Mid-Week Inspiration, Aspirations and Motivation

"Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction." ~ John F. Kennedy

It is not enough to have courage and to expend all your energy and effort each day without first having a sense of purpose and direction. Without that kind of blueprint plan - it's kind of like a ship without a sail going along aimlessly in life and being tossed to and from with the stormy winds of life. Start with having a clear understanding of what your purpose is in life. Write down your vision of how God has revealed to you that your life should be, and depend upon Him each day for the direction in which He would have you to go.

Character - The Real You When No One Else Is Looking

I have discovered much from my experiences in life. They have caused me to hope that in the end all things will work in my favour and for my good. It is through those same experiences that character is built. But what it has not yet taught is how to maintain character for the long run. We can deny it all we want but let's be real for a moment. You and I have mastered the art of being on our best behavior because our conscious being reminds us that the lights are turned on and we are in the eyes of the public. 

For many it becomes a fantasy world because we know well how to powder our nose, to smack our lips with bright rainbow colours. Our nails are well manicured, our hair perfectly groomed and many of us are even fortunate to wear top brand clothing line. We walk with a swag in our steps and we have developed the accent and we say all of the right words that makes us fit the part. And so, over time public's perception of who we are is great. 

The Week That Was Series 6: News And Blog Reviews

Ingrid Loyau-Kennet
I am finding it a bit difficult to write today's column on "The Week That Was Series." Simply because of the many tragic stories that took place around the world during the week that left the hearts of many broken, saddened and sickened by disasters, untimely deaths, and the grizzly, chilling cold blooded murder of a British soldier by two knife wielding attackers in Woolwick in broad daylight in the witness of others.

1) What makes the latter story one worth mentioning today is because of the act of love in the midst of hate, the courage and heroism of a 48 year old London mom, Ingrid Loyau-Kennet who stood up to the attackers. Among other things, it reminded me of how much God is still in control and how He [God] worked through her and spoke to the killers through her to demonstrate His omnipotence, omniscient, omnipresence here on earth.

The Devil, the loser, gave proof again of his employment which as the Bible say is to steal, kill and to destroy. But God stepped down into the earth realm and showed Himself as the righteous Judge and defender. What made the men think they could hate and kill, then get away with the murder? The scene ended in gunshots, with police immobilizing the murderers and taking them into custody.

The courageous women who put their lives in danger to help the dying soldier and calmed the belligerent attackers will go down in this story and the history books as true heroes. Here is a brief excerpt that described the exchange:

7 Things To Do When You Feel Your Life Is Falling Apart

But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint." (Isaiah 40: 31) We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed but not driven to despair. (2 Corinthians 4:8 NLT)

Whatever we do on a daily basis, one key goal I believe you and I are certain to work towards is to focus on staying in control and keeping the right perspective on things. Whether it's in our personal or professional lives, we make the plans ahead, and we have a pretty good idea of how we foresee the day ahead of us would go. Most days, everything go according to plan, right?. But then there are those unpredictable occasions where the whole world around you just seem to be falling apart and you are losing control of yourself. Not only that, you are lacking perspective. Already at a chaotic stage by then, you realize hey, something went terribly wrong.

Fear and anxiety tries to trick you into letting them take over and you are no more in a position to think rationally. You say all of the wrong things and you wonder where exactly did things begin to go out of order. Why did you not see the red flags before. Were there warning signs that you missed. Then there is the tendency to feel like a failure. 

Dear EMB Supporters: Need Your Participation for The World's Best Dad Series

On the subject matter of 'Fairness on Father's Day,' it was Dr. Robin who once said "We haven't valued fathers in the way we do our mothers and that is not good for us." She further said, "Sometimes dads are on the outside because you put them there, because you were trained that men were disinterested in how their kids were really feeling."

Similar thoughts were expressed in my Father's Day article on June 12th 2012 here and this time again, I am stepping it up a bit more and soliciting your participation to make the celebration of our fathers this year the most memorable and honorable for them. Father's Day is June 16th 2013

This is not a contest. It's just me giving you the opportunity to share your story with us about why you think that your father is 'The World's Best Day.' Your story will be published right here on Empowerment Moments Blog on the weekend of June 15th - 16th 2013.

Thoughts and Prayers for Moore Oklahoma Tornado Victims and Survivors

AP photo by Sue Ogrocki
A massive tornado ripped through Moore Oklahoma City this afternoon leaving much damage and many injured in its wake. According to CNN, the tornado is estimated to have been nearly two (2) miles wide, and more than 171,000 may have been its' path, including at least one elementary school. Unfortunately the primary medical center in the area was also damaged and evacuated, which means that the injured will need to be transported to other nearby hospitals.

The tornado today isn't a stand-alone event. Over the entire weekend large areas of Oklahoma were hit by devastating storms that have left several people dead, as many as 300 homes damaged and destroyed, and entire towns leveled.

The AP photo above by Sue Ogrocki of Moore Oklahoma, truly is just one of the many heartbreaking images. Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone who have been affected by this unimaginable tragedy.

Creating An A+ Workforce: 10 Ways for Building Employee Empowerment

In the modern business landscape, it is recognized that in order for organizations to survive, the focus can no longer be about meeting the bottom line, high annual returns or dividends. The key to its strength and ultimately its continued existence, will be heavily dependent upon having an A+ healthy, positive, skilled, motivated employee workforce that have been equipped with the necessary resources to get the job done effectively and efficiently and have been empowered to serve with a spirit of excellence. 

A note of caution. If it seems like I've digressed a bit from my usual blog columns by having today's discussion, you are not totally correct in making that assumption. I am motivated to shift into this direction on the basis that if we limit empowerment to just a specific group or class of people, and we define it as simply giving top executives and managers power and authority, then it might be easy to see why so many employees do not believe they are empowered. Hence, its relevance and timeliness.

The Week That Was Series 5: My Breaking Moment, My Turning Point

This past week was a very interesting one for me. Most of it, I've had some very high and proud moments and then the in between, what I would call my breaking moment when I had to quickly surrender myself to God, give Him the situation once again and say, 'Daddy, will you take care of this for me?' 

I walked away from sitting at His feet, feeling comforted by His word that this too shall pass, stay focused my child, what they meant for evil watch God work it out for your good. The pit that they dug for you to fall in, they are setting up themselves for them to fall into it. Not you.

Now that's a real Dad! That's the Father every child should have and must long for in their lives.

Do not get me wrong. God do not let me have my way at any given time and when there is need for it, He corrects me in love. But speaking of who He is and what he stands for - He is a just God and He rules in your favour not because you are His child, but because, He sees and He knows what goes on in the heart and mind of man that we cannot see, and therefore rules according to the standard of His word.

But the light that signalled my turning point was when I came across this quote today which says:

The 3 P's On Your Journey To An Empowered Life

"There is one quality which one must possess to win, and that is definiteness of purpose, the knowledge of what one wants, and a burning desire to possess it." ~ Napoleon Hill

There was a time in my life that I was totally ignorant of what it meant for me to be fully developed and to become the person that God really intended me to be, much less to know what it meant to live an empowered life. Many of my past experiences were from my perspective, unbearable. I even equated them with strokes of bad luck, worst yet, curses on my family. Nothing made sense to me. At times I was very confused.

Other times it was living life aimlessly and just waiting for the next bad thing to happen. Not knowing any different, I thought of the experiences as the norm. Why not? I looked at my peers, and others in the neighbourhood and they too seemed to be having pretty much the same situations that I was having. There were no dots to be connected - just a series of events, incidents, occurrences in our lives that were totally independent of each other.

9 Powerful Quotes of Encouragement

Beach front at Fort Recovery, Tortola Virgin Islands (British)
Individually, we have a responsibility to be our brothers keeper, to watch over the lives of each other, to do whatever we can to protect, to pray one for another and to love and support each other. It is not always the case as often times, we find ourselves going through our own personal difficulties and challenges and therefore tend not to focus on anyone or anything else but our own situation. 

I recall so vividly the days when I needed someone just to give me an encouraging word, someone to just hold my hand, to encourage my faith and to reassure me that it will work out in my favour. Sadly, it did not happen when I needed it the most and so I had no choice but to reach out and cry out to the Lord after which He heard my cry and He rescued me from my fears, my hopelessness and despair. He gave me life, a new of thinking that I can speak positively over my life and that of others. 

Keys To Greater Self-Awareness and Empowerment

It would seem that there is no better time than now for greater self-awareness and a better understanding of oneself including one's traits, feelings and behaviours. Having that kind of orientation, and the understanding of why we behave in a particular way, we are better able to appreciate, love and accept others for who they are. Too often we can become judgemental of other persons without realizing that they too have their own individual struggles with the knowingness of their true self and an authentic flow of their thoughts in a constructive and meaningful way.

What may surprise many, is that each one of us, we are wired differently. It's the one Creator, yet we each have gifts and talents of varying proportion. We are pre-packaged with a set of mechanism and emotional intelligence to ask the what if and the why not. Some may be more in-depth than others, but the truth is, the degree to which we develop and use that God given capacity, will determine to a large extent the kind of success that one would have in life.

Up Close And Personal With Mothers Who Rock!

My daughter Shoneece and a first time Mother
My family and I are celebrating Mother's Day in an extraordinary special way today. We are celebrating the joy of motherhood. So why is this one so special? Because it's the first! That's right! There are first time Moms and' moi' yours truly, a first time Grandma in our household. The truth be told, nothing or no one on earth could have ever prepared us for this day. If someone had told us how our lives would end up to be this way, I believe our responses would have been, 'you're lying, that's a joke right?' But even before time begun, someone else knew. It was already established by Him, it was documented in our record in heaven by the one who gives life, the Creator of all things that knew on Sunday May 12th 2013, we would be enjoying such blessings in our hearts, our lives and in our home.
My youngest daughter Shivonne and a first time Mother
It was December 29th 2012 that I revealed to world up close and personal God's idea of twins in an article entitled, "Empowerment Moments Year 2012 Review - From Tragedy To Triumph." Here is an excerpt:

Inspirational Mother's Day Quotes

We've just about come to the end of this blog's first series called 'Celebrating The Life of Mother's Who Rock' and what an incredible journey it was! Many lives have been touched, especially those who were chosen and honoured in a special way. My heartfelt thank you to everyone who participated and to you our subscribers, readers and followers, a wealth of gratitude to you, as none of this would have been possible without you. You are awesome!

For today's series, I've selected some quotes specifically, mother's day quotes that I trust would be a blessing to you. Dad's I want to say how wonderful you are and that you have not been forgotten. Plans are already on its way to honour you in a special way on this blog for Father's Day. Meanwhile, do enjoy these quotes:

"The bond between mothers and their children is one defined by love. As a mother's prayers for her children are unending, so are the wisdom, grace, and strength they provide to their children." ~ President George W. Bush

Mothers Who Rock Series 1 - A Motivator, Mentor and A Role Model To Many

There is never a dull moment in her life, or so it seems. She is always so cheerful with smiles that not only touches your heart, but infects your soul with positive energy like a cool rushing breeze. She is like the sunshine on your rainy day. She is a light source that beams through your darkness and you can see the end is near when previously, it seemed so far away. Her name is Mrs. Andria Flax, a woman I have known for a number of years, crossing paths with her yes, because she is one of the senior members within the Human Resources Department at the organization for which I am currently employed, namely, the BVI Health Services Authority.

She is very soft spoken, and it would seem that she doesn't know what it means to get angry, even if there is an occasion that would give rise to such. For kind words of encouragement, and to bring me hope, I could always count on her for giving that whether through an email or phone call. I've always welcomed such especially that it was during some low points in my work life when I really felt I just had enough, and I wanted to quit and to move on to another work place. I must however give credit to her for my stability and focus today within the organization. 

I recall about two years ago, I had cast a shadow of doubt on myself and my ability to write effectively until one day she communicated to me that I had very good writing skills, that I was detailed and gave such clarity in my writing and how much she actually enjoyed reading  my correspondences. She helped to stir up and awaken the gift in me, and the flames began to burn brightly again.

Mothers Who Rock Series 1 - A Praying Woman by Latreece Christopher

Evangelist Theresa Felix
I think that this has absolutely been the hardest thing that I have ever had to do as far as writing goes.  I mean what words do you put on paper to describe someone who has truly been there for you, someone that you can call your mother.

The woman I am describing is not my biological mother, but my spiritual mother.  It is only those who have a connection with God who would know how precious a relationship is, like the one we have with our spiritual parents.  I say that because it is inevitable that once you are a person called by God it often seems as though you are going against the tide and we often look for, need and cherish that early connection, with someone who understands us for us and it is something wonderful to find that in a person you can call your spiritual parent.

I am not a mother as yet, however, I would have always imagined that it is much easier to love a child that came from your womb as opposed to a child that belongs to another person. However, after the experience I have had with her, experience has taught me otherwise.

Mothers Who Rock Series 1 - She Builds A Legacy and Then Pass It On

She is 100% woman...your mother, my mother
The Queen of her castle
Beaming with joy her smile and the burst of her laughter,
the sum total that exudes her strength and confidence
She is the nurturer, prayer warrior and the caregiver
often times the last one going to bed - 
She holds you in her arms and rocks you to sleep 
Then on bended knees she prays for her children and her spouse.
What would the world be like without mothers
who as morning breaks into day she is the first one getting up in the house
cooking breakfast and lunch 
as she still makes time to slip in the snack for a mid-morning munch.

She is the kind of woman who in holy fear honors the Lord
Ready as always to instill in others the power of His word.
She is a true Gem
Not the kind of person who would instigate a fight,
yet assumes the role of protector and defender for her children
while she lets the world know when to back off  
"don't touch ma picnee buoy, if ya kno wha good fu you don't trouble ma chile!"

Shake It Off and Turn It Loose!

Shake It off and Turn It Loose By Aisha Z. Adams copyright 2013 Have you ever tried to shake a cold or the flu off and you did everything that you could to get rid of it? You took all the medicine you could think of from Halls, to Robitussin, to Alka-Seltzer. It made you feel miserable, moody and bad. You were SICK OF BEING SICK. You just wanted to shake it off and turn it loose! Bad attitudes and colds have some similarities. Sometimes they are” allowed” in our space.

Growing up in Chicago the weather is 'sometimey.' It can be below zero one day, and sixty the next day. If you are familiar with that type of weather then you know you have to dress for it, and if you don’t, chances are you might have the sniffles the next day. A bad attitude is simply an attitude that has “gone bad” inside. We have the choice not to allow our attitude to control our circumstance or the situation we are in or faced with. Is it easy? No it’s not, but it is possible. It is shown in our words, our actions, our conversation and our personality.

Mothers Who Rock Series 1 - A Gem and A Woman of Worth by Ava Baird

Judith Findlater and she Rocks!
Have you ever wondered what the world would be like without true, dedicated and faithful mothers? I am indeed honored to be called upon to contribute to this blog series, "Celebrating The Life of Mothers Who Rock." Unfortunately, I lost my mother 14 years ago. The Lord knows the role of a mother never ends. He knows that everyone needs a mother in their life. 

So about 3 years ago the Lord miraculously brought a woman into my life. She was literally sent by God to be my spiritual guide and counselor. She has never tried to take the place of God in my life as she always gives Almighty God the glory in everything she says and does. 

My spiritual mother is a tower of strength. She has taught me the secret of her strength comes from the joy of the Lord and therefore can be mine as well. She is my gem. Sometimes I wonder what my life would have been like without her inspiration and godly counsel. One day she said to me, "when  the Lord becomes your main focus, the storms of life become less significant, therefore if your storm seems huge, scary and threatening then you have taken your eyes off the Lord and have lost your focus." 

Mothers Who Rock Series 1 - A Champion and A Woman of Faith by Christopher Jennings Penders

21 years old my Mom was when I was born in 1964. Less than two years later she was a single Mom after divorcing my Dad. She didn't let life get in the way or bring her to her knees. We survived. I on the other hand was a handful. Many medical challenges lay ahead. I suffered two seizures which affected my speech, my balance as well as much more. A myriad of other health issues followed.

My Mom was beside me day and night, spending weeks on end in Boston at Boston Children's Hospital.

So many times my doctors told her I wouldn't survive.
Just as many times she countered them and said:
Not only will he survive, I will send you all his college degree.

My Mom had such faith that all would be well. I believe her faith and God's Faith that was given to me is what guided me through the challenges I faced. Were it not for my Mom and her strength, her conviction I certainly would not have survived.

There are so many people responsible for my survival, from the doctors who cared for me to God. Yes! I said God. HE is the ultimate decision maker. However, I will say it again; knowing my Mom was fighting just  as hard, dare I say harder than the medical professionals charged with keeping me safe made surviving the turmoil I was facing easier.

Miss Sharie deCastro Crowned Miss Caribbean World 2013

Miss Sharie deCastro brought more pride and joy to the British Virgin Islands territory when she outclassed 11 other beauties Saturday evening May 4th 2013 to be declared Miss Caribbean World 2013.

Miss deCastro, also the Miss BVI of 2012, was crowned during the contest at the Multi-Purpose Sports Complex here on Tortola.

Leslassa Armour Shillingford of Dominica was declared 1st Runner-Up, while 2nd Runner-Up went to Carice Glasgow of St.Vincent and the Grenadines.

Joy-Ann Biscette of St. Lucia was adjudged the 3rd Runner-Up and also won the Best national Costume while Barbie Adams of St.Kitts landed 4th Runner-Up position.

In addition to winning the crown, deCastro copped five sectional prizes to include Miss Poise, Best Talent, Best Evening Wear and Miss Intellect.

She tied with Miss Dominica to win the Best Swimwear category, while Miss Dominica was awarded title of Miss Photogenic.

The pageant drew other participants from Haiti, United States, United States Virgin Islands, St. Croix, Trinidad and Tobago, St. Kitts and Nevis, Cuba, Antigua and Barbuda and the Bahamas.

Mothers Who Rock Series 1 - That's My Momma and She Rocks by Aisha Z. Adams

“That’s My Momma and She Rocks”
Aisha Z. Adams

Charm can fool you, and beauty can trick you, but a woman who respects the Lord should be praised. Give her the reward she has earned; she should be praised in public for what she has done.
(Proverbs 31:30-31)

Born and raised  in Hughes Arkansas, two pretty little twin girls full of life, gave their parents joy, and little did they know they would grow up and start their own family while taking care of their parents in their old age. Velma and Thelma were twin sisters and they were like two peas in a pod. There are six siblings all together. My mom is Velma L. Van Winkle and she is sweet and feisty with a big heart and I love her to life.  She graduated from Mildred Jackson High School, receiving her high school diploma. Although my mom was raised in Arkansas, when she moved to Chicago she adjusted pretty well, that’s when she formally met my father who was a country boy from the same neck of the woods she grew up in. While in Chicago they got to know one another very well and the two became one. She became Velma L. Childs. They started a family and my two sisters and I were born.

The Week That Was Series #4 - Light To My Path From Around The Web

Here are my favourite reads of this past week

1) On Leadership

Dan Rockwell of Leadership Freak wrote a very interesting article called Confronting Toxicity in which he alluded to the fact that 'toxic environments are the result of tolerating toxicity.' It challenges us as leaders to do some introspection, not just about us as individuals but the organization for which we work.

"Average leaders feel successful when they get things done."

"Exceptional leaders feel successful when they build exceptional places of work."

"Average leaders fix and do. Exceptional leaders build."

"Exceptional leaders define "the way" things get done. Courageous leaders challenge back-stabbing and office politics, for example. They say, "That's not the way we do thing around here."

Mothers Who Rock Series 1 - The Love Of A Mother by Annesha Daniel

A mother's love is something that no one can explain, 
It is made of deep devotions and of sacrifice and of pain.

It is endless and unselfish and enduring come what may, 
For nothing can destroy it or take a mother's love away.

It is patient, caring and forgiving when others are forsaking, 
It never fails or falters even though the heart is breaking. 

It believes beyond believing when the world around condemns, 
It glows with all the beauty of the rarest gems.

A many splendour miracle man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence of God's tender guiding hands. 

Dedicated to all mothers, especially my very own mother Veronica Daniel.

I love you, and I say that you ROCK!

This poem was submitted by Annesha Daniel

Banner designed and made by Latreece Christopher
Thank you for being a part of Empowerment Moments Blog - the place where your destiny is more than just a dream, it's your life, it's reality!

Join me in fulfilling my global mandate to impact lives around the world through the good news of the gospel. If this article inspired you, share it with others so that their lives are touched as well.

Kingdom blessings!

Mothers Who Rock Series 1 - She's My Mentor and Cheerleader by Michelle Garrett

My Grandparents
I was blessed to have my maternal grandmother in my life up until my mid-20s. Saying she was my rock is a complete understatement. It’s been a little over 7 years since she passed away and there are moments when I can still feel her presence in my life. 

She instilled the love of family within me. The one piece of advice that she shared with all her children and grandchildren was “always stick together.” As the mother of 12 children, 27 grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren – that advice was often easier said than done.  Her stern words shared in love and taught by her actions of easily accepting and helping others in need would be passed down through her children to her grandchildren.

Mothers Who Rock Series 1 - I Call Her My Superwoman by Joy Inyamu Akut

Sitting here, thinking about what to write. You would think it’s the easiest thing in the world to do; after all, my mummy is the best mother in the whole wide world… Yes, she comes before yours.
But as easy as it seems, it is hard, because words can’t do justice to the woman of substance that I’ve grown to know her as.
Words can’t express how her loving has been such a blessing to not just my siblings and I, but to countless relations and her community at large.
You see, I call her my superwoman... one without capes, but twice as tough in heriro and buba(a Nigerian traditional attire)

She is beautiful, not just on the outside but deep down on the inside.
She is strong, not because she can swat that fly, but because she has a fighting spirit and a will so strong when it comes to achieving and making a difference…
She has pushed her way through to the peak of her field in a male dominated world, and in all her hard work in her career and rise to the top, she never made us feel like we played second fiddle as she strutted in the corridor of power.
How she achieved that, I cannot tell.

She has taught me that yes I can, not because I’m a pretty girl, but because I have it in me. Not because I can cut corners, but because there’s a reward in doing things the right way, even when others seem to get instant result from the wrong lane.
She has brought us up in the way that we should go…
Widowed with five children, but never a moment to falter and wallow in self-pity.
Honest in her dealings, an executive with a difference in a country ridden with corruption.  She has taught me and shown in the way that she lives; that indeed a good name is way better than all the silver and gold the world can offer.

Mothers Who ROCK Series 1 - A Woman of Substance by Andria Flax

I am delighted to kick off this blog's series starting today under the theme: "Celebrating The Life of Mothers Who Rock." In addition to the entries that were submitted, and will be published over the upcoming days, I just want to say how spectacular our Mothers are all over the world. And whether you have given birth to a child/children the natural way, you adopted them, or you are a spiritual Mother, know that you are loved, honored and celebrated. In that regard, I thought it appropriate to dedicate this poem to ALL our Mothers. We love you, appreciate you and say, you Rock! And you are truly 

A Woman of Substance 

Brimming with confidence and tenacity,
Driven, determined yet always happy
These qualities have always appealed to me;
That's the kind of woman I would like to be!

One who doesn't dwell on shortcomings
Or rest on her laurels and fame
But forges ahead to accomplish her goals
And build for herself a great name.

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