Friday, October 29, 2010
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
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.
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!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
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.
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 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
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.
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"
Thursday, October 21, 2010
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