SERMON: Thirst Trap: Searching for a Feeling

Many of us are searching for something, but we keep coming up empty. We may be searching for validation but yet we remain unvalidated. We may be searching for someone to love us, but yet we keep ending up unloved. Pastor Michael Todd preached a sermon called “Thirst Trap: Searching for a Feeling” that addresses how to receive the things that we’ve been searching for and asks you to dig deep to answer the two questions 1) What are you searching for? and 2) Where do you go to find fulfillment?

J. Lo No Sugar, No Carb Challenge: Lose Weight in 10 Days

Jennifer Lopez is known for having an amazing body and living a healthy lifestyle to maintain it. In January of 2019, she posted on Instagram that she was giving up carbs and sugar for 10 days. Reportedly, she also gave up dairy and alcohol. The challenge gain popularity as Today Show host, Hoda Kotb, joined on the bandwagon after seeing a picture of J. Lo on Day 9 of the diet.

Join the #NoCarbNoSugar Challenge with Jennifer Lopez by adhering to the guidelines below for 10 days! If you can’t do this for 10 days, feel free to do it for whatever amount of time you see fit!

No Carbs, No Sugar Challenge

Although you will notice that the diet is not completely free of sugar or carbs, it only contains healthy carbs and foods with no added sugar.

What You CAN Eat

  • Non-starchy vegetables (including kale, spinach, celery, broccoli, lettuce, cucumbers, cauliflower, bell peppers, and zucchini)
  • Unsweetened teas and seltzers
  • Spices and seasonings
  • Nuts and sugar-free nut butter (peanut butter, almond butter, and soy butter) and seeds
  • Meat and poultry (beef, pork, chicken, and turkey)
  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Avocado
  • Healthy Oils: Olive oil
  • Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries (limit these foods)

What You CANNOT Eat

  • Starchy vegetables—this includes potatoes, beets, sweet potatoes, parsnips, and winter squash
  • Candy
  • Bread, cakes, cookies, crackers, etc.
  • High-Sugar Fruits
  • Grains (such as wheat, corn, and rice), beans (such as black, kidney, and pinto), and legumes (such as chickpeas and lentils)
  • Condiments with sugar (ketchup, bbq sauce, etc.)
  • Sweeteners (even artificial sweeteners)
  • Dairy
  • Soda
  • Alcohol

 

Peace vs. Piece of Mind

We will never experience peace of mind until we take back every piece of our mind.” – Bianca Baymon, Founder/Senior Editor of Silhöuette Magazine

What if I told you that your thoughts were not your thoughts? What if I told you that everything that you think about yourself and about the world was once an external idea that entered into your mind and became an internal thought?

The biological structure of every human being is composed of entrance-only or exit-only gates. Your eyes and ears are gates that only allow ideas and beliefs to enter, which is why you have to be careful what you see and hear. Your mouth is a gate that only allows ideas and beliefs to exit, which is why you have to be careful what you say. Every single thing that you see and hear becomes what you think and eventually what you speak…unless you have a filtering system on the powerhouse we call “the mind.”

There are two minds. One is the subconscious mind and the other is the conscious mind. The subconscious mind is more powerful than the conscious mind because ideas and beliefs can enter without your active consent. When listening to a song, scrolling on social media, and watching a television show, most people are operating in their subconscious mind. Rarely does someone take the time to realize that every scene in the television show, every post they scroll past, and every line in that song is downloading itself into the mind. The biggest winner of that scenario is the marketing industry.

Marketers utilize tactics that take advantage of the natural vulnerability of the subconscious mind. The most successful companies are not the ones that have the best business plan or even the companies that have the best products. The most successful companies are the ones that are highly effective at creating a desire for a product or service in the subconscious mind of as many consumers as possible.

Take a moment and reflect. How many things do you need that were not always needs? Nobody knew they needed an iPhone until Apple’s marketing department convinced the majority of the world that they did. They were effective at creating a desire in the mind of many consumers and now they are one of the world’s most successful companies. They mastered the art of influencing the subconscious mind like many other companies, which is proof that the many forces we encounter every day are battling to enter our minds when our guards are down and our conscious minds have taken a backseat.

We can no longer allow external forces to affect our internal thoughts, beliefs, and desires. It is our turn to become masters of our own mind if we want peace of mind.

We will never experience peace of mind until we take back every piece of our mind that we’ve allowed social media, television shows, music, conversations, and societal structures to steal. We have to become more aware of the things, words, and people that we expose our minds to.

Don’t allow the subconscious mind to drive the direction of your thoughts and beliefs. Get in the driver’s seat and direct your thoughts. Direct your desires. Direct your beliefs. Direct your life! The moment you get out of bed every morning, you step into a mental battle. Are you prepared to fight?

7-DAY MENTAL AWARENESS CHALLENGE: Before you open your social media apps, play your favorite album, or watch your weekly television shows, I challenge you to check with your mind and your heart. Ask your mind and heart what condition it is in. If it isn’t at its optimal level of strength, then I challenge you to find something positive to expose your mind to. Protect your mind like your life depends on it…because it does.

Top 3 Fat Burning & Weight Loss Pre-Workouts

Looking for a new pre-workout? Check out these top 3 fat burning and weight loss pre-workouts to maximize your fitness regime!

1: SKALD Powder Pre Workout Thermogenic Fat Burner

Key Benefits: Metabolism Booster, Appetite Suppressant, Respiratory Support, Hydration Blend

2: MuscleTech VaporX5 Next Gen, Advanced Weight Loss Preworkout Powder

Key Benefits: Advanced Neurosensory Blend, Advanced Weight Loss, Explosive Energy and Focus

3: Cellucor C4 Ripped Pre Workout Powder, Thermogenic Metabolism Booster

Key Benefits: Fat Loss, Enhanced Training, Thermogenic

LISTEN: Kehlani’s New Mixtape “While We Wait”

A few days ago, Kehlani released her new mixtape While We Wait, and I’ve had it on replay ever since. Her mixtape features 9 soulful songs with special appearances from Musiq Soulchild, Dom Kennedy, Ty Dolla $ign and 6lack. Listen to While We Wait on Spotify below!

5 Black-Owned Body & Skincare Brands

In honor of Black History Month, check out these body and skincare brands that were created by black people for black people!

In honor of Black History Month, check out these body and skincare brands that were created by black people for black people!

1: Nyakio (Neh-kay-oh)

Nyakio Kamoche Grieco founded Nyakio, which is a skin and bodycare line she created by using her Kenyan family heritage’s beauty secrets and travel experiences. Her products are made by hand with “cold-pressed oils in small batches,” and include everything from a Kenyan Coffee Body Scrub, Marula & Neroli Brightening Oil, and an African Black Soap Purifying Mud Mask. Click here to check out her products exclusively available at Ulta!

nyakio


2: skinBUTTR

America’s Next Top Model first runner-up, Tatiana Price, was inspired to create skinBUTTR after developing products to treat her skin problems. The mission of skinBUTTR is to “simplify, educate, build confidence, and promote healthy skin.” Price’s products include body butters, moisturizers, cleansers, exfoliators, masks, and toners. Click here to shop skinBUTTR!


3: The Honey Pot Company

The Honey Pot is “the first complete feminine care system that cleanses, protects, and balances your vagina.” The company was founded by Bea Feliu-Espada after a dream she had where an ancestor gave her a vision of how to heal herself from vaginal issues she was experiencing. The Honey Pot’s products are 100% natural and include everything from cleanses, menstrual care, refreshing spray, and lubricants. Click here to check out her products!


4: Unsun 

Unsun is an all-natural skin protectant line specifically formulated for people of “beige to dark chocolate tones.” Katonya Breaux was inspired to create Unsun after growing tired of “white film” that sunscreen left on her face. Her products include Tinted Mineral Sunscreen, hand cream with SPF 15, lip tint with SPF 18, and so much more. Click here to check out Unsun Cosmetics!


5: Limegreen

Talima Davis and Allison created the personal care brand, Limegreen, after Talima’s best friend was diagnosed with cancer. Limegreen aims to “provide a safe and nontoxic alternative in a personal care industry littered with unsafe chemicals.” Their products include multi-oils, multi-washes, multi-sprays, and multi-candles. Click here to shop Limegreen!


 

The Inflation Rate of Silence

The longer you are silent about your experiences, the more you are costing your future. Give your experiences a voice and forfeit the cost of your silence.

“What happens in the house, stays in the house.” We may have moved out of our parents’ house, but many of us have subconsciously U-Hauled those same words we were told during our childhood throughout the rest of our lives. A lot of us have been carrying those words so long that we don’t even notice how it has infiltrated every area in our lives. “What happens in my heart, stays in my heart. What happened in my finances, stays in my finances. What happened to me as a child, stays in my childhood home”.

We’ve been raised to believe that we should only speak on thoughts and experiences that paint the façade of us having it all together and a picture-perfect life. I noticed at the age of 13, shortly after my parent’s divorce, that I had been using the same paintbrush to paint my picture. It wasn’t until almost 10 years later, that I chose to put my paintbrush down and pick up the voice that I lost along the way.

When I say ‘voice’, I’m not only talking about refusing to be silent about the circumstances of your life. I’m also talking about refusing to deny your feelings a voice and to tear down the perfect picture that you thought you had to maintain.

Some of us have even been guilty of attempting to turn the volume high enough on our accomplishments and social media pages in hopes that nobody notices the pain behind our pictures. What many people have failed to notice is that silence has a sound that is louder than anything you may attempt to overpower it with.

When you choose to give your life a voice, you choose freedom. The very thing that you are hiding in your silence could be the avenue to your breakthrough. God isn’t going to allow you to continue into your destiny with a muted view of life, so he needs you to find the strength to find your voice in the midst of the silence you’ve been so accustomed to.

The longer you are silent about your experiences, the more you are costing your future. In economics, inflation is defined as the rate at which the price level is rising. That means that as the inflation rate increases, the purchasing power of your currency is falling. The same dollar that bought you a gallon of milk last year, may only be able to buy you a pint next year. As the price level of something increases, it costs you more for the same amount of money and you’ll receive less in return the longer you hold off.

That is what your silence is doing to your destiny. It is costing you more and more each day. The longer you remain silent, the less valuable your voice will be when you find the courage to speak.

Your silence is an expensive price to pay. What is the price of your silence? Have you lost the ability to communicate in your relationships because you’ve held on to your silence for so long? Have you missed out on opportunities because you were scared to voice your desires? What is it costing you? How much are you willing to pay?