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Promoting What God Has Already Placed In Us…Purpose! FOUNDER AND EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Sherrell Straker-Valdezloqui ADVISOR Rachel Moore EDITING COMPANY Tiff’s Editing Café

CONTRIBUTORS

Spiritual Lifestyle Daniel Duval, Relationship Ask Dr. Inecir Matthis, Lee Coleman Health & Wellness Cledra McCullers , Contributing Editor Damon Moore, Poetry Devin Coleman , Empowerment Rachel Moore GUEST WRITERS Robert Ingram, Denise Ingram, Dr. Shannon Tucker Harrington

Promoting Purpose Magazine, PO Box 5085 Fort Lee, VA 2380 Telephone: 804-481-77113 CEO Sherrell Straker- Valdezloqui

.com/promotingpurposemagazine @ppurposemag

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November/December 2012 FEATURES 12 COVER STORY: CHENETA JONES By: Sherrell Valdezloqui

Known as the Gospel Power House Cheneta Jones takes a few minutes out to share with us her goals and purpose. 16 DEBORAH HIGHTOWER Representing a unique, multi-faceted combination of success. Deborah believes the components to fulfillment and happiness can be found by expanding our horizons. 18 HOW TO STOP NIGHTMARES By: Daniel Duval

Say Goodbye to Nightmares and Hello to Happy Sleeping‌. 20 AUTHORITY ON THE JOB By: Daniel Duval

The Ideal Work Environment 21 DESERT RECIPE 22 ACTRESS BRELY EVANS 23 BEN TANKARD Interview by: Sherrell Valdezloqui IN EVERY ISSUE LETTER FROM THE EDITOR CONTRIBUTORS CREDITS

Photo provided by: Wanda Adams (Marketing Ministry). Cover designed by: Sherrell Valdezloqui

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A Purposeful Holiday Season 24 THE CHURCH GATHERING Short Story By: Denise Ingram 26 OVERCOMING HOLIDAY STRESS Living a Stress free holiday season RELATIONSHIP 28 GOING FOR THE GOAL By: Lee Coleman Discussing how we can do our part as individuals to create better relationships 29 ASK DR. INECIR MATTHIS My Husband is Incarcerated and Save….. 30 WHAT WILL YOU GIVE THIS…… Some people give much but get back even more. Others don't give what they should and end up poor. 33 DELICIOUS HOLIDAY RECIPES Enjoy delicious holiday recipes this year. LIVING ON PURPOSE 35 TRAIN A CHILD UP IN THE WAY THEY SHOULD GO… Dr. Shannon Tucker Harrington, PhD shares her life story as a child and how important it is to train a child in the way that they should go… 36 IF WE COULD ONLY WATCH….. 37 THE MINISTER WITH BAGGAGE Real life Stories by: Robert “Chip” Ingram 38 BOOK REVIEWS There is a Miracle in 21: God Completes

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PROMOTING PURPOSE WRITERS SHARE THEIR PURPOSE & IDEAL HOLIDAY SETTING! Rachel Moore (Not Photographed)

Advisor, Teacher, Author

Dr. Inecir Matthis

Daniel Duval

Pastor, Author, Motivational Speaker

Author, Bride Movement Ministry

I feel that my purpose in life is to minister to those that other people overlook or count as a loss! To blaze trails in ministry that others feel are impossible! My ideal Thanksgiving or Christmas is to have all of my family gathered together in one place for prayer, eating dinner, watching movies, sharing laughter and fond memories.

It is my vision to promote unity in the body of Christ worldwide and assist in the creation and development of sheep nations. My ideal Thanksgiving is a laid back day that culminates in a large meal shared by close family and friends. I will have time to spend thanking God for all of my many blessings and end the day engaged in board games like Monopoly and Risk.

Cledra McCuller PlanBe Coach, Author My life's purpose is to help women drop ALL un-necessary weight (physical, emotional, and spiritual) in order to BE able to run the race they were created to run. It is my passion to set women free who struggle to release both visible and invisible weight. My ideal holiday now is one where I get to create great memories. To me the greatest gift is to BE fully present with the people I love the most.

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My purpose is to love God, love my family and to be an example to others. My assignment is to speak the truth in love although at times, I know this isn't easy I still am commissioned by God to speak his Words. My Ideal Thanksgiving is spending time with family and friends, eating and having a wonderful time catching up.

Lee Coleman (Not Photographed)

My purpose is to inspire others to seek more authentic relationships with God and healthier relationships with themselves and others. I try to encourage everyone that I influence to live by my motto, “Be the blessing in your relationships!” My ideal Thanksgiving or Christmas is an atmosphere of thanksgiving and service. Since I’m so blessed, it doesn’t seem right to just focus on me.

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Dear Readers,

For information on how to submit story ideas, concerns or information on how to advertise, please visit our website at www.promotingpurpos e-magazine.com or call 804-481-7713

Promoting Purpose Magazine makes every effort to provide accurate information in editorial contents, advertisements and more. However we do not make any claims as to accuracy of information provided through out this entire publication provided by editorial contents, advertisers and etc and accepts no responsibility or liability for inaccurate information.

It’s the holiday season where families all over will be sitting at the dinner table enjoying their Thanksgiving meals or soon be a blessing to one another by giving gifts and acts of kindness due to Christmas. In the spiritual realm there are those who have been praying to God for Breakthroughs and Miracles praying that they will soon receive it. They are waiting for the Pastor, Prophets or other vessels from God to say that magic word……Your Breakthroughs and Blessings are on the way! It is true Breakthroughs; Promises/Blessings are on the way. But what one does not realize is that everything God has said or promise is already here. In order for us to receive it we must stay the course, stay the course meaning be obedient to God, pray and get closer to Him and allow Him to direct our path so that we can walk towards the blessing or walk towards receiving our breakthroughs. One of the scriptures I love reading for this is the whole Chapter of Psalms 119 it tells you and instruct you on what is needed in order to receive what is rightfully yours, it tells you who are the ones that are blessed and how they are blessed. For some of you it may be a few months before you receive your breakthrough and if so there is always a lesson God has behind it if you are on the right course. For others there are times when we put our own selves in a situation and think that tomorrow God is just going to deliver us. He can if he wants to but if He helps you have you learned anything from your situation? Have you learned to trust God and lean not on your own understanding? Have you realized that perhaps you went through not for yourself but for a testimony to someone else. Everything in life can be perceived in many ways. I like to look at it as training no matter what the situation may be. If you’re constantly being attacked by demonic forces then there may be a door somewhere in your life that is open that shouldn’t be, or it could just simply be an attack because the enemy knows you’re just around the corner from receiving a mind blowing revelation or stepping into your purpose? But whatever the reason may be, trust God and know that He is a God of love, patience, and on time. Yes your blessing and the things that you have prayed for, if it is the will of God, is on the on the way, but you must stay the course to receive it. I encourage you to always seek God and be patient in all that you do. Read the following scriptures and if God gives you more to read then do so. Psalms 119: 1-176, Philippians 1:16 and Joshua 11:16-20 I pray that you have a safe and joyous Holiday and remember if you stay the course you will receive what it is God has for you at the right time! Peace & Blessings Sherrell Valdezloqui

Sherrell Valdezloqui Editor-In-Chief

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Cover Feature Cheneta Jones

ut of "The Gateway to the West" and "Home of the Blues" hails a powerful voice housed in a small frame. Cheneta Jones, the St. Louis native who began singing at the age of two, has proven that faith can trump and hurdle and prayer can open every door. As a breakout solo artist, and the lead background singer for Tye Tribbett she stays quite busy. Her current single, Be Like You, from her upcoming 2012 studio project, Transformed, is an urban, mid-tempo, laid-back song that explains how Jones wants to exemplify Christ and be like Him in every way. Ushered into the gospel music industry with, My Everything, an infectious ballad produced and written by gospel hit-maker mainstay, Percy Bady, on Real Talent Media Group, displays Jones’ astounding work ethic and determination earning an abundance of positive feedback and progressive radio airplay. Jones began honing her skills early on in church and eventually started singing at school and other events and occasions on a regular basis. At 16, she became acquainted with a production team that would jumpstart her recording career as a solo artist, and a member in various R&B groups, where she would mature and developed her own sound. In January 2008 she obeyed the call of ministry; God placed upon her life, and removed herself from the R&B group. She then turned back to her roots and proclaimed that she would sing to the Glory of God and minister through Inspirational/Christian music. Since then, doors have continued to open. Inspired by personal life experiences and encounters with God, Jones exudes confidence. Her name is synonymous with real music and prolific lyrics, and as the winner of KATZ Hallelujah 1600's Praise Alive Talent Search she has opened for gospel giants as Fred Hammond, John P. Kee, Donnie McClurkin, Deitrick Haddon, Lisa McClendon, Marvin Sapp and many more. As a singer she lures you in with her unique, crisp, powerful voice, and keeps you interested with incredible stage presence, voice control and the element of surprise.

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As a writer she reaches the hearts of her listeners with her relatable experiences expressed through her poetic stories. I want listeners to be able to hear a song and reflect on how it applies to their life, she says. In addition, for those who are not believers, it is my intention to draw them to Christ through practical means and not religiosity. This and more will be displayed on her upcoming project where her desire is to leave people feeling encouraged and motivated to grow in Christ. My upcoming project will entail numerous personal experiences, and my growth as a maturing Christian, she says. I’ve been through a lot in the last two years and have overcome many obstacles so this new album is very relatable and expresses my love for Jesus as literally being my everything. A singer/songwriter who thrives off of opportunities to give her testimony and minister to the world, she’s on a mission to spread the truth. Cheneta Jones—Psalmist, worshiper and vessel of God bringing a fresh, exceptional style to the world.

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Interview with Cheneta Jones By: Sherrell Valdezloqui

Hello Cheneta! Thank you for allowing Promoting Purpose to interview you tell us….. Who is Cheneta Jones I am just a vessel for God’s exclusive use. He has put a gift inside of me and I’m just returning it back unto Him, and in the process drawing souls to His Kingdom. I’m an ordinary person God chose to do extraordinary things with. What makes you stand out from other Gospel Singers? I believe that I have a unique sound. Other than that I just believe that God has given me grace according to the measure of the gift He’s given me. God is the creator of all things. He is more than capable of not creating duplicates  Your cd is entitled Transformed, how did this title came about? Transformed is derived from the scripture Romans 12:2 “Be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” I went through a season of complete turmoil and every area of my life was in disarray, but when I turned it over to God and allowed my mind to be transformed I was able to be set free, healed, delivered, and so much more! How long did it take to create your CD Transformed? I wrote many of the songs in 2010. I began recording in the winter of that year and finished by the Spring of 2011. What are you wanting listeners to get out of your music? I want listeners to have a greater desire for God. I’d like to inspire listeners to be more like Christ and for unbelievers to be drawn to the Kingdom. You were on the Gospel Billboard Charts, how does that accomplishment feel? Being on the Billboard Charts was incredible!! Seeing my name next to others I admire, and gospel greats was something I’ll always cherish. What is an ideal Thanksgiving or Christmas for you? Lots of food!  And time with family and friends. I love to spend time with people I love and it’s great to be able to come together for the holidays and share our love. What are your aspirations? I hope to establish an extensive writing catalog, writing for myself and others. In addition I would like to be a speaker/preacher, NOT PASTOR lol, but I do believe that I have a ministry gift of speaking and would definitely like to nurture this gift. I also aspire to establish a facility where people can learn about music, artistry and the music industry.

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Were there any obstacles in your way, during your journey as a Gospel Artist? Well, I’ve received a lot of “no’s” lol… Being a new artist and entering an industry that has no clue who you are or where you came from is tough. God has done some amazing things and I believe there is so much more in stored, however we have worked extremely hard to get to this point. We began this journey with absolutely no gospel contacts and by the grace of God we’ve established relationships and built a brand and message that I pray lasts for a long time. What makes you hold on even during the hard times in your life? FAITH! Without faith it’s impossible to please God. God has proven Himself time and time again so I’d be a fool to doubt Him or allow my current circumstance to determine my future. It isn’t always easy but I thank God that His word is true and when I feel like giving up my spirit won’t allow me to because of the Word of God. Are you currently working on any projects? I am currently working on writing for Virtue and getting placements with other artists. I’ll begin working on new music for my next project soon!

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I’m sure you’ve had several memorable moments on stage. Which one was the most memorable and why? My most memorable moment was in Louisville, KY at Praise in the Park. God shifted the atmosphere tremendously and I felt a breaking. The city had experienced several murders and God used me to intercede on behalf of the city and to speak life. So many people were worshipping and crying out to God. Those moments are what I live for; for the anointing to destroy yokes and for God be exalted. Name a place anywhere in the world you would love to go to minister in music to the people and why would you choose that particular place? Wow! What a question!  Well I’d like to go wherever there is a high level of poverty and not many Christians; for example, the Philippines or Haiti. I highly admire missionaries and would like to experience a day in their shoes, but using music as a way to present the Gospel. Our title for the publication is Promoting Purpose so I have to ask, what is your purpose? My purpose is to the spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ through song and whatever other way God uses me to minister. Where or how can you be reached as well as where can one go to get a copy of Transformed? I’m on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram @ChenetaJones. I also have a webpage www.ChenetaJones.com Transformed is in Walmart, Best Buy, FYE, iTunes and Amazon. Thank you for the interview! 

Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

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LIFESTYLE-BUSINESS

Deborah is frequently invited to host, speak and sing at a variety of venues, including conferences, retreats, and seminars. She has hosted international festivals and conferences, scholarship and beauty pageants, and seminars. Her speaking topics include a variety of personal and professional subjects, such as The F’s of Life (faith, family, friends and finances), Expansion (expand your personal and professional life to find greater fulfillment and happiness), and Diversity (find greater success by diversifying, enriching and broadening your personal and professional perspective). Deborah celebrated four Top 10 hits on inspirational radio and three award nominations from her previous album, Her Name is Deborah. The LOVE. album released in October [side note– with emphasis on LOVE (period). The be all, end all is LOVE period…no less. The greatest is love.] Christmas album released in November – the working title is Beautiful Christmas . Music has allowed her the opportunity to perform in a variety of venues – from chapels to mega-churches to conferences and corporate events to overflowing concert halls to radio and television to Carnegie Hall to the White House. A proponent of living life to its fullest, Deborah encourages others to be motivated, uplifted and renewed by broadening their horizons, engaging their passions and seeking genuine expansion in all areas of their lives.

How are you walking in your purpose?

Deborah Hightower- A fun loving person who enjoys seeing others expand….. Deborah Hightower represents a unique, multi-faceted combination of success. She believes the components to fulfillment and happiness can be found by expanding our horizons. She has done just that with successful careers in the financial arena, music, speaking, and writing. She has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, Forbes, Chicago Tribune, International Business Report, The Business Times, Investor Place, CNBC, NBC, Thought leader in the area of Expansion, Deborah Hightower, has recently been acknowledged by America’s Premier Experts® as one of the leading experts in her field. CBS, FOX, ABC, CNBC, Yahoo Finance!.

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While I do have a lot going on…I think it is my purpose to encourage others to live their own plan of expansion. For me – it’s educating others about financial issues, encouraging others to pursue their dream/passion…for me through music, writing, educating, speaking… I want to grab everything that God has for me. I want the same for others. Realizing, however, that while God has it for me, I have to do my part in maximizing opportunities and walking through the doors He has opened for me. Too often, we wait on things to ‘happen’ when we must make it ‘happen’. I believe that we all have a purpose for being here. To quote Thomas Merton, “the biggest human temptation is to settle for too little”. It is so easy to become complacent, to take what life throws at you. I believe that no one is here by accident – no matter what you have been told, no matter your situation, no matter your background – there is a divine reason for existence. We should look for and step into our purpose…the purpose that we find in our heart.

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Peace, love, happiness and success comes from our purpose. Often, we just go along with a so-so existence – we take the easy way out, we talk about the same things, we talk about others, we say what could’ve, should’ve and would’ve been but we do nothing to advance our influence, our success, our purpose.

What are your aspirations? My aspirations are to see people (particularly women) changed, uplifted, encouraged, renewed, pushed forward, expanded. Whether through music (which can set the stage for worship, celebration, praise, comfort), speaking or writing (sometimes we need a little push, a shove or a bump to get the ball rolling), I want to be the catalyst that excites one to take a step (big or small) forward.

How can others contact you for more information? www.deborahhightower.com (social media, blogs, videos, news, photos, testimonials can all be seen/linked from the website)

(478) 719-0881

GIVE GOD THE GLORY AND HONOR FOR ALL THAT HE HAS DONE IN YOUR LIFE AND THE LIVES OF OTHERS. LET YOUR TESTIMONY/STORY MINISTER AND SAVE A LIVES! Send your amazing stories or testimonies of transformation to Promoting Purpose Magazine for a chance to see it published in one of our future publication. Please visit our website www.promotingpurpose-magazine.com for submission guidelines and send all information to ppsubmissions@yahoo.com

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You are waking up in a cold sweat. Your heart is frantically beating, trying to escape from its place in your chest. You have stress, anxiety and fear all at the same time. Surrounded by darkness, you are trying to collect your thoughts. Your palms are sweating, and you're breathing is heavy. What is going on? As the moments pass, you begin to settle down. There is no threat. You are safely in your bed. Then you realize that it was all a dream. Or should I say a nightmare? Nightmares are the dreams that no one wants to have. They are scary, disturbing, and unpleasant. The evil that accompanies them can be felt, sometimes even after we have awakened from them. True nightmares are often inspired from the kingdom of darkness. Admittedly some are not. How can we tell the difference? When the nightmares include a component of evil that can be "felt," it is a good indicator that the dream has been inspired by the kingdom of darkness. If the source is normal stress or anxiety, the dreams are typically not much more than unpleasant. Many people don't consider that because we are members of the kingdom of light, we actually have the ability to go to sleep in a spiritual fortress. Instead of taking advantage of these potential sleeping conditions, many Christians opt to simply sleep with no defenses.

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These vulnerable Christians will inevitably suffer more attacks in their sleep. This will be especially true when personal revival for the individual begins to take place. In order to go to sleep in a spiritual fortress, we have to rely on the spiritual principles that God has given us. He gave us a tongue with which to speak. As we speak in faith, our spoken (not politely thought in our head) words will actually create realities in the spirit realm. This is why the Bible says death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those that love it will eat of its fruit (Proverbs 18:21). We use our tongue to speak out the situation that we will be sleeping in.

The next step is to use the promises that God has given us. The way promises work in the Christian faith is that we have to give our yes to God's yes. In other words, there are promises that are waiting for us to grab a hold of. However, before we experience their impact we have to agree with them and begin to declare them with our mouths. According to the following verse, we see that God has already given His "yes" and His "amen" to all of His promises towards us. By agreeing with His promises and experiencing their impact, we will actually bring God glory.

"For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us." (2 Corinthians 1:20) Understanding this, our next step is to find our ideal sleeping conditions in His Word. The following are the scriptures and quotes that I speak over myself before going to sleep every night. By doing this prior to going to sleep every night, I rarely if ever have to deal with nightmares.

"There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." (Psalm 91:10) No weapon formed against thee shall prosper" (Isaiah 54 :17)

Scriptures "When thou liest down, thou shalt not be afraid: yea, thou shalt lie down, and thy sleep shall be sweet." (Proverbs 3:24) "There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling." (Psalm 91:10) "No weapon formed against thee shall prosper" (Isaiah 54 :17) "I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust." (Psalm 91:2) "So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a

"I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust." (Psalm 91:2) "So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him." (Isaiah 59:19) Quotes "Father, I cancel all nightmares in Jesus' name. I thank you in advance that tonight all of my dreams will be inspired by Your Holy Spirit." "Father, I pray right now that a hedge of protection is established round about my house (based on Job 1:10)" "Father, I pray that angels would guard this house round about, both above and below, in the name of Jesus (based on Psalm 91:11, Matthew 26:53, Hebrews 1:14)" "Father, I plead the blood of Jesus over myself, my house, and all of my property in the name of Jesus (based on Revelation 12:11)" "Father, I pray that every curse, hex, spell, divination, demon, human spirit, form of voodoo, spiritual assignment, and any other unnamed work of darkness sent against me be rendered powerless in the name of Jesus (based on Luke 10:19)" Happy sleeping!

www.bridemovement.com Daniel Duval

standard against him." (Isaiah 59:19)

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Daniel Duval shares the importance of having Authority on the Job by understanding who we are in Christ‌.. here it is. It's the same sarcastic smile you are greeted with every morning. Yuck! The receptionist, who puts on an air of friendliness for everyone else, makes no effort to hide her distaste about you. It's no mystery as to why she does this. She gave you the same air of friendliness until she found about you and the C-word. That's right, the day she found out you That's right, the day she found out you were a Christian everything changed. Unfortunately it wasn't just her. Others began to act funny around you. Then you started getting accused of being ignorant and judgmental. You weren't consciously judging anyone, but you were labeled because you are Christian. Suddenly, you became a magnet for negativity. Why would people intentionally ostracize you? Why would people go out of their way to tell dirty jokes right in front of you as often as possible? Could it be because you are Christian? Of course. It can be challenging to balance our spiritual persuasions while working in a secular field. There is no doubt that the easiest thing to do with our religious convictions is to keep them to ourselves. The reason is because when we begin to become vocal with our coworkers about what we believe, people can begin to respond negatively. So what can we do about this? I have found myself in several awkward situations at the various jobs I have held in the past. I don't expect this to change for jobs that I will hold in the future. Since I tend to be rather straight forward about my relationship with Jesus, this is something I have simply come to accept. However, I have learned that there is an edge that I will always have over those that seek to create problems for me. I have an awesome prayer life! "For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places." (Ephesians 6:12)

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While I do not discount practical tips and tricks for making peace and keeping friends, there is a very real spiritual element to every situation. On this note we must always remember that our battle is not against people, but against evil spirits in the kingdom of darkness. As a matter of fact, what I have learned is that there are key evil spirits that oversee the activity occurring in just about every business. These spirits are usually things like alcoholism, drug abuse, gossip, revenge, hatred, slander, antichrist, jezebel and so forth. It's usually very easy to tell what kind of spirits are in operation by simply having a keen eye and picking up on the obvious. If you know what everyone did last weekend (without any specific individual telling you their own story) it is pretty easy to conclude that a spirit of gossip is at work. If there is a strong rebuttal every time the name of Jesus is brought up, there is probably a spirit of antichrist. "And every spirit that confessed not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world." (1 John 4:3) In order to circumvent the strategies of the enemy, we must remind ourselves about who we are in Christ. We must then exert the authority that Jesus has given us. In Him we have been given power over the power of the enemy. This is relevant for every setting and situation.

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It doesn't matter if we are not in the church building. God intends for us to partner with Him to the end that the works of the devil are destroyed. As it is written: " Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you." (Luke 10:19) Whenever I am working a secular job I make sure to bind all of the evil spirits and activities I have identified (or that the Lord has pointed out to me). This is not something I do only once on my first day of work. This is something that I do daily during my morning prayers. I have found that when I bind the works of darkness and loose the things of God (according to Matthew 18:18), my work environment is radically changed in my favor. It actually positions me for favor with my superiors. Moreover, it breaks the spiritual resistance to the testimony of Jesus Christ. This means that it is much easier to engage coworkers, pray with coworkers, and even lead coworkers to Christ. Now that is what I call the ideal work environment!

Recipe for two 9 inch pie: 3 Sweet Potatoes 2 1/2 Cups of White Sugar ¾ Cup Evaporated Milk ½ Cup Butter Melted 4 eggs lightly beaten 3 tablespoon of all purpose flour 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract ½ teaspoon of ground nutmeg 2- 9 inch unbaked pie crust Directions 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add sweet potatoes and cook until tender but still firm, about 30 minutes. Drain, cool, peel and mash. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 2. In a large bowl, combine sweet potatoes, butter, sugar, vanilla and nutmeg. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk and blend into the sweet potato mixture. 3. Pour into pie shells and bake in preheated oven for 60 minutes, or until done

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Bre’ly can be seen in TriStar feature film remake of the 1976 hit movie Sparkle. Brely is cast in the role of “Tune Ann” alongside of an all-star cast: Grammy® nominated recording artist Jordin Sparks (“American Idol” winner, Season 6), the late Multi-Grammy® Award winner Whitney Houston (The Bodyguard, Waiting to Exhale), Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher, Captain America: The First Avenger), Mike Epps (Jumping the Broom, Friday After Next), Carmen Ejogo (I, Alex Cross, Pride and Glory), Tika Sumpter (“The Game”, “Gossip Girl”), Omari Hardwick (The ATeam, For Colored Girls), Grammy® Award winner Cee-Lo Green (“The Voice”), and Tamela Mann (“Meet the Browns”, Diary of Mad Black Woman, Kingdom Come). Her role in Sparkle came after a daunting year of personal obstacles. “I slowly stopped reading my word and slipped back into my old routines and the offers came to a halt,” tells Brely. “I knew it was because my focus had shifted to the natural in front of me instead of on the supernatural and God’s Word. On Sept 25th of last year, I rededicated myself, connected with prayer partners, began fasting and got serious! About a month later….Sparkle!”

Actress in Sparkle Vocalist, Comedienne and Voice Over Talent…….

H

er undeniable delightful, spirited smile and charm captivates those in her

presence. She describes herself as a Fun, Fearless and Faithful woman of God. Actress Brely Evans is a young Hollywood talent rising rapidly in notoriety with her feet firmly planted in a faith ever increasing. Brely is emerging as a multi-talented actress, singer/songwriter and passionate motivational speaker whose career is being fueled by her ability to connect with audiences on-stage, on-screen and on a personal level. With increasing opportunities in film and TV, Brely boldly continues to stand firm in Godly character against the opportunities that might challenge and taint her integrity and faith. “I’ve been blessed with a team that covers me, therefore, a lot of the challenges I would potentially face are checked at the door,” Brely shares. “When I am asked to play a role that does not ‘kingdom build’, I step back and talk to GOD about it. There have been times when the role was way on the other side, but either the character got delivered or the entire story line had a message to get people to see themselves and change. That’s when the greater good is being served and my faith and integrity are left intact!” NOV/DEC 2012

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Since he came on the national scene in 1990, there have been many titles associated with Ben Tankard, from the Quincy Jones of Gospel to the father of Gospel Jazz. Ben explains, "Technically, the music is the same. A Christian "C" note sounds the same as a non-Christian note, but as a minister, God releases His Spirit and power through me and the music becomes a vehicle-of-salvation to carry God's love, healing and deliverance." As a modern day "David" and often referred to as "The Minstrel," Ben Tankard has a strong anointing to play under the unction of the Holy Spirit and has witnessed tumors melting, people being raised out of wheel chairs, deaf ears opened, and relationships mended in his concert-crusades. Tankard states, "signs and wonders must follow when a minstrel plays. We should expect debt cancellations and all other yokes to be destroyed and burdens lifted when our music is played." He has won 9 Stellar Awards, 34 Stellar, 8 Dove, 3 Grammy nominations and is the best selling Gospel Jazz instrumentalist in the world. Also a "hit-maker" producer, Ben discovered Yolanda Adams and has produced several top records for her, as well as collaborated with Take-6, Fred Hammond, John P. Kee, and others. Tankard's 1997 hit song "Git Yo Praize On," with his ensemble, Tribe Of Benjamin, has become the most used phrase among praise teams. All this from a man who has never had one lesson!

The key is to concentrate on taking care of God's business and He will in return put people and materials in your hand to accomplish his plans, purpose and destiny for your life.

Promoting Purpose: Congratulation on all of your success so far and those to come, what is it that keep you so humble still glorifying God even at the level you are in society today career wise and etc? Ben: Thank you! My mother raised me in the Lord and we had a very poor living environment coming up. I learned to walk in great gratitude and appreciate every little thing. She taught me that the more blessed you are the sweeter you should be to people. Also, my wife Jewel and I keep each other accountable. No one knows

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you like your spouse. So we observe each other getting a little " off " in any area, we give each other the latitude to comment and check each other, without getting offended. Promoting Purpose: When others look at you they think you have it so easy with the amount of success you have. Were there ever a time in your life when you felt like giving up? Ben: No! There were times that I was challenged but I never considered giving up though. People say, "Ben you were an overnight success ". And I say “yes you are right, but that night lasted 20 years " lol. Promoting Purpose: What scripture have you hold on to dearly that keeps you going through the good and bad times in life? Ben: I actually have 3!!! Proverbs 23:7. As a man thinketh , in his heart , so is he. -------- I realize that if it “is to be" then it is " up to me "... Therefore, I have to get the answers from my kingdom spirit. If I think the right thoughts, and then move accordingly, then I should be able to “make my way prosperous" according to Joshua 1:8 and have "good success” according to Ps.1:1-3. Promoting Purpose: What is your purpose? Ben: In a nutshell my purpose is to worship God. My assignment is to use my talents: To take people from the middle to the top. Promoting Purpose: What is it in your heart that you truly want the people of God and others to grasp on to in order to have a successful life both spiritually and physically? Ben: On the spiritual side I want people to know that God has already done ALL he is going to do. He gave us his Will in his Word so all we have I do is act on it.

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The Church Gathering Place Stop waiting on God to perform a miracle when he has already given you instructions how to achieve you request through his word by faith. We can't be sooooo busy (or lazy) we can't pray, mediate, confess his word and act on it. Faith developing takes time. On the physical side it is the same thing. Stop waiting on the president or government make your life better. YOU are the prophet of your life and the captain of your ship. Stop waiting on someone else to give you permission to success. Always remember this... There is someone out there less smarter than you that is richer then you. There goes your excuse. Lol. Promoting Purpose: How important is it for you to take time out to spend time with God as well as your family? Ben: It is the center of my existence. I plant my time with God from 1am to 4am in the morning. This I don't have to compete with family demands for God time or meditation time. You are living beneath your privilege given to you by God to create your own world through your imagination if you don't spend at least 30 minutes a day alone in a quiet place just dreaming ( without your cell phone in your hand ! ). Promoting Purpose: What is your ideal Thanksgiving or Christmas? Ben: The whole family at home in our mansion with me with an apron on cooking my famous 24hr Turkey, with " It's A Wonderful Life " on repeat ! Promoting Purpose: Are you currently working on any projects? Ben: working on a couple surprise artist for my record label " Ben-Jamin' Universal Music". Also we signed major TV deal for our own Reality Tv Show. I also have a clothing line, and several endorsement deals that will launch within the next year as well as a new book. Promoting Purpose: Would you like to leave a word of encouragement with our audience? Ben: My motto: If it's not on your mind, it's not in your future.

By: Denise Ingram

It’s midnight on a wintry night, the snow is falling, and you can hear the sound of the snow coming down. Everything is covered in white, like a blanket; it’s beautiful. I see across the ground crystals sprinkling in the night air. The trees are covered in white. It’s a quiet sound almost, like someone out there wants to say something to you. The night air is so cold; it goes down deep to the bone. It’s hard to stay warm. All the ladies in the church are busy cooking. All the ladies in the church are busy cooking. There are Thanksgiving Day pies, cakes, and cookies. Oh my, those homemade pumpkin pies with a little extra cinnamon in them, well you should try one! There is nothing better in this world than adding a little more cinnamon in those pies. Gail was always busy baking pies, cakes, and you name it, to take to Rebecca Hebner’s Old Country Store for them to sell. This was the first time Rev. Tom Williams and his wife, Gail, decided to have Thanksgiving dinner at the church for everyone to come and have a good time. Gail’s best friend, Rebecca, lives nearby. Her husband, David, works very hard. NOV/DEC 2012

He is a shoe smith and owns an old country store where the two of them work together. They know just about everyone in that small town of Winchester. Up in those mountains, it wasn’t a thing for them to have a foot of snow overnight. That night it snowed hard, and it came down fast, freezing the ground. Rev. Tom Williams decided to go to the church that evening after midnight. He knew Gail would be up because she was busy cooking. He walked in the church, went down the front, and said a prayer for everyone to be able to attend Thanksgiving Day for dinner. He noticed there were wet foot prints on the floor. He walked around the whole church but didn’t see anyone. He said to himself, “Who on earth could this be?” Rev. Tom went back to the house. Gail looked up at him and said, “Tom, you look like you have seen a ghost. Are you okay, honey?” He said, “Yes,” with a smile. You see Rev. Tom didn’t want Gail to be afraid of anything, she would worry too much. Rev. Tom prayed and pleaded the blood of Jesus over them and the people in Winchester that night. He thought, “How on earth could anyone stay out there in the cold snowy night?” Gail put the turkey on a cast iron rack to cook for the rest of the night. Rev. Tom told Gail to go to bed and get some rest; he would watch everything for a while. Gail went to bed, read her Bible and fell asleep in bed. She prayed for the Lord to cover them with His blood. She knew by the look in Tom’s eyes that something was wrong. The next morning, Gail went to the kitchen and Rev. Tom had fallen to sleep in the rocking chair with a blanket over him.

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Gail got breakfast started, and woke up Rev. Tom to give him a cup of hot coffee. The turkey still had about four more hours before it would be done. Rev. Tom Williams told Gail he was going to the church to build a fire in the fire place so the church would be nice and warm. As he walked to the church, Rev. Tom thanked the Lord that the snow was not too deep so everyone could come and gather at the church for dinner. He said a prayer again thanking God for keeping them safe. As Rev. Tom was entering the church, he saw that there were wet foot prints again, but this time there were more. As he walked closer to the dining area, he noticed someone had started a fire already. He wondered if it could have been David; he was so good about helping everyone if he could. You see, the church was in great need of a Holy Ghost revival. People needed the Lord. Some needed to renew their faith again. It seemed to Rev. Tom Williams that people where dried up in their spirit. He had been praying for a good revival for almost a year. The church was in need of change. People really needed to get hold of God. They were not committed to the Lord or on fire for the Lord. You see, Rev. Tom didn’t even tell his wife about praying for revival to break out in Winchester. He was a man of great faith and old fashioned in what he believed in. One thing he knew, God was getting ready for something great! Rebecca is a prayer warrior and strong in her faith. She prayed with many a person in Winchester. At times she would give coffee or flour to people who couldn’t pay for them, but David never knew. Sometimes, you know, men have a problem giving. It never stopped Rebecca. Winchester Church had a lot of good people. There were those who couldn’t pay by cash, but gave in other ways. They gave in eggs, or chickens, or apples… you name it! Everyone was always trying their best to help each other. Rebecca had long, thick, black, beautiful hair. She had the sweetest spirit about her and the sweetest smile about her; she was a true giver. Her husband David, at times, could get very stubborn and upset at people who wouldn’t pay their bills on time. On the other hand, Rebecca didn’t worry about it; she knew that by giving the Lord would take care of them. All the ladies had been cooking a Thanksgiving Day meal to take to church on Thanksgiving Day. Everyone was excited about going to church, eating with friends and having good old fellowship with one another. The snow didn’t seem to stop anyone; the kids could hardly wait to get to church. It was very cold and the wind was blowing some; the snow was still on the tree limbs, it was almost frozen a little. Everyone was on the way to the church. David and Rebecca decided they would try to get to the church first to light all the oil lamps on the tables and to see what needed to be done. Rebecca was walking up the steps and saw foot prints. She said, “Boy there is a lot of little foot prints!” As she and David entered the church they could smell smoke coming from the fireplace. They had their hands full of food. When they walked in, there was a family setting all around the fireplace, a sleep. David said under his breath, “free loaders.” Rebecca said, “David you should be ashamed of yourself.” John Stewart stood up and spoke up, “Are we in the way?

My family and I didn’t mean to impose. We were trying to get warm. You see, our wagon is stuck in the snow not far from here.” Then, Rev. Tom Williams and Gail came in with their arms full. The preacher looked over to David and thanked him for making a nice fire for everyone. David said, “I can’t take the credit for this.” Then, Rev Tom Williams turned around after putting the food on the table. He went to say something to this nice family. John Stewart said, “We are leaving now. We didn’t mean to cause any problems. I made the fire so our family could get warm. I am so sorry.” Gail spoke up with Rebecca at the same time, “You all are not going anywhere! You will have Thanksgiving dinner with us.” “No,” John said in a lowered voice. His oldest son Mark spoke up “Father, we are all hungry and need something hot to drink. Please father!” All ten of the children spoke up, “Please!” His wife Dorothy was holding their youngest daughter, Abigail Grace, who was three months old. She cried all the time. Dorothy spoke up, “John Stewart, listen to me. The children and I are hungry and cold. If you want to go back to the wagon you go right ahead, but we are staying!” Rev. Tom came over and said, “John it’s okay, son.” Gail, told everyone to please find a seat at the tables and let’s get ready to eat. Gail said, “We want to welcome our new visitors, the Stewart family.” Gail asked her husband, Rev. Tom, to come and pray over the food. “Lord, I ask you right now in the name of Jesus, to bless the hands that cooked this good meal. Lord, bless each family that is here today on this special Thanksgiving Day, a day of thanking you for all we have, and how you supply all our needs Lord. You, Lord have been good to the people here in Winchester.” The whole time Rev. Tom was praying, little Abigail Grace was crying. Dorothy was trying her best to stop her, but she had Colic. “Dear Lord, we thank you for each family today. We have so much to be thankful for, in Christ’s name. Amen.” The kids and all the families were eating and having a good old time. The Stewart family kids were eating like there is no tomorrow, but it didn’t matter to anyone. They were thankful that the family didn’t freeze last night. Dorothy and John’s two twins, Lydia and Ruth, were going to town on Rebecca’s homemade sugar cookies. Dorothy said, “I think you two have had enough.” They replied, “But mom, please just one more, only one.” Abigail Grace continued to cry. Rev. Tom Williams walked up to Dorothy and picked up little Abby. He laid hands on her, and anointed the top of her head. She immediately stopped crying, and from that day she never had Colic again. Be look on the lookout for more short stories by Denise Ingram.

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LIFESTYLE

neither does your stress. Fear has many children. Among them are anxiety, terror, worry, cowardliness, stress, and so forth. Fear is like the stump of a tree bearing many branches. While we can try to strip the fruit off of the branches, and even chop some of the branches off, until the root is dug up the tree will continue to live.

By: Daniel Duval tress. We wish it wasn't there, but it is. Why? I'll make it very blunt. It's because it's the holiday season. This may seem like a bold statement to make, until we realize that before the holiday season we had much less stress. The only thing that changed was the season, and therefore we We have stress for different reasons. Some of us have stress because we know that the holidays will be bringing the usual family drama. Some of us have stress because the economy has left us with less resources than we are used to. While we wish we could do more, we fear that the holidays will bring a big let down to our families. Still others have stress because of loneliness. We find that we are constantly pushing others away all year long, yet we secretly wish we had close ones with which to share the season. With the holidays approaching, the reality of our loneliness is accentuated, and we are stressed. Why is it that something intended to bring joy, fellowship, and relaxation causes so many problems? Moreover, what can we do to overcome the stress that we feel as the holidays come upon us? While I don't purport to have all the answers, I am going to share a little insight that should help to reduce the stress of this holiday season. "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." (1 Timothy 1:7) Overcoming stress begins with overcoming fear. The reason we have stress, whether we are willing to admit it or not, is because of fear. As the Bible makes clear, this fear does not come from God, and therefore,

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Therefore, as we find ourselves getting stressed we must go to the root of the problem. What are we afraid of? What is it about our family situation that we fear? What is it about buying the wrong gifts that causes us so much anxiety? Why are we truly afraid of going another holiday season apart from family and friends? Giving into stress is, in actuality, the evidence that we are too cowardly to deal with our real issues. We are operating in fear. However, once we identify what we are actually afraid of we can begin to implement strategies to deal with that stress. There are many strategies available, but I'm going to list two of the basics. One of the central themes of Christianity is the concept of forgiveness. Forgiveness has the power to liberate us from all kinds of problems including bitterness, resentment, hatred, and, you guessed it— fear. For instance, think about that cousin that slighted you five years ago and never apologized. Since the incident, you have avoided being around this person and have found it difficult to stomach them. When you think about being around them, it stresses you out. In this situation, by releasing forgiveness towards this person you will alleviate most if not

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all of the stress and anxiety that you experience around them. It doesn't matter whether the person apologizes or not, forgiveness is in your best interest. This is why in the Christian faith forgiveness isn't an option, it's a mandate. This is the wisdom of God. Another strategy is to refocus. When I was in second grade I joined a T-ball league. They put me in the outfield which was a big mistake. I got distracted by birds, clouds, and grass. What can I say? I was a daydreamer. When the ball did make it to the outfield it was extremely stressful. My coach would be yelling and I would go into confusion. In order to be effective in that position I needed to refocus on the important thing: the game.

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My coach would be yelling and I would go into confusion. In order to be effective in that position I needed to refocus on the important thing: the game. It is all too easy with all of the advertising and commercialization of the holiday season to get our focus on the wrong thing. When our focus is on the wrong thing, it can lead us into stressful situations. During this holiday season, we need to make it our priority to focus on the important things in life. We need to focus on family, friends, and most importantly God. When we have our focus right, it will be much less likely that stress will overtake us. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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RELATIONSHIP

By: Lee Coleman Second, we must open our hearts to new possibilities in current relationships. No one is infallible so there should be room for forgiveness and rewriting the terms of our relationships. In some instances, we begin the relationship fine but hit a bump along the way. In others, we might start off on the wrong foot. Whatever the case, we don’t have to stay that way. In Luke 6:36-38, we are instructed to be merciful as God is merciful to us. This passage goes on to caution us that with the measure we use, it will be measured back to us. Forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting. It is the willingness to let go so we can move forward without constantly looking back. Only then can determine what the relationship should look like in the future.

Every four years, sports and non-sports enthusiasts alike get caught up in the excitement of the Olympics. From opening until closing ceremony, fans are glued to their televisions as they watch the games. A select few actually cross an item off their bucket lists as they get to attend in person. Athletes from around the world showcase their talents because they’ve earned the right to compete against the best of the best. Tremendous time, relationship and monetary sacrifices are made in order for these hopefuls to train with world-renowned coaches. As a parent, it’s difficult for me to wrap my mind around my child living with complete strangers. Still, many families do and these athletes leave their homes to prepare for this opportunity of a lifetime.

Next, we need to love unconditionally. There are no accidents or coincidences where God is concerned. The people in our lives are there for a reason. Although we may not know why, we should always lead with love because we don’t know how long they will be there. In our own unlovable moments, we’re crying out for love the most. When we’re tempted to turn away from others, we should remember that the other person may be uttering a similar cry. The real blessing here is that we become better by stretching ourselves to respond to others.

I spent some time thinking about this and found myself asking several questions. “If relationships were an Olympic event, would most people even qualify?” I began imagining what marriages, families and friendships might look like if people were willing to undertake this level of sacrifice. What would happen if we were groomed as young children to have healthy, loving and forgiving relationships? Our families could send us to live with people we don’t know to help us learn how to relate to others when we become adults.

Once we’ve reordered our priorities; opened our hearts to new possibilities and unconditionally love the people in our lives, there is one last thing to do. We should do whatever we have to so we don’t revert back to the old way of relating to others. When we hear the stories of world-class athletes, they have a work ethic shared by few. Although Michael Jordan was cut from the basketball team he went on to become one of the greatest basketball players in history. He excelled because he spent countless hours perfecting his game. Michael Phelps works with his swim coach for hours each day then spends additional time doing resistance training. It takes a superior commitment to reach the level of success that he has achieved and that any sports great enjoys. The same holds true for us. If we want to go for the gold in our relationships, we have to keep practicing too.

While no such programs exist, we can do our part as individuals to create better relationships. First, we should get our priorities in order. Beginning today, we must rethink how we prioritize our lives and the people in them. As well-meaning as we are, we do too much! Think of the time spent working, giving back to the community, serving in the church or trying reaching goals. These are important but there needs to be a degree of balance. If we’re not overscheduled outside the home, then our loved ones often take a back seat while we play with our favorite piece of technology. In reality, we are spending our time on what we value most. As adults, we get to choose whether that’s a person, place or thing.

Be the blessing in your relationships!

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I am concerned and disagree with him simply because he has never attended our services so he has no idea what it is like or what to expect when he attends. Also, our children who are ages 5 and 8 have adjusted to the church environment and are thriving in Sunday school, children's church and group activities. I feel as if I would lose a solid foundation and my children would soon become disinterested in church because of the sudden and drastic change. I also fear that my husband may not be strong in his Christian walk and may end up not attending church services at all. I'm not sure what to do and hope that you can give me some much needed insight. Dr. Matthis: It is unfortunate that you are faced with this dilemma long before your husband is due to be released. It sounds as if your religious backgrounds and beliefs were not discussed at the round table before saying "I Do". It is one of the most important subjects less likely to be discussed when talking marriage and often causes couples to be unequally yoked from the very beginning. Religious beliefs help to structure marriage and the upbringing of children. This also brings about a spiritual power struggle between husband and wife with the expectation that the wife will leave her church and follow her husband. If she refuses to do so she is considered to be less than obedient and respectful. Your answer is simple and direct: Prayer.....pray for wisdom and strategy to deal with this matter. Ask God to grant you the direction or course that you should take when approaching this delicate situation. It requires that both of you be spiritually mature enough to discuss the matter before making hasty and regretful decisions. You should both be able to come to a place of compromising while seeking guidance from God. Perhaps he could attend your church services at least a few Sundays in the month while you both prayerfully consider God's will for you. Don't forget to consider your children in this matter and seek churches or ministries that have services and activities for children, teen and young adults.

Dr. Inecir Matthis helps a young woman find peace in a decision between staying at her current church or finding one that her now save incarcerated husband is wanting to go to for the family once released.

Dr. Matthis, I have been married to my husband for over 7 years and we have two children together. After several years of being locked up, he became a Christian and attends the Sunday services there. 3 years ago I began attending the church where my family attends and became a member shortly thereafter. My husband will be released from prison early 2013 and has informed me that he has no plans of attending my church services and stated that we will need to find a church home more suitable for us as a family.

Remember that God will give you direction, guidance and clarity in this matter if seek and trust Him because the king's heart is like a stream of water directed by the LORD; he guides it wherever he pleases. (Proverbs 21:1 New Living Translation)

Do you have a question for Dr. Matthis? Or would like to respond to a question in this publication? Send all emails to drimatthis@gmail.com

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Some people give much but get back even more. Others don't give what they should and end up poor. (Proverbs 11:24 New Century Version) Do you remember last Thanksgiving, the aroma of fresh home cooked meals, pies and desserts, music, family, friends, and the anticipation of what was to come? What did you contribute to the festivities? Did you spend your time with family or friends? Are you in a mode of expectation for this Thanksgiving holiday in hopes that it will be greater than the last one? In our home, Thanksgiving was always introduced with the hustle and fuss of cleaning, grocery shopping, excessive cooking, excitement, and anticipation! There was the constant visitation from family and friends as we neared the day of the big feast. During this time we were never given the option to sit on the sidelines and watch, but we were silently enlisted to participate and assist in the activities of cooking and cleaning from start to finish. There were no other options. And when the festivities were over, we begin our new year with the conversation of what we would like to have on the menu for the following Thanksgiving holiday! For many of us this year began with leftover struggles, financial setbacks and housing concerns that have left us in a mode of fear, doubt and concern regarding our immediate future.

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For many, this has been the motivation or driving force that has caused us to return to an old fashioned and less often used remedy known as: Knee-ology! With no answers in mind, no reserves in the bank account or no one to turn to, most of us have found comfort and strength in prayer and thanksgiving to God in spite of what looms before us! As we fast approach the holiday season once again, it is important to take a moment of reflection regarding your current state or status in life. If we were to be honest and truthful, no matter what we have experienced this year thus far, or may be dealing with at this time, there has always been a faithfulness from God of giving to us by way of unexpected miracles from individuals who without hesitation or question, have supported us in our daily, weekly, or monthly needs throughout the year. And for this, we should be grateful and in a mindset of continuous thanksgiving to God for all things at all times no matter what our circumstances may appear to be! As a Pastor, I have been afforded the opportunity to be the recipient of many colorful complaints from individuals regarding their concerns and possible inability to fulfill their well-planned yearly holiday celebration and meal for family and friends.

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They have lamented their woes of not knowing what to expect in light of their dreadful circumstances. This, my dear brothers and sisters is one of the greatest opportunities to reveal what Thanksgiving is really all about! I simply ask them: “When was the last time that YOU GAVE thanksgiving to God?” or “When was the last time that YOU GAVE something to someone else?” The answers to these questions are usually loaded with excessive verbiage, excuses and scripture quotes. The definition for thanksgiving is simply this: the act of giving thanks; grateful acknowledgment of benefits or favors, especially to God. The bottom line is this: Thanksgiving is an act and grateful acknowledgement. You and I could never give or match the ultimate gift of sacrifice which was Christ Jesus, but we can be a blessing or make a difference by giving of our time, talents, gifts, abilities, and love. Consider the scripture that was spoken by Jesus: I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.' "Then the King will answer, 'I tell you the truth, anything you did for even the least of my people here, you also did for me.' Matthew 25:35-36, 40 New Century Version). When you take this into consideration and understand that whatever you do for others, you do also for Jesus, what will YOU GIVE this Thanksgiving? By: Dr. Inecir Matthis

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A Delicious Recipe for Your Leftover Turkey! During the holidays Turkey will be the most popular meat around. But what do you do with the remainder/leftover turkey you’re not going to use? With so many different techniques and recipes there are several things you can do with your turkey changing the appearance and enhancing the taste. Bringing a whole new delicious fulfilling meal to the table your family will love!

TURKEY POT PIE Ingredients              

1 recipe pastry for a (10 inch) double crust pie 4 tablespoons butter, divided 1 small onion, minced 2 stalks celery, chopped 2 carrots, diced 3 tablespoons dried parsley 1 teaspoon dried oregano salt and pepper to taste 2 cubes chicken bouillon 2 cups water 3 potatoes, peeled and cubed 1 1/2 cups cubed cooked turkey 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/2 cup milk

Directions 1.

2.

3.

4.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Roll out bottom pie crust, press into a 10 inch pie pan, and set aside. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat; add the onion, celery, carrots, parsley, oregano, and salt and pepper. Cook and stir until the vegetables are soft. Stir in the bouillon and water. Bring mixture to a boil. Stir in the potatoes, and cook until tender but still firm. In a medium saucepan, melt the remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in the turkey and flour. Add the milk, and heat through. Stir the turkey mixture into the vegetable mixture, and cook until thickened. Cool slightly, then pour mixture into the unbaked pie shell. Roll out the top crust, and place on top of filling. Flute edges, and make 4 slits in the top crust to let out steam. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C), and continue baking for 20 minutes, or until crust is golden brown.

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PARENTING

Train A Child Up In the Way That They Should Go…. Dr. Shannon Tucker Harrington, PhD, RN; Nursing Professor at Old Dominion University shares her story as a child.

HEN I WAS YOUNGER my father made my sister and I have Bible study weekly and we had to memorize verses and chapters in the Bible. I used to dread every moment, as in the mind of a child, I could think of a million other things I wanted to do-besides reading and reciting scriptures. At that time, I really didn't fully understand their meaning, but little did I know, the verses I learned as a child, would have a tremendous impact on my life as I matured into an adult. I can remember trying out for the school play in elementary school, and they asked each student to perform their talent. I couldn't sing, or dance- like Now that I think about it, this probably wasn't the "talent" they were looking to see in auditions. Nevertheless, I got the part! I suppose it must have impressed the teachers that a 6 year old could recite all of the verse in an entire bible chapter! I can remember asking my father as a child, "Daddy, what am I here for? What is God's purpose for my life?" He would say baby, "God put you here to help people, and heal them; that is your ministry". I guess my father's answer had a lot to do with why I chose nursing as a profession, as helping people was my passion, but the "healing" part, I struggled with? How could little old me, "heal" someone? Then God showed me through the powerful words of Rick Warren in the Purpose Driven Life that “All God’s giants are weak people, and most of all, our weaknesses increase our capacity for sympathy and ministry. As God wants His people to have a Christ-like ministry on earth that means other people are going to find healing in your wounds. Your greatest life’s message and your most effective ministry will come out of your deepest hurts. The things you are most embarrassed about, most ashamed of, and most reluctant to share are the very tools God can use most powerfully to heal others.” (para) Throughout my life, Psalm 91 has been very influential to me. It taught me to depend on Gods "secret place" and to understand that no matter what came against me or what I faced at any time in my life, fear was unacceptable for: "Thou shall not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day; Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee. (Psalm 91:5-7, KJV)". As I grew up and furthered my education, my father still taught me scriptures and always knew just what to say and when to say it. Because my biological father lived his educational dreams and highest aspirations vicariously through me, his life's work was to get his baby girl across the my education my father still taught me scriptures.. stage at the University of Virginia to receive her doctorate.

As I Grew Up and Furthered

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My father and I often joked and said PhD stood for "Pray Hard Daily!" My father was a praying man and often in our conversations, I felt as if I was talking to my heavenly Father, not just my natural father. My father had a way of praying and interceding that was like no other! He would confirm things so surreal that could only have come from God. I would joke him and say, "Dad that was just what I needed to hear. Wow! Do you have God's cell phone number or something? Did you tweet Him, or read His timeline on Facebook?" Consistently, throughout the numerous struggles and obstacles I endured during my PhD program, my father always had a scripture and words of prayer and encouragement to build me up and give me the support I needed to endure. I remember learning how to run during this program, as I took the scripture, (Ecclesiastes 9:11, ASV, para), "the race is not given to the swift, nor the strong but to the one that endures til the end"- very serious! I completed my first 8k, half-marathon, and full marathon...26.2 miles during my doctoral program, as running was the ultimate stress reliever, and the time I had alone with God one-on-one.

During my runs, God had my undivided attention and this is when He would speak and minister to me, uninterrupted! Unfortunately, my father passed away the day before I graduated with my doctorate. The overwhelming bitter-sweet feelings of experiencing a birth and a death simultaneously were intense. The birth of myself and the amazing new opportunities obtaining my doctorate would offer me, and the painful death of half of my heart and the first love I've known my entire life as "daddy's little girl". However, although my father was not physically there, I know he had the best seat in the house; sitting up in heaven beside my heavenly Father. My biological father's work is done here on earth as he has "trained his child up in the way that they should go, and now that I am older I will not depart from it"(Proverbs 22:6, ASV, para). Subsequently, his baby girls' work is just beginning. I will cherish and apply everything that my father taught me as a child and adult. I will continue walking in my purpose to provide unwavering service and help to those in need. I will be used as a vessel to heal others as my spiritual Father manifests Himself through me. Dr. Shannon Tucker Harrington

If we could only watch you…..who would it LOOK like you serve? “…………. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15, NKJV

In the life of the believer Thanksgiving and Christmas anchor some of the most important aspects of our belief. It’s when we celebrate the birth of the Christ and we give thanks for all HE has done. I want to challenge us to do an inventory of how much time during this season do we really honor the Christ. If our walk with the Lord during the months of November and December was used as an additional book to the Bible would the people reading YOUR CHAPTER easily see you serving the Lord? How would the story go? Would we see you at peace or in chaos from shopping? Would we see you honoring the house of the Holy Spirit with healthy portions or would we see you over stuffing your God given body? Would we see fruits of the spirit or fruits of self gratification? Every single day of our lives we are sharing another chapter of the Bible with our choices. Every single meal we choose we are making a statement about how much or how little we value the temple of the Holy Spirit.

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Every day we choose to be sedentary in a body that has been gifted to move we say we don’t cherish how fearfully and wonderfully made we are enough to take care of ourselves. The life of Christ continues after the book of Revelation through the book that makes up each of our lives. Honoring your body with adequate rest, exercise, God made foods, clean water, and vitamins is an act of service to the Lord for all HE has done and continues to do with our lives. By taking care of the vehicle that carries our gifts and talents we take care of the kingdom. I mean how quickly can we travel in a vehicle that is broken down? That’s obvious when it comes to cars and yet it is taken for granted when it comes to our body. So as you prepare for wonderful Thanksgiving gatherings and shop to brighten the days of the people you love the most remember every choice is another page in your book of life and every choice reflects whom you REALLY serve. Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas to you my brothers & sisters! Cledra McCullers is the CEO and founder of PlanBE Coaching, LLC where people drop ALL Unnecessary weight…physical, spiritual, and emotional. Grab your free PlanBE Coaching Starter kit at www.planBEcoach.com

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THE MINISTER WITH BAGGAGE By: Robert “Chip” Ingram

I

was blinded by a bright light and then a voice. I thought I was in heaven, but then I listened. “It is 6:00 AM Monday, February 14th, 2005 and you are in John Randolph Medical Center. Please clean up and get dressed, then come to the medical supply room by 6:30 AM. Breakfast will be served in the Day Room at 7:00 AM sharp.” I knew it was too good to be true. My roommate, George, was already up and in the bathroom. I had gone to sleep in my clothes and I really needed to clean up. When he came out of the bathroom, which was attached to our room, I asked him about the procedure for cleaning up and he just laughed. “You can’t have a toothbrush, towels, or a wash rag, and no soap. You might try to kill yourself with these things.” “What am I supposed to do then? And besides, it was an accident”, I said. George replied with a “Whatever” and then continued while laughing, “Don’t worry they will hook you up after breakfast.”

“Thanks,” I said. George added, “You really need to get up early around here to get into the bathroom first before anybody else because some of the others will try to get into our bathroom before we do. There are some slobs around here”. Then he left for the showers. I opened the bathroom door, went in, and then I remarked to myself, “I see what he meant by some slobs around here.” I wanted to turn around and leave, but I had to do something to clean up a little. I splashed water on my arms, chest, face and neck. Just like George said, there was no soap and no towels so I wiped up with toilet paper. When I stepped out of the bathroom a nurse met me and said, “Mr. Ingram, will you follow me to the Nurses’ Station?” When we got there she opened the door and I went in and sat down. An intern from The Medical College of Virginia came out and sat down beside me and said, “I will try to answer some of your questions and explain to you what’s going to take place this morning. You will take your meds early and then you will get a breakfast tray brought to you. The hospital psychiatrist will see you first, then the social worker, followed by your family doctor. After all this, you will go to your group session. You also will meet with a mental health advocate before you have your hearing with the Magistrate. The outcome of your hearing will determine what happens next. Do you have any questions?” “Just one,” I said, “How do I get cleaned up?” The intern replied, “An orderly will help you with this after you eat.” My meds were brought to me along with my breakfast, corn flakes (with no sugar), milk, and orange juice. After I finished breakfast the tray was taken away. The orderly then told me, “We are going to get you cleaned up.” NOV/DEC 2012

The shower room was a large room with concrete floors and tile on the walls and ceiling. Shower heads came out of the ceiling so you could not reach them. A push button on the wall turned on the water. It had a pre-set temperature and duration so there was no playing around. The orderly gave me a plastic bottle with a foaming soap and a towel. He said, “I will have to stay here and monitor you for your own safety, so do not try anything stupid. After you dry off, I have some clean clothes and a pair of slip on shoes your wife brought from home. Do you want me to trash your old stuff?” “By all means, do,” I responded. I did not like this at all; you see, I was one of those kids who had to be made to take a shower after gym because I did not like the communal thing. The session with the psychiatrist was uneventful, but the social worker’s interview was very helpful. She supplied me with a lot of answers. This took away a lot of my fears. I sat through most of the group session without saying a word and thought to myself, “I do not belong here with these crazy people.” The group leader tried to get me to talk but all I told them was my name and that was enough for now. When I left the room my Advocate was waiting for me, and he took me to a conference room. He started off by telling me that his job was to advise me and intercede on my behalf. He then said, “Mr. Ingram, I already know what the psychiatrist report will say. He is recommending not to release you and to keep you for observation. My advice to you is to voluntarily commit yourself for the 72 hours. This time will start with your admission to the hospital.

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This will give you the option of checking yourself out after the time is up. If you don’t, they will commit you and you can be detained for a lot longer time. I have already talked to your wife and told her to get an appointment set up for you to see a psychologist not connected to the hospital, and she has already done this. I will also go into the hearing with you. Do not say anything except to answer the question about commitment by saying you wish to commit yourself voluntarily. After this, you can see your wife”. I sat and listened to everything said and did not say a word except to answer the question, just like I had been told. After the hearing he took me to the Day Room where Denise was waiting to see me. As I walked into the room I could see that she was very upset and had been crying. I asked her what was wrong and she told me this place was scaring her, and she didn’t like being in the Day Room with all the other patients around. I told her, “Let’s walk up and down the corridor so we can talk.” She already knew about all of the events of the morning. I could tell she really didn’t want to be here, so I told her I had a lot to do so she should go home and come back after diner. She said, “Okay, but are you sure you don’t mind?” I said, “Go ahead. It’s okay, I don’t mind.” I lied! As I watched her leave, I wondered what I had said to the psychiatrist to make the advocate tell me to keep my mouth shut.

A

s I walked into the room I could see

that she was very upset and had been crying. I asked her what was wrong and she told me this place was scaring her, and she didn’t like being in the Day Room with all the other patients around. I told her, “Let’s walk up and down the corridor so we can talk.” She already knew about all of the events of the morning. I could tell she really didn’t want to be here, so I told her I had a lot to do so she should go home and come back after diner. She said, “Okay, but are you sure you don’t mind?” I said, “Go ahead. It’s okay, I don’t mind.” I lied! As I watched her leave, I wondered what I had said to the psychiatrist to make the advocate tell me to keep my mouth shut.

Maybe it was when he asked me if I believed in spirits. I responded with, “Sure I do, and I also believe in angels and demons as well.” YOU THINK? I spent the rest of the day and evening keeping to myself and waiting for Denise to come back and visit with me. I really felt awful about everything I was putting her through, but I only knew a part of it.

It was not too long before I started to realize just how much. She came back to check up on me, and we had a nice talk about what was coming up next. It seemed like only a couple of minutes had passed before the visitors had to leave. Then it would be happy pill time and off to “LaLa” land until tomorrow.

Do You Believe Men or Women of God should claim depression even if they’ve been diagnosed or hospitalized for it? Tell us why or why not! Send all comments to promotingpurposemagazine@gmail.com for a chance to see it in one of our future publications!

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BOOK REVIEW

THERE IS A MIRACLE IN 21: GOD COMPLETES

What an opportunity! The

Author Lorieen D. Henry Website:www.miraclein21.com Book available on amazon.com & barnesandnoble.com

situations but still not understand why they feel a certain way about life or themselves.

chance to go on a spiritual journey with Author Lorieen Henry as her new book is released.”There is a Miracle in 21: God Completes” allowed us to enter a transparent path with the author in which it showed how God can turn a mess into a beautiful miracle. Not only is Lorieen forthcoming in this book but she spoke in depth about what she had been going through. One of the things that were shared in this book, in which we all can relate to at one point in our lives, is Drama. She then took you from the Drama part and directed you to a part of the book that offered encouragement and then expectations of blessing. The author clearly states in the beginning of the book that it’s not a “How to” preparation, but the book shares how she made it through adversity. Being able to read a book that shares a personal journey without sugar coating it speaks a lot about the author’s motive for publishing “There is a Miracle in 21: God Completes”. It shows that this book was not written to judge or give glory to the author but to give glory to God. It was written to touch lives and bring forth hope to those who are going through; those who have gone through difficult

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The author’s character is apparent throughout the book as witty and fun, yet straight forward when needed. Because we all have gone through, currently going through or will be going through something, those who read this book will definitely receive an eye opener and a refreshing experience. As a result, you will then be able to see that as God has turned Lorieen’s mess into a miracle He can and will do the same for you. And just like the author stated in the book and we all can relate to the fact that the journey wasn’t perfect, but it was necessary. It establishes the foundation to get to the next level in Christ Jesus. Kudos to Author Lorieen for a job well done writing her first book. We are looking forward to reading more from this author…. PPM (Promoting Purpose Book Reviews)

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(MRS.V)

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Thank you for supporting Promoting Purpose Magazine ‌ CEO Sherrell Valdezloqui and the staff prays that you have a happy and safe Holiday Season. We pray that you will seek the Lord in all that you do and receive what it is God has in store for you in 2013!

PROMOTING PURPOSE MAGAZINE / Office# 804-481-7713 www.promotingpurpose-magazine.com NOV/DEC 2012

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Promoting Purpose Holiday Issue