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ERIC MURPHY Mind, body & spirit empowerment

God’s Greater Purpose For Families

Marriage and Parenting: A God-Centered Paradigm



How Dating Deceives Christians





Pg. 18

Eric Murphy

in this issue 8 - God’s Greater Purpose For Families 10 - Marriage and Parenting

40 Get involved

12 - How Dating Deceives Christians 14 - Christian Weight Loss 15 - Processing Miscarriage 22 - Healthy Money 32 - April Mason 32 April Mason

28 Women In Ministry




R EFLECTIONS A MESSAGE FROM THE FOUNDER Make a move and keep moving forward. Time certainly does fly. The time to publish our second issue of God Works Magazine came around so quickly.

I was and still am excited about what I believe God Works Magazine will be...a blessing to many. After our first issue was made available to view online, I received so many comments and messages about how great this publication is. I took the time to read every message.

“This platform I have is important to me. It allows others to see how God is using myself and others in positive ways.”

Being fresh into this, I find myself working (a lot) but not actually “moving” enough. I am starting to think it is time to call Eric Murphy (pg. 18) for a personal training session. After all, sitting in front of my laptop and eating hot fudge sundaes (compliments of my aunt Rhonda) while working can’t be good for my hips or thighs.

I believe we all need to be healthy—mind, body and spirit. This platform I have is important to me. It allows others to see how God is using myself and others in positive ways. It is also important for us to take care of ourselves. Obviously, my jeans fitting tighter is a direct sign that I need to take better care of my body.

It’s a good thing my mind and spirit are healthy. Now, if I can just put the ice cream down, step away from my laptop long enough to get some exercise in, I’ll be on my way to making a move to better health. Let us all make some moves...and keep moving forward!

Be inspired and watch us grow!

Ayana Elon Contributing Writers

Neil Justin

Photographer Credits

Olivia Stith

David M. Goehring

Dr. Timothy Hoflund

Anna Wood

Pierre Bédat

Dionna Sanchez

Patrick Roberts

Koka Sexton

Dwight Turner

Michelle Cameron

Christine Szeto

Kimberly Floyd

Susan Barnes

Pedro Ribeiro Simões



Miss Pupik




WE BELIEVE IN LIFE Pro-Life News Headlines •

Fort Wayne, India Abortion Practitioner Receives Death Threats:

Dr. George Klopfer, Fort Wayne’s only abortion doctor, sued the Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department because a new ordinance requires him to provide contact information. The ordinance gives health officials unlimited access to patients’ medical records and violates Dr. Klopfer’s right to privacy. During the second week in July, Klopfer filed papers noting he had received a death threat from a Fort Wayne area caller who found his unpublished number. Klopfer lives out of state and travels to Fort Wayne to perform abortions.

West Chicago Allows Pro-Life Event:

On July 8, attorneys from the Thomas More Society secured an agreement from the City of West Chicago that allowed a pro-life protest in West Chicago, IL on July 9, 2010.


Initially West Chicago officials had notified the Thomas More Society that the Pro-Life Action League’s “Face of Truth” Tour protest would not be permitted to take place in that city due to a new ordinance covering demonstrations and protests.

Send us a photo of your li+le one so that we may feature it in our September issue of God Works Magazine.

After pointing out the various constitutional deficiencies to the attorneys for the city, Thomas More Society attorneys prepared federal court papers to secure an injunction to allow the protest to proceed. Just prior to the initiation of court proceedings, the attorneys for the city agreed to allow the protest and to take a fresh look at the challenged provisions in the West Chicago demonstration permit ordinance in light of objections raised by Thomas More Society attorneys.

All photos should be emailed to us as an a+achment to the email address below by August 7th. Please include your name, baby’s first name, city/state, and baby’s age at the :me the photo was taken. All photos must be high-quality in order to be considered for publica:on.






Bishop Walter Hawkins Dies, 61 Walter Hawkins, an award-winning gospel music singer and founder of Love Center Ministries, Inc. died at his home in Ripon, California from pancrea:c cancer. Hawkins’ career started in the Ephesians Church of God in Christ’s Choir, which was directed by his older brother Edwin. Together, they recorded an album, Let Us Go Into the House of the Lord. From that album, the song “Oh Happy Day” became a hit, selling over a million copies. In 1973, Walter set out on his own and became the pastor of the Love Center Church located in Oakland, California. Hawkins and his Love Center Church Choir were very successful. Their “Love Alive” series of recordings sold well over a million copies. During his career, he won one Grammy and three Dove Awards. He was also inducted into the Chris:an Music Hall of Fame.

Atheists of Florida Sue City of Lakeland The Atheists of Florida filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Lakeland over opening city commission mee:ngs with prayers. The Central Florida organiza:on voiced specific outrage over the use of the name “Jesus Christ”. On April 5, one of the mee:ngs became heated when there was a yelling match between a ci:zen and the Atheists. The commissioners had to prompt for a recess. Lakeland’s policy s:pulates that governments must make a reasonable effort to incorporate all religious faiths. Gow Fields, Lakeland’s Mayor, stated the city plans to fight the lawsuit in court.

New Name, Logo for Y.M.C.A. The Y.M.C.A., originally the Young Men’s Chris:an Associa:on, announced that it is changing its logo and name. The new logo is a part of a new branding strategy for the Chicagobased U.S. nonprofit. Officials for “the Y” say they hope the new logo will be more invi:ng. The organiza:on’s key areas of focus are youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility.










God’s Greater Purpose For Families PHOTO CREDIT: Pierre BÊdat


od instructed the first humans to be fruitful, multiply and replenish the earth. Many people read this and do not put it in the proper perspective of when God so instructed Adam and Eve! Because of this, many people entirely miss God's desire and intention for populating the earth or more personally, to build a family!

and women to be fruitful and multiply! By virtue of this fact we can only conclude that it is God's desire that families be the breeding ground for righteousness! That our responsibility as parents is to reproduce God's righteousness in the earth and to do so through how we raise our children!

Notice, in Scripture God never inWhen did God so structed the unMany people en rely miss righteous to be instruct Adam and Eve? BEFORE they God's desire and inten on fruitful! God nevrebelled and became er instructed the for popula ng the earth. sinful! In other unrighteous to words, while they fill nor to replenwere in their initial created state of ish the earth! Although He never forbeing righteous! There was another bade the unrighteous from being time that God instructed a man and fruitful, His spoken word to be fruithis family to be fruitful, multiply and ful was only spoken to those who replenish the earth as well! This man were righteous! was Noah and his family after the Therefore, can we not safely conclude flood! What is the significance of that God's purpose for human reprothis? God found Noah to be righteous duction is to multiply righteousness and so spared him and his family in the earth! Can we not safely confrom the flood! clude that God's purposes for parents Again, God instructed a RIGHT- are to raise their offspring in rightEOUS MAN to replenish the earth! eousness and to be righteous? This brings us to the conclusion that, above all else, God's intention is that I believe this to be so! For what more the earth be populated with RIGHT- does the Lord say on the matter? EOUS families! Among others, we find the Scriptures of the Psalms to speak on this matGod instructed RIGHTEOUS men



Psalm 33:11-18 "The counsel of the Lord standeth forever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations. Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord; and the people whom he hath chosen for his own inheritance. The Lord looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth. He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength. Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;" Psalm 45:16-17 "Instead of thy fathers shall be thy children, whom thou mayest make princes in all the earth. I will make thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise thee for ever and ever." Dr. Timothy Hoflund D.Div., D.D. Sr. Ministry Leader True Hope Churches & Ministries Chancellor True Hope Bible Institute

Thank you for reading God Works Magazine!



Spiritual Memories My mom was working on a project recently and she asked me to let her know what spiritual memories she had passed on to me as I was growing up. This was an interes:ng ques:on and as I thought about it, I realized that the spiritual memories I had from her weren't big and obvious things. Rather, they were smaller day-to-day memories. It was more a way of life and who my parents were as people that got ingrained in my heart. I remember siMng as a family in church and going almost every Sunday. I remember a cross that my mom had hung over their bed that had two rings entwined in it to symbolize that God was the head of their marriage. I remember Bible Studies laying out on my mom's desk, and the prayers we would say together. This got me to thinking about what kind of spiritual memories or founda:on I am laying for my own kids. What will they remember or take from me as a spiritual heritage? It probably won't be the things I think. It probably won't be the long discussions I have with them from :me to :me thinking that I am trying to "embed" spiritual truths and values in their hearts. No - it will probably be things like singing at the top of our lungs to our favorite Chris:an tunes in the car. Or, hos:ng small groups in our home. Maybe they will even treasure certain faith-based pictures that we have hung throughout our home. You see, I realized that what our children take from us is more about who we are and how we live on a day to day basis. Not that they won't remember or appreciate some of the bigger moments on their faith journey like being bap:zed, or going on a missions trip. But the concept of how we view God and how much we let Him into our daily lives...will probably resound clearer in their heads. How about you? What kind of spiritual memories are you leaving for your children? Are they nega:ve or posi:ve? Are they hearPelt or shallow words? DeďŹ nitely something to think about...and deďŹ nitely something to live by if you take your faith seriously.

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- Dionna Sanchez is Founder of and freelance writes. She also blogs at h+p:// Contact her at




PHOTO CREDIT: Chris:ne Szeto

Marriage and Parenting: A God-Centered Paradigm I

have increasingly come to the awareness that we are placed where we are for a reason. The wisdom of God has arranged for us the very circumstances we need in order to step outside of our own self-absorption and sense of self-importance and develop a heart of intimate compassion for and with those precious beings that are a part of our daily lives. I am especially speaking of our family members.

our roles as parents or marriage partners. The same is often true when it comes to being sincere believers who just happen to be children of parents that are less than reasonable. Indeed, my friend, it is so easy to forget what it is we are called to. Put in general terms, we are called to give flesh to grace and feet to love. We are to forgive even seventy times seven and go the extra mile, whatever the situation might require or entail. These are lofty words indeed and they are standards that I cannot live up to, at least when left to my own devices. It is far easier for me to fail than succeed when it comes to manifesting a proactive kindness in my roles as a family member. Still, I am aware that I don't have to go it alone and further, God would have never given me the high honor of being a husband and a father if he didn't intend for me to succeed. In my moments of doubt and trembling, I know divine help is available.

Perhaps nowhere is the development of kindness and compassion more difficult than within the parameters of familial relations. The very proximity of husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and even extended family often breeds not only familiarity, but also a sense of irritation, anger, and even downright loathing when those closest to us consistently step on our toes, push our buttons, or otherwise rain on our parade. Yet it is in this very cauldron of familiarity and conflict that we have our golden chance to become less of a monster and more of a saint. Christian author Gary Thomas has written a couple of Moreover, unless we can incarnate patience, tolerance, books that deal with these issues from the perspective of love, and acceptance where we have been placed, all other the spiritual journey. Sacred Marriage and the second book, aspects of our spiritual endeavoring are empty. Sacred Parenting, are written from the perspective that beThe demands of being a centered, caring spouse or in- ing a spouse or a parent is part of God's overall design to carnating divine virtues to our children should be goals for provide us with an environment where we can die and rise each of us. Too often, however, most of us tend to forget to a new life. Like all things in the on the spiritual path, it exactly what it is we are called to when it comes to fulfilling involves dying to self in service to others. Thomas tells us:




reach adulthood, are impulsive, childish, dependent, and especially demanding. This is what happens when the philosophy of child-centered parenting is carried too far.

following passage, both books get right to the heart of the message:

"Christian parenting is truly a sacred journey. It invites us parents to purify ourselves, to use the process of raising kids to perfect holiness, and to do this What Thomas is talking about is an consistently, every day, out of reveralternative paradigm "God-centered" ence for God. If we enter it armed with parenting. Our roles as mothers and fathers are carried out through a sense this understanding, each segment will of reverence for God. Further, we rec- gain new meaning and purpose even the difficult ognize that our children ones..We live are special gifts from In putting God first in our in the midst of God and have been enrelationship with our spouse, holy teachers. trusted to us for care, our marriage becomes more Sometimes nurturance, and educaGod-centered. they spit up on tion. When we recognize themselves or that our duties as paron us. Sometimes they throw tanents are a central part of our spiritual trums. Sometimes they cuddle us and journey in general and our reverence kiss us and love us. In the good and the As we begin to see that our function as for God in particular, our motivation changes. There is no longer a struggle bad they mold our hearts, shape our parents is intimately related to our souls, and invite us to experience God between meeting the children's needs spiritual journey, this opens up the in newer and deeper ways. Although possibility of viewing family life from a and fulfilling your own needs. It is, instead, a journey of respect and rever- we may shed many tears along this wholly different perspective. For decades now, the dominant view in devel- ence for God and is also a matter of our sacred journey of parenting, numerous blessings await us around every bend opmental psychology and especially in own obedience to God and service to the person he has placed in front of us. in the road." parenting has espoused the importance of "child-centered" parenting. Certainly being centered on the child is The same idea holds true for the mari- The old adage about serving where you a positive thing, as long as it is not car- tal relationship. In putting God first in are planted is especially relevant to our roles as husbands, wives, mothers, and ried too far. If a parent becomes overly our relationship with our spouse, our marriage becomes more God-centered. fathers. Go to God in prayer, expresschild centered, it basically does the Our post-modern culture perhaps rails ing gratitude for the honor of being child an injustice. at this paradigm, but that doesn't make chosen for such a high responsibility it any less viable. In my own marriage, and asking for wisdom, support, guidWhen I lived in China I witnessed an ance, and love. interesting yet alarming pattern in the I have come to the stark realization that I am being asked by God to raising of children. Briefly, the trend Dwight Turner is founder of LifeBrook Commuwas to excessively dote on the children, "serve" my wife. I am to love her as nications, a ministry which produces and pubChrist loves the church and this also especially the males, and do every lishes web content on a variety of faith-based means I am to serve her as Christ thing you could as a parent for the themes. LifeBrook may be viewed at: child. This pattern came about largely serves the church. Looked at from this God-centered paradigm, the whole due to the one child policy in China. Many Chinese children were "only chil- debate about "submission" becomes moot. dren" and the parents and grandparAll material: (c) L.D. Turner/All Rights Reserved ents lavished this single child with anyI will close with another quotation thing he wanted. The result has been from Gary Thomas. Although he is the raising of an entire generation of speaking here of parenting, the themes "little emperors," who are basically boys that expect their every need to be he addresses also apply to marriage. I met and met immediately. These kids, would like to highly recommend both of these books by Thomas. As in the some of whom are now beginning to





"Let's accept that both marriage and parenting provide many good moments while also challenging us to the very root of our being. Let's admit that family life tries us as perhaps nothing else does; but let's also accept that, for most of us, this is God's call and part of his plan to perfect us. Once we realize that we are sinners, that the children God has give us are sinners, and that together, as a family, we are to grow toward God, then family life takes on an entirely new purpose and context. It becomes a sacred enterprise when we finally understand that God can baptize dirty diapers, toddler's tantrums, and teenagers' silence in order to transform us into people who more closely resemble Jesus Christ."

PHOTO CREDIT: Pedro Ribeiro Simões

:ent, pray about a life:me commitment with this person and wait on God's guidance. Whatever happened to seeking someone with commitment and devo:on to God, who is trusPul and filled with integrity and who values the inner beauty of a person? Charm is decep:ve, and beauty is flee:ng, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30)

How Dating Deceives Christians


few days ago a Chris:an woman told me that she was tricked into marrying her husband. He portrayed himself as a Chris:an to her during the da:ng period. Do you know why this happens? It happens because she did not really get to know him on the inside. He talked a good talk and impressed her with false words and once they were married he became a different person to her. Da:ng teaches us to only see and hear what we want to see and hear and nothing else. Have you ever watched the show called "keeping Up Appearances"? It is a very well made Bri:sh comedy about a middle-aged, boasPul housewife who tries to appear as something she is not. She wants to look wealthy to others and she does whatever she can to keep up that appearance. She spends her days trying to impress people of higher status than herself. Those who really know her such as her family, friends and neighbors know her real character quali:es but she



deceives many other people into believing she is high up on the social ladder and wealthy to boot.

Many of us have been condi:oned into believing that we have to have sex with every person that we feel somewhat a+racted to. Many :mes all we see is how someone looks and other outward appearances. How trite is that? It's perfectly fine to appreciate someone's outward appearance but we must also go deeper and look for the inner character of a person and see if we can also appreciate their inner beauty too? Chris:ans need to wizen up and get to know a person for who they really are.

Da ng Uses Other Sexually and Emo onally People Are Not What They Appear Today you will "go out on a date" with people who put on airs and are not what they seem. They are so good at "keeping up appearances that they will trick people into marrying them. Only their close friends, family and God know them for who they really are. Don't let yourself become deceived through impressive talk of a boaster because you will be sadly disappointed. The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD look at the heart. (1 Samuel 17:7) If we want a marriage that will last then we need to look for the deep inner quali:es of a person that we are regarding as a possible marriage candidate. Besides that, Chris:ans need to be pa-

Having sex is a beau:ful part of life and should be enjoyed by all married couples. God wants us to enjoy a healthy sexual appe:te with the person we married, not with strangers we are not going to marry. How many :mes have you met someone and it developed into a sexual rela:onship? How many people have you dated that you did NOT give away your heart, body and emo:ons to? "For this is the will of God, even your sanc:fica:on (set apart), that ye should abstain from fornica:on. That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel (body) in sanc:fica:on and honour. Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the gen:les which know not God. That no man go beyond (arouse sexual lust in another) and defraud his brother in any ma+er: because the Lord is the avenger of



such, as we also have forewarned you and tes:fied." (1 Thessalonians 4:1-7) How does having sex help you get to know a person? Chris:ans do not need to arouse passion and lust in one another to figure out if they will make a suitable marriage spouse or not. Becoming in:mate with someone is not going to prepare you for marriage, but will in fact destroy any chances of the rela:onship becoming based on real love and respect for one another. Having sex will destroy the sanc:ty of any rela:onship.

Da ng Teaches People that Feelings of Lust is Love How does da:ng teach people that lust is love? More and more marriages are falling apart because a spouse or both spouses think they have "fallen out of love". Have they really fallen out of love or have they fallen out of lust? In da:ng there are three things involved. You meet them. You desire them. You date (have sex with) them. It takes only a feeling to decide you are ready to move on and find another person to arouse sexually. Sadly this is happening in marriage too.

Becoming in mate with someone is not going to prepare you for marriage. Marriage has become for couples just another date. There is no commitment and no real love to speak of. How does da:ng someone prepare couples for a life:me commitment to marriage? Couples need to understand that love is always something that one does and is not a feeling but an ac:on. Da:ng deceives Chris:ans because everything about it is a decep:on. Sincere Chris:ans who want a healthy life:me marriage should not date.

Kissing, touching, online chaMng, ogling, flir:ng, and looking are all forms of emo:onal adultery. Is a passionate kiss outside of marriage adultery? Come watch and listen to find out what Jesus says. h+p:// Marriage Healing Ministry: h+p://





Christian Weight Loss: Three Winning Attitudes

answers. Then take your answers to God immediately. Realize that if you continue using food to cope with emo-

Three winning attitudes can help your Christian weight loss efforts:

* I am responsible * I face reality * I have a "no excuses" attitude

I Am Responsible Realize that you are responsible for the choices you make or have made; it is a waste of time to blame others or circumstances for your choices. When it comes to your health efforts, you alone are responsible for the food you put in your mouth. You are responsible for exercising your body. You're responsible for preparing nutritious meals for yourself and, on the days when you can't cook, you're responsible for buying nutritious meals for yourself. You're a grownup and no one is going to make you healthy but you. Accountability does not mean condemnation when you stumble. Instead it means that you are willing to take responsibility for the stumble and examine where things went wrong so that you are less likely to make the same mistake again.

I Face Reality Satan often uses negative emotions to try to defeat us, such as depression, anger, and discouragement. But he uses fear most of all. He tries to trick you into thinking that you won't be able to cope with life if you don't eat your usual way. This is especially true if you are using food to avoid dealing with issues that you don't want to face. But that's not what God wants for you. He wants you to trust that He works all things together for your good.

tional issues, you'll never have true peace. Have the courage to look at the hard, painful things; God will help you through and heal you.

I Have a "No Excuses" Attitude

You can either have your weight loss goal or keep your excuse, but you can't have both. Arguing for an excuse means you get to keep it. "No excuses" challenges you to focus on solutions, not on problems. Your excuses are blocking your way to a more excellent life. Get rid of them.

These attitudes are not always easy to maintain but when you practice them, you make you chances of success much greater.

- Kimberly Floyd

Did you find this information on Women Food and God reviews useful? Read my detailed review, other reader comments about the book, and get my FREE special report 'Overcoming Emotional Eating God's Way' so that you can conquer binge eating now at You will discover valuable Christian weight loss tips at the site as well.

God can give you courage to face any demons of unresolved hurt, unforgiveness, and anger. So ask yourself the question: 'What am I running from?' Write down your




HEALTH Please understand that healing will eventually come--if you allow it to. Processing the stages of grief can last anywhere from a few days (rare) to a few years (also, rare). You will eventually move through the shock and the numbness of the realiza:on that you are losing or have lost your baby. This numbness actually protects you and gives you :me to prepare to accept the loss. Next, comes suering the pain of the loss. Spiritually, emo:onally and physically you may ache and feel as if you are falling apart. Not only do others not know what to say to you but you don't know what to say to them. You know that your baby was real: you went through the baby's death. It can PHOTO CREDIT: Miss Pupik be much harder for others to grasp.

Processing Miscarriage


he pain of miscarriage can some:mes linger for years as you no:ce other children who are just about the ages that yours would have been, had they lived. You may uninten:onally seek the lost child among your living ones. You may ďŹ nd yourself seeking out pregnant women and wishing that it could be you instead of her that was s:ll pregnant. I've lost several children to miscarriage and I've done all of these. (For years, my husband and I both would uninten:onally seek out a missing child when we did head checks of our surviving children).

The pain may lessen aXer a few weeks or it may linger for months. It may get be+er only to get worse when something reminds you of your lost Please understand that child. Take :me to deal with the pain. It is imhealing will eventually portant to remember your come--if you allow it to. child and celebrate his brief existence. Your baby is safe in heaven and if you are a Chris:an, then you have assurance that you will one day see your lost li+le one again. Some women journal about their child and their experience with losing her. Some memorialize him in other ways: some mommies might want to plant a tree in honor of their lost child, others might feel the need to write a le+er to their child expressing their love for them and their bewilderment at losing them. I personally feel that it is very important to name your baby. To me the babies that I lost are as much my children as any of my surviving children are. Naming your child also makes it harder for others to minimize your loss.



Spiritually, you may ques:on why God allowed this to happen to you when you, unlike some other women who had and then abused their babies, actually wanted yours. It doesn't make sense to you. This is where faith and trust in Who God is, is impera:ve. Knowing that God is GOOD no ma+er what is going on in our lives is so important to understand. He, too, lost a Child and He knows your pain. Eventually, if you allow yourself to, you will begin to process and accept the loss of your child and recovery can begin in earnest. You will begin to incorporate your baby's memory into your life--carrying it with you as a precious reminder, not only of what could have been but what was. New hopes and dreams for the future will then be able to rise out of the ashes of the past.

Anna Wood is a Chris:an wife, mother of 9 children, homeschooler and writer. Her desire is to know, love, and obey God and bring Him glory and help others to do the same. Her website is called The Apples of Gold and is at h+p://

Interested in writing for God Works Magazine? Send your writing samples to us.








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Eric has an extensive background in the field of health and wellness. In 2003, Eric received his Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia, AR. In 2006, Eric received his Master’s Degree in Health Promo:on and Exercise Science from Louisiana Tech University in Ruston, LA. He is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Biblical Counseling from Luther Rice Bible College and Seminary in Lithonia, GA. Eric accepted his calling into the ministry in August 2009 under the leadership of Bishop Timmie R. Howard at Emmaus Road Church in Shreveport, LA. Eric has been in the health and wellness field for 6 years. He is the owner of Murphy Fitness, which offers personal training services in the Monroe/West Monroe, LA area and online personal training services worldwide. He and his wife Natasha currently reside in Monroe, La and have a 1 year old daughter, Savannah Grace.



ric Murphy is a na:ve of Chidester, Arkansas. He began working in the church at an early age. At the age of 7, Eric became the Youth Minister of Music at Good Hope A.M.E. Church in Chidester, Arkansas. He went on to serve as Minister of Music at several churches throughout his teenage and early adult years.

ERIC A Health and Wellness Ministry focuses on the whole person the spirit, mind, and the body. The ini:al focus is to lead people to Christ. The secondary focus of the ministry is to talk about the importance of proper diet, exercise, prayer, and medita:on in order to keep the mind, body, and spirit strong. We also provide consul:ng services to help churches and community organiza:ons create health and wellness programs/ministries. GWM How would someone interested in becoming healthier and losing weight sign up for a personal training program? ERIC Most fitness centers provide personal training services. When choosing a personal trainer you should look for one that has a college degree in a health related field or has a na:onally recognized personal trainer cer:fica:on. You should also ask trainers for references from current or former clients. GWM What are some of the obstacles people face when commi0ng to a fit lifestyle? ERIC The main obstacles for most people are :me and money. Most people don't realize that it only takes about 3045 minutes a day to exercise. People also seem to think that you have to make dras:c changes to your diet. The people that are most successful with weight loss usually make gradual changes to their ea:ng habits over :me. GWM For people who have a busy schedule or a ght budget, what makes online personal training a great op on?


What is the goal of Eric Murphy Ministries?

ERIC The goal of Eric Murphy Ministries is to help people integrate healthy living into their rela:onship with God. Our bodies are the vessels that we use to complete God's assignment. In order to complete that assignment we must take steps to protect our minds and bodies. GWM fitness?

When did you become interested in health and

ERIC I became interested in health and fitness during my senior year of college. I was a Physical Educa:on major and had come to the conclusion that I really didn’t want to teach. My advisor suggested that I change my major to Exercise Science. I didn’t even know what I could do with an Exercise Science degree when I changed my major. I began an internship the next semester working at a fitness center and loved it. I discovered a career path that I was truly passionate about. I really got excited about it when God revealed to me that he wanted to incorporate health and wellness into my ministry. GWM

ERIC Online personal training provides a workout and nutri:onal plan that focuses on your individual goals at the frac:on of the price of regular personal training. It also provides the op:on of having a health coach that you can actually communicate with. Many online personal training services provide a computer generated workout that will not always be effec:ve. Everyone that signs up with Murphy Fitness will receive a diet and exercise plan designed by me. Each person that signs up will receive a username and password and will be able to log on into their own page where they can download diet and exercise plans as well receive recipes, fitness :ps, and exercise demos. Eric J. Murphy, MS CEO Eric Murphy Ministries/Murphy Fitness (318) 557-6893

What exactly is a Health & Wellness ministry?







Moses had his burning bush. Gideon met an angel at the winepress. I held a 5 inch long, white test strip which practically screamed "You're going to be a mom!" I'm going to be a mom.

Re-Purposed "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11 NIV We were in the beginning weeks of a church-wide study of The Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. As we progressed from "What on Earth am I Here For?" to "You Were Formed for God's Family" my anticipation grew. God has a purpose for me. I wondered what kind of ministry God had planned. I'd been a part-time seminary student for a couple of years. I had been working on my Biblical storytelling skills and drama ministry at church. Now I was leading a small group study consisting of church members and my unchurched neighbors. Clearly, something big was about to happen. But not what I thought. I had been feeling a little "funny" the past few days. Not sick. Just tingly. One morning it dawned on me--check the calendar. Could I be pregnant? We'd put off starting a family for years. Months ago we decided to put the matter in God's hands. I wasn't expecting to be--well-expecting so soon. On the way home from work that evening I selected a home pregnancy test kit from the variety of boxes lining the drugstore shelves. Each one promised me easy, clear, accurate results.

If I ranked the top 5 joyful moments of my life, this would be one of them. I kept quiet for two days, planning to surprise my husband on his birthday with a baby toy. I began praying for the new life inside of me. I was never one of those women who grew dewy-eyed at the sight of a baby. After 4 years of teaching sixth graders, I wasn't even sure I ever wanted to have kids. God changed all that. Now I have two. God repurposed my life. I was content with my plans, not knowing that God had greater plans. Over the past few years, I've felt him repackage and recycle me, pulling out the bits and pieces of my life and abilities that he placed there for a reason in order to create a new mommy. He's called me to be the mother two active little boys and I pray for his guidance. After all, this was his idea. As I tucked my now 4-year-old son into bed the other night I whispered, "God has a plan for you." His eyes grew wide. "What is it?" Something wonderful. Wait and see. - Karen Wilber

Karen Wilber, a stay-at-home mom, is a former teacher and librarian. She currently works for two active preschoolers. No pay, lousy hours, great benefits.

Just to be sure, I took two. God has different methods of calling people to serve him.





PHOTO CREDIT: David M. Goehring

Healthy Money


themselves for another busy workweek. Now that they've done their duty and given money to the kind-hearted missionary, it's back to the real world of busy bread-winning.

Since we are unable to accomplish anything spiritual by ourselves, we depend on Christ to work out every spiritual accomplishment on our behalf. (This truth, by the way, should eventually discourage all our religious activities in general). We will take a step in the right direction when we quit trying to feel better about ourselves by giving money.

Well-meaning missionaries or churchy speakers do their best to put things in perspective using big monetary figures versus small ones, or visa versa. And the average churchgoer feels satisfied with these big and small figures. These are things that the working-class westerner can relate to. However, there is a subtle message that continues to soak into the minds of these audience members as they drive home. This message is destructive to God's kingdom because it belittles God's Spirit, glorifies money and discourages the sincere Christ-seeker.

n Christ we can press on past the supposition that giving money is, all by itself, a spiritual accomplishment. The truth is that giving money does not necessarily accomplish anything in God's kingdom... oftentimes, it's even a hindrance to God's spiritual goals.

If we have money, let's surrender it to God for His kingdom use. Our place is to trust Him, that He will use us however He sees fit. In the mean time, be encouraged that there is no such thing as one part of God's kingdom contributing spiritually whilst another hangs limp and paralyzed. This is all to God's credit, because He is dauntlessly faithful. No matter what our circumstances, His Spirit will teach us our genuine, spiritual contribution to His kingdom. And, until we let go of ourselves, so that Christ is our singular, solid Foundation, He will continue to be the fresh, cleansing Water that soothes our searing sin. Driving home from an exhilarating little conference where they listened intently to a missionary about the great wide-world, the aforementioned audience gathers



By their actions missionaries and churchy speakers say, "Cut your check and your work is done." Churchgoers whose unit of measurement for everything is the dollar might think to themselves, "Ten percent is pretty good, but I gave fifteen percent this week!" Thus, church folk can feel better about themselves. Consequently, missionaries and churchy speakers feel good for making their supporters feel good. Both parties work together to accomplish a common goal, which is to quench each other's consciences and feel good. In this way, mainstream church-leaders are employed by a church-system that encourages spiritual lethargy in most of its adherents in order to pave the way for the religious aristocracy to accomplish all the "real" spiritual


This error is subtle because it embraces pseudo-obedience as a whole church. Yet it is gobbled up by fleshly westerners because it seems practical to them. For every westerner who says, "Tell me what to do and how much it's going to cost," there is a church somewhere to answer. This is task-driven religion, where it doesn't matter how our weekly duties get done, so long as they get done. This also goes hand-in-hand with daily-planner-faith, where churchgoers narrow their obedience to God down to fulfilling their churchy agendas. Hectic, religious absentmindedness is practical for Sundaymorning Christians who have no desire to be left in a room alone with God. However, we westerners still have every reason to be encouraged in Christ. He is not impressed with either an excess or lack of wealth. Nor do religious money-handlers thwart His kingdom goals. He will clear all distraction out of His Father's house one way or another. Nor does He worry when His disciples' stock of bread and fish runs low, even when there are thousands of hungry people to feed. But Christ is invariably successful in addressing these issues because, above all, He remembers the preeminence of God's kingdom. First He remembers that God is great, then He attends to this other detail, which is a lot of needy people standing all around Him. Jesus Christ effectively cares for and fulfills people's little concerns by placing these concerns second to God's priorities. Please be encouraged, hopeful seekers, that with man it is impossible, but with God anything is possible. He is in the business of picking



self-centered people out of their down-spiraling patterns of selfindulgence, for no other reason than because He is great. Don't overcomplicate things. Just ask. Christ is God's Way to every possibility. Be encouraged not by your imaginary ability to tell the future, but rather, be encouraged by God's unalterable Truth. If you are God's, then you are His unique workmanship, created to carry out the work that He knew you would do before you were born. Put your confidence in Christ, who is saving and purifying a people for His own heavenly purposes.

“Be encouraged, hopeful seekers, that with man it is impossible, but with God anything is possible.“ As for "having money" or "being blessed with wealth," these things will never be the ultimate end of any of God's children. By God's Spirit we can move on from the unconstructive, shortsighted discouragement that plagues westernized Christendom. So long as we set our confidence in Christ, anything will be possible. He will humble us and re-teach us in all the areas that we presume to have Him and His kingdom figured out. Christ continues to be our Motivation for casting aside all our miniscule self-images along with any dependence on anything that isn't Him. As we continue to depend on Christ, we will be transformed into His likeness.


work. Such thinking says, "That comfy little world you churchgoers live in works for me, so long as you keep your monthly pledges rolling in."

am I trying to throw a pity party for Americans or any westerners. In Christ we can cast aside all these childish things. By God's grace, we can look forward to heavenly glory in the next life while we expect nothing more than the cross in this one. As we obey our heavenly Savior, we can expect at least as much difficulty, rejection and suffering as He endured during His physical stay on earth. We will get to know an indescribable quality of joy in Christ, superior to all the fame, money and instant gratification that this world has to offer. And we will share in Christ's joy as we faithfully obey Him. We can walk exclusively by whatever strength His Spirit supplies, bearing necessary hardship for a brief time, however long this life lasts - Patrick Roberts

This is an excerpt from To the Church of the West, Scattered Throughout the World. Find this book and similar articles at Patrick is an average Christ-seeker. His goal is to turn people to Jesus Christ.

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I don't want to inspire greater pride in our heritage or anything else that might distract us. I would rather spur people toward exploring their heavenly citizenship in Christ. Nor



Have a Li+le Faith: A True Story by Mitch Albom Mitch Albom tells a good story and Have a li+le faith (Sphere, 2009) is not only a good story but a true one. It begins when Mitch is approach, aXer giving a speech, by his childhood rabbi who asks if he will do his eulogy. Mitch is rather surprised but agrees. However he realizes if he is to do his eulogy he will need to know him as a person instead of just his childhood rabbi. And so begins an eight year rela:onship which is life changing for Mitch. He discovers amongst other things that his old rabbi is genuine, honest, humble, God believing, hard working, a faithful carer of his flock, and a bad dresser! While telling this story, Mitch also weaves into the narra:ve the story of Henry Covington. Henry is a reformed drug addict who is now the pastor of a church basically made up of homeless people. Henry's church is in Detroit where Mitch also lives. It seems Mitch's rela:onship with the rabbi has pricked

The Sweet By and By - By Sara Evans As a book reviewer for Thomas Nelson Publishers I received a copy of The Sweet By and By wri+en by Sara Evans. What a pleasant surprise. It is more of a chick lit book but as long as you know that going in, you won't be disappointed. The story relates the emo:onal life of Jade Fitzgerald. While she is planning a wedding her childhood memories come flowing out. Insecuri:es, an absent father, a hippie mom the reliving of a rejected love that broke her heart all come forward and her secrets are laid bare.

Mitch's conscious so he gets involved in helping this church as they aid the homeless. As the book draws to a close Mitch makes the common author error of telling too much. Rather than leave these two stories side by side and let the reader make up their own minds about the validity of each person's faith, Mitch decides to share with us his own opinions and strongly implies that all faiths are the same. A conclusion I cannot agree with. This detracted from my enjoyment of an otherwise entertaining story. Susan Barnes, 2010. Susan likes to write inspira:onal ar:cles, book reviews, and devo:onal comments on Bible passages. More of her wri:ng can be found at:

I would not likely recommend this to my male friends, though some might indeed enjoy it. It is a feel-good, female driven book. If you like books that bring characters full circle, you will love this one! This would be a welcome giX to any women that read chick lit, even if their preference is not Chris:an fic:on. It is upliXing and has a great ending. The revela:on of the Truth will be an eye-opener.

Some twists and turns throughout the journey make this book a page turner. Welcome, relaxed and in some ways, predictable but a good read.

Nicely wri+en and well-presented, I would certainly recommend this book.

Well-developed characters and realis:c life situa:ons draw the reader in, even if you are generally predisposed to not geMng caught up in the drama it can grab you in the most familiar ways.

Michael Joshua has an ac:ve blog and website where he posts notes to his followers, flash fic:on, book reviews for Thomas Nelson Publishers and web content ar:cle for hire. Web:h+p://

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Life Moves On


By Michelle Cameron

As life moves on for me - at a rate of 1000 mph - I feel the need to stop and say a few things: 1. God's Word is never-failing, infallible and con:nuously suppor:ng to all of us who believe. 2. He never lies to us. His inten:ons are always pure towards us; He is interested in the most in:mate details of our lives. 3. He will do whatever it takes to prepare us for our des:nies. This means pushing us to do what we SWORE we'd never do, or He will make us feel a pull or restlessness that says, "You need to do this" or "You need to be here". 4. He takes away our appe:tes for certain things, yet increases our appe:tes for other things. So, for example, if we loved soap operas at one :me, we may find ourselves losing interest in them and instead we want to listen to some Fred Hammond music.

Nonprofit organiza:ons making a difference:

Pink Pearls -

Rent Assistance -

Food Pantries -

Cards4Kids -

Wings Of Love, Inc. -

JakeBreak4Kids, Inc. -

Rimland Services-

Valley United Way -

Youth Awareness, Inc. -

Amigos de los Rios -

5. He pushes us to pray and drink from His ever-living fountain, The Word of God. This means that during those interrupted sleep :mes, the "down" :mes, the financially challenging :mes and even when all is well - we'll feel a s:rring, a pull, towards "Sweet Hour of Prayer" and/or the infallible Word. 6. He allows us :me to see ourselves - the REAL us. We will soul-search oXen and repent of even imagined sins because we just want to be closer to Him. 7. He removes obstacles between us and Him. If they are people, places or things - get ready to tell them, "Bye-bye!" If you do not voluntarily walk away, they will be removed. He does not allow any crutches on this narrow, uphill, bumpy walk called the Chris:an pathway. 8. And He confirms His call on us through His other servants. Over the past year I've wri+en several blogs and commented on other wri:ngs (on Myspace), and the responses I've received are very consistent with what He has confirmed inside of me. When I hear dissonance, I ques:on its source, since I know what God has told me in the middle of the night and shown me in dreams, and then confirmed to me in His Word. I thank God that no ma+er what lies ahead, He walks with me and I will live to see His promises fulfilled in my life. AMEN!










WOMEN IN MINISTRY Barbara M. Jackson received salvation at early age of 15 years old. Even in her youth she had a strong zeal for God and wanted to please him. She was ordained and licensed by Bishop John B. Henry, Jr. in 1997 at Holiness Deliverance Pentecostal Church in Bainbridge, Georgia. She is now one of the associate pastors at United Nations Church International North located in Richmond Virginia where Drs. Orrin & Medina Pullings are the overseers and senior pastors. Pastor Barbara carries a passion for true worship and an anointing for praise.


Cynthia A. Patterson is Founder and CEO of Daughters of Virtue and Excellence Ministries, Inc. (DOVE Ministries). A proud native of Houston, Texas- God has charged this energetic and anointed preacher/teacher with an assignment to offer mentoring, Christian counseling, and leadership development education to women of all walks of life. Dedicated and sold out for the cause of teaching young adult women their significant purpose and worth found in Christ alone, she is raising the awareness of God's purpose and exposing each woman to the reality of God's never-ending, love, mercy, and grace.
















April is assigned to minister to those who find themselves in the same places she was.


april mason We all have a purpose for being on this Earth and on June 26, 1975 April Mason arrived on the scene to begin her part. There was no question she was special, gifted and not a carbon copy of anyone. Although April was raised going to church and had many things working in her favor, her life would take a few twists and turns that on the surface looked like they would stop her destiny; but in fact have helped develop her into the Woman of Wonders she is today! April is a dynamic and powerful speaker inspiring audiences around the country to overcome any obstacle, and with God they can achieve the impossible. Her unshakeable, unwavering and rock solid faith has brought her from living in a shelter to the successful business woman she is today. April is the author of 5 books including her newly 2010 release of " Broken But Not Bound the Making of Me". April is also an ordained Pastor who uses her personal testimony to demonstrate to others how they can turn their struggle into strength. She has traveled through unbelievable hardships including abuse, only to emerge more confident in her God to keep His Word. Her message of the mighty power of God to turnaround any circumstance in our lives lifts the hearts of those in her audience to reach up and achieve the impossible! In 2002 April made a resolution to totally surrender her life to God and leave poverty, lack and self-doubt behind. This resolution would be the catalyst used to reveal part of her destiny. As a survivor of molestation, rape, domestic violence April understand that what she went through was not for her.



April is assigned to minister to those who find themselves in the same places she was. She has a call to those who have been molested, abused, low self-esteem, no self worth, single parents and have been misguided and unloved. In Dec 2010 April was lead to come back to give back to her hometown of Richmond, CA. Here is where she will establish the Reborn Empowerment Center, a place where purpose comes alive! GWM

To learn more about April Mason, visit her sites online:


In farming and ranching, the herd bears the branded mark of the owner.


What does it mean to have a name? Character? Iden:ty? Heritage? A sense of belonging? All of these do ring true. Let's take it a step further: what does it mean to have someone else's name? In tradi:onal cultures women tend to understand this concept more oXen than men since they give up their maiden names and take on that of their husband's.



As a Chris:an, the name of God is on you. You've willingly given yourself over to Him. Thus, as you go forward in life, you'll find some:mes that situa:ons may not go the way you'd want it to go, but God's leading you as the Shepherd leads his sheep, all for the sake of His name. Your plans could change dras:cally. You might see doors closing in one area, and opening in another. People who you thought would be in your life :ll the end surprisingly get off your bus at this stop (and others get on your bus), and there s:ll are many more stops to go. All the changes you experience in life certainly affect your faith and your pa:ence. God does all of that because He has a marvelous plan for you. Be encouraged. He's leading you because His name is on the line. Selah. NEILJUSTIN.COM


God Can Call You Out Poor.




God no:ces even the people who feel they can be called one of the above. One day Jesus was passing through Jericho and there was a chief tax-collector by the name of Zacchaeus who wanted to see who He was. (Luke 19: 1-10 NIV) Zacchaeus was a wealthy man yet he was lacking in his physical appearance. He was very short. Because of this, Zacchaeus was not able to see Jesus through the crowd of people who had gathered to see Him. To increase his chances of being able to see, Zacchaeus ran ahead and climbed a sycamore ďŹ g tree. When Jesus had reached the area where Zacchaeus was, He looked up and called him out of the tree. Amongst many, He was singled out by Jesus. Can you imagine how He must have felt deep inside to be called out by someone so many people wanted to become acquainted with? Zacchaeus’ heart must have been racing when Jesus told him to come down from the tree immediately. Because it was such an honor to even be in His presence, he gladly obeyed and welcomed Jesus. Jesus had told Zacchaeus that He must stay at his home. Hearing that made the crowd angry and they began to grumble. Zacchaeus was hated by the group of people and they were confused as to why Jesus wanted to be the guest of a sinner. Because of who He is, God does not look at the things people look at when He decides to come to us. He does not care if we are poor or rich, or whether we have done wrongs, or if we are hated by others. It does not ma+er if people overlook us or if we are constantly passed over. Out of nowhere and unexpectedly, Jesus called out to Zacchaeus and just like that He can call to you. Oh, what a feeling that will be. Can you imagine that?

- Ayana Elon


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with the National Foundation for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) – an organization that provides entrepreneurship education programs to young people from low-income communities. An entrepreneur himself, Nicklin knew the perfect opportunity when he saw it. As a business consultant, motivational speaker, founder of The Nicklin Group, he had spent most of the last two decades flying around the world helping companies increase their revenues and profitability. But changing his orientation to making a difference for others was new.


ovie trailers are like comm e r c i a l s . So m e t i m e s they're entertaining; usually they're a nuisance. But only rarely are they life-changing. What happened to Michael Nicklin proved the exception to the rule.

After years of procrastinating and finding excuses not to volunteer, Nicklin's world was rocked when a powerfully emotional monologue about the importance of giving back caught his attention in a trailer for "The Music Within," a 2007 film directed by Steven Sawalich. The film tells the story of Richard Pimentel, the Vietnam veteran who became an outspoken advocate for the disabled after losing his hearing in the war, and who led the effort to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. It was a motivational message that resonated with Nicklin, moving him out of his seat and onto the Internet in search of an opportunity to share his own skills with others.

"After spending so many years focused on career and the bottom line, I could not escape my perception of the self-indulgence of it all. In a word: ‘take.' The time had come to give and I finally believed I had the time to do so," he says. "Let's face it, there is never time – we must make the time." Two weeks later, Nicklin reported for duty at his first high school campus (he ended up assisting at five in all), serving as a business plan coach for a classroom of high school juniors and seniors. "A wave of insecurity came over me, and I asked myself, ‘Do I have anything of unique value to offer these students?' Yes, I did – which I discovered only with the help of each and every student in that classroom," he says. "At the end of the two-hour coaching session, my head was spinning, my shirt was soaked with perspiration, and my heart had been touched."

"I believe Oprah calls this an ‘ah-ha' moment," Nicklin recounts. "I choked up with emotion, hit the pause button on my remote, and headed for the computer.

On his second assignment he served as a business plan presentation judge. Arriving, he discovered that one of the student presenters couldn't make it because the student had been stabbed -- a reminder of the obstacles these students face each day and the importance of the program.

Within minutes at, Nicklin was signed up

"Access to resources – both financial and non-monetary – is often an insur-




Michael Nicklin

mountable challenge to these students," he says. "NFTE helps them overcome these challenges and being a small part of that process is brilliantly rewarding." This year, as a result of his commitment to the program and its students, Nicklin was presented with the NFTE V ol un teer Servic e A wa rd fo r "Volunteer of the Year" in the Greater Los Angeles area. He encourages others to seek out volunteer opportunities that feel relevant and utilize their core skills. "If at first you don't find a volunteering opportunity that fits, just keep returning to VolunteerMatch on a regular basis and the perfect opportunity will reveal itself," he says. "My experience with NFTE this school year was life-changing for me. This volunteer effort has changed my views, enhanced my perspective, taught me invaluable lessons, heightened my compassion and gratitude, and introduced me to wonderful individuals." Are you ready to open your heart to life changing experiences? VolunteerMatch makes it easy to find something that not only speaks to you, but also matches your special skills and interests. Get started today at GWM

Interna onal Rescue CommiAee 122 East 42nd Street New York, NY 10168 USA Phone: (212) 551-3000 Donate: 877-REFUGEE



Peter Yedidia

A year out from selling his health care management and survey research firm, the avid world traveler now volunteers a couple of days each week through the Taproot Foundation. The Taproot Foundation assembles teams of skilled professionals like Yedidia who help local nonprofits develop marketing materials, databases, or human resources projects. In addition to qualifying the needs of nonprofits that apply for help and then recruiting the volunteer teams, Taproot has project management tools to help its volunteer teams stay on target.


eter Yedidia likes to tell a volunteering story about why it's important to stay positive. But first make sure you have shoes on. Years ago, Yedidia, a Bay Area resident, was helping to mediate a dispute where a next door neighbor's barking dog was keeping a young family up at night. The situation got worse one night when the young mother went out to quiet the dog on their shared back deck -- only to slip and fall on a pile of dog poop! The day was saved, as Yedidia recalls, when it was discovered that the dog owner also ran the local Italian restaurant. When the owner had to work late, his lonely dog was left home barking. It turned out the restaurant was the aggrieved family's favorite, and after several gift certificates and hearty meals, the family volunteered to keep the dog at their place on the evenings the restaurant owner worked late. "The message might be, even when you have doubts about the outcome, go forward with good intentions and things may well work out," Yedidia said. Doubtless, Yedidia's optimism is a big part of his commitment to giving back.



Helping nonprofits isn't new for Yedidia -- previously he served on civic committee and healthcare boards, and going way back he was a Peace Corps volunteer -- but his new involvement represents a more profound shift for Yedidia: freedom to invent the next stage of his life. Like previous generations of older adults, retirement has given Yedidia the time to try new things. Unlike those generations, today's older adults are much more likely to want to try new experiences that will also be challenging personally or draw on professionally developed skills, as well as have positive impact for a cause. In this case, the cause is PrescottJoseph Center for Community Enhancement and Yedidia's team is working on branding project for the Oakland, CA-based nonprofit. For example, when he describes what he likes about his Taproot project, Yedidia sounds much like a consultant describing a successful business engagement. "It's a combination of working with talented volunteers to provide the client with a product that will hopefully make them even more effective in serving their constituents," he said. Yedidia also represents a relatively new direction for Taproot. Until recently, the organization focused efforts on recruiting working profes-

sionals to volunteer. Today, however, Taproot is just as apt to bring a seasoned retiree to a project. Yedidia thinks that makes perfect sense. "I think the 'old timers' can add a lot to an organization like Taproot," he said. So is there anything older adults should keep in mind when thinking about volunteering? "You really do have a lot to contribute, and you'll get back in satisfaction as much as you give," he said. How about you? We're certain you'll find an opportunity to give back that matters to you at VolunteerMatch. Log in today!

Taproot Founda:on The Taproot Founda:on helps community organiza:ons in ďŹ ve metro areas with their marke:ng and technology needs. Volunteers work in structured teams to deliver a project for a nonproďŹ t organiza:on working in educa:on, health, community development or the environment. Taproot Founda:on 466 Geary Street San Francisco, CA 94102 (415) 359-1131

Check out Taproot Founda:on on VolunteerMatch!





While I'm Down...Just Stand On My Back! BY OLIVIA D. STITH


don't know about you, but at :mes the effects of doing the right thing, seem to turn you the wrong way. Have you no:ced that certain periods in your life, the more sacrificing, forgiving, and pa:ent you become, the harder life knocks at you? Well of course you do, if you living! It's a trick of the enemy to get you to feel that by taking ma+ers in your own hands things will work out for your good. Of course you know this is a lie. You see one day I was laying on my bed going through one of those moments, "Lord am I on hold or what? Do you see what I'm going through? Do you see what I'm doing? LORD WHAT AM I DOING WRONG?!!!" I tell you one-thing folks, I had to stay on my knees and pray against the flesh that wanted to strike out. Strike out against those who were conspiring against me, the kids who wouldn't listen, the loneliness that my heart felt at :mes, I mean all of it was on my shoulders. It was heavy and I had to fall on my knees. When I say I had to fall on my knees, believe me, I had to fall, crawl, scream and all that fun stuff. You know what I mean right? Anyhow while I was on my knees doing one of those "Lord do you remember me?" speeches, oh y’all know what I mean. Then my phone rang. I answered it and it was a friend of mine who was going through some rough problems. Now let me tell you something, nothing worse than going through and having someone going through worse than you call. Half of you want to say, "Please I got my own issues," and the other half says, "My God, I thought I had it bad, but Lord someone always has it worse." Well I'm going to be honest, both cross my mind at :mes, but I usually go with the later and listen. I set aside what I'm doing and try to be a friend to my fellow sisters and brothers. As I was listening and talking to my friend, we ended up upliXing one another. Hmmmm...My mind started to ponder on what was happening. It was as though the Spirit was giving me one of those life lessons. I realized that while I am down on my knees, I get blessed by liXing the spirits of others up. It’s sort of like they standing on me to be liXed up. Standing to see a light in their blind situa:on. A situa:on where they need my help, whether, it is in a word or deed, it's a sacrificial act that gives



them hope. Even if I can't see out of my own adversity, I know God is able to help us both. They may not be able to reach a certain point in their life, unless I liXed them up. But, in order for me to liX them up, I had to stay on my knees and allowed them to climb higher. You see my point? Imagine it for a moment. Now this is what got me. Even though I am on my knees, that person can see things that I may not be able to see myself. They can also help me by my helping them. If I'm down and may not be in a posi:on to elevate my spirit, why not help someone else. Many :mes sacrificing one’s self and comfort for another is the key to one's deliverance and peace.

Encourage others as they encourage you. You may see what they can't and vice versa. I realized something; it takes strength to liX a person. It takes stability to stand grounded on your founda:on. You have to be responsible and trustworthy, not to move and cause that person to fall. If they fall, they get hurt and you too. Imagine God trus:ng you to be that beacon of light to someone in the midst of your adversity. He knows you down on your knees, crawling, looking for a way of escape. You know He is the escape, but it seems God is not in your reach. Well He wants to know if you going to grovel on the ground or wait on Him and s:ll help others. You see the enemy wants us to focus on the fact that we are "down on our luck" as folks like saying. I don't believe in luck. I believe that when we down its for a reason, whether its humbling, a :me of rest, or a period that God wants us to sit s:ll and not move. Many :mes moving in the spirit is not based on what you see happening in your life, but it could be what you are making happen in someone else's. Do you realize that's power right there? It's the power of faith. You may not see a way, but you trus:ng God. You know un:l your :me comes, you can help another brother or sister bear a burden. Wasn't that one of the main things Jesus taught- our love for our fellow man? Of course it is.


So my friends, when you have those "down moments", make the best of them. Encourage others as they encourage you. You may see what they can't and vice versa. This not a "me or you" walk. It's about us as one in the body of Christ. We are not alone in our sufferings, as it may seem. God has not forgo+en us or closed his ears to our cry. We are his children and we are des:ned for greatness, being joint heirs as Christ. At the same :me we must partake in sufferings, but we can count it as joy when we can say, "Hey I may not get there right now, but I can help you my friend." That makes you a winner regardless, because you have planted a seed in a person's heart. That's what it is all about. If you don't believe me, trust what Jesus said, "If I be liXed up from this earth, I will draw all men unto me." So when you are down, liX up the name of Jesus, by your works with others. If this doesn't show the love of the resurrected Christ, I don't know what does.

TWEETS FOR GOD antoniacarter “God brings people in ur life for a reason...some for a season and some for a life:me.”

JoyceMeyer “You are never too big of a mess for God to redeem and nothing is beyond His ability to restore.”


A Cheerful Giver by Ayana Elon 2 Corinthians 9:7 (NIV) Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

“God has a great race for you to run. Under his care you will go where you've never been & serve in ways you've never dreamed.”

ericpulleA How many :mes have you helped someone only because you felt obligated to do so or given to someone less fortunate only because you felt it was the "right" thing to do? How many of those :mes did you give without grumbling? God loves when we do things and give giXs in good spirits. We are frowned upon when we give giXs with an "aMtude". If you went into a homeless shelter to volunteer and became close to a resident in need that was living there, would you give them a giX while mumbling under your breath or would you do so cheerfully? Look beyond the old saying, "It's be+er to give than to receive", for a moment. All of the :me, the people who may really want to give can only be on the receiving end. If we, as givers, show bad temper when helping others when giving a giX of any size, instead of cheering them up, we may be sending them into deeper depression. However, when we give gladly, even if the giX is small, it will always be be+er than giving a large giX unwillingly.



“God speaks at the exact moment you need to hear Him....”

DeepTweetNajee “Dare God to do the impossible. Pray and pray big.”

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God Works Magazine - August 2010 Issue  

God Works Magazine is a monthly digital publication and is available to view at no cost to our site's visitors. It focuses on the works of G...