Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Monday, December 29, 2014

Being Mary Jane Returns February 3rd






#BeingMaryJane returns Tuesday, February 3, 2015!

Catch the Season 2 premiere on +BET at 10p/9c. 





The song in this video is "Flawed Beautiful Creatures" by Stacy Barthe.  For more music, listen to my Being Mary Jane Season 2 +YouTube playlist below.





And follow my 'Being Mary Jane Quotes' board below.  I pin quotes that are featured on the TV show.  It's a big hit on #Pinterest!


Follow Blessed's board Being Mary Jane Quotes on Pinterest.



Also, this last video was posted by #GabrielleUnion last year on her +Instagram page.  How awesome is this?!  




January / February 2015 Events


  • The People's Choice Awards is Wed., January 7 at 9/8c on CBS.

  • The 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards, hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, will air on January 11 on +NBC.

  • Super Bowl XLIX is February 1. Katy Perry will headline the +Pepsi Halftime show.

  • The 46th Annual NAACP Image Awards is February 6 on +TVOneOnline

  • +The GRAMMYs will be held on February 8 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, CA. The show will be broadcast live by CBS.

  • +NBA All-Star Weekend takes place in Brooklyn, NY from February 13 - 15.

  • Watch the broadcast of the 2015 Trumpet Awards February 21st on +TVOneOnline

  • The 87th Academy Awards is February 22 on the +ABC Television Network. Neil Patrick Harris is hosting the Oscars.

  • Wayne Brady returns to host the +BET Honors on February 23.

Holidays:

New Year's Day is January 1.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is January 19.
Groundhog Day is February 2.
Valentine's Day is February 14.
President's Day is February 16.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Have a Very Merry Christmas


. . . and a Prosperous New Year!


Jam of the Week: Little Drummer Girl




I found another song to add to my Christmas playlist.  Heard this on The Heat yesterday and I love it!  It's "Little Drummer Girl" by Alicia Keys.  

Jodeci fans, doesn't this sound like the beat to "S-More?" 




Very jazzy :) It kind of has an Erykah Badu feel towards the end.  Great job Alicia! 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

What's Hot Now: All I Need Is You / Really Love / Ring Off


Proud of Lecrae!  "All I Need Is You" is an awesome song about his wife and it's up for a Grammy :)

#BestRapPerformance



D'Angelo is back!

"Really Love"



"Ring Off" is a sweet song by Beyonce to her Mom 


Thursday, December 18, 2014

For Nothing Will Be Impossible With God




by: Dave Boehi of +FamilyLife® 

A wife writes to say her marriage is falling apart. She is so depressed, she says, that 'I can barely even work or get out of bed.'

Another says she is separated from her husband and would like to reconcile, 'but I cannot go through him coming back and sucking all the life out of me again. I think it may just kill me. I feel empty, and I have no strength left.' 

A mother and father are heartbroken about the struggles their daughter is having in her marriage. 'We long to see them live together in a home where Christ is obeyed, honored, served, and where they can have peace, joy, and the hope of a future together.' 

During this Christmas season, I've been thinking of these marriages and so many others represented in the letters and emails FamilyLife receives every day. These are people who need a special dose of the hope that God offers through Christ. 

One of my favorite parts of the nativity story is when Mary is told she will bear a son who 'will be called the Son of the Most High.' She asks, 'How can this be, since I am a virgin?' and the angel replies, 'The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; and for that reason the holy Child shall be called the Son of God. And behold, even your relative Elizabeth has also conceived a son in her old age; and she who was called barren is now in her sixth month. For nothing will be impossible with God' (Luke 1:34-37). 

I love that final phrase: 'For nothing will be impossible with God.' It's the type of truth we need to remember in our lives, our marriages, our families.

We need to remember that the God who made it possible for a virgin to conceive can heal any marriage and any family problem.

The God who came to live with us understands the temptations we face, and gives us the power to turn away from them. 

The God who sent angels to speak to men two thousand years ago still speaks to us today through His Word.

The God who sent Jesus to 'save His people from their sins' (Matthew 1:21) because we couldn't do it on our own now gives us the power to walk with Him every hour of every day. 

We all have something going on in our lives that should cause us to turn to God - some problem or situation that we just can't seem to solve ourselves.

Christmas gives us hope that God wants to be intimately involved in our lives and that nothing is impossible for Him.

(This article is by Dave Boehi)

Things To Do On Christmas Eve




Here's a list of things you may or may not want to get into on Christmas Eve

  • Read 'Twas the Night Before Christmas to your children
  • Cook Christmas dinner 
  • Bake cookies 
  • Sit out cookies and milk for Santa (I heard that some people even include carrots for the reindeer) Cute! :)
  • Read Bible verses and thank God for the gift of Jesus (Scriptures about the birth of Christ: Matthew 1:18-25; Matthew 2:1-23; Luke 2:1-20


  • Do last-minute Christmas shopping and/or wrapping
  • Turn on your Christmas tree lights and put gifts underneath the tree
  • Sing Christmas carols or go caroling.  (This can be fun. When I was in college, a small group of girls went down the halls knocking on people's doors and caroling.  They did a song from The Little Mermaid and they also sung, "We Wish You A Merry Christmas."  I thought that was a pleasant surprise). 
  • Watch Christmas movies


  • Have a Christmas party and gift exchange
  • Drive around to look at Christmas lights
  • Open one present
  • Let the kiddos track Santa at this website: www.noradsanta.org
  • Kiss under the mistletoe.  Muah!
  • Get cozy in front of the fireplace, drink hot chocolate or egg nog, and listen to Christmas music.

What are your plans for Christmas Eve?

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Favorite Things: Christmas Pics


Here are some of my favorite pictures from past Christmases with my fam. 
 


My Christmas present  
 


Presents!

 

Don't we look like we're in a Winter Wonderland :)
 
 


 
This peanut brittle pic isn't mine, but I like it. 


 
I also like the Carrie Underwood version of the song, "My Favorite Things" that she did for The Sound of Music.

Holiday Gift Guides


Christmas is getting close and if you haven't finished shopping yet, below are some gift guides that might help.

Check out several categories of gift ideas on the +POPSUGAR website at: www.popsugar.com/Gift-Guide

Here are suggestions from Tamera Mowry for the men in your life: www.tameramowry.com/gift-guide

Also check out +WE tv 's Braxton Family Values gift guide here.

Happy Shopping!





Sunday, December 14, 2014

Allstate Foundation Purple Purse




PurplePurse.com is a project of the Allstate Foundation.  I heard about it on the Tom Joyner Morning show.

From the website:

"Two-thirds of Americans believe that domestic violence is a serious problem, yet just more than 1 in 3 have ever talked about it. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse is making it fashionable to talk about domestic violence and the financial abuse that traps women in abusive relationships. The program ignites fundraising for more than 140 national, state and local domestic violence organizations. Funds raised will support life-changing financial empowerment services to help domestic violence survivors build safer lives for themselves and their families. Allstate Foundation Purple Purse aims to break the cycle of violence in our nation – one family at a time."



Well done +Allstate Insurance !

For more information or to donate, visit http://purplepurse.com

Also, visit my blog Verizon's HopeLine to learn how domestic violence victims and survivors can receive refurbished phones.

Need help?

Call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or TTY 1-800-787-3224

Friday, December 12, 2014

What Makes a Woman Significant?



By: Nancy Leigh DeMoss of +FamilyLife® 

What does a “godly woman” look like? How can a woman fulfill the eternal purpose for which God created her? Thankfully, the Word of God gives us the instructions we need; it also provides a number of role models—women who illustrate what it means to walk with God and to be used by Him.

One of my favorite biblical role models is Mary of Nazareth. In her life I have found a wealth of wisdom for my own walk with God. Her story illustrates many of the characteristics of the kind of woman God uses to fulfill His redemptive purposes in our world.

Mary was an ordinary woman

There was nothing particularly unusual about Mary. She was not from a wealthy or illustrious family. When the angel appeared to this young teenage girl, she was engaged to be married and was undoubtedly doing what engaged girls do—dreaming of being married to Joseph, of the home they would live in, of the family they would have. I don’t believe she was expecting her life to be used in any extraordinary way.

The significance of Mary’s life was not based on any of the things our world values so highly—background, physical beauty, intelligence, education, natural gifts and abilities. It was Mary’s relationship to Jesus that gave her life significance. 

Regardless of how ordinary and “unqualified” we may be, all of us as children of God can walk with Him and be used by Him—not because we are inherently significant, but because of our relationship with Christ. Our true identity is not found in a job, a mate, a child, a position, or a possession. It is our connection to the Lord Jesus Christ that gives our lives value and significance and makes us usable in His kingdom.

Mary was a pure woman

Though she had grown up in a community renowned for moral corruption, she was a virgin. Undoubtedly, many of Mary’s peers had not kept themselves pure. But when God was ready to send His Son into the world to bring about His eternal plan of redemption, He chose to place the seed of His Son into the womb of a pure vessel. He selected a woman who had not given in to the lure of the world but had kept herself for the Master’s use.

In a world that flaunts perversion and scoffs at purity, women of God must be willing to go against the flow—to walk in purity and to teach their daughters the importance and value of a commitment to personal and moral virtue.

You may be reaping the blessings and benefits of a lifelong commitment to personal purity. On the other hand, you may be living with a deep sense of loss and regret from having made wrong choices. Perhaps you feel that God will never be able to use you because you have not kept yourself pure. The wonder of God’s grace is that He can and He will restore purity to those who come to Him in contrition and true repentance. He cannot restore the virginity you sacrificed, but by His grace He can restore true virtue.

Mary was an undeserving woman

God did not choose this young woman because she was worthy of the honor of being the mother of the Savior. The angel said to Mary, “Greetings, you who are  highly favored!”(emphasis added). That phrase could be translated, “you who are graciously accepted.” If any of us is to be accepted by God, it will be because of grace—not because of anything we have done.

It’s all because of grace. Over and over again in Scripture, we see that God chooses people who are undeserving. God didn’t look down from heaven and say, “I see a woman who has something to offer Me; I think I’ll use her.” Mary did not deserve to be used by God; to the contrary, she marveled at God’s grace in choosing her.

The moment we cease to see ourselves as undeserving instruments, chances are we will cease to be useful in the hand of God.

Mary was a chosen woman

She was chosen by God for a task of eternal significance—to bear the life of the Son of God. There is a sense in which God has chosen all of us for a similar task—to bring forth spiritual life. “You did not choose me,” Jesus told His disciples, “but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last” (John 15:16).

I believe there is a special sense in which God created us as women to be bearers and nurturers of life. Whether or not He grants us physical children, He wants to use us to carry the life and light of Jesus into the world—to be spiritual reproducers, bringing forth His life in the lives of others.

We may look at certain prominent or unusually gifted people and think they have been uniquely chosen by God. The fact is, if you are a child of God, you have been chosen by God for a task of supreme significance—to be a bearer and nurturer of spiritual life by carrying the life of the Lord Jesus to others.

Once you look at your life that way, you’ll never again have a “self image” problem. Many women today carry scars of rejection from parents, mates, or friends who have spurned them. What a joy to discover that though we deserve to be rejected by God, we have been chosen to belong to Him and to be a part of His redemptive plan in the universe.

Mary was a Spirit-filled woman

We too must be filled with the Spirit if we are to fulfill the purpose for which God has chosen us. When the angel said to Mary, “You’re going to have a child,” Mary responded, “How can this be?" I’ve never been intimate with a man!” God had chosen her for a task that was humanly impossible.

The task for which God has chosen you and me is no less impossible. We can share the Gospel of Christ with our lost friends, but we cannot give them repentance and faith. You can provide a climate that is conducive to the spiritual growth of your children, but you can’t make them have a heart for God. We are totally dependent on Him to produce any fruit of eternal value.

In response to Mary’s expression of weakness and inadequacy, the angel promised her God’s strength and adequacy: “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you” (Luke 1:35). In the Old Testament El Elyon was God Most High, the Creator of heaven and earth.

I can’t begin to count how many conversations I’ve had with the Lord that sound a bit like Mary’s exchange with the angel. The Lord gives me a task, and I respond, “Lord, how can this be? I can’t do this. There are other people far more qualified. I’m not prepared. I’m not ready. I’m so tired. I’m so weak. I don’t know what I’m doing.” He responds simply “I know. That’s why I’ve given you the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit will enable you, and My power will overshadow you and your weakness.”

Don’t ever forget that you cannot do what God has called you to do. You cannot parent that child, love that husband, care for that elderly parent, submit to that boss, teach that Sunday school class, or lead that small-group Bible study. God specializes in the impossible, so that when the victory is won and the task is complete, we cannot take any credit. Others know we didn’t do it, and we know we didn’t do it. We must always remember that we can only live the Christian life and serve God through the power of His Holy Spirit. As soon as we think we can handle it on our own, we become useless to Him. We have to be willing to get out of the way, let God take over, and let Him overshadow us.

Mary was an available woman

Equipped with the promises of God, Mary’s response was simply, “I am the Lord’s servant … May it be to me as you have said” (Luke 1:38). In other words, “Lord, I’m available. You are my Master; I am Your servant. I’m willing to be used however You choose. My body is Yours; my womb is Yours; my life is Yours.”

In the act of surrender, Mary offered herself to God as a living sacrifice. She was willing to be used by God for His purposes—willing to endure the loss of reputation that was certain to follow when people realized she was with child, willing to endure the ridicule and even the possible stoning permitted by the Mosaic law, willing to go through nine months of increasing discomfort and sleeplessness, willing to endure the labor pains of giving birth to the Child. Mary was willing to give up her own plans and agenda, so that she might link arms with God in fulfilling His agenda.

This ought to be the heart cry of every woman of God: 

“I am Your servant. I’m available. 

“Do You want me to be married? I’ll be married. 

“Do You want me to be single? I’ll be single. 

“Do you want me to have children? I’ll raise children for Your glory. 

“Do You want me to be childless? Then I will be a reproducer of spiritual fruit in the lives of others. 

“Do You want me to live in a small, overcrowded house? Do you want me to suffer with a physical affliction? Do You want me to homeschool my children? Do you want me to love and serve this husband who is so hard to live with? Do You want me to take that young woman under my wing and mentor her in Your ways? Do You want me to give up my free time to tutor that child from a broken home? Do You want me to take meals to that cranky neighbor who is ill? Lord, whatever! 

“I am Your servant. May it be to me as You have said.”

Excerpted from Biblical Womanhood in the Home, edited by Nancy Leigh DeMoss. Copyright © 2002, pages 65-71.

Jam of the Week: I Still Have You




I LOVE the movie, The Best Man Holiday!!!  It's the perfect sequel to The Best Man with an all-star cast!  I also love that it was a Christmas movie :)

Here is my Jam of the Week from The Best Man Holiday soundtrack - "I Still Have You" by Charlie Wilson


+Vevo 

(Oh, and guess what? They are making another Best Man movie!!! Yes! I mentioned it in a previous blog here).

Christmas Movies




I like when I start to see Christmas movies on TV.  (Shout out to +UPtv . They show some nice holiday movies).  

Here is a list of my favorite Christmas movies (in no particular order).

1. The Preacher's Wife (This is a remake of the movie, "The Bishop's Wife."  I absolutely love Whitney Houston, Denzel Washington, and Courtney B. Vance in this movie! Rest in peace Whitney.)

2. Home Alone (Who doesn't like this movie?)

3. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (I don't always like sequels, but this one didn't disappoint). 

4. Jingle All The Way (This movie is hilarious with Sinbad and Arnold Schwarzenegger).

5. A Christmas Story (TBS shows this movie all night on Christmas Eve).

6. It's A Wonderful Life (A classic)!

7. A Christmas Carol (Another classic about Ebenezer Scrooge). 

8. The Santa Clause (Tim Allen is hilarious in this movie)!

9. The Nativity Story (This movie tells the story of the birth of Christ. It is very well done).

10. Last Holiday (+Queen Latifah is living it up in this movie).

11. The Best Man Holiday (Love this sequel)!

12. Four Christmases (This movie is so funny! I first saw part of it at my sister-in-law's house. Then my husband and I watched it again on New Years Eve. You should check it out the next time it comes on and see if you're not cracking up after the first 10 minutes).

Follow Blessed's board ❄ Christmas Movies I Love ❄ on Pinterest.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Nutcracker




Last year, Hubby and I went to see The Nutcracker for the first time.  It was nice.  I was surprised at how many songs I recognized too.  A lot of popular Christmas songs you often hear in movies and on commercials have come from The Nutcracker.

All of the performances in The Nutcracker were great and you could hear a pin drop when it was time to see the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy.  (Side Note: That song is one of my favorites on the Zumba Fitness Wii game :) 

 Below are some pics we took at The Nutcracker ballet.  I look forward to going again.  




Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rock Out With Me Ladies





I've been wanting to blog about this for a while and now is the perfect time.  I don't know why, but for some reason there is a lot of competition among women (particularly African-American women).  Shortage of men maybe?  Possibly, but I don't think that's it.  Not trying to get too deep, but this probably dates back to slavery.

I attended a university where maybe about 3% of the students were black.  I can remember seeing other black ladies around campus and I felt a competitive spirit among us - even with there just being a few of us at the university.  Competition can be good for some settings like in the classroom and in sports, but this felt hateful.  I even mentioned it to my Mom when she asked me about school and wanted to know what was something that surprised me about college.  This did surprise me and actually, it was a bit of a shock to me (culture shock).  I came from a predominately black high school and I never noticed competition with females to this extent before.  It was ugly.

For instance, I was a member of a minority women's group in college and one student brought up a time when she walked passed another black female that she didn't know.  She explained that she looked at her like she quote, "stole her puppy or something."  I completely understood what she meant as I too have had those same experiences, and unfortunately still do at times.  It's like instead of being nice, some women already don't like you.  Or if you are succeeding at something, some will insult you or point out the negatives instead of giving you props.  Just like when people were slamming Gabrielle Douglas' hair while she was making history at the Olympics.  It's really sad.




Side Note: I Am Not My Hair (Thanks India Arie!)

I've always been a happy person so I try to smile whenever I see a Sister (black, white, or whatever).  I'm all for being nice and making new friends.  If I see a Sister doing her thing, then that inspires me. I'm not going to be jealous.  I'm going to be happy for her.  Of course, I'm not perfect.  If something is making me a little jealous, then I will quickly pray about it so God can help me with whatever my issue is.

God sees how we respond to other people's happiness.  The Bible says, "Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn." ~Romans 12:15

I think a lot of people have this scripture twisted.  They mourn when others rejoice and rejoice when others mourn.  That's not right!  You being happy for someone else is not going to keep you from getting anything or give the other person more power.  Whatever the thinking behind this is, there is room for everyone to succeed.  We would probably be more successful and even get there faster if we learn to build each other up instead of tearing each other down.  Let's not be crabs in a barrel.




Show God's love.  Compliment or encourage somebody today :)

You go girl!

  Okay, with that said - I recently saw on Facebook that April Daniels (co-star of +WE tv 's Tamar & Vince) has started a campaign called Rock Out With Me. 

Here is the mission of this campaign from the 'Rock Out With Me' website:

Is all about restoring the unity that's missing among women today. Unfortunately there's a stigma that most women can't seem to get along naturally. The objective with this campaign is to cancel out all of the negativity associated with women by being a representation of positivity and supporting one another for the long haul. Simply being to others what you want for yourself.


Needless to say, I love this campaign and I wanted to share it with all of you.

#RockOutWithMe

#Unity #Love & #Respect





"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato

Friday, December 5, 2014

Boyz II Men: Christmas Interpretations





This is probably my favorite Christmas album and it deserves its own blog post.

Enjoy the music!






Watch BIIM sing "Let It Snow" and "Silent Night" on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air (one of my fav TV shows)

 


Bonus Video:

Let It Snow feat. Brian McKnight


Holiday Music


It's Beginning to Sound A lot Like Christmas!





♫♪

One of the things I like the most about Christmas is the music.  I already changed my cellphone settings to my "Carol of the Bells" ringtone :) BTW, "Carol of the Bells" is a beautiful song!  My Dad and I were talking about how the writer/composer of the song actually made the melody sound like bells.  Yea, we're a musical family :)

Below are a few songs that always get me in the Christmas spirit. 




Chris Brown did a good job remaking this classic by the late, great Donny Hathaway. Gotta luv the original though. 



Fred Hammond and his choir can sing!!!!




Nice DC video.  Love the shot of their dolls too :)




You knew it was going to be a classic when it was simply titled, "The Christmas Song."

Here are some other blogs that feature nice Christmas music:


Jam of the Week: No Love




I love this song and I'm glad August is doing well after his health scare a few months ago!

But hey ladies - If a guy is saying these things to you, BELIEVE HIM!!  If you're not cool with #NoLove , then please don't fool yourself or waste your time in thinking that you can change him. That's risky behavior and I'd hate to see you get your feelings hurt.

#WorthMoreThanRubies  #RealTalk