01 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
contents IN EVERY ISSUE
VOL. 2, NO. 3 ANNIVERSARY ISSUE
04 SIMPLY DIVINE
06 REFLECTIONS 19 LYRICAL CAFÉ
JEREMY CAMP There Will Be A Day
HEAVENLY BODIES 08 Health & Fitness
POWER & PURPOSE 17 Money Market
TOTAL BEING: INSIDE & OUT 12 Fashion & Beauty
SOUL CONNECTIONS 18 Lifelines
A Healthy Change You Can Believe In
No More Quick Money-Saving Tips
Wholeness In a Broken World
DIVINE Destinations 14 Upcoming Conventions for 2009
Literature & Entertainment
VIRTUOUS LIVING 16 Food Forte
02 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
Cadillac of Memphis 7733 U.S. Hwy 64
105 N. Main
Mother’s Family Restaurant
FAITH & FAMILY 20 Generations
15 CHART TOPPERS
W H E R E TO F I N D
2661 North Hollywood
Paradigm Dental Center
4730 Riverdale Road, Suite 3
2257 N. Germantown Parkway
When Mercy Triumphs: An Inside Look At Nancy Alcorn’s Mercy Ministries Nancy Alcorn shares the trials and triumphs of her 26 year old ministry.
Spin Street Music Store 3484 Poplar Avenue
Transforming Bodies 937 Cooper
Memphis/Shelby County Libraries University of Memphis Visitor Center Log on to www.divinemagazineonline.com for more Distribution Locations.
By Kesha Whitaker, Kingdom Quality Communications Photo courtesy of Kever Conyers
For single Christians, the struggle between the spirit and the flesh can become an all out war at times. Some may handle it better than others, but it is never easy for any man or woman seeking to live for God. That is why author and Minister E. Marcel Jones has found a way to bring singles together for a day of learning, fellowship, entertainment and support. “We live in a time where images of sex and debauchery are everywhere and the pressure from family and friends to rush you to the altar can weigh heavily on a person,” says Jones. Jones, who has spoken to singles across the country, says he decided to produce the 2009 Naked Truth Singles Conference as a means of tackling many of the concerns single Christians are faced with. The day-long conference will take place Saturday, April 4 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Christ the Rock Church*. Some of the topics include: declaring an abstinent lifestyle, Christian dating tips, financial planning, single parenting, life after divorce and more. Registration is $50 per person and includes a complimentary copy of Jones’ book, lunch and a conference t-shirt. The final day to register is March 16. Jones hopes to draw hundreds of singles from different faiths, backgrounds and races together to recognize the similarities all single men and women share. “There will truly be something for everyone at the Naked Truth Singles Conference,” says Jones. “It is my hope that people who attend this event will walk away inspired, with a fresh outlook on singleness. I would like for it to be a day of deliverance and revelation for those who want to turn their lives around and confirmation for those already trying to live for God.” Jones is also the author of The Naked Truth: The Gospel According to Singles, which addresses many of the issues plaguing men and women of God. The book is Jones’ self-published debut release. In it, he uses biblical teachings to guide singles and divorcees through the challenges of loneliness, fornication and past regrets into God’s light for finding a greater individual purpose and preparation for meeting a soul mate.
2009 Naked Truth Singles Conference Presented by E. Marcel Jones Saturday, April 4 from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Christ the Rock Church 8800 Winchester Road in Memphis, Tenn. www.nakedtruthconference.com www.emarceljones.com
Jones, a youth and singles minister at a Memphis-area church, was celibate for over a decade before meeting his wife of two years. They are now the proud parents of a young son. However, during his abstention, Jones struggled with sexual temptations just like anyone else. “The enemy would intricately place things and people in my path. It seemed like traps were being set for me daily—ex-girlfriends, pornography, even lustful thoughts,” he adds. Daily, Jones admits that he had to avoid certain “stimuli,” locate other outlets, and surround himself with positive people who could hold him accountable for his actions. He also took that time to further his education and career. He now proudly proclaims the victory. Not only is Jones a successful author, minister and motivational speaker, he is a former teacher, assistant principal and principal. He currently works as a Recruitment Specialist for an area school district. Jones’ story proves that if you wait on God, he truly will give you the desires of your heart – and then some. *Christ the Rock Church is located at 8800 Winchester Road in Memphis, Tenn. For more information on the Naked Truth Singles Conference 2009, please visit www.nakedtruthconference.com or www.emarceljones.com.
03 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
Change Has Come, But We Must Remain
Be Encouraged. Be Grateful. Be Inspired!
Some changes are expected. Seasons change, styles change, our thoughts change when we obtain new information. Some changes are more traumatic or come at a complete surprise and we are just forced to adjust. It has taken us years, but we are now proud to boast that we have our first African American president. Although this may not signify much to some, for others it shows that change will always come. Change is defined as the act of undergoing transformation, transition or substitution. Therefore, our country has undergone a major transformation. Our communities are about to experience significant transition and our substitution for regression and stagnation will come through progress and pivotal advances. During his Inaugural speech, President Barack Obama stated “we the people have remained faithful” and “the challenges we face are real, but they will be met.” He reminded us that now “our spirit is stronger and that we will not be broken.” However, our destiny depends on us embracing “the knowledge that God calls on us to accept” and that it will take the “faith and determination of the American people” to survive the tough times. We have a strenuous road ahead and it’s been a long time coming, but change has come. We must remain faithful to what we know works to survive. Those ingredients include trusting God, being firmly planted in our places of worship, protecting our communities and creating a safe and progressive environment for our children--our leaders of tomorrow.
this publication. My staff and I recently had the privilege to cover the Stellar Awards and rub elbows with legendary gospel artists. We have also launched two exciting events that are scheduled throughout the entire year: BEAUTY SESSIONS, an event for ladies and WINGS & THE WORD, an event for men. Both programs have already proven to be successes and brought the realization that gathering in God’s name and doing life together are extremely important. Other events are planned for later this year and will focus on health and fitness, money management, youth and much more! We have also tapped into the cyber world to increase our Internet presence by joining Myspace, Facebook, Twitter, Virb and creating a blog. We also distribute an electronic newsletter to hundreds of readers entitled Upcoming Events That Inspire to provide information about the positive events that are taking place around the city and beyond. The e-newsletter is also a great opportunity for business owners to spread the word about their services and connect with potential customers. I am elated with the concept of change these days and I’m looking forward to adjusting to all the changes that have occurred right in my backyard and stretched all the way to the White House. It will remind me that no matter how great or small a change, no matter how expected or unexpected, it is vital to remain true to yourself and remain faithful. I hope you enjoy reading the first issue of 2009 and gain some knowledge from the articles that will allow you to matriculate through the year positively and effectively. Remember be encouraged, be grateful, be inspired! By the way, that’s our new slogan!
Megan Mottley, Publisher Fortunately, DIVINE is also experiencing change as we celebrate two years of publishing and growing. I’ve claimed 2009 as the Year of DIVINE and I believe God is going to do even greater things through
04 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
Megan R. Mottley email@example.com
Dr. Nieika Parks firstname.lastname@example.org
COPY EDITOR Tran Bui Smith
CREATIVE DIRECTOR KQ Communications
DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Courtney Long
Nancy Alcorn Debra Butler Brandie DeLisi Joseph DeLisi Dr. Forrest Harris, Sr. Jorel & Monica Jenious Jonathan King Kesha Whitaker Rev. Torrie Wilson
1138 N. Germantown Parkway, Suite 101-107 Cordova, TN 38016 Phone: (901) 830-8756 email@example.com www.divinemagazineonline.com www.myspace.com/divinemagazine DIVINE Magazine is a division of MTLY Communications. DIVINE is published quarterly. No portion of this magazine, including without limitation, articles and listing, may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Copyright 2009 by DIVINE MTLY Communications All rights reserved Visit us online at www.divinemagazineonline.com Send us your feedback, comments and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org 05 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
Torrie Wilson, Pastor St. John MB Church
he year 2009 came quickly for some and not fast enough for others. None of us know what this new year will bring; but, one thing we do know is that “God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28). Notice this one very important fact, this verse doesn’t say that God watches to see if all things are going to work out for good. Romans 8:28 says emphatically, without a doubt, that God causes whatever the situation or circumstance to work for the good of those who have a heart for
God and are smack dab in the middle of His purpose. God is the cause of our sure victory. You might ask how? This is how, God is sovereign, He is in control. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Word of God, is “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). Not your power, but His power. He is King of kings and Lord of lords (I Timothy 6:15). As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ we need to trust in the Lord, lean on Him and not to our own understanding. For example, when the angel Gabriel told Mary of her out of this world assignment from God, he assured her that with God nothing shall be impossible (Luke 1:37). Mary responded correctly when she said, “behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38). Here it is friends! This is where the buck stops. David said in Psalm 119:105, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” In 2009, we will stand fast on the word of God. Oh, what a blessing to everyone in this new year who will take God at His word. Elizabeth, speaking by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, said to the young teen age girl, Mary, “Blessed is she who believed, for there will be a fulfillment of those things which were told her from the Lord” (Luke 1:46). Finally, my brothers and sisters, in 2009, let us continually claim our victory in Christ. In the name of Jesus, we have the victory through this recessional economy, through job loss, through sickness, through tumultuous relationships, through whatever enemy that comes up against us. The believer’s goal in this new year must be to stand on the word of God, know that God is in control, and that the Lord Jesus is upholding you by His word. In Matthew 7:24-27, the Lord Jesus talks about two builders. One built his house on the Rock, and one built His house on sand. The one who built his house on the Rock, heard God’s word and did it. The one who built his house on sand, heard God’s word and didn’t do it. Storms came one day, rain came down hard, floods came next, and the winds blew and beat on both houses. The house which was built on the Rock stood. The one built on sand fell. Which one will you be in 2009, my friend? Victory in 2009 belongs to the believers who will build and stand on the Rock. “May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen. (II Corinthians 13:14)
06 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
07 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
t is safe to say that most people know that they are imperfect, however most do
mothers decided they were never having another baby because of childbirth pains or a
not believe at their inner core that they really should change or that they have the
football player decided he was never going to get in another game because of the risk of
power to change. Why? Due to the lack of insight about change.
being tackled. Sounds absurd doesn’t it? But this is exactly what some of us have done with our dreams. Success is obtained by working through our pain, not around it. When
Change is something we all should believe in, as it is the only thing that is constant from the time we are born until the day we die. It is only our own limited thinking that
we do this for ourselves, our courage, self-esteem and skills are built and strengthened, not to mention our faith.
hinders us from becoming the best that we can be. How many people do we know who set goals but fail to take the next steps. Resulting in not starting that weight loss program; not breaking that substance abuse habit; not registering for that class in pursuit of a new career. We can go on and on identifying aborted goals and dreams. We may not and often seldom do reach the outcomes we set for ourselves the first time out of the box. But as long as we are alive and breathing, change is possible. The first step toward change is to evaluate “self”. If things are not going right in your life, ask God for wisdom, knowledge and understanding as to why they are not going right (James 1: 5). And He will give it to you liberally. Above anything else, He wants you to succeed (3 John 1:2). Nothing happens without a reason. Often the first thing that needs to change in us is our mindset; the idea that things should only be done a certain way. God is big and He has more than even a few ways of getting things done.
Success is obtained by working through our pain, not around it
A Healthy by Debra Butler
by Debra Butler
The second step toward change is to make a plan. Plans are like road maps that lead
If you are struggling with making necessary changes in your life, don’t be afraid or
us to our destinations. You wouldn’t dream of going from anywhere to an unfamiliar
embarrassed to seek professional help. Much too often we live in denial allowing
place without a map. It is only when you write the plan down and make it plain that
problems to become overwhelming to the point that it may cause our lives to spin out of
it becomes real so that you can now run with it (Habakkuk 2:2). In this step be as
control. This is so unfortunate especially in the ethnic communities where counseling is
specific as possible. Make your goals measurable so that you will know when you have
still too frequently viewed as something to be ashamed of. Finding a good therapist who
can assist you in working through emotional or mental struggles is one of the greatest investments that can be made. Not only does it benefit you as the recipient, it also
Thirdly, never give up on yourself or on God. It is only when we refuse to give up on
benefits everyone else around you. If you wait for others to change, it might not ever
ourselves that we can value our own self worth and validate our own importance in the
happen. Start the process. Learn to be open to growth and receiving new information.
world as seen through God’s eyes. If God gave you a vision or dream don’t be afraid
God is working miracles in your life even now as there are already seeds of greatness
to pursue it with all your heart, mind and soul. Often we abandon the idea of dreaming
on the inside of you waiting to be developed. He has already given you the power to be
or setting goals because of past failures that have brought us deep disappointments,
triumphant. This is change you can believe in because it starts with God and with you.
shameful regrets and painful memories. The truth is our success lies just beyond the
Trust His Word that His grace and mercies are new every morning, and dare to believe
breaks in our hearts. We must recognize that hurt and broken promises are a very
that you can become a “new” you.
necessary part of the growth process. Imagine what the world would be like if all
08 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
09 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
God grants His children new mercy and sufficient grace every single day. “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning...The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him” (Lamentations 3:22-25). Unfortunately not everyone has received God’s saving power into their lives. Millions of people go through life without the hope of reaching their God-given potential because of past decisions or unfortunate situations. However, what one person may see as a hopeless circumstance, another may see it as a golden opportunity. This is exactly what Nancy Alcorn, founder of Mercy Ministries in Nashville has done for the past 26 years. Nancy’s passion has been to make lifechanging provisions for young ladies who have faced difficulties or who want to avoid a generational curse. The ladies who have been touched by Mercy Ministries have gone on to have a grand impact in their families, on their communities and on our nation.
THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED The path that led to the start of Mercy Ministries was nothing short of a miracle. After spending five years as the athletic director at a Tennessee correctional facility for juvenile delinquent girls and another three years as a supervisor for foster care, a seed that would be watered in time had been planted in Nancy’s heart. “While working at government run facilities, I realized the girls who were involved in drug use, prostitution, abuse and crime would return to their destructive lifestyles as soon as they were released from custody,” said Nancy. “Time and time again, I saw the same girls coming back to the correctional facilities with the same charges they had previously faced.” Old habits die hard and with tons of young ladies coming in and out of her life, Nancy felt she had to intervene one way or another. “We were told because of separation of church and state we couldn’t share our faith and Christian beliefs and we were not allowed to speak to them about the
10 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
forgiveness of God and new beginnings,” Nancy said. “So these women were getting locked up for a year at a time and we would try to change them from the outside and change their behavior, but it never seemed to transform their lives.” This harsh reality inspired Nancy to birth Mercy Ministries. The government programs that Nancy worked for were lacking in so many areas and failed to offer young ladies experiencing troubled lives exactly what they needed to make solid transformations. “I knew only Jesus could bring restoration into the lives of these girls who were so desperately hurting,” explained Nancy. “God was calling me to step out and do something to help these women in need.” In search of what God wanted her to do, Nancy moved from Tennessee to Louisiana in 1983. It wasn’t long before she started to notice the excessive number of children going without necessary resources. With the intent to provide an alternative to secular, traditional treatment Nancy took the road less traveled and purchased a small home to house troubled young ladies. “My goal was simple: help young women in trouble gain control over their lives using Christian-based counseling. I wanted to take in the girls without charging them a dime.” The foundation had been laid for Nancy’s ministry.
A NAME KNOWN ACROSS THE NATION To be identified as an organization operating out of excellence was of extreme importance to Nancy when choosing a name for her new ministry. Using the Bible as her guide, Nancy came across James 2:13 which says, “For judgment will be merciless to one who shows no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.” This verse helped her come up with the program’s name and Mercy Ministries was born. To solidify the purpose of Mercy Ministries, a statement of faith was developed to allow staff, supporters, volunteers and girls to come together as Christians and focus on those vital Biblical truths. Mercy Ministries has since
SPECIALFEATURE grown to become a nationally-known, interdenominational ministry focused on biblical principles of healing and restoration. With any ministry that grows, the ability to reach people as far and wide as they exist becomes top priority. Nancy not only provides a place for young ladies in Nashville, she also serves as a global ambassador for Mercy Ministries. “I travel to all the nations where we operate homes anywhere from 2 to 4 times a year,” said Nancy. “As the founder of the ministry, I am like an ambassador, a statesman, and the overall visionary. My role is to impart, inspire, encourage and equip. All of the Mercy Ministries’ homes operate the same way in general, but there are times when we will make allowances for cultural differences; however, the essence of the program is the same.”
THE TRIUMPHS OF MERCY MINISTRIES The rewards of working with young women who are willing to make the sacrifice to change their lives have become the essence of Nancy’s life. “The greatest triumph in this ministry is seeing the enemy defeated and seeing the power of Christ in operation to transform lives. It’s exciting to work with these young ladies because instead of them spending their entire lives in bondage, we are able to reach them at a young age and help them overcome so they can fulfill their destinies. From these young ladies I’ve learned three things: If I keep it real and tell them the truth, love them unconditionally and treat them with respect, they will always respond to that.” The ladies have also responded well to Nancy’s Mercy For book series. She was compelled to write the publications after God showed her the same principles that were setting the girls free inside the homes would work for anyone willing to receive their message. “We get calls from so many people who aren’t necessarily looking for a program, but want to know how they can get ‘set free.’ The Lord really spoke to me and directed me to put these principles of freedom into books so people of all ages and from all walks of life won’t actually have to come into the Mercy Ministries’ program to find God’s grace and mercy in a time of need. We are getting some really amazing testimonies back from people who are finding freedom from their bondages.” The Mercy For books help to equip people with knowledge on the most serious of issues. Nancy feels if she and her staff can help girls focus on receiving Christ and understand how to overcome through Him, then they can assist her in getting to the root of the problem, whatever that may be, instead of merely treating symptoms. So far the book series have tackled topics such as eating disorders, cutting (self-mutilation), sexual abuse, being set free from addictions and more to
come. Each book analyzes one particular issue which allows a more in-depth focus to help readers gain deliverance and move to permanent transformation. Books can be purchased at the Mercy Ministries website and in local bookstores.
A MESSAGE OF HOPE Despite the fact that Nancy has touched hundreds of lives through her ministry, there are still young adults striving to find freedom from life’s bondages. Nancy believes “that apart from Christ there is no such thing as a changed life.” She suggests that anyone in this situation should not spend their entire life going to psychiatrists and taking medications that just treat symptoms. “Make it your focus to get to the root of the issues and know that only in Christ can you become more than a conqueror over any situation, whatever it may be you have to be willing to receive what He has done. It’s impossible to enjoy freedom in Christ if you’re still entangled in a yoke of bondage. True freedom is where peace and joy come from.” Nancy also has several suggestions for men. These programs are not affiliated with Mercy Ministries, but come highly recommended. They include Narrow Gate (www.narrowgatefoundation.org), which is located in the Nashville area; Canaan Land (www.canaanland.com), a home for young men in Alabama and various Teen Challenge programs around the country. Men and women who feel led to launch ministries and services like Mercy Ministries are encouraged by Nancy to make sure they absolutely know that they’re called to begin a ministry. “You have to settle in your heart that you know God has called you because if it’s not settled in your heart, then you won’t have the faith you need to see and overcome in the difficult times. God spoke to me in the beginning of my ministry. There are three things I do to make sure my needs are always met. They are: 1) take the girls in free of charge because we want them to know we are not trying to make money off their problems, 2) tithe 10% of everything that comes into other ministries, 3) do not accept any state or federal funding or any money with strings attached that would limit our freedom to share the gospel. I know I’m doing what God has told me to do – even after 26 years.” All churches and/or ministries looking to get involved with Mercy Ministries are strongly encouraged to do so. There are also volunteer opportunities available. To learn more about Mercy Ministries of America, please visit http:// www.mercyministries.org. To read more of Nancy’s thoughts and find out what inspires her visit DIVINE Magazine’s blog at http://divinemagazine.blogspot.com.
2009 PROJECTS •Opening of first West Coast home in Sacramento, California •Raising funds to build homes on land in Charlotte, North Carolina and Destin, Florida •Traveling and speaking in churches and conferences around the world •Increasing Internet presence on Myspace and Facebook along with current sites: www.mercyministries.com www.nancyalcorn.com www.nancyalcorn.blogspot.com •Making more tools available to young women who are unable to come to the Mercy Ministries program (Internet resources, Mercy For book series, and more) “Opening new facilities allow us to be able to help more girls. We consistently average over 700 girls on our waiting list in the U.S. at any given time.” -Nancy Alcorn
11 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
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13 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
6-7 Make Room Conference (Growing Your Church) Life Church of Memphis, Cordova, TN FYI: 901-751-0095 6-7 Going God: Youth Evangelism Conference Nashville Municipal Auditorium, Nashville, TN FYI: email@example.com 12-14 Between Us Minister’s Wives Training Conference Two Rivers Baptist Church, Nashville, TN FYI: 800.254.2022
17-19 Building A Kingdom School Institute Lifeway Christian Resources, Nashville, TN FYI: 800.254.2022 24-26 Full Gospel Baptist Church Int’l Conference Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA FYI: firstname.lastname@example.org/ 404.288.0994
26-31 Gospel Music Association Academy Music City, Nashville, TN FYI: 615-242-0303
20-22 Love Out Loud: Missions Get-Together & Connection Gatlinburg Convention Center, Gatlinburg, TN FYI: email@example.com
29-2 Immerse GMA Music Training Experience Music City, Nashville, TN FYI: 615-242-0303
7-13; 14-20; 21-27 BeachReach 2009 (for Spring Breakers) Majestic Beach Resort, Panama City Beach, FL FYI: 800.254.2022
1 Toward A Growing Marriage Valley View Church, Louisville, KY FYI: 800.254.2022
10-13 Living Single in Faith Ridgecrest Conference Center, Ridgecrest, NC FYI: www.lifeway.com/ridgecrest
20-22 Joyce Meyer Ministries Conference Sommet Center, Nashville, TN FYI: 615-770-2000
20-22 Christian Leadership Alliance National Conference: Path of Integrity Hilton Atlanta, Atlanta, GA FYI: 1-800-727-4CLA, ext. 118
23-25 4th Annual Singles Conference Safety Harbor Resort & Spa, Safety Harbor, FL FYI: 850-681-0990
19 The Great Marriage Experience: 6 Secrets to a Lasting Love Longview Heights Baptist Church, Olive Branch, MS FYI: 800.254.2022
25 The Great Marriage Experience: 6 Secrets to a Lasting Love Gladeville Baptist Church, Mount Joliet, TN FYI: 800.254.2022
25-27 Festivals of Marriage, 3-Day Weekend Retreat Bay Point Marriott Resort Hotel, Panama Beach City, FL FYI: 800.254.2022
13-15 Dynamic Church ’09: Fellowship Technologies User & Developer Conference Frisco Center, Dallas, TX FYI: DynamicChurch09@FellowshipTech.com /866.690.1104 15-16 American Christian Writers’ Conference First Baptist Church, New Byhalia Road, Memphis, TN FYI: 901.853.2668
11-13 11th Annual Black Church Leadership Conference One Faith Fellowship Church, Memphis, TN FYI: firstname.lastname@example.org
7-11 National Baptist Convention: Annual Session Exact Location TBA, Memphis, TN FYI: 215-474-5785
9-10 Living Proof Live with Beth Moore FedEx Forum, Memphis, TN FYI: 800.254.2022
10-12; 12-14 National Women’s Leadership Conference (Choose from 2 Forums) Lifeway Christian Resources, Nashville TN FYI: 800.254.2022 28-(DEC.) 5 American Christian Writers Conference: Caribbean Cruise FYI: 1-800-21-WRITEemail@example.com
For more upcoming conferences and events sign up for DIVINE’s E-Newsletter at firstname.lastname@example.org
Top 10 Most Popular Christian Books
THE LOVE DARE by Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick
THE SHACK by William P. Young
EVERY NOW AND THEN by Karen Kingsbury
WHAT IN THE WORLD IS GOING ON? by David Jeremiah
FACING YOUR GIANTS by Max Lucado
MULTIPLE BLESSINGS by Jon & Kate Gosselin
FIREPROOF by Eric Wilson & Alex Kendrick
10 SAME KIND OF DIFFERENT AS ME by Ron Hall & Denver Moore 11 LOVE AND RESPECT by Emerson Egger 12 THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES by Gary Chapman
Top 5 Gospel Music Albums
1 VARIOUS ARTIST-WOW HITS 2009:30 OF TODAY’S TOP CHRISTIAN ARTISTS AND HITS 2 MARY MARY-The Sound 3 DONALD LAWRENCE & COMPANYThe Law of Confession, Part I 4 HEATHER HEADLEY-Audience of One 5 MARVIN SAPP-Thirsty
Top 5 Christian Music Albums 1 RED-Innocence and Instinct 2 VARIOUS ARTIST-WOW HITS 2009: 30 OF TODAY’S TOP CHRISTIAN ARTISTS AND HITS 3 KARI JOBE-Kari Jobe 4 MARY MARY-The Sound 5 MICHAEL SMITH- A New Hallelujah
2 15 DIVINE MAGAZINE |Anniversary Issue
by Monica and Jorel Jenious Make your own drinkable delights that taste as good as what you’d get at a local coffee shop. Begin with some coffee, tea or fresh fruit, add a few simple ingredients and enjoy. We suggest using the freshest ingredients you can find. There truly is no substitute for the natural sweetness of pure organic fruit and the robust flavors of fresh herbs. So snuggle up with the family for movie night or with your sweetie for a fireside chat and enjoy. These drinks are sure to become instant favorites! s) serving ocha (2 coffee. M t in m d Pepper reshly brewe late syrup 16 oz f spoons choco 4 table ilk 6 oz m ed cream Whipp ermint sticks 2 pepp p ur 2 Tbs 8 oz hot in mug po In each te syrup. Pour ilk in double chocola nd stir. Heat m o not boil coffee a st until warm (don top). boiler jue skin will formee and top becaus rm milk to coff arnish with Add wa ipped cream. G with wh int stick. pepperm
rvings) er (6 se id C d e ic Hot Sp apple cider loves 6 cups poon whole c nutmeg ½ teas poon ground ¼ teas cinnamon ver 3 stick boiling o dients toduce heat. re g in ll Heat a -high heat; re minutes. mediumr uncovered 15 remove Simme ider mixture to if desired. Strain cand cinnamon cloves arm. Serve w
ings) a (2 serv Soul Te red tea r u o Y Warm ango flavo juiced 2 bags m ater freshly 2 cups wy smith apples ice 2 grann ltered apple ju or unfi ons honey po 2 tables wedges 2 lemon ium g in med e heat. r to boilin bags and reduc move te a w t a e a R He te . s d d te u A in n. saucepa uncovered 2-4 munfiltered apple Simmer . Stir in fresh or with lemon tea bags honey. Garnish juice and wedges.
16 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
Festive 64 oz c Punch (12 s 48 oz p ranberry juic ervings) 1 liter gineapple juic e e 20 oz c inger ale an crus hed pin eapple In a bun pineapp dt pan, freeze ice ring le, including ju crushed before mfor punch. Chil ice, creating a pineapp ixing. Combin l all ingredien n Add froz le juice in larg e cranberry ants ale just en pineapple e punch bowl. d ri before s erving. ng and ginger
Sweeth ½ pint eart Mimosa 4 orangfresh strawbes (2 servings) rries 6 oz sp es 2 straw arkling grape berries juice Refrigera juice fre te fruit overn Strain tosh strawberrie ight. In a juicer, into cha remove seed s and oranges sparklin mpagne glass s and pour . strawbe g grape juice. es. Top with Garnish rry. with
Mango 2 cups -Peach-Mint 1 cup c coarsely cho Slush (4 serv 1 cup icoarsely chop pped peeled mings) ped pee ¼ c fre e cubes led peaango ches 2 table sh lime juice 1 table spoons sugar spoon c hopped fresh m Place fr int u it in the free fruit, ice z e c r u fo b r 1 hour. es and in blend re C immediaer; process unmaining ingred ombine ie til smoo tely. th. Serv nts e
By Joseph DeLisi CFPÂŽ
As we enter into the tax-filing season, I find many are looking for quick tips or tidbits they can use to save more money in taxes. These are probably the same people who have in the past looked for quick tips in the market. Do not get me wrong, tax savings and proper investment choices are very important. However, what is more important is how we treat our money DAY TO DAY. It is about time that Americans look to change their behavior when it comes to their money. Rather than focusing on taxes every April, looking at your portfolio only when it goes down, and worrying about that mortgage or credit card rate only when the economy takes a turn for the worse is not the way to financial progress. Last year was a miserable ride for most who have money in the stock market. Truth be told, it was a miserable financial year for just about everyone. As I look back on the year that was, I can honestly say that picking one mutual fund over the next had very little to do with the overall financial success or lack thereof in most peoplesâ€™ financial lives. Please, as 2009 is already underway, force yourself to pay much closer attention to how you spend your money every day. Focusing on the wastefulness in your day-to-day spending will bring you to the realization of the amazing amounts of money with which God has blessed America.
Disclosure: Joseph DeLisi, Registered Representative and Financial Advisor of Park Avenue Securities LLC (PAS), Securities product/services and advisory services are offered through PAS, a registered brokerdealer and investment advisor. Company name: Chartwell Financial Group. 6000 Poplar Ave #113 Memphis, TN 38119. 901-693-5100
By re-training yourself to treat your money with better respect and by focusing on saving (not necessarily investing), you will find a much greater impact than a percentage or two higher return on a mutual fund, or a few hundred dollars in tax savings. If everyone in America was more aware of how their daily financial decisions impacted their long term financial being, we could kitchen table by kitchen table turn our economy around. Let the search for quick tips during filing season be a thing of the past but let the effort of saving money, living within our means and obtaining knowledge about how to stay financially secure be a yearlong commitment.
17 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
A New Narrative for Life’s Broken Story: Wholeness in a Broken World ByForrest E. Harris, Sr. Our world is broken. Life is broken. Government is broken. People are struggling with the desperation and recession of a broken economy. Institutions upon which people depend for daily existence are broken. Family life is broken. Social dysfunctions, delinquent lifestyles, diseases, poverty and violence in our society and world leave people with broken hope and shattered dreams. Nothing seems stable to hold life together with meaning and sustainable purpose. In the midst of our social brokenness, religion is broken. Authentic religion holds together human identity with ultimate meaning and divine encounter. The word religion comes from the Latin word liagare, from which we get “ligament.” Ligaments in the muscular structure of the human body hold muscles together and make movement possible without pain. Like a ligament, when religion is torn and does not hold together the human quest for ultimate meaning with divine encounter, people live in brokenness and pain, limping though life’s losses and tragedies. How to live with wholeness of mind, body and soul in a broken world is the most formidable spiritual challenge facing people today. How to avoid the hopelessness and meaninglessness of a loveless society of greed and self-centered individualism poses a challenge to the faith of those who seek to live and be whole in a broken world. People are desperate for a narrative of life that points to wholeness and healing love rather than the broken stories of loss, pain and misery. A story unfolds in the Hebrew Bible regarding the life of Naomi and Ruth that illuminates a way for us to deal with life’s broken conditions. After ten years of living in Moab, Naomi returns with a broken story, a broken inner narrative that could not hold her life together for a usable future. To the surprise of the women of Judah, Naomi returned broken, bitter and empty. “Can this be Naomi?” the women of Judah said. “Don’t call me Naomi,” she told them. “Call me Mara, which means in the Hebrew bitter because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full and the Lord has brought me back empty.” Why was Naomi bitter? Her life experience in Moab left her broken and empty. Naomi’s Moab experience is not unlike what happens to people everywhere. Life can leave us empty with a broken inner story of loss and grief. Naomi did not expect Moab to be this kind of experience. She went there with her husband and two sons with hope expecting a breakthrough, a better life, a usable future. But in Moab, accumulated losses left her with a broken story. The story of Ruth and Naomi is couched between the books of Judges and 1 Samuel and reveals how Naomi and her family were trapped in a crisis of deferred hope and identity coupled with a famine in the land. In the midst of the crisis, Naomi’s husband Elimelech decided to move his family from Bethlehem in Judah to Moab in search of a better life. He died leaving her with two sons Mahlon and Killion. The sons married Moabite women, one named Orpah and the other Ruth. After they had lived in Moab for ten years, Mahlon and Killon also died. The losses of her husband and sons left Naomi shattered. She considered her “culture of meaning” and future as less than zero. Her storyline of meaning had been broken. Naomi was left with two Moabite daughters-in laws who were not considered as part of the people of God.
The burden of a broken story can leave us empty and bitter. To lose life’s framing story or inner narrative, the story that gives life meaning and coherence, can be overwhelming to one’s emotional, psychological and spiritual life. This is what has happened to so many trapped in the brokenness of their contemporary Moab experience. There are broken storylines present in every culture; people broken by betrayal, violence, poverty, unemployment, death and abandonment, and people broken by people. In light of the crisis we face today, very few people know they are loved without any conditions or limits. This unconditional and unlimited love is what John calls God’s first love. “Let us love, because God first loved us” (John 15:12). The love that often leaves us doubtful, frustrated, angry and resentful is the second love or human love - the affirmation, affection, sympathy, encouragement and support from other human beings. We all know how limited, broken and very fragile human love is. Behind the many expressions of human love there is always the chance of betrayal, social abuse, withdrawal and even hatred. Beneath the pleasantries of daily life there are many gaping wounds that burden life with a broken narrative, abandonment, betrayal, rejection, rupture and loss. We all need to see ourselves as we are, rather than as we think we ought to be. Sometimes a broken story in life prevents us from having clarity about ourselves and thus we end up letting our brokenness define our reality. This happens all too often with those who need a new narrative for their broken past. The story of Ruth and Naomi can help us find the new narrative we need for healing the broken and scattered fragments of our lives. Life is more than the results of the broken stories of our past or present moment. Life, as Naomi discovers, is embraced by a profound mystery beyond its losses, problems and broken stories. In Ruth 1, the mystery begins to unfold when Naomi decides to leave Moab and go back home to Bethlehem in Judah. Naomi says to Orpah and Ruth, “Go back to your mother’s home. May the Lord show kindness to you as you have shown to me and my sons.” Orpah and Ruth wept and said to Naomi, “We will go with you to your people.” But Naomi insisted that they return to Moab. “I have nothing to offer you – no sons and no promise of inheritance.” Orpah kissed Naomi and returned to Moab, but Ruth clung to her. Naomi said to Ruth, “Your sister-inlaw is going back to her people and her gods, go back with her.” But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if anything but death separate you and me.” When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her to return to Moab. Ruth’s loyalty reminds me to the loyalty and love of God toward us. God’s loyalty is pledged toward us. God loves humanity. The God we met in Jesus is loyal and divine love is committed to humans flourishing. Something needs to be said about Naomi’s theology of suffering. Since tragic events of death and loss confront us daily, none of us need to have the perspective of Naomi that as she understood, “the Almighty has made my life very bitter.” People in the face of unexplained tragedy and suffering, who live with this kind of theology, become bitter and fatalistic as they charge God with allowing the circumstances of their brokenness and pain. But this theology of suffering is out of sync with a God of love and compassion. This is faulty theology. God is with us. When tragedy and death break our heart, it breaks God’s heart. When suffering, violence and acts of inhumanity diminish us, it diminishes God. Yet the mysteries of God are above and beyond all that
will diminish life. No contradiction of life is final; for as Howard Thurman, an influential American author, philosopher, theologian, educator and civil rights leader says, “What is against life is against God, and what is against God cannot abide.” What is a culture shock to us is how a broken inner narrative of life takes from us wholeness. This is where the need for authentic and good religion is vital. In Naomi’s case it was the unpredictable atrophies of death that left her life a broken story. Naomi perceived her broken narrative was a social problem that limited her place, future and status in the community. She did not realize that her life was embraced by and attached to a divine mystery. Naomi, like many people, did not understand there is a difference between a problem and a mystery. A problem is something that can be solved and once solved, one can move on beyond it. But a mystery is not something external; a mystery calls us to transcendence beyond existential problems. Mystery confronts and engages us in such a way that we know life must yield to its unmanageable strangeness. Unaware to Naomi, her life was enthralled in a divine mystery. This is something we must remember as we live life in the midst of a broken world. There is a divine mystery of love and purpose that broods over life and human existence. We should never abdicate that mystery and leave it because of life’s unpredictable losses and tragedies. Naomi did not know that the loyalty of Ruth, her Moabite daughter-in-law, was part of a divine mystery that would lead to a new narrative of redemption and healing. Naomi returned home during the barley harvesting season. Ruth her daughter-in-law ended up gleaning wheat in the field of Boaz, Naomi’s relative whose heritage and lineage became the “bonds redeemer” of the family. Boaz took notice and interest in Ruth. She married him and gave birth to a son named Obed. Obed became the father of Jesse and Jesse became the father of David. From the lineage of David, Jesus emerged as the Son of God. Jesus is the incarnation of the mystery of God’s love and grace in the world. He offers the world a new narrative for life’s broken story. If we can reclaim this mystery for our broken world, if we recommit and become trustworthy stewards of the mysteries of God – justice, love and mercy, it can give us a healing narrative for a broken story. None of us can explain life. Naomi could not explain it. Job could not explain it. Life is a mystery. Death is a mystery. Our life on this earth – from slavery to salvation, from lynching to liberation, from dehumanized victims to victorious children of God is a mystery. The incarnation of the coming of God in Jesus Christ is a mystery. The resurrection of Jesus is a mystery. The story of God’s gracious dealing with us through grace is a mystery. We cannot define or explain mysteries, nor can we dismiss or live beyond mysteries. What we can do is celebrate and accept that God’s mystery in Christ gives us a new narrative for our broken story.
Forrest Harris is the President of American Baptist College in Nashville, TN and Director of Vanderbilt University’s Kelly Miller Smith Institute on Black Church Studies.
I try to hold on to this world with everything I have But I feel the weight of what it brings, and the hurt that trys to grab The many trials that seem to never end, His word declares this truth, That we will enter in this rest with wonders anew But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings That there will be a place with no more suffering There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face But until that day, we’ll hold on to you always I know the journey seems so long You feel you’re walking on your own But there has never been a step Where you’ve walked out all alone Troubled soul don’t lose your heart Cause joy and peace he brings And the beauty that’s in store Outweighs the hurt of life’s sting I can’t wait until that day where the very one I’ve lived for always will wipe away the sorrow that I’ve faced To touch the scars that rescued me from a life of shame and misery this is why, this is why I sing…. There will be a day with no more tears, no more pain, and no more fears There will be a day when the burdens of this place, will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face There will be a day, He’ll wipe away the stains, He’ll wipe away the tears, He’ll wipe away the tears…..there will be a day.
19 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
pening your home and your heart to a child is the greatest gift, a gift of hope and love.
There are also tons of organizations that are dedicated to celebrating the families that have
Many families have adopted and the stories and sights of those children blossom are
embraced adoption including:
amazing. There are many children in need of a loving family; young teens, needing someone to help guide them into adulthood, a mother and father to support them as
HEART GALLERIES ACROSS AMERICA
they figure out their place in the world; children of all ages and ethnicities in need
Provides public awareness of the need for adoptive families and links individual children
of security and hope for the future.
with permanent families, shares the stories of thousands of children and teens waiting for homes. Volunteer professional photographers take portraits of children waiting for
When the golden opportunity to adopt a child came along, one very special family rose to
adoption for family recruitment purposes. Their photographs present the children in a
the occasion. Last summer, Carol Unrine and her family took part in a Celebrating Adoption
way that a description alone never could! The result, many children have been adopted.
photography session, a service provided by a professional photographer for parents who have
recently adopted. The session took place about two weeks after Lester, her newly adopted child, arrived home sweet as can be, so quiet, so curious. Carol spoke of how Lester was so used to
being one of many in the orphanage and would never cry when he needed anything. Even in his
National organization of professional photographers dedicated to promoting adoption. If
new home, when he awoke in his crib he would just sit there quietly. Within a month of constant
you have adopted a child in the last 18 months and are interested in a Celebrating Adoption
love and attention from his new family, including his big brother Jacob, Lester had blossomed
photography session. Please visit www.delisiphoto.com
As a mother myself it breaks my heart to think about any child without a family, without a mother to wrap them up in her arms and kiss them goodnight. If you have ever thought about adopting a child I encourage you to pray about it and talk to other adoptive families! There are many Christian adoption agencies available that can help you if you are interested in adopting. Fees and processes vary among agencies. A few local and statewide agencies to check out are:
AGAPE MEANS LOVE A Christ-centered ministry that provides children and families with healthy homes. AGAPE offers adoption resources through its unique conferences, training and support services. Several locations in Memphis and Jackson, TN and Southaven, MS. (901) 323-3600 | (731) 668-9698 | www.agapemeanslove.org
ADOPTION CONNECTION One of the oldest social service agencies in Memphis, Adoption Connection is licensed as a child placing agency in Tennessee and Mississippi. Adoption Connection is known as being a leader in adoption programs locally, statewide, and nationally and offers its services to all individuals regardless of race, religion, or national origin. Located in Memphis, TN. (901) 767-2525 | www.adoptionconnectionmemphis.org
BETHANY CHRISTIAN SERVICES The nation’s largest adoption agency providing care for children of all ages and in all stages of life. Counseling services are available to women with unplanned pregnancies as well as an embryo adoption program. Children and teens living in foster care or in orphanages—children who need a “forever family”— are given a chance to experience life’s joys in a safe and nurturing atmosphere. Locations in Memphis, Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville, TN. (901) 818-9996 / (615) 242-0909 | (423) 622-7360 | (865) 588-5823 | www.bethany.org
by Brandie DeLisi, Photographer/Adoption Advocate
20 DIVINE MAGAZINE | Anniversary Issue
Matthew 18:5 Jesus said,
into a happy, secure toddler. He has a wonderful loving family, something every child deserves.
...whoever welcomes a child in my name welcomes me.
DIVINE Magazine Celebrates Two Years!!!