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Love from God and Love for People Top Valentine Date Spots

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+VUÂť[4PZZ;OLZL.YLH[,]LU[Z(UK=PZP[<Z-VY>VYZOPW6U:\UKH`Z =PILH[!HUK;YHKP[PVUZH[!Â&#x2039;:\UKH`4VYUPUN.YV\W30MLH[! 6000 Old Canton Road | Jackson, Mississippi 39211 | | 601-956-6974 2 FEBRUARY 2012 â?&#x2DC; Metro Christian Living

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W W W.T I N N I N I M P O R T S .C O M

contents FEBRUARY 2012 columns 11 The Way I See It First Love

15 Modern Motherhood Keeping Victoria’s Secret

17 Q & A John Rosemond

20 All In The Family Before You Criticize Your Spouse

22 Single Still, Single Again Guarding Our HEARTS

32 Salt & Light L. D. Jordan Faith and Business Week

34 Let’s Get Real Love from God and Love for People

36 HomeWorks Make Over Your Busy Life



38 Legal Advice 4 Reasons NOT to Give Away Your Home

The Gregg Harper’s

39 Let’s Talk It Over

Up Close and Personal


Living Love is a Choice

Top Valentine Date Spots

departments 29 Food For Thought A Great Supper

30 Fresh Finds


Gifts For Those You Love

40 Healthy Living Above All Else, Guard Your Heart

41 Christian Commerce Corner



Plato’s Closet

42 Money Matters The Straight Circle

44 Rave Reviews Books, Movies and Music

in every issue

20 What’s Coming Next Month?

8 45 46 46

Editor’s Letter Event Calendar Quips & Quotes Ad Directory

metro ®

Volume 6, Number 9 Publisher: MHS Publications, Inc., Member, M.I.P.A. Editor: Marilyn Tinnin Administrative Assistant: Carol Rodgers Art Direction/Graphic Design Sandra K. Goff Graphic Production Assistant Kate Thomas Sales Marilyn Tinnin, Shannon Collins Kimberly Stephens Contributing Writers: Betsy Bailey, Lydia Bolen, Shannon Collins, Dr. John L. Cox, Dr. Mike McMullan, Eat Jackson, Cathy Haynie, William Howell, Ron Mumbower, Robin O’Bryant, Janie Pillow, Susan E. Richardson, Kimberly Stephens, Martin E. Willoughby, Jr. Cover Photo Stegall Imagery Distribution Assistants: Laura Blackledge, Kim Roberts, Carol Rodgers, Andrea Sabillion, Rachel Schulte, Jerri Strickland, Priscilla Sullivan, Tim Waldon, Bob Whatley

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 life changing 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 2008 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, phone number 601-790-9076.

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6 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

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➺editor’s letter Love Has Many Faces But as it is written, “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him…”


the Father has ❝ As loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

– John 15:9

 8 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

thought this month’s letter was going to be a breeze, but it isn’t. When speakers or writers say, “Words are inadequate to express” this or that, it sounds rather trite, but I’m saying it today, and I’m feeling it very very deeply. Our February theme is always love—hearts, valentines, and of course the infinite and amazing love of our Father who is the very embodiment of love. Love has been much on my mind for several months now as our Single Still…Single Again columnist, my daughter Betsy, has been in planning mode for her wedding. She married her Prince Charming—Jason Bailey—on January 14. I spent a week in Birmingham doing whatever it is that mothers of the bride do. (Lots of “there-there’s” and lots of errands). Actually, it was a joyous celebration, a cherished time of bonding, mending, reminiscing, laughing, praying, and thanking God again and again for His faithfulness and His ability to work all things together for good in the lives of those who love Him. Watching Betsy and Jason take their vows, seeing the look on their faces, and knowing that both of them have walked through a few valleys— well, my heart was overflowing with gratitude, reflection, and wonder. It was impossible NOT to do a great deal of remembering…remembering the day she was born, remembering the milestones of her life complete with the ups, downs, tears and laughter that go along with any life journey. Looking back today, it seems that we got to this moment so very quickly, but I do remember more than one occasion when I wondered if we would ever get past a specific bump in the road. I thought of Jeremiah 29:11—the promise of God’s plans for a future and a hope and of times when there did not seem to be much future and hope on the horizon. God always makes good on His promises. He just has His own time table. I thought of Psalm 23, of how absolutely clear it is to me that God does indeed “restore our souls.” Words to favorite hymns and countless favorite scriptures danced through my mind that entire week. There was a fresh sense of God’s tender and personal provision that washed over me. As each bridesmaid came down the aisle, my mind played vivid movies of the part each one had played in Betsy’s life. Those friendships are pure gold. I cannot wrap my brain around the astounding truth that the great God of creation is present in the lives of His people, and in infinite ways allows them to experience the precious gift of love—with all of its faces and in all of its forms through years and relationships despite the flaws that plague our humanity. God is so good. Who could experience love and not appreciate how very good and gracious He is. I can’t wait to know what you think about this month’s issue. We have looked at love from just about every possible angle! Do not miss Janie Pillow’s “Let’s Get Real.” She has given us a thought provoking article on true love in a culture of a cheap imitation. True love is the love we receive from the Father who is love and by His grace we are empowered to share that love with others. Anyone who finds human relationships difficult will gain a wealth of insight here. If you are a regular reader, you may wonder if your mind is playing tricks when you discover a few “repeats” from years past. Seven years ago Dr. John Cox wrote a timeless and relevant article on criticizing your spouse…or how NOT to criticize, I should say. As usual, you will chuckle in between the paragraphs where he steps all over your toes. Several of you have asked me if Betsy is going to write again. We are working on something, but we thought it would be fun to run a “before” article as well as a few “after” wedding pictures. I certainly feel—and so does Betsy—that many of you have been cheering for her through her single journey these past several years. Gregg and Sidney Harper are as real as people come. Transparent is the word that comes to mind about our interview. There is nothing political in this up close and personal glimpse into their family life. What you see is what you get with the Harper’s. Theirs is a close-knit family who lives their faith and who have not let politics change that dynamic. Eat Jackson has graciously put together a Valentine’s Date Night Suggestion list for you. Our Fresh Finds are original and…FRESH! Rave Reviews, Modern Motherhood, and Lydia’s recipes…there is a lot to take in. Enjoy! I wish you Love…God’s love and lots of it! Y Marilyn H. Tinnin, Publisher and Editor


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the way i see it

First Love

My wife Nicki is a big Florida State Seminole fan. As an FSU graduate, Nicki always roots heavily against FSU’s archrival Florida Gators. So I have been surprised that she is a HUGE fan of former Gator Tim Tebow. Now she is not Tebowing around the house, but she has read his book and is glued to the television when the Denver Broncos are playing. As I write this article, she is getting fired up for his next playoff appearance. All of this Tebow talk has led me to think about his life and the impact that he is having. My observation is that he is a Christian that happens to be a very good football player rather than a football player that happens to be a Christian. This is perhaps a subtle distinction, but I think it has large implications. This line of thought has led me to ask a similar question in my own life. “Am I a business advisor who is a Christian, or a Christian who is a business advisor?” This same question could be asked about any of our roles in life such as husband, father, etc. In the Deep South, it is easy for “being a Christian” to be just one of the ways we define who we are like someone saying, “I am an Ole Miss graduate.” As followers of the way of Jesus, we are called to be Christians first and all other roles second. In Luke 14:26, it is written that Jesus said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life— such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” These words can seem harsh, but they clearly show where our first love should be. I struggle with this and want to put other things in my life first. A friend and business

colleague has to remind me from time to time the well-known verse in Matthew 6:33, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” Even good things like our spouse and children have to come secondary to our love for Christ. When Christ summed up the greatest commandment in the law, he said that we are to love God and love our neighbors—in that order. I believe this is because that unless we have that type of relationship with God, then it is impossible to truly love our “neighbor.” I also believe that our hearts are “idol factories” and that we are drawn to worshiping many other things besides God. You never really know another person’s true heart, but it certainly appears that Tebow’s first love is his relationship with Christ. He seems to have a good perspective that his football career will come and go, but that his relationship with Christ is for eternity. I am encouraged by that example, and I hope to frame my life as a Christian first, and all other roles second. When you stop and think about Christ humbling himself to be here with us and then dying a brutal death for our sins, it is easy to see why he is worthy of our first love. We all search for the need for significance and impact in our life. By making Christ our first love then we have the ability to truly make a difference by being vessels of his love in a world in desperate need. Y 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 Madison. ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 11

is to partner with Christian parents in teaching, training, and equipping their children academically and spiritually so they will be able to love the Lord, to think biblically, and to glorify God in every area of life.

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modern motherhood by ROBIN O’BRYANT

Keeping Victoria’s Secret

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eing romantic once you have children can be nearly impossible. Going on a


date with your spouse can require so much preparation that, at times, it may seem easier to stay at home in your sweatpants and eat frozen pizza. But if you like your spouse you need time away from the kids to unwind and relax. I’ve found two sure-fire ways to keep the home fires burning: date night and lingerie. Date night can be a big huge pain, because it requires so much planning. You must find a babysitter, who is hopefully a responsible(ish) adult, and explain every nuance, grunt your children may exhibit during your absence. You have to explain how to make bottles the way the baby wants it, how much toothpaste your fiveyear-old prefers versus how much your threeyear-old prefers. You must explain how to operate your TV, VCR, DVD player and your microwave. This requires at least a 30-minute monologue which your babysitter will endure with her eyes glazed over just praying you will stop talking. My husband, Zeb, and I have always been pretty good about having a regular date night. What we aren’t so great about is leaving our parenting personas at home. With three children born in four years, it’s hard to find time to discuss parenting differences and to fight about the important things that really make a marriage tick: like which direction toilet paper should be hung (with the roll facing forward) and who took the trash out last (probably him.) Dinners at a nice restaurants led to heated arguments over appetizers and salads. By the time our entrees arrived we would be friendly and smiling again and by the time we ordered dessert I was beginning to remember why I loved him so much. Then the check would come and we would go home to face another three weeks of parenting boot camp before repeating the process all over again. Zeb’s solution to this was that we should get a babysitter on Friday nights, go to Taco Bell and for less than $20 we could fight like a couple of rednecks over bean burritos and fountain Mountain Dew. Then on Saturday, he proposed, we could go on a nice date where we could actually enjoy spending time together without scaring the wait staff. Your other option if you need alone time with your spouse and date night just seems too complicated, is to buy new lingerie. But here’s my very best piece of advice concerning your

skivvies: hide them from your children. Last week I was doing laundry and I left some of my lingerie (think several steps up from a basic maw-maw nightgown and several steps down from Frederick’s of Hollywood) to lie flat on the counter to dry. Aubrey, my five-year-old, walked into the laundry and immediately picked it up. “Momma! What is this? Is it your babing suit?” “No, honey. It’s my underwear.” “Well, I want to see you try it on, it looks so fancy!” I was not about to have a Victoria’s Secret fashion show for my kindergartener so I said the very first excuse that entered my mind. “No, it’s still wet. It needs to dry.” Aubrey got a mischievous look on her face, waggled her eyebrows at me and asked, “Want me to hang it up outside for you?” “NO! I don’t!” I screeched snatching my unmentionables from her hands. I realize my middle name is “Overshare” but I’m not quite ready for all of my business to be wafting in the Mississippi breeze. Y Robin O’Bryant is mother to three daughters, wife to one husband, and debut author of “Ketchup Is A Vegetable And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves,” released November 2011. 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. (

Happy Valentine’s Day from

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Faith & Business Luncheon h Thursday, February 23, 2012 at 11:00 am Presented by the Mississippi College School of Business Anderson Hall, Mississippi College Clinton, Mississippi 39058

h Tickets are $25 and include lunch. RSVP requested and recommended to or to 601-925-3421 The Faith & Business Luncheon is the highlight of the L. D. Jordan Faith and Business Week at the MC School of Business—a week-long focus on faith and career. Keynote at 11:00 am, followed by panel discussion and lunch at noon

Keynote Speaker: Michael Ducker FedEx Express, Chief Operating Officer, Executive Vice President and President, International

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Q &A


A Conversation with

John Rosemond John Rosemond is a nationally syndicated columnist who is in 225 daily newspapers. He is known around the country as a parenting expert. He is an author of 14 bestselling parenting books. The exciting news is that he is coming to Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson on Sunday, February 26th. The seminar he will be leading in the sanctuary that day is entitled, “Effective Parenting & Discipline.” There will be a session from 1:30–3:00pm and another session from 3:30–5:00pm. The target audience is for parents with children of all ages. John has been in the field of child and family mental health since 1972. He is a licensed psychologist and has worked in community and private settings throughout the years. Since 1990, his career has exclusively consisted of writing and public speaking in the field of parenting. What point do you hope to stress in this seminar on the 26th? Another name for this seminar is “Parenting with Love and Leadership.” I really want to stress that parenting is a leadership function. I also want to help parents to understand how identifying some simple and finite characteristics of leadership can benefit their parenting. I want parents to learn how to effectively discipline children without just relying on consequences.


How would you describe yourself in the field of parenting? I am a born again evangelical Christian who believes that God has given us a clear set of instructions in properly raising His children, and we should follow His instructions.


What do you think is the greatest threat to the family today? I believe it is socialism. Karl Marx said, “Socialism cannot be successful in a country where family loyalty trumps loyalty to state.” The objective of socialism is to break the bond of loyalty between parent and child. I believe that is reflected in the United Nations Convention regarding the rights of the child.


For what do you get the most criticism in your work? Some people think I am overly dogmatic, rigid, and inflexible. Most of the time those people have just superficial exposure to my methods. I believe when people dig down into my work and my methods they find that I am


really not inflexible or dogmatic at all. For example, many today believe in giving children more freedom and assume that I would disagree with that concept. Contrary to what some might believe, I agree that today’s children don’t have enough freedom. Consequently, the reality of children not having enough freedom many times leads to rebellion. What do you want to be known for in your field today and the days to come? I want to be a paradigm changer. I want to be a champion for traditional Biblical-based parenting. There are a growing number of professionals who share my point of view; however, there are not a lot of people who are prominent in the field of parenting who share my point of view. You could probably count them on one hand.


What motivates you to continue your work year after year? Knowing that I am making a positive difference is key to my motivation. Also, knowing and hearing that people are grateful for what I do keeps me going too. Y


The “Effective Parenting & Discipline” seminar is Sunday, February 26th from 1:30-3:00pm and 3:305:00pm in the sanctuary at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson. Ticket prices are $15 per person for one session and $25 per person for both sessions. For tickets, call 601-914-7130 or visit our website at ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 17

TOP Apple Crumb Bread Pudding, Nick’s Restaurant





ach year around this time, men everywhere have the same thought: “I hope I don’t mess this up.” Sure, we line up a sitter for the kids and buy flowers, but what we really need to do is pamper her and make sure she feels really special. If you’re aiming for a really special experience this Valentine’s Day, may I recommend some great Jackson area restaurants where I think you’ll accomplish your goal?

Fresh Maine Lobster Cake, Nick’s Restaurant

NICK’S Restaurant Make a reservation and ask for one of their booths. Order the tasting menu for each of you paired with the wine flight. Trust me. Nothing on this menu—no matter how picky the eater—will disappoint. Also, for Valentine’s Day, Nick’s is featuring a Fresh Maine Lobster Cake with tarragon aioli and baby arugula. The Valentine’s Day special is a shellfish trip to heaven with delicate flavors all worked into something you’ll find succulent and memorable. Wrap the night up with one of their mouthwatering desserts, like this Apple Crumble Bread Pudding. Proprietor Nick Apostle is the Godfather of Jackson Restaurateurs, and in their Fondren location, you’ll find nothing but the best. My wife and I recently enjoyed our most memorable date in the past year at Nick’s Restaurant. That’s high praise in our line of work—so go try them out!

Crab-Crusted Fish of the Day, Bravo Cappuccino Brownies, Bravo 18 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

BRAVO! Italian Restaurant & Bar BRAVO! is one of my all time favorites because they have a secret winner in their amazing filet mignon—one of the best in Jackson. Pair that with rich pasta dishes and the Crab-Crusted Fish of the Day, and you’re sure to delight the lady in your life. I recommend you request a table near Bravo’s open kitchen and enjoy watching the food come out before you make your final selection. Honestly, we usually see something delectable hit a nearby table and end up trying it ourselves. BRAVO!’s atmosphere is top notch for a romantic evening, and if the evening is mild, you may even be lucky enough to grab an outside table “under the stars” in the solarium of Highland Village. Table 100 Table 100 only recently arrived on Jackson’s culinary scene—but what a red carpet arrival it has been! Located in Flowood off of Lakeland Drive on the northeast corner of the Dogwood shopping area, this casual restaurant will serve up a sensational experience reminiscent of turn-ofthe-century New Orleans with their piano bar, craft cocktails, and euroamerican bistro fare. Chef Mike Roemhild and company provide a delectable lineup of menu options full of locally sourced products and house made just about everything. If I had to choose, I would recommend starting with Table 100’s Shrimp & Grits appetizer. Why? Because it has another ingredient that I love: bacon. Think hearty applewood smoked bacon hugging

Yuzu Cheesecake with fresh berries, Table 100

Shrimp & Grits Appetizer, Table 100

established staple located on Capitol Street in Downtown Jackson. If you want to give it a try, make your reservations tender gulf shrimp and laid gently the second you read this, because on a Delta Grind grit cake. It’s a they fill up quickly on weekends and smoky, romantic start to an special nights. amazing night. Nothing is off limits for these fine Follow that trick by culinary artists as Chefs Ryan Bell recommending the Pan Seared and Jesse Houston continue the Redfish served with potato wedges tradition of taking old favorites and and market fresh veggies to your pushing the limits of creativity with date. She’ll love this take on fresh each dish. Parlor Market features an fish. And for you, go all in with your Oyster Bar—just the thing to kick off manhood on the Black Angus Bone- your romantic evening. Grilled and In Ribeye. If you order this fresh oysters are always a favorite, exceptional piece of beef well-done, but for something more substantial, you’ll look like a rookie (to put it order from their seasonal menus, a mildly), so order this gem rare to regularly changing feast. Parlor mid-rare to enjoy the most flavor Market’s fresh wild game specials from this pick. always impress me. Wrap this date up in success Before you call it quits, share when you linger over a shared slice Parlor Market’s most popular of the uber moist Yuzu Cheesecake dessert, called “A Walk Down with fresh berries. Decadence and Memory Lane.” This dessert’s so much more. It’s that good. presentation alone is worth every penny. The dessert is served in a Parlor Market fantastic vintage lunchbox stocked It’s hard to find a more intimate full of house made push pops, spot with a more inviting feel than moon pies and other reinventions Parlor Market, the recently of sweet memories.

Fresh Wild Game Special of the day, Parlor Market

Viking Cooking School Yes, that’s right, cooking school. Don’t be intimidated by this! Viking Cooking School has a schedule packed with romantic date nights leading up to Valentine’s Day. Pick a night; go learn how to make something succulent on your own. My wife and I enjoyed laughing, learning and tasting our very first effort at cooking scallops, crepes and much more when we had a Viking Cooking School date night— a memory we recommend to our friends regularly. These classes are wonderful because they’re geared to be equally enjoyable and educational whether you (or your date) are a seasoned pro or a complete cooking novice. Trust me on this; it may be the sleeper pick of the list! Photo courtesty of Viking. Where will I be on Valentine’s Day? It’s hard to choose with such an outstanding culinary scene here in Jackson. But I’m sure even Eat Jackson will find a way to wow the love of my life on the most romantic day of the year—and I guarantee you it will include amazing food. It’s hard to mess that up in this town. So get out there and eat your way into her heart this Valentine’s Day. Y Eat Jackson shares the local flavors, people and places that are transforming the Jackson Metro area into a culinary destination. Eat Jackson is creator of Jackson Restaurant Week, held twice annually, as well as nearly a half dozen other local food event experiences. Eating good local food is at the center of it all:

A Walk Down Memory Lane, Parlor Market

Raspberry Tart, photo courtesy of Viking Cooking School

MCL Editor’s Pick AJ’s has been a metro favorite since it opened its first location on County Line in 1999. With only two tables, there was always a long line. But the wait was worth it for the freshest seafood around. Recently re-located to 223 Ridgeway in Flowood (at Dogwood in the former Oby’s building), you will find the same delicious oysters, redfish, shrimp and crabmeat dishes and the best 100% Black Angus beef steaks around. I recommend the flash fried Calamari as an appetizer. Their salad dressings are all made in house, so you can’t go wrong whether you choose Comeback, Creamy Feta, Vinaigrette or traditional Caesar. Choose any one of several ways to have your redfish prepared or go with Lucy’s Filet Special if you want your beef topped with crabmeat in a white wine cream sauce. For Valentine’s, you can make a Valentine’s memory enjoying the complementary photo booth just for fun! ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 19

➺all in the family by DR JOHN L. COX

Before you CRITICIZE your Spouse... Be Sure to WALK a Mile in Their Shoes That Way,When You Criticize Them,You are a Mile Away from Them...and You Have Their Shoes ell, it’s February. Which means that we will soon have to do Valentine’s Day again. (Did


I say that? I meant, “We GET to express our undying love again this year at Valentine’s”) Valentine’s Day is a traditional occasion to express romantic love with hearts, flowers and those chalky little candy hearts that say things like “HOT STUFF” and “B MINE” on them. And since I have one wife and three daughters, Valentine’s Day for me is akin to tax season in the amount of preparation that is required to meet the “filing” deadline. But in addition to being an obvious Romantic in the art of expressing Valentine’s love, I am also a psychologist who does a significant amount of marital therapy down at the office. Consequently I get lots of opportunities to look behind the scenes at love (or the lack thereof) and see how it really works. So this year, in addition to the Mylar balloons, the little white stuffed teddy bear with a red heart on his stomach, and the long line at

20 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

Amerigo…let’s look at how to REALLY show love to your spouse. There are a hundred ways of course (let me count the ways), but a very simple and yet profoundly kind way to show love…is simply learning to UNDERSTAND. Ever wonder why the most simple of marital squabbles can turn into Iwo Jima? You start out discussing things like car insurance and two hours later someone is crying and saying things like “Well, maybe we should just split up.” Why does this stuff happen? Well think about the kinds of things that get said: “You are putting words in my mouth” “That’s not what I meant at all.” “You just don’t understand.” Most spats get out of hand because we don’t feel UNDERSTOOD. And when humans don’t feel understood, they get angry, defensive and proceed to fight fight fight UNTIL they are understood (or they just give up and go cut on the TV). The really dumb thing about this is that now the focus of the fight is about trying to make the other person understand me. So guess what is NOT getting addressed at all. THE ORIGINAL PROBLEM! Mr. Car Insurance Problem is all lonely over there…no one is even talking about him anymore. So marriages hurt each other…and never even solve the problem…and we all do this! (Do I have job security or what!?) Step one in solving the problem is to address the issue of UNDERSTANDING first. Before this conflict is ever going to get

resolved, each person is going to have to feel (whether you AGREE or not) that you at least understand where they are coming from…that it has some VALIDITY. “Validation” is a real psychobabble word, but it is a pretty good one. It means that you hear someone’s point and recognize some “validity” to it…even if you disagree. You know how it makes you mad when someone cuts you off on the interstate? You are muttering all sorts of derision on them and their vanity plate when they look in their rearview mirror and sort of sheepishly wave. All of a sudden you feel better. They KNOW they’re an idiot!. Why in the world does this help? Because they are acknowledging that they did something that felt bad to you. Yall’s relationship is all better now; you have been understood. See how easy it is? Buying a Whitman’s Sampler requires more effort. When you and your spouse realize that you have hit one of your hot buttons…(And they are not hard to recognize. They are the same ones you’ve had since college)…put SOLVING the problem on hold for a while and just work to show each other that you UNDERSTAND one another’s position. Imagine you are they and let yourself see their point from their perspective…and then tell them about it. “So when I’m late from work it feels to YOU like I don’t care how hard you’ve worked on supper.” Right or wrong her point means a lot to her. (Now, you and I know that your lateness doesn’t mean all that, but if you don’t show her you understand that she FEELS that way, she will drop you like third period French.) Now it is your turn. Can she understand that from YOUR perspective, you don’t mean anything personal by being late? You just got caught up in things downtown. And she may disagree, but she needs to communicate to you that at least she SEES that, in your shoes, you don’t mean all that nasty stuff. You will be amazed at how feeling understood will reduce the

You will be amazed at how feeling understood will reduce the volatility of your disagreements and therefore enable you to actually work together to find a mutually satisfactory solution to the original problem.

volatility of your disagreements, and therefore enable you to actually work together to find a mutually satisfactory SOLUTION to the original problem. And we DO need to find a win/win solution. Emotional understanding is where we start, not where we end. Like the old joke: A wife tells her husband that women need men to stop rushing to fix all of their problems. She needs him to be emotionally sensitive to how her problems FEEL. The next morning she notices her car has a flat, tells her husband about it and he says, “Gee honey, I know that that must feel so bad,” and then he leaves for work. We do need to solve problem too. (that’s for another article) But addressing the issue of feeling understood removes a huge obstacle to making problem solving easier. Y Dr John L. Cox is a clinical psychologist in practice here in Jackson. He works with adults, marriages and children. You can contact him at 601-352-7398. Visit the webpage for Dr. Cox’s upcoming book at ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 21

➺single still, single again by BETSY BAILEY (FROM OUR 2008 FEBRUARY ISSUE)

For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife and they will become one flesh. – Genesis 2:24


Guarding Our It’s almost Valentine’s Day.

You can’t miss all the heart paraphernalia flooding the aisles of every store. Besides the fact it is my mom’s birthday, (she is not excited about it) I’m not a big fan of this day. (And NO—not just because I am single. LOL) Why designate just one day out of the year to eat heart shaped chocolates, send mushy greeting cards, roses, and stuffed bears (which your dog is going to tear up in a matter of minutes anyway)? Why not show your love to those you care about every day? I ran in the grocery store tonight, noticed all the Valentine displays and began to think about the HEART. What exactly is it? I know it plays a big part in our living and breathing, but it also plays a huge part in our mental, spiritual, and emotional health. I assume my heart is doing pretty good these days. Post MRSA, I am exercising and eating right—or at least almost right. I think from a health standpoint I am doing pretty good. However, I wonder how well I am GUARDING my heart from the other stuff. I may not be stuffing my face with chocolate all day every day, but what am I seeking, sharing, and putting into it from an emotional and spiritual standpoint? Hmmm…I am very picky and “nanchy” when it comes to people borrowing my clothes, jewelry, and latest handbag. I GUARD it! I don’t just lend my stuff out to everybody—only those I trust and know will take good care of it. So, why have I found myself pouring myself—heart and soul—into people or things that maybe aren’t from God that just deplete me both spiritually and emotionally? Or I give my all to those that take me or my “givingness” for granted? I think I have “boundary” issues. How can I be guarded but not closed off, giving but not careless? I have some pointers as we guard our hearts this Valentine’s Day and all the days after.

Forget about the Flesh “Make no provision for the flesh, to gratify his desire” (Romans 13:1314). “Flee youthful desires, pursue righteousness” (2 Tim 2:22). How fun was Friday night when I came home from the movie 27 Dresses to find the new MISSISSIPPI bridal magazine in the mailbox— and not just one copy, ladies and gentleman. I had two (thanks!). Most of us single girls…our flesh most likely wants to be a bride instead of a bridesmaid for the 27th time.…But our flesh also wants to do a lot of things that aren’t good for us.

Pursue God “Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2). We usually pursue God in the middle of some crisis—why not in our relationships with the opposite sex? Everything we seek and go after affects our heart. What is your heart seeking? Share with GOD what is on your heart. Avoid the temptation to share every thought with the latest crush who happens to be nice to you. HELLO. You don’t have to necessarily have a physical relationship with someone to get your heart broken. 22 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

Be accountable and have an accountability partner “A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; he breaks out against all judgment” (Proverbs 4:17). Grab one person and tell them “Hold me accountable in relationships.” It’s always good to have an accountability partner. It’s hard to lie to your friends. It’s also real easy to end things with Danny-Debbie Downer when your friends are all up in your face going over the Godly mate checklist and repeatedly asking you “WHAT ARE YOU STILL DOING HANGING OUT WITH THIS PERSON?” You eventually get sick of making excuses for the person. If you need one of these, I will gladly give you one of mine…I have PLENTY.

TRUST GOD and his timing! REJECTION IS PROTECTION FOR PROMOTION. I mean, when you fall in love with Tom Brady, you email him and he doesn’t respond and you hear he is dating someone else…NO SWEAT…God has someone better for you! I mean it. Marriage is not an end itself; it is a means of glorifying God. We often forget that. We single people get in a hurry. Unfortunately, God will allow us to marry/date out of his will because we can be so headstrong and determined about the wrong person. Does your current relationship glorify God? Are you unevenly yoked? Or maybe you’ve met a great person, but the timing is bad. And just because he or she is a great awesome person, doesn’t mean they are God’s best for YOU. Our heart is the wellspring of life… Watch it carefully. Protect it. Pay attention to it. Keep it clean. Clear away the debris. The Living Bible says this about the heart, “Above all else, guard your affections. For they influence everything else in your life” (Proverbs 4:23). Y




Kids Day

SATURDAY, MARCH 3 11 A.M. – 1 P.M.



Starts Feb. 15

% OFF one regularly priced item C12572

Valid 2/4 – 2/25/12 One coupon per customer. Valid at the Jackson LifeWay Christian Store only. Coupon must be presented and relinquished at time of purchase. Cannot be combined with any other discounts, including coupons, Savings Cards, Bonus Bucks, and LifeWay Rewards. Available on in-stock items only. Cannot be applied to the following: myMedia BurnBar CDs, gift cards, prior purchases, church supplies and programs, NAMB, WMU, LifeWay-branded products, Willow Tree® products, Living Proof Ministries, Logos & BibleWorks Software, Specialty Imprints, Bargain Buys, textbooks, robes, homeschool products, and pre-sell offers. Valid 2/4/12 – 2/25/12.

Betsy Smith and Jason Bailey

Jackson LifeWay Christian Store 601-952-1934

January 14, 2012 ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 23

The Gregg Harper’s—Up regg Harper was not the frontrunner and not even the runner up or the wild card when he entered the race for Mississippi’s third district congressional seat in 2008. There was


nothing stereotypical in the primary campaign that summer when a crowded field of Republican candidates slugged it out for the nomination. Gregg, Rankin County’s Republican Party Chairman, had little money, no well groomed seasoned strategists to organize the campaign, no paid staff, and no great name recognition outside of Rankin County. With a core group of loyal friends who pitched in, along with school friends of both his son and daughter, and a wife whose idea of date night was to see how many signs they could put out on any vacant spot in the 27 county district, Gregg’s election was like a Cinderella story. He and his band of volunteers literally went door to door asking for support. It was the old way of doing things, but it was also the way he introduced himself to the electorate, and people responded. He was definitely one of them…a regular guy supporting a family and wanting to provide opportunity for all who aspire to better themselves. He looks younger than his 55 years and has a style that is more Boy Scout Leader than thundering orator, kingmaker or wheelerdealer. He seems almost too real and too nice to have chosen to enter politics. The son of a petroleum engineer and a very independent working mom, who recently 24 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

retired at the age of 88, Gregg has one younger brother. His early years involved a series of moves as his dad’s job took them from Jackson to Texas to North Carolina to Jackson again, to California and back to Jackson. When he landed back in Jackson at Peeples Junior High School for eighth grade, the year was 1972. He has called Mississippi “home” ever since.

The Harpers were a close family, solid middle class America of the 1960’s. Perhaps because of the constant moving during Gregg’s early years and the lack of putting down real roots in those temporary places, the Harpers had not raised their boys in church. When Gregg began tenth grade at Provine High School, he met Carl White on the first day of school. It is Carl whom Gregg credits as “indirectly leading me to Christ.” Carl, now Senior Pastor at Highland Baptist Church in Meridian, had probably never missed a Sunday of church in his sixteen years! He had never even met anyone who didn’t claim to be a

Christian. He calls Gregg “a surprise” and someone who blew away all of his preconceived ideas of what an “un-saved” person must be like. “He was so polite. He was everything I thought a Christian should be and yet he had probably been to church about twice in his whole life!” Carl invited Gregg to a Youth for Christ gathering, which at that time met weekly and was a great social network for teens all over the city. Gregg was more interested in meeting friends than figuring out his salvation that year, but week after week he was being drawn to the whole concept of faith in Christ and Christ was becoming more and more significant in his life. At the last Youth for Christ meeting of the school year, an altar call was given. Gregg went down and committed his life to Christ, and it was a sincere never-look-back kind of decision. He began to attend church at Carl’s home church, Parkway Baptist which was at that time located on West Capitol Street in Jackson. Bear in mind that there was nobody at home waking him up and pushing him out the door to church every week. Gregg had no one forcing him through the motions. His conversion was very much the real deal.

Falling for Sidney He chose to be baptized there and joined in the youth group activities and immediately noticed one very pretty girl, Sidney Hancock. She was two years younger and a year behind him in school. But she had a boyfriend at the time. Gregg was quite smitten. She was

p Close and Personal special. It was no surprise that he jumped in to ask her out the minute Sidney and her beau parted ways. Carl laughs as he remembers Gregg’s first date with Sidney. It was very important to Gregg to sweep her off her feet—which he evidently did. Carl and Frances, his wife of 34 years, were also a part of Gregg and Sidney’s first date. Gregg’s father let them use his membership at the Petroleum Club in downtown Jackson. With a panoramic view of the city in its hey-day, it was a romantic evening for these high-schoolers. As Carl remembers, “It was a magical evening.” Carl adds that the same thoughtful planning that went into his first date with Sidney is very much the basic method of operation for everything Gregg does. It is in his DNA to listen well, to assimilate the facts, consider the impact of whatever the decision, and to very thoughtfully follow through. Wishy-washy is not in the mix. Carl calls it “integrity.” Many others do, too. Gregg was indeed smitten with Sidney. In fact, he admits that his sole reason for choosing Mississippi College above all other colleges had to do with the fact that Sidney would be there the very next year. He began and ended his four year tenure as chemistry major. His original plan was medical school. Even though he hung in there the whole time, he pretty much decided by year four that he had had enough! The thought of changing majors at that point meant more years in undergraduate school. He was not willing to do that if he did not have to. He

applied to law school at Ole Miss and was accepted. He was probably not the first pre-med major who did exactly the same. Gregg had always been fascinated by politics and interested in government. His first up close and personal encounter with the scene was in 1978 when he was asked to help with a phone bank during Judge Charles Pickering’s unsuccessful campaign for Senator Jim Eastland’s seat against then Congressman Thad Cochran. He was really hooked and from that moment on helped friends when they ran for local office, became involved in the Republican Party and basically “worked for free” for years simply because he loved the democratic process of government on every level. As Gregg says, “You get a lot of job offers when you work for free!”

Choosing Politics His behind the scenes involvement in the Republican Party sent him to West Palm Beach, Florida as an official “observer” during the hanging chads controversy of the Bush and Gore Presidential campaign in 2000. He was a “legal volunteer’ for George W. Bush during the 2004 campaign in Ohio. He went on to advise Senator Jim Talent of Missouri during his unsuccessful 2006 campaign and was elected as the Rankin County Republican chair in that same year. When he decided to toss his hat in the ring of the 2008 congressional race in the summer of 2007, Sidney says she was in some ways surprised and then again not surprised. “I had known since college that Gregg had a love for

politics, but I had never thought he would actually enter politics. I guess I thought he’s an attorney and that’s what he is going to do his whole life. But when he started talking about it I thought, ‘well, if that’s what you really want to do, then that’s what you should do.’ And, too, I knew that if it had been me who wanted to do something that was going to be a total life change for all of us…he would be supporting me in it no matter what.” That is the way Gregg and Sidney operate. It is definitely a great picture of whatever the Lord had in mind when He created marriage, being ‘One’ and the whole nine yards. When the Harpers’ married in 1979, this seemingly all-American couple was focused on their careers. He was in his second year of law school at Ole Miss. She had completed nursing school at Mississippi College and signed on to work at Oxford Lafayette County Hospital while Gregg finished out law school. When law school ended and they moved back to the metro area, they were still focused on career. She worked in labor and delivery at Woman’s Hospital and later in surgery at Baptist, but having her own babies was just not in the equation at that point. The couple shared a common love for traveling, and they did a lot of it. They came back to Brandon where Gregg opened a law office. Sidney describes a very fast and fun decade of travel and advancing up the ladder of their respective careers and then a sudden realization that ten years had gone by and “Wow. It was past time to start a family!” ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 25

The Harper’s at President George W. Bush’s inauguration 2005.

Livingston and Sidney at Library of Congress 2010.

Family and Unexpected Challenges Livingston Harper was born June 24, 1989. They could not have been more excited. Sidney, as a nurse who had worked in labor and delivery and knew much about early childhood, became concerned early on when Sidney and Gregg in Israel 2009. she felt like Livingston was not meeting his mile-markers. Their pediatrician was not concerned at first telling her that boys are slower than girls and Livingston was slipping in under the curve. Still, Sidney knew something them good. And the additional fear was that was not as it should be. When she was already whatever plagued their son would be some pregnant with their second child, Maggie, the genetic problem that also plagued the child pediatrician came by one night to tell them that Sidney was carrying. he had now become concerned, that something They had no definitive answers by the time was not exactly right, and that it was time to do baby Maggie arrived in early 1991. She was some testing. The Harpers were devastated. beautiful, apparently perfect…and they waited Gregg and Sidney describe their own panic for test results. Nothing happened that told and fear—especially after the test results gave them anything. them a batch of possible diagnoses—none of

Sidney and Gregg on their wedding day 1979.

A Diagnosis Livingston was about four years old when one of their neighbors called Sidney one evening to tell her she had attended a workshop that day on behalf of Rankin County Schools where something called “Fragile X syndrome” was discussed. Everything the clinician described made her think of Livingston. Could she run over some brochures and other

TRIVIA AND TIDBITS ON THE HARPERS Church Affiliation: Crossgates Baptist Church where Gregg is also a Deacon. Worst thing about serving in congress: “Hands down, it is getting on a plane and telling your family good-by.” Best thing: “…that you’re getting an opportunity to be in the fight and hopefully make a difference on some things. It’s one thing to discuss policy and it’s another thing to get down in the dirt and work it out.” Greatest Positive Surprise about serving in congress: “I probably went up there with a kind of “Elijah alone” feeling and it 26 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

is not like that. There is a group of probably 25 of us and every week we cast our first vote of the week—is always either a Monday night or a Tuesday night —walk off the floor and straight to room 219 and we pray for each other, for the country, take prayer requests and pray for about 20 minutes before the second vote is called. ( There is also an option for a Bible Study that first night back. Wednesday morning we have a Bible Study with about 20 Republican colleagues and we rotate it among offices. Also there is a bi-partisan Bible study that meets weekly.”

Greatest Negative Surprise: “How quickly two years goes by and it’s time for another campaign!” Favorite Bible Verses: Sidney: Psalm 28:7 “The Lord is my strength and my shield.” Gregg: “Several!” One is Proverbs 21: 31 “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but the victory belongs to the Lord.” What’s better about your marriage today than 32 years ago? Gregg and Sidney in unison: “Comfort. We are so comfortable and content to be together.”

information Sidney might like to see? Sidney was not insulted or intimidated. She was ready to find any information that would unlock the mystery of whatever was not regular with Livingston. Whatever it involved, she and Gregg were committed to helping their son be all that he could be…and it did not have to be President of the United States or anything like that. They just needed to know that Livingston rose to his potential—whatever that potential happened to be. The Harpers learned much about “Fragile X” over the course of the following months and then years. There was no doubt in their minds from the first time they read about it that this was the “thing”—the very out of the ordinary thing that plagued Livingston. A positive diagnosis came soon after they had already figured it out, but what happened after that has been a testimony to the faith and strength of the Harpers. The first bit of good news has been that Maggie, their daughter, does not have Fragile X. And if they had known everything about “Fragile X” a year or two earlier they might never have planned on another baby, but once they were expecting her…well, whatever would be would be. There is significant data that indicates a high possibility that succeeding children will also have Fragile X. Sidney describes her pregnancy with Maggie as “traumatic” and “scary”—even thought she did not know at the time what the “thing” was that affected Livingston - but resolute in knowing that God was in charge and He would give her and Gregg the grace to deal with whatever the outcome.

The Way it is Today Livingston, who is handsome and who can be quite engaging, is blessed to belong to Gregg and Sidney. At every stage of his development they have sought to find ways to assimilate him and everyone like him into mainstream situations in order to encourage their highest achievement. While Gregg was still practicing law before his election as congressman, he regularly employed interns from Pearl High School Special Education classes. As special needs children can often drive parents apart, Livingston has been able to bring Gregg and Sidney even closer. Today Livingston is like a “pioneer” as one of the first participants in the Access program at Mississippi State University, a program for Special Needs young people and geared to helping them receive a college diploma and become productive members of society. Gregg was instrumental in helping launch this whole idea which is based on another program he helped implement in Washington through a dialogue with George Mason

University. George Mason provides special needs interns to numerous congressional offices, one of which is Gregg’s. Their program for special needs has been a model for Mississippi State who sent representatives to study the what’s and how’s of a university experience for special needs children. The Harpers were great proponents of the Access program which opened its doors in 2010. Livingston is a twenty-one year old who is loving his freshman year at MSU. His favorite class he tells me is Sid Salter’s American Government class. He may take more than four years to finish his degree, but will have something…something significant…to contribute to his state and to his country when all is said and done. Twenty year old Maggie is a sophomore at MS State, majoring in Political Science and is on schedule to graduate a year early. She also has quite a vocal talent and has cut a CD demo with Grammy award winning Carl Jackson’s band backing her up. Maggie is not sure what career path she will pursue, but confesses, “I would never want to run for office myself, but I love to campaign!” Sidney, who has retired from nursing these days, has found time to take up any number of hobbies in the last few years. She took up horseback riding at age 40 and enjoyed weekly rides on the horse Gregg gave her for a Mother’s Day gift for years until their new lifestyle made regular dates with “Chico” too irregular. She also took up piano lessons, another of those “always wanted to do” dreams. Slamming her fingers in the car door ended that short-lived budding career! What’s next? Maybe the violin! Gregg is more seasoned and ready to meet the challenges of the future than he was as a novice congressman in 2008. As a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, a member of the sub-committee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, House Administration, and a representative of the Republican Steering Committee, Gregg’s plate is full and the demands on his time could be overwhelming if he let it be. He graciously stands at center stage and focuses on individuals, problems, and solutions that work. He is, as his childhood friend Carl says, the picture of “integrity.” Well and good…but kind of difficult in today’s world. Still, it is quite encouraging to meet a Gregg Harper anywhere. He is a public servant, in the real sense of the word. And that is so passé in this old world. It is also one of those red, white, and blue kinds of events. Makes you want to wave a flag to know a guy like that is out there representing the rest of us. Y


Belhaven Online provides a unique blend of personal, professional attention with a flexible, on-the-go classroom. All of our accredited online degree programs are grounded in our Christian worldview curriculum and taught by experienced faculty who are deeply committed to your success and personal growth. Belhaven Online allows you to pursue a college degree that fits around your home and work demands. You will also find confidence in knowing that you have constant personal support from Belhaven Online staff and frequent interaction with your professors.

o n li n e . b e l h aven. e du Registration for March Online classes ends February 24 Call or email us today! 601-965-7038 ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 27

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All our patients recognize Brandy’s sweet face— Now, meet her hubby, Jonathan, and their Mallory Grace! Brandy’s a great help to us, and to our patients each day! An employee we ’ re proud of in every way! Thanks, Brandy, for being His Shining Light in our Front Office for Almost 18 YEARS!! ><> Dr. B & Peg <><

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D.D.S., M.S., P.A.

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28 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.”

food for thought by LYDIA BOLEN

– John 4:34



“PERFECTLY CHOCOLATE” CHOCOLATE CAKE 2 1 3/4 3/4 1 1/2 1 1/2 1 2 1 1/2 2 1

cups sugar cups all-purpose flour cup unsweetened cocoa teaspoons baking powder teaspoons baking soda teaspoon salt eggs cup milk cup vegetable oil teaspoons vanilla extract cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer for 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake 30-35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan to wire racks. Cool completely. Frost with chocolate frosting. 10 to 12 servings.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING 2 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa 3 cups powdered sugar 1/3 cup milk 1 teaspoon vanilla extract Melt butter. Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency. Add small amount of milk if needed. Stir in vanilla. Makes 2 cups frosting.

Valentine’s Day is approaching. Why not prepare a meal to celebrate a special relationship, or just treat yourself and your family in the middle of a cold winter? A menu of family favorites is fun and will please everyone at the gathered table. Chicken Fettuccini Alfredo is a dish of savory, sautéed chicken cooked in a cheesy, creamy sauce. A hit with both adults and children! Toss a beautiful fruit salad with kiwi, strawberries and pineapple. For dessert, everyone will love this recipe for a “Perfectly Chocolate” chocolate cake.

CHICKEN FETTUCCINE ALFREDO 6 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into cubes 6 tablespoons butter, divided 4 cloves garlic, minced, divided 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning 1 pound fettuccini pasta 1 onion sliced 1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms 1/3 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon salt (add more to taste as needed) 3/4 teaspoon white pepper 3 cups milk 1 cup half and half (can use fat-free) 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 1 8-ounce shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese 3 roma tomatoes, diced 1/2 cup sour cream (can use light) In a large skillet, combine the chicken, 2 tablespoons butter, 2 cloves garlic, and Italian seasoning. Cook until chicken is no longer pink inside. Remove from skillet and set aside. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Meanwhile, melt 4 tablespoons butter in skillet. Saute onion, 2 cloves garlic, and mushrooms. Stir in flour, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Slowly add milk, and half and half until creamy. Stir in cheeses. Stir in chicken mixture, tomatoes, and sour cream. Serve over cooked fettuccini. Serves 8.

FRUIT SALAD 1 (20-ounce) can pineapple chunks, juice reserved 2 apples, peeled and cored (I love the honey crisp apples) 1 (21-ounce) can peach pie filling 2 bananas, peeled and diced 3 kiwis 1 pint strawberries In a small bowl, toss the chopped apples in reserved pineapple juice. Allow to sit for 10 minutes. In a large salad bowl, combine the peach pie filling and pineapple chunks. Remove apples from pineapple juice and add to pie filling and pineapple mixture. Add chopped bananas to reserved pineapple juice and let sit for 10 minutes. Peel and slice kiwi and strawberries. Remove bananas from pineapple juice and add to pie filling mixture. Add chopped strawberries; toss together. Arrange the kiwi slices around the edge of the serving bowl. Chill and serve. Serves 8. Y

Remember to make memories through the kitchen.. “the heartbeat of the home”. You can go to my blog at for more recipes. Email me at for any questions. ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 29

➺fresh finds



Gifts for those 2

3 30 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living


| Thimblepress

Giclee print of Mayflower Cafe which has been a Jackson, MS staple since 1935. 11x17 in, $20


By Thimblepress (Kristen Ley)

Giclee print of Brent’s Drug Store in Jackson, MS. This store is a Jackson, MS landmark with a unique history. Since 1946, this local hot spot sits in the heart of the historic Fondren District.


By Thimblepress (Kristen Ley)



| Plato’s Closet

BCBG pumps selection with wide variety of colors and styles! $12-$18 Mossoni Italian woven inspired cropped v-neck shirt, $14



| Gameroom Gallery

Ole Miss billiard ball set and cue ball, $199


| Apple Annie’s

Hot pink waffle weave robe, $37.95 Large waffle weave make-up bag, $8.95 Small waffle weave make-up bag, $6.95 (monogram available on all these items)


| O! How Cute

Jeweled heart necklace by Skosh, $35



| Breezy Bugs

Pink carousel smocked gingham dress, $48 Blue polka dot owl smocked dress, $64


| Persnickety

Necklaces and bracelets by Twenty-nine eleven, hand crafted with prayer. Pearl necklace with embossed cross, $60 Flat silver pearl necklace with hand crafted cross, $96 White Pearl bracelet with silver cross ornament, $28 Blessed pearl silver bracelet with floral ornament, $38

The earring bar by Amy Edwards Jade green, $28



| Peru Paper Company

Valentine Day Cards by Peru Paper Company, $4.95 each or 5 for $22.50 Purchase at and select local retailers (locations listed on website). ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 31

➺salt & light by MARILYN TINNIN


Faith and Business Week The Mississippi College School of Business

Helping Seniors Make Lifestyle Changes. Senior Move Manager Services

is offering a meaningful, week-long series of events focusing on the responsibility, opportunities and challenges facing Christian business leaders today. This creative initiative was established by Mr. L.D. Jordan, successful entrepreneur and 1951 graduate of Mississippi College. The week’s program, which will become an annual event, is intended to deepen the spiritual development of those who will become the next generation of business and community leaders. Dr. Marcello Eduardo, Dean of MC’s School of Business, said, “We are blessed by Mr. Jordan’s generosity and interest in making this event a part of the life of business students at Mississippi College. The School of Business is proud to host such an accomplished list of guests throughout the week. The event provides an excellent opportunity for our students to hear directly from successful, Christian business leaders.” From February 20-23, students will interact with each other, faculty, alumni and business community leaders during a series of scheduled events. With an array of outstanding speakers and roundtable discussions, the first three days of the week are geared to the collegiates. However, on Thursday, February 23, events are open to the public beginning with an 11 o’clock keynote address by Michael Ducker, COO and President, International of FedEx Express. After his address, there is a lunch and an executive panel made up of Jim Witherington, Managing Partner of SSM Partners; Thomas Dyer, former Managing Partner, McDonnell Dyer; Harry Smith, former Chairman and CEO of Schilling Enterprises; Trey Jordan, owner and President of Holiday Deli. Thursday’s activities—which includes lunch—are $25. RSVP’s are requested and should come to or 601-925-3421. Y

Dr. Marcelo Eduardo is Dean of the Mississippi College School of Business

Michael Ducker is COO and President, International of FedEx Express


• Pre-Move Planning and Packing • Unpacking New Home and Set Up • Decluttering, Organizing • Coordinate Estate Appraisals and Dispersals

FULL SERVICE MOVERS Tiffany N. Grant & David A. Grant Email us:

601-988-7883 32 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

Monday, February 20 and Tuesday, February 21 Faculty will incorporate faith and ethics into their lesson plans. Whether the class is a management class focusing on ethical decision making, an accounting class focusing on fraudulent behavior or a Human Resources class dealing with faith in the workplace, professors will lead a conversation with their students about how their faith plays a role in these business disciplines. Wednesday, February 22 School of Business alumni, community and business leaders speak to select classes, giving students an opportunity to hear directly from professionals in various stages of their careers about how they deal with workplace challenges and opportunities as a Christian business person. Class speakers include: Percy Thornton, Owner, Utility Trailer; Rusty Hall,Regional Director, Laerdal Medical; Martin Willoughby, Attorney, Butler Snow

Don Jordan, a Kosciusko native, graduated from MS College and Harvard Business School is a highly successful entrpreneur who founded a highly successful company, the extremely popular and successful Holiday Deli and Ham Company in Memphis.

Happy Valentine’s Day

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We have womens clothing, Livi Lawson handmade jewelry, Liz Henry Jewelry and Simply Southern T-Shirts! We also have great gifts from picture frames by Rustic Creations, Crossroads Pottery and Katherine’s Candles.

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Monday–Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm Friday: 9 am – 6 pm Saturday: 9 am – 2 pm

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Metro Christian Living has a new website (You are going to LOVE it) Find us on Facebook! Real life stories from real life people who live and move in a world like yours. That is what Metro Christian Living Magazine is all about. ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 33

➺let’s get real by JANIE PILLOW

Love from GOD and Love for People


his issue of Metro Christian Living is devoted to God’s love, one the most precious truths that the Scriptures teach.

As a family therapist, I often have clients who need to return to what the Bible teaches about God’s love and to apply it to the challenges they face, especially when they want to have loving relationships with other people. I cannot tell you how many times my clients have said, “I know he’s a good person, but I just don’t love him.” “I am so disappointed in my child that I find it difficult to love her.” “All I’m asking is for someone to love me. Is that too much to ask?” Why is love missing from our relationships with other people? I am convinced that one answer lies in the interconnections between God’s love for us and our love for others.

God’s Love is No Substitute for Human Love

There are two widespread misconceptions about the interconnections between God’s love and human love. All too many people today believe that love between people can satisfy our deepest longings and that they do not need to experience the love of God. But at the same time, many others believe that God’s love should be enough to satisfy us whether we experience loving relationships with people or not. Needless to say, the first point of view makes human love an idol –a substitute for the place of honor God should have in our lives. Our loving relationship with him is to be our first and foremost joy and satisfaction. But don’t be fooled. As strange as it may sound, those who believe that 34 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

mature, spiritual Christians should have no need for loving relationships with people have made a big mistake too. Think about the first time God spoke of human relationships in the Bible. Before sin, Adam enjoyed wondrous intimacy with God in the Garden of Eden. He knew and interacted with God in ways that we can hardly imagine. But even in the pristine world that God called “very good,” God himself saw something that was “not good.” “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). Despite the fact that Adam knew the love of God, God had created him with a need to have intimacy with human beings as well. Unfortunately, far too many of my clients have missed this basic Christian teaching. In the name of faith, they claim to need no one but God. In the name of popular psychology, they object that needing others is inordinate “codependency.” So they declare their independence, claiming to have no emotional need for other people at all. But if Adam needed human intimacy before sin entered the world, how much more is it true for you and me today? Sin of humanity has led to hardship at every turn. As crucial as it is for you and me to have wondrously vibrant communion with God, we also need the support, encouragement and strength that we find in loving relationships with other people.

Experiencing Human Love is Crucial The Scriptures frequently indicate how crucial human love is. You will remember that Jesus was asked to identify the greatest of all of God’s

commandments (Matthew 22:34-40). Not surprisingly, he cited the Old Testament commandment, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Love the Lord your God with all of your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.â&#x20AC;? Then he added,â&#x20AC;? And the second is like it, love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.â&#x20AC;? Notice that Jesus did not say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Love God and work hard, or pursue happiness, or acquire wealth, nor rise to prominence in your community.â&#x20AC;? Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s what many of us would have said. Instead, Jesus ranked loving Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s image second only to love of God. When Paul addressed horrendously broken relationships among believers in the churches of Galatia, he said: â&#x20AC;&#x153;The entire law is summed up in a single commandment: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Love your neighbor as yourselfâ&#x20AC;? (Galatians 5:14). When love among people is virtually absent as it was among the Galatians, it rightly moves to center stage because love between human beings demonstrates our love for God. Giving and receiving affection, patience, kindness, loyalty, forgiveness, generosity and encouragement from other people is a crucial dimension of living for Christ.

Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Love Overflows into Our Love for Others If God has planned for us to experience love with others as well as with him, then why do we find it so difficult to have fulfilling, loving relations with people? As a Christian therapist, my simple answer to this complex question is that sin causes us to suffer disharmony and alienation not only from God, but from each other as well. Human relationships are so broken by impatience, impulsivity, disregard, disrespect, selfishness, prejudice, competition, hatred, and cruelty that we have simply lost our way. How then can you and I bring love to our marriages, families and friendships? Once again, the simple answer is this. If you are not a follower of Christ, giving and receiving genuine love in human relationships begins with coming to faith in Christ. The Bible goes so far as to say, â&#x20AC;&#x153;God is love.â&#x20AC;? We simply do not know love unless we know God. But even well meaning followers of Christ often fail to enjoy human love as they ought because they fail to be filled with joy, strength, and confidence that comes from knowing how much God loves them forever in Christ. The Scriptures reveal this principle in many places, but I often share a particularly poignant passage with my clients. In Colossians 1:4 the apostle Paul wrote these words about the faithful in Colossae: â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints â&#x20AC;&#x201C;the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven.â&#x20AC;? Paul wrote about three things: the faith that the Colossians had in what Christ had done for them, the love they had, and the hope of what Christ would do for them in the future. But notice what is sandwiched between their faith in what Christ has already done and their hope for the future. Their lives were filled with â&#x20AC;&#x153;love â&#x20AC;Ś for all the

saintsâ&#x20AC;? (Colossians 1:4). Their awareness of Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love had overflowed into their love for others. I once had a client who simply could not find it in his heart to love his wife. He had grown tired of her; the marriage had become a burden; he wanted out. After a few weeks, he was diagnosed with a serious cancer and immediately entered into several weeks of extensive chemo-therapy. For more than a month, he was unable to take care of his most basic needs, but his wifeâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;knowing all along that he wanted the marriage to endâ&#x20AC;&#x201C; devoted herself to nursing him back to health. At first, the husband resented his wifeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s attention, but her faithful service soon began to break down his defenses. He saw her spend endless hours feeding and bathing him and she never complained the entire time. When he finally returned to have a session with me, he confessed with tears, â&#x20AC;&#x153;I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t help but love her. And do you know what? I now love my children and friends in ways I never imagined.â&#x20AC;? It isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t hard to see what happened. When my client saw how much he was loved, it empowered him to love. He knew that he was valued. So, it was not so difficult to see the value of others. He felt cherished by another. So, he could cherish others as well. Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the way it is with Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love and human love. When we experience Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love, we can love others. Look back to how much love God showed when Christ died and rose for you. Look forward to how much God will show you love in the new heavens and new earth. You will find that the strength and encouragement that you receive from Godâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s love will enable you to have loving relationships with every person you meet. Y Janie Pillow is in private practice at Janie Pillow Counseling (601- 853-4788) She is also Co-founder of Third Millennium Ministries and has served since its inception as Chairman of the Board. (See www.ThirdMill.Org. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Seminary Education for the World for Free.â&#x20AC;?)

We believe that every moment matters. Maybe thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s why so many families believe in us when it comes to choosing a hospice provider. For more information or to receive our free DVD, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Hospice and Your Loved One,â&#x20AC;? call 601-983-3193. 106 Riverview Drive / Flowood, MS 39232

phone 601-983-3193 / fax 601-983-3194 Gentiva accepts patients for care regardless of age, race, color national origin, religion, sex, disability, being a qualified disabled veteran, being a qualified disabled veteran of MKT3144 the Vietnam era, or any other category protected by law, or decisions regarding advance directives. Š 2011 Gentiva Health Services, Inc.

Â&#x2018;Â&#x201D;  Â&#x201E;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2014;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2018;Â&#x17D;Â&#x17D;Â&#x2DC;Â&#x2021;Â&#x201D;Â&#x192;Â?Â&#x2020;Â&#x17D;Â&#x192;Â&#x203A;Â&#x2021;Â&#x192;Â&#x2020;ÇŤ Â&#x2021;Â&#x192;Â&#x201D;Â?Â&#x2013;Â&#x160;Â&#x2021;Â&#x192;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2021;Â&#x192;Â?Â&#x2020;Â&#x2021;Â&#x2026;Â&#x2014;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2021;Â&#x192;Â&#x203A;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2018;Â&#x192;Â&#x201D;Â?Â&#x2013;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2026;Â? Â&#x192;Â&#x201D;Â?Â&#x2021;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2039;Â?Â?Â&#x2021;Â&#x2020;Â&#x2021;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2014;Â&#x201D;Â?Â&#x2022;Â&#x2039;Â&#x2013;Â&#x160;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2014;Â&#x2013;Â&#x192;Â&#x201D;Â?Â&#x2021;Â&#x2013;Â&#x2039;Â&#x2022;Â?Â&#x2013;Â&#x2018; Â&#x2018;Â&#x2014;Â&#x201D;Â&#x201D;Â&#x2039;Â?Â&#x2026;Â&#x2039;Â&#x2019;Â&#x192;Â&#x17D;Ǥ Â&#x192;Â&#x17D;Â&#x17D;Â?Â&#x2018;Â&#x2122;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2018;Â&#x201D;Â&#x192; Â&#x2026;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2019;Â&#x203A;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2C6;Â&#x2013;Â&#x160;Â&#x2021;Â&#x201E;Â&#x2018;Â&#x2018;Â?

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.â&#x20AC;? Joshua 24:15

Í&#x2022;ǤÍ&#x153;Í&#x201D;Í&#x201D;ǤÍ&#x153;Í&#x2DC;Í&#x2DC;ǤÍ&#x2014;Í&#x2013;Í&#x2122;Í&#x2DC; â?&#x2DC; FEBRUARY 2012 35

➺homeworks Make Over Your Busy Life by CATHY HAYNIE

BRINGING CLUTTER UNDER CONTROL lutter complicates things.


Webster’s uses descriptions such as confusion, disordered, and jumbled. It’s hard to admit, but what clutter really means is, a lack of commitment. Ouch. Whether not committed to a particular place or system for putting things away or not committed to the serenity of order, clutter makes a busy life busier. Lost keys, a misplaced checkbook, directions to a party amidst a stack of unwanted papers, and moving 10 things to find the one thing all represent the confusion that comes with clutter. How do you commit to a clutter free home?

 Assess the problems areas. Start with one room

and take a look around. Where are the clutter spots? What items are creating clutter? Is everyone in the family contributing to the clutter? Once the trouble spots are diagnosed, you can more easily commit to a plan for reducing clutter that will work for your busy family.

 Throw away first. Tackle the piles of paper and the

clutter zones in your home or area of focus and throw away all the paper, magazines, and other “disposable clutter” that is out of date, unnecessary, or easily replaced. Commit from now on to sort mail, your purse, a backpack and other paper carriers over the trashcan. Don’t set unwanted paper down, throw it away. This mentality goes a little further when you adopt the mentality for anything in your hand, “don’t just put it down, put it away.”

 Zone it. After paper and items that were waiting for the

trashcan, clutter most often represents items in a holding pattern. Books that you plan to return to the library, a gift for Saturday’s birthday party, backpacks, laundry to be put away and so forth. Commit yourself to zones, with items in transition first on the list. When each person in your family walks through the door of your home, there is typically a peaceful release and feeling of comfort that prompts whatever is in hand to then rest on the closest counter. Right by the door can be the “go zone,” or where things that go in and out of the door with you “live.” A place to drop mail, keys, and wallet (a cute catch basket or shallow dish?) and a place to hang your purse, jacket, and book bags (behind the door hooks?) will help outfit your “go zone.” A large tote bag hanging on a hook can

36 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

become an errands bag—library books to return, dry cleaning, a prescription to refill, or any other items that need to go out the door with you for errands can be tossed in the bag. Just grab and go from your new “go zone.” Zones vary in size from big projects, like yard maintenance, to smaller, like manicure items or first aid supplies. As you look around your space, pick out the trouble spots and commit to zones for out of place items. Your zones will vary, but consider:


Laundry zone Office zone Gift wrapping and gift giving zone Homework zone Hobby zones, such as crafts, photo albums, or sewing Toy zones likely need more specific areas like games, books, dolls, and blocks

 Divide and conquer. Focus on one area at a time, taking it from start to finish before moving on, and sort items into categories: throw away, give away, and put away. The put away items need the easiest possible system in order for the new system to last.

 Storage Solutions. Once you have committed to zones

and assigning a system or a home for all of your clutter, it seems natural to want to buy the right tools to make it work. Try shopping in your home first. Don’t head off to the organizer aisle just yet, because as you clean out and de-clutter, you will find yourself with more baskets and storage solutions than you thought. Keep a

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shopping list of items you need and make each zone as simple and as attractive as possible to increase your chance for success. Open storage is always easier than intricate systems of filing or having to unlatch containers and so forth. The best way to keep that commitment to less clutter is to have a few simple routines; complicated routines almost always fall by the wayside. It’s easier to put away and retrieve your purse, coat, or everyday bag from a hook behind the back door than in your bedroom closet. It’s easier to keep your keys and eye glasses in the same place if you have a pretty dish right out in the open, and it’s easier to pay bills if you have quickly tossed unwanted items and clipped your bills together in a mail basket rather than filing bills in a file folder in a filing drawer in a closet…think simple!

 Nothing can be better than something.

Corners, tabletops, kitchen counters, and refrigerator doors are often places where we pile on the clutter. The truth is, when these places have less rather than more, the space looks bigger and cleaner!

 Clearly and constantly communicate. Getting your family involved in the process is ideal, but regardless, we must clearly and constantly communicate expectations in love, or the new systems will likely flop. It may take many days of reminding a young child where his backpack and lunch box go after school, but your gentle reminders show commitment and your expectations.

 Quick cleanups. My friend Cindy calls it a “10 second

tidy” or it might just turn into a “de-clutter marathon,” but having a few minutes where you quickly get things into the correct zone (often the trash zone!) will help your commitment pay off. Add this task to your family’s after supper routine or morning rituals.

If you feel more committed to chaos than to order, or that you have further complicated life with the frustrations brought on by clutter, make a fresh commitment to makeover this area of your busy life. If you will take a few minutes to pick out the problem areas, then commit to easy solutions for storing and maintaining, especially with items that just need a temporary “holding zone,” you can experience the freedom of a wellordered life! Need more ideas? Check out for more help with paper clutter and storage solutions. Look for the links to “Paper Chaos” and “Finding Hidden Storage.” In closing, reflect on the wisdom from Ecclesiastes 1, “There is a time and a season for every activity…a time to keep, and a time to throw away.”

Cathy Haynie and her husband, Jack, have three children and live in Madison. Cathy is the Headmaster of Christ Covenant School in Ridgeland. She occasionally speaks to women’s groups on Honoring God in the Home and Balancing Work and Home. Contact her at





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➺legal advice by WILLIAM B. HOWELL

4 Reasons NOT to Give Away Your Home


ome people think that the thing to do as they get older is to go ahead and give their home to the children. Usually, that is a bad idea, and there are several reasons why. First, when you give your home away during your lifetime, you give it to the recipient at your cost basis, which means that when they sell it (probably after you have passed away), there are likely capital gains taxes to pay. If, instead, you sold the home as the owner of the residence, there would be no capital gains tax due to your exemption up to a very large amount. So, you may be giving your children a tax problem. Second, many people give away their home in order to avoid probate, and yet continue to live in the home until they pass away. While that sounds like a good plan, the problem is that when they give away their home, the homeowner loses their homestead exemption for taxes (because the person living there is now not the homeowner). Many of the people who do this are over the age of sixty-five, so they lose not only their basic homestead exemption, but their over sixty-five homestead exemption additional

credit. This results in an increase in taxes at a time when income may have declined. Third, when you transfer the ownership of your home into the names of your children, you have just given them an asset. As with most assets, there is always a danger of their losing that asset to their creditors. It could be from a divorce, it could be due to a lawsuit from an automobile accident, or it could be caused by their being forced into bankruptcy. Any of these situations could cause what used to be your home to be lost to their creditors. That is in most cases just not worth the risk. The fourth reason that this may not be a very good idea has to do with people giving away their home as part of planning for a nursing home confinement. They are trying to protect the home from being lost to that expense. While that may be laudable in theory, unless they get some good advice from an experienced elder law practitioner, they will probably make a large mistake. There have been extensive changes in the Medicaid rules this year. One of the most far reaching changes is the fact that the gift of an asset that results in a penalty will not have the

penalty period of disqualification beginning immediately upon the gift of the asset. Rather, the penalty period for Medicaid purposes in the nursing home starts to run from the time you are in the nursing home, apply for Medicaid, and are otherwise qualified, but for the gift. That means that you have $4,000 (the maximum qualifying amount for a single person), you are in the nursing home, and the penalty period generated by giving away your house starts to run at that time. The question is: How will you pay for the nursing home during the penalty period, since you only have a total of $4,000 to your name? That’s a big problem. From the above remarks, you can see that just giving away your home is frequently a very poor idea. There are other ways to make this same transfer without all the negatives, and it’s readily done. However, we strongly suggest you get some good advice to avoid these common mistakes from happening in your situation. Y William B. Howell is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and practices law in Ridgeland.

You have worked hard for it. WHY THROW IT AWAY? We are all living longer. But we are not all going to be in good health, or aware of our families, or both. Then what happens? Someone has to take over. The question is: Will this be someone you chose? And will it be outside of court or in court? The same with the distribution of your assets after you pass away: In court or out of court? The choice is yours. What about protecting your assets from lawsuits, or a child’s inheritance from a divorce? And will most of your hard-earned savings go to the nursing home? Or have you planned? Here are a few ideas for you to consider:

Living Trust – Allows the person you choose to take over for you in the event of your incapacity, without any court involvement. At your death the person you have chosen makes the distribution of your assets the way you have instructed in your Living Trust, and to do so promptly, inexpensively and privately, without going through probate in the court. Asset Protection – Lawsuits are filed every day. If you get sued, are your assets protected? They can be, and probably should be. Also, the divorce rate has never been higher than it is today. Will your child’s divorce cause them to lose half of what you leave them after you are gone? Not if you plan now. The level of protection (or not) is up to you.

Nursing Home Planning – Don’t qualify for long term care insurance, or can’t fit it in your budget? You don’t have to spend everything that you have in order to become eligible for nursing home benefits. There are legal and ethical ways for you to save well over half of your assets in most cases, even if you are already in the nursing home. Hear Mr. Howell on the radio

Tuesdays 8:35 am WJNT NewsTalk 1180 38 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living


WILLIAM B. HOWELL, LTD. 406 Orchard Park • Ridgeland, Mississippi (601) 978-1700 or (800) 839-7857

National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys



let’s talk it over

is a Choice


allmark makes a great business of having a day specially designed for love. Doesn’t that strike you as a bit

odd, that we have to be reminded to love? The research says that every child needs to know there is at least one person who is crazy about them. The best thing that tells a child they are loved is to see Mommy and Daddy loving each other. Love comes easy when the object of affection is easy. Love becomes more difficult as time erodes the newness and there is maintenance involved. I had the privilege of witnessing my in-laws celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary this past weekend. 60 YEARS!!!! That is 720 months, 21,900 days. That is a long time. Another couple in our church just celebrated their 65th anniversary. I tell young couples today that they will be able to celebrate way over 70 years with the way we are aging these days. So what is the secret to living love you may ask? We could use a lot of words like commitment, trust, friendship, laughter, etc. But I think it comes down to CHOICE. Every day in order for us to live love we

have to choose to be a lover. What does that mean? At the close of a wedding ceremony you hear the words, “Let nothing pull you asunder.” Basically, do not let anything compete for your attention. Our world is full of distractions, constantly pulling us towards something new, exciting, and gratifying. But then when I see an older couple still there for each other helping each other move from room to room, or assisting one another I see the newness of making it through this day, this event, and this challenge. They have a choice and they choose the long haul At the beginning of February we will watch the Super Bowl. Two teams will battle it out to see who can wear the ring as the CHAMPION. The ring will go to the team who makes the least mistakes, or who has the most resiliency from those mistakes. Living Love in our world is essential to the next generation. Because of our throw away world, the next generation needs to see love lived out in the small things, in the consistent things, and in the things that matter most. It is a choice to stick to the game to the end. Love is a choice to be romantic. Now men before you stop reading, this does not mean you have to go overboard doing things that do not come natural for you. Romance is letting another person know in your own way what it is about them that makes them so special to you. It is the concept of “Love Language,” filling that love tank of that special person in your life with whatever it takes to let them know you love them day in and day out. So choose love, the research shows that you will live longer, have more fun and enjoy the little things that will come your way. So choose to love TODAY. We are not guaranteed tomorrow. Not sure what is around the corner, so make the most of today and don’t let someone else tell you how to do it, JUST DO IT!!!! Y Ron Mumbower is the Director of Summit Counseling at First Baptist Church Jackson. He will be teaching a class on “Living the Great Adventure in the Next Season,” starting Wednesday evenings September 7 at First Baptist Church, Jackson.

Summit Recovery Ministries INTENSIVE COUNSELING PROGRAMS (ICP) For individuals and families from a Christian perspective • • • • • • • • • •

Behavioral Problems Anger Management Depression/Dealing with Loss Self-Esteem Social & Life Skills/Problem-Solving Skills/Goal Setting/Communication Skills Family Dynamics/Emotional Healing Assertiveness Training Drug/Alcohol Abuse/Dependency Eating Disorders/Self Harm Pornography/Sexual Addiction/Sexual Identity


Happy Valentine’s Day Ronaldo Pearl Bracelets

At the Reservoir on Grants Ferry 601-992-9925

On Main Street in Madison 601-853-8911 ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 39

➺healthy living by DR. MIKE MCMULLAN


Guard your Heart…


ebruary is the month we focus on the heart and heart disease, the number one cause of death in our country. It claims more lives than all cancers combined. Your risk of dying from heart disease is 1 in 2.9. Your risk of dying from cancer is 1 in 4.5. Mississippi leads the nation in death rates from cardiovascular disease. In fact, in the most recent statistical update from the American Heart Association, Mississippi ranks 52nd in mortality rates from cardiovascular disease—out of 50 states! Obviously the statistics include Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, but nonetheless we rank dead last as a state—and yes, the pun was intended. So what can you do to reduce your risk of dying from heart disease? King Solomon writes in Proverbs 4:23, “above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” This verse is applicable to my walk as a Christian, but even more so to my professional ministry as a cardiologist. Obviously, as in life, there are many things that you do not have control over. From a heart disease standpoint, these would include your age, sex, and your parents (i.e. family history of heart disease.)These are your non-modifiable risk factors. Therefore, since you cannot change these, it is imperative that you address the ones you do have control over. These include weight, diet, physical activity level, smoking, stress and control of medical conditions including hypertension, diabetes mellitus and dyslipidemia (high cholesterol—more specifically high LDL or “bad” cholesterol and low HDL or “good” cholesterol). Weight, diet, and exercise are the areas where the largest number of people can strive for improvement. According to the most recent statistics, 2 out of 3 Americans are now either overweight (BMI or Body Mass Index of > 25 kg/m2) or obese (BMI > 30 kg/m2). Stated another way, only 1 in 3 Americans fall into a normal or healthy weight category! More alarming is the fact that this trend is being transferred to our younger generation. Almost 1 in 3 children between 2 and 19 are now either overweight or obese (i.e. 23 million children in the United States). And the prevalence of obesity in children ages 6-11 has quadrupled over the last 3 decades! These are frightening statistics, particularly in an age where fast food, supersized meals, and video

40 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

games are more in vogue than healthy wellbalanced meals and exercise. The rise in obesity, while increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes, is also associated with a low rate of physical exercise. In the 2008 National Health Interview Survey, 6 in 10 adult Americans reported no vigorous exercise. And while our youth are better than their parents, 1 in 3 females and 1 in 5 males in grades 9-12 reported less than 60 minutes of exercise in the previous week when surveyed. We are not faring much better in our other risk factors, although we are making progress. One in 4 men and 1 in 5 women continue to smoke, and even 1 in 5 high school students reported current tobacco use. One in 3 adults has hypertension, and less than 1/2 of these are actually at goal levels on therapy. One in 6 adults have total cholesterol levels > 240 mg/dL, and over 23 million adults or 8 percent of the population have diabetes mellitus. Combined, these risk factors contribute to over 80 million people in the United States who have some form of cardiovascular disease and a death rate on average of one person every 38 seconds. So, back to the original question—what can you do to reduce your chances of developing heart disease?


Diet/weight – Following a healthy diet of fruits, vegetables, fish, and lean meats, low in fried foods and saturated fats while achieving a healthy BMI of < 25 kg/m2 is an important initial step. (BMI can be calculated by the formula—BMI = (Weight in Pounds / (Height in inches)2 ) x 703–or more easily by just searching the web for BMI calculator.)


Physical activity – Exercising 30-60 minutes on most days of the week is important for reducing weight and stress while improving your cardiovascular fitness. (I suggest 6 days a week—I tell my patients that God took one day of rest and they can, too, but otherwise they need to be exercising! Good habits are important.)


Smoking – The importance of

complete smoking cessation cannot be overemphasized! Smoking more t han doubles your risk of dying from heart disease.


Know your numbers – Make it a point to know (and treat) your important risk factor numbers—blood pressure, glucose or blood sugar, and cholesterol profile—and oh yeah, did I mention your BMI?


Aspirin – The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommendations in 2009 suggest taking one baby aspirin a day for men > 45 years old and women > 55 years old (up until age 80) if they have no contraindications.

Following these steps can dramatically reduce your risk of dying from heart disease. One of the tools I use is a cardiovascular report card to grade my patients on the management of five important “subjects”— blood pressure, cholesterol, smoking, weight (with bonus points for weight loss!), and physical activity. The report card allows them to better assess their strongest and, more importantly, weakest areas. I designed the form with the thought that if report cards motivate our children in school, perhaps a similar tool would help motivate my patients to strive to improve their risk while also giving them objective feedback. “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” Make this your goal for this month, this year, for a lifetime. You, and your loved ones, will be glad you did. And remember, a goal without a plan is just a wish. Find more information at Y Dr. Mike McMullan is the past governor of the Mississippi chapter of the American College of Cardiology and an interventional cardiologist with the Jackson Heart Clinic. He is an active member of Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison where he is a Sunday school teacher, choir member, and former chairman of the deacons. He and his wife Missy have two children, Courtney and Matthew.


christian commerce corner

Plato’s Closet

ichael Donovan and Jessica Aldy possess an unusual amount of business savvy and a bold and determined work ethic for two twentysomethings! The couple, both recent college graduates, decided early on in their “real world” careers that working for someone else was just not their niche. They wanted to own a business together. So, they assessed their talents and expertise, (she’s a fashion merchandising major and he’s a business major) did a little research, consulted with Michael’s dad who had owned and operated a successful small business for decades and discovered a fast-growing franchise opportunity in “Plato’s Closet.” Not your regular re-sale shop by any means, Plato’s Closet was the brainchild of a Minnesota mother and father tired of spending so much money on new clothes every time their three growing boys hit a growth spurt. The family opened a resale shop that was affordable and fair in all aspects. This included purchasing clothes from their customers to keep the cost to a minimum and everyone’s pockets happy. The name Plato came from none other than the ancient Greek philosopher. One of the founders’ sons was working on an essay about Plato at the time, and they discovered that Plato had a strong belief in reusing and reinventing everything…hence, the name. Since its humble beginning in 1998, over 350 Plato’s locations have opened across the country. The idea of owning a successful franchise


appealed to Michael and Jessica because they were given a business model and had a wealth of information from fellow franchisees who were running successful stores despite the tough economic times. On July 30, 2011, Plato’s opened its doors to buy inventory only. The plan was to buy for six weeks straight before opening for shoppers. On September 1, the store opened its doors to receive its first shoppers, and they haven’t had a slow day yet. You will find one of them behind the counter every time you stop by. Located at 1260 East Countyline Road in front of Northpark, Plato’s buys high end gently used clothing, shoes and accessories for teens and twenty somethings. They offer cash on the spot with no appointment required. They consistently stock the hottest name brands and the latest styles at up to 70 percent less than regular retail stores. Hours are 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM Monday through Saturday and 1 PM to 5:00 PM on Sunday. Michael and Jessica went through a training program at Plato’s headquarters in Minneapolis. They have only words of praise for the in depth course that led them through every aspect of owning their business—including the importance of great customer service and a genuine appreciation for their clientele. This is a business with a hometown local attitude. Stop to shop or stop to sell. At any rate, meet Michael and Jessica and check out Plato’s closet.



Investing Using Biblical Principles INSURANCE • INVESTMENTS FINANCIAL PLANNING Registered Representative, Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/Dealer, Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Cambridge and Wellspring Wealth Group are not affiliated. ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 41

➺money matters by KEVIN D. BINGHAM

The Straight Circle nce upon a time, when I was in school, my favorite subjects were math and science (I know I’m weird but I’ve grown to accept this handicap). Recently, I attended a conference where the speaker focused on an interesting, but less favorite subject of mine, history. He pointed out that most people think that history is linear when in fact it tends to heavily trend towards cyclical. His opening statement was, “The further backwards you can look, the further forward you can see.” I perked up waiting for him to expound on his premise, and did he ever! He cited a number of current occurrences that had been preceded by very similar events of the past. The one that struck me the most had to do with our nation’s history. The speaker referenced the 1700s when our country’s collective debt was an astounding $75,000,000. That’s a ton of debt especially for such a young and emerging country with all the new and untested postulates upon which it was founded. He went on to point out how disturbing and uncomfortable this amount of debt was to the politicians of that day. The Revolutionary War had just concluded and the states were feeling the financial effects of a costly but worthwhile victory. Should everyone fend for themselves or should the strong bear the infirmities of the weak? The southern states (colonies) were in much better shape compared to the North as agriculture was a very lucrative industry. After many meetings (some very tumultuous), the Compromise of 1790 was reached. One of the items of compromise involved moving the capital closer to the South. As a matter of fact, the establishment of the nation’s capital on the banks of the Potomac River resulted from a compromise between the Federalist Party and the Democratic-Republican factions of the early republic. The Democratic-Republicans, led by Thomas Jefferson and his good friend James Madison, accepted the Federalist proposal that the federal government pay the state debts incurred during the War of Independence. In exchange, the Federalists, led by Alexander Hamilton, agreed to situate the capital at a place chosen by George Washington thus the establishment of Washington, D.C.


The speaker’s point was that the $75,000,000 of debt, when adjusted for inflation, was almost identical to the $15,000,000,000 (that’s trillion) we have today. Some 220 years later we seemed to have survived. Now if we can just get those guys and gals in our current nation’s capital to reach a similar compromise! Back to the straight circle - scripture tells us, “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9) We’ve faced some very challenging times of late, including record unemployment, record debt, record catastrophes, etc. But a glance back in history will show us that our predecessors faced similar perils with much less sophisticated tools to remedy them. Our task is to stay focused on finding the opportunities that always seem to exist in times of discomfort. We cannot waiver on this whether its in our personal lives or on a corporate level. We must stay the course when it comes to reaching our goals, both short-term or long-term. Time is the constant. It will not be altered regardless of our agenda. However, it has a track record of rewarding those who understand its cyclical nature and greet it with a plan and with persistence. My challenge to you, as we progress through this New Year, is to revisit your goals, personal, spiritual and financial. If there needs to be some calibration, then strategically do such. The important thing to keep in mind is that patience and perseverance have proven to be great vectors as we travel THE STRAIGHT CIRCLE. Y Kevin D. Bingham is a Registered Representative and founding member of Wellspring Wealth Group, PLLC. located in Ridgeland. He and his wife Sheila have four children, Tamar, Jarryn, Kaleb and Simeon, and live in Madison.


CALLED TO ,1)250$7,21 6(66,21 Tuesday, February 7, 2012 – 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.

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YOUR PLACE. YOUR PURPOSE. 42 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living


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s u n n y b r o o ke s t a te s . n e t ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 43

➺rave reviews BOOKS


Workers Needed Highlands Presbyterian Church CONTACT Laurie Nordan

601-853-0636 44 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

Not Another Dating Book

Nearing Home

Reviewed by Susan E. Richardson

Reviewed by Marilyn Tinnin

Another Valentine’s Day and the attendant celebration of love and romance. Just what singles who are not in a relationship need for encouragement. Author Renee Johnson understands the challenges of being single into your 20s and 30s, including books that try to give you a foolproof method for finding a mate. Instead she offers a devotional guide to all your relationships in Not Another Dating Book. Over 50 short readings offer insight and spark reflection on many aspects of relationship. Some do deal with dating, but others focus more on personal growth or general interpersonal communication. Each reading begins with Scripture and ends with prayer. The book also provides space for writing brief personal reflections. Johnson keeps her tone both light and authentic, using her own experiences to share thoughts. As a result, readings have a pleasant conversational tone while making points to consider. She inserts occasional pages of “So You Think Your Date was Bad?” with stories from others to provide a little extra humor. Young women will probably connect more with Johnson than men, though she does make an attempt to speak to both genders. If you’re a single in your 20s or 30s and need a break from how-to-find-a-spouse books, pick up a copy of Not Another Dating Book. While you still may think about dating, your primary focus will be on who you are in Jesus and how He would have you relate to others. Y

Much loved and much respected, 94 years old and still sharp as a tack, Billy Graham has written a heartwarming book that will be a lasting legacy and a guide for all of us who want to grow old with grace. His reflections and his wise counsel are sprinkled with glimpses into the heart of this amazing servant of God. His winsome humility and authentic love for the Lord and for his fellow man bleed through every page. He imparts inspiration and a clear sense of purpose and even a mission that is specific to this season of life. “Old age is not for sissies,” he admits, but as you would expect, Reverend Graham leaves us with joy and hope in our present and our future. This is a tender and personal book, and if the idea of aging is the least bit challenging in your mind, you owe it to yourself and to those you love, to read this.

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

by Billy Graham

Y DVD God Loves You Very Much DVD from Veggie Tales Reviewed by Marilyn Tinnin

My grandchildren are all huge Veggie Tale fans. The easy-to-sing along tunes and the hilariously colorful characters entertain children and teach wonderful character lessons at the same time. Their latest release is a perfect idea for a Valentine “happy,” as the Veggie Kids ask Larry the question, “Does God Love Me?” The answer is found through a fun trip of song and rhyme as the kids recount all the ways God loves them “even when” or “always” no matter the situation. Since Veggie Tales made its debut in 1993, more than 54+ million videos have captivated pre-schoolers as well as parents. I whole-heartedly encourage you to check them out if you never have. See or stop by Lifeway and pick up this one for Valentine’s Day.


events calendar February 2

The McClean Fletcher Center, Mississippi’s only grief support program geared towards children and teens, is having their Heartstrings Gala fundraiser at the home of Dr. Gene and Linda Barrett. This worthwhile event enables The McClean Fletcher Center to continue the mission of providing a safe place in peer support groups where children can interact with others who have experienced similar losses. For more information call 601-206-5525.

February 11

provide education and enjoyment related to the earth sciences but will also offer beautiful jewels for sale. For more information, call 601-961-4000.

February 28-March 12 The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis’s magical story of a land called Narnia, will be at New Stage Theatre for the entire family to enjoy. For ticket information call 601-948-3533.

GREENWOOD Test your culinary skills at the Viking Cooking School located at 325 C Howard Street. Classes ranging from a Steakhouse Workshop, a Chocolate Lovers Workshop or Parisian Dinner Party are just a few of the programs featured in what is sure to be an evening of food and fun. For more information call 662-451-6750 or see their website

Belhaven’s annual exhibition of student works will be held at the Bitsy Irby Visual Arts and Dance Center from 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m. showcasing a wide range of artistic styles and media. Work ranging from drawing, painting and sculpture to mixed media will be highlighted.

February 25 New Summit School’s “Draw Down and Auction” fundraiser will be held at the Forestry Museum from 6:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Take a chance to win $5,000 while supporting the school’s student scholarship program and equipment drive. Enjoy heavy hors d’oeuvres, a silent and live auction, and entertainment throughout the night! For ticket information call 601-982-7827.

February 25-26 The Gem, Mineral, Jewelry, and Fossil Show is coming to the Mississippi Trademart on the Mississippi State Fairgrounds. This family event will not only

VICKSBURG February 18 March 3 The Little Light House, a non-profit, tuitionfree Christian developmental center for children with special needs will hold their 7th annual Tea Party Fundraising Event at the Fairview Inn in Jackson. Enjoy an afternoon tea, inspirational speaker, silent art auction, an etiquette note from Diana Cole, and a ladies hat competition. Ticket prices are $25 for this fun filled event. For more information call 601-829-3446.

“Throw me some beads” will be the phrase of the day as Vicksburg celebrates Mardi Gras with their annual downtown parade. The fun begins at 4:00 p.m. on Washington Street and will end its travels on Jackson Street. For additional information call 601-634-4527. Y

For all your needs...

977-8484 • Toll-Free (866) 977-8484 For the best of care, call Prime Care. ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 45



➺quips & quotes




Cut out the scriptures and quotes and place them around your home for daily encouragement!

“…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:20

“There is nothing that makes us love a man so much as praying for him.”

“A stumble may prevent a fall”

– William Law

– Author unknown

Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter. – Mark Twain

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?”

“I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.” – C. S. Lewis

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt. – Charles M. Schulz

– Romans 8:35

“no weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. – Isaiah 54:17

“The Bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies: probably because they are generally the same people.” – G.K. Chesterton

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46 FEBRUARY 2012 ❘ Metro Christian Living

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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

real love.

real acceptance. ❘ FEBRUARY 2012 47

Metro Christian Living February 2012  

If there is one word that most defines the mission of Metro Christian Living®, it is "authentic". We want to present authentic faith in such...

Metro Christian Living February 2012  

If there is one word that most defines the mission of Metro Christian Living®, it is "authentic". We want to present authentic faith in such...