DIGITAL CHRISTIAN MAGAZINE THAT INSPIRES HOPE THROUGH CHRIST CENTERED CONTENT FRESH NEWS, MUSIC, INTERVIEWS, REVIEWS AND FEATURED AMBASSADORS: PASTOR SHAUN KING / KIERRA SHEARD / COCO BROTHER / XME / YELLOW CAVALIER
INSIDE JON DAVIDSON B.REITH SARAH REEVES DONALD LAWRENCE
// BRIDGING THE GAP // FINDING PEACE OF MIND SPIRITUALLY
The Freedom of...
CROSSROAD magazine April 2009, Issue #2 Speech // The Freedom of.....
PUBLISHER / CREATIVE EDITOR / FOUNDER Victor Flavius // firstname.lastname@example.org
EDITORIAL + Editor // Matoaca Hardy-Martin + Music Editor // Kory Boone
CONTRIBUTORS Carl Agard, Lincoln L. Steed, Joshua Flavius, Jhoana Cooper, Darrell Miller, Kory Boone, John Parks, Elisah van Vriesland, Matoaca Hardy-Martin, Meghan Blue, Tobias
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MISSION STATEMENT Crossroad magazine website is a place for those motivated by faith to transpose their lives from a secular-focused world to a Christ centered life. Crossroad Magazine covers Christian music, reviews, healthy living, books that impact our spiritual growth and lives, ministry overview and music interviews. We provide the vehicle and outlet to positively influence each individual. Our vision is to inspire hope to those that feel confused and misguided about their purpose and to build a platform that will plant a seed or help transform individuals one by one. Welcome to the Crossroad. Crossroad magazine is published bi-monthly and is distributed free online. to contact Crossroad magazine, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. we appreciate your feed back Crossroad magazine all rights reserved. reproduction without permission, by any method whatsoever, is prohibited.
CROSSROAD MAGAZINE CONTENTS ISSUE #2 • APRIL • www.crossroadmag.com
FINDING PEACE OF MIND SPIRITUALLY BY JOHN PARKS
MUSIC REVIEWS BY KORY BOONE
MATTERS OF FAITH BY LINCOLN L STEED
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR IDENTITY IS STOLEN BY CARL AGARD
FINANCIAL STABILITY IN AN UNSTABLE ECONOMY BY DR. RANDY GILBERT
BE MORE BEAUTIFUL NATURALLY
TOP SPRING FASHION TIPS WHEN YOU ARE ON A LEAN BUDGET BY JHOANA COOPER
SIX FOODS THAT BOOST HEART HEALTH
SPEECH THE FREEDOM OF...
BENEFITS OF A VEGAN DIET BY MATOACA HARDY-MARTIN
LIFE OR BLACKBERRY BY ELISAH VAN VRIESLAND
RENEWABLE ENERGY MEANS GREENER LIVING BY MEGHAN BLUE
ON THE COVER 10 40 42 44
B. REITH // NOT YOUR AVERAGE JOE BRIDGING THE GAP JON DAVIDSON // PERFECT CLICHE’ THE AMBASSADORS // FEATURES NEW MUSIC
10 // FAITH
B. REITH erage Joe
v a r u o y not
int s hard to pin po today’s youth it’ of e m so to es it com aracter. When character? tter than we u’re a man of ch yo loping a good at ve th de d r God knows be se fo es at n pr th tio ex pt lu e ce so ac ac M ur y to yo s ob hat’s illingnes Word, and to th and morals. W of a humble w rrender to His t su ou n n ca ps ow e lo r w ve good character ou en de of r out ys. Th k good characte inly can't do it trust what He sa B.Reith: I thin ways. We certa when I really d rs, and we can 's ol ou at r an ou Th . th to 4) er 5: no gh s d hi an an e t ar om is s (R hr ay s C w al s in g and tri do, that hi we really are out of sufferin ng yes to who aracter develop ch t os process of sayi m e th life I've seen strength. In my methods. open to God's as w re a career d in music? cried out and enough to endu t got you starte te ha na W io ? ss gs in pa nn as d found out ble begi t sure I w from college an about your hum ing, but I wasn' d m te tle or ua lit rf a ad pe gr us d I ll an te So g So B, on a mission’s e stable. ic, singin anywhere. I was up around mus b would be mor ty jo ew ili l" the gr ab I ea st : "r b th a jo ei .R ng B getti . So I embraced at there's no sically thought to give it a shot ng else, and th ild ith hi bu w yt t lp an en t he w ou I to in music and ba e ab passionate ugh the team le around m ro or op th at pe e e m od om go ed es ag as t of aw I wasn' ally encour God built a team m when God re ashville where N in trip in Amsterda up d de en ory short, call, and long st on this project? you work with . d di m ho at a coffee w a platform d covered an ) to a girl I saw cs n" pi O to o e G th (" of ht e yourself" to t are som y name rig says "don't lose d Forecast. Wha ople can't say m lly le pe ca tit si w ed is ba ho EP ch om hi ur fr Yo pics le servant nam d World", w recast covers to with an incredib ruck") to "Col EP id St e av eth D d Aw ce ith (" w B.Reith: The Fo du to k lk . I co-pro d to wor too scared to ta ly created to be as super excite al w I re . e ns er ia w shop and was ic e w us lented m miss out on who e amazingly ta this world and to bring in som t World." go d e ol w "C d d an ing "Mess" an on Bryan Lenox, gs rin st e gned and releas th arranged ink you’d be si th er ev u yo Davidson who id e? D , what was it lik " was in the st performance fir ur yo to ck first real "show ba y k m in ut th B u d. yo ki Can I did this song as a little 09? gh it went well! urch since I w ou ch en at y d gl ought an in ol ris an album in 20 scho ute set. Surp ore :) I never th I performed in so much anym about a 45 min t d no ha , I en e. B.Reith: Well, th ke ck au ol ba church in Milw nced... it was co re 2009! basement of a d everybody da an m in way befo " bu pa al om an g Lo in pa as le om re "O be d lle I'd ca ght u the most? t I actually thou has inspired yo ho W ram ? ic us I'd be signed, bu m play piano, prog or creating er play guitar, th ck r when writing ei fo ba I e t ok m bu lo co y, u d nn yo dumb an sounds fu spiration do write something If it or less listen. It e. lly e What kind of in m ua or m us es I I ov , es ic m m us ing co ng that I write m ric idea. If noth an life, somethi B.Reith: When a melody or a ly ething larger th r m s a keeper. fo so it' n n is te he lis gh w I ou d right away a beat, an look for th I ow at kn th lly n ua tio us ira I insp tener. to it later. The ely move the lis it will most lik en th e m es ov m church, watch like to do? k out, serve at me things you or so w e , ar ad t re ha to w , io e. I love not in the stud e a daily for m So when you’re Coffee shops ar :) t lo a , lk ta to B.Reith: I like music. el? row in the tow d see great live you want to th t good movies an stances en um om rc m ci a n er he in myself w r? Is there ev fa ng vi s so lie e be ng d le al an lows. The high omises your biggest ch ns of highs and lieving God's pr to be ve ith is r w ha What has been fa y, ly so al ne e tu ur G jo s. I ac ggest challeng music is a LON t plug into Jesu n't B.Reith: My bi uing a career in pty if you don' rs em much, that I ca Pu g o e. in to is el s fe rw it' u he at yo th e , is av th le n do ca t would say ot d. n' they I ca evaile and sweet, and e told God that ist in me has pr are very short s occasions. I'v s, and that Chr ou es er ln m fu nu ith fa on is el H w for thrown in the to do. I thank Him e's called me to H t ha w ime soon? le nd ha ughout the ing on tour anyt go u yo re A her venues thro ot u? d yo an ar es ll he ch d ur an ch e uring in the fa and some le expect to se itely will be to in the summer fin s : al de V iv Where can peop T st So M fe ll. g r fa bi deo fo rd in the doing some On" music vi full-length reco o w B.Reith: I'll be "G ne a th e ei as .R le B for ing to re record. Vote year. We're look ote the new om pr to r te and win .mtvu.com/ http://freshmen
Pursuing a career in music is a LONG journey, with s tons of high and lows. The highs are very short and sweet, and they can leave you feeling empty if you don't plug into Jesus.
12 // FAITH
finding peace of mind
spiritually by John Parks
ce of mind and rch in order to find pea chu the to g kin loo are s about what women about God are now curiou ial times, many men and g rin soc hea and in c d mi ste no ere eco int un ing acquaintances usly been In these try ies from their friends and s. People that have previo uir ion inq est th qu wi ny ma ped at am gre sw a mselves the church was answers to ok of Acts, we see what goers alike are finding the bo rch the chu In h and urc rs Ch ade ts Le Ac . ts, the church urch vs. the He has to say room in Chapter 2 of Ac of God. The Modern Ch per ter up rac the cha in irit and Sp ure ly nat Ho alike as to the 0 were filled with the k like. As soon as the 12 originally intended to loo the spiritual gifts are explodes. sicknesses are healed and all , red sha are s od go all much as everyone munity develops in which king and behaving pretty com a loo ers and go ed rch sav chu are th ple wi , st places Many peo tead of people being drastically different in mo ny sick people. And ins ks ma loo are ay re tod the rch gs, chu lin e hea Th With the eyes of in use. tead of ographics. The Revolution there is a lot of greed. Ins g, dem rin ger sha un of yo d g tea on Ins am y es. else do especiall they have settled for ing that the Christianity ance is dropping rapidly, liz end rea att are rch n chu me , wo rly ula and n in the church that saved reg many me ing the traditions of man the church for answers, to ion in est qu aga , ce ing on ris o ned als tur is n the nation new generatio described in the bible. A rtant. is far less than what God that Jesus said were impo s ng gospel or the thi the th wi stirring can be seen in do to le litt y have ver groups, but most of the age all of ns tia ris Ch ied behaved in the book dissatisf ng in the church amongst way the church looked and edi the bre n and tio le olu bib rev the a to is k There looking bac m healed, to live in com Many of these people are y for the sick and see the pra ns. tia to , ris er son Ch ord d sea in r age ms e ula tic gra leg col rch pro this par outside of traditional chu dramatically changing in is ing pp rch ste chu rs are the we ny of e ans Ma l fac ts. rfu e of Ac powe nclusion Th ing our nation. The most ies transformed. The Co ms that seem to be plagu ble pro has returned to a munity and to see their cit t the tha to rs ple we peo ans of to look to it for e from a group ing com inn ll wi beg t bu are , ple rch peo chu as al just than ever amongst this ed, tradition racles are occurring more come from the establish mi t no and ely ers lik nd st wo mo ns, ll wi sig get now, purity and morality as sented with power. Even tianity, choosing sexual pre ris is Ch t al tha lic y nit bib tia to k ris Ch bac t ve vibran ned the mo ristian teenagers have joi group of people. Even Ch al living. vor of the original biblic their personal standard of will have more of the fla t bu t, in e pas hav the y in the t has tha it l all e than ee hymns. They will sel ferent in the days to com ng plate after singing thr eri The church will look dif off the s pas and ach ll not just pre church than ever. They wi and affect their world. l spe go order to preach the For more information on
icroblog.com and http://g
church, visit http://churchm
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14 // FAITH
Sweet Sweet Sound:
Advocate for her generation, Worship leader, Song writer, and Prayer warrior, Sarah Reeves has been called all these things, and with good reason – the 19 year-old Alabama native is an artist whose voice seems to break through directly to the heart of each listener. Sarah’s vision, faith and a love of music is beyond her years. The six-song set reveals a tapestry of worship-inducing pop distinguished by her sweet vocals and unashamedly vulnerable lyrics. “Sweet, Sweet Sound,” the title cut, serves as an great start for Sarah’s music and ministry. The breezy, lilting, worship-inducing track is distinguished by Sarah’s sweet vocals. There is an abandonment in her songs that compels listeners to dive deep into worship with her. Lyrics that are authentic, engaging and humble, Sarah’s music finds a way to reach people exactly where they are at either on an intimate level or on a congregational level. Scripturally grounded songs like the rock-inflected, “Fresh Anointing,” and yearning prayer songs like the sweetly melancholy piano ballad, “Come Save,” flow in a seamless warp and weave to produce a beautiful tapestry of praise and adoration. The latter, a stand-out track inspired by 2 Chronicles 7:14, is a fervent plea for God’s intervention in a broken world. Her mission is to serve God by leading young people into a lifestyle of worship and adoration to Him. 4.5 out of 5 praises
DONALD LAWRENCE & COMPANY The Law of Confession Part One:
Blessed with a musical career that extends eighteen years and counting, the multi-award winning producer, conductor, and songwriter Donald Lawrence has returns with his ninth album, The Law of Confession Part 1. Heavily influenced by the teachings of D. Lawrence’s pastor, Bill Winston of Living Word Christian Center in Forest Park, IL, the album speaks upon the beliefs of blessings, the power of your tongue, and of course, confessions. After great success from his previous double album, Final Act I and II, will The Law of Confession triumph its predecessor? This LIVE recording consists of 14 tracks, as it opens up with “The Word of the Lord,” which sets the tone of the album. Biblical scriptures are deeply laced with the song’s lyrics as Donald Lawrence and the praise team gives Biblical excerpts that describe the Bible and how powerful it is. Following suit are the songs “Let the Word Do the Work” and “Word of My Power,” which goes along with the Word of Faith movement, as the songs teach, we choose our outcome by what we say. Celebratory track, “Back II Eden,” is another up-tempo song that has a mid-90s feel to it, which speaks about reaching the Kingdom, symbolized as The Garden of Eden. Towards the end of the album, “Happy Being Me,” is a mellow tuned song that softly tells us to press on without looking back at our failures, amongst other messages communicated throughout the song. This is another project that Donald Lawrence has delivered on. Nothing here sets him musically at the next level as the previous album did, but if you want an album to lead your worship experience by giving thanks and proclaiming God’s Word, The Law of Confession Part I will fulfill its task. 4.0 out of 5 praises
the Compound Foundation Supporting and creating success opportunities for youth in the child welfare system Alarmingly, high rates of children living in the welfare system face poverty, including, homelessness after being released from group homes at 18. Too often, children living in group homes are left without a home to return to during the holidays, a supportive base of friends or family, or resources needed to transition into adulthood. For this reason, the Compound Foundation, founded by R &B singer/songwriter, Ne-Yo, has made itâ€™s mission to increase awareness about the status of children in the welfare system and provide direct support programs and opportunities to children living in group homes and residential care facilities. Ne-Yoâ€™s personal story of having his talent discovered, literally on the streets of L.A., and transformed into international stardom and personal wealth adds to his motivation to provide opportunities to other young people, especially those whose misfortunes require them to grow up in group homes. The Compound Foundation believes that every child should dream BIG, using their creativity and special talents to achieve success in life. Understanding that access to opportunity is crucial to improving the lives of children in the public welfare system, our Itâ€™s Cool Having Tools (I.C.H.T.) Program helps prepare students for school by providing necessities such as health screenings and immunizations, clothing and school supplies. Going a step beyond, the I.C.H.T. program provides musical instruments and other aids to encourage student engagement in the arts and extracurricular activities & post graduation entrepreneurial training for students living in group homes and low-income communities. To get involved or for more information, visit the Compound Foundation online www.compoundfoundation.org
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18 // FAITH
MATTERS of Faith
by Lincoln E. Steed, Editor, Liberty Magazine
hat is faith? What is religion? These questions are not as easily answered as you think. Faith—Jesus told His disciples that there would not be much of it around when He returns at the end of days. Religion—sometimes there seems too much of it. Especially in government as it relates to the safety issue of keeping religious and secular power separate in their own spheres of authority.
Often in these pages I have referred to a “shared cosmology,” as a way to pin down the religious values of a society. I’ve taken that approach because of our charter to defend the rights of all to believe what they will—religious freedom. Of course cosmology is a pretty big tent—as big as all outdoors. By it I mean a shared understanding of where we stand in relation to the infinite. And I have pretty firm ideas about that myself. I tend to agree with the apostle Paul when he wrote that those who deny the existence of God “deliberately ignore the fact that all of it was made by the word of God from nothing.”
I like my cosmology euphemism, obviously. So it surprised me a little the other day to listen to the struggle a Professor Johnson of Emory University had in putting out even a basic definition of what religion is. It was part of a series of taped lectures on “The Experience of the Divine,” and the professor needed to set basic definitions. It bothered me that most of the definitions of religion differ even on the most basic points. I found little commonality between the various definitions set forth over the years.
lar humanism a religion. It is a curious call, not at all based on the affinity that people of deep spirituality might feel for others of a different take on the divine. Of course we are living in a curious time. The U.S. Constitution mandated that there be no religious test for public office—but there is currently spirited public debate on the appropriateness of a Mormon running for president. Not to mention the not so cute double-talk of a well-known evangelical leader who on television firmly upheld religious freedom and the separation of church and state, saying that it made no difference whether we elected “a Christian or a Mormon”! I have my views of theology and truth, but categorizations of faith like this fed the craziness of Nazi Germany.
For example, in the nineteenth century Friedrich Schleiermacher said that religion is “a feeling of absolute dependency.” Problematic to me: mother and child imagery and not much more.
Is secular humanism a religion? Nobody accused the Nazis of being a religious movement—and they were the ultimate expression of secularist selfdeterminism. Communism did ape some of the models of religious behavior, but it was too antagonistic to religion to even allow itself to be considered of that family. The confusion behind the readiness to re-categorize secular humanism is, I believe, a confusion about faith itself.
In his book, Idea of the Holy, twentieth century philosopher Rudolf Otto set out religion as “that which grows out of and gives expression to the experience of the holy in its various aspects.” Again problematic: we cannot all agree on what is holy. And talk about polar opposite takes on religion— philosopher Alfred North Whitehead put religion as what someone does with his solitariness, while Emile Durkheim, the founder of sociology, defined religion as “social.” Professor Johnson offered more: Kant—“the recognition of all our duties as divine commands” ; Dewey—“any activity pursued on behalf of an ideal against obstacles and in spite of threats of personal loss because of its general and enduring value” (I could see politics as fitting under that definition); Paul Tillich—“an ultimate concern, which contains the answer to the meaning of our lives” (but some religions actually mandate meaninglessness). I’ll break the long sentence for a short paragraph of secular observations: Freud—“childhood neurosis and wish fulfillment”; Marx—“sign of the oppressed creature— the opium of the people.” I have a feeling that both these men would be super keen on separation of church and state, and super ready to abolish any free exercise of religion as unhealthy. Which is a good place to insert the point behind much of my inquiry. There is a growing clamor from some of the politically active faithful in our society to consider secu-
Faith in the context of religion is not optimism. It is not even dedication per se. It is not a free radical. Faith makes sense only when connected to the transcendent—to the Divine. The Bible itself says that he who comes to God must first believe that “He is.” And that is not to be equated with the philosopher’s “I think, therefore I am.” The secular humanist is merely insane if he dreams like Dostoevsky’s suicidal character of becoming God Himself by the ultimate act of self-determination—killing the idea of God doesn’t create divinity and transcendence. I have warned before about Western society’s drift toward moral values without spirituality. It was, of course, an error of moral self-righteousness that created the horror of World War II. Moral values without spiritual renewal in America differ not much structurally from secular humanism. That way both religion and secularism are removed from the transcendent. It puts me to mind of the end to John Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress that no one seems to remember: after Pilgrim has successfully crossed over the river into the City, Ignorance and the ferryman, Vain-hope, also cross. They are not recognized by the Deity. After all, they were not particularly concerned with the transcendent. Enough of the foolishness of trying to redefine the poor limits of secular humanism as religion. The goal may be to do away with inhibitions restricting the secular prerogatives of religion. That goal has much more to do with a diminished respect for the Constitution than it should ever have to do with calling secular humanism a religion. The framers of the Constitution would, I think, have been mighty uncomfortable with that redefinition. They knew the personal landscape of faith and mandated that both secularist religionist were to be protected and respected. They left faith to the individual conscience.
20 // LIFESTYLE
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR IDENTITY IS
STOLEN Words by Carl Agard
It can happen at anyone. You check your credit report and you see that there is a strange credit card account for $10,000. The good news is that American Express viewed you as responsible enough to extend you that much credit limit. The bad news is that you did not authorize the account. On top of that, the account is in default and your credit score dropped by 100 points. You rack your brain to see how this happened. Did you leave your vital information lying around? Did you unwittingly give someone your information over the phone? Over the Internet? Identity theft is one of the fastest rising crimes in the United States. This causes millions of dollars in losses to lenders and mounds of headaches to the victim. It is also one of the hardest crimes to prevent. After you have found you have been victimized, the perpetrator is long gone and untraceable. How do you prevent becoming a victim? What do you do if you become a victim?
A name, date of birth, and a social security number is all a thief needs to secure a credit card or a loan. Credit card fraud is the most common type of identity theft. One commonly seen scam is for the thief to call the credit card company pretending to be the victim, and change the mailing address of the existing account. Another scam is the thief opens a new credit card account in the victim’s name. Because the bills are being sent to another address, the victim doesn’t realize that they have an account at all. In the meantime, the thief will run up the credit card, the bill never gets paid, and your credit is ruined for a long time. There are several other types of identity theft hustles involving bank accounts, stolen checks, and even mortgages. I have heard of people buying million dollar mansions with somebody else’s identity. I had a brownstone in Brooklyn in which a lawyer forged my deed and took out a new mortgage with a stolen identity from India. I quickly exposed the scam and had the lawyer arrested, but it took me five years to fix my title to the house, and it took the person from India the same amount of time to get the mortgage taken off their credit report. If you do not act fast once you find out that you have been a victim of credit card fraud, you will not be able to get credit for a long time. You will have to prove that it was not you who defaulted on the account. Unfortunately, most people do not find out that they are a victim until they are denied a loan. What to do? – Act quickly and file a complaint with the Attorney General’s office. When I found out that someone had taken out a mortgage on my house, I took all the information I had to the Attorney General’s office of my county. They traced the suspects by the notarized signature of the lawyer who helped to forge my deed. With credit card fraud, contact the company and file a report. They will immediately close the account and start an investigation. Depending on state laws, you may be protected against the unauthorized charges. Lastly, file a report with your local police station and keep a copy. Your creditors will require it and you will have to send it to the credit bureaus so that they can take the account off of your credit report. If the suspects are caught, the prosecutors can seek restitution. Change all of your passwords and account information.
How to prevent identity theft? – Here are some real tips on keeping your information safe: + Do not give out your social security number to unsolicited callers. Make sure that the company you are dealing with is reputable.
+ Invest in a shredder. Use it to get rid of information that you do not need anymore. Thieves rummage through garbage to get vital information from old bills and even college transcripts. + Only carry the credit cards and information that you need daily. In case you are robbed or lose your wallet or purse, all of your information is not gone and you do not have to cancel a lot of items. Do not carry your social security card unless you need it that day.
+ Use virus protection, spy ware and firewall on your computer. Cyber thieves are always looking to steal your information from your computer. Avoid filling out information on shady looking websites. Do not reply to e-mails soliciting your banking information.
+ Check your credit report frequently. The more often you check your credit report, the quicker you can spot an unauthorized account or inquiry. Put a lock on your credit report in which you will be notified anytime someone tries to run a credit report on you. You can check your report at www.annualcreditreport.com . + Subscribe to LifeLock in which they will let you know each time there is an inquiry on your report. This service freezes your credit making it impossible for anyone to open a new account. You have to unfreeze it whenever you want to apply for new credit. LifeLock will also protect you in the event of an identity theft.
+ Check your bank account and credit card bill closely each month. I even advise to check your banking information online daily. With the increase of debit card usage over cash, identity thieves can steal money right out of your bank account. A few years ago, I purchased some CD’s at a store in Atlanta with my debit card. The person working at the store made an imprint of my debit card and gave it to someone to use in New Jersey. Luckily I had a fraud alert on my checking account and my bank closed my account immediately. I also quickly saw the unauthorized charges because I check my banking account online every morning. Without doing this, the thieves could have easily cleaned out my checking account. Nobody is immune to identity theft. Keep your guards up and take these measures to protect your information. Believe me it takes a lot of time and energy to get everything corrected. Internet Radio Host Carl Agard is an author of four books on wealth building and finances. His latest book Getting the Real out of Improving your Credit is available now. www.carlagard.com
22 // LIFESTYLE
Financial Security in an Unstable Economy by Dr. Proactive Randy Gilbert
ew families pass on actual knowledge about wealth building to their children. Negative feelings of poverty and scarcity can last for generations.
Accountant and financial advisor, Dr. Joseph Simini says, “Most people are illiterate about finance. Finance isn’t all that tough. If you want to become financially independent, you can’t depend on someone else to do that for you. You have to do it yourself with knowledge.” Dr. Simini started out in life in a poor immigrant family and learned the basics of creating personal wealth from his father’s teachings and the school of hard knocks. He manages family owned investments and advises people on the subject of financial independence.
“Look beyond just employment income. Put your skills and talents to work for you. Create additional streams of income teaching or selling the hobbies you are already interested in”
He offers practical advice on how to become financially literate and financially independent: 1. Buy Your Own Home: It is important to buy your own home because with a small amount of money, and a lot of someone else’s money, you can get started. Instead of paying rent and making your landlord wealthy, you will be paying into your own mortgage. Eventually, you are going to own the building, leading to tax benefits. 2. Deduct Property Taxes and Mortgage Interest: These items can be deducted from your regular income and that is a big savings. Most people just use their standard deduction, but by adding the property tax deduction and the mortgage interest deduction, you can increase your deduction by thousands of dollars. 3. Save 10 Percent of Your Income: Fill out a budget categorizing all your bills and when they should be paid. At the top of the list of bills to be paid, put your own name. Pay yourself first. Nobody can help you, but you. 4. Make a List of Necessities: Make a list of the necessities that you need to live: rent, mortgage, clothes, food, etc. After this, make a list of the discretionary things. Decide if you really need all the things you are spending your money on. Are they necessary? Can you cut back? These are the financial questions you need to answer. 5. Take Advantage of Compound Interest: One of the most important fundamentals of wealth building is compound interest. Instead of giving you a nice return, compound interest will give you a sensational return. Compound interest is the interest added to the principle, and then the interest rate is on the new amount of money. Each year it becomes a little more. After years of compounding interest, it becomes a tremendously larger amount of money than if it were only simple interest.
All of these wealth-building strategies require awareness and a change in habits. Change your attitude about money. Change your financial habits. Read financial magazines, the business section of the paper, and financial magazines. Know what money can do for you. Look beyond just employment income. Put your skills and talents to work for you. Create additional streams of income teaching or selling the hobbies you are already interested in. This additional income will give more opportunities for saving and paying the bills. You have to go out and build income of your own. Avoid putting your money into cash. That includes: a bank account, notes, and bonds. These will only give back a small amount of interest. They are the worst things to invest in. The stock market has the potential for incredible wealth building if you learn the rules of the game. Do your homework, researching all the information available about investing in stocks. Become stock literate to protect your investment in the stock market. Find advisors and take responsibility for your own choices about your own money. Do not get caught up in limited thinking. Expand a little bit and take some different actions to benefit yourself financially. This is the foundation of building financial independence. Get yourself started onto the road of financial success by becoming financially literate. Once you learn the financial principles and practices pass them on to your children. Get your children involved in the basic skills of finances and building wealth. Knowing about money is as important as knowing the ABC’s in today’s world. Financial literacy will lead you to additional wealth building techniques. You will be able to come up with a plan that will take you from paying someone else, to becoming the person who other people are paying. http://www.insidesuccessradio.com/Guests/Joseph-Simini
Y L L A R U T A N L BEAUTIFU
ow, true as this may be for from within, but we all kn es com uty bea t tha d sai our mother always are all judged. al standard by which we moms, beauty is an extern cal y to improve some physi a pop on cosmetic surger s llar do ceof pro nd ny usa ma tho n and ry, People spend hundreds, eve may be less than satisfacto , inherent risks. Results ver we laser treatments can ho , and l are ica ere em Th Ch te. s. attribu lth complication hea and nt me ure fig dis s pain, long recoveries, and dures result in horrendou itional downsides such as add are eere Th . ces uen in not the solution and exp produce gruesome conseq discover that a quick fix ts ien an pat be ny Ma can y ns. ger ctio sur adverse medication intera not met. Often cosmetic when their expectations are wn do let al on successful. oti em an rience , in these cases, is never and ue iss l ica log cho psy attempt to resolve deeper a llars for a mere ounce of men pay hundreds of do Wo . ing s. les om bo use is are ry cts ust du se pro The cosmetic products ind that for the most part, the ng. Research has shown agi e ers t without risks. Some no rev to and am sh cre har le mirac uty products are bea r nte cou the er ov the ning shower. Many of the chemicals in that disappears with the eve ent vem pro im e tim rt products offer a very sho Health eating and exercise iceâ€”work from within. adv râ€™s the mo ur yo e tak body will heal and repair No, the best solution is to is really that simple. Your It ts. efi ben uty bea and ak. Unfortunately, we do result in the greatest health p things moving, so to spe kee and dts ien red ing ht xpensive, and effective pro itself if you put in the rig ts. There is a natural, ine die r ou od in Fo ts . ng nen po bei ll com we not always get the right enhance general health and e your appearance it will anc deficient in daily enh en ly oft on t is no ca, ll sili wi t ur, uct tha fossil shell flo ing urr occ lly ura nat a th, en taken into the body, grade diatomaceous ear Diatomaceous Earth, wh d. nee u yo ct du pro uty ful hair, stronger faster nutrition and is all the bea s are stronger, more beauti ult res e Th ter. bet ch mu ful skin. Not just younger causes collagen to work oother, clearer, more youth sm y, ntl rta po im st mo , dry skin, and acne melt growing finger nails, and skin. Psyrosiss, age spots, ful uth yo re e, mo , ier lth hea duct is 100% organic, saf looking skin, but actually n. This miracle beauty pro thi wi m in t fro fea ter all bet l sm fee No one. away!! Look better and , health, and savings all in You can combine beauty . day a s nie pen ts cos and this difficult economy!
Your body will heal and repair itself if you put in the right ingredients and keep things moving, so to speak.
26 // LIFESTYLE
SPRING FASHION TIPS WHEN YOU ARE ON A LEAN BUDGET By Jhoana Cooper
Spring fashion and summer attire are in vogue already so you may have to refurbish your wardrobe for the current season trends. However, upgrading your fashionista closet could be very challenging now due to the current economic crunch. That is why you need to learn how to become a wise shopper by looking for discount fashion trends and clothing. You will be able to find lots of cheap clothes out there that are very chic and trendy. So here are some fashion tips which could help you to keep up with the current fashion trends while you are on a lean budget. Spring fashion is definitely the in thing today. Specifically, fashion designers revived the 50’s and 60’s retro look with a profusion of lively colors, flowery designs, and white fabric accessories. In order to know the hottest spring fashion designs, make sure to check online designer shops that have displays of current trendy clothes. You might notice that the latest trend puts emphasis on combining different clothing elements to come up with new and fresh styles. By studying these design elements, you might find available clothes in your wardrobe that you can mix and match so you can create your own spring season clothing. With the right mix of clothing elements, you can still become a trendy spring fashionista even if you don’t spend too much on the latest clothing designs.
Of course you will have to buy core clothing that is in vogue today. These are your basic blouses, skirts, jackets, and shirts. So you may have to re-learn your bargain shopping skills in order to find the most attractive discount fashion trends for spring clothing. There are lots of cheap clothes today that are available in online fashion shops. Shopping online therefore should be your first option if you are looking for discount fashion trends and clothing. Simply browse online catalogs for basic spring wear. Choose light colored clothing that should go easily with other bright colored fashion accessories. This way, you will only have to spend top dollars for your basic clothing. You can now confidently shop for discounted accessories on bargain stores and clothing retailers. It is best also if you can choose basic spring clothing and accessories that you can reuse after the season. This means you may have to opt for universally accepted trendy clothing such as solid white blouses, gray skirts, and solid colored jackets. Ultra trendy clothes may not be usable after the season so you should think of ways how to maximize your clothes before you discard them. For example, tulip skirts are very trendy during spring. But if you pair it with the right belt and fashionable drapes, these skirts could be acceptable for all season. So always consider the versatility of your clothes when shopping for discount fashion trends. You need not spend too much just to get the latest trendy clothes for the season. All you have to do is to find cheap clothes and accessories that will match perfectly with your spring attire. You should also ensure that your spring clothing should be versatile enough so you can reuse them even after the season. This way, you will be able to stay fashionable while getting the full value of your money. Article Source: http://www.articlesbase.com/fashion-articles/top-spring-fashion-tips-when-you-are-on-a-lean-budget-808749.html
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HEART HEALTH By Darrell Miller /
he majorities of baby boomers are looking for a way to loose weight and lower their cholesterol. Both of these are two important factors in heart disease, which still remains the number one killer in the United States. The good news is that you can dodge heart disease through your food choices. Below are six foods that can help boost your heart health.
Many studies have proven the variety of health benefits given by fish, ranging from joint inflammation in arthritis sufferers to brain development in babies. The omega-3 fatty acids found in fish support circulation and improve blood vessel function. Researchers have also determined that omega-3s can prevent heart attack deaths as they stop the electrical disturbance that causes death and half of all heart attacks are due to these arrhythmias. Each week, you should eat one to two 3-ounce servings of fatty fish such as an Alaskan salmon, anchovies, herring or mackerel. By baking or poaching these fish at low heart you can help to preserve the omega-3s. For vegetarians, omega-3 rich flaxseeds can be added to oatmeal, smoothies, or salads. For those who don’t care for fish there are omega-3 oil supplements available as well. Have you ever wondered why oatmeal is so good for you? In
People with excess fat are much more likely to develop heart disease and stroke even if there are no other risk factors. your body, this gluey beta-glucan, which is soluble fiber, binds to bile acids found in the intestines and stomach and excretes them as waste. In order to make more bile acids, the liver needs cholesterol and takes it from the blood. This results in lower blood cholesterol levels. You need 3 grams of soluble fiber each day to reduce your cholesterol by five percent. A cup and a half of cooked oatmeal is a good size serving that can be jazzed up in flavor with frozen berries, non-fat plain yogurt, almonds and much more. High-glycemic foods like potatoes, white bread, and white rice should be avoided because you get a harmful burst of glucose and insulin that’s harmful immediately after eating them. These bursts tire out the pancreas in the long run and
increase the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Research also shows that having high-glycemic foods at one meal will make you even hungrier and eat more at the next, which is why these foods are associated with weight gain. People with excess fat are much more likely to develop heart disease and stroke even if there are no other risk factors. Because of this, focusing on true grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and barley and choosing them over refined grains as much as possible. Nuts are important for their unsaturated fats and their ability to help lower cholesterol. Walnuts actually contain omega-3 fatty acids, while almonds boost calcium, helping the heart muscle to contract, and Brazil nuts have selenium, which is a heart-protective antioxidant. About one ounce each day of nuts is good for you, but they do have a lot of calories so make sure to go easy on them. If you have a nut allergy, topping you salad with olives is a good alternative, as they contain unsaturated fats. Beans also contain soluble fiber like oatmeal, which helps to reduce cholesterol and keep arteries clear. By choosing the protein from beans instead of meat, you can cut back on saturated fats, which raise cholesterol. Eating beans four to five times a week is recommended, as they can be added to a lot of meals. If you don’t tolerate beans well, try adding kombu, a sea vegetable, to them to help break down the components that cause gas. Your body also does adapt to beans over time, so try building up your bean servings slowly. Food enzymes can help reduce gas as well so don’t forget to take your enzymes. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and other berries all have strong antioxidant properties that can help fight heart disease and are also low in calories and high in fiber. Eating two cups of fruit each day for general health is recommended, but you should eat as many berries as you can tolerate. Free radicals can break down cholesterol that is flowing in your blood and make them sticky so to deposit on the arterial walls of your blood vessels. Fight this with antioxidant rich foods to reduce cholesterol build up. Eating healthy is one step in boosting heart health and overall cardiovascular health. Exercise is also important in keeping your body strong and vibrant so one can live a healthier longer life.
30 // LIFESTYLE
a f o s t i f e Ben
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32 // LIFESTYLE
“MUCH OF SOCIETY'S IGNORING THE MORAL ASSAULT ON OUR YOUTH!”
m of ... The Freedo by Tobias
g generation. sitive music for our youn o. Recording AD & for po l rea nt, me op vel De success with Arrested ere's a lot that I'm int ongratulations on all your e by these days, so what have you been up to? Th ddle east, Australia, Europe and of course Mi a, com ric to Af ta Church rld: (Asia, Good music is hard shows throughout the wo Little 5 points, Atlanta called The Greater Atlan nch of it e liv ing Do ia. As in eer in bu e a her ly ual try my solo car act nis mi it's s , video channels rant Christian art U.S.) I also help lead a vib music is only hard to find on mainstream radio and od Go rt. ! of Christ (GACC) for sho diums. That's what i tend to go to for my music me seems people are out there in independent influence is a big topic, it First off, we've it’s and op p-H Hi of te us on the sta h an Issue? it. Radio, even CNN the foc w would you address suc In churches, schools, on th the negativity that comes with this genre. Ho e today. Not just that "somethings" wrong with wi her all l t ch ou dea mu to sic ys r rap, it's pretty much of the mu looking for wa 're exposed to. If you hea exactly is wrong with so got to acknowledge what is no longer a balance or diversity of the acts we , 88 Keys, Filastine, Evidence, K-OS etc. re The specifics are that the al topics. Yo don't hear "AD, The ROOTS, K'naan usu se tho and ut strippers and pimps "crunk" style, towards kids! Songs abo r youth! ted rke ma y all gic ate str being t on ou t very "Adult" content is ignoring the moral assaul The second problem is tha t little kids love to listen to. Much of society's tha r merging with one anothe have child - like melodies tions all consolidating and E population of people sta io rad s iou var and RG EMI, Warner Music, Sony, decisions that effect a LA iformity in whats being The third problem is with Channel, XM & Sirius, MTV, VH-1 and BET) re un mo and ity ers div s les r e or being bought out. (Clea LER and SMALLER amount of people. So we hav aviors too! are being made by a SMAL than just hit records, but peoples mindsets and beh re youth? Hip Hop has promoted. that effects mo best avenue to reach our s nation, when it's the it is or uth yo the to thi of ssage is sending the wrong me ve it change the landscape Do you feel that Hip-hop st effective mediums to date! When it was positi it. use proven to be one of the mo don't think the enemy is the music, it's how we I e. sam the es have got to do it ve ati neg , peer pressure, etc.? You for people ion ict add e lik ues iss the re and search uggle with all to do for self! Get out the e for youth today, who str What advice do you hav ciety has disappointed the youth. The youth has ur own! Don't waste your life! And of course, as So are basically on yo ets in wisdom! search out true success! THEM your heroes. You bible! it's a book of nugg ke the ma in bs and ht ver rig Pro it the do d ly who actual youth to rea HIS power, I'd advise all th. a believer in Christ's and I've had some victory wi ictions, ("Demons") that ks. add fol al to son e per vib e r ou som uce had rod e t challenge so far? I'v e, and having to re-int What has been your biggesof huge fame, followed by a long stretch of off tim n rde cerning our I also have had the bu en it comes to issues con ser deciwh ke ma to d nee ca eri ders around Am p them make wi changes do you feel the lea have learned the lessons, now we've got to hel Speaking of social, what , let them soar past what we no lts, say I adu n. the ow rn on their 've got to be youth? Protect them! We this new and stupid rule that says let the youth lea 's sions, when we can! There n we ever could have! tha ter st bet do m the let , did we right now from Kayne we fashion is the biggest thing in ent vem mo g” wa “S ch. talk fashion, This whole Speaking of Issues, let’s to do my own thing. Not follow the trends too mu ive str ne, I l. hal the in ds Ki to blic Enemy, De La, Sly Sto my parents mostly, but Pu ? life ur yo t pac im y the ny to mention) the most and how did Who influenced your life musically! (I'm missing a lot of others too, too ma life my tian music in Prince all changed do you see yourself, Chris whole new ere wh l, ita dig ing go is rything now, its a jor changes right now, eve :-) No one is secure right music is concerned, n Music is going through ma e palce as everybody, trying to find our way! tia ris Ch as far as nity. sam the most of every opportu matter what "style" of music you're into, these changes? I'm in the no ta scary. i'm just making e, sor her and tow g up itin d exc ene ta op sor m to get someera. It's out there, and it's ff stu al on t at all. Sure easier for the ati pir No ins ist? y art ver new for ier eas it's l i think there is some as a Christian! Do you fee mainstream of peoples consciousness! you can still have a voice HARDER to get it into the thing out there, but surely really love time with my sic? I'm a family man, I mu m fro e tim d my church, off ur yo involved in helping to lea involved with on y get ver u am yo o do als s I . ng els thi of jew ds What kin who are my e riding. friend! And my two kids, s, target shooting, and bik wife, who is also my best of Christ. Other than those things, I love movie h The Greater Atlanta Churc
34 // LIFESTYLE
By Elisah van Vriesland
ith the integration of wireless Internet on such devices as the iPhone, Blackberry and Google’s Android phone, the past few years have seen an emerging phenomenon of 24/7 connectivity. However, research suggests those who choose to correspond via email, text messages or social networks are prone to health problems and diminished professionalism, as a rush to get a message across supersedes the need for human interaction. The key is to decipher in what circumstances technological advances are necessary and in which we’re better off without them.
SHORT TEXT, LONG HISTORY: Though the phrase “text me” is now part of the lexicon of modern life, Short Message Service (SMS) actually languished in technological obscurity for more than a decade after the concept was initially developed in the early 1980’s. It was not until 1992 that the first SMS was sent over a UK network and only by the end of 2000 did SMS texts become a regular commercial feature for the majority of contracted users. As SMS quickly became an ever more relevant method of communication with the average Joe, entrepreneurs and professionals were presented with a toy of their own, the Blackberry. Combining the latest mobile phone with a hand held computer, the blackberry gave workaholics access to their emails, office networks and documents, and made it possible to conduct business from anywhere.
HEALTH RISK: A disturbing side effect of this increasing connectivity has been its effect on face-to-face interaction. It has now become possible to complete your commute without looking at another human being, or attend a dinner party having had fifteen simultaneous conversations with friends who were not actually there. Professor Gayle Porter of Rutgers University led research that signified the health risks of such behavior, outlining that 'addiction to technology can be as equally damaging [as chemical or substance addictions] to a worker's mental health'.
TALKERS VS. TEXTERS: Brand new mobile phones that include a plethora of socially interactive technologies may also be contributing to the higher levels of anxiety and depression amongst teenagers and young adults. In research conducted at the University of Plymouth, Reid & Reid (2004) split an experimental group into “talkers” or “texters” based on a qualitative analysis. They discovered that
although the majority of both texters and talkers preferred face-to-face communication, over a quarter of the texters preferred texting 4 times the number of talkers who preferred texting. Texters were also found to be more socially anxious and lonely than the talkers.
EMBELLISH VS. DISPLACE: "Social networking sites should allow us to embellish our social lives, but what we find is very different. The tail is wagging the dog. These are not tools that enhance, they are tools that displace." Dr. Aric Sigman, a biologist, has warned that a lack of human interaction paralleled with innovations in technology could result in a range of health problems, such as upset immune responses, altered hormone levels, malfunction of arteries and a decrease in mental performance. In the BBC article, Dr. Sigman also cited research in which face-to-face interaction has fallen dramatically since 1987, signifying that modern technologies are hindering the way we interact with other human beings. Advancements in technology should enhance rather than diminish our social lives.
EASE OF ACCESS VS. PROFESSIONALISM: The appeal of email and instant messaging still boasts an obvious answer - It’s free and it’s instant. To avoid busy signals and high phone bills, the internet provides a more cost-effective way to interact with workmates, clients and within a personal context. However, these mediums simply cannot replace real phone conversations or faceto-face meetings in the workplace. A poll on Edutopia has also expressed the concern of social media within an educational environment: "As more and more students immerse themselves in Textspeak over their cell phones and computers, educators worry that their writing skills are suffering. [...] There is concern that students who frequently express themselves in abbreviations and smiley faces may lose the capacity for more nuanced, grammatically correct writing." Put simply, a level of formality is needed to gain trust in all three businesses, educational establishments and in individuals. Where businesses cut corners on formal conversations, carelessness in quick correspondence could hinder progress in both our social and professional lives. About the Author: I write articles for I Spy Search's blog network, namely http://www.property-gossip.com and http://www.technology-gossip.com
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YOU CAN SAVE A LOT OF MONEY IF YOU MAKE USE OF THESE RENEWABLESOURCES AND YOU CAN ALSO FEEL PROUD TO SAY THAT YOU CONTRIBUTE TO SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT.
GREENERLiving By Meghan Blue
With the decrease in the availability of non renewable resources over time, people have become very cautious and have started taking steps to make use of energy more efficiently. By researching the naturally available energy resources, it has been shown that they help a lot in saving money being that is now spent on non-renewable resources of energy. Almost all the natural resources that we see and feel can be used as a resource for generating energy. Some of the most commonly used natural resources include + SOLAR POWER
+ WIND ENERGY
+ BIO ENERGY
+ BIO WASTES
These resources efficiently help in cutting down the costs incurred in using the exhaustible sources of energy. The use of natural sources of energy has been well commercialized. There are a lot of companies which build and provide natural sources of energy to produce electricity and use it for domestic purposes. These companies, although interested in making a profit, do a good job of saving nature in the process. For example, in the case of gasoline and diesel the pollution caused is very large — it can be very easily reduced with the use of bio fuels. Bio fuels include mainly ethanol and bio diesel. All these companies say that the usage of renewable sources of energy is more simple and more effective. Most commonly used concepts include solar panels, windmills, etc., which are easy to construct and efficient in operation. You can save a lot of money if you make use of these renewable sources and you can also feel proud to say that you contribute to saving the environment. Green campuses and greener technologies have been becoming much more popular, even in the general public. A green campus typically means a pollution-free zone where there is a very minimal usage of non-renewable sources of energy. With such a campus, you can breathe very fresh air and maintain your health. Green technology refers to technologies incorporated into machines that help it to emit less heat and smoke into the environment. So the term “green” is typically a referral to tree-surrounded environment where there is no much of pollution and heat. With the advent of media technologies and other powerful communication sources, there has been a lot of information and warnings regarding the usage of non-renewable sources of energy. There has been a global call to shift to renewable sources of energy. We can have a good plan to work so that 10 to 15 years from now, the whole world will be greener with effective usage of renewable sources of energy wherever possible. Nothing can be developed all of a sudden. With the use of effective network and communication, it is our duty to inform others of the advantages and superiority of renewable sources of energy over the exhaustible sources of energy. It is not enough if you alone stay healthy in this world. You can never be healthy completely if the world is polluted. Lets make wise use of all the renewable sources of energy and make the whole world green!
40 // CULTURE
GAP By John Parks
arack Obama ran for president under the banner that he was going to change Washington and make the country run smoother. The Democratic presidential candidate said he was going to reach across the aisle to the Republican side and get both Democrats and Republicans to work together to solve America’s problem. When Obama was elected president he was not only the first African-American president ever elected he was also a new president that would inherit an economy could only be compared to the Great Depression in terms of its collapse.
The American people elected Obama because they wanted change from the Republican party that was seen as the party that caused the financial mess and the people bought into Obama’s notion that he could unify Democrats and Republicans to work together in congress towards a common goal. The new president was in for a rude awakening. President Obama soon found out that working with congress, regardless of which party has the majority, is not an easy task and to get the things the president felt were necessary he would have to alienate some Republicans and some Democrats as well. Saddled with a failing economy the president sat down to help congress draft a bail out plan that the president said was needed by the American people in order to get the economy moving again and stop the downward economic spiral. As with any crises there are many differing opinions on how to get things done and the president soon found out that many of those opinions are held by the people in congress.
OBAMA IS STARTING TO LEARN THAT IN POLITICS IT IS EASY TO SAY ONE THING BUT AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT PROCESS IN MAKING THAT PROMISE COME TRUE At first Obama was attempting to get the Republicans on board and support his economic recovery ideas but it was apparent almost from the beginning that overwhelming Republican support was not coming. The Democrats in congress stood behind their president and started a battle of words with the Republicans to try and get them to change their minds. What erupted was a congressional war of words that stalled legislation and became the very opposite of what Barack Obama had promised. Then it got worse. As the economic stimulus package started to near a vote the Democrats started to publicly speak out against Obama criticizing their own party president for negotiating with the Republicans. Lead by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi the Democrats launched a barrage of comments at the president that indicated that the honeymoon of the presidential campaign was definitely over. In the end the economic stimulus package passed and now congress gets on to the important work of making sure the money goes where it is needed. In the meantime many political observers hope that Obama’s first donnybrook with congress was a lesson the new president sorely needed. Obama is starting to learn that in politics it is easy to say one thing but an entirely different process in making that promise come true. The new president seems genuine in his desire to make the changes he promised in his campaign but now he has learned just how tough it will really be. For more information on Barack Obama, visit http://congressmicroblog.com and http://barackobamamicroblog.com
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â€œThe trick for young people is to simply focus on getting to know Christ, and focus on loving other people, not converting them. God will take care of the rest in His own time.â€? Jon Davidson
JON DAVIDSON // perfect cliche’ CRM: Hey, Jon, How is life treating you? How is the new solo career going so far?Are you still in contact with the band (Silversafe)? JD: Life is great! Honestly, this last year has been the happiest, albeit the most stressful, time of my life! I’m actually still the frontman for Silversafe; I’m pursuing my solo career as a separate, yet equal, entity. CRM: Ok, you’ve been compared vocally to the greats!. I really mean the greats (John Reznick from the Goo Goo Dolls, Chris Cornell from Soundgarden, Aaron Lewis from Staind, Chad Kroeger from Nickelback, Eddie Vedder from Pearl Jam and both Lane Staley and Jerry Cantrell from Alice in Chains). How does that make you feel? JD: I’m a little humbled! I mean, these were the guys I grew up listening to and emulating! CRM: What made you decide to go solo? JD: Throughout the duration of my career as frontman for The Lemons and Silversafe, I’ve sporadically performed solo on the side. While in the process of recording Silversafe’s new album, some creative differences, both musical and content-related, made me want to record an album of my own. I’ve been playing solo all across the Northwest and will be embarking on a West Coast tour in September. “Perfect Cliché” has been garnering radio play across the Northwest in preparation for the tour. CRM: Let’s talk about your new project for a minute; tell us a little about each track – Sunrise, Until, Perfect Cliché? JD: My new project, entitled Perfect Cliché, is a full-length album that is scheduled for an August release. I wrote all the songs and I’m playing all the instruments on the project, something I’ve always wanted to do. This way, I only have myself to blame if something sounds wretched. Currently, the three songs you mentioned are available on an EP. “Sunrise” deals with the topic of human pain and suffering; we see it, we talk about it, but very few of us (I’m also preaching to myself here) find the time to make a tangible difference. “Until” is about war; we can dress it up in terms of right and wrong, and try to wrap a religious veneer around it. But when innocent people are dying, it matters little what war’s motivation is. “Perfect Cliché” refers to my frequent inability to communicate, through both words and actions, how much I care about those that matter to me. CRM: When you decided to start writing for this project, what motivated you? JD: The desire to write songs that mean something. Much of today’s music, both Christian and mainstream, leaves me disappointed at the dearth of meaningful lyrical content. Music is a strange bird: it’s a medium of communication that can still succeed even if it really says nothing. So I knew I wanted to make every word of each song matter. I listen to all kinds of music, everything from acoustic to screamo, and I wanted the album to reflect that diversity as well. CM: The message in a song or overall music is very important these days. It seems like the youth today doesn’t have any good role models or direction. What message would Jon Davidson give the youth of this generation? JD: I’ve been let down by numerous people that I once admired. Role models are hard to come by. We’re human, we’re flawed. The message I would give this generation is that people, even those with the best intentions, will often let you down. Musicians, stars, celebrities—they’re just real people trying to figure it all out. This may sound clichéd, but there is one guy I know who is worth emulating. People called him a friend of sinners and a party animal. He is the only human who never screwed up, even while nailed to the cross and seemingly forsaken by His Father. CM: Many young Christians today have a hard time expressing their faith, what advice would you give them?
JD: Faith has been placed in our hearts by God as a response to what He has done to prove Himself trustworthy. Expressing faith is not something that can be forced; almost everyone already has their own set of beliefs that they hold to be true. The trick for young people is to simply focus on getting to know Christ, and focus on loving other people, not converting them. God will take care of the rest in His own time. I’m a Christian, and I’m an artist, but I never bill myself as a “Christian artist”. I’m not seeking to convert people through my music, but rather to help them to ask important questions. The Gospel is life-saving and life-changing, but people will listen to what you have to say much more if you’ve already built a relationship with them. CRM: What kinds of things do you get involved with on your off time from music? JD: Off time from music? Sometimes I wish I had some of that! I do love hiking and mountain biking, and take whatever chance I can get to explore the Northwest. I love Vietnamese food. I’ll be volunteering with the American Cancer Society this summer. And I love game nights. There is nothing like getting a bunch of friends together and then dominating them at Catch Phrase or Monopoly. CRM: What are your day to day struggles? JD: I struggle with simply being TOO good looking. No, in all seriousness, I struggle with a number of things, including not allocating what little free time I have wisely, being selfabsorbed, and with temptations of all kinds. I also struggle with having a real relationship with God. I’m not interested in the kind that looks good on paper; I want to be deeply in love with Him and more often than not I fall short of that. CM: In today’s entertainment world, the recording artist/musician has high celebrity status. What keeps you grounded? JD: The realization that it’s just music, it’s just entertainment. Just a way for me to make a living doing what I most love to do. CM: God uses each of us for different reasons and brings us to and through circumstances in life to show us his character more and to inspire someone else along the way. Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule for Crossroad magazine. See you on Billboard, Keep the Faith. JD: Thanks! Rock on! http://www.myspace.com/jondavidsonmusic
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AMBASSADORS This section introduces you to New Artist, Music, Authors, Ministries, Producers etc..
Ye are the salt of the earth Matthew 5:13
PASTOR SHAUN KING against all odds
photo and bio courtesy of pastor shaun king
00 stitches to my face, reattached eyelid, reattached lower lip, and some stuff too graphic to describe...my natural birthday is September 17th, 1979, but my second birthday is November 28th, 2004. This is the day that I came within inches of death in a head-on car collision. After much heartache, hard work, prayer, and support from my family... I recovered a new man!
I really have had a very amazing and fulfilling life! Atlanta has been very good to me. Since moving here as a 17 year old about years ago to attend Morehouse College, I have become a man that I never imagined I would be. In the decade since I arrived in Atlanta the Lord has graced me with countless opportunities that I have never quite felt qualified for. As I reflect back on it all – from serving as a grassroots activist in the Atlanta University Center and eventually the first sophomore elected Student Government President at Morehouse since 1947 to teaching high school civics in Stone Mountain and serving as a full-time motivational speaker to incarcerated Atlanta youth for two years, from marrying my high school sweetheart, having our own children and adopting our niece, from returning to Morehouse for a year to work as a Resident Director to serving as an associate pastor at a great church in the city – I would not trade my life, my family, my friends for a billion dollars. So, I thank God with fervor today because the struggles of yesterday are still real for me. I have lost many of my best friends to drugs, street violence, and long-term prison sentences and know that I narrowly escaped being one of the guys that someone else on MySpace reminisces about. So, when I say, “Thank You Jesus!” I have a big fat laundry list of things that I am thankful for. www.myspace.com/pastorshaunking
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YELLOW CAVALIER speaking from the heart photo and bio courtesy of yellow cavalier
ake four guys in their early twenties with boundless energy. Throw in an infectious alternative pop/rock pedigree with meaty melodies. Add in honest messages that speak from the heart. Chances are these four guys will not only have the ability to be one of today's top trendsetters, but also impact their generation to immeasurable degrees. In the case of Alan Powell, Chad Graham, Caleb Grimm and Kyle Kupecky, better known as Yellow Cavalier, it's all about merging entertainment with spiritual truth, weaving modern rock with a groove in its step. studies several years ago, a path to spiritual growth that eventually evolved into a prom“We’re huge fans of modern pop music, from Maroon 5 to Daniel Bedingfield to OneRepublic,” observes Alan. “All those artists are incredibly melodic and load their songs with catchy hooks, but there’s a certain depth to what they’re doing. We also model ourselves a lot like DC Talk, mostly the melodies that came from the Supernatural CD. Our stage show also mirrors what you might find them doing- the four of us guys as co-front men working the crowd into overdrive with a live backing band to really bring out the rock vibe of our music.” Even with the ability to bridge the gap between audiences, the players are still incredibly serious when it comes to outreach and consider the group a calling rather than just a quest for rock star superiority. Though Yellow Cavalier is sure to thrive with audiences on both sides of the faith fence, it hopes to boldly communicate its beliefs to listeners of either persuasion. “We’re not aiming at one particular audience,” contends Caleb. “We’re writing from the perspective of our worldview, which happens to be Jesus Christ, but we’re also addressing issues anyone can relate to.” Beyond lyrical connectivity, the music found therein will certainly shake the stereotypes associated with bands tagged to the faithbased marketplace. “Sometimes Christians listen to Christian music simply because they want to be encouraged, but are almost sacrificing the music they’d rather be listening to just for the lyrics,” suggests Alan. “We’ve set out with this EP to encourage people, but also come at a place musically where you’d pick it up because it’s simply great music. We’ve been encouraged by a lot of Christian music growing up, but again, we’re going back to the DC Talk dynamic of really trying to raise the bar and have musical quality feed the lyrics God has given us.”
COCO BROTHER standing up for christ photo and bio courtesy of coco brother
ory Condrey, better known as CoCo Brother, is more than your average radio personality. He is a powerful voice crying out from the wilderness and into the streets. Born in Germany, it seems that he was destined to make an impact of international proportion from the beginning. In 1995, CoCo started interning with Hot 97.5(now Hot 107.9). From delivering pizza to loading trucks, he had a variety of odd jobs, working tirelessly at night and interning during the day. His hard-work and diligence paid off and he was finally hired at Hot. Even with all of his potential, his time there was short-lived and in 1997 he was fired. After losing his job, he became homeless. The spirit in CoCo Brother would not allow him to quit and after being homeless for a year, he landed a position with V-103 as their Promotions Coordinator. CoCo Brother came full circle on September 11, 2001 when he returned to Hot 107.9, Atlanta, in the 6- 10 pm time slot. This time things would be much different. It didn’t take long before CoCo Brother and the Home Team made their presence known. CoCo was responsible for breaking some of the hottest records as well as capturing exclusive interviews with artists such as 50 Cent, David Banner, Ludacris, and T.I. His influence reached beyond the city limits and included: Yet, even after years of success, he was not content and began to hear God telling him to shift into a different arena. In March of 2005, CoCo Brother announced that he would be leaving the 6–10 pm slot. When he left, the show was on top. After 6 weeks off the air, he emerged with a new fire and a new sound called The Spirit of Hip Hop (SOHH). With that success, the SOHH expanded to 5a-6a Monday-Friday in addition to the weekends, and now syndicated all across the country reaching millions every week in virtually every major market, including Detroit, Dallas, Atlanta, Houston, Washington DC, Baltimore, Cleveland, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Philadelphia, with more markets coming on board each day. The Spirit of Hip Hop is more than just a nationally syndicated show; it’s a lifestyle. It’s a ministry focusing on Jesus Christ, that bridges the gap between generations; sinners and saints; hip hop and gospel music.
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KIERRA SHEARD a bold right life photo and bio courtesy of kierra sheard
rowth. It is the one word that exemplifies Kierra Sheard and her third EMI Gospel release BOLD RIGHT LIFE. Fans have literally watched her grow up in the industry from a much-talked about young prodigy of a legendary Gospel family to today’s chic, bold and purposed young woman. Kierra presents a grown-up style, a sound and spiritual perspective that is all her own. The collection of songs that make-up BOLD RIGHT LIFE is all cutting edge material that puts Kierra Sheard in a different league from the others in today’s contemporary Gospel landscape. “I think I’ve come into my womanhood on this album and I have truly grown spiritually and naturally, she said. “I have my own personal relationship with the Lord,” she said. “This is THE album for me,” said Kierra. “I have never been so excited about a project. This album is finally everything I wanted it to be and I believe that God is truly using me [through this project] in a way he’s never used me before.” The album and Kierra’s youth organization called BOLD RIGHT LIFE, is an outward challenge to today’s young people. Through her music and her own life, Kierra hopes to nurture and encourage people spiritually and naturally. Inspired by Colossians 3: 1-6 “We are dead to the things of this world … BOLDLY LIVING RIGHT GETTING READY FOR LIFE,” the composition is both daring and proudly Christ-Centered. Kierra takes cutting-edge music with a mass-appeal that could be at home in churches and clubs alike, and brings her open declaration of the love and awesomeness of God. “There are certain situations that David goes through that I used as metaphors for things going on in my own life. Everything I went through you will hear on the album … in places you will hear darkness and then you will hear the burden being lifted. The lyrics I wrote were saying to God ‘whatever You want me to do … I will obey, I’ll do it.” http://www.myspace.com/kierrakikisheard
SCOTT FREE the messenger for today photo and bio courtesy of scott free
cott Free: Artist Bio There are some people who refuse to be compromised by the so-called standard, who rail against the predictable, people who refuse to wear the straitjacket of conformity. People for whom the word 'rap' is a way to speak the “heartcore” truth…real-talk. With his sound fusing a southern, dirty brand of hiphop soul - taking influences from a spectrum including Goodie Mob and Outkast - Scott Free (a.k.a. Scotty P) has emerged as a truly multi-dimensional, gifted artiste. With an uncanny ability to straddle the sonic soundscapes emanating from Atlanta, he has evaded normality and earned a reputation for heart-felt lyric writing, smooth voice delivery and intense music composition. With a shrimp-n-grits, “down south” vibe you can’t deny, Scott Free is serving a full-course meal. His genuine style and vocal abilities have turned heads and opened ears, eyes, and hearts. “My listener is anybody that can appreciate real-life music. An artist connects with the listener and that’s what I try to do. So that anybody listening can find themselves somewhere in what I'm talking about". The debut by this southern spokesman is destined to catapult him into mainstream consciousness. "This is my Time" is an epic journey containing all new material, incorporating elements of dirty south to produce his proclaimed and unique, truth-speaking sound. There are no limits in the world of Scott Free. He remains devoted to his mission of taking his music to the world. Open your ears, crank up the radio and prepare yourself. http://www.myspace.com/scottfreelife Mission Statement: To bring change in communities around the world by music. FOR BOOKING OR MORE INFO CONTACT: THE DOLPHIN GROUP - firstname.lastname@example.org www.myspace.com/scottfreelife
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XM ENTERTAINMENT instruments by design photo and bio courtesy of xme
ME has produced for several talented artists such as India.Arie, Anthony David, various local talents, and their work on Number 1 Album Testimony Volume 1 has been nominated for the Grammy Award of Best R&B Album. Theyâ€™ve provided mixing services for Motown and Brash Records, videography for Tyler Perry Studioâ€™s up-coming Tyler Perry Show. This team has strategically developed a strong entity of professionally gifted individuals who are mentally, spiritually and physically poised to fluently express their passion for music. Musicians and artist affiliated with XME have performed in various charitable functions and concerts, including major annual Miami, London and South Africa conferences in front of tens of thousands, and are currently touring with India. One of our goals is to create the definitive work that will forever touch and transform. In the pursuit preserve the creative challenge and avoid monotony, XME dips into a melting pot of diverse genres. Some songs are so soothing that you can do no more but sink into the warm wrap it throws around you. Other joints are so raw in energy, that your hearts beat becomes immediately entrapped. But no matter what form our music takes, it is sure to please. And we will always hold true to our artistic covenant, constantly providing you with music that corresponds with all that you embody as a person - the delicate and the aggressive, the modest and the proud, and the innocent. http://www.myspace.com/xmeinc
FRANCESCA BATTISTELLI walking in faith photo and bio courtesy of francesca battistelli
rmed with her passion for writing and hope for a hurting world, Francesca put pen to paper and crafted heartfelt, personal reflections on life and faith for what’s now her major-label debut, My Paper Heart. Inspired by everyone from the jazz greats her dad introduced her to as a kid, to contemporaries like John Mayer, Sara Bareilles and Nichole Nordeman, Francesca set out to write “soulful pop music that someone pops in the morning and says, ‘Now I can start my day, I feel encouraged.’” Her first single “I’m Letting Go,” Francesca wrote upon moving to Nashville, the song not only highlights Francesca’s expressive vocals but her overarching desire to encourage her peers not to settle for anything less than what God has for them. “I’d just moved to Nashville, and I was sort of letting go of everything that someone can at 22 years old,” Francesca shares. “And it’s far better and different in more ways than I could’ve expected. There’s a line in the song that says ‘I feel like I’m falling/And that’s what it’s like to believe.’ Walking in faith is like free-falling, yet that’s the best place to be. But so many of us are afraid to do that.” But even more important to Francesca than offering up a collection of catchy songs for the masses is speaking a message of truth and purpose. “Ultimately, I want to be an encouragement as an artist and a fellow believer,” Francesca says. “The Lord has continually called me to do things that are outside my comfort zone, whether it was accompanying myself on guitar for the first time in front of seasoned players or packing up and moving to Nashville last year knowing hardly anybody. Still, He's never left me, and He constantly shows me that it's worth it. I have parents who pray and encourage me to be bold and to take bold steps for Christ. I don’t think that’s common enough in the Christian culture. We have these big dreams, but many aren’t willing to take the steps to go after them. Yet this is the moment. We’re not promised tomorrow. So today’s the day.”
Crossroad magazine is a place for those motivated by faith to transpose their lives from a secular-focused world to a Christ centered life.