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40 PEOPLE + COUPLES + ORGANIZATIONS + MINISTRIES ILLUMINATING CHRIST IN THE MARKETPLACE

MAGAZINE

FOR THE RISK-TAKERS

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Expect the unexpected. by Jenene Stafford

#shareradicallove #expectmiracles

Issue 10: Illumination

Photo by Alena Melnik


THE WORLD DOESN’T NEED MORE RELIGION. THEY NEED LOVE.

THE WORLD DOESN’T NEED

MORE RELIGION.

THEY NEED LOVE.

#MEGAMORPHOSISMAGAZINE #MEGAMORPHOSISMAGAZINE

#SHARERADICALLOVE #SHARERADICALLOVE

#EXPECTMIRACLES #EXPECTMIRACLES


CONTENTS

ISSUE 10 ILLUMINATION

CREATED, DESIGNED & EDITED BY A TEAM OF 4 + A BUNCH OF WRITERS

Congratulations to the 40 people, couples and organizations (listed below) that we selected to spotlight in this unique issue—Illumination. We honor you for being leaders who are sold out for the cause of Christ and going out into the world and sharing God's heart. We know that you are a shining example called in God's Kingdom to stand for love, truth and justice in your own unique and special way.

98 EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED

10 LIGHT & FREEDOM

66 TURNING YOUR WEALTH INTO A WEAPON

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12 IN HIS QUIVER

1. Ashley Gambino

21. Heidi White

2. Rachel D. Minyard

22. Chrissy & Caleb Cole

3. Drew Pruzaniec

23. Francis Chan

4. Charmaine Taylor

24. Ken Harrison & Vance Day

5. Ricky Borba

25. Dr. John Jackson

6. Edwin Gagiano

26. Banning Liebscher

7. Dallas Jenkins

27. Benjamin Nolot (Exodus Cry)

8. Jonathan Roumie

28. Tim & Demi-Leigh Tebow

9. Stephen Wollwerth

29. Will Derryberry

10. Linda Brown

30. Heather Evans

11. Derricka Elwood

31. Justin Gambino

12. Joy Harrigan

32. Karina Kudina

13. Nissi Guiao

33. James Love

14. Coach & Jenene

34. Angela Manzanares

15. Larry & Lori Hill

35. Brett & Jessica Miller

16. Eric Knopf

36. Diligent The Artist

17. Robert Atkins

37. Shane Grammer

18. Heather & Vince Murdock

38. Mark J. The Poet

19. Cody Williams

39. Sandi & Steve Padilla

20. Kevin Castle

40. Sergio Perez

Cover Photo by Alena Melnik @vasilisaphotography + Photo of singer/songwriter @kari_kudi, Spotlighted on page 80.

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FOUNDER'S LETTER

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By Jenene Stafford

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HIGHLIGHTS

Health Industry Professionals

42

Fav's: Music + Books + Insta Love

18

HOLY FASHIONISTA SPOTLIGHTS

HOLYWOOD SPOTLIGHTS Actors + Directors + Producers

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RISK-TAKER SPOTLIGHTS Leaders + Leaders of Leaders

60

Women in fashion illuminating Christ

26

HEALTH & WELL-BEING SPOTLIGHTS

MOVERS & SHAKERS SPOTLIGHTS Influencers Shaking Things Up

74

UP & COMER SPOTLIGHTS

88

VOICES & ART SPOTLIGHTS Artists + Poets + Speakers

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO OUR ADVERTISERS— WITHOUT YOU WE COULDN'T GET THIS INDIE MAGAZINE TO THE THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD WHO ARE READING IT. AND, WE COULDN'T DO IT WITH THE COFFEE TABLE BOOK QUALITY WE KNOW THE LORD WANTS DISPLAYED IN KINGDOM BUSINESSES, BOUTIQUE STORES, CHRISTIAN HUBS AND CHURCHES.

Singers & Songwriters

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PHOTOS BY SIPHEPHILE SIBANYONI

Poignant, precious, profound: Legacy Collection offers handmade pieces that are a striking token of justice, equality, forgiveness and freedom. Hand-crafted and encased in precious metal, every Legacy Collection piece – from dazzling jewellery to iconic art – is created from the original fence of South Africa’s Robben Island prison, the notorious Cape Town Island prison that housed freedom fighters including Nelson Mandela, Ahmed Kathrada, Walter Sisulu and many more during South Africa’s oppressive apartheid years.

Wear a piece of history. LEGACYCOLLECTION.CO.ZA


Founder's Thoughts

Illumination Is Just Beginning od is illuminating our hearts. He's making us into pure gold in this hour of history. His hand is sweeping the nations in the face of the Coronavirus. He's not out of control. He's only just begun to paint His masterpiece across the earth. He's using new brush strokes. He's showing each of us our reflection. Are we seeing ourselves in that mirror or are we illuminating Christ in our lives? How are we withstanding the heat being turned up? These are only a few of the questions we'll be asking ourselves as His church in the 10th issue—Illumination. The truth is we will find out what we're really made of as the tide rises higher and higher onto the shores of our lives, our houses, and our faith. It's time to put on the FULL ARMOR of God forevermore. Remember the days of your first

G

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love and remember His Faithfulness, Righteousness, Holiness and His Promises, which are sure. Stay steadfast in your pursuit of the Father's will and keep seeking the face of Jesus. If ever you are to run in a relentless race or live wildly abandoned, let it be when life throws hard stuff at you, your business, your family, your ministry or your church house. What gain is there really when it's easy to follow Him, to worship Him, to bow your knee to Him? We will be reminded, we are the warrior church, standing for Truth and grace to rise in our lands. No guts, no glory! Today is a good day to "choose this day who you will serve" as the Bible says—not focus on what the guy next door is doing. We're living in a come-to-Jesus moment. Each one accountable and working out our own salvation with fear and trembling. It's a serious, yet beautiful conversation to have because revival starts in the hearts of God's people before it will ever become "The Harvest" we're all dreaming and prophesying about. So it's been my personal prayer and intercession, along with our team here at Megamorphosis Magazine to give each morning over to laying everything at the foot of the Cross. We're interceding in prayer for the church, our tribe and humanity at levels we never have before. We are declaring the Goodness of Our Father in Heaven and we're submitting to His Way. We're seeing the magnitude of The Father's glory being expanded and His hand moving. Heaven and earth are shaking and this is only the beginning of a new era with a surprising wave of events to come. Get ready. Get ready. Get ready. That doesn't mean go store up more toilet paper. Store up what cannot be destroyed because there's a treasure

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There's a treasure chest of goodness, wisdom, knowledge and understanding that's coming to the church.

chest of goodness, wisdom, knowledge and understanding that's coming to the church. It's going to start becoming obvious when the church begins to prepare herself and has proven herself worthy to steward the gifts coming from the Sovereign King Jesus. The humble bride will rise like the fire in Jesus's torch as He positions us to be seen. We are His greatest inheritance and His greatest gift to this world. Truly, there are those who God is illuminating in the coming months and we're spotlighting them here—40 people, couples or organizations we believe God wants displayed in this season of illumination. You are so loved my beautiful friends! In His Grace,

JENENE STAFFORD Founder & Creator

2020


Find Your True North SIGN UP FOR A SPIRITUAL GYM

The Dokimos Project is an intense spiritual workout for marketplace influencers that will help you discover your unique identity in Christ, journey of hope and divine assignment. You will be commissioned to advance God's kingdom in your sphere of influence. This 12 week course is targeted for those called to the marketplace but open to all who want to grow their confidence and spiritual gifts. Join a growing number of marketplace ministers who are equipped and commissioned in their unique identity in Christ, gifting, journey of inner healing and calling to bring hope to all spheres of influence. Learn more at a guest event happening in the Sacramento Area. Come and check us out and you'll hear stories from other graduates of the impact of Dokimos Project Spiritual Gyms! Contact us at info@dokimosproject.com for details.

www.DokimosProject.com


7 Elements of the Culture of the Megamorphosis Magazine Family We believe that the culture of Megamorphosis Magazine represents the Kingdom of God that Jesus came to establish.

When we gather, this is what it’s about—growing more into the likeness of Jesus and becoming true ambassadors of the Kingdom of God. We’re raising up an army—super soldiers for Jesus and the cause of LOVE.

MERCH WE LOVE. Click image to buy.

1.

2.

We see our tribe as family, not as a guest in our home. We have a love that heals and inspires.

We honor God, our callings in life and each other, and we seek out the gold in every person.

3.

4.

We’re going after unity in the Spirit and we’re praying for more revelation.

We forgive just like Jesus forgives us every day. We strive to give no opportunity to the enemy.

5.

6.

Jesus is the Way, the Truth & the Life and He’s our solid foundation.

We are the Church:

7.

A. Anointed & Accountable

We sacrifice for the needs of the family of God and we strive to put others’ needs above our own.

E. Enlightened & Engaged

LOVE

UNITY

TRUTH

SACRIFICE

EXODUS CRY

HONOR

FORGIVENESS

Check out Ben Nolot, their Founder’s Spotlight on pg 70.

$30

TIM TEBOW

2.

Tim Tebow and his wife Demi-Leigh are heart-driven leaders and are an inspration because they do so much through their various causes. Check out their Spotlight on pg 72.

R. Rulers and Rolemodels

V. Valiant & Victorious

www.timtebow.com

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JUSTICE LONG SLEEVE SHIRT

www.exoduscry.com

BRAVERY B. Bold & Brilliant

$30

We love Exodus Cry because they are true abolitionists doing all they can to bring justice for women and children being trafficked.

1.

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BELIEVE IN THE MISSION TEE

2020


SECTIONS OF MM

RISK-TAKERS People willing to risk it all for Jesus Creative risk-takers defying status quo Christianity

UP & COMERS Musicians & Songwriters People, maybe unkown, but God is making known in the marketplace

MOVERS & SHAKERS Movements and leaders on the rise Movements that are shaking things up for the sake of the Father’s heart

THEN & NOW The New Jesus Movement Unique people passionately bringing love and the power of the Kingdom

Our Mission Is to Go, to Send & to Love

OUR MISSION: To go. To send. To love.

OUR VISION: To remember the new commandment Jesus gave—“To love one another” (John 15:5).

“At the heart of all that we do is to take Jesus’ words seriously—to GO—and it doesn’t matter how we’re called to do it, but we’re making it happen.”

OUR TRIBE: We’re creative risk-takers changing lives, shaking things up & defying status quo Christianity.

WHAT WE STRIVE FOR:

Megamorphosis Magazine is a spirit-led magazine. We’re passionate about highlighting what’s on God’s heart and who He is using to go into the marketplace. We’re not out searching for people to spotlight—we’re simply listening for Holy Spirit to disrupt our lives and our agenda so every day—every hour even—we’re available to hear who God wants put on these anointed pages.

1) To be on God’s agenda, not our own. 2) To be exactly who God has mandated us to be—nothing more and nothing less. 3) To fulfill Jesus’ request to “display the beauty and uniqueness of His bride” per the words of Jesus himself. 4) To be authentic and real (not religious) and to share radical love.

MERCH WE LOVE. Click image to buy.

ROOTS Our Jewish roots Learning to understand the Jewish festivals and the mysteries of the Bible

$19

$45

TIM TEBOW FOUNDATION

HOLY FASHIONISTA

Handmade goods from Haiti.

Fa s h i o n e d i n t h e image of Christ Models, designers and fashion bloggers impacting the world of fashion

timtebowfoundation.com

VOICES & ART S p e a ke r s & a r t i s t s bringing brilliance Voices and artists that God is using to share His heart with the world

HOLYWOOD Actors and f ilm industry professionals called to bring Jesus to the big screen A new Hollywood will rise in a new place and we’re going to document it

3. $20

PROMISE KEEPERS

$20

Classic cut and Rockford hats from Promise Keepers.

(+ See store) www.promisekeepers.org

BRAVE Wo m e n r i s i n g u p and transforming their leadership

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1.

FAV’S

PROMISE KEEPERS Men, God created you to lead and lead well. You have a role to fill and it’s more urgent than ever. Our world needs men of integrity to rise.

THERE’S A NEW ERA OF PROMISE KEEPERS. Check

CHECK OUT THINGS HAPPENING THAT WE TOTALLY LOVE & KNOW YOU WILL TOO Check out the things happening that we love, starting above. (Click the images to go to the website, app, music or social media.)

2. FAV’S

out the dynamic duo—Judge Vance Day (President) and Ken Harrison’s (CEO) Spotlight on pg 64.

PromiseKeepers.org

THE CHOSEN TV SERIES The Chosen is the first-ever multi-season TV show about the life of Jesus. Created outside of the Hollywood system, The Chosen allows us to see Him through the eyes of those who knew him. No matter where you are at in your journey with Jesus Christ, this TV show is for you.

http://www.thechosen.tv/

Get in the Loop with MM & Join Us for a “Family Gathering” or One of Our Events GO TO OUR WEBSITE OR REACH OUT ON FACEBOOK OR INSTAGRAM If you happen to be in the greater Sacramento, California area, come and gather with us. Every event is unique because they’re Spirit-led just like our magazine.

Books We Love

PLEASE CONTACT US VIA PM ON FACEBOOK OR INSTAGRAM IF YOU’D LIKE TO GET INVOLVED, VOLUNTEER OR SPONSOR AN EVENT OR GATHERING

CLICK TO BUY

FAV’S

@Megamorphosismagazine

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OUR EYES ARE ON YOU

Music We Love

GOD CONTINUES TO POSITION HIS UP & COMERS + SINGERS, SONGWRITERS, ACTORS, DIRECTORS AND ARTISTS Follow them on Instagram or click the links to listen to the music.

+ Serge Moskalets

+ Jonathan Roumie

+ Alena Melnik

Lead singer for Heights Music label for Heights Bayside Church in Sacramento.

Jonathan Roumie plays the role of Jesus Christ in The Chosen TV Series.

The photographer of our awesome cover of the Illumination issue.

@sergemoskalets

@jonathanroumieofficial

@vasilisaphotography

THE BLESSING by Kari Jobe, Cody Carnes & Elevation Worship

FAV’S SURROUNDED by Michael W. Smith

Raised

Church

By Brett Lee Miller

By Jesus Culture

GOLD by Bryan and Katie Torwalt

@brett_lee_miller

Jesusculture.com/music

3. ONE RACE MOVEMENT Racial unity has a vertical answer, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, which compels us to a horizontal action, ultimately bringing healing and justice.

www.oneracemovement. com

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feel weak. We want to feel strong and to be viewed as having things together. However, many times the pathway to strength and the road to freedom and healing starts with vulnerability and humility. There is a passage of scripture that continues to serve as a reminder to me on the power of being transparent and what happens when we walk in the light. 1 John 1:5-7 says… “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6 If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” In the Kingdom hiding or pretending we don’t have issues or struggles is connected to a lie or not walking in the truth. Put another way, it’s fake—pretending—and the opposite of the character of God who is light. This passage highlights a promise that for many years I missed. It says in verse 7, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” Being vulnerable, real and transparent (aka walking in the light) leads to community and forgiveness, which is freedom. Simply put, the pathway

LIGHT & FREEDOM + Zack Curry's Man Camp Column

If you have ever been on a hike at night, you know a couple things. One, if you don’t have a light, eventually your eyes adjust to the point where you can kind of see things around you okay. Two, if you use a flashlight or headlamp it really only helps you see the path in front of you instead of everything around you. Generally speaking many guys have a hard time

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opening up, being vulnerable or sharing their weaknesses, fears or struggles with each other or other people like a spouse. We may get there eventually, but it’s not our first choice by any means. I think this is the case because in many of our minds, opening up and sharing areas we are struggling or falling short in may feel like we’re failing or may even cause us to

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FAV’S

See photographer Ashley Gambino's Spotlight and bio on page 18

2020


to the relationships we all want and finding freedom starts with not hiding in darkness but stepping into a place of being seen and known. The good and the bad. Like a hiker walking at night with no light—you can see things dimly, but you are missing the fulness of seeing things in the light. I think many of us in different areas of our lives have just accepted that our dim and limited view on things is normal. Or we only see one area in front of us well and God wants to open up our perspective to see more. Being real with other people and inviting them into our journey is the pathway to breakthrough. Allowing people to walk with us is what gives us perspective. We need other guys to hold us accountable to light. Accountability has nothing to do with condemnation

or shame, it’s actually how we find freedom. We need people in our life to remind us of who we are and what our destiny is, which is not darkness. When we take steps out of isolation, seclusion and pretending everything is okay and step into a place where people can see us, this is where we have real connection and we are cleansed and healed. It is in this place that light floods into our story. We have a choice. Walk in the light or darkness. One is connected to a lie and one is connected to community, healing and freedom. God wants to open up how we see Him, ourselves and others, but it requires stepping out of hiding. I have seen this play out over and over in friendships and in community. A guy steps out and shares with another guy about an area of struggle

or fear that has been hidden. Instead of encountering shame, condemnation and all the things he feared would be thought about him, he finds grace, forgiveness and healing. God invites us to walk through the night, not alone but with Him and others. As we do this, He opens our eyes and illuminates not just the path in front of us, but our perspective. Come into the light as He is in the light. M Note: Season II of the Man Camp podcast is now out. You can find it on all the platforms you listen to podcasts. The theme of season II is “The Power of A Story.” We are sharing the stories of men that are real and highlight struggle and breakthrough. Join us on the journey to live fully alive and to be known. #JoinTheCamp #ManCamp

"LUMINOUS" BY KATIE ANN HILL: WWW.KATIEANNHILL.COM

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+ CRAIG SWEENEY

BY CRAIG SWEENEY Craig Sweeney is the Pastor of Heights Bayside Church based in Citrus Heights, California and this is his column.

IN HIS QUIVER

am like a sharp arrow in His quiver” (Isaiah 49:2). These are the words of Isaiah the great prophet as he speaks of the calling on his life. It’s a statement about who he has chosen to be for his generation as he walks with God. It’s curious where we find it, surrounded by chapters upon chapters of prophetic words and visions from the heart of God. A declaration is made among a people who are choosing to live without His light in their lives. Everything about their lives and culture was dedicated or heavily influenced by pagan gods. These pagan gods lured people into every imaginable addiction and form of enslavement. The debris field was littered with broken men, women, teenagers and children. It’s as if Isaiah has an epiphany on the battlefield as God wages His war for the hearts of these same people. He can see it now. Throughout his life, he has been sent to others offering hope, like a flaming arrow from the quiver of God. Whatever dark place he is sent to, he illuminates. People can’t help but see him. Isaiah understood his purpose as he must've thought: I go offering hope, wherever He sends me. And it’s clear that I am His, while I’m there. No doubt this is exactly what Jesus meant when He challenged His followers to live as if “You are the light of the world…let your good deeds shine out for all to see…” (Matthew 5:14-16). There were no light bulbs in Jesus’s time, so He of course, was speaking of flames, the small flames of oil lamps to large roaring bon fires. Flame up, illuminate, offer hope, wherever He sends you. Make it clear with your lives, that you are His. As I write, we are already sent home because of the coronavirus. So much uncertainty in the city, country and world. It’s difficult not to think about the times we live in and how God might use His Church to offer hope. In fact, I’m sure we are supposed to be thinking about exactly that, just like Isaiah did. How would it change us as Jesu s followers to receive Isaiah’s epiphany? To embrace Jesus’s challenge to live as flames bringing light to every room we walk into? Our lives so noticeably His, so radiating with hope that when we leave the room…it dims. We are sent for a purpose. Sent to

"I

Photo by Alena Evteeva

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illuminate wherever we are, because we recognize God has placed us there. Illuminating not just with words, but with our lives. Scripture does not give a lot of details of Isaiah’s daily life. But when I look for someone that exemplifies Isaiah 49:2 and Matthew 5:14-16, Daniel is a clear choice. Daniel is a tremendous example for us. From the time we meet him as a teenager and see him grow to an aged man, Daniel shines bright. He illuminates on behalf of God. It is as though he was sent as a flaming arrow from the quiver of God to Babylon. Babylon is another place where lives are crushed under the weight of its cultures’ demands. And...no matter the circumstance or workplace he finds himself in, God shines through. Daniel thrived in Babylon because God was thriving in him. In every unfair, challenging, painful experience he went through, God shined through him. Daniel was not super human, he was a person like you and like me. But he did make some unusual decisions with his life that allowed him to illuminate even in a dark place like Babylon. These decisions, found in the book of Daniel, specifically the first 6 chapters, brought light, illuminating the heart of God. These decisions were offers of hope to many who otherwise would never experience it. All of us are influencers, many of us are leaders in various ways. We are already somewhere. I believe you are on the very plot of ground God called you to for this moment in time.

Even with the backdrop of the coronavirus and all the lasting chaos it has created, this moment, this season, is not too big for you. You are sent, like a sharp arrow from His quiver. Let’s notice a few of Daniel’s decisions. We can make these same decisions. Daniel chose to accept his circumstances. He could have fought against them for years or even his whole life and many would have not thought him wrong. This decision allowed him a starting point. This is the place I

steps forward from here, instead of aimless, random steps. Daniel chose to serve people. In the beginning Daniel was no doubt forced to serve, but at some point it became his decision to serve others. We don’t all wind up where we thought we would be during seasons of our lives, but make no mistake, you are “like a sharp arrow in his quiver.” Wherever you are, you are meant to illuminate. We illuminate by serving others well. Daniel chose to strive for excellence. He did not do half-hearted, shoddy work. The mark we see him aiming for is not perfection, but it is excellence. As one with a larger staff, I cannot tell you enough how excellence stands out. Excellence also creates influence over time. Others admire work well done, therefore they admire you. Admiration creates opportunity to share what motivates you. The next thing you know, you’re sharing about the hope you have in Jesus with others. What’s in your hands to do today? Do it with excellence and you will illuminate. Any one of us can make these same three decisions. Decisions allowing Daniel to put his mind, heart, soul and strength into the everyday work before him. That everyday work turns out to have been done on the battlefield for the hearts of people. If you follow Daniel’s example, you too will thrive there because God is thriving in you. You will thrive, because you “like a sharp arrow in His quiver,” are illuminating hope wherever you are sent. M

"I believe you are on the very plot of ground God called you to for this moment in time. Even with the backdrop of the coronavirus and all the lasting chaos it has created, this moment, this season, is not too big for you."

accept as a beginning. From here, God and myself will make it better. Thinking about this for my own leadership and influence—if I spend my precious time and energy complaining about my circumstances, I have little left to discover the answers. Instead, Daniel shows his trust in God and clings to his calling in it all, as he accepts today’s starting place. Accepting my starting place means I am able to take

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draft

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Turning Your Wealth Into a

BY KEVIN CASTLE

rich man came to Jesus and asked, “What do I need to do to have eternal life?” And Jesus tells him to obey all the commandments. Then the man says he’s already doing that and asks “What else can I do?” So Jesus tells him, “Go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.” But instead of being excited, the man leaves distraught because he had many possessions and he didn't want to sell them. Then Jesus tells his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it's very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I’ll say it again—it's easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!” This story is found in Matthew 19 and I’ve heard it used to justify all kinds of things: from living a life of intentional poverty to scoffing at churches full of ‘wealthy elitists.’ But Jesus never actually had a problem with the man being wealthy, he had a problem with how the man’s possessions had possessed him. We see similar money problems with Achan, Ananias and Sapphira, Judas and a handful of other Biblical figures. In fact the Bible has over 2000 scriptures dedicated to the topic of money, and Jesus talks about money more than any other subject. Why? Matthew 6:21 spells it plainly, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” As Christians, we’re called to be stewards of the things God has given us. That includes our money. After all, it is the Good Samaritan, a man who came from a disdainful and hated place, who Jesus calls us to be like. Not the priest or the Levite.

W E A P O N

A

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It is the man who spent money out of his own pocket to help the broken and needy, not the men who needed to be somewhere for religious reasons. WaterStone takes that mission to heart. They believe that generosity is the greatest act of worship. They want to see lives changed, hearts turned to the Lord, and the Spirit guiding people to live lives of significance. Coming alongside Christians, they help believers maximize their giving to have the greatest impact possible. So who is WaterStone? Founded in 1980 by an estate planning attorney and a CPA son, WaterStone is a 501(c) (3) public charity whose primary tools are donor advised funds. In simple terms, a donor advised fund is a private fund administered by a third party, created for managing charitable donations on behalf of an organization, family, or individual. This tool allows donors to make charitable contributions, receive an immediate tax deduction, and be able to recommend grants to their favorite charities over time. Ken Harrison, CEO, and John Mulder, President, run WaterStone with excellence. John has served as President since 2001 and is an active board member of several outside ministries. Ken Harrison works constantly to inspire WaterStone's entire community of leaders and givers, while simultaneously leading the charge for Promise Keepers as their CEO, and he's a published author. Despite being extremely active in other kingdom ventures, it's clear they take their God-given calling for WaterStone seriously. They not only care about the charities they give to, they also care deeply about the donor families they serve as well. Ultimately, they really view themselves as a tool—a ministry called to assist families in their charitable

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giving, both throughout the families during their lifetime and in their estates. What started as a small charitable estate planning service 40 years ago has shifted and evolved into something far greater. Now they’re an all encompassing Christian Charitable giving tool helping believers not just give money, but turn that generosity into a weapon against the enemy. For the past 40 years, they've been steadfast in adhering to God's calling over their lives. Outside of that, another commitment they have is to help families create disciplines around charity and giving. They love it when they are helping multi-generational families and can see parents and grandparents pass on a giving legacy to their children. This not only bonds the family together, but also inspires the family to build the kingdom together, ensuring the long lasting effect of Christ’s love being sent throughout the world. Currently WaterStone works with more than 1,000 donor families supporting more than 2,000 ministries and charities, with more than half a billion dollars in assets. And because no two families donate the same, they work with each individual family to come up with a specific, individualized plan along with the family’s purpose statement. This purpose statement advises both the family and WaterStone on how to direct the funds according to the purpose God is guiding them towards. Then they assess the donor’s giving potential, outline the best approach for that donor and help them implement their plan for them. All of the donor’s giving can be facilitated through WaterStone. They make it as easy as possible to keep track of where their money is going and to see how effectively their donations are being

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utilized. Giving to ministries and charities all over the world WaterStone has distributed assets in all six majorly populated continents. For example, they worked with an elderly worship teacher to help her give her donations to fund new worship leaders in the middle east. And because they also do charitable estate planning, these things can be implemented whether the donor is alive and well or has passed on. Giving is the most precious act of worship because we take what God has given us and turn it back to our brothers and sisters in Christ. For most of us, when it comes to giving, we automatically think of money. But in reality, there are a variety of other things we can give. For example, WaterStone can take non-traditional assets such as crops, business ownership interest, royalty payments, or even real estate, as donations. Whether you are wondering where you should start your charitable giving journey or you have it all figured out, WaterStone will come alongside you to help make sure you are maximizing your giving potential. They will verify the 501(c)(3) status of the charities you wish to donate to, help you determine your optimal charitable contribution, and make sure you are receiving your highest charitable tax deduction from your giving. Regardless of if you want to help the homeless in Sacramento or the orphans in Africa, WaterStone is able to direct your donations to those places and so many more. If you're thinking you don't have enough to give and you're wondering 'why should I even contact WaterStone?' Here's a few thoughts that might help you think differently. If you will, allow us to ask you a question.

2020


What’s your legacy? That's right, what are you going to leave behind? Have you yet thought about your legacy? Certainly it’s a question to ask yourself as you get to a certain age, but why are we not asking ourselves about this when we’re 25 or 30? In order to answer some of those questions, we need to define 'Legacy.' According to the dictionary, the most common definition is in regards to common law— “a gift of property, especially personal property, as money, by will; a bequest.” However, by reading the Bible, we know that Jesus’ legacy, His lasting sacrifice that affected humanity for all of eternity, doesn’t include those things. There was no ‘property’ gifted, no money exchanged, and no will written out. Because that’s true, the other common definition, “anything handed down from the past, as from an ancestor or predecessor” is unfit as well. Jesus is not our ancestor nor is he our predecessor. Yes, thankfully there was a spiritual exchange, our sin for His salvation, but physically we gained nothing. We must go deeper. According to the historical definition, legacy comes from the word Legate, which was an official position; an emissary, someone designated as the acting agent of another. Major political and religious figures had Legates, including government officials, kings, and even the pope. Naturally, the disciples were Jesus' Legates when he sent them out numerous times to go and teach, cast out demons, heal the sick, and perform miracles in His name. Likewise,

we are Jesus’ Legates, acting as his emissaries, when we help the poor and broken as he has commanded us to do in Luke 10:37 when he said “Go, and do likewise.” We are also his agents according to Matthew 28:19-20 when He said, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Using that definition, your legacy will be the acting agent of your life. When you pass on from this world, the impact you made will continue on, whether it was good or bad. All one

ference in the lives of others around you. You don’t have to travel to exotic places, plant churches or work at an overseas orphanage to make a difference for the Kingdom. Thanks to the internet, we all can be missionaries. A missionary is not defined by the geographic location they happen to be in but the mission they intentionally set themselves on. You can actively live out your faith and not just talk about it. You can join a movement of kingdom builders from the comfort of your own home. It's time for God's people to become connected and be intentional with our giving. In light of everything going on in the world, there is no better time than right now to be thinking about how to sow into the kingdom and make it last. “What’s in your wallet?” asks a popular credit card commercial. The world is after your money. It wants you to focus on yourself, to buy that shiny new toy, to keep up with your neighbors, but God calls us to fulfill a different purpose. WaterStone will help you dive deeper into your giving for the Kingdom. As they say in their intro video, they want to help you at the intersection of Faith and Finance. God too will meet you there at the crossroads, and if you trust Him, He will help you to have a bigger impact than you ever thought possible.

“What's your legacy? That's right, what are you going to leave behind?” has to do is look around at the world and see a legacy of broken people raising even more broken people. So let us ask, "What’s your legacy going to be?" It's our hope for you that it will be beyond just living the 'American Dream' and you'll begin to think about building something that has eternal value and will also make a significant impact to people in the world. We're kingdom people—so maybe your legacy could be that of a missionary? Maybe you could make a dif-

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+ HOLY FASHIONISTA

SENIOR PHOTOGRAPHER

1

Ashley Gambino ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

18

2020


In Ashley's own words

through my hands. The masterpiece comes from the Master Himself. Sometimes the word “enhance” can be mistaken for change, but I always reassure that it’s to increase the sight of natural and true beauty. A picture can come to life when you capture the story behind a person. In May 2019, God spoke to me about writing my life story to share and has been presenting opportunities to speak to young teens and women since. I have shared my testimony with hundreds of teens and women whom have struggled with depression, abuse, neglect, drugs and all-around hurt. The day God downloaded Daughter With A Voice, I was walking the streets of New York City and praying how to write a story I was still living and sometimes couldn't comprehend myself. When He spoke and said, "Have patience, the words will flow," I wrote my first chapter that day in Central Park. It still scares me to be vulnerable and for the world to know those scars, but I know that I serve a God who saved me through grace by faith, and being His child is the greatest gift. For the last year I have been praying for divine appointments to meet inspiring, God-driven women to make a difference in the community. Launching in 2020 is the Project Beauty campaign with Daughter With A Voice for teen girls and young women who struggle with beauty, capturing them in a raw experience to showcase their true beauty and sharing how God created them perfect. I am beyond excited to photograph 20 girls this year. I continue to pray that this is just the start and God uses this to bring glory to His Kingdom, and that our young generation will come closer to Him and accept Him. “Photography is not just a job, it’s truly a passion I live for and put all efforts into. I believe in being intentional with my clients and providing them with the best experience ever.”

BIO

Ashley Gambino Photography is a portrait studio specializing in modern High School Seniors, Teens, Destinations and Corporate/Model Headshots. We are located in Angleton, TX serving the Greater Houston area and surrounding suburbs. We offer destination sessions all over the United States and Internationally. Some of our favorite and more frequent places to visit are New York City, SoCal and Europe. In November of 2012, I realized I needed an out from my everyday work life and to balance life around me. My husband, Justin, encouraged me to seek what I loved; and when I did, I realized it was the love of memories and founding over ancestry photo albums. Growing up, I did not have the picture-perfect life. I struggled with where I fit in and where I could make memories. I knew in those

The creativity and out-of-thebox thinking is Jesus working through my hands. moments I wanted to be that person that helped capture memories for others. But narrowing a specialty down to HS Seniors took about 4 years of dabbling into other fields of Photography. I believe God has given me a gift—a gift of using my sight to see His creation and beauty, to capture His blueprint all around us. In 2018, it was during a high school senior session that I showed a capture from behind the camera to a young girl. Her reaction, and words were, “Wow, I can’t believe that is me. I look pretty. That is really me!” The look on her face of amazement hit me to the core. I knew instantly I wanted to help shape and show girls their true beauty by focusing on HS Seniors and Teens. Many young girls, boys, women and even men today struggle with their identity. Looking in the mirror, they pick apart what they see as flawed, but what I see is how God created them. He created us perfect in His image! When I retouch and edit, I tell my clients that I only enhance and never take away. A camera captures, but the naked eye sees the vibrance of colors, beauty and life. Bringing a photo to life is one of my many favorites. The creativity and out-of-the-box thinking is Jesus working

/AshleyGambinoPhotography /ashleygambinophotography www.AshleyGambino.com

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+ HOLY FASHIONISTA

2

Rachel D. Minyard ENTREPRENEUR + OWNER OF PURPOSE BOUTIQUE

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

20

2020


In Rachel's own words

BIO

My name is Rachel Dee Minyard, and I am a follower of Christ, a wife and mother of two, and an entrepreneur. As a business owner, my passion is to illuminate the marketplace by bringing a tangible voice for the mission-based artisans in the world of fashion and design. I believe in curating products designed ethically, sustainably and… with purpose.

place. It was then that I decided to embark on this crazy journey into the world of retail fashion and play a greater part in re-creating the narrative of consumerism into a powerful thread for change. I love a good story, and love telling good stories even more. That is why PURPOSE in itself is a storyteller—a tangible voice bringing ethical and sustainable makers, artisans, and women-owned businesses within the world of fashion and design. I am passionate about the impact each and every one of us have on this beautiful world— from humanity to the environment. At the very beginning of the written word, God instructed man to watch over the earth and the animals. As the church, we should be first to stand up and demand fair trade manufacturing and earth-healthy practices. Yet, it is easy to turn a blind eye in exchange for a cheaper price tag. It is we who should pay for the price of beauty, not the hands who create it. Together we make a statement by shopping brands that uplift everyone both globally and locally, from the cotton grower to the customer. It is my hope that you feel proud from the inside out. My heart anthem is Proverbs 31:25, “She is clothed in dignity and strength and can laugh without fear of her future.” Your buying choices have power—consume with conscience.

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

I love creation—the entirety of the cosmos breathed to life by the Creator’s hands, the people who inhabit it, and the creativity that comes forth. I love being part of the bigger picture — something greater than myself. I hope for a domino effect of positive change and empowerment. I thrive on exploring other people’s passions, telling their stories, and being their advocate. Starting at a young age, I have always stood for justice. I was a small, fierce girl with an imagination too big to contain, and a heart to protect others in need. I was never able to keep my mouth quiet; always the first person to intervene on another’s behalf. Sometimes…my boldness would get me in a bit of trouble, but I never backed down and I still will not. As I got older, my imaginative and creative spirit began with interior design. But, it did not hold the kind of weight I longed for to make small changes in people’s lives. What I wanted was to help people see their worth. To tend to their gardens and make them bloom. Hair styling and fashion fit that desire. Nevertheless, God called me to take a step above the calloused world of beauty and fashion. This higher calling birthed Purpose: a reflection of Christ in the marketplace. With my background in design and styling, I saw how hurtful consumerism and fast fashion was to all aspects of a society. As a fashion and design lover, I saw the need to bring bold fashion with even bolder ethics to the market-

I am passionate about the impact each and every one of us has on this beautiful world— from humanity to the environment.

/shopthepurpose /shopthepurpose @shopthepurpose

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+ HOLY FASHIONISTA

3 NYC BASED STYLIST

Drew Pruzaniec

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

22

2020


In Drew's own words

BIO

Drew is the Founder, Creative Director, NYC-based Stylist, and Color Enthusiast behind The Beauty Project. She is an iconoclast who loves challenging traditional definitions of beauty and inspiring and empowering women to celebrate their individuality with a little dab of clothing and a whole lot of confidence. Drew’s favorite things are sourcing vintage, helping women discover their style, her husband Nathan, and recently, her newfound obsession with palates.

One day, February 21st, 2017 to be exact, I felt Him invite me to own my unique beauty without shame, comparison, or embarrassment, and He gave me the name of the company. I would start to inspire and empower women to own their God-breathed individuality too...to be illuminated in His beauty, and fully alive in ours. So I began, with very limited resources, to build The Beauty Project and speak to women about what it means to lay down the lies, strongholds, and past injustices, and to pick up our mantle of divine beauty, honor, and femininity. I’ve had the opportunity to build a community for women who are at different stages in accepting, loving, and expressing their identity—and guess what—it’s built around playing with our clothing and self-expression. The most beautiful thing about The Beauty Project is that this message is not just for people who believe in God—it’s for every woman. Every woman is uniquely fashioned, her own, holy expression of the Divine to the world. When we do the work of self-acceptance, of acknowledging this reality, imagine what kind of legacy we leave for our daughters, their daughters, and their daughters.  Illumination can be such an intimidating word; you’ll find many of us running for cover when the spotlight dances our way. But that is what beauty does—like a rose bud waiting for just the right amount of sun to unfold into its perfect individuality, it illuminates our nature, our values, our quirks, our differences, our passions, our essence, and makes the most joyful noise in all of creation. The sound of a woman (or a man) living their life fully seen, known, heard, and celebrated by our Creator—who intentionally crafted us in His image—is one the world needs to hear. So let your beauty shine. Let your beauty make a joyful noise. 

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

You and I make a joyful noise with our beauty. This expression is the best one I’ve found for the magnificent expression of who we are to the world. Being created in the image of the Ultimate Creator does lend its hand to joyful, colorful, bold, and elaborate self-expression, doesn’t it? When you look at all of the details of nature, it’s hard not to see it. Take a minute and think about the details of your favorite outdoor setting. A rose, with its soft, layered petals that gently bend and curve in just the right manner. A mountain with its rugged and rustic demeanor that leaves you breathless as you observe the whole and the details that make up its grand gesture. Maybe a giant redwood that causes you to look, look and look even further and examine all its tall and, if I may, excessive beauty with a long trunk, wild arms for limbs, and greener-than-green foliage. God made these pieces of our world in celebration of His beauty...His glory. Dare I say that He fashioned you and I with 10-fold the amount of reverent beauty, and clothed us in His own divine nature to be expressed and illuminated in our own unique individuality?  I haven’t always seen beauty in such a poetic way. In fact, I grew up very much attempting to defy beauty, believing the lie that beauty was this unattainable bar that was way beyond my reach; an elite club of stars that only very special guests were members of. Because of this grave lie, it drove me to seek out great depths to hide, conform, fit in, and resemble what I thought was a mirror-image of everyone else around me. A copy-cat, if you will, hiding in plain sight.  But God had another plan, and deep down, I knew it.

The sound of a woman (or a man) living their life fully seen, known, heard and celebrated by our Creator— who intentionally crafted us in His image—is one the world needs to hear.

/thebeautyproject.is

www.thebeautyproject.is

/thebeautyproject.is

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+ HOLY FASHIONISTA

4

SOUTH AFRICAN JEWELRY DESIGNER + ETHICAL FASHION

Charmaine Taylor

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

24

2020


In Charmaine's own words

BIO

Charmaine Taylor of Legacy Collection is a South African environmental artist and jewelry designer. She is best known for her work with Nelson Mandela’s prison fence, the fence that once held Mandela captive on Robben Island. Charmaine is now repurposing the fence into messages of hope and reconciliation through iconic jewelry and framed art. Charmaine strongly supports local businesses in her home city of Cape Town and also gives back to skilled employment projects and sports up-liftment academies. Legacy Collection is also worn and loved by some familiar faces such as Taraji P. Henson, Paula Abdul, Sean Penn, Terence Howard, Miss Universe winners and many more.

Many of these trips and experiences where I have spoken on a stage have been totally effortless and every time I feel there is no effort, no pushing, I know God is leading me through the season. Legacy Collection carries a mantle of freedom, so much so that there are times when I place my jewelry onto people globally when they say they can feel a beautiful energy in the range. Clients have also often chosen their jewelry or art piece with the title that I have given it such as Freewill, Release, Grace, Mercy, Truth etc. so that every time they wear their Legacy Collection piece they can live out the title of the design they chose. Many people have said to me that it has helped them get through some tough times as they often think of the torment that Nelson Mandela went through to get to his freedom. I call this the anointing that I have prayed very clearly and intently over my range. It will free people from their personal prison/torment and their pain and scars (symbolised in the prison fence rust and degradation) are now a beautiful story they will be able to tell. Especially when they wear their piece of jewelry that symbolises pain and suffering—repurposed into a precious piece of wearable art. I am currently doing a series called Future Freedom on my social media profiles. I felt led during our time of isolation to reach out to global media personalities and also people I have met who have an incredible story to encourage my followers through this time. I open up the conversation to them to also talk about their time in confinement and how they are coping. I am relating it to the torturuous confinment that Nelson Mandela spent in his jail cell on Robben Island. And even though Mandela knew nothing of the outside world or how it works (much like what we are going through globally, not knowing what post Covid-19 world we are walking into), Nelson Mandela changed his country, the Constitution and the world. He was loved globally. So I want to encourage people in their time of confinent that they, too, can change their immediate environment and then spread it to the world.

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

I have been gifted with an incredible ministry, that of using the historical original fence from Robben Island Prison, to create art and jewelry. The same fence that held captive the iconic Nelson Mandela and the rest of his comrades on the notorious prison island off the coast of Cape Town, South Africa. This material emplifies many powerful words, but the four words I build my brand on are: love, grace, freedom and forgiveness. I have found a global ministry in Legacy Collection. I had a vision the first time I was in Los Angeles in 2012. I prayed and felt led to bring a product back to Los Angeles—that is fundamentally South African that cannot be manufactured in China—and everyone can know, love and relate to the brand. It's built on the story of Nelson Mandela and the incredible forgiveness and grace he gave to the former apartheid government. I love the United States and have always been called and blessed to be flown there in so many seasons of my life. I have had many prophecies that my jewelry will free many men and women from mindsets and bondages and also that people of high influence will call me their own. I have always said I do not own Legacy Collection, I am a steward to spread the message of love and forgiveness amplified by the life of Nelson Mandela, but over and above this earthly leader, the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, who is my confidant and best friend. It is my mission to spread the message of grace and forgiveness. The Gospel is such an incredible gift to spread, the free gift of of Jesus Christ. The scars of Jesus on the cross are also symbolised in the rusted, degredated fence. I have found it incredible to see how God has gifted me such wonderful friends globally with my ministry through Legacy Collection. This rusted, scarred fence has opened up doors into places I know God has ordained me to be.

/charmainestaylor /legacycollection @legacyctn

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www.legacycollection.org

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+ HOLYWOOD

5

Ricky

Borba ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

26

2020


In Ricky's own words

FILM-MAKING, GANGSTER RAP LISTENING, PEOPLE ENCOURAGING, STAR WARS LOVING, FAMILY MAN OF GOD

ers' Crossing. I'd like to say that my films are a little more gritty than your standard Pureflix faith-based films, and that's exactly how I want them to be because that's exactly how I am. I want Christians and non-Christians to see my films and be left with hope and inspiration. My hope is that by the time I take my last breath, my films will have left a lasting legacy for people, and helped them to either know Christ better, or accept Him outright. My belief is that, as Christians, we worship the Creator of creativity, and so in that, we should be at the helm of everything trending! And while I appreciate that the majority of faith-based films released nowadays do well for their intended audience, the church, I want my films to transcend the church and blaze trails in the secular world as well. Since God created the gift of creativity, I want to tap into that and create films that have just as much of an impact and lasting effect as anything else being put out through major studios. We live in a day and age where the technology at our fingertips allows us to make the old saying "Your imagination is the only limit to what you can do" a fast and true statement. I'm excited for my future in filmmaking and for others like me who are equally as passionate!

BIO

From my earliest memories, I remember wanting to entertain. Throughout my life it's taken various forms, but the path I've been on for the last 12 years has been that of a filmmaker, which I believe is the best way to get your message to the masses. I wouldn't trade my "job" for anything. HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

In 2009 I went on a Mission trip to Africa. Way out of my comfort zone, and definitely out of my element, the Lord spoke to me in the middle of a poor city, surrounded by poverty-stricken people, watching American media on their cell phones. The Lord said Ricky, "This is how I created you to fulfill the Great Commission." He illuminated to me that these new devices (at the time smart phones were brand new) would and could reach far more people for Christ than any other way or method in history. From that day, I literally stopped at nothing to fulfill my calling and dream. However, it wouldn't be until 2018 when I would end up directing my first film, The Talking Tree. Then, right after that, I was asked to direct a second film, called My Broth-

"I'd like to say that my films are a little more gritty than your standard pureflix films, and that's exactly how i want them to be because that's exactly how i am."

/rickyborbadirector /borbafett www.rickyborbafilms.com

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+ HOLYWOOD

6

EDWIN

GAGIANO ACTOR + FILM-MAKER & FILM MINISTRY + ENTREPRENEUR

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

28

2020


In Edwin's own words

BIO

Edwin Gagiano is best known for his work as an actor on South Africa’s breakout show Snake Park. He branched out into film and was awarded the green card of extraordinary ability by the United States in 2016. Gagiano relocated to Los Angeles and studied with DW Brown, Hollywood’s most beloved acting coach, who has worked with the likes of Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise and Leslie Mann to mention a few. Gagiano got equipped with the best weapon in Hollywood and uses it to shine his light for God. In the depths of a city where many people rush to achieve greatness, only to get sucked in by the dark undertow of greed and desperation, Gagiano did exactly the opposite. In 2020 Gagiano formed a personal fund where he officially solved the biggest problem an actor/ producer faces starting out, the side hustle. “I didn’t do very well bussing tables,” Gagiano said with a playful grin on his face, “I drop people’s food…so the only thing I could see for myself is trading the stock market and putting the money back into the Kingdom, where it belongs.” Gagiano has achieved a myriad of accolades as a local movie star before he arrived in Tinseltown, but it’s the little ‘big’ things in life that excite him. “I started an investment channel on YouTube called Zen Trading, where I do recaps on my trades and go over my investments to give people clarity on how simple the markets really are. It’s very gratifying to teach others the psychology of wealth and how to know where you are standing emotionally, before stepping into God’s financial blessings on your life, so that you can be a better steward of His kingdom and property.” He continues to explain, “Earning an income well exceeding anything I could have achieved in a career from my programming degree allowed me to help people solve two of life’s biggest problems—health and finances! I have a whole new outlook on life and what the word purpose means! But it took me 30 years to come full circle.” Gagiano says the only thing he wish he knew how to do earlier in his life is how to get out of his own way and

reach out to the leaders that were above him. “Your wildest dreams are screaming, begging to happen to you as soon as you just stop trying so hard. Let your mentors worry about that!” He encourages people to reach out to him on social media and follow his channels on YouTube, “Zen Trading” and “Edwin Gagiano.” He has been a successful entrepreneur for the last decade and trains men and women of God in the field of business and people development. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg of Gagiano’s activities in society. Outside of “life’s two biggest problems,” he serves in his own Film ministry, helping children who face abandonment in South Africa. His documentary, on the children of Cape Town who get saved from the trash cans around the city, got the attention of major powerhouses in Hollywood. Gagiano declined the involvement of a major agency to package the project into a movie. “It would take exactly what we need to tell the world, and make it a politically correct ‘attention fest,’ I’d rather just go serve the kids of South Africa, and everyone is welcome!” Gagiano resides in Los Angeles and Florida, as well as South Africa for three months out of the year. He is the owner and founder of Zen Trading and the Gagiano Wealth Fund. He also produces films under Gagiano Films. To reach Gagiano, subscribe on Youtube under Zen Trading and Edwin Gagiano. His health organization can both benefit people’s health as well as finances. For more information and ministry donations, Gagiano can be reached at edwingagiano@gmail.com.

"the only thing he wished he knew how to do earlier in life is how to get out of his own way and reach out to the leaders above him."

/edwin.gagiano /edwingagiano www.edwingagiano.com

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By Nissi Guiao & Heather Murdock

DALLAS jenkins

+ HOLYWOOD

7

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

Get The Chosen App and stream it to your television. Get the first season free and Pay It Forward. www.thechosen.tv

30

2020


DIRECTOR OF "THE CHOSEN" - THE #1 CROWDFUNDED MEDIA PROJECT IN HISTORY

BIO

Dallas is the son of Jerry Jenkins, co-author of the award-winning, New York Times bestselling “Left Behind” book series about the End Times. Dallas has directed more than a dozen feature and short films over his twenty-year career for some of the biggest studios in Hollywood. He is the creator and Director of the series, The Chosen. Last year we were blessed to have the opportunity to interview Dallas about this show—a streaming multi-season series that has shattered crowdfunding records by earning 10.2 million dollars and garnering 15,000 investors. This project has become a global phenomenon. It’s been downloaded and streamed in over 150 countries and is being translated into more than 50 languages.

could assume it’s a favorite story of his to tell. What’s more evident, however, is his passion to give honor where honor is due. He will never not talk about the real reason for the success of The Chosen—how the Lord moved and continues to move and multiply on the show’s behalf. But we also want to recognize that it coincides with his growing faith and perseverance that attracts all the abundance and favor on the binge-worthy series that’s sweeping the globe with momentum. Dallas shares in a podcast interview, “I can safely say without false humility that this is a God-story, not a Dallas story. And I think everyone can relate to that moment when you are facing failure and that’s when you actually find God showing up more than ever before.” His humility is what both speaks volumes and attracts favor in the same breath. If you want an example of someone who’s downto-earth, embracing their humanity, fiercely driven to pour their life out for the Kingdom, it’s him. Very openly, Dallas talks about how in the media there’s a lot to overcome, especially the stereotypes about biblical-based projects. But that fact seems to only have drawn him in to share his gifts and creativity through film even more. This is only just the beginning for him and we are so thankful for his “yes” which, now more than ever, has led to the illumination of Christ in hearts and in spaces that would have remained unreached. “The Chosen” is made and distributed outside the Hollywood system, and has had tremendous and unexpected success. This is a testament to how God is raising up creatives in this season to be counter to the Hollywood culture, to bring glory to His name through cinematic expression. The timing of this project and this pandemic is not a coincidence. The world more than ever needs Jesus. When they meet the Jesus of The Chosen, the depths of their pain will meet the heights of His love and compassion. The Chosen will deliver. It is anointed and appointed for such a time as this. We want to honor Dallas for following the voice of God and bringing to film what many think (including us) is the world's most favorite Jesus ever on screen.

HOW DALLAS ILLUMINATES CHRIST

Dallas Jenkins has remained pretty steady throughout his time in Hollywood, but his journey has been more unique than that of the common plots you may hear within the booming industry. He is a family-man first with a sincere love for the Lord that he is unashamed of. He also happens to be a phenomenal director producing quality films; he’s recently most known for brilliantly directing The Chosen (our exclusive interview by Heather Murdock with him about this series is featured in Issue 6: Empowered). He has an obvious conviction to give nothing less than fullblown excellence in everything he has a hand in. And it’s his faith and yielded ear to Jesus that continues to move him forward in miraculous ways. “God does impossible math” is a simple yet profound truth that has stuck with Dallas over the past few years after God spoke it to him through his wife, Amanda, one night when he was in the midst of searching for “answers” in a hard season of deficit. He’s held onto that word since—it’s played a significant role in building his faith. And he talks about how he’s seen that truth come alive right before his eyes, even still to this day. One of the prime ways he illuminates Christ is by living out his core beliefs (both behind the scenes and boldly in speech) that with God nothing is impossible. He knows his own role to play, where to focus his energy and attention and who the real Director is in his life and in his endeavors. The way he fully leans all his weight into that is incredibly inspiring to us to say the least. If you listen to him share about the testimony of the successes of The Chosen, you’ll likely hear him enthusiastically speak about the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000+ with the five loaves and two fish and what it means to him. One

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/dallas.jenkins

/InsideTheChosen

/dallas.jenkins

/thechosentvseries

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Photo by Doren Sorell

ACTOR PLAYING JESUS IN "THE CHOSEN"

jonathan roumie ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

32

2020


By Nissi Guiao

BIO

"Jonathan Roumie is an award-winning, L.A.-based Actor/ Director/Producer and Voice-Over Artist known primarily for his character and accent work. He can currently be seen in the The Chosen. Born, raised and trained in New York City, now living in Los Angeles, Jonathan's method-based approach, in addition to his facility for accents and language, his authentic Middle-Eastern heritage and his spiritual background make him the ideal choice for playing the role of Christ, as well as other biblical-oriented roles."

Words can hardly describe the supernatural encounters taking place all over the globe because of one specific role on one television show. We can’t, however, deny they’re happening. Scroll through a handful of reviews about The Chosen and you’ll begin to understand the impact of what the Lord is doing through Jonathan in this binge-worthy series. “I feel like I am FINALLY seeing Jesus beyond the Bible,” says one enthusiastic fan, “in a wholesome and well-rounded depiction that reaches to my soul.” Another said, “Jonathan Roumie's portrayal of Jesus has set the bar very high. He brings the Man of God to life! Compassion, wisdom, humility and humor as he interacts with adults and children make Jesus leap off the screen and into the heart.” The draw to Jonathan’s portrayal of Jesus is universal. One other review states, “I found myself drawn to read my Bible more. ('I MUST know more about this Man!' I heard myself thinking.) I also found myself thinking about Him more throughout the day than I ever had before. I craved time with Him. I wanted closer relationship with Him…” Jonathan, of course, isn’t Jesus, but his portrayal of Jesus is quickly becoming a ministry in and of itself. Pure-hearted and completely down to earth, he states, “I am human. I’m completely flawed; I’m probably one of the most flawed people on this entire project, but here I am because this is where God put me for reasons unbeknownst to me. And all I’m going to do is just show up and try to serve Him and be the best representation of His love on Earth that I can be.”

Most known, nowadays, for his striking role as Jesus in The Chosen, Jonathan Roumie has been given the unique opportunity to illuminate Christ in (and through) the entertainment industry. Gifts and talents are one thing (and he’s definitely got those), however, his passion and commitment to portray Jesus as honestly as is humanly possible is unmatched. Somehow, he’s got the most sacred character anyone could ever play on lock. And his consistent performances are legitimately changing hearts and lives all over the globe. But it’s not because He tries hard to be Jesus. In a recent interview online, in fact, he explains how he recognizes that it’s not about trying to be Jesus because that’s not possible. Jonathan’s success isn’t merely found in his quality acting; it goes much deeper than that. He shares, “I never feel that I’ve succeeded at being Jesus. . .to me, that’s impossible to actually ever achieve. . .so what, instead, I try to shoot for is get the closest possible feeling that Jesus might’ve had. And, even then, trying to understand what that would be, is difficult. So, the best that I can do is try to just experience everything—every emotion that I think is needed for a scene—on a much more intense level.” There are many layers to Jonathan’s process that make it what it is. His humility rises to the top and washes over everything he’s part of. His deep understanding that he’s but a vessel along with his obedience to commit to such a sacred role, we believe, are the reasons why the Spirit is able to flow so freely through every one of his scenes.

"HIS humility rises to the top and washes over everything he's part of."

/JonathanRoumieOfficial /jonathanroumieofficial @JonathanRoumie www.JonathanRoumie.com

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+ HOLYWOOD

9

CINEMATOGRAPHER + EDITOR + PRODUCER

stephen wollwerth ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

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2020


In Stephen's own words

BIO

Over the past 10 years, Stephen has played some significant role in hundreds of productions as Editor, Cinematographer, Script-writer, Development Director, for feature films, National TV docu-series, Super Bowl commercials, movie trailers, company branding and non-profits. He is a producer of documentaries, and now he’s using his skills to advance a new movement…

have pledged my business efforts to doing anything that will prevent it from happening to anyone else, as well as to the rescuing of those already entrapped. Through my company 3GatesFilms we have offered our video production services free of charge to Operation Underground Railroad, which is on the front lines of rescuing the captives as well as educating young people about it.  We are currently revamping their volunteer orientation video for those just joining the fight. And for the film Calculated produced by OneDoorStudios, of which I’m a co-development partner, we have committed a large percentage of the profits to supporting the organizations that are currently on the front lines of ending women and child sex slavery.  The road is long, however, as the Coronavirus and turmoil in China have caused our main investor to pull out, so we are looking for partnerships with individuals, organizations and celebrities who want to put their resources and contacts to use in helping these efforts.  Besides the responsibility of being a husband and a father of 4 kids, this effort is everything to me and those I work with. There is a new era of God-breathed storytelling coming, like when Jesus spoke parables and others marveled at the authority with which he spoke. God is wanting to do the same through film and entertainment. The stories will cut to the heart for those who have ears to hear, and the profits will go to advancing the work of setting the captives free. 

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

Jesus quoted Isaiah 61:1 about coming to set the captives free. And for most of my life, I only thought of that as the mentally, emotionally or spiritually captive. But last year God opened my eyes to another type of captive. It came through a vivid dream where I saw women and children trapped as kidnapping victims who were sold into sex slavery. In this dream there was an organization whose name was so well recognized, it was a household name around the world. As well-known as McDonalds, it was where those who were sold into slavery could turn to for help and be rescued.  I saw in this dream that it would take a concerted effort of thousands of people and billions of dollars to accomplish. I even saw a hashtag I had never seen before in the dream, #EndItNow.  In that very same week, I saw a friend's facebook post with the exact same hashtag. She had almost become a victim of sex slavery while in India, but had narrowly escaped by a supernatural intervention. It became even more apparent that God was speaking when in the same week I was asked to become development director on a film for global release called Calculated. I read the story and to my shock, one of the main plots was the exposing and taking down of a large human trafficking crime ring.  I knew without any doubt that God was calling me to join the fight for those who have been imprisoned by this world's most evil business.  I began to cry out to God for those children and women who have had their lives taken away, and since that time

"i knew without any doubt that god was calling me to join the fight for those who have been imprisoned by the world's most evil business."

/stephen.wollwerth /3gatesfilms @wollwerthfilms wollwerth@gmail.com or contact@3gatesfilms.com

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+ WELLNESS

10

Health Coach + Divine Health Director with Agape Freedom Fighters + Speaker

LINDA BROWN

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

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2020


In Linda's own words

BIO

Linda is a Holistic Mind-Nutrition and Body Health Coach. She has been teaching Fitness and Health for 43 years. Her goal and hope for each person she works with is abundant health. Her background and education allows for her to teach a “Completely Fit” program, which addresses mindset, physical and emotional health and alignment with God. Her specialty is women’s fitness and health, and her heart is for community. She created TEMPLE TOUGH, a spiritual and community-based wellness program, which includes a large network of kingdom-minded health associates.

"right" things—after all, I am a Fitness Professional! God then lit my path to a new understanding of the definition of health. I had a revelatory awakening to the power of emotions and mindset and their affect on well-being, and how they actually land in our physical body. I had to learn that I could do nothing without Jesus. My education and striving were only bringing minimal results. In order to heal and re-gain total health, I had to allow God to illuminate who He is, how He made me and who I am. God told me He was the author of holistic health. I began to really understand more about how our bodies are fearfully and wonderfully made. They were designed to be a temple, a dwelling place for the Holy Spirit, with the ability to shift an atmosphere, and to bring Heaven to Earth. We are called to be workers of miracles through Jesus, to be Love. When we are healthy we have this opportunity; and this is a significant foundation of health. God led me to the development of a new program called Temple Tough, a curriculum designed to enlighten and strengthen the body, mind and spirit. A program that connects people to a Kingdom-minded community that can educate and support full health. It is a workout design, which includes advanced nutrition training, a Kingdom kitchen, body by design rather than a “one for all” program. Temple Tough is a platform for strong physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being, and the ability to recover and bounce back from illness and other problems. Good health is so important. A strong immune system and an intimate relationship with God go hand-in-hand. We were made for this time; and it is time to stand strong in who we are. I love working with people on a “whole health” level. I pray for all the readers of this incredible magazine that we become illuminated and we become illuminators of who God says He is, and partner in His design. I pray you have your best health ever in these coming days ahead. Be bold! Blessings to you all!

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

Illumination is incredible; it allows us to see what is beautiful, stunning and radiant! Illumination can open the door and invite us to take a step to the next level of understanding of what God has for us. Health is my business and passion and my heart is to illuminate Jesus by teaching people how to gain, attain and maintain a healthy body and thrive with energy. Health is a very big deal right now, in light of all that is going on in our world. There is a lot of valuable and reputable information that is available to each one of us regarding health which is wonderful, however, it can be confusing as to what we should be doing to stay healthy, especially at this time. When I work with people and their health, my focus is the ‘whole’ person. My goal is to help people align with who God says they are first and then introduce an exercise and pure eating program that matches their lifestyle and design. Total health is dependent upon much more than a workout and sound nutrition. I have found that it is important to take into consideration emotions, mindset, and connection to God for complete wellness, as these have much more of an impact on one’s total health. New technology has revealed that an indicator of good health can actually be heard in the tone of our voice, words we speak, and how we treat people; and we have known for years that health manifests itself in our eyes, our face, and our body. I myself have practiced healthy eating and regular exercise and still developed cancer, adrenal exhaustion, metabolic disorder, and debilitating anxiety and fatigue. I have undergone strong emotional trauma including physical abuse, immediate family suicide, being a single working mom, abandonment, and owning a small business. My health slipped away and I thought I was doing all of the

/linda.m.moeller /linda_brown For more information, please reach out: Email: completelyfit4life@gmail.com Website: healthsummitfreedommovement.com

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+ WELLNESS

11

Lover of Jesus working in the medical field and founder of Saving Lives Together

DERRICKA ELWOOD

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

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2020


In Derricka's own words

BIO

Derricka is the founder of Saving Lives Together and adventure enthusiast. She has been called to travel in various ways to lead and serve others. Continuously being in prayer and having the right advisors and mentors in place, she knew the call on her life, to help others who can’t seem to stand on their own, couldn't wait anymore.

reminder of who I once was in that dark place of my life and who I am now. I no longer let the past define me, but instead I let it guide me, all because God took me through a journey to learn to grasp hope, even in the darkest valleys. Statistics show: “In the United States almost half of adults (46.4 percent) will experience a mental illness during their lifetime. Five percent of adults (18 or older) experience a mental illness in any one year, equivalent to 43.8 million people. Adults in the United States with any mental disorder in a one-year period: 14.4 percent have one disorder, 5.8 percent have two disorders and 6 percent have three or more. Half of all mental disorders begin at age 14 and three quarters by age 24. In the United States only 41 percent of people who had a mental disorder in the past year received professional health care or other services.” (“5 Surprising Mental Health Statistics.” Mental Health first Aid, 6 Feb 2019).

". . .I stand ready to bridge the gap and illuminate the reality of all forms of depression and mental illness. At the same time, day or night, I'm personally walking our sisters and brothers off the ledge. . ."

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

I came from a family where my mother led a household of nine and she was an example to me from a young age of what it looks like to be selfless and to truly care for others. Two years ago, my world crashed and the entire course of my life changed in an instant. I received a phone call that I would have never seen coming when it did. Not knowing the circumstances, I was told to go to my mother’s hospital room. When I arrived I saw my mother lying in the bed with my siblings all around—flatlined. In that very moment my heart dropped and I walked away completely numb. For a long time I couldn’t get rid of the numbness and it took me deeper and deeper into a dark depression. This experience drastically impacted my life, but now I am standing here to tell you I am truly an overcomer. I have been called out by name to illuminate Christ through my organization (currently in its development phase) called Saving Lives Together (SLT). SLT is an organization that never stops fighting against time. The mission is to help many struggling with depression, anxiety, PTSD, Postpartum Depression, eating disorders, mood disorders, psychotic disorders, etc. SLT are also the initials of my mother. The letters are a

The statistics above are elevating each and every day and I feel called to do something about it. Many people do not understand the severity of the conditions that are affecting others, but I do because I have personally lived through it. Through Saving Lives Together I stand ready to bridge the gap and illuminate the reality of all forms of depression and mental illness. At the same time, day or night, I’m personally walking our sisters and brothers off the ledge and into a place of healing and freedom.

/derrickae For more information, please reach out. Email: Derrickaelwood@gmail.com

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+ WELLNESS

12

REGISTERED NURSE - BSN, MS, PCCNÂ

JOY HARRIGAN

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

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2020


In Joy's own words

BIO

Pacific Northwest transplant, originally from the East Coast, I am from a family of seven. I have been a nurse since 2012 and a University of Washington Master of Science graduate since 2018. Currently, I am working as a travel nurse in Northern California. I have a heart for travel and exploring which is what initially drew me to Sacramento, and has led to many new opportunities. In my free time I enjoy writing and photography. I also try to keep plants alive and music is a daily necessity.

me now, I can see God through it all, even though when it was happening I couldn't make sense of it all. However I have learned that beautiful things take time to grow. And sometimes it comes from pain, loss, or waiting—those divine letdowns in life. Even in the really hard parts of the journey, when I was filled with doubt and anxiety, I knew I was not alone. In fact, it was raising me up time and time again, with every failure.  It was, and still is, the light that keeps me moving forward, no matter what storms may roll through my life. He is the light always shines through.  This is how I feel Christ leading me, and working through me; this undying hope, persistence, and determination that it is never too late, not for any person, to have hope again; to be new again, because for Him, nothing is impossible. Even in the valleys God is there. I want my patients to know that they are not alone. That God's love is abundant, vast, and far reaching, beyond impossible circumstances. He's right there in the midst of them. It hits me profoundly when I have homeless patients when many seek shelter in the colder months. It's in these moments I know why I was brought through some valleys. All these years later, those dreams I had have come true. Now, every chance I have to show love to those who feel unlovable, that is when I am met with joy.  It's how I illuminate Christ; it's through all of this that I keep finding the Light.

"It's not a preferred way of living, being nomadic and homeless at the same time. As a poor kid, I sometimes wondered if it was hopeless for me to really be anything at all." HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

One thing that just gets me about life is that you never really know what's coming up next. It's a beautiful thing, really, that it is full of surprises. And that we humans are really never alone. God's hand throughout my life always reminds me it's never too late to turn the ship around. My story is a rather peculiar one. Basically, the short version is that I grew up on a school bus, traveled around the states, with my big gang of a family, selling things out of banana boxes at flea markets, while searching for a new home. A lot happened—loss and pain, and poverty. But good things, too, that took me some years to understand. It's not a preferred way of living, being nomadic and homeless at the same time. As a poor kid, I sometimes wondered if it was hopeless for me to really be anything at all. In my heart, I had some dreams. I wanted to be a missionary and I wanted to be a nurse. Mostly I wanted to make a difference—to help people, and to love people who needed love; who deserved love. Just like me.  God's love in my life was the light that no darkness could ever overcome. That even a life full of hardships, poverty, and brokenness, wouldn't be a lost cause. For

/joy.harrigan /joyfindinglight https://picbabun.com/joyfindinglight

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13

NISSI GUIAO

+ RISK-TAKERS

Photo by Nicole Weaver

/Hisnissi /thisnissi hisnissi.wordpress.com

BIO

I’m a 28 year old, passionate writer from Stockton, CA who continues to unwrap a unique gift with words. I'm equally as passionate about loving people where they're at and pouring my heart out into the next generations. Sharing my testimony, encouraging others, singing to Jesus, thinking out-of-the-box, risk-taking, quality time, spontaneous adventures, good puns, belly laughs and deep talks best keep my tank full.

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

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2020


In Nissi's own words

EDITOR + WRITER FOR MEGAMORPHOSIS MAGAZINE + BLOGGER

HOW ARE YOU CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

I’m a poet who didn’t know it (for a while), until creative expression became my best outlet during the darkest time in my life. Going through separation at 23 was not ideal for me. But what’s so inspiring is the journey it took me through—breaking silence, learning how to let myself (honestly and healthily) feel. Though pain seriously marked me, it’s less about the heartache and more about how Jesus journeyed so sweetly with me. Each memory with Him is foundational… and makes up the “OG” roux of my destiny. My awakening in 2015-2016 felt a lot like the ice bucket challenge to my life. The brutal, cold shock of divorce was so uncomfortable to accept and, initially, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My choice to commit to following my Peace and not run, however, gave me the immediate opportunity to get drenched by Love in ways I can hardly explain. How Jesus gracefully led me through that time—allowing me to feel the refining, scorching heat of the fire and not get burned while teaching me wild patience and trust in the thick of process—will forever be a sacred set of miracles I refuse to ever downplay. I sincerely treasure my history with the Lord. I spend oodles of time delighting in the details of God’s goodness, like a child swept up in pure imagination. To show off His goodness inevitably comes naturally because, truthfully, He’s the only reason I’m standing—smiling and whole—today. Because Jesus rose again, so did I. My testimony is only pos-

sible because of Him. And I’ve decided I’ll spend my whole life speaking about His faithfulness and unrelenting love. I’ll spend my whole life talking about how He saved me from my mess and legitimately brought me from (spiritual) death to life. I’ll spend my whole life learning more and more about Him, getting wrecked in the midst and letting people into my process so they, too, can get excited about a beautiful mess. I know no better way to illuminate Christ than with my ever-increasing passion to know Him and to be loved by Him, followed by my meager human expression of it all. I simply can’t get away from it because I now know I was made for this…to tell of His goodness in my own way with the organic perspectives He gifts me. I’m finally coming out of hiding. Not for me to be seen, rather, for His Nissi to shine and be seen. “The Lord is my banner…” (Sometimes I laugh at the irony, in awe and wonder of such a Master Planner and Creator naming me as such, knowing what I’d essentially endure.) Nevertheless, I’m learning to boldly live out my name. To be His banner for any and all to see, not me, but His goodness within me. I perceive, one day I’ll have books of many kinds and likely somewhere I’ll be preaching, having a blast telling fresh stories. No matter how that plays out or whatever that ends up looking like, I’ll forever embrace being His Nissi—His artist, His writer/editor, His author, His speaker/preacher—authentically illuminating Him with the (living) words I “speak.”

"I now know I was made for this... to tell of His goodness in my own way with the organic perspectives He gifts me."

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COACH & JENENE

+ RISK-TAKERS

14

By Angela Manzanares

BIO

Gary Henson and Jenene Stafford have 5 adult daughters and 5 grandchildren. Gary is the founder of BusinessCoach.Com and Jenene is a speaker, writer, ministry leader, and founder and creator of Megamorphosis Magazine. Jenene and Gary are a power couple. I’ve had the pleasure of interning for Jenene, and I’m currently an employee of Gary’s, so I get a front row seat in watching them impact the Kingdom and so many lives in a profound way.

/jenene.stafford

/megamorphosismagazine

/gary.henson.94

/jenenestafford

/megamorphosismagazine

/thebusiness.coach

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2020


BUSINESS OWNERS + MARKETPLACE MINISTERS + SPIRITUAL INFLUENCERS

Gary is a husband, father, charismatic leader, and founder of BusinessCoach.Com. He illuminates Christ in many ways, but is especially called to raise up leaders and bring Kingdom principles into businesses. He founded BusinessCoach.Com in 1989, and has spent over 30 years working as a business coach to transform companies and train others to become Business Coaches as well. He is passionate about helping business owners dream beyond what they think is possible to truly live out what they were made for. He coaches leaders, strengthens teams, and helps companies create positive work environments that produce excellent people and bottom-line results. Not only does Gary use his gifts to make a positive difference in the business world, but he also trains up other coaches to multiply the impact. There is a quote that says, “Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” This paints a beautiful picture of the legacy Gary is creating. Many of his clients are not Christians, and very little of his coaching material technically mentions God or scripture directly. However, the heart of the Father is reflected so clearly through the coaching principles Gary uses with businesses, through the integrity he runs his own company with, and through the way he unconditionally loves everyone that crosses his path. His faith is never hidden and even offers prayer with his clients. Jenene, or “Mama J” as many of her spiritual sons and daughters call her, is a powerhouse. She is a leader, writer, speaker, intercessor, and founder of Megamorphosis Magazine. Although she expresses her giftings and strengths through many different avenues, at the core of it all is her passion to find the gold that God put inside of every individual. She has a gift for seeing the unique strengths and callings people have, even before they’ve fully come

to fruition. Jenene lovingly calls out this gold and inspires people to boldly and confidently be who God created them to be. This is the heart and soul of Megamorphosis Magazine. God highlights different leaders that He is calling to rise up and influence their world, and Jenene showcases their stories and the messages God wants to say through them. Jenene is called to be a leader of leaders, and she has created this Megamorphosis Magazine community as a way to unite an army of creative movers and shakers to use their gifts to bring Heaven to earth. God has also called Jenene to illuminate Christ through speaking and media. She believes that words are powerful, and that movies, music, and media are all key tools God will use to change culture. She wants to see revival in Hollywood, to see God to flood the airwaves, and to use her voice as a vehicle for encouragement and conveying God’s messages to the world. Both Gary and Jenene have some of the biggest hearts out there. They spend their days doing Kingdom work in business and in media, and then after, can often be found running off to a ministry meeting, having dinner with a spiritual son or daughter, or loving on their family. I have watched them pour their hearts out in prayer, intercede for the lost, walk with prodigals, care for the homeless, spend hours in our conference room speaking into “the one” that Christ is chasing after, train and develop leaders’ in their gifts, and shower every person that crosses their path with words of life and encouragement. They are some of the most humble, bold, driven, and fiercely loving servant-leaders I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. They immediately welcome everyone into their family, and brightly illuminate Christ in all they do.

"Jenene lovingly calls out this gold and inspires people to boldly and confidently be who God created them to be."

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+ RISK-TAKERS

LARRY & LORI HILL

15

/larry.b.hill /lori.l.hill.5

BIO

Larry and Lori are the founders of CalPro Research, a client-service benchmarking company that serves over 20 colleges of veterinary medicine and hundreds of large veterinary hospitals across the country. They have also authored a spiritual growth curriculum called, “The Dokimos Project” with a book, instructional videos, and online learning. The goal is to start “spiritual gyms” across the Sacramento Area in order to equip and commission 7,000 marketplace ministers. So far, 160 people have graduated from the intensive and experiential 12-session curriculum. They also have a team of handson elders that help implement and provide direction and spiritual covering. Both Larry and Lori grew up in Christian homes and became Christ followers when they were young. They’ve been married for 35 years, have three adult children (two are now married) and their first grandchild arrived in 2019. Thirteen years ago, they went through a very difficult

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

time in life. Larry says, “In 2007, a small failure impacted me so profoundly that I went into a room by myself and cried uncontrollably. I was shaken, but it was just the last straw in a list of problems. I had a pinched nerve in my neck, so I was in a lot of pain. Our business was failing. I had some close friends falsely accuse me. Our finances were a mess and a pastor I had looked up to did something very hurtful. What he did felt like spiritual abuse. So, my world was falling apart emotionally, physically, financially, socially and in my career. I got to the point where I cried out to Jesus. I just could not take it anymore. What I learned later is that I had a performance-based identity. My value and worth were based on what I did, what I had and what others thought of me, and all those things were stripped away. I had a classic identity crisis.” At that point, they had three children at home. Lori says, “About that same time, I was going through my own set of challenges with the insecurity of our finances and possibly losing our home. As a mom with three children, it was almost unbearable. I cried so much the day the foreclosure papers were taped to the front door of our home. My identity was in what I had, and my own self-sufficiency.

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In Larry and Lori's own words

BUSINESS OWNERS + MARKETPLACE MINISTERS + SPIRITUAL EQUIPPERS

Combine that with all Larry was going through and I was at the breaking point too.” Jesus spoke to them through encounters with the Holy Spirit; through friends who spoke life and prophetic words; through conferences where the Holy Spirit was welcome to lead; and through books, CD’s, and mostly the Bible. Through the time of crisis, they read the Bible with greater hunger, prayed differently and sensed the presence of Christ in new and refreshing ways. They learned how to really hear the Holy Spirit’s still small voice. Supernatural events happened that shocked and elated them. These supernatural events built their faith into a passion. Their identity crisis turned into a time of blessing with the foundation being a full rejection of the performance-based identity lie. That lie says, “I am what I do, or have, or how I’m seen by others.” Instead, Jesus spoke directly to them saying, “This is how I see you. You are my beloved child. You are beautiful and accepted. I love you when you are sleeping. I love you when you are awake. I love you no matter what you do. I am with you always.” Larry and Lori both journaled what they sensed the Holy Spirit saying to them and have pages and pages of love letters from Jesus. Lori says, “These notes taken in the secret place changed everything. Now, it’s our new normal and we love it! We used to pray to Jesus in one direction and ask Him for things. Now, our prayers are two-directional with questions and we listen to what He says. We test what we hear, but most of the time, Larry and I get similar or complementary answers when we ask questions. So, it verifies what we are hearing in our spirit. We are Jesus’ sheep and we can hear His voice because He’s our Good Shepherd!” From this place of having their identity in Christ, inner healing, and hearing the Holy Spirit, they started developing an experiential learning process to pass

along what they have in Christ to others. That curriculum is called, “The Dokimos Project.” The word “Dokimos” is Greek and means "integrity that passes rigorous inspection.” Lori says, “Integrity is what you have on the inside. It’s what you think and feel about yourself and it needs to be from a Heavenly point of view. It cannot be what the people around you say, or what the world wants you to think or believe about yourself.” Larry says, “Integrity is like a submarine that has a strong hull and it can hold up in the pressure of the deep ocean. It stays strong because of how it is made. The pressure on the inside is greater than the pressure on the outside. A submarine with integrity thrives under pressure! An equipped marketplace minister will thrive under pressure because their integrity is based on an eternal identity, hearing Jesus’ voice, having a healed heart and fulfilling those God-given desires of the heart.” Larry and Lori love leading others through the Dokimos Project. They want to see an army of marketplace ministers equipped in the Sacramento region and sent into every sphere of influence with truth, hope, joy, creativity, problem-solving and love. Larry says, “Billy Graham said the next big revival will ‘happen through the marketplace.’ Many believe the greatest revival and outpouring of the Holy Spirit on earth is coming. It’s imperative to equip God’s people in the marketplace as an act of obedience to Jesus. He commanded us to make disciples. Jesus told us ‘the harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.’ Imagine equipping a marketplace army that actively walks out their God-given assignments with confidence. They know who they are in Christ; they bring Heaven to Earth. That sounds exciting!”

"It's imperative to equip God's people in the marketplace as an act of obedience to Jesus. He commanded us to make disciples."

For more information, please visit www.DokimosProject.com or email info@dokimosproject.com

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ERIC KNOPF

+ RISK-TAKERS

16

KINGDOM ENTREPRENEUR + SPEAKER By Kevin Castle

BIO

Eric is a serial entrepreneur and the founder and co-founder of Webconnex, Vision Launchers, MXSponsor, Epic Life, Armed With Truth, and several others. Eric was recognized as one of the top entrepreneurship thought leaders on Twitter by Forbes Magazine and Inc Magazine, and named a top 40 under 40 by Business Journal. He's also, in his words, a bacon enthusiast and closet theologian.

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

/ericknopf /ericknopf @ericknopf

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Dream Big. That is Eric's cry, and he would argue, God's cry. He's a follower of Jesus first, father and husband second, entrepreneur third, and is just trying to kick butt in Jesus' name. Throughout his entire life, Eric has lived by the call of a creator. His father saw in him the fires of creativity and worked actively to fan the flames. With every job and opportunity God gave him, Eric has tried to squeeze the most out of it. Eric's mantra is, "The most strategic way to impact the world is through entrepreneurship." And if you are in the kingdom, you're an entrepreneur. When Jesus tells us in Matthew 28 to go into the world and "make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit," He is placing an entrepreneurial mandate on our lives. When we accepted Christ into our lives, we became a new creation living under a new covenant which stems from books from the New Testament. God created a new thing to fix the problems of the world, and likewise, if we are born as the likeness of God, we must do the same. Eric is the co-founder of Webconnex, a rapidly growing tech company in Sacramento. Along with his long-time friend and mentor John Russell, the Webconnex team makes software that powers events and charitable giving

across the country. So far, their software has processed over $2 billion dollars in payments and reaches millions of people every month. Underneath the umbrella of Webconnex is four products that were designed to help organizations and businesses save thousands of dollars. Their heart is to help businesses and organizations be successful and it's obvious to see where their Christian values come into play. He also uses his platform to speak and write. In 2016 he published a book called Will of God: Every Passage On The Will of God Discovered and Explained. He also routinely travels and speaks at conferences, podcasts and churches about startups, faith, and intentional living. He doesn't just want to make a small dent in culture, he wants to leave a massive crater. He knows the best way to change culture is to create it, and that's what he does with every speech, every talk, every company, and every person he interacts with. At his core, Eric wants to live a life beyond measure. Every day he tries to suck less, be more adventurous, have a bigger impact, take more calculated risks, have more fun, and make the world just a little bit better. He wants to live an epic life, and he pushes himself every day to encourage others to do the same.

"He doesn't want to just make a small dent in culture, he wants to leave a massive crater."

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ROBERT ATKINS

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17

/robert.atkins.7583992

By Angela Manzanares

BIO

Pastor Vinnie was made to be a unifyer of people. He is a humble, gentle, yet strong and powerful African American man with a heavenly mandate to bring unity to the earth. For much of his life, he stayed within the comfort of his own culture. He admits that his mind was narrow; he was jaded, and viewed the world through a lens that had been taught to him. In recent years, however, God began to open Pastor Vinnie’s eyes and heart to His agenda for His people. Just like Jesus taught outside the walls of the church, Pastor Vinnie started to see that it was his responsibility to love people

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PASTOR "VINNIE" + MINISTER + UNIFIER

outside the walls of his church and cultural community as well.

“My culture’s worship is different from your worship. But what the Lord has shown me is that we have the same faith. Our hearts are of one when we come together. So I see the unity of the faith. When we get to heaven there will be no white church or black church; it will be the church of Jesus Christ. This is the training ground and preparation for what’s to come. How we handle [things] on this side is preparing us for what’s to come in eternity. If we’re not executing things to the principles of God on this side, then we’ve got a new day coming that we’re not even ready for on the other side. So I think it’s important that we execute now what’s to come.” Through building true, authentic, deep friendships with people outside of his African American culture, Pastor Vinnie sees that love transcends the walls of race. He has been moved to break down these walls that divide people, and let the Spirit of God heal, restore, bond, and unite. He is living to be a bridge-builder; to be a voice for those who share his experiences, while making God’s voice of love be the loudest of all.

“Over the last 5 years, the Lord has positioned me to build relationships with people that are not within my culture, but they’re under the covering of the blood of the Lamb. God has shown me a heart and love for His people. I must continue to share my beliefs, and share my heart, and share my love in a capacity that reflects the character of Christ, which is transparency, humility, and authenticity.” Pastor Vinnie has a passion to see people of all races reconcile and unite. He wants to see all of God’s people come to the table, celebrate each other’s differences, and operate as one body through the unifying of faith. He says, “The Lord wants to build men and women’s character. A lot of leaders and pastoral leadership is about building buildings and legacy. So if the emphasis is put on the character, the implementation of Christ in the people, then we can work together because now we’re looking beyond the veil. It’s more than black and white, it’s about the heart of men.” When we shift our focus from physical differences on to Kingdom principles, that unity will transform our churches, businesses, and communities. “We are so much stronger together than we are apart. When God comes back, He’s coming back for His people, not the Baptists or a denomination—His people.”

"We are so much stronger together than we are apart. When God comes back, He's coming back for His people, not the Baptists or a denomination—His people."

“When it’s all said and done, our focus is on Christ. That’s what supersedes our personal and cultural indifferences, and it’s important that we continue to move forward in that regard.”

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HEATHER & VINCE MURDOCK

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WRITERS BIO

We are both writers. Vince is gifted with a vision for a future reality based on the book of Revelation and writes worship music with our teenage son, Luke. I write with a heart to disciple and prophetically lead this generation with the Truth of the Gospel. Our daughter, Lily, is a truth-teller learning how to speak in love. It’s amazing how the Lord has woven our strengths and weaknesses together for such a time as this.

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

/heather.murdock1 /heather.murdock /vince.murdock

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In Heather's own words

Our vision is Kingdom culture. That’s what we see when our vision has been achieved; the Church living for God’s Kingdom, carrying out His will in every circle of influence on earth as it is in Heaven. We believe that will happen when the Church commits to Spirit-filled, Kingdom centered discipleship. Although I’ve been ministering and preaching for almost ten years, it’s been within the last couple of years that my husband, Vince, has joined me on mission. Our story is like many other marriages where one person is living a fully devoted life for Christ, while the other is limping behind. This is often because of unresolved pain and deception fueled by the enemy. But God moved in Vince's life in an incredible way and showed him how to be a son, God’s son. We each have a testimony of hardships to hope. We’ve both been redeemed and restored from the lies of rejection and shame. Our childhoods may have shaped us, but they don’t define us. That orphan spirit that said we were alone and abandoned has been conquered by the grace and Truth of Jesus. He rescued us and showed us that He is a good, good Father and that we belong in His family. We are passionate to help other families in God’s Church be healed and set free to live in the power and victory of the Holy Spirit to live out their divine destinies God has a plan for all marriage and families to demonstrate His perfect design. The family is the unique expression of the intimacy and purpose of the triune God and

every family is designed to carry legacy. Where the family goes, the nations follow. We’re committed to encouraging, equipping and empowering families to experience wholelife transformation so they may carry out the purpose of God. We’ve started a ministry together called Rise and Rejoice Ministries and our mission is to raise up this generation through discipleship, creative expression and outreach. We believe the Church is the answer to every problem in the world and Kingdom discipleship is the key to preparing the Bride of Christ to live on mission for such a time as this. We are passionate for intimacy with Jesus and rejoice at the opportunity to help others experience His redeeming love. When the Church really knows His love, nothing will keep it from going and penetrating the darkest dark with His light. God gave me a prophetic word about the Bride. He said what’s holding her back from walking in Kingdom influence, love and power is the condition of her heart. Her hurts cause her to run to things that will never satisfy her. In her woundedness she runs to other sources for strength and truth. This idolatry keeps her from knowing the fullness of His love. Vince and I have developed content that digs into a person’s deepest need, the root cause of hurt and pain. Our greatest need becomes our greatest opportunity to experience God’s love and power.

"We're committed to encouraging, equipping and empowering families to experience whole-life transformation so they may carry out the purpose of God."

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CODY WILLIAMS

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/codynow /_codyw

Books we love.

CLICK TO BUY.

FAV’S

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In Cody's own words

ENTREPRENEUR + MINISTRY LEADER

BIO

Cody Williams- husband and father of 5 daughters. I have been on staff with Jesus Culture for over 7 years as the Young Adults Pastor and Director of Development. I also have over 10 years experience as a Real Estate Entrepreneur specializing in investments, development planning and working with clients as a Realtor.

Whether you’re in the marketplace or in ministry, stewardship is a big deal to Jesus. Often times people only correlate this word to “money and giving” but in fact the phrase "time, talents and treasure" has been frequently used to illustrate how much our stewardship as God's people should cover. However, even talking about time, talents and treasure may fail to communicate that we are not truly HOW ARE YOU CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST? the "owners" of anything. Sadly, don't we frequently add Recently during an interview via instagram live (thank the word "my" and speak of my time, my talents, and my you COVID-19) I was asked, “If you could choose any career treasure? Why is that word "my" in there? Stewards are you wanted knowing money and success were guaranteed, not owners. Stewards take care of something for someone what would you do?” I quickly responded, “I’m doing it else. I believe Christians should be the best stewards on the right now!” planet because God asked us to. Genesis 2 clearly labels us As cliche as that as managers or may sound, I truly keepers, not only mean it. I get to be of money, but also a part of building of all of creation. an incredible I am passionate local and global about helping ministry. I get to people steward help people stratheir lives well and tegically navigate am convinced it is their finances a secret weapon and real estate against the snares decisions and I of the enemy. get to come home Stewardship uneveryday to an locks opportunities amazing wife and God is waiting to 5 insanely cute give you! daughters. I often Fatherhood. I step back and ask believe that illumyself “How did I get here?” I feel so blessed to be able to minating Christ first starts in your own home. If the world do things I love to do. In a lot of ways, I believe God is ussees Jesus through me, but my daughters don't, I’ve failed ing me to help people find themselves in that same place. miserably. I have a deep desire to help create a culture of In my early 20’s, I recognized that I had a real heart dads who step up to this amazing calling called Fatherhood for people and ministry that was conflicted with a mind and illuminate Christ to their kids. Working hard to provide that wanted to go build businesses. On top of that I really for them is great, but it goes much deeper than that when wanted to be a Dad! illuminating Christ. Christ was loving, gracious, compasFortunately, I had good mentors around me that recsionate, kind—a teacher. He was present. Some years ago in ognized the gift mix and encouraged me to continue to my attempts to be a better dad I started using the hashtag pursue and discover how God wired me and let Him open #dateyourdaughters as a way to highlight all the memories up the right doors. It has been through this process that I was creating with my girls. Some other friends that have has led me to do what I do today. If I had to summarize daughters started using it too and it has become this way to how I feel I am called to illuminate Christ in two words, encourage each other. You’re welcome to join us! they would be...stewardship and fatherhood. Stewardship.

"If I had to summarize how I feel I am called to illuminate Christ in two words, they would be stewardship and fatherhood."

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KEVIN CASTLE

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WRITER + ENTREPRENEUR + MINISTRY LEADER

BIO

$30

A wearer of many hats, Kevin is currently taking an entrepreneurial, Kingdom mindset to everything he does. He's actively building multiple companies including a non-profit, planning mission trips, and launching a writing career. This summer he will be seeking to acquire seed funding for a startup company he's created through the Sacramento Entrepreneur Academy.

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

/kcastle11 @KevinCastle42 www.cfamonline.org

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In Kevin's own words

“I may live in America, but my heart lies in Africa.” Fifteen years ago, Kevin traveled in a group to Ghana, Africa where they did missions for 2 weeks. It was his first mission trip ever, and he couldn’t wait to see what God was going to do through him. Crusades were done, thousands came to Christ, and God even used him to heal people and cast out a demon. But then the realization hit him when he was coming home—they had left nothing behind. There was no infrastructure for the people they helped, no one to guide the thousands that had come to Christ, and no hope they were ever going to have their physical needs met. And that’s when his heart broke. Try as he might, Kevin couldn’t shake that feeling, especially after meeting a young boy in a bush village who had a large abscess over his right eye. The boy's situation was hopeless; even if they were able to pay for the surgery, the boy was still starving. His arms and legs were twigs, his eyes sunken, his stomach bloated and distended—all tell-tale signs of the end. His fate, his outcome in life, had already been decided—death was inevitable.

After his latest missions trip to Ghana, Kevin has partnered with The Center for Africa Missions, the same organization that he worked with so long ago, becoming their Vice President. Their goal is to bring education, water, and Christ to those who need it most, along with whatever else God provides. They go into bush villages and partner with them, using African sweat equity and American dollars to transform villages and people from the inside out. In between, he writes for Megamorphosis Magazine, works as the Marketing Director for BusinessCoach. com and is in the process of starting his own company. He's also launching a blog and trying to publish a book. As a writer, he’s hoping to use his words to dramatically shift Christians into Kingdom-thinking by waking up the sleeping giant that is the body of Christ in order to dramatically impact the world. Eventually he would love to write scripts for movies. It is clear that Hollywood has become a huge influence of culture, and he hopes to use his work to empower Christians who want to have a cultural impact.

“There was no infrastructure for the people they helped, no one to guide the thousands that had come to Christ, and no hope they were ever going to have their physical needs met. And that's when Kevin's heart broke."

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HEIDI WHITE

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JESUS LOVER + ADVOCATE + FIERCE BELIEVER IN THE CHURCH

BIO

Heidi White is the Church Relations Director at Defending the Cause Regional Alliance (DTCRA). Heidi has a Bachelors in Sociology and over 10 years of experience in social services and church ministry combined. She’s a practitioner for Trust Based Relational Intervention (trauma informed parenting) and a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA). She is passionate about mobilizing and equipping the Church to care for vulnerable kids and families.

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

/heidi.white.75 /heidinicolewhite /DTCRegionalalliance /defendingthecause

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In Heidi's own words

Ten years ago, I never would have dreamed that I would be where I am today. I was discouraged, living a lie, and struggling with drug and alcohol addiction. I was over the life I was living, but unable to find freedom on my own. Everything changed when I encountered Jesus and found true freedom and hope. From that moment on, no matter what I did in life, I resolved to firmly anchor my soul in the hope of the Gospel. Along the way, I’ve learned that to bring illumination, we have to be willing to step into the dark places of our own lives and the world around us. In one hand we hold the pain and sorrow of the world and in the other, hope. Embracing this tension is necessary to fully live out the Gospel. I believe that every person is born with a God-given purpose. In my pursuit of anchoring myself to the love of Jesus, I have found my purpose in coming alongside and protecting children— defending the cause of the fatherless. Specifically, I work to mobilize and equip the Church to care for vulnerable kids and families in the Greater Sacramento Area by working for a non-profit called Defending the Cause Regional Alliance. I believe with all of my heart that the Church is anointed, positioned and called to care for at-risk children and families. God’s message is clear in James 1:27, “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Psalm 82:3 says it this way, "Defend the weak and the fatherless; uphold the cause of the poor and the oppressed." Early on I realized there were a few things that I must choose to believe each day in order to hold onto hope. I

must believe that if this is God’s heart (and it is), then He is awakening His Church to the need. He has a team. He has a plan. I must simply come into alignment with His agenda and find His people. As I daily walk in expectancy, God continues to unfold His plan, connect His people and fulfill His purpose. I attended a wedding of dear friends last year. When it was time for the bride and groom to leave the reception, we were all given sparklers as we stood in two lines to help send them off. In order to light up the path, the first sparkler in each row was lit and the flame was passed down the row, person by person. The line of excited party guests rapidly created a brilliant tunnel of light for the newlyweds. It was a beautiful reminder that to truly illuminate, we must also activate those around us. Activation, and mobilization, starts with the belief that people truly want to be a part of the solution. Often it is not a lack of compassion that hinders us but truly a lack of understanding. Societies and systems change when people are informed, empowered and equipped. God has clearly called the Church to care for vulnerable kids and families. That’s where we start, and as the Church Relations Director for DTCRA, this is my role. Informing the Church provides information necessary to make a decision on getting involved. Empowering the Church to be the solution creates a culture of caring for kids and families from hard places. Equipping the families involves providing the families who say “yes” the tools to succeed. Above all else, my aim is to continue to hold on to the light of hope and move towards the darkness, bringing illumination.

"I believe with all my heart that the Church is anointed, positioned and called to care for at-risk children and families."

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+ MOVERS & SHAKERS

22

CO-PASTORS OF PROJECT CHURCH IN SACRAMENTO

CRISSY & CALEB COLE

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CALEB'S BIO

Caleb, a Sacramento native, grew up in a pastor’s home and is a third generation minister. At the age of 12, after hearing one of his grandfather’s sermons, he felt a call from God to be a pastor. He consistently pursued that call throughout high school and college. Caleb attended Central Bible College in Springfield, MO where he earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies and went on to the Assemblies of God Theological Seminary where he earned an M.A. in Theological Studies.

(no pun intended); they're simply being their very stylish selves in a way that's non-religious and incredibly inviting. They're preaching Truth and loving people really well. When I met Chrissy nearly a year ago upon visiting what I felt was a church that made a name for themselves, Project Church, we had coffee together pretty immediately after. What an incredibly real and warm woman she is, you can really feel her heart for sisterhood. She didn't come off at all like what you might imagine, but engaged me with such respect, attention and care. It was refreshing and different not meeting in a pastor's office. It was also a first for me meeting a female co-pastor, standing equally alongside her husband. The honor they have for each other as leaders is also very apparent. It just feels good to witness—I know the Lord is so pleased that women are leading in the Church and being honored appropriately by men. God had put Project Church on my radar about 3 years ago as He would send me and my husband, Gary, down to

CHRISSY'S BIO

Chrissy’s parents moved to the U.S. from the Philippines in the late 70′s. She saw her parents both come to know the Lord at a young age. She and her family poured their lives into the local church and were changed by God. Chrissy attended Evangel University in Springfield, MO and earned a B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations.

"They believe we're all broken people trying to become more like Jesus. And that's the whole reason why Project Church exists..." Caleb & Chrissy met in college, but it wasn’t until four years after graduating that they got back in contact. In January 2008, Dusty Feet (a non-profit organization Chrissy helped get off the ground) came for speaking engagements in Massachusetts; one of the engagements was at Caleb’s church. It didn’t take long before they recognized God’s hand in their reunion. They quickly fell in love and were married later that year in September. Seven years, three children, and two church plants later, they know, more than ever before, that their union and calling as a couple is to serve God through the local church.

By Jenene Stafford

HOW I SEE CHRISSY & CALEB ILLUMINATING CHRIST

Chrissy and Caleb may look like supermodels (at least in my mind they do) but they're a powerful, down-to-earth, influential couple. The heart of their church is to serve people in process and that's exactly what I see them doing in Sacramento. They are a unique brand together and they've brought that to downtown where they've built their church in the nostalgic Crest Theatre. Everything about who they are and how they do it is just really cool, but not without real meaning and meat to it. They're not putting on a show

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Old Sacramento to pray, but I didn't yet know why. There was a beautiful, vintage building there I was drawn to over and over again—turns out Caleb, Chrissy and their church are buying it and it's in construction for transforming it into the first church in Old Sacramento in over 100 years. No surprise to me at all that these young, influential leaders would be the ones to make a splash in an area where's there are many bars and it's quite the tourist attraction. I can already see the impact they're going to make there with people and the neighboring businesses. They believe we're all broken people trying to become more like Jesus. And that’s the whole reason why Project Church exists… “It’s all about Jesus.” That's their heart and that's their brand.

/projectchurchsac /crissydcole /calebdcole

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AUTHOR + SPEAKER + MISSIONARY

FRANCIS CHAN

/crazyloveministries /crazylove @crazylove ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

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By Kevin Castle + Nissi Guiao

BIO

Francis Chan is world-renowned author, pastor, teacher, and missionary. In 1994, he and 30 others started Cornerstone Community Church out of his house which grew to become one of the largest churches in Ventura County, CA. After resigning in 2010, he moved to San Francisco to start a church planting network called We Are Church in the inner city. This year he and his family moved to Hong Kong to become full time missionaries in order to plant churches and bring the Gospel to the broken.

He starts off this section in the final chapter with Romans 15:1-3, “We who are strong have an obligation to bear with the failings of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For Christ did not please himself, but as it is written, 'The reproaches of those who reproached you fell on me.'’’ And he shares, “I spent many years writing people off. In my immaturity, I didn’t know how to love people who annoyed me. It was so much easier to just avoid them. I found ways to justify my actions, but ultimately it was displeasing to God. He commands us to ‘bear with the failings of the weak’ (v. 1). He calls this our obligation. All of us tend to avoid arrogant people because they annoy us. God’s response is that we can’t make this about us. He tells us 'not to please ourselves' (v. 1). It may be true that people have hurt our feelings, but we must learn to value God’s Church more than our feelings. We can cause real dam-

FRANCIS IS PASSIONATE ABOUT PURSUING CHRIST

Francis Chan is a revolutionary leader of our time. From his fresh, out-of-the-box thoughts back in his book Crazy Love to his more refined wisdom in his latest publishing Letters to the Church, he is always one of the first to reach past the natural boundaries that’ve watered down modern-day Christianity. A forward-thinker, he illuminates

"They are willing to sacrifice everything if God is taking them to the next step, the next place, where He will do amazing things through them." Christ best through unashamedly living out his personal convictions. He’s an inspiration because he’s willing to be out there, front and center, with his faith journey; and he’s willing to admit when he’s been wrong or off base with what he once thought was right. Consistently, he’s asking tougher and deeper questions, and he’s always pointing people back to Jesus, back to the Word of God. His humble demeanor before the Lord and before the world is something we can all admire. Always heart-felt, always thought-provoking are Francis’ teachings over the past decades. Over the years, it’s clearly become less and less about “building a ministry” and a whole lot more about reckless abandonment before the Lord. Because a lot of his process has been in the spotlight, fellow believers continue to have the honor of following his surrendered footsteps as he himself follows Christ. We can pretty much always guarantee he’ll tell it like it is and not sugar-coat what he firmly believes in his heart to be true. “PARTY WITH PROUD PEOPLE,” for example, Francis engages his readers towards the end of his latest book.

age to our churches when we want our feelings validated more than we want His Bride elevated.” Those thoughts, we all have likely wrestled with in one way or another. And Francis’ ability to take the hardto-swallow truths and teach them in a way that causes readers to “follow anyway” is such a gift to the Church. We need this kind of honesty to keep us awake in our day-today. One of the most awe-inspiring traits about Francis, however, is his godly devotion to lead his own family well. The words he speaks aren’t just empty words. What brings them to life is his actions that support what he truly believes. By obeying the Great Commission, he and his family want to see the true power of God. They are willing to sacrifice everything if God is taking them to the next step, the next place, where He will do amazing things through them. The strength and stability of the Church can only be built upon the Cornerstone and the courage of the men and women called to lead. Wherever God calls them to go, whatever season He places them into, Francis will lead his family to boldly answer the call.

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PROMISE KEEPERS DYNAMIC LEADERSHIP DUO

JUDGE VANCE DAY

Photo by Monty Nuss

& KEN HARRISON degree from Willamette University College of Law in 1991. An accomplished trial lawyer and a member of the Oregon State Bar, the United States District Court (Oregon & Colorado), the United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit), and the United States Supreme Court, The Court of International Trade, The United States Tax Court, The Court of Federal Claims, and the US Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, he has tried over 300 bench and jury trials.

JUDGE VANCE DAY BIO: PRESIDENT

Vance Day is a modern-day profile in courage who strongly believes in helping to raise a generation of leaders equipped to address an ever-changing world. Vance studied Biblical Historiography at the Institute of Holy Land Studies in Jerusalem and Public Policy at Regent University before earning his Doctor of Jurisprudence

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By Jenene Stafford

Vance has lectured on military history and leadership theory at The White House, before members of Congress, the Heritage Foundation, the United States Military Academy at West Point, and numerous organizations and educational institutions in North America and Europe. Between May of 2010 and August of 2011 Day served as a Circuit Judge Pro Tempore in the State of Oregon. In September 2011 he was appointed by Governor John Kitzhaber to serve as a Circuit Court Judge in the Third Judicial District. Judge Day was elected to a full six-year term in November of 2012. In 2014 Judge Day, based on his Christian convictions, quietly recused himself from marrying same-sex couples—a decision that in no way prevented same-sex couples from getting married. As a result, he became the focus of a sustained, vicious attack. In October 2018, the house of cards constructed against Vance collapsed when the State’s criminal case was dismissed. Judge Day has been married to his best friend for 33 years. They have three adult children and live in Oregon.

have three children. HOW THEY'RE ILLUMINATING CHRIST

These two men really are modern-day heroes of the Christian faith. Both of them have walked some very difficult roads and have stood their ground as men with real fortitude and strength. We love what Judge Vance Day said when Huckabee asked him on The Huckabee Show, "How frightened were you during the course of this time when you were fighting with really an overwhelming determined government to take you down?" His response was, "Hope this doesn't sound funny Governor, but fear is not part of my nature— and the reason is—because as a person of faith, when you walk with Almighty God, you're in the majority. You can't really lose. Even if I was to go to prison, I know that what God allows in His wisdom, He could easily stop with His Sovereign power. And so when we trust Him, we really have to trust Him, and He tells us to walk with Him with joy." Those words speak to the character of a godly man being humble, fearless and ready for whatever comes. Ken Harrison speaks of humility as the core of Christianity and leadership in his book Rise of the Servants Kings and cuts through to the heart with a refreshingly real explanation of masculinity. Ken and Vance are the perfect dynamic duo to ignite the Promise Keepers Movement again, even in the face of all the uncertainty of the coronavirus and the impact that may have on their first stadium event in a decade. There are many unknowns they're facing, but nothing is going to stop these two men from doing what they've set out to do—to raise up an army of real, godly men in America and beyond. We're convinced they're great rolemodels for men to follow, especially for how to keep standing and continue to trust God regardless of what comes. Their heart to see men rise up and seize their destiny is the motivating factor for bringing Promise Keepers back. Their passion for this generation of men to be equipped, to be counted in the Kingdom of God, to lead their families and love their wives is evidenced by the fact that both of them have been married to their wives for over 25 years. They're men that are clearly living out loud what they profess. They continue to raise the bar, reminding men and the church the true power of men—to be men of integrity.

KEN HARRISON BIO: CHAIRMAN & CEO

Ken is the chairman and CEO of Promise Keepers. Ken’s mission is to provide executive leadership and strategic direction to the ministry while inspiring men to be bold, humble and ambitious about their faith. Harrison also serves as CEO of WaterStone, a Christian Community Foundation that gives away over $1 million per week to build God’s Kingdom. He started his career as an LAPD street cop in the notorious Watts/Compton area. There he received numerous commendations and awards. Ken then spent nearly two decades in the commercial real estate arena both nationally and internationally. After successfully building and growing his company, he sold the majority interest to Colliers International, the second largest commercial real estate company in the world. He stayed on as CEO of U.S. valuation and chair of international valuation. Harrison is a Colson Fellow and has served on numerous local and national boards, including FCA, Colorado Uplift, Urban Youth Ministries, Corban University and WaterStone. An author and corporate speaker, Harrison has appeared on numerous media outlets including FoxNews. com, The Huckabee Show, "Dr. James Dobson's Family Talk" and The 700 Club. With a long record of dedicated service to ministry, Harrison leads Bible studies locally and participated in missions trips to Mexico, South Africa, Haiti, and the Philippines. He is the author of Rise of the Servant Kings: What the Bible Says about Being a Man, available wherever books are sold. He has been married to his wife for 29 years and they

Vance Day

/KenRHarrison

www.promisekeepers.org

/kenrharrison @KenRHarrison

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ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

PASTORPRENEUR + PRESIDENT OF WILLIAM JESSUP UNIVERSITY

DR. JOHN JACKSON 66

2020


In John's own words

BIO

Dr. John Jackson is the President of William Jessup University and a speaker and author on personal, organizational, and cultural transformation. Dr. Jackson has served in ministry leadership roles for over 4 decades. John served in local church youth ministry and staff leadership roles for 7 years, as a Senior Pastor for 20 years, was a denominational leader (youngest in his tribe’s history) for 5 years, and has served at Jessup for 9 years. John brings an apostolic assignment to his ministry roles and has spiritual gifts in leadership, teaching, and administration. Dr. Jackson has been married to Pam for over 40 years and they have 5 children, 3 sons-in-love, 3 granddaughters and a big dog named Max.

to change a heart, a home, a community, a nation, and the world. I am committed to transformational leadership, building healthy organizational culture, and helping foster entrepreneurship and innovation. As I think about the Great Commission and Great Commandment, I pay particular attention to family, church, business, education, and social culture. My concern for the church in the world is to ensure that we make disciples who know how to reproduce; this includes a passion for evangelism and loving people who are far from God and growing to full reproducing maturity and operating with an Ephesians 4 equipping and five-fold ministry worldview. Though I was raised in pretty traditional church settings (we sang “Just as I Am” as an invitation hymn at the end of every service for years!), I have increasingly come

"My life mission is to motivate personal, organizational and community transformation for the glory of God." HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

When I share my life vision, this is what people see and hear: my life is devoted to Jesus Christ. I am a Kingdom leader committed to transformation in the various streams of cultural influence. I want to walk in the presence, promises, power and principles of the King.   My life mission is to motivate personal, organizational and community transformation for the glory of God.  I have a particular passion to equip leaders to impact the streams of cultural influence for Jesus and His Kingdom.

to understand the Father’s heart to work in a variety of settings. Over the past several years, I have increasingly been teaching that the First Reformation was about grace received (where we learned that salvation is by grace alone, through faith alone), and we are now in the season of the 2nd Reformation which is about grace distributed (this is about the church distributed and the convergence between the church and marketplace). I think God is moving to demonstrate His love and redemptive heartbeat.

I live in the presence of God. I model a life overflowing with the love of the Father. I witness the power of God to change lives everyday. I lead in Biblical and transformative influence.

/drjohnjackson /wjuprez

When I die, people will say that John loved Jesus Christ and influenced the world for the glory of God through his family and his leadership… I have a vision for (and addiction to!) the power of Jesus

@drjohnjackson www.drjohnjackson.com

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HUSBAND + FATHER + LEAD PASTOR OF JESUS CULTURE SACRAMENTO + DIRECTOR AND MAIN INSTRUCTOR OF JESUS CULTURE SCHOOL OF LEADERSHIP

BANNING LIEBSCHER

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

68

2020


By Nissi Guiao

BIO

Banning Liebscher is the founder and pastor of Jesus Culture (Sacramento), a ministry of worship, events and leadership development. He is the author of three books, the latest one being, Rooted: The Hidden Places Where God Develops You. He and his wife SeaJay have three children, Ellie, Raya and Lake.

ing in prayer and worship when no one was looking—to his open obedience in his current season now as a local church pastor and evangelist, he has always been hungry for more of God. It’s this same, contagious hunger that surges through everything Banning’s part of that brings things to life. It’s as if he’s this solid rock that’s been dropped into still waters, the weight of his passion for the Lord causing this ripple effect of people getting just as passionate. You can tell he carries a deep longing for the world to encounter God. What’s so inspiring is his humility in the midst. He serves by leading and leads by serving; no one is “less than” in his eyes. It’s more than that though. Truly, he lives what he preaches. Some of the most impactful moments each time he speaks is when he gets into the nitty, gritty details of his own, personal walk with the Lord. Getting a glimpse of Banning’s intimacy with the Lord is a whole message in and of itself. The fruit of his life stems from his simple obedience to follow the voice of the Lord. In the big and in the seemingly small, he stays sensitive to Holy Spirit. To consistently pay attention has been a recent theme he’s been teaching his pioneering first-year students in JCSL (Jesus Culture School of Leadership). He says that he can’t stress enough how important it is to always pay attention to what God’s saying, doing, showing. Such a simple, applicable message, yet so profound and powerful. Banning has this ability to communicate the heart of the Father so well. He stays faithful to steward his own connection with God, always giving him a well of wisdom to pull from. Always learning, always growing, he leads his life in humble confidence and with a golden-heart posture that cries, “God, come with revival. You can start it in me.” Truly, it’s his awakened life surrendered to the Lord that illuminates Christ wherever he goes.

HOW BANNING ILLUMINATES CHRIST

To illuminate Christ, one must reflect Christ—and that is precisely what Banning does near and far. Some know him from his early days as a youth pastor in Redding, CA, many know him through the evolving Jesus Culture movement as he travels around the world every year. But what is most captivating about him is his sincere heart for his family and his community. He’s such a family man and he really loves his church. I believe the reason Banning is able to reach so many throughout the nations is because he is adamant about being present and passionate “at home.” He says all the time that the reason he travels is so that others may have the same experience and encounters—a taste of the same culture—he’s cultivated in Jesus Culture Sacramento over the past 5+ years. What he’s been able to grow (with the help of his amazing team) is an inviting place people can truly call home. Healthy community is a big deal to Banning, and it shows. Time and time again, he’ll speak on the importance of family dynamics, natural and spiritual. His heart for revival is connected to his heart to see families restored— again, naturally and spiritually. Making wholeness “at home” a priority, he’s set a precedent for a reset back to the pure “Jesus culture" that the Church should have never veered from. And from this foundation, he empowers people to engage their “cities and region to see transformation and the love and power of God released all around.” Banning is a world-changer. His passion creates such an impact all over the place because it’s rooted in the true power source. It doesn’t take more than a few minutes of hearing him speak to know that he has a deep conviction to follow Jesus no matter what it looks like, or feels like. The stakes may have changed over the years, but his fiery devotion has stayed the same. From his earlier stories of working as a valet in a mall parking lot—just surrender-

"Banning is a world-changer."

/thebanningpage /thebanning @thebanning

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ABOLITIONIST + FOUNDER OF EXODUS CRY & DIRECTOR OF NEFARIOUS

BENJAMIN NOLOT ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

70

2020


By Kevin Castle BIO

Benjamin Nolot is the CEO and founder of Exodus Cry, an international anti-trafficking organization. He’s also the writer, director and producer of two documentaries, the award winning Nefarious: Merchant of Souls, and Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution, along with a short titled Seattle's Bikini Baristas.

web is its natural home, but even on legal websites such as Pornhub, criminals consistently upload proof of their conquests. And sometimes these organizations aid traffickers by moving inefficiently, sometimes taking months to take down videos, or by simply doing nothing at all. Nolot describes Exodus Cry’s mission as threefold: shift culture, change laws, and reach out. In order to shift culture, they use powerful messages through film, videos, podcasts, interviews, conferences, and the written word. They push to change laws that advocate for commercial sex while presenting new laws that defend those who are sexually exploited for profit. And lastly they reach out, engaging with those who are currently bound in sexual exploitation with love and offering a way out. Nefarious: Merchant of Souls to date has been viewed over 1.5 million times. Because of the film and their efforts, Exodus Cry has been able to advise governments and legislators in 13 countries to help introduce new laws and programs. They’ve also been able to equip more than 100,000 people through trainings and events. It’s time to become a 21st century abolitionist. You can currently watch Liberated on Netflix, and Nefarious on their youtube channel.

OUR THOUGHTS ON HOW BEN ILLUMINATES CHRIST

Human trafficking is the business of stealing a person’s freedom for monetary profit. It pervades every continent, every country, every state in the USA, and every major city. Governments have dedicated entire task forces to fighting this heinous crime, and yet it still persists with no hope of slowing down. In 2007, Benjamin Nolot founded Exodus Cry after a woman he didn’t know gave him $10,000 in the hopes he might found an organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking. Shortly afterwards, he began filming Nefarious: Merchant of Souls marking his directorial debut. Traveling to 19 countries in 4 different continents, Nolot conducted all the interviews himself, speaking with police officers, a pimp, victims, former and active prostitutes, and several Christians leading organizations dedicated to fighting the good fight. Exodus Cry describes itself as an international non-profit organization committed to abolishing sex trafficking and the commercial sex industry, while assisting and empowering its victims. These victims exist everywhere, and with a culture becoming ever more infatuated with sex and the free-flowing content of pornography on the internet, organized crime groups and independent pimps are ever-ready to provide lust for the needy consumer—no matter the cost. Sexual exploitation has no borders or boundaries as long as people continue to drive demand for it. The dark

"They push to change laws that advocate for commercial sex while presenting new laws that defend those who are sexually exploited for profit."

/exoduscry /exoduscry @ExodusCry

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PROFESSIONAL ATHLETE + PHILANTHROPIST

TIM TEBOW

FORMER MISS UNIVERSE + MISS SOUTH AFRICA + MODEL

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

DEMI-LEIGH TEBOW 72

2020


By Kevin Castle BIO

Tim Tebow is an all-American athlete. He won the Heisman Trophy in 2007, played college football for the Florida Gators where he held records and was MVP in 2008. He was drafted to the NFL and played for the Broncos, then in 2016 changed sports and began playing baseball for the Mets. But the most amazing part of his success is his outspoken, Christian faith and his philanthropy, both of which have turned him into a cultural phenomenon. Demi-Leigh Tebow is amazing in her own right. Born in South Africa, she is the 2nd South African to win the Miss Universe competition, claiming the title in 2017. Also in 2017, she graduated with a Bachelor's degree in business management and entrepreneurship from North-West University. It was only a year later when she met Tim at a Night to Shine event. She attended the event with her younger half-sister, Franje, who had special needs. The two were married in January of this year.

list and was the best selling sports book of 2011. Since then he has co-authored two other NYT bestsellers. Not one to be idle, in 2010 Tim created the Tim Tebow Foundation, which to date has raised over $12 million dollars for various charities and hospitals around the world. In addition, they partnered with CURE, a Christian nonprofit, to build a hospital on the island of Mindanao with the goal of healing deformities and providing surgeries for things such as clubfoot, untreated burns, hydrocephalus and other correctable conditions. Every year the Foundation sponsors Night to Shine in churches all over the world. Night to Shine gives special needs teenagers the chance to go to their very own prom, creating a safe space where they can be themselves. In February of this year, they were able to host 115,000 students with the help of over 215,000 volunteers. Calling back to his days speaking in front of children and villages, Tim now speaks to churches and conferences about living a life of significance. Recently he was invited to speak at the Passion Conference to over 65,000 college students. He continues to be a brand ambassador for companies such as Nike, and in 2019 he produced a sportsbased movie titled Run the Race with his brother. A Night To Shine is of special importance to Demi-Leigh, because her half-sister Franje had special needs. Franje was born with cerebellar agenesis, a rare condition where the brain develops without the cerebellum. Sadly she passed away in 2019, but her memory lives in the support that Demi-Leigh provides Night To Shine. She uses the platform God has given her to not only spread her mission of empowering special needs people, but also to talk about her faith and spread the love of the Good Father.

ILLUMINATING CHRIST THROUGH HIS FOUNDATION

Tim Tebow wasn’t supposed to be born alive. The son of missionary parents, his mother had complications with his pregnancy while they were living in the Philippines. Doctors expected her to have a stillbirth and recommended an abortion, but the Tebows decided against it. And on August 14th, 1987, Tim Tebow was born in Manila. Growing up, the Tebows home-schooled their children, making sure to include the gospel in their daily teachings. After moving back to Florida, the family would often go and visit the orphanage his father had set up. There, Tim would preach the gospel, taking it to schools and to entire villages as well. This played a large part in him being comfortable talking about his faith. As a professional sports player and star, Tim was very open about his faith, kneeling in prayer to God in every game he appeared in. It gave him many opportunities to share the gospel, and in particular, led him to share his pro-life stance on the abortion issue. In 2011, God provided another opportunity and Tim co-authored an autobiography about his life called Through My Eyes. The book was a tremendous success, spending over 24 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller

". . . Tim was very open about his faith, kneeling in prayer to God in every game he appeared in."

/TimTebowFoundation

/demitebow

/timtebowfoundation

/demitebow

@TimTebow

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will derryberry

BIO

Writer from Rolling Stone Magazine wrote, “…Derryberry’s lively interpretations and entertaining arrangements position the performer towards the top of today’s talent crop.” You can find his songs on hit TV shows Life, and Friday Night Lights. Serving as a creative arts and worship director for churches, Will Derryberry partners his faith with his music, leading worship on Sundays and getting into the community with his contagious blend of American roots music.

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

www.willderryberry.net

74

2020


In Will's own words

SINGER + SONGWRITER + WORSHIP LEADER

BIO CONTINUED

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

Will has been living the ebb and flow life of a musician for two decades. Admittedly, he’s quit the music business a million times, and every time concludes “You can’t quit who you are.” Will started sneaking into bars at the age of 12 just to play his songs. Eventually, he became a touring musician living off of tip jar money and sleeping in his car with crying babies. Will discovered his love for music listening to his father playing blues records. He recalls, “I remember hearing BB King’s 'The Thrill Is Gone,' and as oxymoronic as it was, that song thoroughly thrilled me.” Will’s father recognized a growing love for music and bought Will his first guitar when he was 9, and from that time on Will was set on making himself a musician. Will's first break came in the late 1990’s when he received heavy rotation on Clear Channel’s Y92.5 radio station in Sacramento, CA. It was at this same time that he began touring the U.S. with his trio alternative blues band, Will Derryberry Band.  Will admits, “It was a rollercoaster ride. We would play to audiences of ten one night, and a few thousand the next… this kind of ride shows you what you're made of—or not made of.”   After touring for 7 years, coincidently, Will was right in the middle of writing and recording songs for the album Seven and received calls from a couple different music publishers, Imagem/Rescue Records was one of  those calls. They expressed that they were fans and wanted to push Will’s songs for placement in TV and movies. They went on to help Will get his songs in multiple TV spots with NBC and Warner Brothers, as well as movie placements. Within a few months, Will’s music spread globally. “It’s mind blowing when you get an email from someone across the world and they just want you to know how much your

music has impacted them.” Partnering his faith with his music, Will has created a ministry called “Wells,” a missional endeavor to meet the down-and-out—the rejected or lost souls, as well as the successful—where they’re at. Will relates, “Throughout the Gospels, you find that Jesus hung out at wells. He was accused of hanging out with the wrong people in the wrong places. Finding Jesus at a party, hanging with a tax collector, or having a conversation with a Samaritan woman at a well where a Jewish man not ought to be was what Jesus did.” Will continues,  “In this self-focused culture we live in today, Jesus shows us a beautiful alternative to the way we might live.” Whether it be at the local homeless shelter, bar, or showcase event, Will’s set on bringing light and love to people.  Expressing that from the bar-room, preaching blues man Jimmy Johnson to the influential global Hymns of U2, Will’s aim is living out the convergence of faith and music like these musicians—encapsulating a rock n’ roll revival of music and of the soul. “There’s a beautiful niche in the music world for my songs,” Will determined, “I’m intent on discovering all the folks who will fall in love with my songs of joy and lament, love and fear… and my hope is that they will all discover that we’re in this together and we’re not alone.”

"Will's aim is living out the convergence of faith and music like these musicians—encapsulating a rock n' roll revival of music and of the soul."

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/derryberrymusic

Will Derryberry

/derryberrymusic

@derryberrymusic

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heather

evans ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

76

2020


In Heather's own words

SINGER + SONGWRITER + FOUNDER OF SACRAMENTO SONGWRITER CIRCLE

BIO

Heather is based in Sacramento by way of Columbus, OH. In her four-year West Coast tenure, Heather has already left her mark by founding the Sacramento Songwriter Circle, a Music Showcase & Community. In addition, on the local front, Heather won the 2019 Sacramento Music Awards (SAMMIES) in the Singer/Songwriter Category. Heather’s music has been featured by CNN, MTV, FOX, NBC, FREEFORM and more. Over and above all the industry recognition and accolades, Heather’s main goal is to spread positivity and hope through her music.

friends would question why I would sing at lesbian bars and clubs and my response was always, "People need to see light in dark places. I'm going on behalf of Jesus into those places to bring people hope, love and encouragement." I've seen God show up time and time again in those places. During the Covid-19 Crisis, I've felt God stir in my heart to write and record songs about what is happening in the world right now. I literally got three songs in two weeks straight from God's heart. I wept as I wrote the song "Capes and Masks," a song from the perspective of the Healthcare workers on the front lines, and felt God's heart as I penned the lyrics I've heard the news, and I am just as scared as you, but I remember why I fight, when I look in your eyes...

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

When I was a little girl and started writing music, I strongly heard the voice of the Lord tell me to not just write songs just for the church but for the world. When I was 15 I started playing at open mics and bars (My parents went with me!) and I would sing and share my story in a practical way through the songs I've written over the years. People would share their own personal stories with me or tell me how much better they felt after listening to my music. My Christian

"My Christian friends would question why I would sing at lesbian bars and clubs and my response was always, 'People need to see light in dark places.'"

Nothing's Better Than This

Anything's Possible

/HeatherEvansMusic

so if that's what makes a hero, I will stay when everybody runs... I feel like songwriters have the ability to carry a message for the world in times like these and I'm grateful to be able to carry that mantle.

Can't Hold Me Down

Made In California

/heatherevansmusic

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By My Side

@heatherevansmusic

I'm Feeling Good

Heather Evans

MEGAMORPHOSISMAGAZINE.COM


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justin

gambino

Anchored

Journey Within My Soul

/JustinGambinoSS

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

Journey Within My Soul Instrumental

Going Under

/justingambinomusic

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Your Hands and Feet

@JGambinoSS

Where I Belong

Justin Gambino

2020


In Justin's own words

SINGER + SONGWRITER

BIO

Justin Gambino is an award-winning singer/songwriter based out of Houston. Writer of the hit song “Your Hands & Feet,” Justin is a Navy veteran who allows his stories of pain and struggle to shine through in his songwriting. Traveling internationally to bring his music to every person he encounters, he aims to be a light in the darkness.

vidually. I know that I’ve grown a lot as I witness divine appointments like that. The relationships I’ve made with others while on the road are some that I will cherish forever. Relationships and intentionality—that’s what I want to highlight here. What I have come to learn through my journey, is that we are called to be in relationship with one another. Intentional relationships. Imagine if we were to focus our energy and time on loving each other and building each other up. We wouldn’t have the time of day to do otherwise. I am guilty of establishing relationships and not being intentional with every single one of them. If we’re not in relationship and fellowship, then how can we be intentional? You see, that’s all Jesus wants with us: an intentional relationship where we have fellowship with Him and know (truly know) Him. He gave it all for us with the hope that we would return that love to Him. Will you? Will you return that love to Him? Then and only then will we experience the freedom to see past the surface and go deeper on this journey called life. In the midst of the dark and unknown, the reality is that we are all treading in uncharted waters that only Christ can guide us through. If you are feeling weary and heavy burdened, know that there is a God who wants to hold you and give you a rest that only He can give. And in that rest you will experience an intentional love. Our response now is to go out and share that experience, with the hope that others will come to know the same Love.

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

When I first stepped foot into a music studio in November of 2010, I knew in my heart that God was calling me to something greater. Something bigger than myself. Something that was going to blow my mind and move me into a season where I was to leave the Navy and my day job behind. I began to have dreams. Dreams of sharing my songs for thousands of people. As I look back to those days and connect the dots, I see where God has been preparing. In His timing, which is always perfect, He has been expanding my territory. In 2013, I left the Navy to make that next step toward this dream. In 2015, I quit my job, with the support of my amazing wife, Ashley. Since leaving the Navy and quitting my job, the Lord has been opening door after door, allowing me the privilege of sharing these songs that He has given to me, on stages big and small. Whether it be a small music venue in Lincoln, Nebraska or a festival in England, I have been taken back by just how much my Heavenly Father is caring for me and guiding me on this path that He has set for me. My songwriting tends to be very thought-provoking. I have encountered people on the road, time and time again, where they would approach me after my show and share what the Lord showed them during my performance. It’s amazing how God will set up divine intersections and allow two people to cross paths, to grow each one indi-

"In the midst of the dark and unknown, the reality is that we are all treading in unchartered waters that only Christ can guide us through."

www.JustinGambino.com

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SINGER + SONGWRITER

karina

kudina Photo by Alena Melnik ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

80

2020


In Karina's own words

BIO

Pacific Northwest transplant originally from the East, 24 year-old Ukrainian, full-time worshiper and lover of Jesus. Part of Jesus Culture (Sacramento) church family. Working for a medical office. Pouring my heart out through songs and loving people into heaven every day.

has served as a platform to connect with people passing by, so we can hear their stories and share the love of Christ with those who are ready to listen. My goal is to show people listening to my music that Jesus is not just some guy in the clouds or a spiritual being we have to dress up for on Sundays. Jesus is the best friend anyone could ever wish for and He truly gets us, every pain, every struggle. There are people looking for an encounter with the Creator of the Universe and I believe that in this season God wants to introduce the supernatural realm to humanity. I envision people walking into a concert or event and experiencing His presence right there at the doorstep without anyone praying for them. I believe He can use music, not only for intrinsic, emotional transformation, but also for physical healing. I believe the power of the Holy Spirit will even flow through people’s headphones. He promised in His Word that “we will do even greater works.” I see it coming. And. . .with the help of my dear friends, we’re also illuminating Christ with a music event series called Beautiful People. It’s a place of a healthy community for Christians and non-christians to experience acceptance and love, regardless of their background, social status, interests or beliefs. We want to give people a taste of what the church can be like outside of the four walls. We want people to know He didn’t come to judge us, but He came to create all things new in the midst of all our imperfection and sin. That is the Jesus I know. That is the Jesus I am called to illuminate in this world.

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

Singing has always been a passion of mine. I often refer to worship as my love language to God. I believe this is one of the main gifts God gave me to illuminate the name of His Son. Six years ago I started seeing music as an international language that anyone could relate to and, most importantly, feel. But I had yet to know how it would play out in my life. In 2014 I was an 18 year old Ukrainian girl with luggage full of dreams and a ticket to the United States, chasing a dream like everyone else. In 2015 I got married and seemed to be living the life I had always desired, but it was a life that didn’t fulfill me. What I didn't imagine was that two years later I would be divorced and absolutely lost. Jesus found me in the midst of it all, forgave me, transformed me and gave me a brand new life with dreams bigger than I have ever envisioned for myself. God has put a burning passion into my heart to introduce people to Jesus, just like I have rediscovered Him for myself. Unfortunately, words like Christian, grace and gospel are so commonly used, but so often misrepresented. It is expected for this world to associate "church" with judgement, accusation, shame and guilt. But it's only because they have been introduced to religion, not the Savior Himself. God showed me a way of bridging that gap between the church and the world through music and creativity. In his book titled Saints, Addison Bevere says that “with our lives we create thin spots that connect two dimensions―heaven and earth.” My way of doing that is through my songs. God has been giving me songs that speak life, truth and hope― songs that are real, songs that are relatable. On Saturdays I started playing at the tunnel in Old Sacramento. The music

"God showed me a way of bridging the gap between the church and the world through music and creativity."

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/karikudiofficial

/kary_kudi

/kari_kudi

Karina Kudina

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james

love ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

82

2020


In James' own words

SINGER + SONGWRITER + WORSHIP LEADER

any other. Hope that redefines us and turns broken people into vessels of His love and joy. Tireless love who dies that his enemies might have life. Who cures our lonely hearts. Who shows grace like I have never known. Who can take a broken man and make him new. Who creates beauty from ashes. Who brings life out of what was dead. Who creates hope where there was none. Who is doing something new today… He is the home where we belong. It’s not easy to be open about my pain and depression, especially as a worship leader. But He has faced it with me, and I know He will until the end. I find healing in my heart at the sound of Him. I’ve written songs to fight back and place my hope in Him again and again when I stray. I know no matter what we may face in this life, no matter what gain or loss, nothing can steal this reality— that us broken people will be with our Maker forever. Because of Jesus, everlasting joy will crown our heads at the sight of Him for all our days. This hope cannot be taken from us. Firm and secure forever. Though we’re still caught in unresolved time, our God will hold on till the end. My prayer is that these songs will help others in the same way, and that my life will resound Jesus’ enduring love and unshakeable Hope, for a world that is crying out for something more in this world.

JAMES' STORY ILLUMINATES CHRIST

He met me on my bedroom floor, weeping as I looked at the days ahead, afraid that pain was all that awaited me. I was afraid that love was lost; that I had gone beyond the reach of grace. Yet he met me there: love Himself… Eleven years ago I was assaulted by three men with a four-by-four, lucky to be alive. It started me down a road of battling chronic pain, depression and head trauma nearly everyday. I felt like I was half alive and my life was slowly stripped away of everything I held so dearly. The things I had put my hope in were no longer realities. Dreams of having a family, a job, or doing something with my life were dissolved. Doctors said that I would not recover, which was the final blow to any hope that I still had left. I was walking through life isolated in my heart. I looked to God and abandoned Him for what I believed he had done to me. So I spiraled deep into depression and addiction. Cutting became my only way of relief from how much I resented myself and the constant pain. Suicide had become my only future…but in my attempts to do so, He saw me. He met me there. He loved me. The One who hears our cries. The One who will never forsake us. This is where my song began. They were born out of a place of how His grace leads us home, how suddenly our straying dissonance becomes a melody at His side. Our God meets us in suffering and brokenness to bring new life and hope. He enters that place no one else can; standing with us in the valley of the shadow of death. Even in the midst of hell, heaven Himself carries us through to new life. Because of this I’ve fought to make known the unshakeable Hope that Jesus is for our world in desperation. Hope built on a love unlike

"I was walking through life isolated in my heart. I looked to God and abandoned Him for what I thought He had done to me."

/jimmyjlove7 /jamesalove

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+ UP & COMERS

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angela

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2020


In Angela's own words

WORSHIP LEADER + MINISTRY LEADER + LIFE COACH

BIO

Angela is a multi-passionate worship leader, Life Coach, writer and lover of people, adventure, and life! She’s from Sacramento, CA, where she runs her online Life Coaching business, works for BusinessCoach.Com, and serves as a worship leader and Young Adults leader at Jesus Culture Sacramento.

a humbling honor that He lets me sing and lead others into these special moments with Him. Another way I feel called to illuminate Christ is through Life Coaching. I absolutely love encouraging, sharpening, and watching people grow into the fullness of who God created them to be. After years of doing different kinds of ministry and graduating with a Psychology degree, I stumbled upon the field of Life Coaching. I realized I could turn my passion for developing people into a career, so I got certified and began building a business/ministry from the ground up. This year, I decided to tap into the endless possibilities of the internet and shift my focus to creating online coaching content. I love that things like social media give each of us a place to use our voice for good. There is so much negativity, darkness, and “fake news” out there, and every time we believers post something positive on Instagram, or write an encouraging blog, or create an uplifting podcast, we’re bringing more light into the world. Through social media and blogs, I’ve had the opportunity to reach people in dozens of different countries (some I’ve never even heard of). And this year I wrote my first ebook, “The Singles’ Guide” designed to encourage and empower singles navigating an important season of life. It’s fun illuminating Christ everywhere, even on the internet, because I think that space plays a key role in revival. I’m so thankful God grabbed my attention all those years ago and set me on a path of purpose and adventure beyond what I could’ve imagined for myself. And even though I’ve seen some of His plans already start to happen, I can’t help but believe this is just the beginning. I say all of this to magnify the creativity, grandeur, and kindness of our God. He loves doing “big” things through us. He fills our hearts with life and light, and even still, we’re just a small reflection of all His shining glory. I’m on a mission to leave this world brighter than I found it. Who’s with me?

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

“What would your life look like without any fear? If you say that I’m a God of the impossible, what would it look like if you seriously started living like it?”           These were the questions that God woke me up with several years ago. At the time, I was all set to pursue the typical American dream. My plan was to finish college, marry the guy I was dating at the time, settle into a good job, raise a family, pay bills, and die. I mean, what else was there to life? But in that moment, as I stood in the crowd of that church conference, God was inviting me to lay down my safe, life plans and follow Him on a path much more fulfilling. God was shattering my narrow tunnel vision of what I thought life was about, and showing me a glimpse of His endless possibilities and wild plans He created me for.  I tell you this story because it’s why and how I feel called to illuminate Christ. Just like He dared me to face fears, go on the journey of discovering my purpose, and influence the world, I feel it’s my mission to help others do the same. I’m called to illuminate Christ in many ways, but primarily to spread this message through music and worship-leading, and Life Coaching in the online space.  I love worship because it’s both a spiritual and physical experience that directly connects us to the heart of God. Scientists have even discovered that music lights up more areas of the brain at once than almost any other activity. It’s a powerfully unique experience, and just like our basic needs of eating and sleeping, I believe God hard-wired the need to worship into our DNA. Some of my most life-changing encounters with God happened during worship sets at summer camps growing up, or during powerful Sunday morning church services, or in moments of being totally broken before the Lord in worship in my room. Many times, it’s in moments of worship that God destroys our flesh and rebuilds us in righteousness. He whispers the exact loving words we need to hear, or simply reminds our soul that we serve the Name above all names. It’s the life-transformative power of worship that makes me so passionate about it. It’s why we live. And it’s

/angela.manzanares.100 /angelamanzanares www.lifecoachingwithangela.com

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Brett Lee Miller

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2020


By Nissi Guiao

B: SINGER + SONGWRITER + JESUS CULTURE WORSHIP LEADER J: FLORALS IN POETIC FORM

BIO

Brett Lee Miller and Jessica Lanae Miller are a creative couple taking the greater Sacramento area by storm. Brett is a passionate musician, singer/songwriter planted at Jesus Culture Sacramento; his latest single "Raised" was released early April this year. Jessica is the founder and owner of Oak + Ash where she stunningly crafts florals in poetic form.

fill every home, just as they've experienced first-hand in theirs. “I firmly believe that God doesn’t cause the destruction that comes into our lives…but I do believe He is the author of the authority and grace that is released when we come out seeking His heart. I can’t fully describe what has transpired these past couple of years. All I know is that our darkest year is being immediately responded to by an exhilarating, hope-filled future that we had little to do with outside of surrender and expectancy. I can promise you He is real. I can promise you that He is doing something in the wreck. I’ve tasted and I’ve seen.” — Brett “I’ve been discouraged in the waiting, things I thought were for me are not. I’m having to press further into patience. Further into peace. Further into knowing He is provider and igniter of dreams. I need reminding of the little ways He’s coming through, those are just as important (if not more) than the big things.” —Jessica

HOW THE MILLERS ILLUMINATE CHRIST

It’s rare to find gold without real digging, even more rare to find it in clusters. In the Miller family, there’s both. Whether you meet them in person or stumble upon their unfolding story on Instagram, you’ll find that you’ve immediately struck gold. (If you already know them, you know exactly what I’m talking about.) Brett Lee Miller and Jessica Lanae Miller are two striking pillars of gold in their community. They are living, breathing, walking testimonies of the pure goodness of God. They both embrace their humanity while letting the Lord chisel them out of hard spaces. And they choose to do it over and over again through each season they embark together. Their consistent, bold choices to face reality— no matter how dark or painful at times—and to be fully surrendered in God’s hands is their not-so-secret “secret weapon.” Having gone through hell in past seasons, they know the heat of the fire. Their endless surrender, inexplicable trust and ever-growing faith gets highlighted in each sacred high and low of their journey. Brett (who was also featured in + on the cover of Issue 5: Undone), through his songwriting and authentically captivating worship sets, breathes peace and breakthrough into every space his voice and music hit. He has a heart to shepherd creatives, leading them with such powerful vulnerability. Jessica's unrelenting faith speaks volumes. Everything about her—from her words and character to her style and poetic florals—is awe-inspiring. Together, they exude a raw and real passion to see hope rise and

"Together, they exude a raw and real passion to see hope rise and fill every home..."

“I have experienced the tangible hand of God over these past couple weeks. It’s amazing, coming to the realization that He is not a God that forgets. The depths of sorrow, the heights of victory will be constantly swelling in and out, but I am pursuing joy of a more lasting kind. A joy that doesn’t just ‘hope’ but a joy that knows there is promised land set before us. It’s a humbling thing waking in a promise because it feels like floating upriver most of the time. You never feel fully set and you are usually very uncomfortable, but at every turn you see new sides of an intentional, present Father. God is more real than ever to us, and we aren’t any less human, but we are learning that Jesus doesn’t require our best human performance, He just wants our full surrender. Obedience feels more like falling than climbing and we are fully here for it…whatever that looks like.” —Brett

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Diligent The Artist

VOICES + art

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/Da.DiliGent.One /dadiligent.1

DILIGENT: ARTIST

BIO

I grew up in Northern California. My primary sound and style has been heavily influenced by rappers out of the Bay Area. I'm into some sports...basketball mostly. Martial Arts is fun. I like to act; I like filming and editing camera footage. It's fun to me to talk with my family and friends just for the sake of being around them. I love music and dancing. And of course, I love Jesus.

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"I believe the message we preach is dependent on the testings and trials we've gone through."

2020


In Diligent's own words

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

I've been called to illuminate Christ not only through songs and dance, but in bringing hope to the hopeless and restoring and encouraging those who are hurting and discouraged. Jesus is the hope of glory; He's the hope of the world. Hope is something I feel every follower of Jesus should be invested in at some level or another. Hosea 6:1 says, "Come, let us return to the LORD. For He has torn us, but He will heal us; He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.” That scripture was of such significance to me during one season of my life that it became the foundational scripture for my entire first project. That one verse encapsulated exactly how I was feeling. I believe that the message we preach is dependent upon the testings and trials we’ve gone through. I have a compassionate heart when I see people frustrated, aggra-

vated, sad and disappointed with life because that’s what happened to me, out of nowhere. I was a Christian with plenty of faith, zeal, hope and expectation, but everything I had hope for and everything I had been expecting was not happening. So depression easily set in.  My ministry is to the emotionally hurt and heavy-hearted. I’ve gone through hopelessness and continued standing on what God said. Now new hope is rising up in me and the God who restores me is working on my heart.  So I use my rap songs not just as a means to give Christcentered content to people, but to also give a sense of hope and joy. I’m called to those who know Jesus as well as to those who don’t. Sadness is universal—and Jesus is transcendent. He transcends any and every hurt with His very being. That’s the message I’m called to carry because that's what He carried me through. 

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Shane Grammer

VOICES + art

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/shanegrammerarts /shanegrammerart @ShaneGrammerArt www.shanegrammer.com

SHANE GRAMMER: MODERN INSPIRED ARTIST By Kevin Castle

BIO

Freelance Sr. Creative Director by day, installation artist and painter by night, Shane Grammer is a man of many talents. He thrives in mixed media and creates everything from paintings, to murals, to sculptures, to 3D-themed environments. His work has been featured all over the world and can be found in places such as Mexico, Dubai, and Cambodia.Â

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"His intention was to bring hope and joy back to the people of Paradise, but God took it to another level."

2020


Beauty amongst the ashes. Hope from devastation. These are the words and thoughts Shane Grammer uses when others ask about his art. Yes, it involves spray cans and paint, canvases and brushes, but Shane goes beyond that. His work transforms what has been broken into a canvas to paint something beautiful. A native of Chico, California, Shane lives in Los Angeles with his wife and three daughters. There was never a moment when he decided to be an artist, he just always was. A street artist at heart, he loves painting on crazy surfaces. Always with permission, he will paint on anything; churches, malls, bridge undersides, building walls, concrete slabs, alleyways, and everything else in between. Using his skills, he paints images of hope and inspiration in desperate communities.  From painting live for thousands at festivals and church services, to bringing joy to the sole individual, no project is too big or small for him. When he heard about the

Paradise Camp Fire in 2018, like most people, it was just another fire. But then the pictures and videos began rolling in, and the full scope of devastation hit him. Naturally, he had to go help his home county and when he saw burnt cars and broken chimneys, the artist side of him took over. He started first with an old friend's house, and quickly got to work. Within two weeks, he had painted 12 murals. His intention was to bring hope and joy back to the people of Paradise, but God took it to another level. Shane’s work was featured on local television stations, and the pictures and videos people took of his work went viral. Building good rapport and relationships with all his clients is Shane’s business foundation. Because at the end of the day, he knows it’s not about him. While he draws inspiration from everyday life, most of his inspiration comes from God. It’s about God using Shane to paint the kingdom in a real and tangible way. A city without art is dead, and Shane will continue painting life wherever God takes him.

SHANE'S ART

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Mark J. The Poet

VOICES + art

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/markjornelas /markjthepoet @MarkJThePoet Mark J. The Poet

MARK J . ORNELAS: SPOKEN WORD POET + SPEAKER

BIO

Mark J. the poet wears a few different hats (or beanies, if you will). He combines soulful vocals with deep worship and poetic words. But, as he'll tell you, more and most importantly, he is a worshiper of the King. "I sing a little but I worship a lot" he says. He recalls his teenage years when he first laid fingers on dusty piano keys. It all started in a church building where deep reflective moments of worship became the norm long before social media (as we know it today) or viral videos ever became a thing. Weaved into his performances is his raw story of freedom from an addiction to pornography.

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From this freedom a new passion stems beyond spoken word and music. As one who has personally walked down the alleys of addiction to pornography, Mark J. is able to relate to and inspire many others affected by this epidemic. Mark writes "I can’t count how many times I have been approached by folks battling the cycle of sexual addiction as I was. Many of them trust me to be the first person they talk with openly about it— pretty amazing if you’d ask me. This is my heartbeat: to see people understand their value and live in freedom as God intended."

2020


In Mark J's own words

work. Things can appear “all together” but be inwardly broken. An atmosphere can appear inviting but be empty and cold. The surface is the easy part to reveal to the world. Getting to the hidden corridors of the heart is the real challenge. No, that type of vulnerability is not a sign of weakness. I think of Christ and the life He lived on this earth. He was so strong yet so vulnerable. He showed us his tears and fears. He showed us His compassionate heart as well as His passion to fulfill the will of His Father. “He who hides his sins will not succeed. But whoever confesses and rejects them will find mercy.” That scripture has become a theme for my life. No more hiding for me. And the more I walk in His light the more others are drawn to Him through me. In the past 4 years I’ve ministered at hundreds of venues around the country. The stories people share with me are so moving. Some are filled with heartache and others triumph. With every stage I touch and every one-on-one conversation I engage in, I see the light lifting the heaviness of the dark. My daughters (8 and 6 years) can’t go more than two minutes without looking for me. “Where’s Daddy?” I’ll hear them ask from down the hall at home. I’m honored that they are constantly searching for me and craving time with me. They can’t stand not knowing where I am, so they join me in whatever I’m doing. I learn so much from them and I want to be a child who is always searching for my Father because I can’t stand not knowing where He’s moving and working.

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

His light lifts the weight of the darkness. I went to church every Sunday. I had every word of 1 Corinthians chapter 13 memorized. I appeared to be the “perfect” Christian. But the truth is, I hid from everything and everyone. I lived quietly in shame while leading worship on stage. I would come home from amazing church events only to fall back into my secret addiction to porn. A secret that would slowly attempt to steal my future. Now, things have transformed by the grace of God. My heart was once pulled toward other women, but I’m now loyal to my wife. My two daughters are experiencing the joy of a family reunited and healed. Never would I have imagined being someone who inspires honesty and transparency in others. But that’s something I get to see everywhere I minister. Through poems, songs, and stories God has been using my brokenness to illuminate dark places. Places that have never felt the warmth of His light. These places are the secrets people hide from God and others. Those secrets are poisonous and easily contracted like a virus. I’m not sure why God would choose a Filipino/ Mexican church kid like me to shine His light. But I love it. I love Him. I love the healing He’s done in me, my marriage and home. When I speak I feel His grace flowing through my words. Once so focused on what people thought of me as a performer and artist, God is teaching me to speak the truth simply because it’s the truth. I no longer look for standing ovations or thunderous applause. I look for His hand at

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Sandi & Steve Padilla

VOICES + art

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/pureworshipministries /officialsandipadilla @sandisong

SONGWRITERS + AUTHORS + SPEAKERS + PODCASTERS + PRODUCERS

BIO

For over twenty years Steve and Sandi Padilla have been partnering in music, ministry and marriage. Leading with transparency and integrity, they bring a dynamic testimony of God's hope to others through their own healing story of overcoming hurt and addiction. Their music style is upbeat, energetic infusion of pop, alternative/rock while offering a sense of reverence through inspired ballads and modern arrangements. Hosting a weekly podcast “Songs and Stories� they inspire, encourage and equip others to find their God-given destiny, purpose and calling.

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"Our music is just a reflection of how God has loved us, healed us and brought us through the good times and bad."

2020


In Sandi's own words

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN CALLED TO ILLUMINATE CHRIST?

At first glance, music may have been what brought Steve and Sandi together in the late 80’s, but at the heart of it there was a Divine connection. “Our music is just a reflection of how God has loved us, healed us and brought us through the good times and bad,” Sandi shares. Meeting Steve while they were both trying out for a band, the two fell in love and were married on Feb. 17th, 1990. Quickly, they formed their own band Threshing Floor and went on to receive awards and accolades both regionally and nationally. After winning a spot to perform in the Gospel Music Association’s Showcase in Nashville in 1993, they also placed in the top five for the California region of Yamaha's New Music Showcase in 1995. Sandi's energetic lead vocals, multi-instrumental performances, and uncanny ability to sing many musical styles gained her notoriety locally as a studio session singer and performer. Steve has been a professional musician since his high school days. Other bands would even sneak the underage Steve into bars to play keyboards with their groups! After becoming a Christian at the age of 21, He devoted his talents to God's purpose and calling. As a multi-instrumentalist Steve is comfortable leading from up front on Keyboards, Acoustic and Electric Guitar, Bass, and whatever else might be lying around. First and foremost though, he is a Keyboardist and is known for his innovativeness on the Synthesizer in developing unique sounds and textures that help create the mood and atmosphere whenever he plays. After having toured and worked with national recording artist Lincoln Brewster for six years, Steve reflects, "Stay-

ing busy in ministry with Lincoln, Bayside, and recording has been a tremendous blessing in my life for which I am forever grateful. It has taught me things about music, ministry, and myself that I would have never learned otherwise. It's exciting to be on this new road that God has placed me on today—encouraging others through music and our story. I am humbled how God can take a broken man and use that to reach others." “God has a way of bringing beauty from ashes and joy from pain,” Sandi adds. Our whole family has been healed from addiction, depression, insomnia and anxiety. Through the power of music and healing worship, we experienced God’s love in a whole new way. Now through Pure Worship Ministries, Steve and I are conveying to others—inside and outside the church walls—that there is healing and freedom available to them. Through our podcast Songs and Stories, our hope and prayer is to continue to come alongside people in need of relief from inner turmoil from past hurts, habits and hang-ups. Psalm 139:16 reminds us that all of our days were ordained, written in God's book “before one of them came to be.” God sees us, hears us and knows us and is there to heal us. Currently, Sandi is completing a book about this healing journey called, The Frequency of Healing,s which will help the reader discover the hidden dimension of music found within scripture. These songs bring hope and restoration as God breathes and sings over all who are in need of His healing touch.

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Sergio Perez

VOICES + art

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/sergiopgart /sergioperezguerrero

ARTIST

BIO

My art is where the technicality is the least important element in what I do. It truly is about God's expression in us and through us. I have had significant conversations with other believers and the common denominator is always: I am not artistic or I can never paint like you. My response is that we are not called to be like someone else, we are called to be authentic. Being artistic is more than just creating what you feel or picture in your head; it is an act of worship. You can call it a creative outlet, self-expression or visual communication— whatever you want. For me, it is not about the followers, it is all about HIM.

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"My biggest desire is to do my part and help the Lord become known outside the church walls."

2020


In Sergio's own words

make a living. I had a great opportunity to talk to Shane Grammer, an established artist who has been in the grind of the industry for many years. He was kind enough to share some of his valuable knowledge and it was encouraging. Shane helped me realize that you don’t need a degree to build a career as an artist. However, it takes several skill sets, the business side of art, and the relationship I have with Jesus.  When I connect with His heart during my time in the studio, time does not exist—He draws me closer and molds my heart. I forget about my agenda and stop thinking about building a brand or wondering if my art work will take off. He reminds me that my art is already hanging in His gallery, so I find the freedom to worship Him through my art. In this journey of discovering my sonship, I have learned that our God is very creative and He put his DNA in musicians, writers, dancers, producers, designers, painters, etc. so we can reflect who He is to the world.  My work is not about me, it’s about how creative He is. My biggest desire is to do my part and help the Lord become known outside the church walls. Over 10 years ago I had a college professor ask me what my art was about and I had no confident answer. Today, without a doubt, I know it's to tell about Jesus.   

HOW ARE YOU ILLUMINATING CHRIST?

My journey as a creative has been long in the sense that, without a community of spirit-filled creatives, art was simply a hobby. But God had so much more in mind. After completing my degree in studio arts, I was convinced my options were extremely limited. I had no identity or God-given purpose because I came from a religious background. However in December of 2018 I was given a word that God was about to move me into what He had called me to. It sounded exciting but I had no idea what that would look like.  A few weeks later I was given another prophetic word that God knew how broken I had been in the past and that this time God would allow me to break in a beautiful way. It would require full surrender to Him, but He would show His nature through me and my family. Once again I did not know what to think and a few days later I told the Lord “If there was a price to pay to follow You deeper, I am willing to pay it.”  Sure enough He answered as I was let go from my steady 8 to 5 job, knowing it was time to learn how to trust Him 100%. I had no Plan B. Through talking to entrepreneur-minded friends, I learned that talent or gifting alone would not be enough to help me get my art work into the right market so I could

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By Alena Melnik, Vasilisa Photography

Expect the Unexpected.


"Way Maker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the Darkness, My God That Is Who You Are" By Jenene Stafford

've had my sleep disrupted for the last four nights. I was up before 5:00 a.m. this morning and yesterday before 4:00 a.m. I keep waking up and within seconds I'm singing "Waymaker." I came up with all these excuses for why I'm waking up, like, My husband is creating waves in the bed; I'm getting overheated; I've got foot cramps...and the list goes on and on. But, the truth is, I know it was God waking me up. He's singing this song over me and it's a message to the Church—"It's time to wake up to who He Is." When my husband and I left to head to the office for me to write this article you're reading, I said, "I'm going to go crazy if we don't play this 'Waymaker' song," because I couldn't get it out of my head. So, we told Siri to play the song and streamed it right into our car. We worshiped our little hearts out and I really had to fight to hold back those tears. Such anointing—such power—in those words Waymaker, Miracle Worker, Promise Keeper, Light in the darkness. My God, that really and truly is who You are. I'm not the only one being disrupted right now—as a Church body we all are and we will learn, perhaps while kicking and screaming, how to flow in the unknown of God's will while having our lives totally disrupted. I promise you—I see Jesus pouring oil and gold on this desert path He's walking us through—when all is said and done, we will blaze a trail if we follow Him closely. And, as I'm personally wrestling God for answers, I'm reminded by the Lord to refer back to our last issue, March Saints. In fact He showed me these current times were prophesied. In the spirit I saw the revolutionaries marching, but didn't know exactly why we'd be marching. I had no idea that the "Truth Teller Revolution" (a time coming the Lord showed me about 7 or 8 years ago) would begin to reveal itself more publicly in America through a virus being declared a pandemic. And finally the Church will fight back. We let you know that there would be a "Rise of the Patriots," described as a "son who knows his inheritance and will defend and fight for that heritage unto death." But, also, that

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patriotism would be under fire and that the "religious" church may not recognize these seemingly radical types of patriots that will fight back for America's freedoms. We informed our readers of what was coming in this section I'm referencing called 2020. We said that it was going to be a "Ground-Breaking Year and a No-Nonsense Year" (a message for the Church). There would be "a cry for the secret place hidden in Christ and a cry for sacred Christian roots coming up out of the ground, literally, like never before. A return to our first Love is coming as more churches are hearing an urgent call to study the book of Revelation." And I didn't even realize (since it's been four months since our last publication) that the beginning of Nate and Christy Johnston's prophesying in the section 2020 started with the mention of the same song, "Waymaker." That said, it seems God is creating His global Masterpiece in unusual and creative ways—which is surely the voice of Megamorphosis Magazine and the breath of the Holy Spirit. He is also repeating Himself by the voice of His servants. He's faithful to get our attention in various ways, even in dreams and visions as we knew would come because His Word tells us in Acts Chapter 2. I would encourage you all to pray for yourselves and allow God to reveal to you personally what steps to take and when to take them—and don't get stuck on the question of How? The mantra of the Church and the world will become "Expect the Unexpected." We will learn that flowing in the unknown is God's brilliant way of illuminating a new era of Christianity and a door of opportunity.

MEGAMORPHOSISMAGAZINE.COM


Illumination is happening. Although, at times I throw a silent tantrum, wrestle with God, war through intercession, and battle the devil—often all within a single hour. And I wear my No Excuses gold bracelet a whole lot these days since I haven't bought the Not today Satan t-shirt. The reality is, laboring for the Kingdom can be full of persecution, tribulation and interruption. But as the Bible says in II Thessalonians, it's so we can be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God. I must say I feel very worthy, because of all that I've been graced to walk through, especially lately. With all these surreal circumstances, including being woken up night after night, I know God is trying to say something important to me that I need to pass on to all of you in this hour. I find myself emptied out of any personal ambition, ability or strength and it's the perfect scenario to impart some real, timely wisdom from the Holy Spirit. I may lack sleep, but I do not lack fortitude...I'm a humble, emptied-out woman of God. The biggest challenge to write this article is taking years of spiritual revelation and reducing what the Lord has given me, even recently, down to a few, inspired words with as much authentic passion and realness as possible as it relates to this day in history. The fact is, there's so much that's been hidden safely inside me. And all of it points to a Holy Father in Heaven—a Sovereign God whose own Handprint will be on the forehead and right hand of His spotless Church. Our thoughts and deeds will line up, eventually, to His will. As His saints we simply must long for His Sovereign will to be done in our families, marriages, churches, neighborhoods, cities, nations and in every global sphere of influence.

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

What God's Illuminating

These are two areas I see the Father is illuminating—sovereignty and faith. Therefore, there's a war happening over sovereignty in our global spheres of influence, especially in government. Will we bow to world government over God's? We're in a foreshadowing of things to come. God will shake His Church until we're unshakeable. The apostles maneuvered around government and built the foundation for a global movement we now call Christianity. Those were the early days of the Church. I daresay, now we're in the last days­—how much more must we believe to survive the falling away (Matthew 24) and still believe for the harvest to come? As the darker becomes more dark, the Light becomes more bright. The Father's trying to wake us up— He's illuminating our heart, our motives, our thoughts, our sins and the things we trust in more than His Word. Per the human condition we're kind of over this whole COVID-19 stay-athome order and just want some sense of normalcy. Some of us think the enemy is trying to keep the Church from gathering. But I see the Father is teaching us how to be unified in spirit even when we're not in the same room. He's giving us new ears to hear Him in every situation and teaching us how to trust His Sovereignty when it looks like our government officials are winning. The cry I'm hearing the last couple of months in the spirit are "Come closer," and for the last couple of weeks I'm hearing the word "Righteousness." I know with certainty that's what the Father is saying to us in this moment—"Come closer and see My Righteousness." As we do, we will begin to transform to become a reflection of His righteousness.

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God is illuminating the Scriptures and He's creating a Bible revival by giving us the gift of time (the Bible revival was also prophesied in the last issue). This situation is creating a longing for Truth and He's firmly saying to some people, "It's time to look in the mirror." Spiritual revelation is coming while we're wrestling with our not-so-perfect lives (and selves) being totally disrupted for the sake of the Kingdom of God coming. The Father is illuminating who we are in Him. John 15:5 says, "I am the Vine, you are the branches, those who remain in Me, and I in them, will produce much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." Never has this scripture been more relevant than now, and for the challenging but glorious years that are just ahead. If you are on the right side of things and follow the Father closely, there will be many majestic and joyful moments. And when I say "the right side of things," I mean His side—not your pastor's; or the sea of prophetic voices drawing attention to themselves rather than God; or the prideful, religious leaders condemning a charismatic Church rather than discerning true apostasy. All those voices can lead us astray if we're not listening to the Voice above all voices. But, thank Jesus, the sheep know His Voice. And all these deceptions and distractions are coming in greater degree. A religious war-zone is coming—another huge, unexpected wave of events in this area. I looked up the definition for the word illumination and most people would say that it means light, but illumination is the thing or the source that brings the light—our Father.

2020


You may understand it this way: if you turn on a torch in the dark, this process is called illumination; and what comes out of the torch is called the light. If the Father didn't bring His illumination, there would be no Light. In the book of Revelation, those who dwell in Christ are promised by God that He will be their light (Revelation 22:5). When we stay in the Presence of God and walk with God, His light illuminates our every move. We need God's illumination because we’ll be paralyzed and living in fear if we don’t learn how to live our lives and be the Church in all circumstances. Whether we're in prison or not, rich or poor, in the limelight or quietly in the background of the Kingdom—all of us must be hidden in Christ, the King of Glory. What we’re seeing right now with the coronavirus is only the beginning of things that are totally unexpected, especially for America. Many things are coming and God’s Hand is going to move in ways lots of people have never seen before. Until He decides to stop, He's going to keep trying to wake up His Church to have true intimacy with Him. But His methods aren't always favorable in our estimation. God's focus is His Bride, first and foremost. A righteous, virtuous, untainted Church will rise and we will bring light to a world in darkness. In the Church, however, He's still illuminating things that have to go: Self-reliance. Pride. Lust. Injustice. Being lukewarm. Favoritism. Idolatry...and more. Instead of paying attention to what He's showing us, we're praying our hearts out that He'll heal our lands, protect our President and give us our jobs and our freedom back. Some of us are depressed and still very shakeable. My friends, in September of 2021 the Unstoppable, Unashamed Church is going to begin to rise like never before. But now, we're still in process—transforming into a Righteous Church that

is full of power, beauty and brilliance. We're going to draw millions of people to King Jesus—our Great Love. Currently, we're at a place where the Father is taking us higher and higher. He's strongly encouraging us to prepare ourselves and to get ready. If you've been faithfully interceding, as I've been for our country, you must know He will only heal our lands when the Church repents and turns from our selfish, self-centered, self-reliant, comfortable ways (II Chronicles 7:14). We're not quite there yet, but we will become magnificent—a true wonder to look upon—as the glory of the Kingdom hits the streets beginning May 2021. That's very good news! We're living in a global move of God and He's illuminating the heart of the Church (the body of Christ, not a religious institution) so that we're ready for the harvest. Because the harvest is great, but the workers are few. And the workers are few because we want to live the Christian life on our own terms. But, we need to be willing to face the truth of the condition of our hearts and our faith, and ask ourselves these questions: Do I really trust God? Am I willing to go all the way to follow Him, or only part of the way? Some of us choose mediocrity, comfort and community more than becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ, taking up our individual crosses and following Him. If it was easy to follow Jesus, everyone would do it. But the Church still hasn't humbled herself entirely to the Sovereignty of God, the will of God or the ways of God. Some still want to believe in a shifting, shallow Christianity that holds little biblical weight. Some of us still want to follow miracles more than the Miracle Worker. Some of us are fighting the process of refinement of the Refiner's Fire. Some Kingdom leaders still want to speak words that are simply sweet, rather than words that have

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"The cry I'm hearing the last couple of months in the spirit is 'Come closer,' and for the last couple of weeks I'm hearing the word 'Righteousness.' I know with certainty that's what the Father is saying to us in this moment—'Come closer and see My Righteousness.' As we do, we will transform to become a true reflection of His righteousness."

MEGAMORPHOSISMAGAZINE.COM


Get ready. Get ready. Get ready. salt and preservation. It's a time to remember that how we live as Christians will be judged and balanced, according to the Scriptures. Romans 2:16 says, "On that day when, according to My Gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus." These are not my words, they're the Father's words. That day the Scriptures refer to—it's coming soon. And you've seen how quickly our world can get rocked. When I researched in the Bible the word illuminated (the word the Holy Spirit gave me for this issue), I found only one Scripture and it's in the book of Hebrews, Chapter 10. "(32) But  recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings:  (33)  partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while  you became companions of those who were so treated; (34) for you had compassion on  me  in my chains, and  joyfully accepted the plundering of your  goods, knowing that  you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven.  (35)  Therefore do not cast away your confidence,  which has great reward." Like many people might do when there's only one scripture with a specific word, I thought, "Well, I'll just research the word light then." But, the Father spoke to my heart and I heard the word Illumination very clearly. I knew there was something about that specific word that He was pointing me to. I was reading it as history of what it looked like when the apostles were illuminated, but also as a foretelling. God's letting us know what's coming, a reflection of that time in history. It's an encouragement and an exhortation,

ISSUE 10 + ILLUMINATION

but also a warning and a reminder to holdfast the confession of our hope without wavering. Paul goes on to tell us in Hebrews Chapter 10 that we have need of endurance—we are certainly seeing that in this very hour as we must admit we're fed up with our situations. He goes on to teach us that after we have done the will of the Father, we will receive the promise. Remember, He is not only the Waymaker, He's the Promise Keeper and Miracle Worker. We're encouraged to just be patient a little longer and Jesus won't delay. We're reminded that the just live by faith and if we draw back or hesitate, Jesus will not be happy with us. Finally, we're reminded we're not the kind of people who draw back to perdition, but we are those who believe to the saving of the soul. In fact, we are a sanctified people who are established by a New and greater Covenant and He has put His laws in our heart. The way of the future of the brave Church is consecrated all because of Jesus, the High Priest over the House of God, which we are so honored and blessed to be part of. Therefore, my beautiful friends and family, I encourage you to go higher in your belief in God's Sovereignty and deeper in your intimacy with the Father regardless of what our world government does. As Paul reminds me, I remind you—draw near with a true heart of assurance of faith because we have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus and the water of the Word of God. I encourage you to hold fast and confess your hope without wavering and continue, whether online or in person, to inspire each other and stir up good works. Assemble any way you can because The Day is approaching.

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We're in a No-Nonsense Year I can't complete this article without reminding you, as I remind myself, that Paul never sugar-coated anything; it's one of the things I love about him and really resonate with. There's such comfort and stability in his direct honesty. The Bible says if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there  no longer remains a sacrifice for sins  but a certain, fearful expectation of judgment and  fiery indignation, which will devour God's adversaries. As the Bride of Christ and people of the New Covenant, we need to recognize what a gift of grace it is to be included in a heavenly purpose. Let's honor God's Way, the Miracle of the Cross, the Promise of eternity with our Good Good Father and King Jesus, our Light in the darkness. And, let's not insult our God by thinking it's a small thing to be granted spiritual authority in His Kingdom and on this earth. Let's not willfully sin and live anymore like the world lives because as the Bible says in Hebrews Chapter 10:3031,  “The  Lord  will judge His people. (31) It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." Final thoughts: there's gold in you and the Father wants to draw it out and make you a light on a hilltop so the world will see His Glory. My beautiful friends, I cannot urge you enough to let Him teach you how to live victoriously.  After all, we are His kids and we are His Bride and we are adored by our Lord and Bridegroom and our love and adoration towards Him must show through the way we live. Remember to expect the unexpected in this season of God's illumination and He will teach you how to flow miraculously in the unknown.

2020


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Profile for Megamorphosis Magazine

Megamorphosis Magazine Issue 10 - Illumination  

Issue 10 spotlights 40 individuals, couples, organizations and ministries that are illuminating Christ in the marketplace or Church. The mai...

Megamorphosis Magazine Issue 10 - Illumination  

Issue 10 spotlights 40 individuals, couples, organizations and ministries that are illuminating Christ in the marketplace or Church. The mai...

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