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You’re Invited: Virtual Bible Study

Hello Friends:

I’m working on setting up a series of online discussions and workshops covering various topics.

This topic is a virtual Bible Study. Listen to my thoughts here:

What do you think? Would you participate? It would be between #Zoom and #Whatsapp or perhaps a combo of both. If you’d like to participate, please send me your email address and I’ll send a link or details once the first meeting is organized.

 

#biblestudy #women #men #faith #learning #sharing #growth #joy #beyou #youare #love

Update 10/18/20: The first meeting has been scheduled. Please see Virtual Bible Study: Marriage & Relationship for details.

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Paint & Praise: Your Blessings Require Work

I’ve been in several transitions this year. All big deals. One transition is moving from New York City to Tucson, AZ. I began the process nearly two years ago and I’m now approaching the final curtain call on my time in NYC. This week I’ve been painting and prepping my Harlem apartment for viewing and sale.

I’ve been so busy this year that I have not focused on sitting at Jesus’s feet and soaking in the Word. I’ve been busy running here and there, doing this and that, thinking through scenarios, trying new things, letting go of everything that doesn’t work, quitting my job in NYC, moving across the country, looking for work in Tucson, returning to NYC to manage issues, taking a summer temp job in NYC, starting a national call for submissions for a new book project, launching a pro photographer career, etc. Just stuff. But this week, enclosed within the four walls of my East Harlem apartment in Manhattan, painting and prepping it for sale, the transition became a concrete change. This process is near completion. There’s very little else to do on my end. The to-do lists have stopped clamoring in my head. It was just me and the walls. And gospel music.

And God. He just came on in.

I’ve been assuring people there is nothing I will miss about NYC once I’m gone. I didn’t want to return. In fact I was quite despondent for a few weeks when I got back to the City. The peace of the desert was simply glorious. So no, I won’t be missing NYC. I don’t plan on looking back after I’m gone for good. Neither has leaving my apartment been necessarily sentimental because I didn’t think I had made any special memories here.

Over the last few days, God has reminded me why my time in NYC has been sacred. I’ve long considered my time in NYC to be on-the-job-training for whatever God has in store for me. This is the place He chose to bring me to an understanding of Who HE IS and Who I AM in HIM. He’s been romancing me this week. Gently walking me down memory lane.

Sometimes all we remember are the hardships or the sour taste difficulties leave in our mouth. I know I’m blessed, but I rarely think on the many ways God has blessed my life. He’s given me many hardships. I remember those. He’s brought me through them all. I praise Him for all that. But the intricacies and intimacies are forgotten. He reminded me that He doesn’t only perform His Word when I call on Him. His Word is performing in my life every moment of every day. He is present always. He wanted this time with me. He wanted to end this season the way we began – with me looking to Him, focusing on Him and His Word. Seeking His guidance and instruction every morning through each evening.

The last few days have been sprinkled with spontaneous worship and deeply moving intercessory prayer. I didn’t see any of it coming. But I know it has all been by His design.

The below video is one of the spontaneous praise moments. I knew it was time to share a portion of this process with the all-consuming goodness of God. Be blessed.

Your blessings require work. Please excuse the loud off-key contributions to the song playing in the background. 🙂 The message is worth the wait. Snippet of Trust in You by Anthony Brown & Group Therapy

 

Trust in You by Anthony Brown & Group Therapy

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Reader Review by Kayla: Desert of Solitude

Kayla Pompey of Milwaukee, WI reviews Desert of Solitude: Refreshed by Grace written by LaShawnda Jones. Kayla openly shares how the book has helped her in her life.

“In this book, LaShawnda explains how she felt she was not enough. I think a lot of people feel like that and they don’t even realize how much they really are. They are enough. I realized I am enough. This [book] just came out a few months ago. Within that time I have been able to completely change my life around. A lot of choices I make now don’t revolve around what other people will think. I’m not trying to be so much of a people pleaser anymore. I am learning to please myself and be happy with the choices I make. In that, other people are feeding off my confidence.”

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Vlog: Reflecting while moving forward

For several years now, I’ve been creating video logs while traveling and for new projects. Unfortunately, I haven’t gotten around to editing and posting them. For my I AM WOMAN Portrait & Essay Project, I occasionally video the women’s introduction. The desire to get these short clips about womanhood posted has led me to figure out the basics of editing video on my mobile devices.

This video message is about the movement and transition of life and the importance of reflecting on where you come from but not getting stuck in the past.

Be blessed,

LaShawnda

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Harvest Update: Summer 2018

July 5, 2018, Volume 3, Issue 2

I AM WOMAN: Photo & Essay Project

Through SH-Images, I am developing a photo and essay book with the goal of sharing a collective story of womanhood. The first phrase of this project spotlights the Black Woman’s experience of womanhood in America. There is an open call for written submissions via Submittable.com. Submitters can live any where in the United States. You must complete a profile on Submittable in order to submit your work for consideration. There is no charge for the profile. The submission fee is $25.

Even though Phrase 1 is about Black Womanhood in America, we are embracing women of all ethnicities who want to participate in this project. Our goal is to develop multiple sister projects based on the themes that emerge from the our conversations with participants.

Women of all ethnicities are welcome to participate in the FREE mini portrait sessions that will be held in Chicago, Milwaukee, New York City, Phoenix and Tucson through August 2018. Though the sessions are open to the public, women are encouraged to register for a time slot on Eventbrite. Each open portrait sessions is scheduled for 2-3 hours. All photographs for this project will be taken by LaShawnda Jones.

For more details, please visit the announcement page.

Free Mini Portrait Sessions

Women of all ethnicities and faiths are welcome to participate in the free photo shoots. However, the first phase of the project is dedicated to capturing, cataloguing and presenting a collective story of experiencing womanhood as a black Woman in America. The portrait session schedule is below. Click a date to reserve your spot on Eventbrite.

NEW YORK CITY

Sunday, July 8, 2018 1:00-4:00pm

Battery Park @ Bowling Green

Theme: Liberty & Water

Sunday, July 22, 2018 1:00-4:00pm

Central Park @ Columbus Circle

Theme: Nature & City Images

Thursday, July 26, 2018  7:00-9:30pm

59th Street @ Columbus Circle

Theme: Night & Subway Images

MILWAUKEE

Thursday, July 12, 2018  7:00-9:30pm

Location: Burke Brise Soleil

Theme: Sunset & Twilight

CHICAGO

Saturday, July 14, 2018  12:00-3:00pm

Location: Cloud Gate (Bean) at Millennium Park

Theme: Old School Glam/A Day in the Park

TUCSON

Saturday, August 18, 2018  8:00-11:00am

Location: TBD

Theme: Desert Refreshment/Renewal

PHOENIX

Saturday, August 25, 2018  8:00-11:00am

Location: TBD

Theme: Grace in the Valley

Please subscribe to https://SH-Images.com for updates.


Desert of Solitude: Refreshed by Grace Trailer


BOOK REVIEWS NEEDED

If you have read, or plan on reading, Desert of Solitude: Refreshed by Grace, please share your thoughts in a review on: Amazon.com, BN.com and Goodreads.com. Reviews are a form of “street cred” in the industry and are EXTREMELY important for indie authors. Additionally they are helpful with future endeavors. Many thanks in advance.

Excerpts from Desert of Solitude

Preface: A Note About Desert of Solitude

Introduction: Wonder-Filled Living

Verdant Valley/Faith Challenges

Love Anyway: Things I Learned During My Harvest

Set Fire to the Rain…

Supporting Multimedia Links

Contents & Themes

Soundtrack & Sermons

Referenced Bible Verses

Video Messages


 

SOULFUL CHICAGO BOOK FAIR

Sunday, July 15, 2018

10:00-8:00pm

Vendor and Presenter

image-9

HARLEM BOOK FAIR

10:00-6:00pm

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Vendor and Presenter


 

FOR SALE: EAST HARLEM CO-OP

(Please share!)

If you, or someone you know, is in the market for a one bedroom, one bath apartment with an attached terrace, please let me know.

My apartment is on the first floor of a twelve story building on 111th Street between Park and Madison Avenues. It faces the back of the building (south) and looks out onto the building’s community terrace, which is enclosed on all sides and has no street access. The terrace attached to the apartment is fenced within a larger community terrace. There are oversized windows in the living/dining area and the bedroom which allows for amazing light throughout the day all year round. These two rooms also have high ceilings (nearly 10 feet) which make the space feel extremely spacious. Wide plank, honey oak floors throughout, except for the tiled kitchen and bathroom.

There is an income limit on the unit, 130% AMI, however there is no asset limit. Board approval is not required, but financial elements will be verified by the management company.  The maintenance fee is low, and should remain affordable (with modest increases) for the next ten years due to special status of the building.

Stats:

Apartment: 750 sq ft, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, wheelchair accessible
Terrace: 150 sq ft (pictured)
Amenities: Laundry, Gym, Bike Storage and Community Room on the same floor.
Trains: 2, 3, 6
Buses: M1, M2, M3, M4


Indie Author, Publisher, Photographer

About LaShawnda Jones

LaShawnda Jones eagerly embraces the process of her personal evolution and the results of her choices. She is the independent author and publisher of Spirit Harvest Publishing Company. She maintains several blogs which focus on spiritual growth, social justice, women and photography. She speaks nationally on self-image, self-esteem, identity in Christ and living the life you envision for yourself. Prior publications are Love & ForgivenessMy God and MeClichés: A Life in Verse and Go, Tell Michelle (State University of New York Press). She holds degrees in Marketing Management and Political Science as well as a MA in International Affairs.

Thanks for reading! All my best,

LaShawnda

Shawnda@Spirit-Harvest.com

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Song & Verse: Worth Fighting For by Brian Courtney Wilson

“Worth Fighting For”

You met me deep in my despair
To show me You
Would never leave me there.
You claimed
Because I was made for so much more
I am Your child
And I’m worth fighting for
Though heavy
With the weight of my mistakes
You carried me
And refused to let me sink
Under the pressure
You meant for me to soar.
I am Your child
And I’m worth fighting for.

Eyes haven’t seen, ears haven’t heard
All You have planned for me
And nothing can separate me from
Your love when there’s so much More still worth fighting for

Now I’m moving by faith and not by
Sight towards victory by the power of Your might
You’re straightening out my past and opening
Every door.
I am Your child and I’m worth fighting for

Eyes haven’t seen. Ears haven’t heard
All You have planned for me and nothing
Can separate me from Your love when
There’s so much more still worth fighting for.

That’s why I’m pressing
Towards the mark
Because the calling on my life is worth fighting for.

And I keep my mind
Stayed on You Jesus
Because the peace it brings is worth fighting for.

And I’ll be faithful.
For my wife and children
Because my family is worth fighting for.

No this world
Is not my home
But Your kingdom here is worth fighting for.

I got a mansion.
Over in glory.
And my new home is worth fighting for

‘Til I see it I’ll shout Hallelujah here
Cause my praise is worth fighting for
Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Life with You is worth fighting for

Hallelujah, Hallelujah, Hallelujah
Life with You is worth fighting for

Eyes haven’t seen. Ears haven’t heard
All you have planned for me
There is so much more still worth fighting for.

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Song & Verse: Running in Circles by United Pursuit

 

I’m so forgetful
But You always remind me
You’re only One who brings me peace.

Thank You for Your Peace, Father.
Thank You for remembering Your purpose and plans for me.
Thank You for the many seeds You’ve planted and nurtured in my life.

I come
To tell You I love You
To tell You I need You
To tell You there’s no better place for me than in Your arms
To tell You I’m sorry
For running in circles
For placing my focus on the waves, not on your face

Thank You, Father, for being sufficient.
Thank You for being more than I could ever expect or ask for.
Thank You for being Everything – my All in All.

Father God, I thank You for loving me. Thank You for teaching me love relationship by relationship. I may forget lessons occasionally, but I always remember love. Thank You for filling me with Your Spirit, Father.

All glory, praise and honor to You.
Amen.

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Film: A Dream for Christmas (1973)

On Christmas day I watched a lovely movie about new opportunities, hope and perseverance. A Dream for Christmas was made in 1973 but is set in 1950. It should be on a classic Christmas movie rotation every year, but it’s not. I had never seen it nor heard of it before and I think that’s a shame since it’s a really good story about a family working together through change and challenges. It’s a slice of life and a looking glass into an every day poor African-American experience pre-Civil Rights Movement. Very intriguing. Very warm. Very well done.

a-dream-for-christmas-black-holiday-moviesA Dream for Christmas is a story about Reverend Will Douglas and his family moving from rural Arkansas in 1950 to Los Angeles to pastor a church. Unbeknownst to the Reverend Douglas, his new church is scheduled to be demolished with the rest of the block by a developer intent on building a shopping mall. Familiar story, isn’t it? Yes, this is also a very modern story of overcoming money and opposition with hope and faith while working towards a goal.

Treat yourself, your family and your friends – watch and share.

A Dream for Christmas
(1973, starring Hari Rhodes, Beah Richards, Lynn Hamilton)

The picture on this link is clearer: https://youtu.be/0wLZ1ZPlOrY

New York Times Review: http://www.nytimes.com/movies/movie/14754/A-Dream-for-Christmas/overview

 

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The Apology Line (Short Film)

“The ‘Apology Line’ is where members of the public can anonymously confess to absolutely anything, over the phone.

Inspired by the original apology project in New York, the apologies are uncomfortably honest, sometimes funny, occasionally shocking, but always fascinating.”

Very interesting short film – topic, audio and video – but I find the confessions rather cowardly… assuming the people are calling the line to apologize anonymously in lieu of confessing and apologizing to the people they harmed with their actions. However, it is powerful none the less, and a rare insight into human hearts.

What do you think?

The Apology Line – Short Film (UKFC, Screen WM)

Directed by James Lees

The Apology Line – Short Film (UKFC, Screen WM) from James Lees on Vimeo.

WINNER:
Best Short Film – HOT DOCS, Toronto
Best European Short Film – Cork International Film Festival
Special Jury Mention – Clermont-Ferrand Int Film Festival
Special Jury Mention – AFI Film Festival Los Angeles
Nominated for Best Short Film – European Film Academy Awards
Official Selection – Sundance Film Festival
Official Selection at over 50 festivals worldwide.
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Song & Verse: Give Us Clean Hands

Psalm 24 (NLT)

A psalm of David.

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it.The world and all its people belong to him. For he laid the earth’s foundation on the seas and built it on the ocean depths.

Who may climb the mountain of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,who do not worship idols and never tell lies. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and have a right relationship with God their savior. Such people may seek you and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.

Interlude

Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle. Open up, ancient gates! Open up, ancient doors, and let the King of glory enter. Who is the King of glory? The Lord of Heaven’s Armies — he is the King of glory.

Interlude

It is so easy to get distracted in the world. As right-thinking as we want to be, as God-fearing as we claim to be, as truth-seeking as we try to be, we can easily be led astray by suggestions, shadows, glimmers and reflections that remind us of our hope, but that ultimately take us far away from the fulfillment of our hope. Praise God for His willingness to take us back every time! Thank you, Holy Spirit for your supreme assistance in guiding us back onto the right track. Without Jesus, the Word of God, we would be eternally without hope. If you are on a slippery slope leading away from God, check yourself now. Stop what you’re doing and turn back. Wash your hands. Purify your heart. Make yourself holy. Surrender yourself and give your life to the God of Jacob, in the name of Jesus your Lord and Savior. He loves you so much He has made a way for you to have a right relationship with Him. Rid yourself and your life of any and everything that blocks God out, that minimizes Him or usurps His primary position in your life. Such things guarantee that you will live a lie and will keep you blind to His Truth and Light.


Give Us Clean Hands performed by Kutless