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OPTIMAL-LIVINGMAGAZINE.COM september/october 2012

True C onf es s ions o f a S aved Bl ac k Man LEA RNING T O LIVE BE LOW YOU R M EANS

T he wif ey 101 series MUCH MORE!


CONTENTS Adhering to the Call of Celibacy BEFORE MARRIAGE BY DR. SANDY McNEILL-FINKLIN

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In This Photo: MEAGAN GOOD AND HUSBAND, DeVON FRANKLIN

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CONTENTS

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06 PURPOSE DRIVEN LIVING TIPS 07 Harvest matters

08 Adhering to the Call of Celibacy.... 14 True Confessions of a Saved Black Man

16 THE WIFEY 101 SERIES 18 CAREER & LEADERSHIP INSIGHT 19

LIFESTYLES

21 POETIC MOMENTS 23 THE SPICES OF LIFE RECIPES 25 A TIME OF INTERCESSION 26

OPTIMAL LIVING ABUNDANT LIFE PLEDGE

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OUR STAFF PUBLISHER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Tanisha R. Hopson ASSISTANT TO THE PUBLISHER Advertisement - Subscriptions - Circulation Christine Davis EDITORS Roberta Shannon Laketa Lewis Media Design Layout RNA PRoMOTIONAL DESIGN CONCEPTS CONTRIBUTORS Alana B. DeLonda Adams Marsha Carroll Dr. Jerrod A. Henderson Rhonda Feimster Christoph Jenkins Dr. Sandy McNeill-Finklin Christoph Jenkins Wendye Savage Rhonda York Michelle Wilson PHOTOGRAPHERS Natarsha N. Wright KD Bellz Optimal Living Magazine is published six times per year with a mission is to encourage our readers to live the most abundant life possible as it relates to their spirituality, purpose, careers, finances and relationships. Advertisers who offer products, services and events in support of our mission are encouraged to contact our Advertisement Sales Department at 1-888-876-1722 or adsales@optimal-livingmagazine.com. Š Copyright 2012. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form, including photocopying, electronic retrieval of publication without written permission of the Publisher.


THE PUBLISHER’S PERSPECTIVE A Clarion Call for Moral Change decide to start renewing your mind through regularly reading your Bible, connecting with God through prayer, and keeping yourself pure before God – you will become a vessel that He can use over and over again. If people had the moral intelligence to do as God says in His Word, a lot of the moral ills that have been increasing on a daily basis would slow down tremendously.

Taking a stand for purity will not only fulfill you, but also the men who, deep down, desire to be married to a woman of standard. No matter what anyone says, the right man will wait for you.

As a woman, you have the innate power to create a wonderful life for yourself, your family, and those who will come after

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you. You are a designer’s original; born with purpose, divine assignment, and gifts waiting to be unwrapped by those that an you imagine what would happen if at least 1000

encounter you. Don’t cheapen the gift that God has given you

women from each city of the United States decided

for temporary gratification. Instead, use your gift to pray for our

to start keeping their lives pure for Christ? This one act would

country, families, those in lack, and anything else that God places

start a revolution that would cause a domino effect throughout

on your heart. The possibilities for you are endless! Today,

our society. If you ask me, any woman can lay down with a

I challenge you to recommit your life to Christ. Discover His

man, but it takes a lady of great character, wisdom, and moral

love for you through His Word and the passion that moved Him

understanding to keep herself pure until she marries.

thousands of years ago to give His life for you.

We all crave love, attention and relationship. But, how many of

It is my prayer that you will be blessed by the article titled,

these relationships are ordained for your life and meant to last

Adhering to the Call of Celibacy Before Marriage which features

a lifetime? What if the person you are currently having sexual

actress Meagan Good and her new husband, Sony Executive and

relations with outside of marriage, was only meant to be your

author, DeVon Franklin.

friend? May God Bless You Real Good! I am a living testament that the flesh can play tricks on us all. However, I have come to understand that if my life is going to mean anything, I must stand for something that will leave a godly legacy in this present time and beyond. Among many things, I choose to stand for sexual purity.

Tanisha R. Hopson The family is under serious attack and it is time that we see it for what it is and do our part to stop the madness. When you

Follow me on Twitter @olmagazine & Facebook @OptimalLivingMagazine!


makes alive.” The more we try to conform to rules without a heart change, the more we discover that we can’t fulfill them; we experience bondage. In the face of all the commandments the children of Israel discovered that on their best day they still were not good enough, they needed more. We do too! Christ came so that we could obtain more grace, truth, and liberty all in the Holy Ghost. It turns out, we can’t live holy without the help of the Holy Spirit (our helper and comforter). Holiness frees us from the bondage of sin. It’s sin, not Christ, which wants to keep us in bondage. Holiness liberates us to live repentant lifestyles, understanding that we don’t always do things right. Yet God is committed to perfecting us as we choose to walk in holiness. The changing from glory to glory is a work of the Holy Ghost; we cannot do it ourselves.

3. Liberty is freedom from the dominion

So then, how do we, or can we, live holy so that we can enjoy this freedom? Holiness is characterized by a relationship and love for God. The goal of every believer should be to develop relationship (i.e., fall in love with Christ). As we fall in love with Christ, our desire will be to please Him. In pleasing Him, we free ourselves from tradition, legalism, and bondage and experience the true freedom of holiness.

of corrupt desires, so that we, by instinct, carryout the will of God.

Dr. Jerrod A. Henderson

Now, I know that some of you may be thinking: “What? Holiness? Sounds good, but I can’t do it!” Perhaps you were told that holiness was about rules and regulations, what to wear and what not to wear, what to do and what not to do, etc. On the contrary, holiness is simply about lifestyle choice and relationship. Christ died, was buried, and rose again so that our lives would be characterized by holiness (being consecrated or set apart to God) and freedom, not legalism.

earned a Ph.D. in Chemical & Biomolecular Holiness gives us freedom to live by God’s Engineering from the University of Illinois standards, not the traditions of men or ideals at Urbana-Champaign where he currently is a member of the faculty. He also earned that have nothing to do with the Word of degrees from Morehouse College and North God. A tactic of the enemy is to convince us Carolina A&T State University. A native of that salvation means practicing traditions. Some traditions are good, but as Jesus put it Kinston, NC, Dr. Henderson has worked in Mark 7, don’t lay aside the commandments in ministry in various capacities since his of God in order to keep the traditions of men. youth. He was baptized in Jesus’ Name (age 17) and filled with the Holy Ghost On one occasion Jesus taught saying, “you have heard that it hath been said…” Holiness at the age of 16. At the age of 25, Dr. Henderson acknowledged and accepted his frees us to move beyond what we heard call to ministry and has continued to be a about God, His ways, and precepts to what faithful servant to God’s people at Church we know (having read the Word of God for of the Apostolic Authority where he is ourselves). Holiness necessitates a passion affectionately known as “elder” or “AP.” for the Word (truth) of God.

As you strive for holiness, there are a few definitions of the word “liberty (freedom)” from the original Greek “eleutheria” that you should become familiar with:

Holiness liberates us from legalism. Legalism says, “follow the rules whether your heart’s motive is committed or not.” Scripture teaches that “the letter kills, but the spirit

Jerrod’s life motto is: “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed.”

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. (II Corinthians 3:17) There’s absolutely no question about the freedom that we have obtained in Christ. However, it’s up to us to discover the limitless boundaries of this freedom and dwell therein by perfecting holiness.

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1. Liberty is freedom to do or omit things having no relation to salvation.

2. Liberty is freedom from the letter of the law (e.g., rules and regulations) and legalism.


HARVEST MATTERS

LEARNING TO LIVE BELOW YOUR MEANS BY MARSHA CARROLL According to recent economic indicators, over 50% of Americans are spending more than they earn. The popular money adage reminds everyone to “live within your means”. However, in order to be fiscally responsible and financially secure, living below your means is actually the best way to ensure a brighter future in terms of your finances. By living within your means you are merely spending what you earn on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis, with no regard for what your economic situation can or will be in the future. If you enter the vicious cycle of spending what you have, you will never be rich and you certainly will not accumulate wealth. Living below your means will allow you to meet your expenses while still being able to establish that ‘rainyday’ fund, just in case of a financial catastrophe such as job loss,

health issues, or other unexpected expenses. Fortunately, like most other conundrums that relate to money, there are some simple steps that can be taken to alleviate such concerns. First, we are to look to the Word when trying to understand the dynamics of our money. In the Bible, we are reminded of the pitfalls of covetousness and we are also warned against earnestly seeking things we don’t have (or cannot afford). Luke 12:15 as well as Hebrews 13:5 provides advice on how to decipher what we need (such as food, clothes, and shelter), as opposed to what we want (such as the new iPad, an overpriced handbag, or an expensive car). In order to prosper in our finances, we must develop a relationship of boundaries with the money we have. As we have mentioned many times before in this space, you must have a budget or a plan that clearly lays out

how much you earn in relation to your expenses. In addition to your tithe, you should also put yourself in your budget as a necessary “expense”. By doing so, you will make savings a part of your lifestyle. Do not allow yourself to depend on savings to pay your bills or for frivolous spending. Instead, as much as possible, try to lower your expenditures to ensure that you will not drain your emergency funds, just to keep up with the lifestyle that you truly cannot maintain. Another step towards living below your means is to get into the habit of using cash as much as possible, as oppose to relying on your credit card(s). As we see in Proverbs 22:7, the borrower is servant to the lender; do not allow yourself to become enslaved to credit card debt. Finally, manage your budget and spending with utmost strictness to ensure you do not develop a reliance on Pay-Day Lenders. Also known as ‘predatory lenders’, pay-day loans consist of no credit checks and an advance of money you have yet to earn. Due to high default rates, many people become trapped in the seemingly never ending cycle of trying to repay the loans and the interest, while still trying to catch up on expenses that lured them into taking out the loan in the first place. Although Pay-day lenders are outlawed in 11 states nationwide, such institutions are prominent in poor and minority communities. Don’t allow yourself to become a casualty of the economy; seek counsel from a financial professional in order to master living below your means.

Marsha Carroll is a freelance writer based in Princeton, NJ. For debt elimination questions,email: harvestmatters@optimal-livingmagazine.com.

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Adhering to the Call of Celibacy Before Marriage: Why Wait? AN INTERVIEW WITH MEAGAN GOOD & DeVON FRANKLIN BY DR. SANDY McNEILL-FINKLIN

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eagan Good has jumped the broom in Malibu, California! The 30-year-old Think Like A Man lead actress is now married to Sony Pictures Executive, DeVon Franklin. She initially accepted the marriage proposal with holy conditions – since their engagement in March 2012. DeVon is an author and Seventh Day Adventist Preacher, who worships wholeheartedly on Saturdays, doesn’t eat unclean meats and won’t blame it on the alcohol. Happily for Meagan, she’s blessed with a man who fits faultlessly into her faith and moral puzzle.

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From Madame Noire: In “Think Like a Man,” Meagan Good’s character had a 90-day rule before she would have sex with her man, but in real life, Meagan’s rule is much longer with purpose and meaning. In fact, Meagan’s real-life rule is 365 days along with a marriage package. The wedding night will be the first time she has sex with her fiancé. Adhering to her celibacy plan is how she knew her soon-tobe husband was the one. Her decision relates to one of my favorite bible verses 1 Corinthians 6:18-20: 18 Flee from

sexual immortality. All other sins a man commits are outside


his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19 Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body. People tend to want to be sexually involved before the marriage proceedings or before having approval for the person to be in their life. Why not wait on the Lord? Expressed by DeVon, “Once you have a principle and don’t compromise, it actually doesn’t become hard doing” God may simply need you to discover the blessing in waiting on Him for the desires of your heart instead of rushing ahead [out of order] of His timing or being out of His will, which usually results in extreme negative consequences. Therefore, do not be discouraged. Instead of asking God, “Where is my mate?”, submit your heart desire to Him, and ask Him what He wants you to learn during this waiting period.

INTERVIEW WITH MEAGAN GOOD & DeVON FRANKLIN OLM: What were some of your hardships that you endured while dating? MEAGAN GOOD: I’ve been fortunate enough to be able to play the game like the boys do. By the grace of God, I haven’t had a whole lot of bad luck while dating, but it’s because I’ve been so guarded. I really just try to keep God first, so that kept me out of a lot of pit holes. There’s nothing that I’ve really done that I regret. I’ve made maybe one mistake that I could’ve handled differently, but that’s pretty good for being 30 years old, so I feel pretty confident that I’ve done well in my relationships. I really haven’t had to play the games because, with the guys, my mom made me so abreast of what was going on while I was dating that I was able to bypass a lot of mess.

character I played in Think Like a Man. The character had a 90-day rule before she would have sex with her man. I have a better rule; I wait 365 days before marriage. Our wedding night will be the first time we’re actually together. I knew my husband was the one because he embraced my prerequisite. He loves God, more than I love God, so I don’t think there’s anything wrong [with it]. I made up my mind when I saw how some men like to play games. Sexual purity paves the way to intimacy. OLM: Some women aren’t always at the place where you are. Is there anything you would like to share with women about the blessing that comes along with saving yourself for marriage? MEAGAN GOOD: I haven’t been in a rush to find Mr. Right. I met someone special, but you know what? I’m so in love with God right now. I’m focused on being married to God. I had talked to God about the next guy I meet is my husband. You know, I’ve definitely had a first love and a second love. [Laughs] I’ve definitely been very much in love more than once, but I really value myself too. I try not to lose myself in the relationship. I think when you start to compromise yourself, that’s when you get married. That’s what that’s appropriate for. I don’t believe that you should compromise yourself fully until you’re partnering with someone on that marriage level. DeVon was more than willing to be celibate with me for a year. That shows you are with someone with standards and morals. When you are with someone that loves God more than you, you have a strong foundation for marriage. You are on earth to be a representative and show others the love of Christ. OLM: How can people get in touch with you? MEAGAN GOOD: Twitter @MeaganGood; don’t be upset I don’t follow people back. Sorry. OLM: What’s your relationship with God?

OLM: When did you meet your high priest (Mr. Right lol)? What was the courtship like?

DeVON FRANKLIN: I attend church every weekend on a regular basis. I have a relationship with Him, not religion.

MEAGAN GOOD: I met my husband, DeVon, while making Jumping the Broom in 2011. Devon proposed to me in L.A., but we have known each other for years. The courtship has been very enchanting and exciting. We began dating just after production wrapped on T.D. Jakes’ Jumping the Broom, which I starred in, and DeVon produced. My husband married me because of who I am on the inside.

OLM: What’s your view on marriage and courtship?

OLM: Could you relate to the character you played in “Think Like a Man”? When did you make up your mind that you wanted to save yourself for marriage? MEAGAN GOOD: Yes, I could certainly relate to the

DeVON FRANKLIN: [Laugh and Chuckling] Marriage is good! I love it. But he finally gets serious and explains a deeper view of marriage and courtship. Devon believes sometimes it’s easy to apply faith in so many other areas of your life but it is harder to do in a relationship. It requires even more faith. Who you date and marry is one of the most life changes decisions. If we have unhealthy or bring unresolved issues into a new relationship, they don’t magically go away. Marriage is to be a happy occasion. Maybe marriage is about holiness to stay closer to God. In this day and age there is a lack of commitment. Couples

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should realize that there will be conflict in your relationship. Strong relationships are built on the conflict you can work through. We should take a stand in relationships and say, “I will be with this person no matter what happens; we are going to work through all of it. What movie have you watched that conflict doesn’t take place? OLM: How long did you wait for your soul mate? Why did you choose Meagan Good to be your lifetime wife? DeVON FRANKLIN: I’ve been waiting for my soul mate since the day I was born. I started dating at the age of 18. Yet, I’ve been waiting since then. I chose Meagan to be my lifetime wife because I love her dearly and that’s who God said to marry. We want our marriage to be one of truth, one of love, and hopefully model God’s love. In reality we’re not perfect. But we are striving to live a life of Christ. We are striving to be an example of what his life looks like on this earth, and hopefully through our union people will be inspired; people will see themselves in us. OLM: What’s your favorite scripture? DeVON FRANKLIN: Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. OLM: What’s the best thing about being who you are?

THE CELIBACY QUESTION… Do you think that people who have been intimate can make the decision to stop having sex for a future marriage? Celibacy is a vast decision. Two people must value and remain true to the sacrifice. “Celibacy is a minimal sacrifice for a lifetime of joy and true love.” It is possible to end intimacy and commit to celibacy. While this may not be easy, it is possible. According to God’s word, all things are possible through Him who strengthens us. However, if you both aren’t on board, it WILL NOT work. We are all human and flesh tries to overpower you. Intimacy in the form of sex is a human desire, so unless you both agree wholeheartedly to be celibate, it will not work. Celibacy has the power to strengthen your relationship by building a foundation of trust, pure intimacy (not sex), commitment, and dedication within your bond. No longer will your relationship be based on a bedroom factor; instead, you are both able to make sound decisions of what’s important in keeping a marriage—communication, sharing life experiences, and encountering any bad routines before you say “I do”. Please note celibacy can aid you to achieve an amazing level of delight within your relationship and it will help you focus on the relationship and what really matters— your compatibility. In the end, it will bring two people closer because you will be working towards something together and have a special investment in the relationship. True love waits.

DeVON FRANKLIN: [A sigh at first, took a few seconds] the best thing about being who I am is loving my relationship with God. It is an incredible experience. I love owning who I am. I love who I am and I love Him for creating me. He has opened up some tremendously doors: personal, business and spiritually. Since I have this great relationship with Him, I truly have the liberty and freedom. OLM: Are you looking forward to being a father? DeVON FRANKLIN: Yes, but years in the future. I will go as the spirit leads. I don’t have a set number or the sex of the children. I want to make sure that when we bring a child into this world, we give it our full attention. OLM: Anything you would like to share with the Optimal Living Magazine readers? DeVON FRANKLIN: To live optimally is to live… to not be afraid, to trust and try God. Let God do some incredible things in your life. Have the faith to know He has it all under control. OLM: How can people get in touch with you? DeVON FRANKLIN: Visit www.DevonFranklin.com, See Facebook Produced By Faith or Twitter @DeVon_Franklin.

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Dr. Sandy McNeill-Finklin is proud to join the OLM Team as a feature writer. Originally from the Northeast, she has lived in South Florida for the last eight years. She’s a woman after God’s purpose in her life. She’s a writer, minister, counselor, speaker, philanthropist, professor, marketing/PR consultant and soul-winning advocate. Follow her on Twitter @thedpa2001 or Friend her on Facebook @DrButterfly Nicole Finklin. For more information on her services, visit: www.thedivinepurpose.org.


Optimal Living Magazine is the premiere Christian lifestyle magazine encouraging readers to live the most abundant life possible as it relates to their spirituality, purpose, careers, and relationships.

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TRUE CONFESSIONS OF A SAVED BLACK MAN Living Life on Purpose! BY CHRISTOPH JENKINS “Timing is so important! If you are going to be successful in dance, you must be able to respond to rhythm and timing. It’s the same in the Spirit. People who don’t understand God’s timing can become spiritually spastic, trying to make the right things happen at the wrong time. They don’t get His rhythm – and everyone can tell they are out of step. They birth things prematurely, threatening the very lives of their God-given dreams.” - T. D. Jakes The sooner one learns how to submit to the authority and discipline of patience, the faster he or she will learn how to recognize the voice and signs of God that tell them when and where to move. Patience

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has taught me and my new wife how to recognize the delicacy of life and to realize the importance of living carefully. Life in my eyes is a precious gift to us all and should not be taken for granted. The fact that tomorrow is not promised to us should be testament enough. The glorification of the term “YOLO” has truly misrepresented the way we should be viewing and living life. YOLO is an acronym for the phrase “you only live once,” which is often used as a hashtag on Twitter, repeated when one attempts to bring attention to exciting events or an excuse for irresponsible or risky behaviors.


Like most terms and phrases in the English language, people have different reasons for why they use YOLO. The issue is when people use YOLO to try to excuse or validate bad choices, or make premature life altering decisions. This version of YOLO goes against the grain of Psalms 27;14 that says, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.” Success feels so much better when God is pleased with our process. We must realize that it is in the process that God builds our character, strengthens our faith, and lengthens our ability to endure. We will then be able to see how well-rounded we can become in the end. However, when we veer off the path God has paved for us because we see a faster alternate route, we miss out on the scenic route that God uses to teach us how to walk by faith and not by sight. The scenic route that God has orchestrated for us allows us to spend more time with God so we can learn how to hear His voice and recognize His signs. When we take the YOLO approach to life and we just do what we feel, we skip past the process and in the end, we end up in the shallow end of life. Then when life gets DEEP, we begin to slowly drown because we neglected to allow God to take the TIME to teach us how to swim/adapt in these circumstances. If we want to be successful and have our successes blessed by God, then we must follow His path and live carefully because of the fact that we only live once!

CHRISTOPH JENKINS (www.christopheducates.com) is a writer, tutor, mentor, and entrepreneur. Christoph is now in the process of writing his first book titled, “Seoul of a Black Man”, chronicling his experiences living and teaching in South Korea. He has also started a new blog titled ChristophWrites. Visit Christoph’s blog at: www.christophwrites.blogspot.com and follow him on twitter @ItsChristophJ.

Lord God, we commit to staying reminded of the fact that this gift called life is so precious to us. We refuse to listen to the world when they pressure us to believe that it is ok to live and make decisions without consulting You first. We re-define and re-phrase the acronym YOLO and use it to promote your Will. We promise to live carefully because it is true…we only live once, but we appreciate the fact that you have given us the privilege to live on even after we have left this earth. Our lives have value; therefore, we move from making quick decisions and taking uncalculated risks to waiting on you before we act. From now on, we will seek your approval before we move. In Jesus’ name, AMEN!

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THE WIFEY

SERIES

RAISING SONS THAT WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME EXCELLENT HUSBANDS AND FATHERS BY MRS. DELONDA ADAMS These days, training our sons to become excellent future husbands and fathers is no easy task. Sometimes I laugh thinking about my 5-year-old son as a future spouse and father when he presently whines about the smallest things. I often tell him, “Stop whining. You’re a big boy aren’t you?!” I remember calling a friend and asking her, “Did your son whine like this when he was 5 years old?” She laughed and told me that she knows exactly what I am going through and that I will be fine because it is just a growing phase and to just be patient. Our world is filled with so much darkness. It seems that our culture’s agenda is to brainwash our young boys into becoming men outside of Biblical examples of manhood. As mothers, we all have a running list in our heads of ways that we are going to make absolutely sure that our sons will grow up to become excellent fathers and husbands in the future. As a mom and wife, there are some basics that my husband and I have agreed upon in parenting our son to be an excellent father someday as we watch him grow. There are two key things I would like to point out to get you started in regard to this matter: maintain Godly principles and show them the right examples.

Please do not dismiss Godly principles! Start at an early age. We have the sole responsibility in training our children up in the knowledge and reverence of the Lord. Sometimes we dismiss our children by thinking they will not retain the things that we instill in them. Children today are grasping ahold of things at a much quicker pace and much earlier age than we give them credit for. If we fail to start when our sons are young, we will be finding out how to be a man from the streets and the latest GQ magazine. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (ESV)

My husband makes a habit of reading Proverbs to our son often. The book of Proverbs provides wonderful insights into Biblical manhood. Even if you are a single mom, take time

© 2012 Natarsha N. Wright Photography

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to read the book of Proverbs to your son because our Father has promised that he would be a father to the fatherless.

Where is the example? There should be a godly example of order in our homes. Our boys need to see godly principles in our marriages. Our boys need to see that mom is submitting to dad and that dad is the head of home in a godly manner which is beneficial for their Christian growth. Of course dads should not be controlling, as it relates to their wives; but be seen submitting to God. He needs to see how the roles of women and men are balanced in the home. However, if you are a single woman, then your son needs to see you submitting yourself to Christ. In no way should our sons see us married/single being a loud mouth, controlling, bitter, and self-centered women. If your sons see this negative behavior, it can discourage them from marriage all together and leave them with a bitter taste of what to expect from a woman if they ever want to be married. Or, our sons can become attracted to loud mouth, controlling, bitter and self-centered women and marry one. Always remember that our sons are not only listening, they are also watching, so have a sincere and open walk with God!

Other Elements to Consider:

the best way to do things, it is important to also remember they are children. Sometimes it becomes important to show them the difference between chastisement and love. A good way to do that is to have fun with them. Let them know that although you must discipline them, you love them and want them to have a wonderful life. This doesn’t mean to ease up on punishments or be lenient when they’re in trouble. Instead, it simply means to set aside quality time to do what they like to do, and enjoy your time together! It will go a long way to showing them there’s a time and place for fun, love, rules, and appropriate punishment. In conclusion, don’t forget to love, discipline, encourage, nurture, and protect your sons. Be the mother God has called you to be. I pray that this helps trigger other ways that you can start raising your sons to be excellent husbands and fathers. God bless you.

MRS. DELONDA ADAMS

has been married to her husband, Sean Adams for 10 years. Together they parent two great children, Sean Jr. and Sherry. She is the founder of Proverbs 31 Mama Ministries (www.proverbs31mama.org), an innovative women’s ministry. She unpacks the Word of God with relevance and simplicity. Her southern accent and inviting presence instantly engages and provides a sense of familiarity and realness. She has authored a curriculum and hosted successful online and offline studies. Her latest project, Forgetting My Past, will be released later this year.

1. Give them responsibility. Our sons need to know how to take care of themselves if there is no female around. We never want clueless fathers that don’t know what to do when mom is away. 2. Let them make mistakes. I have had to learn to stop trying to come to the rescue wearing my super mom cape. Let them fall because we learn and grow from our mistakes and we become stronger. We don’t want wimpy men in the future, we want strong men and fathers! 3. Entrepreneurial skills will also help develop responsibility. This helps to foster forward thinking, assertiveness, purpose, money management, planning, and many other skills he will need for his home and job. 4. Strength restraint. Yes, our boys need to know how to fight to protect. However, they also need to know when to restrain their strength. There is a time for everything. 5. Show them love. Our sons need to be taught what love is and how to show it. While it is true that they need to be, and are expected to be strong; they also need to know how to love their future wife and children. 6. Have fun, too. While we want to show our children

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CAREER & LEADERSHIP INSIGHT to check in – it becomes easier to ask for help when you need it. More importantly, be conscientious in giving and offering help. Give of your time and resources without expecting anything in return. Real networking is really about building relationships. Network consistently and making a career change will be easier. Don’t wait to call your friends when you need something. Continue to learn and grow. Because change is inevitable, we have to be prepared by always learning. Take classes, read books, go to seminars, and/or learn a new skill. The more you know and the more skills you have, the more valuable you are to your employer. In this economy, when so many jobs are being eliminated, duties and job responsibilities are being consolidated. You can improve the security of your position by increasing your gifts and talents. These additional skills will also be appealing to a new employer. Keep up with change by continuing to improve your skill sets. We can’t stop change from happening, but we can embrace it better if we stay current, nurture our relationships, and never stop growing. Change happens, enjoy the journey.

As we begin the fall season, change is all

skill sets, and duties performed for that goal/

around us. The daily temperatures are cooler

task. Lastly, state what the results were and

and the leaves will start to change colors soon.

how it positively impacted the organization.

Change can be fun and exciting, but sometimes

By doing this on a regular basis you will be

it can be stressful and scary. When we feel

prepared for an evaluation with your manager,

anxious around change, it is usually because of

have information to update your résumé,

fear of the unknown. As a Career Consultant,

or talking points for selling yourself on an

I often see my clients experience this fear

interview.

because they have not prepared for possible Nurture your networking contacts. Always

changes in their work-life.

stay in touch with your network. We get so busy There are three steps that can help people deal with and prepare for a career change: Update your information regularly. For every project or task you have worked on, or are currently working on, document what the goal/ task was. Then make a list of your contributions,

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with our lives that we get out of touch with friends and colleagues. Then, when we want to make a job change, we scramble to find people to help us make those key connections. If you continue to stay in touch with your network with an occasional email, card, or phone call


LIFESTYLES

to hold lightweight items like fruit, small vegetables, bread, snacks, etc. Adjust the heights of the shelves in upper cabinets if you can. Use wire “helper” shelves to double shelf space. Additionally, add tiered shelf boosters, single or double lazy susans, under-shelf baskets, or holders mounted to the insides of doors. Use a rail system on the wall with S-hooks and components to hold paper towel holders, cookbook racks, or pots and pans. Use magnetic holders on the open side of the stove for hanging potholders and kitchen towels.

HOW TO DO MORE WITH LESS KITCHEN SPACE BY RHONDA FEIMSTER Now that you have downsized, there is less space. If your kitchen is “cozy,” the key is to make the space look bigger. For example: Determine the essentials you need in each zone of the kitchen (stove, sink, and refrigerator). Get rid of duplicate appliances, pots, dishes, utensils, etc., and if possible store the ones you only use occasionally or seasonally in a closet or on a shelf in the basement. If it has been a year or more since grandma gave you the crock-pot and you have not used it, you probably do not need it. Better yet, have a yard sale, donate the unwanted items to needy families, or give them to students leaving for college.

Use the space under the cabinets. If possible, mount the microwave over the stove. You can also place the coffeemaker and toaster under the cabinet near the stove. You can mount spice racks magnetically on walls or inside cabinet doors. If you have room, place an island table or kitchen cart in the center of the kitchen; make sure there is 2 to 3 feet around all sides for traffic flow. These can provide extra storage as well as counter space. If there is a nook or alcove, you might be able to fit in a cabinet or tall, narrow set of shelves. Hang a rack from the ceiling for the pots. Use a two or three-tiered wire mesh hanging basket near the sink or the pantry

You can store small items inside bigger items. For example, measuring cups or small pots can fit inside a big a pasta pot. Install pullout drawers or bins in lower cabinets, or use shallow bins and baskets that fit front to back and slide out to make better use of deeper base cabinets. Stack pots two or three high and keep lids in a lid organizer attached to the inside of the cabinet door or placed on the shelf. Use the space under the sink for cleaning supplies, extra dishtowels, and rags. Attach a plastic bag holder on the inside door or add pullout hardware for the recycling bin or garbage can. You can also store cleaning supplies in a grab-and-go caddy. In the end, organizing a small space may seem daunting, but it does not have to be. Have fun! Remember to personalize your space with small plants or colorful fresh flowers and you can add texture by placing a bowl of fruit on the counter or kitchen table. With careful planning and some creativity, you can overcome the obstacle of a small kitchen space and do more with less!

RHONDA FEIMSTER Owner, “An Eye 4 Order” Professional Organizing & Consulting Services. For more information about her services, visit: www.aneye4order.com

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POETIC MOMENTS

“OUT OF DARKNESS” BY Wendye Savage

During my trials and sufferings Most times there was only You; And only you knew just what I was really going through. The road was rough I could not see my way; But Lord, you brought me out into a brighter day. You lifted me up, Yes, you took my hand; And I just want to thank you For being where I am. Going to praise your name The best I can; Thanks for being there, When friends don’t understand. I could be somewhere Crying in my hands; Oh Lord, I just want to thank you For being where I am. “ONE SWEET DAY”, is a soul-stirring collection of poetry, written by Wendye Savage, an over comer of mental illness, mental abuse, sexual abuse and the frustrations of everyday living. Wendye is a candid voice for many, attributing her success to faith and God giving her a gift of writing to inspire herself and others available on www.amazon.com.

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On This Day of New Beginnings! BY Alana B. On this day of new beginnings, this day of possibility, I’ve decided to embark on a new dream, one special to me. I’ve kept this dream in my heart, of it I never speak; but now the time seems right, the future no longer bleak. I’ve done all the research, things are just about right,. I’ve done all things decent and in order, prayed with all my might. New beginnings are important, I am glad for the chance, I will embark on my dream… I will float like a fairy’s dance. I will chase this dream, I will work on it with all I’ve got, because dreams become reality with God’s grace… I’ve got a shot! He put the dream within me, He’s showing me the way, I will start on my dream - I will start right now... today. I’m gonna pray about it, listen for His word, cause follow Christ is the best advice I’ve ever heard. I will follow this dream, I will work hard, not quit, I’m gonna chase this dream… until I catch it.

Alana B. truly believes the poetry is a God given gift. The words come and she simply passes the blessing on to others with the hope that she will inspire someone else. She has self-published two books titled, “Inspire Me” Volumes 1 and 2, which are both great treasures to her readers. Her cd is available through her producer Romero Wyatt and can be ordered by emailing drumtalk39@aol.com. Her motto in life is to “be a blessing”.

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SPICES OF LIFE RECIPES

Peach Cobbler

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 35 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes

Here is a dessert menu item that everyone can enjoy as

Preparation:

we approach the holidays! Yes, you guessed- its Peach

1. Sift flour into bowl with baking powder, salt, and 1

Cobbler!

tablespoon of the sugar.

Ingredients: 2 All-purpose flour (sifted) 1/2

Tsp. salt

2 Tsp. baking powder 1/4

Cup sugar

3/4

Cup shortening

3

1/2

Cup sliced peaches (drained)

2. With pastry blender, cut in shortening until crumbs are fine. Add milk to make a soft dough. 3. Combine sliced peaches with lemon juice, 2 tablespoons sugar, cinnamon, and butter in a casserole or baking dish. 4. Pat out dough to fit over the top of peaches; vent to allow steam to escape.

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

5. Bake in 450째 oven for 10 minutes; reduce heat to

Tsp. ground cinnamon

350째 and bake for an additional 25 minutes, or

1/2

1 Tsp. butter 1 Cup sweetened whipped cream or vanilla ice cream

until crust is golden brown. 6. Serve warm with a dollop of whipped cream, ice cream, or light cream with a little sugar and nutmeg to flavor. serves 8

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Blackened Catfish

Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 20 minutes

CANDACE THORNLEY

Preparation:

(Owner, Around the Table) Personal Chef Service providing nutritious and delicious menu planning for the whole family. For more information contact Ms. Thornley at: 973-713-4425

1. Rinse catfish fillets under running cold and then

Ingredients: 8 Catfish fillets, thinly sliced 1 Tsp. crushed dried thyme leaves 1 Tsp. cayenne pepper 1 Tsp. salt & black pepper 1/2

Tsp. garlic powder

1/2

Tsp. onion powder

1/2

Tsp. paprika

1/2

Cup melted butter

2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

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thoroughly pat dry with paper towels. 2. Make your seasoning mixture by combining herbs, and spices in a small bowl. 3. Brush melted butter lightly over catfish fillets and sprinkle with blackened seasoning mix. Repeat for other side. Be sure to completely coat each fillet. 4. Heat iron cast skillet until it is very hot, about 10 minutes. Pour the leftover butter into your skillet. 5. Carefully place the catfish fillets into the skillet and cook for about 4 minutes on both sides. 6. Serve finished fillets over a bed of white steamed rice. Add lemon juice to the top of each fillet.


“No weapon that is formed against us shall prosper.”

A TIME OF INTERCESSION Father God in the name Jesus, we come to you thanking you for this day. We lift Your name on high and come humbly before Your throne of grace with thanksgiving in our hearts. We ask that you bless, protect and pour your favor upon our families, children, spouses and friends. Father, we pray for divine intervention in all areas of our lives. Where there is sickness, we pray for wellness; where there is brokenness, we pray for wholeness; where there is grief, we pray for Your comfort; where there is loss, we pray for restoration. We pray that your loving kindness will be felt throughout this land. We pray that lost souls would be restored to You from the east, west, north and south. Father, we trust You with our lives and thank you that as we speak Your Word, it does not return without accomplishing what it was sent to do. We thank you that wherever we go and whatever we do, Your favor goes with us. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous person avails much. Therefore, we believe we receive what we pray for right now. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

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THE OPTIMAL LIVING ABUNDANT LIFE PLEDGE! 1.

I will always put God first in everything I do!

2.

I will love God & love my neighbor as myself.

Matthew 22: 36-40

3.

I will keep my vow to pay my tithes, give with a cheerful heart and look for opportunities to bless others as God freely blesses me.

Nehemiah 10:37; Malachi 3:10

4.

I will be joyful as I live within my means and not covet my neighbor’s blessings. Deuteronomy 5:12

5.

I will study God’s Word daily and make it come alive by living it every day of my life! Psalm 1: 1-3; Psalm 119:15

6.

I will honor my mother and father all the days of my life.

Exodus 20:12

7.

I will learn to forgive others, as God forgives me.

Ephesians 4: 32

8.

I will strive to be at peace, as much as possible, and treat others with respect and kindness. Galatians 5:22-23

9.

I will be sure to feed and clothe my brother or sister in their time of need. Proverbs 19:17

10.

I will intercede daily for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, those that have not come to Christ yet, the President of the United States of America and all those in power all over the world.

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SPONSORSHIP Rhonda Feimster, Owner An Eye 4 Order

Professional Organizing & Consulting Services www.aneye4order.com

DreamsWork! Join Us every Saturday morning for live discussion about dreams, visions and interpretations from a biblical perspective... Founder, Denise Lewis www.facebook/DreamsWork

MRS. LYDIA McLEOD,

Email: DreamsWork2012@yahoo.com

Ardyss Life Consultant

DI HOME IMPROVEMENT

YOUR BODY COACH!

Call me today & Find out how I lost 4 dress sizes in 6 months! Visit our website: www.ardysslife.com/ellemonique 202-258-1885

The Writing Authority, LLC. Make Your Experience Count! Resumes – Cover Letters – Editing & Proofreading www.thewritingauthority.com Office: 1-888-876-1722

General Contracting Services Carpet to Hardwood Conversions, Expert Painting, Kitchen Facelifts, Window & Door Replacements & much more! Serving NJ, MD, DC, VA, & NC Courteous and Reliable Service 718-355-1366 Email: Dominioninvesinu@aol.com

Career Connect College Edition Wealth & Wellness Summit 9/27/2012 @ Howard University For more info visit: www.ksgsc.com

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OPTIMAL LIVING MAGAZINE 2012 SEPTEMBER-OCTOBER ISSUE