Le Charme Magazine "The Renaissance Issue"

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le charme


Slay Spring

Heart art Using ART to quiet your storm


her Craftwith






GROWING PAINS Growing Into Your Greater


renaissance Issue Sparking your Creativity to Further your Purpose


Founder/Editor- In - Chief/Creative Director

JOSEPHIN E SLOAN Managing Editor

Tia Griffin

India Henderson

Dalana Bryant

Jennifer Leviston

Marketing Director

Beaut y Editor

Copy Editor

Contr ibuting Wr iter

Brandee Nelson

Kim Bob

Contr ibuting Wr iter

Khahelah Thornton Contr ibuting Wr iter

Contr ibuting Wr iter

Dana Pittman

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DESIGN & PHOTOGRAPHY Depictions of Life Photography & Design

MAILING ADDRESS EMAIL Le Char me Magazine info@lecharmemagazine.com 3 4 0 N. Sam Houston Pk w y E WEBSITE Ste. A10 0 G w w w.lechar memagazine.com Houston, Texas 77060



CONTENTS Cover Art by


DeiIra Smith Collard

Slay Spring 2016 Must haves

BEAUTY & HAIR Let’s reveal how we conceal What’s In Your Bag?

She’s UNBeweavable!! Hair Art at The Hive

LOVE & SEX Love Vs. Lust How Selfish can i be?

HEALTH & FITNESS M eal R emi x Satis f y Your S w eet Toot h

LIFE & LIVING Heart Art Power couples 2016: Dennis & Diamond Smith Jamaine & Anika Banks

Love Tapped:

Growing Pains

SPIRITUALITY Spiritual Gifts Don’t Fall Into Formation




Killing with Craft




Dope Art with Pink Lo Mein Artistic Edibles by Cindy Mae Cakes Performing Arts and the WTAO

World of Words: Introducing Ja’Nese Dixon

Letter from the Editor

Le Charme Magazine started with a vision and has evolved into a tangible force and source that encourages, educates, and motivates. Our team set out on a mission to impact and empower women. We will continue this mission in the years to come. It was once said by a blogger that our magazine spotlighted the ordinary woman, but I believe this publication shines a light on extraordinary women and gives them the platform to encourage others through their experiences. The “Success Issue” marks the completion of our first year of publication. We celebrate our success and the success of the many women who support Le Charme and help create our visions. EMAIL

deiira@lecharmemagazine.com FACEBOOK

facebook.com/deiira INSTAGRAM


Thank you to the readers that continue to support the magazine and our mission. We will continue to bring thought provoking articles and imagery, as well as continue to connect with our community to make things around us just a little bit brighter. Keep reading, we’ll keep writing.

Meet the team

Josie Sloan Managing Editor

Dalana Bryant Copy Editor

Kim Bob Contributor

Tia Griffin Marketing Director

Chole Leviston Contributor

Brandee Nelson Contributor

India Henderson Beauty Editor

Khahelah Thornton Contributor

STYLE Time to let get of the winter wear and spring forward in fashion. There will always be our spring staples, such as florals, brighter colors and our trusty jeans, but adding these 3 trends to our spring arsenal will keep up runway ready. Check out the 3 trends that caught our attention.

By: DeiIra Smith-Collard

The Cold Shoulder Cold shoulder dresses are hot for this 2016 season. Shoulders are fully exposed with dresses and blouses having all types of cutouts.


The Stripes Bold Stripes and bright colors are some of spring 2016 favorite pieces.

The White Shirt The Classic white shirt gets a 2016 update. This closet staple has been updated to a tighter fit and embelishments.




By: India Henderson


ags, blemishes, redness and under eye discoloration are reasons we all reach for our favorite concealer. Once you’ve identified the best concealer that allows you to cover those imperfections, it’s not only your friend, but your closest confidant. To help you find your new secret best friend, we rounded up some of the highest rated concealers and provided a little information about each of them. These favorite makeup products go above and beyond to keep your skin looking flawless. But before we “out” the best under eye concealers for brightening dark circles and concealers for hiding blemishes or redness, check out these quick tips for using concealer. If you use foundation, apply your foundation first. Allow your foundation to provide coverage and then apply concealer only on areas where additional coverage is needed. You’ll find that you don’t need to use as much concealer. The most flattering way to apply under eye concealer is in a triangle shape with the base under your eye and the point towards your check. This creates the illusion that your face is lifted and brings focus inward and upward on the face. Concealer can be used to prime the eyelids before using eye shadow. Dab and blend a small amount on your eyelid then set lightly with a flesh-toned eye-shadow or powder. This will help your other eye shadows adhere and blend better. When concealing a pimple, cancel out it’s redness by applying a color correcting concealer in green first, then apply a concealer that matches your skin tone to camouflage the pimple. Set with powder for a flawless finish. Use concealer that’s one, MAYBE two shades lighter than your skin tone to highlight the inner corner of your eye, under the brow bone, or the center of the eyelid to a natural pop. This makes the eyes appear open and well rested. It also serves as a great cover up for any un-groomed hair in the brow arch. Dab an orange or peach colored concealer as a color corrector for dark under eye circles or darkness around the mouth area. This will cancel out the darkness and leave a flawless finish when you apply your skin toned concealer on top.

Now it’s time to reveal


best concealers on the market.

BEAUTY Bobbi Brown Creamy Conceal er Kit $35 This is all you need to cover dark circles in one handy compact. The creamy texture with skin smoothing emollients is waterproof, sweat and humidity resistant. Plus, the pressed powder sets it in place and ensure long-lasting coverage.

NARS Radiant Creamy Concealer $29 This concealer offers medium to full coverage with light-diffusing technology. Enriched with hydrating, multi-action skincare benefits that creates a softer, smoother complexion while obscuring imperfections and diminishing fine lines and leaves a luminous finish.

MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer $19

Perfect for covering scars and blemishes, this concealers offers opaque coverage as well as SPF 35 protection, antioxidants, absorbs excess oil, and feeds the skin with derivatives of vitamin A and E.

Laura Mercier Secret Camouflage $35

Completely camouflage imperfections with the unique two-shade system. One shade matches the skins depth of color and one matches the skins undertone, making it possible for every woman to custom-blend her own perfect shade.

Urban Decay Naked Skin Weightless Concealer $28 Buildable, even coverage with a luminous, demi-matte finish. It’s ultra lightweight formula melds like a second skin to give you full coverage in an instant. No matter how much you apply, it always blends beautifully and NEVER settles into fine lines.

A m az i n g Cosm e t i cs A m az i n g Co n c e a l e r $ 42

They don’t call it amazing for nothing. This concealer is high-performing, water-resistant, and full coverage. Known as the “magic eraser” because it cover every skin imperfection including: dark circles, broken capillaries, redness, blemishes, sun damage, and more. It will transform your skin into amazing skin.

Yves Saint Laurant Touche Eclat Radiant Touch $42

A highlighter rather than a traditional concealer, it eliminates shadow by reflecting light and it illuminates the skin and gives such an amazingly healthy looking glow.

Benefit Fakeup Hydrating Crease Control $24 This hydrating, creasecontrol concealer hides dark circles and diffuses fine lines for a silky smooth, ultranatural look. Packed with vitamin E and apple seed extract, it’s definitely a great way to hide the signs of a previous long night.

BEAUTY Estee Lauder Doublewear Stay in Place Concealer $25 Perfect for ageing of dry skin, this concealer provides coverage for up to 15 hours without creasing. Crème Formula that creates the perfected look of flawless skin with a luminous finish.

Estee Lauder Doublewear Stay in Place Concealer $25

This revolutionary weighless concealer instantly smoothes skin and makes dark circles and imperfections virtually disappear. Soft focus pearls reflect light to minimize the appearance of fine lines and blemishes. It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under

eye Anti-Aging Concealer $24

“It’s your 8 hours of sleep in a tube” Anyone who wants anti-aging benefits and wants to instantly conceal imperfections, diffuse the look of lines and wrinkles on the face, and achieve a more radiant looking, flawless and air-brushed looking complexion, this concealer is for you.

Anastasia Beverly Hills $20 You can literally cover anything you don’t want the world to see with this concealer. This magic potion locks onto skin to totally camouflage what lies beneath, revealing just smooth, even matte perfection. Its signature 24-hour wear means no touch-ups necessary!

Kat Von D Lock-It Concealer $25

You can literally cover anything you don’t want the world to see with this concealer. This magic potion locks onto skin to totally camouflage what lies beneath, revealing just smooth, even matte perfection. Its signature 24-hour wear means no touch-ups necessary!

Elizabeth Arden Ceramide Lift and Firm Concealer $20


This concealer hides dark circles amazingly, so if that’s one of your main concerns, this might be a great choice for you. However, it not only conceals dark spots and under eye circles, it smoothes out fine lines and nourishes your skin with vitamins A, C, and E.

MAC Pro Longwear Concealer $21

A lightweight, fluid concealer that provides medium to full coverage with a comfortable, natural matte finish. It gives a smooth, flawless looking finish on skin that lasts for up to 15 hours.

Now that we’ve revealed the best products to conceal your imperfections, you can go undercover with confidence! As always……

P y Sta

! ! er tty!




By: India Henderson

in Your

with the increasingly amount of cosmetic brands , it ’ s impossible for one person

to keep up with which brand offers the best product and finding a favorite product from any particular brand can be difficult. There are so many wonderful products by a variance of brands, how can you pick just one? Some may think that a primer is a primer. These various brands make the same promises of what their primer can do. So, how do you determine your favorite if they are all doing the same thing? The truth is, we all like different products for different reasons. We also have different needs for our different skin types and what works for one person may not work for another. We surveyed hundreds of women and have selected 5 women to share with you their 5 must-have products in their make-up bag. My “camera ready” go to products are… 1.Two Faced Little Black book of Bronzers

I’m all about radiant skin and highlighter….

2.Ben Nye Loose Powder Cameo 3.Morphe Brushes Eyeshadow palette – 35P 4.MAC Lipstick and Lip Pencil in Velvet Teddy and Spice 5.Becca Shimmering Perfecting powder 6.Champagne Pop by Jaclyn Hill

2.NYX Liquid Lipstick Lingerie

Dark Chocolate Soleil and Snow Bunny are my favorite!

N i k k i Ka z o r i,

Weekend Weather Forecaster KCBD Channel 11

1.Becca Radiant Skin Satin Finish Foundation

3.MAC Extra Dimension Skinfinish – Glorify 4.LA Girl Pro Concealer

1.MAC Studio Finish SPF 35 Concealer 2.MAC Studio Fix Powder Foundation

1.MAC Lipstick - Cyber

3.MAC Lip Liner – Chestnut

2.Milani - Baked Bronzer 3.L’ Oreal Paris Infallible

4.MAC Lipstick – Self Aware

4.Foundation - #111

MAC Lipglass - Oh Baby

B a n k Fr a u d S p e c i a l i s t

I’m a MAC girl and these are my favs….

The 5 products I can’t live without are…

5.Sigma Flat Kabuki 6.Foundation Brush F80

To n i Wa t s o n, 3 6 ,

5.Tarte Opening Act Lash Primer

Tr i s t a n M c Fa r l a n d 32,Office Physician

Re p r e s e n t a t i v e

Ti f f a n i W i l d e r, 3 6 ,

5.Carmex Chapstick

Pa t i e n t A c c e s s S p e c i a l i s t

BEAUTY These are my 5 must-have products… 1.Benefit – They’re Real Mascara 2.L’oreal Paris BB Cream – Medium 3.MAC Brows – Spiked 4.MAC Lipstick – Ruby Woo 5.MAC Studiofix Powder Foundation

Stephanie Daniel 35, Pa t i e n t A c c e s s S p e c i a l i s t

These beauties have let us in on their favorite products. They have all declared that they must have these products in their makeup bags at ALL times. If you’re looking for new products to try, take a look at their list and go try them out. A great way to try new products without making a full commitment is to ask for a sample at the cosmetic counter. Although, you are allowed to return cosmetics if you buy them, try them and find that they are not a favorite of yours, I recommend asking for a sample size that you can wear a day or two before making that commitment. If you’re not sure of your exact color, ask for two different shades that you can wear outside in natural light and see which color you like best. Please email us at beauty@lecharmemagazine.com and let us know if you try something from one of the list. Also, let us know some of your favorites. Until next time……

Stay ! ! ! y tt Pre

Ms. Indy




Bronner Brothers Past and Present By: Josie Sloan


irds nest, helicopters, feathers and funky colors join forces to create one hell of a spectacle at the

biannual Bronner Brothers Hair and Beauty Show in Atlanta, Georgia. No not to fight crime, but to allow talented hair stylists and makeup artist to show case their next level skills. Has this always been the case? What was the initial purpose of the Bronner Brothers bi-annual shows? Let’s take a moment to review the past to see how the present came to be. Bronner Brothers History In 1947, Bronner Brothers, Dr. Nathaniel H. Bronner, Sr. and Arthur E. Bronner, Sr., along with the help of their sister Emma Bronner, began instructing licensed hairstylist at the Butler Street YMCA in Atlanta, Georgia. Thus, the first Bronner Bros. Trade Show was born. With family and religion being the guiding force for the Bronner Brothers’ brand, they began to outgrow the original location and many others thereafter until their final location, The Georgia World Congress Center. Starving young artist flocked to their shows to feed on the techniques and talent that the Bronner family provided.


Renowned speakers such as Jackie Robinson, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Dr. Benjamin Mays, were scouted by Mr. Bronner to motivate people to come to the show. With social media, the internet and all other form of advertising, they have to host two shows a year just to make sure that everyone is allowed the opportunity to attend. As the seasons change so does the throne. Still keeping in the family, in 1993 Bernard Bronner became the CEO and the second generation to rule the Bronner Brothers Kingdom. Bronner Brothers Experience Attendance is geared more to “industry related� patrons, versus the open concept of welcoming the public in previous shows. Licensed cosmetologists and industry related vendors are allowed to purchase tickets, because most of the day is about perfecting your techniques

and learning new. Classes consist of starting your own salon to how to do the $50.00 Sew-in. Hands on demonstrations and seminars flood the main floor offering career advancement and networking options while obtaining access to a $500 billion hair care industry. Most individual come every year to both shows just to stay ahead of the game. The Contest The Bronner Brothers competitions are fierce. These competitions are geared toward getting talented stylist the opportunity to be exposed to more than 20,000 attendees. The range of competitions include but are not limited to: Battle of the Schools, Beauty, Weave Master, Barber, Nail Art and last but not least Fantasy In the Fantasy competition the sky is the limited. This is where a stylist can showcase their artistic and outlandish imagination. Multi-colored Mohawks,

Mile high up do’s, and eccentric goddess braids that drape the entire body. Now most of us would not be caught dead rocking some of these hair styles that the contestants enter into the Fantasy Competition, but it is an awesome opportunity to introduce their skill levels. It also put them on the map as one of the hottest stylist and low and behold if they win, all the recognition that they receive. Prize tiers ranging from 1st place to 3rd place and trophies and cash prizes. Celebrity Guest As mention earlier in the 1947, influential people such as Dr. Martin Luther King and Jackie Robinson were invited to the show to motivate people to come. Now the show has gotten so large that celebrities come to promote their own haircare and beauty product line. Porsha Williams from The Real Housewives of Atlanta has attended to promote her luxury hair line Naked. Supermodel Iman has been in attendance for her entire cosmetic line IMAN Cosmetics. Kenya Moore, also from The Real Housewives of Atlanta has started her own self-titled product line Kenya Moore Haircare and showcased it at the Bronner Brothers Hair and Beauty Show. Yes, I think that we can all say that Bronner Brothers is the most recognized hair and beauty show in the country maybe even the world. A show of this caliber is fueled by competition. In 2011 The Image Expo made its debut in Houston, Texas. There are about 500,000 licensed cosmetologists in Houston and surrounding areas, so it only makes sense for a hair and beauty show to tap into that realm. What sets Bronner Brothers apart from the Image Expo as well as all others is the fact that it is a family owned, all black, Christian based Corporation and they have been doing it for 69 years.

ART at the

By: DeiIra Smith-Collard

All Hair styling by: The Hive - Bella Makeup:

Leslie Smith

There are millions of people who carry the title of stylist, but not all can say they are a true artist. Bella Monique of the Hive Salon has taken her cosmetology training and used it to create her very own art form. She’s a hair visionary, dedicated to creating the perfect piece for each of her clients. Her heart goes into each project, every one just was special as the last. She places no limitations on her visions. When I first approached Bella about a hair feature for our artist issue, she beamed a smile and kindly agreed. What I thought would be one or two styles transformed into journey of styles, showcasing her ever-growing talent. From short and sassy styles, long luxurious locks, natural and even avant garde styles, Bella does it all. Watching her create, and seeing the passion in her eyes for what she does is inspiring. Bella sits down with Le Charme Magazine to discuss her passions, her artistry and her contribution to the world.

LCM: What do you consider art? TH: It is an artform but it’s special. Its personal art between the client and the stylist. The style of your hair tells a lot about a person. In some ways it reveals a story about a person and their lifestyle. It will tell you if they would take a risk or not with their appearance. And, If they trust you as a stylist or not. Even small details about a hairstyle can tell you a lot. Within the haircut pops of color and even the style itself they all go hand-in-hand with a lifestyle, character, mood, and art. You can tell automatically when a person is a professional, military, carefree or just has a grudge about themselves. It all reveals what kind of person they are in their Hair. What you look like is pretty much the first introduction that a person has before they open their

mouth. Hair has a lot to do with the character of a person and how they project themselves to the world. LCM: Do you feel art plays an important role in society? TH: As a stylist I feel my role is to help the client achieve that look. I am here to execute a part of their personality and expression. If a woman walks into the salon and she is professional her words to me “to give her a look that was short cute and sassy professional” with those few bits of knowledge of her personality I take that into account when I get ready to style her hair or canvas. Because she is professional I won’t do anything that would be too drastic. She is a woman who must look her best when she gets ready to walk into the office.

She lets me know how short or what color we’re going to do with her hair. She is giving me intruction to follow for her look.Communication is key to this bond when you are working with lifestyles. When I am being a hair artist in shows I am inspired by the elements around me. Creating a look comes from differnt inspiration. I take trends and incorporate them trying to achieve art in the form of hair. To me its a presentation. One thing about hair styles they never go away. It will always come back around again. I enjoy being able to take different decades different, centuries different ideas and incorporating them to achieve a look. I like creating runway hair that is different from everything else that you’ve seen. When I go beyond on the chair I take my mind to another place and I allowed myself to get into some deep creative thoughts about what the theme is and means. What is the inspiration behind it and how we get there. I build from that and I don’t just pick a hairstyle and just go from it. I pick it and I analyze it. I make it better so that it can be the hottest design out there something that you haven’t seen. LCM:Would you give us some background on your passions? How did you find your craft? TH: I have always had a creative mind, but my passion for hair comes in two different forms as does my career. One hand, I deal with the everyday lifestyles which happened in the salon. Second, I also go beyond the limits of what my chair has. By that I mean photography, hair shows, Runway Shows. Also working with different designers and different makeup artists and Models to put these art forms out and actually be able to showcase them. As we know you can’t complete the look without hair and makeup. I love being a part of the design elements that create these different types of artwork or looks into the world. LCM: Do you believe your works have purpose? What message do you convey with your work? TH: Oh, yes! I think so, to change or to alter the appearance of a person can change their life, their attitude, the way they view the world and themselves. I literally get to see and change people right from my chair. Immediately after leaving the client changes, they put on lipstick the walk. They think they’re cute! In a show models get to be exotic and they want the most intricate hairstyle that you can give them. They want to go over the edge and they want to see my vision come alive and they want to be a part of that. So my message is clear you can be who you want to be with in the style of your hair because it has no limits. LCM: What is your creative process? TH: Getting to know my clients and their personality tells me so much. You

have to connect with the people there Comfort levels their limits before even starting their hair. this is what gives me an idea of the direction to go and what are my limits are so that when the client leaves they leave better than they came. I personalize their experience. The art of hair in the salon is personal. its when you customize for your clientele. For each person their hair is a canvas of which they let me create my masterpiece. LCM: Along your journey have you ever wanted to walk away from pursuing your passion? If so, how did you find the faith and courage to keep moving forward despite any setbacks? TH: No! Not a quiter. I have always loved Hair! I have been tired at one point in my career. I have had some hard times but i have a strong passion for hair. Its been a 10 year journey. I’ve been frustrated. But it made me stronger. My issues are getting to the next level in this industry. As a cosmetologist there so many different areas other than just behind the chair. Now it’s about educating myself to getting to the next level and showcasing what I can do.

LCM:Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? TH: It’s funny but I realized I didn’t like pouching in or working for someone. There’s a freedom in a sense of Liberty and doing hair. The connection with people is so strong. When you do a good style you can be proud of what you have done. The way people respond to you and the response of others about your styles. It all makes you feel good. Gives you an Adrenaline rush to do the next style or show. LCM: How has art impacted your life? TH: Art has changed me, art grew up with me, art moved me to Houston. Art is my bestfriend, and has connected me with so many amazing people, and places. To to change a person’s outlook of themself within one hour with just a hair appointment or to see damaged hair grow healthy.. some things are just Priceless.... the trust my clients has for me is Priceless. My journey Priceless. LCM: We believe an artist, no matter the medium, has the ability to impact the world and leave a lasting legacy with the generations to come, how do you use your gift to further your purpse and impact the world? TH: When a woman leaves my chair for whatever reason for an appointment or hair show or just a demonstration they leave and empowered and ready to “Take On The World.” They leave with a look and they feel the part. They are taking a piece of me with them into the world. I am a part of their personality that’s why there is a connection between us as a stylist in the salon. I understand them, I help them to understand themselves. so I am impacting each person daily and those people go out and they impact others and that’s how I impact the world.

By: DeiIra Smith-Collard



should be impactful, purposeful and engaging. I believe it should inspire and evoke emotion within. This is exactly what you get when you encounter the art of Pink Lo Mein. Her bold colors and powerful images will pull you in . Each piece delivers a different message, yet they all have an underlying theme. This art is so empowering. It loudly states love yourself and seduces you with it ’s beautiful lines, curves and colors that mimic the female form. There is boldness in her art and only one word can describe it, Pink Lo Mein answers our questions on art, purpose and impact.


LCM: What do you consider art? PL: I consider everything around us art. The world is art, people, places and things are art. Anything that moves, anything that speaks volumes, anything that can be viewed is considered art to me. LCM: Do you feel art plays an important role in society? PL: Yes, I do believe art plays an important role in society. Art has been used as a platform for many different cultures, businesses, news, and religion etc. Art affects everyone in a positive and sometimes negative way. It is a freedom of expression. LCM:Would you give us some background on your passions? How did you find your craft? PL: I have always had a love for drawing and painting all my life, even as a child. To be honest I didnt see mysefl becoming a full time artist and pursuing this as a career 3 years ago. I turned to painting more and

more, after I left a full time career back in North Carolina as ahobby. I would post my paintings on social media sites such as Instagram, with no thought of selling my work. As I began posting, people took notice of my work and began inquiring about buying. Now I am here, and I am thankful, that people take the time to invest in my art and appreciate the work I put in.I had books and books of poetry from the age of six through high school. In high school I started playing with short stories and creative nonfiction. LCM: Do you believe your works have purpose? What message do you convey with your work? PL: I believe the message/purpose

behind my work is to promote positivity and a celebration of women and all body types and styles. I want my work to speak volumes through color, and imagery. LCM: What is your creative process? PL: My creative process, involves good music, a full belly, a glass of wine, blank canvas and fresh paint. I love my space to be full of positive energy before I began any painting. LCM: Along your journey have you ever wanted to walk away from pursuing your passion? If so, how did you find the faith and courage to keep moving forward despite any setbacks? PL: I have wanted to walk away a

I want my work to speak volumes through color, and imagery.

-Pink Lo Mein

few times from my passion. It gets really tough running a business on your own, and earning respect from others. Artists tend to get easily offended when someone doesnt like their work, or something negative is said, and that is something I have dealt with before. Pursuing art full time has enabled me to grow tough skin, meet and connect with amazing people, and grow within myself. I found faith to continue through prayer number 1, and realizing God has brought me this far for a reason with my art, and it serves a purpose that I must fullfil. LCM:Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? PL: I realized creating and going full time was the thing I had to do when my paintings started selling fast on Instagram. I knew when people actually showed appreciation, and commended me on my art that I was on to something. I was proud...I still am proud, and very thankful. LCM: How has art impacted your life? PL: Art has changed me, art grew up with me, art moved me to Houston. Art is my bestfriend, and has connected me with so many amazing people, and places. LCM: We believe an artist, no matter the medium, has the ability to impact the world and leave a lasting legacy with the generations to come, how do you use your gift to further your purpse and impact the world? PL: I am using my gift to create a platform, to create a voice to women of all shapes and sizes, all races. I create pieces that are colorful, pieces that are fun, and promote postivity and brings peaceful vibes to homes. I hope to see my work make a huge impact, and leave its mark with this generation for the good of all.


W W W. P I N K LO M E I N . C O M

Bob m i K H T I W

The Truth About Infatuation

Is He Dating A Dutchess? Photo Courtesy of @DutchessofInk

Love & Relationships

Lets take a poll, and be honest! How many of you know one of those annoying super happy married couples? You know those perfect couples that flood your FB, Instagram, Twitter and Snap chat timeline with the pictures and videos publicly documenting their flawless love. The picture perfect couples that look like they have never had a problem and they have it all the way together. Ironically, my husband and I are one of THOSE couples. I am 43 years old and I have been married most of my adult life. April 17th will be my 23rd wedding anniversary. For the most part, we are extremely happy. All our struggles and turmoil happened in the very early years of our marriage. We overcame many obstacles. I don’t regret any of our hardships because they made us

stronger and I pridefully thought I had this marriage game on lock. People came to me for advice about their relationships. Now, I do believe God has given me wisdom in that area but then a test comes your way that challenges your strength, your resolve your faith and lets you know, your not where you think you are. I thought I had conquered the spirit of lust long ago but it snuck up on me. Let me clarify. You can find a person attractive without wanting them. I think Halle Berry is gorgeous. I am merely acknowledging her beauty. However, when you lust after someone, it evolves more than just your eyes. Lust is described as a sudden, powerful, almost, overwhelming desire of something you know is bad for you. I had a firm set of rules when it came to lust. Never make eye contact; eye contact can be very intimate. It’s a silent language that I have always been quite fluent in and also, never engage in extended conversation. It sounds simple, however, by discarding my rules, I actually started developing a rapport with this other person that I was physically attracted to.

Now your rules may be different from mine, but we all know our trigger points. The bible says in Proverbs 4:23 “Above everything else, guard the affections of your heart; the emotional attachments you make determine the course of your life. This is so true. By breaking my own laws, I opened myself up to feelings and thoughts of another man. My security

was breached. All of a sudden, I felt insecure in areas I previously gave no thought to. I was more aware of how I looked. Paying attention to flaws that never bothered me before. Feeling guilty, I confessed to my husband, we prayed about it and it worked, until I saw him again. A lot of the couples

I know believe that would have been TMI to share with their spouses. However, that’s how the enemy works. It starts out as a secret, and that secret eventually becomes a convenient lie. The condemnation from that lie will have you tied up in bondage, which is why my husband and I firmly believe that by confessing our

Love & Relationships According to google, “about 4000 struggles to each other that we are exposing the lie.year By exposing the women die each due to dolie, we are extinguishing some of itsmestic power.violence Let me tell you, it was hard homicides, about emotionally, physically, mentally and husband the 75 spiritually. percent ofMythe victims was were incentive I needed to get me through this.as I am blessed with a to great man killed they attempted leave and nothing was or is worth sacrificing relationship. I want to relaspend thethat relationship or after the my life with my husband. There is NOtionship substitute. We were meant for each ended.” Also, according other and we have created a beautiful moral story, to life thetogether. CDC, in The 2010, outof ofthe 8,000 don’t fall for the tricks of the enemy. Stay strong, new HIV cases,keep 5300 communication of those were strong with your spouse, and if you happen to run across someonehas who black women. That number makes you want to break all your rules, avoidincreased them, matter of fact, to stay steadily in heterosexual on the safe and cautious side, dropwomen everything and run HIV in the opposite contracting from their direction. partners. Sadly, that is not the case for a lot of women.Ioriginally wanted to interview and tell the story of one of my co-workers, whose ex husband is serving eleven years for aggravated assault of a fam-

CAN I BE? By: LuLu Botello


kay ladies, we are going into spring season and this New year is now entering the next quarter. You’ve made new resolutions but now it’s time to start an inner REVOLUTION. Time to spring clean your mind, body, and soul. How selfish can we be? When you start an inner revolution you cleanse off the layers and our definitions of self, what you want to be, what others expect you to be, and what life limitations portrays you to be. I ask “how selfish can I be” because it will require you to make a final commitment for you and only you.( once a year like spring cleaning) You will have to set aside time to reveal the SELF hiding underneath the layers of commitments and duties to the person you have become. First, start with a journal and state who you are. For example, I am Lulu Botello, 49 years old, single mother of three teenagers. I am a free lance writer/blogger, a fitness instructor at Mixfitz Studios, survivor of domestic violence

and battling breast cancer. See, when you read this you got an image of what I should look like. But when you see me I will shock you. You might shock yourself so here we go.

MIND We reflect on so much on the things going on in our lives. Single or married we all have 24 hour duties. Do you sometimes feel like you have no time for you? Well, don’t because you should feel pride in all that you do. Cleanse Your Mind Write down what happened to make you who you are today. Both positive and negative life events will have an effect on you. Life’s positives can take away from you in some way by redefining who you are and imposing limitations. Just as negative life changes impact you and can force change.

Recognize Like a garden we have beauty but its time to weed out the bad and mulch the good so that we may grow SELF WORTH, SELF CONFIDENCE, SELF ESTEEM. (didn’t those words just make your posture better) Ask your self this question, “What do I have to do to be who I want to be?” Educate yourself and make a plan to be a better you. Knowledge is everything, knowing the steps to create a better SELF will help you achieve your goal. Write down what has happened and what direction your life is going in, you start to define and look at all the possible ways to find yourself again. We get lost being what is expected of us. Time to transform.

needs ME time” . One hour a day you should do something for your body, which will also help your mind. Do you exercise your body as much as you bog down your mind? Exercise releases energy that will help you clear your mind and create positive happy energy.

Declare First step is to take a photo of yourself naked or in a bathing suit. Yes, I said naked because there is truth in a photo you may not see. Now question what you see. Are you fit but not defined, are you overweight and need to do something about it? Remember you are beautiful the way you are however it’s our continuous work and improvement we make that will help us evolve into the women we want Transform Making the previous list should show you to be. whether or not you have made yourself a priority. If you have not be then this Decide revelation calls for action. A clear mind will Time to clean out refrigerator and pantry. help you gain the attitude necessary to You are what you eat! Fit, fine, and develop your inner strength. You Will gain fabulous! confidence which Will give you respect. Time to purge that wardrobe. You may What you will loose with this cleansing of have bought clothes that were on sale the mind is weight and burden of what for new job or you May have bought you hold on to. Let it go..move forward. new clothes to make hubby happy or Give up stress of what you cannot change. pregnancy. If it doesn’t define you and No more SELF abuse by holding on to the make you look 100%, time to let it go. Go past. Let go of self doubt because of back to the basics. And if you haven’t failures. Failures are steps to grow, they are worn it this year, give it away! stepping stones to the new you. Like an Time to check your schedule and see outline you should have a page of what what activity you can do for you. Get a good and bad and your resolutions and sitter if you have kids and go. One hour a like a vision board you should have images day, yoga, dance, walk, or circuit. Believe of what you are and what you want to be. me it is time for you to take the time for you. It Will help your mind. Time to see you transform!


Transform Now take a good look at yourself in the When you recognize you will take action. mirror. I always compliment myself by Feed your mind not your body. Work your saying “I look good” but even though body so that you can wear the clothes I feel comfortable in my skin, My body

that you define who you want people to see. A strong, self made, amazing woman with a body that just won’t quit and a mind full of knowledge to be the best at what job you have. People will respond to this transformation but your overall new YOU will bring out the personality and character that has been hiding behind the title you have been given.

SOUL Time to reach down into soul and find yourself. We are taught so many beautiful values and culture growing up. You should step back and reflect your youth and continue to teach what you were taught by the women who made who you are. Have the talk with your mother, grandmother and see what the past molded. It will be important to you one day. Memories of the women in my family in the kitchen are priceless! I want to teach my daughter to be independent, open minded and most important to have the strength to carry on what i have learned.

Selfish Now that was a selfless act not selfish because everything you do for your mind body and soul will make you stronger in all that you do. It will make you happy. It will make you stand out above the rest because you are taking control of the woman you are meant to be... Enjoy life, love hard, and the care of you! Lulu Botello

Edible Artt

with Cindy Mae Cakes

Everyone loves an edible treat, but what Cindy Mae does transcends your ordinary pastry. Using her background in art and sculpting, Cindy creates edible art. Her all goes into each creative design. Her flavors and design are custom and filled with flavor causing a beautiful creation that taste even better than it looks. LCM: What do you consider art? CM:I consider art to be an expression of a person’s heart and soul. LCM: Do you feel art plays an important role in society? CM: Yes, I feel that art plays an important role in society. Art stirs something within us. I seek out art that makes me smile. I believe art makes our world more beautiful and adds creativity and imagination to our society. LCM:Would you give us some background on your passions? How did you find your craft? CM: My passion for art started at a young age. I entered art shows for my drawings as a child, took dance classes and eventually taught dance for 5 years and had art shows for my acrylic paintings in downtown Houston in my mid 20’s. I turned my attention to culinary art about 5 years ago. I have always loved cooking and baking and creating art. Now I create edible art. LCM: Do you believe your works have purpose? What message do you convey with your work? CM: My creative process starts with a vision. I like to sketch out my cakes on paper and go from there. I also listen to Chopin, Christian music and Mozart while I bake and design my cakes LCM: What is your creative process? CM: I have never wanted to walk away from pursuing my passion of art because it is a part of me. I have had set backs and hard times but they all turned out to be set ups for grand things. Fear will try to stop you from pursuing

your God given destiny, but I encourage you to push through. My faith and relationship with Jesus is what carried me to continue toward my goals. LCM: Along your journey have you ever wanted to walk away from pursuing your passion? If so, how did you find the faith and courage to keep moving forward despite any setbacks? CM:I have never wanted to walk away from pursuing my passion of art because it is a part of me. I have had set backs and hard times but they all turned out to be set ups for grand things. Fear will try to stop you from pursuing your God given destiny, but I encourage you to push through. My faith and relationship with Jesus is what carried me to continue toward my goals. LCM:Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do?

CM:The first time I realized that creating was something I absolutely had to do was when I was a child and would watch my grandma bake. I remember watching her crimp the edges of pies, fold eggs into cake batter and whip the highest peaks of meringue. I wanted to do this, so I did. My grandparents were artist as well (oil painters/charcoal and I know that creating art is in my DNA. It just came natural to want to create. LCM: How has art impacted your life? CM: Art has impacting my life in many ways. Creating edible art that starts from just a thought, to a sketch on a piece of paper and then making it with my hands is an awesome thing. Art allows my imagination to activate and is very therapeutic. LCM: We believe an artist, no matter the medium, has the ability to impact the world and leave a lasting legacy with the generations to come, how do you

use your gift to further your purpse and impact the world? CM: I would like to think I use my gift to share with the world that God is good and He has a great plan for your life. I want to impact the world and continue to lift others up by creating cakes that taste great, look great and celebrate people. Behind each cake is a person with a story. I care about people. I care about why someone wants to have edible pearls on their cake because that is their favorite jewel. As a cake artist, I bake and design with love. That is my secret ingredient.


By: DeiIra Smith-Collard



’ve all heard the phrase “Killing it!”, but Unquinec Killings takes this to an entirely new level. I had no idea what a powerful presence the quiet beauty sitting next to me on the Houston Come Up Talk Show possessed. She was silent and pensive as she sat waiting on her turn to be interviewed, but when she spoke her passion silenced the room. Unquinec has an undeniable passion for her projects and a desire to challenge, educate and shape the world and entertain the masses. Also known by her stage name Lola D’shell, she is a multi-talented artist with a multitude of gifts. From acting, to singing, dancing, rapping, writing,directing and producing her performing arts resume is never ending. Finding her passion at an early age, Unquinec has studied her craft and emerged as a force to be reckon with. Her talents have taken her on a journey of discovery and development. Unquinec has been featured in many stage plays such as “Church Anniversary” and “Church Ladies”, “Only God Can Judge Me” and “Will I Ever Find a Good Man” with Robin Givens, Clifton Powell, and Nicci from Brownstone. Musically, Unquinec has performed as an opening act for artists like Angie Stone, rap sensation Cash Money, and also opened at the Alabama Old School Festival. Unquinec is ever evolving, and has now transitioned into directing and producing. She has taken the next step by opening her own production company, Ffortless Productions and is currently working on her first drama series, Sex, Money, Lies, which will air locally in Houston, TX. Unquinec Killings is truly Killing her Craft.


Stylist: Tiffeny Wilson Makeup: Jessica Trujillo


“I consider art a freedom of expression.” -Unquinec Killings

FEATURE LCM: What do you consider art? UK: I consider art a freedom of expression. LCM: Do you feel art plays an important role in society? UK: Yes, it gives you an outlet away from negativity or allows you to express your pain and hurt in a healthy way. It allows your to be creative and tap into your imagination. LCM: Would you give us some background on your passions? What are your different business and endeavors? UK: My passions are acting, rapping, singing, dancing (hip-hop), writing and producing. My second grade teacher, Mrs. Jocelyn Gilmore introduced me to acting and that opened all the doors of being an entertainer. LCM: Do you believe your works have purpose? What message do you convey with your work? UK: Yes, I do believe my work have a purpose. I covey do not be afraid to take risks; try new things. To release your creativity without being afraid of being judged or categorize. Most important be true to thy self. LCM: What is your creative process? UK: Ahahahahaha....my creative process are several things, I could be day dreaming an something hit me or late nights just sitting outside with nature letting my imagination roam, or jamming music and a creative vision hit me. LCM: Along your journey have you ever wanted to walk away from pursuing your passion? If so, how did you find the faith and courage to keep moving forward despite any setbacks? UK: Yes because this industry can be

shady and you can be so close and it slip through your fingers. So I tried the “normal route” working a 9 to 5 and it’s beyond boring and I feel as if I’m torturing myself. Then I have to remind myself, without failure there is no success. I believe hard work plus dedications pays off. LCM:Along your journey have you ever wanted to walk away from pursuing your passion?If so, how did you find the faith and courage to keep moving forward despite any setbacks? UK: Yes because this industry can be shady and you can be so close and it slip through your fingers. So I tried the “normal route” working a 9 to 5 and it’s beyond boring and I feel as if I’m torturing myself. Then I have to remind myself, without failure there is no success. I believe hard work plus

FEATURE dedications pays off. LCM: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? UK: Yes, in middle school we had to split into a team of 3 and write a short play. I wrote the one for my group and added in a song and dance. My English teacher recorded it and sent it off to an agency and they came to my house but my granny told them I was to young to move to LA and she couldn’t leave the other grandkids behind and she refuse to let someone else have control over my money and rob me. I was soooo hurt and I cried and cried but I realize I had a special gift and from that moment creating became my everything. It didn’t matter if it was through song, script or dance. LCM: We believe an artist, no matter the medium, has the ability to impact the world and leave a lasting legacy with the generations to come, how do you use your gift to further your purpse and impact the world? UK: I use my gift to spread love, boost self esteem especially in little black girls,to love yourself flaws and all; to not be afraid, take risks and let no one put you in a box. You only live once! So live without fear because your legacy lives forever. And I have a daughter to leave a legacy and empire behind too.

abstract art with Paris K


Presented by FFortless Productions ​ ouston, TX (February 6, 2016) Ffortless H Productions presented an intimate art gallery to display Paris K. A four year old art at T.F.M Photography Studio, 2616 S. Loop W. #301G, Houston, TX 77034. There was live entertainment and invites to other artist and owners of local art galleries. Paris started expressing a passion for art in 2013. Instead of using crayons to paint in her coloring books, she insisted on paint. This year she received a Deluxe Standing Easel along with paper, paint and brushes and she’s been painting away ever since. She spends countless hours just having fun while she paints. Paris has grown into a unique artist. And for a four year old I am quite impressed. Her collection literally grew over night. So, therefore, I wanted to share her creativity with others. Also, to let her know she can accomplish anything she put her mind too. With so much negativity in this world, I wanted to start her young with a strong foundation, to let her know something as simple as a painting can speak a thousand positive words in your life and others. It is also a healthy way to release whatever you are feeling. Paris states besides painting she wants to be a ballerina, she sings and is currently learning to play the acoustic guitar. As she continues to grow and release her artistry, we as her parents want her to know that mom and dad will support her dreams and dreams do come true.

By: Dana Pittman


. My name is Dana and I am a serial hobbyist. I have a great reason, actually several. But a story will probably help you more. Many years ago I found myself in a stressful season of life. No one thing was the contributing factor to my stress. It was the accumulation of life that had me stretched to capacity. To keep from losing my cool I decided I wanted to pray more and meditate more on bible verses. Now don’ t leave me if you are not a “religious” person. This article can help you too. This was just my process of discovering how to quiet my noisy, stressful life with art. I made a plan to pray more and it involved waking early. I designated a chair in my living room to sit. I had my plan and was ready to go. I tried it on the first day and it worked for all of five minutes before I found

myself asleep. This process continued for about a week before I realized I had to do something different. I needed to stay awake to pray or meditate. So after many failed attempts I grabbed my yarn and crochet hook and placed it my chair. It would be ready for my next early morning attempt. Long story short, it worked. I would start my prayer or find a verse to meditate on and then I ’ d crochet as I “chewed ” on the word. This was many years ago. But since this wonderful discovery I have used the same process—using art to quiet my noisy life—with knitting, embroidery and most recently bible art journaling. I planned to find some sort of clever statistics from some fancy smart people. However, in the end, I do not need statistics to prove that many of us need more quiet spaces in our

life. Our jobs, our families, our money (or lack of), and so on contribute to a slow accumulation of tension. Tension evolve into worry. Worry becomes stress. Stress becomes endless noise in our minds, which clutters our hearts. And not our beating heart but our inner man (woman). The source of who we are, what we believe we are capable of and so much more. But a clogged heart yields a stuck life. You have probably been there a time or two. You find yourself unable to move. You have a weird mixture of being overwhelmed by situations. This same dilemma if presented at a more opportune time would not cause you to blink let alone stress out. However, when we add it to an already congested situation it breeds havoc. Art has the ability to calm things. In the quieting of the noise, we can think through our challenges. We can see different approaches. We can breath and determine to progress one step at a time. 1. Pick a specific time. I found more f lexible but I needed this picking a specific time took the specific commitment to help me guessing work out it. It also kept get going. me from chickening out. 4. Pick a general task. This is where 2. Pick a specific place. I had the art comes it. Find a task you my chair. S ometimes I work at my like. A task you’ve always wanted kitchen table. It changes based to try. Do crochet today, knitting on the “art ” I choose to engage tomorrow, or whatever. Just show in. up and let the rest happen. A 3. Pick a specific duration, in the few examples are: coloring (yes , beginning. 30 -day challenges in a color book), journaling, art are great for having a specific journaling, painting, crocheting, duration. My determination to knitting, cross stitch, and more. try praying and meditation for Try one, try them all. But in the 21 days saved me. It made end the goal is to find what me keep trying and from this I works for you. found




I ’m

Living a noisy life has the ability to rob us of who we are and leave in its wake a person we don’ t recognize. I believe committing to a little daily quiet time can help you quiet that noise. The wonderful aspect about this approach is you don’ t have to be talented to have results. Perfection is not required. No one is going to check it. But your heart will thank you.

By: DeiIra Smith-Collard


ften times when we think of power couples we think of the Jay’s and Beyonce’s of the world. We think of the glitz and glam couples who adorn the covers of magazines and movie screens, but what about those couples in our communities? What about those couples who join forces to and inspire each other? These are the couples we should celebrate, those that unite to promote unity and togetherness. Here are two Houston couples who embody the true meaning of a power couple, opening up about what it truly takes to work as a team to further their cause.

Dennis & Diamond



T h e P h i l ant h ropists

here are many different labels a couple can give themselves. There’s the fun couple, the adventurous, the competitive ones, the list goes on, but Dennis and Diamond Smith have chosen to be the couple that inspires. The Smith’s have chosen to be the “let’s make the world shine a little bit brighter couple” by starting their non-profit organization, Light Up The Dark. Dennis and Diamond have grown together, from high school sweethearts, to young newlyweds and now to a full family of five. They are life partners as well as business partners. When speaking with the Smiths you can instantly tell this is a couple that is in sync. They are an open, spiritually grounded husband and wife who truly believes in their mission. Light Up the Dark is built on the foundation of inspiring others through the love of God. It is a foundation with a multitude of community outreach services such as Christmas Toy Drives, feeding and dressing the homeless, character and teen development classes at the boys and girls club, and even marriage and relationship counseling through sharing their own testimonies of how they have dealt with domestic abuse, infidelity and separation but overcome these obstacles to build a great marriage and partnership that is built on love, honor and respect. In 2016, The Smith’s opened another business together, Pack -n-Play Party Rentals, growing their empire even more.

LCM:What drives or motivates you as to our communities here in Houston, a couple to keep reaching? such as our annual hair cuts before DDS: What drive us to keep reaching Christmas, where we take young boys is the ability to succeed in life for our to the barbershop to get free haircuts, selves as well as our children. And and invite them to our toy drive the next because we know the other opinion day, as well as feeding and dressing the we already took that road in life of not homeless, and teaching kids character being anything, and we refuse to go classes at our local boys and girls club. We also own our very own party rental back. services call Pack-N-Play Party Rentals, LCM: As a successful couple what traits where we are guaranteeing kids smiles do you believe make a successful all day! We have affordable prices, power couple? and excitement for everyone. DDS: What makes any couple not just LCM:Some people believe you a power couple is forgiveness, respect, can only do one thing, how do and be willing to let your partner grow, you balance your different roles of as well as your self. leadership,business and family? LCM:Would you give us some DDS: We try to make sure that everyone background on your passions? What needs are being met, from the kids to are your different business and our personal goals, and sometimes it endeavors? do get hard but we as a couple know DDS: We currently have our very own our mission, and it just come down organization call Light Up The Dark, to: do you know your partner, and where we inspire others about god, and do they really have your back, and if what he has done for us, and what he so everything else will fall in line as it can do for others, as well as giving back suppose to. LCM:Do you believe being in a relationship and running a business together makes you stronger in both your home and work lives? DDS:Yes we believe so, because the respect is already built in, the trust is built even stronger, and you as a couple our building something together, but at times you can bump heads, but at the end of the day it will be resolve just base on the fact one of you will make each other smile.

LCM: What inspires you guys the most? rare, and not to many people these DDS: Our kids inspire us, it give them the days tend to stay together after the chances we never had., and to teach things we have been through, or have the heart to say I’m sorry, so we like to them the value of hard work. use our relationship to inspire others to LCM:Along your journey, have you know that change can happen but ever questioned working together? both parties have to want the change. DDS: Sometimes when things don’t fit LCM:What is your definition of a power because we are two different people, couple? we’ve learned from a marriage counselor that we have to find a way DDS:Being able to have the same mind to meet in the middle, and thats what set.. meaning being on the same page we practice. Finding a middle ground. at the same time , or if not the same page the being in the same book. To LCM:Do you at times feel a little couple be able to say I’m wrong, and let your competition, and if so does it make you actions show you’re sorry, and to be even more effective? able to shine together. DDS: We wouldn’t say competition but LCM:If you could give advice to other inspire each other to do better. couples who aspire to work together LCM:Is there any one couple you and make their mark as a couple, what admire and model your relationship would it be? after? DDS:Have a plan on what it is you guys DDS:No, because our relationship is want to do, and began to work on it,

make room for error so you can learn how to correct it together, allow each other to grow, and keep god in your union. People have to realize that it harder to accomplish things as a couple rather than you going out and doing it by your self, you have to be in agreement on everything. And controlling your thoughts as a union and sticking to the plan you both created.

Jamaine & Anika


T h e e ntr e pr e n e u rs

In a what’s in it for me kind of world, Jamaine and Anika Banks are doing their part to grow and help others. Her personable and bubbly personality perfectly compliments his drive and ambition. Together this couple is a force to be reckoned with. They are an unstoppable ball of energy that grows larger and larger with each endeavor. They are decisive and bold individuals who after only 18 days, knew they were lifetime partners. As the owners of Start Your own Business and the Houston Come Up Talk show, Jamaine and Anika will stop at nothing to help budding business owners catapult themselves into success. Start Your Own Business is a company founded on helping other people. These two have taken their success and built a platform for others to do the same. The Houston Come Up is a powerful platform that showcases the movers and shakers of Houston, Texas. It’s a stage where everyone gets to shine and introduce themselves to the world.

Their relationship is one that is firmly rooted in the word of God, and the business relationship they have developed mirrors this dynamic as well. Through Start your Own Business, The Houston Come Up Talk Show and the upcoming Houston Come Up Radio Show, Jamaine and Anika are leaving their mark on the world. LCM:What drives or motivates you as a couple to keep reaching? JAMAINE: Our drive and motivation comes from the wonderful dreams and vows we made to each other when we first met. Building a house is how we build our relationship. First we meet in the conference room with God to design our Blueprint. We talked about how we wanted each room of our future to be designed. Our kitchen an dining room is a place we strive to create health and exercise regimens. We build on a solid foundation and we Build our marriage and business on brick, our foundation is the word of God and the brick is the Truth. Working to accomplish our goals and dreams is what makes us so motivated and gives us drive when we see every plan we make come true in a joyful and happy way. Spending time together is our greatest gift to each other, time is the only thing you can never take back so we make the most of it. She is the most valuable piece on my chest board, She is my queen, she reminds me of a story when a guy name Danny Simpson who’s grandfather left him a house and a lot of old antiques, one day he got broke and found a gun in the house he took the gun an rob a bank for 7,000, shortly afterward he was captured and brought into custody during the investigation detectives learned that the gun was a antique collectible that was worth 120,000, Danny didn’t realize the value

of what he had in his hands, if he did he would’ve never robbed a bank for 7,000 with a gun worth 120,000 to many times men have wives that are china ware,but yet, treat them like a paper plate. ANIKA: Our drives comes from each other, when we first got married we made promise that we would honor and cherish each other as we spend all days of our lives together, My husband is a very smart person, I learn so much from him myself, He’s introduced me to a new things, we’ve taken so many new avenues that I couldn’t possibly have imagine, I would have to say we both are dreamers so that gives us the drive to continue to strive for success. LCM: As a successful couple what traits do you believe make a successful power couple? JAB: Truth and Love is what makes us a successful power couple, We tell the truth even when it hurts, expressing truth is not always easy but we do it. We love hard and know our roles, we love each other so much that we play roles and help the other with theirs. Jamaine: I find myself helping her everyday with cooking, cleaning, and laundry, Anika: Yes we help one another with each task like I enjoy washing the vehicles with him, We walk our dog together, as well as fix repairs around the house, we work together on everything. For our companies we both work daily in the same office as a team. Jamaine: I meet with our clients and Anika performs daily administrative roles for our clients for “Start your Own Business”, we both are producers for our new talk show here in Houston call “Houston Come-up, we both work and stick together on everything. My wife left her job of 15years so we could build our brand together not leaving it up to one person to make success, like the bible says “Whosoever is greater among you let him become a servant that’s why Jesus took his coat off and washed his disciples feet, I serve my wife and she serves me. LCM:Would you give us some background on your passions? What are your different business and endeavors? Jamaine: My passion is assisting entrepreneurs with starting their own business throughout Texas and the United States, I enjoy guiding entrepreneurs towards their dreams in starting their own companies. My wife and I help ones with starting Non-profits, LLC, LLP, Incorporations, Bylaws, write business plans and financial proposals, as well as projected income statements, intellectual properties i.e. patents, trademarks and copy rights . Our business goals are to open our third location this summer for “Start Your Own Business”, as well as take our talk show “Houston Come-up onto mainstream.

Anika: My passion has always been to give back to our community, I’ve been in the Hair Industry 15 years, which im very passionate about my craft, being able to transform lives, and to be able to assist with that make my heart fond, I have meet so many great people throughout my journey, what I have learned throughout the years has brought me to this point as to utilize my experiences to add to the business Jamaine and I currently hold, with both similar passions we both know we have an empire in the making. LCM:Some people believe you can only do one thing, how do you balance your different roles of leadership,business and family? JAMAINE: We balance everything, because to much sugar will kill you, as a good shepherd over leadership, business, family, being a good shepherd doesn’t mean you drive the sheep, a good shepherd lead the sheep besides the still water and restore her soul, I balance everything by being the thermostat in the marriage, house, and business, if I set the temperature on 55 then she will be cold, I cant expect her to walk around the house in her lingerie or T. Shirt an panties on because when a man set a winter temperature, he cant expect to have a summer wife. The wife is the thermometer she only acts accordingly to the temperature that has been set, I enjoy her being a lady to be able to stay at home relax, watching her favorite shows on T.V. , going shopping knowing her husband still have all the bills paid an business taken care of. Blessed are two that walk together so if one of us falls in a hole

then here comes the rope and ladder from the other to get out the hole an be back on balance ground. Anika: The heart of her husband trust is her; She will not be at loss for fine spoils, for she provides good things for her husband all her life. LCM: Do you believe being in a relationship and running a business together makes you stronger in both your home and work lives? Jamaine: Our business makes our marriage stronger and our marriage makes our business stronger, we live and work together 22 hours a day, being together remove a lot of hurt, doubt, and fear that we experienced in pass broken relationships, she never

has to worry about if im with someone else or stepping out on her, because we are always with each other. Our business makes our marriage stronger as Television Producers and business owners we create our income to our own comfort ability, when we want more money we do more marketing, when we want a week off of going to the beach laying around talking and laughing we do less marketing so we can enjoy each other, an still be financially secure. We control our weeks, so when we want to spend a week just waking up eating breakfast and staying in bed, having downtime to enjoy one another we do less marketing, so when we want to increase our income and grind together then we market more and create more income. Birds of a feather flock together, you never see a crow running with a blue jay because the black bird is looking for corn and the blue jay is looking for worms, someone will come up short at the end of the day. Since we are both lovebirds we work on our marriage an and business to make all things work together for good. Anika: As a married couple we strive to stay strong for one another, I have honestly experienced the greatest joy of having my spouse as my business partner an husband, we definitely have grown into one another with gives me confidence that our marriage will survive any obstacle that is ahead of us in our home, and work lives.our building something together, but at times you can bump heads, but at the end of the day it will be resolve just base on the fact one of you will make each other smile. LCM: What inspires you guys the most? Jamaine: Our marriage is our inspiration. I’m her husband of the house, not just her husband in the house. A husband in the house is only truly concerned about things outside the house like cars, clothes, women, and homeboys, he only come in the house to have some good sex, shower, shave, and sleep, all his concerns are away from the house, men of the house is concerned about everything in the house. He is at the office watching the clock cant wait to get home to her. Songs 2:8 says he

comes leaping upon mountains skipping upon the hills “he cant wait to get home and wife is well taken care of , she expects him home 30-45mins after he gets off, he makes sure it’s a half of a cow in the deep freezer to feed the family for the next 3 months. All my concerns are in my home and marriage, that truly inspires me and have me coming home leaping on the mountains and skipping on hills. Anika: Our strong commitment & trust we have for one another inspires both of us, we trust one another to protect each others hearts, I’m his wife my position is to keep my husband “the husband of the house” by him being the head and me being his neck that turns his head, making him feel proud to be leaping and skipping on the hills LCM:Along your journey, have you ever questioned working together? Jamaine: No its been a wonderful experience to wake up in the morning with my wife and get dressed to be at the same office together, It was an adjustment at first, we found immediate solutions to problems Its good to work together she have a boss that will never fire her for being late, I have a assistant that I can help spend her paycheck lol. We look forward in going to the office everyday we make clients happy, as well as helping reach their life goals In business. Anika: I can truly say It was an adjustment in the beginning, before I meet Jamaine I was one who was that Independent Woman was on my own journey to success, so after meeting him an starting our company gave me a different outlook like Hey! I don’t have to be working so darn hard alone, I’ve learned there is nothing wrong with trusting someone like your husband to come and rearrange your life, he has made it so much easier for us. LCM:Do you at times feel a little couple competition, and if so does it make you even more effective? Jamaine: I really never feel competition with my wife in business, but in our marriage I’m always competing to love her more than she loves me. Anika: Awwww. That is so beautiful, but for me I never feel competition with my husband we both come together

as One in business and our marriage an having that understanding amongst each other eliminates any competition LCM: Is there any one couple you admire and model your relationship after? Anika: Yes, We admire and model our marriage to how Christ loved the church, we have no human models because a marriage is so personal of a bond that you never would understand the struggles two people been through to have the love they share. Jamaine: I admire the couple I know all about and that’s my lovely wife Anika Banks, what got us to this point I enjoy and can deal with, but what struggles the next couple deal with I don’t know if we could relate. As far as what I have seen my grandparents who were married over 50 years, they didn’t care if they lived in a wood house that sat on bricks with chickens in the backyard, they stayed together, when my grandfather had his leg amputated, and my grandmother lost all her teeth they lived up the their vows they made 50 years ago. I do admire that because they raised 10 children and never spent a night away from one another. LCM:What is your definition of a power couple? JAB:A power couple is a couple that sticks together like white on rice and hang out like wet clothes on a line, Is a couple where the man knows he’s the way maker and she knows she is the help maker. The bible says “One can put a 1,000 to flight, A power couple is 9,000 times greater in their love lives,

emotions, joy, happiness and finances. They are 9,000 times greater together than they were single. Power Couples always keeps things positive put God first and do the right things towards each other without excuses. Couples must spend a lot of time together to build a stronger home and marriage, keep God first is where we get the power to have so much positive energy an love to make us a couple that is so powerful. LCM:If you could give advice to other couples who aspire to work together and make their mark as a couple, what would it be? JAB:Spend time, build each other up, look beyond each others faults and see their needs, pray every morning and night with each other, be truthful, even when it hurts, do right even when you have a reason to do wrong, spend 100% time together, it removes all doubts and all fears when you both trying to be a Power Couple.want to do, and began to work on it, make room for error so you can learn how to correct it together, allow each other to grow, and keep god in your union. People have to realize that it harder to accomplish things as a couple rather than you going out and doing it by your self, you have to be in agreement on everything. And controlling your thoughts as a union and sticking to the plan you both created.


Do you have something you want to sound off about. email us at: khahelah@lecharmemagazine.com

WITH Khahelah Thornton


I have a friend who is paying some guy to paint her house. What should be a 3 day job has now turned into a 7 day job. Every time the painter comes over to paint, he’s always asking for food. One day when my friend was out of time, she gave him the code to enter through her garage. The painter called my friend on the phone to ask her, “What do you have here for me to eat?”

GIMMIE GIMMIE I was once friends with a girl that all of a One of my friends is literally a shop-aholic. I have a friend that I love dearly, however whenever she comes to my house she has the tendency to walk around as if she’s window shopping in a mall. She’s always asking for things, from perfume, to lotions, to a weight scale, or work out equipment. It’s getting to the point where I’d rather hang out anywhere other than my house. I consider myself a nice person, but why would I buy things for myself only to give them away to someone who is perfectly capable of making a purchase?


I have this friend who doesn’t like one of my other friends. One day I decided to have a girls- night out party and I invited all of my close friends. One friend in particular decided to open a tab and purchased several drinks for my section. I found it impolite that one of my guests decided to drink away knowing that she didn’t like the person paying for all the drinks. She couldn’t find herself to speak to this young lady or acknowledge her presence but she could drink on her dime and spend more money than she would typically spend at the bar on herself.


I usually do not play the lottery, unless the jackpot is astronomical. I invited one of my friends to ride with me to a local store to purchase tickets. My friend decided not to spend her $5 on lottery tickets but to purchase beer and junk food instead. She ended up spending $22.xx and had the nerve to ask me to buy her a lottery ticket.

Healthy Sea Meal Remix Scallops in a Creamed Pepper By: Josie Sloan

and Corn Saffron Sauce

So you know when your browsing through Facebook or Instagram, and you see those post of various meals people are about to eat, or that they have prepared themselves. Have you ever wanted to prepare those same meals but you don’t have the time or the talent? This is how culinary arts come into play. Culinary art allows your inner chef to come out and play, with the food on your plate in such an elaborate way that your eyes will water along with your mouth. Lets add the Sea Scallops in a Creamed Pepper and Corn Saffron Sauce, to your recipe list and look like a high end chef for the family.

You Will Need 20 large sea scallops 4 teaspoons Creole Seasoning 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 12oz. bag of frozen corn 2 large chopped bellpeppers 1 tablespoon red onions, minced 2 teaspoons garlic, minced 3 bay leaves 1 teaspoon salt

3/4 teaspoon white pepper 1/2 cup fish stock 1/4 teaspoon saffron threads 1 cup heavy cream 1 tablespoon unsalted butter 1/4 cup green onions, chopped for garnishment

Health & Fitness

Let’s Get Started

Heat olive oil in a small saucepan over high heat. While oil is heating thaw out the frozen corn. Once oil is hot, add the corn kernels, bell pepper, red onions, garlic, salt and pepper and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in stock and saffron and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the cream and simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat a spoon, for about 6 minutes. Whisk in the butter. Remove from the heat and stir until the butter is incorporated. Set aside. Sprinkle the scallops with creole seasoning and coat them thoroughly with your hands. Heat the remaining oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. When the oil is hot, add the scallops and saute until golden brown for 3 minutes on each side. Reheat the saffron sauce and pour into shallow serving dish and place 5 scallops on top. Sprinkle with green onions.



Introducing Ja’Nese Dixon

An ar tist ca n be defi n ed i n ma n y d i ffe r e n t way s . Unlike the painter, the writer will use words to paint a picture. The author will use an orchestra of adjectives and nouns, similes and metaphors to create beautiful harmony between their characters. With their pen and pad they will sculpt worlds within worlds. Ja’Nese Dixon has done just that with her books. The Oklahoma native quietly entered the Houston writing scene as a ghost writer. She then expanded her skills by entering and placing in several writing contest. After the fire had been lit, Ja’Nese went on to write her first novel, Black Diamond. Ja’Nese sits down to talk to Le Charme Magazine, about her books, art and how she impacts the world with her words.

Look for Ja’Nese Dixon’s Books at www.janesedixon.com

With: DeiIra Smith-Collard LCM: What do you consider art? JD: I consider art any output in which the person is expressing himself or herself creatively. LCM: Do you feel art plays an important role in society? JD: Yes. Art has a way of being extremely real and raw to escapism and whimsical. We all want to see life through the eyes of another whether through paint or words. I truly believe art can represent the pulse of any given situation and time. LCM:Would you give us some background on your passions? How did you find your craft? JD: I am an artist who likes to create in many ways. But for writing it was bore out of boredom. I was never really the child who played with toys or watched much tv. That left me with my imagination. So I read and wrote. I had books and books of poetry from the age of six through high school. In high school I started playing with short stories and creative nonfiction.

LCM: Do you believe your works have purpose? What message do you convey with your work? JD: In my fiction writing I believe it has purpose. I love show the dynamics and lengths people will pursue to achieve their desired goal. I honestly hope people are entertained with my work. We have enough stress in the “real world”. I want readers to curl up with a warm cup of tea and slip away into a world cleverly crafted to keep you on the edge of your seat. LCM: What is your creative process? JD: I would love to say I have one. But I don’t, at least not a systematic process. Each process dictates what it needs. Many of my stories start with a question. It can take months or years for it to formalize into an actual storyline. For there it does become more structured. I outline and toy around with it until it is ready to start the writing process. LCM: Along your journey have you ever wanted to walk away from pursuing your passion? If so, how did you find the faith and courage to keep moving

forward despite any setbacks? JD: YES!!! I have to fall in love with writing over and over again. It is not an easy task. But the result makes it worth the hard work. And my readers, they stay on me. They are eagerly awaiting this next project. I want to do it if not for me, for them. For those of you reading this interview experiencing setbacks in pursuing your passion always ALWAYS know your “why”. When I don’t want to write another word, or edit another chapter, I recall the many authors who did not quite and shared their gift with me. I feel honored to pay it forward. LCM: Can you describe the time when you first realized that creating was something you absolutely had to do? JD: I cannot recall the first time but with every big project I reach the point where I have insomnia because the character won’t let me sleep. ☺ LCM: How has art impacted your life? JD: Much of who I am has been influenced by art. Music, books, photography… you name it I’m sure it helped me learn more about who I am and who I desire to be. LCM: We believe an artist, no matter the medium, has the ability to impact the world and leave a lasting legacy with the generations to come, how do you use your gift to further your purpse and impact the world? JD: I believe my work impacts the world one reader at a time. The way to change the world is by transforming minds. This shift happens through our perspective of who we are, why we are here and what we are created to do. I hope readers encounter characters that are just like them, nothing like them or both. Because through walking in their shoes we can experience the world just by turning the page. THAT is how great writers can change the world. And I can only hope my work will push and challenge readers to shift for the better.


Health & Fitness


Sweet Tooth

With Annika Regala

Banana kiwi smoothies

A healthy spin to satisfy your sweet tooth

Bananas are high in potassium and fiber and since they add such a smooth creamy texture to smoothies, it seems like smoothies just aren’t complete without them. Kiwi fruits are packed with vitamin A and magnesium. This smoothie also features yogurt, which is chock full of protein and calcium.


1 banana, peeled into chunks (frozen chunks if you have them) 1 kiwifruit, peeled and cut into quarters 1 cup non-fat plain yogurt 3 -4 ice cubes (omit if you’re using frozen banana) 2 teaspoons honey


Combine all ingredients in blender and blend on high until smooth. Makes 2 smoothies

Nutrition Facts

169 calories 3 grams fiber 35 grams carbohydrates 8 grams protein In addition, each smoothie give lots of calcium and potassium and almost all the vitamin C you need for one day.



Growing Pains By: Brandee Nelson

Do you feel that pain? Its nothing you can describe, because this is a pain that in deeper. To be honest its more emotional than anything. The only thing you might feel physically is the lack of sleep. Things are moving, people are walking away, but you are gaining a place of peace through this. Why?! Its growing pains honey. You are growing, let’s look at my story. Let me know if you can relate. After having Trae, I went on to finish playing my last high school year in basketball and graduating with more credits than needed. I was determined to show my son that I was going to succeed in life. Soon me and his father’s relationship would change staggeringly. In

my mind this was a fairytale, we’ll have a baby and live happily ever after. Didn’t go that way at all, the responsibility became a lot on both of us. I was a full time student in college with a full time job and a baby. This was rough for me because my relationship was broken with him. I fussed at him about being present a little more as a dad, but as a teenager who didn’t really have his dad around, he didn’t know how to be. So while he was able to go partying and hanging with friends I had to take care of a child. There were plenty of nights I thought to myself, you have done it now Brandee. My dad’s love for Trae was beyond anything I could imagine. Trae was

his child in his eyes. So the bumping of heads initiated between us. I had him wanting what was best for Trae and Trae’s father on the other hand feeling as if he had no say so. I was stuck in the middle of the young man I loved and my dad whom I loved dearly. No one really knew what this was doing to me as the mother, but of course I sided with my then on and off boyfriend. I became argumentative with my father, which I never did before. I believe that I was hurting him all over

again. I told him how much I loved Trae’s father and he was his dad, Trae was our child and I make decisions for him. That went on for a while until my dad was fed up with me. He said “Either you are going to kill me from stress, or I’m going to kill you.” Now let me say this my dad would not have killed me for real, but I was giving him and my mom the blues. So I decided to leave and go live with Trae’s father and his mother. This was one of the worst decisions I made in my life. This was my first time being out of my parent’s house. This was the devil’s most exciting moment in my life, because I was naïve, immature and gullible. I had no job, dropped out of college, and no car anymore. I was living with a young man I was no longer with and away from my parents. The devil had a field day way with me the year of 2001. I became very depressed, and still attended church every time the doors were opened. My body was there but my mind was in a dark place. My mom continuously called week after week, asking me to come home. I just couldn’t, I didn’t want to go back to

rules, although I knew I would have everything I needed if I went back. I just couldn’t do it, I wanted to work on my relationship with a teenager who was all about himself and the life he knew. Drinking and smoking marijuana became the norm every day, I was trying to cope. I was being eaten alive every single moment by thoughts of, your dad doesn’t want you, and neither does your son’s father. I thought I was nothing! I remember there were several events that took place that year that caused me to want to end it all. I had dropped 30lbs in a bad way and got so low, I drove my car my parents gave to me until I found this church, parked, wrote a 17 page entry in my journal, while mixing alcohols. I passed out for days, and woke up angry!!!!!!!!!!!! I wanted to die, I wanted God to just let me end it all. I didn’t want to be here anymore. I felt unloved, abandoned, and hopeless. No one came looking for me, as I drove back to the house I was staying at, I remember thinking of other ways to end my life. I sat on the couch in our room and heard these small pitter patters coming down the hallway. Without a knock or announcement in comes a little 2 ½ year old looking at me crying, he wiped my face and said in his toddler voice, “Mama it’s ok.” He smiled at me with a smile that only God could

give. At that moment I knew God was speaking to me through my child. Do not let life deceive you and to make you think that this is it. It is not over for you, this is a building mechanism in your life! It’s just Growing Pains. Insert from upcoming book “ The Making Of This Woman” by Imani Faith Publishing Company. Spring 2016

Performing Arts AND THE


DEBRA L. ATKINS is a playwright, actress, producer, and a published author, and she is also the founder of Working Together as One Productions, a non-profit 501(c) (3) touring theater company that changes lives through dramatic presentations. Debra also believes that writing and producing inspirational stage plays is her God-given ministry that was given to her by God to help change people lives through inspirational drama. She has been married to Samuel Atkins for almost 35 years, and has two daughters (Jenice and Samitra), four grandchildren

(Deja, Dejon, Shianne and Malik), and one Godson (Gaston Smith, Jr.). Debra retired from Harris County Community Services Department in December 2013, and open her brand new event center in July 2015, a place for all occasions where she can continue to perform her stage plays, as well as rent it out to others to host their special events.

LCM: What do you consider art? DA: Art comes in such a wide diversity of forms and ranges from visual, to creative writing, dancing, to painting etc. But my contribution to the Arts would be writing. Or should I say playwriting.

inspired by God. He normally gives me the unction to write and then the title of the work and then I start creating from there. I have written over 70 pieces of work that have all been inspired by God! I can’t take any credit for this gift.

LCM: Along your journey have you ever LCM: Do you feel art plays an important wanted to walk away from pursuing role in society? your passion? If so, how did you find DA: I do believe that art plays are very the faith and courage to keep moving important because, people can relate forward despite any setbacks? and identify to the characters that see DA: I have been writing and producing portrayed on stage, and we will live in stage plays for over 27 years and I have society that loves reality, and my plays felt that way many many times. But are all based on real life issues. there are so many factors that keep me LCM:Would you give us some background going. First of all God has never failed on your passions? How did you find your me in all those years. Somehow things craft? would always work out, and I just don’t DA: Actually my craft found me. My believe God has brought me this far to creative abilities is a gift from God. disappoint me now, and because my Growing up I always wrote things like family supports me 100 percent I would poems and short stories, but I had no really hate to disappoint them. They are my heroes. They believe in me when idea what God has in store for me. no one else does. And actually, the LCM: Do you believe your works have project I’m working on now has been purpose? What message do you convey the hardest to produce, but I am doing with your work? everything in my power to complete it. DA: Every script I have written has so LCM: Can you describe the time when much purpose to fulfil, because the plays you first realized that creating was I create all stem from real life situations, something you absolutely had to do? that effect people socially or morally, and each play has typically has a positive DA: I first started writing children skits messages that inspire people to do for the youth in my church to give them better and become better. Each play another tool to present the gospel and also has its own unique message, which well as give them a way to use their ranges from abuse, child abuse, Aids talents, but in 1989 (after my father had crisis, broken relationships, Alzheimer’s, passed away) I decided to step out on faith and produce my first show. Actually and the list goes on and on. it was several little skits, but nevertheless LCM: What is your creative process? it was my first real performance, and DA: I don’t really have one. Because I am the more I wrote the better I seem to inspirational writer, I only write when I’m become at producing the plays, and

now it has made me realize that I was born to do this. LCM: How has art impacted your life? DA: Being an artist has impacted my life in ways words can’t express, because I know without a doubt it is my true ministry. It is the way God has designed for me to minister to the hurting, the lost and the rejected. Knowing that people lives are changed by what they witness on stage gives me such joy in my heart to know that I am truly making a difference in this world. LCM: We believe an artist, no matter the medium, has the ability to impact the world and leave a lasting legacy with the generations to come, how do you use your gift to further your purpse and impact the world? DA:My way of impacted the world is to always continue inspire people through my writing and to work with brand new artist who has the desire to act or write stage plays and that way the legacy will continue forever and ever. I have given so many actors and actors their start who have gone on to great things in the world.


F O RMAT IO N By: Chole Leviston


ver the years Christians have walked a fine line between christ believers and as some might say worldly believers. Is there a fine line or does the world have a hawk ’s eye on the believers?

2014 was one of the biggest years for hip hop rapper and two time Grammy award winning artist Lecrae. Lecrae has been real public about being a rapper that is a christian. With the huge success of his 7th album Anomaly topping the charts and several award nominations, somehow the christian community has ridiculed Lecrae for being public for having connections with secular hip hop artist Kendrick Lamar, David Banner and others. Newly solo artist, Erica Campbell of the group Mary Mary, was criticized for dressing overly sexy in a form fitting dress for an Essence magazine cover. Now with the popularity of reality T V we are now showing our church leaders in a new light with shows like the Preachers of L A . Are believers somehow conforming to the standards of the world? Does this jeopardize the holiness and secrecy of the church? Some might say Christian artists are trying to fit in with the secular world. Jesus never separated himself from none believers, in fact he was right in the midst of them ministering and delivering the lost and broken. So who are we as believers to separate ourselves from those who aren’ t like us? Separation does not mean we can’ t be in the same room but it means our actions should reflect who we are in Christ.

Colossians 3:12 tells us “as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience”. As a believer you have to have compassion and understanding for the lost. Having a heart of understanding, we can’ t isolate ourselves from the lost instead we are to shine and be an example for the broken. I ’m not saying it ’s ok to pop bottles and make it rain on, but as believers we are to be set apart from the world, imitating Christ. I do believe the church is more critical of the believer sometimes too critical and we pick and chose what ’s ok in our

Spirituality own eyes and not through Christ eyes. Would I wear the dress Erica Campbell wore for the Essence cover? Probably not, but she chose to wear it and she was beautiful as well as tasteful. Style and taste I ’m more then sure is not Jesus biggest concern. Hip hop artist Lecrae raps about his life experiences how Christ has saved him and he even opened up about being sexually assaulted as a child. The church has taken its focus off what ’s really important which is reaching people. The best way to reach others is to show them how you’ve been through the same hurt and God delivered you from all of that pain all of that struggling. I wonder how many have been brought to Jesus from the music

of this powerful and talented artist. Does it matter that he’s seen with numerous secular artist? No, God knows his heart and the non-believer needs to have a living example. We are all imperfect people its how we handle our mistakes that make us the people we are. As believers in Jesus Christ, we try to be holy and blameless and attempt to walk the way Christ did. We will fall but Christ is always there to pick us up. As followers we must vow to never conform to the way of this world but be transformed by the holy word of God. It ’s so easy to fall into formation of this old world but it takes knowledge of the word of God and guarding our hearts, minds and spirit.


By: Dalana Bryant


od has given each of us at least one spiritual gift to bless the Kingdom of God. When we discover our spiritual gift(s) and use them in the church where it is most needed, growth takes place to build God ’s Kingdom. God has commanded us to diligently seek out and develop our spiritual gifts. To prepare ourselves spiritually to receive our gift, we first must understand what a spiritual gift truly is. Spiritual gifts are special qualities given by the Holy Spirit for use within the ministry. Many people have a mix of spiritual gifts and may likely have more than one spiritual gift. God expects us to use all of the gifts He has given us to serve Him. Explore the possibilities by studying what the Bible says about spiritual gifts, learning your church ’s position on spiritual gifts and how to use them in ministry. Read what Christian authors have to say on

the subject, talk to people who are already using their spiritual gifts, and discuss with friends and family what you think your gifts might be. Search for needs within the church and use your gifts to try to meet those needs. Through the process, take note of what gifts you seem to have. Examine your feelings to see if the work you are trying out excites you or not. Evaluate your effectiveness by seeing if your church gets positive results from your work. Know that when true gifts are in operation, positive results are the outcome. Look for confirmation from other people in your congregation that you have particular spiritual gifts. Goals should be set for people to discover their spiritual gifts, expecting that emotionally mature adults should be able to discover their gifts within about four months to one year after becoming Christians.

Spirituality Some different types of spiritual gifts that will help different areas of your church include: Th e gift of hospitalit y equips one to enjoy making guests, strangers, and members feel welcome. “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:13. People with this gift are friendly and able to interact with people comfortably, like to meet and greet new people and have a strong desire and ability to make strangers and visitors feel welcome. This gift can be applied in ministry by serving as a greeter or serving as a host for small groups. Th e gift of administr ation equips one to organize, plan, implement, and keep track of various secretarial duties and records. “And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:28. People with this gift have experience working on spreadsheets, graphs and organizational charts. They are also proficient in keeping the minutes of a meeting, experienced in creating an agenda, adapt at wisdom and logical thinking. People with this gift help those who are involved in the organizational structure of the church. Th e gift of cr eativit y equips one to use artistic skills such as art, drama, music, writing, dance, etc. for the glory of God and the edification of the church. “ I have filled him with the Spirit of God, giving him great wisdom, ability, and expertise in all kinds of crafts.” Exodus 31:3. People with this gift are expressive, imaginative, artistic and creative. People with this gift use creative expression to captivate people’s imagination and inspire faith, use the arts to challenge people’s perspectives of God and find fresh ways to convey the message and meaning of Christ ’s ministry.

Spirituality There are many more spiritual gifts that God equips us with, the gift of knowledge, apostleship, leadership, discernment, mercy, evangelism, exhortation, pastor/shepherd, teaching, wisdom. We should always try to nurture the gift(s) God has given us by finding others who share our gift for support, practice the skills as well as the art and look for ways our gift can strengthen and beautify the church. We also should be cautious in using our gifts for personal acclaim rather than to glorify God. We should be careful not to neglect to practice, and not be diligent developing the craft and skill of the gift. We also should not find evaluation and constructive criticism difficult to receive or find it difficult to work as part of a team. God will reveal our gifts through His Holy Spirit. Believers should pray and study what God says about gifts in His Word. We should also remember God uses other believers to affirm our gift. Sometimes God may also use spiritual gift assessment tools to reveal His gifts. To identify your God-given gifts, take an assessment to help understand the nature of spiritual gifts. To more deeply understand your spiritual