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A Publication of Jesus House Baltimore September 2011 | Volume 5 Issue 5

Contents 20 From the Pulpit Got Power? 21 Leadership 2011 Leadership Conference 22 For Your Education 2011 Graduates Get to Know 24 Pastor Femi Obaweya 26 Pastor Paul Adefarasin Love 28 Pre-Marital Counseling 5 Pastor’s Note 8 10 11 12 13

Re-Cap DTC 2011 2011 Health Fair Spring 2 Praise Concert 2011 Family Picnic 2011 RCCGNA Convention

Ministry Feature 14 The Transportation Department Jewel 15 Beauty Is . . . 16 Priesthood


Teen 17 2011 Teen Summit In the Community 18 Largesse Charity Ball 19 Healing Stripes

Career 29 Transitioning in America Money Sense 30 Let’s Talk About Retirement 2 Cents 31 Winterizing Your Car 32 My Church What a New Family Thinks Health 32 A Spiritual Approach to Healing Entertainment 34 Israel Houghton In Review 36 Media for the Body, Soul, and Spirit Yummy 37 Homemade Dessert in 45 Minutes Child’s Play 38 DoublePuzzles

4 | Contents

The Building Expansion Project

In the past two years there’s been a tremendous Church growth such that it’s almost chaotic now to have one service in the building. Yet, there’ll always be need to have one service-- either for our Watch Night program, anniversaries, or other special programs. We’ve discovered that it’s difficult to execute such services with what we presently have on site. Since we have the land for it, we thought it would be nice to expand the building so that we can sit approximately 1,000 people at once. In doing so, we move forward as a Church and a ministry. In addition, we believe this expansion project will make the Church more accessible to the community so that the days of people saying “we came to Church and we couldn’t get a seat” will be over. Our building expansion is crucial to the growth of the Church because I’ve realized in my little experience as a Pastor that the more room you make for God, the more He fills you with. So if we keep on operating at our current level, we will remain at the status quo and the Church will not be able to grow just because we have not created more room. The project is also an act of faith. I believe that if we expand now, God will bring in the people and it will also

encourage us to invite more people to be part of what God is doing here. One would expect that with the building expansion would come the challenge of parking. However, we have really addressed this challenge by providing alternate parking lots for our members. We also have vans that transport people between the Church building and the alternate parking lots. This provision has already been activated and will continue during and after the expansion.

It’s also an act of faith We are trying as much as possible to make the 6-month construction process uneventful for our members so the expansion will begin outside the Church walls. However, there will be a disruption (not more than 2 or 3 weeks) when we eventually have to merge the new and old sanctuaries. At this junction, we’ll either hold Sunday service at a rented location or remain at our current location if the logistics permit. As we embark on this journey, we thank you for your contribution to the work and your corporation during the process. Let’s continue to pray in expectation of God’s response to our act of faith!

Pastor Tola Odutola Pastor’s Note | 5


Isioma Okonkwo

Tola Adesanya

Tejumade Famodu

Debbie Fadoju

Tayo Abereoje

6 | Editors

Tokunbo Akande

Trimechiah Rogers

Church Services

Sundays Worship Services at 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Mondays Weekly Prayer Meeting at 7:00 p.m. Thursdays Digging Deep (Bible Study) at 7:00 p.m. First Fridays Night Vigil at 9:00 p.m.

Church Administration Office Hours Sundays: 1:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Monday – Friday: 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Contact Information Jesus House Baltimore 7710 Windsor Mill Rd. Baltimore, MD 21244 T | 410-521-4783 F | 410-521-4784

Join us on


Designed by Tayo Abereoje | 646-320-1453 | Printed by | US: +12404645602 NG: +2347086390607


DTC 2011

Bishop Mike Okonkwo

Pastor Kofo Odutola

Reflections Dance Ministry

Jonathan Nelson

Mubo Ojo

Pastor Paul Adefarasin

Pastor Tola Odutola

Apostle Brian Keith Williams

Pastor Leke Sanusi

Rose of Sharon Voices

Psts. Tola & Kofo’s 21st Wedding Anniversary

Reflections Dance Ministry

Exceedingly Abundantly (Eph 3:20) 8 | Re-Cap

Message Snippets Bishop Okonkwo: -When destiny delays, understand the integrity of God’s WORD. Get rid of fear (it causes you to disobey GOD) and know how to use your mouth (it feeds you both naturally and spiritually). -You can bounce back from any shame, accidents, issues of life (look at the life of Esau) by securing a father’s blessing; knowing who God made you to be and becoming restless enough to live as that person; acknowledging your faults and using faith to overcome them; and hiding yourself so as to evaluate your life. Apostle Keith Williams: -Overcome limits and realize your dreams by watching what you say. You will have what you say, so exercise dominion over time, not passively waiting for the fulfillment of a promise but declaring it fulfilled now. -Whatever the delays, attacks, mistakes you’ve made or encountered, you can shake it off and move on.

less lifestyle, laziness, slothfulness, witchcraft attacks, and the ignorance of God’s word. Pastor Paul Adefarsain: -God is just looking for a vessel who is available to be a carrier of an anointing that has integrity. That anointing must be passed from generation to generation and it must be used to influence integrity and holiness in the Body. Don’t lose some of those values that contribute to becoming a person/vessel of integrity. Be a light and a leader even to the Church in America. -He hears us. Prayer is a continual thing; it is not a religious habit. Prayer is as diverse as the many moods that we have. Real prayer doesn’t demand to know what you can say but how you feel—what you mean with your heart; your passion; the intensity of your heart. “You cannot replace the passion of your heart with the ritual of religion.” Because you have the Son of God in you, His DNA in you, because you belong to Him, He hears you when you ask according to His will. God leaves needs in our lives so that we can ask of/petition Him. In the process of asking Him, we start getting results and start getting in proximity with His presence. Eventually we become no longer interested in what we’re asking for as much as we’re interested in being in His presence. So we graduate from asking Him to seeking Him to knocking— knocking gates down— strategic intercessions where we knock down walls and deal with principalities and powers that hold our cities/systems down. Know the will of God (through revelation, prayer, and intimacy) and pray it.

Know how to use your mouth

Pastor Leke Sanusi: -You can bounce back. When you go through difficult situations, believe that the present will change and refuse to be discouraged. Raise a restoration prayer altar, deal with your roots, honor the Lord, submit yourself to deliverance through the laying on of hands by your Pastor, and position yourself for spiritual impartation. Stay away from and be careful of sin, spiritual carelessness, evil inheritances/foundation, a prayer-

Re-Cap | 9

2011 Health Fair

Spring 2 Praise Concert The “Spring 2 Praise� Gospel Concert is a God-given vision that seeks to feature top Christian artists in live concert performance. The goal is to attract the Churched and the un-Churched in order to promote the Gospel and worship of Jesus Christ to all within the Maryland, Washington, DC, and Virginia communities. The concert cuts across demographics appealing to all age groups, gender, and race. The 2011 concert featured Israel Houghton, Martha Munizzi, Mubo, and the Jesus House DC dance group, Focus.

Re-Cap | 11

2011 Family Picnic

Abisola Abolude Morgan State University

12 | Re-Cap

2011 RCCGNA Convention The Redeemed Christian Church of God North America’s convention in Greenville, Texas, is an annual event open to members of the RCCGNA and non-members alike. It is a time for people to gather, worhip together, and learn Godly principles from respected Christian speakers. The 15th edition of the convention, themed “The Unshakable Kingdom,” took place on June 15-17, 2011. Speakers at the convention included the Church’s General Overseer, Pastor E.A. Adeboye, Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye, Dr. A.R. Bernard (Serving in the Kingdom), Dr. Myles Munroe (Keys of Kingdom Prosperity), Rev. Dr. Jacqueline E. McCullough, Bill Winston, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor (The Power Principles of Breakthrough), and Pastor Stephen Rathod (the Kingdom and the Mustard Seed). To allow the most effective and impacting experience, the program is broken into both large and small sessions allowing for corporate worship, group Bible studies, workshops and assemblies on various topics, an ordination and Bible School graduation ceremony, ministers’ meeting, a men’s conference, a women’s conference, and the Festival of Life program. The program also featured performances by PCE Crew, Erujeje, Focus (a dance group), and a mass choir. One of the take-home lessons for Dcns. Jumoke Alli, an attendee at this year’s conference, is that “No matter what situation I may be going through, God is not moved (not that He’s not compassionate. He is. But He is always in control!). If He says anything, so it shall be. He is God all by Himself. He’s the same yesterday, today, and forever. What He said to you yesterday, He still stands on it today.”

God is not moved

Convention photographs courtesy of DSol Media

Re-Cap | 13

The Transportation Department Tokunbo Akande

Saying the Transportation Ministry of JHB is one of the several ministries encouraging church growth is not an overstatement. In the words of a member: “the transportation ministry made it possible for me to attend church services regularly!” This is just one of many testimonies of members who have been blessed by the ministry. But it is not only the church members who have been blessed by the ministry, the volunteers in the ministry also testify to God’s blessings in their lives since joining the ministry. In the words of Yinka Fawole, a volunteer: “I got a car as a gift after I joined the ministry!” So what’s the Transportation Ministry all about? The Transportation Department is one the departments under the Pastoral care ministry, a ministry which caters to the moral, physical and spiritual needs of the people of God. The primary focus of the Transportation Department is to provide transportation services for members of Jesus House Baltimore who currently are unable to get to church on their own. The department services the following areas: Randallstown, Owings Mills, Liberty Road, downtown Baltimore, Liberty Heights, Security Boulevard, Catonsville, Towson, and Route 40. Additionally, the Transportation Ministry offers two services to help meet the increasing transportation needs of church members. First is the shuttle service between the church and the extended parking locations; these shuttles run for the entire duration of services. Second is the 7am transport service for members who need to attend the workers-in-training classes. This service is only available during the months when the workers-in-training classes are held. As always, the ministry needs the full cooperation of church members to ensure smooth running of these services. Volunteers The Transportation Department has been in existence in Jesus House Baltimore for more than five years but has been an official department for only three years. In the last three years, the department has evolved and grown, with increase in its demand. The current volunteers who do a fantastic job in getting people to church in a timely fashion are: Ismaila Matti, Joseph Awosanmi-Free, Pascal Anaele, Charles Uzoma, Adebola Manuwa, Joseph Fawole, Peter Okebukola, and Dipo Olaleye. However, as the harvest is large and the volunteers few, the department is inviting more volunteers. There is no major requirement for joining the team other than having a commitment to serve and a valid drivers license. Additional training if required will be offered by the competent team members; it is therefore very easy to become a volunteer!

14 | Ministry Feature

“[They] made it possible

for me to attend Church”

If you are able to offer yourself to help bring others to the church of God, please contact the church office. And if you just want a ride to church for services, please also contact the church office and get ready to hop on board for a convenient, hassle free ride to Jesus House Baltimore!

Beauty is . . . Debbie Fadoju

“Beauty is getting comfortable with what you’re wearing” Dolapo Oke

“Beauty is not just outside; it’s what’s on the inside” Fumilayo Akinbode

“Beauty is the way you carry yourself ” Ejemeh Okojie

“Beauty is something exquisite, different, not the ordinary”

“Beauty is confidence. Everyone has their own definition of beauty” Lara Akinriade

“Beauty is loving yourself ” Florence Fasehun “Beauty is something you feel from within” Simisola Akanbi

In the age of underweight models, plastic surgery, and toddler beauty pageants, it is not a surprise that girls can be misguided about what it means to be beautiful. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and has as many definitions as there are “beholders.” Be sure that whatever beauty means, it has to do with a positive sense of self. And that isn’t sold anywhere. You have to develop it yourself. “Beauty is not just about your physical appearance.. It’s what you’re made of. Demonstrations of who I am when no one is there” Henrietta Inegbenebor

“Beauty is being well educated” Fisayo Omobo “Beauty is within. No matter what people tell you” Mrs. Akinriade

“Beauty is love from the inside that you get to show outside” Ope Idowu

“Beauty is what makes you feel good about yourself ” Oyin Ajewole

“Beauty is a thing of inside and out. It’s how you see yourself. Everyone’s beautiful” Paula Ohiku “Beauty is learning who you are, accepting who you are because who you are is beautiful” Sade Wilson

“Beauty is being simply chic” Remi Akpan

“Beauty is the inner soul” Zaneta Egiefameh

Jewel | 15

The Priesthood Pastor Kaz Olopade

The Priesthood is the men’s ministry of Jesus House Baltimore. It’s an initiative to inspire passion in men for fulfilling the mission of JHB – to bring people to the realization of the fulfillment of their God-given dreams and potential – within our community and beyond. Men are leaders both in the house of God and in the community at large. Most men do not know where they belong in the ministry, so we aim to support each other to discover our purpose in life. We must realize that not having purpose will lead to misuse of our lives. However, discovering purpose comes only from knowing the mind of our maker, Jehovah! We are His priests, His chosen people (Exodus 40:15; 1 Peter 2:5). Being in JHB is part of God’s purpose for our lives and we must live up to His expectations for us. We must constantly seek to discover our God-given potential so that we can live as God’s agents on earth, having dominion in our environment and bringing people to the knowledge of God. This is the goal that the Priesthood seeks to achieve for every man in JHB. Remember, being a male does not make one a Man! The priesthood creates a forum for men to be expressive without regard for condemnation. It is a place for self-expression with others who share a commonality of views, interests, challenges, etc. It aims to create a brotherhood, a support system or refuge for men, so that men of all ages and backgrounds can enjoy camaraderie, fellowship, and support for self-discovery and self-actualization. These are needed to fulfill the mandate of this great house, JHB. The Priesthood is for every man in JHB. Therefore, if you are a man older than 19 years, you are a member of the Priesthood and you are encouraged to see the Priesthood as your community. We are reaching out to men who have yet to embrace the ministry to see us a brothers. We want all men to become stakeholders; to get involved; to participate in our activities and to be pro-active in bringing new ideas to the table. Away with the mindset of “them;” replace it with “us.” God bless!!

Not havving purpose will lead to misuse of our lives

16 | Priesthood 16 | Priesthood

2011 Teen Summit Debbie Fadoju

Level 3:16

Pastor Bajo Akisanya serves as the Youth Pastor at Jesus House London, watching over those ages 16-21 years old. We were blessed to have him speak at the Teen Summit. In a very open and honest setting Pastor Bajo set the mood for a very interesting discussion. Talking to a group of youth ranging from ages 13-19, he challenged us. He asked us how often we spoke about Jesus with our friends, spread the Word, or evangelize. Hearing meek responses, he emphatically asserted that God was able and willing to use His people, at any age. He encouraged us to be ambassadors for God. He later recounted the story of young Jesus who was left behind in Jerusalem, learning

“My parents just don’t understand!”

and ministering in the temple. He noted how Jesus’ mother and father (after searching in earnest for him) fretted and scolded him. He wielded this story to the open room for a discussion on the relationship between the youth and their parents. Many youth voiced out the common, “My parents just don’t understand!” Pastor Bajo related these concerns to young Jesus at the temple, and urged us to attempt opening the lines of communication with our parents. The discussion took an interesting turn when Pastor Bajo called out his cell phone number to the large group. He urged the group to send anonymous questions concerning anything and assured a speedy response. Soon a flood of text messages came in, and he began answering a range of questions about relations with the other sex, keys to success, and even attempts at breaking communication barriers with parents. All in all, the event was a success. He impacted the youth with a sense of urgency in spreading the word of God, and gave us tools to developing healthy relationships with our peers, friends, and parents.

Teen | 17

Largesse Charity Ball Muyiwa Tegbe

Countless hours in search of water, cold nights on the street corner, ravaging diseases, and countless days of hunger. These are the brush strokes that paint the picture of our world today. With every passing minute and with every passing day, a child goes to bed hungry, another child goes without the much life-saving surgery, another family spends the night in the cold of winter and yet another life slips into an oblivion just to be remembered as a statistic. Altering this picture by changing such stories was the essence of Largesse: The 2011 Revolve Charity Ball. The Revolve Ministry of Jesus House Baltimore has a vision to empower young adults through the scripture and achieve social and financial literacy while instilling life application standards that will help them attain their God–given potential in the church and global community.

“Reaching out

The Charity Ball has become a vehicle through which the ministry seeks to raise funds to support missions and charities the world over. It partners with charitable organizations whose activities are seen to have a direct impact on the lives of communities and families through the provision of necessary amenities of life such as water, health services, and access to education. This year’s ball, themed “Reaching out, reaching far,” was organized to reflect the ministry’s expanded mission focus –through partnerships– and to raise a mission/outreach oriented consciousness among the youth. The night started out with a red carpet event over Hors d’oeuvre. Guests were encouraged to take pictures, the proceeds of which were going to benefit charity. The photography session turned out to be a lot of fun, thanks to our professional photographers who also donated their time and expertise to the cause. Multi-cultural dances, solo performances in songs, poetry, and a sumptuous dinner in the cozy and eclectic atmosphere of the grand ballroom added color to the evening. Presentations from Revolve partners – MercyShips, Living Water International, and JHB Hope Foundation helped to keep in focus the primary goal of the evening as they provided insight into their work of providing health services, access to clean water, and education for some of the neediest people in the world. The Vomoz Donation Network – an online donation platform which would benefit the Hope Foundation and other charity organization that have activities in Africa – was unveiled by one of the Charity Ball sponsors. This underscores Revolve’s intent to sustain and further enlarge its outreach activities in the future through partnerships and engaging sponsors who share this vision. The highlight of the evening was the auction!!! It was the main fund raising event of the night in support of efforts to build wells by the Hope Foundation, provide life-saving surgeries by MercyShips, and continue Revolve’s support for Sarah’s Hope. Unfortunately every good event, they say, must come to an end. This night had to end but not until the guests had a feel of a good night dance thanks to good music from the DJ of the night. It was a night to remember but what is worth remembering more importantly is that Revolve would in some way alter the brush strokes that paint the picture of the world we live in.

18 | In the Community

Reaching far”

Healing Stripes

Cancer Screening and Diagnostic Centre Kayode Vincent

Healing Stripes Cancer Screening and Diagnostic Centre is an initiative of the Apapa Family comprising RCCG Lagos province 4, 5, 15, 24, 34, 35, Oyo 4, Everlasting Arms family in Abuja, and our Churches in the diaspora. It is one of the Christian Social Responsibility Health Initiatives of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Apapa Family. The vision for the centre is “defining new standards in cancer screening and diagnosis while educating the populace and creating awareness of the scourge.� One of the major functions of this centre is to create awareness about cancer while liaising with NGOs locally and internationally to explore areas of collaboration in tackling the scourge as well as to further enhance the equipments and financial capabilities of the centre.

New standards in cancer screening and diagnosis

The project is designed specifically to address the screening and diagnosis of three critical areas of cancer in the human body, namely the breast, cervix and prostate. In recent years statistics have shown that about 350,000 new cases of cancer occur yearly in Nigeria and these three areas make up the critical mass of the high incidence. A clear understanding through awareness and early detection will go a long way in reducing the high incidence of cancer. In line with the vision, the cost of treatment will be highly subsidized and the authenticity and accuracy of diagnosis report emanating from the centre will be very reliable. This service is open to the general public. The centre was commissioned by the General Overseer of The Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor E. A Adeboye and his wife Pastor (Mrs) Folu Adeboye on Sunday 5th of June, 2011. The centre is scheduled to open to the public on Monday August 1st 2011. The centre is strategically located at 14, Alhaji Masha Road, Surulere, Lagos, Nigeria, and has state of the art equipments and highly trained medical personnel to ensure the realization of the vision. An awareness campaign is currently on-going; we are exploring collaborative efforts with organizations that have the same burden in this quest to ameliorate the cancer scourge. We seek the support of other organizations and our sister Churches in the diaspora in actualizing this dream. For further information about the Centre or how you can contribute to the vision, please contact us at the address above, e-mail or call (011) 234-0808-1076-646.

In the Community | 19

Got Power?

Pastor Tola Odutola

Got Power?

A few months ago we began a series titled “Power Belongs to God.” No matter how man looks at himself, all power resides in God. There is no contradiction with this. But let it be known that there are some powers that belong to you and I, and until we begin to use these powers we’ll find out that the Church of these end times may not be able to do that which we are supposed to do. Ephesians 3:20 notes that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. That’s what I’m going to dwell on. For heaven to bless you and I, there needs to be a platform. Because it is what you present to Heaven that Heaven is able to bless exceedingly and abundantly.

Imagination does not cost money

Jesus had been preaching many days and He went to the mountain and people followed Him. He knew that they must have been hungry. Jesus asked His disciples what they could give the people to eat. They responded, “there is nothing.” However, someone said, “there is a lad here who has five loaves and two fishes.” But they all just nullified that statement: “Even if you divide it into little pieces, it will not be enough.” Despite that, Jesus said bring it. Can you imagine how many people were hungry? All He was looking for was a platform. He used the five loaves and two fishes to bless the people. Do you know that if that food was not made available, all would’ve been hungry that night, and nothing would’ve happened? At times we wonder why Heaven is not answering us, why we are going hungry. Have you made available the food that you have for God to multiply? How can God do exceedingly, abundantly, above all we can think or ask according to the power that works in us if there is no power that works in us? Even in mathematics, if you raise zero to any power, you will still get zero. Everywhere Jesus went, He healed the people that were brought to Him, so how come in the place where He was born, He was not able to heal? Because there was no platform – no one believed Him! Here are some powers that must be at work within us: The power of imagination. It is the creative power God has given us. For example, in Genesis 3, Eve beheld the fruit. She lusted after it until she finally ate it. Similarly, the people who were trying to build the tower of Babel first said to themselves, “let us build a tower that reaches to the Heavens; let us make a name for ourselves” and they began to build the tower. In fact, Abraham could not physically see Canaan from where he stood and God would only give him as far as his eyes saw. Yet he had Canaan. This could only mean that Abraham must have seen Canaan in the eyes of his mind. The use of the imagination is evident in all these instances and the power of imagination does not cost money. Have a vision; act, plan, and save toward it. The power of faith is another power at work within us. Matthew 17:20 encourages us to have faith-- even if it is as small as a mustard seed. Faith is used to bring things from our imagination to reality. Besides, anything you do without faith is in vain for without faith, it is impossible to please God.

20 | From the Pulpit

God can only be limited when we don’t make available a platform for Him to operate in our lives.

2011 Leadership Conference Rev. Sam Adeyemi

VISION: FROM CONCEPT TO REALITY Text: Josh 1:1-9 The first requirement for turning your vision into reality is courage. When God called Joshua to lead the Israelites, He first reassured him: “I’m not going to leave you nor forsake you.” But then He also said: “be strong and courageous.” Courage is the ability to act in the presence of danger. Lack of courage is a major reason people are unable to attain their full potential. If the vision you are pursuing is from God, it will be bigger than you! It will take both God and you to get the job done (Deut 9:1-3). When you are anointed, it causes you to see things differently from other people. When Jesus saw Jairus’ daughter, He did not see a dead person, He saw a sleeping person. While others saw Goliath as a fearful being, David saw him as an uncircumcised Philistine. We should not see a situation as hopeless; we should see what Christ can do in the situation and should respond accordingly. We use faith and courage to possess our possessions. Be willing to change! Be willing to do what you have never done before; be willing to relate with people you have never related with before; be willing to go where you’ve never gone before. Without change there cannot be progress. To work with the Holy Spirit you have to be flexible in your mindset. When God wanted Peter to go preach at Cornelius’ house, He first dealt with the strongholds in Peter’s mind. If Abraham had not been someone who constantly listened to God, he would not have heard God’s later instruction not to kill Isaac. To work with God, be willing to go out of your comfort zone. Be willing to experiment. If you think it is God speaking to you, go for it (Heb 5:14.)! Become the person in the vision. The vision is like a picture. The most critical factor in that picture is you. Adam did not realize he was already like God. Thus it was easy for the devil to trick him into thinking he needed to eat the forbidden fruit to become like God. So the big question is: do you have the capacity to attract everything in the vision? You need to develop character and competence. This attracts people, opportunity and resources. You need to grow to the size of your vision. What makes people fail is that they chase after things on the outside that they have not yet caught on the inside. Ma-

ture into responsibility; grow in spiritual power and in management ability (Gal 4:1-2; Ecc10:16-17). When Joseph landed in Potiphar’s house, he was described as a prosperous man (Gen 39:2). Even though he was a slave and not earning money for his work, the bible described him as a prosperous man. This is because he was on the inside a prosperous man. Develop a detailed plan (Hab 2:2). To a large extent planning separates dreamers from achievers. State your goals clearly and state the steps you need to take to achieve your goals. Specify the resources you need to achieve the goals. Research possible obstacles to achieving the goals, preempt them, and solve them upfront. Develop short-term action plans and long-term strategic plans. Factor in the financial commitments required for the task at a later stage in the planning process (Lk 14:28-31). Define the values that will make your vision realizable. Values are standards of

You need to

behavior that are important to you. When you define those values, then you have a minimum standard for operation. For example, some people may realize that their vision cannot be realized without diligence so they diligently work toward their goals.


Grow people to the size of the vision. As a leader your success won’t be measured only by what you achieve through your efforts. Your success will be measured by what you achieve through people. So don’t keep people small; grow them to the size of the vision. The environment either limits or enhances people’s potential. Your team, department or organization is either an aquarium or an ocean. You need to be a secure leader who is able to nurture the growth of his subordinates. Having gifted people under you is an opportunity – train them; believe in them; delegate to them; help unlock their potential. Inspiring people to improve is the essence of leadership.

be a secure

Take action. To turn your vision into reality you need to do something. Be an executive. As you take action, be persistent. Things don’t always happen the first time. Be patient. When God created the world He took 6 days. He did this to teach us to take things step by step. Excellence is a commitment to daily improvement. Learn from your mistakes and stay focused. Bear in mind that if God said it, He will do it. He will definitely bring it to pass (Isaiah 46:9-11)!

Leadership | 21 Priesthood | 21

2011 Graduates

Oyinkansola Adedipe, Eastern Tech High School | Morenikeji Fakeye, Millford Mill High School | Toluwalase Fadeyi, Randallstown High School | Bunmi Akinbode, Liberty High School | Jane Ibrahim, Newtown High School | Samuel Egiefameh, Baltimore City College High School | IK Igodan, Meade High School | Oladele (DJ) Akinrinade, Baltimore City College High School | Oluwapeyibomi Runsewe, Franklin High School | Yemi Okesola, BS Nursing | Abayomi Davis, Associate in Nursing | Opeyemi Ogundairo, BSc Biology | Adetutu Awodipe, BSc Nursing | Kemi Fasehun, BA Business Administration | Andrew Mwangi, Health Administration & Public Policy | Mobola Oyefule, BSc Biology | Jolaade Adeyeye, BS Nursing | Ifedayo Awe, BS Nursing | Isioma Okonkwo, BSc Chemistry & Biology | Babajide Durosomo, Business Technology & Public Administration | Adedoyin Jeboda, BS Nursing | Ubachinyelu Chukwuzubelu, BS Nursing | Eric Otisi, BS Nursing | Bamidele Ibrahim, BSc Telecommunications | Tobechinedu Moses, BS Nursing | Titi Awosemusi, BSc Economics | Olayinka Savage, BSc Biological Sciences | Nishi Dickens, BBA Business Management | Peggy Okubanjo, BSc Health Information Management | Ayokanmi Omolewa, Physical Therapy | George Nwangwu, BSc Chemistry | Tasha


Wilkie, BSc Biology | Olubukola Akinyele, BS Nursing | Samuel Egiefameh, Sr., BSc Management Science | Olubunmi Okuwa, AA Psychology | Olugbenga Sodipo, BSc Industrial Engineering | Dolapo Oke, BSc Health Administration & Policy | Eno Udoibe, MBA | Adeola Adedipe, Masters in Family Nurse Practice | Iyabode Fadeyi, Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling | Olajide Adebule, MPH | Lara Oshisanya, Masters in Human Resources Development | Olatokunbo Famulegun, Masters in Nursing | Tunji Sarumi, Masters in Industrial Engineering | Oladotun Dada, MBA | Rachel Annam, MPH | Adebukola Adebayo, Masters in Human Service Administration | Ebenezer Oni, MPH | Kattey Kattey, MPH | Omotooke Aroko, Master of Science in Molecular Microbiology & Immunology | Abieyuwa Igodan, Masters in International Management | Pastor Kofo Odutola, Masters in Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care | Funmilayo Akinbode, MPH | Ope Kemiki, Master of Science in Nursing | Seun Owojuyigbe, Masters in Applied Information Technology | Nonso Nwajagu, LLM | Abidemi Fadiji, Master of Science in Finance | Ibukun Oni, MPH | Adeniyi Olunuga, Advanced Graduate Certificate in Computer Science | Stephen Abegunde, MS Environmental Engineering | Abiola Adebanjo, Masters of Environmental Engineering | Gbolahan Oyinloye, Masters in Health Sciences | Owhosasa Agbedia, MPH | Tayo Adeyemo, Ph.D International Health | Olayinka Omisore, MBA Human Resources | Adeleke Ademiluyi, Masters in Information Technology, MBA | Tayo Abereoje, MFA Film | Seyi Sofolahan, MS Engineering Management | Oluwajoba Adekanmbi, MBA | Ope Sodipo, MBA | Kemi Abolude, Masters in Bioinformatics | Dunni Ladipo, MBA Human Resources | Uchechi Njoku, MBA | Indira Laurencin, Masters in Human Services Administration | Mereh Davis-West, Master of Science in Nursing | Kayode Lawrence, Ph. D Nephrology

Revolve |

Pastor Femi Obaweya DW: Could you please give us some background about you? At times when we see a Pastor on the Pulpit, we forget that this person is a human being who has a story like anyone else. PFO: I think I’m your regular guy who the Lord is just using to show that you don’t have to have an extraordinary background for God to use you. Like almost everybody coming out of what we call the Apapa family move in the early 90s, one by grace was saved and found ourselves in the Church under the leadership and mentoring of Pastor Tony Rapu. And we just had the passion to serve; we volunteered as workers. And from there, one thing led to the another. I’m a family man married to my lovely wife, Maureen; we grew up together. I think the best thing that’s happened to me is to get married at a relatively young age (I married at the age of 27), so we grew together, been through a lot together. We have two children—a boy and a girl (Daniel and IleriOluwa). She’s a Pharmacist; I come from an insurance background. But after a while, I felt the call of God to be able to face pastoring full-time; to be able to give it a lot of time, and so that’s what I do right now. We pastor a Church in Aja called The Promised Land, it’s a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God. Aja is an emerging area—a lot of young people are moving into that area. That’s about the only place you have land and property development right now in Lagos, so our Church is smack in the middle of all that. So what we have now is kind of growth in the Church averaging about 2,000 – 2,500 in the Church. It’s such a blessing to be able to be strategically placed in such a place whereby you’re able to harness and help give direction to young people—people who are in the prime of life or just about to start life. I must say that the experiences one has garnered over the years in Freedom Hall— particularly I must mention the role of Pastor Tola in our lives, in ministry; I see him as a mentor. And honestly, he’s such a blessing in helping us also in ministry in that he speaks into my life especially in the area of ministry and also personal areas too. He’s one person I find his advice and mentoring invaluable. There’s a lot of things I see here, I go and replicate back home. I’ll give you an example—we started a yearly conference called “Light Up the Nation;” the inspiration came from Pastor Tola. Pastor Tola says “hey, look, you have such a dynamic Church; you need to harness these people. You need to start doing conferences that cut across just the religious divide.” So we started that. I know you have a lot of conferences you do here too. We borrowed quite a number of things from Jesus House Baltimore. That’s it in a nutshell—ordinary guy, like almost every other person; I wish I had a spectacular story to tell.

24 | Get to Know

DW: You mentioned that your Church has a lot of youth. Do you consider yourself someone who is particularly called to youth or is that just something that happened by the way and you just adjusted to that? PFO: I won’t say I was particularly called to the youth but people say I have a youthful disposition though I’m not that old [he laughs]. I seem to be able to harness resources and for one reason or the other, they are comfortable with me so maybe there’s something about me that’s able to strike a chord with the youths. I just find that we’re able to flow along. We do have quite a number of youth and we get along, so I guess there must be something by default that one is doing that’s able to attract them and keep them. DW: What’s the vision and mission of your Church? PFO: To impact the environment primarily. Our Church is seen as a governing Church. Governing Church not so much in terms of the structure but the quality of the people. We have a passion to raise people who will be agents of change in our environment whereby in our Jerusalem (which is Aja) and our Samaria (which is probably the whole of the Lekki peninsula) we make an impact. And from the feedback we’re getting, I think we are working in that direction. There’s hardly any sphere of influence, particularly in that our environment, that you don’t find our people involved. My wife would allude to this—there’s hardly any space I enter to in that our environment now that there’s not a member of our Church who is working or doing something there. So it tells us that as a Church, God has strategically positioned us and because of that we are impacting our people, particularly because our environment is a very peculiar one. We want them to stand out, to be agents of change in a seemingly difficult environment. So that’s our passion.

DW: How do you stand out and be an agent of change in an environment like Nigeria, especially considering the value system that we have to operate with as Christians? PFO: I think you have to know what you stand for in the first place. Values are very important—anywhere in the world. Where you have a conflict in values, it’s about standing your ground. When people say Nigeria is difficult, it’s more of, I think, a perception. Because some of us live there, we have the grace. But we’ve decided that these are what define us and we’re not going to shift ground on what we believe in. For instance, we know that many times, not all the time, nothing goes for nothing; people always want gratification and as far as you’re concerned, you’re not going to do it. So if you have those values and you’re not going to give way on your values, I don’t think there’ll be a problem. After a while, people begin to identify you and respect you for what you believe in. And when they want to deal with you, they deal with you knowing that this is where this man stands. And so there’s mutual respect. But you find that many times there are a lot of people who themselves have not been able to really define who they are and so that’s when the problem comes. [If you] say this is what you are, people, after a while, will learn to appreciate you and respect you for who you are. Like I tell my driver, “I can’t give gratification to any law officer so make sure that all your papers are intact.” So when I’m confronted by any law official, I’m fairly confident. And many times, it is because there are loopholes for those people to exploit. So I don’t think it’s that difficult or else we’d all be in America [he laughs].

It was a process

DW: You spoke on the Pulpit about not thinking you’d be the one to become a Pastor. When you were in your 20s, what did you think you’d be doing at this point in life? PFO: I know what I think I’d be right now if the Lord had not hijacked me. I probably would be almost at the zenith of my profession now because almost all of my colleagues whom we started off together are already CEOs of insurance firms. And my plan was—especially after I gave my heart to the Lord and God became the central focus of my life—my plan was to retire into ministry (some aspects of ministry). But I didn’t know God wanted me to retire in ministry—I hope you got that. I think I would have just been a happy-go-lucky, God-loving Christian, earning a living and just doing what every ordinary person does. That’s what I think I’d be doing if I hadn’t been saddled with this. DW: How did you get saddled with this? PFO: It’s a process. I tell people that I was set up and so because of that, I set other people up too. One thing led to another, we were in Freedom Hall, and in Freedom Hall it was almost like a military set up. From time to time, you were posted out to go and help start a parish— In my own case, a parish needed help; it needed strengthening. So a group of us were sent with a pastor to go and strengthen an existing parish. I was just one of the workers, with my wife. But along the line, the Assisting Pastor was recalled back to Freedom Hall from this parish that is called Jubilee Christian Center. So there was no clear cut Assisting Pastor for a while, and then at one point in time, the Senior Pastor on ground then was asked by the General Overseer to go and do a work outside of Lagos. And guess who he called upon to come and take his position? Poor me. So that’s why I say I was set up. So I found myself doing this work, very reluctantly so. But one thing I did do—I did pray and I did hear a go-ahead from God to take it up. And one thing led to another and the work became so overbearing. So I said okay, let me leave my secular job, do my own business so I’ll have more time for ministry work, but you know the more you get involved in it this thing sucks you in and so here we are. That, in a nutshell, is what happened.

DW: I want to ask about your salvation experience. How did you come to know Christ? PFO: It was a process. All of a sudden, everybody around me started getting saved. My immediate younger sister, we’re very close. She was in France; far-away France in a one-year exchange program from college (she studied French language). While she was in France, she got born again. And I thought, “That’s strange. Of all the places to give your heart, France?” She came back, [and] I noticed a change in her, I noticed a change in the circle of friends she had, especially the ladies. I noticed that for the first time in a long while, I saw women who were genuine, when they said “hello,” they meant “hello.” When they smiled, it was a genuine smile. There was just something very warm and very accommodating and yet innocent about her set of friends. And they started going for fellowship; they used to invite me but I kept them at arms length but my defenses were gradually breaking down. And then it all came to a head when I travelled to somewhere in Ondo state for a cousin’s wedding and all my cousins were all born again. That night, I remember I felt a presence in the room where I slept. It wasn’t a Godly presence; it was an evil presence. And I was scared. I remember getting back home and just going to my sister and saying “you know what, I think I need Christ.” She was so glad and that was how I was led to the Lord and started going with them to fellowship. It was such a peace. I remember when I did that, it was like a weight was lifted off my shoulder. I literally felt a burden lift off my shoulder. DW: If you had to wrap up your life in a message to the world, what would that message be? PFO: My message would be if God can use me, God can use anybody. All that the Lord is looking up to one [for] is yieldedness and sincerity. I tell people God is not looking for a perfect, finished product but He’s looking for a sincere heart. I say this because right now there’s too much agenda in following God, people come to the Lord because they’re seeking something. I say come to the Lord because He’s your portion; without Him you’re nothing anyway. For me it grieves my heart when I see that the salvation message has been [reduced] to what you can get: Come to Jesus, He’ll sort you out. Yeah, that’s true, but more importantly I think He just wants to have fellowship with us. And so for me I just always tell people, “You need Him more that He needs you.” Just open your heart to Him, with your imperfection, with your issues, with your hang-ups, just come to Him; He will sort all that out. That’s what I try to pass across everywhere I go—the grace of God

Get to Know | 25

Pastor Paul Adefarasin The truth is that a magazine feature does not do justice in expressing Pastor Paul Adefarasin’s story. Although a well respected and admired leader in the Kingdom, Pastor Paul certainly has a “story before the glory” as we say. From his transformation experience, the Church he pastors, and the annual “Experience” concert, here are snippets of DreamWorks’ time with him that will hopefully encourage you abour God’s ability to use whomever He wants for whatever He wants. His Background PP: I was raised in a family that was essentially Christian in its value system. My father was the Chancellor for the Anglican Diocese in Nigeria. In principle, we had a value system, perhaps some of us in the family had the value system without a personal relationship with God. And up until when I was 16, I did my best to heed, hark and obey the value system and then I went off to school in the States, and then I found my freedom. That freedom came with a lot of temptation and I had my years of wayward living, where I indulged in every possible pleasure. I indulged in many things to the point of compulsive obsession, to the point of addiction. And as you know, there is pleasure in sin for a season, but the wage of sin is death. Just lived purely for pleasure, and in the process I was completely spent, and not just in terms of finance, but I had spent me. There was none of me left, I had become a total nobody. My sense of self worth was completely depleted. I was literally a skidrow derelict, I was quite destitute. Of course my safe haven was always to get back on the plane; I had a return ticket back to Nigeria. At one time, I had sold everything I had and was down to absolutely nothing and was going to go back to Nigeria and sign up in the defense academy and start a military career. It was in the process of making that choice that I was talking to a close friend of mine and told him all my woes and my troubles on the individual and family level and he said that he know somebody that could help me and he pointed me to his mother. This was a close family friend of mine, and I had no idea that his mother was such a strong, believing, Spirit-filled Christian. She sat me down and preached the Gospel to me and it was a phenomenal encounter for me. I met with God in that room. I didn’t submit my life, but I met Him and became fascinated with Him. You are talking about the invisible God but He was so tangible, in terms of the aura of His presence that I wanted to never leave that presence and from that point on I began to chase that presence. I went to a nightclub that night and I couldn’t drink my bottle of beer. For the first time, they were playing all of this nightclub music, and I couldn’t get into it. I was hearing something other than what was being sung. That night I went to sleep very troubled. I knew there was a big fight going on for my life. I woke up in the morning and there was a man by the name of Tunji Alakija (he’s a tenacious evangelist, he leads three to four people to Christ on a daily basis out of his personal commitment. I’ve known him for about 30 years, and he has not relented in that responsibility). He had tried to witness to me a year earlier and I almost beat the living daylights out of him-- I was that wild a person. And he said to me, “I’ve been praying for you for one whole year, and last night God showed me that you were ready to receive the Gospel.” I begged him to share the Gospel with me, and he did a fantastic job. He explained the Gospel in very clear terms to me and I understood. And to cut a long story short, I gave my life to Christ, and He turned my life around. I went back to school and finished my Architecture degree and practiced in Miami for about 4 years and that brings me to 1990. I was born again in 1983. In 1990, I earnestly sought the Lord that year for the first time. Fasted and prayed for 21 days without food and with very little water and I was praying that God would show me direction. And the only thing God showed me was the Cross of Calvary and my cross. In a way that was most profound. With every cross there is a crown. I knew that though I hated the pain of the cross, there was joy that the cross would provide beyond the moment of the cross. And soon after that He told me to pack up my practice in the States and leave everything that I had built. I obeyed God and I went back to Nigeria. After I was in the air, God spoke to my heart and there was this really heavy

26 | Get to Know

anointing like wave after wave of God’s baptism came over me and I said to God in the sense of a vow, if you keep this anointing on me, I will serve you wherever and however you want me to, and He just kept pouring it on. I arrived back at home, and within 24 hours, I was in full-time ministry, serving in a local Church there. That year, I embarked on an itinerant ministry, did some daring things, submitted my life under Bishop Michael Okonkwo whilst I itinerated and in the process I met an incredibly faithful man of prayer. This West African gentlemen, took everything to the next dimension. And in those days, we weren’t considered spiritual unless we prayed 12 hours a day or so, and that was all very good for me. It helped me develop foundations, gave me the ethic of prayer and helped me to build and cultivate a real anointing on my life so that I had escaped religion and had a realistic and functional relationship with God. One morning, this West African gentlemen said, “Paul, I need you to go spend some time in our Church in London.” And I said, “Let me pray about it.” To cut a long story short, I went to the Church in London. I was meant to be there for 6 weeks and ended up being there for 3 years. Whilst I was there, I went to the National Bible Institute of London for a year. It was a healthy experience for me-I met a great number of people who had the same type of experience as I did, and just the opportunity to get through all the Old Testament and survey and all of the theological stuff. It was helpful to give me a platform to help me develop my personal study. And in principle, that is where I’ve come from. I have to include my family in my background, they were a very critical part in developing my value system. I have to include Larry Lea in there also, because we learned the Lord’s Prayer from him and I have to thank God for the great guardian Archbishop, God just poured something on him. He challenged us to pray lengthily and to be tenacious at prayer, so we have to include him in there. And there have been several others that have challenged my purpose. House on the Rock At the end of 1993, I came back to Lagos to renew my papers and God arrested me in Lagos and made it clear to me that He had brought me home to start The House on the Rock. House on the Rock has since grown from one Church in Lagos to over 60 branches around the world. The Lagos Church has become exceedingly and abundantly more than we had ever sought out, and I would have been quite happy to pastor a Church with 250 people. But God exceeded what we imagined and I would have been grateful just to have a t- shirt and

be a cheerleader on the team but He gave me a captain’s jersey and has blessed our team with His favor and with His rewards and massive fulfillment more than we could have ever imagined and we certainly don’t feel like we deserve the things that He has done. But more importantly, He has allowed us to be a voice for change, a voice for affirmation, and a voice for transformation. He has given us a very significant connect with young people, anyone between age 10 and age 50 (and that will change when I turn 60; the age will be redefined). He’s also given us a huge connect with the leadership of the Church in Nigeria across denominations. I work within the Pentecostal fellowship, and interestingly enough I do not define myself as a Pentecostal. I embrace Pentecost but I am not limited to it or by it. I believe in the whole Body, and the baptism of the Holy

If you’re going to live for Him, you might as well go all the way

Spirit with its many evidences is no longer reserved to Pentecostals. And so I refuse to be defined by anything narrow, that doesn’t allow the full embrace of the total Body. I believe that the Body is a mighty giant as long as it comes together in one entity. The message that our generation must carry is the unity of the Body, and it requires submission to leadership. So we have identified our leaders in our heads and we are calling the Body together to rally around God-given and God-ordained leadership, so that we become a united force to be God’s expression of Heaven on Earth, till God has a place that He can call His city, His country. And essentially, that’s what we live for. The Experience PP: It’s a concert of prayer, praise, and preaching. And it achieves many things. It draws a wide spectrum of people from every color and denomination. It also is an announcement of the strength of the young Christians of Nigeria and it also is an expression of Heaven’s order, Heaven’s protocol, Heaven’s organization, and Heaven’s administration. It’s a restoration of The Tabernacle of David in many senses. And that speaks more to the organizational administration that David carried. He ordered Israel as a machine militarily, spiritually, as far as music and worship were concerned, governmentally; he ordered it that way. Last year it attracted more than 650,000 people, an absolute phenomenon. And how did it come about? We were just playing with our

gifts. We are quite a musical Church and we’ve been doing concerts from when we started; evern when they were concerts for 50 or 100 people. One day in the boardroom I felt strongly inspired to say, let’s take this outdoors and we started to plan and think and we aimed for 25,00 people and 85,000 people showed up in 2006. The next year let’s go for 100,000-150,000 and 250,000 showed up. And the next year, we said let’s take everything we can and we saw half a million show up. And it just kept growing from there. Now we don’t have anywhere to put it, so we hope to simulcast as years turn into decades. And the good thing about it is that it brings the Church together in a significant way and it’s a rebrand for Nigeria in many senses, in that it’s very orderly, its claimed as the largest musical event on African shores and possibly the largest Gospel event in world history. Now when you take a bush boy with a background we talked about and a company of bush boys, God can do anything with anybody who trusts Him and believes in Him. When you can believe in God, He releases an audacity to you because it becomes normal for you to talk to this great God who doesn’t think on our level; He thinks on a level so far from where we live. And when He asks you to do things, He is not going to ask you things that you can do, He is going to ask you things that only He can do. When you are with Him, it becomes normal to you. When you are apart from Him, it’s audacity, its audacious. He’ll ask you to do things that just don’t make any sense. He’ll ask you to do things that require you to be completely connected with Him. Because to not be connected with Him, you’ll flop, you’ll crash and burn. And it’s nice to be in a place where you can’t live without Him. Where everything you put your hands to do will fail unless He is intricately involved with you. He challenges you to do things like that. And if you’re going to live for Him, you might as well go all the way. Its hard to put a killer whale in a bathtub. Jesus House Baltimore PP: I think that it is a phenomenon. Just looking at the plethora of people, the diversity of the gifts, listening at the insert for news, talking with the diversity of professionals here, sensing the anointing on the Church, it’s awesome to see what God is doing and to think of what God is ready to do next. I don’t think this conference could have been themed better than exceedingly abundantly. And I think that is what God is, He is far exceeding the things that we ask Him for, the things that we trust Him for. And then to enjoy the relationship and fellowship that is in the Body of Christ with your Pastor, who is so down to earth! He’s real, he tells it like it is in a nice but pretty straight forward way. The humility of the man and how he understates the things that he is doing with God and the things that God is doing with him. Coming here and seeing the phenomenon of organization, commitment and devotion to duty, the careful devotion to nurturing the flock and strengthening the people, it’s not usual, it’s pretty special. And then he’s a networker. Looking at the plethora of people he is connected with across the nations, across America. Every great gift has been through this Church and that’s a privilege. That says something about the man who is the Pastor of the Church, that relationally he is very healthy and very attractive to the very finest of leaders from around the world, and that is well to be spoken of. We have been treated extremely well, we thank God, and I have enjoyed my time here and it has been a privilege to serve

Get to Know | 27

Pre-Marital Counseling Dr. Ife Omitowoju

He pops the question on bended knee after planning an elaborate proposal. She excitedly squeals “yes” as she wipes away tears of happiness. The couple rushes home to share the news with friends and family. They immediately change their Facebook status to “engaged” and the congratulatory comments pour in. We exclaim over the ring as she displays the sparkler on her ring finger while discussing the cut, color, clarity and carat weight. After this comes the frantic wedding planning which includes picking a date, choosing a venue, planning decorations, finding the wedding dress, and many other overwhelming details…all this for the wedding day that the bride has spent most of her life dreaming about. For couples who are engaged and planning a wedding, the wedding plans can be all-consuming. The last thing they want to do is to spend their Saturday mornings for six weeks on premarital counseling. Sadly, many couples focus on planning the wedding day and neglect to prepare for the marriage. We have all heard the statistics – a marriage that is formed today has a 40-50% chance of ending in divorce. Those are dismal statistics. They are not odds that any of us would take in any other situation, however, despite this, most of us pray for marriage and include marriage in our future plans.



personalities, and


28 | Love

Despite the dismal statistics, research shows that couples with religious beliefs and pre-marital counseling are far more likely to stay together. Pre-marital counseling helps build a solid foundation for marriage. This solid foundation is a fortress against the storms of life that are inevitable. The encouraging news is that God designed marriage and He has given us the blueprint of marriage in the Bible. In a dating relationship, most of our flaws and differences are concealed. Pre-marital counseling exposes issues that would otherwise not come up until after marriage. The couple is then able to deal with the issues in a neutral setting before they become major problems. Pre-marital counseling allows couples to identify the assumptions and expectations that are brought into the marriage. They then have the opportunity to discuss and manage the different expectations that they are bound to have. There is a value in knowing what to expect and getting rid of some of the hurdles before the couple gets married. No matter how much they think they know each other, these classes offer the couple the opportunity to talk through differing backgrounds, personalities, and experiences. It also gives couples the opportunity to learn from the experiences of other couples within the group. At Jesus House Baltimore, all couples planning on getting married at the Church are required to successfully complete the counseling session. The sessions are lively, interactive, and discussion is highly encouraged. Couples are shown the blueprint of marriage in the Bible and equipped with what they need to help build a solid foundation. This is accomplished through sharing real-life examples and practical tips on how to apply God’s word and principles to situations in their marriage. The topics covered in the sessions include: exploring God’s plan and blueprint for marriage and celebrating our differences; learning to trust, communicate and “fight fair” in marriage; working as one to manage finances, visions, and goals for the family; the Christian home – prayer, parenting, responsibilities; and the gift of sex and becoming one flesh, birth control methods from a medical perspective. Couples also share projects they have worked on that were assigned and a prayer session is held with all the couples and counselors. Having a successful marriage requires wisdom. James 1:5 states “if anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously without finding fault….and it will be given to him.” Pre-marital counseling can help gain this wisdom. If you are planning on getting married, we encourage you to join the pre-marital counseling sessions. Pre-marital classes are held over six weeks. The sessions take place twice a year – in March/April and September/October – on Saturdays from 10am to 1pm. Any couple that is engaged and has been cleared by the Pastor in charge can attend the session. This includes couples that may be getting married in another Church. Couples who have been recently married (a year or less) are also welcomed to join the pre-marital counseling classes. Please contact the Church office for more information about the classes.

Transitioning in America OlaOluwa Ailegbe

“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?” (Luke 14:28). The euphoria of traveling to a land “flowing with milk and honey” consumes the thoughts of many immigrants. The shocker is that many don’t know that relocating from a country of comfort to a new environment could be one of the toughest decisions one can make for “obvious reasons.” This is because one is moving from a region where you are used to a culture, language/accent, people, currency and economy to a land about which one has little or no information. Moving can either make or mar you depending on the decisions you make before and after getting there. Let me tell you a short story; maybe this could be of help. I am a trained Electrical/Electronics Engineer from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. I got a job with an insurance company as a Computer Hardware Support Engineer which was a skill I learnt personally through the study of computer books. I was fortunate to have had a boss who had lived in America for over 10 years whom I worked directly with. My inquisitive mind developed lots of questions which I eventually asked him because he displayed great expertise in Information Technology-- my field of interest. At the time, I had no idea I was going to relocate. I got to learn a lot about Information Technology and Microsoft professional exams which I could take and are acceptable all around the world. I started studying and barely completed three out of seven exams due to time availability and cost. Shortly after that, I realized I had to relocate. Then fear came into my heart because I had never lived outside my state, Lagos, not to talk of traveling more than 10,000 miles away from home. My first fear was how I was going to get a job as soon as possible to sustain my immediate family.


dawned on me when everyone left

I got to the United States during the festive period (December) and believe me, it was real fun because everyone was home. Reality dawned on me when everyone (including my wife) left for their respective places of work. I was left “Home Alone.” Frustration almost finished me! Frustration led to confusion after many advised that I attempt a career in other fields, including the one on your mind right now. Most of the time, the direction we need is right beside us. I met with my pastor, Pastor Tola Odutola, and he asked me a lot of questions. He directed me to an IT Professional in the Church. After so much discussion, this person was so interested in my IT dreams and I immediately took him as my career mentor. He invested in me and I completed all my professional exams within four months since all I had to do was study. We worked on my resume and he began to send job adverts to me. Six months after coming into the country, I got an IT professional job. My story is not for show off but if you read in between the lines, you would have learnt a few things that could help during your tranistion period: • Ask questions and do your research: this has to be done before coming here. You can’t just suddenly travel to America. This is 50% of the problem solved because preparation is a key factor. • Be a good listener: things that might seem irrelevant might be life savers in the near future. Listen to details. • Find the right environment: this is key, believe me. Your start in a good environment exposes you to the right things. My church was the right environment for me and I became actively involved. • Be willing to learn: do not assume you know all things (only God knows all things). Humility is the key to great success. • Find a mentor: the advantage we have is that some people have gone through this process and have made mistakes. We can learn from their mistakes so we don’t fall into the same pit. • Write all you have learnt down and make your plans clear: I personally forget things a lot, but once I have it written down and I see it every day, it generates a driving force within me to “make it happen.” Remember, “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it” (Hab 2:2). Write all information obtained from questions, research made, and advice from mentors and knowledgeable people. • Pray for direction: this is very important, “For with God, all things are possible” (Mark 10: 27).

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Let’s Talk About Retirement Tola Adesanya

“The quality of life you want in the future depends on what you contribute in the present. You likely want to retire happily and comfortably with personal and financial peace of mind. The last thing your retirement should be is stressful for you or your family. Therefore, it is important to prepare a retirement plan now” (The HSBC Securities Inc., 2011). According to the Social Security Administration, Social Security will only provide approximately 40% of the income you’ll need for a comfortable retirement. Similarly, company pension plans are no longer the dependable retirement income they were once considered (The HSBC Securities Inc., 2011). Do you know how much money you need for your retirement? The CNNMoney Fortune & Money Magazine argues that you will need 70% of your pre-retirement yearly salary to live comfortably, and only if you’ve paid off your mortgage and you are in excellent health when you kiss the office good-bye. To avoid being trapped or caught in the

Increase your savings

financial storm after retirement, these are some of the basic recommendations from major financial security institutions’ retirement planning process: Step 1: Determine your retirement objectives. Step 2: Consider your financial situation both present and in the future. Step 3: Begin developing a retirement plan based upon the information you gather. Step 4: Determine how you wish to receive your retirement income. Step 5: Develop an estate plan. Michel Rubin, a Certified Public Accountant, Certified Financial Planner professional, and an author of the bestseller Beyond Paycheck to Paycheck, suggested that only by saving will you have money in the bank or otherwise invest. Later in your adult years is not the best time to think about your retirement plan. The key is to begin and to begin now. Thanks to the miracle of compounding interest, it is the money you save today that has the opportunity to grow the most. When it comes to retirement saving, asking someone you haven’t met how much savings you need is like asking how long they figure it will take you to get to Los Angeles. They really ought to respond with some

30 | Money Sense

very basic follow-up questions like “Where are you now?” and “Are you driving or flying?” (Michel Rubin, Retirement Savings – How Much is Enough? (as cited in To be prepared for your retirement and have the quality of life you want in the future, participate in employer sponsored program such as 401(k). However, you might not be able to put money into your 401(k) right away. The law allows employers to delay your eligibility for up to a full year. In most cases, the employer offers a matching program as part of your 401(k) plan; you will have the opportunity to receive additional funding for your retirement at no cost to you. Alternatively, a 403(b) or 457 plan may be available to some employees instead of the 401(k). Ask your company’s human resources department for details or for a copy of the summary plan description. There is also the Self-Employed 401(k) designed for self-employed individuals or business owners with no employees. There are also 401(k) plans for small businesses with more than 20 employees. Furthermore, the traditional individual retirement account (IRA) is another retirement plan, which allows your money to grow tax-deferred. Depending on your income, tax filing status and ability for you (and/or your spouse) to contribute to a workplace retirement account, your IRA contribution may even be tax deductible, further saving you money on this year’s taxes. Imagine access to a retirement fund without having to pay income taxes! It could happen through the Roth IRA. Although you will not receive a tax deduction for any contributions you make, your money grows tax-free, making it a truly fantastic place to begin saving for retirement. Money is crucial to aging well and in good health. Because women live longer and earn less than men, they face extra challenges in saving for their retirement years. Unfortunately, traditional sources of retirement income are less stable than before. Fewer people receive defined benefit pensions, and the current level of social security payments is not guaranteed forever. Although some women can expect retirement income from their husbands, most women receive nothing other than social security. Even those who were promised continued benefits after retirement may be denied pensions or health insurance when former employers merge, are bought out by other companies, or go bankrupt. Take time to plan for your financial security in retirement. Make a long-term budget, check your pension benefits if you have them, find out about your social security benefits, increase your savings, and open an IRA. References: 1. American Express Retirement Services - Retirement Benefits - Brief Article (2002). Retrieved from http://findarticles. com/p/articles/mi_m3495/is_3_47/ai_84238049/ 2. Rubin, M. Retirement Savings – How Much is Enough? Retrieved from 3. Small Business Retirement Plans (2001). Retrieved from 4. Sources of Retirement Income (2011). Retrieved from

Tires. Wet or icy roads can cause dangerous accidents, so it’s very important to ensure that your tires are equipped to handle adverse weather conditions. Always check the air pressure on each tire (check your owner’s manual for the required pressure). If you find yourself skidding on an icy road, don’t put on the brakes; resist the instinct to do so. However, take your foot off the accelerator and guide your car by turning your steering wheel in the opposite direction of the skid. If possible, purchase snow tires to replace the regular tires (keep the regular tires for spring time). Check your spare at least once a year for proper inflation; there’s nothing worse than having a flat tire and the spare is flat as well. Spares will loose air as the temperature changes causing it to contract and expand. Batteries. Winter months can be tough on your engine and cause it to work harder, putting pressure on your battery. Therefore, do not subject your battery to chance. Most batteries are meant to last 3-5 years. Check your battery for that powdery white stuff around the clamps. It can be easily cleaned with baking soda and a toothbrush. Better yet, let a gas station attendant look it over for you. Engine oil. Your owner’s manual or the oil filler cap always has the viscosity (thickness) of the oil required. The thicker the oil, the slower it will move between components in the engine making it get too hot. The rule of thumbs most technicians recommend is to replace the oil every 3,000 miles. It’s cheap insurance and you cannot go wrong with that. However, most modern cars today have indicators that go beyond that. This is ok particularly while the car is still under warranty. Antifreeze. This protects your engine and the cooling system from freezing during winter as well as overheating during hot weather. It also helps to prevent corrosion. An equal parts mixture 50/50 water and coolant ratio is the normal recommendation. Pay particular attention to this issue by buying the right premixed coolant from the auto store. Frozen antifreeze can cause extremely expensive repairs to your engine just as it can cause your engine to overheat in hot temperature. It will cause a blown engine gasket or two, resulting in a very expensive repair.

Winterizing Your Car Pastor Kaz Olopade

plans. Repairing this can also be expensive. So, as soon as you get to quarter tank level, fill up your gas tank. It will help your wallet in the long run by preventing unnecessary repair expenses. Defrosting. Check your heating and ventilation system to ensure that adequate defrosting of your windshield is being done to provide necessary defogging that helps aid visibility. It’s also important to remain warm and comfortable so that adequate attention is paid to driving and not shivering. Wipers. Replace your wipers at least every year. Nothing is more dangerous than driving and not seeing clearly what lies ahead. Wipers are made of rubber components and are subject to fraying, splitting, and cracking due to weather conditions. It is advisable to also top up your windshield wiper levels. Do not use water; it will freeze, and crack the lines and the container the first instance the temperature dips below freezing (again costing you more money). Windshield washer fluid helps to loosen ice and snow as well as clean better to improve your visibility.

Keep a few things in your car always

Belts & Hoses. Stick to the manufacturer’s recommended intervals of replacement as stated in the owner’s manual. The changes in weather affect these components and there’s no way to know when they are about to fail except you have a trained technician check. There’s nothing like a failed belt on a dark, unlit road in the middle of winter, and you have no reception on your mobile device. 4WD. Nothing gives most motorist confidence in inclement weather than the assurance of their 4-wheel drive vehicle. There are far too many variations in the market these days with acronyms describing them from AWD, 4x4, etc. Check your owner’s manual for the best way to checkout the functionality of your four wheel drive system. Check with your service department also to make sure the component is functional. Emergency Kit. Keep a few important things in your car always: a flashlight, flares (helps you get noticed on the roadside while you may be trying to change your tire), ice scrapper, jump-start cables, a blanket, a pair of gloves, Winter boots, a screw driver, and a pair of pliers. Visit your local auto store— some of them have these as a kit. Happy motoring!!!!!

Gasoline. Do not allow your car to run on fumes at all times. Constantly shifting temperatures can build condensation (water) in the fuel tank. Since water has more weight than gasoline, it eventually settles to the bottom where it makes its way into the fuel lines. When it freezes up, it can block the flow of gas and this can mess up your travel

2 Cents |3131

My Church

The Ikotun Family

There is this air of

high expectations

Our names are Wole, Agnes, Folayemi, and Damilola Ikotun. We first visited Jesus House Baltimore on the Thanksgiving Sunday of September 2010. We had just relocated to Maryland from Connecticut and we found the Church online. We absolutely enjoyed the service that Sunday; we felt an instant connection: the praise and worship was lively and the message (we believe it was titled “GPS: Wisdom for Life”) was eye opening and thought provoking. Pastor Tola was teaching on the wisdom for life series, which we felt

was not only timely, but very essential in completing this journey of life. We have since been blessed by other messages which have, and continue to challenge and transform our lives. The recently completed winning the future series is another message that has impacted us, but in all, each message /topic taught by the pastors as well as the undiluted method of delivery have had a profound impact on our way of thinking and lives. Also there is this air of high expectations and accountability in the Church which is touching every aspect of our lives. We came back after that first Sunday in September, just to be sure it was not a one-time experience, and each time we came back, the experience was better. The messages not only challenged us, we felt it was the perfect place to be for spiritual growth and for our daughters to be in a place where they felt at home. So we decided to become members in December 2010.

A Spiritual Approach to Healing Adapted from Rev. Joe Olaiya

Consider Psalm 103: 1-5. Healing is part of our redemption benefits. Faith (which is dependent on you) and God’s power/anointing (which is dependent on God) must be present if there are to be miracles. Wherever there is faith, you can draw anointing. God has given to every man a measure of faith and the power of God is always available even if a person is not able to connect to it. There’s no failure from God’s side—He’s willing and He’s able; He’s a loving Father. In order to be healed therefore, you have to believe that Jesus is Savior and Lord and He is able. Here are some nuggets we must understand about healing: There are two powers responsible for creating sickness and oppression: sin and satan (see Psalm 107: 17-20; Luke 13: 10-17). Sin and satan use seduction and deception by tempting you to believe a lie and disbelieve the truth. Once you can embrace satan’s lie you will submit to him. Indeed a person has to become foolish (deluded, misled, without right

32 | My Church / Health

understanding) to sin because sin opens the door for satan to have a hold in a person’s life. “Fools because of their sins were afflicted” (Psalm 107:17-20; Psalm 119:67). Foolishness and affliction go together; “the wages of sin is death.” The outcome of sin is so bad that you wouldn’t choose sin except if you were deluded. Satan’s only option to get you to sin is to lie to you. When you get rid of sin, satan has no right over anyone (1 John 3:8); satan is powerless to assault you except sin opens the door. If sin does not come in, satan does not have a way in. Satan is a liar; he will seduce one into destruction. Whenever temptation hangs before you, know that there is an enemy somewhere poised to strike. Once you embrace a lie, you become an easy prey (Rev 12:9; Gen 3:13; Gal 3:13), but we’re told to resist the devil and he will flee. Satan and death are behind sin and sickness. There are two things that you must do to get rid of sin and satan: genuinely repent (it disarms the enemy) and believe (exercise your faith—agree with and accept what God says; Mark 1:15 and Acts 3:19). When you experience affliction, ask yourself “where did I go wrong?” Remember that repentance brings solution. There are two powers of light behind healing and deliverance and these powers overthrow sin and satan: the Blood of Jesus Christ (Rev 12:11 ) and the Name of Jesus Christ (Acts 2:38). The Blood of Jesus is infinitely more valuable than that of an animal and that’s why that is the only Blood that can cleanse man’s sin. There are also two payments that have been made to purchase our healing: the stripes laid on Jesus and the documents that specified the diseases were nailed to His cross (Col 2:14). By suffering those stripes, Jesus Christ obtained our healing

for us (Isaiah 53:4-6, YLT; Matthew 8:17). Jesus was not a sinner so He was above sickness and death. Death could not exercise a right over Him—“No one can take My life from Me. I sacrifice it voluntarily” (John 10:18). He had to surrender His life for our sakes. He was only able to die because He acquired (like a loan) my sin. Therefore when they lacerated His body and inflicted pain on Him, it was our sickness He was paying for. He took up our infirmities and bore our sickness. If He took your infirmity, the only infirmity you carry is that which you want to carry. He has redeemed us from the curse of the law for He was made a curse for us: “for cursed is everyone that hangs on a tree” (Galatians 3:13). There are two benefits that follow: forgiveness and healing. Forgiveness opens the door for healing to happen.

Wherever there’s faith, you can draw anointing

Doubt and fear are what the enemy uses to prevent people from receiving their healing (Hebrews 2:15 3:19, 4:1). When you fret, you hinder the flow of anointing for healing. Doubt is the easiest and most successful weapon the enemy can deploy to challenge the root of your faith. He doesn’t say God has lied; he just asks you a question in your head and leaves you to answer the question expecting that your answer will be wrong, e.g. “are you sure God will really heal you?” When that question comes, say “satan, I rebuke you. God is not a liar. Jesus took my infirmity.” As far as fear is concerned, the worst thing that can happen to a man is to die. So if satan threatens you with the fear of death, let him know that you’re not going to hell. If you are saved and you die today, you’re going to a place far better than hell; let satan know and he will leave you alone. Let us not allow unbelief to come in so that we don’t lose our blessings and we’re not held in bondage through the fear of death. There are two personalities working in favor of our healing and deliverance: The Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit supplies your anointing and you have the Name of the Lord Jesus; where, therefore, is satan’s foothold? There are two forces the Holy Spirit deploys to your heart to help you win the battle: the Word of faith and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. The Word of faith is the Word of truth; store it in your heart, believe it, and put it in your mouth. Even Jesus needed the anointing to heal the sick: “How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with Holy Ghost and power who went about doing good and healing all...” The anointing destroys the yoke (Isaiah 10:27). There are two provisions that have been made for your healing: the bread and water you eat and drink (Exodus 23:25), and the laying on of hands (or touch) and

anointing with oil. Every time you eat and drink, bless the food you eat and drink; say “Father, You said You would bless my bread and water and take sickness out of my body.” Jesus Christ healed more people by them touching Him because He had only two hands; contact is a vital way of healing. These things have been reduced to rituals so people are not getting as much results. To activate your faith for healing, you must have a deeply rooted conviction and make confession that you’re healed (Gal 3:5-6; Mark 11:22-24). Don’t mind whether you’re feeling the symptoms, say “since Jesus Christ took those stripes, I am healed.” There are two things that you must stop doing to get your healing: stop fretting and stop fearing so that you will not lose your miracle (Numbers 13: 31-14:2). There are also two things that God will do for you: He will send His Word like He’s doing now and He will also perform it at the receiving end. God watches over His Word to perform it (Psalm 107:20). Last, there are six things you must do: receive the Word from God as His Word, agree with the Word wholeheartedly (fill all your heart and your thinking with the Word completely until your heart cannot think otherwise; play a message over and over again), declare what you want according to what God has said to you, refuse to have a second thought about what you said, act according to what you said (let even your emotion and your feelings be in accord with what you say), and believe what you say (Mark 11:22-24). Only three people need to hear what you say: God, you, and satan. When you say it, God hears your expectation and He’s the One who will deliver it to you; when you hear yourself, you are encouraged and strengthened to keep saying it; and when he hears it, satan is discouraged.

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Israel Houghton “Friend of God,” “All Around,” “Again I Say Rejoice.” These are just some of the titles that bring Israel & New Breed to mind. DreamWorks was blessed with the opportunity to sit with the Grammy Award-winning band leader to talk about activism, race, and of course, music. Enjoy! DW: So we are going to start from you roots. Growing up did you have any aspirations to do what you are doing today? IH: I did. I grew up in Church; I was always around music. I was drawn to music and instruments and that sort of thing. I knew fairly early that it was something that I wanted to do. I saw Andraé Crouch live when I was really young, like 5 or 6 years old and it was just life changing for me. It sort of sparked that dream for sure. DW: How did you sustain it? IH: Well, I was always around it. So I think necessity sustained it at first. Being the Pastor’s kid and sort of being around it. If a need arose, I played drums early on and I gravitated toward music in school, so I learned how to the play the trumpet and read music that way. And then from the standpoint of reading music, used some of that to learn piano and the guitar, and other things. But necessity, definitely was the fuel for it, I certainly had a passion to do it, but there were a lot of needs as well. DW: Did you venture into anything else along the way? IH: A little bit of sports. I played a lot of sports in school, but music definitely won out. DW: Being a Pastor’s kid, when did you give your life to Christ? IH: Yeah, there was a significant breaking for me in my second year of high school, where I just knew that I am going to serve God with my whole heart and even though I had been in a great home and been around Church and that sort of thing, I remember making a true commitment, and I haven’t looked back. DW: On your site is says that if you weren’t an artist you would be an activist— doing what? IH: I was born with a certain propensity toward justice and toward social transformation. And part of that is that somebody took the time to minister life and love to my mom when she was pregnant and she was on drugs. She was17 years old and she had been disowned. It was a really bad scene, and because someone crossed that uncomfortable line that we all have and just loved her, I think so much of what I do to this day can be traced back to that moment. I was rescued; therefore, I must rescue. And so if I wasn’t an artist, I would still be an activist in the sense of encouraging people, even challenging people, provoking the Church to think beyond themselves. I think a lot of times us as Christians can get real comfortable in how good we’ve got it within the four walls of our Church and our Church experience. And we are good at doing Church, and I’d like to see us become better at being the Church. So I think that would be along— if I were a sculptor, if I were a politician, if I worked for Fedex, I would still find ways to be active and action oriented in helping people in their everyday lives. DW: Talking about that, you have performed with Alicia Keys, performed on Soul Train and I think, usually when we see Christian artists it’s in a Christian environment. What was your intent or message doing shows like that? IH: I’d say of all we do, anything out-

34 | Entertainment

side the Church has been about 2 or 3 percent of what we normally do. In that 2 or 3 percent though, it is simply this— I know what I am equipped to do, I know what I am called to do, and I know what I have been trained to do over the last few decades of ministry. And like I said before, in being the Church, it means we are salt and light of the world. So ultimately, my job is to bring flavor where there is none, to bring light where there is none, and the best place for the light to go are the darkest places. I think the difference is that we’ve never sought those doors to open; those doors have sought us and said we want you to be a part of this . . . DW: On the topic of crossing boundaries, so to speak, your music is in a sense, cross-cultural, which I don’t think a lot of people are able to do successfully. Was that intentional— developing your type of music? IH: It was and not only intentional, it was authentic in the sense of I was a black kid in a white family in a Hispanic community. That was my upbringing. And so, so much of what I have accumulated over the years, musically and stylistically, really came from those formative years of being in junior high and high school and college and being surrounded by the influences that I had. When I saw that there was a huge divide in the Church overall that still had a lot to do with skin tone, that still had a lot to do with preference and tradition and culture, I started asking the question, when we get to Heaven what section are we planning on being in? And I got to thinking, if we’re here on earth and we are asking His Kingdom to come, what does His Kingdom look like? And if His Kingdom is righ-

Strength is for


teousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, and we understand that that embodies unity, that embodies breaking down the walls that divide us . . . I think, what better way to unify? Music has a way of breaking down your walls, whether you even realize it’s happening or not . . . DW: What kind of artists influenced that? IH: I think one of the people who was thinking like this all along was Andraé Crouch. Andraé did such a great job; Andraé was one of the first African American artists to have a predominately White band. And that just blew people away, especially late 60s, early 70s, it just didn’t make sense. And there were a lot of places that he would be asked to leave because of it. And I loved that he just pioneered and kept at it. People like him influenced me, people like Keith Green influenced me, and certainly on the mainstream side of music, when I saw Motown have its effect— it went outside of the inner city, and Motown became a cultural phenomenon that White, Black, American, European, African, it didn’t matter, connected to the music. And I’ve always paid attention to that model, that if you just do good music (I’m being very basic now) then when you add the component of great worship and a vertical matrix of what we are doing . . . Because to the question, if we get to Heaven what section do we plan on being in? There is not a Black section in Heaven, there is not a White section in Heaven. There is every tribe and tongue and kindred coming together, honoring the Lord.

use because we are always doing something. So it’s great to just get out there and look at the ocean and breathe a bit. DW: Last question. What is your all-time message, if you couldn’t say anything else, but this is the one thing that you want the world to know. IH: I think it’s found from Scripture, Romans 15, and in the message translation it says this, “Strength is for service not status.” And I think for me whatever strength has come to us, whatever platform has grown, whatever elevation and impact has taken place, it’s always been to ultimately serve. That strength just says that you can serve even more, as opposed to “look I’ve arrived, or look at what we’ve done.” And getting over to the status column has never really been the thing that I have emphasized or want to emphasize, but any chance I have to serve and make life better, make this world better, that is what I want to do. Strength is for service not status

DW: How did things transition from doing music as a passion to you doing music that people know you for? IH: I don’t know, I sing with the same passion and intensity in a concert here in Baltimore that I did 22 years ago in my dad’s Church. So nothing changed from that standpoint. I think there is something to be said for just being consistent and doing what you are called to do regardless of the doors that open or close as a result of it. So I don’t know when the big moment happened, and I don’t even know if there was a big moment. I think it was the accumulation of moments stacked together and relationships that were emphasized . . . I have always put more of a premium and a value on the development of long-term relationships than I have on short-term opportunities. And I think that is a big reason why God has continued to bless what we’ve set out to do. DW: I did want to find out, are you still a praise and worship leader at your Church (Joel Osteen’s Church)? IH: Yes. 10 years. DW: How do you do that with everything that you are doing? IH: For the last 10 years I have been on staff. Like right now it’s Sunday morning and I’m involved in the service there even though I’m not there. So I’m very actively involved in the preparation of what happens and making sure that things go according to plan. And then I’m always there at least 2 full weekends a month that I lead the worship with the team there. And it’s been like that for a decade now, and I don’t know— it just seems to work. DW: What do you do on your downtime, when you’re just by yourself, as a hobby to relax? IH: I don’t have a lot of time alone [laughs]. And when I do, I do want to do just that— I’d like to have down time. I like to just relax, I like to watch movies, I like to sightsee somewhat. We travel all the time, and generally I don’t get a lot of opportunities to sightsee. Normally it’s something else that requires me being there. My wife and I have a little place in California that we like to just get away to and just do nothing, and that means a lot to

Entertainment | 35

Media for the Body, Soul, and Spirit Did you know that Redeemer is one of the oldest names for God? That God actually stopped the sun in place for a day to help the Israelites win a battle? Or that the term Trinity does not appear in the Bible but was first used by the early Church? 1001 Surprising Things You Should Know about God ia packed with unique, important, and unfamiliar facts about God. Brief, accessible entries make the information fun and easy to take in, even for busy readers. Facts cover a range of topics including: What God is like, Names of God, surprising symbols, famous quotes about God, God’s prophets, God’s Church, the Trinity triangle, concepts and doctrine, and how to find God. This lively book is for everyone who wants to know more about God and His character and actions. It is also a handy reference tool for pastors and teachers looking for interesting illustration material or succinct definitions. [Adapted from book cover] Introducing What if…, a Pure Flix and Jenkins Entertainment film. Starring, Kevin Sorbo, Kristy Swanson, Debby Ryan, and John Ratzenberger. What if…, tells the story of Ben Walker (Kevin Sorbo), who fifteen years ago left his college sweetheart Wendy (Kristy Swanson), and his calling to be a preacher, in order to pursue a business opportunity. Now with a high-paying executive gig, a trophy fiancé, and a new Mercedes, he hasn’t considered a family nor felt the need to set foot in a church in fifteen years. In the tradition of It’s a Wonderful Life and The Family Man, What if… is a story of finding your true purpose in life. [Adapted from] forever JONES’ album, “Get Ready” (EMI Gospel), is a spirited and distinctive tour-de-force of pop/rock/ soul Gospel that captivates listeners from beginning to end. From the instantly memorable piano-driven pop melody of “Heaven” to the swirling throw back in-thepocket rhythm of the title track and lush melodic song of worship “You Can Do Anything”, the songs alone are remarkable selling points from this otherwise “debut” group. “All of our songs are born out of our 9 A.M. family devotions,” says Dewitt. God-breathed, indeed. Just listen to “He Wants It All.” While mom and dad are certainly prominent figures in the group, each contributing musicians and vocalists on the project, forever JONES’ “Get Ready” is nothing less than a full-fledged family affair, with all 5 children adding the mix with their respective musical gifts. [Adapted from]

Homemade Dessert in 45 Minutes Red Velvet Cake Cake: • • • • • • • • • • •

2 1/2 cups flour 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1/2 teaspoon salt 1 cup butter, softened 2 cups sugar 4 eggs 1 cup sour cream 1/2 cup milk 1 (1 ounce) bottle McCormick® Red Food Color 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract

Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting: • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened • 1/4 cup butter, softened • 2 tablespoons sour cream • 2 teaspoons McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract • 1 (16 ounce) box confectioners’ sugar Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Mix flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. Set aside. 2. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer on medium speed 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Mix in sour cream, milk, food color and vanilla. Gradually beat in flour mixture on low speed until just blended. Do not overbeat. Spoon batter into 30 paper-lined muffin cups, filling each cup 2/3 full. 3. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into cupcake comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack 5 minutes. Remove from pans; cool completely. Frost with Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting. 4. Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting: Beat cream cheese, softened, butter, sour cream and McCormick® Pure Vanilla Extract in large bowl until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Recipe retrieved from: Picture credits: Red-Velvet-Upgrade.html

Yummy | 37

DoublePuzzles Unscramble the letters into the boxes at the right of each set of letters. Copy the letters in the numbered boxes to the other boxes with the same number in the phrase below: Doublepuzzle 1 solution ADAM, GOSPEL, TIRE, GRAVE, HIGH 
(John 9:24) KJV Doublepuzzle 2 solution DECAY, GROUND, JEWEL, LAWS, NEVER, PICK, REALM 

38 | Child’s Play

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