December 01, 2014

Just Want To Praise You

#grateful - This song really sums up how I am feeling today.

September 07, 2014

Come Alive

When a goal is set and reached, it is the end of a process which often signals the beginning of another. Something motivates us to keep moving, learning, growing, seeking new challenges and outcomes.

I recently read a blog by Joya Martin (award-winning business leader and experienced accounting professional) titled, What Dreams Will Die With You? She mentions a quote attributed to Dr. Howard Thurman, "Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who come alive."  

Are you living your dream? Has fear paralyzed you? What do you need to take the next step? What's stopping you from moving toward a goal?

The caption on my high school yearbook photo reads, "Author/Singer," and though I graduated a lifetime ago (it seems) the dream of writing a book is only now being realized. One will soon be published, and I have already started writing another. It is exciting, exhilarating, terrifying, phenomenal, awe inspiring, just crazy cool and unreal.

It is never too late to live on purpose. Don't let your dreams die with you. Now is the time to watch the painting on your life's canvas become a masterpiece. Come alive. 

August 11, 2014

A Glimpse of Awesome ...

My mind was racing one hundred miles per minute, as I sat enveloped in silence. Six heads were bowed over a 1,464 word handout from the manuscript of my book, Pour The Oil. It was the first time my writing was being critiqued by our local Word Weavers group. I was both excited and apprehensive.

I saw hands moving. I heard pen on paper. Facial expressions reflected focus. The silence seemed endless; the air charged. It may have been due to a comment uttered when the last word was read from the handout, "... and she leaves us there. We want more." I chuckled inwardly. Maybe I was the only one charged. That was the thought until the group began sharing. 

They were thorough, intuitive, complimentary and enthusiastic. I felt encouraged. It was easy to receive comments geared toward making the work better, and wonderful to be affirmed. I heard things like:-

"This is a parallel to my life" 
"It is raw"
"I can't wait to hear more"
"I am going to add this to my reading list"
"It is needed now, in this time"
"You write well"
"It is obvious that you are a teacher"
"God will complete what He has started in you"

As valuable than the comments was the dialogue which started as a result of the (Pour The Oil) content shared. 

I don't say this to toot my own horn, but to express gratitude. I am thankful to Daddy God. I understand what He has done through me. There is purpose in this work and I see it. I got a glimpse ... of Awesome, and there is more to come. Stay tuned for more updates.

July 28, 2014

Bitten By The Bug

I have been bitten - by the writer's bug that is - and I cannot shake the symptoms of this windfall. My fingers will not stay still for a minute. My mind has created a folder of thoughts and concepts not yet typed. They are being stored at a rapid rate, and have reached a capacity that is threatening to overflow if I don't do something about it.

The Editor has been working on the "Pour The Oil" manuscript for exactly 6 days and I am itching to get back to writing. Clearly this is the season to accomplish this part of my purpose - to pen stories and principles that are destined to help those who are hungry for and have been prepared to receive them. I am ready for the words to begin pouring onto a page.

Today, I started the companion book to "Pour The Oil". It is a forty day Devotional. I am pretty excited about it. Stay tuned for more updates.

July 21, 2014

What Are You Doing The Rest Of Your Life?

When Martin Luther King said, "I have a dream" he was not just daydreaming about something he wanted to see happen. Dr. King was living on purpose, taking every step in his power to move toward a difficult goal. His mindset; I will try until I die. He knew that achieving the dream would come at great cost. There is a price to finally realize what you may have been longing for your whole life. You have got to maintain sold out resolve, and unbroken focus.

Dr. King referred to many believing and working alongside him as, "veterans of creative suffering."  Wow! Think about that for a minute - "veterans." They had been in the struggle for a long while, but giving up was never an option. Jail, pain, pressure, the sight and stench of death; none of these things stopped the advancement of a people who believed.

It takes inner fortitude to keep moving when you can't even see a light -- when there seems to be no end to the journey. It takes some kind of spiritual power to continue moving forward when the path to the destination is obscured, or barred. That spiritual power is birthed at the same time you are - your purpose comes to life in that wail, as air fills your lungs for the first time.

That purpose propels you when others say it cannot be done. It keeps you working in the midst of snickers and criticisms that would discourage even the strongest. Purpose becomes a steel rod in your backbone. It is like a Kevlar vest, blocking verbal ammunition from penetrating; a helmet that shields the mind when projectiles are launched.

The only one who can stop purpose from being fulfilled is you. I dreamed of walking across a stage in cap and gown with my degree in hand. I dreamed of singing, and writing. There were many detours on the path, but purpose never died.

What is your dream? Are you going to give up because of something someone said or might have done to discourage you? Don't do that. Live on purpose. It will safeguard you as you navigate the process to destiny. Hold on -- You have what it takes. Be strong -- You are going to make it.

What are you doing the rest of your life? Living on purpose? Okay, that's what I want to hear. I am rooting for you.

June 21, 2014

That's Nonsense!

You are a singer/songwriter. Now you tell me you are writing a book, but I don't hear any new music - that's nonsense. I don't understand what you are doing.

Why don't you focus on one thing? You run the risk of not doing well at either because neither has your full attention. That's nonsense. You will fail. 

What have you achieved musically? You have some songs out there but you are not charting. You have not achieved success in that area, so what on earth could you be writing about. I - don't - get - you!

I chuckle as I write this, because you are absolutely right. It is non-sense. If I only marched to the beat of my drum, the tale may be different.

Have you ever been driven by something - a dream, a goal, a desire. It is there every waking minute, compelling you to act. It remains unsatisfied until you do something. There is an unshakable urge. It is not just in your thoughts, but your entire being carries it - or rather, it carries your entire being. You cannot get away from it. It multiplies exponentially when the act is driven by purpose and fueled by the Holy Spirit. There is no way of escaping (I don't want to).

The truth of the matter is, they are directly related; my singing and the book. The subject matter I have written about came from burning questions about one thing. Each time I am at an event singing/ministering -there are questions about the Anointing.  Another truth? The revelations in this book are transforming me. They are preparing me for the next phase of ministry, and that includes my music.

In a few weeks the final editing process will be completed, and the manuscript shopped. I realize that God-sized assignments are not given unless He has a grand plan. It will all come together and the outcome will be non-sense - not based on what I can see, touch, feel or hear. It will be based solely on what God is saying and doing. When He does it, it may not always make sense to us, but it is always right. So, until he says otherwise, non-sense it is ... and I am happy to indulge. #pourtheoil

May 29, 2014

Bring Back Our Girls

I find myself consciously seeking to subdue my emotions on the issue of hundreds of Nigerian school girls kidnapped, to be used as pawns to manipulate and control. I care deeply, intensely, and it is difficult to conceptualize or accept this truth. It horrifies me, but it has happened.

They were snatched away from all things familiar, safety now a memory - pulled from expressions of love and care into terrifying situations. It is too much to bear. My heart weeps with the mother's and bleeds with the father's. The images that plague their minds are likely ones of terror. They have seen the nature of the captors. They know the possible fates their offspring face.

I cannot imagine what their days are like. Is sleeplessness and constant worry now the new reality? Do daunting feelings of utter hopelessness and anguish drape the landscape of their thoughts? That state of being is now the common thread, a link between the girls and their families, Nigeria and the world – worry, concern, fear, apprehension, doubt - pain.

The Nigerian people expect the government to do more. In their eyes (on this matter) it is an impotent institution. Maybe the country’s elect feel as powerless. It is possible what is viewed as ineptitude is their stark truth, “we are not equipped to handle this.” I could be wrong, it could be something else altogether. What I do know with certainty, those girls deserve their freedom. I am praying for their safe return. Bring back our girls.

May 15, 2014

Work Of Art

Color your world. Make it beautiful with long strokes and bold splashes. Adorn the landscape of your dreams. You can make it happen, just believe. When you believe, you are convicted to transform what you see into what it should become.  Passion drives you. Actualization, realization, whatever word you wish to use - the shaping of your vision is a thing of beauty.

Dreams come to life at the whisper of your thoughts, the sound of your words. Create a whirlwind of movement and dance into the realm of possibility, step by step. Vibrant colors need both light and dark. The mix develops hues that grace the stark white canvas that is you. Don’t be afraid of the dark. Walk through until you step into the light. You will find the dark is not a scary place. In those moments, absence of light awakens other senses, and you create in ways you never could in illuminated spaces.

A potter spins the wheel just so, slight pressure here, a bit firmer there. Each stage is an unfolding.  Let pressure grace the vessel with its nuances – creating character that would not otherwise be found. Nobody ever said it would always be easy. Everything may not be wonderful, but it will be good – in the end, it will be good.

Hear, see, understand – allow. Eliminate, ruminate – appreciate. Mix your colors, dare to see beyond mundane. Hear the sounds you missed while focusing on fears of never being seen, or heard, or understood. No matter what you do, you’ll leave a legacy; so make it good. Watch your colors seep into lives, as their canvas, too, becomes a work of art.

May 03, 2014

Never Give Up On Your Dream

"It's not a sprint, it's a marathon." Those were powerful words from literary agent, Leslie Stobbe. He was talking about the process of writing and publishing. His words revitalized my resolve to continue working with optimism. Writers write, no matter the challenge. Words pour out unbidden. Empty pages are filled over time.

For many new writers, writing is not the difficult part, it is the process to publication that they find daunting. Some become discouraged, some choose to self-publish. Others are swallowed up by the marketing maze. It is great to know that there are events with resources and direct communication with many in the industry who are willing to share much needed information.

Leslie Stobbe was one of the presenters at the Florida Writers Association's Mini-Conference. He has a wealth of information both about writing and publishing. His recounted experiences were enlightening. The final speaker at the conference was Davis Bunn. I believe he inspired us all. The man wrote six novels before he had one published - six! His passion and purpose sustained the gift and kept it thriving until the world was ready for it. He is a man living his life's purpose.

One key thing he revealed was that you should not allow yourself to be defined by failure. He saw failure as just an event, an opportunity to take the criticism received to refine his craft. Today, he is an award winning, best selling author. If failure had defined him, there would not have been a seventh novel. His experience gives H-O-P-E.

Never give up on your dreams. You keep your dream alive by living it. Keep moving towards the goal. If you do, one day you too will have success. For more information about Mr. Stobbe, Mr. Bunn or the Florida Writers Association use the links below.

April 25, 2014

You Better Work!

Everyday, when you awake, you make a decision to get up, get yourself ready, and go. God just encouraged me this morning by reminding me of this fact. He said, "It is that simple. Make a decision everyday to serve with joy and gladness. Make a decision to complete whatever you start. Make a decision to win. All you need is a decision."

When you make a decision to get up, your brain communicates with your body and your body moves. If you decide to get ready to go, you prepare (find an outfit, take a shower, shave or put on makeup). You get the picture right? Corresponding action is necessary. To decide to do a thing requires both commitment and follow through. 

Are you willing to pay the price for your success? That is a loaded question, but it is unrealistic to have the expectation that simply deciding will make things happen. I am a part of the "you" that I'm talking to today, because there are times when I have to become a cheerleader and self-motivate. You have to sacrifice to bring the vision to life.

Sometimes I am wearied by the process, but I know that stopping is not an option. I regroup, refresh and keep moving toward my goal. There is no time out in a race - no hold on a minute - let me get myself together moment. Keep running until you reach the finish line, or you will become disqualified. Thank God this process is not a race. 

Don't focus on people in the other lanes, pay attention to your assignment. Runners are aware of the people running with them, but they are not turning around to see what others are doing. They run to win. They keep their eyes on the goal. Sometimes you make a decision, but when you see others who appear to be closer to achieving what they set out to do, you lose focus and become discouraged. Don't do that. Your work is your work. That is your focus. It is that simple, and I am grateful. 

Decide today that you will be a success. Understand that the journey is not always easy. Commit to achieving your goals, and whatever you do - don't.give.up. Your reward is coming, but to see it, you better work.

April 24, 2014

So You Have Written A Book, Now What?

So you have written a book, now what? That is the question of the hour. I have learned that what happens next is as extensive and as time intensive (if not more) as the writing process. You have to keep the momentum going. So many questions; so many directions - where should you go? Self publishing? Self assisted publishing, traditional publishing? Get an agent; Don't get an agent? 

I am no expert on the matter. I simply said yes to an assignment God gave to me. Now, my thought is this, "If He gave me the assignment, He will make provision. The path will become clear. Doors will open, doors will close; but all at His will." 

I am doing my due diligence. I am putting in the work, but along with that I pray (often), I listen, and I wait. When I clearly hear His voice, I move. Sometimes I hear nothing; I just find myself in places and know that it is a divine arrival, or a divine appointment. He orchestrates and I am fine with that. 

Everyone's process is not the same, and while it is important to glean from others; it is equally important to only take away from their experience the piece that God has given to them to help you on your journey. To carry any more than that can create burdens of indecision or missteps. 

Trust God. Do your research. Have the conversations. Proofread, proofread, proofread. Write the query letters and proposals. Follow submission guidelines. Submit your manuscript. You may never feel comfortable about releasing it, but you have to let it go. Feelings of vulnerability are normal. Do not let them stop you. Understand that rejections will come, but remain optimistic. God will accomplish purpose through you. Jeremiah 29:11

April 22, 2014

I love Dr. Seuss

I love Dr. Seuss. Oh yes, I do. Some of his quotes gave me the greatest joy today; starting with, "I have heard there are troubles of more than one kind. Some come from ahead and some come from behind. But I've bought a big bat. I'm all ready you see. Now my troubles are going to have troubles with me!” The last line was my favorite. I felt invincible.

There are other Seuss quotes in my happy place. The next was encouraging and so true. “If things start happening, don't worry, don't stew, just go right along and you'll start happening too.”  Those words evoked emotions and I could not contain them. Supernatural bursts of energy infused me - to keep moving, keep dreaming, keep doing, until I actually 'start happening'. 

I bounced right from that quote to, “You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting,  So... get on your way!” You know what? I believe. I am off to great places. My expectations have risen 1000%.

By the time I got to the next quote - Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try My brain had moved into overdrive... creativity stretched, yawned and said, "I am here, I am up, and I am ready. Let's go!"

I was having a ball; then I saw, If you never did you should. These things are fun and fun is good. I made a decision to lighten up even more. I promised myself that I would do spontaneous and joyous things. For me that could be as simple as a long walk on the beach right before the sun begins to set. I actually envisioned myself there as that beautiful ball of orange slowly sinks below the horizon. I am sitting on the sand, water gently lapping at my toes, banana split in hand, and a languid smile on my face. 

With his words, Dr. Seuss reminded me that,  It's not about what it is, it's about what it can become.” I believe I will hold on to that perspective and begin again tomorrow full of hope, determined, armed with a bat and a great attitude. 

The end quote? “Today was good. Today was fun. Tomorrow is another one.”  I strive to make this my perpetual perspective. After all "It is fun to have fun. 

My bond with Dr. Seuss has been renewed. Who knows what is in store tomorrow, yet somehow it does not matter, I will make it an awesome day! I know - it's up to me.

Today, I Write

Today I write, 
like every other day. 
Sometimes I pen the journey
on vacant, ready, reams
sometimes it's only written 
in my memory, it seems
But today, I write, 
like every other day.

March 11, 2014

My First Book

Do you have a strong desire to consistently and continuously minister under the full power of the anointing? Has your gift been well received yet seemed to make no real spiritual impact? Do you want to identify issues that block the flow of the anointing and develop factors which cultivate and enhance it in your life and ministry?

My upcoming book will answer your questions and provide tools to help you safeguard against contamination and dilution of your anointing.

More news coming soon…stay tuned!