Because you are different does not mean you need to give in.

There are many people struggling with the desire to become intimately involved with the same sex. Finally, many of them give in, thinking that this is who they are meant to be and they need to be free by “coming out of their closet”. This mentality is supported by lots of people in society today and it is really difficult for someone to resist when those “same-sex” urges are experienced.

I believe the stories of those who finally gave in, are glamorised, while the stories of those who don’t are often suppressed and not shared.

The reality is however, it boils down to a choice, to respect and believe that God’s standards are different from society’s standards or to reject those standards for society’s standards. Some choose to respect and honour God’s way and so they choose to resist the urge and the temptation to be with another of their kind. Today, there are beautiful stories of such successes.

Don’t be overwhelmed with the fashion to give in, there is another option. Ask yourself “What would Jesus Do?”. Ask him that question directly and sincerely tune in for his answer. You would be amazed of the power of his words and the overwhelming love he has for you. Consider that the one who created you may have a different plan for your life, even with your “differences”. Consider!

Someone is encouraged to pursue their dreams because of you

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No one likes to be around hypocrites and that is a given. But often we look at others, forgetting to look in the Mirror. When we say one thing and our behaviour depicts something else, it creates confusion in the minds of others. It is always better to let people see you rather than hear you; unfortunately or fortunately, what they see is evidence of who you really are.
I know of many persons who have been discouraged from doing good because they have been disappointed by someone they once looked up to.
Students look up to teachers and are often baffled by their conduct. It causes them to re-evaluate the values they were taught, to question whether or not there are folks who really believe these values and live by them. Some Parents create deep rifts between themselves and their children, because they choose to discipline their children for certain acts they themselves are guilty of committing. Some spouses treat their wives or husbands badly, while they pretend to be angels on the outside, seeking to fool others into believing that all is well.
It happens at church as well, church leaders forget that it is ok to admit to weaknesses and failures and instead, attempt to live hiding behind a mask, one that forces them to pretend to be who they are not. Usually, it is only a matter of time that the high expectations of others are shattered.
Bosses pretend to listen, to care and to be fair, while deep down they are not sincerely interested in your well-being. You are not valued beyond what you can do.
These are all realities that exists in your world and in my world. Many of us have been disappointed by someone in our lifetime or have disappointed someone in their lifetime.
Let us remember that there is always someone looking up to us, observing us, respecting and valuing our advice and guidance. It therefore means that our actions and behaviours can either hinder someone from pursuing their purpose, or propel them to move full speed ahead.
I do believe we should not blame anyone for the situations and conditions we find ourselves in, but if we are to be honest, some of our greatest blows come from people who disappointed us in life.
Remember, someone is watching the way you live and is being encouraged to pursue their dreams, to persevere through a difficult period in their life, or to change.
This should cause us to think a lot deeper, before we act.

Morne Gazo, situated in the Parish of St. David. Has a great hiking trail with a lovely view at the top.

Your kids deserve more than “Because I say so”.

I really don’t think the words “Because I say so” works. Not from what I have experienced. Maybe years ago, but, children these days? They require more from us, explanations, answers and reasons why they should obey or choose wisely. In fact, they need to be able to define what is “wise” as well.

Some of us may think that there are times when those words do apply, as the required explanations are too complexed for our child’s consumption. I get that feeling, I totally do. In those times I have found it better so say why I cannot explain, rather than “Because I say so”. You see there is merit in acting real as parents, there is merit in acting human. Sometimes, we do not have the answers and that’s okay.

I am not a bully mom, neither are my children growing to be kids; they are growing to be adults who can think and make sound decisions, communicate effectively and demonstrate other necessary skills and the intelligence to be successful in all spheres.

My role therefore is to speak to my kids in a manner that would educate them and build their confidence in facing life’s touch questions. “Because I say so” may be seen as an escape for parents who are too busy to sit and explain or too scared to touch the unpleasant. Parenting is about toughening up and facing our responsibilities head on. If we don’t know what to say, seek guidance first, pray, prepare thoroughly, but don’t take the escape route. It would not hurt to say to your child, “I cannot explain to you now, but I promise to do so before the day ends; I need you to trust me on this”.

Children accept our sincere attempts to respect them, value them and to teach them and they connect much better with us when they are able to perceive us as normal humans with lacks and weaknesses but also with experience and wisdom, seeking to lead them the best way we know how.

Here is a bonus tip. The more you spend quality time with your kids, the easier it becomes to discuss uncomfortable topics with them.

7 Lessons Learnt from my Daddy.

Photo from Google images…

Today, the world celebrates “Fathers’ Day”. While, I love the idea of the special attention being given to Fathers, I think “Real Dads” should be appreciated every day.

It is a blessing to still have my dad today. He is 83 years and counting. I am thankful to God for my sound biblical upbringing and for my Dad who played a significant role in my development. I am forever grateful.

It is my honour to share with you some of the Lessons learnt from my Dad.

Lesson no. 1
A relationship with God changes you for the better
Dad often spoke of his spiritual transformation when we were kids. He talked about life before when he found pleasure in the things of this world. He was only 24 and was already negatively influenced by the dangerous practices the world had to offer. He told the story of being invited to church and not recalling how he left his seat and found himself at the Alter. He told the story of the prayer of faith that changed his life forever. Since his encounter with God, he has been different. He experienced the power of God and that, he couldn’t fully explain.

As children we witnessed that change, we lived within the moment of the testimony he told. He preached and counseled others within the context of change. He preached from a place of experience. Dad was transformed from a young man who was interested in pleasure and living selfishly to a young man who wanted absolutely nothing to do with his past. He now wanted to learn more about God’s plan for his life.

Lesson no. 2
A Dad must faithfully provide for his Family

I grew up physically poor but spiritually loaded. Despite the fact that we had limited cash circulating, we always had food to eat. My Dad did lots of gardening and still does to an extent. He planted corn, sweet potatoes, yams, string beans, tomatoes, cucumbers, peas, eggplants, cabbages, carrots, bell peppers, seasoning peppers, sugar cane and the list goes on. Our garden and the many fruit trees around our home, were the main source of food for our family. My Dad worked hard to make that possible. Not only did he plant but he maintained the fruit trees. We enjoyed fruits all year round, from mangoes (a wide variety of them), to cherries, guavas, sugar apples, plums, sour sops and more.

We enjoyed modest homes but we were proud of the place we called home. We moved at least four times during my childhood but Dad and Mom did a great job with the selections. It was not enough for Dad to be renting and even though it was late in his life, he built us a home that we were finally able to call ours. Dad did not experience the burden of a home mortgage as many experience today. The building of our home explained grace, kindness, faith and perseverance. Dad lead the way on this Project when it seemed crazy and crazy became our cherished home.

Lesson no. 3
A Dad must be faithful to his wife
I grew up with five brothers. Dad had two sons before marrying mom. We loved them and looked forward to the time when they visited; they lived in St. Vincent. Sometimes we visited them as well. Dad’s two sons from his past life, was all we had to remind us of his past. There was no other woman in his life, he was committed to our Mother. He gave us no reason to wonder or to be fearful of the threat of another woman. Our family felt safe and solid.

Lesson no. 4
A Dad must be a Cheer Leader for his Children

As we grew, we pursued our individual paths, not always a path that Dad would approved of, but we new then, and now that he always wanted the very best for us and believed in our potential. As kids he would often show his disapproval in silence and firm stares, he did not talk a lot. We knew however, when he was proud of us, whether it was our grades at school, performance at sports, our singing or presentations at church, we knew! He expressed it in words and pleasant expressions. He was our cheer leader in a reserved but evident manner and that was powerful. We were always motivated to achieve. Thoughts of not being able to make it or accomplish our dreams were never because of what dad said or did. He showed us how to achieve by pursuing his dreams until they became a reality and we knew we possessed the same tenacity for success.

Lesson no. 5
Discipline and love goes hand in hand

We grew up at a time when parents whipped, used the belt, ruler, and other helps to instil discipline. Dad seemed to have known a little more or maybe it was his spiritual transformation that made the difference. We got “licks” as well but it was not freely given, it was reserved for those times when our disobedience crossed the line. It was reserved for those times when harsher methods were appropriate and a lesson had to be urgently taught. “Licks” and love often went hand in hand. I remember getting “licks” once and I felt so sorry for what I did but yet I was thankful. Strange right? Well, not really, because it was done in Love. “Licks” and Love!

Lesson no. 6
Trust & Space

As we grew older, we enjoyed more freedom. We had received Godly instructions from church, from school and more so from home and then we were trusted to make our own decisions. We were equipped, our life-banks were adequately stocked for good success and then we were expected to be “wise as serpents and harmless as doves”.

I never felt as if I was in bondage or under pressure to do the right thing. We were educated about right and wrong. We knew the difference between wholesome fun and dangerous fun and it came mainly from our parents, what they taught us and how they lived. We had other great examples around us as well. It was then up to us to choose. We were told how to choose and about consequences. As teenagers we were never forced to make choices to please our parents but rather to please God.

Lesson no. 7
Spend valuable time with your family – establish healthy memories

We played quite a bit of table games as a family, Ludo, Life, Checkers, and there was a game that dad invented with various families and we had to exchange cards to complete each family. I loved that game! My favourite family was the “Sharers”.

Dad loved table-tennis and most of us learned the basic idea of the sport. We visited the beach often on Saturdays, something I miss dearly. We had drive-outs and pick-nicks, as well as camp trips. We would help out sometimes roasting breadfruit, corn and potatoes and would often enjoy roasted breadfruit and salt-fish for supper, many times out on the porch under the moonlight. Many of our family meals were enjoyed together around the table, filled with chatter and laughter.

Church life was great as kids. My Dad was a Pastor and we enjoyed the activities of the church, the daily vacation bible schools, special crusades, lovely singing, great Christmas Programmes, Camps and more. We loved Church and our Church family. Things were so different then.

Our primary school education was from the Berean Christian Academy. My elder brother and sister were members of the school band. My sister played the flute and my brother, the trombone. I believe he was introduced to the saxophone at school as well. We enjoyed a number of school concerts as a family. Uplifting music saturated our family, at home, at school and at church. As I think about Dad, I think about the happy home environment he and mom created for us and the many musical records we enjoyed. One of my favourite memories is “Jump back little frog, Jump back”. I searched YouTube hoping to find a recording of that little nursery rhyme but to know avail. Dad bout me my first guitar and I am so happy he did.

Family devotions was led by Dad. They were those times when we were encouraged to reflect on our thoughts and our actions. They were sobering moments of introspection as we were reminded to live in line with God’s principles.

I am writing this article, and I am reminded to keep my articles short and captivating. I think I have already written too much. There is so much I want to share.

To all the Dads out there, please know that your little girls and little boys as well as the big girls and big boys need your attention, your love and your discipline.

We love you. Happy Fathers’ Day!

Pursuing God’s purpose is no easy road

I have come to realise, in my over forty years of existence, that the real beauty of success is that you are able to show that you have achieved it by honest means, through self-less efforts and by overcoming personal fears and challenges, facing your giants. It is these stories of endurance and perseverance, amidst discouragement, abandonment and disappointment, that really touches you deep.

On this Blog, I speak of pursuing God’s purpose and the truth is, it is not a sitting, waiting, getting along with everybody, no testing kind of experience. The word pursuing means to relentlessly go after something until you get it. And here our context is “God’s purpose”. We need to understand that pursuing God’s purpose often requires us to do some things that are hard emotionally, that would not be popular and that may even land us some enemies. It is no easy road. BUT, the fulfillment that floods your inside, when you know without a hint of doubt, that God is pleased, is reward enough.

What are those hard things you have had to do in your pursuit of God’s will for your life? Did you think it was too hard and buried your head in the sand? Did you try to stifle the urge to move forward?

I’ll tell you this, I think many times, we think too much before we take action, “what if” “is it really God”, “what will people think about me”, “i don’t feel good enough”, “let me wait to make sure”. Thinking and overthinking when we already know, in our hearts, it is o.k to proceed.

Another mistake we make is to tell others, thinking their approval would be a sign. Well, not necessarily! Sometimes we got to walk, work and pursue alone. Or maybe we fail to take action because of pride as it requires us to ask for help and we refuse to. Dangerous choice.

Be encouraged that in order to really persevere to the end, we must be willing to do what is necessary. No matter how many times you stop, accelerate again and keep moving. Stop “hitting the brakes”! No matter, how many said no to the help you needed, keep accelerating! No matter, how many gave you the silent treatment, never actively encouraging you, keep accelerating! No matter how many times members in your family scoffed at your vision, keep accelerating.

Remember the word is “Pursuing”, it suggests action, doing, moving and eventually reaching that goal. The Word of God describes it beautifully as “running a race”. Dress appropriately to run and run no matter the hurdles you see appearing before you. Run! You must believe that God will enable you to jump over your hurdles.

Barriers to effective communication in Marriage.

A few days ago, I was thinking of “barriers to effective communication within marriages. I started brainstorming, looking at my marriage and thinking of the experience of others. I must say my biblical knowledge quickly influenced the direction of my thoughts. I decided to introduce the discussion on my Facebook page and the responses sent me to a deeper place and I had to put put letters to screen :).

As a result of my deep thinking and some of my friends on Facebook sharing their heart on the matter, I decided to share four possible barriers to communication within the Marriage Relationship.

  • Pride – Pride literally cripples you. It has nothing good to offer. I am speaking of the pride that hinders us from doing what is right. The Pride that is more concerned about how we look on the outside and how people perceive us. The Pride that distorts reality trapping us in a world where our identity is defined by how we dress, the type of vehicle we drive, who our friends are, where we work and our achievements. We are therefore seeking to keep up appearances. We may get away with keeping up appearances on the outside but at home it can really hurt us and destroy the relationships that really matter to us. May I suggest that instead of keeping up appearances at home, we seek to practice accepting accountability for our wrongs, even those that make us ashamed and disappointed in ourselves. Accept that you have flaws, weaknesses and nasty habits to work on. Do not pretend to be who you are not, do not be afraid to face your sins head-on. Many times our Spouses are a blessing to us because they are one of the few persons who would tell us the truth about ourselves. I suggest you listen! Don’t let pride rob you from building a closer relationship with your spouse.
  • Distractions – Mobile phones and all it affords – We are in an age of technology at our finger tips. It is like an itch that we think we need to keep scratching. It is a well established and accepted distraction and I believe many couples are struggling with it. Let each man examine himself and pursue change where applicable. Avoid using your phones when your spouse is around and available to chat or to be engaged in doing something with you. Whether it is an opportunity to eat together, or watch the news together or just to be silly together, grab that opportunity to engage each other.
  • Passing judgement before hearing the story – Oh how we love to jump to conclusions before hearing the whole story. “He is always coming home late because he doesn’t like being around me!” So you responded to what you think is the reason for him arriving home late, by keeping to yourself and being extra quiet. He is trying to speak to you and you have gone ice cold. Here is another scenario; “She ended the call because I came into the room.” On that evening you had planned together to work on a family project but instead you started to lecture your wife about “Trust”, she get’s upset as she feels judged and storms out the room. One more scenario, “He told his mom what I told him last night, that is why she did not call me today.” We often act on these hunches, assumptions and wrong perceptions. It is important that we act on facts, ask questions if you need to know what really transpired, but don’t draw conclusions from what seems to be the truth.
  • This is the final one and it is a big one; failure to forgive. One’s failure to forgive their spouse would certainly be a barrier. Failure to forgive means one spouse is holding something against the other, something they did or did not do, that the husband or wife really disapproved of. Unforgiveness leads one to hate and playing the blame game. It is like a big wall that hinders your relationship from blossoming, from prospering, from moving on. It can lead to behaviours that can cause the relationship to deteriorate further, all because he/she chooses not to let go. Communication between both parties becomes complicated and painful. Solution? Get on your knees and ask God to help you to forgive your spouse. Seek help. Be vulnerable enough to tell your spouse how you feel, let them know that you want to but it is proving difficult. Act against your feelings, love your spouse even when it is hard to forgive and try not to allow your past experiences to negatively influence your communication with your spouse.

The 13th chapter of 1 Corinthians is a lovely chapter to read and reflect on as couples. Read verses 4 to 7. Love is patient, kind, does not envy, is not proud, avoids questionable behaviours, does not think evil of others and more.

I am often amazed how we communicate to our loved ones with such disrespect at times and we make such effort to communicate respectfully to strangers. May you be inspired today to love your spouse enough to take the time to practice the behaviours that would enrich the quality of your communication daily.

Start off by greeting your spouse in the kindest, sweetest way and mean it from the heart. Don’t send mixed messages, don’t be silent when you should be speaking and please be careful what comes out of your mouth. Let your words uplift and inspire your spouse.

A safe place for children

I am often saddened when I hear stories of dysfunctional homes, abandoned children, children who are neglected and exposed to danger by their parents and children who are simply lost all because they have not known unconditional love and acceptance.

You see, as parents our role is to provide a safe place for our children to exist, to discover themselves and to develop into independent, sober adults who can make sound decisions that would lead to great quality lives.

What is a “safe place”?

That safe place I am referring to is the HOME. Most children return to a home and the ideal scenario is that they should be very happy to return home.

As a parent myself, I often have to remind myself that I cannot control what takes place outside of our home, whether it is unfair teachers, unreasonable adults who judge all children the same, immature Christians who play holy but take pleasure in destroying the character of others, men and women who prey on innocent children, or advertisements and activities that encourage the use of alcohol, nakedness and irresponsible behaviour.

I have come to terms with the reality of this life. I have also recognised that I have the power to influence my kids positively and I must use the advantage of the Home, the fact that we all live in the same space.

I feel it for parents who are struggling. There are those of us who may not describe ourselves as struggling but our experiences can be described more as challenges. Everyone has to face the struggle/challenge of creating that “safe place” and keeping it safe. There are many negative influences out there, seeking to snatch the opportunity for greatness from our children. I wish to share a few tips with us on how we can create that “safe place” at home so that our children can pursue a meaningful life now and in the future.

  1. As a parent, be present at home as much as possible. Try to cut down the unsupervised times spent at home by your children, even as teenagers. When it is totally necessary for you to be out, provide a structure for them while they are at home, give them tasks to accomplish. It is also necessary to follow-up and monitor them with a phone call or two.
  2. Know your children’s friends. You can get to know them by visiting their school, attending school activities, sending little goodies for them at school, and inviting them out with your children.
  3. Practice self-control as a parent, avoid shouting, yelling, the cold treatment and other immature behaviours. In other words grow up, get help if you need it. These kind of behaviours push children away, creating a dangerous distance. If your children are not ready to chat with you everyday about their experiences at school, check yourself first. Maybe you are to harsh, jumping to conclusions before listening. Remember you were once young and they are not yet grown.
  4. Work-out any problems you may have with your spouse privately, do not allow your children to be negatively affected by any disagreements between yourself and your spouse (for those who are married of course).
  5. Do not leave your children home with strangers or anyone you are uncomfortable with, they are better of home alone, if it is really necessary.
  6. Try as much as possible to serve home-cooked meals. Give them the experience of good, tasty food that is safe and healthy to eat.
  7. Speak only words that are uplifting to your children. Be their biggest Cheer-Leader! Even when they need to be disciplined, let them know that you love them deeply and desire the best for them, that is why discipline is necessary.
  8. Give them a sound spiritual education. Point them to the Scriptures and to beginning a relationship with God, not to religion and a life of pretense and religious formalities. Let them know that there are standards for right and wrong and God is the absolute authority. Introduce them to a God of love who can be trusted with their future because he knows all things. Talk about the Word of God at home and apply it to daily living.
  9. As parents, seek to be good examples, so that your children would not suffer the consequences of your sins. Give them that chance to start life without baggage, they would create their own anyhow.
  10. Finally, build great memories at home, have fun! plan lots of family activities and get the children to contribute their ideas as well.

There is so much more that can be said but, I prefer to keep it short. As short as it may be, let it inspire you to grow as a parent and work towards building a safer place for your children.

I embrace my past; I embrace my future more! –

Featured pic from Grenada Development Bank – My farewell party – November 2019 – Former Directors, My former boss in blue & grey, former co-workers.

In November, 2019, I took a step of faith. I resigned from my highly valued job as Administration & Human Resource Manager at the Grenada Development Bank, the only Development Bank on the Island of Grenada. A unique institution that has an amazing success story. I say highly valued because in those nine years I learnt a great deal. In those nine years, I confirmed so many things about life, about people and about myself. Through the grace of God, I was able to fortify my career as an Administration and Human Resource Professional. Yes, I was learning but I was also being established in both fields.

In those nine years and even before those nine years ( I was employed at GDB for 27 years), God used varied circumstances to remind me that when He is control, everything works out the way it should. He reminded me that I needed His guidance daily. He also reminded me that I just had to continuously walk in faith, looking at his face for assurance and not to others.

It is now four months since I moved on and many times I would remember moments at GDB. I remember them with such affection and such appreciation. I think, in my heart, I would always feel a part of GDB’s family and I can’t help but be grateful.

Now, everyday was not perfect, there were days when we argued to make our points clear, there were times when I did not achieve my best and there were times when I had to be involved in disciplining staff and it was no popular affair, but with God’s grace, I persevered. And you know what I am sure they know, I care.

The appreciating truth is that I miss my GDB family despite the downs. I have given so much but have received much more.

As I sat thinking about the past, I just thought…”My past is so important to my future success”. I embrace it, I own it, I value it and I am so blessed by it. I have gotten to know so many people, to influence so many people, to learn from so many people, to share Christ with so many people. My past is very very important to me. But here this, it is not more important to me than my future.

As, I look ahead, I have new challenges. I have a need to find strategies never tested, as I continue to walk into that door that has been swung wide open for me. Whenever I find myself doubting God, I seek to shake it off, reminding myself that every move relating to me leaving a job, that meant so much to me, to step into the unknown, was God-directed. I have do doubt that it was an answer to prayer. My God surprised me with an open door.

At GIDC’s Office – April 2019

What gets me at times, is the struggle to keep believing that God is right here by me side and I can accomplish the task that He has entrusted to me. I wish that mental struggle did not exist, but it does, I wish my energy would always flow but sometimes, I get weary, I wish I can act in a timely manner at all times, but sometimes, I hesitate.

So, today, I reminded myself to keep speaking words of affirmation, words of hope, declaring the promises of God, declaring what has been given to me as a Child of God. Today, I am reminded not to deny my Christ, never to be ashamed of being a Christian, because, God is the only person that I can bet my life on. He is for me, in season, out of season, when everyone around me seems scary and cannot be trusted. He is there!

Jekalyn Carr in her song, says “You will win, win”! And, I believe that, not only that I will win, but I have already won so many battles of the mind, of the body and of the will because God’s word is a source of strength. I believe I have won and I will continue to win.

My past has definitely helped to shape my future, but my future is bigger!!

What about you? Are you too attached to your past that you find it difficult to believe that you will survive the open door? “You will Win!”