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Faith

Forgive Yourself!


Hi, Have you ever gotten a note from a friend who put a “happy face” smile on it? :-) Your friend was hoping to make you smile and understand that things aren’t so serious, and perhaps get you to lighten up! A smile brightens the mood of the entire room. A smile can open doors. A genuine smile can make all the difference in getting a job. A smile can catch people by surprise, and they’ll smile in spite of themselves. (You know how it seems that people in some cities just don’t smile – until someone like you break the pattern!) Taking care of your teeth keeps that smile bright and pretty, too. That’s why Elaine Mizuo has written “Miles of Smiles.” Helping your kids have good dental habits not only keeps that smile unforgettable, but also keeps their teeth healthy for a lifetime. But greater than brushing teeth and putting a happy face on a child’s paper is learning to forgive yourself. Now that puts a smile deep in your heart! <3 That’s the kind of smile that eventually finds its way to your beautiful face. And when that happens, (if we could see Jesus face to face), I know He’d be smiling right back at you! Huge smiles,

C

rystal Wacker Editor-in-Chief

Table of Contents

Faith Lifestyle Faith

Give Yourself a Gift-Forgive Yourself ...... Page 2

Lifestyle

Pre-Wedding Blog #1 ............................. Page 4 Hot Topic: Gulf Oil Spill ......................... Page 5 Miles of Smiles ...................................... Page 6

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Editor-in-Chief .......................... Crystal Wacker Writing Editor ....................... Christina Williams Spanish Translation .................... Jodi-Kay Ellis Spanish Editor ....................... Mona Ré Shields Contributing Authors .................. Babs Kincaid Elaine Mizuo Olga “Nena” Podbury Jeanette Rivera Graphic Artist .............................. Diana Faruqui Photos ......................................... Diana Faruqui Jeanette Rivera Crystal Wacker


Give Yourself a Gift -

ForgiveYourself of Your

Past!

Recently, I had to honestly ask

myself, “Have I forgiven myself of all my past sins and bad choices?” I had learned to forgive others, but I had left myself out of the God-given instruction to forgive all people. I began to pray and search the Bible to uncover the truth that could set me free from my chains to past sins and wrong choices. I had to come to terms with my past and truly forgive myself from the heart. After all, I am not the sum of all my bad choices. I am the sum of Jesus in me, the hope of glory! My past mistakes do not define me. That negative cycle of unforgiveness can be broken. Jesus has called me to MODEL my life after his example of forgiveness. Although He was in severe pain, Jesus preached forgiveness on the cross with his last breath: “Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing’” (Luke 23:34). By his humble example, Jesus showed the importance of forgiveness as a lifestyle. If Jesus was so big on forgiveness, why can’t I give myself the same gift of forgiveness?

By: Babs Kincaid

Jesus has called me to build my life like His – love without strings attached. If the Word states, “Love keeps no record of wrongs” (1 Corinthians 13:5) why was I still holding on to my past record of sins? Here is the truth: “Who is God like you? You forgive sin. You forgive your people when they do what is wrong.… You will completely wipe out the evil things we’ve done. You will throw all of our sins into the bottom of the sea” (Micah 7:18-19, NIRV). So, if God has gone to such great lengths to throw my sins into the sea, why am I so consumed with fishing them out again?

•UNFORGIVENESS IS NOT THE WILL OF GOD. Here is the truth: “Forgive the things you are hold-ing against one another. Forgive, just as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13). If I am struggling with forgiving myself for my past sins, I am not accepting the forgiveness that Christ offered for me on the cross. I find that sometimes it’s easier to forgive others than it is to forgive myself. But why? Why am I treating myself with a different standard than the standard I use with my brothers and sisters?

My

Past

God forgives and forgets my sins, so who am I to make a mountain of them? Here is the truth: “I, even I, am he who wipes out your lawless acts. I do it because of who I am. I will not remember your sins anymore” (Isaiah 43:25, NIRV). If my past sins don’t exist to God, who am I to raise them up from the dead?

Unforgiveness is a sin, my friend. I cannot escape God’s rebuke found in Matthew 6:15: “If you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” How can I think it’s okay not to forgive myself, when it is certainly outside the will of God?

Mistakes Do NOT

define me!

•TRUE FREEDOM COMES ONLY WITH FORGIVENESS. God is calling me to model His forgiveness and His Reach UP

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love toward me. God is calling me to a higher way of living. God’s ways are higher than my ways. I learn that my guilt and shame is attached to my pride and not in agreement with God’s Word.

them all. I wrote “FORGIVEN” on my list. “I choose to forgive myself and love myself no matter what because I choose to obey Jesus who died for my sins.” So my motive to forgive myself is obedience.

•FORGIVENESS IS A PICTURE OF GOD’S GRACE. Here is the truth: “If you belong to Christ Jesus, you won’t be punished” (Romans 8:1, CEV). “Sin will not be your master, because you are not under law but under God’s grace” (Romans 6:14, NCV). I was punishing myself by not forgiving myself. I was letting sin rule over me.

So now that you have heard my story, WHAT ABOUT YOU?

•FORGIVENESS IS NOT ABOUT FEELINGS but about biblical facts that inspire faith. God’s truth inspires faith. Jesus completely paid for all my past, present and future debt of sin. On the cross, Jesus said: “It is finished” (John 19:30, KJV). So, if said it’s over, I should stop being a slave to sin! •UNFORGIVENESS IS NOT RIGHT THINKING. God has called me to think after his example: “Think about the things that are good and worthy of praise. Think about the things that are true and honorable and right and pure and beautiful and respected” (Philippians 4:8, NCV). That shows me that my negative thinking does not line up with His. So I need to change my thinking to be like God’s thinking. •FORGIVENESS IS A CHOICE. It was quite healing when I took a blank sheet of paper and wrote on it, “I forgive myself for the following sins and bad choices from my past,” and then listed

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Are you willing to walk in obedience and forgive yourself of your past sins and bad choices? You can choose to forgive and love yourself unconditionally, no matter what you’ve done.

Are you willing to walk in obedience? Are you willing to let go of the past and live for today? Are you willing to accept what Jesus did for you on the cross at Calvary as the final payment for your debt of sin? If so, God has a precious gift for you: Relief from guilt! Relief from feeling bad about your past! A new beginning! Now that’s a gift to unwrap!

g Sins in w o ll o F e h t elf for I Forgive Mys rom My Past: sf & Bad Choice 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9.

FORG

IVEN

Babs Kincaid lives in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida. All the glory goes to Jesus, her “Knight in Shining Armor” who is responsible for taking her to heights beyond her wildest dreams.


Wow! It’s fi weddin nally h g of m ere: t y drea he yea m s r I ge . When t to p I was lan th a littl e my pr e girl ince c I h d a r eamed rming my pr would of be ince c comin c h o a rming, me an enoug g a p d whi we fe h, I w rinces s l k l a i m s n s, and e awa marrie whisk love s y. Wh d in a ed aw o quic e a n s y k m . l I y and We di all ch “I do met marrie dn’t h !” and apel w d. Sur ave a ith hi that w huge e s pare as th weddin nts an e end g . d o Thou We f it. mine. gh it We ea w a c s h n man o ’t the said, f my weddin dream g like to o f my s. He dream be lov show s, I g ed. W e d it thr m e ot to e how t have f ough. marry o love aced m the and w any ob h stacle at is was s, and we ha ve mad e and 2011, an i Davil rs a vely e e t y he t en ur lo ane t e o set t r f J e e , r h I t u W e o d an ds. tog th est frien n, wi been ivera, my b e R s e g h a v t n a o i l y l me. r ill h vows illerm s we st ti -mar u a r r e G r u y fi l We w o , i nd he ing fam I am usba like t renew and with rue. s l t e e my h e e b f itcom will d it e wr des, , s i n r a a s e r m e h a r v Ri dre ou sit o at our s I 010, y her en at A 2 h r m t d . , l , o i o 0 r b d 3 ch to ne to ake to y pas y, Ju uch to m m a m d , e lace r r t p o e e a v t s d t a o s l c e s being ere i rs. Y perfe d, my h o f l n t e o e o h i d r t c d n f e d ing ay, a I foun dream wedd I I r aw y a d d s. So h e l m n i y s a h a n a , p c o y a uc ing arc only e to . As e so m decid er, M com s n l It is d l l n i l n u i a t a l o w ed, ’m s ing p era H , my dream to w p wedd ing, I O y m 011 er pm, pring n May 2, 2 ide, a place 12:30 S e Th y s nd o by m ar, a wed: t r s e n y plan dwa Broa dding e w my e... have com o t e mor For the next year in each issue, we’ll follow Jeanette Rivera as she prepares for her upcoming wedding. We’ll get an insider’s view of what it’s like to plan and budget for a wedding. Then we’ll have a special wedding issue of Reach UP. So here’s our first glimpse…

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HOT TOPIC:

O

By: Olga “Nena” Podbury

n April 20th, 2010, in the ocean just 50 miles from Louisiana, an oil rig exploded. (An oil rig is a large platform-type structure that sits on the ocean surface and uses a big drill to dig a hole in the ocean floor in search of oil.) This oil rig was owned by the oil company called BP.

of your political view, how you feel the government has responded, or even whether or not you think President Obama is a good president, one thing the Bible makes clear is that we need to pray for those in authority, including our president and our government.

When the explosion occurred, the oil rig sank to the bottom of the ocean and large amounts of oil began to leak into the ocean. This series of events would become known to the world as the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill – the biggest oil spill in US history.

quests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

For 87 days there was approximately 210,000 to 260,000 gallons of oil spilling into the ocean, polluting the waters. It not only harms the wildlife -- the turtles, mammals, fish and birds -- but also affects the fishing industry. Fisherman haven’t been able to sell their fish or seafood. People are angry! Some are upset because the oil company still hasn’t been able to stop the oil spill. Other people are angry because they feel the government and the president haven’t done much to help either; they feel that the president should have gotten more involved. Regardless

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protect you: love her and she will watch over you.” •Love the truth: Proverbs 12:22: “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.”

•Display Courage: 1 Corinthians 16:13: “Be on your guard; The Bible says in 1 Timothy 2:1-2: stand firm in the faith; be men “I urge, then first of all, that re- of courage; be strong.”

It doesn’t matter if you voted for the president or not, or if you agree with the way our government runs or not, God asks us to pray for our leaders. Here are some things we can pray.

Pray that our leaders will: •Be Godly: Deuteronomy 6:5: “Love the Lord with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” •Have wisdom: Proverbs 4:5-6: “Get wisdom, get understanding, do not forget my words or swerve from them. Do not forsake wisdom and she will

•Surround themselves with good staff members and advisors: Psalm 1:1: “God blesses those people who refuse evil advice and won’t follow sinners or join in sneering at God.” We can’t control events like the Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill, Hurricane Katrina, or what happened on September 11, 2001, but we can help pray for the leaders of our nation and ask God to guide them in making good, godly decisions for our nation.

Olga “Nena” Podbury grew up in the Bronx, New York, but currently lives with her husband, Ben, in Denver, Colorado. They have a company, Big Picture Creations. Nena co-authors children’s curriculum.


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•From the time that first adorable tooth appears, wipe it with clean gauze after every meal— well, at least try…. •When more teeth appear, use a soft baby toothbrush to clean the teeth after every meal, (it can be a goal you work towards). •Don’t let your baby or toddler use a baby bottle or a sippy cup filled with Parents play a key role in ensuring that formula, milk, juice, or other sugary their child’s teeth are clean and healthy. beverages as a pacifier during waking The goal should be healthy teeth for life. hours. If you do, it will bathe the teeth in sugars all day long, resulting in For babies: tooth decay. •Proper dental care begins even before •If a baby bottle or sippy cup is used you see your baby’s first tooth. By the at bedtime or nap time, fill it with only time your baby is born, most of the baby water. Then you will prevent the bacteeth are already formed but are not teria from eating away at your baby’s seen since they are still inside the baby’s teeth during sleeping hours. gums. Carbohydrates from formula, •The first visit to the dentist should be milk, and juices cause bacteria to grow around your child’s first birthday. in your baby’s mouth, so after a feeding, make it a goal to gently wipe your baby’s For children: gums with a soft, clean, damp washcloth •See the dentist twice a year for regular check-ups. Start when your child is to keep bacteria growth down. hether it’s a sweet smile from a baby, a happy smile of a child, a casual smile between strangers, or a contagious smile between friends, a great smile can go a long way. The average woman smiles about 62 times a day. Kids laugh around 400 times a day. How do you keep that smile at its very best? Here are a few tips to help you.

young so that it becomes a natural part of your child’s yearly routine for a lifetime. •Allow your child to choose a cute or colorful child-sized toothbrush with soft bristles. •Find toothpaste in a flavor that your child likes. Many are safely formulated for children under age 3. •Brush after each meal. This is the best practice, but at least after breakfast and dinner. •Once your child has learned not to swallow toothpaste, use one with fluoride. •Use only a pea-sized amount of fluoride toothpaste with children under age 7, especially if your child is still prone to swallowing some of the toothpaste. •Have your child brush before going to bed as part of the nightly bedtime routine. •Eat healthy snacks and limit starchy foods, such as chips and sweet foods and sweet drinks, because they stick to the teeth. •Adults should brush and floss their

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child’s teeth until the child is capable of doing a thorough job without adult help. Children lack the fine motor skills that are necessary to do it correctly, and will need help with brushing until age 8. •Flossing is important but even trickier than brushing, and often requires adult help until age 10. Avoid pushing the floss into the gum because the gum can be split and damaged from improper flossing.

bottom front teeth. •Brush the roof of your mouth, the inside of your cheeks, and lastly, your tongue. •It’s a good idea to try and replace toothbrushes every 3 months.

For adults:

•Be a good role model to your children and try brushing alongside them as they brush their own teeth. •Brush twice a day with a fluoride toothWhen brushing: paste. •Be gentle but thorough. How long you •Floss daily to remove plaque before it brush can be measured by counting to forms tartar, which can only be removed 7 as you brush each side of a tooth in a by a dentist. circular motion. •Use of antibacterial mouth rinses re•Hold your toothbrush at a 45-degree duces bacteria in the mouth that cause angle as you brush your gum lines and plaque and gum disease. use short straight strokes. •Unsweetened cranberry juice can be •Brush the inner and outer sides of each used as a natural alternative mouth rinse. tooth. Studies suggest that this unsweetened •Brush the flat chewing surfaces of each juice kills on contact the bacteria that tooth, and turn your toothbrush verticauses tooth decay, and can help to rid cally to get the backs of your top and teeth of plaque.

•Eat healthy foods and limit snacking on sugary and starchy foods. •Visit your dentist every 6 months for a checkup and teeth cleaning. Take care of those beautiful teeth, and remember to give a smile and catch a smile everyday. It can be just the thing to make your day – and someone else’s day too!

Federally-funded health centers provide dental care even if you do not have health insurance. For a center near you, enter this address in your browser: http://findahealthcenter.hrsa.gov/Search_HCC_byCounty.aspx

The Magazine to Empower and Enrich Today’s Urban Woman

Fall 2010

Given to you by:

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ReachUp Fall 2010