Devotion 🙏

Scripture of the Month: Turn from your evil ways

Turn now from your evil ways.

God is not willing that any should perish. He is not distant as we tend to think. Return to Him and He’ll return to you.

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My 2 Cents 💭

Second impressions…

So, here’s the thing about first impressions: they can be tricky. People thrive on trying to please men so much that they have a checklist to make sure that their very first impression is super perfect. A few years ago, someone said to me that if she met someone for the first time and that person is “grumpy” if said grumpy person comes up to her the next day with a smile on his/her face and tries to talk to her, she is going to remember how grumpy that person was for the rest of her life, even if that certain person does not show a hint of grumpiness for the rest of their life.

Is that assumption fair? Yeah? I don’t think so.

sarcasm gifs Page 15 | WiffleGif

GIF via WiffleGif

While first impressions are important because they may leave a lasting good image, it does not always reflect someone’s true personality. I can be grumpy when I meet you, but how do you know that I’m the sourest grape of the bunch? I simply did not want to have a chat with you on that day because I was rushing home to take care of a sick relative. You do not know if I was coping with the bad news of a loved o or if someone/thing put me in a bad mood. You do not know me from a first impression. That is just judgmental. Maybe I am an outgoing person, but on that specific day when we met for the first time, I was grumpy, simply because I was going through a tough time.

We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.

1 Thessalonians 2:4

At the beginning of this post, I said that first impressions can be tricky. How do you know that when you meet someone for the first time they aren’t faking their first impression because they live to impress? How do you know I’m not faking the smile plastered on my face as I laugh at something you say while we shake hands as we’re introduced? I leave you a good lasting first impression, but do I really want to get to know you as time goes by? I am only being nice because that’s what society demands of me. I’m usually grumpy, but you like me from THAT first impression, so you’re willing to overlook my dour mood, which is like most of the time?

Ok Hmm GIFs | Tenor

GIF via Tenor

So yes, while I agree that first impressions leave a lasting effect, I have to disagree with the world in judging someone solely base on first impressions. While it’s true that first impression never dies, meeting someone that you weren’t charmed by for the first time makes you judgmental if you’re not aware of what is going on in that person’s life.

Sometimes, first impressions can be wrong. Look forward to the second impression.

And that’s my two cents.

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VERSE OF THE MONTH (April 2021): 

And it shall come to pass in the 
day of the Lord's sacrifice, 
that I will punish the princes, 
and the king's children, 
and all such as are 
clothed with strange apparel.

Zephaniah 1:8 👚
Devotion 🙏

Scripture of the Month: clothed with strange apparel

How many ways are there to get into the Kingdom of God? Two ways? Six ways? Our way?

Regardless of what popular culture tells us, there is only ONE way to get there, and that is through Jesus Christ. He is the ONLY way, and we’re to be clothed in the robe of righteousness – that is provided by Christ – when we do come to stand before God.

So, which garment do you plan on putting on today? Righteousness or strange clothing?

For further reading, see Matthew 22:11-14.

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We Will Worship 🙌

Nobody can stop my praise!

For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

1 Timothy 6:7

We should always rejoice whenever a lost sheep returns home, for there is nothing in the world that would satisfy us and make us happy like the peace, joy, and comfort that God supplies through Christ.

I don’t really listen to our local music, so this is not the type of gospel I usually go for, but at the first listen, I just had to put it on repeat. Michelle Sylvester and Denyse Plummer have left a life of soca and calypso behind for the Kingdom. I enjoyed listening to their testimonies, and I pray that they’ll continue to be on fire and shine for Christ.

Let us worship Him!

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VERSE OF THE MONTH (March 2021):

“Come now, let us settle the matter,”
    says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
    they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
    they shall be like wool.

Isaiah 1:18 🦙

Devotion 🙏

Scripture of the Month: “they shall be like wool”

Scarlet and crimson speak of the guilt of those whose hands were covered with blood. Yet, God promises to take those “blood guilt” sins and make them white as snow. When we should be the ones chasing after God, He’s the One doing the chasing, as He refuses to give up on us.

Sin is bad and only God can cleanse it.

The Lord is still seeking to reason with His people despite how cruel we’ve become. Heed His call and repent before it’s too late. Let Him make your sins like wool.

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Devotion 🙏

Scripture of the Month: “Write in a book all the words I’ve spoken to you.”

The Bible is a testimony of the faithfulness of God. It is a testimony of truth and love. It warns us of things to come and comforts us with beautiful promises.

Whenever there was a new word from God, He wanted Jeremiah to write down what He was about to give him. In doing so, Jeremiah complied a book for future reference after the Lord had spoken (past tense), thus producing a kept record of each word.

God knew exactly what He was doing when He sought willing participants to write down His words, for there is a need now more than ever for His Word. He never changes. Not then, and certainly not now.

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My 2 Cents 💭

Learn to ask…

How are we going to receive when we’re afraid to ask? Even if it’s the most menial thing such as asking for help in the kitchen to stir a pot or to retrieve an ingredient from the fridge?

Unfortunately, we live in a society where pride rules supreme, so when we fall on hard times, we tend to lick our wound instead of asking for a bandage to put on it. We tend to complain about things instead of asking. That never makes the situation better. Yes, yes, I know that asking for help especially when we’re in dire situations can make us seem weak, needy, and inferior, but seeking help is not a form of weakness.

Sooner or later, you’re not going to have a choice.

You do not have, because you do not ask. 

James 4:2

Sometimes, people don’t always automatically know your needs, so never be afraid to ask for help when you truly need it, even if it’s menial. If you feel like that thing call control is slipping away from your fingers, don’t hesitate to ask for help, for it’s natural to. Not everyone might be willing to help, but that too is okay. The most important thing is that you’ve gathered the courage to ask.

And that’s my two cents. 

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VERSE OF THE MONTH (January 2021):  

For if you remain silent at this time, 
relief and deliverance for the Jews will 
arise from another place, 
but you and your father’s family will perish. 
And who knows but that you have come to 
your royal position for such a time as this?” 

Esther 4:14 👑
Books & Reviews 📚

How my reading fared in 2020…

Reading has always been un passe-temps préféré of mine, but lately, not so much.

At the beginning of 2020, I had one goal in mind: to read through my TBR. What started out as fun became tedious, and I just wasn’t up to the task by the time July rolled around, so it was only fair that I put reading on hold. The classics I wanted to read and get over were shoved aside, and the 20 books I chose to read by year-end were a disaster. To be honest, I had enough time to read and even do a read-a-thon marathon, but my heart wasn’t in it. However, I still managed to read 115 books before quitting, so from these books, I’ll choose my highs and lows.

5 Cups of Coffee

Image result for gif coffee steam

Unfortunately, I did not rate any books five steaming cups. However, these books came close to a warming up 5:

Dancing the Dream by Michael Jackson – MJ certainly had a way with words. Although I can’t rate all of his poems 3, 4, or even 5 stars, I enjoyed the majority, especially the ones where he expressed his concerns for the earth, the treatment of animals, and love for his mother. This poetry collection is some of the best I’ve read. 

Moonwalk by Michael Jackson – In his words and thoughts. Sometimes they were jumbled, sometimes they didn’t make sense, but what else did I expect from MJ. If it’s one thing I came away with from both MJ book is the way he told stories. He would’ve been a terrific storyteller of books. 

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The Making of Port-Of-Spain by Michael Anthony is perhaps the best book I’ve read from a local author. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about my capital from eras gone by. When compared to the present, POS appears to have taken too many a facelift and there are current plans to put her through another one at present. 

Books I enjoyed

I Hated, Hated, Hated This Movie by Roger Ebert. Actually, I liked, liked, liked this book. Ebert mixed no sugar in drinks to sugarcoat why he disliked the movies he thinks should be avoided at all cost. He reminds me of myself when it comes to talking about books.

Letters From Cuba by Ruth Behar – The story focuses on a young Jewish girl who leaves Poland to help her father make a new life for their family in Cuba. The format of this book was in letter writing, and it bought back fond memories of letter writing between my friends and me back then. The book is based on the author’s life, and if I do find the time, I’ll share my thoughts in another post.

All-American Murder: The Rise and Fall of Aaron Hernandez by James Patterson – JP has found his niche and that’s writing real-life crime stories. Although detailed, this book was well written. Although I’m no fan of the NFL, I knew Aaron, and that’s how big a deal he was. This man had a bright future ahead of him, yet, he threw it all away just to hang out with drug dealers and gang members until he eventually became a criminal himself. The Bible warns us about the company we keep (Proverbs 13:20) and had Aaron heed that warning, he would’ve been alive today. 

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Books I didn’t enjoy

Maybe Twinkle is funny on film – I can’t recall any of her movies as I write this – but she’s not funny in ink. In Mrs. Funnybones I found the humor to be stiff and forced – like most unfunny Bollywood films. The writing fell flat as it was amateur and unimpressive. I expected more from Mrs. Khanna given her so-call legendary funny status in India. Mrs. Funnybones is not very funny at all. 

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Another book I extremely disliked was Woman of God by James Patterson and Maxine Paetro. The faith presented in this book was not a Biblically sound one, but rather, a mysticism one. The one I call ‘God is not a genie’ faith that was also presented in the “Christian” film War Room. This book was drawn out, boring, and HIGHLY offensive. The character wants us to believe that God whispers in her ears as Priscilla Shirer claims, and she even had a few choice words for God that can only be labeled as blasphemous. There was no character development and the writing was horrible. 

Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy is perhaps one of the BIGGEST overrated books I’ve ever had the displeasure of reading. Too many characters, too many boring stories. There was one that reminded me of Tom (Cruise) and Katie (Holmes) due to the fact that the characters’ names were just that: Tom and Kate. The author seems to hate men, for they were mostly cast in a distasteful light. Or maybe it’s an Irish thing, for most Irish authors that I read love putting men down. Are Irish men that bad?

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Favorite Classic

Ah, my least favorite genre. Classics are supposed to withstand the test of time, but most of them are nothing special. Yet, I’ll try to polish off my classic TBR this year. I read a total of 21 classics last year, and if I had to choose a favorite, it’ll be Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne. Even though the story revolved around a so-call English gentleman, the French valet Jean Passepartout was the true hero. 

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Least Favorite Classic

That’s easy. Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, Daphne du Maurier’s My Cousin Rachel, Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea, and Carlo Collodi’s Pinocchio. I also disliked The Borrowers by Mary Norton. There is nothing right in stealing other people’s property and labeling it as borrowing. Definitely not a positive message for children.  

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I’ve come to the conclusion that most classics are just overhyped, boring books that don’t age like a vintage bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

Top DNF

It’s hard to DNF a book…

…but in some cases, there is no choice left. I read a few books from James Patterson, and while I liked his true-crime books, I couldn’t say the same for The Chef. I love the concept of a cop who is also a food truck chef in New Orleans, but I couldn’t stand the protagonist, for he was an egomaniac and a homewrecker. Also, we get more descriptions of the food rather than the investigation.

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Another book I had to DNF was Stuff Christians Like by Jonathan Acuff. There was nothing funny to tee-hee about. There is nothing wrong with Christians being funny, but they must know their limit. Most authors – classic to modern – don’t think twice about mocking Christ. There are Christians that may say they’re not offended, but true Christians know not to mix matters when it comes to mocking our Lord and Savior. 

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My reading goal for 2021 is very simple: read better books. Although I’m currently on my 8th book for the month, it remains to be seen what I’ll actually call a good book, save the Bible.

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Disclaimer

VERSE OF THE MONTH (January 2021):  

For if you remain silent at this time, 
relief and deliverance for the Jews will 
arise from another place, 
but you and your father’s family will perish. 
And who knows but that you have come to 
your royal position for such a time as this?” 

Esther 4:14 👑
Bible Reflections 👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

🕯 We’re called to be lights in this dark world. 🕯

VERSE OF THE MONTH (January 2021): 

For if you remain silent at this time, 
relief and deliverance for the Jews will 
arise from another place, 
but you and your father’s family will perish. 
And who knows but that you have come to 
your royal position for such a time as this?”

Esther 4:14 👑