Intimate Conversation with award winning writer Katie McCabe

Intimate Conversation with award winning writer Katie McCabe

Katie McCabe is a National Magazine Award winner whose Washingtonian article on black surgical legend Vivien Thomas formed the basis for the HBO film Something the Lord Made, one of the highest rated original movies in HBO history and the winner of the 2004 Emmy and 2005 Peabody Awards. McCabe’s 2009 book Justice Older than the Law, co-authored with pioneering lawyer Dovey Roundtree, won the Association of Black Women Historians’ Letitia Woods Brown Book Prize. For her work in science and medical journalism, McCabe has been honored with awards for investigative reporting (William Allen White Award, 1991) and public service (National Magazine Award finalist, 1986).

» First Lady Michelle Obama saluted Dovey Johnson Roundtree on the occasion of the book’s Washington, DC launch.

“She [Dovey Johnson Roundtree] has clearly demonstrated that even in the face of enormous challenges, an unblinking belief in equality and justice will spur real change. I am inspired by Ms. Roundtree, and I hope that her story continues to motivate all Americans to fight for our shared values. It is on the shoulders of people like Dovey Johnson Roundtree that we stand today, and it is with her commitment to our core ideals that we will continue moving toward a better tomorrow.”
— quote from First Lady Michelle Obama, July 2009

AUDIO SNEAK PEEK FROM THE BOOK
» Katie McCabe reading from Chapter One, “Walking Unafraid,” about Dovey Roundtree’s courageous Grandma Rachel, the woman Dovey calls “the greatest warrior I ever knew.”
Listen here now: http://www.audioacrobat.com/sa/WC3S5tj4

BPM: Katie, what can readers expect when they open a book created by you?
KM: I believe my power as a writer derives from my lifelong love affair with words and literature, my sense of the compelling stories hidden beneath the surface of outward events, and my fascination with unsung heroes. These passions came from my late parents, John and Kathleen Burns. They exemplified for me the kind of nobility and courage I endeavor to portray over and over again in my non-fiction as I seek out heroes and heroines whose lives have profoundly altered our world but whom history has forgotten or marginalized. My goal is to portray these history-makers with the vividness of fiction, and to bring them alive for future generations.

BPM: Discuss your approach to writing and your latest book, Justice Older than the Law, in particular.
KM: “It must be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success nor more dangerous to manage than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who profit by the preservation of the old institution and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new one.” – Nicolo Machiavelli

As a writer, I’ve chosen to portray individuals who defied existing systems and conventional notions of power, and in doing that, I’ve challenged my readers’ assumptions about the way that history is altered and the world changed.

One of my first articles for Washingtonian magazine, “Like Something the Lord Made,” told the little-known story of black heart surgery pioneer Vivien Thomas, a man who had changed the course of medical history so quietly that he was virtually unknown outside the rarefied circle of Johns Hopkins surgeons he trained. In my article, I brought from obscurity the story of this extraordinary man who changed the course of medical history without ever having obtained a medical degree or even attending college. It was the sheer force of his brilliance and the power of his character that enabled Thomas, in his capacity as laboratory technician to the powerful white surgeon Alfred Blalock, to carve out a revolutionary role for himself and to propel heart surgery into the modern age. At a time when the only black employees at Johns Hopkins Hospital were the janitors, Vivien Thomas ran the surgical lab, trained dozens of white med students who would go on to become the most famous heart surgeons in America, and most importantly, partnered with Dr. Blalock in an extraordinary interracial collaboration that defied every stereotype of their time and place. Together, the two made medical history, accomplishing things together that neither one could have done alone. Vivien Thomas shattered stereotypes for black men during Jim Crow, proving by the sheer force of his intellect and his character that he could contribute mightily to medicine at the most complex level. He challenged the status quo by excelling and by surviving within a deeply flawed society, and in so doing he lodged a powerful and eloquent protest against the evil of segregation.

KM: Pioneering lawyer, veteran and minister Dovey Johnson Roundtree, the subject of my 2002 Washingtonian article “She Had a Dream” and my 2009 book Justice Older than the Law (which I co-authored with Dovey Roundtree), was a woman who challenged deeply entrenched racism and sexism on a number of levels over her 50-year career. She shattered the color and gender bars in the World War II military as one of the 40 women selected by the great activist Mary McLeod Bethune to integrate the newly formed Women’s Army Auxiliary Corps. As one of only five women in her class at Howard University Law School (1947-1950), she challenged gender stereotypes in the law, and went on to transform the rigidly segregated legal system of the Nation’s Capital as the first black member of the DC Women’s Bar. Even as she overturned hardened prejudice in Washington’s legal community against blacks and women, she led the vanguard of women ordained to the ministry in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which had resisted the ordination of women for decades. When Dovey Roundtree was ordained to the ministry in 1961, she was among the first women to rise to that status within the male-dominated church.

I believe I am drawn to stories of unconventional heroes and heroines because I myself defy classification as a white woman who has chosen to celebrate the life stories of African Americans. I have learned that this unsettles some readers because it challenges existing systems, but I have also seen that many people have been inspired by the way in which I have crossed racial lines in the course of my career. In choosing to bring to the world the stories of quiet revolutionaries like Vivien Thomas and Dovey Roundtree, I believe I have illuminated a particular kind of power that is very different from that which we see in our politicians and big business entrepreneurs. Those who change the world by the force of their nobility and tenacity, who quietly challenge the status quo and manage to hold onto their sense of selves in the midst of a hostile society have much to teach all of us about how to live our lives.

BPM: What social issues do you address in your latest book, Justice Older than the Law? How is this book affecting the public?
KM: I have never been a “political writer” in that I have never set out to address any social issues. I am a storyteller, and my goal is to pass along stories that matter, that illuminate lives that exemplify nobility, courage, tenacity, faith and goodness. All truly great stories change the world, and they do so precisely because they come in “under the radar” of our critical sense and move our hearts and minds. When I set out to write Dovey Roundtree’s story, I did so because I was enthralled with her life experience and with her personal charisma. Having said that, I do believe that Justice Older than the Law speaks importantly to some of the most critical issues of our time. Contemporary America urgently needs this book. As we contemplate at fifty years’ distance the meaning of Brown v. Board in the light of recent Supreme Court rulings, as we struggle with issues of race at every turn, there is a sense that we’ve lost our bearings. What is justice? What sort of a society are we aiming toward? How can we capture the values we seem to have lost? How do we arrest what Dovey calls “the demon of violence” that is destroying our cities? To be able to tap into the world view of a 96-year-old living legend who brought her fight into the streets, the jailhouses, the churches, and ultimately, into the hearts of the individuals to whom she ministered, is an extraordinary opportunity, I believe, for people of all races.

BPM: What are you most proud of as a writer in today’s market?
KM: I have endeavored to pass on to the next generation of readers the stories of men and women who have prevailed over almost insuperable odds to achieve greatness in medicine, in the law, in athletics, and in public service. I believe that my legacy as a writer is that I have brought to life some truly extraordinary examples of the triumph of the human spirit. These examples speak to people of all races and backgrounds about what is possible when one draws strength from mentors and taps into one’s own well of courage, faith and tenacity.

In today’s market, which is dominated by books and movies that glorify violence, brutality and sexuality run rampant, I choose to tell stories that celebrate the eternal values, and I think that sets me apart from the mainstream.

BPM: How may readers contact you for more information and to find out more about the book?
KM: Visit us at http://www.justiceolderthanthelaw.com, the web site address for the book, and there is a link there to email Katie McCabe (at mccabe.kathleen@gmail.com)

Justice Older than the Law by Katie McCabe
Purchase your copy today!
Hardcover: 288 pages
ISBN-10: 160473132X
http://www.amazon.com/Justice-Older-than-Law-Roundtree/dp/160473132X

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Intimate Conversations with Author Marc Lacy

 

Meet Huntsville’s own Marc Lacy, a graduate of Alabama A&M University.  He is a nationally renown, award winning poet/author and spoken word artist.  He has performed all of over the country at many national literary events and spoken word venues.  Marc is a contributing writer to RADAR
and The Grove Magazines.  He is also a writer for Blogginginblack.com.

In The Summer of 2009, Marc met up with the co-founder of HBO’s  Def Poetry Jam, Mr. Bruce George and Poet Rene Reyes in Los Angeles to serve on the panel at The Annual “So you Think you can  Spit?”poetic symposium for youth.  Lacy credits his faith in God and love of family for providing energy to succeed.
Ella:  Let the party begin!  Marc, what makes you powerful as a person and a writer?
Marc:  I would not necessarily deem myself as a powerful person; but I do think that there is power in the written word.  The more we learn about the craft and our abilities, the better off we will be in positioning ourselves to get the message out to the people. Thus creating a powerful force in the act alone.
Ella:  Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
Marc:  I have several mentors (who actually do not know that they are my mentors)…too many to name.  But they are fiction, non-fiction writers as well as poets/spoken word artists. My hunger to become a better writer and a voice for the people, with faith in God, keeps my engine churning.
 

 

Ella:  Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…
Marc:  A creative instinct which is the by-product of a hunger to always be the best that I can be…no matter what. Write better…and write the best. 
 

 

Ella: Before we go too deep, Marc, I would like to take a minute to shine the light on your fabulous co-author.
Assuanta Howard was born and raised in New York City. Howard is known for her dynamic and innovative persona. She began her career in higher education, serving over 17 years in various leadership roles. She managed grant funded programs with budgets over 3 million dollars.

Howard is qualified to administer the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, a psychometric questionnaire designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions. Howard took her extensive literacy and ESOL experience, leadership and program development expertise and established several business entities within the literary industry.

She is the proud founder of Asta Publications, LLC, a mainstream and self-publishing company and Asta Public Relations Services, a public relations firm that focuses on brand management and marketing campaigns for literary professionals.
 

 

Ella:  Introduce us to Wretched Saints and the main characters.
Marc:  My book is a fiction short story collection which touches upon very sensitive matters…mainly “so-called” good people who call themselves walking the righteous path; but living an unrighteous lifestyle.

Wretched Saints provides a literary window through which we may possibly see traits of ourselves within one or more of the characters as they learn the hard way to listen when God is talking. Thus His signal, when digested properly allows suppression of sinful urges opening up the door, for spiritual growth.

Are you a Wretched Saint? Open the covers…and see.

Of course our desire is to walk within The Kingdom’s Neighborhood, but it can be very difficult leaving the alluring amenities of home. We have the protocol down pat; especially when others can witness us witnessing.

However, when backs are turned and the sun has set, the righteous hotness of the self-proclaimed saint can suddenly turn lukewarm. Although the tongue can no longer house rationalizations, we still find a way to verbally cover spiritual deficits…thus casting us further into a pit of unrighteous debt surrounded by several unused shovels.
 

 

Ella:  What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
Marc:  Self-righteousness, reactionary, impulsive, arrogance, and hard-headedness just to name a few.
 

 

Ella: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
Marc:  I honestly feel that saints, sinners, churched, un-churched, educated/uneducated, young/elderly professionals, and people of all races can identify with this book.  However, if I had to choose a specific demographic, it would be those who want to “do right,” but seriously struggle with it.

Ella: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book, Wretched Saints?
Marc:  God never stops working on us or others.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Marc:  I (Marc Lacy) have been nominated as AAMBC Poet of the Year for 2010.  Also, there are several spoken word products coming out during the summer and fall of 2010.  

Ella: How can our readers reach you online?
http://www.marclacy.com
http://www.avopublishing.com
http://www.facebook.com

Self Published? Are You Really An Author?

 

Self Published? Are You Really An Author?
by Nanette Buchanan
Questions posed by Black Pearls Magazine:
As a self-published author, do you get the same respect as authors produced by traditional publishing houses? Are you really an author in the eyes of your peers?

I really found this conversation quite interesting. Being a self published author and consistently looking for opportunities which include, literary agents, publicist and other avenues, I’ve found that each path has it’s ups and downs. It depends on what you’re willing to pay for, have the patience for or have had an experience with. I decided to self publish, not to duck the traditional guidelines but after being scammed by a few of the “so-called” people of the industry, I decided if I should lose another dime it will be because I tossed it in the well not someone else.

As far as the editing, marketing, advertising and sales I agree we all need the win win path. Most of us will complain about what others have or have not done but there are only a few willing to share the concepts without a cost.

Again, the competitive edge…….so why complain if you have the perfect novel, the desired genre, the distribution and your sales? Why worry about the self published author that lacks the knowledge, courage or intelligence to know that with research they could have a best seller? If they are making phenomenal sales, it’s because they have captured what we often forget, an audience.

I don’t have time to worry about your method as a writer…..I wish you success. I wish you the best in what you do. I wish you all the blessings and hope to read your methods, your path and learn from your experience as I grow as a self published author. Some traditional authors use this term “self published author” as though it was a virus that was rapidly spreading. A disease that should have been quarantined and forbidden to resurface. There are so many readers, so many genre’s, so many paths to promote and sale that we should be encouraging each other.

We all agree that this is not a get rich venture, only those who take it serious (proper editing, promotions, marketing) will succeed. The readers may read the “new” novel but will they follow that lazy author. I seriously doubt it. There are many best selling authors that started as “self published” authors. There are many markets that have those who create their own method and audience and still do well. So does the “self published” author. Those in the industry who have those query letters that have not been answered, the dreaded pain of trying to meet the deadlines, the arguments to save their creativity while working with the editor, and yes finally being signed, do deserve kudos.

But, honestly, just because they do doesn’t mean that the “self published” author doesn’t deserve to share the world of readers who really don’t care…….as long as the story is well written and holds them captive.


Self Published? Are You Really an Author? Yes, I am definitely a successfully, published Author!

Thank God the decision to publish is not left to those who decided they would NEVER self-publish……..the success is not how it’s published but rather or not it’s purchased. Self published books do sell…..ask Stephen King or Tyler Perry.

 

About the Author
Nanette M. Buchanan was born, raised and educated in Newark, New Jersey. After graduating from Arts High School in Newark she attended Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. It was then that she first set her pen to pad, written expressions of her love for poetry. She is a proud mother, wife and grandmother, now residing in Somerset, New Jersey.

Her pad to pen accomplishments include three volumes of poetry; Thoughts, Thoughts & Reflections, and Quiet Times; five children stories and seven novels. Nanette’s first published work and debut novel was “Family Secrets….Lies & Alibis”.

Since then the publication of the sequel, “A Different Kind of Love” and the release of her first volume of poetry, “Thoughts” an e-book hit the market. In October of 2009, Nanette’s murder mystery, “Bruised Love” was released. It is her goal to become a successful author without limits. The author is available for personal appearances, chats and signings.
• Bruised Love
• Family Secrets, Lies & Alibis
• A Different Kind of Love
www.ipendesigns.net
www.Amazon.com
www.bordersbooks.com
• Website: http://www.ipendesigns.net
• View the Video Postcard: http://www.audioacrobat.com/note/CR5Q90VQ

Books by Author Nanette M. Buchanan

Books are available wherever books are sold and online:

Contact Information

Black Pearls Magazine: Meet Nikkea Smithers

Nikkea Smithers is a spoken word artists and Essence Magazine Best Selling Author She has performed on stages in front of thousands.

Her literary work often speaks to issues in the community that are often under-discussed. Her readers have fallen in love with her ‘tell it like it is’ approach to writing making her readers lifelong fans.

Intimate Conversation with Ella Curry, CEO of EDC Creations
Ella:   Hello Nikkea!  Introduce us to your book, On The Flip Side.
Nikkea: On The Flip Side deals with a situation that many men face but little light is shed on. We often hear the story about the single mother doing it for her kids on a daily basis. While I would never want to take anything away from them, what we don’t often hear about is the single father who is standing up to his responsibilities and being burdened with social issues beyond his realm of control.

What if the mother is not the one holding it down? What if the father has the kids but the mother has the greed? On The Flip Side deals with a different kind of baby momma drama and show that real men are fathers and not just baby daddies.

Ella: Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite?
Nikkea: Tavares was on the path to be a very successful young man. A one night stand turns his life up side down and he finds himself in a position where he has to be accountable. As he struggles to be a respectable father the mother of his children does everything in her power to break him down. The twist to this tale is he just isn’t just a single father, he is also paying child support as if his kids don’t live with him and in two different states.

Danica is a very interesting woman with a serious God complex. She truly believes that she is better than everyone around her. Not only does her complex cause her to throw stereotypes around like they are going out of style but it causes her to play the role of karma. The problem with playing karma is that it’s bound to come back on you if you aren’t living right.

My favorite is Tavares because he is the epitome of real man. He immediately steps up to the plate and makes things happen. As you read the book you genuinely feel for him. His kids come first, plain and simple. Who doesn’t love a man like that?

Ella: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people? What inspired you to write this story?
Nikkea: The characters aren’t based on real people but are influenced by conversations. I love talking to people and my husband and I often throw these parties where there are debates on different topics. Of course one of the most popular topics of debate is child support. The men thought they paid too much. The women thought it wasn’t enough.

One man talked about how he was paying support in both NY and VA. He talked about how neither state would take into consideration the order in the other state. This blew my mind! My mother was even present and shared her views on the subject which opened my eyes even more. I see story lines in the strangest of things so I thought, what if was the other way around? What if the man had his kids and was still paying child support? So I wrote the poem On The Flip Side and was surprised at the response it got from men that were going through this very thing. Then a friend of mine and I were talking after she saw me perform the poem and was telling me about a friend of hers going through this only his child’s mother left the kids at the hospital after birth! I immediately thought oh this needs to be a book! I then took the poem and turned it into this book.

Ella: What issues in today’s society have you addressed in the book?
Nikkea: Child support is the obvious issue addressed in the book but there are several subliminal messages. I love dealing with subliminal messages and try my best to place a few in every novel I write. One issue is accountability. Society is really hard on women in regards to promiscuity but men don’t always get the same scrutiny. I want to show young men that they have to be responsible for their actions as well. That one night of passion could mean kids with a woman you don’t know or worse, a death sentance of H.I.V. Another issue that is addressed is karma. We really need to understand that what we throw out into the universe will come back to us pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Ella: What was your primary quest in publishing this book?
Nikkea: I love to break down barriers and talk about things that no one is talking about. At least not in this sense. I wanted the roles to be reversed and stretch my imagination. Especially with Danica’s character, I had to dig deep for her because she is so far from me and what I would naturally do. I wanted this book to be true to the characters and show them for who they are regardless of the outcome. I love being able to uplift my brothers and say kudos to those doing the right things. Through Tavares I get to connect with readers and share with them the story of a good man.

Ella: Thousands of books are published each year. What sets your book apart from other books in your genre?
Nikkea: It’s all about the message. My work is educational but entertaining. I want to enlighten people. I want them to finish one of my books thinking about the subject matter and want to take action. How can we change things if we don’t start by talking about them? I actively strive to write away from whats popular and get to the bottom of social issues that need to be addressed.

Ella: What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Nikkea: When I’m not writing I love to read! I’m the biggest book worm. My husband and I joke that our house looks like the Library of Congress. I don’t discriminate. I have poetry from Langston Hughes to Nikki Giovanni. I have nonfiction from George Jackson to Steve Harvey. I have fiction from John Gresham to E. Lynn Harris. With me being a self published author I am also a huge supporter of self published authors because I understand their grind. I also enjoy culture. I love museums, art viewings, jazz clubs, and poetry readings. I love the movies too!

Ella: What does your family think of your writing?
Nikkea: My family is very supportive. My husband has a prized collection of all of my books in his ‘man room’ that he shows off to all his friends. He gets the first copy in every edition of all of my works. When he sees something has discouraged me he tells me to shake it off and keep doing what I do. My mother buys my books in bulk like she doesn’t know me! They are my two biggest supporters. I appreciate being surrounded by positivity and they keep me inspired to keep on writing.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Nikkea: I was excited to find out that two of my books (Keith’s Story and Attitudes of a Woman) were awarded with the Literary Hallmark & Legends Top Books 2009 award by your Magazine. That honor was one of the highlights of my year! Within the next year I have three more books that will be released. I also look forward to touring and performing. I want to dedicate my time in the new year connecting with my readers. Book clubs who select my book as their book of the month can reach out to me so that I can make plans to either be present or available for a teleconfrence.
Email: info@nikkeasmithers.com  Website: www.nikkeasmithers.com  

Purchase the book at:  Amazon Online

Purchase the book at:  Barnes & Noble Online

 

 

 

Even Sinners Have Souls Too

Even Sinners Have Souls Too
Introduction by National Best selling author, K’Wan, with four stories by Darrell King and Essence Magazine bestselling authors, Michel Moore, Tysha and Victor L. Martin.

Meet author and editor E.N. Joy
E.N. Joy is the author of Me, Myself and Him, which was her debut work into the Christian Fiction genre. Formerly a secular author writing under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY, this author has fully dedicated her writing to Christ. She is currently working on the “New Day Divas” series as well as completing the “Sinners Series” project.

 

Intimate Conversation with Ella Curry of EDC Creations

Ella: Introduce us to the book, Even Sinners Have Souls TOO.
E.N. Joy: Even Sinners Have Souls TOO is book two from the “Sinners Series”. As editor and publisher of this project, it was my goal to share with the reading audience well written and compelling stories by some of the industry’s most respected and authority authors in the Urban Lit genre.
 

 

Ella: Why was it important to produce this work today?
E.N. Joy: Books and authors of books that are categorized as urban, erotic, street, ghetto, gangster, Hip-Hop fiction, or whatever else they are being labeled, are taking hard hits in the industry, especially by these so-called “literary writers”. Why is it that whenever black people bring the life they live front and center and turn it into art, society goes crazy? Are we that afraid and offended of the ghetto and the projects to the point where we ridicule those who talk about it? Is growing up in the hood that taboo?

E.N. Joy: Despite popular belief, everything that comes from the ghetto isn’t all bad. There are some good products of the ghetto. It produces great individuals, some even authors. But because of the type of genre that these authors choose to pen, they are stigmatized and rumored unable to create literature without glorifying a trigger happy, drug dealing thug, or a burgundy micro braid wearing, gum poppin’, promiscuous gold digger, or a television stealing crack head (in addition to at least two curse words per paragraph).
 

 

Ella: Will this book change how Urban Lit is protrayed as a industry?
E.N. Joy: There is a huge misconception that authors who write Urban Lit, referred to as Street Lit by many, can’t pen a decent story that doesn’t include foul language and explicit sex scenes. These authors are even often accused of glorifying street life. The “Sinners Series” forces critics and skeptics alike to take a different stand when they read the storylines contained in the “Sinners Series.”

Ella: What are some unique aspects of the Sinners Series?
E.N. Joy: Even Sinners Have Souls Too offers more of Urban Lit’s finest take a walk on the other side in book two, Even Sinners Have Souls Too, of the three book Sinners Series. Darrell King and Essence Best-Selling authors, Victor L. Martin, Tysha and Michel Moore bring you four smashing tales, but not before National Best-Selling author, K’Wan, hits you with the powerful introduction, “Oh Sinner Man.”

E.N. Joy: The authors bring to life the same raw and gritty characters found in some of their other works. There are the dope boys, the hood rats, the promiscuity, homosexuality, the gang bangers, abuse, drugs, alcohol, etc…; all the things that exist in real life on the streets. But what makes these tales so phenomenal and unique is that in the midst of it all, just like in real life on the streets, there is also, God, prayer, and sometimes a praying grandmother. What pleased me the most about each and every story is that they never, for one moment, lost their authenticity. The authors still walked away from this project with their street credit, so to speak.

Ella: What impact with the Sinners Series have on the community?
E.N. Joy: The “Sinners Series” is going to shatter the myth about urban and street literature and its authors once and for all. This project is not so that authors have to defend their work, or even compromise it.

The purpose is to show that they are multi-talented with a natural gift to pen what flows through their spirit and not just what’s selling, and at the same time to add a creative twist on their already original writing styles. In doing so, we pray that readers will be touched and moved by every single character; every single story…that they won’t be the same person as they were before reading these works.

Website: www.enjoywrites.com

ISBN-10: 0970672659 | ISBN-13: 978-0970672650

Pick up a copy at Amazon

Create a safe Loving Home Environment

Psalms 133: 1-3 How good and pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity! It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron’s beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore.

 Kids who don’t feel safe will suffer. Children exposed to parents who fight and argue may become depressed and withdrawn. Remember to respect your kids.

 Unity in the home is called precious and a blessing. Too many outside commitments can lead to little time spent with your children. A family cannot experience wholeness until each member is willing to put the other first.

 Though many life situations are beyond our control, parents can still establish homes that are peaceful and secure. Start by rejoicing in the accomplishments of others. Encourage your children to voice honest doubts and real struggles. A consistent walk with God, established routines, clearly communicated boundaries, and traditions when consistently applied create homes that are free of volatility. Such homes become retreats; safe places of comfort and renewal.

 Our families can be a powerful witness to others for good. We can either point to God or away from Him. When our homes are havens for peace and respect for one another, people take notice.

 Make your home a place where disagreements are fair, different opinions are respected, and words are loving.

 Who is the power behind your family? What do people see when they look at your family? What traits do you admire about other families? How can you incorporate those traits into your family? What positive aspects are being built into your own family?

 Cheryl Lacey Donovan is the author of The Ministry of Motherhood. Order your copy today. She is also the founder and chief visionary officer of Worth More Than Rubies Ministries. To learn more click here

My Blessings to You in 2009

shelia-021Hello my dear friends, my sons, my grandsons, godchildren and loved ones! First, let me give thanks and praise to God for each of you, for your help, your support, your love, your concern, your prayers, thoughts and dedication to me. Many things I have taken on in 2008 would not and could not have been done without your help and commitment toward me, and your belief in the dreams and talents God has placed in my heart.

It is my prayer that as God leads us into a new beginning, with the first of many blessings, starting with President Barack Obama and the First family, that we will make many more strides, and the first steps that we take into the new year will lead to marvelous and great things. It is my earnest prayer that God’s blessings and His unmerited favor will overflow in our lives,in our careers, in the desires of our hearts, in the lives of our families and loved ones. I pray that those blessings will run us down and overtake us like a mighty rushing wind!

All that we have been through in 2008 has made us who we are today. I’m sure many of us didn’t think we’d even be here. I’m certain we each faced our own personal strugles, obstacles, trials, and storms of life. Some which seemed torn beyond repair – yet God is faithful. He promises never to leave us or forsake us. God’s word says in Isaiah 65:24 “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.” Just think about that and meditate on how powerful God’s words are.
In 2009, let us seek God first and set our sights on things above. Let us obey his commandments. If we fully obey what God directs us to do, He promises that we will be the head and not the tail, that we will be blessed going in and going out; that our offspring will be blessed. He says, that enemies which come at us one way, will depart from our presence in seven ways! God promises we will be above and not beneath; that we will be lenders and not borrowers…”

Let us move forward in 2009 with great expectancy. Let us declare life and not death; and most of all let us do all that will honour, glorify, magnify and praise God!

I love you all so much (But God really does love you more!)

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