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Modern Beauty In Christian Living

Christian Magazine 2012 Spring | Summer Edition

Put Your Trust In God... Not Man!

Inspirational Message

Free Your Mind!

Tarsha Jackson, Minister

The Gospel

Christ

Died for Our Sins, and Rose from The Dead!

Are You Saved?

Inform

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Educate

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Inspire


THE BEAUTY OF GOD’S CREATION

Prayer of Love for the Lord!!! by John Adolph

“Lord instead of rising to ask you for the things that I need I've decided to write you a love letter to thank you for the things that I have! God you are the love of my life, the light of my darkness, my joy in moments of sadness and my purpose when all seems futile. You are my shepherd when I need green pastures, my refuge when trouble comes, my strength when I'm weak, my physician when I'm sick, my friend when no one cares, my Savior when I'm in sin, my Lord when my life needs a ruler and my God when my heart seeks to worship! I love you Lord! You mean the world to me!!! In Jesus name...AMEN!!!!” .

Image by Ferrell Phelps Jr.


TABLE OF CONTENTS Staff

IN EVERY ISSUE

Co-Founder/Publisher Elizabeth Jackson

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4 | From The Publisher

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7 | Inspirational Message: Minister Tarsha Jackson

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8 | Salvation: Invitation To Christ

Advertisement Director

Editor-In-Chief

Elizabeth Jackson

Photographer

Byron Jackson Jr.

Ferrell Phelps Jr.

Researcher

Sports Photographer

Earnest Burnett Jr. Ed.D.

Journalist

Chief Editor

Acknowledging Our Youth KWAME JACKSON # 32

Dekaney High School Varsity Linebacker

Kwame Jackson, is a linebacker for Dekaney High School. He’s looking forward to graduating high school and going to college. His plans are to attend Blinn College and major in computer technology. He also would like to one day become a football coach to give back to the youth. Dekaney Won 5A Division II 2011 State Football Championship

INSIDE THIS ISSUE pg.

5 | Pastor John Adolph

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10 | Why We Pray!

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12 | The Trayvon Williams Story

Keith Tillis

Kyauta Gajere

Teesha Walker

Sponsors The BeautySpot Covenant Consultant Setapart Photography Interactive Hair Studio Ferrell’s Photography Contributors Sheila Cortez-Lister Annie Price (Thank you!) Pamela Survillion (I’m proud of you!)

For Advertisement, please contact Our Director of Advertisement: Byron Jackson @ 832-754-4379 or email:byron.jackson66@yahoo.com For Suggestions, Comments, Life stories, Sponsorship or Monetary contributions mail to M’Bracing Beauty Christian Magazine P.O. Box 90425-Houston, TX 77290-0425 Founder/Publisher, Liz Jackson, email lizj.mbracingbeauty1@gmail.com For Further Infomation contact our Office: 281-886-6599 ©2012 M’Bracing Beauty Christian Magazine. All Rights Reserved. Material may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in any form without written permission from our company.


A Word From The Publisher

Thank You Lord for Saving Me! prayer request I closed my eyes, began waving my hands back and forth (as if I knew how to really swim). It felt as if God had literally held me above water, because just like that I was back on the shore.

When I was fifteen years old I was faced with a terrifying situation in my life. When I think back on that day all I can do is thank God for saving me. A few of my brothers, sisters, me and my friend decided to go to the beach that day; Surfside beach. It was a beautiful summer day. After arriving there, we gathered our things out the car, found a spot and setup a table with food, drinks and a large umbrella. About an hour later I remember my brother walking towards us half out of breathe, warning us about a sink-hole and how it almost pulled him under. He told us to stay away from the area of the sink-hole. Thirty minutes later my friend and I decided to go swimming. I remember the water was really cold that day, but for some reason I was extremely excited about going swimming. I believe It could have been because I wanted to try out my newly learned swimming skills. You see, a few weeks prior to that day I had basically taught myself how to swim, by jumping off the side of the swimming pool in four feet of water at Memorial park. Anyway, we decided to get a tube to float on while in the water. My friend was sitting on the tube and I was hanging off the tube resting between his legs. We talked and laughed and laughed and talked. Then I noticed at one point, huge waves rushing towards us, which by the way I thought was pretty cool, but by the time it got to us it leveled out, went underneath the floater towards the shore, then went back out towards the sea. What we didn’t know was that as it went back out towards the sea it was taking us with it. Time had passed and by this time I noticed I couldn’t feel the bottom of the sand anymore. I thought

Photo by Ferrell Phelps Jr.

Have you ever needed to be saved? Maybe from an abusive relationship, a wreck, from a bad situation, maybe even from your own siblings and you didn’t know how you were be saved; well I was saved many times in my life and it was by God alone.

Elizabeth Jackson, Publisher

to myself, “Mhmmm, I can’t feel the bottom of the sand anymore.” My first though was, maybe I was too short. But then I remembered someone once told me that if you can’t feel the bottom of the sand anymore you must be pretty far out there. Trying not to become fearful and panic, I softly told my friend that I couldn’t feel the bottom of the sand anymore. Well, apparently he knew what that meant. He jumped off the tube in order that he might be able to put me on the tube, but in doing so the tube got away from the both of us and under we went. The water was dark, cold, strong and scary and I knew the only way we were going to get out of that water was by God. The water tossed my body backwards and forwards, and as the raging sea tried to pull us under I began to swim and pray. My friend tried his best to help me, but we would find ourselves back under the water. Those few seconds felt like hours. While under the water I opened my eyes, I don’t know why, but it was at that moment when I began to talk to God. I told Him, “Lord, if you get me out of this water I will never get back in it and I will forever serve You.” When I came up for air I saw my family and friends from a distance, they started a human chain with stretched out arms to reach us, but was unable. After my brief

This was the day I believe my faith increased. That very day I was reminded of my friend’s three cousins who died at Galveston beach one year prior to our near-drowing. They were the same age as my friend and I. I began thanking God like never before, because it could have been me; it could have been us, but yet we are alive today to tell about it. God saw fit to keep me here! Thirty-three years later, I have six children (three biological), eleven grandchildren (seven biological) and a wonderful, faithful and god-fearing husband, Byron Jackson. The Lord has been my Saving Grace since the day I was born. He saved me from a raging dark and hostile sea at the age of fifteen and as I grew spiritually He saved me from my sins. My mother taught us about God, but it wasn’t until I accepted Him into my life that I experienced Him for myself. Now I have a personal relationship with Him. He is my Savior and Lord. Accepting Christ fully into my life as my Savior and Lord was the greatest decision I have ever made. This is the ultimate saving anyone can have in their life. We are all sinners saved by Grace. Christ Jesus died on the cross for me and for you, He rose again and now sitting at the right hand of the Father. I encourage you today to get to know Him, not just about Him; develop a relationship with Him, and then trust Him with every area of your life. If He said it, shall He not do it? You must believe God with every fiber of your being and know that He is a rewarder to those who diligently seek Him. He is a healer, and a deliverer. He is a God that will not lie. He is a faithful God, a merciful God, a Loving and forgiving God. Seek Him while He is yet to be found. Trust Him!


HOW TO KNOW HIS WILL FOR YOUR LIFE!!! Dear Friends In The Faith: The story was told of a young man that was given a chance to stand in the transcendent halls of eternal gllory and interrogate God. He walked in bold and arrogant, but when he saw the angels bowing before Him, with the twentyfour elders throwing their crowns at His feet shouting “worthy is the Lamb” everything changed. When the young man looked upon the countenance of God, His glory was so brilliant that he fell upon his face as if he were a dead man. It was then that the soothing voice of God spoke and said “Young man, ask me your questions.” The young man said, “God why is there human deformity, sickness and disease?” God spoke in His smooth voice and said, “Human bodies are temporary, but the human spirit is eternal. Sickness may cripple the body for a moment but it cannot harm the eternal life of soul that lives within it.” The young man smiled and the Lord told him to ask his next question. The man gained confidence and said, “God why is there evil and darkness every where? How can you be good and create evil?” Again, the Lord spoke in a smooth voice and said, “You think that evil and darkness are my opposites. But, they are not! Evil and darkness are what you get when I am absent. I did not create either. They both occur when people reject me.” The young man smiled and asked his next question. He looked at God and said, “So Lord, what is your will for my life? I know that it's my life, but what do you want from me?” When the young man finished this question, heaven got dark, angels covered their faces, lightening bolts shot different directions and the voice of God raged! God said, “Your life! You don't have a life to live unless I decide to lend you one as I graciously give! Without me you have nothing, but with me you have everything! But, since you've ask me what my will is for the life I'm loaning you, I want you to think good thoughts of me everyday of your life, fill your

heart with gratitude and say thank you!” When was the last time that you paused to consider just how good the Lord has been to you and simply respond by saying “thank you?” As Paul writes to the church in Thessolonica he gives them a crucial command that should press every saint each day of our lives to never take the Lord's goodness for granted but to consider all of the kind, wonderful, loving things that He has done for us and cry out “thank you!” Paul says the same thing like this, “In everything give thanks for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you” (I Thess. 5:18)! The two words are powerful and life changing! “Thank you!” But, how do we function in faith according to God's will for our lives? First of all, be thankful while you are in it. Please get this if you don't get anything else. Life can put you “in” some strange places. In fact, have you ever found yourself in sickness, in pain, in poverty, in search for a stable job, in need, in want, in hurt, in disgust, in depression, in peace, in prosperity, in health, in happiness, in strength, in love? Whatever life has put you in God wants you to say thank you while you are there! The text says, “In everything!” This is what you call an exclusive inclusivism. It should read like this, no matter what you are in say thank you! The reason behind your spirit of thanksgiving is this, while you are in it, God is still in control of it! And, as long as God is in control of it, you can say thank you while you are in it! As you read this devotional what are you “in” this morning? What ever it is, say thank you because it is God's will for your life! Secondly, be thankful when you receive it. Check this out, the words "give thanks" in Greek comes from the word eucharisteo, ‘eu’ is the root for eulogy it means to praise, speak well of or thank, and, charisteo means grace. In short, it means to shout about grace! Are you shouting yet? If not, you should be and here's why. You have received more grace than you really deserve and the Lord keeps on throwing it your way. Have you ever stopped to ask God why are you so blessed? Here's the answer to that question. It is not because you have been

so good. But it is because God wants you to have something to say thank you for as you fulfill His will for your life! You see, you can't give what you don't have! So God gives you more grace just so that you can have something to shout about. How much grace have you received just this morning? Here's God's will for everything that He has done for you and yours today, say thank you! Lastly, be thankful because of it. The root of our praise and thanksgiving to God happens because of what Jesus Christ means to each of us! The text says, “... for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” For those that have not come to know Him, you should try Him! He is the best thing that will ever happen to you in your life time! And for those who do know Him, you know that it is because of Him that you have everything that you have! Because of His love we have mercy, because of His death we have life, because of His power we have provisions, because of His light we have victory, because of His plans we have a destiny, because of His protection we have safety, because of His care we have healing, because of His spirit we have a friend in the Holy Ghost, because of His joy we have strength and because of His grace we have favor! It is because of Him that life is worth living everyday of the week, every week of the month, every month of the year! Here's God's Will for the life that He is loaning you to live each day, think kind thoughts of His gracious deeds that He has given you and say thank you no matter what comes your way! Your Friend and His Servant, Dr. John R. Adolph

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Photos courtesy of website

Let Us Pray For President Barack Obama, His Family & Our Nation

He was elected the 44th President of the United States on November 4, 2008, and sworn in on January 20, 2009. He and his wife, Michelle, are the proud parents of two daughters, Malia, 13, and Sasha, 10. 8

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Inspiration Message | M’Bracing Beauty Magazine

FreeYourMind As we begin our journey in another year, we look back at 2011 as a time of incompletion and in some cases utter chaos. The year 2012, in its biblical numerology, identifies this year as a period of redemption and divine governing/regulations. Tarsha M. Jackson, Minister

within us. me join in that delight. Parts of In the fight to maintain or regain me covertly rebel, and just when Finally, the last part is the home control of your mind, we must I least expect it, they take charge.” of memory and hearing. We must realize that there are always two learn to guard what you hear and opposing forces waging war for Another function interprets what is allowed to be committed God’s most prize creation… YOU! signals received simultaneously to memory. God instructed us not Eph. 2:10 (KJV) – “For we are his from areas of vision, hearing, to worry, for the Holy Ghost will workmanship, created in Christ motor, sensory, and memory. In bring to our memory the things Jesus unto good works, which God this instance, we must know that we need when we stand before before ordained that we should we were fearfully and wonderfully kings and queens, but you must created in His image. GEN. 2: 27-28 have something to bring up! walk in them.” (MSG) God created human beings; There are four basic dynamics he created them godlike, reflecting When we push God out of our of the brain, with regards to its God’s nature. He created them minds, our minds are void and functioning capabilities, that male and female. God blessed empty of God and of His truth and we will parallel the purpose of them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill morality. Our minds are ready to its functionality and the most Earth! Take charge! Be responsible be filled with some other god or commonly used tactics to attack for fish in the sea and birds in supremacy, that is, with the things your walk and assassinate your the air, for every living thing that of the world: worldly pleasures, character. possessions, power, and position. moves on the face of Earth.” As you empty your mind of worldly One dynamic of the brain is The next area contains the part of thoughts and desires, God will the ability to recognize future the brain where dreams emerge. satisfy your spirit with His unique consequences resulting from We must realize that God has likeness. It is our prayer that you current actions, and the ability to equipped each of us with talents, will begin to walk like God; to talk choose beforehand between good skills, and certain natural abilities like God and in a finite way think and bad. The truth is God allows that we are render Glory to God like God. Let this mind be in you us to know the consequences and deposit into the earth realm. which is also in Christ Jesus. resulting from our initial actions. Eph. 3:20 (MSG) – God can do Rom. 7:21-23 (MSV) – “It happens anything, you know—far more There was a Houston based so regularly that it’s predictable. than you could ever imagine or female group that had a hit song The moment I decide to do good, guess or request in your wildest that said, “Free your mind and the sin is there to trip me up. I truly dreams! He does it not by pushing rest will follow.” Allow God to free delight in God’s commands, but us around but by working within your mind. it’s pretty obvious that not all of us, his Spirit deeply and gently 7


Invitation To Christ Romans 10:9,10

Prayer of Salvation Believe & Repent Prayer of Salvation - Our First Real Conversation With God
The “Prayer of Salvation” is the most important prayer we’ll ever pray. When we’re ready to become a Christian, we’re ready to have our first real conversation with God, and these are its components: • We acknowledge that Jesus Christ is God; that He came to earth as a man in order to live the sinless life that we cannot live; that He died in our place, so that we would not have to pay the penalty we deserve. • We confess our past life of sin -- living for ourselves and not obeying God. • We admit we are ready to trust Jesus Christ as our Savior and Lord. • We ask Jesus to come into our heart, take up residence there, and begin living through us. Prayer of Salvation - It Begins With Faith in God
When we pray the prayer of salvation, we’re letting God know we believe His Word is true. By the faith He has given us, we choose to believe in Him. The Bible tells us that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6) So, when we pray, asking God for the gift of salvation, we’re exercising our free will to acknowledge that we believe in Him. That demonstration of faith pleases God, because we have freely chosen to know Him. Prayer of Salvation - Confessing Our Sin
When we pray the prayer of salvation, we’re admitting that we’ve sinned. As the Bible says of everyone, save Christ alone: “For all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) To sin is simply to fall short of the mark, as an arrow that does not quite hit the bull’s-eye. The glory of God that we fall short of is found only in Jesus Christ: “For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Corinthians 4:6) 
The prayer of salvation, then, recognizes that Jesus Christ is the only human who ever lived without sin. “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of

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God in Him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21) Prayer of Salvation - Professing Faith in Christ as Savior and Lord
With Christ as our standard of perfection, we’re now acknowledging faith in Him as God, agreeing with the Apostle John that: “In the beginning was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1:1-3) 
Because God could only accept a perfect, sinless sacrifice, and because He knew that we could not possibly accomplish that, He sent His Son to die for us and pay the eternal price. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life..” (John 3:16) Prayer of Salvation - Say It & Mean It Now!
Do you agree with everything you have read so far? If you do, don’t wait a moment longer to start your new life in Jesus Christ. Pray this with us: • “Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.” Prayer of Salvation - I’ve Prayed It; Now What?
If you’ve prayed this prayer of salvation with true conviction and heart, you are now a follower of Jesus. This is a fact, whether or not you feel any different. Religious systems may have led you to believe that you should feel something - a warm glow, a tingle, or some other mystical experience. The fact is, you may, or you may not. If you have prayed the prayer of salvation and meant it, you are now a follower of Jesus. The Bible tells us that your eternal salvation is secure! “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” (Romans 10:9) Welcome to the family of God! We encourage you now to find a local church where you can be baptized and grow in the knowledge of God through His Word, the Bible.

www.allaboutgod.com/prayer-of-salvation.htm


AFTER YOU PRAYED THE PRAYER OF SALVATION BELOW ARE SOME SUGGESTED CHURCHES YOU MAY CONSIDER GOING TO FOR MORE BIBLE BASED TEACHING AND GUIDANCE IN THE WORD OF GOD. Pastor Paul D. Landrew St. Stephen Baptist Church 609 W. LittleYork Houston, TX 77076

Pastor Melvin H. Kirks Jr. Bridge Crossroad Church 12515 Fondren Ste. F Houston, TX. 77035

Pastor Paul D. Landrew St. Stephen Baptist Church South Location 501 Murphy Rd. Stafford, TX 77477

Pastor Henry Thomas True Fellowship Baptist Church 3115 N. Fry Katy, TX 77449

Pastor Paul D. Landrew St. Stephen Baptist Church 170 Rittenhouse Houston, TX 77076

Pastor Byron Jackson Sr. Spring Chapel CME Church 23486 FM Rd. 838 Overton, TX 75684

Pastor John Aldoph Antioch Missionary Baptist Church 3920 West Cardinal Drive Beaumont, TX 77705

Pastor Bennett T. Cortez Greater Faith Baptist Church 9235 West Montgomery rd. Houston, TX 77088

Pastor Roland Booker God’s True Church 1401 West Tidwell Houston , TX 77091

Pastor Demetrius Moffett First Church of God 911 Main Street Orange, TX 77630

What The Bible Says About Our Greatest Salvation “Christ took our punishment and died in our place. Since our attempts at righteousness will not satisfy God, Christ clothed us in His righteousness in such away that when God, the Father, looks upon us, He does not see our sin; He sees only the righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ.” L. Moyer Hebrews 2:1-4 -“What has been the greatest moment of your life? For some people, the answer might be their wedding day, the birth of a child, or an important promotion. But for believers, the best experience is salvation, when their eternal destiny was changed. New Christians often have a fervor to share their faith. In time, however, many find their hearts cooling as they focus less on their relationship with Jesus Christ. Hebrews 2:1 instructs, “Therefore we must give the most earnest heed to the things we have heard, lest we drift away.” Salvation is God’s amazing solution to man’s sinful condition: it is His gift of rescue - through the death of Jesus- from the penalty of our transgressions.” Charles Stanley

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WHY WE PRAY!By Dr. Richard Krejcir How is your prayer life? Is prayer your first response for all thoughts and encounters in your life? If not, we need to examine why not! Have you ever thought through why you do not spend more time with God? What aspects of your time and commitment hold you back from prayer? Most of us do not have the kind of prayer life we should have; in my experience, most people give up because either they do not know how to pray or they do not understand the significance of prayer. Others may have prayer lives but they are not godly or effectual prayers; these tend to be the prayers with only the self-interests or personal agendas in mind. We may know about prayer, but is our understanding and practice lined up to Christ as Lord, or to what we want? One might presume that a Christian in a church automatically knows how and why to pray, but few are ever taught the power, relevance, and important of prayer. Therefore, we go on presumptions and perhaps even model our prayers after someone else, not from what God has communicated to us. The purpose of prayer is not just to get what we want; it is lining ourselves up with His thoughts, ways, and precepts. The focus of our prayers is Christ, His work, and His impact on you, your family, and the world. This is what the Lord’s Prayer is about in Luke 11:1-4. The main theme of prayer is our vital connection with God our Lord and Savior, and His empowering us for all we do in life. He is sovereign; He directs our lives as well as the rest of the universe, so we must get in tune with

Copyright © 1998 James M. Kaney

Him. We must lean on and dwell in Him so we are infused with His way rather than clouded and distracted by our ways or the ways of this world. If prayer is our connection with God, then to ignore prayer means we are trying to put God out of our lives. When we misuse prayer, we’re usurping God’s authority and miss out on His best for our lives. We are treating God like a pet, giving Him the time and affection when its convenient for us; when it fits our needs, concerns, and occasion. God must come first and prayer helps us make this happen. Prayer is one of, if not the most quintessential important aspect of the Christian life. Prayer needs to be number one for the serious Christian to whom Jesus is not merely Savior but also Lord. However, to make entreaty (deep prayer) with God, our first priority, we must receive His redemptive work through the power of the Spirit. Once we have received His amazing gift His work is transforming and renewing us (Roman 12:1-3), prayer becomes our response to Him, and helps us continually commune His work within us.

marianna@letsrejoice.com

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Spoken Word | M’Bracing Beauty Magazine

“Redemption’s Call”

The atonement of your nail pierced hands has restored me. For deaths plea brings no resolution to the wages of my birth, but by your redeeming grace salvation calls.

The restrictions once imposed now ransomed by your affection for me. A distorted vision now beautifully displayed within “the masterpiece” of your glory. I stand unconstrained from anguish by the sacrifice of His redeeming blood.

Simply put…freedom secured in You!

Can you hear the shackles falling? Falling against the winds of grace and mercy from an identity once stolen?

The covenant between the Redeemer and His bride is revealed through the symbol of a cross.

No longer forsaken but purchased by the beauty of His love.

One single act of mercy defeated the weight of a nation to save a lost generation.

Now transformed into an image of His likeness. Saved by grace to love and be in Him.

I respond to the call…for I have been simply redeemed. by Alheri (Grace) Gajere

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Interview with Trayvon Williams BY KYAUTA GAJERE

• What if everything in your life that was designed to rip you apart made you stronger? • What if your siblings, who told you that you will amount to nothing, actually propelled you towards success? • What if you chose to honor both of your parents even if they scarcely were a part of your childhood? • What if in spite of major setbacks in your past, college and pro athlete status were to grace you in the near future? The descriptions above are attributed to none other than, Trayvon Williams, a young man of excellent character. This young man has a great deal of wisdom to give and an inspiring story to share with those who have been abandoned, destitute, rejected, and wounded. In getting a glimpse of Trayvon’s life today, you too may be left with the overwhelming feeling that the best moments of his life are yet to come. TRAYVON WILLIAMS’ STORY MBM: Trayvon, your mom gave you to your Aunt Elizabeth when you were two weeks old, and your dad went to prison when you were 3 yrs old. In that situation there are going to be hardships; how were you able to overcome those hardships to become the young man you are today? TRAY: “I decided to use what seemed like a negative situation and turned it into a positive one. I see where I don’t want to be and the type of parent I don’t want to be to my kids. I will use one word for everything that I say and go through, M-O-T-I-V-A-T-I-O-N. That is what I use”. MBM: Who do you look up to? TRAY: “I look up to my great aunt Elizabeth, I call her mother. She’s been there for me. That’s actually who my biological mom gave me away to. She took me in even though she has 5 other kids (three biological). I look up to her because she is strong and has a great deal of faith in God. She has always told me, “Tray you put God first in all you do and there is nothing you cannot achieve.” They (Elizabeth and Ray) took me into their home and raised me

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as their own, and put up with a lot of stuff because I was bad. I think she is successful because she put God first and did whatever she put her mind to. I use that, I use anything that is positive. I like to keep positive people around me. I see when you do hard work you can achieve anything you put your mind to. Anything you put your mind to- it will come”. MBM: You worked two jobs while going to high school at Cy-Woods - that definitely couldn’t have been easy. How did you find time to work, go to school, put food on the table, balance your bank account, have time for friends, practice for games, and finish homework? TRAY: I didn’t really have ..., I mean I did have friends, but I didn’t call them friends because there are a lot of people who wanted to be around me

and all of them were not positive. I would rather be by myself than be around somebody negative that might bring me down. I would stay up late. I never really got much sleep. When I got to school I would act like I was wide awake, paid attention and did what was expected of me. I don’t want to use not having my biological parents as an excuse to make me bitter, I’m grateful, not bitter. That is not who I want to be or become. I’ve learned how to use this type of negativity to make me a better person, not to prove anything to anybody else. It was really easy, like writing books, all that stuff comes naturally to me. You got to do what you have to do. I am grown, nobody is going to take care of a grown person.


Trayvon Williams | M’Bracing Beauty Magazine I guess all that stuff drives me. I guess that’s why my cousins always ask me, “You do a lot of stuff. How do you do it? Man, how do you do it?” You can do it as long as you put your mind to it. It is better for people to see it than you just tell them. The stuff I do just comes naturally to me. Like when I know I got to do something, like pay bills; when the light gets cut off you know you have to go to work. I never got to get out or go to parties, I didn’t do anything during those years. But I knew it was going to benefit me and I ended up getting scholarships to Colleges, all of it paid off and I was not out runnin’ the streets. I didn’t need parents to tell me not to go do this, and not to do that; it just comes naturally to me. I know that I don’t want to end up in jail. That is the one place I know I don’t want to be.” MBM: Our personal heroes tell us a lot about ourselves, yet being human they do make mistakes. Who is your hero or do you have one? Tray: I don’t think I have …uh”, (as he searches for words, then with certainty he continues) “I use my biological parents to inspire me too. Even negative things inspire me to do better things. Like, I can’t do certain things because I know where it’s going to end up. And even though my biological parents were not there for me my great aunt and uncle were there. When I was little and the time that I needed them to be there they gave that good guidance I needed. Even my biological brothers and sisters, told me I was not going to be nothing. I don’t know what the case was with them, but I used that and listened to it every day. They said, No! You not going to be anything; you can’t make it on your own” I thought to myself “But God said I can do all thing through Christ Jesus...” MBM: What have you learned in your quiet times alone with God that you would want to share with someone else? Tray: That He listens. There is always one thing that happens after I pray and I know, He listens. I know it might sound funny but my eyes get watery,

every time, like right when I finish. I close my eyes I’m praying; it’s normal and when I finish it’s like man. I start crying like a little bit. Every single time - it’s like, He’s listening! I feel like I am being touched by Him listening and everything always ends up working itself out. Like with this phone (pointing to his cell phone), I have been wanting one of these phones for the longest. Nobody bought it, I am just now getting it but I still got it for free so it’s like man I know He listens”. DILIGENT WORKER MBM: Changing schools several times within your education is very difficult because what one school district focuses on may not be what another focuses on during the same time of the year, What are some of the challenges you faced going from school to school? Tray: I had homework from the first day of school and I was not used to that. Cypress District was harder than any other school I had been to. I used to always do enough to play. This showed me I could do great things if I am pushed. Like this school, they wouldn’t let me fail at all once they heard my story. They would check on my classes and were very involved, something that your parents are supposed to do. Not having my biological parents helped me because I ended up having 50 or 60 parents at the school. It was not hard, I lived on my own and did my school work and still did what I needed to do”. MBM: How are you able to be optimistic and positive? “I keep a smile on my face cause no matter what goes on nobody cares about your problems, you have to care about stuff on your own and do what you need to do. I mean people will listen to you but at the end of the day you have to take care of your own no matter what anybody else says”. MBM: As you are getting to a new stage in your life, how do you feel about what lies before you? Do you have any fears?

Tray: I really don’t have fears. I can see the potential in front of me. I just need to not allow the small stuff to hold me back. I see a bright future because I have a lot of talents (writing, composing lyrics, etc...). I want to use all of them eventually before I die. I want to do everything that I am good at, not just sports stuff”. THE GAME MBM: Since you are a potential proathlete, imagine that you’re on the court or on the field, and in the exact moment when all eyes are on you what thoughts are going through your head? What about when you don’t perform well? Tray: Handle business. Always! I kind of know how the game goes once you are doing well everybody’s going to be on your side, when you do something bad and make bad mistakes they are going to turn on you. I already know, I get prepared and I stay to myself so I really don’t have to listen to it. I like it when it is positive but I know what to expect already. It comes with the game. It comes with everything really”. FUTURE ASPIRATIONS MBM: What are your future goals? In relation to Sports; School; Family? (In the next 5 years) Tray: Go pro for baseball or basketball. I want to graduate college. I want to have kids and a family, but I want to be able to support them first before I create one”. MBM: Trayvon Williams may look like he’s ordinary, but behind his pearly white smile exudes a young man who is anything but ordinary. This is an extraordinary young person whose success today is just a shadow of what is yet to come. Trayvon’s faith is grounded in the knowledge of the one and true living God, his boast is that those things intended for his bad, God has turned it for his good. (Genesis 5:20)

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The Most Important Decision of Your Life: Becoming A Christian... The Most Important Decision of Your Life: Becoming A Christian... God’s Plan: Peace & Life God loves you and wants you to experience peace and life -abundant and eternal. The Bible Says... “For God so loved the world, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” -- John 3:16 “...I came that they might have life, and have it abundantly.” -John 10:10 Since God planned for us to have peace and abundant life right now, why are most people not having this experience? --------------------------------------------Our Problem: Separation God Creates us in His own image to have abundant life. But we chose to disobey God and go our own sinful way. Our choice results in separation from God The Bible Says... “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” -- Romans 3:23

http://www.bethelfree.org/saved.html

“...For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -Romans 6:23 --------------------------------------------Our Attempts: People have tried in many different ways to bridge the gap... like Good Works, Religiosity, Morality, and Philosophy without success... The Bible Says... “He saved us, not on the basis of deeds which we have done in righteousness...” -- Titus 3:5a “There is a way that seems right to man, but in the end it leads to death.” -- Proverbs 14:2 -------------------------------------------God’s Remedy: The Cross Jesus Christ is the only answer to this problem. He died on the Cross and rose from the grave, paying the penalty for our sin and bridging the gap between People and God. The Bible Says... “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” -1 Peter 3:18a

“...But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” -Romans 5:8 --------------------------------------------Our Response: Trust Christ We must trust Jesus Christ and His payment of our penalty for sin through His death on the cross by personal invitation. The Bible Says... ...if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved” -Romans 10:9 “...Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved...” -- Acts 16:31 -------------------------------------------How to Pray: Dear Lord Jesus, I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and invite you to come into my life as Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

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M'Bracing Beauty Christian Magazine 2012 Spring/Summer Edition