ISSUE 09 MAY/JUN 2014
INTERVIEW WITH EMMY WINNER
GODS LOVE NEVER FAILS THE POOR PROBLEM
BREAKING CHAINS /MVMNTMAG
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The Makeover 101 Conference is an attempt to makeover the world, one girl at a time, from the inside out. The conference is filled with games, music, make-up sessions and a fantastic runway show. Our speakers explore all aspects including spiritual makeovers, while our breakout sessions guide girls through physical makeovers.
their baggage acquired from their life choices. We teach girls that God created us in His image, therefore we are already beautiful. We must live a life of true beauty reflecting God’s image by following His Word.
Our speakers hosted a “talk show” in which the girls actively participated in and had their questions answered from a Godly perspective. We The girls were invited to know that in today’s society, attend the conference from answers to questions are only local areas, as well as inner city a click away. Whether or not the Houston. We believe that God answers are of God is our main wants to change our world and concern. Our speakers who are He can use teen girls to start also youth leaders and pastors the revolution. We challenge are able to elaborate on topics girls to have a foundation the girls provide with Christianbased on Christ and to give up based answers..
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10 Summer Hair Tips 11 Gods love Never Fails
11 Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, Am I Beautiful? That’s the Call! 14 A French Connection 15 Good Manners Matter 15 Ft. Hood and Mental Health
16 PyRexx 18 The Poor Problem 18 The Power Inside
20 Jason Benjamin 21 Graduating Style 22 Breaking The Chains
MVMNT ONLINE BLOG Our blog is an online journal written by young people for young people. Every week new articles are written to encourage you in Christ. Our writers are genuine and in love with Christ. Check us out at mvmntmag.com.
“I’m extremely passionate about living in excellence. The only way I know how to succeed at this, is to never be completely satisfied by what I’ve done and use that to help what I do next, better. In other words, I’m fueled by my faults and take pleasure in learning from them. It is in this way, that I am able to push through my personal limitations and exceed the world around me.”
- Trevor Lee Trevor Lee is a touring recording artist with an extremely diverse audience. He is able to cross through genres as if he lives in each of them. With extremely high energy, he captivates audiences while intriguing their mind, pulling their hearts, and expanding their spiritual understanding. Although his recorded music, available in any digital store, is enough to take you to another plain, Trevor Lee’s performance show is a whole other experience. He has shared stages with Tedashi, Members of Family Force Five, and more. Bi-lining a festival or other events is just the tip of the ice burg. Trevor Lee has a full worship band and extensive 2 hr interactive show that includes a hip hop concert with live drummer and audio visual accompaniment, live band concert, alter call/prayer time, and more. While being apart of making and starring in local and syndicated television shows, he has been featured on TBN world wide countless times and has hosted his own local radio show in Houston, TX. This brief description is only the past, his future looks even more promising, extravagant, and filled with excellence. One thing we know, is that it is never too late to become apart of a better future. Send all booking request to email@example.com 5
6 MAY/JUN 2014
The Empowering Network Kimberly James Founder, Publisher/Coach firstname.lastname@example.org www.har.com/kimberlyjames Mobile: 281-883-7394 The Empowering Network P.O. Box 62344
Amaya was born in Miami, Florida. She has lived in many states across the U.S., and now calls Houston, Texas home. Amaya is the second oldest of five siblings. She absolutely loves singing, dancing, reading and spending time with her family. Amaya first started singing around the house for fun. She later auditioned for plays at school and at church. It wasn’t long before her singing talent was noticed. Amaya is currently working on her new single called “Love,” produced by ProblemSolvers, LLC. Amaya looks forward to recording additional songs this spring. AGE
Houston, TX 77205
Dare To Dream Project “Every great dream begins with a dreamer, always remember you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars and change the world”
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Written by Robert Van Fossen Looking to be amongst the fashionable at school or on campus this spring? Then look no further, these staples will lead you in the right direction. These in particular are from up-and-coming brands that you might not have heard of. Whether you prefer a more laid-back style or a high-class panache, you can’t go wrong with these versatile finds. They won’t break your bank either.
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SUMMER HAIR TIPS Written by Misty Huff
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Absolutimages
The summer is when your hair is the most vulnerable, so the key is to moisturize and lowheat, low-manipulation styling. Keep your hair clean and highly moisturized and conditioned. Argan Oil is a popular non-greasy hair moisturizer with a natural SPF property.
Practice with no heat styling methods i.e. Braids, buns, twist. You can also release these protective styles for a wavy hair look.
Protect your hair from the sun using hats or other headwear.
Reduce hair coloring. The sun naturally lightens hair and also makes color fade, so dyeing just leads to unnecessary damage.
When swimming, choose salt-water pools over chlorine pools if available.
Wet hair and add conditioner BEFORE entering the pool or beach water.
The hair shaft will work as a sponge to soak up the water and conditioner, and will have no room for the harmful pool water.
After swimming, utilize a shampoo made specifically for frequent swimmers; follow after with a moisturizing shampoo and conditioner.
Be sure to update all of your combs and brushes to be sure that all tools are gentle on the hair. Misty Huff of Studio31 Hair Lab Houston, TX
10 MAY/JUN 2014
FATHER’S DAY Written by Kimberly James
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Our Father in heaven takes care of us daily, no matter what our backstory. Because He is our Father, we can go to Him and ask anything in His name. With His never-ending love, He provides protection and security for His children. He allows the sun to shine by day and the moon to navigate us through the night. And we can see His love shining on grateful children around the world because of great fathers who work hard to maintain their careers and provide for their families. God our Father is real in our everyday lives, and He reveals His glory through many strong and courageous men. Fathers were created from the dust of the ground in God’s image and likeness, and any loving quality they display gives us a glimpse of our Father in heaven.
While God supplies the daily bread we need for our physical and spiritual growth, He also provides fathers with the energy, time, and resources to care for their children. All the fathers who fulfill the work of the Lord by protecting, loving, training, and providing for their children deserve appreciation. So when you pray to your heavenly Father, think of how your earthly one resembles His strength, faithfulness, and goodness. Make it a priority to cultivate a relationship with your dad every day – not just for Father’s Day. Encourage a father today. Inspire him to continue in God’s will. Write or call your father, if you can. And know that no matter what, you have a heavenly Father who always loves and looks after you.
GODS LOVE NEVER FAILS MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL, AM I BEAUTIFUL? THAT’S THE CALL! Written by Jesse Watson Jr.
“When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O LORD, supported me. When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:18-19
Written by Mary Fontenot
As I reflect on my life, I can remember a time when both my wife and I were not working and we had just got our house. This was indeed a rough time for us. We only had one child at the time and he was still in diapers. All of our bills were behind; we were facing repossession for our vehicle, and were on the verge of losing our home. We had one moment where we couldn’t afford to get the baby diapers so he had to wear a cloth diaper for a few days. Even though we were facing what appeared to be insurmountable odds and it looked as if we were losing everything, there was one thing we didn’t lose; our faith. We never stopped believing and trusting God for change. We had lost control and were falling fast but God’s love kept us together. Our reassurance in who God is and what He is able to do wouldn’t let us quit. Our child was depending on us and we were depending on each other so we couldn’t quit. Even when you are in what feels like the worst time of your life, your faith and trust in God is all you have to keep you going. As long as you don’t lose sight of the fact that God loves and nothing can separate you from His love, you will make it through your storm. How you come out of it depends on you and in most cases how long you stay in it depends on you as well. It is natural to get depressed and feel down. Most of the time when you feel this way you may be waiting on God to answer. The truth of the matter is, He may have already and you just missed it. God has said in His word that we are more the conquerors in Jesus Christ. We can do all things through Christ. It is impossible to please God without faith. We will reap a harvest if just don’t give up. God will reward those who diligently seek him and the word goes on for days with answers to our prayers. Knowing the word of God and having it hidden in our hearts is what helped us to make it through that time. What I shared with you today is only scratching the surface to what we had to go through. Statistically, we were not supposed to make it and if we left it to the experts we would be divorced now, if not for God. The same God that sits high and looks down low covered us and He will do the same for you. Renew your strength in the Lord and allow Him to work in your life. Trust in Him and know that He will never leave you nor forsake especially in your darkest hour when it seems like He is silent. If you need a reason to push through your situation until you come out of it, here is one for you: God’s love never fails.
As I read the essays of the young girls we hosted for Project Beautiful Me, I can’t help embracing my favorite Scripture, John 7:38: “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, ‘From his innermost being shall flow springs and rivers of living waters.’” Eighty girls from Beaumont and Hardin-Jefferson Independent School Districts responded to our invitation to complete an application and submit a 500word essay on overcoming a hardship in their life to be one of the young ladies selected for participation in Project Beautiful Me & Simply Cinderella, hosted by Pure PINK at Triumph Church in Beaumont, TX. The day began with a panel of speakers selected by Candace Ford with Project Beautiful Me. National recording artist Cupid opened the morning session with a high energy message that inspired each participant to incorporate fitness into their daily lives. Wendi J. Turner, author of Y.O.U. Are Power, finished up the morning session of the event with an inspiring message encouraging the girls to look past “To witness young ladies from varied walks of life exhibit such poise and gratefulness did my heart such good. From the servanthood of the facility where the event was held to the synergy of the teams working on this mission, I was proud to be an example and a part of this project.” - Wendi Turner, The Heart Initiative
their insecurities and see themselves as whole, beautiful, and empowered young women. Pure PINK then hosted three afternoon knowledge sessions titled Personality Profiling, Human Trafficking Awareness, and Makeover 101, taught by Tazarra Berrien herself. Each participant received tangible knowledge that they could apply to their lives immediately. The afternoon sessions also included a trip to the Boutique hosted by the Junior League of Beaumont and Munro’s Cleaners. Each participant was given a personal stylist that assisted them in finding the perfect prom dress (with over one thousand dresses to choose from) and at least one accessory. The speakers, volunteers, and participants were all blessed with an opportunity to give of themselves as well as receive from others. When living waters flow freely, all involved are blessed. Mary Fontenot Director of PURE PINK (Redeeming PINK) redeemingpink.com
“Thank you so much! You are the best and I love your spirit! It’s not often that we meet real children of God that you can feel his energy through, and that is how I feel every time I’m in your presence. Thanks for being the great person you are.” - Kerisha Mark, Westbrook High School Community Director
“I personally take heart to this initiative, which is why I created Project Beautiful Me. My ultimate goal is to reach young girls and empower them and I feel we accomplished just that.” - Candace Ford, Project Beautiful Me
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Happy Birthday Celebrating 2 years strong! MVMNTMAG.COM
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A FRENCH CONNECTION Written by Daniel Johnson The twentieth anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide recently passed, a celebration marred by bickering between Rwanda and France. French officials refused to attend the ceremonies marking twenty years since the end of a four-month-long genocide that left over 800,000 Rwandans dead. The officials felt that the recent accusations of French involvement with the Rwandan Genocide was going against progress that the two nations have been making over the past few years. Paul Kagame, the president of Rwanda, said in an interview that both France and Belgium were involved in political preparation and execution of the genocide. The Rwandan Genocide actually has its roots in the country’s colonial period during the years of 1914 to 1962, during which time the Belgians that ruled the country of Rwanda began making distinctions between the two tribes of Rwanda’s populace, the Hutu and the Tutsi. After this period of colonialism, France then became the government of Rwanda’s main Western backer, but after Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front stopped the genocide in 1994, he accused France of both arming and training the Hutus, who were responsible for most of the killings. Ex-French President Nicolas Sarkosy has gone as far as to say that French “errors” contributed to the slaughter, but France has refused to take any true responsibility for their involvement in the genocide. In order for there to be any healing, the one committing the wrongs has to first acknowledge those wrongs done to other people. This simple principle is being played out on an international stage, with diplomats and heads of state bickering about responsibility for atrocities. We may not have participated in anything as heinous as a genocide and lied about it, but there are things which we have done to other people that we have not come clean to them about. We hide it from them, and often, we are deceiving ourselves by hiding it from ourselves. The correct thing to do in this situation is to be proactive in healing deep and painful hurts by not dragging out the pain that people are feeling. This is done when we continually deny having anything to do with things which we knew about, but did not tell them. Jesus says in Matthew that if you remember that your brother has something against you, you are to leave your offering and go and be reconciled and then you can offer your offering. This is a proactive response to hurt and pain and bitterness, instead of a reactive response, which usually only serves to increase discord and disagreement. Be proactive.
14 MAY/JUN 2014
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / ElizabethHoffmann
AN ETIQUETTE PERSPECTIVE
Written by Toni Dupree
Written by Daniel Johnson
GOOD MANNERS MATTER I can remember my grandmother−who was the most ladylike lady I have ever met−saying to me, after seeing me stick my tongue out at someone: “Ms. Toni, pretty is as pretty does.” I’m thinking that must be a southern mantra, because most of my girlfriends have referenced that same saying. I think of the saying “pretty is as pretty does” when I see an attractive person behaving in an ugly manner when they are asked to wait or on the receiving end of lack luster service. It makes me ponder to myself, “if only someone would administer a little grace during stressful times.” The outcome might prove to be favorable for all involved. So, you ask why manners matter. Manners matter because exhibiting good manners provokes a powerful dose of selfconfidence and helps simplify life’s relationships overall. When we are stressed, agitated or frustrated, we can’t think clearly and are usually unable to reason through our circumstances with others. Taking a step back, allowing time to reevaluate the situation, and taking personal feelings out of the equation gives us a chance to consider options for resolving the matter. There are other benefits to demonstrating good manners: people are impressed by well-behaved people, you will receive positive attention and respect, and people are willing to kick the doors in to work with you and to give you an opportunity to advance and shine. Politeness looks strong on anyone, male or female. Good manners are a healthy foundation for high self-esteem. By respecting others, you show respect for yourself and give the world and the people in it an awesome view of what confidence really is.
Etiquette & Style by Dupree www.etiquettestylebydupree.com 832-407-3117 “Improving me adds value to the way I see you” Chytonya Dupree President, CEO Etiquette Coach
FT. HOOD AND MENTAL HEALTH
Deaf Bible bible.is/asl v
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A gunman opened up fire on Fort Hood during the afternoon hours of April 8, 2014, wounding sixteen people and killing four. Army Spc. Ivan Lopez began his shooting rampage at a building at the military base before entering a vehicle and opening fire on another vehicle, eventually being cornered by military police in a parking lot. Here, the gunman chose to point his weapon at his own head and take his life, in addition to the other three people who died on that fateful day. Lopez had transferred to Ft. Hood from another facility somewhere in Texas, already taking medications and receiving professional help for anxiety and depression. Lopez was also undergoing an assessment designed to determine if he was indeed suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a type of anxiety disorder which can occur after a person has gone through an extreme emotional trauma that involved the threat of injury or death. Lopez, an Iraq War veteran who served for four months, was not injured in combat, but self-reported a traumatic brain injury before he was returned to the United States. Once again, we are faced with the ugly remains of mental illness and a shooting rampage on either a military base or a school, places that are supposed to be safe. At the heart of these issues, as far as the Church is concerned, is a lack of capability to deal with and address the hotbutton issues of mental illness, depression and suicidal thoughts. We don’t like talking about it, addressing it, or admitting that, most of the time, our local churches are not equipped to deal with and/or relate to people who either show the signs of depression or who come out and tell a Pastor in a counseling session that they are either depressed or think that they have been dealing with depression. The term mental illness also seems to be a synonym or euphemism for “crazy;” however, this dismissive method does nothing to address or reach the person dealing with depression. Our language has to change. We cannot, in good faith, simply direct a person who exhibits the symptoms or characteristics of a depressed person to “pray about it,” unless we can direct them somewhere where they can actually receive proper help. The Church needs clinical psychiatrists, as well as pastors who can counsel, if we want to help the mentally ill as well as helping the spiritually sick.
See. Read. Share. Designed specifically for users who are deaf, Deaf Bible is the best way to see, read, and share the Bible like never before.
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PyRexx LABEL RAPTURE RECORDZ Interviewed by Ike Okpobiri
16 MAY/JUN 2014
HOW DID THE NAME PYREXX ORIGINATE? PyRexx was a name given to me by a friend as a joke. Pyrex is a cooking utensil people use to cook drugs in, and before I was saved, I was rapping with people like Trae tha Truth. I started free-styling at age fourteen. But it was all glorifying drugs, sex, hurting people, fighting, and shooting – stuff that was just common to me.
WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN RAPPING? In my neighborhood, that was the thing. I was in an all-black community, and I grew up listening to TuPac and a couple rappers like DMX, but mainly we had Swishahouse. That’s what got me, because that was a Northside thing. And then you had the Southside – Screw, Kiki, and Fat Pat and all that. I had a close friend of mine named Trey, who was very into the music industry; he had a clique with Z-Ro, so it inspired me. I didn’t want to rap; I always just wanted to freestyle. I had homies of mine that rapped, but I never wanted to get on a microphone until I went to prison and learned how to write my music on paper.
at people, getting shot at, having gang fights. I caught my first felon at age sixteen stealing cars in the north side of Houston, but I caught my first drug case at age seventeen and was headed to prison on a three-year term. When I got out, I started selling drugs again, and went back to prison. All my jail sentences were straight, drug-possessing charges.
HOW HAS YOUR LIFE CHANGED? Aw man, it was a year ago – May second of 2013. I was sitting in the county jail, with a twenty-five-year sentence about to be delivered to me, and I was fighting it for two months. I told Jesus, “Get me out of this one, and I promise I will change my ways.” So that’s exactly what I did. I had a loophole with the case, got it dismissed, and walked smooth out - and I had six felonies. And I’ve changed since then. God’s been messing me. Once you give your life to Christ, people think it’s supposed to be easy peasy, but it’s harder. It’s easier to do bad, but it’s harder to do right. I don’t just change myself; I change my music. But after giving my life to Christ, I’m now a better man, a better husband, I work full time, bought a brand new car, moved into a better apartment, I’m happy all the time, and I’m drug free. It all happened over a period of time. God has blessed me in so many ways.
IF YOU COULD SUM UP YOUR MUSIC IN ONE PHRASE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? WHY? WHEN DID YOU GET SAVED? YOU SAID Struggle. I’m coming from a very YOU WERE IN PRISON, RIGHT? difficult time, but I chose to make those bad decisions, so I got exactly what I wanted.
WHAT GOT YOU IN JAIL? Like I told you, I got the name Pyrexx, and I had this mentality: I’m a white boy – I’m hard. I have to prove that I’m tough; I can’t show any weakness. I’ve been in a gang for over ten years, so all I do is drugs – drugs and pimping on women. I still remember hearing my mother scream, me running into the living room, and seeing my daddy put her head in the washing machine, trying to close it on her face. He abused me and my brother, choking us until we couldn’t do nothing about it. I became a gangster disciple. I was in the streets selling drugs, committing sin, sipping drink, and doing different drugs. I had sex at the age of fourteen; I was packing pistols, shooting
No, I believe that once you’re saved, you’re always saved. I got saved at the age of eleven years old. I believe what Romans 10: 9-10 says – if you believe what it states, then you believe by faith that the Bible is real, and you’re saved. Now you can lose track and stop following Jesus, and then you have to rededicate your life to Him. What really made me see Jesus was this Christian rapper named Trey Nine. When people say “Christian rap,” it turns you away. But when I saw them doing the same type of music but more inspirational, I thought, “Wow, these boys are rapping Jesus - and they look tight like this? I’m digging that.”
IF SOMEBODY WERE TO ASK, “WHO IS PYREXX?” WHAT WOULD YOU TELL HIM? PyRexx is somebody who was lost and now is found. PyRexx is a guy who’s been through a lot – through death, through drama, through divorce, through remarriage to the same woman, through everything, and still here. I’m a perfect example of somebody that’s been judged, been everything, but kept pushing.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BIBLE VERSE? I would say 1 John 4:19: “We love Him because He first loved us.” If He didn’t love us, we wouldn’t know how to love. And the Holy Spirit is led by love. If you hate something, you wouldn’t do anything for that, but if you love something, you will take action. Love is the action word.
WHERE WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE YOUR MUSIC IN ABOUT FIVE YEARS? I’ll still be rapping here and there, but I’m working on my son now. He’s seven years old, and he’s on the last verse of my video “I Chunk The H Up.” It got forty thousand views in a month, so that’s pretty good. My son’s got a lot of potential, so I want to lead him right. I got a little girl, too, who’s eleven. I don’t know what God has planned for my music, but I know I will lead thousands to His kingdom through it.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE THING TO SEE WHILE YOU’RE ONSTAGE? I’ve performed in front of one hundred thousand people before, and sometimes I get nervous when I’m onstage, so I close my eyes a lot when I rap. But I like looking at the people’s responses. At this one popular smoke shop I was performing at, I had everybody screaming “Jesus” there. I share my music, I share the Word, I share my testimony, and I can see the ones that are begging Jesus to come into their lives. When I get off stage, they’re the ones I want to talk to. I don’t want to get on stage, rap, then walk off. I pray with the people, and I try to send them to different workshops so they get followups and get discipled. I don’t look to save a thousand; I just look to save one. And when people come up to me and tell me about it, it means a lot. 17
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / vkovalcik
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / andose24
THE POOR PROBLEM
Written by Daniel Johnson
A recent study has indicated that poor and disadvantaged children suffer the marks of poverty even on a genetic level, according to the researchers who performed this study. This is the first time that poverty has been linked to any genetic defects or abnormalities. The study focused on a group of nine-year-old AfricanAmerican boys who had experienced continual stress because they grew up poor. The results indicated that the telomeres of these nine-year-olds from poor households are shorter than those of children of the same age from more advantaged households. Telomeres are repetitive sequences of DNA found at the ends of chromosomes that function as a kind of “cap” to protect the information when the DNA replicates. They do become shorter each time the DNA replicates, and having shorter telomeres is a kind of genetic aging that seems accelerated when a person is under chronic stress, as these children are. In addition to this aging, the scientists also discovered these children have developed a sensitivity to dopamine and serotonin (pleasure and happiness centers in the brain). Combined with their shortened telomeres, these findings told the researchers that these factors push the children farther and farther toward lives of stress and sickness. Poverty has already been associated with sickness and stress in adults, and the researchers were surprised to discover that it was already developing in these children as young as nine years old. It appears poverty is worse than we thought it was. Not only does it affect the parents who are trying to figure out ways around and out of these impoverished conditions, but it has a pronounced effect on the children of poverty as well. It is incredibly important that we not lose sight of this, and become too comfortable when we see others who may not have it as good as we do. By becoming too comfortable, I mean simply breathing a sigh of relief that goes something like, “Thank God, that’s not me,” when it could very well be you. We should do what Christ did when he encountered those who needed His help by extending a hand to heal and restore them where we can. We should have deeper compassion for people. These are children who should not know stress like this. It is taxing on the heart to read this information, because this is not what should be seen or experienced by children anywhere. Poverty is, at its root, a problem of human greed and consumption, and ultimately it is going to take humans being compassionate and giving to stem the tide of poverty, not just in other countries, but right here in America. It is not simply enough to pray about this. We must get involved and take action. Find a homeless or battered women’s shelter, and volunteer some time to help heal these scars. 18 MAY/JUN 2014
THE POWER INSIDE Written by Anna Nicole Koistinen
Remember that story? The one where they marched around Jericho and the walls literally came crashing down? Remember that time when people instantly died when looking inside the Ark of the Covenant? Or when Moses’ staff turned into a snake before Pharaoh? We tend to save stories like these for children’s Sunday school. If you grew up in the church like I did, I’m sure you’ve heard them many times, as I have. As a follower of Jesus, I am constantly amazed with how everything in the Bible points to Jesus, even the Old Testament stories I tend to shove in the corner. But what has been wrecking me lately is the fact that we as Christians in 2014 today, have access to the same God that brought down walls, turned staffs into snakes, healed people before crowds, exorcized a legion of demons, and so much more. Hang with me for a second. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit dwelled in the Ark of the Covenant. Armies would carry the ark with them to war and would win wars even when they were outnumbered. God was very specific as to how the ark was built–just look in Exodus 25: “They shall make the ark of acacia wood. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, a cubit and a half its breadth, and a cubit and a half its height.
You shall overlay it with pure gold, inside and outside shall you overlay it,, and you shall make on it a molding of gold around it. You shall cast four rings of gold for it and put them on its four feet, two rings on the other side of it. You shall make poles of acacia wood and overlay them with gold….” But when Jesus died on the cross, the Bible says the veil was torn in the temple where the spirit dwelled. WE are now the “New Arks of the Covenant.” “50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.” -Matthew 27 “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?” - 1 Corinthians 3:16 God’s Spirit Now Dwells in US now! “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own” -1 Corinthians 6:19 Or what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For we are the temple of the living God; just as God said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”- 2 Corinthians 6:16.
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40 people they interviewed for the design position. While I was there I designed graphics for Oprah’s Life Class, Oprah’s Next Chapter, The Dr. Oz Show, The Rosie Show, and The Nate Berkus Show. It was a memory I will always cherish.
HOW DID IT FEEL TO WIN AN EMMY? It never dawned on me that I would work in a field where I could win such an achievement. When I started working in television it was certainly something that I wanted to happen. The beauty of this was that it only took me 3 years to win my first solo Emmy Award. It felt great. It was a pure moment of self-accomplishment. But the truth is it wasn’t just about me. It represented all the hard work my mother and father put in to raise me the right way and inspire me to be great.
JASON BENJAMIN Interviewed by Enoma Osakue
CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR BACKGROUND AND HOW YOU GREW UP? My family is from a Caribbean island called Dominica. I was born there in the town of Roseau, Dominica. My father had a dream of living in America even before I was born, so when I was 3 years old we moved to the United States; first living in Florida and then moving to Houston, Texas when I was 5 years old. I grew up in Houston. I am an only child. My mom really made sure I was taken care of, not so much with material possessions but rather with love and support. She sacrificed working in order to make sure she was there to mold my early childhood. I think that support was critical in developing my aptitude to learn. By the time I was in the 3rd grade I had moved over to what was called gifted and talented classes. During middle school I was in vanguard and then I went to a college prep high school, which prepared me well for the real world.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN MEDIA AND BROADCASTING? I studied broadcast technology at Houston Community College, which was basically a degree focused on Radio and TV production. Towards the end of the program I got an internship at a production company. This helped me gain the professional experience I needed to move on to an actual job. I worked for a large Southern Baptist church in Sugar Land, Texas, Sugar Creek Baptist Church. I worked there for about 4 years in various capacities, from designing print materials and making videos to live technical event support. From there I had an opportunity to transition into a television station as a motion graphic designer. 20 MAY/JUN 2014
WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO HONE YOUR CRAFT? My motivation came from an internal passion to be excellent in everything I do. I have always loved art. My mother recently reminded me that I doodled a lot at an early age. So this is just something inherent in who I am. I have been fortunate to uncover my talents, so honing them is just a natural process that happens for a perfectionist like me over time.
HOW DO YOU SEE GOD MOVING IN YOUR INDUSTRY? Over the last 2 years I’ve seen more and more of the people I work with actually start to attend my church. It has nothing to do with me, more so with the community and social justice oriented church family that I’m a part of. But it’s very nice to see people hungry to grow deeper in their faith or at the very least connect with other likeminded people. I think God’s work is in people not particularly in an “industry.”
WHAT WERE SOME OTHER OPPORTUNITIES YOU CONSIDERED PURSUING IN LIFE? While I was studying in school I thought I would become either an architect or a structural engineer. I am a very visual tactile person so I ultimately had to create, develop or design for a career.
DID YOU EVER DREAM OF WORKING FOR HARPO STUDIOS? Everyone knows who Oprah is; very few ever think they could call her a coworker. I certainly didn’t. It was a real privilege to spend time working there. Those were some of the best people I’ve ever worked with. I was the top candidate out of
DO YOU FEEL THAT YOUR FAITH IMPACTS THE WAY YOU WORK? I know that my faith in Jesus impacts my work. I don’t think I would pursue excellence the way I do if I didn’t have that faith. At the end of this life we have to give an account to God for everything we did. I think of that from time to time. Also the bible says in Colossians 3:23 that whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord. So really, I’m not just working for my boss, in fact I am not, I am working for the Lord and my job is just a channel by which I can exercise my faith in God by working for Him. This also leads me to walk with integrity and character and make sure that the people around me can trust me to do what I say I will do.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE WORDS (VERSES) OF ENCOURAGEMENT AND WHY? One of my favorite verses that I recite almost every single day comes from Psalms 118:24. “This is the day which the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” It’s something my mother said all the time growing up, especially in the mornings. This registered with me completely and has become a mantra and a truth in my own life. It’s nostalgic in one sense and invigorating in another. When you know that every day is literally the creation of God and He has blessed you to live this very day, it puts everything else into perspective and returns all the glory back to God. This keeps me motivated.
WAS THERE EVER A TIME YOU FELT GOD TUGGING YOU IN A DIRECTION YOU DIDN’T UNDERSTAND? HOW DID YOU RESPOND? Yes. Yes. Yes! After I moved to Chicago and had so much professional success, my plan was to move to New York. It’s the # 1 media market in country. Getting a job there would represent the highest level of achievement in my young career and only lay the groundwork for the future. However God had different plans. About a year ago God exposed me to an under resourced inner city community
on Chicago’s west side. I profiled one of the community activists there for NBC 5 to help create awareness of African Americans doing positive work during Black History Month. That encounter was the beginning of a shift in my life where God would ultimately lead me to be a part of helping this very neighborhood, to help serve and love like Christ teaches us to in the scripture. It took about 6 months for me to respond to the call of God to forgo my personal dreams of living and working in media in New York and to settle into Chicago, work diligently here, and serve my community just as passionately as I would pursue my personal professional goals. I thought it was his plan for me to go to New York, but when I looked further in my own heart it was my plan, so I had to make the choice to follow His. It was difficult at first but in recent months I’ve truly experienced God’s goodness by responding to His direction. The peace that comes from that far outweighs any issues or frustrations that my flesh would have.
GRADUATING STYLE Written by Myles K. Wren
It’s almost that time for graduation parties and end of school year gatherings! As you are closing one chapter and opening another, remember that every open door must be approached with faith and confidence. I am going to show you just a few fun examples of some dresses that you can mimic as you are drawing near to whatever new endeavor that is next for you. My first two looks feature the crop top and matching bottom. Crop tops have been a big trend as we see many celebrities dawning this look on stage and in magazines. This is my rendition of a classy crop top representation. Pair your crop top with a high waisted skirt to keep modest yet in trend!
WHAT IS YOUR SALVATION STORY? I proclaimed Jesus Christ as my Lord and savior at age 11. I remember being in church with my best friend at the time. The pastor asked if anyone would like to accept Jesus Christ and we both stood up. As I continued to grow, God became more of a focus in my teenager years, but I can say that through life’s journey of the good and the difficult trying times, Jesus Christ is my Lord and savior, more so today that he was when I was just a boy.
My next two looks are just as fun! A staple skirt in company of a simple top or vice versa is a great look. For many of us, we may not be able to afford an expense outfit from top to bottom but we may be able to afford one expense piece. Pick whatever you are passionate about and what you feel you will get the most out of, a skirt, a top, a jacket, a pair of shoes...and put it with something easy!
IF YOU COULD SAY ONE THING TO YOUNG ADULTS INTERESTED IN MEDIA AND VISUAL ARTS WHAT WOULD IT BE? Follow your heart. Look at what you’re naturally good at and then try to develop skills that build upon those gifts and talents. Find a mentor. Find someone who will help you grow. Find inspiration from other talented people already in the industry and follow their stories. Ask for help, dream big, try hard, and don’t be afraid to fail.
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I found these dresses on Anthropologie but I know these styles can be embraced with any budget. To get these looks on a budget find items with the same silhouette. I like to leave with you two thoughts; know that every great outfit is worn with faith and boldness. Trust that who God is developing you into is more than capable and more than victorious. Approach life with open eyes, open ears, open hands, and an open heart.
Drink Pouches Colgate Oral Care Go Go Squeeze Lunchables Cell Phones Diaper Packaging Earth’s Best Pouches Elmer’s Glue Tom’s Ink & Toner Miscellaneous E-Waste Hair Cosmetic Packaging. m101ministry.org/ event/join-ourrecycle-campaign/ 21
“Now I will break their yoke from your neck and tear your shackles away” Nahum 1:13
BREAKING THE CHAINS Written by Pastor Abraham Serrano
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Anetlanda
Growing up, my siblings and I were taught that attending church and seeking God were the ways to live a good and meaningful life. I remember going to church and being part of skits, children events, and great church services. Even though my father didn’t go to church or show a strong relationship with God, he supported my mother by making sure we went to church religiously on Wednesdays and Sundays. These memories have always remained in my mind, but none of these things prepared me for what happened to me at age 17. At age 10, we moved from Mexico City to Houston Texas. It was not only a very difficult decision as a family, but the culture shock was extreme, especially for my parents. The kids in my family were young (my sister 14, my brother 11, me 10 and my younger brother 1), so we adapted rather quickly, but there was still so much we had left behind and a lot more to learn in our new journey. We began to assist in church right away, and God began to do amazing things. For starters, my father began to attend with us, and God began to impact his life more and more. Personally, God was doing amazing things. At age 12, I joined the worship team, playing the bass guitar. I had a legitimate passion to serve and seek God with all of my heart. My love for 22 MAY/JUN 2014
the Lord was so powerful that I began to see God work in my life in a supernatural way. At 14, we moved to a Spirit-filled church, and God began to release his gifts over our lives as a family. Quickly I began to minister with the worship team and as a leader in the youth, and although I struggled with a double personality at times, being one person at church and another outside, I knew God was working in me. The following three years were very impactful. God had opened doors for me to minister at local churches and schools, as well as city-wide youth conferences. At 17, I had the opportunity to go minister in Argentina and Colombia and see God move in a way that I would have never dreamed of. But soon after, something happened at our church that hurt me spiritually. It literally destroyed my heart, creating anger, hate and disappointment. From one day to another, I blocked God away from my life, and began to pursue a life of sin and pain. The following eight years were very critical, not only for me, but for my whole family. I went deep into a world of violence, drugs, alcohol and sex, abusing all of these uncontrollably. I had no reason to love or change who I was. My heart was as hard as stone, and I didn’t care to change it.
I share this with you, because, although God had used my life as a young man, it was an action of man that brought me down. The truth is now I know that God’s will is perfect. I don’t question why this happened to me. I know why, and take the responsibility to use my experience, so that I don’t have to continue to experience the pain and hurt I was going through. During these years, I always thought, “One day, I am going to visit a church, and God is going to speak to me through a great man of God or one of His most gifted servants.” See, I had been hurt by a man, so I expected a man to cure my wounds. My expectations were in the natural, never in the supernatural. Always remember, we were created in the Supernatural, not in the natural. We came from dust only to become his most precious creation. Genesis 2:7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. God had other plans. After being in a struggling marriage for a year and a half, due to all of my problems and secrets, the unexpected happened. I had finally hit rock bottom. I was in what I like to call a bottomless pit and couldn’t do anything to get out. I was done. I remember as if it was yesterday, we had gone out that day and partied. I had drunk so much trying to drown this pain I had inside. Back at home, lying in bed, I felt this pain that I had never felt before right in the middle of my stomach. I got up and began my short and yet long trip to the kitchen to see if some water would help. I did not expect what happened next. As I entered the living room to get to the kitchen, my knees locked up and I hit the ground. Right away, God began to speak to me. He told me, “I love you, my son. I have always loved you.” For the next three and a half hours, God broke me down piece by piece, restoring my life to the man he had designed me to be. Instantly, my life was changed, my heart of stone was replaced by a heart of compassion, and all of my anger, hate and depression were overtaken by this unfailing love that I had once known and felt. Why am I sharing this with you? Because no matter where you are, God will always be there ready to break the chains that have tried to destroy the man or woman he designed you to be. God’s greatest creation was you. Psalms 139:13-14 13. For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. See, God designed you with a greater purpose, regardless of what the enemy has tried to do. You where knitted by God himself for greatness. You were “fearfully and wonderfully made.” No matter what you have experienced, God will not only heal, but will restore all that you are and make it new. I pray and declare over your life that as you read this article, His Spirit will speak into your life and transform you forever. God Bless! Pastor Abraham Serrano www.fourtwelvegeneration.org
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In this issue, we get acquainted with Jesus, the Chain Breaker and sit down with the rapper PyRexx and Emmy Winner Jason Benjamin.
Published on May 16, 2014
In this issue, we get acquainted with Jesus, the Chain Breaker and sit down with the rapper PyRexx and Emmy Winner Jason Benjamin.