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2 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
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contents DECEMBER 2013
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Volume 8, Number 7 Publisher: MHS Publications, Inc., Member, M.I.P.A. Editor: Marilyn Tinnin email@example.com Associate Editor: Suzanne Tanner Durfey
8 The Way I See It So, What’s the Plan?
12 Living My Call Sunnybrook—The Rest of the Story
14 Modern Motherhood A Little Child Shall Lead Them
16 Let’s Talk It Over STEGALL IMAGERY
The Reason for the Season Bring Your Family to the Coolest Event in the South!
20 Chewed Petunias Puzzle Pieces and Red Wasps
22 Author Profile
18 Community Outreach
MCL’s Book Editor Susan Richardson Releases Book
24 Welcome Home Fearless Entertaining—Fear Not!
A Faithful Legacy
32 Food for Thought Edible Gifts to Share
34 Pastor’s Perspective Christ in Me—What Difference Does It Make?
38 Healthy Living Sweet Addiction
40 Fresh Finds Great Gifts Ideas
42 Sports Victories Jackson Prep’s Amanda Hatch Battles On and Off the Court
44 Money Matters Debt, Deficits, and Your Duty
46 Legal Advice What Will Be Left After the Nursing Home?
in every issue What’s Coming Next Month? CJ Stewart—Wounded Warrior Encourages Youth
6 48 49 50 50
Editor’s Letter Rave Reviews Event Calendar Quips & Quotes Advertiser Index
Art Direction/Graphic Design Sandra K. Goff Sales Marilyn Tinnin, Kimberly Stephens, Suzanne Tanner Durfey Contributing Writers Lydia Bolen, Willam B. Howell, Chase Maxey, Robin O’Bryant, Susan E. Richardson, Laurie Ryba, Clark Smith, Martin E. Willoughby, Jr., Robert Wilson Cover Photography Stegall Imagery Distribution Assistants Laura Kidder, Randy Fortenberry, Andrea Sabillion, Rachel Schulte, Jerri Strickland, Priscilla Sullivan, Bob Whatley, Amanda Weems
Metro Christian Living 573 Highway 51 North, Suite C Ridgeland, MS 39157 Phone 601-790-9076 • Fax 601-790-9078 www.metrochristianliving.com
Metro Christian Living is committed to encouraging individuals in their daily lives by presenting the faith stories of others and by providing information that will point every person, at every stage of life, to a deeper, authentic, personal, and lifechanging encounter with Jesus Christ. Views expressed in Metro Christian Living do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made by the Metro Christian Living staff to insure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information nor the absence of errors and omissions; hence, no responsibility can be or is assumed. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2013 by Metro Christian Living, Inc. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Metro Christian Living is published monthly and is available at high traffic locations throughout the metropolitan area. Copies are also available by subscription, $29 for one year. Single issues available for $3 an issue. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to Metro Christian Living, 573 Highway 51 North, Suite C, Ridgeland, MS 39157.
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4 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
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2013 Singing Christmas Tree December 6th & 7th - 7:30 pm
➺editor’s letter Tidings of Comfort and Joy
Jesus Christ is the ❝ same yesterday, today, and forever.
– Hebrews 13:8
here is nothing that sets my heart and soul on a walk down Memory Lane quite like pulling out my Christmas decorations. Hundreds of colored
ornaments—nothing uniform about any of them—may not look like so much to anyone else on earth, but they are just priceless in what they represent to me. More than anything else at this season of my life, these treasures I pull out just once a year, drive home the stark reality of passing years and the dramatic changes inflicted by Father Time. When Lem and Betsy were little, I made each of them a thread count ornament each year. Of course I intended to continue as long as my eyes could see and my fingers were nimble. Somewhere along the way I got distracted or “busy,” or maybe the Christmas tree got so full that I stopped doing it. But I can’t tell you how my heart smiles even now when I pull out those ornaments and see the year stitched in the corner. I have my own “Kodak moment” straight to the memory of excited little people with faces brighter than the lights on the tree, children’s choir programs performed with unmatched exuberance, and everything else that Christmas becomes when there are children at home. And, too, I remember grandparents, very much a part of it all, that thought their grandchildren could do no wrong—ever. Every child should be so blessed. Lem and Betsy’s grandparents were unconditional love personified! But for Jesus, the passage of time would be a very depressing thing. Not because children grow up—like most mothers, I truly enjoy relating to my children as the adults they now are. Goodness! One can only MOTHER for so long before the wheels come off, the knees wear out, and the multi-tasking skill disappears along with the waistline. But there is a bittersweet something about key holidays, because they are like milestones in our lives. It’s hard to think of Christmas without remembering all the Christmas pasts celebrating with beloved friends and family, who are now celebrating around the Throne. When I think of those I miss in those terms, I am quite comforted because I am certain the best—the very best—is indeed yet to be for all of us who love God! It makes perfect sense to my finite mind, that when God came to earth, He came as a baby. That was not the hard part. Who doesn’t love a baby? But He grew, walked among us with His very heart beating like ours, loving, hurting, wanting to fix all the broken places in those He loved, but having to endure the limits of being human. Emmanuel—God with us. Literally. Sacrifice? I get it. I think I know a lot about loving deeply. At least, I think I do—until I consider Jesus, and what was required of Him to demonstrate to us what His kind of love really looks like. I look at these little ornaments and I think they represent “love” for my children. Then I look at the manger, and finally the cross. It hits me hard that even at this late date, I still have much to learn about love. I am reminded every month as I interview folks or read the columns from our contributing writers that I have a wonderful job. From every corner, from people who do not know each other or have any idea about what God might doing in someone else’s life, I get to see and hear how very active and involved our gracious God is in the everyday world around us. You have lots of that to enjoy in this issue. Our cover story on Ginnie Ingram will touch the hearts of parents, students, teachers, physicians, and every Believer who gives even a passing thought to the word, “legacy.” When I was a starry-eyed, college freshman, I wrote a poem that began, “Stay, child, who lives in my soul.” I still feel that way many decades later. But today I add a word to that plea. “Stay, Christ Child, who lives in my soul.” Merry Christmas. My prayer for all of us is that the Christ Child—Jesus, our elder brother—lives in all of our hearts this Christmas and always. Much love to all of you who read MCL Y
Marilyn H. Tinnin, Publisher and Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
6 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
➺the way i see it by MARTIN E. WILLOUGHBY, JR.
So, What’s the Plan? ach weekend, one of the first things out of my eight-year-old-son Trey’s mouth is “What is the plan, Dad?” As the saying goes, “the apple does not fall far from the tree.” I admit it. I like to have a plan—
probably to a fault. For better or worse, my son has watched me make my weekend checklist and knows I love a well-planned day! Unfortunately, it does not stop there. As an executive coach and strategic planner, I help people, teams, and organizations make long-range plans and develop strategies to realize their goals. The challenge is not just coming up with a plan, but also actually executing on it! I have become obsessed with evaluating different ways to help people truly execute toward their goals. While I firmly believe in the importance of planning, I also know that it is important to keep a healthy balance of learning from our past, planning for our future, and living in the present. It is easy to get bogged down thinking too much about any of these areas—to our own detriment. Sometimes, we can get stuck in the past and are never really able to move forward in life. Or perhaps we “live for the day” and forget the long-term consequences of our actions. The quote, “If I would have known I was going to live this long, I would have taken better care of myself,” is an example of the pitfalls of immediate gratification. Alternatively, we can be so future focused looking for greener pastures, we miss out on the present—we forget to take time and “smell the roses.” As I have thought about this tension, I have been drawn to Scripture and considered the lives of God’s people. In Genesis 12, we see God calling Abraham from the city of Ur with the instructions, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.” I know I would have had a lot of
questions about this plan—there were a lot of details left out! However, Abraham knew his next step—TO GO. When Jesus was walking along the Sea of Galilee and saw Simon and Andrew, He said, “Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” No master plan—just a simple vision statement and a direction for the next thing they should do—FOLLOW HIM. There are certainly many more examples from Scripture of God calling his people to walk in obedience. A friend of mine, Jay Harvill, helped me worked through the tension of planning and living an intentional life and being responsive to God in the moment. As I reflected on Scripture and talked through this with my Christian brother, I realized that the best thing to do is to focus on the NEXT BEST STEP in my journey. The “next best step” for Abraham was to go and leave his homeland. He did not have all of the answers, but he knew the next thing he needed to do. Simon and Andrew knew their “next best step” was to lay down their nets and follow Jesus. As followers in the way of Christ, we all share a calling on our lives to pursue the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. However, the story of our lives will play out in varied and unique ways as God unfolds his plan for each of us. Unfortunately, we don’t have all the details—and we never will. However, I believe our prayer can be that God reveal the “next best step” for our lives, and that we would have the obedience to take it.
Martin E. Willoughby, Jr,. is Chief Operating Officer of Butler Snow Advisory Services, LLC located in Ridgeland. He and his wife, Nicki, have two children, Ally and Trey, and live in Memphis, Tennessee.
Freda Jackson, Mike Davis, Patricia Coward, Nona Beal and Rhonda Boles
www.Covenant CaregiversMS.com 8 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
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The proposed facility will be nestled among these large and beautiful trees.
Sunnybrook — The Rest of the Story Editor’s note: We love it when we hear that one of our stories had ripples of positive effect. This is a follow-up that thrills our hearts. Thought we would share!
Metro Christian Living’s May issue featured a story about Wendy and Lauren Herring, a mother/daughter team whose loving hearts led them to literally adopt Sunnybrook Children’s Home in Ridgeland as their personal ministry.
The small playground is outdated, but it was also designed for much younger children than the present Sunnybrook residents. 12 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
Unlike the many groups who want to help during the Christmas season, this duo showed up at Sunnybrook one January day in 2012 and have been a constant force in showering love on the staff, the house parents, and, of course, the kids who range in age from 7 to 17. From the first day, Wendy has had to remind herself that this is a work in progress. As she looked around and saw all the things that could be made better and that none of the needs were extravagant, she tackled project by project methodically. And she has been more than amazed at the way God has brought exactly the gifts and volunteers in answer to each prayer—just the right way, at just the right time. You can’t make the stories up! The MCL story moved Miskelly’s to donate 40 new mattresses. Other generous people stepped up to help in both large and small ways. Wendy explained in that story that her 2013 project would be to arrange for the construction of an outdoor common grilling area. She had no idea how that would come about, but she was praying, networking to find out who she knew that had connections, know-how, and generous hearts. There is a great need for such a place to provide some recreational opportunities for both house parents and kids—something that would make the environment more family friendly. There are siblings who live at Sunnybrook who never get to interact with each other because the cottages are very self-contained and there are no mealtimes together. Residents are assigned to their cottages based on their ages. The houseparents would derive great encouragement from social time with the other houseparents, and the children would derive emotional satisfaction from being near their brothers and sisters. Professional landscape architect Gary Haygood of Ridgeland, who has helped develop resort communities all over the country and abroad, offered his services to draw the grilling area. His rendering was beyond Wendy’s hopes and dreams. With an outdoor space for children to gather, to play games, do homework, and enjoy each other, this area would enhance the grounds and replace the 40-year-old play area that was designed for preschoolers. The hope at the moment is for sponsorships or donations—big and small—to bring this picture to fruition. The area would also be a place for community events or church outings, thereby blessing others just as they
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have been so blessed to receive such a beautiful gift. From all sides, this gathering place is a tangible representation of how the love of Christ impacts a Believer’s heart. For more information, or if you would like to help make this project a reality for Sunnybrook Children’s Home, contact Wendy at LeeandWendy@hotmail.com or contact Rob Salley, Director of Sunnybrook at 601.856.6555. To read the entire story on Wendy’s ministry at Sunnybrook, visit the MCL website and click on past issues to view the May 2013 article. Y
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601.206.7972 Get Free, Instant Medigap Quotes! www.MedSuppQuoter.com metrochristianliving.com ❘ DECEMBER 2013 13
➺modern motherhood by ROBIN O’BRYANT
A Little Child Shall Lead Them
or the first time ever in the history of having my own home, I put up my Christmas tree before Thanksgiving this year. Two weeks before Thanksgiving to
be exact. My sister, sister-in-law, and all of my nieces and nephews came to our house in Mississippi to sneak in an all-purpose holiday visit—and my sister, Blair, had a brilliant plan. “Let’s just pretend that Friday night is Christmas Eve! We can make hot chocolate and let them watch a Christmas movie, then Saturday we can make a big breakfast and let each kid open one present.” I was at the store shopping for the weekend as we spoke, so I wheeled over to the toy aisle to pick out something for my nieces and nephew. I was torn, as you are while shopping for children whom you adore, with parents you actually like. Should I get them a toy that they would find amazing and wonderful and risk the wrath of my sister and her husband when they realized there was no off switch? Or play it safe and give them a toy that was kind of lame, but would keep me in my sister’s good graces? Obviously, I bought the most obnoxious toys I could find because winning the adoration of my nieces and nephew is of much greater importance than annoying their parents. Which is how it came to pass that on November 15, 2013, there were seven children between the ages of 2 and 9 in my house, as well as five adults and a fully decorated Christmas tree. Listen, if my kids, nieces, and nephew were going to have Christmas at MY house, I wanted them to be able to say years from now, “Remember the time we pretended it was Christmas in November and Rah-Rah put up the tree!” That night after all the kids were scrubbed clean and in fresh jammies, we had hot chocolate and popcorn and the kids watched a Christmas movie. Then we began the head scratching process of finding a spot for everyone to sleep. My house became an obstacle course of sleeping bodies—palettes covered every square inch of the floor. Getting seven children to go to bed on “Christmas Eve” was decidedly more difficult than getting three kids to go to bed, but eventually everyone passed out. My sister wrapped each child’s gift in butcher paper and duct tape— because it’s all I could find—and my sister-in-law used red and green Sharpies to make things a little more festive. The kids woke up early the next morning and patiently waited for everyone else to rise. We enjoyed a huge and indulgent breakfast before
14 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
the kids all tore into their single gift. Each child was overjoyed at the one gift they got. Not knowing exactly who purchased their gifts, they spent a good half hour thanking each other and the rest of the morning playing with their new toys and each other. They were content. Every year as Christmas approaches, I promise myself that I will keep things small. But every year, I have that last minute panic that I didn’t do enough—I didn’t get my kids enough stuff. Maybe they just need a few more things. But watching them this weekend I remembered, with a bit of shame, all the times my kids have opened a Christmas gift that they loved so much they stopped what they were doing to play with that one toy, and I had to make them stop to open the rest of their presents. How ridiculous it seemed to be saying in essence, “Stop marveling and enjoying what I just gave you so you can open more and have more! Don’t just sit there in appreciation of one thing! You need more things! Hurry! Open more!” I realized that my children were content, and that they only expect from the holidays what I have taught them to expect. Cousin Christmas reminded me that kids are smarter and more pure of heart than we sometimes give them credit for. All by themselves, they spent the weekend focused on family and enjoying each other. I’m holding tight to this lesson as we approach Christmas and trying to remember that sometimes, less really is more. Y Robin O’Bryant is mother to three daughters, wife to one husband, and The New York Times best-selling author of Ketchup Is A Vegetable And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves. She shares the drama and hilarity of motherhood in her syndicated family humor column, “Robin’s Chicks” and on her blog by the same name, robinschicks.com.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all of us at Dancing Divas and Dsquared HIGHLAND VILLAGE, JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI Dancing Divas 769.216.2070 Dsquared 601.398.4190 DOGWOOD FESTIVAL MARKET • Flowood, MS • 601.992.9885
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metrochristianliving.com ❘ DECEMBER 2013 15
➺let’s talk it over by ARIEL ANDERTON
The Reason for the Season of First Baptist Church Jackson
Christian Counseling for Individuals, Couples and Families ◆ Anxiety ◆ Marital Issues ◆ Pre-marital Counseling ◆ Divorce Recovery ◆ Family Issues ◆ Addictions ◆ Support Groups Evening appointments Fees based on family income
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“Affordable Maintenance Programs Available”
Dear Christmas Season, Hello again. It’s been many months since we’ve talked—though it seems like you get longer and longer every year. You’ve been around as long as I can remember, but I cannot really say we are dear friends. When I was little, I could not wait for you to come around again. I anticipated the surprise gifts I would get to unwrap because you were here. There were sweet things to eat at school, church, and home because of you—kind of like Halloween, but not as much candy. I got out of school and had less homework because of you. Sometimes you brought snow for me and I’d make igloos and have snowball fights (that’s when you and I were up north). After several years, I did not notice you quite as much. What I mean is that you did not excite me the same way. I had to start using my own money to buy stuff for people. I actually like giving gifts, but you made things so expensive for me! I hardly had anything left over by the time you were gone. As I got older, I noticed that I cared less and less about you. It seemed like you did not bring me anything anymore, but rather that you required more and more from me. Even if I did not have a job, you still asked me to travel to see my far-away relatives and make those expenses spike just for your request. And, you always expect me to give at least as much as the last time you were here. Lately, I have noticed I even dread it when I know you are coming—and I don’t want to be that way! I resent that you take from me more than give, and with heavy expectations that I will give even beyond what I have to offer. It’s never enough for you! I don’t think you care about me at all. Why is it that you’re only around once a year anyway? Where are you the other 300 days of the year? You don’t call me. You don’t write. I have a lot going on in my life even when you’re not here! Do you think I just sit around and wait for you? You might as well hear it from me. I’ve been hanging out with Jesus. Like a lot. He’s even written me love letters. It’s gotten pretty serious between us. Jesus is here all the time and he knows I don’t have what it takes to keep up with you or anyone else. He knows exactly what I need and just gives it to me! But he likes it even better when I ask Him for stuff. Can you believe Him? He surprises me with what I did not even know I wanted. I think He knows me better than I do! He’s so dreamy. I love that I can count on him 24/7. I hear you’re coming around again soon. Don’t bother trying to make this year up to me. You’re out of chances. Oh wait—you won’t. You never change. But I have. Thanks to Jesus, I’m not going to let you call the shots. He and I are going to enjoy our time together—now and always. Y Sincerely, Ariel
www.writteninstoneclean.com 16 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
Ariel Anderton, MT, MA, LPC, LMFT, is the child & adolescent therapist for Summit Counseling. She and her family have lived in the area since 2006.
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Bring Your Family to the Coolest Event in the South! or the 2013 holiday season, Baptist Health Systems and a team of area business supporters will magically transform Madison into a winter wonderland called Christmas on Ice. This family-friendly venue will be open from November 16, 2013 – January 5, 2014 for kids of all ages and will be located on the Baptist Madison Campus. Over 100,000 people are expected to attend during that time. The inaugural Christmas on Ice was a huge hit with Mississippians last year, and with a bigger ice rink, two ice slides, a taller Christmas tree, and a longer Christmas trail— it will offer even more holiday fun this year! The 14,400-square-foot Outdoor Ice Skating rink is twice the size of last year’s, and is open all holiday season with $15.00 day passes (include skate rental) available to allow you to skate any time that the rink is open and weather permits. The outdoor Ice Slide will reach 15 feet into the sky and allow you to slide for a fun, exciting 125 feet. The year will feature two ice
HOURS Sunday - Thursday: 1 P.M. – 9 P.M. Friday - Saturday: 10 A.M. – 11 P.M. See Website for Holiday Hours
DIRECTIONS • Traveling North or South on I-55 Take Exit 108 (Madison exit) • Travel West 2 blocks towards • Turn Left onto Highland Colony Pkwy. • Turn left again on Baptist Drive
slide lanes to cut the wait time in half. There will be more than 50 decorations with synchronized lighting that will perform to music each night. The focal point is the 40foot-tall Christmas tree. In addition, the Christmas Story Trail offers a quarter-mile long path lined with lights and decorations and a reading of the Christmas story from Luke 2. Christmas on Ice will be providing a FREE concert on the Trustmark main stage almost every single night (weather permitting) beginning at 6:30 P.M. For a listing of church and school performances, go to the Concerts tab on the website. The Pepsi Pavilion hosted over 375 birthday parties in 2012, along with several school field trips, corporate parties, and even a rehearsal dinner. For more information or to book a party, go to www.christmasonice.com. For an automated weather report, concert listings, or to leave a message for staff, call 601.500.5970. Y
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➺chewed petunias by SUSAN E. RICHARDSON
Puzzle Pieces and Red Wasps “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with everincreasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit,” (2 Corinthians 3:18).
ou may have seen writers compare life to a jigsaw puzzle. On the surface, the metaphor is apt. We often struggle with trying to figure out how events in
our lives go together, so the idea of putting our life together as we do a puzzle makes sense. Unfortunately, when you look deeper, the metaphor simply doesn’t work. The problem begins when you consider that, as Christians, God transforms us into Christ’s likeness. All of our puzzles have the same picture: Jesus. Yet we’re not all the same. We have different personalities and a variety of experiences shape us in unique ways. Still, the final outcome should be the same. While life may be puzzling at times, it’s not a puzzle. For a Christian, life is a photo mosaic in process, one of those pictures made up of hundreds of tiny little pictures. God takes those different individual pictures and forms them into a portrait of Christ. The Lord is not in the business of producing clones. He gave each of us individuality, and He prizes that. He wants us to remain the individuals He created us to be while we become like Him. We each become a completely individual mirror of Him. Making one of those mosaics must be quite a chore, but we don’t have that job. We simply need to take all of the individual bits of our lives, whether light or dark, and allow God to fit them together perfectly so they reflect Jesus. These parts do belong to us. God won’t rip them out of our hands and force them into place. He asks us to trust Him and give Him the pieces. Understanding what this looks like became easier thanks to my dog, Libby. As a puppy, she gave me lots of stories and God often used her actions as lessons for me. We adopted her in November, so she had to play in the cold when she wanted to go outside. That didn’t stop her enjoyment, which means I spent time bundled up out in the backyard with her. One afternoon I was watching her explore her still new world, when I realized she was contentedly chewing and tugging a St. Augustine runner with a cold, groggy, red wasp a half step behind her.
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I knew I had to get her before she could back up and step on it. At barely three pounds, an allergic reaction could easily kill her. The sting would hurt, regardless. I moved in to pick her up. Libby, seeing me move forward, began to back away, closer to the wasp. After some careful maneuvering, I caught her and she immediately squirmed in my arms to get down again. Fortunately my mother was nearby and helped deal with the wasp while I handled a protesting puppy. When I put Libby back down, she settled to something else quickly. At her age, she was quick to distract. Dragging a fallen limb across the ground for her to chase made her forget the grass she’d been playing with—and the fact that I’d taken her away from it. Libby had no idea her life could be in danger. All she knew was that I took her away from her fun. I may never know how many times God has taken me away from a potential danger over my protests. In the end, though, it’s a matter of faith and surrender. We must trust God whether He takes us away from something we were enjoying or with the dark pieces of our lives we don’t understand. Eventually we will see the truth of Scripture. “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known,” (1 Corinthians 13:12).
Lord, may we be as distractible as a puppy when You need to redirect us. Let us be content to turn from what we have to what You put before us. Help us let go of the pieces of our lives, so You may change them as You will. Help us trust that Your placement is perfect even when we can’t see the picture forming. Y (*To get started with the full chewed petunias story, please visit www.chewedpetunias.com. You’ll find the story plus other material that may help you along the way.)
Susan E. Richardson has a passion for meeting people’s needs through the written word. You can reach her by email at Susan@chewedpetunias.com or check either of her two websites: www.chewedpetunias.com or www.nextlevelcritiques.com
metrochristianliving.com â?˜ DECEMBER 2013 21
➺author profile MCL’s Book Editor Susan Richardson Releases Book hy do we send Christmas cards? Where did the Christmas tree get its start? Who started the Easter Bunny tradition? Why do we celebrate Christmas in December? Who started the National Day of Prayer? Have you ever wondered how all of our traditions really began? If mangers in ancient Bethlehem were actually in caves, why do we put our Nativity characters in a Stable? Susan Richardson has been our book reviewer since the beginning of my publishing career. She also writes our regular “Chewed Petunias” column, a place to glean scriptural encouragement in challenging moments. As a writer, a critic, a Christian and an experienced retailer, she is adept at all things literary. The recent re-release of her book Holidays & Holy Days: Exploring Secular and Sacred American Celebrations is a virtual encyclopedia of holiday traditions, their origins, and their meanings. This is a resource every family should own. Susan was glad to answer our questions about this special book.
MCL: Tell us a little about your background with books. From retail to writing, how did your expertise evolve?
SUSAN: I started by being a reader. When I was in college I felt the Lord calling me into ministry, but I never felt a typical call to seminary. The other piece was a sense of calling to children’s ministry, and I could see writing fitting in with that. After college, I began working on developing various ideas, looking toward publishing them, and came to the point I thought I was ready for the next step. To my surprise, the next step turned out to be a chance to work at Maranatha Christian Bookstore. I quickly learned that Christian retail is definitely a ministry and fit well with my calling. I was able to pursue the children’s aspect by working with some of the Christian schools in the area on book fairs. Though they worked with the general book fair companies, they didn’t provide Christian books and the librarians wanted to let children and parents know about some of the options available in the Christian market. Through all of my time in retail, I saw what I was doing as a ministry. Whether I was recommending children’s books and Bibles or talking to someone on the sales floor in a difficult place in life, I knew what I did there was a ministry. Over the years you begin to accumulate a lot of knowledge about what’s out there and what’s not. I never lost my love of reading, so I was still reading a lot in both fiction and nonfiction.
22 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
MCL: What prompted you to write this particular kind of book?
SUSAN: My ministry calling led me straight to this book. There’s nothing I’ve hated more over the years than having to tell a customer I didn’t know of something that would answer a question or help with an issue. My goal was to answer the various questions I’d been asked about holidays. I didn’t want to try to tell people what they should or shouldn’t do about celebrating them, but to find the best information possible and pull it together in one resource. Then individuals would have what they needed to make their own decisions. I didn’t want the book to be one season only. And as I was writing for the Christian market, I pondered what would make the book uniquely Christian. As a result, Holidays covers both secular and sacred days throughout the year. I included Clergy Appreciation Day with the market in mind, as well as other things throughout the book. I found the research on my section on “Christmas and Sunday School” fascinating and something you won’t find in most holiday resources.
MCL: You obviously did a huge amount of research! Where did you go to find so much information, and did you find conflicting history here and there?
SUSAN: The library is my friend! And has been all my life. As I put the basic information together, questions started coming up, which led me further. The Internet made more resources available than I would have had, though I was careful about pulling material off of any website. You can find someone who’ll say just about anything, and I wanted to be sure my material was from solid sources. Mainly I used it to hunt for books on topics I needed to know more about. I spent days reading the results of searching a combination of words in both current materials and stores that carried used and out of print books. Conflicting history is everywhere. Sometimes a book might choose the most likely option and not include other possibilities. What I tried to do was acknowledge all possibilities so the reader would understand the full scope of the question. In the end, yes or no answers exist for very few questions. History may give us similarities between customs but with hundreds of years or miles of space dividing them. Drawing a straight line from any earlier tradition to modern day customs is nearly impossible.
MCL: Where can readers find Holidays & Holy Days?
SUSAN: It is available through Amazon, and locally at Lifeway and Persnickety. It is also available for Kindle download.Y
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➺welcome home by MARILYN TINNIN
Fearless Entertaining—Fear Not! ANYONE can decorate with just ONE VASE! or some of us, the words “fearless” and “entertaining” would rarely belong in the same sentence. Catherine Strange of
Hattiesburg, professional speaker, author, wife, mother, Believer, and a “fearless entertainer” herself shares some tips with us this month from her book that should be required reading for every woman who wants to open her home to one friend or a few hundred! She says, “The Fearless Entertaining concept has always been based on eliminating fear in decorating and entertaining by adding fun and joy. Realizing that you have already won your guests over by extending an
invitation into your home is one of the first steps, but realizing that the Father has already given us everything we need to welcome others I’ve found is the most freeing. Whether within your home, within your yard or within YOU, God has already provided beautiful things for us to work with and to share with others. “The ONE VASE 52 different ways” book has turned out to be full of examples of just how easy and fun it can be to use all three. There is absolutely NOTHING COMPLICATED about this book. 1) Find or cut something beautiful, you love or find interesting, and place it in the vase. 2) Add water if needed. 3) ENJOY & SHARE!
“Once you begin to look around your home and yard with open eyes, mind and heart you will be amazed how simple it is to decorate and how much joy you receive by expressing and sharing with others. It’s Contagious!” Fearless Entertaining is available at Batte Furniture, Everyday Gardener, Inside Story, Interior Spaces, and Persnickety. For more information and more very practical ideas, visit www.fearlessentertaining.com! Y
VEGETABLES One trip to your local grocery store or produce stand and you have just about all you need for this one. Add a few cuttings from your yard and you are good!
CRANBERRIES & BIRCH BRANCHES
GREEN APPLES & ROSES Green apples, Fuji Mums, Berries, Hydrangea, Roses, Curly Willow Branch NOTE: Using any green flower or foliage will work. Accenting with the red is what you are going for!
24 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
• Simply place cranberries at base of cylinder vase. • Nestle branches down into the pile of cranberries. • Fill with water and watch the ring of cranberries rise. • Move branches back and forth to release any trapped cranberries. NOTE: The width of your cranberry “ring” is controlled by the amount of cranberries used. Where the ring falls is determined by how much water you use.
FAVORITE ORNAMENTS & BEADS Gather your favorite decorations to create a meaningful centerpiece. Create several with different themes.
Christmas Time! There’s excitement in the air! You can feel it everywhere! Christmas Time is FINALLY here... Filling our hearts with love and cheer! There’s expectation in their eyes– As kids look for Santa across the skies! It’s hard to describe the feeling of joy Found on the faces of each girl and boy! In the churches, the malls, or down the street... The children are telling everyone they meet, “Santa’s Coming!” they say with a grin! “Yes, Santa Claus is coming again!” “We’ve been ready for him for weeks, you see... With the decorations and our Christmas Tree! Soon, we’ll put out milk and cookies, too! I wonder what Santa will bring for you!?”
CANDY & CANDY Ideas of places to find your candy: Classic—Your local grocery store Novelty—Your local party store Vintage—Your local Cracker Barrel Bulk—Super stores on online at www.acandystore.com
ROSE & BIRCH • Place cranberries at bottom of vase and cover with water. • Place one Hydrangea cut short on top of berries. • Nestle birch branches and roses of various lengths in the berries. NOTE: This arrangement often lasts over two weeks.
But, when they awaken on Christmas morn– How many remember their Savior was born? As they take gifts from under the tree; Will they remember Calvary? Will they remember how He died on that Cross, To keep all people from being lost? Or, that He rose again the Third Day? He paid the price we could not pay! Because of Jesus, we won’t die in sin; And better yet, HE is coming again! He’ll take us to a far more wonderful place, Where we’ll see Him daily Face to Face! So, as you take gifts from under your tree– Remember God’s Gift to you and to me! The TRUE meaning of Christmas will be very clear! And, best of all; it will last all year! There’s excitement in the air! You can feel it everywhere! Christmas Time is ALWAYS here... Filling our hearts with love and cheer! There’s expectation in our eyes– As we look for JESUS across the Skies! In the churches, the malls or down the street... His children are telling everyone they meet, “JESUS is coming!!” they say with a grin! “Jesus Christ is coming again!” “I’ve been ready for Him a while, you see... I’d love to take you to Heaven with me!! Soon He’ll be here! You’ll know it, too!” I wonder if Jesus is coming for You?!” Merry CHRISTMAS and a Blessed 2014!
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metrochristianliving.com ❘ DECEMBER 2013 25
26 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
Ginnie Ingram A Faithful Legacy
innie Ingram spent 11 years teaching Anatomy and Physiology to hundreds of Jackson Academy high school students. They would
probably all agree she was one of the hardest teachers they ever had. They would also probably agree she was one of the very best, not just because she knew her subject, but because she had a unique way of motivating, encouraging, and stretching them to accomplish more than they dreamed they could. It is a tribute to her faithfulness to her students, and to her God, that so many went into the medical field and mention Ginnie when asked, “How did you choose medicine?” In addition to the 45 or so who chose to be physicians, there were even more who chose a health-related field like nursing, dentistry, or physical therapy. In one UMC Medical School freshman class in the early 2000s, 10 of the 100 students were “Mrs. Ingram alumni!” Dr. Philip Chustz, interventional cardiologist with Jackson Heart Clinic, is among them. He says he does not underestimate the impact she had in nurturing his decision to practice medicine. “I will forever smile as I remember Ms. Ingram’s animated lectures teaching difficult topics to high school students. But perhaps equally, if not more, I will remember her ability to intertwine her faith and example into her lessons.”
Those who know Ginnie best smile when they reiterate her outstanding personality traits. She loves people and she is completely selfless. Whether she is nursing, teaching, or being a wife, mother, or grandmother, she is totally engaged. Her love and her desire to help others succeed are genuine. But a love like the kind Ginnie displays for others would never have happened apart from a few upsidedown moments and the amazing grace of the Lord she loves.
Beginnings It was a warm June evening when 12-yearold Ginnie Walters of Laurinburg, North Carolina, was watching television, and a much younger Reverend Billy Graham was preaching. This little girl who had been in Sunday school her entire life, understood in a way she had not understood before that she needed a personal relationship with the Jesus that Dr. Graham knew. She prayed the prayer as the television panned the stadium to reveal streams of men, women, and children, coming down the aisles to pray that same prayer. Ginnie’s heart was forever changed. She had much to learn, many challenges ahead, but she had “sealed the deal,” and she never came to a point when that moment was any less real. When future crises or challenges came, and they did, she never doubted that her deliverance was anywhere apart from the God who won her heart on that summer evening.
There was an earlier “defining moment” in Ginnie’s life that would also become a big factor in her future. She suffered a serious bout with pneumonia when she was six years old. One particular nurse’s kind and capable demeanor so comforted Ginnie that she told her mother she had decided to become a nurse when she grew up. She never faltered in that decision. Although Ginnie was an only child, her mother was one of nine siblings, and that extended family unit of seven uncles and one aunt were an additional strong support system. Ginnie spent the majority of her childhood summers in East Tennessee visiting her “Aunt Girlie,” who was a schoolteacher. She took Ginnie under her wing and became a spiritual mentor. In between the delightful days and weeks of farm life, which included such novel chores as driving tractors and milking cows, “Aunt Girlie” managed to subtly communicate eternal truth in a way that whetted Ginnie’s appetite for more. By the time Ginnie was a high school senior, she was well grounded in her faith, firm in her commitment to go into nursing, and knew exactly what kind of man she would marry who would, of course, share her every value and live “happily ever after” according to plan.
The Plan in Real Time Ginnie met Glynn Ingram before she had even graduated from high school. He was a metrochristianliving.com ❘ DECEMBER 2013 27
student at North Carolina State when they found themselves working side by side over Christmas break at the Laurinburg Department Store. Every time there was a lull in customer traffic, Ginnie, Glynn, and his twin brother, Lynn, found reasons to swap stories. It was the next summer before Glynn and Ginnie had an official date, but four months after that first date, they were engaged. Glynn graduated with a degree in industrial engineering and took a job with General Telephone and Electronics in Durham, while Ginnie pursued her nursing degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She completed nursing school and worked first in the trauma unit at Duke University Hospital. The hours were long; the work was grueling, and when Ginnie became pregnant with her son Brad, her health began to suffer. Her obstetrician insisted she find an environment that was less stressful. She was offered a position in the intensive care unit of Durham County General Hospital. It would be a better situation for her pregnancy and for her family after the baby’s birth. Ginnie’s first teaching experience came while she was there. It was meant to be a temporary duty filling in
Ginnie is a very proud mom and mentor at the White Coat Ceremony in 2005. Her students from back left: William Payne, Chad Hosemann, Rob Marble, Calvin Thigpen, Vanessa Lackey, Brad Ingram. Front left to right: Ginnie, Margaret Edwards Wadsworth, Katie Taylor, Ginny Carroll.
for someone else who was on maternity leave. “I found out I loved teaching. My nursing students would come in to work with my patients and me, and I just loved teaching them about what to do and why you would do
it this way instead of another way. I love the human body. It’s a miracle and I love teaching about it.” Ginnie was soon offered that position permanently. It seemed like the best of both worlds. She was honing her nursing skills every day and training eager students to love nursing as much as she did.
Trials and Detours
Ginnie and her husband, Glynn.
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Grandchildren John Harmon, Caroline, and Parker.
Life did seem to be unfolding according to Ginnie’s plans and dreams. Her relationship with the Lord was strong, her marriage was good, and she was anticipating the birth of her baby boy. A few months before John Bradley Ingram’s arrival, Ginnie woke up in the middle of the night and had a heavy and foreboding sense of evil surrounding her and threatening harm to her baby. She immediately began to pray and to recount aloud the authority of Jesus Christ over demonic forces. You will never convince Ginnie that such a thing did not happen. She knows that it did, and she knows, too, that after what seemed an eternity that ominous spirit was replaced by the peace that only God can supply. A few weeks after that incident, Ginnie suffered a stroke, and her doctor advised that for her own wellbeing, they should deliver the baby early. She refused and did manage to
Ginnie and Glynn join in the antics with (left to right) daughter-in-law Maggie Parker Ingram, grandson Parker, son Dr. Brad Ingram, granddaughter Caroline, and daughter Amy.
carry the baby a few more weeks thinking his lungs needed to develop a little more. She was fully awake, took no anesthetic, and will never forget the anxious moments following delivery when there was no cry from her baby boy. She heard a voice from behind her head say, “Doctor, it’s been four minutes!” The voice came from a respiratory therapist who had worked with Ginnie in the intensive care unit and happened to be there simply because he was her friend. He knew exactly what to do and had the skills to do it in nanoseconds. Had he not been there—who knows? Coincidence? Ginnie’s story is too packed with such coincidences for her to be anything other than totally certain of God’s great faithfulness and abundant love and grace. Brad Ingram not only survived, but he excelled in all things academic. The thought registered with Ginnie many times how fortunate and miraculous it was that Brad seemed to have suffered no ill effects from
that shaky beginning. However, when he was 16 years old, while at school—the school where his mother was teaching—he had a serious seizure, and yes, it scared his parents to the moon and back. But even now, Ginnie tears up as she describes how God used that for good. Brad Ingram completed medical school (yes, he is one of those students his mother inspired to the medical field) and chose the rare specialty of pediatric epilepsy. His entire journey, like his mother’s, has been a study in Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you…plans for good and not for evil…” as well as a living testimony of the truth of Genesis 50:19. So often what seems to be Satan’s ploy for harm turns out to be
She did indeed have a heart for all of them—the A students as well as those who struggled. She cared, and her methods are worthy of mention for anyone who aspires to impact young people.
metrochristianliving.com ❘ DECEMBER 2013 29
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something God redeems as a positive. Ginnie and Glynn welcomed a daughter into their family just 17 months after Bradâ€™s arrival. Amy Elizabeth Ingram arrived without the drama that had characterized her brotherâ€™s birth. She was healthy, spirited, and strong willed from the get go. She made their family complete. Ginnie went back to nursing. She loved being a mother and she also loved taking care of her patients. Glynn was not as happy with his career. When a job opportunity presented itself in Memphis, Ginnie was completely on board with making the move. Things went awry almost immediately. Glynnâ€™s job did not turn out to be the panacea he had anticipated. In the meantime, Ginnie had enrolled at the University of Tennessee Center for Health Sciences. She completed her masterâ€™s degree, graduated number one in her class, and had a specialty in cardiac care. She immediately had a rush of attractive job offers. Their marriage took a hit of seismic proportions. Her career was on fast forward. His was on hold. They joined a church and they were active, but it was not a place where the Word of God was emphasized. Ginnie was starving for something more. Tensions were high in the Ingram home. Lots of arguing. Lots of temper. Lots of everything that nobody ever dreams will happen to them in the starry-eyed moment of newly married bliss. Ginnie could certainly not believe this was happening to her storybook marriage. She was on her way home from work one day when she heard a spot on the Christian radio station. Another local church, Second Presbyterian, was having a series of sermons on â€œThe Christian Family in Crisis.â€? That pretty well described where her family was at that moment. She decided then and there that come Sunday morning, she would be at Second Presbyterian with Brad and Amy in tow. She hoped Glynn would come, too, but things were so bad, she could not predict. Ginnie was certain of just one thing. The anger was so toxic. The issues had become so deep that Godâ€”and God aloneâ€”would have to put their marriage together again.
Restoration and Starting Over To Ginnieâ€™s surprise, Glynn, albeit reluctantly, came along with her and the
children that first Sunday morning, and then the next, and the next. It was clear there was something different and very lifegiving in the Sunday school classes, the worship services, the other young people they were thrown with. Gradually, God did put this little family back together. Ginnie, who had been adamant about finding a church that taught Scripture and believed it as truth, discovered that all the problems in their marriage were not Glynnâ€™s fault! A new humility replaced the blame game when they began to pray together. It was impossible to pray and be mad at the same time! The difference in their home was palpable. Their children were happier. There was laughter for the first time in a long time. Ginnie and Glynn were completely surrendered to putting the Lord at the center of their relationship and at the center of all they would do from that point on. â€œAnd we have been married 40 years now,â€? Ginnie says. â€œWe still pray together every morning. We pray with our kids. We pray with our grandkids.â€? If she had one nugget of advice to couples it would be to pray together. She cannot think of one aspect of the marriage relationship that does not grow stronger because of that willingness to be totally vulnerable with each other and with the Lord. Because Glynn had been unhappy with his job in Memphis, they began to look around for other opportunities. A fresh start brought them to Mobile Communications (later Skytel) in Jackson.
A New Niche Over the next few years, Ginnie taught in the nursing school at Mississippi College, spent a lot of time being a mom to Brad and Amy and a wife to Glynn, contracted and recovered from a debilitating case of EpsteinBarr Syndrome, and then stumbled upon a brand new career by accident. Confident that her stamina had returned, she was planning to return to nursing when she received a call from then Headmaster Peter Jernberg asking her to consider teaching Anatomy and Physiology. It was a last minute plea of sorts since school was about to start. Ginnie never dreamed she would absolutely fall in love with teaching high school students. However, her background in the medical field opened up a whole new concept in high school A&P. Her methods
gave new meaning to the words “hands-on experience!” She instituted the Medical Mentorship Program through the Jackson Academy PreMed Society. For every student with an “A” average at the end of the third nine-week session, Ginnie set up an all-day experience with a medical mentor in the field of their choice. Ginnie says, “Students got to see all types of medical procedures; one even rode with an ambulance on a Saturday night,” and she laughs, “That one probably took a year off my life!” Dr. Chad Hosemann of Capital Orthopaedic Clinic in Flowood was also one of those fortunate students. Ginnie arranged a day with Dr. Gene Barrett, longtime JA Team Physician and doctor at MS Sports Medicine. Dr. Hosemann says, “This early exposure to orthopaedics was a major factor in my decision to pursue a career in medicine and Orthopaedic Surgery.” Ginnie was constantly brainstorming creating teachable moments that inspired, as well as provided value beyond the classroom. She brought in speakers, including the Director of Admissions for the UMC Med School on several occasions. Another of Ginnie’s traditions was the ultimate field trip, a tour of various parts of the UMC Medical School. Part of the tour included viewing and holding a human brain and spinal cord!
The Legacy That Meant the Most Ginnie did have the great opportunity to teach outstanding students who went on to awards and accolades in their select specialties. But the most notable thing in Ginnie’s classroom career was Ginnie and the way she tuned in to every student. Dr. Hosemann says, “Mrs. Ingram had a true passion for teaching students about the miracle that is the inner workings of the human body. Through her subtle expressions of her Christian faith in the classroom, she had a unique way of helping her students understand that the human body was not just a random organism, but an incredible machine designed by God.” She did indeed have a heart for all of them—the “A” students as well as those who struggled. She cared, and her methods are worthy of mention for anyone who aspires to impact young people. One of her priorities had nothing
whatsoever to do with Anatomy and Physiology but it just demonstrates how Ginnie was invested in her students. She and Glynn went to every (as in E-V-E-R-Y) football (and almost every basketball and baseball game)—at home and away—for YEARS. They are, indeed, sports lovers, but it was more about encouraging her students than wanting to drive two or three hours to watch high school athletics. She sheepishly adds, “And I could yell my G-U-T-S out—and they loved it.” (As one who witnessed Ginnie’s enthusiasm, I agree. She was definitely a VOCAL fan!) “But I would write them notes and encourage them in every way I could,” she says. “And I would challenge them. I would encourage them. I would love on them, and I would look them in the eye and make them look me in the eye. When I saw them struggling, I would call them in and ask how I could help them.” And then, there was this final biggie. “I would pray for them. I don’t know that I prayed every day for them,” she modestly says, “But before every test, before every quiz I prayed for them. I prayed for total and complete recall so that they…I was praying for them as a teacher but then I prayed for them—because I really cared.”
A mind for tru. A heart for God.
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And What Next? Today Ginnie and Glynn enjoy a winding down season of life. Glynn is the chief information officer at Trustmark; Ginnie spends a lot of time being “Nanna” to three precious grandchildren; Caroline (8), Parker (6), and John Harmon (10 months). They also spend lots of time in Oxford where they plan to retire in a few years. Ginnie gives a lot of thought to her “legacy,” as she remembers those in her family—her mother, father, “Aunt Girlie,” and others who nurtured her faith. They, in their day-to-day lives, showed her that Jesus was real and gave her something that she, in turn, gave to countless students as well as her own children. She may be intentionally thinking more about her legacy these days, but she has spent decades creating one simply by serving her Lord with her whole heart in the very place He placed her. There are many who consider themselves blessed to be a part of that legacy.
• • • • • • • • • • • •
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➺food for thought
“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” – John 4:34
by LYDIA BOLEN
Edible Gifts to Shar e T he 2013 Christmas season has arrived!
Now is the time to plan fun gifts to share with friends, family, and teachers. I like to give much thought to my edible gifts each year. Make it easy on yourself by preparing many gifts at once. Time in and out of the kitchen is important with busy schedules. Hot Cocoa Mix in a jar is fun to make and fun to receive. Dress up the container to make a great Holiday gift everyone will enjoy. Chocolate Banana Bread is simply a delicious snack for all! Wrap each loaf in clear cellophane, and add a wired festive ribbon or raffia for a lovely presentation. Hidden Valley Ranch Oyster Crackers are a hit with any age group. Wrap the crackers in holiday gift bags. These can be served in holiday-themed bowls while your family gathers for tree trimming or Christmas Day. Shop early for clear jars, holiday tins, and festive ribbon for decorative presentations of your edible gifts! Merry Christmas! Y
HOT COCOA MIX 6 1/2 cups powdered milk 1 (5-ounce) package chocolate pudding mix (use regular, not instant) 1 cup powdered chocolate drink mix 1/2 cup powdered non-dairy creamer 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar 1/2 cup sifted unsweetened cocoa 2-4 cinnamon sticks (optional)
In a large bowl, combine powdered milk, chocolate pudding mix, chocolate drink mix, powdered creamer, confectioners’ sugar, and cocoa. Divide the mixture between two 1-quart clear jars. Seal, and decorate as desired. Cinnamon sticks can be added to the top for stirrers. This mixture can be stored in a dry area for up to 3 months.
Attach a tag with the following instructions: Dissolve 1/3 cup cocoa mix in 1 cup boiling water.
32 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA BREAD 6 2 2 1/2 3 2 2 1
ripe bananas cups granulated sugar eggs cup melted butter cups all-purpose or bread flour teaspoons baking soda teaspoons salt cup mini or regular chocolate chips (can add a little more if desired)
In a large bowl, mash bananas with a fork until large chunks disappear. Add other ingredients in order given, mixing until just blended. Do not over mix. Grease two 9x5 loaf pans or four small 6- inch loaf pans and coat generously with sugar. (For greasing pans, you can use Baker’s Joy, Pam, or butter by hand.) Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour. Loaves will freeze well. Divide recipe ingredients in half to prepare one loaf.
OYSTER CRACKERS 3/4 cup salad oil 1 package (1 ounce) Hidden Valley Ranch Original Salad Dressing and Seasoning Mix 1/2 teaspoon dill weed 1/4 teaspoon lemon pepper 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 12-16 ounces of plain oyster crackers
Whisk together the first five ingredients. Pour over crackers to coat. Place crackers on a baking sheet and bake at 275 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Makes 11-12 cups.
Remember to make memories through the kitchen— “the heartbeat of the home.” E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions.
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metrochristianliving.com ❘ DECEMBER 2013 33
➺pastor’s perspective by CHASE MAXEY
Christ in Me—What Difference Does It Make? If you ask any believer the true meaning of Christmas, the obvious answer is the birth of Jesus. But how does God entering the world as a man affect the way we celebrate this holiday season? All too often we struggle to understand how Jesus shapes the way we live life together, not just as an abstract idea, but also as a present reality. Please consider a “boots on the ground” God who has entered into this fallen world, shaping a grand story of redemption which you and I find ourselves in. He does this not merely by writing its content, but in fact entering into the story so that He might transform the way we live today. Many of us intellectually believe that Jesus is real, but it makes no difference in how we live or think about life. Does Jesus’ life change the way you treat people? Does his life redeem the way you work? It is often these simple questions that catch us off guard, so many of us slowly give up, disengaging our hearts from the meaning of Christ’s entrance into the world and looking to other things instead. Just think about how busy we get a Christmas time. There are so many gifts to buy, parties to attend, family to visit, cards to send out— but when do we stop and not only remember Jesus, but apply His life, death, resurrection, and ascension to our relationships? Make no mistake, our attention will be fixed on something this Christmas, and there are certainly a host of activities that will be vying not only our attention, but also our hearts.
Make no mistake; our attention will be fixed on something this Christmas, and there are certainly a host of activities that will be vying not only for our attention, but also our hearts. God’s Word grants keen insight into the radical transformation Jesus’ life on this earth has on ours. Scripture reminds us of whom Jesus is, calling us to reorient our thoughts to His Kingdom, a Kingdom of righteousness and peace. But peace does not come easily. In fact, this life is not easy. Actually, it’s quite difficult. We get hurt. We suffer. So we try to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and dust off. We try to forgive and then forget. But something isn’t right. Sticks and stones can break bones, but words actually hurt much worse. So we find that our kingdom lies to us. Fortunately, we are not called to live life on our own. You and I are created for much more than just being happy or just getting by alone. You were built for more than yourself. You and I are made in God’s image, and created to live with Him in a kingdom He designs. We are created for relationship with Him and each other. If it were only for this world, suffering would make no sense nor serve any good purpose. 34 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
He’s preparing us for more. He’s shaping us for eternity! Throughout history, God’s people have endured hardships and suffered through many trials. The Apostle Peter noted that these hardships are foundational to the Christian life (1 Pet. 4:12), so it should come as no surprise that we experience tribulation on this side of heaven. Make no mistake, Jesus does not like his people to be afflicted, he actually hates it. However, he knows it’s necessary as we grow in grace. Consider Peter’s edifying words, “And after you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you…Trials will show that your faith is genuine, so when your faith remains strong it will bring you much praise, glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.” In other words, we do not labor in vain. This truth is the ultimate encouragement for hurting people! It should also come as no surprise that Jesus deeply cares about the needs of His people. He cared enough to leave the heavenly realm, perched high on his throne, to descend to earth all the while knowing He was called to suffer through life and be nailed to a tree. Just think of the anxiety that Jesus felt as he prepared for this task. Have you ever sweated blood in your stress? It’s safe to say that Jesus did not want to feel the excruciating physical pain, and even more he did not want to bear the sins of the entire world separated from the Father, but He did it—out of selfless, sacrificial love for us. Are we living in His Kingdom and bearing one another’s burdens in love or existing for self-serving pleasures? With so many competing voices vying for our attention how do we choose God’s Kingdom above our own? How do you and I choose wisely? Consider this litmus test: How is your marriage? If you are not
married, how are your closest relationships? When asked the most important commands, Jesus replies, “Love God and love people.” In other words, show me your marriage and I will show you your theology. I spent three years at Westminster Theological Seminary, and one of the most influential questions I ever entertained was asked by a wise mentor, “What does your wife think about that?” This profoundly simple question pierced my heart because in my selfish focus, I hadn’t cared nor thought about what my ordained helpmate had to offer. How are we treating other people made in God’s image, especially our spouse? As a biblical counselor, I often receive calls with one spouse reporting bad behavior of the other. Usually, there are serious things to discuss—verbal abuse, sexual sins, etc.—but is the reporting spouse calling in regards to his or her kingdom or the Father’s? Is it about “fixing” his wife to operate according to his wishes or to honor Christ? The rich theological implications of God’s gift of marriage (Ephesians 5) help us to look to the Savior’s love for His bride, the church, causing our hearts to explode with joy as we move towards our spouse—even through sin and suffering. How does God love His church? I’ll give you a hint. By constantly caring for her even when she makes terrible mistakes. Both husbands and wives so often love each other if the other spouse tows the line. But we’re so quick to point out each other’s flaws. In God’s kingdom, He is always on the lookout for grace. Perhaps seeking to see the Holy Spirit moving in your spouse might offer a new perspective on things, rather than simply identifying his or her struggles. God’s Kingdom, by way of wisdom in the Holy Spirit, reorients our outlook to who He is and who we are in Christ. Understanding this allows us to care for others made in His image. We are dead people made alive in Christ. Remember that you are a child of the King, purchased through the work of Christ’s mighty work on the cross. We all have dirty, wretched sin in our lives. We have all fallen way short of His glory, but our brokenness is not meant to demoralize us, but rather to point us to our need for a loving Savior. There is no more condemnation because of Christ, and though we live life in a fallen world, He nevertheless remains constant in His affection for us. Being broken by our sin and crying out for help seems counterintuitive to the human experience, but it helps us understand Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 12:9) when he reminds us that it’s in our weakness that His strength is made perfect. It’s in our sufferings that we realize we need someone else. We need the Savior of the universe, and we need each other. It’s okay to need help. Needing help is to be truly human. So, how does God entering the world as a man affect the way we celebrate this holiday season? Remember the redemption of Jesus Christ as your gift this Christmas—an undeserved gift of life to hurting, broken people who were dead in transgressions. Allow the good news of Jesus Christ to set you free and reorient you to His Kingdom and bless you with the eternal gift of grace. The King of kings and Lord of lords makes the difference in our daily living this Christmas, it’s always been about Him. Y
The area’s most complete approach to Pain Management. Coming in 2013. Our new 17,000 sq. ft. facility will feature a
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Jackson, MS Ph: 601.949.9994
Kevin Vance,MD Chase Maxey is the founder and lead counselor at BCTM, (Biblical Counseling and Training Ministries.) He received his master’s degree in biblical counseling at Westminster Theological Seminary and trained for 3 years at CCEF (Christian Counseling and Educational Foundation) in Glenside, PA. Before founding this ministry, Mr. Maxey worked as a financial advisor for over a decade in the Jackson Metro area.
Board Certiﬁed: Pain Management and Anesthesiology
Fellowship: Interventional Pain Medicine, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center
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One of the area’s most sought after Massage Therapists will be heading up our exciting new spa concept.
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I Don’t Want to Lose
My Best Friend
Don’t let colon cancer keep you from your daily walks. Colon cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer deaths, but the doctors at GI Associates are fighting this deadly disease by performing screening colonoscopies for preventative healthcare. Our experienced gastroenterologists and support staff will see you through every step of this potentially life-saving procedure. Contact us for an appointment today.
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➺healthy living by LAURIE RYBA
Swe et Addiction Sugar has also proven to be a carcinogen. This means that it can promote the growth of cancer cells. All cells (including healthy cells) require sugar for energy. However, too much sugar, can cause an over production of insulin.
ave you ever decided to refrain from eating sweets and announced to the world your grand intentions? Six hours into your
new constitution, you and your massive headache make a mad dash to raid the vending machine! No, you are not weak, nor do you lack willpower! The problem is that sugar is highly addictive. The presence of sugar in the body causes many healthy conditions that make beating the powerful addiction much more difficult.
It is estimated that one-third of calories in the American diet come from sugar. The availability of high-glycemic, processed foods has increased sugar consumption over the past 300 years and has devastated the health of Americans.
♦ In 1700, the average person consumed about 4 pounds of sugar per year. ♦ In 1800, the average person consumed about 18 pounds of sugar per year. ♦ In 1900, individual consumption had risen to 90 pounds of sugar per year. ♦ In 2000, more than 50 percent of all Americans consume one-half pound of sugar PER DAY—translating to a whopping 180 pounds of sugar per year!
Well-known side effects of sugar consumption are hyperactivity, irritability, inability to concentrate, obesity, and cravings. However, there are many problems caused by sugar that are not so well known. High sugar consumption:
♦ Decreases immune function—which increases colds, flu, and infections. ♦ Decrease elasticity of the skin and promotes premature aging. ♦ Causes absorption issues in the gut, which promotes vitamin and mineral deficiency. ♦ Promotes dental disease, which can promote bacterial infections of the heart. ♦ Causes insulin resistance, which starts the cycle of metabolic syndrome that includes hypertension, obesity, infertility, diabetes, and high cholesterol. ♦ Increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and heart failure. ♦ Decreases growth hormone production, therefore causing a cascade of severe hormone imbalances. ♦ Specifically promotes belly fat and abdominal bloating. ♦ Has been linked to the development of psychiatric diseases. ♦ Promotes the development of cataracts. ♦ Increases the risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s. ♦ Causes constipation, which prevents the body from excreting toxins. ♦ Can permanently damage the pancreas, liver, and gallbladder. ♦ Can cause migraine headaches. ♦ Can decrease learning capacity and cause memory loss and ADHD.
38 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
Sugar has also proven to be a carcinogen. This means that it can promote the growth of cancer cells. All cells—including healthy cells— require sugar for energy. However, too much sugar can cause an overproduction of insulin. Insulin is a hormone made by the body that tells cells to grow. It can “rev up” cell growth. For healthy cells, this is a good thing. This is because the cells in your body grow, divide, die, and are replaced as part of the natural process of living. However, cancer cells are encouraged to overgrow when our bodies produce too much insulin. So while some insulin in the body is normal, excess insulin encourages cancer cells to take over. A 2008 study found that excess sugar consumption was linked to an increase in a condition called leptin resistance. Leptin is a hormone that signals us that we have had enough to eat. With high sugar intake, leptin simply does not work—leaving the person with no signal that the body has enough food to function. This, in turn, can lead to overconsumption of food and consequently, obesity. Recently, researchers at Yale University revealed that dramatic drops in blood sugar, which occur after eating sweets, affect the part of the brain that prevents impulsive behavior. This leads to a loss of self-control and a subsequent binging on unhealthy, high-calorie foods. We must be diligent in our quest for healthy, lower sugar foods. When reading food labels, the first clue that a product is high in sugar is if the word “sugar” is listed as the first ingredient.
However, many sugary foods don’t include “sugar” on the ingredient list. That’s because sugar is often disguised under different names. Here are some hidden “sugar” words to look out for: ♦ Fructose (natural sugar from fruits) ♦ Lactose (natural sugar from milk) ♦ Sucrose (made from fructose and glucose) ♦ Maltose (sugar made from grain) ♦ Glucose (simple sugar, product of photosynthesis) ♦ Dextrose (form of glucose) In our practice, we have found that many medical conditions drive different forms of sugar addiction. Please consider (1) whether chronic exhaustion is causing you to reach for the drinks filled with caffeine and sugar, (2) whether chronic stress is causing adrenal exhaustion, (3) whether cravings could be caused by imbalance in gut flora such as yeast/candida overgrowth, or (4) whether hypothyroidism, PMS, menopause, or low testosterone leaves you depressed and with uncontrollable cravings for sugar. Treat the underlying condition and free yourself from your sweet addiction. Y Laurie Ryba, MSN, CFNP, is with Enhanced Wellness of Oak Grove. For more information, visit www.enhancedwellnessog.com or call 601.264.7286.
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MARCIA G. HALE, Licensed Professional Counselor 7048 Old Canton Road, Suite 2008 • 601.398.5576
to help your child or adolescent manage the changes in their family during divorce. CALL FOR INFORMATION. metrochristianliving.com ❘ DECEMBER 2013 39
➺fresh finds Great Gift Ideas
1 | CHANDELIER LUXURY LINENS 601.898.2007 Chandelier Bonnie gray/pink bedroom slippers by Patricia Green Pom Pom throw Kim Seybert Christmas stocking
2 | O! HOW CUTE 601.825.5080 | 601.939.5082 O! How Cute Gift Market 2013 Handprint Edition! Large and small plate Long sleeve t-shirts Driftwood nativity ornament
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40 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
If I gave everything I have to the poor & even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t love others, I would have gained nothing. – 1 Corinthians 13:3
www.star93fm.com metrochristianliving.com ❘ DECEMBER 2013 41
➺sports victories by ROBERT WILSON
Jackson Prep’s Amanda Hatch Battles On and Off the Court ackson Prep girls basketball coach Amanda Hatch persevered through her parents’ divorce, losing her mother, and her grandmother all before she graduated from high school. So when doctors diagnosed her with cancer several months ago, it was just another hurdle in her life. “It is always scary when you hear the word ‘cancer’ but God is bigger than any obstacle we face and with His help we can overcame anything,” Hatch said. “I just had to relax and push through it and use it for His glory.” Hatch, in her fifth year as head coach at Prep, had a lingering cough, first diagnosed as bronchitis, then pneumonia, but after more tests, the doctors found a mass in her chest. Hatch was diagnosed with Stage 4 Bcell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. She told her team in mid-August. “When she told us we were in shock, but we knew if anyone could beat this it would Coach Hatch,” Prep senior guard Ann Hilton Buckner said. “With God’s help, she is going be fine. If Coach Hatch can go through this, we should do everything we can to practice and play hard for her. It motivates us.” Hatch grew up in Carthage and became a Christian and was baptized at First Baptist Church Carthage when she was 11. Ten months later, her mother, Linda Gulley, passed away from pancreatic cancer. “My mom and my aunt and uncle (Sylvia and George Moore) and my grandmother (Connie Moore) gave me a strong foundation growing up and helped me develop a strong faith,” Hatch said. “I am so thankful for them and their guidance.” Hatch, then Amanda Gulley, was a basketball star at Leake Academy, winning one state championship and one Overall championship in 1999. She went on to play at Mississippi College, being named a team captain and Most Versatile. Hatch was a graduate assistant at MC for one year, then an assistant at Clinton High School for two years before coming to Prep. Hatch teaches geometry as well as coaching basketball. “Amanda is a strong woman, that’s one of the many things I love about her,” said Clint Hatch, who has been married to Amanda for nine years. “Our faith (they are members of Pinelake Church in Brandon) has grown over the years. I know Amanda feels her latest hurdle will allow her to tell more people about God and she will have a greater testimony through this struggle. One example of her strength was after going
Finding the Right Fit for You
through an all day treatment of chemo, she coached at a junior high basketball game that night and you couldn’t tell a thing. She’s tough.” “When I first got the news of her condition, my first thought was, I know her faith will get her through this,” Prep athletic director Will Crosby said. “I have known Amanda long enough to know what her beliefs are and how strong she is in those beliefs. None is stronger than her belief and faith in our Savior Jesus Christ.” Hatch is taking chemo every three weeks and the doctors are seeing progress. She is also getting support from other schools, coaches, fans and players. Eight teams played in a jamboree called “Hoops for Hatch” and raised money through donations, T-shirts, baked goods and hair bows. “I was humbled by the suggestion of doing it,” Hatch said. “It was an amazing event.” “It has been inspirational to see not only the Prep family, but the MAIS community come together and rally for this cause,” Crosby said. “When Amanda beats this, it is going to be a great ending to a great story.” Amanda and Clint do not have any children, but are on the list to adopt a child from Honduras. “We felt God directing us to adopt and started the process in 2011,” Amanda said. “We were hoping to have a child by now, but God knows what He’s doing. I couldn’t have had a child with this going on. We’ve talked to the agency and they said once I get over this, we could adopt. The adoption will happen in God’s time, not ours.” Y Robert Wilson is Business Developer for BFAC. He is a freelance writer, author, and publisher. He is a member of Broadmoor Baptist Church. Contact him at Robert@bfac.com.
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Specializing in Medicare Supplements, Life & Health 42 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
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➺money matters by CLARK SMITH
Debt, Deficits, and Your Duty with that later in keeping the spirit with Washington regarding the deficit and debt? (That’s a touch of sarcasm. Have you considered your action plans should the dollar collapse or interest rates start to climb? Think everyone agreed to suspend the debt limit until February 7, 2014, through some scenarios and make plans now.) and restore funding to the sequestered budget levels through January 15. Below is the update for some figures from the debt clock So, come January/February timeframe early next year, these same issues (usdebtclock.org) website so you can watch the changes in debt will come up again. No political drama through the holidays? over time. Some of the figures vary from month-to-month What will we do? Recently I attended a workshop that was and may not make total sense—those variations, also attended by people from all parts of the world. however, tend to be relatively small. One gentleman who has lived in many different parts Part of the shutdown was Our national debt stands at $17.13 trillion. of the world postulated that perhaps Americans purportedly to help provide some That’s up from last month but you were probably would be better off studying the history of the focus of the size of the US debt. expecting that. The website puts the U.S. Roman Empire, rather than our own, to get a Today, our official government debt population now at 317 million within which 144 better understanding of what is happening in million are employed, and of those, 114.6 Washington these days. is now over $17 trillion and is going million pay income tax. Those 114 million What effects did the markets show for the up at a current rate of about a trillion taxpayers help support the group of 109 million “calamity” in D.C.? Long-term treasuries were dollars every year. It’s not the that includes retirees, the disabled, and those slightly lower at the end of the shutdown than Boomers who are on the hook for receiving food stamps. Most Christians already they were at the beginning, but the market and this growing debt—it’s the younger do a great job of helping others and perhaps our the dollar were higher. Actually, the S&P and the generations who will have to government is on an unsustainable path. If we all Dow Industrials indexes were in record high pay it off. looked for additional ways to help those less territory at the end of the month. That picture might fortunate we might be able to help our government have been different had the issues not been resolved move from the path that it is currently on. The path prior to a potential technical default but that was averted. certainly seems unsustainable to me. Y Part of the shutdown was purportedly to help provide some focus of the size of the U.S. debt. Today, our official government debt is “But whoever has the world’s goods, and beholds his brother in need now over $17 trillion and is going up at a current rate of about a trillion and closes his heart against him, how does the love of God abide in dollars every year. It’s not the Boomers who are on the hook for this him?” (John 3:17). growing debt—it’s the younger generations who will have to pay it off. “He who is generous will be blessed, For he gives some of his food to Stan Druckenmiller has been speaking at colleges recently explaining this the poor,” (Proverbs 22:9). point and he believes his young audiences are starting to get it. The same former hedge fund manager also said that the Fed tapering Clark Smith is a founding partner of Woodridge Capital Portfolio would have a big effect on the markets when it happens. He also went on Management and is the portfolio manager of Woodridge Equity to say that the next Fed chairman (or chairwoman) would have a major Partners, LP. He began his investment career at Dean Witter impact on the Quantitative Easing (QE) policy. Janet Yellen is Bernanke’s Reynolds in 1990. After working at Prudential Securities Clark was heir apparent and has a reputation as an extreme dove, so we may not a VP, Investments at UBS prior to the formation of WCPM. He see tapering happening anytime soon. Exchange rates and/or interest received n MBA/BBA from Mississippi State University and a CIMA rates may force the issue at some point but—how about if we just deal from Wharton. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
he country survived a two-week federal government shutdown in the first half of October. At the last minute,
44 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
Our cardiologists donâ€™t work on just any heart.
Your heart is our specialty.
metrochristianliving.com â?˜ DECEMBER 2013 45
➺legal advice by WILLIAM B. HOWELL
What Will Be Left After the Nursing Home? e are living longer. The Census Bureau indicated that there are well in excess of 53,000 people in the United States today who are over 100 years of age. That figure is up from about 37,000
centenarians in 1990. We are longer lived, but we are not always in good shape. Think of the number of people whom you know, some of whom are family members, who presently reside in either assisted living facilities or nursing homes.
Cost of Nursing Home Care These facilities, while a positive part of our modern world in assisting the elderly, are costly. Sizeable estates have melted away under the monthly expenditure of $6,000 to $8,000 (and going up) when a person is in a nursing home for a number of years (the average is about 3 years). Some try to keep their home at the same time; the cost of taxes, insurance and maintenance of the residence is in addition to the nursing home expense.
How is the Cost Paid? Many people will purchase a policy of long-term care insurance. However, there are a large number of persons who are either too old when they apply for long-term care insurance (the insurance companies have certain rules there), or they have a pre-existing medical condition that prevents them from qualifying for long-term care insurance, or they simply cannot afford the premiums.
Medicaid Assistance What can these people do? If they don’t have sufficient funds to cover several years of long-term care, then many people will spend what they have and then become eligible for the governmental assistance program known as Medicaid. Medicaid does, in fact, pay for a sizeable percentage of the long-term care in our state. Medicaid is a needs-driven program; that is, it is based upon a person’s need for financial assistance. It is not available to those who have assets above a certain amount. These figures are, frankly, not very high. The result is that many people seek to engage in what is known as “Medicaid planning.” This type planning is perfectly legal. It involves divestment of assets with an accompanying penalty period, as well as the use of special structures to have assets not count as disqualifying assets for Medicaid purposes. The objective is to not lose everything.
Medicaid Recovery Program Medicaid has the ability (and the responsibility) to seek to recover those funds that it paid out on behalf of the Medicaid recipient for nursing home care. Medicaid makes claims against the deceased recipient’s assets remaining at the time the person passes away. Most often the deceased Medicaid recipient’s residence is the asset Medicaid seeks to claim, since a recipient’s homestead is an exempt asset while the recipient is alive.
TAKE THE FIRST STEP TOWARD TRUE
PEACE OF MIND... OURS IS A LONG-TERM ARRANGEMENT WITH THOSE WE SERVE. MAKE THINGS SIMPLE FOR THOSE YOU LEAVE IN CHARGE MINIMIZE COSTS AND EXPENSES ELIMINATE UNNECESSARY DELAYS PROTECT THE PRIVACY OF THE INDIVIDUAL AND THEIR FAMILY THE LAW OFFICES OF
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PEACE OF MIND ESTATE PLANNING
46 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
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Some Exceptions to Recovery However, no claim is made against the residence if at the time of passing there is a spouse residing in the residence or a dependent child, or there is a child living in the residence that aided and assisted the Medicaid recipient from not going into the nursing home for a period of years prior to the eventual residency. Therefore, some planning may be put in place so that such an asset is out of the estate of the Medicaid recipient at their death.
Losing Medicaid Eligibility Even after a person has qualified for Medicaid assistance, they can lose that eligibility if they acquire assets in excess of the maximum amount allowed. Inheriting assets from a well-meaning relative can stop the beneficiary from receiving Medicaid benefits. Instead, the inheritance can be given directly to a special trust, which limits the Medicaid recipient to having sums from the trust spent only for non-support items that are not covered by Medicaid. These trusts must be carefully prepared by an attorney that is familiar with this area of the law. In all cases, this planning must be done in advance for persons who are, or may need to be, Medicaid recipients.
Help is Available Medicaid planning is both involved and complex. There are contradictions, some rules do not follow logic, and others are difficult to even ascertain. For these reasons and others, you would be well advised to seek the assistance of an experienced advisor in the event you, or someone you care about, need to do any sort of Medicaid planning. Y William B. Howell is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and practices law in Ridgeland.
Advertise with us Account Executives Kimberly Stephens and Suzanne Tanner PHONE 601.790.9076 EMAIL email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org metrochristianliving.com â?˜ DECEMBER 2013 47
➺rave reviews BOOK
The Women of Christmas
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Christmas can be a challenge for Christians. Between consumerism on one side and overfamiliarity on the other, we forget the real people whose lives and choices formed the story we know. If you share this struggle, consider letting Liz Curtis Higgs reintroduce you to The Women of Christmas: Elizabeth, Mary, and Anna. We begin with Elizabeth. Higgs’ thorough research and use of varied translations brings out nuances we may have missed. While barrenness causes women pain today, most people don’t look at inability to have children as evidence of hidden sin. Elizabeth spent her married life combating deep shame over being barren. Then there’s Mary. For centuries people have written about her, held her up as an example, and even worshipped her. Yet looking more closely at the Biblical text still offers fresh insight on a girl who devoted her entire being to God. Anna rounds out the group. Modern society may dismiss the elderly, but God does not. She shines as a godly example of a life well lived, continually looking up to God. The Nativity isn’t just a story, but history. We know the end of the story, but these three women lived it in real time, choosing to trust God. They are our sisters in faith, who made faith possible and lead the way for us to follow. The author makes them more real through The Women of Christmas. As Higgs says, “Your Savior and mine. All because one woman said yes to God.” Y Susan E. Richardson is a writer, critique reader, and former Christian retailer with a passion for meeting people’s needs through the written word. You can reach her through her website www.nextlevelcritiques.com.
events calendar December 10 The Holiday Hustle 5K at 6:30 p.m. in downtown Canton. Lights, Christmas trees, holiday music, and more. Family outing with a Reindeer Trot for children under 12 immediately following the 5k run/walk. Register at www.cantontourism.com.
FLOWOOD December 7 Flowood Library at 103 Winners Circle presents story time at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. followed by Cookies with Santa. Reservations required. 601.919.1911. December 12 Flowood Library at 103 Winners Circle at 6:00 p.m. Friends Open House features The Bells of Faith. December 14 Pounding the Pavement for a Cure second annual annual 5K, in memory of Doug Buchanan and Bob Crawford, and sponsored by the senior class of Jackson Prep. 7:30 a.m. at Liberty Park next to Flowood YMCA. Contact 601.214.7668 or www.ppc5k.com for more details. All proceeds go to UMMC for cancer research. December 21 Flowood Library presents a Christmas Cookie Contest & Swap with Mr. Jim Stewart (The Fat Cake Guy). 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. Age-specific categories invite participation from ages 5 – senior citizens! Call 601.919.1911 for more information. December 31 Riverside Independent Methodist Church at 1127 Luckney Road presents a Celebration Concert at 7:30 p.m. featuring The Cathedrals Quartet and Spoken 4 Quartet from Branson. Soup and cornbread dinner at 6:00 p.m. For details call Vicky at 601-919-8311.
JACKSON December 3, 2013 – January 5, 2014 MS Museum of Art shares a magnificent display of more than 150 authentic and scarce 18th century beloved religious figures including Mary, Joseph, and the Three Magi, along with numerous angels and townspeople. Sponsored by St. Dominic Health Services. Admission is free.
December 3 MS Museum of Art presents Music in the City and the Lighting of the Bethlehem Tree. 5:15 p.m. with a musical presentation by the St. Andrews Cathedral Parish Choir at 5:45 p.m. Sponsored by Wise Carter Child & Carraway, the event is free. December 3-20 A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens at New Stage Theatre. Sponsored by Trustmark and St. Dominic’s, this classic continues to delight adults and children alike. See www.newstagetheatre.com or call 601.948.3531 for times and tickets. December 4-6 & 11-12 Belhaven University Center for the Arts at 835 Riverside Drive with the Mississippi Puppetry Guild presents Ken Ludwig’s “Twas the Night Before Christmas.” This children’s theatre production will delight audiences of all ages older than three years. Tickets are $8. Call 601.977.9840 for your reservations or see our web site at www.mspuppetry.com.
December 6-8 The Chimneyville Crafts Festival begins with its annual Preview Party on Friday night. Over 150 members of the Craftsmen’s Guild of Mississippi showcase and sell their one-of-akind, handcrafted items at this spectacular event. MS Trade Mart on the fairgrounds property off High Street. See www.mscrafts.org or contact 601.856.7546 for details. December 6-7 Belhaven University’s Singing Christmas Tree, the first and oldest outdoor singing Christmas tree event in the country, and a community tradition! 7:30 p.m. at the Belhaven Bowl on Peachtree Street. December 7-8 MS Metropolitan Ballet presents The Nutcracker at Jackson Academy Performing Arts Center. Three performances. Tickets $18 and $22 available at www.msmetroballet.com.
December 13-15 Carols by Candlelight, First Baptist Church’s annual Christmas presentation. Tickets are required but are complimentary. Check www.firstbaptistjackson.org or 601.949.1900 for availability. December 14-15 Ballet Magnificat presents Snow Queen at Thalia Mara Hall. Tickets available at www.balletmagnificat.com or by calling 601.977.1001. Check website for times. December 21 Mississippi Children’s Museum presents The Santa Institute from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Leading experts from MCM will answer questions pertaining to the science behind Santa, his reindeer, and his helpers. Post your questions on www.facebook.com/ MississippiChildrensMuseum. A great family outing or field trip opportunity. www.mschildrensmuseum.com.
RIDGELAND December 3 Mayor’s Annual Prayer Breakfast 7 a.m. at Colonial Heights Baptist Church. Tickets, $10 per person. Call 601.991.9996 or visit www.ridgelandchamber.com to order tickets online. December 7 City of Ridgeland presents Christmas Carols for All to Hear. Annual Christmas Parade at 2 p.m. Call the Chamber at 601.853.2011 for details.
MADISON November 16-January 5 Christmas on Ice sponsored by Baptist Health Systems. Ice skating, concerts, party venue, daily events with live music. $15 daily pass. Open daily at 401 Baptist Drive. Daily times and schedule, visit www.christmasonice.com. Y metrochristianliving.com ❘ DECEMBER 2013 49
➺quips & quotes
Cut out the scriptures and quotes and place them around your home for daily encouragement!
Fear not, for I am with you, be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my victorious right hand
Two thousand years ago God’s hand opened once again. And into the still quiet of the night a baby was born in a stable. His cry pierced the night, and the world was never the same. Because once that baby was born, the Cross was inevitable. – Nancy Ortberg
– Isaiah 41:10
I am not alone at all, I thought. I was never alone at all. And that, of course, is the message of Christmas. We are never alone. Not when the night is darkest, the wind coldest, the word seemingly most indifferent. For this is still the time God chooses.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called, Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
– Taylor Caldwell
– Isaiah 9:6
And the angel said to them, “Fear not; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be to all people; for unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.”
You can’t allow the forces of political correction to shut you up. I mean, why are people afraid to say, “Merry Christmas?” Give me a break. If people don’t like it, yeah, they can go do something else. – Benjamin Carson
– Luke 2: 9-11
Let us remember that the Christmas heart is a giving heart, a wide-open heart that thinks of others first. The birth of the baby Jesus stands as the most significant event in all history, because it has meant the pouring into a sick world of the healing medicine of love which has transformed all manner of hearts for almost two thousand years...Underneath all the bulging bundles is this beating Christmas heart.” – George Matthew Adams
Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world—stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death—and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem nineteen hundred years ago is the image and brightness of the Eternal Love? Then you can keep Christmas. – Henry Van Dyke
ANIMAL & BIRD HOSPITAL 5208 North State Street • Jackson, MS 39206
Dr. Jeb Cade Dr. Adrian Whittington Dr. Jonathan Faulkner Dr. Melisa McLendon OFFICE HOURS: Monday-Friday: 7:30 am - 6:00 pm Saturday: 8:00 am - 12:00 pm Sunday: Boarding only 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm
601-982-8261 Boarding & Grooming Services Available
50 DECEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. – John 13:34-35
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WE ARE LOOKING FOR CHRISTIAN STUDENTS
WHO WALK IN FAITH, HONOR THE LORD, AND LEAD WITH INTEGRITY.
CHRISTIAN LEADERS OF THE FUTURE is an opportunity for high school seniors to share their story of faith and leadership and receive a scholarship toward their college tuition. Applications and instructions are available at www.metrochristianliving. com or through your school counselor. Visit Christian Leaders of the Future on Facebook for updates! Deadline for applications is December 6, 2013. SCAN THIS QR CODE OR TEXT CLF TO 601.990.4032 TO STAY INFORMED AND GET UPDATES!
APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY DECEMBER 6, 2013 For More Information contact: Metro Christian Living | 601-790-9076 or Marilyn@metrochristianliving.com
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Published on Dec 1, 2013