THE AMERICAN DREAM
Business owners strive to attain their proverbial piece of the pie
Seeking Advertisers! (see pg.4)
RICHMOND PUNCH An interview with the inspiring musician, instructor & composer
JUDGE NOT! Who are we to judge? Find out what God says about it!
CARRIBBEAN GETAWAY Become a castaway for a week or two at this cool summer destination!
Volume 1, Issue 3 May/June 2007
Crossbearer Contents Features • • • •
In Every Issue • • •
9 Judge Not!
Who are we to judge?
12 Interview with violist Richmond Punch Inside the life of an up and coming Renaissance Man
14 The American Dream A new series on Local Business Owners
17 Vacation Getaways! Check out Grand Bahama Island- The Carribbean is Calling!
4 From the Editors The Crossbearer E-zine: Your Christian Resource
4 Question of the Month
Find out how others feel about Christian Issues from this poll
7 CEO’s Message- January/February Recap What has TUTC been up to the last two months? Find out here!
6 Your Comments
Letters to the Editors and answers to polls and the questions of the month
8 The Royal Paynes Thrilling Christian fictional mini-series!!
10 Contemporary Cool
Trends we love (and so will you!)
13 Health and Wellness Newsletter January Resolution Solutions and more!
16 To Have and To Hold On! Not-so Newlywed’s take on Marriage and Intimacy
It is our mission to provide you, the Christian audience, with both a fresh and thought provoking take on issues of importance in the world we live in.
From the Editors Under construction: The Crossbearer E-zine: Your Christian Resource Greetings from the editorial body of the Crossbearer. It is with humbleness of heart and joyfulness of spirit that we submit the latest May/June issue for your reading pleasure and enlightenment. Our continuing mission is to provide you, the reader, with fresh topics and perspectives for Christians by Christians. This month the Crossbearer is Under Construction again! Never one to settle for simply doing work for God at a level of mediocrity, we have added interviews and expanded on some of your favorite topics. The latest issue finds an expanded Contemporary Cool segment; now two pages in length to give you even more information on what’s current in movies, books, fashion and more! Add to that our newest article series: The American Dream, which will feature various successful entrepreneurs in each new edition and you’ve got the makings of a new and improved product from the staff here at the Crossbearer!! We urge you to email us your responses as it will help to cultivate this infant ministry. Please email us at email@example.com. Your suggestions and comments are so greatly appreciated. Please keep reading the Crossbearer and we will do our best to provide you with the best in Christian reading. Thanks again for your support.
Trivia Question of the Month: Who was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot as a disciple and how were they chosen? Please submit your responses to firstname.lastname@example.org
Adrian Gray Editorial Coordinator
Shantelle Gray Creative Director Staff Columnists
Cornesha Johnson Joe Johnson
Adrian Gray Shantelle Gray
Ghost Writer- “The Royal Paynes” For information on how submitting advertisements for your business, promote upcoming local events and/or Christian multimedia products including (but not limited to) books, music CDs, dramas/plays on DVD etc. in the Crossbearer, please contact Joe Johnson, TUTC Director of Funds Generation at (469) 877-8978.
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About the Organization: Mission Statement: It is our mission, at Take Up Thy Cross, to address and meet the physical, social, and spiritual needs of the community. To work closely with churches and other non-profit organizations, pool resources, experience, and ideas in order to better satisfy the needs of the people are our goals. We strive to create and sustain an organization of doers, selflessly achieving the goals of the corporation. Brief History: Originally formed for the purpose of organizing the 2003 My Brother's Keeper Conference of Fort Worth, the organization now known as Take Up Thy Cross, was incorporated in November 2003. Its incorporators and founders are Frank J. Johnson, Jeremy A. Johnson, and Adrian J. Gray. Currently in its third year of service, this small organization has expanded its efforts to satisfy various community needs.
Your Comments WINNER! Rachel Hardy of Trinity Photography submitted the winning photograph in our first Cover Photo Contest, featured in our March/April “Win It!” Promotion! Thank you again for your submissions, it is our hope that you will continue reading the Crossbearer. (You never know when or where the next promotion might be found within the Crossbearer E-zine!)
What people are saying about the March/April issue of the Crossbearer…
Trinity Photography is owned and operated by husband and wife team Rachel & Jeremy Hardy. Their attention to detail and impeccable customer service coupled with their outstanding photojournalistic photography, will surpass your expectations.
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Rachel L. Hardy is a Dallas wedding photojournalist who also specializes in fine art portraiture, and corporate photography & ad design. Trinity Photography portrait sessions by appointment only. 214.566.2465 View their portfolio at: www.trinityphotography.net
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Message from the CEO –March/April Recap Our primary goal for March was to execute a college fair on Saturday the 31st of March. Director of Social Needs, Shantelle Gray led the way, as Team TUTC facilitated an event that allowed students and parents to educate themselves on scholarships, important college deadlines, admission and financial aid information. Recruiters were on hand to interact with students including representatives from UT Arlington, Texas Wesleyan, and Texas Women's University as well as ITT Technical Institute. Baylor University also sent information for distribution. On Saturday May 19th Director of Physical Needs Darrion Butler led TUTC in its first Yard Service Day. The goal of this service is to provide free law maintenance for senior citizens. TUTC was able to service three homes in the Highland Hills Community. Much thanks to the sponsors of this event and the wonderful people at East St. Paul Baptist Church. If you know of someone who could benefit from this service please contact Darrion Butler at email@example.com . Congratulations, Darrion and the rest of Team TUTC for a marvelous effort. I cannot express enough how vital your contributions to this organization are. We look forward to accomplishing great things in Jesus Christ together. It is my prayer that God continues to bless you, your family and your ministry to others. Thank you for your commitment, I’ll talk to you soon… Adrian Gray, CEO
The Royal Paynes Episode III * Payne Family Eric Payne – main character Erica Payne – Eric’s twin sister Demetrius Payne – oldest brother Malcolm Payne – youngest brother Gloria Payne – Eric’s mother Eddie Payne – Eric father Pete Payne – Eddie’s brother Sharon Payne – Pete’s wife Dakeisha Payne – Pete’s daughter Elliot Payne – Pete’s son King Family Carolyn Payne King – Eddie’s sister Earl King – Carolyn’s husband Shanice King – Carolyn’s daughter Keyshawn King – Carolyn’s son Prince Family Dean Prince – Gloria’s brother Brooklyn Prince – Dean’s wife Dean Prince Jr. – Dean’s son Extras Brian McCloud – Eric’s friend Keith Reynolds – Eric’s friend Holly Parker – Sis. Parker’s daughter Sis. Stephanie Parker – sister at the church David Jackson – Eric’s friend Pastor George Washington – Pastor of the church Principle Lee Grant – Eric’s high school principle The Prince Sisters – Gloria’s three sisters _______________________________________
Previously on the Royal Paynes… Eric picked his younger brother Malcolm up from Bible school at Mt. Calvary Church after he quit his telemarketing job. While awaiting the arrival of Malcolm, Eric spots a very beautiful young woman exiting the church and is intrigued by her. Malcolm let him know that this young woman was a volunteer at Bible school. Eric automatically made meeting young Ms. Parker to the top of his list of priorities. Eric also felt convicted by the Lord for his less that meager attendance at church in the recent past. And now we meet one of Eric’s best friends Brian McCloud…
Eric drives to the community center where his good friend Brian works as a summer camp counselor. Eric always wondered how Brian could be hired to counsel anyone especially children and teenagers. Brian had dropped out of high school at the end of his junior year after being kicked out of school for the fourth time for fighting. This guy had a short temper and terrible discernment. He had even started fights with Eric and Keith at times in the past. But Eric saw him as a brother so he continued their friendship that had begun in the 1st grade. Brian initiates the greeting between Eric and himself with a huge smile on his face. Eric knew exactly what this smile meant. For the last couple years Brian has been on a mission. He has tried to succeed at this mission and failed miserably several times. Now Eric seemed to be his best shot at helping him to win this battle; a battle that seemed to be a mission impossible to everyone besides Brian. Eric had to fight through Brian’s first words to him day after day like clockwork. “Say man, when you gonna hook me up with your cousin Shanice? You know I’ve been trying to get at that since we were in high school.” “You know she is dating ole boy from the college right?” Eric tried to explain this to Brian. “What homeboy got to do with me bruh? I can see if she was married but she ain’t. So hook ya boy up!” Brian was so diligent and persistent at getting with Shanice, Eric thought. If only he had used these qualities in high school. There was no way Eric was going to hook his beautiful, college attending cousin up with Brian. Brian was his boy, but Eric knew Brian could have no future with Shanice. She was used to having the finer things in life. Cars, diamonds, fine dining, and Eric knew she wasn’t getting that from his Aunt Carolyn. Deacon King, her father, was too cheap to buy her these things. Shanice had dated NBA players, spoiled rich kids, and even a couple of local rap stars. She was not going for a broke down high school dropout like Brian. Which is why Eric always answered him by saying… “Man I got your back,” in an encouraging manner. Hey, maybe Brian would give up one day right?
“Yeah you got me alright, now hook me up. What are you doing here anyway? I thought you had to work tonight. Is Keith off too?” “Oh, I guess you haven’t heard yet. Man I quit that sorry excuse for a job a little while ago. Charlie got on my nerves one too many times. I was about to hit that cat man! If Keith didn’t jump up when he did, I am telling you man,” Eric said in frustration. “Hey, I know where he lives man we can jump…” “Shut up man. You are always trying to fight somebody. You need to get out of this community center and make some real money somewhere.” Eric bit his tongue as soon as he said that knowing it was a mistake. “What? Somewhere like where? And this is coming from an unemployed Negro like yourself? Get out of here with that dawg!” Brian laughed hysterically at Eric. “Hey are ya’ll hiring up here man?” Eric asked seriously. “Man you gotta be kidding me. I thought we didn’t make real money up here? We are probably going to be hiring after Layla gets fired today. She hasn’t been here all week, talking about she sick. I saw her at the club last night. But I do know someone who is definitely hiring.” “Oh yeah, who is that?” Eric asked. “Big Payne is always…” “Once again there you go mentioning names you have no business mentioning,” Eric said. Big Payne was Eric’s uncle Pete Payne, the most successful entrepreneur of the family. Depending on what one would deem successful. And working for a stable real estate and property management company would seem to be a great idea. However, Uncle Pete was into more than simply real estate and property management. Dee was making pretty good money working for Uncle Pete. Hopefully he kept to the respectable side of the business. “I told you that I would never work for Uncle Pete. And if you are thinking of “applying” think again B. You really don’t need to get that on your resume.” “Yeah, yeah, yeah, I hear you. Tell Dee I said to holla at me though,” Brian said while giggling. He saw that Eric did not take too well to his joking. “I’m just kidding E!” “Whatever man just let Mrs. Kaye know that I need a job after she fires Layla. Holla at me tonight and let me know what you and Keith will be
up to. You know David and Keyshawn are in town for the summer right?” Eric asked curiously. “Yeah I heard they were around somewhere,” Brian claimed reluctantly. Brian seemed to have held a grudge against the college boys of the crew every since they graduated. Eric always respected their decision to achieve higher education and never understood Brian’s grudge against them. He would always try to get them together when they were in town. And he would usually fail. “Don’t be like that Brian. After I leave church I am going to find Keyshawn and we are going to kick it. Cool?” “We will see man. Wait a minute, church? When did you start back going to church? And you are going on a Friday night? Oh, it must be a chickenhead!” Eric was astonished at how on point Brian was with his funny comments. Eric was going to church that evening to try and flatter some female he had never met before. But what his little brother told him about his grandmother certainly served a role in pushing him to the program that evening. “Man if you saw what I just saw at Mt. Calvary you would be up there too. Did you know Sis. Parker had a daughter?” Eric asked. “First of all, I go to church with my grandparents almost every Sunday. Just because you don’t believe in God any more doesn’t mean I don’t,” Brian joked with Eric. “Don’t say that man, I do believe in God. I just have to work on Sundays now,” Eric claims as his excuse. “Well you don’t have to worry about that anymore. Secondly, I have been talking to young Miss Parker for a while now.” This really startled Eric. Brian was able to start a relationship with this beautiful portrait of perfection? Her standards must be pretty low Eric thought. “I talk to her before church, I talk to her during church, and I talk to her after church,” Brian continued to joke with Eric. “Man you play too much. I knew a woman like that wouldn’t settle for a thug like you. Or should I say a “wanna be” thug like you?” “Yo, if I wanted to I could have pulled that already. But Moms told me not to holla at girls in church. And she is in church way too much for ya boy. I need me a project chick, never at church, always at the club. Club McCloud that is.” For some reason Brian referred to his one bedroom shack of an apartment as Club McCloud.
“What kind of man wants a hood rat? You are out of control bruh. Anyway, I will see you when I see you.” The two embraced once again and Eric was off to his mother’s house. *
* * * * * * As Erica reached the place she called home, her mother’s two story Victorian styled home, she received a call on her cellular. It turned out to be her cousin Shanice. She wanted to know exactly when they were making their trip back to college because she was obviously ready to see her boyfriend again. Erica told her that she wanted to stay the entire summer this year and spend time with her mother. Shanice sounded very disappointed as she hung up the phone and Erica knew why. Shanice has been in an on and off relationship with a football player at the college she and Erica attend. During one of the off periods of this relationship Shanice was asked on a date by the quarterback of one of the rival teams of her college. This quarterback was due to go into the NFL draft as a #1 pick in the off season. She accepted his offer and he took her to Houston in a limousine and out to one of the finest restaurants in Texas, The Breakfast Club.
She was able to meet a few celebrities and professional athletes and had the time of her life. But she made sure that he had her back at school that night, and he obliged. He seemed to be a very nice, well mannered gentleman and he was surprisingly shy. Shanice oddly appreciated the qualities he possessed. She was used to the more aggressive type of guy and this quarterback treated her like a princess. However, Shanice still had feelings for her ex-boyfriend and defensive lineman, Fred Sample. And of course Sample found out about her day in Houston soon afterwards by his teammates and it infuriated him. Sample approached Shanice about the situation and she told him the truth and she also reminded him that they were not together at the time. They had reconsidered their relationship since then, but Sample was extremely jealous of this QB dating “his girl” Shanice. He took his anger out on her that day physically and warned her not to tell anyone of what had happened. Shanice went straight to her cousin Erica and swore her to secrecy claiming she was in love with Sample and wanted it to work out. She thought that the entire situation was her fault and she sought to make it up to Sample. Erica promised her she would not say anything against her better judgment, which brings us to Friday evening.
Coming Soon…. Take Up Thy Cross, Inc. Online Store Apparel (T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Caps & Baby Apparel) Housewares (Mugs & Mousepads) Bumper Stickers, Buttons & Magnets Posters, Calendars, Prints and More! Stay tuned for the official TUTC Online Store’s “Grand Opening” date!!
Profits from all sales will go towards TUTC programs and efforts!
For more details about the launch of the store, Please e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org 8
Judge Not! by Adrian Gray, Staff Writer- Crossbearer To judge is tempting, there is truly no dispute of that. Having accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord, dutifully listened to countless sermons and attending numerous bible studies, we have declared ourselves experts of the “way”. Our knowledge has transcened to such a level of expertise that we feel empowered or even still beholden to cast judgments on the lives of others. This is not a recent temptation but one that has existed virtually since the law was established. You may call it a knack or perhaps more appropriately an itch for identifying transgressive behavior and rendering judgment. Let me be the first to confess my own guilt, several times over in this practice. As stated earlier its seemingly irresistable to play judge and jury with law we did not write nor has anyone of us been able to keep without fault. Jesus reveals the dangers and fality of judging in the 7th chapter of Matthew: 1 Judge not that ye be not judged., 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? This passage speaks to our inadequacy to judge. Being sinners saved by grace ourselves, we are not in a position to judge the lives of others. Romans 14:4 addresses further our lack of position in the judgment seat: Who are thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yes, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. The word is concrete and consistent on its stand that we are not to judge our brethren, but why can’t we simply let God be the judge?
It may be our human response to not allow someone to get away with something. They must be punished, rebuked, scolded for their actions.They must clearly be shielded from the rest and made an example. Is this not the mindset of the scribes and pharisees as they brought the adulterous woman before Jesus for judgment in St. John the 8th chapter? The Mosaic law called for her to be stoned but the word demanded mercy. Jesus’ words to that group of church people is no different than his words to the church today, “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” As Christians we should all be overjoyed that God’s love and mercy for us is so strong that he sent his Son to pay our eternal debt. Even more judgment shall yet be rendered but by he who is worthy to render it. Romans 14:10-12 “But why doest thou judge thy brother? Or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God. Let there be no doubt that we are all called to righteous living. 1st John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous. Our shortcomings in exhibiting this standard of living is for God to judge. As Christians we should pray for our brethren and encourage each other as we all make our attempt to live as God would have us to live. Our efforts should be focused on keeping the commandments of God ourselves so that we may be an example to others in the faith that it can be done with Christ Jesus. 1st John 3:24 And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And thereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. Until next time, let your light shine.
WIN IT! The Crossbearer wants to know who your favorite biblical character is. Please submit an essay of no more than 500 words on your favorite biblical character to email@example.com for a chance to win a top secret prize as well as have your essay featured in the next edition of the Crossbearer. Essays must be submitted no later than June 30th. Be blessed!
Please come support the Page in Time: Literary Review “River, Cross My Heart” by Breena Clark
Author Breena Clarke's first novel takes place in Georgetown in 1925, where a large and close-knit African American community took shape beneath the shadow of segregation. At the center of the story is baby Clara, a six year old who is swallowed by the Potomac as her sister, Johnnie Mae, cools off in the brackish Our Rating: water. It's the only place the girls can find relief--they're banned from the new, clean 3 of 4 stars swimming pool the white kids use. After Clara drowns, the river is never the same, and Johnnie Mae hovers on the edge of womanhood wondering if she'll be able to get past her guilt and emptiness. In an eloquent passage, Clarke writes, "Losing a loved one, a family member, is like losing a tooth. After a while, those teeth remaining shift and lean and spread out to split the distance between themselves and the other teeth still left, trying to close up spaces." Bits of wisdom like this are the book's charm. Most remarkable are the church scenes, which Clarke renders almost purely in the give-and-take of voices: the booming preacher's sermon ("The people we love, we only borrowing them"), and the congregation's "Praise Jesus, Amen" exclamations. The author based her novel on stories passed down in Georgetown--tales of that area's first black churches, founded when people decided they wanted their own place of worship, and implicitly their own God. In church the novel takes flight. Elsewhere River, Cross My Heart suffers from clumsy, purple prose, and a plot that moves forward in labored fits and starts. Clarke painstakingly tries to re-create this past world, but sometimes it seems her duty to history is holding her back, bogging her down in period-piece details. In the effortless church scenes, history loses its gravity and is absorbed by grace. -- Reviewer: Emily White (c/o Amazon.com) River Cross my heart is a soul-stirring novel about the Bynum family and how they cope with the loss of Clara, the youngest child. The author, Breena Clark, is brillant in her use of descriptive vocabulary. Clark is at her best in allowing the reader to feel the pain that family endures. In addition, readers will find the setting to have the satisfaction of their Mama's down-home pecan pie. Georgetown is an easy-going town which is as simple as it is complex. Clark has also crafted an excellent blend of characters. The plot falters slightly, but overall, this novel was very good for Ms. Clarke’s first effort.
May/June “Hot Spot” Reviewed by: Shantelle Gray
African American Museum (Dallas) First Friday: Music Under the Dome Every month for FREE a local band performs jazz, rhythm, and blues in the rotunda. Seating is cabaret style. Visitors are also able to tour the galleries. The program is an innovative series that provides a fun and energized social environment for the community to enjoy local blues and jazz musicians in an intimate setting in the Museum’s Rotunda. What’s Hot: Museum Members: Free Admission $10.00 Non-Members (Includes drinks and food) This Month: Janice Shepherd Friday, June 1st, 2007 from 7:00-10:00 p.m. Reservations: 214-565-9026, ext. 315 Location: 3536 Grand Ave.(Fair Park) Dallas, TX 75315
Front Row Seat: Film Review Reviewed by: Adrian Gray
“One Night With the King” As a Christian who loves movies, I am watchful of films which portray biblical stories. At times, the quest for movie house profitability can overshadow if not outright destroy the actual biblical passage. On the other end of the spectrum are movies that make a strong attempt at sticking to scripture but for whatever reason, rather it be bland directing or poor acting, miss on stimulating viewer interest throughout the film. I am quite pleased to report that One Night with the King, available on DVD, succeeds in entertainment and truth. Directed by Michael O. Sajibel, One Night with the King explores the grand history of Esther (Tiffany Dupont), her love for her God, her country, and of course her husband King Xerxes (Luke Goss). Instead of running from the story, the directors delve deeply into it bringing out the most important element, the power of God. Young Esther must learn to put her faith in God even if it means losing her life. There are excellent performances throughout the film. Of particular note, is the performance of Tommy “Tiny” Lester as the Royal Eunuch, perhaps his best performance yet. One Night With the King is a breath of fresh air, and I hope another signal to Hollywood that biblically accurate movies can be entertaining.
Get the Look: Spring Into Fashion in ‘07 by Niecy Johnson Staff Writer- Crossbearer
Good day to all of you dazzling ladies and gents! I just know you have been sitting on the edge of your seats anticipating the next fashion tip to step out in style this summer and I am here to give you what you need! My vision of summer style is full of comfort, ease and classic with colors that stand out to capture others by storm. Don’t get me wrong, for I remain and always will be a firm believer of being jazzy at all costs, but there is a casual sense you can find in it as well. This may prove beneficial for the dainty girls as well as the debonair fellows to get you well on your way to the ultimate fashion breakthrough so buckle your seatbelts and tune it for this tip may change your entire life! Summer 2007 is all about the one and only…. FLIP FLOPS! Yes, you heard me correctly and I am excited about it just as you should be! These funky, fun and festive shoes are guaranteed to provide you comfort, style as well as class as you stroll through your day-to-day endeavors whatever or wherever they may be! I have recently witnessed some new colors for the divas this season, such as pumpkin, multiple rep stripes and even a Strawberry Shortcake assortment as well as a thicker wedged heel in some cases so there is an abundance of choices to make that will be ideal for any outfit you match them up with. Oh girls! They even have the dressy flips style in metallic colors or leather texture that can be worn for a night on the town or even on a hot date with your biggest crush! Now men I know, I know. Color is a little too borderline feminine for you guys most of the time so be encouraged that there are plenty of earth-toned selections for your enjoyment to keep you cool yet sophisticated. You can still turn heads by keeping it mellow especially if you have a distinct swagger in your walk because you will be rocking the ultimate flip flops! Who wouldn’t want to be like a fly guy? I don’t know about you, but when trying to look cute I love to really experience comfort in every effort because it helps me to enjoy each moment without a care in the world so flip-flops are essential for me as I hope they begin to be for you! Therefore, take my advice and rush to the nearest Gap, Old Navy, Rue 21, Forever 21 or Nine West store just to name a few to grab you a pair or several pairs today! Okay, I know money is a little funny right now because of the gas prices, but you will be thrilled to know the cost to you is dirt-cheap! I am talking about $5.99 to $12.99 depending on the store as well as the type of flip-flops you are purchasing for both men and women. Ladies the dressy selections will cost you a bit more ranging anywhere from $19.99 to $49.99, but if you can handle that price, more power to you! I encourage you all not to sleep on what is working out there in fashion and believe me when I say that you must seek the sales rack! You don’t have to save up for flip-flops because most likely they will fit as comfortably in your budget as they do on your feet. Hurry, hurry and don’t be the one last one left standing without a thong between your toes for you will regret it I promise you! Until next time, keep it utterly fascinating and glamorously classy.
May/June Fave Rave: HOT Gift for Dad! Kenmore Elite 4burner LP gas grill, 48,000 BTUs plus one 12,000 BTU side burner and 12,000 BTU infra-red back burner, extra large side shelves, Smooth Start™ electronic ignition, pull-out tank tray, stainless steel tube burners, Savor Plates™, lid, control panel and cabinet and stainless clad Therma-Core™ cooking grids. Full cabinet base with door. Available in Sears stores or online at: www.sears.com
Cheap Chic Chic: Nicoli Ice White Front Pocket Calf Leather Hobo Bag, $293.00;
This supple leather hobo instills the look of absolute luxury. Dual front pocket and silvertone signature hardware lavishly adorn this gorgeous piece. To buy, go to www.forzieri.com/usa
Cheap: Mossimo Hobo- White $29.99; When it’s time to get up and go, do it in style with this voguish hobo from Merona. Vinyl handbag with silvertone accents, two front wall accessory pockets and nylon lining is roomy and lightweight. To buy, go to www.target.com
rue Renaissance T Man BY SHANTELLE E.
GRAY, STAFF WRITER- CROSSBEARER
RICHMOND PUNCH is a graduate of Yale University School of Music with a Master of Music degree in Viola (2005) and a Bachelor of Music degree The last time we talked we were discussing some of your more recent performances and your CD; An Evening of Classical and Jazz Music: Celebrating the 11th Anniversary of the Punch Family Benefit Recital, which my parents purchased at one of your performances in December of 2006. How are plans for this year’s Benefit Recital going? Good. This is the second year we’ve had the silent auction, CD sales are ongoing, and we’ll have a new CD this year. There will also be advertising opportunities in the ad book and people can give donations at the concert. Could you share a bit about the Punch Family Foundation? Our mission is to assist minority string students in performing art studies beyond high school. We provide opportunities to develop and display the students’ artistic talents. We were featured in this past week’s Dallas Weekly (article ran through May 22nd). We provide grants called Gayle’s Gifts to assist music students in music related expenses. (i.e. strings, instrument repair, travel to summer music camp) This year’s recipients are Georgiana Howard and Stamos Martin, both alumni Booker T. Washington high school. Georgiana’s family didn’t get very involved with her musically, but she got support from others. She’s very smart; she’s freshman class president at Converse College in Spartanburg, South Carolina and aspires to attend the Harlaxton Music Festival (HMF) in Harlaxton, England. The $4,000 tuition does not include the additional $800 needed for airfare.
I'm sure most people would like to know what age you started playing an instrument? I started playing the piano at age 5 and the violin at 6 years old. I was introduced to strings at a concert when I was 6. Any tips or advice for beginning music students? If you know you have a strong passion, you have to listen to yourself. Often, you may not get a push from family and friends. To get good, find a routine. I tell students if you’re able to practice for 10 minutes a day, seven days a week, you’re improving. The next week, increase your practice time to 20 minutes a day. A routine is very important. You play the violin and viola. What drew you to study string instruments and what are the specific differences in playing one of these instruments from the other? I went to a public Montessori school (L.L. Hotchkiss Elementary School) where there were excellent music programs. The main difference between the violin and viola is that the violin is like a soprano voice and the viola is an alto. The viola is better for people with larger hands or longer arms. Who has been your greatest source of support and strength through it all? My mother and sister support me. I was able to do what I’ve done with the help of benefactors and mentors. Another key was that I was told about programs outside of school.
Stamos Martin, like Georgiana, was a Booker T. Washington high school student, and he is now a cellist at Catholic University in Washington, D.C. While he was excited about his acceptance to the Aspen Music Festival in Aspen, Colorado, he knew the $7,000 price tag would be a major hurdle. He called upon a small support team that included Gayle Punch of the Punch Family Foundation.
You graduated from Arts Magnet in Dallas, TX went on to pursue a Bachelors of Music at Juilliard and obtained a Masters in Viola from Yale and have been teaching ever since. Describe your teaching method. I make sure to present myself clearly whether I’m teaching children or adults. (He teaches children and adults ages 4 – 30) You have to be able to explain things at people’s levels. Children need to understand clearly what you’re saying. I might tell them a story to teach something and I’ll have it apply to other things they are learning in school (math, etc.)
Stamos and Georgiana each received $1,000 from the Punch Family Foundation to help with their music education - scholarships they attest have made all the difference in their access and entry to these institutions.
I also believe in passion. You can’t teach passion, but you can share yours with others. I strive to be a passionate artist. Videos are great for visual learners; the student can replay it over and over to learn how to play
something. (Note: you can view some of Richmond’s performances at www.youtube.com/richviola)
One of my main teachers from Yale, Mr. Jesse Levine (violist) and Mr. Stuff Smith (jazz violinist)
What other goals do you wish to accomplish as a teacher and musician? I would like to become a more nationally and internationally known artist. I have built up a good local reputation and I want to branch out. I also want to build my reputation as a teacher. (Richmund is currently the director of the Youth String Orchestra, ages 12-18 for the Black Academy of Arts and Letters) A teacher does a lot of different things. I want to be a role model and mentor and incorporate other elements to advance my career and one day build a private studio.
What musical pieces outside of the violinist or violist’s repertoire do you admire? The most memorable live performance was Richard Goode playing Beethoven’s 5th “Emperor” piano concerto; that piece is unbelievable. That performance is most memorable of any orchestra.
You’ve played in numerous venues including Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center and Myerhoff Hall. Among your performances, which are the most memorable and why? The nationally televised 24th Annual Black Music and the Civil Rights Movement Center: A Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. with the Black Academy of Arts and Letters. The program profiled the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. through film footage, narration and musical performances at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. I performed Balm in Gilead and If I Can Help Somebody. I felt it went well. It had a good effect and I had a chance to be a spiritual messenger, which is important to me. A friend of mine called randomly from Chicago one day and said, “I’m watching t.v. and you’re on right now”. That concert symbolizes where I want to go in my career. Who is the most memorable person you have met? Denzel Washington. He told me to pray and play. When I was about to graduate, my mom got tickets for us to see him perform in Julius Caesar. My mom (Ms. Gayle Punch) called the theater to set up a meet and greet prior to the show. We were unable to meet him before the play, but the theater employees told us where we could meet him afterward. At that time, I didn’t know where I was going careerwise. Denzel told me to pray and play. I was scheduled to perform at an event at Yale where we brought our mentors. I took my viola teacher, Jesse Levine as my mentor and when I spoke, I shared with the group the advice Mr. Washington gave me; to pray and play. I took it a step further and told them to remember where you come from. Give back as a way of saying thank you to those who helped you along the way. Denzel actually wrote a book this past year about actors and their mentors. I would like to meet him again. [Washington’s book, A Hand to Guide Me was published in 2006] Who are the musicians that have inspired you? Does that inspiration find its way into your own playing?
Also, Concert for the Divas, sponsored by Arts and Letters, Inc. This concert featured black female vocalists Harolyn Blackwell, Oleta Adams, the Clark Sisters and Melba Moore. Cecily Tyson hosted. It was a mostly black orchestra and a quite extraordinary event. There was color everywhere. My three favorite songs are: Amazing Grace (John Newton), Summertime (from the musical Porgy and Bess) and For the Love of You (The Isleys). Any advice for those who want to become professional musicians? Surround yourself with a team of people to make it possible. Practice as much as you can. What was it like performing and recording with Donnie McClurkin, Richard Smallwood and others for the album "Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs" in 2005? That was another powerful performance. The church we were in was a large church (a mega church) and there were 5,000 people there. It was standing room only. That’s a good CD. Actually being there was even more powerful. I’ve never performed in front of that many people before. He [Donnie McClurkin] is so genuine in his personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Everything about him whether talking or preaching is very natural. What are your current projects? The Punch Family Foundation Benefit Recital and trying to get myself out there on a national level are my current projects. In November, I will be performing in the The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (www.tbaal.org) season of performances. For those interested in hearing you perform in the near future, where will your next performance(s) be? Jam Session at Southside on Lamar (One Friday a month) 1409 South Lamar Street, Dallas, TX. Sandaga Market Sunday Jam Session (every other Sunday at 6:30 p.m.) at Sandaga Market, 1234 Levee Street Dallas, 75207 Punch Family Foundation Benefit Recital on June 23rd . Thank you for your time, Richmond. May God continue to bless you in your future endeavors.
The American Dream by Joe Johnson Staff Writer- Crossbearer
The “American Dream” can be considered one of the main reasons this country has grown over the decades to become a definite world power. One might ask why this dream seems to have become so elusive for the very people who call it their birth right. There is also the question of what exactly the “American Dream” is defined as these days. This term was first used by James Truslow Adams in his book The Epic of America which was written in 1931. Truslow said "The American Dream is "that dream of a land in which life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement.” The Political Dictionary implies that the “American Dream” is a phrase connoting hope for prosperity and happiness, symbolized particularly by having a house of one's own. Possibly applied at first to the hopes of immigrants, the phrase now applies to all except the very rich and suggests a confident hope that one's children's economic and social condition will be better than one's own. The latter definition causes me to think a little. When I think of America I think of the immigration of driven foreigners in an attempt to make life better for their own family. The great majority of the cultures in our country came here in search of their own way. Many were fleeing persecution and powerful dictatorships in their own countries. Some were forcefully brought into these lands to do work that others were unwilling to do. We all have the opportunity to achieve this somewhat elusive American Dream. This opportunity is called ownership. Ownership of property, ownership of assets, and ownership of investments, all add into the equation when it comes to establishing what we call financial freedom. Financial freedom comes about when and individual establishes himself as the owner of his or her own business and succeeds at this business. You see the American Dream can be
accomplished by the average citizen or immigrant as long as you have the courage and the determination to educate yourself and follow through with the mission. The majority of the major corporations today were initially established as small businesses in the mind of an entrepreneur. Fed Ex, Jani-King, and Dell are all examples of small businesses that turned into million dollar companies. Michael Dell and the Jani-King founders both started their businesses in college. There are many local services and franchises that began as small shops in the neighborhood and now are international conglomerates. Even if we travel back into the past and out of our country into the first civilizations there were small businesses. There were masons and farmers and even convenient stores. These people took advantage of the opportunity that was before them. There is only a couple questions one might have to ask himself before embarking upon the venture of a business. Is there a need and how can I meet that need? In the series of articles that will follow this opening article in the next few months to come we will travel into the world of business ownership. We will study the implementation and maintenance of small businesses, business professionals, and their history as well. I will attempt to educate you faithful readers of the journey of a small business owner from dream to execution to accomplishment and success. There will be various interviews with successful entrepreneurs and professionals in the articles to come. You really do not want to miss the opportunity to hear what these American Dreamers have to say about business start up and their professions. If there are any questions you might have about small business ownership please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org and you just might see you question answered in the next article. Please stay tuned for the series entitled the American Dream in the next issue of the Crossbearer.
TAKE UP THY CROSS MINISTRIES, INC. SOCIAL NEEDS BRANCH
HEALTH AND WELLNESS NEWSLETTER
Mind, Body, and Spirit Wellness May 2007- Better Sleep Month Getting A Good Night’s Rest? Starting each day with a good night’s sleep is essential for your health. According to the Better Sleep Council (BSC), 65% of Americans are losing sleep due to stress. •
32% of Americans are losing sleep at least one night per week.
16% of Americans experience stress induced insomnia.
Research shows that women are more sleep deprived than men.
68% of American women admit to sleeping less than the recommended eight hours per night.
The top three factors that rob women of sleep: • Work- and/or family related stress • Aliments such as allergy or cold • Uncomfortable mattress or pillows
A balanced lifestyle requires a proper diet, regular exercise and a good night’s sleep.
Ten Tips for Better Sleep 1. Maintain a regular bed and wake time schedule, including weekends. 2. Establish a regular, relaxing bedtime routine such as soaking in a hot bath or hot tub and then reading a book or listening to soothing music. 3. Create a sleep-conducive environment that is dark, quiet, comfortable and cool. 4. Sleep on a comfortable mattress and pillows. 5. Use your bedroom only for sleep and relaxation. It is best to take work materials, computers, and televisions out of the sleeping environment. 6. Finish eating at least two to three hours before your regular bedtime. 7. Exercise regularly. It is best to complete your workout at least a few hours before bedtime. 8. Avoid nicotine (e.g. cigarettes, tobacco products). When used close to bedtime, it can lead to poor sleep. 9. Avoid caffeine (e.g. coffee, tea, and soft drinks, chocolate) close to bedtime. It can keep you awake. 10. Avoid alcohol close to bedtime. It can lead to disrupted sleep later in the night. Source: www.bettersleep.org
To Have and To Hold On! A Not-so Newlywed’s Views on Marriage and Intimacy by Shantelle E. Gray Staff Writer- Crossbearer
“Just me and you” Do you remember that old Tony, Toni, Tone song? The chorus went, “Just me and you. Don’t worry bout Michael, don’t worry ‘bout Johnny (we dont need nobody else), don’t worry bout Terry baby. I’ve noted that some couples have a tendency to let others come into their relationship and wreak havoc. Be it your mother, brother, best friend or concerned coworkers with advice, your marriage is not the place to let others intercede. I’m not bashing constructive advice by any means; you do want to know how to make your marriage work. However, you don’t need others tearing your commitment apart because they want to help run your relationship. You may think you said "I do" to just one person on your wedding day, but the reality of married life is that you actually vowed to honor several people. For better or for worse, marriage comes with more than just formal china and a set of towels- you’ve registered for a new family and your better half’s friends too. Here are a few tips to keep you on the right track. Know whose team you’re on. Maybe you're lucky enough to adore your in-laws instantly (hey, it happened for us!), but if you're like some, you may hit a few roadblocks on the road to familial bliss. No matter who is right or wrong, no matter what the situation, you have to stick up for each other. Don't complain or talk bad about your husband to your friends, parents, or siblings. You will forgive him long before they do. Keep your mouth shut or talk to him about whatever is bothering you. Otherwise, you risk having your relationship judged or commented on by others. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21 If you have to get your grievances out, write your feelings down in a journal. Diaries are nonjudgmental, and you will be more likely to share the bad and the good of your marriage." Your spouse is your better half, the person you made a lifelong commitment to because of your love. Defending him (or her) from the beginning of your relationship should prevent any naysayers from trying to come in and wreck your relationship.
Additionally, never badmouth each other's families -- even if your spouse is complaining about their own. It's one thing to gripe about your own parents, but quite another to hear it from someone else. Support your partner's feelings, but don't add on to them. Explain the Rules. Your in-laws (and maybe even your own parents) might not recognize that a new fledging family needs room to grow. Parents will always see their child as an extension of their family -- new spouse included. And with that status comes expectations: that you will welcome parents when they pop in unannounced Saturday at 10 a.m., or you will travel with them to Williamsburg, VA for the Fourth of July. In Genesis 2:24 it says, Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. You both need to set boundaries with each of your families and explain them- in detail. Try limiting dinner together to twice a month, long weekend vacations to once a year, and weekend phone calls. Speak to your parents; explain that the situation is new to everyone: to them, to you two, and to the other set of parents. Explain that you need to launch your marriage, and that means spending some quality time together. My beloved is mine and I am his; he browses among the lilies. Song of Solomon 2:16 Let them know you love them and count on their support -and that they are not being excluded from your lives- but you need to learn to depend on each other, rather than on your folks. It's going to be hard for many parents to let go, especially if your spouse is an only child. Let parents know the situation will naturally evolve as time goes on. Keep them in the loop with a weekly email or phone call so they won't have the urge to show up next weekend during your romantic park picnic. Sources: Jane Greer, PhD, a marriage therapist in private practice in New York City and author of Gridlock: Finding the Courage to Move On in Love, Work, and Life.
“SUMMER GETAWAY- THE BAHAMAS”
by Shantelle Gray, Staff Writer- Crossbearer
Summer is here in full force and I’m already getting the urge to plan a new getaway! Try this itinerary (it’s where I went for my honeymoon, but it’s still a great place for singles or a group of friends to visit too!!) The pristine white beaches, clear aqua sea and mild summer days in the Caribbean are calling you!!
GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND Home to Freeport/ Lucaya, Grand Bahama Island is the second largest city and port of entry in The Bahamas. Distance From Miami: 105 miles. Easy access to the Islands of the Bahamas is a key reason for this tropical playground’s appeal as a year-round vacation destination. Just a short hop by jet, a pleasant day by cruise ship, or a memorable voyage by charter boat, The Bahamas can be reached quickly by air or by sea.
PREFERRED METHOD OF TRAVEL?
DRESS/ATTIRE Casual summer wear can be worn during the day any time of the year; Most hotels/restaurants/casinos require jackets for men in the evening, especially in more cosmopolitan areas, such as Nassau or Freeport/Lucaya. Beach clothing is inappropriate on the streets, in churches, restaurants, and casinos. Away from beach or pool areas, you are expected to cover your bathing suit with shorts or a long shirt. In the more laid-back remote areas, the dress-code is more flexible.
CURRENCY The legal tender is the Bahamian dollar (B$1), which is equivalent in value to the US dollar. Both US and Bahamian dollars are accepted interchangeably throughout the islands.
WHERE TO STAY Viva Wyndham Fortuna Beach (A casual, all inclusive resort on a 1,200-foot beach) Doubloon Road/Churchill Dr. Freeport,
By cruise ship! Check out Discovery Cruises for a travel option
Bahamas (242) 373-4000. Remember, your room will not be
that gives you lots more views than the clouds outside your
ready until after 3pm, so be sure to pack a swimsuit in your
window seat! (800/866-8687, www.discoverycruiseline.com)
carry-on bag. Enjoy the day relaxing at your hotel, checking
Discovery Cruises provides daily service from Fort Lauderdale
out the facilities or just basking in the sun. As part of the All-
to Grand Bahama Island, a five-hour trip each way including
Inclusive Plan, guests enjoy complimentary use of bicycles,
three meals, entertainment and an onboard casino and pool..
hiking/biking trails, kayaks, small sailboats, snorkeling gear, windsurfers, an archery range, Volleyball and two hardsurface, lighted tennis courts. Other activities include soccer,
ARRIVAL Upon arriving in the Bahamas, everyone must fill out and sign
ping-pong, and water polo. Some activities are available for
an Immigration form, keeping a portion of the card in hand until
additional fees, including scuba diving, glass-bottom boat
departing. An oral baggage declaration is required. Purchases
rides, waterski, Jet Ski, parasailing, fishing, horse riding,
up to a value of one hundred dollars are permitted by all
helicopter/airplane sightseeing, and sunset/ party-boat cruises.
* Recreational activities are available at or near the resort.
To enter the Bahamas, U.S. citizens
need a passport- current or expired (up to a maximum of five years since expiration date), accompanied by a return or
THINGS TO DO
onward journey ticket and proof of funds to support the visit.
If you enjoy the water, Grand Bahama offers a full array of water sport activities such as windsurfing, sailing, jet skiing and
parasailing. Nature lovers and eco-tourists have a choice of
Departures to the US must go through US Customs pre-
kayaking, horseback riding, snorkeling or swimming with
clearance. Every person, except children 6 and under, must
dolphins. You can also explore the surface below with Unexso
pay a departure tax upon leaving the island: $18 at the airport.
and Xanadu Undersea Adventures, which can arrange shark,
US visitors may take home $600 worth of duty-free
shipwreck and night dives, as well as diving certification
merchandise. The next $l,000 is taxed at 10%. Gifts valued up
lessons, or Dive-in-a-Day lessons. Stroll among 85 shops,
to $50 may be mailed home duty-free.
restaurants, pubs and boutiques at Port Lucayan Marketplace.
TUTC Benefactor Program The Take Up Thy Cross, Inc. Benefactor Program serves as a way for you the citizen, to partner with TUTC the corporation, in our effort to meet the needs of our communities. So far this year TUTC has received donations from 9 new Benefactors. TUTC would like to send out a very special thank you to all of our valued Benefactors. May God continue to bless you abundantly. Pictured is our very first Benefactor, Mr. Kendric Gray. Silver Benefactors:
Gerald Pierce, Joe Johnson, Adrian Gray, Shantelle Gray, Jeanette Butler, Bernice Collins
Gold Benefactors :
Kendric Gray, Travis Smith, Calvin Smith, Ann Gray
It would be our pleasure to add your name to our growing list of community supporting Benefactors. These names are the names of the leaders in service and in action throughout our churches and our cities. Please do not be the one left out as we strive to meet the needs of our community this year. Prove that we are not all talk, but that we are constantly active in this partnership. Below are the Benefactor levels, please contact Joe Johnson at (469)877-8978 or at email@example.com. Or you may simply mail your donations to 2128 Pacino Dr., Fort Worth, TX, 76134.