October 27, 2016 By:
Are you comfortable? No, not in the literal sense like kicking your feet up watching your favorite show but are you comfortable with your life? How about your job? Myself, like many people, have experienced what I call “The Twilight Zone.” Sometimes you get sucked into working and not wanting to leave a bad job but we settle which is not good. We want to be happy in what we are doing, but we have fear of change, because we just get so use to things and just continue to go with it. We need to take chances; life is too short but what is holding us back from that. We say that we are going to step out on faith and go for it but sike ourselves out of doing it. So what do we need to do for the extra push?

October 27, 2016 By:
"Hop up out of bed and get your thank on!" Be thankful, be grateful, and be humble. Tragedy can strike at any time. Turn on the news and you will definitely see headlines and stories that are heartbreaking, hard to believe, and just saddening. We often hear, "Someone always has it worst than you." While that is true, that is not the reason why we should be thankful and grateful. We can only control what we do within the 24 hours that we are GIVEN; heavy emphasis placed on the word given. We do not control how many days we are given or when they will be taken away. The best way to make use of the time we are given is to make other's lives better, contribute to society in meaningful ways, and be grateful for every minute we have with each other. So, how do you make other's lives better? By asking. Ask people close to you what you can do to help is a great way to start. Another way to make other people's lives better is to do the things that need to be done before someone asks. How can you start being thankful, grateful, and humble? That is very simple answer. When you wake up in the morning the first thing you should do before you reach for your phone, go to the bathroom, or check on your kids is THANK GOD for waking you up this morning! #ThankfulThursday #GiveThanks #BeGrateful #BeHumble

October 21, 2016 By:
Be in love, but don't get lost in love! I'm writing to express an important aspect about being in love as a couple dating or in marriage. Love is a many-splendid thing that began with the creation of the universe and the world we've come to know. Love is the most fundamental thing we possess and can share with that one special person in our life. Paul writes in Ephesians 5:25, "Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” Having said that, it's vitally important to being love but not to get lost in love. Allow me to expound on this notion. Oftentimes the man or woman in a dating relationship or marriage becomes engrossed in their mate to the point that he or she loses their own individuality and self-worth.  In doing so, if the relationship or marriage isn't balanced, it will become like the "seesaw" kiddie ride.....one person up while the other one is down. I admit, I was a victim of being in love and getting lost in love. I know I'm not the only person to have experienced this unfavorable situation. I value the aspect of being in love with one woman for life. However, I found myself being more in love with the woman than I was in love with life. Life is a great gift giving to all of us by God for the purpose of worshipping Him and treating others with the love to which is depicted accordingly to John 3:16. I hope that each of you who are currently in a relationship or marriage move from being in a "title" such as this, to being in LOVE. A title is only for show; while love is meant for a lifetime. Saying that, don't lose yourself totally while being in love. Balance both your individuality and union so that the overall success comes to both of you. You deserve each other's love while appreciating each other's individuality and space. Don't sacrifice all the work you've put into falling in love. Love is worth fighting for....not fighting over!  Having experienced this myself. I can and probably will write a book about how I lost myself while being in love. Hopefully you will find some words of encouragement by reading this blog. In closing, I implore you to read 1 Corinthians 13.....yes, the whole chapter.  It lays out in vivid details:  1. What we are without love 2. What love does 3. What love does not do 4. What is the greatest asset 

October 1, 2016 By:
Ask yourself, "Why is he Black?" If you ask an African American child what color his or her skin is, he or she will tell you brown. If you ask a Caucasian child what color my skin is, he or she will tell you brown. If you ask a Hispanic, Asian, Indian, or Arabian child what color my skin is he or she will tell you in their native language that my skin is brown.  Do you agree with general consensus that "white" signifies goodness and purity, and that is one of the reasons why a bride wears white to her wedding? Okay, so we are on the same page. Now, using a regular thought process, wouldn't a rational person conclude that if white is good then black is _ _ _ _? (Need a hint? It's four letters and begins with an E and ends with an L). Look at the news story after a victim has been shot. Better yet, look at the police killings of unarmed African Americans and you will see that the rhetoric is always BLACK person shot a WHITE person. This is inherently perpetuating the good versus evil mentality and we don't even see it. The more we hear black and the more the world says black, the more tolerant the world becomes to this comic book movie of Good (White) Vs Evil (Black) being played out before our very eyes. So the question I ask is at what point in our lives are we TAUGHT that an African American child's skin is not brown but black? Is it something that is taught to African Americans and then other ethnicities accept our declaration of being black? Is the brainwashing taught during history class when slavery is the topic? Does the brainwashing take place during BLACK History Month when African American Heritage is supposed to be celebrated? When we say that we are "Black" what are you proclaiming, claiming, and casting on ourselves? Do you understand why the Native Americans are upset over the Washington Redskins NFL team still having the "Redskin" name? So, are you on the Native Americans' side or the NFL? Yes, I understand that the African's skin were very dark, maybe even black, and the European's skin was white due to the lack of sun light in Europe. Africans were called negro because it means black, which was given to them by the Spanish and Portuguese who first encountered them. I get it. I have traveled to many different parts of the world, and every culture considers me to be Black even though my skin is brown. While enrolling my son into a British school, I had to check the box that said Non-Hispanic Black. Why are we considered Black if my skin is brown? Who decided this? Slave owners? So are we still considered slaves? Has the labeled simply been changed from slave to Black? If you are a parent, how do explain to your child that their skin is brown but society sees it as black? If you are not African American and you have children, how do you explain to your children that their classmate, their friend, and their neighbor's skin is brown but they are Black. What does "being Black" mean to you? I will not teach my children that they are Black, but I will educate them that society views them as being Black. I will educate my children that though we are descendants of slaves, we have been blessed with an opportunity to change, transform, and enlighten our children of the possibilities once we eradicate the consumer mentality and start making meaningful contributions to society. How can other communities start seeing us and treating us different and better if we don't do it for ourselves? How can we expect other communities to value us when we don't place value on our own lives. I vote that the Black be removed when discussing anyone who is African American. Again, ask yourself why Black, and then you will understand my point? As African Americans we have been pounded and brainwashed by what we have instead of focusing on who we are and what we contribute to society. Our children are taught to look at what someone is wearing, and if it isn't the freshest or newest pair of sneakers then you aren't cool or worthy to be around. In order for our children to do better then the parents have to know better and do more. There's nothing wrong with your children being fly, but parents have to stress to their children that ridiculing, teasing, and alienating other kids because they are different is not cool. We should all want our children to be judged by the fruits of their labor and the character that is within versus being judged by the cloth on their back or the leather on their feet. Share your thoughts. If I'm missing something then share it. I'm always willing to learn.  #article #MySkinIsBrownNotBlack #BlackLivesMatter #BrownLivesMatter

August 25, 2016 By:
Did you know that a person who smells pleasant is 85% more likely to succeed than a person who doesn't? Well, we all know the obvious reasons to take a shower; to prevent smelling like an old gym bag and stale chips. A person who smells good is a joy to be around like a breath of fresh air. Here are three other reasons to take a shower: Say it with me, "Today is a new day! Great things are going to happen to me today!" Each day that we wake up is another opportunity to do something amazing. But, before we get to the "doing" part we must renew our mind and refresh our thinking.  Give yourself an extra couple of minutes so the warm water can rejuvenate your Spirit. Another part of the Renew and Refresh Your Mind is to start getting ready for the day. What is on your agenda for today? Meetings, appointments, and deadlines? Refresh your mind and plan each task one at a time. While you are taking a shower, allow the water to wash all of the doubt, frustration, bitterness, stubbornness, and any other negative energy down the drain.  Writer's block and creativity stumps can often be solved by a hot shower. If you have ideas you have been working on and you are stuck on a certain area, don't call your friends or partner. Take a pen and paper in the bathroom, hop in the shower, and start from the beginning. I'm telling you this works. Don't take the paper in the shower with you, but leave it on the sink or somewhere close by.Think about what you have to do today? How will you get it done? What obstacles might you come across? Athletes do this all of the time. We envision ourselves on the battlefield, and we play out the events in our mind. Doing this allows the athlete to anticipate their opponent's movement. Lastly, taking a shower gives you time to be thankful and say thank you to God for waking you up this morning. Someone didn't wake up this morning. Someone lost a family, a friend, or a coworker. Give thanks and be happy that you have another opportunity to do something amazing, and to get it right; whatever "it" may be. *The opening stat was made up, but if you like this article then please share it with friends and strangers all over social media. #CardiacGlueArticle #ThreeReasonsToTakeAShower #ThankGod

April 1, 2016 By:
Our first Member Spotlight is on Jasmine Mix. She is the owner and founder of the non-profit organization Books With Barbers. We are introducing an article segment called Member Spotlight. These articles will introduce CardiacGlue members to individuals who are using their gifts and talents to inject change into their communities and to positively affect everyone he or she encounters. Here is our Member Spotlight conversation with Jasmine Mix. "Jasmine Mix." "Nikki. Only my closest family refers to me as such." "Originally from East Orange, NJ. Currently residing in Columbia, SC" "Education is my strongest passion. I also have a strong yearning for building people up. Whether it is building up their spirit, building up their self-esteem, or confidence. I have a strong yearning for expressing love to everyone I come to meet through both my words and actions. In my opinion, the world we currently live in teaches us to be so self righteous, self-dependent, non-trusting; I try to break that mold by giving more and more of myself to those who are around me on a daily basis." "I have recently founded a nonprofit called . Our primary focus is to bridge the reading gap that is currently present in the African American community." "My life is currently surrounded by two main goals. 1) Continuing to be a great example and strong force for my family, especially for my three young, beautiful daughters. 2) To continue to grow Books with Barbers by fully equipping local barbershops with libraries that attract the interest of school aged boys." "I believe that all of my goals will be achieved by consistency, persistence, and diligence." "Success is measured by your personal goals. I find that no one can validate, nor invalidate, what you consider to have found yourself being successful in. It’s totally personal. For me success is knowing that I have given something or someone all of me, everything that’s in me, and to find that I have grown from that experience or relationship. To reflect and realize that I have become stronger and wiser in preparation for whatever God has planned for me next." "My growth as a mother will always be my greatest accomplishment. Every day brings something new. Feeling that I have fostered great, significant, relationships with my children, allowing us to grow strong as a family is my absolute greatest accomplishment yet. Alongside of my children, Books with Barbers has been a beautiful whirlwind. It has been fulfilling to see how such a small effort can make such a big impact." "That is a super heavy question… especially because I consider myself to be so modest! I don’t know! I offer the world ME! Jasmine. Just as I am. I am open, I am transparent. I hope that my journey through life can be somewhat inspirational to someone." "We all have experienced heartbreak. And it is so easy to dwell upon that heartbreak and let it consume you, perhaps even change you for the worst. The walls that we have built sometimes become a cage. However I look at EVERYTHING for the lesson. What is God trying to show me? Teach me? What does He want me to see? As I stated early I have learned to become more vulnerable, open, empathetic… This is the way I love. This is how I find my happiness. I want to build others up in love, the same way I hope to be built up in love. It is why I am here." Email: barberswithbooks@gmail.com Website: www.Bookswithbarbers.weebly.com www.Instagram.com/BooksWithBarbers www.Twitter.com/BooksAndBarbers www.Facebook.com/BooksWithBarbers #CardiacGlueArticles #MemberSpotlight #JasmineMix #BookWithBarbers

March 20, 2016 By:
How will my children remember me when I am gone? I started writing life lessons for my children as a way for me to share with them the things that I have learned when I am gone. I decided to publish these life lessons because I believe they could help others succeed and overcome obstacles. ---- Life Lesson #1- Love God Wholeheartedly ---- Why is it so difficult to fully commit to God? Why do we find it challenging to "go all in" with God? Are you afraid of what you will have to give up in order to fully commit to God? Is it music, movies, people in your life, or the lifestyle that you believe you will miss? This life lesson is number 1 because it creates the foundation for everything else in our lives. Giving God my whole heart is a life lesson that I am still working on. Don't rely on yourself to figure things out. “Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and He will make your paths straight.”‭‭- Proverbs‬ ‭3:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬ Giving God a portion of your heart and still expecting a full size blessing is like a part-time employee expecting a full-time employee's paycheck. We only get out of life what you put in it. We reap what we sow. God doesn't want us to be poor. God doesn't want us to be jealous of each other. God wants us to rely on Him, trust Him, love Him, and wait for Him. Pray to Him. Speak with Him. Trust in Him. It may be challenging at first, but walking with God was never meant to be easy. It will require work on your end. Start your day with 5-10 minutes of prayer time with God. Find a Bible verse each day think about during the day. Also, find people who are going in the direction you hope to travel and hitch a ride. Make sure their GPS is locked onto Jesus Christ, and enjoy the ride. I have found that when I let go and allow God to do His will in my life, I am at peace. I am not frustrated, overwhelmed, or constantly stressed out. "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.”---Mark‬ ‭12:30‬ ‭NIV‬‬ #LifeLessons #ThingsIveLearned #LoveGod #TrustGod #Prayer #TrustInTheLord #Jesus

February 21, 2016 By:
It has been two full months since I started using my Apple Watch. I wear mine everyday and screenshots, live photos, and the activity app are the three features that I think are pretty cool. I discovered the screenshot feature by accident. I heard the shutter sound one day, and when I looked at my phone I noticed that there was a picture that I didn't take. It happened one more time before I realized that I was taking screenshots on my Apple Watch. To do a screenshot, simply press the only two buttons on the watch at the same time. When you take a screenshot on the Apple Watch, the photos will automatically appear on your iPhone's gallery. Yes, I think this is a pretty nice feature. The Live photos feature is all new with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. This new feature allows users to take photos that animate for a few seconds by applying pressure to the screen. So how would you know what photo is a live photo versus a regular photo? If you see an icon at the bottom right of the picture then that picture is a live photo. Any photos that you transfer to your Apple Watch will animate by applying pressure. Knowing how many steps I have taken throughout the day is very important to me. The Apple Watch does keep track on how many steps are taken, and it calculates it to miles or kilometers. I don't know why viewing the steps is hidden and requires an action to access it. Yes, it's only a swipe away, BUT it is a focus on other smartwatches. I really enjoy the "attention grabbing" affect that the Apple Watch has. Most people see it on my wrist and immediately start asking what my opinion of it. It feels good to share my thoughts. Like I stated in my , it is not as user-friendly and intuitive as other smartwatches like the Samsung Gear series. The more I use the Apple Watch, the more I get use to the way Apple wants it to work. I recently ordered a band connector accessory for my Apple Watch so I can use a leather band from a previous watch. You can check out this Apple Watch accessory on . I'm hoping this add some flare to this watch. Do you have an Apple Watch? Are you thinking about getting one? Do you own a different smartwatch? Your thoughts and opinions are welcomed.

December 23, 2015 By:
I saw a 5 year old boy giving my 4 year old son a hug, and I dashed over there to break it up like I was competing for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Track Team. "Hey, cut that out! Boys don't hug each other. They give fistbumps and high fives." I proclaimed. As if the words I spoke were passed down from generations before me. I mean, was that kind of youthful innocence crushed by our ancestors because they felt that homosexuality could be just a hug away? Was I wrong for telling the boys to "cut it out?" I don't think so! I believe boys need to understand what is acceptable and responsible behavior, and I believe that there are certain things little boys should not do. Maybe the boys saw their parents hugging as a way of greeting one another and saying goodbye, but little boys should not be hugging one another. I believe there should be boundaries. Boundaries should be set for little boys so they understand that boys and girls were created differently and are expected to behave differently. It is not okay for a little boy to wear girl's shoes. Boundaries! It is not okay for a little boy to try on or wear lipstick. Chapstick yes, lipstick no. Boundaries! It is not okay for a little boy to try on girl's clothing. Boundaries! It is not okay for a little boy to be twerking. Boundaries! While I know that this topic may cause frustration among some and anger in others, I can only tell you how I plan to raise my sons. I do not teach my sons to be homophobic, prejudice, or to be hateful to others. The Bible says for us to love God and to love others as we love ourselves. What I believe that I am doing is teaching them is...well what am I teaching my sons? Oh yeah I remember. I am teaching them that boys do not hug each other. Boys give fistbumps and high fives.

December 21, 2015 By:
The MacBook Pro was a homerun! The iPod was a homerun! The iPhone was a homerun! The iPad was a homerun! The Apple Watch...STRIKEOUT! I will tell you that the Apple Watch is NOT intuitive at all. I have been using the watch for 3 days and have yet to find out how to check my heart rate without looking at YouTube, using the Apple website, watching the videos on the Apple Watch app, or Googling it. It felt great getting that off of my chest. Before I start comparing the Apple Watch to other wearable devices, I would like to point out the things that I like and loathe about this device. The things that I like about the Apple Watch are the look, the style, and the design. All three of those descriptions are pretty much the same, but those are the best attributes of the Apple Watch in my opinion. I loved the package presentation. The icey-white box with a picture of the specific watch model on the side was perfect. I have the Apple Watch Sport and the band feels soft, but I am worried about the band getting scratch and damaged. Now for the things I do not like about the Apple Watch. I believe the device size could have been a bit larger without looking like small iPod on your wrist. The Apple Watch is not life-changing, nor is it revolutionary in any aspect. When I cracked this bad boy out the box I was expecting my life to change dramatically because I was one of the lucky few who were felt they couldn't do without the Apple Watch. I told myself, "Hey if you have an iPhone 6S then of course you need an Apple Watch. They go together like salt and ketchup." I had a Samsung Note 4 and I used it with the Samsung Gear S watch, and overall I believe it is much better than the Apple Watch. The screen is larger, and the Gear S was much more easier to use than the Apple Watch. Don't get me wrong, I like the feeling I get when people ask me if I am wearing an Apple Watch, and I like how their face lights up when I show off the features. Besides having WiFi connectivity, a nano-sim card slot, and a sleeker design, what truly set the Gear S apart from the Apple Watch was user-friendliness and the initial tutorial after pairing the phone to the watch. That 30 seconds of walk-throughs help to eleviate any lingering frustrations and allow you to dive into the deep end. So, what is my verdict? I believe that Apple has a long way to go to separate themselves from other smartwatches. The iPad is not just another tablet, the MacBook Pro is not just another laptop, the iPhone is not just another smartphone, but the Apple Watch is just another smartwatch that has a long way to go before it is truly a must-have.