Friday, 17 November 2017

Who Is TYPE0?

Who is Type0?

If you follow/are friends with me on any of my social media, you will see that I have been ranting and raving over this so called 'Type0' guy. But who is he?



Nathaniel Leacock a.k.a 'Type0' is an upcoming music artist in the UK, focusing on hiphop, pop and grime music. Growing up in London, Type0 now lives in the city of Manchester where he is signed to a label called CoolShade Records owned by Lennie Richards.

Type0 has just recently finished touring with the UK Hip Hop Legend 'Roots Manuva' on his UK tour, performing in the cities of Leeds, London, Glasgow and Manchester.

Type0 was alongside other supporting acts such as 'Chali 2na' from 'Jurassic 5', 'Oscar #worldpeace' and 'Krafty Kuts'. Together, they created a storm of an opening ready for the main act of Mr Manuva himself.




Whilst touring the UK, Type0 released his FIRST single with CoolShade records called 'One Thing'.

'One Thing' is a mixture of rap and singing and is definitely something you want to be hearing right now.

You can find it linked below, with a music video VERY soon! GO GO GO!!

Apple Music: https://goo.gl/XD36PH

More on Type0 to come real soon...




Monday, 16 October 2017

On A Sandy Path

God is mysterious. God works in ways that we cannot ever understand or imagine. He may reveal himself to us in the most normal way... But also the most 'magical' and absurd.

That is how my first revelation was. It was absurd. It got me thinking. It made me cry.

One night a few weeks before I got baptised, I was laying in bed thinking about if I was making the right choice or not. Whether getting baptised was really for me, or whether it was just a lovely thought that I had been thinking about for months on end. I couldn't make up my mind, so I decided to put my trust in God and ask him for guidance. After all, that is what He is there for isn't it?

So right before I went to sleep I spoke to God and word for word said, "God, I don't know if you can hear me or are taking any notice in what I am saying to you right now, but I need you to show yourself to me. I need you to show me that you are right here and that the choice of being baptised is the right one for me." Shortly after saying this I fell to sleep.

What happened next some may say is a coincidence. Some may say that it was indeed all just a dream, but it was VERY real. Things were said and revealed to me that there just is not an explanation for. 

I dreamt that I was stood on a sandy desert path. It sort of looked like something from the Aborigine times, but it also looked like a park in Manchester. It was really bizarre. All of a sudden, Jesus was sat crossed legged in front of me. He had is hand stretched out and He said to me "Take my hand Jess". I replied with, "I can't Jesus, I am not worthy enough of your grasp." Jesus literally laughed in my face, stood up and said, "Anyone is worthy, as long as they believe." So, I took Jesus' hand. 

When I woke up my arm was outstretched into the air, and I didn't really understand what was going on. I don't have dreams usually. I thought that I had either been sleep walking, or sleep talking or something. To be honest I was quite scared and I didn't want to go back to sleep, but this rush of tiredness came over me and once again, I was in a deep slumber.

I was back on the same sandy path. I was right back where I was when I had fallen to sleep the first time, except I was walking hand in hand with Jesus. On the other side of Jesus was a jet black shadow but in the figure of a man. All three of us were walking along this sandy path in silence, but it was comforting. I was at peace. Jesus then turned to me and said, "I have to let go of your hand now because someone else needs me, but carry on walking right beside me." So I carried on walking with Jesus and this shadow for ages and ages. It came to a point where we all just stopped on this sandy path and again, Jesus turned to me and exclaimed "you have to go now Jess. I am with you and I always will be." I felt heartbroken because I didn't want this feeling of peace and love to end, but I turned around and began walking the other way down the sandy path. I had no idea where I was going, but I headed the other way. All of a sudden, this incredibly loud booming voice shouted to me, "Tell Solomon I have heard his prayers, I am with him and I have got him." When I turned to look back, my partner's brother was staring right back at me and he was holding hands with Jesus. 

When I woke up it was the next morning, and I knew that I had to pass this message on to someone. I woke up my partner and I explained what had happened, and I also messaged his mum to say what had happened. I was in disbelief. I thought it was all a dream and I needed answers. Jesus had LITERALLY REVEALED himself to me, and yet I was still doubting it all. So Janet (my partner's mum) asked Solomon when he got home if he had been praying for anything recently. Solomon explained to Janet that he had been praying to Jesus about how to be a better Christian because he didn't feel as though he was on the right path. Little did he know he really was. He was on the path with Jesus, I had seen Jesus take him and walk with him. I had witnessed Jesus take Solomon on the right path where he needed to be. Jesus answered Solomon's prayers through me, and I was absolutely honoured. 

This made me realise that I needed to get baptised. I woke up feeling the same peace and love that I had felt on that sandy path. Not only do I never dream, but people rarely fall back in to the same dream twice. I honestly believe that this wasn't a dream. This was a revelation that I had asked for and got.

Obviously people are going to be like "it was only a dream", but you didn't feel what I felt. You didn't see what I had seen. I asked God for proof that He was there, and to see whether the decisions I was about to make were the right ones, and yes our Lord guided me. 

This was my first revelation of Jesus. People laughed in my face when I told them, and they told me to stop being so stupid. I knew that I wasn't the stupid one though- they were for being so ignorant. I felt blessed to be touched by Jesus. People will question Him revealing Himself through dreams, and question why He didn't do it when I was blatantly awake. But God is mysterious remember? And I love it. 

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Goodbye Old Friend

Goodbye old friend,
I've turned my back,
You said you were helping,
But you kept me off track.

Goodbye old friend,
You caused me pain, 
You said I deserved to lose what I lost,
But you didn't tell me what I would gain.

Goodbye old friend,
You told me to cut,
You said that the blood helped ease the feeling,
But those wounds you helped me shut.

Goodbye old friend,
You were very wrong,
Those gloomy chimes inside of me,
Turned in to such a beautiful song.

Goodbye old friend,
I have found my peace,
I've closed that lid,
And your existence will cease.

Goodbye old friend,
I have started a new,
And by saying goodbye,
I wholeheartedly grew.

- Jessica McKenzie -

Saturday, 7 October 2017

Being Christian & Having Ill Mental Health

(This is quite a long post... I do apologise! I promise, every word is worth reading though.)

I am a Christian and I suffer from ill mental health. Shoot at me the comments and remarks like "Well if God was all-loving then He wouldn't let you suffer" blah blah blah. I've heard it all before. 

I used to think that was the case... Until I opened my mind, ears and eyes. I have listened, read and sought for myself to try and unwrap the common stigma that holds over Christians who suffer from ill mental health. Some may say I have demons living inside of me, others may say I make scenarios up in my head for a pity vote. Neither of those are true. I am just a Christian lady with a broken brain.  There is nothing wrong with that. Yes I believe in demons. But trust me, if there was a demon living inside of you, you would know. 

I attended a 'Wholeness' conference today through a church in Manchester that focuses on inner, spiritual and mental healing and believe you me, it has completely changed my whole perception of what ill mental health really is.

Church doesn't really like to talk about ill mental health. When it comes to healing through the power of prayer and Jesus Christ, I feel as though those who have physical pain that needs healing will always be dealt with first. It is because it can be seen. But those of us that are in chronic pain from the inside do not really get the same amount of 'attention'. There is a stigma and for some reason, people are really quite scared to talk about it. 

Except today, I had the pleasure of listening to another Christian lady called Katharine Welby Roberts (click her name to access where you can buy her book!) This lady explained how she has been suffering with ill mental health for 15 years and is a Christian. She opened my eyes to how we should deal with ill mental health as a church, as a part of a church family and with Jesus. Something which I never thought could really be possible. I thought that if you suffered from ill mental health, then this was because you were too apart from God, or you were not taking your faith and walk with Christ seriously. How wrong was I!! My brain is just broken- nothing at all to do with my faith. All that is faith related is the fact that I have a different brain to others, and that I have the power to use my faith to encourage inner healing. Something so beautiful and deserving. 

For us Christians, Jesus lives within us. He is our God, our Saviour, our Father our everything. He has the power to guide us, teach us, HEAL us and comfort us. Something which every single individual in my opinion, needs. Healing is restoring, it is restoring the whole individual and free them from on outer and inner pain that they may be experiencing and feeling. I feel inner pain every single day, and trust me when I say that Jesus can really comfort me in my times of need because there have been many untold stories of mine where Jesus has quite literally, saved my life. Jesus doesn't need to prove all of the miraculous things that He has done, because He is still doing them today! Ignore the false claim that God creates suffering in order for Him to comfort us. The enemy unfortunately does exist and he unfortunately creates such suffering to turn us away from a loving God. It's what typical enemies do isn't it? Mislead people and turn them away from what is good?

People who have physical pains take medication every day to sustain what they're feeling and dealing with. People with mental pains also take medication every day to sustain what they're feeling and dealing with. They're both illnesses, so there should be no barriers. It is OK to take medication and have a broken brain. I do take medication, I do have a broken brain and I do believe in God. Cool right? I always say to people, "never underestimate the power of prayer". Bit hypocritical from a recently new Christian huh? BUT, really never underestimate. Again, I have many untold stories of mine where I have prayed and God has truly answered me. It isn't a magic trick or like a film, it's mysterious. Us and God are not on the same timing remember, so it could take a while for your prayers to be answered. However, God is always listening and He always wants to chat with us. Not only will it deepen your relationship with God, but it will also give Him the chance to perform some really cool stuff in your life. Just you watch. 

I cannot stress enough that there is NO magic wand. It is not magic. Again, we are not on God's timing. It may take countless attempts of prayer, and when you finally have that breakthrough there is also a walkthrough afterwards. I have seen deserving people have everything taken away from them, and I have seen people who literally deserve nothing have everything given to them. God is confusing, but God is never wrong. There are reasonings for His every move and actions, and we have to trust Him because He knows our hearts and futures. Those of us with ill mental health just want that release from the inner pain we feel, because it affects our daily lives. Not just what we think, but it also affects what we do with our lives. I used to expect instant healing when I received it, but when I never got it I was disappointed. I thought that God wasn't listening to me because I had illness in my head that I had to live with. I felt guilty, and I thought that God didn't care about me as much as He cared about everyone else around me at church. But then I realised, that isn't the God I know and love. Once again, I put my trust in Him. 

And He began to heal. He has healed me physically and I also believe that He is working with me to heal me mentally. This doesn't mean that God is in the process of wiping my ill mental health like wiping a hard drive, but instead I feel and know that He is helping me to cope with it. He is guiding me every day, helping me make choices, comforting me when I feel like a cannot breathe and instilling such courage in me to live my life through Him. 

So if you are Christian and suffer from ill mental health, or even if you are not Christian it is OK and you have a purpose. 

For the Christian sufferers, please don't be afraid to reach out to your church leaders and your church family. Don't be afraid to instil your trust in God, but also don't be afraid to seek professional help too. Don't be afraid to take medication if you need to. God will be with you every step of the way. Ask Him to walk with you and ask Him to present. Don't be afraid to break the stigma on ill mental health. 

For the Non-Christian sufferers, you are also not alone. I have not been Christian all of my life. I have suffered from ill mental health a lot longer than I have lived my life through Jesus, so I know it from both ends of the spectrum. Seek help. Talk to people and tell them how you're feeling and what you're thinking, because they love you and they want the best for you. They want to help you heal and guide you through the process. I mean, if you want to try seeking God too that would be fab. No pressure or anything.

"How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with Power. He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him."
Acts 10:38

Disclaimer: Keep in mind, I used to be one of the biggest sceptics about all of this, but God works wonders in our hearts. I have faith. 



Thursday, 7 September 2017

THE TRUTH ABOUT WORKING WITH CHILDREN


Hey guys,

Here I am, back again with a blog post all about working with children. I know there are many stories and myths floating around about what it is like working with children... But is that what it is really like?

Third year of uni, I was so broke and I knew I needed a regular income. I was not in uni a lot, so I decided to get a full time job. Now this was my third year of uni, so I had deadlines and a dissertation to write whilst juggling a full-time job. Yes it was very hard, but I was desperate and I needed a resolution. 

There I was late one night searching through Indeed.com looking for a job that I could use to fit around my studies. Nothing. Nada. I could not find anything for the life of me, so I decided to let out a silent prayer to God. I refreshed the page and a 'sponsored' job popped up on the top of the page. This job was looking for a creche assistant in an English learning school in the city centre with an immediate start. I thought to myself, "I have the qualifications so why not?" So I applied right away. Within 4 days, I was interviewed and given the job. 

Now this were to be completely different to the work experience that I previously carried out. The majority of the students in the building where I work are Muslim mothers and fathers who have come over from Saudi Arabia to learn the English language, so we therefore work in the creche inside of the building to care for their children. The language barrier between ourselves and the children is quite high, and I was scared that I wouldn't be able to create a bond with the children. What I found out though, is that because of the language barrier the bond between the children and yourself is stronger because they have to give you all of their trust. Over time, the children to begin to understand English and they pick up new words too which is even more rewarding. 

So what is it really like working with children?

Getting to know the children

First thing's first, you have to get to know the children and this is not an overnight job. It can take weeks to eventually know the children on a personal level- know their comforts and discomforts, know when they're tired, how they like their bottles being made etc. Every little detail to their personality is important. That important that we have to ensure we observe and note down their improvements and what they like/what they don't like. 

A child may only like to sit in his pram for the entire time that they are in the creche. Even though this is annoying and frustrating on your behalf, you have to respect that the child thinks of you as a stranger so you have to earn their trust. Eventually, they will be running around the rooms and interacting with the other children. I think the creche that I work in can hold up to 28 children ranging from 0months to 5years. That is a lot of children. Each child is unique and has different needs and preferences that all have to be acknowledged.

Language Barriers

Now not all establishments that care for children will have language barriers, but because I work within an English learning school and Manchester is a large city within the UK, there are language barriers in place. 

Believe me when I say this was daunting when I first began at work. I did not understand a word of what was being said to me, I felt like I couldn't communicate with the parents properly and I felt as though I was not going to get anywhere with the children. It is hard work. You feel like you have failed when a child is sobbing uncontrollably for their mother, they are crying to you in Arabic and you cannot understand what they are saying at all. All that can leave your mouth is "Mama soon". Eventually, I began to pick up words and phrases from the Arabic language without even thinking about it. The parents are great at helping you too. They will provide you with useful words and phrases that can be used with the children to make it easier for both parties, and it also gives us creche assistants the opportunity to get closer to the parents and the children and take another new challenge on. Something that I love.

Although the language barrier may seem like an issue to some people, it has encouraged me to self-teach myself Arabic. This is through online teaching, but also working where I work and being given that opportunity to converse with the parents. 

The illnesses and the sicknesses

It is true what they say about getting ill when you work with children. If one child has something, not only will the other children quickly pick it up but so do the creche assistants. This can range from a common cold, to a sickness bug to head lice. It is inevitable what you are going to encounter and have to deal with. This can put a lot of people off working with the children, but it honestly isn't all as bad as it is made out to be. It is not that common for a child to get ill and pass it on in the creche. It isn't all of the time that you pick up an illness from a child you were comforting a few weeks back. Everyone gets ill, and unfortunately because children have weaker immune systems than most adults they encounter it first. It's just the way the cookie crumbles. 

The messy bits

You cannot be shy when it comes to the time of changing a nappy, a leaked nappy or cleaning up sick. It has to be done, and you probably will have to do it. I can honestly say, this was the highest factor of working within the care environment that was putting me off. 

On my first day, one of the first things that I had to do was relieve a choking baby and change a heavily leaked nappy. When it comes to the point of actually having to do something, you don't ask yourself questions. You don't consider doing anything you just do it. You see past the messy bits, and realise that the children are helpless and can't do it for themselves so you have to help care for them. This really increases your bond with them. 

I've had heavily leaked nappies, children throwing up all over themselves, I've been urinated on but it doesn't change my perspective of the job. I love it nevertheless.

Attachment 

You will get attached to the children, it is inevitable. There's always that one cheeky toddler that catches your eye, the adorable 5 month old baby with the biggest smile or the little girl with the most gorgeous curly hair. But the children choose you too. You will always have at least one child acting as your shadow throughout the day; demanding your attention by throwing countless amounts of Duplo and train track pieces at your head... But it's all part of the job! Fab!

When people say, "don't ya cry when the kid leaves? Couldn't do that job me." Yeah I have cried. I can remember when it was one of the children's last days in the creche, and they were flying back to Saudi Arabia the next morning meaning I knew I would never see them again. I had spent every day for 8 weeks with this little boy, caring for him and being a part of his life. It absolutely broke my heart and I sobbed. It didn't put me off my job though. I meet incredible children all of the time, and when it is time for them to leave I feel proud and privileged to have been there for them at the beginning of their lives. It makes ya feel goooood.

So, if you're considering working with children or you have the qualifications but don't know if it is the path you want to take... I honestly advise to go for it. It isn't something that I pictured within my career path, but I am glad that I chose something different and I am glad that I chose something which has a positive impact on children's lives.

  




Wednesday, 19 July 2017

CHANGING YOUR LIFE



Have you ever sat there and wondered if you are living your life the way you truly want to live it? Have you ever thought about what you could do to change your life for the better?

Looking back at how my life was, I have noticed that I truly was not happy in the slightest. I felt as though I was a permanent people pleaser- always being a try-hard to do things that people noticed and felt happy about, or constantly doing things for people even if I did not want to do them myself. I faced a lot of struggles that I thought I would never overcome, and I was taking medication for the depression and anxiety that I had at the time. In all honestly, I felt numb. I felt like I couldn't experience the same world that everyone else around me was experiencing, and I felt as though I was in a thick-skinned bubble. Naaaaat good a tell ye. 

So, what on this earth did I do about it? Changed my life, that's what. 

One of the changes I made was by coming off the anti-depressants. Not everyone agreed, but at the end of the day it is my life and my choice so only I can really make the final decision. People thought that I wasn't going to be able to cope, but I did it. I did it and I managed to survive. The reason I did this was because I felt as though I wasn't going to be able to fix what problems I had without feeling proper emotion and feelings. When you're on medication, this just masks those feelings that you have so you feel permanently numb. I thought that by feeling real and raw emotion again, I could teach myself how to deal with it rather than just to cover it up and never really dealing with it. 

Another 'thing' that I did was began spending time around people that I felt comfortable with, that made me feel a genuine happiness and that made my life seemingly easier. I was sick and tired of comparing myself to people and being a people pleaser that I looked at other people around me in a different light, and noticed that they were different to some of the people I currently had in my life at that time. So I slowly took myself out of situations, kept myself to myself and followed life the way it was taking me. And I would not go back.

Something that had to be done was that I needed to open my eyes. I needed to start taking advice and listening to the people closest to me. I had to use other peoples advice to begin making changes to my life, and I tell you with all honesty that it needed to be done. I am very stubborn so I always think that I am right. This means that I don't like to take other people's advice and think that they're right for a change, so by doing this I felt like I was losing a sense of pride but I really wasn't. These people closest to you see in to your life and notice things that you wouldn't because you're living it. Taking their advice really would be a smart move you know. 

Confidence was a huge issue I had with my life, but one of the main confidence killers I had was my eyebrows. For anyone who knows me, they will know how much my eyebrows used to be the bane of my life. I am talking about eyebrows here as if I actually had some, but the truth is I really didn't have much. My eyebrows were sparse, VERY short and probably non-existent if you were looking at me from a distance. So after my 21st birthday, I decided to get them microbladed. This is a form of semi-permanent tattooing which means that I won't have to get them done for another 18 months, but by gum are they a life-saver. I honestly couldn't tell you how much it has done for my confidence. Not only do I get the chance to wear less makeup without worrying about filling in/drawing on my brows, but I feel confident in front of people with NO makeup on. Something I never thought would happen. 

Last but not least (and probably one of my favourite changes to my life)- finding Jesus. Again, for those of you that know me will know that I recently publicly gave my life to Jesus through being Baptised. Easily one of the best days of my entire life. This gave me the opportunity to show that I can repent and change my life for the better.

I changed my life, and I have never been so happy.

Monday, 17 July 2017

THROUGH THE STORMS



I was sitting on the bus to work the other day, and whilst I was people watching at the traffic lights, I thought about how different everybody's lives are. You look at someone and you notice their image and what they look like, but you will never truly understand somebody's life by just looking at them. 

Everybody goes through struggles in their life time, and experiences storms which they think they may not get through. I, like other people, have experienced this and thought that I would never see the light at the end of the tunnel- but I can guarantee that it is there. I never saw it until the day that I found Jesus again, and I decided to instil trust in to God for Him to help me. Although God promises us a joyous life, He also promises us struggles- however He will guide us through them with the ability to gain strength.

Jonah and the Whale
When thinking of going through storms with the help of the Lord, I thought about the story of Jonah and the Whale. In Jonah 1-4, God sent Jonah to Nineveh to preach against it due to it being full of wickedness. Jonah didn't want to go because he knew that Nineveh was against God and he felt under threat if he was to go there. Jonah tried to escape and travel somewhere else using a ship, however there was a great storm. Jonah knew that God would have sent the storm because he did not carry out what God had asked him to do, so Jonah asked God to throw him in to the sea. God did it, but Jonah didn't drown because God sent a large whale to swallow him whole. Jonah was in the stomach of the whale for 3 days, but then he prayed to God and said that he would do what God wanted him to do. Jonah went to Nineveh and spoke of God's word. The people confessed their evil deeds to God, meaning that He didn't destroy Nineveh.

Caterpillar to Butterfly
Another theory that came to mind when thinking about storms was that of a caterpillar to a butterfly. In order for a caterpillar to turn in to a butterfly, it needs to go through the cocooning process. At the end of the time in the cocoon, the caterpillar has to struggle out of it in order to gain strength in their wings and to be exposed to the outside world. If the caterpillar got help and the cocoon was torn apart, then the caterpillar would not have the strength of the wings to hold it through flight. It would not have had to learn how to gain strength if it didn't go through the struggle in the first place.

The moral of this post is to just show how instilling our trust in God through the hard and difficult times in life, allows us to find strength to make us grow and keep us strong. Like I stated earlier in the post, God promises us a joyous life but He also promises us troubles. This doesn't mean that God isn't good... Because He very much is. He sends us storms to teach us how to deal with those situations, and to make sure we are strong enough to face them head-to-head with the power of the Lord. 

Philippians 4:13
"I can do all this through Him who gives me strength."

Isaiah 40:29
"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak."

Psalm 46:1
"God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble."