GOSPEL ROADS II Thessalonians 3:3
May/Jun 2012 * $3.75
W a l k i n g
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F a i t h f u l ;
L i v i n g
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F a i t h
Leaning In to Engage Culture
Phil & Kathleen Cooke
Mother’s Day Special Is There a Secret Training for All Moms?
Father’s Day Special Three Facets Men of God Must Master
Overworked and Underpaid When Your Plans Fall Through
Is this Double Threat Threatening Your Peace?
Handle the Tough Stuff Life Dishes Out
A HARRISON PUBLICATION LLC
CONTENTS COVER STORY
Phil & Kathleen Cooke 10
Editor’s Word………………………...3 The Pressure and Power of Change By Sharon Norris Elliott
Mother’s Day Special Mommy School By Debbie Wong & Sharon Elliott.....16
Sound Mind……………………….….6 Challenge Yourself to Change By Dr. Daniel Lee Temple Watch………………………...7 Health Tidbits By Karynthia A. G. Phillips
Front Cover Photo: Courtesy of Steve Anderson.com
Study!...................................................8 Comforting Words By Dr. Phillip D. Williams Devotion………………………………9 Balancing Act By Sharon Norris Elliott Not Slothful in Business…………….22 Overworked and Underpaid By Ivy Bennett Filled with Laughter………………...26 Now That’s Alarming By Rhonda Rhea
Father’s Day Special Masculinity, Maturation, and Matrimony Three Facets Men of God Must Master By Gerald Bower…………………....18 When Your Plans Fall Through By Judy Hampton…………………...20
After the Service………………….…14 Recipes………………………………23 Book and Movie Reviews…………...24 It’s a God Thing……………………..27 I Got Her Phone Number in My Dream By Dr. Gloria Shell Mitchell MAY/JUN 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 1
George S. Harrison II Publisher Sharon Norris Elliott Editor-in-chief Chaz McCoy Web administrator Nathan O’neal Photographer
GOSPEL ROADS VOLUME 1 * NO. 8
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Editor’s Word The Pressure and Power of Change
By Sharon Norris Elliott Editor-in-chief
ohn F. Kennedy once said, “Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future.” This was spoken by one of our relatively recent 20th century Presidents, but such observations about the nature of change were being made well before the 1900’s. Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180 AD, was revered for his philosophical insight on service and duty, describing how to find and preserve equanimity in the midst of conflict. He noted, “Observe constantly that all things take place by change.” You see, unless things change, there is no progress. From the time we are born, we are constantly changing. Babies stop lying still and learn to roll over. Then they change from lying down to sitting up. They stop sitting still and become mobile by scooting, then crawling, then standing, then walking. Unintelligible sounds become recognizable words, then sentences, then conversations. We so wanted this stage, but how we long for those now two-year-olds to sit down and shut-up sometimes! But the changes naturally continue. We venture from home, changing and expanding our circle of acquaintances. With those new people and places come new experiences and ideas. Our bodies change with the onset of adolescence and ensuing adulthood. Education launches us into careers and more relocations. Marriage, children, and the ups and downs of life add to the list of change bombarding our existence. With change being so familiar and so constant, why is it that change causes us so much
consternation? That’s a question I can’t answer, but it’s one this issue will take a stab at addressing. Both of our health columns encourage us to challenge ourselves to change the way we approach our faith and the way we handle our physical health. Judy Hampton’s piece offers assistance and suggestions on how to deal “When Your Plans Fall Through.” May brings us Mother’s Day and June brings us Father’s Day, so the two features discussing some of the changes we go through as mothers and fathers hit on areas of change as well. You also won’t want to miss our cover story as Phil and Kathleen Cooke push us past our comfort zones. They challenge us to make a huge change and dare to lean in to engage our culture in a way that will impact it for Christ. We have nothing to worry about. As believers, we can face the inevitable changes of life because the power of the God of the universe lives in us. Paul even gives us a pep talk for when we’re facing changes. “Do not be anxious about anything,” he says, “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). No, change should not pressure us; it should empower us. After all, some anonymous person put it in beautiful perspective: “If nothing ever changed, there’d be no butterflies.” MAY/JUN 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 3
Me? Start a Bible Study?
“Behold I am the God of all flesh. Is anything to difficult for me?” Jer. 32:27 By Doreen Hanna
n 1983 our family was living in Cave Creek, Arizona. We were actively involved in a church located in Phoenix. At that time they were one of the fastest growing churches in America. We were proud to be members. I was quite pleased to be the secretary to one of the staff pastors, as well as the Assistant Women’s Ministry Director for the Tuesday Morning Women’s Bible Study that averaged 175 weekly. Even though it meant a 35 mile drive several times a week for me or our family, to consider leaving was the farthest thing from my mind. However, one Tuesday morning I pulled into the church parking lot, parked the car, and began walking towards the building. Suddenly, a powerful voice spoke distinctly and clearly, “I want you to start a Bible study in Cave Creek.” I immediately looked to the left and then to the right, because I knew when I pulled up there was no one around. I looked again. Sure enough - no one was there. I shivered. First, because I was pretty sure this must be a God encounter. I’d heard of others- experiencing such a thing, but this was my first. Secondly, I didn’t want to start a Bible study in Cave Creek. I had just visited a friend the prior week who had lived there for many years and her exact words came instantly to mind: “Any good Bible study
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or church that starts in Carefree/Cave Creek always seems to die!” I thought then, “Why would I want to start something that would eventually die!” Believing this encounter was God, but being inexperienced in hearing His voice, I sought confirmation - a fleece so to speak. So, I prayed, “Lord, if this is you, I know of only one person in Cave Creek who is community-minded. I don’t even know if she’s a Christian, and I haven’t seen her in months. But, if I locate her and she says ‘Yes’ to help me, I’ll know it’s you.” Part of me smugly thought this would be difficult for Him. The following day as I was turning into the cleaners, who should be RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME? Ann! The woman who I told the Lord I would need to speak with to move forward. I approached her, with a friendly “Hi Ann. What a surprise to see you today!” Then I asked if she’d like to join me for the lunch we had said we were going to have months ago. She immediately agreed and we set a date. I drove away from the cleaners in awe. A week later, over lunch, we shared about our families, our past employment endeavors and other new relationship type of data. As we were served dessert, I said, “Ann, I had an ulterior motive in asking you to lunch today. I’m thinking about starting a women’s Bible study here in the
area and was wondering if maybe you’d help me? I know you’ve been actively involved with the City Council…”I didn’t even finish my sentence and she excited proclaimed, “Doreen, I am a Christian and have been looking for a women’s Bible study in the area since we arrived here over a year ago. I’d love to help you.” I was blown away. I then shared with her my God encounter and my fleece. She too was amazed at God’s orchestration of our meeting at the cleaners after not seeing each other for months! Within weeks we had gathered a group of intercessors. We prayed throughout the summer before announcing our first gathering in the newspaper and had every church in the community announcing it from their pulpit or distributing flyers on a Sunday. All? Yes all, said yes! For the next five years we had a thriving weekly gathering of women to pray and study God’s word, seven different denominations were represented almost every week. Soon,
people from our small community were coming and asking us to pray for their properties, their businesses, and crisis in their families. We saw many answers to prayer in our community as well as our own. When our family moved to California, I turned the mantle over to another woman in the group and she led it for three more years. My prayer continued to be, “Never let it die.” Shortly after she moved to West Virginia, Ann called to inform me that Stonecroft Ministries had began a Women’s Bible Study right in Carefree/Cave Creek. They still exist today (2011). Praise God, His call and our vision has never died! The Lord loves to see us praying, studying, and working together as the Body of Christ. Breaking down our denominational barriers and joining together for His glory! Truly nothing is too difficult for Him.
The admonition of Hebrews 10:25 (NIV) which says, “Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing…” can extend beyond the local church into our homes. If your church doesn’t host one, consider starting a women’s Bible study in your community. Your local Christian bookstore is stocked with tons of Bible study materials and the salesperson would be happy to help you locate them. Look over the table of contents of the study you feel would most interest your ladies. Most are published with a leader’s guide, so you don’t have to worry about giving the wrong answers when you meet together. Make some calls and open your home as a cozy meeting area. Sitting around a dining room table or gathering in a roomy den will work just fine. On warm summer days, you may even choose to sit out in a nice back yard.
Encouraging women of all ages, teens to umpteens, is Doreen Hanna’s passion. She is called to challenge women to become Titus 2 women and help our teenage girls take that step from adolescence into young womanhood to become equipped to be our next generation of women leaders. Contact Doreen at www.DoreenHanna.com. MAY/JUN 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 5
Healthy Living Sound Mind Challenge Yourself to Change: Moving from Complacency and Despondency to Action-Packed Faith By Dr. Daniel Lee
“And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel…so faith without works is dead also” Joshua 10:14 and James 2:26b. In March, I received a letter from the editor-in chief of the Gospel Roads magazine thanking me for submitting articles. She mentioned her need for support with placing ads, increasing subscriptions, getting listings for the church page, and writing articles for future issues. As I re-
flected on her letter, I was reminded of a devotional written by Overseer Christopher J. Harris (Streaming Faith, March 17, 2012) entitled “Big Prayers.” Harris referenced Joshua’s battle with the Amorites and his prayer to have the sun stand still (verse 12). The article noted that God answered Joshua’s big prayer and the sun stood still (verse 13). I want to apply Joshua’s story to the editor-in-chief ’s requests.
James 2:26b states that faith without works is dead. In other words, you have to put your money where your mouth is. Joshua’s story highlights that point, as well as faith in action: 1. Joshua prayed publicly (verse 12) 2. God heard his prayer (verse 14) 3. God did an extraordinarily unique thing for him (verse 14) 4. God fought his battle (verse 14) Joshua models the principles of action-packed faith. First, pray and share your vision with people who can help promote your vision. Second, use your faith and believe that God hears and answers your prayers. Third, believe that God will work through you in a unique way because you are uniquely qualified to complete your God-given vision. Finally, know God will make you successful when you take the necessary steps to fulfill your God-given purpose. Here is how I will put my faith into action; my foundation has developed a fundraising model using the royalties from our book sales. I will share the royalties from my book sales in two ways; 1. To support Gospel Roads magazine with their marketing efforts 2. To support churches with their ministry projects if they sponsor a fundraiser for Gospel Roads magazine Like Joshua, I believe God can do anything because He is with me. Do you believe like that? About what have you been complacent and despondent? Step up. Apply to your situation the four principles we learn from Joshua. It is time for action-packed faith! And don’t forget: support Gospel Roads magazine too! 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 6
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Temple Watch Health TidbitsTake Your Temple Back By Karynthia A. G. Phillips
hat is all the talk about “going green”? Is it just about not using plastic bags and carrying cute cloth bags in the store? No, going green is about lifestyle modification for a healthier body and environment. I am glad to see more people recycling and drinking water; however, there is more to be done. Did you know good health depends on you? Routine physical exams, including dental and mental health check-ups, should be on your to-do list along with recommended dietary consumption. The reality of the many years of bad habits can and will bring destruction to our temples (the body) if we do not make the necessary changes. Lifestyle modifications are necessary for a healthier you. Change will not occur over night; it takes time and effort on your part. James 2:26 tells us, “For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also” (NKJ). Actively implementing alternatives in your daily routine will retard the destructive effects of stress, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, and other medical conditions. In addition to drinking more water, slowly start adding the following to your diet: dark leafy greens, wheat grains, almonds, sprouts, strawberries, avocados, lemons, blueberries and grapefruits, seaweed, lentils and other beans. At the same time, eat less red meat. The recommended food changes should help your body’s pH move toward a more alkaline pH which is healthier than an acidic pH that typically leads to poor health. “Big Momma” knew what she was doing cooking those greens and teaching us to enjoy the juice.
Lifestyle Modifications to Assist with Rebuilding Your Temple
Water consumption Fried foods Daily fiber intake Caffeine Exercise: walk 30 min. per day Salt, sugar, tobacco, alcohol, dairy products, Fresh fruits and vegetables French fries, and processed meats Disclaimer: The health and psychological advice in these columns is not to replace medical advice of your medical doctor. See your medical professional for consultation before starting any new regimens. Karynthia Phillips, MSM, PA-C practices as a Primary Care Provider (PCP). She has greater than a decade of practicing medicine, with a concern for continuity of care to prevent and restore health for the spirit, mind, and body. She is committed to empower you to live healthier. MAY/JUN 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 7
Study! Comforting Words?
1. Three of Job’s friend’s comments came down to what theory (Job 8:20)?
By Dr. Phillip D. Williams
2. By the time Job’s friends finished speaking, what was their position with Job (Job 22-25)?
Now you too have proved to be of no help; you see something dreadful and are afraid. (Job 6:21, NIV) Think back to when it was your turn to speak to a suffering friend or family member. How did you handle your opportunity? Did you remain silent while others spoke? Would others say you improved or worsened the situation by your words? Did you make a stance for God or render your personal theology about suffering? Job, a servant of God, was alone and afflicted with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Four of his friends showed up to share words of comfort, encouragement, and hope. On seeing him, they wept, and then were overcome with grief by what they saw. Finally, they sat in silence with Job for seven days. Job broke the silence and spoke out bitterly in his affliction. Then three friends spoke one at a time. They shared with Job little that was positive, but rather rendered their flawed theology about his dilemma and continued
Scriptures for a closer look:
3. Who was the silent friend that stood by speech less listening to what was said between Job and the three other friends? Did he defend God’s actions or support his friend’s theology (Job 34:12)? 4. What does God have to say to those who are suffering (Job 36:15)? with their personal views. What they said did nothing to help Job feel better about his suffering. In fact, Job felt worse. At times, well-intended advice can tear down rather than build up. Job’s friends epitomized failure in speaking encouraging words and left for us a model of what not to say when speaking to one who is suffering. By contrast, Proverbs 27:17 says, “As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend” (NKJ). And Proverbs 25:11-12 says, “The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry, and a wise friend’s timely reprimand is like a gold ring slipped on your finger” (The Message).
5. What was God’s response to the three friends after hearing what they had to say about Him and Job (42:7)? 6. What was the extent of God’s reward to Job for suffering in His name (Job 42:12)? 7. The last time you had an opportunity to speak to a hurting friend: a. What did you say? b. Were your comments well received or did they do more harm than good? c. What would you have said or done differently? d. Were words really necessary?
Answers: 1. Personal view that Job must have sinned. 2. Opposition. They were making direct accusations against Job. 3. Elihu; He defends God’s actions. 4. Was angry with them because, they did not speak right of Him. 5. The Lord blessed the later part of his life more than the first. 6. “But those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction.” 7. Answers will vary.
Dr. Phillip D. Williams, CEO/Founder of Williams Church Consulting Group, is a pastor, seasoned church planter, author, and church and family counselor who is experienced in personality profiling and spiritual gifts identification. 8
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Balancing Act By Sharon Norris Elliott
ost of the women I know can be described with the same word – busy. If our lives were pie charts, we’d be sliced into numerous wedges like home, career, school, husband, kids, church, friends, etc., and each of these would be further sub-divided. For example, my career slice itself is split in two between my daytime teaching job and my writing avocation. The daytime slice is made up of writing lesson plans, teaching classes, grading papers, attending school functions, sitting through faculty meetings, having parent conferences, and lay-counseling students. The writing slice includes developing several book projects, drafting articles and devotions, planning seminar presentations, and crafting this column. Now remember, in each catego-
ry, those sub-slices comprise just one slice each of my pie. The slice we women usually cut the thinnest is the one that represents ourselves. We have great reasons for pushing ourselves to the background. As natural nurturers, we care for others. We realize that husbands, kids, and friends have
needs. We love the Lord and want to keep our spiritual lives intact through Bible study, church involvement, and fellowship. And we’re dedicated to our careers, many of which took years of preparation and cost thousands of education dollars. “I am woman, hear me roar,” right? The question is, should we be roaring about what we do or should our lives gently speak because of who we are? If we don’t spend time on and with ourselves, can we truly know who we are so can we be truly any good to anyone else? Now, telling women to care for themselves could be a dangerous directive. After all, how would anything get done? Some are so far-flung to one end of the spectrum that they’re well into martyrdom. Those are the women who do almost literally nothing for themselves. Their lives exist for those around them. My friend Michele may fit this category. Since her late teens, she has raised and lovingly cared for her children. And because she couldn’t stand to see any child go without or be mistreated, she spent many of those years caring for other people’s kids as well. Not yet 50, she’s lived over half of her life for someone other than herself. The opposite end of the spectrum – narcissism – is just as harmful as martyrdom. Caring for ourselves in a balanced way somewhere between those two extremes is the key. Of course, Jesus had the answer to our balancing act problem. When asked to voice the greatest commandment, He answered, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God
with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matthew 22:37-39 KJV) We get the “love God” part and the “love your neighbor” part right, but we tend to skip right over the “love yourself ” part. If we would just replace our pie chart lives with Jesus’ answer, we’d get a clear picture of how to stay properly balanced. We actually need only three slices – God, others, and self. See that? Self. Rightly balanced, we can kick out the guilt we’ve learned to feel about loving and caring for ourselves. Although the self-slice could include time-consuming educational and professional development, don’t neglect personal pampering. Sure, do the common sense things that keep the inner temple healthy like getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating right; but don’t neglect the feel-good things that put a smile on your face. Keep your hair styled. Get or give yourself manicures, pedicures, and facials. Take low-cost vacations. Laugh. Cuddle. Take bubble baths. Light candles. With God, others, and self in proper perspective, we’ll be defined by who we are – God’s beautiful daughters – not merely by all we do. We’ll move from busy to balanced – a much more comfortable and spiritual place to live. Possible pull quote: Should we be roaring about what we do or should our lives gently speak because of who we are?
Sharon Norris Elliott, Gospel Roads’ editor-in-chief, is passionate about loving people into the kingdom of God. Follow Sharon’s devotional blog every weekday at www.sanewriter.wordpress.com, and find out more about her books and speaking ministry at www.LifeThatMatters.net.
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Leaning In to Engage Culture
Phil & Kathleen Cooke
By Sharon Norris Elliott
lthough the place was a church and the atmosphere was a subdued vespers service, college sophomore Phil Cooke couldn’t stop staring at the cute little freshman in the hot pink suit. It was the mid-seventies and bright colors, bell bottoms, and plaids had even invaded Oral Roberts University, a conservative Christian college in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Kathleen (that hot-pink-suit-wearing beauty) has now been Phil’s wife for the past thirty-four years. Their lives and mission are a whirlwind, but this internationally-known couple carved an hour out of their incredibly busy schedules to sit down for a Skype interview with Gospel Roads to share some of their life with us. I’d done a bit of homework. Phil’s online bio states, “He’s helped some of the largest nonprofit organizations and leaders in the world use the media to tell their story in a changing, disrupted culture.” It also pointed out that according to former CNN journalist Paula Zahn, “Phil is rare – a working producer in Hollywood with a Ph.D. in Theology. He’s appeared
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Photos Courtesy of Steve Anderson.com
on MSNBC, CNBC, CNN, and his work has been profiled in the New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal.” I also knew Kathleen a bit from our contact in Christian Women in Media, an organization that networks such women for encouragement and fellowship. Once connected via our computers’ Skype connections, I already knew I was dealing with a power couple, but from our opening hellos, I also realized that these were two down-to-earth folks, a brother and a sister in Christ, just trying to live so as to hear, “Well done,” from the Master when this life is over. My opening question was profound. “Who is Phil Cooke and what is he all about?” Phil answered, “You probably can’t put this in the article, but I’m a guy who realized Christians were making movies that sucked.” (I told you he was down-to-earth.) As a TV major in college, Phil started seeing how bad Christian media really was. “Seriously,” he continued, “we’re telling the greatest story ever told and we often don’t do that very well. Cooke Pictures exists to help Christians engage the culture more effectively.” Before digging into that “engaging the culture” business, I wanted to be sure to bring Kathleen into the conversation because with (not behind) every great man, there’s a great woman close at hand. Kathleen grew up dressing up, wanting to be an actress, and loving art and the theater. She realized that through this medium, she could become someone different every day. She started out as a teacher, and it didn’t take her long to realize that she too enjoyed working with others who also want to engage the culture. There was that phrase again: engage the culture. I’m a quick study so my next question rolled out. “What exactly do you mean when you say we (Christians) need to ‘engage the culture’?” Phil fielded that answer. “We need to understand the culture in which we live and embrace it a bit more. From 1898 –
1912, the church made more movies than Hollywood did. For some reason, after 1912, we left the industry and a vacuum was created. Looking at the state of the industry now, you can see what happened. “We ran away. Now we try to handle things (and win the lost) by boycotting
Phil Cooke and criticizing, but that doesn’t work.” Phil explained that if those tactics worked, missionaries would use them. There’s a reason why we don’t see missionaries going into a country, boycotting all the industries they don’t like, criticizing everything that’s deemed anti-Christian, and expecting to draw people to the Lord. Those are not soul-winning tactics that work for missionaries, so it doesn’t work for us when dealing with the TV and film industry either. Jesus didn’t create a
bubble; He met people where they were. Like Jesus, we need to be real and authentic. He engaged the culture. Both Phil and Kathleen agreed that one problem is fear. “We fear the culture and run from it rather than having a true understanding and dialogue. We run from what we don’t understand.” It was great to realize I was talking to a couple who were very much in tune with each other, because at this point in the
conversation, they both added the same kinds of sentiments. “The bottom line is this: we don’t want to become secular, but we need to speak the language of the culture. In the church, we’ve created our own language and those outside of the Church—those who need Christ desperately—don’t have a clue what we’re talking about.” And exactly what is “the language of the culture?” “We need to use words and terms everybody likes.” They explained that it’s incumbent upon us Christians to understand cultural references. If we’re going to present the Gospel in an intriguing way, we need to understand what people care about.” We discussed how all people basically want the same things: love, family unity, safety, peace, and a feeling that they matter in the grand scheme of things. In Acts 17, Paul found out what the culture valued. He walked in and could communicate and entered the conversation with what they were interested in. “It’s the whole being in the world but not of the world conversation. The work we all do—whether it’s making movies or selling shoes—is a holy calling. We ought to be impacting our culture through whatever we put out hands to.” I took a bit of a break from our embrace/ impact culture conversation here to focus a little more closely on Kathleen. I commented, “Kathleen, you’re married to a man with big ideas. How does that affect you, your relationship, and your own personal goals and dreams?” Kathleen answered, “He’s constantly paying attention to what’s going on around him. We value each others’ opinions. We’ve decided to exercise our abilities to read, write, see what’s out there in culture, and find things that are stimulating to each other. He respects me and my intelligence. We’ve found ways to be on the same wavelength. It’s important for a woman to be creative enough to be someone a man with dreams wants to come home to. I’m someone who tries to keep up.” Kathleen has it going on in her own right. She and Phil are the parents of two MAY/JUN 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 11
grown, married, successful daughters. One daughter and her husband are actors; the other daughter and her husband are singer/songwriters. The most important thing Kathleen had to say about their girls was that they love the Lord. In addition to being a great mom, after having been an actress for many years, Kathleen taught in the Media Arts Department at Biola University and directed the Biola Media Conference. She’s now
Phil Cooke Discover the Power of Intentional Change in a World That’s Constantly Changing. In Jolt!, television producer, media guru, and cultural commentator Phil Cooke will help you discover how you can navigate today’s culture of disruption and actually use it to your advantage. You’ll learn that changing a company or changing your life, are all based on virtually the same key principles. The world is changing at light speed, but mastering the power of change can revolutionize your business and your life. Stop feeling overwhelmed with changing technology, culture, business, trends, and values, and regain the confidence that can give you a real advantage. The book reveals twenty-five “jolts” anyone can leverage to establish a new direction, maximize your potential, overcome insecurity, and create an amazing future and legacy. Like the “Reset” button on a computer, “Jolt!” will revolutionize your thinking and shake up your life! www.PhilCooke.com
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starting an internship program that will involve students from other universities as well. She’s the West Coast regional director of CWIM (Christian Women in Media), and she speaks and conducts workshops all over the world. She is working on a book tentatively titled Innerviews in which she will discuss interviews she’s conducted with industry insiders on how they walk their faith out in the business. Thankfully for us, Phil has also done some writing so we can glean from his wisdom and experience. Jolt! Get a Jump on a World That’s Constantly Changing released from Thomas Nelson in April 2011. Phil wrote it because “in the past 25 years, we’ve moved to being the most disruptive culture in the world. A full 83% of employees are passed over for promotion because their employers believe they couldn’t keep up with change. We must learn to navigate change. The book discusses how to position yourself for the changes. Forget the idea of ‘the new normal.’ Nothing is ever going to be the same.” Getting back to our conversation of culture engagement, I wanted to know how we average Christians can make even a dent of an impact on our society. “It’s all about influence,” Phil explained. “Even if we are not in ‘the industry,’ it’s all about influence. People need to understand that they can have an influence right where they are. It’s amazing how quickly people will want to hear what you have to say. I have 16,000 followers on Twitter. That makes me the pastor of quite a large congregation. Social media makes it possible for all of us to do the same thing. “Be a change agent. Be the one who spots someone and says, ‘Here’s how you can get to the next level.’” I then asked, “How do people make a move from dream to actually making their dreams come true?” Phil and Kathleen believe that finding something you love to do that helps somebody else is part of the answer. Then it’s up to us to seriously work at whatever that happens to be. One Big Thing: Discovering What You were Born to Do is Phil’s new book, slated for a July 2012 release, that will address this very issue. He shared three practical steps to get us started: 1. Stay employed as long as you can while you work toward your dream. 2. When it’s time to leave to pursue your
calling full time, always end it on good terms. You never know who will be there to support you, give you a recommendation, or even keep the door open if you have to return. 3. Understand the power of networks. Word of mouth is still the best advertisement there is and word travels fast. Wrapping up the interview, Phil and Kathleen added some final thoughts about the movie business. Phil said, “It’s possible to make a low-budget film with a compelling story. Christians simply need to be really good at what you do. We think, if it’s got the Gospel in it, nothing else matters. Not true. How good is the story? A compelling story makes a difference.
“Phil directing the promotional video and movie trailer for the feature film “Act of Valor” Kathleen added, “We’re still in the prothe technology; our job now is to develop cess of developing good artists as Christhe story side of them so they understand tians. Christians are finding themselves. the techniques of telling a good story. We Outlets like the Biola Media Conference understand that a lot of projects may not bring like-minded people together. Phil be A list right now, but we’re developing and I are leaving to fly to Spain to meet artists.” Phil remarked, “Rather than just with people who want to make better accepting anything Hollywood throws films in Europe. We’ll soon be having the at us, Christians need to demand good same kinds of conversations with people stories. Great issues outside the Christian in Africa and India. People all over the bubble need to be confronted, and stories world have access to film technology. don’t always end with a happy ending. The Young kids are practicing earlier and redemptive news we bring is that even in earlier, even making films on iPads and our fallen world, we win at the end of the iPhones. They are getting good at using real Story.”
As a closing note, I asked, “Are there any final thoughts you’d like to leave for our readers?” Phil was quick to respond. “Now is the time,” he said. “Because of social media, we’re more connected than ever. You can create a tribe of people who want to hear what you have to say. If you’re helping people solve problems, you can influence people. Don’t want for anything – get out there. Engage and impact the culture for Christ. We’ve never been in a better place in history to lean in and do what God wants you to do.” MAY/JUN 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 13
After The Service New Life Worship Center
New Life Worship Center C.O.G.I.C
Kelly Clayton & Verda Toland
Godâ€™s Throne M.B.C.
Maranatha Church of God in Christ
Progressive Community Min. Darren & Darlyn Harrison
George S. Harrison II & Thomas Freeman 14
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Little Flock Baptist Church Elder Stallworth, Elaine Moonie & Dea. Larry Banks Jr.
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Mother’s Da Mommy S cho ol
ave you ever noticed that mothers worldwide share many commonalities? Why is that? Is there a secret Mommy School that they all attend? If so, I believe the curriculum must be something like this: Memorable Sayings 110: Mothering phrases are universal and this class makes sure that this truth remains. Do you remember hearing your mother say these words? * Wear clean underwear; you never know when you’ll be in an accident. * Of course you’re pretty. Forget that silly boy. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. * Clean up your room! Cleanliness is next to godliness. * Stop horsing around. You will put an eye out. * Because I said so. * Don’t make me come in there. Physical Education: Early Rising Calisthenics 212: Was your mother a morning bird? When you finally woke up, would you find her not only awake, but dressed, preparing breakfast, and humming a catchy tune? There must have been a morning P.E. class that conditioned mothers to awaken at the crack of dawn. Part of the training routine included an alarm clock that used the sound of a crying baby instead of a beeping noise to awaken the sleeping mom. However, rumor has it that in this class, failure to whistle a happy tune resulted in a mandatory army crawl under a set of couches where the mom had to pick up all lost toys found underneath. Home Economics: Cooking for Picky Eaters 317: This had to have been an amazing class because most moms could put any short order cook to shame. She was taught to make chicken in four different styles at one meal just to appease the delicate palates of each child and her husband. Tips on condiment usage to disguise vegetables as something edible, covered several weeks of this class schedule. The final exam required each mom to prepare ten meals with cheese as the primary ingredient. Anyone receiving a low score had to eat an entire box of Lucky Charms in one
By Sharon Elliott
sitting. Prayer and Praise 435: This upper level course encouraged mothers to form the daily habit of prayer needed to keep up with her energetic and sometimes wayward kids. Bursts of songs and loud “Amens” echoed the halls near this classroom. Most days the mom prayer resembled something similar to this format: “Lord, give me strength for my day. Show me how to meet the needs of each one of my children. Give me guidance in how to schedule our time. Teach me your patience so I may be slow to speak and quick to listen. Provide wisdom for the moments when I feel so inadequate. Help me to love my kids as You love me. Amen.” On a really bad day, the prayer more closely resembled the following: “Lord, please HELP ME!” The quarterly lecture series called How to Survive packed the largest lecture hall on campus every session. “How to Survive the Baby Stage” filled the room even though it ran at 1am. Since babies were welcome to attend, the timing cleverly coincided with most baby night-time feeding schedules. The fewest students attended “How to Survive the Toddler Years” as the schedulers were unable to find an hour that didn’t conflict with someone’s nap time. “How to Survive the Teens” worked best from 9:00pm to 10:45pm because most of the teenagers being parented by the mommy-students had an 11pm curfew. The parents would be up at that hour waiting for their teens to get home anyway, so they flocked to the
Sharon Elliott is Gospel Roads’ Editor-in-chief. She and Debbie have been friends for many years and have shared many laughs about raising their kids. Contact her at www.LifeThatMatters.net 16
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class for a bit of coaching. Field trips are a must in any school setting. Space in “Tea with Your BFF” filled up quickly as it was only offered quarterly. “A Walk on the Beach” was the most attended field trip even though it started at daybreak because those enrolled in “Physical Education: Early Rising Calisthenics 212” grabbed every vacant spot at this monthly excursion. “Shopping With Company” required you to bring your children as you learned to navigate the grocery store aisles with one to three kids in tow. If you children weren’t available to come, energetic kittens and squirrels were for rent at the store entrance so you could fully experience the situation. Ditch day is a common trend in school. Even though the students are moms, skipping a class or two was a common occurrence. A few ditched “Discipline with Love 230” and “Anger Management 188.” Those moms came off a bit too harsh at times. Others blew off “Time Management 157,” a core class in the curriculum that, when avoided, caused moms to run consistently late and even miss important events from time to time Those who skipped out on “Husbands are Important Too 337” often found a brooding spouse sitting on their couch that night. And the guilt from missing “Forgiveness 456” led many moms to their knees. Unfortunately, the least attended course was the one available each semester. The class was offered every hour to accommodate all of the moms’ schedules. The low class size surprised the faculty since moms
who attended this daily class had a higher rate of satisfaction with all their other courses. They even stated that they looked forward to this teaching the most. Test scores improved in all classes. “Joy” was the word most moms used to describe their life after attending this course regularly. The title of the class? “Time with God 101.” If you are reading this and you have attended Mommy School, we realize you’ll never divulge that you did, since it is a secret institution (if it exists at all). We understand that you don’t want to seem prideful by showing us the report card listing all the classes you passed with flying colors. We also understand that you wouldn’t want us to know about the classes you ditched. However, we don’t care how someone else may have rated you on the Mommy Scale long before you birthed us. On this Mother’s Day, when we your children arise and call you blessed, we’re doing so as a direct result of days spent in the real “Mommy School” –daily life. Your efforts have made a difference. Thank you for the taxi service that took us to every dance, and returned all the way at the end so we wouldn’t be the embarrassed kids who were picked up early. Thank you for being the den mother for our troop and the team mom for our sports team—always there cheering us on, win or lose. Thank you for not saying, “I told you so,” when we made fools of ourselves by doing the opposite of what you wisely told us to avoid. Thank you for believing in us when nobody else did. Thank you for the calluses on your knees from the late night and early morning prayers. Those are your battle scars. Thank you for introducing us to the Lord. Today’s moms have choices. We’re well aware that you didn’t have to allow us to invade your body and stretch it out of shape, demand your resources, and occupy your time. Still, you attended Mommy School simply for a diploma that says, “Conferred upon a woman loved by her children.” Happy Mother’s Day.
Debbie Wong is a wife, mom, speaker, singer, and author. Her passion is to encourage women to dream again and discover their full potential in Christ. Contact her at www.debbiewong.net MAY/JUN 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 17
Father’s Day Special
Masculinity, Maturation, & Matrimony: Three Facets Men of God Must Master By Gerald Bower The thick clouds of darkness have been lifted and a new day is dawning. The shroud has been removed and we are no longer overshadowed by the new century’s lack of masculine leadership. The year 2012 will no longer tolerate zestless zombies who walk aimlessly in a state oblivion to their role as God’s men. Mastering Masculinity Masculinity is not defined by being obnoxious to women, being oblivious to children, and blotting out God’s Word. The time has come to rebuke the male spirit that feeds off of these actions. The Bible says, he (Satan) has to bind the strong man before he can overcome the home, and until now, Satan has successfully bound men using these ideas. It’s time we develop stronger men to stand in the gap to push the perilous evil one out of our homes. Truly masculine men manage and maintain their homes, are leaders to their progeny, and live by the Word of God. We men must also be aware that our prayers will not be answered if we mistreat our wives and neglect our children. Instead of the mistreatment and neglect being applauded as masculine, God’s Word calls us “worse than an infidel” – like someone completely outside of the family of God – when we fail to take care of our homes (see First Timothy 5:8). If the prayers we are trying to pray are like those of an infidel, it should be simple for us to understand the problems that can occur. God’s Word being proclaimed through the Church sets the standard that men can observe. As men live by that standard, they will come to understand how to be a solution to the sins of society. When within themselves, men can honestly view the Church as an alternative to doing things their own way, their attitudes will then be open to change. Men will have mastered masculinity when he gives himself to care for his wife and children and holds the Word of God in a preeminent position in 18
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every decision of his life. Mastering Maturation The Church has the awesome responsibility of molding and developing men who will be magnifiers of God’s Word. The Church can also miss the mark and create men who can only bring shame to the Church, hurt to their families, and sin against God. Therefore, it becomes very important for the Church to channel its efforts into winning men to Christ. Once a man is a believer and he starts to work for the Lord, he will begin to get into the plan of the Father. However, the wall of a man’s willingness cannot be penetrated until an assessment of that man’s attitude can be attained. A man can feel safe in approaching the church that shows itself trustworthy. Then that mature man can safely soften his approach and begin to submit himself to God. Only in this state can that man’s heart hear and follow the Word of God. In their tremendously important role as mother, wife, or daughter, just think how our godly women will feel when we men get into the plan of the Father. Oh how beautiful it will be to have a godly father and a saintly husband in the home. This man is doing the work of the Lord by walking in the way of the Lord as he reads the word of the Lord daily. We will have mastered maturation when we realize the home is made stronger by its leader submitting himself to the authority of Christ. Mastering Matrimony A man who follows God will come to see that God’s house will be a haven of help as it empowers marriages. God’s Word teaches a man that he must love his wife as Christ loved the church and gave himself for her (see Ephesians 5:25). Men can be taught by way of God’s Word to love his family and be responsible and protective of them. The Church can lead the
way in presenting fathers as strong fortresses for their families. The church can demonstrate to men God’s directives for the family God speaks through His Word. For example, to start his own family correctly, God’s Word tells men to “leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife” (Genesis 2:24). He must be independent of old family ties while he establishes a family of his own. The pastor training his male congregants to master matrimony can lead by example and have an urgency to strengthen those men to challenge the crimes of the enemy. The Pastor can teach men to be responsible for their lives and their families. God’s Word will always show what God expects of His men as husbands and fathers. The Word of God explains that God gave man (Adam) a job first (go tend the garden), then He gave man responsibility (name the animals) before man could receive the reward of a wife (Eve). (See Genesis 2:1523). Call it a dream, a hope, anticipation, wishful thinking, visions, or even revelation, but 2012 will be the year in which more men catch the vision and begin to obey God. Through the obedience of men, children will be changed, marriages healed, homes turned around, and lives saturated, situated, and secured in the sanctity of the Savior. God no longer has to be sad as He observes the gentlemen of His creation who have fallen away from masculine leadership. Instead, He can smile when He takes a glance from His eye of grace. Now God can be glad that men around the globe are standing on His Word, doing His Will and like Gideon, winning against the enemy (Satan) in their homes as mighty men of valor. Gerald Bower’s goal in writing his daily devotional book, Something to Chew On: A Taste of the Bible, and his many Christian articles is to give God glory and be a blessing to his readers.
In The News Abuse inquiry: 5 US priests unsuitable
Md. church secretary fatally shot, priest wounded
By MARYCLAIRE DALE Associated Press
ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (AP) _ The administrative assistant of an Episcopal church was fatally shot and a priest critically wounded in a church office before the suspect took his own life, police said Friday. Howard County police said they were working to confirm the identity of the suspect, whose body was found Thursday night in the woods near St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Ellicott City, about 14 miles west of Baltimore. Police found a gun nearby. ``The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland is saddened beyond words by the shootings,’’ spokeswoman Sharon Tillman said in a written statement. She said the Maryland bishop, the Right Rev. Eugene Taylor Sutton, offered prayers for the victims Thursday night at a chapel in Baltimore, where the diocese is based.
PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Five priests were deemed unsuitable for ministry because of substantiated allegations of sexual abuse or other inappropriate conduct, the city’s Roman Catholic archbishop said Friday. Three other priests would return to the ministry and another died during the investigation, Charles Chaput said. He said 17 other cases were investigated, but the findings were not being immediately announced. ``The process of reviewing these cases was designed to ensure that the decisions announced today reflect our commitment to protect children, assist victims, restore the integrity of the priesthood and provide evidence to the broader community that they can have confidence in these outcomes,’’ the archbishop said. He also offered his ``heartfelt apology’’ to all victims of clergy abuse, too. The announcements come during the criminal trial of Monsigner William J. Lynn, a former top aide at the archdiocese. He is charged with child endangerment for his handling of abuse complaints from 1992 to 2004, mostly under the late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. The February 2011 grand jury report that led to Lynn’s case also alleged that dozens of accused priests were still active in Philadelphia, despite a zero-tolerance policy among U.S. bishops. The accusations ranged from sexual abuse to inappropriate boundary issues. A 2005 grand jury report had blasted the church for ignoring or dismissing sexualabuse complaints made against 63 priests in the archdiocese over many decades. The 2011 report said the archdiocese was continuing to downplay complaints or focus on minor discrepancies to find them not credible. The archdiocese responded by suspending the priests and hiring a former child sexcrimes prosecutor, Gina Maisto Smith, to reexamine complaints involving active priests. A year ago, the criticism came from within when the head of the archdiocese’s lay panel on priest sex-abuse blasted then-Cardinal Justin Rigali’s response to the pedophilia crisis, saying he and his bishops ``failed miserably at being open and transparent.’’
Legal group takes aim at UI’s student org policy By JESSIE L. BONNER Associated Press BOISE, Idaho (AP) _ A Christian civil rights group is taking aim at the University of Idaho’s non-discrimination policy, claiming it wrongly prohibits faith-based student organizations from selecting members based on religious beliefs. Idaho’s oldest public university is among more than 160 schools nationwide with policies that violate student religious freedoms, the Alliance Defense Fund said Thursday. The Arizona-based group recently sent letters to universities and colleges in 23 states taking issue with policies that, according their attorneys, place unconstitutional restrictions on student speech and prevent religious student groups from receiving activity fees that go to non-religious student groups. Another complaint from the conservative group is that religious student organizations are being forced to accept members that don’t adhere to
Police identified the slain woman as Brenda Brewington, 59, of Ellicott City. She was pronounced dead Thursday evening at the church. The church’s co-rector, the Rev. Mary-Marguerite Kohn of Halethorpe, 62, remained in critical condition Friday morning at Shock Trauma in Baltimore, police spokeswoman Sherry Llewellyn said. Police said a church custodian called 911 at about 5:20 p.m., reporting that he found the two women inside a church office. Kohn has been co-rector of St. Peter’s since Aug. 2009. Before that she was an associate rector of the parish, starting in Oct. 23, Tillman said. The shootings occurred on the eve of the diocese’s annual conference in Hunt Valley. The two-day meeting is scheduled to run through Saturday.
their beliefs. The group contends that’s what is at issue in Moscow, where a policy at the University of Idaho bars discrimination based on race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability or status as a Vietnam-era veteran. The policy applies to all university programs, but attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund argue the First Amendment’s free speech clause gives faith-based student groups the right to select members with similar religious beliefs. The group wrote the university’s Dean of Students Bruce Pitman late last month seeking a policy revision. Hacker requested a response by May 25 from the Idaho university regarding revisions to the policy, offering the assistance of Alliance Defense Fund attorneys. A spokesman for the organization could not confirm Thursday whether the university had responded. Pitman didn’t return a call from The Associated Press, and a university spokeswoman said she was unaware of the letter dated April 27. The university lists a dozen faith-based student organiza-
tions on its website. The Alliance Defense Fund contends the university ``can resolve this problem by simply adopting an exemption from its non-discrimination policy for religious student groups that select their members and leaders on the basis of their religious beliefs,’’ attorney David Hacker said in his letter. ``Failing to take this action would unnecessarily make the university vulnerable to a federal lawsuit.’’ The failure to allow faithbased student organizations an exemption is ``all the more egregious when a university grants access to its speech forum to other student groups that restrict membership in various ways,’’ Hacker said. He gave the example of a student Democrat club that could exclude Republicans. ``The non-discrimination policies at most universities, including University of Idaho, prohibit discrimination based on a very short list of characteristics, thereby permitting restrictive membership policies on any basis not listed,’’ he said. ``Thus, groups can restrict members on the basis of their political, social and ideological views.’’
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WHEN YOUR PLANS FALL THROUGH God uses our pain as a platform on which to display His glory By Judy Hampton
became a Christian at age 25 and had a dramatic life-change. I naively assumed that from that point on we would live happily ever after. It would be years before I learned there is no happily ever after until heaven. In the beginning of my new journey I got very busy. I began serving at church, singing in the choir, helping at VBS, attending Bible Studies and going to endless seminars and retreats. I started sharing my testimony publically. I made sure our children were in church every time the doors opened. I guess I was a stay-athome mom who never stayed home. I was joyfully confident that since we were Christians, our family would shine for the Kingdom. Fast forward 7 years when my plans fell through. We began experiencing problems with one of our
children. We were shocked! How could this be? We’re Christians. We felt sure we could fix things. We went to pastors, counselors, friends, family and read truck20
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loads of books. But nothing changed. In fact, things got worse. Little did we know that this test would define our lives for the next thirty years? Oh, there were periods of reprieve…love, marriage, and wee grandbabies. But in time, addiction resurfaced and darkness settled over our once happy family. It was during these times we’d get a phone call callously informing us that we were terrible parents and therefore we couldn’t see the grandchildren anymore. We were devastated. I could almost hear those precious voices sobbing, “Where’s my Grammy? Where’s my Grampy?” Over time they’d let us back into their lives, but there was never any repentance. We tiptoed around and tried to please, just to be with the grandchildren. But it happened again. Addiction, job loss, financial ruin, and public disgrace. We were blamed as usual. Within months our beloved child and the family moved out of town and never said goodbye. In the beginning I fell apart. My sense of self worth as a Mom vanished into a dark pit. I couldn’t eat or sleep. I was livid. I’d wake up around 2am and my mind would ruminate over all of the betrayal, lies, slander, and injustice using the children as emotional blackmail to cover up their problems. I’d go downstairs and turn on the TV. I quickly learned there is nothing on TV in the middle of the night, unless you want to buy something. I turned it off and picked up my Bible. The Bible I promised to read through each year and never did. I opened it and within moments my eyes fell on this Psalm. “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Those words jumped off the page and into my soul.
I knew God was speaking to me! For hours I sat and devoured this heavenly bread. His Words ministered to my hurting heart. “The Lord is for me, so I will have no fear. What can mere people do to me?” “Blessed be the Lord who daily bears our burdens.” “Nothing is impossible with God.” “In Me you may have peace.” I never realized Peace is a Person, not a state of mind. Meeting with Jesus in the middle of the night continued for several weeks. I was renewing my mind and seeing a new purpose unfold from Peter. “Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad -- because these
trials will make you partners with Christ in his suffering, and afterward you will have the wonderful joy of sharing his glory when it is displayed to all the world.” I finally gave up the fight. I got down on my knees and surrendered all of my fears, hurt, anger and loss into His hands. Instantly I was flooded with peace, peace I’d never known, peace in the midst of excruciating pain. This is the abundant life Jesus spoke about. But He won’t pounce on my free will. He gently whispers, “Come to Me.” I am sure you are waiting for the happily-ever-after ending to our family saga. But there isn’t one. Not yet. Things have gotten worse. There was an affair, public scandal, news trucks in our driveway,
divorce, and there my possibly be prison time. We have never seen our grandchildren since the day they moved away so many years ago. This is not the plan I had for our family. But when my plans fell through, God came through and He changed me. My pain and emotional healing is the platform God is using for me to minister to the hundreds of brokenhearted Moms that I speak to at conferences and retreats. It’s how ministry begins! And what an awesome blessing it is! “He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.”
Popular speaker, Judy Hampton, is best known for her entertaining speaking style. She is transparent, authentic, extremely humorous, and biblically sound. Her powerful messages have audiences laughing out loud one minute and wiping a tear the next. Judy’s testimony has aired on the Focus on the Family radio broadcast, The Billy Graham Association’s ‘Decision Today’ and Moody Radio. Look for her books: Under the Circumstances, Ready? Set? Go! How Parents with Prodigals Can Get on with Their Life, and When Your Plans Fall Through. Blog: judyhampton.wordpress.com MAY/JUN 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 21
Not Slothful in Business
O v e r w or k e d & Un d e r p a i d By Ivy H. Bennett
he pained expression on Carrie’s face revealed anger and frustration. “My boss says I’m already being paid at the top of the scale. So I can’t get a pay increase and they won’t give me a promotion. With my family situation I really need to make more money. It’s so unfair. I know they can afford to pay me more.” After carefully listening, I shared several insights with Carrie based on having faced a similar circumstance in the past. It can be very hard to release a challenging job situation to God, especially if you feel that you’re getting the short end of the stick. And the fact that God commands His people to “work heartily” unto the Lord -- even in the face of unfair treatment -- doesn’t seem practical (Colossians 3:23). Being overworked and underpaid can foster deep bitterness. It takes faith and discipline to stay motivated at work when you can’t see how things will work out in your favor. So what’s the solution? 1. Practice gratitude: The starting point to turn the situation around involves being thankful to God for having a job in the first place. In this tough economy, many unemployed people would absolutely love to take your place! 2. Pull back: It’s important to avoid displays of anger and snide remarks about the boss or the company. Try not to mumble or complain. Negative reactions will only position you to be first in line for the next round of layoffs. If you want a pay increase, it’s much harder to achieve that
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goal if you are unemployed. Your bargaining position with a potential employer is much stronger when you have a job. 3. Pump up: Take the initiative to proactively “tune up” your job skills. Identify areas where you excel and others where you need to improve. If you attend a seminar or conference, go to the workshops that teach new techniques, tools, or technology that may help to boost your job performance. Attending training sessions also helps expand your base of contacts in your industry. 4. Polish: Refine your resume, practice interviewing and begin to actively network. Consider joining LinkedIn or another online business networking community. Successful job seekers cite personal referrals and networking as the best way to learn about opportunities and “get your foot in the door.” Your next position could open up at another organization or at your current job. Either way, you’ll be well prepared. Remember that career blockages and setbacks are only temporary. An enthusiastic, diligent, highly skilled employee will always be rewarded and promoted in God’s perfect timing.
MY MOM’S VEAL SCALLOPINI The Goodies 4 veal cutlets, 1 per person, not too thin (about ¼ inches thick or so) ½ cup (65 g) flour seasoned with salt, a generous grinding of black pepper and ½ tsp paprika Margarine and olive oil for sautéeing 8 ½ oz (250 g) white mushrooms, trimmed, cleaned and sliced 1 – 2 cloves garlic, minced 5 oz (140 g) tomato paste 1 ¾ cups (425 ml) water 2 tsp sugar ½ tsp salt Generous grinding of black pepper or to taste 1 bay leaf (optional) ½ tsp dried thyme 3 whole cloves ½ cup (125 ml) dry white wine
The Mix’in Rinse the veal cutlets and pat dry with paper towels. Dredge in the seasoned flour, shake off excess flour and
Courtesy of Life’s a Feast
place on a clean plate. Heat a large skillet and melt about a tablespoon each of the margarine and oil until bubbling. When the oil is hot, dredge the veal cutlets once again in the flour, shake off the excess and brown the veal over medium-high heat until browned on both sides. Remove from the skillet and reserve on the plate. Combine the tomato paste, water, sugar, salt and pepper, bay, thyme and cloves in a bowl and stir until the tomato paste is blended completely in. Add a bit more margarine and oil to the skillet and sautée the mushrooms with the garlic for just a few minutes until soft and lightly browned, stirring often. Return the browned veal to the skillet and push to bury in the mushrooms. Slowly pour the tomato liquid with the spices and herbs over the veal and mushrooms and bring to a boil, scraping up the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the skillet. Lower heat and simmer for 25 minutes, stirring often. Add the white wine to the skillet, stir, bring up to a rolling boil. Lower the heat once again to a simmer and cook for an additional 5 minutes to allow the alcohol to burn off and the sauce to thicken. Serve over fresh pasta, preferably homemade. MAY/JUN 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 23
Gospel Roads’ Book Review The Power of Small Every moment counts, every decision matters, every act has consequences.
Through this 28-day experience, respected author Jennifer Kennedy Dean shows how all big things start small and how a life of obedience is made up of one small act of obedience after another. Small decisions ultimately affect the outcome of major events. Some insignificant and random event, in retrospect, is pivotal. Each day includes a devotional thought from Scripture on the power of small a story, either from Scripture or a testimony, illustrating the principle and a challenge to one small change today.
Life Unhindered Discover the five keys that God has given His people to unlock the freedom He offers. Focusing on God’s platform, provision, power, presence, and promise, Jennifer Kennedy Dean reveals how to run the race set before you and emerge as a winner. Full-spectrum freedom is God’s gift to every believer-freedom in every area of your life. “It is for freedom that Christ has set you free,” says Paul (Galatians 5:1 NIV). Learn to lay aside every hindrance to the abundant life Christ bought with His blood.
Live a Praying Life Live a Praying Life gives readers keys to authentic Christian living through a deepened prayer life. For more than 20 years, Jennifer Kennedy Dean has researched and practiced the principles of her bestselling Bible study of the same title. This new trade edition breaks down and delivers the time-tested principles of praying. Readers will find it easy to understand prayer, its purpose, process, practice, and promise as they look at prayer through God’s view and His Word. Excellent illustrations and word pictures describe how to get at prayer that pleases God and satisfies the pray-er’s deepest desires.
The Author Jennifer Kennedy Dean Jennifer Kennedy Dean is executive director of the Praying Life Foundation and a respected author and speaker. Jennifer is the author of such books as Pursuing the Christ, Heart’s Cry, Life Unhindered!, The Life-Changing Power in the Name of Jesus, Set Apart, and Secrets Jesus Shared. She is in demand as a speaker and has spoken in such venues as the Billy Graham Training Center at the Cove and Focus on the Family. 24
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“The Hunger Games”
Starring Jennifer Lawrence
by Matthew Jones
he Hunger Games debuted at the Box Office with a staggering $152 million dollar opening weekend, the top opening weekend of 2012. As of April 16th the film had its 4th week at the top of the box office. This is practically unprecedented in the film industry today. So what is all the hype about? I try to be on the top of pop culture so I shamelessly admit that I did read the books and watch the movie. Even though the book was not the best young adult fiction read since the Harry Potter series, The Hunger Games was a fun and quick read, a captivating story that forces you to fall in love with some of the characters and passionately hate others. The story explores a lot a pain and suffering, but strangely does still offer hope. The Hunger Games follows the life of Katniss Everdeen who lives in a futuristic country that is separated by districts. A Capital controls these districts due to civil unrest that happened 70 years prior.
Every year, each district has to offer up one boy and one girl between the ages of 12-18 to fight in the Hunger Games at The Capital. These games are like the Olympics, except there is only one winner—the one who is alive at the end Yes, The Hunger Games pits12-18 year olds against each other in a contest to the death with the goal of winning the Hunger Games title for their district. Katniss is chosen from her District, District 12, to fight. So what can possibly be redeeming in a movie about teenagers killing each other? As we suspend reality to enter the lives of the movie characters, we find young people trapped in a no-win societal situation. Although they know they have a great chance of dying, they still train to fight for their country due to that slim chance that they can bring something good back into their world. Teens who sacrifice themselves for the greater good and persevere when life gives them something they must
Jennifer Lawrence & Liam Hemsworth
endure even though they don’t like it? Sounds like young people with positive moral character and an actual grasp on reality. What a concept. It’s an upbeat message to think that if society becomes all screwed up, we’d be able to trust young people to be the ones still holding onto a shred of decency. One can only hope. The Hunger Games is a heart wrenching, exciting, and captivating film all at the same time, a deep flick that entertains and speaks to everyone. MAY/JUN 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 25
Now That’s Alarming
By Rhonda Rhea
keep trying to find a friendly-sounding alarm clock. Do you have one of those alarms that shrieks at the decibel level of a tornado siren? The alarm goes off, you jolt up in a panic, heart pounding, barely catching yourself before you sprint to the nearest storm shelter. Ever find those fingernail marks in the ceiling over your bed? And my alarm doesn’t blast and then stop. No, it just keeps on shrieking. Smashing it with a fist does nothing—except cause major fist pain. Throwing it across the room doesn’t faze it. Stomping on it doesn’t do much either. Maybe you can guess why I never keep a sledge hammer beside my bed. Or C-4. Why don’t they make an alarm clock that gently jostles my shoulder while softly informing me that the cinnamon rolls are ready? The thing is, if I ever found that kind of pleasant alarm clock, I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t wake me. I guess that means there really is purpose in the shriek. I’m convinced that there are times I need a soul alarm, too. And not a soft jostle. A good shrieking jolt. In Psalm 57, David sounds the alarm with an “Awake, my soul!” David says, “My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast; I will sing and make music. Awake, my soul! Awake, harp and lyre! I will awaken the dawn. I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations; I will sing of you among the peoples. For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies. Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth,” (verses 7-11). David is telling his sleepy-head soul to get in gear, loving, serv-
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ing and glorifying the name of God. He’s waking up that part of him that is built to praise the God of the universe, readying himself for a new day of telling the whole world of the Father’s wonderful love, of His amazing faithfulness and of His vast glory. Rejoicing in his circumstances? Not so much. David was in a cave, hiding from the king who hated him. He was in danger, running for his life. Sometimes when our circumstances aren’t exactly the best, we need to awaken our souls all the more to
understand the goodness of God and to enthusiastically sing praises to the Father from every part of our being. David’s dire circumstances and his unjust treatment screamed an urgency to share the Lord with a lost world, to contrast the wickedness of evildoers with the greatness of God. There was still great purpose in the shriek. No matter what circumstances we find ourselves in, our heavenly Father’s greatness always, always calls for celebration. Sometimes loud celebration. Sometimes quiet celebration. And me? Sometimes I like to celebrate with cinnamon rolls.
It’s a God Thing I Got Her Phone Number in My Dream
By Dr. Gloria Shell Mitchell
ave you ever made a wish that came true in an amazing way? I did. One night as I lay in bed asleep, I suddenly opened my eyes and beheld a brilliant light beaming from a white inflated balloon-like pillow. The round pillow with ruffled edges beckoned to me from the floor. In big bold black letters the word “Northern” appeared across the center of the pillow. Directly beneath the word, in smaller black print, I saw “2-1-79.” I cautiously crawled out of bed, tiptoed to the pillow, and picked it up. Immediately, I began to float in the air. Still clutching the pillow, I floated toward the bedroom door and it opened as I advanced. I floated through another room in unfamiliar surroundings and observed a padlock on the front door that opened miraculously before my eyes. With the lock removed, the door flung open and I felt the breeze in my hair as I flew to progressively higher elevations outside. I kept flying higher until I bumped my head on the bedroom ceiling. One downward glance revealed my whereabouts. I was hovering over my bed. As I gently floated onto the bed like a leaf falling from a tree, I discovered an ordinary pillow in my grasp. My head snuggled into the pillow and sleep returned. When I awoke that morning, I wrote down my vivid dream. I pondered its meaning all day at work. Not knowing anyone named Northern or any special event that occurred on 2-1-79, I suspected God had given me a phone number. One glance at the list of Los Angles prefixes in the telephone book confirmed my suspicion that Northern represented the first three digits of a phone number. I had one slight problem: how does someone call a stranger and say, “God gave me your phone number?” Unable to rest, I reluctantly dialed the number from home that evening. I surprised myself when I heard my voice say to the woman who answered, “May I speak to Muhammad Ali?” Since I had tried unsuccessfully to locate Ali for a guest appearance at a Christian youth conference I was planning, I assumed God had given me his phone number. The woman on the other end of the receiver replied, “I once had a tenant by the name of Muhammad, but he moved long ago.” I apologized and quickly hung up. I was certain I had the
right number because I had recorded my dream. What now? I thought. The following evening after much prayer and several deep breaths, I called the number again and the same woman answered. This time I calmly told her my name, church, and the fact that someone had given me her number. “As an intercessor, I’d like to know if anyone in your home needs special prayer?” I asked. The elderly woman excitedly replied, “Would you believe I just finished praying! I’ve been asking God for a prayer partner.” Humble Mrs. Emma had made an emotional appeal to Almighty God the previous night while watching a preacher on Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). When viewers were instructed to join hands with someone during prayer, she reminded God that she had no other believer in her home. Her desire for a prayer partner stemmed from the preacher’s message that stressed the added power when two or more pray together according to Matthew 18:19-20. Bubbling with excitement, I read my dream to her. Mrs. Emma, a grandmother of Spanish and Mexican descent, had been reared a Catholic and had not engaged in a personal study of the Scriptures. She had specifically asked the Lord for a prayer partner who would teach her the Scriptures and how to pray effectively. What a perfect partner, I thought. As I remembered my prayer sessions with Ma Moore who had moved away months prior, I realized that God had given me another play mom, but of a different race. Since January 8, 1988, Mrs. Emma and I have prayed via telephone on Tuesday nights. We both know God brought us together. I gave her a Good News Bible, my favorite translation, to help increase her understanding. Now she is amazed at her own ability to read the King James Version with ease. She even recites the Scriptures while praying. Remembering my God-given play mom, who quietly departed this life on December 16, 2010, at age 93, I thank God for choosing Mrs. Emma more than twenty years ago to meet my need for another play mom and to be my new prayer partner. “And with all his abundant wealth through Christ Jesus, my God will supply all your need” (Philippians 4:19 TEV).
Dr. Gloria Shell Mitchell is commited to sharing the word of God from the rich treasures of the bible. Contact her at www.encouragemintbooks.com MAY/JUN 2012 GOSPELROADS.COM 27
Come Worship with us! CALIFORNIA Long Beach Baptist
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
Greater Good News Church of God In Christ 5840 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90003
West Angeles Church Of God In Christ 3045 Crenshaw Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90016
Oakland-San Francisco Baptist
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 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
C O G I C - Pentecostal
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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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
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 First Baptist Church 3535 North El Dorado Street 95204 Quail Lakes Baptist Church 1904 Quail Lakes Dr, Stockton, CA 95207
C O G I C - Pentecostal Eastside Church 3206 Marsh Stockton, CA 95205 Greater New Hope Deliverance 1467 Michael Av Stockton, CA 95206 New Life Worship Center 490S. Wilson Way, Stockton, CA 95205 Progressive Community Church 2820 South B Street, Stockton, CA 95206 White Rose The Church of God In Christ 2340 S Pilgrim St, Stockton, CA 95206
Oklahoma Oklahoma City
First Baptist Church Broad Av 2849 Broad Ave, Memphis, TN 38112
Little Flock Baptist Church 1125 Cherry St, Baytown, TX 77520
Greater Love Baptist Church 4439 Hacks Cross Rd, Memphis, TN 38125
North Oaks Baptist Church 18411 Stuebner Airline Rd, Spring, TX 77379
Mt Vernon Baptist Church Westwood 620 Parkrose Rd, Memphis, TN 38109
Pilgrim Rest Missionary Baptist Church 3410 Jeanetta St, Houston, TX 77063
New Salem Missionary Baptist Church 2225 S Parkway E, Memphis, TN 38114
C O G I C - Pentecostal Jesus Is The Way Church of God In Christ 1884 Farrington St, Memphis, TN 38109 Leakeâ€™s Temple Cogic 974 Florida St, Memphis, TN 38106
Baptist Emmaus Baptist Church 16001 S Western Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73170 Meadowood Baptist Church 2816 N Woodcrest Dr, Oklahoma City, OK 73110
Moore Memorial COGIC 860 Speed St, Memphis, TN 38107 Old Land Mark Church 1490 N.Hollywood St., Memphis, TN 38108
C O G I C - Pentecostal
New Life Church of God In Christ 1245 SW 25th St, Oklahoma City, OK 73109
Power House Church of God In Christ 403 N Lindsay Ave, Oklahoma City, OK 73104
Celebration Baptist Church 1140 Morrison Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76120
Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church 8015 Blossom Ln, Dallas, TX 75227
Baptist Glenwood Baptist Church 5400 Charles Page Blvd, Tulsa, OK 74127 Oakridge Baptist Church 6103 S 44th West Ave, Tulsa, OK 74132 Ridge Crest Baptist Church 304 S 161st East Ave, Tulsa, OK 74108 Tulsa Baptist Temple 1203 S Columbia Ave, Tulsa, OK 74104
C O G I C - Pentecostal Gospel Tabernacle Church of God In Christ 1832 N Lewis Ave, Tulsa, OK 74110
Fellowship Baptist Church of Oak Cliff 3607 S Westmoreland Rd, Dallas, TX 75233 Friendship West Baptist Church 2020 W Wheatland Rd, Dallas, TX 75232 Greater Cornerstone Baptist Church 8350 Forest Ln, Dallas, TX 75243 Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church 1300 E Allen Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104
C O G I C - Pentecostal Church of God In Christ 3331 Chihuahua Ave, Dallas, TX 75212 Emanuel Church-God In Christ 1419 Dennison St, Dallas, TX 75212
Greater Lansing Church of God In Christ 4909 N Cincinnati Ave, Tulsa, OK 74126
Fair Park Church Of God In Christ 1036 S Carroll Ave, Dallas, TX 75223
Meredith Temple Church of God In Christ 1158 Mount Vernon Ave, Columbus, OH 43203
Gospel Kingdom Church of God In Christ 4401 S Riverside Dr, Fort Worth, TX 76119
Pentecostal Temple Church of God In Christ 2438 E 29th St N, Tulsa, OK 74110
Haynes Chapel Church of God In Christ 3605 Ruskin St, Dallas, TX 75215
South Main Baptist Church of Houston 4100 Main St, Houston, TX 77002 Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church 3826 Wheeler St, Houston, TX 77004
C O G I C - Pentecostal Island of Hope Church of God and Christ 3303 Orange St, Houston, TX 77020 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 Zion Temple Church of God In Christ 6102 Milart St, Houston, TX 77021
Georgia Atlanta Kingdom Tabernacle Christian Assembly 892 Berne St. SE Atlanta, GA 30316
Baptist Beulah Baptist Church 170 Griffin St NW, Atlanta, GA 30314 Mt Pleasant Baptist Church 17 Meldon Ave SE, Atlanta, GA 30315 New Jerusalem Baptist Church 383 Paines Ave NW, Atlanta, GA 30314 Beulah Baptist Church 2340 Clifton Springs Rd, Decatur, GA 30034
C O G I C - Pentecostal Abundant Life COGIC 1280 Benteen Way SE, Atlanta, GA 30315 Paradise Church-God In Christ 4234 Hendrix Dr, Forest Park, GA 30297 Victory Cathedral COGIC 3704 Campbellton Rd SW, Atlanta, GA 30331 Abundant Life Church of God In Christ 79 McDonough Blvd SE, Atlanta, GA 30315
St Chapel Church of God In Christ 701 E Baltimore Ave, Fort Worth, TX 76104
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