July 28, 2015

SOS: Be someone's tour guide

By Tatianah Green

Have you ever hosted a friend or family member in your hometown or the city you live in? It's cool to have have a guest or two over for a weekend this summer to explore your city together. 

My mom came to visit from Florida with her friend who's never been to Chicago. Although my mom lived here most of her life she didn't get to see the sights like Cloudgate aka the bean in Millennium Park or see the fireworks up close at Navy Pier.

It felt good to spend time with my mom and serving as a tour guide. On Saturday we endured the hot summer weather and ate some yummy food (Yolk in Lake View, lunch in Millennium Park, and dinner at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.). 

We took an architecture tour of the city, cruising along the Chicago River and learning about the city's history. It ended with a nice view of the Saturday night fireworks show at Navy Pier which take place every Wednesday and Saturday during the summer season. 

Whatever you decide to do when you host someone, have a flexible plan available. We went to the Shedd Aquarium only to turn right back because the line to get in wrapped around around the building. 

This weekend's meals from Yolk, Pappadeaux, 
and Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.
In moments like that you gotta just "make it work" and find something else to see or do. Stay hydrated and take breaks in cool places like a park, museum or by the river. 

Best thing about hosting someone else is that you may feel like you're on a vacation too. What will you do when someone comes to visit? Have fun!

July 23, 2015

SOS: Spend time under the stars

By Tatianah Green

Source: Matt Payne (Flickr)

Summer days are great, but summer nights are simply magical. Except for the bugs, summer nights are one of the best parts of the season because it’s warm outside after dark, there are more activities outside, and of course—stars. 

God granted a group of us a beautiful night under the stars on the beach in northwest Indiana this month for my sis Russelyn’s event. It was her desire to have a fellowship gathering and worship the Lord on the beach. Putting her hospitality gifts to use, she had food, refreshments and other items that our group of ten needed for a night out at the Indiana Dunes State Park. We had music, sand, and lots of bug spray, glory!

Us at Indiana Dunes after worship and prayer!
What I enjoyed the most was the chance to chill and enjoy the Lord’s presence outside of the everyday four walls of home or church. The earth is His, and the fullness thereof. God gave us the world to explore and take care of; what better way to admire His beautiful creation than at night? At night things are still and quiet, allowing you to better focus on nature and seek the Lord. 

As a bonus, we got to see the stars where we normally wouldn’t be able to in the city and suburbs. Being on the beach miles away from the bright lights and bigger city allowed us to see the Big Dipper, the North Star, and shooting stars! God truly gave us a spectacular rain-free night for worship and prayer; what will you do under the stars this summer?

Let me know your favorite summer night activities at @BLISS_BCS

July 21, 2015

Ashley Madison gets hacked: when cheaters get exposed

By Tatianah Green

AM's map of most adulterous countries with U.S. in the top 3
Cheating, infidelity or unfaithfulness in marriage, is one of the biggest offenses in relationships. Nobody likes or wants to get cheated on. It happens though and very often nowadays in dating and marital relationships. To make matters worse, there are individuals, organizations and companies that benefit from adultery and the sin of infidelity, like the marriage dating website Ashley Madison

In recent news it appears that a hacking group the Impact Team has breached the site's security and threatened to release the private information of those who have profiles and accounts on this seemingly private website. At first glance most would say that's what the participants get. Some are on another angle, saying that publicly releasing the names of nearly 37 million AM global customers is taking public shaming and judgement to the next level. I'd like to share a faith perspective on this issue:

1. One part of me wants the people involved to feel exposed. That part of me is the girl who witnessed my parents fight. Who found out that my dad was not being faithful to my mother. Who realized that infidelity was a pretty active spirit in my family on both sides. Those who kept this online affair a secret should sweat some because it is very foolish to believe that doing dirt on the Internet was 1. safe and 2. private. If you don't learn it now, you'll never realize that everything posted online has potential to be traced back. What's done in the dark will come to light #thatsBible. That's also a popular theme in shows like Maury and Cheaters. We spectate and live off of someone else's drama and feed our inner desire for vengeance to be served. "In part I want them to feel what it's like to be on the side of the loved ones they are hurting..."

2. But they are already hurting. No man or woman who is truly happy with themselves or their spouse is going to just up and cheat. There's something that they are searching for that they themselves cannot fulfill or understand. Similar to the film Addicted, there are spiritual, mental and emotional reasons for infidelity and those battling the temptation should seek help to explore why they feel the way they do. The fact that there are nearly 37 million people signed up for the notion of having an affair means that something is wrong within, that... 

3. It's all about the condition of the heart. The word says that godly sorrow brings forth repentance, and I believe that's the key we're missing in this case. Worldly articles are going to talk about everything BUT the condition of these folk's hearts. The "customers" on Ashley Madison are just like you and me: sinners who need to repent and get it right with the Lord. The last thing I want for any of them is to be given over to a reprobate mind in which they continue to do what they do and reap the consequences of sin. Sin leads to death, no matter how big or small, but when you decide to humble yourself and turn away from the wicked ways, God will see you through... 

4. Because God knows all about it. He knows what it's like to be cheated on. We cheat on God with sin; when we are disobedient to His way. We cheat on Him when we bow down to other idols in our lives or in society, when we flee to people instead of Him. It hurts Him too because His love is so great for us no matter what we've done. He knows us deep in our core and is patient to see us turn our hearts back to Him. In light of this recent news I'm reminded of Jesus coming to the rescue for a woman caught in adultery. She was about to get stoned to death by those who thought they had it all together in terms of morality and spirituality. Jesus asked that whoever was without sin cast the first stone at her. Everyone did not use their stones and walked away. 

Do you know how relieved, frightened, perplexed and vulnerable that woman may have felt in that moment? A man (God in flesh) named Jesus came and stopped others from taking her life. She may have been caught up in sin and was about to die but Christ intervened. He asked her where are her accusers and did they condemn her, which she said no. Jesus then said "Neither do I, and sin no more." 

No more adultery but now a new lease on life because of Jesus. Because we have all sinned, it's not up to us to cast judgement, but to bring them before the Lord in prayer so that they receive the opportunity to repent, even if that is by means of being exposed. The fall of man (the first sin) left Adam and Eve feeling exposed. It may not be pretty, but it just might be the wake up call that some will need so that they too can make the decision to sin no more. What are your thoughts?

July 9, 2015

Utilize your single season to build your wealth

By Tatianah Green

This post is part of Generation One Blog Tour which I am excited to be a part of along with many other inspiring bloggers. To learn more and to join us as we tell the world how we are creating generational wealth, CLICK HERE!
The summer is the time when people go on vacation, buy now gear for events and parties, or even invest in their business or property. No matter where you are financially, it's a good idea to know about your money, debt and how to create wealth. We are living in a time when African American women are becoming the fastest group of upcoming entrepreneurs

Men and women also have opportunities to build wealth outside of the traditional work setting. What can be discouraging to people including singles is the "I'm just not there yet" mentality because of debt, and other financial obligations. I know this because I have fought those thoughts before.

Maybe you feel the same: you want to create wealth or have multiple streams of income that work for you, but you may not know how. This S.O.S. post is especially for you. This season is great to take the time out to evaluate your resources and seek the knowledge necessary to succeed in this season and the next ones to come. You may be purposed in this season to start a business or organization, to become active in building your wealth and setting up a good foundation (financially) for your future. 

To kick-start this journey, I highly recommend attending a screening for the new film created by Lamar and Ronnie Tyler of BMWK called Generation One. View the trailer here:

Lamar and Ronnie Tyler will kick off the debut of #GenerationOne with a live screening in a city near you:

  • Atlanta – Wednesday, July 15
  • D.C. – Thursday, July 16
  • Chicago– Saturday, July 18 (Let me know if you'll be at the Chicago screenings on Twitter: @BLISS_BCS)
  • More Cities TBA

*National Wealth Discussion via Social Media July 18th using #GenerationOne*
Visit www.GenerationOneMovie.com for the latest updates!

Lamar and Ronnie Tyler are co-founders of BlackAndMarriedWithKids.com. They wrote and directed Generation One to give African American families the tools and strategies they need to begin building wealth for their families TODAY. The Tylers know this film has the power to change lives. You can grab your copy HERE

July 6, 2015

What an upgrade looks like: Ciara and Russell Wilson

By Tatianah Green

Artist Ciara and Seattle Seahawks QB Russell Wilson have been an item for several months  now and in a recent interview at a church, Russell shared that the Lord stirred his spirit and the two agreed to abstain from sex in their relationship. Seeing him practically gushing about the singer in the interview, it seems like they have both upgraded to something special. Let’s break it down:

Can you do it like Russell Wilson?

More like can you do it like Jesus? Russell shared in his interview that the Lord spoke to him as he was looking at Ciara and inspired him to have the talk with her about abstaining in their relationship. Seeing that his relationship with God is more important he followed through with deciding to lead the relationship in a way that honors both them and God as they grow to learn about each other. 

I think that part interested me the most aside from abstaining because how often do women feel like they have to lead men spiritually in the relationship? From my experience it can be a challenge when you’re not equally yoked with someone in beliefs, morals, etc. even if you both profess to believe in Christ. But in this case, it’s awesome because he can hear from the Lord and he actually responds—the obedience factor in the follow through. If they make it in the long run or not, they both will be blessed regardless because obedience and respecting the instruction from God was made a priority.

A realistic image of Christian dating

Russell Wilson, at age 26, was previously married. Ciara has had a few public romances that didn't end well. She was previously engaged and had a baby with her ex fiancĂ©. As Wilson said a few times in the interview, Christians are not perfect and that includes them. I believe their relationship is a realistic image of what many of us single believers will experience when it’s our season to date, court and marry. We're coming from past relationships or situations that made us question our worth. 
Maybe you have a child or have been previously married and things didn’t work out. We may have pasts that left us with scars that God has healed. Would you date someone who was married before or who had kids? It's something to consider and pray about. Be rest assured that God has a plan for your love life despite your past; just ask Toure and Sarah Roberts.

Women’s pressure to have sex

Russell said that Ciara was relieved when they agreed to abstain. Let’s take that in for a moment. Men, we need yall to realize that we women face temptation all the time to give into sex. We’re told the lies from the world that no one will want us because we’re “holding out,” or if we have a kid already we might as well continue having sex. Sexual intimacy is not something to take lightly. No matter how many partners you’ve had in the past, if you want to abstain in your next relationship then that’s what you do.

Your body is yours and not your own at the same time. Our bodies belong to God and it’s our duty to honor Him with them according to Romans 12:1. Self control is a fruit of the Spirit and trust me it gets tried and tested. Ladies and gentlemen, you don’t have to compromise just because you’ve had sexual intimacy (in any form) before. Your hormones and desires are not your god and they and not stronger than God. Ask Him to keep your mind, heart and body clear of sexual impurities. He can and will provide you a way of escape from temptation.

CLICK the SAVED SINGLES MEN or SAVED SINGLES WOMEN section to read why this is worth talking about...

July 3, 2015

3 ways you can take action after you pray

By Tatianah Green

Emotions are high as news via social media spread that another church in the southern United States was burned this week. And the only ones who seem to care are African Americans, disappointed but not surprised about the lack of media attention that these acts should get. We hear about many stories throughout the country including when criminals break out of prison on one side of the country, but we don’t get the just dues when it comes to a string of suspicious attacks upon Black churches in the southern states. #Whoisburningblackchurches

Who knows what the true story is in each case, but as a people we must demand action and justice. People’s lives and livelihoods are at stake. Instead of getting angry and taking to violence we can act in another way. This requires action after prayer--direction and swift thinking. I was reminded when Jesus was preparing His disciples on how to handle situations they would likely face as apostles of a new testament. Matthew10:16-20: 
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me. When you are arrested, don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. For it is not you who will be speaking—it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.
To be shrewd means to be intelligent, sharp, wise. To be harmless is to be gentle, inoffensive. We can be angry and sin not. We have to learn to fight smart and not lose momentum in this thing. It is possible and we don’t have to wait to get started.

1. Hold media accountable. Tag, email, post, write, call your local or even major network media and tell them what you want to see in the news. They will pick up and they will notice what we have to say. For example I seriously need to check up on the #FreddieGray case, but it’s not “major news” right now. Many news outlets base what they show us on what we say, so if we take a moment to not make memes and instead send emails out to these producers and reporters, we can get the important stories covered. 

2. Move your money elsewhere.  Dr. Boyce Watkins said something to the effect that you don't get someone's attention until you mess with their money. We've been saying this for years about supporting our own, so perhaps a boycott of big business is necessary to get corporate attention which will affect the economy and then government will respond. Black money is powerful! We can learn from the recent Donald Trump controversial statements that corporations don’t stand for foolish statements and attitudes from people and neither should we or any other group. You can also donate to the churches and organizations affected in these fires and to Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, SC. 

3. Stay in tune with developments. We can't get distracted with the next big thing in viral news. We have to be organized and carefully watching the investigation into these arson crimes and seek justice to the fullest extent. We need to be educated on our rights state by state as well because laws are changing while we sleep. 

*Bonus* Create your own opportunities and employee your community.
This is a point that may take time, but the more news that shows me what’s happening in our own country the more I’m motivated to create and own my voice, brand and business and help others in the process. Dr. Boyce Watkins speaks to this in a video on financial success. He explains why African Americans need to not only obtain wealth but to create it and hire their fellow man and woman to really make change we’ve all been waiting for.

We are a resilient people with power in our numbers. Greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world.  We have plenty of opportunities to take action after we pray. It's not about getting mad and being emotional. It's about getting smart and fighting back collectively and undivided.

June 29, 2015

5 ways to connect better with the men you meet

By Tatianah Green

Summer is upon us and what I like about this season is the weather is generally good enough to go outside and see other people. We get so consumed by technology and our schedules that we don’t have the opportunity to connect with each other, let alone the opposite sex. 

I wanted to write this post for the ladies but perhaps guys can get something from this as well. If you want to meet more men for potential dates, this is the time to practice your interpersonal communication. Here are five ways you can improve your connection with the opposite sex this season.

1. Be present

Being present-minded means you’re not eager or anxious to look towards the future when you meet and converse with a guy. He seems nice, could he be a potential date? Or thoughts I deal with from time to time, Lord, how about this one? LOL don’t leave me out here to dry ladies, say Amen! When I have thoughts that immediately jump ahead to the future, I feel a tug from the Holy Spirit saying be easy. Calm down, you don’t know this person from Adam so just be present and be your natural self today in this very moment.

2. Put the phone down

I went to a party over the weekend by myself and as awkward as that can be for some, it pays to put the phone away, at least for a little bit. The party was an art gallery event so I engaged with the art and took it all in. People will look at you and it’s okay; make eye contact and try not to pretend to read something oh so important on your phone. Put them phones away! If I saw someone on the phone I would think they could be talking to someone they’re interested in or seeing. I’m sure that’s what guys may think as well if you ask them. If your phone is away, you’re more available and open for approach. It also shows common courtesy for others and shows that you desire human to human connection.

3. Make eye contact more often

Similar to the previous point, you can connect better with others including men you may be interested in with simply making eye contact. Some of us may shy away from making eye contact to avoid awkward stares, but eye contact is a respectful way to acknowledge a person. It’s the start to perhaps a connection and great conversation. Read more here about eye contact.

4. Own your femininity and let men be gentlemen

There’s power that comes with being a woman. When you go about your day to day tasks we ladies can get used to handling things on own like the doors and the like. When a man presents the opportunity to be a gentleman towards you, let him! I know myself at times have tunnel vision and just want to be to myself, but if a man holds open a door for you, look him in the eye and say thank you. As a woman you have the ability to give warmth and godly love to others in your interactions. Plus we all know that a thank you can go a long way. It’s empowering to the man so let him be a gentleman!

5. Have business cards handy

For the ladies who are interested in connecting and networking with men, it’s a good idea to have a business or personal card. I give men my business card for the blog so they get an idea of what I’m about without having my number. You may want to give your number so that’s up to you. There are also ways to obtain a Google phone number so that you don’t have to give your personal landline or cell number out to just anyone. Share your passion, business or profile with others through your card. When you pass it to them it opens up the door for more conversation, so it’s a connection tool. It’s also better than just plugging your name and number into their phone—make an impression with a card. 

Whether you’re an introvert like myself or just wondering where the men are, you make yourself more available when you open up with these simple forms of human connection. Let me know what worked for you via Twitter or email me at bliss4singles@gmail.com