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From the Editors Desk It’s the breaking of a new year. Will you be in the same place next year or are you going to be an agent of change? Let’s start with your life. I challenge you not to make a new years resolution but make a promise and commitment to yourself that you will tap into and activate the greater one on the inside of you. For the bible says in 1 John 4:4, “Greater is he that is in you than He that is in the world.” You can only do so much by yourself, but by the help of the greater one which is the Holy Spirit you can do all things through Christ that strengthens you. Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.” You see talk is cheap. How many times have you made new years resolutions and you didn’t accomplish them. Now, for those who did accomplish them, we celebrate with you, congratulations. Well here are some things we have to do 1.Renew your mind 2. Write down your plan and the deadline when you want to accomplish it 3. Then write down the steps you will take to complete each task. Well, seems simple enough right? My mentor taught me what is simple to do is also simple not to do. So let’s do it and get it done. You can do it I believe in you. Do you have a business, idea, book, creative activity, or financial goal that you desire to meet? Yes, of course we all do we are a creative being that’s what makes us unique. Here is a great point, believe in yourself and surround yourself with people who believe in you and can keep you accountable. The grave is the richest place in the world. Why? Because many people died full of life and now all that potential, creativity, and ideas are dead. This year my challenge has been to trust God with my ideas and my finances. To a certain extent it’s been a struggle. As the old folks say,” You will understand it better by and by.” This encourages me because I know that if God is for me then who can be against me. I realize I am my worst enemy, but in spite of it all God never left me. So I pressed towards the mark of the high calling which is in Christ Jesus. Jesus is the reason why I continue to press and know that as I move forward I get the victory. So in spite of what you are going through I encourage you to get to know Jesus. As you look at the last couple of years you realize many people have disappointed you and you disappointed yourself. Know that you have a friend in Jesus. He will lead you and guide you to all truth. If you are reading this I say thank you and be encouraged. I speak into your life that you shall not die but live to declare the works of the Lord. God bless you and all your endeavors. Just make sure you give God all the glory. Blessing and favor be with you and enjoy the magazine. Deloris Williams, CEO

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Speak A Word


Start Where You Are


What’s On Her Mind


You’re Worth It: Dear Cali Pearl Financial Advice

A Bible Study You Can’t Afford To Miss

Divine Connections Interactive Find all of the articles and listings in Divine Connections divineconnectionsmagazine

Contact Us 336.965.0366 Editor: Deloris Williams Layout & Design: Artistry By Andrews


A Bible Study You Can’t Afford To Miss!!! Alaina Odessa, author of Slow Running Honey, the collection of intimate, honest, and anointed Christian poetry, is teaching a Bible Study that you can’t afford to miss. Alaina teaches the lessons from Bootcamp for the Mind & Spirit from her heart and more importantly, from experience. When she walked out on her ‘good government job‘ in July of 2008 to pursue God and her creative dreams, everybody thought she was crazy. “I made a conscious decision to take the Bible personally. I kept seeing in the Word things like ‘faith was the only way to please God’...that He’d ‘given us our heart’s desires’...‘fear not’...and ‘whatever we ask in Jesus name the Father would give us‘...and one day I just decided that if I was going to have a real experience with God, that I’d have to take His Word for face value. It hasn’t all been gravy, there


have been some shocking and sobering moments but they’ve all made me better. I wouldn’t trade anything for the God I know today.” In just three short years since leaving the post office, Alaina is now a published author, a NYC trained actress (she lived there 13 months in a Harlem high rise apartment), a national Christian spoken word artist, teacher of the Word of God having created many successful well attended workshops from Slow Running Honey, she preaches locally and has been invited to Namibia, Africa in April 2012 to minister to women there taking her ministry ‘unto the nations’. She earned her BS Degree from UNCG and a Master’s from North Carolina A&T. But the education she is most proud of is what she calls her “Doctorate from HGU: Holy Ghost University.” Alaina will soon add recording artist to her resume with the release of her highly anticipated spoken word cd project entitled: Alaina Odessa & Luguzy Atkins Combine Anointings in POETIC KEYS. If you’ve ever wanted to be a part of an honest, eye opening, self examining, life changing Bible Study, then Bootcamp for the Mind & Spirit taught by Alaina Odessa is one you won’t want to let pass you by. To Find out more about Alaina Odessa visit her at




By Sherri Brown of

I “Master,” he said, “I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.” Matt. 25:24-25 NIV Being a financial advisor, I get to do something that most people don’t have an opportunity to do -- I get to talk to people about money all day everyday. And I love it! I can be at the grocery store, gas station or mall but anytime anyone asks me, “What do you do?” and I respond that I’m a financial advisor the conversation immediately turns to money and investing, what the hot stocks are and whether or not I have any surefire money tips on how to get rich. And you know as well as I do that Americans love money and are always looking for ways to get more. However, there’s a problem that many of us choose to ignore in our daily activities that prevents us from having as much money in life that we would like to have… that problem is mismanaging what we

DIVINE CONNECTIONS - DECEMBER 2011 - JANUARY 2012 | 9 already have. I see this quite often as I speak to many individuals who seem to have it together financially however during our conversation they will say to me, “I really want to save money and invest but right now I don’t have any [money]. But when I get some [money] I’m going to call you.” As soon as I hear that statement I already know that there will never be a right time for them to save or invest… and they don’t even know it. All Christians who believe that God will give them “enough money” at some future point in time are unfortunate victims of the “future favor” myth. These Christians are under the mistaken impression that God will show them “favor” at some point in the future. And when that “divinely appointed future time” arrives they will be able to pay their bills, tithe AND save money and invest. For all of those who are waiting on their favored future, I have good news for you, the future is now. Philippians 4:19 says “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Unfortunately, many Christians refuse to stand on the Word and believe what is already promised. If you are spending everything you earn: on your house, clothes, car and eating out, you are the victim of your own decisions instead of choosing to make decisions that would increase your blessings. It’s as if you’re saying to God, “If you want me to have more you give it to me.” It’s not fair for you to blame God for not providing you with financial abundance and it’s unrealistic for you to expect God to find favor with you at some future point in time when you are already favored. How are you managing your income? Are you spending more than you make? Are you spending to impress others? Are your decisions increasing what you have or are you just faking it until your “favored future” arrives? You may be able to cite the scripture and verse of all of the Biblical promises of God but do you realize it’s more important to exercise your faith and apply God’s Word to your life than just recite it? Don’t be afraid to step out on faith. My advice to you is to stop waiting, start now. You have to start where you are and use what you have in order to move to the next level.

Sherri Brown is Managing Partner with the investment advisory firm Cali Pearl in Greensboro, NC. Cali Pearl empowers its clients through objective and comprehensive financial advice, educational services, and financial tools for families to build and maintain financial health through all financial market cycles and major life events.


What’s On Her Mind?

By Felicia R. S. Andrews

This is a question that many people wonder when you see her in the mall, at the stop light checking her makeup, sitting in the fluffy chair at Barnes & Nobles, or…. “EVERYTHING”! Everything is on her mind, from the phone call that she just had with her mom, to the hole that needs to be patched at the knee in her child’s jeans, what’s for dinner tonight, how do I look in these jeans, did I pay the electric bill, is the meeting with Bill on this Tuesday or next, and how about LAST NIGHT!! Can anyone say, “She needs a vacation from her thoughts, or is it the other way around.” In all the things that float through her mind in any given 5 minute block of the day, no wonder she hasn’t lost her mind or at least, her cool. Gentlemen, do you ever find yourself in a conversation with a woman, only to find that you are really in it alone, so you think. My husband brings me out of those moments by saying,” I guess you answered me in your mind again!” Yes, I would like to be that “Fly” woman that Chaka Khan sings about, but quite honestly, I miss the mark lately more times than I hit it. About 5 months ago, I came to a resolution – Put Me back at the top of my list of things to do. When I was in college – before the husband, the child, the business, the praise team…., there were things that “I” liked to do. Things that brought me peace, joy & fulfillment. I was more conscious of “Me”, and willing to say “NO”! What happened to that girl! Somewhere along the way, I contracted the same illness my mother had, I have to direct traffic, everywhere!! As I smile, I can’t complain about what I allow, but I can always make a choice. Let someone else volunteer, go where I’m celebrated and not tolerated, believe them when they show you themselves the first time, take a mental health day, add 30 minutes to that drive home by stopping off at the park or better yet take the kids to school and then go back home and crawl back into your bed with or without him. I figured out and accepted that the world revolved before me and will continue just the same. Whatever it takes, COMMIT, put you back on your list of things to do. Start today ladies, YOU”RE WORTH IT!!!



Dear Cali Pearl, Every year I make the same New Year resolution: “Save More Money.” And while I’m determined to stick to my resolution for 2012, I’m concerned because it has never worked in the past. During the months of January and February, I’m able to save and it feels great! But by March, I get frustrated and give up because whatever money I am able to save, I end up spending and once I spend it, I lose the momentum and motivation to start again. What am I doing wrong? Can you help me? I’d like to applaud your honesty and your never-give-up attitude! You’re determined to win this battle and I appreciate your openness. As with any endeavor, saving money takes time, commitment and discipline. Below are some tips that may help you have a successful 2012 money saving resolution. 

Set a savings goal and define its purpose. If you begin your savings plan without any clear direction on how much you want to save or what you’re saving for, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s a good idea to start with a plan. Write down the reasons why you’re saving. Is it to buy a new car? To purchase new furniture? Go on a well-deserved vacation? To investment in mutual funds? It’s very important for the money you save to have a purpose. It’s been my experience that money without a

DIVINE CONNECTIONS - DECEMBER 2011 - JANUARY 2012 | 13 purpose is doomed to get spent. Once you detail “why” you’re saving then it will be an easier process for you.  Save a portion of your savings for emergencies. As you begin your savings plan, break off a small portion of that savings for a “I’ll only touch this in an extreme emergency” account. So if you start by saving $25 a month, take $5 and put it in a secret place. You don’t have to open a separate bank account for this money. Put it in a cookie jar or under your mattress and forget it’s there, until you really, really, really need it. Have the $20 automatically deposited from your paycheck in a savings account at your bank. Your bank or HR Department can help you set this up.  Think before you spend. Many times we spend money because it’s freely available. We believe that if the money is in our pocket or on our debit card it’s okay to spend it. In order to have a successful savings plan, you have to make tough decisions and start questioning your spending patterns. Do you really need to eat out everyday or can you bring your lunch from home? Do you have to have a “girls night out” and go to the movies or can you have a “girls night in” with a movie from Redbox and invite your guests to bring their favorite dish to share? Look for ways to increase your savings account. Making smart choices to save money should be celebrated and once you see your savings account grow you’ll feel better about the decisions you’ve made. If you think you can’t save any money, let me just say that anyone who saves $25 a month will have accumulated $300 in savings by the end of the year. If that seems like a small amount to you ask yourself this question, “Do I have $300 in my savings account today?” If the answer is “no” then I personally believe that saving $25 a month is a great starting place for you. Once you get into the habit of saving a small amount, choosing to save larger amounts of money will be much easier to achieve. Cali Pearl is a NC registered investment advisor committed to financial literacy and investment education. For more information about Cali Pearl please visit: Sherri Brown is Managing Partner with Cali Pearl Corporation in Greensboro, NC. Cali Pearl provides financial education and personal money management advice for individuals and business owners. Please visit the Cali Pearl website at: or call 336.808.3496 for more information.




Holiday Issue  

Be encouraged as the New Year quickly approaches. This is the season to love and to share with the ones you care about. Don’t' make New Year...