Monday, 30 September 2013

Snapshots From The Bible WK 39~ Proverbs 27:19- How people see us


Proverbs 27: 19
‘you see your face in a mirror and your thoughts in the minds of others.’

This is quite a difficult verse to interpret however a challenge is a challenge!
Everything is open to interpretation and even when we look at our own face in a mirror we may see ourselves differently from the way that other people see us however, there is no disputing that we are looking directly at our own face.
How do you see your thoughts in the minds of others? I think this comes down to the fact that what we think we create. If we focus on a thought long enough with passion, it will come into existence.
The way people treat us very often reflects the way in which have perceived them. If we think poorly of another person they may well pick that up and behave in the exact manner we expect of them. Often this is followed by a comment such as, ‘typical, I knew she’d go and do that.’  People may treat you in a friendly manner or be wary of you and this will depend upon the thought vibrations you transmit. How often do you think of something and then it happens? You may think about calling a friend when the phone rings and that person is on the end of the line! Very common and we tend to laugh about it and put it down to familiarity as opposed to a coincidence. This is exactly what it is.
How does your face look? Is it relaxed and you look quite good for your age or do you looked stressed and appear to be ageing too quickly? Once again we come back to the power of thought. If you try to keep your thoughts positive and relatively pure your face will appear younger because you are not pulling stressful faces and exercising those crease lines! Thinking about the things we need in life to improve ourselves and our situation is positive and beneficial whereas worry, bitterness and anger simply fuel bad thoughts and create a permanent scowl.
 If you go around being miserable other people will avoid you or you might see them appear to groan inwardly when you appear so their thoughts are very obvious to you. Positive, happy people always attract others because we enjoy being around people who inspire us and make us feel good about ourselves and life in general. How people feel about us is all in the body language, and body language is usually a true reflection of inner thoughts and feelings.
If you really want to know how others see you, watch how they respond, they are simply reflecting your thoughts back into the universe, so work hard at investing in good thoughts because they always pay dividends!
Here is a more usual interpretation of the actual verse and far easier to work with!
'As in water face reflects face, So the heart of man reflects man.' 

Jaz McKenzie
If you would like to write an article for ~IB~ contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

 

Friday, 27 September 2013

Be Braap~Be Focused #3- Learn to be resilient!



I frequently walk through Norbury park and a little while ago noticed the painted numbers that had appeared on the trees. A few days later, branches were cut back so severely nothing was left but bare trunks and a few stunted branches.

Fortunately nature is highly resilient and little by little, foliage has reappeared, the tree picture wearing it proudly like a crown!! You see, this is a lesson for life. What ever happens to you stand upright and find a way to move forwards. You will see that the tree is blessed with shards of sunlight streaming across it in recognition of the victory?!?!

This is so important. The tree literally starts a process of regeneration, even the oldest most decrepit tree having new growth. I am sure the tree was shocked when its branches were removed as that was not a natural occurrence, similar to some of the shocking experiences that occur in our lives, but the fact is~ you can't keep a good tree down!

We too need to discover our inner fight, our resilience and make life work for us. Sometimes the most shocking pruning creates the most beautiful blooms, so think of that next time you are having a tough time.

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Tamera Foster sings I Have Nothing by Whitney Houston - Arena Auditions ...



Well, this year's UK X-Factor auditions, including all the Wembley Arena performances, have drawn to a close and this is the audition that had the greatest impact. Everyone who follows the show is talking about this incredible performance by Tamera, such a young girl.


Of course, at this point we are looking primarily at potential however there is every probability that Tamera will fulfil her potential given that she will receive the best coaching available and mega exposure.

The question is, where will it lead? At the age of 16 the world is about to open up and with no previous experience of huge crowds and living in the public eye it must be pretty daunting. How will she handle overnight success? Not surprisingly,Tamera has already had some bad press. It will be interesting to see whether a total diva is unmasked or a nice personable superstar!!

Jaz McKenzie

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Snapshots From The Bible WK 38~ Psalm 27:14 Why it's good to wait



Week 38~ Psalm 27:14 

‘Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.’
How often are we in a hurry to get on with our lives? Waiting is never easy, and at times quite frustrating- waiting in traffic when you’re on your way to work or to an appointment for example! Waiting on other people at times is hard too, especially during group undertakings where everyone has specific responsibilities that have to be completed before a project can move forwards.
Waiting is important otherwise it wouldn’t be mentioned twice in one sentence; however the emphasis here is the importance of waiting on God. There are often extra benefits to waiting and we are told here that our heart will be strengthened when we wait on God. We have established in previous weeks that God always wants the best for us so naturally He will take the right amount of time to prepare us fully and that is where maintaining our faith comes in.
The very act of waiting provides time in which we can assess a situation properly, gain extra knowledge, possibly extend our research or benefit in other ways we may not have considered. It also provides time which may be vital to avoid making costly mistakes
Waiting is a discipline which we should endeavour to nurture.  It can provide space for things to slot into place so that the best outcome is guaranteed. To wait patiently is a good personal characteristic and in some instances shows courtesy and consideration for others, being important during conversations where we may need to give others time to think and decide how to express themselves.
Good courage describes the attitude we should maintain whilst waiting. There’s no point going around complaining when things are not moving quickly; instead have a strong accepting attitude that is brimming with expectancy ensuring the best possible outcome.  Not every situation requires courage, but courage means putting your best foot forward and making all necessary moves in order to progress.
Next time you have to wait do not become impatient, instead think of it as an opportunity and wait whilst hidden blessings reveal themselves! 

Jaz McKenzie


Friday, 20 September 2013

Rough Copy - Our Love Official NET Video (Re Launch)



Rough Copy have applied to the X-Factor for the second time and boy are they slick!!
There is something about this group that creates more of an American rather than British flavour- possibly the way they work the crowd! I think they are a seriously hot band, extremely professional and produce great music. Rough Copy have already covered some of One Direction's material and did it brilliantly. Check out this video from their own Youtube music page to see what they are capable of!

Jaz McKenzie
 


Thursday, 19 September 2013

Let's Relax by the Sea!! Real sea sounds & Waves to enjoy.

Durdle Door
I was watching my own sea video, shot a few weeks ago in beautiful Durdle Door, Devon, UK. As I haven't got around to uploading it yet, instead we will relax with a more comprehensive video!! There's nothing quite like the sound of the waves slapping against the shore to relax your mind, so when we are unable to visit the ocean we need to bring the ocean into our homes!! Enjoy your day!!

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Be Braap~ Be Focused!! #2 Live the Life You Love!


LIVE THE LIFE YOU LOVE AND LOVE THE LIFE YOU LIVE!!!


You may think creating your life the way you desire is easier said than done. In reality it's a matter of education, understanding, faith and discipline. The first big issue is deciding how you would like your life to be- preferably in detail and aiming for those goals, picking yourself up quickly at every wobble!

I could write reams about life according to the Bible or the Law of Attraction, but better you do your own research and take time to understand how everything works together to, 'make IT happen.'

Once we manage to obtain a greater level of inner happiness it is easier to be happy and satisfied with life. We are always told that it's not the destination that counts, it's the journey and how true this statement is- after all, what happens when you reach your destination? It quickly becomes familiar and your quest for a new destination and journey soon kick off in earnest.

Anticipation is our fuel. Planning a holiday is great fun and fills us with excitement created from anticipation, in fact, we often benefit from the, 'happy vibes' this process arouses in us as much as we do from the holiday itself; sometimes even more if something goes wrong and the ultimate paradise becomes the holiday from hell!

The quickest way to living the life you love is finding more of what you love and making time for it. Challenges are great, learning new skills, stretching ourselves in new directions including reaching a greater level of competency in work and play. Find people you enjoy being around- it certainly makes passing time much more fun and more interesting for all concerned.

Learning from our mistakes and veering away from repetative negative patterns makes a huge difference to our general well-being. Change is not easy, change is a matter of practice! When you find yourself slipping back into old habits, get a grip. Tell yourself you need to walk a new path and make every moment count. Time spent feeding negative emotions simply drains your energy whereas positive emotions create great feelings.

Create the life you love and busy yourself living it. Once you do, more good things will come your way, so don't delay, get started and enjoy every day as life rolls along!

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Snapshots From The Bible WK37~ Matthew 11:28 Rest for the weary



Matthew 11: 28
'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.'

Life can be very challenging at times, and more often than not, along with challenges comes that weary feeling, usually when we have been working really hard and suddenly we run out of steam!
There is a sense of reassurance in this passage that weariness is just a part of normal life and that it is OK to take time out and rest. God is saying here that if our burdens are too great we can simply give them to Him and relax- easier said than done!

It is useful to reflect on how well we are managing and weigh up progress to date; keeping on top of tasks is a good way to avoid too much stress. Sometimes this is easier said than done! What is not explained in this verse are the ways in which God helps us- obviously our burdens don’t just fall away but maybe when we hand them over and cease worrying, people and things will come into our lives that help everything to progress smoothly.
The verse also shows how much God cares and is aware of our basic needs, staying close by at all times. We are not alone even when it feels that way, which is also encouraging. The idea of rest creates space and time to think, a useful commodity in our busy lives, so why not take up this offer? After all, it’s free! 

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to write an article for ~IB~ contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Saturday, 14 September 2013

'She Walks In Beauty'~ Poem by Lord Byron


Lord Byron lived- without any doubt (!!), a very full life and is one of the greatest British poets. He was quite a scandalous fellow, being highly romantic and having numerous affairs. His sense of romance comes through very clearly in this beautiful poem and we can tune in to his appreciate of women. There is a tremendous amount of historical interest surrounding this man who was not only a poet but a politician! It is well worth checking out Lord Byron's achievements during his 36 short years.

She Walks In Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night 
   Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright 
   Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light 
   Which heaven to gaudy day denies.


One shade the more, one ray the less, 
   Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress, 
   Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express 
   How pure, how dear their dwelling place.


And on that cheek, and o'er that brow, 
   So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow, 
   But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below, 
   A heart whose love is innocent!

Here is a beautiful version if you would like to hear it sung:



Jaz McKenzie

Friday, 13 September 2013

'The Cello Song'~ by The Piano Guys- interesting!!!


Here we have a lively variation of a classic tune which can be heard accompanying adverts from time to time.  It's fun to listen to and acts as a great introduction to The Piano Guys- not quite pianos!!

 
Enjoy & have a great day!!
 
Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 12 September 2013

What can we learn from a game of TETRIS?

I probably wouldn't have stopped to think about this in the normal course of events  but strange things happen! Yesterday I was busy playing Tetris on my phone during a bus journey- great way to pass a little time sharpening your mind and reflexes. The game started out pretty well with all the pieces falling into place and then the challenge hit- as it does! I was being given the most awkward shapes as the game speeded up, so decided to focus on building up the middle, leaving the edges bare expecting the blocks to pile up -GAME OVER.

Surprisingly this did not happen. The right shapes started appearing to fill up the gaps in the grid and all of a sudden filled lines were disappearing and I was almost back to the baseline. It suddenly hit me how the game of Tetris is actually a reflection of life. Things go well and suddenly they change. We face challenges that have us feeling as if we should give up when all of a sudden, a solution to our problems appear and our life slots back on track.

So what did I learn from playing Tetris? I think having patience is one key lesson, as is studying a problem from different angles. There are often choices in Tetris; there may be two or three places your block will fit but regardless of where you put it, the end result is that the majority of pieces work well together achieving a high score. I think that sometimes we spend too long deliberating over things when there are several ways to arrive at the desired result.

Next time a problem is looming large, think TETRIS!! It will be bring a smile to your lips and help you not to take things too seriously- we are built for survival and have the power to overcome all situations and rise up once again!

I would also like to share a little scientific study about the benefits of playing Tetris!! Tetris is more than just a game Maybe there's a psychological reason why we enjoy it so much?!?!?!

Jaz McKenzie

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

'I Will Survive'~ Gloria Gaynor~ Most popular performance



'I will Survive' is one of the most powerful songs ever written- which we all have sung or even used as a personal mantra at some point in our lives. In some ways it is actually representative of the process we go through when facing any type of fearful situation and what makes this song a winner is that Gloria comes out on top! Did you think I'd lay down and die? Quite probably because people often underestimate us by not actually recognizing the bottom line~ The most important thing in life is our survival. At a base level, we decide that we are actually of value and owe it to ourselves to stand up and push straight ahead, finding the fighting spirit within. This can come as quite a shock to the oppressor, particularly if that person is used to walking in and out of our lives.


This has to be the number 1 anthem for the broken hearted showing strength, determination and supplying the words we'd all love to use if we ever find ourselves in this situation! It is so strong lyrically, vocally and musically that it would be hard to emulate. Gloria performed, 'I will survive at Michael Jackson's 30th anniversary and at Mandela Day in 2009. Somehow I think this song will survive long after most of us!!

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Be Braap~Be Focused!!! #1~See Only Love!!

It is good to have a main focus for the day that is applicable to everything you do.  Today's key phrase is, 'SEE ONLY LOVE.'

When you are looking at love everything else drops away and we see the best in others. Love affects our attitudes, words and deeds which helps us to be kinder and willing to listen with an open mind. Often we have preconceptions of people that affect our judgement. How many times do you cringe inwardly if someone requests to see you, thinking... it's going to be more of the same? Firstly, if might be about something entirely new and secondly, if it is more of the same then the problems still exist and need to be dealt with.

It might be a case of attempting to listen to the' same old' as if it were the first time you have ever heard it because love makes everything new! Even if the problem is the same, love can help you see the person in a new light and possibly inspire you in a new way. We give out vibrations all the time, so changing our feelings and vibrations towards others will affect their subconscious and the way they respond to us.

The more awkward, objectionable or downright rude a person is acts as an indicator that they really need love. People who love themselves have no need to act aggressively or demandingly towards others.

If you catch yourself thinking negative thoughts today, change the channel and pop love onto your screen. I sometimes carry a red heart in my pocket and when I inadvertently touch it I am reminded to, 'switch love on!'

SEE ONLY LOVE~ and make a difference!

Jaz McKenzie

If you wish to write a short article for ~IB~ contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Monday, 9 September 2013

Snapshots From The Bible Wk 36~ Jeremiah 29: 11~ God's plan for us

WEEK 36~ Jeremiah 29:11

‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’

What exciting words! The Bible is full of promises and declarations which we can take on board to help us live our lives with a truly positive attitude. This verse shows how much God loves us. Instead of simply saying, ’I will always look after you,’ God says that He has made plans for our prosperity and actively speaks about hope and the future.
Sometimes we are filled with worry or fear, the antidotes to which are worship and faith respectively. Easy to remember and a little more difficult to practice! If you are worrying it can be hard to ease up which is where this helps.  I think that this verse is a good one to memorise and focus on in times of uncertainty; in fact it’s worth saving it in your mobile phone to have to hand when doubts arise!
God has almost certainly planned a better future for us than we could for ourselves. Think how the pieces of your visions come together, little details appearing out of nowhere, just popping into your mind. We meet people ‘by chance’ who often contribute to our lives in a major way. Small ideas take on a life of their own and may literally take us to places we never even dreamed of. We were put into this world to enjoy it and not to suffer although sometimes the greatest joy arises through suffering, hard as this might seem to accept at first glance.
We often under estimate our skills and abilities yet we are all given special gifts that we can use to maximum effect if we allow ourselves to run with them instead of planning every detail of our lives. Creativity needs to flow in order to grow! The best things often arise when given room to do so. Our minds work extremely well on the subconscious level and benefit more when we make a conscious effort to programme them with affirmations and positive thoughts. Worship and faith work in harmony to create the new realities pertaining to this promise. Faith means that we accept God’s promises as tangible evidence, which they will become in time.
Every day can be a prosperous day if we just hand it over to God and let Him take control; especially by helping us to overcome all negative thoughts and feelings. We might feel a long way off from achieving this at times, but practice makes perfect! The best outcome in every situation awaits us, so claim that promise now and act as if a bright future is already at hand.

Jaz McKenzie
If you wish to write an article for ~IB~ contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Saturday, 7 September 2013

RASTA BIG UP!!! ~IB~ interview with Rising Regga Artist Indecka



~IB~ are delighted to have been invited to interview Jamaican artist Indecka, whom we will introduce by using the opening statement from his bio:

‘‘Lyrical content with a difference.’ Born Chevol Grant, Singer/ songwriter Indecka has been “edutaining” and uplifting individuals through his vibrant, conscious yet witty songs and performances for over a decade, displaying his versatility with outstanding and captivating performances and songs on both reggae and dancehall beats.
Time to get down to business!!
Let’s start by taking a look at your background. You were brought up by your Grandmother and mentioned living with hardship- what kind of hardships did you experience?
We had to go to the farm to get food and stuff like that you know - and walk to school, a good long journey. Day to day experience but as a child you don’t really know these things because you get up and eat food and it’s long before you get dinner so you get really hungry. You get hand down clothes but you don’t really realise.  You are still happy as a child, but when you grow up you see the situation.
With regard to religion, I saw in your bio that you were brought up in the church yet you are now as a Rasta; what’s the story?
I was taken to church but when I leave Manchester it was a whole different culture. In Manchester it was school, church and sometimes market and we were brought up believing in Christianity. When I leave Manchester I free up and understand more things, so I choose Rastafari because of the liberty.

When you were aged ten and you started singing ‘for release,’ was that also the time you realised the hardships?
No, I was not recognising it at that moment, later.
So was that just the normal singing that ten year olds do?
My singing started in the church so it was church concerts, school and community concerts, run by the church as well. People like my singing and put me up again for encore. I go up three or four times because people like me and always want me to sing.
At that point in time how did singing make you feel?
Sometimes it made me feel sad because I didn’t really want to be on the stage for that long but it was always happening to me. So many times me cry.
Did it gradually give you a strong sense of your individuality?
As I got older: now I understand that people liked me but it was difficult.
I see you write poetry. Can you remember how you came to write your first poem or what it was about?
I don’t remember clearly what it was about but it was in school. We were told to write a poem in class and me poem was so good that the teacher read it aloud to everyone. Then I started to just write. I was aged fifteen when that happen.
When did you start the music?
When I was about sixteen and we reach Glengarth School, we started to knock the decks and sing along. We used to just free-style.  
Who were your major musical influences?
I listened to Luciano a lot. When I really started to realise what I was going through, I start to listen to Luciano for the meaning of his words because I never really listen before. We were not exposed much to reggae music, we were exposed to church music. When I start listening to Luciano’s song, ‘Lord give me the strength to face another day,’ I’d sing that song a lot.
So that song spoke to you?
Yes, but in terms of influencing me personally regarding music, it was the era of Bounty Killer verses Beenie Man. Everybody chose to emulate Beenie Man or Bounty Killer and I was a fan of Bounty Killer.
These days you have been exposed to a great deal of music. Do you still listen pre-dominantly to reggae or do you enjoy a wider range of music including R&B, Jazz and so on?

Yes I have been exposed to a wider range of music and appreciate different music more you know. I listen to R&B and I like country and western; I like Kenny Rogers and other artists. It opened me up  musically to different influences.
Tell us how you came to record your songs.
Leaving school, I started working at Breaton gas station and singing was a heap of fun. I was writing my own songs and people in the local community would come to the gas station to hear me sing and DJ. They would say, ‘he’s good.’ They try to sort out some connections but I still wasn’t taking it seriously and Jah Mikes the Yahbell producer gave me a ring. So I ring him at his home a few times and he link me at the gas station a few times. I went to the studios and finish my song, ‘Always be there,’ and that was my first recording. It was a whole different experience for me because singing on its own was so easy, but when you go to make records it’s a whole different aspect of the thing you know. The whole thing has to be on point.

What age were you when you made your first recording?
Somewhere around nineteen to twenty one. I sort of took a break because we didn’t really push the music.
Were you doing quite a bit of deejaying when you first did the singing?
Yes, community deejaying and for my friends around 2008 when I recorded Jah Protect Me. That’s when I really started taking the music seriously. Always Be There was my first song but the song, ‘ Jah Protect Me,’ really gave me the inspiration, gave me the lift to push on.
I see that you like to produce lyrical content with a difference, how do you achieve this?
In Jamaica now you have lyrics that are trendy. People on the whole try to copy and almost every artist sings about that same topic. I try to go a different route and tell my stories differently.
Is that why you went for ‘Rice and Peas,’ because it’s a very traditional yet very comical song?’
Right, that’s why I did Rice and peas the way I did it because people sing about stuff like that in two lines in the song, but I did a whole, complete song about that.
What aspects of your singing bring you the most joy?
Singing itself and when people get a joy out of it you know. That’s what gives me the lift. When people really get into your song or say to you, ‘ I really enjoy that song,’ or ‘can you sing this song?’ That’s what gives me joy.
You’ve had a lot of press coverage in Jamaica, over what period of time has your career really picked up?
Since Jah Protect Me, so in the last four to five years really.
Are you recognized across Jamaica?
Yes, I would say that.
Indecka performing at 'Sting' Jamaica
What’s the next move for you?
I’m trying for international now so trying to set up some tours and things like that.
Are you extending to the Caribbean first or going totally international?
I have connections worldwide so I am going to promote in the UK, across the States and use Caribbean connections- international networking is working well for me.
So have you any dates booked abroad or is this challenging?
It’s challenging because you need a lot of P’s to go to other countries. When I talk of going on tour I could go with another artist, a bigger name because it’s easier but we’re trying not to take that route.
How important is the charity and giving aspect of your work?
That’s a very important part, not just music but a very important thing in life. You have to give to receive so it’s very important that every day you give something; you can give support to something or someone.
What else is important to you on a daily basis?
You have to take time to understand life itself and then you will know how to be with people and it’s much easier that way. You have to deal with each individual on their own merit because no two persons are the same. Every single person is made in their own way you know. I deal with each individual like that.

Back to the music, what are you busy promoting at the moment?
We have just finished a new single ‘Bloodshed’, that will be out later this month and we are currently promoting four singles, here and abroad as well. The other songs are , ‘Running From The Law,’ ‘ More Jobs’ and ‘Rasta Big Up.’ 
What is the actual message that Bloodshed is focusing on?
It’s mainly about guns that are burning like a disease. They are still killing people over so much years, still destroying life. Things have always been the same here ever since and it’s time for change, a drastic change.
You are one of the artists that Badda Links of Grung Star Promotions is managing and promoting; how did you connect with him?
He’s a very good friend of mine from Jamaica and we connect over the internet. He is the main person helping with my career. He is my main supporter in terms of inspiration and motivation. He always gives me encouragement.
Finally, what would you like for your future?
I would like my music to become a household name across the globe, that’s good for me.

We would like to thank Indecka and his team for this interview and you can enquire about Indecka at: sweatboxxproductions@gmail.com or Twitter@indecka

Links: Indecka Facebook Page  Jah Protect Me

Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to be featured on ~IB~ contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Friday, 6 September 2013


Whetting your appetite for the soon to be released Indecka interview!!

Great song form March 2013 to get your vibes attuned and create an upful spirit. Love the riddim and you can sing along... REWIND!!

I believe the beautiful painting above may be a Pati Bertucci original as she has a highly distinctive style however I have not confirmed that yet! Apologies~ I have since discovered the artist to be Genif Anderson!


Enjoy your day~Jaz McKenzie

If you would like to feature on ~IB~ contact: itsbraap@live.co.uk

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

COMING SOON~ INTERVIEW WITH INDECKA


~IB~ Speaks with Indecka, reggae artist on the rise!! Catch it this week and see why he's  on fire~ STAY TUNED.

Miles Davies~ Cool Jazz!

Miles Davies 1926-1991

Sometimes it is good to listen to pure  music, allowing the clarity and beauty of each note to resonate in full. This piece, 'Cool Jazz,' by Miles Davies takes you on that particularly journey and is definitely a well loved classic. Miles Davies was renowned as being one of the most influential musicians of his era.

Miles was a song writer and trumpet player who had his own sextet. His style was minimalist yet he produced a great many live and studio albums,winning nine Grammy awards. Miles was known as, 'The Prince of Darkness' due to his personalityand had a very interesting life.


For further information and informative video follow this link: Miles Davies Biography

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

How Do You Measure Success?


How do you really go about measuring success?

There are many instances in which success is measured by pre-determined goals and these are used by the average citizen to judge performance. Clear examples of this are medal winners, being voted in as President or Prime Minister and other high profile achievements.

What about Mr & Mrs Average? The same basic concepts still apply. We go after a new job and if we are offered it, we have clearly been successful- Correct? Yes and no. For some people knowing that they performed well during the interview despite a negative result still constitutes success and may well spur them on to do even better.

Another way we can measure success is by tuning into our feelings. If you feel good about something then it has been a success. A friend of mine gave a really great performance recently and as a result said the evening had been a great success- he added that unfortunately it was not well attended. That is a great way to judge the event as life isn't always a numbers game! Obviously most promoters would judge success according to hard cash but sometimes we need to look beyond the obvious to appreciate the finer points that equal success. If only ten people had turned up (I have no idea of the true number!!) and those ten people thoroughly enjoyed the evening, that constitutes success.

Often success is measured in baby steps- for a very good reason! Look how babies progress, they tend to observe and make efforts towards their goals whether walking, speaking or feeding themselves. Both physical and cognitive skills follow a pattern until the new skill is learned. We tend to forget this and expect a much faster rate of success.

When we do experience success it may be followed by a period of non-progress during which we need to consolidate our achievements. Appreciation of success and the opportunity to practice skills is important. Some successes may be a one off, but generally we aim to repeat them. After all, athletes and presidents rarely run just one race!

Success covers all areas of our development. Whether you are aiming to learn your times tables, take up a new hobby or improve your communication, each little improvement can be seen as another successful step towards the ultimate goal.

One of the most interesting aspects of life is that once we have become successful at something we realise that there is more work to be done in another area. This is why highly talented individuals are so often multi-skilled and why successful people never seem to really retire!

Success is what you make it; your vision, your measurements and not something that can be clearly defined and put into the appropriate box. We can have tangible rewards for success such as medals or intangible rewards- think of all the decisions and responsibilities facing world leaders. Their initial success really is only a starting point to a highly controversial path, a slalom down the tricky ski slopes of political life.

A good way to measure success, or at least to help you achieve it, is by setting deadlines. Deadlines help create focus and we can have many achievable deadlines if we break tasks into bite sized pieces. Sometimes life interferes with our plans so we need to be tolerant with ourselves, but ultimately we have a need to achieve; success in life is vital to our overall sense of well being and self-satisfaction.

Why not set yourself a simple task everyday so that you can create the habit of success? This is a good way to get started and build up some self discipline until self encouragement and success become good habits. That way you can easily measure success, even if it's simply getting out of bed at a set time every morning and arriving at work on time!

Success creates happiness and happiness adds to our contentment with life, so build a good foundation and you will be able to create a great future.

Jaz McKenzie

Monday, 2 September 2013

Snapshots From The Bible WK 35~ Galatians 6:3-5 Being who you are!



Week 35~ Galatians 6:3-5

‘If anyone thinks they are something when they are not, they deceive themselves. Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, for each one should carry their own load.’

How many times do we try to deceive ourselves?
How does self- deception make us feel?

Chances are that there have been many occasions when we practiced self-deception, some relatively minor and others highly significant, however the probability is that we were left feeling short-changed and guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or suffering with another negative emotion. Why? Because we cannot feel glorious if we are fooling ourselves- just think about athletes who take steroids. Many of them didn’t wish to in the first place but eventually talked themselves into it knowing that they cannot enjoy true glory when they cheat the system.

We are all unique so it is important to celebrate our individuality rather than trying to emulate others which may occur due to a lack of self-confidence or self-love. There are times when it is good practice to learn from the best, particularly in relation to sports or other professions but this has to be with a goal in mind and not just a copy- cat move.

When you know yourself you can be yourself! Obvious but not always easy. We start life in our families and core communities however, as we develop free thinking and the art of questioning, we are able to change- sometimes quite fundamentally. This is when we start to reach maturity and form our true identity. At this time we can be proud of who we are and continue to progress through life’s journey.

How do we test our own actions?
We always have a sense of right or wrong emanating from our gut reactions. We have instinct and intuition. When we do things, how does that action make us feel and what are our guidelines? You need something to measure against in order to test and this may well be our moral code. Are we honest with ourselves? Are we doing something for the right reasons or to create a stir? Questioning is a good test to use before we do something- what, how, why and expected results. If we accept our answers and they match up with our personal code of practice, then we can go ahead: if not, the anticipated course of action needs revising. We can only be proud of ourselves when we endorse our standards, otherwise we compromise our opinions and are dishonest with ourselves and others.

How often do we think more of ourselves than we should? It can be easy to convince ourselves that we are right, our opinion is the best opinion therefore everyone should listen to us. If you put yourself on a pedestal be careful in case you lose your balance and topple over! This ties in with the end of these verses. We cannot see other people’s burdens or have a true awareness of their situation or feelings. Empathy- yes, but not a full understanding because we all see and experience everything differently.  Our burdens are of a size and shape that suits us because we are individual. We have our own weight limit which cannot be exceeded! We can help ease one another’s burdens but cannot remove them- God is the person who can alleviate them for us. So go about your daily life with a real sense of self and act accordingly, always trying to be the best you can be with honesty and integrity for that is the road to a more peaceful existence.

 Jaz McKenzie
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God Be In My Head


I thought we would start the new week with some ATTITUDE!!! The right attitude of asking God, substitute your own word if you like, to be with us in all things, at all times. This is a prayerful request and something to bring to mind if we feel we are losing our grip of reality- that God is in us and will help us in every situation. We are also reminded to conduct ourselves with dignity and honesty.

This is an upbeat version rather than the usual peaceful song we are used to. If you prefer, go to youtube and scroll down!


Wishing you a blessed day and look out tonight for our weekly series, 'Snapshots From The Bible.'

Jaz McKenzie