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GriefShare’s Surviving the Holidays

Timeless Fall Desserts


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contents NOVEMBER 2013

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columns 8 The Way I See It The Life of Purpose Is the Present

11 Living My Call Remember the Valiant

12 Salt & Light GriefShare—Surviving the Holidays

14 Modern Motherhood Lessons from My Baby Girl

16 Let’s Talk It Over The Art of Thanksgiving

18 All in the Family

Family vacation at Yellowstone in 2011.

Anger—The Best Speech You’ll Ever Regret



20 Chewed Petunias Moving Forward in Faith

Joey Garner

22 Food For Thought

A Leading Lady

Timeless Fall Desserts

24 Education Connection Living with Dyslexia— There Is Hope!


34 This Is My Story Fear, Faith, and Thanksgiving

36 Single Still, Single Again


Is Forgiveness Necessary?

38 Fresh Finds Fall Finds

42 The Doctor Is In The Pill Problem

44 Sports Victories Clint Johnson—Athletic Director for JPS



42 Legal Advice A Living Trust or A Will?

in every issue What’s Coming Next Month? Ginnie Ingram Letting Her Light Shine

6 48 49 50 50

Editor’s Letter Rave Reviews Event Calendar Quips & Quotes Advertiser Index

metro ®

Volume 8, Number 5 Publisher: MHS Publications, Inc., Member, M.I.P.A. Editor: Marilyn Tinnin Associate Editor: Suzanne Tanner Durfey Art Direction/Graphic Design Sandra K. Goff Sales Marilyn Tinnin, Kimberly Stephens, Suzanne Tanner Durfey Contributing Writers Lydia Bolen, Dr. John L. Cox, William B. Howell, Amy Ingram, Courtney Gray Layson, Carey Miller, Robin O’Bryant, Tricia Raymond, Susan E. Richardson, Kate Sistrunk, Suzanne Stambouleigh, Martin E. Willoughby, Jr., Robert Wilson Cover Photography Rick Guy Photography Distribution Assistants Laura Kidder, Randy Fortenberry, Andrea Sabillion, Rachel Schulte, Jerri Strickland, Priscilla Sullivan, Bob Whatley, Amanda Weems

Metro Christian Living 573 Highway 51 North, Suite C Ridgeland, MS 39157 Phone 601-790-9076 • Fax 601-790-9078

Metro Christian Living is committed to encouraging individuals in their daily lives by presenting the faith stories of others and by providing information that will point every person, at every stage of life, to a deeper, authentic, personal, and lifechanging encounter with Jesus Christ. Views expressed in Metro Christian Living do not necessarily represent those of the publisher. Every effort has been made by the Metro Christian Living staff to insure accuracy of the publication contents. However, we do not guarantee the accuracy of all information nor the absence of errors and omissions; hence, no responsibility can be or is assumed. All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2013 by Metro Christian Living, Inc. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version, copyright 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of International Bible Society.

Metro Christian Living is published monthly and is available at high traffic locations throughout the metropolitan area. Copies are also available by subscription, $29 for one year. Single issues available for $3 an issue. POSTMASTER: Send change of address to Metro Christian Living, 573 Highway 51 North, Suite C, Ridgeland, MS 39157.


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➺editor’s letter Count Your Blessings—Name Them One by One


Every good and ❝ perfect gift is from above coming down from the father of heavenly lights who does not change like shifting shadows.

– James 1:17

am on a homeward bound flight from Los Angeles as I try to corral my Thanksgiving thoughts for this November issue. Having just spent a week with my

daughter Betsy and her 8-month-old ray of sunshine, Marilyn Wilton Bailey, naming my blessings is quite easy at the moment. I can hardly believe how quickly this year has flown. It was a little more than a year ago we cut into a mystery cake at Jason and Betsy’s “Reveal” party to discover pink icing. It wasn’t long after that we began referring to this yet-to-be-born baby girl as Mari Wilton, so, she was very much an individual to all of us even before she made her appearance on February 14. We have had quite a week together strolling around in the California sunshine, playing silly games that cause giggles and squeals as she makes each new discovery. Whether it is watching a bird pick at the crumbs she drops while eating on the patio, or studying her image in the full-length mirror and patting it with great delight because she thinks she has a playmate just her size, she is just fun. Studying her perfect little fingers, nose, and the numerous folds in her chubby legs does make my heart melt with love, gratitude, and awe for our Creator God. In a world where there is much amiss, there is still much joy to be found in God’s gifts to us. As David said in the TwentyThird Psalm, “My cup runneth over.” There is plenty of Thanksgiving inspiration here. Our cover story on Joey Fail Garner will introduce you to a multi-talented and very warm lady, who loves her heavenly Father and who approaches every day with a keen and intentional attitude of gratitude. She is also the most humble person I have ever met. I had to call friends, family, and co-workers to get the scoop on her. She is a generous lady who does not tout her accomplishments. One of my favorite things about this issue is that all of our stories are not Pollyanna-style fairytales. There are undoubtedly opportunities to know God in more intimate ways in the middle of our toughest struggles. Several of our contributors have shared such stories. If you have ever found yourself confronting a situation that elicits fear over circumstances beyond your control, do read Courtney Gray Layson’s “This is my Story.” It seems the “C” word (cancer) is one of the big faith testers many of us have grappled with. She has found God’s grace sufficient in the middle of the anxiety that rears its head with every routine scan, and she counts the blessings that have come with the territory. Tricia Raymond’s “Living my Call” tells the story of a brave soldier, and I warn you to have your Kleenex handy. It is a story that reminds us of the selfless heroism of those in harm’s way who count it a blessing to serve their country. One of the greatest blessings of the redeemed heart is the certain faith that nothing touches us that a loving God has not allowed, and that there is no hard thing He puts before us intending that we walk the road alone. Even as we cope with the interruptions of our best laid plans, big and small disappointments, and the losses that come our way in this uncertain world, He offers up more than just platitudes or empty promises. He is Emmanuel, God with us. That is a good thing to remember at Thanksgiving and every day God gives us breath. Y

Marilyn H. Tinnin, Publisher and Editor

From Marilyn’s Bookshelf The Harbinger

What to do, ‘till “I DO”

Holidays and Holy Days

by Jonathan Cahn

by BJ Swafford

by Susan E. Richardson

This is a compelling and controversial work of fiction, but carries a worthy message, “Return.” The author, a Messianic Jew, draws parallels between God’s judgment on the nation of Israel and America’s plethora of recent catastrophes from 9/11/2001 until the present. A page-turner. “Those who can’t remember the past are doomed to repeat it.”

Kosciusko friend, BJ Swafford has written the perfect handbook for any bride and mother of the bride who needs a practical book on wedding planning. The absolute best one I have ever seen—especially if you are a Southerner! Available at Lemuria Books and Lifeway

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Our own Susan Richardson, MCL’s book reviewer, has compiled this reference book that every schoolteacher and mama wants to have in his or her library. Better than the Internet for a concise and correct explanation of where our holidays originate. A great way to be sure the culture does not obliterate the significance of just about every holiday you ever heard of—and some you haven’t! Marilyn H. Tinnin, Publisher and Editor Available at Lifeway, Persnickety, and Amazon.

➺the way i see it by MARTIN E. WILLOUGHBY, JR.

The Life of Purpose Is the Present question this path and wondered if there was a better way. In addition, I was getting older. I had several family members who died young, and I started to question this “deferred life” program I up. As you might imagine, I have heard many was on. It no longer became acceptable to wait of the normal responses—fireman, policeman, until “Some Day” to live the life of mission and teacher, doctor, etc. What is interesting to me is purpose I craved in my heart. I have made many that most children when asked the same mistakes along this journey, but I have tried my question have the same sort of response. While best to get off the deferred life program. there are certainly exceptions, including being a I am afraid that the myth of the deferred life professional athlete (which my son Trey is program is alive and well in our society. convinced he is going to be), the type jobs they However, Scripture tells us that we are not describe are usually service oriented. I believe guaranteed tomorrow (James 4:14). While we when we are growing up we have hopes and don’t need to be foolish, we need to realize that dreams of having a life of purpose. I don’t recall God has given us the present. How will we live ever hearing a child say his or her goal in life it? Will we be people of purpose, faith, and was to make a bunch of money and accumulate character today? Or, will we postpone that life to stuff. As we get older, the realities of life set in “One Day?” While he was not a follower of and dreams are usually set aside to pursue more Christ, Apple founder Steve Jobs wisely noted in a pragmatic paths. speech at Stanford that, “Death is very likely the Rick Warren’s mega bestseller, A Purpose I am afraid that the myth single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change Drive Life, struck a chord when it was first of the deferred life program agent.” He went on to remind them, “Your time published in 2002. Over 30 million copies were is alive and well in our is limited, so don’t waste it living someone sold, and he reminded us why we are here. Not else’s life.” to be served, but to serve. I know very few society. However, scripture In my executive coaching practice, I often people who truly have joy and peace in their tells us that we are not spend time considering with my clients what their life that live self-centeredly. Our flesh wants to guaranteed tomorrow. true goals and ambitions are in life. To do that, be self-centered and it is certainly encouraged you have to ask the hard questions. It can be by our culture. We are tempted to spend all of uncomfortable, but it is also liberating. Perhaps our time and money improving the status of you could consider today whether you are on the deferred life our looks, transportation, housing, and travel. While these can all be program. What things are you hoping to accomplish “Some Day?” good things, it is such a challenge to not let them take over the focus Perhaps today is the day to start working on making that “Some Day” a and purpose of our lives. reality today! Y Having lived through financial hardship when our family business went under when I was in high school, I became very focused as I Martin E. Willoughby, Jr,. is Chief Operating Officer of Butler Snow began my career on seeking money and financial security. I still had Advisory Services, LLC located in Ridgeland. He and his wife, Nicki, dreams and ambitions, but they lay dormant while I chased these have two children, Ally and Trey, and live in Memphis, Tennessee. worldly ambitions. When I became follower of Christ, I started to

ver the years, I like to survey my kids on what they want to do when they grow


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THERE’S NO PAIN LIKE HEELS FOR THE HOLIDAYS Christmas shopping leaves no time for painful feet. If your first few steps every morning cause you severe heel pain, you could have a condition called plantar fasciitis. Join orthopedic surgeon Jamey Burrow, MD, to find out how to treat this at home, how to prevent it from coming back, and when to see a doctor. $7 optional lunch November 4, 11:45 AM Baptist Madison Campus Community Room LUNG CANCER SCREENING AND PREVENTION If you are at risk for lung cancer, especially if you smoke or live with someone who does, come to this seminar with thoracic surgeon Michael Koury, MD, to find out about screening and prevention. $7 optional lunch November 6, 11:45 AM Hederman Cancer Center GERD AND IBS: DOUBLE TROUBLE If you suffer from both gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), heartburn and stomach pains are painfully familiar conditions. Join gastroenterologist Shirley Donelson, MD, as she addresses issues of and treatment options for both. $7 optional lunch November 12, 11:45 AM Baptist for Women Conference Room

STROKE SUPPORT GROUP Hosted by Baptist Neuroscience Services November 12, 1:00 PM Baptist Cardiovascular Center, 3rd Floor FINDING COMFORT AND JOY: CANCER TREATMENT AND THE HOLIDAYS Cancer treatment can be challenging at any time, but if we’re honest, it can feel worse during the holidays. Bring your loved ones and join Hederman Cancer Center psychologist Bufkin Moore, Psy.D., for a roundtable discussion to discover ways to make the most of the season. $7 optional lunch November 13, 11:45 AM Hederman Cancer Center DIABETES SUPPORT GROUP Hosted by Baptist Nutrition & Bariatric Center, FREE November 18, 1:00 PM Medical Arts East, 2nd Floor November 21, 1:00 PM Baptist Madison Campus Community Room

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living my call by TRICIA RAYMOND

Remember the Valiant


On October 6, 2013, 24-year-old Cpl. Josh Hargis, a member of the 3rd Army Ranger Battalion, was with his unit searching for a “high value target” at a home in the Panjwai district of Afghanistan. Thirty-six Rangers

and a canine unit were dispatched on the mission. Upon approaching the home, they called out for the occupants to exit. A man appeared, dropped to his knees, and lifted his shirt to show that he was not wired with explosives. As the troops approached the man for questioning, an Afghan woman suddenly appeared at the door. She was wired. Several members of the unit were killed instantly, including the dog. But, the melee was not over. As combat medics, explosives experts, and other members moved in to offer aid and assistance, 13 additional explosives were tripped. Cpl. Hargis was among those who were severely wounded. Fellow soldiers kept him alive for roughly two hours before he could be transported to the hospital. Lying in a hospital bed after surgery, Cpl. Hargis’s commanding officer officiated the military ceremony to award him the Purple Heart for “wounds received in action.” Hargis was covered by a red, white, and blue blanket, most likely hand sewn by a volunteer with Blankets of Hope, a charity that supplies combat support hospitals in war zones with blankets for wounded soldiers. It is a simple gesture to assure soldiers that someone back home remembers them and is praying for them. Hargis, a graduate of Gilbert Dater High School in Cincinnati, had just gotten out of surgery and was hooked up to a myriad of medical tubes and devices. Both legs had to be amputated, but he was alive. Doctors, nurses, brothers in arms, and military officers—a

crowd of roughly 50 people—stood around his bed while the Ranger Regimental Commander proceeded to pin the medal on Hargis’s blanket. Everyone thought Cpl. Hargis was still unconscious. But, as the officer proceeded to read the commendation, Cpl. Hargis began lifting his right arm in salute. It’s military protocol, you know. One of the doctors tried to restrain him. But, Hargis, despite pain, heavy bandaging, and emotional trauma, fought back and managed to get his hand to his forehead. The commanding officer later wrote Hargis’s wife that her husband’s action brought even the men, battlehardened warriors, to tears. Someone snapped a picture. The story went viral. Taylor, Josh’s wife, posted the commander’s letter on her Facebook page along with the picture. “I cannot impart to you the level of emotion that poured through the intensive care unit that day. Grown men began to weep and we were speechless at a gesture that speaks volumes about Josh’s courage and character. The picture, which we believe belongs on every news channel and every newspaper, is attached. I have it hanging above my desk now and will remember it as the single greatest event I have witnessed in my 10 years in the Army.” No doubt the war in Afghanistan is not what most Americans think of as we go about our day-to-day activities. I know I don’t. Paying the bills, getting the garage cleaned out, cheering on our favorite football teams, shopping for the holidays—these are the types of things that occupy our time. And, certainly, as Americans, we are immeasurably blessed to live in a country where acts of terrorism are still the exception, rather than the norm. But, maybe it’s time we give more thought

to the young men and women still serving our nation on the other side of the globe. And every other Veteran who has served so nobly. At this writing, there have been 2,287 American soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Countless others have been wounded. You can see the names of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice by going to Most are in their 20s. Unless you know them or read their hometown paper, you would never know of their sacrifice. The national news outlets no longer report war casualties, except as a blurb on the rolling bar at the bottom of the screen. We only know of Josh’s unit because of his inspiring salute. This Veteran’s Day, let’s all find a way to demonstrate gratitude to the men and women who have sacrificed and are sacrificing so much to protect our freedom and way of life. Send a note. Send a donation to the USO. Get your Sunday School to adopt a soldier. Offer a word of encouragement to a soldier’s family. Say a prayer. There are thousands of Cpl. Hargis’ out there. And thousands more who fought in other foreign lands—Korea, Vietnam, Normandy, the Philippines, just to name a few. They deserve to know we appreciate their sacrifice. It’s the least we can do. Y

Tricia Raymond is a speaker and author whose presentations focus on faith, freedom, and the special role that women play in God’s Kingdom. She is also the Founder of, an online advocacy site that focuses on defending religious freedom. Tricia is available for booking through Creative Partners Speakers Bureau 601.454.6503. ❘ NOVEMBER 2013 11

➺salt & light by MARILYN TINNIN

Surviving the Holidays


ove, laughter, and good times—all part of the holiday season. From the first thought of a

forever. We learn to walk with our grief, not to stop it. We learn to move forward in our living without our loved one. This is a painful process and varies from individual to individual.” In her own life Thanksgiving turkey right through the New Year’s Eve “Auld journey, she says the loss of a child and the loss of her parents Lang Syne,” we are conditioned to expect happiness. But the will always involve a degree of pain from time to time, but reality for many is quite the opposite. For those who are “the tears are fewer, the smiles come easier and are grieving the loss of someone close to them, holidays more frequent, and I can do things in their name can only amplify their heartache. There is no and honor.” GriefShare definitely prevents the statute of limitations on grief. Years may pass, There is no statue of grief from “ambushing” her. and for ten months of the year one functions limitations on grief.Years may Vickie Giles is one regular attendee in the fine, but the memories that just naturally pass, and for ten months of the group that meets at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday arrive with the holiday festivities can throw evenings. She and her brother, who had been someone into a deep sadness. year one functions fine, but the their mother’s caregivers, felt the loss so GriefShare is an international ministry that memories that just naturally profoundly after her death in July that Vickie provides support to people in the local arrive with the holiday began looking for some resource to help her community who are grieving the death of a festivities can throw someone work through her grief. “It was just the help I loved one. Cindy Namanny heads a GriefShare into a deep sadness. needed. Everything is scripture-based and I am group that meets weekly at Our Redeemer so comforted by this group.” Lutheran Church at 1799 Clinton Raymond Road This is a very close and supportive circle of new in Clinton. Anyone can join the group at any time, friends, but not a group pity party by any means. Cindy but there is a special one-night event in November says, “The dynamic that bonds the participants in Grief Share called “Surviving the Holidays”. It is designed just for those is the fact that they will never see their loved one again on this side of who are dealing with grief this holiday season. The seminar consists of heaven. We also stress the importance of a relationship with Jesus a 40-minute video with practical tips, an opportunity to hear from Christ as the foundation to personal healing from grief.” others who are also dealing with personal grief, an opportunity to If you are interested in Grief Share, call Cindy Namanny at share or not to share your own experience, and a Holiday Survival 601.924.9999 or visit to find a group near you. There Guide that will take you through the next weeks. are many groups throughout our state. Y Cindy says, “The death of a loved one impacts one’s earthly life




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➺modern motherhood by ROBIN O’BRYANT

Lessons from My Baby Girl adie, my four-year-old imp, is a ball of energy. She has a mop of white blond


hair that is constantly hanging in her face, and a gift for knowing exactly which buttons to push to make her older sisters scream like they’ve been set on fire. I’d say it’s one of the many gifts of being the youngest, but my youngest sister was God’s gift to my mother—I guess He felt obligated to do something nice for her after she had me. Regardless of how completely insane Sadie can make her sisters Aubrey and Emma, they still dote on her. Emma enjoys having a playmate to be in charge of, play dolls and make believe with and Aubrey will sit and read to Sadie for as long as she’ll sit still. (Not that long.) Sadie has a few catchphrases: “Benember da time…” she’ll say, meaning, “Remember the time…” and fill in the blank with some wild story that may or may not have actually happened. But my personal favorite is, “If you want to know why I’m (fill in the blank here)—just ask!” Sadie says this at least 15 times a day. “If you want to know why I’m taking the cheese off my sammich— just ask!” “If you want to know why I’m putting my bathing suit on—just ask!” “If you want to know why I’m brushing my teeth (on the swing)— just ask!” It’s become a sort of family inside joke, as soon as she finishes her sentence the whole family will respond in unison and with exaggerated interest, “Sadie, why are you taking the cheese off your sandwich?” “Sadie, why are you putting your bathing suit on?”

“Sadie, why are you brushing your teeth?” She grins that impish grin, showing off her tiny little teeth and the dimples in her cheeks and on her chin. She derives great pleasure from our asking, even when she knows we are only doing it because she told us to. It struck me the other evening, as I asked her rote question after rote question, almost repeating after her and she rattled off her lists of “If you want to know—just ask,” that God must feel the same way. He’s told us, if anyone lacks wisdom—just ask. Need peace? Just ask. Sick and barely holding on? Just ask. My mind was running wild as I realized that just like Sadie, God doesn’t even care WHY we are asking. It doesn’t matter if we are doing it because He told us to, because we’re bored, or because we are totally out of other options— He derives joy out of our asking Him and depending on Him to deliver the answer. You don’t even have to feign enthusiasm—just ask. Y Robin O’Bryant is mother to three daughters, wife to one husband, and The New York Times best-selling author of Ketchup Is A Vegetable And Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves. She shares the drama and hilarity of motherhood in her syndicated family humor column, “Robin’s Chicks” and on her blog by the same name,

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➺let’s talk it over by SUZANNE STAMBOULEIGH


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16 NOVEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living

The Art of Thanksgiving

As Thanksgiving approaches, we are often appropriately reminded to be thankful. When things are going smoothly in life, being thankful is easy. But, let’s face it, life can be hard and being thankful can sometimes be a challenging task. Sometimes, we can focus so much on what is going wrong in our lives that we lose sight of the many blessings God has given us! What does God say about being thankful? He tells us to “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you,” (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, NIV). How can we rejoice always when we are facing a trial in life? Well, rejoicing— or expressing joy—is different from happiness. You may not be happy with how things are in your life because happiness is sometimes contingent on life circumstances. But joy is deeper than happiness. Joy is not contingent on life circumstances, and it is unique in that it not only comes from the Lord, but also is our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). And as Christians, we can be joyful despite ever-changing life circumstance because we know ultimately we have God. Secondly, God instructs us to pray without ceasing. God wants you to be in constant communication with Him. He wants to know the desires of your heart, but more importantly, He desires a personal relationship with you. Quiet time with Him is crucial because this is when He often reveals things to us. Unfortunately, when we are going through a life crisis and need him most, our prayer time often takes a back seat for one reason or another. Personally, I tend to analyze and wonder “why me, why now, etc.” It is easy to question God and His plan during these times—and yes, the answers to "why" questions may give us a sense of peace at times—but God does not always reveal these answers to us. However, we can find comfort that He always reveals the "how" to us. "How can I get through this?" The answer is always the same—through Him and no other way! Drawing near to God

each day and resting in the "how" can usually help us to have a clearer vision and allows us to see the "why" that God is revealing to us. Finally, we are instructed to give thanks in everything. He does not say give thanks only “when things are going well in your life.” So, how do you do this? As Christians, regardless of whether we are suffering emotionally or physically, we still have so much to be thankful for! Thankfully, we are saved by His grace (Ephesians 2:8-9) and we will spend eternal life in Heaven. And, although it may seem like the pain is too great and you just can’t take anymore, God says he will not give you more than you can take (1 Corinthians 10:13), and he will give you the strength to get through it (Philippians 4:13). Some practical ways to show your thankfulness and grateful heart are to ask what you can do for others in an effort to give back. Giving takes the focus off you and elicits feelings of gratitude within the giver and the recipient. It can also inspire others who hear about it to be thankful. Another idea is to make it a habit each day to thank God for at least three non-material things in your life. I personally think the most important thing to remember is to not compare your life with others! God has great plans for you, but they are not the same as what He has for someone else (Jeremiah 29:11). Often, comparing your blessings to those of someone else only fosters jealousy and resentment, instead of the realization that you have truly been blessed. Regardless of where you are in life, I encourage you to draw near to Him and focus on the many blessings that He has bestowed upon you. You just never know how He will change your heart or what He will reveal to you during the process. Y

How can we rejoice always when we are facing a trial in life?

Suzanne Stambouleigh is a therapist for Summit Counseling. Suzanne currently resides in Madison with her husband Stephen and daughter Scarlett. She can be contacted at

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➺all in the family by DR. JOHN L. COX


The Best Speech You’ll Ever Regret

on’t have a Conniption Fit!!!” Please tell me that you know what that means!! I used that phrase with someone the other day and they didn’t know what a conniption was!! Has Jackson changed that much? Has it been that long? Has “conniption” gone the way of “picture show,” “pocket book,” and “Goin’ to the Tote-Sum” as legit Jackson phraseology?!? I hope not. Nothing describes a complete angry hissy fit like the term “conniption.” So, before you have a conniption, let’s talk about anger. Is anger okay? Should we repress it? Express it? Do I have a “right” to be angry? Here are a couple of thoughts on our hottest emotion. Number one, expressing our anger by pitching a (conniption) fit helps no one. People often say, “You need to get your anger out!” Well, if anger were a finite entity like blowing your nose, maybe that would work. Blow your nose—all clear!! But unresolved


first thing you felt was fear (scared of being anger is infinite. You can express it all day, but late for your interview), helplessness (unless we’ll just make more!! Instead, anger is like bad breath. Breathing it enthusiastically on me you have some powers I wish I had, you can’t make lights stay green). Get it? Most anger is is not going to help you smell any better. about not facing the weak feeling. Anger needs to be resolved. It’s legit to tell Here’s another example: You’re at a party. someone ABOUT your anger, but that is very Your spouse tells (what they think is) a different from DOING your anger to him or “hilarious” story about you. But that story makes her. You see anger is like a warning light on you look like a fool in front of everyone there. the dashboard. It means that “something” is So what do you do when you get in the car? You wrong—maybe with ME—and some kind of guessed it—you throw a “conniption” problem needs to be solved. So fit. You angrily bless them out. expressing the fact that we have it “How could you tell THAT helps begin the detective work story in front of THOSE to figure out what the people?” So pop quiz—if problem is. But that is very When someone has anger was the Second different from “going off” been deeply harmed and thing you felt, what was on someone. Conniptions the first? Shame. help nothing. they finally get angry, it Embarrassment. We So is anger bad? Not means that something in don’t want to feel those at all. Sometimes anger them is ready to start vulnerable feelings so we can serve as a wonderful advocate for the weak. protecting themselves. become the Incredible Hulk. “Hulk not weak!! When someone has been Hulk big and angry!!” Get it? deeply harmed and they So, before we have a finally get angry, it means that conniption, we first need to be something in them is ready to start honest—with ourselves and some safe protecting themselves. These people often need to learn to turn their anger into powerful people—that we are struggling with anger. Anger signals a problem that needs to be protective limits against a hurtful person. For solved. But remember, telling someone these people anger acts as an Advocate, ABOUT our anger is different from DOING saying, “I need to prevent you from treating our anger to them. me this way anymore.” “I need to leave the Secondly, anger may signal a need to set room if you are going to berate me.” “I need limits to protect ourselves from harm. Many to put you in time out if you continue people remain angry victims and never learn whining.” (Yes, whining is a form of abuse.) to have a strong NO against hurtful people. For most of us, however, anger is a Thirdly, most of our daily anger is an defense. I tell people this all the time—Anger attempt to not feel something helpless or is the Second Thing We Feel. When you weak. As one person said, “If small things feel anger, it’s probably because you have felt make someone angry, then think how small another feeling, a weaker feeling, just before it. If you are like me, feeling weak feelings like that person must feel!” So good luck to you and yours!! helplessness, shame, sadness, etc., is not one And yes, I did have to look up how to of your favorite pastimes. So what do we do? spell conniption. Y We conjure a big, bad scary powerful feeling like anger to make us feel less powerless. Think about the times you get angry: You’re late for a job interview. You’ve missed Dr. John L. Cox is a clinical psychologist every red light. As you top the hill, you see the who has been practicing in Jackson for light ahead is already green, so you speed up 25 years. He works with adults, but just as you near it, it changes yellow. You marriages and children at Live Oak curse by every saint in the calendar and bang Psychological Associates. You can your steering wheel. Now, why did you do contact him at 601-352-7398, or at his website: that? Anger wasn’t the first thing you felt. The



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The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. – Psalm 126:3

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➺chewed petunias by SUSAN E. RICHARDSON

Moving Forward in Faith “Moses returned to the LORD and said, ‘O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all,’” (Exodus 5:22-23). Obedience is hard enough when we can see immediate positive results from doing what the Lord asks. What happens when we obey, but our obedience seems to make things worse? Moses had that problem when he obeyed God and confronted Pharaoh. Not only did Pharaoh not listen, but he also forced the Israelites to make bricks without straw.

“Providing psychotherapy for positive life change”

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20 NOVEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living

We have the advantage of knowing the end of the story. Eventually Pharaoh listened and the Israelites went free. We don’t often consider how the people in the story felt when they didn’t know the ending. Following God must have looked foolish at best. Moses confronted Pharaoh several times. Each time Pharaoh seemed to win, while Moses walked away in failure. I’ve experienced this, too. I’ve done what God asked, waited for Him to act, and but saw nothing change. Why does God direct and then not open the path? When I chose to leave a previous job, I prayed about the decision and consulted with people familiar with Christian retail about my future plans. At the time, I’d spent 16 years in the Christian industry, both as a retailer and as a writer. Those who knew my background and abilities encouraged me to move ahead with consulting for churches that wanted to open stores. Early responses were encouraging, but in the end no opportunities opened for me. Had I misheard Him? Was He unfaithful in directing me? Finally I realized that the Lord gave me a second opportunity to choose well where I’d failed before. I had the chance to make better choices in a new situation. So I had to choose. Do I turn away again? Do I turn my back on God, fearing to trust Him? Or do I keep moving ahead, trusting blindly against the evidence I can see? The decision wasn’t an easy one. The Lord used His timing to build my faith. I had trouble deciding to trust when everything in me was screaming, “No, it’s not going to work!” I had to allow the Lord to overrule that inner voice. He asked that I learn to walk by faith, not by sight, even though He never chose to open that specific door. The Lord doesn’t ask us to wait for no reason. His reasons are more complex than any of us can understand. The bottom line is that when we face a situation where obedience seems to make the situation worse, we have a choice: turn back or trust. Somehow we’ve come to believe that trusting means having perfect peace about everything, but that isn’t true. Trust is something we do, not something we feel. We

act according to trust and find comfort through other means. We can trust even while overwhelmed with pain and in need of comfort. When we act in spite of the challenge, we choose to trust. We don’t deny the effort required nor do we rely on emotions. The feelings that go with trust grow as we practice acting on faith. It’s a tough, trudging-throughthe-muck perseverance that refuses to quit. What kinds of trust are you practicing? Make a list of ways you’re choosing to do the right thing and making healthy choices that reflect trust, even when feeling overwhelmed. If you’ve never considered practical things as a form of trust, think about what you could do that demonstrates your decision to trust despite what you feel. Sometimes just getting out of bed in the morning counts. So does taking a walk or doing some gardening instead of staying in alone. As you go further into your journey, your feelings will begin to fall in line with your choices. Even when nothing makes sense to us, God is working to bring us healing and wholeness. His final goal for us is freedom, just as it was for the Israelites.

Lord, choosing trust when we don’t comprehend is hard. We know we can’t do this alone. Please, show us how to choose trust. Help us trust through our choices and our actions even when we don’t understand what You are doing. Y (*To get started with the full chewed petunias story, please visit You’ll find the story plus other material that may help you along the way.) Susan E. Richardson has a passion for meeting people’s needs through the written word. You can reach her by email at or check either of her two websites: or

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➺food for thought by LYDIA BOLEN

Timeless Fall Desserts is autumn at its finest here in Mississippi N ovember

. Vibrant fall colors are everywhere you look.

With cooler temperatures, I love to pull out old family recipes or try new versions of the old ones. My mother and her sisters baked Pineapple Upside Down Cake in an iron skillet. I used to think how fun it was to watch them make this cake. You can’t go wrong trying this recipe in an iron skillet.

PUMPKIN ROLL 3 2/3 1 1/2 1 3/4 1/2

eggs cup canned pumpkin cup white sugar teaspoon ground cinnamon teaspoon baking soda cup all-purpose flour cup chopped walnuts (optional) Confectioner’s sugar, for dusting

Filling: 2 tablespoons butter, softened 8 ounces cream cheese, softened 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 15”x10”x1” baking pan and line with parchment paper. Grease and flour the paper. In a large bowl, beat eggs on high for 5 minutes. Gradually add sugar and pumpkin. Add flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top if using. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Immediately turn cake out onto a linen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Peel off paper and roll cake up in the towel, starting with the short end. Let COOL. Mix confectioners sugar, vanilla, butter, and cream cheese together until smooth. Carefully unroll the cake. Spread the filling mixture over cake to within 1 inch of edges. Roll up again. Cover the pumpkin roll and chill until serving. Can dust with more confectioners sugar right before serving. 22 NOVEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living

What’s better in the fall than good Pecan Pie? My daughter shared this new version of pecan pie in the form of a muffin. If you love Pecan Pie, you will love these muffins! Pumpkin recipes appear on many dining tables in November. I especially enjoy the old-fashioned Pumpkin Roll. It is pretty and festive, and great to give as a gift or have as a different dessert at your Thanksgiving meal. Y


1 1/3 1 2 1/2 1/3 2/3 1 1/2 1

cup butter brown sugar, firmly packed can (20 oz.) sliced pineapple, drained (Reserve juice for sauce) Maraschino cherries Pecan halves cups sifted all-purpose flour cup sugar teaspoons baking powder teaspoon salt cup soft shortening cup milk teaspoon vanilla teaspoon lemon flavoring egg

Melt butter in a heavy 10-inch cast iron skillet. Spread brown sugar evenly over butter. Arrange pineapple slices in attractive pattern on the sugar. Put cherries in center of slices, and fill in spaces with pecan halves. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a mixing bowl. Add shortening, milk, and flavorings. Beat 2 minutes at medium speed in mixer. Add egg. Beat 2 more minutes. Pour batter over fruit. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes or until cake tests done. Cool cake in skillet for 10 minutes. Turn upside down on a cake platter. For a yummy sauce to pour over this cake, click on “Food for Thought” at

PECAN PIE MUFFINS 1 1 1/2 2 1/2

cup pecans, chopped cup light brown sugar, firmly packed cup all-purpose flour large eggs, beaten cup butter, melted

Combine first three ingredients in a large bowl. Beat eggs until foamy. Stir together eggs and melted butter; add to dry ingredients stirring until moistened. Place foil baking cups in muffins tins. (It’s pretty to use seasonal baking cups.) Spoon batter into cups until 2/3 full and bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Remove from pans immediately and cool on wire racks. Best served warm. Makes 8 regular muffins or 12 mini muffins. Y

“My food,” said Jesus, “is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.” – John 4:34

Remember to make memories through the kitchen— “the heartbeat of the home.” E-mail me at for any questions.

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➺education connection by KATE SISTRUNK

Living with Dyslexia—There Is Hope! Kate Sistrunk

ould you imagine reading something over and over and over and not being able to grasp anything it says? Imagine having trouble taking notes in


class because you cannot process what they are saying fast enough or even spell what they are saying. Now imagine being a kid who’s terribly embarrassed by it all—and afraid to ask for help. This situation for kids can be a nightmare. It was for me and is for countless children sitting in classrooms across the country. As a child, I experienced all of these things, which made school a struggle for me. Unfortunately, I went to a school where appropriate accommodations weren’t made. To maintain a solid “C” average, I had to invest a great deal of time into schoolwork outside of the classroom. I struggled to understand how my friends and classmates seemed to exert less energy, but always seemed to get an “A”. I often wondered why learning was so hard for me when it seemed to come so easily for my classmates. My self-esteem suffered as a result, and impacted me adversely. Because I was afraid that others would laugh at me, I never asked questions or wanted to read aloud in class. I was very insecure with academics. Luckily, my mother got me involved in extracurricular activities. I excelled which boosted my self-esteem. Finally, I was good at something! At age 16, I was diagnosed with ADD, Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, and Dyscalculia—no wonder I had been struggling! It was in college that I finally began to understand more about troubles with education and learning. I began receiving accommodations for my learning difficulties and it made all the difference. I went from being a “C” student in high school to a college student on the Dean’s List! I dedicated myself to helping other children with similar experiences by graduating with a Bachelor’s in Education. Following college, I began my career as a teacher, which included “A Great deal of improvement in Levi’s reading and spelling abilities as well as his self motivation due to the Dyslexia Therapy Services.” – Robert & Ginger Filbert, Parents of Levi

One of Mrs. Sistrunk’s fifth graders said, “Mrs. Sistrunk is amazing. She has helped me so much with my reading and writing. Dyslexia Therapy is one of my favorite parts of the day. “ – 5th Grade student of New Summit School

“Since my son Alex, was diagnosed, I have learned there is no set approach to teaching a child with Dyslexia. It requires a highly skilled teacher that can figure out the best method for getting through to each child. After doing my own research, I was not satisfied with the options presented to me, at his previous school. My decision to put Alex in New Summit School was based on several factors. The staff and teachers are available at all times, There are numerous parent/teacher meetings in which the teachers work late to make sure that parents have every opportunity to stay informed. Staff and parents are eager to share success stories, and most important in our 24 NOVEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living

time in a traditional classroom—as well as a stint as the director of a program that assisted students with learning needs. It was both empowering and fulfilling to assist students in ways others couldn’t— because I understood these kids. I could relate, I knew what it is like to study or to read and just not be able to grasp it! Moreover, I could speak from experience when I would tell the students that it wasn’t a lack of effort, or laziness that was affecting their academic performance. Hearing that sort of thing from the children would bother me so much because I knew it just wasn’t true! I knew why these students were so frustrated with school. I had been there! No child wants to be lazy—every student wants to please. I now work for New Summit School where I provide Dyslexia Therapy and Diagnostic Services. It has been a blessing for me, and for our students. I am able to work with individuals that have a diagnosis of Dyslexia, as well as those that do not. In both instances, I am able give them the help that they need to succeed academically. In my 10 years of experience in education, I have never seen a program have such a positive impact on students. The Dyslexia Therapy program is research based. It is founded in widely accepted best practices in the field of Dyslexia Therapy. At New Summit School, we offer the program five days a week and are seeing immediate results! The gains made by students are exciting. As a means of extending this service to students outside of New Summit School, we offer therapy after-hours by appointment. My goal in life is to help as many students as possible. To help them realize they can read and they will be successful. Y Kate Sistrunk is New Summit School’s Dyslexia Therapy Program instructor for K-12. She can be contacted 601.982.7827 or

case, Ms. Sistrunk, who has extensive training working with Dyslexics as well as her own personal experiences in dealing with Dyslexia. Before Alex started school at New Summit, he could barely recognize his ABCs. We were told by the public school that he was attending, that he would have to repeat another year. He would now be in class with children two and three years younger than him, even though he had been placed in Special Education classes. His attitude towards school was not easy to deal with, and he was embarrassed to be placed in the same class with such young kids. Three months after beginning New Summit, he is sounding out words, successfully taking spelling tests, and tells me often that he likes going to school! I have never seen a more enthusiastic group of teachers and administrators so eager to help make a difference in these children’s lives. There is no doubt that the small group classes as well as his daily sessions with Ms. Sistrunk have helped tremendously. This is the first time, since realizing that Alex was having problems learning, that we have had hope. I am so excited for him!” – Stephanie Anderson, Parent of Alex


PrepPreview School Day Visit TUESDAY,

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Join us for a campus tour emphasizing grades 6-8 to experience a day in the life of our school and to see our campus transformation! Students are welcome to attend with parents. Come see what’s new at Jackson Prep!

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Joey Garner A Leading Lady

26 NOVEMBER 2013 â?˜ Metro Christian Living

Grandaddy Donnie, Joey, and Grandma Estelle Fail enjoy the 50th Anniversary of the Bay Springs Phone Company in 1973.


oey Fail Garner, Executive Vice President of Telephone Electronic Corporation (TEC), wields enormous responsibilities on her slender shoulders.

The epitome of Southern grace, she comes across as the girl nextdoor, winsome and unassuming. It is easy to picture her on the sidelines at her children’s football or volleyball games cheering with gusto, or meeting her girlfriends for a 5 a.m. run and being the one who encourages everyone to wake up and embrace the Joey explains that small communities all had their own phone morning. It is even easy to appreciate that she was an outstanding company because as the American Bell Company (AT&T’s forerunner) athlete in both tennis and basketball at Bay Springs High School in the stretched its network across the United States, they were not eager to 1980s. It is easy to picture her as a smart girl who graduated from lay cable in outlying rural communities. They reasoned it was an Vanderbilt. It is not as easy to picture her sitting behind a desk, expense with little return. Such a policy resulted in small towns like heading up the day-to-day operations of TEC, its six local Bay Springs forming their own local companies. telephone companies, two cable companies, and other The Bay Springs Phone Company had a staff of two— affiliated technological entities across four states. Estelle and Donnie. Joey recalls many a story of her However, the Mississippi Business Journal named this grandfather walking the country roads with a cane soft-spoken lady the 2008 Business Woman of the fishing pole in his hand, not to fish, but to unravel Year. And if you ask her, she is doing exactly what the telephone lines that became tangled in a storm she set her mind to do as a little girl. That would or a strong wind. When Joey’s dad graduated from be working in the family business. LSU with a degree in electrical engineering, it Joey (and yes, that is her real name) is was a natural fit for him to take a role in his anything but a stereotype. As the first child of parents’ business. During the decade of the Jody and Nancy Fail, she came into the world 1960s as technology was expanding, the Fails giving a 200% effort at whatever she did. She began purchasing other rural telephone credits her small town idyllic childhood and companies in Alabama and Tennessee. Long the consistent example of her parents’ strong hours and a willingness to do whatever it faith for shaping her work ethic as well as the took—that’s what they did. values that are apparent in her every pursuit. “Dad and Granddad were always very Whether it is being James Garner’s wife, the forward thinking. They were always on the mother of three teenagers, or leading the forefront of technology,” Joey says and adds, “I company, you can count on Joey to give her all. hope I inherited that trait.” Their legacy was a Andy Griffith’s “Mayberry” or Robert Young’s degree of willingness to change in some areas Father Knows Best series were very close to the while holding on to the core values that are the reality of Bay Springs, Mississippi, where Joey grew foundation of business integrity. Joey gets that. It has up. A community where everybody knew been modeled for her for her entire life. everybody and walking was the preferred mode With the addition of two cable television of transportation, the population was—and still companies, the Fails formed TEC as the parent Joey and James married May 4, 1991. is—around 2,000 residents. It doesn’t sound like company, and they continued to grow their the spot to launch a company that would be customer base through acquisitions. When AT&T among the nation’s leaders in technology solutions. But it was. divested in the early 1980s, TEC formed Mississippi’s first alternative long-distance carrier, CommuniGroup. The only constant in the Joey’s Roots rapidly evolving telecommunication industry was—and still is— It was 1923 when Joey’s grandparents, Estelle and Donnie Fail, change, and Joey watched from the sidelines as her father successfully purchased the Bay Springs Telephone Company. There were about adapted. 120 subscribers, and Estelle became the “Number, please” voice and Joey can’t remember a time when she was not aware of business, only operator of the magneto switchboard. Included in the business since she could walk out her back door and play on rolls of cable and purchase was a cinder block house that doubled as both residence and see the trucks parked in her yard. Her dad came home for lunch every business office. day, and business was dinnertime conversation. She adored her father ❘ NOVEMBER 2013 27

Displayed prominently in Joey’s office are these treasures—the “portraits” of their mom that sons John and Joseph created as first graders.

Joey laughs and says that it became apparent very early that she was not cut out to be an engineer. She switched her major to English and “loved every minute of it!” It was in the summer following her freshman year that a friend invited her to spend a weekend in Jackson and attend a Bryan Adams concert at the Jackson Coliseum. The friend also arranged a blind date with a Mississippi State engineering student, James Garner. “I know it sounds corny,” she says, “But I knew from the start that he was the one for me.” James was equally smitten with Joey saying that once he saw those blue eyes, she had him before the first “Hello!” After a threeyear, long-distance courtship, they married in 1991, and spent the first year together in Huntsville, where James worked for Rockwell Industries, a company heavily involved in the construction of the space shuttle. “When I graduated, I wondered how I was going to work for the company with a degree in English.” Jody Fail was a step Major Decisions ahead of her. As TEC was continuing to TEC’s growth and success afforded Joey a grow across the Southeast, it seemed lot of opportunities to travel with her family important to develop a sense of connectedness during her formative years. Seeing the big world among the divisions in different places. Fail wanted was its own education, but no matter how far she to start a corporate monthly newsletter, a very went, she always loved to get back home to Bay innovative idea for that time. He assigned the task Springs. There was a deep connection to the town, Spending time outside with John, to his English-major daughter. In order to do the the Baptist church, the school, and the people who Joseph, and Jessica has always thorough job that Joey felt compelled to do, she were so much a part of her. Despite having lived in been a favorite thing to do! visited every company, interviewed everyone Ridgeland for more than a decade, she still answers involved and gained a great understanding of every the question, “Where are you from?” with “Bay aspect of TEC. It was also important to Joey to win the trust, respect, Springs, Mississippi.” and friendship of the people who made the company run. She did not A high school English teacher encouraged Joey, who was want anyone to think she had the job simply because she was Jody valedictorian of her class, to apply for early admission to Vanderbilt. Fail’s daughter. She did and was accepted. Although her family bleeds purple and gold Jody had no doubt his daughter would do a bang-up job. All these and roots for those LSU Tigers, Joey never applied for admission years later, the newsletter continues, and although Joey’s job titles and anywhere except Vanderbilt. She visited the campus only once before duties have grown with the years, she is still the one responsible for her freshman year and enrolled in the Engineering School because she that newsletter. Her personal touch is all over it. She has a knack for was certain she was going to follow in her dad’s footsteps. who made family a high priority. He led the family devotions each night. He was always there to encourage and advise her, and as she watched him make decisions about the future of his business, she saw how very much he sought God’s direction before making a decision. Even as a little girl before she was sure what she wanted to become when she grew up, she did know that she wanted to be involved in the company her father and grandfather built. Jody Fail says he always recognized in his daughter a unique skill set—“her determination to strive for excellence, her love for people, her competiveness and her positive attitude about life.” He did not set out to groom her to take over the company one day, but there was little doubt in anyone’s mind that she was capable. His goals for his first-born were not to be a CEO, but rather “to enjoy a happy Christian family life of her own and to succeed in her personal ambitions.” Well, that “personal ambition” was to work in her father’s company!

28 NOVEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living

Joey’s dad, Jody Fail was selected LSU Distinguished Alumni of the Year in 2012. Pictured are James, Joey, Jessica, John, Jody and Nancy Fail, Joseph, Brandi and Alan Callison.

Joseph, Joey, John, and James celebrate the boys’ St. Andrew’s undefeated football season.

making all 250 employees in four states feel not only connected, but like they are all essential members of a big family—because in Joey’s mind, they certainly are. It takes more than the expertise with nouns and verbs to inject warmth between the lines. Joey does that by being herself, by sharing parts of her family’s life lessons, and by her inclusive articles that introduce the TEC employees to each other and highlight numerous community projects that different divisions take on in their respective cities. Community service is a sort of “extension” of Jesus’ “salt and light” parable. The result is a common spirit of camaraderie and teamwork. Lisa Clarke, Director of Marketing at TEC, tells me that meetings here always begin with prayer and a Bible verse. There is a very positive culture and a sense that everyone is pulling in the same direction. That sort of prevailing attitude starts at the top. Amanda Wootton, one of Joey’s best friends, prayer partner, and 5 a.m. running buddy, says, “I have never met anybody who prays over every single thing the way Joey does.” She is a calm and serene person who has an amazing ability to see the big picture. In a situation where most of us panic first and seek God after all else has failed, Joey’s first instinct is always to pray and to listen and to let God lead. Joey is a prayer warrior and always has been. In her unassuming

way, she shrugs off her friend’s praise. She says she has just always talked to God—a practice she began as a small child and one that has always seemed quite natural to her. “I’ve had a close relationship with God my whole life, and that’s all because of my parents and the way they lived their lives.” There may have been times, she says, when she was slightly bothered by the fact that her testimony has no dramatic episodes and trials to recount. Does that make it any less real? She says she wonders if there will be some big calamity down the road somewhere, and if there is, she prays she will be faithful and that she will trust God’s hand as much in that trial as she has trusted Him all her life.

Juggling Family It’s a delicate balance to nurture a family and simultaneously lead in a corporate environment. There is nothing easy about it since it requires maximum effort from both sides of the brain! Add to the “mommy” challenge the fact that she and husband James, Vice President of Operations, work in the same office every day. How do you blend work and marriage and children and make it all work? It is an inspiring story all by itself. Although they take two cars to work every day so that Joey can

FIND YOUR ST. ANDREW’S. _____________ ❘ NOVEMBER 2013 29

there been just one son, Joey might have opted out of a leave in time to pick up the children from school and be few very special occasions. For instance, John and home when they are home, they do see each other Joseph, like their dad, enjoy hunting. Because each during the day. And they make it a point to have boy has to have an adult with him, Joey has lunch together most days. Most psychologists do relished being that second adult. Many a chilly not recommend husbands and wives working winter morning will find her wearing her together. Why does this combination work? camouflage and patiently watching for deer James says, “Joey is a giver. She gives with one of the boys. It is a memory she will herself completely to whatever she does.” always be thankful she has made. He adds that even though it may not be the The first year the boys could actually easiest thing to understand, it is true that shoot, they drew straws to see who went she puts her family before her job and she with Dad and who went with Mom. Much balances it all because of her very strong to John’s visible disappointment he drew his faith. Her relationship with the Lord mother. He was sure his brother had the grounds her, prioritizes for her, and keeps advantage, would benefit from Dad’s her focused. expertise, and certainly get the first deer. Not The artwork and photos in her office so. It was John who got the big one that day! illustrate James’ words. When their twin sons were in the first grade they had to describe their mom with words and their own original Priorities portrait of her. The resulting works of art You will find the Garners on Sundays at Younger sister Brandi Callison works with Joey at hang behind her desk. Such clues about Broadmoor Baptist Church in Madison. TEC. Says Brandi, “Growing up I always wanted to Joey in her young sons’ own words are Joey has a leadership position in several be with her, to play with her and her friends. And tender, hilarious, and heartfelt. “Her key committees. During the week, Joey she always included me, always took care of me favorite thing is playing with us.” “She starts her day at 5:37 a.m. with either a and watched out for me. Just as she does today!” loves to throw the baseball.” “She washes five-mile run or a Pilates class, gets our clothes.” “She takes care of us.” “She everyone off to school, and then gets reads to us.” “Her favorite food is Special K.” Clearly, these boys adore herself to the office. She picks up the boys around 3:30. Sixteen-yeartheir mom. old Jessica, a volleyball player at St. Andrews, usually has a practice Admitting that she knew nothing about raising boys until she had after school, and she can now drive herself home. two, she has loved every new experience that has come as a result. Had “Schedules change with different seasons,” says Joey, “Things have to be flexible.” Although the Garner children appreciate the “family business” factor, Joey says, “It’s a little different for them because they don’t walk out the door and see the business everywhere the same way I did as a child.” She and James make it a point to not talk about business at home— mostly because the family is so busy, and so engaged and interesting, that there is just no time to subtract from the here and now—and the fun of family—to talk about work! The constant, however, for the Garner children, is observing the generational faith that just has to inspire. Joey’s parents, Jody and Nancy, make most ballgames their grandchildren play. Holidays and weekends are family affairs. Gratitude is a big deal—blessings are not taken for granted. Thanksgiving is around the corner. You can bet the Fails and Garners, along with sister, Brandi and her husband Alan Callison, will be together, and the emphasis will be on giving thanks— to God. He is at the center of all they do. Y

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In Joey’s Own Words Best Advice to Working Moms: Always try to have a little quiet time during the day to read your Bible and pray, even if it is only five minutes. Sometimes these few minutes come while sitting in carpool or waiting for dinner to be done. I have talked with my dad about this because it has bothered me in the past when I haven’t been able to be still and focus on God. He always told me to just do what I could and that one day in life, I would have more time to devote to those things. He never said slack off on the quiet time; he just told me not to be so hard on myself.

My morning routine: I try to keep my morning routine from interfering with my family’s early morning routine. It is really important to me to exercise, but it is more important to me to be able to take care of my family. I like to be there to help get them started on a good day. It’s important to me to be able to say goodbye with a hug and a smile in the mornings.

One of my favorite things: Coming home from a great run with my friends on a Saturday morning and having that first cup of coffee on the back porch while I read my Bible. I love having quiet time before the rest of the family wakes up. I thank God for every new day, and I cherish the quiet times when I can bask in His glory. Favorite Bible Verse: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness.We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. (Romans 8:26) Y

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am sitting in the Nuclear Medicine Department of Markey Cancer Center at University of Kentucky Hospital. Gray cinder block walls, caution signs, warnings about radiation, and doctors in lab coats surround me. I see baldheads, IV poles, and spaceship-like scanning machines with the name SIEMENS printed in teal lettering. It's like a sterile walking graveyard. Everyone is alive, which is really good, but life isn't the word that comes to mind. Let's just face it. I'm scared. There. I said it. Now it's out on the page for the entire world to see. I have finally mustered up the strength to face the inevitable. FEAR. It’s the ugliest fourletter word I can think of. I'm sad to say that of all the words I can think of, this is the one I have the most trouble owning up to. I've been in this situation many times now. It's not new. The first time I was here I was inexplicably confident. I think I was just naive. The second time I was here, I was irritated. I was annoyed with cancer's inconvenient impact on my life. But this time it's different. I don't want to be here. I'm afraid of the medicine I may or may not have to take depending on the results of my scans. I know how sick I'll feel if I have another dose of radiation. Even though the radiologist will tell me that it's all in my head. I'm terrified of the painfully lonely 72 hours of isolation. I am acutely aware of the time I'll spend away from my husband and children. I know that I'll worry for the next 6 months about the next 6 months. And I'll always be concerned about the long-term effects treatment has on my body. Fear. It's such a small word, but its impact is so big. It's paralyzing. At times fear has the strength of 10,000 wild horses. Nothing else has such an impact on my life. I mean it's crazy that something so small can do so much damage. So, now I've said it. At least this time I'm not faking it. There's another f-word for you. Unfortunately, I'm kind of comfortable with that one. I know how to fake it. But fear? The very word seems so weak and so uncontrollable. So, here I am sitting in the hospital surrounded by fear. And then I hear a familiar voice. Sue. We go way back. Sue has been my radiology tech for each scan since August of 2010. She and her colleague, Stephen, rule the roost in the Nuclear Medicine Department as far as I'm concerned. They keep everyone informed and up-to-date and they do it all with smiles on their faces. They are gentle souls—

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kind. As I hear Sue's voice, I am calmed. She calls my name and escorts me to the all-toofamiliar spaceship/scanner. As I settle in for my photo shoot, Sue wraps me in a warm blanket and tapes my feet together. (It's okay. I'm used to it.) And as if on cue, James Taylor begins to play in the background. Sue remembers that I love this CD. I ask for it every time I visit for my weeklong rendezvous. These seemingly unremarkable acts of kindness lead me to another four-letter word—HOPE. Isn't it amazing how you just need a teenytiny bit of hope in order to feel better? It's like a miracle drug. I wish that's all you needed to cure cancer. Sue's sweet spirit gives me hope that there is life beyond this dungeon—that there's life beyond this fear. And in a split second, I feel it. FAITH. Instantly I am reminded of the verses I read just yesterday in the book of Isaiah. But this is what the LORD says—He who created you, Jacob, He who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” – Isaiah 43:1-3a

My scans from today are inconclusive. I don't know what will happen to me tomorrow. I may have another treatment awaiting me. I may have another 72-hour isolation period in my very near future. I might get so sick that I don't eat for two more days. I just don't know. I am still afraid, but I am not gripped by fear. I want good news tomorrow. I'd be a liar if I said otherwise. I don't know one person in the Markey Cancer Center who doesn't want the same thing. But I do know this. Sue will greet me with a smile and a warm blanket. James Taylor will serenade me softly while a gigantic machine takes pictures of my insides. And The God of All Creation will continue to reign over it all. And keeping all of this in mind, I realize something else. I am thankful. While I don’t necessarily appreciate cancer, I am glad that I love a God who brings blessings out of bad things. I am thankful for faith and hope and kindness. I am thankful for those who care for the sick. I am thankful for life.Y Courtney Gray Layson is a native Jacksonian and a graduate of MS College and Asbury Theological Seminary. She is the mother of two and a LPC at Christ United Methodist Church in Jackson. Contact Courtney at 601.914.7119.

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➺single still, single again by AMY INGRAM

Is FORGIVENESS Necessary? Hi world, it’s me again. Miss me? I’m over here in Birmingham getting settled in to my new city.

testimony is so boring” feeling rolling around in the back of my head, but ultimately obliged. As I began talking about Jesus in my life, my walk, my decisions, my hurts, my fears, and his great When I first moved here I looked for any and every reason to jump ship and run back to what love over all of that, I realized my testimony is the exact opposite of what I’ve always believed. I I knew as home. The newness and lack of have lived through some hell. I grew up comfort created a great restlessness in me, but believing I was doing everything “good” and that that has since calmed (Praise JESUS), and I’m beginning to feel at home here. I was traveling a surely God believed I was good—and loved me because I was good. It was not until I was faced ton, but that has also calmed so life is quite with forgiving a situation/someone that I finally sweet right now. And honestly, that really is such an answered grasped grace. And mercy. And an unfailing love and pursuit over me. It was then that I finally prayer. To feel at home and at ease in a place saw Jesus. I looked around the room and tears that I’m still learning is such a blessing from fell on all of the faces as I told this great love God. Being pushed out of what I’ve known has and redemption story. forced me to grow. It has not been optional. A heart of forgiveness. A heart of forgiveness. I’ve started visiting the church where David Platt preaches. If you haven’t heard of him, he A heart of forgiveness took me to my knees, where Jesus grasped my face, wiped the tears wrote the book Radical (which I highly clean and showed me love. My first glimpse of recommend). I’ve also started a small group with some girls from the church and that’s been Jesus’ real love. And grace. And mercy. All in the act of forgiveness. You must forgive, so you can good. Meeting new people who love Jesus is truly know forgiveness. I sit here weeping as I always a blessing. I was asked to give my testimony at this Bible write this to you. I hope that if there is forgiving study a few weeks back, and had that whole “my to do, that you are able to do it with his power.

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I’m praying that for you right now, beloved. For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – Matthew 6:14-15 I know that some of you—single, divorced, widowed—are holding anger, grudges, etc., deep down inside of you towards people who have hurt you. I also know that until you ask God to help you forgive, it’s hurting you the most. Rise up, beloved. Forgive. Let God show you all that he can do as he sifts up that pain and washes you white as snow. The process is painful, but the reward is eternal. I love all of you dear friends. While we may not know one another personally, I’m hopeful that this life of mine, so public, can challenge you to walk in his love. Be loved, for you are most definitely loved. Y Amy Ingram is a Senior Account Executive at a branding and marketing firm in Birmingham, Alabama, where she lives with her dog, Mabel. Feel free to contact her at


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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

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Handworks Holiday Market 2

1. Cary Collins Designs Cary lives with her husband and three kiddos in Little Rock, AR. Despite having never taken an art class, Cary has found her niche with hand-drawn scripture art. She hopes her colorful designs will not just make you smile, but draw you closer to the Lord. See her array of stationary, calendars, notecards, and more at Handworks Holiday Market.

2. JH Artwear & Designs Young, sassy, ready to wear! One of Handworks’ many talented artisans with a flair for dressing you in style. Jessica will have handcrafted wire and mixed metal jewelry as well as vintage-inspired hair accessories. See what will be the trends this year; buy for gifts and for yourself!


3. Jewelry by Randy Randy Walker made his first creation for a little freckledfaced girl with pigtails in the 4th grade. He has not stopped creating since that first experience. He makes custom jewelry from sentimental family heirlooms or something as non-descript as a spool of silver wire. His creations are highlights under a Christmas tree and bring squeals of joy on Christmas morning. Gather around his booth early; there is always a crowd!


4. Earth Grace Artisan Jewelry W.A. “Al” Stanford, Jewelry Designer and Artisan, works from his studio near New Albany, MS, to produce handforged jewelry using natural materials. A lifelong outdoorsman, Al is inspired and awed by the beauty and gracefulness of God’s creation. His designs are made the way they have been for thousands of years. Using only fire, basic hand tools, and natural elements, he produces jewelry with a rare “earthy” quality.


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Stop the baking! There is no reason to ruin your holidays by spending precious family time in the kitchen when you can pick up the finest pies, candies, cookies and muffins at Handworks. This family operated business in Vardaman, MS, grows their own sweet potatoes and then creates delicious treats from those nutritious vegetables! You’ve been searching for a way to get the children to eat their vegetables—try Sweet Potato Pie!

6. Summer Lewis Pottery A special education teacher by day and an expressive potter by night, Summer places a new spin on a handcrafted art form, utilizing weathered cypress boards to showcase many of her designs. You will enjoy taking home one of these whimsical gifts. She will have those allimportant sports teams’ logos, too!

7. Ladybugs and Lassos Imagine finding the perfect outfit for your child or grandchild for Christmas and having their monogram or applique applied for personalization. Those outfits and more will be at Handworks when you visit Ladybugs and Lassos. Not just like everyone else, your gift will have the special touch of talented seamstresses creating unique designs for you. 40 NOVEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living

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2014 Wall Calendar ❘ NOVEMBER 2013 41

➺the doctor is in by CAREY MILLER

The PILL Problem Alternatives to habit-forming drugs have been proven effective for many chronic pain sufferers. Dr. Bruce Hirshman urges caution when it comes to potentially dangerous prescription painkillers. “Opiate pain medications should be used only when everything else has failed,” said Hirshman, a board-certified physician at Methodist Pain and Spine Center in Flowood. “They should be used at the lowest possible effective dosages only in selected patients who are appropriate candidates—and that’s not everybody. Opiates do not relieve all pain.” That may be surprising coming from a doctor whose specialty is treating pain. But it’s sound advice considering the national epidemic of prescription drug abuse, which has been rising at an alarming rate. Unintentional deaths by opiate overdose have tripled in the United States over the past decade, while sales and prescriptions have quadrupled, according to a report by the Mississippi State Department of Health. “It’s a real problem,” Hirshman said. “Opiate overuse and misuse has been a huge medical issue in this state, as well as the rest of the U.S. There are more people dying of prescribed opiate overdoses than there are from illicit drug use.” In Mississippi, deaths have increased tenfold since 1990. In January 2013 alone, Mississippi doctors prescribed over 10 million doses of hydrocodone products, equal to three doses for every man, woman, and child in the state. However, when properly used, opiates can be safe and effective, Hirshman says. “Medication should be individualized to the person and their disease,” Hirshman said. “We now have an improved arsenal of medicines. Some medications that work for pain include antidepressants, anti-inflammatories, and medications that stabilize nerves, such as Lyrica.” The bottom line is pain management is all about what works for the individual. Before making a diagnosis and a suggested treatment regimen, Hirshman extensively interviews patients and performs in-depth diagnostic exams and tests to pinpoint the causes of their pain. In Ouida Shotts’ case, prescription pain medication was not the answer for her chronic pain. “I saw doctor after doctor and went through 42 NOVEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living

Dr. Bruce Hirshman

everything imaginable,” she said. “I had been on medicine from everyone under the sun.” While some prescriptions provided temporary relief, the pain that gnawed at her back and hip always returned, sometimes with a vengeance. “I could hardly bend my back,” she said. “I was sleeping from one to two hours a night. On a scale from one to 10, if there was a 10-plus, I was there. It was the most horrible thing I ever went through in my life. I was at my breaking point and didn’t know what else to do. I needed another aggressive step. I was ready for something else.” On the recommendation of a friend, Shotts went to see Hirshman, who provided the breakthrough alternative she was searching for. “I think there is a widely held belief that arthritis of the back cannot be treated, and that it is hopeless,” Hirshman said. “That the only thing you can do for it is anti-inflammatories and offer pain medicine, but that’s not the case. There is good treatment for back and neck joint pain.”

Hirshman says recent advancements in his field have provided alternatives. “In the old days, all that we could really offer people was shots in the joints of their backs, using cortisone or local anesthetics,” Hirshman said. “These shots, although often effective, produced results that were very short-lived. “About 15 years ago, we developed the technology to burn the little nerves that go to the joints in the back, offering people often six months to two years of pain relief—some even more than that, such as Mrs. Shotts.” This technology, commonly referred to as radio frequency rhizotomy, is what yielded welcome results for Shotts. Coupled with bursa injections and a regimen of physical therapy for her hip pain, her individual course of treatment freed her from the pain that had upended her life. “I have always been such an active person, and when it hit me, it was like ‘boom!’ overnight,” said Shotts, who enjoys walking and the outdoors. “It took everything away from me.” It even threatened to take her away from her busy career as an office manager for a Brandon realtor. “I have a high tolerance of pain, above the average person. When I say I am really hurting—I am really hurting,” she said. “But I believe in working every day. I never let it interfere with my work. It was very hard, but I dealt with it.” Now Shotts is back to her active lifestyle and is pain free at work. “It’s been close to three years since I’ve last been treated, and I’m still fine today,” Shotts said. “Dr. Hirshman really changed my life. Y For more information on the services offered by Methodist Rehab’s Pain & Spine Center, please call 601-936-8801.

Color it festive with these holiday events! November 14th - 16th Citywide Holiday Open House / Yuletide Trolley Ride

December 5th Courthouse Lighting / Outdoor Holiday Movie Night

December 6th Ice Skating / Fireworks Roy Martin Delta Band Festival / Christmas Parade

December 7th Cookie Decorating with Viking Cooking School Ice Skating 662.453.7625 / 662.453.4152

Now I can... enjoy the great outdoors

It’s no surprise that Bill Meador of Hickory suffered a stroke while in a shooting house. /\U[PUN HUK ÄZOPUN HYL OPZ MH]VYP[L HJ[P]P[PLZ ZV his therapy at Methodist Rehab focused on getting him back outdoors. After staff taught him how to compensate for his paralyzed left side, the retired engineer devised ingenious ways to make his 120-acre farm more accessible. Now, he encourages other hunters hampered by health problems to “not let anything slow you down.” “There’s a way to get it done,” he says. “On the second anniversary of my stroke, I was back in the same shooting house with the same shooting YPÅLHUK[OLZHTLJOHPY¹ An amazing United Methodist ministry of recovery and hope—supported by an exceptional team of caregivers. specializing in care for stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury and amputation. For information, visit or call 601-364-3434 or toll-free 1-800-223-6672, ext. 3434. ❘ NOVEMBER 2013 43

➺sports victories by ROBERT WILSON

CLINT JOHNSON Athletic Director for JPS lint Johnson has a ministry, but it’s not in the pulpit. Johnson is the athletic director for Jackson Public Schools, the second largest school district in Mississippi. He is in


charge of overseeing hundreds of coaches and thousands of student athletes in 20 schools, seven high schools and 13 middle schools. Most athletic directors in Mississippi are in charge only one school. Johnson’s job sounds difficult. You better believe it, but Johnson wouldn’t trade it for anything. “God has blessed me with this position and an opportunity to make a difference in coaches and student athletes’ lives,” Johnson said. “It all starts with God. He has put me here. I know that and respect the position. People know where I stand. They know how I carry myself. I’m honest with people. They know I’m a God-fearing person and they respect me for that. I care deeply for these coaches and kids. I pray that I can influence them in a positive direction.” Johnson has been in education for three decades. Johnson worked at Whitten Middle School as a teacher and coach for five years, then Lanier as teacher and coach for nine years until 1999, when he got a chance to go into administration as an assistant principal and then principal at Utica Elementary School in the Hinds County School District for five years. “I had some great teachers under me and we improved Utica tremendously,” Johnson said. “My focus was to work with the children and the teachers and I worked together very well to improve our students’ success rate. I hated to leave, but I had a chance to get back into JPS.”

Johnson was named principal at Callaway High in Jackson and served there for seven years before God opened a door for the position as athletic director at JPS. “I missed the interaction with the coaches and student athletes and this gave me a chance to get back into it and also have a positive impact on several schools,” said Johnson, who is in his third year at the JPS athletic director. “It was a breath of fresh air to be able to work with them again and help kids. The Lord has watched over me and I’ve been truly blessed. I can’t do anything without Him and I always pray about major decisions.” Johnson grew up in rural Madison County in the Farmhaven community, 15 minutes east of Canton. He attended New Truelight Missionary Baptist Church growing up. Johnson graduated from Velma Jackson High and Jackson State. He played pro baseball for six years in the Boston Red Sox organization. After Johnson and his wife, Phyllis, were married in 1983, they joined Anderson United Methodist Church in Jackson. They have two sons, Will, 30, and Trey, 29. Will is close to getting his Ph.D. in environmental science at Jackson State. Trey is a pro basketball player and has played with several teams in the NBA and overseas. While Johnson has been blessed, he has had his share of tragedy. His father, Clint, Sr., was killed in an automobile accident in 1996, and his nephew, Mikey, was killed while he was in high school at Murrah by a drunk driver in 2005. “We have to trust in the Lord. He doesn’t

make mistakes,” Johnson said. “You can’t question why. You have to rely on the Lord to give you strength and keep grounded in the Word to keep your sanity. We have a lot of great memories of them and we must hold onto those. I’m just glad I have a relationship with the Lord to cope when tragedy strikes.” Johnson has created a Friends of JPS Athletics foundation to help financially support the athletic programs and will give financial rewards to coaches and athletic programs for success. He is also working toward having a first ever JPS banquet to recognize outstanding achievements by coaches and student athletes. “I want to give some positive energy for a job well done,” Johnson said. “We have formed a board which has people who have been associated with JPS for many years. They are doing a great job giving ideas of how to support our programs. A little bit of appreciation can go a long way. These coaches and student athletes deserve it. Too many times people only see the bad things kids are doing and they are many doing great things and I want people to see that as well.” Y Robert Wilson is Business Developer for BFAC. He is a freelance writer, author, and publisher. He is a member of Broadmoor Baptist Church. Contact him at shadessunglasses


44 NOVEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living

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w w w. f re n c h c a m p . o r g • 6 6 2 - 5 4 7 - 6 4 8 2 46 NOVEMBER 2013 â?˜ Metro Christian Living

legal advice by WILLIAM B. HOWELL

A Living Trust or A Will?


Will is only effective to distribute your assets after you have passed away, and after the probate process has been completed in Chancery Court. So,

if you should become incapacitated during your lifetime as a result of a stroke or Alzheimer's disease, or whatever cause, then your Will cannot help you—because a Will is only for death planning. You would need something besides the Will to provide protection and give authority during your lifetime. For many years, people used the combination of a Will for death planning and a durable power of attorney for giving authority to someone in case they became incapacitated. This worked for a long time. Today it may work, or it may not. The problem is that in the last several years, many banks and others have elected not to honor powers of attorney. By law, a power-of-attorney is not legally required to be honored by anyone. It is purely voluntary. If the bank gives out your money based on a cancelled document (but the bank didn’t know it was not good), then the bank has to repay the money to your account. It's easier and safer for the bank to just not honor any power of attorney. The delays required by statute make the probate process somewhat lengthy. Using a properly funded Living Trust, no probate is required and there is little if any legal involvement after a person passes away. The family's privacy can be preserved by avoiding probate, because the probate file at the Chancery Clerk's office is open to the public for viewing (and copying) at any time. With a Living Trust, there is no need for a power of attorney because if you should become incapacitated, then your spouse or a person you've

named in your Trust will automatically take over for you and manage your affairs without the necessity of any court involvement. So a power of attorney is not needed. Again, at such time as you pass away, your assets will be distributed through your Living Trust just the way you have said you wanted without the necessity of probate. And, of course, this distribution through your Living Trust is private. So why doesn't everybody have a Living Trust? Two reasons are: First, many people don't know about a Living Trust, or if they know about it they make the incorrect assumption that you have to be wealthy to need a Living Trust. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, a modest estate will suffer a larger shrinkage from a percentage standpoint through the cost of administration than will a larger estate. Secondly, people assume that a Living Trust estate plan costs more to prepare than just a Will. When done properly, a Living Trust estate plan includes a collection of anywhere from 10 to 20 different documents. Notice that this is an "estate plan," not just a Living Trust document. This is not really a "do-ityourself" activity. A Living Trust does not require any extra tax returns or annual maintenance. It is sad that so few people have an estate plan of any kind in place, whether centered on a Will or a Living Trust. One survey found that over 70% of American people don't have any estate plan in place. Please put in place a good plan for your estate, regardless of what documents you choose to use. It's not just for when you pass away, it's also for while you're living. It will give you great peace of mind. And it is truly a loving thing to do for your family. They will thank you for it. Y









*22'3/$11,1*0$.(6)25 60227+6$,/,1* National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys ❘ NOVEMBER 2013 47

➺rave reviews CD


The First Thanksgiving Reviewed by Susan E. Richardson The Mayflower set sail from Dartmouth, England on September 6, 1620, carrying a mixed group of passengers to the New World. We all know of their terrible voyage, their reasons for leaving their home, and the hardships they faced in their new country. But mostly we remember them for the yearly custom of Thanksgiving, which they passed down to us. Or do we? The First Thanksgiving by Robert Tracy McKenzie shatters most of our long held conceptions of Thanksgiving and the Pilgrims, giving us a new thoroughly researched picture. This portrait may not show the expected black-dressed and buckled Pilgrims, turkey, or Native people wearing war bonnets, but leaves us much to contemplate. The first chapters explain the various possible approaches to history, set the historical context, and take a closer look at the Pilgrims themselves. The author’s main focus is on history, but he does not neglect the spiritual lessons we can gain from the past. Nor does he hesitate to point out where we can become guilty of idolizing the Pilgrims. McKenzie’s writing is engaging and approachable for a wide readership. Consider the book for teens looking for a deeper understanding of the past. From the menu at the first Thanksgiving to how the Pilgrims became a standard part of our yearly celebration, McKenzie brings out a multitude of fascinating facts for anyone interested in history, though you may want to pass on his suggestion that, “If you’re striving for authenticity, try serving turnips and eel next Thanksgiving.” Y Susan E. Richardson is a writer, critique reader, and former Christian retailer with a passion for meeting people’s needs through the written word. You can reach her through her website

Finding the Right Fit for You

Michelle Whitaker Independent Insurance Agent

P.O. Box 54174 | Pearl, MS 39288 601.954.1620 |

Specializing in Medicare Supplements, Life & Health 48 NOVEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living

Keith and Kristyn Getty Live at The Gospel Coalition Getty Music announces the release of the first live album from Keith and Kristyn Getty, which was recorded at The Gospel Coalition in Orlando, FL, this past spring, features 13 previously released songs along with a new tune, “Lift High the Name of Jesus.” Keith and Kristyn Getty Live at The Gospel Coalition is comprised of several performances occurring during the 5-day conference that included sermons from such well-known speakers as Tim Keller, Senior Pastor of Redeemer Church in New York City/Author; John Piper, Founder/Teacher of; and Don Carson, Research Professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. Keller says, “The 2013 Gospel Coalition National Conference blended the spoken Word and the sung Word in an unforgettable way. Substantive expositions of the Biblical text were interwoven with the Getty’s’ theologically rich worship hymns. Together they truly did ‘tune our hearts to sing His grace.’” The Gettys are in their homeland of Northern Ireland spending time on a songwriting sabbatical and reconnecting with family and friends. When they return to the States in late August, they will begin rehearsals for a fall tour in support of the new project that will run SeptemberNovember and crisscross the country. For continued updates for Keith and Kristyn Getty please visit online at Y

events calendar November 5-7 Mississippi Opera presents The Old Maid and the Thief at Duling Hall, 622 Duling Avenue. 7:30 p.m. Tickets available at the door and at the MS Opera office. 601.960.2300. November 5-9 Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum Harvest Festival! A family event at the museum complex at 1150 Lakeland Drive. 601.432.4500.

November 6-9 The Junior League of Jackson presents its annual Mistletoe Marketplace, a three-day shopping extravaganza. With more than 100 merchants from across the nation, special events occur each day. Mississippi Trade Mart at 1200 Mississippi Street. Admission charge varies. 800.380.2870 or November 7 6:30 p.m. Jackson Medical Mall Foundation Community Reinvestment Awards presents Jackson State University’s MADDRAMA, “Remembering Motown.” Jackson Medical Mall Thad Cochran Center. Tickets $35. November 9 Join friends of the Spencer Perkins Center at the Hilton Garden Inn at 6 p.m. for their annual awards banquet and fundraiser, “Black, White, and Reconcile.” Tickets and sponsorships available at November 9 MS Coliseum. Run, Run, Rudolph! 5k/10k Run/Walk Sponsored by Chevy Dealers Local Marketing Association as a part of Mistletoe Marketplace special events. 7:30 a.m. $30 registration fee includes admission to Mistletoe and t-shirt. November 11 Mississippi Children’s Museum presents Shake Out the Sillies, a program designed to encourage fitness and instill an active lifestyle in participating children. An interactive program, the instruction is fun and covers a wide range of

fitness activities. 11:00 a.m. at the museum 2145 Highland Drive. 601.981.5469. November 14 – 17 Mississippi Coliseum 7:30 p.m. Disney on Ice: Princesses and Heroes. Box Office: 601.353.0603 or November 22-23 Handworks Annual Holiday Market at the Mississippi Trade Mart. Opens at 9 a.m. each day. General admission $7. Children under 12 free. Group packages available for $5 per person (12 person minimum).

November 17 Harvesting Healthy Choices 5K Run for Choose Life. 3:00 p.m. start time. $20 entry fee includes t-shirt and gift certificates. Sponsored by College Drive Church, 110 College Drive.

RIDGELAND November 2 Hearts of Compassion orphan care ministry of Colonial Heights Baptist Church hosts a Family 5K and Fun Run/Walk. Race begins at 8:00 a.m. at Colonial Heights, 444 Northpark Drive. Packets can be picked up November 1. passion or call 601.956.5000. November 3 The Mississippi Chorus holds a concert at 4:00 p.m. at St. Columb’s Episcopal Church featuring Gabriel Faure’ Requiem. 550 Sunnybrook Road.


November 23 12K Holidays Charity Run benefits the Good Samaritan Center. Race begins on Old Canton Road at Duling Street and goes through the historic Fondren neighborhood. Events include 12K run, 5K run/walk or free kids one-mile fun run with Santa. 601.355.6276 or November 30 Mississippi Children’s Museum’s Louis LeFleur Trading Post Kickoff! Join MCM for Small Business Saturday and shop local to check the holiday list twice! The Trading Post will have special promotions all day, such as complimentary giftwrapping, coffee, and cookies. Marshall Ramsey and other local writers and illustrators will be on hand that day for book signing opportunities.

November 16-January 5 Christmas on Ice sponsored by Baptist Health Systems. Ice skating, events, concerts, party venue. Open daily at 401 Baptist Drive. $15 daily pass. For info and daily event schedule, visit

CANTON November 23 – December 23 Enjoy a Victorian Christmas on the Canton Square. See why Canton is the “City of Lights.” Merchants Open House on November 23. Carriage rides, carousel, vintage car rides, and much more. Contact Canton Welcome Center at 800.844.3369 for more information.



November 9 Cunningham Heights Community Festival at Trinity Baptist Church, 2610 Napoleon Drive. Family fun event from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. will include games for kids, professional wrestling show, horseshoe pitching, car show, live music, and information on fraud and identity theft prevention. Free hot dogs. Bring your lawn chairs and enjoy!

November 29 - December 8 Vicksburg Theatre Guild presents Amahl and the Night Visitors. Fridays and Saturdays 7:30, Sundays 2:00 p.m.

Y ❘ NOVEMBER 2013 49



➺quips & quotes




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

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Now Faith, in the sense in which I am here using the word, is the art of holding on to things your reason has once accepted, in spite of your changing moods. For moods will change.

– Colossians 3:17

– C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

For we will all stand before God's judgment seat. It is written: " 'As surely as I live,' says the Lord, 'every knee will bow before me; every tongue will confess to God.' "

In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

For God is not a God of disorder but of peace. – I Corinthians 14:33

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea.

– Dietrich Bonhoeffer

– Romans 14:10-11

In our daily lives, we must see that it is not happiness that makes us grateful, but the gratefulness that makes us happy. – Albert Clarke

The world won’t be changed by those who take a weekly class. It will be changed by men and women who sit daily at the feet of Jesus, listening to His Word. – Wayne Cordiero, The Diving Mentor

How wonderful it would be if we could help our children and grandchildren to learn thanksgiving at an early age. Thanksgiving opens the doors. It changes a child's personality. A child is resentful, negative—or thankful. Thankful children want to give, they radiate happiness, they draw people. – Sir John Templeton

When we live with an attitude of generosity, it can be a key aspect of our legacy and a characteristic that will show up again and again in the branches of our family tree. – Dave Stone


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50 NOVEMBER 2013 ❘ Metro Christian Living

– Psalm 46:1-2

What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving? – Erma Bombeck

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. – Hebrews 13:8

It’s harder to dislike someone you pray for on a regular basis. – Dave Stone

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CHRISTIAN LEADERS OF THE FUTURE is an opportunity for high school seniors to share their story of faith and leadership and receive a scholarship toward their college tuition. Applications and instructions are available at www.metrochristianliving. com or through your school counselor. Visit Christian Leaders of the Future on Facebook for updates! Deadline for applications is December 6, 2013. SCAN THIS QR CODE OR TEXT CLF TO 601.990.4032 TO STAY INFORMED AND GET UPDATES!

APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY DECEMBER 6, 2013 For More Information contact: Metro Christian Living | 601-790-9076 or

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