Inside WOS Women of Standard Carla Cannon Founder
Diva Muriel Hines Evangelist
Kim Brooks National Author
Ministers Burnice & Teresia Burroughs
Evangelist Patricia Phillips
Inside WOS Men of Standard Minister Richard Hagans
Apostle Elijah Forteâ€™
Elder Roosevelt Ethridge
A Letter from the Editor Dear Readers, I would like to thank you for all of your support & prayers as I launch out into the deep & do all the Lord has called & chosen me to be. As many of you know it is not an easy task to step out into the unknown & trust the Lord with your whole heart for of course as humans we are all afraid of failing. But one thing I have learned is that if God calls us to do something He has surely already equipped us for all that we will need for the journey. We just have to search ourselves & allow the Lord to use us the way he wants to. All of our gifts are different so therefore it is important for us to walk under the umbrella of anointing that the Lord has placed upon our life versus our neighbor. We are all many members but we make up one body, so therefore we all are essential to the Kingdom of God, and I believe the sooner we grasp this concept then we will be able to bring more people to Jesus. Truth is there is so much division in the church with our cliques and everyone having their own perspectives and beliefs but what does the Bible say? The Bible teaches us that we all need one another and that we are to walk in love no matter what.This is what WOS is all about: reaching out to women and men all around the world to let them know that they are loved and that they are somebody and that the Lord has need of them.I can’t express it enough just how important it is to be who God has called you to be & to be confident in who you are IN HIM. So join me as I take you on a journey inside this month’s edition with my new article entitled: DEAR FLESH. Be inspired, be empowered but more importantly BE YOU!
Carla Cannon www.womenofstandard.net
Calling All My Single Ladies Guard The Gates by Kim Brooks
A second way to tame the flesh is to “guard the gates” more specifically the eye and ear gates. Job 31:1 says, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?” The Amplified Bible makes it plain as Job 31:1 reads, “I dictated a covenant (an agreement) to my eyes; how then could I look [lustfully] upon a girl?” In this passage of Scripture, Job, a man of God indeed, is demonstrating how he made a personal covenant, or commitment to God, Himself, to not even look lustfully at a woman. Job is demonstrating ow he is guarding, or protecting his eyes from even “going there.” In today’s society, especially with images of sex being advertised on seemingly every billboard and every television commercial, you have to make a special effort to be careful about what you set your eyes upon, so you don’t look lustfully upon it and arouse the flesh. This is another reason why it is so important for believers not to get caught in satan’s trap of pornography, whether in a magazine, on a video, or online. The word, “porneia,” means harlotry, idolatry, and fornication. As you look lustfully on these images, the spirit upon it, which is definitely not the Holy Spirit, defiles your own spirit. It causes you to view the opposite sex as merely a sex object, even during day to day encounters with people in general, you begin to undress people with your eyes. I have heard of marriages which were shattered and almost broken because their spouses were addicted to letting their eye gates get a hold of this filth and allowing the enemy to have his way, subtly, tricking the person viewing it into thinking he’s not doing anything wrong since he or she isn’t actually having sex, but simply viewing it. However, viewing it is not protecting your eye gates. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. Psalm 101:3 www.womenofstandard.net
ALONE DOESN’T MEAN LONELY
by Joyce Meyer
A major problem facing many people today is loneliness. As I travel the world, I see an increasing number of people requesting help and guidance on handling loneliness in their lives.In the Bible God tells us we are not alone. He wants to deliver, comfort and heal us. But when people encounter painful losses in their lives, sadly, many never get over them. Sometimes when sudden tragedy occurs, the hurt seems unbearable. Without help, a sense of loneliness can actually settle on a person or family like a cloud, and it doesn’t seem to go away.There are many causes of loneliness, but many people don’t realize that they don’t have to live with it. They can confront it and deal with it. Loneliness often manifests as an inner ache, a vacuum, or a craving for affection. Its side effects include feelings of emptiness, uselessness or purposelessness. Are you alone (independent, solitary, on your own)? Or, are you lonely (desolate, deserted, dejected due to a lack of companionship)? There is a very real difference. It’s important to realize that just because you are alone, it doesn’t mean you must be lonely or lonesome. While it may not always be possible to avoid being alone, there are always answers to loneliness. Many times loneliness results from a trauma or crisis due to the death of a loved one, a divorce, or separation. When something happens that makes us realize that things are never going to be the way they once were, it often creates crisis or trauma in our lives, which can lead to a sense of loneliness and despair. Like a healing wound, the pain may be felt for a long time, but complete recovery requires daily improvement. When a physical wound refuses to heal, it indicates there’s an infection that must be dealt with. I believe the same is true of emotional wounds: the emotional part of us should heal just like the physical part of us. God gave us emotions just as He gave us physical bodies. He has provided for our emotional restoration in Him just as He has provided for it physically. While it is true that you may always miss the person or the thing that was lost, it doesn’t mean that you must suffer permanent loneliness. I believe there are two things anyone wishing to overcome loneliness must do: 1. Know that God is with you all the time. In the Bible, God reminds us that He is always with us and He’ll never forsake us (see Hebrews 13:5). Loneliness often leads us to ask ourselves all sorts of questions that can’t be answered, such as: What if I am alone for the rest of my life? What if this pain I am feeling never goes away? What if a problem arises that I don’t know how to handle on my own? What if...what if...what if...? The questions could go on and on endlessly. Chances are, you’ll never be able to answer the “what ifs” in life. But as long as you know that the Lord is with you, you can be assured that He has all the answers you need.
2. Press aggressively into a new life. Not everything in your life is over; just one part of it has ended. One season has passed and another can now begin—if you are willing to take action. Don’t just passively sit and wait for something to happen or someone to come along. Go make new friends. Find someone else who is lonely and be a friend to that person. You will reap what you sow, and God will return that friendship many times over. Let the loneliness you feel turn into compassion for other lonely people, and then decide to do something about it! www.womenofstandard.net
When The Lion Roars by Rev. Sharon E. Farmer-Arrington
when the Lion roars there is a silence that falls amongst the people... His cries are the cries of the millions of people, Rainbow people, Oppressed people whose pain runs so deep their tears will never be dried... The earth quakes, the world shakes, the mountains roar, the lava pore... And while the people slept Destruction came... Captive are we living in a world of strangers caught up in a rat race to Hell... Lost people one step from slavery for the minds of the people are still in chains... And when the lion roars there is a silence that falls amongst the people... His cries are the cries of millions of people of the rainbow... Unhappy people, hearts in pain, chained minds taken back in time... One step from slavery and millions of miles to go... Winds blow, rains fall, dams flood, lives drown... And while the people slept Destruction came....
by Carla Cannon
I was always told that no good thing dwelled within you. I remember hearing other believers say, ‘When I desire to do good, evil is always present’. I was told that if I did what you prompted me to do then I would not see God. I have often felt you rise up in me & try to persuade me to do things in which I know wouldn’t please God. Often I have obeyed you & it left me empty & miserable. I have felt God pull me one way but allowed you to overpower my thoughts along with my willpower. As a result I leaned toward you because it felt good. But I ‘m learning that just because something feels good doesn’t mean it’s for my good & to overcome I must dedicate my life totally to Jesus by living a life of prayer, fasting, obedience & sacrifice. I admit it’s not always easy to not give into you for it is as though I do good for a while then I get persuaded by you to go against God, then after doing so I somehow manage to get back on the right track. Truth is, I am tired of this cycle! Then, I allow you (Satan) to beat me down about what I have done & convince me that God has not forgiven me but I know that when I repent God is faithful & just to forgive me for that is what His word says. But the truth of the matter is I’m sick of you! I’m sick of allowing you to lead & guide me. I have power OVER you! I no longer have to do what you say or listen to you versus God! I declare & decree today that with the help of Jesus I will overcome you. I will follow the leading of the Holy Spirit & I will not allow my issue to define me nor dictate my future. I choose to walk by faith & not by sight. I choose to believe what God says about me versus what you try to dictate to me via my feelings. So on today I speak to you FLESH & declare that it is your time to die. I know it won’t be easy to kill you for you are pretty tough & can often make me think I am ‘dead’ to a situation when I’m really not. I understand there is a constant battle via you & my spirit & that I must fight to do what’s right & fill my spirit with the word of God & engulf myself more & more with the things of God. I can no longer play with you, or entertain you. I must monitor my vulnerable moments because it is then that I allow you to get the best of me. Greater is He that is within me than he that is in the world & I shall overcome! Matter of fact I will no longer focus on my current situation or struggles for Jesus has already defeated Satan therefore I am VICTORIOUS! So either way you lose! This blog is dedicated to anyone who has ever struggled with the other part of them:
their FLESH . Truth is even as Pastors, Ministers & overall Sons of God (male&female) we are often tempted to conform back to how we used to be & do what we used to do. I don’t know how many will admit but I struggle in my flesh & am not afraid to say so. See, people only think of the BIG sins (in their eyes but sin is sin) when it comes to things like this. But being able to keep your cool in a hostile situation is a prime example of not allowing the flesh to rule but to listen to that still small voice that tells you to walk away. While the entire time your flesh is saying, “SMACK HER!” (or him). It is not easy to come out of what many of us have come out of & then walk with Jesus & always make the right the decisions. That’s why I thank God for grace & mercy. But it is also time for us as Sons of God to stop making excuses & blaming the devil for everything when the truth is we can overcome our flesh & a lot of the things we do, we do it simply because we want to & not so much as the devil as we try to blame him for everything. If we would pray more, fast more & seek the face of God more then we will be able to hear His voice more clearly & not keep making the same mistakes over & over. But yes, truth is we are human & sometimes we will miss the mark. But, we don’t have to lay there & waddle in our mess, but we are to get up, repent & keep it moving (S.Ingram). I believe if more of us would be real about our daily encounters (not saying we have to be specific & tell all) then I believe we could reach a lot more people & help bring them to the Lord. See we (Sons of God) make this walk with the Lord seem unrealistic & many believe they have to be perfect & stop everything at once in order to be saved when the truth is our entire life is a process. For everyday we are (or should be) learning something new about the Lord that we didn’t know the day before. We are to never get to the place where we feel that we have God all figured out for it is then that we miss out on what He really has for us. If we would stop prancing around in our robes, suits & fancy attire, & stop being Bible toters & scripture quoters & be real by telling people that yes it gets tough & no we don’t always do what’s right but we keep on walking. As believers we can’t quit & neither can we give up! But we must learn from our mistakes & be grateful for the grace of God that is upon our lives. I honestly believe there is a need of TRUE repentance even amongst the people of God. For true repentance means ‘to feel regret about a sin or past actions & CHANGE your ways or habits’, or simply ‘the turning away from’. We as God’s people keep repenting with our mouths but not with our hearts because if so we wouldn’t keep doing a lot of the same things over & over. What we need to do is stop blaming everything on the devil & his demons & take responsibility for our actions. See, God is calling us to a greater level of accountability & with new levels comes greater responsibilities but if we say God called & chose us then why is it that we are unable to maintain our level of committment. I will have to say it goes back to the decisions we make. In life we have choices, good vs evil & that is why it is vital to always keep our ear to the lips of God (as my Apostle & my Dad would say) & learn to hear the voice of God for ourselves. God is calling us into a greater level of relationship with Him. He not only can speak to your leader but the truth is God can speak directly to you if you would simply have an ear to hear what the Lord is saying. We are all dealing with something & real love will cover our brother or our sister. We must learn to stop talking about one another & pray to the father for we are all a part of God’s body & all parts are vital to God’s Kingdom. I am preaching to myself right here because I have been guilty of saying but they supposed to be men & women of God (leaders) & are doing this & doing that & God let me know that when I speak on these things I am opposing His word for I must take it to
Him in prayer & cover my brother & sister. I admit this is a hard thing to do especially with so much going on in the world. So trust I am the first partaker of the messages the Lord gives me monthly & it is not always an easy pill to swallow but hey I’m committed to doing things Jesus’ way & allow Him to deal with folk because they belong to Him anyway. So, I encourage you the next time you see a man or woman of God make a mistake, be careful before you put your mouth on them because you may have no idea what they are dealing with or even how the Lord may be dealing with them. Be empowered, be inspired but more importantly BE YOU!
WOS OF THE MONTH CICELY TYSON INFLUENTIAL ACTRESS December 19, 1933
Cicely Tyson was raised in Harlem, New York by devoutly religious parents from the Caribbean island of Nevis. She was discovered by a fashion editor at Ebony magazine and, with her stunning looks, she quickly rose to the top of the modeling industry. In 1957, she began acting in Off-Broadway productions. She had small roles in feature films before she was cast as Portia in The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter (1968) in 1968. Four years later, Cicely was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress for her sensational performance in the critically acclaimed film Sounder (1972). In 1974, she went on to portray a 110-year-old former slave in The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman (1974) (TV), which earned her two Emmys.She has most recently starred in the hit new movie, The Help along with other movies by Tyler Perry such as Diary of a Mad Black Woman, Madea’s Family Reunion & Why Did I Get Married II. While Cicely has not appeared steadily onscreen because of her loyality to only portray strong, positive images of Black women, she is without a doubt one of the most talented, beautiful actresses to have ever graced the stage and screen. “I think when you begin to think of yourself as having achieved something, then there’s nothing left for you to work towards. I want to believe that there is a mountain so high that I will spend my entire life striving to reach the top of it.” Cicely Tyson www.womenofstandard.net
Dedication to Mom
Mom, I would like to dedicate this edition of Women of Standard to you because it is because of your many prayers while I was out there in my mess that I am still standing today. You never gave up on me although many tried to convince you to do so but you did the best thing you could have ever done for me & that was release me into the hands of our Father: Jesus. For that I tell you thank you Mom. Words truly can’t express just how thankful I am to have you in my life going on 27 years. We have been through a lot, we have laughed together as well as cried together. I have witnessed you experience much pain in your life but I praise God that I am alive & well to be able to witness the many blessings the Lord has placed upon your life. Because one time we both thought you were going to out live me due to the dangerous path I had chose. But I’m so glad the Lord said NOT SO! You are truly a Woman of Standard for you have overcome every obstacle that was thrown your way. When the enemy thought he was going to take your life by having you be consistently involved in car accidents the Lord said not so, for he has great work for you to do. I believe God is calling you into ministry as well Mom & maybe not behind the pulpit but there is so much that many women & young girls can learn from you & all you have gone through. I await the day that you stand & share your story to draw many to our Lord Jesus Christ! You are awesome & I’m blessed to be connected to you! Mom I say before the world today that I truly bless God for you. I know I was once your problem child but I boast in Jesus when I say, “Take a look at me now!” Can’t nobody tell me that my mama can’t get a prayer though cause I know your knees should be scarred up from all the late nights I’m sure you were up praying for me. For all of that I say thank you ma & I thank God for allowing you to still be here to witness the transformation & transition of my life. Because you are blessed, I am blessed! I love you!
I AM A SON OF GOD! HE CALLS ME FRIEND by Minister Patricia Phillips
I thank God for being so good in the midst of my storm. I have had some rough times in my life, but God has always stood by my side. I used to worry about how people felt about me but not anymore. God is just so good & wonderful to me & I wouldn’t trade him for nothing this world has to offer. People had always judged me by my clothes & used to say slick stuff like I wouldn’t catch on to what they were saying. I used to sit there with a smile on my face while my heart was torn into pieces. I used to tell God I know people don’t think much of me & He would always reassure me that I was designed in the image that He called me to be. I am a Son of God & He calls me friend. Wow! I have learned that it doesn’t matter what people say or do to us but what matters is our actions. Instead of talking about others we should apply prayer instead of hate. Instead of fighting against one another lets help each other. We may be in different places but we all are trying to get to the same place & that is Heaven. I know if we can’t get it together down here Heaven is out of the question. I used to use this scripture all the time: ‘If God is for me then who can be against me?’ Then I realized who is to say that God is not in the midst of you being against me to get me to the place He wants me to be in? I thank God for always showing me the positive even in the midst of negative situations and for that Lord I just say thank you. One thing I desire is that I may dwell in the house of the Lord forever. I feel my help coming on thank you Jesus! I feel like my brother Paul, for I am forgetting those things that are behind me & I’m pressing toward the mark of the high calling. I may not be where I need to be, but I’m not where I used to be! I thank God for looking beyond my faults & seeing my needs. I will never let my past dictate my future because I see myself mighty in the Lord to God be the glory! I truly thank God for allowing me to meet Apostle Forte for he has been a real spiritual father to me & for that I am truly grateful. What you think is a mess God says different so you must be careful what you say about me because you don’t know my walk with Christ. One thing about God, He never changes even when we do. God is the joy and the strength of my life he removes all pain, misery, & strife. He promises to keep me for He will never leave me nor will He forsake me. If we would stop trying to do God’s job & do what He has commanded us to do then we will see things more clearer. I want to give a little of my testimony you see my walk didn’t match my talk at one time of my life. But when God came in & I totally surrendered unto Him He cleaned me up. He told me to brush myself off & do my father’s business. God has delivered but sadly some people still have me stuck in my past. Some
one may ask, well how does that make you feel? My answer to that is I don’t have a problem with what they do. I don’t live my life to please men but I live to please Jesus. I am a Son of God what about you? We need to stop trying to dress people & dictate how they should live & instead pray for them & stop discussing stuff among family members, church members, & so on. We need to learn to pray for others & allow God to do the cleaning & I guarantee it will be less confusion. A lot of time people don’t stay in churches because there is too much criticism inside. People are dealing with a lot of hurt & uncertainty in their life, & the last thing they need is ‘church hurt’. For this is the worst hurt one could ever experience. I thank God for taking me through all of my hurt, pain, & sorrows. It is time for us to bring love back & keep it & not just say it with our lips but love from our hearts for love is an action word. I know a lot of times we don’t understand the things we go through , but I believe that in due season God will unfold the ‘why behind the what’ & use it all to make, shape & mold us into who He has created us to be. So stop complaining about your trials & tribulations & learn to endure tough times like the champion you are & remember the Lord will never put more on you than you can bare. There is truly comfort in the Word of God but you have to dig into it & seek out what it is that you need. For God is a keeper & He will keep you if you truly want to be kept! God bless
? OF THE MONTH IS IT POSSIBLE TO OVERCOME THE SPIRIT OF HOMOSEXUALITY?
I am a firm believer that an individual can overcome anything in life whether it be struggling with their identity, bad relationships, various failures or whatever their issue may be when they choose to live a life totally souled out to Jesus Christ. I myself believe I am an excellent candidate to answer this question because I have battled the spirit of homosexuality as well as many others although they won’t openly admit this to help others. While sitting under the
teaching of my Pastor, Apostle Elijah Forte’ I have learned that we as people give the devil way to much credit for we don’t want to admit that the real struggle comes from within. When we struggle with lust we say it’s a demon, when we find ourselves masturbating we blame Satan for tempting us when the truth of the matter is Jesus doesn’t so much have to deliver us from unclean spirits but we need Him to deliver us from us. I remember crying out unto the Lord asking Him to deliver me from ME. See, I believe the reason we shift the blame is because we don’t want the responsibility of choosing good over evil or the responsibility of renewing our minds with the word of God as instructed in Romans 12:2. The truth is being set free from something begins with our mindset & that’s why Satan battles us so much in our minds because he knows that if he can get us to think a certain way or believe things in which are false then we will act according to how we feel or according to where our mind sets are. Let me break it down for you:I firmly believe the reason I remained in homosexual relationships was because of the mindset I had at that time. I had allowed Satan to convince me that no man would ever love or treat me the way I deserved to be treated. I allowed Satan to speak to me continually that it was better to love a woman anyway because a woman knows what another woman wants & needs. But you see all of these were lies & Satan repeated them to keep me trapped in bondage and how I got set free was I began to cry out to the Lord asking Him to deliver me from the part of me that wanted to be held, & caressed by another woman. I asked the Lord to change my desires to help me to want what he wants. I had to sincerely talk to the Lord about every feeling, every emotion, every heartache, every regret...just EVERYTHING. I had to pour my entire heart out to Him, all my secrets, things that no one knew about. I had to talk with God and then I had to get into His word to hear what He was saying to me. See, there is deliverance in the word of God, there is comfort in the word of God and most importantly there is freedom. See, it wasn’t women coming after me that was my issue but it was me having the mindset of wanting a woman period. I am blessed to say that today I no longer have those desires. Although I am tested often in those areas because people read my story & I guess they want to see if I’m for real about what I write & teach about. But the truth is I have shed tooo many tears and have made a committment to the Lord to even allow my flesh to convince me to make a decision that could cost me my ministry.When tempted I immediately think of all the women & men that are connected to me that I have provided hope for & me going back to that lifestyle would only devastate them so honestly I don’t even stand for myself but I stand for all of you who are readig to let you know that God is real & anything is possible for those that believe. Trust me, it is not worth it. That’s how we have to set our minds that nothing matters more to us than our relationship with Jesus. We shouldn’t want to do anything that would take us out of His presence because in His presence is the fullness of joy, and safety & love like you have never felt before. So I speak to you that may be reading this and asking, can I really be free? Or maybe you are a mother or a father reading this & Satan has tempted you to give up on your child. Don’t you dare give up, the Lord has heard your prayers & He will grant you the desires of your heart in HIS timing not yours. My mother’s testimony regarding my life is she had to completely turn me over to the Lord & stop worrying about me & trust Him to handle it. Well, you may ask what do I do in the meantime? The answer to that is simple: TRUST GOD. To those that may be struggling in this area that want to be free, see you have to want it first because God is a gentleman, He doesn’t force Himself on anyone. My advice to you would be to have a heart to heart talk with Jesus.
Get somewhere alone & just talk to Him, tell Him how you feel, ask Him to help you want what He wants, then confess your sins unto Him & watch Him be faithful & just to forgive you. Then you must allow the word of God to saturate your heart. Replace all of the lies that Satan has told you with the truth of God’s word. And no matter what, keep on going & don’t look back. Emotions & feelings change but stability is ours in Jesus. Whatsoever you desire, take it to the Lord in prayer, and when you pray BELIEVE & watch God work a miracle in your life! Now, walk in your freedom in Jesus’ name & when Satan tries to feed you lies by telling you that you will never be free or your flesh tries to convince you that you just got to have it...remember what the Lord has done in my life & talk back to Satan, talk back to your flesh &you command it to fall in line & be subject to the Holy Spirit. God transformed my life & turned my pain into power & took my mess & made a message & that is how my ministry was born so don’t tell me what God can’t do because I will sit you down & tell you all that He CAN do & has done!
Marriage God’s Way Follow the Leader: The True Meaning of Submission
by Ministers Burnice & Teresia Burroughs
To submit means to retire, withdraw, yield and obey. When we retire our plans (how we think something should be done) we become adaptable, & when we are adaptable we comply. This is when the power of God begins working on our behalf. Submission enables God to do things that will benefit us.When most people hear the word submission they automatically think it refers to a woman’s place in a marriage and the way she must relate to her husband. But that’s only one aspect of it.The reality is that we must all abide by submission whether male or female, married or single. Submission is apart of our everyday life. We submit ourselves daily to our employers, civil authorities, spiritual leaders and those with whom we have established relationships. There are many couples who have divorced over the issue of submission because neither wanted to give in to the other. Like we said before you’re going to submit to someone, somewhere, sometime so its better to get a clear understanding of submission to avoid future misunderstandings and heartache. Submission in a marriage not only involves the wife but the husband also. Ephesians 5 says Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. (Verse 21) Submission is a mutual action. Both husband and wife must submit to one another. The beautiful thing about submission in a marriage is that the husband, although he may pull rank must also submit in the fear of God. His submission is a little different from the wife’s. He submits by reverencing the Word of God and not doing his own thing. Wives, even if your husband is wrong about something, God can cover the situation and turn it out alright if you let go of the situation and turn it over to him. If your trust and submission isn’t to the Lord first, you’ll fall apart everytime your husband makes a mistake. Put your trust in God, & He will hold your husband accountable for his decisions and will deal directly with him. The power of God operates through those who are submitted first to him and then to others. So, lets make a quality decision today to submit to the will of God instead of our own will. Lets make the decision to submit to those in authority over us. As we release the seeds of submission in our marriages, our families we will watch the power of God begin to operate on our behalf as never before. Submit yourselves
therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee...Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and he will lift you up. James 4:7,10.
Bounce Back! by Diva Muriel Hines When I say praise, you say Glory! This is the day that the Lord has made and WE shall rejoice and be glad in it! Today, don’t allow the enemy to take the air out of your ball of praise! He is a member of a ball team that does not play fair so be careful when you hear of him trying to get a “team together” you definitely don’t want to be on that team! His team consisted of deception, discouragement, manipulation and Lord knows a whole lot more. His team can easily front, smile and act like it’s well but you have to be able to discern what his game plan is.. We as women of God know that with Christ we can do all things and I know we have a Team leader that instills in us the values of a “real game” that you win with every time!! A ball bounces real good when it’s solid with air, you bounce it too much the air leaks out but you will know that a change has taken place so the ball is replaced with another ball full of air.. Your “ball of praise” is the same way, you bounce it everyday, every second, every moment and the air comes out but thanks be to God that when you praise no matter how often, there is a “filler up” when you release so much!! I don’t care what you have to experience today, know that you will bounce back! The enemy will use someone to try to take the air out of your ball,(he does not know how to play fair that is why he gets ejected from the game so much) but remember you have a built in air pump and it will automatically fill your ball back!! Half court you can shoot a three pointer (Father, Son and Holy Ghost) with just a few seconds left on the clock and that’s going to always be your winning shot! Bounce back and walk in the authority that God has given you to overcome and once you win, that joy of overflow sets in and BAM it bounce right back to you!! Have an exceptional day and enjoy the Lord and share Him with others, you may make their day!
WOS Interview with
Minister Aaron McNair, Jr. WOS: Hello Aaron how are you? AMJ: Hello, All is well! WOS: It is truly a pleasure to have you included in this month’s edition of WOS. AMJ: Oh No, pleasure is all mine. It is an honor to be a part of such a great work. I appreciate you selecting a little person such as myself. WOS: (laughs) Aaron we chose you for this month’s edition as a highlight of one of the most influential leaders for young people. How do you feel regarding that and what is your response when you hear many say how your messages inspired them? AMJ: LOL, That’s a pretty high claim (Most Influential). But I truly give all glory to God for where he has placed me in ministry and the doors he has opened and places he has allowed me to travel. In response to the inspiration of the message God has given me, I really give him all the glory for that because it’s His Word, His Ministry, His People…I’m just the vessel. WOS: As a young man in ministry, especially one that is as handsome as yourself how do you deal with the ‘groupies’? Now, I don’t want to make you nervous but it is true that women flock to preachers as they do celebrities such as Trey Songz all the way to Will Smith. AMJ: LOL!! Thanks for the compliment. But yes it is very true that women flock to... GOOD preachers now, because they won’t flock to you if you aren’t doing anything (LOL) but the anointing draws people. WOS: Yea I hear you! (both share laughs) So...how old were you when you began ministry? AMJ: I was called at 15 but my father was very cautious and protective over me and he made me go through classes, training and stern critiquing. I actually didn’t preach my initial sermon until the age of 19. I did, as they say, bootleg for a little while but officially…19 years old. WOS: What was your approach in preparing your first message? AMJ: My approach was SALVATION! I often question people who claim being called to the
ministry and their first message being on Trials, Money and Praise because I believe if God called you to the ministry, Your main focus and initial message should simply be on the reason he called you…To Help Build His Kingdom! WOS: Did you always know that you would be a preacher? AMJ:NO! I thought I would do the motivational thing for a little while but I actually wanted to play ball. I could do that and still can do that well LOL. But I wanted to play ball! I had it mapped out, had a plan and everything but as folk say “God interrupted my life.” LOL WOS: Tell us about AMJ Ministries & how it was established as well as the foundation of your ministry. AMJ: AMJ Ministries was given to me the first year of ministry. However, wisdom said “don’t move too fast.” 2010 it was official after 3 years of preparation and prayer. The mission of AMJ Ministries is to be a ministry operating in the spirit of excellence. It is our focus to win lost souls and reconcile backsliders with Jesus Christ; To teach and train this and the next generation how to operate in church business and professionalism on a global level; To change lives through effective mission and to call youth and young adults to an esteemed level of maturity financially, socially, educationally and spiritually. WOS: What trials have you faced that possibly has tried to hinder you from excelling in the things of God such as answering the call to preach, coming forth & not looking back? Because I know that we as people have a habit of seeing the success of an individual but we fail to consider all of the ‘hell’ they had to go through & how many times they have to deny themselves (saying no to the flesh on a continual basis) to arrive at this particular place. So take us on a brief journey of some of your encounters prior to coming into ministry & even since you have been in ministry. AMJ: WHEEW, ok LOL! Coming into the ministry I think I faced the most problems with some so-called “friends”. Those who with one hand pushed and with the other hand pulled. I think my biggest problems came during times of elevation IN ministry. Because I had to come to grips with the fact that there is literally “No way for progression without disconnection”. So at the time when God would take me through a maturing process I had to end friendships, I had to end relationships. At the end of those friendships came the trouble. Because folk who were with me at for a season thought it would be cool to cause a bunch of hell in my life on their way
out lol. However, when you follow the movement and commandment of God he will see to it that vindication works positively on your behalf. So I think my biggest trial has been false connections and bad relationships while in ministry.You learn in ministry that you can’t trust everybody and everybody around you is not for you! WOS: What advice would you give other young leaders such as yourself on how to remain holy but yet still live & enjoy life? AMJ: Stop being stuck up and cocky! Arrogance is so disrespectful to God. I encourage all young leaders to chill man, stop trying to be so deep…we know you saved, Hallelujah, and got the Holy Ghost, bless Jesus. But come down off your high horse and speak to folk. Live Holy…understanding that living holy does NOT mean living perfect. I often say “Nobody is perfect is NOT an excuse to remain imperfect…STRIVE FOR PERFECTION.” Above that enjoy life. I hang with my boys, I’m dating a beautiful young lady, I still play ball and I laugh all the time! “Living for God doesn’t mean YOU can’t live at all.” WOS: Wow! What great advice. For you to be so young you are such a power house & It’s evident that the apple truly didn’t fall too far from the tree. (both nodd in agreeance) Lastly, since you mentioned this lovely young lady you are dating what dating advice do you have to offer other believers who are unsure how to date & stay saved (so to speak) & the importance of remaining abstinent prior to marriage? AMJ: Problem is our generation doesn’t understand that dating AIN’T marriage! LOL. I believe the purpose of dating, when you find a good individual, is to cultivate that person into the husband or wife you want. It is also the purpose of being cultivated into what your future husband or wife wants. Many young people struggle with dating and remaining “saved” because you keep dating people that are not as mature as you are or as they should be. So then friction comes because now, you are having sex or they don’t understand where you are in ministry or they too clingy and insecure so on and so forth. About the abstinence, SEX COMPLICATES THINGS! Stay away from it. I honestly made that mistake and it messed up things and put a delay on life and ministry. WOS: I want you to know that I have truly enjoyed talking with you & I appreciate your level of honesty & for taking the time out of your BUSY schedule to sit & talk to lil ol me (both laugh & shake hands). To wrap things up tell our readers how they may get in touch with you? AMJ: Easy, hit me up on Facebook.com/ADOTMAC, Twitter @AMcNairJr., website: www. AMJministries.org or email AMJ_ministries.org. I’m not the preacher who don’t talk back to folk LOL…unless you crazy and annoying LOL!!!
Men of Standard Man of the Month Bishop Paul S. Morton Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. was born in Windsor Ontario, Canada but was destined to move to the United States. God had a special calling on his life that extended far beyond the Canadian borders. In 1972, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana. Not long after, he became the Senior Pastor of the Greater Saint Stephen Missionary Baptist Church. He served faithfully there for thirty-three years. Under his leadership, it became a “Full Gospel” Baptist Church, expanding to three areas of the city, maximizing at seven services per Sunday. However, after the devastating storm, Katrina, God repositioned him. At God’s command, he passed the mantle to his wife, Debra B. Morton, who now serves as Senior Pastor of the mother church in New Orleans. Bishop Morton now serves as Senior Pastor of the “baby” church, G.S.S. Changing A Generation, in Atlanta, Georgia which was birthed out of the mother church. Bishop Paul S. Morton and Pastor Debra Morton now serve as each other’s Co-Pastor. Now “One Church in Two States”, their slogan is “Changing The Way We Do Church!” Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. is also the founding Presiding Bishop of one of the fastest growing movements in America - The Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship International. As an apostle, he has birthed many churches out of Greater Saint Stephen, New Orleans. Bishop Morton is also an international television preacher who, for over twenty-five years, reaches thousands of souls for the Lord on a weekly basis. Morton is also a gifted author and an anointed singer, having received five Stellar Awards. His life in Christ is evidenced by his love and compassion for his family, the brethren and those who are lost. Many esteem him as a Pastor’s Pastor; a Leader’s Leader; His wife and children revere him as a loving husband and role model father. Bishop Paul S. Morton, Sr. who strives to exemplify the heart of God, is truly God’s Man! www.womenofstandard.net
Time For Discipline
by Minister Richard Hagans Discipline means, a branch of learning, training that develops self-control, efficiency, strict control to enforce obedience, a system of rules as for a church, treatment that corrects or punishes. One thing that I have come to realize is that we need to bring our mind, heart and soul to a place of discipline. We are people that don’t like to be told what to do, nor how to do things. But this is a season that God is calling all of his chosen ones to a place of discipline and obedience. Discipline is a path to spiritual growth, spiritual practices of Christian faith. The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God, because He works by our faith in Him. We are looking for people to be so deep but God intends for the disciplines of the spiritual life to be for ordinary human beings: people who have jobs, who care for children, who wash dishes, mow lawns; etc. In fact, disciplines are best exercised in the midst of our relationships with our husband or wife, brother or sister, our friends, neighbors & co-workers. Joy is the keynote of all disciplines. The purpose of disciplines are the liberation from the stifling slavery to self interest and fear. When the inner spirit is liberated from all that weighs it down, it can hardly be described as dull singing, dancing, & even shouting may characterize the disciplines of the spiritual life. Spiritual discipline are not hard, the main requirement is a longing after God. As a heart longs for flowing streams, so longs my soul for thee, o God, my soul thirst for God, for the living God, (Psalm 42:1-2). I used to be one that was very comfortable just sitting in the pew but God called me into the deep. Psalm 42:7 says ‘deep calls unto deep’. Perhaps somewhere in life you have heard a call to a deeper fuller life. You have become weary, and tired of the same things all the time. Every now and then you have caught glimpses, hints of something more than you have known. The inward you longs to launch out into the deep. I have learned in life that it’s not about me, but all about God and His purpose in and for my life. It may not feel right nor look right according to our own mind, but it’s all in God plans. The Bible let’s us know that our thoughts and ways are not like His, so we need to forget our ways and follow Him all the way. So people of God, let us put away all childish things and begin to discipline ourselves in the things of God. I love you & there’s nothing you can do about it. Until the next time, may peace be with you.
The Spirit of the Antichrist is Here by Apostle Elijah Forte’
“For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he, who now let it, until he is taken out of the way.” 2 Thessalonians 2: 7 (KJV) The spirit of the antichrist has been in the church every since the church was started on the day of Pentecost. The apostles fought against false teachers and prophets who operated in spreading their doctrine about who Jesus was. In 1 John 2: 18b; “even now there are many antichrist; whereby we know that we are in the last times.” This is referring to the doctrine of the false teachers and prophets who deny that God came in flesh and Jesus is that self same God man. Antichrist: against Christ or an opposition of Christ, a rival, a false teacher or prophet; any one who denies the union of the divine and human of Jesus. (Vines dictionary) In other words any person who preaches or teaches that Jesus is not God or won’t let Jesus be God, this is the spirit of the antichrist. Keep in mind that we are talking about the spirit and not the man, for the spirit will go out before the man shows up to deceive the people, so when he shows up they will except him as God. The mystery of iniquity that is already working will work until he is taken out of the way is referring to the spirit of antichrist will work in us until we come to truth and then he has to go (taken) from us , because now we believe the truth about Gods word.There are so many teachings out here today that are undermining the truth of Gods word. It is first creating a falling away from truth, and then people will start denying God’s power. For example when people give their life to the Lord at salvation, we tell them that they are saved, but we never take them into the ‘fullness’ of salvation. They have repented but never received the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, because we don’t have time. They came in to be saved and get a relief from their pain and suffering and they have joy for a moment; but the joy doesn’t last because the fullness of the heart did not happen, for you fail to take them further. This is another way the church system has robbed God from doing what he wants with His people. We have been in service a long time already and we are ready to go and eat. So the leader feels the antichrist spirits coming against him so he rushes the service so people can go home. The person who just gave their life to the Lord did not get all they needed to experience God in the fullness. The church system as a whole is man centered and not God centered. It is based on the pastor’s vision that God gave him, and we all are to in an agreement with that vision. We never pray and ask does the vision promote the man or does it promote God who is the center of this vision. If the man is the center then it is antichrist. When God is the center it will be the same vision that Jesus had done and we are not to do anything different it must be God. If people are dancing, jumping and praising God while in church, but out side of church they live and act just like the world and not godly, this is the antichrist. If a preacher has a flesh problem and is not trying to get delivered, and wants to hold on to this thing, and is preaching to you about your sins and want change, this is anti-
christ. They hold truth in unrighteousness, they know the truth of God’s word , but won’t tell it because maybe the people are not ready for it or they don’t want people to leave, so they won’t tell the truth about God’s word, this is antichrist. Romans 1: 18-19 “for the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against all ungodliness (anything that’s not Spirit led) and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness. Because that which may be known of God; is manifested in them; for God has showed it unto them. This means that they know the truth but will not tell it because they themselves are not living in truth, this is antichrist. I can go on and on but I want to awaken your eyes to pay attention to your surroundings and start studying the Bible and find out the truth of God’s word for yourself so you will know. The Holy Spirit’s job is to lead and guide us into all truth. This starts out with having a love for the truth, if you want to know the truth so you won’t miss God, then develop a relationship with Him in prayer and fasting and asking Him to show Himself to you. If you want to get to know someone you spend time with them, and as you spend time they will share their heart with you and do things for you out of relationship and not because you where desperate. We are to seek the kingdom of Heaven first and out of relationship everything else will be added. Please people of God seek God like never before for there is a great falling away in the midst of us. People are no longer enduring sound doctrine and they are denying the Lord who saved them. The spirit of the antichrist is working very hard in churches and all around the world against all who choose to walk in the truth of the word of God. But Jesus prayed for us that our faith (believing what God has said) fails us not! Praise God! May everyone who reads this have an encounter with God that will change their life for ever. “The spirit said unto me come up higher, and I saw ________________.” When you go up what will you see?
Invite Carla to Speak to Your Youth or Women’s Group Today! The Experience Will be Life Changing! WWW.WOMENOFSTANDARD.NET
From the Mind of A Man
by Elder Roosevelt Ethridge
Oppositions have always faced men, dating back from the days of the Bible unto the lives of today. Men are perplexed with the idea to become. The nature to “become” is a incoherent behavior that forces men to seek to become a person of respect, influence and authority. Therefore, men are often plagued with images and pictures that lure us to move on fast tracks. These tracks often time award us the possibility to become two people in one world. Living a dualistic life can become frustrating when these multiple images we portray do not work in harmony with the aspects of who we are. As men, we are at war with the images of society to become the acceptable American man. As men, we should seek to become ‘Men of Valor’ (courage) along with of course being ‘Men of Standard’. Becoming a man of war means that we are beyond fighting people but we will choose to stand up for justice. These justices will infuse a standard for my family, produce a future for my children, and force a standard for my life. Therefore, you can change your reality by changing your perspective. Do not allow circumstances to kill your dream or expectations of life. If the image you see does not match the image you desire then change the picture. Images are never the original. Become the artist of your life and paint your masterpiece. Let this design become a picture for someone else. If you desire for your children to see something different then paint a new picture. The best portrait of life is the one that you create. You can do all things through Christ which strengthen you. Allow the substance of your faith to manifest in your now reality. Never settle for what you are dealt in life when you can always re-create what is seen. www.womenofstandard.net
Health Put Yourself on the List
by Victoria Osteen
As women today, we live in such a great time in history! We can enjoy so many more freedoms and take advantage of many opportunities that women in the past couldn’t. Because of this, we also seem to wear more “hats” than ever before, too—employee or employer, mother, companion, friend, chef, counselor, housekeeper, investor, and the list goes on and on. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in all that we are doing, that we don’t stop to take care of ourselves.
If you have ever flown in a commercial airplane, then you have heard the flight attendant’s instructions informing passengers about airplane exits, emergency lighting, flotation devices, and oxygen masks that fall from above your head in case the cabin loses pressure. Then the flight attendant will say something like this; “Place the oxygen mask over your nose and mouth before assisting children or those around you.” That truth plays out off the airplane as well. We have to take care of ourselves if we are going to take care of anyone else properly. I heard someone say you have to “show up” for yourself before you can “show up” for others. Think about it—if you are empty, how will you have anything to give? If you are constantly giving and never replenishing, you will be left drained. We are God’s creation, and we have a responsibility to keep ourselves at our best. A hundred years ago, the main cause of illness was infection. Today the main cause of illnesses is stress. God never planned for us to live stressed-out and overbooked. He created the world and all that is in it, and then He took a day off. When is the last time you took the day off or took some time to recharge your battery? If you’re like me, you make a to-do list every day: Run the kids to soccer, stop by the grocery store, finish a project at work. You rush here and there, taking care of all the things that matter most: family, jobs, friends, church… Oh yeah, did you forget to put yourself on the list? Do you need to move yourself up the list in priority? Most of us try to take care of everyone else but ourselves, but I’ve found I am unable to give my best if I don’t have my best to give.
I have a friend who has a great husband and three beautiful children. She is a good wife and mother, but she told me that she feels so guilty when she goes and gets her nails done. She feels like she has to rush when she is taking time to get her hair cut and colored. She said, “I sit in the chair at the salon tapping my feet nervously, just counting the minutes; I can’t seem to relax. I feel like I don’t have time to take care of myself because there is so much that needs to be done.” It’s funny, because I am sure the only time she doesn’t feel guilty is when she is doing things for her family. But the truth is, her family probably wants her to take time for herself so she can be her best for them. Don’t fall into the trap of putting yourself last on the list or not even putting yourself on the list. That’s not balance; it’s not even healthy. You are important, so you must take care of yourself. That means you have to do things to relax—read, play golf, take a bubble bath—even if you have to schedule thirty minutes of “me time” into your daily planner. Sometimes just taking a walk in the park and looking at the birds or taking in some fresh air is enough to rejuvenate us. Maybe you need to kick back under a tree and enjoy an ice-cream cone. (fat free of course!) Whatever it is that refreshes and refocuses you will be a good investment of your time. Investing in yourself also means investing in your personal growth. Maybe you need to join a gym to get back in shape or invest in some teaching CDs or leadership material. Sure it can cost some money, but you’re worth it, and the return will far outweigh the investment. You might be surprised at how a few small deposits in yourself can pay off in a big way. The important thing is that you take time for yourself and you enjoy it. If you had an expensive family heirloom, you would take care of it. You wouldn’t mistreat it, let it get beat up or worn down, because it is valuable. You are valuable, too, so take care of yourself!
GROWING FINANCIALLY Answers for Debt-Free Living by Joyce Meyer
For many people, 2011 has been a financially difficult year. The housing market is down, some businesses has closed, and gasoline and food prices are rising. Some are struggling to stay ahead. But, what does God have to say about our finances and our future? Don’t Make Decisions Based on Fear. God’s financial system is not like the world’s system. No matter what happens around us, we don’t have to be fearful because God loves us. I John 4:18 tells us, There is no fear in love...Even if situations seem out of our control, the love of God isn’t ever going to crumble and remains our solid foundation in life. We can have confidence that whatever is happening, God wants to help us and will go out of His way to meet even our simple day-to-day needs. Recognize Your Source II Corinthians 9:10 says, And [God] Who provides seed for the sower and bread for eating will also provide and multiply your [resources for] sowing and increase the fruits of your righteousness... God is the One who provides our finances; our jobs are not our source—God is. So when positions disappear, we don’t have to feel hopeless, because God is not limited. He can provide for us through other means, in ways we may not have imagined or are able to figure out ahead of time. Matthew 6:26 reassures us that if God takes care of the birds, we can believe He is going to provide for us, too. Maintain a Generous Spirit I’ve discovered the best way to deal with money is to give it away. This is a key factor in helping us to maintain a biblical focus on our finances. And we need to keep on giving, especially during challenging financial times. If we obey God with our finances and give to help other people, the more God will have other people do for us. It’s just that simple. Proverbs 28:27 says, He who gives to the poor will not want... Work with What You’ve Got It’s possible to live debt-free with biblical principles, even in difficult times. Romans 13:8 tells us to Keep out of debt and owe no man anything, except to love one another... My husband, Dave, says that if we learn to live within our income, or our borders, then God will bless us, our borders will be stretched and we’ll have more. Luke 19:17 tells us that God is pleased when we are faithful and trustworthy in very little things. When we are, it says He will give us authority over bigger things.
Start Paying with Cash It’s so easy to use credit cards without realizing how much you’re actually spending. If you’re trying to downsize your debt, start paying cash for everything. You’re more apt to stretch (even save) your money when it’s literally in your hands. It’s okay to use credit cards for convenience as long as you pay them off at the end of the month. The point is: You don’t want to get into a situation where you’re so distracted by debt that you can’t focus on God. The enemy wants you to be fearful of tomorrow. So your main goal needs to be to enjoy the life Jesus died to give you today. Do what you can to live in righteousness, peace and joy, and trust Him to do the rest.
Are You in the Right Church? by: Creflo Dollar
One of the increasingly popular beliefs in society today is that church attendance doesn’t matter, and that if you do attend church, it doesn’t matter which church you attend. The idea of submitting to anyone, especially a pastor, seems almost ludicrous to a lot of people. However, God has a specific plan for every Christian, which includes being connected to a local church fellowship. In addition, He has appointed every Believer to be pastored by someone specific. Only by examining the Word of God can we begin to acquire God’s thoughts on the issue of church attendance and the importance of being called to a specific church and pastor. We must renew our minds in this area so we do not get out of the will of God for our lives. Contrary to what some people may think, the issue of church attendance is addressed in the Bible. The Apostle Paul mentioned it because the same thing was going on during the time of his ministry—people were neglecting this vital part of their walk with God. Hebrews 10:25, in the Amplified Bible says, “Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people…” God does want us to “assemble” with other Christians in church. It is not okay to abandon this discipline. In addition, He has called every Believer to a specific church where he or she is to be pastored. In order to understand the importance of being submitted to the leadership of a pastor, we must look at the reason why God has instituted spiritual leadership in the body of Christ through the ministry gifts. Ephesians 4:11-12 says the ministry gifts—apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher—have been given for the purpose of edifying the saints. To edify something means to build it up. The five-fold ministry gifts, when functioning properly, help the body of Christ to spiritually grow and develop into maturity. Jeremiah 3:15 (AMP) says that God gives us spiritual shepherds, who feed us with knowledge, understanding, and judgment. We should receive our pastors as gifts that are sent by God. In doing so, we receive a spiritual reward (Matthew 10:40-41). It is important to seek God so that you are led to the right church for you. God has a specific place to which He has called each of us as Believers, and we are all called to be connected to certain church fellowship. Many times, when people are not in the right church they become critical about different things they see going on, from how church services are conducted to the examples the pastor shares in the sermon. God is displeased with complaining, especially against spiritual leadership, because it can cause sedition and rebellion. We should never speak evil of another person, even when we see things that displease us. Instead, we are to pray about the situation so that God can get involved. When you constantly find fault with your church and its leadership, it may be a sign that you are in the wrong place. If you are unsure about where you should be attending church, take some time to sit down and ask God where you should be. When you are in the right church, you will receive the spiritual
nourishment you need to grow as a Christian, and it will be a joy to attend. There is nothing wrong with getting new direction and insight as to where God would have you to fellowship with other Christians. Finding out if you are in the right church, and where to go if you are not, is one of the best decisions you can make. Discover the will of God for your life in this area so you can go to the next level of spiritual development!
Understanding Your Value y Joel Osteen b
Growing up, I played baseball all through little league and junior high. I always made the AllStar Team. Like any little league player, I dreamed of playing second base in the big leagues. But when I got to high school, it was a whole new level of talent. I came from a very large high school. There were 800 people in my graduating class. When I tried out for the baseball team, there were 150 other young men trying out for 20 positions on the team. I’ll never forget the day the coach called us into the gym to tell us who made the team. He began to call out the names one by one. I didn’t hear my name, but I was sure I was going to be next, or next, or next… The more names he called out, the lower I sank. He finally said, “Alright, here’s the last name.” He called it out, and it wasn’t my name. I was so disappointed. He told me later, “Joel, I’d love to have you on the team. You’re just too small. You’re not big enough.” Back then I was very small. I grew six inches after high school. Over the next few weeks and months, those words rang out in my mind again and again. “You heard what the coach said. You’re too small. There’s something wrong with you. You’re not good enough.” Have you noticed how the negative voices will always play the loudest? If you don’t take control of your thought life, then every hurt, every criticism, every derogatory comment will play again and again. I was tempted to be insecure, to feel inferior, and lose my confidence. But I had to keep reminding myself, “He may have said I’m too small, but I know God made me like I am on purpose. He may have said I’m not good enough, but God says I’m a
masterpiece. They may have rejected me, but God says He accepts me.” It says in 1 Peter 2:9, “You have been chosen by God Himself.” People may leave you out. People may overlook you. But always remember, the One who matters most chooses you. That means you weren’t randomly chosen. God, on purpose, looked at you and said, “I choose him. I choose her. They’re My son. They’re My daughter. That’s who I want on My team.” People may tell you, “You’re just too small.” But God says, “You’re just the right size for Me.” People may say, “You’re not talented. We don’t need you. You don’t have anything to offer.” But God says, “You are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are talented. You are creative. You are anointed. You are smart. You are intelligent. You are amazing.” Whenever we feel that sting of rejection, instead of getting down on ourselves and losing our sense of value, our attitude should be, “I may be disappointed. This may hurt. But I’m not going to sink down into self-pity and start thinking that there is something wrong with me. I know the One who matters most, the One who controls the universe, handpicked me. I may not have been chosen by the coach, the boss, or a friend, but I was chosen by the Most High God; and He says that His plans for me are for good and not evil, to give me a future and a hope.” I know some of you have gone through more than your share of unfair situations. But here’s what I’ve learned. Even though life is not fair, God is fair. If you will not go around thinking there is something wrong with you, but instead start seeing yourself as handpicked by God – valuable, lovable, with something great to offer - then God said He will pay you back double for your former shame. That means He’ll make the rest of your life twice as good as it would have been if that had never even happened to you. But you’ve got to dig your heels in. Don’t allow what somebody did or didn’t do steal your destiny and cause you to go through life feeling not good enough, not talented, not attractive. No, realize that you’re a child of the Most High God. Your value doesn’t come from people or accomplishments; it comes from your Creator. Put your shoulders back. Hold your head up high. Live with confidence. God said He will take what was meant for your harm and use it for your advantage. If you will keep this attitude of faith, God will always give you the last laugh. He’ll get you where you’re supposed to be. No, I didn’t get chosen for the baseball team that year. My dreams of playing second base didn’t work out. But do you know 30 years later, I did stand at second base at Yankee Stadium? I wasn’t playing baseball. God had something else for me to do. God opened the door for our ministry to conduct a Night of Hope event, and I was able to stand boldly on second base and tell thousands of people about God’s goodness and His good plan for their lives. It was a time I will never forget and was one of the greatest moments of my life. Friends, people may reject you, but God accepts you. He’s already chosen you, and He’s the One that matters most. He has a way of working everything out for our good! And it’s always better than we could have ever imagined!
PARENTING 101: SEASONS CHANGE by TAFFI DOLLAR If you are a mother who has a child in his or her teenage years, you can probably attest to the fact that parenting is not an easy task! As our children grow up, it requires patience, adjustments on the part of the parent and the child, along with the recognition of which season your relationship with your child is in. The reality of being a parent is that our “little” ones do not stay little forever. We must find ways to adjust and adapt to the seasons of development they go through as they journey on the road to adulthood. There is no doubt about it; as the seasons in our children’s lives change, we must also flow with those changes. We may discover the techniques we once used to maintain the “upper hand” in their lives when they were younger do not work as they grow up. Threatening spankings and groundings will not work when you are facing a young-adult child who is college bound or already out of the house. It is difficult to imagine your baby out on their own, making decisions without you, and possibly experiencing things in the world from which you want so desperately to shield them. However, their transition from childhood to a young adulthood is inevitable, and we must learn how to adapt while maintaining our position as parents. I speak from personal experience when I tell you I know it is not easy. With three daughters, one of college age, I know how hard it can be to change the way we relate to our kids. When Jordan went to college, I found myself still trying to maintain the same level of control in her life that I had when she was a young child. I quickly realized I could not control her every move and decision. I had to begin releasing the tight hold I had on her. Allowing your kids to make choices rather than telling them what they can and cannot do all the time will help them develop their decision-making skills and learn from their mistakes. I have come to realize I cannot shield my kids from everything. Ultimately, I must trust and believe they have been trained and taught well, and the spiritual foundation my husband and I have equipped them with will sustain them in life’s pressure situations. I remember when Jordan first left for college. I was panicking at the thought of my baby no longer living under my roof, and that she would now be free to make decisions without me! I had concerns about the choices she would make when faced with various situations. I found myself text messaging her frequently to remind her of what she should and should not do. It got to the point where she had to say, “Mom, you are going to have to trust what you have taught me will carry me through.” What a sobering wake-up call! I realized that day that part of the adjustment
I had to make in this season was to trust God enough to give my child some breathing room and the opportunity to learn on her own. It has not been easy, but as a result of me gradually releasing my daughter, she has been able to grow and spread her wings. Not only that, but the process has strengthened my faith and trust in God as I have watched her discover the importance of making the right choices in life. Take some time to identify and evaluate the season you and your child are in, and ask God how to help you make the necessary adjustments so it can be a smooth transition for both of you. God will guide, direct, and show you what you can do to loosen the reins a little bit and still command their respect and love!
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