CeCe Winans spreading her faith
who are you? APURE Inc. Publication
FEB. 2011/MAR. 2011
V alentineâ€™s Day
Monday, February 14th
contents Feb. 2011/Mar. 2011
departments style & beauty
Celebrity trends we love
Check out some of our favorite looks
arts & entertainment 13 CDs ruling the charts
health & fitness 18 Easy at-home workouts are and what you were made for spirit 20 Discovering who you are
relationships 22 What is a real relationship part II: Dating versus Courtships food & recipes 22 Cookie Galore. We have easy step recipes and an array of variations.
CeCe Winans. We catch up with CeCe Winans at Verizonâ€™s How Sweet the Sound competition and find out how she met Whitney Houston and what continent she loves and visits often.
APURE INC. Feb.2011/Mar. 2011 Publisher
â– Cierra B. Williams
APURE Magazine is published 6 times per year (Feb. Apr, Jun, Aug, Oct, Dec) by APURE Inc. Advertising Want to catch the attention of 3,000 urban Americans? Reach your target audience and increase your customer base and profit by advertising in APURE. For more information or a Media Kit, call us at (615) 293-3219 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Subscriptions Have us delivered to your door! APURE is available by subscription at the yearly rate of $25.00 for 6 issues. To subscribe, send check or money order to the address below.
Submissions We welcome article, photo and art queries. Send query and clips via email to email@example.com or postal mail, labled SUBMISSIONS to the address listed below. APURE assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts or artwork. Material will only be returned if accompanied by a SASE. Printed in the USA ÂŠ2011 APURE Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or reproduced without written permission from the publisher.
how to reach us E-MAIL apuremagazine @ aol.com MAIL 627 Royal Crest Avenue Nashville, TN 37214
Our Mission and Policy: To elevate truth who is Christ, cultivate growth in Christ, motivate action for Christ, and force conversation about Christ.
Coming Soon! Opportunities for individuals to become APURE Vendors.
Buy APURE Magazine for $0.25 and sell them for $1.00 each + tips, keeping the profit.
on my mind journal notes from
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us hebrews
Endure you Commitment
Although it is hard to be prepared for the unknown, a lot of us have good intentions when we start out in new commitments and adventures. It may be a pedge to loose weight or the start of a new job or business. Ending an unhealthy habit or your promise to a relationship. It could be your New Year’s resolution or the acting upon your faith. Whatever the ambition may be, one thing is clear: the devil doesn’t get scared when we get excited about a new revelation of an opportunity. No, he will sit back and give us two weeks, because he’s sure we will eventually give up or something else will catch our eye. We have been given too many options and when something glitters like gold or our race is harder than thought, we quickly abandon our vision. Any lasting success we experience will flow from commitment. Yes there will be pain and uneasiness. No one ever birthed a seed without carrying it for 9 months. Endure your task. Growth and strength is in the process.
ead us online at issuu.com/apuremagazine or chat with us on facebook.
Cierra B. Williams
the 26th annual
STELLAR â–Ź The 26th Annual Stellar Awards held at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville celebrated some of gospel musicâ€™s best with host Donnie McClurkin. More Stellar Award info can be found on page 17.
Fashion TrendS We caught some of our favorite people in our favortie fashion trends. We love how NBA star LEBRON JAMES adds subtle color sophistication with this textured cardigan and tennis player SERENA WILLIAMS wears a dazzling one shoulder dress with a belt to contour her shape.
Music Group CLARK SISTERS (above) Award Winning Actress PHYLICIA RASHAD (right) Collars. From high to low, find the one that best suits you. In addition to making you look modern high collars keep you warm from winter winds. Flattering turtlenecks. Flattering? Turtlencks? Everything depends on how you wear it. Try to mix colors and add accessories to your look and the turtleneck will change from the very dull to a stylish piece. Artist/Producer KIRK FRANKLIN (left) NFL Player RAY LEWIS (right) Actor TERRY CREWS & wife REBECCA (right above) Menâ€™s velvet is a new trend; it has been a fabric of choice for the most fashion forward gentlemen for some time now. Menâ€™s vests are an amazing hint of a true gentlemen and can be worn in a variety of colors, prints and fabrics.
Grammy Winning Singer YOLANDA ADAMS (left) Maxi dresses. Femininity will always be fashionable. So, dear ladies, if you feel the need to look womanly, maxi dress will be the perfect option. Lots of styles of maxi dresses will help you choose something that will fit your figure ideally.
style&beauty Top Pick Ariya Jeans Denim for Curvy Women
Those blessed with a fuller bottom half know how hard it is to find goodlooking jeans that actually fit well. Thee’s a new line out called Ariya Jeans that manages to fit curvy girls without looking matronly - and it’s also really afford able. Featuring everything from dark, skinny styles to light deconstructed denim. Up to size 15. FInd them @ JCPenney, Body Central, Debs, Boscovs, Stage, Macy’s
WE LOVE this turtleneck sweater dress with embellishments around the collar area.
GET THESE LOOKS: Isaac Mizrahi for Target: tie-front cardigan, $35, cotton chintz dress, $40, menswear Tstrap pumps, $33. Simply Vera Vera Wang for Kohl's: Smocked-neck top swirl print, $54; straight-leg denim medium wash,$50; long Diamaru leather gloves, $75; nylon satchel, $89; Oleander double-strap platform shoes, $80. Also available at Kohls.com. Gap: shearling jacket, $248; black skinny jeans, $88; belted hoodie,$58. Also available at Gap.com
#1 on Billboards
r a l el ards t S Aw
Stellar Award Honorees — Each year, the Stellar Awards present three special achievement awards to artists who have made a significant impact within the industry. Congratulations to Donald Lawrence, who received the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award. Kirk Franklin was presented with the Thomas Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award, and Vanessa Bell Armstrong received the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award. These awards were presented as part of the 26th Annual Stellar Awards ceremony on January 15, 2011 at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, TN.
The new double CD by Shekinah Glory debuts in the top position on Billboard’s Top Gospel Albums chart. Refreshed By Fire was released on September 14, 2010 and includes hit Gospel songs “Just For Me”, “Prayer To The Nations” and “Raise a Praise” . The gold-selling Shekinah Glory Ministry’s (SGM) new CD, Refreshed By Fire (Kingdom Records), has debuted at #1 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album sales chart – their second #1 debut. The CD has also come in at #2 on Billboard’s Christian/Gospel chart, #12 on the Independent chart, #61 on the Top 200 pop chart and #59 on the Current Albums chart. There’s also a version of the CD featuring a bonus Gospel song and an inspirational DVD that’s sold exclusively at Wal-Mart stores. “We congratulate Shekinah Glory Ministry – what a 10 year journey it has been!,” says Kingdom Records CEO/ President, Joan Sullivan of the CD’s success. “No one could have predicted what would happen but their fan base has been consistent and has grown to expect a level of praise and worship that has shifted people into a higher spiritual understanding 13 of God. This new CD will do what Shekinah Glory Ministry’s other Gospel music CD’s have done: cause you to praise, to worship and to enter into the very presence of God.”
Refreshed By Fire #1 Gospel Album
CeCe Winans CNN’s Gabe La Monica recently interviewed gospel singer CeCe Winans. La Monica caught up with Winans at Verizon’s “How Sweet the Sound” gospel competition in Washington as she was planning to head to Ghana. The following is an edited transcript of their conversation.
On November 13, over 12,000 people gathered to be uplifted and inspired by gospel choirs from across the country, witnessing the grace and gifts of the biggest names in gospel music today! In a culmination of our 14-city nationwide tour, Verizon's How Sweet the Sound empowered the crowd to raise their hands in praise and be unified in spirit. Congratulations to Greater Zion Church Family's Voices of Destiny for being named the National Winning Choir!
Listen and view the entire event at howsweethesound.com
2010 National Winning Choir Greater Zion Church Family’s Voices of Destiny
feature One of the most recognizable and incomparable voices in gospel music, CeCe Winans has sold millions of albums during her 25-year music career. The charismatic singer has garnered numerous awards including eight Grammy Awards, twenty-one Dove Awards, gold and platinum albums, a host of #1 Gospel and Top Ten R&B hits and a reputation as one of the friendliest people in the music industry. La Monica: You’re a woman of God, a woman of faith, and you’ve been singing gospel since you were 6 years old? Winans: Oh, probably as long as I’ve been living; my first solo was probably when I was about 8. La Monica: Has your faith always been integral to your music? Winans: Yes, yes, it always has. ... It started out in church, but you know you come to a point, probably when I was a teenager, when you begin to really understand what being a person of faith really means. La Monica: And how has that developed over the years? Winans: It’s been great because you get a chance to sing what you believe in, what you know has worked for your life, what has strengthened you, what has kept you focused and strong. It’s more than just a song; it’s more than just religion, but it’s a relationship of loving God and
knowing that God is real. I get a chance to sing good news. You know the world needs good news, right CNN? La Monica: You’ve done a lot of work with World Vision International [a Christian relief organization]. Winans: Yes, love World Vision – ooh, hooking up with World Vision just changed my life. I want to do it, probably for the rest of my life. Ethiopia was my first trip over to Africa with World Vision. It’s one thing to see commercials, and it’s another thing to go see face to face people suffering, and understanding that if we would just give a little bit of what we have , we could really change a person’s whole life, and World Vision – I just commend them because they go all over the world helping the poor, and not just helping them, teaching them how to take care of themselves. I love Africa. I’ve been traveling, within the last three to four years, a lot to Africa. Our music has been there for years – since we’ve been singing. It wasn’t until recently I’ve started going over there and understanding that they have loved our music for years, and you know, to go that far, to see people singing your songs and tell you how impactful it’s been to their lives, especially in their living conditions, it’s just amazing. We have to spread our faith everywhere we can. People need
it, and people need to have hope. And that’s what we give, we give hope. La Monica: How’d you meet Whitney Houston? Winans: Ooh, Whitney. At an awards show. The year she came out, it was the Image Awards, when she was winning everything that anybody could ever win. She saw us in the lobby and she was like, “CeCe, BeBe.” And we’re like, “You know us?” She was like, “Yes, I love your music.” I’m like, “What?” She’s like, “Yes, heck,” and she started singing songs. We were going to be in concert actually that night; we were doing a real late concert in some old little place out there in Los Angeles, and she said, “I’m comin’.” And we were like, “Yeah, sure you’re comin’.” She came that night. After she got all the awards, she ended up coming to our concert, getting on stage with us and singing our songs better than we could ever sing ‘em. And that’s where the friendship began, so that was like, ooh probably about 23 years ago now. We’re good friends, yeah. La Monica: What brings you to Verizon’s “How Sweet the Sound”?
Winans: I was really excited to see how Verizon had put together a wonderful event that was first class for the gospel community. I was totally impressed. It’s been a 14-city tour; the choirs have been amazing, and we’ve had a lot of fun. It’s a lot of joy onstage and offstage. Verizon has been a joy to work with, and I know they’ve made a major difference in the faith community. So I just pray that it keeps going, because I really think it’s something that could be global. I mean think about it: People love choir music all over the world, and we say it’s competition, but I think it’s just a great excuse to come together and make a joyful noise. ■
On stage. Off stage. Behind the scenes. All photos are from Veriozon Wireless How Sweet the Sound.
more looks 26th Annual
Stellar Award Winners
arvin Sapp and BeBe & CeCe Winans were the big winners Saturday night at the 26th annual Stellar Gospel Music Awards held at The Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. The Winans and Sapp collectively won four awards each. Right behind them, James Fortune & FIYA took home three trophies this year.
J.J. Hairston & Youthful Praise opened the show with its popular worship song “Lord You’re Mighty.” Other highlights included Beverly Crawford, who ignited the room with a rousing rendition of “It’s About Time For a Miracle,” VaShawn Mitchell, sang his gospel radio chart-topper “Nobody Greater,” and Marvin Sapp closed the show with a medley of “He Has His Hands on You” and “The Best in Me” as well as “Never Would Have Made It” with show host Donnie McClurkin. Often called the Grammy’s of Gospel Music, the night showed honor to: Donald Lawrence with the James Cleveland Lifetime Achievement Award, Kirk Franklin with the Thomas A. Dorsey Most Notable Achievement Award and Vanessa Bell Armstrong with the Ambassador Dr. Bobby Jones Legend Award. Female Vocalist of the Year Karen Clark Sheard Group Duo of the Year James Fortune & FIYA Praise and Worship CD of the Year Darwin Hobbs-Darwin Hobbs Live: Champion New Artist of the Year Kristina Halloway
Traditional Male Vocalist of the Year Marvin Sapp Contemporary Female Vocalist of the Year CeCe Winans Traditional Female Vocalist of the Year Lucinda Moore Contemporary CD of the Year James Fortune and FIYA- Encore Traditional CD of the Year Marvin Sapp- Here I Am Urban/ Inspirational Single / Performance of the Year BeBe & CeCe Winans-Still Music Video of the Year BeBe and CeCe Winans-Close to You Contemporary Choir of the Year Myron Butler & Levi Traditional Choir of the Year Wilmington Chester Mass Choir Special Event CD of the Year Various Artists-CoCo Brother Live Presents Stand 2010
Artist of the Year Marvin Sapp
Choir of the Year Wilmington Chester Mass Choir
Rap/Hip Hop Gospel CD of the Year T rip Lee-Between Two Worlds Children’s Project of the Year Kingdom Kids Worldwide, Kingdom Kids Worldwide Volume 1
Contemporary Group/Duo of the Year Forever Jones
Producer of the Year Aaron Lindsey-Here I Am
Quartet of the Year The Christian Angels
Song of the Year BeBe Winans- Close to You
Traditional Group/Duo of the Year The Mighty Clouds of Joy
Recorded Music Package of the Year
Male Vocalist of the Year Byron Cage
Contemporary Male Vocalist of the Year James Fortune
CD of the Year Marvin Sapp-Here I Am
Derek Blanks and Ken Barboza-Still
Get Noticed! If you’d like us to consider showcasing your captured moments or events email us.
health&fitness A Healthier You
Made Easy We’ve found easy at home workouts that strengthen your core and focus on those irratating areas. Plus, we’ve identified some everyday consumed products that have healthier alternatives.
Ab Twist, Starting Position 1. Sit on the floor (place a towel underneath you for comfort), feet shoulderwidth apart, toes up, so that you are resting on your heels. Holding the ball with both hands, extend your arms in front of you. Click arrow to see the next step. Great for: Abdominals, glutes, hamstrings; Number of reps: 12; Time: 2 minute. AbTwist, The Move 2. Slowly lie back, tucking in and tightening your abdominals at all times. Stop halfway to the floor and twist to the left, reaching toward the floor with the ball. Hold for a beat, then slowly twist over to the right side. Breathe normally and concentrate on contracting your abdominal muscles
9 Healthy Food Alternatives 18
1. Instead of chocolate, try carob.
Chocolate is first on the list because it's first on most people's list of guilty pleasures. Try to substitute the little known carob, a Mediterranean tree that produces pea-like pods that produce the sweet concoction.It’s not that carob is superior nutritiously, but it has a couple things going for it: Carob has 51 calories per ounce But even more significant is that carob is naturally sweeter than (or, perhaps more accurately, not as bitter as) chocolate, so you don’t have to use as much sugar with it in recipes. 2. Instead of white bread, switch to whole wheat. White bread is bleached flour (does that even
sound close to healthy?) and is enriched with things like high fructose corn syrup. Whole wheat bread is unprocessed, so your body has to spend energy (calories) digesting it. Be a wary shopper, because not all wheat breads are created equal. Manufacturers will try to trick you with fancy word plays on wheat. Make sure that the first ingredient is a “whole” grain. 3. Instead of a salad dressing, try vinegar. Salad dressings are a great way to kill a perfectly healthy salad with hundreds of useless calories. Use a balsamic vinegar and it will add nary a calorie to your salad. 4. Drop the dip and use salsa. Chips aren't exactly a healthy snack, but if you're going to indulge now and again, the least you can do is cut out the fatty pro-
health&fitness Back Pull, Starting Position 1. Roll your towel lengthwise. Grasping an end in either hand, raise the towel over your head, arms extended. Click arrow to see the next step. Great for: Back muscles; Number of reps: 12; Time: 2 minute Back Pull, The Move 2. Inhale, then slowly exhale, bending arms and lowering the towel down behind your head. Keep tension on the towel as you raise and lower it, but don't tense your neck.
Other Easy Moves: The Pushup (make sure to place knees on a folded towel for comfort). Hamstring Curl (while on stomach, squeeze ball between ankles, bend at knee).
cessed creamy dips. 5. Of those aforementioned chips, you should try more air-popped popcorn. One cup of popcorn has about 30 calories compared to 140 calories in an ounce of tortilla chips. 6. Bacon... any way you slice it, turkey is better than pork. Bacon is probably the single biggest reason many of us can't be vegetarians. It's a fatty vice that's hard to quit. Purdue turkey bacon has about 50 calories in 2 slices and 1 gram of saturated fat, where some regular pork versions can have 14 times the saturated fat and more than twice
the calories. 7. Turkey burger instead of beef. Turkey shows up again on our list, this time in place of your usual beef burgers. Once you put on all your favorite toppings (lettuce, pickle, tomato) the difference is reallynegligible. 8. Instead of a full-fat creamer, go nonfat. It won't take long for you to get acclimated to the non-fat version, and if you have a couple coffees a day those calories can really add up. 9. Instead of salt, spice food with herbs. The preference for salt is a learned behavior. Which means you can unlearn it. If you are adventurous in the kitchen, try using
Arm Extension, Starting Position 1. Roll up the towel lengthwise. Place one end in your left hand. Straighten your left arm directly over your head. Click arrow to see the next step. Great for: Triceps; Number of reps: 12; Time: 2 minutes Arm Extension, The Move 2. Now, reach behind your back with your right arm and grasp three quarters of the way down the towel. Gently pull the towel behind your head with your right arm, bending your left arm behind your head, so your elbow points straight up. Inhale, holding the towel steady. Exhale and extend your left arm back to starting position, keeping tension on the towel with your right arm. Repeat on the other side.
garlic, oregano, pepper, sage, tarragon, turmeric, cinnamon, and other herbs and spices. If you want the easy way out, Mrs. Dash comes in all kinds of no-sodium, no-calorie combinations. â–
Identity Crisis If you are a new born-again Christian, and you are unfamiliar with Satan's strategies to steal your peace, joy and confidence in God and God's Word, here is one of the MOST COMMON strategies Satan and his demons employ to keep you from walking in greater joy and peace with the Lord: THEY CONSTANTLY LIE TO YOU.
n fact, Satan's greatest success for those of us who are in Christ Jesus is to get us to believe his lies. The less we know about God's Word (The Holy Bible), the easier it is for him to get us to believe his lies. The less we know about how to understand and correctly APPLY God's Word, the easier it is for Satan to get us to believe his lies. The less we know about our position in Christ, the easier it is for Satan to keep us bound in emotional and spiritual prisons we may not ever realize we're in, let alone understaduing how God wants us to be freed from them. Knowing fully who you are in Christ will make you much more “fully armed and dangerous” in the Army of our Lord, whose precious name is Jesus Christ. It will also hinder Satan greatly from messing with your mind,
because your mind is the primary battle ground where peace and joy in your relationship with God is gained ... or lost. Now then ... If you have decided to believe that God paid full penalty for your sins by dying on the cross taking full punishment for your sins so that your sins are forgiven forever and will not be held against you on the Judgment Day ... do you know that God the Father says “You are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus”? Follower of Jesus Christ, that is no small, insignificant matter! As a matter of fact, it is a fact of huge importance! What this fully implies is that in one moment in time, when Christ
rose from the dead and ascended back into glory, as a believer in Him, God the Father declared you as legally holy and righteous as you can possibly ever be! You are now 100% justified to receive forgiveness for sins, and to start receiving eternal life from God. And how did it come about that you became “The righteousness of God in Christ Jesus?” For He (the Father) made Him (Jesus Christ) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God (the Father) in Him (Jesus Christ). (2 Corinthians 5:21) The moment we accepted Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, we were given GOD’S covering (robe) of righteousness! It is God’s
spirit righteousness given to us free of charge, because it is impossible for any human being to earn any degree of righteousness -- any degree of holiness -- that will be acceptable to God on the Judgment Day that will qualify a person to remain with God for eternity. Simply stated, no person can become “good enough” to be declared “Fully justified” in God’s sight by their own efforts. It’s impossible. That bears repeating, but I’ll say it a little differently. The only way God will allow anyone to remain with Him in heaven for eternity is for a person to be as holy and as righteous as He is. But God knew that would be impossible to happen, because no person was capable of being that holy and that righteous on their own. There was only one other way for a person to be holy enough and righteous enough to meet God’s demands, and that was for God to simply give freely His holiness and His righteousness away. And how would He be able to do that? He would have to leave heaven, go to earth, live like a human being, be tempted to sin like everyone else is tempted to sin, but yet never sin. In never sinning, that would qualify Him to be the perfect sacrifice - the perfect ransom payment - God the Father would find acceptable for the sins of every human being. Thus the death of Jesus Christ not only put our punishment on God for our sins ... it also legally became the means for sinners to receive God’s righteousness (justification), because without having God’s righteousness, forgiven sinners would still not be qualified to be in the full glorious presence of God, because God decreed long ago that to be in His full glorious presence for eternity, a being had to be as holy and as righteous as He is. I hope you now understand better
why it is such a big deal being “The righteousness (justification) of God in Christ Jesus”. This is not onlyyour qualifying factor to be with a holy God for eternity ... it is also your very identity! What does this all correlate down to for the average Christian trying to understand spiritual truths? You are blessed at all times! No matter how difficult your trial or trials might be at any given time here on earth ... you are blessed ... in Christ Jesus. When you begin to remind yourself of that every day ... every waking moment; in your deepest moments of trial and heartache ... it will start transforming your life like little else will! It can pull you through to keep-on-keeping on when nothing else will pull you through! It’s a major key to overcoming discouraging trials ... and to often qualify for increased blessing from God! God spoke you into your mother’s womb at just the right time for you to be here now. It wasn’t by accident, nor was it a pleasant surprise to God; he designed you on purpose to be on mission with him for such a time as this. Your faith will grow stronger as you focus on your identity in Christ. What this means is that you abandon any image of yourself that is not from God. You stop believing what others have said about you; you stop believing how others have labeled you; you stop accepting how others have defined you. Where I’m going is here – if you don’t know who you are, then you’re vulnerable to other people telling you who you are. But the concrete, solid, gospel truth is that you are who God says you are and no one else has a vote in the matter. You are now identified with Christ and have the power of the Holy Spirit within you. You are God’s precious child and he created you in a way that
pleases him. This “identity issue” is an important part of living the abundant life. Jesus was able to face the incredible demands of his mission because he’d settled this identity issue. He knew exactly who he was; he knew that he mattered immensely to his Heavenly Father, and that gave him confidence to move purposefully in faith. What does this mean? God wants you to be you – You can relax knowing that being yourself is exactly what God wants of you. A pencil brings glory to God by being a pencil. But, if you take a pencil and try to use it like a screwdriver, it won’t work and you’ll likely break the pencil. You will find the stress drained from your life when you stop trying to be somebody you’re not and instead start being who God purposefully designed you to be. Believe God calls you by name – God didn’t call you as part of a blanket invitation; he called you specifically by name. You are His masterpiece, a work of His own hands. Like many earthly fathers, God feels pleasure when he sees you just being you. Believe you are who God says you are – No one else has a vote on who you are. You are free to be you instead of imitating someone else. You are free to use your unique, God-given gifts and there is no need to compare your gifts to the gifts of others. No one else is in competition to be you! Question to consider: Where are the places in your life where you’re still trying to be someone other than who God shaped you to be? ■ -Norm Rasmussen
What is a REAL RELATIONSHIP? Dating vs. Courtship II By Nathan Bailey
he worst thing about dating is your vulnerability. Dating is like marriage, but without the protection! That’s the only difference. You relate, spend time together, give your hearts to each other -- with no life-long commitment, with no covenant! And then we wonder why we get hurt! We must learn to relate according to covenant -- marriage is the boundary that protects our ‘sphere of vulnerability’.
Covenant vs. Contract
God designed relationships to operate in covenant. A covenant is a commitment that cannot be broken. In our contract-happy society, we think of legal contracts -- as soon as one party fails to fulfil their obligations, the other party is free from the commitments of the contract. In covenant, the commitment holds regardless of the performance of the other party. An example of covenant relationship is God’s love to us. No matter what we do, God is committed to our covenant! How different our view is -- at the first difficulty, we pronounce that “our marriage isn’t working out” and we terminate the covenant. But it can’t be terminated! It’s a lifelong commitment, and it cannot be broken! (See also: Covenant and divorce). With a life-long focus, you want to get it right the first time (since there will be no ‘second time’! :)
Debunking for Dating
There are two arguments commonly raised in favour of dating. Firstly “If people don’t date, how will they learn to relate with the opposite sex?” and secondly “Dating is just cultural. Our culture dates, the Jewish culture courted.” I’m going to debunk these myths by taking them to their logical conclusions. :)
The first statement can be reinterpreted positively two ways “Dating teaches people how to conduct [good] relationships with the opposite sex,” or “Dating is the only way people can meet their partner in our society.” If the first statement were true, then we should see a growth in strong relationships and strong marriages since the invention of dating earlier this century. Instead, we see an exponential increase in divorce, date rape and many other stains on society. The evidence shows that dating does NOT build strong relationships at all! For the last 1900 years, people have been building good relationships with the opposite sex without dating. What about meeting your partner? How can anyone expect to meet their mate if they don’t date? I question if dating is the best environment to determine if someone has the qualities you desire in a mate. Much better opportunities lie in team ministry, or families visiting families, etc, where there is no emotional involvement, and no agenda to give a good appearance. Then partners can truly judge how that person acts in a variety of circumstances, before they even commence in their relationship. But more about that later! :) Some people say that dating is our culture. But our culture also says that you should sleep with your partner and live together for a while before you get married, if you get married at all. By what standard do you call the first “acceptable culture” and the second “unacceptable?” The same standard must be used to judge both, and the Bible is not ambiguous in its teaching on relationships. How then can we justify drawing the line between emotional promiscuity vs. physical promiscuity instead of complete fidelity vs. promiscuity?
Dating vs. Relating
I think hanging out with the opposite sex is very healthy and necessary. As singles, we need to invest in relationship with each other -- to encourage, to nurture, to bless and to protect. God has created each of us with strengths and weaknesses, and in our single years it is especially important to maintain a vital social network of Christian brothers and sisters to ensure balance and growth. What I am highlighting is ‘special’ hanging out that encourages such distinction and segregation, as one couple distinguishes themselves from all others and loses the strength and support of that network by focusing on each other rather than maintaining a balance of focus that includes equal time for God and their community. And a relationship that provides the ‘benefits’ of a romantic relationships without the ‘boundaries’ of a defined, covenental relationship. Let’s maintain vibrant social networks, built on shared mission, shared commitment to God, shared interests and shared service. But let’s do it in a way that focuses growth in character and godliness (Heb 10:2425), and avoids romance without commitment.
Fill your cookie tins with batches and batches of classic cookies and creative variations.
No matter the time of year cookies are a treat that hits the spot. So we have selected a couple of our favorite cookies and with these three classic cookie recipes, you can make tons of festive variations to fill your cookie tray. CLASSIC SHORTBREAD Directions Beat 2 sticks butter, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Whisk 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt, then stir into the butter mixture. Press into a buttered 8-inch square or 9-inch round tart pan. Score into wedges, strips, squares or diamonds with a fork, then chill 30 minutes. Bake about 1 hour at 300 degrees. Cool, then slice along the scored lines.
CLASSIC SUGAR COOKIE Directions Beat 2 sticks butter, 1/2 cup granulated sugar and 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar until fluffy. Beat in 2 egg yolks, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1 teaspoon orange zest. Whisk 2 1/4 cups flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder and 1/4 teaspoon salt; stir into the butter mixture, then chill 30 minutes. Roll tablespoonfuls into balls and flatten; sprinkle with coarse sugar and bake 15 to 20 minutes at 350 degrees
CLASSIC CHOCOLATE CHIP Directions Beat 2 sticks butter, 3/4 cup dark brown sugar and 3/4 cup granulated sugar until fluffy; beat in 1 teaspoon vanilla and 2 eggs. Whisk 2 1/2 cups flour, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt, then stir into the butter mixture. Add 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips and chill 30 minutes. Roll into balls and bake 8 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees
food&recipe RUGALACH Directions Cut store-bought pie dough into 16 wedges (like a pizza). Starting from the tip, spread apricot jam over the top two-thirds of each wedge; sprinkle with chopped pecans. Roll from the fat end in to form a crescent shape. Brush with beaten egg and chill 30 minutes. Bake 30 to 35 minutes at 325 degrees
BROWN-BETTY BUTTONS Directions Melt 2 sticks butter over medium heat until browned, then cool. Make Classic Sugar Cookies with the browned butter in place of the 2 sticks butter and use just 1 egg yolk and 3/4 cup granulated sugar total (omit confectioners'). Scoop into tiny balls and bake 10 to 12 minutes at 325 degrees. Cool, then sandwich with raspberry jam and dust with confectioners' sugar.
Ingredients Ideas: Fig Pecans Walnuts M&Mâ€™s Powdered Sugar Caramel Peanut Butter Cups Whip Cream Lemon Zest Parmesan Orange Juice Frostings Add an array of ingredients to any classic recipe to make your own cookie.
HAZELNUT LINZER BARS
BROWN-BUTTER OATMEAL COOKIES Directions Melt 2 sticks butter over medium heat until browned, then cool. Make Classic Chocolate-Chip Cookie dough (No. 11), using the browned butter in place of the 2 sticks butter. Add 3/4 cup oats and 1 cup golden raisins; omit chocolate chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls and bake 12 to 15 minutes at 350 degrees.
OVER THE MOONS RECIPE Directions Make Classic Chocolate Cookie dough (No. 21). Roll out to 1/8 inch thick and cut into moon shapes. Bake 8 to 12 minutes at 350 degrees. Beat 1 cup creamy peanut butter, 6 tablespoons butter and 3/4 cup confectioners' sugar until smooth, then sandwich between cooled cookies.
check out www.foodnetwork.com for more ideas!
Directions Make Classic Shortbread dough with just 1 cup flour. Add 1 cup ground oats and 3/4 cup finely ground hazelnuts with the flour. Mix one-third of the dough with 1/4 cup chopped hazelnuts; freeze tablespoonfuls in clumps for 30 minutes. Press the remaining dough into a buttered 8-inch square pan. Spread with raspberry preserves and top with the frozen clumps. Bake about 50 minutes at 350 degrees.