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Sunday

Top Highlights From MegaFest15

by April D. Byrd


I was SO blessed at MegaFest15! and I'm extremely grateful that I was able to attend and do media coverage for BOLD-Impact Network. It was an amazing time and as promised it was more than a festival, but truly an experience. The blessing of attending MegaFest is still present in my spirit, and I'm sure it will be for a very long time. 

As soon as I made it to "Woman Thou Art Loosed" opening session the spirit of empowerment and excellency was already in the air. The major American Airlines Center arena that sits thousands of people was fully packed... and not with just any random people, but those active in praise and worship. 

There were many great gospel, and even some secular musical acts that joined the praise, but the ladies of Grace, the gospel group on Bishop T.D. Jakes, Dexterity Records label really stole the show...and they didn't just hold the spotlight captive for themselves, they gave it to God, which made the worship experience even greater. Each time they performed they set the atmosphere for worship. The official Woman Thou Art Loosed opening session was definitely something to remember! Bishop Jakes came with a power packed message full of rhema word that seemed to touch everybody in the arena, and it was on point from start to end. 

The message was on the capacity we have for God to fill us, if we allow Him to. If we recognize our need as God's ability to fill, and to operate on our behalf, we will began to experience His power on a greater level. The need we have creates a capacity for God to fill! It's up to us to let God be God and expose our needs to Him without holding back due to being too proud, ashamed, etc. It was explosive!




That amazing message set the stage for excellence as the fest continued rolling. The spirit of empowerment was thick in the air as attendees walked around the Dallas vicinity, empowered conversations were heard on the streets, in the trains, on the buses, and everywhere in between among attendees. Divine connections were made, just confirming the word that Bishop Jakes stated in the opening session. He was speaking directly to the spirits and hearts of the people. The sights and sounds of MegaFest15 will remain unforgettable, it had the whole city fired up for God.

It was easy to tell that MegaFest15 was filled with a special kind of people. It's not that the preachers, teachers, or speakers hyped the people up so much, but it was that they were talking to people with dreams and purpose on the inside of them. That's were destiny and the holy spirit began to move, the atmosphere was conducive to growth and MegaFest created a launching pad for breakthrough!

There is no doubt that after attending MegaFest, that the many attendees dreams will be manifested into reality, better yet into destiny, which is what Bishop Jakes latest book "Destiny" addresses.

It was beyond empowering to be in an environment with people, with dreams and purpose on the inside of them, who are inspired by God's will for their lives. It was truly inspiring... and did I mention amazing?!!

You can look under the #megafestxBOLD hashtag on social media for various events covered by BOLD-Impact Network at MegaFest including:

  • Woman Thou Art Loosed- Opening Session
  • Ladies Who Lead - hosted by The BOSS Network
  • ManPower - Closing Session
  • Woman Thou Art Loosed - Girl Talk
  • Woman Thou Art Loosed - Morning Glory
  • Millennials Panel - at International Faith Family Film Festival
  • War Room Movie Screening - at International Faith Family Film Festival
check out a few session highlights in the video (below):

Also, check out the MegaFestxBOLD album on our Facebook page and the latest updates from MegaFest on BOLD's Instagram page. It is my prayer that the blessing that I received at MegaFest15 will be with you on your journey, just as it will on mine. Go with the empowerment... it is officially being passed on to you. Enjoy the experience!

Thank you to T.D. Jakes Ministries and MegaFest for granting BOLD-Impact Network access! Be sure to visit their website: www.mega-fest.org  for more resources.

Did you attend MegaFest this year? What were your favorite moments? If not what updates or quotes have you enjoyed the most from BOLD-Impact's coverage on social media (Twitter, Fb, Instagram)? Let us know in the comments section below. Let's keep the conversation going! Looking forward to your feedback.

Wednesday

Recap: Inspiration From APEX Poetry Night



"A Word From Our Ancestors" poetry night at APEX Museum in Atlanta, GA. hosted by Lady Vee DaPoet and Sponsored by James and James LLC. was an evening filled with excellence and inspiration...or in other words... It was dope!!

Performing artists and poets came out with their best. The audience was dapper at the black tie event. The evening was magical, and the energy was good. Many attendees took home great prizes, courtesy of the raffle held, NOBODY went home empty handed...there were gift bags galore!!


Even better than the gifts and prizes, was the beauty and wisdom that each of the poets shared, they displayed a brilliance and truth that inspired the audience to it's core. Inspiration was definitely present and so was a deep lasting impact... it was clear that more events like "A Word From Our Ancestors" aka #APEXPoetryNight need to be held. Better yet, we are definitely ready for the follow-up, if James and James LLC, and Lady Vee DaPoet can come together and bless us again. 


It was definitely a blessing to be in the building and BOLD Journal was blessed to be there. Besides the "poetical soul food" there was real soul food and it was amazing! Anganiks Cuisine who catered the event, blessed attendees palates with simple, yet elegant deliciousness. 


The event was stellar and served as a hallmark of excellence. With so much violence, ignorance, and hatred going on in the society that we live in today, "A Word From Our Ancestors" not only entertained, but made an impact. Making a positive impact in the world is something we should all strive for, and definitely ask ourselves "how are we doing so?" It was an honor to be present with those who are expressing greatness in various fields of influence in the world, from poetry, to business, to culinary arts, to innovation. Congrats to everyone who shared their excellency at #APEXPoetryNight, whether  it was speaking up, or just showing up. There were true artists in the building, and we are definitely looking forward to the next!!


You can view the full album of BOLD's photos from APEXPoetryNight by visiting BOLDImpactNetwork's fanpage on Facebook. Tag yourself. Tag a Friend. Leave a comment! Looking forward to hearing from you all!! Thank you James and James!!



Great recap photos from Lady Vee DaPoet Presents "A Word From Our Ancestors" Sponsored by James & James LLC. Official Recap Post:
Posted by BOLD-Impact Network on Wednesday, August 5, 2015
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Sunday

Jump Start Your Confidence And Move Beyond Failure



It's December 31st, at 11:58pm. Before the ball drops, you are mentally going over all the last minute goals you have decided will not follow you into the new year. "I am going to be nicer", "I will lose 15 pounds", "I am going to make more at my job".  By January 5th, the one coworker no one likes was rude to you first, there was chocolate cake in the break room from a party, and there goes your calorie count for today. I think this has happened to the best of us.

Statistically only 8% of people who create new year resolutions are successful. Why is that? I believe that the part that we let bother us most is that we failed at our goals, which makes us give up entirely. It is okay to fail, it is not okay to allow that failure to deter us from the ultimate goal.

Perhaps you began to fall off the wagon a bit with your goals.  In order to recommit to your goals you must understand a few things:

1) Things may have gotten in the way where you lost focus on your goals and today is as good as January 1st to recommit. There is no better time than the present to reconnect and become committed again to your goals.

2) You deserve to live out your dreams and nothing is worth putting it off forever. Whether it is January 1st or July 20th, your dreams are yours for the taking today!


3) Slow progress is better than no progress. Make attainable action items to accomplish with your goal. You will begin to feel better when you begin to take definite action towards your goal and move forward.


4) When you accomplish your goals you will feel better about yourself and your purpose in life will be magnified. It is not only about the weight loss, negotiation skills, or being kinder...it ultimately is about accomplishing what you set out to complete. With each new goal accomplished you learn more about yourself and what you are truly capable of.


5) Recommitting to your goals will jump start your confidence to keep moving forward. It is a confidence boost to know you will and CAN do whatever you set your mind to.


The overall theme of 2015 for me has been about moving forward...I am ready to get to my next level, are you? If you are in then sign up for the Jumpstart Your Confidence program, which is on sale until August 3rd. In THREE weeks you can be on the right path towards making your vision a reality.  Let's JUMPSTART the second half of 2015!

12 Art Prints That Inspire Me On Minted.

Updated!! Anniversary Giveaway!! Breath Of Life Daily is 4 years old this year!! We're giving you the gifts!! Thanks to our awesome readers for your support!! Sign-up to win a $100 gift credit from Minted. Enter here: http://eepurl.com/bd4HAL


12 Art Prints That Inspire Me On Minted.

by: April D. Byrd



First off, let me say this, I just found out about Minted.com and visited their site... I love them! Minted.com is a collective of greatness, so much talent in one place, and I'm so here for that. Minted. is a marketplace for independent artist to share their work. The website is amazing! It has some great pieces. Also, they have stationary, I'm big on stationary, planners, invitations, and all that good stuff, especially being a writer.

There is a lot to love, but I limited the post to 12 (it was originally supposed to be 10, but I was having so much fun, by the time I looked up I'd went over, shows you how good minted is.) It'd be great to choose a lot more, but I won't hold up your time. You can check out all the great prints on minted.com for yourself.. I'm looking forward to lurking more on their site, and purchasing prints, I had my eye on a few planners too. Among the prints I chose a few favorites that definitely stood out and really spoke to me...and here's why:



1. Cloud Observation by Stephanie Goos
It was the first one to catch my eye and attention. I love clouds. The beauty and the texture of this piece really stood out to me. There is such skill by the artist in capturing the color undertones and the visual story of the image. It's filled with beauty and magnificence. I want to go into that place where the clouds are. It's apparently (In this picture) some place to go and it makes me long to feel that calm, that it presents.

2. Foilage by Julie Song Ink
Foilage, oh Foilage! It's so beautiful. The colors are amazing! we are all different leaves on a branch so many colors and our own uniqueness.

3. Cosmos Garden by Lorent and Leif
I like the imagery that this piece creates. It shows that the artists knew how to arrive at the desired result using what they had. Very skillful. It looks like a rose bush to me. This is artistic talented work and I love flowers, especially roses. I would use this in my house to decorate with. It makes for a good accent with the decor of a warm, sunny, happy home.

4. Golden Palm Tree by Wilder California
Love this shining palm. I'm from Florida originally, so I love seeing the beautiful palm trees whenever I go down to visit. This image is from California, I believe, but for me it brings about a homey feel, not to mention the angle of the shot is glorious. The image is just beautiful. It's something you'd wanna see on a day you're traveling into town...welcoming beautiful palm trees in sunshine. Delightful.

5. Blue Fields by Hi Uan Kang Haaga

Color contrast. I love this blue and green with the specks of red sitting out for effect. It truly does look like an image from the sky, dreamed up from the artists mind. It pops, in a good way.

6. Pining for Pineapple by Joni Tyrrell
If you're a fan of pineapple...you get it. Even if you're not a fan, beyond the mouthwatering appeal this picture is very clear. It's direct, focused, and makes a statement...a BOLD statement. "I alone, by myself, with know distractions or fancy backgrounds...I am enough. That's one conscious pineapple!

7. Sunset Study by Jessica Cardelucci
Sunset Study produces a familiar feel that comes over the distance. It's a reminder that joy comes in the morning. No matter what we go through, the sun will rise again, It's a beautifully imagined evening sunset.

8. Twinkling light by Lindsay Ferraris Photography
This image reminds me of driving up to a party or social activity, where the people are. The dim, out of focus perspective is a testament that there is light, even amidst mediocrity, and where there's light there is life.

9. Bits by Katie Craig
The lovely bits! These are "bits into the blue". I'm in love with blue, and it's a great decor' piece. Simple beauty.

10. Facades by Qing Ji
My grandmother use to have a picture just like this in her house. It brings back sentimental feeling and memories, and at the the same time it makes me want to travel and go somewhere far away that I've never been before. (Italy, maybe.) Pretty much anywhere that's not where I am. This picture makes me believe and wander. There's motivation here, motivation for something better.

11. Four Sisters by Holly Royval
Love this! The color contrasts here rock! The sisters here are similar, but different in personalities, that's how we know they're sisters. It is an image of us all. Human kind as a whole, we belong to each other, but we have differences in authenticity. Beyond the meaningfulness of the lesson the picture is just nice to look at. Are the four sisters: style, class, elegance, and sophistication? because that's what this painting says to me.


12. Big Sky Country by Vicki Rawlins
Last, but not least: Big Sky Country. This is the beauty I want in my life, the image itself, and the feel it brings. Can you tell I love clouds? Clouds denote the glory of God. There is such an animated clarity here. It's clearly skillful work by the artist. Another plus... it looks like Mufasa from The Lion King is about to come breaking through the clouds at any minute. Very glorious and splendid.


What is your take on these 12 prints? Did you find these or any of the other products and prints inspiring at minted.com? Let me know in the comments... You can also follow this conversation with Breath Of Life Daily + Minted. via social media on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and Pinterest.

Wednesday

Own Your Power... Including Your Mistakes



Until we learn to own our mistakes and grow from them, we can never fully own our triumphs.
Yesterday there was a big ruckus at my job, one of the ladies asked another to pray for her (I currently work at a ministry) The matter of casting out demons and it's implications were thrown around and some people in the camp were freaked out or uncomfortable with the whole thing. As the situation was blown out of proportion, the woman who asked the other for prayer was very regretful.

She stated. "I wish I had never done it, then all this never would've happened."  I reminded her of the power she has. Mistakes are made to help grow us and we shouldn't be ashamed of whatever decisions we've made, but observe and learn from them. Her actions produced a ripple affect, and so did mine for the particular situation. 

As a result, I observed that the big fiasco that was made from the situation was a result of the power she has. Now wouldn't it be great to use that same power to make an impact with purpose and direction from God?

Even though at the time she was clueless... She was moving! Mistakes are a sign that we're making effort, and when were making effort we're operating in power. Let's Own our power fully. Effort is a sign of life, movement and growth. There must be growth after trial and error. We can make mistakes, but we have to learn from them and not live in regret, lest we be stagnant.

When we make a mistake the way out is to take up wisdom, right then and there. admit it, seek God, and grow from it. Wisdom is a way out, and it is an escape from our error. 

"No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it" (1 Corinthians 10:13).


Have you made any mistakes lately?  What lessons did you take away that you will utilize? or what scriptures can you think of that address our mistakes? Leave a comment in the box below. and Keep following the conversation with with us online via Twitter, Facebook, and Google+.

*Resources: Scripture Article
*Photo Credit: Iyanla Vanzant

Monday

From Gridiron To Grace: Derwin Gray's Winning Testimony



Growing up on the west side of San Antonio, I believed in god—the god of football. The game was my ticket out of an early life saturated with violence, addiction, abuse, and chaos.
I was raised by my grandmother, because my parents were only teenagers when I was born. They were children bringing a child into the world. As much as they wanted to care for me, the hurt and brokenness in their lives prevented them. "Grannie" was a Jehovah's Witness, so that was the religion I knew. After a while, even that went away.
We were not poor. We were "po." We couldn't afford the other o and r. We didn't eat meals together. We didn't pray together. There were good times, like when we'd go fishing or when my grandfather would come home after work in the evenings. By the time I was 13, however, I looked at my environment and told my grandmother, "I'm going to do something with my life."
Football was my way out of the hell I was living in. I believed it would lift me into the heaven of the American dream.
Football functioned as my savior. It gave me love: If I played well, I was loved by fans. It gave me an identity: I was Derwin, the football player. It gave me significance: I was somebody because I was a great player. And football gave me a mission. My mission was this: Derwin, you can go to college and make something of your life.

Running from Naked Preacher

During my sophomore year of high school, I started to do just that. I transferred to Judson High School in Converse, a suburb of San Antonio, where I played for D. W. Rutledge, the Texas High School Hall of Fame coach. My senior year, I accepted a football scholarship to Brigham Young University (BYU). So, you have a black kid from a lower socioeconomic, multiethnic context with a Jehovah's Witness religious background (whose god is football) attending a Mormon university.
On January 15, 1990, during my freshman year at BYU, I met a beautiful young lady named Vicki Ensign. She was a javelin thrower on the track team. We fell in love fast and married on May 23, 1992, during my senior year. The first wedding I had ever attended was my own.
At BYU, my god had come through for me. I had an outstanding career and later was named to BYU football's "All Time Dream Team." Plus, I was loved at the school. I had the girl of my dreams. I was making something out of my life. On April 25, 1993, I was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts to strong safety. I had made it!
Then I met the Naked Preacher, a linebacker for the Colts in 1993.
It was impossible not to notice a linebacker who would take a shower, dry off, wrap a towel around his waist, pick up his Bible, and ask those of us in the locker room, "Do you know Jesus?" I would think, Do you know you are half-naked?
I asked the veterans on the team about him. They said, "Don't pay attention to him. That's the Naked Preacher."
At this point in my life, I did not want anything to do with Jesus or a half-naked man talking about him, so I tried to avoid him. One day after practice, I was sitting at my locker and saw the Naked Preacher (whose real name is Steve Grant) walking toward me.
"Rookie D. Gray, do you know Jesus?" he asked.
I pretended to not hear him and turned my back. He repeated the question, but this time he was at my locker. Even though I was not a churchgoer or involved in any religious group, I gave what I thought was a very religious answer: "I'm a good person."
I explained to Steve that I was one of the only men in my family who had not been to jail, who did not have a substance abuse problem, who had graduated from high school and college, and who did not have a child outside of marriage.
The Naked Preacher opened up his Bible and shared two verses with me: "And Jesus said to him, 'Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone'" (Mark 10:18, ESV); and, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God" (Rom. 3:23).
Steve explained that according to the Bible, only God is good; he is the standard of goodness and righteousness. Everyone else has sinned and falls short. This disturbed me.
I said, "Naked man, you are telling me that my moral comparison is to God and not to other people?" He said, "Yes."
"God is perfect! What can I do to be perfect?" He answered, "Nothing."
I said, "I'm in big trouble."
"Rookie D. Gray," he said, "now you are starting to get it. You can't do anything to reach a perfect God. But Jesus has done everything for the perfect God to come down and reach you."
I sat in silence. I needed time to think through what he was saying and what I was experiencing in my heart.
Over the next five years, I watched Steve live out the gospel. When my teammates needed advice, they were at the Naked Preacher's locker. Steve was involved in the greater Indianapolis community. He displayed Jesus in the way he loved his wife and children. He preached through his words and actions.
As the Naked Preacher preached, God's love crushed me. I had achieved the American dream, only to realize it could not empower me to love my wife or forgive my father. My fame and money could not erase my sin, shame, guilt, fear, and insecurity.
... Continue reading Derwin's powerful testimony here.


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Wednesday

10 Scriptures To Uplift Your Spirit



Our spirits need to be devoted to God if they are to thrive amidst chaos. It is God's will that we thrive and that our spirit experiences the wholeness and prosperity that the holy spirit offers. Here are 10 scriptures that help emphasize the blessing of devotion and belonging to Him:
- I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14
-"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." -John 15:5

- Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. Psalm 55:22
- Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? - Matthew 6:26 


-So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows. Matthew 10:31
-He is so rich in kindness that He purchased our freedom through the blood of His Son, and our sins are forgiven. Ephesians 1:7

-Even before he made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in his eyes. Ephesians 1:4

-Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. - Psalm 51:7



-See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. -Psalm 139:24

- But if we confess our sins to Him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from every wrong. -1 John 1:9


What are some of  your go to scriptures that help uplift your spirit? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.