Thursday, October 23, 2008

I Gotta Testify - II

The praise reports continue! This week has been full of small victories that add up to make a major impact.

Many people that I didn't even know read my ramblings told me that my last testimony (praise report) blessed them and encouraged them to keep fighting the good fight of faith. So I plan to continue sharing my good favor. Be encouraged during uncertain times in this world. We matter what!

Here's my recap in order from Monday to last night.

I participate in the transit check program at work which allows you to pay for your metro cards pre-taxed. I normally pay for a monthly metro card that has unlimited usage for 30 days. By about October 7th, I lost my metro card. I called MTA to find that it could not be replaced. I prayed and asked God what to do and he said ask for what you want, because your needs are already met. I told my boss that I lost the card; the first time in two years with this company and he didn't hesitate at all to replace my monthly metro card on the spot! Monday, I dropped the new metro card in the open space where the floor and elevator meet in my office building You can imagine my thinking. This was the replacement card! So at the end of the day I took at step of faith and told our security officials in the building what happened. I showed them the elevator where I dropped the card and they called their service men to go downstairs into the basement of our office building. Within five minutes the service men came back upstairs with with my metro card! Such a WOW moment. Praise Him! (I'm holding on to this card for dear life!)

My DVD player has not been working for months. Since I am not home enough to watch DVD's it does not bother me that much. This past Saturday my roommate and I wanted to watch a movie in the living room and of course the DVD player wasn't working. She asked me when I was going to get a new one LOL. I said mostly likely around Christmas. Just to back up a bit, last week one of my bestest, Toya asked me if I could buy anything for myself right now what would it be. I said a DVD player. Tuesday, my brand new DVD player arrived at work compliments of Toya! I was in amazement of fast God worked and so excited to believe God for "much more" more often!

I came home after Bible Study and in my normal routine I checked the mail. Thankfully there was only one bill! Lol. I opened the Con Edison bill(excuse the step by step) and could not believe my eyes. As a sidenote my power bill hit astronomical numbers this past summer so when I saw the bill, I truthfully could not believe my eyes. It says we owe 93 cents! In total!
My roommate and I can not explain it. It reads that we paid last month's bill and this month's bill in the last month's cycle. Neither one of us can account for this. It may sound crazy or out there but when my bills come I immediately pray a simple prayer asking God to pay them, confess a cooresponding scripture, and then thank him for doing so. This is amazing! My Father is working faster than I can keep up!! Time for another Praise Dance!!!


Word of the day: Revelation 3:10

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


A famous filmmaker said, "I dream for a living." When I first heard this it sounded so abstract. Probably because I was processing this statement with my logical, over analytical mind, instead of my creative, loving, ever hopeful heart.

Do you remember when you were a child and you used to DREAM BIG and EXPECT BIG? There was nothing in life that you could not imagine accomplishing. Your thoughts were vast beyond your own ability. About a month ago, I realized that I had not taken the time to just dream silently or aloud. I believe your dreams are your visions. Your visions are what is at the end of the road for your life. Everyday that you move in the direction of your vision you become closer to making your dream/vision a reality. If you stop dreaming your ability to visualize BIG shrinks and your expectation of life's returns diminishes.


While we are on the subject of DREAMING BIG. The word Billionaire in reference to me has been used more times than I can count in the last few weeks. I have always believed that I would be used as a catalyst to move my already prospeous family to a higher level. Even though I was not quite sure how, I knew God had chosen me to be a major part of this process. Additionally, there is much work to be done in the earth before I ascend to heaven.

Since joining my church choir my memory for remembering songs has expanded, my vocal range has expanded, my attention to detail has sharpened, but something else major has happened. I have been surrounded, submerged and almost drowned in positive affirmation. My expectation of what I was going to receive when joining my church's choir was too small. My brothers and sisters reaffirm the gifts God has placed inside of me (2 Timothy 1:6) every time we are together! I have never had so many people that I just met some only a few months ago speak life into me! I get called a Billionaire at least twice a week. So, I humbly accept the call! Ha! Billionairess...I AM! (Destined to inherit my Father's Billions)

Although singing and songwriting is a huge part of my destiny, so is overcoming the world's system of operating with the Kingdom of God's way of operating. "...your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10) This is going to take BIG money.

It's time for the: TAKEOVER, TAKEBACK and TURNAROUND! Holla!

Verse for the Day: Deuteronomy 30:19
In Expection,

Friday, October 10, 2008

Room for Squares

John Mayer's debut album, undoubtedly one of my favorites and still in rotation on my iPod, "Room for Squares," captures a young man finding his way on life's journey through song. I used to think every acoustic guitar strummed by a white guy all sounded the same. For some reason this album triggered emotions that others following this formula had not and tugged on heartstings to that point were underdiscovered. But whatever...I just liked it alot. :-) Since this album, I have continuously listened to John on later projects follow his own path for individuality.

Normally, I don't post things that stray too far from music, or empowerment. However, this article below is an excellent read and gives examples of a great model to follow no matter your passion. Further down in the article it highlights the founder of ING Direct in the light of the mortgage crisis. ING offers mortgages and out of 100,000 mortgages ING lended only 15 have ended in foreclosure. That's a pretty small number compared to the many in some cases the majority of mortgages owned by other well known, highly trusted banks that ended in foreclosure. I am happy to say that I bank with ING Direct and have watched a steady not huge, but steady increase of interest accrue.

Additionally, ING founder Arkadi Kuhlmann talks about the temptation to be unethical and greedy for lack of more friendly word during the housing boom. He choose to go another route. His path seems to be paying off not only for ING but for their homeowners. Kuhlmann instituted innovativeness in a less popular way. I'm sure he didn't have many cheerleaders and as many supporters but his choices have kept him above water and still winning.

I love the title, "Sometimes it's Hip to be a Square." (The road less travelled)
How do you keep your head when all those around you are losing theirs? This has become a defining challenge for leaders in an age of technology bubbles, private-equity overreach, and, most recently, the mania (and meltdown) in the mortgage market.
Failure, we like to tell ourselves, is a powerful opportunity to learn. If that's the case, there must be lots of executives learning powerful lessons these days. The government has stepped in to rescue Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, once pillars of the financial system, whose misguided policies enabled so much of the mortgage madnesss. The CEO of Washington Mutual, once a darling of Wall Street analysts, resigned in the face of balance-sheet pressures. Banks and financial institutions everywhere are writing down assets, bumping up loss reserves, slashing payrolls--and watching shareholder value evaporate.

What can we learn from this heartache and misery? To me, the most valuable insights come from those few leaders who refused to be seduced by the promises of fast growth and easy profits. Sure, many of the biggest and best-known names in banking decided to offer teaser rates to attract unqualified borrowers, and to approve loans without verifying incomes. But a few holdouts, who were tremendously creative in much of how they did business, decided that when it came to the "financial engineering" that reshaped the mortgage market, Huey Lewis had it right: It's hip to be square.

One case in point is Hudson City Bancorp, a 140-year-old company based in Paramus, New Jersey that has managed to avoid the mortgage meltdown and continues to post tremendous results. Business journalists have discovered this quiet little outfit and marveled at its strategic insights. Its shares are up 50 percent since last August, when the credit crisis really kicked in. (A leading index of bank stocks is down 40 percent over the same period.) "Hudson City banks the old-fashioned way," Newsweek marveled. "It takes deposits and makes mortgages to people who buy homes in which they plan to live. And then it hangs on to" the mortgages, rather than sell them in the secondary market.
Imagine the brilliance! Take deposits. Make sensible loans. Repeat over and over again, until your market cap approaches $10 billion.
The New York Times tried to unpack the secrets of Hudson's success and offered this analysis:

"The bank carefully screened loan applicants to ensure they would be able both to afford a new house and reside there, rather than flip it. And the bank demanded hefty down a cushion against any sharp drop in home prices, because it planned to hang on to the loans."
What a formula! Make sure borrowers can afford their loans. Insist that they make a big down payment. Favor owners over speculators.
Hudson City's mindful approach to banking only looks remarkable because so many established banks lost their minds. ING Direct, a cutting-edge banking innovator about which I've written in the past, also managed to avoid the march of folly in its industry. The bank avoided the subprime meltdown because it stuck to simple, plain-vanilla mortgages rather than exotic instruments that sounded too good to be true (and were). The bank has written 100,000 mortgages worth $26 billion and has a grand total of 15 foreclosures. Not 15 percent, just 15 mortgages out of 100,000.

Arkadi Kuhlmann, ING Direct's founder and CEO, is one of the most creative business leaders I've ever met. But he was able to distinguish between get-rich-quick industry fads and real innovation. "Every person who tries to do real innovation is going to be tempted by money, greed, acceptance, being in the middle of the action," Kuhlmann says. "But at the core there is one fundamental difference: I know why I'm here. I want to make a difference. If I was into this just for making money, being a big accepted banker, I would have been tempted. But that's not why I'm here. I am trying to build something that changes the business, that allows me to stay on the right side of the discussion."

Kuhlmann's skepticism about mortgage fads speaks to one of the unappreciated elements of strategy and creativity. Sometimes, the most important form of leadership is resisting an innovation that takes hold in your field when that innovation, no matter how popular with your rivals, is at odds with your long-term point of view. The most determined innovators are as conservative as they are unique. They make big strategic bets for the long term and don't hedge their bets when strategic fashions change.
"We as individual leaders operate inside a cultural context," Kuhlmann explains. "The question is, do you want to try to influence the culture that you're in, or do you want the culture that you're in to overwhelm you?"

By combining cutting-edge insights with back-to-basics discipline, ING Direct, like Hudson City Bancorp, has created a powerful new force in the financial-services market. Kuhlmann and his colleagues resisted the worst excesses of the last few years, because they weren't interested in running with the pack--they were determined to do what made sense to them. "When you run with the pack, what you generally see are other people's backsides," Kuhlmann wisecracks. "We know why we're here, and it's not to photocopy other people's bad ideas."
Do you have the values and discipline to keep your head when so many around you are losing theirs?

Word of the Day: Joshua 1:7
Always Empowering,

Monday, October 6, 2008

Stretch My Muscles - Freestyle II

I Fly High

The low road, the road most travelled
The high road, the road travelled by champions
Olympians and now new millennium politicians

The low road where the little play and the little squander
The high road; where we don't ponder, we decide
We make changes in the world in which we abide

Soaring beyond the clouds with minds set on prosperity,
longevity; pressing toward the mark to become a better you, become a better me
I can see clearly from up here

Taking chances, taking risks, taking life by the wrists
Leaving the past in a cloud of rain to fall on the 
haters that wished you pain

Beauty for ashes and dust to dust
The past is dead and life with wings as an eagle is a must
The low road can't sustain my high hopes

I put distance between me and she, me and he
To explore the air up there, up here
in a heaven of dreams. When I rest I float.

The low road, the road most travelled
Popularity abounds on the ground.
The high road, the road travelled by champions
I fly high, sometimes the sky.

"The happy heart runs with the river,
floats on the air, lifts to the music,
soars with the eagle, hopes with the prayer." - Maya Angelou

Verse for the Day: Job 4:4
Kristen Lauren