Monday Motivation: All I Have To Give…

Monday Motivation: All I Have To Give…

Hey guys!

Sorry that I have been missing in action for this past week. Lots of health issues plaguing me and my family so I had to handle business! Now that we are on the mend for the most part, I’ll be flooding your feeds once again. 🙂

I was scrolling through my Ipod awhile back and I came across the song, “All I Have to Give” by an artist called Mali Music. This was the first song I ever heard by this artist many many years ago and I instantly fell in love with it. The song is so simple, but the message so real!  I had an opportunity to meet Mali and sing as part of an opening act at a concert held in my city a few years back. He was so humble and down to earth!  He has since deviated from the gospel industry but this particular song will always hold a special place in my heart.

IMG_4897
Me and Mali Music after the show!

What does it actually mean to give your all?  To give your all simply means to put all your energy and time into a task or a person. To give completely of yourself, unselfishly with no holds barred.

Now, I have some great friends and family who I am quite certain would be ( and have been) there for me whenever I needed them, but even that has its limitations.

Speaking as a person who has entered into a relationship with Christ, sometimes as Christians we don’t give God our all .  It’s almost as if we use Him at our leisure or convenience expecting everything  from Him and giving less than our best in return.  Hmm, that doesn’t seem fair does it?  Put yourself at the short end of stick? How would you feel?

God has already given us the greatest gift when He sent His son Jesus Christ as a living sacrifice to atone for our sins. All He asks in return is that you love Him with all your heart, soul and mind.
Matthew 23:37 reads, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

To love anything with you heart, soul and mind, you really have to commit to the process!

 The Heart: Proverbs 4:23 ( NLT) Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life. Keep your heart pure. Don’t harbour malice or hate. Love people as God loves people. Strive to have a heart of compassion as Christ does. Don’t let  life and it’s many follies turn your heart away from God.

The Soul: Matthew 16:26 (NLT)  “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?”  The last part of that scripture really resonates with me . Is anything worth more than your soul? I certainly don’t think so. Keep your soul aligned with God’s plan for your life. How you ask? Dig deeper into His word ( the bible) spend time in prayer and seek guidance and direction from the one who created you. 

The Mind: Romans 12:2 (NLT)  Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.”  This world we live in  has so many distractions and things that can leer your off course. But learn to stand out and go against the grain! You don’t have to do what everybody is doing. Through Christ Jesus, you are a new person.Don’t let your mind be manipulated into deviating from the course set before you!

This song All I Have to Give, is truly a love song to God. The author ( Mali) proclaims that everything he has, he will offer to God and that his whole embodiment belongs to God.

That’s how I feel about God. If you haven’t had an opportunity to encounter God and build a relationship with Him, I pray you do! It’s truly a wonderful thing!

Take a listen to song and read the lyrics down below. I hope it blesses you like it has blessed me!

Have a blessed week!
xoxo

[Verse 1:]

Lord if I could buy you a gift to show you my love, tell you how I feel.
It wouldn’t matter what I’d have to give. I would find a way to get it for you.
But fortunately that’s not the case and we both know I don’t have bank anyway.
But I won’t let it affect my presentation to you ’cause this is what I bring…

[Chorus:]
Here is my heart, my mind, Lord here’s my life, my everything. Take it. It’s yours oh Lord.

[Verse 2:]
I’ll give you my all, my everything, every song that I write,
Every song that I sing, every day of my life, every breath that I breathe,
You gave to me and Lord I rededicate it right back to you. Love of my life, so faithful, so true.
I get goosebumps just thinking about you and there’s nothing I will not do for you so

[Chorus:]
Here is (my) my heart (yeah) my mind (Lord here’s my life)
Lord here’s my life (oh oh oh oh oh oh) my everything (yeah) take it (take it) it’s yours oh Lord It’s all I have
[Repeat chorus and end with “to give”]

[Bridge:]
I give you my best ’cause I love you… I’m yours
[Repeat chorus till fade]

 

Monday Motivation: Identity…

Monday Motivation: Identity…

Hey y’all

I hope this Monday is finding you all in good health and good spirits! After a busy weekend ( and an impending super busy week ahead!) nothing relaxes me more than popping in some headphones and listening to some music. However, this Monday I decided to give my trusty IPhone a good clearing out. I admit it, I am a memory hoarder. I hate to discard anything on my phone but when you are running out of gigs… some things gotta go. 🙂

I ran across a video of a praise dance I did with some amazing ladies from my church to the song “Identity” by James Fortune and it really got me thinking about my “identity”.

Recently, Canada went through the Census process. ( Every 5 years they do this) and this year I had to fill it out for my household( yay…. insert eye roll)  The questions that these people were asking were really ridiculous! The questions were similar to ” tell me about your ancestors, where do they come from/ how far back can you trace them?” Ummm.. I can actually honestly say I have no concrete evidence of where my ancestors come from. Clearly, being a woman of colour , I can attest to the fact that my ancestors, many generations removed.( I know at 4 generations back are Jamaican) come from the continent of Africa. But where in Africa… the jury is still out on that one.  That really got me thinking ! That’s actually sad! I don’t know who I am!

However, going back to the song “Identity” I began to think about my identity as an individual. My physical identity is easy to pinpoint. 5’4, dark brown skin, brown eyes. But what about deeper than that. Those who really know me, know that as much as I appear extroverted on the surface, I’m truly an introvert! But what about even deeper than that? Who am I actually? What makes me who I am?

The answer to that is very simple for me. My identity lies in Jesus. Everything I am ( and aspire to be) is rooted in Him.

Even when I’ve made mistakes ( and trust me I’ve made a lot of them) and my identity didn’t live up to  who and what I proclaimed I was, God never gave up on me.

You can’t change history! You can’t change what ( and who) you were destined to be… a daughter or son of a KING! Royalty!

1 Peter 2:9-10 states:

…But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, to proclaim the virtues of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

God chose you!He created you in His own image.  Shouldn’t we let our lives be a mirror image of his? I love the lyrics of the bridge of this song. It says:

Oh Lord this is me
I’m asking you to please change my identity
I wanna be more like you
I’m asking you to please change my identity
Oh Lord this is me
I’m asking you to please change my identity
I don’t wanna be like this
This is my request, Lord please change my identity

That’s my desire tonight folks. To keep my identity as transparent as possible. When you see me, I want God to be evident. Whatever it takes, I want my true identity to shine. Daughter of a King!

Let your identity shine and if you haven’t discovered your identity yet, I pray you will dig deep and discover who you truly are!

Have a blessed week!

What I’m Reading This Week…

What I’m Reading This Week…

Hey guys!

This week I managed to finish ” A Walk Across the Sun” by Corban Addison ( see synopsis in last weeks blog here) I absolutely loved this book. This was a heart wrenching tale of two sisters separated by disaster and reunited with the help of a hard-working lawyer who was on a personal journey of his own. The author really brought his characters to life. His captivating rhetoric way of prose made me feel like I was right there with the characters in the brothels of Bombay. I’m usually not one for the thriller genre of literature, but I have had some great experiences with my choices as of late. I’d give this book a 4.5 out of 5! Probably one of the best books I have read all year! If you enjoyed books like “The Lincoln Lawyer” or anything by John Grisham, you’d probably really enjoy this one!

4.5 out of 5. Great Read!

I also continued with my “Women of the Bible” devotional. The girls and I finished up the story of “Jael” ( read about her in Judges chapter 4 and 5.) Jael was a little bit ruthless! Sometimes you have to be ruthless in order to bring God’s plan to fruition. Jael is someone I never really studied before, so it was interesting learning more about her (and Deborah and Sisera.) This week we are continuing our study with the story of Delilah. 

Now, for this weeks reading goals, I’d like to try to complete 2 books if i can . I’m being quite ambitious as it’s virtually impossible these days to spend lengthy amounts of time dedicated to reading 😦  ( #busylife)  But, I was browsing the library recently and came across the book, ” The Whitney I Knew” by Bebe Winans with Timothy Willard.

Here is the synopsis:
BeBe Winans met Whitney Houston in church 28 years ago, and they quickly developed a close bond. They considered each other family in the deepest sense of the word—hanging out in each other’s homes, singing backup vocals for each other on albums, touring together. BeBe was with her when she was onstage and far from the spotlight, on the set and in the studio, through good times and the worst of times—and this very personal book takes readers inside all of those places to give a real and intimate picture of the Whitney he knew. Here readers will discover new information and insights into both Whitney’s heart and her world—information that they will not find anywhere else. From profoundly moving moments to eye-opening accounts of triumph to the heart-breaking realities that led to her ultimate defeat, the stories are here, along with links to never-before-seen private videos of Whitney and a full-length photo section. In his moving tribute at her funeral, Winans reaffirmed that she will be remembered for her warm, lavish generosity, her faith, and her lighthearted humor—those positive truths that overshadow any negative missteps in recent years. “In my heart and in my mind, I have memories of so many great, great moments,” he says. “She will live in our hearts forever.”

As a long time Whitney Houston fan ( as well as a Bebe Winans fan) I was interested to read his view of their relationship and the troubles she faced over the years. It’s a relatively short read so I should be able to breeze through this one  quickly.

Also I would read one more book. I have quite a few options like:
The Ultimate Betrayal- By Kimberla Lawson Roby
  Half of a Yellow Sun- By Chimamanda Ngozi Adiche
  Mudbound- By Hilary Jordan

I will pick one of those hopefully and try to power through it!

Have a happy reading week!

xoxo

What I Read this Week….

What I Read this Week….

Hi guys!

Sorry I missed another Wednesday Weekly Reads post,but I have been under the weather and just couldn’t mus up the energy to jump on this computer last night! Nevertheless, I did manage to finish a book this week. I deviated from the books I started previously ( Red Queen and The Crying Tree) because I just wasn’t interested in them at all. I had no desire to read them at all ( lol) So I picked another book I had head great things about called “Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng. I was NOT impressed. I finished this book in 2 days, not because the story was so captivating but because I wanted to hurry up and finish it! Here is the synopsis:

Lydia is dead. But they don’t know this yet . . . So begins the story of this exquisite debut novel, about a Chinese American family living in 1970s small-town Ohio. Lydia is the favorite child of Marilyn and James Lee; their middle daughter, a girl who inherited her mother’s bright blue eyes and her father’s jet-black hair. Her parents are determined that Lydia will fulfill the dreams they were unable to pursue—in Marilyn’s case that her daughter become a doctor rather than a homemaker, in James’s case that Lydia be popular at school, a girl with a busy social life and the center of every party.

When Lydia’s body is found in the local lake, the delicate balancing act that has been keeping the Lee family together tumbles into chaos, forcing them to confront the long-kept secrets that have been slowly pulling them apart. James, consumed by guilt, sets out on a reckless path that may destroy his marriage. Marilyn, devastated and vengeful, is determined to find a responsible party, no matter what the cost. Lydia’s older brother, Nathan, is certain that the neighborhood bad boy Jack is somehow involved. But it’s the youngest of the family—Hannah—who observes far more than anyone realizes and who may be the only one who knows the truth about what happened.

A profoundly moving story of family, history, and the meaning of home, Everything I Never Told You, is both a gripping page-turner and a sensitive family portrait, exploring the divisions between cultures and the rifts within a family, and uncovering the ways in which mothers and daughters, fathers and sons, and husbands and wives struggle, all their lives, to understand one another ( amazon.com)

Sounds pretty interesting right? WRONG! Please don’t get me wrong, the writing in this book is beautiful! The author truly has a knack for wordsmanship. But… I found this story so hauntingly depressing, that I couldn’t even connect with the characters…. I lost interest very quickly. I just wanted to hurry up and find out what happened to Lydia. ( which is assumed but never really explained.) I have to give this book 2 stars only.

Next, I picked up the long-awaited sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird entitled “Go Set a Watchman”  ( both by Harper Lee) . I originally wanted to re read To Kill a Mockingbird first, but Go set a Watchman is a prequel to that novel. So I am going to read them in reverse order.  I’m only a few pages in, and I already feel like I’m back in high school, instantly transfixed by Harper Lee’s writing prose. I hope this book will the answer to my boring book choices as of late.

I also am going to try to finish Red Queen as it is a library book that is due back August 6th! (lol) My 31 day Proverbs challenge ends tomorrow so I am going to jump back into my Women of the Bible devotional and study fittingly “The Woman of Proverbs 31” 

Have a wonderful( and successful) reading week!

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: I Didn’t Read Much…

Wednesday Weekly Reads: I Didn’t Read Much…

Hey guys!

Quick post today because I visited the eye doctor for an annual check up and she put drops in my eyes to dilate them and my vision is kinda wonky right now! So typing this is a challenge!

Anyway, to make a long story short, i barely did any reading this week and I probably wont do much for the rest of July (lol) Its vacation season and im jetting off on a plane in 2 days. I have yet to pack….. sigh.

I did manage to finish, “All The Bright Places” by Jennifer Niven. What a great book! I really think that the author was able to capture the face of depression and the mask that so many people  wear when trying to convince everyone that they are okay.You can never truly know what someone is going through, but this books serves as a reminder to us all to pay attention.To treat everyone with love and compassion and to cherish those you love each and everyday. One kind word could save a life…I give this book a 4 out of 5 stars.

                     4 out of 5 stars….

As for next week/travel, I have no set goals! I really wanted to re-read ” To Kill a Mockingbird” in anticipation of is sequels ( “Go Set a Watchman) release on July 14th. But the way things are going…who knows?

I am also doing the Proverbs challenge! I chapter of Proverbs a day for the month of July. As of right now its day 8! So far so good. I am also continuing with Ezekiel 🙂

Have a successful reading week!

What are you guys reading this summer?

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: I’m Enjoying “Roots” So Far…

Wednesday Weekly Reads: I’m Enjoying “Roots” So Far…

Hey guys,

I’m still working on Roots and I’m really liking it so far.In one week I have managed to reach page 500! This story is so captivating. Very hard to read at some points.

Last Wednesday, I had left off at the part of the story where in The Gambia, the protagonist Kunta Kinte had begun his manhood training. As I continued the story, we see that he has successfully completed his training and has become a prominent member of his village. One day, after a night shift of watching the village, Kunta enters the woods to chop wood. Unfortunately, he does not hear the slave catchers behind him and is captured.

The next chapters detail the gruesome capture and travel on the slave ship to America. Once he reaches America, he tries to run away several times, with the final time ending in a horrible way. ( I don’t want to put in too many spoilers)

The next sections recounts Kunta’s many years and experiences on the plantation. You see him adjust ( but not conform) to life on slave row. He takes a wife and she bears him a child whom he named Kizzy.

Right now, I am at the section of the story where Kizzy is being taught the ropes of being a “house nigger” working alongside her mama. Kunta is also displeased that the masters niece ( who is as young as Kizzy) has taken a special liking to her.

So, that’s where I am right now. I can’t even wait for my lunch hour so I can dive right back in! At this pace, I may finish this sooner than I thought 😛

This week in my devotional we are studying “The mothers of Moses.”

Have a happy reading week!

xoxo

Mourning Into Dancing

Mourning Into Dancing

Hey everybody,

I hope your day was fantastic. I had an extremely busy day at work ( will do a detailed blog on my busy work life soon 🙂 ) and as I was sitting here catching up on my devotional, the scripture Psalms 30 came to me. It reads ( from the New Living Translation) :

1I will exalt you, LORD, for you rescued me
You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
2O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,and you restored my health.
3You brought me up from the grave,a O LORD.You kept me from falling into the pit of death.
4Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones!Praise his holy name.
5For his anger lasts only a moment,but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night,but joy comes with the morning
6When I was prosperous, I said,“Nothing can stop me now!
7Your favor, O LORD, made me as secure as a mountain.Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.
8I cried out to you, O LORD.I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
9“What will you gain if I die,if I sink into the grave?Can my dust praise you?Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me.Help me, O LORD.”
11You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!

Verses 5 and 11-12 are on replay in my mind right now!

 Verse 5 serves as a reminder that things may seem tough right now ( weeping my endure for a night) but there is always light at the end of the tunnel.( joy comes in the morning)
Verse 11-12
are verses that show that God will turn all of our mourning into dancing or in other terms, turn an unhappy situation into a pleasant one. I am pleasantly reminded to give thanks to God for everything! I won’t be silent! I’m forever grateful

I don’t know who this message is for this evening, but I hope whoever is reading this is encouraged! Even If you don’t believe in what I do, remember that any day above ground is a good one! So take your lemons and turn it into lemonade!

We sang this song at church a few weeks back! Enjoy ( this isn’t my praise group but i’m not a huge fan of the Ron Kenoly arrangement…sorry )