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My Day MY WAY My Style WINTER 2015 $4.99 CANADA

Feature:

Jane Dayus-Hinch

SMJ

Wedding Guru

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APRIL 18TH

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6.....From The Desk of Shelley 7.....Beauty Secrets 9....My Day, My Way, My Style 19...Reflections of the Bride 20..Reflections of the Groom

26...Yoga Bless Jamaica 28...Introducing A Bella of A Star 31...Inspiration Corner 31...A Woman of Substance

32...Artist Profile: Grammy Nominee Mali Music 35...A Dedicated Journey 36...A Look At Mental Illness 38...Something New From CLN 40..The 10th Anniversary of The 12th Month 42...Reprint of Financial Challenge

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Staff Reporters Caroline Dinnall Contributors Shelley Jarrett Andrew Terry Pasieka Caroline Dinnall Barbara Onwumere Josephine Casey Cassandra London Emgardt Tjiundja

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SMJ Magazine is a division of Seventh House Publishing Arts. c 2013 December 2014 / Winter Issue / No. 7

FRONT COVER: Photograph by Lubin Tasevski Artwork by Sheri Lake DISCLAIMER: All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without written permission from the publisher. We make concious efforts to ensure complete accuracy in all editiorial content, however we accept no liability for any inaccurate information. We do not necessarily support any products or service advertised herien. SMJ Magazine is published digitally with limited print editions three (3( times a year. To advertise in our publication, be featured. or for more informatoin, please contact us at publisher@smjmag.com or visit www.smjmag.com. For editoral contact atp11th@gmail.com

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... The year that was 2014: ups and downs, stretching of faith, taking risks, and believing strongly in the vision and my calling. This was the year I had to make some serious decisions about taking SMJ Magazine to the next level. While we have not achieved the breakthrough we had been hoping for as yet, SMJ Live! was launched this past summer. It was only a soft launch, but it happened nevertheless. Follow us on twitter and facebook for exciting updates on SMJ Live! early in 2015. I am extremely humbled to have had such an exciting time this year, and some beautiful experiences to share with you. One such experience was my marriage to my business partner and best friend. Though we had been dating for over five years and growing closer with our various business ventures, we felt it was time to take this step and move on to bigger and better things. Both Andrew and I have written short texts about our special day. I have included a look book of what is but a small sample of the photos from May 17th. We both say “thank you, thank you” to Lubin Tasevski for his incredible skill. (Andrew does not want me to reveal how many photos we had to ‘look over’ in deciding what was going to be included on these pages, but ladies, I am certain you can guess!!) December/ Winter issue is always a special time, with the holidays, family gatherings, seasonal events, and all the fun stuff going on around us. We wanted to focus on a few things that are dear to my heart, such as supporting others in the community, giving back, mentoring youths and shedding light on good stories and people doing positive things. My message to you will continue as I bring uplifting and inspiring stories. I want to remind you, to surround yourself with like-minded people that aspire to succeed. You want to be around people who support you and salute you. Like I said in my previous issue, whatever you are looking for in your life is right inside of you. Try to find out who you really are, and what your purpose is in life. That’s the only way you will find ultimate fulfillment. Until you combine your faith, focus and action, with the important things in your life, for example, your prayer life, family, career, finances, relationships, only then would you find ultimate balance and joy. Remember all your mistakes, your failures and successes are all part of your journey, your story and who you really are. Don’t be afraid to share your experiences to help someone else. Do not spend too much time in one area of your life; you need to align yourself with others.

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As always, a special thank you to my devoted team members, contributing writers, advertisers, and sponsors. Above all, my thanks to our readers and social media followers; people who continue to believe in us and have supported us in this epic journey. On behalf of the entire SMJ team, we want to wish you all and your families the gift of faith, the blessings of hope and the peace of God’s love at this time. And may year 2015 bring you everything you have dreamed for.

“Your future is hidden in your vision” ~Prophet Kofi Danso (Miracle Arena for all Nations)


BeautySe

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CR e t S

by Barbara Onwumere

Look Fabulous for the Holidays! Treat yourself this holiday season with a little splash of red. Your treat can be red lipstick, a pretty red scarf, red shoes, red accessories or a fabulous red dress! Pampering yourself can result in you looking and feeling amazing throughout holiday season. Easy Make-up Tips

Easy Hair Tips

Purchase a nice moisturizing red lip colour that gives you a beautiful shine. Moisturizing lipstick helps reduce the look of fine lines and keeps wrinkles away. Sparkling lip gloss will intensify your red base colour. Eyeshadows can be sparkly and fun with glitter in every colour imaginable. Pick a colour to match your outfit. Outline your eyes with black eyeliner. Evening events call for drama, so don’t be afraid to spice it up! Mascara is a finishing touch that will make your gorgeous eyes pop even more.*

Long hair can always be put up into a bun. This quick up-do can look polished and fabulous with red accessories (a red bow, red jeweled clips or any sparkly, shiny accessory). Simple elegant styles can easily be accessorized into a great look with a pretty clip or sparkly hair comb. Short, medium or long hair can be made more dramatic with a spray of temporary hair colour. Hairspray is a must to hold your beautiful style all night and hair sheen will give your hair a healthy shine.

I’ll keep sharing my professional tips and tricks of the trade with you in future issues. I will also continue to address any specific issues you might have. Again, I’d love to hear your best beauty secrets for looking fabulous. Email me, Barbara, at: creativenation23@hotmail.com. *Ed. Note: Contact Shelley or Barbara about the latest innovation in mascara called Younique.

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Shape Up Your Sales! Workshop / Training DVD

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My Day MY WAY My Style A Glimpse Into the Look Book for Shelley & Andrew’s Wedding 05.17.14

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All Photo Images: Lubin Tasevski Photography Wedding accessories: Swarovski Hair & Makeup: MarbleBerry Events His & Hers Wedding Bands: Ben Moss Jewelry (Erin Mills Town Centre) Lingerie: Inside Story Fine Lingerie (Erin Mills Parkway) Shoes: Beyond the Rack Limo: Elegance Limousines Wedding Decor: MarbleBerry Events Wedding Venue: Miracle Arena For All Nations

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by Shelley Jarrett

REFLECTIONS OF THE

Bride

When we got engaged about 2 years ago, we both knew what kind of wedding we wanted. We wanted it small, intimate and with a spiritual flair to it, and only close friends and our children. We wanted to have good food, great wine and a nice designer cake and just enjoy ourselves. What I would call a very personal production that would make our day very special. I did not want a traditional wedding with all the trimmings and things one is supposed to do or have. Our focus was more on the union and how two hearts can come together and beat so beautifully.

The early morning sun was already shining as the limousine pulled up to the hotel to pick me, my sons and my maid of honor. The ceremony was everything I envisioned: receiving Holy Communion, reciting our very own special vows, and exchanging wedding bands was both intimate and sacred. Our location was in Toronto at our local church. It worked perfect for us. Everything was close by, including the hotel, the limousine company, and the photographer.

I was ushered from the limo by my wedding planner, Patrice from Marlberry Events and my son and into the church. A proud moment was when my son walked me down the aisle to a beautiful song chosen by my husband, “All of Me,� by John Legend.

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by Andrew Terry Pasieka

REFLECTIONS OF THE

Groom

When I look back on May 17th, three major thoughts come to mind. THOUGHTS OF MY BRIDE: Shelley has stated elsewhere in this issue that she was marrying her business partner and best friend. I would like to add soulmate to that list. I do not consider it a cliché; I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God arranged circumstances so we would meet. But that’s another story, for another time and another publication… In the 5 ½ years we have known one another, there have been signs from Above that have brought us closer together or confirmed our bond. We were friends first. I truly like her, and I love what is inside of her as well as the outside…

THOUGHTS OF THE CEREMONY: For the longest time, we put off talking about marriage. Or more precisely, I held off Shelley. I think it was the word ‘wedding,’ and what I thought I understood about it when I met her. But Shelley, in her gentle but persuasive way, got me back into church, into a relationship with God (I had religion before, but that is not the same thing), into baptism and being born again, and into the idea a celebrating a covenant with God. I warmed to the idea when it was put in those terms: we were signing an earthly contract with God. It was an honor being joined by an incredible woman of God, the Rev. Joanne Danso. We truly felt anointed as we were being blessed by the Prophet, Kofi Danso.

THOUGHTS OF THE DAY: First of all, I give Shelley all the credit for not making this an extravagant show, but an elegant statement. The purple and white theme really worked well. I am proud of what Shelley did with the budget we had to work with. Creative and classy, just like her. My own little part of the day, choosing the right music and putting it in the right order for the right part of the ‘program,’ seemed to fit perfectly together. The luncheon afterward was the entire reception for our guests, but it was only our appetizer. We then spent a frantic, frenzied and fun evening at The Sony Centre for the Arts chasing down the headline story for the anniversary issue of SMJ Magazine. Yes, that picture of Tessanne Chin and Shelley was taken on our wedding night. As was that gorgeous picture of my wife on the inside back cover and reprinted for this issue’s inside back cover. So we wound up working on our wedding night. But that’s another story, for another time and another publication…

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JANE DAYUS-HINCH: WEDDING GURU by Andrew Terry Pasieka

A guru is a sort of ‘man-on-themountain,’ expert teacher. If anyone is worldly wise in their profession, it is Jane Dayus-Hinch. Her work as a wedding planner has spanned decades, continents, and multimedia formats.

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She will have been ’at it’ for thirty years next year. Asked if it has felt that long, she answers matterof-factly, “some days, yes!” We are guessing that some of those days occurred on the internationally broadcast TV show called Wedding SOS, but more on that later.

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The first obvious question was, does she have any idea how many weddings she has planned in the three decades? Jane muses, “I always get asked that question. I don’t really know, because I stopped counting about ten years ago when I reached 1000. There really didn’t seem to be a point in keeping track anymore. I mean, once you reached 1000…” What she does know is that the largest wedding she has ever done was for a Greek couple who had 1800 guests. The smallest has been an intimate gathering of 12 which has happened more than once. Jane was retained by Gobal TV to act as commentator for William and Kate’s ‘wedding of the century.’ Yet in 1985 when she started out in her home in the U.K. no one had ever heard of a wedding planner. She had been working as a National Sales Manager for Philip Morris of Marlboro’s fame and travelled extensively planning events for the tobacco company. Her logical mind couldn’t understand why organizers of so many events had failed to think of the most basic of things. She took this unanswered query to the U.S. when she visited a cousin and attended a wedding of a British girl and the son of an American diplomat. She couldn’t help but


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notice all the flaws that she saw in the planning of a ceremony of this stature, but did not expect the reply when she pointed them out to the planner. “You seem to know more than I do. Do you want to help?” A one month visit wound up being a six month extended stay, and an inspiration for a new business. Occasions was formed once she returned to the U.K. For the first fifteen years, Jane attended every wedding-related course she could find. Why so thorough, when could have saved all those days, evenings, and weekends, and just hired specialists? Her answer demonstrates the no-nonsense approach she has applied to her career.

You only get one chance to get a wedding right. You can’t tell a bride or her mother that you are sorry and you will try to do better tomorrow. There is no tomorrow.

That brings us to our earlier reference to the TV show Wedding SOS. Jane decided such a show was worthwhile simply because of this ‘plan B’ blind spot that existed in so much planning and all too often has disastrous results. The concept is simple: a couple is in desperate need of a last-minute wedding planner to save them from impending disaster. The show was conceived in 2006; 72 episodes have been filmed, with 65 being shown in 128 countries. We at SMJ Magazine had to ask: was the panic genuine? The answer was, yes; in some cases, Jane was first approached with the wedding ten days or so away and the most basic of things not even discussed yet. At the other end, the ceremony comes off mere hours after the last major item is in place. All too often in the series, the item that the couple thought was the main challenge turned out to lead to another item that invariably was the crux of the problem. From the T V screen to the computer screen, Jane has also developed a program called Number 1 Wedding Planner in the past few years. She

So if you are ‘going to get it right the first time,’ what constitutes a good wedding? Dayus-Hinch ticks off the main points effortlessly: deliver all the bride’s wishes as agreed to and on time, keep all the guests happy, ensure that services that have been hired both deliver and set up, and keep the day flowing seamlessly. “The couple getting married are going through enough stress without a wedding planner adding to it.” She says that a couple should have a clear vision of how the day should look, and they must have a ‘plan B’ for everything. Without a doubt, that is the largest omission by anyone planning a wedding that is not a professional wedding planner. “Most people assume each item will come together by magic simply as each item is bought and paid for.”

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comments, “one has to embrace technology because it is here to stay,” even though she goes on to say, “I guess I am still old school. A virtual planner is not the same thing as hiring a real one.” However, this computer app brings up a related trend that is being advertised in the industry: the one-stop, ‘I-can-doeverything-myself-because-I-know-everyone’ wedding planner. Truth or fiction? Jane shakes her head. “Anyone who makes that claim is setting themselves and their clients up for failure.” The bane of her profession, however, is destination weddings. Of course they didn’t exist 30 or even 20 years ago. A decade ago there were two or three international travel companies that had captured 10% of the market; now it is 15 to 20 major travel agencies who have clawed away close to 40% of the market. Jane says it is destination weddings that can impersonalize the ceremony; most of the services cannot be hired separately but come ‘as part of a package.’ “ The wedding becomes a show; it is more about the destination than the actual ceremony. What I find particularly cheapen the whole experience is that the attendees usually get their invitations in the form of an e-vite.”

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We end our time with Jane Dayus-Hinch playing a quiz and asking one final question. The quiz is in the form of truth or fiction. • A wedding is the bride’s day. (Fiction: the groom should have a say. “Often the way a wedding is planned is the way a marriage goes.”) • The bride’s parents or side of the family are the main payers. (Truth) • Most weddings are in white. (Truth) • The top single expense item are the rings. (Fiction: they barely make the top five; usually, food, the bride’s dress, flowers, and even the cake cost more.) Our final question: what about weddings over thirty years has changed and what has stayed the same? Besides the show aspect which I am not fond of, a lot of the frills have taken away the focus of what a wedding is supposed to be. Videos of the events, Instagram postings of the photos instead of having a professional photographer, and all kinds of combinations of ‘first dances’ at the reception.

What I have enjoyed is the simplicity and solemnity of the actual ceremony, a bride being walked down the aisle, the couple taking vows, exchanging rings, celebrating with a reception, and sealing the union with a honeymoon. Couples who allow a wedding planner to plan this in the right balance ‘get it.’ Words to the wise from a woman who has seen it all in wedded bliss!

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Yoga Bless Jamaica

by Casandra London

Life is a winding road with small bumps and rain showers waiting to greet as we push forward to reach our dreams, destination, and the rainbow on the other side. But sometimes situations we think should be our downfall turns out to be a blessing in disguise. A toxic relationship led me to the most invigorating experience of my life: a yoga retreat in Jamaica. When I came out of this relationship ten months ago, I was feeling broken, depressed, and alone. It was a time where I had to balance between what I was feeling emotionally, and the pressures of work at a music management company. I needed a break, a place where I could rebuild my spirit that was slowly crumbling under the pressures of life. I remember sitting down in front of my computer just praying for an answer when I came across a yoga retreat called Yoga Bless Jamaica. It was a scary thought for me to even consider this trip because I had never gone anywhere outside of Toronto without my family, and I had no relatives or friends in Jamaica. I would have never imagined myself conquering this fear and stepping outside of my comfort zone.

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As I walked inside the plane, I could feel my stomach churning as the aircraft prepared for take-off. I looked around nervously wondering, can anyone hear my heart pounding out of my chest? Does it look like I came here alone? I felt a mix of different emotions: excitement, and uncertainty of the unknown. When the plane landed, I was greeted by a Rasta man with a coconut in one hand and the Yoga Bless Jamaica sign in the other. He was Shane the taxi driver, a tall, dark, friendly man who would be accompanying me anywhere I needed to go for the duration of my trip.

I got more than health tips at the retreat; I got a chance to experience a waterfall excursion where I climbed rocks, jumped off small waterfalls, and swam with the fish in the water. Yoga Bless Jamaica is a place for people of all ages and backgrounds to heal, feel rejuvenated, and relax. I do not want to promote one company over another, but the rates are affordable for people who want to have fun on a budget. The retreat also allowed me to sleep peacefully and take time to focus completely on myself. It was a time to breathe , take in the clean air, wake-up to birds singing, allow the sun to kiss my brown caramel chocolate skin, and make new friends.

I was so excited that I ran to the taxi. Only to discover what I thought was the passenger side of the vehicle was actually the driver’s side. I got the shock of my life as I saw cars shifting in and out of lanes on the wrong side of the road! (No, they are supposed to be on the right side of us!) Big white trucks, that should be coming down on the lane beside us, abruptly drive in our direction and then quickly swerving to the next lane. While this is happening, Shane is laughing at my instant panic, and I am holding my chest praying we get to the retreat in one piece. That is just the life of Jamaica. It is beautiful palm trees sprouting in every direction, along with goats and cows, and people walking in the middle of the busy streets to sell donuts and fruits. It was a sight to behold, especially since the only time I see people in the street back home in Toronto is if they are jaywalking or jumping up for Caribana in the summertime. When I arrived at the retreat, I was greeted with a big smile and hug from Maki, the instructor who taught me Kundalini and Hatha Yoga twice a day for a week. Each day Maki would bring soothing herbal teas to start off her yoga sessions. The classes were small which was great because I was able to get one-on-one support for each of the poses. It was a daily routine in front of a beautiful blue sparkling ocean. Yoga Bless to me was a sacred space that was more than about yoga. It was an opportunity for me to learn about my health. Maki taught me the importance of eating slowly during meals and introduced me to a Jamaican fruit called noni. According to Maki, noni is a powerful source of nutrients that helps fight against cancer, high cholesterol, stroke, and constipation.

www.yogabless.org Before leaving the retreat I was able to accomplish something that I never imaged I would be able to do. Maki told me on my first day at Yoga Bless that she would be able to get me to do a hand stand before I returned home. I must admit when she first said this, I immediately shook my head and said “you have got to be kidding.” I was not only out of shape, I was more afraid that I would snap my neck if I attempted to try. However, I was not only able to do a hand stand; I was able to do it without Maki’s help after three days of practicing!!! Yoga Bless Jamaica is an amazing place, the name says it all. I believe anyone who comes to Maki’s retreat will leave feeling truly blessed. I know this experience not only helped me connect to my higher self, it completely changed my perspective on life.

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Introducing a

Bella of aStar by Andrew Terry Pasieka

If you met Gabriella MacPherson on the street or, say in a pizza parlor, in the midst of a gaggle of friends, she may or may not stand out at first. Chatting, laughing, sharing texts, playing video games. She may be wearing a favorite brand name from, possibly American Eagle or Bluenotes, because she is an outdoors girl, ready to enjoy her next adventure. Or she may be curled up in front of the fireplace in that pizza joint, doing what she loves to do best, which is reading.

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There are clues that set her apart, however. She may be reading about the latest runway event in New York, Milan, or Paris. Or reading about the models that walked the red carpets at those shows. Then she stands up to greet you. Impeccable posture; 5’10” and still growing. And finally there are those eyes. They seem to penetrate you. Belying her age, they do not look away. Gabriella MacPherson is Bella, a young, aspiring model. She is quietly determined to develop into the next Canadian supermodel. A Monika Schnarre gonna-be, not wanna-be. Want proof? Look at what she has done already.

of those photographers, Michele Taras, accompanied Gabriella and her mother, and it is her photos that grace these pages. She has participated in over half a dozen fashion show or runway events already in heryoung career. Some of the more significant ones involved George Brown College, Princess Margaret Hospital, Fashion Arts Toronto (twice!), Canada Phillipino Fashion Week 2013, and Couture & Culture 2014: A Celebration of John Ablaza’s twenty-five years in fashion & design.

how poised her daughter is in photo shoots and runway events she has participated in. “Bella is very co-operative and professional whenever she gets in front of a camera or has to work in public.” We mentioned her eyes earlier; one of her other great attributes is her hair: 100 cm long; all natural and not dyed, which apparently is quite unusual in the modelling profession. Toni comments, “Strangers are always stopping us to ask her about it.”

She doesn’t idolize anyone in particular in the industry. Gabriella says, “I admire all the top models. I know how tough it is to make it and then to live in that hectic lifestyle if you want to stay on top. It has not been easy for me to get this far.”

While she may not have a role model in the industry, Gabriella does have an inspiration in her family. Her aunt Clara (Toni’s sister) was a model who branched into film and appeared in such features such as Three Men And A Baby, and Police Academy 4. She passed away from cancer seven years ago. Toni remarks, “Bella looks exactly like Clara did at the same age. My mother gets

Bella of aStar She has had at least half a dozen professional photo shoots. One

But she has come a long way, and one of her biggest fans is her mother Toni. She marvels at

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chills looking at pictures of them. Every once in a while she calls Bella ‘Clara.’ Bella has done photo shoots and taken portraits with her grandmother wearing Clara’s clothes.” One of those photo shoots that stand out was a Jean Harlow/Marilyn Munroe-type pose in a slinky black number her aunt once wore. Going through her portfolio, she seems so relaxed and self-assured that we wondered if this is the natural ‘being Bella,’ or has she had to discipline herself to look that way? “When I first arrive for a photo shoot or a runway event, I get really excited. I stay that way while I am being made up and outfitted. As I am in final preparations before stepping in front of the camera or stepping onto the runway, I get nervous. But when I strike the first pose or start my first walk, I lose the nervousness as quickly as I got it.”

Gabriella has been represented in the past but is between agencies at present. Will she entertain another offer? Her mother says there has been a lot of positive feedback from Gabriella’s work. They will continue to listen to the comments and monitor them until one materializes into her next offer. Until then, her immediate goal is to finish her education, which for her is a fouryear university psychology degree. She will continue to build up her modelling resume, and show she is a multitalented artist by taking advantage of any acting opportunities that come her way in the theatre.

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We will finish where we started, a young woman among her peers. What do her friends think of Bella? “Some of them are genuinely happy for me. I know we will stay friends. Others are still friendly, but I see the jealously creeping in. I know we won’t last.” The harsh reality of someone trying to make it in a tough industry, who has said so sweetly of it that she feels she is “crowning” the clothes she showcases. Spoken like an aspiring supermodel. Bravo, Bella!! All photos by Michele Taras. Contact www.micheletaras.com


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Inspiration Corner by Josephine Casey

Be You and Stay True You are an original One of a kind and hard to find Be you and stay true Follow your dreams and your hearts desire Be an inspiration and one to admire You are unique with your own beliefs Be you and stay true Make your own decisions Take that journey to see different visions Walk in your own pathway Different steps everyday Live your life today Despite what others may say Just be you and stay true I’m looking forward to connecting again soon. Warm wishes for the holidays,

Josephine

Author of: Life’s Poetry (Be Inspired! Feel Inspired! Stay Inspired! This is your time...Just Shine!

Woman of

Substance

by Emgardt Tjiundja

At this time of year, when we are caught up in the commercialism of the season, we also are reminded of the true meaning of the season. We also come face-to-face with the true meaning of why we are here, of what is our purpose. When we ask ourselves, what is a woman of substance, we should be replying it is someone whose life has purpose. She is a woman of power, a woman of positive influence and a woman of meaning. She lives life with intention, love and passion. Ephesians 3:20 is a powerful verse that describes these emotions as our unlimited ower in Christ. “Now to Him who is able to do FAR MORE ABUNDANTLY BEYOND all that we ask or think, according to the power that works WITHIN US.” God created woman with so much strength, full of wonder, curiosity, talent and inspiration. He endowed her abundantly, although she is to submit to a higher authority, to a man. He crowned her with beauty and all it takes to live a fulfilled life. A woman’s worth does not come from her family background, physical appearance, education, or career. Young women especially need to cultivate positive attitudes and habits that will help them to grow into wellrounded individuals. They have so much to offer to the world; their talents and gifts should not be jeopardized by previous generations’ failure to realize our potential.

One definition of the word ‘potential’ is “what you can do but have not yet done.” It is not based solely on your own efforts. It is about surrendering to God and letting His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. I am inspired by the words of the late Dr. Myles Munroe. “Potential is a dormant ability, reserved power, untapped strength, unused success, hidden talents, and capped capability. It is all you can be but you haven’t yet become. How far you can reach but have not yet reached. ” In other words, you were set apart for a special purpose in life. You then use that life to try and achieve it while blessing others in the process. God has created us for a life of good deeds, “which he has already prepared for us to do” (Col. 3: 23-4; Matt. 25: 34). These good deeds are your service. God told Jeremiah “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I chose you. Before you were born, I set you apart for a special work” (Jer. 1:5).

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Just moments before hitting the stage at Mohawk College’s McIntyre Theatre of the Performing Arts as part of Restoration House Hamilton’s annual youth celebration, Mali Music sits down with me to discuss his new album, Mali Is, life as a purpose-driven dreamer, and his experiences both underground and in the mainstream up to this point.

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ARTIST PROFILE: GRAMMY NOMINEE

by Caroline Dinnall

MALI MUSIC

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SMJ: Finish the sentence…Mali is…? Mali: Mali is ready. Yes, I think I’ll go with that one. SMJ: Could you explain to me why you say ready? Mali: I just think I am—I’m sure that I am. I know that I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t prepared, and it just feels good to know that God is in control the way that He is. No matter what new door opens, I already have something in me prepared for that. So that’sjust a different kind of confidence that affected how I walked in every door. SMJ: Tell me a little bit about the inspiration behind that project, Mali Is. We’re really excited about this one! Mali: Mali Is is my first album with the mainstream deal or whatever you want to call it. It’s my first

opportunity to sing a song to the world, not just a demographic, not just a church, or the saved people, but to write a song that everybody could potentially hear. I just thought it was an amazing task and a beautiful opportunity and mission, and I gave it everything I had. My focus in creating it was to create a project that would last. SMJ: For particular songs like ‘Beautiful’, ‘Little Lady’, ‘Johnny and Donna’, is there an inspiration or story behind them? Mali: They all come in different ways, but I was watching Nina Simone’s performance on Little Girl Blue, and it really captured me. Right in the middle of her performance, this emotion swept her and she just went off the grid! I kept rewinding it and rewinding it—and that’s when I knew I had to do something with it [about his single “Little Lady”]. It just so

happened that that was the perfect time for that song. There were some things happening with my niece, I was in contact with little girls who were going through some things, and I just wanted to write a song for them. I just wanted to let them know that life is not easy, but you can do it—you just have to know that life is real, and not the fairytale behind your eyes. SMJ: At what point in your life did you realize that singing and performing was your calling? Mali: Very early. I think the most important thing is that I’m delivering something that represents God. Something that represents change. Something much greater than me. I’m building a platform and I’m showing all the young people that have something like me, how to do it.

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SMJ: You said you have to have that God aspect to your music. So how do you go mainstream, make music that anyone could relate to, and keep that God aspect? Mali: “Eyes have not seen, ears have not heard, neither has it entered into the heart of man, what God has ready for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.” Therefore, Mali is ready. This whole aspect is divine. For a lot of people, it’s very easy to find out how it was done. But it was the right thing, at the right time. I can’t affect how the news happens, or the mood of the culture that makes a song like ‘Beautiful’ relevant. Those are only things that God can do, so just being obedient to Him causes the puzzle pieces to fit right in. SMJ: With that, what is your greatest accomplishment so far? Mali: I’ve been sprinkled with blessings—American Idol. I can’t front on that—that’s 30 billion people! From that ‘Beautiful’ spiked and was able to get in the houses, the ears and the hearts of people that I never would have without that so that was a really great opportunity that showed me that this is a foretaste. SMJ: What’s one piece of advice that you would give to any dreamer? Mali: Make sure it’s what you want. A lot of people dream for things that were put in them. It has nothing to do with their DNA, you didn’t think of yourself doing it, you just thought it was a good idea because you couldn’t think of your

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own. It’s almost like getting into the NBA and then realizing that you’re not full. Secondly, don’t be deterred. You have to make sure that it’s what you want to do and you have to be willing to cut anybody that will stand against it. The best part is the dream. The walk…but that’s another story.

was lost. He’s used it as aid for me when I was aching and made me whole just by listening to the songs that I’ve wrote while crying. Music was a medicine and an ointment— so I couldn’t be shy to share it. Me reaching out above and beyond that comfort have me here today and have me here stronger than ever before.

SMJ: To sum up, how does your music change the world?

Mali Music left everything on Mohawk’s stage that night. He performed hit singles from his first album The 2econd Coming, as well as current and undoubtedly future hits from his new album. He continues to change the world with his original sound and empowering messages. Keep them coming, Mali Music. We’re ‘ready!’

Mali: I think it changes the world by it changing and affecting me first. At the end of the day, I’m a 26-year-old young man. I have the same things in me that all of us have. I deal with the same stereotypes that all of us deal with. I live in a culture that calls out to all of us, and if God can give me a sound and a promise that can hold me—that’s the first start. If someone’s sick, and makes something to make their sniffles go away, all they have to do then is package their sickness, and that will be the thing that changes the world. But they have to have faith in it to be able to try it on themselves. God has used my music as a compass when I

SMJ NEWS FLASH! Not only is SMJ Magazine excellent, it is also timely! Mali Music has garnered his first Grammy nomination with Mali Is. Congratulations Mali, and well done, Caroline!! (Ed.)


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that be what form her calling would take? Preaching on a soapbox in the street? Preaching to the homeless where they were?

A Dedicated Journey by Andrew Terry Pasieka

By her own admission, Pastor Marcia Keane-Dawes’ journey to the dedication of her very own church was exactly that: dedication. It began with calling on her life. It came at a time when she was not yet saved. It came to her late one night in a vision. She saw what she perceived to be the form of the Jesus with His hand stretched out to her, and calling to her in a voice that clearly said, “I have called you to preach.” She then was told that was going to receive a gift when she would reach thirtythree years of age. It was four years later when life and circumstance had her in Miami that she recollected that vision. She had turned 33 years of age. She started reading her Bible, listening to gospel music, and waited. Much later, Marcia realized that she had sought out God in this manner when she was at a low ebb in her life, “as many of us do.” It was at this time that her spirit of dedication came to the forefront. She envisioned herself preaching under a lamp post. She wondered: would

Marcia did not get her answer right away. She served for six years at a church in the west Greater Toronto Area, working primarily with youth, then in administration. She never was allowed to preach. She perceived she was being held back, and it humbled her. She moved to the back of the church, and discussed her situation with her husband over one Christmas period. In the New Year that followed, she decided to withdraw her membership. She moved about for a year or two, until one day in 2011, while teaching a course in membership, a minister came up to her and declared, “I see ministry all over you. Why are you running?” Marcia was still conflicted though, because she had no mentor and no Canadian accreditation. Her training had been with Americanbased educational institutions. She wrestled with this dilemma for some time until later that year (2011), she received an e-blast from one of her networking contacts, Canadian Gospel Connections. One of the items in the e-letter was regarding an application for Canadian ministerial accreditation. Marcia instinctively felt it was a sign. Not only did she go on to obtain a Canadian license, she also received charitable registry status for her ministry, which she said it quite difficult to obtain, and she obtained both within about a month, not the

six to twelve month period it usually takes. The name of the church was to be Holiness Kingdom Ambassadors, and it had come to her in an inspirational flash one day while she was driving. She spent three years patiently building her church in various temporary locations. Now, as she celebrates the dedication of her first permanent residence, she was reminded that Jesus had also spent three years in ministry before His momentous event: His Passion, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. She is humbled by the comparison. She also realized that these three years would have never had happened if God hadn’t frustrated her in that church where she had spent six years. He forced her to move to a place where she was convinced to apply for her license and her accreditation papers. The temporary church hopping may have appeared to be a setback, but it was really a setup. Looking back on it all, Pastor Marcia remarked, “I have no regrets, because God has a way of making things happen that are really lessons in life.” It is that attitude that she will apply in measuring her success in ministry, not in growth by numbers, but by impact and transformation. She refers to her ministry as one of revelation, as she feels she has been asked to preach the undiluted word of God as represented by that final book in the Bible. A final word? “To anyone who has stretched their hand in any way to aid in my ministry, let me take this opportunity to give my heartfelt thanks.”

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A Positive Look At

Mental illness: 5 Part Series by Shelley Jarrett

Part One:

DEPRESSION

There has been a lot of talk in the public recently about mental illness. SMJ Magazine wanted to address some of these issues. My goal in this first article is to look at what causes depression and some preventative methods, especially with the holiday season fast approaching. I was in totally shock like everyone else when the news broke about the well-known actor Robin Williams passing away by apparent suicide. My first thought was, “How is this possible?� My next thought centered around what a painful way it was to leave this world. Then I recalled I myself had a touch of this horrible disease in the spring of 2005. My despair had been building up after the passing of three family members within 6 months of each other over the prior year. I know too well it is a very dark place to be in. What I had experienced was a sense of hopelessness, despair, isolation and sadness. I

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considered my case to be mild. As I remember, it only lasted approximately 6 months with no medical treatment, and no one really knowing anything. I healed myself through prayers, and the grace of God. I wanted to share this piece of my life because I want to be transparent first of all, and I want people to know that life is not always so good and fun, we struggle with many things along our journey. But we can rise above it and try to help others. Right away I went into research mode. Being a good news story magazine, we do not want to take a dark deep and detailed look into depression. Nevertheless,


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just like regular exercise, it’s good to know when we see signs in ourselves. In other words what we can do on a daily basis to keep depression from starting.

the ability to function on daily basics. A great book to read, which deals with this very basic symptom, is Hans Selye’s “The Stress of Life”.

My thoughts here are simply to try to educate at least someone to seek help if experiencing such symptoms or for family or friends to know what symptoms to look for in a loved one.

How can we prevent depression?

What is depression?

Mental health is the key to our well-being. It involves how we feel, think and act and interact with others. It is about living well and feeling capable despite daily challenges. Diet, exercise, good nutrition, community olvement, family support is all keys to healthy living.

As we know everything has a starting point. When someone experiences depression they are usually grappling with feelings of severe despair over an extended period of time. It becomes a concern when there are ongoing signs and symptoms. Almost every aspect of your life can be affected - your emotions, physical health, relationships and work. It’s a sense of hopelessness and darkness. Who gets depressed? Depression affects anyone, adults, youth and children, regardless of educational background, income level or culture. The Canadian Mental Health Association states that 8% of adults will wind up being diagnosed with clinical depression in their lifetime. Juxtaposed against this, 20% of Canadians will personally experience some form of mental illness in their lifetime. In addition, 1% of the Canadian population is diagnosed with bipolar, or manic depression.

It is also about having the faith to understand that life, no matter how traumatic it gets, is worth living.

Why do people get depressed?

Statistics and Source: Canadian Mental Health Association.

Many people are exposed to mental health concerns from time to time. It becomes a concern when there are frequent stress related issues. Research has shown that interplay of genic to biological, personality and environmental factors plays a major role. This affects

Disclaimer: We realize that we have not touched on the real issue of the disease, but SMJ Magazine wanted to allow people to see the warning signs to stay on the sunny side of life.

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Something by Casandra London

NEW

from

About

History

The Casandra London Network is a youth driven initiative that fuses the art of theatre and journalism to build capacity of at risk youth in underserviced neighborhoods; to create, present, and promote positive stories about themselves and their communities.

Founded in 2011, The CLN was created in response to negative messages from mainstream media about youth living in Toronto’s priority neighborhoods.

Program The CLN will mentor three-six youth ages 19-25 from the Scarborough and Jane-Finch area on how to write, edit, and produce their own radio show to uplift, inspire, and affect change in marginalized communities

DO YOU WANT TO BE HEARD? Then it’s time for A NEW DEFINITION of OUR COMMUNITIES

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TUNE IN

GET IN TOUCH

CLN Online Radio Show Saturdays from 10:30-11:00 am to hear stories that directly impact your community.

Phone: 416-219-7013 Website: www.facebook.com/thecln Email: casandralondon@gmail.com

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CLN

Kareem Gordon

Casandra London Casandra London

Casandra London

As an innovative Kareem storyteller,

I am a community activist Gordon

Kareem Gordon

I am a community As an innovativeKareem Gordon Casandra Londonstoryteller, activist I am a community As an innovative activist I am a community As an innovative activist storyteller,

Bridget Ofosu

Bridget

Nabeela Hashimi

As an aspiring Social Bridget Ofosu Service Worker and Activist, As an aspiring Social Ofosu Service Worker Nabeela and Activist,

Bridget Ofosu

As an aspiring Social Service Worker and Activist, As an aspiring Social Service Worker

Nabeela As a journalist I use the Hashimi art of story-telling to inspire marginalized As a journalist I use the youth Hashimi art of story-telling to inspire marginalized Nabeela Hashimi

As a journalist I use the art of story-telling to inspire marginalized As a journalist I use the youth art of story-telling to inspire marginalized youth

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o

:1 1 2

TENTH Anniversary of the TWELFTH MONTH by Andrew Terry Pasieka

It is always good news when any business not only survives but thrives, especially in the years since the great economic downturn of 2008-09. So it was no surprise that November 23rd found SMJ Magazine at the Seasons Christmas Show in one of the spacious section of The International Centre. Now, Christmas is a ‘good news’ time of year no matter which theme of the season you are following. To have close to 300 vendors at this event, and to see attendance hit 17,000 this year makes this ‘very good news!’ We were able to speak with Dave Brown, one half of the creative force behind Seasons Christmas Show. One would think, because of the hype and commercialism that the season brings, that there must be a number of shows with similar themes in the Greater Toronto Area. Incredibly, there are only two others, and according to Dave, they are not the same. One focuses on the artisan; the other is more of a country craft fair. Seasons Christmas is an international show, and includes all types of businesses whose products can help to celebrate the holiday season. Dave says he and his wife Tracy were actually surprised last year when they looked at the 2014 calendar and realized they were coming up on ten years. “It came up pretty fast.” The first interesting factor that sets Seasons Christmas apart is that it has been a three-day event right from the first year. Dave and Tracy had done their research,

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and knew that serious buyers would come on a Friday, couples would be prevalent on Saturday, a traditional ‘shopping’ day, and families would dominate Sunday because that is a ‘family-outing’ day. The second interesting factor is that the venue has been at the worldregarded International Centre right from the beginning. Not only would the first factor maximize their attendees, the second factor would maximize their opportunity to attract larger companies who would pay the greater fees needed for The International Centre because the event was over three days. Dave says they want to portray something else. “We wanted a professionally-looking and produced show with an entrance which was both difference and an attraction each year.” Location, accessibility to highways, and free parking were also persuasive factors in selling the show to prospective corporations.

Fairly astute observations and planning for a big deal in Toronto, from a couple that reside in Barrie, Ontario, a city about an hour north of Toronto. Dave and Tracy Brown have been married for eighteen years, and bring over fifty years of event planning experience between them. They met at a company where they both worked, did event planning projects together before striking out on their own, then re-united to manage the Toronto Home Show together. Owning a company was a natural next step. Matrix North Events was formed in 2002. Looking back over that time in relation particularly to Seasons Christmas, three years stand out in particular. The first year was filled with challenges beyond the usual starter hic-cups. Toronto was hit with an ice storm part way through the day on Friday until Saturday evening. Radio stations were advising no one in Toronto drive unless absolutely necessary,


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so attendance was affected for the better part of a day. This was the ‘icing’ on an already unsettling cake. Just a day before the final ad campaign was to start in the Toronto Star and other local media, the ad agency went bankrupt and took their six-figure budget with it. How did they survive? Dave sardonically replies, “well, we found out that year that Amex has a limit!” Needless to say, they made no money.

They do try to avoid American Thanksgiving, which was the reason in one year Seasons Christmas was the same weekend as the Parade. It is all about attracting American vendors and American tourists. How will Seasons Christmas evolve in the next decade? “Well, we think we can grow by another 15 to 25%.” That would be 350 to 400 vendors, and attendance topping off at nifty 25,000!! “Yes, it would be very nice”, Dave remarks with a laugh. In addition, they have added more vendors for men, but the basic tenet will remain. “Over 90% of the shopping for the holidays is done by women, so there will be part of our show that will never change.” With that knowledge of their market, Dave and Tracy Brown are certain to keep Seasons Christmas Show a certain success!

On the other side, year four/five (Dave wasn’t sure which year) and year seven were positive experiences. Dave mentioned it was the fourth or fifth year when they felt they had arrived. What were the thresholds that marked ‘the arrival?’ “We were approaching 150 vendors, and attendance had reached five thousand over the three days.” For some unexplained reason, attendance jumped by 20% in the seventh year. “We could not figure out what we did right that year. At the end we just figured we had reached a new level.” Like any successful husband-andwife team, each individual has their own expertise, which meshes in well with their partner. Tracy is in charge of accounting and marketing; Dave handles logistics and production. They share in the sales end of the business. Seasons Christmas is usually positioned on the calendar the week after the Santa Claus Parade. Although they have advertised at the event, they do not advertise nor does the name of the show have the old gentleman’s name. “We do not make a conscious effort to include Santa in our show, because we are more than just all things Santa and Christmas. In fact, several of our years we have not had a Santa present.”

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RE-PRINTING OUR FINANCIAL CHALLENGE (Ed. Note): It has been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. If that is true, then reprinting is that form of flattery in the magazine world. So, just like the best of Ann Landers’ columns, our Publisher requested (actually, she told me to do it!) a re-printing of a great little gem of an idea that she was inspired to share one year ago. Not long ago I came across on face book, a group of motivated individuals who wanted to do more than just save some money. They wanted to do something on a regular basis that was habit-forming, motivating and supporting all in one. WHAT IS IT? HOW DOES IT WORK? This was the idea: save the same amount each week of the year as the number of week; for example, $1 the first week, $2 the second week, $3 the third week, and so on. If you keep this up for the entire year, at the end of 52 weeks you will have saved $1378.00.

New Year approaches, it’s a good time to start. Make it part of your New Year’s resolution. It is always important to take a look at where you are at with your finances. Financial responsibility begins in the home, so that is best place to begin this challenge. Whether we have saved enough for retirement, children’s education, or that rainy day, it is a great way to make this plan a start for 2014. Even if all you have accumulated at the end of 52 weeks is $1378.00. How to automate the weekly savings chart:

This is not a “get rich quick,” this is about getting into the habit of saving on a regular basis. This is a process that the entire family can participate. Students, churches, groups and organizations can also get involved, working towards this or any specific goal. You can start with any amount; $1 was just an easy way to start. The real goal is to develop discipline and encourage one another. You can start the old fashioned way, by saving in a jar or by simply going to your local bank and opening a saving deposit account. Making you finances a priority in your life is a huge step towards financial freedom for you and your family. As the

52 WEEK CHALLENGE

1) Open up a FREE, Savings Account. I suggest using an online account, so you won’t have easy access to your money. Online accounts typically take 2-5 business days to withdraw funds. This will discourage impulse spending. 2) Set up automated transfers (on the same day each week) from your regular bank, to your new Savings Account. Most banks have an online calendar when you can schedule transfers ( when and how much). I encourage you to set up the transfers in bulk, a month/4 at a time, or do the whole year. The scheduling should take a matter of minutes and this service is FREE! You don’t have to do the transfers manually each week, unless you think you may not have the funds available in your regular bank account and want to avoid over-drafting. 3) Make sure that you have the money available in your regular bank account each week. 4) Sit back and watch your money AUTOMATICALLY grow and grow and grow! The creator of the chart is Kassondra PerryMoreland. Join her by doing your own 52 Week Challenge! https://www.facebook.com/ groups/344214249020179/

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Purchase your copy online or get the FREE Digital version on your mobile device or at home on your desktop!!

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Profile for SMJ Magazine

SMJ Magazine Holiday/Winter 2014 issue #7  

SMJ Magazine an online Image Lifestyle Business publication issued 3 times a year.

SMJ Magazine Holiday/Winter 2014 issue #7  

SMJ Magazine an online Image Lifestyle Business publication issued 3 times a year.

Profile for shelleyj
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