A weekly blog, by author Leslie K. Howard, filled with spiritual, uplifting thoughts to help you get through your week

2013-05-30_20-40-20_254Yesterday it was so hot here in the North Eastern United States.  My poor husband Frank, like so many others had to commute from New Jersey to New York and back again.  For commuters that can mean a lot of walking in the hot sun as well as being stuffed on trains and buses like sardines.  Having done that commute at one time in my life, I know what it’s like in the summer heat. Misery!   With that in mind I decided to make a cool treat for my over heated Honey.  At first I was going to make a sorbet but quickly changed my mind to make a cool delicious iced pops and named them “Leslie’s World Famous Real Fruit Pops.”  I posed them on Facebook and they seemed to be a hit  so I thought to share the recipe with the world.

So you say you want the recipe for Leslie’s World Famous Real Fruit Pops?  Well  here it is:  I don’t have exact measurements. Just eyeball it. 🙂 At Trader Joe’s, I picked up 1 bag of frozen Mango cubes and 1 bag of frozen mixed Strawberries and Blueberries. I also used fresh cubed Watermelon. The  Pop Molds were purchased at TJ Max (I was in a loooong check-out line where they try to tempt you to buy snacks and things.  Well I did impulse shop by picking up these molds and some Jellybellys.  Don’t Judge.) You’ll also need real Vanilla Extract, Honey and a bit of water.

First Mango/Melon:  In blender smooth fruit and a little Vanilla Extract together.  Once smooth add a hit of Honey and smooth again. No Water Needed due to high water content of melon. 2013-05-30_20-42-47_801

Berry-Berry: Pour a little water in blender. Add mixed Berries and a little Vanilla Extract.  If mixture is too thick add a little more water. Then add a hint of Honey. 2013-05-30_20-41-29_37

Both fruit mixtures should be between a smoothie and a sorbet.  But it could be any consistency you like.  Pour into POP Molds.  Freeze and Enjoy! It’s a refreshing healthy treat on a hot summer day.  Your family & friends will love you for it.   Try it with your favorite fruit.  Let me know how yours come out.  Follow me on Facebook and post your picks.

Enjoy Your Summer!

Visit my site lesliehowardministries.com or Nevisioncoach.com

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Bow DownWhen, in our struggle for equal rights with men, did women get to the point that we begin to behave like men?  In the way we live, love and how we treat each other as fellow women.  It saddens me to hear music lyrics that degrade women; and how easily this generation of young women accepts it.  Especially in Hip -Hop culture.

Because in music and in videos, women are objectified and exemplified as pole dancers, strippers, prostitutes and gold-diggers, we have a generation of women who aspire to be just that.  It’s terrible to hear and see degrading words and images produced by men, but when  they come from a woman’s mouth, it enrages me.

This brings me to Beyonce’s latest song. There is a big hoopla going on this morning.  Talk shows, the news, moms and little girls are all talking about the lyrics from a not yet released song. In the song she calls women B**_ches and tells them to “Bow down” to her.   Now I don’t know exactly what’s going on in her personal life and we don’t know if this was a track was leaked by someone.  Perhaps it was something she used to vent out some frustration and it was never meant for the public to hear   After all, artist sometimes write things out of hurt or anger, others  may paint and some sing songs and we never see or hear about it. I don’t know the reasons; all I know is it’s out there for the whole world to hear and I am offended, and ashamed of her.

In all of the fervor over this thing, I don’t want you to miss the spiritual lessons here.  Satan seeks to Distort and Divide.

Beyonce’ is an immensely talented young woman who sings like no one else, and commands the stage with vocals and her energetic dancing (another discussion for another day).  God gives gifts to everyone. Some people, like Beyonce’ gifts are seen from an early age while others discover them when they are older.  But know this,”… every good and perfect gift comes from God” (James 1:17).  Satan will whisper in our ears saying, “I can give you the fast track to success if you just do it my way.”  He will then distort those gifts and we sell out for money prestige and fame and emptiness.  So we have a choice to make. Choose either to use our gifts to bring God glory and thus reaping life long, eternal blessings or we can choose Satan’s way which  pays quickly,  but stings forever. By glorifying ourselves we fall right into Satan’s trap which was  exactly what he wanted Jesus to do.  “Bow Down to Me.”  He couldn’t get Jesus to do it but he sure is working overtime on us.    I don’t know about you but I bow down to no one but my God.  Jesus is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.  He is the only one who deserves all the Honor, all the Glory and all the Praise!

Statements like this cause division among women.  Back biting and cat fighting is what women are supposed known for.  Having a superior “ Diva” attitude of ”I’m higher than you are and you’d better bow down to me”  is a sure ticket to having the legs cut out from under you, and mighty is the fall. Ladies we need to build Godly relationships with our sisters.  Don’t we know we need each other?  We ought to strengthen and encourage one another.  The word says “Therefore encourage one another and build one another up…” 1 Thessalonians 5:11.   Ephesians 4:15 tells us to speak the truth in love.   Ephesians 4:29  “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

This is why God has called me to host Sister Circle Girlfriend Getaway Weekends to encourage women in their walk with Jesus.  This year our theme is Women Are Stronger Together Than We Are Apart.”  We are talking friendship and unity here and I hope you’ll join me and my girlfriends May 17-19 in Atlanta Georgia. Follow the link and register and let’s show the whole world what real Godly, Woman Power is all about.

Listen to my sermons and devotions visit my site http://www.lesliehowardministries.com

Purchase my books Sisters With SASS and  my new 40 day devotional,                      Love Letters from God Psalm 23 form Amazon.com. Click picture to purchase

Love Letters Cover

Sister Circle Talk Show Permissive Parenting 03/11 by Leslie Howard | Blog Talk Radio.

Riding With Ms. Rosie

Blue CarI Don’t Drive.  I admit it.  I don’t drive, don’t judge me.  I am born, bred and  raised  in Newark NJ.  I am a city girl.  I take the 25 and 70 busses.  I ride the city subway (okay that makes it sound bigger than it is.  It’s really The Lite Rail.) I enjoy it.  I like to people watch. I like talking to folks. It’s my thing and I love it. But this day a stranger just wouldn’t do.  I didn’t realize that what I needed was a friendly face and as God would have it, He provided just the right one for me.  Let me explain.

I was called to duty. Jury duty that is.  YaY!  Don’t get me wrong I’m one of those people who really doesn’t mind serving Jury Duty…. if I have to.  Just not right now.  I thought I could do it.  I had all intentions of doing it, but once I got into the courtroom I found I just couldn’t handle it.

My first cousin was in a domestic violent relationship and two years ago around Valentine’s Day, she was murdered.  I’m not at liberty to share details nor am I ready to do so right now.  I along with her brother am representing the family.  We are at the very beginning of court proceedings, and lately I’ve been to that court house more than I care to say.  After being excused from jury duty, I headed home.  I decided to go to Newark Penn Station to grab a slice of pizza (I know, I know. Don’t tell me how fattening it is.  If you felt the way I did you’d have had pizza and a whole lot more.)  So here I am in Penn and who do I run into but the effervescent Ms. Rosie.  It was 2:30 pm….

I met Ms. Rosie some 14 years ago through a mutual friend.  We aren’t real close but I consider her very, very special. She’s one of those people who knows everybody.  She is extremely knowledgeable but not a know it all.  Ever willing to lend a helping hand, if she can’t assist you she certainly knows someone who can.  As always she was a wealth of information about the good things happening in the community.  We talked about health and hot flashes.  (By the time we finished that part I felt real guilty about my pizza- jones.)   After connecting me with a sister who teaches health and wellness, she offered to take me home. I accepted and that’s where our adventure began.

We picked up her vehicle from the parking lot and headed up Market Street. “I’ve got to drop off some mail.” She said.  Parking at the Springfield Avenue Post Office she said “I’ll be right back” I waited in the car wondering what was taking her so long. I had seen the envelope and it was ready to mail. My thought was broken when I saw her walk out the door.  Although she went in the post office alone she returned  with another passenger.  Ms. Rosie ran into another weary traveler and decided to give him a ride home.  It just so happens he lives in a senior building where her mom used to live on Irving Turner Boulevard.  “Come on” she said, waiving me toward the building entrance. She took me on a tour of the beautiful lobby and the deck where the seniors like to barbecue during the summer months.   The building was clean and very welcoming.

Back in the car, we continued our drive and wound up on West Kenny and Howard Streets.  I hadn’t been in that area of the city in some time and it had improved greatly.  Once laden with projects, pimps and prostitutes, this part of the city has experienced some true revitalization.   We stopped at Vonda’s Kitchen located at 183 West Kenny Street on the first floor of a building complex.  Vonda’s Kitchen is a delight in the city. It is a Soul Food lover’s dream with traditionaResturantl dishes such as fried chicken, macaroni and cheese and greens.  She serves up delicious seafood dishes, baked and barbecued chicken, fresh vegetables, salads, traditional burgers as well as a selection of vegetarian burgers. But Vonda’ s Kitchen is not a neighborhood greasy spoon. The pristine brightly colored decor is only out shined by her friendly staff.  Vonda has nothing to hide either.  I just love the window where the customer can look directly into the kitchen to watch the chef and staff at work.    I’ll have more to say about Vonda’s kitchen in the near future.

Back in the car again: Ms. Rosie chatted on about how blessed she and her husband were by ministering at a local nursing home. She bubbled with delight as shared stories of her weekly visits; how she truly enjoys sharing the word of God with them.  We talked about vision, goals and her desire to open up a business that would really serve the needs of Senior Citizens and their families.  She shared her newest passion, coin collecting and selling them on Ebay.  All I can say to you is this, by the time we arrived at my house, my whole mood had changed. Earlier In the day I was on the brink of tears now I was filed with laughter and joy. I realized I had been coddled and comforted by a very special angel.  By the way it was close to 5:30 when I got home.  So a 15 minute ride turned into two hours.  Thanks for the ride Ms. Rosie.  It was a trip well spent.

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Feel free to comment.  Be sure to visit my site http://www.Lesliehowardministries.com

Preview 2013 Movies

I was looking around to see what movies might interest me in 2013 when I stumbled on a wonderful site called Teaser-Tmovierailer-.com.  You can click on an upcoming movie to see the trailer.  2013 is offering a great variety to choose from some I’ll see on the big screen  others can wait for Netflix while some don’t interest me at all.

Well they don gone and resurrected Carrie again. Yep Stephen King’s Carrie is hitting the big screen again. Scheduled to be released in March. There are a few more rumored for remakes such as Annie starring Willow Smith,  (Talk has been going around for about a year now. Personally I think she’s too old for the part). And then there’s Dirty Dancing. I say why mess with perfection?

As always you’ll find family movies to keep the kids happy. The Croods, Epic & The Smurfs might be good. Then there are the Fantasy movies like Oz that I’d like to see. One flick I can’t wait to see is After Earth starring Will & Jaden Smith. Father and son team up again this time for a Sci fi fantasy that looks like it will please all.  Boys & men will like the adventure while Jaden and Will  are sure to bring girls & Moms into the theater. You can count me in.

You can bank on lots and lots of sequels or trilogys to show up: Die Hard (is this the 100th?), The Hobbit 2, Iron Man 3 Wolverine 2 and The Hunger Games 2 to name a few. There are way  too many to post but below is the link to Trailer Teasers. you can check it out yourself.

Trailers can make almost anything look good. There is even an Angry Birds movie in cue. Go figure.

http://teaser-trailer.com/movies-2013.html

A Right Time God

A Time 2Yesterday’s sermon was titled “When God Is Silent.” The minister said a lot of things but one in particular came shining through: “God will never leave you nor forsake you. Even when He’s silent He’s right there with you. He’s working behind the scenes preparing so you can receive what He has for you.”

This got me thinking, God like any loving parent is NOT going to give us everything we ask for. He knows we can’t handle everything so He gives us what’s best for us. Now like a wise parent there are somethings He says yes to while there are others He says no. And then there is the wait….. You see He’s saying yes but not now. You can’t handle it now. Although you want it now because you live in a Right Now society; now is not the time. I’ve always intended to give you a red Mustang. Red is a nice color for you and I know you’ll be a responsible driver. But not at age 12. I waited for your 30th birthday. You had matured and was ready. You see it is during the wait that character is built.

Not only so, but we  also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance;perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. ~ Romans 5:3-6

So through the years of 12 and 29 God might be silent (on this issue), but at the right time He speaks loud and clear. We have got to be patient with God and wait on Him. Know this even if He says “No” on this side of glory, the “Yes” on the other side of glory far outweighs and physical thing we can ever have in this world.

I Remember Momma

As a very young child I wanted for nothing. Everything was provided by my mother. When mom was pregnant with me, my parents separated  and dad had  little to no dealings with the family. So, mom raised  us as a single mother. She cooked, cleaned, cared for us and held down a job so we wouldn’t be hungry or homeless.  She was indeed an incredible woman.

I remember her voice, her touch, even her smell.  A gifted story-teller, I loved to listen to her.  She had a way with voice inflection that was simply unmatched.  It’s a wonder I’m not a “Goth” seeing she introduced me to Edgar Allen Poe when I was just about four years old.  I remember many nights after her reading to me either from a book or a scary story from her own  imagination, being afraid to go to bed.  She’d let me crawl into bed with her.  I’d snuggle real close. Sleeping with her made me feel so safe.

I remember her straightening my hair on Easter Sunday so I could get all dressed up and go to grandma’s house.  She’d put hair-grease on the back of her hand with a cigarette dangling from her mouth she’d meticulously get every hair on the edge of my head. ( You know in my “Kitchen.” Smile) I’d hold my ears down so as not to get burned by the hot comb.  It was to no avail, because she’d slap my hands away and tell me,”I’m not gonna burn you child.” 

I remember learning to cook under her tutelage. I’m not even half the cook she was. Oh the joy I’d get watching her beat cake batter by hand and laughing as  her hips moved in rhythm.  How I find myself today mimicking those moments as  I whip cake batter or stir up cornbread mix.  

Dancing at my wedding, holding my children for the first time, praying with me, and even on occasion crying with me; all of these memories and many more will have to sustain me until I see her again.  I look at my daughter and granddaughter, and once in a while I’ll see my own reflection in the mirror and I remember Momma.

Happy Mother’s Day!

Visit my website www.Lesliehowardministries.com

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