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Who’s in the mag?

Table of Contents On the Cover The Patience of Love Date Night on a Dime Love Handle Love: Quick Home Workout Having Grace with a Little Lace Sweet Treats for Two

In Every Issue Letter from the Editor Ericka Everyday Last Supper Recipe Inspired Entertaining In His Fashion

Special Content

Love Is

I Never Knew Love Changing the World One Woman at a Time Inspiring Love Story Little Trinkets of Love Expanding Their Love: One Family’s Adoption Journey Loving Purpose Credits

our contibutors

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Ericka Ellis has always possessed a warm and bubbly spirit that people seemed to naturally gravitate towards. Without even realizing it, her love to compliment and encourage her peers would eventually lead to her purposed destiny. Through writing, she discovered her passion of motivating and inspiring women to grow by self-reflection. You can follow Ericka’s thoughts from her heart at: http://www.

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Vernon Fox is a minister and 7 year NFL Veteran. Vernon is a motivational speaker, local TV personality, and runs Victory by Faith football camp. He and his family reside in Las Vegas where he is active in his church and community. You can book Vernon for your next event or check out his latest endeavors at vernonfox (dot) com.

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Laura Harders is grateful to be a child of God, wife, mom and multi-tasker in our Nation’s Capital. She authors the frugal blog,BeltwayBargainMom, plus enjoys social media consulting. Her favorite Bible verse is Psalm 55:22, a reminder to cast our cares on the Lord and He will faithfully sustain us.



Letter from the Editor

Welcome to the first full issue of Christ Centered Home Magazine. It’s no secret that since we are in the month of February that we will be focusing on love until the next issue comes out. Love is the foundation of Christianity and it is why he died on the cross for each and every one of us. When I ponder that amazing act, it honestly gives me the chills to think that someone would care that much about me and others who weren’t even in existence when he decided to do it. Honestly, I believe it is impossible for most humans to comprehend that type of love and many of us spend our lives trying to find it and even once we do lack the capacity to fully embrace it on a continuous basis. We plan to continue the discussion about this over the next few months and we look forward to more insight on how we can accept God’s love and in turn give it more freely to those around us who desperately need it.

With that being said, I’d like to let you know a bit about who we are. Christ Centered Home was created for women like me, who love the Lord, love our families, but understand that we are still young women. Therefore we still enjoy hanging out with our girlfriends, great entertainment, and talking about relevant topics we all can relate to such as marriage and parenting. We also believe that in order to live long and strong we have to take care of the temples God gave us. With that being said, we will include informative health and fitness articles. We believe that you do not have to be boring, doughty, or dress like we’re going into solitary confinement to enjoy our life with Christ so we discuss fashion trends and looks. We also believe that you don’t have to conform to mainstream media that tells us we have to look like we’re headed to the club to be fashionable, attractive, or keep our husband’s attention. We’re more than just Christian women, wives, and mothers, but many of us are gifted, intelligent, educated, and business savvy women as well. We can show the world that our voice is powerful and that we can make a difference not only in our homes but in our communities too. Ultimately we know that we cannot do all these things and experience abundant living without Christ in the Center of our lives. This magazine was created with you in mind and we want you to feel at home and free to express your opinion whether you agree or disagree with the topic at hand. We understand that we can’t please everybody, nor do we strive to do so. However, we definitely want to establish an open and honest dialogue with our readers, create a huge community of girlfriends! Once again, I’d like to thank my family and friends for their support. To all of our new contributors and partners, I believe the best is yet to come and I’m so delighted that God has allowed our paths to cross. God is forever faithful and I know I’m personally grateful for the love he shows me each and every day. I’ve had the love of a natural father unlike some and even that can’t compare to love I’ve received from him. I can’t help but think how many lives will continue to be changed and would be changed if they only had a small taste of what his love offers. I pray that you walk away from this issue with your heart full of his love and a determination to love others more deliberately & intentionally than ever before. Blessings,

Winter M. Harris

For questions/comments regarding this issue of Christ Centered Home Magazine, please e-mail the editor at:

To book Winter for your next event or if you have a writing request, please contact us at: booking

1) Love my family, they crack me up!

5 Things I


2) Love my church, hard to find a place where you feel so at home. 3) Love myself, because at this point in my life, caring about what others think of me is becoming moot point. 4) Love BLT’s right now, & I’m not pregnant either! 5) Love Pumps! Heels are a short girl’s best friend.


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The Patience of

LOVE By Vernon Fox


It’s that time of year when everyone wants to talk about love. Sometimes I wonder if the majority of the human race truly understands love. The bulk of us tend to view the idea of love through our obscure viewpoints, based upon past experience and our own personal biases. This selfish, guarded, conditional, unforgiving, and safe love we offer others is far from the idea of the love that our God expresses towards us. We have heard of the descriptions of love from the original Greek connotation of the word. There is Pheleo which is the type of love (if we can even really call it that), that stems from a strong liking or having affection for something or someone. It has the ability to change if those factors change. The type of love that literally describes God is Agape, which is absolute love. It’s unchanging! It’s not an impulse generated from feelings, yet it is a deliberate choice. It’s hard to imagine a love like this, because we as human beings are moved and 4

motivated by our feelings in most cases. So why I am writing about this and giving you a lesson in love? I don’t think I truly learned how to love until first coming into a relationship with God the Father, acquiring a wife, and children of my own. Of all of the descriptive fruits of real love that are given to us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7, the one I think I have learned the most about in the 8 years of marriage I have been blessed to experience, is the patience of love. True enough I think it goes hand in hand with learning how not to be self-seeking, as the scripture describes, but it by far was the largest area of change that I needed to take place in me. I’ve learned that when you truly love someone you can deal with everything that comes with who they are. You see, when you really Agape someone, you can patiently and even passionately love them through areas that you may feel like they don’t measure up in. By the way, don’t get so high-minded as to think that you are so perfect yourself. This is a two-way street with this patience thing, and while you patiently love them through their seemingly

intolerable ways, you’d best believe they are filtering through your mishaps as well. What a lesson love teaches us about caring so deeply for someone else, that we will disregard every so-called unacceptable thing about them, because our measure of love overrides any area where they may not meet our opinionated standards. The type of love I have grown to embrace for my beautiful wife is so much more mature than the premature state of love that I once only knew. Do we get frustrated with one another? Absolutely, but we understand that in order to love how God commands us to, patience is still a necessary virtue. We have learned that when you tap into Agape Love, you press into the pulse of love that God truly desires. ~Vernon Fox





By Sheldon K. Bass

You know that you are in love when you desire an intense closeness with that one person, not spending time, but investing it in each other. You have no greater yearning than to dwell in every moment together, to just cherish being with them, drawing your happiness from seeing them happy. Their interests become your interest. Your joy is found in seeing the sparkling light of joy in their eyes. The fire of life itself burns brightly in your chest, and all of the colors you behold are clearer, crisper, and brighter than ever before. Your steps are light. You smile for no apparent reason. Your contentment is satisfied in your love for them, just you and your other, living for one another, until the two are forever one.Â

of an ardent love when doubt tries to sneak in, or when circumstances try to dictate our responses. Life is sweeter when it is shared with another, and deeper joys are realized. Dreams become greater when two, together, envision them. Fears lose potency when they are shared with the one who walks with you. Have faith in your decision to love the one who is yours, and hold nothing back. We embrace them tightly, yet we also let them be who they are, for that is who we decided to love. Allowing the flood to wash over us, love carries us into their arms forever. Love is the greatest thing there is. This is the pure and passionate type of love that Jesus, our Savior has for us, and that He desires for us to have for Him. God has an intense yearning in His big broken heart for each one of His children. He wants to be close to us, and to take us in Him arms and love us...for all eternity.

As two become one, there is great concern that our loved one might be hurt, or taken from us. This is not a weakness; but a motivation, a reason for our sure resolve to be strong for them, and to always be the one our other needs us to be. Love always believes, and has a constant trust. It maintains openness and honesty. And loves knows that clear communication is vital for the health of every relationship. Love allows much room for faults and mistakes. Patience and forgiveness are always present, and they can re-kindle the leaping flames

God created man and women to complete each other, so that we may be whole and fulfilled. He sanctified this union called marriage, making it a holy ordinance. God intended for us to learn through our love for our mates all about His love for us. Throughout the bible He paints the picture of our relationship to Him as a marriage. As the Church, we are the bride of Christ. 6

Love Is

Love does not judge another’s heart When sin causes lives to fall apart

By Lynn Gipson

It’s the look of mercy upon His face But I never knew love

Love was, is, and will be forever

Until I knew His grace

As Jesus Christ’s unselfish Endeavor His abiding love has no beginning or end

Love is patient for those who don’t know

But I never knew love

Christ lives within wherever they go

Until He called me Friend

They need only to whisper softly His name But I never knew love

Love is willing, as He was that day

Until Jesus came

When Caesar’s army took Him away To pay the price of my sins untold But I never knew love Until He saved my soul


Date Night Dime on a


By Laura Harders

Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Perhaps you enjoyed a night out on the town, flowers, candy, or a romantic evening without the kids. You probably took a pause from your normal, busy life to celebrate the love in your life and God’s goodness. In all the excitement (and perhaps overcommercialization) of Valentine’s Day, have you ever stopped to think of how we sometimes build up one day so much and neglect every other day of the year? I admit, it’s easy to get caught up in life’s hecticness and forget to purposefully spend time strengthening our marriage on days besides Valentine’s Day, our anniversary, or a marriage retreat. Sometimes it’s due to busy schedules, lack of finances, lack of a good babysitter, or other reason, but regardless, many Christian couples find themselves struggling to spend quality time together, continuing to actively build a marriage that lasts. My husband and I will be celebrating our 8 year anniversary next month, and although I don’t have all the answers on how to cultivate the best marriage, I do have some good news for you: often times just setting aside the time to invest in your relationship, putting your husband first (after God), and being creative can make all the difference! You don’t need to spend a lot of money to shower your spouse with love and enjoy each other’s company. I’m blessed to share some simple tips on how you regularly can enjoy a frugal date night with your husband. Save Money On A Babysitter: Exchange babysitting services with another family. Once a month you can watch their kids so they can enjoy a date night, and they return the favor. Find out if any local church or organizations have ministries or opportunities for parent’s night out. Here in Northern VA, I know of at least one local church that offers free child care so parents can enjoy a date night, but it fills up fast! Ask if nearby relatives can babysit your kids. Oftentimes family will help out for free, or you can exchange babysitting services for helping them out in another way. Participate in a local babysitting co-op or start one in your neighborhood. A benefit of joining a co-op is that you know your child will be looked after by another parent you know and trust. Save Money When Eating Out: Use a coupon. Purchase a daily deal site voucher. Check in using 4Square to see if there are any special offers.

Save up any gift cards that you have received, and use those for date nights. Sign up for that restaurant’s e-mail club and “like” on Facebook to find out about special offers and get access to exclusive coupons. Save Money By Dining At Home: You won’t need to hire a babysitter so you will save money on child care, plus you’ll also save money by cooking your own dinner instead of paying to eat at a restaurant. Set the mood with candles, your best china, flowers, music and other things you love and already have on hand. Or do something completely different and set up a picnic on the floor! Plan the meal, based on sale items or items in your pantry or freezer. I wait until steak goes on sale for $7/lb or less and lobster tails $6 or less. You can also create some fancy pasta dishes or your significant other’s all-time favorite meal. Prep the food ahead of time. I know it may not seem like much of a date night if you have to slave away in the kitchen. So plan ahead and do as much prep work in advance. Perhaps you can start preparing the dish the night before and place in the refrigerator to resume and bake the next night. Or maybe you can make the dish the week before, freeze and then reheat on date night. Another option is taking advantage of crockpot recipes which allow you to slow cook your dinner throughout the day! After the kids go to bed you can watch a movie, play a board game, sit out on the porch, dance, watch and listen to a concert online or on DVD, study a passage in Scripture together, or write each other love notes. No matter how you end up spending your date night, I do have one additional tip for all you social (network) butterflies: Be sure to turn off your devices! In our digital age it seems like we are constantly plugged in. Purpose to make your date night a quality time in which you give each other your undivided attention. No need to check Facebook, e-mail, tweet, or Instagram your meal! You’ll find that making it a priority to pray for your spouse and your marriage, devoting quality time to deepening your relationship, and finding simple and inexpensive ways to enjoy date nights will help you move toward oneness and strengthen your marriage. For more of Laura’s Money saving tips, please visit her at:


Having Grace with a

Little Lace


I’ve always been a DIY kinda girl. I grew up with a mom that always made homemade play-dough, birthday cakes and sewed our dance costumes. So I learned to sew a straight line at a very early in age. It wasn’t until spring of 2010 - when I was 5 months pregnant. I was at a routine checkup and I was told that I was in very premature labor and would deliver a baby in 24hrs that wouldn’t survive. I was rushed into emergency surgery, and then there I was - lying horizontal in the hospital for the rest of my pregnancy. The days were L O N G - and since I couldn’t even sit up, I just had to do something with my hands! So I started with a vision to crochet this tiny baby girl a blanket. And thus started and spurred my desire to sew, sew, sew. I lived in the hospital for 2 weeks, before doctors could no longer stop the labor. Our very tiny but oh so perfect baby girl was born, and the Lord took her strait to Heaven. {{It is out of this great tragedy - that has come my greatest victory}} Late last fall, I listed my first pair of women’s boot socks. In a matter of days - I was overwhelmed with orders that I could not possibly fulfill on my own. Now I have a small team of friends and family that work out of our homes busy sewing and shipping our lacey goodness to you!

rest for 4 months! Balance is tough. But there is no way I would be able to run this business without the support of my husband. He has been my number 1 fan...and has helped out so much with all the recent changes in our lives. I also would not be able to do this without the friends and family that have come on board with my Grace and Lace team. They have stepped up and have worked in helping me meet this crazy demand!

How did you reconcile going into business for yourself and what challenges did you face? I call Grace& Lace my accidental company because I didn’t set out to have a business. I was just doing something i loved and decided to see if it would sell and before i knew exploded. Every day is a challenge from meeting the demand of all the orders, hiring more help, and continuing to design.

What is your hope for the business? My hope is that the Lord would continue to lead it where he wants to take us. It is truly by HIS GRACE that in 1 year of business we have sold over 25,000 leg warmers and boot socks and are in over 150 stores worldwide. I just want HIM to be glorified in all that we do. I also have lofty goals of being able to help and bless others and those in need through this business. I’ve spend a lot of time on the mission field overseas and feel blessed that I can help others have that experience as well.

How did you know for sure it was God directing you to move forward with this business? I knew it was God because there was and is no way that this could have all happened within the last year without him. I’ve always prayed that I would be able to stay home and raise my children and still have some sort of income on the side. And suddenly...He gave me Grace and Lace.

What advice would you give to other aspiring Mompreneurs? Advice....Make the desires of your heart known. You never know what the Lord might just drop in your lap! Continue to be faithful in the little things and He will give you more! Remember: In a man’s heart he plans his course, but the Lord directs his steps! Prov. 16:9

How do you balance owning your own business and being a wife and mom? Balance...whew...that’s tough. I have a 21month old little girl, and a 1 month old newborn baby boy. AND...on top of that I came off a very high risk pregnancy where I was on strict bed

You shop at Grace & Lace here: GraceandLaceCo


Love story

My Grandparent’s By Kendra Stamy

When and where did you meet? After The Girl graduated in 61 she headed out to California with four others. The five stopped in KS for the night and the friends there quickly called in some YF (young folks/youth group) to meet us. Mr. Wonderful came in with a girl in slacks. Hardly anyone wore slacks back then. Then they left and came back with another girl. One of the guys would tease Mr. Wonderful about The Girl and he would chase him out the door. They would ride away on a motorcycle for a little, and then come back. The Girl was 18 at the time and Mr. Wonderful was 16.

great Uncle Alvin and The Girl went to Ks right before Thanksgiving Before The Girl went back home, Mr Wonderful put his arms around her and said I love you. Will you marry me? She said yes, if he would fix his own onions. What was going on in the world/your lives while you were dating? Who knows? Ohh! John Kennedy was president. The drug thalidomide is recalled when it became linked with birth defects (minus arms or legs) in thousands of children worldwide. John Glenn Was the first American in orbit and circled the earth three times. The first US rocket Ranger IV lands on the moon Polaroid introduces color film prints which develop in 60 seconds The first transatlantic television transmission occurs via the Telstar Satellite Mariner II, the first interplanetary probe, reaches Venus introduces the first industrial robot to perform repetitive manufacturing tasks U.S. Air Force investigates using lasers to intercept missiles The first use of silicone breast implants by Houston plastic surgeons Thanks to internet for these, although The Girl knew about John Kennedy, John Glenn and Polaroid. Thalidomide was learned later as well as silicone implants.

Do you remember what your first impression was of grandpa? The Girl thought he was cute. And she liked the way he looked at her. Do you remember your first date? The next year Mr. Wonderful and The Girl met again at the church conference. On Sat night 3 guys drove by where The Girl and 2 of her friends were. One of the guys was The Girl’s brother, one was Mr. Wonderful, and one was the driver. The 3 girls rode with them to get a bite to eat. Split company, of course, but The Girl helped Mr. Wonderful eat his fries. Then he ordered more to share, they shared several orders of fries that night! The next evening at the gathering, The Girl noticed Mr. Wonderful watching her a lot. When the girls got in a car to go to where they were going to spend the night, a group of boys came over and lifted the car up so it wouldn’t move. One of the guys tried to get the keys. The driver pulled the keys out quickly and threw them in the back. They landed in The Girl’s lap. To have some fun, She threw them over the car to where Mr. Wonderful was standing. Everyone was standing around and nothing was happening. The Girl realized that Mr. Wonderful may not have seen them. So She got out of the car, went around the car and asked Mr. Wonderful if he had them and he didn’t. So the guys pushed the car backward and then forward to shine the car lights where Mr. Wonderful had been standing when The Girl threw the keys. Then everyone looked for the keys until they found them.

What was something you really enjoyed doing while you were dating? Visiting with other couples. What advice would you give couples who are just starting their lives together? The best advice I could give anyone is to know and love the Lord and make sure their to-be does too. Praying together and reading the Bible together before marriage would be a must in my book, with promises to continue praying and reading at least once a day after marriage. Without missing! Another thing... If you look at the boy’s dad, or the girls mom, you may get a pretty good idea of what kind of person you will married to in older years (This one kind of makes sense, I look a lot like both my mom and grandma).

What did you do? The next day when The Girl got to the conference, it seemed like everyone she met said, someone is looking for you! Mr. Wonderful did find The Girl before church started and they went in together ( sign that you are dating) They also went to services together in a meeting house that evening and then out for a snack. The fast food place had lights that shed a green light on their skin and The Girl looked at Mr. Wonderful and said & YOU are Green! Later on that evening Mr. Wonderful put his arms around The Girl and told her he loved her.

I also asked her if they had a photo of their first car.

How long did you date before you were engaged? It was almost a year

We actually didn’t have a car at the time of our marriage. Mr. Wonderful’s dad had bought a brand new 62 Chevy and the 55 that he had, he let Mr. Wonderful drive, and then gave it to us after we were married. The value of that car at that time was nothing like what one like it would cost today if it was in good shape! Dimes have changed.

How often did you get to see each other? Summer Mr. Wonderful came to VA. The Girl went to KS on Thanksgiving, He went to VA on Christmas and She went to see Mr. Wonderful at Easter. Then Mr. Wonderful drove by himself to VA to get married on the tenth day after his 18th birthday. Many trips were made by train (fun!) And The Girl’s brother, often helped out with traveling as well. We did a lot of phoning and wrote letters almost every day. How did he pop the question? Mr. Wonderful came to VA in the summer with Kendra’s husband’s

Ok, so seriously, isn’t this story just awesome? I remember a couple stories that I was told when I was younger, such as her helping eat all of Grandpa’s fries, but then other parts were new to me. I must say, I really enjoyed their story, and I hope you do as well.


Read the Full Love Story Series!



Prejudice of Love

Love is not an emotion; it is putting the right attitudes IN motion. It ushers us into a place that overcomes trivial arguments, fights, and disappointments. It is a strong devotion and dedication that helps keep us committed to each other and issues that may try to cause division. It is caring about a person more than the issue at hand. It is abandoning OUR feelings and yielding to the other persons. Pride is one of the main culprits of us neglecting to love the way we ought to. It states, “I am right and I will prove I’m right, regardless of the consequences or how it makes you feel.” With a mindset as such, any relationship will soon fail. The Word clearly states that “pride comes before destruction….” (Proverbs 16:18). Every moment I can remember being prideful in a discussion with my husband, shortly thereafter, an argument would occur. It never failed. You can’t resolve anything when pride is in the perimeter of a disagreement. Why? Because pride and truth can’t coexist. Pride and truth can NEVER agree. If we maintain an attitude of pride, it only hinders coming to a full resolve of the conflict and sometimes adds an additional pain to a problem. As long as we are steadfast in being proud, reconciliation will linger. Naturally, thoughts will be tossed around and given attention to, whereas normally it would be overlooked. Pride makes the recipient feel as though you don’t care about them, that they don’t matter and that you would rather forsake their feelings for the sake of your own. I know of this way too well. Pride and I used to be best friends. I took her into every relationship and friendship possible. We demanded our way and for a while, we would win the small battles, but in the end, we always lost the war. I would be left alone, defending my actions, rather than admitting that I was wrong. For the longest, I didn’t know I had an issue of pride, honestly, I didn’t. I confused the word ‘strong-minded’ for pride for many years. It wasn’t until I met Ty and was introduced to unconditional love and genuine humility to spark a change in me. His humility

showed me how prideful I really was. Sometimes it takes for you to see the very thing you need in someone else, to want it for yourself. I will admit it took some time for me to shake off my old ways, because it had been a part of me for so long. There were times I wanted to scream out, “IM RIGHT, YOURE WRONG!” or “I TOLD YOU SO!” But when I saw how it diminished and belittled the love I said I had for Ty, it persuaded me to initiate change-immediately. It doesn’t mean that the sneaky little trait didn’t try to resurface, it means that I made a conscious effort in any disagreement to not allow pride to seep in and divide and conquer. I wasn’t purged of pride overnight, it took time and discipline and many nights of tension, strife, and uncertainty to aggressively change. But, I am so thankful that Ty’s love for me covered a multitude of wrongs, because that same love carried me into a place of repentance and humility. And that same love and humility would scream out to me, “I told YOU so!” without Ty having to say a word. Once we realize that being right is not more important than making things right, we will encounter fewer and fewer arguments and headaches. Even now, if Ty and I have a disagreement, I have to condition my mind to think, “My husband is more important than the fight!” In that instant, barriers are broken and guards are dropped because I refused to seek my own way and my own right. I put him before me and if we all make a conscious effort to put the other person before us, love will always win. Pride is the battle and love is the white flag. Sometimes you just have to know when to raise the flag. 1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is not proud….” With genuine humility and love,

Ericka Ellis 11


Handle Love

Warm-ups: 30 seconds each movement High Knees In Place Cross Punches Front Leg Kicks

to standing) 1min

(Repeat 2 times)

8. Side Lunges (Step out to the side while safely bending the knee that has left the center. Keep the stationary leg straight while the bent leg is working.) 1min

Workout: 20mins Total 1. Squats 1min

9. Jack jumps (Feet together then jump in the air with feet and hands apart, land with hands to your sides and feet close) 1min

2. Reverse lunges (step back lunge) 1min 3. Push-ups (On knees if needed) 1min

10. Seated Ab Twist (While seated, take your feet off the ground and place upper body in a diagonal position while touching side to side, If needed place feet back down on ground) 1min

4. Shoulder Taps (In the upper part of push-up position hand touches opposite shoulder repeatedly) *Don’t move hips when touching shoulder* 1min


5. Hook punches (abs tight while fast punching) 1min

Raymond Washington is partner at College Prep World and heads their strength and conditioning department. He graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma. For more information about Raymond and College Prep World please visit their website at:

6. Jump Squats (Squat normal then on the way to standing jump up as high as you like) 1min 7. Burpies (From standing, tuck down place hands on ground, kick feet back to achieve push up then repeat


Changing the World


One Woman at Time By Mandie Buesgens

Imagine you have no basic skills. You don’t have a job and you’ve never been taught how to do simple tasks like grocery shopping or balancing a check book. There is no one to teach or encourage you, you are homeless and completely on your own... And I forgot to mention, you are only 15 years old. Would you have hope? What does your future look like? This past August, my husband, Ryan, and I went on a mission’s trip to Kaliningrad, Russia to work with orphans. To put it plainly, it was a life changing experience. Our plan was to play and laugh with children, to share God’s love and encouragement. But what God had in store for us is so much more than what we could have dreamed. While most of our memories are filled with laughing faces and funny translation stories, other memories carry more weight. We learned that there is an orphan epidemic in Russia; that most of the children we interacted with would likely never have a family to call their own. While the government does what they can to provide for the orphans while they are young, there is very little, if any, support once they graduate and are forced to leave the orphanage. Very few of these teens -most of them out on their own by age 15 or 16- have basic life skills such as cooking, grocery shopping, or money management. Fewer still have any business or work training. With no family or natural support system, many of these teens turn to drugs, gangs, and prostitution for money and a sense of belonging. But the most staggering statistic that was shared with us, one that has rocked us to our cores, is that 9 out of 10 orphans in Russia commit suicide or die of unnatural causes by the age of 30. That means only 1 out of 10 orphans in Russia will live a relatively normal life. It is hard to put into words the emotions that flooded our minds as we thought about this statistic. To look at the children smiling up at us as we played at the orphanage camp and know that was their future... it was unthinkable. I thought of Sveta, a 10 year old girl that asked me to do her hair every day. She has such spunk and zest for life, one of the most contagious smiles you could imagine, and dreams of becoming a police officer. Sveta has every component needed to become a successful adult. But she is an orphan. She has no support system, no one to encourage her, no one to guide and develop her talents and dreams. Will those dreams be enough to help her survive? Or will she too be crushed by the over-whelming odds against her? I couldn’t help but ask myself, which children would make it? Or worse, which children wouldn’t? What could be done to help? And, would it be enough? The Lord placed this burden on our

hearts and it would not be ignored. As we returned home from the trip, we kept asking ourselves, what can we do? Not only was there a huge need in Russia, but all over the world. With our skills in retail sales, public speaking, banking, social entrepreneurship and internet marketing, what could we do? We committed this question to prayer, seeking the Lord and asking for direction. Then it came to us, we were given a vision and plan to help others that, for whatever reason, could not fully help themselves. With divine inspiration, we founded [GTP Co.] which acts as an online marketplace for overseas organizations and non-profits to sell and market their goods. To create a stable work environment and ensure the sustainability of these groups, we also offer business and sales support along with marketing assistance and consulting. Most of the partners we have work primarily with women that have been rescued from human trafficking or extreme poverty. The women are taught a trade and use their new skills to produce goods that are sold on In addition to financially supporting these women and families, GTP Co. contributes a percentage of each sale to the partner organizations in order to teach basic business and life skills. This creates an income that supports their families and greatly improves quality of life. Currently, all the organizations we work with are Christian non-profits and missionaries we know personally. They use their businesses to make a difference financially in the community, but most importantly, to make a difference spiritually. This has become an opportunity to share the love and hope of Jesus Christ and to build relationships with the workers and share the gospel. God is using this as a tool to draw people closer to Himself. And lives are being changed... Eternally. We are excited to see where God will take this. We are grateful for this amazing opportunity to give back and are eagerly looking for ways to expand and grow. The vision is to empower thousands of individuals all over the globe to make a difference for their families and communities and for their lives to be changed through Jesus Christ. We are starting by changing the world one woman at a time. Join us in making a difference by shopping at: If you would like to know more ways you can help, contact us at:


Date Night

Getaway Makes 4 Brownies - Serves 2 - 4 Ingredients: Unsalted butter, at room temperature, for greasing the loaf pan 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp baking powder 1/8 tsp salt 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 3 TBL well beaten egg 1 TBL unsalted butter, melted 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract 1/3 cup coarsely chopped almonds, lightly toasted 1/3 cup white chocolate chips Pan required - 1 standard loaf pan (9 X 5 inches)

White Chocolate Blondies By Debbie MaugansNakos

Directions: 1) Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 2) Line the bottom of the loaf pan with a strip of aluminum foil to fit down the length and up the short sides, with enough extra length to extend over the edges by about 1 1/2 inches. Lightly grease the foil and set the pan aside. (Note: I used a small square corning ware dish and used parchment paper to line the bottom and up the sides.) 3) Place the flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl and whisk to blend. 4) Place the brown sugar, egg, butter and vanilla in a small bowl and whisk to blend. 5) Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and whisk until blended. Stir in the white chocolate chips and the almonds. 6) Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and bake until the top is golden and dry, 22 to 23 minutes. 7) Remove the pan from the oven and transfer it to a wire rack. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan. Then, use the edges of the foil to lift the brownies out of the pan and cut into 4 bars.


Crème Brule

3. In a saucepan, combine the cream and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a rolling boil. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla, and let cool for 15 minutes.

By Laura Berman

4. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until broken up. Slowly stir in the eggs to the cooled cream mixture. Divide mixture among two 6 oz. ramekins. Place the ramekins in a baking dish.

Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 30 minutes Total Time: 7 hours

5. Carefully, pour the boiling water into the baking dish until it reaches about 2/3 up the sides of the ramekins. Make sure not to get water into the ramekins. Place the pan in the oven for 50-55 minutes or until crème Brule is only slightly wobbly. Let cool for two hours and then place in the fridge to chill for 4 hours.

Yield: 2 Ingredients: 1 cup heavy whipping cream 1/4 cup + 2 tsp sugar

6. Sprinkle 1 tsp of sugar over each ramekin and caramelize with a kitchen torch. Place back in fridge for 30 minutes to set.

3 egg yolks 2 tsp vanilla

Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 300. 2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.


WatermelonShrimp Salad

Directions: Divide greens between two large serving bowls. Top each bowl with half the remaining fruits and vegetables, followed by the shrimp.

By Laura Latham


Drizzle each salad with half the poppy seed vinaigrette.

1/2 cups mixed greens

Serve with crusty bread.

2 scallions or spring green onions, finely sliced

(Serves 2)

10 cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup cucumber, peeled and sliced 1/2 cup watermelon, diced 1/2 pound steamed shrimp, peel, de-veined 1 recipe poppy seed vinaigrette


Last Supper Recipe

German Burgers 5. Roll out all biscuits in a medium sized circle on floured surface.

Ingredients: 2 cans of Grands Homestyle Biscuits

6. Spoon mixture (1-2 Tbsp) in the center and fold. Seal the edges with fork.

1 pound of ground Turkey/Beef 2 cups of shredded Green Cabbage Salt and pepper to taste

7. Bake for 5-10 or until outside of biscuit is golden brown.

½ cup Onion, diced (optional)

8. Serve with Mustard or favorite hamburger sauce.

Serves 5-6 Directions:

For more Last Supper Recipes, visit: search/?q=recipe

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 2. Brown Meat and set aside. 3. SautĂŠ Cabbage and onion until softened. 4. Combine meat and vegetables.







“Date Night”


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Expanding Their Love

One Family’s Adoption Journey


A month ago we received a phone call saying that we’d been chosen by a young birth mother in Florida. Chosen for what? To adopt her baby!  A story that started on January 10 from a simple Facebook message has turned our world upside down, for the greater!  For the full story and our adoption announcement, please visit: http://www.satisfactionthroughchrist. com/2013/01/operation-adoption-10101-10-days-10-1. html

down on our spending. We are committed to doing all that we can to bring our baby girl home.  We’ve almost met our next goal of $6,100 but we’re fervently in prayer for the final $17,000 we will need when our little girl is born around April 6.

A few weeks ago our adoption agency gave us 15 days to come up with the first $10,000 needed for our precious baby girl’s adoption. To say that we were not prepared for this is an understatement!  As you read in our adoption announcement, we were waiting on fertility results the day that my friend contacted me.  So, to need $10,000 in such a short amount of time was a bit overwhelming.  But, the Lord soon laid an idea on my heart -- Operation 10:10:1 {10 Days: $10: 1 Baby Girl}.

So, will you join us today as we seek to be obedient to the call that the Lord has on our lives? We knew when we said, Yes, that this was so much bigger than ourselves.  But, we knew that the body of Christ was big enough to accomplish it!

Currently, we are doing online auctions to help raise funds and we continue to believe that the Lord will provide every bit of what we need to accomplish His will for our lives.

We are so thankful for any size donation that you’d like to give and we assure you that every bit of it will go towards loving a little baby girl for life! To help the Hill family bring their baby girl home, visit: http://

I knew that friends and family were just as overwhelmed with the cost of adoption as I was and I figured; let’s just chip away $10 at a time! In 10 days we raised $10,019....what an awesome God we serve! In addition to fundraising we’ve sold our own things and cut



Loving Purpose By Wanza Leftwich

If you had asked me at 19 years old what I wanted to do with my life, I would have boldly declared, to be a housewife, a stay at home mom and a minister! Little did I know that life would not turn out exactly the way I wanted it. It took me six years longer to get married than my siblings. They all were married at the age of twenty-three. When I did get married, we wanted children right away; the doctors finally concluded that it was impossible for me to conceive naturally. And to top it off, there was no sign of me becoming a minister anytime soon. So, what’s a girl to do when all your plans fail and your heart is aching from pain? I had two choices: Continue trying to make my own plans come true and remain in pain or Release my plans to God and trust Him. I decided to let go of my ways for His ways. I had to give up my plans for His purpose. “Many are the plans in a man’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails” Proverbs 19:21(NIV). Was it easy? Did I wake up one morning and just fall in line with God’s will? It was not and I did not. However, with God’s grace, patience and love I was able to endure the process. I once heard a dynamic preacher pray, “Lord, don’t let us become angry because of the changes we have to make for our destiny”. We want our destiny. We want what God has for us but all the time we do not want to change our ways, thoughts and actions. The heartache of change causes many of us to retreat from the will of God, resulting in a life that is stale, stagnant and stifled. We cry out to God to live our best life, yet we reject the process that it takes to achieve it. Our love for God must be stronger than the temporary pain we may experience when we decide to follow God’s direction for our lives. God created us with a purpose in mind. We must be mindful that he created us according to His will. “Before I formed you I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart; I appointed you a prophet to the nations” Jeremiah 1:5. When I decided that I wanted to be what God created me to be, I began to yield to the process. I like to call it the process of the Ps; Purpose, Pain, Progress and Perfectionism. This process enables you to transform your mind from your way to God’s will. Purpose - What does God have planned for my life? Why was I born? Shying away from our purpose does not make you humble or look

Christ like at all. It demonstrates that you are fearful and frightened. How can you be scared of what you were created to be? Everything you need is in you. Your confidence should not be in the flesh but in the one that created you. God has a different, more productive agenda for your life than you can ever imagine. When you know this, the heartache of doing it His way is lessened. Pain - Let me be honest, we are not exempt, the pain will come. The enemy of your soul does not want you to live a fulfilled life in Christ. When I was diagnosed with infertility, I thought my life was over. How could I be a stay at home mom now? The pain of infertility wanted to overtake my life and make me infertile in every area. You cannot let the pain stop you. Realize that pain is a distraction from your purpose. Do not let your emotions outweigh God’s will in your life. God will see you through every ordeal and bring you out. Progress - Am I at destiny yet? When will I get there? Often we want to be an overnight success. We look for our lives to fall into place quickly once we’ve decided to accept what God has for us. Understand that God works in His own timing as well. Too many times we want the outcome or breakthrough; when daily God gives us grace and mercy daily. A very instrumental part of this process is to appreciate every step of the way. What’s the rush? Enjoy what God is doing in your life. Perfectionism - Give it up! I had to give up being a perfectionist. It wasn’t going to be my way all the time. I didn’t get married on time; the kids came when I was older and so did the minister’s license. I received everything I wanted but not when I wanted it. The perfectionist in me was thrown off course. If you’re going to follow God you will have to trust Him completely. You have to give Him your way and leave it there. Daily build up your faith and put your trust in God so that when things don’t go according to your plans, you automatically know that His plan is better. “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” Jeremiah 29:11. You were created to make a difference in this world. Give your fears to God and let Him perform a work in you that will impact your life, every life connected to you and the lives of generations to come.



Love Is Article by Sheldon K. Bass

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Sheldon is a Christian freelance writer and minister. He teaches at West Park Christian church, Second Birth Ministry, and Wheeler Mission Ministries in Indianapolis, IN. You can follow Sheldon on his blog, and http://

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Christ Centered Home Magazine is a publication produced for the modern Christian woman and more specifically mom, who wants to ensure that C...

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