Coleslaw T A L K
Winter Issue 2012
Whatâ€™s in your coleslaw?
AUTHORS Spotlight The Fruit of Your Lips is the sequel to Lips: Sacred or Scarred - Take Your Mouth Off The Mess and Use It For A Miracle. We speak words into the atmosphere not realizing the effects of what we are saying. Believers fail to assess the power of their words. Contrary to popular belief, words are not cheap. Spoken with destructive and not creative forces causes costly results in the realm of the spirit, which manifest in the natural. As one measures their words and practices the presence of God, they will find that they will began to think cautiously before they speak. This book will assist the Believer to weigh the words that are spoken daily.
“You Have Something to Live For,” was inspired by many struggles that I have gone through in my life. This book is a personal testimony that will enable others to believe in the manifestation of God’s power. It will encourage those who have backslidden to believe that there is no hope to repent and come back to God. This book is designed to motivate everyone that you can make and You Have Something to Live For. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email: email@example.com www.authorsden.com/beckydewitt www.bdig-beckydewitt.com
Victory Gospel Series, Book 1 My current book, Healing In The Vessel, is a book about personal testimonies that shows how God’s mighty hand is still upon us as we go through the fires, floods, and rivers. It is a book that empowers one to have a stronger relationship with God and takes their faith to another dimension in God. Healing In the Vessel provides one with hope to raise above the ashes that life burns them with. It elaborates on how the enemy left me for dead and expected his attacks to expire my very existence but out of a broken vessel God used the story of my life to perfect me for my destiny which is to bring healing and restoration to other broken vessels.
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.healinginthevesselministry.com
This is the lamentation of widow CANDACE JOHNSON when her best friend is brutally murdered. Ensnared by a deep-rooted bitterness, seeping her faith day by day, Candace is determined to seek justice. Detective Darnell Jackson is in need of clues fast. The police captain is coming down hard on him and his partner to find out who murdered Pamela Coleman, the daughter of a high profile judge. Darnell confers with Candace to get the inside track on events leading up to the murder. As the investigation heats up, his growing attraction for Candace plays havoc on Darnell’s judgment. Little does she know, Candace’s quest to find the truth has led her straight to the killer. She’s already lost loved ones. Now Candace must choose to completely trust God with her own life. Email: email@example.com www.tymmmedia.com
Winter Issue 2012
From the Editor in Chief… The sharing of musings of unheard voices can capture any moment in time. Have you ever thought about the impact you can have on someone else’s life, even when your life style is different? Better yet, how can your life be changed by the life of someone else’s? In the first issue the connections started a rippling affect of women sharing challenges and solutions of life’s daily adventures. Be inspired by the morning dew, be encouraged to make small changes in your life and be empowered to purge the things that are not working. In anticipation of a strong successful second issue, I invite all readers to become authors. Submit your story and enjoy the wealth of responses that will come back to you. Tell it right, Tell it all, Tell it now!
Gilda “Moe” Morana Editor In Chief
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The Lost Ones pg 4
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I Didn’t Know pg 6 And So, I’m Watching God pg 11 It’s Never Too Late…continued pg 13 Room In The Inn pg 15
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THE Waiting Room
We drove through an arbor of oak trees and firs. Colorful flowers lined the way. A soft oil painting mimicked peace behind a desk marked receiving. The scent of lilac filled the air. A fitting cloak to hide the clue beyond the doors labeled push and pull inside the waiting room. Nothing in the bleak stare of my mother-in-law remotely resembles or gives way to the person I knew once lived inside this great lady. The eyes that once lit up a room and matched the smile she always gave now are fixed on things no one sees but her. This woman, so full of conversation, so full of love and compassion for everybody, is now whittled down to words that come out mostly in mumbled hums. It has become so bad that just a smile of recognition is a major accomplishment. The nursing home where she resides is, in reality, only serving to provide a space for the elderly to weaken, dry up and die. Day by day they leave a little more, and a little more of themselves behind like a slow leak of the mind, fading in time, never to be recovered. My beautiful mother in law has become yet another resident of the waiting room.
By Jeri Noble
instance, she knows how and when to open her mouth when you say, “Ok mama, eat this, or here’s a piece of candy. She accepts it, then continues looking off into space. I don’t think I want to know what she’s thinking; I think she deserves whatever privacy she needs. What’s important to me, is that she knows we love her. She once told me, “I love you like I brought you into this world.” No one has ever said that to me, and never has a phrase meant so much to me. Well, I love her the same way even though I’m only her daughter-in-law.
It’s amazing to me that the one thing that has remained solid is her love for God. Before this disease began to take her mind in heaps day by day, she remembered her prayers and the songs she loved. She would always say. God is a good God. He’s a good Lord. Mama’s prayers were so poignant that it was an honor to stand at her bed as she’d masterfully say the Lord’s Prayer and the 23rd Psalms, even sometimes one after the other. She would always put emphasis on “and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from ALL that’s evil." She would say the ALL loudly and hold it out as he she exWe’re all guilty of cramming her mind into the pressed to God the inclusiveness of the all she box it’s now in; into that single room of pictures wanted for everyone in her prayers. I remember and objects that’s supposed to be familiar surtoo, the good times she and I had when I’d get roundings--anything to make her think that her ready for bed in those early days at the she’s home. But nothing will make me believe home. I would always sing a song I knew she she ever believed that or that she ever thought liked, even if it was a song she didn’t know she’d go home—not ever again. In her first she’d catch on and sing along and rock as I months there, before the dementia began to washed her face, or her hands, or feet. She'd progress so fast, she would ask “Am I going always say, “Do what you got to do baby.” home? Can I go home now? Y’all gon’ take me She desperately held on to what she could of her home?” mind before losing the battle to the disease. In The answer was always, but mama, you’re alan attempt to help her hold on, we’d say, “Maready home. This is your home. See your pretty ma spell your name.” Very proudly and with her room. See your pictures. See, this is your chair. head held high, she would spell it out. You’re already home. She would smile, but the “R E B E C C A!” Then she’d spell her last look was always there. The look that said, I’m name out loud as well. We were very proud of not home. Don’t even try it. I know I don’t have her strength. a home with you all anymore. So, I’ll just smile and accept what you say. Now, her mind is weak, she can’t walk any I saw that and I understood just what she under- more, she doesn’t smile like she used to, and her honor has been reduced to adult pampers. On stood too. It was clear to me that from the time we left her the first day until the time God calls November 1st God favored her with yet another birthday. She is now 93. Through it all, she still her home, she’ll never leave. She will be waitmanages a smile and on a good day she’ll say ing like all of the other patients, excuse me, I “I’ll see you later.” She’s a strong woman, her mean, residents in the Waiting Room. faith solidly anchored in the Lord. And though I believe she understands what’s being said we don’t see the mama we used to see, she’s around her and what’s being said about her still there, still waiting in the waiting room. ... and to her, even we think she doesn’t. For coleslawtalk.com • 3
Silence is the companion that Affords me the chance to Sort through the collage of images Running rampant through my head. They perpetually reveal the Remains of my childhood conceptions Of what life in this world was supposed to be. Through those young eyes Mommies can save you, Daddies can protect you, Grandmothers don’t die, Brothers don’t abandon you… … Brothers don’t abandon you… …Brothers don’t abandon you.
“Victor, I don’t feel good”, I weakly cried to my older brother while he sat by my bedside. Concern filled his eyes as he saw my 14-year-old body shiver uncontrollably despite the mounds of covers he layered over me. “Don’t think about the pain, Michelle”, he said. “Mom and Dad are on their way with some flu medicine.” He could tell his attempts to calm me weren’t working, so he pulled out his Bible and asked me what my favorite scripture was. “Psalm 121”, I whispered. As he read, the gentle cadence of his voice brought peace to my soul and chased my fears away. For a brief moment, it was like we traveled back in time – before Life happened to us. Before our family’s foundation was shattered by our grandmother’s death. Before Victor’s addiction to drugs, sex, violence and lies ravaged our family. In that moment, we were just two innocent kids, still believing in God’s promise to protect us from all danger and in our parent’s ability to heal us from every ailment.
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As time passed, Victor’s pattern of addictive behaviors reached the point where my parents had to ask him to leave our home. About a year later we received word that he was in a crack house dying from alcohol poisoning. By God’s grace, we were able to rush him to the hospital in time for the doctors to successfully flush the alcohol out of his system. I wish I could say that Victor’s brush with death opened his eyes to the dangers of running to the world to find the very love and acceptance we had for him at home. But it wasn’t. In May 2003, he walked out of our lives, leaving behind a gaping wound in the hearts of our parents, his daughter, and myself. To this day, we don’t know if Victor is alive or dead. For years I walked around in silent anger. Not at Victor. At everyone who failed him. At my biological father who treated him as though he was less than me. At the elementary school teacher who told him that he would never amount to anything. At the countless churches who thought his tattoos and struggles were too ugly for God. With each passing day, God weakens the anger in my heart and molds it into a stronger passion to spread His love to the people the church has deemed unsaveable and the world has deemed unsalvageable – the Lost Ones. I will never stop believing that there is no one beyond God’s redemption, including my brother. I’m slowly learning to accept that I may never feel the warmth of his embrace, again. But I will always believe that God’s healing love is powerful enough to transform him and send him home, the place where he will always belong.
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I Didn’t Know By Becky DeWitt
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meet: By Becky Dewitt
columnist • runner • educator • blogger
I am an adjunct instructor at the Art Institute of Charleston, teaching Public relations. I started her professional career as a maintenance officer in the United States Army. I established the Walker Phenomenal Spirit Award through the Center For Women that funds women’s dreams. My blog called We Can Fly Higher inspires people, especially women, to think bigger and aim higher. I am a frequent guest columnist for the Post & Courier, the local Charleston, SC newspaper. I am a marathoner and triathlete. I am an author of the ebook Traits that built African American Women Leaders in the Area of Governance in South Carolina. I am in the dissertation stage of my PhD in Public Policy and Administration, specializing in Public Management and Leadership. I started running because I was trying to get into the Army and in ROTC you had to run. Also while in the Army running is paramount. I ran my first marathon at age 45 because my running partner decided that we should. We had run half marathons and since she is very goal driven, she decided we should do a full marathon. My first marathon was the Marine Corps marathon. My next one was the Flying Pig marathon in Cincinnati. This one was important to me because part of it ran along the underground railroad. A triathlon is composed of three elements: swimming, biking, and running. I have competed in three and am done with that sport. I do not like open water swimming. I had a swim coach, but there is something about swimming in water that I cannot see the bottom that freaks me out. I was the last person out of my age group to get out of the water in my first triathlon. The second triathlon was in a pool. My last triathlon was open water again because I wanted to overcome my fear.
a time. There are many free training programs online. Set a goal (ex: 5k, 10K) and pick a plan for that distance. Make sure you have good shoes. Find a running partner. the most important advice is to have fun.
I started with the Center as a volunteer. I conducted workshops on how to buy a car and how to eliminate credit card debt. I also did whatever work they needed done including painting the building. I was asked to serve on the board. I was the secretary for two years and then the president for two years. Now I am on the board as the Immediate Past President and will be the Vice President of Governance next year.
This idea came to me during a six mile run. I was contemplating going back to school. I wondered where a woman like me could get money for school. What I mean by that is where can a woman who is successful, not homeless, not abused, not a single parent, or any of the other labels that agencies give money to get money. So I decided that if I ever got a lot of money I would establish a foundation to give money to women. The only requirements are: you have to be a woman, at least 35 years old, and have a dream. One day I received a sizable bonus at work and the foundation was established. This is our 6th year. We have helped women become glass artists, international dragon boat competitor, go to school to learn how to build a greenhouse to grow herbs to sell to restaurants, get national certification to assist with the blind, buy a camera to pursue a new career, and I am reviewing the applicants for this year.
I want to finish my PhD, expand my teaching, find more writing opportunities, run at least two half marathons next year, work on a pilot for a television show and work on a book based on my blog. The best way to contact me is at: Take it one step at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Stevie The sights and sounds of Philadelphia will forever be engraved in my soul. The sweet taste of cherry ices and the aroma of freshly made cheese steak with peppers and onions still causes my taste buds to stir. I still hear the chimes of Mr. Softee and the ringing of the Septa transit making its rounds through the block. Those memories are symbolic of the summers that I spent with my grandmother in North Philly; they were times of maturity and growth. Philly was a classroom of learning for me. The harsh reality of drugs and violence was buffered by my grandmother, who sheltered me and her children with a long arm and a forceful tongue. Her lectures were stern but her love insurmountable. During those times, I experienced many bumps and bruises, tears of laughter and pain, but my journey was always made easy by a family who loved me. Along with lessons learned, I gained many friends in the summers that I visited Philly. All were cherished, but none had quite an impact on my life as Stevie. I didn’t realize how much he had been a part of my life until I was grown with children of my own. You see Stevie was no ordinary person, in fact he was just the opposite and for the longest time I thought he had it out for me. Stevie was a young man who spent the majority of his day at the park across the street from my grandmother’s home. Daily, I would see him sitting on the rails surrounding the park swaying back and forth. He never talked to anyone in particular, he just stared straight ahead. Occasionally, he would yell out attempting to talk to passing cars or pedestrians, only to be ignored and stared at with confusion. People in the neighborhood sometimes gave him a hard time by taunting him, laughing and mimicking his behavior. Small children only watched in amazement, clutching to their parents in fear. My grandmother explained Stevie’s behavior and antics as different and often referred to him as “special” and me being unconcerned, never asked anything more. I never felt the need or urge to laugh or taunt him, because my grandmother’s
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By Stephanie Suell
lessons about treating others as we would like to be treated, were engraved in my spirit. I tried to ignore Stevie, although as a young girl his behavior scared me, often to the point where I avoided walking the sidewalk in front of him. He seemed to enjoy picking at me. I would take the long way from school, walking extra blocks to get to my grandmother’s home without being noticed. On the days I was just too tired to walk the extra miles, I would hesitantly get off the bus, looking around to see if he was there. I walked quickly, trying to make it to the house before he noticed me, but Stevie would always see me and acknowledge my presence with a loud “Hey gurl! What you doin?” I smiled back timidly, trying not to make eye contact. Stevie continued to harass me throughout the summers, pushing me from the swings when he saw me or grabbing my hair and hands when I climbed the ladder on the slide. My protests of his unruly behavior were met with a stern “No!” Then there were days that my adventures in the park would end with him chasing me home. I screamed loudly, running through the park and across the street at top speed as he jogged after me half hazardly. Stevie had a bad leg and walked with a limp. He didn’t move very fast so after growing weary with the chase, he would just plummet me with rocks. My tears were met by my grandmother and aunts who would comfort me, assuring me that Stevie would do me no harm. My uncles only laughed at my trauma. Full of fear, his deep burly voice taunted me in my dreams and throughout the day I dreaded trips to the corner store or being sent to my aunt’s home around the corner. But even then, my curiosity got the best of me. I often wondered about Stevie. Where did he live and where did he go at night? I never knew Stevie’s age, but I assumed he was only a couple of years older than me. Always clean and neatly dressed, I knew someone was taking care of him. Was it his mother or father? Did he have a grandmother? Did he go to school? These questions were never answered.
As I grew older, I realized that Stevie was harmless. I had even become defiant against Stevie. Determined to be bullied no more, I stood up to him on several occasions when he chased me. I refused to be scared, returning his rocks back at him in full force. I screamed at his reluctance to leave me alone until he obliged my requests. Once I matured into a young lady, my trips to the park became less and less. My spare time was filled with movies, boys and dancing. Stevie continued to sit on the rail and sway through winter, spring, summer and fall. Soon, Stevie became just a fixture, ignored by everyone, including me. One day in particular, my boyfriend of several months was walking me home from the subway, we were arguing. I was tired of his conceited, arrogant behavior, but too scared to break up with him. I put up with his ways because he was popular and well liked at school, especially with the in-crowd. We spoke loudly as we approached the block and in a fit of anger, he grabbed my arm and clutched it tightly, yelling down at me. My squirms only met with more resistance as I yelled for him to let me go. He towered over me and I sulked in fear, tears forming in my eyes. A loud burly voice sounded out, “Stop it, leb lone!” Startled, my boyfriend loosened his grip and I snatched away, backing away from him. I looked around confused. My boyfriend gave me an evil stare and muttered an obscenity before he turned and walked away. Embarrassed, I turned to look at Stevie. You see, I was sure that it was he who had yelled out, but he didn’t acknowledge me. He looked straight ahead and swayed back and forth. Ashamed, I ran to the house. After joining the military I continued to visit my grandmother on holidays, and whenever I found the time. Her health was fading and I took my family to see her as often as I could. My children found Philadelphia exciting, just as I did as a young girl. The tours of the city and its prominent features held many stories for me to share and in between
those times, they noticed Stevie and eyed him curiously. He was still in the same spot. Although his features had matured, he was the same. His hair slightly gray and his limp worsened. I was now confronted with explaining his behavior to my kids. I repeated what was told to me. “Stevie is special,” I said and watched their reactions as Stevie swayed back and forth and erratically yelled out at passing cars. My son and daughter laughed at his behavior and walked away. On the day that my grandmother passed, I found myself standing on the corner of the block, reminiscing about my childhood. The neighborhood had definitely changed. It was no longer blossoming with the laughter of children or the chatter of teenagers. People had come and gone and I was all grown up. I cherish the lessons that I learned on Smedley Street and the friendships that I made, especially one in particular. Although we never had a conversation about life, our likes and dislikes or what we wanted to be when we grew up; we were connected in some way. We noticed each other and the world around us. Stevie had been a vital part of my life. I believe he knew me well, probably better than others and he will always be remembered. He taught me to treat people with respect and to stand up to my fears. I call him my friend because I know in my heart that he cares about me and I also believe that he looked out for me on many occasions. I realize now that I care about him too. That day, a burly voice resounded out from the distance, “Hey Gurl! What you doin?” I looked over at Stevie as he swayed back and forth on the rail. “Hey Stevie,” I replied with a smile. Stevie waved back and smiled. I realize now that Stevie was truly “special” as my grandmother told me. I am grateful that he was a part of my life.
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Hurt so much? By Tribal Raine
Face gray Eyes worn Soul scarred
Dress torn…Knees bloody Hair scattered Clothing muddled As if that mattered; For she had been dragged through the mud for far too long to give a damn about appearances. She simply wanted to get away and I’ll never understand why love has to hurt so much. Why does it feel a need to self-destruct? As if dealing with spiritual demons weren’t enough. Now she had to contend with human ones. I sat there watching with sad eyes from the darkened corner of the hallway closet The door not quite closed enough to block out the images of my father’s angry face and powerful hands and even at 6 years old I knew he wasn’t a real man… My Aunty Pocket told me so!
But it’s been 25 years, 6 months and a day And I can honestly say, I still don’t have a clue! Why do some women allow their men to treat them like they do? Like chattel, ; Like whores! What makes a woman forget that she deserves more… That she is royalty and deserves to be treated as such? Perhaps the burden of having me was too much for her to handle, who’s to say? Not Momma… He killed her nine months from that day! Her and the baby brother I never knew. Leaving me to write her story for you. So listen closely… Face gray Eyes worn I wish he were dead!! He was Soul scarred always making my Momma Dress torn… cry-And as I climbed up onto and now she’s gone! Leaving her lap, she sighed… me to wonder why sometimes love has to hurt so much.
The problem arises because of what is being used to fill the emptiness. Another device is scars on the soul. These scars come from many areas of mental and physical abuse, neglect, and even words. If these experiences occur during our childhood years, these scars can be for a lifetime if not dealt with through the understanding of God’s love. It is the love of God and the realization of how much He loves that will deliver one from addiction. Knowing that He took time to fearfully and wonderfully make you by knitting together every aspect of His grand design is an important key. You are His individual masterpieces formed for great purpose and destiny. There is no one that can take your place because He has never duplicated anyone to be like you. The hole in your heart, the scar upon the soul, the void and emptiness, can only be filled and healing comes by knowing and understanding the power of the love of God. The love that He wants you so much, that He sent His Son, Jesus to be sacrificed so that you can be reconciled to Him. The day that I realized the love of God and the power of that love was the beginning of a new and adventurous life. I did not enter into rehab or any type of step counseling program. I took one step and was to Jesus. He cleaned me up and took the taste and desire away. This year is my 20th anniversary of being free from bondage. I realize now that He was there all the time, watching, waiting, and protecting me. His eyes were always upon me. Even though I was broken in bondage and scarred, His grace and mercy covered me while He repaired the damage the enemy inflicted upon me. As He made me over and continues to even today, it is easy to see that God + me= unlimited possibilities!
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“And So, I’m Watching God ” On the dawn of a brand new day never lived and only destined by the most high, it is only appropriate to simply---GIVE THANKS. Life within itself and the intangible gifts that we have been equipped with is a blessing within itself. Acceptance of things as they are and knowledge and wisdom to know that only with the gifts of humility and peace, one can only be one with self and most of all –GOD. I got to thinking of blessings and overcoming obstacles in life. We as beings so often loathe and fraternize over the valleys and blocks that are in our paths that create turmoil, troubles and doubts. But I have learned that is during the time in that valley and well of depression, that you are structured to be that strong character that God truly wants us to see. Of course you can feel on top of the world and powerfilled when things are grand, but it is in your lowest times that you should give thanks even more, for what the most high is preparing you for. See I never thought I would be at a place in my life that I was thankful for the bad times, but see; you can’t rejoice in being happy and experience JOY unless you have experienced bad times. The journey of strength is something SO amazing. The awakening and acknowledgment of the experience is packaged in a cool retreat and vacation. However, once you realize you must retreat yourself and look from deep down within, and spend more time with “you” and more time with “you and GOD”, you will be astonished at your growth. Maturity not only as an individual, but as a spiritual knowledge of yourself and your very purpose of existing.
Brand new days architecture new structures of opportunity and the never-ending expedition and relationship you must continue to construct with yourself. Have dates with yourself and enjoy your “own” company. Fall in love with you and love that person you see in the mirror every day. Smile at yourself and recite phrases or affirmations like “I AM AWESOME”. “I AM BEAUTIFUL”; “I AM A SURVIVOR”. Smiling is free and laughing is free also, utilizing these tools and you will feel happy and want to share your joy with others. Encourage yourself and others as well. I have found out that when you give of yourself, this forces you productively and willingly to bless others. Blessings others pleases God and saturates your soul with an abundance of “sweet” joy honey. Be thankful for what you have overcome and for the strength you inhabit and for the strength that structures your core. In all things, give thanks, and at the welcoming sounds of a brand new day or the dusk of another day’s ending, take a moment to breathe in and breathe out and smell the sweetness of LIFE and watch “GOD”. Listen to the natural soundtrack he orchestrates for us with the choir of birds and the breeze that brushes your shoulders with cools winds and sunshine that warms your cheeks.
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ove L HONEY, YO’self
ENLARGE MY TERRITORY
In the midst of transition and infinite meditations of peace and clarity and with prayer of understanding, I find my territory being enlarged right before my eyes. Not enlargement as in tangible things, but having the ability to see what is in store. Rejoicing in what is to come…… and inhabiting sincere joy for what the most high is doing for me in the days to come. True, we spend endless moments unknowingly desiring what “we” want, but it is important to arrive at a point in your life and within your spiritual inner self, knowing that you must more importantly accept what the most high “wants” in you and from you as well. Praying humbly that your purpose be fulfilled and that you steps be guided in the paths of our righteous Father and Creator. We cannot create the footstep in the sand and map our own way. We must humble ourselves and simply—SUBMIT totally and allow HIS will to be done. I find myself praying in a more structured manner of sincerity and humility. I find myself totally in awe yet in such a peace that surpasses the things I cannot understand at times. However, the faith and trust that I now inhabit is , and only comes with wisdom and life’s experiences. The eager spirit to grow and be nurtured with the spiritual awareness, instinct and knowledge along with the inhabitant spirit of continuously working on self is infinite. The growth of your inward spirit and relationship and communing time with God, strengthens the inner structure to fuel the outer mobility to function. Spend12 • coleslawtalk.com
ing time with just you and the most high is the best date… and the beauty of it all is is always available and will never cancel. Now honey that’s enough to make you pen him in on your schedule daily, because he is just that awesome!
It’s Never Too Late… With Dignity Arm & Arm We Go By Limi
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By Becky Dewitt The storms of life in this world have reached beyond the crisis mode. In every situation from sickness, disease and financial stress, there is an increase in the intensity of the attack of the enemy. The focus and pressure would crush the strength that we think we see, but there is a secret hidden element that has not been revealed. The strength of a Believer that is seen is not from that which does appear. It is an inside job. The very second that an unbeliever accepts Jesus as Lord and Savior; there is a change in the spiritual DNA. “Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not "mine," but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. “ (Galatians 2:20 MSG). Even though we were born into sin, the born again experience not only reconciles us to the Father, but also activates secret hidden things that are yet to be revealed and understood. t is not your strength that causes you to stand and press forward despite the satanic activity. The strength that you think that you have comes from the Spirit of the Living God who is on the inside of you. It His strength will cause you to move beyond your limits or expectations and even the temporary outcome. The Lord’s strength will not only cause you to outwit the enemy, but also outlast the attack. Instead of the enemy wearing you out, you wear him out so that he has to flee and regroup. Recently I had to research the word “strength” as a promise of God for a program at my church. I found that God wraps you in strength. “For who is God except the Lord? Or who is the Rock save our God, The God who girds me with strength and makes my way perfect.” (Psalm 18:31-32).
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When He girds me, He surrounds, provides, equips and He even invests strength in me. Have you ever thought that because you accepted Jesus and the price that was paid, that God invested much in you that you don’t even know about? Searching the scriptures can lead you to a word that is new and fresh but also gives a fortified perspective. I found that God gives strength that the enemy cannot penetrate. “The Lord will give unyielding and impenetrable strength to His people; the Lord will bless His people with peace”. (Psalm 29:11 AMP) Now this really blessed me! “The Lord is my Strength and my impenetrable Shield; my heart trusts in, relies on, and confidently leans on Him, and I am helped;” (Psalm 28:7 a AMP). This means when I have His strength I will not give way under pressure and the enemy cannot break through. God is my shield and the enemy cannot pierce or pass through Him. In addition to being a shield, He lifts your head high above the raging circumstances. “But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” Palm 3:3 AMP). As your head is lifted to see above the natural and into the spirit to discern the truth of what is happening, you will also see that your help is coming and is very much present. “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.” (Psalm 121:1 KJV). “God is our refuge andstrength, a very present help in trouble.”(Psalm 46:1 KJV). His strength teaches you strategic movement to outwit the enemy. “Blessed Be the Lord, my Rock and my keen and firm Strength, Who teaches my hands to war and my fingers to fight” (Psalm 144:1 AMP). Many people talk with their hands using them to communicate ex-
pressions. Imagine what your hands are doing in the realm of the spirit. Trust in Him and in His name for strength. “Trust ye in the LORD for ever: for in the LORD JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.”(Isaiah 26:4 KJV). We know that there are many names that God has that He wants us to know because of His attributes associated with His names. His names are from Jehovah Sabaoth, the Lord of Hosts, (James 5:4), to Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide, (Genesis 22:14). One name that we sometimes forget is El Roi, the God who sees (Genesis 16:13). He sees your situation, the attack of the enemy, and He sees the level of your strength as well as the outcome that He has ordained, VICTORY! Rest in Him and in His strength. “With God rests my salvation and my glory; He is my Rock of unyielding strength and impenetrable hardness, and my refuge is in God!” (Psalm 62:7 AMP). Entering into His rest and strength so that your faith will profit, meaning that there will be an increase. Even though the enemy comes to test your strength, lean and rest in your Father so that which is in you that you are not aware of will manifest. “He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. But those who wait for the Lord [who expect, look for, and hope in Him] shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” (Isaiah 40: 29, 21 AMP)
Inspired by how the gathering of the unknown can unite a life long journey, we realized that communities are making a difference in the lives of others. As God transforms your life and relationships, you can’t help but live life to the fullest and then impact the lives of other people.
This is what’s Room In The Inn is doing in Asheville, NC. St. Mary’s Episcopal Church partners with Congregation Beth HaTephila (reform Jewish congregation) and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in hosting Room in the Inn. Room in the Inn is Homeward Bound’s most community-driven program, with more than 2,000 volunteers from over 40 faith congregations mobilized each year! Room in the Inn partners with local faith communities to provide shelter for up to 12 women each night. Each week, faith communities open their facilities to welcome these women as guests, offering a warm safe place for homeless women who are working hard to move forward to permanent housing. The simple goal is to keep women without homes from sleeping on the street and risking their safety. The greater goal is to build loving relationships with them, one week at a time.
by the rules of the program, which prohibit drinking, smoking in the building, weapons, drugs, fighting and foul language or abuse, ensuring a safe environment for the women and the faith community volunteers. At 6 p.m. each evening, faith community volunteers pick up the women at Homeward Bound & transport them to their host congregation for the week. The host congregation provides dinner & sometimes an activity, and the women sleep in the congregation’s building on mattresses owned by Homeward Bound. Two volunteers stay with the women overnight, and in the morning, the host congregation provides a simple breakfast & a sack lunch for the women to take with them. At 7 a.m., the host congregation brings them women back to Homeward Bound, where they spend the day going to appointments, connecting with other community agencies, seeking employment, and receiving case management services from the Room in the Inn director. Each faith community makes a commitment of at least one week to serve. This could mean that your community is hosting, providing meals, driving, or staying overnight with the guests. We’ll also have at least one quarterly coordinators’ meeting & a training session the week before your congregation is hosting. If your faith community can’t fully commit to a week, we’ll partner you with another community so that you can work together!
Each Room in the Inn congregation provides an annual stipend of $1,200, which is key to providing a full-time director who can case manage the women with a 12 to 1 ratio. Having a dedicated case manager is a huge advantage; remember that lack of support is what keeps people in the homeless world! The Room in the Inn director sees the guests approximately 5 days per week & meets with them individTheir goal was to move Room in the Inn away from being simply ually at least 3 times each month. In addition, the stipend assists with shelter, and transition it instead to a program that provided solutions for other program needs, like showers, laundry, and storage for belongings the women it served, by focusing on case management & working with which are all accessed at the A HOPE Day Center. Most importantly these funds can be used to help someone move into permanent housing. them to move into permanent housing. Room in the Inn is a national model, and in our community, it got started in 2001 by a few women with a vision. For years it was volunteer run with an active steering committee, but in 2010, the committee decided to take it to the next level, asking Homeward Bound to manage the program.
Providing shelter for homeless women is often their first step toward becoming part of Homeward Bound’s successful supportive housing program, Pathways to Permanent Housing, where they can receive monetary resources to move from shelter into housing, with intentional continued relational support to help them maintain that housing long-term.
Have you impacted the life of someone else, when your lifestyle is so different or did your life change because of someone else! Coleslaw Talk
Room in the Inn works with homeless women who are emotionally stable, not currently affected by drugs or alcohol, and willing to abide
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