JESUS. MUSIC. FASHION.
CONTENT 10 14 15 16 17 18
FASHION: BRIANNA VANDERWEIDE JESUS: HANNAH COBLEY JESUS: PAIGE FERRARI MUSIC: ELIJAH ATKISON JESUS: WELCOME TO AMERICA PROJECT FASHION: BELOVED PHOTO-SHOOT
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LET US NOT BECOME WEARY IN DOING GOOD, FOR AT THE PROPER TIME WE WILL REAP A HARVEST IF WE DO NOT GIVE UP. GALATIANS 6:9
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EDITOR LETTER EMBRACE YOUR SEASON.
HGodâ€™sappywithNewyou.Year. This is your year. Do you believe that? Wherever you go, wherever you step, His love is guiding you. His heart is beating with yours. His life is walking with yours. Phoenix. Embrace this season. Embrace your moment. Your season of trial. Your season of growth. Your season of blessing. Whatever your season may be, know that God is with you. Happy New Year. A new year. A new start. A new beginning. A new season. Embrace it. --
Brianna VanderWeide CHANDLER, AZ
"I BEGAN TO STRUGGLE WITH AN EATING DISORDER, GOT MYSELF INTO A MESS OF HEART BREAKING DATING RELATIONSHIPS, MADE POOR FINANCIAL DECISIONS, AND FOUND MYSELF IN A CYCLE OF CHAOS. "
was raised in the Church and from a very young age, I was in love with Jesus and felt a calling on my life to minister to others. I helped lead worship in church and I created a girls Bible study at school. I was surrounded by God’s love and truth. However, my relationship with Jesus was greatly challenged through some hard circumstances in college and I was at a crossroads in my faith. My parents divorced my sophomore year and the pain it caused was a breeding ground for the enemy to seek to change my story. Instead of running to Jesus during this time, I ran away from Him. This affected me more than I realized and God transferred me from a state college to a Bible college to heal. What I didn’t realize was that I was the same girl, different location. I brought my broken heart with me. And I also brought anxiety and depression that I didn’t know how to control except to control what I knew how to. Which was food. I began to struggle with an eating disorder, got myself into a mess of heart breaking dating relationships, made poor financial decisions, and found myself in a cycle of chaos. I felt like I was living a double life. I felt like I had broken up with God to date the world. In the midst of this, I took an internship in Colorado not knowing what healing God had planned for me there. He literally chased after me while I was out for a run one night. He said to me, "who are you running from?" I stopped dead in my tracks on the snowy path. Tears streaming down my face. I will never forget it. It was the closest I had ever been to hearing God speak to me audibly. I knew He was asking me to turn around and go back to Him. I was His Prodigal Daughter, the girl He had held close for so many years who had now wasted her days with the pigs for the last time.
I needed to let the Lord heal my heart and release the pain. I had projected on God what man had done to me and He reminded me that day, "Man will let you down, Brianna, but I Am Who I Say I Am." I had never fully understood the beauty of His grace before and He faithfully began to show Himself to me. He showed me compassion and kindness. And His kindness led me to repentance (Romans 2:4). He renewed and redeemed me and gave me a women’s ministry called Making Me New. He began to show me scriptures about the word NEW in Ezekiel 36:26 and Revelation 21:5, but the one that caught me, gripped my heart, and became the pulse of my ministry was in Isaiah 43:18-19: “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland." He began to promise me that He would "restore the years the locusts had eaten" (Joel 2:25) and I was revived in my passion for His heart and His will. I began to work in ministries and attend seminary. I also met my gracious husband James during that season, and we were married November 3, 2013. I could write a whole novel about our story and how James is another reminder to me of God’s overwhelming grace. A Hosea and Gomer kind of love. Now I am humbled to see God’s unchanging love for me as I am honored to serve as Women’s Pastor at the Grove Church. Our God Redeems. I cannot tell my story without tears. I sit with a woman over coffee nearly every day, and I hear her story but it's my story, too. And now I have privilege of being one of the foolish things God called to shame the wise (1 Corinthians 1:27). To God be the Glory.
P H O T O G R A P H Y
A N N A
C U M I F O R D
"WHEN I WAS 18 I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH A RARE FORM OF L EUKEMIA . "
rowing up in my home I was taught to live faithfully, trust in The Lord, equip myself to serve those around me, and reflect good graces on every person I met. I embraced these lessons and considered my life to be relatively normal. Little did I know the extent to which my faith would be tested and how radically my life would change. When I was 18 I was diagnosed with a rare form of Leukemia. After months of feeling horribly sick and tired, I was taken to the ER and within 3 hours I was told that the 98% of the cells that make up my body were cancerous. I was admitted to the hospital the next morning and began my first round of chemotherapy. My life was turned upside down in no more than 3 hours. At that point the only thing I could do was surrender. I gave into the fear, surrendered what I couldn't understand and waited. There were times when it was really ugly. Times when I was afraid to go to sleep because I didn't know if I would wake up, times when my mom and dad had to hold me down in my hospital bed while I sobbed because all I wanted to do was go home, times when I couldn't even talk because my mouth and throat were covered in mouth sores. However, for how many ugly times there were, there was always hope. There was always hope that God would carry us through this trial. Now 4 years later, I am determined to be my own beacon of hope for families enduring the same physical, emotional and financial challenges forced upon them by childhood cancers. This year, I started Lighthouse for Hope (lighthouseforhope.org), a nonprofit organization working to provide financial assistance for families whose children are fighting cancer. Every three minutes, a child somewhere in the world is diagnosed with cancer. For those fortunate enough to live in countries like the United States, where treatment options are available, the lives of both the children and their families become consumed by difficult treatments.
Through my organization, supporters can purchase T-shirts and prints to help ease the strain I knows so well. I hand out gift cards for things like gas, groceries, school supplies and clothes. Cancer is an evil that is not only physically and emotionally challenging, but also financially challenging. The goal was (and still is) to alleviate some of the financial stress by providing assistance for day-to-day expenses. During my own fight with cancer I was fortunate enough to have a community that fought alongside me and helped in so many ways. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same experience. Lots of families who have a child with cancer can't even afford groceries or gas to get them to and from the hospital. I feel so passionately about the kids who get lost in the crowd, the kids who have stories that nobody hears about. So many families with a sick child don't have friends who can take them to appointments, can't buy groceries or school supplies, and don't have the voice to speak up and tell their story. Who will fight for these families? I want to be their advocate, to help them feel heard. That is what God has turned Lighthouse For Hope's vision into. There were always times where I wanted to know why I got sick. The Lord works in mysterious ways, and it took 4 years to see what He was doing. I can use what I went through to help so many other people and show them the love of Christ! There is a light at the end of the tunnel. It's hard to see sometimes, but that doesn't make the light go away. Sometimes, to reach the light, you have to experience complete darkness, but you will eventually reach it with hope in Jesus. He is my lighthouse.
PAIGE FERRARI PHOENIX, AZ
"HE CHASED AFTER ME,
EVEN WHEN I COULD NOT FEEL OR HEAR HIM. "
he twilight moon shown in the hallway as I went from one bedroom to the next. I fought to the urge of my heavy eyes, trying to keep them open long enough to make it to my own bed. As I walked into my brother’s room, the clock glared 1:00 a.m. I shuffled through the mess and put his backpack at the foot of his bed for school the next morning. Beside it, I put out clean laundry so he had something to wear to school. I left a note on his backpack to say his lunch for the next day was in the fridge. I quietly backed out of his room and tiptoed to the next. My mom’s bedroom was dark and chilly, but the door was cracked just enough for me to peek in. She seemed asleep, but I could hear the muffled sounds of agony from her pain. Helplessly, I shut the door and mindlessly walked to my room. I still had homework to finish. I was 15, a sophomore in high school. My mom was sick. She had breast cancer, and suddenly I had to grow up. The childhood that I once knew was a faint dream, quickly losing its grip in my memory. My father made a quick exit once my mom got diagnosed and my older sisters were off in college. It was me. Just me. The memory from that night will stay with me, like a shadow, forever. These haunting shadows can only be ignited away by the bright light that is found in the hope of Jesus Christ. When my mom was sick, my emotions didn’t matter. I told myself over and over what I was feeling was nothing compared to what my mom was going through. I shut down. I didn’t feel tired, or happy, or even sorrow. All I felt was worry for my mom and life became a robotic dance of motions. As much as I want to say that I had this big moment when God revealed His divine plan in the midst of my family’s suffering, I can’t. That’s what I should say, right? Only, it never happened. They sky didn’t part in incredibly glory and cherubs did not come down in great triumph and fanfare. I knew God was with us, but I never felt his presence. I can’t count how many times I sat in
waiting rooms, watching the minutes tick by, crying out to God. I begged Him to allow my mom to simply wake up from surgery. My mind knew He was there, but my heart didn’t. I was numb. Looking back, I see how God relentlessly pursued me. He chased after me, even when I could not feel or hear Him. He loved me, even when my whole life felt as if it was tearing at the seams. And He provided for my needs. Between medical bills, kids, and working in between the chemo and surgeries, finances were difficult. Yet God always provided money, groceries, and support for my little brother, my mom, and myself. Through the late nights, lack of sleep, mental toil and fight against serious depression, I learned something important: my feelings do matter. Even if my mom is sick, my feelings are still important. Hurting is okay. Feeling is okay. Crying in front of the empty fridge because there was no money for groceries or running through every worst case scenario during surgeries or sobbing on the youth group floor because for 2 hours of the day, I was allowed to be a kid again – it was all okay. I was not wrong when I struggled, and God loved me even at my lowest moments. Whenever I come to a battlefront, armed with numbness and the bleeding wounds of my past, God draws me back to his heart. Back to this time in my life. He reminds me that he will fight for me. Relentlessly. I have to allow him to. I have to take a step back and give God the path to fight my fights and empower me with the strength he put in his daughter. God can heal our hearts, and he can handle our emotions. Feeling the pain of the shadows you carry is okay.
LIVING TO LOOK LIKE A GOOD CHRISTIAN RATHER THAN GETTING TO KNOW AND BE CHANGED BY JESUS.
1. Why do you choose Jesus? I was raised in church and was taught about the love story of our creator God, and how he sent his son Jesus to save us from our sin and separation. As I got older, I misunderstood a very key value...authenticity. I started living to look like a good Christian rather than getting to know and be changed by Jesus. The more I dove into the Bible I began to see what God truly looked like, and how different it was from how I was living. Jesus was wise, he loved deeply, he didn't spend much of his time trying to convince people who He was, He showed them. He lived among the physically & emotionally sick, and lost to heal and restore them. 2. Why music? My family was very musical, however, I was not. I first picked up an instrument on missions trip in Mexico when the church band needed a bassist. I was there to serve, so I stepped up to the challenge! Over the next eight years that choice seemed to knock over more and more similar domino's... the church needed a guitarist, then a worship leader, then a worship director, then.... It was quite a wild and amazing ride! In 2010 I felt the Lord calling me out of fulltime church ministry, so I stepped down from my position at the church and tried to figure out what was next. I went back to school, married the LOVE of my life, and was working my tail off. Four years later we found ourselves debt-free, my wife (working full-time as an esthetician), encouraged me to quit my job in restaurant management and take the leap into both a business start-up idea, and full-time live music. God has blessed me with some amazing friendships, mentors, and supporters that have helped sustain and grow us into what we are today!
Elijah Atkison ANGELICMUSIC â€? PHOENIX
3. What's your vision for seeing Phoenix united for Jesus? Phoenix has some really awesome things going on that I feel are uniting the Christian community and extending us beyond the walls of the church through tangible resources! Renew - a free monthly worship night where a collaboration of worship leaders and musicians unite with hundreds of others to worship the Lord, pray, and rest in His presence. Integrity Worship Network - a service that provides professional Christian musicians, worship leaders, and sound engineers to all churches sizes and all denominations for interim help. Holy Yoga & Revelation Wellness - two different communities spreading like wild fires that aim in different ways to coach the balance of healthy body and mind through the Word. And finally, Hope Fest a faith-based (but not exclusive) collaboration that brings the community together to meet the immediate needs of our uninsured, underinsured and underserved neighbors, and then connects them to resources that facilitate long-term solutions, independence and stability. 4. What is on your horizon with music in 2016? I'm hoping 2016 is a big year for my wife and I. We're planning to buy a truck and trailer and tour 10 different states in 10 month. Our goal is to explore, perform, and to promote Integrity Worship Network as well as a live music booking app start-up called Last Minute Live! We're still trying to get our "ducks in a row" but we have high hopes! 5. If you could ask Jesus 1 question and He had to answer it, what 1 question would you ask Him? Let me preface with - I've read Isaiah 58, and done a quite a bit of research on worship in the Bible, yet still would like to know Jesus's view. I often wonder if everything we call worship is actually honoring to Him. I would ask Him what true worship looks like.
PHOENIXCOMMUNITY:WELCOMETOAMERICAPROJECT HELPING REFUGEES RE-BUILD THEIR LIVES What is Welcome to America Project? Founded in 2001 by Carolyn Manning, a Phoenix resident, the Welcome to America Project (WTAP) is a nonprofit organization that creates community connections and builds bridges of neighborly understanding by providing furniture, basic necessities, education, and additional resources to newly arriving refugees. Carolyn lost her brother-in-law Terence Manning, in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. The Manning family wanted to find a way to honor Terence’s memory. The idea for WTAP was born when Carolyn saw a photograph in the local news of a political refugee family from Afghanistan now living in Phoenix. Carolyn and Phil realized this family sought the same things they did – safety, housing and a future free of fear for their children. How can the Phoenix community become involved in WTAP? WTAP has a range of volunteer options, including Saturday morning deliveries to refugee families and individuals, Tuesday morning packing events for the upcoming deliveries, and the monthly Clothing Closet. WTAP also hosts events such as the Adopt-a-Family program in December, Culinary Journeys, a Hike-to-Help event in early spring, Goodwill Challenges, and more! Volunteers can also host Donation Drives at their schools, churches, clubs,etc. What are some things about refugees most people wouldn’t know? Refugees have fled their countries because of war, or persecution based on race, religion, nationality, social group, or political opinion. Candidates for refugee status in the U.S. undergo a an extremely thorough vetting process that takes 18 months-24 months+ to complete. Some refugees remain in refugee camps for twenty years. Six months after arriving in the U.S., refugees must begin repaying their travel expenses to the federal government. The refugees we help are here on a special visa and ultimately become U.S. citizens. They are highly motivated, resourceful and eager to start a new life.
BY TIFFANY EGBERT
MODEL: MIA PEJLOVAS LOCATION: TREMAINE RANCH TABLE STYLING: LEAH MARIE THEODOSIS CAKES AND TREATS: SIFT BAKEHOUSE FLORIST: GARDEN GATE FLOWERS HAIR: JAIME VOELZ-LEAMAN MAKEUP: ROSIE REED PHOTOGRAPHER: TIFFANY EGBERT WARDROBE: KITTEN PAWS VINTAGE