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Turning Tragedy Into Triumph: Story of A Domestic Violence Survivor

Every Home Has A Story: The Ultimate Home Giveaway Campaign

EmPOWERed Exclusive with Actress Irma P. Hall

Homelessness in America 35 Ways to Help The Homeless

Our EmPOWERing Editorial Staff Lisa M. Baldwin, Editorial Director and Founder Ceanti Aldridge, Managing Editor and Contributor Our EmPOWERing Contributors Dawniel Patterson Winningham Kelly Ramsey Elizabeth Goins-Turner BrowSan Jackie Brown Jahnel Aska-Profit Doyle Winn Jr. Alton Eugene Elva Crawford Brown

Visit us at Email us at

We welcome your feedback!

Contents On the Cover:

In This Issue:

Homelessness in America

Life EmPOWERment” Health and Fitness

OGTFO! Beauty and Style

Summer Body Work!

Spiritual EmPOWERment: Soul Food—articles with content that will nourish and feed the soul

“Speak” A Poem

As The State of Homelessness in America 2012 reveals, “There is much work left to do to end homelessness in America.”

Grave vs. The Law Bible Study

Literary EMPOWERment Reaching for the Stars


Turning Tragedy into Triumph: A Domestic Violence Survivor’s Story

“Every Home Has A Story: The Ultimate Home Giveaway”

Spotlight! Special Light Shone on Community Activism, Entrepreneurs, Musicians, etc. Musician:

BrownSan South African Artist Entrepreneur of the Month:

JB’s Cupcakes

Exclusive Interview with Actress Irma P. Hall

Entertainment From A Single Man’s Perspective

WMF Volunteers Needed! If you are looking for an opportunity to give back or impact your community, “Every Home Has A Story: The Ultimate Home Giveaway” Campaign is a tremendous undertaking that will take the efforts of the community. We have a number of opportunities for you to volunteer your skills through this initiative. 

Direct Mail Campaign

Fundraising Activities

Social Media Marketing

Selection Committee

Home Remodel or Décor Trade or Skills

Please visit our website: . Click on the “Volunteer” tab to download the volunteer form and be sure to follow up by contacting the WMF office. Office phone: (405) 778-6870 Email:

Other Volunteer/Intern Opportunities 

Volunteers/Interns in marketing, journalism, page layout, and graphic design.

Article Writers.

Volunteers/Interns for stage film productions and film and audio production assistance.

Interns in graphic design.

Volunteers to will support our teen dating violence initiative.

REACH for the Stars Write the book YOU have been dreaming of! Girl! Power DREAMS By Dawniel Patterson Winningham So you DREAM of writing your very own book? Even if this is not your “DREAM,” you must admit, the thought may have crossed your mind on more than one occasion. The New York Times says that 8 in 10 Americans have thoughts of writing their own book. So whether you dream of writing the next Science Fiction book or you plan on giving Stephen King a run for his money writing thrillers, you must ask yourself this one question and answer honestly; “Do I have what it takes to move writing a book from the dreams column onto the done checklist?”

What to write? To be honest when it comes down to what you will write about you have several options. There are many genres of books available and you will first have to decide what the story is that you want to tell the world. The obvious choice is to do your own life story. Many people go this path because they feel that their story is impactful and will bless someone else who may be going through the same thing. Many of us, (me included), may not be willing to share that much of ourselves, or may not feel that our life story is anything that others would even care about. Then what? Are you in a career that is hard to break into? Then maybe you would want to write about that. Are there special life skills that you have that by writing them in a book, others would benefit? Then that may be your choice. Are you creative and spend all day daydreaming of future worlds, filled with aliens and strange animals. Then Sci-Fi may be the way to go for you. What you decide to write is a testament to who you are and what you love. If you choose something that you are not hugely passionate about, or that you are not very familiar with, will only lead to writer’s block down the line. How to write? Getting started is not as simple as it may seem. Do you have the skill set needed to write a book? Is writing something that comes natural to you? If not you may want to consider taking a creative writing class. Many of them are available for free online. There are also group writing classes available at most neighborhood colleges where you will not only be challenged to write, but you will have a supportive group of individuals readily willing and able to give you feedback on the work you produce. There are also many books available, as well as articles on the internet, that can help you when it comes to putting together the book of your dreams.

When to write? Contrary to many beliefs true writing takes discipline. In the midst of the hectic lives that many of us lead, carving out the time to be creative, or sometimes to just get one word on paper between dinner and the kid’s homework can be a challenge. Many writers take what is called a hiatus (time away from everything) in order to get their writing done. Some writers, (like myself), write in the wee hours of the morning when the house is the most quiet and I can gather my thoughts without interruptions. It’s about 4:30am as I write this article (*wink). Your best bet is to identify times when you know your family is most dormant and when demands on your time are the least and to get started. You may have random thoughts throughout the day that may help your craft, make it a habit of jotting down those notes until you can get back to them later. Failure to do so may mean those thoughts may be lost forever, caught up in the madness of everyday life. My book is finished, what now? There are many options available to you to get your work out into the world once it is finished. Everything from traditional publishing contracts to pay to publish companies, and even the option of publishing your book yourself exists in this modern day world. There are even people like myself, publishing consultants, who can help you make the best decision for you and your book, depending on what you have written. But do me and yourself a huge favor! Don’t put the cart before the horse, finish your book and it is SURE that you will be able to take on your next challenge…navigating the world of publishing. Stay tuned for my next article…Publishing Options, What works best for YOU! Until then, cheers to you and the book you are writing. May it be the next great American Novel! So what are you waiting for? GET WRITING!

Dawniel Patterson-Winningham is a successful corporate performance coach and Assistant Vice President at a Fortune 100 Firm. She is also private life coach (DreamScapes Coaching), specializing in helping people achieve the dream of leaving their 9 - 5 and becoming entrepreneurs and providing pro-bono coaching to non-profit entities looking to expand their reach to assist others. She currently writes an empowerment monthly column for 10 magazines. She is CEO of her own publishing company (Twin Power Publishing), in which she not only publishes her own books, but also coaches aspiring authors on completing their own self published titles. She is the mother of 3, including twins, and currently resides in Katy, TX; a suburb of Houston. Her books are available on for purchase and also available for download on most e-readers. Her newest book Living the GODpossible Life, is available everywhere Photo Credit Melissa Bliss/ @yourgirlpower REACH FOR THE STARS © Dawn Hudson |

Homelessness in America Iformation from a report done by National Alliance to End Homelessness

“Over the course of a year, the odds of experiencing homelessness for a person in the general US population are 1 in 194; for a person discharged from prison or jail, the odds are 1 in 13; for a person living doubled-up (living with friends, family or other nonrelatives for economic reasons), the odds are 1 in 12; and for a person who has aged out of foster care, the odds are 1 in 11. Of the approximate 636,000 individuals who are homeless [on a given night] in America, nearly 4 in 10 are unsheltered (living in the streets, cars, abandoned buildings, or other places not intended for human habitation). Although the national homeless population decreased, the homeless population increased in 24 of 50 states plus the District of Columbia. About 69% of the homeless population is located in the 100 most populated metropolitan areas. Oklahoma is ranked at 42 for it’s homelessness rate. Florida is 1 of 2 states that account for 13 of the 24 total metro areas where the rates of homelessness are higher than the national rate. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL is the metro area with the highest rate of homelessness in the US. The average real income of the working poor increased slightly from $9,300 in 2009 to about $9,400 in 2010. However, there’s not a single county in the nation where a family with an average annual income of $9,400 can afford fair market rent for a one-bedroom unit. The number of poor households which pay more than 50% of their income on rent increased 22% from 2007 to 2010. Nationally, 1 out of every 45 housing units had a foreclosure in 2010, a more than 100% increase from 2007. As The State of Homelessness in America 2012 reveals, there is much work left to do to end homelessness in America.” Issues of Homelessness Chronic Homelessness Chronic homelessness is defined as long-term or repeated homelessness, often coupled with a disability. Families About 250,000 people in families are homeless. Rapid re-housing and prevention are two strategies to avert and end their homelessness. Veterans The Administration has recently committed to ending homelessness for the 76,000 homeless veterans in the U.S. Youth About 50,000 youth in the U.S. sleep on the street for six months or more. Homeless youth face unique developmental challenges and vulnerability. Rural Homelessness About 7 percent of the homeless population lives in rural areas. Access to resources tends to be more limited in rural or mostly rural areas. Domestic Violence About 13 percent of homeless families report that they left their last residence due to violence or abuse. Mental/Physical Health Stable housing and supportive services are critical to help people experiencing homelessness move toward recovery. Re-Entry Discharge planning is a key element of preventing homelessness for people re-entering the community.

According to

35 Ways to Help the Homeless

At the Wonderfully Made Foundation Homeless Home, it is our desire that no one should have to go with out one of life’s greatest necessitates; a home. So we have listed here the five of the thirty ways to help the homeless according “Just Give,” the online charitable giving website. We believe we can put an end to this epidemic if we all do our part. 1. Understand who the homeless are - Help dispel the stereotypes about the homeless. Learn about the different reasons for homelessness, and remember, every situation is unique. 2. Educate yourself about the homeless - A homeless person may be someone who lost their job, a runaway child, or someone with a mental illness. One of the first steps in helping people is to see them as individuals and to find out what they need. Notice them; talk to them. Most are starved for attention. 3. Respect the homeless as individuals - Give the homeless people the same courtesy and respect you would accord your friends, your family, your employer. Treat them as you would wish to be treated if you needed assistance. 4. Respond with kindness - We can make quite a difference in the lives of the homeless when we respond to them, rather than ignore or dismiss them. Try a kind word and a smile. 5. Develop lists of shelters - Carry a card that lists local shelters so you can hand them out to the homeless. You can find shelters in your phone book.

Listed below are six of the nine homeless shelters in Oklahoma City.

Look for more ways to help in the September issue of EmPOWERed Magazine

Jesus House

Grace Rescue Mission

(drugs, mental disabilities)




1335 West Sheridan Ave

2205 Exchange Ave

Oklahoma City, OK 73106

Oklahoma City, OK 73108

City Rescue Mission

Salvation Army Men Shelter

(Men and Women)




800 West California Ave

2205 Exchange Ave

Oklahoma City, OK 73106

Oklahoma City, OK 73108

Wonderfully Made Foundation

Salvation Army Family Lodge

(Women and children)


405-778-6870 933 NE 32nd St. Oklahoma City, OK 73105

501 S Harvey Oklahoma City, OK 73101

in to

T u r n in g


A D o m e s t i c V i o l en ce Su rv iv o r’ s S to r y Elizabeth Goins-Turner is the founder of the “Not Looking Back Foundation for Domestic Violence Awareness,” which was created on March 2, 2011. This foundation was established because Elizabeth was a victim of domestic violence. Experiencing an obscene form of domestic violence, she immediately pulled herself out of the situation for help. Elizabeth decided that she wants to help men and women escape this type of abuse. As a domestic violence survivor, she feels that she can help prevent this form of abuse towards men & women around the country. On March 22, 2011 the foundation hosted an event that assisted Family Services in Winston-Salem, NC with some much needed items. On October 22, 2011 the foundation was assisted by Avon District #1352 in Jacksonville, FL with a very successful toiletry drive. Enough items were collected to service over 100 victims, both men & women. April 20-22, 2012 she hosted an awareness conference. She is currently working on a grand opening for the foundation’s first shelter located in North Carolina. Elizabeth’s dream is to open shelters nationwide in order to help those who need to be helped.

The rate of domestic violence has increased over the years. Teenagers and preteens feel as if it is ok to create violence nowadays. The stories being told on the news today about domestic violence should make anyone want to get up and help change society. With contributions and donations towards this foundation & others like it, “The Not Looking Back Foundation for Domestic Violence Awareness” will grow and be able to touch the lives of many. “If I can save one life, then I’ve done what God wanted me to do,” says Mrs. Turner. Her most recent vision was to start an Outreach Ministry which she calls the L. G. Turner Outreach Ministry which will feed, clothe, educate, inspire, motivate and transition needy people to a better life of independency. The Outreach Ministry will be based out of Winston-Salem, North Carolina which is her hometown. “So many have said that I wouldn’t make it in this world & I wouldn’t amount to anything, but yet I stand. I had a gun pointed at my head, the trigger pulled 3 times & it jammed. I was beat & left for dead. I’ve had my share of struggles. Now, it’s time for me to LIVE! With God’s guidance I will make it to the TOP.”

Elizabeth Goins-Turner is a wife, mother, grandmother, sister & friend to many across the United States. She is also a playwright who has written & produced numerous productions including “My Brotha-My Sista,” “Let Not Your Heart Be Troubled,” “Every Eye That’s Closed Ain’t Sleep,” & “Past & Present-A Stitch in Time.” Some of her productions have toured in places like Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina and Indiana. She is also a poet with a book set to release November 2012 titled, “No Longer A Victim Because I Am Still Standing.” Elizabeth is hoping to have book signings in various locations throughout the USA & overseas.

Parenting with a Purpose


ne of the greatest challenges facing families today is parenting children in a chaotic world. This section will share with you research on parenting and raising children in the 21st century. From cradle to college, parents will learn valuable lessons from the children in their homes and community. Come join us in the journey, as we unfold the skillful art of parenting with purpose.

Often when we look at a child, we can see them growing, from an infant to a toddler, slowly taking grasp of the world around them. Children are learning the rules of society, how do set and understand boundaries and how to relate with others from watching the adults in their lives. Have you ever identified with a parent when their child has a tantrum in the middle of the store aisle? Of course, you have. We understand the struggle that the parent is experiencing.

when their child leaves home to enter the adult world (Galinsky, 1981). Parents evaluate their progress as the child moves through each of these stages.

Expectations for their child's behavior and development are measured against the child's actual behavior and development; a parent's self-image may shift as he or she moves through the different stages of parenthood. This information is based on Galinsky's interviews with over 200 couples (Galinsky, 1981). The child is growing up, and changing, and his needs For better or for worse, being a parent changes an indiare changing as well. As the parent watches this vidual forever. metamorphosis of the sweet infant to the screaming Galinsky identifies six parental stages as: toddler, they are experiencing changes as well. This is where the stages of parenthood become evident, and  Image-making stage: Pregnancy clarity of the developmental stages of children are best  Nurturing stage: Birth to 18-24 Months or Autonomy understood. Parenting is a process by which parents  Authoritative stage: Two to four or five years and children grow and develop, each influencing the  Interpretive Stage: Preschool Years through Adolescence other throughout their lives. Parents move through a  Interdependent Stage: During adolescence series of six stages from pregnancy, when they prepare Departure Stage for parenthood and the birth of their child, to the time

By Kelly Ramsey Join us next month for continued discussion of the Stages of Parenthood. We will describe in depth each stage and how developmental stages of children affect our parenting.

About Kelly Ramsey Kelly began her work with children and families as an early childhood teacher in 1984. She has a B.S. in Family Studies and Gerontology, a M.S. in Education and is currently pursuing her doctoral degree. For over two decades she has had opportunities to work with children and families as a classroom teacher, center director, parent educator, mentor, coach and college instructor. Her experiences working with and on behalf of infants and toddlers includes facilitating parenting groups, setting up infant, toddler and preschool environments in both center based and family child care home settings. As a child care center director, Kelly trained staff on positive interaction with children and taught child development, focused on developmentally appropriate practice for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and school-age children at the college level. A lifelong learner, Kelly believes that creating a home and school environment that promotes self-discovery and personal reflection are key to building strong families. She enjoys sharing her experiences in a variety of settings and has been an advocate for children as a board member of organizations that support families and children. She is an experienced presenter and workshop leader in the areas of early childhood classroom management, relationship development, parenting and adult/child interaction. Kelly’s has a passion for helping parents understand their developing child as they grow and learn from the world around them. As the owner of Developing People, Inc., she creates learning opportunities for adults that evoke passion and creates new paths for learning. She enjoys sharing in the discovery with the learner, facilitating the exchange of ideas and providing resources to enhance the learning experience. Kelly resides in Oklahoma City with her husband and two young children.

OCU at WMF Oklahoma City University News Press Release Creative Writing Students Teach at Shelter 7/23/2012 Graduate students in Oklahoma City University’s Red Earth MFA program gave a creative writing workshop for residents of the Wonderfully Made shelter last week. It was the first collaboration between the Red Earth MFA and Wonderfully Made, but there are plans to make it an annual event. The shelter, located in the northeast part of Oklahoma City, is a home for homeless women and their children. Jeanetta Mish, Red Earth MFA interim director, said the purpose of the workshop was to help residents use creative writing as a means of self-expression and reflection. “Some people find writing a therapeutic exercise, especially when life gets difficult,” Mish said. “We hope we can help the residents learn how to use writing as a creative outlet for expression of their lives and experiences and also as a way to improve writing skills that are necessary for everyday purposes such as job applications.” The creative writing students who volunteered are participating in the Red Earth MFA pedagogy coursework. The students prepared for their visit by choosing their writing prompts and activities, and then took their projects to the Wonderfully Made shelter. While there, the students learned about the shelter and its various programs from its director, Lisa Baldwin Miller. The creative writing students were divided into two teams — one to work with the children and the other with the adults. The program views these workshops as both training for its students in teaching writing and also as community service. Current plans are to include a community service workshop or event during most residency periods. The Red Earth MFA is a low-residency, two-year degree program. It includes five residencies — one each summer and each winter plus another at the end of the program — for approximately 10 days each. Between residencies, students study long-distance with faculty members who are all practicing creative writers. For more information about the program call (405) 208-5127 or visit redearthmfa.

Artist of the Month Praise Across The World South African Artist BrownSan

Praise the name of the living God I am Kwagala Stephen aka BrownSan. I was born in 1985 in Mulaga Hospital in Uganda, Africa. I went through misery and agony while growing up . I never got a chance to grow up with my biological dad. In February of last year, we went to the hospital for a DNA test and the results showed that he wasn’t actually my biological father. I thank God for the new family of Mr. Donald and Mrs. Tina Scott that He brought in my life. They have been a great help in my life, including taking me back to school, paying my house rent, and helping me with food. I have a ministry called San Scott Charity Ministry which takes care of orphans. We oohelp them with education, food, and health services so that they too can have a better future. San Scott charity does outreach ministries in different places around Uganda spreading the gospel of loving one another. Our ministry comes from the book of Jeremiah 1:27. We are humbly requesting any one who can support these children to please contact us at or at +256-752291220 You can also write to us at P.O box 24423 Kampala, Uganda Thank you in advance.

Entrepreneur of the Month

J.B.’s Cupcakes


grew up in the small town of Forrest City, Arkansas. I am the youngest of five children. My family was not rich with money, but we were surrounded by a wealth of love and stability. Home cooked meals and home made desserts were the norm in my house. Both my grandmother and my mom could take the simplest ingredients and turn them into the best meal or dessert you had ever tasted.

For example: a simple flour dough, butter, sugar, milk ,and nutmeg were the makings of a delicious dessert called butter roll. These items were staples in my home. We never knew what mama would decide to bake, but you knew whatever it was would really be good. As a young girl, one of my most favorite past times was to “play cook;” you know, mud pies, mud cakes, sand cornbread, and grass for greens. As I got older, I progressed to the Easy Bake Oven. Wow, I was baking real cakes now (LOL). Though the Easy Bake Oven provided a means to bake real pastries, it never provided the means for me to create that pink frosted cupcake like the one pictured on the package of my grandma’s Godchaux Powdered Sugar. Fast forward 40 plus years, I still enjoy baking. I still remember the picture of the pink frosted cupcake on the box of grandma’s powdered sugar. My mom’s baking mantle appears to have fallen on me. In creating J. B.’s Cupcakes, my initial desire was really just to supplement/create an extra stream of income for our family. However, I realize there is potential for my business to really grow into something much larger than I was thinking. I used to only bake for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays–that is until just this past Easter. I volunteered to bring the cake to our office party. I thought cupcakes would be beautiful tasty treats and a welcome change

from the normal sheet cake. When I started to frost the cupcakes for the party, a desire to make them more special welled up inside of me. I found myself inspired by all the fresh new things that come with Spring. I started looking through magazines for decorating ideas. Before I knew it, I was piping frosting, little birdies and flowers. Soon after that, the idea of expanding to different flavor combinations as well as color combinations fell into my spirit. I now have several themes for my cupcakes and new flavor ideas as well. That one act of volunteering was the catalyst that

placed me on the path of starting my own cupcake business. Not only am I enjoying baking cupcakes, but I am able to tap into a world of creativity that I hadn’t realized was there. Whenever I can visualize a cupcake, I know I can create it. Jackie Brown J.B .’s Cupcakes

Summer Body Work Part 1 By Jahnel Aska-Profit Licensed Esthetician

Do you absolutely love summer time, but loathe showing your skin? Well, it’s too hot to stay hidden under layers of clothing. I get many questions about skin conditions on the body. So, let’s start with the hardest question to face: Thighs and Cellulite! Know this--you are not alone! Many people have some degree of cellulite. You can fight it and reduce the appearance with three easy steps.

1. Exercise Working out burns fat and builds muscle. Cellulite is fat deposits under the skin. No one can decrease their fat cells, but you can decrease the amount being stored. So, work out and decrease the storage amount. Make sure to check with your physician the right exercise plan for you.

2. Spa Treatments There are several spa treatments to choose from for reducing the appearance of cellulite. However, my favorite seems to show the most results. The least expensive is the cellulite wrap. The area being treated is massaged with a mineral and detox gel then wrapped for about 20 minutes. This boosts your circulation in that area which temporarily plumps and smoothes out the skin. This is a good service to try in between your exercise routine.

3. Bronzing If budgets are tight, the next best thing is to hydrate and glow! Use a bronzing moisturizer, or a lotion with self-tanning. The properties in these creams deflect the cellulite in the sun and give the appearance of smoother skin. This can give you more confidence and a gorgeous look to your thighs. Try Carol’s Daughter Gelee de

If permanency is what you seek, then you would love radiofrequency at a medical spa. This procedure actually helps burn the fat stored under the skin and boosts your collagen. Your skin is not only smoother but also tighter in appearance. And unlike lasers, radiofrequency is safe for women of color. Bye, bye cellulite!

Summer is still here and you deserve to show some skin with confidence. Make sure you read next month issue of Summer Body Work part 2. Your other body parts need attention too: back acne, rough skin, neck & chest‌stay tuned.

EmPOWERed Exclusive Interview With Actress

Irma P. Hall Irma P. Hall, lovingly and reverently known as “Big Mama” of Soul Food. The film was a box office hit which prompted the television spin-off, Soul Food: The Series. Ms. Hall has appeared in numerous films including; Tyler Perry’s Meet the Browns, Ladykillers, and Collateral and she has appeared in television shows since the 1970s. She is best known for playing matriarchal roles in films. Empowered Magazine’s Editorial Director, Lisa Baldwin sat down for an intimate conversation with Ms. Hall.

Lisa Baldwin: Mrs. Hall you portray a lot of motherly roles. Can you tell Empowered readers what it means to be a mother. Ms. Hall: It’s a daunting task, that should be enjoyed every day. You mustn’t miss any aspect of your child’s development as the moment can’t be recaptured. You are your child’s very first teacher. Lisa Baldwin: Who or what prepared you for the big-screen? Ms. Hall: My parents, they instilled in me to do my personal best. They never told me to be better than anyone, but always strive for MY personal excellence. Editorial Director, Lisa Baldwin and Ms. Irma P. Hall

Lisa Baldwin: Why acting as a career? Ms. Hall: I have taught as a teacher for over 27 years in Dallas Public Schools. I believe acting is teaching, but in a different way. The many lives that you can mold and direct by each role you take on. One of the reasons I loved playing motherly roles was to allow my audiences to travel with me and never forget the roles I have played. Lisa Baldwin: Mission accomplished, I absolutely loved you in Soul Food, so endearing!!! Lisa Baldwin: Anything else you want to say, so you can get on to your next set location? Ms. Hall: You don’t have to give birth to be a mother, and what a blessing for me to be blessed with 2 children and the promotion of becoming grandmother, and my next promotion of great-grandmother. Cherish everyday as if it were your last!!! Because each day fills your soul (with) food to grow on!!!





F ro m A Sing le M an ’s P erspectiv e


By Doyle Winn Jr.

found the movie entertaining, but not very informative being that I am a man. On the other hand, I sensed women were buzzing in their seats like they just discovered the wheel!

of this, even if he really likes you, his needs may drive him to seek entertainment elsewhere!!!

2. Corporate woman and minimum wage brother...This relationship most likely won't work, different interests and goals will keep the What is the big deal ladies? You all act like this two apart, and most strong men will definitely movie is the Bible of relationships. Is it saying not get involved in this relationship. something you didn’t already know? I think it is just becoming apparent that we have some seri- 3. The L word...If you are waiting around for ous problems with some marriages and relation- your man to say I LOVE YOU, you are living in ships. a fairy tale, I could literally say I love you to five or six different women in one year if i think Still I enjoyed the movie and if it enlightens it would work in my favor. The L word is just a women to the ways of men and helps men and word, how does he treat you? Does he treat you women I am all for it. BUT if it doesn’t help, in a loving way? Is he genuinely concerned then I agree with the male characters in the mov- about your well being? Hmmm................. ie; Steve Harvey was giving way too much information to the “enemy,” and this will probably 4. Waiting for him to open your door...What is be used against us [men] in later battles!! this?? A lovely young lady played the old “open the car door” game with me once. I left her standing on the curb of the Chinese restaurant on Key points: Lincoln Blvd. till she called me on my cell and 1. The 90 day rule...I hope your dating a square we worked it out. Don't lose the war playing this if you’re not and your man has any game he'll game in this day and time. It's a old custom and probably still be dealing with his ex while you these are modern times, I know Ill get a lot of count down the 90 days. Yes, men are capable flack about this but that's just my opinion.


By Ceanti Aldridge

If we were friends on Facebook, you might notice many of my posts on getting healthier ending with the phrase “OGTFO,” and you might wonder what it means. OGTFO is an acronym I came up with after talking with a friend of mine about getting serious about losing weight. (I'm really into acronyms) It stands for "Operation: Get The Fat Off" and it a motivational tool I use as I embark on this journey toward a healthier life. OGTFO helps me stay focused. It is a part of my plan to lose weight, workout, get lean and strong, develop healthier eating habits, and become an overall more healthy and happy person. Though OGTFO only mentions getting the “Fat Off,” my goal is holistic wellness; mind, body, and soul. I began this journey in March of this year and as of July 30th I am 35 pounds down! For me this is nothing short of a miracle. I have always been the one who talked a good game. I could get really hype and even get you hyped about ”doing it for real this time!” BUT I never had any “follow through.” My mother always told me that once truly I made up my mind I could do anything and turns out, she was right!. One day, after years of talk, it clicked: “I want to get fit.” What I am finding on this journey is that it is definitely a tough journey. Having to actually deny myself certain foods and push myself to get up and workout aren't easy things to do after years of never disciplining myself to do so. Now, at 26 years of age, I am the most active I have been since I was a young girl and I am really enjoying it. I have realized that I don't always have to eat every "treat" I come across. It's ok for me to deny my cravings sometimes, actually, it is necessary if I want to reach my goals.. I do have the power and self control to

say no to junk foods! I won't die from turning it away and if you are in that same place neither will you! You can eat better and you can workout. You just have to put to rest all those old excuse you let hold you back and trust me, I had many myself.

In four months, I can see my body changing and it keeps me excited. It has not been easy. It is a difficult process. BUT worth it! I don't always give OGTFO my full commitment. Some days I do better than others, but I am learning and everyday I am striving to make better choices and stay focused. A little effort and small changes really do go a long way. When I mess up, I refuse to get discouraged to the point of quitting like I used to because I know that I have the rest of my life to get this thing right. (Although I refuse to take that long) The "small" changes I've made have given me big results so that encourages me to keep it pushing until I accomplish all my goals in journey process. My body really wants to be healthy and I think I deserve to be healthy and be confident in my physical appearance. Becoming healthier and stronger in my physical body also encourages me to do better in other areas of my life. I refuse to be physically fit, but my spiritual life be all jacked up. If I can discipline myself to eat better than I can discipline my self to reach and achieve all my other goals! Finally, I am truly serious about fitness and good health holistically. I have decided to be a good steward of this temple, the talents, and visions God has given me and if you are ready to make that decision or if you have already began, be sure to check back every month for tips and tools to help you as we continue this journey together! It is time for you to become a healthier, happier, FINER you!

For more health and fitness information check back with us next month! Also, be sure to check out my blog for weekly tips like these and to keep up with my progress –

Ceanti’s Simple Tips Each month I will give some simple tips that I have learned that can us you reach your fitness goals. Some will be ones I have come up with along my journey, other will be some I get from other people. I am in no way an expert! You know the old saying, “Check with your doctor before beginning any exercise program?” Well, please do that!

Simple Tip #1 - Pray! BEST TIP EVER!! Getting Fit is a difficult process, especially after years of being undisciplined. Why would you leave this to your on strength? Ask God to help you! Use His strength! God is like, the Ultimate Accountability Partner! Ask Him to teach you what to do and to help you stay motivated. He will do it. He loves you and wants you to be your best you! We ask Him for everything else. Don’t leave your health and fitness out. It’s too important!

Simple Tip #2 - Make YOUR Mind Up! You can have everyone else in the world pushing and encouraging you, telling you you can do it, BUT until you decide you are worth being fit and healthy, and you decide that you want it bad enough, you will never do it! If you are like me you have been talking about it long enough. You’ve read enough books and articles and you’ve gotten enough information from Dr. Oz and The Doctors. It IS time to get started, but it is your choice. So what is it going to be?

Simple Tip #3 - Do Your Workout! Don’t let people talk you into getting a gym membership you KNOW you won’t be faithful to. Don’t agree to run a 10k this weekend if you know you haven’t even walked a block in years. Don’t do anything you know you have no desire to see through! Find a routine you can stick with and activities you enjoy so you’re not so easily discouraged and wanting to quit all the time. Fitness is for life! This isn’t about pleasing people, it’s about you getting healthier You can work up to the 10k!! Whatever you do, do it wholeheartedly, push yourself to go further than you think you can, and be faithful, Don't try to take the easy way out though. To see results you will have to work for it. Be dedicated and you will see results!!! But I firmly believe you should enjoy your workout even when you hate it.

Grace vs. The Law by Alton Eugene Sins Entrance and Effect on Mankind Adam sinned in the Garden. His act of disobedience brought sin into the world and made everyone after him sinners. Even though the law was not yet given, sin and its effects reigned over mankind and ultimately brought death to all men, even though they had not sinned according to the likeness of Adam. Since the law was not given until Moses, sin was not imputed during the time from Adam to Moses, however again the wages of sin, which is death, was still in effect. (Romans 5:12-14; Romans 5:19-21) The Law's Entrance and Effect on Us The Law came into effect through Moses. God gave him the commandments. These commandments were not so that we could live right, but were to reveal our sinfulness. The law was our tutor until Christ came on the scene. He is the fulfillment of the law. The law always revealed sin for what it was and strengthened its power over people. (1 Corinthians 15:56) It will always produce rebellion. It’s not by the works of the law that we are justified. It is by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. The Law is good. It’s Holy. It’s right, but it never can justify nor give power to a person to overcome sin. (I Timothy 1:9-11 -Who the Law is for, Romans 7:7-25 –Paul describing what it was like to live as a slave to sin through the law). Our Deliverance Through faith in Christ we are justified and made righteous. ONLY through Him. We cannot make ourselves righteous through our own good works of legalistic observances of the scriptures and commandments. We are the righteousness of God IN CHRIST. We are now to live our lives by faith in the Son of God and by His grace. His Spirit. His way. In Him. By Him. Through Him. His grace frees us from sin and empowers us to walk in the way of God, having dominion over sin. Grace empowers us to live for God. (Romans 6:14, Titus 2:11-14, Romans 3:24, Romans 7:6, 2 Corinthians 3:4-18— Explains the contrast between the "letter" (law) and the current ministry of the Holy Spirit., Colossians 2:14) Our Problem We begin to pervert the grace of God and the life He called us to in the Spirit to nothing more than a legalistic observance of Christian practices that we think makes us right in His sight if we follow them. Don’t misunderstand, there IS a way to walk before God as His children, but the idea that God loves us less or thinks less of us is silly. The enemy desires to use genuine spiritual practices of fasting, worship, or other acts of service and devotion to God against us, to pervert them into nothing more than a list of things to accomplish before God accepts us. God accepts us fully in Christ. PERIOD. Main Obligation Now -LOVE! Love Love Love! God makes things very simple for us. 1 John 3:22-23 “And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.” Very simple! This is the will of God! Believe in Jesus and love each other! The entire Christian life (ministry and all) comes from this. Love fulfills the Law (Romans 13:8, Galatians 5:14, James 2:8, Mark 12:28-34)

SPEAK Speak to my storm Lord and make it cease

Speak freedom to the things that have me bound

A calm, deep into my spirit I need you to release

Speak stability to my shaky ground

This storm has birthed such a major disaster

Speak clarity to my wandering direction

But if you speak it has to obey you master

Speak forgiveness to my transgression

Speak to my currents, winds and the roaring waves

Speak your gentle peace into my distress Speak comfort to my valley of loneliness

For when you speak everything behaves

Speak to my lightning that strikes the blows to my heart Speak healing to where I’ve been shattered and torn apart

Speak quietness to my booming thunder I know you’re able for you are an awesome wonder

Speak sunshine into my down pouring rain

Speak to my mountain; make it move out of my way Just one word Lord is all you have to say

Speak recovery to the things I put my hands on and made a big mess Speak restoration to my brokenness

Speak to the issues that I just can’t face Speak favor, mercy and amazing grace

So that I may see clearly how to navigate through Speak words of wisdom to the depths of my thirsty my pain soul Speak Lord and roll back my dark cloud My enemy that seeks to destroy me, no longer let it be allowed

Speak life to my character that my enemy has assassinated Speak relief to the hurt deep within that’s been permeated

Speak to the circumstances far beyond my control

Speak volumes of strength to where I am weak Please dear Lord, I need you to speak, speak, speak

© Elva Crawford Brown November, 2010


Left: Commissioner Johnson, Senator Johnson, Representative Pittman, and EmPOWERed Magazine Founder Lisa Baldwin Photo Credit: Patricia Smith

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EmPOWERed August 2012 Issue  
EmPOWERed August 2012 Issue  

Welcome to EmPOWERed Magazine your source of enlightening and informative articles and resources.