redeeming the legacy
Sherry E. Livingst on RUN THE RACE & FINISH STRONG
LONGINGS OF THE SOUL
Connecting With Your Creator Inside Her Music Ministry
THE LOST ART OF
MODESTY Rediscovering Class
Workouts for FABULOUS ARMS
an online health and lifestyle magazine for Christian women
eborah D enise
from the Editor’s Desk If anyone knows defeat, it’s me. I have become quite familiar with it’s voice. It echoes your limits and will continue to do so until it is silenced. The only way to silence it is through faith. How do you have faith in the midst of a situation that looks hopeless? How do you expect a blessing when it seems that every move you make leads to a dead end? How do you find joy when you are faced with one let down after the next? I have had my share of defeats; from personal endeavours to emotional setbacks. We tend to rehearse these “defeats” over and over again and define who we are through them. But the word of God tells us to speak things that are not as though they were (Rom. 4:13). Isn’t that exciting?! Jesus teaches us that our situations may add up to what we perceive as failure but it’s not really what it looks like. This is where faith steps in and strikes down the monument of “defeat”. It takes faith to say “by His stripes I was healed”. It takes faith to say “I am rich beyond measure”. It takes faith to say “I have favor with God and man”. If we continue to speak these Biblical truths, even in the face of defeat, these situations must change. Because faith is the substance, the very manifestation, of the things we hope for (and speak) and it proves that which we do not see. It is evidence manifested.
“Defeat” is simply a state of mind. I hope that the stories in this issue encourage you to begin seeing yourself victorious in those tough times. They are temporary and it is these times that push you into your destiny!
From one lady to another.
Summer 2013 | LADY
in this issue 3 From The Editor’s Desk 7 About Sherry 9 Thrifty Thrills 10 4 Workouts For Fabulous Arms by Stacia Anderson-Ward 16 Running The Race - Finishing Strong by Sherry E. Livingston 26 Three Keys to a Champion Mindset by Marshawn Evans 26 We’re All In This Together Christian Camaraderie by Debra A. Johnson 28 The Lost Art of Modesty by Sherry E. Livingston 42 Longings of the Soul by Dorothy Harroway 44 Women of the Bible Series: Part 1 Jezebel: The Drama Queen by Debra A. Johnson
36 FEATURE STORY: Deborah Denise A Look Inside Her Music Ministry 46 Dinner Time: Soul Food: Part 1 Three Month Bible Reading Schedule
Copyright © 2013. Lady Magazine All rights reserved. Lady Magazine Online w w w.ladymagazinetoday.org email: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Photo Credit: Cover Photo: Lady Magazine Inside Cover: Deborah Denise Marshawn Evans, MarshawnEvans.com Modesty, desdemona86/ blingchinese.com Longing, Arema Foto/Stockfresh.com Quote, Morguefiles.com Jezebel, Clarita/Morguefiles.com Camaraderie, Tammy Morrill/Sonnyfionadesign.com
10 Fabulous Arms
The Lost Art of Modesty
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y 6 LADY | Summer 2013
He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. ~Eccl. 3:11
About Sherry LADY Magazine Editor-in-Chief, Sherry E. Livingston, is known for her radical faith, expansive vision and passion for Christ. At the age of seven, she began fundraising for her favorite charities, and at the age of eleven, she started her first magazine with a childhood friend. Little did Sherry know, God was preparing her to launch a magazine years later. As an arts education student at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Sherry discovered her talents for graphic design and was inspired to publish A Gathering of Eagles, a monthly Christian magazine distributed through Texas and Arkansas. LADY Magazine naturally grew from this inspiration, and is a bold publication that recognizes victorious women of faith, promotes a healthy lifestyle and boldly lays claim to Christâ€™s legacy. In tandem with her work for LADY Magazine, Sherry has received a Bachelors of Science degree in Religious Studies at Liberty University and is now undertaking graduate study in Christian leadership and theological education.
Summer 2013 | LADY
accountability - an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions
Hello. We need each other. 8 LADY | Summer 2013
Zara basic fitted dress $10, Goodwill Multi-color wood bead belt, $4, Wet Seal
Resourcefulness is finding the assets that God has already provided.
Leather wedge sandals, $70, Ann Taylor
Thrifty thrill Summer 2013 | LADY
Stacia Anderson-Ward has been in the fitness industry for 4 1/2 years where she instructs and trains at JRMC Wellness Center (Pine Bluff, AR). She is group fitness certified for Body Pump, Body Vive, CxWorx, and Zumba. She is also American Muscle and Fitness Personal Trainer certified.
10 LADY | Summer 2013
OF YOUR DREAMS 4 Workouts for Fabulous Arms by Stacia Anderson-Ward
Summer 2013 | LADY 11
Deltoids Triceps Abdominal Core Chest
Get into the standard pushup position.
Place your palms on the floor approximately shoulder's-width apart. Lift yourself off the ground until your arms are locked.
Keep your palms flat on the floor and your feet close together with only the tips of your toes touching the ground. Do not let your back bend, but instead focus on keeping a straight line down the back of your spine. Keep your head level by looking down at the ground instead of in front of you. Repeat for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps.
OVER HEAD ARM PRESS shoulders deltoids triceps
Stand holding a resisted cord at shoulder level. Ensure your elbow is pointing down at the start, with the handle just above your shoulder. Have your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, keep your abs tight, press the handle straight over-head to full arm extension.
3 ENDING POSITION
Repeat for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps alternating sides.
Kneel comfortably on a bench (or on your knee) with the same leg that you hold the weight with. Now with your back straight and your head looking straight ahead start with the weight at a ninety degree angle (as shown). Extend the weight keeping your elbow completely stationary. Try 5 lbs and aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps alternating sides.
2 Sit on a chair (or in standing position), bench or ball and hold a weight in both hands, extending it up overhead. Keep the ears next to the shoulders as you bend the elbows, lowering the weight behind your head until the elbows are at about 90-degree angles. Straighten the arms, contracting the triceps and repeat for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps. Keep the abs engaged throughout the exercise and avoid arching the back.
OVERHEAD TRICEP EXTENTIONS 4
Summer 2013 | LADY 21
5 6 Running the Race FINISHING
by Sherry E. Livingston
16 LADY | Summer 2013
Summer 2013 | LADY
y college journey has been nothing short of a marathon. I graduated from high school in the top 20% of my class but had to work extremely hard to maintain a B average GPA. Although I did well in high school, I was far from prepared for college life. I started my freshman year at Minnesota State University Moorhead in Moorhead, Minnesota in the fall of 2000. It was my first time away from home and I was thrilled! My first years of college were easily the most unproductive years I spent in school. Most of that time was spent partying with friends and skipping classes. I had no sense of direction. After a year in school I decided to move off campus and took a shot at being an â€œadultâ€? and I use that term loosely. That decision alone opened up a world of responsibilities I could have never imagined. Rent, utilities transportation; these all became my concern. Attending college was second priority. Summer 2013 | LADY 19
I had a few friends who seemed to do well attending the local community college so I thought, Why not give it a try? In 2002, I attended Minnesota State Community & Technical College for a semester. I did better at MSCTC than at the last. My GPA went from a 0.92 to a 2.3. I majored in Human Resources and can admit that I was quickly bored. Not long after the semester ended, I decided to enlist in the National Guard. One of my really good friends was in the National Guard and she was always so excited about her weekend drills. She shared stories about her new friends and I was more and more interested in being able to share the same stories with other people. So I thought, Why not give it a try? Like a
gratitude, and discipline. A series of asthma attacks led to my discharge after 8 weeks. I was given the option to stay or to return
Minnesota State, 2000
home and I chose to go home….without hesitation! My experiences there taught me a new respect for those who serve in the armed forces.
nut, I carried myself to a recruiter’s office and went through all of the necessary paper work and exams. I was officially enlisted in the Army National Guard the summer of 2002. My friends saw me off as I departed for basic training to Fort Leonard Wood, MO.
After returning home, I realized that I was making no progress in my life. I was going nowhere and fast. I spent so much time roaming from place to place in the attempts to “find myself”. My father felt that it was important to have a serious talk with me to encourage me to make a career choice. My parents are working class people. My mother is a nurse and my father, a carpenter. They understood that financial security was necessary to have a decent life. “Find a trade,” he told me. “If you can’t focus enough to become a teacher, look into something you can get a certificate or license in.” So with those words, I decided that accounting would be a good place for me to start.
Basic training was eventful from beginning to end. The entire experience was the biggest lesson I’ve ever had in patience,
I spent a year working to pay off college debt and getting out of academic and financial aid suspension. My cumulative
Minnesota State, 2001
GPA was 1.6 at this point. Although I had gained a 2.3 GPA in my semester at MSCTC, it was not sufficient enough to raise my cumulative GPA. Once I qualified to return to college, I enrolled in the Accounting program at Aaker’s Business College.
Aakers Business College, 2003
A year into my coursework, I started to get bored…again. But this time I was feeling more financial pressure. I decided that working would be the best decision for me. I applied to US Bank Service Center and was hired as a full time Call Center Representative. My starting salary was so nice that I determined that I didn’t need to go back to school. I was making approximately $22K a year at the age of 23. Right now that doesn’t sound like a whole lot but I was comfortable as a young woman living alone. Silly me, I felt like I had arrived. I was so wrong. Financially, I was comfortable but my personal life was not. I had been in a relationship for 2 years and the guy I was seeing became more and more incompatible for me. I started having strong feelings of displacement and became homesick. Ultimately I decided to move back
home to Arkansas. I was able to transfer into a Teller position at the same bank making more money than I was making in Fargo. I was very pleased with my decision. It wasn’t until 2007, after I was married and became pregnant when I knew it was time to get something under my belt. I knew it was time to go back to school. Being a bank teller was, without a doubt, stable income. But for some reason the idea of having a child made me want to find my place. Where was I really supposed to be? What was I really supposed to be doing? I always knew I wanted to be a teacher but I never felt smart enough for the coursework. I thought, Why not give it a try? In my fourth month of pregnancy, I enrolled in the Art Education program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff. With age came maturity and I excelled through my classes. I was averaging a 3.5 GPA each semester. I was doing well.
A reason to change...March 2008
My son was born in December, 2007 and a few months later I was divorced. I told myself that regardless of what I was facing I was going to finish my degree for him. You can imagine the stress and anxiety I
experienced as a single mother. The only thought that consistently went through my mind was “Why didn’t I finish a degree when I had all the freedom to do so?” But I was now left to gain it the hard way. Juggling family life, bills, and school was no easy task.
away the last 10 years and had nothing to show for myself. I’d reached the end of myself and yet the only thing that remained constant was my brokenness and a hunger for direction. Once I was safely of home, I was able to satisfy that hunger. It could only be filled by God. I joined an amazing church and regularly attended. I spent hours in the Bible reading familiar stories. I sat up late nights on the internet researching biblical history. I used the late evenings for private prayer time. I was obsessed in getting back in my place with God. I was even told by many that I had no balance. Little did they know the last ten years of my life had no balance! It seemed that the more I searched, the hungrier I got. I felt like I wasn’t learning enough on my own and that’s when I knew I wanted to enroll in a Bible College. I prayed
At my bottom...September, 2009
Three years had gone by and I was now married…for the second time. What I thought was the union I had been waiting for was in reality the greatest disaster of my life. That marriage ended in 2010, only ten months after exchanging vows. My world had been shaken, rocked, and turned upside down. I had lost my drive to do anything. I was once again on my own as a single mother with no type of financial security. The emotional burden I carried made it harder than ever to focus on household duties, let alone school. So I decided to move home with my mother and later withdrew from school! At 27, my life was a mess. I had blown
A day I never thought I would see
and asked God for direction and He led me exactly where I needed to be. In 2011, I enrolled in the School of Religion at Liberty University. For the first time, everything connected for me. I never got bored. Even when the work was hard, hunger kept me going. I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in May 2013 with a 3.0 GPA. Since then, I have been accepted into the LU Theological Seminary Graduate School where I will be studying Christian Ministries and Leadership (MACM). It has only been by the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit that I have come this far. I have learned that much like endurance, which carries a runner to the finish line, it is GRACE that takes us through the doors of victory. Itâ€™s in our weaknesses and at the end of ourselves when we can clearly see the mighty hand of God. The ten years I lost doing things my way, God has redeemed in only two and a half. I am a witness that He will redeem the time, just as He tells us He will. "Then I will make up to you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. "You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied and praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame.â€Ś Joel 2:25-26
Summer 2013 | LADY
“Accept the challenge, so that you may feel the exhilaration of victory.”
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~ George s. patton
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Marshawn Evans Marshawn Evans is a Global Mentor and Catalyst for Women looking to Launch Their Dreams and Live Their Purpose. She equips others to AMPLIFY their lives, their leadership and their legacy by teaching the principles of influence, branding, and divine purpose. Her weekly eZine goes out to thousands of subscribers. Are you ready to unleash your brilliance and align with your REAL destiny? Sign up for a FREE subscription at
KeysTO A THREE
CHAMPIONMindset When people ask me what has helped me most to be successful, they are often surprised at my answer. What’s helped me most is my belief that having the mindset of a champion is more important than having the skillset of a champion. That’s right…
26 LADY | Summer 2013
lebpq,sco Having the mindset of a champion means having fortitude, passion, conviction and commitment. And the intensity of our mindset determines whether we can handle the intensity of the marketplace. When our mindset is not strong, the marketplace can end up crushing us. I’ve seen it happen so much for me, this piece is critical.
Here’s the problem I see… It’s easy for us to forget how important our mindset is. We forget that it is the soil upon which everything else is planted. Mastery of our minds is the most critical ingredient of our success because…
1. Mind traps will keep us stuck more than anything else. We think
our big, bad problem is that we need more clients or we need more exposure…that if we had these, everything would be fine. We may well need more clients or exposure, but there is usually a mind trap that is holding us back—keeping us from being able to charge what we’re worth or put ourselves in front of our ideal clients. Mastering our mindset is so crucial that we’ve got to avoid anything that will sabotage our business, our objectives or our desires. We must stand guard at the doorway of our mind.
2. Perception influences acceleration. Our self-perception determines how fast we implement. For instance, we can focus
on how much competition we have, that we’re too old to begin, that we need more
schooling…that’s one choice. Or we can hold this perception in our mind: “I was born for this, I was born to have an amazing brand platform and I am making up my mind and determining that brilliance is my identity. I know that being a messenger is a part of my divine identity.” Holding that perception inside will influence how quickly we implement. And if we are passionate about the outcome we will be passionate about the process that produces the outcome.
3. Having a strong mind is the key to having a strong business, a strong brand, and a strong platform. A strong mindset is everything.
It really is everything. It’s going to determine the level of assertiveness and fortitude that we have. It’s going to mean the difference between really building our brand and our business in the right way—or the wrong way. Our mindset also determines the authenticity of the actual brand itself—and how we and it show up in the marketplace. We will have doubts. We will have discouraging days. That is precisely why we must build up our minds like a muscle. I want you to focus on strengthening your mind. Remember, it’s not smarter than you. It’s a muscle that you have to train. You have to continually remind it who you are and what you’re called to do. You have to remind it that there is a greater purpose… and that this is your time.
www.MarshawnEvans.com Summer 2013 | LADY
by Debra A. Johnson r
christian camaraderie is key to survival
â€œTwo are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.â€? Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
28 LADY | Summer 2013
amaraderie is critical in a military setting. Though troops may perform a variety of different tasks and complete numerous missions during their careers, each soldier has a common enemy, common leader and common goal in combat. Without camaraderie – defined as trust, goodwill and caring friendship – troop survival and the success of a mission are both in jeopardy. Imagine the pressure of going into battle, knowing that the soldiers next to you had no confidence you could protect them, but they also did not care about your wellbeing. Right away your unit’s mission and safety would be compromised by lack of unity and distrust.
the church often divided because members fail to support and guide each other and fail to recognize their own strengths and weaknesses? When soldiers accidentally shoot or kill fellow troops, the incident is referred to as “friendly fire,” tragic events caused when troops believe other soldiers are the enemy. As members of the same body, sisters in Christ can easily avoid fatal incidents that chip away at camaraderie. How? Jesus said we will know each other by our fruit, and the Word instructs soldiers to put on the full armor of God (Eph. 6:10-18). Our uniforms constantly remind us that we have the same purpose, the same calling, the same hope and the same love. We also build camaraderie by:
In football, too, each team is determined to defeat its opponents and prove its physical and tactical superiority. But a quarterback is vulnerable to devastating hits and severe injuries without offensive guards to tackle the other team’s chargers. A quarterback who cannot trust his guards for protection will often run in the wrong direction, forget the play, lose ground and take risks to protect himself. To achieve consistent victory, each player must carry out the head coach’s strategy and believe that his teammates will play their individual roles.
Teams of all kinds have to cultivate camaraderie to maintain unity – the church included. Who among us is completely innocent of abandoning our posts at crucial moments? Backbiting and dividedness? False friendship and sowing distrust? Are we missing the basic principles of camaraderie emanating from the Word? Have we forgotten which side we are on, who we are defending and who we represent? The Word says the Holy Spirit dwells inside of every true believer, and that the Holy Spirit is one, not many. In First Corinthians 12, Paul drew a parallel between the human body and body of Christ, by explaining that each part of the body and each spiritual gift serve a different purpose, however they still make up the same living being. Without each organ and limb, the body cannot fully operate at its peak and the entire body suffers. Is
Choosing words and actions that “encourage […] and build each other up.” (1 Thess. 5: 11)
Praying for our sisters and brothers, leaders and laborers, and seniors and youth, before we judge or condemn (James 5:16)
Remembering to do all things “decently and in order” instead of breaking rank and criticizing leaders on the front lines (I Corin. 14:40) Carrying out Paul’s instructions to “be devoted to one another in brotherly love” and to “honor one another above ourselves.” (Romans 12:10)
Christian camaraderie requires that we show up in uniform, perform our unique roles based on the gifts God has given to us individually, and exhibit understanding and loving kindness toward our sisters to ensure unit cohesion, trust and success in combat. If you are a soldier, remember that you have comrades – inspire trust and fight the good fight.
Summer 2013 | LADY
The Lost Art of
MODESTY "Come out from them and be separate, says the Lord." ~ 2 Corinthians 6:17
Modesty is a matter of the heart. There are elements of the inner substance of the person that produce the outward characteristic of modesty. by Sherry E. Livingston 30 LADY | Summer 2013
et’s be honest. Looking around it’s plain to see that there’s no shortage of breast, legs and thighs. That sounds like a visit to KFC. Some days I feel like I’m being tortured by way of the eye. I know I’m not the only one who actually feels a bit violated when a woman walks into the room bearing all of her goods. Our society has become over-sexed and almost numb to indiscretion. I often ask myself if the definition of “modesty” should be reconstructed in our dictionaries because it’s become a lost art. It’s a thing of the past. A short time ago, I was at a friend’s house getting my hair done when her 20-year-old daughter walked into the living room where we were sitting and asked how she looked. She casually stated that she was preparing to go to a job interview which she had to be at within the hour. “You look so cute sweetie!” her mom said. I looked up from my magazine to see a pair of 6” platform stilettos (which looked more like stripper shoes than fashion pumps), black fishnets stockings, a penciled skirt that hit about 5” above the knee
and a slimming low-cut blouse which revealed much of her cleavage. My mouth nearly hit the floor. Ironically, she was interviewing for a position at a state agency. There were two major things wrong with this picture. (1) This child wore that outfit out the door to her interview. (2) Her mother had just cosigned on it. Now we can blame it on simple ignorance. There are many people in our communities who are just not taught interview etiquette. But let’s just be real. We all have an inner voice that tells us when we are out of order. Whether we listen to it or not is our choice. If I had to sum up that girls experience in one sentence, I would say, “She walked in looking like a jobless street walker and walked out jobless.” Does the media influence the way our young women are presenting themselves to the world? With programs like “The Housewives”, “Love and Hip Hop”, music videos and other media outlets that glorify the physical appearance, I believe its influence is certainly one of the culprits. Likewise, there’s recently been
a growth of fashionistas in the virtual world who blog their OOTDs (outfit of the day for those of you who are unfamiliar with the acronym). These women reveal well put together ensembles yet there are many who go above and beyond tactlessness and combine corsets and bustiers, stilettos, backless tops and see through blouses with what looks to be professional attire. If young women are taking tips from them and going to their places of employments or job interviews, there’s no wonder so many are without jobs.
across though several programs we are being exposed to. Scripture tells us that a soft answer turns away wrath (Proverbs 15:1) but if everyone is mouthing off every time they’re offended about another person’s opinion there can be no peace. Being modest in your words and behavior is as great a witness to those around you as your appearance.
There are elements of the inner substance of the person that produce the outward characteristic of modesty. Modesty is a God-conscious behavior. It is being more concerned about drawing attention to God “Be careful to live than drawing attention to self. not forget the men who properly among your Let’s are being tempted by all of believing neighbors. the extra skin passing their eyes Then even if they accuse day to day. When you deny the ability to be a “free you of doing wrong, they yourself agent” for the good of others, will see your honorable you not only walk in the same shoes as Jesus Christ behavior, and they will honorable but also bring glory to God the give honor to God when Father by your standard. As a your behavior sets the he judges the world.” Christian tone for how others see you and ~Peter 2:12 (NLT) your faith. The biggest issue nonChristians have with believers is that they tend to be hypocritical. You cannot effectively teach purity and modesty to others while you Modesty is not just about how you look are wearing revealing clothes yourself. but it’s also about how you behave. And if people are getting the wrong Modesty denotes reverence and impression of you through your clothing respect. It embodies self-control and and your behavior then it may be good decency. It’s a matter of substance to evaluate yourself with a discerning and service. It is therefore an inward heart. motivation that shows the kind of heart you have. How do we learn to behave modestly when we are encouraged to speak our minds and “tell it like it is”? We are encouraged not to be pushovers and never to back down to anyone who so much as look at us the wrong way. That’s the silent message that comes
Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern what is proper when you go shopping or when picking your clothes to wear for the day. The worst thing to do is to go shopping, purchase a cute outfit and later realize that the outfit was probably
more suitable for a nightclub.
BE HONEST W I TH YOURSELF We solve a lot of our own problems when we take a serious inventory of our intentions. Ask yourself why you are choosing one outfit over the other. Is it because you want to draw attention to yourself? Are you seeking to get the attention of the opposite sex? Remember, as a Christian you do not want to tempt others to sin. Whether it is sexual temptation or ungodly behavior, how you present yourself does affect others. Would it be good for your witness?
SEEK COUNSEL Titus 2:3 encourages the older women to teach the younger women to be discreet. Remember to turn to your mother and other godly women for wisdom. They are in your lives for a reason. I could imagine that asking someone who grew up in the 60s would have a different opinion about cut-off shorts but hearing the truth is better than public humiliation. 1 Timothy 2:9 - "And I want women to be modest in their appearance. They should wear decent and appropriate clothing and not draw attention to themselves by the way they fix their hair or by wearing gold or pearls or expensive clothes." (NLT) Trust me! I’ve been tempted to show out on many occasions. Having recently lost nearly 50lbs and getting back to my pre-mommy weight, I’ve been more than motivated to strap on some “come get me daddy” shoes and a mini skirt. I ask myself, “Self…what’s stopping you? Are you insecure? You know you could ROCK that outfit!” But for me, it’s not about being insecure or how cute it
would be on me; it’s about representing something greater than myself. 1 Corinthian 10:23 “You say, "I am allowed to do anything"--but not everything is good for you. You say, "I am allowed to do anything"--but not everything is beneficial.” (NLT) Because we are Christians we have been marked, but femininity in itself is powerful. Our culture has perverted some of the most innocent things and taking serious consideration to determine what’s expedient is really important. As scripture tells us, we should not depend on the beauty of outward adornment (1 Peter 3:34) but that of our inner selves. It is not a sin to wear nice clothes and it is certainly not a sin to present yourself in an attractive light to the world, but it is a sin when the desire for fashion, attention, and popularity becomes more important than your faith. If you are a believer, you have been set apart from the world and every outward expression should reflect the reality of Christ in your heart.
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Summer 2013 | LADY 35
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“Since God has opened my eyes and healed my broken heart and bound up my wounds I’m ready to live for and even die for Him if that‘s His will. He set me free and I will never forget all His benefits. I’m ready to be all that Jesus created me to be. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.”
36 LADY | Summer 2013
Summer 2013 | LADY 37
How long have you been producing and performing your own music? Iâ€™ve been actively producing and performing since 2010, but I started producing and making my own music around the age of ten or eleven years old.
Who has been your greatest influence?
38 LADY | Summer 2013
My greatest influence was my mother. As a child, I saw her as the holiest woman in the world. She seemed so submitted and anchored in the Lord, and by word of mouth, she became well-known for being able to pray for others and heal them through the power of Jesus. I remember the phone ringing throughout the day with calls from strangers who were referred to her for prayer for various illnesses, and hearing her praying and ministering to these hurting individuals for hours if needed. When I was about nine years old, I was able to go to the hospital with her to see God in action through her. Our neighborsâ€™ teenage son had been playing Russian roulette with his friends in their living room but unluckily the bullet was in the chamber when he pulled the trigger, and he accidently shot himself in the head at close range. His family (unbelievers may I add) called on my mother to pray for him since the doctors
couldn’t do any more for him and announced he only had a few more hours to live. So that day my mother took me to the hospital with her to pray for his recovery. Of course the hospital hallway was packed with the young man’s family and friends. When these people saw my mother approaching from a distance they all stepped to the side to let her walk through. It was like when God parted the Red Sea, I was like, “Whoa, I can’t wait till God fills me up with His Spirit and uses me like this to set captives free.” That day, I was truly impressed by God’s might and power. She went in the room, laid her hands on him as he laid there comatose and paralyzed and started calling on the name of Jesus. Within that same hour he began to stabilize, and the doctors were astonished. This happened year ago, and he’s still alive this day. God is truly amazing!
What are your musical influences? I get this question a lot. I love Hip Hop and R&B (R&P “rhythm & praise” is what we Christians call it). I’ve never followed just one specific artist but I mainly listened to male vocalists. I liked their smooth vocals and mellow tones. Also, I was groomed on the likes of Shirley Caesar, Rance Allen, Beau Williams, Commissioned and John P. Kee. In all seriousness, though, my greatest musical influence is the Holy Spirit. He’s the one who gives me every melody, every lyric, every musical idea and every note I sing - it’s all through Him.
What message are you sharing through your music? Hope. That it’s okay to be weak and in need of Jesus every second of the day. That’s what Grace is all about. 2 Corinthians 12 says “My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you.” So I am very happy to brag about my weaknesses. Then Christ’s power can live in me. For this reason I am happy when I have weaknesses, insults, hard times, sufferings, and all kinds of troubles for Christ. Because when I am weak, then I am truly strong.”
My message is to strengthen the body of Christ and draw the lost to God’s saving grace. I want to let every believer know Proverbs 24:16 “for though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again.” And that the Joy of the Lord is our strength, that we are truly more than conquerors through Jesus Christ. To fear not and stand strong and to know we are His ambassadors, God’s soldiers and most importantly we are His children, and that God loves us more than any earthly parent ever could and ever will. My message for the unsaved is that God’s promises are theirs if they just accept His offer of salvation they too can walk in this strength, wholeness, peace and can be part of His church, which is the Body of Christ.
What life experiences do you bring to your album that has influenced your message? God healed me of all my various incurable diseases that had very few treatment options for many years. Through those years of suffering (even though I was a Christian) I was fearful and anxious with faltering faith. I didn’t know who I was in Christ until I submitted every possible area of my life over to Christ. I humbled myself under the mighty hand of God and in due time He lifted me up; that scripture is true and all scriptures are true. Through those struggles, I learned that I’m not perfect, I never can be perfect and if I could be perfect Christ wouldn’t have ever had to die for my sins or yours. The Lord taught me that through Him I have everything I need. I needed no one and nothing but Him. I became strong in who He was and is, and I began to believe and know that “greater is He who is in me than he who is in the world.” Over time, I grew stronger in my knowledge of who He is and who I was in Him. The Lord taught me when I am weak, it doesn’t make me faithless, but simply reveals how much more I depend upon and need Him. My life experiences gave me a message of hope, faith and love, and that’s what I want share with others through Christ.
We know that Satan attacks us when
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we have purpose. What attacks have you come against since actively walking in your purpose and how have you overcome them? I’ve suffered many incurable diseases: ulcerative colitis, Graves’ disease, mitral heart valve prolapse, uterine tumors – just to name a few. I almost died several times, and I’ve been told outright by my doctor that I was going to die. There was a time I couldn’t work because Graves’ disease destroys all the tissue, cells and organs in the body, so most of my muscles were being eaten up by the disease, making it difficult to walk or stand. My hair began to fall out – I’m talking about clumps and clumps of hair sliding down my legs as I showered, and shedding that left behind nickel-sized bald spots on my scalps. The ulcerative colitis ulcers were eating my intestines so I had to be hospitalized for weeks because my bowels were filled with blood. My attending doctor said it would take a month to remove all the blood from my intestines, and that most likely a surgical team would have to remove them due to severe damage. The doctor also said any leaking would kill me instantly. My husband and I almost lost everything: the house, car – everything. I tried everything to make myself better, to make everything better but things went from bad to worst – my health, our finances and our lives. I got so desperate, felt so powerless and broken, and I just wanted to be free but didn’t know how to obtain this freedom. So I began to seek out deliverance ministers all over the country. My
family and I traveled all across the U.S. hoping to find just one person who was in touch with God. (Mind you, I didn’t know all along that I was in touch with God because His Spirit lived in me). No one could help me, no matter how far I traveled, not even one. I then gave up and told the Lord, “I give! I’ll do whatever you say, Lord. Not my will, but your will be done, whatever that may be.” I no longer wanted to live my life for me but for Christ to live His life through me. From that point I submitted every area of my life to God. God began bringing to my attention many things that He wanted removed from my life or submitted to Him, and through His strength I did everything He revealed to me. The first thing I began to notice is a lot of my symptoms began to vanish. I started feeling better and stronger, both physically and spiritually. Then to hear your Doctor say, “You no longer have Graves’ disease” when there is no cure? It was an amazing experience! And my doctor was about to do flips in that room. He called it “a miracle” then changed my medical record right before my eyes. Three months later after submitting every area of my life to the Lord, our finances improved, and we were living better on one income than we had with two. When I was working, my and my husband’s combined salaries still left us paycheck to paycheck, but after I stopped working and focused only on what the Lord ask of me, we were living better than we ever had – again, with just one income. We had money left over and finally saw how it felt to live financially comfortable. During that time I felt that the Lord was once
again calling me to make music that he called me to make years earlier, which is what I’m now doing. The only difference is that I was completely submitting every area of my life to Jesus Christ. Then all the chains that bound my family and me just fell off. Praise God! That was now almost four years ago when God begin to deliver me, set me free, heal me – whatever you’d like to call it! But I’m free. Yes, I’m free indeed. Since God has opened my eyes and healed my broken heart and bound up my wounds, I’m ready to live for and even die for Him if that‘s His will. He set me free and I will never forget all His benefits. I’m ready to be all that Jesus created me to be. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
What encouragement can you offer to other women who are purposed for the Kingdom but struggle with the decision to use their gifts for God or for the world?
than yourselves. Just keep their eyes on Jesus and do everything unto the Lord for His glory not yours. Remember we’re His representatives to make Him look good not ourselves. For His glory not our own.”
So what’s next?
I’ve been producing and writing new music for my upcoming album, and God willing, it will release in Spring 2014. God hasn’t given me a title yet for the album but I’m loving what God’s being doing on these new tracks He’s producing through me. I’m up all night producing music and writing songs until the sun rises. God is good and I am grateful to be used for His glory as imperfect as I am.
Deborah’s lastest music can be purchased at To stand on 1 Corinthians 15:58 and believe what www.cdbaby.com/cd/deborahdenise3 the Lord says: “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”
What advice would you offer to other young women following in your footsteps into the gospel music community? I would have to use the same scripture the Lord gave me concerning that. Philippians 2:3 says, “In whatever you do, don’t let selfishness or pride be your guide. Be humble, and honor others more
by Dorothy Harroway
one of us is stranger to imagining of a
life free of worry and stress. We daydream about finally getting discovered by a big publisher, or entertain fantasies of being famous singers, leaders or master chefs. And yes, sometimes we even indulge thoughts of marrying Mr. Right or Mr. Perfect or Mr. CEO. Deep down we want to
matter in the grand scheme of things. We want our lives to mean something. We want to stand out in the crowd
and we want to be noticed.
of the soul
42 LADY | Summer 2013
But in searching for happiness, peace and contentment, some of us still end up dissatisfied, even when we reach goals and celebrate milestones. This brand of dissatisfaction is so dangerous that it often completely derails the most successful people we know. Why do so many happily married men and women who love their spouses still cheat? Why do so many young, successful celebrities attempt suicide? Why do so many millionaire athletes retire and end up broke? Why do we max out credit cards when we’re on a budget? And why, Lord, do we eat the whole pizza in one sitting, though we committed to a new diet? A few of us know what we’re searching for, but others really don’t. We just know something is missing. We have a void feeling that’s never filled. Some folks say, If I had a good job, I would be so thrilled and happy. Of course, the good job comes along, but a few months later, that same old feeling is gnawing at their innermost being. Emptiness. Incompleteness. Dissatisfaction. And let’s get real, we tell ourselves the same lie about other material things – clothes, cars, homes, relationships, illicit affairs, drugs and alcohol – and the end result is no different. However the Word teaches us that a person is more than just a physical body. Each of us is actually a living soul created in the image of God. Just as our bodies have certain features and needs, so do our souls. And while God has given the body has certain legitimate appetites for food, drink, sex and fellowship with friends, those needs must not be abused or confused. The soul’s characteristics are personality, intelligence, conscience and memory. Not only does the human soul long for peace, contentment and happiness, but it also thirsts for God and yearns to be reconciled to its Creator in fellowship. But the vast majority of us give more attention to the body and physical needs, and virtually none to the soul. Essentially, we are one-sided, even though the bible clearly tells us “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matt. 4) So we become fat physically and materially, while spiritually we grow
weaker, leaner and anemic. We try to cure, care for and attend to our bodies in every way possible which can be positive, since the body houses our souls. But better is it to train ourselves in godliness as it holds promise for the present life, and also the life to come.
Only God can answer our deepest longings, desires, and appetites of the soul. No matter how stable your income is, happiness, peace and contentment still aren’t guaranteed. Even though you’ve satisfied your physical hunger with a hot meal, you might find yourself soothing your emotions with junk food. And time and time again, men and women married to devoted, loving spouses sometimes betray their vows.
Why? Because more attention is given to the needs of the body, but none to the soul which cries out for fellowship, communion and a relationship with its Creator. Instead of giving in to the soul’s demands for worship, quiet and meditation, we turn on the television for yet another episode of Love and Hip Hop. Many of us know people who have turned to drugs in an attempt to drown out the crying and longings of the soul. Some turn to pornography and new sex experiences to escape. But only God completely satisfies. Without His spirit, the soul is restless and in secret torment. The answer for the soul is to confess your sins and turn completely to God. Matt 6:33 tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness and He will provide for all our physical and earthly needs. Nearly 36% of adults in the U.S. are overweight or obese. On average, Americans watch over 4 hours of television each day.
Average household credit card debt is nearly $16,000. Today, Americans spend over $50 billion annually on lottery tickets. In 2010, nearly 39,000 Americans committed suicide.
Summer 2013 | LADY 43
Jezebel c Women of The Bible Series: Part I
by Debra A. Johnson
the drama queen
llow me to introduce myself: I am Jezebel, Princess of Phonecia, Queen of Israel. I am of Canaanite lineage, my people Sidonians. My father was a king, and so was my husband, Ahab. Yes, I was gifted, powerful and exceedingly evil - but you didnâ€™t hear that from me.
44 LADY | Summer 2013
the drama queen
And indeed, I was a worshipper of Baal; but unlike your average devout believer, I committed myself to eradicating any worship of the God of Israel. I craved absolute control of everything and everyone around me, including my husband, Ahab. Though he was an Israelite, he was an utterly weak man who actually forsook his God – the true and living God – to follow me to worship Baal. How’s that for togetherness? For 22 years I reigned as queen, employing my persuasive powers to turn people from God to Baal, but they were so resistant! So, of course, I had to resort to killing God’s prophets to convince them otherwise, and still 7,000 people refused to bow in submission to Baal. The nerve! Even when prophets hid in caves in the wilderness out of fear, I still wasn’t satisfied. Yes, I was merciless; even sacrificing infants in the fire for Baal, my faithful rewarder. And lucky me; Ahab was so smitten that he never called my hand on any of my evil deeds. The man even built a temple, an altar and an image of Baal all for lil’ ol’ me! Oh, Ahab! What a man! Once Ahab told me he wanted Naboth’s vineyard but Naboth refused. My king was so down in the dumps he couldn’t even eat. Certainly I couldn’t have that! So I acted right away, arranged a few things, and … had Naboth and his family killed. And voilà, Ahab got his vineyard! See what a good wife I am! Later I decided to have a feast and invite all 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah. And what a feast it was! Soon thereafter, Elijah killed all the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel. Seething with anger, I immediately put him on notice that soon he’d be dead too, and off to the wilderness Elijah scamped like a terrified, wounded animal, just like all the other prophets of God I didn’t get to kill. Ahab, that weak, pathetic husband of mine, had witnessed his God perform all these amazing
acts, like sending fire from heaven to lap up water from the altar. Now something like that would have made me think twice about Baal who never did anything like that! Funny thing, even then Ahab still didn’t turn back to his God! Soon enough, my husband got killed in battle, but of course, I refused to believe Elijah’s prophesy about his death, but I suppose it was true. I just didn’t know how to take it. My husband was suddenly gone!
“You shall have no other gods before me. You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God [...].” -Exodus 20:3-5 Then, while I was standing at an upper window, eunuchs came up behind me, and before I could figure out what was happening, I could feel myself falling through the air. On the way down, my thought was, If I survive this, I will surely kill them! Word has it that dogs ate me in the streets but left my hands, feet and head. I sure hope my makeup wasn’t all smeared. Image is everything. Anyway, that’s what Elijah said would happen to me. Something tells me that his God really is the true and living god. Now, why didn’t Ahab tell me? Maybe I would have believed him and just maybe I would have turned from Baal but he never tried to convince me. So I was wrong and Baal was my faithful rewarder. (Summarized from 1Kings 16, 18-19 & 22, 2 Kings 9)
Summer 2013 | LADY 45
DINNER TIME #SoulFoodPt.1 Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” -Matt. 4:4
Three Month Schedule WK
Josh. 11-15 Psa. 6-8
Gen. 12-15 Josh. 16-20 Psa. 9-11
Gen. 16-19 Josh. 21-24 Psa. 12-14 Job 9-10
Rom. 11-12 Gen. 20-23 Judg. 1-6
Psa. 15-17 Job 11-12
Rom. 13-14 Gen. 24-27 Judg. 7-11 Psa. 18-20 Job 13-14
Rom. 15-16 Gen. 28-31 Judg. 12-16 Psa. 21-23 Job 15-16
1 Cor. 1-2
Gen. 32-35 Judg. 17-21 Psa. 24-26 Job 17-18
W10 1 Cor. 3-4
Gen. 36-39 Ruth
Psa. 27-29 Job 19-20
W11 1 Cor. 5-6
Gen. 40-43 1 Sam. 1-5 Psa. 30-32 Job 21-22
W12 1 Cor. 7-8
Gen. 44-47 1 Sam 6-10 Psa. 33-35 Job 23-24
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Published on Aug 3, 2013