Mid-Week Inspiration: Self Discovery

It's such a great feeling learning what you've been called to do. There is honestly nothing like it. When God provides confirmation that you are walking in your calling or that what you've been thinking is right, you can leap for joy knowing that you are in His will and therefore all you do will be blessed.

However, there are distractions that will try to block us from our destiny. We prolong the process when we give into these speed bumps. One of the major weaknesses of people is people. We have a burning desire to please others. Acceptance is such a deep flaw of our society that damages many individuals. We have teenagers getting involved in negative activity because of their want to fit in. We, women will participate in office gossip just to be in the “in” crowd. Men will gamble their bill money in order to show their boys that they are “ballin.” In the meantime we are sacrificing all that God has in store for us by putting people and things before our calling.

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. I Corinthians 10:12

This is a major issue that I have had to work on even up to now. I really dislike for people to be upset so I will often soothe them in order to make them feel better. I have even caught myself nonchalantly agreeing with others just to avoid conflict. In my mind it was easier to go with the flow and shrug off a blown out argument than to defend a case that they will be determined to disagree with anyway. Nope I’d rather save my breath and let them have that because stirring up a heated debate would do nothing but leave me worn out and accomplishing nothing. Sometimes it is a better idea to avoid all of the commotion and choose to be quiet. But there are times when your voice needs to be heard. We can't just hush up our valid input to keep others pleased. In the end we are shorting ourselves, and who is going to keep us happy but us?

There are also certain pleasures, vices that we run to that can pull us away from where God is calling us. Back to the issue of people. In addition to our need to please them, we also want them in our lives. Sometimes by any means necessary. We will put up with attributes in a person that totally rub us the wrong way just to have them in our presence. Ladies, you know we are known for this. We will deal with men lying, lacking in attention and care, and even cheating or mistreating us all to say that we "have someone." All the while this distraction of a "significant other" is dragging us away from our destiny. God wants us to be completely in line with our purpose before He starts to unveil great and marvelous things to us. 

It is up to us to pay attention to God. We see the signs but we choose to ignore them. We try to find the good in our bad behavior and pretend that it is of God. We seek people and things for revelation rather than the greatest and only source of our help, the Lord. However, the longer we choose to put our hope in other "gods" the longer it will be before we enter the place God wants to take us. We are preventing our true peace and happiness by trying to create our own. 

Let's make a decision to listen. It may require leaving some people behind, but that's okay. There are plenty of people in the world so you are not missing anything in one. It may require stepping out of your comfort zone; approaching people you never would, leaving a dead-end job, moving to a place where you can be used to your full capacity, or even downsizing and giving up your most prized possessions. Whatever God says do, do! You will know when it is from Him because it will just feel right with no hesitation; and everything in your life will line up and be the way that it is supposed to be.

-Renée Nicole
IG: ms_disclosednative

Passion For Fashion: Fall Into All Black Everything

As we begin to bid farewell to Summer and open heartedly welcome Fall, we brace ourselves for the unpredictable weather which means a change of wardrobe. We toss aside our whites and pastels (although I am not one for rules such as no white after Labor Day) in exchange for an autumn-appropriate color palette. Some may argue that black on black is boring or depressing. However, women are typically most comfortable in an all black ensemble. It hides our problem areas while adding sophistication and class to our look.

Black is a color that can be very versatile by incorporating and highlighting the basics: a sweatshirt, V neck tee, or a blazer. In seconds an accent piece awards you the opportunity to be preppy, pretty, and party ready. I love all black everything; it symbolizes strength and romanticism. 

Take a look at a few of our favorites and let us know what your color will be this Fall! 

-Madelyn Monroe

Ending Hatred, Taking Back Our Black Men

I'm fed up; boiling with frustration; sick to my stomach; tired of the black boys and men that I love and cherish being treated like mere animals. Their lives in this country are considered meaningless yet if it weren't for their strength and hard work America would not exist. As a black woman I have experienced a few instances of racism. But as a black man, one is constantly faced with the struggle of being watched, followed, and disrespected whenever they enter a building.

I'm tired because my 17-year-old brother is my world and nothing means more to me than his success. But already I see how intimidated white men are at his 6'2'' stature and his lack of concern for their presence. I am tired because I have watched as old white women tense up as my father enters a store when they are the last person on his mind. 

What the white man lacks in physical ability against a black man, he has put into a gun. Using this dangerous weapon to obliterate the black males we love from this earth. They use physical force to make our men helpless in a fight for their lives.

I've watched my friend's mother bury her son because of the white man's hatred towards the black man. Senseless cases like Trayvon Martin and now Mike Brown of St. Louis, and countless others make my soul cringe. If you hate the black man so much than you clearly hate the black woman too. You've taken our sons, brothers, husbands, fathers, uncles with no remorse. I don't take that lightly. And we won't take it anymore.

You wonder why we respond in riots and violence? Because it hurts like hell to the point of infuriation. We are tired of talking because you are not listening. Now we take action. 

Today we take a stand against your demonic, gruesome ways. Today we take back our families. We claim our dignity, freedom, and rights in this so called great country--land of the free, home of the brave. If you kill our own, we are knocking down your door until your feel our pain. We are rallying through YOUR neighborhoods. Disturbing YOUR peace until you leave our's alone. We are NOT going to let you keep getting away with this. Justice for justice! This is war.

-Renée Nicole
IG: ms_disclosednative

Reflection: Jamaica 2014 Mission Trip

No one knows. No one understands until experienced for self.

After concluding my mission trip to Jamaica I can truly say that God has matured me and provided me peace and comfort. I went to Jamaica knowing no one in an unusual environment for me but God’s aid guided me through it and allowed me to have a great time and an impacting experience.

I am grateful for the power of God that touches people all across the world of different languages and different walks of life, and leads them to follow, worship, praise and live for ONE God. I was blessed with open-mindedness and acceptance of all people regardless of how different they may be. I am grateful for love because at the beginning, middle, and end of the day that is all that matters.

When we first arrived to our lodging at the Immaculate Conception High School in Kingston, I wasn’t sure if I was ready. The accommodations were far from five stars. While I did not expect a Four Seasons experience, I was not prepared for the presence of bats and lizards or the frequent cobwebs draping my face. However, I quickly adjusted and appreciated the scenery; the mango trees in the front lawn, being awakened by bright green parrots “conversing” in the mornings, the olympic-sized pool with the gorgeous view of the mountains resembling Hollywood, and the acres of land filled with tropical palm trees. I even enjoyed the late night reggae that filled our rooms from the next-door country club.

Even with all of this natural beauty, it was not until I met the children that we would be working with at Cana Hall (Trenchtown) during their annual Vacation Bible School that I knew I was exactly where I needed to be. We walked into the airy church greeted by little faces that lit up at our presence. We quickly learned that while rowdy as all kids, Jamaican children hold a great deal of respect that we do not see in the states. Referring to their elders as “Auntie” or “Uncle,” the natives understand the importance of reverence and honor.

I had the pleasure of teaching the six and seven-year-olds which was perfect; they were just old enough that they could comprehend the lessons and young enough to be excited about what I was teaching them. I taught them a dance to the island-inspired gospel record “Say Yes” by Michelle Williams ft. Beyonce and Kelly Rowland which they loved. But the true reward was the kiddies teaching me one of their Jamaican songs at the end of each class. I couldn’t help grinning from ear to ear as I was serenaded by their loud, harmonious tunes all singing in unison.

By the end of the week the group of 12 missionaries was tired! We had spent five days teaching children by day and adults by night (who proved to be even more energetic than the little ones). We brought some of our new friends from Cana Hall with us on our day off to climb Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios; one of the most breathtaking sources of nature that I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. The cool, fresh water combined with an authentic work out (much needed after all of the delicious carbs) made this the second best part of the trip for me following VBS.

I left Jamaica feeling refreshed, informed, loved, loving, and full. I was able to pour into others but the extent to which the natives blessed me is immeasurable. Never be too constrained to step outside of your comfort zone. The reward of your faith and fearlessness will stretch further than you could ever imagine.Please pray for the island of Jamaica as they suffer from a severe drought.

-Renée Nicole
@disclosednativeIG: ms_disclosednative           

Destiny's Child Reunites in Michelle Williams' New Video: "Say Yes"

By now you've probably heard Michelle Williams' reggae-inspired, gospel-infused record "Say Yes" featuring her former Destiny's Child group mates Beyoncé and Kelly. Michelle dropped the supporting visuals today and the streets is watching!

Bey took it back to her Fighting Temptations days rocking her Solange braids, an angelic off white poncho and...booty shorts:-/ It was tactful though.

I love how Kelly breaks it down in the end adding an R&B flavor to an island beat. Not sure if she was preggo when taping this vid but her cute maxi skirt and crop top show no bearings of a belly.

The three ladies wrap up the video with a dance selection led by Michelle. It's nice to see the lead singer"s" in the background for a change.

It took awhile for this record to grow on me. Upon first listen my thoughts were that "Say Yes" was a mediocre production considering the legendary female group that is Destiny's Child. But after about five listens over the weeks I'm ready to pon the river and signal the plane.

Take a look at the video below. What do you think, a Destiny's Child comeback? Maybe a compilation gospel album???

-Renée Nicole
IG: ms_disclosednative           

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