Thursday, December 23, 2010

My favorite Christmas memory by Jackie Moore


Each year, my entire family, siblings, cousins, aunties and uncles, gathers together to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve. Each year, we hold our celebrations at different family members houses. A few years ago our yearly celebration was held at my house. Needless to say, I had well over fifty family members of all different ages all under one roof.

The living room was full of presents for everyone in attendance and we had prepared a feast for all to partake of. Our Christmas celebration was in full swing but there was one little problem. Somehow, I had contracted a debilitating stomach flu and I was sick as a dog. I attempted to carry on as usual, but alas, my stomach was not going to cooperate. At one point, as I opened my front door to greet more guests, I literally ran out the door to empty the contents of my stomach onto my front lawn. Needless, to say, I had to leave my guests to fend for themselves as I retired to my room for the remainder of the evening.

On Christmas day, both of my sons were as sick as I was and we all spent the day asleep in my bed with buckets at our bedside just in case we couldn't make it to the bathroom. That year, Christmas day passed us by. On December twenty-sixth, I awakened to the sounds of laughter and the smell of something delicious wafting its way up to my room. Feeling well enough to venture downstairs, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Santa Claus had not passed us by.

Sometime during the night, Christmas elves had stopped by my house and delivered a bag full of gifts and food. Not only that, my kitchen as well as the rest of my house was as clean as a whistle and all the toys had been assembled with nary a missing part.

My sons and I had missed Christmas day that year because of of our illness but my siblings made sure that the spirit of Christmas still made its appearance.



"Caught in the Middle"
Now Available!
http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com
jackiemoore@virtuousliving.com
http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com

Musketeer Christmas by Lorraine Elzia


Musketeer Christmas
My fondest memory of Christmas comes from the first Christmas after my sister and I figured out that our gifts did not come from a jolly white bearded man in a red suit, but from our single parent mother who worked overtime at two jobs just to see us smile on Christmas day.
We were the three musketeers; my mother, my sister and me. It was us against the world and we seemed to hold our own. The only time an outsider was let into the posse was for Christmas when my sister and me welcomed Santa into the fold.
In those early years, my sister and I never understood why Santa’s handwriting looked a lot like mommy’s on the tags on the gifts under the tree. Nor did we understand why her prideful eyes held a little bit of jealousy as we sang praises to Santa for our gifts.
With age comes wisdom and if age doesn’t school you, other kids will. Soon the proverbial grapevine told us there was no Santa and that our mom was the one supplying the gifts. We didn’t want to believe them, but the left over cookies in the refrigerator and the half-drank glass of milk with her lipstick on the glass made her suspect. It soon dawned on us that the schoolyard grapevine was right and Santa wouldn’t leave cookies in a fridge he wouldn’t visit again for another year and from everything we had been told about him, he didn’t wear Avon shade #12 lipstick either, so we knew the truth was that Santa and mommy were one in the same.
After opening our gifts that first Christmas after our discovery, my sister and I allowed our mother to hang on for a little while to the belief that her daughters still had the innocent belief in fairytales and myths. But that Christmas we just said how thankful we were for being fortunate enough to receive gifts; we no longer gave the glory to the man in the red suit. Our mother’s eyes began to have less envy in them for the sleigh driver who had stolen part of her joy for years. When she went into the kitchen she saw the note we had left on the plate of half-eaten cookies that said, “Thanks for all you do.”
That Christmas, we started a new tradition, every Christmas morning we would go out in the front yard, lay down in the snow and move our arms and legs side to side leaving snow angles on our lawn. Mommy was always in the middle with a daughter on each side. We left our marks every Christmas morning that we didn’t need Santa or anyone else because we were, and always would be, the Three Musketeers.

Lorraine Elzia is the award-winning author of "Mistress Memoirs" and "Ask Nicely and I Might." Please visit her online at www.lorrraineelzia.com.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What Christmas means to me by Jessica A. Robinson


What Christmas means to me: when I think of this very special holiday, one word comes to mind and that's FAMILY. The one holiday that brings everyone together no matter where they are in the world. I also think of Christmas as a time of reflection of the entire year and being thankful to get another chance to celebrate such a wonderful holiday. No matter if you have money or a million gifts under the tree, as long as you spend Christmas with the people you love you'll feel like the richest person on earth. That's what Christmas means to me.


Jessica A. Robinson is the author of the best-selling Holy Seduction, and Pretty Skeletons. Purchase your copy of Holy Seduction from Black Expressions, and all of her books are available in Kindle, Nook and paperback, and whereever books are sold.

Two Years ago by LaToya S. Watkins


Two years ago

It was Christmas Eve and I was excited about having two weeks off from work b/c I would get to spend time with my mother-in-law who was living with us at the time. She was suffering from MS (had been for more than 20 years), so I was waiting for my sister to come and sit with her so that I could go out and do some last minute shopping. I went into her bedroom with my laptop and sat pecking away at my latest novel. She had been a librarian when she could work and loved reading and books. I began to read the story to her aloud and she asked me for the title of the book. I told her it didn’t one and that maybe she could help me choose and she offered a smile, which was difficult (b/c of the pain) for her.

I didn’t to get a chance to finish my last minute shopping b/c she closed her eyes forever before my sister showed up. I titled my book Dorothy, after her, because that strained smile helped me to remember what was so wonderful about life the next day.

LaToya S. Watkins
Author of In Love with Losers and Dorothy
www.latoyaswatkins.com
http://latoyaswatkins.wordpress.com/

Memories of White Christmases Past by S.D. Denny


Memories of White Christmases Past
Most everyone who knows me knows that I’m a native New Yorker that has been transplanted in the south for many years. Although I love the beauty of the warm weather and lush landscapes that the south offers, I will never give up my dreams for a White Christmas. I smile as I remember the days of my youth, watching the snow fall against the Brooklyn asphalt on Christmas Eve, wondering what it will look like when I awaken the next morning. On Christmas day, my sister and brother and I would awaken early and go running into the living room to see what Santa had left under the tree for us. But before anyone opened a gift, we’d all stand at the window, marveling at the blanket of snow that covered the ground outside our third floor apartment. It may as well had been a scene from a Thomas Kinkade painting, the kind you see on the butter cookie tins that Grandma always had sitting on the counter, right next to the holiday nuts and ribbon candy. All day, we’d watch the snow fall and listen to my mother’s Gene Autry Christmas album. Christmas day has an unexplainable beauty of its own, but a white Christmas gives the day that extra touch that makes it just a bit more magical.

~S.D. Denny is the author of "The Baker's Dozen," and soon to be released "Half."
Learn more about this dynamic author at www.sddenny.com.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The Award for “Most Nauseating Topic of 2010” goes to...



Male Talk Show Hosts for Why Are So Many Black Women Single?
Tell me, is this rose any less beautiful because it is a single, red rose?

It never ceases to amaze me how and why so many men, namely African-American men, especially talk and radio show hosts, claim to have all the answers to what they THINK is the #1 problem plaguing black women in America today – BEING SINGLE! I’ll give it to them, not all of them claim to have the answer to what they call “the problem”, but, if they don’t have the answer, they certainly seem to have placed it at the top of their list of problems that they deem worthy of repetitive discussions. But for the record, I have to give it up to Steve Harvey... at least he has taken the time to put in writing what he feels will help women of all statuses to maneuver through relationship drama, rather than put them down for being single or make it appear to be as bad as having a disease!

Newsflash… the state of being single for a black woman is NOT A BAD THING!

I am a 45-year-old single woman and mother of two, who has never been married. That may seem unorthodox to some, but my life is what it is and I’ve managed to take what some consider a hopeless situation and turn it around for the better. I don’t hold a degree, but I do have some college courses under my belt. I have worked in healthcare for many years in positions ranging from Customer Service Representative to Business Analyst and I’m the award-nominated, published author of two books, with the third being released in May 2011. Let me also say that I'm also in the process of starting a business, which I plan to be fully operational by summer of 2011. Not bad for a Single Woman, huh?

I’m not saying I don’t need a man, nor am I what some call the male-bashing, so-called independent, strong woman type who feels she has acquired so much strength that she can do it all by herself; however, on the other hand, the life that I’ve lived has required me to be strong at times when women are typically thought of as being weak, when I could have easily fallen apart and lost everything I had, including my mind, and all in the absence of a man to help me to hold things together.

For those of you who think that being single is at the top of the list of a black woman’s woes, let me break down the list of benefits there are to being a single black woman:

• A single black woman has more of the time and the freedom often required to adequately take advantage of opportunities for advancement and personal growth in areas such as education and pursuing one’s dreams.
• A single black woman is more in the position to maneuver within the purpose for her life when it involves community and civil outreach because she has fewer restrictions on her time and availability.
• A single black woman has more of the time and mental capacity needed to work on getting to know who she is and who she is meant to be, whereby being able to make better decisions about her life and better choices with whom she will allow to take up space in her life or become partners with in life.

So, you see, it is NOT a bad thing to be a single, black woman! In fact, women should consider themselves privileged to be at such an advantage. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had married women tell me they wish they had one or more of the advantages I’ve listed above, and how many have admitted to wishing they had waited or worked on themselves and their dreams before committing to marriage. It takes time to learn that two half-people do NOT make a whole person, and that the greatest love of all is the love you have for God and for yourself.

There’s a Bible verse, Proverbs 18:22 that says: Whoso findeth a wife, findeth a good thing. So, why have things turned around so in society that single, black women are now led to believe that the number of available, good men is so few that we have to battle it out with other women to land a man, as if the man is the prize? Not so! I refuse to believe that I have to change my values because of this new “black woman you’d better get yourself a man by any means possible” mentality! I’m still a gift and a treasure to behold and I still believe that whoever finds me, finds a good thing!

I’m NOT saying that married black women should now leave their husbands. Please do NOT put words in my mouth. But what I AM saying is that single, black women should embrace being single! You are blessed to be in the position to become a better YOU! Take pride in your singleness and stop letting people tell you that being single is a problem or downfall. I’ll never forget the scene in the movie The Color Purple when Celie finally decides to leave her abusive husband, Albert, and he follows her outside saying “Who you think you is? You can’t curse nobody. Look at you. You’re black, you're poor, you're ugly, you're a woman, you're nothing at all!” He used all the words he could think of in his sick mind to make her think she would never succeed.

Single, black women please take advantage of this time and opportunity to walk in your purpose, pursue your dreams and love the beautiful woman that God has made in you! There’s nothing wrong with you. And there’s nothing wrong with wanting a mate, but until God has blessed you with the right person for you, know that it’s okay to be single in the meantime! And never settle just because society thinks it’s better to have a man than to have no man at all.


SD Denny
Author of The Baker’s Dozen and the upcoming novel, HALF
Available on amazon.com and other fine book retailers
www.sddenny.com

Friday, December 3, 2010

12 Days of Peace, Love & Joy with the Peace In The Storm Christmas Celebration


We’re Spreading Holiday Cheer!

Join the Authors of Peace In The Storm as we celebrate Christmas with the 12 Days of Peace, Love & Joy with Peace In The Storm.

Beginning December 6, 2010, we will post trivia, moments and special memories from the authors, and chances for you to win big during our 12 Days of Peace, Love & Joy with the Peace In The Storm Christmas Celebration.
Get to know the Authors of Peace In The Storm and make sure you know your PITS history; you may win a grand prize!

Celebrate Christmas with Us and you are eligible to win Grand Prizes including Books, Music, and Special Gifts!

Best Wishes!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Her Value (In the Raw) by S.D. Denny


She doesn't value herself, she has no self-esteem
Never has, never will, or so it would seem
Lost somewhere on the battlefield in a meadow of dreams
As she crawled through the conflicts of life by all means

She doesn't value herself, because in spite of the truth
No one's ever been there to show her the proof
So she searched for that proof through the words of a man
From insecure souls without nurturing hands

From cold hearted rolling stones to the ill intended
From those who held back to those who rescinded
Looking for security because in this cold world it's a must
From sun up to sun down and from dawn till dusk

But those things never came

Now she's ashamed


How could this tragedy have come to be
To such a diamond fashioned so perfectly
With tears in her eyes that flowed so naturally
She uttered the following words to me


How is it that I could possibly be
Any value to anyone, or even to me
When my own Daddy didn't even think enough of me
To protect, or provide or to sacrifice for me


He was not there when I lost my first tooth
When I cried at my first heartbreak as a youth
When I had my first date or when I went to the prom
Or the trip to that clinic that they later bombed


I grabbed the pills from the palm of her hand
And lifted her gently from the saline sand
Brushed off her hair and fixed her clothes
And took upon myself the burden of her woes


My sister, I said, take a walk with me
Let me tell you about who I used to be
I didn't value myself, I had nothing to lose
I've held a pill bottle, I've been battered and bruised

I've searched for security, ended up a single mom
And I lived down the road from that clinic they bombed
But after years of searching for someone who valued me
Through trials and tribulations I discovered it was He


The He that breathed the very life into you
Designed you for a purpose which only He knew
Until He revealed to me this one little clue
That what He's given me, I must now pass to you


So, to my sister who does not value herself
Give your burdens to Him, sit them right on His shelf
He's the light of the world, which shines down from above
In Christ Jesus He gave us his sacrificial love


He values you more than you'll ever know
And more than any man could ever show
And now, my sister, what I've given to you
You must pass to another so she knows she's valued too


YOU HAVE A PURPOSE

~SD Denny
Author of The Baker's Dozen and the upcoming novel, HALF
www.sddenny.com
www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com


Copyright 2010

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Give Thanks!


Give Thanks Today

Remember, When you arise in the morning, give thanks for the morning light, for your life and strength. Give thanks for your food, and the joy of living. If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself. ~ Tecumseh, Shawnee Chief

Scripture:
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. 1 Chronicles 16:29

Too often it becomes easier for us to see only the bad things that are going on in our lives. We get up each morning and put on the same garments of despair, hurt, anger and resentment that we had on the day before. Instead of seeing the dawning of a new day as another opportunity to begin again, we see only our problems of yesterday.

We would rather dwell on the problems of our past, than rejoice in the blessings of the day. It rarely occurs to us that maybe our inability to rejoice in the blessings that we have already been given, as being a part of the reason we don’t receive new blessings each and every day.

As a mother, I often compare my relationship to God to my relationship with my children. You see, its hard for me to give them something new, when I feel they don’t appreciate what they already have. I cannot in good conscious give them a new thing if they don’t take care of the old.

So I have to ask “how can God in good conscious bless us with a new thing, when we can’t appreciate what we already have?” As I read the above quote, there was one statement that really stood out to me; If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies with yourself.

Don’t you have something to be thankful for?

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. Lord, we come once again praising and uplifting the name of Jesus. We lift up Holy hands and bow down before the throne of grace in reverence and honor to You Lord. Father, no matter what this day may bring, I will continue to praise You. Lord, this joy that I have deep down in my soul, the world didn't give it to me. You did. I will not allow anyone to take back what You have given me. Thank You Father, for my gifts. I thank You for waking me up and breathing life into my lungs once again. I thank You for family, friends and loved ones who encourage when the world tells me I can't. I thank You for guiding and directing me especially during those times I seem to stray. Lord, continue to place Your hedge of protection around the saints who are represented here. Strengthen all of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are going through. Manifest and magnify Your Power and Your presence in our lives today. Thank You Lord, Thank You Jesus. Amen.


"Caught in the Middle"
Now Available!
http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com
jackiemoore@virtuousliving.com
http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Take the Limits Off!


The only limits to the possibilities in your life tomorrow are the buts you use today. ~ Les Brown

Scripture:
He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power; his understanding has no limit. Psalm 147:4-6 (New International Version)

A few months ago, I had an eye-opening experience. I went on my very first cruise and I went by myself. Now just about everyone who heard this thought I was crazy and or foolish by going on a trip of this magnitude and no one was accompanying me.

Now to clarify, I did seek a cabin mate but no one was available. At first and even up to the point that I actually boarded the ship, I was scared. I started thinking that everyone had been right and that maybe I was making a mistake. I wouldn’t know anybody onboard and I would be miserable and all alone. However, they couldn’t have been further from the truth.

I was actually cruising with a group called “Cruising for Christ.” I had been invited by Kendra Norman-Bellamy who is a fellow Christian author and the group was primarily made up of fellow Christian artists. There were authors, musicians, comedians, mimes and many more onboard who were a part of the group. When I say I was BLESSED, mere words cannot describe just how much.

Today’s message was birthed on this anointed cruise. Pastor Keith Edmonds, or it could have been his identical twin Brother Karl Edmonds, who both happen to be ministers and mimes, spoke this powerful word into my spirit. They reminded that it is each of us who limits ourselves. We hinder our own progress through lack of faith, obedience and confidence; the same faith and confidence that gives us all authority and power in Christ Jesus.

We limit our journey in this life by talking ourselves out of what we can do and accomplish. We talk ourselves out of God’s blessings by stating that what we see as impossible. We miss out on blessings because they are not packaged the way we think they should look.

Saints of God, the word tells us that all things, not some things, but all things are possible with God!

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Father, in the name of Jesus, we come seeking Your grace and Your counsel once again. Lord, help us to remove the limits we have placed on our own lives. Help us to see the plans and designs that You have for each of our lives. When satan tells us we can’t, remind us that Your word says we can do ALL things through Christ Jesus, who strengthens me. Touch us Lord, as we pause and meditate on Your word. Father, we pause to give thanks for keeping us once again. We know that we are here only because of You. We are blessed, not because of who we are but because of who's we are. Thank You Lord, that You loved us that much. Touch us Lord, for we need You right now. Father, help each and every one of us to be mindful to put on the whole armor of God, for we are still in the midst of a spiritual battle. Protect us Lord, guide us Lord. Keep us Lord. Father, we come give You our thanks. We come praising and uplift Your Holy Name. We love You Lord. As we ask and pray these things in Christ Jesus. Amen.


"Caught in the Middle"
Now Available!
http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com
jackiemoore@virtuousliving.com
http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Roadblocks by Jacqueline D. Moore


Remember, when reaching obstacles and hurdles, JUMP! ~ unknown

Scripture:
Then my enemies will turn back when I call for help. By this I will know that God is for me. In God, whose word I praise, in the LORD , whose word I raise- Psalm 56:1-3

Saints, have you ever been driving along and ran into a roadblock? You were forced to go in another direction and sometimes you got lost? You had no clue where you were or how to get back on the right road?

That's how our spiritual walk is sometimes. Things will happen to block our way. We have certain plans for our lives. We may have decided that things were going to be done a certain way, then something happens to change our plans. We were so set on doing things our way, we weren't prepared to do anything different and become lost and confused.

Well saints, I know how you can get back on the right road. It's a map called the Book of Life. It is the word of God. The bible. It is our spiritual roadmap for this world.

So when you find yourself lost and confused, pull out your map, and find your way home.

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Lord, we come as humbly as we can to give You the glory, the honor and the praise. Thank You Lord, for keeping us one more day. Father, we thank You for Your word. Your word, that teaches us, keeps us, renews us and guides us. We come thanking You this morning for the family of God. You have blessed us, O God, with the gift of friendship, the bonding of persons in a circle of love. We thank You for such a blessing: for friends who love us, who share our sorrows, who laugh with us in celebration, who bear our pain, who need us as we need them, who weep as we weep, who hold us when words fail, and who give us the freedom to be ourselves. Bless our friends with health, wholeness, life, and love. Lord, so many of our loved ones have been stricken with cancer. We come asking for an extra portion of Your grace and mercy today. Touch them now Lord Jesus. Strengthen them, comfort them, but most of all heal their bodies and their spirits. We thank You right now for our breakthroughs that are on the way. We thank You right now for our blessings that our on the way. We love You Lord. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

"Caught in the Middle"
Now Available!


http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com
jackiemoore@virtuousliving.com
http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The 44th President of the United States: The Man, the Movement and Me


The 44th President of the United States: The Man, the Movement and Me

It’s no secret I have been an Obama supporter from day one. Even before he announced his candidacy for presidency, he was my candidate of choice.

The Man

My upbringing is one that I was always taught to be a strong black woman, not needing the support of a man, or any other person for my basic needs in life, let alone anything above and beyond that basic need.

I was taught to be self sufficient in all that I do and that a man’s presence in my life should be an accessory to who I am, and never should be something I needed to survive or to ‘complete’ who I was in any manner.

That is not a put down on men, but a push for independency of women.

There is a difference…and marinate on it a minute if it is not crystal clear to you. It is a piece of logic and wisdom that I wholeheartedly embrace and spoon-feed to everyone I know…regardless of sex, race or any other factor…Love you…do you…be an entity in and of yourself that does not require the existence of another human being in order to sustain the beauty that is you. Embrace the work of art that you are. God created you with the supplies that you need to exist in the realm of who you are without the aide of another…this same thing rings true for men and every human being.

We all should be self-sufficient…allowing anyone we choose to allow along for the ride that is our lives to raise their hands and say “weeee” on the down stroke, only because they have been ‘allowed’ to ride…not because we “need” them in order to flip the on switch in order for the ride to begin.

That being said…I find it hard to yield to a man. And Barack was no different…if anything, to win this voter’s heart; he had a hard hill to climb.

The Movement

It takes a lot to move me. Yet Barack did. I went to see him before he had officially announced his candidacy and during the time he was testing the waters of “if he could pull this off.” From the first speech I heard from him I was smitten. –Caught up in the man, the hype and the hope. The possibility of changing the world one step at a time was intriguing to me and a concept that I held on to and embraced.

Along with the rest of the world, I was spellbound by his magnificent speeches, delivered in Martin Luther King Jr. style, his elegant and presidential presence and the family aura of a “do right” man. While all those things were the outward makings of a president, the movement that is Obama was even more detailed than that. It moved beyond the picture perfect poster child for change. It lay in the essence of his beliefs, his dreams, and OUR dreams. Obama is the one. But not because of his ability to fit into what is acceptable, but because he gives us all hope, he ignites a fire within us all to be better. And that is what the movement is about. Not following a man…but following a dream.

And Me

Even after Barak Obama has been crowned President-elect, I’m still the girl raised by a single mother who was taught never to depend on a man or another human being to exist in life. I am still the girl that is hard to please and who finds it hard to place her beliefs in a man, any man other than her God. And Barak Obama is no different…he will miss the mark on things, he won’t be able to deliver on all things promised, but he will try. He will think outside of the box in an effort to change the world and for me…that’s what I need. The essence of Me needs to believe again. The essence of Me needs someone to motivate me, inspire me and lead ME. The essence of my future and the future of my children needed someone who understands, looks like and gets me. The essence of my attachment to the 44th President of the United States is that together we can change the world and I have faith in The Man, The Movement and in Me.


Learn more about the brilliant Lorraine Adeeva Elzia, and Mistress Memoirs at http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com/.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Did you Remember to say Thank You?


Silent gratitude isn't much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern

Scripture:
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. We will shout for joy when you are victorious and will lift up our banners in the name of our God. May the LORD grant all your requests. Psalm 20:4-5

Far too often we go through life and never tell those who care about us, thank you. We often take for granted the kind words and gestures that are offered to us each and every day. We take for granted the loving things that family and friend do and say on our behalf.

Did you thank your wife or mother today for something they recently did for you? Did you take the time to do something nice for the friend who allowed you to dump all of your problems on their lap? Did you have a kind word for your brother or sister who did something nice for you just because? Or, how about that coworker who picked up your slack when you fell behind? Did you share a holiday meal with someone who spent hours laboring in their kitchen so that those who gathered around the table could partake in all of your favorite dishes?

More often than not, we take for granted those angels around us who are always there who see our needs and just take it upon themselves to do for us and often times, they don’t even have to be asked. So is it with God’s grace and mercy.

God is that friend who is always there to supply all of our needs and so often we forget to say; thank you!

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. Lord, we come before the throne of grace to thank You Lord. You blessed me once again, and I forgot to thank You. You blessed me with my home, my children, and so much more, and I forgot to thank You. You delivered me from the evil one and I didn't thank You. Forgive me Lord, for forgetting to let You know how much I appreciate everything You do for me. You know Lord, last week I asked for something that You gave me. Thank You. I asked You to watch over me and my loved ones and You did. Thank You. Lord, last night when I prayed, I asked that You would place Your hedge of protection around me and my loved ones and You did. Thank You. I asked You for prosperity, and You blessed me with my job, I just want to say thank You. Lord, maybe I don't have that job I wanted just yet, but You still fed me last night. Bless You Lord. I might have had to catch the bus this morning, but that's okay, I thank You for giving me bus fare. Lord, my blessings are too many to list right now, but I want You to know that I am grateful for each and every blessing that I have received. Not because I am worthy of Your favor, but because You love me. I thank You for just loving me. Bless Your name Lord. Praise the name of the Lord. I lift up Holy Hands and bow down my head in reverence to You alone. Thank You Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Visit Jackie Moore online at www.jacquelinedmoore.com.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Follow your Dreams!



Hello Family and Friends,

What is your dream? You may say to yourself that I don't have time to dream or may feel that the dream that you have will never come to pass, but I really want you to take a moment and think about what is your dreams and your passions?

Sometimes we can be so consumed and caught up with being so many things to so many people in our lives that we stop dreaming for ourselves but I'm here to encourage you today: its time to dust off those dreams and get busy!!!

You may even feel that you don't even have time to invest in a dream and may feel guilty in doing so but there's nothing wrong with investing in your dreams. Take the time today and invest in what your dreams are because it is your destiny! Its the legacy that you will leave for generations that will come after you so its definitely worth the hard work you will put in. Whether it may be starting your own business, writing a book, going back to school, start taking steps to reach your goals and watch how God works! Here at Peace in the Storm we are every day regular people that decided to push past our fears and doubts and become published authors! Look at how awesome that is! God is so faithful and he took each of our step of faith and is doing some amazing things!

So we encourage you today to chase after your dreams, actively pursue the things you want to do in life, and don't be afraid to step out on faith. A little faith will take you a long way! So what are you waiting for??? Get busy and invest in YOU today!!!


Best Wishes and Happy Dreaming,

Jessica A Robinson

________________________________________


Jessica A. Robinson is an award-winning, national best selling author of Holy Seduction. Her latest release, Pretty Skeletons has received much praise. You can order her books at www.amazon.com, www.blackexpressions.com, www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com and her books are available at national bookstores nationwide, including Borders and Barnes and Noble.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Are you Walking in the Valley?


Remember; If you are going through hell...keep going. ~Winston Churchill

Scripture:For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him, since you are going through the same struggle you saw I had, and now hear that I still have. Philippians 1:29-30 (New International Version)

One of my favorite topics that I like to talk about, is the valley experience. A valley experience can mean that you are at a low point in your life. A valley experience could be the loss of a job, loss of loved one, financial difficulties, Strife in your relationships, or a wayward spouse or child.
A valley experience can even be a life threatening illness.

A valley experience could mean that you feel unconnected. No one understands you. Your family, your friends, not even God. A valley experience could mean that you don’t feel that God hears or cares about your circumstances.

A valley experience can mean that you don't know where you belong in life. You are confused as to what direction you should be going in. You are not happy with your job, or just getting by with your job. Maybe you want to go back to school but just aren't sure or maybe don't know where the money is coming from. A valley experience could be a heaviness of heart, for what seems to you, no reason.

Well my brothers and sisters understand that each and everyone of us will have a valley experience. Sometimes, it’s because of things that we have done, the choices that we have made, or maybe it's necessary for our spiritual growth.

Sometimes God will put us in the valley for our own good. Maybe it's to protect us. Maybe it's to help us see just how blessed we are. Maybe it's to help us grow. Grow in our faith and grow in our relationship with him.

There are two things that I have learned about the valley. The first one is this; none of us will stay in the valley. It's just a journey to the other side. The second thing is:

I wouldn't be able to truly appreciate the Mountain Top unless I had first gone through that valley.

Be Blessed

Prayer:
I love the Lord. He heard my cry. And even as I walk through the valleys of life, He is with me always. Goodness and mercy are at my side. He covers and protects me in the blood of the Lamb. Thank You Lord. Father we come asking that You would give us the strength, the peace and the patience to make it through whatever valley we may go through this day. We come asking that even as we find ourselves in the valley, we know that we are never alone. Lord, as I look around me and see others in the valley with me, may something that I do or say, encourage them to stay their course. Father, I ask that You would touch my brothers and sisters who find themselves in that valley. Lord, let them know that they too are never alone. Thank You Father for allowing us to come before Your throne of grace one more time. Thank You Father, for listening to us, one more time. Thank You Lord, for blessing us, one more time. Praise His name, saints of God. Lord, we lift Your name on high. We sings song of praise even in the valley low. We sings songs of praise, when we reach our mountain top. Thank You Lord, Bless You Lord. Hallelujah, praise God. Amen.

Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com. She has contributed to several anthologies and is the 2009 African American Literary Show romance author of the year for her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint. "Caught in the Middle" Now Available!
http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com
jackiemoore@virtuousliving.com
http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

From the Root to the Fruit


From the Root to the Fruit

One simple thought….

From the Root to the Fruit

What a wonderful colloquialism that I only wish I could claim as my own. – But I can't. At a recent MLK celebration, the keynote speaker was Bishop T.D. Jakes…the saying is his.

Uttered from his lips and forever entwined in my psyche.
Six words.
Alone they mean nothing, but put in proper context, they are the beginning of a phenomenal road map by which we should govern our lives.

In an eloquent, gregarious and expressive manner, Bishop Jakes linked the plight of Martin Luther King Jr. to the achievements of President Obama (oh, how I love the way that title rolls off one’s tongue.) Bishop Jakes indicated that in order for us to see the Fruit that is Obama, there had to be a Root, which was Martin Luther King Jr. One could not be possible without the other. Both are essential tools to get us to where we need to go.

Among the thunderous applause which engulfed a room filled to capacity, as everyone around me stood and shouted praises, amens and a few, “I know that’s right”, I sat nodding my head in agreement while taking notes. (I'm a writer…it’s what I do.) I scribed his powerful words, detailing the images around me, chronically my thoughts, describing my feelings and constructing analogies in my head. Through Bishop Jakes, I wanted to touch Barack and get a whiff of the smell of Martin. I needed to inhale and absorb both as if they were part of my current and physical existence; part of my earthly being. I could stand and applaud later, but at that moment I needed to touch the hem of the garment that made up both of these men...for me, I simply needed to personalize in words, the moment handed to me by God. I needed to make a lyrical scrapbook of what I was feeling before it became a faint and fleeting memory in the back of my mind. At that moment I wanted to document the events and environment around me so that I could relive it at a later time and for several more times like it to come.

The man before me was a man who days before had the privilege and responsibility of spiritually feeding a hungry sheep, albeit a sheep in the form of the man who would be the next president of the United States. Before me was the man, who had the task and honor of soothing the soul of our President mere hours before Barack would accept his role. Spitting out a simple thought of connection was a man who had accepted the challenge of shepardizing the spiritual guidance of a man who will lead us all and yet, Bishop Jakes humbly stood before a large crowd that had gathered to see him and celebrate a dream interpreted several decades earlier by a simple man named Martin. Oh, how six degrees of separation never felt so surreal.

Eagerly, my senses hung on Bishop Jakes’ every word. He did his job well and earned his appearance fee for the evening while stirring the crowd to feel connected, at least for a moment in time, with Martin and Barack. Mission accomplished in making a connection that all in the room could personally feel and take home to marinate on the significance of the moment that the 44th President of the United States brings and how his journey was paved by the blood, sweat and tears of others including, but not limited to Martin Luther King Jr. The moment should not be lost on any of us, the connection should be obvious to all of us, and the significance should be acknowledged even by the worst of us.

But where Bishop Jakes started, I challenge you to take a step further.

“From the Root to the Fruit”

As my favorite Pastor used to say, “I ain’t talking about nobody…just talking about what I’m talking about.” But for a short moment in time please contemplate this:

What roots are you nourishing? What seeds are you sowing?

For all things to blossom, they must first take root.

Take a moment and run with that thought.

If you want your life to blossom….
You must plant seeds
They must take root.
And then and only then will you see fruit.

In order for there to be a harvest, you must first tender to the crop.

Want a healthy marriage?
Plant the root of fidelity and communication.
Want respectable children, the kind you can be proud of?
Plant the root of knowledge, wisdom and discipline.
Want a successful career?
Plant the root of ambition, experience and skill.
Want accomplishment of your dreams?
Plant the root of steadfast endurance in chasing them.
All things are possible if you follow the road map and remember that in order to get the Fruit, you first have to have a strong, healthy and fertile Root.

Peace, Favor and blessings to you all,
Lorraine

Lorraine Elzia is an award winning author, and her latest release, Ask Nicely and I Might has received much praise. Order your copy at www.amazon.com!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Patience Really is a Virtue


Remember, If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow. ~ Chinese Epigram


Scripture:
A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. Proverbs 19:11

As I reflect on the word patience, I am reminded that patience, is not something that comes easily. So often, when we want something, we want it right now. We don’t want to wait for it. We make a decision to do something and we expect it to manifest itself right now. We live with a right now kind of mind set.

“Many of us want a big beautiful house, a car and all that our parents had but we are not willing to make the same sacrifices that our parents made. We want the connectivity in our marriages that our parents and grandparents had, but we are not willing to INVEST in our relationships the way that they did.

As Christians, patience is not optional. It is something that is required from each and every one of us. It is something that is expected of us each and everyday. Not just every once in a while. It is something that others will be looking for when they observe in our Christian walk. So often if we would just learn to show a little patience in certain situations, we could prevent our lives from becoming more complicated than they already are.

I am reminded of this as I watch the news or read the newspapers and the perpetrator of a crime says, “I didn’t mean it, I didn’t realize what I was doing.” We must learn to exert patience instead of reacting in all things.

Remember, patience truly is a virtue.

Be Blessed

Prayer:Father God, today I became angry and forgot to be patience. I may have said or done something in my anger that caused some one harm or maybe caused someone else to stumbled in their Christian walk. Forgive me Lord. Help me Lord, to call on the fruits of the spirit before I react to certain things or people. Teach me Lord, to have the patience of Job. Help me Lord, to be still and know that everything has its own time and season. Lord, help me to watch my tongue and only use it to quietly correct. Help me Lord, not to be judgmental of others but to realize that each of us must learn in our own time. Now Lord, I ask that You would bless those who I may have slighted. Speak to my heart Holy Spirit and let me always remember that You are greater than any slight I may experience. Continue to bless my brothers and sisters in Christ as well as my family and friends. Touch those who are feeling unloved right now, in the name of Jesus. Keep us all in perfect peace. I humbly submit this prayer in the name of Jesus. Amen.


"Caught in the Middle"
Now Available!
http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com
jackiemoore@virtuousliving.com
http://www.peaceinthestormpublishing.com

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Person Behind the Fiction Writer



The Person Behind the Fiction Writer

Some of the most common questions I get from readers of my work are “How much of the story is about you?” and “How much truth is there to the story?”

While I’m not sure about other writers, I can say that I personally have built a great deal of my work around many factual people, events, emotions, and experiences that I’ve encountered in my life. Not to say that the story is completely about me or completely about someone that I know, but each story that I write is written because I’m tied to it in some way or another, even if it’s through an association that I have with someone else.

I tend to write out of inspiration about experiences or emotions on intense issues. For instance, in my debut novel, The Baker's Dozen, I tackle deep issues like depression, unplanned pregnancy, family secrets and incest. The story is a conglomerate of associations, experiences and emotions that I have encountered along the way that I was inspired to build upon and share as a means of inspiring others by showing how we can rise above such adversities.

In my sophomore novel, HALF, which is slated for release this coming spring, I tackle identity issues from the viewpoint of the main character, Carmen O’Malley, a young biracial woman. Although the story itself is a work of fiction, readers will encounter experiences and emotions that are factual, which I was able to lend to the story’s credibility.

In doing radio, blog, and magazine interviews I find that many of my hosts are intrigued by whether or not there’s any “fact to my fiction.” I always say that it’s a work of fiction that contains fragments of factual events or characters as well. I never point out which is which, because I don’t think it should matter to the reader, but the fact alone that a reader knows that “somewhere in between these lines someone has really encountered this” seems to make the story that much more interesting!


Some writers write for entertainment, some for inspiration, and some for the sheer love of writing. But no matter what their reason for writing is, I believe that the work of every fiction writer is sprinkled with bits and pieces of themselves and/or the lives of people whom they associate with. I happen to love the idea that a writer could have such a creative mind that they can actually build a great story around an experience that they or someone they know has encountered.
The sculptor has but a ball of clay in his hands; yet he molds that clay into an amazing work of art that people can look at and appreciate. So is the fiction writer, so simply amazing, that he can craft as beautiful a work of art straight from his heart.

SD Denny, Author
2009 African-American Literary Award Nominee
http://www.sddenny.com/

Friday, April 2, 2010

7 Principles for Having a Marriage of Purpose

Principle 6: Unconditional Love

The Greek language (the language of the New Testament) uses two different words to describe and define love. The most commonly used Greek word translated "love" in the New Testament is "agape." This love is represented by God's love for us. It is a non-partial, sacrificial love probably best exemplified by God's provision of His Son's life for our sins.

Unconditional love is the kind of love spoken of in 1 Corinthians 13: 1-13; patient, kind, overlooking faults, not rude, not self seeking. This "true love" is the type of love that comes with no string attached. After the initial passion when you first meet someone has subsided, unconditional love takes over. You accept that your partner is not perfect but that doesn't cause you to run to the hills - that is real love. You know that they are not infallible. But you dont mind that. You still love them. This is unconditional love. When this kind of love exists in marriage it transcends the emotional, lust filled love of one's youth. It opens the door for new communication, new commtiment, and new understanding.

Take the time to love your spouse with the agape love of God that goes past the surface enabling you to look deep into their heart and love them for who God has made them to be despite their faults and shortcomings.

Cheryl Lacey Donovan is an Award-winning author, Bible teacher, and licensed Evangelist, Cheryl's books, CD's, and devotionals are not meant to only entertain, but to also minister to and encourage others.

Keith Donovan is a husband, father, son, and most importantly a man of God. He endeavors to emulate the image of Christ as he forges his way through life.

Keith and Cheryl have been married for seventeen years and have three grown children and one grandson.

Their new book Do You Still Do What Happens Happily Ever After can be pre-ordered by visiting Peace in the Storm Publishing. To learn more about them visit their website Do You Still Do Marriage

Thursday, April 1, 2010

7 Principles for a Marriage of Purpose

Principle 5: Forgive and Forget

There's no doubt about it the closer the relationship the more severe the pain of the offense. But it is important to understand that the offense is harmless unless we allow it to take root in our spirit and grow. Jesus Himself told us in Luke 17:1 it's impossible not to be offended in this life. Therefore the question isn't will you be offended but how you will deal with it when you are offended.

Forgiveness is an essential expectation marriage but it comes with a counterpart and that’s forgetting.. “For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, you Father will not forgive your sins." - Matthew 6:14-15. This is a commandment with a promise. If you desire forgiveness from God you must learn to forgive. That includes your husband. But it’s forgetting in marriage that can be downright impossible. How can you be expected to forget the horrible words, the devastating arguments, or worse yet, the affair? Truthfully, there is no cut and dry answer to this question. Only God can give the courage and strength to truly forgive from your heart. But it is important to remember that when you don’t forgive the only person you are hurting is yourself.

Forgiveness is the only cure for offense. When we forgive we release the power of God to bring good out of a bad situation.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Principle 4: Sometimes we have to "agree to disagree"

by: Cheryl and Keith Donovan

There are times when my husband and I can't agree. No matter how much we try we can't come to a mutually satisfying conclusion. Each of us wants to win the battle and be right. For me, in the past, conclusion was everything. But we've learned over the years every difference of opinion doesn't have to be settled. We no longer expect to agree on everything. Remembering that our relationship, not the issue, is the most important thing we often ask ourselves if our motives for the disagreement are selfish. If they are we pray about our differences and let them go. After all it was our differences that attracted us to one another in the first place. Just because we have differing opinions doesn't mean we aren't compatible or that we are drifting apart. We are willing to not get defensive nor to insist on winning at all costs. Agreeing to disagree helps us to appreciate one another's uniqueness.

Cheryl Lacey Donovan is an Award-winning author, Bible teacher, and licensed Evangelist, Cheryl's books, CD's, and devotionals are not meant to only entertain, but to also minister to and encourage others.

Keith Donovan is a husband, father, son, and most importantly a man of God. He endeavors to emulate the image of Christ as he forges his way through life.

Keith and Cheryl have been married for seventeen years and have three grown children and one grandson.

Their new book Do You Still Do What Happens Happily Ever After can be pre-ordered by visiting Peace in the Storm Publishing. To learn more about them visit their website Do You Still Do Marriage

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

7 Principles for a Marriage of Purpose


Principle 3: Keep a "teachable spirit"

by: Cheryl and Keith Donovan

We believe that God can use each of us to help the other deal with "blind spots." We all have areas in our lives in which we need to grow or bad habits we need to overcome. Sometimes these things are easy for our spouse to see, but difficult for us to see in ourselves. If we keep a teachable spirit, God can use our spouse to help us grow to be a better person, a better spouse, and more Christ like.

Easier said than done because human nature tends to be defensive and stubborn we tend to react unseemly when our spouse tries to help us see a weak area. Pointing out one of their weaknesses while excusing our own we try to ease our ego. But as long as we both are determined to keep a genuine teachable spirit, the marriage continues to soar to new heights!

Cheryl Lacey Donovan is an Award-winning author, Bible teacher, and licensed Evangelist, Cheryl's books, CD's, and devotionals are not meant to only entertain, but to also minister to and encourage others.

Keith Donovan is a husband, father, son, and most importantly a man of God. He endeavors to emulate the image of Christ as he forges his way through life.

Keith and Cheryl have been married for seventeen years and have three grown children and one grandson.

Their new book Do You Still Do What Happens Happily Ever After can be pre-ordered by visiting Peace in the Storm Publishing. To learn more about them visit their website Do You Still Do Marriage

Monday, March 29, 2010

7 Principles for Having a Marriage of Purpose


Principle 2: We enjoy sharing the details of life with each other.

by; Cheryl and Keith Donovan

We want to know "how the day went" for each other. We share the details of what's going on at work or what's going on in the lives of our kids.

This was not always the case. There was a time in our marriage when communication was tertiary at best. Struggling often to put my feelings into words after an, I would withdraw and shut my husband out with silence just to avoid conflict. Feelings buried so as not to provoke Keith only stayed buried for the short term. They eventually came to a head. My passive aggressive behavior of nagging and blaming was just as dangerous to our marriage as Keith’s more aggressive tirades of anger that played out with yelling and screaming. We had developed a habit of allowing our arguments to get out of control. Not resolving the problem gave us an initial feeling of peace and harmony, but it was like a wound that heals on the surface when underneath there’s an infection that needs to be released. No one enjoys lancing the wound, but real recovery can’t take place otherwise.

we had to reframe our thinking, realign the way we handled disagreements to better reflect the pattern God wanted to see. Instead of justifying our behavior we learned how to properly react to disagreements no matter how intense they were or who was at fault. We learned to see through conflict and search for the real issues that were submerged under the surface of our shallow pool of volatile emotions. Bringing God into the conversation didn’t hurt. His wisdom always helped when we couldn’t find the answer on our own. Each time we worked out a disagreement this way we were better equipped to deal with the next one. It fine-tuned our relationship.

Now, we crave the opportunity to talk to one another and share our inner most thoughts and feelings. Open communication that is edyfying, encouraging, and reaffirming makes for a long lasting realtionship able to endure the test of time.

Cheryl Lacey Donovan is an Award-winning author, Bible teacher, and licensed Evangelist, Cheryl's books, CD's, and devotionals are not meant to only entertain, but to also minister to and encourage others.

Keith Donovan is a husband, father, son, and most importantly a man of God. He endeavors to emulate the image of Christ as he forges his way through life.

Keith and Cheryl have been married for seventeen years and have three grown children and one grandson.

Their new book Do You Still Do What Happens Happily Ever After can be pre-ordered by visiting Peace in the Storm Publishing. To learn more about them visit their website Do You Still Do Marriage

Sunday, March 28, 2010

7 Principles for Having a Marriage of Purpose


Principle 1: Keep God at the center of your marriage
by: Cheryl and Keith Donovan

Having God at the center of your marriage means more than just going to church together or saying grace before mealtime. Frequently when my husband Keith and I are alone together, we talk about the Lord. We remind each other of how good He's been to us and we discuss what He's doing in our lives right now. We have times when together we discuss passages of scripture we've read from the Bible. You'll also see and hear us praying for our children, for wisdom for the day, and any petitions we are seeking the Lord for. This is what it means for God to be Lord of our marriage.

We take seriously the commitment we made to God through our vows. We seek at evey occasion to make our marriage glorify God through the way we treat one another, speak to one another, and love one another. Our marriage is a lab for learning how to love like Jesus. Testing our faith our fortitude and our resilience, each day we embark upon a new experiment. Some days the experiment is a success, other days we have to return to our lab manual, the Bible, and formulate a new hypothesis, a new theory, that will prove our union worthy of purpose. Our marriage has been the best work room for God to teach us to look more like Him.

Striving to reflect our ultimate service to God for which we were both made Keith and I look for ways to display our servant hood to one another and to others. We have come to understand and accept that some of the very things we regret about our marriage, some of the things we wish we could forget, are the very things that God has used over and over again as we minister to and encourage couples who share the same struggles. God hasn’t just used our strengths; He’s used our weaknesses and even our failures to edify relationships on the brink of catastrophe.

Our mission as believers is to now use our marriage as a means to tell others about love. Our marriage is a lifelong process designed to teach us to see the needs of another person as more important than our own. The more we shift in that direction, the more our marriage becomes focused on the needs of others and balancing our purpose. Life is more fulfilling when you choose to be obedient to God and keep Him at the center.

Keep God at the center of your marriage. Remember God’s plan for you and your spouse are plans to prosper you and to give you a future full of hope. It is exceedingly and abundantly more than you could ever ask or think. But each of you must be willing to chase it.

Cheryl Lacey Donovan is an Award-winning author, Bible teacher, and licensed Evangelist, Cheryl's books, CD's, and devotionals are not meant to only entertain, but to also minister to and encourage others.

Keith Donovan is a husband, father, son, and most importantly a man of God. He endeavors to emulate the image of Christ as he forges his way through life.

Keith and Cheryl have been married for seventeen years and have three grown children and one grandson.

Their new book Do You Still Do What Happens Happily Ever After can be pre-ordered by visiting Peace in the Storm Publishing. To learn more about them visit their website
Do You Still Do Marriage

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Stand Strong in the Face of Adversity


Remember, Adversity is another way to measure the greatness of individuals. I never had a crisis that didn't make me stronger. ~Lou Holtz

Scripture:
Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, "This is the way; walk in it." Isaiah 30:20-21 (New International Version)

Adversity can be described as a series of unfortunate events. Just when it seems that things are going right in your life, something can happen to change your perspective. It can be something as small as failing a test or something so overwhelming like death that just rocks your world.

Sometimes when we are confronted with adverse situations, we may want to throw up our hands in surrender. At other times, we just say “oh well” and keep on keeping on. And then there will come times, when you want to give up and give in. It is in those times when what we are made of, will surely be tested.

Whether you realize it or not, adversity in your lives is sometimes necessary for your spiritual development. There will be times when it becomes inevitable for us all to truly see just how strong the word of God is embedded in our everyday lives. Or, it may be a necessary process in order for us to move to the next level in our spiritual growth.

It is at those times that we must learn to depend on God even more than we already do. The reality of most individuals is that when things are going well in our lives, we become content with where we are. That is not where God necessarily wants us to be. Being a part of the Body of Christ is being willing to be stretched so that we become more like Him and less like the world.

It is at times like these, that we must learn to Stand in the face of Adversity.

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Father God, we come before the throne of grace with praise and thanksgiving on our tongues and in our hearts. We come asking Lord, for peace that passes all understanding. We come asking for strength to stand in the face of adversity. But most of all, we come asking with humbled hearts and minds, that You would hear our prayers and our petitions. Master, we need You to speak to the winds of adversity that are blowing against us, peace be still. We come asking that You hold on to our hands and the storms of life toss us about. We come asking that You would hide us under the wings of Your salvation as the roaring lions draws near in an effort to devour us. Lord, we ask that You would keep all of our families, friends, co-workers and brothers and sisters in perfect peace this and every day. Bless us right now in the name of Jesus. Our prayers are not complete until we let You know just how much we love You. Our prayers on not complete until we sing songs of praise to You alone. Lord, we lift Your name on high, we give You all of our love, all of our praise and sing songs of praise all the day long. Thank You Lord for one more day. Bless You Lord. Hallelujah, Praise God thank You Jesus, in his name we pray, Amen.

Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com . She has contributed to several anthologies and is the 2009 African American Literary Show romance author of the year for her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Ray of Hope In a Dark Room


Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time. ~ Ê Deborah Chaskin

Scripture:
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Matthew 6:25-27 (New International Version)

People who really know me say they can always tell when things aren’t going well in my life. You see, I have a tendency to grow quiet and withdraw from the world around me. I don’t talk the same and I wear my heart on my sleeve.

Recently, I suffered an unexpected setback in my life and had begun to worry about how I would make ends meet and continue to provide for my family. It is no secret that Michigan, especially here in Detroit, has been hit extremely hard by the current recession. That coupled with the fact that I am over fifty-years old and dread the idea of having to start all over again.
Although my situation hasn’t changed, my outlook has.

Unfortunately, I have no control over the external but I do control how I deal with it. First I went through several of the stages of grief; Shock, anger, depression, reflection, loneliness and now finally, acceptance and hope. I cannot control the views and opinions of others, but I can control my own views. I made the mistake of putting my trust in man and not in God.

As I compose today’s message I just want others who may be going through something similar to know that no matter what the future brings, God is still in control. Things may happen in your life to knock you off your square, but God can pick you up and place you back where you belong.

And just like the beautiful and majestic butterfly, you too will awaken in your own time.

Be Blessed

Prayer:
God bless those of us who are battling those inner demons of depression, loneliness, unworthiness, and hopelessness. Shine Your warm Heavenly Light down upon all of us, Lord, guide us to find peace, happiness, and contentment in our lives and within ourselves. The Lord is my light and my salvation-whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life-of whom shall I be afraid? When evil men advance against me to devour my flesh, when my enemies and my foes attack me, they will stumble and fall. Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear; though war break out against me, even then will I be confident. Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. Thank You Father for Your grace and one more experience of Your presence, for Your promise: to be with us, to be our God, and to give salvation. For these and all blessings, we give You thanks, eternal, loving God, through Jesus Christ we pray. Amen.

Butterfly Affirmation
You are like the majestic Black butterfly, full of grace and beauty. Your blackness boldly stands out, acting as the backdrop for the rainbow of colors that define and distinguish you from the rest. Your timeless beauty has carried you across the winds of time, leaving your eternal message written clear across the skies of the lives of others so that all of us can read it and remember when we need it, that a dream conceived in truth will never die.

Positive Affirmation: Today I am like the beautiful and graceful Black Butterfly. My life-defining message I leave in the sky for all to read will be a reflection of not only my inner beauty but also a message of self-love, courage and the pursuit of my dreams. ~ Jacqueline D. Moore

Inspired by the song Black Butterfly - Denise Williams

Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com . She has contributed to several anthologies and is the 2009 African American Literary Show romance author of the year for her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

Monday, February 8, 2010

In the Fiery Furnace


The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace, and the brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm. ~ Charles Caleb Coltron

Scripture:
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 1 Peter 1:6-7

Have you ever wondered why sometimes it seems that it's hard being a Christian? We accept Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior and then it seems like the more we love God and try to grow closer to him, life is constantly coming against you?

Well, I know I have. I look at my life and the lives of my saved brothers and sisters and see that each and every one of us is going through some rather difficult times. Situation after situation keeps happening. Jobs are being lost. Cars are being reposed, houses are being lost, marriages are being torn apart and the money just can't seem to stretch far enough.

But then, God gave me a revelation. Stop depending on the world, the people of this world, and the things of this world. Start looking at me instead! How many of you have noticed that the more you go through, the more you start to really study the word of God. You pray more and you look to him more. The more you go through, things and habits that you once had start falling away.

God says I put you in the furnace so that I can refine you like gold. I need to burn off all of those impurities. I know it's hot in there, but you are mine and those who are mine must be the best. Without spot or blemish. Free of sin, clean, A NEW CREATURE!

So I just want each of you to know, that it may get so hot and uncomfortable. Life will get hard and things may not always work the way we want them to, but in the end, we can praise God and rejoice at the new creature that he has created.

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Thank You Jesus for my fiery furnace. Thank You Lord, for the impurities that You are removing from me. Father, we just ask that You continue to be with us as we go through. We just ask that You would take our hand and lead us on. Lord, we ask that You would help us to see those things in our lives that we have need to get rid of and give them to You willingly. Continue to bless Your saints. Bless each and every family that is represented here. Thank You father for family and friends. Thank You Lord, for Your word. Thank You Lord, for Your son Jesus Christ, in whose name we pray. Amen.

Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at http://www.jacquelinedmoore.com . She has contributed to several anthologies and is the 2009 African American Literary Show romance author of the year for her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Burnt Biscuits


Every now and then, you hear a story that has a meaning that is so profound it grabs hold of you and doesn't let go until you pass it on to someone else. Today, I am compelled to share this gift with you:

When I was a kid, my mom liked to make breakfast food for dinner every now and then. And I remember one night in particular when she had made breakfast after a long, hard day at work. On that evening so long ago, my mom placed a plate of eggs, sausage and extremely burned biscuits in front of my dad. I remember waiting to see if anyone noticed! Yet all my dad did was reach for his biscuit, smile at my mom and ask me how my day was at school. I don't remember what I told him that night, but I do remember watching him smear butter and jelly on that biscuit and eat every bite!

When I got up from the table that evening, I remember hearing my mom apologize to my dad for burning the biscuits. And I'll never forget what he said: "Honey, I love burned biscuits."

Later that night, I went to kiss Daddy good night and I asked him if he really liked his biscuits burned. He wrapped me in his arms and said, "Your Momma put in a hard day at work today and she's real tired. And besides - a little burnt biscuit never hurt anyone!"

You know, life is full of imperfect things... and imperfect people. I'm not the best at hardly anything, and I forget birthdays and anniversaries just like everyone else.
What I've learned over the years is that learning to accept each others faults - and choosing to celebrate each others differences - is one of the most important keys to creating a healthy, growing, and lasting relationship.

And that's my prayer for you today. That you will learn to take the good, the bad, and the ugly parts of your life and lay them at the feet of God. Because in the end, He's the only One who will be able to give you a relationship where a burnt biscuit isn't a deal-breaker!

We could extend this to any relationship. In fact, understanding is the base of any relationship, be it a husband-wife or parent-child or friendship!

"Don't put the key to your happiness in someone else's pocket - keep it in your own."

God Bless You... Now, and Always.

SD Denny, Author of The Baker's Dozen
2009 African American Literary Award Nominee
www.sddenny.com

Thursday, January 14, 2010

The Life Altering Word of God



Remember, we don't change God's message -- His message changes us.

Scripture:

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. 1 Corinthians 1:17-19 (New International Version)

I remember a time when I wasn’t saved, sanctified and Holy-Ghost filled. I used to believe that people who believed in God were stupid and foolish. I mean, how could they believe in something that they could not see?

Yeah, I used to go to church and listen to the Man of God preach about heaven, but I found it hard to believe that there could be a heaven with so much hell on earth. I saw poverty and despair all around me. I saw supposedly “good” people suffering in ways that they didn’t deserve. I watched as a very good “Christian” friend suffered through the pain and agony of a cancer that would one day take her life. Yes, I knew about God but somehow, I found it hard to believe that He knew about me.

Then one Sunday as I sat in church listening to the preacher talk about how God knows and sees our struggles and about how we needed to see beyond our natural and start looking at God through His supernatural eye; I felt something that I had never before experienced; A peace that passes all understanding. My eyes were opened for the very first time.

On that all important day, I began to see and experience the true power of the Holy Spirit as it landed on me and changed the course of my life. I finally got it. I finally understood with my heart what God’s message was all about. It wasn’t about what we see and hear around us, it is about what a relationship with God truly meant.

I finally understood that what I had been going to church for all those years weren’t meant to change the world around me. Rather, it was meant to change my world; A world that places God at its center. The word of God is an instrument that is used to lead us and teach us as we journey through this world. The word of God is a lesson to aid us as we are reconciled to the kingdom of God. The word of God is the key to the kingdom.

Aren’t you glad for His Word?

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Father God, we come before the throne of grace to give thanks for Your word. Your word that gives us life eternal through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. We thank You for the gift of life: for the breath that sustains life, for the food of this earth that nurtures life, for the love of family and friends without which there would be no life. O Lord, Your compassions never fail and Your mercies are new every morning: We give You thanks for giving each of us relief from pain and hope of health renewed. Continue in us, we pray, the good work You have begun; that we, daily increasing in bodily strength, and rejoicing in Your goodness, may so order our lives and conduct that we may always think and do those things that please You; through Jesus Christ our Lord. We give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: because his mercy endureth for ever. Amen.

PLEASE CONTINUE TO PRAY FOR THE VICTIMS IN HAITI. I AM ALSO ASKING FOR SPECIAL PRAYER FOR THE FOLLOWING U.S. MISSIONARIES WHO ARE MISSING:

Leonard, Gabrielle, Gertrude and Renie.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Warning: Sin is Addicting


All sin tends to be addictive, and the terminal point of addiction is what is called damnation~W.H. Auden

Scripture:
What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey--whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you wholeheartedly obeyed the form of teaching to which you were entrusted. Romans 6:15-17

Saints, how many of you have ever gone through an addiction? Exactly, what is addiction? I found a few interesting definitions I want to share with you.

1. Being abnormally tolerant to and dependent on something that is psychologically or physically habit forming. 2. An abnormally strong craving. 3. (Roman Law) a formal award by a court sentence of a thing or a person to another (as of a debtor to his creditor).

Now, personally I found all three definitions to be of great interest. Especially, number 3, but I am getting ahead of myself.

I started smoking when I was about 16. It was the cool thing to do. Now here I am, 35 years later, and I am still smoking. Not because it is the cool thing to do, but because I am physically addicted.

Now some people who have never gone through a physical addiction would say, just quit. But it's not that easy. My body and my emotions start going through some things. Without going through every detail, ultimately my body says, no; don't give it up because we need it in order to feel normal.

Well sin is like smoking. Some sins started out as the cool thing to do. "Everybody else is doing it, it must be okay." Every smoker knows that smoking is bad for you and can lead to serious health problems or even death. There are even warnings on each and every pack of cigarettes.

Unfortunately, there is not a warning on every sin. But there is the bible. The Bible is like the "Surgeon General's Warning"

"Quitting sin now greatly reduces the risk of serious spiritual problems later."

Be Blessed

Prayer:
Lord, I am a sinner. I have not always done what You have said. I ask Father that You would help me to overcome my addiction(s) whatever it may be. Strengthen me Lord, so that I would not give in to the cravings. Calm my spirit and my soul so that I may not use my addiction as an excuse. Help me Lord to realize and recognize that Satan is using my addiction to keep me from You. Lord, I ask that in all that I do and in all that happens, let me never lose hope. Strengthen my faith O'Lord. Let me never think that the things that I do in Your name have been done in vain. Whatever the day may bring, let me trust that You are with me. Whatever path You have chosen for my life, let me follow it without fear. Whatever Satan may bring my way; I shall rebuke it and send it back to him with all authority that has been given to me through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Father, let me not forget my brothers and sisters whom I pray for and with in all earnestly. Lord, let us not forget Your word which is still the blueprint for us to live more righteously. Lord, I love and praise You. Thank You Lord for my breakthroughs and victories. As I ask and pray these things in the name of Jesus. Amen.