Category: Uncategorized

Don’t Try to Deal with Temptation Yourself

Matthew 26:41 says, “All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

Sometimes we try to deal with everything ourselves, don’t we? We just try to resist in the flesh when we should be asking God to help us.

We can have the best of intentions and still cave in. So we need to get God involved as early and often as possible.

Think about it. What would happen if people would pray on a regular basis that they wouldn’t overeat at meals? What would happen if people who know they have a bad temper would pray on a regular basis, “God, give me grace to stay in peace today”?

I honestly believe that this is one of the most beneficial things we can do as believers: Pray ahead of time; pray often about your areas of weakness, and just accept that some things you will have to pray about for the rest of your life. – Joyce Meyer

Where Are Your Boundaries?

Know your limits.
Before becoming involved in a situation, know what’s acceptable to you, and what isn’t. It’s best to be as specific as possible, or you might be pulled into the trap of giving just a little bit more, over and over, until you’ve given far too much.

Know your values.
Every person’s limits are different, and they’re often determined by their personal values. For example, if you value family above all else, this might lead to stricter limits on how late you will stay at work, away from family. Know what’s most important to you, and protect it.

Listen to your emotions.
If you notice feelings of discomfort or resentment, don’t bury them. Try to understand what your feelings are telling you. Resentment, for example, can often be traced to feelings of being taken advantage of.

Have self-respect.
If you always give in to others, ask if you are showing as much respect to yourself as you show to others. Boundaries that are too open might be due to misguided attempts to be liked by elevating other people’s needs above one’s own.

Have respect for others.
Be sure that your actions are not self-serving, at the expense of others. Interactions should not be about winning, or taking as much as possible. Instead, consider what’s fair to everyone, given the setting and relationship. You might “win”, but at the cost of a relationship’s long-term health.

Be assertive.
When you know it’s time to set a boundary, don’t be shy. Say “no” respectfully, but without ambiguity. If you can make a compromise while respecting your own boundaries, try it. This is a good way to soften the “no”, while showing respect to everyone involved.

Consider the long view.
Some days you will give more than you take, and other days you will take more than you give. Be willing to take a longer view of relationships, when appropriate. But if you’re always the one who’s giving or taking, there might be a problem

Trust God With How

When it comes to believing God for a spouse, or a promotion, or whatever it may be, some of us make the mistake of trying to dictate to God HOW we want it to happen, however in no case in the Bible does any one who wanted anything from God dictate to Him – they just simply received their blessing the way that He said.
For example, Naaman wanted his leprosy removed and was told to dip himself in the Jordan River 7 times. Though he initially got offended, he eventually did it and received his healing as a result.
(2 Kings 5:10-14)
Blind Bartimaeus wanted his sight so he chased after Jesus, told Jesus what He wanted and Jesus responded with “Go thy way; thy faith hath made the whole” and Bartimaeus received his sight and went away rejoicing, whereas in another case of a blind man Jesus smeared spit laden mud on his eyes and told him to go dip in the pool of Siloam to receive his sight – he did so and got his vision back. (Mark 10:46-52; John 9:6-7)
There also was a man at the pool of Bethesda who had an infirmity for 38 years and sat by the pool every day to see if maybe one day he could make it to the water right after the angel troubled the waters before any one else so that he could receive his healing. Well, one day Jesus addressed him and when he explained how discouraged he was Jesus simply said “Rise, take up thy bed, and walk” and he walked away healed without having to get any of his clothes wet at all. (John 5:2-9)
In his case, like many of us do ourselves, he thought his blessing would come one way, but Jesus had a whole different and much easier way in mind.
So when it comes to believing God for anything, as long as it’s according to His will, believe and receive that He will do it for you, and leave the HOW up to Him.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:   And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.   If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death: I do not say that he shall pray for it. 1 John 5:14-16
Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Psalm 37:4
*Originally published on KimontheWeb.com

Your Destiny Awaits

During this season of singleness, I’d like to encourage you to use this time to not only enjoy life but to also really seek God and pray about your purpose.
Do you know your life’s mission?
Do you know why you were created?
Well, the person who knows the answer to all this and more is your Creator – God.
You may have sought God previously about your purpose and may not have received a response yet.  I’d like to encourage you to continue to press in and seek Him about it because it’s vital to your existence.
Some of the most depressed people in the world are people who never discovered their purpose and live to try and please other people all their lives instead of doing what it is God called and predestined them
to do. (Jeremiah 1:5)
If you’re still having problems hearing from God, examine your life right now i.e. who’s in it and who speaks into your life. Who influences you? Who do you confide in and who do you approach for advice making decisions? Then ask yourself if their advice is divinely inspired or is it led by the flesh or simply their own opinion which may not line up with the Word of God.
Who do you spend most of your time with?
If you’re in a relationship right now, does he cause you to grow in your relationship with God?
Do the two of you pray together and encourage each other in the things of God, or are ya’ll just “hanging out” and end up making out which leads to your having to repent seemingly every Sunday morning?
A relationship which causes you to draw away from God and focus all your attention on them instead of pursuing your purpose is a distraction.  Don’t let a distraction deter your destiny.
Trust me, I know how easy it is to be all in the clouds with someone only to realize later that it was nothing but a big ‘ole distraction which may have either stunted your spiritual growing or got you off course for the moment.
Thank God we serve a God of grace and mercy who has the awesome ability to reel us back on in as long as we continue to seek Him with a pure heart – He’ll make a way to get His Word to us, even when we act hardheaded sometimes.
So examine your relationships, ask God if those other persons should be allowed to continue to speak over or even be in your life then make the proper adjustments.
Your destiny awaits.
And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13
For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11
*Originally published on KimontheWeb.com

Step By Step

Every step of obedience is a step toward your destiny.
Whatever God calls you to do, do it with your whole heart. (Colossians 3:23)
In prayer, if God asks you to do something, whether it’s change careers, move to a certain place, let go of a certain friend, speak a Word to another person – do it.
You know it’s God’s voice when it lines up with His Word and His will.  
The more you draw near to God, the more He’ll draw near to you.  (James 4:8)
No good thing will He withhold from you, but it takes every step of obedience to make sure you get there. (Psalm 84:11)
Though it sometimes may not make sense to the natural eye, there is always a blessing on the other side of obedience; for we walk by faith and not by sight.  (2 Corinthians 5:7)
My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27
And Samuel said, Hath the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams. 1 Samuel 15:22
The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way.  Psalm 37:23

Remembering B Smith (1949-2020)

At age 70, Smith succumbed to early onset Alzheimer’s, which she had been battling for years. She died Saturday at her Long Island home with family nearby.

Plenty of media have described Smith as the “black Martha Stewart.” And superficially, one could see why: Both women had been models (Smith appeared on the covers of several fashion magazines, the first brown-skinned black model to be featured on Mademoiselle’s cover in the 1970s). Both had a genius for cooking and entertaining. Both eventually built an empire based on their skills (food, decorating, entertaining, home keeping). And when people (mostly white people) called Smith the black Martha, they meant it as a compliment. Smith saw it as well-intended but shortsighted.

“Martha Stewart has presented herself doing the things domestics and African Americans have done for years,” Smith told New York magazine in a 1997 interview. “We were always expected to redo the chairs and use everything in the garden. This is the legacy that I was left. Martha just got there first.” True, but Smith made up for that by diving into everything she did with passion.

Born to a steelworker father and a mother who was a part-time housekeeper, Barbara Elaine Smith left her Western Pennsylvania hometown of Scottsdale for a modeling career right after high school. Barbara became B. as her modeling career took off. After a successful career with modeling agency Wilhelmina and several lucrative corporate contracts, Smith became interested in restaurants.

She married her second husband, Dan Gasby, in 1992, and together they created an empire that encompassed bestselling cookbooks, the weekly show and a lifestyle magazine that was briefly published by American Express. Eventually there were also housewares, bed linens and even an At Home with B. Smith furniture line.

Smith opened her first eponymous restaurant in Manhattan’s theater district in 1986. Two more B. Smith restaurants followed: one near her weekend home on Long Island and the other in the historic Union Station complex in Washington, D.C.

Smith had been showing signs of forgetfulness for a while. In 2013, after she lost her train of thought while she was doing a cooking demonstration on NBC’s Today, she sought a doctor’s opinion.

The devastating verdict: tests indicated she was in the beginning stages of early onset Alzheimer’s disease. She and Gasby went public with the news in 2014. Smith put on a brave face and told the public she intended to live and enjoy life until she couldn’t.

The B. Smith who appeared in a public service announcement the following year was a woman whose wattage had dimmed considerably. Her disease was progressing swiftly. Her famously radiant smile flashed less frequently. Her sparkling eyes looked vacant, she forgot things easily and she once got lost in Manhattan for several hours.

Despite that, she and Gasby did several interviews to educate the public and destigmatize Alzheimer’s. They also wrote a book, Before I Forget, about dealing with the disease. They were determined to try to make a difference, as Alzheimer’s is known to be more prevalent in women and African Americans.

It’s a hard call that more and more Americans are going to have to make, as more of us are diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Last year, the Alzheimer’s Association estimated 5.8 million people have the disease; 200,000 of those have early onset.

Remembering Betty Wright (1953-2020)

The singer and songwriter Betty Wright, who has died of cancer aged 66, occupied a significant position in African-American music across six decades, beginning with powerhouse gospel in the 1950s and settling on an R&B, soul and funk groove from the 60s onwards that eventually led to work with superstar rappers of the 2000s.

Wright’s career began as a young child in a gospel group in Florida, and her signature song, Clean Up Woman (1971), was recorded when she was only 17, epitomising what became known as “the Miami sound” – Floridian soul music shaped by the many facets of her home city’s cultural melange.

After years of solid achievement in the US as a singer and songwriter, in the mid-80s she set up her own record label and, although she continued to record her own material, began to make a new name for herself as a producer and songwriter, collaborating with the likes of Gloria Estefan and Joss Stone. Later still her material was much sampled – including by Beyoncé – and she was able to undertake projects with rappers such as Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne.

She was born in Miami, to Rosa (nee Braddy-Wright) and McArthur Norris. The infant Bessie – as Betty was christened – was co-opted into the family gospel group, the Echoes of Joy, at the age of two. The Echoes worked the Southern US gospel circuit and Bessie proved to be a vocal prodigy – so much so that by the time the group split in 1965, she was confident enough to start singing on her own, in a new R&B vein, and with a new name – Betty Wright.

Willie Clarke and Clarence Reid, two Miami-based musicians, were so impressed by the young girl that they signed her to Deep City, the only African-American record label in Florida. Wright’s debut 45, Paralysed, was released in 1965, and it sold well locally. However, Deep City lacked the resources to promote records properly, and so Reid and Clarke eventually passed Wright on to Henry Stone, a distributor with experience and contacts who was launching Alston Records in Miami.

Aged 14, Wright recorded her debut album for Alston, My First Time Around (1968), which not only revealed her to be a formidable soul singer but generated a single, Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do, that reached the Top 40s of the US and Canadian pop charts.

Although subsequent singles failed to make much of an impression, Wright continued to sing in the Miami clubs on the weekends, building up valuable contacts in the music business. Then chart success returned in 1971 with Clean Up Woman, written by Clarke and Reid, which got to No 6 in the US. Based around a distinctive guitar lick played by Willie Hale, Clean Up Woman’s breezy, danceable funk ensured that Wright would be one of the few school pupils ever to have turned 18 with a million-selling hit record behind her.

The song also helped to launch the Miami sound, whose origins Wright associated firmly with the city’s vibrant and fluctuating cultural scene. “You’ve got a little Cuba, a little Jamaica, and a little Haiti; you’ve got a large Jewish culture and you’ve got calypso,” she told Billboard magazine. “Then you’ve got people who were born here or came from South Carolina, where they’ve got a heavy African culture too. It’s a very rhythmic roots music. Even the white acts that come out of Miami tend to be very soulful. We’ve got that serious, serious conga rhythm.”

Wright continued to produce popular songs across the 1970s – Baby Sitter, Let Me Be Your Lovemaker, Secretary, Where is the Love?, Tonight is the Night – although none quite matched the success of Clean Up Woman and generally made more of an impact on the US R&B charts than in the pop sphere. A prolific songwriter, she won a Grammy for Best R&B Song in 1976 for Where is the Love?, a song she had co-written.

Signing to Epic Records in 1981, Wright quickly grew disillusioned with the restrictions of being with a major company, and so launched her own Ms B record label in 1985. With her 1987 album Mother Wit she became the first African-American woman to achieve a gold album on her own label.

From that point onwards, however, Wright began to achieve greater success by working with other artists. Estefan’s US No 1 single Coming Out of the Dark (1991) featured Wright’s vocal arrangements, and Wright co-produced and co-wrote every track on Stone’s 2004 album Mind, Body & Soul, which reached No 1 in the UK.

In 2006 she appeared as a mentor on the US reality TV talent show Making the Band, and in 2008 produced two songs on Tom Jones’s album 24 Hours. Her 2011 album, Betty Wright: The Movie, featured Snoop Dogg and Lil Wayne, and was praised by reviewers as her best effort in 30 years.

Wright continued to tour almost up to her death – she sold out the Barbican Centre in London in July 2019 – and earned considerable amounts from her back catalogue. Clean Up Woman has often been sampled, while Beyoncé used a section of Girls Can’t Do What the Guys Do for her 2006 single Upgrade U.

In 1985 Wright married Noel “King Sporty” Williams, a Jamaican musician who had co-written the song Buffalo Soldier with Bob Marley. Noel died in 2015; Wright is survived by three daughters and a son.

“Rona” Life Hack #17

If you haven’t already depleted all of your household supplies, it might be the perfect time to make a homemade first aid kit. You can get a 30 to 90 day supply of basic medications and supplies from the Dollar Tree or 99 Cent store to create your own Emergency First Aid Kit. They have some great bandages, off-brand Tylenol and wipes along with other products and first aid items. Watch this video for more information –

“Rona” Life Hack #14

Since most people are quarantined in their homes, a lot of businesses have opted to use Zoom to conduct their staff meetings. For some, this is the first time they’ve done video conferencing and may have some difficulty in figuring out all the “bells & whistles”. There are some shortcuts to using this software. See below –

  • Change your backdrop: If your bedroom wall isn’t cutting it as a backdrop for work calls or you just want to make your friends laugh, Zoom gives you the option to change your background to any image you want. Go to Settings on either your desktop or mobile and then click on the Virtual Backgrounds From there, you’ll see all the pre-installed backgrounds Zoom has, like the New York Skyline, Golden Gate Bridge, and even outer space. But if you’re not too fond of the options that are available, you can upload pictures of your own, from pretty landscapes to your favorite memes.
  • Annotation: If you’re a big notetaker during meetings, there’s no need to bring out the pen and paper. Zoom lets you make annotations and take notes right on your phone or even your desktop with its whiteboard feature. Just go to Settings, hit Meetings, and double check that the Annotations option is checked. Then, using your finger, a stylus, or your mouse, you can make as many notes as you’d like, either for yourself or for everyone in the meeting. Jot things down on slideshow presentations for work or draw up funny doodles to your friends in the middle of video calls.
  • Share your screen: If you’re giving a presentation or want to share a funny Instagram post or Tweet with your friends during a virtual happy hour, Zoom’s screen sharing feature is key. All you have to do is tap the Share Screen option at the bottom of your screen. You’ll be able to choose whether you want to share your entire computer desktop screen or just your screen when you’re on specific applications like Microsoft Word. Plus, you can pause your screen sharing so your coworkers don’t have to see you awkwardly fumble between apps.
  • Record your meeting: Zoom users have the ability to record meetings to a Cloud or their computers, so that important points and discussions are always on file. Just tap the Record button at the bottom of your screen and click where you want to save the video. Afterwards, you can access the video and any others you recorded by logging into your account and going to the My Recordings page.
  • See everybody all at once: Whether you’re on a work call or just chatting with friends, sometimes you want to be able to see everyone you’re talking to on the same screen. Well, with Zoom’s Gallery View, you can do just that. The feature lets you display up to 49 participants in one screen. Go to your Settings and then Video to open up your Video Settings options. There, you should be able to enable Gallery View. Then, all you have to do is start or join a meeting, and you’ll be able to see everyone in the video call all at once. You can also just click the little grid icon at the top right of your screen once you’re in a meeting.