Saturday, 30 November 2013

Be Braap~ Be Inspired #32!!! Real Quotes from Real People!!

'Celebrity life and media culture are probably the most overbearing pop-culture conditions that we as young people have to deal with because it forces us to judge ourselves'~ Lady Gaga


This is a particularly interesting and powerful quote from pop icon Lady Gaga , reflecting the power of celebrity and media within society today. One of the roles of media is to throw up questions for debate however as we have become very self absorbed and more judgemental across the board, sometimes we are in constant debate about the lives of others.

Sadly people do measure themselves against celebrities and many of todays children genuinely wish to live the celebrity lifestyle. As Lady Gaga says, maybe we need to take a little time to look at ourselves ourselves and make considered judgements about our choices and the way we live our lives. Sometimes we deal with the cosmetics rather than fundamentals leaving a lot of shallow unfulfilled people!

Jaz McKenzie

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Thursday, 28 November 2013

Amanda Hall, 9 years old, Ballet Don Quixote, Pembroke Ballet

Beautiful skills on display from young Amanda Hall in this short solo from Don Quixote. Great to see such talent at a young age, tremendous poise and grace! If you love ballet this is well worth watching.

Jaz McKenzie

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Snapshots From The Bible Week 47~ Galatians 5 v 9- Yeast works through dough

Galatians 5:9 

‘A little yeast works through the whole batch of dough.’
Our words are so often like yeast yet we may give little consideration to their ‘potentially’ far reaching effects. In the same way that yeast works through dough, rumours can spread as wild fire creating havoc in the lives of others. Words can become easily distorted  once shared as we have our own understanding and interpretation, building up or knocking down.
For fun, let’s look at the X Factor. Tamera Foster at the age of 16 was told from day 1 that she has the potential to be a superstar, yet during her first individual audition she forgot her words. Things went OK for a few weeks, but now that the pressure has mounted up Tamera forgot her words two weeks in a row.  Tamera has been told that it’s her time to shine and everyone is waiting for a spectacular performance.  At 16 this expectation appears too much resulting with the obvious- as Tamera has been told ‘don’t you dare forget your words’ (or similar by Sharon Osborne during feedback in that first audition,) that little yeast had been absorbed in her brain which ignores the negative ‘don’t,’ therefore remembering words is now a challenge. Had she been told to remember her words from day 1 something else might have gone wrong!!  When we speak with people we need to focus on what we want from them and not what we don’t want, in order to achieve the desired result. Giving positive instructions is far more helpful and easier to absorb.
Praise is the positive yeast used to encourage self- belief and reward achievement. When someone tells you that they believe in you, you will try far harder to achieve because we don’t like to let others down.
The same philosophy applies to money, giving time to others or even spreading a little love . If everyone donates a little we end up with a lot.
What this short sentence helps us to realise is that little actions count and can have a huge impact on the lives of others. We could probably all do with a little more awareness regarding our words and actions to help us have a positive impact on others and the world around.

Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Chilling with the Duke!~ Ellington & Cat Anderson

Duke Ellington
Duke Ellington & Cat Anderson Link

Time to start the weekend wind down! Life can be so pressurised that at times we really appreciate the smooth sounds of jazz- including the tipping & whispering Duke Ellington refers to during his introduction. When you hear music like this from back in the day you wonder how today's music really compares. Nothing beats live music by highly talented musicians of any genre.No wonder swing is back in fashion!

Jaz McKenzie

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Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Food for Thought~ untitled poem by Jani Ringler-Nielsen

I met Jani earlier this year at a poetry event in Croydon and am very pleased to be able to share one of her poems with you. I am referring to it as 'Food For Thought' because that is a precise description of this poem which is open to interpretation. It throws up so many questions concerning the pre-ceding scenario leading to the' switch' and mental shut down.

Anyone fancy writing a short piece leading up to this poem?


For the tear falls softly on her pillow, 
She looks up smiles and knows why. 
Her ears don't hear what she thinks,
Her mind don't answer questions
Why she just does and sleeps and knows I'm ok 
Cause I've made pie.

Jani Ringler-Nielsen

Jaz McKenzie

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Monday, 18 November 2013

Snapshots From The Bible WK 46~Psalm 139 v 14- we're all wonderfully made!

Week  46 ~ Psalm 139: 14 

‘I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made’
This is a very beautiful statement and not to be taken lightly. It also gives you something to be thankful for every day.
A quick question:  How happy are you with yourself- your physical appearance, your mind or maybe your basic characteristics? Hopefully you are very happy overall and thankful for who you are and the progress made in this lifetime.
Sometimes however we see things that we dislike. Whatever faults we see in ourselves need to be kept in perspective as they are simply part of the whole.  The fact is, we have all been wonderfully made starting life as infants and following developmental milestones as we mature which usually leads to a gradual decline of some physical or mental attributes. This is life, a process throughout which we are constantly learning and achieving new things, living and learning. That in itself is wonderful!
Ideally, we need to learn how to embrace ourselves in our entirety, accepting the good with the bad. It is a good job we are beautifully rather than perfectly made or there would be no room for improvement! The way we see ourselves is influenced by the media to a huge extent which often results in dissatisfaction leading to a permanent quest for self- improvement.
Why fearfully, in fear of what?  One possibility is the way we tend to destroy our 'wonderful' selves by spending too much time worrying and stressing as we are supposed to live from day to day in the reassurance that all of our needs will be met. Stress takes a toll on us both physically and mentally, wearing us down and ultimately affecting the quality of our lives.
We are beautiful people, so appreciate yourself, be thankful and make the most of your assets instead of complaining about the things that you consider your weakest points.
Jaz McKenzie
if you would like to write an article for ~IB~ contact: itsbraap@live.couk

Friday, 15 November 2013

Taking a look at the lives of Shaolin Monks~ Documentary

Very interesting/educational documentary revealing the lives of Shaolin monks, not all of whom are fighters, however they hold the reputation of being the best fighters in the world. They have been in existence for 2000 years. Their renowned form of Kung Foo  essentially balances the body with specific moves inspired by animals including eagles, scorpions and snakes, all beautifully demonstrated. There is no particular age to join, their youngest participants aged three years and already displaying a high degree of competency! It is good to have an opportunity to discover more about their way of life.


Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Be Braap~Be Focused- 10 Tips for a Happy Day!

Life is what you make it! Here are some tips to help you gear up for the day ahead and sail through it on a positive note. The more happy you feel the better your day will go, so switch those negatives to positives ASAP and remember, practice makes perfect.

1)      Get up with the alarm!

2)      Stretch & give thanks for the new day

3)      Count your blessings

4)      Think happy thoughts and remain positive

5)      Plan your priorities

6)      Set about everything joyfully

7)      Eat well, exercise( if only briefly) and make sure you enjoy some fresh air

8)      Be polite, helpful and caring towards others

9)      Take 3 deep breaths when facing a challenge and consider options calmly!

10)   Remember to live in the moment and enjoy it!
Jaz McKenzie
If you would like to write a short article for ~IB~ contact:

Monday, 11 November 2013

Snapshots From The Bible WK 45~ Romans 13 V 8- The Debt of Love

Week 45 ~ Romans 13:8 

‘Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law.’
When someone uses the term to ‘owe’ the probability is that we think of financial debts or favours- ‘I owe you one mate!’ A favour does not necessarily require a return, at least, not directly. We can barter favours, usually as a means of helping one another or we may receive help from a different source somewhere along the line stemming from the ‘what goes around comes around’ premise.
Why then do we actually owe one another love? This is challenging and we are provided with a straight forward answer- to fulfil God’s law. What we need to do is to uncover the reasons behind our ‘debt of love.’
Firstly, we were born therefore owe a debt of love to our parents. You might say,’ I didn’t ask to be born’ maybe, ‘my parents neglected or abused me.’ Strong, wise people are able to go beyond the obvious and turn it to their advantage by analysing how life experiences have helped them develop their talents and personal characteristics. You are indebted to those who teach you valuable lessons and love could be shown through forgiveness, even if only on a personal level. Forgiveness can be purely within your heart. The fact that we have a debt of love emphasises that we are loved, we received love first. It is something we have been given, we deserve and is ours to share.
Why do I owe you love? What have you ever done for me? On a biblical level God doesn’t owe us anything yet He loves us, easing our way through life when we allow it (you can substitute universal law, if that is your understanding, as all things work together for our good when we believe it.) As we are loved without limitation we should be able to love one another and care for one another on both practical and emotional levels. Love is not wishy-washy, it is solid. Love may involve passion or a good dose of common sense! Like everything else loves has its own spectrum ranging from vivid to pastel, the love of life and beauty to the love of an individual. It has characteristics and qualities so we need to apply judgement in order to give our love to others- unconditionally.
The above verse is a command for life. There are no specifications beyond the order to love one another and of course, to love yourself. Love needs to dwell in your mind, body and soul so that your ability to share true love increases. If we could achieve a deep love one for another we could attain true unity. 

Jaz McKenzie
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Sunday, 10 November 2013

Big Band Sunday Vibes!!!

Just for once we're having a total change and going down the secular route on a Sunday. X-Factor has reached week 5 of the live shows which is big band night and I was curious to see what Rough Copy (Blogged previously) would come up with.

Hit The Road Jack

There were many great performances last night but this was super slick and I think Ray Charles would love the modern twist given to his song, 'Hit the Road Jack.' Unfortunately the video is not great quality so it's worth checking out their TV performance-but it's good enough to share the fun vibes. A superb arrangement giving the song a twist, as Sharon Osborne mentioned. This group will be a winner regardless of the outcome of the show. Pure professionalism! And the guys outfits are even more spectacular than usual in keeping with the Rough Copy distinctive style.

Jaz McKenzie

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Where's Wally~ Just for fun!

Sometimes we enjoy a challenge and as I have time on my hands this week I thought it would be nice to do something completely different and relaxing. We have to Where's Wally challenges and so far they've defeated me!
Info is taken from the Wikipedia for those of you who would like to track the progress of Wally! Ultimately wally has contributed many happy hours to peoples lives. helping fill their leisure time whilst improving focus and concentration! A wonderful concept.

Wikipedia entry- click for full info.
  • Wally, whose name was localised for international editions: In the first two books, Wally wandered alone; he was the only person or thing that could be found in every illustration in the books. Over time, more characters were added to find in each scene.
  • Wilma, Wally's friend first appeared in the Ultimate Fun Book, and was replaced by her identical twin sister Wenda in the Where's Wally: The Magnificent Poster Book.
  • Wenda, A friend of Wally who replaced her twin sister Wilma for In Hollywood (although she previously appeared in The Magnificent Poster Book).
  • Odlaw, Wally's arch-nemesis, who made his print debut in The Magnificent Poster Book. He appears nearly the same as Wally, except that his clothes are yellow and black striped instead of red and white; his glasses have a blue tint to them; and he has a moustache. Although we are told "his bad deeds are many," he is not depicted in the books doing anything particularly nasty. However, in the T.V. series, he is frequently seen to be attempting to steal Wally's magical walking stick. Note that the name "Odlaw" is simply a reversal of the spelling of "Waldo," the American name for Wally, although he is called "Odlaw" in the UK as well.

  • Woof, Wally's dog, first appeared in The Ultimate Fun Book, where he was identified as Wenda's dog. Only his tail can be found with the exception of the final page of Where's Wally: The Wonder Book, which depicts all of Woof, and the six activity books released between 1993 and 1995 (the first book of which is titled The Truly Terrific Activity Book), where Woof shows himself to the reader.
  • Wizard Whitebeard, first seen in The Fantastic Journey. His signature is his exceptionally long beard, which is often the key to finding him. In his first appearance, he was responsible for sending Wally on a quest to discover the truth about himself, and he has tagged along on Wally's travels ever since. His appearance in The Ultimate Fun Book, however, is in just one scene ("Old Friends") and his presence is unmentioned in the book and acts as one of the background characters.
  • The Wally Watchers are Wally's devoted fan-club that first appeared in Where's Wally? The Ultimate Fun Book (1990). They turn up wherever Wally goes, dressed in the same red-and-white striped outfit. 25 appear in most books, though there are 99 of them in the Ultimate Fun Book.
  • In the earlier books, a character appears in every scene, which the reader must look to find out who it is. This is because no information on the characters is given in the books aside from the task to look for them. The characters appeared as background characters and all had something unique to them (like blonde hair or a ginger beard).
  • In some cases, characters from previous scenes would also appear.

  • ENJOY!!

    Jaz McKenzie

    Monday, 4 November 2013

    Snapshots From The Bible WK 44~ Romans 15 V 1&2- Helping the weak

    Week 44~ Romans 15: 1&2

    ‘We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves.  Let each of us please his neighbour for his good, to build him up.’
    There are many ways in which we can classify ourselves and one of the ways we tend to categorise is by strength and weakness, physically and emotionally. The Bible deals primarily with spiritual strength- how well we maintain our relationship with God and also one another.
    A very necessary quality is patience. Here we are encouraged to be patient and cultivate tolerance towards others, especially when they struggle. Humility is essential and helps prevent us becoming ‘big headed,’ viewing ourselves superior which effectively downgrades others in our own minds. No one is perfect and individuality means that we have different strengths and weaknesses therefore we all rely on one another at different times or in specific areas of our lives.
     We are directed specifically to help people consistently, building each other up to enhance the strength of our community. What do you consider to be your strengths and how can you use them for the good of others? Sometimes we may be able to emplyour talents professionally- it is good to be paid for the things we enjoy doing and do well! It may be that we need to ‘give back’ to society and assist people or projects voluntarily. Goodness needs to circulate as does love, money and all the important things in our daily lives.
    The good of others is seen here as the primary aim. Very often we put our own needs first and there are times when this is necessary, however as a general rule we should focus on helping others to make the most of themselves. Assisting people brings positive feelings of joy and accomplishment, great rewards resulting from an obligation! 

    Jaz McKenzie
    If you would like to write a short article for ~IB~ contact:

    Sunday, 3 November 2013

    Kambua sings Kenyan Gospel Music

    Sunday is the day for great Gospel Vibes so today we are sharing a beautiful young artist from Kenya... click link to play 'Bado Nasimama!'    Kambua~ Gospel Music

    Kambua has a beautiful voice and this song, which includes images of poverty, is extremely uplifting. We can take this opportunity to give thanks for all the good in our lives and live with expectation of the good to come!  This song is about maintaining faith and relying on God's guidance, His promises and steadfast love. Worthwhile checking out more of Kambua's music.

    Jaz McKenzie