Letter from the Editor
The Holy Spirit: More than Tongues
ONEBODY - Moreno Valley, CA
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The Rollins Family: Pursuing Joy Are You Dressed to Impress?
Larnell Starkey & The Spiritual Seven
Cover Photo Credits: Photographer: Tiffany Cody Makeup: Aisha Simon SmashGlam
Smokie Norful wrote that song, “In The Middle”, just for me. The lyrics were quickly brought back to my memory one morning as I was washing dishes. God has NEVER left me, in fact, He does some of His best work in the MIDDLE of my life. We often think of God as being only Creator and Judge. He is also Friend, Comforter, Brother, and Father all of which are apart of our everyday lives and situtations, most commonly found in the middle of everything. He reminds us of just how close He is in Isaiah 58:9, “Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; You shall cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am’.” God is in the middle of our joys and our pains. I encourage you to not only search for Him when things are bleak, but also seek Him when things are going just right.
Be Encouraged, He’s in the MIDDLE OF IT ALL!
I knew something was different. Different than the way I felt when I was water baptized. It was like something incredible was suddenly ignited on the inside of me, a leaping and undeniable presence of peace was now at my disposal.
These were all the questions I asked as a young person about the Holy Spirit. Always seeking to understand the things of God, how He thought, lived and operated has been a life-long quest for me. It wasn’t until I stood at the altar during a Sunday evening service with my sister by my side that I was truly filled with the Holy Spirit. In fact, I was filled without the minister every laying a hand on me. My heart was ready to receive this next phase of my journey with the Lord. I was just 16 years old. I opened my mouth and words I had never spoken, nor could comprehend flowed out like a fountain I could not shut off.
Later I came to know the fullness of the Holy Spirit. He is so much more than tongues. In fact, speaking in tongues are a part of the evidence that He lives inside of me.
So you may ask, “Who is the Holy Spirit and what is His job?” The Holy Spirit is the third being in the Triune God Head. He is and does so many things. For the believer, the Holy Spirit is not a mystery or vapor.
, in the New Testament, gives us a glimpse of the role of the Holy Spirit and the reason He is with us.
Reminds us of Jesusâ€™ teachings John 14:26 Helps us to be a witness John 14:27 When we are weak, He prays for us Romans 8:26
He abides with us forever John 14:16 We know Him John 14: 17 He dwells with us John 14:17
The Spirit of Truth He testifies of Jesus John 15: 25 Guides us into all truth John 16:13 He glorifies Jesus John 16:14
He will teach us what to say Luke 12:12 He teaches us all things John14:26 He tells us things to come John 16:15
So what about the tongues? Why do you need the tongues? Speaking in tongues is apart of the package of the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26 tells us, ‘Likewise, the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Holy Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” It is our Heavenly language, a spiritual weapon and nothing to fear. It is the closest tangible thing we have to Christ, the Holy Spirit. For me, He is the still small voice guiding me everyday, helping me to make the best decisions that will glorify God.
Be Encouraged! The Holy Spirit is more than tongues! He desires to dwell inside of you and work through you. Let the Helper Help!
To learn more about the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the Gift of Tongues check out these resources today:
“TONGUES: Beyond the Upper Room”
“Why Tongues” Kenneth E. Hagin www.rhema.org
Kenneth E. Hagin www.rhema.org
Pastor Calvin Belcher, Founder Genesis Christian Fellowship
501(c)(3) NonProﬁt Moreno Valley, California
ONEBODY, founded by Pastor Calvin Belcher, hosted their Annual “Shoe Give-A-Way and Foot Washing” in partnership with Samaritan’s Feet benefitting area residents in Moreno Valley and surrounding areas. In an effort to address some of the needs of the community, ONEBODY gave away nearly 700 pairs of brand name sneakers on Saturday, September 26, 2015. With their slogan ”Much can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit” ONEBODY has united area churches, organizations and corporations to do the work of Christ in California. For more on ONEBODY or to donate visit:www.onebodyeventmorenovalley.com 9
Pictured: L-R; Vaida, Shareda, Ed and Vicky Rollins.
Photo Credits: Tiffany Cody, SmashGlam
Five years ago, Ed and Shareda Rollins embarked on a journey of faith and strength when they lost their 8-year old daughter, Valerie. Having life-long asthma, little did they know this attack would be Valerie’s last. She was a creative, shining light in her family, church, school and now in the Glory of the Lord. Candidly, Ed and Shareda share with us how their faith in God and leading of the Holy Spirit carried them through those early moments of grief and continues in their pursuit of joy.
The Night Valerie Died
Ed: As the person that was with her when she took her final breathes, it was very hard for me. Being the father, I was the protector and provider and when I couldn’t fix this I felt helpless as a man and a father. I actually felt that God had let me down because in the emergency room all I was doing was praying. I believed that my prayers were just bouncing off Heaven’s gate. It was so sud de n,une xp ec ted.
Shareda: At the hospital the night my baby died, my pastor with his wife by his side asked us, “Do you still believe?” At that moment I replied yes, and he asked again and then again. I don’t know what his point was but I do know what that exercise of confession did for me. It put before me, my greatest trial, a decision. I had to choose a side. Either I would stand on all of the things that I had ever learned about my God as a child, His goodness, His mercy and trust Him to work this out on my behalf or I would say no and enter into a faithless walk. If I had not made that descision, based upon faith in God as my Protector, Provider and Redeemer, I am not sure my healing would have manifested in the way that it has. I can truly say that I am whole. 12
Valerie, Age 5
Faith To Heal
Valerie and Her Sisters
Ed and Shareda: The first night we could not face the conversation of telling our babies that their sister was gone forever. It was unthinkable and we even sought counsel on how to begin the discussion. However, once getting over that hurdle of hurt we vowed to be open and transparent as possible with them. We often discuss memories and experiences we had with Valerie. We remind them of God’s goodness even through the tragedy, we lead by example. We are honest with them about our emotions that this hurts. We are coming to understand at times we won’t be able to explain everything but God still loves us and we will see Valerie again in heaven.
Ed: For a long time I didn’t speak to God, didn’t read my Bible or pray. There was no sermon that I wanted to hear at that time. Something happened to me while I was driving to my job that made me realize I was in a spiritual battle. The first time, I was driving over a bridge and, the enemy said, “Drive your car off the bridge.” In my tears I said “No.” The second time, I was home alone and the enemy said, “Give me your soul because God has failed you.” Right then, the Holy Spirit spoke to me in what sounded like the voice of a child reminding me that He is still here for me.
Faith To Heal
Shareda: I know this sounds perplexing and perhaps border line troubling for those with no relationship with death, but the Word of God explains this in a way that compares life to a mist. James 4:14 NIV …You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. You can see a mist with your eyes just long enough to know that it is present. You can feel it in your hands just long enough to be impacted by its wetness but if you even blink for a moment you have lost all proof that it ever was. Valerie’s death was an aching, numbing feeling that was only broken when I entered into praise. At the time it had nothing at all to do with that and at the same time it had everything to do with it. I loved God, I had a relationship with Him and I did what I felt compelled to do. I would pursue joy and it was joy that saved my life.
Encouragement for Others
Ed: For all the families that may be grieving due to the loss of their young child I am honest with them. I first tell them, “Welcome to your new normal. Everything is and will be a first. Whether it be a holiday or birthday.” I encourage them to honor the emotion but don’t let it over take you. There is no time line for grief and I know that there are steps. Even though we have lost a child, I may never understand another’s grief because each person grieves differently. Shareda: Mourning is your right! Mourn, cry and feel the hurt of the loss but do so with the intent to rise. Our God mourns with you and wishes above all that you enter again into a place of joy. You must hold on to His love for you and in your seeking Him He will give you joy and strength to carry on.
“Pursue joy, it will save your life.”
Ed and Shareda: It is important that families understand that our hurt was the same but our healing process was not. Families can be torn apart when a child dies, especially when the mourning process is not the same for each person. We purposed to allow the other to heal in the way they felt lead. We encouraged each other to remember we had lives to live for ourselves, our children and our marriage. We prayed and encouraged each other along the way. We chose life after Valerie’s death.
On the Pursuit to Joy....
Ed and Shareda are currently working on the manuscript for their first book for those who mourn and those who are supporting those who are mourning. It will also explore their personal story, their spiritual and natural developments. The family has started the VMR (Valerie M. Rollins) Foundation In Arts focused on Asthma Awareness. Annual events are held to benefit the VMR Foundation in Art and asthma suffers.
Have you noticed lately that our society has been bombarded by this mega marketing campaign solely dedicated to help us change the way we look? We’ve hear about the latest weight loss pills, diet drinks and meal plan to help us slim down to that ideal size. Maybe you’ve seen that commercial for Botox, or an advertisement for a lotion or cream that will guaranteed to slow down the aging process. If you convince yourself in believing that, it would give you the impression that you might not be enough. You might contemplate tweaking what God has perfected. Going to meetings on a regular basis is a part of what I do in order to keep my business running. Depending on the client or the meeting participants, my attire is suited for that particular situation. There are times where I really need to impress the client to assure them that I am the right person to handle their business. Knowing that they will see me before they hear me, I prepare with all certainty that my wardrobe is exceptionally impressionable.
One morning in preparation of meeting an important client, I sensed a voice telling me that I was not “dressed to impress”. I immediately looked at myself in search of what I had forgotten. I mentally ran through my dressing checklist. Suddenly, this scripture flooded my heart, “Put on the things God gives you to ﬁght with. Then you will not fall into the traps of the devil.” Ephesians 6:11 (NLV) I had spent hours physically preparing for a meeting that I wasn’t spiritually prepared for. I had to go back into my prayer closet and change my spiritual clothes. You see, my fashion consultant would not have been able to prepare me for the strategic trap of what was to come in that meeting. After consulting my Spiritual Consultant and putting on the ensemble written in Ephesian 6:11-18, I finally made the Cover Page! I didn’t have to get a knock-off because I knew the Designer personally, the Lord Jesus Christ! I was now able to walk the runway of life! I was dressed to impress the Greater One! 16
Hailing from Writz, VA, Larnell Starkey and The Spiritual Seven is a family band that started in 1968. Traveling the USA, they are focused on spreading the Gosepl through song to all people. With over 12 recordings, many awards and a 13-piece ensemble, Larnell Starkey and the Spiritual Seven will make you laugh and cry. Mixing traditional gospel and bluegrass, they will take you to another level in worship. Their latest album “Hymn Time” can be purchased on Amazon, CD Baby and iTunes. Visit them online at: www.larnellstarkeyandthespiritualseven.com
“Jesus Is” Brooklyn Tabernacle (Pray)
“Whole” Jonathan McReynolds
“The Real Me” Anita Wilson (Vintage Worship)
“Hope In Front of Me” Danny Gokey
(Hope In Front of Me)
(Life Music: Stage Two) 17
“Deep Blood Red” Mali Music (Deep Blood Red)
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The Rollins Family: Pursuing Joy