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MARCH 2013

contents on the cover:

The Female Clergy Support Group of Maryland Dr. Karen S. Bethea, Senior Pastor Set The Captives Free Outreach Center 7111 Windsor Mill Road Woodlawn, MD 21244 (410) 265-6800 www.stcfoc.org

Pg. 8-9 Q&A Interview with Dr. Karen S. Bethea

CLASSIFIEDS – Page 44

features 15 Mayor’s Journal

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake

21 To Your Good Health

Carla J. Debnam, MS, LCPC

It’s Time To Recommit

17 Governor’s Page Governor Martin O’Malley

23 TEEN CONNECT

19 Education Digest Dr. Tim Tooten

25 Woman’s Perspective

The Future is Now!

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Pastors Greg & Tonya Dennis

Identity Theft

Cassandra Vaughn-Fox

How Will You Be Remembered?


27 Book Shelf

40 Gospel Industry News

Brandie Manigault

Soul Detox (Craig Groeschel)

Ericka Johnson

43 Word of Encouragement 30 Word on Finances

Dr. Kenneth O. Robinson

Financial Restoration

Donna Williams-Ross

Whose Report Will You Believe?

In Every Issue 35 Nutrition & You

Contributors................................................................... 6

Herline A. Knights

From the Editor.............................................................. 7

Heart Health

Scripture Page............................................................. 12

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For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly. Psalm 84:11

Contributors PUBLISHER/ EDITOR-IN-CHIEF EDITORIAL

Jackie Epps Dr. Kenneth O. Robinson Harold A. Carter, Jr. Cassandra Vaughn-Fox Herline A. Knights Pastors Gregory and Tonya Dennis Carla J. Debnam Donna Williams-Ross Governor Martin O’Malley Ericka Johnson Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Rev. Tim Tooten Brandie Manigault

PHOTOGRAPHY GRAPHIC ARTIST

Mark L. Dennis Claire Lesesne www.JandCDesigns.com

WEB ADMINISTRATOR

Andre Felipe for Arts Period www.artsperiod.com

PRINTING Roebuck & Son Printing www.hgroebuck.com Grace & Glory Magazine is published monthly by JE Media, LLC, a Baltimore based, independent publisher. Copyright 2013. All rights reserved. Reproduction without expressed permission is prohibited.

Classifieds! Classifieds! PLACE YOUR CLASSIFIED AD IN OUR NEW CLASSIFIED SECTION

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Rates: $9.00 for the first 10 words and under. 50 cents for each additional word. Add $2.00 for any bold words. Payment: We accept PAYPALL, VISA, MASTERCARD, and DISCOVER. Deadlines: The 23rd of every month at 8:00 pm Categories: Help Wanted, For Rent,For Sale, Autos for Sale, Boats for Sale, Business Opportunity, Instruction, Child Care, Entertainment, Announcements, other. Go online at: www.gracenglorymagazine.org 6    March 2013 | Grace&Glory

Advisory Board

Chairman — Dr. A.C. D. Vaughn Sr. Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church, MD Vice-Chairman — Dr. Frank M. Reid III Sr. Pastor, Bethel A.M.E. Church, MD Dr. Jerome A. Barber  Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Temple, Hampton , VA Dr. Michael A. Battle Sr., U.S. Ambassador   President, ITC Seminary, Atlanta, GA Dr. Timothy Boddie  Friendship Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA Bishop John R. Bryant   Presiding Prelate of the 5th Episcopal District Dr. Harold A. Carter, Sr. Pastor, New Shiloh Baptist Church, MD Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, U.S. Ambassador Dr. WIlliam H. Curtis   Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, PA Bishop Ralph L. Dennis Sr. Pastor, Kingdom Worship Center, MD Wanda Q. Draper/Media Executive Michele J.K. Epps/Health Sciences Cassandra Vaughn/Out Foxed Media LLC. www.Outfoxedmedia.org Dr. Donte’ L. Hickman, Sr. Pastor, Southern Baptist Church, MD Pastor Timothy V. Manigault Bishop Dennis V. Proctor   Presiding Prelate of the Western Episcopal Region AME Zion Church Dr. Kenneth O. Robinson Pastor, Restoring Life International Church, MD Bishop Walter Scott Thomas, Sr. Pastor, New Psalmist Baptist Church, MD Dr. Timothy Tooten, Sr. Pastor, Harvest Christian Ministries, MD

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from the editor

The public celebration of women’s history in this country began in 1978 as “Women’s History Week” in Sonoma County, California. The week including March 8, International Women’s Day, was selected. In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Rep. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) co-sponsored a joint Congressional resolution proclaiming a national Women’s History Week. In 1987, Congress expanded the celebration to a month, and March was declared Women’s History Month. The 2013 National Women’s History Month theme, Women Inspiring Innovation through Imagination, honors generations of women who throughout American history have used their intelligence, imagination, sense of wonder, and tenacity to make extraordinary contributions to the STEM fields. National Women’s History Month provides an excellent venue to recognize and celebrate women’s historic achievements as well as an opportunity to honor women within our families and communities. We are dedicating this month’s issue of Grace & Glory Magazine to God’s phenomenal creation called ‘woman’. To all of God’s Women, I salute all of you with this special poem written by Dr. Maya Angelou.

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies. I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size But when I start to tell them, They think I’m telling lies. I say, It’s in the reach of my arms The span of my hips, The stride of my step, The curl of my lips. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. I walk into a room Just as cool as you please, And to a man, The fellows stand or Fall down on their knees. Then they swarm around me, A hive of honey bees.

Jackie Epps Editor-in-Chief

Phenomenal Woman

I say, It’s the fire in my eyes, And the flash of my teeth,The swing in my waist, And the joy in my feet. I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman,That’s me. Men themselves have wondered What they see in me. They try so much But they can’t touch My inner mystery. When I try to show them They say they still can’t see. I say, It’s in the arch of my back, The sun of my smile, The ride of my breasts, The grace of my style.

I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me. Now you understand Just why my head’s not bowed. I don’t shout or jump about Or have to talk real loud. When you see me passing It ought to make you proud. I say, It’s in the click of my heels, The bend of my hair, the palm of my hand, The need of my care, ‘Cause I’m a woman Phenomenally. Phenomenal woman, That’s me.

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Q A Q&A

&

INTERVIEW WITH

Dr. Karen S. Bethea Set The Captives Free Outreach Center Baltimore, MD

G&G: Dr. Bethea, welcome back to Grace & Glory. I am one of your many admirers and I always look forward to talking with you. As you know March is National Women’s History Month and what better way to celebrate this month than to talk with you about a very exciting initiative that you are spearheading; a new women’s focus group named the Female Clergy Support Group of Maryland. Would you say this is one of the most exciting and important initiatives you have been a part of? Dr. Bethea: Hi Jackie. It is good to touch base with you as always. I would say that this is one of the most needed initiatives that I have been blessed to be a part of. Something really wonderful happens when women come together. There was a need for mentoring on a group level. This vehicle will meet many needs.

G&G: Dr. Bethea, would you explain the vision behind the Female Clergy Support Group of Maryland? How did this organization begin, was there a significant factor that created the need for such an organization? Dr. Bethea: It has been on my heart for about five years. I was consistently being asked to mentor females in ministry. I found myself constantly going to lunch or dinner with colleagues or mentees throughout the month and still not spending time with all of the ladies asking. As I begin to communicate with some of my female colleagues, they were having the same challenge. Mentoring is important and those who are in ministry need to reach back and help those coming along. I just didn’t have enough time. I also had been in contact with first ladies and male pastors

who needed somewhere to send their female leaders for sharpening. We then decided to put together a platform where we could group mentor our ladies and maximize our time.

Dr. Karen S. Bethea

G&G: Dr. Bethea, what is the primary mission of the Female Clergy Support Group of Maryland and what will be the function of this group? There are many women’s groups across the nation, why another women’s group, what makes this association valuable? Dr. Bethea: Our first motivation is Ecclesiastes 4:9-10. Two are better than one. We understand the power of unity and the danger of being isolated. Everybody needs somebody but women in ministry need each other. It was evident at our kickoff in January, that we need one another. The fellowship was so sweet. We were edified. Women can work together and we do. We mutually love one another and rejoice in each other’s victories and progress. We share one another’s pains and provide support for adverse seasons. Secondly we are a local female support group for females in ministry. We are a mentoring program for female leaders and women in ministry to include: senior pastors, assistant pastors, deacons, evangelists, first ladies, missionaries, armor bearers, adjutants, and any woman serving in ministry. We exist to: 1) Bring together females in ministry in the Maryland area for iron sharpening experiences. 2) Bring together females in ministry for the purpose of fellowship, training, mentoring,

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Q&A and partnership. 3) Bring together seasoned females in ministry with those just beginning for the purpose of mentoring, support, and training. 4) To provide fellowship with others in the same calling for the purpose of encouragement, support, and edification. G&G: Dr. Bethea, I noticed that the Female Clergy Support Group of Maryland is made up of sixteen phenomenal women. How did this group of powerful women come about, was there a selection process or was it all voluntary? What can you tell us about these women? Dr. Bethea: It was voluntary but there was no selection process. We had all been in communication at various times and when it came time to form I went back through my notes and pulled everyone together. The group is made up of first ladies, elders, and senior pastors. They include: Lady Jacquelyn Brown of Wayland Baptist Church; Rev. Monique Carter of New Shiloh Baptist Church; Lady Sheila Claxton of New Creation Christian Church; Lady Carla Debnam of Morning Star Baptist Church in Catonsville; Lady Marlaa Reid of Bethel AME Church; Lady Wanda Smith of Mount Moriah Baptist Church; Dr. Vanessa Booth, Senior Pastor, Lamb of Life Baptist Church; Pastor Donna Chiarella, Senior Pastor, Sweet Mercy Church and Ministries; Pastor Joyce England, Senior Pastor, Be Whole Ministries; Elder Simone Gibson, Elder, Transformation Church; Pastor Sandy Johnson, Founder, Fresh Water Ministries; Pastor Jekia Ledbetter, Senior Pastor, Victory Ministries of Christ; Rev. Dana Neal, Senior Pastor, Dayspring Worship Center; Dr. Lisa Weah, Senior Pastor, New Bethlehem Baptist Church, and Dr. Stacey Cole Wilson, Senior Pastor, Good Hope Union United Methodist Church. These women all have one thing in common. They care about other women in ministry and want the best for them! G&G: Dr. Bethea, what about women in other aspects of ministry, do you have to be female clergy to be a part of this women’s group? How does someone become a member or part of the Female Clergy Support Group of Maryland? Dr. Bethea: The beauty of this group is that it covers women in many functions and roles in ministry. It includes female senior pastors, assistant pastors, deacons, evangelists, first ladies, missionaries, armor bearers, adjutants, and any woman serving in ministry. Our events will cover all of these areas at some point. Our next

meeting in this month is March 23rd from 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at New Bethlehem Baptist Church. Dr. Lisa Weah and her team are doing a Preaching Clinic on Homiletics. They will teach on proper sermon construction. It is free and open to the public. Everyone is welcomed. Next year we will expand and open for membership so that other ladies may join the group. We want to give ourselves a year to bond. G&G: Dr. Bethea, since this association is a fellowship of women, how critical is it that the women represented in the Female Clergy Support Group of Maryland support each other? Will this women’s group benefit the individual congregations represented by the members of the group? How? Dr. Bethea: The iron sharpening events that we have planned for 2013 and 2014 will bless all the women involved. The topics are relevant and will cause all of us to improve in ways that will benefit each of us, our churches, and the body of Christ at large. The members of the group and myself are involving the female leaders in our individual churches in all of our events. I have even had male pastors tell me that they are making our events mandatory now for their female leaders. G&G: Dr. Bethea, lastly are there any other events coming up that you want us to be aware of? Dr. Bethea: Our calendar for 2013 is here and all of our events are on our website at: www.femaleclergymd.org. We are very excited about the upcoming Legends Ball! We are having it in conjunction with the Sisters in Ministry headed up by one of our honorees, Dr. Leah White. On Friday May 31 at Morgan State University, we will honor twelve female pioneers in ministry who paved the way for us. They include: Bishop Vashti McKenzie; Bishop Bertha Greene; Dr. Ann LightnerFuller; Dr. Leah White; Dr. Minnie Washington; Dr. Leslie Barnett Davis; Dr. Patricia Pender; Dr. Joan Sanders; Rev. Cecilia Bryant; Rev. Goldia Wright; Lady Weptonomah Carter(Posthumously); Dr. Marie Antoinette Phillips (Posthumously). Tickets for the Legends Ball are on sale now and can be obtained online or from any one of the ladies in the organization. The event is open to men and women and will be a wonderful evening of celebration and gratitude. God is using women! Luke 1:45

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bio

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The Female Clergy Support Group of Maryland Dr. Karen Bethea, Sr., Pastor, Set The Captives Free Outreach Center

Lady Jacqueline Brown Wayland Baptist Church

Lady Wanda Smith Mt. Moriah Baptist Church

Dr. Stacey Cole Wilson, Sr. Pastor, Good Hope Union United Methodist Church

Lady Sheila Claxton New Creation Christian Church

Pastor Donna Chiarella, Sr. Pastor, Sweet Mercy Church and Ministries

Pastor Jakia Ledbetter, Sr. Pastor, Victory Ministries of Christ

Lady Carla Debnam Morning Star Baptist Church, Catonsville

Pastor Dana Neal, Sr. Pastor, Dayspring Worship Center

Pastor Sandy Johnson, Founder, Fresh Water Ministries

Dr. Vanessa Booth, Sr. Pastor, Lamb of Life Baptist Church

Pastor Joyce England, Sr. Pastor, Be Whole Ministries

Lady Marlaa Reid Bethel AME Church

Rev. Monique Carter New Shiloh Baptist Church

Dr. Lisa Weah, Sr. Pastor, New Bethlehem Baptist Church

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scripture

The Seven Words of Jesus Christ on the Cross

THE FIRST WORD “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Gospel of Luke 23:34 THE SECOND WORD “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Gospel of Luke 23:43 THE THIRD WORD “Jesus said to his mother: “Woman, this is your son.” Then he said to the disciple: “This is your mother.” Gospel of John 19:26-27 THE FOURTH WORD “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34 THE FIFTH WORD “I thirst.” Gospel of John 19:28 THE SIXTH WORD When Jesus had received the wine, he said,”It is finished;” and he bowed his head and handed over the spirit. Gospel of John 19:30 THE SEVENTH WORD Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Gospel of Luke 23:46

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mayor’s journal

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governor’s page

Better Choices, Better Results by Governor Martin O’Malley Progress is a choice. Job creation is a choice. Whether we give our children a future of more or a future of less – this, too, is a choice. Knowing that we cannot cut our way to prosperity, we are balancing record budget cuts with modern investments. Investments in the very priorities that create jobs and expand opportunity: educating, innovating, and rebuilding for a better economic future. With better choices together, thanks to hardworking men and women across our State, we are creating jobs in Maryland, and our businesses are growing stronger. We have now recovered nearly 81% of the jobs we lost in the recession, the fastest recovery rate in the region. And over the past 12 months alone, Maryland’s businesses created 30,300 new jobs in our State. Governor O’Malley delivers the State of the State.

Governor O’Malley delivers the State of the State.

The budget that we submitted this year to the General Assembly is a jobs budget: it invests in 43,000 jobs rebuilding roads, bridges, tunnels, community colleges, affordable housing units, clean water infrastructure, and other forward-looking projects with your help. It protects nearly 26,000 law enforcement jobs throughout our State. And it supports over 114,000 jobs educating our children. This budget invests to improve public education and to build new schools. It accelerates the transition from chalk and textbooks in our classrooms, to iPads, laptops and smart-boards, and 21st century digital learning tools and your vote will accelerate those innovations. And once again, it holds down the cost of college tuition. Together, with our brave men and women of law enforcement, we are driving down violent crime and homicides in our State to three decade lows. But we are still losing too many of our fellow citizens to gun violence. Therefore, we are asking for your support this legislative session on our Firearm Safety Act. This legislation takes a common sense, comprehensive approach: It requires a license and a criminal background check to purchase a gun. It has a gun safety training component. It bans the sale of military-style assault weapons. It limits the size of high capacity magazines. It improves mental health treatment and timely data sharing. And it strengthens security measures at our schools with a $25 million investment. As we work together towards a better future, we are also asking for your help and support to end the death penalty in Maryland, and replace it with life without parole. The death penalty is expensive, and the evidence demonstrates clearly that it does not work. And finally, this legislative session, we are moving forward with our offshore wind bill, which will allow us to create 850 jobs every year for five years in construction, manufacturing, and assembly. On top of that, we will be creating another 160 permanent, green jobs in our State. These are the choices which enable us to invest in a stronger and better future, the future that all of us prefer for our children: more job creation, more opportunity, a stronger, growing middle class. www.gracenglorymagazine.org  17


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education digest

The Future is Now Dr. Tim Tooten, Sr.

The survey also pointed to specific fields where employers were prepared to hire college graduates.

Towson, MD – Most of them were just months away from receiving their college degrees. They filled the Towson Center on the campus of Towson University. There were others in the crowd who’d already landed jobs and were hoping to change careers. Both groups paced the floor in Towson stopping periodically to meet with potential employers. They came together the annual Career and Jobs fair sponsored by 14 Baltimore-area colleges and universities. According to The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), enrollment in degree-granting institutions increased by 11 percent between 1990 and 2000. Between 2000 and 2010, enrollment increased 37 percent, from 15.3 million to 21.0 million. Much of the growth between 2000 and 2010 was in full-time enrollment; the number of full-time students rose 45 percent, while the number of part-time students rose 26 percent.1 This all spells competition

Here’s my point. In order to prepare our children or loved ones for the Future Now, we must intentionally plan. This requires parental and guardian involvement in the early grades. I hear so much about the future during my visits to area high schools and colleges. The new buzzword is STEM. It’s an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It may provide a sort of hint to where our children should begin their planning prior to graduation. I’m referring to graduation from pre-school, middle school, high school and eventually college. There must be a sense of urgency like no other time in our history to stay the course and do a better job of keeping track of the future now.

• Educational Services: This sector comprises establishments that provide instruction and training in a wide variety of subjects. The instruction and training is provided by establishments such as schools, colleges, universities, and training centers. • Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services: This sector comprises establishments that specialize in performing professional, scientific, and technical activities for others. These activities require a high degree of expertise and training. (Examples - accounting, bookkeeping, payroll services, architectural, engineering, and computer services). • Healthcare and Social Assistance: This sector comprises establishments providing healthcare and social assistance for individuals. The sector includes both healthcare and social assistance because it is sometimes difficult to distinguish between the boundaries of these two activities. • Federal, State, and Local Government (OES Designation): Federal, State, and Local Government, excluding state and local schools and hospitals, and the U.S. Postal Service. • Finance and Insurance: This sector includes establishments primarily engaged in financial transactions and/or in facilitating financial transactions.4 in an already crowded job market. I couldn’t help but empathize with the students I encountered that day in Towson. Their future is now. It’s a future struggling to rear its head above the headlines of a bleak economy. According to the January 2013 Bureau of Labor Statistics unemployment report, 12.3 million people were out of work in the United States.2 However, just an hour before making my way to the Towson Campus, I came across a promising report. It’s a yearly document published by the National Association of Colleges and Employers. It showed that Technical majors, particularly those in engineering, dominated the list of top paying majors in 2012.3

Dr. Tim Tooten, Sr. is an Emmy Award-winning television journalist and Education reporter for WBAL-TV (NBC) in Baltimore, Maryland. He’s also the Pastor and Founder of Harvest Christian Ministries in Baltimore County, Maryland. 1

The National Center for Education Statistics, (2012). http://nces.ed.gov/ fastfacts/display.asp?id=98 2 US Department of Labor, (2013). http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/empsit.pdf 3 National Association of Colleges and Employers, (2013), http://www.naceweb. org/uploadedFiles/NACEWeb/Research/Salary_Survey/Reports/SS_Jan2013_ ExecSummary.pdf 4 Ibid.

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to your good health Carla J. Debnam, MS, LCPC Executive Director, Renaissance Christian Counseling Center

The Lenten season is upon us and usually during this time of the year Christians take time out to reflect, repent and renew. We reflect on the trials and triumphs of the past year, repent for any areas where we have missed the mark, and vow to embark upon a renewed sense of purpose and passion in our relationship with Christ. It is these three areas that when practiced make our overall commitment to our personal relationship with the Lord and others more meaningful and fruitful. It is also a time of great challenge as we remember the suffering and sacrifice of our Lord who died and rose again that we might live. This is an opportunity to consider what matters most in your life and begin reconnecting to those people, places and interests that you have let go of because of busyness and misplaced priorities. There are at least three reasons that we all need to reevaluate our current commitments and determine if they are a fruitful and meaningful part of our lives. First, we need to spend time reflecting on our goals, accomplishments and our purpose. Many times because of fear of the future we fail to look at our past even the positives aspects of our lives. The Lenten season is a perfect time to spend assessing ourselves and then determine what goals, dreams and aspirations we have for the future. This season is not just about death but the new life found in the resurrection of Jesus. What areas of your life need to be resurrected and how can you start the process? These are questions you must ask yourself if you plan to move forward. Secondly, we all must atone for the mistakes we have made, the missed opportunities and the misplaced emotions that we have expressed over the past year. We must learn to challenge our negative attitudes, behaviors and emotions so that we can do the work of the kingdom and call others from darkness into the light. It is hard to point out the flaws of others and try to fix them when you have not worked on your own shortcomings and flaws. It is time to turn away from the excuses for our negativity and move in the direction of healing and wholeness that we have been given in Christ. Galatians 5:1 reminds us of our freedom, “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free” (NLT). Finally, we must learn to move on. It is impossible to start fresh without making the decision to move past your past. The new life we have been promised in Christ cannot be embraced while holding on to what used to be. We love to talk about the ‘good ole days’, but everything about the old days was not good and renewal is what we have been avoiding by remaining in the past. We are encouraged by the apostle Paul to forget those things that are behind us and to press toward the future. This is what Jesus’ death and resurrection means for our lives today. We can die to the failures of the past, the flighty thoughts we once had and from the regrets of our current decisions and live abundantly in spite of them. Jesus models for us humility by taking advantage of the opportunity to be in God’s will. He did not think his ways were above God’s will. Take time to get recommitted to your faith, your priorities and yourself. It will be the beginning of a new life, a refreshing attitude and hopeful future. www.gracenglorymagazine.org  21


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identity

teen connect

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womans perspective

Recently we have experienced numerous celebrity shocking deaths and public battles with demons. How will you be remembered? Leaders of our times who have accomplished groundbreaking memorable events; we have admired them when they are up and scorned them when they are down. How will you be remembered? But have we any thought about their demons or the pressures of life that they constantly face? Do we really live our lives as Christians and follow what the scriptures say about not judging? “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 I ask you again, how will you be remembered?

Are you living your life as if today were your last and that God is coming at any moment? Or are you living your life recklessly to fulfill your selfish wants not needs? How will you be remembered?

CaSandra Vaughn

Director, Baltimore City Office of Cable and Communications

God has set a path for us. The foundation was laid before we were conceived. I suggest to you that as you read this article you consider this thought, how will you be remembered? And determine today to ask God to enlarge your territory and open your heart to the path He has set for you. Until next time stay strong, focus on God and create your legacy! www.gracenglorymagazine.org  www.gracenglorymagazine.org  25 25


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bookshelf

Book Shelf Dear Readers, Enjoy this review from Siobhan Saulsbury. It will bless you! -Brandie

Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World By Craig Groeschel Have you ever felt a twinge of guilt when watching a certain show on TV? Or known instinctively that a particular CD was something you could only listen to when you were alone? How about going to a movie with work friends that you’d never see with church friends? Well, there is something in those TV shows, songs and movies that don’t sit quite right with your spirit. That is one of the main points in Craig Groeschel’s latest book, “Soul Detox: Clean Living in a Contaminated World.” Too often today, we find ourselves ignoring that little warning bell that goes off in our minds when we’re hanging out and the conversation takes a left turn. We dismiss the alarm that sounds when we watch movies laden with profanity or nudity. Pastor Groeschel talks about how we become desensitized little by little, which makes us more and more accepting of things that not only weaken, but kill our spirit. There is a great comparison he shares in the book about how common and acceptable smoking was when he was growing up. Both of his parents smoked and his friends’ parents smoked, their houses and clothes were permeated with smoke... and it was no big deal. Only when young Craig went out into the world did he realize he had “a smell” and there was something he was missing out on... fresh, clean air. Because he was around smoke all the time it was no big deal to him, in fact, he didn’t even notice it; but when he was around someone who didn’t smoke, just the smell of his clothing from being in that environment was quite noticeable. Did the fact that the smell didn’t bother him make it less harmful to him- no! Poison is poison whether you notice it or not. That is how we get with spiritual toxins. Sometimes we get so used to things we don’t notice them anymore. At other times, we feel justified in doing what we do or feeling how we feel so we excuse ourselves. As followers of Christ, we cannot allow ourselves to be so full of the bad stuff, that

by Brandie Manigault

there’s no room for the good. Craig talks about three main categories of internal things we can watch out for to make sure our spirits remain healthy. We should avoid toxic behaviors, toxic emotions and toxic influences. Those things reveal that the most harmful of toxins come from within. Toxic emotions like anger and bitterness have to do with choices we make. There’s so much more, it’s too much to try to encapsulate in a brief review. I consider this book a must read for every believer. According to Craig, who pastors Lifechurch.tv, we are living in the most spiritually poisonous time in history. How can we not be vigilant about what we allow to influence our spirit? This book was great to read individually, but it would be even more awesome for a group study. One of the things mentioned in the book is accountability. It’s important to be transparent. Not only that, we have to be

open to things other people may see in us that we’re not willing to admit are issues on our own. I really can’t say enough about the impact this book has had on me. As the old saints used to testify, “The things I used to do, I don’t do no more. The movies I used to watch, I don’t watch no more. The music I used to listen to, I don’t listen to no more! I been changed!” Seriously though, reading this book will change your life. You will once again be sensitive to that still small voice guiding to or away from certain things, people and emotions. I’ll end here with a quote from the introduction of the book: “Everything that we allow into our minds, hearts, and lives—everything that we spend our time and money on—has an impact on how we grow, or don’t grow, spiritually. As the old computer adage reminds us: garbage in, garbage out. Just as we are what we eat physically, we are also what we consume spiritually. If we don’t monitor and adjust our diet accordingly, our souls are in danger of absorbing more and more lethal poison.” -Siobhan Saulsbury

About The Author

Craig Groeschel

Craig Groeschel is the founder and senior pastor of LifeChurch. tv, a church with fourteen locations in five states. He is married with six children and lives in Edmond, Oklahoma, a suburb of Oklahoma City, where LifeChurch.tv is based. Groeschel entered the ministry as an associate pastor in the United Methodist Church. He attended Phillips Theological Seminary, which is affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), and secured a Master of Divinity degree. He was an associate pastor at First United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City when it was damaged in the 1995 Oklahoma City Bombing. In 1996, Groeschel and a handful of people started Life Covenant Church in a two-car garage. Groeschel later told Business Week that he started by performing market research of non-churchgoers, and designed his church in response to what he learned. Groeschel’s non-traditional style was successful and attendance of Life Covenant grew rapidly, eventually evolving to become (as of December 2009) the second largest church in the United States with thirteen LifeChurch.tv campuses. Groeschel began using video to deliver some of sermons when he was unavailable for the Sunday service; he discovered that the videos were popular with his churchgoers, and his church has continued to use them. In 2006 he set up a website called mysecret.tv as a place for people to confess anonymously on the Internet. Groeschel also began delivering his services to the Second Life virtual world on Easter Sunday 2007. Groeschel was named the 5th most influential pastor in 2006 and LifeChurch.tv was named America’s Most Innovative Church by Outreach Magazine in 2007 and 2008 www.gracenglorymagazine.org  27


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word on finances

You Can Start Over Again! Dr. Kenneth O. Robinson II

The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves.” Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

“Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, “Bring me another one.” But he replied, “There is not a jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.” (2 Kings 4:1-7 NIV) Unfortunately, this story parallels the financial challenges of many families today; single-parented, children, much debt, no stable employment, little to no income and financial stress that is threatening the survival of a family household. However, the Lord delivered this woman from a horrible pit in life. She was truly in a financial hole. Her husband died and left her all of the debt. The debt had immobilized her life, threatened her life’s destiny and children’s future freedom. However, this is a story of financial hope and restoration because God gave this woman the power to start over again. In life, it takes a special grace to start over again, especially after financial devastation and loss. Inevitably there will be times when we will have to start over again to see God’s glory manifest in our life. Perhaps when you move or relocate, after a loss of relative, after a business failed, a church folded, an eviction notice, a career change, a marital divorce, leaving of an old church or even going back to school. All of the above challenges and changes in our lives require an evaluation

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of our finances and often times we will have to start over again. David Bach in his book “Debt Free for Life: The Finish Rich Plan for Financial Freedom” uses the analogy of pressing the reset button in our lives. Sometimes when we are faced with financial debt and trouble, we have to press reset and start over again. As it was in this story, when it appears to be the end, it actually can be the beginning of something wonderful. God was about to bring restoration, abundance and overflow in her finances. Like this woman, you also can find financial hope when it feels like you are at the end of the rope and all is about to be lost. Many times God uses seasons of financial loss to teach us spiritual truths. What we see in this story is that God is very much concerned with every minute detail of our lives and can deliver and rescue us even when we are facing financial danger. If we turn it over to Him and trust Him enough to follow His instructions, He can perform a miraculous financial turnaround for you. In the middle of our most severe financial devastation, God can bring His greatest financial restoration. Several years ago, when I was let go from my job, I had a good Accountant position with a good salary, having been not long married with a young family, I thought this layoff was the end for me. Yet within one year, God blessed me with a job that enabled me to control my own financial destiny and He turned it around, delivered me out of debt and restored my finances. Sometimes you may get fired to get inspired to finally release what financial potential is already


word on finances 1. Your participation. “Tell me, what do you have in your house?” Your solution will require your participation. We live in a capitalistic society. Anything you do will require some capital. Capital is goods or useful assets. God needs something to bless. He used Moses’s rod, Elijah’s altar, David’s slingshot, Peter’s boat; I think you get the picture now. Don’t underestimate or underplay what you have. “Your servant has nothing there at all,” she said, “except a small jar of olive oil.” (2 Kings 4:2 NIV) Do you have the oil? Oil (Anointing) represents your gift and calling on your life. It has more value than you estimate. Don’t be afraid to start over small. “Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel?” (Zechariah 4:10 NIV) Your gift makes room for you and brings you before great men. “A gift gets attention; it buys the attention of eminent people.”(Proverbs 18:16 MSG). “A gift will get you in to see anyone.” (Proverbs 18:16 CEV) You have a lot more in you to start over, you must place a demand on what’s in you. Place a demand on it for greater supply. It is not too late because there is no expiration date on oil.

in you. Such is the case in this story, this single mother’s financial crisis was a setback for a miraculous financial comeback. She went from unemployed to becoming debt free and a successful entrepreneur. Let’s look at a few points in this story to see how God turned her financial devastation into financial restoration. The first thing she does is turn to God for help for her financial crisis. I am amazed at how many people, even Christians are hesitant to approach God about their money problems. But we see in this story that her financial help began with the man of God, who represents God here. Elisha’s name means “God is my salvation”. This woman knew that you could come to God at any time for anything, even your finances. So here’s how she got started again...The prophet shifted the thinking of the widow by asking her to look within. No time for self-preservation. START OVER AGAIN!!! Elisha replied to her, “How can I help you?” Her financial situation was about to miraculously turn around but she had to face her situation and take the courage to follow the man of God’s instructions. This story gives us the secrets on how to start over again. Here are the things God needs from you to start over again.

2. A plan. Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don’t ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” (2 Kings 4:3, 4 NIV) God will give you a plan and then you give the plan back to God. In other words, do whatever He tells you. Financial restoration begins with a plan. It may be a business plan, debt-payment plan or vision plan but remember God needs a plan. “A man’s heart plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.” (Proverbs 16:9 NKJV) 3. Some players. “Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.” (2 Kings 4:4 NIV) Whenever you do what God tells you to do, He has already provided the people you need to assist you in your assignment. Every dream needs a team. God will give you favor with the people you need to get you where you need to be. 4. Patience and persistence. “She left him and shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. “ (2 Kings 4:5 NIV) Once you start over again, it will require patience and persistence to stay with the process. Whenever you start rebuilding your finances you will have to face the demons of the past financial mistakes in the process. Things will not happen overnight but they will happen. Be determined to get out of debt and patiently work your plan until you see your financial breakthrough. 5. An ordained place. “She went and told the man of God, and he said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.” (2 Kings 4:7 NIV) Unfortunately many believers miss this point in their finances. God needed her to embrace the marketplace. Elisha said to her, “Go sell...”. This speaks clearly of enterprise and entrepreneurialism. If we value what we have, we will take it to the world and God will give us favor in the marketplace. The oil represents what motivates and lubricates (flow) your gifting to go into the marketplace and sell. Most of the hours of your day is spent making it for others, spend some time investing in your own financial enrichment. There is an ordained place for your financial restoration. In this season, God has released His favor in this ordained place and people are already waiting for you to show up with the vessels. These (5) things enabled this woman to start over again and go from financial devastation to financial restoration, abundance and overflow. She went from the unemployment line to become a successful entrepreneur, to become debt free and then she and her family lived on the surplus for the rest of her life. As you take these things and start over again, I believe God will do the same for you. For appointments or seminars contact: Dr. Kenneth O. Robinson II, Financial Inspirational Speaker, Radio and TV Host of “The Word on Finances”. www.kennethorobinson.com www.gracenglorymagazine.org  31 31 www.gracenglorymagazine.org 


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stories of hope

A Story of

Hope

By Pat Saulsbury

For the last 4 or 5 years, I had been battling a blood disorder that the doctors originally thought was diabetes. The symptoms literally left me immobilized. Most days, I was confined to my bed, unable to do anything but lie there. I had wonderful, caring doctors who tried their best to help me, but nothing worked. Finally, my family doctor and Endocrinologist decided that they needed to send me to Duke Medical Center for more in depth testing. It was their hope that Duke would “get me back into life”. In response to the request from my doctors, Duke gave me an appointment date of January 15, 2013, two whole months later. In other words, two more months of suffering or so we thought. Meanwhile, my family, church and friends were praying with me and believing God for my healing. We didn’t know how or when, but we believed HE WOULD DO IT!! Well, on January 13, 2013, we had a Revival at our church and at the very first service, Bishop Oscar E. Bent, from Toronto, Ontario prayed for me. Now, he did not know me. In fact, he didn’t even know our Pastor because they had just met the previous day at a funeral. The Holy Spirit prompted my Pastor, Bishop Doyle Roberts, to invite Bishop Bent to preach at our church the next day. These two men of God had no personal conversations about each other’s churches or members. They simply connected “in spirit” and the invitation to preach was born out of that connection. Again, Bishop Bent knew nothing about our Pastor or any of the members. After he preached that morning, he began to call people to the altar to pray for them. The things that he was saying, we knew had to have been revealed by God! I was at my seat praying that he would call me up because I wanted my word from God too! I finally got my chance. He gave an open altar call for everybody who needed a miracle from God. My husband helped me get to the front of the church. Bishop Bent was on the other side of the church praying for people. He did not see me coming up. Had he seen me, the things he said to me wouldn’t have been anything out of the norm. To look at my face, I did not look as sick as I really was. Anyway, when Bishop Bent finally got to me, he looked at me and then he turned and walked away. He came back and he said to my Pastor, “Bishop, come here. This is going to be a good one.” Then he looked me in the eye and said, “Sister, when you go to your doctor, you tell them, a little black preacher from Toronto, Canada said God healed me!” He touched my forehead and blew ever so lightly over my head and I felt a set of gentle, tender arms catching me as I slowly fell backwards. It wasn’t my husband nor was it my Pastor because they were both standing near me. It was the Holy Spirit. I ended up sitting on the floor with my hands raised to God giving Him praise for my healing. I just KNEW I was healed. Did I feel different at that moment? No, but I still knew it! After a few minutes, my husband and Pastor assisted me in rising from the floor. That was all the help they had to give me. I walked, unaided, off the platform, down the steps and back to my seat. With each step, I was feeling better and better. Not only was my blood

stream lining up with God’s Word, but that old arthritis was submitting to the name of Jesus too! God gave me two for one! So, two days later, my husband and I went to Duke Medical Center. I had blood work done. The tech was confused because the records sent from SC didn’t match what she was seeing. That was my time to share my testimony. I said ma’am, I don’t know how you feel about God, but a little black preacher from Toronto, Canada, told me to tell you that God healed me. The next lady was a nurse. She was doing my vitals. She sees my records aren’t matching up with what they were expecting. So, again I go, ma’am, I don’t know how you feel about God, but a little black preacher from Toronto, Canada, told me to tell you that God healed me. The last two ladies I told were my actual doctor and a dietitian. They were both amazed at how great my blood work looked and they agreed that there was no reason for me to be at Duke because I HAD NO ISSUES!!!! I told both ladies the same thing I had told the previous two personnel, a little black preacher from Toronto, Canada, told me to tell you that God healed me! I have not been sick from that Sunday, January 13 to this day. My healing is a bona fide, doctor confirmed healing and I want to encourage my sisters and brothers who may be going through something similar and it just seems like you don’t see the end in sight. Just know that God is not a respecter of persons. He loves us all, unconditionally. So, if He did that for me, will He not do it for you also? I’ve gone from being primarily bedridden to working in our children’s church every week, and volunteering at my granddaughter’s school. I’m able to be a blessing at my church by helping out wherever needed. I’m in HEAVEN!! Stay strong, my sisters and brothers and know that in God’s own timing, He’s going to give you your miracle! Love & blessings,

Pat Saulsbury Blessed to be a blessing! www.gracenglorymagazine.org  33


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nutrition & you

By Herline A. Knights, RD, LD

Heart Health

What Are You Willing to Do?

✔ I will read ingredient lists to make sure that the foods I choose do not contain partially hydrogenated oils. These are trans fats. ✔ I will choose healthier sources of fat. Choose: • Nuts • Olive oil • Canola oil • Seeds • Walnut oil • Avocados ✔ I will eat fatty fish at least two times each week. The following are fatty fish: • Anchovies • Salmon • Herring • Tuna • Lake trout • Mackerel • Sardines • Bluefish • Mullet If you do not like fish, take a fish oil supplement that contains eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Alphalinolenic acid (ALA) is not as good. Your supplement should provide at least 1 gram (g)/day.

✔ I will decrease the amount of sugar that I consume. ✔ I will eat several sources of soluble fiber each day. Good sources include: • Citrus fruits • Apples • Pears • Oats

• Prunes • Peaches • Plums • Barley

• Legumes • Broccoli • Brussels sprouts • Carrots

✔ I will increase my intake of foods that contain calcium and vitamin D. If you do not think that you can get enough calcium and vitamin D from your diet, take a daily supplement. Good sources of calcium include: • Milk • Milk Products • Fortified orange juice • Fortified breads • Fortified cereals • Beans • Dried figs • Calcium-fortified tofu • Canned salmon with bones • Almonds • Broccoli • Carnation® Instant Breakfast • Ovaltine® • Dark-green leafy vegetables ✔ I will eat plenty of potassium-rich foods. These include: • Potatoes • Sweet potatoes • Bananas • Oranges • Halibut • Lima beans • Tuna • Swiss chard

I will avoid saturated fats. Sources of saturated fat include: • Fatty meat • Palm kernel oil • Poultry skin • Palm oil • Whole milk • Butter • Lard • Cream • Coconut oil • Cottonseed oil

• Acorn squash • Pinto beans • Tomatoes • Wheat germ • Watermelon • Prunes • Grapes • Spinach • Raisins • Salmon • Pistachios • Brussels sprouts • Flounder • Cantaloupe • Parsnips • Lentils • Milk products • Milk ✔ I will commit to consuming more plant stanols/sterols. I will eat the recommended amount every day. ✔ I will eat more fresh herbs. ✔ I will eat several servings of nuts each week. The best kinds of nuts are: • Walnuts • Pecans • Almonds • Pistachios • Brazil nuts ✔ I will use garlic, onions, and leeks often when preparing food. ✔ I will choose cereals that contain more than 5 g of fiber/serving. Good choices include: • Raisin bran • Shredded wheat • Grape-Nuts • Fiber One®

What did you commit to? ✔ I will avoid saturated fats. ✔ I will read ingredient lists to make sure that the foods I choose do not contain partially hydrogenated oils. ✔ I will choose healthier sources of fat. ✔ I will eat fatty fish at least two times each week. ✔ I will decrease the amount of sugar that I consume. ✔ I will eat several sources of soluble fiber each day. ✔ I will increase my intake of foods that contain calcium and vitamin D. ✔ I will eat plenty of potassium-rich foods. ✔ I will commit to consuming more plant stanols/sterols. ✔ I will eat more fresh herbs. ✔ I will eat several servings of nuts each week. ✔ I will use garlic, onions, and leeks often when preparing food. ✔ I will choose cereals that contain more than 5 g of fiber/serving.

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gospel industry news

Tasha Cobbs Congrats to Tasha Cobbs on her new album “Grace”, it debuted at #2 on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album Charts, the highest debut album by a new artist this year. The album also landed the #1 spot on Billboard’s Top Digital Gospel Charts, iTunes Gospel Album Charts and Amazon before it’s actual street release date. The single “Break Every Chain” hit the #1 spot on Billboard’s Digital Gospel Charts, so needless to say if u don’t have it yet this is definitely one to go grab. Tasha and the EMI team have multiple award winning artist VaShawn Mitchell to thank for the production of this great album!

William Murphy Murphy released his first album on a major label last month. It landed the #3 spot on Billboard’s Top Gospel Album Charts, the highest debut of his musical career. The single “You Reign” has already been ringing in churches by praise teams and choirs all across the country. The title of the album is “God Chaser.” Murphy had this to say about his project, “The essence of my ministry, my calling, is to usher people into the presence of the Lord in a way so powerful that they become true “God Chasers”. That is the essence of my life, so the CD is a collection of prophetic songs that came to us in prayer, and in times of worship. God Chaser is a collection of songs known in the church as ‘songs of the Lord’.”

Charles Butler & Trinity Congrats to Charles Butler and Trinity on the release of their new project, they recently signed to gospel artist Earnest Pugh’s label EPM Music Group. We’ve seen Charles Butler & Trinity mature musically in the 15 years they’ve had together. They are no strangers to the music industry. Their voices are heard on Earnest Pugh’s album and quite often seen on Bobby Jones Gospel singing background vocals for various gospel artists that come to the DC area. It’s now their time to shine and step up to the forefront of music. The album was produced by some of Baltimore and DC’s best, Chris Forbes, Morgan Turner, and Ryland Anderson aka RC. Some of the featured artists singing on the project include Lorraine Stancil and Brittney Wright. Songwriter contributors Trini Massey and Baltimore’s Own Steve McCoy to name a few. The album is available on all digital media outlets including iTunes and Amazon. 40  40    March March 2013 2013 || Grace&Glory Grace&Glory


gospel industry news Follow me on twitter, www.twitter.com @MissEricka J, facebook www.facebook.com/ErickaJohnson, or via email missericka75@yahoo.com

Dee Dee Showell Legacy Award Winners Favorite Praise Team.................................. Carter Memorial COGIC Favorite Male Artist.............................................................. Jeff Jacobs Favorite Female Artist.........................................................Joy Morgan Favorite Group...............................Danton Whitley & Mosaic Sound Favorite Radio Personality (Male)............................ Derryck Fletcher Favorite Radio Personality (Female)................................Dion Farmer Favorite Church Band............Beth-El Temple COC, Spirit of David Favorite Community Choir......Eric Waddell & Abundant Life Singers Favorite Church Choir................Beth-El Temple Celebration Choir Favorite New Artist.................................................................April Hall People’s Choice Award...................................................... Brad Rogers Trailblazer Awards...............................................Bishop Ralph Dennis ............................................................................ Bishop Jerome Stokes Congrats to all the winners as well as the nominees, and thanks to Baltimore and everyone that voted, the total vote count tallied over 350,000 votes. The attendance the night of the awards and concert ranked over 4,000 it was an absolute great night!! Thanks to all the Legacy Awards staff, CRL Staff, presenters, performers, as well as our awesome MC’s Bishop Hezekiah Walker & Bishop Andrew J. Ford. Special guests, Greater Allen Cathedral of NY, Anointed Voices of Ford Memorial and surprise guests JJ Hairston &Youthful Praise were all absolutely phenomenal! Can’t wait til next year!!!

Steve McCoy Steve McCoy has written and released a new single titled “Rest”, right in the spirit of gearing up to celebrate Resurrection Sunday this song is in adoration of the finished work on Calvary. It’s definitely one you’ll love, go and grab it NOW, it’s on iTunes & Amazon. Steve’s pen has definitely been busy, in addition to writing his own music he’s penned songs for Kevyn Terry & Predestined, VaShawn Mitchell, Earnest Pugh, Bishop Jakes & The Potters House, and Bishop Paul Morton’s Covenant Choir. Big things in store for Steve McCoy, keep your eyes and ears open for this guy!

Local Artist Spotlight

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42    March 2013 | Grace&Glory


word of encouragement

Who has believed (trusted in, relied upon, and clung to) our message [of that which was revealed to us]? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been disclosed? [Isaiah 53:1 -- Amplified Bible] Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you halt and limp between two opinions? If the Lord is God, follow Him! But if Baal, then follow him. And the people did not answer him a word”. [1 Kings 18:21 – Amplified Bible] As I looked for the first time on The Weather Channel on February 2, 2013, with regards to Groundhog Day, I couldn’t help but wonder what a tradition that really is. First off it was reported that almost 6,700 people talked about it on Facebook, 538 people tweeted about it, 343 emailed it to others and 905 people commented on it. To me those were staggering numbers. Staggering to me only because as an avid promoter of God on Facebook, sending out a “Word of Encouragement”, “Accountability 101” [be accountable to God daily], Godscope [God’s alternative to Horoscope, Daily Choices] and so many other God related items, I find that more and more Christians on Facebook are commenting on “how great they are” and not how “wonderful God really is”. Below is an excerpt of an article from Huff Post that I looked up to enter on this Word of Encouragement article. Groundhog Day 2013: Punxsutawney Phil Predicts Spring Is Coming! “Following a recent stretch of weather that’s included temperatures well below freezing as well as record warmth, tornadoes in the South and Midwest and torrential rains in the mid-Atlantic, Punxsutawney Phil emerged from his lair Saturday in front of thousands but didn’t see his shadow. Legend has it that if the furry rodent sees his shadow on Feb. 2 on Gobbler’s Knob in west-central Pennsylvania, winter will last six more weeks. But if he doesn’t see his shadow, spring will come early.” The prediction is made during a ceremony overseen by a group called the Inner Circle. Members don top hats and tuxedos for the ceremony on Groundhog Day each year. We know that following winter there will always be spring. God Himself has set the seasons in its place. It will never be [unless God decided] that winter will last for eight to ten months or that fall will follow winter. With that said “Whose report will you believe”? The Groundhog has no power to predict when spring will arrive, only God can do that. There were thousands of people on Groundhog Day predicating that a Groundhog shadow would decide that “spring is going to come early”. Truth be told, spring is going to be here when spring gets here and Jesus will return when His word is preached to every soul on planet earth. Donna Williams-Ross In Trust Ministries dwilliamsross@aol.com

As the Body of Christ, we are here to proclaim the Good News that Jesus Christ is the Only Savior of the world. No, there are not many ways to God, but only through Jesus, who gave His life on Calvary’s Cross for all who would believe in Him. We are here to show forth signs and wonders from God and allow Him to use us to glorify Him in the earth. With that said, let us as the Body of Christ endeavor to promote God like never before. We are here to believe the report of the Lord and report that Jesus is returning and we are to be about our Father’s business. We are here to say that we will minster the Word in season and out of season so that the lost can give their lives to Christ and not have to perish throughout eternity. Daily we are presented with choices to tell others about Jesus, and/ or show this lost and dying world Jesus through our lifestyles. Do we choose to believe the report of the Lord and take and stand and having done all to stand let the world know that we truly believe the report of the Lord, or do we choose to live life like we are not going to stand before God and give an account for what we should have told the lost but didn’t? I dare say that I am guilty of times when I should have told others that Jesus is Lord and even exhibited it in my behavior and didn’t. Let us not allow the Groundhog or any other false gods report about the weather or any other thing related to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Let us no longer halt and limp between two opinions, but speak the word only. Let us decree and declare that we will fervently stand up and take our rightful places and go into the highways and byways and command the lost to come in and not be in competition with each other as to how many members we have or how many people are following us on Twitter or Facebook. Instead I encourage you to promote the Word of the Lord that Jesus is soon to come and let us not pass others by who are going in the wrong direction – away from Christ, instead of running to the mercy seat. Prayer: Father, in the name of Jesus, help us to not halt and limp between two opinions about anything in our lives or the lives of our families and friends. Help us to go out and truly be about Your business by boldly declaring the Kingdom of God will soon be here and by bringing lost souls into the Kingdom of God, amen. www.gracenglorymagazine.org  www.gracenglorymagazine.org  43 43


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44    March 2013 | Grace&Glory


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March 2013