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 )

Monday Motivation: Busy Weekend=Tired Girl

Monday Motivation: Busy Weekend=Tired Girl

Hey y’all!

I hope your weekend was excellent!  Here in my city I experienced 3 different types of weather at least; rain/hail, warm/sunny and just plain old cold( lol)  #CanadianWeatherProblems. I had a super busy weekend spending time with great friends ( thanks for the s’mores) and also having an opportunity to work in praise and worship ministry in a conference that my church hosted. So three long days of non-stop singing. My throat is so raw and my body is so tired. So I’d just like to relax and chill out tonight. When I am super exhausted, my body shuts its self down, it leaves itself susceptible to getting sick. But…. ain’t nobody got time to be sick!! So tonight its me, vicks vapour rub, cepacol drops and lemon ginger tea. I’m going to become acquainted with my bed once again and curl up with a good book! 🙂 ( check out my upcoming Wednesday weekly reads post for details on what I’m reading)

So, dear friends I bid you adieu until next time! I hope your Monday was amazing!

Today I’m jamming on:

xoxo

sunshine love

Wednesday Weekly Read: Feeling Motivated Again Finally!

Wednesday Weekly Read: Feeling Motivated Again Finally!

Guys,

After a two-week reading slump, I can honestly say I’M BACK! I’ve reignited my passion for reading again.( it was a sad two weeks without my books LOL)

Like I had mentioned before,I recently started reading the book “Roots” by Alex Haley and although I didn’t have an enormous amount of time to read, I did manage to get about 160 pages (of 888) into it! (Yay me!) Man, is it ever a captivating read! I The story has been journeying through the protagonist  Kunta Kinte’s childhood. Right now, I have reached the part of the story where Kunta has begun his manhood training. I don’t really want to say too much more, because if anybody has yet to read it, I don’t want to spoil the journey! I will continue with my progress next week. 🙂

I really have no set plans to read anything else right now, except for my “Women of the Bible” devotional. We just finished up “Tamar” and now we are on to “Potiphars Wife”. 

womenbible
Up next… Potiphars Wife…

I hope you all have a successful reading week!

xoxo

Monday Motivation: Iron Sharpens Iron….

Monday Motivation: Iron Sharpens Iron….

Hey guys!

I hope your weekend was filled with good weather, good food and good company! Mine certainly was!

Quick blog post today because I am in the midst of one my busiest weeks so far this year. However, today, one of my “little sisters”  turned 21 years old today. I knew it was coming but I never anticipated it hitting me so hard! Would you believe I was an emotional wreck this morning,( as I also was 2 years ago when my other 2 “little sisters” turned 21…)  Now, by no means am I that much older( there is less than 10 years between us) but I literally feel like she was my baby. I mean she was the first diaper I ever changed ( at 9 years old) the kid I used to pinch to wake up so I could take care of her, the kid who stole food from my plate ( she’s still doing this!) and broke  my chain! ( lol)

So today, as I sat and reflected on this, the scripture passage found in Proverbs 27:17 (NLT)  came to me and it reads:

“As iron sharpens iron,
so a friend sharpens a friend.”

What does that even mean? Let’s break this down in the easiest way possible. If you have two knives, and both are dull, what’s the easiest way to sharpen them? ( without the use of a fancy knife sharpener 😛 ) Rubbing them together of course! When the blades are sharp, each knife becomes more effective and usable. The term “iron sharpens iron” is a true example of partnership. As Christians, fellowship is extremely important. As human beings, we thrive on fellowship (friendship and unity), and when we are engaging in healthy fellowship, it becomes very difficult for one to stumble and fall and stay down, because there will always be someone there to pick you up. Ultimately, Jesus is always there to pick you up spiritually but sometimes you literally need someone to pick up, dust you off and set you straight!

I began to think to myself, have I done enough to ensure that my “iron” is sharpening their “irons” . I’m by no means perfect,but I hope my journey has encouraged them to strive towards better! It is my responsibility  as a big sister to live a life that is pleasing to God and a life that sets an example spiritually,mentally, emotionally and beyond! I pray that I will always be able to live up to this great responsibility.

I think the song ” Count on Me” by Bruno Mars is so fitting today! The lyrics read:

If you ever find yourself stuck in the middle of the sea,
I’ll sail the world to find you
If you ever find yourself lost in the dark and you can’t see,
I’ll be the light to guide you

Find out what we’re made of
When we are called to help our friends in need

You can count on me like 1 2 3
I’ll be there
And I know when I need it I can count on you like 4 3 2
You’ll be there

Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do, oh yeah

Woooooooh, Woooooooh
Yeah, Yeah

If you’re tossing and you’re turning and you just can’t fall asleep,
I’ll sing a song beside you
And if you ever forget how much you really mean to me,
Everyday I will remind you, ohh

Find out what we’re made of
When we are called to help our friends in need

You can count on me like 1 2 3
I’ll be there
And I know when I need it I can count on you like 4 3 2
You’ll be there
Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do, oh yeah

Wooooooh, Wooooooh
Yeah, Yeah

You’ll always have my shoulder when you cry
I’ll never let go, never say goodbye

You know you can count on me like 1 2 3
I’ll be there
And I know when I need it I can count on you like 4 3 2
You’ll be there
Cause that’s what friends are supposed to do, oh yeah

Oohhhh, ohhhhh
You can count on me cause I can count on you ❤

I love y’all and just know, near or far my iron will ALWAYS sharpen yours! # GDC forever!

Oldie but a goodie!!
#21

Ps: Happy birthday “Mamud”

xoxo

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Reading Fail… And I’m Ok With That….

Wednesday Weekly Reads: Reading Fail… And I’m Ok With That….

Hi Guys!

Yup…. Once again I barely read  anything this week, but you know what… I’m totally okay with that! My teaching partner was away this past week, so that left all of the teaching responsibilities on me which left very little time ( or energy) for leisure reading. Plus, my most recent reading choices aren’t really sparking my interest right now. Those books I think are going to have to take a back seat and be picked up at a later date.

This week I picked up and started a very ambitious read. This is a book that I read as a young teenager but never really took the time to read it in-depth and take in the deep message that it carries. That book is “Roots” by Alex Haley.  Here is a brief synopsis: ( as described on enotes.com ( **spoiler alert**)

**********************************************************************

In the spring of 1750 in Juffure, The Gambia, a son is born to Omoro Kinte and his second wife, Binta. The child is named Kunta. As a member of the old and highly esteemed Kinte family, Kunta is schooled in the customs and traditions befitting a future Mandinka warrior. Throughout his childhood, Kunta is taught to avoid and fear the “toubob,” white men who capture African people for evil purposes.

Despite these tribal caveats, Kunta is captured by white slave traders in 1767 while searching for a tree section to make a drum. Along with 140 Africans of various tribes, Kunta is shipped as cargo on the Lord Ligonier. Pestilence, filth, depravity, and cruelty fill this episode, serving as a controlling metaphor for the inhumanity of the institution of slavery. The captives unsuccessfully stage a revolt, resulting in the deaths of many. Kunta admires the courage of these dead, for they died as warriors. He, as a survivor, dreads what is to come, for he instinctively knows that his eventual fate will be worse than the ocean voyage.

In Annapolis, Maryland, Kunta is sold to John Waller and given the name “Toby.” Appalled by the toubob and their pagan ways, Kunta attempts to escape four times. After his last attempt, he is apprehended by two slave catchers. Given the choice of castration or foot amputation, Kunta chooses the latter. John Waller’s brother William, a physician, is outraged at the mutilation and buys Kunta.

Kunta, through the ministrations of William Waller’s cook, Bell, recovers from this last ordeal. After a lengthy courtship, he “jumps de broom” (the slave equivalent of the marriage ceremony) with Bell. A daughter is born to the couple. Kunta gives her the Mandinka name of “Kizzy,” meaning “you stay put.” Now crippled and unable to run away, Kunta is entrusted with driving Dr. Waller on his calls, which enables him to hear news of the outside world. Of particular interest to Kunta are the accounts of Toussaint Louverture’s revolt in Haiti, which he sees as paralleling his own struggle for freedom, especially when Napoleon Bonaparte captures Toussaint.

Kunta persists in keeping alive his dream of freedom and his pride in his African heritage, both of which he passes on to Kizzy. A clever child, Kizzy is entranced by her father’s African tales and learns many Mandinka words. At the age of sixteen, she is sold to the dissolute Tom Lea as punishment for aiding another slave to escape.

Lea rapes Kizzy repeatedly for several months, eventually fathering a son, George. Kizzy, a devoted mother, regards her son as the descendant of “the African,” not as the son of Tom Lea. She instills in her son both her pride in their African heritage and Kunta Kinte’s dream of freedom.

As George grows to manhood, he exhibits traits of both parents. Like Tom Lea, he loves cockfighting and carousing. The rakish George becomes such an accomplished trainer of gamecocks that he earns the sobriquet of “Chicken George.” From Kizzy he has inherited the desire to be free, and he is determined to buy himself and his family. When Lea loses Chicken George in a bet with an Englishman, he promises Chicken George his manumission papers upon his return.

Years later, Chicken George returns and is grudgingly freed by Lea. Kizzy has died during his absence, but Chicken George seeks to reunite his family, whom Lea had sold to the Murrays. When he finds the family, Chicken George gathers them around and relates the family narrative.

After the Civil War, the family moves to Henning, Tennessee. Upon Chicken George’s death, Tom Murray, his son, asserts his position as patriarch and emphasizes the importance of the family and the oral tradition to his children. Both of these ideas are perpetuated by Tom’s daughter, Cynthia, and other female members of the Murray family. Cynthia’s daughter Bertha, who evinces little interest in the family narrative, goes away to college, where she meets and marries Simon Alexander Haley.

While Haley is a graduate student at Cornell, their first son is born, Alexander Haley. At this point, the novel abruptly shifts to Haley’s first-person narrative, which recounts the death of his mother and the summers he and his brothers spent at Grandma Cynthia’s house listening to the “graying ladies” tell the story of “the African Kin-tay” who called a guitar a “ko” and the river “Kamby Bolongo.” In the final two chapters, Haley details the research and writing of Roots, addressing the fact/fiction elements of the novel.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this book and Alex Haley’s account of history. Although he says this book is “fiction” he states that it is based on true facts. He actually refers to it as “faction” (aka fact fiction) There have also been claims and settlements that have occurred based on accusations of plagiarism. ( It has been claimed that some parts of the story come from the 1967 book “The African” by Harold Courlander.) Haley claims it was unintentional.

However, I started it this morning on my break and I’m 40 pages ( of 888) in. So this will be what I’ll be reading  for the next few weeks at least. I really want to dedicate most of my time to this novel for the  next little while. This book is also on my 2015 TBR list so I’d really like to knock it out.

I’ll also be continuing with my “Women of the Bible” devotional. We finished up Leah and now we are working on Tamar. She is an intense women! Lord!

womenbible
Working on Tamar…

Is anybody else in a slump? What are you reading this week?

xoxo

Monday Motivation: No Pressure!

Monday Motivation: No Pressure!

Hi guys!

I hope your weekend was excellent! Here in Ontario,Canada we celebrated Victoria Day which meant most people had Monday off. ( I was one of them 🙂 ) I took the opportunity to visit family and friends out-of-town. What a blessing it was to just unwind and regroup and spend time with some of the people who I love the most in this world!

I just have a quick post for you today. There is an artist by the name of Jonathan McReynolds that I stumbled across a few years back. He had a hit song called  “I Love You” that was so delicately played and sung, that I immediately was drawn to his ministry.  He is working on a new project and I came across one of his new songs called “No Pressure”. What a beautifully written song! The lyrics are as follows:

I, I can’t even turn on my phone
Without being reminded of the lie
That I am alone and broken, unsuccessful
I, I can’t always talk to my friends
‘Cause they’ve got expectations
That I may or may not be living up to
I really need to rid myself

Of the pressure, pressure, pressure
To be someone else that the world has made
Jesus take from me
All the pressure, pressure, pressure
To be someone that you did not create

Help me be me
And only see you
Let me decrease
And glorify you

I, I thought my intentions were good
Just act like a Christian should
And hope someone watching would approve
And be inspired
But you’re not feeling my show
Then how far could I go
Before all of my accomplishment
Go down in fire

Just cause of
Of the pressure, pressure, pressure
To be someone else that the church has made
Jesus take from me
All the pressure, pressure, pressure
To be someone that you did not create

I just wanna live
I just wanna live for you
Nobody else, but you

Often times, society places expectations on us to be what they deem socially acceptable and I find that as a Christian, the church places such pressure on you to be a model “citizen” of  Christendom . However, sometimes as we who follow  Christ do that, we end up not being genuine in our endeavors to serve Christ. That’s why I love the part of the song that says “…The pressure, pressure, pressure /To be someone else that the world has made /Jesus take from me /All the pressure, pressure, pressure /To be someone that you did not create…”

That’s my prayer this week! That God would take away all the pressure to live up to anyone’s expectations but His. In turn, my living up to His expectations, will serve as an example of what He requires of us. Remember what it says in Romans 12:2


New Living Translation
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.

I hope this song blesses someone this week! God bless!

Jonathan McReynolds