Saturday, June 30, 2012


Thursday, June 28th I attended Debbie Allen's Dance Academy (DADA) inaugural production of a new Dance Company.  As Ms. Allen stated after intermission, she never intended or wanted to do this.  I'm so glad she did, because we all now get to experience the unique style she brings to dance.


I initially became familiar with her program when I saw the Hot Chocolate Nutcracker at Christmas.  It's the Nutcracker - with soul, and soul makes you feel alive.

Last night did not disappoint.

My favorite piece was Church which is reminiscent of Alvin Ailey's Revelation.  It was beautiful; the last piece was synchronized dancing of a congregation feeling the Spirit - it was mesmerizing to watch and even though it was rehearsed it seemed natural.  When you feel the Spirit, your body is liberated in it's expression and it doesn't matter what anyone else around you thinks because it's an act of worship.  It's exuberance and praise to God.  As Maya Angelou's poem says - "Every time I feel the spirit - I'm immersed in the essence of church.  Church is where I go when I want a certain fulfillment and church is where I don't have to go because it's always with me."

There was also a solo dance performed by a male to "How Bad Do You Want It (Success)?" INSPIRATIONAL, especially when he simulates fighting for his life; watch the video.

If you're in LA, support DADA, it's worth it.  If DADA ever travels to city near you, try to catch a performance.

Dance is a testament to the beauty of the human body and what it can do.  We are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Are you creative? Do you support the arts?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Bummed Out

Since last night I've been feeling bummed out about Christianity and I was having lots of talks with God.  
Then I read Pureed Pursuit, this morning and my spirit was encouraged. God has the most interesting ways of responding to me.

Because my spirit was encouraged, I was able to demonstrate love by being a friend to someone in need (I didn't see that coming).

Let me veer off course for a second - moving is a challenge.  I've lived in the San Fernando Valley since I've moved and I still don't feel like I'm part of a community; I don't feel connected to a larger group of people.  I've made friends and do my best to maintain friendships, but when it begins to feel like work, I stop.  The few people that are in my life since moving, are there because they're supposed to be.  One of these people is someone I've recently befriended.  Friendship feels different at this stage of the game - it almost feels like dating (though that's foreign to me also).  I don't want to come across as needy or desperate for friends but as the same time I can't be someone other than myself.  Sometimes I feel that my personality doesn't fit in with this mellow SFV.  In any event, she felt the need to unload alot of what is going on in her life, and being in the right place at the right time I was able to listen and help her.

This is just a reminder, that regardless of how we feel God is working. Conversion is a work of God; in love He draws people to Himself. He uses circumstances, His Word, people, to pursue hearts. Be encouraged in your witness for Him. He will use your words and deeds in His pursuit of those who need Christ.

Are you bummed out?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Think on These Things

I recently met a fellow runner via BGR-LA(Los Angeles) and we've been meeting on Saturday mornings, logging 5 miles. We typically run 4 mins and walk 1 min (there's a name for this method, but it escapes me).  Believe it or not this allows us to average a 10 min mile pace or better.  Because of our weekly meetings I've decided to incorporate this method at least 2 mornings a week, while running 3 miles by myself.  I don't understand it, but now 3 miles seems very easy.

Prior to running this morning, I had my quiet time.  It's my favorite part of the day; as I was reading (run 4 mins) and meditating (walk 1 min), these verses came to mind -
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.  Philippians 4:8-9
I appear to be a positive person, the eternal optimist but sometimes what I think about, can weigh me down. Sometimes I think about things that are false, dishonest, unjust, ugly, gossip - things that aren't virtuous or praiseworthy. Do you see how the converse of verse 8 is also true?  When I think like this I become a negative person, for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.  I become a naysayer, I lose sight of the big picture,  I am not an encourager and I don't project hope. In verse 9, Paul is using himself as an example as he speaks to the Philippians.  Since God was using him to teach, model the behaviors that he taught.  The ultimate end result is that we will have peace, which is sorely missing in many today.

My morning run reminds me to enjoy God's beauty and think on positive things; a by product is that the more  I do this, the easier it becomes, just like running.

Are you a positive person? Do you find that spending quiet time with God allows you to be more positive in your thoughts?  Have you mastered "thinking on these things?"

Sunday, June 17, 2012


I have been blessed to still have my father in my life.  He recently celebrated his 80th birthday - and what a celebration it was.

Here are lessons I've learned from my dad:

  • He was a Godly man - He took to heart, "train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old he will not depart from it."  He used biblical principles in raising us. We also had Family devotions every night when we were little.

  • He was patient - with eight children and eight different personalities one learns to become patient.

  • He was a provider - he took working seriously; he had many jobs throughout his life at various levels.  There was no shame in any of the positions, as long as we were provided for.

  • He was strict disciplinarian - now this I did not like; but because every child is different some of us needed it more than others.  There's a story he told me many years later after I was grown: there was a time when he was about to smack me in the head or the cheek for some offense;  apparently I told him in my own childish way  never to do that to me - and from that point on he never did.  I don't remember this, but it sounds like something I would do (I can't believe I had the nerve to say something!)  So he was strict but also sensitive. He was not cruel.

  • He valued education - we had to know our multiplications tables by the time we were 5 or 6 and guess what, we did.  We read alot in our house; no one was allowed to be bored; if you were bored the standard reply was, "Go read a book!"

  • He enjoyed life - every Saturday afternoon all of us would pile up in our little Ford Escort and drive to the beach.  We would spend the whole afternoon at the beach and then eat conch fritters from a local vendor.  There's also another story that showed his fun side: we lived in the Bahamas, even though my parents were from Barbados.  We were aware of the local dishes, but my mom had never cooked them.  One Saturday, Daddy came home with some crabs and told Mummy that we could make crab and rice - a local favorite.  My mother had never cooked crabs before and she was also afraid of them.  What should have taken maybe 2 hours took the whole day, because my mom had no idea what she was doing.  We eventually ate our version of crab and rice, but never had it again. Then there was the time he brought home a box full of the best mangoes I've ever had.  We all sat there eating mangoes, like it was nobody's business.  One time we had just had a hurricane called Gilda.  A friend gave him a puppy - he brought home a box with the cutest puppy which we called Gilda. Gilda was a fun dog.

  • He was faithful - he took his marriage vows seriously.

This is an ode to my father, but also to my husband because he mirrors the same qualities my father has.

God promises us long life, if we honor our parents. Exodus 20:12, Ephesians 6:1-3.  I don't know how long my life will be, but God's promises are sure.  So today, and everyday tell all the dads in your life what they mean to you.

Happy Father's Day!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Marriage - Two are Better Than One

As you can tell, marriage has been on my mind quite a bit recently.  With many disparaging the institution, these posts attempt to highlight the beauty of it from my vantage point.

When we first got married, we lived on the north shore of Long Island in Suffolk County.  We were young and in love.  Almost a year later we had our first child.  The area we lived in was quite expensive. We were happy and carried on like it was just a blip in the road.  I was on maternity leave and was returning to work in three months.  I'll never forget the first conversation I had with my husband around childcare costs:
Me - you know I go back to work in about 2 weeks and I've been calling around to see where we can leave the baby.
Him - ok; well what have you found?
Me - they're saying 200.00....
Him - a month?
Me - no a week!
Him - grandssooot!!! (that's the equivalent of what the heck!) All right, we'll figure it out.

There was no family close by to help with childcare; it was just him and I and lots of phone calls.

We laugh about it now, but that mindset of we'll figure it out - allowed us to do just that.  We've encountered things that seemed insurmountable at the time (car trouble, job trouble, impossible schedules, etc) but we put our heads together and figured out something that made sense for all of us. That's the beauty of marriage - you always have someone in your corner and together you can do things that would be difficult if done alone.

Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.
For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.
Again, if two lie together, then they have heat: but how can one be warm alone?
And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiates 4:9-12

What insurmountable challenges have you overcome as a couple? Do share in the comments and with your spouse.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ever Feel Like Taking a Break?

Recently I have started making a green smoothie every morning.  My smoothie typically includes the following: spinach, tomato, apple, banana and water; I also add a spoonful of spirulina which gives it a nice green hue.  I throw them all in to the blender and blend until smooth.

A couple of mornings for whatever reason, I did not feel like making the effort to make the smoothie.  During the day I noticed that I was hungrier sooner and feeling tired.  I didn't realize the benefits of my smoothie until I didn't have it.  Over time I have realized additional benefits to ingesting the smoothie - my skin is smooth, my nails and hair are stronger, I know longer need to take progesterone, and I'm regular (TMI!).

During Bible Study, someone shared that sometimes when He's reading the Bible He has no idea what he's reading and he wants to stop (this has happened to me also).  I threw in my smoothie analogy and encouraged him to keep going. Why? Because there's so much to be gained:

  • It's never wrong
  • It's enjoyable
  • It's calming
  • It provides a blue print for life
  • There are 66 books to choose from of various genres
  • Everything that  you're going through can be found in the Bible
  • It enhances your reading skills
  • It enhances your math skills (did you know the longest Psalm - Psalm 119 each subset is 9 verses)
  • It provides a different perspective on life
  • You gain forever eyes
  • It forces you to think reflectively and to be a critical thinker
  • It increases your emotional quotient
  • It builds discipline
  • It increases your memory
  • It teaches you to listen
  • It makes you wise
  • It gives us hope
  • It teaches you to pray
  • It's an opportunity to hear from God

Sometimes we feel we need a break, from things that are beneficial to us.  Don't stop - you're reaping benefits some of which you can't put your finger on.  Be disciplined.

For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Romans 15:4

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2 Timothy 3:16,17

Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free. John 8:31, 32

Do you have any additional benefits to Bible reading? Do you read the Bible on a regular basis? What good habit have you given up, that you missed? 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

On My Mind

  • Last month I read a book called Fast Times in Palestine - I think many of us in this country don't have a true understanding of the Arab/Israeli conflict.  The gripping narrative focuses not only on violence, terror, and social and political upheavals but also on the daily rounds of house parties, concerts, barbecues, weddings, jokes, harvests, and romantic drama that happen in between. Its seamless blend of travelogue, memoir, and narrative journalism ramps the average American up to a sophisticated, multi-faceted understanding of the Israel/Palestine conflict. This book was a personal account of the author's time  in Palestine; I highly recommend it.

  • And then this paragraph from the op-ed section in this article today: "Now once again Israel is faced with two options: Continue to exist as a Jewish state while controlling the Palestinians through military force and racist laws, or undertake a deep transformation into a real democracy where Israelis and Palestinians live as equals in a shared state, their shared homeland. For Israelis and Palestinians alike, the latter path promises a bright future."

  • Reading the Bible as a family is such a stress reliever. No discussion is necessary, just read a chapter and let it speak to you.

  • Some of my best blog posts were never written but left as comments on a provocative post.

  • 50 Shades of Grey is all the rage, but I won't be joining the party.  I don't typically judge a book by it's cover, but having read similar types of books in the past, at this stage of the game I'd rather keep my mind pure.

  • Don't go through life alone - cling to someone bigger than you - Jesus.

  • Finally, today is National Running Day - I hope you got your run in.

  • June is Black Music Month - On June 7, 1979, President Jimmy Carter proclaimed the month of June as Black Music Month after tireless lobbying from Kenny Gamble of legendary songwriting team Gamble & Huff. Now that's something to celebrate! 

I had to do a brain dump - too much things on my mind. What's on your mind?