THE PLUG Brian Thomas tells his story of redemption from self destruction into the loving arms of Christ
Formed and Fueled A reintroduction to the real church by Kymone Hinds
* BAYDA 2016 * Uncomfortable Tour * Top 10 Rules for Success * Water for the Thirsty * Practical Tips for Bible Study
Survivor Of Ministry
Publisher Brittany N. Winkfield Contributors Nelson Beato, Kymone Hinds, Jerome Williams, Waterforthethirsty.com Web Development Marcus Winkfield Advisory Board Tracy Augustin, Philip Baptiste, John Boston, Ramona Davis, Dean Dennis, Juanita Farmer, Kymone Hinds, Marisa Jackson, Timothy Olaore, Donald Rolle, Terri Roston, Michele Solomon, Jennifer Stone, Samuel Thomas Editorial and Advertising Inquiries 303-351-8180, email@example.com
Information is correct at press time. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the official company policy. Copyright ÂŠ 2016. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or whole without permission is prohibited. Back2Basics Magazine is a registered 501 (c)(3) nonprofit in the United States of America.
A Christian lifestyle magazine designed to inform and inspire young people in their walk with Christ
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volume 5 | number 2
features 5 B2B FEED 6 Formed and Fueled by Kymone Hinds 8 B2B Events: BAYDA and the Uncomfortable Tour 10 The Plug: What Everyone is Searching For with Brian Thomas 14 Maybe Later - Practical Tips for Spending Quality Time in the Word of God 16 Top 10 Rules for Success by Jerome Williams
B2B Tip: Stay plugged in to the power of God. We all have the same access. Are you ready to plug in? For the word of God is quick, and powerful... Hebrews 4:12a (KJV) Imagine what can happen when God becomes your sole purpose in life. Maybe you’re like me and have gotten bored with church. Could this be the normal Christian life? As we talk about what the church is, let’s go back to the basics of it. Let’s be reintroduced to the real church. Jesus did not die on the cross for us to do church and tithe. He has called us to power. That power can only come through us humbling ourselves, setting aside fears and unbelief. God loves to take the least qualified to finish the work. This was the case with Brian “Next Level B” Thomas, author of The Plug. When you use God as your “plug,” or resource, you create a lifestyle where you live on fire for Jesus. You have to be willing to learn and remember that God’s plan is always the best. In this issue, Next Level B shares the process that God brought him through. It is sometimes painful and difficult, but don’t forget that when God is silient, He is doing something for you. Stay “plugged in” to the power of God.
FAITH | MUSIC | MOVIES | INSPIRATION | NEWS | CULTURE | FASHION
summer vibes B2B FEED #b2bmag
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ds Hin By K ymo ne RIES A SE
ince Lombardi, the late, great coach of the Green Bay Packers football team, had a ritual that he did before his team every year. Lombardi was so prolific and successful that the National Football League (NFL) championship trophy was named after him. But his speech before his team at the beginning of each season seemed so elementary.
Lombardi would hold up a football and say to his team “Men, this is a football.” I know you may be scratching your head too. After all, these players had probably been holding one of those oblong objects from the moment they knew how to walk. This was not insightful coach. His point was that every year the team needed to be reminded of the basics. With all the focus on strategy and schemes, the basic building block of the game of football was the football. The team that won moved the ball and stopped the other team from doing so, won the game. As we talk about what the church is, let’s go back to the basics of it. Let’s be reintroduced to the real church. This diagram will help us explore what the church is and it’s relationships. You cannot fully describe someone without taking into account their relationships. If you were to describe me you may say that I am a black man who works as a pastor. You may say that I am relatively tall. But that doesn’t fully tell who I am. I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a friend. You can describe me based on what I do but also based on my relationships. And that’s what we will do with the church. Our diagram shows the following about the church. • The church is the body of Christ filled with the Spirit of God. • The church is called and sent by God with the gospel into the world to advance the Kingdom of God. Over the next few issues, we will take a look at these elements and their relationship to what the church is. In this article we will look at this aspect of the church: The church is the body of Christ filled with the Spirit of God. Here is what we understand about the church and how that relates to us: The Church is Formed by God. 1 Corinthians 12 talks about the church being the Body of Christ and it goes on to explain what that means. It tells us that the church is a collection of people that have been brought together by God. God is the one that has planned it.
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God is the one that has molded us together. Verse 18 says “But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them as he chose.” The church is made up of people. But not just people who sit together in a building for a couple hours each week to have an experience. No the church is knit and bonded and bound together. We are joined together and so in relationship with one another that the way God describes us is a body. You can’t go off alone and do your thing. You can’t be passive and a spectator in what the body is doing because a body is a unit. There is a fallacy that if you want to lose weight in a particular part of your body that you do exercises that will reduce that part. So you have people who will do a whole bunch of sit ups to reduce their mid section. But what they don’t realize is the body functions as a unit. To lose weight in your stomach you exercise your whole body. God describes the church as a body of people together. It’s not a building. It’s a body. One of the things that means is that if you are a part of the church, God is the one that has placed you as a part of this body. You are not here as a part of the body by accident. You have a role and a function. You are a part of the body. What we also need to recognize is as God forms the body, everyone else that God brings has been fashioned by God into the same body. Even those who may be at odds with, God has molded them into His church. The Church is Fueled by God. Acts 1:8 – “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth.” Jesus is addressing the body of believers that he has formed and he tells them that they will get power. The power for the church to do what God has called her to do comes from the Holy Spirit. The spirit of God enables the church to do what God has called the church to do. When we read the book of Acts we see the church exercising power because of the presence of the Holy Spirit. The church is active and in motion. The reason the church is so powerful is it is demonstrating the same formula at work that God used when He formed the first man. In Genesis 2, God formed the body of man. Then God breathe in his nostrils the breath of life. The word used in Genesis for breath is the same as Spirit. Body + Spirit = Living Soul. Well God has formed another body. It’s this thing called the church. It’s the Body of Christ. But then in John 20:22 we find that Jesus does something powerful. With the body that he has been forming. The Bible says “And when he said this, he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Body of Christ + Spirit of God = Living Church. And that’s what the church is. It’s a people formed by God together in a relationship bond that is like a body. Then God infuses that body of people with the power of His Holy Spirit so they can have life. “This is the church.” --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Kymone Hinds, his wife and their three energetic children live in Memphis, TN. He pastors two churches - Overton Park SDA and Journey Fellowship. He also speaks and writes regularly on different life issues. You can connect with Kymone via twitter (@kymonehinds) or on his blog at kymonehinds.com
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BAYDA 2016 I
t was a whirlwind of activities during the United Youth Congress event held in Virginia Beach, VA April 13-17, 2016.
B2B was on location as an exhibitor to engage with our readers. Our goal was to increase awareness about Back2Basics and have people subscribe onsite. We had a total of 176 new subscribers. I was excited to try out our selfie booth and have some fun with the delegates and other attendees. It was a big hit! Another fun feature was the B2B geofilter on Snapchat. Over the course of three days, we had 244 snaps seen by 10,139 people. Thank God for the power of social media! In addition to new readers, we have a lot of exciting new features for you in the upcoming issues of B2B as a result from this trip including Laos in Harmony, Dale Brown & Truth, Brian Thomas and Israel Houghton. Stay tuned! An interesting story took place in Virginia Beach. While I was photographing a group of young men at the booth, I paused and had a conversation with them. While my back was turned, my phone was taken from the booth. For the longest I thought I had just misplaced it. There were many props that it could've been under and people continued to rotate in and out of the photo booth. I'd searched for my phone in-between sessions... under the table, in my bag, on the floor... nothing turned up after an hour of searching. My next step was to try "Find my iPhone." It wasn't until a day later that I got an email saying my phone was at the Michigan Airport. Wowza! That was a long way from Virginia. My Godfather, Nathan Roston, started the detective work and helped me track my phone down. I received another alert from "Find my iPhone," this time with a residential address. After going to the Youth Director in that area, he connected us to the Pastor in that region. Ironically, the pastor happened to be our cover guy from the latest issue of B2B. God works in mysterious ways. After talking to the pastor, he said he may know the person who took the phone. After his investigative work, my phone was ultimately returned to me.
CLICK FOR MORE PHOTOS The theme of the gathering was "4Given." In the latest issue of B2B we talk about not being perfect, but being forgiven. This ordeal reminded me that we as Christians imperfect and unworthy, saved by grace, ultimately seeking after God. 8 | www.back2basicsmag.com
UNCOMFORTABLE TOUR A
ndy Mineo AKA "Mr. You Can't Stop Me" embarked on the Uncomfortable tour that made stops in 25 cities. Having graced the cover of B2B in March 2014, we were sure to catch Andy's show while he was in Denver, CO on May 4, 2016. A Christian rapper on a mission to bring people out of their comfort zones, it was clear to see that Andy is doing an amazing work for God. The show in one word was lit. Lit is used to describe an atmosphere that is hype and full of energy. Mineo has a reputation of selling out venues with standing room only crowds. Just six months ago he performed in Denver and the crowd was just as large and diverse this time around. As I stood there observing the scene, I thought of how music is such an awesome tool God uses to bring people together.
Fellow lyricists, Propaganda and Wordsplayed opened for Andy. Through the lyrics of their music, the three artists came together night after night and used the stage for ministry. Ministry is seen as service to God and to other people in His name. It is something we are all commanded to do. When Jesus said we are to love our neighbors as ourselves, He pointed us to ministry. Christian ministry is an attitude and lifestyle of serving others. Be the youest you you can possibly be. Maybe we can dream of the next four years being great and we can celebrate. -Propaganda From beginning to end the visuals were both intense and thought provoking. It caught me off guard during the performance of "Desperados" when Andy had a gun pointed at him on screen and the man pulled the trigger to Andy's head. "Bang, bang... how do you terrify a man that is scared to die? While I got a mic, I'm going to air the lies that paralyze my people. I live by the fear of God." An appeal was made by Andy's wife, Cristina, to sponsor a child through World Vision. World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ, we serve alongside the poor and oppressed as a demonstration of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unconditional love for all people. In Mineo's song "Uncomfortable" he starts by saying "Nobody told me you could die like this, nobody told me you could die from bliss... We never ever saw it coming... Corrupted by the comfort we love." This track speaks about how you can never be happy if you're always afraid to let go of what's comfortable, familiar. Sometimes, those are the things that hurt us. One of my favorite tracks is "Know That's Right." I love it because it says "If you stay ready, you don't have to get ready." For me that's motivation. At the end of the song it says "I know where I'm going... I'm going home." In another song titled "Love", Mineo shares his love story and celebrates being a newlywed. The song itself is speaking to the word, love. "You motivate my whole mission. When I think about God, you the definition. Why I never see you hang with the religions? I feel you when you know I'm forgiven." Throughout the Uncomfortable album Andy reminds us that to grow as individuals, we should always try to challenge ourselves to step out of our comfort zone and do something more. Life is a journey, so why not make the most out of it? Don't get caught running www.back2basicsmag.com the |9 rat race. Know who's you are. - Andy Mineo
Welcome to The Plug what everyone is searching for Brian Thomas came up having the world at his feet. In his adolescent years, life took a turn of events and changed not only the family dynamic, but ultimately Brian's life forever. 10 | www.back2basicsmag.com
n his autobiography, The Plug, Brian goes into detail about how one decision made by his father to quit his six figure job and write a book that God called him to write completely flipped the script. His family went from thriving and having it all to complete poverty in just a few months.
As a musician, Brian uses his talents in writing lyrics and performing powerful songs that impact an entire generation. Both the book and the music tell Brian's story of redemption from self destruction into the loving arms of Christ. Flashback to 10 years ago, Brian describes himself as being "thoroughly confused." His mind was on getting money by any means necessary. He was not thinking about people or his future. Having been raised in the church, Brian received more love from the streets. The men that he looked up to introduced him to a lifestyle that consumed him since the age of 15. An opportunity to sell marijuana led to selling cocaine that led to a vicious cycle of drugs, alcohol, money and sex. Brian was spinning out of control, yet searching for change. It took several encounters with God and the the law to convict Brian to change. Even after witnessing God's grace first hand, on more than one occasion, deep down Brian didn't trust God and was scared to change. One reason why people resist change is because they focus on what they have to give up instead of what they have to gain. When Brian made the decision that his past would not define him, it was after God gave Brian the specific sign that he asked for. As he sat in a prison holding cell he said "Lord if it's my time, don't let anyone answer the phone, but my father." The sign was so clear and undeniable that Brian made the bold move to live for Christ. He said this is not how the story is going to end. God took Brian through a process similar to rehab. "Everything I had built up myself had to be stripped down," explains Brian. We get consumed with trying to do things ourselves, that we leave no room to see God work. When you see Brian today, the difference is that he is connected to God first. He recognizes that the pain, struggles, trials, hardships and traumatic experiences have prepared him for the purpose he was created to carry out. "I don't give up." Now as a man of God living in his purpose, Brian is intentionally testifying all over the world. As a member of The Grace Tour team, Brian's goal is to impact as many lives as he is purposed to. "I want to fully maximize the gifts He has given me," says Brian. He gets back to basics in his walk with Christ by surrounding himself with people who keep him grounded and are more humble and powerful than himself. "We are agents of change creating positive energy and atmospheres. Greatness is inside of you."
"I'm not a prisoner no more. I'm forgiven. Chains can't hold me. I'm truly living. He's risen me from the dead... I don't apologize for the way I was living because without it, how would I know I've been forgiven?" www.back2basicsmag.com | 11
As a newlywed, Brian met his wife, Sophy, online. Their relationship is an example of how powerful prayer is and how God has a blessing waiting for you when you are faithful to Him first. "I'm so thankful to my wife and the Queen she is, that has brought out the King in me." With an entrepreneurial spirit, the Thomas' started an organization called Be The Next Level (B.T.N.L.) and created their program entitled “The Activate Series.” The objective of their company is to show that there is nothing you can’t do to overcome with the proper perspective, attitude, effort, and spirit behind you.
Stay connected with Next Level B...
NextLevel_B www.briandthomas.org 12 | www.back2basicsmag.com
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Practical Tips for spending quality time in the Word of God Adapted from Waterforthethirsty.com
When it comes to reading your Bible, how many times have you told yourself, “maybe later?” For many, a consistent Bible study routine is hard to maintain. We set out with our reading goals eager to get started. For whatever reason, we get distracted and it does not take long to fall off the wagon. Frustration takes over and we’re back where we started... not reading God’s word. How can we overcome this cycle? We have a checklist just for you. Whether you grew up studing your Bible or not. These tips apply for all.
Let’s get back to basics in the word of God! 14 | www.back2basicsmag.com
Start at ANY time
Begin with today’s date and go from there. In a year from today you would have completed the circle and read the Bible in its entirety!
Focus on Today!
Miss a day or 2 or 3? Skip those days. Then later on in the week or on the weekend, if you have some free time, you can use that time to catch up.
Remember, it takes effort on your part
So plan accordingly. Develop a strategic approach. Wise treasure hunters are not random or haphazard. Set a time that works realistically and stick to it.
Keep in mind the purpose of the collection of writings: Revelation.
“God in his sovereign love has purposed to bring the sinful world of his fallen creation to the redeemed world of his new creation.” Christopher Wright We do ourselves a serious injustice by reading bits and pieces of the Bible in isolation. A comprehensive study is truly the most effective way to understand and appreciate the depth of the Father’s ‘sovereign love’ for us.
Change your perspective
From: Simply reading / studying the Bible To: Spending alone time every day with the God I love.
What are you looking for? -- S.O.A.P.
Scripture Observation: e.g. Evidence of God’s love… Application: 2 Tim 3:16 - Believe. Stop doing. Do Better. Start doing. Prayer
How clear is the text?
Versions matter. Pick a suitable version. Study Bibles help too.
Pens, paper, highlighters. Keep a log. Memorize.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
That’s how we learn. Caution: Not everyone is equipped to answer your questions. Choose wisely and don’t just take anyone’s word for it. Check what they say against the Word for yourself!. (Isaiah 8:20)
Partner & Group
Jesus did not send his disciples out solo. Make use of / create a forum for dialogue and the exchange of perspectives.
Share what you find
Testify. Witness. Teaching others all the things He commanded (The Great Commission) is the best way to learn and remember. #beststuffintheworldtodaycafe. www.back2basicsmag.com | 15
Rules for Success By Jerome “Romey Rome” Williams presented at Ohio University Kushinda Graduation Ceremony When I was asked to speak at this program, my first question was “well what do you think the students want to hear?” The response was “We all are graduating and nervous about what’s next… Can you help to prepare us for what’s next?” So I thought about this long and hard and tried to come up with what I thought would prepare you all. How many of you are familiar with Evan Carmichaels Top 10 Rules for Success? Well for those of you who are not familiar, I recommend that you go on YouTube and look this up and find the rules of Oprah, Beyoncé, P. Diddy, Jay-Z, Denzel Washington, and others. In the meantime I will offer you “Romey Rome’s Top Ten Rules for Success.” 1. Pray- I don’t know who leads your life, but God is the leader of mine. It’s been my personal experience that while you’re supposed to be explicit in what you pray for; I have learned that what I’m praying for may not be what’s best for me. So now my prayer is “Lord, let your will be your way.” He already has it figured out and I’m just a passenger along for the ride in this thing called life. Let Him be the guide and He will never steer you wrong. 2. Be Yourself- So many people think you have to be a certain person at work in corporate America, which is normally nowhere near who they really are. I’m not saying don’t maintain a level of professionalism and dress the part, but let me be honest, they know when you are not being your authentic self. Think about it this way, how you start is how you have to finish. So let your personality shine, ladies embrace your natural curls, fellas let your work product speak to your capability, AND not the color of your skin. 3. Be Goal Oriented- Ever since I decided to major in accounting, I had a goal to be at 6 figures by the age of 30. That means make at least $100,000/year. Sounds like an aggressive goal for a little black boy born in inner city Cleveland, Ohio to a 17 year old single mother huh? Well I stand before you at 29 years old with that goal achieved. I don’t tell you that to brag, I tell you that to show you the possibility. I sat in the same seat as you just 7 years ago. 16 | www.back2basicsmag.com
4. Stay Involved- People probably told you all to be involved in High School so that you can use it for your college applications. The same people probably also told you to be involved during your college years so that you can use it to get your first job. But don’t let it stop there. Continue to be involved. I have served on Board of Directors for non-profits, Executive Board Member for the Charlotte chapter of the National Association of Black Accountants, and as a graduate member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Through my involvement in NABA, my network has grown and I landed my most recent job at Wells Fargo Bank through my involvement and the relationships I have built. The saying “it’s not always about what you know… but who you know” stands true. 5. Know Your Worth- As a people, it has been studied and proven that we do not negotiate our salaries when given a job offer. And I hate to say it but women especially black women typically do not negotiate. If a company has given you an offer, typically they want you as an employee as much as you want them to be your employer. If there is anything about your job offer that you feel you want changed including salary, vacation time, and so forth don’t be afraid to inquire and negotiate. www.back2basicsmag.com | 17
For my most recent job offer, my wife thought some of my demands were pretty aggressive as did I actually. But I asked for 10 more thousand on my base salary, and an additional 10 thousand in a sign on bonus, and for my start date to be pushed back a week so I could go on vacation in LA before starting my new job. The worst thing that they could’ve said was no. But remember closed mouths don’t get fed and I was given everything I asked for. 6. Get a Mentor- Find someone in the area that you are interested in going into. Not just anyone though; someone who you are comfortable with, someone who is at a higher level than you (And I say that so they can advise you on how to reach the next level). Use this person to seek advice, to ask questions, and to guide you through your career. I have several mentors, some that are new and some that I have had for years. And I call, email and text them continuously asking questions and seeking advice. The story I just told you about in regards to negotiating my salary came from my mentor from my previous employer, who’s a great friend today. She told me to ask for all that and I bust out laughing on the other end of the phone. But her advice turned out to be just what I needed to do to reach my goal I told you all about earlier. 7. Continue Your Education- When I sat in your seat 7 years ago, I was like I’m never going back to school. I’m never buying another textbook, renting one, or getting one from Ohio Link. I was done. Then fast forward a year later and I was an MBA student. And then fast forward another two years and I was studying to be a certified internal auditor. Continuing education doesn’t mean going back to school necessarily. But attend conferences and trainings that will enhance your skill set and obtain certifications in whatever profession you are in. I say all of this to say, continuing your education and expanding your knowledge helps to set you apart from your peers or others in pursuit of the same job or promotion. I worked for the #1 public accounting firm PwC and was promoted to Senior Associate after only 1 year. When I received news of my promotion and my annual review, some of the highlights were my personality, my relationship building with our clients, and my involvement in firm activities and other professional organizations, as well as my eagerness to expand my knowledge of internal auditing. 8. Find Balance- I live by the motto of “Work Hard and Play Harder.” Whatever it is that you like to do, use it to reward yourself for all of your hard work! Ladies go get a mani and pedi. Fellas go watch the game with the fellas. My thing is traveling. I love to travel. My next big trip is to Antigua in July. So I use that as my motivation to continue to work hard so I can continue to afford experiences like that. 18 | www.back2basicsmag.com
9. Give Back- You never know the impact that you will have on others through giving back. It’s something that I pride myself in doing, due to the impact that others have had on me through giving back. One of the best examples is the reason why I am an accountant today. I attended a free camp at Ohio State University hosted by the National Association of Black Accountants called the Accounting Career Awareness Program (ACAP). I got to meet so many black accountants who all took different career paths, but had one thing in common and that was an accounting degree. Fast forward and guess who has been the Director of that camp in Charlotte for the last 2 years? That’s right…me! It’s Funny how life comes full circle and I’m able to give to those students what was given to me when I attended the same camp in the summer of 2004. 10. Pray Again- All things are possible through Him. And it is ok to just thank Him for all that He has done for you. I stand in front of you today as a true testimony of the work that God can do.
Everyone has a story. A different story. But a story nonetheless. Mine is a someone who came from nothing and who has continued to work hard because I always knew there was more to life than what I was exposed to. And no one necessarily laid out rules to success for me like I just did. I had to figure it out on my own. So my hope is that you will take what I shared with you tonight and apply it to your lives. And remember our stories are different. But everyone has one. So I hope that these Top 10 Rules to Success will help to enhance you and your story and maybe one day you can come back to Kushinda and speak to the graduating class and help them to enhance theirs.
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