Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Good Wife

When my fiancée proposed in May, I had all sorts of anxiety about being a good wife. I never considered myself the domestic type nor was I able to grasp the concept of submission in previous relationships. I'm tickled as I write this entry because I was so worried about becoming a wife and had no clue that months later I'd also be preparing to be a mom, a full time business woman, the staple for my families spiritual growth and more. My life as I knew it doesn't really exist anymore. Well, not totally true, I'm still a Working Creative in the industry of entertainment but it feels so different. I've shifted from being a single woman on the go with more appointments and opportunities than she could handle to a stay at home creative think tank. Shifted from being a youth leader tending to her teens to a mom-to-be & wife-to-be tending to her family. From traveling multiple days in a week to chillin at home and resting my body multiple days a week. [Chevy don't get much love these days.] It doesn't seem like my life sometimes and then other days it feels so much like where I'm supposed to be that I just smile and whisper "Thank you Lord".

This new journey of life has been so humbling, revelation flowing, spiritually growing, emotional, and a purely joyful occasion. Saying "yes" to becoming his wife has opened the door for God to do so much in me. I have no clue what's ahead but I'm so amazed at the awareness I have about purpose and Gods hand in everything I do. If all this was just to teach me the lessons of the past 7 months that would be enough. But I know there's even greater ahead and He is preparing me so I say "Eyes be ready yall!" LOL!

Peace!!

- BJ Gianni
www.youtube.com/bjgianni
http://crazybayooteefull.blogspot.com
@bjgianni

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Walking in Forgiveness

It's more than just accepting that God forgives no matter what. Placing yourself in a position to stumble again. Its about a sincere repentance and turnaround. A new commitment to do things differently. To be more aware of your weaknesses and be diligent to protect yourself in those areas. Walking in Gods forgiveness really begins when your understanding of His commandments are clear when looking at your sin. When you begin to see why God says don't do this or don't do that. Of course, we should just be obedient regardless of knowing why God says and does things. But for those of us stubborn fools who have to learn things the "hands on" way, the clarity comes as He walks you out of your mess. I think about the 32 years of life I've been granted and all the things I've done my way. I lived a lot of life in this time and can't help but appreciate God protecting me through all of it. I also can't help but recognize that there's a more peaceful, stress-free way to do things...Gods way. It aint easy and Lord knows even with this understanding I still stumble and mess things up. However, accepting that God loves and forgives me for my weaknesses is the best comfort I know. Its not man saying "Child please, you take this stuff too serious. A little of this or that aint gonna hurt you". And yes its been great to have the support that reminds me I'm human and that we all fall short. But I can't allow that to slip me into a ungrateful forgetful state of sin and forgive. Ya know, I'll sin and he'll forgive and just do whatever. In order to really walk in His forgiveness, I must do things different, vow to let Him transform me and not fight God along the way. It gets easier with each day to not beat myself up over moments of weakness. Easier to love my circumstances and embrace my trials, for on the other side is my abundant greatness. Counting it all joy and letting patience have her perfect way with me. I'm walking in forgiveness, thank you Lord.

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni
www.youtube.com/bjgianni
http://crazybayooteefull.blogspot.com
@bjgianni

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

I'm Too Churchy?!?!

I sit and think about comments folks have made to me about my Faith in Christ. I have friends that make Jesus jokes and get great laughs at the conclusions they formed about my image on social media. Ya know, always posting scriptures and professing how much I love the Lord. Some even closer to me say that I'm heading down a religious path and have predicted that I'll be one of those hypocritical gossipy meddling church women. Some who knew me pre-salvation still question the authenticity of my beliefs because I was the total opposite of a Christ loving female.

I sit and think about these things and what people say and my only response is "who would I be if I weren't in Christ?". Anything good that people see in me isn't of my own mind and doing. I am by habit judgmental, angry, critical, selfish, competitive, defensive and more. But the God in me, softens all this and makes me want to do things differently. When I judge and get critical, I'm reminded that God didn't judge and punish me according to what I did. When I'm angry and defensive, I'm reminded that my correction comes from the Lord and so does my definition, so just block out the haters. When I'm selfish or competitive, I'm reminded to do for others as God has done for me time and time again.

When folks label me as "too churchy" I have to laugh and not take it personal. I know for some its hard to process right now because they haven't reached their own reverence for God and His awesome hand in their lives. He's with them but they just can't see Him yet, their enlightenment will come. For those who serve a different God or no God at all and judge me, it doesn't make my God any less powerful because of your bashing. For those who can't let go of the old me and accept that God is the real deal for me and not for show...well maybe God hasn't revealed Himself to them as He has to me. I have testimony upon testimony of God's turnaround and love in my life. If it weren't for Him I'd be such the opposite of anything I am today. Current day God is taking me through some things and correcting my shortcomings. Its been most challenging for those who only know me after salvation and can't believe some of the "mess" I'm in. Even they have labeled me to be a perfect "incapable of mistakes" saint. They can't begin to process where I used to be before Christ and without ill intentions, they judge.

Let them describe me and I'm a celibate, only marrying a Pastor, never saying a curse word, rich and always working, don't ever get rejection, totally perfect Christian. This woman just doesn't exist or at least not in me anyway. I am far from perfect and I'm not too churchy. Where would I be if it weren't for God? If I didn't hang on Gods word how much "mess" from my past would I still be standing in? If I didn't profess my love of Christ and how awesome God is, wouldn't that be the phony BJ as opposed to the too churchy BJ that folks think is phony? You can't go through this stuff and not wanna tell everyone how good He is. You just can't!!!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni
www.youtube.com/bjgianni
http://crazybayooteefull.blogspot.com
@bjgianni

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Seasons Go!

"Seasons Come and Seasons Go!" As I sit in the lobby of this casting I'm hearing this phrase in my head. As my patience shifts to impatience and I feel anger and annoyance rising up, I hear this phrase. As I remind myself of the joys ahead for me in my new season, this one is less appealing. I'm ready to scream "I'm done!".

Got an audition, arrive at audition, my name wasn't on the list, girl at front desk not super cooperative. Agent says he emailed client, I'm telling the girl, and waiting waiting and waiting. I text back and forth with my agent, other actors are signing in making my wait time even longer and more waiting. I'm thinking "I barely had the damn money to get to this audition and now they ain't gonna see me? Oh Heck No!!!". Finally as I'm almost to tears with frustration and ready to just leave regardless of what the casting directors says, two things happen.

Another agent rings my cell and I answer quickly cuz they never call unless its important. As I hear my agent say "You booked ***!", I hear the girl say "the casting director would like to speak with you". Huh?!?! In the middle of this busy audition and while my agent is giving me booking details... Uh OK! "Please hold!" The casting director proceeds to explain why she can't see me today and to come back tomorrow and she'd be glad to audition me. [Sidenote: In the very very back of my mind I was like "Really? If you stopped the casting to call me in personally and explain, than you could've just auditioned me lady" but that's called favor. A personal explanation given by a super busy woman who didn't have to do anything but say NO!]

In the front of my mind all I could hear was my internal praises to God for stopping me from plummeting even further into my trials. I still wanted to cry after I thanked the lady for her explanation because I really didn't have the funds for this. But my tears shifted from frustration to praise in a split second. [Sidenote: its been almost two months since I booked a gig and as an actress, you don't book, you don't get paid. Just so yall understand my frustration.]

My conclusion from today's lesson is that there is definitely a season in need of ending and one in need of beginning. But its really not the season of family versus career. This season of unbelief and doubt in God's provision and protection needs to roll out. I need to embrace a new season that perseveres, believes in His promises, doesn't waver, doesn't entertain doubt. I need to remember previous seasons of His covering and how I got through just fine, even when I thought I'd hit rock bottom.

So I choose to believe that I didn't spend money I couldn't spare on a stupid casting. Rather, I was obedient to God's nudging to go through today's lesson and the reward was so much more than the cost. I had this gut feeling since yesterday that this casting would be drama and I almost didn't go and God would have ALMOST blessed me with this revelation. There's always a Blessin in the Lesson!

"Lord, I believe! Help me with my unbelief" Mark 9:24 (NKJV)

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni
www.youtube.com/bjgianni
http://crazybayooteefull.blogspot.com
@bjgianni

Friday, August 3, 2012

I'm Ashamed

I'm re-reading "Praying God's Word" by Beth Moore in preparation for book club tomorrow morning. The introduction chapter has so much food for thought that I've read it several times. As I read, I was reminded of the definition of strongholds. A stronghold is anything that exalts itself as bigger or more powerful than God. Now this could be a person or it could be emotions or circumstances you've experienced. The biggest reminder for me was that we have to allow the strongholds. For example, if there were a person in my life that thinks they're bigger than God its only a stronghold for me if I agree and put that person before God. Our thoughts are usually the breeding ground for strongholds. What we think up, imagine, or assume about a situation can easily spiral into strongholds, robbing us of the full freedom God intended us to have. Caution: Don't assume that because you've been released from a stronghold that you can't pick up another one. Don't assume that you don't have multiple strongholds, as most of us do. And please be aware that an old stronghold can creep back into your life without continued prayer battle and wise decision making.

Real Talk: My biggest stronghold (as I believe it to be today) is Shame! I think bigger than pride or anger, my shame over decisions I've been making lately has consumed me. This is a stronghold because in my mind the things I've done and my resulting circumstances were so bad that I believed God couldn't fix them. I placed my guilt and shame above the power of God to redeem and deliver me. As if redemption and deliverance are a one time get out of jail free card with God. But Hallelujah! Thank the Lord that ain't how it works. Here me clearly, I'm not proud of disappointments to God in my life but I'm grateful to see His mercy present in my circumstances. What's incredible is how His truth, promises and love for me are breaking me free of this yucky stronghold called Shame because HE IS BIGGER THAN MY CIRCUMSTANCES.

Reading Gods Word and praying specifically to those promises has been revitalizing. One of my fav scriptures ever is "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). Not because its a free pass to sin and act a fool but because He already knew all this would happen. And He still loves unconditionally and said He would never leave me nor forsake me. Praises to the Most High God!

We all fall down, but the amazing and true testimony begins when we get back up and allow God to love us through it!

"The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit." Psalms 34:18

Peace yall!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Got My Mojo Back

On February 16, 2011, I began to jot down dreams and creative goals I wanted to accomplish. I kept saying to myself "You've done too many things in your young lifetime not to be able to create another revenue stream". I jotted down any and every talent I believe I had and anything that I've trained in or accomplished and started connecting dots. Unfortunately that chart sat for months and my dreams on paper stayed right there. I'd get some motivation here and there to revisit it and see what I was ready to do or could afford to do, but still no real movement. In October, I started my own black business woman's mastermind group called Purpose Driven Women. This was a result of me needing other like minded woman to encourage me and we could all hopefully do joint ventures with our individual business goals. Meeting after meeting I'd get some great feedback and inspiration but just couldn't see what my avenue of income would be for a business plan. I struggled with knowing that I had knowledge and services to offer but not believing that people would pay me to receive those services and knowledge. Self doubt held me back for quite some time, even when God would make it so clear what I should be doing.

In February 2012, the Pastor of my church in Maryland gave me the green light to use their facility and offered to cover travel expenses for me to start my business. I still sat on my dream and doubt ate away at me. In March, while walking to church in NJ I had an amazing talk with God about starting the youth acting workshop. Up until this point I had only thought about teaching kids how to act and had no real vision for how to develop the workshop. God dropped some nuggets into my spirit during that walk, I was blown away. I could not get to church fast enough to write down the vision and make it plain. Then God spoke further through Pastor's sermon about the Abundant Life and how to take what God gave you and use it. He confirmed the age range, the pricing (which I lowered because of doubt and later proved to still be selling myself too short), and all the youth requirements for participating. He said I needed to create an official proposal to present to locations and be decent and in order. There was so much more and I was on fire but still I sat on my dream and more doubt set in.

In May, I attended a woman's retreat and I think God just about had enough of me and my doubting Him. As soon as I sat on the bus a lady sat next to me and we quickly started our fellowship. She shared a lot with me but as I listened to her pour out her burdens I kept hearing her say that she and her boyfriend just signed their teenage daughters up for a scouting cruise with BARBIZON (this should be a curse word, a dirty little curse word!) for... hold your seats...$3500 each! I was flipping in my spirit with rage over this scandal of an offer she was locked into. (Sidenote: God's divine appointment is so awesome. He sat that sister next to an aspiring youth acting instructor so she could share that testimony and light a fire under my butt.) Moving on, all I kept thinking was this scam agency has placed their value at $3500 per youth and I have the nerve to question God's confirmation about my value and the value of the services I'm offering to folks. Yeah I got some nerve!!! I got my buns home from that retreat, dusted off my notes, updated my flyers and got to Facebooking, Tweeting, texting and emailing folks to sign up for my first youth acting workshop.

The divine silver lining in all this was that God's timing can't be matched by us moving ahead of or behind His will for our lives. When I went to update the flyer from a workshop I did 7 years ago, the date of that previous workshop was one day off from the day that God confirmed this new workshop to start. It was like a took a 7 year hiatus and God took me through all these events to be prepared for such a time as this. I successfully completed my first four week workshop last week. Bonus: I got the sister from the retreat to sign up her daughter and niece and now I'm steering them on the right track with their career and will stand in the wings to protect them from further scandals. God is so friggin awesome and while I may have doubted what He told me to do repeatedly, He came back for me repeatedly! It's hard for me to process financial challenges at times because I've always had multiple revenue streams and have never been afraid of hard work or multiple jobs. I got so complacent over the years and I'm so glad I got my mojo back. Thanks to the G-O-D!

Peace yall!

Yes I'm Perfect?

It's funny how I go back through old entries I never published and they have much more meaning to me today than when I originally wrote them. Here's another old one from last year in response to just letting people be themselves.

I'm learning the high standards I set for other people aren't always the standards that I even live up to. We can be great motivators to "do right" but fall short of taking our own "Miss Know it All" advice. For me, I'm learning that in my passion to prevent others from repeating my mistakes I can come off a bit Holier than Thou. Learning to let people be themselves and not judge or compare as we grow is the ultimate goal of God's Agape love.

It's also important to recognize when people aren't letting us be our less than perfect selves when they judge us for shortcomings they didn't think we had and not beat ourselves up about their comments. Comes with the territory though. Some say leaders are always held to a higher level of scrutiny and surely as Christians we're called to live under a higher standard. Some people label me as a Proverbs 31 woman and I humbly appreciate them and recognize that I strive to be a Proverbs 31 woman but I'm not yet. But I will continue striving for that Proverbs 31 status by allowing God to work in me and the rest will come.

Peace yall!

Friday, July 13, 2012

20 Years Ahead

This is from an entry the mentors had to write to their South African mentees about where we saw ourselves in 20 years. I wrote this last year but never published it.

In 20 years I'll be 51 years old. wow that's a lot of years. I think I'd still live in New York or at least travel to New York often for work but maybe live in a warm place near water like Barbados or even Miami permanently. I pray to still be faithful to God and wake each morning to pray to Him and read the Bible but maybe it will be different because we get wiser with time and life experiences so I hope to have a better understanding of God and His plan for me at 51. I've always been an early bird so I'll probably still wake up early with or without an alarm clock. By then I hope to have a husband and kids so they will be waking me up in the morning. I don't know much about my house but I do know it will have one empty room with mirrors and music for dancing. I love to dance and just enjoy music so I will have a dance studio for me and my kids to just dance around and be joyful in. God willing my Father will still be alive and healthy so maybe he'll live with us and I'd love to still be able to have talks with him and sit down and laugh like we always do. As for my career, I will still be an actress working on big movies and shows so I will be headed to work soon for a long day on the set of my next movie.


I'm on the mark with some of these expectations and I'm confident the rest will come. So grateful for growth and hiccups in my path. By the grace of God I will have the abundant life He promised and this peek into the future will be on the smaller end of what He will actually bless me to experience within 20 years. Peace yall!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Guilt Trip

I have been itching to write about so many things but I have to use discretion with how much of my personal life I share right now. Life has been all over the place for me to say the least and I'll try to give yall an update without spilling all my beans. Guilt Trip...I've definitely been on one. I have condemned myself into seclusion and shamed myself into a bit of depression over current circumstances. As I embark on a new journey of life I've experienced negativity and opposition from people close to me. I've definitely checked out emotionally to some folks and have been pulling back my online presence most days. I'm in a season of decision making which impacts my career, my future, my location of residence, my friends, my circle, my finances, my health, my everything. It has been amazingly discouraging to go through most of this by myself because I felt I couldn't trust people I should be able to depend on. A few outwardly spoken people have spoiled it for those who may have my best interest at heart and I decided to go inward and trust God and God alone to be my counsel. Makes for a very lonely place at times but God's companionship is amazing. I'm probably talking gibberish right now so let me be more clear. I've been on a guilt trip because I know I've been doing things or NOT doing things that haven't been too pleasing to God. But what's been eating me up inside is what others have said and might say about some of my decisions. I've allowed the opinions of others to almost dictate my life and happiness to the point of being so confused which way to go some days. I couldn't hear anything but negative voices and the doubt from the enemy nagging in my ear. I love my life, my career and the success so far, but I desire something different in life now. A family of my own and that desire has caused a roller coaster of emotions and occurrences. It's funny to me that from the outside looking in others have assumed that I'm wasting my talent and giving up on my dream by deciding to share my energy with another dream of mine. Why are people's minds so limited as to not believe that I can do both? That our God isn't big enough to give me love and career? Or even that I'm somehow not in control of my own mind and body to make my own decisions based on God's promises and counsel. It's been most discouraging to have folks treat me like I'm a child making rash, irresponsible decisions when I've lived cautious and planned out and too in control of most of my life. To treat me as if I just woke up one day and decided that I would throw my life away and just blow with the wind instead of giving me the benefit of actually having a brain and a relationship with a God that speaks to me about decisions. Let me not ramble. The point to this entry is really that God is so great that He is loving me back to a healthy state of mind and right standing with Him. Helping me to drown out the voices of others and hear His voice even louder than my own doubtful voice at times. Moving out of feeling guilty because I'm actually living my life for me for once and not going according to everyone else's small thinking and plans for MY life. I've had to meditate on Romans 8:1 even before I knew what that scripture was. The words popped into my head whispering "There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus..." and I kept repeating that over and over again and eventually I turned to it in my Bible and it was confirmed during devotions and prayer calls. I'm not perfect but I serve a perfect God and He doesn't judge me and condemn me like myself or others do. He is the God of turnaround so even if I'm making unwise decisions I trust that He will guide me back. He doesn't let His children fall too far. Hallelujah! My life is changing daily and some days I pause and reflect on what I may be giving up but then I look forward to what I'm gaining and I press on. It hurts like hell to break relationships with folks over decisions that are mine to make and not theirs but time will reveal truths and heal wounds. Hopefully I can reveal more to yall and speak more specifically to my circumstances but for now be encouraged. Don't let anyone dictate your life and what you should do. Consult your God and keep your trustworthy circle small and close. Don't be afraid to go against the grain and follow your heart, dreams, and passions. Peace yall!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Dead Man Walking

It's been years since I watched the movie "Dead Man Walking" with Susan Sarandon. It was about the Christian woman assigned to oversee the execution of a murder/rapist in prison. I caught the last 20 minutes of the movie and it just ministered to me. I know its just a movie but the truth about our Lord Jesus is real.

The love that filled her heart to stay alongside him until the very end was a love that only comes from taking on God's heart. The forgiveness, repentance, confession and transformation that he experienced is evidence of the healing power of Christ and His gift of salvation on the Cross. Even the softening of the father of one of the murder victims' heart was evidence of the true forgiveness God calls us all too just as He forgave us. To see the movie close with the father kneeling for prayer in the church alongside the sister who shared a Godly love with the murderer of his child was so powerful.

But let me back up and say the most powerful message to me was that the Lord our God in real life is capable of and will save a sinner like this character. He was a murderer and a rapist among other things. So if the Lord can save him, forgive him, love him and offer him a seat in Heaven, how much more does He love me, forgive me, has given me salvation and is holding my seat and yours? And that's not to say that any one sin is greater than the other. But sometimes its hard for us to accept God's love when we hold ourselves guilty (condemnation) for what we've done. We don't feel deserving of a love as powerful and unconditional as the love of Christ. But I'm telling you its true and its for you and me and anyone who accepts the Lord Jesus Christ as their Savior.

I love the Lord with all my heart and at 4am in the morning I'm so grateful to have this reminder in the midst of my insomnia. Hope it'll remind you too.

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni
www.youtube.com/bjgianni
http://crazybayooteefull.blogspot.com
@bjgianni

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Everywhere!

I'm laying in bed smiling and so tickled at how God pops up in the most unexpected places. Last week I drove my sister to her doctors appointment and waited in the lobby for her. I'm reading about the womanly services they provide and ask if I qualify to be seen. [Sidenote: I'm a full time actress with no health insurance so I pay cash for all appointments.]

I'll make this next part short to get to the good stuff. They agree to make me a new patient, squeeze me in that day for a check-up and schedule a follow-up for the following week. I thought it was great and I was moved by the fact that its a ministry clinic that groups medical care with spiritual encouragement. They have mini bibles and books about purity, God, Sex, love and relationships that they hand out. They even have checklist questions about your salvation as part of procedure. Hallelujah God, people getting saved at the doctors office.

My icing on this cake was at my follow-up yesterday when I reached in to hug my nurse. Although this was my second time in her presence, I felt so much in the presence of family and couldn't wait to hug her before leaving the office. When I did, she squeezed me tighter and began to pray over me. I fell in line instantly and begin praising God in agreement with her prayer. I am so tickled and in awe at the boldness God places in a complete stranger to speak His words over me just by going in for a hug. It was like God appointed her to be there at that moment and pour into me. Did I mention we were still in the doctors office...like the patient room... Hallelujah! That man is everywhere! He reveals Himself more clearly to me at times and I'm so thrilled that I had to share. God Is Everywhere for all of us at all times. May your eyes be opened today to see Him!

Peace yall!

- BJ Gianni
www.youtube.com/bjgianni
http://crazybayooteefull.blogspot.com
@bjgianni

Saturday, May 12, 2012

I need you here

Its 6am and the truth just settled in. Something has been stirring up inside of me since I arrived to Dover on the bus. The drop off point was within a few steps of the house my mother lived in for years. Its crazy because I knew that the bus stop was next door but I've been so busy I guess it didn't register. Even as I got off the bus and waited for my ride I thought briefly how nice it would be to just walk home. Walk those few steps to her house and climb into her bed like I used to do so many nights when she was here. I didn't linger in sadness too long as its become a normal thing to try and do life without her here. I still felt a bit cranky and couldn't put my finger on it. As I lay here playing Gospel tunes in the bed it hit me. I was within steps of her house yes but it was also the place where she took her final breaths of air, where she made her transition, where I laid by her side and looked into her eyes for the last time. Although I've drove past her house a few times over the years it hit me so hard this time and I don't know why. I've survived so many Mothers Day, could it simply be the holiday combined with being here? Maybe its the fact that I really feel I need her in my life to do those things only a mommy can do. Man I thought I'd gotten through the roughest patches of losing her. God has helped me rest in a peace knowing that she's with Him. But still at this moment none of that's matter, I just wish she was here. As my life transitions into bigger and greater accomplishments. As I process past hurts and receive healing, I need her here. As I see my family reuniting and growing along side me, we need her here. God where did my peace go and why did it have to leave this weekend of all times? Why do I have to relive that moment when everyone is asking "What are you doing for Mothers Day?". When everywhere I turn there a sign or a commercial about showing your mother how much you love her? Why????


- BJ Gianni
www.youtube.com/bjgianni
http://crazybayooteefull.blogspot.com
@bjgianni

Friday, April 6, 2012

Accusations

I was just thinking how discouraging it can be to have someone challenge your growth with accusations. Accusing you of the very things you're in prayer about and sincerely trying to get better at handling. It puts you in defense mode and has a reversing effect, at times, taking you back to that place you worked so hard to be delivered from. The strength and growth will become evident in how you conduct yourself moving forward with this awareness. Sometimes we don't know how strong or weak we are until tested. So we need collect our emotions, check our pride, and proceed with the good work that the Lord has started in us. We shall Praise God for the lessons that came out of the test and certainly don't hold any ill feelings towards the object or vessel used in that challenge. There will always be a "Blessin in the Lesson". Amen!

"Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." Philippians 1:6 (King James Version)

Peace yall!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Spring Forward

I recall a conversation with my youth about what season best represents my life. A few months ago I said to them I was in a Fall season. "Leaves changing colors, dying and falling to the ground so new ones can bloom in the season ahead", this was exactly my life. Here's some of the new leaves sprouting on my tree:

- I'm so excited about the roots being planted in my new church home and I get more confirmation each week that Community Baptist is home. Yet I still feel at home when I'm in DC too, so I'm settling into having a home at each location and growing stronger with the church communities.

- I'm still exhausted with relational challenges in the ministries I serve on and with friendships. But really learning to accept people as they are and just be myself as well is all I can do, God has to do the correcting in me and them. I leave for Atlanta tomorrow and I trust that I wont return the same after this leadership conference. Going to let those folks pour knowledge and encouragement into me to strengthen me for my new season.

- Financially, I've been very conservative, pinching pennies more than usual since paid work is slow. Got some new business plans on the horizon and even today I received encouragement to pray, with expectation, bigger to God that He use the talents within me to generate revenue. I've been sharing my talents for free forever and understanding that I'm valuable and my time is deserving of a price tag feels great. Talking out my business plan with the Head Man in Charge and letting Him be my advisor, my board, my trustee, my shareholder and partner is so fulfilling.

- This little heart of mine is still mending yet still hopeful for new love to sprout in the seasons to come. I want total healing so I don't go into a relationship with baggage, brokenness or fear. I'm learning to trust more, be encouraged by my Brothers in Christ and take mental notes of the desirable characteristics. Im in admiration of some of the marriages God has placed in my presence but in a healthy way. They give me hope and joy for that kind of Godly relationship and love to be mine one day too.

- Family Life is holding steady. My baby sis got her own spot so I got my apartment all to me lonesome again. My other sis is ready to pop out that baby any second. Still cant believe my nephew will be 21 in a few months, Granny Pants feels a bit old LOL. I place the rest in God's hands to work His way through my family and have His will be done. I'm just gonna keep on praying.

- One of the biggest challenges has been my health and my body. I started to exercise this week for the first time in a while due to injuries. God is a healer so I trust that I'm on a road to recovery and will be back in shape sooner than later. I'm on my second spiritual fast of the year and its been a great cleanser for my body (TMI, I know) and bringing awareness to the crap I eat.

If the young folks were to ask me now, I'd say I'm definitely springing forward into my next journey. I think I'm in limbo somewhere between Fall and Spring. Ironically, my life has been somewhat consistent with the Winter/Spring/Confusion this season of nature has been. I've had the snow days (cold numb moments), rain showers (more crying than I've done in my lifetime), sun beaming days (full of pure joy and inner light shining), windy days (if you didn't hold on I just might have knocked you down on my warpath), and some crisp, clear skies with reasonable climate (just kicking back and going with the flow). I'm truly ready for Spring though, may the new leaves grow and I be planted by the rivers of water to bear much great fruit.

"And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper." Psalm 1:3 (King James Version)

Peace yall!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Pay Back

Three times this morning I received prayers from friends that God's favor be with me today. That got my morning going because I was ready to start my day and prepare for His favor coming. I'm doing my morning routine and catching up on monies due to me from agencies and Uh OH...Nothing! Not one red penny is due or will be due. At the moment I have no bookings in the works and no funds coming in...FAVOR???

As I write in my morning pages and begin to let the sorrow come over me I recall Daddy's conversation yesterday with me. He said that all too often we do things and sit with our hand out waiting for our reward. But we don't really know if the service we're doing at that moment will be rewarded with a blessing to come or if we're paying back for a previous blessing received. I heard that deep in my spirit. As I write further, I begin to praise God because I know His favor has been over me for quite some time so let me not go looking for something that's already here and take for granted what I got.

I'm walking in a dream that so many others desire and God has allowed me to be very successful, compensated with money and exposure. Of course, I desire increase in wealth but when I think of what He has given me that could've went to someone else I better just stop right there with the self pity. For every moment of financial stress I entertain, someone is getting evicted, forced to do things against their beliefs to make a buck, bouncing from place to place with no home to call their own, selling themselves short to make a living by any means necessary. All the while, my bills may be late and not paid yet but they will be and the list can go on of what I can potentially take for granted as someone else goes without. So if I never receive another blessing from this day forward, I will praise and serve God to pay back what I've been blessed to receive thus far. Thinking on my Daddy's words I know I'm paying back blessings of previous days when I certainly didn't deserve any of this but He saw fit to bless me anyway.

What have you been blessed with in this life and How can you serve God to pay it back or FORWARD actually?

Peace yall!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Relationship Truths

I know I have a strong light that shines. But sometimes I let the darkness around me impact my shine and it seems dim. Other times I allow the darkness of my past to impact my shine causing it to seem dim.

This past week or two have been a bundle of occurrences that I've allowed to make me feel my light was dim. [Sidenote: I choose my words carefully because a pure light can't be dimmed by insignificant occurrences but our minds can trick us into believing so.] My patience for others was at an all time low mostly due to physical exhaustion with such a busy schedule. But I began to realize some of my impatience and lack of loving words and actions towards others is more deeply rooted. My previous 40-day fast revealed a lot to me about relationships and I recognized that God is taking me through a season of restoration, transformation, and removal with several relationships in my life. I've had intense conversations to very calm disagreements with folks in this new year and it's all part of this process. Learning to see some of these "attacks" as the tests from God that they truly are is helping me to shake off the frustration and impatience, allowing Him to work through the situation. What I mean is that at first glance it's so easy to look at a relationship challenge and think, "What the heck is wrong that person? I cant believe they did this or said that! Why Me?". And for us Christian folks, we can get all huffed up thinking the enemy is on the move and get so wound up in fighting his attempts that we forget to simply look to God and seek wisdom. I've been grabbing scripture for the circumstances and praying day and night over stuff, thinking "Devil you wont get me this time". What's funny is that now I'm a bit more calm about situations and by allowing God to work it out I see that all He really needed me to do was sit back, shut up and just let my light shine. Even with the relationship challenges I haven't spoken verbally to people, all I have to do is relax and let my light shine. My light being the joy in my heart no matter what the circumstance. My understanding that I'm not fighting these people or what they did but God and I together are fighting the spiritual war going on in these circumstances. My light is a boldness that I walk in confidently speaking what I've been taught and believing its truth. Sometimes I get so worked up in my thinking and praying about trying to put a fire out or stop the enemy from having any power over me that I forget about God...and that aint what I was taught.

I'm learning first and most importantly to just be quiet until He says to speak. In relational matters, the enemy would prefer we respond instantly on our emotions, making a fool of ourselves and of the teachings of God. But we know better. Most times my emotions or need to "fight this battle" disappears by waiting on that wisdom to come before speaking. I see more clearly that it's not a priority and/or worth my energy at all. When He does convict me to move on circumstances, I find myself speaking without angry hurtful words and finding a peace to move on from that challenge whether we agree or agree to disagree.

Relationships have been the theme of my life in this new year and it is exhausting. I mean does anyone really love to debate, argue, talk it out or anything of the sort with a whole bunch of people at once??? I sure don't, but obviously my relationships on every level need some cleansing so God has strapped on His rubber gloves and is getting busy. I welcome this season though because I know ultimately it will serve me in healing from old hurts, hopefully heal someone I may have hurt from past hurts, and release any strongholds on my life with these relationships. I just gotta stay true to what I'm learning and believe what God says about me is true and hear it louder than anyone's voice. My acting coach said "What is there to defend if you're walking in your truth?" and that sums it up. I don't need to be defensive and fight all these battles, my truth will speak for itself and my truth is God and the healing power of His love.

Peace yall!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Pretty Girl Confessions - Temple Body

I successfully, yet nervously, delivered a message to my young ladies about our Temple Bodies and how we should treat them. It was emotional for me because of my testimony and also empowering because of my testimony. The lessons and healing of damages from my past give me boldness to encourage others not to walk down the same path. I shared with the girls about feeling like I've given a piece of my soul to each person I've been intimate with and I got a little choked up. But I'm grateful I was able to share that I've been redeemed and feel like a born again virgin. God has made me whole and given me a clean slate to treasure my Temple Body. I found myself speaking boldly at times with the ladies about the smallest acts that can lead us to defiling our bodies. I recalled my adolescent years when I was pretty much exposed every bit of skin I could in the warm seasons. I don't have a voluptuous body so I didn't have boobies and booty hanging out but I was definitely revealing all the skin I could, short of "my goods". I touched briefly on foul language, healthy eating and exercise as forms of maintaining your Temple Body but I really went in on the topic of sex and those things leading up to sex.

Where I'm at in life right now, actions like kissing, intimate dates, late night phone calls, sharing of intimate life details and others are caution areas. I say this because they lead up to the lust we can gain for that person on the receiving end and I have no intention of proceeding romantically with them, so why entertain or display this behavior. God is making me very aware of my flirty behavior and the mixed messages it can send and even the temptations I can unknowingly be stepping into. Now I'm not saying you cant have heart to hearts and hang out with the opposite sex. I'm stating that I'm evaluating MY strengths and weaknesses as I strive to gain my purity back and making wise decisions around that knowledge. For me, a date can lead to another date which leads to romantic emotions leading to a kiss which leads to more passionate kisses then on to spooning and groping and touching which will lead to sex if I'm not so careful. None of these things were off limits for me in the past and I didn't possess the strength to have a reasonable cut off point that didn't lead to sex. And honestly, what is a reasonable cut off point??? Shall I say to God "I'm just gonna kiss him, let him touch my booty, maybe even go a bit further, but we not gonna have sex so you cant say I sinned!"...Really?! So for me, God is expanding my understanding on this definition of purity and how I treat my body and mandate that others treat it. I'm certainly not passing judgement on anyone who thinks otherwise, just trying to encourage you to give it some thought and evaluate your own situations.

Peace yall!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Parx Casino commercial

Here's the commercial spot for the Parx Casino out of Pennsylvania. Had a blast working with these ladies. You can also find us on billboards on the East Coast.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZJhMlTftZw



video

Peace yall!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

I Think I'm In Love

I haven't talked about my relationships in a while and won't spend too much time in the details, you can recap my blog for past challenges. I've been preparing a message to speak to the teen ladies this week and God spoke this morning to me about what I've known all along. I share often that I had a promiscuous adolescent and adult life which is rooted in a void that I tried to fill with sex, boyfriends, alcohol and such. Being delivered yet still healing from that past I've really been focusing on my relationship with God. Allowing Him to fill that empty space with His love and He has done just that. Some days I get lonely and tell God that I love Him but it would be nice to have an Earthly man too. But He speaks to me clearly and reminds me "It isn't time for that yet", so I obey. Some of the guys who try to hit on me have made jokes that I'm married to God and one even went as far to say or imply that God can't fulfill me sexually, but I'm not even entertaining that. God is very intimate with me and it ain't got nothing to do with sex. (Sidenote: In-ti-ma-cy is "In to me see", If the person you laying down with can't see into your soul or you don't love yourself enough to show your innermost parts to someone than that's not intimacy, that's just sex... I'm Just Sayin) Getting back on track, some of those folks were joking but they're actually speaking the truth. I am married to God and He is a better husband than I could've dreamed up.

He is my provider so I don't worry about my needs because my hubby has it under control. He pays my bill, allows me to pamper myself, put this awesome roof over my head, the truck I drive and so much more than just the material things. He is my comforter and confidant so I can go to Him with every intimate detail and cry on His shoulder. He listens and gives great advice, even when I don't want to hear it, so I say He's my best friend. He wrote me a whole book of love letters to remind me of just how much He loves me, I read it each day in this fancy Black leather book. He wraps His loving arms around me at night as we lay together and dream, plus He's right there when I wake up each morning staring in my face saying "Good Morning Beautiful". He pours into me, strengthens and increases me, He wants the best for me and would never attempt to diminish my value and hold me back from greatness. He is my soul mate and I love Him so much.

I realize this may be difficult for some to process but when you truly build a relationship with God and allow Him to do His work in you, you will absolutely fall in love with God. He will treat you better than anyone else can and once you allow Him to complete you, He will give you the desires of your heart. No more broken relationships for me, no thanks. Of course, I desire one day to have an Earthly husband but if he can't bring it like God can than I think I'll pass. Can't nobody give it to me like God can.

Peace yall!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Cat

My acting exercise last night was so powerful to me and I wanted to share. Hope you enjoy.

I step into the center and embrace my inner 5-year old by playing double dutch, dancing, primping, and giggling. I shift into my Actors Fear, slow at first, but found my truth quickly and through tears released "I don't know how to do it!" "I'm not worthy!" "Are you sure it's me?". I was crying so hard and real that all I could do was recall the action of a cat cleaning themselves as I fell to my knees. So I move into my Animal, still crying and displaying cat like actions. As I come out to Conquer my fear I begin licking my wounds and stroking my face with my paws. Trying to comfort myself, rubbing my head against my shoulders, still clearing my tears with my paws. I'm growing stronger and I begin to fight and swat my claws at the cats circling me and meowing with a loud streak-like sound. Similar to a mate call when in heat and ready to birth something inside of me. As I move into my Triumph I begin to swat less and I want to share my triumph with the other cats. I approach them cautiously, inquisitively, scared to make eye contact, then move in to rub my head against theirs and meow my love to them. I pass by several cats and share more meows with the ones my heart is purring towards. They rub heads back and I notice other cats wanting, waiting to rub heads but I pass by...its not time for that yet. I begin to WIN as I stand to my feet and twirl, crying continually with my hands raised to the sky. I see through the ceiling of the building confining me and raise my hands to the sky, twirling and crying and smiling saying "Thank You, Thank You!". One hand raised after the other, twirling, "Thank You!" twirling, crying, "Thank You!" smiling, embracing this moment. "Thank You, I know I can do it with you!"

It felt so great and free to love and live in that moment. I thought I was coming to portray a Lion which represents a mature, strong, bold, conquering, powerful feline. But what I realized is I'm a cub and yet I still displayed strength, power, boldness, and I conquered. Praise God for this epiphany and the direct relation to my spiritual life not just my artistic life. I can embrace my cub and be bold as I grow into the Lioness He created me to be. Thank you for the freedom to release in a public forum.

Peace yall!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Script of My Life

The more I allow myself to dream and see where my career as an actress can go, the more I have to be realistic about the industry I work in. My transition into Film and TV has had one major roadblock besides the slothfulness previous mentioned... and its NUDITY!!! Now I'm not saying everything on the screen has to have sex and nudity but why does everything have to have sex and nudity LOL!?!? I've submitted myself for short films, student films, and such with slim pickings for roles that don't contain nudity, implied nudity or some dark demonic character (which is what every other project is about...vampires and demons). Profanity even challenges me from time to time but my acting coach helped me to understand it a bit. Even more so, after a heated discussion with other Christian actors I've come to more revelation.

It's no secret that I'm a Christian and to most who knew me before I was saved it's also no secret that I had a lot of challenges and still do. Most of us born-again Christians have come from some darkness or else we wouldn't be "born again". Keeping in mind what I've been delivered from I see portraying my old character in a project as an opportunity to shine light. The roles of a promiscuous, naive, insecure, untrusting, defensive, lust-filled, potty mouth, scantily clad dressed, abandoned and unloved young woman are in the majority of the projects out there. The dark behavior of these characters depict me at various points in my life. To get it in my head that I'm saved, I can't do this because I'm saved and God won't approve is very limited thinking. The idea that "I could bring realness to a character and tell not just my story but the story of pretty much every young girl out there who isn't saving herself for purity or battling some other evil" is the bigger picture. Don't misunderstand, I'm not about to jump out the box butt naked and just getting it in on camera, but this does open me up a bit more to consider roles. I have to pray over every opportunity and be sure it is of God's purpose before moving forward.

I work with young woman three days a week here in NYC and see them on the streets everyday, even observe the young woman in my family. These roles of nudity, sex, drugs, abusive/unhealthy relationships and so on are in most projects because it's the reality they walk in everyday. Society is drawn to these projects because they can relate unfortunately. I would love to bring light to their darkness and have a character find God at the end of her troubles. Even if the script isn't written that way, I have a platform to talk about a character I might play and how that translates to real life and still get God's light in there. Interviews, blogs, tweets, however... I'm gonna get some light up in this industry. This is a vision I have and God willing it'll happen. The script of my life is all up in some of these projects and I want a piece of it to have my story told the right way...Your story too!

Peace yall!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Actor's Favor

I've been calling for increase in my life, mostly in my career during this new season I'm in. First I had to give myself permission to dream and expect more because I've had the mindset that I should be humble and content and stay here where God has me. Once I got over that hurdle I begin to believe that I deserved more and begin asking for it. I prayed for two specific auditions I attended. I went all the way through to being put on hold for the biggest one I wanted and got released in the final hours. I went back and forth like a mad woman in my head. "BJ don't be disappointed if you don't get it, God will set up something bigger." " No wait, BJ you deserve this, you've been obedient God has this for you, its yours, so walk in it now." Just craziness back and forth with doubting that I could get it and telling myself I deserve it. I didn't allow myself to sit in pity when I didn't book it and held on to the teachings that God has 3 answers when we request something; "Yes" "Not Yet" and "I have better in store for you". So I let it go and moved on with life, still requesting increase in my career and what did I need to do to get it. I was softly telling myself that I must not have booked the audition because God still wants to teach me something or there's something I'm doing wrong. And I know better than that because God doesn't work that way, He will bless you in the midst of teaching you a lesson because He loves you that much. Moving on to the point of this entry called The Actor's Favor.

I'm writing in my morning pages and realize that I've already received the increase that I've been praying about. I've been nervously entertaining the idea of joining the union to get more bucks for my bang in the commercial world. Telling myself that I won't get the Film/TV opportunities unless I shift my focus off of the hustle and bustle of commercial auditions and put the energy elsewhere. But in my writing I remembered I have 3 film opportunities on the table and I didn't have to shift my focus completely off commercials, which is my bread and butter. His Favor! More than that, I had to check myself because I've been getting antsy about increase thinking my career has been "slow". True I may not be shooting 2-3 times a week like I used to but I'm still working and if that's not increase, than BJ what the heck is your definition??? His Favor! For as much as I've been praying and desiring to "transition into the Film/TV world", and sometimes getting impatient with God, I have barely lifted a finger to be prepared for that increase, but yet I've still received His Favor. I don't say this to brag, I say this because here I sit getting impatient and losing hope when I haven't recited my monologues since the summer, still ain't printed a professional headshot, barely taking classes to sharpen my instrument but yet I'm calling for increase. I take that chin check all the way cuz I've got some nerve.

I consider it nothing but His Favor over me that my career is moving forward in spite of my slothfulness in business (Romans 12:11 KJV). Let me take it a step further since I'm talking about the increase I've been asking for. I prayed after writing my morning pages and God checked me some more. He's been increasing me in every area of my life and I've had the small mind to only focus on the increase I've wanted in my career. How about the increase in knowledge, health, family relationships, friends, and so on. The last two weeks have been a roller coaster of emotions and thoughts, I'm grateful to settle HERE with my eyes open to see where I'm standing right now and recognize what the Lord has done for me.

To all you creatives: I'm sure if you look at your life you will see The Actor's Favor on you too. I hope you do, if not, get ready for a chin check from God cuz it's coming. I humbly accept my correction and say Thank you for Favor!

Peace yall!