2 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
contents on the cover: Dr. Harold & Rev. Monique Carter New Shiloh Baptist Church 2100 N. Monroe Street Baltimore, MD 21217 410-523-5306 www.newshilohbaptist.org
Special Features 8 ALWAYS & FOREVER
Q&A interview with Dr. Harold & Rev. Monique Carter
A Candid Conversation About Marriage
15 MAYOR’S JOURNAL
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
25 BOOK SHELF
The Soul Saver (Dineen Miller)
29 EDUCATION DIGEST Dr. Tim Tooten
23 SINGLE LIFE
4 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
Dr. Monique Flemings
Celebration of Love
31 TEEN CONNECT
The Importance of Making History
17 GOVERNOR’S PAGE Governor Martin O’Malley
Pastors Greg & Tonya Dennis
Sowing Your Wild Oats?
33 NUTRITION & YOU
Herline A. Knights
Heart Healthy Eating
Healthy Mind 27 TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH
Carla J. Debnam, MS, LCPC
Healthy Soul 19 STORY OF HOPE
Healthy Finances 21 WORD ON FINANCES
Dr. Kenneth O. Robinson, III
Entertainment 36 GOSPEL INDUSTRY NEWS
Heal Your Marriage After Infidelity
38 WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT
In Every Issue
Scripture Page............................................................. 39
NO GREATER LOVE: Than the Love of Our Savior on Valentine’s Day
Contributors................................................................... 6 From the Editor.............................................................. 7
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/ Jackie Epps EDITOR-IN-CHIEF EDITORIAL
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 Mark L. Dennis Alan L. Jones GRAPHIC ARTIST Claire Lesesne-Nalley 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 2014. All rights reserved. Reproduction without expressed permission is prohibited.
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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, Jr. 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 Media Executive 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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6 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
from the editor
Always and Forever February is often labeled the ‘love’ month. Many of us will be celebrating Valentine’s Day this month with a special someone; and many of us will not be celebrating with a special someone. Many of us will go out of our way to show that certain someone our undying love with many acts and expressions of love and affection. On the flip side there will be those who will feel left out of this celebration of love; feeling unloved and sad because of the lack of [what they think is] the ultimate love experience. Instead of wondering who loves you or if anyone will ever love you, there is only one promise of love that you can stand on and that is the love of God. God promises to love us always and forever. This is a good time of year to remind you that God will love us “Always and Forever”. We should not depend on or wait for another person to make us feel loved, wanted or appreciated. We should not depend on another person to validate us or make us feel whole or complete. There is only one who can do all those things and that is God, the lover of our souls. Just in case you may have forgotten, I thought I might remind you of how great God’s love is toward us. Do you know that you have God’s everlasting love? Do you know that nothing can separate you from God’s love? There is nothing that you can do or anything that can happen that will destroy God’s love for you. I have put together a little ‘love’ list to remind you. This is what God says about love. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:38-39)
only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (I John 4:9-11) For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) God loves and cares for us. The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15) Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever. (Psalm 136:1-3) So we have come to know and to believe the love that God has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. (I John 4:16) Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because he cares for you. (I Peter 5:6-7) ♦♦♦♦♦
Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10) I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me. (Proverbs 8:17) A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35) God’s love is shown through Jesus Christ. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his
In closing I wanted to share this quote with you from Rick Warren, “God is love. He didn’t need us. But He wanted us. And that is the most amazing thing.” You’ll never find, no matter where you search, someone that loves you, the way God loves you, “Always and Forever”! Peace, Love and Blessings to you,
Jackie Epps Editor-in-Chief
A Candid Conversation About Marriage
Dr. Harold A. Carter, Jr. & Rev. Monique Carter
Dr. Harold & Rev. Monique Carter This month Grace & Glory Magazine is celebrating the institution of marriage and everlasting and unconditional ’love’. Our theme for February is “Always and Forever”. Dr. Harold and Rev. Monique Carter have been married for 29 years; they are our couple of the month and we are spotlighting them this February, the ‘love’ month. G&G: It is always a pleasure to talk with you. Happy New Year to you and yes I still think it is the beginning of the New Year. It has been a little more than six months since the passing of your father (Dr. Harold A. Carter) and I would be remiss if I didn’t ask you how you and the family are doing? Harold: Yes, you are right; it’s been about seven months since the death and Home Going of my father. The love and support of New Shiloh and the community have been monumental. Yes, we miss him, dearly. He was a tremendous person and a true man of God.
years of our marriage, I have always maintained that God gave Monique to me.
G&G: I was excited to hear that you and Rev. Monique Carter will be hosting a marriage conference this month. Would you share with us what is the vision for this conference and what can one expect to gain from the conference? Harold: This Marriage Workshop, scheduled for Saturday, February 8th @ 9:00 am is really designed to celebrate the institution of marriage…to reaffirm the joy, blessings, and positive aspects of a Christian marriage, over and against the often portrayal of marriage as a never ending struggle and/or negative.
G&G: Did you have any doubts or fears about getting married and making that commitment? Monique: Yes. I had the normal doubts that come along with the reality of marriage during my engagement. When I got married, I had to move away from Baltimore to Reading, PA. My whole family was here, in Baltimore. I saw getting married as a major step on so many levels. The day of our wedding, I recall talking to my father on the way to the church, and I asked the driver to pull over. He did so in front of a park not far from the old New Shiloh Baptist Church. I told my dad that I was very nervous about the decision I was about to make. He looked me in my eyes and said, “If you are not sure, we can turn around now. But if you’re just nervous then that’s another thing. That’s normal.” And he said, “I am nervous too.” My father just wanted me to know that he thought my soon-to-be husband was a good man. Just the fact that my dad reassured me and that I had an option to change my mind was very comforting. Having your family’s support means a lot when you are getting married. I knew that this was a lifelong commitment, and I just wanted to be sure I was making the right decision. Harold: Both of us were 22 when we married. As for me, there was a sense of naiveté that was evident, especially when I look back. However,
G&G: Dr. Harold & Rev. Monique Carter, I understand that the two of you have been married for 29 years. So I have put together a few questions for the both of you to answer separately, that I believe would be a blessing to our readers. So here we go, before you were married, what qualities were you looking for in your spouse? Did you have a list? Monique: Let me first thank you for this opportunity to share with you and the Grace & Glory family. Jackie, I got married at the tender age of 22. I wanted to marry a man that loved the Lord, someone who valued an education and had a sense of direction for his life. He had to be kind, hardworking, caring and a man of integrity. No, I didn’t have a list. I just didn’t waste my time on certain guys. Harold: I wanted to marry a woman whom I believed was God-given. Over the 8 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
G&G: Were there any things that were deal breakers? Monique: I wasn’t interested in guys who didn’t love the Lord. I wasn’t interested in guys who didn’t value education. Harold: I didn’t know if I had any deal breakers in mind, per se’. My desire, however, was to have the belief that God had given this woman to me, to be my wife, with Monique, there was no doubt.
Q&A I knew that I wanted to get married, and I knew that I wanted to marry Monique. I love to hear her share about her level of commitment, sincerity and seriousness that she had coming into our marriage. My understanding was that one was to pray for a spouse; and hopefully, God would answer. Then, God would do the rest. Without taking anything from God or prayer-because God did come through for me-I cannot say that my understanding at that time was all it should have been, especially when compared to hers. And, although I’ve always believed that Monique would be my wife, I probably needed to have done some deeper soul searching, at the age of 22, regarding my readiness, etc. G&G: Did you always believe that your marriage would last? Monique: Well, there have been times when I had to step back and look at the bigger picture and pray harder for guidance. To be sure, marriage takes work. Harold: Again, I’ve maintained that my wife is God-given. That has been my source of confidence, hope, and faith, even during difficulties. Of course, Monique is her own person and is therefore more than capable of making tough decisions regarding (ultimately) what’s best for her. However, God brought us together; and therefore “let no man put asunder: (St. Mk. 10:9). G&G: In today’s society, it is said that Christian marriages end in divorce just as fast as their secular counterparts; what do you Wedding Reception, (August 11, 1984) think is the problem? Monique & Harold: We are very hesitant to answer your question because there are so many variables that can cause a marriage to end in divorce. Financial stress, the change of a spouse’s health, infertility, infidelity, children, lack of trust and poor communication are just a few factors that can contribute to divorce. It takes two people to be committed to a marriage. You cannot force your spouse to commit to making the marriage work. G&G: Are you surprised that your marriage has stood the test of time for 29 years? Monique: When I stood before God and made a vow for better or worse, I was saying I would give it my all. I didn’t take that lightly then, nor do I take it lightly now. So, with that being said, when two people are committed, a marriage can stand up under any test. Just, don’t push it! Harold: I’m really not surprised, to say so would be to a degree admitting inherent failure. Furthermore, for me, separation or divorce have never been viable options. As most, I’ve been aware of the rate of failed marriages, but I never saw us as being a possible part of the statistic of failure. Couples shouldn’t marry to “surprise” themselves with having survived; having said that, I do thank God for having kept us together. G&G: Is there such a thing as a perfect marriage; what is your idea of a perfect marriage? Monique & Harold: We don’t think so. We live in an imperfect world and we are imperfect people. We believe that a couple can have a happy,
satisfying, and blessed marriage, though. G&G: What makes your marriage successful? Monique: I believe that I am a good woman. I am not saying this in a conceited way at all! But, the Bible says in Proverbs 18:22, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” Now, I know I married a very intelligent man. I want to believe he knew Proverbs 18:22 would ring true in his life. I know it’s been God’s grace, times of prayer, forgiveness and our commitment that has helped us throughout the marriage. Harold: Years ago, when I began to do pre-marital counseling, it became obvious to me that the biblical onus for a successful marriage was on the man or husband. This does not exempt the woman or wife, but short of going into a lengthy teaching, when the husband is being the priest of his home and living Godly, his wife (and family) will be blessed. I can say, almost without exception, that when issues of strain have sought to prevail in our marriage it is because I have failed at living up to Godly expectations. Now, here’s the true blessing and lesson. When I’m “on point” and being and living as the priest in my home, there’s no greater joy in knowing that this is the Lord’s doing and it’s marvelous!… When Bishop T. Garrott Benjamin preached during our wedding ceremony almost 30 years ago, one of his closing lines was, “Mann, (my nickname) as you make her your queen, she cannot help but make you her king.” It was true, then. It’s true, now. G&G: I believe it is safe to say that during the course of 29 years of marriage there have been many ups and downs. Is there anything that you wish you could have known or done earlier in your marriage? Monique & Harold: The hindsight of 20/20 vision always brings clarity to life. But, to specifically answer your question, what comes to mind is, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” G&G: Anything you didn’t figure out until later that you would recommend to a couple that is newly married? Monique & Harold: Yes, have fun. Don’t take everything, or yourself, so seriously. Never take each other The Carters 1st year of marriage, Reading, PA (backyard cookout) Summer of 1985 for granted. Love is precious. Be kind to one another and remind your spouse that you appreciate them. No one likes being taken for granted. And, above all, pray for your spouse and your marriage and make time to pray with each other. G&G: Do you think marriages today are different than marriages in the past? Monique & Harold: We think marriages today are in search for the same thing that marriages in the past were. That search is to find love and companionship. We are not so sure today’s marriages reflect the willingness and sacrifice necessary to make a marriage work. G&G: Are there any married couples you look up to and admire? Monique: Sure. Over the past 29 years of our marriage there were many couples I have admired. One thing that comes to mind is the level of respect and love they demonstrated towards each other. Harold: It’s a given that we are heavily influenced by what we’re exposed to. So, my parents were my initial and arguably, most influential Continued on pg. 10 www.gracenglorymagazine.org 9
Q&A Continued from pg. 9 example. I, also, appreciated the marriage of my in-laws. I want to believe that loving and lasting marriages tend to produce other loving and lasting marriages. G&G: What did you respect about their marriages? Monique: Their commitment to each other. You can tell when a couple values their marriage. Harold: I respect and appreciate the growth in understanding and knowing one’s spouse. In many ways marriage is about knowing one’s spouse. What makes her tick? What button to push or not? What’s going on during those unspoken moments? And, whether there’s any sense of humor?
The Carter Family
G&G: What is your favorite thing about being married to your spouse? Monique: I would have to say I value that my husband has a calm spirit. Harold: My favorite thing about my wife is her infectious joy. It’s evident in her love for me, her sons, her life
(in general), and her worship. G&G: What makes it your favorite? Monique: He helps me calm down sometimes. I need that. Harold: When her joy is evident, I know that all is well. G&G: Do you actually feel love for each other every day? Monique: Thank you for using the word “feel.” Feelings are subject to change, but not my love. Harold: Ideally, yes. However, feelings are conditional. Love, particularly in marriages, must-I believe-be unconditional. G&G: What things do you do to keep your marriage “alive” or “new” for each other? Monique: I love to just play around. Laughter always helps. Spending time alone with my husband means a lot to me, even something as simple as running errands together. We enjoy concerts and movies as well as spending time with friends and family. Harold: I’ve never bought into the formulas or scripted practices for marriage, like couples should find something good to say to each other every day. That’s ok if that works. I appreciate the steadiness, the flow, the building/making, etc. that comes with just forging a world together. G&G: How do you communicate love and appreciation to your spouse? Monique & Harold: Sometimes it’s just through three words, “I love you.” Or, all it takes is just saying, “Thank you.” Of course the common niceties and remembrances/ surprises are sweet, like picking up that particular item from the store, on the way home that says, “I was thinking of you.” G&G: How do you handle disagreements and resolve conflicts with your spouse? Monique: Talking about the conflict works for me. Sometimes I need to talk about it at least until I get my point across. But my husband likes 10 February February 2014 2014 || Grace&Glory Grace&Glory 10
saying something once and he’s done with the matter. Well, let’s just say, sometimes we have lengthy times of conflict resolution. Harold: Over the years, we’ve learned to talk things out. Both of us are introverts, and so we tend to internalize. However, knowing that everything starts with knowing that I love her and she loves me makes for handling and solving issues easier. Then, prayer…praying with and/or for each other definitely makes the difference. G&G: What helps you to love your spouse even when you disagree? Monique: I love him regardless of the disagreements. Harold: Again, it’s having unconditional love for my wife, and believing that she still loves me regardless of the disagreement. G&G: Was there any advice you received before you got married, that has helped you through rough times during these 29 years of marriage? Monique: Well, I was advised to never go to bed mad at my husband. I was also told communication is extremely important in a marriage. Harold: Not necessarily before, but after being married, I’ve heard my father say more than once that marriage is hard work. Not in the sense of it being drudgery but in the sense of nurturing the love and maintaining the commitment. G&G: Being the first family of the church, all eyes are on you most, if not all of the time. Are there times when you have to leave your differences at home and come to church with you ‘game face’ on? Monique: Sure, we are just like any other couple. We have arrived and left church in silence. But the church is not the place for us to “air out” our differences. Harold: There have been those times. However, the shift for me comes in knowing that the spirit of God is available to transform whatever the baggage brought in may be; moreover, that the worship of God must always take precedent. Again, that’s transformative. G&G: Does it affect your worship and praise when you know in the back of your mind there are unresolved issues with your spouse? Monique: I love worship, and when unresolved conflict happens, I have to pastor myself even more during worship. Once we arrive at church, I just focus on worshipping and praying that God reveals to me what I need to do to help me get beyond the conflict. There have been times when the Holy Spirit revealed to me to move on and resolve the matter, plus, he’s my pastor too. So, it is at that time that I have to listen to my husband with a spiritual ear. Harold: Oh, yes. There’s hardly anything worse than that burdensome feeling when there is conflict that unresolved on Sunday. It is a weight that can only be carried or lifted by God’s sufficient grace. G&G: As it relates to children, would you say having children can have an effect on a marriage? Monique: Yes, I believe that our children have been one of the greatest blessings in our marriage. I love being a mother. Our boys have added a level of joy to our marriage that I am deeply grateful to God for experiencing. I enjoy watching my husband interact with them. My children are just a blessing. Harold: Without a doubt, a child or children, affect marriage. For us, and for most, the effect is a wonderful blessing. Children are gifts from God, and I thank God for my wife’s sacrifice in child-bearing & child-raising. Now, however, we are on the eve of the “empty nest” phenomena. A new chapter dawns. G&G: Did having children affect your marriage? Monique & Harold: Yes. When we had our children, they added
Q&A a whole new dimension to our commitment. We now had children when we were making decisions in the marriage. Additionally, we now had our children watching us. Our children were living Pastoral Installation Prayer at New Shiloh Baptist out the marriage Church- Pastor Carter, Sr. (praying, left) January 1996 with us. Our sons learn how to treat their wives through their father. They also learn how their wives should love them through the way I love my husband. G&G: Do children strengthen a marriage; can they weaken a marriage? Monique & Harold: We believe that it can go either way. It is important for the couple to be in agreement about having children and how many. When both of the parents want children, they normally can work through the mundane stress and strain of raising them. Each person should communicate their opinion before they commit to the marriage. G&G: My last question is about forgiveness; I am sure forgiveness plays a very important role in a successful marriage. Are there situations that can be difficult or even impossible to forgive? Monique: Yes. Certain situations will happen where forgiveness is one of the most painful things the marriage will encounter. Forgiveness is
Dr. Harold & Rev. Monique Carter will host a
at the New Shiloh Baptist Church, Baltimore, MD Saturday, February 8, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. In the spirit of love, Valentine’s Day, and our church’s commitment to family, all married couples are invited to share in this marriage workshop. The session will be facilitated by Bishop Donald & Lady Phyllis Hilliard from Cathedral International, Perth Amboy, New Jersey. This workshop will be replete with Biblical teaching and great Christian fellowship and fun. Husbands and wives don’t miss this opportunity of sharing and growth. The registration fee is $40.00 per married couple, which includes the cost for lunch.
something that Christ commands us to do, and all things are possible with Christ Jesus. Forgiveness is more about the person who is giving the forgiveness. Now, there may be situations where forgiveness comes but the persons may not be able to remain in the marriage. Harold: As followers of Jesus, we are to be forgiving. To be so and to do so does not always negate the hurt, rectify the problem(s), or renew the trust. However, we are to do so, for it is the first stepping stone in making all of the previous areas move forward toward reconciliation. Even if those things don’t occur, forgiveness still releases the one who offers the same to be in a place where bitterness, etc. can begin to be healed, as well as allow the spouse to know that he, or she, has been shown that there’s hope for their future. G&G: What can help a Christian to forgive his/her spouse? Monique: I think it helps to see one’s spouse through the eyes of Christ. Always keep in mind forgiveness is for the benefit of the person who was hurt. Unless they release the offender, bitterness and resentment will take root in one’s life. Through the powerful practice of forgiveness, we can learn to let go of anger and find the freedom God desires for both. Harold: My sense is that some people have the gift of forgiveness. Others have to process forgiveness. Regardless, Jesus instructs us, as Christians, to forgive. One must always remember that one may sooner or later need to be forgiven. Furthermore, by virtue of one’s Christianity, one has already been forgiven by God, through Jesus Christ. If Jesus can forgive us, who are we not to be able to forgive? Might, I also, add that it helps to see forgiveness as a new beginning. Whenever Jesus forgave, he was giving the person a “second chance”… a new beginning. I’m grateful for the new beginnings in my marriage, as well as in my life.
MARRIAGE WORKSHOP at the
New Shiloh Baptist Church
Saturday, February 8 9:00 am to 2:00 pm www.gracenglorymagazine.org 11 11 www.gracenglorymagazine.org
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14 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
16 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
Better Choices, Better Results by Governor Martin O’Malley As we do each year, our country recently celebrated the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. King’s enduring legacy of fighting for civil rights, workers’ rights, and economic justice was written in far too short a time, but we strive to carry on his memory and work every day here in the State of Maryland. In the speech that changed the course of our history, Dr. King spoke of a nation where many lived “on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.” Too many of our people are still stranded on that island. In recent decades, we’ve seen people work harder and harder, only to fall further and further behind -- while, at the same time, incomes in the top 1 percent have skyrocketed. The way we grow our country and the way we grow our economy is to grow our middle class.
Governor O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Brown speak at a rally to support raising the minimum wage.
dads to be able to put a roof over their heads.
If workers don’t have money, businesses won’t have customers. Better pay for workers means more consumer demand. More consumer demand means more customers for businesses. And more customers for our businesses mean a better and stronger economy.
This year, we are taking an important step to grow our middle class and reward hard work: passing a $10.10 minimum wage and indexing it to inflation. Twenty-one states have minimum wages higher than Maryland’s— while we have the highest median income in the country, and one of the most highly educated workforces.
We have an opportunity here in Maryland to do something that makes a difference. It makes a difference in putting food on the table. It makes a difference for kids and their moms and
This effort is important to protecting the dignity of hardworking Marylanders who are more productive than they’ve ever been, yet are falling further
behind. And it’s important to a strong economy. A thriving middle class isn’t a consequence of growth…it’s the source of growth. . With his life and his words, Dr. King called us to action. The work he set in motion is not finished. The dream is not yet realized. But we are united in our belief in the dignity of work, the dignity of home, and the dignity of every individual. We have a shared belief that each of us can make a difference and that all of us must try. We believe that our children deserve a future of more opportunity, not less. www.gracenglorymagazine.org 17
18 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
Heal Your Marriage After Infidelity
story of hope
By Whitney Hopler, Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer If your spouse has broken his or her marriage vows by having an adulterous affair, the deception has shattered the trust that had previously existed been the two of you. Trust is the foundation of all healthy relationships, so your marriage can’t survive unless you both work to rebuild that trust. As a Christian, you know that God wants to heal your marriage. But the thought of ever trusting your spouse again may seem impossible when you consider it in your pain. So many people have divorced over infidelity. Is it really possible to heal after your spouse has been unfaithful? Yes, it is – because God is always faithful, and anything is possible with His help. Here’s how you can work with God to heal your marriage after infidelity: Ask questions wisely. While it’s reasonable to initially ask your spouse to give you the details of what happened, when, who with, and how, after you’ve become fully informed, don’t ask any more questions unless doing so will really help you heal. Don’t let yourself become obsessed with the details of your spouse’s affair, because doing so will only torment you and prevent you from moving on to healing. Remind yourself often of God’s promises to you in the Bible. Even though your spouse has been unfaithful to you, God will always be faithful to you. Read and meditate on God’s biblical promises to you, absorbing them into your soul so you can deal with your situation from the right perspective. Let God’s promises give you the confidence you need to pour your deepest thoughts and feelings out to Him in prayer, and to believe that His grace is enough to lead you through the healing process. Learn successful coping strategies. Life’s daily demands won’t stop when you’re going through a crisis, so you need to learn how to cope with your ongoing responsibilities (such as taking care of your children and keeping up with your work) while you’re struggling. Ask God to empower you to deal with your “new normal” and give you the wisdom to adjust your life in appropriate ways so you can still function effectively. Pray for the peace that only Jesus can give you – peace that will help you overcome any challenge you encounter. Look at your spouse the way God does. Pray for the right perspective on your spouse so you can see that he or she most likely didn’t plan to sin so grievously, but that your spouse is just like you – an imperfect person who’s capable of serious sin, despite good intentions, if he or she drifts away from God. Ask God to give you compassion for your spouse’s brokenness and help you treat him or her gracefully, as God treats you when you sin. Keep in mind that the faith you show while going through this crisis can inspire others to begin relationships with Jesus. People are watching how you react to the pain that your spouse’s infidelity has brought into your life. If they can see how Jesus is working through your life and empowering you to respond in faithful ways, they’ll be drawn to Jesus themselves and may become saved as a result. So try your best to trust God as you heal, and look forward to good coming out of bad somehow as God does His work. Let your grief teach you whatever God wants you to learn. Don’t try to suppress your grief or rush past it; instead, let yourself fully experience and go through each stage of grief to learn valuable lessons from it. Ask God to reveal whatever He wants you learn from your grief, and to help you make whatever changes you sense Him leading you to make to draw closer to Him and become a stronger person as a result. Learn to trust. You can learn to trust in your marriage again if you first deepen your trust in God. Decide right now to trust God with every part of your
life – your marriage, but also your other relationships, your work, your health, your leisure time, etc. Instead of worrying about how you can trust your spouse again, choose to trust God to work in your spouse’s life – placing your trust in God’s Spirit who lives inside your spouse, rather than in your spouse alone. Pray for God to help your spouse gradually regain your trust by sacrificing anything that could lead to more unfaithfulness (such as avoiding being alone with people of the opposite sex), giving you complete access to information about his or her activities (such as computer passwords and phone records), and making honest decisions going forward. Replace anger with forgiveness. Let your gratitude for how God has forgiven you of your own sins motivate you to obey His call to forgive others who have sinned against you, including your spouse. Don’t wait to obey until you feel like forgiving, because you likely never will feel like doing so. Instead, choose to act in forgiving ways toward your spouse (treating him or her with kindness and welcoming the positive changes he or she makes rather than bringing up his or her past sin), and God will gradually change your feelings in the process. Lean on the strength of other people. Turn to some people you trust to support you in your healing process and provide accountability and encouragement to your spouse to help him or her heal. Confess your struggles to them while they listen, and ask them to pray for you and your spouse regularly. Thank them for their care and trust God to work through them to help both you and your spouse. Do whatever you can to save your marriage. As long as your spouse is repentant and willing to work on restoring trust in your relationship, do whatever it takes to work on your marriage to try to save it. Rather than looking for excuses to leave your marriage, look for reasons to restore it, and be willing to do what’s necessary to avoid the tragedy of divorce and rebuild trust in your marriage. Ask God to make your marriage better than new. Keep praying for God to transform your marriage, and expect that as He does so, your marriage can become better than it was before your spouse’s affair – because you and your spouse have learned to trust God in deeper ways. **************** (Adapted from Healing Your Marriage When Trust is Broken: Finding Forgiveness and Restoration, copyright 2011 by Cindy Beal. Published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, Or., www.harvesthousepublishers.com).
20 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
word on finance
HOW TO ATTRACT MONEY FOR YOUR VISION Over the years, I have seen the visions of many people succeed and fail. Being a visionary myself, it has afforded me the opportunity to experience the challenges, problems and even pitfalls that come along in the visionforming process. One the major challenges that all visionaries encounter is funding the vision. Every vision needs money to be realized whether it’s a church, a business, daycare center, community service, housing development, sports team, etc., they all require money to bring into fruition. All too often, much of the stress and frustration of a visionary is his or her inability to attract the money needed to fund it. The ability to attract money to fund your vision can mean the difference between your vision succeeding or failing. I have learnt a few things about funding a vision and am still learning. So I am going to give you a few principles that will help attract money to any vision. 1. WRITE THE VISION: “Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others,” says Jonathan Swift. This is vision law no.1, “write the vision”. (Habakkuk 2:2) Without your vision in written detail, others will not be able to run with it, in other words, support it. Would you pay for a ticket without knowing where the train is going? That’s what an unwritten vision is asking others to do. Clarity of vision is necessary for others to trust and follow you. Trust is the new global currency that will inspire others to support you according to Stephen M.R. Covey in his book, Speed of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything. 2. USE IMAGINATION: Vision is the process of pulling the invisible into the visible. “A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown”, says Denis Waitley. Start envisioning yourself doing things bigger. Hang around someone who is doing what you’re doing on a larger scale. Sometimes our vision is just too small to attract big money. You can’t catch big fish, fishing in a small pond. Start seeing yourself larger and as you create a greater need for money, you will in turn create a greater supply for it. 3. STAY IN YOUR LANE: Obedience to your assignment will always attract the people and money you need to fulfill it. “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” (Albert Einstein) In other words, your power to attract anything is in your authenticity. People pay for the best and you are at your best when you are doing what you are supposed
to do and are serving people with the gift God specifically gave to you. Stay in your lane, celebrate your uniqueness and perfect your own craft and skill-set. Do what you love, and what you love will reward you. 4. DO EXCELLENCE! Excellence attracts uncommon people. “Excellence is to do a common thing in an uncommon way.” (Booker T. Washington) When you add excellence to your work, you magnetize and monetize your efforts. Successful people as well as investors are willing to invest in excellence. Start going above and beyond in service and you will always inspire people to buy into your vision. Sloppiness, uncleanness and disorder will repel investors from your vision. Ask yourself this simple question, “Would I put money in a vending machine that has an out-of-order sign on it?” 5. YOU MUST RESPECT PROCESS: Vision requires patience and patience when it is perfected will cause you to lack nothing. (James 1:4) “I don’t believe in failure, it’s not failure if you enjoy the process.” (Oprah Winfrey) There is no such thing as success over night. Success in any area is not an accident but an intentional and diligent effort to succeed. Every vision must go through a wilderness season to reach the promise land. The wilderness is to teach you how to appreciate and manage better the resources you have. Use the lean times to prepare you for the better and bigger times ahead. If you can be trusted with little money, then you will be trusted with much money. (St. Luke 16:10) My prayer and desire for every visionary that reads this Dr. Kenneth O Robinson II article, is that you will Financial Inspirational Speaker experience increase in Radio and TV Host of 2014 and that you will “The Word on Finances” program. attract more money to For appointments or seminars carry out the vision God has put in your heart. kennethorobinson.com www.gracenglorymagazine.org 21
22 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
Celebration YOURSELF of Love single life
Imagine the very first time you received a “love note”, a romantic card, a kind gesture that filled your heart with joy. The thought of that person made you smile. The sound of their voice made your heart flutter and took your breath away. You daydreamed about them and the next time you would spend time with them. Each thought of this person brought more and more joy and excitement. Your anticipation of being in their presence was a distraction to your daily routine. Your thoughts are consumed . . . completely consumed. Your technology hunger kicks in, and you send a text message… “Just thinking about you”….. The desire to be loved is a basic desire to every human and the desire to be “in love” is a natural and normal desire of many people that find themselves in the state of singleness. Allow me to remind every person that is single that your desires for marriage, family, and commitment are normal and they are important. You were created to love and give love. Before you can express your love to another person, it vital that you learn how to celebrate and love yourself. Often as singles we want someone to love us and we have not mastered the ability or taken the effort to learn how to love ourselves. We must first take time to get to know who we are in the natural and who we are in Christ. We must learn to enjoy our company, enjoy and be comfortable in our own skin before entering into relationships with those of the opposite sex. “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” Matthew 22:39 Here are some practical ways to begin the process of loving ourselves. Many times we don’t realize that we do not truly love ourselves and sometimes this opens a door for others to treat us in ways that are hurtful. 1. I will not remain in toxic relationships where I am not a priority but an option. Do not allow others to make promises to you and then continue to break those promises without any regard for your emotion. People will disappoint you, but repeated disappointment turns into abuse. Abuse is not always physical, but abuse can be mental, emotional and spiritual. I believe before abuse becomes physical, the mental emotion and spiritual walls of the person has been hit so many times wearing them down, making them vulnerable for physical abuse. Remove yourself from toxic relationships that do not bring life to you, but instead tear you down and ultimately will bring death to you. Just as we remove toxic chemicals from our environment because we recognize the dangers of these toxins, some relationships are not worth having in your environment. 2. I will not allow others to disrespect my time, my body, my mind and my life. Disrespect comes in many forms. Often disrespect is the precursor for a relationship moving towards toxicity. Do not allow others to dishonor you on any level. For example if someone agrees to call you at a certain time and they miss that time that has been scheduled some
form of remorse should be expressed. If no remorse is expressed, then the door has been open for this pattern to repeat itself. You have the power to stop the behavior by addressing the situation. This will allow the other person to express themselves or bring the manner to their attention. At this point they have been informed and can make the choice to change their actions or they can continue the same pattern of behavior. 3. I will honor myself by Dr. Monique Flemings taking better care of myself. Monique Flemings Ministries Make an appointment for a Health www.moniqueflemingsministries.com Physical with full blood work. Chicago, Illinois Have the medical doctor take time and review the results of your exam with you. Make a dental appointment. We spend enormous amounts of time with our outer appearance (all which are fine and needed) and leave very little time and money for our general health. By honoring your health, you are honoring the vessel that God has given you while you are on this earth. Take time to eat well, sleep long, work up a good sweat during exercise and show God how much you appreciate His workmanship and how He has uniquely made you. 4. I will set standards for myself and ask God to bless them and revise them as needed. As a single person, you have time for reflection and goal setting. During this time ask God to revise and review your goals as needed and do not be too rigid when HE says “shift!” Goals are like a road map they keep us focused on our path of destiny. Sometimes life throws us a curve or a detour; seeking the Father will assist us with those sharp curves in life that seem to come from nowhere. As you keep your heart open to God, you will become flexible to His divine timing and His plan for your life. Setting goals and placing them before the Father provides communication and great dialogue and intimacy with your heavenly Father. Start with loving yourself on purpose with these tools. Whatever you do, my single friend, stay in the celebration as others celebrate Valentine’s Day. Do not isolate and retreat away. Celebrate who you are in Christ. Celebrate your victories and your failures! Celebrate your past, your present and your future! Take yourself out to a movie or dinner. Have a small gathering with other singles to share the “love holiday.” Enjoy a fresh cut bouquet of flowers and dark chocolates compliments of “from you to you!” Think about all you have accomplished and get excited about your possibilities. And oh yes, don’t forget to text yourself ...“Just thinking about you”…. www.gracenglorymagazine.org 23
24 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
Book Shelf The Soul Saver By Dineen Miller I had been waiting for a book to capture my attention, that would keep me turning page after page all the while telling myself just one more page and I’ll put it to down. I found it! May I present to you The Soul Saver by Dineen Miller. In The Soul Saver we are introduced to the three people that the story line revolves around; Lexie: has a giftthe Lord shows her the face of a person and sends her on a mission to minister to that person. Hugh: Lexie’s husband, a professor, and an atheist. Nate: a father, a Pastor, a man whose life has been wrecked by tragedy. Miller masterfully developed each character on their own; unfolding their past, their likes and dislikes, and individual characteristics that made it possible for each person to stand on their own. She then intertwined the individuals with the “second string” players; Lexie and Hugh’s son Jeremy, Nate’s daughter Sam, Abby the intercessor, and Tobias the soda shop guy (amongst other things). After thoroughly laying out these characters and how they relate to one another she introduces two more layers of characters. With the amount of people in The Soul Saver, you would think it would be hard to keep track, but it was just the opposite. She painted such a wonderful picture of each character that the reader was able to personally connect with them and keep them straight. Miller was able, in one book, to write one plot with multiple subplots. With Lexie and Hugh on opposite ends of the faith spectrum, their marriage is shaky, and their son is in an unknown tug-of-war battle between them that he is unaware of. She meets Pastor Nate at a bar drinking a cup of coffee, strikes up a conversation and is taken back by how much he and her nonbelieving husband would be alike if not for
by Brandie Manigault
his unbelief. In the midst of their growing friendship and potential attraction, the plot of the enemy is revealed with an unexpected target; everyone else’s tragedy is just a bonus for him. But the Lord is not void in this book. Lexie is on a mission, and little by little all the pieces begin to fall in place, but at what cost? What is she willing to sacrifice to be obedient to God, to be committed to her husband, to save a friend, to help a child? The Soul Saver had all the elements of great movie. It pulled on your heart strings with traces of comedic relief like a romantic
comedy. It was suspenseful, thrilling, and dramatic. It was so well written that I could see the characters and make up their facial expressions in my head as I was reading their dialogue. Do I recommend The Soul Saver…? YES! The long and the short of it is this… it’s a good book. But in my opinion, if you read it and only get a good story out of it, I think you have missed the point all together. This book takes real life events and paints a fictional picture with them. It’s a story with a lesson of love, redemption, good versus evil, passing judgment on those not like you, faith and hope, sacrifice, and so much more. I highly recommend The Soul Saver. Read it for enjoyment. Read
About the Author
Dineen Miller readily admits that one of the greatest lessons she’s learning about life is that there’s purpose in our trials. It’s all about trusting God and putting our hope in Him. Her favorite stories are of the miracles God has wrought in the lives of her family. Through this lens she also believes her years as a youth counselor, a Stephen Minister, a women’s ministry leader and a life group leader fuel her desire to ignite the souls of others through words of truth. She’s also a retreat and conference speaker and has been featured on the Moody Radio Network, Focus on the Family Radio, Dr. James Dobson’s FamilyTalk and FamilyLife Today. In addition to writing for SpirituallyUnequalMarriage.com and www.MismatchedandThriving.com, Dineen has won several prestigious awards for her fiction, and is also the author of A Love Meant To Be, part of the Central Park Rendezvous Collection. She is the co-author of the Winning Him Without Words: 10 Keys to Thriving in Your Spiritually Mismatched Marriage, which received the award for Non-Fiction Book of 2011 from the San Diego Christian Writers Guild. Her latest book, Not Alone: Trusting God to Help You Raise Godly Kids in a Spiritually Mismatched Home will release in October. For more information about Dineen’s current projects and speaking engagements, check out her News & Events and Speaking pages. www.gracenglorymagazine.org 25
26 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
to your good health
By Carla J. Debnam, MS, LCPC Executive Director, Renaissance Christian Counseling Center
Life is precious. As I have matured in life and in Christ, I have become more aware of the importance of my life in its totality. In John 10:10 Jesus declared, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” Unfortunately many of us are not living in this abundance. We are living in a place of lack and defeat. We have let our past bog us down with doubt, fear and shame. There is more to life than living with regrets but somehow we cannot seem to break free from the thoughts that keep us in bondage. Those thoughts and the effects they have on our spiritual, physical and mental lives are holding us back from the hopes and dreams we have been called to fulfill. Some of us have let these joy stealers invade every area of our lives and now find ourselves without any hope of life changing for the better. Instead of letting the stress and strain of life keep us bound, it is time to celebrate life. Celebrating life is a personal journey each of us must take. Learning to love and appreciate who and how God made you is a step in celebrating life. Accepting and loving others for who they are is
the next step. Neither of these can be done without first receiving and embracing God’s love. We are to approach life one day at a time and be expectant and hopeful even in the midst of struggles. Each of us has had reason to be distressed, depressed and in despair yet we also have a faith in God that trumps all of the above. We can celebrate life because of the new life we have in Christ. The old things have passed away and the new is before us. Celebrating life is as simple as appreciating a new day, holding a newborn or eating fresh fruit or as extravagant as a Caribbean cruise or the purchase of a new car. There is so much in life to enjoy that we can single out something different everyday. Life may not be perfect but that does not mean there is no reason to rejoice. Rejoice and enjoy life by eating healthy, exercising, learning to line dance, making time for hobbies or reading through the Bible. We can celebrate life by praising God daily for his grace and mercy. The options are endless. Do not settle for an ordinary life. Be sure to celebrate and rejoice everyday. The Hallmark corporation theme reminds us, “Life is a special occasion!”
28 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
The Importance of Making History Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 19 Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. (Deuteronomy 11:18-20). 18
I spent a little more than five years reporting on television in Huntington, West Virginia. It’s a city of about 60-thousand people nestled along the banks of the Ohio River. One of my many assignments in the month of February included recording a segment on Black History month for the evening news. It didn’t take me long to learn that Carter G. Woodson, the man known as the “Father of Black History,” had roots in the city. Woodson was born in Virginia but moved west in order to get an education. According to the NAACP, Carter G. Woodson and his brother Robert Henry moved to Huntington, West Virginia, where they hoped to attend the Douglass High School. However, Carter was forced to earn his living as a miner in Fayette County coalfields and was able to devote only a few months each year to his schooling.
Carter G. Woodson (1875 –1950) African-American Historian
month, I was introduced to one of Woodson’s nieces who still lived in the City of Huntington. I contacted her and she agreed to be interviewed at her home. She was able to verify what so many historians had observed about Woodson over the years. She says her uncle was not only passionate but determined to record the history of the African-American experience. Woodson believed that it was important to document the contributions of Black Americans as a legitimate and integral part of the history of this country.
In 1895, a twenty-year-old Carter entered Douglass High School, where he received his diploma in less than two years. In 1900, Woodson returned to Huntington to become the principal of Douglass H.S. Woodson would go on to college and receive his Bachelor of Literature degree from Berea College, Kentucky. Almost a decade later, Woodson received his M.A. from the University of Chicago, and in 1912, he received his Ph.D. in history from Harvard University.
As you recognize Black History month, don’t overlook the need to record history. It can begin today. Here’s what I mean. It seems that a good bit of our personal, family and faith history is spoken but not written. We owe it to the next generation to document our history. We can start today with a pen and paper. However, technology allows us to videotape our conversations. I urge you to make a record of history, especially of your faith. The Bible is history, the history of God’s faithfulness to those who believed in Him. They were people who also believed it was their obligation to recall the goodness of God in their lives and to share it with those whom they met along the way. The same should be said for each of us as we prepare to make history.
The old Douglass High School building I mentioned earlier is still standing. It’s located along one of Huntington’s major thoroughfares. I would often drive by the building during my travels around the city. In my quest to find a local connection to Black History
Dr. Tim Tooten, Sr. is an Emmy-Award winning television reporter at WBALTV (NBC) in Baltimore, Maryland. He’s also the pastor and founder of Harvest Christian Ministries in Baltimore County, Maryland.
Dr. Tim Tooten, Sr.
30 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
Sowing Your Wild Oats? Tomorrow’s Youth By Jonathan McNair Do you ever wonder if you are “missing out”? You know what I mean. You have grown up with parents who would not let you go out and party. They have always insisted on knowing where you were, and are not “okay” with you coming in at all hours of the night. They want to know who your friends are. They make you share your Facebook password with them and do not believe in “computer privacy” for kids. Maybe they even home-school you! If you are a young person reading this magazine, you are more likely than most to fit this profile. Your parents may sometimes be accused of “sheltering” you from what most teenagers today would call “real life”— and that accusation may be accurate! Because of their shelter, you may not have experienced some of the teenage “rites of passage” that many today consider normal, such as getting drunk and having sex. Maybe you have even met an adult who has said to you, “You mean you haven’t kissed a girl? What’s wrong with you?” Or, “You haven’t held hands with a guy? You are really deprived!” Maybe you have met an adult or two who has even told you, “You’d better sow your wild oats while you’re young, or you’ll regret that you missed your chance later.”
With so many pressures to fit in and do what society says is normal, it can be easy for a young person to think, “My parents may mean well, but are they making me miss out on experiences I really ought to be having?” This can be hard to handle, even when you know God exists, and you basically want to live His way of life, and you do not want to be a “pop culture zombie” following mindlessly the superficial people around you. Deep down inside, you know that what today’s society considers “normal” is not necessarily right with God—or right for you. But, still, the temptations are there. Should you really “sow your wild oats” while you can? Surely that is part of what being a “normal” teenager is all about—right? Wrong! It does not have to be that way. In fact, it should not be. Consider a parable related by Jesus Christ—who, by the way, knew what it was like to be a teen. He told of a father who had two sons. One “sowed his wild oats” and sought to experience all the extremes life had to offer, living his life with abandon. But when the fun came to an end, how did this prodigal son come to feel? We read that he would “gladly have filled his stomach with the pods that the swine ate.” The party was over for him, and his life was miserable (Luke 15:11–32).
Cause and Effect
There is a saying: “If you sow wild oats for six days, pray for crop failure on day seven.” No matter how attractive the idea of “experiencing real life” may seem for a while, those experiences bring permanent consequences—the “crops” that spring from what is sown. The Bible puts it very simply: “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap” (Galatians 6:7). The reality is that there is no “free pass” when it comes to cause and effect. Wise King Solomon knew this when he wrote, “Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth; walk in the ways of your heart, and in the sight of your eyes; but know that for all these God will bring you into judgment” (Ecclesiastes 11:9). Even in our youth, the actions we choose will affect us for the rest of our
lives. Our teen and young adult years are filled with potentially lifechanging decisions. For example, when young people become involved in drinking alcohol—which many consider a normal “rite of passage” for teens— they are taking a first major step toward injury or even death. Motor vehicle crashes, often caused or worsened by alcohol consumption, are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control reports: “Young people ages 15–24 represent only 14 percent of the U.S. population. However, they account for 30 percent ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28 percent ($7 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among females.” (“Teen Drivers: Fact Sheet,” October 2, 2012). What about “hooking up” in sexual encounters with your friends? Is it a harmless “rite of passage”? Certainly it is common among today’s teens. The Centers for Disease Control reported in a 2011 study that 47.4 percent of teens had engaged in sexual intercourse, 33.7 percent had done so in the past three months, and 5.3 percent reported having sex with four or more people during their teen years (“Sexual Risk Behavior: HIV, STD, & Teen Pregnancy Prevention,” July 24, 2012). That same CDC report describes the millions of cases of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) contracted each year. The report states that, “nearly half of the 19 million new STDs each year are among young people aged 15–24 years” (ibid.). Other statistics point out that, each year, one in four U.S. teens contracts an STD or other sexually transmitted infection, and that by 2025 as many as 40 percent of all men and half of all women could be carrying one or more STDs.
Sow Good Seeds
How did our culture come to this point? By trivializing intimate contact between guys and girls. By removing standards that define appropriate contact. By winking at “sowing wild oats” that may seem fun at the time but that bring a lifetime of heartache and regret. So, do not let anyone tell you that when you strive to obey God’s law you are “missing out.” Instead, make the effort to sow good seeds for your future. Solomon wrote, “My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother, for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck” (Proverbs 1:8–9). As Solomon wrote, “Even a child is known by his deeds, whether what he does is pure and right” (Proverbs 20:11). Make sure that the seeds you sow are godly ones that will produce good fruit. Even if you have sown a few wild oats in the past, you can turn your life around. It is never too late—or too early—to start doing what is right. www.gracenglorymagazine.org 31
32 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
Heart Healthy Eating
By: Herline A. Knights, RD,LD
My doctor told me to change my diet to help prevent me from having heart problems. Why? Heart disease is the number one killer of Americans. Improving your diet and lifestyle can help prevent heart disease, according to the American Heart Association. Whether you already have heart disease or are at risk for heart disease, you can benefit from a healthy diet and regular exercise. What can I do to reduce my risk for heart disease? • Consume an overall healthy diet. • Aim for a healthy body weight. • Aim for recommended levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, highdensity lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and triglycerides. • Aim for a normal blood pressure. • Aim for a normal blood sugar level. • Be physically active. • Avoid use of and exposure to tobacco products. That sounds daunting. How can I meet all of those goals? The AHA’s Diet and Lifestyle recommendations for heart disease can help you achieve most of their goals for risk reduction. Modifying your diet and lifestyle can improve your body weight, blood lipid levels, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels. These recommendations include: • Balance calorie intake with physical activity to achieve or maintain a healthy body weight. • Consume a diet rich in vegetables and fruits. • Choose whole-grain, high-fiber foods. • Consume fish, especially oily fish, at least
twice a week. • Limit your intake of saturated fat to < 7% of energy, trans fat to < 1% of energy, and cholesterol to <300 mg per day by: Choosing lean meats and vegetable alternatives; selecting fat- free (skim), 1% fat and low-fat dairy products; and Minimizing intake of partially hydrogenated fats. • Minimize your intake of beverages and foods with added sugars. • Choose and prepare foods with little or no salt. • If you consume alcohol, do so in moderation. I need some practical tips to help me follow this advice. Can you help? The tips below can help you reduce the calories fats, sugars, and salt in your diet. Reduce salt by: • Limiting processed meats like bacon, sausage, and hot dogs. • Using fewer frozen and boxed dinners. • Choosing reduced-salt versions of canned vegetables and processed foods. • Rinsing canned vegetables and beans before cooking. • Limiting use of salty condiments like ketchup and soy sauce. Reduce calories by: • Preparing and eating smaller portions of everything. • Knowing the calorie content of the
foods and beverages you consume. • Replacing high-calorie foods with fruits and vegetables. Reduce total fat, Trans fats, and saturated fat by: • Using liquid vegetable oils in place of solid fats like butter, margarine, and shortening. • Using fewer full-fat dairy products. Select low-fat or skim dairy foods. • Removing visible fat from meat and poultry. • Using fewer commercial pastries, cookies, cakes, pies, and doughnuts. • Limit processed meats like bacon, sausage, and hot dogs. Reduce sugars by: • Limit beverages high in sugar including regular sodas, fruit punches, and sweetened tea and coffee drinks. • Use less jelly, honey, and candy. • Eat less cake, cookies, pies, and doughnuts. Be more physically active by: • Decreasing time spent watching TV, sitting at computer and video games, etc. • Incorporating movement into everyday activities, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator. • Adding exercise to your week gradually, starting with a few minutes a day or two at a time, building up to > 30 minutes most days of the week. www.gracenglorymagazine.org 33
34 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
gospel industry news Erica Campbell Erica Campbell of the iconic sister duo group Mary Mary is kicking off 2014, handling her music with her new solo career. Her new single “Help” is the next release from her debut album and she shot the video in LA last month. The video was directed by the legend himself Billy Woodruff. Featured on the single is rapper LaCrae, who also appears in the video, lacing this single with his rap lyrics. Erica’s completed debut album is slated to be released on March 25th on My Block/ eOne Music. The single “Help” was released on iTunes and all digital media outlets last month. Congrats to Erica on her first solo Grammy nomination, she also performed on the Stellar Awards last month; she will be reuniting with her sister Tina to perform at the NFL Superbowl Gospel Celebration.
Gospel Industry News
By Ericka J.
Earnest Pugh Earnest Pugh has teamed up with music legend Rance Allen on his latest project W.I.N (Worship In Nassau) it’s his third single off the project; the single is titled “I Can Do All Things” a 1976 remake of the song originally done by The Clark Sisters. Also Earnest is due to release a Love Cd this
Kirk Franklin Kirk announced on Facebook New Year’s Day that he is planning to reunite with God’s Property in 2014. God’s Property’s album with Kirk Franklin charted No. 1 and went platinum 3 times, in addition to winning a Grammy. At the end of 2013 God’s Property did a special performance with Kirk that clearly turned the light on and sparked Kirk to reunite with the chart topping Gospel Choir; right after that came the announcement of the 2014 joint venture. Family I think it’s time to get the band back together . . . GP are you with me?! is what Kirk posted on New Year’s Day, and his Facebook Wall was flooded with comments, this should be great!! I can’t wait to hear!! 36 February February 2014 2014 || Grace&Glory Grace&Glory 36
Debut Single “Reliable God” now available on iTunes and all digital media outlets. The single was written by James Fortune and he’s featured on it. Angie’s voice is most noted during her musical career with Tye Tribbett & GA of which she was a member for many years; she started singing with them at the age of 17. Her lead vocals are blazing on the songs “Look Up” and “Who Else But God”, it’s been about 5 years since she’s been with Tye Tribbett and is more than ready to get back out there and introduce herself to the music world as a solo artist. On February 8 in Philadelphia, her hometown, she will be doing a debut concert/ single release; you can find out further details and info on her Facebook page Angela White. I have the single and I absolutely love it!! Go to your digital outlets and get it! Get It!! Stay tuned for more info on her upcoming EP coming out in 2014
gospel industry news
Bishop Hezekiah Walker’s Choir Fest was all night hype and featured Love Fellowship Choir, Shawn Tillery & Changed, and JJ Hairston & Youthful Praise, just to name a few!! The actual awards show OMG!! Anthony Brown & Group Therapy represented Baltimore in such an amazing way!!! Congrats to them on all their wins and their absolutely incredible performance!! Congrats to Justin Savage who coproduced their album. Bishop Hezekiah Walker & Love Fellowship Crusade Choir won Choir of the Year, “Every Praise” is absolutely a universal song!!!
28th Annual Stellar Awards Weekend Recap Earnest Pugh has teamed up with music legend Rance Allen on his latest project BMI Trailblazers Luncheon honored Darryl Coley, the Maestro Richard Smallwood, awesome songstress Y’Anna Crawley, Timiney Figueroa, Anaysha Figueroa-Cooper, musical directors and instrumental arrangements by Donald Lawrence, Stanley Brown and Joe Wilson . . . need I say more!!!
Top 5 Gospel Songs
Top 5 Gospel Albums
Tamela Mann cleaned up as well as Tasha Cobbs. Tamela won Artist of the Year, she’s such an anointed and appointed vessel in this season and she’s so amazing not to mention a triple threat! Of course the Nelson Brothers, Jonathan & Jason were both there presenting for the Best Gospel Female Artist; Jonathan’s performance was also awesome. I absolutely enjoyed Rickey Smiley & Sherry Shepherd as hosts, they kept us laughing! Again congrats not just to the winners but the nominees as well you ALL are winners!!!
“Beautiful Day” - Jamie Grace “Break Every Chain” - Tasha Cobbs “Every Praise” - Hezekiah Walker “It’s Working” - William Murphy “The Gift” - Donald Lawrence Church Clothes Vol 1- LaCrae Grace - Tasha Cobbs Best Days - Tamela Mann Withholding - William McDowell Gravity- LaCrae
Happy Valentine’s Day! Take the time this month not to just show love to those near n dear, but be a blessing and show love to someone you haven’t spoken to in a while and/or just somebody God leads you to. It will be more effective than you can imagine; a hug or kind deed at the right time goes a long way, it may literally save someone’s life. ‘Til next month, “Don’t wait for the storm to pass learn to dance in the rain!” Follow me on Twitter www.twitter.com/misserickaj, Facebook www.facebook.com/erickajohnson www.gracenglorymagazine.org 37 www.gracenglorymagazine.org 37
word of encouragement
NO GREATER LOVE Than the Love of Our Savior on Valentine’s Day
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16) “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” (Luke 10:19). As the world celebrates Valentine’s Day this month I encourage you to meditate on a greater love than Valentine’s Day; the love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. His love transcends anything we have done in the past, doing presently or will do in the future. It was His love that caused Him, when Jesus was leaving to go back to His Father, to give the Apostles specific instructions. Those same instructions are available to us today. Jesus gave us the authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and the authority to overcome all the power of the enemy. In actuality, Jesus gave us the right to be His power of attorney. Power of attorney means a legal instrument authorizing one to act as the attorney or the agent of the grantor. We can act as God’s agent in the natural and the supernatural world. We have been given the power to effect change in this earth realm. Below is a description of your rights as Power of Attorney. POWER OF ATTORNEY Of BELIEVERS ARTICLE I Jesus appoints His believers to be His true and lawful attorney-in-fact with full power to carry out those acts specified herein in accordance with any limitations imposed herein. This power of attorney took effect upon the execution of His 38 February 2014 | Grace&Glory
death, burial and resurrection and His ascension in heaven and shall remain in effect until His return. In the event that satan and his cohorts attempt to bring an action against any member of the Body of Christ, such action should be dismissed by Believers, because no weapon formed against any Believer shall prosper. Jesus nominated Believers as attorney-in-fact to serve as guardians of His Word and to speak it in season and out of season. ARTICLE II Your attorney-in-fact is in effect with full compensation. ARTICLE III All power is granted to His Attorney-In-Fact/Believers to be used for His glory, His benefit and on His behalf in accordance with the directions specified in His word. All power is granted to His Attorney-In-Fact/Believers to lay hands on the sick and watch them recover. All power is granted to His Attorney-In-Fact/Believers to tread on serpents and scorpions and nothing shall in anywise harm them. His attorney-in-fact is authorized to take legal action against any person or institution that refuses to honor this power of attorney. I HEREBY signed my name to this Power of Attorney over 2000 years ago. Jesus. I encourage you to recognize how powerful the love of God is. Because of that love you are entitled to operate as power of attorney and you are no longer a victim, but you are victorious. I encourage you to remember that you are more than a conqueror in and through Christ Jesus. You are an overcomer. You are the head and not the tail, above only and not beneath. Prayer: Father help me to recognize my power of attorney status because of Your love for me. Teach me to walk in the fullness of the power that you have given me and never to retreat from any attack of the adversary, in Jesus’ Name I pray, amen. Donna Jennifer [Royalty] Ross In Trust Ministries firstname.lastname@example.org
My beloved friends, let us continue to love each other since love comes from God. Everyone who loves is born of God and experiences a relationship with God. The person who refuses to love doesn’t know the first thing about God, because God is love – so you can’t know him if you don’t love. This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about – not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God. 11-12 My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us – perfect love! 13-16 This is how we know we’re living steadily and deeply in him, and he in us: He’s given us life from his life, from his very own Spirit. Also, we’ve seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent his Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God’s Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we’ve embraced it heart and soul, this love that comes from God. 7-10
TO LOVE, TO BE LOVED
God is love. When we take up permanent residence in a life of love, we live in God and God lives in us. This way, love has the run of the house, becomes at home and mature in us, so that we’re free of worry on Judgment Day – our standing in the world is identical with Christ’s. There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life – fear of death, fear of judgment – is one not yet fully formed in love. 19 We, though, are going to love – love and be loved. First we were loved, now we love. He loved us first. 20-21 If anyone boasts, “I love God,” and goes right on hating his brother or sister, thinking nothing of it, he is a liar. If he won’t love the person he can see, how can he love the God he can’t see? The command we have from Christ is blunt: Loving God includes loving people. You’ve got to love both. 17-18
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40 February 2014 | Grace&Glory