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- Stewardship - Reaching Out to Meet the Need - Preparing for your Breakthrough

- Man on a Mission - Most African Americans Don't Plan for Long-term Care

Publisher’s Page STEWARDSHIP

Financial stewardship

“How can God bless us with more when we cannot manage the little?”

What do you want me to do with your money? Yes, that is the essence of financial stewardship and the perspective that God desires us to have. It is required in stewards that a man be found faithful. 1 Corinthians 4:2 (KJV)

Stewardship: the conducting, supervising, or managing of something; especially: the careful and responsible management of something entrusted to one's care. The question of whether or not God or faith should be a part of finances is often posed. Some believe that Biblical financial principles are far from being adequate to support complex financial decision making in today’s society. Most Christians, however, strive to live according to God’s word and believe the Bible’s principles provide the roadmap or guidance we need for all of our financial decisions. God’s financial principles versus society’s principles But God’s ways are definitely not our ways. As Christians, God is our father. If you are a parent you know that your ways are certainly not your child’s ways. Your child requires guidance because a child is much of the time incapable of seeing the big picture or understanding the consequences of his or her actions. Once you can accept the father/child relationship and trust that God’s word is in your best interest, you can begin to understand and follow the Biblical financial principle of stewardship: God is the owner of everything. We are the managers of what he has entrusted to our care. The owner of money Most commonly the idea of people claiming money as their money leads them down the road of poor decision making. Think about all of the financially immoral acts in our society. Ponzi schemes and corporate crimes have typically occurred because people are making decisions with the perspective of their money versus God’s money. This excerpt from the Crown Financial Ministries Money Map participant’s guide, says it all well: When we acknowledge God’s ownership, every spending decision becomes a spiritual decision. No longer do we ask, “Lord what do You want me to do with my money? The question is restated, Lord what do You want me to do with Your money?

If all of these things around us belong to God, we can then begin to understand that we only have them in our possession because God allowed us to have them. But, there is a responsibility and a high expectation that we are to manage them faithfully, or wisely. If we are not responsible, it is possible less could be entrusted to us or some of our responsibilities could be taken from us. Jesus told his disciples: There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, what is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer. Luke 16:1-2 (NIV) Is that not some good motivation to do our best in managing what has been entrusted to us? But, what can commonly be mistaken in the area of managing finances is we are expected to manage all of the money entrusted to us. Not just the first 10% or a giving portion which is much of the time the primary focus. Unfortunately, the remaining 90% is often managed how we want to manage it and not how God wants us to manage it. But if we ignore God in all of our finances we have the wrong attitude towards money. Managing finances according to society’s principles leads to poor financial decisions and painful consequences such as debt. Final thoughts As you charge forward in managing God’s money, keep the following principles in mind: God is the owner of everything, He wants us to manage everything he has entrusted to us His way, we must be willing to let God be Lord to our financial matters and God should be a part of this and all areas of our lives.

"Contemporary, Traditional, and Fresh" are just a few words used to describe Chris Brunson & Anointed. Chris and the group are dedicated to their gift to bring new and old school music back to shift the atmosphere. As they minister you will feel the anointing long after the performance. BROKEN - the Play presented by GIPSEE Production featuring Gospel Recording Artist, Chris Brunson & Anointed. The play feature new music from Chris Brunson & Anointed’s new CD "Broken: A Prophetic Experience" Broken tells the story of the storms and trials that follow the loss of a loved one. Here, we see the Aiken sisters, Keisha, Mya, Patience, and Faith as they weather the storm which was the death of their dearly beloved mother, endearingly known as Miss Peaches. Cancer stole Miss Peaches away in just short of six months. The sisters are mad, sad, hurt, damaged, and BROKEN. We quickly see that it’s not just the sisters who are struggling to cope with their mom’s death, but the aunts, grandson, and the men who love them. Broken is the story of forgiveness, faith, and facades. Anything that happens in the family is family business and family… is what matters. GIPSEE Production is an ensemble of actors and singers inspired to bringing the arts back to the community with fostering a spirit of community while promoting family oriented plays and events. Coming to a theater NEAR YOU SOON! "Things get broken, things get damaged and sometimes you must BREAK to get your BREAKTHROUGH"

Man on a Mission As North Carolina face great change, we must find new ways of cooperating with one another to solve problems beyond our individual control. That’s why communities are so important. Yet communities today desperately need leaders who can find ways to create new sources of social capital in the ever-changing culture. As pastors and leaders, we have the opportunity and the skills to help guide local communities through transitions and to help cast a vision of renewed or even new, communities. Bishop Glenn Joseph McIver, Sr. shows that clergy and churches possess invaluable resources for working with people and those that are in need. He is a “Man on a Mission” to provide for the community. His belief is that the church can play a unique leadership role in community life. He encourages all leadership within Metrolina Alliance of Pastors (MAP) to reclaim that role and to share with their communities a message of hope: “God still cares and is involved in the life of individuals, families, communities, and the world.” If we pull back from community leadership, however, we will have only ourselves to blame for our lack of influence. We like to talk about the importance of community within our congregations; we need to remember we’re also part of a larger community. Despite the difficulties, there is great opportunity in engaging in the local community. What happens once we decide to engage in community leadership? First, we need to find a way into the local circles of power. We can’t simply show up and announce that we are here to lead; we must earn our influence. Bishop McIver’s work in the community led to other community connections, including the homeless outreach program, transportation, youth programs for both male and female, lunch buddy children enhancement program, prison counseling and resources. He is the Superintendent of the New Beginning District in the Church of God in Christ. Bishop McIver has been in ministry for over 29 years... When you’re poor and hungry living out in the country, whom do you turn to for help? He once helped the poorest of the poor living in the rural community of Jefferson, South Carolina. New Arising Ministries, the ministry that was founded by Bishop McIver and his wife Mother Marie McIver started the biggest food pantry there in the area where appliances and furniture were given. Embracing our uniqueness and gifts as pastors helps answer the question, “Will community leadership benefit our congregation, our ministry and God’s reign?” I think the answer is yes. Since my increased community involvement, our congregation has gained a number of members through those contacts, been more effective with our resources and improved our reputation within our community. In addition, venturing outside the comfort zone has helped me grow, given me increased confidence and provided a non-church outlet that helps keep me stay sane.

PREPARING FOR YOUR BREAKTHROUGH Preparing- To put things or oneself in readiness; get ready: to prepare for WAR. When 9/11/2001 happened we weren’t ready to be thrown into war again. Remember what happened to Pearl Harbor? Both of those examples have taken place when we as a country weren’t in readiness state for WAR. Breakthrough: 1) A military movement or advance all the way through and beyond an enemy’s front-line defense. 2) An act or instance of removing or surpassing an obstruction or restriction; the overcoming of a stalemate.

Written by James Holmes

Remember when the US military took over Baghdad, Iraq? When they first got there the US military met with hard and heavy resistance. Then as we know, we broke through the enemy’s front-line and took over Iraq’s capital city. Exodus 12:6-11 Eating the Passover feast (The festival of Passover was to be an annual holiday in honor of the night when the Lord “passed over” the homes of the Israelites. The Hebrews followed God’s instructions by smearing the blood of a lamb on the doorframes of their homes. That night the firstborn son of every family that did not have blood on the doorframes was killed. The lamb had to be killed in order to get the blood that would protect them. (This foreshadowed the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God, who gave his blood for the sins of all people.) Inside their homes, the Israelites ate a meal of roast lamb, bitter herbs, and bread made without yeast. Unleavened bread could be made quickly because the dough did not have to rise. Thus, they could leave at any time. Bitter herbs signified the bitterness of slavery. While dressed for travel was a sign of the Hebrews’ faith. Although they were not yet free, they were to prepare themselves, for God had said he would lead them out of Egypt. Their preparation was an act of faith. Preparing ourselves for the fulfillment of God’s promises, however unlikely they may seem, demonstrates our faith. The Hebrews not only prayed to God for the door out of Egypt, they was walking up to the door, knocking on it and turning the knob. Even though the door was still lock. But when that door was opened the blessing of heaven was poured out all over them. How many of us seen the door that we was praying for and didn’t initiative to even see if it was still locked? Conclusion: Preparing for your Breakthrough isn’t just for you to prepare for war. It is also for you to prepare for your next level in Christ and with that more intense battles with the Devil. Are you in a state of readiness? If not here are some symptoms to look for depression, fear, sickness, mental illness and much more. Those symptoms are not of God they are of the Devil and his foot soldiers.

REACHING OUT TO MEET THE NEED DSM Ministries strives to model the love of God and to meet the needs of the broken and wounded of Charlotte by providing a spiritual presence in the community. We act as a bridge to connect the resources of God’s people with the various needs and opportunities for ministry existing in our community. Volunteerism, service projects and giving are alive and well amongst the NBWL family. Whether it’s serving the men of the homeless shelter or tutoring or mentoring the children in the community, holiday dinners or hospital and nursing home visits, the staff and members of the church embrace community outreach and pours their support into serving the people of Mecklenburg County. Outreach is an everyday occurrence. A prime example is DYL – Distinguished Young Ladies a mentoring program for young girls is committed to developing and empowering adolescent girls to become successful young ladies by engaging, guiding and encouraging their growth and confidence. Passing The Baton, a mentoring program designed to aid in the academic, personal, professional and overall development of young males ages 1318. Why do a youth mentorship program? For a number of young people, especially males, we find that they are disproportionately represented in regards to student-discipline. (i.e. student detention, administrative detention, referral, in-school suspension, out-of-school suspension and code of conduct along with issues related to academic achievement and individual support) Our program is designed to address these and other inter-related issues; our goals are to yield improved, tangible, and positive results and impact related to student readiness, academic achievement, mentor/mentee interaction, and self-esteem. DSM Ministries not only meets the spiritual needs of those whom we serve but the physical ones as well. In Mecklenburg County alone the homeless rate is at approximately 20,000 individuals. 5,000 of those being “street homeless” (meaning they are living on the street under bridge etc.) and approximately 15,000 of those individuals whom are considered “couch homeless” (meaning they utilize the couch or sleep on the floor of a friend or family member or at one of the local homeless shelters). Every Tuesday night bible study is held where the people are encouraged and uplifted spiritually as they learn of Christ’s love and His divine plan for our lives. However we must not meet the spiritual needs of man of love but the physical as well. This goal is accomplished by having a weekly meal after bible study. This is a small step towards the fight against homelessness. DSM Ministries is currently implementing new programs to aid in the expansion of our homeless outreach ministry.

Food for Thought: You are sitting in church one Sunday morning. You got there a little early, amazingly, and actually are there early enough to watch others come through the back door to find their seats. There is one of the elders nicely dressed in a fine suit. Behind him comes a person you haven’t seen before. He’s dressed smartly and you are sure he must be a prominent businessman or doctor. Maybe he’s new in town. You make a mental note to meet him after the service. As you are planning what you’ll say, slowly a haggard old man shuffles through the church doors. He looks like he’s living on the streets, and an unpleasant little odor starts to find your nose. Ugh. You wonder who this forgotten fellow is, but your thoughts quickly return to the important man you will meet in another hour or so after the service. I know this is not a common occurrence for most of us, but it makes us consider how our reaction might be if faced with an obvious choice in how we plan to treat a rich man vs. a poor one. The New Testament writer James provides ample warning for Christians in such situations… “My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism. Suppose a man comes into your meeting wearing a gold ring and fine clothes, and a poor man in shabby clothes also comes in. If you show special attention to the man wearing fine clothes and say, 'Here’s a good seat for you,' but say to the poor man, ‘You stand there’ or ‘Sit on the floor by my feet,’ have you not discriminated among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? Listen, my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him? But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones who are slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong? If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself,’ you are doing right. But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers.” —James 2:1-9 (NIV) Why is it the natural thing for us humans to notice those with wealth and popularity, but almost ignore those who are poor? This should not be… James tells us so; Jesus tells us so throughout the New Testament; and looking back through history we can see that God’s heart is overwhelmingly compassionate for the poor. If the Lord who we serve and try to model our lives after cares so much for the poor, then so should we! Evangelist Demetra Manns-Marsh

MOST AFRICAN AMERICANS DON’T PLAN FOR LONG-TERM CARE he need for long-term care and how to pay for it are often overlooked when planning for retirement. While not for everyone, most middle-income consumers can benefit from owning a long-term care insurance policy, as it offers protection from having to spend down all assets to pay for these expenses. With nursing home costs averaging more than $70K a year according to the National Institute on Aging, many can’t afford not to include long-term care insurance in the planning process. All too often, though that’s what happens. “Though most people over 65 will need long-term care at some point in their life, they lack a realistic plan to pay for it,” explains Scott Perry, president of Bankers Life and Casualty Company, a national life and health insurer focused on the needs of the retirement market.

Perry encourages consumers to consider a policy that includes home health care. “We’re found that older adults almost always prefer to remain in their homes when faced with an illness or health conditions. Long-term care rates can vary widely from insurer to insurer, so it’s wise to look at the plans offered by at least two well-established insurers. And early planning can be worthwhile because, in addition to the benefit levels you choose, your long-term care insurance premium will be based on your age and your health. Nursing home help, frequently used long-term care terms and helpful senior resources can be found at

Music inspires people in so many different ways. One thing is that there are so many different genres, and while many people may not be a fan of some, there are some that makes you feel like church. Music is the quickest way for many of us to enter into an attitude of worship, and a method of renewing and healing. Songs of Zion is a mixture of traditional and contemporary music set to a classical tone. Live recording scheduled for Winter 2014.

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Vision Forward “Do you need help? Contact us at for more information.” Vision Forward celebrates the culture and community of Christian people everywhere. Published quarterly, Vision Forward features family oriented people in visual and performing arts, music, literature, film, television, sports, and politics. Vision Forward also includes sections on health, fitness, news, and special events. Advertising Page




Vision Forward - March 2013  

Write the Vision. Make it Plain. Connecting our communities reclaiming our future.

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