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GOSPEL ROADS Jan/Feb 2012 * $2.50

Genesis 1:1

W a l k i n g

w i t h

t h e

F a i t h f u l ;

L i v i n g

O u t

t h e

F a i t h

Church: Not as Usual Kingdom Tabernacle Christian Assembly

Pastors Shawn & Sonia Adams

Hope for the Hopeless Mission Teens, Inc. Freeing the Addicted

Go Back and Be Happy Turn Trial to Ministry

Our Health: The Lowdown on Lactose Intolerance; Unemployment: A Mental Issue? A HARRISON PUBLICATION

Marriage: Start Anew in Your Marriage

Parenting: Mothering Like Moses’ Mom

WWW.GOSPELROADS.COM


CONTENTS

Features: :Pastors Shawn & Sonia Adams

Cover Story

6

:Julie’s Remarkable Story

12

:Community Involvement

16

:Marriage Article

17

:Mothering like Moses’ Mom

20

:Hope For The Hopeless

21

:World Religion 25

Dr. Daniel Lee, Psy.D., CSP

Sharon Norris Elliott

Julie Papievis

Cover photo by Artakia Rivers

:In The News 8

Dee A. Jones, RN, MSN

Dianna Nicolai

DEPARTMENTS 3 Editor’s Word 4 Healthy Eating 9 Inspirational 10 Health & Temple Watch 14 After The Service

18 Top Gospel Music & Books 19 Movie Review “The Help” By Dianna Nicolai 22 Not Slotful In Business 26 Whorship With Us! 29 It’s A God Thing JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM

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George S. Harrison II Publisher Sharon Norris Elliott Editor-in-chief Chaz McCoy Web administrator Nathan Oneal Photographer Deborah Brown-Harris Administration

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Church: Not as Usual Kingdom Tabernacle Christian Assembly

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Pastors Shawn & Sonia Adams

Hope for the Hopeless Mission Teens, Inc. Freeing the Addicted

Go Back and Be Happy

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Turn Trial to Ministry

Our Health: The Lowdown on Lactose Intolerance; Unemployment: A Mental Issue? A HARRISON PUBLICATION

Marriage: Start Anew in Your Marriage

Parenting: Mothering Like Moses’ Mom

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GOSPELROADS.COM JAN/FEB 2012


Editor’s Word Here We Go Again!

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ou can tell you’re getting older when there are less pages to turn toward the end of the calendar and you hear yourself saying, “Can you believe it? It’s that time of year again: the holidays!” For kids, Christmas can’t come fast enough. For us adults, it always comes too fast. The holidays mean special gatherings, special meals, and special planning. They require extra time, extra exertion, and extra money. Michelle Magid, a psychiatrist at Seton Shoal Creek Hospital and an assistant professor at UT Southwestern in Austin says she sees four types of people during the holidays who are suffering from what she calls “holiday blues.” * 1. Some are stressed and overwhelmed because they are stretching themselves too thin. 2. Some are grieving a loss, thinking about loved ones who’ve passed away or who aren’t present at family gatherings. 3. Others are seasonal affective patients, folks who are more down during the winter months in general. 4. The final type of patient she sees is those who are clinically depressed. If we’re feeling stretched, overwhelmed, or depressed, let’s at least let it not be for reason number one above. God instructs us plainly, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV). Especially at this most sacred and beloved season, when we are celebrating the birth of our Savior, we Christians of all people should be the most joyous, yet many times we’re the most harried. Here’s where Gospel Roads comes in. Our new publication is designed to uplift you, encourage you, and assist you in every season and in every situation. To that end, our premiere issue boasts such articles as “Hope for the Hopeless,” telling of a fabulous program that helps folks overcome addictions; “Go Back and Be Happy,” a powerful story of God’s amazing healing ability; and “Move Closer to Daddy,” our inspirational piece persuading us to snuggle up with God. You’ll read of an exciting “New Ministry “Paradigm” going on at an Atlanta, Georgia church; and you’ll read of a “Cure for Unemployment.” Even our movie review is all about “The Help.”

So welcome to our fledgling publication! We pray you find enlightenment and encouragement, and even complete this issue with excitement looking forward to the next. Thank you for taking time out of your busy holiday schedule to read our publication and to join us on this new journey. I even have an idea to cut your Christmas shopping time down to almost zero and give a gift that keeps on giving all year long: present all your friends with subscriptions to Gospel Roads. (It was worth a try!) Oh yes, and Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas. Living Significantly, Sharon Norris Elliott Editor-in-chief

* Crystal Chavez and Nathan Bernier. “Seton Psychiatrist Lists 4 Ways People Get Depressed Over Holidays.” Kutnews.org. JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM

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Gospel Roads Says Let’s Do Peaches Photos: Courtesy of Life’s a Feast

CARAMELIZED PEACH UPSIDE-DOWN CAKE 4 ripe peaches (or pears) 8 Tbs, about ½ cup (120 g) unsalted butter, divided, and softened to room temperature ¾ cup (100 g) packed dark brown sugar ½ tsp ground nutmeg 1 ¼ cups (180 g) flour 1 cup + 2 Tbs (150 g) granulated sugar 2 tsps baking powder ½ tsp salt ½ tsp ground cinnamon ½ cup (125 ml) milk 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 tsp vanilla

Courtesy of: Life’s a Feast

Preheat the oven to 425°F (220°C). Have ready a 9- or 10-inch (23 or 26 cm) cake pan with at least 2 inch (5 cm) sides. Prepare the brown sugar caramel: In a small bowl, using your fingertips, work 4 Tbs (60 g) of the softened butter, the brown sugar and the nutmeg together until it is well combined and smooth. Scrape into the cake pan and press and spread the brown sugar/butter mixture to cover the bottom of the cake pan entirely and evenly. Set aside. Peel the peaches, remove and discard the seeds and slice into even slices. Lay the side by side in a circular fashion over the brown sugar. If you prefer, you can just spread them around willy nilly. Make the cake batter: In a small bowl, stir together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. In a medium to large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, cream the remaining 4 Tbs (60 g) of the softened butter. Add the dry ingredients, beating alternately with the milk, until all of the dry ingredients and milk are blended in and smooth. Beat in the vanilla. Add the eggs and beat until smooth. 4 GOSPELROADS.COM JAN/FEB 2012

Pour the cake batter on top of the peaches and carefully spread to even it out, being careful not to move the peach slices. Pop into the preheated hot oven and bake 30 – 35 minutes until the cake is set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. The cake should be browned and puffed. You should see the caramel bubbling up a bit around the edges. If the cake seems to be browning too fast, simply cover it with a piece of aluminum foil. Take the cake out of the oven and place on a cooling rack. Allow to cool for just about 2 or 3 minutes. Invert your serving platter onto the top of the cake pan and, very carefully, using either a kitchen towel or oven mitts, making sure you have a very good grip on both the hot cake pan and the serving platter, flip the two over together to invert. You should now have the cake platter on the bottom holding the cake and the pan covering the cake bottom side up. Leave to cool for 2 or 3 minutes. Carefully lift off the cake pan (careful, it is still hot!) straight up so as not to move the cake on the platter. I had excellent non-stick results using a non-stick cake pan. Allow the cake to cool. The cake is incredibly light yet moist and tender.


Photos Courtesy of Life’s a Feast

The chicken tumbles off of the bone, tender and moist, filled with the wonderful flavors of far-off lands. The peaches melt on the tongue while the almonds add the perfect, necessary crunch. The sweet and sour mingle, play off of one another and create an incredible savory sensation of Middle Eastern flavors, vibrant and colorful, making for one of the best dishes we have ever eaten.

SWEET & SOUR CHICKEN WITH PEACHES Ralph Waldo Emerson Courtesy of: Life’s a Feast

1 chicken, cut into pieces (I used 2 thick breast filets, 2 thighs, 2 legs) or equivalent in your preferred pieces 1 medium onion, chopped ¼ cup (60 – 65 ml) pomegranate molasses, syrup or concentrate 2 Tbs prepared ketchup 1 Tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/3 cup (65 g) sugar 1 tsp salt Pinch saffron threads ½ cup whole, blanched almonds or walnut pieces, coarsely chopped 3 cups (750 ml) water 4 ripe peaches, peeled, each cut in half then each half into 3 or 4 thick slices. Olive oil for browning and sautéing Heat a couple of glugs of olive oil in a large heavy pot or Dutch oven with a lid (less if your chicken is fatty). Rinse and pat dry the chicken pieces and then brown lightly on all sides in the hot oil. Remove the browned pieces to a plate. While the chicken pieces are browning, combine the pome-

granate molasses/syrup/concentrate, the ketchup, the lemon juice, the sugar, salt and a pinch of saffron threads. In the same oil (the chicken may have released enough fat to fry the onion in, but if not add a tablespoon or so more olive oil if needed), sauté the chopped onion until golden. Return the chicken pieces to the pot with the onion, add the mixed ingredients and the coarsely chopped almonds and add enough of the water to just cover the chicken. Stir, bring just to a boil, lower the heat to low and cover the pot loosely, allowing just a crack to allow steam to escape so the juices can thicken. Allow to simmer for one hour. Check the level of the liquid every now and then. It should be thickening but don’t let all of it evaporate. Add water as needed, if needed. I did not. About halfway through the cooking time, add the thick peach slices, stirring them into the sauce very gently so as not to break them. JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM

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Photographer: Artakia Rivers

Cover: Story

Church: Not As It’s Usually Done! By Sharon Norris Elliott Editor-in-Chief

Many times, we don’t hear the back-story of a dynamic ministry until after it’s a national or international marvel. Then we wonder about the leaders: where did they come from, who are they really, how did they come up with their unique style? After meeting Sonia at a writers’ conference and then interviewing her and her husband about their modus operendi, I felt as though I had just glimpsed into a phenomenal future. The Adams’ back-story sounds regular enough. Although Shawn sensed his call to the ministry as a child, he first time I read the word “paradigm,” I prolike many other pastors, he tried his best to dodge it. He nounced it “pair-a-dig-um.” I knew as much about ran for six years. During that time, he chose to attend the the word’s meaning as I did its pronunciation. University of Texas at Austin, known to students of his Being a wordsmith, new words fascinate me, so I era as “the party school.” And Shawn took partying literlooked it up. A paradigm is “a philosophical and theoretical ally. As president of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, he dove in framework of a scientific school or discipline within which to the lifestyle, enjoying life as a full-fledged frat guy. One theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments weekend, ready to go to a beach party, he got so sick that he performed in support of them are formulated; broadly: a couldn’t go out for several days. God got his attention. After philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind.” In more internal wrestling, a talk with his best friend who had other words, a paradigm (pronounced pair-a-dime) is a also been called to preach, and a very vivid dream in which generally accepted concept, belief, or example; it’s basically he was standing in front of people teaching the word of the way things are usually done. God, he fully surrendered and entered the ministry in May When one speaks of a new paradigm, what’s being disof 1992. cussed is something being done in an uncommon manner; Sonia Adams, Pastor Shawn’s beautiful wife, was a PK (pasa manner in which other organizations in its class don’t tor’s kid), the kind many people expected pastor’s kids to function. A most unusual place to find a new paradigm, be – rebellious. She went through college, graduated, and then, is in the church. Let me introduce you to Kingdom defiantly launched into ill-advised relationships. Those liaiTabernacle Christian Assembly where Pastors Shawn and sons and other of life’s hard knocks brought her back to the Sonia Adams serve as overseers and visionaries. Kingdom God of her childhood. “When I said yes [to God],” Pastor Tabernacle provides us with a new paradigm on how to “do Sonia relates, “God called me to preach. The call was a gut church.” feeling that I was supposed to do something for God. I was 6 GOSPELROADS.COM JAN/FEB 2012

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Photographer: Artakia Rivers

nor female” in Christ.) So what would you expect from a new paradigm couple but a new paradigm church? When asked about the start of their ministry, they responded, “We thought we’d start preaching and they’d come. Over the course of the last 10 years, what we thought church was, was not what God wanted. We went through a season of emptying ourselves and being tested. God wanted us to do what the people needed and we were challenged to seek God for His vision. The journey brought us to our knees. “The hardest part of building a church,” the pastors said, “was (understanding the) systems and the structure. We went to others and educated compelled. [Even today], I hear God Although they work very closely through my passion.” together, they had to find their equilib- ourselves.” Church growth experts taught them three words to always Part of what makes the ministry of rium, balancing their obvious, Godkeep in mind as they moved forward: Kingdom Tabernacle Christian Assem- given gifts with God’s obvious order. easy, obvious, strategic. They had to bly so special is the relationship of its Shawn says, “It was necessary for me get the religious church out of their leaders. Lots of churches and denomi- to step up and her to step back for us nations have particular trouble with to be in balance.” Sonia adds, “The pas- system and get the kingdom into them. “The church is about Christ actually women in the ministry. When I asked toring flows out of our balanced marcoming in and Jesus actually invading the Adamses how it worked for them riage. It took me a minute to underto both be pastors, they responded, stand his headship, but understanding lives, changing people into His image for real.” “Every couple and ministry is unique. the order makes it possible to operate With two, there is generally a lead per- smoothly together.” The Assemblies of So what is this paradigm shift? It is son. For us, we strive to be united in God denomination under which their expressed in their vision statement: everything we do. We’re one flesh. We’d church operates fully affirms the min- Real Christ, Real Community, Real have to become very united.” istry giftings and spiritual authority of change. Kingdom Tabernacle Christian Assembly is not personality driven. Pastor Shawn went on to explain, “As women in the church. (See Galatians The Adamses do not emphasize the husband, God was holding me ac3:28 which says there is “neither male See cover story on Pg. 24 countable to be the lead visionary. To fulfill what God wanted me to do, Sonia needed to walk not behind me or under me, but to let her gifts flourish. We are one pastor in the same way we are one flesh. I am not dictatorial (all the time); we journey together. She has grown to respect my position; my responsibility as the lead pastor. Things rise and fall on me as the leader.” Interestingly enough, Shawn confided that operating as a Type-A leader is not his mentality or personality. He identifies his leadership style as most like Moses, the reluctant leader who would just as soon tell God, “If you can find somebody else, do so, God.” Sonia Photographer: Artakia Rivers is the go-getter who can take charge. JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 7


In The News Lawsuit: US man fired for refusing to wear ‘666’ By GREG BLUESTEIN Associated Press

ATLANTA (AP) _ A U.S. factory worker claims he was fired after he refused to wear a `666’ sticker he feared would doom him to eternal damnation. Billy E. Hyatt says in a federal lawsuit that he was fired in 2009 after he refused to wear the sticker proclaiming that his factory had been accident-free for 666 days. That number is the ``mark of the beast’’ in the Bible’s Book of Revelation describing the apocalypse. Hyatt says he is a devout Christian and told a manager the sticker would violate his beliefs. He was told his beliefs were ``ridiculous.’’ He was suspended and fired a few days later. The company, now known as Berry Plastics Corp., did not return several calls seeking comment.

4 Mission workers from Indiana shot in Haiti KOKOMO, Ind. (AP) _ A Kokomo church says six gunmen broke into an apartment where mission workers from Indiana were staying in Haiti and shot four people during an attempted robbery. Oakbrook Church mission coordinator Gretchen Lee says none of the workers was fatally wounded in the shooting late Thursday night. The Kokomo Tribune reports two workers were shot in the thigh, one was shot in the elbow and another man’s thumb was grazed by a bullet. Another man had injured feet after leaping from a second-floor window to run and get help. Oakbrook senior pastor Mark Malin says the workers were treated for their injuries and are recovering. The mission workers were expected to fly back to the United States on Friday.

Church official charged with possessing child porn WAUKESHA, Wis. (AP) _ A Lutheran synod official is charged in Waukesha County with downloading hundreds of images of child pornography from the Internet. A criminal complaint says 52-year-old Joel Hockmuth told investigators that he has been struggling with an addiction to viewing child pornography. Hockmuth has been suspended as communications director for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, known as WELS. Hockmuth appeared in Waukesha County Circuit Court Thursday on three counts of possession of child pornography. He’s being held on $20,000 bail. WELS President Mark Schroeder (SHRAY’-der) says he’s ``shocked and devastated’’ by the accusations. The Journal Sentinel (http://bit.ly/s42a4U ) says Hockmuth was arrested earlier this week after investigators searched his home and his WELS office in Wauwatosa (wah-wah-TOH’-sah). 8 GOSPELROADS.COM JAN/FEB 2012

DOJ investigates Lomita over Islamic center LOMITA, Calif. (AP) _ A land-use decision by the city of Lomita to stop an Islamic center from expanding has become the subject of a federal investigation to determine whether the decision was guided by religious discrimination. This week, federal investigators interviewed 13 people who were involved in the March 2010 decision to deny an application for expansion from the Islamic Center of South Bay, according to The Los Angeles Times. City officials say the unanimous landuse decision was made based on space constraints, not religion. ``It surprises me that the federal government would spend so many resources second-guessing this pretty basic land-use decision,’’ Lomita City Attorney Christi Hogin told the Times. But Islamic Center officials say they believe the city has violated laws that prohibit discrimination against religious institutions. ``There was a feeling that they just don’t want us here’’ at the March meeting, said Iraj Ershaghi, a founding member of the center. Ershaghi said City Council members bowed to pressure from residents to reject the proposal. The Islamic Center property was purchased in 1985, and the Muslim community has bought adjacent structures to expand services into nine buildings. The expansion plan would combine the buildings.


Inspirational

Move Closer To Daddy By: Sharon Norris Elliott

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y pastor tells the story of needing to discipline his children. Like me and many other parents who love their children, he still believes it necessary and in order to use spanking as one of the corrective measures God placed at a parent’s disposal (See Proverbs 13:24; 22:15; 23:13-14; and 29:15). As his boys faced their upcoming spanking due to a transgression of theirs, the younger one was overheard giving the older one some sage advice: If you move closer to Daddy while he spanks you, it won’t hurt as much. During the time of Isaiah, the children of Israel were being disciplined for turning against God. As God allowed other nations to rise up and punish them, the prophet writes, “For the people do not turn to Him who strikes them, nor do they seek the LORD of hosts” Isaiah 9:13 (NKJ). The only One who could help them was the One disciplining them because they continued to defy Him. It’s difficult to turn toward the one disciplining us. Teenagers are especially good at holding grudges against a parent who has placed them on punishment, or against teachers who dole out a discipline for their wrongdoing.

Adults are no better. We are ready to defend ourselves when a mistake or a wrong is pointed out, rather than accept the rebuke, correct our erroneous word or deed, and make the appropriate apologies if necessary. Teens and adults alike turn away from the disciplinarian rather than toward the one who loved us enough to point out that we were wrong. Hebrews 12:11 says, “Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (NKJ). And Proverbs 27:6a says, “Faithful are the wounds of a friend…” (NKJ). The NIV Bible translates that Proverbs verse as, “Wounds from a friend can be trusted…” In the same spirit that God does it, our parents, teachers, and even caring friends discipline and correct us because they love us. They simply do not want us to continue to act a fool. My pastor’s son had the right idea. The next time you are being disciplined by someone who loves you, move closer. From up close, you’ll experience the love in the chastisement, and by changing your ways, you’ll experience the peace that right living (righteousness) can bring. And especially remember the advice when God is disciplining you. Be a quick study and “move closer to Daddy.” ________________________ (C)2011 - Sharon inspires her audiences to live significantly! Pick up a copy of her latest book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, and follow her ministry at www.LifeThatMatters.net.

Perhaps you’ve heard of the armor of God and have even tried appropriating the pieces into your daily wardrobe. However, have you ever thought to take off the outfits you’re wearing underneath? In her new book, Power Suit: The Armor of God Fit for the Feminine Frame, Sharon explains, our old lifestyle “fit so well and we were so comfortable with it that now as Christians, it’s hard for some of us to take it off.” The book goes on to explain that “only a soldier adequately attired can enter into battle… alert to the onslaughts yet protected from them.” Pick up your copy now available in stores and online. Check out Sharon’s website at www.lifethatmatters.net for more information on her writing, speaking, and teaching; and subscribe to her daily devotional blog at www.sanewriter.wordpress. JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 9 com.


Sound Mind The Cure For Unemployment By Dr. Daniel Lee, Psy.D., CSP Retooling Strategies for the Chronically Unemployed

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esearch has demonstrated some significant outcomes for the chronically unemployed and underemployed. Less educated workers experience longer periods of unemployment. Layoffs appear to diminish people’s health and increase symptoms of depression. Men with a history of high seniority and stable work histories are twice as likely to die during the first year of job loss. Middle aged individuals who are jobless tend to become more isolated and disengaged from their social networks which may impact longterm re-employment options because they are using their social networks less. I have noticed that when individuals • Take a transparent approach and honestly assess your current personal and job related skills in order to access employment opportunities. You want to complete a realistic and transparent inventory of your skills and assets. You may be able to enter a new job market based on your personal gifts and talents. Read Proverbs 4:5-13.

have been unemployed for more than a year or have become chronically unemployed, they suffer from a kind of mental illness that can be described as a “despondent spirit that can become worse and worse over time and may lead to a low output lifestyle.” These folks all have one thing in common. They have become overpowered by hopelessness. It’s imperative that they cure themselves by changing this mindset and that means tapping into God’s economy which may mean learning a lesson about trust and dependence on God. “So Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Have faith in God’” Mark 11:22 (NKJ). There’s great news if you find yourself in the above predicament. To make your transformation, consider the following strategies and reference these scriptures during your journey:

• Develop strategies to manage the stress associated with your employment search experience by tapping into God’s promises. Additionally, resist the temptation of “going at it alone” because God provides resources that are usually closer than you think, and are likely in your support network. Use the people God put in your life; they are there to build you up in your weakest moments. Read Hebrews 13:5-6. Daniel Lee, Psy.D., CSP, is a Philadelphia-based author, psychologist, and certified life coach. He co-authored Do What You’re Built For. For more information check out www.dwybf.com or www.n-psy-t.com 10 GOSPELROADS.COM JAN/FEB 2012

• Expand your employment problem-solving process from finding an employment opportunity to creating a business opportunity. Leverage your education and training in non-traditional ways to increase your possibilities. Stretch your possibilities; you have the gift of time. Use your time to construct opportunities for yourself, research how your job skills and personal talents are being used in non-traditional areas, then work to create the business opportunity. Read Proverbs 3:5-6.


Temple Watch Lactose Intolerant? Now what? stool. Lactic acid and other fatty acids are detected in stool samples when lactose has been indigested. It is important By Dee A. Jones, RN, MSN to note that lactose intolerance is uncommon in infants and children younger than two-years-old. Always contact a health professional to determine the cause of digestive problems in children. actose intolerance is a perplexing condition often Finally, keep the following points in mind: confused with cow‘s milk allergies. Whereas cow’s milk • Yogurt is a good source of calcium and is low in allergy develops during infancy and ingestion of said prod- lactose. Yogurt with live cultures is well-tolerated, but uct is a medical emergency, lactose frozen yogurt may not be tolerated intolerance is a lactase enzyme as it does not contain live or bacterial deficiency which begins gradually cultures. around age two and progresses into • Make sure you are getting enough adulthood. The cause is heredicalcium and vitamin D. Both are tary in primary lactase deficiency, needed for proper absorption of but secondary lactase deficiency calcium for the body to use. People is caused by trauma to the small with lactose intolerance are at risk of intestine, chemo therapy, or chronic calcium and vitamin D deficiency. diarrheal illness like Crohn’s or • Exposure to sunlight helps the body celiac disease. to absorb vitamin D naturally. Your The inability to digest dairy proddoctor or registered dietitian can asucts causes varying degrees of sist you with healthy ways to incordiscomfort such as abdominal pain, porate vitamins and calcium in your nausea, bloating, gas, and/or diarmeals. rhea. Symptoms vary from person to person. However, if anyone has difficulty breathing after ingesting National Digestive Diseases Informafood of any kind, seek medical attion Clearinghouse (NDDIC) tention immediately. In such cases, A service of the National Institute of the person is probably experiencDiabetes and Digestive and Kidney ing an allergic reaction rather than Diseases (NIDDK), National Instisimply experiencing discomfort due tutes of Health (NIH): http://digesto lactose intolerance. tive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/ Two tests are used to diagnose lactose intolerance: lactoseintolerance/ the hydrogen breath test and the stool acidity test. Both tests are not invasive and are administered by a medical professional. Hydrogen is measured in a person’s breath Dee A. Jones, RN, MSN, is Senior Regional Care Coordiafter a lactose-loaded drink is ingested. Normal breath nator at CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield and president of contains very little hydrogen, but high levels of hydroLight 2 World Inc. She recently published and recorded the gen are detected when lactose is indigested by the lactose acclaimed “Nurses’ Anthem”; earned a master’s degree in intolerant person. The stool acidity test is administered to nursing education, and is a doctoral student at Walden infants and young children to measure acidity levels in the University, MN. JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 11

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Tr i a l Mi n i s t r y Photo by Al Buschauer

Julie Papievis died in a car accident. But God had other plans...

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n May 10, 1993, my life was changed forever when a teenager who was speeding, ran a red light. In this horrendous car wreck, I suffered a severe brain stem injury and medically died, rating a 3 on the Glascow Coma Scale, the lowest number possible. I was essentially dead. According to the medical experts, 96% of the people with such a severe brain stem injury either die within the first 24 hours or remain permanently comatose. The few who survive typically face a nonfunctional life. Paralyzed and still in a coma, I was transferred to the locked brain injury wing of a rehabilitation hospital. After being there a couple of weeks, I awoke with vivid memories of my death experience. You can read all about the miracle of my awakening and recovery 12

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in my book, Go Back and Be Happy. But now I’d like to tell you about my wonderful experience. I was in an open area. It was all round, curved, no corners, no beginning or end and no floor or ceiling. It was “light,” with the brightest light coming from a long narrow aisle way to my left. I was drawn to go there, but I felt an unexplained presence. I turned, and there were my two deceased grandmothers! I was suddenly before them and they looked to be the elderly women I knew, but they were happy and healthy. I was so happy to see them, although I knew I was there because I was dead. They lovingly told me that “I couldn’t go with them. I had to go back.” They also told me that my body would heal and to “go back and be happy.” As my grandmothers said those words, I felt what seemed to be a “blanket” of the Holy Spirit being wrapped around me. I knew at that moment that everything was going to be O.K. The next memory I have was waking

up from my month-long coma at the rehabilitation hospital. I can thankfully recall the memory of my grandmothers in heaven anytime. Living with disabilities from a severe brain stem injury is still a bit stressful, but I know that our Lord knows exactly what is happening and He has a plan for my life. When people hear that I phoned


the driver who hit me, they are very surprised, but forgiveness freed me to truly move ahead with my life, to move into God’s plan for me. I needed to forgive to put the events of that horrible night behind me. Only then could I begin to turn around and look forward. I believe that I am still here to share my story with others to give them hope in difficult times, those times when we all are looking for a little light at the end of the tunnel. Because of what I’ve been through and experienced, I know our Lord loves us, is here with us, and is aware of our hardships, even while we are in the midst of our most difficult times. Attitude isn’t everything we need in life, but we need the right attitude to get started. It also puts us on the path to believing we can conquer what lies ahead for each one of us--as frightening and unknown as the future may be. As Margaret McSweeney, my co-author of Go back and Be Happy

says, “Unknown and difficult circumstances often require a compass to help us navigate through difficult times.” That is where faith and gratitude come in. I believe gratitude begins with faith. If we truly believe that our Lord has a divine plan for our lives (and He does), then how could we NOT be grateful enough to ask Him to show it to us? Then we simply ask Him for the grace

I felt what seemed to be a “blanket” of the Holy Spirit being wrapped around me. to follow, with His guidance and as best we can, the path He has put before us. Not so easy, I know, because we have a tendency to get in our own way. The Lord has blessed my life abundantly. Not in material ways, but He does provide exactly what I need as He

opens the doors for me to share His story of hope. I completed my book, Go Back and Be Happy (Lion Hudson), which tells the story of my severe brain stem injury, death experience, and miraculous recovery. I am now blessed to mentor and give hope to brain injury survivors and their families. God has opened up avenues for me to have a speaking ministry to various church organizations, businesses, and groups of students, primarily from middle schools to universities, including many driver’s education programs. Last year I met Lani Netter, a lovely Christian woman, who is a Hollywood producer. She is working with me to bring my story of hope to people all over the world through film. It is not an easy process, but yes God had blessed me abundantly! So stay tuned! Also please visit my web site at www.gobackandbehappy.com to read more about my story.

Julie’s Book “There is no better teacher than experience. Julie’s story is sure to touch and inspire the heart of every reader. Julie is a believer and a survivor, and she’s living proof that God answers prayer. This book will serve as an incredible source of encouragement and much needed hope for the victims of brain injuries and their families.” by Felicia Middlebrooks

Helpful Resources Brain Injury Association of Illinois www.biail.org

Pearl Girls, founded by co-author Margaret McSweeney www.pearlgirls.info

Midwest Brain Injury Clubhouse www.braininjuryclubhouse.org

Spinal Cord Injury Association of Illinois www.sci-illinois.org

Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago www.ric.org

Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital - Wheaton, IL www.marianjoy.org JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM

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Gospel Roads Corinthians Missionary Baptist Church

God’s Throne Missionary Baptist Church

Rev. Dr. Timothy J. Dunham Sr., 1st Lady Beverly Dunham, Lee E. Cook, & Deacon Bruce Cook

White Rose Church Of God In Christ Dr. Ernest C. Bass & Eddie Foster

Emmanuel Missionary Baptist Church

Bishop George D. McKinney & Rev. Nathaniel A. Bullock

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Dr. Samuel Smith, Jr., Pastor GOSPELROADS.COM JAN/FEB 2012

Want to see your picture here? Please noneal@gospelroads.com or upload your p


“After The Service”

New Life Worship Center C.O.G.I.C

Progressive Community Church

Pastor Elder Thurnell Clayton, Jr. & 1st Lady Mary H. Clayton

White Rose Church Of God In Christ

Shirley Cox

God’s Throne Missionary Baptist Church

LaWonna Terry & Mom Ophelia Terry

email your picture to Nathan O’neal at photo to our website: www.gospelroads.com Photography by Nathan O’neal

Sharmaine Parker

JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM

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Church Community Involvement

Neb. Group Connects Grandparents Raising Grandkids By JOHN HUTHMACHER Hastings Tribune HASTINGS, Neb. (AP) _ A support group at Faith Lutheran Church is giving grandparents raising grandchildren a place to share their triumphs and tribulations. Formed in May, the group meets Wednesdays at the church to swap stories, hear educational programming and share resources. Child care is provided free. Vicki Fisher, director of the church’s Family Life Center, said the group was organized to meet a perceived need in the community. While there are no shortage of support groups locally, none deals with the unique challenges grandparents face when raising or helping to raise grandchildren, she said. ``Our Family Life Committee just thought there were lots of grandparents trying to raise grandchildren in the community,’’ she said. ``This is a great opportunity for them to meet each other socially and get connected.’’ Pam Baker facilitates the program for Faith Lutheran. As one who has helped raise her own grandson from an early age, she understands firsthand the importance of having a place to turn when challenges arise. ``I think just having somebody there to go to that you can actually sit down and feel comfortable and share your feelings with is important,’’ she said. ``I think there are a lot of grandparents out there who probably need a little bit of encouragement or support.’’ It is Baker’s role to keep all feedback shared between the grandparents nonjudgmental. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to sharing feelings and emotions, she said. ``I don’t feel like I’m a teacher or instructor at all,’’ she said. ``I’m just there to make sure everybody feels comfortable, and if they have a concern, they are able to vent it without being criticized or anybody saying anything negative. ``We all go through something. We just have to support them whatever they’re going through. We’re just there to 16 GOSPELROADS.COM JAN/FEB 2012

listen to what they have to say.’’ Baker said. In between conversations, the group may also watch videos from ``The Five Love Signs of Children’’ series. But mostly they talk, Baker said, sharing their concerns and struggles from the week with their peers. ``It started out being real structured and kind of evolved to where now the grandparents come in and discuss how their week is going,’’ she said. ``It’s turned into more of a way of getting out their feelings about what is going on in their lives with their grandchildren. ``We don’t have any real structure anymore. Whoever wants to lets us know how things are going. It’s more or less kind of whatever topics come up.’’ Della Bader, of Hastings, is a 59-year-old mother and grandmother. Besides sharing her home with her two grown children, she also provides day care for her grandchildren, ages 5 and 3. To her, the true value of the group is that it allows her to discuss the cares and worries of her week with others able to identify with her day-to-day ordeals. ``Kids are different nowadays,’’ Bader said. ``Being older, you just try to keep up with things like computers and technology, but these kids know a whole lot more. It helps to know others are going through some of the same things.’’


Start Anew

in Your

I

Marriage

By Jewell R. Powell t is November 2011 and Christmas will be here grasp on what a Godly marriage should be. Below are three before you know it. This year, 2011, has been a primary purposes for your marriage to help you know rough one. A new year brings refreshment and where to begin as you rebuild or rejuvenate your relationthe excitement of starting over. It’s a chance to ship. do things differently - to set and meet new goals. 1. Your marriage has the purpose of bringing glory to God. However, why should we wait? Let’s commit to (Colossians 3:17) making our marriages better and stronger at the As a part of a God-ordained union, when you and your end of 2011 than they were in the beginning of the year. spouse made your wedding vows, you committed yourGod designed marriage, and He can help us heal, repair, or selves to each other and to God. When you remain true to just rejuvenate ours. Just as a writer understands if a piece those vows and strive to work toward a loving marriage, is worth writing, it’s worth rewriting and rewriting and you are bringing glory and honor to God who created your rewriting, we married folks must see the marriage commit- union and accepted the vows you made back when you ment as worth building and rebuilding and rebuilding and made them. rebuilding. The divine calling to make our marriages work 2. Your marriage has the purpose of working to show God’s rests on the lives of all couples whose marriages God has grace and love to another. (Philippians 2:3-4) solemnized and blessed. By the way, making our marriages Sacrificing your own wants and desires to serve work does not mean living in misery and suffering through another is one of the ultimate callings on a God-follower’s life in a lackluster relationship. It means doing the work— life. In a marriage, you have the perfect opportunity to do the hard stuff—to make our marriages reflect that which this on a daily basis. It isn’t always easy, and it doesn’t alGod designed them to be. ways come naturally, but striving each day to put the other God’s Idea of a Healthy Marriage: Where to Begin If you are person first allows you to be a living example of God’s love Continued.. See Marriage pg 23 interested in refreshing your marriage, have a firm and grace. JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 17


G o s p e l R o a d s’ Ent e r t ai nm e nt & R e v i e w s

Gospel Roads Top 10 Gospel Music :

1 James Fortune & FIYA: The Gospel Mix Volume 4 2 Lisa Page-Brooks: Strong 3 ForEver Jones: Get Ready 4 Marvin Sapp: Here I Am 5 Brian Courtney Wilson: Just Love 6 Vashawn Mitchell: Triumphant 7 Hezekiah Walker & LFC.: Souled Out 8 Fred Hammond: Love Unstoppable 9 JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise: Resting On His Promise 10 Vanessa Bell-Armstrong Live: The Experience

Gospel Roads’ Top 10 Christian Music: 1 Building 429: Listen To The Sound 2 Mandisa: Stronger 3 Sanctus Real: The Redeemer 4 Laura Story: Blessings 5 Casting Crowns: Glorious Day 6 Peter Furler: Reach 7 Jamie-Grace: Hold Me 8 Tenth Avenue North: You Are More 9 Sidewalk Prophets: You Love Me Anyway 10 Tobymac: Tonight

G o s p e l R o a d s’ To p 1 0 B o o k s Radical Taking Back Your Faith from the American Dream by David Platt

SCARS An Amazing End-Times Prophecy Novel Thriller Christian Fiction by Patience Prence

The Shack

Fearless Imagine Your Life Without Fear.

Lion of Babylon

Green It was good and it was called... Green

A note from God.

by Kevin Malarkey

by Max Lucado

American woman providing humanitarian aid.

by William P. Young

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by Ted Dekke

GOSPELROADS.COM JAN/FEB 2012

by Davis Bunn

Crazy Love

The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven

Overwhelmed by a Relentless God by Francis Chan

The 5 Love Languages.

Forgotten God

The Secret to Love That Lasts. by Gary Chapman

by Francis Chan

Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit


Gospel Roads’ Movie Review

Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

The cast of “The Help,” from left: Viola Davis, Jessica Chastain, Octavia Spencer, Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard.

T

he Help, an adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel, is set in Jackson, Mississippi, in the early 1960s, near the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The movie stars Emma Stone as Skeeter, Viola Davis as Aibileen, and Octavia Spencer as Minny. Skeeter is a fresh-from-college Southern young lady expected by family and friends to find a man, get married, and start raising a family. But Skeeter has other ideas. She wants to write the great American novel. In order to get writing experience, she takes a job with the Jackson Journal writing an advice column on cleaning. Since she knows nothing about cleaning, Skeeter seeks permission from her friend Elizabeth to get the information from her maid, Aibileen. It is while spending time with Aibileen that Skeeter gets an idea to write a book from the maid’s perspective about what it’s like to work for white families. The book is a dangerous undertaking and puts not only the lives of the maids and their families at risk, but also Skeeter’s. Halfway through the movie, TV news bursts in to tell of the killing of civil rights worker Medger Evers, emphasizing how high the risks are if Skeeter and the maids are found out. The actions of members of Jackson’s Junior League and how they affect the maids is a major part of the story as well. Hilly Holbrook (played by Bryce Dallas Howard), president

©Touchstone Pictures. All Rights Reserved.

By Dianna Nicolai

of the Junior League, is pushing for a bill to require employers to build separate bathrooms for the Help in garages or other outdoor areas. The rationale? “They” have different germs. A lifetime of pain can be seen in Aibileen’s reticent attitude. She has been not only the maid, but also nanny and surrogate mother to 17 white children. She tells that she is a maid just like her mother was, and much like her grandmother was who served whites as a house slave.

Minnie is the more flamboyant of characters in this movie and gains most of the laughs, even though her story is the most difficult to watch. In addition to the painful circumstances in her personal life, she suffers the consequences of her actions when she rebels by using the bathroom inside her boss’s home (Hilly) and gets fired. The revenge Hilly exacts is both crude, yet surprisingly deserved. The movie made me both choke back tears and laugh loudly. It skirted the violence, but made me feel ashamed of the race I am a part of that could have caused such pain to others. The Help contains some vulgarity and using the Lord’s name in vain. It has a PG-13 rating for thematic material. JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 19


Mothering like Moses’ Mom “Have your plans in order, because you will be moving out of my house.”

By Sharon Norris Elliott Although criticized by others about this warning I used to give to my sons, the boys always understood I was encouraging them toward maturity. To be honest, this saying was a reminder as much for me as for them. No matter how much I enjoyed raising them, time would continue to march, they would become men, and I would have to let them go out into the world. How could I handle this inevitability with charm and grace and how would I know that they were really ready? Moses’ mother faced this same issue. Moses was born at a very difficult time in the life of his people, the Israelites. They toiled as slaves under an Egyptian Pharaoh who had no respect for their God and feared the vast size of his slave population, so he came up with a plan to stunt their growth. “Then Pharaoh gave this order to all his people: “Every boy that is born you must throw into the Nile, but let every girl live.”” Ex. 1:22 (NIV) My sons entered life in the midst of a hostile society too. Drug abuse, child kidnappings, and terrorist attacks pale in comparison to the danger of political correctness that deems it wrong to espouse the Christian principles I planned to teach them. This world would just as soon throw my sons “into the river” than hear their testimony and see them live lives that glorify their God. As I read through those first two chapters of Exodus, I watched how Moses’ mother handled the situation and found guidance for raising my boys. First, his mother studied Moses and hid him as long as she could (Ex. 2:2). She recognized what kind of child she had and took it upon herself to protect the valuable gift he was. It is the responsibility of parents to study their children and protect them when they are young. We should be aware of our children’s proclivities and keep them from harm. When my boys were in preschool, the teachers did not understand my negative reaction when they showed the children a PG-13 video. At that young age, I took great care about what their little eyes saw, because their little minds were recording it all. Second, she built Moses a secure ark 20 GOSPELROADS.COM JAN/FEB 2012

(Ex. 2:3). Once his mother realized her son’s only hope lay down river, she prepared the little boat for him and made sure it was sturdy enough and waterproofed it for his ride. The river, the very location meant to kill him, was where she had to place him, so she did what she had to do to make him safe there. My boys must face the world which is their river. Many things about the society in which we live are bent on killing our children. Still, we have to realize they will inevitably get out into the world. Our job is to prepare sturdy arks of safety for them ahead of time. Provide a secure family life for them; teach them godly viewpoints on such issues as education, sex, and choosing friends wisely; and live a godly lifestyle before them. Help them trust God for themselves by teaching them to pray and read the Bible. Finally, Moses’ mother set a watch over him (Ex. 2:4). Miriam, Moses’ older sister, followed as the basket containing her baby brother floated down the river. She stayed with it until she saw where it landed. Then she could tell her mother all was well. Even when our children become young adults, they should not be pushed out of the nest alone. Keep the lines of communication open between you and them and definitely cover them with prayer. As teens, when my sons went out without me, I still knew who they are with and where they are going. Know your children and guide them when they’re young, provide a safe ark for them as they grow, and set a watch over them as they mature. If we exercise these three principles that Moses’ mother used, we will launch spiritually well-balanced children into the river of the world – a world they will be instrumental in changing for Christ.


Hope for the Hopeless

By Dianna Nicolai

Midwest Mission Bible Training Center

J

ulie Aspenson began drinking as a teenager and continued for many years. She tried to quit numerous times but only after she put God in control was she able to conquer the addiction and turn her life around. The major change came when she completed the treatment program at Midwest Mission Bible Training Center, a part of Mission Teens, Inc, whose stated purpose is “to provide hope to the hopeless.” And hope she did indeed receive. After beating her addiction, Julie went on to become a staff member, and is now the Assistant Executive Director. Although she conquered her addiction to alcohol, she vividly remembers the devastating pain of trying to get her life straightened out. Those memories help her Mission Teens, Norma P.O. Box 52 Eppinger & Gershal Aves. Norma, NJ 08347 (856) 691-9855 Savannah M.B.T.C. 1000 E. Victory Dr. Savannah, GA 31405 (912) 234-7000 Sonrise M.B.T.C. P.O. Box 5681 Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33310

teach others, with passion and purpose, the only way to conquer this addiction as she shares the necessity to turn your life over to Jesus. Julie’s is not the only inspirational story that comes out of Midwest Mission Bible Training Center. God has put the lives of addicted men and women back together, and their new life in Him has set them free. Statistics show the typical success rate in the drug rehab field to be only two to ten percent. However, that hope for the hopeless is clearly observable in Mission Teens’ whopping 88 percent success rate for overcoming addictions. Mission Teens was founded in 1969 by Reverend James Bracken. Since then, over 18,000 residents have entered the highly structured program at one of 15

sites scattered across the nation. There is no charge for residents who need help with drug addiction, alcoholism, behavioral problems, or depression. Each center is expected to raise its own support from local sources. No government funding or denominational support is received. Mission Teens is a non-denominational program based not upon church organizations, but upon the Church as the living organism: the body of Christ.

Mission Locations

(954) 485-0951 Mission Bible Training Center P.O. Box 248 Gaastra, MI 49927 (906) 265-6247 House of Hope 5525 US W. Hwy 40 Brazil, IN 47834 (812) 446-1717 Midwest M.B.T.C. P.O. Box 354

Cresco, IA 52136 (563) 547-3286 (Mission) (563) 547- 4864 (Director) Restoration Ranch P.O. Box 767 Tuscumbia, AL 35674 (256) 381-0930 Northwest B.T.C. 2724 N. Ainsworth Street Portland, OR 97217 (503) 289-7758

Mountain of Mercy P.O. Box 55 Honey Dew, CA 95545 (707) 601-3403

Grace M.B.T.C. P.O. Box 1035 Paragould, AR 72450 (870) 573-6414

First Fruits M.B.T.C. 28251 St. Hwy 16 Jerseyville, IL 62052 (618) 498-3560

God’s New Life M.B.T.C. P.O. Box 166 Marked Tree, AR 72365 (870) 358-4851

Crossville M.B.T.C. P.O. Box 452 Crossville, TN 38557 (931) 484-9935

Kentucky M.B.T.C. 266 Parkway Dr. Salyersville, KY 41465 (606) 349-7607

JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM

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AP Photo/Reed Saxon

Not Slotful In Business

DeVon Franklin, Sony vice president of production. By LUCAS L. JOHNSON II AP

P

roducers of faith-based movies have a message for Hollywood studios: Make the movies and customers will pay to watch them. The enormous success of Mel Gibson’s ``The Passion of the Christ’’ in 2004 shocked Tinseltown when it grossed $611 million worldwide. Despite the huge profit, the production of faith-based movies became stagnant, arguably because of low box office numbers. Support for such films has picked up in recent years with the success of movies like ``Fireproof ’’ in 2008 and now this year’s ``Jumping the Broom’’ and ``Soul Surfer.’’ ``Fireproof,’’ about a couple’s struggle to save their marriage, cost $500,000 to make and earned about $34 million domestically. ``Jumping the Broom’’ focused on forgiveness and the attempt by two families to meld despite their differences. It was made with a budget of a little over $6 million and has taken in about $37 million since it hit theaters in May. ``Soul Surfer’’ cost $18 million to make and has brought in more than $42 million since its release in April. Backers of faith-based movies say the figures indicate people are turning out for films that reflect their beliefs and they don’t expect the support to wane. ``I think everything is just kind of happening at the right time,’’ said Sony vice president of production DeVon Franklin, who bought the ``Jumping the Broom’’ script and put the movie together. ``There’s a demand for the films. They’re proving that there’s a business here. And I think that’s what Hollywood is seeing.’’ Hollywood.com box office analyst Paul Dergarabedian said there has always been an audience for faith-based films that was underserved for many years. ``I don’t think that was deliberate,’’ he said. ``I just think that generally speaking these movies have a particular audience that is very interested in something that either has a positive message or something that resonates with the faith-based audience.’’ Some faith-based movies, like ``Fireproof,’’ were created specifi-

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cally for a Christian audience. Others are mainstream movies with a broader spiritual message, like ``Jumping the Broom’’ and ``Soul Surfer,’’ which is based on the true story of a teen surfer who lost her left arm in a shark attack and depended on her faith to recover and compete again. ``Fireproof,’’ which starred former 1980s heartthrob and devout evangelical Christian Kirk Cameron, showed that even Christian movies can go mainstream and its producers have a movie coming out later this year called ``Courageous’’ that focuses on fatherhood. ``’Courageous’ is dealing with ... a man’s role of being a father, a husband,’’ said Rich Peluso, vice president of AFFIRM Films, a faith label of Sony that helped market ``Fireproof ’’ and will also promote ``Courageous.’’ ``The story has a much wider reach and we think it will have a much wider impact.’’ Bishop T.D. Jakes, chief pastor of The Potter’s House church in Dallas and one of the producers of ``Jumping the Broom,’’ agreed that part of the success of faith-based movies _ regardless of who they’re targeting _ is that they often deal with universal topics like marriage and fatherhood. ``We have the same challenges. We deal with the same issues on a continual basis,’’ said Jakes, who has agreed to co-produce a movie to be adapted from the popular Christian book, ``Heaven Is For Real.’’ That appeal may also be the reason ``Jumping the Broom’’ has been so well received despite its predominantly black cast. With the exception of movie mogul Tyler Perry’s franchise, movies featuring mostly minorities have struggled at the box office. While not considered faithbased, many of Perry’s movies do contain spiritual connotations. Franklin said he believes most people who patronize faith-based or inspirational films are ``colorblind’’ to the people in them, and drawn more to the therapeutic message they convey to overcome tough times. ``They do provide hope, and inspiration and encouragement in a time that’s very difficult,’’ said Franklin, who’s written a book titled ``Produced by Faith: Enjoy Real Success without Losing Your True Self ’’ ``I do think when you see these films it does inspire you to keep going, and to keep pushing. So I think that’s part of the reason they’re very successful.’’ Producers say the best way to get Hollywood’s attention is for fans of the genre to show up the first weekend the movies open. To get the word out about ``Jumping the Broom,’’ Jakes said marketing strategies involved screenings for hairdressers, barbers, pastors, churches and social networking _ including a lot of Twitter posts. ``I had everybody tweeting about this, from P. Diddy to Joel Osteen,’’ he said. Tirrell Whittley heads Liquid Soul Media, which has won awards for its grassroots approach to marketing movies. He said attending opening weekend is vital.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP)

Producers Hope Faith-Based Movie Surge Continues


``We have to show up and make sure that our dollars speak and say that these films are important,’’ Whittley said. ``There’s a lot of tracking and analysis done against these sales to determine what consumers want.’’ Producer Stephanie Frederic said for Hollywood, ``It’s business.’’ ``People think Hollywood is all these antiChristians,’’ said Frederic, whose company shoots behind-the-scene footage for movies. ``No, Hollywood is just pro money. It’s that simple.’’ The success of faith-based films also means opportunity for up-and-coming producers and actors. Terverius Black started his own Christian-themed entertainment company and is hoping to release his movie ``Stand’’ early next year. ``There are some talented people out here who just need a shot,’’ said Black, who has several other scripts in waiting. Trey ``Andale’’ Williams, a gospel rapper and actor in Black’s movie, is hoping for a blessing. ``If people are actually going out to the theaters to see these movies, then more of them will be made,’’ Williams said. ``It benefits so many different people.’’

Marriage...

Continued from page 17

3. Your marriage is part of a God’s greater purpose and plan. (Genesis 1:27-28) It is essential to view your marriage in light of God’s bigger picture. Too often people marry because of financial reasons, physical attraction, or social pressure, but marriage has a divine purpose much larger than these surface reasons. When you view your marriage through God’s eyes, you begin to take on a greater mission—a sense of purpose to accomplish God’s plan in your lives, working together as a team. Take-Action Steps to Refresh Your Marriage Understanding the importance of continually working on your marriage is one thing, but actually knowing and taking the steps to rebuild and

rejuvenate your relationship is another thing entirely. You can read all of the best marriage books and listen to the most brilliant marriage experts, but nothing is likely to change unless you do the work necessary to put those wanted changes into effect. The good news is that you don’t have to wait for the newest marriage book; you can start today to improve your marriage by working on the three steps below. Each step has one crucial element: God! While things may seem hopeless and impossible in your relationship, allthings are possible through Christ (Matthew 19:26), and you can trust the fact that God wants what is best for your marriage. Step 1: Understand that you and your marriage have an enemy, and fight against the enemy with prayer. (Ephesians 6:18) Most times, we’d rather not talk about Satan, but the truth is, we know he is at work and it is clear he hates marriage. The first step to taking back control of your marriage is to recognize that you are in battle against the enemy, not your spouse, who wants to destroy your relationship. Once you come to that realization, begin praying against the enemy’s tactics. If your spouse will pray with you, pray together. If your spouse is unwilling to pray with you, pray with a trusted friend or family member. There is great power in prayer to come up against dark forces at work in your marriage. Step 2: Change your mindset—refuse to give up on your relationship. (Philippians 4:8) Marriage can be difficult. At times, you may feel like it would be easier to just give up and move on, but there is nothing easy about divorce. It is heart-breaking and affects more

than just the two parties involved. What’s more, God believes in your marriage, and can help you bring healing and reconciliation to it if you will trust in Him. Today, you can change your mindset and refuse to use the “D” word again; refuse to even consider the end of your marriage. Instead, determine to fight for it and focus on God’s perspective of marriage when negative thoughts creep in. Step 3: Practice selflessness—put your spouse’s needs before your own. (1 John 3:16) If we know what love is because Jesus Christ laid down his life for us, then we must also believe in the second part of the verse 1 John 3:16 which says, “And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.” Laying down our lives means to put others before ourselves. We set aside what we want and what we believe we deserve and instead focus on serving someone else. Jesus saved the world with his act of selflessness and He provides the perfect example of how we can save our marriages by doing the same. What could you do today that would show your spouse you are crucifying your desires and putting his/her needs first? You don’t need to wait for a new year to try new things and improve areas in your life that have been lacking. By practicing these three steps, you can go a long way toward refreshing your relationship. In fact, these three steps alone have the power to build up a completely broken. Why not start right now and make a decision to create a better marriage before 2011 ends.

In your journey to rebuilding and strengthening your marriage in 2011, consider these resources to help you: God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation by Andreas Kostenberger Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith by Jewell R. Powell Marriage Rocks by Dr. Harold L. Arnold Jr Sacred Marriage by Gary Thomas Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith, 2011. Jewell R. Powell, The Marriage Coach. Visit www.marriage101.us for valuable information about keeping your marriage alive, fresh, and God-honoring.

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themselves as the ministry. They try very hard to prevent “Christian idolatry,” emphasizing instead team ministry. It’s risky and a little difficult to cultivate, but they believe they are obeying the Biblical mandates to equip the saints for ministry. The lifeblood of the ministry is authentic relationships (real community). Shawn and Sonia believe in investing in the lives of others. “The quality of work in our ministry shows; lives are really transformed.” These pastors literally walk people through their addictions, poverty, marital problems, etc. However, they realize they are not the only people in their church who can care about the other members. “What makes (the transformations) happen is that we’re a different paradigm from the traditional African-American church.” (See, I told you!) Small groups are the answer. “The change has been challenging. As pastors, we don’t just tell people what to do; we want to empower people to serve and to lead.” Shawn explains, “What happens on Sunday morning looks very much like what’s happening in the other churches in Atlanta, GA (11am, prayer, praise and worship, fellowshipping, the sermon, call for a response), but that’s the large corporate “arena” experience. This is when we put on make-up and look our best. You get encouraged there, but you don’t necessarily get God invading your life. During small groups, congregants can talk back and forth. I can ask the questions and get 24 GOSPELROADS.COM JAN/FEB 2012

answers. [The members] talk through in a way that points people to Christ right where they are. The real community comes in when people are in their small groups.” The congregation of Kingdom Tabernacle (KT) functions by the semester system. When you join, membership means becoming a part of the fellowship community. You become a part of the K team and in order for you to have a quality experience at KT, you become part of a small group. Groups have centered around interests such as cooking, couples, Bible study, women’s issues, even financial peace. People can choose what group they want to get in. Every individual is empowered to do what God has called him or her to do. Shawn and Sonia call this Empowered Leadership. An example of the workings of this Empowered Leadership model is found in KT’s “very dynamic children’s ministry. Because of the ministry’s emphasis on the children,” says Pastor Shawn, “our most high quality leaders are steered toward them. We’ve seen phenomenal fruit because of this. We have launched the children in their own church and several want to be baptized.” The five-year plan of Kingdom Tabernacle started in January 2011. The idea is doubling: 100 more “team members” this year, on up to 1600 in year five. Both pastors say, “We are seeing that growth occur. [We see] 1600 actually engaged on the K team; being a part of the volunteer staff, empowering the underchurched, planning another church. [We are] seeing 1600 people doing what God has called them to do. Clearly defined, victory is a person comes to the ministry, gets plugged in, and their gifts help the ministry to flourish. “The Ministry Cycle is come, connect, grow, go (C2G2). If you’re willing to grow and be stretched, God can do what He wants to do. Now we are seeing fruit, people growing. We’re confident that we’re where God wants us to be. We believe God has given us something substantial. It’s about breaking the paradigm of ‘who’s your pastor.’ God wants us to not be a tree but a vine. People are effectively discipled only with smaller settings. [We believe it’s time to] move from Moses doing everything to doing church the Jethro way.”God has called Shawn and Sonia Adams to be an influence and a voice of change in not only the African-American community of Atlanta, but to the Church at large. This couple, and the ministry they are a part of, is truly special, different, and indeed a new paradigm. Photographer: Artakia Rivers


(AP Photo/Rebecca Blackw

World Religion Pope In Western Africa To Outline Church’s Future

Catholic faithful cheer as Pope Benedict XVI arrives at Notre Dame cathedral in Cotonou, Benin Friday, Nov. 18, 2011. Catholics wearing colorful dresses printed with his image greeted him Friday as he embarked on his second trip to Africa, where he plans to outline the church’s future for the continent with the fastest growing number of faithful. By RUKMINI CALLIMACHI Associated Press

COTONOU, Benin (AP) _ Women wearing dresses bearing Pope Benedict XVI’s portrait tried to climb flagpoles to catch a glimpse of him as he arrived Friday on his second trip to Africa, while security struggled to hold back African nuns trying to reach their hands over the security cordon to touch him.

His message was derailed before his plane even landed, after he told reporters on the flight that condom distribution was worsening the problem of AIDS, setting off a storm of criticism.

This time, reporters traveling with the pope were instructed to submit written questions before the trip, and during the in-flight news conference, the pope steered clear of the touchy issue. The 87-page document is the pontiff ’s position paper on a Africa, where the 84-year-old pope is returning for the first continent that is now seen as central to the church’s future, time since his controversial comments on condoms two but which also presents a challenge to the conscience of years ago, is the fastest-growing region for the Roman Cath- Christians worldwide because of the concentration of huolic Church. Its rapidly growing congregations and pool of man suffering. Among the religious tools he is proposing is aspiring priests are helping breathe life into a church which a ``sacrament of reconciliation’’ which will use individual has seen a steep decline in the Western Hemisphere. and collective acts of forgiveness as a way to try to resolve the region’s cycle of violence. Several hundred women lined the tarmac awaiting his arrival, each one wearing a traditional block-print dress deco- After emerging from the plane, the pope grasped the rated with his face. Catholics carrying umbrellas printed handrails and slowly descended, his face turned downward with a silhouette of the pontiff lined the highway. Even the against the blazing sun. He took slow steps along the red female anchors presenting the newscast on local television carpet flanked by Benin’s lanky president, who slowed his stations traded their usual wardrobe for outfits printed with gait so as not to overtake the pope. When Benedict neared the pope’s likeness. the platform set up for him on the tarmac, an aide rushed to hold back the skirt of his robe so that he didn’t trip. Benedict’s trip is centered on the release of a document which articulates the role of the church in Africa, and ``May this document fall into the ground and take root, which attempts to use the church doctrine of forgiveness grow and bear much fruit,’’ the pope said when he took the to address the continent’s chronic wars. It is meant to serve microphone, referring to the text which he will sign at a as a pastoral guide for Africa and includes some of the ceremony this weekend. ideas he first touched on in his 2009 trip to Cameroon and In preparation for the pope’s arrival, parishes throughout Angola. the country have tried to impart the Continue on page 28... JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 25


Come Worship with us! CALIFORNIA Long Beach Baptist

Greater Good News Church of God In Christ 5840 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90003 Mt Olive Church of God In Christ 1385 E 21st St, Los Angeles, CA 90011

Christ Second Baptist Church 1471 Martin Luther King Jr Ave, Long Beach, CA 90813 Living Word Missionary Baptist Church 1303 E Esther St, Long Beach, CA 90813 Mount Ephraim Spiritual Baptist Church 2232 Atlantic Ave, Long Beach, CA 90806 New Hope Baptist Church 1160 E New York St, Long Beach, CA 90813 St Paul’s Baptist Church 1392 W 25th St, Long Beach, CA 90810

Compton - Long Beach C O G I C - Pentecostal Bread of Life Church of God In Christ 12812 S Atlantic Ave, Compton, CA 90221 Faithful Church of God In Christ 450 W Rosecrans Ave, Compton, CA 90222 White Rose CHURCH of God in Christ 1001 E Anaheim St Long Beach, CA 90813 Gospel Memorial Church of God In Christ 1480 Atlantic Ave Long Beach CA 90813 Great Deliverance CHURCH of God & Christ 740 E Hill St Long Beach, CA 90806

Los Angeles Baptist Mt. Moriah Baptist Church Of Los Angeles 4269 S Figueroa St, Los Angeles, CA 90037 Saint Mark Baptist Church 5017 Compton Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90011 Southern Missionary Baptist Church 4678 W Adams Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016 Tabernacle of Faith Baptist Church 11328 S Central Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90059 True Gospel Missionary Baptist Church 7723 S Hoover St, Los Angeles, CA 90044

West Angeles Church Of God In Christ 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016

Oakland-San Francisco Baptist

First Baptist Church of San Francisco 22 Waller St, San Francisco, CA 9410 Grace Baptist Church 705 98th Ave, Oakland, CA 94603 Greater St Paul Missionary Chr 1827 Martin Luther King Jr Way Oakland, CA 94612 Hamilton Square Baptist Church 1212 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94109 Moriah Christian Fellowship 3354 San Pablo Ave, Oakland, CA 94608 MT. Trinity Baptist Church 68 Haight St, San Francisco, CA 94102 Peoples Missionary Bapt Church 8825 Macarthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94605 Second Union Missionary Baptist Church 749 Page St, San Francisco, CA 9411 Union Springs Baptist Church 101 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94117

C O G I C - Pentecostal Ephesian Church of God 1709 Alcatraz Ave, Berkeley, CA 94703 Greater Gethsemane Church of God in Christ 240 Page Street, San Francisco, CA 94102 Jerusalem C.O.G.I.C 1660 McAllister Street, San Francisco, CA 94115 Little Manger 846 Divisadero Ste #848 San Francisco, CA 94117 Missionary Church Of God In Christ 1125 Allston Way, Berkeley, CA 94702

Emmanuel Church of God In Christ 1399 E 33rd St, Los Angeles, CA 90011

New Faith Chapel 2111 Seminary Avenue, Oakland, CA 94621

Full Gospel Church of God In Christ 1601 E 41st St, Los Angeles, CA 90011

Oasis Church of God In Christ 2530 90th Avenue, Oakland, CA 9460

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Prayer Tower 2135 47th Avenue, Oakland, CA 94601 True Hope Church of God In Christ 950 Gilman Ave, San Francisco, CA 94124 Zion’s Tabernacle 2147 East 15th Street, Oakland, CA 94606 Commonwealth Church of God In Christ 3136 13th Ave, Oakland, CA 94610

Evergreen Baptist Church 408 W Macarthur Blvd, Oakland, CA 94609

C O G I C - Pentecostal

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Pentecostal Temple Church of God & Christ 1915 McAllister St, San Francisco, CA 9411

Sacramento Baptist Downtown Baptist Church 2115 8th St, Sacramento, CA 95818 First Baptist Church 2324 L St, Sacramento, CA 95816 Immanuel Baptist Church 1424 24th St, Sacramento, CA 95816 Mt Pilgrim Baptist Church 4800 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Sacramento, CA 95820 St Paul Baptist Church 3996 14th Ave, Sacramento, CA 95820

C O G I C - Pentecostal Back to The Bible Church of God In Christ 3251 Norwood Ave, Sacramento, CA 95838 Northgate Church of God In Christ 440 Haggin Ave, Sacramento, CA 95833 Miracle Church of God In Christ 348 Morey Ave, Sacramento, CA 95838 Mt Zion Church of God In Christ 10384 Rockingham Dr, Sacramento, CA 95827 Philadelphia Church of God In Christ 4020 Y St, Sacramento, CA 95817

Baptist

Stockton

Corinthian Missionary Baptist 71 W. Fifth 95206 Emmanuel Baptist Church 715 S. Windsor Av 95205 God’s Throne Baptist Church 405 E. Lindsay 95202 Greater Faith Missionary Church 345 W Worth St, 95206 Progressive Missionary Baptist 209 South C Stockton, CA 95205


Quail Lakes Baptist Church 1904 Quail Lakes Dr, Stockton, CA 95207

2438 E 29th St N, Tulsa, OK 74110

3605 Ruskin St, Dallas, TX 75215

Tennessee

St Chapel Church of God In Christ 701 E Baltimore Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

C O G I C - Pentecostal

Memphis

Houston

Eastside Church 3206 Marsh Stockton, CA 95205

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Greater New Hope Deliverance 1467 Michael Av Stockton, CA 95206

First Baptist Church Broad Av 2849 Broad Ave, Memphis, TN 38112

Little Flock Baptist Church 1125 Cherry St, Baytown, TX 77520

New Life Worship Center 490S. Wilson Way, Stockton, CA 95205

Greater Love Baptist Church 4439 Hacks Cross Rd, Memphis, TN 38125

North Oaks Baptist Church 18411 Stuebner Airline Rd, Spring, TX 77379

Progressive Community Church 2820 South B Street, Stockton, CA 95206

Mt Vernon Baptist Church Westwood 620 Parkrose Rd, Memphis, TN 38109

Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church 3410 Jeanetta St, Houston, TX 77063

White Rose The Church of God In Christ 2340 S Pilgrim St, Stockton, CA 95206

New Salem Missionary Baptist Church 2225 S Parkway E, Memphis, TN 38114

South Main Baptist Church of Houston 4100 Main St, Houston, TX 77002

Oklahoma

C O G I C - Pentecostal

Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church 3826 Wheeler St, Houston, TX 77004

Jesus Is The Way Church of God In Christ 1884 Farrington St, Memphis, TN 38109

C O G I C - Pentecostal

Oklahoma City Baptist Emmaus Baptist Church 16001 S Western Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73170

Baptist

Leake’s Temple Cogic 974 Florida St, Memphis, TN 38106 Moore Memorial COGIC 860 Speed St, Memphis, TN 38107

Meadowood Baptist Church 2816 N Woodcrest Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73110

Old Land Mark Church 1490 N.Hollywood St., Memphis, TN 38108

C O G I C - Pentecostal

Texas

Power House Church of God In Christ 403 N Lindsay Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73104

Tulsa

Jensen Drive Church of God In Christ 2111 Jensen Dr, Houston, TX 77026 Lorraine St Church of God In Christ 2312 Lorraine St, Houston, TX 77026 Williams Temple Church of God in Christ 2524 Delano St, Houston, TX 77004

Dallas/Ft. Worth

New Life Church of God In Christ 1245 SW 25th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73109

Island of Hope Church of God and Christ 3303 Orange St, Houston, TX 77020

Baptist

Zion Temple Church of God In Christ 6102 Milart St, Houston, TX 77021

Georgia

Celebration Baptist Church 1140 Morrison Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76120

Atlanta

Baptist

Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church 8015 Blossom Ln, Dallas, TX 75227

Glenwood Baptist Church 5400 Charles Page Blvd, Tulsa, OK 74127

Fellowship Baptist Church of Oak Cliff 3607 S Westmoreland Rd, Dallas, TX 75233

Baptist

Oakridge Baptist Church 6103 S 44th West Ave, Tulsa, OK 74132

Friendship West Baptist Church 2020 W Wheatland Rd, Dallas, TX 75232

Beulah Baptist Church 170 Griffin St NW, Atlanta, GA 30314

Ridge Crest Baptist Church 304 S 161st East Ave, Tulsa, OK 74108

Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church 8350 Forest Ln, Dallas, TX 75243

Mt Pleasant Baptist Church 17 Meldon Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315

Tulsa Baptist Temple 1203 S Columbia Ave, Tulsa, OK 74104

Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church 1300 E Allen Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104

New Jerusalem Baptist Church 383 Paines Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30314

C O G I C - Pentecostal

C O G I C - Pentecostal

Beulah Baptist Church 2340 Clifton Springs Rd, Decatur, GA 30034

Gospel Tabernacle Church of God In Christ 1832 N Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74110

Church of God In Christ 3331 Chihuahua Ave, Dallas, TX 75212

C O G I C - Pentecostal

Emanuel Church-God In Christ 1419 Dennison St, Dallas, TX 75212

Abundant Life COGIC 1280 Benteen Way SE, Atlanta, GA 30315

Fair Park Church Of God In Christ 1036 S Carroll Ave, Dallas, TX 75223

Paradise Church-God In Christ 4234 Hendrix Dr, Forest Park, GA 30297

Gospel Kingdom Church of God In Christ 4401 S Riverside Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76119

Victory Cathedral COGIC 3704 Campbellton Rd SW, Atlanta, GA 30331

Haynes Chapel Church of God In Christ

Abundant Life Church of God In Christ 79 McDonough Blvd SE, Atlanta, GA 30315

Greater Lansing Church of God In Christ 4909 N Cincinnati Ave, Tulsa, OK 74126 Meredith Temple Church of God In Christ 1158 Mount Vernon Ave, Columbus, OH 43203 Pentecostal Temple Church of God In Christ

Kingdom Tabernacle Christian Assembly 892 Berne St. SE Atlanta, GA 30316

JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM

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principle of reconciliation, using creative techniques to reach the nearly two-thirds of Benin’s population of 9 million that cannot read. The capital’s seven choirs, for example, were asked to compose songs in local languages to explain through music the importance of getting past ethnic divisions. At the cathedral, 9-year-old Mael Dossou waited for the pope alongside other pupils from one of the city’s Catholic schools. He said his teacher had asked them to look no further than the playground to apply the pope’s message. ``For example, there’s my friend Muriel,’’ Mael said. ``We were horsing around and she insulted me. And I insulted her. From then on, we stopped being friends. But because the pope is coming, I went to her and I asked her to please forgive me. And she did, and now we’re friends again.’’ The pope arrived at the cathedral encased inside the bulletproof glass of the popemobile. Nuns in white habits ululated as the car pulled in, and a frisson went across the hundreds ...Continued from page 25

of people gathered in the cathedral’s courtyard. Benedict, who recently started using a moving platform to get down the long aisle of St. Peter’s Basilica, entered the cathedral and inched his way down the aisle. In its nave, he kneeled, closed his eyes and prayed for Africa. ``Our Lady of Africa,’’ he said in French. ``Fill the hearts of those who thirst for justice, for peace, for reconciliation.’’ Among the messages he is bringing to the faithful is that they do not need to eradicate their culture to be good Catholics. Based in part on the recommendations of the 2009 synod on Africa, the pope is expected to encourage the in-depth study of local customs, especially rituals used to resolve disputes in a region that has seen Rwanda emerge from genocide, creating neighborhoods where victims live side-by-side with those that murdered their families. Priests who have traveled from neighboring countries to see the pope say the idea of looking to African traditions shows the Catholic faith has

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become more supple since colonial times, when becoming Christian meant turning your back on indigenous rites. Among Cameroon’s Bassa people, for example, if a man beats his wife and she returns to her parents’ home, the husband can only get her back if he comes with plates of food and negotiates a cash amount to be paid to her kin in reparation, says Cameroonian priest Rev. Jean Benoit Nlend. ``In my seminary, we went around the table and talked about the types of rituals our ancestors performed to fix problems that arose in the society. If you try to destroy these things, you render the people fragile. You take away their moral coordinates,’’ said Nlend, an editor at Cameroon’s Episcopalian publication. ``Catholicism is a much more flexible religion now than it once was. The church shouldn’t try to chase away African culture,’’ he said. ``What it needs to do is act like a sieve, and remove only the things that don’t help human beings evolve.’’

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It’s a God Thing By George S. Harrison II Publisher of Gospel Roads Magazine

T

wenty-eight years ago in Dameron Hospital in Stockton, CA, I laid in bed not knowing what was wrong with me. The doctors couldn’t identify the strange illness that had caused me to lose 10 to 15 pounds a month for the past few months. The physicians finally called my mother into the room and announced to her the bleak prognosis. “Mrs. Harrison,” they said, “we do not know what is wrong with your son. He is going to continue to lose weight until he is dead, so do you want him to die here or what?” Devastated and in shock, my mother waited until the next day to tell the doctors to release me into her care. “If there’s nothing more you can do,” she told them, “I’d rather he be at home with family by his side.” Later that same day, I was sent home to die. For several weeks I laid in bed literary deteriorating; wasting away losing weight at an alarming rate. Mom continued to call other doctors to get second, third, and forth opinions. She finally found a doctor who wanted to take a look at me, so she packed me up and off we went to San Joaquin General Hospital to see if there was any hope that this doctor could give us. This new doctor took a couple of looks and one x-ray and diagnosed me with tuberculosis. Mom said, “What do you mean? Several other doctors looked at my son, drew countless pints of blood, and exposed him to 15 to 20 x-rays, all to no avail. How do you know my son’s condition after one visit?” It surprised us to learn that this doctor was a specialist in tuberculosis and managed the Bret Hart TB Clinic right there in the hospital. He immediately put me on medication saying, “I hope we caught it in time,” then he sent me home. Three days after the TB diagnosis, Mama, Grandmother, Auntie, and our Pastor decided to pray for me. As my Auntie rubbed olive oil on my back, I felt the amazing presence of God in the room. All the shouting, crying, stomping, and speaking in tongues got really loud, and I was so weak I couldn’t even turn over in bed, much less speak loudly enough over the praying for them to hear me. I didn’t mind dying if that was God’s will, so I began pray, “God, if you plan on taking me with you, please stop my family from praying and jumping up and down shouting Jesus’ name for nothing.” Nothing happened. Everyone kept praying. Then I prayed, “God, they say if we believe in You and Jesus

as Your Son, You will answer our prayers. Well, I believe in You, so please heal me, and stop my Mom from praying.” Still nothing happened. Mom, Auntie, Pastor, and my Grandmother evidently felt more of the Spirit than I did and kept right on praying. It was obvious they weren’t going to stop until something huge happened, so I sent up one more prayer. “God I already believe in You,” I shouted, “if You want me to believe in You more than I already do, then You’re gonna have to teach me how.” The room fell silent. Everybody fell to their knees and looked at me. I was moving in the bed, actually turning over on my own. I told them, “It is done; the Lord has packed up the sickness in a suitcase and taken it away.” My family’s eyes were open wide and when they resumed praying, they did so quietly, reverently, kneeling as if on holy ground. I began to feel better immediately. I rose up from lying down, put my feet on the carpet, picked myself up, stood tall, and started walking. God’s presence had made a difference; an undisputable miracle had been done. A few days later, I returned to the hospital for follow-up x-rays. My lungs that had been filled with black tuberculosis shadows just a week earlier had only a few tiny spots perceptible by the machine. I’ve been well ever since. It’s a God thing. This healing experience left me with a simple outlook on life: • Believe in God; He’s real. • Understand that evil exists; it’s real. • Do your best to live a holy life; right and wrong are real. • Don’t always believe what you read and hear about God; only God’s truth is real. JAN/FEB 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 29


Gospel Roads Magazine  

VOL 1 NO 6

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