Hot Sauce In My Bag

by Danielle N. Hall

6/9/2017

If you’ve been coherent and have had the ability to hear any time since the Super Bowl last year, chances are you’ve heard one of Beyoncé’s most catchy tunes: Formation. In said song, she makes a reference to what an unknowing listener may think is a condiment. “I got hot sauce in my bag, swag.” Let me make this very clear for the ones who may be unaware: she wasn’t talking about staying ready to douse Texas Pete, Frank’s Red Hot, Tabasco®, or Cholula on a nice, fried piece of catfish. I can show you better than I can tell you: here’s the “hot sauce” Bey was talking about she stays ready with.


Apparently, she wanted to let the people know to not be fooled by the fame and fortune…she’s still “country”, yet fierce and she’s not here for the foolishness. She wanted to let you know that you can get it.

I, too, have “hot sauce in my bag” and a message for the people. 


You can get THIS “hot sauce“, too! I recently had to make a pit stop at one of my favorite artillery shops to get one of my most useful weapons: “hot sauce” is what they call it. 

When I tell you that the past 6 weeks have been quite an exhausting adventure, please believe me! From my father’s next to death experience, to the Mr’s requirement of 3 procedures under anesthesia in a 10 day span, to the eldest child being faced with potentially repeating 12th grade, to the middle child being provoked and engaging in physical altercations, to dealing with vertigo…this has been a season to remember. It had been wearing me out and I knew exactly where I needed to go and what I needed to get. 

Turning Natural© is an establishment on a mission to create healthier lives by way of education opportunities and the products they offer. The line of juices includes my favs: Bromelionaire (pineapple, apple, and ginger), Beta Bomb (carrots, apple, oranges, ginger, and a hint of lemon), and 50 Shades of Green (chlorophyll, mint, pineapple, apple, and coconut water). There’s both a variety of smoothie options that don’t include any dairy products and a selection of vegan edibles that are tasty…the black bean burger is outstanding! 

All of that is great, but let me tell you about this hot sauce that’s in my bag: it’s a liquid vitamin blend of vitamins A-K.  Vitamins A-K are essential to keeping the body healthy and the mind alert. Lack of these vitamins can lead to fatigue, impaired vision, weak teeth and bones, and even serious illness. When we are constantly on the go and are constantly pouring out, we can get drained and fail to give our body what it needs for proper functioning. When it feels like life has been getting the best of me and has been wearing my body and mind out, I almost always think of stopping by my artillery shop aka Turning Natural© and loading up on weapons. “Hot Sauce” is one. It is served in a syringe, is refrigerated, and looks like the Cholula brand hot sauce you see atop many restaurant tables.

Your artillery shop might not be Turning Natural©. You may not identify “Hot Sauce” as your choice weapon like both Beyoncé and I have. My question is: what IS in your bag?

For more information on Turning Natural© visit http://www.turningnatural.com

V.O.I.C.E.

by Danielle N. Hall

6/2/2017


Ladies, you may have been violated and experienced #sexualassault or #sexualabuse, but be encouraged by His Word that tells us:

“But no matter what comes, we will always taste victory through Him who loved us.” – Romans 8:37 

#WeWin

Join V.O.I.C.E. for our next Winning Wednesday gathering. You can register here for #FREE

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/voice-winning-wednesdays-tickets-34997574688

If Loving You Is Right, I Don’t Wanna Be Wrong

by Danielle N. Hall

4/9/2017

Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 22:37-40 (NKJV)

Lately I’ve been thinking of the beginning lyrics to Kirk Franklin’s Song “Love”: 

“Love, a word that comes and goes, but few people really know what it means to really love somebody.”

As I ponder these lyrics, I’d have to admit that there may be some validity to that statement. In my opinion, what some believe is love just isn’t. Real love is not self-serving. As a matter fact, one of the ways Merriam-Webster defines love is as follows: “unselfish loyal and benevolent concern for the good of another“. There are many who say they love, but their love only extends as far as your last deed towards them. In other words, their love begs the question: “What have you done for me lately?” Moreover, some who say that they love you may have an uncanny way of keeping track of offenses. I’m so grateful that God’s love doesn’t resemble that. According to His Word, this is what love looks like:

“Love is patient; love is kind. Love isn’t envious, doesn’t boast, brag, or strut about. There’s no arrogance in love; it’s never rude, crude, or indecent—it’s not self-absorbed. Love isn’t easily upset. Love doesn’t tally wrongs or celebrate injustice; but truth—yes, truth—is love’s delight! Love puts up with anything and everything that comes along; it trusts, hopes, and endures no matter what.” – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (VOICE)

This is what real love is! Ask yourself these questions:

-When was the last time you told someone “I love you”? 

-When was the last time you showed someone that you love him/her? 

-Is the love that you have unconditional?

Prayerfully, the answer to the last question is “yes”, but for many of us the truth is that we do attach conditions to our love. With that being the case, can we honestly call it “love“? God commands us in His word to love our neighbor, but He didn’t say to do so only when our fellow brothers and sisters are being neighborly. His word says that “love bears all things regardless of what comes, believes all things looking for the best in each one, hopes all things remaining steadfast during difficult times, endures all things without weakening.” 

I know there are times when I disappoint God and there are times when I may have broken His heart, yet He still has the capacity to love me…in spite of me. He saw the best in me, when everyone else around could only see the worst in me. His love is steadfast and unmatched, He gave His only begotten Son just to show how sacrificial and unselfish His love is. What an example! The least I can do as an expression of my gratitude for this extreme act of loving kindness is to do as He has commanded. If loving you is right, I don’t want to be wrong! Just as He loves me, flaws and all, I extend the same to my fellow brothers and sisters.

Angels Watching Over Me

by Danielle N. Hall

3/30/2017


Two weeks ago from today, I’d had what I would consider a good day. The work day had come to an end and I prepared to leave to head to praise team/choir rehearsal: as is custom every Thursday. What I did not know is I’d be walking outside to a not so good discovery on what had been a good day.  I walked towards my car and discovered that the rear driver’s side tire had gone flat. I had a few thoughts, but my primary thoughts were that this is something that’s gonna cost me both money and time that I don’t have. I called my husband to inform him of my situation and he did offer to come to the rescue. I told him to just hold on and let me think for a minute because it would be quite a distance to travel from where he was to where I was.

My next phone call was one that I’d reluctantly make to the insurance company. You see, the way my insurance is set up, I’d be responsible for fees up front and would have to submit the necessary info to get reimbursement. Before I placed that call, though, I did make one other call and it was  quite short in duration. It kinda went like this: “Lord, please just send somebody to help.” That was my request and I had faith that He’d favorably respond to my call. Yet, in the back of my mind, I knew time was of the essence. 

Just as I’d dialed the number to Allstate, a gentleman appeared and was walking on the service road that leads up to our office building. I blew my horn and waved him over and asked if he knew how to change a tire. He answered affirmatively and asked me to pop the trunk so he could get what he needed to handle the task at hand. It turns out it was tougher than what I thought. 

When I solicited his assistance it was 6:20pm. As he was taking care of the tire, I asked him where he was headed and if I could give him a ride. He declined and said that it was just a 5 minute walk. Oh, did I mention this was a 20 degree day?! He informed me that he was heading to the early bird special at Bingo which started at 6:30pm. I again offered a ride and even a couple of dollars. He respectfully declined. He finally said to me: “This could be me one day.” 

While having the tire issue addressed was certainly a blessing, I was more blessed by this man’s extreme kindness, to the point of inconvenience, with nothing expected in return. I thank God for immediately answering my call, for being a present help in the time of trouble, and for His angels who are so busy watching over me because my tire could’ve gone flat while driving on the highway. I was even able to catch the tail end of praise team rehearsal and all of choir rehearsal, while this man opted to both walk in the frigid air and to be late for what he had planned just so he could assist me. Indeed, he was an angel. 

“For He will order His angels to protect you wherever you go.” – Psalm 91:11 (NLT)

For a closing thought ponder the following: Are you willing to be inconvenienced for the benefit of someone else?

Through the Fire

by Danielle N. Hall

3/21/2017

(Originally written on 3/14 for My Sister’s Corner)


I remember learning of a lady by the name of Edith Childs about 10 years ago. If you recall during the campaign of former President Barack Obama, there was this catchy chant: “Fired up! Ready to go!”. Apparently Childs, a councilor in Greenwood, SC, was responsible for getting this chant going. Since it’s popular debut in 2008, I must say that I find myself saying it often when I’m on assignment or on a mission. The truth is, I’m passionate about serving and I can’t help but to be fired up and ready to go! There are, however, times when being motivated is challenging. 

When life happens, it can sometimes be overwhelming and draining. During these times I’m reminded of the account in Daniel Chapter 3…when Shadrach, Meschach, and Abednego are cast into the fiery furnace which was punishment for those who failed to compromise and bow down to the decree of King Nebuchadnezzar. In the case of these 3 fellows, they weren’t just thrown into the furnace: they were first bound and the furnace was heated seven times hotter than usual. Yet, they remained steadfast. While in the fire, two things were discovered: they weren’t alone and they weren’t consumed.

We learn from this passage that when we purpose in our hearts to honor God because we are passionate about His love and His will for us, though He will allow us to be tested, He doesn’t desire for us to be consumed. They say “He’ll turn your test into a testimony.” I can say I’ve had to endure many tests and have had to do so all the more since I’ve given my life to the Lord. From dealing with sexual abuse earlier in life to trying to balance between home, work, ministry, and self: there have been maaaaaany tests. From them I have a testimony and that is: “I’m fired up and ready to go!”. Not only do I have a testimony, I’ve got a song. “Through the fire, to the limit…Through the fire, through whatever!”. 

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test you [that is, to test the quality of your faith], as though something strange or unusual were happening to you. But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, keep on rejoicing, so that when His glory filled with His radiance and splendor is revealed, you may rejoice with great joy.” -1 Peter 4:12-13 (AMP)

Christ’s purpose fueled His passion. How could one be so passionate…even to the point of death? When you understand your purpose, you’re willing to go through whatever, come what may, to fulfill it. In John 4:34 (AMP), Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to completely finish His work.” He consumed purpose so that nothing else would consume Him. That same mind that Christ has is the one we’re encouraged to also have in us. When we adopt a Christlike mindset and are as steadfast as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego we can also go through the fire and not be consumed. 

For a final thought I’d like to leave you with these tips for keeping the fire burning…even while going through the fire:

1) Pause to celebrate the small victories. 

2) Renew your mind daily.

3) Surround yourself with firestarters.

4) Feast on His Word, so you can discover and absorb your purpose.

These helpful hints can help us go “through the fire, to the limit…through the fire, through whatever!”. 

“No Matter What”

by Danielle N. Hall

3/7/2017

A couple of weeks ago, my youngest son was responsible for completing a project for his World Culture class. The instructions were to “create a colorful collage containing pictures of American leaders in all fields of Black history” on the front and, on the back, place the bios of 5 chosen leaders & the bio of a person who has had a significant impact in his life. For the person who has had a significant impact on him, he chose his father. He diligently put the finishing touches on the board the night before the due date. The following morning, I decided to read the bio he wrote on his father and there were three words that stood out in his writing: NO MATTER WHAT. He wrote them in the body of the bio and then repeated them separately at the bottom of the page. 


For some reason, these words grabbed me and made me think of God’s love and His grace. I thought “What a great thing I could write my next blog about!”. It’s something that I’ve experienced and embraced time after time and, when I think about it, I’m brought to tears of gratitude.

If you’ve never experienced this TRUE love, then you don’t understand how to love in that way. God’s love is without boundaries: it’s unconditional.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us so much that He died for us. For I am convinced and continue to be convinced—(beyond any doubt) that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the unlimited love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:37-39 (AMP)

In other words, God loves us NO MATTER WHAT. The question is: “Do YOU have the same capacity to love NO MATTER WHAT?”. I think we must first understand what love is and is not.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. – 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 (NIV)

When you love someone, it doesn’t come with strings attached. That’s the way God love is. It doesn’t keep record of offenses, it’s patient, and it seeks to give. I mean, God loved us so much that He gave His ONLY begotten Son!

For God expressed His love for the world in this way: He gave His only Son so that whoever believes in Him will not face everlasting destruction, but will have everlasting life. – John 3:16 (VOICE) 

Are YOU willing to give a love that wasn’t earned? That’s the kind of love God freely gave to us. It was free to us, but it cost a life. No one has greater love than to lay down his/her life. God did this for us in spite of our sins. As a matter of fact He did it because of our sins. How gracious and merciful is that?! When I consider some of my thoughts, words, and deeds and how God knew them beforehand and then I realize that He gave me a waiver for the cost of sin, I’m both grateful and encouraged to extend the same sacrificial love to others.

You can only pour out what you’re filled with…receive the love God has for you so that your capacity may be stretched to love others without limits…to love NO MATTER WHAT.

When Your Norm Is Disrupted

by Danielle N. Hall

2/23/2017

(Originally written as a Facebook post on 2/23/2016)


As I have mentioned before, I discover a message or lesson in just about everything. I’ll share what I gained from something that occurred last night. 

About 10pm last night there was a knock at my door. I missed it because I was in a deep sleep thanks to that good ol’ muscle relaxer. The next knock came and I faintly heard it and then was then fully awakened by my sons. When I got to the door, no one was there. Apparently, Maurice had already looked out of the peep hole and saw who was at the door before I got there. From his description, it certainly was no one I knew. Anyway, after that, I was a bit unsettled and had trouble getting back to sleep. A bit of anxiety had kicked in, but I soon thought of two things: that God has NOT given us the spirit of fear and I remembered that Vanessa Williams had posted this scripture on multiple occasions…it was Psalm 4:8 which reads as follows: “I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.”

I uttered God has not given me the spirit of fear, I have power, and my mind is sound. Then, I read aloud Psalm 4:8 and immediately felt a sense of peace and was soon able to return to sleep.

I have no idea why the person came to my home…perhaps it was the wrong door, or maybe not. All I did know is that it was out of the normal. When I reflected on that moment this morning, I thought: “Why is fear our initial response when our normal is disrupted?” I can’t answer that at this time, but what I can tell you is that God is faithful and in His word you can trust. Even though our norm may be disrupted, we can trust that He will guide and protect us. If we learn His word, speak it over our lives, and apply it, then we experience victory…

#somethingtothinkabout