Tuesday, October 30, 2012

ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE - ON THE J-O-B

Greetings!

One of my virtuous sisters, Sis. Lillian Bland, had shared a devotion with me on being grateful on the job.  This devotion reminded me that GOD is my boss.  It also reminded me to work diligently for Christ, keep smiling while work, and work with an attitude of gratitude even when I believe I am being bamboozled. 
Friends, my encouragement for you today is to just hold on to that job until God tells you to move.  Keep working diligently and God will see you through.   Be reminded: your treasure is in heaven. not here on earth.

Pastor Rick Warren, Senior Pastor of Saddleback Church in California stated this about our work:
· Your work is a test from God. “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much … If you have not been trustworthy with someone else’s property, who will give you property of your own?” (Luke 16:10-12 NIV)
· God is watching what you do, even when no one else is. “Work hard so God can say to you, ‘Well done.’ Be a good workman, one who does not need to be ashamed when God examines your work” (2 Timothy 2:15 LB).
· Your attitude determines your joy. “The diligent find freedom in their work; the lazy are oppressed by work” (Proverbs 12:24 MSG).

May God continue to keep watch over you as you labor in love and in HIS honor and glory.

Therese from Belize

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Molding of Generation Divas -Video produced by GTV-3

A Paycheck Away In Poverty

Greetings, friends!

I note that for many African Americans, they were appalled by Governor Mitt Romney's use of the term "poor people" or "poor children" during the first presidential debate. I have been hurt and disappointed too many times in my life, so I am not longer surprised by what people do and say. 

I recently attended a Poverty Forum hosted by Community Action Council of Lexington, Kentucky where Tavis Smiley, Philanthropist, Radio Talk Show Host, Talk Show Host, Journalist, Author and Speaker, was the keynote speaker. Mr. Smiley challenged organizations and individuals to speak out and to make their voices known to President Obama and Congress that the fight against poverty MUST be a priority in this country. While Mr .Smiley at times, in my humble opinion, ranted and raved for no apparent reason against President Obama, the fact is he is passionate about what he sees happening to the lower class/lower middle class in this country. 

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that the number of people in poverty rose for four consecutive years. Mr. Smiley, at the Povery Forum, harkened the people of Lexington to do their part because the poor is getting poorer and the rich is getting richer. I must agree. I have watched my paycheck staying the same each year, even though cost of living has been increasing, groceries and bills increasing (water, electric, sewer), after school programs increasing their fees.  Mr. Smiley stated that there are more poor people and poor children like never before. In fact, he said that 1 in  2 families are just a pay check away from being in poverty. 

As believers of Christ, as highly favored and blessed children, what are we doing to help families in need? How are we assisting our neighbors?  Please do your part in the fight against poverty. This is real, this is not made up.   I meet with women weekly who are in poverty or just a paycheck away. I can emphatize because I know what it is like. I have lived poverty and if it is not for the grace of God, I would be in poverty today.  As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, please take time to bless a family with some food, give a child a new coat, go in your closets and pull out those clothes that still have tags on them. Give it to families who are in need.  Remember, it is better to give than to receive.
Acts 20:35, "In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’" (NIV)

Blessings
Therese from Belize

Saturday, October 20, 2012

IT IS POSSIBLE WITH GOD

On Saturday, October 13, 2012, Sisters Road To Freedom, Inc. held its second annual women’s conference. This year, the focus was on awareness of domestic violence and encouraging women to get wrapped up, tied up and tangled up in JESUS. 

Maximizing and Supersizing Your Life Potential
Pastor Ramon Smith, pastor of Second Christian Church Disciples of Christ in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky cautioned women that just as Hannah (1 Samuel 1) had to deal with her abuser and hater, Peninnah, women also have to deal with the Peninnahs of this world. He encouraged, however, that we must not waste time with haters and abusers.  We must stay focus on what GOD has for us.  Secondly, Pastor Smith reminded us that sometimes we impose limitations on our very selves and then we become anxious and depressed.  Self-imposed limitations stop us from getting to where God wants to take us.  He says that GOD has given us purpose but because we are too comfortable in the “normalcy” we get lost in the crowd and we do nothing to maximize our potential.  For with God nothing shall be impossible so we must not be content with where we are today.  The God we serve is big and HE wants us to be big and do big things for HIS glory and honor.  Pastor Smith cautioned women that if you are in a relationship and you and your partner do not pray together, then that may not be the relationship you want to be in. How do we maximize our life potential? We do so by taking our faith to another level.  We need to set off some dynamites in our lives.  That is, destroy anything that is keeping us from serving God wholeheartedly.
How Do We Deal With The Trouble?
Pastor Stacey McDonald, pastor of Chambers Avenue Christian Church of Georgetown, Kentucky took us to the next level.  Pastor McDonald stated that sometimes we go through the test, but still do not come out with a testimony. She said this is so because we do not let go. Or even when we say we let go, we go back and take it away from God.  We can get our testimony when that test no longer boils in our stomach, when we no longer cringe at the very thought of the thing or person that did us wrong.  Pastor McDonald warned women that we must always keep our minds focused on God. The mind can take control of our thoughts and we become slave to the mind instead of the mind being our slave.  We must take the thought in captivity; we must speak God’s Word daily and not allow distraction to take us off course. For a believer, we must have peace of mind.  
Overcoming Abuse 
Judge Lucinda Masterton, Family Court Judge, Fayette County Circuit Court, gave a powerful testimony of overcoming abuse.  Judge Masterton suffered abuse at the hands of her ex-husband.  It was not physical but psychological abuse.  She spoke to the women to let them know that psychological abuse is one of the worst forms of abuse because there is no outward signs, nothing physical, and so sometimes people think you are crazy when you tell them about what is happening in your home or what your spouse is doing in the home.  A woman can overcome abuse, encouraged Judge Masterton. It does not have to keep you in bondage.  Judge Masterton reminded the women: Seek help; keep the channels of communication open with family and friends no matter if the abuser tries to control who you speak to or where you go. 

The conference was wrapped up with women taking all their hurt and their pain at the altar and giving it all to God.  We made a promise that we gave it to God and so we will not take it back from God. We believe that every hurt, every mess, every situation have been healed in the name of Jesus.  Women will continue to walk in freedom because who the SON sets free is free indeed.

In Christ's love,
Therese from Belize

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Medicating Disadvantaged Children Is Not The Only Answer

Beth Musgrave, reporter for the Lexington Herald-Leader, has brought attention to a newly released study out of the University of Kentucky.  The UK Center for Business and Economic Research released its study about treatment of mental illness in disadvantaged, Medicaid-eligible minority children. 

Researchers at the University of Kentucky have found that minority children who took medications to treat schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and depression were three times that of the rate of white children in 2010.  According to the report, powerful antipsychotic drugs distributed to children on Medicaid in Kentucky jumped 270 percent from 2000 to 2010.  Minority children were prescribed larger amounts of antipsychotic drugs than other children on Medicaid in Kentucky from 2000 to 2010.  The study further indicated that there are variances in prescriptions for ADHD by counties, for instance, Henderson County children take medications to treat ADHD at a rate 11 times higher than children in Leslie County.

Ms. Musgrave quoted both Dr. Owen Nichols (President/CEO of NorthKey Community Care, a community mental health center in Northern Kentucky) and Dr. Paul Glaser (pediatrician and child and adult psychiatrist) in response to this report as saying that there are too few mental health professionals in Kentucky and too few child psychiatrists.  Dr. Nichols argued that the vast majority of powerful antipsychotic medications are prescribed to children by pediatricians or family care doctors, not psychiatrists. He stated that many diagnoses such as anxiety disorder are sometimes better treated through behavioral intervention rather than medication. He stated that, in fact, medication can make some mental health disorders more difficult to treat.

As I read the report, I thought of some parents that I know whose children are being “labeled” and bullied because of mental illness.  I particularly agree with Dr. Nichols’ statement that sometimes there must be behavioral intervention instead of just writing a prescription for a child.  The treatment for mental illness of minority must continue to be addressed at all levels. 

Parents, I believe, must take the key role in their children’s lives. That means, they must pay more attention to their children’s environment and behavior. Disadvantaged minority parents must get self-educated, read literature, ask questions, etc. from Medicaid, the medical providers, and they must get some coaching and counseling from guidance counselors at their children’s schools.  Most importantly, I believe parents must begin to speak life over their children, they must daily pray for and over their children.  We know education is the key to empowerment, but I believe prayer is more powerful.   What is the effect of prayer, persistent prayer, over a child’s life?  Try it.

In Christ's love,
Therese from Belize

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