Goodreads Book Giveaway – “The Enchanting Legends of Shiloh Mansion”

September 19, 2015 by  
Filed under Family, For The Youth

Are you looking for a good Christian YA Fiction book – one that has supernatural and high tech themes but not filled with vampires, witches and similar themes that are so prevalent in a lot of teen novels these days? This may be just the book you’re looking for. Enter for a chance to win 1 of 5 author signed copies

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Enchanting Legends Of Shiloh Mansion by DeBorrah K. Ogans

The Enchanting Legends Of Shiloh Mansion

by DeBorrah K. Ogans

Giveaway ends September 30, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

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Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship Part 2

Success 4

Dressing Up for Prom and dressing down for worship!

 

Part 2

 

 

Today many feel it is better to dress down for worship so everyone will be comfortable. They think that this will put everyone at ease? But if you are attending a Sweetheart Dance, Prom or Fashion Show or celebrating Valentine’s Day it’s proper etiquette to dress up. When Christmas or Easter rolls around you can dress up if you like as well.  You want to look nice for those pictures with Santa or the Easter Bunny. However you still might get a few stares if you come to worship looking like you are wearing your tithes and offerings!

 

A little humor is always good!

 

Worship adoration, devotion and praise are important. We ought to worship and praise our Lord daily. Imagine if every believer really did. What a grand marvelous time we would have whenever we all got together! Sunday is important! CHRISTmas is important! Resurrection Day is important! Honoring God is important. It is a time for reflecting upon all that the Lord has done for us. Jesus Christ’s sinless life, crucifixion, death & resurrection are all very important.  Every time we come to together it is important to worship the Lord! Sunday Worship really is the ultimate Red Carpet Affair! Jesus Christ shed His precious blood for the sins of the world! What is more important than that?

 

How important is it to dress for worship?

 

Whatever happened to proper etiquette or being well groomed? Just because? We have thrown it out the window and replaced it with “dress down.” It is the new way to express you. To show that you are humble? Or is it just plain laziness? Or is it conforming to the world’s standards? Here is the dilemma it is hard to tell sometimes where am I.  Am I in worship or am I on a cruise?    No I do not have Alzheimer’s; if I did it wouldn’t matter!

 

God is The Most High God above Him is no other. Worship is about us recognizing Him as the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords!   The Word teaches us; “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what GOD’S WILL IS – HIS GOOD, pleasing and PERFECT WILL.” Romans 12. So why have we; God’s Church begun to conform to the dress standards of the world?

 

When we dress up we look like we are material right? Well clothes are made out of material. Just because you have on a pair of jeans and a tee shirt does not mean that you are any less material!  Have you seen the price of some of these jeans & T shirts? You can be material and have nothing…

 

Did you know that children behave better when they are dressed? Taking the time to dress them tells them you care. If it is just in a T shirt let it be neat and tidy.  At the park let them at least go in clean if they come out dirty fine… They feel better about themselves when they know you give them TLC as well!  Even they know innately that when you are in certain attire you need to stop fooling around and pay more attention.

 

I know when you are dressed up it means that you are too cute to worship? Lord Help us!

 

Notice how the Royal family in England is always fit for the occasion. Even when they dress down  they properly present themselves. Unless you catch them under the privacy of their own residences under a camera you will not see them dressed scantly or inappropriately. In their private residences they should have the freedom and privacy to walk around as they please even if it’s nude.   Remember Adam and Eve were naked and not ashamed. How would anyone know unless they infringed upon their privacy rights. We can learn a thing or two from them. Well, guess what nothing or no one is more important than GOD!   Through Jesus Christ we are a part of The Most High God’s Royal Family!

 

It is hard for me to believe that Solomon via God’s instructions built that first magnificent Temple for seven long years;  then said dress down or wear your sweats. Notice how detailed the temple and its contents are described in the Word. I do not think in its entire splendor that the people came dressed like “ragamuffins” when they came to worship!

 

We have missed the point!

 

When slavery was prominent in America the slaves even knew that on Sunday or during worship that they dressed up and presented themselves in proper attire. It was a time to leave the tasks and hardships of slavery, lay them aside momentarily and focus on worshipping the Lord! Even if they did not have shoes they took the time to clean up well and present themselves in their best attire!   The African American worship service in general continues to encourage dressing up to a degree in your better attire. Some opt to dress down in the warmer months; however I believe that one should still dress no less than they do for work or school.  As people of color we were taught to recognize that it’s important to continue to present yourself   in proper dress attire!

 

 

Revelation gives us an excellent visual of the “New Jerusalem”   the Holy City in Heaven. It is fabulously splendid. It is absolutely Awesome, so much so that the streets are paved with translucent gold. The walls are made of fine gemstones of sapphire, emeralds, sardonyx, chalcedony, jasper and…   The twelve gates are made of a fine single humongous pearl! WOW!   Think about it! Hmm just does not seem to me that throwing on a wrinkled T shirt and a pair of old baggy jeans, skirt or leggings would be appropriate!   No wonder why the ambiance in worship has drastically changed right along with the dress code!   Many do not respect the sacredness of worship anymore.

 

They are now trying to pass laws so that it’s okay if you have a gun license you can come packing a gun!

 

Foreign countries uphold a better standard for worship than we do here in the United States. For example when we visited Vatican City in Rome we were told that in order to enter St. Peter’s Basilica the women needed to be covered properly and would not be able to enter unless they were properly attired! They maintain a standard that one must at least be presentable.   After all is not the Church the Bride of Christ! Ponder and think about that for a moment! Would you dress up if you were meeting the President?

 

Ponder this for a moment. You are welcome to disagree. I know it’s because I am a child of the 50’s! Everyone wore a tie and dressed up for most occasions way back when. No, it’s because there is nothing, no occasion, dance or prom or no one more important than God! Therefore we need to put our best self forward.   God knows us all from the inside out! We are not fooling Him. At least we can honor Him in how we present ourselves for worship!   There is always an exception to the rule.   If you are homeless that’s different,   if you are mentally ill that’s different, if you really do not have anything to wear that’s   different too.

 

“Come as you are!” Yes, but you will not “Stay as you are!”  The Word of God transforms us from the inside out. At some point you will begin to feel better about yourself and want to step it up a bit! Why is that? Believers are supposed to live each day as though the Lord was going to return. If Heaven is going to be your Eternal Home I suggest you begin here on earth getting prepared for Kingdom living!  Even if you decide to wear jeans and a T shirt, let be done neatly!

 

“Your will be done Lord! Your Kingdom come on earth as it is in Heaven.” Lord we are down here waiting on your return when everyone will see  you breaking through the sky!   Come Lord!

 

 

 

 

 

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Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship Part 1

Dressing up for Prom and dressing down for Worship!  Bride

 

 

Part 1

This 21st century is becoming progressively more interesting in a very bizarre manner. We are living in a time when just about anything goes! We can go almost anywhere and expect to see some of everything! You can see multiple piercings on the ears, lips, forehead, eyebrows, cheeks, neck, and head or just about anywhere on the body. Let’s not even discuss the places that we don’t see.

You can see glitter glam clothes or faces. Pink, royal blue, purple, burgundy, yellow and even green hair on both male and females. It has become acceptable for many to even walk around with their pants sagging below the buttocks! You can go to the shopping mall and see many clad in pajamas and slippers and guess what they are just out shopping; so what does it matter? The old shorter than short “Daisy Duke” shorts are even trying to make a comeback. WOW!

I know everyone wants to be comfortable or they just want to as the ole song says “Express Yourself!” So it has become tolerable to just dress down whenever or wherever. After all we are not hurting anyone.

Think about for a moment or two!

What is the most important event or occasion that you will attend? Is it a wedding, red carpet affair, birthday party, funeral, job interview or perhaps a prom? How do you dress for the occasion? If it is a wedding, you probably want to wear your best? Or maybe not? Why is that; because it has become acceptable to dress just any kind of way; right?

Well, what about going to worship? You should just “come as you are.” If you have not been a part of God’s Church it is understandable. But if you have been a part of the Church for a while you might want to ask; to whom or where do you present your best other than at worship?

Did you know that the Church is the Bride of Christ? The Church has begun to blend right in with the world.

It’s okay if you wear a suit and tie or business casual pantsuit, dress or blouse and slacks to the office if you are a manager or a CEO or CIO! But if I want to wear flip flops and cut offs it should not matter especially since I still get my work done. I just want to be comfortable and I don’t want to wait until casual Friday. What happened to the basic dress code? It really does matter how you present yourself!

Hmm I guess God is not interested in how we dress? “Therefore, I urge you, brothers in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” Romans 12. What does this have to do with how I am dressed? A lot! It’s clear here that we are not supposed to conform to the ways of the world. Notice how The Church has begun to pattern its dress after the standards of the world. This has even filtered over into going to worship! I guess we should really just want to hang out. sip a cup of coffee and be comfortable here too?

There is nothing wrong with freedom of expression. But what is proper and improper and who determines when or where? Does it matter that I go to worship looking like I’m on my way to the beach. Or if I look like I just woke up and threw on my most comfortable outfit! Or perhaps I was going to mow the lawn and decided to come to worship first. Or just perhaps I am going bowling after service and don’t want to make a change? It’s okay to wear a suit and tie sometimes if you are a pastor, minister or part of the praise team. Well maybe not because since its March madness everyone can just come in their Jersey’s representing their favorite team. By the way ladies it’s okay to just pull on a pair of leggings because the jersey’s are as long as some of the dresses and tops you wear? Oh my! I have just stepped on some toes! What’s wrong with wearing jerseys? Hmmm tell me when did going to worship have anything to do with your favorite football or basketball team? I am for team JESUS!!  But  do not penalize me because I do not wear jerseys! Hmmm what happens if I show up in causal dress when everyone else is dressed up for a special occassion or program? I know I am just too ole fashion or just plain judgmental? Maybe so!

Worship is supposed to be about GOD! Worship is supposed to be about us being thankful and grateful that JESUS died on the cross for us! He overcame sin in the flesh, lived a sinless life, died, was buried and rose from the dead with all power and authority! We are to give Him the GLORY! What is so casual about that?

It’s okay to pray at the altar and ask for healing, restoration and or some of our physical, emotional, mental or material needs. Its okay to  sit in  your  seat  if you  prefer. It is okay to shout, scream, laugh, run around or do whatever? It is the posture of our hearts that GOD is looking at… GOD can and will supply in HIS time whatever is in HIS Will for us! But worship really should not be about us asking for something all the time. It should be more about GOD and us thanking HIM. Worship is devotional time to praise and adore the Lord; for all that He has done, is doing and will do!

Now how should we present ourselves? Look to the Lord and let Him direct you and not to the masses. I know we ought to be comfortable. We want to make everyone else comfortable too. We don’t want anyone to feel like they are being judged or unworthy, or that we are looking down on them? The truth is we all are unworthy. Jesus sacrificed His life on the cross for   us all  and at least we should make and attempt to put our best foot forward!

His Blood has priceless cleansing POWER!

What if Jesus returned today? Would you want to run home and change?

What if I do not have anything to wear? Well what did you wear to that dance you went to, or to that wedding, or the ballet, or that sorority or fraternity dinner, or to the prom or any other dress up event? Right; that’s different. Think about this for a moment. But you want to “dress down” when you come to worship God!

Check it out

The Old Testament gives us a vivid description of the Temple and the clothing that the priest was adorned in. It is clear that they put their best foot forward. Many went through purification rituals to prepare for worship. Leviticus has a plethora of laws and regulations that had to be adhered to prior to worship. There has been a gradual shifting down of the dress code as well as the moral behavior… No wonder sin is abounding and “anything goes!” Just perhaps all this dressing down has put the Church in such a relaxed mode that it’s made many feel that there is no need to change because we are to just “come as you are!” Yes indeed come as you are! But we are not to stay as we are! God is all about transforming our lives from the inside out!

See Part 2

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Online Book Release Celebration! – “The Enchanting Legends Of Shiloh Mansion: the Young King”

October 9, 2013 by  
Filed under Family, For The Youth

The Enchanting Legends Of Shiloh Mansion: The Young King – Online Book Release Celebration!!!!!

You are invited to my Online Book Release Celebration. Please celebrate with me the release of my book, “The Enchanting Legends Of Shiloh Mansion:The Young King’. I hope you will come and watch the videos, read excerpts from the book, and enter the contest to win FREE PRIZES (Digital Camera,CD/DVD,Leather Cell Phone Cases, and more)!

Click Here to join the celebration.

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SEXTexting and Teens

Keeping The Lines of Communication Open

SEXtexting & TEENS fans-lead[1]

Do you have TEENS?

Living in this audacious, adventurous 21st century with all its technological advances has its advantages. You can keep the lines of communication open or stay in constant contact with anyone at anytime, just about anywhere in the world. You can call, talk, track or text message when you have the right, GPS system, computer, smart phone, I pod, television, blue tooth ear piece, Nintendo DSI, mobile devices or some other…

How often do you get a text?

On the other hand it is hard for some to just “be” in the moment, because they are always texting and calling someone else while in your presence. Their attention is divided between you and somewhere or some else? The quality of time spent is usually minimized. They have a hard time just being in the moment or giving their undivided attention to what’s going on “right now”. Having the capability to be accessible is great. But I believe it is really getting out of hand. Perhaps there should be some “rules of etiquette ” honored and accountability exercised when alone or while in public or in the presence of others? And what about the teens?

Reina Hardesty is young lady now. When she was but a 13 year old teen, from Southern California, She was an amazing, creative, prolific texter. How she ever managed to get anything else done I wonder? She actually sent approximately 500 texts daily that totaled 14,528 text in one month. It is a good thing that her father had unlimited texting plan. Otherwise, at 20 cents per text his bill would have been somewhere around a whopping $2,905!!! After her parents found out they set some boundaries “no texting after dinner.”

Boundaries are good they make us feel safe!

I wonder what texting almost 24/7 does as far as their overall health is concerned? How much healthy sleep can one get? How much time for homework or anything else for that matter? Is texting addicting? At what point is it considered so…

Wait there’s more! Emilee Cox, another witty, vivacious, energetic, teen texter at 14 years young, smashed Reina’s record. At 74 text per each hour she was awake, she texted over 35,000 text in one month. She also managed to get good grades.

Miley Cyrus who was a popular teen idol a while back, favorite hobby was going shopping. She really liked Chinese Food and watching “High School Musical with her sisters too. But apparently the famous Miley Cyrus and her older boyfriend were caught texting during Church service way back when. They thought they were being discreet “They got busted! But look at Miley now she is making some interesting videos that I don’t think Hannah Montana’s parents would let her watch…” She is baring before the world her birthday suit. No doubt that the many Hollywood inconsistent unstable lifestyles she has been exposed to has greatly influenced her once quite innocent wholesome behavior. It is important that we give this generation godly relationship models. These are just a few examples of why good role models are needed.

It is important that we keep the lines of communication open with our teenagers. Peer pressure is real. There is always something lurking to pull them off track. For emergencies cell phones are fantastic! We should always be concerned with what is gong on with our young people. They need guidance. The ability to stay in contact is a plus. But here too we also need to establish some “rules of cell phone etiquette.” Especially for our minors before they excel to major problems. These 21st century teens have taken texting to a whole new level.

Here are a few more stats,

*Texting of this nature is nothing new. According to a 2008 Nielsen study, teenagers between the ages of 13 to 17 “ to an average of 1,742 texts a month.

Sextexting is also becoming a growing trend among teens. Sextexting is when revealing photos or messages are sent across a cell phone. It is actuallly flirting with danger. You do not always know how large or who your audience really is. Teens that are caught could possibly be prosecuted as sex offenders. Unknowingly they send pictures or messages with improper content that once they have been published they cannot be retrieved. it is just not a good idea to get so personal anyway. On many occasions they have sent messages to a friend, who sent it to a friend and that friend sent it to … Right now this is even being pursued by some prosecutors to possibly be considered as “child pornography”. So it is important to have a serious chat with them about being careful in this area. Nothing more than “G” rated texting allowed!

Oprah Winfrey even dedicated a whole television show to the perils of America’s newest “OBSESSION” = texting while driving! Did you know that when you text or use a cell phone while driving you significantly increase the chances of having an accident? It is the equivalent of having 4 drinks while driving! You are driving with a decreased attention span. It is called “Distracted Driving! “ You are not only putting your life in jeopardy but the lives of many others as well! The show is inclusive of many who have experienced the consequences of someone using a cell phone while driving. The statistics of the many casualties are mesmerizing and alarming!

Ms Winfrey asks that everyone designate their car as a ‘”NO PHONE ZONE!” She goes so far to have a campaign asking you to sign a contract agreeing to do so. The contract is available on her website! During the show one mother is interviewed. Her story; As she approaches her home after a Dr.’s appointment she sees a little girl lying in the streets surrounded by a crowd! She sees a mangled bike… Much to her dismay the distraught mother realizes it is her little girl and the emergency crew are attempting to pull her clothes off ……. The little girl was “15 PEDALS “ FROM HER FRONT DOOR! The driver was on her cell phone! After intensive care in the hospital two days later her beautiful little girl dies…

This is one of many. This show is a must see!!

Texting while driving is also hazardous. No sneaking a text in because no one’s watching. Watch the road! Another big, No! No! We need to be in contact but we also need to give them guidelines. I think that a simple contract might possibly be a viable solution. If they are old enough to have a cell phone they should be responsible enough to make a contract that is reviewed often and renegotiated when or if necessary. Hmmmm possibly limiting their calling by giving them a restricted calling plan? Knowing that you are going to randomly review their messages, Hmmm…This really is to let them know that you care enough to take the time to show that you are concerned and they matter. Of course they won’t see it this way…

In this high tech society it may be hard. But, keeping the lines of communication open is important! Let them know you are there for them and they matter! Give them kudos whenever the opportunity arises. It is crucial and beneficial to make sure that you take the time to spend quality time with them without a television, computer, smart phone, I pod, CD player, blue tooth ear piece or some other distraction… Having some great one on one personal quality time is a most. By the way giving them some healthy boundaries helps them feel secure. Giving them boundaries and restrictions lets them know that you care enough to say “No!” and mean it. They might not like it all the time but you should be more concerned about what is best for them rather than what they want? If they have strayed into the jungle of this world; It is never too late to help them turn their lives around. There is no POWER stronger than TRUE LOVE! They so need a dose of true love. You should be a parent before you are a friend to your child. If you are a friend you should model and uphold God’s standards to your friends. Your children will grow up soon enough and can then do however they please. But the modeled godly principles will have a long lingering effect upon their conscious. You may lose and gain some friends in the course of life when you take a strong godly stance but in the end it is worth it. Either way you will have been a good friend… As believers our first priority and agenda should be to say: “it is written!” Not to hurt but to bring forth spiritual, emotional and physical healing Nothing is more precious than time! It goes by really fast. Really get to know your teens; just maybe they won’t feel the need to take up sextexting?

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The Journey Of Life – By Julian M. Ogans

December 25, 2012 by  
Filed under For The Youth

The Journey Of Life By Julian M. Ogans II

I hike my way up the mountain of self-confidence
Fighting through the bitter cold blizzards of brutal honesty
Wondering what awaits at the top

But very quickly do I lose sight of the trail
and fall down into the river of disappointment
The water reflecting nothing more than my past sins

I slowly drift into a cavern of darkness
The pitch black enveloping me in a dark cloth
Suffocating me with the toxic smell of failure

Whispers from my past slowly invade my mind
Growing louder and louder echoing inside my head
A ray of hope cut through the darkness
But it didn’t reach me
For a dark hand pulled me under the water
And drowned me in self pity

I open my mouth to scream, but the black water rushed down my throat
Choking me with all my fears
I gave into my self pity and allowed it to pull me into its deep dark
depths where all my broken dreams lie
Each one shattered into a thousand pieces

The gravity of my self-doubt pushed me further down towards the bottom
While carnivorous nightmares ate away at my body and feasted on all
emotions

They tore away my eyes, preventing me from seeing any sign of hope
Ripped away my ears, stopping me from hearing words of encouragement
And cut out my tongue so that I couldn’t scream for help

Little did I realize that not all of my forgotten dreams were broken
Blind, deaf, and muted to the world I grab on to one fragile dream
And use the one weapon that no man, monster, or rushing water
can’t take away
My faith
My hands began to grow warm as the dream came to life and sent confidence shooting through my veins

I felt the water rise and part as it shot up in the air
Breaking a hole in the ceiling of the depressing cave
I felt a brilliant ray of hope come down from the sky
Restoring my vision, hearing and my voice!

I rose up from the ground and entered a valley of happiness
Where dreams grow on colossal trees of endless imagination
However, my days here are numbered in this land of prosperity
For I am just one soul, embarking on the journey of life!!

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WHY AM I “CUTTING MYSELF” ?

July 14, 2012 by  
Filed under For The Youth

We are living within a pressure driven society! There is a myriad of social pressures that are imposed on one to make them feel the need to fit in. This can at times cause undue stress and result in unfavorable behavior. These behaviors are not readily discussed but are becoming more prevalent! Fitting in is not easy and makes it harder to transition through the stages of youth and early adulthood development. For some it is much more difficult than others. As a matter of fact we have a growing number of individuals that are self mutilating themselves in order to relieve intense inner pressure. Self injury is on the rise!

What? Yes, they harm themselves; they are a part of the growing number that leans towards cutting themselves. Growing up can be painful and difficult! Did you know that not being like everyone else really is okay! Once you accept this you won’t have to cut yourself to feel okay! Everyone still on this side of Heaven is here to learn and grow… You are like a beautiful flower waiting to bloom!

What is cutting?

Cutting is when someone takes a blunt object, pin, paper clip, scissors or a razor blade and proceeds to make cuts on their wrists, arms, legs, thighs or torso to the point that they bleed. Some will even burn themselves or harm themselves in some other way. This is usually done in a place that is less noticeable! It is becoming an increasing reoccurring behavior that can become addicting. It often goes unnoticed because the self mutilator will make excuses for the cuts and bruises or try very hard to keep them hidden by making excuses. Oh the cat scratched me, or I fell in the bushes, i slipped, or I scraped myself on the… Cutting is considered an impulse – control behavior reaction!

Who cuts themselves?

Cutting is something that is done by both genders. It appears that female teens and younger women are primarily the predominate participators. However there are a growing number of guys who cut themselves as well. There are a number of reasons why they result to such drastic measures. Some cut because they know that their friends cut themselves. One viable cause that jumps out is the need for inner, “relief!” They are tormented and driven by thier pain. These individuals feel and enormous amount of pressure!

Books on “Cutting”

Someone who is cutting can’t always freely express themselves and they often feel as though they are emotionally knotted up. The need for a release is why they begin cutting. Some like the way the cuts look and when they begin to heal will reopen the cuts. You can’t really force someone to stop cutting. Know that they will go to great measures to conceal the fact that they are cutting themselves. So what do you do? Lend a listening ear and let them know that you care! Continue to encourage safe boundaries and discipline. Yelling at someone who is cutting is not very helpful. Approaching them with patience and concern is a much better method if you really want to help them. Be firm in letting them know that they need to get some relief; but in a healthier way. Allow them some time to vent… Encourage them to seek help!

Signs of Cutting

There are a few signs that you might notice such as …………Continue Reading

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