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of Standard 10 Men Hear from

outstanding men that make a difference in their communities while keeping Christ at the center.


(L to R): Mark Stauffer, Dr. Cedrick Gray, Roosevelt Jackson

POWER & PURPOSE 17 Money Market


Mortgage Meltdown


Integrity in the Workplace

LYRICAL CAFÉ 19 Commissioned

Running Back to You

FAITH & FAMILY 20 Generations

Raising Up Our Younger Men: Dey Know


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Tests Lead to



rusting God is not just something to say anymore. It is a statement that comes at a high cost. A statement that has to be spoken with vigilance and by those who are unafraid of the tests that comes along with it. All tests aren’t from Satan. Many tests and trials come from God and He wants to see if we really trust Him. If you haven’t already, you will come to a point where going to church just isn’t enough, reading motivational books just isn’t enough, pep talks from friends won’t do. You’ve got to wake up everyday thinking, “Lord, will this mountain move today?” and at the end of the day when it hasn’t moved you’ve got to say, “Okay, Lord you’re in control so maybe tomorrow.” Even when the mountain you’re waiting on God to move becomes two, three or four mountains, you’ve got to take a deep breath and put your hands in God’s hands and say, “Lord, I trust you.”

believe that your current situation is any different. It’s not. Trust God. He never fails.

DIVINE is excited to be producing it’s first Men’s Issue. This issue includes insightful articles written by men, for men and about men. Our cover story focuses on several outstanding men from across the U.S. that set examples for generations. We have taken the time to spotlight these men because they are adding a positive light to their communities, families and everywhere they go. Each of these men practice the many gifts that God has given them and makes us all proud of their accomplishments and their ability to keep Christ at the center of everything. In addition, we have fitness tips that are especially tailored for men. Our fashion and beauty section features the latest fashions and skincare products that can be found at AJW Clothier and Day Spa. None other than the top I’ve discovered that even when cooking Neely brothers provided you try to do everything right us with four finger-licking you still face adversity. People barbecue recipes. Our travel still come into your life and section features seven local alter your paths. Situations venues where guys can hangout continue to arise that force you “This Men’s Issue is dedicated to the #1 man in my with their fellow buddies and to question your purpose and life, my father Rev. J.W. Mottley, a true man of God.” do some male bonding. We also destiny. Moments like these share some information about –Megan Mottley, Publisher can seem like they will last an coping in the workplace and eternity. These are the moments how to maintain a high level when God is pruning you and stretching you. All you feel like of integrity at work. Our younger generation of men will doing is crying, complaining, whining, screaming, hollering get a message advising them how to mature and lead their or all of the above. When you feel anger, resentment, communities and the world. disappointment, and disgust and you ask yourself, “why I hope you will enjoy our men’s issue. Men keep up the me” the question that really matters is “why not you”? On great work in all that you do. This issue is dedicated to every many occasions God has brought us out of our situations and father, brother, husband, and friend that is a true man of God He is the “same yesterday, and today, and forever” (Hebrews and that is making a difference in this world. 13:8 KJV). He changes not. He rescued you before so why 04 DIVINE MAGAZINE | MEN’S ISSUE


Megan R. Mottley


Dr. Nieika Parks



PHOTOGRAPHY Brandie DeLisi Courtney Long Justin Morris


Reginald Clark Broderick Connesero Ricky Floyd Steven Fox Roland Genesy Lawrence Moaton


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What does God, the Marines, most women, and about 65% of the young fatherless people in this region have in common? They are all looking for a good man. The next question that arises is “What makes a good man?” Some would suggest money, but I have seen men with lots of money and little morals. In most cases, this leads to everything from jail time to substance abuse all to numb consciousness or death. Some would suggest a big house, but how so if there is no peace, no love, and no joy in the house. Others would suggest a nice car, but not if they aren’t going anywhere and if they have no destiny.

the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.”

4. A MENTOR. A man without a mentor will be tormented. Mentors speed up the success in your life and minimize the failures.

People complain about the state of our children. The state of our children is the fruit not the root of the matter; the root is the absence of men that are pleasing to God! If you don’t like the quality of the fruit, check the quality of the tree. If you don’t like the quality of the tree, check the quality of the roots. If you don’t like the quality of the roots, check the quality of the soil. Men who are not rooted in God cannot produce good fruit.

5. TITHING. A man that gives to God is positioning himself to receive from God and to better position himself to give to others. Luke 6:38 (KJV) says “Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.”

Genesis 2:4-5 (KJV) says, “these are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens, And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for the LORD God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.”

So here are eight (8) assets a “Godly Man” must possess:

The Lord is saying that everything we need already exists but God will not release them from heaven into the earth until he finds a man to till the ground (to serve and work for another). Everybody wants his own business, his own church, and his own ideas. What happened to taking care of the Father’s business? What about the Kingdom of GOD? What about the Mind of Christ? When God finds some men that are looking to please Him and to take care of His business, He will pursue, prepare, protect, provide, and propel them into true prosperity. Malachi 4:5 (KJV) says “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to 06 DIVINE MAGAZINE | MEN’S ISSUE

1. LOVE. Until a man loves God, he cannot love himself. If he doesn’t love himself, there is no way he can love anyone else. When a man loves God, you will get the overflow of this love. Luke 10:27 says “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself.” 2. WORSHIP. Worship means to bow down, to submit and to receive from God. A man that is submitting, receiving, and hearing from God is worthy to be submitted to. The Word tells us that He will exalt the humble, the “submissive”. 3. VISION. If a man does not have Vision, he doesn’t have goals. If he doesn’t have goals, he doesn’t have healthy habits. Unhealthy habits shorten one’s life. The Word tells us that a people without Vision will perish.

6. CHARACTER AND INTEGRITY. Your gift can make room for you and place you before great men and women, but lack of character and integrity can get you kicked out of where your gifts and talents have gotten you into. 7. SACRIFICE. What you make happen for others, God will make happen for you. The Good Samaritan gave his time and his money to someone who couldn’t do anything for him. But, he realized that God had done everything for him. Sacrifice is a secret seed to success. 8. HOLINESS. When you are sacred and set apart for the MASTER’S use, you don’t decide your destiny; you discover what God sent you to earth to do. The Word says He is a rewarder to those that diligently seek (inquire, desire, and require) Him. We must come to a point in our lives when we realize we’re here to do the Father’s will.

BROTHERS, LET’S MAN-UP AND BREAK THE CURSE! Be a man who possesses these eight (8) assets so our communities can see positive change immediately.


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As a personal trainer and a professional body builder, I truly understand the importance of health, fitness and nutrition. Most people go through life and never pause to include health, fitness and nutrition in their everyday living. As for men, they are sometimes caught up in criticizing women for their weight gain when they themselves are overweight. Most men think they should eat whatever, whenever, and however with no consequences. Most men’s diet consists of fast food and they do not treat their body as the temple of God. So the question to men is, “Do you live to eat or do you eat to live?”

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Some men love to pretend that their health is not at risk. They pretend that walking to the car to go to work is adequate activity for their health. Remember these type of men are just pretending because they are not being realistic with their health and nutrition. I am not going to pretend that mastering the art of food choices is an easy one. However, the key challenge for healthy eating, as with physical activity, is not learning what you need to do, but motivating yourself to do it and do it permanently. Basic nutrition does not have to be confusing. All the foods we eat are made up of various combinations of six basic nutrients including carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water.

We need CARBOHYDRATES because they are primary sources of energy for the cells in our bodies, brain cells, and muscle cells. The more active we are the more carbohydrates we need. Grains, vegetables, legumes, and fruits are good sources of complex carbohydrates.

Like carbohydrates, the primary purpose of FAT is energy production. Animal foods, in general, provide fats which are mostly unsaturated fats. Red meats have mostly saturated fat , however, fish provides mostly unsaturated fats. Research tells us that we should cut back on saturated fat since they’re the ones which increase the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.

PROTEINS are used mainly for providing the structure for many cell and tissue in the body. The primary job of protein is to build and maintain muscle. They are also used in the immune system to transport vital elements in the bloodstream and to make up many of the hormones like insulin.

VITAMINS and minerals are essential for proper working of the body’s multitude of functions. Calcium is not only essential for strong bones and teeth, but it also plays an integral role in muscle contraction. We also often fail to remember that WATER is a nutrient and an incredibly important one. Twenty-four hours a day while walking, sleeping and exercising, the body is losing water in its attempt to regulate the internal temperature. We need to drink a lot of water even if we just stand around all day. Be sure to increase water intake when you start becoming more active.

As a Christian, it is very important for men to be leaders and equally important for men to display good examples of health, fitness and nutrition to family, the community, and the people around them. Most of the time we focus on the spiritual part of our bodies; nevertheless, as a Christian we must focus on the overall body. We must feed the spiritual body with the word of God to grow spiritually; but we must also feed the physical body with good healthy foods and exercise to live a healthy and productive life. Satan is out to steal and to destroy but Christ came to give life and to give life more abundantly. Therefore, Christ wants us to prosper in all things including our health as our soul prospers. We have to break the cycle of including unhealthy habits in our lifestyle. We must educate our family and our friends about the importance of health, fitness and nutrition. We must illustrate the meaning and the value of a quality life and we must show our children how making healthy decisions will affect us in a very positive way.




J.J. HAIRSTONINTERVIEW J.J.: I think this album allowed me to be more personal in my writing. Many of my personal testimonies are in this album. Songs like “Freedom”, “Everything is Changed” and “Lord, You Are”, are my personal testimonies. Then there are songs like “Jesus Reigns”, “Glory and Honor”, and “He is Exalted” which speak of my passion for worship. DIVINE: What is it like working with a 35 member choir? What lessons have you learned from your choir members? J.J.: I’ve learned patience! (Laughing) Seriously when you’re a leader you have to deal with individual personalities. It would be great to be able to deal with each person and situation the same, but unfortunately that’s not possible. So dealing with the members of my choir has taught me patience and self-control. DIVINE: What has been your greatest triumph as an artist? J.J.: I think my greatest triumph was when a young man that was sick in the hospital told me that he was sick and he just kept playing one of our songs while in the hospital. It was a song I wrote. He said he believed the words and eventually he got better. It wasn’t the song that healed him, but it was his faith that was lifted by the song. That meant more to me than all of the accolades and potential awards. DIVINE: How did you handle the times in your life when you wanted to give up? J.J.: When I wanted to give up I had to remind myself how many people were depending on me. It’s kind of selfish to think that our lives are only for us. We all affect so many people. Our friends, our families, our supporters. Those people need us. We can’t give up, because it may make others give up also. DIVINE: What advice do you have for young adults (18-34) that are striving to find freedom from life’s bondages? J.J.: Freedom is a mindset. So once you get your mind free, it’s only a matter of time before everything else follows. So you convince your mind that you’re free. Whether it’s drugs, sexual sin, whatever… get it in your mind that this is not who I am, or what I’m going to do anymore. DIVINE: How have you grown as an artist on your current album?


DIVINE: How did you decide on the title of your current album? What is your favorite track and why? J.J.: We decided on Exalted…Live in Baltimore because of the song “Exalted”. We’ve been singing it for a few years and it’s been a song that our supporters love. DIVINE: Who/What is your inspiration? J.J.: God is my inspiration. I could give a really deep answer about my song writing, but honestly I don’t read music, I don’t play, but yet I keep hearing these harmonies, chords, and lyrics in my head. It’s truly a gift from God. I can’t give the credit to anything or anyone else. DIVINE: What other projects can we expect from you this year or next year? J.J.: We’re actually going into the studio to record a Christmas project that should be released in October. DIVINE: What types of foundations or service projects are you a part of? J.J.: My church is in the midst of putting together a program for ex-offenders, and I will be involved in that. DIVINE: What scripture/passage is your favorite? J.J.: My favorite scripture is 1 Peter 5:6: “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.”


FATHERHOOD Being a father is the most important job that you could have. You hold the responsibility of guiding another person’s life. Someone else’s future depends on you. There’s nothing bigger than that. MARRIAGE Marriage is your first ministry. It doesn’t make sense to minister to everyone else in the world, and not be able to minister to the one that God gave you, your wife. DATING/RELATIONSHIPS I feel that dating is really scary today. The real reason for dating is to find your wife or husband, not to play house! However, it seems like these days we have a lot of people playing house with their boyfriend or girlfriend. It’s time for dating to go back to just holding hands and non-physical sentiments. FINANCIAL STRUGGLES/BUILDING WEALTH We’re living in a hard day financially. People are getting laid off, fired, foreclosures are on the rise, and let’s not even talk about gas prices. However, the world’s economy is not God’s economy. If you put your trust in God, and make smart financial decisions, you can be prosperous in the midst of a recession. TOXIC FRIENDS Your friends or the people you associate yourself with speak to who you are, or who you will become. If you constantly are around people who have a certain problem, more often than not you will experience that same problem. So you should associate yourself with people who are where you want to be, or have qualities you wish to have. TRUE WORSHIP Worship is expression and admiration of the greatness of God. You don’t have to sing or play an instrument to worship. The only prerequisite of worship is that you’re a child of God because only then is your spirit alive. They that worship him must worship him in spirit and truth. You can’t worship if your spirit is dead. BEING A MAN OF GOD Being a man of God is not about having a title, or certain gifts. Every child of God that’s a man that lives by Godly principles is a man of God. The titles are for our benefit, not God’s. He doesn’t love me any more than the regular church layman, nor does he love me any less than he loves my pastor. Your character makes you a man of God, not your title.

Mark Stauffer, 28


Realtor Favorite Scripture: Ecclesiastes 12:13-14 Helping people buy, sell or lease their homes is Mark Stauffer’s passion. He is a member of the National Association Realtors and has a growing interest in real estate investing. His favorite sports team is the Chicago Cubs and when he’s not buying or selling real estate, he enjoys music and traveling. Mark believes that a Man of Standard is a man who is accountable for his actions, words and lifestyle. He must live with authentic integrity. Mark wants to leave a legacy for his children and those who look up to him that he loved God, loved his family and loved others. Mark has a passion for encouraging men and women to choose God’s best when dating. “Don’t settle for just anyone out of loneliness. Wait for the one God has for you and the one whom it will be a joy to minister to, “explains Mark.

STAUFFER Calvin Lewis, 30

School Teacher Favorite Scripture: Proverbs 12:13 During the University of Memphis football or basketball season, one is sure to find Calvin Lewis observing the sport. However, a more important activity in Calvin’s life is giving back. Whether it’s in his classroom, his church or his community, Calvin greatly believes in work ethic, integrity and serving. On Saturdays you can usually find Calvin serving at church, at somebody’s sporting event, working around the house, and occasionally playing hoops with his friends. Professionally, Calvin serves as a Board member of the Lewis Academy of Excellence Charter School in Clayton County Georgia and is a member of Memphis Eduation Association, Tennessee Education Association and the National Education Association. Calvin takes great pride in being a husband and father. He and his wife Tanisha have one son Colin, 12, and two girls Savanna, 6, and Sara, 3. “I have to speak on fatherhood and family because it is an area that so many men take for granted. God has truly blessed me beyond all expectations in this area. My wife is my best friend; we encourage each other, grow from one another, push one another, and enjoy life together to the fullest. My kids are my heart and it is God who has blessed me with such priceless gifts, a love worth dying for.” Calvin believes that a Man of Standard is a man whose number one priority in life is God’s will for his life, regardless if it aligns with his own desires or not. A mere man is one who pursues his own desire; this man will never find the true riches in life until he finds Jesus. To be remembered as a man whose example impacted millions of people and generations through unconditional generosity, love, service, and fellowship is Calvin’s goal in life.

Gregory Kirby, 50

Pastor/Author/Lecturer Favorite Scripture: Ephesians 3:20 Gregory Kirby has a strong belief in being active in the community and places of worship. “We have a direct mandate from God to go and teach. If we believe in Him, we will obey. What better way to show obedience than to be active in our local community and church. (Charity starts at home, then spreads abroad.) Also scripture says we are not saved because of our works, but because we are saved, we are willing to work. Our

Mark lives his life as a Man of Standard and understands that this is only possible when a man knows “who is in the driver’s seat of his life”. Mark insists that in life every little compromise gone unchecked will catch up with you later. He adds, “To be happy, just do it!”

works show what we believe in. If I want a good community and church, then it starts with me.” Gregory plans to leave a legacy for his children and others by providing a community/recreation center in the rural Delta area where he grew up in Arkansas. On Saturdays one can find Gregory witnessing, sharing God, inviting people to church, and preparing for Sunday services. Gregory defines a Man of Standard as one who strives to live according to the Word of God; has integrity, high moral values, impeccable character; and expects excellence from self and others. According to Gregory a Man of Standard puts God first, seeks God in all that he does, is committed to pleasing God, exhibits the fruit of the spirit, is willing to forgive; in a mere man, God does not have priority in his life. Gregory is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Black Democratic Caucus and works heavily with the Teen Pregnancy Prevention Program. He also works as a mentor and tutor. He enjoys exercising and reading and is involved with the National Baptist Convention of America, Incorporated; Shreveport Ministers Conference; and the Nationwide Christian Ministry Fellowship.

Brian Reith, 29

Recording Artist Favorite Scripture: II Corinthians 4:16-18 Brian Reith goes by many titles including singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer but he admits that he wish he knew 10 years ago to let life unfold at its own pace. “No matter how hard I try, I cannot figure the rest of my life out. The world tells us to do that, to build a kingdom on earth, but Jesus doesn’t. We don’t know what tomorrow holds, life is an adventure, enjoy the journey, life is NOW. God will order our steps as we cling to Him and His Word.” In the midst of life’s adventures Brian believes that being able to balance everything can be challenging but rewarding. “Balancing life is one of the hardest yet most important disciplines we must learn. It is so easy to be extreme: in our careers, in our beliefs, in our relationships… But the most mature and peaceful people are balanced. I have a hard time balancing business with ministry, balancing creativity and administration. God calls us to be centered on him and balanced in sound doctrine, otherwise we will fall to one side or the other!” When Brian is not recording music he enjoys reading, beach volleyball, exercising, writing and laughing. He is a member of the Choir & Worship team and the Apollos Training Institute

at Strong Tower Bible Church in Franklin, Tennessee. Brian is passionate about working with youth and his community service work with ECOS (Earth Commission: Operation Simplify) an organization committed to creating awareness to take better care of God’s creation. Brian believes that a Man of Standard lines his own will up with God’s will by aligning his perspective up with the scriptures. He is a man that is accountable to God and others, taking responsibility for his own actions and he is aware that his life counts for more than just selfish pleasure, and strives for excellence while accepting his own failures. In essence, a Man of Standard is accountable to God and other men. He walks intimately with Jesus and other people, admitting his mistakes and weaknesses. He knows his strength comes from Jesus so he walks humbly and seeks to serve those in need. A mere man lives for himself. His idea of success is probably earthly and temporary. He may accomplish tremendous things, but they will burn up in the end because of the motives of his heart. He cannot please God (Romans 8:8).

LaQuintin Alston, 29 CEO Preacher Kid Productions Favorite Scripture: Habakkuk 2:2-3 Every young entrepreneur knows what it means to dream big. Laquintin Alston is no stranger to pursuing dreams and wants to leave a legacy for those that will follow in his footsteps. “Continue to follow your dreams and desires and do not look for that quick success. Many times, people expect their biggest desires to come to fruition quickly. It doesn’t work that way all the time. God has a designated day, time and season for everything,” says Laquintin. “First you must realize that a dream is a fantasy with a hope of desire,” he adds. He suggests reading Hebrews 11:1: “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” In order to make the dream a reality Laquintin suggests meditating on Habakkuk 2: 2-3: “Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it. For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.” When not promoting Christian events or booking artists, Laquintin enjoys music, bowling and LaserQuest. He is the Minister of Music for his church, All Saints Deliverance Temple COGIC, and actively supports the Memphis Food Bank. He believes that a Man of Standard is a man who takes a stand for what is right and furthermore tries to do something positive to help not only himself but anyone that needs help.


COVERSTORY Roosevelt Jackson, Jr, 39 Minister/Sales Consultant Favorite Scripture: Joshua 24: 15


Working with people takes an incredible amount of patience and charisma. Roosevelt Jackson, Jr., knows the importance of both and displays these qualities daily as a sales consultant and a minister. Life has taught Roosevelt many things and one important lesson has been not to take people for granted. Roosevelt strives to be “a compassionate person and a person who does what he says he is going to do; also a person that plans well and with God achieves all of his goals in life.” Roosevelt defines a Man of Standard as a person who solely depends on God, a person that always puts God first, and lets God direct his path, his speech and his performance. “In this evil, perverted and sinful world that we now live in, a Man of Standard always needs to keep a balanced life. God wants us to put him first, then comes the family, work, (livelihood), and yourself. If a man has a balanced life he can live it to the fullest.” Roosevelt enjoys reading, traveling, cooking and is very active in the community. He is also a member of the Mark of Excellence General Motors-Cadillac Division organization. He is a fan of basketball, football and golf. To be a Man of Standard, Roosevelt believes that a man must have and maintain a “level of respect, integrity, and godliness and respect everyone to the fullest.”

Dr. Cedrick Gray, 37 Principal Favorite Scripture: Romans 5:8

Dr. Gray desires to leave the legacy of a good name, a giving spirit and a successful career as a public school leader and Man of Standard. He feels that a Man of Standard recognizes his importance through the eyes of God and a mere man recognizes his importance through his own eyes only. Most importantly, a Man of Standard is a man with strong convictions, uncompromising integrity and unwavering faith in God. In all things Dr. Gray relies on the power of prayer and has faith in God’s purpose for his life. Ben Cerullo, 31

Evangelist/Prophet Favorite Scripture: John 15:16 After 7 years of leading Steelroots, one of the top providers of ministry, action sports, and music content for Christian youth and young adults, Ben Cerullo took a giant leap of faith and decided to expand his ministry. He describes his role in this new outreach, Ben Cerullo Ministries, as “fulfilling the great commission around the world through media events, evangelism and discipleship.” Ben is no stranger to stepping out on faith and following his dreams and he encourages others to do the same. “Many of us are afraid to follow our dreams. They are bigger than we are. The Lord has put a dream in each of us and He is waiting to bring it to pass for His glory if we would just believe and step out on the water. The way you can tell the dream is from God is that you could never do it on your own. God has called you to the impossible because that’s where He lives.” Ben believes that a Man of Standard is someone who is not content to read history but make it. “It’s someone who rises above good and steps into his greatness. A Man of Standard changes the world around him with signs, wonders and miracles for God’s glory and honor establishing the kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven. A mere man waits for others to do it for him,” says Ben. In his spare time you can find Ben spending time with family, reading, or resting. He also enjoys surfing, skating and 12 DIVINE MAGAZINE | MEN’S ISSUE

snowboarding. Ben strives to leave a legacy for a generation of of young men and women “who will walk in purpose and power of God manifesting the resurrection power of Jesus to the world recreating the cycle.”

Mundo Meneses, 31 Pastor Favorite Scripture: John 15:16

From overseeing service teams to participating in missions through his church, Mundo Meneses works to live a life “led by the Holy Spirit and fully submitted to His ways.” Mundo stands firm on the idea that a Man of Standard can be defined as a man whose character is strong. Character is simply your moral nature, who you are when no one is looking and character is the defining quality that makes us who we really are. If any man is going to be a Man of Standard, then there has to be principles and values that guide and help him navigate through every situation that arises. Many times people focus on skills and natural abilities, but if your character cannot keep you where your talents and gifts take you, things will eventually be a mess.” Mundo is passionate about relationships and believes that they are what life is made up of. “Our relationship with God, with our family, and others will influence our life greatly. I have learned that if you are always looking for “the one”, then everything else will be second, including God. If God is not “the one” in our life, then we can’t invite someone to a relationship that will be founded on the most important thing, a relationship with Christ.


Dr. Gray is an advocate for education and his zeal is evident through his role as a principal, as an associate minister, and as a professor at Union University. “A good education equips a person with the weapons to battle the giants of ignorance and indifference. David slew Goliath because he had the knowledge of the power of God when his brothers did not. When a man can fish he eats for the moment but when a man learns to fish he can feed his family. When a man understands fishing he can teach others.” Dr. Gray is a member of the Tennessee Principals Association, the National Middle School Association, the National Baptist Congress, and is a Tennessee School Boards Association Fellow.

Anyone else we bring into our life, whether it be a spouse or friend, can only be “the two” because God is “the one” in our life. We can easily get sidetracked if we don’t know what we are looking for before we find someone. If we make God “the one” and we have a picture of the kind of spouse ‘the two” we want, then we don’t have to keep going through painful and purposeless relationships picking up more emotional baggage along the way. You can also observe someone’s character before even considering entering into a relationship with that person. You are ready to date or marry when you have a picture in your mind of the kind of girl or guy you will choose to marry, and when you have resolved in your heart that you will not settle for anything less. I would say if someone is considering whom to date or marry, they can use this filter: Does the person have a relationship with God, demonstrated by a daily time with the Lord reading the Bible and praying? Is the person involved actively in a Christian church or other body of believers? Does the person desire to pursue the same type of spiritual life and ministry that you desire to pursue? Are you a better person and better Christian because of your dating relationship? Have you observed their character before entering into a relationship? What do people in your life who are strong Christians think of the relationship? Mundo encourages all men to be more than just a mere man. He believes that a Man of Standard has an intimacy with Christ that brings sensitivity to the Holy Spirit, whom guides us in all things. A mere man, or even a religious man can try to follow rules and never be able to do so but someone who really has intimacy with Christ has a life that is fully surrendered to God in every area and allows the voice of God to be the strongest in his life.


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By Steven Fox


hen it comes to men in Memphis, it is very easy to stereotype us. We even stereotype each other. However, when it comes to questioning a man about his likes or dislikes, the focus should be on the content of the man. I asked some of my friends, associates and even guys who I haven’t spoken with for months where they like to hang out. Here’s what I heard:

PARMASTERS located at 888 South

White Station Road, just off Poplar Avenue is the world’s first, year-round, indoor golf training center franchise that literally guarantees results. Parmaster’s has been selected in the Top 50 Franchises in North America based on franchise satisfaction. This semi-private golf training center features 25,000 square feet of golf training facilities, including a large short game area, sand traps, fluency bays, golf simulators, golf fitness equipment and a whole lot more. Transitioning from the hobby and sport world to the world of food and beverage leads you to the SOUL CAFÉ. This restaurant where Soul Food meets American Grill cuisine is situated in the heart of the Hickory Hill community and adjacent to New Direction Christian Church. Along with great food and good service, Soul Café offers wireless internet access, live weekend entertainment and a private VIP dining room equipped with plasma TV screens and surround sound perfect for business meetings and special occasions.


is one of the most state-of-the-art indoor shooting/retail facilities in the country. The 20,000 square foot facility houses two completely different shooting ranges and pledges to always have one of the two sides open for the public to shoot on. Range USA provides the community a safe, friendly, clean, and convenient place to shoot. They offer a variety of community classes that educates customers in all areas of firearms and firearm safety – with everything from an Introduction to Handguns class, Advanced Tactical Pistol courses and the very popular Tennessee Handgun Carry Permit Class. Range USA is a family owned small business built and operated on Christian values and faith. 14 DIVINE MAGAZINE | MEN’S ISSUE

I also heard about ONIX, a fullservice restaurant with exciting, yet relaxing dinner entertainment located at 412 South Main, in the South Main Historical Arts District Downtown. Onix offers an artistic and eclectic blend of environment, music, food and fun. View artwork from local artists and enjoy a variety of music including jazz or a live dj, spinning everything from House to Neo-Soul music. Whet your appetite with Onix’s signature Chicken and Belgian waffles, seafood, salads, and more. Meet your friends as well as network with other professionals on Tuesday nights. On Saturday nights, hang out without all the fuss and listen to the sounds of a live jazz band while enjoying great-tasting food. When it comes to a bookstore, BOOKSTAR in the Poplar Plaza located at 3402 Poplar Ave speaks for itself. If you look closely, BookStar used to be an old theatre. As soon as you walk through the door the staff provides you with a feeling of warmth withholding no knowledge. BookStar has a plethora of books placed in two different parts of the store giving you the option to quietly lounge on a chair or grab a cup of java in the Starbucks Café.

FOX & HOUND provides a social

gathering place with high quality food and entertainment in an upscale, casual environment. The menu includes mid-priced appetizers, entrees and desserts served in generous portions. The Fox and The Hound has two separate locations: The Cordova Fox and The Hound located at 847 Exocet Drive or Memphis/Sanderlin Road Fox and The Hound located at 5101 Sanderlin Road, Suite 100.


656 Marshall Avenue sits in the “Edge” neighborhood of downtown Memphis (1 block west from Sun Studio on Union Avenue). Hattiloo has a 66seat black-box theatre, an entertainment café called Zoras (named after Harlem Renaissance writer Zora Neal Hurston) where spoken word performances. jazz, neo-soul, and gospel concerts, as well as art openings take place. It also houses the Queen Diatta rehearsal room used for classes in directing and acting. Each annual season Hattiloo produces seven major productions, and six special performances. Check it out!

CHART toppers



Top 10 Most Popular Christian Books



THE SHACK by William P. Young


THE FORBIDDEN by Beverly Lewis


CAPTIVATING by John & Stasi Eldredge


WALKING WITH GOD by John Eldredge




DAWN’S LIGHT by Terri Blackstock





Top 5 Gospel Music Albums


1 MARVIN SAPP-Thirsty 2 TYE TRIBBETT & G.A-Stand Out 3 VARIOUS ARTISTS-WOW 2008 4 VARIOUS ARTISTS-Voices: The Ultimate Gospel Collection 5 KIRK FRANKLIN-The Fight of My Life


Top 5 Christian Music Albums



1 KUTLESS- To Know That You’re Alive 2 SUPERCHIC[K]- Superchic[k] 3 FLYLEAF-Flyleaf 4 CASTING CROWNS-The Altar and The Door 5 JEREMY CAMP-Beyond Measure



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Mortgage Meltdown


Reginald D. Clark, CFP

Unless you have been asleep since the fall of 2006, you’re certainly aware that the United States is suffering from a subprime mortgage crisis. The crisis began with the much speculated bursting of the housing bubble and fueled by the sharp rate of defaults on loans made to credit challenged borrowers (subprime). Many of these loans were sold to borrowers at low initial rates or “interest only” payments with the idea they would be able to refinance in a couple of years. With the housing prices declining, many borrowers found that the assumed equity wasn’t there making it impossible to refinance. Unfortunately, for many, this news typically came about the same time for the rate to adjust. With higher rates and no equity to bail them out, thousands of people have lost their homes. Lenders today often advertise the adjustable rate mortgages with teaser interest rates. These interest rates

are generally discounted for introductory periods of a specific loan and once these introductory periods are up, the loans will significantly adjust with the actual interest rates. Chances are the newer rates will be higher than the rates of the traditional mortgage. Memphis has not been immune to the fallout. According to Irvine, Calif.based RealtyTrac Inc., Memphis ranked 9th among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas for foreclosures in the first half of ’07. Many experts believe we won’t see the end of this crisis until the second half of ’09. In the meanwhile borrowers need to be very careful when shopping for a home loan. Ask questions. What is the APR (annual percentage rate)? Is it fixed or adjustable? What are the points? What are the closing costs? Don’t be afraid to ask around before settling with a lender. Work with someone you can trust. As always… buyer beware.


e O C M C Commission on Exploited

and Missing Children

Provides Lasting Treasures By Tran Bui Smith

Children across the Mid-South counted their loot after hitting gold at the COMEC Treasure Hunt. The non-profit organization’s 2nd annual family-friendly fundraiser drew more than 300 people, many decked out in pirate attire to the Pink Palace Museum on Sunday, June 8. Fox 13’s Darcy Thomas and Shawn Sandy, Board President of the Commission on Missing and Exploited Children or COMEC emceed the event that raised more than $10,000. The stage on the “Captain’s Deck” was filled with little buccaneers enjoying entertainment provided by Voices of the South, Kindermusik with Ms. Annette and Friends and Ballet on Wheels. There were photo opportunities with Shelby County firefighter Brent Perkins, McGruff the Crime Dog and look-alikes Explorer Girl and Explorer Boy from In Character Productions. Despite the heat, families ventured outside to take part in the “Kids Fun Fair” on the lawn of the Pink Palace mansion. It featured

a Rural/Metro Ambulance, fire engine from the Memphis Fire Department, moon bounce, Chinese calligraphy, old fashioned games, coloring station, face painting and a “walk the plank” activity. Adults cooled off inside by shopping in the “Pirates Marketplace,” where local familyfriendly businesses displayed their products and shared information about their services. The main attraction was the treasure hunt which had kids searching for clues throughout the museum. Miss Collierville Outstanding Teen 2008 Kristel Quon presented the winners in three age categories with award certificates and piratethemed prizes. “We feel like we’re the winners here,” says Selena Silvestro, COMEC board member and event co-chair. “We have the best volunteers, donors and supporters. Because of them, we more than doubled what we raised last year.” Treasure hunters didn’t leave empty handed. They had grub, kiddie spirits and a bag

of loot to take home with them. “We wanted to create an event which would bring the entire family together,” added Silvestro. “What a better way to do it. Games, food, goodies, music, dancing, cool characters and pirates. Aaargh!” COMEC is the only non-profit missing children’s organization in Tennessee. It administers the region’s AMBER Alert, helps find missing children, provides parents with important information on protecting their children from Internet predators and offers drug testing programs. The Treasure Hunt was sponsored by Verizon Wireless, Memphis Auto Auction/United Auto Recovery, Brandie DeLisi Photography, Sam’s Club, Creative Memories by Claire Slade Brophy, In Character Productions, Bruner Printing and Divine Magazine. If you or your organization would like to make a difference to protect our children, call 901-405-8441. 17 DIVINE MAGAZINE | MEN’S ISSUE



in the Workplace By: Lawrence C. Moaton

The state or quality of being entire or complete; wholeness; honesty; freedom from corrupting influence or motive are several ways in which you might see ‘Integrity’ defined or described. Someone once stated that integrity is what you do when no one is looking. For our purposes, the last part of the definition seems to be a good way of looking at workplace integrity. As Christians in the workplace, we are surrounded by ungodly people, who share ungodly conservations and exhibit unethical work practices of many types. Our role as Christians is to rise above all the negativism and to live lives in the home, community, and on the job in a way that demonstrates our integrity as Christians. We all occasionally have tough days at work, but as Christians what characteristics are we to exhibit and what steps can we take to make a bad day better? In the workplace our honesty should be above reproach. We should act and speak so that the Savior is glorified by our actions and deeds. In Matthew 5:37, Jesus stated that our ‘Yes’ should be ‘Yes,’ and our ‘No’ should be ‘No.’ If we tell someone we are going to do something then we should do everything in our efforts to get it done. If we tell others that we do not participate in gossip or idle talk we should be true to our word. In a court of law an individual swears on a Bible to “tell the truth and nothing but the truth.” Albert Camus, French playwright and novelist, stated that “Integrity has no need for rules.” As Christians we are to be open and approachable by others. We should use those conversational periods to witness to others about Jesus Christ and His love for us, not as periods of gossip or idle talk. Sometimes people just want someone to hear their point of view or 18 DIVINE MAGAZINE | MEN’S ISSUE

their side of the story. We should be willing to be that someone showing genuine concern and care for their situation. Douglas Adams, English author, comic radio dramatist, and musician, stated that “to give real service you must add something which cannot be bought or measured with money, and that is sincerity and integrity.” Avoiding punishment, having a clear conscience and being able to sleep well at night are but a few of the benefits of being a person of integrity especially in the workplace. In Psalms 101: 1-2, David resolved to walk blamelessly before those who knew him which is not always easy. “I will sing of your love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing praise. I will be careful to lead a blameless life— when will you come to me? I will walk in my house with blameless heart.” David’s integrity even led him to respect the life of his sworn enemy, King Saul. “The men said, “This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, ‘I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.’ “Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul’s robe. Afterward, David was consciencestricken for having cut off a corner of his robe. He said to his men, “The LORD forbid that I should do such a thing to my master, the LORD’s anointed, or lift my hand against him; for he is the anointed of the LORD.” (1 Samuel 24:4-6). We would do well to remember that wherever we find ourselves, in the workplace, home, church, or community we should be found doing the right thing because it is the right thing to do. Integrity is and always will be what separates someone that talks about doing right from someone who actually lives it.


FLASHBACK Join Commissioned for a retrospective of their remarkable career with GOSPEL LEGACY: COMMISSIONED. Packed with powerful songs such as “Ordinary Just Won’t Do”, “Will You Be Ready”, and “Running Back To You”. GOSPEL LEGACY: COMMISSIONED is the perfect addition to any gospel music lover’s collection.

Artist: Commissioned Song: Running Back To You Album: Gospel Legacy: Commissioned

RUNNING BACK TO YOU How can you forgive me when I’ve often gone astray How can you think of me when I do things my way Turning my back from you The one who loved me first Having my own desires Renewing worldly thirst

You told me you loved me and I should make up my mind You tell me come back now, but I keep wasting time Feeling so very weak you say I can be strong I feel I’ve gone too far you tell me to come home You love me still and I know this is real Chorus: And I am running back to you I see you’re standing there for me Your arms are opened wide And I don’t have to cry no more You’re standing there for me And I am running back to you, Why do I go away when I know I am no good when I’m on my own. You told me you could keep me, but I’ve turned it away

I failed you so much now I don’t know what to say Using the same excuse that I am just a man You tell me you’ve been there and hold your nail scarred hands so I can see Now I know I am free

Chorus: And I am running back to you I see you’re standing there for me Your arms are opened wide And I don’t have to cry no more You’re standing there for me and I am running back to you, Why do I go away when I know I am no good when I’m on my own. I have taken advantage of your love and grace Forgive me Lord and take me home, take me home. I’m running to you Jesus please take me home, You see I’ve been in this run way too long and I can’t do right anymore. I’m tired of pain and I don’t like fear but Lord I want to be more sincere. I never should have left your side. Return me to your guiding light I’m running back to you I see you’re standing there for me.




was recently invited to speak at a middle school graduation. While preparing for this very special day for the class of 2012, I came across a very interesting song. The song is called “Dey Know”, and the first problem of course is “Dey” which is supposed to be “They”. The song made me really stop to ponder what the young men of this generation know. Don’t get me wrong, this is not an attack on rap music or hip hop. I enjoy all styles of music but in this day of high gas prices, when education is suffering, and when children are raising themselves, you have ask the question, what do our young men really know? Many young men today are victims of ignorance, not knowing the right thing (getting a good education, staying out of trouble, etc.) or right one (God). Some even know the right one (God) but don’t know how He fits in this Myspace and You Tube time. There is a generation of young men who resemble the generation that is described in Judges 2:10. “…and there arose another generation after them who did not know (recognize, understand) the Lord, or even the work which He had done…”(Amplified Bible). In essence, this scripture refers to a generation that through time has become unaware, unfound and unfulfilled. How do we as a body of believers bring this generation out of the darkness and into the light? How do we get these young men to stop looking at young girls as lollipops? How do we help them understand you shouldn’t want to be referred to as a fool or be known for acting silly? For many young men who struggle in life and with life choices it’s due to them NOT knowing their value in life. If a young man is not expected to be much or do much then this is exactly how he will develop. Even in the young man’s life who is expected to excel in his career, if he is not expected to be a man of God he will always be an under- achiever in God’s sight.. What good is it for the world to have great athletes and professionals who have no clue of their true expectation from God? We have produced many under-achievers who don’t know God and who have become restless, misguided rebels without a cause. Even with money and professional success, life can be spent wandering 20 DIVINE MAGAZINE | MEN’S ISSUE

aimlessly. Young men have to come to the realization that in life there are penalties for disobedience, waywardness, and lack of guidance. How can a young man gain true focus? The answer is the Word of God. How can a young man know his purpose in life? The Word of God. How can a young man become Christ like? The Word of God. How does this current generation of young men who are more influenced by worldly men who go against the word become men after God’s heart? The Word of God. There is no other way to fix the current problem with young men but through relationship with God. That relationship is developed and established through God’s word. The right man comes out of a solid relationship with God; a relationship that goes beyond Sunday morning church visitation. For parents/guardians, the development happens by placing your son in programs at church and other ministries that will give him balance. When you only give him recreation and a means to socialize, there is no way he will become spiritual. With a lack of spirituality in his young life, his matriculation through life will be much more difficult and understanding the things of God will be much harder to receive. “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). I challenge all young men to take a deep look to see how much of Christ they see within themselves. Look at your circle of friends to see how many of those people look like Christ. When you have done this, you will see whether you have become a product of your environment. Always make sure that Christ is a part of your environment and that developing and nurturing your relationship with Christ ranks number one on your list of priorities.

Profile for Megan Mottley

DIVINE Magazine Men's Issue  


DIVINE Magazine Men's Issue