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contents on the cover: Pastor Shawn L. Bell & Lady Faye Bell Greater Paradise Christian Center 2900 E. Oliver Street Baltimore, MD 21213 Q&A 410-276-4193 Interview firstname.lastname@example.org 8-9 www.greaterparadise.org Q&A Interview with Pastor Shawn L. Bell
The Evolution of the Greater Paradise Christian Center Pg. 10 - 11
features 15 Mayor’s Journal
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
17 Governor’s Page Governor Martin O’Malley 19 Nutrition & You
Herline A. Knights
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21 Body Basics
Fitting Fitness Into Your Schedule
25 To Your Good Health
Carla J. Debnam, MS, LCPC
You Have a Right To Choose
33 TEEN CONNECT
Pastors Greg & Tonya Dennis
27 Education Digest Dr. Tim Tooten
Identifying Your System
29 Book Shelf
(William Paul Young)
35 A Woman’s Perspective
36 Fashion Focus
about.com Fashion in Your 40’s & 50’s
38 Gospel Industry News
An Afternoon of Musical Praise at APG featuring Yolanda Adams
43 FROM THE PULPIT
Pastor Jaye Blake
45 Word of Encouragement
In Every Issue Contributors.........................................................................6 From the Editor....................................................................7 Scripture Page...................................................................14 Carter Commentary............................................................46
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
Dr. Kenneth O. Robinson Dr. Harold A. Carter, Jr. Cassandra Vaughn-Fox Herline A. Knights Pastors Gregory and Tonya Dennis Carla J. Debnam Donna Williams-Ross Governor Martin O’Malley Ericka Johnson Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake Rev. Tim Tooten Brandie Manigault
PHOTOGRAPHY GRAPHIC ARTIST
Mark L. Dennis (Pastor & Lady Bell photo credits Jay Hollywood Photography) Claire Lesesne www.JandCDesigns.com
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 2012. All rights reserved. Reproduction without expressed permission is prohibited.
Chairman — Dr. A.C. D. Vaughn Sr. Pastor, Sharon Baptist Church, MD Vice-Chairman — Dr. Frank M. Reid III Sr. Pastor, Bethel A.M.E. Church, MD Dr. Jerome A. Barber Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Temple, Hampton , VA Dr. Michael A. Battle Sr., U.S. Ambassador President, ITC Seminary, Atlanta, GA Dr. Timothy Boddie Friendship Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA Bishop John R. Bryant Presiding Prelate of the 5th Episcopal District Dr. Harold A. Carter, Sr. Pastor, New Shiloh Baptist Church, MD Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, U.S. Ambassador Dr. WIlliam H. Curtis Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, PA Bishop Ralph L. Dennis Sr. Pastor, Kingdom Worship Center, MD Wanda Q. Draper/Media Executive Michele J.K. Epps/Health Sciences Cassandra Vaughn/Out Foxed Media LLC. www.Outfoxedmedia.org Dr. Donte’ L. Hickman, Sr. Pastor, Southern Baptist Church, MD Pastor Timothy V. Manigault Bishop Dennis V. Proctor Presiding Prelate of the Western Episcopal Region AME Zion Church Dr. Kenneth O. Robinson Pastor, Restoring Life International Church, MD Bishop Walter Scott Thomas, Sr. Pastor, New Psalmist Baptist Church, MD Dr. Timothy Tooten, Sr. Pastor, Harvest Christian Ministries, MD
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from the editor
for our Children
By this time most of our children have all gone back to school. The summer seems to be just a blur, time moves so swiftly now. I remember when summer seemed to last forever and the school year would never end. But before you know it this generation of children will be adults. However, statistics show that many of our young people will not make it to twenty-one. What about the children? An alarm needs to sound for our children. Now more than ever the Body of Christ should be focused on our children. The plight of our young people seems very grim. Our communities are plagued with teen promiscuity, teen pregnancies, teen suicide, teen gangs, teen dropouts, teen drug addiction, teen murders, and the list goes on. When a fifteen year-old teenager decides to bring a shotgun to school on the first day of school and allegedly shoots another teen, an alarm needs to be sounded. Instead of going back to school with his peers, this young man will be entering another kind of schoolhouse . . . a jailhouse. Instead of learning academics and life skills to prepare him for the future, his future has been cut off. These problems may or may not be happening in your backyard, but what happens to one of us happens to all of us. We are all part of the ‘big picture’. As believers we can no longer look the other way when it comes to our young people. We cannot just throw up our hands and give up on them. Instead we have to throw up our hands and fight for them. We have to learn the weapons of spiritual warfare and stand in the gap for our children. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Ephesians 6:12 This year as we pray for a successful school year for the children in our individual churches, don’t leave out the children who are outside of the walls of the church. Undergird those children with prayer as well. Pray for their safety, ask God to build a hedge of protection around them. Pray for their minds, ask God to give them a sound mind, a mind to love one another. Most of all pray for their salvation, ask God to snatch them from the hands of the enemy and place them on a solid rock to stay. What about the children? We were once children and if it wasn’t for the love of those around us and their prayers, where would we be today?
Peace and Blessings . . .
Q A Q&A interview
Pastor Shawn L. Bell
Greater Paradise Christian Center Baltimore, MD
G&G: Pastor Bell, I would like to officially welcome you to the Grace & Glory Magazine family. I like to break the ice with a few introductory questions. Most pastors have shared with me that reaching the gospel was not necessarily what they had planned to do with their lives. Did you have alternate plans for your life, or was it always your first desire to preach the gospel? Pastor Bell: Thanks for the invitation, I am truly honored to have this opportunity. Let me preface this statement by saying I come from a long lineage of preachers (5th generation), however, my dream was always to be a R&B singer. Being raised in a pastor’s home, we were fed church Sunday through Sunday, so there was never much exposure to secular things. So growing up in the 80’s was quite impressionable on me musically with singers like Luther Vandross and the group New Edition. G&G: Pastor Bell, when did you realize the call on your life? Did you readily embrace the call or did you run from it? What would you say to someone who is wrestling with their call to ministry? Pastor Bell: At the age of 13, I was already traveling extensively singing and directing my dad’s church choir. . . that’s when the call became evident to me. For anyone contemplating ministry or ministry work (1) yield to your call and the mandate that God has for your life, (2) be consistent in study and preparation, and (3) submit under EFFECTIVE/GOOD LEADERSHIP. I stress GOOD LEADERSHIP! My belief is whatever you make happen for another man or woman of God, God will make happen for you. G&G: Pastor Bell, many know you as the dynamic pastor of the Greater Paradise Christian Center, husband to First Lady Faye Bell, loving father and colleague. What can you tell us that most people would not know about Pastor Shawn Bell or would be surprised to know? Pastor Bell: Nothing out of the ordinary. I consider myself a pretty good business man, cook and a full fledge comedian; my family, friends, colleagues and church family can attest to that. G&G: Pastor Bell, I understand you emerged from the foundational structure of both the historic - Church Of God In Christ and the A.M.E. Zion Church. How did you incorporate this foundation into creating the ministry of the Greater Paradise Christian Center? Pastor Bell: Well, COGIC and AMEZ Conference are two very different facades of denominational dogma, but jointly they encompass a well-structured and effective template for successful ministry. Paradise’s foundation gives way to deliverance, prayer, travailing and pentecostal fervor. Most of this devotion was instilled in me by my grandmother, Clayvon Cotton, who was a COGIC missionary. Our strong methodology and liturgy is more so modeled after AMEZ Conference. As a teen learning the systemic theology of the Methodist-Episcopal Zion Conference molded my belief system. Paradise can tell you, some Sundays our worship experience is regimented and devoted (never structured) and other days we pick ‘em up and put ‘em down! I love that balance, that diversity and spontaneity. This is why we are so comfortable and fit well in our current covenant fellowship- The Mount Calvary Holy Churches of America under the leadership of my beloved spiritual parents, the Archbishop Alfred A. Owens, Jr. and International First Lady, Evangelist Susie C. Owens. Mount Calvary is very versatile and compliments our worship style and overall beliefs. G&G: Pastor Bell, you are celebrating ten years as pastor and people at the Greater Paradise Christian Center, as you reflect over the last ten years, what would you say has been the driving force behind your ministry? Building the ministry over the last ten years, did you find any areas of the ministry difficult or frustrating? Pastor Bell: First and foremost, Lady Faye has been the greatest driving force behind my ministry. The sacrifice, patience and unwavering love and support has been unyielding. To that end, the commitment of the GPCC membership is second to none. Whether it be denominational shift or fire, they have been 8 September September 2012 2012 || Grace&Glory Grace&Glory 8
consistent and faithful to the vision of the house. It goes without saying, that every ministry has its challenges, however, I think it measures the effectiveness of a leader by how well they handle upheavals. G&G: Pastor Bell what sets the Greater Paradise Christian Center apart from other ministries? How would you best describe the ministry of the Greater Paradise Christian Center, if your ministry could be known for one thing, what would that be? Pastor Bell: We are an eclectic mix of believers, worshippers, minstrels and standard-bearers, determined to serve the Lord and truly make Greater Paradise. . . “A Place Where God Lives.” If we have to be known for anything specifically, it would be our unapologetic yet exceptional approach to urban ministry. Our concept is not to be an African-American ministry serving an urban community, but rather an intellectual Christian aggregation serving the greater Body of Christ. G&G: Pastor Bell, many churches struggle with keeping the youth in church. It has been said in today society that it is hard to tell the difference between believers and nonbelievers. What do you believe the church should be saying and doing to reach our young people?
Q&A interview Pastor Bell: Quite simply, we have to meet the youth/young adults where they are. Our Youth Pastor, Brandon Harris oversees every aspect of youth, young adult and campus development at GPCC. Just like the mantra of the house, the EarthShakers (affectionately called by the youth) have adopted an effective approach of ministry. Much of the EarthShakers’ ministry efforts are showcased every fourth Sunday in the main sanctuary. Gospel rap, liturgical dance, drama and the like, are displayed in exquisite fashion ... and it’s all for the glory of God! G&G: Pastor Bell let shift a little and talk about the tragic fire that took place a little over a year ago at the Greater Paradise Christian Center. At the top of everyone mind was disbelief, questions and sorrow. What was the state of mind of your members after hearing and seeing the headlines “Fire Follows Burglary at East Baltimore Church.”... Pastor Bell: Shock and disbelief was the censuses amongst the entire congregation. Prior to the fire, the church had participated in the city-wide Day of Hope Campaign with Pastor Matt Stevens and Major Melvin Russell, only to be awakened by news that would rock the foundation of Greater Paradise. The unsettling aspect of the fire was knowing that Phase 3 had just been finished. Nevertheless, the church vigorously worked to move forward from the ordeal and I am happy to say we came through it a little burned, but much better! G&G: Pastor Bell, we know that you suffered tremendous loss and heartache from this tragedy. The Bible tells us that these things are but a light affliction that only last for but a moment. How did you manage to keep the members hopeful and focused? How did you keep yourself encouraged? Pastor Bell: By relying on the principles of my foundations. My covenant brother, Bishop-Elect Herb Crump encouraged us on the day of the fire to pursue and persevere. The fire confirmed that God could trust us with trouble ... we were indeed trouble ready. Lady Faye and I were blessed to have our circle of friends, family, the faith, city government and local communities come to our aid and support during the transition. G&G: Pastor Bell, during the transition after the fire, were you able to keep all of the ministries and duties of the church active. Where did the ministry gather for worship? Pastor Bell: We were fortunate on the day of the fire to be hosted by my good friend Dr. Reginald Thomas and the Greater Gethsemene Church family. Several offers came through our office, but we felt it necessary to remain in our neighborhood to worship. Dr. Donald Presswood, principal of the Fort Worthington Elementary School opened their arms to us and we have been there since July 2011. It has been a great partnership with Dr. Presswood and the school and we will forever be indebted for their hospitality. Along with that, our Insurance Agent, Diana Oliver worked tirelessly to assist in every aspect of the tragedy. She has been a stalwart and remained committed to Greater Paradise to the end. G&G: Pastor Bell, now that the process of rebuilding after the fire is almost complete and you have scheduled the Grand Opening and ribbon cutting of the renovated Greater Paradise Christian Center, tell us what you have gained from this experience and what is next for the Greater Paradise Christian Center as you continue on this journey? Pastor Bell: More than ever, we have learned patience and endurance. Gaining the mantra - that we don’t have to just worship in the four walls of a church has been our greatest lesson and adds yet another intangible into our repertoire. The leaders of our ministry have stepped up tremendously during the transition, assisting and going above and beyond their reasonable service. As we move closer to moving back to 2900 East Oliver, several projects are highlighting our resurgence in ministry:
(1) Paradise Touch Salon and the Paradise Cafe (opening late Fall 2012). The Greater Paradise Church is happy to announce two incredible new highlights that will open in the Fall of 2012, the Paradise Touch Hair Salon and the Paradise Cafe. The Salon will feature an opulent experience by some of our areas most learned stylists and hair care practitioners. The Paradise Cafe boasts a culinary delight. Serving Pastor Shawn L. Bell & Lady Faye Bell patrons daily from 6am to 3pm. (2) The Institute University In The City of Baltimore (opening February 18, 2013). The Institute University in The City of Baltimore is a private, pentecostal university located in the City of Baltimore. Established in 2011 by the Greater Paradise Christian Center, TIU is committed to the idea of a theological-worship arts education through which students think and learn across disciplines, literally liberating or freeing the mind to its fullest potential. The essence of such an education is not what you study but the result gaining the ability to think critically and independently and to write, reason, and communicate clearly the foundation for all professions. There is no specific class you have to take at TIU, but you are required to learn broadly and deeply. Depth is covered in each class. Breadth is covered in two study programs (theological studies and worship arts) and three skill areas (writing, critical thinking and qualitative research). A TIU education instills in students the values, goals, skills, and knowledge they need to pursue inspiring work, to take joy in lifetime learning, and to lead successful and meaningful lives. (3) The Senior Initiative Program The Senior Program aim is to support and develop initiatives that use creative, collaborative approaches to engage and provide opportunities for active senior citizens . (4) Family Life Center We are currently engaged in the next phase of vision. To enact the mandate of the house and serve the greater community at large. The GPCC Family Life Center is our next major thrust and undertaking. Highlights of the center will feature a state-of-the-art Wellness Center, Basketball Court, Bowling Alley, Church Edifice and campus location for a new Montessori School. G&G: Lastly Pastor Bell, in the world today people suffer tragedies everyday and after going through what you just went through, what would you say to someone who is going through a difficult time in their lives right now? Pastor Bell: As Job suffered much loss, many afflictions, and great suffering, he remained consistent, focused and unwavering in his devotion. There will be periods of isolation and times of complete abandon the closer you get to your expected end, but stay resolved in the truth- things will work out in God’s appointed time! G&G: Pastor Bell, we will continue to pray for you and the Greater Paradise Christian Center. We thank God for all that you are doing for the Kingdom of God. www.gracenglorymagazine.org 9
As a church the Greater Paradise Christian Center reviews its achievements of the past, it is with mixed emotions that we look to the future. We realize there is much to be done and we cannot afford to remain inert, neither do we intend to rest on our past laurels. There is always improvement staring us in the face, beckoning for us to become saturated with such a challenge. The thrust set before us is, “Go forward with strength, courage and conviction to fulfill the highest visions.” Greatness in God’s church is not by soft seats and subdued light, but by the wise and courageous leadership both in the pulpit and the pew. She is made great not by sweet tones of the organ, but by gentle yet
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strong personalities that somehow reflect Christ. Not by tall towers with their chimes and bells, but by the lofty vision of the tall souled people is the church made GREAT! We’re proud of the fact that the seed was sown in September 2002 on 300 Cathedral Street…with modest accommodations; this ministry has blossomed into a warm fellowship. The year 2005 afforded us a much larger edifice/ facility at 2900 E. Oliver Street after intense preparations, laboring day and night. Souls were added and continued to be added, according to God’s divine will. But that was not the end of the plan that God had in store. On the Second Sunday (Resurrection Sunday) of April 2007, we marched and danced into our newly renovated million dollar edifice in our current facility. We meet multiple times each week for spiritual renewal and Christian fellowship. Members from as far as Northern Virginia and Southern Pennsylvania attend weekly. We’re a growing body, determined to serve the Lord and truly
make Greater Paradise…“A Place Where God Lives.” However, this journey would not be without a major test of our strength. On Sunday, June 26, 2011 at 3:00 a.m., firefighters reported fire visible from the main level of the church campus. As a result, our Main Sanctuary and Administrative Office Area suffered significant fire and water damage. The church has vigorously worked to move forward from this ordeal. With final renovations set for a new worship complex in September 2012. Our determination is to share a great commitment to personal involvement with the unchurched in an even more definite experience and one-on-one witness…so that our vision can continue to be effective and fulfilled. Paradise continues to impact the Baltimore/ Washington Metropolitan area by challenging its members and community to realize and fulfill their regional and global responsibilities. With well over several hundred (active) members, the Greater Paradise Church is recognized as a vital entity on the cutting edge
of new and innovative ways of presenting ministry. Many of the groundbreaking initiatives include the Greater Paradise Center of Hope (GPCH), which houses both a senior citizen’s initiative called S.A.L.T. (Seniors Actively Learning and Training), Youth driven activities; the Paradise Touch Hair Salon; a 150-seat Eating and Dining Facility; and the new theological-arts university, called The Institute University in the City of Baltimore. Pastor Bell has prophetically challenged the people of God spiritually, and economically to remove traditional mindsets and replace them with Kingdom Building mentalities.
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Avoiding . . .
the Freshman Fifteen Despite the ubiquitous warnings, books and discussions about the “freshman fifteen” and early academic weight gain that many students succumb to the first year of college, students continue to pack on the pounds their first year away from home at colleges and universities. Many students are savvy, and recognize that they earned their larger size by over-indulging at the ice cream bar in the dining hall, too many late night pizzas, using their dining money on giant boxes of M&M’s (and eating 16 servings at once) or eating their way through too many care packages sent from home. The added
nutrition & you By Herline A. Knights, RD, LD
pounds legitimately mollify very few freshmen. For the registered dietitian, working with students who are struggling with new weight gain requires a combination of education and behavioral change work. Since students are living a new lifestyle, many times in a new (and temporary) housing situation, without access to a kitchen, often limited funds and unknown food handlers, education requires a detailed look at all aspects of food choices to be effective. Following are some tips to help students get back to a healthier weight.
• Drink water. The easiest calories for most students to cut out are the wasted calories on sugary drinks, juices and sodas. Unlimited soda and juice bars in dining halls promote over consumption. The only thing a student should drink like water is water. Caffeine may be a part of late night studying for students – diet sodas and low fat milk in coffee are better choices than high calorie alternatives. (Registered dietitians can take this opportunity to teach students how proper hydration boosts metabolisms and prevents fatigue). • The Boy Scouts’ motto. Be prepared. Stocking a dorm room mini-fridge and makeshift pantry with water, fresh fruit, vegetables, nuts, whole grain crackers, cereals and granola bars will set students up for success. Asking for care packages to be sent with favorite cereals, pre-portioned low calorie snacks, dried fruits and nuts are a great way to keep undergrads on track. • Schedule meals. Plan classes so that there is time for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, instead of back-to-back classes. Eating every 3–5 hours will prevent snacking all day long, skipping meals or grabbing convenience foods – all which may lead to excessive caloric intake. • Go green. Begin each meal with a piece of whole fruit, raw or steamed vegetables or a salad with light dressing. When getting back in line at the dining hall for seconds, students should be educated to revisit the fruits and vegetables, instead of the starches and fats. It is really hard to gain weight from overeating fresh fruits and vegetables, so these foods should be encouraged. • Go lean. Choose lean protein sources of fish, chicken, pork and beef. Good sources of protein are also going to include eggs, legumes, tofu and nuts. Broiled, baked, grilled, steamed and poached foods are the most healthful. Avoid sauces, gravies and marinades as much as possible. • Sleep and exercise. These essentials are not negotiable. Sleep is required for a well-oiled metabolism. Exercise is vital to maintaining a healthful weight. • No food in the library. Keep snacking and studying separate. Use study breaks as a time to have something to eat. Choose single portions or pre-portioned snacks that contain carbohydrates with a little fat and/or protein. • Portion patrol. Patrol your tray to make sure your plate looks like what would normally be given in a TV dinner, on an airplane or in a high school cafeteria ‘hot lunch’ line. Choose only one “new” food to try at a given meal (it will be served again) and fill the rest of the tray with familiar foods, fruits and vegetables. Don’t put desserts on your tray, or you will eat it. If you really want a sweet after a meal, make a special trip to get it. When the meal is over, leave the dining hall! • Hungry? Before each meal, check in with yourself to see if you are really hungry. If you are eating for a reason other than hunger, see if a glass of water, conversation with a friend or short walk will fulfill the need. www.gracenglorymagazine.org 19 19 www.gracenglorymagazine.org
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body basics Life often seems to move at the speed of light. When your schedule is crammed and you have too much going on, is it even possible to fit exercise into your day? Take heart; exercise doesn't have to be a formal one-hour event. Working full-time can eat up more than forty hours per week for most workers, and after family and other responsibilities, there’s not much time left to take care of you.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to exercise for thirty minutes or more to achieve the maximum results. Recent studies have shown that smaller increments of exercise throughout the day produce the same effect as one longer workout, so you no longer have to worry about finding a large block of uncommitted time! Instead, plan your day to accommodate several ten-minute bursts of exercise. Fit in three of those segments and you have a total of thirty minutes for the day (which is the minimum suggested by doctors). Once you can comfortably incorporate three segments into the day, challenge yourself to add more until your daily exercise time is an hour or more. Think of it as making deposits in your bank of health: every ten-minute exercise burst improves your health and is available for you to call on when you need it.
When you have exercise equipment at the office and ready to use, you are much more likely to take a few minutes to work out. This doesn’t mean you should install a treadmill in your office. There are plenty of smaller workout tools that challenge and strengthen your muscles. Resistance bands come in a variety of tensions so you can choose the best level of resistance for your needs. These bands are practically weightless and can be used in countless different ways. You can use bands for upper bodywork, stretching, leg training and more. Another useful tool is a small set of dumbbells, ranging in weight from three to ten pounds. Dumbbells are used primarily in upper bodywork, but there are many exercises that use dumbbells and call on the lower body muscles at the same time. Add one or more of these fitness tools to your office and incorporate their use into your daily workouts.
Make Your Health a Priority
Too often busy professionals are willing to neglect health care unless it's absolutely necessary. Trying to juggle a career, family, and more is highly demanding and doesn’t often leave much time for self-care, but in the long run this can damage both your physical and emotional health. By neglecting your needs, you send your body and psyche the message that you are not as important as other things. Stop it! Ignore your body too long and you may find yourself with serious health issues that could have been avoided simply by being conscious of your needs. Realize that caring for your body is a priority and needs to be treated with as much importance as the other concerns in your life. You only have one body, so invest some time and
effort in making it the best body possible. Four Ways to Fit More Fitness into Your Day
Fitness at Work
There are many ways you can squeeze in exercise at the office without anyone even knowing. One frequently mentioned methods is taking the stairs instead of the elevators. That's great, but let's take the idea a little further and try to walk around as much as possible. Walk over to a co-worker's desk rather than sending an email or instant message. Instead of using the washroom on your floor, go to one a few stories up – and take the stairs. Other ideas include practicing Pilates moves right at your desk, or doing simple stretches in your office or in the washroom. Once you start looking for opportunities to exercise, you'll find them everywhere.
Fitness at Home
Great, you're home – working out is so much easier now, right? Well, maybe not. Home and family demands just as much attention and responsibility as work. An easy way to add fitness at home is to involve the whole family. Kids don't view exercise as a chore, and it can turn into a special time to share with your child. Have the family take a walk before or after dinner or organize a familywide game of tag in the backyard. Other ideas for home fitness include turning housework into aerobic exercise. Get that vacuum cleaner going and use your arm, back, and core muscles to propel it back and forth. Load the dishwasher and maintain proper posture as you bend and straighten, keeping your abdominal muscles tight. Sweep the driveway as fast as you can for a quick aerobic blast! Break the Couch Habit! Instead of sitting on the couch to watch your favorite TV show, use the time for stretches or jogging in place. Who says TV is a waste of time?
Out and About
Did you know you can use the checkout line at the grocery store as a workout zone? When you're standing in any kind of line, contract your buttocks for a count of 15 and then release. This helps strengthen the muscles. It can also keep you from losing your cool when the customer in front of you needs three price checks. Another good move is to stand on your tiptoes for a count of 10 and then drop back. This is good for the calf muscles. Pushing a loaded grocery cart also qualifies as aerobic effort, don't you think? When you're sitting in traffic, do some arm exercises and stretching moves while you wait.
Spur of the Moment
If you're having one of those lazy days or are just bored, use your time to visit a local park and do some speedwalking. If the weather is uncooperative, go to the local mall and walk briskly around all levels at least twice. There are countless options for random fitness jaunts, so look around your area and put your imagination to work. Source: www.about.com
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to your good health
Election is in Our Hands
Carla J. Debnam, MS, LCPC Executive Director, Renaissance Christian Counseling Center
You Have a Right to Choose In November of this year we will elect public officials on the local, state and national level. This is a right given to us by our constitution but also is a responsibility we must honor because of the sacrifice our ancestors made to garner us the privilege of casting our vote. There are many tough decisions that have to be made by the electorate. It is not all on the public officials to make a change. We have to make choices that facilitate the changes we want to see. As people of faith it is not only our responsibility to fast and pray for our leaders but we must hold them accountable by actively engaging in the process of supporting and selecting them as well. As Christians we sometimes vote out of emotional attachment to people, remain ignorant of the issues and are influenced by popular opinion. Hebrews 13:17 challenges our comfort zone by giving us a snapshot of who our leaders are in our lives. We are to, “Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.” This passage reminds us of the role and responsibility of elected officials and leaders in our society. We are to honor and support those in leadership whether they line up with what we value the most. Using good judgment and core values to guide you will help in making the best choices this election season. We are living in a time of rapid change and unpredictability. No matter what the political climate may be, we have our ultimate hope in the Lord. Keep your convictions and your future in mind this November. God is still in control so do not let fear rule your heart or mind. You have a right to choose so make the best choice you can. www.gracenglorymagazine.org 25
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I reached into my closet
there is a season and a time for every purpose under heaven. I believe to have a purpose under heaven is to have a reason for which something exists or is done, made or used. I have always believed that each of us was created for a specific purpose in life.
just the other day to grab a light jacket as I rushed out of the door on an unusually cool morning. It quickly reminded me that the season was about to change, from summer to fall. The next day the heat returned and I placed the jacket back into the closet. I came across an article written by MSNBC’s Paige Williams. She wrote that seasons are a powerful force in our lives. They tend to affect the activities we do, the foods we crave, the clothes we wear — and quite often, the moods we are in. Williams went on to say the ability to predict the seasons — by tracking the rising and setting points of the sun throughout the year — was key to survival in ancient times. I believe they are key to survival in our modern age. This is why I want to start a conversation in regard to the seasons in our lives. I believe the fall can represent new beginnings in our ability to learn, educationally. Thousands of students have returned to area schools and colleges. They’ve been given new assignments, among them papers and presentations to complete within a specific time frame. During my
I believe that if you take a closer look at your life and your season you’ll discover there’s a course to take, a dream to pursue, a talent to develop, a gift to exercise. I’ve also discovered that it’s easy for each of us to become idle in a particular season. We tend to become comfortably frustrated. Most often comfort leads to a lack of forward progress. As we witness a change of the atmospheric seasons, I encourage you to be a witness in identifying your personal season in life. time of devotion, I was drawn to a scripture passage recorded in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven”. This passage caused me to reflect on my own season in life. I began to think about what new lessons I would commit to learn in this season, what opportunities I would explore both academically and spiritually. I want to challenge each of you to identify your season in life. Identification is just
the beginning. By now, you know that I’m a proponent of continuing education. At this point, I have not registered for a new course. I do admit the thought has crossed my mind dozens of times lately. However, I’m convinced that learning goes beyond the classroom. There are plenty of life lessons to learn. As you take the first step toward your new season, be aware that the enemy of doubt is poised to try and prevent you from moving ahead. The scripture passaged I quote earlier said to everything
Dr. Tim Tooten, Sr. Dr. Tim Tooten, Sr. is an Emmy Award winning television Journalist for WBAL-TV (NBC). He’s also the pastor and founder of Harvest Christian Ministries in Baltimore, County Maryland
www.gracenglorymagazine.org 27 27 www.gracenglorymagazine.org
28 September 2012 | Grace&Glory
Book Shelf The Shack
By William Paul Young I have recently decided to revisit a book that has made an impact on my life and my relationship with the Lord. So, this month I am recommending The Shack by William Paul Young. If you have read it, reread it. If you haven’t read it, read it. Although it is based on a fictional story with fictional characters with a fictional scenario, somehow the author manages to take the reader on a journey that feels so real. I was warned prior to beginning this book to “stick it out” and to “just keep reading past the first few chapters,” and I’m glad I did. If you are anything like me, you get involved in the characters’ lives and you laugh with them and want to cry with them. You feel joy with them and feel hurt or pain when they feel it. The first few chapters took me to places emotionally that I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. After the tragic kidnaping and possible murder of his daughter, Missy, during a family trip, McKenzie Phillips (Mack) spirals into a deep depression. The author does everything in his power within the first four chapters to make you become part of McKenzie’s family so that you feel everything they felt. And that’s exactly what he did. I felt as though Missy was part of my own family and the heartache that they felt in losing her was my own. That right there was enough to make me close the book, put the book down and call it a wrap for The Shack, I was sucked so far into the story that I had to “just kept reading” and find out what happened. The fact that I wanted to quit reading it and couldn’t is the sign of a good book to me. While dealing with what has happened and living life in a state of depression, Mack receives a letter from “Papa” (God) inviting him to the shack, back to the scene of what could possibly have been his daughter’s last days; the last place
by Brandie Manigault
he would ever want to go. Reluctantly, he goes and this is the point where right along with Mack, my life was impacted. I encountered and experienced Papa, Jesus and the Holy Spirit with each page that I turned. The writing was provocative. It made me think about my relationship with each separately. Young skillfully paints a beautiful picture of the Trinity and how they interact with one another, all the while interacting with Mack and with us. He breaks down every religious stereotype we could conjure up about who the members of the Trinity are with the use of comedy, personal connection, revelation and embedded scriptures. One of my favorite passages is said by Papa to Mack regarding
Jesus. He says, “The Truth shall set you free and the Truth has a name… freedom is a process that happens inside a relationship with him. Then all that stuff you feel churnin’ around inside will start to work its way out.” The Shack… go get it. It will change you. I smiled. I laughed. I cried. I looked at myself introspectively. I changed some of my outward behavior to reflect the inward changes that this book facilitated. It is definitely a recommended read. After you read it, let me know what you think. I would love to know if it had the same effects on you as it did me!
Brandie Twitter @iambandaid
About The Author
William Paul Young
William Paul Young was born May 11, 1955, in Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada, but the majority of his first decade was lived with his missionary parents in the highlands of Netherlands New Guinea (West Papua), among the Dani, a technologically stone age tribal people. These became his family and as the first white child and outsider who ever spoke their language, he was granted unusual access into their culture and community. By the time he was six, he was flown away to a boarding school. Young had written primarily as a way to create unique gifts for his friends, until his wife repeatedly urged him to write something for their six children in order to put down in one place his perspectives on God and on the inner healing Young had experienced as an adult. The resulting manuscript, that later became The Shack, was intended only for his six kids and for a handful of close friends. Young initially printed just 15 copies of his book. Two of his close friends encouraged him to have it published and assisted with some editing and rewriting in order to prepare the manuscript for publication. Rejected by 26 publishers, Young and his friends published the book under the name of their newly created publishing company, Windblown Media in 2007. The company spent only $200 in advertising; word-of-mouth referrals eventually drove the book to number one on the New York Times trade paperback fiction best-seller list in June 2008. The Shack was the top-selling fiction and audio book of 2008 in America through November 30. Young considers himself a longtime devotee of C. S. Lewis. www.gracenglorymagazine.org 29
30 September 2012 | Grace&Glory
32 September 2012 | Grace&Glory
Pastors Gregory & Tonya Dennis Kingdom Worship Center
6419 York Road, Towson, MD 21212
It is so interesting to hear youth talk about when “I grow up” as they consider doing things when they become older. The things that you desire to do when you become a grown up somehow begins to develop now. God does bless each one of us with gifts which are placed within us when we are babies. We cannot get rid of these or even trade them in for different gifts because each of us has gifts unique to us. Many people have a hard time understanding how to operate in or show the fruit of the spirit. If God grants us gifts, he also provides us with the fruit to use our gifts. God allows us to mature the fruit of the spirit as we are growing throughout our lives. Just like a baby apple tree does not bear or grow fruit in its first few years, human babies do not show their fruit either. Have you ever noticed how demanding babies
and toddlers are? They want a lot but are not able to contribute much other than looking cute and lovable. They don't have to show their fruit though, because they know they'll get what they want when they want it. However, God has planted a fruit seed deep inside of them. They have their entire life to grow that seedling into a strong plant. Some children receive a lot of guidance and help in developing their seedling while others have to rely on learning the hard way- by themselves. We all have to constantly tend our seedling or plant to make sure it grows up strong into a mighty fruit tree. Most of the fruits of the spirit revolve around the core fruit of love. The fruit of love is the most important fruit because we need to learn how to love in order to be able to show the other fruits. For example, say you are planning a sleepover with your best friends. Because they are your friends, you care about them right? Well, let's say you really want to watch a movie during the evening and let everyone know, but
another of your friends says, "I don't want to watch a movie, that's a stupid idea!" All of a sudden you went from loving your friend to wishing your friend was not invited to the party. If you are already walking in love, things like that don't really bother you. Hopefully, you also display the fruits of patience and self-control so you don't jump down your friend's throat. Instead you calmly say "I would like to watch a movie and don't think it's stupid, but if everyone else wants to do something else, that's fine with me". If you display the fruits of love, patience and selfcontrol toward your fruitless friend, the added bonus of the fruit of joy fills you up. Yep, you get a bonus feeling of joy when you can control your feelings towards those who are rude or disrespectful to you. That's just the way God has worked it all out. Whenever we make right choices regarding our emotions and feelings and choose to display the fruit of the spirit instead of anger, pride or hate we always benefit by having a good feeling come over us. Those that consistently walk in the fruit of the spirit begin bearing good fruit. Displaying the fruit of the spirit is difficult, especially at first. But as Christians we need to keep pressing forward and modeling the behavior Jesus demonstrated for us. You've heard of the saying “Practice Makes Perfect”, right? Well, when we continue to practice displaying the fruit of the spirit then we really are growing up spiritually. (Galatians 5:22-26) www.gracenglorymagazine.org 33 33 www.gracenglorymagazine.org
34 September 2012 | Grace&Glory
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV) Do you wish you had a ‘Start Over’ button convenient to you so that anytime you fail you can start over? Have you completed a task and wished you could have turned back the hands of time to correct something you wished you could have done differently? The older we get we realize we don't have the same freedom we did as when we were children. Most times we don't believe that a “do over” can happen, however as Christians we should know that God the Father is in the “do over” business. God is in the “do over” business. Sometimes we think like Nicodemus when he asked Jesus if a man could re-enter the womb and be born again. But a new beginning for a Christian comes by spiritual rebirth that changes us from the inside out. Once we have gone through that, it is important to
stop looking in the rear view mirror of your life. There is no way we can move forward looking behind. It is important to remember where you came from but understand that it is your past for a reason; because whatever the situation was you have grown from it. Our past wrongs are forgiven. God forgets our wrongs and lovingly gives us a new path to follow. So when you become fed up and become tired of living a life of defeat and regret, go to God and ask for a new life. Until Next Time, Stay Focused, Stay Steady, and Stay In Love with God. Cassandra Vaughn-Fox
Out Foxed Media, www.outfoxedmedia.org www.gracenglorymagazine.org 35
FASHION Are your pleated pants giving away your true age? What about your "stuck in a beauty moment" makeup or hair that hasn't been updated in years?
If you are a woman over 40, you need to know that you can be just as sexy and vital looking as your younger counterparts, according to style expert Kim Johnson Gross, creator of the Chic Simple line of books and Style Guide for About.com. It just takes looking at your wardrobe and beauty habits with a critical eye and finding what works for you
One of the most challenging fashion aspects for women over 40 is how to dress for the changes that are occuring. "Our bodies are in transition. Our lifestyles are changing. We may be becoming empty nesters, divorcing, starting new jobs,” said Gross. "As your body is changing, so must your clothes,” she said. You have to learn how to flatter your body without doing a style overhaul. And even if you are in the best shape of your life -- she gives 50-something Oprah as an example -- your body is physiologically changing, from thinning hair to ruddier, duller skin. The key to dealing with the changes and being your best is to refresh your look, said Gross, who is currently working on a book about style over 40. "Shoes and bags are the quickest way to update your look,” said Gross. Women over 40 need to learn how to adapt trends that will work for them, she said. Most of all you need to learn to not hang onto what worked before; undergo what Gross calls a "style evolution" and learn to dress for your new assets.
Fashion Tips for Over 40
Gross said there are a few guidelines that will help you look your best: • Don't dress too young. "The worst thing you can do is to dress younger than you are,” said Gross. "It makes you look older.” • No miniskirts, regardless of how great your legs are, said this former model. • Skip baggy clothes and look for pieces that give you shape. • Don't think you can wear the same colors you did in your 20s (at least not against your face). Don't pick colors from color charts; experiment by trying on different colors when you go shopping. • Trendy is no longer attractive. Don't worry about the trend of the moment. Instead find a print or a bold piece of jewelry and develop a signature look. 36 September 2012 | Grace&Glory
fashion focus Fashion and Beauty Fixes
Gravity takes its toll on women of a certain age, but Gross said fashion tricks can camouflage most of these problems: Wrinkled neck - Stand-up or turn-up collars, according to Gross, are a great way to cover that area and bring focus to the face. Thick in the middle - Add jackets and pieces that will give you shape. Thinner hair- Your hair has to suit you. Get a fresh cut. She also said shorter hair gives more of a lift and the variety of new products can improve your hairstyle. Focus on shoulders and legs - They are the slowest to age. That doesn't mean wearing miniskirts, but you can bring attention to legs with a knee-length skirt and sexy shoes. Change in coloring - Lighten up. One tip from a chic former fashion director is to always wear a bit of white close to the face. Soft colors -- pale pink, white, beige, ice blue -- bring light to the face.
Get Started Looking Your Best
1. Look at mature television and movie actresses you admire and emulate their look, said Gross. 2. Shop at stores that cater to stylish, mature women. Don’t be afraid to experiment. By the time you are 50 you’ll have some sense of what your style is. You probably have the basics down and now it’s time to add pizzazz like adding bold glasses or wearing a collar turned up. 3. Recycle pieces from your closet (with caution). Some trends can come back and you can revisit them with a twist. Chain belts are a good example. But the classics -- trench coats, Pucci prints, leopard prints -- are the best pieces to keep pulling out.
over fifty Getting older and looking great
The problem isn't being comfortable in your over-50 skin: wisdom, maturity and fulfillment boost your sense of well-being. Instead, the challenge is simply finding wearable, modern clothes to fit your lifestyle, budget and figure. Pros may tout fashion now as being ageless, but that's no consolation when you have to pick through racks of miniskirts and low-rise jeans to find styles you love. Keeping up with trends can be even more difficult because many fashion magazines ignore women over a certain age.
Can I wear that trend? Designers and magazines show styles on youthful models, but realistic merchants know not everyone sports taut forearms and flat tummies. So while it may seem that stores are packed with teenage clothes, you can still find fresh, current looks that can work for you. As a matter of fact, practically any fashion trend can be adapted if you know some general guidelines. Quick tips to keep current: • Let the very young think (mistakenly) that dressing sexy means you have to bare every body part. Instead, you can show your sensuality with luxe fabrics (silk, leather, cashmere, fur) and rich colors (wine, chocolate, plum, champagne and midnight). • Watch your handbag: it is usually a
dead giveaway to your age. Have some fun with your handbag choice by trying lively colors (red, denim) and different shapes. The key here is to find a bag in a good proportion to your size. • Know that today you don't have to trade style for comfort and ease. Shop for wearable, updated shoes. Wear stretch fabrics whenever possible. • Use accessories to create maximum impact. Costume jewelry expert Isabelle Bryman suggests looking at your accessories in new ways: wearing pearls as a belt or a dress clip on a beret.
while you're getting there Don'ts
• Don't wear baggy, shapeless clothes. Don't wear ditsy and fussy prints like tiny florals. They are terribly aging. • Don't think you have to wear skirt suits to look well dressed. Even though they may be "in," some skirt suits can be very aging. Pants are generally much more youthful, so a better choice would be a pantsuit or a pant and coat ensemble. • Don't shy away from all black. It looks great, especially when textures are mixed: leather, crocodile, patent, fur, vinyl (this lightens it up a bit and gives it life). • Don't expose your upper arms and neck: these are both tricky areas for most women over a certain age and don't wear your skirts too short. • Don't think you have to cut your hair: a chic ponytail always looks smart and youthful. • Don't wear fussy, frilly evening attire. Go for tailored instead! Don't overdo the glitz! Despite the fact that maximalism is in right now, you don't want to look like a Christmas tree! • Don't wear shawls (too granny) or capes.
• Think young. Be unpredictable. • Choose solids: camel, red, gray, khaki and especially black and white. In fact, when in doubt, go for black and white. You can't go wrong with this combo. Go for bold, classic patterns in black and white: houndstooth checks, stripes, argyles. They are very "snappy," - Choose classic shapes (they're "snappy," too!) Shirtdresses, trench coats, pea jackets, car coats, balmacans, jean jackets and jeans are eternally youthful in spirit. - Go for unfussy chic: minimalist, functional designs and details. (Hint: zippers are far more youthful than aging gold buttons). - Wear short skirts if you have good legs (but not too short -- they should fall around the knee). - Invest in several fitted black turtlenecks! They are indispensable, flatter everyone and they always look great for day or night. - And finally, follow the old adage: Aging is a case of mind over matter. If you don't mind, it doesn't matter! www.gracenglorymagazine.org 37
gospel industry news
Wounded Warrior SFC Robert A. Skaret
Specialist First Class Moses E. Armstead, 16th Ordnance Battalion, came home from Afghanistan to be at his wife Tonya’s side while she buried her mother. Two weeks later, he died in combat there. Seven weeks later, Tonya’s doting grandmother laid down on the couch in the home they shared with Tonya’s three sons, and died. “My faith in God is all I have. I am the manifestation of the prayers of the righteous. When you see me smile, my smile is for real,” Armstead said in August, three years after her series of loss. She was one of a handful of guests invited to give first-person accounts of how the war has impacted Maryland families at the “Afternoon of Musical Praise”, a gospel extravaganza that featured Grammy and Dove winner Yolanda Adams. The event was sponsored
Grammy and Dove Winner Gospel Singer Yolanda Adams
38 38 September September 2012 2012 || Grace&Glory Grace&Glory
gospel industry news by Ames United Methodist Church of Bel Air, Md., with the Morale, Welfare and Recreation Program at Aberdeen Proving Ground. Gospel artists from throughout the greater Harford County areas graced the Post Theater stage and performed spirit-rousing acts before a sold-out nearly 1,000-person crowd. Ames created this program as part of its outreach ministry to serve wounded warriors and their families. “A program like an Afternoon of Musical Praise is so important to military families because it helps people to remember the big sacrifice that my family and so many other families gave. It is so easy for people to support you when you first lose a military service member but they quickly forget and all you’re left with is an empty dark hole. Gospel Music is ministry and it soothes the soul.” The program featured performances by the Baltimore City College choir, soloist Lea Gilmore, Oak Grove Baptist Church’s Apostle band, Haley and Maya Taylor, and Dancers of Inspiration from St. John’s Baptist Church in Columbia, Md. Ames Pastor Rev. Jay Blake led a special ensemble of musicians from Ames’ members and guests, who performed a few selections on the program. Pastor Tim Tooten was Master of Ceremonies. The program also included personal accounts from veterans wounded in combat. Armstead said her husband had only nine months left in the Army before he had planned to retire when he was killed in combat. “I was suicidal, depressed, and I really wanted to die. I tried several times to kill myself and my baby boy,” she heartily admitted. “I developed panic attacks and my children suffered from a bad case of depression. “The strange thing about this was no one seemed to see me or my family crying out for help. But God flipped the script and what the devil meant for bad, God used it to strengthen me and my family. Now I am a living, walking testimony for Jesus because He saw fit to keep me! Amen!” She is the mother Jaspen,21; Daylin,17 and Llandyn,10. Ames United Methodist Church Ames United Methodist Church, located at 112 Baltimore Pike in Bel Air, is a historical fixture in the Greater Harford County community, striving to maintain the spirit of a loving family of faith, empowering people to be reconciled to God, transformed and free in Christ through Biblebased study, ministry and service to others. Founded in 1867, Ames seeks to unite people from all walks of life to worship and serve together in more than 40 different ministries, including homeless outreach, mentorship, educational enrichment and hunger prevention. Worship service is held weekly at 10:30 a.m. on Sundays; Church school begins at 9:30 a.m. Prayer meetings are Wednesday from 6-7 p.m. with Bible study following from 7-8:00 p.m. Photo Credits: Aberdeen Proving Ground
Baltimore City College Choir nies f Ceremo st Ministries/ Master o n, Harve te o To with Dr. Tim Reporter C ducation UM es m WBAL E A f y Blake o Pastor Ja
Apostle, Oak Grove Baptist Churc h
Apostle, Oak Grove Bapti st
Oak Grove Apostle, rch hu C Baptist
Tiana Marie Ford
Dancers of In spiration, St. John’s
Baptist Chur ch
Dancers of In spiration, St. John’s
Baptist Chur ch
The Taylor Sisters Haley and Maya Taylor
Dancers of Inspiration
Ames Musical Project, Ames AMC
www.gracenglorymagazine.org www.gracenglorymagazine.org 39 39
40 September 2012 | Grace&Glory
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or God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life; (John 3:16) This powerful verse explains the awesome reason that God gave his Son; God did it so the believer can have eternal life. Can you imagine how awesome it is, that the Holy, mighty God of all creation loves us so much that He did something as extreme and full of depth as giving His Son for our eternal life . . . WOW! What a gift to be treasured, what a hope we have, and what a powerful comfort to mortal humanity. I don’t know where heaven is, but I do know that I have eternal life through Jesus and come what may in this life, I’ll live with him forever. In my practice of ministry, particularly after having served at so many funerals, I ask the Holy Spirit to comfort and strengthen our hearts with the sure and certain hope of our resurrection unto eternal life. We commit our loved ones who have died to the ground with this hope, and also have the privilege of living with this hope. The hope and certainty of eternal life is important to us all as the following scriptures explain: And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3) For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (I Corinthians 13:12)
By Pastor Jay Blake Ames United Methodist Church, Bel Air, MD
I believe that we have eternal life now in that we know Christ as Savior and have received the free gift of eternal life from God. I also believe that there will come a time when after our death we will be present with the Lord, and will fully realize the actual person of Christ: We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord. (II Corinthians 5:8) I also believe eternal life is our future existence with God: For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. (II Corinthians 5:1) I further understand that there will be joyful interaction with Christ in his heavenly kingdom wherever/whatever that may be: But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. (Matthew 26:29) My view of eternal life as informed by the scriptures above is threefold: • We live forever with Christ. • We fully realize his person (see him face to face). • We joyfully interact with Christ forevermore (drinking the fruit of the vine with him in his heavenly kingdom). So, eternal life carries with it quantity (living forever with Christ), and also quality (knowing Christ face to face and joyfully interacting with him forever). www.gracenglorymagazine.org 43
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word of encouragement
I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. [John 14:12 – The Amplified Bible] The person who trusts me will not only do what I'm doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I've been doing. You can count on it. [John 14:12 – The Message Bible] Jesus, speaking to His disciples’ right before He goes to the cross, is letting them know that they have seen the Father’s work through Him. He reminded them that they were with Him for quite a while and yet they were saying to Him, “Show us the Father and it will suffice us.” Then Jesus lets them know that if anyone [consistently, with conviction, unwaveringly, persistently, faithfully] believes in Him greater works will that person do, because He was going to His Father. If you are reading this article and you are a Believer – LET’S GO. If you are not a Believer – I dare you to join us, accept Jesus Christ as your LORD and SAVIOR Romans 10:9-10 -- If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. And LET’S GO. You may be saying, “LET’S GO where? Go where to do what?” LET’S GO forward and do the greater works than those that Jesus did. In order to do the greater things than Jesus did, we have to give way to the Holy Spirit to work in and through us. In Mark 1:9-11 (The Message Bible) [At this time, Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. The moment he came out of the water, he saw the sky split open and God's Spirit, looking like a dove, come down on him. Along with the Spirit, a voice: You are my Son, chosen and marked by my love, pride of my life.] We see Jesus being endowed with the Holy Spirit. The same Holy Spirit spoken of in the sentence before is the One who is going to work through those who would yield themselves to God to do the greater works. Those who are called by the Name of JESUS, the NAME that is above all other names. The greater works that Jesus did were so many; so we have to begin to truly be about our Father’s business. Jesus in Mark 16:15-18 [He said to
them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”] The first greater thing that we have to do is to “go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Notice it didn’t say to “some creation,” but all creation. It didn’t say a “color coded [race]” creation, but all creation. It didn’t say the “people that you like or admire” creation but all creation. It didn’t say “those that are rich” or even “those that are poor”, but all creation. As the Body of Christ we are to preach the Good News of God’s unfailing and forgiving love. We have to let people know that in spite of what they have done and where they have been, God yet still loves them. We are living in a lost and dying world. A world in which anything goes, a world in which our children and grandchildren are walking around being attacked by the enemy on every level of their lives and they are losing their lives to bullying, drugs, pornography, molestation, incest, etc. A world of chaos and darkness and truly emptiness, but nonetheless, a world in which God has sent us to preach THE TRUTH OF HIS WORD – in other words, the unadulterated word and not a watered-down word to pacify people and to make promises that we may have conjured up. Father, in the Name of Jesus, help us to remember Your word that says in Jeremiah 1:8 “Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with you to deliver you, said the LORD.” With that said, let us move forward and preach. Next, we are not the woman with the issue of blood, we are not the woman at the well, we are not the man at the pool Bethesda, nor are we the man full of leprosy. We are not the ones to be looking to get help, but to give help – give them Jesus. We are sons and daughters of the Most High God. God Himself, the Greater One is living on the inside of us. We have been given permission to do the greater work. The Holy Spirit desires to work through us, right here and right now. He doesn’t desire our help, He desires for us to be yielded vessels. Our willingness to allow the Holy Spirit to use us to bring change into this lost and dying world.
Donna WilliamsRoss - In Trust Ministries dwilliamsross@ aol.com
Saul was killing Believers, but God at the appointed time transformed Saul’s life and made Him Paul. All of us were “Saul” in some aspect of our lives and God saw fit to change us as in “Paul” and we have been ordained to do the greater work. God wants to use us like He used Paul in the nineteenth chapter of the Book of Acts -- “God did extraordinary miracles through Paul, so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them.” Paul cast out the spirit of the slave girl, therefore we too can do likewise. Note that, “In Lystra there sat a man crippled in his feet, who was lame from birth and had never walked. He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed land called out, Stand up on your feet! At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.” Again, God wants to use us like He did Paul and the other disciples. We are living in the last days, and God is saying to us, “I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams. Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days, and they will prophesy. I will show wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, the blood and fire and billows of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and glorious day of the Lord. And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” What are we waiting on? Matthew 22:24 talks about the days getting shorter? We have been ordained before the foundation of the world to do the greater works. The Holy Spirit, GOD Himself is living on the inside of us, which make us without excuse. Let’s go moving. We were created to make God’s Name glorious. Body of Christ join in and let’s show the world “How Great is Our God.” www.gracenglorymagazine.org 45
46 September 2012 | Grace&Glory
48 September 2012 | Grace&Glory