2 November 2015 | Grace&Glory
contents on the cover:
Bishop Duane & Lady Cynthia Johnson Speak To My Heart Ministries 3903 W. Belvedere Avenue Baltimore, MD 21215 www.stmhonline.com
Special Feature pgs 8-12 - Q&A interview with Bishop Duane Johnson -History of Speak To My Heart Ministries
Feature Articles 14 EDUCATION DIGEST
Dr. Tim Tooten
It’s Never Too Late To Learn
22 SINGLE LIFE
Dr. Monique Flemings
A Season Called . . . Wait
God’s Next Top Model
The Best Yes (Lysa Terkeurst)
34 MAN TALK
24 TEEN CONNECT
Healthy Body 4 November 2015 | Grace&Glory
28 BOOK SHELF
20 WOMAN’S PERSPECTIVE Tiffany Bethea
Dr. Charles Barrett
26 NUTRITION & YOU
Herline A. Knights, RD, LD
November is Diabetes Awareness Month
Healthy Mind 16 TO YOUR GOOD HEALTH
Carla J. Debnam, (Founder, Renaissance Christian Counseling Center)
A Reason For Praise
32 GOSPEL INDUSTRY NEWS
In Every Issue Contributors............................................ 6
30 WORD OF ENCOURAGEMENT
In Trust Ministries email@example.com nistries
From the Editor....................................... 7 Scripture Page...................................... 12
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 Ericka Johnson Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Rev. Tim Tooten Brandie Manigault Tiffany Bethea Dr. Monique Flemings
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 2015. All rights reserved. Reproduction without expressed permission is prohibited.
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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. 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 Healing Voices Ministries Dr. Kenneth O. Robinson Pastor, Dream Life Worship Center 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 Thanksgiving Day is the holiday we pause and reflect on all of our manifold blessings. By the time we get to Thanksgiving Day we also discover that the year has almost come to an end. I’m sure we can all agree that we all have plenty to be thankful for. At the same time there may have been some things and promises that we have been praying for and waiting for that has not manifested . . . yet. What can we say then to these things? This month I wanted to share with you a portion of an article that I came across and it caused me to reflect on a few things and perhaps it will do the same for you.
A Thanksgiving Prayer by Cindi McMenamin (www.strengthforthesoul.com) I got to thinking about how Thanksgiving might be so much more meaningful if I focused on thanking God for the things He rarely hears thanks for. Thank Him, not just for the food on the table and the "blessings for this past year" but for all the ways He has not performed according to your liking; for all the times He has said "no" and for all the ways He has worked in and through your life, perhaps without you knowing it. Thank Him for all the unresolved issues and the ways you are still waiting for answers. Thank Him—regardless—and see what it does for your soul as you offer Him a heart of obedience and surrender this year. Thank Him—regardless—consider praying this prayer: Thank you, God, for Your many blessings on us this past year...the ones we've seen, as well as the ones we haven't seen. Thank you, God, for the times You have said "no." They have helped us depend on You so much more. Thank you, God, for unanswered prayer. It reminds us that You know what's best for us, even when our opinion differs. Thank You for the things you have withheld. You have protected us from what we may never realize. Thank You, God, for the doors You have closed. They have prevented us from going where You would rather not have us go. Thank you, Lord, for the physical pain You've allowed in our lives. It has helped us more closely relate to Your sufferings on our behalf. Thank you, Lord, for the alone times in our lives. Those times have forced us to lean in closer to You. Thank you, God, for the uncertainties we've experienced. They have deepened our trust in You. Thank You, Lord, for the times You came through for us when we didn't even know we needed a rescue. Thank You, Lord, for the losses we have experienced. They have been a reminder that You are our greatest gain. Thank You, God, for the tears we have shed. They have kept our hearts soft and moldable. Thank You, God, for the times we haven't been able to control our circumstances. They have reminded us that You are sovereign and on the throne.
Thank You, God, for Your ability to take what we consider 'tragedy' and turn it into a treasure. Thank You, God, for those You have called home to be with You. Their absence from this earth reminds us to keep our eyes fixed on heaven. Thank You, God, that we have an inheritance in the heavenly places...something that this world can never steal from us and we could never selfishly squander. Thank You, God, for the greatest gift You could ever give us: forgiveness through Your perfect Son’s death on the cross on our behalf. Thank you, God, for the righteousness You credited toward us, through the death and resurrection of Jesus. It's a righteousness we could never attain to on our own. Thank You not only for our eternal salvation, but for the salvation You afford us every day of our lives as You save us from ourselves, our foolishness, our own limited insights, and our frailties in light of Your power and strength. Thank You, God, for all that You have allowed and not allowed in our lives this past year. For we commit our lives anew to You this day and ask that You would continue to remind us, throughout this next year, that You are God, You are on the throne, and You are eternally good. Thank You, finally that we can pray in the name of Jesus, who made our access to You—and a personal relationship with You—possible.
Amen! There may be only a few weeks left in this year and we may not know what the future will bring. But the good news is, we do know who holds our tomorrows and we know who holds our hand. So in retrospect we can thank God for bringing us this far. We can thank God for never leaving us; for He promised never to leave us alone. So what do we say to these things? I believe we can all say, “Thank you Jesus!”
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Bishop Duane Johnson Speak To My Heart Ministries Baltimore, MD
G&G: Bishop Johnson welcome to Grace & Glory Magazine and since this is our first opportunity to talk with you, I always like to start with a few introductory questions to get to know you better. First, what three words would you use to describe yourself? Bishop Johnson: Encourager, Motivator, & Dreamer.
Communications at Morgan State University. I had always wanted to do full time radio and television. So I did work for the Baltimore Orioles in their TV production team for years as well as working in radio on Morgan State University Radio and Radio One at 92QJams here in Baltimore.
G&G: Bishop Johnson, would you share with us something that most people would be surprised to know about you? Bishop Johnson: I am a certified special education teacher in the Baltimore City Public School System and have taught for the past 20 years. I am a sports fanatic. I love my Ravens, Orioles, and Wizards. I am getting pretty good at golf. I love traveling and swimming on vacation with my family.
G&G: Bishop Johnson, there are those who may remember you as a gospel radio announcer. Was there a “paradigm shift” in your life that steered you toward ministry; in other words would you share with us how this journey began for you? Bishop Johnson: There was never really a “paradigm shift”, only the method and means of delivery evolved. I have always loved music. Not only do I come from a family of preachers, but also musicians. Growing up, my father had a music recording studio, so I would go to the studio for hours and listen to gospel music and make cassette tapes of songs that I enjoyed. When other teenagers would be hanging out on the weekend, I would find myself in the studio, listening to gospel music; and it was what I loved to do. Most times, I would be alone in that studio, but now I know that God was with me, in my moments of isolation, preparing me for my assignment. I would give the tapes out to family and friends; and not expecting it, but would hear over and over again how the tapes were a blessing to them. I even gave my wife, then girlfriend, one of the tapes back in high school and she took the tape to North Carolina with her when she went to college and listened to it over and over again because it ministered to her. I was making tapes of the songs that ministered to me and unbeknownst to me, they ministered to the people that I gave them to. After spending years in my father’s studio, I started on Morgan State University Radio (WEAA 88.9FM), as a student there in my sophomore year. I started as an intern at WEAA and soon found myself to be the Program and Music Director of the gospel program. My love for music opened doors for me that I never imagined. I was called on to develop and host the very first gospel music program on 92QJams, a Radio One station here in Baltimore which allowed me to reach more than 200,000 people every Sunday and it was really a “mega church”. God revealed Himself to me through gospel music. He would often speak to me while I listened to a song and the Word that He gave me I was able to share with my radio audience. I love music of all genres, but what I found many years ago and what I still find in gospel music…the message that is in gospel music is a
G&G: Bishop Johnson many pastors have shared with me that ‘preaching the gospel’ was not what they initially had planned to do with their lives. Was it the same for you, did you have other plans for your life before your call to ministry? Bishop Johnson: I come from a family of preachers. I am a 4th generation preacher. I heard from time to time growing up that I would be a preacher and I never really ran from it, I knew I’d always be working in the church in some facet, but I wanted to be a professional basketball player. I used to say that I wanted to be a doctor, but then realized that I didn’t like the sight of blood so I quickly changed my mind about Bishop Duane Johnson that and studied
Dr. Donté L. Hickman, Sr.
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Q&A Bishop Johnson: We are a church built simply on loving God’s people. From the time they enter the doors of the church, our goal is for people to feel the love of God. We believe that many of the issues that plague our society including promiscuity, murders, racial tensions, drug addiction, drop-out rates, and, the like, are due to people needing to be loved and valued. There is enough hatred in the world. Surely, someone should be able to walk in to God’s house and feel love. No gimmicks, no tricks, no fluff, & no manipulation. If you say you love God, but you hate your brother or sister, then you are a liar. How can you love God that you cannot see and not love your brother or sister that you see each day (1 John 4:20). So at Speak To My Heart Ministries, we love people and you will feel it and know it. We are a family oriented church. A major G&G: Pastor Johnson, tell us about thrust of STMH Ministries is to facilitate the the vision and mission that led to growth of strong, blessed families. My wife and the creation of Speak To My Heart our two children, Nolan and Zada, work very Ministries? closely with me in the ministry. We recognize the Bishop Johnson: I’ve always wanted strain that ministry often has on families, so we to Pastor an inner city church. I’ve don’t make church decisions without considering dreamed of going into the heart of the impact that decision might have on not just the “hood” and put in the work to our family, but on other families in our ministry change the community around us. as well. We understand that people have lives I often laugh, because if you know outside of church, so we are cognizant about where our church is God answered my the amount of time we ask our members to be prayers. God told me that Speak To out. In order for families to stay together and My Heart Ministries must be MORE marriages to last, in order for people to grow Lady Cynthia & Bishop Duane Johnson THAN A CHURCH! I was on the radio and not begrudge coming to the church house, for many, many years and I felt the there has to be balance. STMH members are drains and demands like I was already pastoring. I was hosting the expected to be active in the ministry and to come to the house of God 92Q Praise Party and I was praying, teaching the word to the staff to worship and to serve God with their whole hearts when there are and listeners, doing community events and God said it is time for services and outside engagements, but we don’t believe that services me to expand your reach. I was able to reach people who were hurt, have to last all night for them to do so, especially when they have to dejected, rejected, left out, broken, and misunderstood because I go to work the next morning and the kids have to go to school. have walked in their shoes. I was able to reach people who had flaws, Ministry is not just in the church building, but we believe that ministry begins at home. Our personal motto is, “God 1st, family made mistakes, and had shortcomings, because I wasn’t ashamed to 2nd, and then everything else.” say that I have been where they have been. Just being me, not trying We have regular activities for every member of the family to to impress anyone except God, not trying to fit in to any crowd or fellowship and grow and just have a good time. There are get anyone’s approval, except God’s. My mentors kept telling me and opportunities for Men’s Fellowship, Women’s Fellowship, and every confirming the Word that God had told me; that I had a different and Saturday, we hold dance rehearsal for girls, mime rehearsal for boys, unique style that would reach the masses. I fought it for a long time, and our mentoring program for males which is really impacting but I was constantly nudged, wooed, and sometimes even made so the lives of “at-risk” young men. We also host events designed uncomfortable until I had no other choice but to obey God, to stop specifically for family fellowship such as our “Family Fun Night” running, to step out of my comfort zone, and to start the ministry. We and our upcoming Bowl-A-Thon. In fact, many parishioners have had no building, no members, no money in the bank, no musician, often said, “At Speak To My Heart Ministries, we are more than a no praise & worship team; we had nothing except for raw faith! We church, we are family.” stopped running from the call and we had our first service on April 1, There’s an old saying that says, “You have to catch the fish before 2007. you can clean the fish.” So, we accept people as they are and where G&G: Pastor Johnson, how would you describe the ministry of they are. For more than 80% of our members, this is their first time Speak To My Heart Ministries? With the influx of new churches and coming to church and their first time serving in ministry. So, once ministries in the Baltimore community, is there any one thing that sets this ministry apart? Continued on page 10 message of hope, encouragement, and peace. After years and years of serving on the radio and in various facets of church, I became an ordained minister and God, not man, has elevated me and promoted me and my ministry. So as I see it now, in retrospect and as I have matured, I was not just a radio announcer, but I was a preacher of the gospel for many, many years. The only thing that has changed is that I am no longer hidden behind a ‘mic’ (microphone) in “radio land” but now; folk can actually see my face. I am still proclaiming that same message of salvation, hope, encouragement, and peace, just now not via songs on a cassette tape or via a radio broadcast, but now I am able to share that very same message behind the pulpit.
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Q&A Continued from page 9
they come in, we love them, accept them, and aim to lead them closer to Christ. There is no fashion show. There is no shouting and dancing competition. We have often been likened to an old church of the south, where you come, praise the Lord, fellowship with family, and go home.
in their bodies, and carrying a baby, Cynthia was never sick! She never experienced any of the sickening side effects of anesthesia, chemotherapy, or radiation, nor did she have any pregnancy-related nausea, vomiting, or symptoms! In fact, unless we told you, you wouldn’t have known all that we were going through, because God preserved her in the midst of it all. Seeing others begin to pray and seeing others develop a deeper relationship with God, we know that this was His doing. I thank God that my wife is cancer-free and our daughter, Zada, is perfectly healthy and beautiful, and just celebrated her 5th birthday in October. The Word of God and His promises keep us focused and our authentic love for each other makes us go. We made a vow to God that we’d love each other and cherish each other for better or worse, richer or poorer, in sickness and in health, ‘til death do us part. Divorce is not an option and neither is throwing in the towel.
G&G: Pastor Johnson, have you ever thought to yourself what have I signed myself up for; have you ever just wanted to throw in the towel? How do you stay focused during times of uncertainty; what keeps you motivated? Bishop Johnson: In 2010, when my wife was pregnant with our daughter, she found a lump in her breast and was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer, an aggressive form of breast cancer with a poor prognosis. During her first trimester of pregnancy, Cynthia went through two G&G: Pastor Johnson please share with us surgical procedures and then she had your proudest achievement thus far as pastor chemotherapy throughout second and third of Speak To My Heart Ministries. trimesters of the pregnancy. Just weeks Bishop Johnson: I am so proud that after after having the baby, she started more nearly 20 years of marriage and more than 8 rounds of chemotherapy, another major years of ministry, my wife and I are still best surgery, and then went through radiation friends. I am proud that my children respect treatments. The odds were not good. my wife and I as great parents, and that we During this time we saw many who died have developed a family-oriented ministry from the same diagnosis. But, we touched that they enjoy being a part of and are excited and agreed that Cynthia and the baby about going to. I am proud to have members would live and not die. This was a very Bishop Duane Johnson, Lady Cynthia, who love their church and their leaders and difficult time. I love my wife, so I found a way Nolan & Zada Johnson who faithfully come in to serve God and to get to basically all of her appointments worship Him. with her, and I still had to Pastor, still had to be daddy for our son Nolan, still had to be husband, and still had to work a full time job G&G: Pastor Johnson, was there anyone who significantly in the Baltimore City Public Schools. This was a hard period in our influenced your decision about ministry? Do you have a ‘go to’ lives and we wanted to quit, but our faith in God (and sometimes person you seek guidance from? it was as a mustard seed), along with family, church members, and Bishop Johnson: My wife had the greatest influence on when I friends got us through this. started the ministry. I refused to start unless she was 100% on board. My wife is my shero! She is one tough cookie. She read her healing We do this together. She is my right hand and partner. I needed scriptures, which she called “her medicine”, night and day. She came her blessing. My father, Bishop Carroll Johnson influenced me to to church and refused to just sit down, but she continued to serve be who I am. I watched him pastor for years and he inspired me and was determined to fight and live. The faith level at our church to follow in his footsteps. My father and my father-in-law, Deacon was off the charts. Saints have told her how watching her remain James Gresham, have greatly influenced me on how to be a Godly faithful with all that she was going through changed their lives and man and how to handle business. Bishop James Nelson, Sr. and relationship with God. We lived out faith right before everyone who Bishop Jonathan Wallace have been instrumental in developing and knew our situation. We walked by faith and not by sight. We talked training me to pastor. They have taken me under their wings and faith. We spoke life, health, and healing. We believed the report of showed me what to do and what not to do. Bishop Carroll Johnson, the LORD and not man’s report. We were determined to fast, pray, Deacon James Gresham, Bishop James Nelson, Sr. and Bishop sing ourselves happy, and encourage each other that “this too shall Jonathan Wallace are my fathers who guide me, correct me, rebuke pass!” We evicted everything and everyone out of our lives who we me, encourage me, and pat me on my back. The student is NEVER had to second guess or who had doubt about my wife and daughter’s above the teacher. Every leader needs a leader and submission is not survival. We were in a war and we armed ourselves for battle. This a dirty word! It is amazing because now I am passing on to the next was a rough season for us, but we know it was the LORD’s doing, generation of leaders what they taught me. because after going through all the surgeries, having toxic chemicals 10 November 2015 | Grace&Glory
Q&A G&G: Pastor Johnson, what was the most valuable piece of advice and/or wisdom you received from a mentor that you would like to share with other pastors just starting out in ministry? Bishop Johnson: This is an awesome question. Many pastors who start a church from scratch give up and throw in the towel too soon, because they try to emulate the mega church and the established pastor. You cannot come home from your Sunday service and watch a mega ministry on TV and expect to do what they can do when your ministry just started from scratch. You must run your own race. God didn’t call you to emulate them, God called you to be you because He needed you. When you compare yourselves to others it is not wise and not spiritual. The worse thing a pastor who is starting out can do is try to compare your ministry to another ministry, especially one that has been established for many years. Pay your dues. Be patient. Keep building, keep pastoring, keep teaching/preaching and pushing the vision that God gave YOU. Learn how to pastor the sheep, milk the goats, and kill the wolves. Don’t get caught up into numbers or quantity, instead pastor those who have been placed under your care, like you are already a mega church. Quality is always better than quantity. Do the best you can with what you have. If you are faithful over a few, in due time, when you are ready and capable, God will make you ruler over many. Take care of your business and stop trying to run with the big dogs. TAKE YOUR TIME AND ENJOY THE RIDE!
aforementioned work. Every person who sows a minimum of $100 will have their names included on the “Wall of Increase.” No donation, however is too small, and all who sow will be publically recognized. We have been mandated to ‘make it happen’ and whatever we do God will prosper it. G&G: Pastor Johnson, in retrospect looking back to when you first started this ministry, what would you say you now know for sure about yourself and about pastoring a church? Bishop Johnson: I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Pastors who have pastored for many years. I honor them because this vocation is nonstop, 24 hours a day, and 365 days a year. It is not as easy as it looks. Everything starts and ends with the Pastor. The lifestyle of a Pastor is brutal. I am learning to take care of my body and how to say NO! I am so proud of being consistent and loving all the people God sends. We have such a diverse membership at my church. We service people from various backgrounds and socioeconomic statuses, but I have learned to love them and teach them in spite of who they are or where they’ve been or what they may or may not have.
G&G: Pastor Johnson, lastly, with all that is going on in today’s society, what do you think should be the focus of the church body? What should the church be saying and doing? Bishop Johnson: The church needs to get back to the basics. It should be a safe haven for folk. No gimmicks, no fluff, and no games. We need to have powerful and life changing worship G&G: Pastor Johnson, where experiences that help people become would you like to see Speak To My better. When church is over we must Bishop Duane Johnson Heart Ministries five years from still meet the needs of our members now? As you continue to move forward in ministry what will be and those from the community who might never come to a church your focus? service. We have a generation of young people who have never Bishop Johnson: My assignment is to be more than a been to church and don’t respect the church. It is time to think traditional church! I believe God that the church and our outside the box and get them in an atmosphere of faith and love members will be debt free, that we will open a recreation center by any means necessary. That is why I believe every church needs in our community, buy and restore dilapidated homes in our a recreation center, a homeless shelter, a transition house, and a community, start a K-12 school for the Arts/Finances, and that school. We must touch the community and if they won’t come into we will plant Speak To My Heart Ministries in every major our church reach them with alternative options. Today’s church city in the U.S. In May 2015, Speak To My Heart-Jacksonville, should govern themselves as Matthew 25:31-46; clothing the Florida opened under the leadership of Pastor Dennis & Lady naked, visiting the sick, going into the prisons, feeding the hungry, Rachquel Hughes, who were faithful from the start of STMHgiving water to the thirsty, and taking in strangers. Baltimore. I am training the faithful and submitted to do greater works for God. G&G: Pastor Johnson, it has been a pleasure getting to know you We are in the process of raising funds to begin the work. We and Speak To My Heart Ministries. It is our prayer that God will have started the “Wall of Increase” at STMH-Baltimore and bless you with His favor as you continue the work of the Lord. we are asking family, friends, organizations, and supporters Bishop Johnson: Thank you for this incredible opportunity! I love to sow a seed of just $100 towards our efforts to forward the what you do for the Kingdom of God.
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Bishop Duane Johnson, a fourth generation preacher, received the call to ministry very early in life. Growing up in the church, literally from birth, he has been a faithful member and leader in almost all areas of ministry. From driving congregants to serving as a junior deacon, from singing on the choir to serving as a Sunday school teacher, from working in the audio ministry to serving as the Youth Pastor, Duane has understood that God has been preparing him, over the years, to lead His flock. After serving for nearly 20 years at Maximum Life Christian Church in Woodlawn, Maryland, under the leadership of his parents, Bishop Carroll and Pastor Muriel Johnson, then Minister Duane Johnson, his wife and high school sweetheart, Minister Cynthia Johnson, and their infant son, moved to Greater Bethlehem Temple (GBT) located in Randallstown, Maryland. While serving under Bishop James D. Nelson & Bishop Jason Nelson, at GBT, Minister Duane continued to pursue his dreams and calling to move into the pastorate. He served as the Youth Pastor at GBT and later became an ordained Elder in World Assemblies of Restoration. After a period of time at GBT, Elder Duane Johnson, his wife, now Evangelist Cynthia Johnson, and their young son heeded the voice of the LORD and started Speak To My Heart Ministries on April 1, 2007, at the Roosevelt Recreation Center in the Hamden area of Baltimore City. Though the church was initially started with just the family of three, God sent many parishioners from the community and from the radio audience that Elder Johnson bolsters. In addition to his work in the church and as a teacher in the Baltimore City Public School System, he has been a well-known and a well-respected Gospel radio personality in the Baltimore area for over two (2) decades. After worshipping in the Roosevelt Recreation Center for almost one year, the membership of Speak To My Heart Ministries continued to grow as did the Johnson’s desire to connect with the people of God on a more frequent basis. Thus, after a “ceiling problem” at the recreation center, the church moved to the Sankofa Dance Theater in Baltimore City for worship. This location provided the church with more time for worship, and as the service time grew, so did the church membership. God was blessing the church. He was sending “good people” to the church and it was growing, however, there continued to be a desire in 12 November November 2015 2015 || Grace&Glory Grace&Glory 12
Pastor and Evangelist Johnson’s spirit for more: more time, more space, and more opportunities to speak to people’s hearts. They continued to seek God. On April 1, 2009, on the 2 year church anniversary, God blessed Speak To My Heart Ministries to move to its own location at 3903 W. Belvedere Avenue in the Park Heights Community of Baltimore City. This location, a thrift store turned furniture store was cleaned and painted and transformed into a beautiful sanctuary, and service was held at 7:30pm that same night! This particular area of Baltimore has had a long standing reputation of being a rough, highcrime area. However, since Speak To My Heart Ministries came to the neighborhood, drug activity and crime have reportedly decreased and the neighborhood has “changed.” Bishop and First Lady Johnson and the saints of Speak To My Heart Ministries are so happy with their new, nearly 9000 sq.ft, building as it provides them with the physical space and 24 hour access to not only have Sunday services, but also mid-week services, Bible Study, men’s events, women’s events, and youth events. The location enables the church to readily and easily dispense supplies and food during its yearly Back-To-School activities, Thanksgiving Food Basket giveaways, and Christmas Food and Toy giveaways. The church also looks forward to hosting programs for drug and alcohol addiction, educational programs, and working with the community on neighborhood pride and beautification projects. Since moving to Belvedere Avenue, the mandate of God has been brought to the forefronts of Bishop and First Lady Johnson’s minds, that the mission of Speak To My Heart Ministries is to do just that – to speak to the hearts of the people, to save the lost, to offer life to a dying world, to be a light in the midst of darkness, and to express to all, regardless of their past, the genuine and unconditional love of Jesus Christ. Since the church opened its doors in 2007, it is growing and lives are being changed. Though there have been many trials and tribulations that would have Bishop Duane give up, his convictions, his faith, his humble spirit, his integrity, and the unyielding support of his wife Cynthia, son Nolan and daughter Zada, and church congregation have caused him to continue to press ahead and to continue to be used to speak to the hearts of God’s people.
Let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance – Proverbs 1:5 Some years ago I was inspired by a book which shed light on the critical need for each of us to continue learning. The book, “Life is so good,” introduced me to George Dawson. He was an elderly Texas man who learned to read and write at age 98. Richard Glaubman read Dawson’s story in a newspaper article and then paid a visit to his home. The rest was history. It was the kind of story that not only inspired me, but encouraged me to spend more time gaining knowledge. In 1999, just as my oldest daughter was graduating from high school, I enrolled in my first seminary class. She graduated four years later. I was still a few away from completing my master’s program. However, I vowed to complete my degree before our youngest daughter completed her undergraduate college studies. I received my master’s degree a couple of months ahead of her graduation. It was all friendly and faith-filled competition. I continued my academic challenge with my children as I began my doctoral studies. This time around it would be an easier match since my son started college in the fall of 2009. I completed my studies in 2010. The day I crossed the stage to pick up my doctoral degree, I was both relieved and anxious to finally put learning on pause. To my surprise, I realized there remained a hunger deep down inside of me to keep learning. For lack of a better phrase, it was a yearning for more learning. There have been a number of times since then when I have contemplated another run at formal education. So far, I have resisted the urge and the need to enroll, but not the desire to continue learning each and every day of my life. In the Bible, Solomon, the wisdom writer shares in the scriptures these words in Proverbs 1:5, “To let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance.” This passage is not only clear to me but also convicting. I believe learning should not only be limited to the basics of a formal higher education, but should also focus on learning about the truths of God 14 14 November 2015 | Grace&Glory
found in the Holy Bible. On a weekly basis as I prepare my sermon manuscripts, I find myself learning new truths about God and the promises He has made to His people. If you would search the scriptures, you’ll learn that during his earthly ministry, Jesus Christ taught and demonstrated truth to those closest to him as well as the crowds who followed. He would often encourage both groups to simply learn of him. This learning was not limited to knowledge, but knowledge lived out through wisdom. Wisdom is a gift from God. In James 1:5 it states, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” I believe that God allows each of us to gain wisdom in order for us to glorify Him. That said, it’s never too late to learn. Dr. Tim Tooten, Sr. is an Emmy-Award winning television broadcast journalist for WBAL-TV (NBC) in Baltimore Maryland. He’s also the pastor and founder of Harvest Christian Ministries in Baltimore County, Maryland.
Dr. Tim Tooten, Sr.
Give Thanks. Give Life. This Thanksgiving, thousands of Marylanders will sit down for a meal with their families and give thanks to the generous organ or tissue donor that made their life possible. Before his transplant in 2012, Daronta Briggs was receiving dialysis treatments three times a week for four long years. “I wished for a chance to spend more time with my family instead of being hooked up to machines for hours a day.” Having served in Operation Desert Storm, Daronta received his transplant at Walter Reed Medical Center on October 23rd, 2012.
“Receiving a kidney transplant allows me more time with my family and a chance to focus on new endeavors. I am truly forever grateful for the gift of life I received from a selfless donor.” Learn more and register to Donate Life at www.donatelifemaryland.org. www.gracenglorymagazine.org 15
to your good health
“Let every created thing give praise to the Lord, for He issued His command, and they came into being,” Psalm 146:5 (NLT). We often hear people questioning their purpose and what if anything does God have planned for their lives. This is a question that has been raised throughout the centuries and will probably be until eternity. It is the subject of books, talk shows, life coaching sessions, and beauty and barbershop conversations. We are a culture looking for meaning and often in search of finding our place in the world. This is a worthwhile quest but for Christians our purpose has already been set. We have been created to worship and praise the Lord. We have been put on earth to point others to Christ. It is in Him that we live, move and have our being. Our purpose has been established yet we still question what will be our unique contribution to the world. The psalmist suggests that praise is a response that all creatures should take part in. “Let every created thing give praise to the Lord, for He issued His command, and they came into being,” Psalm 146:5 (NLT). God is worthy of praise and we should give Him the praise. Praising God is not only something we participate in, but it is also connected to our purpose. Not only should we praise God because it is what God deserves but it is also the reason we have survived. Psalm 27:13, “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (NKJV) Belief and praise go hand in hand. We believe that God is able and respond accordingly with praise. We are certain that God is our healer so we offer up praise. We are assured of His presence and protection so we lift our hands and shout for joy. We praise 16 November 2015 | Grace&Glory 16
because we believe God is able to do more than we could ask or think. Praise is a part of who we are and is what we are expected to do. We do not need a reason but have plenty of reasons to praise the Lord. Psalm 40:5, “Many, Lord my God, are the wonders you have done, the things you planned for us. None can compare with you; were I to speak and tell of your deeds, they would be too many to declare.” Praising God is good for our health and well-being. If praise is a part of our purpose and is why we were created then doing it regularly has its benefits. Practicing praise with a sincere heart will alleviate many of our current responses and reactions to life’s struggles. Anxiety, depression, indecisiveness, misunderstandings, envy and strife can all be positively affected by our praise. Proverbs 17:22 reminds us that, “A cheerful heart is good medicine.” Praise is not an escape from our troubles but it is what we should do in the midst of them. We will experience life’s ups and downs and ponder what our purpose is and navigate the expectations of others while attempting to please God along our journey. No matter where we are in life or who we desire to be, there is always a reason to praise.
Carla J. Debnam, MS, LCPC Founder, Renaissance Christian Counseling Center
Last month in part 1 of this series, I discussed the first attribute of a healthy leadership team, shared vision. Shared vision is defined as the discipline by which a ministry co-creates vision and strategy. Healthy ministries that have developed a culture of shared vision are experiencing leadership teams that exhibit greater ownership of the vision and strategy of the ministry and a personal sense of purpose, not only at the leadership level but throughout the ministry. The second attribute of a healthy leadership team is alignment. Alignment is the agreement on the vision, strategy and goals of the ministry. Generating agreement amongst a leadership team is one of the fundamental elements of good leadership. Although agreement is integral to alignment, it is more than simply creating a consensus or agreement. Alignment reflects an active ownership on the part of the leadership team. Many leaders fall into the trap of assuming their team is aligned because of a lack of any active disagreement, and therefore do not focus on improving the leadership team's understanding of the ministry’s vision, strategy and goals. How do you know if your leadership team is aligned? If your leadership team is not forthcoming with disagreement, then how do you determine whether your leadership team is perfectly aligned or simply avoiding confrontation? The first place to start is with an honest evaluation of the current state of the leadership team. Engaging a neutral third party to assist with the evaluation can be extremely beneficial to clearly define issues and problems and help breakdown complex issues and concerns. Secondly, determining where your team stands around these six critical questions according to Patrick Lencioni, author of the Five Dysfunctions Of A Team: 1. Why do we exist? 2. How do we behave? 3. What do we do? 4. How will we succeed? 5. What’s most important right now? 6. Who does what? If alignment is a challenge for your team, contact me, I would love to see how we can help. Elder Keith Penn Jones, MBA
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You probably remember the show. Just in case you haven’t let me refresh your memory. Tyra Banks has made a fortune out of the series America’s Next Top Model. On this show they take everyday women with aspirations to become supermodels and they assist them with making this dream come to life. They give them coaching and training, change their hair and makeup and provide them opportunity after opportunity to get a taste of their desired profession. At the end one young lady is selected as the winner and is positioned to begin working right away. The interesting thing is essentially the winner only had to show up and be in position. Everything that she would need has already been provided. God is also in search of His next top model. He is in need of someone who will allow Him to transform and create for His purpose in exchange for blessings. He has a life for us that was set before the foundations of the world. All He needs us to do is show up and be in position for Him to use us. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you…” Jeremiah 1:5. Before our mothers and fathers ever come together, God has already mapped out for us a life that we are to live and enjoy. “I have come that they might have life, and that they may have it more abundantly,” John 10:10. It is clear that God wants us to thrive and flourish in this life, but we must seek Him for His plan. In my college days I did some extensive modeling. There were several things that we needed to do in order to be continually booked for work and able to be efficient when we got there. 1. Show up clean – We were expected to show up with clean washed hair that could be styled to their liking. We were also to come with no heavy perfumes or oils that would damage the clothing placed on us. “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart,” Psalm 24:3-4. If God is going to be able to use us as His top model, we must walk upright before Him. We may not be perfect, but we must strive daily to live a life that is pleasing to Him. 20 November November2015 2015||Grace&Glory Grace&Glory 20
As we present ourselves living sacrifices, we maintain a position where God can speak to us and we obey. It is through our clean obedience that He gets the glory and we are blessed in the process. 2. Surrender to the transformation – Any good model knows they are just a prop used to bring the designer’s vision to life. They cannot show up with opinions on what to wear and how they should have their makeup. They arrive, sit in the chair, and even pose as instructed, yet they are compensated. God does not need us to show up to His set with our will and what we want to happen. He needs us to come to Him as yielded vessels ready to undergo whatever change is necessary to bring His vision or plan to life. As He begins His work on us we cannot fight Him because we do not like what He is doing. We must be reminded of Jesus’ attitude, “Nevertheless not my will but thine be done.” He can only show off His best through us when we keep our hearts yielded. Though we must yield our will to the will of the Father, it is so encouraging to know that He compensates His models. As we allow God’s glory to be manifested in our lives, we receive blessings and favor that are indescribable. I don’t know about you but God’s Next Top Model plan is one that sounds quite appealing to me. After I gained full understanding of the full package and lifted my hands and heart to the Lord and said USE ME. I must be transparent and tell you that it will be no easy process. You my sister reading this may already be on this journey with the Lord and feeling quite discouraged. Let me encourage you to KEEP GOING! It will pay off in the end. Don’t grow weary Tiffany Bethea in well doing. God wants to use you. She-EO Life Mentor He needs models. Will you be one? www.Tiffanybethea.com
single life The goal is clear, it’s often the season called “wait” that brings a few challenges for the believer. How do you wait with joy? How do you manage these seasons in life and bring glory to God in the waiting? How do you not lose the victory that you have established in your life as a Christian single navigating this journey? Recognize the season First you must acknowledge the season of “wait”. Often we want to rush over, skip or even ignore that we are actually in a season of “wait”. No one enjoys being on a pause in life. Sometimes a pause is equated as a bad season. In this season, we must fight to stay focused. It’s a wait or pause, not a season of no hope. Recognizing that you are in a “wait” season will allow you to embrace all that comes with this season. It is difficult in our human nature to wait on anything or anyone. Reflect on the last time you had to wait. Were you in a waiting room or waiting on hold for an operator to assist you? What was your attitude? Did you become anxious, frustrated, snappy or rude? Our ability to wait in the natural is an indication of how we wait spiritually. Some people are in this season as a rest after a previous relationship; maybe a marriage that ended in divorce or a death of a spouse. Some are here because they choose to omit all counterfeit relationships and focus on preparation for covenant. Others are here and it’s not by choice, it was God mandated and may not feel like the best season at the moment. Know that while this season may have been a surprise to you, it is not a surprise to God. He knew that this season would occur in your life. “For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord” Jeremiah 29:11….As painful or frustrating as you may feel in this season, God is faithful and He’s concern about you. This season may feel lonely and like you are in a dry place but you have no idea what God is doing in this season called “wait”. Some singles appear hopeless and defeated, thinking this is such a long wait and may want to compromise. DON’T COMPROMISE!! The purpose of waiting This season can help you grow, develop, expand, heal and refocus for life. We underestimate the emotional scars that we carry from relationship to relationship. We move on to the next without assessing what just happened and what you can learn from this situation. As we move forward, we must be honest with ourselves and take responsibility for our role in what just happened. If we always blame others for our situations, we never take responsibility and without responsibility we do not learn. This is why we repeat the same situations over and over. We never took responsibility for our actions or lack of actions in the situations. Because of our lack of responsibility, it stunts our ability to perceive a learning moment. We miss the learning moment because it’s someone else’s fault and we fail to grow. When we fail to grow, we repeat the lesson all over again. Break the cycle and stop and grow. Take responsibility for your actions or lack of actions. Choose to grow and expand and allow the “wait” season to develop you into all that God desires for you to be.
are some seasons that bring a few additional challenges for singles that are preparing, believing and waiting for that special person to enter their lives. The desire for marital covenant is a natural progression for the believer. As you fall in love with God, learn more about His divine plan for your life and accept the healing for the stages of your life, soon you may desire that companionship of a lifelong partner. For the believer, this is the marriage relationship. This is the normal progression, the anticipation of the marriage covenant. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." Ephesian 5:31
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Don’t hide Some believers have mastered the ability to hide. We hide by covering ourselves in ministry obligations, church functions, community events, business opportunities and some hide in other people. Hiding is the active attempt to cover up pain, discomfort and dis-ease with other things in hopes to find meaning, purpose and fulfillment. The key factor in hiding is connecting your identity to these things as a way to validate who you are….DON’T HIDE!! Allow these opportunities to provide outlets and growth and places for development but NOT a hiding place. God is our hiding place. “Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of Your wings.” Psalm 17:8
Dr. Monique Flemings
Monique Flemings Ministries, Chicago, Illinois
Helping Troubled Teens Understand and Express Angry Feelings by Kathryn Rudlin, LCSW Many teens get into trouble because of an inability to appropriately discharge feelings of intense anger. Teens become angry for various reasons and express these feelings in a multitude of ways, but all have in common the struggle of experiencing a painful emotion and not knowing how to manage it. Inappropriate expressions of anger can have serious consequences for troubled teens - but most have the capacity to learn better ways of coping. Understanding Anger in Teens Anger is an emotion that is quite often challenging for teens and at times can be overwhelming. A teen who doesn't know how to cope with angry feelings may feel a strong desire to act directly on these feelings, even when it puts them or others at risk. Underneath anger are often difficult emotions such as hurt, frustration or sadness that a teen tries to avoid or isn't aware they are feeling. When a troubled teen is acting out their anger in problematic ways, it can often be helpful for the teen to get in touch with what is driving this emotion and how to express and discharge it in healthier ways. Why Anger Isn't Really the Problem Feeling angry isn't really the problem for most teens. Although anger can produce significant physical and emotional discomfort, it is an appropriate response to being hurt or feeling frustrated or powerless. Anger is a real and important emotion to experience and be aware of; it's the expression of this emotion that becomes a struggle for many troubled teens. Much like a toddler who has a temper tantrum when upset or unhappy, a teen experiencing similar emotion often attempts to deal with anger by discharging it onto other people or objects. Many parents are forced to deal with teens driven by anger that punch holes in the wall, get into fights or are mean to others or themselves. Strategies to Help Teens Express Anger Safely The challenge in helping explosive teens is keeping them safe while they learn ways to recognize anger and deal with it more constructively. There is a great deal parents can do to help an angry teen learn ways to successfully cope with anger, here's how to help your teen deal with their anger. • Participate in physical activities. The impulse to do something physical when feeling angry is strong in most teens. Involvement in sports and other exercise helps in expressing anger on a regular basis. • Hit a punching bag. Teens need safe ways to get their anger out, a punching bag works well, so does hitting a pillow repeatedly, or using foam padded bat. • Take a time-out. When anger escalates teens may need time alone to calm down, yell, cry or whatever is needed so they stay safe and others are not negatively impacted. • Get into music. Popular with most teens, music works well to help teens identify and express feelings of anger, whether through singing, dancing or playing along with songs filled with rage. • Identify triggers to anger. The better your teen can make the connection between what leads to angry outbursts, the more control they'll have in expressing this emotion. • Creatively express angry feelings. Both writing and drawing can be used effectively by teens to express and understand anger. When a troubled teen still isn't able to get a handle on their anger it's time to consider getting professional help to get to the root of their anger and learn ways to manage these feelings. Expressive therapies help teens express anger; anger management groups provide an opportunity for teens to learn from each other, individual therapy provides a safe place to explore this difficult emotion. Keep in mind that uncontrolled anger is sometimes associated with mental health disorders in teens, so make sure to get professional help for your teen if their anger continues to be a problem.
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BALTIMORE CITY HEALTH DEPARTMENT DIVISION OF AGING & CARE SERVICES(DACS)
Ask Questions and Get Answers on the State of Services for Seniors in Baltimore City G E T I N F O R M AT I O N O N I M P O R TA N T T O P I C S THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 12, 2015-10:00 A.M. TO 1:00 P.M. SANDTOWN WINCHESTER SENIOR CENTER 1601 BAKER STREET • BALTIMORE, MARYLAND 21217 Lunch will be provided for Eating Together Participants (Registration Required) Lunch for Non Eating Together Participants can be purchased for $4.00 To Reserve an Eating Together Meal or to Purchase a Meal Contact: Eunice James at 410-396-1337 by Thursday, November 5, 2015 Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor Dr. Leana S. Wen, Health Commissioner Samantha Gardiner, Interim Deputy Commissioner, Division of Aging and CARE Services Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, Mayor
Dr. Leana S. Wen, Health Commissioner
nutrition & you
Diagnosis, Exercise, and Diet bloodstream, and then the hormone insulin ushers the sugar into the cells, thereby lowering the amount of sugar in you blood. In people with prediabetes, the insulin produced cannot usher the sugar out of the blood and into the cells.
The elderly, African Americans, Latinos, Native Americans, and Asian Americans/ Pacific Islanders all are at increased risk for development of diabetes. In addition, individuals with the following also have a high risk of developing diabetes: • High blood pressure • Low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol • High triglycerides • High low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol • Family history of diabetes • Overweight or obesity • Gestational diabetes • Giving birth to a baby weighing more than 9 pounds Women with polycystic ovary syndrome are also at increased risk. A recent study showed that 25% of very obese children and 21% of very obese adolescents had prediabetes.
To determine if you have prediabetes, your health care professional may order either a fasting plasma glucose test (blood glucose is measured first thing in the morning before eating) or an oral glucose tolerance test (a person’s blood glucose is checked after fasting and again after drinking a glucose-rich drink). The blood glucose levels measured during these tests will determine whether or not you have prediabetes. Test
Fasting Plasma Glucose
Oral Glucose Tolerance
100-125 mg/dL (impaired fasting glucose)
140-199 mg/dL (impaired glucose tolerance)
Signs and symptoms of prediabetes Many people have no signs or symptoms of prediabetes. Others report the following: • Increased thirst • Frequent urination • Extreme hunger • Unexplained weight loss • Fatigue • Blurred vision • Sores that heal slowly • Frequent infections • Dark patches of skin around the neck, on the elbows, on the knees, on the knuckles, or in the armpits Prediabetes diagnosis and tests Normally, sugar is absorbed into the 26 26 November November 2015 2015 || Grace&Glory Grace&Glory
Development of diabetes Roughly 11% of people with prediabetes who do not lose weight or initiate an exercise program develop type 2 diabetes in the 3 years following diagnosis. During the course of a lifetime, approximately 65% of people with prediabetes who do not lose weight or initiate an exercise program will develop diabetes. Moderateintensity lifestyle interventions can delay development of type 2 diabetes by an average of 11 years. Diet and exercise Diet is important, because people with prediabetes have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease. People with prediabetes also have a high risk for developing diabetes, so it is important to watch your diet. People with prediabetes can prevent or delay development of type 2 diabetes by up to 58% by changing their lifestyle.
Modest weight loss and regular exercise is very important for people with prediabetes. Only 5% to 10% weight loss is necessary in many cases to prevent diabetes. It is recommended that people with prediabetes exercise for at least 150 minutes/week. Because of the 50% increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease, health care professionals also recommend: • Stopping use of tobacco • Treating high blood pressure • Treating high cholesterol • Using medications such as oral diabetes drugs, if prescribed References and recommended readings Prediabetes. American Diabetes Association® Web site. http://www.diabetes. org/diabetes-basics/prevention/prediabetes/?keymatch=prediabetes. Accessed August 13, 2013. Mayo Clinic staff. Prediabetes. Mayo Clinic Web site. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/ prediabetes/DS00624. Accessed August 13, 2013. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health. Insulin resistance and prediabetes. National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse (NDIC) Web site. http://diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/ insulinresistance/. Updated January 22, 2013. Accessed August 13, 2013.
By Herline A. Knights, RD, LD
Book Shelf The Best Yes
By Lysa TerKeurst
I belong to a mom’s group that reads a book and discusses its relevance or non-relevance to us as moms. This time we decided to focus on us as women and not just the role of mom. I’m so glad we chose this route this time, because I was not aware of my need to read The Best Yes by Lisa Terkeurst until I started reading; and I do mean NEED. This book spoke to me on every possible level and has helped me reshape my decision making processes. It allowed me to see areas of my life in a way that would have never crossed my mind as significant enough to alter in a whole new light. The Best Yes by Lisa Terkeurst masterfully takes everything thing you think you know about why you either commit or decline an invitation, task, request, etc., and simplifies it and gives you the tools needed to make a better, well thought out, filtered answer (even if the answer is unchanged). She says, “Evaluation eliminates frustration.” Lysa Terkeurst does an exceptional job of relating to the wife, the mother, and the woman. She not only tells stories of her successes but she highlights all her failures in pursuit of success in each role. In fact, she points out more of her failures than her successes which make her, in my opinion, more relatable to the reader. I felt like I was reading a diary that I could have written. She captured my attention from chapter one and carried it all the way through. Transparent moment: I have a tendency to say “yes” a lot. I feel obligated to do things for my children’s school. I accept play date 28 November 2015 | Grace&Glory
by Brandie Manigault
invitations when my schedule is already full so that my children can have time with their friends. I schedule meetings in between meetings, and most of the time I am over committing for the sake of “getting things done”. So one of my favorite lines in the whole book says, “Saying yes all the time won’t make me Wonder Woman. It will make me a worn-out woman.” What a powerful truth I had to step into. One of the best things about The Best Yes is that it’s practical. Lysa Terkeurst gives the reader tools to navigate how to make a decision; questions to ask yourself before
you say yes to ensure that your yes is the best yes you can give. There is a difference in saying yes to do something and it being the best yes, and she covers how to distinguish the two. She gives plenty of Biblical insight to help filter things through. The Best Yes is laced with check lists, family stories, and personal experiences all designed to reflect the reader in the pages. There’s also a study guide, and videos available that will walk you through the book as well. Lysa Terkeurst is now on my list of favorite authors! I recommend that anyone who has a hard time saying “no”, anyone who deals with “people pleasing”, or just wants to make better decisions for themselves should pick up a copy of The Best Yes. Not every yes we make is the best we can give, and this book will show you how to only give your best yes.
About the Author
Lysa TerKeurst is an author and speaker who helps everyday women live an adventure of faith through following Jesus Christ. As president of Proverbs 31 Ministries, Lysa has led thousands to make their walk with God an invigorating journey. Today, Lysa and her ministry team at Proverbs 31 encourage more than 300,000 women through their daily online devotional. In addition, she co-hosts a 1-minute inspirational radio program aired on more than 1,200 stations around the world. Lysa’s blog averages over 50,000 avid readers per month. Plus, she touches hearts through their monthly magazine, P31 Woman. Lysa is the award-winning author of 13 books. In the midst of her busy schedule, Lysa is an everyday woman who simply seeks to glorify God through her life and family. She and her husband, Art, reside near Charlotte, North Carolina, with their five priority blessings named Jackson, Mark, Hope, Ashley, and Brooke.
word of encouragement The Song Says:
. . . with a grateful heart,
. . . to the Holy One,
. . . because He's given Jesus Christ, our Lord. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL and remember to: “Give Thanks with a grateful heart. Give thanks to the Holy One. Give thanks because He has given Jesus Christ as His Son.” Well it’s November and Thanksgiving Day is here again. Seems like we just celebrated Thanksgiving Day a few months ago and it’s here again. Actually it was twelve months ago. Oh, how time is flying. Mark 13:19-20 speaks of the time we are living in -- “These are going to be hard days—nothing like it from the time God made the world right up to the present. And there’ll be nothing like it again. If he let the days of trouble run their course, nobody would make it. But because of God’s chosen people, those he personally chose, He has already intervened.” However, despite the times we are living in, we have got to stop and thank God for all that He continues to do for us. We are living in a time when it seems like the time is moving more rapidly than ever. So much so that we are too busy to really stop and give thanks to God as we ought to. Oh, it is not that we are not telling God “Thank You”, but we are doing it while not spending enough time in the presence of God. We are living in a microwave age, where everything is being done so quickly that if we really take the time to blink, we would have missed a minute. No longer do we even want the microwave to take a minute to heat something. In other words, a minute seems too long for us to wait on the microwave. I myself have been guilty of wanting the microwave to quickly give me what I have placed in it. Therefore let us take this time to truly give thanks with a grateful heart, give thanks onto the Holy One. WE, God’s people are publicly declaring our love for our Father and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit that lives on the inside of every person who has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior. We are acknowledging that “while we were yet in weakness [powerless to help ourselves], at the fitting time Christ died for (in behalf of) the ungodly. Now it is an extraordinary thing for one to give his life even for an upright man, though perhaps for a noble and lovable and generous benefactor someone might even dare to die. But God shows and clearly proves His [own] love for us by the fact that while we were still sinners, Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One) died for us.” [Romans 5:6-8-Amplified Bible] Do you know anyone who would die for you? I know that I personally don’t know anyone who would gladly die so that I could live and not pay for all the wrong things that I have done. I mean I can think of a few people who I may say would give up their lives so that I can live, but I cannot promise you they would,
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especially for something they didn’t do. That God would publicly show us that He loved us by exchanging His Son’s life for ours, WE, God’s people say “Thank You Father”. WE, God’s people are publicly declaring that we are thankful that God has spared our lives and we are able to see another Thanksgiving Day. Most of us have buried a loved one this year and we know the pain of losing that person, but we thank God that we made it. We are still here because God still has a plan and purpose for us being here. “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” [Jeremiah 29:11–Amplified Bible]. What wonderful news to know that God has a specific plan and purpose for our lives. He didn’t dump us all together and give us one plan for all of us, but has given us our own specific purpose for being here on earth and for that WE, God people say “Thank You Father”. WE, God’s people are publicly declaring that we are thankful that God promises to not “see the [uncompromisingly] righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread.” [Psalm 37:25 – Amplified Bible]. Jesus then broke it down more specifically in Matthew 6:25-34 when He spoke about us not worrying about our lives, what we are going to eat or what we shall drink; or even about our bodies, what we should put on. WE, God people say “Thank You Father”. WE, God people are thanking GOD for a country in which we can openly praise God and not have to do it behind closed doors or worry about being caught doing it. WE, God people say “Thank You Father”. WE, God’s people are thanking GOD for daily covering us instead of exposing us for the many things we do daily that is not pleasing in His sight. You know what, I could go on and on about the things that we all could be giving thanks to GOD for collectively, but I am going to end here so that you can personally take your own time to thank God for all that He has done and continue to do for you. I know I am going to be thanking God for many things that He has done for me privately and publicly. Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you from In Trust Ministries and remember to give thanks with a grateful heart, give Donna Williams-Ross thanks onto the Holy In Trust Ministries One. email@example.com
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gospel industry news
By Andrea R. Williams Sharon Roshell is part of an army of worshippers who are set to invoke the Lord’s presence through the means of music. One listen to her anointed ministry and it’s easy to see that this woman has been touched by Him. She is more than a singer; Sharon Roshell is a psalmist who taps into the very essence of God through her passionate delivery and powerful vocals. It’s no surprise that her musical gifts have propelled her ministry, even catching the attention of the popular, fiery preacher Pastor Rod Parsley, who she served under as a worship team leader for a number of years. Just releasing her third project, Church Girl 20:14, the new CD has set the stage for her national debut. Her recording career has taken off since the release of her new CD, a musical collection that showcases the amazing singing and songwriting talents of the artist. An album for the true worshipper, the 10-track project includes mesmerizing songs like “At The Cross”, “Father of Glory” and “You Shall Reap”. In early 2015, Sharon released a concept music video of the CD’s title tune, “The Church Girl Anthem”. The project is a highlight to a ministry that has seen the psalmist open for artists like Hezekiah Walker, Tye Tribbett, Fred Hammond and Smokie Norful. As much as she loves the opportunity to minister in song, there is another ministry just as close to her heart. The blessed songstress and her husband Antonio are foster parents. Not only do they have foster children of their own, but they are opening transitional homes and emergency shelters under their non-profit organization, Fuego Corporation. The mission of Fuego Corporation is to promote strong family values and healthy standards of living in communities through education, counseling, and music, with special attention on fostering programs and therapeutic and transitional housing. Before the corporation was formed, Antonio was a supervisor at a group home. Sharon wanted to become a foster parent before she and Antonio got married. So after they walked down the aisle, they combined their aspirations and formed Fuego Corporation. “For years, my heart’s desire was to help raise foster children,” shares Sharon. “So when I married Antonio, I was blessed to enter a home with foster children already present. For me, it’s been a learning experience, but at the same time, such a blessing. We are encouraging other believers to become foster parents as well. They can make a huge impact in the lives of children, especially when it comes to teaching them Christian values. Also, I am getting ready to launch the True Beauty Institute which helps young ladies with self-image and self-esteem issues and helps them to understand their true identity.”
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Growing up in a Christian household in Hope Mills, NC, Sharon Roshell understood the value of family and the importance of having spiritually-grounded parents. Even as a young girl, she loved going to church and longed for the presence of God. In her bedroom, she worshipped and talked to God, simply enjoying time spent with Him. The daughter of two music lovers, she caught the music bug early in life. “I remember marching around the house behind my mother and singing along with her,” shares Sharon. “Music was blasting from the record player constantly,” she recalls. Later when she and her brother learned to play piano, her entire family hit the road and sang at churches, nursing homes, and in homes of the elderly and ill. After a performance at the renowned Carnegie Hall in New York City, she knew she wanted to sing for God. A prophesy saying that she would “bless the world with her music” further confirmed her calling. It was at that point that she decided to embark on a ministry in music. Ultimately, she graduated from Valor Christian College with a degree in Praise & Worship Leadership, followed by a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Psychology from Liberty University; she is currently in pursuit of her Master’s Degree in Human Services. While at World Harvest Church, she was a member of Pastor Rod Parsley’s praise and worship team, traveling with the noted pastor. After leaving World Harvest Church after graduation, she served as the worship leader at Kingdom Life Church in Baltimore, Maryland and released two projects, God Is Bigger and Never Thirst Again. Her most recent release, Church Girl 20:14, has been receiving rave reviews. Wherever Sharon Roshell goes, many are touched by the ministry of the Louisville, Kentucky resident. One woman came up to Sharon after a concert and told her that a spirit of sadness that had been with her since her son’s death 15 years earlier had completely disappeared when Sharon began to sing. Another woman who had been hearing “voices” was freed from those spirits when Sharon started to minister. “For me, that’s what it comes down to,” says Sharon. “When people have a true encounter with Christ, the experience is life changing”.
gospel industry news
By Andrea R. Williams They say it’s not where you start, it’s where you finish. That saying could easily be the motto for the life of Bathsheba Smithen. With the Lord on her side, she has been able to rise above challenges that could have easily destroyed others. A lyricist, educator, Holy Hip Hop recording artist and motivational speaker, Bathsheba is gifted beyond her years. The debut recording artist recently released three inspirational singles, “Let’s Get It Rockin’”, “Need To Be Free” and “Insanity”. For Bathsheba, music is just a vehicle to open the eyes of the youth. It’s all to help them understand who they are in Christ. Born in Hampton, VA, Bathsheba was raised in the projects of Newport News, VA. Residing in an urban environment saturated with drugs and prostitution, she learned to cope with the challenges around her. Her home life was challenging as well, especially when her mother deserted the family. After attending graduate school, she was left to raise her brothers and sisters. Her father was not the responsible parent he should have been either. As a matter of fact, he was a married pastor, a fact which made her family situation even more complicated. Making things even more difficult was the fact that her father was also her pastor and his family and her family attended the same church. Faced with complicated dynamics in her home and the potential for explosive family drama at church, it’s understandable that Bathsheba struggled with identity issues, including her first name. After coming to terms with her past and allowing the Lord to heal her soul, she felt called to help others like herself. It was her own identity crisis and subsequent acceptance and healing that emboldened her to help those who have experienced similar circumstances. She says, “I have seen that many people don’t know who they are. Many are lost and operating out of the fact they don’t know who they are. It took me a long time to navigate my own complicated family situation and find myself. In my music, I aim to talk about the root of people’s identity issues by highlighting the symptoms.” The lyricist and Christian hip hop artist uses music to uplift the soul and recently released a brand new music video for “Let’s Get It Rockin’”. A mixture of genres, including what Bathsheba calls “neo-
rock”, the track is urban-tinged motivation. Penned by the artist herself, the contagious, beat-driven track showcases the charismatic poet rapping inspiration-filled rhymes. “Insanity”, another track from the artist’s upcoming EP, Ride 2 Freedom, contains passion and conviction as well. She says, “I wrote ‘Insanity’ while in distress and feeling pressured by expectations and the judgments brought on by family members, friends, and colleagues. So many people wanted me to be who they thought I should be, instead of accepting me for who I was. As an educator, I see this every day in educational settings where young people are forced to suppress their individuality; where people are masquerading in costumes that others or society has created for them. Many of us work hard at re-creating ourselves instead of finding the purpose for which we are created. My hope is that ‘Insanity’ does what it is set out to do: liberate others from the cages of expectation, fear and judgment.” With a love for writing and a talent for words, her poetry has caught the attention of famed poet, Dr. Nikki Giovanni, who called Bathsheba a “first-rate thinker”. Her educational path was started at An Achievable Dream Academy which was followed by studies at Virginia Tech where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology and a Master’s Degree in Health Systems Management with a concentration in Health Policy from George Mason University. Since that time, she has taught in primary and secondary education and currently teaches adult education. Through her company, Cage Free Voices, she travels the country teaching youth and young adults the power of selfacceptance. For more information about Bathsheba Smithen, log on to www. bathshebasmithen.com or www.cagefreevoices.com. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter. Andrea Rene Williams, CEO Tehillah Enterprises, LLC A Gospel Music Publicity & Marketing Firm www.TehillahPR.com 240.222.3022 (office) 240.305.5568 (cell)
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It is a disheartening reality that each year the commercialization of Christmas creeps upon us sooner and sooner. It’s as if we make a quantum leap from the end of summer celebrations on Labor Day to the shopping frenzies of Black Friday having made our lists and checked them twice. It is an indictment on our culture that hardly takes a moment to thank God for His many blessings. While Thanksgiving Day is given a cursory glance, Christmas receives a stare. This month, however, let us take a moment to think about two simple words that have immeasurable impact when used together: Thank You. The 14th chapter of Matthew (verses 17-20) chronicles Jesus’ miraculous feeding of more than 5,000 people. The Amplified Bible says it this way: They (the disciples) said to Him (Jesus), “We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.” He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Then He ordered the crowds to recline on the grass; and He took the five loaves and the two fish, and, looking up to heaven, He gave thanks and blessed and broke the loaves and handed the pieces to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they picked up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. Brothers, I am convinced that the ability to feed a multitude of 5,000 men, women, and children with a little boy’s lunch was first and foremost predicated upon saying Thank You. As we look closer, what is the significance of saying Thank You? POINT NUMBER ONE: THANK YOU KEEPS THINGS IN PROPER PERSPECTIVE Not only is this phrase symbolic of appreciation and gratitude, it also expresses the sentiment found in Galatians 2:20: Not I, but Christ. In other words, it speaks of total dependence on God. For example, when, by the grace of God, we have been used as His vessels for the advancement of The Kingdom, saying Thank You keeps the focus where it ultimately belongs. Rather than deceiving ourselves into thinking that it was by our own strength and capabilities, Thank You reminds us that we can do nothing without the mighty hand of God operating in our lives. Further, Thank You is the embodiment of, “Lord, you didn’t have to do this but I’m glad you did!” For some brothers, we might not have the jobs that we would like or the homes in which we want to raise our families, but nevertheless, we say, “Thank You, Jesus! In spite of myself, you have been good to me!” As Christ gave thanks for what he already had, he was also positioning himself to receive what The Father would do through him. POINT NUMER TWO: THANK YOU LEAVES ROOM FOR MORE As evidenced in the text, Thank You is the key that unlocks the door to what is seemingly impossible and prepares the way for supernatural 34 November 2015 | Grace&Glory 34
miracles. Consider this: When did Christ give thanks? It was first. In fact, the text doesn’t indicate that he asked [His Father] for more [food]. The simple act of being thankful led to receiving more than enough to meet the need of the crowd! Today, brothers, rather than waiting for what we know God can do, or even asking God to do more for us, hear the word of The Lord: “I can’t do more for you until I know that you appreciate what I’ve already done.” As parents bare the responsibility of teaching their children the importance of showing good manners, especially saying please and Thank You, youngsters have often experienced a favorable response after using these simple and kind words. It’s as if those who hear them say Thank You think, “How can I not give him more [food] or another toy? He appreciates what I’ve already done so he must be ready for more! And so it is with God. Instead of waiting for the supernatural display of His mighty power, we should be thanking God for what we already have. Thanking God for what He has already done in our lives shows that we are good and faithful stewards over what we presently have and are ready to appropriately handle additional blessings. POINT NUMER THREE: HE WANTS TO HEAR IT FROM YOU Matthew, Mark, and Luke each record the account of the nine lepers who failed to say Thank You having been healed by Jesus. Although a common interpretation of these texts is that they were ungrateful by not acknowledging the source of their deliverance, there are other lessons to be learned from this parable. Because they were lepers and consequently marginalized from others in society, now that they were healed, those whom they encountered likely knew that something supernatural had taken place. Therefore, it is plausible that they told others about their life-changing experience with Jesus. Telling others, however, was not enough. As The Lord delights in the praises of His people (see Psalm 22:3); praise, in its simplest form is saying Thank You. Brothers, because He wants to hear it from you, this year, above everything else and before everything else, tell God Thank You.
Dr. Charles Barrett is a school psychologist with Loudoun County Public Schools. He also serves as Ministry Leader for Worship Ministries at Heritage Fellowship Church in Reston, VA.
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Published on Nov 10, 2015
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