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CHRISTIAN LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE SPECIAL HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

GET A JUMPSTART ON YOUR GIFT GIVING

MOVING PAST

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SECONDS 0F SHAME

STRESS, DEPRESSION THE HOLIDAYS: TIPS FOR COPING

LIVING IN MY

SEASON Are Millennials

OFF STAGE WITH

Christian Keyes Losing Faith?

December 2010 Dunamis

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FEATURES

volume 1 issue 2

DUNAMIS

DUNAMIS MAGAZINE 2 Dunamis December 2010


DEPARTMENTS

volume 1 issue 2

MAGAZINE

Preacher Teacher 26 Moving Past 15 Seconds of Shame

Publisher’s Page 5 Business 8 Holiday Money Matters

Wake Up Call 28 Sabastian K. Young -Forgiveness

Opinion 12 Should Pastors Know What People Give?

Soul Food 30 Make Today A Day of Days Upper Room Dinner Theater

Health 14 Holiday Depression Relationships 20 Where Should We Look for Love Family & Faith Orphan Sunday Faith

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Culture 34 400th Birthday of the Holy Bible

Entertainment 36 Highlights Christian Keyes Holiday Gift Guide

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DUNAMIS MAGAZINE EDITORIAL Dunamis Magazine 5306 Brinkman St. Houston, TX 77091 Phone: 832.460.3270

Frederick C. Harris Editor- in-Chief /Publisher

Dunamis Editorial Coverage@dunamismag.com

Yvette Justice Fleming Editorial Director

Dunamis Advertising advertising@dunamismag.com

Womentality Creative

Lauren Williams Associate Publisher

Dunamis Magazine is produced eleven times per year. All submissions should be emailed to coverage@ dunamismag.com Dunamis Magazine Š 2010 All rights reserved. The contents of Dunamis may not be reproduced without written permission from the publisher.

CONTRIBUTORS & SOURCES Yvette Justice Fleming Tonyai Palmer Sebastian K. Young Shalonda McFarland Dr. Carolyn Clansey Miller Matt Branaugh /Christianity Today International/Leadership Journal Sandra Steen ON THE COVER Actor, singer Christian Keyes

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Dear Readers,

LETTER FROM THE PUBLISHER

“Black Friday”, “Cyber Monday” and the Christmas ad campaigns are all indicators that the commercialized aspect of Christmas has commenced. In the midst of the materialism there are those who are personally taking a stand for what they believe is the true meaning of Christmas—which is the celebration of family, life, love and generosity along with joy, peace and happiness. While the sentiments are beautiful, the true meaning of Christmas is not about loving your fellow man it’s about God loving man. It’s about God, our Heavenly Father, bestowing upon us the most amazing yet priceless gift--the coming of a new kingdom. The most profound message of this advent season is that God became man. John reveals to us that God became flesh and lived with us (John 1:14). Not only did he live with us he moved into the neighborhood. Our Heavenly Father provided us with a Savior (Rom. 5:15). He gave us Christ who died in our place, for the forgiveness of sins and the promise of everlasting life. (1 Cor. 15:3-4). After Christ’s resurrection, his Holy Spirit came to reside within those who trust and believe in his power to save the spirit and heal the soul. This is the ultimate gift! All you have to do is receive it. As we continue with holiday rituals and traditions, just remember that no matter how much bling your diamonds exude, how exclusive, expensive or inexpensive, your Christmas gift may be, it does not carry the same binding authority or trump God’s Gift. So what’s in this issue? You will find stories that relate to holiday finances and depression, moving past shameful events in life and a spotlight on actor-singersongwriter, Christian Keyes. Looking for that “something different” in a gift for your loved ones? Don’t miss our holiday shopping guide featuring local artist who offer one of a kind gifts and the extensive listing of bestselling books and music. As a staple, we have a few stories that are meant stimulate thought and provoke conversation. From the DUNAMIS Magazine family, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year! To God be the Glory!

Frederick C. Harris Publisher December 2010 Dunamis

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BUSINESS & FINANCE

Holiday Money Matters By Shalonda McFarland

Shalonda McFarland is an accomplished author who has written many articles on Christians and finance. You can find archived articles she has written at PurseString.com

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Thanksgiving and Christmas are considered favorite holidays for many. This is a time to unwind at the end of the year and spend more time with your family and friends. The kids are out of school and there’s societal warmth in the air as people give cards of Christmas blessings and well wishes. Unfortunately this is also the time when people feel the most stressed and depressed. Some of that depression is caused by loneliness and yet a lot still is caused by financial worries. At a time when we should all be enjoying the company of others and our hearts filled with joy and thankfulness, some of us are consumed with how we will buy the next gift, what relatives will think of our home, or how we will afford Christmas. Let’s explore some things you can do to make the up-coming holidays the best ever without straining your pocketbook, things to avoid, and how to jump-start your finances for the New Year.


BUSINESS & FINANCE Can you believe how this year has blown by! It’s Christmas time again. This is the holiday that celebrates the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Oh come let us adore Him! We all know this. And yet, what’s on most of our minds…how we are going to get the best deals on gifts for our loved ones. We’re thinking about how we will be able to stretch our money to get the most value for our dollars. And the best day to get those deals is on Black Friday. Black Friday is always the next day after Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving always falling on a Thursday, and the following day a Friday, is normally the first time all year that retailers see their profits go from red (losing money) to black (making money), hence the name Black Friday. Of course they have us to thank for that. Retailers go from red to black and we consumers go from black to red. We go out of control over the crazy sales so much so that we spend way more money than we intend to. The stores put out these amazing ads and the public goes crazy. Some of us will be at the store at 4am to get that deal. Well, to make the most of Black Friday here are a few suggestions and watch outs. Let’s get the most out of the retailers’ price war without going overboard on our spending. A way to avoid overspending is to think about your purchase. Just because that flat-screen T.V. is a ridiculous 80% off, it still may cost over $1000. You should make your decision to buy based on if you can afford the retail price, and you have a use for purchase, not because you just can’t pass up a T.V. that’s so drastically marked down. I’m reminded of an illustration in a college Economics book. The woman proudly explained to her husband that the humongous live adult elephant she bought only cost one dollar. The point of the comic strip is just because something is cheap, doesn’t mean you should buy it. Remember you still have to eat the next day. Your bills will still come in the same time the next month. For those of us with children, consider that your baby will more than likely play with the box than the expensive toy that came in the box. The more toys you buy for your small toddler, the more toys you’ll have to pick up off of the floor. The more games, gadgets, and gismos you buy for your teenager, the more they want. There’s always something else to buy. So don’t stress yourself in thinking you need to get them more this year. More does not mean better. Get something from the heart and be at peace. Here is a quick list of do’s, don’ts, and timesavers for your Christmas shopping.

Spiritual Pearls

Do’s: • Know how much you are willing to spend for all presents • Have your list prepared before you shop • Pay in cash • Circle the items you want to buy from each Ad

Don’ts: • Spend more than you budgeted • Get a loan for Christmas • Use credit cards • Feel guilty, splurge, or lose your head

Save Time/Avoid the Crowd: • Go the day before (pick out what you want in department stores and have it held for 24 hrs) • Buy gift cards (just make sure the person actually shops there) • Shop on the internet (You may find the same deal with free shipping)

Wait! I’m broke. What do you do if you have no money to give? If your heart is bigger than your pocketbook, you can always give yourself. Here are some gifts you may want to consider: • Writing a letter • Baking cookies or a cake • Making your gift, a craft of some sort • Volunteering at a shelter • Cleaning your grandmother’s house

Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. Proverbs 16:3 NIV

You lazy fool, look at an ant. Watch it closely; let it teach you a thing or two. Nobody has to tell it what to do. All summer it stores up food; at harvest it stockpiles provisions. So how long are you going to laze around doing nothing? How long before you get out of bed? A nap here, a nap there, a day off here, a day off there, sit back, take it easy—do you know what comes next? Just this: You can look forward to a dirt-poor life, poverty your permanent houseguest! Proverbs 6:6-11 The Message Bible December 2010 Dunamis

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BUSINESS & FINANCE Gift-giving Etiquette: To keep from having your gift re-gifted, the recipient of your gift rewraps the gift and gives it to someone else, avoid gifts that are too personal. Unless you are spot-on about what the recipient likes, don’t give:

Who would have thought that 2010 would go by so quickly? This year is the beginning of a new decade and it’s almost over. At the start of this year some of us were so excited to have a new beginning. We vowed to Win in 2010, yet some of us are the same or worse off financially now than we were at the height of our anticipation.

• Perfumes/colognes-the person may have allergies or just doesn’t like the scent. If you do give this gift wrap it in a box of the department store you bought it in so they can take it back and get a fragrance that suits them.

Some of us made many financial resolutions that did not come to pass. Life got in the way. We did not see things through. Instead of waiting until New Year’s Eve to make the same vows, let us start doing the right things now and propel our finances to where we want them to go. Here is a list of common neglected financial items that you can complete now:

• Clothes-you know how hard it is to find the right size for you for any given item so don’t try to guess what size they wear unless it’s a close relative. You want them to feel comfortable letting you know that it did not fit.

 Start a Monthly Budget  Start an Emergency Fund  Cut up the Credit Cards

• Wall pictures/home décor-Your decorating styles may not match. Then the person feels guilty that they don’t have it displayed in a prominent place in their home for when you visit. You want to avoid the answer to the question, “Where’s that wall painting I bought you last Christmas?” (Now that’s an awkward moment!)

 Create your Will  Write down your Expectations for 2011 and place the list where you can see it daily  Write your Business Plan, Write the Draft of your Book, or Buy your Songwriting Notebook  Start Tithing

The New Year When the holidays are over and the Christmas tree has been put away, we start to look forward to a new beginning, the New Year. Many of us start thinking about the New Year, the day before it comes, on New Year’s Eve. I suggest we start assessing the ending year and what we will do differently in the new year, at least a month before it comes. It has been said that it takes 30 days to create and keep a habit so start your good habits now. Set your expectations early so that when January 1st comes your changed behavior is automatic. When you start now, you are creating momentum that will carry you into the New Year. As your beginning goes, so should the rest of the year. The danger of not starting now and waiting until January 1st is that things tend to come up, we tend to slack off our commitments and before you know it, its February 1st. Then we feel like we’ve failed and our good intentions go by the wayside. We tuck them in a drawer next to our list of resolutions. Not this year! We will break the monotonous cycle of failed good intentions.

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 Set the appointment with the Accountant or Financial Adviser So as you prepare for the up-coming holidays, take the precautions to enjoy them wisely while keeping your finances intact, avoid the pocketbook pitfalls, and boost your finances for the New Year.


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OPINION Here is how three XPastor.org members say their churches handle this question: “Our senior pastor has access to the giving records and may choose—or not—to look at them. Only accounting people have any other access. Our reasoning is this: It is good for a pastor to be able to not judge a book [or person] by its cover. Sometimes the most visibly prominent members of the community—the business owner, the state senator, the heiress—do not have a theology of tithing. So we decided that it was better for the pastor to know, than to allow public prominence, community status, and flashy signs of wealth to bias decision-making.”—Chuck Rettig, Barnard Memorial United Methodist Church, Holdenville Oklahoma “Someone needs to know who gives what in your church. While consulting for a church a few years ago, my task was to examine their business practices. A giving analysis showed that 80 percent of the church’s income was given by two individuals in their mid-70s. This was a church of about 300, and they were two funerals away from losing their cash flow. This information allowed the pastor to see the need to develop leadership, do more on stewardship, and challenge people with a vision.” —Joe Ward, Walnut Ridge Baptist Church, Mansfield, Texas

by Matt Baranaugh

SHOULD PASTORS KNOW WHAT PEOPLE GIVE?

A temptation toward favoritism, or a needed discipleship tool? A question on XPastor.org’s Google Group asked whether pastors should know who gives what to the church. Is it primarily an issue of privacy, potential partiality, or accountability and pastoral care?

“The senior pastor prefers not to know what anyone gives specifically. He prefers this so he can preach to all without wondering if he’s offended someone or not. However, we have found a workable middle ground: A. He started challenging some folks to larger gifts in capital campaigns. He knows what they pledge and follows up as needed. B. He is notified when an individual up for a major leadership position passes—or not—a screening to determine whether they are giving to the church.—Dave Patchin, Hope Community Church, Raleigh, N.C.

According to attorney Frank Sommerville, churches “should examine job and committee descriptions to determine who qualifies under a need-toknow standard.” The reason: donor privacy. Those who have access “need to agree to a privacy policy requiring them to keep all donor information private and use it solely to perform their church duties,” he says. Churches must decide whether the pastor needs to know, such as for providing specific counsel and spiritual development tied to members’ tithing. Once the church determines who has access, it needs to disclose this to the congregation so that donors “will have a realistic expectation of privacy,” Sommerville says.

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Christianity Today International/ Leadership Journal.


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HEALTH

Holiday Depression We Suffer in Silence

“As people of color, we don’t have the real experience of dealing with it [depression] yet,”

The holiday season for most people is a fun time of the year filled with parties, celebrations, and social gatherings with family and friends. But for many people, it is a time filled with sadness, self-reflection, loneliness, and anxiety or what is also known as the “holiday blues.” What causes the holiday blues? Sadness is a truly personal feeling. What makes one person feel sad may not affect another person. Typical sources of holiday sadness include stress, fatigue, unrealistic expectations, over commercialization, financial stress and the inability to be with one’s family and friends. Balancing the demands of shopping, parties, family obligations, and house guests may contribute to feelings of being overwhelmed and increased tension. People who do not view themselves as depressed may develop stress responses, such as headaches, excessive drinking, overeating and insomnia. According to the studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for Health Statistics there is not a significant rise in cases of depression or suicide rates during the holiday season. The proof is found in 35-year study conducted in Olmstead County, Minnesota, which found no increase in suicides three days before, during, or three days after Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day. A depression fact-sheet produced by NYU’s Langone Medical Center , shows supporting evidence that some people suffering from depression during the holidays actually receive more support than normal from family and

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friends. This however, is not necessarily true for AfricanAmericans, who tend not to be forthcoming about their depression and are one of the two groups least likely to seek help, according to a survey by the National Institute of Health. Only one-third of Americans with a mental health problem get care. Yet, according to the Surgeon General’s Report administered by the US Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the General Surgeon, SAMHSA, the percentage of African Americans receiving needed care is only half that of non-Hispanic whites. One study reported that nearly 60% of older African American adults were not receiving needed services. Statistics on African American women and depression in particular, are either non-existent or uncertain, according to Barbara Jones Warren, RN, MS, PhD, professor of Clinical Nursing at Ohio State University. “Part of this confusion is because past published clinical research on depression in African-American women has been scarce,” said Warren. “This scarcity is, in part, due to the fact that African-American women may not seek treatment for their depression, may be misdiagnosed, or may withdraw from treatment because their ethnic, cultural, and/or gender needs have not been met.” � “As people of color, we don’t have the real experience of dealing with it [depression] yet,” said Terrie M. Williams, a licensed social worker, publicist and author of “Black Pain: It Just Looks Like We’re Not Hurting.” “But we have to realize that sometimes the therapy appointment is necessary to stay sane.” Opening up about our problems could help us to beat depression.”


HEALTH “We are dying,” said Williams, “and the most revolutionary thing we can do is share our stories.” During this holiday season, Williams shares some tips to beat the “holiday blues”: •Remember that there are no perfect holidays. •Stop pretending and learn to appreciate what you have. Focus on acknowledging the good moments as they are happening. •Don’t opt out of the holiday or overspend. Some of us will back away from the holiday and say “I don’t do Christmas,” as a way of dealing with the fact that we have limited resources.

WATCH INSPIRATIONAL VIDEOS FAITH, FAMILY & FOOTBALL ON GODTUBE.COM

•Set spending limits for yourself and your children. Be careful of spending to fill the empty void and find other ways of fulfilling yourself. •Take care of yourself. Plan to do things that you enjoy and carve out time to pamper yourself. If you are alone, plan with others that are solo. •Remember that the real importance of the holiday is not about the ‘stuff’ but about the relationships.

Spiritual Pearls Psalm 34: 6,17,18 Isiah 61: 1-3 December 2010 Dunamis

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HEALTH

0’ HOLY NIGHT “Christmas is more than a few twinkling lights and snowmen–it was not an ordinary night–it is not just another holiday.” Dr. Carolyn Clansy Miller I can’t allow this holiday season to go by without recognizing Christmas. I know that Christmas has become commercialized and admittedly, I participate in some of it.   In fact, my husband and I have just finished wrapping gifts and putting them under our tree.  Yet, like many of you, it is very important to me that I remember to reflect on, embrace, and experience the true meaning of Christmas…. and when I do, everything else including what and where I eat, what gifts I give or receive, or where I put the tree– pales in comparison.  

celebrate it is because God desperately wants you and me.  I believe that when we reflect on the true meaning of Christmas, we’ll find the greatest gift we can receive is Christ and the greatest gift that we can give to God and others, is our self.   Christmas in its’ purest form is the beginning of this divine exchange that starts when we receive the love that Jesus came to give.   Don’t let the significance of the moment elude you. After all, we get good at life when we capture moments like these and respond to what we learn in ways that transform us. 

Christmas is God’s demonstration of His unfailing love for all mankind.   Though Christmas represents many things, the most significant is that God came to us–through Jesus Christ–for the expressed purpose of reconciling us to Himself. Christmas reminds me that God not only forgives us for our wrongs, but despite His full recognition of who we are and what we’ve done, desires a personal relationship with us.  He spared no expense in creating every opportunity for this to happen and– at this very moment–I am particularly thankful for that kind of love.   

David Phelps’ rendition of “O’ Holy Night” is perhaps, one of the closest representations of what I feel, but am struggling to articulate.   When I hear him sing this song, it becomes even more apparent that Christmas is more than a few twinkling lights and snowmen–it was not an ordinary night– it is not just another holiday.  What God has done for us is unprecedented, unfathomable, and most hallowed!  I pray that as you watch this video, the true Spirit of Christmas will be stirred within you and this Christmas you will experience, for the first time or yet again, a most holy and divine night.

I hope and pray you will experience Christmas in a profound way–by remembering that the whole reason we even

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HEALTH

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RELATIONSHIPS

Love?

Where Should We Look for Sandra Steen

“No man cared for my soul.” Ps 142:4

After recently being thrust into numerous ministry opportunities; I had to begin to challenge my own out-ofthe box thinking.  I started asking the question why we make the choice to attend church in the midst of our challenging and busy schedules. After getting past the obvious fact that we have been taught it is the right thing to do; I came to the conclusion with the help of my friend Anthony...many of us go to church looking for light--and warmth! Great teaching and preaching and music may bring us in, but relationships that fulfill will keep us committed.  I don’t believe there’s a person out there that wakes up and says “we need to find a fellowship where people do not care about one another”.   We can’t be fooled by the lack of expression on their faces; or the lack of affirmation from their lips...the bottomline---we were created to Love and to be Loved!  Love is too important to ignore or deny; we will search for it!   We can hear that little voice reminding us; “if  they won’t love me, someone else will”. The challenge with the Love formula is that we all bring with us the wounds of our past, the struggles of our present, and the unspoken anxieties of our future. The silent question we have: “Will you love me as I am, even if I don’t fit your mold and change as quickly as you’d like me to?”   Pastor Lee Petty of San Antonio, TX says it this way: “We must choose to Love like we have never been hurt”!  When we make that decision; we are able to take the limits off our Love and truly meet the needs of the people we serve”!

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Many people are shy, distrusting, and relationally impaired. We have an opportuntity to show them warmth and make them “friends” not just leave them as bench warmers and financial contributors. Warmth is an amazing thing, since it is easy to feel lonely in a crowd even during “greet your neighbor” moments during many services. The Scripture says, “Bear one another’s burdens” (Gal 6:2 NKJV), because a burden shared is a burden lightened. Many of those who come to church aren’t just looking for profound answers, they want to know someone genuinely cares about them. When that happens, they open up to God’s love and the real miracle takes place. If the greatest measurement of success on Monday is reduced to headcount “how many people did we see in church yesterday?”---we might need to check our hearts not our stats!   Jesus told his disciples, you may be more concerned with your image than meeting the real needs.  “I have called you friends” (Jn 15:15) and I want you to bear fruit that won’t spoil.   He reminded them, you can’t accomplish this without the root command: “Love one another”! Being fishermen of people requires the best bait out there....Genuine Caring!   I remember hearing a childhood pastor say: ‘Stop trying to scale the fish before you catch him”.   “If we are going to win people, it requires wisdom not judgement”!  Any church retaining 10% of the people who come through the doors weekly; is in a constant growth mode, no matter what their size. There is no shortage of excitement and opportunity in God’s Kingdom, Jesus said if I be lifted up; I will be the drawing card (John 12:32)....What a Masterful PR Plan! At the end of the day, we have been given a simple formula for identifying ourselves as disciples: “Everyone will know you are my disciples, because of your love for each other.” (John 13:35)  Finding Love in the right place at a time like this is soooo... PRICELESS!!!!

Spiritual Pearls Leviticus 19:18 Dueteronomy 6:5 Matthew : 5:43-48


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FAMILY & FAITH Adoption isn’t simply another good thing Christians do, or even an avenue to evangelism. It’s an illustration of the kingdom of God. With all the financial and emotional barriers to hurdle, some Christians view adoption as being only for a few people who are specially called, as in: “The few, the proud, the adopters!” And indeed not everyone can adopt. Adoption agencies, both in one’s homeland and overseas, generally have stringent requirements. Some of us don’t have the resources to qualify, even if we want to adopt. Others of us, who do have those resources, feel called to spend them elsewhere. Adoption for many in the church falls into the category of “optional extra,” good for some but not binding on the rest. However, adoption is for every Christian, because every Christian has been adopted by God the Father. Our adoption into the family of God is a central fact of our salvation. This fact affects how we relate with God, with fellow Christians, and with people outside the community of faith—including children and youths who need parents. Russell D. Moore’s article for Christianity Today , “Abba Changes Everything: Why every Christian is called to rescue orphans,” tells how adoption is a life-changer on multiple levels. Hundreds of Christian-sponsored events nationwide will take place on Sunday November 14,2010 to draw attention to the half million children in the U.S. foster system today.

Orphan Sunday “When Christians open their hearts and homes in adoption, foster care and global orpan ministry, we mirror the God who did the same for us.”

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Losing Faith?

The national Orphan Sunday campaign, led by the Christian Alliance for Orphans, is an annual grassroots event calling Christians to be involved in adoption, foster care and the global orphan ministry. Local events across the country seek to raise awareness about the orphan crisis and infuse passion into the church to tackle the problem. “While everyone may not be called to adoption, we are all called in the body of Christ to do something on behalf of the orphan,” said Kelly Rosati, senior director of the Sanctity of Human Life Division at Focus on the Family, in the video program called, “Answer the Cry.” Rosati, who oversees the FOTF adoption and orphan care initiative, and her husband, John, have adopted their four children from the foster care system. The “Answer the Cry” DVD program was made by Focus on the Family, Show Hope and Family Life


FAMILY & FAITH to be used by churches and individuals as a resource tool on Orphan Sunday. The program is hosted by bestselling author Francis Chan and features music performances by award-winning artists Steven Curtis Chapman,who has adopted three children from China, and Mark Schultz, who was adopted himself. “Orphan Sunday calls the Church to make the Gospel visible,” said Jedd Medefind, president of the Christian Alliance for Orphans, in a statement. “When Christians open their hearts and homes in adoption, foster care and global orphan ministry, we mirror the God who did the same for us.” Besides various local events, a national concert was simulcast live from Colorado Springs, Colo., to college and high school groups nationwide on the Friday prior to. The event challenged American Christian youth to put their faith into practice and make real sacrifices for the “least of these,” including orphans. November was National Adoption Month. In honor of the month, the National Association of Evangelicals issued a statement saying adoption honors the centrality of the family in human society and displays respect for the gift of life. “Adoption is a blessing from God,” said Galen Carey, NAE director of government affairs. “It is a courageous act of sacrificial love on the part of both birth parents and adoptive parents. Churches should honor and support these individuals.” More than 75 national organizations joined with Christian Alliance for Orphans to promote the 2010 Orphan Sunday campaign. “The need of orphans is so vast that no government, no nonprofit can overcome it,” commented Jodi Jackson Tucker, national coordinator for the Orphan Sunday campaign. “There’s only one potential source of the love, nurture and belonging that every orphan most needs: that’s the Church.” In the United States alone, nearly 130,000 children are waiting to be adopted. Globally, an estimated 15 million children have lost both parents. The Orphan Sunday campaign invited Christians to be God’s answer to these needs.

Spiritual Pearls SCRIPTURE: Matthew 7:7–11; 25:31–40; Romans 8:12–17; Galatians 3:23–4:7; James 1:19–27 December 2010 Dunamis

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FAMILY & FAITH

Faith is Kingdom Currency!! We are all dealt the same measure of faith (Romans 12:3). How you develop and use your faith is totally up to you. If you’re living in faith you’re going to be misunderstood by most. You must also develop a voice of Faith; you have the power to speak your way into or out of your circumstance. There is death and life in the power of the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21). So when you pray, pray out loud, although I believe God hears our thoughts, He ALWAYS spoke it when He wanted something done. He didn’t think “let there be light”, He spoke it (Genesis 1:3). When Jesus cursed the fig tree (Mark 11:13-14) He spoke it. Faith always sounds victorious. Your heart can’t believe what your mouth can’t say. Speak into your circumstance not what you see but what you want it to be.

believe help my unbelief.” (NASB)

are Seven Power Passages of Faith the help you AHere CONVERSATION WITH through.

2Corinthians 5:7 For we walk by faith, and not by sight.

Mark 11:22-24 22 And Jesus answered saying to them, “has faith in God. 23 Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, “be taken up and cast into the sea, and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24 Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. (NASB)

*notice Jesus DIDN’T say “HE” would move the mountain. He said WHOEVER meaning YOU. So if YOU say to the mountain (bill, debt, sickness, or disease) get up and go into the ocean. (Not in a timid way you have to command that mountain out of your Words are spirits (you can’t see them but they have way) and do not doubt that it will move, it will move. power).The words that you speak affect the way you live. You have the authority to have what you say Hebrews 11:1&6 1 now faith is the assurance but instead we are saying what we have. Here are (substance) of things hoped for, the conviction two of my favorite books on Faith that I often refer (evidence) of things not seen. 6And without faith it is back to. The Tongue a Creative Force by Charles impossible to please Him, for he that comes to God Capps, and Unleash Your Faith Unlock Gods Power must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of by James Dixon. Two must reads if you’re serious those who seek Him. (NASB) about increasing the measure of Faith God gave you. Romans 10:17 So faith comes from hearing, and Remember Jesus was always in Faith. Always. hearing by the word of God. (NASB)

Hebrews 12:2-3 Fixing your eyes on Jesus the author Ephesians 3:20 Now to Him who is able to do far and perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him more abundantly beyond all that we may ask or think, endureth the cross, despising the shame, and has according to the power that works within us. (NASB) sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.3 For Mark 9:23-24 23 And Jesus said to him, “If you consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners can?” All things are possible to him who believes.”24 against Himself, so that you will grow weary and lose Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said “I do heart. (NASB) Dunamis Nov/Dec December 2010 2010 24 Dunamis


PRAYER HELPS... December 2010 Dunamis

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PREACHER TEACHER

15SHAME

MOVING PAST SECONDS OF

The Scarlett Letter tells the story of Hester Prynne, who conceives through an adulterous affair and struggles to create a new life of repentance and dignity. Hester bears a scarlet letter “A” on her breast as a punishment. Despite the public humiliation, Hester never reveals her accomplice. Therefore, she receives the wrath of her community. Famous for 15 seconds is an expression coined from Andy Warhol, who said in 1968 that “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” The verbiage is often used in reference to figures in the entertainment industry. So what does one have to do with the other? Some of us who have been physically free our whole lives are still in bondage on the inside, from the guilt over those mistakes in our past, from the shame over what we’ve been, or what we’ve done that figuratively only lasted for 15 minutes in retrospect to our whole lives. We have recently been inundated with news stories of pastors and their sexual misconduct both alleged and admitted. Atlanta “Mega-Church”

Pastor, Bishop Eddie Long allegedly coerced several male members into sexual relationships and Rev. Cedric Miller of New Jersey recently admitted to participating in a ménage à trois with his wife and male church assistant some years ago. There are countless other stories of pastoral infidelities that span across all denominations that have not been publicized. If Eddie Long was not a pastor of “celebrity” standing would this story have garnered such attention? Or if Rev. Miller had not been a subject of recent news for asking his congregation to delete their Facebook accounts, would he have been so quick to admit his past indiscretion? Each of these men is bearing his own scarlet letter. Yet, their families also carry the burden of public humiliation due to the alleged and admitted actions of their loved one. These scenarios are very different but serve as perfect-however, extreme life lessons. Some would say that the

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PREACHER TEACHER images of both men have suffered irreparable damaged. The question is…will their actions and imperfections destroy them as individuals? Is public redemption possible past the 15 minutes of shame? Public humiliation can be defined as “an action that allows an individual’s personal embarrassment to become publicly known.” Shame is defined as “a strong emotion caused by guilt or disgrace.” Many scandal-tarred celebrities and athletes have successfully returned to craft with new projects and rehabbed images. Following Tiger’s 15 minutes of shame, he made the decision to return to golf by participating in the Masters Tournament. Tiger Woods was infamous because of his golfing ability and not his marriage. Just as Bishop Eddie Long in known for his ability to deliver the word of God not his personal life. Moving past the 15 minutes of shame is not an easy process. It’s always difficult to free ourselves shame for the things that we’ve done that we thought we would never do; the things we wish we hadn’t done. Picking up the pieces and moving forward for those seek spiritual renewal, the public humiliation will pass. For those who choose to succumb to the humiliation and allow it to devour their being, they will become a slave to their shame and indiscretion.

“You can forgive someone almost anything. But you cannot tolerate everything. . . . We don’t have to tolerate what people do just because we forgive them for doing it. Forgiving heals us personally. To tolerate everything only hurts us all in the long run.” Being in the limelight adds a different dynamic to that standard, one then becomes a target for public scrutiny. Many fail to realize, that mistakes come with greatness and greatness come with responsibilities. Bishop Eddie Long and Rev. Cedric Miller will more than likely recover as pastors. However, what is most important is that they recover as individuals. The real person that emerges once the news value of the story dies out is the real “end of story.” Christ’s death was not only painful and horrific; it was a shameful death, regarded as humiliating by the culture of the day. But Jesus didn’t turn away even from that shame, and triumphed over sin and shame both. Hebrews 12:12

Depending on the severity or nature of the indiscretion, overcoming the shame and being forgiven does not mean that others will forget. When you make un-Godly compromises to satisfy fleshly desires, the cost to pay is high. The losses are greater than the momentary gain. The lost respect for the person that reflects back to you in the mirror, and to lose the trust and respect of other people is a tragedy. Lewis Smedes, author of Forgive & Forget: Healing the Hurts We Don’t Deserve spent a lifetime discovering how people can forgive others. Yet, he was mindful not underestimate the damage caused to the victim: “You can forgive someone almost anything. But you cannot tolerate everything. . . . We don’t have to tolerate what people do just because we forgive them for doing it. Forgiving heals us personally. To tolerate everything only hurts us all in the long run.” As this piece relates to Bishop Eddie Long and Rev. Cedric Miller, when you are a member of the clergy you are held to a different standard, for the Apostle Paul says, in 1 Timothy 3:2, the pastor is to be “blameless” or “above reproach.” People are so quick to imply, none of us is perfect. However, this fact can never be used as a justifiable excuse for wrongdoing.

Spiritual Pearls Ephesians 6:12-13 12 For we do not wrestle against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places. 13Therefore take up the whole armour of God that you may be able to withstand in the evil, and having done all, to stand December 2010 Dunamis

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WAKE UP CALL

I’VE BEEN SAVED 28 Dunamis December 2010


WAKE UP CALL Dear Sir! Out of an early life marred by tragedy and unfortunate circumstances, Sebastian K. Young has arisen to write an authentic, life changing and inspirational biography. The book chronicles the life of a young boy whose mother was brutally murdered when he was only a toddler and later grew to become a nationally recognized businessman. Separated into three sections, Growing Up, Lessons Learned, and Forward Thinking, the book systematically progresses through the various trials that Sebastian experienced in adolescence, the witty relationship based anecdotes of his grandfather, and the business savvy chess game of life that he lives today. Mr. Young hopes that his first literary work will inspire and motivate others to not allow unfortunate circumstances to cause them to fail in life. Every trial and experience should become a springboard for greater successes. He has a heart and a compassion for people and welcomes the opportunity to encourage others to achieve their greatest potential. This book is the key to unearthing one’s buried potential. Through this book, individuals will discover landmark strategies to propel their personal and professional partnerships, as well as build their business with considerable success. The book is now released and is available through Skybash Publishing. For more information www.sebastiankyoung.com

I forgive you. Although these words are seemingly simple it has taken me several years and multiple sleepless nights to write them. Each time I would gather the strength to forgive you, incessant memories of my mothers murder played through my mind like a demented movie stuck on repeat. Why her? Why you? Why then? Why should I forgive someone for dismantling my childhood by removing a woman that only shared a few years of her life with me, her only son! The Bible says in Luke 6:37, “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” We all have our faults and have done things worthy of punishment. In order for me to be forgiven for my mistakes I had to forgive you. Yet by not forgiving you I was punishing myself. I chose not to sleep and I chose to allow her death and my anger towards you to dictate my attitude and actions. Staying upset at you, a person who I never knew but still the damage was painful. I was so angry with you for choosing to hurt my family. Whether it was a random act of violence or a conscience decision, the thought of her death and my motherless childhood felt like you had killed me that very same night. However, I am reminded of Jesus and how He gave his life. He was God’s only son given for the world. My mom isn’t Jesus but I like to believe that she gave her life to save mine. There is nothing that I could do when I was younger to save her and there is nothing that I can do in my adult years to gain vengeance for her death. My mom’s death was in God’s plan before I was even born Deuteronomy 32:35, “Vengeance is Mine.” God made this statement for people like me. My peace is that I can now forgive you and any vindication I would possibly want would come through God. Despite the forensic files from my mom’s murder being lost in the flood that ravaged the building and the inability of the judicial system to formally convict you, we know the truth. It is that truth that has given me the freedom to move on. I have prayed for you, I have forgiven you! I Had Every Excuse To Fail, But I Chose None. I pray that you also discover God for yourself while you are in prison. He has given me peace and I know that He can do the same for you!

God bless,

Sebastian K. Young

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SOUL FOOD FOOD SOUL

of

Make Today A

DAY DAYS

Beloved of God,

You were created, chosen by the God of all generations. You are a reflection of our Creator, the Great I AM. The DNA of His glory, the fruit of His Spirit and the proclivity for greatness resides within you. Never lose spiritual sight of that nor compromise the treasures nettled within you.

DAYof DAYS

Make Today A

You are a gift from God, precious in His sight. As you make the decision to advance towards our Father, He reveals more of Himself to you. What He's placed inside of you will bring you before those He considers great and cause you to transform lives all for His glory. As you submit your life to Him, He will move mountains and people out of your way to make room for you. Always remember! Isa 43:4 NASB – “Since you are precious in My {The Lord} sight, since you are honored and I love you, I will give other men in your place and other peoples in exchange for your life.” Pro 18:16 NASB – “A {person's} gift makes room for {them} and brings {them} before great men.” Be encouraged and fear not. For fear is the mind killer. God has not given you a spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. Be resolute as you stand on the promises of God. Maintain a ready answer that defends the weak, exposes the truth and feeds the mind. There will come double-agents for darkness who profess ‘love’ for the Lord and highlighting they possess the mind of Chris. Have you heard of folk holding a hatchet in one hand and a pitchfork in the other? Privately expressing love for you, yet publically reject you whilst speaking with a serpent’s tongue; boasting the language of ambiguity and deception. They spread all manner of untruths, half-truths and no-truths about your circumstances. Steady throwing dirt, all while smiling in your face. Remain steadfast and not judgmental in these matters. God alone searches the true intent of the heart. He alone knows and allows the agenda of those in connection with you and His future hope for your precious life. There is no one, no thing, as in nothing, that you will ever face that can separate you from our Father's LOVE. So choose this day to serve Him, pray for them and heed the words of Christ: “Do as they say not as they do” & “LOVE your neighbor as yourself” for GOD IS LOVE. As you digest the fruit of His Spirit, you must also display it. Today, we declare with renewed minds, that we

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SOUL FOOD FOOD SOUL are anxious for nothing! Our worth is far above any self-righteous, worldly inclination. Their refusal to recognize, encourage or nurture us contradicts the character of Christ and is not our concern. God says, “Their approval is not required.” His authority is the final authority! Hallelujah!! Our affirmation comes directly from the Source, El Elyon, who acknowledges, establishes and esteems us daily. We are His likeness; His chosen. We will not be deterred! Our very existence is a living testament to the glory of God. God's eternal hand of grace, love and favor is upon our lives. We declare that whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good reputation, anything that is excellent and worthy of praise, we will dwell on those things. Our minds are fixed, we’re all sold out. In God we live, in God we move, in God we have our being and in God we trust! “The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Your loving kindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Your hands.” -Ps 138/NASB Dear ones, from the crown of your head to the souls of your feet, everything about your existence is relevant. Everything that concerns you concerns the God of all creation. You are His masterpiece. The Lord will never abandon you nor forsake you. Nothing about you or your life can escape His all-seeing eyes. You are precious to Him. We command this day to yield fruit that confirms we are above and not beneath. That we are blessed in our comings and goings and we can do all things through Him who strengthens us in the mighty name of Jesus. Glory2God! Our Father, who is faithful and just to forgive, will not only forgive you of whatever you repent of but He will restore you and ‘it’ to that rightful position in Him. Be it a wayward child, a disinterested spouse, a combative coworker, a belligerent boss, nosey neighbors, hypocritical and confusion oriented church folks or even a troubled mind, God will breathe new life into those seemingly dead or dying situations. Be of good cheer and celebrate that truth. God can and God will revive you, replenish you, and renew you! So, on today, let us make a decision to no longer entertain that which is dead. Today, let us focus on living our lives with earnest and a sense of expectancy from the Lord. Today, let us make a commitment to completely trust Him. Today, let us purpose it in our spirit that we will be patient, that we will wait on Him and that we will have operate in faith. Let's make today a day of days! Beloved of God, I pray that the King of kings and the Restorer of souls will abundantly bless you, your beloved family and all else concerning you with His amazing grace, unspeakable joy, loving kindness, unsurpassed peace & everlasting love, in the mighty name of Jesus. Today, I pray, that the Lord will bless you in ‘unprecedented’ ways! ~Agape Always, Minister Tonyai December 2010Dunamis Dunamis Nov/Dec 2010

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SOUL FOOD The enjoyment of a tasty meal and good entertainment are a couple of those simple pleasures in life that we often look forward to. The Upper Room is a new family owned-dinner theater that provides a warm and inviting atmosphere, filled with laughter, interaction, hand clapping, foot tapping, and public displays of emotion served over a delectable meal.

Inspirational Dining

Joyce Todd has written and produce plays for over 20 years that spread the Word of God and his principles through drama, music and dance. Back in Kansas City, Kansas her productions served as fund raisers for churches and community organizations at the local dinner playhouses. “I enjoyed those times tremendously and always dreamed of having a dinner playhouse. Years ago, the thought of calling it the “Upper Room Theatre” was in my heart, said Todd. “This dream of a dinner theater could not be possible without the help of God and my family.  I am excited about bringing wholesome entertainment to the Houston area.  I have a passion for seeing the written scripts come alive on stage and it is my prayer that those who enter the Upper Room (patron, cast or staff) will experience the love, joy and peace of God. I also hope that they receive a better understanding of the bible and its principles through the dramatic productions!” Todd explained. At present, the dinner shows will be housed at the Berkshire Ballroom in the Crowne Plaza Hotel at 14703 Park Row, Houston, Texas 77079 (I-10 & Hwy 6). “The hotel is a start, but it is my  desire to have our own building one day!” Todd expressed with the anticipation of future blessings. The grand opening was November 13th and 14thIf you missed those dates there is another opportunity on December 12th to see the opening

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SOUL FOOD production of, “The Master’s Men.” The play gives a glimpse into the lives of the 12 disciples and how their lives were transformed for the  Master’s service.  The setting takes place in the upper room. At the present, plays will only be presented the second weekend of each month. Reservations are required and a full course meal is included in the ticket price. Todd also hopes to open the doors to other playwrights in the near future. If someone is interested in auditioning for upcoming plays or reservations email the upperroomtheatre@yahoo.com or call 832-884-7506. Todd closes by saying, “I thank God for this opportunity to follow my dream.  I have always wanted to share the gospel (good news) with others through drama to bring hope, encouragement, and enjoyment and to bring the word of God ALIVE!”

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CULTURE

Happy 400th birthday to one of the wonders of English prose that became a global phenomenon -- the 17th-century translation of the Bible ordered by James I of England so his subjects could hear and understand the word of God. Like the Tower of London and its attendant ravens, the Authorized Version of the Bible (the AV, a.k.a. the King James Bible) stands as a monument at the heart of the

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English-speaking world and is used by Protestants around the globe. WHAT’S ON Although it’s more like Happy 399 and some months -- the actual publication date is thought to be May 5, 1611 -- events are already in full swing. Celebrations kicked off with a party this week in London, with the Duke

of Edinburgh, pictured, in attendance (he celebrates his 90th birthday next year). The venue was Inigo Jones’ stately Banqueting Hall in London, commissioned by James I after the previous structure burned to the ground. There is a continuous reading of the whole volume at Blackburn cathedral this weekend, learned symposiums from Cambridge to Aberdeen, shed-loads of Handel, and


kingdom”; “Let the children first be killed” -- instead of “filled.” Hundreds of changes in vocabulary, grammar, spelling and punctuation were made for a century and a half. What is published now is the version revised by Benjamin Blayney, an Oxford man, in 1769, and quietly adopted by printers. WHY 1611?

star lecturers, such as Adam Nicolson and Melvyn Bragg.

Although there were no publication dates in those days, two editions of the new translation were printed that year. They are known as the He Bible and the She Bible (according to the pronoun in Ruth 3:15, reflecting uncertainty about whether it was Ruth or Boaz who went into the city). Both editions of 1,464 unnumbered pages were big fat folios. These bibles were large because they were “appointed to be read in churches”, as the title page says. “Appointed” is not quite “authorised,” but, “That does not mean, of course, it was unauthorised,” Gordon Campbell, the Renaissance his-torian, pointsout in Bible: the Story of the King James Version. Until 1644, people could buy Bishops’ bibles (a translation from 1568) to read at home, but any new bibles in churches had to be the AV.

ERRORS AND OMISSIONS

THE AV AND HOW WE SPEAK

Like any work, errors inevitably crept in -- the most famous is perhaps “Thou shalt commit adultery.” Other honourable contenders: “Printers have persecuted me” -- instead of “princes”; “The unrighteous shalt inherit the

This year, the indefatigable linguist, David Crystal, an honourary professor at Bangor University, Wales, tried to work out how many original idioms from the AV had entered into the English language. They include phrases long domesticated by everyday use

CULTURE

-- such as “salt of the earth” or “twoedged sword.” Following a strict methodology, Crystal came up with 257, which he examines in his entertaining book Begat: The King James Bible and the English Language. (Shakespeare, in comparison, has fewer than 100.) Other idioms with biblical origins, says Crystal, are “By the skin of his teeth” and “See the writing on the wall.” THE KING’S VISION

King James convened a council of divines at Hampton Court palace in 1604 and 47 scholars, mainly clerics, started work on the translation that same year. The plan was to produce a Bible that bolstered the episcopal structure of the Church of England, and traditional beliefs about ordained clergy, unlike other English versions. But it became far more than that. “It is one of the first British things to be made,” says the Glasgowborn Neil MacGregor, author of A History of the World in 100 Objects. “It was made by the whole island to be used by the whole island.” Now it is used by the whole globe, as though God really were an Englishman. If the last Harry Potter book sold 44 million copies, the Bible has sold 2.5 billion some say, or six billion copies, according to others. THE LAST WORD? There are other versions of the Bible available in English: the Catholic Rheims-Douay of 1582-1610, the Revised of 1881, the New English Bible of 1970, the Living Bible of 1971 -- in which Saul goes to the “bathroom.” But none have achieved the popularity of the AV. Obscurities remain. What did the prophet Ezekiel mean when he said: “Woe to the women that sew pillows to all armholes?” But many a crux in Shakespeare is as hard.

Read more: http://www. nationalpost.com

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ENTERTAINMENT

R&B Singer-Songwriter, Montell Jordan Enters Full-time Ministry

R&b singer Montell Jordan surprised many of his fans earlier today when he announced via twitter that he was leaving the world of R&B. ‘As of January 1, 2011, I will be entering into full-time ministry at Victory World Church located in Norcross, Georgia…. this has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. ‘ Montell Jordan will honor his contractual obligations and 31 December 2010 he will give his final performance as an R&B artist. From 1 January 2011 he will fulfill the call on his life as the serving as the Worship Pastor at Victory Church. Jordan tweeted that he will be a licensed minister and that ‘it’s time to move forward; not just Victory [church], but ALL those who claim to love Christ’. ‘It is my prayer that I am only one of the first of many to follow. Your prayers are greatly appreciated….. Believe me, it IS a leap…. I know personally that many of my peers in the music business feel the same way. God allowed me to travel the world and witness that there are so many souls out there who hunger and thirst for Christ.’ ‘In conclusion, I hope Victory is ready for a miraculous season of transition in worship. Montell Jordan is an R&B singer-songwriter, record producer and actor who had a number one hit with the song This Is How We Do It. Jordan became the main solo male artist on its Def Soul imprint until leaving the label in 2003. He has written for a number of artists including Christine Milian, Sisqo and Deborah Cox. In the movie Fighting Temptation Jordan plays the character of Mr. Johnson, an ex-convict embarrassed by his high pitch voice.

Verizon’s How Sweet the Sound Boot Camp with Donald Lawrence The How Sweet the Sound Choir Boot Camp is a two day workshop to help choirs perfect their skills, build their church ministry and to prepare for the upcoming 2011 How Sweet the Sound Choir competition. The camp will be held January 12-15, 2011 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort Hotel in Nashville, TN. The registration fee is $150.00 and includes a special behind the scenes admittance to a Stellar Awards show rehearsal. Registration also includes SAGMA membership for 1 year and 20% discount on Stellar Awards 1/15/2011 show tickets. The How Sweet the Sound™ Choir Boot Camp is presented in partnership with the Stellar Awards as a 2-day workshop created to empower and uplift the gospel music community. All workshops and seminars will be facilitated by gospel industry notables such as Houston's V. Michael McKay, Judith McCallister, JJ Hairston, Aaron Lindsey, James Robinson and Earl Bynum.

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ENTERTAINMENT

Steve Harvey Goes On Tour With Kirk Franklin

Radio and TV personality Steve Harvey is already worried about keeping his material clean on his upcoming comedy tour – because he’ll be joined by gospel star Kirk Franklin. The comedian and the gospel star announced this morning that they’re heading out on the road together starting in March, and Harvey says it’ll be a challenge trying to make sure he doesn’t offend the singer’s fans. Franklin sums it up this way: “Steve brings the jokes and I bring that Jesus!”

BeBe Winans’ New Radio Gig Grammy Award-winning gospel and R&B singer BeBe Winans is praising a new medium - Sirius Radio. Winans is using his pipes as host of “The BeBe Experience,” a weekly show on Praise, SIRIUS channel 68 and XM channel 33. So what will listeners experience on Winans’ new radio gig? Besides his favorite current and classic gospel music, he will share stories about various artists, conduct interviews and features with some of his talented and renowned friends in the music and entertainment world. “I have found that music has a way of helping me through the journey of life,” said Winans. “And I am glad to be joining the SIRIUS XM family to reach out to millions through their journey with the music that I love.”

Harvey is the new host of the TV game show “Family Feud.” Next month, he releases the book “Straight Talk No Chaser,” the follow-up to his best-selling “Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man.” Franklin recently released his own book called “The Blueprint.” The tour begins in Atlanta on March 19 and will make stops in Tampa, Nashville, North Charleston and Jacksonville. Dates are still being added. Meanwhile, Steve and his wife, Marjorie, will be giving away thousands of birds nationwide through Steve’s syndicated radio show. The couple will be personally handing them out to families and senior citizens in need from noon to 3 p.m. today in Atlanta at the Adamsville Recreation Center, 3201 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive SW.

Winans has gotten a boost from good friend of Oprah Winfrey, who has been singing his praises. Winans is a Dove Award and Stellar Award winner, as well as an accomplished performer, writer, producer and songwriter. As part of the legendary Grammy winning brother and sister duo BeBe and CeCe Winans, BeBe is in the midst of ongoing promotion for the current chart topping CD, “Still,” the siblings’ first album together in 15 years. The duo has performed for President and Mrs. Obama and recently appeared on “Good Morning America,” “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” “Fox’s Good Day New York” and will receive a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2011, along with Winfrey, Penelope Cruz, Simon Fuller and the late Buddy Holly. BeBe and CeCe lead the number of Stellar Award nominations for 2011 with a total of 11 nominations for “Still.” “The BeBe Experience,” airs Sundays at 2 p.m. ET and is rebroadcast Tuesdays at 6:00 p.m. December 2010 Dunamis

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ENTERTAINMENT

Up and coming gospel singer-songwriter Brandee Nelson is definitely one to watch.  Nelson currently serves as the minister of music for The Fellowship of Faith in Brenham, Texas under the leadership of her father, Overseer George Nelson Jr. Her latest selection “Never Had A Love” is a must have for your music collection.

vocalists Yolanda Adams, Erykah Badu, Chaka Khan, Aretha Franklin, Jill Scott, and Lauryn Hill. “Yes I know that some of these are secular but music is universal. Each and every one of these ladies sings, they have the same gift but not the technique. They all have made music their own, and that’s what my inspiration--Making music my own,” said Brandee.

Music runs through her veins, Brandee comes from a long line of singers that dates back to her late grandfather, Bro. George Nelson Sr. who pass down the family record label, Judnell Records to which she is signed as an artist.

Through “Never Had A Love” Nelson hopes that her sincerity as a child of God and her willingness to do his will shines through. Brandee seeks to encourage others to have faith, love, and joy. She feels that love is lacking and has lost its meaning and wants to bring awareness of love to people as she continue to discover love in this life.

The “Never Had a Love” cd features 5 selections that were written by Nelson. “I get inspiration from everything surrounding me. Pretty much my life and experiences and what I want to experience. My title cut “Never Had A Love” came from me dealing with divorce and being so brokenhearted and God making Ezekiel 36:26 come to life. I had to learn how to love through Him, because I was trying to love people according to Brandee’s standards. I figured out that my standards were conditional” explained Brandee. Brandee has an affinity for music and love songs but he heart and spirit are connected more to gospel music. She credits it to her relationship with Christ and her late grandfather Bro. George Nelson. So singing love songs to God is natural. Brandee’s inspiration has come from female

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Brandee believes in stepping out on faith “ I haven’t always been a risk taker because I allowed my fears to overtake me. I have loved and been hurt. I have loved and been loved in return. I am an overcomer and setting up a legacy for those coming behind me. That’s the deep side of “Bea” as my friends call me” shared Nelson. When not working Brandee finds comfort in staying at home watching movies with her two beautiful children Trae(10) and Kristel(8). Her music can be found on www.itunes.com, www.cdbaby.com/brandeenelson,www.newbeginnings. highwire.com


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ENTERTAINMENT Christian Keyes is a Detroit born actor, writer and singer labeled by Tyler Perry as “One of the most consistent male actors I’ve worked with”. Christian has performed live in front of more than 3 million people while touring the last five years with several national stage plays. He was the lead (DR. HARRIS) in Tyler Perry’s “What’s Done in the Dark” released and distributed nationally by Lions Gate and sold more than 500,000 DVD copies. Christian was also (SONNY), the lead in Tyler Perry’s “Madea Goes To Jail” released and distributed nationally by Lions Gate and sold over 1 million copies. Christian can be seen (proposing in the restaurant) in the movie “Diary of A Mad Black Woman”. Currently Christian is costarring in Je’Caryous Johnson’s “Cheaper to Keep Her” singing and battling music icon Brian McKnight for Vivica A. Fox’s affection.

Photo Credit: C. Michael Wiliams

When not pursuing his love for acting, Christian can be found with his other love, singing. As a talented singer-song writer, Christian Keyes released his debut album “Day By Day” for which he wrote 12 of the 13 songs, including the ballad, “I Know”. The Fahrenheit Music Group is Christian’s label and the CD has sold more than 15,000 copies. He just finished recording the new CD “PERSONAL”, which is available now on iTunes.

Living in My Season

OFF STAGE WITH

Christian Keyes 40 Dunamis December 2010

Christian has also graced the covers of several national magazines and has several ads in GQ, Elle, Men’s Journal and Vogue. He was named one of the 50 most eligible bachelors in the country, by Ebony Magazine. He has 3 national selling calendars and was Mr. January in the Jet Magazine Men’s Calendar. He is also the lead in Ashanti’s video that was nominated for video of the year in ‘08 for “The Way That I love You” and starred in Ledisi’s “In The Morning” and in Keri Hilson’s “Energy” music videos.


ENTERTAINMENT Christian’s bio is an impressive list of accolades for someone who was abandoned by his birth parents and became one of those statistical children that grew up in the foster care system. Yes, Christian is a prime example of what drive, determination and a relationship with God can birth in spite of being dealt a rough deck at birth. It has been a long hard road for Keyes. His season has finally come. “People tend to judge me based on my appearance and what I do; they don’t understand that I had put in work; I was like a regular guy driving trucks for a living.” explained Keyes. “Entertainment is my profession it’s not who I am.” Christian is single, handsome, ambitious, charming, and looking for a good woman to share his life with. Trust, there is no shortage of women who would give anything to be his lady. It’s ironic that Christian is starring in Tri Destined Studios’ romantic comedy “Perfect Combination”, in which he plays Rick Jameson, a successful lawyer ready to settle down, but looking for love in all the wrong places. Christian shared with us that he is in fact interested in being in a committed relationship and enjoys being in love. However, the challenge is in finding someone who can see past the physical and deal with the demands of his career. Christian is also a proud father, “fatherhood has changed my life tremendously. It’s something that I enjoy so much because I didn’t have a father. I am experiencing so many things for the first time that I did not experience as a child. It’s amazing how much I have learned by being a father,” said Christian.

Spiritual Pearls

December 2010 Dunamis

Photo Credit: Steve Kay

Christian has a large following and his website www.christiankeyes.com has had more than 6 million verifiable hits since 2006. Also, myspace.com/ christiankeyes1 has had more than 3.3 Million views and plays and his 12,000 followers read his daily tweets and #NDRs at www.twitter.com/christiankeyes.

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