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Refuge

Volume 23 February - March 2014

Voiceof

Shephard’sVOICE

A publication of RCCG City of Refuge Yonkers, NY

Featured Article:

There is a Prophet sent to you!!!

Our Holy, Holy, Holy God A Lesson from the Story of King Josiah Position Yourself for the Overlow Planning for 2014 Be a Man of Character


EditorSPEAKS Staying on Track and In Obedience! In December we were all caught up in the spirit of the

holiday ‘ the season of giving’ and prayerfully remembering ‘Christ being the Reason for the Season”. After the 25th rolled by, the time passed when the presents were opened, the finances taking a blow (for some of us at least), then it was time for us to reflect on the year we were leaving behind. Plans began to formulate in our minds filled with good intentions, motivation, making resolutions and setting goals. For myself I thought about all the blessings that God favored me with and also the missteps that I had made throughout the year. Thankfully, through God’s Grace and Mercy I am here to say praise be to my Father when I felt like giving up my Jesus kept me and I didn’t let go. It would be remiss of me if I didn’t mention one of my biggest blessings. The Lord directed me to a place of worship in a building on the corner of Ludlow and Bridge Street. A small white sign was perched on the outside announcing the name of the church and worship days and hours. After many Sundays of driving by and much deliberation, I could not resist any longer but to follow the Holy Spirit as he led me to this house of worship. My first visit was questionable, to say the least, a different kind of worship experience than the style of worship I was accustomed to. The Co-pastor, Sis Ronke Okureva extended herself in a very friendly, godly way, I liked that. Even though the members appeared to be of a different culture than mine, the atmosphere was like a loving family. Cultural barriers made no difference as we worshipped and praised our Father together. Thank you to the the City of Refuge family for welcoming my family and I into the church. Today, I am blessed to be given the opportunity to work on the Church’s magazine and exibit the gift my heavenly Father have blessed me with and that I enjoy.

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February - March 2014

Again, I was not too willing to listen to the Holy Spirit as it poked me to volunteer myself to serve Him in that Ministry. Yes you are right, I can be a bit stubborn, but I know for a fact that it doesn’t pay to disobey Gods’ commands and my prayer is that I remain in good standing with Him at all times. Yes my sisters and brothers in Christ, I am a work in progress; I am like a piece of pottery in the Master’s hand.Each day he molds me and refines me a little more, praise be to His name. My prayer for all of us this year is to be obedient to God’s will and not the will of self; to answer when He calls, to respect and to be obedient when He gives us directives. My prayer is, I will not hesitate, but will answer immediately and not question His motives as He knows best. I pray we will not miss our blessings because of disobedience; we will not be our own wall between us and entering into our Cannan to receive our ‘overflow’ of blessings concerning all the things we are trusting God for in this year of 2014. We thank all of our readers who supported, blessed and ministered to by the articles of this magazine. A special thanks to all the featured contributors who diligently write the inspiring articles for this magazine. As we journey through this year, we pray that subequent articles may continue to be a blessing to your souls and may the Grace of God continue to abide with you and your family throughout 2014 and beyond.....

God Bless.

Vervelyn Morgan


table of

Contents

FEATURES

February - March 2014 Volume 23

CONTENTS

4

ShephardSPEAKS There is a Prophet sent to You

8 HisPRESENCE

Our Holy, Holy, Holy God

7 LegallySPEAKING

Renters Rights to Minor Repairs

11 HealthTODAY

9

Children’sEARS A lesson from th Story of King Josiah

LUPUS-’What you need to know’

14 ChristianMAN

Be a Man of Character

12 Birthdays

TeenVOICE Planning for 2014

16

19 WeddingAnniversaries

Position Yourself for overflow

21 PropheticVISIONS

20 Sarah’sDAUGHTERS

Redeemed Christian Church of God CITY OF REFUGE, Yonkers, NY, 10705

WEEKLY ACTIVITIES Sunday Worship

MONTHLY ACTIVITIES

Sunday Worship Service @ 10:00am-12:30pm

Bible Study

Thanksgiving Service

1st Sunday of every month @ 10:30am -12:45pm

Holy Communion

Tuesday @ 7:00pm - 8:30pm

1st Tuesday of the month @ 7:00pm - 8:30pm

Prayer Meeting

Night Vigil

Thursday @ 7:00pm - 8:00pm

1st Friday of every month @ 9:00pm - 12:00am

Morning Glory

Every Last Saturday of the Month @ 8:00am - 10:00am

Come Worship With Us February - March 2014

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Shephard’sVOICE

I’d

like to begin by referencing the words of Jesus to some so-called leaders of the Sadducees sect after they posed a shockingly ignorant question (as it were) to him - Matthew 22:29.

“…ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God” (KJV). This same scripture in the New Living Translation (NLT) reads: “…your mistake is that you don’t know the scriptures, and you don’t know the power of God”. The word of God is so true. Many have made mistakes; many more are still making mistakes because they don’t know the word of God and the connecting power. It is my prayer that, this year, you will not err; you will not make mistakes that will make you or your family vulnerable to the onslaught of the devil in the name of Jesus. But that you seek to know God and His ways. One major area I’ve seen and I still see some people even Christians err is in the area of fellowship. They forbid to assemble with other children of God (commanded in the scriptures-Hebrews 10:25) to worship the creator and to hear Him (God Almighty) speak to them through a vessel (a man or a woman) chosen by Him. I hear peoples’ comments like, “Christianity is in the heart”. Some say, “The church age is over”. Some others say, “The days of miracles ended with the apostles” etc. None of these are true. But a lot of people have bought into it, again, even Christians. To such people and such Christians, the scripture in Matthew 22:29 holds true; they err because they don’t have knowledge of what the scripture says. According to the scripture, when you don’t know God’s word, you also don’t know His power. And so, the devil capitalizes on what we don’t know (our ignorance) to defeat us in life. I pray the devil will not defeat you this year in Jesus name. However, you also, at the same time, must 4 VOICE OF REFUGE

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desire to know God through the prophet He has sent to you. And this is what this article is about. Be blessed as you continue with the reading. In Jeremiah 3:15, God speaking to the children of Israel through the prophet Jeremiah declares: “…I will give you shepherds (Pastors) after my own heart, who will guide you with knowledge and understanding” (Emphasis mine). You have to seriously pray this scripture into your life; that God will give you the shepherd after His heart ordained to guide you with knowledge and understanding. Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God has a plan and purpose for our lives and He wants us to enter into it. However, according to His divine design, it will require a prophet to guide us with God’s knowledge and understanding to enter into our purpose (God’s purpose) in life. Listen to this quote from the Christian Daily Devotionals by Minister Debra Aiken. “Often we may go through the path of trials and tribulations in order to be shaped and refined and prepared to enter into the destiny that God has prepared for us. God leads us through a process of shaking and discipline which can be painful at times, but later it will prove to be the greatest thing that could have EVER happened to us. Why? Because it is the process that was needed to get us to OUR PROMOTION”. Did you notice the word process appears twice in the quote? Why? Because process is key to fulfilling our individual and collective destinies in life. Now, every process involves steps, levels or stages. At one step, level, stage or the other, we’re faced with trials and tribulations that could either derail us or propel us to the next level in God’s will for us. You never can tell how, when or even where the trials will come from. Sometimes it comes from within the family, sometimes it comes from the church and some


Shephard’sVOICE other times outside-on the job or place of business. It’s God’s intent that you and I overcome them and not be overcome by them.

Hence, He has given us shepherds, pastors, prophets etc. to guide us with His knowledge and understanding, to speak strength to us when we’re weak, to encourage us when we’re discouraged, to speak hope to us when we become hopeless and to stir up faith in us (through His word) when doubts arise. Several years ago, serving as a pastor and a personal assistant to a servant of God, we went on a three day retreat; but little did I know that my name was going to be mentioned in the first three morning talk sessions scheduled. The bishop took the first session. He welcomed all present and then introduced the topic which was “Re-engineering for Growth”. Barely a minute after, he asked those present if they knew who his personal assistant was. They replied, yes! And then he said, “Henry is my PA, but he’s empty, he doesn’t have anything to offer”. Sitting in the first row and before him; I could literally feel my heart melt away with the pain those words brought. Crossing my heart were thoughts like “Lord, where did I miss it”? “What did I do to warrant this level of humiliation”? After the bishop’s session, the second and third started with some mild opposition to what the bishop had said about me. Long story short, we went back after the retreat and I continued on the job, not unaware of the fact that some people were of the opinion that I was going to resign my job and leave the church. Some told me that they thought that was an indirect way of saying my service was no longer needed. But, no! If the Lord had not asked me to leave, nobody was going to goad me to. About a year later, at a market place, I heard someone called behind me, “Man of God! Man of God! I turned and it was a man of about 5’4” in height walking towards me.” Thus says the Lord man of God; I’m taking you outside the shores of this nation to a place where your ministry will be appreciated”, he prophesied. I kept this within my family. A couple of years past after this prophecy; but on this particular Sunday service, the message was on “The anointing for the next level” and the text was John 3:1. My spirit was connected to the message so strongly. And just before sharing the benediction to end the service, the bishop said, “those of you going for one interview or the other, or one appointment or the other this week, come out to the altar, stretch forth your hands in the position of receiving from God”. I ran out with the “speed of light” because my interview at the American Embassy was the following day (Monday) and I needed God’s favor (if you know what I mean). I believed in the prayer and it worked for me. I was issued a visa. Today, I’m in the United States. Get this, I was at a stage in my life, but God wanted to move me into another stage. So, He used the prophet in my life at that time, to speak His word over me to effect the transition. “Selah” over this question- What if I had resigned my job and left the church? It was a trial! My trial! The devil wanted me to see my spiritual father as an enemy and quit; but having sat down under his ministration over the years, I knew he was the prophet sent to me and I

also learnt from him that, a test precedes a testimony. The song “I almost let go…” comes to mind. There is a prophet God has sent to you. It may not be all “bed of roses” with him or her, but he or she’s your prophet. Stick with him or her. Don’t listen to people, listen to God! There is also the story of Samuel growing up in 1 Samuel 3. This chapter begins with, “And the child Samuel ministered unto the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision”. Samuel from the scripture served God before a shepherd or a pastor Eli. In other words, he had a spiritual covering over his life. At some point, God shows up to take Samuel to his next level in life; but he’s (Samuel) going to go through a time of trial-verse 2-7. He hears his name being called in the middle of a deep sleep; he rises up and goes to his pastor. The Lord calls three times and three times he went to his pastor with no positive outcome. He must have felt discouraged, confused and frustrated at some point, but notice the guiding voice of his prophet, “… my son; lie down again”. Eventually, Pastor Eli through the Spirit, realizes it’s God calling and counsels Samuel to reply, “…speak, Lord; for thy servant heareth” whenever he hears his name being called again. Samuel obeys and receives a visitation from the Almighty God in verses 10-11. Verse 20 says, “And all Israel from Dan even to Beer-sheba knew that Samuel was established to be a prophet of the Lord”. Samuel was ordained to be a prophet, but God used Eli to guide him with knowledge and understanding to enter into his purpose. Well, some may want to argue that the scripture about Samuel and Eli is in the Old Testament and therefore, does not apply today. To such people, I say, you’re in error. Why? There are two scriptures in the New Testament that proves that argument wrong. Firstly, Romans 15:4a. “For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning…” (KJV). You see, there are lessons to be learnt from the story of Samuel and Eli. One of which is that, God has sent a prophet to guide you with His knowledge and understanding in order for you to accomplish your purpose on earth. Secondly, Matthew 23:37: “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee…” (KJV). These are the words of Jesus while lamenting the retrogressive state of Jerusalem at the time. Prophets that were sent by God to them were ridiculed, stoned and killed. Some people still do that to prophets sent to them by God. They may not stone or kill them in the literal sense, but they do in the symbolic sense. With a little provocation they slander them, mock them, humiliate them, back-bite them, ‘just stone them’ etc. The anoint-

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Jane E. Jacobs is a worship leader and inspirational singer based in the United Kingdom. She ministers at Christian conferences, church events in and outside the United Kingdom. She is a faithful member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God Kings Chapel, Plumstead, United Kingdom. She is married with three children. She is also an elder sister to Henry Okureva , resident Pastor RCCG City of Refuge in Yonkers, New York. Her current CD “King of kings” has been a blessing to many. “Open my eyes” one of the title tracks is very humbling. You will be blessed by it.

CP@

DS CAN BE URCHASED WWW.AMAZON.COM

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HisPRESENCE

cannot help but to dance and praise Him.

“GOD’S HOLINESS COMMANDS HEADLINE ATTENTION.”

“Yahuwah is not Holy. He is not Holy, Holy. He is Holy, Holy, Holy”. (Max Lucado). Repetition in a Hebrew word brings emphasis to that word. The first song ever written in the bible magnifies God’s holiness. Ex 15:11 says, “Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders? The final song in the bible also magnifies His holiness. Rev 15:4a says, “Who will not fear You, O Lord, and bring glory to Your name? For You alone are holy…” There is no other attribute of God written in the scriptures that brings so much emphasis. Our Almighty Creator Himself is Love. His faithfulness is flawless.His greatness is unrivaled. However, the bible does not mention anywhere else that He is love, love, love, or mighty, mighty, mighty, even though we know He is. The reason is because God’s entire attributes exist in holiness. His love is holy. His greatness and faithfulness is holy. Holy in Hebrew is called “qadosh”meaning distinct or separate. Indeed, we do agree that His love, grace, mercies,faithfulness, holiness, etc. is matchless and unique!! Isaih 6 talks about how the seraphim cry continuously unto one another; “Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of His glory”. These seraphim have six pairs of wings. As they beheld God’s holiness, two of their wings covered their faces, two their feet and they did fly with two. Isaiah saw them stand in His presence (Is 6:2a), but later mentioned that they did fly with two of their wings. Perhaps the sight of His holiness brings such wonder and excitement that they had to fly as they stood worshipping our Holy God. As we truly worship God, we just

Why did the angels cover their feet? Is 52:7 says, “How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news …who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” These angels certainly qualify to have beautiful feet, but yet as they beheld God’s beauty and holiness, they had to cover their feet! They were in other words saying; “our beautiful feet is nothing compared to God’s beauty and glorious holiness”. When we worship Him, we know that any beauty or wonder about us is from Him. We are nothing in ourselves but He is everything!! Why did the angels cover their faces? Isaiah probably could reckon with them because he could not bear to look at the King of glory either. He fell on his face crying, “Woe is me…a man of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts”(Is 6:5). Our God is so holy that even the sinless angels cannot look at Him. He told Moses in Ex 33, that no one can behold Him and live. He therefore covered Moses in the rock as His glory passed by and allowed him to see His back. Though he only saw Yahuwah’s back, he had to put a veil on his face after his encounter because the Israelites were afraid of him. Moses’ face shone like the sun! At this point, the song “I can only imagine” by Mercy Me comes to mind. Brethren, can you imagine what we’d do on that day when His face is before us? What a privilege it would be to behold Him!! What would it take to see Him? Heb 12:14 states that we should strive to live in peace with everyone and to be holy, because without holiness no one will see the Lord. Jesus Himself gave a hint in Matt 5:8. “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God”. No wonder He says in Lev 11:44-45 that we be holy for He is holy. No wonder 1Jn3:2 adds that when Christ appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is”. I pray our Refiner’s fire purifies our hearts and souls until that perfect day. I pray that He finds us spotless and holy when He comes again.

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LegallySPEAKING merely minor problems could get you evicted. There are, however, a number of proven strategies for getting landlords to take care of minor problems.

Y

our landlord is responsible for keeping your rental unit in a livable condition, though many renters often feel stuck with less-than-ideal living conditions. Maybe the drip, drip, drip of your leaking bathroom faucet is driving you insane, there’s an unsightly stain in your living room carpet, or the paint in your kitchen has gone from crisp white to the dingy yellow of spoiled milk. These aren’t huge problems and don’t justify a move, but you don’t just have to live with them, right? LANDLORDS MUST FIX MAJOR PROBLEM Your landlord must keep the structure of the building sound, including stairways, floors, and roofs; keep electrical, heating, and plumbing systems operating safely; supply hot and cold water in reasonable amounts; and exterminate infestations of pests such as cockroaches. Keep in mind, however, that if a problem is the result of your own carelessness -- such as a vermin infestation caused by your poor housekeeping -- the repair bill will properly be forwarded to you. If you don’t pay it, the amount may be taken out of your security deposit.

1. Write a repair request. Even if you’ve already asked your landlord to take care of a problem, a written request is almost always helpful. It gives you a chance to articulate the problem clearly and point out why it’s in the landlord’s best interest to have it fixed. A letter also allows a reluctant landlord to think it over without having to give you an immediate answer (which often results in a knee-jerk “no”). Try to develop a number of themes in your letter. One effective tactic is to explain that the problem might become worse -- and more costly to the landlord -- if it’s not taken care of right away. A landlord might find it easy to ignore your drippy faucet until you point out the possibility of an overflowing sink and water damage to the floors. Another theme that will grab your landlord’s attention is the potential for injury. A hole in the stairway carpeting could cause someone to trip and fall, making the landlord liable for the injury.Landlords are also sensitive to security issues, so be sure to point out any security risks created by your problem, such as a broken lock or faulty hallway light. Finally, if the problem affects other tenants, be sure to emphasize that.

2. Propose mediation. If your oral and written requests are ignored, contact a mediation service, which will invite the landlord to meet with you and a trained mediator. The mediator will help the two of you reach a LANDLORDS MAY HAVE TO MAKE MINOR REPAIRS mutually-acceptable solution, but will not (unlike a judge) impose a soluWhat about the annoying problems most tenants face, like leaky faucets, tion. Many communities offer free or low-cost mediation services as an old paint, torn screens, or worn flooring? While these types of problems alternative to going to court. can be unpleasant or inconvenient, they don’t make the unit uninhabitable. Does the landlord have to repair them? 3. Report your landlord to your local building or housing agency. Some Whether your landlord must take minor problems may violate local building or housing codes. Call the care of a minor repair depends upon a agency that enforces these codes in your area to find out. (Look under the number of factors, beginning with the city or county government listings of your phone book.) Officials at the nature of the problem. Purely cosmetic agency should be able to explain whether your problem violates local or repairs are not legally required. Mil- state codes, and may be able to take action against your landlord. dewed grout or worn carpet, for exam- Keep in mind that reporting your landlord won’t likely improve your relaple, are less likely to require a landlord’s attention than are loose tiles that tionship, which may be important to you if you want to stay in your unit make the shower unusable or holes in carpeting that could trip someone.If for some time. Even state “antiretaliation” laws, which prohibit rent hikes, you’re not sure whether your landlord is legally required to make a repair, terminations, or other adverse actions following a tenant’s complaint to check to see if your specific complaint is addressed by: a government agency or exercise of a legal right, cannot forestall a sour relationship. •the terms of your lease 4. Sue your landlord in small claims court. If you can prove in court that •any oral or written promises your landlord has made the unaddressed problems decrease the value of your unit, a judge can award you the difference between what you’ve been paying in rent and the •state and local building codes, or amount the unit is actually worth. Obviously, suing your landlord is not your best option if you want to salvage your landlord-tenant relationship. •state landlord-tenant laws. But if you’ve tried everything else and moving elsewhere is not feasible, taking your landlord to court might be the right remedy. HOW TO GET YOUR LANDLORD TO MAKE MINOR REPAIRS It’s often harder to enforce your rights to minor repairs than major ones. Tenants in an uninhabitable dwelling are often allowed by law to withold rent or use “repair and deduct” procedures, but taking those actions for For more information see http://www.nolo.com/.

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Children’sEARS

by Umeadim Nwamumu

T

he year has started and I am very sure that just as I have made decisions and set goals for the New Year, many of us have also. But here is one of my goals for the New Year: The children’s corner will be for you children to read/and for your parents to read it to you. We will be enjoying many stories, learning lessons and developing prayer points through them. I think this is good news. The story of this king happens to be an infamous one, but with great lessons to be learnt. He is not famous like King David, King Saul or King Solomon. But he allowed God to use him even at a very tender age of 8. And this is what interests me about King Josiah.

Judah had become a very corrupt Kingdom. The father, Amon and grand father, Manasseh of King Josiah were very corrupt kings who led Judah to worship foreign gods. At the age of eight, Josiah became king and inherited a corrupt kingdom that had turned away from the Lord. His father, Amon, had been the king of Judah only two years, before his servants killed him. His grand-father Manasseh ruled for 55 years – being the longest reign of a king in Judah, but was considered the wicked king who ever reigned. Taking over such a kingdom must have been very difficult for this little 8 year old, but he began to seek God’s face, and began to worship the God of his father, David. By the age of sixteen, Josiah instructed that idols were to be destroyed in Judah, Jerusalem, and throughout the land. In the eighteenth year of his reign (age 26) he raised money to repair the temple. It was during the work on the temple that a discovery was made – the Book of the Law (now the bible) was found. This brought about a great reform – change in the kingdom of Judah. When Josiah read the Book of the Law, he was distressed and tore his clothes because of what it said. God’s Word told of the destruction that was to come to the nation because of the idol worship that had occurred under Manasseh and Amon. The King sent Hilkiah, the priest, and four other officials to “inquire of the Lord”. This was done by going to speak to the prophetess, Huldah. Her

message from God was that God’s judgment would fall on the people and their home. Because of his genuine response to God King Josiah would not have to see this take place (2 Kings 22:13-20). After Huldah’s prophesy, Josiah called all the people together to read God’s Word to them. Then he renewed the covenant to keep God’s commands, regulations and decrees with all his heart and soul. The people pledged themselves to the same covenant (2 Kings 22:1-3). Following that, there was a major cleansing of the idolatrous altars and shrines of the high places. The observance of the Passover was restored. “Neither before nor after Josiah was there a king like him who turned to the Lord as he did—with all his heart and with all his soul and with all his strength, in accordance with all the Law of Moses.” (2 Kings 23:25). Do you want the above bolded statement to be made about you? You see children; God can use us, no matter our age – King Josiah was only eight when God began to use him. We can come to God and totally trust Him, no matter what our parents believe in. We can be able to withstand all kinds of negative pressure with God’s help. King Josiah did. He did not follow the footsteps of his father and grandfather. Prayer for you: Dear God, the almighty one, thank you for teaching me about King Josiah. I ask Lord, that you use me to change my generation, starting from now. I ask that you help me like you helped King Josiah not to fall under negative pressure or practices. Lord I pray that I will always be under your leadership and guidance in Jesus’ name. Amen. Parents please pray: I cut-off by the blood of Jesus every evil pattern, heritage and practices that may have been passed down through my linage to my children in Jesus’ name. Father, use them to change their generation for good in Jesus’ name. Amen!

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10 Voice of Refuge February - March 2014


HealthTODAY

S

ystemic Lupus Erythematous (SLE) is a chronic auto-immune disease of unknown etiology. It is believed that Lupus results from both genetic and environmental faLupusctors. This disease can damage any organ or any part of the body. Damages can occur to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart, and lungs. Auto-immune disease is a disease that can occur when the immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign invaders and healthy tissue. According to the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), 1.5 to 2 million Americans have some form of Lupus. The prevalence is about 40 cases per 100,000 persons among Northern Europeans and 200 per 100,000 persons among African-Americans. Although the disease affects both males and females, women are diagnosed 9 times more often than men, usually between the ages of 15 and 45. African-American women suffer from more severe symptoms and a higher mortality rate. Lupus can flare up with symptoms varying from person to person. Symptoms can develop slowly or suddenly appear. Symptoms can also be severe or mild.

Symptoms include:

Arthritis, fevers, extreme fatigue, myalgia, skin lesion, butterfly shaped rash to cheeks, weight changes, anemia, hair loss, shortness of breath, chest pain, anxiety, depression, seizures and swelling to hands and feet from kidney problems.

Complications of SLE can include serious kidney damage which is leading cause of death for Lupus sufferers. The body becomes more vulnerable to infections because of depressed immune system. Lupus increases the risk of cancer, especially of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, lung cancer, and liver cancer. Lupus can cause non-infectious pneumonia and difficulty breating due to inflammation of the chest cavity. The heart muscle by Remi Williams FNP BC and artery inflammation are more likely with the disease, and Lupus increases the chances of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks and strokes.

“Precipitating factors can include stress, exposure to ultraviolet light and sun, infections, and pregnancy.� Treatment- there is no cure for Lupus, there hasn't been any new

drug in the last 50 years to treat the disease. Treating Lupus effectively consists of minimizing symptoms, reducing inflammation and pain, helping maintain normal function, and preventing serious complications.

Prognosis - the outcome for people with SLE has improved in recent years. How well a person does depends on the disease severity. Women with Lupus can get pregnant and with proper medical follow up can deliver healthy babies.

Precipitating factors can include stress, exposure to ultraviolet light and sun, infections, and pregnancy.

Diagnosis -

Currently, doctors use guidelines established by The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) to diagnose lupus (SLE). The guidelines focus on eleven abnormalities that, when combined, suggest that the patient has lupus. To be classified as having SLE, a patient must meet 4 of 11 symptoms at any time since the onset of the disease. In addition to the symptoms variety of blood work can be performed to confirm diagnosis.

MAY 2014

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Let’s Celebrate

We join you in thanking the Lord for an May you accomplish the purpose for

Jide Opawoye February 2

Osato Omoruiwa February 2

Faith Opawoye February 12

So teach us to nu that we may apply ou

Psalms 9 Diana Akhareyi February 15

Brian Agosim Feb 16 12 VOICE OF REFUGE

February - March 2014

Toya Smart February 20

Sweet Mama Leticia February 27


nother birthday celebrated in divine health. which you were created in Jesus name.

Seyi Ojo March 5

Remi Williams March 14

umber our days, ur hearts unto wisdom

90 vs 12 Mason Torain March 15

Wuraola Odutola March 18

Matthew Jones March 23 February - March 2014

Let’s Celebrate

Grace Ndubuisi March 4

Dami Osho march 31 CITYOFREFUGEYONKERS@GMAIL.COM

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TheChristianMAN

Be a

not traits that can be associated with a man of character.

MAN

of Character by Victor Ojo

T

John Wooden, in one of his quotes on character says, “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” These words apply to you and me, as fathers, husbands, brothers, and men. God, who is an all-seeing God, looks at the heart of man and sees what men will not see. If God’s opinion of you relates with men’s opinion of you, you can indeed be called a man of character. However, if God’s opinion of you differs from the encomium you receive from men, there is a need for a re-evaluation of your life. In Revelation 3:14-19, God told the church in Laodicea how he felt about them. Though to men, they were extremely wealthy, but God said they were “wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked.”

here are different definitions of the word “character”, but the one that resonates with me, defines character as “moral and ethical strength.” Morals are founded on fundamental principles of right conduct, while ethics are “the should and ought of life.” In order words, a man of character is a man who lives his life in right conduct in conformity with God and his laws and commands. Simply put, a man of character is Let’s look at areas where our character define us: the man who consistently does the right thing at the right Spiritual: time in the right way for the right reason.

“Jesus saw Nathanael coming to him, and saith of him, Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” (John 1:47. KJV) Jesus’ assessment of Nathaniel was coming from someone who knew what was within Nathaniel. He knew him through and through. Bringing Jesus’ assessment of Nathaniel to our contemporary time, as it relates to a man of character, we would say, a man of character is a real Christian. Not by mouth only, but worthy of the name Christian. He could also mean a man who possesses the Spirit, the piety and the integrity that a man who is really a Christian, who fears God and obeys His laws should have.

Be a man of character in your spiritual life. In your dealings with God, be a man of character. Remember, God sees all things and knows all things, which goes to say that, you cannot outwit God. In meeting church obligations, in paying our tithes, in serving God, let our character speak for us.

“Character is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.”

One of the quotes I read about character says, “Character is more than just being thought well of by the world. It is more than simply appearing good, or even actually doing good things in public. Character is doing the right thing even when no one is looking.” Someone once said, “If you want to truly know who a man is, ask his wife.” A man of character is able to pass this test because he has proven that he is not a two-faced being. Many men receive the praise of people outside, but the scorn with which they are treated by their wives is unspeakable. They receive the praise of men as the most amiable of all, but in their homes, they are seen in the opposite. They are ready to give all they have to people out there, but members of their household are barely surviving. These are 14 VOICE OF REFUGE

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Marital:

When your wife can confidently and openly affirm the good words people have said concerning you, you know you are on the right path. The Bible says, “Christ loved the church that he gave his life for her”. We are also admonished to love our wives in that order. Be a man of character in your marriage. Let your wife and your children be able to confidently say, “If daddy says he will do it, he will do it.” Let your words speak volume of your godly character.

Relational:

In your dealings with people, be a man of character. Not only in the household of God, but also with unbelievers. Let your character not make others stumble or be in agony. Let your character not make people decide they do not want to follow God again. Let your character not make people decide that they do not want to come to God. Do not make yourself a stumbling block unto others who have not known God due to your character. In conclusion, God speaks to his children in many ways. To some, it’s an appeal; to some it’s a command, and to some, it’s an invitation. His words to us at a time like this is a command; “Be a man of character!” .


SpecialEVENTS

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Planning for 2014

It is only wise to let the conductor of our lives take us on the railroad of happiness and enjoy the ride.

So as you plan your 2014 and the years to come, I pray that you include God so that your plan would have a strong foundation and that it would not just be a plan, but a plan that will come to pass. Job12:10 states “in his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind” (New International Version). Say a prayer telling God that you will not plan your own life as if you know it. Tell God that your is life is in His hands. Ask Him to direct you and tell Him that in everything you do, you are sure to include Him.

By Anu Odutola

T

he beginning of the New Year 2014 is finally here! It is time to start planning for what we want to do and hope for this year to come. You hear people planning about the New Year saying, “It’s a New Year and a new me”, or even the common, “My New Year’s resolution is...” To plan for 2014 is great, and I encourage each and every one of us to do the same. Planning for the Year would bring us growth in every aspect of our lives. One thing I urge, however, is to first start off our plans for 2014 by including our Lord and Savior in them. For when we plan without God it leads to confusion, uttermost disappointment, and an abrupt and shattered end. A plan without God leaves us in darkness, and our hope diminishes. Without God our plan is set up for a quick road to destruction that leaves us in despair and hopelessness. What can we do without God? Absolutely nothing! We cannot plan ahead of time as if we know the future. We are no time keeper, we are not as wise as God is, and we do not know our tomorrow, only God does. James 4:13 states “You don’t really know about tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for only a short while before it vanishes” (Common English Bible Version). We tend to be overly excited about things and leave God out of it. Is he not the one who brought you to the New Year healthy, vibrant, and joyful? Then why should we plan our lives as if God doesn’t already have it in his hands? My fellow teenagers, a plan with God puts us on the right road to success and a year of over-flow. Adding God to our future and to everything we do puts us so high on a pedestal that absolutely no one can bring us down from. God already knows our life and its end, we don’t. It is only wise to let the conductor of our lives take us on the railroad of happiness and enjoy the ride. He is the light to our path, showing us that we follow him, if we include him in everything we do, we will not only have a great abundant life but an afterlife with him too. 16 VOICE OF REFUGE

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Anu Odutola is a 17 year old. She is a 12th Grade (senior) student at Bronx Health Sciences High School. She loves to read, play video games, go shopping, and do community service with friends


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THERE IS A PROPHET SENT TO YOU!!! Continued from page 5 ing upon the life of the pastor always responds to such people as it was in the case of Jerusalem. May you never engage in such vices against your prophet Jesus name. The prophet Hosea declares in Hosea 12:13. “…by a prophet (shepherd or pastor) the Lord brought Israel out of Egypt, and by a prophet (shepherd or pastor) was he (Israel) preserved” (Emphasis mine). There is a prophet sent to you; it’s God’s design and that is why it is so important that you ask the Lord to lead you to him or her. If you have identified with him or her, stick with him or her. Misunderstandings, challenges may come along the way, don’t leave, don’t allow the devil to “hit a home” run on you. And if you’ve not identified with him or her, don’t lead yourself; ask the Lord to lead you. Your destiny is tied to your Prophet! Until I come your way in April - May God willing, remain under His refuge.

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On behalf of the entire congregation of the City of Refuge we wish our

Pastor Henry Okureva


WeddingANNIVERSARIES

Jide & Omobola Opawoye February 05

Happy Wedding Anniversary! May the Good Lord renew the “wine” in your marriages. May He (the Fountain of Living Water) continually water your marriages for nourishment, fruitfulness and Harmony in Jesus Name.

Henry & Bisola Osho March 28

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Sarah’sDAUGHTERS

By Wuraola Odutola

O

verflow has been defined by the Free Dictionary as “to flow or run over the top, brim, or banks. It is to be filled beyond capacity, as a container or waterway. It is to have a boundless supply, be super abundant”. David in Psalm 23:5 presented a scenario of overflow for us when he wrote: “Thou prepares a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.”

For this cup to run over, the cup must have been positioned to be on the receiving end of the pouring. This now brings us to the issue of how we position ourselves to receive the overflow. In RCCG worldwide, 2014 has been declared as “THE YEAR OF OVERFLOW”. However, we must not allow the devil to truncate our positive overflow by not positioning ourselves to receive the abundant blessing. This overflow will surely come in different dimensions – spiritual, financial, health, marriage, breakthrough, child bearing, job opportunities and the list is endless. God will not give you all good things, but He will make you rejoice in it. “And thou shalt rejoice in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee, and unto thine house, thou, and the Levite, and the stranger that is among you” -Deuteronomy 26:11

The basket that is hung on the tree in a waterfall will never experience the abundance of water in the waterfall unless positioned where the water will enter it to drop fish for harvest. The fish washed to the seashore and abandoned on the sand will die of dehydration. This is the reason why we must position ourselves for overflow so that we will not witness it in the lives of others and it is missing in ours. Our God is faithful if we are faithful and He is not a respecter of persons. (See Colosians 3:25). No farmer waits for harvest when he has not planted anything.

PLAYING YOUR PART BELIEVE “For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith” – Romans 1:17 Believe that the promise of overflow is for you as a child of God. Your faith is more important than your performance, Jesus said unto Martha: “...Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God.” – John 11:40

This is to assure you that the overflow will not only be felt by you; but by those who are positively associated with you – your spouse, your children, your relatives, your co-workers and your visitors. You however have a very important part to play as God’s promises are always conditional – “if ”. Paul encapsulates this in his admonition to the Corinthians and which is relevant to us all today too:

Take the promise as a personal revelation from God for your life. It does not matter how drought has affected you, it does not matter what you are going through in your life now, God who made you is working a perfect turnaround for the best for you. Those who have laughed you to scorn will be forced to rejoice with you since God’s goodness and overflow of abundance in your life cannot be hidden; it will be glaring. Just believe and it will come to pass and you will glorify God.

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:” - 2 Corinthians 9:8.

AVOID SIN The devil knows that what our Holy God hates most is SIN. And so, he will paint evil in good colors of the rainbow for us to annoy God. He is the

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AnnualPROPHESIES

2014 PROPHECIES

by Pastor E. A. Adeboye General Overseer RCCG Worldwide General/Individuals 1. God says that a divine promise of more than a decade ago will begin to find fulfilment. 2. God says that someone can expect a promininent divine visitation that will radically alter the cause of his or her life. 3. Daddy says that someone will have the first taste of real dominion. 4. The Lord said that there will be quite a few narrow escapes from tragedies.

Nigeria 1. The Lord says that the future of Nigeria will be determined this year, not in 2015 as some think. 2015 will be mere formalities. 2. The equations at the beginning of this year will be different from the equations at the end of the year, therefore don’t jump into conclusions.

International 1. There will be more major breakthroughs in Medicine and Science. 2. God wants us to pray against noisy highly distructive storms. 3. God asked us to pray against munumental fire outbreaks.

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POSITION YOURSELF FOR OVERFLOW Continued from page 5

father of lies because that was what he did to our mother Eve in the garden that led to the fall of man. It is the same devil, accuser of the brethren who would give God the reason your sin is an impediment to your blessing. Do not allow the devil to truncate your destiny, read your Bible (let God talk to you), pray every day and be strong in the Lord (talk to God), do not despise the gathering of the brethren in the church – Bible Study, Sunday School, Prayer Meeting… They all weaken the devil as we are told by James that your prayer becomes so powerful as God is answering before you even ask: “...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” -James 5:16. Paul even made it more glaring in his rhetorics when he said: “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead in sin, live any longer therein?” -Romans 6:1-2 Paul in his letter to the Hebrews presented holiness as the way to see the Lord, so when you pray and it seems that God is hiding his face, check yourself out if you are not tainted with sin. “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.” -Hebrews 12:14 SOW SEED IN EXPECTATION OF RECEIVING

Many times we behave to God as our little children will be miserly to us from what we have given them. We forget that we brought nothing to the world and what we are asked to pay tithes and offerings from, God gave to us while we are here on earth. “Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings, Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes to the storehouse, that here be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith said the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”-Malachi 3:8-10 What a divine definition of overflow this is. When God opens the windows of heaven and bless you so much that there is not room to store the blessing, that is overflow; but it is still conditional. You play your part and God plays His part. ACT NOW Make that move right now. It is your promise, claim it. Wait upon the Lord expectantly. Do not let Satan truncate your destiny through sin and you shall experience that overflow. You will fulfill Deuteronomy 15:6 by not borrowing, but lending unto nations from your overflow. It is well!

Night of Carols at RCCG City of Refuge, Yonkers

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