new world we're living in; as with any new technology, blogs if used wisely can be helpful, educational and fun.