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Friday, June 17, 2011

Double the Quickie, Double the Pleasure

Meet two of the contestants of the Miss Jamaica Universe 2011 Pageant, Kadyan Salmon and Christina Gonzalez

I met these beautiful ladies a few years back. Christina, while I worked at Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing arts as the Publications Officer in the Marketing Department; and Kadyan, while I shed the executive hat, simultaneously donning a more daredevil one as a fashion model.  So, clearly you see my prejudice.

I thought it would be fitting to present the daughter of all quickies and do a double take in my segment, Drive Thru Interview.

Photo: Miss Jamaica Universe 2011 Fan Page
 "I Just do good with what I have"

Born in Kingston and graduated from Alpha Academy with her high school Diploma and an Associate Degree in Humanities. The twenty-two year old has a conscious spirit remembering that as a child, though she never always got what she wanted, she was never lacking in anything. Kady, as she is affectionately called, is grateful for the foundation set by her parents, who constantly instilled in her and her sisters to make-do with whatever they have. 

“It’s definitely because of this principle that even now as a young adult, you will find that I won't do every or anything to get ahead in life,” she says.

What I like about Kadyan:  She unabashedly reps the Kingdom

Tell my readers one thing about yourself that has been kept a secret
People may not know that I love to cry. I have a very tough exterior, but inside I'm a softy. 

Do you have any fears? What are they?
I really don't think I have any fears. Can’t seem to pin point any. Actually, I do fear not accomplishing all that God has destined for me. So I think that counts as one—the fear of being a disappointment to my God.

What interested you to enter the Miss Jamaica Universe Competition?
To be honest, I've always watch the competitions, but never seriously thought about entering. For some reason I felt compelled to enter this year, so I prayed about it and told God to use me in the pageant. So, I would say, I entered to share my experiences with Christ with the girls, as well as to represent my country on the international scene; proving to people that NOTHING is impossible when God is in it.

If you do win, what does that mean for you and how do you think it will affect your life?
Photo: Marvin Bartley
To win this title will definitely be life changing. It will definitely give me the platform I need to effectively impact the lives of young girls in my country. I have a passion for young people, and it’s painful to see when they sell themselves short due to low self esteem. I want to change that.

Indeed it will affect my life in a positive and negative light. Negative, in the sense that my life will no longer be private, and all that I do will be scrutinized. So that's one thing I will have to adapt to and fast! Good thing I'm a quick leaner :) 

What can't you leave the house without?
I can't leave my house without my phone and a lip gloss.

What's your new craze these days?
An Ipad2. I want one sooooo bad.

Have any plans for the coming year? And where do you see yourself in five years?
Indeed I'm looking forward to representing my country in Brazil this September and I hope to visit my sister and family in England this Christmas. As for the next five years, Gods willing I should be engage by then, looking to get married, and doing my studies in hopes of becoming a Pediatric Nurse.

Is there anything that gets under your skin?
I really don't appreciate been lied to. So, I would say liars really get under my skin.

Any advice for girls who want to follow in your footstep?
Just be yourself. That's the only thing that people can't tell you you're not good at; because who can play you, better than you? Also, in everything, trust God. Indeed He knows and wants the best for us and nothing is impossible with Him. Live, Trust-God and Respect Yourself.

Is there anyone in your life that pushes and motivates you, even when you feel like giving up?
When I feel like giving up, I go to my source—God Himself. That's when He kindly reminds me that He will not give me more than I can bear and I do believe that whatever He brings my way, He will take me through it.

Is there anything else you want to share with my readers?
I would just like to add that I love life. I have a great appreciation for it and the people that are in it. Also, I want them to see my true potential and support me on my journey in being their very own Miss Jamaica Universe 2011.

Photo: Miss Jamaica Universe 2011 Fan Page

"I have a problem with procrastination… This "last minute" approach we have adapted is limiting our creativity and innovation."

This twenty-three year old is a native of Runaway Bay St. Ann, where she spent 17 years.  She attended St. Hilda's Diocesan High School then later attended the School of Dance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts.  Christina has certainly made a name for herself, clearly possessing and aggressive line of accomplishments which shows that she is no stranger to pageants.

She proudly acknowledges the following accomplishments:
Miss Columbus Prep 1st Runner Up
Miss Teen Jamaica 2001
Dancer and Choreographer of the National Dance Theatre Company (NDTC)
Rex Nettleford Award for Most Outstanding student in Choreography
Teacher at Hydel Group of Schools :special education, pre-school--grades 1-6Teacher to Edna Manley College Junior and Adult Department 
Teacher for UWI Dance Society
Dance Coordinator for Magnum Kings and Queens live show 2010

What I like about Christina:  Don’t be fooled by the sometimes stern exterior.  Deep down is her warm, chocolate covered and determined spirit.

Tell us one thing about Christina that most people would not know?
When I was much younger I wanted to be a police officer or a soldier.

Do you have any fears? What are they?
My fear is being unprepared for natural disasters such as earthquakes or meteor showers.

What interested you to enter the Miss Jamaica Universe Competition?
I entered this pageant because I want to use it as a platform for developing the Arts throughout Jamaica and the Caribbean. I feel that to be successful in the Arts we, as Jamaicans, should not have to migrate overseas when the resources are right here awaiting development. Many people don't realize it, but the Arts play a major role in the culture of society. 

If you do win, what does that mean for you and how do you think it will affect your life?
Winning will definitely mean that my hard work has certainly paid off. It will affect my life because I will have a platform for fast forwarding the development of the Arts as a viable career choice in Jamaica and throughout the Caribbean. 

Photo: Marvin Bartley
What can't you leave the house without?
Once I’m dressed and have on a strong pair of shoes, I’m good to go. All other gadgets are just distractions.

What's your new craze these days?
My new craze is definitely finding different channels of sharing my art education. I want Jamaica to realize that I am serious about my goals with developing the arts and sharing will be indication of this.

Have any plans for the coming year? Where do you see yourself in five years?
I do have some projects that I am planning for, both as an individual and with a partner. However I'd rather not disclose any information yet. I see myself, in the next five years, taking on more responsibilities and making greater contributions to the development of the Arts.

Is there anything that gets under your skin?
I have a problem with procrastination. I feel that it is definitely becoming a sore in the culture of our present society. This "Last Minute" approach we have adapted is limiting our creativity and innovation.

Any advice for girls who want to follow in your footstep?
I would definitely advise these girls to never limit themselves and try to experience life in different ways. Always stay true to who you are as an individual.

Is there anyone in your life that pushes and motivates you, even when you feel like giving up?
I am motivated by persons within and outside my field who work tediously at achieving goals and accepting life's challenges as a means by which to grow.

Has anything occurred in your life so far that has shaped your outlook on life?
Entering this pageant has shaped my outlook on life. I feel that I am now put into a place where I can affect greater good and it is inspiring.

Is there anything else you want to share with my readers?
Live everyday as though it is your last be aware of who you are and never allow anyone or anything to define who you are as an individual.

So, there you have it--a quick and easy double-package interview! To follow these ladies, visit the Miss Jamaica Universe Page; and be sure to cast your votes and show your love.

I wish you all the best, ladies!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Beauty in Tests

Don't Panic, this is just a test

This is the message on Joyce Meyer's broadcast today.  I was only eight minutes into the video and it felt as if I was watching it for twenty minutes, because I was getting so much from it in that short period of time. So many things hit the nail on the head and God placed it on my heart to not keep it to myself, but instead, to share it.

Many of us are going through things in our lives that we feel we see no end to and no way of getting out. Sometimes the extremity of our circumstances forces us to seek the wrong escape by no longer trying, caring, and living or even finding distractions that bring us deeper into our own peril. But that's the easy way and the cheater’s way out. Who wants to overcome a situation by not overcoming it, because we cheated? As a believer I really see the importance of praising through the circumstances. As Joyce puts it, "Whatever you want, until you can do good without it then, you probably won't get it."

This is how I interpret it: until we, i.e., you and me, can be happy within our sufferings, then chances are we won't get what our hearts desire and we will end up spending the rest of our lives always wanting and never having. Also, when we do reach a point of happiness without the things we desire, sometimes it’s because we really don’t need it after all. Quite likely, because we have been so blind-sighted by what we think we need, we often times pass up an opportunity that God has placed before us as a replacement of that need. And until we are happy with where we are in our lives our circumstances will never change.

An adorable figurine I purchased when I was in College
So enjoy the beauty of your tests. It is because of God’s love for us that He places us in these situations. You may think, Oh I brought this upon myself; I should have known better; I deserve what I’m getting. On the contrary, NO, you didn’t bring this upon yourself; and you probably didn’t know any better; and even if you did, God knew you were going to make that move anyway, because this was the only option you left Him with to teach you. So you in turn have no choice but to trust and rely on Him. And No, you certainly do not deserve the results of those actions. In fact, you deserve to come out of it. 

So what’s the lesson God is teaching you? Seek Him first and everything else you desire He will give them to you, according to His will. Having joy in Him gives you strength to conquer the attacks and temptations of the enemy and most importantly endure your trials. Things shouldn’t always be going your way for you to be happy.

So what if you actually rely on Him and not yourself and on man? What if you actually believe and have faith that you serve a much bigger purpose than the rut or jam you are in? Well here’s what can happen: “Now to Him, whose power is at work within us, is able to do superabundantly far over and above all that we dare to ask or think (infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams.”

Hmm… Interesting statement, isn’t it? Seeking God and coming to Him in complete faith means that He will grant and bless you even more than you could even fathom.

I like that Joyce Meyer puts her spin on “Testimony” claiming that some of us end up with “monies” instead of the actually testimony.  We complain and gripe over not having and not receiving, so much so, that we overlook the lesson that should be learned. The truth is God allows these tests so He can use you beyond what you could ever begin to accept. Channel your hurt; disappointment; void of things desired into a lesson that only you can share when you actually learn it (2 Corinthians 1: 3-4).

One song writer says in his song, Forgiven, that (and I’m paraphrasing here) you can never have a message unless you go through the “mess.”

So love the mess you’re in and find beauty in your test—the heartbreak, the unemployment, the lack of love, the lack of a husband or wife or girlfriend or boyfriend, the lack of finances, the days you shop and always have to watch the price tag, the loneliness, the one thing you need to get to the next level in your life or career,  the dream not ‘yet’ fulfilled—because when God is finished with you, you will be much stronger, much wiser, and more fulfilled; and essentially more useful to you and to someone else.

There is so much more to learn from this sermon and I encourage you to watch it. Click here to watch now.

Reference/Power verses:

James 1: 2-4
Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations. 3Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience. 4But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

James 1: 12
Blessed (happy, to be envied) is the man who is patient under trial and stands up under temptation, for when he has stood the test and been approved, he will receive [the victor's] crown of life which God has promised to those who love Him.

Ephesians 3: 20
Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]—

Deuteronomy 8: 3
… He humbled you and allowed you to hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you recognize and personally know that man does not live by bread only, but man lives by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of the Lord.

2 Corinthians 1: 9
Indeed, we felt within ourselves that we had received the [very] sentence of death, but that was to keep us from trusting in and depending on ourselves instead of on God Who raises the dead.

HERE are some beautiful songs sharing a similar message. And I pray that this post blesses and inspires some one. Be Blessed!

"The Way You Love Me"--Anthony Evans

"Everyone Hurts"--Kirk Franklin

"Holding On"--Tye Tribbett