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Mitch’s Reflection: A Basic Act of Worship in a Season of Change

Sometimes seasons in life can be difficult and trying. But in the end, those trials give away to renewal and positive results. In my quiet time, I stumbled across this prayer this today from the book “31 Days of Prayer: Enjoying God Anew” by Ruth and Warren Myers, and it truly blessed me. It’s empowering to find the right words for such a time as time. I pray that it blesses you as well.

Your Most Basic Act of Worship

“Lord, I’m Yours. Whatever the cost may be, may Your will be done in my life. I realize I am not here on earth to do my own thing, or to seek my own fulfillment or my own glory. I’m not here to indulge my desires, to increase my possessions, to impress people, to be popular, to prove I’m somebody important, or to promote myself. I’m not even here to be relevant or successful by human standards. I’m here to please You.
I offer myself to You, for You are worthy. All that I am or hope to be, I owe to You. I’m Yours by creation, and every day I receive from You life and breath and all things. And I’m Yours because You brought me, and the price You paid was the precious blood of Christ. You alone, the Triune God, are worthy to be my Lord and Master. I yield to You, my gracious, and glorious heavenly Father; to the Lord Jesus who loved me and gave Himself for me; to the Holy Spirit and His gracious influence and empowering.
All that I am and all that I have I give to You.
I give You any rebellion in me, that resists doing Your will. I give You my pride and self-dependence, that tell me I can do Your will in my own power if I try hard enough. I give You my fears, that tell me I’ll never be able to do Your will in some areas of life. I consent to let You energize me … to create within me, moment by moment, both the desire and the power to do Your will.
I give You my body and each of its members  … my entire inner being: my mind, my emotional life, my will … my loved ones … my marriage (or my hopes for marriage) … my abilities and gifts … my strengths and weaknesses … my health … my status (high or low) … my possessions … my past, my present and my future … when and how I’ll go Home.
I’m here to love You, to obey You, to glorify You. O my Beloved, my I be a joy to You!”

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Mitch’s Reflection: “Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball” by Donita K. Paul

Just in time for the holidays, author Donita K. Paul weaves a brilliant tale of family, relationships, romance and religion all into one for an unlikely couple in Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball: A Novella Searching for a perfect gift leads Cora Crowder to an unusual bookshop on Sage Street, where she meets bookshop owners Bill and William Wizbotterdad. The owners not only direct Crowder to finding perfect gifts for her unruly family members, but Cora Crowder also encounters co-worker Simon Derrick. Derrick is not only Crowder’s boss, but his distant manner makes her hesitant to approach him. But the unlikely bonus of special tickets to a Christmas Ball from the Warner, Werner and Wizbotterdad’s bookshop leads Crowder and Derrick down an unusual path. The storyline is easy to follow, and the reader will chuckle or frown along the way. “Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball” is so heartwarming and inviting that the book could be finished in a day! With just the right elements, Paul makes it possible for anyone “to dream of a true love beyond imagination.”

Editor’s Note: A copy of this book was provided by WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. Rate this review here:

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Mitch’s Reflection: The Whispers “Thankful”

Legendary R&B group The Whispers release their first gospel project “Thankful” this week on Kingdom Records. Grammy-winning gospel artist Fred Hammond lends his creative production skills to the project, along with the songwriting and vocal skills of Magic of Magic Muzik Productions Inc., Ralph Hawkins of ND Hawk Entertainment and Nicholas Caldwell of Heavens Gate and Unified Tribe.

“Working with The Whispers was truly a dream come true,” Hammond said in a news release. “I grew up listening to The Whispers and patterned a large part of my personal vocal style after, who have now become affectionately known as, uncles Scottie and Walker.”

The Whispers’ perfect, harmonious style is prevalent throughout the 10-track CD. Fans will appreciate up-tempo tracks such as “Praise His Holy Name” and the soft disco rhythm track of “In the Name of Jesus.” For a bit of Quiet Storm, The Whispers offers the track “For Thou Art With Me,” now viewed as a hit for Urban AC and gospel radio formats.

With almost 50 R&B chart singles, The Whispers are one of the most successful vocal groups in soul music history. The Grammy and American Music Award nominated ensemble has earned seven gold or platinum singles/albums, a 2002 NAACP Image Award and an induction into the Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003.

Editor’s Note: Review CD was provided by record label.

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Mitch’s Reflection: Theodore Roosevelt

I am so inspired by the following quote by former President Theodore Roosevelt that I had to post it on my blog today. May it inspire you as well:

Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure, than to take rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy much nor suffer much, because they live in the grey twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.

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Mitch’s Reflection: Roses for Black Moses (Isaac Hayes)

Family and friends of Isaac Hayes invite the public to attend the unveiling of grave marker at 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 22, at Memphis Memorial Park, 5668 Poplar Ave. in Memphis, Tenn. Attendees are asked to bring a rose to be placed next to the marker.

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Mitch’s Reflection: Be Thankful

Be thankful that you don’t already have everything you desire,
If you did, what would there be to look forward to?

Be thankful when you don’t know something
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.

Be thankful for your limitations
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes
They will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you’re tired and weary
Because it means you’ve made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who are
also thankful for the setbacks.

GRATITUDE can turn a negative into a positive.
Find a way to be thankful for your troubles
and they can become your blessings.
~ Author Unknown ~

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Mitch’s Reflection: Saying Goodbye to Wayman Tisdale

It is with a heavy heart this morning that I learned that former NBA basketball player and jazz great Wayman Tisdale has died after a long battle with cancer. Ironically, I was playing his latest release “Rebound,” and I was speechless. I have followed Tisdale professionally since 2003 when he performed at the 15th annual Juneteeth Music Festival at the Tulsa Convention Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I had the pleasure of meeting Tisdale again in 2005 when he headlined Jazz on Bell Street in Shawnee, Oklahoma. I was nervous about interviewing him that day, but his friendly, jovial spirit set me at ease. It was apparent that he loved jazz and playing the bass guitar. He has been instrumental in acting as a mentor and has collaborated with many jazz notables such as Jonathan Butler, Peter White, Dave Koz, Dallas saxophonist Tom Braxton, Tulsa saxophonists Grady Nichols and Eldredge Jackson.
Tisdale was all about having a good time, and one of the things I will remember most about him is his love for old-school R&B music. In each album release, Tisdale always included a favorite track. For example, he collaborated with Oklahoma country star Toby Keith, who offered an interesting perspective to the Barry White classic tune, “Never Gonna Give You Up.”
“I got this call from Toby, and he says, ‘I got the song we need to redo: ‘Never Gonna Give You Up,'” Tisdale said in an interview I had with him last year. “We got to the studio, and Toby started singing. My mouth fell wide-open. We were just blown away. I could not believe what I was hearing! It was great. This guy can sing.”
There’s so much more I could say, but one thing is certain: Tisdale’s contributions both on and off the court will be missed. Rest in peace.

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Mitch’s Reflection: Proud to Serve God

I saw this on a friend’s Web page today, and I just had to claim it as well. May it bless you, too.

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Mitch’s Reflection: “The Shack”

Christian fiction novel “The Shack” by William P. Young is one of the most amazing books I have read this year. Young’s book have sparked both intrigue and discussion among Christian circles throughout this country. While some embrace its simple message, others question the validity of the book’s contents.
According to the book’s jacket, “The Shack” is about Mackenzie Allen Philips, whose youngest daughter, Missy, had been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later in the midst of his Great Sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment, Mack arrives at the shack on a wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his world forever.
Although some theological interpretations may be disagreeable, it is a wonder that a first-time author would spark such a discussion about faith, love and forgiveness for such a time as this. Wow…

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Personal Reflection: No Greater Love

As the rain falls quietly outside today, I am thinking of dear friends who have lost loved ones in the past few months. My prayers are with the families, and as a close friend, I can only imagine the sense of loss they are feeling.
In my efforts to offer a kind, gentle word, this morning I am reminded of God’s mercy and how his faithfulness is new every morning. He feels our pain and is available to carry any burdens we may have – financially, emotionally, physically. John 15:13 says “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” So as a parting thought, I leave this song “No Greater Love” by Grammy-winning gospel Fred Hammond in memory of those who are with God, and to my friends who are celebrating the fact that one day they will meet with them again.