The first ever Total Local Grenada Fashion Week – The story behind the event.

About a month ago I met Jerel Langaigne.   We met in April, 2018, at a Seminar for persons interested in photographers; I was introduced to Jerel by a very good friend and sister in Christ, Genel Forteau.  Genel had told me about this Christian young lady who was into fashion and I anticipated meeting her.

I always wanted to hear more about her, to hear her story, especially because fashion and models have really been sold in a manner that glorifies the bodies of the models, the sexy garments they display on the runway, and the designing and construction skills of many creative designers out there.  I saw it as an Industry, like all other industries focused on gaining recognition and business opportunities.  I wanted to find out more about her perspective on fashion and the role to be played by Christians within this industry.

I have had my own dreams (and still do) of somehow impacting the world through fashion because, I love designing.

Jerel Langaigne – Skirt made by Modesty Fashions Grenada (Jerel)

Jerel Langaigne grew up in a Christian Family, she attended the St. Joseph Convent in Grenada, one of our Prominent Secondary Schools.  Jerel was desirous of becoming an Architect; her dream was to travel to Cuba to study Architecture.  Cuba, because she would then get the opportunity to be bilingual.  She felt confident this was God’s will for her life and waited, with high expectation, for it to materialize.   Well, it didn’t, her scholarship application was turned down.

While waiting for answers and still seeking God’s will, Jerel began teaching.  It later became paramount that she become qualified as a teacher, hence her quest again to obtain a scholarship.  Her story takes an interesting, mind boggling turn; Jerel received a scholarship but not for Teaching but for Fashion Designing, she was told, this is the area available.  Her question was, “Lord, why Fashion Design?”.

Designers: Team Westerhall Secondary School – Winners of the Designer Challenge Trophy

In our journey through life, there are those moments when all we could do is trust God’s leading.  You see, as he leads, we are often taken through a maze that makes very little sense to us and all we could do is draw closer to God praying for a word soon, for the revelation.

Jerel held on to God’s unchanging promises and waited for him to reveal his plan for her.  She successfully completed her degree graduating with great distinction (Magna Cum Laude), from the University of Trinidad & Tobago – Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design.  You can get a taste of what I am speaking of by checking out her awesome thesis collection on YouTube; you can see the application of Fabric surface treatment on most, if not all of her pieces.  Jerel speaks of her financial limitations that restricted her spending and how blessed she was to have learned how to treat fabrics (tie-dying)  She was able to take one basic colour fabric and transform them into beautiful fabric.  I enjoyed every bit of the video, pressing “replay” more than once.

Here is the link;  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VFcc0InMQA  

 Jerel speaks of countless challenges while studying in Trinidad and is grateful today, for each one.   After listening to her story, I am convinced that her journey was personally designed by God and her success at the University confirmed that he was there all along.   Jerel (with a capable team) was able to pull off the first ever “Totally Local Grenada Fashion Week”. 

Designer: Denny Cronneit – Cronneits Forest Bows – Won most memorable collection – St. John’s

The journey to Fashion Week began in 2017.   The Fashion Week was held from July 7th – 14th, 2018.   I really wanted to be there to experience the display of our local talent, but my work and family schedules made it difficult.  However, owing to the Facebook connection, I was able to follow to an extent. 

The Fashion Week started with a Beauty Conference organized by M.E. Salon and Virtue School of Beauty, Grenada, who partnered with Grenada Fashion Week. 

The Beauty Conference was held at the Salon and offered the opportunity to learn more about;

  • Natural Hair Care
  • Make up Artistry
  • Manicures and Pedicures
  • Nail Technology
  • Massage Therapy
Genel Forteau – Dress Designed by “Modesty Fashions Grenada” (Jerel)

A key aspect of the Conference was an Empowerment Session; the presenter was Genel Forteau, Director of Virtue School of Beauty.  I couldn’t be there in person, but I was able to listen to the live video later.  Genel’s empowerment session was truly empowering!   Feel free to check it out here; https://www.facebook.com/virtuoushine/videos/10156291053620170/UzpfSTM0MzU4Mzk3Mjc3Mzk1MDo0NTc1NjI5NjEzNzYwNTA/

Extracts from Genel’s empowerment session;

“Sin came to take man away from God’s glory.  What does that have to do with purpose? Everything!  Our purpose is locked up in understanding God’s glory and yielding to God’s glory”. 

This statement struck me deep; it was the statement of essence and it summed up the point of the entire presentation, pretty much!

The Bible reference given was;

Matthew 6:33 King James Version (KJV)

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”.

Another of Genel’s quotes:

“When it comes to our purpose project, when it comes to our destiny, it is all in the Creator”!  I just love this.

Following the Conference, three Fashion Shows were held, the first in St Mark’s, on July 11th, the Second in the Parish of St. Andrew’s on July 12th and the final one in the Capital, St.  George.  As I looked at the designs, I was truly inspired to see the great attempts made by our young and thriving designers. Something Grenada can be proud about.

Designer: Ruth Sosa Chrichlow

I asked Jerel, “As someone working in the field of Fashion, how do you manage the conflict, being involved in the Fashion Industry and being a Christian?” I loved her response “By Ministering to them.”  She further explained that what is important is that you openly share your faith and do not compromise on your Godly standards. She reminded me that Jesus dwelt among sinners, so he can reach them.   The   idea is to infiltrate to influence; not becoming like them but remaining uncontaminated, so that our Father can be glorified.

The curtain came down on the last day with a reward and recognition ceremony.

I pray that Jerel is successful in drawing others to Christ as she seeks to be salt and light in the Fashion Industry.  I may not understand everything about the “how” and it is not my duty to.  What I am, is filled with anticipation, to see how God would use her in such a time as this.

I look forward to “Grenada Fashion Week 2019”

Pursue Purpose!

Designer: Ramona Alexander

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Let’s all aim for excellence!

Have you ever wondered why some people, groups, organizations or churches seem to settle for sub-standards, average, mediocrity?   It is a sad thing when as a people, a country or a nation, we settle for average, just because it takes too much effort, or time or maybe some measure of conflict; we prefer just doing what is the mere necessities.

I believe that the God who created the universe, shows excellence in his handy work.   The galaxies are not average, the seas, lakes and rivers are not average.   The natural wonders of the world, they are not average and man and his ability to create and to produce is nothing close to average.   And yet we allow ourselves to settle in the pit of mediocrity.

Perhaps God wants you to be an agent of change or an agent of excellence.  Next time you are planning that church activity or staff meeting or community outreach programme or whatever it may be, seek to influence others to do their best, to invest their time and resources for maximum results.

Next time you are responsible for chairing a meeting, do not begin to prepare just a few days before, it would be difficult to give of your best.  Think about the ambiance you wish to create in the room, think about the objective of the meeting and what needs to be accomplish; you must allow yourself thinking space if you ought to be adequately prepared.   You see, God expects that anything (that which is good of course) we put our hands to, we do it with all our might, we must always seek to do our best.

We often hold back, because those around us, those on our team are often critical of us when we begin to show the potential for greater.   When we are seeking for excellence, others may interpret it as being “fussy”, “a perfectionist” or “plain show-off”.    While you cannot evade such critics entirely, you can seek to be humble in your approach and share your vision with those who may be willing to listen; try to practice inclusion as much as possible. One thing you should not do however, is compromise on excellence.    The time and effort expended will not be in vain, someone will be watching, someone will be inspired and receive courage to aim for excellence as well.

The darkness in our world is great, but it just means that light is needed everywhere.  When we are connected to a God of excellence we desire excellence as well and we should not suppress that drive to experience better or to climb higher.   We must understand that we are designed to walk in freedom, fulfilling our purpose on this earth and as we do so, we would emanate light, thereby expelling the darkness.  When light enters, learning can take place, our understanding would increase, and our positive and creative juices would flow towards producing the unimaginable, that would lead to lives being transformed.

I long for God’s church to embrace excellence.  Why do we settle for the broken sound system, the rusty chairs, the soiled gospel tracks and the poorly maintained church properties?  Why do we settle for poorly managed churches,  corruption in our finances and in our decisions, WHY?  We possess so much within and yet we are happy with just towing the line.  We often choose to be poor by our failure to walk by faith; we often think that righteous living is turning up for church every Sunday and looking pious.  We forget that failure to do our best is also a sin, we forget that when we discourage someone else from doing their best, we are being a stumbling block in that person’s life.

But, we can do better!  Yes, We Can!

Do you believe in the God of Excellence?

Thank you for reading, please feel free to subscribe and/or to leave me some feedback on the comment form below.

Cherish Wisdom!

Let wisdom emerge from your lips and your heart, no matter your challenges.   Wisdom allows you to gracefully respond to the critics, to rule over your negative emotions.  Wisdom allows you to love unconditionally, to reason with objectivity and find lasting solutions.

Wisdom is certainly golden, priceless and coveted and yields bonuses of growth, fruit-bearing and beautiful relationships.

In all your getting today, make sure and get wisdom!

Proverbs 3, 13-18 -NIV

“Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding; for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold.                                                                                  

She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor.  

Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace.  She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.”

Inspire to be Inspired Women’s Conference – June 30th, 2018 – My experience!

On entering the room, I was pleased to see how the room was decorated, black, gold and yellow.   On the table was a lovely vase with purple and yellow flowers.  The lights in the ceiling changed colours adding to the ambiance of the room.   I felt welcomed, after all the room was prepared for me and all the other women who had also booked the date.  My spirit was lifted and I was filled with anticipation.  The moment was finally here!

The advertised  “Inspire to be Inspired Women’s Conference” hosted by “Tailored by Terrieann”, was finally about to unfold at Venus, Grand Anse, St. George’s, Grenada.

When I first heard about it, I felt a stir within me, I think it was the word “inspire”.  I love that word and what it represents.  About a year ago, God spoke to me through a very good friend.  She often commented on my Facebook posts, noting that they inspired her.  One day she said to me “You should start a Blog”, little did she know that the Holy Spirit had already given me the nudge, in that direction, and I was struggling with it.   Long story short, my blog was started soon after and I called it “InspireMe”.    Now, you should understand why I immediately connected to the Ad on the then upcoming Women’s Conference.

I seriously considered attending and immediately booked the date.  I thought to myself that the oganiser, Mrs. Terrieann Charles was certainly passionate about inspiring other women.   I wondered about her story, her journey and looked forward to learning more.   I remember wondering if this Conference would reach me.  You see, often when we have been exposed to much learning and have been afforded the opportunity to serve others, in so many different capacities, we often think “this is not for me” and we can be so wrong.

The early moments of the Conference met us listening to a YouTube video with Steve Harvey” Above Inspiration”.  The early birds listened while the room slowly filled up with attendees and their light happy chatter.  I found it a little difficult to focus amidst the stir of persons settling in and was only able to pick up bits and pieces but, I guess you know what I did, I listened to the video again, in the comfort of my home. 😊

Steve started off with this quote by Albert Einstein;

“Imagination is everything, it is the preview to life’s coming attractions” Then he said, “Your real life is in your imagination.”  This statement woke me up..

Steve Harvey pointed out, that we don’t need all these fancy books, telling us how to be rich, powerful and positive, because the reality is, all these principles are taken straight from the Bible.  Whooohooo! Love this!   After uttering such a powerful statement, he quoted one of my favourite verses: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” – Hebrews 11:1.

What is important here, is the connection made between Hebrews 11:1, and Einstein’s quote.  He pointed out that our life is not in our current situation but rather in what we imagine, what we hope for, what truly makes us happy, and faith is demonstrated, as we leap forward to reach for those dreams, to make them a reality. Very appropriate video for the moment!    Hear is the link if you wish to listen;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Xcuc7nfWGY

There is so much more I can share about the Conference, but I can’t write about everything,  so here are some other highlights:

I loved the Break-out Session

It was called “Speed Dating” and It really achieved the objective of getting the women to mix and know each other a little.  It certainly helped to break the ice that is created, when a group of persons are in a room together for the first time.  I have seen it work many times.

Featured Speakers, in the order of their presentations were;  Dawn Mark, Denisha Daniel and Victoria Preville.

From left to Right;
Denisha Daniel, Dawn Mark, Victoria Preville

I was only familiar with Dawn, the other two speakers were new to me; I enjoyed all three presentations.

Dawn is the Founder of E-Dawn Coaching & Consulting ( check her out on Facebook), she addressed the important concept of Goal Setting and trust me, if you want to live a meaningful life, you must learn to set goals. Dawn pointed out that, our Values are usually the driving force that determines the kind of goals we set.  For example:  If you value education, one of your goals may be to pursue higher education.

It is also important that once these goals are set, we acknowledge the external factors that motivate us and use them to our advantage, but also find ways to allow ourselves to be internally motivated; this is what helps us to persevere.  Hope in turn, inspires you and spurs you on to keep pushing towards the finishing line.

The second speaker was Denisha, an Accountant, by occupation. She struck me as a young lady with great potential for Public Speaking.  I really enjoyed her presentation.  It was fueled by her personal experience.   She allowed God to speak through her personality, as she related a personal story, showing us that we need to overcome fear to become successful.

Fear often comes between us and hinders us from moving forward, from acting; fear is destructive.   Denisha pointed out that fear gives us a limited scope on life; all it does is just feed us the negative; it truly blurs our vision.

We were encouraged to step into our fear and face our monsters.

This question lingered in my mind and I think it was my favourite take-away from this presentation; “What is that thing that is in you that could push you forward and help someone else’s life to be better?”.  In other words, you never know, who you would inspire, if you could only find the courage to face your fears.  Your victory story, would do amazing things in the life of others.

The last featured speaker was Victoria Preville.   She touched on her personal struggle briefly, linking it to her current success.   Victoria is originally from St. Lucia but lives in New York, and is the Founder of Nu Luna.  You can check them out on Facebook.

Victoria hit rock bottom, coming from a life of comfort to being homeless, BUT, she was able to rise-up and embrace hope again.   Victoria is now in the business of transforming the lives of other women; she visits various shelters around the world, empowering women to face the world, to begin life a-new; she dresses women for Good success.

Victoria’s presentation spoke to us, she said “Sometimes our calling is to create a business that would transform someone’s life, give them a new start, a new perspective, hope and the possibility of seeing their dreams come through”.  WOW!! She reminded us that true fulfillment comes, not when we have all the money we need, but when we are living our dreams, when we are living a life of purpose, when we are helping to change someone’s life for the better.

Attendees were encouraged to ask themselves “What is that gift I am sitting on?”.  We were warned against sitting and doing nothing about our gifts, less they get transferred to someone else and we lose the opportunity and the blessing.

There were also group discussions that allowed the attendees to take a deeper look into some of life’s probing questions, looking at comparing ourselves with others, social media, friendship and relationships.

The Conference was filled with light moments; laughter and giveaways, which certainly added to the experience, making the evening a memorable one.

I cannot fail to mention how honoured  I was to be given the opportunity to minister in song.  About two months ago, I wrote this song “Let Faith Arise” I did not know then, that the words of the song would fit so well with Terrieann’s theme for her Women’s Conference.  It was certainly a privilege and a blessing.

Love this picture with the Host Terrieann.

“Let Faith Arise”   (1st Vs & Chorus)

Vs 1

Here you’re sitting, contemplating anxiously

Here you’re thinking, over thinking senselessly

But you’ve got dreams

Chorus

Let faith arise, won’t you walk by faith and not by sight

Get up, get ready, set, Go!

I am extremely grateful to the Hosts for the opportunity, I do feel encouraged to share more of my songs with the world.

I am glad I met Terrieann,  I am inspired by her youthful discipline and energy. I was delighted to see her husband share the stage with her, supporting her fully.   In my quest to find out more about the brain behind this experience, I asked Terrieann two questions, which she gracefully answered;

  1. How long did you nurse this dream before launching out?
  2. How did your relationship with God help you to finally launch out?

Terrieann’s Response

“Honestly, it was not a dream.   I never knew or had the slightest clue that Tailored by Terrieann was going to be birthed.  I remember attending an event in 2016 and one of the presenters, Carlana Charles, was speaking about business, and I was intrigued because I was always fascinated with business. So after the event I communicated with her and she told me about a weekend startup she was having the following Saturday and Sunday.   I invested in that workshop and that’s where tailored by Terrieann, was birthed.  It was scary for me because I had no clue of what to do with this new task of becoming a blogger, but I embrace it with love and much attention”.

“Oh boy! I needed God now more than ever. I had to depend on God totally for strength to launch Tailored by Terrieann, because I was a novice in the blogging world.  I had no experience, at the time;  I did not know anyone else doing what I did,  so I felt lonely, but excited at the same time. I really had to learn to trust God, in every step of the way to help me to launch out.  My relationship with him grew significantly.”

Terrieann’s bravery to pursue a new idea of blogging, lead to many other things, including inspirational events such as the one I attended on 30th June, 2018.

As I wrap up, I wish to say that for me, and many others, God is the center of everything, I love that some of the speakers at the Conference were daring enough to say “I am a Christian”. I love the idea of diverting the attention away from ourselves and towards God.  He is truly deserving of all the glory, all the honour and all the praise!

Thanks to my two colleagues from work, who agreed to attend with me, I enjoyed hanging with you both and I know you were happy you came.

It is my prayer that the gifts, ideas and dreams bestowed upon us, women, would not be wasted and we would not sit, contemplating and over-thinking; we’ve got dreams and we need to get ready, set, go.

Let Faith Arise!

 

Discover a new Song! Song Scouting

I like sharing things that work for me.   Have you ever heard about song scouting?  Well, it’s no big promoted activity, it is simply searching for songs that you never heard before and listening to them for the first time.   I like scouting for songs when I need to relax a bit; when I wish to be refreshed in my spirit, and there is that stir within me to just bask in God’s goodness, on his character and on his promises.  

When I go song scouting, I would listen to a few songs and then, not too long after, I would hit “play” for the last time, because this time, the song I am listening too has caught my attention, some-how it connects with me and my story and my experiences.

Song scouting, is fun, I love the excitement of finding that new song; there is a thrill about it. Many times, it is a song that I can enjoy singing as well, or I can see myself ministering the said song to others. It is also rewarding to go deeper, researching the song and finding out about the Writer, his walk with God, and the story behind the song, I just fell in love with.  Recently, I scouted, and I found “As it is (In Heaven)” by Hillsong.     I love this song very much.  It speaks to me!  It’s now my newest favourite.

Let me say that many of these songs have ministered to me, and I am truly grateful to experience a true free spirit of Worship.   Contemporary worship has really helped me to relate to God on a deeper level that allows me to be broken and intimate at his feet.

Whenever you go song scouting, be sure to listen to the words carefully, try to understand the context or the story line and ask yourself, “Is this song in line with the Word of God?”

Here are the words of my newest favourite.

Verse 1
Whether now or then
Death is not my end
I know heaven waits for me
Though the road seems long
I’ll never walk alone
I’ve got all I need to sing

Pre-Chorus
I know You love me
I know You found me
I know You saved me
And Your grace will never fail me
And while I’m waiting
I’m not waiting
I know heaven lives in me

Verse 2
Should I suffer long
This is not my home
I know heaven waits for me
Though the night is dark
Heaven owns my heart
I’ve got all I need to sing

Chorus
So I will sing like I will there
In the fearless light of glory
Where the darkness cannot find me
And Your face is all I see
I will sing like a man
With no sickness in my body
Like no prison walls can hold me
I will sing like I am free

Bridge 1
I’ll sing holy holy
My heart cries holy
As it is in heaven
It is in me

Bridge 2
We’ll sing holy holy
The earth cries holy
As it is in heaven
So let it be

This song was written by Joel Houston and Ben Fielding.  This is the YouTube link https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=So97pmyDbVw

Joel Houston is the son of Brian and Bobbie Houston, Founders of Hillsong Church.  He is a Song Writer and Pastor.

Ben Fielding is an Australian born worship leader and songwriter. Some of his songs include
“Mighty to Save”, “This I believe”, “God is Able” and “Anchor”.

 

Moringa tea bags offered to the first person to subscribe!

Claiming this gift is super easy!  All you need to do is, read an article on the Blog and post a comment, sharing with visitors something that inspired you from the article.  Secondly, if you have not yet subscribed, subscribe and encourage one other person to subscribe.   Once that is done send me an e-mail (fleurjerry4@gmail.com) indicating the e-mail addresses entered in the subscription button on the blog.  Be sure to get your friend’s permission before sharing their e-mail address.  E-mail addresses will not be shared with third parties.

This gift is offered to readers in the U.S. !!   Yay!!   My number two territory, following Grenada, for daily number of visits.    I really, really appreciate you.

Grab this opportunity now!

Below are some facts on the Moringa plant;

Moringa Diagram: Tiny leaves. Enourmous benefits.

In Grenada, where I live we also have the Moringa Tree and many have tried to be industrious with the various parts of the tree.

I am in love with the work of Eleanor Swan (featured picture) a Small Business Entrepreneur who manufactures  T-Bags from the leaves of the tree.   The name of Eleanor’s business is “Spice up your life creations”.   Love the name!

This lovely, healthy gift is available to you!!   It’s all up to you!!

Don’t hide your gift!

I  started writing songs as a teenager;  my sentiments is that while it can be a boring experience, it is also exciting and fulfilling.  It is a wonderful opportunity to share your stories through songs.    For some reason however, I never thought much about the songs I wrote.   I never felt fully confident about sharing.  Despite those feelings, I did share some of the songs I wrote and I have no regrets.  They were simple songs in my view, which exposed my humble upbringing and inexperience in song-writing and in music generally.

Despite my lack of  confidence, passion emerged, passion that is difficult to ignore.   Recently, I have taken a more serious approach to writing; this time, I have decided not to listen to the doubts in my head.  Now, I understand that  it is my purpose to write and to share what I write.   I need not be the one to assess whether my songs are good or bad.   What I  have come to realise, is that my focus was in the wrong place; I was just a little too concerned about whether my song was “good enough” to bless someone.

The days of hiding my songs are over.  While, I would critique my work and ask others to do the same, I am no longer defining God’s gift as “not good enough”.   So happy to see the light!  :).  I confess that I dream of writing that one song that would capture the heart of everyone who hears it, but more importantly, I dream to please God with every song I write.

In this season of my life, I am embracing song-writing anew, with divine purpose and determination.   It is all about purpose!

As God continues to unfold new and exciting projects in my life,  I would continue to share my story, but for now I share the words of the latest song I wrote;   “Let Faith Arise”

Many times we want to take that step but we keep ourselves down by allowing procrastination and doubtful thoughts to dictate our actions; we succumb to these thoughts and feelings, and we do nothing. We talk about faith but we don’t practice it.

It is from within this context that I wrote this song.    It is a motivation to myself to “let faith arise” and hopefully, it would stir you to act as well.  Don’t look down on your gift, acknowledge it and share it with the world.

Let faith arise

Vs 1

Here you’re sitting, contemplating anxiously

Here you’re thinking, over thinking senselessly

But you’ve got dreams

Chorus

Let faith arise, won’t you walk by faith and not by sight

Get up, get ready, set, Go!

Vs 2

If God is for me, who can be against me

Lord, I trust in your might

Lead me Lord, I will follow

May my life, be your light

Cause I’ve got dreams

Bridge

Saviour, like a shepherd lead me x 3

Lead me on, Lead me on

 

MALICE!! Part 2

Definition of MALICE –

“Extreme enmity of heart, or malevolence; a disposition to injure others without cause, from mere personal gratification or from a spirit of revenge; unprovoked malignity or spite.”    WOW!

Let me simplify this for you, “very strong hate against someone that would lead you to hurt them, all because you are envious of them, or you wish to get back at them because they did you wrong or simply because you have nursed a mean heart and enjoy hurting others.”

If you read part one of this article, you would’ve been introduced to this definition before.

MALICE!!   The word has been playing on my mind recently, and I think it is because I myself have been making every effort not to harbor malicious thoughts or rather not to harbor dangerous emotions and thoughts that could lead to MALICE.  I am allowing God to continuously sanctify me to purge me of those stubborn habits that are only set-backs and I desire that they have no part of me.

There are some interesting examples of MALICE in the Bible; let’s look at one of them;

Genesis 4:5 – But unto Cain and to his offering He (God) had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.

Let’s look at the entire story:

Verses 1-8 of Chapter 4

“And Adam knew (had sex with) Eve his wife; and she conceived, and bare Cain, and said, I have gotten a man from the LORD.  And she again bore his brother Abel.  And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.  And in process of time it came to pass, that Cain brought of the fruit of the ground an offering unto the LORD.  And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof.  And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering:  But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.  And the LORD said unto Cain, why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen? If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door.  And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him. And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him.”

This is so dread!

I wish to highlight a few important things about this story;

  • There were obviously conditions for a sacrifice to be acceptable; one Sacrifice was ordinary while the other represented effort made and was not ordinary.

Notice the descriptions given of the sacrifices

  • Cain’s Sacrifice – “off the fruit of the ground” “but unto Cain and his offering he had no respect”
  • Abel’s Sacrifice – “the firstlings of his flock and the fat thereof” “And the Lord had respect unto Abel and to his offering”
  • God openly expressed how he felt about each sacrifice.
  • Jealousy and envy took over Cain instead of self-examination; why didn’t he decide to do something about his sacrifice, instead of turning his attention to Abel?
  • He fed his anger, his jealousy, and his envy and it led him to thinking evil thoughts against his own brother and subsequently planning evil against him; Cain eventually killed Abel.

Do you see MALICE demonstrated here?

MALICE is very destructive and can interfere with your purpose.   It can disturb the positive impact you are meant to create.  For us to live life to the fullest, we must learn to control our emotions; they can really get us into trouble.  Untamed emotions can destroy our minds, our relationships and most of all, make it can make it difficult for us to achieve meaningful living.   Meaningful living is attained when we learn to deny ourselves of our own personal pleasures (good and bad) for the good of others, and ultimately the good of ourselves.   Cain should’ve been happy for Abel and seek only to do things that would protect his brother and uplift his brother, not hurt him.  Cain should’ve met with God in a quiet moment and make things right, he could’ve confessed “Lord I am sorry for dishonoring you with my Sacrifice”.   The consequences he experienced because of giving way to MALICE, was not worth it.  Feel free to read the rest of the chapter to discover the consequences faced by Cain.

Let’s try our best not to encourage early signs of MALICE, like jealousy and envy; it really can distract us from achieving God’s best for us in this life.

 

MALICE!! Part 1

Warning !!   Do not harbor malice!

Do you think thoughts are random and actions are just actions?  Do you think because you are imperfect, it is inevitable; you would do wrong, sooner than later.  Or maybe you believe, because you have been hurt, you have good reason to hate and to be bitter.

What is Malice?   I have been thinking about it a lot.   Let’s take our minds there a bit.  Look at the verses below, from the Bible, and see if they would help to unfold the meaning;

Colossians 3:8

But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, MALICE, blasphemy, filthy communication out of your mouth.

1 Corinthians 14:20

Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in MALICE be ye children, but in understanding be men.

1 Peter 2: 1 & 2

Wherefore laying aside all MALICE and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speaking.  As new-born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:

From reading the chapters these verses were taken from, I know that the instructions in these verses are directed to Followers of Christ, Believers.   The verses themselves gives us clues that they are directed to Believers.

Colossians 3:8 – “But now” – These two words tells us that conditions have changed, there is a past condition and a present condition. Now, that you have decided to make Christ the Lord of your life, things got to change.

1 Corinthians 14:20 – the clue in this verse is “Brethren” a word used to refer to a group of believers.

1 Peter 2: 1 & 2 – Verse two which begins “As new-born…” explains it all.  When man repents and receives the gift of Salvation, he is seen as a Babe in Christ, a baby in the Kingdom of God.

So, if you a believer, you should realise by now, that these verses are for you…..yep!  You have no excuse!  If MALICE is practiced by you, something is wrong, you need to begin by studying these passages and praying and asking God to convert your heart away from MALICE, into healthy thinking.   If you are not a believer, harboring malice would only hurt your relationship with others.

Let’s quickly look at the meaning and this discussion would continue later;

Definition of MALICE –

“Extreme enmity of heart, or malevolence; a disposition to injure others without cause, from mere personal gratification or from a spirit of revenge; unprovoked malignity or spite.”    WOW!

This could never be good, you mean we can just want to hurt someone else just to please ourselves?  How far can we go as human beings?

This is heavy!  I suggest we slow down and ponder on it for a while; it is a mouthful. It is also a good idea for you to do your own research on the word “MALICE”.

This discussion is just getting started.   See you on Thursday!!

Remove the Sun-shades, Live!

 

I think it is important for each of us to be comfortable in the body we are in; facing our past and present, ugly or not so ugly, or good.   Too many times we prefer to cover up, to keep the sun shades on our faces, because we feel safe, we feel as if we are tucked away from the harsh reality of the world and the way our critics look at us.   The sun-shades stays on, and our minds work overtime, trying to contain the passion which lies within.

We have forgotten that the clock never stops and that our life, which is hopefully seen as a gift, is meant to be lived.  I have not seen anyone living to their fullest behind the shades, No Way!   Instead, if you were granted the opportunity to look into their eyes, you would see, disappointment, doubt, confusion, fear, hate and bitterness, shame, despair and so much more.

If we ought to live life to the fullest, we MUST, remove the shades and enter the sunlight, let its warmth tingle our faces.  We must begin to hunger for more, we must yearn to look at ourselves in the mirror, we must learn to freely be who we were meant to be.

This world would never make it easy for individuality to shine.  Look around everyone seems to be influenced by the same drivers of society.  In comparison, few would dare to release themselves to the world, with their flaws but with their gifts.   And yet, while we say few, there are many who have accomplished great things, not because they were rich, or intelligent or popular, but because they were daring enough to remove the shaded pretenses of their lives and LIVE.

I DARE YOU TO LIVE!

What is that one thing you are hesitating from doing all because you have been lying to yourself, telling yourself that you are not good enough.  Why do you embrace harmful emotions that hinder you from looking up.  I DARE YOU TO LIVE, LET THE SUN SHINE ON YOU AND LIVE!!