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Saturday

Why Anomaly By Lecrae Is The Top Album in America

by: April D. Byrd


Lecrae is on the Billboard Charts with the top album in America. Lecrae is clearly unashamed to talk about being a Christian rapper, So a lot of secular outlets are shocked. 

However, that's seemingly the point of his seventh studio Album "Anomaly". The rapper describes in his definition  video for the project that he's ok with not fitting "the mold" or being placed in a box.




Is it really abnormal that professed Christians can actually be talented and widely successful? It's really not. However, I do love that Lecrae honors the power of Christ unashamed. He is a christian and He is very skillful in his craft. 

Church Clothes 2 is one of the LP's that stay on frequent rotation in my car now and my young cousin who's not so christian was thoroughly impressed. Being that He mostly identifies with the rap that's full of cursing and destruction that's a good thing. Lecrae probably can be confusing to some Christians because he takes the same formula with perhaps an even greater amount of talent and switches the lyrics. Hopefully in that he will reach even more lost people.

His music is more than conscious, it's undoubtedly Christian. Honestly Lecrae's album is number one because of his skill which He honors God in, but also because people are tired of hearing lyrics that don't give life! Lyrics which as Lecrae raps on his new album "Ain't Talkin Bout Nothin". This could be the start of something good. Hopefully it's no longer an anomaly to be "different", but more of us will be the change that we want to see...In whatever field God has called us in. It's imperative to keep God's purpose for us as the lead in our lives...to be BOLD!

Check out The Lyric Video for "Nuthin". Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 




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How Sheryl Underwood Turned A Secret Into Success

by: April D. Byrd

When was the last time you shared a secret and got a standing ovation for it? Never! Me either. We can all take notes from Sheryl Underwood.
"I was bruised, but I wasn't Broken"!  We've all been there. The Powerful words came from "The Talk"  Co-Host  when she revealed a juicy secret on the show.

Sheryl's presentation of her truth turned out to be one of the most absolute boss moves I've ever seen on TV. and I didn't actually see it on a TV, but of course #SherylUnderwood was trending, because that's how BOSS it was!

If you haven't seen the video already you might want to check it out! (Below):
Share your thoughts about it in the comments section. 

There is a lot of speculation but seemingly Sheryl handled the situation with eloquence!
What did you think about Sheryl's share? Do you think it was appropriate? Would you have done it?

Wednesday

Nothing You Go Through Or Have Experienced Is In Vain.

By: April D. Byrd



Very early this morning someone decided to message Breath Of Life Daily's Facebook page to say Jesus was not the truth... as normal and probably expected I threw my scriptures out there and said no thanks to whatever God the person was trying to offer. The person was nice enough in the end to stop taunting the page after no further response.

However, after the fact my spirit was uneasy. "Why do people have to make a big deal about it?" "Why is it something that needs to be debated over or disowned"? There is of course research that needs to be done to stand firmly in our faith. I do agree there. Anyway, I sat for a while in my car uninspired for my Wednesday run, in a bit of anger and contempt for the Jesus debate. I got out of the car and went running anyway.

not before I posted to the Facebook page:
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,
-Luke 4:18
I believe powerfully in spreading good news and message of love. This is the spirit I think on when I think of Jesus, I think of him as the embodiment of purpose, definitively, and for everyone. To be so strongly committed to a cause, that you're willing to give it all!


At times we're saved, we get inspiration and revelation from God, but there is opposition in the world. Life is a daily activity and suicide is an issue. A spirit of depression, being beat down, feeling devalued and useless does not have to consume lives.

When we're  "Saved"... and that's through Jesus, we know it and we feel it... the story doesn't end and in one shot we're happy, Life is a daily struggle. Daily inspiration is needed. I was wondering why. why do we have to suffer for following Jesus? why do we have to be persecuted because of him? before I got out of the car. 

But as I was running I looked over and I saw a glimpse of a rainbow in the Lake's fountain God has a promise, a covenant with us and all the earth...( that means He's our Bestie!), I looked over there were two trees intertwined as if they were hugging, "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." We are a body in Christ. then I looked up and saw birds flying freely in the air over my head. and heard "look at my creation." We shouldn't be worried for anything, but relaxed and at peace to just live. God's got us. 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?




Overall I realized that It's not about focusing on who's against us, but the support we have behind us. that's where the life comes from. Go Forward keep running. As you do let your eyes be stayed on God's glory. God's goodness. the pure love offered through Jesus Christ. Keep running! Keep focused on God!

I believe these occurrences happen for a reason. Nothing we go through or experience is in vain. 

Tuesday

I Am Janay Rice...

by: Ruthann Mckenzie

"...we call it domestic violence as if it is a domesticated cat.  It is the most vicious form of violence there is, because not only the physical scars are left, the psychological scars that are left" - VP Joe Biden

She's laying on the bed, curled in a ball. After their last fight she's experiencing severe contractions. Her daughter isn't due for another two months. She's crying. Now he consoles her, kissing her forehead and telling her to calm down. He's sorry. He was drunk and didn't mean anything he said when they got into an argument. Of course he loves her. Of course he wouldn't want anything to happen to his child. That is his blood and his DNA flowing through the unborn's veins. He'll change, he promised. He doesn't want his child to live without him and he won't allow it any other way. That's why earlier he would have rather killed them all rather than watch her walk away. But he promises that was just a scare tactic. Besides, she said some rather hurtful things too.  She should know he's doing the best he can, he's been through so much. The pain subsided in the morning and it was a better day. He cooked breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  He even went out in the cold to buy flowers.

Each morning he made the lunches. Each night after work he cooked the dinners. Each Saturday morning, they went as a family to church. On the outside they were adorable together. They received nothing but compliments on the love they seemed to share.  Yet on the inside she feared for her life. She was forcing a square peg and she knew it, but she stayed. She loved him. He loved her....Besides, she hit him too, he'd provoke, but she'd retaliate. She deserved what came during their fights. The baby was protected by the womb. Never mind, the umbilical cord wrapping around the fetus neck three time unbeknownst to her. Never mind the extreme stress and pressure it placed on the unborn child. That was the least of her concern.

This is not where the story begins though.  She came into this world that was already broken. Her first incident with domestic violence was at the age of three. The very first man she'd ever known to love had no real regards for the woman who carried her. She can still recall that night hearing her parents fight. She can still recall seeing how broken her mother was and not knowing what to do. She was three.  How would she know as an adult she would go through the same or have her child experience such tragedies?


I am Janay Rice. I am the countless women and men who have experienced fear in relationships.  Although I've left my abusers, yes multiple abusers, I'm no better than the next person. I have no greater worth than anyone else. We are all equal because we were created equal. We only share a common thread through the scarlet strain of violence. I am her. I also do not want to acknowledge it as being so serious. Yet, it is that serious.

With each story I read, with each news story I try to avoid listening to, I see my own story replaying. Writing this is not easy. It is a trauma that some of us endure in the warped view of love, not realizing love never will hurt. Perhaps I'm writing this from my heightened sense of sensitivity towards the situation. Nonetheless, more of us need to shine light on something painful in hopes to bring meaningful change. That change does not have to be legislation.  It can be education to those who are ignorant to the facts.  Most of all, it could be compassion and love to those who stay in the situation or who choose to leave.


Education on any subject leads to liberation. Yet, all the education cannot give you a crucial piece, compassion and love. There cannot be judgment as each situation is different. It is never okay to judge, especially when you are cyber bullying, that helps no one. Become educated and be compassionate.  This could be your life. This could be your daughter or son.


Here are a few facts in regards to domestic violence are as follows:

  • World wide, one in three women experience a form of domestic abuse.
  • Domestic abuse can include verbal, sexual, economic, emotional, and uses denial, blame, control, and isolation to manipulate the victim. 
  • One in five men world wide also experience a form of domestic abuse. (This isn't just affecting women.)
  • Women are more likely to be victims of sexual and domestic abuse at the hands of a partner.
  • One in six women in America have been stalked.
  • One in five women have been raped.
  • One in four women in the US has been physically assaulted.
These are just a few of the many statistics for domestic and sexual violence. Some of the negative impacts of domestic and sexual violence includes; being fearful, one or more PTSD symptom, concern for safety, missing work, needing legal services, needing medical services, needing housing services.  I must admit, just watching the news broadcast play over again has evoked some symptoms of my post traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD). 

Most of this happens prior to ones 25th birthday! The saddest thing is I have lived these experiences prior to my 25th birthday. The younger crowd experiences this and then have a warped idea of what is normal and how to enter into a healthy living relationship.

We cannot be naive and believe that violence will end magically. However speaking out and empowering all victims to realize they are victors is a start. Breaking the stigma and ignorance is a start. If this encourages one woman to know they are not alone, it was worth sharing my pain.  If it leads one more to being compassionate and not victimizing someone already mentally and verbally attacked, then it was worth reliving. You can be a light.  You can break free. There is hope and freedom in Christ and that can never be taken away. It is possible to receive help from others and it is possible to give a helping hand to those who need it most. 


Monday

Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone With Power

By: Ruthann Mckenzie



Step out of your comfort zone. What is your comfort zone? What does it look like and feel like to you? Perhaps you are in a comfort zone that you have outgrown long ago. Most comfort zones are created for various different reasons, but most of the time out of fear. Fear is so powerful if you let your mind believe the illusion. At times traumatic things happen to us and we then develop a comfort zone because of it. That can be okay to cope for the moment, however long you may need, but that comfort zone cannot last forever. Nothing great happens inside of the comfort zone. There are too many limits and restricitions in a comfort zone. It seems that we are only using the comfort zone to make excuses of why we cannot do something that we really actually are capable of doing. 

I know all too well about comfort zones. I lived here trying to hide from life for years. My "comfort zone" was really a hamster wheel. I went around on the same trip over and over again. I disliked what others were doing because they were making something out of their lives. Any progress another person made I envied, yet I unhappily stayed within my comfort zone. My comfort zone was my security teddy that I bonded to after the traumas in my life. I would tell God I wanted this or that and to be moved from where I am. However, I was never willing to surrender to Him and come out of the place of where I was hiding. We hide sometimes in comfort zones. I did not really want to grow or be moved because it was scary. I wanted a relationship, but thought what happened if that person hurts me. I wanted to move out of the state I was in, but what if I cannot find a job in the new state. Something as small as cutting my hair and going natural was a struggle for me because the changes were inconceivable for me. 

There will never be a change that takes place with our comfort zone. It will be the same rut.


Touchdown in your Purpose!!

You can either learn to let go of the fear and step out in trust from your comfort zone or stay there. Where have you ever gotten by staying in your comfort spot? Is it really that comfortable? Would you really want to be there? And before you make excuses about why you cannot leave this place you are in, know that God will never take you to a place and not fully equip you. If you really intend to live your life, this short life that you have, then you need to step out of your comfort zone. This may be something different for different people. By no means do I mean go do something crazy, live by the term YOLO or anything like that. No. What I mean is if you want to build a business, stop being scared that no one will like your idea when you never even started. If you want to cut your hair, then go for it you may like it. You want a relationship, then get out and meet new great people out of your circle (that one was directly for me and who ever needs to wear that shoe)...Stop living in your past and your comfort zone at all times. 

So where can you start with coming out of your comfort zone? 



  • Have courage.  Start small, start large, but start somewhere. If you take one step forward out of your comfort zone and become scared have courage that you can overcome that thing.  Greatness is on the other side.
  • Stay in tune with your instincts.  You know what you truly need to do. You hear that voice on the inside that is pushing you, but you stifle it.  Listen and follow your instinct and heart.
  • Be smart and make good decisions.  You will know what you are suppose to do and when. Making good decisions will get you out of your comfort zone.
  • Encourage yourself. Get scared and overcome that comfort zone. Speak good things over your life and you will see the changes manifest.



If by all means you must stay within your comfort zones, then stop complaining that you never get anywhere. At times we are called to leave our past and comfort zone behind, but we are too busy holding on to it that we refuse to hear God telling us to release it and trust Him. We do not like to surrender it all and leave the place that is comfortable in fear that we will not like the new.  If you never are never willing to let go of what is familiar, then how will you know if you will like the new or not? Again, nothing great ever happens within a comfort zone. What opportunities or dreams are you passing up because of remaining in your comfort zone? Maybe it is time to move into the realm of where the magic happens and leave your comfort zone behind!


Saturday

BOLD Journal Interviews Lesley Shannelle | Video

source: www.lesleyshannelle.com

Bold Journal sat down with Gospel Artist Lesley Shanelle, the gospel artist with the powerful sound also has a very powerful story.

Lesley recently released her new EP "Use Me" a phenomenal, upbeat project which to my delight is available on SpotifyITunes, Google Play, and Amazon. Lesley's contemporary sound she will gladly tell you is influenced from Artists like Cece Winans and Yolanda Adams, but not to be confused with anyone. Lesley has her own style that's easy to fall in love with. She has an authentic sound and a unique "Flava" that's all her own. She does Christian Lifestyle Music with a flare and keeps God's word first. Awesome!!

 @LesleyShannelle, and BOLD Journal Editor-In-Chief @aprilinspired

Sitting down and getting to know Leslie Shanelle was a very empowering experience she talked about everything from from favorite scriptures to overcoming obstacles and achieving dreams. What I didn't anticipate was beyond the beauty and fresh faced glam was a woman of substance, intellect, and above all a true love for God. This was truly inspiring!  The Inspiration picked up from Lesley in our interview is the same inspiration that's reflected in her music. She was hesitant about going into the gospel spotlight, but we're so glad she did. Her authentic vibe will definitely make a positive impact and it clearly stems from a source of love. Praise God for that!!


For more info on Lesley Shannelle you can visit 627entertainment.com


Check out BOLDJournal's Exclusive One-on-One Interview with Lesley Shannelle Below:



Keep up with the latest updates by Following Breath Of Life Daily on Twitter and Instagram@BOLDJournal.


Friday

My Visit to The National September 11 Memorial



Before the anniversary of the September 11th attacks at the World Trade Center in New York City, photographer Jay Daniel was able to capture great images of the memorial site along with the life and visitors that now frequent the area.

Daniel shared the images and his thoughts in his blog:"My Visit to The National September 11 Memorial" at jaydanielphotography.com The photos are inspiring and full of hope.


You can check out All of the images from his visit to the memorial on Jay Daniel Photography's website along with his other blogs and work. Jay Daniel's work is also on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube